David Bertschi wants to be the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and hopefully the next Prime Minister.
Having run in the 2011 federal election, Bertschi made a name for himself campaigning in the riding of Ottawa-Orléans. While he lost to his Conservative opponent by a few percentage points, he achieved the fifth highest amount of Liberal votes in the country and as such increased the party’s popular vote from the prior election.
Both a lawyer and businessman, Bertschi has been travelling by car across the country meeting and listening to Canadians from all political stripes. “You don’t drive across the country … unless you’re serious … I’m in this to rebuild the party.”
What he’s been hearing from liberals regarding the leadership is that they’re “concerned about [candidates] having substance, experience, and providing them with a real alternative to the current government.”
When asked what sets him apart from the current leadership candidates, Bertschi responded “Experience. Having run, owned built and rebuilt small businesses and having been involved in politics as a volunteer, but never beholden to special interests and the party establishment.”
“It’s very difficult for people to rebuild if they’re tied to or beholden to others.” explained Bertschi.
Having been able to both find a job in his own field and purchase a house five years out of law school are memories of a past generation which Bertschi fears are “eroding” from the current generation. “Today students who want to work hard [and] who have the capacity to do well, can’t afford a house.”
Concerned that Canada is both political polarized and that the polarization is expanding, Bertschi is worried that such is not healthy for the “economy, students … small and medium sized businesses and the middle class [as a whole].”
Critical of what he considers to be top-down policies that plague the Liberal Party’s past, Bertchi feels there is a need to rebuild the party and reconnect with liberals to talk “about not only a vision of our country, but also how to implement realistic programs … which is what the liberal party historically has been able to do. We’ve got to forget the top-down policies [and] listen to Canadians [and] act.”
Bertschi is also concerned about the erosion of parliamentary democracy and believes there to be a need for an increase in respect of democracy overall. He’d like to see members of parliament both actively represent community in parliament and refuse to act as talking heads. “A lot more free votes are needed [and] committee work has to be meaningful.”
“When you talk about a code of conduct in parliament, I believe in a code of conduct. They say they’re professionals, but a lot of them don’t act professionally … we expect far [better behaviour] of our children and grandchildren than we do of our politicians … that’s part and parcel why our institutions are not looked [upon] with respect.”
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.