Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Harper may have a winning policy

Just finished talking to my mother-in-law... a totally committed Green/leftist supporter, who typically hates all things Conservative. I like throwing a barb or two at her from time to time, we always have fun with it.

Anyway, she just shocked the life out of me today. We're talking about the Ontario Election, and MMP, and how she's disappointed with the non-candidate who's running for the Greens in her riding... he hasn't even returned her phone calls. She said she may not even bother voting for anyone this time. (that's shock number one) Then she asks me about MMP, and where I stand on it... she then tells me she's all torn up on the MMP vote, and is presently leaning against it because she doesn't like some of the details on how it will work. (that's shock number two, as I figured she's be all for it) Then, she drops this third bombshell of a shock on me and said something that I NEVER thought I'd hear come out of her mouth...

"You know what we really need for electoral reform in this country? AN ELECTED SENATE."

?!?!?! I think I must of stood there for a second with my mouth open in disbelief. Then I reminded her, "You do know that the only party that supports an elected Senate is Mr. Harper and the Conservatives, right? And that to get an elected Senate, you'd have to vote for them in the next election, right?"

Her reply was a simple nod of the head and an, "Uh huh".

If Mr. Harper can get my totally leftist mother-in-law onside... majority, here we come.

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The deed is done... I voted today

Well, another ballot has been cast today for the local John Tory candidate... not, however, because of John Tory, but in spite of John Tory.

I decided to comment on my decision for one simple reason... to warn John Tory of how he very nearly lost my vote today, and to encourage him to take a course of action so that other less dedicated conservatives will also mark their ballots in support of his local candidates.

Today, when I went into that voting booth, I hesitated. Before marking my "X" for my local PC candidate, as I had been planning to do for some time now, I paused... because John Tory has done everything possible to LOSE my vote this election. In an effort to appease people like me with faith-based school funding, he actually alienated me, along with a large number of conservatives who oppose this plan, for whatever reason. In fact, were it not for my local PC candidate, MY VOTE WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE LOCAL NDP CANDIDATE, who's circle my pencil briefly hovered over... not because I in any way support the NDP, but because I'd be thrilled to have their local candidate serve in Queen's Park as my representative. (the local candidate here is that impressive, that they've even had me actively encouraging people to take a second look at them... in fact, my wife is planning to vote for the NDP candidate for that very reason)

So, to any John Tory campaign people who are reading this, DEAL WITH THIS FAITH-BASED SCHOOL ISSUE. Come out and state clearly that it will be looked into by a committee, and then put to a free vote. Then keep on saying that it's about fairness all you want, which I believe legitimately it is. But unless you assure our own opponents within the Party that there will be means to discuss this issue after the vote, you're going to lose this election... in fact, it may already be too late.

Okay, now that's my two cents on my first vote... now on to my second vote, on MMP.

As you all know, I've been waffling on this one for a few weeks now. At first, I opposed it, because I felt it would give too much power to the Ontario Liberals. Then, I stopped and took a second look at the issue, and realized that if I supported MMP and it passed, then the PC Party as it stands today would be split, the right of the political spectrum would be realigned, and we'd have a truely conservative option here in the province to vote for, something that would appeal to the thousands of disaffected conservative leaning voters in this province, who don't bother to vote because they feel their voices, like mine, too often go unheard by the "mushy-middle" style that we're seeing in today's PC Party.

So, I opened up my ballot for the MMP vote... and voted against MMP.

Why, you may ask, having stated everything above? Simple... if John Tory goes down in flames, as it appearing more and more likely, we're going to have a leadership review. And with dumb moves like the FBS funding issue, and the complaints I've heard of there being no real conservative option in this province, you can bet that the next leader of the Ontario PC Party will make sure that he (or she) is listening to the conservative base that support Mike Harris, who have been alientated over the last few years.

If we present a real conservative option in this province, one that is honest and compassionate, but has a real grasp on the issues and offers an real conservative vision to deal with the mess that we're going to have at the end of the dark McGuinty era, then Ontario voters will listen, and once again support us. For the most part, our policies have the general support of Ontarians, and if you take away the Faith Based School funding issue, we'd be ahead in the polls right now, without a doubt.

Therefore, based on all I've said above, today I voted against MMP, because supporting MMP would only serve to lessen our chances of tossing Mr. McGuinty out four years from now... that is, if he wins on Oct. 10th.

Of course, don't get me wrong, I strongly support the need for some form of electoral reform... but I'm opposed to any sort of reform that will serve only to silence the conservative voice of Ontario, while giving too much voice to those few on the left who shout the loudest.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Is Dion a "Leader", or not?

Well, Mr. Dion will have his first opportunity to answer that longstanding question.

During the Liberal leadership debate, he made the following statement... "We must go back to power as soon as possible".

This is the first vote where Dion's Liberal Party has an opportunity to bring down the Government. On every other confidence vote since Dion won the leadership, we've had either the Bloc support us, or the NDP allowing us to live on, such as when they abstained on the Afghan vote and then putting forward their own motion to withdraw.

For Dion to prove that he is the "leader" that he claims to be, then he MUST, without excuse, vote against the Speech from the Throne. He said, and I quote again, "We must go back to power as soon as possible". He said "ASAP"... as soon as possible means just that, at the first available opportunity. This is the first opportunity that he's had to make good on that commitment, so what is he going to do?

Is he going to deliver on this longstanding commitment, or is he going to chicken out, and prove, once again, that he really is "Not a leader"?

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Faith Based Schools - Tory's Undoing

I figured this one would be suicidal, albeit for different reasons. (Actually, my exact quote in June was "However, based on the details mentioned by the CBC, here's my take on the idea... IT MIGHT JUST COST HIM THE ELECTION.")

And here we see the results, via an Ipsos poll just released by Canwest Global... "Ontario Liberals on course for majority: poll"

If the Tory war room has any aces up their sleeves, now would be the time to show them.

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YouTube Video of the Day

Since I haven't had time to look, and since only one suggestion was left in the comments... here it is.

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Love the headline... "McGuinty Flip-Flops"

Guess who posted the headline? The Toronto Star, of all places!
McGuinty flip-flops on senior rebates
Sep 28, 2007 11:35 AM
Robert Benzie
Queen's Park Bureau Chief

Four years after describing a Progressive Conservative $480-a-year property tax rebate for seniors as "some gimmick or bogus promise," Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty is now touting a $500 annual grant for elderly homeowners.

This morning, McGuinty visited Dante Mario Guevara, 72, and his wife, Maria Abruzese-Guevara, 56, in their 1,500 sq. ft. Woodbridge condominium to hail his scheme.

Emphasizing how important it is to help seniors remain in their homes, he said people older than 65 who own their own homes would qualify for the grant if their income is less than $50,000.

Those earning less than $35,000 would qualify for the maximum grant of $500. "Everything we do today is only possible because of what our seniors have done before us and for us," said McGuinty, adding there's a societal "shared responsibility" to help the elderly.

While that's the Liberal policy for the Oct. 10 election, he was singing a different tune in the 2003 vote when he attacked then Tory premier Ernie Eves for his attempt to woo seniors.

"When it comes to our seniors, we're not putting out some gimmick or bogus promise," McGuinty said on Sept. 15, 2003, blasting Eves' promise to rebate seniors the education portion of their property taxes - a move that meant about $480 annually and would have cost $400 million a year to implement.

The latest Liberal plan will cost the treasury $250 million a year.

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory is promising a 5 per cent cap on annual assessment increases to protect homeowners.

NDP Leader Howard Hampton pledges to freeze assessments on primary residences until they're sold.

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Cherniak - Lessons from "The Godfather"

Some things are just too funny to make up... Jason Cherniak today was throwing in his two cents on the Quebec Liberal revolt, and while trying to make sense of things, he used some analogies from "The Godfather" series of movies.

Jason, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Talking about Quebec, and using lessons from "The Godfather"? Yes indeed, you heard it from Jason first...

I recently re-watched the Godfather series... The way I see it, you need to do your best to work with everybody. You make deals, you create common goals and you trust others. However, you always need to be aware that the people you are trusting might not have the same good intentions. If somebody shows himself to be disloyal and makes a move against you, you need to protect yourself. If the person fails, you need to take him out. If you don't respond, then everybody who knows what happened will believe that you are weak and the number of your enemies will increase. However, if you show that you know how to figure out who is responsible and focus your response on that person, then you will earn respect.
Thanks for the laugh Jason! What a great way to end the week!

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"Gerard Kennedy confronted by police in Ukraine"

Yikes... thank goodness for the free and democratic process we have here in Canada. Props to Kennedy for sticking to his guns on this one.
Gerard Kennedy confronted by police in Ukraine
Updated Fri. Sep. 28 2007 2:07 PM ET News Staff

Gerard Kennedy, a Canadian politician observing the election process in Ukraine, was confronted Friday by police who tried to interfere with the process.

The former Ontario education minister and one-time Liberal leadership hopeful told CTV Newsnet a squadron of police confronted the observers Friday at the election commission in Mariupol, an area of Donetsk.

Kennedy said the police tried to hinder the observers from ensuring that the process was fair leading up to Sunday's parliamentary poll.

"Police came, one carrying weapons into the area, which is not supposed to happen, and then a kind of humorous thing happened where local TV stations came and there was what we considered mock interviews, where the party's regional representatives denounced us one after another in front of the TV cameras," Kennedy said.

Members' passports were taken by police and the group was temporarily stripped of its observer status, Kennedy said, adding that he felt a palpable feeling of hostility from authorities.

"The rest of the day we were followed by eight people in cars and everywhere we went they would interrupt what we were doing," Kennedy said.

He noted that the election process is controlled by the parties involved, not by an independent commission.

Kennedy said the group has already observed major flaws in the voting process.

"There are extra ballots being distributed," said Kennedy.

He said observers felt safe at all times, despite the obvious tension associated with their presence.


Dion just goofed... HUGE

Oh man, what on earth does this guy think he's doing?

CBC News: Dion rejects calls for removal of party's director

Mr. Dion, sure, we've attacked you for not being a leader, but for you're own sake, this is not the time nor the way to go about trying to prove otherwise!

Honestly, my mouth is just hanging open, and I'm just sitting here shaking my head. Others have said that watching Dion has been like watching a slow train wreak, but I've disagreed with them... until now. There is no other way to describe it... I'm honestly in shock, and honestly feel sorry for the guy.

He just single-handedly boosted our polling numbers even higher in Quebec. I mean, come on... how do you deal with a disenfranchised bunch of Quebec Liberals who are calling for blood? I'll tell you one thing... this is NOT the way to do it...
Dion rejects calls for removal of party's director
Last Updated: Friday, September 28, 2007 | 2:33 PM ET
CBC News

Stéphane Dion has rejected calls by some senior Liberals that the party's national director be fired over comments he allegedly made regarding hiring more francophone Quebecers.
CTV has also reported more on the open revolt that is now going on within the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Quebec Liberals targeting Dion's inner circle
Updated Fri. Sep. 28 2007 12:04 PM ET News Staff

A campaign is being waged in Quebec against Liberal Leader Stephane Dion and his inner circle.

The embattled Dion has suffered several blows recently, including losses in three Quebec byelections and the withdrawal of two key candidates in the province.

Now it appears the Liberal Party's senior ranks in Quebec are revolting against Dion and his closest associates.
UPDATE: The Globe & Mail has also posted the story, however, something interesting... they posted the story with one headline, and then quickly changed it. At first, the story was entitled, "Dion spurns calls for aide's firing"... a pretty accurate assement of the situation. But all of a sudden, now it's headed "Dion backs aide under fire for alleged remarks about Quebec"... a whole lot less inflamatory. Did someone make a phone call after seeing the headline?

Just found that interesting.

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Liberals and ""

"" has relased a new uber-negative attack ad against John Tory, trying to link him with Mike Harris and imply that he will make drastic cuts.

I find it interesting that they launch their new attack ad on the same day that Mr. McGuinty tries to change the channel by accusing Mr. Tory of the exact same thing. Interesting, don't you think?

Coincidence? I don't think so... we already know that "" is just a union-based arms length front for the Ontario Liberal Party, since many orgainizers for them are well connected Liberals and donors. This new attack ad just confirms our suspisions. The Ontario Liberals decided that it's time to launch a new salvo against Tory, so they issued orders to their peons to release their new attack ad... by doing so via their front group, they can attempt vainly fein ignorance, while seeking a boost in the polls.

As Gomez from the Addams Family put it, "Dirty pool old man... dirty pool."

Fortunately, I think the people of Ontario are too smart to fall for this. It's one of the most negative American style attack ads I've ever seen, and I think, if Tory's team is smart and can spin it properly, it could come back and haunt the Ontario Liberals.

Getting an "unbiased" third party to do your dirty work for you will not likely go down too well with the Ontario voter... it smacks of the dirty American style politics that we hate so much.

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MSM nearly silent on Liberal rift

Well, I'll be honest, I'd actually given the media the benefit of the doubt on this one... boy was that a mistake. The National Post carried a small story on page A4, and CTV has the story burried down in their politics section.

Had this been the Conservatives while we were in Opposition, it would be on the front page.


UPDATE: The Star's Chantal Hebert seems to be the only one in the MSM who's written anything about it. Summed up with a nice line...
"Dion's prospects are stark indeed.

He can lead his mutinous crew in an uncertain fall campaign over next month's throne speech or else risk becoming the main protagonist of what could become the biggest shipwreck Parliament Hill has witnessed since Stockwell Day almost took the Canadian Alliance down with him in 2001."

A comparison to Stock? Ouch.

UPDATE II: The G&M is on board with their own story... it's online, but I doubt it made their print edition. (please correct me if I'm wrong)

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

"That blow'd up real good"

Ammm, I take back my predictions of a fall election... the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party of Canada is in complete disarray. To quote from those enlightened men from SCTV... "That blow'd up real good!"

This is not exactly how you want an article to open if you're about to head into an election...
Liberal rift erupts over calls for dismissal of Dion aide (Dion-Liberal-Infighting)
By Isabelle Rodrigue

OTTAWA - Stephane Dion's palace guard was under seige Thursday by members of his own party calling on the Liberal leader to dismiss one of his closest aides over alleged remarks about Quebec.

Several MPs and senators from the province have been pleading privately for him to fire Jamie Carroll, the Liberals' national director and one of the key players in Dion's leadership victory.

They are now making their demands public.
Janke, as usual, has all the details: "Stephane Dion is openly challenged", and "CP reports of massive Liberal infighting over Jamie Carroll's Chinese joke"

One thing though... this could, in essence, give Mr. Harper a defacto majority without having to face an election. Think about it... if the Liberal Party is being torn appart at the seams, there is no way on earth that the Liberals are going to bring down the House. I'm thinking the Throne Speech is going to get a complete rewrite. All of a sudden, Mr. Harper now has a whole lot of latitude to play with.

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"No election... PLEASE!"

The National Post's Gary Clement posted a really accurate editorial cartoon today...

Busted! Liberals set to force an election

Thanks to the sharp eye of Jarrett Plonka, we have the first concrete sign that the Liberals intend to bring down the House next month... they've just signed a lease on a war room in Ottawa.

Hey guys, now why would you need a war room? Since you're the only ones who know how you're going to vote on the Throne Speech (which I remind you, you haven't even seen yet), going and signing a lease for a war room sends a pretty clear signal that you intend to send us to the polls in November.

Wow... how on earth are they going to run an election campaign, fighting the Tories, the NDP and the Bloc, while they also have to contend with an ongoing battle with their own offices in Quebec?

Excuse me while I fire off a couple of e-mails... time to get our own lease prepped.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another funny YouTube Video

Wow... and Mr. McGuinty keeps on attacking Mr. Tory for "not having all the detail worked out"?


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YouTube Video of the Day

As promised, I finally found the official Tory campaign ad that's similar to the one I found on Darrly Wolk's blog. Here's the Tory one...

And here's the campy homegrown one...

Personally, I think the official Tory one rocks.

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YouTube Video of the Day

This one hot off the presses... from Liberal campaign HQ, Warren's own ""

I'm posting it not because it's good, but because it's another example of Liberal hypocrisy... Mr. McGuinty said he wouldn't go negative. This ad is a direct attack ad on John Tory, based on typical Liberal fearmongering, straight from Mr. McGuinty's own campaign team.

If you have nothing of worth to peddle, you press the fear button... the tried, tested and true Liberal strategy. Using lies, mistruths, and fear... hey, if it works to keep you in power, then I guess it must be okay, right?

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Devastating article on Dion

The Edmonton Sun's Angelo Persichilli has written a devastating article on Dion's lack of leadership, in the context of his recent by-election losses in Quebec.

I was already convinced... but the article puts it all down in an almost irrefutable way, maybe better than anyone else has to date.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mr. McGuinty using incorrect facts

A sharp eyed friend of mine caught Mr. McGuinty spouting off some incorrect facts the other night on Global's "Focus Ontario", and asked if I'd post it. If Mr. McGuinty is getting easily verifiable facts wrong, can we trust his sources when it comes to other important facts?
What's the population of Pakistan Mr. McGuinty?

Last night Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was a guest on Global TV's 'Focus Ontario' program with Sean Mallen. Mallen asked McGuinty whether he should at least consider having the conversation about faith-based schools in the future. McGunity's response was a flat out no and to support his stand he said:

"It's not going to happen on my watch and I'll tell you why, because we're up against 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.1 billion Indians, 280 million Pakistanis..."

280 million Pakistanis?? This guy doesn't even know the population of Pakistan (currently 164 million). I wonder if anyone here in the 75% Pakistani riding of Thorncliffe Park noticed that.
Just so no one turns around and says my friends figures are incorrect, according to the Government of Pakistan, their estimates say the current population is around 161,309,500... so 164 million is a heck of a lot closer than 280 million. (where on earth did he get that number from anyway?)

Just asking... is Mr. McGuinty just spouting out figures that make him sound intelligent? It might just help Mr. Tory out though... there are a whole lot of Pakisanis in Mr. Tory's riding. If somehow this is percieved as an insult in that community, it could help him secure his seat.

Here's Mr. McGuinty's full quote, and the link to the transcript:
SEAN MALLEN: Should we have the conversation [on faith based school funding] in the future though?

Dalton McGuinty: It’s not going to happen on my watch and I’ll tell you why, because we’re up against 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.1 billion Indians, 280 million Pakistanis, how many Brazilians and Russians and so on and so forth. They would love it Sean, if Ontario became mired in some kind of a constitutional debate that took our eyes off the education ball, where the adult population immersed itself in this controversial debate and argumentation, and instead stop worrying about what was going on inside our classrooms. I will not do that to our families and I will not do that to our kids.

SEAN MALLEN: Okay, that’s it for this segment. We’ll take a break and back again with one more segment with Dalton McGuinty.

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CBC Headline re-arrangement

Saw this headline on CBC today, "McGuinty promises breaks for women, families", and I noticed that they mixed up a couple of words there...

The title should read, "McGuinty BREAKS PROMISES for women, families".

There... that's a little more accurate, no?

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Today's YouTube Winner... the Green Party

The Green Party (or at least one of their candidates) has released a whole slew of videos on YouTube, using the "PC vs. Mac" theme. I've taken a peek at a couple of them, and they're pretty good! Instead of taking on any one party, the characters they've used are "Grey vs. Green", where Grey is a composite of all the other parties combined. Pretty smart! By using the character "Grey", not only can they poke at the platforms of all the other parties, but they also make a statement about the tiredness of old mainstream parties. Brilliant!

Here's a couple of them... and here's the link to their YouTube channel.

Green vs. Grey on Energy

Green vs. Grey on Promises

Green vs. Grey on Education

They've also relased an official campaign launch video, which looks pretty slick, and if I was undecided, might actually make me want to check them out a bit.


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Monday, September 24, 2007

Another "grenade" into education?

And this time, Mr. McGuinty, it's not from John Tory... I'd be interested in seeing how Mr. McGuinty responds to this one. This time, it's the Canadian Civil Liberties Union, who have issued a statement calling on the government to eliminate all funding of religious based education... INCLUDING the Catholic system.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Looks like I missed the bus

Grrr... got a call today from a local Tory organizer, asking me if I could head down to Queen's Park and climb aboard the Tory campaign bus, to act as a local liason for an event coming up this week. I couldn't arrange things in time, so they had to call someone else. :-(

Oh well.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

YouTube influencing Party ads?

Hummm... I just saw a Tory campaign ad on CTV that closely resembeled this ad that I noticed on Darryl Wolk's blog and posted last week in my "Best YouTube Election Video" theme...

The Tory ad had the same plot line, similar tone and theme as this YouTube one. (way better looking though, professionally done, very effective... looking for a link online) Could the parties be closely watching what's popping up online, and taking queues from what they see popping up on the web?

This one's a good one... it starts off with an over the shoulder shot of someone (supposed to be Mr. McGuinty) signing the now infamous "Taxpayers Protection Promise"... the person then takes the signed pledge, and crumples it up into a ball, leaving it on the desk. The narrarator says something like "Apparently, his signature isn't worth the paper it's written on". In terms of attack ads, this one hits the mark. It's now my current favorite for "Best Official Party Attack Ad".

Interesting... maybe I was right, that this is the first election that will be heavily influenced by YouTube.

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Andrew Coyne on MMP

The National Post's Andrew Coyne had a really good article on Ontario's Mixed-Member-Proportional referendum today... and it's actually making me think twice about my opposition to MMP. It's called, "Why conservatives should support proportional representation", and I STRONGLY recommend that you give it a read... it's a good series of thoughts on why conservatives should consider supporting MMP.

All along, my main stated opposition has been this... I don't trust Liberals. My view is that MMP will allow them to become a defacto-governing party in Ontario, because they'll typically have enough support to always be the party to broker a deal with, and that it would cause this province to turn further to the left... which would be horrific economically.

However, there's another underlying reason I've not been supporting MMP that I never fully realized until now... I've not wanted to support MMP because, in reality, I mistrust conservatives even more than I mistrust liberals.

"Huh?" you might be saying... let me explain.

With all the reading I've been doing over the last couple of years, from the host of books on Trudeau and the Liberals, to the biographies on Stephen Harper, and various other works on conservatism in general, one underlying truth has come to the forefront over and over again... conservatives for the last, oh, hundred years, have had a tendency to shoot our wounded, or to scream and shout and take our ball and go home when we don't get our way. We've been divisive, fractured, and too easily annoyed when things seem to be going south. Instead of shutting up and putting in the necessary hard work to make things right when we see them going wrong, we all to often go and do something that only hurts the cause of conservatism at large.

I've been opposed to MMP because I know for a fact that the current incarnation of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party will fall apart, and be fractured into one main and two or three (or four or five) smaller parties. Meanwhile, I know the Liberals will do everything they can to hold together, and while they may lose some of their left flank to the NDP, they'll likely be able to hold enough together to make them the natural governing party who will most likely be able to form a coalition, keeping them in the Premier's office perpetually, at least for the first few elections. Therefore, because of the typically divise nature of the conservative movement in general, and my concern that we would be plunged into a defacto Liberal rule that would ruin this province, I've been reluctant to support MMP.

However, reading Andrew Coyne's article today has made me rethink things a little bit. With all my issues over John Tory's faith-based school funding, to the reasons why I won't likely take out a PC membership (because I'm not "Progressive"), I think I've come to a new conclusion about the current state of affairs, and as a result, about MMP... if MMP will cause a split-up of the current PC party, and a realignment of conservative options in Ontario... THEN BRING IT ON.

Any such split up would likely result in a truly "conservative" option here in Ontario. A party that will reduce taxes; who will keep its nose out of moral issues; who will actually deal with crime by punishing offenders and restoring respect for the rule of law and the legal system; who will take the steps required to stabilize our healthcare system and deal with the issues surrounding wait times and the overbloated bureaucracy within it; and who will finally push forward the conservative ideals that the best form of support for the poor is a steady, good paying job, and not another government program or cheque.

If MMP can get us on the way to that, then you know what? Even though there will be a few years of pain while the conservative movement gets their act together, then maybe, just maybe, it will be all worthwhile. (besides... if you really think about it, since we're already two or three different groups within the PC Party, maybe we'll be able to respond faster than the left and put together a working coalition in shorter order than my initial predictions)

Thanks for your thoughts Andrew Coyne... I'm still not set yet, but I'll be making my decision over the next few days... stay tuned.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

From the "You've got to be kidding" file

German politician Gabriele Pauli has come up with a suggestion for marriage... they should expire after seven years, at which time, couples can either let them expire, or renew them.

As one Scottish friend of mine would say, "Emmm... NO."

My wife and I said "Until death do us part", and we meant every word of it. If you don't mean it, don't get married.

Marriage is a sacred covanent between one man, one woman, and Almighty God... with no "best before" date, thank you very much, Ms. Pauli.

This fight is for the birds

This round...

Current standings...

$0.9978USD vs. $1.00CAD

(as of 12:45pm EDT)

We'll see who's on top when the markets close, but our dollar has remained above the greenback a lot more today than it did with it's brief flirtation over the line yesterday.


Back to Parity

3rd time in two days... will we close today above the greenback? $1CAD = $0.9997USD

I guess the more important question is, do I buy Metroid Prime 3 for the Wii at Future Shop here in Canada for $59.99, or do I head down to the US to buy it at Walmart for $49.82? (along with some clothes and other things, to make the trip worthwhile... of course)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sept. 20, 2007 - PARITY

Wow... we've droped back down a bit, but the Canadian dollar was breifly at $1.0004US... PARITY. First time in my lifetime.

We're less then 20 minutes away from the close of the markets, so let's see where we end up. As of 15 minutes ago, we were at $0.9989US.

UPDATE: Official closing was $99.87US

This has gotten some attention in the US... ABC News has it as their lead story... "Why Is the Dollar Losing Value?"

Video for today

Well, I only got one video link in my comments today, so I guess it's the only one I can post. So here it is... get a box of Kleenex, because it's a sad story. If this story ticks you off, do something about it... on October 10th, vote for the only person who's advocating a real solution to speed up wait times.

Want to see yours up here? Seen another one that you think deserves to be seen by the masses? Post the link in the comments.

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The state of Ontario's Healthcare

People, mostly those on the left it seems, keep on accusing me of wanting to implement some sort of a US-style healthcare system here in Canada. For the record, I think the US model SUCKS, and I don't advocate anything of the sort... just read any of my blog posts on healthcare, and you'll see that I've never advocated any other position.

Now, Mr. Tory is proposing a sensible idea in an effort to solve our longstanding problems with wait times. But why is it that people on the left can't seem to understand a simple concept? I DO NOT SUPPORT PRIVATIZING OUR SYSTEM! There's a HUGE difference between "privatization" and private DELIVERY of selected services.

Sometimes, the private sector can do things WAY better than the public sector... sometimes they can do it equally as well, and other times, the public sector is the best means by which a job can be done.

I'll give you a concrete example of sucessful public/private co-operation from my own experience... the first Hospital I worked in had a private company running the IT system... for profit. GASP! Say it ain't so! A private company, working for profit, in an Ontario Hospital! Yep, and the entire Hospital was greatful that we were there. That's because before my company took over, the IT department was run in-house... problem was, it was run by hospital staff. Now that in and off itself was not the problem... the problem was that all the vacancies that came up in the department went NOT to the most qualified person, but to the most senior union type who wanted it. (in fact, if I recall the story correctly, a great candidate was awarded an open job, but then a more senior union person filed a grievence based on her seniority... and was awarded the post instead. When we took over the IT department, she was shuffled into a new IT liason position... where she regularly brought the system to a complete standstill by running massive reports that she had been REPEATEDLY told she was not supposed to run during regular production hours. She was so incompetent, that she was fired shortly after I left the organization) As a direct result of years of combined incompetence, THEIR SYSTEMS EXPERIENCED FAILURES ON A DAILY BASIS. Their file system was corrupted, their e-mail was about 3 years beyond extinct, and staff were used to the regular overhead pages, "Attention: The [blank] system is presently unavailable". ([blank] being the name of the affected system, not an explitive to describe the person's frustration)

Fast forward three years, to right before I was about to leave... the infractructure was almost entirely replaced, and had an ongoing 99.95% uptime record. Overhead pages due to system failures were almost non-existant, and staff confidence in the systems were extremely high. Our helpdesk actually had an 80+% POE (point of entry) call resolution rate, a fantastic achievement for any helpdesk. All that because a private company came in and, for profit, and got the job that needed to be done, done.

Now, you might say that IT and living patients are a totally different case, and I'd agree, but only up to a point. My point is that when there is an identified problem within the healthcare system, steps need to be taken to correct it.

For example, we have a problem with Operating Room availability. How do we address that? One idea is to have more surguries scheduled into the night, but who wants to work nights? (I know staffing is a major problem when it comes to scheduling operations)

Having also worked for a while in Optometery, I know of fully equiped OR's already here in Ontario that are sitting idle a lot of the time... they're used to perform for-profit non-OHIP insured optical procedures, and the owners are more than willing to open their doors to Opthomologists to perform OHIP-funded cataract surgeries. Those Opthomologists would be happy to take them up on that offer, except they can't... because they're not allowed to. The reason the waiting lists are so long for cataract surgeries? Lack of OR time.

There are lots of other simple procedures that could be done by the private sector with little or no risk to patients or to our public sector system... a public sector system which I openly support, and for the record, am happily employed in.

I would never adovcate that we implement any other sort of US-style system, thank you very much... healthcare ought to remain public. However, if the public sector needs some help to deliver these services, there ought not to be a barrier in the way on innovation.

Is this so hard to understand? Is this a concept that threatens our public institutions? Or, is this a concept that could actually help us solve the problems we're facing?

I vote for the latter... so long as I can access it with nothing more than my OHIP card.

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Activists - "We're not interested in talking"

Well, this guy pretty much confirms my suspisions of the "activist industry"...
"We weren't interested in talking to Bernier," said Patrick Cadorette, 33, a member of the anti-war group Block the Empire. "We went to disrupt the meeting."
Humm... maybe that's why we don't like listening to the likes of you. Did that thought ever occur to you?

Interesting life this guy leads too... just Google him. Looks like your typical "professional protester" to me.

How's this for a "mission statement" from "Block the Empire"?
Block the Empire-Montreal is an anti-authoritarian, direct-action collective opposed to war and militarization, and their roots and manifestations: colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. We seek to expose the links between capitalist globalization and patriarchy, racism and all forms of oppression, both here and abroad. Our work locally aims to disrupt and directly impact the interests of those who are actively complicit in these systems, from companies who fuel and profit from war and occupation, to the supporters and outposts of US Empire and the Canadian state. We endorse the People's Global Action (PGA) hallmarks, and we act in direct solidarity with all those on the frontlines of resistance and struggle against occupation and exploitation - from those resisting the racist "War on Terror" in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia, to the struggle for indigenous sovereignty here on Turtle Island (occupied North America).
Well Mr. Cadorette, if that's how you feel about it... why are you still residing in the "occupied territories" of North Ameri... er, "Turtle Island"?

I say we do him a favour... let's vote HIM off the island. ;-)

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More YouTube Videos

More videos for today, from the same YouTube source as the previous one... the Green Party's election launch. (video is in two parts)

Part One

Part Two

Having viewed the videos, I must say, they don't seem nearly as nutty as I thought they were. Though I don't agree with them on everything, my impression of them in the past has always been to assume that they're way off in left field on the issues... perhaps I've been guilty of stereotyping them!

Anyway, because of John Tory's stand on faith based school funding, if it wasn't for my local candidate, I might have actually considered these guys... I'll have to go to my own local debate and see what the candidates are like for myself. But I know my wife is leaning towards the Greens... except for their stand on moral issues, of course...

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One big happy family... NOT

No matter how much the Liberals try to put on a show of unity, the internal war is never far beneath the surface...
One Liberal MP, who asked not to identified, described Dion as "a dead duck" and said if the Grits lose either of two Toronto byelections, in which ex-leadership rivals Bob Rae and Martha Hall Findlay are contesting seats long held by Liberals, his days will be numbered.
They may still be one party in name, but the current climate within the Liberal Party of Canada is not much different than things were on the political right during the 90's.

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YouTube Election Video of the Day

This one looks like it's right out of someone's basement, but it's fairly straightforward... "Don't get fooled again!"

h/t to Darryl Wolk (he must be a newer Blogging Tory, don't remember seeing his name around before)

Okay, do ANY Liberal or NDP (hey, or Green) bloggers have any videos for me? I've got enough anti-Dalton videos here... anyone?

UPDATE: Ask and you shall recieve... the producer of the above video also posted footage of the Ontario Green Party campaign launch.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Libloggers on Quebec By-elections

I think our two of our friends in the Libloggers summed up the general feelings of Liberals on the Quebec by-elections fairly well...

CalgaryGrit: "Wow. That sure sucked." (for the record, I nominate his post for "Best CalgaryGrit Post EVER"... short, honest, to the point, and made me burst out laughing!)

Jason Cherniak: "I no longer support an election this fall."

I couldn't disagree with you more guys... on both counts. ;-)

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Quebec By-election results

UPDATE: I never thought I'd see a headline like this from the CBC, so I had to take a screen cap to save it for posterity...

The night is far from over, but in Roberval--Lac-Saint-Jean, with 170 of 194 polls reporting, the results are...

Conservative - Denis Lebel - 14,428 58.9%
Bloc Québécois - Céline Houde - 6,695 27.3%
Liberal - Louise Boulanger - 2,375 9.7%

Methinks that the Bloc ain't going to be able to pull 8,000 votes out of 24 polls!

Congrats to our newest Conservative MP, Denis Lebel!!!

As for Saint-Hyacinthe--Bagot, the Bloc is ahead of us by a mere 500 votes, with only 50 of 224 polls reporting.

And in Outremont... well, looks like Mr. Dion is not going to sleep too well tonight. Though only 55 of 168 polls have reported so far, the NDP are already up by over 1,200 votes... it's starting to look like the pundits had this one called right on all along.

UPDATE II: With 130 of 168 polls reporting in, it's fairly safe to call this one...

Liberal - Jocelyn Coulon - 4,849 (28.7%)
NDP-New Democratic Party - Thomas Mulcair - 8,304 (49.1%)

Dion's hand picked candidate goes down in flames in Outremont.

The CBC report puts it well... "NDP clinches Outremont byelection - Tories take Saguenay riding in decisive victory - The Liberal Party of Canada appears to have been shut out of three byelections in Quebec."

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Health User Fees?

Wow, now that's rich... based on one offhand comment by an individual, on an idea of his own, not the Party, the Ontario Liberals are accusing the PC's of looking at implementing "User Fees".

Guys? YOU'RE MAKING ME PAY ONE BIG HONKING ANNUAL USER FEE VIA MY "HEALTH PREMIUM"... and I've barely even used the Health system in the last couple of years!

Therefore, I actually agree with you... LET'S ELIMINATE THE HEALTH PREMIUM USER FEE! Join the Facebook group, and let's scrap health user fees!

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D'OH! My week is shot

Well, there goes my week... just got a report from a VP, did some checking, and our e-mail provider informs me that their system has gotten blacklisted... I can't even send an e-mail to a Hotmail account! And there's squat I can do about it... good old Monday morning... excuse me while I go get a coffee...


Let the games begin...

I will be up to watch the results on this one come in...

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Video of the Day

Enjoy! On the Lowell Green Show in Ottawa, Liberal MPP Jim Watson got cornered on the Faith Based school funding issue, and let slip a few items that expose the hypocrisy of the Liberal position on the issue.

h/t to Step to the Right

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Now that's cool...

Ever drive through the country in the Waterloo Region and see a bunch of Mennonites playing baseball? Just had a chance to play with a bunch of them for an afternoon, thanks to my wife's family reunion. Now how cool is that?

Man, can some of those boys ever hit...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dion-keys: "Iggy's trying to take over!"

Yikes... guys, is this some kind of attempt at a pre-emptive strike in case you lose on Monday? Amm, seems more likely to only succeed in turning people off of the Liberal brand come Monday!
Dion loyalists charge byelection sabotage
But Ignatieff’s supporters deny trying to erode support for leader by waging losing campaign
By STEPHEN MAHER Ottawa Bureau | 4:41 AM

OTTAWA — Michael Ignatieff supporters are sabotaging Liberal efforts in the Outremont byelection in hopes of weakening Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, Dion loyalists say.
Hey... keep up the good work! ;-)

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The Grand River Land Claim - The Cold Reality

The people of Ontario really have no idea what's at stake in regards to the land claim being made by the "Haudenosaunee Development Institute". They're laying claim to six miles on either side of the Grand River, and demanding that ALL development be either halted, and/or approved by them via the issuing of a permit.

Alright folks, let's put it down in some more clearly understandable terms... does anyone care to even take a guess how many BILLIONS of dollars we're talking about, or how many lives are directly affected by this issue?

The following list is just an off the top of my head partial list of the institutions and buisness that they are laying full claim to...

The Grand River Hospital and Regional Cancer Centre
St. Mary's Hospital
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
RIM (yes, the makers of the Blackberry)
The Toyota Manufacturing Plant, Cambridge
The University of Waterloo
Laurier University
The ENTIRE City of Waterloo, including all homes and businesses
The ENTIRE City of Kitchener, including all homes and businesses
The ENTIRE City of Cambridge, including all homes and businesses
The ENTIRE City of Brantford, including all homes and businesses
The ENTIRE Town of Paris, including all homes and businesses
The ENTIRE Town of Calediona, including all homes and businesses
Highway 401 between exits 268 and 286
Highway 403 between exits 27 and 41

Any questions?

Make sure your MPP's and candidates know what's really at stake here, and put it forward at each and every debate, send letters to the editor, and DEMAND that the duly elected government of Ontario bring this issue to the forefront, AND DEAL WITH IT.

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SW Ontario Rebellion Update

Good opinion piece in today's Kitchener Record, "Six Nations can't dictate new laws".
Six Nations can't dictate new laws

The rule of Canadian law is breaking down in the Grand River valley. And Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is letting it break piece by piece in a vast region of the province more than 800,000 people call home.

Already, a man is in hospital after being knocked unconscious by aboriginal protesters who claim authority over the Caledonia development he is building on. Already, there are reasons to fear that the tensions, and perhaps the violence, that have shaken Caledonia for more than 18 months could spread throughout the Grand River valley, including Waterloo Region, where a group of Six Nations natives are asserting bold new demands that have no foundation in Ontario law.

Yet, at this critical moment when leadership at the highest level is so urgently required, Premier McGuinty is missing in action on the election campaign trail. Mr. Premier, with respect, your silence, your evasion, your insistence that this is a job for the federal government, are simply not good enough -- not for the non-natives of the area, not for the people of the Six Nations either.


On Thursday, about 15 young natives occupied and shut down the Sterling South development site. The occupation was supposed to end peacefully but didn't. An encounter between a house builder, Sam Gualtieri, and the natives ended in a fight and with him being rushed to hospital with serious head injuries. The reason for the occupation, it seems, was that the developer had not obtained approval for the project from the Six Nations.

This kind of outrage should have no place in Ontario. The demand for a development fee, backed up by thugs accountable to no one but themselves, is not a reasonable request; it is blackmail and a precursor to anarchy. Is this what developers can expect in Waterloo Region? Will builders who have followed and respected all the development rules mandated by the democratically elected governments of this region and province face threats and intimidation from an unelected rabble? And if they do, to whom can they turn for help?


However, the police cannot be relied upon to defend the rights of landowners enshrined in Ontario law. This sets a terrible precedent. It reinforces the belief of some Six Nations members that they are not bound by Canadian or Ontario law and that they are essentially a sovereign nation administering a huge part of southern Ontario. And it is for this reason that we repeat with a sad conviction: The rule of Canadian law is breaking down in the valley of the Grand.
IF, and that's a BIG IF, the media actually report on this issue, it could be the defining issue of this election. 800,000 people... that's a whole lot of votes. Seven or so ridings. About a 50-50% split on who controls them, between the Liberals and the PC's. With the race being as tight as it is, this region, and therefore this issue, could be the deciding factor.

And Mr. McGuinty doesn't want to talk about it... well Mr. McGuinty, those of us who live in the region DO want to talk about it. I'll be rasing the issue with your candidate... TRUST ME.

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YouTube Video Nominee

Another attack on McGuinty... and a pretty professional looking one at that. Seems to be from an anonymous source... hummmm....

Honest folks, I'm not trying to pick on Mr. McGuinty... but it's so much fun! No, seriously, there are WAY more anti-Liberal clips out there than anti-Tory ones. If you're a Liberal supporter, and know of a good video clip that I've missed, post the link in the comments! Please!!!

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Friday, September 14, 2007

SW Ontario Tensions ease

Well, CKCO, the Kitchener CTV affiliate, actually covered the growing Native unrest in Southwestern Ontario fairly well tonight on the 11:30 news.

And, I'll give credit to some of the Native leaders down there in Caledonia... they stepped up to the plate, and offered an appology to the family of the beaten man. They have also requested that any remaining protesters vacate the construction site immediately. I think that was a great move, and might actually serve to defuse the situation somewhat.

However, the root issue at hand still has yet to be dealt with... the issuing of "building permits" by the "Haudenosaunee Development Institute". This illegal assertion of authority over the Grand River basin by some (not all) within the Six Nations still needs to be addressed by the various levels of the Government. Unless this root issue is brought to light and stopped, the residents of the seven or so affected ridings in Southwestern Ontario are subject to being held hostage at a moments notice... and that is totally unacceptable.

Trust me... this issue is going to be raised in these ridings... some of which currently have Liberal MPP's...

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Today's Video Clip - Anarchy in SW Ontario

It names no parties, leaders, or anything like that... but it's BY FAR one of the most important issues of this election campaign...

Listen to this frightening quote starting at the 55 second mark... "We want no construction within our juristiction of the treaties, which is six miles on each side of the Grand River... so we decided that it's time for us to take action since nobody's listening to us."

That's a quote... they have laid claim to not only Caledonia, but Paris, Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo... AND ARE DEMADING THAT NO CONSTRUCTION TAKE PLACE WITHIN THIS ZONE. NONE, nada, zippo... zero development within one of Ontario's strongest regions, the KW Techology hub of Southwestern Ontario.

Mr. McGuinty, please, DO SOMETHING. The Rule of Law has been suspended, and the Six Nations are attempting to assert control over a vast swath of urban Southwestern Ontario. THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE.

Heck... I'd even openly support you if you suspended the election in order to deal with this full blown crisis.

UPDATE: Kudos to The Toronto Star for being the first of the MSM to give this story the prominence it deserves... the lead story.

CTV is also now reporting on it, though it is relegated to their 2nd tier stories...

Still nothing from the CBC or Global, but Global National is about to come on, so that may change...

UPDATE II: It's being carried as the 4th or 5th story on Global National tonight... only a 20 second blurb. It's a start...

UPDATE III: Well, CKCO, the Kitchener CTV affiliate, actually covered this well tonight on the 11:30 news.

And, I'll give credit to some of the Native leaders there in Caledonia... they stepped up to the plate, and offered an appology to the family of the beaten man... they have also requested that any remaining protesters vacate the construction site. I think that was a great move, and might actually serve to defuse the situation somewhat.

However, the root issue at hand still has yet to be dealt with... the issuing of "building permits" by the "Haudenosaunee Development Institute". Tthis illegal assertion of authority by some within the Six Nations still needs to be addressed by the various levels of the Government. Unless this root issue is brought to light and stopped, the residents of seven ridings in Southwestern Ontario are subject to being held hostage at a moments notice... and that is totally unacceptable.

Trust me... this issue is going to be raised in these ridings... some of which currently have Liberal MPP's...

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FD: "Panic Permeates Outremont Liberal Campaign"

O-U-C-H... an absolutely devastating post from Liblogger Antonio DiDomizio, aka "Fuddle Duddle", on the status of things on the ground for the Liberals in the Outremont by-election...
September 14, 2007
Panic Permeates Outremont Liberal Campaign

Panic has settled in at Outremont HQ as a general lack of motivation over the past few months is beginning to reflect in a poll that was commissioned by La Presse, stating that Tom Mulcair is indeed ahead of Jocelyn Coulon by 6%.

Others in the party infrastructure are beginning to sharpen their knives. One member of the provincial executive is preparing a verbal volley at Stephane Dion following the imminent loss.

I speak to former colleagues and they are defeated. They shrug their shoulders and believe their fate is sealed in the next general election. Dion was on the wrong side of the issue in Quebec politics for so long that people grew accustomed to disliking him.

His weak whiny mousy personality did not help his cause. People hated Jean Chretien but he still won Outremont handily. (h/t Chantal Hebert)

Where do Quebec Liberals go from here?

Do they change party policy? They already have. The PLC(Q) passed several resolutions recognizing the change in Quebec. I wrote the fiscal imbalance resolution myself (2 and a half years ago). As many look forward, the Liberal Party looks back to its former successes for some form of inspiration. However, many pieces are still missing.

The Liberals lost many organizers outside Montreal to the Conservatives. The YLC(Q) is barely a shadow of what it was just 2 years ago. Slowly, the Liberal Party in Quebec is losing the foundation that once made it so great.

Tuesday morning, either heads will quietly roll, or there will be mayhem in the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party. Either way, Liberals must ask themselves where they are headed. Today the alarm sounds only in Outremont. Soon, it will be all across Quebec.

Labels: Methinks I will go watch squirming Ottawa assistants this weekend

par / by Antonio à / at 12:10 PM
I knew things were bad, but I really had no idea how bad (err, I guess I should say "good", at least for us) things were for the Liberals in Outremont... I guess it was a blessing in disguise for Justin Trudeau that didn't go for the "safe" riding!

(or, you could look at it as another nail in Dion's coffin, as some may suggest that Justin might have had the star power to hold this riding, and that Dion was an idiot for not offering it to him)

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Calling all video contributions!

Still looking for video clips... no time today to look myself.

Looking for catagory suggestions too, so far we got:
"Most Damaging"
"Best Media Coverage"
"Best Campaign Video"

Any others?

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My buddy is a total punk...

Because of his particular line of work, a buddy of mine goes off and has breakfast with the cast of "Heroes" last week. Now how cool is that?

You're a punk Loveless. ;-)

"France Antes Up"

This is good news in today's National Post, and seems to be under reported by the MSM... for some strange reason.

France will be moving six of their fighter jets from Tajikistan to Kandahar, along with appx. 300 support personnel, in order to support the Canadian Forces stationed there... three of them are being modified for surveillience purposes, and three will be used for direct troop support.
France antes up
National Post
Published: Friday, September 14, 2007

For the last year, Canadian politicians have been trying to spread the pain in Afghanistan. While more than two dozen NATO countries have troops in the country, most of these national forces operate under restrictive mandates that preclude them from engaging in offensive combat operations. These include detachments from France, Germany, Italy and Spain, which are concentrated in the north of Afghanistan where the Taliban is weak and security is more assured. And so the Dutch, British, Canadians and Americans -- which aren't limited to passive patrol duty -- largely have been left to clear out Taliban strongholds such as the Helmand and Kandahar provinces on their own.

Fortunately, France's new President, Nikolas Sarkozy, appears to be listening to Canadian concerns. On Friday, France announced that it is relocating six Mirage fighter jets from Tajikistan to Kandahar, where our soldiers are based. Three of the fighter jets will be used to support ground troops, including Canadians, and the other three are geared for surveillance work, which will give Canadian ground commanders more eyes in the air. This may help reduce the number of incidents whereby Canadian soldiers are exposed to roadside bombs planted by the Taliban.

This is a small but important step by France that will help save the lives of NATO soldiers. It entails the commitment of millions of dollars and roughly 300 French personnel, who will be based alongside Canadians in Kandahar.

Certainly more needs to be done, but France deserves credit for this gesture of support. It also serves to apply more pressure on NATO allies that are now effectively sitting out the war. When are the likes of Germany, Spain and Italy going to remove restrictions that forbid their troops from taking on duties in the south?

The benefits that flow from ridding Central Asia of the Taliban menace will be shared in equal measure by all civilized nations. It would be appreciated if those nations were also willing to share the associated burdens as well.

© National Post 2007

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Rebellion begins in Southwestern Ontario

Let's just call it what it is... will Mr. McGuinty be forced to call in the Army?

When any group claims soverign control over an area of land within the borders of a nation, it's called a "rebellion"... just ask George Washington and King George III.

Why hasn't the government issued a statement about this? An area of the province has been claimed, consisting of Caledonia, Paris, Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo, which includes a 12km stretch of the 401. Mr. McGuinty, the legitimate Provincial juristiction of these areas has been userped... builders are now being forced to make "payments" to a new and illegitimate level of government. What are you going to do about it?

For the record, I am NOT saying there is not some legitimacy to these land claims... but beginning an insurection is NOT the answer.

Oh, did you know that some of the more radical members of the Six Nations have issued an international travel restriction to the United States and Canada?

You may also want to give a read to a speech made by "Danetoh" at the Law Society of Upper Canada... quite enlighenting. Quote: "Here we stand today in front of the Law Society of Upper Canada. A building built with money stolen by UPPER CANADA from the Haudenosaunee Six Nations Trust Fund, or more specifically, the Grand River Navigation Company."

Why is this not THE issue of the election? Why is this not front and centre? Just who is in control?

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

CN Tower no longer the tallest

The CN Tower is no longer the world's tallest free-standing structure... it has just been passed by The Burj Dubai hotel, which passed 553 metres this week, making it the new record-holder.

Video of the Day... from CHCH

This one's my video nominee for today, under the heading "Most Damaging News Story".

I call it the CHCH "Leading with your Chin" video clip... where Liberal media advisor Ben Chin tried to intimidate the media into not running a story.

(it's not technically a YouTube clip, but it's under that tag anyway)

On a totally unrelated note, though I totally disagree with his post, but I must say that if I were running a contest for "Funniest Blog Post Title", it would have to go to BigCityLib today hands down, for his post entitled, John Tory: "I am so totally freaking doomed!" Again, I disagree with the post entirely, but the title just makes me laugh every time I read it!

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Dion also uses Conservative ad funding techniques?

Oops... Steve Janke may have uncovered a "scandal" involving Stephane Dion's riding association and the Quebec Wing of the Federal Liberal Party... for using the very same sort of ad financing techniques as they are now accusing the Conservatives of using during the last Federal election!

Of course, I think we should be easy on Mr. Dion and let him off the hook... since neither he nor his riding association did anything wrong. After all, this is just a normal practice for campaign ad financing.

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Liberals Threaten CHCH for Running Story

As Warren himself always reminds us... "It's never the break-in, it's always the cover-up".

CHCH ran a story about a building contracter in Brantford, nowhere near the Calediona protest, who's building project was halted by some native protesters who showed up on his site and sat down in front of the construction equipment.

Check out the video for yourself...

But then the end of the video is where the story gets interesting... Ben Chin, one of the media guys for the Liberal Campaign team, contacted CHCH, and demanded that CHCH cease and desist in airing this story, or else the Liberals would contact their upper management, and may even cut off CHCH's access to the Premier during the election campaign.

That sounds like a campaign in damage control... and going way over the top. I don't know about you, but I'm thinking we may have a new issue in this campaign... and a new finalist for "Most Damaging Media Story" in my video contest.

Anyway, this story is getting bigger... a story was reported in The Kitchener/Waterloo Record, how the Six Nations has announced that all developers doing any work along the Grand River, which encompases Paris, Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo (with KW being a growing and key technology hub here in Southwestern Ontario, no less) will have to apply to them for a permit.

WHAT?!?!?! This is exactly the sort of thing I said was coming down the pipes... the people of Southwestern Ontario are now subject to being held hostage at will, all because the Premier in Toronto was more concerned about votes than he was about solving the problem. Mr. McGuinty, your refusal to deal with the issue has now caused it to explode as an election issue. Congrats.

More stories about the confrontation with the Premier can be found here in the Brantford Expositor, and here in the Hamilton Spectator.

Some Liberals at the rally tried to counter with the statement, "We respect the Natives!" Nothing could be further from the truth... if you really respected the Native peoples of the Brantford area, you would have made this a key issue a year and a half ago, and bent over backwards to get the situation solved. Instead, you and your party refused to even talk about it, and as a result, this issue contines to fester.

Let's get moving on this... the Federal Government has initiated a new program for dealing with land claims... let's get this one on the top of the list.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Howard Hampton, the left-wing NDP leader, is ALSO calling for a reduction in the Liberal's Health "Premium"/Tax?
According to the provincial NDP leader, the health tax introduced by the McGuinty Liberals was “the biggest tax increase, and the most regressive and unfair tax increase, in the history of Ontario.” “Calling it a health tax was just a ruse,” Hampton said.
That can't be to comfortable... getting flanked on the right AND THE LEFT on your broken promise/tax increase?

Interesting to see how Warren recommends they spin this one...

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Mr. McGuinty suggests a ban on handguns, again

In response to the unfortunate murder of a high school student yesterday, some have called for metal detectors to be installed in high risk schools. While I don't believe that's the answer, Mr. McGuinty has once again used this incident to make an appeal to ban all handguns.
Gun ban needed, not school metal detectors: McGuinty
Globe and Mail Update

September 12, 2007 at 1:06 PM EDT

Ontario Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday that he does not want to see the provinces' schools resort to installing metal detectors and having uniformed security officers patrol the halls in the wake of Tuesday's fatal stabbing at a Toronto high school.

Such a move, he said, would amount to the Americanization of schools in Ontario.

“I see that as an absolute last resort,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters during an election campaign stop.

Instead, he said, Ontario needs to distinguish itself from the United States by imposing an outright ban on hand guns.

“Let's ban handguns in Ontario,” he said. “Let's ban handguns across the country. Let's declare war against handguns.”

A 16-year-old Scarborough youth was stabbed to death on Tuesday on a walkway leading from Winston Churchill Collegiate Institute.
Ammm, just checking with the folks that write his talking points for him, but, ummm... you guys did realize that the student was stabbed, not shot... right?

Trying to play politics and insert their unrelated pet issue over the tragic murder of a student... I don't like it one little bit.

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Mr. McGuinty on CBC's Toronto's "Metro Morning"

Mr. Dalton McGuinty got ripped into by CBC Toronto's Andy Barrie this morning on the issue of faith-based school funding.

Andy basicly asked Mr. McGuinty THREE TIMES, "If you, your children, and your own wife have benefited from funding of your faith based Catholic school, why should that right be denied to parents and children of faith-based schools?" Mr. McGuinty kept on trying to steer the answer towards the needs of the public system.

Andy Barrie was having none of it, and refused to let him get around the question, reasking the question two more times... and still not getting an answer on it before they had to move on. (and you could hear the annoyance in Andy's voice)

Cudos to the CBC for digging deeper, and being unwilling to just be a tool this morning.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

YouTube Election Video

Perhaps I'm biased, but this is the sort of leadership I'm looking for...

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Faith Based Students: Second Class Kids?

Nice article from a young man named Omar Soliman in today's Globe & Mail regarding faith-based school funding. He's yet another faith-based school alumni who seems to have adusted to the "real world" just fine.
"I was a second-class student in Ontario.

Tell me, Mr. McGuinty, how do you create a "knowledge economy" that breeds "creativity" and "excellence" (your words) when you are unwilling to elevate the educational standards of 53,000 Ontario students who are receiving this same second-class education?

And yet, there was Deputy Premier George Smitherman suggesting that, because it would cost an extra $100-million, funding for these students is not warranted. This, from the same minister whose response to the ailments of our health system was to increase its budget by $11-billion since 2003. During Mr. McGuinty's time in office, public education funding rose from $9.4 billion in 2003 to $12.8 billion in 2007. So don't tell me the money doesn't exist.

Still, some Liberals will continue to make the very conservative argument that, on balance, all social policy is somehow inherently or deliberately exclusive.

When Mr. McGuinty says funding religious private schools is tantamount to "segregation," I first try to ignore the irony that this word invokes. And then I turn to my Muslim friends who graduated from my Islamic school and who are now in law, medicine, teaching, business and, yes, even our armed forces. I turn to my four brothers: two doctors, one lawyer and a future investment banker.

And then I wonder: Since when did it become too expensive or too dangerous to uphold equality? What happened to the idea of accommodating or celebrating diversity?"
Makes me smile... 'cause before he went back to school, Omar used to work for Warren at Daisy Group. ;-)

(guess the kid learned a thing or two about throwing a good political punch...)

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Name the YouTube Contest

Seems my YouTube Election Video archive is generating some traffic, so why not turn this into something bigger!

I'm going to open it up to everyone (Liberals included, I guess...) for submissions to the video archive... what election video's have you seen that you thought were funny? Had an impact? Were informative? Changed your opinion on a leader, party, or issue? I'll do my best to keep this fairly non-partisan... let the submissions begin! Feel free to leave them anonymously in the comments.

For example, here's the now "infamous" clip of John Tory regarding "Creationism", courtesy of Warren's "ToryTube"... interestingly enough, now having seen the clip, it doesn't look anywhere near as damaging as people were making it out to be... just listen to his empasis in his opening statement...

"The Christian based school would HAVE [emphasis HIS] to teach the Ontario curriculum, which of course, has a different explaination..." (for origins, namely evolution)

Ammm, so can someone explain to me what the big deal is here? He clearly states right off the bat that evolution is the standard, but that schools have the freedom to inform students of what their faith teaches... whether it agrees with evolution or not. In a word... SO?

Yikes... if this is what everyone has gotten all worked up about, then the people of this province are far more intolerant than even I ever imagined! (of course, that's why this is why this whole thing has basically been a tempest in a teapot... Ontarian's are NOT as intolerant of religion as most Liberals seem to be)

I'm also looking for ideas on what to call this thing... the "Ontario Election YouTube Archive 2007" doesn't exactly have a nice ring to it... any thoughts?


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ON Election YouTube Clip of the Day

Okay, someone has to come up with a better name for this collection of videos...

Here's a couple of entries for today...

In our first clip, Mr. McGuinty tries to take a swipe at John Tory in front of a room full of students... and it backfires horribly!

This second clip is a doozy... an entry for "Most Damaging" perhaps? It's a comparison and contrast video, compiled of various clips of the Premier over the years regarding Tuition fees... and it's fairly damaging.

UPDATE: To any Liberal supporters out there, and that includes you Warren... feel free to leave links in the comments for your favorite video clips you find funny, damaging, interesting, etc. I'm open to take nominations!

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September 11, 2001

Never forget... and never let the deniers forget.


Monday, September 10, 2007

The UN sides with John Tory on Education!?!?!?

Wow... thanks to Allan Cutler (of Liberal Sponsorship fame) for pointing this fact out in an article of his posted on Splato's blog... according to Allan, it looks like Dalton McGuinty's view on funding for faith based schools is in violation with a UN Human Rights ruling from 1999, that has yet to be acted upon.

So, based on that info, I did some digging... and indeed, he is correct... and here's the proof, straight to you from the United Nations.

It appears that Mr. Tory's position on funding for faith based education is supported by the United Nations Human Rights Committee... which means that Mr. McGuinty's is not, and is therefore, according to the UN's ruling, descriminatory.
5 November 1999
Original: ENGLISH

Communication Nº 694/1996 : Canada. 05/11/99.
CCPR/C/67/D/694/1996. (Jurisprudence)

10.2 The issue before the Committee is whether public funding for Roman Catholic schools, but not for schools of the author's religion, which results in him having to meet the full cost of education in a religious school, constitutes a violation of the author's rights under the Covenant.

10.5 With regard to the State party's argument that it is reasonable to differentiate in the allocation of public funds between private and public schools, the Committee notes that it is not possible for members of religious denominations other than Roman Catholic to have their religious schools incorporated within the public school system. In the instant case, the author has sent his children to a private religious school, not because he wishes a private non-Government dependent education for his children, but because the publicly funded school system makes no provision for his religious denomination, whereas publicly funded religious schools are available to members of the Roman Catholic faith. On the basis of the facts before it, the Committee considers that the differences in treatment between Roman Catholic religious schools, which are publicly funded as a distinct part of the public education system, and schools of the author's religion, which are private by necessity, cannot be considered reasonable and objective.

10.6 The Committee has noted the State party's argument that the aims of the State party's secular public education system are compatible with the principle of nondiscrimination laid down in the Covenant. The Committee does not take issue with this argument but notes, however, that the proclaimed aims of the system do not justify the exclusive funding of Roman Catholic religious schools. It has also noted the author's submission that the public school system in Ontario would have greater resources if the Government would cease funding any religious schools. In this context, the Committee observes that the Covenant does not oblige States parties to fund schools which are established on a religious basis. However, if a State party chooses to provide public funding to religious schools, it should make this funding available without discrimination. This means that providing funding for the schools of one religious group and not for another must be based on reasonable and objective criteria. In the instant case, the Committee concludes that the material before it does not show that the differential treatment between the Roman Catholic faith and the author's religious denomination is based on such criteria. Consequently, there has been a violation of the author's rights under article 26 of the Covenant to equal and effective protection against discrimination.

11. The Human Rights Committee, acting under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the facts before it disclose a violation of article 26 of the Covenant.

12. Under article 2, paragraph 3(a), of the Covenant, the State party is under the obligation to provide an effective remedy, that will eliminate this discrimination.
My how quickly the tables turn...

Here's Allan's original article in full... that's Allan, you've shined a lot of light on this one for all of us.
Dalton Is More Than Wrong On Faith-Based Funding
Allan Cutler
Sept. 7th, 2007

The role of religion in education has been widely debated in recent years. The public school system has been attacked for long standing traditions such as Christmas pageants. Many people believe that education and religion don’t mix.

I believe that there should be one public school system open to all. However, that is not the Ontario reality and it will not happen. Ontario has two publicly funded school systems, one open to all and the other faith based. The public system bears the brunt of costs associated with being open to all; costs such as blending new cultures and providing English language training in addition to the regular curriculum.

The only realistic and fair solution is to have faith based schools, regardless of their religion, included in the public system. In 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Ontario was in violation of the international covenant on civil and political rights by not funding faith based schools. Nothing has been done to correct this situation until now.

John Tory and the Conservatives propose to extend funding to all faith based schools. This would not be a handout. In order to qualify for funding, faith based schools would have to teach the provincial curriculum, take part in standardized testing and hire qualified teachers.

Dalton McGuinty, although he personally supports a faith based system, is against extending this privilege to others. I am reminded of the exclusive country clubs of years gone by where certain groups “need not apply”. This now viewed as discriminatory and regressive. McGuinty seems to believe in keeping this elitism.

To fully understand this viewpoint, read McGuinty’s following statements on faith based schools with these additional words added in italics: “unless you are Catholic”

“I don’t think that Ontarians believe that improvement or progress is defined as inviting children of different faiths to leave the publicly funded system as we know it and go to their own schools,” unless you are Catholic

“I think that’s regressive. I think that takes us backwards. I think our responsibility is to continue to improve the publicly funded system of education.” unless you are Catholic

“An important part of our foundation for social cohesion is a publicly funded education system where we invite children of all backgrounds and faiths, economic circumstances, to come together to learn from each other and to grow together,” unless you are Catholic

Our society has evolved far beyond this elitism. I can not and do not believe that Catholics are opposed to other religions having the same rights as they do. We are a rights based society and equal rights for all is a fundamental principle.

The solution is obvious, although it is not my preferred one. Tory and the Conservatives propose giving other faith based schools the same rights and privileges as Catholic schools. This is fair. There can be no rationale for refusing funding to other faith based schools. Jewish, Muslim and all Christian schools should be equal in this province.

McGuinty said, “It’s about the kind of Ontario you want.”

The Ontario that I want is not one where there is a privileged group. The Ontario that I want is one where its citizens are treated equally and fairly by its government. The Ontario that I want will offer funding to all its faith based schools, not just one.

Allan Cutler is the bureaucrat who blew the whistle on the Liberal Sponsorship Scandal and former Conservative candidate. He has created his own consulting and ethics business and is planning on having his first book published this fall, entitled “The Whistleblower Speaks – The Sponsorship Scandal”. You can visit his website at or reach him by email at

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ontario Election of 2007... The "YouTube" Election

Wow... there are litterally THOUSANDS of videos up on YouTube connected with this year's Provincal Election. Will this be the election where the power of YouTube will make a difference? Will there be one video that tips the scales? Will there be a knockout punch delivered not via the debates, but via YouTube?

I don't know how exactly I feel about this, but it sure is going to be interesting to watch...

Humm... maybe I'll post a semi-daily YouTube winner of the day... on days when I have the chance. I'm open to nominations to name the contest... maybe I'll even open it up to a vote at the end for the of the election, with votes on various catagories... a "Funniest Video" award, one for "Best Attack Ad", for "Most Influential", one for "Best Official Campaign Video" (officially released by one of the parties), and maybe even a "Jean Chretien Face Video Award" for the most stupid and idiotic video release of the election!

Well, here's my picks for the three top videos for today... and the writ isn't dropped until tomorrow. I'll try to post good ones from all sides... but no promises! ;-)

(Nominee for "Best Attack Ad")

Actually, a hat tip is due to Warren for these next two videos... Warren is one of McGuinty's campaign gurus. Great job Warren! Sometimes, ignoring it is the best move...

(this one's kinda funny... they should have played more songs though)

(this one's a good "Official" one from the Ontario NDP)

Send in your nominees! Send in your ideas for the awards at the end!

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