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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mike Duffy - "Liberal Coup in the Works"

Yes, he actually said that... on today's John Gormley Live. The real meat of it starts at the 9:34 mark in the program, and goes on until the 12:00 minute marker.

CTV's Mike Duffy reported that Liberal insiders have told him they've decided that it's better to stage a coup than to go into an election and lose in order to oust Dion... and that plans are in the works to have the deed done by Christmas.

Yes, Mr. Dion, looks like you're present has already been bought and gift wrapped already... and they're just waiting for you to take your backpack off so they can get a good shot.

Are you sure you want to keep on avoiding that election?

Give Duffy a listen for yourself... download the file, and check things out at the 9:34 mark.

h/t to (perhaps my alternate universe reflection?) The Atheist Conservative

UPDATE: Ammm, musings like this aren't helping your cause, Mr. Dion. Talking about re-raising the GST, immediately after the cut has been voted on? You know, the vote you just abstained on?

If you didn't want the cut, you should have voted against it... and I think Canadians will agree with me on that one.

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"Harper foils another Liberal plot to take over the World"

Great editorial in today's National Post, with a funny pic too...

Steven and the Brain: Harper foils another Liberal plot to take over the World
Kelly McParland - Politics Editor, National Post
October 31, 2007

Judging by the tenor of the latest bulletins from the nation’s capital, Stéphane Dion struggles awake every morning with just one issue on his mind:

Should I defeat the Tories today?

Would it be better to wait and defeat them tomorrow?

If I defeat them next week, would it be better than defeating them a month from now?

If I don’t defeat them now, when can I defeat them?

Maybe I should defeat them in the spring. Would that be more beneficial than defeating them in the fall? How about defeating them at Christmas — that worked pretty good for Harper, even though everyone said voters wouldn’t stand for a Christmas election.

Which is pretty demeaning when you think about it. It suggests that, like Pinky and the Brain, the two mildly deranged mice in the Steven Spielberg cartoon of the same name, the leader of Canada’s biggest opposition party spends every day the same way he spent the last: Trying to take over the World.

Mr. Dion probably has other things on his mind — convincing Quebecers he isn’t some federal version of Darth Vader, for instance — but you’d never know it. Learned reports on his activities have for months now focused on pretty much one question: Can he beat the Tories? Should he try it now, or later?

Thus Jim Flaherty’s mini-budget Tuesday is judged as a resounding defeat for the Liberal boss. Mr. Flaherty was barely off the TV screens after revealing his plans to — of all people — a roomful of journalists, when Mr. Dion was trotted out and forced to confess he would instruct his troops to support the government, just as they supported them a week ago on the Throne Speech, and will likely support them on the crime package. Sorry Pinky, World Domination will have to wait another day.

Mr. Flaherty, it turns out, was just too wily for the struggling Mr. Dion. The sack load of tasty tax treats he distributed in the National Press Theatre are designed to be consumed not just today, but at regular intervals over the next few months, right up until the spring when — wham! — Mr. Flaherty can bring down another budget containing even more giveaways. The GST cut kicks in on Jan 1. (a mean trick, it seems, on Christmas shoppers); the reduced tax band is backdated to last January, so everyone who gets a tax refund will get a bigger one than they expected. The corporate tax cut is bigger than the Liberals proposed cut, forcing them to try and outbid the Tories if they still hope to use that as a policy weapon.

While assuming that Mr. Dion thinks of nothing other than engineering a timely election, informed thinking has similarly taken for granted that Mr. Harper manoeuvres relentlessly to box Mr. Dion into making his move at the wrong time. The Prime Minister, we’re told, wants a majority. He thinks he can get one from the bumbling Mr. Dion. He can’t call the election himself, so he needs to trick the Liberal boss into doing it for him.

Except that Mr. Harper’s actions don’t seem to accord with that scenario. Tuesday’s mini-budget was written to be bullet-proof: even two crazed mice trapped in a cage at Acme Labs wouldn’t be dumb enough to defeat it, though apparently Jack Layton would. Far from dangling the prospect of an election, it does all a government could do to prevent that from happening. So — barring a catastrophe — the government lives through the winter until spring, when it unveils more tax cuts, ensuring it lives through the summer until fall. At which point we’re just a year from the fixed date for the next election anyway. Would the opposition really want to trigger a vote — annoying Canadians and costing hundreds of millions of dollars — when a new minority would face another campaign within 12 months?

Maybe so. Mr. Harper has shown his tactical skills are nothing to be sniffed at. Maybe he figures the best way to trigger an election is to appear not to want one. Or maybe he actually means what he says, and intends to govern through to October 2009. If you had the prospect of two years in power with Stéphane Dion as your opponent, would you be eager to bring it to an end, risking a new minority and a new, more adept, Liberal leader?

Kelly McParland is Politics Editor of the National Post

Photo Illustration: Jeremy Barker/National Post; REUTERS/Chris Wattie; Warner Brothers

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Calgary Grit - "Chretien was wrong"

Those aren't the words that he used, but in attacking Serge LeClerc, who's running for the SaskParty in the election, he said just as much.

Why? Here's CG's comment...
"The Sask Party have released their crime platform, claiming that crime has skyrocketed under the NDP government. Of course, given that their candidate in Saskatoon Northwest has been arrested 20 to 30 times for things ranging from drug dealing to money laundering, it would be unfair to peg the entire thing on Calvert."
Normally, those would be outlandish accusations... however, in this case they're 100% accurate. Serge LeClerc has indeed been charged that many times, and spent a long time in prison for it. But I asked CG if he'd looked into this man's story at all. Well, I have...

Serge LeClerc is Native, born to a young single Cree mother living on the streets, a product of rape. He turned to a life of crime at a very young age, and had a notorious reputation. He was a major drug producer, and when arrested, he spent hard time in the most secure facilites in this country.

It was there, while in solitary, where his life was altered forever. He was visited by a humble man, who had to go through strip searches to get into the most secure section of the prison, in order to visit the inmates. During these interactions, and seeing the witness of this humble man, Serge Leclerc was saved... he repented of his way of life, and turned to the Lord Jesus Christ.

His life changed almost immediately. So much so, that the guards, supervisors, wardens, everyone around him noticed the change. He became a new man, as the Lord Jesus Christ promised to all those who genuinely choose to follow Him.

His life was so altered, that even the Government of then Prime Minister Jean Chretien noticed... and in 2000, he was given a full and complete pardon. From Serge's website...
National Pardon

Serge received a precedent setting Canadian National Pardon in the year 2000 due to his exemplary work for youth, their families, and their communities both in Canada and abroad. This Pardon, enforced by an Act of Legislation, honours his outstanding life change, present citizenship, and legally exonerates him from all past criminal convictions and especially social stigma as today he has no criminal record of any kind!
Here's a video of his story that covers many of the bases.

Since his release from prison, he has earned a degree, has worked tirelessly as a social worker, has volunteered hundreds of hours of his time and loads of energy to helping troubled youth, talked to hundreds of thousands of people about the dangers of drug addiction and crime, founded a drug rehab program, and started a successful motivational speaking company.

So, CG... was your Liberal Government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien wrong to fully pardon him? And if he's been fully pardoned, why are you attacking him for the things he's been pardoned for? Isn't that wrong? (I'm no legal expert, but isn't that some form of discrimination, and illegal? Just asking)

It makes me think of a line from "The American President"... "Serge LeClerc is way out of your leauge".

In my opinion, Serge LeClerc would make a tremendous parliamentarian... and I certainly hope he wins on November 7th. And quite frankly, I'd say the same thing regardless of what party he ran for. (I was actually surprised to see he joined the SaskParty... I personally would have thought he'd be more NDP leaning)


G&M on the Mini-Budget

There's a great line in today's Globe & Mail, from a "senior Liberal", regarding yesterday's mini-budget...
"Some Liberals no longer know where to turn.

"They're trying to make us despondent," said one senior Liberal, who concedes the tactic is working with at least some colleagues. There are those who believe that they might as well get the election over with this fall if there are no prospects for future victory.
Yea... it would be better for everyone if you just got it over with. ;-)

In other news, I hear rumors that the Liberals have modified the version of the Canadian National Anthem they sing before caucus meetings. Instead of the usual "We stand on guard for Thee" as sung by most Canadians, they've made a slight modification, to better reflect their current motivations regarding their strategy of self-preservation on the various Confidence votes in the House...

"We sit on votes for ME" ;-)

(Of course, I'm just kidding about changing the words... we all know the Liberals don't actually sing the National Anthem...) ;-)


Happy October 31st

Halloween? BAH, HUMBUG!

Instead, I'd like to wish every one a Happy Reformation Day!
The 95 Theses

The Ninety-Five Theses on the Power of Indulgences, commonly known as The Ninety-Five Theses, was written by Martin Luther and is widely regarded as the primary catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. Luther used these theses to display his displeasure with the Church's indulgences, and this ultimately gave birth to Protestantism. Luther's popularity encouraged others to share their doubt with the Church and protest its medieval ways; it especially challenged the teachings of the Church on the nature of penance, the authority of the pope and the usefulness of indulgences. They sparked a theological debate that would result in the Reformation and the birth of the Lutheran, Reformed, and Anabaptist traditions within Christianity.

According to a report written by Philipp Melanchthon in 1546, Martin Luther posted the Ninety-five Theses on the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, October 31, 1517.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Thoughts on Provincial Politics

I'm just going to throw out some of my random rantings on the state of Provincial politics, and see if anyone is listening.

To start off, I must say that I was really disappointed with John Tory. Not just on the Faith Based Funding idea, but overall. I expected him to gain more traction on the months preceeding the election, but he was pretty low on the horizon the whole time. I was getting disillusioned with him a long time before October 10th, and if it hadn't been for the fact that the local PC candidate was a friend, I likely wouldn't have voted PC this time around.

Most of the grassroots I've spoken too have said the same thing... "John Tory is finished", I have heard over and over again. He may have gotten the support of the caucus the other day, but there's no way he can hold the grassroots of the Party together. The way I see it, he'd be best advised to find a nice quiet exit, and get a new leadership race underway.

Finally, I'll go on record with this last point... if John Tory is still at the helm in 2011, (unless he undergoes a major transformation, which I highly doubt), I will be lending my vote and my organizational support to the local Green Party canadidate, if the one who ran in my riding this year runs again. I was greatly impressed by the local Green candidate, and they have the next best chance of knocking off the Liberal incumbant. Though much in their platform was questionable, there's no way they could form government, so I feel that giving them my vote is a minimal risk. (besides... my wife gave them her vote on Oct. 10... partially BECAUSE of John Tory) Also, I like the idea of working for the underdog, and seeking to change the status quo of politics here in Ontario. And when I say working for the underdog, I mean it... I'll be right there in the office next time around, if major changes are not made within the Ontario PC Party.

Well, that's my two cents, and my warning. My message to the Ontario PC's... the status quo will not do any longer. Get the process of renewal going, or risk losing more of us to the Greens.

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Today's Funny

Okay, it's actually from yesterday... my boss has a "Far Side" desk calander, and this was the one from yesterday. I thought it was pretty funny, but of course, that's just me.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Liberal EDA President Resigns "because of Dion"

According to The Star's Susan Delacourt, all's rosy in the world of the GTA's Liberal EDA Presidents.

Maybe not so much in SW Ontario... Sarnia-Lambton's Liberal EDA President Anne Marie Gillis has resigned, claiming that she's disillusioned with the leadership of Stephan Dion.
They were going to stand on their principles,” including their support for the Kyoto environmental accord.

But after meeting with the caucus, Dion backed away, she said. “The caucus all sat on their hands,” she said.

“It’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees,” she continued. “The opposition’s role isn’t to survive, it’s to oppose. I’m a little disappointed.”

Gillis predicts bad times are ahead for the party.

“The longer you delay (forcing an election) the weaker you become. People do not follow weakness, they follow leaders. They are setting themselves up for a real fall.”
Just reporting the facts, with no commentary. (more posting it for my own archive down the road)

h/t to Alberta Aardvark

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chretien seeking to quash the Gomery Report

Jean Chretien's lawyers filed a memorandum in federal court late Friday afternoon, seeking to quash the Gomery Report's findings that Chretien was in some way responsible.

Archive your copies now, before they're gone forever!
Lawyers for Chretien filed a memorandum in federal court late Friday afternoon in the latest step in their court battle to quash Gomery's report that placed part of the blame for the scandal on the former prime minister and his office.

"In the case of this Public Inquiry, the Honourable John Gomery (the "Commissioner") was seduced by the media and the limelight to such an extent that the judicial instinct for fairness, objectivity and restraint which (Chretien) was entitled to expect of him gave way to a preoccupation on his part with focusing media (and public) attention upon himself, a course of conduct which preordained unfavourable findings," said the court filing.

Gagliano and Pelletier are also seeking to quash Gomery's report. The matter goes before the federal court in February in Montreal.

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Dion to lose another MP?

Ouch. The allegations have yet to be proven, however, the level of documentation provided makes this one sound fairly air tight. Will wait for more info from the other players in the MSM.

However, I think I'll preemptively add Mr. Wilson to my list of Liberal MP's who will not be running again... which brings the total up to 17.

For the record, that's approaching 20% of the current Liberal caucus... and that's not good for any Party, by any stretch of the imagination.

UPDATE: According to a local radio station, Mr. Wilson has resigned. (still nothing from the MSM... guess they got scooped on this one... or else they're being willfully ignorant, since the story has been out for about 20 hours already)

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Kudos to Dion on Press Gallery Speech

From the couple of quotes I've seen, he did a half decent job at the Annual Press Gallery Dinner. A couple of the lines...

He made a comment about his famous backpack, and the rumoured knives that may be pointed his way.
"A back-pack can be very useful... it can help protect your back."

He shot back at reporters who have called him the worst Liberal leader in a century.
"Why only in a century? I can't win anything with you guys."

He threw a taunt aimed at Layton, who chose not to speak at the Dinner.
"Who's abstaining now?"

He and Ignatieff pulled a tag-team line when Iggy yelled out from the audience, "We didn't get it done!", to which Dion replied, "This is unfair!"

Looking for the video online, I'd like to see the whole thing for myself. Anyone who finds it, please leave the link in the comments.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Clement Cartoon on Reasonable Accommodation

Ouch... from today's National Post. They are indeed walking a very fine line over there.


Mr. Dion, I'm sorry

Okay, deep breath... I was wrong.

Several people, on this blog and privately, have commented on my recent stories regarding Mr. Dion, indicating that some of my posts have been rather "unChrist-like". Upon reflection, I agree.

Mr. Dion is indeed a fine man, I'm sure, and genuinely believes that his veiws are the best for this country. From what little I know of the man, it seems that he honestly wants to improve this country in whatever way he can. While I to a great degree oppose the sort of ideology he proposes, and while I still hope that he never becomes the Prime Minister of this land, it is not my place, nor my desire, to attack him as a person. Some of my posts in recent weeks crossed that line, and for that, I'm genuinely sorry to anyone who took offence.

My primary desire with this blog, and my primary motivation on this earth, is not to attack people, but to proclaim what true and genuine "Leadership" is... and it's not found in any man, not even the likes of Mr. Harper, whom I greatly admire.

No, "Leadership", "Integrity", and all of those things we crave in those who leader us, can be found in one Person alone, the Lord Jesus Christ. We're not going to find what we're looking for until He returns to set up His kingdom here on earth... and I should be encouraging people to look to Him for Leadership and forgiveness from their sins... not wasting my time, or harming Christ's Name, by slinging mud at my fellow man.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Liblogger swipes my idea

Thanks for stealing my idea! (I actually don't mind when people swipe my ideas... it's sort of a compliment)

(click on the image for an animated gif, it doesn't work on blogger)

(click for animated gif)

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The NDP Website

I'm seriously thinking of putting the NDP website on my list of homepages, because everyday this week, they've got some good stuff on there.

Take this pic, for example... I love it!

Here's their banner version of it, just in case you want to post it on your site...

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dion: The "Maxwell Smart" of Canadian Politics?

LOL! This comment was left on Janke's blog in his post about Dion today...
It would be a lot easier to pursue this strategy if they didn't spend all summer threatening to take the government down and producing a list of their demands and then caving in when every last single one of them were broken by Harper.

Reminds me of the old Get Smart TV show:

Dion: You think you've got me, but I have my list of 5 demands and I will vote non confidence and cause an election if you don't follow them.

Harper: I don't believe you.

Dion: Would you believe 2 demands?

Harper: No.

Dion: Would you believe no demands, but let me call you a Bully and taunt you with my outrageous accent?

Posted by: Davide at October 24, 2007 03:44 PM
I used to love that show... I can picture the whole senario playing out in the Commons too!

Hummm... Dion on a shoe phone? LOL!

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A gift from my loving wife

I'm the official coffee brewer in our home. You know you're wife loves you when she buys you a little gift like this...

(just a nice little reminder on the fridge each morning)


Liberals shouldn't play with logos

Some Liberal posted this image, modified from our "Not a Leader" website, and Garth posted it on his blog...

Guys, don't go modifying images without thinking about it... it could give people ideas. You might make it inadvertantly easy, for example, for someone to take your image and make a comment about your "Leader", who said that if certain conditions on the Throne Speech weren't met, he'd vote down the speech... then turning around and saying you'd abstain instead. That, of course, would make him a...

(click on the image for an animated gif, it doesn't work on blogger)

Great idea guys... thanks Garth!

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Janke on Dion and the Liberals

Steve Janke has written one of the best summaries of Dion and the current Liberal Party of Canada that I perhaps have ever read... and I agree with his sentiments.

The Liberal Party of Canada, in its present incarnation, ought to be relegated to the trash heap of history. Realignment is already underway in Canada, and the Liberal Party is the only thing standing in the way of progress. The Liberal Party is only interested in the status quo, of patronage, entitelment, and privilage.

Off with its head... realign the pieces, and restore the people's faith in our democratic institutions.

(for the record, I believe the destruction of the LPC would also cause some realignment with the CPC, which would be a good thing... but so long as the Liberal beast lives, no such realignment will occur... because we refuse to let Canadians suffer as they did through the 90's with no effective right leaning option)


Turkey launches strike on Kurds

The Associated Press out of Ankara has reported that Turkey has launched a strike, with F-16's, artillery and attack helicopters, against Kurdish rebel positions inside northern Iraq.

More to follow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The grumbling grows

Red Tory is the latest one to openly muse that it may be time for Dion to ride off into the sunset...

"Perhaps the time has come to connect the dots and draw some obvious conclusions"

The article in today's Globe & Mail that he links to has some harsh words...

"What is this “one serious problem”? It is simply this: Stéphane Dion is the least effective Liberal leader, no contest, for at least 100 years."

Personally, for various reasons, of the four options that the author gives on how to get rid of Dion, I'm hoping for option #4... and sooner rather later...
So, the easiest way to get rid of Mr. Dion as leader is have him lose an election. No problem, no blood on any Liberal hands and the voters are supreme. Only a few dozen remaining Liberal seats after that wipeout, you say? Proves the point. At least rebuilding could then begin.

But when to trigger this renewal-by-demolition strategy?

The answer is simple: As soon as the party has ruled out the first three options that take combinations of co-operation and guts, both virtues being currently in short Liberal supply, the conclusion should be obvious and soon.

Next spring is the time. The issue will be opportunistic - the best they can find at the time. The issue doesn't matter - just defeat the government and have an election. The goal is simple - the new leader will swim or sink.

UPDATE: Liblogger Far and Wide jumps in too...
It would appear that the number one issue for the Liberals in this session is too find ways to avoid a direct confrontation, manoeuvre to sidestep a confidence question. We can all live in denial land, but this posture has consequence, both for the relevance of the party and the prospects for the leader.

How do you create the "winning conditions" within this environment? Simple, you don't, not even close, you merely survive. With that reality in mind, you then are forced to entertain the idea of a long Harper reign, possibly a dodge and weave until 2009. It is this scenario where Layton's comment find solid ground. The main forum for the Liberals is effective opposition in the House of Commons. This opportunity is eliminated, with Layton and Duceppe attacking, Harper poking at a toothless tiger and Liberals pre-occupied with avoidance. Someone please explain to me how this improves the situation for Dion?

In the coming weeks, there will be tests and how the Liberals react will frame the debate one way or the other. I would suggest the emerging theme in the last days tells us all we need to know, either we act like the opposition, or someone else will do it for us and our arguments will largely surround the question of relevance.

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Layton: "Dion has given Harper a Majority"

Here's what today's NDP Press conference was all about, that basically wasn't reported by the media... Jack Layton is accusing Mr. Dion of giving Mr. Harper a defacto-majority in Parliament. I couldn't agree morem Jack... with Dion and his team running scared, we have no Opposition.
Layton says weak Liberals have given Harper majority government
The Canadian Press - 1 hour ago

OTTAWA - The NDP says Stephen Harper's Conservatives now basically have a majority government - and it's all thanks to the weak Liberal opposition.

Leader Jack Layton says that by agreeing to roll over on the Tory throne speech vote, the Liberals have helped the prime minister govern without fear of being defeated in the Commons.

In a pep talk to party workers and MPs on Tuesday, Layton said Liberal voters should consider switching their allegiance to the NDP.

He said Canadians should not be impressed with Liberals for allowing the throne speech to pass - even though it rejects the Kyoto accord and suggests Canada should stay the course in Afghanistan until 2011.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, who is an ardent defender of the Kyoto accord, was said by party insiders to favour defeating the government over its throne speech.

But he was talked out of it by his caucus, which argued that their party is not ready organizationally or financially to fight an election.

Harper has since made it clear that he expects a freer hand to run Parliament, and has threatened to use more frequent confidence votes that would force the opposition to either support him or trigger an election.

Layton said his party has systematically opposed the Tories in confidence votes and will continue to do so. But he pointed out that Harper can control Parliament if only one party supports him or abstains from voting.

"What effectively has happened is the gift of a majority government has been given by that party (the Liberals) to Mr. Harper."

"It's going to be very symbolic to watch our members rise in the House - willing to put their jobs, their principles, their commitments on the line - and then to watch the official opposition sit it out."

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Correction of Liberal Mistruths

Today's National Post carries two good articles, intended to clear up some of the mistruths the Liberals are spreading these days.

The first one is a letter by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, in reponse to Ralph Goodale's letter from yesterday... in which Mr. Nicholson encourages the Liberals to move our Tackling Violent Crime Act, Bill C-2, at all levels immediately... including the Liberal Senate, where most of this important Legislation was deliberately stalled during the last session.

The second is from the editors at the National Post, dealing with the Liberals for resorting to their desperate "Harper has a scary hidden agenda" mantra, and the false accusations that Mr. Harper is defying Parliament...

"The truth is that Mr. Harper has a minority government. If he has unlimited power, it is because opposition MPs are scared of an election. The opposition could vote this government out of office at any time. If, instead, they are choosing to save their own seats, don’t blame the Prime Minister for their lack of principle."

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Monday, October 22, 2007

MP Denis Coderre... Experienced Liberal Assassin?

Well, Liberal MP Denis Coderre seems to be an experienced hand at offing Liberal leaders... he helped lead the charge to ditch former Prime Minister John Turner, so why not go 2 for 2?
The morning of Aug. 31, 1987, the chief organizer for the federal Liberal youth in Quebec called a press conference in Montreal to announce publicly what Grits everywhere were saying in private -- John Turner was a lost cause as party leader and should resign.

"Canadians have never followed weak, indecisive and inconsistent leaders," the organizer said. "We have to save the party."

That organizer was Denis Coderre, one of the Liberal MPs now stoking the fires of discontent threatening to engulf the Liberals' latest master of misfortune, Stephane Dion.

Last week, as Dion desperately tried to bring order to the growing chaos in the Liberal ranks, Coderre and at least one other MP embarrassingly turned down the leader's invitation to be the party's Quebec lieutenant.

The unspoken message was stinging: Who would want to assume responsibility (read: take the blame) for a province that is turning into a Liberal wasteland under Dion's leadership?

No one has called a press conference yet to demand Dion's resignation for "weak, indecisive and inconsistent" leadership, but don't rule it out.

In his six years in office, Turner endured almost rotating mutinies, including three by his own sitting MPs.

Today, Gritdom is again alive with the sounds of wringing hands and gnashing teeth as the party confronts its worst leadership crisis in the nearly 20 years since Turner's last near-execution.
And how's this for a confidence boosting line about halfway down in the article?

As one prominent Liberal insider told me this week: "If there are still people in this party who honestly think we can win an election anytime soon, they should probably change their medication."

Welcome to Opposition boys... enjoy your LONG stay.

h/t to Dr. Roy

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Ammendment to Speech from the Throne

Okay, you know you're a political junkie when you tune into CPAC to watch the vote on the Liberal Ammendment on the Speech from the Throne...

UPDATE: Voting has begun, the Liberals appear to be all in place... no abstentions here...

UPDATE II: 6:30pm, and the vote is over... the Speaker: "I declare the motion DEFEATED"

YEAS - 89
NAYS - 203

I wonder... only 89 Liberals? Seems like a few Liberals didn't even bother to show up to support their own motion. I'd like to know who they were, and why they didn't support their Leader's ammendment...

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Hedy Fry talking about Crime

An interesting irony today, while flipping channels during the newshour. Was watching Global National, and they announced that Toronto has reached a dubious milestone... today, due to a brazen daylight murder, Toronto has tied the 2006 murder count, at 70 persons... with two months yet to go this year.

Then, I flipped over to CPAC, to see where things stood with the Liberal ammendment to the Throne Speech... and Hedy Fry was speaking. No kidding, these are the first words I heard come out of her mouth...

"Mr. Speaker, crime has actually gone down in this country... I'm not saying there's no crime, but it has gone down in recent years..."

Try telling that to the good people of Toronto, Ms. Fry.

So, my Liberal friends, let's get the "Tackling Violent Crime Act" passed ASAP, shall we?

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Goodale doesn't get it

Ralph Goodale has an article published in today's National Post, and keeps repeating the same mantra he's been plugging all last week... and he proves that he really doesn't get it.

"But the truth keeps tripping them [the Conservatives] up. For more than a full year now, the Liberal Official Opposition has offered repeatedly to fast track as much as 70% of all the justice measures Mr. Harper’s government has brought before Parliament. With the government and the Official Opposition voting together, easy passage would have been assured. But inexplicably, the Conservatives declined."

Did you hear that? "As much as 70%". Ralph, Ralph, Ralph... you keep talking about the 70% you agreed to fast-track, but you keep ducking and dodging whenever anyone asks you about the other 30%. It's the other 30% that's the issue... WE WANT IT PASSED, IMMEDIATELY.

Take it or leave it. It's not about forcing an election... it's about making sure you don't kill off this important legislation in the House, Committees, etc. The people want mandatory minimums for gun related offences... PERIOD. We're giving it to them... DON'T try to stop us, or you'll have to explain to the people of Toronto why you opposed this sensible law. (though I'm sure Jack would be most grateful for all the seats you'll be donating to his Party...)

There's no legit reason for anyone to be carrying a gun on our streets... END OF STORY. I say if you use one, or are even found carrying one without the proper controls (ie - locked case, unloaded, appropriate paperwork... the way gun enthusiasts transport their guns to their clubs), then you ought to be locked up, as you have chosen to make yourself a threat to our society, in your blatant disregard of human life.

Do you get it now Mr. Goodale?

In the end, however, he does make a substantial offer... "All parties should simply forego any debate on this omnibus crime bill at the second reading stage, since all of its component parts were already beyond that point before last Tuesday's Throne Speech. There's no need for any rehashing. In Parliamentary language, let's just "deem" this omnibus crime bill passed at second reading, and send it directly to the House of Commons Justice Committee for detailed consideration. This could save days or weeks of pointless wrangling.

This is just a good faith offer to make progress quickly. Let's hope we're not met with more threats."

I got one better... let's do that, but set a time limit of two weeks in the House of Commons Justice Committee. (because, basically, we don't trust you not to try bogging it down or trying to weaken it in Committee) Then, we bring it back to the House immediately for the Third Reading vote. Get it passed there, then sent to the Senate, where your Leader will request the Senate pass the Bill with "all haste", to have it given Royal Assent by the end of November, at the very latest.

Sound like a deal?

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"Addicted to Government"

A dead-on article today by Lorne Gunter in the National Post, regarding one of Canada's biggest problems... we're "Addicted to Government"
Addicted To Government
Lorne Gunter
National Post

Monday, October 22, 2007

In an ongoing series, National Post writers are being asked a simple question: If you had the power to change a single thing about Canada, what would it be? In today's instalment, Lorne Gunter argues that Canadians' faith in government is misplaced.

If I could fix just one thing about Canada, I would cure Canadians of their dependence on government, emotional as well as financial.

Frankly, our financial reliance worries me less than our emotional attachment.

Currently, for every $100 in income Canadians receive, just $10 comes from governments. While that is above the $8 received in 1980, it is thankfully below the $13 received in 1992.

The reduction is largely statistical, though. Private sources of income have risen in the past 15 years while government payments to individuals have remained flat. Pensions, welfare, employment insurance, tax credits, child care payments and so on haven't gone down so much as employment and investment income have gone up, quickly. Government payments are now a lower percentage of personal income in Canada, but not as a result of overall lower government spending.

More troubling, though, is the way far too many of us simply put so much faith in the benevolence of government and its ability to solve problems. Too many believe only government is capable of producing "fair" outcomes, only government can be trusted with society's most essential functions -- health, education and the well being of our neighbours and communities.

We trust government funding of science will produce only objective conclusions that lead to unbiased, technocratic solutions to our economic, social and environmental problems.

We think only government multiculturalism and employment equity can ensure a tolerate society, when overwhelming evidence is beginning to mount that we were far more accepting of newcomers and other cultures before governments told us we had to be.

The undercurrent of the both the recent Quebec and Ontario elections was that Canadians are increasingly fed up with government-mandated acquiescence to new cultures in our midst. The debates in Quebec over "reasonable accommodation" and Ontario over faith-based schools were evidence of a growing popular backlash against government attempts to engineer an elite view of the ideal society rather than trusting in the good nature of Canadians to reach compromises that make sense at the local and regional level.

We invest our national identity in government monopoly health care when it is clear that since 1984, when we removed the private sector, our health outcomes have begun to decline, our access to new technology has failed and our chances of finding a family physician have shrunk.

We are short 15,000 or more doctors in Canada as a direct result of governments choosing to cap health care expenses by limiting the number of physicians who, in the eyes of government budgeters, are the largest source of expense in the medical system.

Millions go without health insurance in the U.S. and we scold that they need government medical care. Yet a million and a half Canadians have no family doctor thanks to government planning and that fails to shake our devotion to medicare.

We view governments as the guardians of our human rights, failing to appreciate that throughout history governments have been the greatest rights abusers. Indeed, it is seldom possible for individuals or corporations to abuse rights on the same scale as governments without the willingness of governments to lend their monopoly on coercive force to the effort.

We cheerily pay high taxes in the belief the state can improve our quality of life better than we can ourselves. We accept government pensions that pay one-third the return of private alternatives for fear the market will cheat us, support making farmers sell their wheat to the government's grain department -- for their own good -- and let regulators choose what we may see on television and listen to on radio in the belief this will somehow make us more of a nation.

We even pay millions in taxes to subsidize Crown corporations, then insist the cost of government services is cheaper than private equivalents because governments treat consumers fairer and don't take profits.

Every once in a while, we rise up against elite opinion in this country. In 1992, we rejected the Charlottetown constitutional accord even though every major elite -- government, cultural, academic, business and media -- recommended its acceptance. But such rebellious acts are too few and far between.

Peace, order and good government may be bred in our bones, but we would be a whole lot freer and better off if we could unbreed them.

© National Post 2007


"A Political Shock-umentary"

That's a sweet line... that quote was from a British educator commenting on the recent ruling that Al Gore's "An Inconvient Truth" contains several "facts" that are in question.

"A Political Shock-umentary"... I think I'll be using that one from hereon in!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Unenthused Iggy

Oh Iggy, you're such a great pal... especially when you're spending your time during your "Leader"'s speech looking bored... or not clapping, or not rising with your colleagues at the opportune times...

(h/t for the video to Stephen Taylor)

In his defence, having spent three days at a Model Parliament, listening to speeches, and taking the cues to rise and applaud, I have some idea what may have been going through his head...

"Oops, they're standing, quick, better get to my feet..."

"Amm, it wasn't THAT good a point guys... oh well, back to my feet"

"What, they're standing AGAIN?!?! Come on guys..."

"Screw this, my new Bostonians aren't broken in yet, and they're killing me... knock yourselves out guys..."

"For crying out loud folks, the only people watching are the whacked out political junkies, and your antics aren't changing anyone's mind..."

"Finally, the conclusion... NOW it's appropriate to stand guys"

Oh well... it makes for great YouTube footage for junkies like us to smirk at... sorta like how he was smirking at Dion...

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Time to repeal Bill C-288

Dion just confirmed that my idea from last week is a good one... Dion has threatened to "stop any anti-environmental Conservative legislation".

Time to make him put his money where his mouth is... like I said last week, in the context of our now acknowledged inability to reach our Kyoto targets, (by even the Liberals) we should immediately introduce a very short bill, officially repealing the previously passed Bill C-288, the Liberal's "Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act".

It's not a full withdrawal from Kyoto, but at the same time, with Dion's bluster on this file yesterday, it once again puts them in a very embarrassing and awkward situation... they either swallow the Bill and agree to repeal C-288 (the passage of which they hailed as a major victory earlier this year, which will once again highlight Dion's ineffectiveness in Opposition), or they fall on their own sword, and trigger an election over an issue that they even agreed with us on last week... that the targets are unattainable.

Pass me another nail for that coffin...

h/t to The Langhjelm Letter

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Star Candidates

Liberals these days are touting the about-face of Marc Garneau as "good news" for their Party in Quebec, as they've secured a star candidate.

Hummm... I dunno about the "star power" of this one. I mean, come on... they're having to run a "star candidate" in what used to be known as a "safe" Liberal seat? I don't know about you, but having to run a star candidates in a "safe" seat is a bit of a waste of the "star power" effect... and it tells me that the Liberals are really worried.

I say the Marc Garneau appointment is good news for the Tories.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

The weird bits of info you discover

This one will feed the Bush-haters, for sure...

So, a friend of mine and I are talking away on MSN about politics, and the whole concept of family dynaties comes up, mainly in the context of the Liberal Party of Canada. (the Martin's, the Rae's, the Ignatieff's, etc) Anyway, somehow we turned to US politics (we agree, "Go Fred Go!"), and we started talking about the Bush "Dynasty" (if you think it started with Bush Sr., you need to do some digging... try starting with Ike's staff in the 60's...)

Anyway, in looking around, I came across a "Family Tree" of the Bush family. Well, I'm a history nut, and can't help myself when it comes to obscure things like that, so I started digging. I discovered two things...

Number one, and much to my horror, I discovered that we might be a distant blood-line connection. Nothing for sure, but scary enough.

Then I dig futher back, and found this, about 25 generations back from George W. Bush...

King of England King Edward I "Longshanks" Plantagenet, England

For fans of the Mel Gibson classic, "Braveheart", you may recognize the nickname "Longshanks"... yes indeed, it's one and the same person, the evil King of England from the movie.

Go figure.

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Dion vs. Dion

What a difference a couple of weeks make...
September 26, 2007: Dion fuels election talk with throne speech conditions
Firm end to Afghan mission, reintroduction of clean air bill among Liberals' demands
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2007 | 2:21 PM ET
CBC News

Stephen Harper's Conservatives must make major changes to the upcoming throne speech or the opposition Liberals will vote against it, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion warned Wednesday, adding fuel to speculation there could be a fall federal election.

"This hidden agenda WILL BE STOPPED", Dion said after a meeting with Quebec caucus members in Montreal.

He said the Tories would scrap the gun registry and anti-greenhouse gas initiatives the moment they gained a majority - a result Dion contended would allow them to shape a "right-wing" Canadian government modelled after the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush.

"They cannot do it today because they have an Official Opposition facing them," Dion said.
And now contrast with this week...
October 17, 2007: 'Canadians don't want another election right now': Dion
Liberal leader says he won't make the government fall on its throne speech
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | 6:21 PM ET
CBC News

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion says he will not force an election over the speech from the throne, adding that he wants to make Parliament work.

"The throne speech we heard, with all of its weaknesses, has to be assessed in light of the fact that Canadians don't want another election right now," Dion told the House of Commons on Wednesday. "They want Parliament to do its job."


Instead, Dion said, he would introduce amendments to the speech. If those are rejected, the party would abstain, allowing the throne speech to pass.
Let's compare...

"[Harper] must make major changes to the upcoming throne speech or the opposition Liberals will vote against it"


"the party would abstain, allowing the throne speech to pass"


Before the Speech, Dion said, "This hidden agenda WILL BE STOPPED"

After the Speech, Dion said, "The throne speech we heard, with all of its weaknesses, has to be assessed in light of the fact that Canadians don't want another election right now"

Again, I say "Huh?" What happened during those short three weeks? Before, Dion said that he would stop Mr. Harper's agenda... now, he says that Canadians don't want an election, therefore, his members will abstain from voting... whereas before, he said that he was determined to "stop this 'hidden agenda'".

Uh huh... and people wonder why we keep saying "Stephane Dion is Not a Leader"... Paul Martin just dithered on every decision. This guy? He flip-flops every other week. People accused Mr. Martin of governing based on the poll of the day. Mr. Dion, he says one thing, waits for the next poll, and then reveres himself.

Sorta like the whole Marc Garneau affair... one week, he's out, two weeks later, he's back in.

Or the Jamie Carroll affair... on Friday, he supports him... by Monday, Jamie is toasted. (and there's no way he'd be tossed without Dion's okay)

So, let's think about this long and hard... in the next election, he'll roll out their platform... and once he's been elected, who's to say he won't turn around and do the exact opposite of what he promised? I mean, we know Liberals are known for that, the whole "we will scrap the GST" thing and all.

Then there's Kyoto... it went from being the most important issue of our time, to being abandoned in the Throne Speech, with Dion's blessing by abstaintion.

But, not to worry... Dion told us his Party will abstain on the Throne Speech this week, which means they'll likely vote against it actually comes time to vote...

I stand by the nickname I gave him from the get-go... Flipper.

(image from The Rick Mercer Report's Photo Challenge)

And people wonder why I'm fearful of his becoming our Prime Minister...

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Another CTV Poll gone wrong

Will Rocketman help the Liberals? He blasted off from the Party two weeks ago to much media attention, only to be lured back yesterday by Dion, with limited news coverage.

Here's what "the people" think...

On that note, I'd like to take a moment to thank Marc Garneau for all the help he's given us in Quebec, and for his contribution to making Dion look weak, with his seemingly desperate scrambling to woo you back! It's sorta like a 2 for 1 deal... you leave, he looks bad... then you come back, and he looks bad again, because everyone is reminded why you said you left in the first place!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Gary Clement Strikes Again

Harper vs. Dion on the Crime Bill

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"Stick a fork in Dion, he's done"

Ouch... that's the title of an article by Michael Den Tandt in today's Owen Sound Sun Times.

(for the record, I dislike how the author begins by welcoming Dion "to Hell"... of course, theologically, and humourously, I'll say to the author "You don't know what you speak about"... because the reality of Hell is infintely worse than anything Dion is presently facing... just so there's no confusion)

The key portion...
Here's the poison: The decision to pan the throne speech virtually in its entirety, then concoct a grab-bag of exquisitely nuanced excuses for passing it, feeds directly into Dion's greatest political liability - the perception that he's weak. In chess they call this a fork. Move one way, you lose your rook. Move the other way, you lose your queen. Either way you lose. Dion is well and truly forked.

In Quebec, some voters dislike him because of a perception that he is arrogant, aloof and out of touch with ordinary folk. He speaks like a Frenchman - a testament to his French mother. But that doesn't play well in the Saguenay. Other Quebecers tar him, unfairly, as a traitor, because of his authorship of the Clarity Act. Still others continue to mistrust the Liberals because of the sponsorship scandal.

In Ontario Dion began with a reputation as a smart, honest and hardworking minister. Despite his gawkiness and heavily accented English, he was known as a man of conviction. Journalists who remembered his fight with Quebec separatists in the 1990s referred to him as having a "spine of steel."

Then came the Harper strategy, taken directly from the Brian Mulroney play book, of seeking a majority through Quebec. First Harper learned to speak French better than any other recent prime minister, including the francophone Jean Chretien. Then he declared Quebec a "nation." Then he struck a back-room alliance with Mario Dumont's soft-nationalist, centre-right Action Democratique. Taken together, it worked.

This put the Liberals in severe need of a wedge issue for Quebec. They seized on the most obvious one, the Afghan mission. Polls showed Quebecers overwhelmingly opposed the deployment. Overnight the Liberals, who conceived and launched the mission, transformed themselves into its harshest critics. Trouble is, that hasn't worked. Liberal fortunes in Quebec have only worsened. Has anyone in the Liberal brain trust considered that some Quebecers' interest in and support for the mission may actually increase because the Valcartier, Que.-based Vandoos are over there now? It doesn't seem so.

Meantime the various Liberal flip-flops on Afghanistan have sewn confusion in Ontario and in the West. Dion says one thing, Foreign affairs critic Bob Rae says another, Defence Critic Denis Coderre says something else. Do they want our troops to stay and finish what they began or do they want to pull them out? Nobody knows. In Dion's speech to Parliament Wednesday he came up with yet another nuance: An extended mission focused on training Afghan security forces would be "acceptable." Um, Stephane, that's what the mission is focused on now. Does this mean you support it again?

Dion has made his choice. He now faces an endless succession of confidence votes. In each case Harper will press legislation inimical to Liberal principles and dare Dion to call him out. With each new concession Harper will look stronger and Dion weaker. If Dion pulls the trigger, he loses. If he waits, he loses. In effect Stephen Harper has just maneuvered himself into a majority in all but name.

That makes Dion many things. Unlucky? Doomed? You be the judge. Savvy, in my view, doesn't make the list.

Michael Den Tandt is editor of the Sun Times in Owen Sound and a national affairs columnist for Osprey Media. Contact

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YIKES... Loonie hits $1.03US

...and still climbing, almost halfway to $1.04US...

Record 19 year sentence for home invasion

I'm posting this story for two reasons.

1) Because the judge in this case ACTUALLY GETS IT, unlike many of his collegues in this country... he has "thrown the book" at this man, who viciously beat a man in his own home to within an inch of his life, caused the victim and his family immense grief, and changed the victim's life forever, all because he and his buddies attacked the wrong freaking house, and

2) Because the victim in this story is the older brother of several good friends of mine.

(I will give credit to the young man sentenced... it takes a man to own up when you screw up, and he offered an appology... cudos to him for that)
Record sentence for home invader - News - Record sentence for home invader
John Sargeant given 19 years



The longest home invasion sentence in Canadian history was handed down yesterday in a Guelph courtroom.

"This moves the yardstick forward," Crown attorney Jocelyn Speyer said outside court after 31-year-old John Sargeant was handed a 19-year prison term. "It's the highest one I've found. I'm not aware of a longer (home invasion) sentence."

Sargeant pleaded guilty to several counts, including aggravated assault and break and enter to commit robbery, in relation to a vicious home invasion on Simcoe Street more than two years ago.

Court heard at the time he was an inmate at a federal halfway house in Toronto, having been sent there a month earlier from Kingston Penitentiary where he was serving time for assault and firearms charges. Sargeant signed out of the halfway house just after 9 a.m. on April 12, 2005, purportedly to go to work in Burlington, but instead drove to Guelph where he met up with two other men before heading to Simcoe Street.

Court heard he was recruited for the home invasion by Guelph native Jesse Tucker, who had earlier met Sargeant when they were both serving time in Kingston. Tucker thought they were targeting the home of a drug trafficker and intended to steal drugs, cash and guns. The wrong home was pointed out by a local drug user.

Tucker, 27, pleaded guilty last month to the same charges and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Sargeant participated in the home invasion, which left one man clinging to life, and signed back into the halfway house six minutes before his 10:30 p.m. curfew, Speyer told Justice Bruce Durno in Guelph's Superior Court.

Court heard the trio showed up at the home of Joe Jansen and Lucas Hawdon, who were not involved in using or dealing drugs.

Between 8:30 and 9 p.m., Jansen answered the doorbell and was met by a stranger, who asked for someone who did not live in the home. When the man tried to force his way inside Jansen grabbed him and called for Hawdon's help.

The pair was confronted by two more intruders. One of these men held a sword toward Hawdon's face and forced the two men to go back into the home and lie down on the floor.

The intruders demanded to know where the drugs and cash were, to which Hawdon and Jansen insisted the men were in the wrong house. The victims' ankles and wrists were bound behind their backs and Jansen was beaten until he could no longer speak.

During the rampage, Hawdon saw the muzzle of a rifle and one of the assailants said, "Let's just kill them."

Before fleeing with some of the men's personal property, the intruders removed the home's phones as the victims lay unconscious on the floor.

When Hawdon awoke, he cut his hands free with a steak knife from the kitchen and then checked on his friend, who was unresponsive and lying with his head in a pool of blood. He was having trouble breathing and sometimes not breathing at all.

Jansen was airlifted to a Toronto hospital where he was admitted in critical condition. He had sustained a severe brain injury and severe chest trauma, including two punctured lungs, as well as serious facial injuries that required seven metal plates to be inserted into his face and head.

He was in a coma for several weeks and spent more than five months in hospital.

During Tucker's plea hearing last month, court heard Jansen had begun job retraining with his employer, a local Linamar company.

But yesterday his father, Bill Jansen, testified he met recently with representatives of Linamar and a company monitoring his son's progress.

Bill Jansen said his son's training program has been cancelled because company officials do not believe he can do his job due to short-term memory loss.

"His short-term memory deficiency is a life sentence that severely handicaps all his future potential," Bill Jansen said.

Durno was asked to accept a 19-year sentence jointly suggested by Speyer and defence counsel Philip Klumak.

The prosecutor noted Sargeant has been in prison since 1998 for various crimes of violence, including a 20-month sentence for an aggravated assault in Kitchener in 2006.

In the Kitchener incident, Sargeant was also a federal inmate serving the balance of his sentence under community supervision.

In asking Durno to accept the unprecedented sentence, Speyer said the focus must be on protecting the public as Sargeant has proven himself beyond rehabilitation.

Security at court was extremely tight yesterday. Sargeant's feet were shackled together and his hands were cuffed to a wide leather belt around his waist. He was brought into court by six members of the Guelph Police tactical team while another half-dozen police officers sat in the courtroom.

After the judge imposed the sentence, Sargeant offered an apology to Jansen and his parents, and Hawdon, who were seated three rows behind him. Sargeant said he has done "a lot of dumb things" in his life, "but these two men have nothing to do with the lifestyle I've lived the last 20 years.

"I understand the hatred they feel toward me," Sargeant told the judge, "because I'd feel the same way if this happened to my children."

Outside court Bill Jansen said it is difficult to feel relief with charges outstanding against a third suspect, who will be back in court later this month to set a trial date.

"We're a little closer to... hopefully putting this behind us once and for all," Bill Jansen said.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to avoid a campaign blunder

Rule #1: When planning to use a catchy slogan for your local campaign, ensure it won't come back to bite you.

Case in point... a friend in Guelph gave me a heads up on a blunder by Frank Valeriote, the local Liberal candidate in Guelph. The Liberals out there just did a big mailing, sending out their literature piece to a whole wack of homes. Their slogan, boldly printed all over the piece, says "Frank Valeriote: Putting Guelph First!"

Problem for Frank is, the slogan is not a Frank Valeriote original... you see, it appears that it was shamlessly lifted from the website of Kenneth Morgan, who ran for Guelph City council last year with the slogan "Putting Guelph First"... Kenneth owns the domains and, and runs a local affairs blog at He's also the first website you pull up when you Google the words Guelph First.

The BIGGER problem for Frank? The fact of who Kenneth Morgan is... you see, he's the President of the Guelph EDA of the Conservative Party of Canada.


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"Harper's Master Stroke"

I couldn't agree more with this analysis...
Harper's master stroke
National Post - Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tuesday 's Throne Speech was a master stroke, both as a policy blueprint and political stratagem. It enumerates a clear set of sensible priorities in five vital areas. At the same time, the speech also lures the opposition Liberals into tangles that benefit the Conservatives politically. No matter which way the speech eventually spins out -- into a full session of lawmaking on Parliament Hill or into a nationwide campaign -- it is a win-win for the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The speech's five broad themes were the economy, Canadian sovereignty, federal-provincial relations, the environment and law-and-order. On each one, the government has the Liberals over the same barrel. Opposition Leader Stephane Dion must now either convince his caucus to back policies most of them detest or force an election his party is unprepared to fight.

With their party in disarray, especially in Quebec, the Liberals would be foolish to force a national campaign now. And they seem to sense that. Reports out of Wednesday's Grit caucus meeting said just six of about 30 speakers advocated a vote of non-confidence on the Throne Speech. Mr. Dion's comments to media suggest he, too, is gun-shy.

But in order to keep the Tories in office, the Liberals will either have to vote for environmental and military options they have repeatedly denounced in the past, or else abstain. Either option would mark an embarrassing climb-down from positions Mr. Dion has clung to passionately even before he became his party's leader.

In the Throne Speech, the Conservatives committed to lowering the GST by another percentage point as well as bringing in broad-based personal and corporate tax cuts by February's federal budget, if not sooner. Last spring, Mr. Dion said a further reduction to the GST would be a disaster. Still he seemed to parrot much of the government's line on personal and corporate cuts during a preemptive address to the Economic Club of Toronto last Thursday. Sounding remarkably like a supply-side economist, Mr. Dion insisted, rightly, that among other things "a lower corporate tax rate is a powerful weapon in the federal government's [economic] arsenal."

No party is likely to oppose the Tories' plans to expand Arctic naval patrols or build an Arctic research superstation to enhance our northern sovereignty. But on crime, Afghanistan and the environment, Mr. Dion and his charges will have a tougher time finding common ground with Mr. Harper.

The government will seek a two-year extension to Canada's mission in Afghanistan, from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Dion has pandered so aggressively to the left wing of his party (and to potential NDP and Green voters), it is hard to see a credible way out for him on this file. He has demanded on several occasion that we stay to the end of our mandate in February, 2009, but not a minute longer.

The same goes for the environment. The Throne Speech ends the charade of Canada trying to meet its unrealistic Kyoto emission targets. Instead, it commits the government to working toward economically sensible alternatives to reduce our so-called carbon footprint, alongside other large-scale industrial emitters. But Mr. Dion has been Kyoto's most dedicated champion among Western leaders. He has accused the Tories of presiding over the destruction of the climate by not honouring Kyoto. How can he now keep a straight face and back a Throne Speech that tramples every bit of his earlier rhetoric?

But Mr. Dion's greatest troubles may be on law-and-order. Here, the Throne Speech promised to reintroduce five bills that died on the order paper when Parliament was prorogued -- bills that would make it easier to keep violent criminals in jail, make it harder for gun-crime suspects to win bail, and establish mandatory prison terms for gun crimes. It was his Senate caucus -- over which Mr. Dion has little control -- that obstructed the Tories' crime agenda. Even if his Commons caucus passes it again, Mr. Dion may still find himself explaining to voters why his party is compromising their safety.

In short, the Tories hit one well over the fence with this speech, and have left their opponents scrambling to retrieve the ball.

© National Post 2007

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"Nowhere to go but up"?

Some have been surmising that with the numbers that the Liberals are polling in Quebec, they have nowhere else to go but up.

I, for one, disagree... with continued statements like this, I'm sure they're going to be able to give a whole new definition to the concept of "rock bottom".
However, some members of the party's Quebec wing were far from confident yesterday that Hervieux-Payette's arrival will be the tonic the party needs.

"He can change all the Quebec lieutenants he wants, but the problem is him," said one Liberal who supported Dion in the leadership race but no longer believes he has the skills needed to lead the party.

"He can move the chairs around on the deck of the Titanic, but that's not really going to solve our problem in Quebec."
OUCH!!! With the upcoming Omnibus bill on crime, and other likely Confidence votes, I can hear them now... "ICEBURG, DEAD AHEAD!!!"

Mr. Dion, you should have gone with your gut and called an election...

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Laughter is great medicine

We tried giving loads of it to Dion yesterday, while he so valiantly tried to swallow the bitter pill...
Tory laughter rains down on Dion
Oct 17, 2007 06:28 PM

OTTAWA – They call laughter the kiss of death in politics – and the smooches rained down upon Stephane Dion from the Conservative benches today.

By the time he finished a 45-minute speech in which he declared he would not bring down the government, the Liberal leader was deluged with derisive guffaws.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined in as his troops chuckled openly at Dion. The laughter first erupted when Dion declared that the Liberal party was tough on crime.

The mockery grew louder as Dion launched into a lengthy defence of his record on climate change while lambasting the Tories' abandonment of the Kyoto accord.

Dion persisted without acknowledging his opponents, who by this time were gobsmacked by a case of the mass giggles. It was so widespread at one point that even Michael Ignatieff – the Liberals' deputy leader who sits right next to Dion – cupped his face to stifle a laugh.

But Dion plodded ahead.

He did it in English that was sometimes stilted enough to prompt barbed heckles from his opponents.

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Dion's position on Speech from the Throne

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so...

(so much for it being a "hyper-Conservative platform", Mr. Dion...)

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Mr. Harper could issue the finishing blow

Here's an easy way for Mr. Harper to ensure that Dion and the Liberals finally face the music for their years of innaction, continued yesterday via their embarrasing backdown from the brink of an election...

As per the Throne Speech, introduce a very short Bill, officially repealing the previously passed Bill C-288, the Liberal's "Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act". As indicated by the Throne Speech, the targets are unachieveable, therefore, the Bill has now become redundant.

It has the beauty of NOT officially withdrawing from Kyoto, but boxing the Liberals into withdrawing their own legislation that they managed to pass with much fanfare earlier this year.

Then watch them squirm. Of course, this would be an item of Confidence.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dion vs. Iggy

CP photographer Tom Hanson snapped the PERFECT picture today, which was posted on, of Dion's backdown from the brink of an election... and I couldn't resist putting some appropriate thought bubbles on it...

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Harper drops the gloves

Mr. Harper has just drawn a line in the sand for Mr. Dion, and made our expectations clear, that if he passes the Throne Speech, we expect the following...

1) That this new Crime Bill, Bill C-2, is to be passed within a reasonable timeframe

2) That due to their delay of our previous bills, THIS bill will be considered a matter of Confidence

3) As this is important legislation that has been long demanded by Canadians, we will not be accepting any ammendments to the Bill

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Dealing with Gun Crime

I really don't get the opposition to our position on guns, when the Opposition keeps on saying they want guns banned... if you're EVER caught carrying a gun, you go away for a good long while.

What's to oppose with that? They say there's no reason to have a gun... we say there's no reason to be carrying a gun, EVER.

Simple, right? At least I thought so.

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PM zinger on the Bloc

Harper: "Canada has never been more united than it has been under our Government."

(sound of negative heckles from the Bloc)

Harper, ad libbing: "We know the Bloc's not happy, but that's the idea."



Dion may have just goofed

Dion just proposed a couple of ammendments to the Speech from the Throne.

However, the way they've been put forward by Mr. Dion, he may have inadvertantly set in motion a series of events that could precipitate an election.

If Jack Layton is smart, and the other Opposition parties support the Liberal ammendments, Mr. Harper can turn around and ask the GG for dissolution... because their Speech has been in essence, defeated by the Opposition.

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Translation of Dion's Speech

Dion: "Canadians don't want another election right now"

Translation: "I'd be so freaking doomed if I pulled the plug, that I'll go along with this totally right-wing agenda... just to save my skin."

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Dion about to speak in the House

Just past 3:15pm, and Dion is due to speak any moment...

3:38pm - Dion is on his feet...

3:40pm - Based on his opening, attacking the Conservatives, saying how bad things would be if we had a majority, I don't think there's going to be an election.

3:41pm - "Canadians don't want an election right now"... man, here he goes, over the top, "their ultra-conservative right wing agenda"... pu-leeze...

Well, it's over... Dion's "leadership", that is. He's going to get ripped to shreds by the media and the NDP. The bloodletting will continue.

But, no worries... thanks for your help keeping our good government alive, and allowing us to continue with our agenda, Mr. Dion!

3:46pm - Wow... his speech is really amaturish! Honestly, I expected something a whole lot more intelectual, not something so overtly partisan and, well, childish.

Rick Mercer's rant last week was talking about Mr. Harper being a bully... Mr. Dion's speech just makes him look like a schoolyard wimp, trying to taunt "the bully" from the safety of the teacher's skirt!

4:13pm - Dion is still going, but who knows why... he keeps talking about how horrible all the things the Conservatives have done are, all the while, refusing to do anything about it by removing the Government... which is in his power to do.

Mr. Dion, if we're so bad, then why are you abdicating your responsiblity in defeating this supposedly bad government?

Because you're "Not a Leader", that's why... you won't even stand up for what you SAY you believe. For shame.


4:18pm - Dion just proposed a couple of ammendments, and in the way they've been put forward, if Layton is smart, Dion may have just given Mr. Harper his election after all... if the other Opposition parties will support the ammendments, and they pass, Mr. Harper can turn around and ask the GG for dissolution, because their Speech has been in essence, defeated by the Opposition.

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Dion keeping cards close to his chest

CTV is reporting that Dion is not even telling his own MP's what he plans to do about the Throne Speech... he did not indicate to them during their caucus meeting what he intends to do.

My guess? We're going to the polls.

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D-Day: Dion Day

One Liblogger (and there may be others) has got it right on... today is D-Day for Dion. This Liblogger has some tough words for Mr. Dion today.
"It's D-Day

This is the day that Stephane Dion either shows he's got the guts to lead or simply confirms that he is what he's appeared to be ever since he got the leadership - hapless and ineffectual.

Dion should have been able to come out swinging against the throne speech when it mattered - yesterday. That's when Harpo's agenda was scoring air time. Today, when Dion finally unveils his response, it's old news - stale. All he's done is, yet again, undercut himself.

What in Harper's fearmongering crime bill proposal or his rejection of Kyoto or his Afghanisnam 2011 nonsense was so surprising that Dion couldn't have slammed them yesterday when it mattered?

"For my money, Dion had better pull something powerful out of his hat today or accept that he's unable or unwilling to actually lead a national party and hand the job to someone who wants it enough to do it.

This is D-Day, Dion Day."
And people wonder why we've been trying to drill the "Not a Leader" tagline into people's heads... when you see his fellow Liberals asking the same question, you know you've made your point.

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Choice words for Dion... OUCH!

The National Post's Don Martin has some choice words for Dion today... "Only fear driven by unprincipled self-preservation will keep the Liberals from triggering Canada’s third election inside of five years now as the Conservatives drive a new uncompromising agenda forward." ... "The inconvenient truth behind his Throne Speech predicament is that Mr. Dion must either vote to save the planet or save his political a**. Half measures, desperate hair-splitting and voting shenanigans by the Liberals only justify public cynicism about his party as a band of quivering opportunists interested in keeping their MP paycheques."
Dion's choice: Save the planet, or save his political a**
Don Martin, National Post
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2007

OTTAWA -- Only fear, driven by unprincipled self-preservation, will keep the Liberals from triggering Canada's third election inside of five years now as the Conservatives drive a new uncompromising agenda forward.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper baited an election hook Tuesday to reel the floundering Liberals into a campaign they seem doomed to lose badly as their organizational meltdown continues.

It's only one paragraph in a 16-page Speech from the Throne full of the usual rah-rah rhetoric and resurrected tax cut and crime-fighting promises, but one key point forces Liberal leader Stephane Dion into a policy box shaped like a credibility coffin.

Kyoto -- the international greenhouse gas reduction treaty, not Mr. Dion's gas-generating pet dog -- is dead in Canada. Finally.

"Canada's emissions cannot be brought to the level required under the Kyoto Protocol within the compliance period, which begins on January 1, 2008, just 77 days from now," Mr. Harper wrote.

That acknowledgment makes us the first country in the world to engage a de facto retreat from ratified treaty obligations to reduce greenhouse gases below 1990 levels.

To spare his ailing party from a campaign disaster that would be marked by leadership disarray and party disorganization, the former environment minister now has to support the effective dismantling of a signature Liberal government accomplishment.

Yes, yes, there's the plan to float a symbolic opposition, giving just enough Liberal MPs a voting day off to ensure they don't push the government into an election.

But with the New Democrats testosteroned into the deluded belief they would be the big winner of any fall election, and the Bloc Quebecois believing they have to fight now or face annihilation in Quebec, the dirty job of propping up the government belongs exclusively to the Liberals.

The inconvenient truth behind his Throne Speech predicament is that Mr. Dion must either vote to save the planet or save his political ass. Half measures, desperate hair-splitting and voting shenanigans by the Liberals only justify public cynicism about his party as a band of quivering opportunists interested in keeping their MP paycheques.

Lest we forget, Kyoto still enjoys sacred cow status in public opinion and it was the Liberals whose MP successfully sponsored a bill last spring forcing the government to draft a plan to meet the Kyoto targets.

To accept the Speech from the Throne as an approved government agenda is to agree one of the party's few policy successes is an unattainable farce. It would deliver a hard, if not fatal, hit on the credibility of a leader whose claim to political integrity and personal honesty are his greatest, if not only, strengths.

Let's assume Mr. Dion can somehow fudge the Throne Speech vote and argue it was necessary to prevent Canadians from an unwanted election. There are plenty of other election tripwires in the speech.

The anti-terrorism measures vilified by the Liberals will be brought back.

A package of justice measures under the umbrella of a Tackling Violent Crime bill includes moves the Liberals argued strongly against. And there was barely a mention of Liberal social justice issues, child care or health care.

The Liberals cannot become a rollover Opposition for long. At most they have two surrender-monkey acts to perform to keep the government in business before they become a Liberal laughingstock.

If they continue to cave to Mr. Harper's will, it means the Prime Minister is entering a period of considerable agenda-imposing influence.

With the economy roaring, the dollar soaring and favourable polling numbers firming up in majority territory, the Prime Minister will undoubtedly remain hawkish about imposing his minority will on a majority opposition.

And if he gets a free hand to govern in such commanding style, well, the longer he plays a real prime minister the more difficult it is to imagine a pretender like Dion in the job.

As a student of political history, Mr. Harper knows there's never been an election triggered by these vague Throne Speech mission statements. And the four minority governments that have fallen by their own hand have posted an unenviable record of just one victory versus three defeats.

But none of those minority governments were in such robust ascendancy while facing such a hapless opponent in the middle of a prolonged period of bad and worse news.

If there's an election sooner, at least the Liberals can argue they took a principled stand on key issues against a prime minister who was trying to bully his agenda through Parliament.

If they force an election later, after regular bouts of white-flagged capitulation, people will see them as timid and perhaps overcome their fears of the Conservatives as majority rulers.

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Former Dion adviser in the PMO

Now this is interesting. Dispite what people may hear from the Liberal talking heads, Mr. Harper has managed to create a rather large tent... we even have a former NDP MP working for us. (of course, she's working for the Government, not US directly, as in the CPC)

CTV also put this statement out there last night, which I find rather interesting...
During a morning caucus meeting to discuss how they should respond to the throne speech, sources said only six of 30 speakers said Liberals should vote against the speech and topple the government.

But insiders say that Dion himself, despite receiving virtually unanimous advice to the contrary, is hawkish about forcing an election. He fears his reputation as a champion of the environment and progress he's made wooing Green and other left-wing voters will be seriously hurt if Liberals don't vote against Harper's anti-Kyoto message.
The one thing that keeps running through my head is that if Dion doesn't stand against the Speech, he'll lose even more credibility... so much so, that he may never recover. I've been seriously wondering if he'll simply choose to roll the dice, and take his chances before the electorate, hoping that the team will rally to his defence behind him.

I'm sure that Dion knows that if something dramatic doesn't happen, his days are numbered. So maybe he's been having his people lower expectations, keeping the door open just a crack, so that he can attempt to show some dramatic leadership, and take a firm stand against Mr. Harper and the Speech from the Throne.

Quite frankly, it's likely his best shot he's got at keeping his job... and he knows it.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Throne Speech Leak

A copy of the Throne Speech has been obtained by the Canadian Press. (just in time for the evening news... I don't think that was a leak)

The second point is coming off the GST... I figured this would be in there, as it's a great way to remind the voters that THIS Government is one that keeps it's promises.


Garth's Webpoll - Stay, or pull the plug?

Garth Turner is running an unscientific poll on what people think the Liberals should do...
Below is a poll asking you to vote, as if you were an MP. Please take a moment to do so, since I will be sharing these results with other MPs prior to the motion being put in the House. Here are the results this far, to 11 pm Eastern, Monday October 15th.

(a) Pull the plug on the government – 56%
(b) Support the government, avoid an election – 21%
(c) Abstain from voting – 20%

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Another election scenario

What if the NDP proposed an ammendment to the Throne Speech to reintroduce Bill C-30, the Opposition ammended version of the Clean Air Act? You know... the one the Liberals supposedly support?

If Jack really wants to embarrass Dion and force his hand, that's the way to do it.

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Second Peek at Speech from the Throne

I'm sure that Senate Reform is going to be mentioned... why else would he ensure that Canada's second elected Senator would be in the Red Chamber to hear the Speech tonight?

October 16, 2007
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today congratulated long-time Senate reform advocate Bert Brown after he was sworn in as Canada’s second elected Senator. Senator Brown follows in the steps of the Honourable Stan Waters who was elected by the people of Alberta in 1989, and appointed by the former Conservative government of the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney.

“Bert has been a passionate advocate for democratization of the Senate for more than 20 years,” Prime Minister Harper said. “I can think of no one more deserving of a seat in our Upper House. As the only sitting Senator endorsed by voters, he will be a powerful voice for reform from the inside.”

Senator Brown, a Calgary zoning and property development consultant, has been waiting for this day for nearly a decade. First elected in Alberta’s Senate Nominee election in 1998, he was re-elected by more than 300,000 voters in the province’s next Senate election of 2004. “By appointing me, Prime Minister Harper has demonstrated his genuine commitment to democratic reform of the Senate,” said Senator Brown.

The Prime Minister noted that two Senate reform bills introduced last session, one to allow Canadians to vote for Senators and another to limit their terms to eight years, were stalled in the House or blocked by the Liberal majority in the Senate. Prime Minister Harper emphasized however, that the Government is committed to Senate reform and will not abandon these important reforms in the upcoming session.

“The mandate to govern, when it is given to you directly by the people, is a great honour and a great responsibility. It’s the very essence of responsible government, and it is the minimum condition of 21st century democracy,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The swearing-in of Senator Brown today reflects our government’s conviction that Canadians must have a direct say in who will represent them in the Red Chamber. If the Liberal majority in the Senate persist in obstructing reform, they will fade ever further into irrelevance and, eventually, oblivion.

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First Peek at themes in the Speech

Interesting what I just found on the Parliamentary website...
Order Paper
No. 1
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
6:35 p.m.


Order of Business

Introduction of Government Bills

No. 1
October 14, 2007 — The Minister of Justice — Bill entitled “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make consequential amendments to other Acts”.

No. 2
October 14, 2007 — The Minister of Public Safety — Bill entitled “An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act”.

Recommendation Recommandation (Pursuant to Standing Order 79(2))
Her Excellency the Governor General recommends to the House of Commons the appropriation of public revenue under the circumstances, in the manner and for the purposes set out in a measure entitled “An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (certificate and special advocate) and to make a consequential amendment to another Act”.
Anyone able to offer any interpretation? No. 1 I can figure out, that will contain some of the Criminal Code ammendments we want to make, but No. 2 really got my attention... anyone have any idea what changes to the Immigration Act are coming down the pipes?

Perhaps related to the anti-terror provisions the Liberals struck down earlier this year? Humm, didn't Bob Rae, the new Foreign Affairs Critic, support retaining those provisions the Liberals defeated? Just wondering...

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