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.

Monday, April 28, 2008

EC: "The ads were 'local' ads"

An interesting quote came up today that gives further weight to the Conservative case regarding their election ads... and the quote comes from Elections Canada itself, ironicly.

This quote was brought forward by CPC MP Pierre Poilievre, from the Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 36th General Election, regarding the criteria used to identify what consistutes a "local" ad during the 1997 election...
"The criteria applied to determine whether specific advertisements were to be accepted for broadcast were the identity of the sponsor and that of the body or person invoiced. The content of the advertisements accepted was subject only to the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Charter."

Report of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada on the 36th General Election
Pg 91-92
The preceding quote was regarding the striking down of Section 213 of the Election Act in 1997, which opened the door for local candidates to air ads during the national blackout window on the day before and Election Day itself.

What was the criteria used to determine if an ad was "local"?

"the identity of the sponsor [via the taglines] and that of the body or person invoiced. The content of the advertisements accepted was subject only to the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Charter."

What was that? A "local" ad was identified by 1) the sponsor, and 2) who paid for it? Interesting... because if I recall, that's exactly what the Conservatives have been saying all along. Add to that the fact that the ads were aired in their local markets.

So, what does this mean? Well, it means that Elections Canada has changed their definition of a "local" ad. And as such, it means that Elections Canada may be applying a new set of criteria on the Conservative Party of Canada, a new criteria that they would have been completely unaware of during the 2006 election campaign.

So, back in 1997, before they changed the way they interpret the law, they said that a local ad was identified by the sponsor and who paid for it, and that the content of the advertisement was irrelevant, so long as it was in line with the Charter.

So, in light of recent events here's a few important questions...

1) Why is Elections Canada imposing on the Charter Rights, namely freedom of speech, of members of the Conservative Party of Canada by judging the perfectly acceptable content of their ads?

2) When and why did Elections Canada change the way they identify the sponsor by judging the content of a Party's advertisement instead of the taglines, which are there for that very purpose?

3) Why, since they have changed the way they themselves interpret the legislation, has Elections Canada chosen to hold only the Conservative Party of Canada to this new standard?

4) Since this is a change in the way EC determines the sponsor of an ad by judging the content, why did they choose to publicly embarass the Conservative Party of Canada by calling in the RCMP, when the only issue at hand was a change in the way they themselves identify a local vs. a national ad?

Any thoughts on that Jason?

Just asking the questions that need to be asked. Feel free to leave your own answers to these very important questions.

UPDATE: The Globe & Mail is now also reporting this story.

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Solving problems, not banning guns

A very worthwhile article in today's Toronto Star about Chicago's failed gun ban... and the alternative solutions that are being tested that seem to be having a postive effect.

A solution, which ironically, is similar to a policy proposal that I put forward for review for the Conservative Convention coming up in November.

And folks on the left generally think I don't care. Actually guys, and gals, I do listen to your feedback... and in this case, am trying to do something positive about it. So, thanks for your comments.

Stay tuned over the next few months, and we'll see where things go.

h/t to Liberty is Good for the TorStar story.


"Time's up John. You're done"

You know, Warren's not often wrong when it comes to these things. He says, "Time's up John. You're done."

Many of us in the Party are still waiting for the phone to ring, Mr. Tory. Time may not be up quite yet, but I'll say this... it's quickly running out for guys like me.

Your move.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Union Votes to Cripple Toronto

Wow... the TTC union membership has decided to walk out, after union members rejected management's generous contract offer.

It's a real interesting situation, if you think about it... on the one hand, we're trying to encourage more folks to use public transit... meanwhile, a very small group of individuals are able to maintain a stranglehold on that public system.

I think the union made a bad move on this one... there's gonna be a whole lot of ticked off Torontonians.

UPDATE: Wow... looks like some TTC drivers tossed riders out on the street at the stroke of midnight.

Real classy guys... and a sure-fire way to ensure most of Toronto DOESN'T take your side.

Looks like I'm not the only one... view the whole election financing issue the way I do.

The Tories might have a point ...
John Robson - The Ottawa Citizen
Friday, April 25, 2008

In the battle pitting the federal Conservatives against Elections Canada, the opposition and the press, a typical Ottawa competition to see who can perform most discreditably, my money was on the Tories. Until I made a crucial blunder: I did research.

The key issue is whether the Conservative party, in the last election, could donate money to riding associations to purchase advertisements very similar to national ones without those ads being counted against national campaign spending and putting the party over the national legal spending limit. It was, at least to begin with, a dispute not about facts but about how to interpret the law.

At this point I foolishly read what I hope were all the relevant sections of the 500-plus page Canada Elections Act. Here, in unavoidable legalese, is what I found.

The Act does set separate spending limits for registered parties (clause 422.1) and for their candidates (clauses 440 and 441). But Clause 422 (2) lets parties give money to local candidates and not count it as "an election expense..." So the key question is whether those candidates can spend that or any other money, up to their local limit, on what is essentially national advertising. And the crucial Clause 407 (1) defines an "election expense" as "any cost incurred, or non-monetary contribution received, by a registered party or a candidate, to the extent that the property or service for which the cost was incurred, or the nonmonetary contribution received, is used to directly promote or oppose a registered party, its leader or a candidate during an election period." What in there says local spending must happen locally or concern local issues? I see nothing.

Of course the courts might not agree with my interpretation. Or they may say the Tories did a legal thing but in a carelessly illegal way; one Liberal staffer suggested to me that the central problem was that local candidates did not technically "incur" the costs in question. Even if true, that claim hardly justifies Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc's reference to "an Enron-style accounting practice" at a Thursday press conference.

If recent allegations of document-tampering are substantiated, it's a whole different matter. But my legal opinion, worth what you paid for it less the cost of this newspaper, is that the Tories are right, even if too clever by half, on the initial issue.

It has been suggested that this dispute reflects hostility between Elections Canada and the prime minister going back to his former life as libertarian head of the National Citizens' Coalition, waging court battles against what the coalition (rightly, in my view) called election "gag laws."

But if so, it doesn't prove the primary fault lies with the Tories. I want a court to rule whether the dramatic police raid on Conservative party headquarters was necessary. And I'd certainly like to know how not only journalists but Liberal staffers heard of it in time to film it.

Especially because former Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley took a strangely vocal role in policy debates for the head of an organization that, as part of the executive not the legislative branch of government, is supposed to enforce laws not create them. Liberal MP Ken Dryden wrote in the Toronto Star on Wednesday that the Tory financing scheme "isn't what Elections Canada intended" and that "Elections Canada set national and local limits" because it "intended that national spending be for national purposes, and local spending for local purposes..." as if it, not Parliament, had created the Canada Elections Act. Then Mr. Dryden waved away the Tory position because "Elections Canada has ruled that for advertising to be considered local, it must directly promote that local candidate or oppose his or her opponent...," as if the centuries-old struggle to keep the executive branch from creating law and acting as judge in its own case had recently been quietly and benignly settled in favour of Charles I.

Mr. Dryden in his article and Mr. LeBlanc in his press conference both cited the Canada Elections Act provision that you cannot do indirectly what is expressly prohibited directly. OK. But it cannot be read as a Phantom of the Paradise style "All clauses that are excluded shall be deemed to be included" provision. If the Act does not directly forbid local candidates buying national ads, it does not indirectly forbid it either.

The Tories responded to this ruckus in a manner at once paranoid and juvenile and it worked about as well as you'd expect. But it doesn't mean there's anything scandalous in their challenging a technical Elections Canada ruling in court, even if they ultimately lose.

Besides, on my reading of the law, they might win.

John Robson's column appears weekly.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008

Amazing high school video project

A young friend of mine, along with a couple of classmates, just won a video competition at an area high school. Take a look... it's a fantastic "Stop motion" video. The stop motion portion doesn't start until the 2:20 mark, but the first two minutes sets the background for the story.

It's amazing what you can create with just a little technology these days! Way better than anything we put together in our Communications class back in high school!

Well done! A+


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Why McGuinty is so popular

He actually listens to local issues, and deals with them.

(Don't get me wrong... I really wish he wasn't in power right now.  He lied to us, and his tax increases cost me more than all of the reductions I received during the supposedly horrible Harris years... sigh...)

The issue of water taking has been a big one in the KW area, with Nestle holding permits to take up to 4.7 million litres of water PER DAY (that's 9.4 million of those little bottles, for which they typically sell for a buck a piece) from the local aquifers... essentially FOR FREE, presently only having to pay their own costs, with no compensation to the province or the local economy.

Now, you all know I'm no eco-nut, but even I can see that this isn't sustainable.  Personally, I think it's unethical... making a huge profit on a vital resource that costs them nothing.  I'm all for capitalism, but I recognize that we need to be responsible with what we've been blessed with.

Therefore, I say it's about time that Mr. McGuinty stepped up on this file.  Charging a nominal fee for the water is more than reasonable.  In fact, I think that the McGuinty government should have reduced the amount that Nestle is authorized to draw... a position which is held by many on the both the right and the left in the Tri-Cities area.

So, I have to begrudgingly tip my hat to the Premier on this move... he's got my support on it.

For the record... it's moves like this that will ensure that Mr. Tory will never be Premier of this province.  (that, and the fact that Mr. Tory and his people arrogantly refused to listen to the 33.1% of us who are still sitting on the sidelines... but that's another story.  By the way John, you still haven't taken me up on my offer... you've got my number, call me)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Liberal President steps down for health reasons

This is one of those rare occasions where partisanship should be put aside by all... Liberal Party President Senator Marie Poulin has tendered her resignation to Mr. Dion beacause of personal health issues.

I too wish her a speedy recovery.

(no link on the Liberal website yet, but the text was posted by Morton, who gets the hat tip on this one)
Statement by Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion on the Resignation of Liberal Party President Senator Marie Poulin

Date: April 22, 2008
For release: Immediate

It is with great regret that I have accepted Senator Marie Poulin's resignation as National President of the Liberal Party of Canada due to health concerns.

Since being elected President of the Party in December 2006, she has presided over one of the most profound renewals in Party history. Thanks to her professionalism and passion for Liberal values, she was able to foster a fundamental grassroots shift in the Liberal Party's culture. Only the second woman President in Liberal Party's history, Senator Poulin's legacy also includes an open and personable approach to communications with Party members, officials and Canadians.

On behalf of the entire Liberal family, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to my friend and colleague for her dedication and service to the Liberal Party. I wish her a full and speedy recovery.
For more information, please contact:
Liberal Party of Canada Press Office
Daniel Lauzon
(613) 783-8403

James Morton
1100 - 5255 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
M2N 6P4

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Interesting story in the Hill Times

This weeks "The Hill Times" has an interesting story on Page 39... interesting because it's following up on the very same question I asked last week, about the timing of the departure of two former MP's and senior staffers from the OLO. (and as far as I recall, I was the only blogger to report on this particular angle)

No, I'm not accusing anyone of lifting the idea for the story from this blog... but I do find this quote rather interesting...
"After the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, the OLO, issued a press release last week announcing the departure of Ms. Torsney and Ms. Bakopanos, some political observers speculated in private conversations that this could be an indication that the leader was ready to pull the plug as both OLO political aides are former Liberal MPs and both will be running as Liberal candidates in the next federal election. The speculation grew even more after the national media reported that all Liberal MPs in the weekly caucus meeting on Wednesday posed with the leader for TV commercials."
I happen to know that my blog is read by a few people up there on the Hill... could one of my readers have been the one who started the speculation the author overheard? Either that, or else I'm just on the same wavelength as a bunch of them up there.

Just an interesting observation, that's all. As you were.


Earth Day Post

I walked to work today... like I do most days. You know, just doing my part.

Oh, and my car passed my Drive Clean test with flying colours the other day, WELL below all the emission benchmarks.

Oh yea, and I turned out the lights when I left the room. My footprint is pretty small today... as it is most days.

That's all.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Liberals Abandon Guelph"

OH SNAP... this is hilarious! A buddy of mine in Guelph sent this link to me, with the associated pic...

Dion: "Where'd Guelph's MP go? I dunno!"

Liberals Abandon Guelph

(it's based on a story in the local paper about former Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain's sudden and unexplained retirement)

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Not quite dead yet

Just in time to end off the week... and just in case some Liberals had gotten a little to giddy about this week's events...
Former top Liberal organizer charged with fraud
Last Updated: Friday, April 18, 2008 | 11:45 AM ET
CBC News

The former executive director of the Liberal party's Quebec wing has been arrested and charged with defrauding his party.

Benoit Corbeil has been charged with influence peddling, fraud and conspiracy against the party and the federal government between 1997 and 2000.
h/t to Darryl

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

UPDATE: New Liberal hints for a June election

CONFIRMED: See update below for Scott Tribe's two cents, which seems to confirm the Liberal game plan... the Liberals plan to send us to the polls in June.

Thanks to reader Alan, who caught this one... the two Liberal aides who left Dion's office yesterday are former Liberal MP's who were defeated in the 2006 election... Eleni Bakopanos and Paddy Tornsey. (story originally burried deep in this Globe & Mail article today)

If the Liberals have indeed decided that they are going to take us down, it would make the most sense for them to leave now to begin campaigning full time in an effort to regain their seats. However, it also makes sense that they wouldn't be leaving their posts in the OLO unless then knew FOR SURE that the House was going to fall... hence, it looks like the chances of a June election are well above the 80% mark in my books.

It really looks like the real thing this time folks... unless of course, as I surmised earlier today, Jack Layton and the NDP pull out some procedural move designed to further weaken Dion's image... which isn't beyond the realm of possibilities.

UPDATE: The National Post weighs in on the issue of a June election, reporting that some MP's really want to go now, while Dion and his team have some reasons to wait. (a bit of a reversal it seems)

CONFIRMATION UPDATE II: Scott Tribe has confirmed part of the theory, that indeed one of the two former MP's, by her own admission, has stepped down in part to focus on campaigning...
At Thu Apr 17, 12:17:00 PM EDT, Scott Tribe said…

Alan is correct, in at least Paddy's case. I have it on very good authority (from Paddy herself) that she was released on purpose to concentrate on the Burlington riding. She also was getting tired of commuting to Ottawa from Burlington all the time.
So, I'll repeat my theory... she decided to bail now because she knows the election is just weeks away, and she wants to spend those few weeks campaigning full time.

One little line, buried deep within a Globe & Mail article, and it looks like the Liberal's game plan has been leaked and now confirmed.

That's it folks... unless someone pulls a rabbit out of their hat, we're going to the polls in June.

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June election? But "What if...?"

Everyone seems to be convinced that we're going into a June election. I think so as well, as there are so many things that seem to be lining up to make it happen.

So, that having been said, I just thought I'd throw a "What If..." into the mix.

What if Jack Layton's NDP throws a monkey wrench into the Liberal's plans?

Stop and think about it for a second... with the Liberals seeming to get a jump in the polls recently, what incentive does Jack's team have for siding with Dion? It actually makes a whole lot more sense for the NDP to find a way to keep the government alive... so that just when Dion starts acting like a "leader", Layton pulls the rug out from under his feet, and makes Mr. Dion once again look completely impotent. Even when he can manage to make up his mind on an issue, he can't do anything about it anyway.

If I'm Jack, that's exactly what I'd be looking to do right about now. If I'm wanting to cleave off the left flank of the Liberal Party, I'd keep hammering away at the fact that Mr. Dion is powerless to do anything for Canadians, and try to reinforce the notion that only a stronger NDP can get things done for Canadians.

Then again, maybe Gilles is thinking the same thing, since they're looking at losing seats to us, but gaining some from the Liberals... continuing to weaken Mr. Dion is the one lifeline they have right now. Pull the rug out from under his electoral ambitions, spend the summer rebuilding support in Quebec, generate some momentum with another win or two in the upcoming Quebec by-elections, and go from there.

June 2008? Maybe. October 2009? Still entirely possible.

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Two more Dion aides are gone

Noticed this little gem about the Liberal leader's continuing woes, burried 2/3 the way into a story on the continuing Elections Canada controversy...

"As well, two of his [Doin's] senior aides, Paddy Torsney and Eleni Bakopanos, left their positions on Tuesday."

Did they leave their positions, or were they forced out, like Jamie Carrol was, by other senior Liberals? Is this yet another acknowledgement of Mr. Dion's disastrous leadership? Or is this simply another example of Liberals getting fed up and throwing in the towel?

Just asking the questions that the Liberals don't want asked.

UPDATE: A reader with more time on his hands than I have spotted something in this, that may be the strongest indication that we're going to the polls in June... both of these individuals were Liberal MP's who were defeated in the 2006 election, one by the Tories, one by the Bloc.

If they're stepping down now, it could be in order to allow them to head back and start campaigning full time... which they'd only do if they knew FOR SURE that the Liberals intended to take us down in the coming weeks.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In and Out: "unChristian"?

I've gotten some interesting personal attacks over the whole "In and Out" issue, with people calling me "unChristian" for supporting it.  Well, since I do consider myself to be a strong and faithful believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, of course I have to carefully consider the accusation, to see if there is any merit to it.

For the record, and let me be clear, I don't have an problem with the "In and Out" issue because I agree with the Conservative Party's assessment and I do not believe any wrongdoing occurred.  Period.

No laws were broken... in fact, the law was very carefully followed, as the specific legal mechanisms that were created for this sort of thing in the Elections Act were followed to the letter.  Let me break it down for you... of course, this is my own assessment of what I think happened, based on a layman's examination of the well documented facts.

In the dying days of the campaign, local campaigns bought pre-canned ads from the National Party at a fraction of the cost they could create ads for themselves.  Using the clearly defined mechanisms within the Elections Act, the National Party assisted these local campaigns by transferring funds to them with which they could buy the ads, and the associated airtime.

Now, on to the airtime... but to understand this whole issue, there's a WWII term everyone needs to reacquaint themselves with... "carpet bombing".  In order to advertise into my local market, I have to buy airtime with my local CTV affiliate.  However, in so doing, not only do I hit the City of Kitchener... I also hit Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Essex, Grey Bruce, and even over to the London area.  Now, a question for you... is that my problem?  Seriously, it only takes a second to think about and understand this concept... just because I'm hitting a ton of other ridings with my ad, when my intent is to hit my own riding, does not a scandal make.  I just consider it positive collateral damage.

Here's another example, a little closer to Jason Cherniak's heart... say I'm Byron Wilfert's campaign manager, over in Richmond Hill.  Say I want to air a last minute ad before the vote, but I'm short on money.  The Liberal Party of Canada legally transfers some cash to buy an ad.  And low and behold, they happen to have an ad that I can make use of, for less than it would cost me to make my own.  Okay I say, now what about airing this thing... which, by the way, has been reformatted to ensure that it legally identifies that it's my team that's putting it out there.  So anyway, I contact my local CTV station... which happens to be the central hub, but that's beside the point.  I buy a slot, and sit back with my beer and popcorn (not that I'm a beer drinker, mind you...) and wait for it to hit the airwaves.

In the meantime, my buddy over in Oshawa rings me up, invites me to hang out at his place.  So I drive on over there, about 45-60 minutes away, and we're watching TV.  And to my surprise, what do I see on TV?  Why, it's MY ad... seen in my riding, my buddy's riding, and, say, somewhere between 60 and 100 other ridings in the GTA.  Now, I just wanted to make sure residents in my riding saw it, so I bought airtime with a broadcaster that airs in my riding... but it just so happens that the same broadcaster, BROADLY CASTS my message to dozens upon dozens of other ridings.  I hit my target alright... with an effective WWII style carpet bombing sortie.

Now... who's to blame for that?  Certainly it's not me, right Jason?

Anyway, that's my outsider layman's examination of what happened... and why it's not something that bothers me.  Had I been involved in the campaign in my riding back in 2006, and we had had the opportunity to earn a few more percentage points by joining in with this advertising program, I probably would have... because I firmly believe that it's all perfectly legal and above board.

If it weren't firmly convinced, I wouldn't have spent the time here on my blog trying to defend it.  I'm fully open to hearing from others, and if you can convince me of any laws that have been broken, I'll change my tune.  But at the moment, I side with Mr. Harper and the Conservative Party on this one.  And as such, I don't think that it's "unChristian" in any sort of way... I think it falls more along the lines of one who acts shrewdly with what they've been given.

FULL DISCLOSURE: This post has not been written with any sort of talking points, assistance or prompting from the Conservative Party of Canada... this is all off the top of my head, with my layman's examination of the Election Act.

FULLER DISCLOSURE: Seems my above attempt at humour may have been missed by some... folks, it was just a tongue-in-cheek stab at those who accuse us BTer's of being nothing more than unofficial Party mouthpieces.  For the record, I don't get "Talking Points" from anyone.  ;-)

Kudos to the CBC for balanced reporting

Of all the media outlets, their headline for this is the most fair and balanced.
Mounties search Tory headquarters
Last Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | 12:09 PM ET
CBC News

RCMP are searching Conservative party headquarters in Ottawa on Tuesday at the request of Elections Canada.

Elections Canada spokesman John Enright confirmed that elections commissioner William Corbett requested the assistance of the Mounties to execute a search warrant, but he wouldn't say why.

At least two RCMP officers were seen in the 12th-floor party offices. One of the officers later moved to the 17th-floor mailroom.

RCMP Cpl. Jean Hainey said the Mounties were merely assisting.

"It is not an RCMP investigation. We're there to assist, but that's it."
Got that, all you foaming-at-the-mouth Libloggers? "THIS IS NOT AN RCMP INVESTIGATION."

My take? Elections Canada is grasping at straws to try and prove their "In and Out" case. It won't work, because we did nothing wrong... and the case will eventually won by our party.

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"A new Boston Tea Party"?

That's what Warren has suggested may occur if this trend continues... with our reliance on our cars, Canadians can only take so much more of these rising oil prices.

My two cents? We need to start hammering home the point to Canadians, "You think it's bad now? If you vote for Dion, just watch what happens to oil and gas prices!"

His views on Kyoto will cause the price at the pumps to soar, there's just no way around it. To raise the funds he's going to need for implementation, and in an effort to curb usage, they're going to raise fuel taxes. Add to that the fact that they're going to punish the producers in Alberta, which will also cause a spike in oil prices.

The message? Same as it was back in the days of the Boston Tea Party... overtaxation on a staple product (tea then, gas now), and an overbearing ruling class as the root cause (the British King then, Mr. Dion's Liberals now).

In other words, "The Red Coats are coming, the Red Coats are coming!"

It's time for another Revolution.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Uber cool new Microsoft Service

Ever have a file you'd like to host somewhere online, where you can get at it anywhere, anytime? How about an MP3 of some political soundbyte that you'd like to post on your blog for download?

I was in that situation last week, and stumbled across this neat little new service from Microsoft... Microsoft Live SkyDrive.

5GB of online storage... FREE. You can set up multiple folders, some for personal access, some for friends only, and some for full public access from the internet.

For example... say I wanted to offer to everyone Scott Reid's good old "Beer and Popcorn" clip... well, here you go!

Once again, Microsoft is trying to keep ahead of Google... if it means more and better services for users like you and me, then I'm all for it!


Friday, April 11, 2008

Clement: "AYE... Object..."

Gary Clement has once again captured the situation in Ottawa better than anyone else can...
h/t to Joanne


Thursday, April 10, 2008

NP: "How much longer will Liberal MPs endure this shame?"

There's only one way to describe Jonathan Kay's editorial post on Stephane Dion this afternoon... ouch.
National Post editorial on Stéphane Dion: "How much longer will Liberal MPs endure this shame?"

We could never have imagined the embarrassment that Stéphane Dion and his Liberals would be willing to endure just to avoid an election. But the spectre Wednesday of the Liberals rising en masse in the House of Commons to protect a Tory immigration bill they had implied was racist was a new low in self-inflicted humiliation even for them. It would be fair to say that whatever Mr. Dion’s bumbling, hypocritical caucus has become, it is not an Opposition.


Wednesday’s vote was double proof of how desperate the Liberals are to avoid a general election at a time when their leader is weak, their fundraising is non-existent, and their popularity in Quebec is in freefall. Not only did they vote against their core policy of the past 30 years, they risked having their vote seen by their immigrant supporters as a slap in the face after a generation of slavish pandering.

There have now been four major votes in Parliament this year in which the Liberals have contrived to keep the Tories in power — the Afghan mission, the Tories’ law-and-order bill, the budget, and now immigration. In each case, the Liberals have vehemently opposed the bill in question, and threatened an election over it, and in each case they have in the end tucked their tails between their legs and whimperingly supported the government.

How much longer will Liberal MPs endure this shame? And how much longer will even core Liberal supporters tolerate a party that refuses to oppose, even when it is clearly against the government’s major policies?

We’ll find out the next time we go to the polls — whenever that happens.

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"It's great to be a Conservative these days" II

Saw this unbelievable quote from Mr. Dion in Don Martin's article on the National Post's website today...
"I will choose my time in keeping in my mind the necessity to give to Canadians in an optimal situation the possibility to have a progressive Liberal government that will replace this bad bill by a good law and that will replace this bad government by a good government," stammered Liberal leader Stephane Dion yesterday. Um, well, you figure that out.
WOW... when reporters like Don Martin are starting to openly mock Mr. Dion, YOU KNOW HE'S IN SERIOUS TROUBLE.

In reply to my post yesterday entiteled "It's great to be a Conservative these days", reader "Rileysowner" said, "This made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I decided to watch the Rick Mercer "Liberals were adaptable" video again."

Funny, I had the same thought this morning... so, without further delay...

"Liberals - We're Adaptable"

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's great to be a Conservative these days

Harper government survives another confidence vote
The Canadian Press
April 9, 2008 at 8:07 PM EDT

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals were taunted and ridiculed by opponents as they avoided triggering an election over immigration reforms they have spent weeks denouncing in the most scathing terms.

Their opponents in government and on the other opposition benches poured scorn on the party as it allowed the Tory government to survive yet another a confidence vote in the House of Commons.


With the party's electoral organization in apparent disarray and a number of his own MPs urging him against a trip to the polls, Mr. Dion has allowed the government to survive on numerous occasions since last fall.

The Liberals have habitually abstained from confidence votes since last fall, leaving rows of empty benches which would normally be full of MPs voting against the government.

They did it when the Tories declared the Kyoto accord unattainable in September's throne speech. That speech also signalled an extension of the Afghanistan mission, which they had previously opposed.

They also abstained on the recent federal budget, which spelled the end of years' worth of large federal surpluses. The Liberals had hoped to use some of those surpluses on social programs.

Sensing their fear of an election, the Tories crammed the controversial immigration measures into the budget bill and left their foes with two unappetizing options: head into a campaign, or back down on the reforms.

Liberals argue they should only topple the government when they believe they can win an election.

Let's see... "Liberals argue they should only topple the government when they believe they can win an election".

Sorry guys, but I don't think there's enough time for you to recover before the next election... it's already scheduled for October 2009.

Protesting the Olympic Torch Run

You know all my railings against "professional protesters"? Well, this post ought to surprise some folks... I actually hope they're successful in these efforts, protesting against China's human rights record by exposing the hypocrisy of the IOC and the Games being held in China.

I was even wishing that they'd been successful in blowing out the torch in Paris. They always keep the flame going in a second secure location, so they'd be able to relight the torch, but it would be a well deserved embarrasment for the IOC.

Now, if the "professional protesters" would spend more of their time on worthy causes like this, they might actually earn my respect... rather than the scorn I typically have for them.

Anyway, looks like the EU is going to pass a motion urging member states to protest China's crackdown in Tibet by not attending the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. Also, it seems that Bush is considering skipping as well, in part perhaps due to Democratic pressure. Steve Janke threw in his two cents on what Canada should do yesterday, by suggesting that instead of an official boycott, or having Mr. Harper attend the Opening, a lower level official, MP Jason Kenney, should go instead.

But right now... rock on you guys, rock on.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

You know you're in deep...

when you're reading a fairly well known book on Canadian politics, and it mentions the name of someone that almost no one would recognize, who was involved in a fairly significant event in the Canadian political landscape... and it's someone you know pretty well.

As you were.  Enjoy this gorgeous day... it's a sunny 12 degrees here in SW Ontario.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Dumb, dumb, DUMB... and yes, for the record, I do find the remarks offensive.

The smart move?  For the sake of the Party, I think he should just walk away... there's no room for those kinds of opinions in Canadian politics.

UPDATE: Some folks think I've come out too strongly against Mr. Lukiwski. There's a reason for that. In the political realm, I get tagged as a "racist bigot" all the time... though of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Hence my strong reaction against any evidence of it in our midst... because we already have enough image problems on that front already.

All that being said, people have asked the question of forgiveness... can there be any for this MP? Of course there can be... and I think his quick response, without excuse making, may enable him to gain it. For example, there's NDP MP Bill Siksay, who was the one to raise this issue in the Commons... Lukiwski called him to personally apologize for the remarks. I'm looking for the quote, but Siksay said he accepted it and now considers the matter closed. On the other hand, Liberal MP Scott Brison hasn't... there are people form whom the apology just won't do.

In reading about this issue today, I think one of the best posts I saw was Jason Cherniak's... he could have made hay with this one, but instead, he offered some very reasoned and thoughtful points on forgiveness.

As such, I'll take more of a wait and see approach to what happens next. I think his apology was immediate and heartfelt, and many seem to agree. Do I still think he needs to walk away? I don't know now... again, let's wait and see. I think there does need to be some action take to protect the Party, perhaps moving him to the backbenches for a while will serve that purpose. But again, I think I'll wait and see.

Is this going to hurt us moving forward? I don't know... most of those who would have really been offended likely weren't going to vote for us anyway. So we're going to have to wait and see.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Everyone now... "Awwwww...."

Politicians may not be kissing babies anymore, but you gotta admit, this is one pretty cool photo of Prime Minister Harper making a connection with a future voter!

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This one's for BigCityLib

I found it kinda funny that back on the very same day that he took a public run at her, I had the opportunity to meet this very nice young lady... and wish her all the best in her efforts to win Mississauga East-Cooksville.

(for the record, I'm aware of the controversy over her nomination... and I don't think it's a big deal)

And yes... I'm aware that I look like a total geek in this pic... yikes...

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The NDP are beating Dion over the head...

...with Motions of Non-Confidence in the Government, no less.

The NDP are planning to bring forward another Motion of Non-Confidence in the Government, and the Liberals have once again announced that they intend to vote against the motion.  Which means they intend vote with us and indicate that the Conservative Government does indeed have "the Confidence of the House"... which means, in no uncertain terms, that they support the continuation of our stewardship of the nation.

But I want you to stop and think about that, really hard, for just a second... another Opposition party is attacking the Officially Absent Opposition, by expressing that they do not support the Government... and then gleefully beating the Official Opposition over the head with it when they once again stand in support of our Government.

Could you ever have even imagined such an absurd and bizarre series of events just a few years ago?  Many of us were sitting here wondering how on earth we were going to defeat the "Martin Juggernaut" and the continued Liberal dynasty... now we're left wondering how many years it's going to take the Liberals to win back 24 Sussex!

I'd like to take a moment to once again thank the Liberals for their support... my friends, these are great days to be a Conservative.

Dion's numbers are no April Fools joke

Yikes... the Toronto Star, aka "the Red Star", has put out a new set of numbers today with the the headline that I'm sure Liberals wish was an April Fools joke... "Dion's popularity sinks even lower".  That, of course, following up the story from CTV on Sunday regarding the CROP numbers in Quebec, as reported by La Presse... where the Liberals seem to be tanking in every region.

Did anyone even think that was possible?  We've been hearing over and over again, "The more Canadians see him, the more they'll like him" from Liberals all across the board.  Now?  I'll bet they're wishing they'd gone for an election over the Throne Speech... or the Budget... or Afghanistan, or pretty much ANYTHING else.  Everyone thought they'd finally hit bottom... until they figured out how to plumb the depths even further!