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.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Liberal Convention 09: Delegates issued N-95 masks

I think today's editoral cartoon in the Vancouver Sun sums things up really well, regarding the lack of "grassroots" input at this weekend's crowning of King Iggy...

Sometimes, you just have to legislate against stupidity

When I first heard about it, I ranted and raved (offline, I didn't post about it) against McGuinty's plan to ban cell phone use in the car. As a local politico, and as an IT guy who gets support calls, I was annoyed that the government was going to implement such a ban. I mean, I talk on my cell in the car all the time, and I've very cautious and careful to pay extra attention when I'm doing so. I figured this was just another instance of the "Nanny State" interfering in the lives of it's citizens, so naturally, I was opposed to it.

Then, over the last two or three weeks, something most unusual has happened... I've actually become a SUPPORTER of the new "distracted driving" law. Why, you may ask? It's quite simple, really... sometimes, when the average person around you won't govern their own conduct appropriately, you DO have to legislate common sense.

No kidding, these last three weeks, I've seen some of the most idiotic people all around me, on their phones, barely paying attention at all while driving. Like the moron in the maroon F-150 on the 401 the other day, yacking on the phone, obviously looking for some paperwork on his passenger seat, while drifting over into my lane. Or the girl behind me at the red light, head back, staring at the roof, twirling her hair, not even paying attention to anything else around us. Or the guy puttering along on the major road, holding up traffic while gabbing away, gesturing with his hands too. Seriously, it's like just in this last few weeks, a new crop of cell phones have suddenly grown out of people's ears. And I've seen more people doing really dumb things while on their phones in the last three weeks than I've seen in the last three years.

I'm not a fan of government intervention, when all that's really required is for people to use some common sense. But when I see people refusing to use common sense, and it's putting the rest of us in jeopardy, then I don't have an issue with legislating it.

Besides... I caved and got a Bluetooth, so I'm good. (and don't forget... I'm NOT a Libertarian)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

MP Bill Casey resigns

Former Tory MP Bill Casey has resigned his seat to take on a new position on behalf of Nova Scotia, in the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs' Ottawa office .

It was my hope that he would one day rejoin the fold, but perhaps this is for the best. A by-election will be called for the seat within the next six months.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Randy Hillier... just not worth the risk

I had initially been opposed to Randy Hillier winning the leadership before, but after talking to him personally, and with the start of the "official" leadership race, I figured I'd at least give him a chance.

Not anymore... my opposition to his leadership run just went to a whole new level.

There's no way I could ever support someone who supports the American style attitude of allowing beer to be sold on virtually every street corner. We have enough problems with alcohol in this country even with the level of government control and regulation we have in place here in Ontario. This policy, while perhaps popular with a small segment within our own party, is just plain idiotic.

And before anyone blows this post off, I'm not a tee-totaler, just for the record. I just don't think it should be available at your local corner store, where it's tougher to monitor and regulate.

Until our society gets a brain, and rates of drunk driving drop, and people in general become more mature in their alcohol consumption, I'm not going to support any form of lessening in the regulations... on this matter, I'm a fan of "Big Government".

Just for the record... I oppose ANY leadership candidate who supports de-regulation of the LCBO. This one's a deal-breaker for me... one I'd even "cross the floor" on. So just don't go there.

h/t to Hugh MacIntyre of Freedom is My Nationality for this one (though he supports the idea)


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Media weighs in on Guelph OPIRG fiasco, and scandal gets even bigger

The Guelph Mercury has weighed in on the scandal surrounding the OPIRG-Guelph's recent, and tainted, Board elections in an Editorial today... and they don't mince words. Something stinks with the way various members of the UofG's CSA got involved, and I like how the Mercury Editorial staff put it... "A concerted campaign to thwart the election bid [of the conservative students] was carried out."

Indeed... a "concerted effort" has been made by the leftists at the U of G, by 1) extending the nomination deadline for ALL open OPIRG Board positions, when only two of the positions required more candidates, and 2) with members the UofG's supposedly arms-length CSA using their influence to manipulate the election, and 3) by all involved parties closing ranks and refusing to heed any requests for information regarding the decision making process undertaken to extend the nomination deadline.

Like I've said all along... something stinks. With $250,000 of students money involved, I'm serious when I say it's time to call in the auditors... why are these folks refusing to co-operate? What do they have to hide? Is there more to this story than a simple election of a new Board?

The entire campaign of these conservative-leaning students was about transparency, and a desire to ensure that these monies are being used for their intended purposes... to help those who can't speak out for themselves. So why did these leftist students fly into a panic when four individuals put forward their names for election? From what I can tell, there were only six or seven candidates in total before the nomination extension, which was more than enough to fill the student positions on the Board. But as they were short one or two candidates for the Community Member positions, they instead extended the deadlines for ALL open positions, rather than just the ones for which they still required candidates. Again, something stinks here.

And the Editorial staff of the Mercury agrees. You see, as they point at at the start of the editorial, this isn't the first time some of these leftist players have been involved in controversy.

You may recall that last year, the U of G's CSA voted unanimously not to re-accredit the pro-life group "Life Choice" as a CSA authorized club, over some alleged issues with an event held the previous semester. The key word there is "unanimous"... because both Cailey Campbell and Arden Hagedorn were members of the CSA at the time the vote was conducted. And of course, we all know how that turned out in terms of media coverage... they recanted on their position just a few weeks later after garnering negative national media attention, as noted by today's Editorial.

And then of course there was the whole fiasco with General Rick Hillier, when the CSA had to be dragged kicking and screaming into taking action against a ludicris article attacking the General by labeling him a "warmonger". Yep, you guessed it... some of the same jokers were affiliated with that one too. Which brings us to today's new angle to this story... you see, in researching a few things for today's post, I came across two interesting points. Anyone recognize the names of the two "winners" for the Community Member positions of the OPIRG? Their names are Ravi Joshi and Andrew Garvie. Sound familair?

You'll recall that Scott Gilbert was the author of the anti-Hillier article. But the other member of the Canon's editorial Board who approved the article? None other than Andrew Garvie... who, it should be further noted, ran for the Communist party provincially in 2007 and federally in 2008. And that second name, Ravi Joshi? Amm, well, let's just say that he's also a known individual on Guelph's political left. You may also recall that these two individuals were named in the "Request for Information" that was filed with the appeal of the OPIRG election the other week... looking to see if there are any "Help, the Tories are trying to take over!" e-mails that may have been sent by the CSA or OPIRG members. Because if there were, well, then this scandal just took on a much bigger significance... direct interference of a "non-partisan" student organization from the organized political left.

Interesting... wasn't it the argument of OPIRG supporters that they were seeking to ensure that there WASN'T any partisan political influence on their Board?

Some highlights from the article:
A clutch of campus conservatives sought election to the board of the social justice group. Their political stripes weren't secreted and they asserted they wanted to influence how the group operated and utilized its operating revenue -- most of which flows from student levies.

A concerted campaign to thwart the election bid was carried out. The conservatives are now appealing the results of the campaign and the matter is to be sorted out within two weeks by a tribunal process.

It will be ironic if the election results change as a result of the appeal. But it won't be a surprise given the similar events of the year. If the election results are upheld, let's hope the letter of the law is followed procedurally or it could be that this flap sees additional chapters.

It might seem troubling for some OPIRG stakeholders to embrace the proposition of equity in this context. But even avowed right-wingers must be allowed a fair crack at running for election to this organization.
Folks, this story is far from over... I think it just got a whole lot bigger.


Iggy's original book cover leaked!!!

The sad thing is, the Liberals genuinely don't see their own hypocrisy... they attack us for being "too American" one day, and then cosy up with the USA the next when it suits them... even recruiting someone who spent a significant amount of time in America for their Leader.

Anyway, with his new book launch and all, I just wanted to make sure everyone got a look at a leaked copy of one of his initial cover designs that got scrapped...

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Editorial Cartoon on Iggy's Tax Hike

Here's your morning smile...

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


After three phone calls, and a couple of annoyed blog posts, the folks at WestJet have agreed to one of my two requests... they allowed me to move to the earlier flight under their new 24 hour booking "Care-antee", as they could clearly see that I did indeed attempt to change the flight within the 24 hour window.

As for the second request, the lower priced fare? I think I'll live.

As I said earlier in the day, I think WestJet has made the right move with their new 24 Hour "Care-antee". Lots of folks will likely be more encouraged to go ahead and make that booking, knowing that if the price drops within a day, they can get back the difference. I think a day is reasonable, more than that, well, is a little beyond their control. But there won't be that same fretting by their customers of "Well, do I book now and make sure I get the flight, or do I wait and see what deals they have tomorrow?" It's called "Customer Service", and once again, it's a good move by WestJet.

Thanks again guys. Ottawa, here I come!

Guelph's alternative paper reports on OPIRG scandal

The ECHO Weekly, Guelph's alternative (and typically left leaning) newspaper, has picked up on the whole OPIRG fiasco at the University of Guelph.

Adam Donaldson, a fairly well known local political commentator, published an article in this week's edition that continues the effort to shed some light on OPIRG's secretive decision making process. In response to your article Adam, from what I understand, the Guelph's OPIRG is refusing to even acknowledge the "Request for Information" submitted during the appeal process. One has to wonder what they're hiding, eh?

It's a pretty simple request... bring forth your docmentation proving that the extension of the nomination deadline was done on the up and up, and your problems are solved. Unless, of course, you're refusal to even acknowledge their request is because things WEREN'T done ethically.

Boy, you'd think that with a budget of $250,000+, they'd be more careful about keeping proper records. Maybe it's time for an audit, just to make sure everything's being done "by the book"...
No-PIRG, they didn’t. Did they?

Who would have guessed that a simple board of directors election for a small community activism group out of the University of Guelph would generate the kind of electoral fervour not seen since Bush v. Gore. Here’s the skinny: recently the Guelph branch of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) held elections to fill vacancies on its board of directors. Controversy erupted after OPIRG extended the nomination deadline after it had passed. According to OPIRG, the deadline was extended because they had not received enough nominations to fill two community member seats on the board. However, some are accusing of OPIRG of playing partisan politics in order to keep four members of Guelph Campus Conservatives from being elected.

Now why would OPIRG, granted a left–leaning organization, want to keep out four eager and community–minded youngsters from joining their esteemed group? Well, it apparently has something to do with a Conservative conspiracy and some audio recordings, photographs and documents that were leaked from a recent Conservative Party student workshop at the University of Waterloo. Among those present at the workshop were Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo Peter Braid and his campaign manager, Aaron Lee–Wudrick. Reportedly Lee–Wudrick can be heard on the recording saying, "If it’s possible if, in one fell swoop, to take over the board of directors [of OPIRG], I think that it would be pretty impressive, and you’d be a hero to the Conservative movement if you can pull that off."

Two executives of the Central Student Association, External Affairs Commissioner Cailey Campbell and Local Affairs Commissioner Arden Hagedorn believed that the four members of GCC were taking those words to heart and sent out e–mails accusing them of trying to usurp OPIRG’s mandate. The four young men say that there was no hanky–panky with their decision to run for OPIRG’s board, and that they didn’t even know about the content of the U of W workshop; they simply wanted to make OPIRG Guelph more transparent and less partisan.

Needless to say though, that’s not the end of it. On his blog, the Christian Conservative posted a letter received through his anonymous source of the Request for Discovery filed by the four Conservative to the OPIRG Guelph Appeals Board. Amongst the papers being requested by the appeal are minutes and notes of all board of directors meetings from March 19 to 31; all resolutions made by the board both in and outside board meetings during the same time period; and e–mails between OPIRG staff, board, Campbell and Hagedorn. The response to this appeal was not known by deadline. For more information as it develops head to my blog at

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WestJest listens... but doesn't help me!

Well, how's that for timing... just a week after I rant about it, WestJet today introduces their 24 Hour "Care-antee", where they offer exactly what I was asking for... a free 24-hour price/change guarantee. (so it's obvious that I'm not the only one complaining about their old policy)

But guess what... it's only available to people who book their flights as of TODAY.

That's great guys, but it really SUCKS that you bring it out now. I've even got the evidence that I called within 24 hours... the confirmation e-mail for my flight arrived in my inbox on April 15th at 9:46am, and I have the name of the agent I spoke to at the call centre less than 24 hours later. (and your records will establish those facts)

So it's the right policy, but this doesn't help be whatsoever! They offered the lower price on the same flight, and on an earlier flight that I also wanted to switch to, but because they introduced this guarantee a week late, I can't do either!

Come on guys... just let me take the 9:00am flight for $20 less!

h/t to commenter Erik for alerting me to WestJet's new "Care-antee"

UPDATE: So, someone over at WestJet spent about 45 minutes pouring over my blog today, but as of yet, I've still not heard a peep from them. I've also got something rather interesting stats in regards to who's visiting and leaving comments, but I'm holding off posting any of that for the moment... would like to give all the players a chance to deal with this amicably first. Hey, I know... I'll give them a 24 hour guarantee!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

ON PC Campaign Call Centres are in full swing

Well, now that we're two weeks into the leadership campaign to replace John Tory, it looks like everyone is finally up and running full steam. All the websites are up, the social media campaigns are ramping up, the money is starting to roll in, and most importantly, the phone calls are beginning.

No matter how high tech these campaigns get, it's still the good old telephone that the vast majority of the campaign revolves around. From updating membership lists, to informing the members of who stands where on the issues, to recruitment and fundraising, the telephone is still king... and often king-maker.

I've been getting calls from two sides now, the Hudak campaign at first, and now the Elliott campaign. The Hudak guys were first out of the gate, at least on the ground level, as I received a couple of calls from local organizers that I know who were sending out the first feelers as to where I stood. I've been hearing that their call centre has ramped things up over the last couple of days, but from the sound of things, it looks like there are a couple of bugs that still need to be worked out. I haven't gotten the call from them yet, so let's see if they've got the kinks worked out when they do finally get around to me.

That being said, I got the first call from the the Team Elliott call centre the other night, so it looks like they've got their act together. Her team is using Campaign Research as opposed to RMG, the call centre that the Hudak campaign are making use of. No glitches on this call. The girl on the line caught me while I was with our church youth group at McDonald's, but I took the call anyway. I have to say, she certainly knew her stuff. After the initial short script introing the call, (short is key, if you don't nail the first 10 seconds you're done) it felt more like chatting to a friend about the campaign, rather than a cold solicitation call. We ended up talking about Christine's "Path to Victory" document they'd just released, and the caller was well versed in the document. She said she'd been reading it herself earlier in the day shortly after its launch, which was just a few hours prior to the call... it's always embarrassing when you catch the caller off guard and they don't know their own material, so these guys got points for that.

Anyway, like I said, looks like they've got their act together... asking all the right questions, not too pushy, but doing a good job on getting the commitment. She noted that my membership had lapsed, so of course she went for the membership renewal, but didn't push when I indicated I was taking care of that myself. She asked me if there was anything I'd like to know, and I just asked for updates on when Christine was going to be in town, so I could get the chance to meet her myself before making a decision. So I guess I'm now on their e-mail list!

I'll critique the other calls as I get them, but for now, the Elliott campaign put in a good show on the calling front. That's three positives for them in the last week... a good website review, the launch of a great discussion piece in the "Path to Victory" document, and now a good outreach call.

Not a bad start for Christine.


Friday, April 17, 2009

The underlying issue behind CNN reporter Susan Roesgen's video clip

There are several videos of CNN reporter Susan Roesgen floating around today, taking her to task over her "Fair & Balanced" reporting from the Chicago Tea Party protests the other day. In the video, she was exposed for her obvious left-wing bias, as she spoke to, or rather spoke AT with total and utter distain, the various individuals gathered there. Watch for yourself. (h/t to "Climbing out of the Dark" for the video)

But let's dig a little deeper, shall we? This video is a perfect example of exactly what many of us have been saying for years... that our current "Main Stream Media" has a very obvious left-wing slant and bias. It's a prime example of the absolute contempt displayed by many members of the media towards all those who don't share their perspective on the issues. It's just very rare that we're actually able to capture it on video.

Susan is not alone. It's sometimes funny to listen to reporters on their phones when they think no one is paying attention... most of them have nothing but contempt for anyone who dares to identify themselves as a "conservative". You can hear it dripping from their voice, and you can see it in their eyes and on their faces... that is, until the cameras are turned on. Even then, it sometimes slips out, as you watch the barely hidden glee in their eyes when they have an anti-Conservative story to report. (I'm thinking of one well known male anchor in particular, and he's not one of the "usual suspects")

Then you hear all the Liberals on the left saying idiotic things like, "Why is the media is so pro-Conservative!?!?!?" I'd laugh if it wasn't so sad.

Anyway, back to Ms. Roesgen. This next clip is very telling... notice how she's incensed that someone would dare to call Obama a "Facist"... I'm getting the impression that she didn't bat an eye when folks called Bush the very same thing.

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Elliott launches "The Path to Victory" today

Now THIS is how you get my attention during a Leadership Race.

Ontario PC Leadership candidate Christine Elliott today launched a comprehensive new initiative for her campaign... "The Path to Victory" document, with a very clearly set strategy for taking back the Premiership from the Ontario Liberals in 2011.

One word... wow. I've read it already, and it's quite impressive. I'll go out on a limb and say that whoever wins the Leadership should incorporate it into their own strategy, and make sure the architects of the document are included in any campaign organization. And I LOVE the idea of appointing a Party "CIO"... in the 21st century of virtual campaigning, it's a no brainer in my mind.

An excellent move by the Elliott Team, way to go guys.


Christine Elliott in KW TOMORROW

Got word from a local Elliott supporter that Christine will be in KW this Saturday morning. Too bad that I have a previous committment, otherwise I'd be there with bells on.

Here's the info for all those interested...

Meet and greet with Christine Elliott
Walper Terrace Hotel
1 King Street West
9:00 AM-10:30 AM
Kitchener, ON

Here's the Google Map if you want directions...

View Larger Map


Thursday, April 16, 2009

WestJet offered "Price Protection" JUST TWO WEEKS AGO

Thanks to a sharp eyed reader, it turns at that just two weeks ago, WestJet offered just the sort of "Price Protection" to it's customers that I'm asking for. From their own news release:
WestJet guarantees its lowest price
Yellowknife to benefit from unique airline pricing proposition

CALGARY, March 31 /CNW/ - WestJet today introduced the WestJet Price Guarantee for guests booking between March 31 and April 6, 2009. Despite uncertain times, WestJet guests can be certain of one thing - they'll get the lowest WestJet price.

"We're introducing the WestJet Price Guarantee in response to our guests, who want some certainty in these uncertain times," said Bob Cummings, WestJet's Executive Vice-President of Guest Experience and Marketing. "Our guests want to know they're getting the lowest fare we have to offer and this news today delivers that peace of mind. This is a unique price guarantee within the airline industry in Canada. WestJet is proud to be the airline that continues to drive value for the guest. Our strong financial and brand health as well as unique offers like this are all part of the value proposition that has more and more guests flying with us."
Since they've offered such a deal before, I'd recommend a really low cost solution for them... why not introduce a "24-Hour Price Protection Guarantee"? If you book a flight on WestJet, and they drop the price within 24 hours, they'll refund the difference? Of course, this will be a low cost venture for them because how many people keep checking prices AFTER they've booked? We're probably talking somewhere like 20-40 people a week would take them up on such an offer, likely in the neighbourhood of $10-$30. So if you average things out to $20 an occurance, we're talking somewhere around $500-$1000 a week... a really small price to pay for customer satisfaction, don't you think? (of course, they'd have to do a cost analysis on the venture, but I don't think my numbers would be too far off)

UPDATE: Well, still no contact from the folks at WestJet, but I certainly have their attention... at least a half dozen members of their staff have been looking at my posts from today. Real simple solution guys, e-mail me at "christian[dot]conservative[dot]2007[at]gmail[dot]com" to talk about it.

In the meantime, it looks like the folks at Air Canada are enjoying this... because someone from their HQ was taking a look at my posts on this issue.

WestJet seat pricing policy stinks

Okay, so I book a WestJet flight just yesterday from Toronto to Ottawa in May for some business. So I made the mistake of looking again today, less than 24 hours after booking the flight, and what do I see? They've dropped the price for the same day by $20. Thing is, I checked the flight numbers... and it's for the exact same flight as I'm already booked for!

So I call up the call centre, you'd think that they'd have some sort of price guarantee for at least 24-48 hours, right? Not a chance... to get the lower price, I'd have to pay a $50 change fee... even though I'm not making a change, it's the exact same flight! But they consider that a "change", so they can't do it without charging a fee that's more than double the cost reduction of the flight.

Yea, I know, it's how the airline industry works, but that's just not cool. Of course I'm not out any money, it's for work, but I'd still like to save the organization a few bucks if I can.

UPDATE: Well that didn't take long... yes, I can see that you folks at WestJet are paying attention, thanks for stopping by this blog post. (at least two of you so far) You can reach me at "christian[dot]conservative[dot]2007[at]gmail[dot]com" if you'd like to discuss this further.

UPDATE II: Thanks to a sharp eyed reader, it turns at that just two weeks ago, WestJet offered just such a protection to it's customers. From their own news release:
WestJet guarantees its lowest price
Yellowknife to benefit from unique airline pricing proposition

CALGARY, March 31 /CNW/ - WestJet today introduced the WestJet Price Guarantee for guests booking between March 31 and April 6, 2009. Despite uncertain times, WestJet guests can be certain of one thing - they'll get the lowest WestJet price.

"We're introducing the WestJet Price Guarantee in response to our guests, who want some certainty in these uncertain times," said Bob Cummings, WestJet's Executive Vice-President of Guest Experience and Marketing. "Our guests want to know they're getting the lowest fare we have to offer and this news today delivers that peace of mind. This is a unique price guarantee within the airline industry in Canada. WestJet is proud to be the airline that continues to drive value for the guest. Our strong financial and brand health as well as unique offers like this are all part of the value proposition that has more and more guests flying with us."
Since they've offered such a deal before, I'd recommend a really low cost solution for them... why not introduce a 24-Hour price guarantee? If you book a flight on WestJet, and they drop the price within 24 hours, they'll refund the difference? Of course, this will be a low cost venture for them because how many people keep checking prices AFTER they've booked? We're probably talking somewhere like 20-40 people a week would take them up on such an offer, likely in the neighbourhood of $10-$30. So if you average things out to $20 an occurance, we're talking somewhere around $500-$1000 a week... a really small price to pay for customer satisfaction, don't you think? (of course, they'd have to do a cost analysis on the venture, but I don't think my numbers would be too far off)


UPDATE III: Come on all you WestJetters... I can see all of you reading my blog about this complaint, so what's the hold up? At least a half dozen members of your staff have been looking at my posts from today. Real simple solution guys, e-mail me at "christian[dot]conservative[dot]2007[at]gmail[dot]com" to talk about it.

In the meantime, it looks like your rivals at Air Canada are enjoying this... because someone from their HQ was taking a look at my posts on this issue.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lunch with Tim Hudak

Got my chance to meet with the first leadership candidate to pass by my way, Tim Hudak. And of course, added his pic to the collection... more on that in a sec.

Anyway, it was a good sized gathering for a midday event, with only a few days notice to boot. Tim gave a good speech, of course containing some of the various lines you'd throw in to get a political crowd worked up. A lot of energy and excitement for a small gathering... almost a sense of "Hope", one might even say.

So got introduced to Tim by some local connections, but not as "Christian Conservative", just as me. It's funny at events like this... I not well known as me, but as soon as someone says "Yea, he's the blogger Christian Conservative", I get an immediate "Oh, that's you! Yea, I've been reading what you wrote on such and such...", and the conversation takes an immediate turn with the recognition of who I am. Anyway, same thing here... Tim and I are talking about the campaign and the energy that's building, and I forget how exactly it came about, but I mentioned that I was the blogger behind "Christian Conservative". Once again, the immediate recognition, and we began to talk about a whole host of other topics... including my recent website review. It's funny the things people remember, because as we get talking about websites, he goes, "Oh right, what was it you said about the photo on my site? Something like I'm running for something in highschool?" Amm, yea, something like that... it's kinda funny when people comment on things I've said like that, anyway he took it as it was intended and we had a smile and chuckle over it, he's certainly a good sport!

It was a common theme of the buzz in the room... everyone was commenting that there's a new excitement, a fresh energy on the provincial level that hasn't been there for a number of years. I'd pretty much say that it hasn't been there since around 2002, personally, which is why I haven't been much involved over the last seven years. New memeberships are coming in, the next generation is getting their feet wet, and this time around, a lot of the older hands that did so well during the 1990's are involved.

It looks like the Big Blue Machine is awaking... and that was my impression of today's event with Tim Hudak.

So about the photo... just to show you the kind of memory the guy has, not only did he read my website review, but he was actually paying attention when he was reading my stuff, because right after the photo got snapped he goes, "So, you gonna use it to replace your photo of you and Harper?", with a little wink wink, nudge nudge, you know how it goes. First of all, hands up if you even noticed the pic of me and the PM there on the top right... anyone? That one scored points... props for paying attention to the blog Tim! You see, that's the sort of thing people used to, and still do, say about Brian Mulroney... he remembered the little details about people. That's one of the marks of a winner.

So I made him a deal... "Hey, if you become Premier and Mr. Harper is no longer the PM, I might just".

Still uncommitted, CC.

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Fiat bailing if UAW/CAW don't budge

Fiat has announced that they are ready to walk away from merger talks with Chrysler if the unions are unwilling to budge on labour costs.

It looks like the CAW's Ken Lewenza will get his chance to make history... will he go down in history as the man who saved Chrysler in Canada, or as the man who killed it?
Fiat to Chrysler: Cut costs or we walk
CEO says auto maker prepared to scrap last-chance merger unless unions agree to match competitors' low labour costs

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
April 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

ROME and TORONTO — Fiat SpA will abandon Chrysler LLC, leaving it to fend for itself in bankruptcy court, unless Chrysler's Canadian and American unions agree to substantial labour-cost reductions by the end of the month, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne says.

For Chrysler, which is subsisting on cash borrowed from the U.S. and Canadian governments, the deal with Fiat is the last chance to avoid a bankruptcy filing and possible liquidation.

But Fiat is prepared to scrap the deal and look elsewhere for an international partner if the unions do not agree to match the lower labour costs of Japanese and German plants in the United States and Canada, Mr. Marchionne said in an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail at the Italian auto maker's headquarters in Turin.

“Absolutely we are prepared to walk. There is no doubt in my mind,” he said. “We cannot commit to this organization unless we see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Iggy: "Read my lips... YES NEW TAXES"


Oh man... if I'd had any inkling that those words were gonna come out of his mouth, I'd have dropped everything and booted on over to the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting this morning. I mean, think of it this way... if you had the opportunity to watch history unfold as leader of your Federal opponents single-handedly scuttle their electoral chances, wouldn't you make the trip just so you could say you were there?
Tax hike likely unavoidable, Liberal leader says
April 14, 2009 - Record Staff

CAMBRIDGE -- Federal taxes must go up to pay off Canada’s increasing debt, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said today.

The challenge, he said, is to ensure the economic recovery is not hurt by raising the taxes, Ignatieff told about 100 people at a Cambridge Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.

Ignatieff’s comments were in response to a question from Cambridge business leader John Bell, who wanted to known when the federal debt will be paid back.

“We will have to raise taxes,” but not at the expense of hurting the recovery from this recession. He added that “an honest politician” cannot exclude a tax hike as an option.

“I am not going to load a deficit onto your children or mine,” Ignatieff said.
His speech centred on the need for the federal government to unite people rather than divide them during these trying economic times.

He also slammed Tory Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for labelling this recession as mild.
“You wonder what country he is in,” Ignatieff said.

He criticized the federal governement for not quickly freeing money in the federal stimulus package. He said the government should give municipalities the money, as they are in a better position to know how to spend it.
h/t to Joanne

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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Auto-Sector collapse: McGuinty's worst nightmare

Well, I never thought it would be possible for the CAW to find someone worse than Buzz Hardgrove to head up their union. Well folks, I must confess... I was wrong.

Ken Lewenza has, from Day One on the job, proven again and again that he really doesn't have a CLUE how the real world works. With this economic crisis impacting us on every side, he dug in his heels right away and has refused to consider the prospect of concessions from his union membership. At a time when tens of thousands of people are losing their jobs, there are plenty of folks in our country who'd GLADLY take a job at HALF the value of the current benefit package the CAW's membership are getting.

But there's an interesting political side effect going on that no one has really addressed yet. With the CAW digging in their heels, anyone from the political realm who doesn't support their perspective is starting to feel their wrath. And one individual who's starting to feel the heat is our very own Premier, Dalton McGuinty. From CTV the other day...
"CAW 'furious' at Ontario over pensions, Lewenza says"

"I can't even suggest to you how furious we are as an organization to suggest that our retirees won't be treated with decency and respect during this crisis. What good is a pension guarantee fund if it's not there when you need it?"

The comments follow those of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who on Wednesday warned that his government's pension guarantee fund is too small to help out retired autoworkers in the event one of the Detroit Three goes under.
Lewenza said the union will hold a "massive" protest at the Ontario legislature next week in response to McGuinty's comments that Ontario's pension-guarantee fund is not enough to cover pensions.

The protest will be held on April 23 on the grounds of the legislature. Lewenza urged all retirees to come out and show their support.
A massive union protest at Queen's Park? When was the last time we saw one of those? Oh, that's right... it was sometime before the current Liberal government was voted into office.

This Liberal government was voted into power largely, though not exclusively, by organized labour. The Liberals spent a lot of time and effort courting their votes during the Harris era, stealing their support from the NDP, and winning support from many of the union membership who had quietly supported the Tories.

So now, perhaps you can see why this current situation is an absolute nightmare for Premier Dalton McGuinty. The union vote that they've spent so much time and energy courting is now seeking to cash in their chips, expecting the Liberals to get their back, at a time when the Provincial bank is broke. So naturally, the CAW is furious, as Ken Lewenza himself has said in that CTV article. I mean, let's face it... you don't see massive union protests at Queen's Park when everything is peachy keen, do you?

In case you've forgotten, the unions provided the Ontario Liberals with an unofficial "fifth column" during the 2007 election. To lose them would be a potentially devastating blow to Mr. McGuinty's 2011 bid for re-election.

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My ON PC Leadership website review

Thanks again to the folks at Grassroots Voice for the opportunity to take part in their candidate's website review. Here's what I sent them...

Christian Conservative's Ontario PC Leadership website review

With the leadership getting off to a roaring start, it's time to do a review of the online "presence" of the various candidates.

The best way to test out a candidate's online "presence" is to "Google" them, and see what comes up. As such, we've conducted a test using the same terms for each and every candidate, to ensure an unbiased examination of how well the campaigns are getting their candidates out there. The search terms used in each case were just their first name and last name.

First up, in alphabetical order, was Christine Elliott. The first and second links take you to her MPP site, while the third link listed takes you directly to her website.

Randy Hillier's search takes you directly to the front page of his website via the first link.

The first link for Tim Hudak's search takes you to his MPP page. It's not until the fifth link that you get anything on his leadership bid.

As for Frank Klees, well, his Google search went really bad. He doesn't appear to have an official leadership site, at all. Everything seems to point to to his MPP website... on which, I can't find anything at all about his leadership bid. He seems to have no campaign "presence" whatsoever online, other than his Facebook page set up by a fellow blogger.

Now on to the review of the leadership websites themselves...

Christine Elliott - Intro page for is a signup sheet. Very clean, easy on the eyes, well laid out. Good font selection, nice choice of colour scheme, good picture of Christine, immediate impact is one of professionalism and competency. Not just an option to sign up for updates, but also a volunteer checkbox, and most critical of all, a "Donate" button right there. Also a clear "Skip to the website" option, which is important to insure you're not annoying potential supporters.

First impression is "Obama". Seriously, it reminds me of the Obama/Biden campaign website. Everything you could want is right there. The "Join" button takes you to an online web store, where you can purchase a membership without getting off the couch... unless you left your wallet on the kitchen table. Just click on the icon to "Add to Cart", and then proceed to the checkout. Nicely done gang. On the same page, you can also enter a donation amount to "Add to Cart". Only thing I found an issue is that both the "Join" and the "Donate" buttons on the main page take you to the exact same place. Just a minor thing, but that always bugs me.

I found the site to be somewhat light on the policy side. Personally, I like for someone to have meat on their site when it comes to positions, issues, etc. Of course, this is a campaign website, and they again seem to have taken on the Obama strategy... looking good, but not saying too much. Could be just keeping their cards close at the start, intending to roll out policy as the weeks go on, so we'll keep an eye on that.

Overall, an excellent website. Load times were a bit laggy, and I've got a pretty snappy computer and internet connection. We're just talking seconds here, but it was noticable. May want to beef that up a bit. I really like the "Share" button embedded within all the pages... let's me fire something off to my contacts with just a click.

Randy Hillier - Punch up, and BAM! It's a full court press right of the bat. Sharp graphics, also somewhat Obama-esque, looks like a blue dawn rising behind Randy's name... which I think is the point. Photo of Randy with the Ontario flag flowing in the breeze. Great colour scheme, no question about where he stands... lots of blue on blue, which in itself communicates a lot. Hit the links at the top, and you're taken to sharp looking internal pages, I especially like the pic of Randy at the top on the "About" page. It very quickly communicates a lot about Randy, or at least his public persona... the un-politician who's from somewhere other than the GTA.

Up at the very top of every page, you can sign up for updates via e-mail. A nice touch. Down on the right, you've got all the social networking links you could ever need... a Share button, an RSS feed sign up, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All under the banner of "Join the Randy Revolution", evoking the good old days of the Mike Harris "Common Sense Revolution". Playing on that same theme, he's got a "Common Sense" link, that pulls up some of his core issues, which is something that Randy has been strong on his entire political career. No one can say that they don't know where Randy stands on the issues, because he's pretty up front on where he stands on just about everything.

Like his slogan... "A Conservative Leader for a Conservative Party". It's in your face and to the point, and a pretty clear distancing of himself from the previous leader, John Tory.

When I started poking around a few weeks ago, I honestly thought that Christine had the best website. But it looks like Randy's team has gone flat out with their campaign launch, and to be perfectly honest, Randy has opened up a pretty significant advantage right now for who's got the best web presence.

Tim Hudak - Tim's site is clean, fairly simple design. Off the bat you're faced with an intro page with several options, a sign up for updates, an online donation link, and a membership purchase button. A couple of thoughts... the update sign up section doesn't tell you what it's for, it's just kinda there. The donation page takes you to a PayPal page, which to be honest, strikes me as a little campy and unprofessional. I'm guessing it's one of those decisions made to make donors feel more confident that their credit card numbers are secure.

Once you're into the site, everything you'd want is right there... but things look a little too busy and not well laid out for me. Of the links at the top, the "Why Tim" link gets bumped down to the next line, which is poor web programming in my opinion. But on the positive side, there's a whole lot of content, everything you could possibly want is right there. The main stories are all listed below. But one major issue I have with the site is something I've said before... guys, will you PLEASE ditch that goofy pic of Tim in the top right corner? Seriously, there's got to be another one you could use, we're looking for the next Premier here, not next president of the school chess team!

Way down at the bottom, there's the same options that the others have, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and also Flicker photos. He's also got links to his Flicker photos, which is cool, gives the impression of a dynamic campaign. Something unique, they've also got a search feature, a nice touch for those who are looking for more detailed info on specific items.

Having said all that, a little further down on the right is the best there's a link to, the official social networking site, or "Online Conservative Community" as they've entitled for the Hudak campaign. To be frank, I like the "Right Here" site better than the campaign site. You have to sign up to access anything on it, but it's certainly a good concept. It's a little more controllable than Facebook, and allows them to integrate Twitter posts, events calendar, etc. I'll be signing up myself shortly, I must say they've got my interest.

Frank Klees - As indicated before, Frank doesn't seem to have any kind of official presence other than his third party Facebook account. My impression is that he's just jumping in this to bring up issues he cares about, as opposed to actually seeking to contend for the leadership. Which is a shame, because in looking at his list of core issues the other week, he actually piqued my interest for further consideration. Now after this website review, however, I must say I'm disappointed, and won't likely be giving him much more consideration.


All in all, I'd have to say that Randy Hillier's team has put together the best site overall. There are a couple things I don't like about it, but it's pretty fantastic otherwise. Christine Elliott's team has put together a pretty sharp looking presence as well, and Team Hudak's online community concept via is unique and fresh. All in all, when this thing is over, I really hope that a campaign team is built from members of each leadership campaign team, because I think we could put forward the cutting edge kind of "presence" that we saw from the Obama team down in the US last November... a winning one.

With one exception, however... don't hire Tim Hudak's photographer!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Appeal filed in rigged Guelph OPIRG vote

An appeal was filed with the Guelph OPIRG Board elections on the day of the vote, on the grounds of improper campaign tactics used by the eventual winners.

I must say, these kids are dealing with this really intelligently. They could just whine and complain, but instead, they're building a really solid case against the tactics used by the OPIRG in their fraudulent elections. Here's the "Request for Discovery" they've just filed with the OPIRG... (thanks once again to my anonymous sources)
April 7, 2009
To: OPIRG-Guelph Appeals Board
CC: OPIRG-Guelph Board of Directors, Teresa Szoke
Subject: 2009 Appeals Board Hearing

This is a letter to request disclosure of documents related to the OPIRG-Guelph 2009 election and request an adjournment of the related OPIRG-Guelph Appeal Board hearing until September, 2009.

OPIRG By-Laws Article 8.9 states "The members of the incumbent Board who have not been nominated in the election shall constitute and appeal board for the decisions of the Chief Returning Officer as to the eligibility of nominees, and from any member within four(4) day after the date of the election by filing an appeal signed by the member, and outlining the nature of the complaint, with a member of the appeal board. The appeal board may order a new election to be held, or make such other order as it deems necessary, after a hearing conducted in accordance with the rules of natural justice, and its decision shall be final."

In accordance with Natural Justice and Legal Discovery, we ask that OPIRG-Guelph disclose the following:

1. Minutes and notes of all OPIRG-Guelph Board of Directors meetings from March 19, 2009 to March 31, 2009

2. Minutes and notes taken of all OPIRG-Guelph Appeal Board meetings and hearings from January 1, 1976 to April 6, 2009

3. All resolutions made by OPIRG-Guelph Board of Directors from March 19, 2009 to March 31, 2009 without the call of a Board of Directors meeting

4. Proof of notification to Board of Directors of all resolutions made by OPIRG-Guelph Board of Directors from March 19, 2009 to March 31, 2009 without the call of a Board of Directors meeting

5. Emails between any of the following people: any Director of OPIRG-Guelph, any staff member of OPIRG-Guelph, Teresa Szoke, Cailey Campbell, Arden Hagedorn, Ashley Lowenthal, Dominica McPherson, Sarah White, Abigail Wilson, Arthur Churchyard, Andrew Garvie, Ravi Joshi; within the time frame of March 19, 2009 to March 31, 2009

It is reasonable expect receipt of the aforementioned disclosed items by June 1, 2009 with the OPIRG-Guelph Appeal Board hearing adjourned until September, 2009; to provide appropriate time for review.

For those of you who haven't been following this story, the dates specified are critical in this discovery request. You see, March 19, 2009 was the original date of the nomination deadline, and March 31, 2009 was the date the election was finally held. What these kids are asking for, in essence, is for all communication related to the OPIRG elections between the staff of the OPIRG, the already implicated members of Guelph's CSA, and the eventual winners in the OPIRG election. Basically, they're asking for any and all the "OH NO! The Tories are trying to take over, what are we going to do!?!?" e-mails that were sent between the key players and decision makers who decided to move the nomination date... thereby ensuring that these Conservative students were blocked from the Board.

Of course, it will be interesting to see what the response is going to be. I think these kids have a solid legal case, at least for the correspondence of the OPIRG staff and Board minutes. If the OPIRG refuses, the question will be why? What do they have to hide? If this decision was made on the up-and-up, then everything will be decent and in order, right?

If not... well then, I guess they'll just have to refuse their legitimate request.

This saga just got a whole lot more interesting.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Liberal knew about Guelph OPIRG scandal?

More cracks have appeared in the OPIRG scandal in Guelph. But this time, the name of a well known Liberal blogger has been connected to this fiasco.

In all fairness, I'm giving the Liberal blogger in question the benefit of the doubt... people send me junk all the time, and I just delete it. Who knows, they might wholeheartedly disagree with the tactics of the left in rigging the OPIRG vote in Guelph last week. But of this there's no doubt... a well known Liberal blogger was included in the distribution list of the following e-mail, in advance of the OPIRG vote last week. It has been forwarded to me via my sources by another individual who disagrees with what went on during the OPIRG elections... again, another leak from within, from someone who's standing up for democracy.

To the Liberal blogger in question... as you can see by looking at your own e-mail, your name is clearly listed in the e-mail posted below... you know I know who you are. In the spirit of co-operation and in a desire to get to the truth, I'm choosing to keep that information to myself. At this point, I am going on the assumption that you were simply the unwilling recipient of the e-mail in question. I would certainly appreciate your insight as to just what went on in this OPIRG election. A non-partisan venture, if you will. You know how to reach me. I would appreciate your help in tracking down just who the anonymous sender is, and what the results of this e-mail were.

But the bottom line is folks, something really smells here... with a budget of over $260,000+ involved, the folks on the left PANICED when they realized that several Conservatives were going to end up on the Board. From what I've been able to piece together, based on the number of candidates who registered prior to the original deadline, it would appear that at least ONE, if not more of them, were going to end up on the Board of Directors of Guelph's OPIRG. However, due to the extra time afforded them by extending the nomination deadline, they were able to marshal their forces and ensure that all five Conservative candidates were blocked.

My question... of the "winning" candidates, how many of them had applied PRIOR to the original nomination deadline? If none of them... then the OPIRG has some serious explaining to do.

The following e-mail was sent by an anonymous sending to a large list of students at the U of G... Because who knows, it might even be one of the winning OPIRG candidates themselves...
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "V-Day Guelph"
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 7:55:28 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: OPIRG Elections this TUESDAY - VOTE to keep OPIRG alive!!!


OPIRG Voting at 1 Trent Lane from 11am to 4pm Tuesday, March 31st. (Behind Creelman)

The Conservative nominees are bringing in a BUSLOAD OF 70 CONSERVATIVE YOUTH FROM WATERLOO to vote for the Conservative nominees... (FACT - no such "busload" had been arranged, nor even planned... campaigning using "Fear & Smear" tactics, as ususal)

We need ALL THE VOTERS WE CAN GET who are committed to environmental action and social justice and who understand that OPIRG works hard to contribute to these causes.

VOTE on TUESDAY for people who are dedicated to OPIRG's positive work (see names below)... VOTE for OPIRG's CONTINUED PRESENCE ON CAMPUS!!!

If you're unaware of the OPIRG shut-down by Conservatives in Waterloo and what's brewing in Guelph... read on!!! (MYTH DEBUNKING - who ever said ANYTHING about shutting them seeking to shut them down? Their entire campaign has been focused on accountability and value for money... nothing more, nothing less)

(NOTE - Now the following is the interesting part... this text was lifted from the "pro" OPIRG group's Facebook page...)

After a time of initial shock at the sudden interest of Guelph's Conservative Party in OPIRG, the Guelph campus will now experience one of the most controversial elections of the year: over 200 people will likely visit OPIRG this Tuesday, March 31st to vote for the new OPIRG Board.

Eight activists are running, and it's obvious they're serious about winning: Four of them are committed advocates in Guelph's social and environmental justice movements: Ashley Lowenthal, Dominica McPherson, Abigail Wilson and Sara White, among them presenting an array of grassroots work for social and environmental change. The other four activists are Conservatives, running with an organized group of 70 on-campus members; these four are Trent Blanchette, Michael Sona, Ryan Monkman, and Shaun Zanin, among them presenting an impressive dedication to politics and legal volunteerism.

This high-stakes election will depend on whether the hundreds of students who oppose Conservative takeover of OPIRG act on their beliefs and vote next Tuesday, the 31st.

What are the stakes? OPIRG manages $258,000 of grants and student fees to enable social and environmental initiatives on campus that subvert oppressive barriers. OPIRG is the progenitor of many crucial organizations on campus, including Guelph Students for Environmental Change, and hosts dozens of workshops, speakers and new volunteer initiatives every year.

It's easy to see why the four Conservative youth are interested in running for this election - OPIRG would seem to oppose many of the Conservative party's policies. In fact, at a Conservative Youth meeting in February, conservative Campaign Manager Aaron Lee-Wudrick was recorded as saying that 'any Conservative youth that could take over an OPIRG Board would be hailed as a hero in the Conservative party'. Young Waterloo conservatives have already attempted take overs twice in 2002 and 2005.

Despite these facts, caring must go beyond politics - we would be discriminatory to assume that all Conservatives are power hungry and want to destroy the PIRGs. It is possible that these young Conservatives have suddenly shown an impressive amount of commitment to OPIRG because they've realized oppression is real and want to take action for a just world.

OPIRG Voting at 1 Trent Lane from 11am to 4pm Tuesday, March 31st. (Behind Creelman)
There are several questions that arise from all of this...

1) Why was a well known Liberal blogger included in this e-mail? Does this individual support the unethical tactics used by the OPIRG to ensure that Conservative minded students are unable to participate in the decision making process for the OPIRG's $260,000+ budget?

2) If this individual does not support these tactics, will they do the right thing and take a stand in support of a free and fair democratic vote?

3) Will the OPIRG and the Administration of the University of Guelph conduct a serious and legitimate investigation of the decision making process behind why the nomination date for the OPIRG elections was extended?

4) Why did the OPIRG in Guelph extend the nomination deadline for all positions, when there were enough student candidates to fill the student positions? Why did they not simply extend the Community Member nominations? Was it to ensure that Conservative students were blocked from Board membership?

5) Who was involved in the decision to extend the deadline? My sources tell me that the decision may have been made "on the fly", outside of the regular channels... wouldn't such a decision require an official meeting of the OPIRG Guelph Board? If so, will they release the minutes of this meeting? (I mean, with a student funded $260,000 budget, they DO have to keep minutes of their meetings, don't they?)

Will we ever get to the bottom of what happened here? With a few of us bloggers digging deeper, in a non-partisan fashion, maybe... what say you my fellow blogger?

Oh, and by the way... the media would like some answers too...

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Friday, April 03, 2009

ON PC Leadership... what's a blogger to do?

Haven't had much time to get into it, but I do have to say that the race is getting interesting. And the wooing has begun in earnest!

First off was a phone call I got a little while back, which actually gave me quite a shock... I answered my cell, and low and behold, who's on the line? "Hello, this is Randy Hillier calling"! Turns out he'd been reading a couple of my blog posts, and well, umm, let's just say he wanted to chat! I must say I was impressed, nice guy, honest and forthright, no guff. We chatted for a bit about various issues, rumours, and I let him know straight out why I felt hesitant to consider supporting him... that while John Tory was too far at one end of the "conservative" political spectrum for many, likewise he to was too far on the other end. Basically different guy, but pretty much the same problem, only in reverse. Again though, I was indeed impressed that he'd take the time to call me, so I will at least give him some consideration as the campaign gets under way. For all those who want to take a look, Randy's website is here.

Then there's the wooing from the local "Hudakites" as one of them has come to calling themselves. A sit down with my "official" local organizer for Team Tim, and an invite to a breakfast this morning... which I totally forgot about since I barely slept last night! (irony... I didn't think I could get up early enough to go, and then I did wake up with plenty of time because I couldn't sleep... but forgot about it anyway, grrr...) To be honest, I think I'm leaning in Tim's direction, because I think he's the guy who's got the best stuff to beat the Liberals... perhaps not this time around, (I honestly don't know if anyone can after we wasted an entire year's worth of effort) but able to rebuild and revitalize and prepare us to eventually govern again... maybe even keep McGuinty to a minority in 2011. I think the numbers are there to do just that, but I think it would take a youthful and energetic guy like Hudak to pull it off. Tim's website is here... but a word of advice guys? Swap out the goofy looking pic of Tim in the top left corner... certainly there's got to be a better one you can use somewhere!

I haven't heard much from the Klees Kamp yet, other than the rah-rah from fellow blogger Darryl Wolk. Since I really know nothing about Frank (again, I've not really followed Provincial politics all that much) I figured I'd look him up. Right off the bat, the thought came to mind that honestly, he doesn't "look" like a Premier to me, but that's just superficial, so I looked a little deeper at his positions. I must say, on strictly a policy level, I must say I like what little I've read so far. We're pretty much on the same page on healthcare and education, as I've always been a big supporter of tax credits for private education, having gone to a Christian school myself. I wholeheartedly disagree with critics of such a plan, who say that doing so will defund the public system... I think they're being dishonest with their false-dilemma arguments. Frank will be getting a close second look during this campaign. His website is here.

Also had a Facebook invite from an Elliot supporter, from an organizer who I really respect, so of course, I'll have to at least give her a good look. Her website is by far the slickest website of the crowd... oh man, it just rocks. Everything you could want to see is right there, all well laid out, and at the bottom, you've got all the links to all the virtual campaign tools you need... YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook. Seriously, looks like someone was paying attention to the Obama campaign... here's hoping they get tapped for the 2011 campaign website, whoever wins this thing. I really don't know much about Christine herself, so I'll comment as I learn more... but her site has got my attention, which is exactly what a campaign site is supposed to do.

So, as the title says... what's a blogger to do? All of a sudden, I'm interested in provincial politics again...

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EXPELLED: No Intelligence Allowed

Finally saw the movie... and I think it's spot on.

Calling all haters of freedom of thought... comment away!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

"Free and Fair" OPIRG-Guelph Elections? HA!!!

Humm, I guess to the leftists at the UofG, "Free and Fair" must be code for "Conservative Free" and "Fairly Well Rigged", cause that's what I've been hearing from my sources there all week long! And I've even got "art" this time, exposing the OPIRG's clear bias, and revealing their complete ignorance of the very concept of "Free and Fair" elections! (I'm thinking more like "Fraud and FAIL" elections... seriously, don't ever let any of these folks sign up to be election monitors for the Carter Center!)

You'll recall, several Conservative-leaning students sought the nomination for the OPIRG's Guelph chapter. Anyway, since they didn't have enough left-leaning students on the ballot to stop one or two of these young Tories from getting on the Board, they changed the nomination rules after the fact, using the excuse that they didn't have enough community members to fill the Community Member positions. So they extended the nomination deadline for all their positions, AFTER it had passed. Of course, had they been honest about the whole thing, they could have just extended the nomination period for the Community Members. But no, since we know that their endgame was to block anyone who's Conservative minded from getting on the Board, that was just an excuse. So anyway, in the intervening two weeks, they've managed to recruit 14, I kid you not, 14 left leaning students to run for their elections today. A question... where were all you kids before? And you're telling me this WASN'T rigged?

So naturally, these four kids got killed at the ballot box, thanks to a two week long campaign of typical leftist "Fear & Smear" tactics.

Of course, you're likely asking yourself, "What proof does this guy have that this was rigged?" That's a good question... how about so that "art" for you? (NOTE: credit goes to Greg Taillon [SP of name corrected] for the photos, channeled to me via a source... just making sure he gets his due if these get picked up by other media...)

First of all, I present to you the inside of the OPIRG office on voting day... so you've lined up to go and vote, and what do we see? Oh, the OPIRG's bulletin board, which has a helpful reminder that today is voting day, along with a list of the candidates standing for election. How thoughtful of them to provide me with this information! (both on the right)

But what's this we see? There on the left, right next to the list of candidates? Oh my gosh, it seems there's a "Tory Takeover" afoot, I'm really glad someone warned my by posting that article here in the voting office!

Oh, what's that actually overlapping the list of candidates? Oh no, more warnings of a "Conservative Coup"! Wow, I'm really glad these folks here in the OPIRG office are looking out for my best interests, if they hadn't posted these warnings right here next to the lineup to vote, I might have voted for the wrong people!

Well, since the lineup is taking forever, would you care to sit down here in our office? How about something to read while you wait? Notice that someone, presumably someone from the "Sarah White" team, has already helpfully directed your attention to Page 7...

So you turn to Page 7. Doesn't this look familiar? Oh, that's right, that's the same article that was hanging right next to the list of candidates here in the OPIRG office! How helpful of whoever it was to remind me of who NOT to vote for!

This "Save the OPIRG" campaign was fully waged on Facebook too, a student contact got a screen capture, presumably before they take the group down to try and prevent it being used as evidence...

Then of course there's the eyewitness accounts I got e-mailed during the week... one of the "Save the OPIRG" kids actually came right up to one of my contacts, spreading rumours and telling bold-faced lies about what these "dastardly Conservatives" were trying to do. Not a single word about their clearly stated intentions... bringing some fiscal accountability to the $250,000+ budget of Guelph's OPIRG.

That's right folks, that's what this has been all about... the special interest groups on the far left looking out for their cash flow... nothing more. It's all about MONEY, and wanting to make sure the taps keep on flowing from the student body into their little pet projects.

So, as you can see, the fix was in all along. Of course, with the OPIRG refusing to explain why the nominations for all positions were extended, AFTER the filing deadline, instead of just the Community Member positions, we may never know their real intentions. According to reports, the OPIRG is now refusing to speak with even the media regarding this fiasco... and yes, the media have been looking into this folks. With a budget of over $250,000 involved, and elections seemingly being rigged in favour of those who want to keep things status quo, you better believe that this is not the end of this story.

And the info keeps coming in folks... it's no wonder that Cailey Campbell, Arden Hagedorn, Robyn Letson and Claire Whitehead freaked out when they heard that some "Conservatives" might get onto their precious OPIRG Board.

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British PM Gordon Brown gets a tongue lashing

Wow... Gordon Brown got a vicious tongue lashing last week from Daniel Hannan, a Conservative MEP (Member of European Parliament) for South East of England. His concluding line is a killer... "You are the devalued Prime Minister, of a devaulued Government"

Now had John Tory been able to speak like this to Dalton McGuinty, he might just have a seat in Queen's Park right now...


Simpsons stamps in the US... April Fools?

I'm wondering if this one is this years big joke... can't find a single story on it prior to today, and nothing on the US Postal Service site...
The Simpsons to appear on series of U.S. postage stamps? D'oh!
April 01, 2009
The Associated Press - Web edition

WASHINGTON - Don't have a cow, man! The U.S. postal service says the Simpsons will appear on their own postage stamps.

It's been 20 years since Homer, Marge and family invaded the airwaves on Fox television, and the Postal Service says it plans five stamps featuring the couple and their offspring, Bart, Lisa and Maggie.
No word on their dog, Santa's Little Helper.

And it seems that even Mr. Burns was not able to pull enough strings to get his own stamp.

Artwork for the 44-cent stamps was done by Simpsons creator Matt Groening and will be available for preview online April 9.

At that time the post office plans to announce the date the stamps will go on sale.