Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

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

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear SW Ontario Ford Dealers

Just sent this in to Ford Canada. Will post any follow-up I receive.
Good day,

I am seeking to track the owner of a dealer plate that was a member of a Ford F-150 truck convoy travelling westbound on the 401 last night around 9:30pm between Guelph Line and Hwy 6 North. As it was a fleet of 4-5 new F-150's, I am assuming the plate belongs to a Ford dealer in Southwestern Ontario.

The plate number in question was 204 DLE, and though the driver of this plate was not directly involved in my incident last night, he/she was the trailing member of said convoy.

Last night, this convoy was travelling in a tight pack in the far left lane, and was at times impeding the flow of traffic. That is, of course, when they weren't travelling recklessly at over 130kmh.

At one point, due to the other cars around, I was forced to move over into the left lane, at which time the incident I am reporting occurred. It was at this time that your drivers became hostile, for the apparent offence of having briefly disrupted their convoy. They boxed me in, the lead car (a beige Pontiac Transport) kept slamming on their brakes to force me back over to the right, and an F-150 severely tailgated me, flashing his/her high beams at me. It was during this time that the Transport driver flipped me the middle finger. Once I finally got back over, the team ROARED past me at well over 140kmh, potentially even over 150kmh, which as you well know could have resulted in the impounding of these vehicles.

This was some of the most unprofessional driving I have ever seen of a dealer, and I am expecting the team in question to be disciplined for their reckless actions, which endangered not only my safety, but their own, along with all the other drivers on the road last evening.

If these were not Ford dealer employees, then I apologize in advance. If, however, they were employees or contractors for a Ford dealer, then I await your response indicating what action will be take against these individuals.

Thank you for your time.

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Ibbitson: A Primary system for Liberal Leadership?

John Ibbitson put forward a radical idea today for renewing the Liberal Party in his Globe & Mail article... how about opening up the Liberal Leadership process to an open and national primary system? And you know what? I honestly think that's a GREAT idea!

Most of my readers will know, of course, that I'm a card-carrying Tory, and that I'm committed to the DESTRUCTION of the Liberal Party of Canada... IN IT'S PRESENT INCARNATION, that is. Fundamentally, on a vast majority of the issues, I actually fall more to the left side of the Conservative Party... other than key SoCon issues of course, but I'm actually a lot more "Red Tory" than most people realize. (for example, most long-time readers will recall that I'm not a big fan of "small government"... I'm more a fan of "SMALLER Government", but do think that the Government should indeed be in charge of more sectors than my Libertarian friends do...)

All that being said, I do believe that Canada needs a true "centrist" option, but one that's NOT powerful enough to be able to form a Government on it's own. I think having a smaller rump of a party, say 20-40 seats, that could be a governing partner on either side of the political spectrum, would be a healthy thing for Canada. The problem is that the current LPC doesn't really care about the issues, they care only about POWER... and as such, spends more time trying to score political points with issues, instead of articulating an actual VISION that keeps the Party consistent. (one of the reasons I hate the current LPC so much is that they have the political consistency of JELLO... wobbly, slippery, and impossible to nail to a wall) So an idea that will force the LPC to actually define a more consistent VISION, even one that changes with the changing of it's leadership, (instead of changing on an issue by issue, week to week basis) could be beneficial to Canadians. (And it might help to end the trend of mindless peons who simply vote Liberal because their families have ALWAYS voted Liberal, because people would actually have to start THINKING before they vote for their "default" family option...)

This idea might actually lead to a true "centrist" Canadian party, instead of a leftist/statist conglomerate of special interest groups that Canadian voters soundly rejected in the last election. Imagine... average voters, who want to have a say but don't want to pay a membership or join a Party, being able to pick the "vision" from a field of candidates that most closely aligns to their own. It would result in LESS power for the special interest groups that currently hold the Liberal Party hostage, and create a more "Canadian" centrist party than currently exists. Because you see, right now the Libs think that only what they deem as "Canadian values" are the only values that are legitimate... this would end that notion, because real CANADIANS, and not special interest groups, would be telling the LPC what "Canadian" values really are.

As a result of that, their platform would be RADICALLY different than their most recent offerings. It would be a more realistic reflection on what Canadians are actually thinking, and not what the various LPC Grand Poobahs try to LECTURE Canadians on how they should think. (by the way... how's that strategy working for you guys these days?) Hey, if the regular Joe Canadian was able to have a say like that, they may even come up with a vision that I'd be willing to vote for! (Of course, I'm talking about when Harper retires after his FOURTH CONSECUTIVE MAJORITY MANDATE!

Of course, you all know why I like Harper so much... clearly RIGHT, but pragmatically so, and as such able to make decisions for the good of the WHOLE COUNRTY, not being held captive to the influence of one or two special interest groups. He lines up with my vision of the country perfectly... someone who's clearly "conservative", but can govern a nation filled with people of ALL political stripes. Yea, I'm hoping he sticks around for a few terms.

But back to the Liberal Party... I actually voted for them in 1997. NOT for the LPC of course, but for my LOCAL candidate. I'd met him a number of times, and he more closely aligned with my vision and values than the "used car salesman" that the Reform had put forward, or the "dead man walking" that the PC's had put forward. (plus there was that whole "get your act together before I vote for you guys" attitiue that I had for both parties on the right back in those days...)

So personally, I'm a fan of Ibbitson's idea. Just imagine with me for a few moments... various candidates with truly differing visions, travelling around the country from province to province, with different provinces voting on different days, weeks apart like in the US primaries. Have two "divisions" of provinces, with the smaller ones slated to go first, and the three most populous ones later in the process, to ensure that the Big Three don't get to decide who the leading candidates are before the rest of the country has had their say. Instead of having set dates within each division, have a randomly assigned order every cycle, so that you don't get a PEI or New Brunswick always going first, and thus avoiding a perpetually and overly important New Hampshire or Iowa primary. This would also ensure that no one of the Big Three gets to set the agenda for the other two, which would certainly NOT be helpful to national unity.

By having such a process in place, and allowing ANY Canadian to have their say, it would not only renew the Liberal Party, but it would have a profound impact on the other parties as well... the Conservative Party would thereby define themselves with a truly "RIGHT" vision, and the NDP would more likely define themselves with a truly "LEFT" vision. Once the votes are cast in the General Election, Canadians will have more clearly indicated where they want the country to go, and opening up the potential for true coalition governments that would likely more accurately reflect the political will of the people.

For the record, it would actually be NICE to have a real CHOICE when it comes to voting... because right now, I don't have much choice at all. If I don't want to vote Conservative, I don't have an option... there's no way I'd give the NDP the keys to 24 Sussex (though I do think you're a nice guy and all Jack...) and I know the current Liberal Party would simply continue their pattern of social destruction that started way back in 1968. (fortunately, I've got it easy these days, with Harper in charge... cause I actually WANT him to be leading the country. As for the next leader? Who knows... a Mike Harris or Bernard Lord sure, but a Kim Campbell, a Jean Charest, or maybe a Libertarian? Not a chance!)

And I'm being serious here guys... this isn't some nefarious post, secretly wishing that they take my advice and completely destroy themselves... this is an honest evaluation of the idea. It's an idea that I'd very likely partake in... and if I don't like the result of the Leadership contest, I've still got the Conservatives as an option! But I think such an idea would offer real CHOICE to Canadian voters, and would allow for an open, honest, and regularly renewed Liberal Party of Canada. Which is, if I'm correct, what they're aiming for this time around. Well, at least that's what many Liberal voters are hoping for... but as for the current crop of Party insiders, I'm not holding my breath.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011


UPDATE IV: Wow, this post is STILL the highest traffic post I think I've ever written, so a clarification is in order... I've since had GREAT service from Koodo.  I have to chalk things up to a single issue with an account, in part because I was the technical contact who set up the account, while someone else was the one paying the bill.  I'd signed up for a paper bill, and since the payee never got one, I didn't know anything about it until Koodo sent me a "FINAL NOTICE" before going to collections.  Anyway, I got it all cleared up, but this post went up because I had a bad experience with a customer service rep.

If you're looking for Koodo, check them out here:


Well, being an IT guy, and being the resident cell phone expert amongst my friends and political circles, people ask me for advice on who's got the best deals for cell phones. And invariably, for average usage folks, I've always spoken well of Koodo... low cost, and great value for what you get.

BUT NOT ANYMORE!!! Thanks to their low cost, or rather, cheapskate billing practices, I nearly ended up getting a collections black-eye thanks to the folks at Koodo... because THEY never bothered to send me an electronic bill, which is what I'd signed up for! You see, their way of doing things is that instead of sending your monthly e-bill to your e-mail, which is what I "thought" I was signing up for, you actually have to go and register on their website in order to get access to the e-bill.

The real kicker is when you cancel your account (which I'd done, because it was an Election 2011 campaign phone)... you'd think they'd send you a final invoice in order to get their money, right? WRONG!!! All I got from them was a PAST DUE notice, and a threat of getting sent to a collection agency! How's THAT for "Customer Service"???

Funny thing is, if they'd just sent me the bill, paper or electronically, they'd have had their money MONTHS AGO!!! (say, May 3rd?) Instead, cause of their backwards billing processes, they've had to wait an extra two months for their cash, AND have gone and lost me as a customer, AND a whole whack of folks to whom I'll be making recommendations in the future!!! Did I mention that I've already steered two people today away from Koodo?

Plus, I seem to recall that there's a campaign coming up soon... guess who's NOT going to be getting our cell phone contract! And likely this post will influence a few other campaigns to go elsewhere too!


UPDATE: Oh the power of the blog... got a response:
"Looked at your account & from what I can tell the issue seemed to have been that your bills have not been received by you. I can see that they were sent to Canada Post with your address that we have on file. As long as our records are correct I don't have a ready answer why they haven 't arrived even prior to the CP strike. Because of privacy and security concerns we don't email invoices and I don't think anyone else does. Since you were set up to receive a paper bill no email notifications were sent out. I also see that you called and now have access to your bill through our self-serve site. Disappointing that it took us this long to solve things, but I think we have learnt from the experience and will make a few reccos to our team. Thanks for your feedback! Bernard from the Koodo Team"

Thanks for the reply Bernard... you're right, I never got a bill, not even once, even though I paid the extra $2 a month for them. Guess I need to call back for a credit?

UPDATE II: It's been a while since I posted this, and a number of people have found it online and commented on it. Thought I should post an update, because I've since had another, and MUCH better, experience with Koodo, and didn't encounter these kinds of issues. I may have to chalk it up to a one-off issue, as opposed to their customer service as a whole.

UPDATE III: Well, it seems I'm still getting LOTS of traffic to this post (it's one of my higher hit count posts) so it looks like I have to do YET ANOTHER update to clue people in on a few things.

1) Koodo has improved their processes since this post, so the main issue has been resolved. I have dealt with them a number of times since (though NOT during the 2011 Ontario election, as I promised) and have been satisfied. With several of their new plans and phones, they are, in my opinion, once again one of the best options on the market.

2) The issue WAS ON THEIR END, it had nothing to do with me, where some commenters have tried to lay blame. Though I set up the phone for someone, I was NOT supposed to be dealing with the bills... therefore, I didn't even know there was an issue until I got the FINAL NOTICE before going to collections. But the root cause was the fact that there was an issue with Koodo, NOT with me.

So here's a FINAL NOTICE to commenters... anyone who posts stating that "it was your own fault" simply won't get their comments posted. So now you've been warned.

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