Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gaza Nothing but a Turkey Shoot

Some op-ed pieces are worth reprinting. This one from today's Star would be one of them.

Personally, I'd say it's more like shooting fish in a barrel. If civilians are not allowed to leave their country to flee war, can't get food, can't get water, can't get fuel and have to dig tunnels to scavenge medical supplies from Egypt, at what point does a seizure or an incursion start to become a genocide? Just asking.

No Right or Wrong Answers for the Mid East Crisis?

For those that know me, they've often heard me say that there are a few topics to stay away from if you're a politician. Religion. Abortion. Israel. No nos in my books and to be avoided when possible because you'll always offend 50% of those listening to your answer. But, when you are a leader of a political party - or running to be one - you're expected to make statements regarding such conflictory subjects.

My question is this: which statement is correct? This one? Or, this one? 28 vs. 320. My guess is neither. There is no right or wrong answer. There is only loss. Loss begetting more loss.

Mahatma Gandhi used the phrase "An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind". Peace. Peace is the answer.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Canada's Next Great Prime Minister

Michael Crook is a Young Liberal running as a candidate to be Canada's Next Great Prime Minister. All I know about Michael is that I remember him being Vice President of the UBC Young Liberals, but I've reviewed some of the great ideas he has come up with and I thought I'd blog about him a little (plus he asked for my support).

Michael has some big ideas for our country when he becomes PM. The Small Town Legacy Project is one of them. Click on his CNGPM page linked above to see some more of his ideas.

Share your thoughts here with Michael or comment on his website.

Harper and the Bribing of Quebec. -- Bribescam vs. Adscam?

As I've said before: We get letters!

Will it be a Happy New Year for Canadians?

Let's just watch on January 27th for Stephen Harper to roll out a massive spending spree in Quebec in an attempt to "persuade" the Bloc Quebecois to prop up the absolute failure that is Harper's government.

This won't be the first time that Stephen Harper has tried to use "incentives" in order to gain political support. . . . Can anyone say Chuck Cadman?

What exactly will Canada get out of a disproportionate glut of money that will undoubtedly be transferred to Quebec? At least the sponsorship program was aimed at stemming the separatist agenda in Quebec. And if you didn't notice, something seemed to work for a while.

By the way, what was the total cost of the sponsorship program? My guess is that the Bloc Quebecois' portion of Harper's budget will make the entire expenditure for the sponsorship program pale in comparison.

Again, what will Canada get out the billions of dollars that will be spent in Quebec other than prolonging Harper's malignant and politically vicious reign and giving renewed life to the Bloc Quebecois?

Sure, the stimulus money should be distributed fairly in all provinces to help with the economy of the country, but the real focus should be on how Harper will budget the billions of dollars in order to pry the Bloc away from a potential coalition.

Hear it now, the Harper/Bloc budget will have two direct effects, it will keep Harper in the Prime Minister's seat for a while longer and more unfortunately, it will work to rebuild the failing Bloc Quebecois by re-establishing them as a potent political force for Quebec.

Maybe Sheila Fraser will come back from her two year vacation to actually scrutinize Harper's programs and expenditures and expose the real price of Harper's politics of panic.

Working with the Bloc is always going to come with certain drawbacks. This was the danger that would have confronted Stephane Dion, had he been able to go forward with a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc. The Bloc would have been able to hold a knife against the throat of the coalition for the benefit of only Quebec.

It is ironic that the Bloc don't even have to put a knife against Harper's throat in order to achieve their objectives. Harper is doing it all on his own to save his ass from certain political doom.

Will Canadians hold Harper's feet to the fire when the Bloc or let's say maybe just 20 members of the Bloc vote to support Harper's January 27 budget? Will Harper then continue to cry about working with the "Separatists"???

What this most recent set of events should be showing Canadians is that the real problem afflicting our political system is that of regional-based federal political parties that serve only a narrow set of interests. Both the Bloc and the Reform/Conservatives are regional-based parties who are only able to succeed by using divide and conquer tactics.

Why in Canada's 141 year history did it take a western-based Reform/Conservative government under the rule of someone like Stephen Harper (who, by the way, has made a career of hating the federal government) to push Ontario into HAVE NOT STATUS?????

Ontario . . . A HAVE NOT PROVINCE!!!!!

Shouldn't Harper have some explaining to do?

Maybe this is part of Harper's plan to break apart Canada? Why else has he pushed the backbone of the country into have not status, divided east and west, recklessly inflamed anti-Quebec anger, relentlessly brutalized his opposition with infantile attack ads, degraded political discourse, and attacked respected national institutions like Elections Canada, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Courts, the Governor General, Parliamentary procedure, committees and rules?

I am beginning to think that Stephen Harper really doesn't know what he is doing.

Perhaps Harper is just simply filled with anger and is bent on destroying our system of government and his opposition for no purpose other than to satisfy his own unquenchable hatred.

His pet project of Americanizing our system of GOVERNMENT by attempting to change the Senate appointment process, by bringing in legislation to "fix" election dates and having consultation on the appointment of judges have all fallen by the wayside.

Harper has ended up doing exactly what he has railed against for over a decade, appointing 18 senators, appointing judges without consultation, breaking his own "fixed" election law, etc . . .

What Harper HAS succeeded in doing is Americanizing Canada's POLITICAL system with his wholesale adoption of Karl Rove's play book, including aggressive attacks on opponents, employing wedge issues, exploiting ignorance, employing biased media organizations to funnel the Reform/Conservative messages, and by outright lying to the Canadian people.

What is most stupefying about Harper is that he has not yet realized or appreciated that our system has developed customary laws to set out the processes and procedures to deal with these very issues over the course of the past 141 years and in reality over the past 800 years based on the history and development of the British Parliamentary system.

What Harper is obviously failing to understand is that our system has functioned extremely well when the people running the country understand why and how it actually works. We were doing just fine before Harper, in fact, we were the envy of the world for a long time before Harper set out to rip it apart.

This brings me back to my point about the buying of the Bloc to prop up his budget and what would otherwise be a vote of non-confidence. What THIS unholy alliance represents is a group of western separatists collaborating with a group of Quebec "separatists" to control the country at the expense of our broad national interests.

Only in Harper's delusional world of Hobbesian state-of-nature politics can he even think to say that anyone is "better off with Harper".

Have a great New Year!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Giving Challenge


TM Registered

Rob over at Searching for Liberty Blogspot has issued a holiday challenge to Conservatives and Liberals. Naturally Dippers are welcome to join in the holiday fun as well.

I will be joining in the challenge today by dropping off canned goods to the Burlington Food Bank. Share in the giving if you can and then stop off at Rob's blog to share your story.

Cheers and God Bless.

- Jim

Harper's Better Democracy



But that was sooooo 2006.

18 appointments in one day. No PM in history has even come close to that.

Again, as I've said before, the GG should be fired if she allows these appointments to go through without the confidence of the House.

Speaking of which, I'm inclined to believe Harper will seek and receive that confidence in January even thought the budget will probably still contain the abolishment of funding for political parties. The Liberal Party simply isn't ready for a coalition or an election. My guess is 20 MPs will be very flu-ridden on the
27th of January.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Official...Senator Mike Duffy

You too can be one if you use your show in the middle of an election to stomp out the hopes of a Liberal leader. Hear that Don Newman? Goodbye Mike. Can't say I'll miss your ridiculous bias. I'm all for Graham Richardson stepping into that show.

Rounding out the 18 important appointees are:

former broadcaster Pamela Wallin
skier Nancy Greene Raine
Former Newfoundland MP Fabian Manning
Stephen Greene, Deputy Chief of Staff to Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald
Conservative Party fundraiser Irving Gerstein
Patrick Brazeau, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Halifax lawyer Fred Dickson
New Brunswick MLA Percy Mockler
New Brunswick lawyer John D. Wallace
Halifax Conservative organizer Michael L. MacDonald
Former Quebec MP Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis
Montreal businessman Leo Housakos
Former Quebec MNA Michel Rivard
Fundraiser Nicole Eaton
B.C. cultural activist Yonah Martin
Richard Neufeld, B.C.'s Minister of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources
Former member of the Yukon Legislative Assembly Hector Daniel Lang
After years of successive Liberal

Play the Best New Game on the Market

Sock and Awe. My high score is 5.

And Here's the List of Liberal Staffers NOT Having Such a Merry Christmas

So the Hill Times is reporting today.

Is Today Mike Duffy's Day?

We'll soon find out. PEI does have a vacancy.

Does Anyone Remember the 67?

And are any of them in Cabinet now?

$1.4 million in wasted taxpayer dollars? Now that's something one could campaign on.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This From a Guy that Employs Ezra Levant

"This great national project will stand as a symbol for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law," Harper said.

"We are building a monument to Canada's embrace of humanity's highest ideals


That's sooooo rich Mr. Harper. Soooooo very rich.

In Tough Economic Times, Harper Ready to Spend Another $300M

This guy has no regard for money whatsoever.

Harper warned that, should the opposition vote down the government's budget when it is tabled on Jan. 27, he will press Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean to call an election rather than leaving her in the position where she could ask Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff to lead a Liberal-NDP coalition government.


"I will have no choice but to ask for an election. Canadians certainly did not elect a coalition under which the Bloc Quebecois would have a veto to govern the country. If anyone wants to put a coalition government in office, I think they have to get a democratic mandate to do so," Harper said in the Ottawa interview. "If the decision of Parliament is that they don't support the government people elected, then I think the only constitutionally, politically, morally, the only reasonable thing to do at that point is for some other government to get a mandate from the Canadian people."

MSM Journalist Finally Finds Iggy's Book

And so it begins. Questions get to be asked. It doesn't have the same effect as a leadership contest may have taken, but the questions would have been the same.

And what about that carbon tax thing? Bryden failed to ask about it. The answer would have probably been the same though...the nation has no appetite for it right now.

Trial by fire has never ingratiated itself with Canadians, so I hope that whatever platform the Liberal Party of Canada finally decides to go with, it is a broadly consulted document with meaningful, perhaps even popular, original thoughts. With any luck it would be a wee bit better than this one.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Harper v. Ignatieff Now has a Sub-Title

It's official. The next election (failing a coalition of course) will now be billed as:

True North Strong and Free vs. True Patriot Love

Catchy, no?

Conservative Journalist Drools over Ignatieff

Well there's something you don't see every day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Conservatives Still in Majority Territory

Not likely we'll be bringing the government down anytime soon. Thank God we were in a hurry to get that leadership bid over with.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Stupid Comments Like These...

...that make some people wanna stay in the dressing room and not lace up the skates.

One supporter enthuses he beat "the Wayne Gretzky of politics" (Bob Rae) after only two years in Parliament.


Hint to said supporter: in order for one to beat another, there has to be a contest.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Governor General Should Be Fired - And So Should Stephen Harper

In light of this.

She allowed him to prorogue last year. She allowed him to break a law and call and election this year. She allowed him to prorogue again this year to avoid a confidence vote.

But, this latest scam takes the cake. There should have been conditions on this government's ability to spend money and make appointments during this prorogation. Full stop.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tories Have Appointed Over 500 Cronies This Year Alone

Never mind the 18 Senate positions.

Jim Flaherty Wants Your Input

Honest. He does.

2.34 MILLION

That's the cost of the wages per year for Harper's buddies that will be appointed to the Senate before Christmas.
While average Canadians suffer and other political parties are asked to forego government funding from election rebates, the Conservatives have no problem spending 2.34 million dollars. Not to mention the cost of the 18 new senators' staff.

Stephane Dion was right - Harper is a liar. An arrogant one at that.

Parliament Prorogued because of Auditor General

As you know, I'm pretty good on the conspiracy theory thing. I was curious as to where Shiela Frasier and her office has been during this financial crisis. To be honest, she's been pretty non-existent over the past two years.

But have a look at when her recent report was to be tabled. Does the timing of the prorougation therefore look just a little suspicious?

We have had no assessment of the Conservative's wild spending.

We've had not report on spending in Afghanistan.

We've had not report on how the GST cuts have really affected the government or Canadian taxpayers. Was it worth it seeing that we are now in deficit?

Media Advisory: Reports of the Auditor General of Canada and of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development to the House of Commons—Tabling of reports and media lock-up are being postponed

Ottawa, 4 December 2008—Reports from the Office of the Auditor General can only be tabled when Parliament is sitting, and tabling dates are planned with the Parliamentary schedule in mind. Therefore, due to the prorogation of Parliament, the December 2008 Reports of the Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, and of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Scott Vaughan, will be tabled at a later date when the House of Commons is sitting.

The media lock-up planned for 9 December 2008 at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel is therefore cancelled.

The Office will advise the media when a new date for tabling its reports has been determined.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Well That Didn't Take Long

I suspect there'll be plenty more where this came from. Man! The written and spoken word sure is a powerful thing.

The Great Man Cometh. But, many wanted more of a say.

Better start raising some money for those counter-attack ads.

Conservatives Asleep At the Wheel

What? No attack ads? Seems damn near incredible, wouldn't you say?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Michael Ignatieff cares not about the 67924 of YOU!!

Clarification: I have long held the opinion that Steven MacKinnon is one of the brighter lights in the Liberal Party. I have often said that he speaks well on our behalf, both on TV and in print. Steve contacted me last night to offer his side of the story. Fact: Steve has not been doing any "lobbying" for this alleged system proposed by his candidate's camp. I have no reason to doubt him. He's never lied to me yet.


The Liberal Party of Canada has roughly 68,000 card carrying members.

Yesterday and today, Steve MacKinnon, National Director of the Michael Ignatieff campaign, has been lobbying to have the 77 member Liberal caucus choose an immediate, permanent leader. 76 as the speaker of the house is not likely to vote apparently.

So what does this mean?

It means that only 76 ridings of 308, or 25%, will be represented via their elected MP in terms of selecting a leader. Worse yet only 0.1% of the entire party will be selecting our new leader.

But hey, who really gives a shit about the grassroots of the party. And, hey, who cares about the movement for one member, one vote. Or, for that matter, the supporters of a coalition government. It's not like the brass was ever going to listen to the grass anyway.

Let's take it a step further.

We will have no Liberal from the province of Alberta eligible to cast a vote for leader. We will have one vote in the province of Manitoba and one vote in the province of Saskatchewan eligible to vote for leader. All of southwestern Ontario will have but two votes. North of Richmond Hill in Ontario there will only be one ballot cast. There will be zero votes for Liberals outside the isle of Montreal in the province of Quebec. In BC, if you are a Liberal outside of Vancouver or out on the Island, you're shit out of luck.

On the positive side, 6 of seven ridings in Newfoundland will get to have one vote apiece toward the selection of the leader. Even tiny PEI will get more votes than Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta combined. Finally! Equalization for the Maritimes!!

Now that's the Ignatieff that's certainly going to rejuvenate the grassroots of the party and listen to all the members. Yep that sure is democratic alright.

I wanna be part of the minority that votes. Part of the 76. So here's a song for ya.

How Bob Rae Would Like to Solve a Quick Leadership

I don't speak for Bob personally, but this is the feeling I'm getting out of the Rae camp:

We want the broadest possible franchise, allowing for the pressing timelines. That could be internet, phone, in-person voting or a combination of the three.

We do not want the 75% of ridings without a Liberal MP to be left out entirely.

We do not want Party executives and activists to be excluded or given some bullshit post-facto "ratification" vote.

We do not want 77 MPs, representing only 1/4 of the ridings (and 0.1% of the Party membership) to control the outcome.

We cannot see how if we are fighting Harper's attempts to impose the will of 37% on the 62% majority that we can turn around and ignore 3/4 of the country and 99.9% of the Party

What we would like - in a word - DEMOCRACY.

Ignatieff and Rae to Circumvent Leadership Entirely

A formal pitch has been made by Team Ignatieff (read Steve MacKinnon) to circumvent leadership entirely. The plan would call for the caucus members to vote for a permanent leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

That would be 77 votes for 308 riding associations across Canada. That would be the voice of a mere 25% of the ridings in the party. I suspect that clearly wouldn't represent the will of the grassroots of the Liberal Party of Canada. The 58 Liberal Senators would also be a part of the decision.

Ignatieff and Rae hinted the party was trying to head in this direction today.

Globe Takes Another Swipe at Ignatieff

This time Douglas Bell takes his shots. This after Taber already ridiculed him earlier.

The Globe's Rob Silver has questions.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Iggy: NOT HOT

Jane Taber's new Hot and Not list.

Not: Michael Ignatieff. He is losing support over his (tepid) endorsement of a coalition government. While his leadership rival Bob Rae is behind the coalition, it is not clear where Mr. Ignatieff stands exactly. This week, one of his supporters said he faced “major reluctance” from a potential money donor who was concerned about shelling out cash to a party that he believed had been “hijacked by the NDP and separatists.” Some Liberals think Mr. Ignatieff should take a stand, declaring he does not support a coalition with the Bloc and NDP.

New Poll...If Stephane has to Go...

and an interim leader has to be chosen...who should it be?

My choice? Ken Dryden.



Radwanski's Right About Iggy

Well said young Adam. I seem to remember hinting about the very same recently. It plagued him last time around too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Last Time He Did This He Won an Overwhelming Majority

shortly thereafter. Is anybody going to dispute that? Well maybe some will try and make light of it.

It would appear that the coalition has turned into a question of the Liberal leadership. One guy is going coast to coast to sell it to the other 38% of Canadians that are against it. The other isn't. I wouldn't want to be the guy that isn't, come May 2nd in Vancouver.

Some Conservatives Shouldn't Drink and Facebook

For they know not what they do.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Canadian Leader Shuts Down Parliament In Desperate Attempt To Stay In Power

So says the Huffington Post. For shame!

Open Letter to Liberal/NDP/Bloc Strategist(s)

Dear Brain Dead,

As a member of the once-proud Liberal Party of Canada and as part of the 62% majority of Canadians that didn't vote for Stephen Harper, please explain to us why the f@ck you just didn't vote down the economic update first, then announce your wonderful, glorious coalition!

Please, oh please, tell us oh great minds. We would love to know.

Yours truly,

The What Do I Know Grit

I Wonder if the Conservatives are Taping the GG's Conversation

You never know these days.

If I were the GG, I'd tell Stephen Harper I'd give him an answer after Monday night's vote.

While I'm at it though, I'd like to address the Conservative assertions of the Bloc having a veto on any motions and budgets the Liberals will put forward in the coalition government. Let me ask ya: don't they already have that power by virtue of the amount of seats they hold in the House? Whether it's a Conservative budget or a Liberal budget?

And as for this notion of separatists supporting a coalition? Are the Conservatives saying that they've never received the support of the Bloc on any bills or budgets? Seriously?

Weighing Your Coalition Video Options

I guess one way to look at it is how you weigh Stephen Harper's address to the nation compared to Stephane Dion's reaction.

Poor Video Quality vs. A Pack of Lies

Team Ignatieff Not So Coalition Crazy

Gotta wonder sometimes. Other times you just gotta shake your head.

IGNATIEFF WARNED OFF COALITION CABINET POST
JANE TABER

SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER; with a report from Campbell Clark

December 3, 2008


Michael Ignatieff, the front-runner in the race to replace Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, is being encouraged by supporters to stay out of a Dion-led coalition cabinet.

Mr. Ignatieff's "instinct" is also to stay away from the cabinet, says a source close to the politician, and spend his time concentrating on his leadership bid by selling memberships, rebuilding the party and eventually winning a majority government instead of worrying about this fragile coalition.

The Ignatieff official said Mr. Ignatieff's view not to accept a cabinet position - if one is offered and it likely would be - should not be interpreted as some new-founded concern over the coalition or that he is backing out of the coalition.

Rather, it should be looked at as Mr. Ignatieff's decision to concentrate on party rebuilding and his leadership, the official said.

Mr. Dion was meeting with his officials yesterday to deal with cabinet posts, according to a well-placed source. Mr. Ignatieff is to meet with the leader today.

It appears his leadership rivals, Toronto Centre MP Bob Rae and New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc, could be named to the 25-member coalition cabinet - a change in past practice because MPs who ran in the 2006 leadership contest were not allowed to hold opposition critic roles.

There is a belief among some Liberals, however, that if one leadership candidate is in cabinet so should the other two.

Meanwhile, some of the MPs and others supporting Mr. Ignatieff do not want him mixed up in what is increasingly becoming a controversial coalition, as the Tories mount a major campaign condemning the Liberals for cozying up to Quebec separatists.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

GG to Stephen Harper:

Hey! Wannabe! Whadya want?



Well, I wanna break the country into little bits and be a dictator after I destroy all the other parties.

Cons Made Deal with The Bloc

Hypocrites!

DANIEL LEBLANC

Globe and Mail Update

December 3, 2008 at 2:07 PM EST

***Read the proposal (pdf) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/v5/content/pdf/coalit.pdf


OTTAWA - The separatist Bloc Québécois was part of secret plotting in 2000 to join a formal coalition with the two parties that now make up Stephen Harper's government, according to documents obtained by The Globe and Mail.

The scheme, designed to propel current Conservative minister Stockwell Day to power, undermines the Harper government's line this week that it would never sign a deal like the current one between the Liberal Party, the NDP and the Bloc.

Bloc officials said that well-known Calgary lawyer Gerry Chipeur sent a written offer before the votes were counted on election day on Nov. 27, 2000.

According to prominent sovereigntist lawyer Eric Bédard, who received the proposal, Mr. Chipeur identified himself as being close to Mr. Day, the leader of the Canadian Alliance at the time.

"I never had the impression that I was involved in theoretical constitutional discussions," Mr. Bédard said, adding he had never met Mr. Chipeur before.

A Bloc official said the link between Mr. Chipeur and Mr. Bédard was facilitated by Rodrigue Biron, a former Parti Québécois minister who was part of the unite-the-right movement in the late 1990s.

In addition to his discussions with Mr. Bédard, Mr. Chipeur said he also approached the chief of staff to Joe Clark, who was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

The discussions were held about a two-page document entitled "Consensus Leadership for a New Century," as well as a two-page proposal for a Speech from the Throne.

In an interview, Mr. Chipeur played down the importance of the offer, saying he never discussed the matter with Mr. Day or other MPs, and was simply getting ready in the event of a minority government.

"I was preparing for what might happen," Mr. Chipeur said.

Still, the agreement included room at the bottom for the signatures of Mr. Day, Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe and Mr. Clark, to be signed the day after the election.

At the time, the Alliance was ready to fly Mr. Day from his BC riding to Calgary to pick up Mr. Clark on the way to Ottawa, where the deal was to be presented to the Governor-General in the event of a minority Parliament.

The Alliance government promised in the event of a coalition to "respect the legitimate jurisdictions of Canada's provinces, including Quebec."

"We agree that we will support Stockwell Day as Prime Minister of Canada," said the draft agreement, which would have hinged on Bloc support.

The plan fell apart as the final result of the election in 2000 saw the Liberals win a clear majority with 172 seats. By comparison, the Alliance, Bloc and PC Party only had a total of 116 seats. The NDP won 13 seats.

However, the draft agreement raises questions about statements this week from senior Conservative ministers who are blasting a Liberal-NDP coalition with Bloc support as a "deal with the devil."

"The brutal fact here is that something has happened that has never happened before in Canadian history," Mr. Day, the current Conservative Minister of Trade, said on CTV Newsnet on Tuesday. "And that is two federal leaders have actually signed a deal with a separatist party whose goal it is to destroy the country."

Mr. Day was replaced at the helm of the Alliance in 2002 by Mr. Harper, who went on to oversee a merger of the Alliance and the PC Party.

Mr. Harper, now Leader of the Conservative Party and a minority Prime Minister, is waging an all-out fight against the proposed Liberal-NPD coalition, which includes Bloc support on confidence votes until June, 2010.

The Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc hope to defeat the Harper government on Monday, but the Conservatives will likely attempt to shut down Parliament in a bid to survive until January.

As Mr. Harper defended his government during Question Period on Tuesday, his Conservative caucus gave him repeated standing ovations and pointed to opposition benches with cries of "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

"We will have [in a coalition] a mechanism of permanent consultation empowering the Bloc Québécois on every question of importance, notably concerning the adoption of the budget. This Prime Minister, this government, this party has never and will never sign a document like that," Mr. Harper said.

While in opposition, however, Mr. Harper asked then-Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson in 2004 to turn to him if Paul Martin's newly elected Liberal government were defeated in the Commons.

"We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority," Mr. Harper said at the time.

The release of the 2000 draft agreement from the Canadian Alliance is likely to bolster the coalition's arguments that the Conservatives are engaged in double-speak.

Mr. Chipeur was a prominent lawyer in Alliance circles and an official member of the legal committee of the United Alternative, a key element of the unite-the-right movement. He went on to represent the Alliance in legal cases after the 2000 election.

A Bloc supporter, who was informed about the talks with him at the time, said the Alliance was willing to provide increased transfers, as well as the management of the long-gun registry, to the provinces.

The Bloc official added that the discussions with Mr. Chipeur included compromises on contentious issues, such as a promise to respect a straight majority of 50-per cent plus one in the event of a future referendum on Quebec sovereignty. The move would have gone against the Liberal Clarity Act, which calls for a stronger majority.

But Mr. Chipeur said he simply looked at the public positions of the various parties in drafting his proposal and conducting the informal talks.

Labour Rallies Behind Coalition Government

Hello All;

Labour is organizing a Pro Coalition Government rally in Toronto this Saturday. The rally will begin at noon and take place in Nathan Phillips Square.

The Conservatives are organizing an Anti Coalition Government rally at the same time at Queen's Park.

If any of you are inclined you may want to join thousands of supporters at the rally at Nathan Phillips Square.

Pass this on to anyone who you may think is interested.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Burning Down the House"

Our readers here at the What Do I Know Grit are some of the best at satire.



Here is my prediction for the rest of the week.

Harper will encourage bonfire rallies outside of Rideau Hall in anticipation of the Governor General's decision not to prorogue the Parliament.

A "disgruntled" junior member of the Bloc Quebecois will be caught under questionable circumstances setting fire to the east block of the Parliament buildings.

Stephen Harper will immediately conclude that the arsonist is part of a broad separatist conspiracy to bring down the government.

Harper will send Pierre Poilievre and Jason Kenney out to ensure that CTV and the other lapdog conservative media outlets unleash a relentless 24 hour barrage of press to claim the NDP and the Bloc are launching a socialist/separatist insurrection.

Harper will bring down the emergency powers of the Emergencies Act (formerly known as the War Measures Act) and he will then suspend civil rights and the civilian courts and invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Charter with respect to any and all decisions made by him and his Ministers under the Emergencies Act.

Since all of our troops are in Afghanistan, Harper will call his dear friend George Bush to see if he can "borrow" a division of mercenaries from Blackwater to quell the insurrection.

Since Bush has nothing to lose and Harper's "War Chest" is so massive, Bush sends 15,000 Blackwater troops into Canada to operate under the sole authority and command of Stephen Harper.

Harper shuts down the internet and bans publications that are not in line with his government.

Canadians rally at CBC headquarters in Toronto in order to preserve the last voice of freedom in the country. Tanks are sent into T.O. and after the crowds have been dispersed and the organizers jailed, the CBC building is razed to the ground.

With the CBC, Toronto Star and TVO all silenced, Ben Mulroney, Mike Duffy and Bob Fife engage in a massive propaganda effort before Stephen Harper calls for a referendum to abolish the silly rules set out in the Constitution Act and in the Charter.

Having gotten rid of the Constitution Act and Charter Harper relocates the seat of government to Fort McMurray Alberta and transforms all of the provinces east of Manitoba into Territories under the jurisdiction of the Confederal government.

Harper then annexes a 200km deep section of land north of the St. Lawrence River from east of Montreal to Baie Comeau and cedes it to the new State of Northern Quebec.

Having successfully lived out his childhood dreams of destroying the Canadian Government and sending the separatists packing, Stephen Harper installs himself as the Sultan of the Athabascan Confederacy and lives out his days looking out with pride from his front porch onto the endless horizon of sludge pits and putrid tar ponds.

December the 6th becomes a national holiday called "Better off with Harper Day".
And there will be order again in the land . . .

(or else!!!).


And now the lyrics:

Watch out
you might get what you're after
Cool baby
strange but not a stranger
I'm an ordinary guy
Burning down the house
Hold tight
wait 'til the party's over
Hold tight
we're in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house
Here's your ticket pack your bag;
time for jumpin' overboard
Transportation is here
Close enough but not too far,
maybe you know where you are
Fightin' fire with fire
All wet yeah you might need a raincoat
Shakedown
thieves walking in broad daylight
Three hundred sixty five degrees
Burning down the house
It was once upon a place
sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work
say baby what did you expect
Gonna burst into flame
My house
S'out of the ordinary
That's right
Don't want to hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house
No visible means of support
and you have not seen nothing yet
Everything's stuck together
I don't know what you expect staring into the TV set
Fighting fire with fire
Burning down the house

Rallies for the Coalition Government

Get all the information you need right here: www.makeparliamentwork.ca

Join in the fun at a city near you.

Stephane Dion Needs Your Help


Now more than ever. Donate a couple of bucks today. Then donate again in 30 days.

TED ROGERS R.I.P.


A giant amongst us. His vision and philanthropy will be missed.

Conservatives Begin the Bloodletting

Buon GIORNO Guy. Who really believes that he talked Stephen Harper into this brutal non-economic statement? Anyone? Anyone?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dionistas and the March on Stornoway Revisited



To all the hundreds of you that encouraged us to March on Stornoway in October to encourage Stephane Dion to stay on as leader, I say "THANK YOU!!!"

Like the man says: Stronger Together

Rae First to File Nomination Papers

That rules him out for interim PM I'd say. CBC has the story.

I will be backing Bob Rae and look forward to his input on this coalition government, since he is the only one in the House of Commons that has the experience in such matters.

Open Letter to the Liberal Caucus and Executive

Received this yesterday. Thought it best to post it this morning. Emphasis her own as written.

OPEN LETTER

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
November 30, 2008

Mr. Doug Ferguson,
President, Liberal Party of Canada
Members of the National Executive
Liberal Party Caucus members

Dear President and Members of the National Executive,

I am writing to you as a member of the Liberal Party who is greatly concerned about the reports and interviews in the media where comments are being made by Liberal caucus members and "insiders" about "who should be the leader of the coalition" (between the Liberal and New Democratic parties). The media reports, gleefully, that various proposals are being discussed, and that there is a plan to oust our present leader, Mr. Stephane Dion, and replace him with a more palatable (to the caucus, to the executive members, to the party elites) person.

That this could even be talked about in Liberal party leadership circles is shocking, as it indicates a lack of elementary loyalty to, and solidarity with, our elected leader and a contempt for the membership, an attitude which will only create havoc in the party, and perhaps lead to a severe crisis from which the party will not recover for years to come.

The facts are these: back in December 2006, in our convention in Montreal, Stephane Dion was elected by the membership to be the party's leader. He was chosen, I believe, because there was a strongly-felt need for something new and fresh, not part of the "same old, same old" which had ceased to attract Canadians to the party, as members and voters. This decision by the members stands, and cannot be undone by a handful of individuals in the caucus and on the executive.

It should be no surprise to anyone that Mr. Dion did not fare well in the electoral arena. He inherited the fate that had befallen the previous leader, Mr. Paul Martin, of being defined by the Conservatives before he had a chance to establish himself. Paul Martin's rapid descent from an experienced and competent politician, and — unlike Mr. Dion — well known to Canadians, to "Mr. Dithers," was even more spectacular, and speaks to the success of Stephen Harper's U.S.-style negative campaigning. This aggressive campaigning will no doubt define the next leader as well, unless we can stop it — and unless we are prepared to protect our leaders better than we have in the recent past.

The only remedy we have as party members is our loyalty and respect for the men (and women, when that happens) who are putting their lives and reputations on the line for the good of the country. To see a leader as shabbily treated as Stephane Dion, not just by the media and Conservatives, but our party's parliamentary caucus and behind-the-scenes elites is intolerable and unforgivable. It was bad enough that he received the bum's rush after the election and was forced (by the caucus, we are told) to walk the plank and be publicly humiliated in the process, but is outrageous beyond belief that now we have the same people, often without their names known to us, speaking to the media about replacing Stephane Dion with "somebody else" if and when the coalition becomes a reality. We only have one leader and by definition a coalition government will have as its leader the leader of her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. End of discussion!

Along with other party members, I expect public assurances, in words and actions, from yourself, Mr. President, and the national executive, that there will be no coup d'etat attempted, no subterfuge tried to replace Mr. Dion, and that the caucus and the executive will act as loyal members of the party, and not as some self-selected rogue element which makes decisions without the slightest consideration for the membership — or for the consequenses of their actions on the future of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Awaiting your response, I remain

Sincerely yours,


Marjaleena Repo
Saskatoon (Blackstrap)


P.S. Much is being made, STILL, of the fact that under Mr. Dion's leadership, the party lost 26 seats. Do the caucus members, executive members and various "anonymous Liberals" not know or remember, that under Mr. Martin the party dropped 69 seats in his two elections? Clearly, there is more to be questioned than the performance of the current leader, and by focusing on his alleged shortcomings, the party itself, with its lack of any sign of "renewal" or "revitalization" (as we are so often rhetorically promised), avoids a well-deserved scrutiny.


Marjaleena Repo

Prime Minister Ignatieff

Well there you go. Prime Minister Ignatieff.

So much for the grassroots having a say in the matter. Why'd we bother with selecting a leader in 2006? I mean the backroom boys knew all along who should be leader. Don't you know? How stupid of you grassroots Liberals to believe in a democratic party.

UPDATE: Coyne sums it up best.

Updaterer: Bob Rae the unifier.As I've said, he's the only one in the House that knows anything about coalition governments.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ignatieff to Blame if Government Doesn't Fall

This is why Ignatieff will never win leadership. Disloyal, backstabbing, arrogant, self-absorbed supporters like these assholes.

And just when Dion is set to lead this country back to civility.


H/T to Grit Liberal

John Ivison: Coalition success may ride on Ignatieff, and he isn't gamePosted: November 30, 2008, 10:34 PM by Shereen Dindar

By John Ivison


Liberal leadership candidate Michael Ignatieff is unlikely to support the coalition deal being negotiated by lame duck leader Stéphane Dion - a decision that would doom the opposition parties attempt to bring down the government next week in a vote of no-confidence in the House of Commons.

A person close to Mr. Ignatieff said that any deal with the Bloc Québécois and NDP struck by Mr. Dion would be a "poison chalice" for the next leader. He said that Mr. Ignatieff has the support of more than 50 of the 77 Liberal MPs, so the success or failure of a coalition proposition will depend on how the leadership candidate views any deal.

Although Mr. Ignatieff has publicly maintained the official Liberal line that the government should fall over its handling of the economy, his supporters say any coalition deal with the left-wing NDP and separatist Bloc is fraught with risk. It would only take nine Liberals to be absent from the House next Monday for the government to survive and the source said he fully expects a number of no-shows.

Liberal attempts to reach a deal with the NDP face a number of hurdles, not least of which is the New Democrats' insistence on a senior economic portfolio such as industry for leader Jack Layton. The Liberals are equally determined that those economic jobs should be held exclusively by them. But one senior Grit confided that the internal leadership dynamic creates even bigger obstacles to an agreement than negotiations with the New Democrats.

The source in the Ignatieff camp said Mr. Dion is making all the running on coalition talks with the NDP and the Bloc Québécois, and is not consulting with leadership candidates, Mr. Ignatieff, Bob Rae or Dominic LeBlanc.

"Dion is like Frankenstein's monster - he's on the slab and just had a jolt of life injected into him. He's going full tilt ahead with this coalition but his caucus isn't going with him," the source said.

Mr. Ignatieff's supporters are aware that a coalition would be shaky, and probably short-lived. The Conservatives opened their war-room yesterday, just in case the country is plunged into an election next week, and are already preparing to hammer the Liberals for striking a deal with the sovereigntist Bloc.

"Ignatieff knows he will probably be leader next May, so why not do it cleanly and properly? What's in it for him to be part of this power grab?" asked one Conservative, who said he was also hearing from sources that Mr. Ignatieff does not want to be part of any deal.

Despite the increased likelihood that the government will survive the confidence vote, the coming week is still likely to be full of high drama.

Yesterday, the government continued its attempts to remove the irritants that provoked the crisis. The proposed ban on strikes for the public service was ditched, following the remarkable u-turn on the public funding of political parties issue on Saturday. Jim Flaherty, the Finance Minister, said yesterday that he will bring down a Budget on January 27, although he stopped short of promising the kind of stimulus package the opposition parties have been demanding.

Scott Brison, the Liberal finance critic, said that the government's moves mean nothing. "We can't trust anything this government says anymore. We have no faith in this Prime Minister," he said.

The Conservatives hope that the focus of media coverage will now shift to the potential coalition partners and what the some Tories have been calling their "coup d'état". The allegation that NDP leader Jack Layton and the Blco Québécois' Gilles Duceppe held conversations about a coalition long before the current crisis offered the Conservatives the chance to hit back after days of being pounded over the political funding issue. They charged that the confidence vote is not about the handling of the economy or the government's fall update, "[It] is merely a trigger to execute a long-standing secret deal between the NDP and the Quebec separatists."

The Conservatives have alleged that the moves by the opposition parties to offer themselves up to the Governor-General as a viable alternative, should the government fall, are undemocratic. However, the Liberals retaliated by saying that Mr. Harper, Mr. Layton and Mr. Duceppe presented precisely the same proposal to former Governor-General, Adrienne Clarkson, in 2005.

The only certainty amidst the drama is that Stephen Harper has been wounded by his miscalculation. His reputation for strategic brilliance is in tatters and many Conservatives have started speculating about leadership challenges. An unoffical website called Conservatives for Jim Prentice sprung up yesterday, pointing out that Mr. Prentice has invited his opposition critics to join him at the U.N.'s global climate-change talks taking place next week in Poland. "If the government had acted more like this, while still advancing the Conservative agenda in a less agressive way, we might not be staring into the abyss," wrote the anonymous supporter of the Environment Minister.

Stephen Harper IS the Canadian Nixon

We blogged about this back in April. With today's amazing law-breaking revelation by the PMO that they are taping other poeples' conversations, he has certainly proved our theory.

Which Conservative is Telling the Truth?

....well. um. Probably none of them, but that's besides the point. Minister Baird said there'd be a budget within 30 days. But that was so yesterday. Parliamentary Secretary to Stephen Harper, Pierre Poilievre, said there'd be a budget within 30 days. But that was soooo yesterday too.

Today, the guy who should know, Finance Minister (Deficit) Jim Flaherty tells Craig Oliver on Question Period that the budget will be delivered within 60 days. More specifically, January 27, 2009.

I guess the Conservatives may be having some communications difficulties internally. With the exception of Doug Finlay's letter asking for all Conservatives to dome together for another election.

Stephane Dion Wins Leadership Poll

And with authority I might add. My guess is that there won't be a coalition government unless Dion is at the helm.

Baird Skips Interview on CBC Sunday Morning

I wonder why? Could be it be this? Too afraid to answer tough questions I guess.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rae the One With Sober Judgement

Afterall, Bob's the only one in the House that really knows how to make a coalition government work.


Joan Bryden's article hit's the nail on the head with regards to a coalition Liberal government. Apparently some other leadership camps are miffed.

Ignatieff addressed the issue himself Friday:

"There are some rumours swirling around about coalition talk and other kinds of talk. I just want to make it clear to everybody that I am privy to none of it and I'm party to none of it," he told CTV.

Rae, meanwhile, called for a common front among the leadership contenders and Dion to ensure that the leadership question doesn't present an obstacle to whatever decisions the party makes in the next few days about the fate of the Harper government.

"We have to be very clear that the Liberal party is going to find a timely and democratic way to resolve whatever issues need to be resolved about the leadership," he said in an interview.

Rae said was hoping to talk to Ignatieff, LeBlanc and Dion about ways they can "make sure that the issue of the leadership is not going to be something that gets in the way of any other discussions that need to happen with respect to providing real stability for Canadians and real leadership for Canadians."

However, insiders with other camps were miffed that Dion is conducting negotiations with the Bloc and NDP about a coalition government without consulting any of the leadership candidates.

New Leadership Poll

Donate to Stephane Dion now. Donate to Bob Rae today. Donate to Dominic Leblanc just cause. Oh, and while you're at it, maybe donate to the Liberal Party.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ignatieff Camp Sinks to New Low

Absolutely mind-boggling.

Our party is in a crisis. The parliament is in a crisis. The country is in a crisis.

And what does team Ignatieff do? Why they use political opportunism to try and raise money for their candidate so he can "Save Canada's Democracy".

Michael Ignatieff, who is not the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is going to "Save Canada's Democracy" with your donation to his leadership campaign? Incredible.

From: xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Date: November 27, 2008 4:48:04 PM PST (CA)Subject: Save Canada's Democracy - Sauver la démocratie canadienneUne version en français suit.

Stephen Harper is trying to undermine Canada's fair and open political system. Take Action Now!

Donate to Michael Ignatieff's campaign.
As you may have heard, Stephen Harper's Conservative government has proposed that all public funding of political parties be stopped. This is just a cynical attempt to use the economic crisis -- a crisis that Stephen Harper has grossly mismanaged -- to undermine the democratic underpinnings of

Canada's fair and open political system.
If Stephen Harper succeeds it will cost the Liberal Party over $7,700,000 per year!

With your help, we can raise money to fight Stephen Harper and his undemocratic plans. That is why, today, I am asking you to make a small donation to the Michael Ignatieff Campaign. Please click here to donate $10, $20 or more, every dollar helps. Please donate today so that we can fight for fair political financing rules.

If you are able to make a longer-term commitment, then please join the Liberal Party Victory Fund. The Victory Fund strengthens both our Party and our riding associations, building our strength at both a national and grassroots level. If you join the Victory Fund right now, you will automatically contribute $25 to Michael's campaign. Please click here to join the Victory Fund.

Michael Ignatieff can only succeed with your support. Canada's fair and open democratic system is worth fighting for.

Yours truly,

xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
National Campaign Director


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sauver la démocratie canadienne
Stephen Harper tente d'affaiblir les fondements du système politique canadien. Agissez dès maintenant.

Contribuez à la campagne de Michael Ignatieff
Vous êtes peut-être au courant que les Conservateurs de Stephen Harper ont proposé de couper tout financement public aux partis politiques. C'est une tentative cynique d'utiliser la crise économique actuelle -- une crise que Stephen Harper a géré de façon terrible -- pour affaiblir les fondements de justice et d'ouverture du système politique canadien.

Si le parti de Stephen Harper réussit, cela coûtera au Parti libéral plus de 7 700 000$ par année !

Avec votre aide, nous pouvons lever des fonds pour combattre Stephen Harper et son plan anti-démocratique. C'est pourquoi je vous demande aujourd'hui de faire un don à la campagne de Michael Ignatieff. En cliquant ici, vous pouvez donner 10$, 20$ ou plus – chaque dollar fait une différence. S.V.P. contribuez aujourd'hui afin que nous puissions nous battre pour des règles de financement justes.

Si vous avez la possibilité de prendre un engagement à plus long terme, nous vous demandons de joindre le Fonds de la victoire du Parti libéral. Le Fonds de la victoire aide notre parti et nos associations de comté, nous renforçant aux niveaux nationaux et locaux. Si vous vous joignez au Fonds de la victoire maintenant, vous contribuez automatiquement 25$ à la campagne de Michael. Cliquez ici pour vous joindre au Fonds de la victoire.

Michael Ignatieff ne peut être élu sans votre soutien. Un système démocratique juste et ouvert vaut la peine vaut la peine d'être défendu.

Sincèrement,

xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Directeur de campagne national

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Harper Determined to Destroy Wheat Board

Purely partisan politics. Never have we had such and intrusive government in our time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Albertans For Bob Rae

The latest in Rae Facebook Groups. Join here now.

Flaherty to slash public funding for federal parties

There is no end to what the Conservatives will do to eliminate the Liberal Party of Canada from the face of the earth.

And you know what? We Liberals help them at every opportunity to do so. Case in point? Another leadership race.

Michael Ignatieff. Canada's Obama.

Yep. You heard it here. (great point about the lack of a plan too)

Oh. So is this guy!

Hint: There is no Canadian Obama. There's just Barack Obama of the United States of America people. Painting your candidate as an Obama is not a good strategy.

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS's "Sixty minutes" on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tick, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota, some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a President who speaks English as if it were his first language. "Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the
risk of sounding like an elitist."

The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete
sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject,
predicate, subject predicate - we get it, stop showing off."

The President-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. "Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.

Prime Minister Hitchcock? Is That You?

Pictures are priceless, no?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Justin Trudeau is in the House

Thought I'd share that with ya.

Some Guys Just Never Learn Their Lessons

Same old. Same old. Same old arrogance. Incredible really, given my suggestions to the candidate last time out. Oh well.

This Sucks

I just found this burried in the news.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Harper Gambit Stifles Union Negotiations

Federal employees cave under pressure. Not exactly unusual for the Harper government to threaten people with their careers now is it?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bob Rae and Angelo Persichilli Are Both Right

Fairly honest Star article today.

So How Do We Help Manitobans Dear Sir?

What's the answer? Better yet, what was the question?

I've Been Warning You About this Day...Dion Was Right, They are Liars

Back in February '08 I wrote a post on Jim Flaherty's tendency to enjoy deficit financing and how this country was going to go to hell in a hand basket financially. We continued to harp on this throughout the year.

Now we have this. And, just 4 short weeks after we heard a different story from the LLPOF PM Stephen Harper.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lessons Learned By Bob Rae and Moving Forward

On another Blog run by an old friend of mine, commentor Ted states: I have met Bob and think him a decent, hardworking man. But does it strike you as a bit odd how many times he says he's learned from his many mistakes, and how few times (read none) he tells us what those mistakes were and what he learned from them?
Ted | 11.21.08 - 9:37 am | #


My question is: What economies have Michael Ignatieff and Dominic Leblanc ever run Ted. For that matter what economic experience do they have at all?

Well, here's you anwer Ted.

Bob Rae: How to deal with the economic crisis
Posted: November 22, 2008, 9:00 AM
by Kelly McParland Full Comment, Canadian politics


Political parties have a critical role to play in helping Canadians get through tough economic times. Today, Canadians are rightly preoccupied with jobs, retirement savings and pensions, housing prices and with making ends meet. They expect intelligent action from their government.

The challenges are numerous. There are concerns that capital and credit markets have seized up, arresting growth in its tracks. A perfect storm has hit Canada’s manufacturing industries — sharply falling demand from the United States coupled with fierce competition from increasingly productive Asian economies. Our gyrating currency affects what we buy and what we sell.

Almost 20 years ago, as the premier of Ontario during its worst recession since the Great Depression, I gained essential experience in governing when the economy recedes. Today, under similar circumstances, I would do some things very differently. So here, for the record, are some lessons learned from a life of public service.

• First, it is essential to understand the speed with which a falling economy can cause the revenues of a government to evaporate. Just four weeks ago, Stephen Harper assured Canadians that our economy was fundamentally strong. Today, he openly speaks to a potential deficit.

• Second, times of crisis teach us the importance of being practical, and show us the folly of ideologies and theories. It was a great British Conservative, Edmund Burke, who reminded us that “there is nothing more dangerous than to govern in the name of a theory.” Mr. Harper is finally taking note. It’s about time.

• Third, prosperity is earned, it matters and it can never be taken for granted.

• Fourth, fiscal discipline matters and is linked to prosperity.

• Fifth, governments must ensure everyone benefits from the opportunities prosperity creates.

• Sixth, you can’t go it alone. It doesn’t matter how independently secure you might think you are — global recessions are humbling to the mighty. So it’s essential to get all sorts of people to the table. You need other governments, industry, labour and community leaders, so as to build consensus for tough action.


To begin to solve our current challenges, we need to apply those lessons learned, and take the right steps.

Our first step must be to support the key industries that drive the Canadian economy. In the car industry, for example, the federal government has to negotiate assistance packages. We must, or we risk losing much more than we already have. In return, Ottawa must insist on a profound commitment from the industry to make it sustainable, green and competitive going forward.

Step two is for the federal government, the provinces and our communities to substantively invest in infrastructure. Crumbling infrastructure adversely affects business productivity and our quality of life. A major infrastructure build will help maintain jobs and demand in the economy, while making us more productive.

Step three is to help working families manage through this time. We need to make sure that employment insurance is there for Canadians when they need it. Similarly, we should change the Canada Student Loan program to ensure that all students have access to low-interest support. We need to work harder with the provinces and business on opportunities for aboriginal training and aboriginal business, and on programs to ensure the speedy integration of new Canadians into our society with their skills recognized.

These three steps must all be carried out within a framework of fiscal responsibility and prudence.

Beyond today, we have to address the deeper concern that Canadians have about the future. To do this, we need to completely rethink our tax system. We need to make it more efficient, simpler and more geared toward productivity, savings, entrepreneurship and wealth creation. If we have real tax reform, we can have personal income-tax cuts that are fair and progressive, that reward savings and boost productivity.

Our corporate taxes must also be competitive. The economies that thrive are the ones that include competitive tax rates, and an environment that encourages venture capital to create prosperity. Energy efficiency, and a greener economy and society have to remain critical objectives.

We also need to recognize the rise of a permanent and powerful economic centre of gravity in Western Canada. The oil and gas industry has been driving the Canadian economy in recent years. It is vibrant, entrepreneurial and innovative. We are lucky to have it. The challenge for this sector and for governments is to make the resource sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible.

The crisis affecting Canada is global, and Canada must be a leader in finding solutions. We should play a role in redesigning the international economic architecture to help prevent such a crisis from happening again.

A new era of prosperity will not come about on its own. It will take focus and resolve. Canada will once again have to find its voice, a voice that transcends borders and barriers and speaks to a common interest far stronger than what divides us. That voice must express this point at home and abroad, that things will get better, that opportunities can come again.
National Post

Bob Rae is MP for Toronto Centre, and a candidate to lead the Liberal Party of Canada.

Conservatives Spending the Bank on Travel

Update: Today, to open up his address at the APEC summit, PM Harper welcomed "the Canadian Junior Team. Canada's future leaders". Who is this junior team? Who paid for this junior team to go to Lima Peru? i thought we were in a recession and we had to be prudent?

Exactly what they claimed Liberals used to do. Apparently you can't get a cheaper flight to Australia than $17,537. Right Maxime?

And, whose the highest spender? Hey big spender! That'd be you Mr. Lunn. $340k in just 2 years Mr. Natural Resource guy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Leadership Summed Up

Some bloggers get it.

Rae Sets His Campaign to the Beat of a Different Drum

So says the Globe and Mail.

Rae Days and How Bob Gets It

It's the sustainable green way to go.

There's a new kind of Rae Day on its way. Sustainable environmental jobs. Go green, get jobs.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dionistas for Bob Rae

A Call to Arms.

In recent weeks, it has been no secret that I was in favour of defending our Leader, Stephane Dion to remain as our leader. I took a trip to Stornoway to express my thoughts to the leader. Many of you were there in spirit. Some of you appeared in person and played some road hockey with us. Some of you even donated to the leader's leadership debt. To all of you, I say thank you.

It was clear by the following day that Mr. Dion was not going to try and defend. What then? What of the team we had assembled to defend? Where would we go, and who would we support. Weeks of agonizing decisions ensued.

Many of you were (and still are) looking for a viable third option to the Iggy/Rae sequel. Manley, McKenna, Cauchon, McGuinty dropped off like flies hit by Raid. GK deliberated for a while and decided he could be more effective staying out. A wise choice in my humble opinion.

So we are stuck with the dogs that hunt. Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Dominic Leblanc. Knowing this, where to? How do we get there from here?

For me, I had to try and put myself into the Conservative war room in a hypothetical scenario of Mr. X vs. Mr. Harper. I had to determine who was less likely to be framed by the Conservatives in a negative way and who would be strong enough to defend himself in the event that he is. In order to do this, I had to rip the candidates apart and analyze all of the negatives that could be exploited by the Conservatives.

It was a painstaking task made even more difficult by the fact that I consider myself a friend of two of the three men on personal levels and outside of politics. By friend, perhaps I mean access to. The added pressure of many friends moving to this camp or that camp made the task even more daunting. Men and women I have great respect for heading this way and that, here and there. Raucus debates sometimes ensued and some friendships have even been strained.

I watched as top Dionista and master of leadership 2006, Mark Marissen, walked to Team Ignatieff along with master bloggers Warren Kinsella and Jason Cherniak. Friends all.

I looked on as Gerard Kennedy's youth such as Jason Easton and Janice Nicholson took a stroll over to Dominic Leblanc's camp and breathed life and energy into it.

I've seen members of Team Dryden split to Leblanc and Bob Rae's camp.

I observed the mad rush of caucus members scurrying to the frontrunner's camp. No surprises really. Numbers of them never really stopped campaigning after leadership 2006.

What did all this movement mean? How the heck is this renewal? If it is renewal, which, if any, of my friends is right? Throw in the fact that I did an online poll whereby 53% of the respondents said "NONE OF THE ABOVE". Whack! What a headache!

In addition, I had to look at someone that could raise money (hint: if you already raised millions & paid off your debts you had the inside track), renew the Liberal family, increase membership and support of one member, one vote in so doing and, most of all, be a respected leader in this country and throughout the world so as to bring Canada back to its rightful place on the world stage. In other words, I wasn't looking for a wordsmith. I was looking for a statesman.

In the end, I've come to the conclusion that I will choose to support for leader the man I feel I can defend best against the Conservative attack ads and has more upside than the other contenders. A man that I think only - albeit a huge one - has one major political fault.

I laugh when I hear and read people offering up their candidate as "The Next Prime Minister". People! We need to select a leader FIRST. Then we can talk about an election. Then we can talk about a future Prime Minister.

In that spirit, we need a seasoned, battle ready, proven winner with experience in LEADING to fight Stephen Harper, who IS now a seasoned, battle ready, proven winner with experience in LEADING. Now is not the time for more experimentation of unknown unknowns and wild cards. It's the time for a serious, experienced supervisor in the giant sandbox.

ONLY ONE LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE FITS THAT BILL.


His name is BOB RAE, and I will be supporting him to the best of my ability.

I am urging my fellow Dionistas and my fellow Liberals to follow me in this decision.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dion Liberals Could Win - New Poll

Nik has the numbers. He's probably right too. I still love my leader.

What About Bob Rae?

What about him? Not much of a resume. Hardly active in the Canadian society. Too many initials after his name. And that Hon. before? Oi. How can anyone so underachieving ever lead a national party? Let alone to electoral victory?

Our friends at the Royal Conservatory of Music had some thing posted about his tainted past:

The Hon. Bob Rae, P.C., O.C., Q.C., L.L.D, OOnt, MP, is a partner at the Goodmans law firm. His clients include companies, trade unions, charitable and non-governmental organizations, and governments themselves. He has extensive experience in negotiation, mediation and arbitration, and consults widely on issues of public policy.

Mr. Rae served as Ontario's 21st Premier, and was elected eight times to federal and provincial parliaments before his retirement from politics in 1996.

Mr. Rae has a B.A. and an LLB from the University of Toronto and was a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario in 1969. He obtained a B.Phil degree from Oxford University in 1971 and was named a Queen's Counsel in 1984. Mr. Rae has received honorary doctorates from the Law Society of Upper Canada and from the University of Toronto and Assumption University.

Mr. Rae was appointed to Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada in 1998 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000. He is a panel member of the Canadian Internal Trade Disputes Tribunal, and is on the international commercial arbitrators list of the Canadian Council for International Business, and ADR Chambers.

Mr. Rae is the Chairman of the Forum of Federations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ivesprint, Inc., and of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He also serves as director of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation, and is a member of the International Council of the Asia Society. He is also Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University. He joined the Board of The Royal Conservatory of Music in 1998 and served as Chair from 1999 to 2004.

Mr. Rae is the National Spokesperson of the Leukemia Research Fund and he has recently served as the Chief Negotiator of the Canadian Red Cross Society in its restructuring. He also served recently as a member of the Canada Transportation Act Review and the Security and Intelligence Review Committee for Canada. Mr. Rae is a past governor of the University of Toronto and is currently a trustee of the University Health Network and the Trudeau Foundation. He also serves as director of Hydro One Inc., Niigon Technologies Ltd, Iter Canada Inc., Tembec Ltd., and Trojan Technologies.

Mr. Rae's books, From Protest to Power and The Three Questions, have been published by Penguin Viking of Canada. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto and Senior Fellow of Massey College.

Born in Ottawa in 1948, he is married to Arlene Perly Rae. They have three daughters: Judith, Lisa and Eleanor. Mr. Rae is fluent in English and French and speaks some Italian.

Cauchon Out Again

Too bad really.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Big News For Dominic Leblanc

This announcement is big for Dominic. It's no accident that the C-Grit is one of the biggest and best Libloggers out there. Dan's move there was logical given that most of Kennedy's youth team has gone to Leblanc.

Congrats to Dominic and his team.

And The Cadman Affair Goes On and On and On

Doesn't help the Conservatvies much when their lawyer withdraws. Sends a bad message really. Impolitical has much more on this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Excited About Stephane Dion Getting Back in the Game

Tomorrow the House is back baby. Aren't you excited about it too?

My guess for Speaker of the House and tenant of Kingsmere? Joe Comartin. Rumour is some Liberals will eat their own and boot the great Peter Milliken. I hope not, but the rumours are usually right.

In all fairness, Joe Comartin is my favourite Dipper MP.

You Know the Liberal Leadership Blows Chunks

When you begin to lose friends over it because you support a different candidate or have a differing view on some of the candidates' policies. Not to mention losing friendships of their supporters for same.

Worse still, it's always not a good sign when you strain friendships over OTHER people's written words in your comment sections.

So, to that end, I will offer up apologies to Warren Kinsella, Rural Sandi and Scott Ross.

We shall all endeavour to play nicer in the sandbox in the future.

I Will Be Writing the Tory Attack Ads

Yep. You heard me. That's what I will be doing. We might as well get all of the dirty laundry out in the air.

So, when I make my decision on which leadership candidate I will be supporting, I will be deciding on the basis of who will be easiest to defend against the Tory War Room and who will actually have chance to win the leadership contest.

And you should all start thinking about who will be easiest to defend too.

And Kinsella Continues his Open Assault...

...on the smartest, most politically savvy candidate running for the right to live at Stornoway on weekdays. Wonder why.

Being the only candidate that doesn't want media at events certainly doesn't make one the media darling. Especially to the delegates that live outside the Liberal Party of Toronto.

Me? Personally I look forward to the real debates. I'm betting one candidate wants less of them then the other two.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ooh a question en Francais

What would you do about the equality of women in our party.

Dom: Dion recriuted many women. Carolyn Bennett again. Maria Minna Diane Marleau doing a good job in women's caucus. We must continue to encourage women and work to promote.

Iggy: Dion had a good idea. Harper stole our lunch again. We must recruit encourage and assist female andidates

Our role in Israel and Palestine

Iggy: Israel has a right to be recognized. No possibility of peace and security. Must support the state of Israel

Dom: supports the rights of the state of Israel. Hamas and Hezbollah don't quite have the same rights. The long term security is found in a two state solution. Palestine has to accept that Israel has the right to exist.

Question on future participation in wars in failed states.

Dom: need and acceptance by govt of the country in question. Must still protect citizens in cases of genocide etc. Responsibility to protect doctrine. If we can't fo it nobody else will.

Iggy: was on that committee of doctrine to protect. Can't use troops for conquest invasion etc. We must not protect if we can't have the means for rules of engagement. More on the Pearson doctrine. Got to have the equipment and means to oppose. if we believe we can protect, than we have to have the military to do it. As a party we have to be committed to arm our military and back up our words. He was taken hostage. He was saved by a CDN soldier who said to his captives at gunpoint "we're gonna do this my way"

Question on improving vote turnout in rural Canada

Iggy: lose rural first, than suburban than urban. If we can't win rural, we can't win urban. Must speak to rural Cdns. Gotta listen at the farm gate. We're on wrong side of some issues. Gun control. Believes in it, but have to respect rights of independent licensed gun owners. Gotta get agricultur policy right. Lose rural first, lose urban next.

Dom: elected in a rural francophone riding. 6 traffic lights in his riding. When he was first elected there were two. Never can form national majority without getting into the small towns. EI must be fair. Must have broadband internet. Every rural Canadian MUST have access (big applause). Supported Martin and Chretiens agendas for supporting big cities. Shouldn't have to boil their drinking water. The closest subway to his riding is in Boston.

Question on party renewal. What is the president of an unheld riding's priority?

Dom: Find a good candidate. Raise money. Must get money into unheld ridings. Held have to help unheld. Elected members must help. Incuding Senators.

Iggy: Dom's answer is great. Pres wants to feel they're not alone. Must twin ridings. Got to have regional organizer. Got to have a regional fundraiser. Just can't feel they're alone. Have to have someone looking after them. Watch each other's back nobody must feel they've been left alone.

Question identify what attribute you like in your competitor.

Iggy: Loves Dom's sense of humour. Dom gets rural issues. Iggy ponts to empty chair and he admires his intellect, his family, his sense of humour and piano playing of Bob Rae.

Dom: all have enormous qualities. Likes Michaels sense of Canada's place in the world and human rights. Likes his ability in parliament. Impressive parliamentary debater. Bob has a great family. Loves John Rae. Bob wrote the platform with Dom. Bob knows Canada. Hired in First Nations dispute in New Brunswick. Cares about all of Canada.

Question on ethnic community. We are losing ground. How do we address this issue.

Dom: fundamental to his platform. Starts with respect. Used to just get instant Liberals. They have to sit at the front of the room and not at the back. Must benefit from their expertise. Family reunifications must be at the heart of our immigration platform. Must be expansionist.

Iggy: took new Canadians for granted. We have to deliber in the face of competition. Jason Kenney's at every event. We must be there to fight kenney. Can't assume they only want to talk about immigration. Speak to them as equals one by one. Don't lump them as a group. His dad came off a boat. Speak to them as individuals. Treat them with respect. Its about respect.

Question on work Apprentices. How can you help young Canadians that want this instead of conventional university.

Iggy: humber college is in his riding. His son wants to be an apprentice. We have to put as much emphasis as we do with university. Its important to this country. Look at unions that run programs. Need the EI system to help. All education must be classified equally.

Dom: there is a lack of trained apprentices. There is aack of college spaces. We need to use federal money to help provincial and businesses offer these jobs and training. EI has to help. Aging workforce. We have to invest in our young people.