Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Afghanistan a Failed State - U.S. Report

Well this certainly echoes the thoughts of the many hundreds of us that have been banging our fingers on the keyboards as loudly as is humanly possible about getting our Canadian troops out of Afghanistan.

Imagine a US report saying that we're sort of fighting a losing campaign over there. And a few highlights accentuate in perpetuity the Afghan government is sort of corrupt, the drug trade is higher than it's ever been, there are more losses of allied soldiers this year than any other year, Pakistan isn't helping....yadda, yadda, yadda.

Geez. They coulda paid me nothin' to tell them all that.

Humility and The "What Do I Know Grit"

I had an inevitable date with humility. I tried everything to ditch her. She just kept calling and, eventually, I caved to the pressure.

Today my Number 1 picks for both the Republican and Democratic Party packed up their tents and went home. I feel like I just got booted out of the quarterback club and the hockey pool all in the very same minute.

Rudy's Campaign was a disaster. Guys like Frum should give their heads a shake.

As for my good buddy John Edwards? Man, what an unlucky break to run against a woman and an African American. Poor guy just got all drowned out in that media wishing-and hoping-thing that's going on about the first this or that.

Unlike Rudy, Senator Edwards has decided to give some sober thought about endorsing another candidate. I don't blame him. There's a lot on the line.

Who Not to Hire as Your Campaign Manager

Anyone that advised Rudy Giuliani. That's who.

In other news....a 71 year old will be running for the Republicans.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Kady O'Malley is the Best

Seriously. If you haven't read her blog, it's time to start. Today she covers the return of the House.

It Takes More Than 3 Kennedys to Kill a Presidential Campaign

So, formally, "The Kennedys" endorsed Barack Obama today. We all heard the rumours. Now they've become reality...or have they?

While Uncle Teddy, cousin Patrick and the daughter of the Great One announced their overwhelming endorsement for Mr. Obama, some of us, tongue-in-cheek, remember that the son of the sober thinker, Robert Kennedy, Robert Kennedy Jr., has endorsed Hillary Clinton. And, Bobby's daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has endorsed Hillary.

Who can forget the pictures of the Clinton's out on Uncle Teddy's yacht? Not me. I'd have to say that the Kennedys are, once again, very leveraged.

Al Gore is rumoured to endorse Barack next.

Here's some other endorsements:

Scarlett Johansson backs Obama and says "she's engaged to him"
You know about Oprah and John Kerry already.
Toni Morrison is backing Barack.

Chuck Norris is FULLY behind Mike Huckabee

RAMBO is backing John McCain

Singer John Mayer backs Ron Paul

Oh...Did I mention Kevin Bacon is endorsing John Edwards? That's right. You heard me. Kevin Bacon

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Barack is Back....WOW!!!

I certainly didn't see this overwhelming Obama victory coming!!! Race trumps gender. Clinton gamble doesn't payoff. A 50% turnaround in the polls from November predictions.

53% of the vote for Barack so far! Wow!

My guy Edwards is in serious touble. He won SC with 45% of the vote last time out. Don't know where he goes from here, but this ain't good news for him and Trippi.

Welcome to South Carolina...the beginning of the Obama End

The New York Time's endorsement of Hillary Clinton has accomplished two things today.

1. Barack Obama's campaign for the White House officially ends with his devastating loss in South Carolina today.

2. Rudy Giuliani is in big trouble in the winner-take-all delegate state of Florida with the Times' endorsement of McCain. That means the Times REALLY thinks that Hillary can beat McCain and not Giuliani.

We know what you're doing NYT. We're not stupid!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Manley Plagiarism???

This guy seems to have a handle on it. Boy, wouldn't it be something if this report was already reported.

The similarities are certainly troublesome. I wonder how long it will take the MSM to catch on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This Just Sucks

Damn. Need I say much more. This guy had me in tears in "The Patriot" and stitches in "A Knights Tale". Damn.

Even Canadian Media Snub Edwards

I've come to expect it from the U.S. media outlets. The hopes of the first black man as president or the first female as president. The US media decided some time ago that this would be a two way race for the nomination. Sad really. John Edwards is more "believable then both of the front runners.

Now we have the Globe and Snail perpetuating that ideology here in Canada. Notice the honourable token Edwards quotes. Funny how the CNN live audience thought Edwards won the debate last night. Yet all Anderson Cooper's panel talked about for the next three hours was Clinton and Obama. There's ignorance for ya.

Monday, January 21, 2008

CNN Ignores Edwards

The Black Caucus Debate is an absolute farce so far. Edwards may as well not even be on the stage. Wolf Blitzer has been a poor excuse for a moderator. Hillary can speak all she wants. So can Barack. John? Poor bastard.

John Edwards - Perception vs. Reality

I just love the music. Have a listen.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Canada to Stay in Afghanistan til 2011?

The Manley report is due to come out soon. It won't paint a great picture of our mission in Afghanistan either. Nonetheless, the committee, lead by former Liberal cabinet minister John Manley, will recommend we stay in Afghanistan until 2011.

Among other notes from the report, it is noted that CIDA is doing a poor job of delivering aid. Afghanistan is now responsible for 93 per cent of the opium on the planet. The central Afghan government is wildly corrupt (I've said before that Karzai will enjoy his retirement greatly). Suicide bombings are at an all time high. The insurgency is spreading and not being quelled.

So why the extension? Apparently to prolong the inevitable.

Where's John Edwards?

That's a great question. After all he WAS the vice presidential nominee last time out for the Dems.

Here's his new video.

Hillary Clinton Misquotes

Rule #1 about quoting great people:


Today while obtaining the support of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, Hillary had this to say:

As Winston Churchill said, A politician thinks about the next election. A - although today it would be statesperson - statesman thinks about the next generation.

The fact is Senator Clinton, that quote is from James Freeman Clarke. Now, fire your speech writer.

Here's the real quote. A quote that my good friend Heather Carter has posted on her web page and printed on her cards. A quote that should ring true and be meaningful to us politicos.

A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation. ~ James Freeman Clarke.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why John Edwards is Still Running

Many of you have asked why my guy Edwards is still even in this race. "He's not even close!" is usually the phrase utilized. To those doubters I reply simply, you don't know much about how the American system works.

On the surface it would appear that Clinton has a clear and dominating lead with victories in New Hampshire and Michican. Convincingly by vote counts in both states. Obama, similarly had a big caucus win (popularity contest) in Iowa.

Looks like the two frontrunners leave Edwards in the dust right? Wrong!!! Here's why. After Obama and Clinton outspending Edwards 6 and 7 times to one, the lead they have is minimal.

How minimal?

Clinton has managed to grab just 25 delegates to date. $1.25 million per delegate in spending. Obama? Just 24 delegates. $1.1 million per delegate.

And my boy Johnny??? 18 delegates. Just 7 delegates out of first place. Throw Joe Trippi's master planning behind the scenes and you have a very very winnable campaign. One hiccup a la Howard Dean and one of the top two lose to Edwards.

As an aside, Romney will win Nevada today (with McCain a disant third), Huckabee will win South Carolina and McCain will limp into Florida where Giuliani begins his march to the Rebublican nomination. Edwards is the only candidate for the Dems that can beat Giuliani.

They Bet me the Orchard Affair Wouldn't Last

They were wrong. But, is this really the end for Mr. Goodale? Why hasn't Joan Beatty reached out and touched Dorion and Orchard? Would have been tops on my list if I was running her campaign.

But, then again, I'm not.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Harper Visits Saskatchewan

Imagine that! Prince Albert yet. Wasn't there just a gathering of Liberals there recently?

That Harper guy sure does seize the opportunities when he gets them. You think he is shooting for those 67 votes he lost by in DMCR last election? He loves to pour salt on those open wounds doesn't he?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rudy Giuliani...Riding the Perfect Storm

There were a truckload of pundits and strategists scratching their heads over the postition Giuliani's campaign team took on ignoring the first four Republican caucuses and primaries.

Well, heading into Florida after South Carolina and a split of the last three caucuses between McCain, Huckabee and Romney, Giuliani's ploy appears to have paid off. Without spending two Red Cents (relatively speaking), Giuliani will ride a wave of victory in Florida straight into Super Tuesday and become the hands on candidate of choice for the Republican Party.

How does that bode for the Democrats? Most polls suggest that Giuliani can beat Clinton and Obama. Even with the outpour of support nationwide for a Democratic President. Edwards, however, fairs well in polls conducted about him vs. Giuliani. For that matter, he matches up well against any Republican candidate.

The moral of the story?

Giuliani vs. Edwards = an Edwards win. Giuliani vs. Clinton/Obama = a Giuliani win.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Stephane Dion Visiting Niagara

Tickets are available upon request. All are welcome.

The Hon. Stephane Dion will be in St. Catharines this Saturday, January 19th for breakfast at the Quality Inn Parkway Convention Centre, 327 Ontario Street.
The breakfast is from 7:30 to 9:30 am.
Tickets are $20.

Marlene Jennings Visits Niagara

Come one! Come All!

Town Hall Meeting

Thursday, January 17th
7:00 p.m.

Special Guest Speaker– Marlene Jennings M.P.
Federal Justice Critic

Member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
January 17th 2008 – 2nd Floor - MacBain Centre,
Montrose & McLeod Rd. Niagara Falls

For more information go to:

David Orchard Tells it on Mike Duffy

Have a listen here.

And now you know some more of the story.

The Saskatchewan Update

Ralph Goodale continues to stick his foot in his mouth. I'm surprised he hasn't blamed ME for anything yet.

Several commenter's on this blog continue to attack David Orchard. None of them even mention the other fine gentle person that was seeking the Sask nomination, Mr. Dorion. What I say to David's foes is this:


So, from hereon in I will NOT be publishing personal attacks leveled against any of the three candidates for DMCR.

Without further ado, here is the update from Northern Saskatchewan. For those of you that don't know, Doug Richardson is one of the great minds in the Liberal Party and recently organized the western provinces for Michael Ignatieff's leadership bid. I believe he was also the national whip for Iggy at the convention.

Liberal Party members gather to protest Beatty appointment
By Darren Bernhardt,
Published: Sunday, January 13, 2008
- Ralph Goodale may be one of the most respected politicians in Ottawa, but to many of those gathered at a meeting in Prince Albert on Saturday he was about as popular as a kick in the groin.

Internal strife continues to boil in the party over the appointment of NDP defector Joan Beatty as candidate for a March 17 byelection in the federal riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Chruchill River. A kick in the nether region was suggested more than once as a gift that to be bestowed upon Goodale, the Regina-Wascana MP and former federal minister of finance.

A fired-up group of nearly 200 gathered at the Prince Albert Inn throughout the day to decide how to reclaim their right to choose a candidate. A right which, they believe, was stolen by Goodale. They accuse him of courting Beatty and influencing Liberal leader Stephane Dion to designate her as the party candidate.

By foisting a candidate upon the riding, the Liberal Party has insulted northern Saskatchewan voters, said Jim Durocher, a former federal and provincial Liberal candidate and past-president of the Metis Association of Saskatchewan.

"The north has been for decades on the receiving end of colonial attitudes and unforgivable arrogance," said Durocher, who chaired the meeting with Chief Marcel Head of Shoal Lake First Nation. "Some people are talking about going to Regina to visit Ralph Goodale and kick him in the . . . somewhere."

Another attendee suggested Goodale be taken behind a woodshed and given a drubbing.

The federal party executive was called paternalistic, colonialist, dictators and, as one member stated, "other words we can't say in public."

"It's back to the old Indian Affairs system: 'We know what's good for you,'" said Chief Richard Fiddler of Waterhen Lake First Nation.

Two would-be candidates, John Dorion and David Orchard, were campaigning in anticipation of the Liberal nomination long before Beatty came along.

"I'm encouraged by what the people are doing here. I commend them for taking the steps to reinstate democracy," Orchard said in an interview at the meeting.

Durocher says Dion has slapped them in the face.

Durocher repeatedly emphasized, "this meeting is not about Joan Beatty. This meeting is not about David Orchard. This meeting is about the process that was denied our people.

"There's not a lot of places in Canada where our people have the opportunity for some control. We're not going to let that go," he said. "The people sitting in Ottawa need to understand that. The people sitting in Regina need to know that. Those gurus in government need to know that."

Then he took another shot at Goodale, adding, "That chubby little guy in Regina, who thinks he knows everything, needs to know we are going to take control."

The goal Saturday was to establish a riding association executive - the present one is inactive - and set a nomination date to "democratically" elect a Liberal candidate for the byelection. The room at the Inn was so full that organizers delayed the start of the meeting to push back partition walls and spread the gathering across three banquet rooms.

"Isn't it amazing, the other day when Bob Rae and Goodale and that hockey player guy (Ken Dryden) said it's only a handful of people concerned about this. Well, they had about nine people (at their meeting last week in La Ronge) and look at us," Durocher said, igniting a round of applause.

After being advised that advance notice must be given to create an executive, the group formed an interim committee to work toward that goal. The committee is also tasked with setting a nomination date and meeting with Beatty to request her resignation and invite her to be part of the nomination process.

But some high-ranking Liberals say the interim committee and its supporters are spinning their wheels for naught.

"A nomination meeting won't happen. We have a candidate who understands the northern issues, is respected, and appointed in full accordance with the (party) constitution," Frank Proto, president of the Saskatchewan Liberal Association, said in an interview Sunday.

He blamed much of the "heel-nipping" on people who aren't even party members or from Desnethe-Missinippi-Chruchill River. Colin Fraser, who ran in Prince Albert-Northcote for the party in November's provincial election, estimated 60 per cent of the people at Saturday's meeting were not legitimately connected to the riding.

A petition demanding Dion reverse the Beatty appointment was passed around, but could only be signed by residents of the riding. In the end, there was just 71 signatures, noted Fraser, who attended.

"I find it odd they were talking about grassroots politics and democracy, yet most of them have no real say in the riding," said Fraser.

A number of Saskatchewan Party members were in attendance, including one who used the opportunity at the microphone to encourage disaffected Liberals to switch allegiances. Several others, including Durocher, live in Saskatoon and have not held valid memberships for years, Fraser said.

"It's no wonder nobody (official) from the party came. It wasn't a Liberal meeting at all," he said.

Eileen Gelowitz, who lives in Saskatoon but claims Big River as her home, expressed her support for Beatty but not the appointment.

"If she ran for the nomination, in a democratic process, I would be the first one out there to support her," Gelowitz said.

Goodale has said Beatty's name was put forward by the so-called Green Light Committee (GLC), a group of Liberal members who help organize the party for upcoming elections and vet potential candidates. But Doug Richardson, a Saskatoon lawyer and GLC member - and one time chief of staff for John Turner - categorically denied Goodale's claim. The GLC endorses no one in particular, he said.

In fact, Richardson backs Orchard. He mentioned it to a few people as they entered the meeting.

The interim committee intends to seek representation on the GLC.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

When it Comes to Orchard...I Told Ya So....

I knew full well how this would play out. ain't good. Democracy circumvented is never a good thing.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

An emergency Liberal membership meeting for the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding will be held:

Saturday, January, 12, 2008
10 a.m.
PA Inn, Salon A and B
Prince Albert SK

The objective of the meeting will be to set up a riding association executive and to set a nomination date to democratically elect a Liberal candidate for the Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River riding for the coming by-election March 17.

We do not intend to extinguish the spirit of the North, nor let the Indian Act mentality impose upon the citizens of the North a candidate and a process which is undemocratic and which insults us.

For further information contact:

Chief Marcel Head, Shoal Lake First Nation cell 306-768-7875 or tel 306-768-3551 (office)

Jimmy Durocher, former federal and provincial Liberal candidate and Past President of the Metis Association of Saskatchewan, cell 306-222-4144 or tel 306-653-0384 (office).


Northerners plan protest of Liberal appointment

Randy Burton
The StarPhoenix

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Disgruntled Liberals in the province's north have organized a meeting for Saturday to protest federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's decision to bypass a nomination meeting for an upcoming byelection.

Those involved say the issue has united Metis and First Nations communities in opposition to the appointment of former NDP provincial cabinet minister Joan Beatty as the Liberal candidate in the March 17 vote in the riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River.

The move has pre-empted a nomination meeting that would have seen free trade critic David Orchard facing off against Prince Albert educator John Dorion.

The pair have been campaigning and selling memberships for several months, only to see their efforts short-circuited by Dion's decision last week to appoint Beatty.

This has angered a number of people in the north who see the move as a paternalistic gesture that discounts their democratic right to choose.

Sources say Dion's hand was forced by Saskatchewan Liberal Ralph Goodale, who is dead set against the idea of having Orchard as a Liberal candidate in a winnable riding, in spite of the fact Orchard played a key role in helping Dion win the party's leadership in 2006.

Despite his flair for organization, Orchard is regarded by some in the Liberal hierarchy as a loose cannon whose views on any number of issues might cause problems for the party.

In spite of that, various community and Native leaders say naming Beatty has badly damaged the Liberals' chances in the consituency, which the party won by just 67 votes in the last federal election.

Former Liberal MP Gary Merasty resigned his seat last year and has since taken an executive position with Cameco Corp.

In an interview Tuesday, Bruce Morin, chief of the Big River Band, said he thinks Dion made "a big mistake" by appointing Beatty.

"He's going to lose a lot of votes over this. He won the last time with a slim majority of votes thanks to the efforts of people like us. And now he goes and does this to us.

"This is an insult to the people who live out here. This should have been our choice."

Goodale and Liberal campaign co-chair David Smith have defended the move, saying appointments are sometimes necessary in order to improve gender balance in elections.

Orchard's campaign manager Marjaleena Repo said she expects Orchard to be in the audience of Saturday's meeting, but the issue belongs to the people of the riding.

"The issue is even beyond the candidates. I have this feeling that this is drawing a line in the sand. Or in the forest," she said.

The meeting will be co-chaired by Metis leader Jimmy Durocher, who said he expects most northern community mayors to be in attendance, as well as a number of First Nations chiefs.

"This is one issue that First Nations and Metis speak together on, and they're adamant that not using the democratic process is very offensive to everybody."

Durocher said he also hopes Goodale will be in attendance, since Dion's office has said the decision was taken on Goodale's recommendation.

A spokesperson for Goodale said he has not heard about the gathering and needs more information before making a commitment.

The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Prince Albert Inn.

Durocher said he expects up to 150 people to attend.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

Dion defaults on debt to Orchard

Randy Burton
The StarPhoenix

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Say what you will about Brian Mulroney, he knew how politics works.

One of his many expressions was "ya dance with the one what brung ya," a reference to the importance of loyalty in politics.

No one should know that better than Saskatchewan Liberals. Theirs is a history rife with deposed leaders and backroom deals that put personal gain above party loyalty. As a result, they remain mired in the political cellar, living at 10 per cent in the provincial polls and unable to regain much of a foothold on the federal scene.

It's perfectly in keeping with that history for federal leader Stephane Dion to appoint former provincial NDP cabinet minister Joan Beatty to become the Liberal candidate in Desnethe-Missinnippi-Churchill River.

He's following another unwritten rule of politics that suggests the ends justifies the means. However, it's by no means clear that this gamble will pay off.

On paper, the idea of an appointment is eminently defensible as a principled gesture aimed at getting qualified women into Parliament. In this case, Beatty has the additional advantage of having First Nations heritage, so the Liberals can also claim they're standing up for minorities in the democratic process.

In practice however, going over the heads of local party members is extremely divisive and undermines the party's strength at the grassroots level, where they need it most.

If Beatty can actually win the March 17 byelection to replace former Liberal MP Gary Merasty, then the Liberals can claim they were right to "bite the bullet," as Senator David Smith calls it.

If she fails, Dion will not only have reduced his seat count, but he will have alienated one of his most important supporters for nothing. Free trade critic and former Tory leadership candidate David Orchard delivered 150 votes to Dion's leadership campaign in 2006, but apparently that wasn't enough.

He's now in the humiliating position of being shunted aside for a hand-picked candidate with absolutely no base of support within the Liberal party. What she shares with Dion is a disregard for the concept of loyalty.

Former premier Lorne Calvert plucked her from obscurity and made her a cabinet minister, even though she had no visibile qualifications for the job. What's more, he stuck with her, in spite of the fact she was regarded as a lacklustre minister.

As for her constituents, she was re-elected as an MLA just two months ago. You could say she had a contract with the voters who signed on with her in the expectation that she would stay for four years. She didn't last two months.

Her justification is that it's impossible to get anything done in Opposition, which is an interesting comment on the value of the role her erstwhile colleagues are now playing, to say nothing of the entire federal NDP caucus.

But the real story here is Orchard, who has built a national base that will follow wherever he chooses to lead. What does he do next?

He's still not ready to say, but none of his options are particularly appetizing. He could quit the Liberals and take his followers somewhere else, but he's running out of parties. He could play the loyal soldier and run in some other riding, but his image as a man with influence over Dion is now badly damaged, which thus hobbles his electability.

Finally, his supporters across the country could attempt to convince Dion to change his mind, something that is happening now. A number of people in the North are frustrated by the turn of events and talking about some public show of support for Orchard.

"When all's said and done, I feel it was an unfair process," says Duane Favel, the mayor of Ile-a-la-Crosse and an Orchard supporter.

"If they were considering appointing a candidate, they should have indicated that a lot sooner. We feel frustrated that this was pulled from underneath him the way it happened."

More than 500 people have bought Liberal memberships in the North in order to support either Orchard or his opponent John Dorion, only to learn they will have no say in the outcome of the nomination.

And ultimately, this may be the lasting legacy of this decision. People in the North are going to remember this appointment long after Joan Beatty is a footnote in Canadian political history. For proof, you need look no further than the riding of Saskatoon-Humboldt, where Jean Chretien appointed Georgette Sheridan as the Liberal nominee in 1993.

She won that year, but the internal divisions it created have never fully healed. Sheridan was defeated by Jim Pankiw in 1997 and the Reform-Alliance-Conservative metamorphosis has owned the riding every since.

There's no way to know if the same thing will happen in the North where the voting demographic is very different. But we know northern voters prize personal loyalties every bit as much as the rest of us.

That alone should have given Dion reason for pause.

Phone: 657-6212


© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

The John Tory Fallout Continues

I found a tonne of hits on this little old blog today from this website. Looks like Mr. Tory isn't quite as popular with his own peeps as he makes himself out to be.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hillary's Problems... All About Sexism

In what could be the quote of the day - and an underlying admission of doom - former president, Bill Clinton had this to say about his wife,

"We cant be a new story," he said. "I can't make her younger, taller, male."

In other related news...John Edwards is looking fresher by the day.

John Tory to Get Dumped

The grassroots campaign to dump John Tory has begun. It's only fitting that the movement starts here in Niagara where the former MPP Bart Maves was totally destroyed by encumbent Liberal MPP Kim Craitor.

Mr. Maves has started a website with former party president Reuben Devlin have started an internet campaign for a leadership review. It's here at

This certainly starts to pave the way for Maves' buddy Tim Hudak to launch his leadership bid. Good luck to John Tory. I'm certai he's already getting back pains.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


This StarPhoenix Article made me laugh.

A star candidate, former NDP member, Liberal leadership contender and past Premier of Ontario even had to fight a nomination.

Joan Beatty?? She didn't!!

The Line of the Day...

Smith downplayed the significance of both Beatty's switch of parties and the short-circuiting of the nomination process.

"Political parties and churches are both in the same category. If you don't take converts you've got a bit of a problem," said Smith, who noted that former Ontario NDP premier, and Liberal leadership candidate, Bob Rae will be running in a Toronto byelection at the same time as Beatty.

The Campaign FOR David Orchard Continues

Oh man. I can't believe the amount of emails, letters and calls flooding in in support of David Orchard. Yesterday was the largest amount of traffic this blog has ever enjoyed (thanks largely to Kate at that other blog).Incredible really. I mean I knew that David was a popular guy with his peeps, but today is proof positive that he is a man that we need to have fighting in the trenches with us. His supporting cast is second to none.

I should remind EVERYONE that this campaign for Orchard was all about having an open and fair nomination in the riding of DMCR. This campaign wasn't about an appointment for Mr. Orchard. There were no guarantees that David would have even won the nomination. John Dorion was also selling memberships in the riding and would have presented a formidable campaign for himself.

I have, naturally, talked with David over the matter of the appointment of Ms. Beatty to DMCR in Sask. As I expected, David is taking the high road on the matter. One journalist from a major newspaper has confirmed to me that David has decided not to discuss the matter at present. Honourable. Very honourable.

Mr. Orchard's supporters and, for that matter, non-supporters have been bombarding this blog, the leader's office, Mr. Goodale's office and just about every MP they could think of to express their opinions on the issue.

There are people on both sides of the argument whether or not David should run in DMCR. The one thing that almost all of them agree on however is that we, as a party, should not be appointing anyone, any where, any time.

As I stood in the campaign office of Jocelyn Coulon in Outremont after our crushing defeat, I looked into Stephane's eyes and saw the pain of that loss. I know he has a plan to win the next election...whenever that may be.

For those of you that know me, you know that you won't find me carrying a knife to a gunfight. I'm no delicate flower wilting in the corner. When I stood there on the floor in Montreal behind Stephane Dion and David Orchard, I believed that this party was now in a state of renewal. I still believe that today. This is a hiccup that must be rectified. I trust that it will be.

So, at the risk of being permanently banished to Siberia(At least I know I won't be alone when I get there), I share some letters with you.

Dear Mr. Dion...

I am writing to you to express my intense disappointment and outrage at your appointment of a selected candidate in the riding of Desnethé Missinippi-Churchill River, even when at least two qualified persons were seeking the nomination. I am particularly incensed given that this decision would appear to all reasonable persons as a move to eliminate David Orchard as a potential candidate in the next federal election. Is there any other conclusion that I can draw from this debacle?

Prior to this turn of events, David Orchard had convinced me to support the Liberals in the next federal election, even here in Calgary were the Conservatives have such a stranglehold. But in light of your treachery, the thought of helping you, even in a small way, become the prime minister of Canada make my guts churn. I just cannot do it.

Mr Dion, it is my view that Canadians thirst for a decisive, credible leader that they can trust that what he says will guide his actions. That is exactly why David Orchard resonates so well with so many people. Unfortunately, you currently fall far short of that ideal. Yet it is not to late to turn this matter to your benefit. Make the decision to reverse your decision and allow the citizens of Desnethé
Missinippi-Churchill River to democratically decide who should be their Liberal candidate in the next federal election. In doing so, you would demonstrate that you do have personal integrity, a commitment to the democratic process and the potential to become the next Prime Minister of the great country. To do otherwise will likely result in you being cast into the refuse pile of Canadian political history and in doing so, guarantee that the right-wing fascists continue to govern the country.

The decision is your's to make. Demonstrate to myself and thousands of other Canadians that you are a man who can be trusted and that you are worthy of our support.

Best regards

Mike Sawyer

Dear Mr. Dion,

To support your leadership bid, I paid for an aboriginal delegate to fly from Saskatchewan just a couple of days before the convention . Encouraged by your strong message of Canadian unity, environmental action and social justice, I joined the Liberal party and have been door knocking in my home riding of Vancouver Quadra with Joyce Murray promoting you on the basis of your unimpeachable ethics and strong character. I've come to like Joyce a lot, and I plan to throw myself into the upcoming by-election

Joyce won the nomination fair and square. That's all that David Orchard is trying to do.

Personally, I support the idea of encouraging women and others not adequately represented in parliament to run and participate in our democracy. But to cut off the Orchard team in northern Saskatchewan at the eleventh hour is not consistent with the fair and smart politics that I've come to expect from your leadership. It's not too late to reverse this error, and let an open selection process run it's course in the riding.

With respect,
Robert Kraljii,
Vancouver BC

January 3, 2008

M. Dion,

I am appalled that you appointed Ms. Beatty to the candidacy in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. This is akin to Mackay's betrayal of David Orchard in forming the neo conservative party. Like Mackay, you seem to have forgotten a key factor in your win of the Liberal leadership.

I now fear for this country as I am convinced that this betrayal and caving to Goodale's pressure will cause immense harm to the credibility of both you and the party in the eyes of thousands of voters who might otherwise have made the difference. Harper is such an awful alternative and in the reality of Canadian politics, the only alternative to a Liberal government which I believe is now at least five years away.

Can you change that? Can you withdraw this decision? Yes. Please.


Ernie Tomlinson
Lantzville, BC

Thu 03 Jan 2008

Mr. Stephane Dion,
Leader of the Official Opposition,


I am OUTRAGED that you have chosen to kill a democratic process underway in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River for the Liberal candidate nomination by appointing a candidate. You have spit in the face of the citizens in that riding by denying them their democratic right to CHOOSE their own candidate. You have denied the active candidates their right to a democratic process to be selected for Liberal candidate in the upcoming by-election. Your action signals to me that you do not truly believe in nor support democracy in the Liberal Party, nor in Canada.

I am OUTRAGED that you have undercut David Orchard's run for the nomination which you encouraged him to undertake. I am OUTRAGED that you have double crossed the man who helped you win the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. In doing so you have also betrayed me. I am OUTRAGED that you made your decision without consultation with Mr. Orchard and not even so much as a courtesy call to him. Shame on you, Mr. Dion.

I voted for you for leader of the party because David Orchard supported your bid for leadership and because of your standing on environmental, economic, and sovereignty issues important to me. I have been a supporter of Mr. Orchard for more than 20 years. I believe very strongly in his vision for Canada. He has always demonstrated the utmost integrity and honesty in his dealings with all people and issues. Unfortunately that cannot be said of some prominent politicians in Canada, past and present.

I expected you to usher in a new beginning in the Liberal Party, a return to genuine grass roots participation, a turning away from rule by the powerful, back room elites. You buckled to their pressure. That is not the leadership I hoped from you.

If your decision to appoint a candidate for Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River stands, I will not be voting Liberal in the next federal election and I am certain that many others who believe in democracy or who support David Orchard will feel the same. I will cancel my membership in the Liberal Party. Clearly it cannot represent my views at the same time as it actively undermines democratic process and shows callous disrespect for a member whose vision, values, and views I strongly support.

Think again about the potential consequences of your decision and how you expect support from people whom you have mocked.

Doug Porter
Burnaby BC


3 January, 2008

Letter to Liberal MP Keith Martin, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca (Victoria, B.C.)

Dear Dr. Martin,

I joined the liberal party solely at the behest of David Orchard in order to vote for the nomination of Stephane Dion as leader, as did many others of Mr Orchard's supporters. I understood that, with Mr Dion's blessing, Mr Orchard was running as the Party's candidate in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River in the upcoming federal by-election.

However, I have just been made aware of the following: (quote) OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion today announced that Joan Beatty, former Saskatchewan NDP cabinet minister and Aboriginal activist, will be the Party's candidate in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River in the upcoming federal by-election.

I would like Mr Dion to know that Mr Orchard should not be betrayed again out of any political expediency or for any reason whatever. People of David Orchard's integrity and ability must not be shut out. Such people must have a voice. Indeed I would like Mr Dion to properly reciprocate the the support he received from Orchard's people at the time of the leadership convention.


John Nesling
Victoria, B.C.


3 January, 2008

Mr. Dion I cannot believe what I am hearing that you would actually block David Orchard from running in the bi-election in Desnethé Missinippi-Churchill River and nominating a candidate!!!

David mobilized Canada to help get you elected as leader of the Liberals. I was hoping that with you we would no longer see a party that was same old, same old. Mr. Harper did not win that election, the Liberals lost it. With you we were all hoping for a party reborn from the ashes. It appears not to be the case and I really cannot express how disappointed I am.

Mr. Dion when I met you earlier last year at the BBQ in West Saanich on Vancouver Island I was really impressed in you as a person of integrity and intelligence.

Please reconsider for the sake of the Liberal Party of Canada and all our sakes.

Diana Brynlee
Duncan, BC

It should be noted that the individuals writing these letters have asked me to post them to this blog. I do so in hopes that we realize the scope of the whole story and not just that of what we may or may not read in the days to come in the MSM.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Orchard Movement for DMCR Ends

Thank you to all of you that supported David Orchard in his attempt to seek the nomination in Desenthe-Missinippi-Churchill River. The letters, emails and phone calls in support of an open nomination were astounding.

I am at a total loss for words. The appointment of an NDP MLA over two solid Liberals in this Northern Saskatchewan riding defies all credible logic. Keep in mind the NDP in the last federal election finished 6500 votes behind the Liberals and Conservatives in DMCR. I guess, as a party, we are content to own one seat in the Province of Saskatchewan perpetually.

Rumour has it many Native Leaders (Chiefs) will be expressing their immediate displeasure with the Liberal Party of Canada. I trust the national media will cease on this in a negative light.

I'm at a loss. A total loss. Lost is what I am.

The Official Media Release is below. Feel free to write the leader and express your displeasure.

Date: January 3, 2008
For release: Immediate

Liberal Party of Canada Announces Joan Beatty as Candidate

OTTAWA - Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion today announced that Joan Beatty, former Saskatchewan NDP cabinet minister and Aboriginal activist, will be the Party's candidate in the riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River in the upcoming federal by-election.

“Joan Beatty brings to the Liberal Party of Canada a strong mix of local knowledge, Aboriginal expertise, political experience and a tradition of service to the people of Saskatchewan,” said Mr. Dion.

“I am confident that her passion for her home-riding of Desnethé-Missinippi Churchill River, coupled with her passion for her province and country, will make her a strong Member of Parliament and I am so pleased to welcome her to our Caucus.”

Ms. Beatty said her continued desire to make a positive change for the north, together with the best possible way to serve the people of northern Saskatchewan, has resulted in her accepting Mr. Dion’s invitation to join the Liberal Party of Canada.

“Under Mr. Dion’s leadership, I believe that I can best represent the constituency at this level, in particular, the First Nations communities where the need is so great. For me, at the end of the day, it’s about being practical. I am proud to announce my candidacy in the federal riding of Desnethé-Missinippi Churchill River and continuing to fight for a richer, fairer and greener Canada,” said Ms. Beatty, who is currently a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan.

“This is a diverse riding with significant First Nations, Métis, and farming communities. Having been born and raised in the riding, along with my professional and personal experience,I have had the opportunity to see first hand the issues faced by northerners, and I look forward to taking those concerns to Ottawa and pushing for solutions.”

In 2003, Ms. Beatty became the first Aboriginal woman and First Nations person to be elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature. Shortly thereafter, she became the first Aboriginal woman and First Nations person to be appointed to cabinet as Minister of Culture Youth and Recreation and Provincial Secretary.

In 2006, she became Minister of Northern Affairs and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women. Until recently she served as the critic responsible for Women’s Issues and Northern Affairs.

First MacKay. Now the Liberal Party. David, I don't know what to say.

John Edwards...One Hour Away From Launching His March to DC

In Iowa Edwards has drawn to a virtual tie with the front runners. Go get 'em Johnny boy!!!

Another Aboriginal Leader Backs David Orchard

Today this article appeared in the StarPhoenix.

Appointment of Beatty would send bad message

The StarPhoenix

Thursday, January 03, 2008

As former president of the Churchill River riding, as it was then called, I believe the intended appointment of Cumberland NDP MLA Joan Beatty to be the Liberal candidate for the federal Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River riding isn't right or fair to other candidates or constituents.

My understanding is that Ralph Goodale is considering endorsing the appointment, soon to be made by Liberal Party Leader Stephen Dion.

If the appointment goes ahead without the people in the constituency having any say, it would be a slap in the face to the constituents. It would suggest that constituents are not capable of electing their own representative and that the selection has to be made for them by the top Liberal leader.

This would be disgraceful.

We can't let tyranny overstep or overpower democracy and the freedom to elect our representatives. If Dion appoints Beatty, the Liberal party should consider whether its current supporters will be there to back it in the next federal election.

It's definitely Beatty's choice whether she crosses over to a federal Party, whether it's the Liberal party or the NDP. But whether her provincial faithful supporters cross over with her to the federal level remains to be seen.

Roy Head

Red Earth First Nation

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

John Edwards Starts his March to D.C.

Today marks the beginning of the end for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and the rise of the grassroots of the Democratic Party and John Edwards' candidacy. Ironically, this is exactly where Edwards was in 2004 when he came out of nowhere to finish strongly and eventually rise to Vice Presidential candidate.

Hillary had a 25% lead at one point in 2007 and her machine has seemed to stall dramatically of late. Obama has rejuvenated his campaign with the formal addition of Oprah to his cause. Edwards has just plodded along, raising half the money of the frontrunners and gaining momentum by the day.

My guess is that Clinton, given her impressive machine, will still win Iowa, with Edwards finishing second. Obama's largely youth-lead vote will not get out the vote as effectively as the other two stellar organizations. It's rumoured that Clinton has somewhere around three to four thousand committed drivers and poll captains - eight to ten times the norm for an Iowa Caucus.

It's also amazing to hear that both Obama and Clinton are on target to raise $100,000,000 each for this ride to the White House. Amazing in the fact that the next Prime Minister of Canada was only able to raise just under $1 million for his leadership. Amazing in the fact that the same leader was only allowed to spend a maximum of $3.4 million.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The West Coast for David Orchard

A couple of letters that floated in in support of David Orchard's right to a free nomination. It should be noted how very passionate these ladies are with their support of both our leader and David Orchard.

From Margo Elfert

Dear Mr. Dion,

Thank you for your Christmas greetings, and for your message to Avaaz signers. I am very concerned about the environment, and am embarrassed at the stand our present Government took at those talks.

First, let me admit, I am not a long term Liberal. I joined the party after listening to David Orchard speak highly of you, and then doing some research on my own. I have known Mr. Orchard for over 10 years now. We took our sons, then in their early teens, to hear him speak in Vancouver, and were all impressed with his earnestness and honesty, and his vision for a Canada that was “ours”.

When I had a chance to be your delegate in Montreal, I went feeling that, for the first time, I could have a say in someone who I trusted being, perhaps, my, and my sons', Prime Minister some day. I listened closely to what you had to say throughout that conference and you did not let me down.

I also had the privilege of sitting next to a 5th Generation Liberal through that day who was very active in the party. He had come as a Dion delegate from the outset as well. He spoke of his concerns with the top down way the party was devolving. He voted for you because he saw in you a spirit that could bring the grass roots back to the fore. I came back from that conference elated, feeling hope for the first time in a long while for my country and for the it's role in the world.

So it was with a heavy heart that I see what is happening in northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River. I understand you are considering parachuting a delegate into that riding, when there are 2 candidates already vying for that position. I see the “top down” party policies coming to the fore. Mr. Orchard has a strong reputation in that riding, and should be given a fair shot at it.

I want to see the Liberals back in power, with you at the helm. But this can only happen if you stick to your leadership campaign promise to be a truly “independent man of the people”.

Wishing you and your family all the best for 2008,

Margo Elfert
Vancouver, B.C.

And From Karin Clark

December 30, 2007

Dear Mr. Dion:

1. I was proud to be your delegate from Vancouver Island North Riding at the Montreal Convention last year.

2. I am also proud of the tireless energy and faithfulness to your stated beliefs that you have exhibited in your many public appearances. I still think you are the best leader for Canada.

3. I was encouraged by David Orchard to become involved in the Liberal Party and Leadership Convention because of your integrity, experience and platform. I would never have considered spending my money or my time in politics (leaving many other personal commitments) at all if not for his personal encouragement. I helped to elect you. Because I waited for 7 hours in a locked room without food or water to become a delegate when I came on faith as an alternate delegate, I believe I was one of the 2 votes that kept you in the running.

4. The intimidating, wealthy, powerful “Suits” in the Liberal Party had given me a life-long aversion to the Liberals. It was only seeing, in person, the numbers of grass-roots, common folks in sweaters and jeans at the Leadership Convention plus the crushing blow of the Party defeat in the last election, that gave me the hope that the arrogance shown by the Party might have been replaced by humility and willingness to serve the people of Canada.

5. I know of no one who has greater amounts of humility and willingness to serve the people of Canada than David Orchard. Please act to allow the democratic process to take place in Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River and give Mr. Orchard the chance to represent this Riding.

6. I can’t begin to imagine the kind of pressures being brought to bear upon you– all the various special interests from outside and within your party. I would like to expand my “mustard seed”-size grain of faith in the political process. Unfortunately, that will not withstand what I can only call the betrayal of David Orchard, a loyal supporter and asset to the Liberals. I cannot continue to work as secretary in my Riding, provide financial support to the Party, nor encourage the four voters in my family if I am so deeply disappointed by political expediency.

With respect and concern,

Karin Clark
Union Bay, B.C.
Vancouver Island North

P.S. I am writing to you with both broken wrists in a cast, and my broken ankle swelling in its cast because I believe this issue is so important. I thank you and your family for your personally signed Christmas card. I guess your hands feel broken after all that, as well. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Orchard Movement Continues

Two more letters. I continue to get emails and calls of support for David Orchard. I hope the nomination in Saskatchewan gets called soon. Not that there's any hurry. The by-election isn't until March.

Here's a letter from Pat Barclay.

December 29, 2007

Dear Mr. Goodale,

Since I have been writing letters in my head to you for at least a week now, it's about time I committed one to e-mail! Thank you very much indeed for your time and attention to this post, and I will do my best to make my comments brief and to the point.

Re the Liberal seat in north Saskatchewan formerly held by Gerald Merasty: This seat recently made headlines when it was reported that Mr. Dion is considering appointing a woman candidate, Joan Beatty, over the heads of two Liberal men campaigning to contest it in the next federal election. The story made national news because one of the men seeking the candidacy is David Orchard.

Further, the same news story reported that Mr. Dion is considering interfering in the normal grassroots process of selection because of pressure from you yourself, who have some objection to David Orchard. Because I have heard no more news on the subject, I am hoping an honourable solution is being worked out that will allow Mr. Orchard to continue seeking the nomination. However, should this not be the case, I would like to make the following points:

1) Mr. Orchard cannot be objected to as a comparatively "Johnny-come-lately" Liberal, when Mrs. Beatty is an NDP!

2) James Curran's blog is currently making a very strong case for Mr. Orchard as the candidate of choice in the riding. (Details can be forwarded on request.)

3) If/when elected, Mr. Orchard would be a staunch and effective defender of the Canadian Wheat Board against attacks by the Conservative gov't. and aggrandizement by US corporations.

4) As with Stephane Dion, David Orchard's hallmark is his personal integrity. (This, by the way, is the principal reason for his continuing success with his supporters. To get the picture, think of Diogenes setting out with his lantern to find an honest man :) .)

If Mr. Dion declines to appoint Ms. Beatty and instead supports Mr. Orchard's right to contest the nomination, the public will be sent a clear message that the LPC is once again worthy of its trust. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this!

5) The "dirty trick" played on you by the RCMP--apparently in collusion with the Conservatives--during the last election, Mr. Goodale, was a shocking display of inappropriate behaviour that must be difficult to forget. So it is not much of a stretch to imagine you finding common cause with Orchard in the pressing need to return the Liberals to power! To that end, allowing--and possibly even helping---him to retain Mr. Merasty's seat would be an excellent beginning, and a fine outcome for the province of Saskatchewan.

With best wishes and high hopes for the next federal election,

(Ms.) Pat Barclay
Saanich-Gulf Islands