Friday, October 31, 2008

The Path to Conservative Dominance...

We get mail. And a regular reader asked me to post Andrew Steele's Article from Tuesday's Globe and Mail. So, here it is.

...To permanently replace the Liberals as the strongest national party, Stephen Harper may have to borrow their approach to the Quebec question


Globe and Mail Update

October 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM EDT

After less than three years as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper can point to a laundry list of accomplishments.

Mr. Harper took a discredited, broken and bitterly divided Canadian Alliance Party, merged it with the Progressive Conservatives, won the subsequent leadership contest, fought the Liberals to a minority government, forged a new platform and displayed admirable discipline in opposition. He won a minority government of his own, changed the course of the nation on assistance to children, the military and taxes and, this month, earned re-election.

But Mr. Harper's long-term goal is to end the hegemony of the Liberals in the Canadian electoral system and replace it with a dominant Conservative Party. That requires him to overcome the fundamental reality of the party system, and the bedevilment of every Conservative leader since John A. Macdonald allowed the execution of Louis Riel. And that will require boldness that will make Mr. Harper's many accomplishments to date seem like a warm-up act.

How bold? In his presidential address to the Canadian Political Science Association earlier this year, Richard Johnston gave some idea.

The Liberals' dominance, Prof. Johnston argued, has resulted from their ability to dominate the centre. In most jurisdictions, two or more parties bracket the middle as they compete for independent voters. But in Canada, one major party commands the centre, forcing the opposition to be bilateral - "coming from both ends of an ideological or policy spectrum," as Prof. Johnston put it. The centre itself is lost to the opposition parties.

For as long as that's the case, the remaining option for the Conservatives if they wish to hold majority government is an "ends-against-the-middle" play, building a team out of opposites against the behemoth in the centre. A coalition with the NDP, their ideological mirror, is impossible because local activists would quickly discover they had nothing in common. But Conservatives can join opposites from different regions, emphasizing that which unites and nuancing that which divides.

The Conservative record shows the modest success of this strategy. From Bennett to Diefenbaker to Mulroney, Conservative majority governments have been built on shaky coalitions between right-of-centre English Canadians and Quebec nationalists.

However, as Prof. Johnston noted, "the resulting incoherence accounts for the short life and commonly dire fate of Conservative majority governments. The fall of Conservative government is often the midwife of anti-system parties, with the Bloc and Reform as only the most recent examples. Conservative bust and boom is the source of the episodic volatility in Canadian elections, and is in fact the complement of Liberal longevity."

But what is the key to the Liberals' survival, even dominance, in the face of no comparable centrist success in any other jurisdiction? Prof. Johnston points to the National Question.

"It is commonplace to observe that the Liberals have been historically better than others at managing that question," he said. "But their survival as a dominant player requires that they control a pole on at least one major dimension of choice."

The Liberals are centrists on economic and social policy questions, and control neither end of the debate there. But they do have a strong position on the question of Quebec's place in the federation.

Liberals in fact control opposite ends of the question in different regions: pro-Quebec outside Quebec; pro-Canada inside Quebec. On questions of national character — the Constitution, the Charter, bilingualism — this gives the Liberal coalition coherence by arguing for a strong national government, minority rights and a central place for Quebec in Confederation. Meanwhile, it leaves the Conservatives competing for marginal space in Quebec, and with a shaky coalition built around decentralization, provincial jurisdiction and hedging on the place of Quebec in Confederation.

To prove out his case, Prof. Johnston employed some data exploring the dimensions of support for each party in Quebec and outside it. It comes from the 2004 and 2006 Canadian Election Study. (This is the attitudes of voters for the parties; it's safe to say that the partisans in each party would likely be further toward the margins in most cases.)

This graph shows the policy space and where the average vote for each party would be found. The left-right ideological axis is conveniently located on the left-right axis. The top-bottom axis is attitudes toward Quebec, with plus-one being Jacques Parizeau and minus-one being Western Canadian separatist Doug Christie.

First, each party organizes itself coherently inside and outside Quebec on the left versus right questions. The NDP is left of the Liberals and the Conservatives to the right of the Liberals in both venues. The spectrum is much more narrow in Quebec, and the Bloc gobbles up the NDP's normal social democratic territory, but there is coherence.

However, when you line up the parties' supporters on the issue of Quebec, they lose coherence.

Obviously, the Bloc's supporters are the most pro-Quebec. Any other finding would simply prove the data was wrong. But each party finds a significant gap between the position of its supporters in English Canada and in Quebec.

The Liberal position comes the closest to coherence, with their Quebec supporters the least attached to Quebec and their supporters outside Quebec being most open to that province. The distance between the two wings is the shortest, and that results in the ability to take strong stands on the National Question that do not typically alienate supporters in either Quebec or the rest of Canada. They can tie the two poles together with minority rights.

The NDP in Quebec is trying to wedge into non-existent space between the Bloc and Liberals on left-right, and between the Conservatives and the Bloc on unity. It helps to explain why, in the recent election, the NDP yet again proved unable to break through in Quebec. But that lack of Quebec MPs is in some ways a blessing in disguise. The NDP's attempted coalition would force it into a pure pro-Quebec position, which would be deeply unpopular in the rest of Canada.

Conservatives have the largest problem. The gap between its supporters in Quebec and in the rest of the country is the widest of any party.

"The Conservative marriage is of outright opposites: francophones and Francophobes," Prof. Johnston assessed. "When Conservatives seek Quebec votes, however, the only ones available to them are located toward the nationalist end of the spectrum, as the Liberals already control the ground closer to the pro-Canada pole."

What Prof. Johnston's framework makes vividly clear is that, if they hope for long-term electoral dominance, the Conservatives need a major realignment.

One country, one message

This discordance within the Conservative coalition led to its splintering in the 1993election and to its lack of success in the 1970s, and it hobbles them still.

The recent election provided obvious examples. The culture cuts and youth crime proposals were the two most high-profile examples of issues that cut across the Conservative coalition: unpopular with Quebeckers, popular elsewhere. Afghanistan divided the Conservative coalition the same way, even if this angle did not get as much media coverage in English Canada.

But these issues were relative chickenfeed. Only the culture cuts issue touched on the National Question itself, and then only symbolically. Were the Conservatives forced to engage nationally on Quebec's place in Confederation, the centre would not hold.

Part of why Mr. Harper has resisted holding First Ministers conferences is that he needs to avoid situations in which he must visibly choose between Quebec and the rest of Canada. Flush with cash, and in one-off meetings, he can dance between the two. But this forum places him too squarely in the cross-hairs.

The course Mr. Harper has selected so far is to avoid confrontation on these questions, emphasize provincial rights and delegate responsibilities to the provinces while avoiding creating any new national standards or programs. But in the long-run, the gap between his voters will provide a potential wedge for any opposition to exploit.

If they are to build a durable coalition, they must adjust their position on the National Question either in Quebec or outside it. Theoretically, Mr. Harper could attempt to mimic the Liberal coalition by moving both sets of supporters closer to the middle ground. But the Tories' base in English Canada is large, powerful and unlikely to moderate on this fundamental question.

The surer course is to capture the federalist pole from the Liberals in Quebec. This might mean fewer seats in Quebec in the short-term, but it would form a solid intellectual foundation that could be maintained for generations. This position would have coherence - pro-Canada in both Quebec and the rest of the country - as opposed to being contradictory, like the existing coalition of "francophones and Francophobes."

To undertake this strategic shift would require increasing the support of Quebec allophones for the Conservatives, a similar strategy to their methodical micro-targeting of East Asian Canadians in Ontario and B.C. It would mean targeting the Anglophones of Montreal and displacing the Liberals as their choice.

It would also require one development Mr. Harper cannot control: the Liberals selecting a leader and a strategy to sacrifice the federalist pole in Quebec for a play to the soft nationalist vote. Mr. Harper cannot seize the federalist pole alone; it must be willingly surrendered.

The result would be the complete reorientation of the Canadian party system. No longer would the dominant force be a Liberal Party built around a strong national government to protect minority rights, with a weaker Conservative Party that can only win a majority of seats by forging an ends-against-the-middle compromise with Quebec nationalists.

Instead, a strongly pro-Canada nationalist Conservative Party would be the dominant party. The Liberals would likely fade away in time after losing their primary anchor in the party system. The chief opposition party would be a pro-Quebec, social democratic NDP/Bloc hybrid, strong in those hotbeds of the anti-establishment: downtown Vancouver, downtown Toronto and francophone Quebec.

Politics would be much more similar to the 19th century. There would be a traditionalist Blue party intent on building a unique pan-Canadian identity, and a radical anti-authoritarian Red party dedicated to a cosmopolitan and differentiated Canada. The two parties would bracket the centre, fighting over the middle vacated by the once dominant centrist behemoth.

This strategy would bring the Conservatives back to where Diefenbaker left off: The project of building a strongly nationalist, British North American alternative to the United States. It would attempt to build a unified "Canada" of more than just laws and flags, but of one culture and one people, if two languages. Perhaps George Grant even wrote the future Conservative slogan in Lament for a Nation: "Canadians first, foremost and always."

It's Official...Kinsella is Supporting Dominic Leblanc

...or so says the voters.

Voters put Leblanc over the top at 24% or 83 votes, ahead of Michael Ignatieff and John Manley at 74 votes and 73 votes respectively.

Bob Rae finished dead last, behind "other", with only 15 votes.

My gut tells me that Mr. Kinsella will be endorsing Ignatieff. Especially with the Ignatieff additions of Pollara's Don Guy and the Quebec general Marc-Andre Blanchard.

But, on the other hand, does Ignatieff meet Warren's own sniff test:

Who will win the leadership race? I dunno, and if I have a preference — and I do — I’m keeping it between me and my priest, for now. I will say, however, that the next Liberal leader needs to meet certain basic criteria. He or she needs to have a demonstrated ability to fundraise for the Liberal Party, now about $3-million in debt (which is less than the debt’s ever been after any other Liberal loss, by the by). Key to that is having no personal debt from the last Liberal race. You can’t very well position yourself as a great fundraiser if you still carry a lot of personal debt, can you?

He or she needs to have a record of knowing how to balance the books — of knowing why prudent fiscal management is crucial, particularly in times like these. He or she needs to be able to inspire and unite Canadians and Liberals. He or she needs to TAKE THE LIBERAL PARTY BACK TO THE CENTRE of the spectrum, where all the votes are. There’s a reason why the Conservatives have been (falsely) attempting to depict themselves as centrists — they know that is the only way they can ever hope to win a majority. So why should the Liberal Party of Canada stick on the far left, competing for 25 per cent of the votes with the NDP, the Greens, and the Bloc? Tried that, didn’t get a T-shirt. Back to the Liberal centre!

1. Demonstrated ability to raise money. While it's true Michael and Bob were able to pay off their past leadership debts, isn't it really the people behind the candidates that raise the money?

2. Demonstration of prudent fiscal management. I don't know how Dominic, Michael or Bob caould meet this criteria. David, however, has a degree from the London School of Economics and John Manley was Deputy PM under one of the most prudent governments in Canadian history.

3. He or she needs to be able to inspire and unite Canadians and Liberals. I don't know about all Canadians, but there is certainly a large amount of Liberals still blaming Martin/Chretien and now Ignatieff and Rae for a largely ununited party. To that end, David, John or Dominic fit the bill a little better.

Well, Michael did run a leadership with speeches that included the words, "We have to be the party of the large centre". Bob? Not so much. Manley? Centre right. David and Dom? They're listening to the voices of the party.

So there you have it. Clear as mud.

UPDATE: I've already stated I believed Warren won't be on Dominic's campaign.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Day for Women on Parliament Hill

Kudos to PM Harper for a change. A significant amount of woman have been named to his cabinet.

Lynne Yelich
Bev Oda
Helena Guergis
Rona Ambrose
Lisa Raitt
Diane Ablonczy
Josee Verner
Gail Shea
Leona Aglukkaq
Diane Finley

Big surprise people?

Steven Fletcher
Keith Ashfield

The Burning Question on Every Grassroots Liberal's Mind

Who will Warren Kinsella be backing for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada? I have made up my mind about who it is based on empirical evidence provided on Mr. Kinsella's own blog.

For the heck of it, I've decided to let you, dear readers, decide. Vote early. Vote often (if you're Mississauga Peter).

Introducing Your New Conservative Cabinet

So the Globe reports. And Harper expands his cabinet again, breaking his 2006 election promise.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Prentice Gets Environment

Clement gets Industry. Bets are Maxime Bernier is out of cabinet.

It's the Phillies....two days later

That's big for the city of brotherly love.

When It Comes to Leadership and Elections...

It's probably better to compare apples to apples. That's my thought for the day on selecting the next Liberal Leader and the subsequent electability thereof.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not Good....But I Did Tell You So

Disappointment again. But I did tell ya so. Twice in fact.

Dominic Leblanc It Is....

The young gun, Dominic Leblanc, neutral during the 2006 leadership race has become the first one to announce his intention to seek the Liberal Leadership. Leblanc brings the backing of Percy Downe and Tim Murphy for starters.

This tells me two things. 1. Frank McKenna is not running. 2. Warren Kinsella is not on this team (I've been wrong before).

Stay tuned for Bob Rae to announce today or tomorrow. I know. I know. Big surprise there.

One hint for anyone else seeking the leadership: Have your website up and running when you announce. Easier to get volunteers that way...and donors too!

Monday, October 27, 2008

More Importantly...Who's NOT Running For Liberal Leadership

I know the rules and the venue and the date for leadership has yet to be determined, however, I'm the kind of guy that believes you should go to the front and improve your position. So, to that end, if you're running for leader, you should get off your @zz and let the rest of us know before some good people get stuck with a campaign they'll regret.

Here's my guess as to who is NOT running for the Liberal Leadership.

Stephane Dion - Correct

Gerard Kennedy Correct

Joe Volpe - Correct

Martha Hall Findlay - Correct

Ruby Dhalla

Ujjal Dosanjh - Correct

Maurizio Bevilacqua - Correct

Carolyn Bennett - Correct

Hedy Fry - Correct

Ralph Goodale - Correct

Denis Coderre - Correct

Scott Brison - Correct

Frank McKenna - Correct

Ken Dryden - Correct

Martin Cauchon - Correct

Warren Kinsella - Correct

Liberals Losing Immigrant Base

Really? Why didn't I think of that? I was sick and disgusted that the Liberals were throwing away a key voter group. I'm certain that I warned about this 7 months ago. Or, at least I was hoping someone would listen.

Hell, I even flew out to BC to convince a certain national co-chair.

What do I know?

Yes But does it include Clearing a Pool Room to Hang Out with your High School Buddies?

Risk assessment must of been extremely high that night. What, with the metal detectors and all.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Let's Have a Look at the Leadership Caucus Support

This list will give you an idea of what Stephane Dion was up against as he faced his caucus the day after the election. Also, you might notice that some of the pretenders that are "thinking of running" all supported a certain frontrunner. This is called "scaring the potential others" out of the leadership race (Coderre, Dhalla, McGuinty).

So, guys like McKenna and Manley look at lists like this and realize they start waaaaay behind the 8 ball and decide not to run. And, even if Stephane decided to fight a review and Gerard's guys backed him, it would be a knife fight in a dark alley. The only name I see as not a pretender right now is Domenic Leblanc. He was neutral last time, is young, bilingual and has deeeeeep connections in the corporate world.

Micheal Ignatieff

Scott Andrews (citation needed)
Larry Bagnell
Mauril Belanger
Gerry Byrne
John Cannis
Denis Coderre
Bonnie Crombie
Roger Cuzner
Jean-Claude D'Amours
Sukh Dhaliwal
Ruby Dhalla
Wayne Easter
Raymonde Folco
Marc Garneau
Albina Guarnieri
Michael Ignatieff
Derek Lee
Keith Martin
John McCallum
David McGuinty
John McKay
Maria Minna
Rob Oliphant
Marcel Proulx
Yasmin Ratansi
Geoff Regan
Pablo Rodriguez
Anthony Rota
Todd Russell
Michelle Simson
Paul Szabo
Alan Tonks

Gerard Kennedy

Navdeep Bains
Mark Holland
Gerard Kennedy
Gurbax Malhi
Dan McTeague
Bernard Patry
Mario Silva
Scott Simms
Justin Trudeau
Frank Valeriote

Bob Rae

Carolyn Bennett
Maurizio Bevelacqua
Scott Brison
Irwin Cotler
Ujjal Dosanjh
Ken Dryden
Ralph Goodale
Jim Karygiannis
Lawrence MacAuley
Alexandra Mendes
Brian Murhpy
Shawn Murphy (Via Brison)
Anita Neville (Via Dryden)
Massimo Pacetti (Via Volpe)
Bob Rae
Michael Savage (via Brison)
Judy Sgro (via Martha Hall Findlay)
Joe Volpe

Stephane Dion

Stephane Dion
Kirsty Duncan (Citation needed)
Mark Eyking (VIA Brison)
Martha Hall Findlay
Marlene Jennings
Andrew Kania
Joyce Murray
Glen Pearson
Francis Scarpaleggia
Bryon Wilfert


Siobhan Coady
Judy Foote
Lise Zarac


Domenic Leblanc
Peter Milliken

Meet Alexandra Mendes, Your New Liberal MP

Here's her profile. Congratulations to her and her team.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dion Was More Popular in Quebec Than Paul Martin

in the 2006 election, the Martin Liberals picked up 10 seats. Today, Dion's Liberals picked up a 14th.

update: My mistake. Martin had 13. 10 male (the number I used) and 3 female (the number I didn't see).

Why Not Navdeep Bains?

Speculation over all the young guns challenging the old party brass boys for the leadership has been rampant of late. Names like Leblanc, McGuinty, Kennedy and Dhalla and being bandied about quite often.

Let me ask you though, why not a guy like Navdeep Bains? I mean, he's a little more qualified than some, no?

One Reason Why Chretien Was Canada's Best

I've said this a million times. History will prove Jean Chretien was the greatest PM in the history of Canada. Yesterday the University of Western Ontario bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Laws upon him. He had a couple things to say.

"People will remember how much hell I received in 1995 because I refused to let the banks merge," he said. "They said, 'We need Canadian big banks who can compete with the world, so stop regulating the banks; we need the freedom of the market,"' Chretien told the graduation ceremony.

"Today in the turmoil, because we said no in 1995, you read any newspaper talking about stability, they all say the best stable banks in the world are in Canada today."


Chretien later turned on his characteristic charm when asked why he thought the Liberals were so soundly thrashed in the vote that saw Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives returned to power with a bulked-up minority.

The Liberals were reduced to 76 seats in last week's election - down from 103 in 2006 - and captured just 26.2 per cent of the popular vote.

"We didn't have enough votes to win," he joked.

Yet another Classless Liberal

Remind me who she supported last time. Unbelievable.

What she should have said: "Hey! Conservatives! You can do whatever you like. We aren't voting against ya." Unbelievable.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where Americans Should have Invested their 401Ks

If you had purchased $1,000.00 of AIG stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00.

With Fannie Mae, you would have $16.50 left of the original $1,000.

With Bear Stearns, you would have less than $5.00 left.

If you had purchased $1,000.00 of Freddie Mac stock you would have $49.00 left.

If you had purchased Lehman Bros., you would have nothing left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in

the cans for recycling, you would have $214.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

This is calleTd the 401-Keg Plan.

My Guess is that Warren Kinsella Would Back Him

This guy's name has been touted for the Liberal Leadership race. My guess is that he would gain support quite quickly should he choose to step up to the plate.

Readers Choose Ralph Goodale For Deputy Leader

In our poll prepared on Monday, Ralph Goodale came out victorious. Ralph gained 20% of the vote, or 19 votes, edging out Ken Dryden, who garnered 14% or 14 votes. Total votes cast was 97.

Notable in the poll was Bob Rae finishing dead last with only 3 votes. Both women in the poll received 8 votes apiece. Michael Ignatieff was tied for 3rd with John McCallum with 13 votes apiece.

In our Wednesday Poll "Who Will Win the Liberal Leadership", anybody but Ignatieff or Rae is currently leading with 42% of the popular vote. The poll is still open.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Dion Petition...Wow! That's Momentum

The fastest growing petition online. Have a gander.

New Poll - Who Will Win Liberal Leadership

With the announcement of the Ignatieff-Rae "alliance for leadership" (Trademark Pending), who do you think will be victorious at the leadership convention?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bob Rae First to Announce Leadership Bid

Oh. And by association, I guess Michael Ignatieff too.

Just how long ago were Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae making this so-called non-aggression pact? Has it been since December 2006? No sense anybody else entering the Leadeship Race. I mean, really, the outcome seems pre-determined wouldn't you say?

Hear that Mr. McGuinty? Mr. Leblanc? Mr. McKenna? Ms. Hall-Findlay? Mr. Manley? They'll be no middling a la Dion. Get it?


New Poll - Who Will Be Named Deputy Leader

With the Liberal Caucus scheduled to meet on Thursday, who will be named the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada? Ideas will also be accepted for shadow cabinet positions.

Dion Was Right. They Are Liars

I could have sworn they stood in front of millions of voters and said (then again, he was speaking into his water glass):

(CEP News) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper reiterated Monday morning that the fundamentals of the Canadian economy remain "solid" and that there is no risk of a federal budget deficit despite the economic slowdown

Naturally, it IS 13 days later.

But, but, but, you said NO DEFICITS. LLPOF

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ray Heard, The Most Classless Man in Canada

This guy makes Joe Volpe look like a saint.

Have a listen.

Anonymous "Senior Liberal" to Run For Leadership

Tonight on Duffy Live, Bob Fife and Mike Duffy reported that they've been TOLD to mention Denis Coderre as a leadership candidate.

Denis Coderre?!?

Today We Lost a Visionary Leader

Thank God he's staying on in the interim. It will hold the Conservatives to the minority they were elected to have rather than a defacto majority they would have under an interim leader.

New Poll...If Dion Resigns, How Long Before Ignatieff Announces?

For Those of You Wishing Stephane Dion to Stay On

Send your personal message to Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette at

And do it immediately!!!!

My Conversation With Stephane Dion Today

As many of you know, I met with some unnamed, activist, anonymous, strategist, insider, close to the leader, reliable source, Laurier Club, lifelong Liberals in front of Stornoway this afternoon. Stephane Dion wasn't there. You see, he went home to Montreal to relax with his family and close friends.

I began to think that perhaps all the hype and internet support and the hundreds of emails were all for not. Then my phone rang.

It was "someone close to the leader" on the other end. Within minutes I was put through to the leader (yes, as of the time of the call he is still the leader).

We talked about the outpouring of support he has been receiving from the grassroots members of our party. He talked about his family. More talk about the possibility of staying and the ramifications of going.

Naturally I suggested many of us were ready to defend, but there was a need for change to take place. Much talk of this and that ensued. Lots of passion.

10 minutes later the leader said all that I needed to hear:

I love the Liberal Party. I love my country.

I didn't need to hear anything else.

Mr. Dion, I said, we are here to support you. We hope you will hear the voices of the many rather than the shrills of the few. We would like to see you stay.

"Thank you Jim, for all you have done. I will consider all you have said when I make my decision."

Thank you Mr. Dion. We all await your answer.

Picture above taken by anonymous Liberal photographer.

Later I post on the ramifications of M. Dion staying or going.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Best Letter to Stephane Dion

A letter I received a short time ago. God bless the author!

Hard to get there from Saskatchewan, even if I were able and could afford it and had
been racking my brain to find something I could do to show support.

Had put away a little of my small disability pension every month to
buy Christmas gifts, but justfound 0000,0000,FFFF suggesting a way to send the backroom boys a message was to retireDion’s leadership debt.

I’ve just written a cheque for $100 to Liberal Party of Canada,
Attention Donations - The
6464,6A6A,7070 Stéphane Dion Leadership Campaign, and will give friends a letter telling them of the qualities of M. Dion and his vision, and how their gift – mydonation, was the most valuable one they will have received, part of a movement to restore honesty and ethics to Canadian politics, and (hopefully after the next election) our country to the leadership of a decent and honourable man.

The March to Stornoway

A frindly reader of TWDIKG was nice enough to pass on a few points of interest about Storming Stornoway.

H/t Sassy

* From the Queensway (the 417) take the Alta Vista / Vanier Parkway exit and travel north on the Vanier Parkway up to Beechwood Avenue
* Turn right onto Beechwood and travel about 6 blocks and then turn left onto Acacia (which is the first street past Marier St, there are a set of lights at Beechwood and Marier, also a Bridgehead Coffee place near that intersection)
* Travel on Acacia to 541 (which will be on your LEFT hand side and well marked, the 541 number is posted on a tree/post on the front)

If for any reason, people need a place to meet in the area, there is a lovely public park (locals call it the Rockeries) that is accessible from Acacia.  The park walkway entrance is a little north of 541 and on the left hand side (not far past the Korean Ambassador's residence which is almost across the street from Stornoway and marked with lion statues at the entrance). Not far from that entrance to the park, if you look down and to your left there are large concrete columns and an old stone fountain with cherubs on it. 
Parking - just past the entrance to the Rockeries there are a few parking spots and further down Acacia widens as it curves to the left and then ends at the Rockcliffe Parkway. Seems there is also public parking there.
Acacia can be reached from either the Rockcliffe Parkway or Beechwood, but the turn from the Rockcliffe Parkway onto Acacia is a little tricky, I suggest the Beechwood route.
If anyone does want to use the Rockcliffe Parkway, remind them that it is just a continuation of Sussex Drive, past 24 Sussex, past the GC residence and past the Rockcliffe Park.
If for any reason, people want to gather afterwards (or before), there are two pubs on Beechwood (both with patios and both decent)

* The New Edinburgh Pub at the corner of Beechwood and the Vanier Parkway
* The Clocktower Pub at 422 MacKay Street (corner of MacKay and Beechwood, just one block from the New Edinburgh Pub)


Storming Stornaway

Well, the delegation of no name, anonymous, senior, junior, strategist, insider, close to the leader, organizer, laurier Club, source close to the leader, long time Liberal, close to somebody in the OLO Liberal, have made it past Kingston.

We've been hearing from some fine folks (anonymously of course) that wanna join us in our March on the Mansion. Vilgilant suggests a road hockey game, and I like that idea - especially if we could get Steve Murphy and Mike Duffy to be the goaltenders.
Most are wondering what time to assemble and we're hearing people wanna join us from outside the beltway so we should begin to congregate around noonish. High Noon (a good movie that high noon was).

Any other fabulous ideas are welcome.

Again, you can contact me at

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Trip to Stornaway

A small delegation of secret, unnamed, anonymous, insider, organizer, local Liberal, grassroots Liberal, strategist, Dionista, Liberal source, longtime organizer, senior member, Laurier Club Member, Liberals are making their way to Ottawa tonight.

The delegation encourages all other secret, unnamed, anonymous, insider, organizer, local Liberal, grassroots Liberal, strategist, Dionista, Liberal source, longtime organizer, senior member, Laurier Club Member, riding presidents, former riding presidents, Liberals to do the same and form a support rally in front of Stornaway tomorrow.

Guaranteed the media will quote some of the secret, unnamed, anonymous, insider, organizer, local Liberal, grassroots Liberal, strategist, Dionista, Liberal source, longtime organizer, senior member, Laurier Club Member, Liberals so that Mr. Dion will know you are there for him.

Steve Far and Wide has a bunch of supporters on his blog. There's also a Facebook Group here.

Anyone that is going to Stornaway can buzz me at

See if You Can Spot the Bullshit in This Toronto Star Article

Dion ready to call it quits


Liberal Leader plans Monday statement; expected to bow to mounting pressure

Oct 18, 2008 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (33)
Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA—After several days clinging to hopes that he could find a way to stay on as Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion will emerge from his post-election seclusion on Monday, when he is expected by Liberal insiders to announce his exit plans.

Dion, who presided over a bruising slide in Liberal fortunes in Tuesday’s election, has been closeted in his residence ever since, conducting round-the-clock discussions with MPs and senior Liberals about his future amid calls that he must depart as leader.

At 2 o’clock Monday afternoon, Dion will make his first public appearance since election night.

Traditionally, Liberal leaders have been given two chances to lead the party through elections. But the caucus is smarting from Tuesday’s loss, in which the party suffered a sharp drop in popular vote and the loss of 19 House of Commons seats, including the defeat of many well-liked incumbents.

“There’s only one option,” one insider said yesterday, and that’s for Dion to step down.

In his concession speech Tuesday night, Dion, a hard-headed individualist, said voters had given him a mandate. In French he said: “Canadians are asking me to be the leader of the Opposition and I accept this responsibility with honour.”

However, a well-placed Liberal source said Dion is now convinced he could not survive a mandatory leadership review at the party’s biennial convention in May. As a result, he is ready to announce he will relinquish his position, allowing the May meeting to be turned into a leadership convention.

Since the vote, Dion has spoken to a great many people in the party, and has hashed over his future with close advisers, including chief of staff Joanne Sénécal, aide Andrew Bevan and wife Janine Krieber.

While some Liberals have said Dion should be given carte blanche, the overwhelming view is that he must bow out to allow a rebuilding process under a leader who can better unite and energize the party.

Asked if there was a chance Dion could try to retain the leader’s mantle, a Liberal organizer said, “I honestly haven’t spoken to anybody who thinks that’s a possibility.”

Another strategist called it a “mirage” to think Dion could stay on as leader and enjoy the support and goodwill of members.

Those close to the Dion organization say he has been getting advice that he needs to step down since Tuesday night, when the election results proved much worse than many Liberals expected.

One option under discussion would allow Dion to stay on as interim leader until May when a replacement is chosen, the source said. It was generally accepted among Liberals that Dion lacks the funding, support in caucus and the grassroots organization needed to pass that mandatory review.

Liberal Jim Karygiannis (Scarborough-Agincourt) said that while the decision is up to Dion, it could be ugly if he decides to stick around.

“If he decides to stay and the other leadership contenders decide (they’re) going to take him out at the leadership review, it won’t be pretty,” he said. - isn't that nice

Karygiannis said there would be turmoil in the caucus, and efforts to embarrass Dion by refusing to vote with him. -more nice things to say

“This election was ours to win,” he added. “It was not ours to lose. But we lost it and if you’re the CEO of a company and the company goes bankrupt, well, you know responsibility has to be taken.” - What planet is he living on?
Karygiannis said many Liberals found it difficult to repeatedly abstain from Commons votes that would have toppled the minority Conservative government because Dion was not ready for a campaign. - Bullshit. Dion wanted to go last fall

“I don’t think he really got a grasp of the party. I mean, you just don’t tell members `don’t vote and sit on your hands and don’t vote.’ We did that what, 43 times?” Karygiannis said. - Tell us why Jimmy. Weren't you in that caucus? Are you sure it was all Dion's fault?

But Mississauga South Liberal Paul Szabo said it’s unfair to pin all the blame for the election results on Dion.
“We were all involved in the process of preparing for this election and I think everybody has to be accountable for it,” said Szabo.

“I personally don’t hold Mr. Dion responsible for the performance. It’s our entire party and caucus,” he said. “I’m not going to blame one person and say `that’s over with.’ This is a complex problem.”

Liberal Senator David Smith says Dion was frustrated and disappointed by the election results and thought the party would fare better, despite polls and even warnings by the party’s own members that Dion’s leadership and the proposal for a carbon tax were not popular. - "When you wish upon a star"- Senator Smith on Question Period
That’s one reason that Dion has spent time “soul-searching” about his political future.

“We have to show respect and deference. He worked his guts out in this campaign,” Smith said in an interview.

Among those considered potential successors to Dion are Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae, who finished behind Dion at the 2006 leadership convention and who were re-elected Tuesday in their Toronto ridings; Gerard Kennedy, the former Ontario cabinet minister whose move to support Dion handed him the convention win and who won a tough election battle Tuesday; and newly elected Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Trudeau.

Liberals said organizers for some of the likely leadership candidates are already beginning to mobilize for the contest.

A new polls reveals that almost three-quarters of Canadians think Dion should be replaced as leader while at least half of those surveyed think the leaders of the other parties should remain in their jobs. - How many Liberals were asked?

The poll by Angus Reid revealed that 70 per cent of the 1,003 people surveyed were dissatisfied with Dion’s performance. That compared with 58 per cent who said they liked how NDP Leader Jack Layton did on the campaign, a 48 per cent approval rating for Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and 46 per cent endorsement of Green Leader Elizabeth May.

The online poll was conducted yesterday and Thursday and is considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

- With files from Richard Brennan

Was There Some Kind of Funding Cut To Elections Canada?

Just asking.

During the 2006 campaign, Elections Canada came up with witty, engaging commercials to get out the vote. It worked too as the downward spiral in voter turnout finally ended.

This election however, the radio and TV ads were barely visible. The result? A 59% voter turn out.

Was Elections Canada just trying to save us all a couple bucks? I ask you dear readers.

So, No Green Shift = Liberal Victory?

Is that what you are all saying? Seriously?

Friday, October 17, 2008

What Stephane Dion Doesn't Know...

...and either does the anonymous, senior, strategist, organizer, insider, close to the leader, sources...nor do the pundits, journalists, Conservative bloggers...

....many, many, many, many grassroots Liberals would like him to stay. Most don't like when leaders are forced into a corner.

Just saying.

Introducing the Aardvark


Physical Characteristics
The name aardvark comes from a word meaning "earth pig." Although the aardvark, endemic to Africa, shares some similarities with the South American anteater, the two are not related. The last survivor of a group of primitive ungulates, the aardvark could more accurately be called a near-ungulate that has developed powerful claws.

The aardvark has a short neck connected to a massive, almost hairless body with a strongly arched back. The legs are short, the hind legs longer than the front ones. The head is elongated, with a long, narrow snout and nostrils that can be sealed. The long, tubular ears are normally held upright but can be folded and closed. The short but muscular tail is cone-shaped and tapers to a point. The thick claws on the forefeet are well adapted for digging.

Aardvarks are found in all regions, from dry savanna to rain forest, where there are sufficient termites for food, access to water and sandy or clay soil. If the soil is too hard, aardvarks, despite being speedy, powerful diggers, will move to areas where the digging is easier.

Aardvarks are mostly solitary and nocturnal, but sometimes will come out during the day to sun themselves. When aardvarks sleep, they block the entrance to their burrow, leaving only a very small opening at the top, and curl into a tight ball. Especially during the rains, aardvarks may dig themselves new burrows almost nightly. Many animals, including ground squirrels, hares, civets, hyenas, jackals, porcupines, warthogs, monitor lizards, and birds use abandoned aardvark holes as shelter. When pursued, an aardvark will furiously dig itself a hole, and when attacked, may roll onto its back and defend itself with its large claws or use its thick tail to somersault away from its attackers.

As it is nocturnal and has poor eyesight, the aardvark is cautious upon leaving its burrow. It comes to the entrance and stands there motionless for several minutes. Then it suddenly leaps out in powerful jumps. At about 30 feet out it stops, raises up on its legs, perks up its ears and turns its head in all directions. If there are no sounds, it makes a few more leaps and finally moves at a slow trot to look for food.

Aardvarks give birth to one offspring at a time. The pinkish, hairless newborn stays inside the burrow for about 2 weeks and then begins to follow its mother in her search for food. The young first eats solid food at 3 months of age and is suckled until 4 months.

At about 6 months the young male becomes independent and goes off on its own, while the young female stays with the mother until after the next baby is born. The young female may then dig its own burrow a few yards away from its mother but still joins her to forage for termites.

Aardvarks are specialized for eating termites. They move from one termite mound to another, dismantling the hills with their powerful claws. Insects are trapped by the aardvark's long protractile tongue (as long as 30 cm), which is covered with a thick, sticky saliva. Sometimes the aardvark will press its snout against an opening in a mound and suck up the termites. Aardvarks, with their keen sense of smell, also hunt for the long columns of termites that move outside the mounds at night.

Predators and Threats
The adult aardvark's principal enemies are human (who sometimes kill it for meat), lions, hyenas and leopards; pythons also take the young. Aardvark flesh is relished by several African tribes and many parts of the aardvark body are used as charms: the teeth are believed to prevent illness and bad

Did You Know?
The aardvark has fewer teeth than most mammals. The teeth are columnar in shape, have no roots and do not grow simultaneously.
Although not thought to be teritorial, females seem to become attached to a particular place. The males wander more. Adult aardvarks are usually solitary, coming together only for mating.

update: Eugene pointed out that this definition is from the AWF site. yes it is. Thank you Eugene.

Tax Shift/Green Shift...Why didn't Michael Ignatieff think of That?

Oh. He did.

Well. Thanks for reminding me.

Je me souviens. Right Ms. Frulla, M. Volpe, M. McKay, M. Corderre, M. Rodriguez, M. Karygiannis, M. Proulx? Who's next? Probably one of these people.


Ignatieff has come out as a supporter of Kyoto, but he has also conceded that Canada will not meet its targets under the accord.

He said Canada should aim to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, and he has proposed heavier taxes on dirtier kinds of fuel.

A big part of his plan is what he calls a "polluter pays" approach.

He's proposing, among other things, a direct federal tax on companies that produce greenhouse emissions.

He refutes the idea that such a tax is a "plot to punish Alberta for its success," saying it should be offset by reductions in other taxes so there is no net tax increase.

He said it's not enough to rely on voluntary initiatives and subsidies to encourage businesses to reduce harmful emissions.

"This would represent an environmental tax shift from taxing activities we want to encourage to taxing activities we want to discourage," he said. And any excess payments the government receives would be returned to the source province to fund emissions reductions programs.

Update: Senator Smith says the GREEN SHIFT lost us the election.A couple of comments for you on that one Senator Smith. 1. Weren't you one of the National Co-Chairs in charge of helping sell our platform? 2. Who was it again you asked to come back to Canada to run for leadership?

Remind Me Again. Who Did John McKay Back At Leadership?

The gloves are off. No more backstabbing. Let's stab him in the front now. Right John McKay. Right.

Not Even Paul Martin Was this Scrutinized

The most despised leader in the history of the Liberal Party, Paul Martin, and his team of team killers were not scrutinized with such microscopic precision as is happening to Stephane Dion and his conviction for a Fairer, Richer, Greener Canada.

How exactly did the Toronto Star obtain a copy of Michael Marzolini's internal memo? Which RAT gave it up for "anonymous" reasons?

UNBELIEVABLE. Chretien/Martin revisited.

Liza Frulla Continues to be the Has Been She Is

We all new he wasn't a leader? Really Liza? Why, because you and a few of the other backstabbers in PQ say so? Because you just can't get over the 2006 leadership result is more like it Liza.

Liza is the Quebec version of our Ontario has been Stephen Ledrew.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Et Tu Joe Volpe?

With all due respect Mr. Vople. Don't try speaking for all Liberals. Frankly, not many will listen to your advice. Refresh my memory. Didn't you help kick Chretien out with the rest of the "Martinis". Are there any leaders you like Joe?

The WDIKG's Word of the Day: Gambit

GAMBIT. Damnit.

gambit Definition
gam·bit (gam′bit)


1.Chess an opening in which a pawn or other piece is sacrificed to get an advantage in position opening maneuver, action, or remark intended to gain an advantage or to offer an opinion

Etymology: Fr < OFr gambet < Sp gambito, a tripping < It gamba, a leg < ML gamba: see gamb

Jack Layton = Bob Rumson

One of my favourite movies is "The American President" starring Michael Douglas and Richard Dreyfuss. During the election campaign, however, I could never pinpoint where I had heard Jack Layton's "I am running to be your Prime Minister". I don't know why I couldn't put my finger on it.

I finally have now though. Jack Layton was playing Richard Dreyfuss' character, Senator Bob Rumson.

Jack: "Yes, I am Jack Layton and I'm running to be your prime minister,"

Richard Dreyfuss: Bob Rumson: My name is Bob Rumson, and I'm running for President!

So there you have it. Oh. And the outcome was the same.

Meet the Jackass Penguin

The jackass penguin, a flightless seabird, is found nowhere in the world except off the coast of southern Africa, i.e. it is endemic to this area. It breeds on 24 offshore islands between Namibia and Port Elizabeth. Additional colonies were established in the 1980s on the mainland at Betty's Bay and Simonstown. There is also a colony on the mainland of Namibia, although it is not known when this colony was established. Nesting on the mainland is unusual for jackass penguins because they are ground-nesting birds and are vulnerable to the many predators on the mainland.

Jackass penguins used to nest by burrowing into guano (bird droppings which have accumulated into a hardish substance, sometimes several metres deep). Most of the nutrient-rich guano was removed for fertiliser in the 19th century. Penguins now nest in burrows in sand, under overhanging rocks, under bushes, or even in the open. Jackass penguins can breed at any time of the year, usually laying two eggs. Most adult birds feed during the day and the chicks are fed regurgitated food in the late afternoon. The parent birds take turns in guarding the nest site and catching food. Fish eaten include sardine, maasbanker and anchovy. Squid are also eaten.



The total present population of jackass penguins is about 120 000 birds. In 1930, the total population numbered at least 1,2 million birds. Penguin numbers have therefore decreased by at least 90% in 60 years, and this fall is continuing. Dassen Island, off Yzerfontein, may have once sheltered over 1 million penguins - it now has about 30 000. Dyer Island, near Gaansbaai, now has about 20 000 penguins. The largest colony at present is St. Croix Island near Port Elizabeth, with about 50 000 penguins.



The collapse of the jackass penguin population this century has been a result of the following:

* Harvesting of eggs for human consumption.

* Reduction of the penguin's food supply by commercial fishing.

* Oil pollution from oil tankers. This could devastate the major colonies. Oil tankers may illegally clean out their tanks as they pass round the Cape to fill up with oil in the middle east.

* Large-scale removal of guano in the 19th century has decreased the ability of penguins to construct nests through burrowing. This has led to increased competition for breeding space with larger animals such as seals. Penguins breeding on the mainland are vulnerable to mainland predators not found on islands, such as leopards, genets and domestic dogs and cats, and also to human disturbance unless the colonies are adequately fenced and patrolled.



All the islands where jackass penguins breed, except Robben Island, are protected as provincial nature reserves or fall within the West Coast National Park.
However, there is competition with seals for the limited breeding space available on some islands, and some individual seals are known to kill and eat penguins. At Mercury Island seals have been successfully displaced from penguin breeding sites. At Dassen and Robben Islands steps have been taken to eliminate the feral cat populations.

Efforts have been made to protect the new mainland breeding colonies at Betty's Bay and Simonstown. A 100-metre fence has been erected at Stony Point peninsula at Betty's Bay, and this is successfully preventing human disturbance and attacks by predators. The colony has grown to more than 100 nesting pairs.

The South African National Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) carries out valuable work in rescuing oil-soaked penguins (and other seabirds) and rehabilitating them back to the wild. SANCCOB has one of the world's highest rates of success in saving oiled seabirds, primarily because penguins respond better to captivity and cleaning than do flying birds.



* Support SANCCOB as a volunteer, cleaning and feeding oil- soaked or injured penguins and other seabirds.

* Take oiled or injured penguins or seabirds to SANCCOB.

* Support SANCCOB by raising money for their work.



* Jackass penguins are fast swimmers with an average speed of about 7 km\hour.

* Jackass penguins are efficient navigators. One oiled penguin which was rescued, cleaned and released on Robben Island in August 1971, travelled 800 km to Port Elizabeth within a month.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hey!!! Why Didn't Dion think of That???

Harper continues his plagiaristic route.

Harper will hold a first ministers meeting on the economy to discuss with premiers and territorial leaders a joint approach to the global financial crisis.

Oh yeah. Because the fundamentals of our economy are strong. That's why.

To All the Small Dead Robots

Really. There's nothing to see here. Go back to your trailers.

Stephane Dion Tells CTV Where To Go

Lost in the mix was Stephane telling CTV's Roger Smith where to go. Stephane was walking throught the hallway enroute to his concession speech. Roger Smith asked him a question. Stephane looked at him and said, "CTV are the last people I want to see".

Good for you Stephane. Now if you can get your fellow party members to boycott the network, that would be nice.

Yesterday's Biggest Loser

Lots of talk about who lost where. Lots of talk about leadership. Lots of talk about lots. Lost on most yesterday was the $200 billion bank bailout here in our fundamentally sound economy.

But I digress. Yesterday's biggest loser was the environment. Perhaps for another generation, to boot.

And Somewhere in Etobicoke A Leadership Bid Has Resurfaced

Not that it ever ended. I have a feeling somebody will be disappointed again.

Yes. What She Said.

My west coast friend is a little unhappy, but may be sharing some thoughts that are on many other Liberal minds.

The Eating of the Crow

Garth, Whitby-Oshawa, Welland, Hamilton-Stoney Creek East, Hamilton Mountain, David Orchard, Haldimand Norfolk

And the Thrill of Victory

Gerard Kennedy, Justin Trudeau, Andrew Kania, Marc Garneau, the Newfoundland Shutout.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Fundamentals of Our Economy are Strong...The St. Thomas Truck Plant Closing Version

Daimler AG has announced today that up to 1400 jobs will be lost at the St. Thomas truck plant. Jim Flaherty says Ontario ain't so good to invest in and the economy is fine.

Jack layton and the NDP Fail on the Environment

I guess Dion's 30 year old plane was still more environmentally friendly than Layton and Harper's.

Here's the Numbers:

NDP: 586.1
Conservatives: 514.4
Liberals: 503.4
Green Party: 2.5

The Fundamentals of Our Economy Are Strong...The $225 Billion Harper Version

Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader, is reluctant to officially declare this policy, but is likely to do so if Washington moves first because of the detrimental impact a U.S.-only guarantee could have on Canada's financial institutions.

Before pulling the trigger, the Conservatives first aim to try and meet the funding needs of Bay Street directly by aggressively expanding a scheme to buy up mortgages from banks.

After initially putting up $25 billion of public money to buy mortgages, the Department of Finance is prepared to increase that limit as needed up to $225 billion, at which point the risk of taxpayer losses starts to rise sharply.

Read more here.

What a crock of shit.

Election Officials a No Show In York Centre

Let the games begin! Election officials fail to open 3 polling stations in rthe Ontario Riding of York Centre. As of 11:00 am the polling stations were still closed.

Harper Is a Coward!

We Continue to get letters. h/t to Mala Fides.

Harper is the coward.

It is too bad that Canadians haven't yet figured out what makes Harper tick.

He is a coward and a bully.

He insults the courts and has no respect for judges or Canadian jurisprudence and then turns around and sues everything that moves in order to put a chill on the truth and stop any criticism about him, his policies or his raft of untruths.

The fact that there is a case that is titled, "Harper vs. Canada" speaks for itself.

I am not making it up!!!

Harper vs. Canada.

He sues his opposition for speaking the truth, he sues his own country in order to allow third parties to inject partisan bile into a campaign outside of the Election Canada spending limits. (Can you imagine an even more childish or abusive ad campaign than we have seen Harper unleash?)

He refuses to be accountable to Parliament or even to his own laws.

There's a word for this type of "leader". . . You figure it out.

Harper's disdain for accountability and his now obvious thin-skin should be making it clear to Canadians that he is as close to the extreme right-wing as this country has ever seen.

It is shocking that Canadians have seen fit to put this man into the position where he may win a majority government.

Politics, yes even democratic politics are incredibly important.

People think that elections don't matter because all of the parties are rotten.

When Canadians realize that they have elected a majority Conservative Government whose leader has staked his career on reducing the federal government to irrelevance, perhaps then they will understand how poorly they paid attention to this election;

When Canadians realize that without a strong federal government which coordinates and protects our National interests, this country will very quickly see its resources and interests put up for sale. Maybe then Canadians will start to question the decision they made on October 14th, 2008.

Do you remember how you feel about Mike Harris? Do you think Americans would still have voted for Bush if they had a do over?
Don't have buyer's remorse.

Harper and his party have made it clear that they do not believe in the federal government. What kind of country do they want to create and why haven't Canadians learned anything from the American experience of the last 8 years?

Wake up Canada!!!

Another CTV Boycott letter

We continue to get letters. Oh yes we do.

Feel free to utilize it.

Here's mine!

Mr. Duffy,

I wanted to let you know that I think it is reprehensible that you broadcast the out takes of Stephane Dion’s interview with the ATV journalist that has now been broadcast all over Canada in this election. That guy’s question was the most poorly worded question I have ever heard! The grammar was atrocious and it is quite understandable that a man for whom English is a second language and who has a mild hearing problem may have a harder time understanding what he was talking about. Since this airing multiple instances of Stephen Harper messing things up in English and in French have surfaced and I don’t think they represent some notion that he is somehow “unfit to lead”

The worst part of it is that your guy made a verbal agreement to not air this bit even after the interview was over – and yet you and/or your organization saw an opportunity to spin this in favor of the party that you so obviously support and you took it plain and simple. In doing so, you threw your journalistic integrity out the window and showed that your show may as well be aired right out of the Conservative war room. Unfortunately in doing so, you only allowed your Master’s true colours to shine through yet again so I hope this shows on election night.

If there is one thing that this Conservative government has been rightfully accused of over the past two years it is the lack of respect for Parliament and the low blow tactics that they have used in their campaign against Dion’s character – before and during the election. Who would have thought that a journalist, whose job it is to be fair and objective and provide us with valuable insights so that we can vote with our hearts, would provide the lowest blow in the campaign and go against his word in order to prop up his favorite candidate’s ridiculous campaign.

I could go on and on here about the obvious bias your show continually shows to the Stephen Harper party and their bizarre personality cult. But I will close by saying that I will NEVER ever watch your show again and I will encourage others to do the same. Perhaps, if you personally apologize to Stephane Dion and the Liberal Party for your journalistic transgression I may consider watching your show again but somehow I doubt that will ever happen.

John McGivern

Toronto Star Editor in Chief Agrees Dion Interview Was Mismanaged by the Interviewer

Mr. Kuntz clearly feels interviewer Murphy was in the wrong. Have a read.

Quebec Tory Predicts Loss to Bloc

That must be the new strategy in the Conservative camp.

Just in the last few days Harper has called Dion Prime Minister, has said he'd be stepping aside if he doesn't win and has admitted this race is very very close.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Question is: Will the Crown Charge Stephen Harper with Perjury?

Now that the Conservatives' own paid-for witness has testified that the Cadman tapes have not been doctored, and Harprer's testimony seems to be a wee bit of a lie, will Stephen Harper be the first Prime Minister in the history of Canada to be charge with perjury?

He is friends with the Minister of Justice though....or at least he is until tomorrow night.

Judge Orders Tories to Stop Defaming

In a Sunday court ruling Ontario Superior Court Justice George Strathy has ruled that Tory hopeful Axel Kuhn and his staff must stop publishing and distributing a brochure that makes false claims about Borys Wrzesnewskyj.

This is the kind of high school campaign the Conservatives have continued to run throughout this campaign.

What will Stephen Harper say about this? Nothing. He's not talking to the media. I'm sure his response may have been: ALL THE JUDGES ARE LIBERAL APPOINTEES AND THIS JUST SHOWS THE UNJUST BIAS THEY HAVE FOR CONSERVATIVES. We'll never know though.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Harper Finally Answers The Burning Question on Canadians Minds




CBC News
A Conservative government would allocate up to $500 million by 2016 to extend Canada's broadband network into unserved rural and remote areas, party leader Stephen Harper said Saturday.

However, the private sector and other levels of government would have to match the federal money to pay for the $1.5-billion project.

Broadband access, which provides high-speed links to the internet, is an economic necessity in a knowledge economy, but "as it currently stands, one in 10 Canadians does not have access to broadband," a party news release said.

The Conservatives will provide $100 million a year for five years — starting in 2010-11 "at the latest" — to encourage private companies to extend their broadband networks.

The government needs to subsidize the private sector to deliver broadband because many communities have too few people or are too far from cities for companies to make a profit on the service.

Opposition critics have called for the government to allocate at least $2 billion to extending broadband service. The money should come from the more than $4.2 billion the government raised this summer by selling cellphone airwaves, Liberal critic Scott Brison has said.


Harper's French Language Gaffe Surfaces on You Tube

And he has the audacity to attack Stephane Dion? This was during a leadership debate for KEYRIST sakes! He shouldn't be Prime Minister if he can't understand the language of 7.5 million of our citizens.

How come CTV ain't playing this over and over again? Pass this video along to everyone... AND CTV!

h/t to Scott Tribe for getting this.

Harper Stepping Down as Leader

Don't believe me? Ask her.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The CTV - Mike Duffy Boycott...Join in the Fun!

As I've said...We get letters.

-I am organizing a boycott of CTV programming following their decision to air three outtakes of a Halifax news interview with Stephane Dion.

An outtake is discarded 'tape': you've probably seen them at the end of movies -- actors laugh at themselves and each other as they flub lines or miscue. They are standard in all broadcasting, yet these have been strung together by CTV to be used to discredit Dion's knowledge of the issues. (This despite Halifax anchor, Steve Murphy's standard assurances to Dion that the outtakes would be discarded.)

This is not news and is, frankly, a blatantly partisan spin to mispresent a person's abilities and discriminate against their first language and hearing impediment -- and to distract us from real issues.

The airing of these tapes has been objectively condemned by journalist professors such as Stephen Ward (media ethics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Paul Knox (of the Ryerson School of Journalism).

Regardless of your politics, this type of journalism must not be encouraged in Canada, and probably would not even be acceptable in the US. I urge you to speak out against it.

You may send your response to or

Here is a copy of the letter that I sent to CTV. You may adapt it to your purposes (and enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!)


I believe your decision to air the Dion outtakes is one of the worst displays of corporate journalism in this country. As a Canadian I was embarrassed by this example of news coverage.

As a consequence, I will be boycotting all CTV programming, and will be organizing a boycott as well. This boycott will be in effect until Mike Duffy apologizes for airing these tapes on his show. The Dion tapes were not news-worthy, and they were obtained through dishonest means.

I am tired of francophones being cut up for their efforts to use the English language. In addition, you have insulted all people with hearing challenges.

This does nothing to ease the tensions between Quebec and the rest of Canada, or help people make a thoughtful, wise decision on how to vote.

Why People Aren't Voting for Harper

We get letters. Lots of 'em. Here's one from the left coast.

Canada to buy up to $25 bln in insured mortgages

Canada's own Bail Out plan how do you feel about the Government Owning Your House? A Stephen Harper Government to boot..and most importantly..WHY?!?! Has Harper not been telling us we are fine, stay the course...and then just sinks $25 bln into buying our homes?! it just me or does that seem weird and a bit of a BIG MOVE without consutling us??


Why is the Government taking over mortgages? Harper is doing the same things George Bush was/is doing ..Bush has been working long, hard and quietly behind the scenes to get as much control over Government as he can and for Government to get as much control over people as they can..Harper has been/is doing the same thing wonder he has no time for the environment and we are pretty screwed if he gets a majority...let's stop our own insanity Canada..Mr Harper is NOT our friend!

The New Harper Cadman Truth Tape

H/t A Creative Revolution

Friday, October 10, 2008

Layton Has Broadbent. Dion Has Chretien

When's Steve Harper bringing out Brian Mulroney?

Harper and Flaherty: "The Fundamentals of Our Economy are Strong"

What a crock of shit.

Harper October 7, 2008

Harper says Canada not facing banking instability
Tue Oct 7, 2008 3:20pm
Oct 7 (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper, fending off charges he is not doing enough to cope with the effects of the financial crisis, said on Tuesday that Canada's banking system was stable.

"What most of the leaders around the world are dealing with right now is not simply a drop in the stock market. Everybody has a drop in the stock market right now," the Conservative leader told CBC television in an interview ahead of the Oct. 14 election.

"Most of them are dealing with fundamental instability in our banking system, which we are not," he said, adding that the Canada had acted in the past year to limit extremes in mortgages and to improve banking transparency and disclosure. (Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson)

Harper Today

Canada reacts to credit crisis by buying mortgages
The Associated PressPublished: October 10, 2008

TORONTO: Canada is buying up to $25 billion Canadian (US$21 billion) in mortgage backed securities from the country's banks in an effort to maintain the availability of credit, the country's finance minister said Friday.

Flaherty Sept. 21/08

U.S.-style bank crisis won't occur here: Flaherty
Updated Sun. Sep. 21 2008 7:05 PM ET News Staff

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says that Canadians concerned about financial-sector problems in the U.S. can "rest assured our banks are solid."

He told CTV's Question Period on Sunday that the banking crisis in the U.S. is a concern for the global economy, but Canada has taken steps to make sure its financial sector will not end up in a similarly precarious situation.

"We have a solid banking system in Canada. Our banks are well capitalized. Our households are well capitalized... and our fiscal fundamentals are solid," he said.

Flaherty Today

The federal government said Friday it would inject up to another $25-billion of liquidity into the financial system through the purchase of insured mortgage pools.

In a speech delivered in Ottawa, Jim Flaherty, the Minister of Finance, said the move is aimed at maintaining the availability of long-term credit, which is under severe strain at present as banks are unwilling to lend to each other.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Other Media Moguls Take Issue With CTV and Mike Duffy's Ethics

From Don Martin of the National Post. Hot off the press. Shame on you too Mr. Harper.

A Dion gaffe that shows Harper's mean streak
Don Martin
National Post
Posted: October 09, 2008, 9:34 PM

WINNIPEG - It's the new low in a snake's belly of a campaign.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion misunderstands a complicated question and the Conservatives trot out leader Stephen Harper to declare it the definitive proof this Liberal leader is unfit to serve as prime minister.

What, wondered CTV's Steve Murphy in a Thursday interview, would Dion do differently to help the economy if he was prime minister today?

Mr. Dion is clearly having as much trouble grasping the concept of him being prime minister as the rest of the country, so he sought clarification. Did that mean being elected in 2006, now, or on Oct 14?, he wondered. Two more times the question was put before Dion sputtered the pat answer about how he'd launch a 30-day economic consultation, etc.

But the reaction was almost more telling about this campaign and its characters than the incident itself.

Giddy Conservatives delayed their campaign jet's departure from Winnipeg, declared the encounter worthy of a Saturday Night Live skit without having seen it and hauled out a television so a cluster of reporters could view the puzzled expression on Mr. Dion's face as he tried to fathom the question.

Aside from the questionable ethics of CTV airing a segment when both Mr. Dion and interviewer Steve Murphy twice agreed to restart the interview to clarify the question, this is a damning insight into how desperate the Conservatives have become in their battle to belittle a Liberal leader they never dreamed could pose a threat to their government.

Before showing the unedited video that both sides had agreed not to air, CTV host Mike Duffy urged Canadians to fire up their video recorders to capture a moment he predicted would haunt the Liberal leader for the rest of the campaign.

It was an undoubtedly awkward encounter and hard not to shake your head in amazement as Mr. Murphy incredulously tried to explain himself to a baffled Dion, who finally turned in exasperation to someone off camera for clarification.

But spare some empathy for Mr. Dion. It's the end of a grueling campaign, the man has admitted to a hearing impairment and the question was open to interpretation while being phrased in Mr. Dion's second language.

The bigger question is how the Conservative response fits with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's efforts to tame his hard-nosed cold-hearted image with sweaters and baby hugs.

To use his first spontaneous media appearance of the campaign to declare Mr. Dion the most unworthy of the two candidates for prime minister based on a minute of misunderstanding is not the most flattering reaction for the prime minister.

In the end the incident they hoped to use to define Mr. Dion as a confused ditherer may actually provide more telling insight into the character of Stephen Harper.

Mike Duffy and CTV Finally DID It

They've taken a good, honest man with a PhD. and tried to make him look like a simpleton. And they're quite happy about it too. Very proud of themselves, they are.

Problem is they've made their own journalist, Steve Murphy, look like an absolute moron. Can Murphy not understand English? Stephane Dion asked him to clarify his question no less than 3 times. And Murphy, being the ass he is, just couldn't understand what Stephane was asking him. Tell me Mr. Murphy, can't you understand the English language.

Stephane Dion asked him what he meant. If he was elected prime minister today, or if he was elected prime minister 2.5 years ago and he had to act today.

Mr. Murphy, Mr. Duffy you're both irresponsible hacks. And, sirs, (I use the term loosely) so is your despicable network.

While we're at it. Explain to me why Mr. Duffy never has members and strategists of the Bloc on his show. I mean, at least Don Newman does. It's not like they have more seats than the NDP or anything. Why does CTV hate French Canada so much?

Canadians deserve better than networks that clearly act as Fox North. Truth is CTV didn't like the fact that the Liberal Party has bounced back into contention. Afterall, they do suspect Harper will cut funding to their main competition - CBC. And he will.

New Conservative Talking Point

Today Harper addressed a room full of people. During the address, guess what he said?


Wow. Interesting strategy there for the Conservatives to follow. Concede loss to the Liberals.

Hm. Works for me.

Conservative MP Guilty of New In and Out Scheme?

It's possible.

Why was a Conservative MP from Niagara West Glanbrook sending a ten percenter into a Toronto Riding after the writ was dropped? How many other Conservative MPs are doing this?

Since the last in and out scandal wasn't resolved prior to PM Harper's illegal election call, how are we to know what the Conservatives are doing? Are they still applying the same tactics as the last election?

Here's the article from the Niagara West News:

MP accused of breaking rules on mail-outs
Posted 22 hours ago

MP Dean Allison has broken the rules on constituency mail-outs in three areas, giving Conservatives an unfair advantage, the Liberal candidate says.

MPs are allowed to send brochures out at taxpayers’ expense to 10 per cent of their riding, or any other riding.

Liberal candidate Heather Carter says the mailout is intended to inform the public about what the MP is doing.

On Monday, Carter sent the West Niagara News a copy of a brochure received in Toronto on September 29 by a resident there.

Carter says mail-outs, known as ten percenters, are supposed to be stopped once an election is called.

“It’s completely illegal to do this,” Carter told West Niagara News on Monday. “This is taxpayers’ money being spent to promote Stephen Harper.”

Carter says she tried to ask Allison about the mailout at a debate on the weekend, but he refused to answer questions about it.

She said it costs taxpayers $4,700 for Allison to mail out 2,000 copies of the ten percenters.

Carter wants to know why the mail-outs were delivered four weeks after the writ was dropped. The rules say that if the mailout is in the process of being delivered, that’s okay, but Carter says that gives them eight days after the writ was dropped. She also said that the rules require the return address to be that of the MP, and the return address of this mailout was the Conservative Research Group, located in Ottawa.

“The Liberals are creating a tempest in a teapot,” said Andrew Bienhaus, Dean Allison’s campaign manager.

“All parties in Parliament make use of mailings to ridings held by another political party. This is particularly true of MP Stephane Dion and MP Jack Layton, who have even gone so far as to use franked mail (no-postage required FIRST CLASS addressed envelopes -- at the taxpayers’expense),” he said.

Royal Bank Slapped with $9.8 Million Fine

Jim Flaherty - lying one day at a time to Canadians. "Our banks are solid". You see folks, although we can regulate everything our banks do here in Canada, we can't regulate where and how the banks invest outside of Canada.

The largest bank in Canada said it will buy back about $850 million US of auction rate securities from more than 2,000 retail clients in the U.S. and pay a $9.8-million US fine as part of an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York attorney general's office.

Hm. What's a billion dollars amongst friends anyway?

Stephane Dion....Rocking in a Free World

Yesterday Stephane gave one of the most important speeches of his life at Toronto's Economic Club. He did so with success, by most accounts.

His real meeting of the day however, was an appearance at the Much Music Studio. Dion sat surrounded by vibrant youth fielding (as always-and unlike Harper) unscripted questions. The young crowd ate him up. They loved him.

Keep on rockin' out Steph!

Jim Flaherty Addresses the Nation This Morning

Here's what he said. We are not an island. There's a worldwide economic crisis. Really? What a revelation.

He has no concerns about our banks being in trouble. His concern is about the availability of credit. But, we've seen bank failures around the rest of the world. But our banks are a-ok.

Now the government is looking at additional steps to help the market. NOw Jim? A little late to the party isn't it?

Oh...and if not for the Conservative Government, the Bank of Canada couldn't have dropped its rate yesterday. Really? Wow.

Too bad this guy is going to lose is own seat.

Harper and Flaherty's New $9.2 Billion Lie

How can you trust Deficit Jim Flaherty with our purse strings for another term in office? The guy uses some kind of new math that none of us are aware exists. Flaherty said Afghanistan wouldn't cost Canadian taxpayers more than $8 billion in total.

Turns out it's going to be $17.2 Billion Diamond Jim. Keep lying to Canadians boys. Your true colours are showing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

RCMP Caught Red-Handed Dropping off Conservative Election Signs

Are you kidding me or what? RCMP are using their vans to deliver Conservative election signs?!? No wonder they won't tell us if they're investigating the former Foreign Affairs Minister.

Mr. Harper should remove his sitting MP in Desnethe Missinippi Churchill River immediately. But he won't. But it won't matter because David Orchard will win the riding anyway.

Let me ask you though, can a sitting MP use the RCMP to deliver campaign signs? Is that a violation of the Elections Act?

Harper and Flaherty to get Sideswiped Again Tomorrow

That's right. Just when they thought it couldn't get any worse for them, the Conservatives are about to get another taste of reality tomorrow.

You see, the budget that Mr. Harper claimed to be true for Afghanistan was $8 billion. If rumours are true, this report tomorrow will state the actual cost of the war/mission will be $22 billion. $14 billion over budget!!! That's a BIIIIGGGG OOPS!!!!


In Oshawa Whitby, give Jim Flaherty the boot. At 24 Sussex, give Stephen Harper the boot.

I Wrote To Mike Duffy Today

Not that he'll listen to me. But hell, I figure if he can publicize Conservative bloggers' talking points with no journalistic integrity, I might as well. My letter was short and sweet and to the point.

Have a peek:


RE: Alleged Dion Plagiarism

I'm a little surprised that CTV didn't research this alleged Dion plagiarism a wee bit more. In fact, I am shocked about how irresponsible your report was - with no apparent regard for researching the entire Dion speech and the source of the speech.

Plagiarism, definition of: Plagiarism is the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work.

Firstly, Stephane Dion fully acknowledged the work of the report in question during the content of his speech.

"We recognize the importance of the Arctic Council in addressing the many common concerns and challenges emerging from climate change and providing a forum for collective action on shared priorities.

Not only does the Arctic Council engage Arctic nations, it also includes six Permanent Participants that represent Northern indigenous peoples who actively bring their voice to the work of the Council. This inclusive process ensures that steps forward to protect our shared Arctic will integrate social, cultural, health and economic components.

Last November, the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment was received at the fourth Arctic Council Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. This is the first climate assessment of the Arctic - a result of four years of international efforts from over 300 scientists, as well as traditional knowledge of Northern Indigenous peoples.

The Assessment confirms what our own science and the people of the Arctic have been telling us for many years. "

The Arctic Council, Mike, commissioned this report. Canada is one of eight nations that belong to the council. Previous Environment Canada Reports were utilized in the body of the alleged plagiarized report. Mr. Dion was the Minister of Environment and was entitled to use any and all parts of that report.

This is nothing like Mr. Harper's gaffe. In fact, it is not even close to plagiarism, as he fully acknowledges the group (again, Canada is a member of) that sponsored the report in the first place.

Secondly, Robert Corell was not the author of the report and he, himself was simply reading findings within the report at the US Senate committee hearings.

I've written more details here:

Recap: It can't be plagiarism if you acknowledge the work of the group that wrote the report and, you (Canada) are a member of said group and a contributing partner (Environment Canada).

The bloggers that submitted this to you Mike have not been very forthcoming in this and are defaming a man of integrity that has been a voice of change for the Environment of our country and our planet.

Shame on CTV for giving into this gossip without even doing any required journalistic research. You owe Mr. Dion an apology. Just my opinion.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fool me once . . . Shame on you!!!

For starters, with his $5.6 BILLION dollar hidden deficit as Ontario's Finance Minister, why would Canadians believe anything this man has to say about a budget?

And earlier this year, wasn't it Flaherty who stated that we won't go into deficit because our economy will remain strong?

Check out:

In fact, almost all of the (real) economists who commented on the budget were saying from the outset that Flaherty's projections were entirely dependent on the economy remaining strong.

Well Dorothy, this ain't Kansas!!!!

And the cowed media curtain that had so well protected Harper and Flaherty from any real scrutiny is finally starting to be pulled back so that crude and manipulative charade is being fully and completely exposed.

Maybe Flaherty should clarify his statement to say that Canada won't go into deficit as long as he is Finance Minister. Because once he's booted out of office, who knows what Canadians will find.

Is Sheila Fraser still around??? Or did Harper fire her too??

George Bush has an old saying from Texas, "Fool me once, shame on you . . . Fool me twice, I ain't get fooled again!!!"