Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ignatieff to Blame if Government Doesn't Fall

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

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

H/T to Grit Liberal

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

By John Ivison

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Harper IS the Canadian Nixon

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

Which Conservative is Telling the Truth?

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

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

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

Stephane Dion Wins Leadership Poll

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

Baird Skips Interview on CBC Sunday Morning

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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rae the One With Sober Judgement

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

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

Ignatieff addressed the issue himself Friday:

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

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

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

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

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

New Leadership Poll

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

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ignatieff Camp Sinks to New Low

Absolutely mind-boggling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours truly,

xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
National Campaign Director


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

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

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

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

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

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


xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx
Directeur de campagne national

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Harper Determined to Destroy Wheat Board

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Albertans For Bob Rae

The latest in Rae Facebook Groups. Join here now.

Flaherty to slash public funding for federal parties

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

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

Michael Ignatieff. Canada's Obama.

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

Oh. So is this guy!

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

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prime Minister Hitchcock? Is That You?

Pictures are priceless, no?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Justin Trudeau is in the House

Thought I'd share that with ya.

Some Guys Just Never Learn Their Lessons

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

This Sucks

I just found this burried in the news.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Harper Gambit Stifles Union Negotiations

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

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bob Rae and Angelo Persichilli Are Both Right

Fairly honest Star article today.

So How Do We Help Manitobans Dear Sir?

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lessons Learned By Bob Rae and Moving Forward

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

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

Well, here's you anwer Ted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conservatives Spending the Bank on Travel

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

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

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

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dionistas for Bob Rae

A Call to Arms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dion Liberals Could Win - New Poll

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

What About Bob Rae?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cauchon Out Again

Too bad really.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Big News For Dominic Leblanc

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

Congrats to Dominic and his team.

And The Cadman Affair Goes On and On and On

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

Monday, November 17, 2008

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

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

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

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

You Know the Liberal Leadership Blows Chunks

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

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

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

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

I Will Be Writing the Tory Attack Ads

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

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

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

And Kinsella Continues his Open Assault...

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

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

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

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ooh a question en Francais

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

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

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

Our role in Israel and Palestine

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

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

Question on future participation in wars in failed states.

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

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

Question on improving vote turnout in rural Canada

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

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

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

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

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

Question identify what attribute you like in your competitor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

why are There no More MPs at this Exec Meeting

Dom: Chretien used to have an attendance record. The leader should emphasize the attendance at these exec meetings.

Iggy: should be mandated by the leader. Acknowledgement and standing ovation for Carolyn Bennett.

Question on attack ads. Iggy's not Canadian and Dom has zero name recognition.

Iggy: stephen Harper doesn't get to choose who is a Canadian. He's Canadian alllllllll the way down.

DOM: we allowed Dion to be defined and we didn't respond. We should have responded. We have no choice. We cannot evacuate the battlefield. Naturally I haven't the name recognition because I haven't run for leadership before. Elected 4 times in eight years.

Question on Afghanistan:

Dom: voted against first extention. Uncomfortable with nature. Voted for recent extetion. Went to Afghanistan as parliamentary secretary. He would serve notice that we are leaving in 2011. Redeploy in a more traditional role.

Iggy: voted for first extention. Voted for second extention. Wanted to change the mission. We're there to train our replacement. Intensely proud of what we've done. Can't defend that place forever. We should come home in 2011.

Question: what "change" are they bringing to the party.

Dom: country wants the Liberal party to change. Less central control. Mechanisms of our party have broken down. 308 riding campaign. Less time in Ottawa more time in the ridings.

Iggy: he agrees with Dom. Have to change what's in our head. Was with Pearson. Flew with Trudeau. Cdns don't wanna hear about the past. They wanna hear about the future. Core battle is that the Conservative now wants to be the natural governing party. Cdns are frightened. God damn it we have to fight for these people.

Question on climate change:

Iggy: proud of Stephane's leadership on it. (Should be he wanted a carbon tax shift). Must remain faithful about enviromental sustainability. Gotta get the retail politics of this issue. Gotta figure out how to sell it. Has to work in the air, on the land on the sea where deisel fuels are used. We have to listen to cdns.

Dom: proud of Dion. The green shift was a hurdle to our candidates across the nation. Green shift opened us to an impossible attack. Robust climate change than Cons and better than the NDP. Consult Mcguinty and Godfrey. Carbon market.

Question about Canada in the world and Iraq and middle east.

Dom: unique opportunity with new US administration. Voted against Canada's participation in the Iraq war. Will decline invitation to participate in Iraq. Canada's face has to be more than military. Must be with our artists, our creative people, our young people in NGOs. Must change our face in the world.

Iggy: should have central plank to make Canadians have an easier time doing public work abroad. Let us pause and note the Harper govt's interference in the Ohio election. Dumb stupid malicious on the part of Harper. Got to clean up that mess. No engagement in Iraq. Sudan and Darfur if we can figure out a solution. His dad worked with Pearson. We're having the Norwegians eating our lunch as negotiators and peacekeepers. We have to articluate who it is to be a Canadian

Question on Fiscal Imbalance

Iggy: not an issue of Federal Provincial. It's about provincial access from Federals. Must have accees to EI.

Dom: talks about access to EI. Patchwork across the country. There's an imbalance.

Lestewka: How can you put the party, caucus and campaign teams all together?

Dom: starts with trust. Caucus doesn't talk to the campaign team. Bad. We need an up-face campaign in each riding

Iggy: running to get ready for next election "right now". Election readiness team and caucus should be in one room together. Leader needs to know what the job description is.

Question on youth voting. Can 16 year olds vote?

Iggy: where was I at 16? Where was I. Answer: he wasn't ready. He was barely ready at 18. Wider issue is youth involvement. Gotta get into the universities and colleges. Got speak to people outside of the party. The family is shrinking. Gotta reach out. The youth trickle down Most important job for leader is succession planning. Who's gonna come after us next time? Who?

DOM: Mark Holland and others supported a bill to that effect. Can't even get 18 year olds to vote. If 16 year olds decide to vote in a referndum, it's a slippery slope. Might backfire in a province like Quebec. He goes to every grade 12 class in his riding. He fears we will have entire generations that won't vote. Give them a principled Liberal party that gives them social justice, environment issues etc.

Leadership...Minus One

Dominic's in it to win. He wants to renew. Happy to see CN tower is still here in Toronto.

Michael sees HOPE. Wants to see and be part of CHANGE. More change. And 308 riding strategy. Riding by riding.

First question: where's Rae.

Crawley: LPCO had agreement with the camps. All had to agree to media. Not all did. All agreed in the first place. By the way, there's lots of media in the hall.


Bob's Out

It's now a 2 man Town Hall with Iggy and Domo.

Memo to My Friend Warren Kinsella

Do you not think that Liberals across the country would like to hear what all the candidates have to say, and as many times as is possible given that the race is only 6 months long and many of us won't get an opportunity outside of Toronto or Montreal to hear these men speak?

Don't you think it's a little elitist to limit such forums to riding presidents,party execs and ex-officios from Ontario? Don't you think the future leader of the party is right about letting the grassroots across the country have access to the leaders' ideas via the national media? Or should we just become the Liberal version of the closed up Conservatives?

This is a leadership of inclusion...or,at least, it should be.

Ignatieff Pulls a Stephen Harper

What is the logic for denying media access? Is he not ready? or is it because the Conservatives used his "we didn't get it done" as an attack ad last time?

I'll be at the debate.I'll let you know the real answer.

He's Right. He's no Obama.

And he's no Trudeau either.

I Got News for Mario Dumont

He's waaaaaay more popular than you, one hit wonder.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Conservatives adopt Policy to Reopen Abortion Debate

You knew it was coming. You had to know it was coming.

21 Year Old on Bob Rae...

..."I remember what he did to Ontario."

The What Do I Know Grit: "Dude! You were 3 f*ckin' years old!!!"

21 year old:

Cue the crickets.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cherniak is Supporting Michael Ignatieff

Just thought I'd mention that.

The What Do I Know Grit Set to Announce

I will be calling a press conference to announce my choice for leadership candidate shortly. I am aware some of my friends have been eager to get going on this. I'll at least wait until the three of the leadership candidates debate on Sunday afternoon.

Some would argue this is the biggest decision that the members (not the brass) of this party have yet to face. I would say that the brass has rammed two choices down our throats whether we like it or not. So you are stuck with one of two choices - a sixty something white guy from Toronto or a sixty something white guy from Toronto.

I'm leaning toward a sixty something white guy from Toronto.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Comments Are Back On

And not one single negative one at that. I'd like to welcome my friend back to the party and wish him the best.

One Leadership Name Left and I Bat a Thousand

But then again, what do I know. Here's a list I published way back about who is not running for Liberal Leader.

To recap:

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

I'll play connect a dot later as to how all these people fit in the overall picture. The joke is once again on those of you who think the grassroots opinion means very much. I'll also put together a lovely list of bloggers and commenters that are supporting certain candidates. You will notice the resurfacing of some people that have been absent from the blogosphere for almost two years and are back in full force with sometimes blatant and ridiculous bias.

Two of the Worst Kept Secrets go Public

1. Michael Ignatieff is in. And why will he win? Why else. "CHANGE". Why does he think he can win this time, queries Julie Van Dusen - and the answer is “change” - he’s changed, the country has changed, the world has changed.

Me thinks I've heard that line somewhere before.

2. Warren is supporting him. And I'm certainly glad he explained all this:

In case you don’t have time to poke through the Google entrails, here’s a summary of what I’d written about Michael Ignatieff, and what I think now:

• On Québec, I had opposed the “Québecois-are-a-nation” resolution with which Ignatieff had been associated. I still oppose it. But every non-separatist political party – and every non-separatist political leader – came to support it. And, I admit, the country did not fall into chaos or the vortex of endless constitutional gamesmanship. We are still here, the resolution notwithstanding. That is the reality.
• On Iraq, like many Canadians (but not Stephen Harper and not a few Liberals), I had opposed the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and its allies. Ignatieff initially supported the war – as had the Clintons, and as had most of the Democratic Party establishment. By March 2004 – long before he became an MP, let alone a Liberal leadership contestant – he was writing in the New York Times that he had been wrong. That impressed me.
• On Israel, I and many others had been upset that Ignatieff wondered aloud if war crimes had been committed in Qana. Soon afterwards, he agreed that such determinations should be left to international bodies – and he went to Holy Blossom Temple to apologize, and accept personal responsibility for his error. That impressed me, too.
• On torture, I made an error myself. I relied upon some highly selective accounts of Ignatieff’s writings on war, terrorism and coercion – accounts cobbled together by Ignatieff’s partisan and academic detractors – and rushed to my computer keyboard. If I had read more widely, I would have seen that activists at places like Human Rights Watch had defended Ignatieff’s position – and I would have seen that his true position was a complete ban on torture, because the use of it places us all on the inexorable slide towards the appalling notion that, as he warned, “human beings are expendable.” I had fundamentally mischaracterized his views, and I regret that.
• Finally, on one occasion, I had been spun by a group of Ignatieff’s harshest critics in the party – to the effect that he and his team forced out Liberal MP Jean Augustine in Etobicoke Lakeshore. That, as it turned out, was simply false. Jean supported Ignatieff then, and she supports him now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Leadership Poll

The coronation, er, leadership is now officially underway.

This One Goes Out to My Buddy Warren Kinsella

The slow striptease is over.

It's generally a practice of etiquette that you let your candidate of choice announce formally before you announce you're support for him. Tomorrow we will finally learn what we all knew anyway.

Warren gets that. Kania? Not so much.

This One Goes Out to My Buddy Warren Kinsella

The slow striptease is over.

It's generally a practice of etiquette that you let your candidate of choice announce formally before you announce you're support for him. Tomorrow we will finally learn what we all knew anyway.

Warren gets that. Kania? Not so much.

Gerard Kennedy Out of the Race

So I'm told. Too bad too. We lose another grassroots leadership guy.

Denis Coderre Not Running

You heard it here first. Hasn't even hit the MSM yet. Denis Coderre ain't gonna run for the Liberal Leadership.

Shit. There goes my vote.

How'm I doing so far?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If You're a Liberal Leadership Candidate Hiding in the Bushes and You Aren't Coming Forward Until After Sunday


This weekend the LPCO is holding their Executive Board Meetings in Toronto. The usual suspects will gather. Potentially, there will be up to 300 ex-officio leadership convention delegates there.

The last event of the weekend will be a "Leadership Town Hall". To date, only 3 candidates will be attending, Bob Rae, Dominic Leblanc and Michael Ignatieff (I missed his press conference with his announcement).

So, bushwhackers, if you're running, RUN.

John McCrae's Timeless Memorial

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The Book of Revelations

Brought to you by Elizabeth May. My guess is that she isn't as popular in her party as she thinks. But, what do I know.

New Hope for HIV Patients

Let's hope these guys are on the right track. Cancer cures wold be nice too.

Jimi Hendrix Wins the Watchtower Poll

....and rightfully so.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Future of the Liberal Party

A wise young man. Wiser than two years ago. Wiser than 5 years ago.

More Insider Liberal Rhetoric

Jane Taber continues her ridiculous reporting techniques. Name names Jane.

Picking up Gerard Kennedy caucus support??? Navdeep Bains. There I said it. Wasn't so hard was it?

Announcing some time in the next two weeks? How about when enough MPs can fly in to surround him during the announcement for maximum effect and spin.

“… anyone who believes this delivers seats is being unrealistic,” the strategist said. Another loyal Liberal with no hidden agenda?

A few notes regarding the convention. This morning's cheapest return flight from Toronto is $613, $763 from Montreal, $873 Moncton, $338 from Calgary. I have not seen the delegate fees published anywhere yet, but my guess is $995 again. The cheapest hotel room that I have found online is $89 per evening.

Start saving your pennies Liberals.

New Fun Poll.....Since We're all Watching who's Watching

All Along the Watchtower

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Rae Happy. Cauchon Happy. Leblanc Happy.

Hope you're happy too.

It's Official...No More Talking on Kinsella's Blog

Yep. True dat. Further to my post last night, feel free to squawk about whomever you wish right here at the "what do I know grit". If you read something you don't like on blogs with no comments allowed, you can leave your reference here and comment.

Yes commenters (not anonymous ones though) you have a home here...even if it is a comment against the Iggy team...or the Rae Team....or the Leblanc team.

Obama's First Press Conference/First Apology

I just finished talking about the importance of leaving candidates wives out of the mudslinging that usually comes with some campaigns with a couple other Liberals yesterday.

Today we have the president-elect invoking the name of Nancy Reagan for whatever reason I have no idea. We've come to expect more from him.

Update: It appears I owe the fine readers of CNN's blog aggregator a warm welcome. So. WELCOME.

If You Wanna Bad-Mouth Ignatieff, Rae and Leblanc

Then this is the blog for you. I tell ya, unless you threaten someone or someone's family or abuse the other commenters on this site, all your leadership opinions will be welcome here.

You see, this leadership bullshit has to stop sooner than later. That's just my opinion. The Liberal Party has had as many leaderships as there's been elections. So some of my blogging friends won't like me much in the months to come. Nonetheless you're welcome to come in and join the conversation. After all, this is all about renewal. Isn't it?

Not really though. It's all about same old same old. Martinites fighting Chretienites. Iggy fighting Rae (which is really the exact same fight if you look under the bubble). If you think it's anything but, you are not paying attention. And so on and so on.

Should I finally accept a position on a leadership campaign, I will naturally blog for that candidate. But, you can feel free to jump in when you like. I will remind you though, that will not preclude me from stating the obvious about your candidate.

You know. I didn't want Liberals fighting Liberals again, but the brass in this party and the so-called elected MPs haven't got their shit together enough to support our smart, honest, young current leader. So fight we will. And, I'm gonna bet that this alleged civility thing between some leadership camps is just that - alleged.

The shills are already at the trough banging away for their boys. That's okay though. Some of us will try and balance it all out in the end. Why? Why. Because the Conservatives will be picking up on the candidates shortfalls anyway, so we might as well get 'em all out in the open now.

Nobody's perfect. Least of all yours truly. However, if you want to lead the party I belong to, I think I'm entitled to question your judgement, your past actions and your future intentions.

To my blogging friends and regular readers, I expect fully to try and maintain our relationships when this is all over and done with. Should I decide to stay neutral, for lack of conviction or excitement, I will try and balance everyone's successes and shortfalls equally.

So, feel free to begin your venting now.



Friday, November 7, 2008

The Answer to Kinsella's Question

Warren asks. I reply.

Firstly, as I blogged two weeks ago, Ray Heard is an asshole.

Secondly, no leader can control there minions from writing stupid shit. No leader.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Herb Metcalfe Set to Bail Out Liberals

Say what you like about my friend Stephane, but he's on a roll. Although I don't envy Herb's task, I know full well he will make a difference.

And This Guy Knows All About Fumbling...

Remember the notwithstanding clause buddy?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where Was Your Liberal Leadership Candidate Last Night?

On an evening where hope won over all else, where were your Liberal hopefuls?

Well. I know one was at a restaurant on Yonge Street surrounded by a hundred or so supporters. One other was reported to be at a Daisy party. Yet a third was reported to be in British Columbia. Who knows where the others were.

Regardless of where they were, I trust they all had a speech of hope for you. I know one did. Very statesman like I might say.

We Have Waited 45 Years

Hope is back. Change is here. Yes he did.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well Manley's Out...That Leaves Four

Shame. Guess he saw the writing on the wall. Can't organize in time for a May convention. That leaves the 3 we all know are running and the one that should be announcing shortly.

It also narrows down your guesses as to who my buddy Warren is backing. Anyone?

New Liberal Leadership Poll

Much has been made of the Liberal Leadership being a two horse race. This inspite of the fact that Dominic Leblanc has already stated he is running and David McGuinty seems destined to enter the fray.

Free Online Surveys

Did You Expect Her to Say Anything Different?

She was wrong last time too!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Can Obama Beat Nixon's Electoral Success?

Nixon carried 49 states in the election of 1972. He also carried the fourth largest margin of victory percentage of 23.2% in American history.

Is Obama more popular than then Nixon?

What Do Conservatives Do When Canada is in a Recession

Pay themselves more money. That's what.

OTTAWA - The expanded federal cabinet presented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper could cost taxpayers an additional $3.9 million in salaries alone for the extra ministers and their staff.

The total cost of staffing ministerial offices - roughly $24.2 million in salaries - has increased 19 per cent with last week's shuffle, and has jumped 42 per cent since the Tories presented their first cabinet in 2006.

The Conservatives had 26 ministers in their initial 2006 cabinet, expanded that to 31 ministers over their first term in office, and now have 37 ministers following the latest shuffle.

Oh the times they are a changing.

Conservatives were singing a different tune when they took office. When Harper swore in his first ministry on Feb. 6, 2006, he spoke with pride of its limited size compared to the previous Liberal cabinets.

"My smaller cabinet and more streamlined cabinet structure are designed for work - not for show," the prime minister said that day.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Return of the Prince of Darkness

Unfortunately for Bob Rae, The Prince has already chosen him as his number one target. Interesting turn of events. His candidate of choice will be equally hard to defend. But that is an entirely different post for yet another day.

The Final Dion Poll...What, Exactly, Caused Dion's Liberals to Lose the Election?

Many have argued about the reasons for the Liberal debacle in the recent general election. But, what is it that specifically caused the total disengagement of the Canadian public from the Liberal Party of Canada?

Free Online Polls

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who Can Write About the Liberal Party with the Acuity of a Four Year Old?

Stephen LeDrew, that's who. What a moron. I hope they don't pay this guy to write. It would be a serious miscarriage of justice.