The Liberal Factor

The real, straight, unbiased gist going down in the Liberal Party of Canada.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dion Snubs Brison and His Delegates


Today, appearantly, Scott Brison bit the bullet and realized he wasn't going to win. His new strategy? Hosting an event with all of his delegates and inviting the top four contenders to come and help get his delegates sorted out for second ballot support.

Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff showed up, Gerard Kennedy had Justin Trudeau go in his place, while Stephane Dion didn't attempt any showing of any kind. The article describes Stehane Dion's absence and of any representative, and adds Scott Brison's delegates response of feeling neglected by Dion.
Stephane Dion didn't turn up and did not send a stand-in.

With no one assured of victory and any of the top four candidates having a realistic shot at victory, the omission seemed odd.

The slight did not go unnoticed by Brison stalwarts, some of whom intrepreted Dion's absence as a sign that the fourth-place contender simply doesn't have the organization necessary to launch a come-from-behind victory.

This coupled with reports of Dion supporters having poor enthusiasm at Dion events at the convention, builds to support such a theory of lack of organization or other resources.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gerard Kennedy On The Rick Mercer Report

Rick Mercer, you sly dog you. Taking out a married man, what balls! If you are wondering what I'm talking about click here and scroll down to "Rick's Date With Gerard Kennedy." In this clip Rick Mercer and Gerard talk politics and go out to dinner. Of note here is the attention Mercer puts on Kennedy. Where with other politicians they edit it to make lite of politics, in this interview it is clear Mercer is interested in Gerard.

One might not remember a blurred butt of Gerard, but I tell you this they will remember his attack on the Conservatives, on the environment and their leadership.

The Liberal Leadership's Best YouTube Ad

Monday, November 27, 2006

Kennedy's Leadership On Opposing Quebecois As A Nation Lands BIG Endorsement

Gerard Kennedy has done what I have been aching for. He has stood up for Liberals and Canadians who every Federal Political Party, and every other Leadership candidate have ignored. Gerard opposes the Quebecois motion. In reality, he opposes nothing, he is for, however, a Canada that is a diverse country, joined by differences, united by one nation.

The Quebecois are a nation however, in the social sense, but that word is too ill defined. We must always be specifying what tense we are using, it can only lead to confusion and the advantage would be to seperatists.

Top Liberals are recognizing this and are seeing Kennedy for who he is, a true leader.

Tom Axworthy, head of the Liberal Party's Renewal Committee has just officially endorsed Kennedy, you can read the article here.
''I have just been shocked by what I've learned, and therefore the candidate who spoke most convincingly and generally and enthusiastically about revitalizing the party as an institution from top to bottom was Kennedy and that's why I went for him,'' said Axworthy, a Queen's University political science professor.

''Liberals they decide upon winnability and they decide upon policy issues and so on. My big concern is the future long-term viability of the Liberal party and he's the candidate in my view who has the best position when it comes to that.''

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Funniest Clip Yet

Friday, November 17, 2006

How The Ignatieff Campaign Is Ruining YouTube

Well just within the last 24 hours the Ignatieff Campaign has officially commercialized YouTube. For those of you who don't know, YouTube is a website that allows people to post and share videos. YouTube's purpose was to allow individuals to express themselves and share video's they find interesting.

At the beginning of this Leadership there was but a handful of YouTube video clips. There was the Apprentice style mockumentary, the Amazing Race version of the Liberal Raace, and a few others. All of these put up by individuals. As the race progressed the Kennedy campaign noticably took lead and posted multiple Gerard Kennedy clips taken from television appearances.

Then seeing these Kennedy clips clouding the Liberal Blogosphere the Dion campaign finally followed suit a month later. But as this competition to post videos began, all were still posted by individuals.

Some clips were really well thought out and funny, like these:
Apprentice
Outtakes
NDP Orange

You can tell a lot of work went into them.

But as of currently, since Newspapers started to take heed of these finer made productions, lesser video makers have become active.

Most notably, the Ignatieff campaign, which is ruining this tradition of individual expression into a corporate advertising machine. Clouding individuals' contributions with boring programming.

One only has to go to YouTube, type in "Liberal Leadership," to see clips purposely made to be put on YouTube by the Ignatieff campaign. They are made up of just Ignatieff sitting there, talking.

The Dion campaign might be possibly doing this as well in a central effort but the lack in any substance in their video's demonstrating Dion's vision makes me think otherwise.

Also, YouTube has become the arena of bad clips. People trying to smash other candidates with the worst propaganda yet to be on television. One such series involves repeating in several clips an interview with Ignatieff's first wife.

I enjoyed watching the clips on YouTube about the Liberal Leadership race when there was just 50 of them. Now at 138, there is just plainly, a lot of crap.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

BOB RAE PRESS

Here is an article from the Toronto Sun, to serve as a reminder. You can read it here.

The real skinny on Bob Rae

By LORRIE GOLDSTEIN

Today, because way too many people seem to be forgetting what those years in Ontario were like ...
---
Toronto Sun, Sept. 7, 1990: "Ontario has its first NDP government today after voters resoundingly rejected Premier David Peterson and his vision of the future. A pale and shaken Peterson, who lost his own seat, ... said he was stepping down as Liberal leader. Premier-elect Bob Rae's New Democrats won a majority government with 74 of the 130 seats."
---
Sun, April 30, 1991: "Ontario's first NDP budget broke the piggy bank yesterday. We're saddled with the highest provincial deficit in Canadian history at $9.7 billion ...
"Treasurer Floyd Laughren said ... 'We had a choice to make -- to fight the deficit or fight the recession. We are proud to be fighting the recession' ...
"'It's a tax timebomb,' said Brien Gray, of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. 'It's economically and socially irresponsible.'"
---
Sun, May 3, 1991: "Treasurer Floyd Laughren concedes he may have to increase taxes by $5 billion over the next three years ... Laughren told the Legislature he couldn't 'quarrel' with opposition estimates the government needs to boost revenues to meet its financial forecasts."
---
Sun, May 10, 1991: "The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is angry that Bob Rae's government is deciding business policy 'without any consultation whatsoever.'
"In a speech yesterday to the Empire Club of Canada, chamber president Tom Corcoran warned NDP policies could force Ontario businesses to close -- or leave."
---
Sun, June 11, 1991: "The real estate recovery is slowing down in Ontario. And the Toronto Home Builders' Association -- which today will unveil that May new home sales are off by about 10% -- is blaming the 'fiscally irresponsible' NDP government. THBA president David Keenan warns 'Bob Rae and his Moscow Central' are killing off any gains in consumer confidence. 'Since the budget, our members have sales and traffic off by about 8-10%,' said Keenan."
---
Sun, July 25, 1991: "Voter support for the NDP has reached new depths, a poll suggests. Only 19% of Ontario voters would cast ballots for the NDP if a provincial election were held today, a survey by Insight Canada Research ... shows."
---
Sun, Sept. 7, 1991: "Premier Bob Rae has slammed the brakes on government-run auto insurance, scrapping a key NDP election promise because of the recession.
"Rae said he abandoned plans for public insurance because it could have put 5,600 people out of work permanently and would have cost $1.4 billion to start."
---
Sun, Oct. 4, 1991: "NDP government economic policy threatens to drive out a third of Ontario's small businesses, employing 500,000 workers, a business group warned yesterday.
"'Ontario is in danger of becoming the rustbelt of the North,' said John Bulloch, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business."
---
Sun, June 20, 1992: "Premier Bob Rae got his wrists slapped by his own party last night when members voted overwhelmingly in favour of more government accountability ...
"'He must realize that he needs this party,' said NDP veteran Mel Swart, who endorsed the resolution."
---
Sun, May 20, 1993: "It's the dirtiest and biggest tax blow in the province's history. Almost no one will escape the long arm of NDP Finance Minister Floyd Laughren's $2 billion tax grab -- not even gardeners buying dirt and sand.
"And his deficit-fighting budget has drawn outrage from all sides ... Union leaders charged the government is fighting the deficit on the backs of working people while letting corporations and the wealthy off the hook ... business complained the government just doesn't understand the private sector.
"Laughren said his goal was to get the government's financial house in order in this budget and that's what he's done by reducing his deficit to $9.2 billion this year. That's still $1.1 billion higher than he projected only a year ago."
---
Sun, June 30, 1993: "Have you sat down yet to figure out how much poorer you'll be when the NDP's massive $2-billion tax hit kicks in tomorrow? Paul Pagnuelo, vice-president of the Ontario Taxpayers' Coalition has, and he's spitting nails. In fact, he's so upset, he warns all employers should put this cautionary note on pay envelopes issued after July 1 ... 'WARNING: Contents may cause you to explode.'"
---
Sun, July 8, 1993: "Ontario's 950,000 public sector workers now officially face three-year wage freezes and unpaid days off as Premier Bob Rae rammed through his despised social contract legislation last night ... A huge outburst erupted ... when the final count was announced, forcing Queen's Park security to haul out several angry protesters ... Rae refused to be interviewed after the vote and ducked out a back door."
---
Sun, July 23, 1993: "The Ontario Union of Public Service Employees will file a bad faith bargaining charge against Premier Bob Rae's NDP government over layoff notices ...
"'If you want a negotiated settlement, you don't issue 2,000 layoff notices in the middle of bargaining,' (OPSEU negotiator Andy) Todd said. 'They appear to be saying, 'so much for bargaining'.'"
---
Sun, July 30, 1993: "Premier Bob Rae says he makes no apologies for unpopular policies like his social contract. And Rae yesterday warned tax-weary Ontarians that tough measures are the only way to tackle the province's economic problems and hinted there's more to come over the next two years."
---
Sun, Oct. 6, 1994: "A mob of furious public sector union members shoved past security guards and tried to crash a New Democratic Party fundraising dinner in (Windsor) last night ... 'There is no peace in the house of labour, Bob Rae,' shouted CUPE president Sid Ryan. 'It's a sad indictment of this government ..."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Justin Trudeau Doesn't Think Ignatieff Is Right

Monday, November 13, 2006

Stephane Dion Is Not As For The Environment As People Think

The Calgary Sun today has put out an article stating Stephane Dion is for Nuclear Energy.

If that doesn't strike you as one of the most surprising revelations in this leadership race, I would be surprised. For those of you who don't know, Nuclear energy contributes larger risks to the environment and to humanity.

I have found an issue from the Sierra Club that speaks of the disadvantages associated with Nuclear Power Generation. You can view it here. Here is a point by point review of the central themes discussed:

Cost:

The huge costs of nuclear start with the capital costs of construction, but remain a hugely expensive energy option in operation and maintenance. CANDU reactors have proved to be very unreliable, with seven shut down in Ontario in recent years. All CANDU reactors have proven to have their reliability drop off sharply after the first ten years of operation.

On top of all this, Canadian taxpayers keep subsidizing AECL. From 1953-2000, AECL received over $16 billion in subsidies (figure is in year 2000 dollars). AECL receives about $200 million a year in a direct subsidy. Imagine if we had invested in energy efficiency and conservation with those dollars!

And
If Canadian society insisted that our climate change actions must be judged by the cost per tonne of avoided carbon emissions, nuclear would rank last, with energy conservation a clear winner. The worst part of nuclear as a climate change response is that it diverts funds from better options.


Waste:

No one claims to know how to “dispose” of nuclear waste, although some claim to know how to best manage wastes for the long term. High-level nuclear wastes (the spent reactor fuel rods) are initially stored in swimming pool like facilities next to nuclear reactors. They are so hot that if the water were to drain away, they could melt through the cement floor of the building. Over time, the spent fuel cools but is still highly radioactive. In fact, it remains so radioactive that it must be contained from the biosphere for 250,000 years. As a technical matter, engineers think the waste can be placed in lots of concrete and held in huge underground caverns in the Canadian Shield. This is called Deep Geological Storage. The notion that we, in 2005, can count on anything 250,000 years from now is absurd.

One of the tragic lessons of Hurricane Katrina was that even relatively
inexpensive repairs to levees around New Orleans were dismissed as unimportant. I find it hard to believe that generations from now, the constant costs of maintenance for underground nuclear waste can be reliably counted upon—especially if nothing has gone wrong for the first 40-50 years. The threat of high level waste being mismanaged or (worse) targeted by terrorists, means it should be moved into long-term storage in a condition that puts it out of reach of the nuclear industry for re-processing for more reactors. There is a strong sense that no nuclear waste management option should be chosen while society is still creating more nuclear waste. The first step to long-term management of nuclear waste is a commitment to shut down reactors and stop producing
the waste.


Risks:
Federal law protects the industry from the real costs of a nuclear accident. Regulation of nuclear reactors is not sufficient to guard against accidents, although, clearly the risk of a catastrophic nuclear accident is much less (statistically) than the risks of climate change impacts. The nuclear industry routinely releases radioactive nuclides. The debate over whether there is any safe dose of ionizing radiation is largely over. Increasingly the medical research concludes there is no such thing as a safe level. Clusters of cancers are reported near nuclear reactors, while the industry touts nuclear energy as “safe.”

The Advisory Council on Environmental Standards advised that the allowable levels of radioactive pollutants from reactors should be reduced for health reasons to the European Union’s standard of 100 becquerels per litre for drinking water. This was rejected by the government of Ontario, whose standard is
7000 becquerels per litre!

Now consider that Stephane Dion has not provided an argument at all for Nuclear Energy, in fact in review he has constantly argued for sources of clean renewable energy such as wind, hydro, etc.

It is simple, Nuclear Energy should not be considered. It does not benefit the environment, it prolongs dependency on costly and potentially devasting methods of generating energy.

The Sierra Club recognizes the danger of Nuclear Energy, why doesn't Stephane Dion?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gerard Kennedy Has The Boldest Economic Policy

From Today's Globe And Mail

Would allow bank mergers, Kennedy says

CAMPBELL CLARK

OTTAWA -- Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy called yesterday for Canada to allow its banks to merge, as he carved out a set of business-friendly policies that he said would energize a complacent Canadian economy.

Although bank mergers are not usually considered a big vote winner with the Liberal rank and file, Mr. Kennedy said Canada has to shed old practices that handcuff the economy.
That includes deregulating the "protected" telecommunications industry to reduce costs for telephone and other telecom services, and action on an issue that has been controversial with Canadians: allowing big chartered banks to merge with each other and perhaps with insurance companies.

Mr. Kennedy said current restrictions have not led to more choice for consumers, but they have made Canadian banks less competitive. "We need to allow banks to decide if they're going to become larger," he told business students at Ryerson University in Toronto.

He said in an interview that Canada must also look at allowing increased market access for foreign banks "to address what I'm convinced is a deteriorating amount of choice for consumers. We're not providing that [choice] -- for businesses, especially small and medium businesses, in terms of access to capital.

"I would not stand in the way of mergers that could take place that met the test of public interest. I'm prepared to make that part of what we do going forward, and perhaps even cross-pillar engagement of insurance companies and banks."

The Liberal governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin flirted with the idea, but backed away for fear of a public backlash against big banks getting bigger. Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty shelved the idea this year.

"There has to be a new Liberalism," he said yesterday. "It can't be just protecting the status quo. Anything we do has to be tied into our global competitiveness and our ability to promote our social programs."

In his speech yesterday, Mr. Kennedy outlined his "enterprise" platform, which combines business-friendly measures such as tax credits for investment in start-up companies with measures to increase access to professional jobs for immigrants and to bring more women into the work force.

Friday, November 03, 2006

How Is It Good News To Hear A Reporter Asking Liberals Not To count Out Your Candidate?

If you have read any Stephane Dion Blog or visited the official Dion website you'll see this article. It basically is a reporter saying not to rule out Stephane Dion out. So I am stuck asking, "Are People Ruling Out Dion?" This was news to me; I knew he was in forth but is he doing that poorly where the whole Dion campaign mobilizes around such an article asking not to consider Dion.

If you do not think it's such a big deal, the Stephane Dion bloggers disagree. They seem elated that someone is asking people not to turn their backs on Dion. You can see the hope the article gave the Dion supporters by visiting their blogs: Paper Dynamite, impolitical, HarperBizarro, and New Liberal Movement.

It's not only the Dion blogs that are advertising the fact that Dion shouldn't be ignored, it's on the Dion website and it's in his update email, indeed making up the entire email.

I think it says a lot about a campaign when they centralize their fight against people 'ruling' them out. I'm not going to state the obvious of what it exactly says, I'll let you read between the lines.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Michael Ignatieff Is Too Early-20th-Century For My Liking

In the early 1900s most world leaders talked using words like honour, hope, glory, love, and other emotive words in their speeches. That type of talk represented the atmosphere of the time. That Britain had an honour, that it would fight for her majesty's glory in the hope of the greater victory. Those words feel out of use by leaders when that type of leadership led to two world wars. My case is proven with the decline of one of the greatest speakers the world has ever known, Winston Churchil. He remained a great speaker, but no longer fit in with the more realist and more clear definitive oratory speeches to come.

I noticed Michael Ignatieff a few months ago trying to resurrect this old way of speaking. At a debate I noticed how often he would lean on an argument based on Canada's honour. Indeed he explains why Canada must remain in Afghanistan because of our promise to the US and NATO. It seems effectiveness and right do not enter into Michael's equation when honour is involved. It seems that is one of the root causes of both world wars; where right is sidelined to honour and glory.

I thought no one else really noticed this but a recent article vindicates me quite well. This article discusses some of the speech mechanisms Ignatieff uses. Of particular interest is this paragraph:
Consider Mr. Ignatieff's concluding remarks at last month's Liberal leadership debate in Vancouver, during which Mr. Ignatieff, speaking with a poetic force and passion, used the word "hope" 16 times in the space of two minutes. Liberals are the "party of hope," he rhythmically intoned; "I want to lead the party of hope . . . hope for aboriginal Canadians who want to live in justice . . . hope for working parents who want daycare . . . hope for new Canadians who want an immigration system that works faster," and hope for eight or nine other named groups and regions.
This journalist, Andrew Stark also contributes to my own theory by explaining a possible reason why this type of arcane talk disappeared.
However well this kind of rhetoric may work in, say, a sermon -- or possibly a focus group -- it doesn't translate into politics. The problem can be illustrated by way of an analogy. There once was a regional U.S. airline called People Express whose flight attendants would announce to passengers as they landed, "People Express is proud to announce the arrival of Flight XXX." The airline went bankrupt, possibly because passengers were discomfited by the thought that bringing in a flight safely would be a source of pride to an airline. Similarly, we are made uncomfortable by a politician who promises simply to bring us hope. Hope implies the possibility of being disappointed. We want him to commit to bringing results.

Words like hope, glory, and love are all well and good, but when they exist in the world of politics they offer nothing substantive, nothing concrete. What people want is something they can understand, results.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

John Kerry Didn't Belittle Anyone



Above is a video clip of John Kerry's remarks. He said that at University you study hard so you won't end up stuck in Iraq. I don't see a problem with this statement. The problem rests on the perceivers values. If you think an education is better then not having one then you'll see Kerry's response as negative. But if you see education as another of Life's alternatives, and it is but just one avenue to go down then you won't take anything John Kerry said as negative.

I see joining the military as a legitimate choice to education, and admit that most university graduates don't end up in the military, that is just a fact. Therefore staying in University pretty much means you won't go to Iraq. I do not see any problem with John Kerry's statement.

I do see a problem in the general sentiment of protecting the troops feelings, and its growth in Canada. During the last election I saw nothing wrong with the Liberal ad against troops on our street corners. I have a reservist friend who felt that ad was wrong because he wondered why people wouldn't want troops on their street corners. I answered, it's not because of them personally, it's because they represent the government, they represent the governments military. We have RCMP to enforce the laws with their own laws, the military enforces other laws, much stricter laws.

Soldiers are meant to be similar if not identical to each other. They are trained to lose all free choice. On a street corner an enforcer of Canadian or any agent needs free choice.

We must not let worry about troops moral dictate policy. Policy dictates troop movement and applications. Troops have to be tough. If troops join the army and fight for Canada based on the country's sentiment towards a mission they are not hero's, they are machines. A person should join the army and fight because they believe following the orders of the Canadian military is right.

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