Wednesday, January 04, 2017

What it Means to Join a Political Party ( #cdnpoli )

A lot of people believe joining a political party means getting together and advancing policies and ideas that they collectively believe in.

The truth is - the more important part about joining a political party is a willingness or a flexibility in advancing policies and ideas that you do not believe in. There's an inherit horse trading in the whole exercise - "if you support my policy, I'll support yours..."

That's a fairly simplistic take admittedly, but that's what it comes down to. What do you do when the party you support proposes something you do not believe in? This is understood by most partisans, not necessarily the public in general.

If you're currently observing the federal Conservative leadership race, you will see that Conservative leadership candidates are currently attacking each other with, what could be argued, the same vigour that they'd attack a Liberal opponent. This has some Conservative partisans worried about breaking apart the big tent.
I would argue that Michelle Rempel, represents a good example of a public Conservative partisan, and she holds viewpoints that oppose at least a couple of the leadership candidates. For example, she opposes carbon pricing - which Michael Chong supports - and I would guess she opposes just about everything Brad Trost stands for socially ...

Conceivably, one of these gentlemen could become Conservative Party leader. Does Michelle change her viewpoints and advance the policies these two individuals propose for the good of the party? They all agree that taxes on the wealthy are too high, but is that enough to hold the tent together?

That's for her to decide - and that's often a more crucial decision.

Sometimes partisans rebel - cross the floor. More often they "retire" or "resign" for other reasons.

Until 2007, I was a proud Ontario Progressive Conservative and a reluctant federal Conservative. It became harder and harder to remain a Conservative partisan when I was debating contentious social issues. I did not want to attend another convention or policy workshop where someone had to have their say on why there were too many abortions or why we can't just lock up the homeless. Private health care! Freer access to guns!

During the provincial election of 2007, I opposed the Ontario PC Party's plan to extend tax credits to religious schools in the province quietly, but publicly I supported the "fairness in education" movement. That was, until John Tory said, "evolution was just a theory" and creationism should be taught - then I was out.

Patrick Brown, in Ontario, is winning praise for bringing the provincial Conservatives to the centre. I thought John Tory had done that, but he proved me wrong. Once bitten, twice shy so the saying goes.

While I'm a fiscal conservative, I'm more flexible on support for policies around fiscal responsibility than I am about social conscience. I'd rather disagree on fiscal policy, than have to swallow and advance socially conservative policy.

To that end - I think a modern, centrist Conservative Party is a good thing for Canadian politics and for Canada in general. I think the ideals of progressive conservatism and the British tradition of Toryism is also a good thing - freedom to succeed, provided you help others.

To that end, if I were a Conservative, I'd be supporting Michael Chong. Take that for what you will.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Elections - Why Bother, They're Awful ( #Pickering #pickpoli )

There are a lot of people out applauding Pickering City Council's decision to appoint rather than hold a by-election to fill the vacant Ward 3 council seat because - as the argument goes - holding a by-election serves no one because it's expensive, it'd be held during an inclement time of the year, and voter turnout is low. Why bother?

Well, when you put it that way - no wonder no one turns up to vote at *any* time. It sounds positively dreadful. Voting seems to be an awful inconvenience to be avoided at all costs.

Elections cost money. Worse? It costs taxpayer's money and no good comes from spending any money on something that somebody has to participate in. You have to pay people to set up the boxes, count the ballots, rent the spaces, publish the results. All, to elect someone who is ostensibly required to make the decision on how to spend taxpayer's money. If you could just bypass that whole election process, wouldn't that be better? Saves money. Cuts out the middleman.

You may have heard the old joke - Canada has two seasons, winter and July. Every election and by-election ever held in this country is at the wrong time of the year depending on who you ask. You can't hold them during the summer, because everybody's at the cottage. You can't hold them during the winter, because it might snow. Don't hold an election leading up to or immediately following a long weekend either because reasons. Don't hold an election close to another election happening elsewhere in the same or adjacent area.

By my count, there's about 4 hours in June ideal for an election in Canada.

If by this point, you've haven't been put off voting and you still mark an [X] - let me tell you, the odds are you're a rarity in voting. Or, at least that's what we're told. "Nobody votes!", "nobody participates!", "they don't teach civic responsibility in schools!" ...

Well, no wonder.

We spend a great deal of time convincing people how awful elections are.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night, #Remain ( #Brexit #EUref )

I'm expanding on a Facebook rant I went on.

From Facebook.

One of the tenets of a strong democracy, is a loud vocal opposition. So, I say this to the Remainers ...

The leaders of Leave campaign are weak and have showed their cards. They made unfounded threats, invoked emotional outbursts, dire warnings, and impressed upon voters the immediacy of the need to withdraw from the European Union.

Hold them to it.

Why haven't they insisted on invoking Article 50? Why are they letting the Prime Minister and the governing Conservatives off the hook till Cameron's successor is chosen? They have a clear mandate - why the delay? Why do they want a sober second opportunity to renegotiate their place in the Union? Why do you have to remain quiet because they won?

The Scots, who held an independence referendum not too long ago, were promised continued EU membership. What now?

Screw it. And, screw the people that say, "Well, let it go .. the people have spoken."

Contrary to public opinion, shutting up because you lost is *not* democracy. Do you think the leadership and campaigners for Leave would be quiet had Remain won? Not a chance.

Sign the petitions. Join the Liberal Democrats. Move to Canada. Start a blog. Make ‪#‎WeAreFucked‬ trend on Twitter.

They made the bed, they get to lie in it.

There's liberation in being in Opposition and being right.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

A Wide-Open Liberal Party ( #LPC #WPG2016 #cdnpoli )

The big news is the public announcement of the proposed changes to the Liberal Party constitution (via National Newswatch):
The proposal, adopted Saturday by the party's national board during a three-hour meeting with the prime minister in Halifax, would do away entirely with the long-held principle that only dues-paying, card-carrying members are entitled to take part in party activities.
Reviewing this preliminary release, I am certainly in favour of some of the proposed changes and cautiously optimistic about the rest.

I've always long supported open conventions, especially when developing policy. I think more consensus brought about by talking with more people is a good thing. Having run and lost delegate selection meetings, it can be deflating when you want to participate.

I think the challenge will be in the open nominations part. I think it's going to have the unintended consequence of calling for more transparency in  the party's Green Light process. Not necessarily a bad thing.

That said - I'm not entirely sure $10 is an insurmountable barrier to openness. It represents a commitment to the ideals of the party. The Conservative Party, in contrast, raised their membership fee to $25 to prevent openness and restrict access to reforming the party.

I'm presuming delegates will be presented with the formal proposal prior to the convention and I'll review the details then.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Report: How the Right to Deny the Existence of God is Under Threat Globally

Via, the Independent, How the right to deny the existence of God is under threat globally:
Atheists and humanists are increasingly being targeted as distinct minorities in “hate campaigns” across the globe, according to a new report which found that religious and political leaders are ratcheting up rhetoric against those who believe there is no God.
The Freedom of Thought Report, which rates every country in the world for anti-atheist persecution, found that almost all countries discriminate against the non-religious, in some cases through religious privilege or legal exemption.
Canada's blasphemous libel law, religious tax exemptions, and public funding of religious schools made the report (among others).

From Canada's section within the report, on page 191:
Despite what should be strong constitutional protections for freedom of thought and expression, significant religious privileges are in force [in Canada], both nationally and in several of its ten provinces and three territories.

You can download the full report here.

I was pleased to see the Liberal Party of Canada (Alberta) propose a resolution to repeal Canada's blasphemous libel law. I hope to see it on the Winnipeg biennial floor.

It's certainly far worse elsewhere in the world, no question. Doesn't mean there isn't work to be done here.

Hopefully, we can remove some of these policies.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Orange Crash ( #ndp #cdnpoli )

Unadulterated arrogance was the reason for the NDP election loss - and it`s on full display in this article. They point to everyone else but themselves for their loss.
Craig Scott, who was defeated in Jack Layton’s old riding of Toronto-Danforth ... wrote, “Liberal MPs … were fundamentally lazy, sitting passively in their corner of the House … and arrogantly waiting for the messiah to take them back to the promised land of power.”
“The backroom lobbyists moved over to the Trudeau team,” [Charlie Angus] wrote. “Corporate Canada is a more content place today."
 “I think maybe Canadians weren’t ready for us, didn’t understand some of the differences between the NDP and the Liberals,” [former NDP MP, Megan Leslie] said.
Strategic voting was to blame. The corporate elite was to blame. Our platform and our team was perfect. Everybody but the NDP was to blame.

Spoiled, entitled, and angry.

Although, to be fair, some are more than ready to step up and slap anybody who publicly criticizes the party. Perhaps that's why we see such fervent partisanship.

Four years in the wilderness will be good for them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Congratulations on 10 Years, Progressive Bloggers! ( @Prog_Blog #cdnpoli )

Today, I'm heading out to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of Progressive Bloggers - hoisting a few jars with some great bloggers, blog readers, and political activists. I'm fortunate to participate in this group as a blogger and moderator.

For a number of years, I had the distinction of being simultaneous a member of both the Blogging Tories and Progressive Bloggers. I always (and still do) consider myself a "progressive conservative" - small "p" and small "c"on both fronts - a Red Tory - and have always blogged from that standpoint.

Progressive Bloggers' staying power can be found in the depth and richness of its membership. Each blogger is not bound to a single viewpoint, or a single ideology - in fact, some of the biggest online debates have occurred between the members. We've had people publicly protest the aggregator, start competing aggregators, and rail against individual members and posts.

It still endures - reaching some 60,000 page views a month.

For a long time, blogging was really the only outlet activists had to be heard over the competing voices of political parties and the media, and if you weren't a conservative activist, you migrated to Progressive Bloggers.

Today, blogging competes with Facebook and Twitter for audiences.

I haven't blogged much in recent days, but even as I write this post - I realize what compelled me to blog in the beginning.

A blog post has no limitations. I can write what I want, in the length I want - my audience will read it or not. The comments are from people who want to read my blog for what it contains.

I have a feeling there'll be more posts here soon.

But - you're not reading this for me!

Here's to 10 years of Progressive Bloggers, and many, many more!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Town Hall Event - "Ontario's Greenbelt Under Threat" ( #onpoli )

In partnership with Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, Land Over Landings presents a Town Hall Meeting to expose the threats to Ontario's Greenbelt.

January 28th - 7 - 9 pm, Brougham Town Hall, Brougham, Ontario.

Full details are available via the Facebook event.

Jennifer O'Connell for the Liberal Party Nomination, Pickering-Uxbridge ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

Pickering-Uxbridge will be holding the Liberal Party nomination on January 29th at the Pickering Recreation Complex [meeting notice, PDF]. There are three contestants seeking the nomination.

I am supporting Jennifer O'Connell and think Jennifer would be a tremendous representative for Pickering-Uxbridge and a great addition to Justin Trudeau's team as a Liberal Member of Parliament.

Jennifer has served the city of Pickering as a city and regional councillor for the past eight years and has a strong record of winning elections. She is a tireless advocate for progressive issues while serving on Council as well as being a tenacious advocate for the environment.

The Conservative candidate, Corneliu Chisu, has been an ineffectual MP for Pickering-Scarborough East, and will likely prove to be equally ineffectual for Pickering-Uxbridge.

We need a strong voice for the residents of Pickering and Uxbridge in Ottawa.

You can read more about Jennifer at her website.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Ontario's Craft Brewers Should Reject the Beer Store Proposal ( #beer #onpoli )

It's not often that two of my favourite things collide, but somebody got politics in my beer and beer in my politics.

People who know me, know that I enjoy trying and sampling new beer. I like variety and I think we're living in a tremendous time when lots of new craft beer options exist around the province.

In Ontario, there are two entities that are allowed to widely distribute alcohol - the government agency Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) and through a special arrangement with the LCBO, the Beer Store.
Under Ontario's Liquor Control Act, Brewers Retail is the only retailer permitted to sell beer for off-site consumption, except for stores on the site of a brewery, locations of the provincial government-owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), and LCBO-authorized agency stores in certain smaller communities.The act and the company's articles of incorporation further stipulate that Brewers Retail cannot sell "hard liquor" (spirits), or consumer goods (like groceries).
It has since been revealed that the Beer Store entered into a fairly lucrative arrangement with the LCBO via the Ontario Progressive Conservatives to be the number one provider of beer in the province. Essentially, the agreement binds the LCBO from selling beer in packages larger than six-packs.

Citizens were outraged, and the Ontario Liberal government vowed to review the agreement.

To get ahead of the story, the Beer Store proposed to change the agreement to allow small brewers a small part in ownership and a savings on listing fees for their products ... if they stop whining.

The problem? It doesn't change the fundamental problem with beer distribution in the province.

The three foreign-owned breweries that currently own the Beer Store (MolsonCoors, AB-InBev, and Sapporo) would still retain majority ownership status and thus would still enjoy majority control of the company. They'll be able to pay lip service to critics and the craft brewers that they did something. The foreign-owned breweries would retained 80% control of the board.

Distribution of craft beer at the "free" rate to member craft brewers would be limited to the five closest retail locations. If you're an Ottawa craft brewer, it will still cost you to distribute in a Toronto, Windsor or Thunder Bay Beer Store. Craft brewers with the means or desire to distribute beyond their local area of influence should be able to without government-imposed hurdles to do so.

The Beer Store should not be the sole private wide-area distribution network in the province. This agreement does nothing to eliminate this unfair arrangement.

Canada's Veterans Still Need Protection from Conservatives ( #cdnpoli )

Canada's veterans rejoiced when Julian Fantino was finally booted from Veterans Affairs on January 5.

Mr. Fantino was replaced by Durham Conservative MP, Erin O'Toole. Ostensibly, a sound pick - a former RCAF officer.

Someone with such a background, you'd think would bring a sympathetic ear to what veterans need.

You would be forgiven if you had forgotten that O'Toole fully parroted Julian Fantino's hard line stance against honouring veterans benefits at every turn - fully endorsing the government's inaction in the care of Canada's veterans.

You would argue that it was up to O'Toole to simply toe the party line and publicly support the previous minister.

You would hope his first act would have been to set a new course and a new direction for the troubled ministry.

Well, you'd be disappointed.

The new minister has decided not to listen to certain veterans advocacy groups - especially, it seems, if they do not follow the party line that everything is fine with Veterans Affairs.
Mike Blais, who helped launch Canadian Veterans Advocacy in 2011 to advocate for veterans and serving Canadian Forces members who did combat tours in Afghanistan and their families, told The Hill Times that Mr. O’Toole (Durham, Ont.) gave the bad news [that it is no longer a stakeholder adviser to the Veterans Affairs department] in a voicemail he left on Mr. Blais’ phone service Jan. 7. [Hill Times]
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Veterans Need Protection from Conservatives, Part One Thousand ( #cdnpoli )

Conservatives have continuously let down veterans since coming to power.

We've since learned that the Conservative Party let $1.1 billion (with a 'B') lapse in veteran funding. Essentially, Veterans Affairs had $1.1 billion budgeted to spend on veterans' programs and the ministry did not spend it. Simply put - the demand for services was there, but for whatever reason, did not spend the money.

Now, Veterans Affairs is on the attack.
The Veterans Affairs department says some veterans are exaggerating their injuries to continue receiving financial benefits from the government and to avoid joining the work force. []
So - veterans on waiting lists for months and years for programs, or - worse - denied programs are now told to get "off the dole" and get back to work.

Politicians eager to send Canadians into war zones should be fully prepared to support them when they come home.


New Year's Resolution

I almost say it every year so I'm going to do it again.

I resolve to blog more.

With Twitter and Facebook, I can quickly get my thoughts out really quick - opening the vent as it were. I think where I'll try to make it easier to blog is I'll encapsulate a couple of those quick thoughts into blog posts.

That's the plan.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

I Support Mandatory Voting ( #cdnpoli #onpoli )

I went on a bit of a tear today on Twitter in support of mandatory voting, spurred somewhat by the discussion happening at the Canada 2020 conference in Ottawa.

Voter participation in Canadian elections is abysmal and with municipal elections happening across Ontario, it's time to revisit mandatory voting.

If you're a voter, good for you. You probably have an opinion on mandatory voting, but I'm not addressing you right now. I'd like to take a stab at why mandatory voting would be good for motivating non-voters.

I believe there are two general types of non-voter.
  1. Single issue-based or politically motivated individuals dissatisfied by the status quo. They are passionate about a cause or a series of issues, but do not see their particular viewpoints reflected in the current political options come election time. They choose not to vote for fear of compromising on a particular belief.
  2. The voter who sees voting as a nuisance, inconvenient, and/or unimportant. They are not partisan or politically motivated; likely not involved with discussion or monitoring of political issues.
Mandatory voting, I argue, will engage both groups in a positive way for a number of reasons.

The Voter as a Statistic

All political parties are engaging in strategies designed to maximize getting out the vote (GOTV) for their parties using data collection and analysis. The objective? In a world of diminishing resources, political parties are using statistics to identify a particular individual as a supporter or not. That in turn, determines whether or not a particular individual should be targets of literature, campaign event invites, or fundraising attempts. In essence, a political party is looking to save time and resources by not engaging with lost causes and they certainly don't want to remind voters for their opponents that there's an election going on.

Political party engagement then is limited to likely partisan voters, and those voters likely to vote for the engaging political party. If everybody had to vote, this engagement would need to be more broad based. There will still be data analysis, but more effort would be to create a message or platform that more broadly reflected the majority of the electorate rather than simple motivation of a potential base.

Engaging on Issues

If you're politically active, but dissatisfied with the status quo, requires you to offer an alternative in order to change the status quo.

There's a disincentive to do so today, because the perception is there is an ingrained tendency to vote for incumbents and traditional political parties which - as mentioned above - tailors messages to motivate their own likely base and not to reach a broad consensus.

Further, the current electoral system favours just beating your closest competition.

I believe mandatory voting will create an compulsion for voters to research issues. If you vote, you're invested in the outcome - it's best to then vote for what you think is the right option for you.

If you cannot find the right option, you vote none of the above, and have your vote recorded. If you want to vote for an option that doesn't exist, you will be motivated to create the option.


In democratic countries, we try to steer clear of overtly making people do anything, but we do it all the time when the outcome is for the greater good. We agree taxation is good and it too is mandatory. We agree that jury duty is good and it too is mandatory.

We've tried the "optional" voting method and we've tried to motivate people dissatisfied with the status quo to run to change. It hasn't worked.

We need to make voting mandatory.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sign the Petition, Tell Stephen Harper to Stop the #Pickering Airport ( #cdnpoli #NoPickeringAirport )

Land Over Landings have posted a petition to tell Stephen Harper to stop the Pickering airport development citing the following points.

  • Building an unneeded airport is an inexcusable waste of taxpayers’ money.
  • Putting an airport or other development on foodland is grossly irresponsible; farmland is permanently destroyed by development.
  • Such development would eliminate important natural habitat and essential wildlife corridors adjacent to the new Rouge National Urban Park.
  • Foodland close to Canada’s largest and fastest-growing city must be fiercely protected to ensure future food security.
  • No government has a right to deprive future generations of an irreplaceable food and freshwater resource.
Sign and share the petition!

Return to the Ward System in #Oshawa ( #oshpoli )

In the upcoming municipal election, the city of Oshawa will have a ballot question asking voters whether the city should return to the ward system - that is, electing councillors based upon neighbourhoods rather than the current "councillor-at-large" method.

Click to see full size PDF
Oshawa previously had a ward system, but changed to an at-large voting system for the election of 2010.

The question of moving to the councillor-at-large system originated with a 2006 ballot question. The turnout was low and thus non-binding, but City Council moved ahead with the decision to elect councillors at large for the 2010 election.

Proponents of the councillor-at-large system say that there is more accountability since councillors are responsible for the entire city. I argue the opposite is true.

Not having a councillor with a responsibility for a particular neighbourhood makes it challenging with respect to whom to contact should you have neighbourhood issues - by-law problems, questions of city policy, community advocacy etc. The theory is, that with councillors-at-large, you can address issues with any member of council. This system of municipal government probably works well in small towns and hamlets, but is impractical for a city the size of Oshawa.

While I'm not picking on anyone in particular, if a councillor feels their voting base does not reside within a particular neighbourhood, they may be less likely to respond to questions or concerns from voters there, preferring to concentrate on the areas of the city more likely to return them to office. Problem or at-risk neighbourhoods may be less favoured than more politically active, typically affluent, neighbourhoods.

I strongly encourage voters in Oshawa to return Oshawa to the ward system. I also strongly believe that the city should respect the results of the ballot question regardless of the turnout.

The ballot question will be as follows:
Are you in favour of electing all Oshawa Councillors, being:
(i) those elected only to City Council, and
(ii) those elected to both City Council and Durham Regional Council, other than the Mayor, by ward vote instead of general city wide vote?
                YES         NO

Monday, August 04, 2014

Jason Cherniak for the Liberal Party Nomination, Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

It's an exciting day to be a Liberal and to be a Liberal blogger. If you're at all familiar with Canadian political blogging, then you recognize Jason Cherniak's name.

I've met Jason several times in the course of my blogging days. When I joined the Liberal Party, I had the great fortune seeing Jason advocate for many progressive policies  - most recently, the proposal for a national transit strategy. He is always committed to seeing policy debated and driven to see progressive policy accepted by the party.

In the blogging realm, Jason founded Liblogs - the blog aggregator you may have clicked this article from. Jason recognized the need for like-minded Liberals to share their blog posts with each other.

You can read more about Jason at his website.

The people of this new riding would be greatly served by having Jason Cherniak in Ottawa.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Re-Elect John Henry, Mayor of #Oshawa ( #oshpoli )

It's no surprise that I'm supporting John Henry for re-election as Mayor of Oshawa. He's an incredible mayor.

New jobs, new industries, new development, a growing economy, home to great retail, and a vibrant community spirit. These are the hallmarks of John's tenure as mayor.

I'll let him describe the incredible growth the city has undergone Rick Mercer-style.

Those familiar with Oshawa politics would never suggest that it's boring. John has demonstrated constant leadership in controlling errant behaviour in council and defending the city against spurious claims that the council is acting in a secretive fashion.

John focuses solely on the well-being of the city and conducting the business of governance. 

On October 27th, re-elect John Henry, Mayor of Oshawa. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Danielle Takacs for the Liberal Party Nomination, Brant ( #lpc #cdnpoli )

I do not often blog about Brant politics, but when I do, it's to support Danielle Takacs and her bid to secure the Liberal nomination in the riding.

Danielle is a community leader and a passionate Liberal. I've had the opportunity to meet her and hear her speak on the issues. As an advocate for the protection of Class 1 farmland in Ontario, I appreciate Danielle's firm support for Canada's farmers and the sustainability of Canada's local farmers.

If that weren't enough, she's a tireless advocate for veterans, Aboriginal rights, and strengthening local economies.

Danielle is a former Liberal blogger, Galloping Around the Golden Horseshoe, so she clearly understands the importance of citizen media and the role it plays in the communication of ideas.

You can read more about Danielle on her campaign website.

Brant would be well served by Danielle Takacs, not only as their Liberal candidate, but as their Member of Parliament.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ontario's 2014 Municipal Elections - Who Can Vote Where? #onpoli

On October 27, all of Ontario's municipalities will hold elections to elect (or re-elect) mayors, councillors, and school trustees. In order to vote in the election, you must meet the two "standard" criteria - be at least 18 and a Canadian citizen.

Further, you must be eligible to vote in the municipality. Who is eligible?
1. Be a Resident Elector
Your residence is where you live. If you live in a municipality, then you are eligible to vote in that municipality’s election. You are only allowed to have one residence.

2. Be a Non-resident Elector 
If you live in one municipality, and own or rent property in another municipality, you are eligible to vote in each municipality’s election.

3. As the spouse of a non-resident elector 
If your spouse qualifies as a non-resident elector in a municipality, then you can also vote in that municipality’s election. 
That`s right. You do not need to be a resident of the municipality in order to be eligible to vote in their election. As a property owner or renter, you have the right to vote for the municipal government.

You can confirm you`re on the list of electors by checking Check both your residence and your non-resident property addresses.

Now you know.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Jeff Jedras for VP Communications, Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) #lpc #lpco

This September, the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) will hold its general meeting in Markham, Ontario. I have submitted my intent to stand as a delegate. The Liberal brand is strong in Canada - Justin Trudeau has energized Canadians.

Delegates to the meeting will elect a new executive.

I'm excited to endorse Jeff Jedras for the position of VP Communications, Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario).

I've known Jeff for a few years now, first through blogging and then through various Liberal events. Jeff is an extremely committed and passionate Liberal - and with no word of exaggeration - every picture I've seen of him working a campaign has him working phones, coaching volunteers, or rallying support around the candidate.

He has worked to keep the Liberal Party firmly grounded with the grassroots and with the blogging community. He has built a career out of writing and communicating - including contributions to the National Post - and has pushed the party to communicate open and transparently.

He served as the campaign manager for Liberal leadership candidate Deborah Coyne and Ontario Liberal candidate, Nancy Leblanc.

You can learn more about Jeff at his site,, follow him on Twitter (@JeffJedras), or you can like his Facebook campaign page.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Election Night Prediction ( #onpoli #voteon )

[This is a scheduled blog post]

This was my original prediction for tonight's election results. We'll see how well I did!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Canada's Veterans Need Protection from Conservatives, Part 4 ( #cdnpoli #cpc )

As we've previously reviewed on this blog, the Harper Government™ and their treatment of Canada's veterans is nothing short of disgusting. To suggest that the Conservative Minister for Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, is the worst Veterans Affairs minister Canada has ever had might be putting it mildly.

Yesterday, Julian Fantino defended the government's decision to promote Veterans Affairs via Twitter at the total cost of $100,000 while still defending the government's record of not providing benefits to the Last Post Fund, denying veterans benefits, and closing Veterans Affairs offices.

Adding repeated insult to injury, the promoted tweet advertise the very services unfairly denied, according to the military ombudsman.

I had not seen one of these promoted tweets, until I did a search on my own tweets about veterans.

There's money for tweets, but no money for veterans.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nancy Leblanc for Parkdale-High Park! ( #onpoli #olp )

Congratulations are in order for fellow blogger, Nancy Leblanc, who will be the Ontario Liberal candidate for the riding of Parkdale-High Park in the next provincial election. Her nomination becomes official on May 7th!

My endorsement should come as no surprise.

Nancy is a committed Liberal, a committed progressive activist, and the residents of the riding will be well-served by a great candidate like Nancy.

Her campaign website is at

Congratulations once again!