Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts.
- Conservative Party MP and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, on the potential for political damage from the listeriosis outbreak.

Please tell me it's (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter.
- Conservative Party MP and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, on hearing about a PEI listeriosis-related death.

Are there any more bombs out there?
- Conservative Party MP and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, on opening a conference call into the listeriosis outbreak fearing political damage.

Updated: Bonus unquote.

Politicians being what they were leading into an election cycle will continue to drag the political spectre through it.
- Conservative Party MP and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, on the prospects of the listeriosis-outbreak "becoming a political albatross around the Conservatives' necks in a campaign."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dogs and Cats Living Together~!

Shorter Stephen Harper: Voting for the Green Shift will make this country head for a disaster of biblical proportions. By biblical, I mean Old Testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! *

* Paraphrased from Ghostbusters (1984).

Updated: Actually, the more I think of it. If we go with the Conservative plan for the environment, we would have fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, the seas boiling, and the darkness. Probably not so much the dog and cat thing, though.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Victory for Greens

Congratulations to Elizabeth May as she'll be participating in the leaders' debates [CBC, Green leader allowed into debates, networks confirm]:
Green Leader Elizabeth May will be allowed into the federal leaders' debates, Canada's main broadcasters confirmed late Wednesday afternoon.
We need to cement the rules for inclusion in the leaders' debate, so this type of thing does not happen again.

The threshold for inclusion in the federal leaders' debate should be, in my opinion:
  • You achieve the popular vote threshold to receive a public funding subsidy (currently 2%), or
  • You elect a member to Parliament during a federal election or by-election.
Simple and clean.

The first bullet means you are not fringe because you qualify to have us funding some of your research bill. We need to see what policy proposals you have come up with and how well you can defend them - you've convinced enough people to vote for you, so let's see what you got.

In the second bullet, you have elected representation in Parliament, which seems to be the general consensus required.

Dion Goes to Holland

I attended my second ever Liberal event yesterday evening; my first as a Liberal.

St├ęphane Dion visited Ajax-Pickering and the campaign office of Mark Holland - this was the "opening act" to Mark Holland's official campaign office opening. Sharing the stage with Mr. Dion and Mark, were Dan McTeague (Pickering-Scarborough East), Brent Fullard (Whitby-Oshawa), Martha Hall Findlay (Willowdale), John McCallum (Markham-Unionville), and Bryan Ransom (Durham).

The energy in the room was incredibly positive. The message was positive.

Mr. Dion focused his visit on backing local candidates, introducing Brent Fullard, who will be replacing Jim Flaherty in Whitby-Oshawa, and talking about the Green Shift.

Quote of the night ... "I gave clarity to Canada, Stephen Harper gave Flaherty to Canada".

Here are some pictures I took with my cellphone camera - I apologize for the quality. I was in a bit of a rush to get there, so I didn't grab my real camera. I tried to get a close up as Mr. Dion walked by on his way out, but then the media cameras were doing a human bulldoze down the middle aisle.

The Big Red Bus
Dan McTeague has some more pictures over at his campaign blog. has more coverage. I even make an appearance in their video.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


"Make no mistake: Ms. May is being excluded for no reason of principle. This is all about exploiting an opportunity against a potentially dangerous opponent. Another word for this is opportunism. This is a decision that may well come back to haunt both the Conservatives and the NDP. And they'll have no one to blame but themselves."

Gerald Caplan, Former NDP Campaign Manager.

[H/T, Dawg's Blawg]

Monday, September 08, 2008

Not Entirely Surprising

I won't add too much to the chorus of bloggers who are shocked and dismayed that Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will not be able to participate in the leaders' debates.

I still believe strongly that Elizabeth May belongs in the leaders' debate.

I understand why Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe do not want to debate. Stephen Harper would give anything to have an excuse not to have a public debate with the other leaders. Gilles Duceppe is at the head of a failing political movement.

I can't for the life of me understand Jack Layton's position [CBC, Greens can't participate in leaders debates, networks rule]:
NDP campaign spokesman Brad Lavigne confirmed late Monday that party leader Jack Layton had said he wouldn't attend the debate if [Green Party leader Elizabeth] May were allowed to participate.
As part of the NDP campaign, Jack Layton is applying for the job of Prime Minister -- a new kind of strong. Sounds a lot like the old kind of strong we have now.

Republicans -- Keeping Ameirca Strong

Courtesy English Fail Blog.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

"Canadian PM employs loophole in potential power grab"

CNN got it all wrong.
Canada's prime minister dissolved Parliament on Sunday and called an early election for next month in hopes of strengthening his Conservative minority government's hold on power.
We have fixed election dates in Canada so there won't be an election until October 2009 - because fixed election dates stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar.

That's a whole year away.

I only wish it were funny.

[H/T, A BCer in Toronto]

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Include the Green Party in the Debate

I have not changed my position since I last spoke about it; I believe that the Green Party has a rational platform on national policy that deserves open debate with the other leaders. I may not agree with every part of it, but it deserves to be debated. And now, they have an MP.

I second DemocraticSPACE's call for the Green Party and Elizabeth May to be included in the national leaders' debate.

Greg puts it well:

The Greens are one of only 5 parties to receive public funding (about $1.2 million in 2006); Canadians deserve to hear what they are getting for their money. In 2006, the Greens won over 660,000 votes, about 1 in 20 votes, 24 times more than the next most populous party, so they can hardly be called “fringe”. They are polled by every pollster in Canada and have consistently maintained the support of about 1 in 10 Canadians since 2006. They are one of only 4 parties to run a full slate of candidates. And they now currently have an MP. By most objective metrics, the Greens should be included.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Just Throwing this Out There

I'm not sure anyone noticed this or thought about this, but, would it not be advantageous for the Conservative Party to have an election prior to their policy convention this November?

It could be argued that the Conservative Party is the only party where not having a policy convention before an election is a good thing.

The last thing a communication-fearing party needs is an embarrassing policy convention leading into an election. Stephen Harper would entirely control the Conservative agenda in an October election, but not so much so in a December or January one where the Opposition could potentially attack recently-made policy proposals. Not necessarily that any would pass, mind you.

Again, just throwing it out there.

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Blogger Features

I've noticed that Blogger has implemented a couple of new features - one I have implemented and one that I have discovered accidentally.

I have turned on comment moderation for posts older than 14 days. For a while now, I have been getting - I guess - manual spam postings on really old posts. It's somewhat annoying as I sometimes head straight to the blog instead of the offending post - then I got to search for it or root back in my email. I'll keep it to 14 days.

Blogger blogs can also future schedule postings and they won't be posted till the day of. This is the one I found accidentally. If you time your post time to be a little off from Google servers, it thinks it's future dated.

Quick Ketchup

While on vacation, I ate way too much, I drank way too much, and I sat around way too much -- in other words, it was perfect.

So, I go away for a couple of weeks and there are a lot of things going on.

1) Blair Wilson is the first Green Party MP to sit in the House of Commons. I want to talk more about this a little later; this is significant. This bit of news glued me to the CBC Sirius channel while on the road.

2) Call it a hunch, but I don't think we're heading for an election soon. I know Stephen Harper and all he has accomplished, and I know he will not dissolve Parliament before October 2009 -- because fixed election dates stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar.

Also, I don't think he'll tax income trusts. Bank on it.

3) We have a nation-wide recall of meat products for listeriosis. Further, "[t]he Canadian government strongly opposed tougher U.S. rules to prevent listeria and lobbied the United States to accept Canada's more lenient standards, internal documents reveal." [Globe & Mail, Ottawa wanted U.S. to accept more lenient meat inspection regime]

Yes - let's call an election!

4) Barack Obama is right - who cares if Palin's daughter is pregnant? John McCain's got plenty of problems that are fair game - Sarah Palin included.

5) Another by-election in September was called. On September 22, 2008, voters will go to the polls in Don Valley West. I've updated my by-election section coverage at the top right. Get out and support Rob Oliphant.