liberals right, they couldn't win

Just a reminder as to why we're in this election now and why Stephen Harper has passed budgets and stayed in power for so long...

The Liberals worst fears are happening. Harper called Dion's bluff for more than two years, two budgets and tons of cuts to programs, gutting funding to health programs like HIV/AIDS, rendering the gun registry impotent and much more. Dion and the Liberals allowed bill after bill to pass because they did not think they would do well in an election.

Guess what, they were right.


Best before date past?

Best before date...

Problems are running deeper and deeper for the Liberal campaign as another Liberal makes public his lack of enthusiastic support for Dion. Its no big secret that the Liberals are having a bad time of it inside and that is reflected in the voter response outside. Tie that with the "the Liberals' erratic platform attempt to leave no voter unbought," - (Sun Columnist GREG WESTON) and you see just what kind of trouble they are in. They have no direction, a leader most Liberals don't want and a voting public that would prefer Layton to lead a coalition government over Dion.

Back to BC, where Gerry Lenoski, running under the bleeding liberal red brand in Burnaby-New Westminster, states he can't wait for Michael Ignatieff to become leader. Burnaby Now ran this story Saturday, September 27. Lenoski told the reporter, "Some day Mr. Dion may not be leader, and I hope Michael Ignatieff will replace him," Lenoski said in an interview. "Everybody has a best before date."

That does have to hurt. Lenoski realising the potential damage, a little late mind you, went on to say, "...Lenoski said he hopes Ignatieff leads the party "after a Dion government has been in power long enough to right the wrongs of the Tories." Good try Gerry!

The accidental aspect to all this is this screen shot from Lenoski's campaign site, welcoming Ignatieff to his campaign office. Lenoski was as many will know and acknowledged on his website, the chairman of Ignatieff's BC Campaign for leader.

To add a little more colour here Lenoski was in the running for the nomination in 2007 and then bowed out in April of that year according to an email he sent out, which Public Eye Online made public. Here is a piece of the email...

"...My professional demands now are such that I must leave today for Hong Kong on a business trip to China for 10 days. I came to this decision since my necessary absence could coincide with the Burnaby-New Westminster nomination meeting being scheduled, and its possibly even being held before I return home just ahead of the LPC(BC) Convention at Sun Peaks. Not least of all, I am withdrawing at this time because the prospect of a candidacy and an election campaign also conflicts with my current personal responsibilities more than had been apparent previously, and especially insofar as my consulting firm and our clients are concerned. ..."

Now it simply indicates that in 2007 he could not run here. He does go onto support the candidacy of former NDP activist, turned Liberal

I'm not aware of what happened next. I do recall Daniel Lee running for the nomination, Lee was backing Dion in the federal leadership contest. Did Steve decide later to back out and make room for Gerry to run, I expect he did. Steve would do that kind of thing, he's a nice guy (don't shoot at me Dippers). Still, all this is for not, in one way or another, the riding will still be New Democrat after Election Day.

Thanks to Dipper Chick for lead


Why Harper uses duct tape

Macleans.ca is live blogging the Ottawa Centre debate tonight. And to the surprise of some of us out here, The Harper Candidate showed up and this is what Harper is scared of...

The following is posted from macleans.ca - live blogging

'Holy crap, there is a line of questioners that s, quite literally, out the door - and at the head right now is a gorgeous, and righteously outraged woman who is eviscerating McGarry over the cuts to arts funding. McGarry reminds her that - oh, man that was really bad - he reminded her that under the Conservative plan, she can take time off to have a baby, and be covered by maternity leave. Her lip curls, and her eyebrow goes up; the room titters at the exquisite inappropriateness of his response. Yes, the young, independent artist and entrepreneur really wanted to hear that she can get help from the government if she has a baby, and wants to stay home for a year to take care of it.'

Whoops, that's a big one, but don't be running away yet. There's more...

'...Oh, and then McGarry tries to do damage control by shaking his fist at the crowd and reminding them that not all artists grub for money from the government.'

You can follow the debate here


Gay haiku poems for the Election

Want to have some fun... I bet you do!

Write a Haiku

These are some of the haiku's from Xtra.ca

ART FAG / From barebacking Harper to moustache daddy Layton

Stephen Harper

Dildos are cheaper
With the reduced GST.
Queers should vote for me.

Jack Layton

By rolling shirt sleeves
I turn into Canada's
Barack Obama.

Stéphane Dion

I'll get the gay vote:
Just tell them I'm related
To Celine Dion
Elizabeth May

Like Kermit the Frog
It's not easy being green.
I'm often quite blue.

Dion's scare machine can't afford the gas

Liberal Party of Canada, looks like they have become the Liberal Party of some parts of Toronto. I'm not kidding, look at the latest poll in today's Toronto Star. The Harper led Conservatives are in majority country at 40%. The NDP and Liberals have 21% each. In Ontario the Liberals have 27% to the NDP's 25. That's dang close to a statistical tie.

The Liberal vote is being sucked away by Conservatives and the NDP. Worse for the Liberals is Dion's ratings continue to fall while Layton is rising, being seen as exciting and interesting. 60% of Canadians are still opposed to Harper and his negatives are very high.

The anybody but Harper chant means vote NDP this time. The rules are going out the window. The usual wisdom has suggested you vote for the incumbent, usually a Liberal, to keep the Conservatives out. Not this time. Those incumbent Liberals are in shock, not knowing what to do. Their fall back scare machine can't afford the gas, Layton on the other hand is filling his tank up with an alternative energy, its called excitement.

Want to see a good example of the difference between the NDP campaign and the Liberals?

excitement vs blah

NDP surge in cities as Liberals languish: Poll

Yesterday's man McCain

I watched the American debate last night and almost fell asleep. I will be upfront here and say that I would support Obama for President if I had a vote. I was all geared up to hear Obama say something exciting. He didn't.

McCain was okay in the debate. Some thoughts. McCain has been everywhere. He starts almost every response to a question with, I have been there. I couldn't help wonder if he has been everywhere, why the heck is America in such trouble?

What really started to grind away at me was Obama's repeated response to McCain, "Senator McCain is absolutely right...". Obama would then go onto say why and then what else was needed. It was like McCain was making a motion in Senate and Obama was seconding the motion.

Usually experience is an asset in politics. Everyone is granting McCain, a Senator for 26 years, experiance. The question that isn't being asked is, what value is that experiace to America today? What has he done on the economy? What has he done on foreign affairs? What has he done to make Health Care available to all Americans? What has he done to prevent jobs from being exported abroad? What has he done for Veterans?

I think Obama could do more with that.

How about this, every time McCain goes on about his 'I've been everywhere man.' Obama should say, "Thank you Mr. McCain, you have been everywhere, you say you saw the economic crisis coming, you saw the war, you saw the torture, you saw disaster after disaster and still you walked lock, stock and barrel with Presdent Bush. Its like saying I have made a lot of mistakes, trust me. I have learned from them and won't make the same ones again.

Except McCain has not learned has he? He will stay on in Iraq. He will continue to flounder in Afghanistan. He will give people without work a tax cut for health insurance. He will cut taxes for everyone but especially for those people without work. He will freeze government spending so low-income Americans won't be burdened with costly government handouts.

Let's Hope, Americans buy Obama's Hope message.


Obama vs McCain

Its the American Presidential Debates. McCain has relented and decided he will lose more by staying away than being there. Obama has to pretend he is using Twitter and keep his responses short and under 140 words!

McCain will have to keep his cool. He doesn't like to lose and he has a real smart ass attitude sometimes. I expect he will flip out as soon as Palin comes up in the conversation. There is a new nickname for Palin, Caribou Barbie... Mr. Obama shouldn't use that or use the words lipstick or pig in the same paragraph.

If you want to play a game, see how many times McCain's poor flying, whoops i mean his prisoner of war saga comes up.

Another thing to watch for, who will say the most good things about Hillary Clinton. Barack better win that one just to keep the Dems happy!

watch twitter on the USA Election

Gerard Kennedy's hopes for redemption is going...

Somebody kick me...

Is it really happening? The Liberals are falling below water, the Conservatives are staying in minority country and the Bloc, NDP and Green Parties are rising.

I can feel John Turner silently jumping for joy, he will soon be able to show his head in Liberal circles without having to be reminded he lead the Liberals to their worst result in 40 years. Mr. Dion is asking for that honour now.

Those of you thinking about voting strategically have a lot more work ahead of you now. The standard kind of guide in the past has been to support the incumbent candidate in a riding if he or she was a 'progressive' type. In our elections that has meant voting either for the Liberal or the NDP.

This election is way way different. Those incumbent Liberals are falling faster than Gerard Kennedy's hopes for redemption. Poor King-maker Kennedy will find he is as welcome at a Liberal gathering as Tom Wappel is on Church Street. (Tom Wappel is one of 30 some Liberal MP's that have voted against gay rights consistently).

The way its shaking down is simple. Hedy Fry in Vancouver is going down, Kennedy is in a real fight to get into Parliament, Maria Minna in Beaches East York is in real trouble, Ujjal Dosanjh who I like alot, is facing big time heat in Vancouver, and Saskatchewan is about to send Ralph Goodalle packing. You lose those folks you are going to lose more. With the exception of Ujjal, the Liberals will lose to the NDP.

At this point it looks like the Liberals only hope of pulling out a strong second place finish would be a clear-cut undisputible win in the english and french debates. Barring that, someone with a camera finding Stephen Harper in a airport restroom might do the trick.

In all seriousness, this campaign is almost done for the Liberals. The NDP and Conservatives can smell it. The debate is all they have left.

Buckdog ponders over the numbers and why

Gay community missed by Liberal plan

Liberals campaign just keeps on spitting out mistakes...

Just who is running the ship?

Now I hope its a result of a typo. An oversight would just be wrong. Today is not the time for the Liberals to say, whoops we forgot the gay community, but we will include it now, thanks for sharing with the Liberal Party of Canada...

Egale is concerned...


Toronto: The recent Liberal campaign policy announcement focusing on providing security for organizations and groups at risk of hate crimes has neglected to include LGBTQ groups.

At a campaign stop in Winnipeg this week, Stephane Dion announced a $75 million fund to help provide security for “ethno-cultural and religious organizations” which have been subject to or are at risk of being targeted by hate crimes. “We see this as a critical part of any government plan to fight racism and hate propaganda,” said Dion.

The program, a result of extensive consultations by the Liberal Caucus Task Force for Security Funding for at-Risk Communities, specifies that the funding is only for ethno-cultural places of worship, educational institutions and community centres. Despite being frequent targets for hate crimes and vandalism there are no clauses which allow for LGBTQ community organizations or centres to apply for this funding.

“Hate propaganda against our community is all too often cloaked as religious in nature,” Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada said, “raising the question of whether churches which preach intolerance might be eligible for protection whereas advocacy organizations and groups such as Egale Canada would be left to provide their own security.”

LGBTQ persons are a high risk group for discrimination and targeted hatred accounting for nearly one in three incidents. According to 2006 Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Report, Hate Crime in Canada, 56.3% of all incidents were listed as violent and half of all victims were between 12 and 24, the age range also most vulnerable to suicide.

Egale Canada is Canada's LGBTQ Human Rights Organization: advancing equality, diversity, education, and justice.

The Libs made this announcement in Winnipeg. The place where a fabulous new place for recognition, remembrance and study of human rights struggles is being built.

I'm bending over backwards not to slam the LIBS in this campaign cause I like lots of them and would prefer them in Government a heck of a lot more than Stephen Harper, but keep making stu....... sssssssss mistakes like this ...

No man's Land - Gun shots shatter the peace

I recently moved to the Centre of The Universe, for those of you in Toronto, that's where you live, people else where in the country know I'm talking about Toronto. I live on the edge of a community called Jamestown. Its a poor neighbourhood, one that is a couple of blocks from fashionable Bloor Street. I'm in no man's land. Living west of Jamestown, east of The Village, south of Rosedale and north of Cabbagetown, its in the middle.

Our friends here in the Centre of Everything, told us not to move any further east. We took them at their word and live on the precipice of the dark dark hole. During the day this is usually a calm, cool fun neighbourhood. The streets lend credence to Toronto's claim as the world's most diverse and multi-cultural city.

We have two schools, two little parkettes, two small playgrounds, a basketball court and one 24 hour variety store. We have a No Frills grocery store, what other store would be here except one that reflects the amenities for those living in the area.

Few people have a car, your likely to encounter in a block's walk three or four strollers laden with toddlers and or those no frill groceries, bicycle riding youth and older guys too. Older folks pushing those shopping carts, people in suits, jeans, shorts, skirts and hajabs.

You can smell the drug deals, you see the users on early morning walks, you learn where not to sit and read your paper, thus minimizing your exposure to requests for cigarettes, even though I'm not smoking any these days. Taxi's line the street outside our building, a steady stream coming through as people return from late nights, usually a little boisterous but not too bad.

What's really interesting is that this area is a neighbourhood of immigrants, even me allbeit I am from the same country, you still get a little eastern way of it that seems to say 'we know better' attitude, kinda like that west coast arrogance we have in BC.

I'm telling you this because of recent events here in the Centre of All, guns, shootings. It seems there are more all the time in this big place. Did you know more people live within 60 kilometres of me here than in live in all of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba combined? Its big.

The use of guns to settle drug scores is becoming increasingly more common. We have all heard of the wayward bullets, missing their targets, striking innocent bystanders. I fear we will see more of this. Just yesterday I heard what sounded like gun shots. Three fast rounds. It echoed off the towers here. It sounded like a big piece of machinery falling from the 30th floor, it was so loud.

I quickly looked out the window, there are three cranes operating on a condo building blitz within 50 metres of me. It wasn't them. I scanned the area from the balcony, nothing. I ran to the bedroom window, just in time to see a commotion underway. It was gun shots I thought. Next I heard the tell tale sirens, first an ambulance, a fire truck, then the police. They swarmed the place.

I watched for awhile, no one was taken away in a body bag. I went back to other things, thinking some kid could have been hit with a stray bullet. Or maybe their parents, or someone's partner.

I went down later, about 7pm to see again what it was like down there. The street was still blocked. Bright yellow police tape, warned of a crime scene. The Calgary, the name of the building in which the shooting took place in front of stood more bleak than usual. 15 to 20 police were in cars writing reports, several were walking around, they were talking to people and blocking the street. Two ambulances stood by, for what reason I don't know. The fire truck was gone.

People with toddlers in strollers were going about, gaggles of men and women were meeting, more drug deals went on, oblivious to the police, others watched, a Jamaican woman told me they got the guy. Another chimed in saying no one was actually shot. Drug dealers she added, with a too little emotion. I took a few pictures being the ever thinking kinda guy I am and returned to the building.

In the elevator I told one of the riders what had happened. He had a better story, he was on a higher floor, on his friends balcony, and saw the whole thing. It turns out he saw two guys running, as the crossed the street he saw another running toward them. This last man reached into his pants, pulled out a pistol, then three shots rang out. He called 911 then went back to watch, the street was filling up, soon the police were there. Crazy he said to me, its just unreal.

I'm experienced now, in another day we would say I have been baptised to the ways of the big city.

Maybe, just maybe, some of those running for our parliament will do something about handguns. In a way I don't care too much what these folks in this other world operating in my world do to themselves. Its what happens when their disputes threaten those who expect to be reasonably safe when they go out and about here in No Man's Land.

You can expect a few posts on guns, the gun registry, the illegal trafficking of guns, and some of the causes of such violence and I may even have a few ideas as to how to make it better.

Toronto mayor tells NOW why there should be a Canada-wide ban on handguns. After the video, sign the petition. If video link not working, try this...

Amazing as it may seem, only one federal party would support a complete ban on handguns. Read about it here at Now Magazine.


MP's to address anti-choice Conference

Concerned about a Woman's right to choose? Two Ontario MP's are attending the International Pro-Life Conference in Toronto October 2-4.

Liberal MP, Tom Wappel long time attacker of gay rights and a Woman's right to choose will be a key speaker along with fellow anti-choice MP, Jeff Watson. Watson represents Essex riding for the Conservatives and Wappel holds Scarbourgh Southwest for the Liberals.

I don't know much about Mr. Watson, I do however recall the
extreme efforts made by Mr. Wappel to prevent me from having the equality enjoyed by other Canadians. Not just me, anyone who is gay, lesbian, trans or bisexual were public enemy number one for this bible thumping MP.

The anti-abortion folks have not given up the fight. If Harper were to receive a majority government would they make changes to restrict access to abortion in Canada? Chances are opposition MP's like Mr. Wappel would vote with the Conservatives to do so.

How many other MP's will be attending this conference in Toronto? I would love to know. Maybe its a job for the secret camera!

Manitoba is second last!

Manitoba is second last!

Hard to believe but it appears that Canada's Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty is back at it. After saying to the world that Ontario was the last place to invest in Canada, he now ranks Manitoba, the second worst place to invest.

Kinda makes you wonder who is third? Let's see, BC with its Carbon Tax? Just a guess mind you...

Notwithstanding a few rules and a new supply of fresh meat

Can it be?

The Harper proposal to significantly change youth justice has some big hurdles to climb. Did the Conservatives know this? If they did they are playing with us again.

Aside from the stark truth put out by Mr. Duceppe who stated that teen-aged criminals sent to prison under Mr. Harper's plan to crack down on youth crime would be “fresh meat” for the perversions of adult inmates, the Conservatives Youth Justice Reform proposal is a likely violation of the Charter if passed by Parliament as is.

A bright sparky blogger has found a hole in the Conservative Justice Reform bill, suggesting Mr. Harper would have to invoke the Charter's Notwithstanding clause, not once but twice to make the proposal law...

Now my questions is, does anyone out there think that if Harper had a majority, that he would not use the Notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights to achieve his political agenda?

Once Hedy Liberals are Fried

Currently a whole bunch of folks are thinking of voting something other than Conservative. thats the good news. In fact 60% or more of the population will vote for a candidate other than a Conservative.

That maybe okay in the end if the Greens, NDP and Liberals can find enough common ground and have enough seats to wrest power away from the Harperites. Elizabeth May said as much today, she is asking Canadians to vote for the candidate that has the best chance of defeating the local Conservative. Mr. Dion has agreed in to talk about it. Mr. Layton has dismissed it according to the press.

So it would appear that this is a non starter at this point and maybe it should be. The Greens have never held such opportunity to elect someone, though it would still be a surprise if they did, and the NDP have never been this close to unseating the Liberals.

Today's poll by CPAC-Nano's (thanks for the twitter, Bourque) show the Green's and the NDP gaining ground at the expense of the Liberals, and unless something changes in the days ahead, it won't be hard for more Liberals to abandon ship. A small shift of voters would see the Liberals fall behind the NDP. Not since Brian Mulroney, have the Liberals been in such desperate straits.

The Conservatives have all but abandoned the Prairies where they will sweep the seats again and are focusing on BC, Ontario and Quebec. The Liberals are barely hanging onto Toronto. Even here they are about to lose star candidate, Gerard Kennedy. Kennedy is in tough against NDP MP, Peggy Nash and will likely lose.

A couple of days ago, I got a phone call from a friend in Montreal. He has always voted for the Bloc. With the Bloc appearing to have no focus, he has switched to the NDP and is campaigning for them. He states that he has many friends joining him this time. That hearsay evidence is backed up by the latest polls. The NPD are tied with the Liberals in Quebec.

In BC the Liberals trail the NDP by 6 points and trend appears to be widening. Look out because Hedy Fry, who has owned Vancouver Centre for the Liberals since 1993 when she knocked off Prime Minister Kim Campbell is in a horse race and she's going to lose it. The Conservatives are running a smart two time MLA, Lorne Mayencourt. Mayencourt and I have our differences as you will discover if you search my blog. That said, he remains a formidable candidate and a tireless doorknocker and self promoter. Mayencourt will pull votes from Fry, opening the door for the NDP's star candidate, Michael Byers, nationaly recognised for his work as a Canadian Research Chair in International Law and Politics UBC.

If Hedy can lose her seat, the Liberals are fried in BC. They could lose every single seat they currently hold.

For the so called Centre left parties to get on with each other it is going to take Stephane Dion to do the unthinkable. He will have to cede his Liberal given 'right' to dictate the terms. Dion could propose an equal number of seats for the NDP and Liberals and a token Green seat. It's not going to happen.

The NDP will likely reject him as have the voters to date.

In Toronto vote for whoever you like, the Tories will still lose. In BC, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, vote NDP. On the Prairies, vote NDP or Liberal, one of them might sneak in. In Quebec, I never thought it possible, but consider the NDP candidate especially in Montreal and Western Quebec, in a four way race, they could win.

My advice stands until I see some momentum on the Liberal poll numbers. The only party with a chance at a majority are the Conservatives. It looks like the progressive side of politics needs a minority to govern. That won't be easy if the Liberals maintain that people that voted NDP in 2006 caused their defeat. Its time the Liberals shouldered some of the blame for their misfortunes.

'like sheep among wolves'

As a gay man, one who has spent 30 years fighting for equality and acceptance, I am more than a little worried with the prospect of a Conservative majority government.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't see a Harper government repealing the rights in the human rights code or using the notwithstanding clause to stop gay marriage. Its the other things he can do in a majority. Imagine you are a little kid and your parents released you in a gigantic toy store. Think of all the toys you could have. All those toys you have been wanting but you had to be good until they trusted you to be good when tempted by all that is for the taking.

That's Stephen Harper. The little kid who has been good enough for 38% of us that our first past the post election system could very well give him the majority Government to play with. A majority that 62% of us voted against.

The Harper government has been bad enough with a minority government, thanks in large part to the Liberals unwillingness to face an election, perhaps I know why now as they look doomed at this point.

"We've got a born-again prime minister," trumpets David Mainse, the founder of Canada's premier Christian talk show, 100 Huntley Street. They see him as an image-savvy evangelical who has been careful to keep his signals to them under the media radar, but they have no doubt his convictions run deep — so deep that only after he wins a majority will he dare translate the true colours of his faith into policies that could remake the fabric of the nation. If they're right, it remains unclear whether those convictions would turn government into a kinder, gentler guarantor of social justice for all or transform the country into a stern, narrow-minded theocracy. And what would his evangelical worldview mean for international relations? - Xtra.ca Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons

Harper has already made big changes that affect our lives, The age of consent law, the firearms registry, Kyoto, Afghanistan, Funding for health care initiatives, HIV/AIDS funding and research, and more. Given a majority government, I think many Canadians will be highly disappointed in Stephen Harper.

If you read nothing else in this election, you need to read Marci McDonald's feature article
'Stephen Harper and the Theo-cons' in Xtra. McDonald gets behind the curtain and looks at the religious right that are silently cheering behind it, for a Harper majority.

The Harper Record

A new book on Stephen Harper
'...this book gives a detailed account of the laws, policies, regulations, and initiatives of the Conservative minority government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper during its 32-month term from January 2006 to September 2008.

The 47 writers, researchers and analysts who have co-written this book probe into every aspect of the Harper minority government’s administration. From the economy to the environment, from social programs to foreign policy, from health care to tax cuts, from the Afghanistan mission to the tar sands, from free trade to deep integration, and to many other areas of this government’s record, the authors have dug out the facts and analyzed them.'

Looking for the real Stephen Harper, want to see what he and his government have been doing? You can download the book for free...

Pension-loving MP -- or maybe a pig

Pension-loving MP -- or maybe a pig

What we know about Stephen Harper...

I expect that many people have forgotten or put to the back recesses of their mind the Reform Party and the indignation they took with the pension plan held by Members of Parliament. It seems it was all a shell game.

The Reformers went to bat for taxpayers to end this injustice, to bring an end to 'gold plated' pensions for the peoples' servants. The vowed never to take such a plan, many vowed never to take a pension from the taxpayers.

As you may recall they did a good job of convincing people in Western Canada the pensions were wrong and symbolic of what was wrong in Ottawa. Deborah Grey, Reform's first Member of Parliament was one of the first to reverse course.

"Reform-turned-Alliance stalwarts such as Deborah Grey and Monte Solberg have taken a public beating recently over their decision to spend more than $50,000 each to buy back into the pension fund they once very publicly eschewed.

Grey, ironically, said it was Manning's recent treatment for prostate cancer that made her reassess her future." - The Canadian Press, 2001
It seems the reformers cum Canadian Alliance members couldn't withstand the heat of their convictions. Ironic isn't it that many of the people that voted for them and supported their position on MP Pensions, could not come up with the $50,000 for an RRSP let alone buy a "gold plated" pension plan.

Monte Solberg who is retiring so he can collect his pension and ride off onto the range confessed to the Medicine Hat News in 2001 that the reformers were perhaps a little overzealous. "To be honest, I think we put on the hairshirt a little bit and probably pushed it too hard."

And who was among the overzealous reformers along the way. Current Prime Minister Stephen Harper. During a short stint as President of the
National Citizens Coalition (NCC), a conservative advocacy group, Harper lead the charge to end these pensions and to disparage those who took advantage of them.

I'm reminded of this today because of a column in the Toronto Sun written by
Harper's former colleague at the NCC, Gerry Nicholls. Nicholls at the time was the Vice President. Nichols writes,

...'during his tenure as NCC president, Harper didn't like the idea that MPs enjoyed a pension plan that was far richer than what most people in the private sector could ever hope to afford.

He called it a "gold-plated MP pension plan."

So to expose and oppose this plan he launched "Operation Pork Chop," an ad campaign featuring cartoon pigs designed to encourage voters to "fire" MPs who were about to qualify for their pension. That's hardly a scary campaign, unless you're a pension-loving MP -- or maybe a pig.'

The July 1995 issue of NCC’s Overview quoted extensively from one of Harper’s speeches in the House on pensions and commented, 'Reform MP Stephen Harper (Calgary West) has been a leading and vocal opponent of the gold-plated MP pension plans ever since the NCC made it an issue.'

So while Stephen Harper has been wearing his sweaters and cuddling up close to toddlers, he seems to enjoy the perks of an elected member of parliament including his future 'gold plated' Pension Plan. It seems that once enough of us vote for him, Harper will do anything he wants even if it means dumping some of the Gold Plated isssues that brought him to the dance.

Monte Solberg is getting out, he can't wait to join Deborah Grey on Wal-Mart's seniors discount day and begin drawing his 'gold plated' pension. Monte Solberg served in Parliament since 1993.

Gerry Nicholls is alive and well I expect somewhere in Saskatchewan. He writes for the Western Standard, a right wing blog that comes out of a failed magazine of the same name.


Do you know your ABC's?

Anybody But Conservative

There are quite a few sites of organizations and individuals advocating our ABC's. That's Anybody But Conservative (Harper).

Here are a few of the organized sites. I will post more that are available on social networking sites in the days ahead.

Anything But Conservative
Department of Culture
Culture pour tous
Anyone But Harper
Vote for the Environment
Vote for Climate


Political Death for some embracing new web technologies

POSTERiosis - Political Death for some embracing new web technologies

The new age of the web has finally caught some Canadian wanna be politicians. At least four candidates have been dropped as a result of their life inside the world wide web. The NDP have lost three candidates and the Conservatives one.

In the case of the NDP, two were found to have indulged in using drugs while a camera was focused on them, a third went skinny dipping. All I can think of is, 'thanks be to the universe' Barack Obama did coke when digital cameras were still a thing of the future.

The Conservative candidate, Chris Reid was lost due to some of his posted views. Alas this gay man did not post any videos, just words which displayed 'too much enthusiasm' for the Harper agenda, by that I suggest his words were welcome but not on the web or in front of a recording device. In an interview with the Western Standard blog, Reid says, ""No one else--not the media, nor a political party--will stand up for principled conservatism. It is up to us as individuals to stand up and take liberal ideology head-on, with the facts, and optimism towards the future. "

Politics in 2008 means you better be careful if your running for office. Chances are someone has seen you in and or out of your undies or doing something most people would laugh about but never talk about, let alone post it too the Internet.

Perhaps this new found vulnerability will find fewer people willing to step forward. Ideally we would see these things in a new light and be less judgemental. Perhaps a Christian metaphor works here: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” It almost works, you get the idea, still even that is judgemental. Perhaps this is what summarizes the issue and should guide us: "The attitude is we live and let live." - Thomas Wolfe, American writer.