New NDP ad hits the mark

Ok, this is on the right track. Lets see more of these ads on a variety of issues.

See others can do better!

New Democrats and LPCers need to look deep

Update - 5:30 pm Sep 30/09: Olivia Chow has not said she would be thinking she would run for the Mayor's job in Toronto. In fact she will be staying in Parliament! I stand corrected and very happy!

Politics creates some odd realities. The Liberals fed up with taking the brunt for supporting the Harper minority decided it was time someone else picked up that dirty job and the New Democrats have obliged. Jeff over at his "I'm an Ontarian after being a BCer" blog has a good analysis of the situation, albeit from an LPCer point of view. He takes few little shots at the New Democrats.

The truth of the stranger than reality show in Ottawa is that the New Democrats and Liberals do not want an election now. The New Democrats are taking the hit in the media and from Iggy for "propping up" the Harperites. Funny thing is, its truly to Iggy's short term benefit that we don't have an election, especially with Bob Rae breathing down his back. An election now would likely see the NDP lose some seats and the LPC gain a few and Harper gaining some, maybe enough for a majority.

With a another dismal LPC performance, Iggy will have to leave and Bob Rae will step in, bringing with him all of Jean's buddies. The demon of Paul Martin will be washed away and the LPC will actually stand some chance of regaining government.

The New Democrats future looks about the same or worse. I wish I could suggest it would be otherwise. Instead of being acknowledged by the media for preventing an election and trying to make Parliament work at least until spring, they are being characterised as having to hold their noses while voting with Harper.

I haven't met any Canadian other than a few party hacks that want an election or think we need one. With that public thought pervading the land, the New Democrats should get some credit for doing the dirty work. But this is politics and the New Democrats are being roasted as hypocrites (79 Liberal votes).

Further disconcerting is the lack of imagination in any of the political parties. We Can Do Better and Standing up for Average Working Families are lame and bereft of content. Where is the grand vision. All we get is, "they are wrong and we are right."

The New Democrats must do better this time out or Jack is finished. With rumours that Olivia Chow may leave one of only two New Democrat seats in Toronto to seek the Mayor's job, the New Democrats fortunes look bleak for making any advances in Canada's biggest city. If Chow runs for Mayor then I expect the left and centre vote will split and John Tory will become Mayor, thats a lovely thought to contemplate.

The LPC and the New Democrats have a big job to do this winter. Polling does not build grand visions, polls do not inspire people to support this idea or that one. They both need to be out there listening and talking with Canadians.

I have seen many of the ideas the New Democrats have proposed and I support them whole heartedly. What they have failed to do is capture the attention of voters and would be voters. Instead of being seen as a party that supports working families, they are seen as the party that hates business. The LPC on the other hand is seen as having destroyed its foundation.

If we want to stop a Conservative majority we New Democrats and LPCers must take a good look at what our respective parties are offering Canadians and will Canadians like it enough to support it.


UnitedHealth deny, deny, deny

Whats wrong with for profit health care? How about this striking number. For every $700 spent on health care $1.00 goes to one person. That's unreal. UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley makes 819,363.10 every day of 2009. Hemsley's stock options of over 700 million dollars would pay for flu vaccinations for every man, woman and child in California, Texas and Minnesota.

This company has been fined millions of dollars for wrongly denying coverage and delaying payment for health care services delivered to patients. They pay the fines because its better for the bottom line. Deny payment, deny coverage and many people will go away, in some cases die.


Trouble in Quebec

Liberal MP Denis Coderre has resigned as the LPCer in charge for Quebec and as the Defense critic. Coderre did say he still has confidence in Iggy even if he Coderre has taken all the heat for the party in Quebec. Sounds like all is not as nice as the public statements make it seem too be.

Its always hard learning on the job especially when you are busy trying to look like you want an election despite being way way down in the polls. Lucky for the LPCers the NDP managed to get some EI money, no matter how short lived it may end up being, at least it saved Iggy from being the second Liberal leader from going down in flames in an election.

An election now could do nothing other than give Harper his majority without Quebec, now that would make for an interesting four years. That is especially true given Harper's announcement today that 90% of stimulus funding has found a home, even if most of it is in Conservative ridings. Wonder where the Conservatives learned that way of doing business.

2,700 lobbyists at war with Obama

2,700 lobbyists are working for the private health insurance industry and other health care corporations in Washington right now. That's more people than Canada has in Afghanistan. You might call this lobby effort a war. Their goal is simple. Stop any attempt at offering a Public Option or public health Care plan.

At issue is a Public plan that would compete with private insurance companies to provide insurance and changes that would prevent insurance companies from eliminating coverage for people with pre-exisiting health problems.

All of this lobbying is having an effect. Many lawmakers have still to agree on a public option despite 65% of Americans being in favour of a Government run plan that competes with insurance companies. Its time lawmakers in the USA trust themselves and the people.

They didn't know Matthew, John and Joel.

"I watched The 700 Club sometimes with Pat Robertson -- they're constantly talking about gays."
Those are the words of a confessed killer, Jay Johnson. Johnson's father was VP of Bethel College and Seminary and often spoke openly against homosexuality. He was raised in a strict, religious household.

Johnson learned to hate gays and himself. He was gay himself and felt what he was doing was wrong. To deal with his feelings of guilt and remorse he killed two gay men and attacked another.

Jay Thomas Johnson plead guilty to the murder of former State Sen. John Chenoweth, 48, and Joel Larson, 21. That was 17 years ago on September 30, 1992. Since then the anti gay rhetoric has gone up a few notches.

You can't convince me that the words of "moral" leaders don't lead to acts such as those exhibited by Jay. These moral leaders have instilled a deep hatred and a sense of responsibility or obligation to act, among many that listen to them.

In this case three lives were sadly taken, the two men Jay killed and his own. Jay has admitted to being gay himself and according to this website, has accepted himself now. Its an outrage that these murders, inspired by words of the demonizing Christian fundamentalist leadership and supported by stupid people like the one guy I mentioned in the post below, happen at all.

These murders happened before Matthew Shepard. Who said words will never hurt me? They didn't know Matthew, John and Joel.

Another Penn State "the sky is falling" Republican

We're tired of god gays and guns - the sky is falling...

Okay many of us are and this is not that rare in the USA today or parts of Canada for that matter. There is however one person who has been singled out for attention by Change.org. Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe seems to want to keep America white, christian and gays in jail.

There is no real need to read this if you live outside Pennsylvania. If you do live in this great state, then do something about Metcalfe.

This guy sees every progressive action in the State as an item on the Gay Agenda. End Violence against women, a gay plot. He simply has to go.

Off course if he sticks around he could become a spokesperson for the Republican party, that would help out progressive republicans and independents make up their minds on which party to support.

Do you live in PA House District # 12 in Butler County. You do if you live in any of these municipalities: Adams Twp, Callery, Clinton Twp, Connoquenessing, Cranberry Twp, Evans City, Forward Twp, Jefferson Twp, Mars, Middlesex Twp, Penn Twp, Saxonburg, Seven Fields, & Valencia. And the School Districts of: Butler Area School District, Mars Area School District, South Butler County School District, Seneca Valley School District.

Register to vote, write the local, state and national GOP leadership and demand Metcalfe be set free or turned out to pasture. Perhaps his local church could use an alter boy?

All the help you need is here.


Put your Right foot in

Yes I know there has been lots of posts about Iggy doing the two step. You know, step over here, say this, step over there, say the opposite.

Its tough being the AIR Apparent. You have to say so many things to get elected. Its does however appear that the Liberal leader will keep the commitment made by the Tories in Ottawa and The LIBcons in Queens Park to harmonize the sales taxes. Its really not fair for Iggy to call it Harper's Sales tax in BC anymore. That is what he has been doing as the TAX is not going over well out there.

Here in Ontario, it different, people here have rolled over. So Iggy went to meet some business folks the other day and decided there are more votes here than in BC so he won't change the HST. That is going to cost him in BC.

As for Ontario, the longer we wait for an election the worse it looks for the Liberals. To add insult to more red faced LPCers, they may have handed the NDP a big repeat victory in Quebec with the Pontifical one himself, (that's Iggy) declaring he will anoint a woman to run in Outremont. I can hardly wait.

Till then try out this tune (note its always a "right foot")

You put your right foot in,
You put your right foot out,
You put your right foot in
And you shake it all about.
You do the Iggy shuffle
And you turn yourself around,
That's what it's all about.

Kelly McParland: Liberals do the Iggy Shuffle on sales tax


Thomas Mulcair is Outremont

Thomas Mulcair's butt is not waiting to be kicked by Iggy's chosen woman. I hope for the LPCer's sake they pick a ripe one. Mulcair is very good and will not be an easy one to knock off. I expect they (LPCers) will find it surprisingly difficult.

Adding to the difficulty will be the idea that the Liberals have again decided against a democratic selection of a candidate, continuing the age old practice of benevolent leadership.

The Member of Parliament for Outremont, as awful as that sounds today to the LPCer, is a New Democrat and likely will be no matter who Iggy hand picks for the riding, especially if Iggy hand picks someone. Mulcair is a new breed of New Democrat and not so easily dismissed.

update: I missed Scott's advice to Iggy here.


Politics and colouring

If this is how virgin political boys colour, is this how non-virgin Liberal staffers colour?

Seems both the LPCers and CON's like the same package of crayons.

...of course I like all crayons... I own several packages ;)


This is how you get things right Iggy

Oh oh, looks like the LPCers are down again. Not only is the latest poll showing them to be headed south, but the NDP have done in a few days what Iggy and the LPCers couldn't get done all summer.

See in the spring, Iggy said in order for him to support the Conservative government something had to be done on EI. Iggy created a committee of three of his guys and three of the Conservative dudes. The committee had no teeth. It met a few times with predictible results. Why didn't Iggy make changes EI a condition of his support. The budget could have been amended if the Harper folks wanted to avoid an election. You likely would even have had the NDP support it.

Don't look now, but look who found money for at least 190,000 Canadians! It wasn't Iggy's committee, nope, it was the NDP and Jack Layton, using their leverage when they get it.

Harper's Big Victory

Do you remember the Court Challenges program? It was cut by the Stephen Harper government in 2006. It has been one of the few ideological victories for the Tories since coming to office. Ironically it was another conservative government that created it by expanding the a government program providing assistance for minority language cases.
The Court Challenges program's direction was to provide financial assistance for important court cases that advance language and equality rights guaranteed under Canada's Constitution.
The program has long been a thorn in the side of right wing ideologues conservative political parties and the Religious Right. Two of the more vocal objectors were the Reform Party and a national lobby group, the National Citizens Coalition.

The primary objection was too "left wing" groups gaining access to funding to challenge the law of the land. They referred to it as undemocratic and usurping the duly elected government's will. The program was key to many issues being canvassed before the Courts in Canada. It meant that Queers, women and other groups were able to make successful challenges to the law of the land, base primarily on the Charter of Rights. Many of these challenges would have been delayed or lost due to inadequate access to funding to take a case to the Supreme Court of Canada in the first place.

One case that has stuck in the craw of Prime Minister Harper has to be Harper Vs Canada, in which he then the Executive Director of the National Citizens Coalition, challenged what is called the election gag law. That law limited organizations, like the NCC from spending gobs of money during elections. They lost the case. The court Challenges Program funded two interveneors in the case, Democracy Watch and National Anti-Poverty Organization who argued in support of the "Gag" law.

I'm sure that Harper didn't like taxpayers money being used against him in is fight to remove the "gag" law.

So I can imagine it was with a great deal of delight he eliminated the program. Now in a move likely to appease Quebec and Francophone voters across Canada Harper has started up a Language Rights Support Program. It's job is address language related issues across the country.

Mulroney in 1985 expanded the then Minority Language Rights Support Program after the Charter of Rights kicked in. It was likely that they would have been forced to expand the program by the courts if they had not done so. Mulroney however in 1992, in a bid to appeal to the more Conservative voter that was being pulled away from the Tories, killed the program. It was re-instated in 1993 by the new Liberal Government.

Back to this day and we now again have a Minority Language program to fund challenges based on instances of discrimination. I suspect they (Harperites) have to know the new program discriminates against other minorities but are willing to chance it won't be successfully challenged, by in large due to minority groups not having enough funds to mount a successful challenge. Clever right?

Well it seems some very conservative folks aren't happy about it. Check out Joseph C. Ben-Ami. This guy would be a "birther" in the US of A.

Old Dutch dips and chips at workers

Here is another of those companies doing well during the recession, trying to squeeze even more out of workers. And the Alberta government makes it so much easier to treat workers poorly.

So much for my favourite potato chip, I guess I'll have to Lay off my Old Dutch for awhile. What's crazy about all this is Old Dutch is doing well during this recession.

Help out by picking up a bag of other brands and be sure to tell the cashier, (nicely) that you won't be buying Old Dutch until they start treating their workers properly.


Imagine a Canadian PM do this...

Imagine our Prime Minister getting this kind of reception from anyone. Then try very hard to imagine the current Prime minister even making a speech like this. I know you can't. You don't see the current PM even talking to these people. You don't see the current PM doing anything for organized workers.

Close your eyes, listen to Obama and imagine a Canada that had its leader recognize the need for a strong union movement...

Gay man attacked, wasn't Flaunting IT!

It seems there are no shortages of new stories about gay men being attacked by straight men. This story out of London ON is just the latest.

Brandon Wright had a choice -- jump from a moving pickup truck, or stay and possibly be beaten to death.

"I don't know if it was bravery or fear that motivated me to jump," said the 22-year-old Londoner, who says he was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime last Tuesday when he was forced to leap from the moving pickup on Kipps Lane in north London. - London Free Press, September 15, 2009

Is this a copy cat of the Thunder Bay attack, is it the hard economic times that brings this out more, or are we just seeing what happens regularly and its being reported more?

Whatever it is its intolerable. It made me sick to my stomach. Its sharp pang inside me that can't be eased. I want to lash out at those that refuse to act in our schools, every time a member of the glbttq community is assaulted. So much for all we claim to have achieved in this pink "friendly" country.

And then it angers me further when Branden's mother adds, "When you're a mother and you walk in that hospital room and see the damage that was done to him, it's just appalling," said Wright, who described her son as a "good guy" who doesn't flaunt his sexuality, and never bothers anyone."

Just what does "flaunting it" mean? What has that got to do with anything? I know she is not meaning any harm, she is just trying to add to description, but what she is really saying is, Branden always takes a seat at the back of the bus.

Flaunting it means he was asking for it. That's like saying the woman dressed very nicely was begging to be raped. Just think about this when its your son, brother, nephew, sister, daughter, niece attacked for who they are.

see Gay man savagely attacked in London

Recalling a "fag" beating in highschool

Warning, Not a "fun" read...

My own story of school is not unlike the topic in which Simon in Montreal posts about on his blog and the post below this one.

I have mentioned a few times what happened to me as a teen in high school. It was pretty much hell a lot of the time. That's not to say I did not experience good times as well, I just wonder how many others were faced with having to hide behind pillars so bullies wouldn't see me, or wait for the bell to ring and the halls were empty to go to my locker. That made me a couple minutes late for class and often a lecture from the teacher.

As awful as being called out in front of the whole class for being late again, it was better than the likelihood of being caught out in the hall and called fag or dicksucker or worse by people that had no reason to think such things of me. I didn't even know I was gay myself.

I had excelled in high school early on, I was a good athlete in soccer and rugby despite being the smallest guy in school. I didn't like gym, climbing ropes, chin-ups etc. I did them but not without a great deal of fear of failing at them.

In grade ten I became more than someone that was "simply" the subject of name calling and being pushed around, tripped or pushed. I was attacked in an ambush.

Ten boys from my school stood and waited for me and my friend to walk down town for lunch through a church yard. As we approached the end of the church property they stepped out from behind the trees and blocked our path. They asked me where I was going. I told them and started to walk around them. They blocked us.

They were only interested in me, my friend was the high school basketball star. One guy grabbed me and started pushing me to the ground. I refused to be pushed and that is when he hit me. He swung his open hand and slapped me in the face, telling me I was a faggot. My nose was bleeding and my friend said cool it guys but was held back by two or three of them.

I kicked from behind. It was unexpected and caused me to fall. When I fell a guy jumped on me to keep me on the ground. He was slapping my face, demanding I admit I was a fag. Each time he would demand it, I kept my mouth shut. When I did not respond he started slapping me on my face, the back of my head, sometimes pulling my hair, raising my head off the ground.

This went on for several minutes and those around me started yelling insults. Some were not satisfied. They started kicking me in the side, on my legs. One guy kicked me in the jaw. They were laughing, demanding I tell them I was a fag. All this time they held my friend back.

I did not know I was a gay, I wondered what made them think I was. The attack kept up, until the lunch hour was almost over. They left us there, me bleeding from the nose, mouth and cuts on my head, arms and soon to be bruised all over.

We made it back to the school. I went to a washroom and cleaned up as best I could. I felt embarrassed that this happened to me. I needed to be tough. I knew that if I had admitted I was a Fag, these boys would never let up on me. I admitted nothing, said nothing. In the classroom after i was cleaned up, bruises started to appear and my face swelled up. My teacher was very concerned and asked what happened.

I refused to talk. I felt i was inferior for some reason, I could have avoided the beating some how. The teacher was persistent, I told him I was beat up by some guys. He wanted to know why, I said I didn't know.

No more attacks like that happened to me in school. It made me very weary of those around me. I was always watching out for those that had attacked me. I became very good at staying out of sight, out of the way. Nothing happened to these boys as a result of attacking me. Several of them turned out to be decent people when they became adults, three of them had problems with the law for years to come. Four of the attackers I know nothing more about.

I went to the library to look up Homosexual. I found it in a dictionary. It said something like "Homosexuals were sexual deviants, a psychological disorder." I don't recall exactly what it said today. The school had no place for me to go, no one to talk to about this. I certainly wasn't going to talk to a school counselor if he would think I was a pervert.

The word fag is used as a put down for anything bad. It is used to degrade, to hurt others gay and straight. Today some schools have GSA's. Gay Straight Alliances. Places youth can go for support. Not all schools have them. In fact most schools do not have them. Why no pressure from government to make it happen?

Homophobia is alive and thriving in our schools. As long as authorities and peers allow this behavior, all the rights in the world will not keep youth safe. More stories like mine will occur, and sadly, worse things will happen.

In the interim, the boys and girls that live through each assault lose a little more of themselves every time.


Are Queers too tired to address Homophobia

We may have won some battles on the gay rights front, we still have much to do as This Magazine points out here...

If queers were going to advocate for something more—and Canada, pink as it is, is still not quite a gay utopia—activists would have to look beyond changing discriminatory laws. But the transition from wartime to peacetime has not been easy. At the height of the marriage debate, Egale’s annual operating budget peaked at $538,000; now it’s about $160,000, plus donated office space in Ottawa and Toronto. This year the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario packed up shop after more than 33 years, during which time it had successfully advocated to include gay and lesbian people in Ontario’s Human Rights Code and get the Toronto District School Board to adopt a non-discrimination policy that included LGBT people. - This Magazine

Canadian schools are another example of what's left to be done. A ground breaking survey was begun last year of schools across the country. That survey found may GLBTQ students were often on the receiving end of verbal and physical assaults and found many locations in schools unsafe. Prof. Catherine Taylor is continuing her research of homophobia in schools in phase two of the study.

The first-phase report of The National Climate Survey on Homophobia in Canadian Schools can be found here.

All that plus the recent case in Thunder Bay where a brutal example of Homophobia resulted in one man being severely beaten.

Maybe we queer activists are burnt out, or maybe for many the fight was just for marriage. I hate to think that is where it is at.

Topp this LPCers

Brian Topp's posting in the Globe and Mail says it well here

Topp is a New Democrat, but put forward the NDP positions much better than I do below. Its a good read and one that should resonate well with Canadian voters who don't want an election 11 months on from the last one...

Minority Govt's pass NDP Policy

Somebody is out of the sunlight and they don't like it.

Jack Layton has said he would wait and see what Harper is going to do before deciding if the NDP would vote with the Liberals in bringing down the government. Minority governments must work with the other parties if they wish to stay in power.

In 2005 Paul Martin very much wanted to stay in power and agreed to many of the NDP demands for concessions in the budget. Paul Martin in 2006 decided he wouldn't make any concessions and as a result the NDP voted against the budget. This is one of the methods the NDP though never in power has brought about significant change to public policy over the years. One need only look to the Trudeau government in 1972. Trudeau required NDP support to stay in power. That resulted in several policy moves that likely would not have occurred had Trudeau to rely on his on party to support them. The threat of the government falling allowed for more progressive budgets and legislation to proceed.

In 1974 Mr. Trudeau met with his caucus in Sudbury Ontario days before the non-confidence motion was presented. He suggested at the time the NDP were too scared of an election and thus wouldn't vote down his government. The NDP on the other hand felt that Trudeau had become arrogant and his parliamentary actions proved it. Really what was at issue was Trudeau's wish for an election. He got it and subsequently won a majority government in 1974.

Paul Martin desperately wanted to stay in power. He had barely squeaked back into government with the support of the NDP and as it turned out some independent MP's and the floor crossing from the Tories to the Libs that helped. Martin managed to do some very good things in his time as PM. He passed same-sex marriage, looked seriously at decriminalizing Marijuana possession, agreements with the Provinces to reduce wait times. All of which squeaked by in votes.

Martin then proceeded to deliver on Child Care and repairing relations with First Nations. Martin held a historic meeting in Kelowna, for which many including the NDP applauded him for. Martin failed to deliver however. Seeing his government hanging on every vote, he must have decided he needed election fodder, something to distinguish the Liberals from the Conservatives.

While Martin could have brought in legislation or a mini budget to implement the Kelowna Accord and the Childcare program, he did not. Instead he put it out as a carrot for voters. This was a serious mistake. The Liberals were already down in many places due to the sponsorship scandal and they paid dearly for it in the polls.

Its my contention, that if Martin had brought in Childcare and the Kelowna Accord it would have passed in Parliament and the result would have seen him re-elected, most likely to another minority but re-elected. The NDP voted against the government after it became clear Martin was not going to take immediate action on the Kelowna Accord nor the Childcare program.

It was a very risky strategy for Martin, hold the carrot way out there, hope he could paint Harper as mean, and squeak in on the promise to implement the Childcare program and the Kelowna Accord.

The rest is history as they say.

The election of Harper saw the Liberals whacked severely by the voters. The sponsorship scandal and a line from Harper that stated there were enough checks on his power by the courts and bureaucracy that people should feel safe voting for them. Whats happened as a result was a Liberal party battered from inside and out, no money and no leadership.

I can say charitably that they were between a rock and a hard place. Harper attached confidence in his government to just about everything. If a bill or budget failed it would bring down the government and the Liberals would have to fight an election with little funds and likely return of the Conservatives, perhaps even a majority Harper government. The Liberals sat on their hands, not voting sometimes or voting if they could hold their noses.

The Liberals have only themselves to blame however. Martin need not have lost a confidence motion to start with. The time to pay the piper over the sponsorship scandal was heavy on people's minds.

Yes the NDP could have supported Martin, Martin would still have required some independent MP's and its not totally clear he could count on them. Martin may have lost the confidence motion no matter which way the NDP voted.

Now here we are two elections later and the Liberals could have defeated the Harper government on any one of 79 occassions. They have allowed Harper to govern as if he has a majority. Throughout this time the NDP as is well noted voted against the Harper government. The NDP put many motions and bills before parliament but were rejected by Harper.

Now the Liberals have a new leader (their second since Martin lost), the party coffers are full and they want to go to an election. The trouble is they have no reason for their new found opposition. It will be fourth election in approximately five years. The chances of a majority government are slim, Canadians have become less scared of Harper after three years in the job. Generally polls have indicated the electors do not see a need for an election now.

Back to the NDP and Jack Layton. They have continued to try to make Parliament work. Proposed many Bills and Motions in the house and all were rejected by Harper. Now Harper faces a significant threat of losing power. Does he want to remain as PM? If he does he had better look at the issues the NDP have been talking about for the last year. Major EI reform, Pension secuirty, Credit card interest rates. True these are not sexy issues but they matter very much in the lives of Canadians.

I don't like Harper's politics and what he has been able to do to date. We can't undo that. He has managed to govern like a majority because of the state of the Liberal party. Now that the Liberal party has stepped up, there is a chance (however slight) for some movement from Harper. It is not something that should be ignored.

I doubt very much the Liberals would vote against the issues being put forward by the NDP. I expect the BLOC would also support the NDP positions if Harper brought them forward.

As awful as Harper is, there is likely no better opportunity to extract some progressive policy from him for a few more months in power. That of course is reliant on Harper's desire to stay in power.

Totally awesome Marriage Equality AD

This is likely the best TV advertisement I have ever seen on the issue of Marriage Equality. This is from Ireland.

You can read more about their campaign for equality here.


Two more Republicans bite it big time...

Two Republicans

Two Hypocritical actions

Two Embarrassments

One Republican who rants and raves about family values and opposes same-sex marriage saying it will harm the institution of marriage then tells a colleague that he just had sex with a female lobbyist and he has had sex with other women. This Republican, Michael Duvall, is the Assemblyman from the 72nd district in California and is married and has two kids.

Here is a snippet caught on video ...

Duvall, speaking to a relatively mum Republican colleague seated to his left, apparently had no idea his dais microphone became live beginning about a minute before the start of a cable-televised committee hearing. He was captured in the middle of recounting portions of an affair.

"She wears little eye-patch underwear," said Duvall, who is married with two children. "So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And so, we had made love Wednesday--a lot! And so she'll, she's all, 'I am going up and down the stairs, and you're dripping out of me!' So messy!"

The other Republican listens to President Obama's address to Congress last night and shouts out "You Lie!"

Prime Minster Mulroney has appointed what?

CKNW Breaking News...

Prime Minster Mulroney has appointed B-C Court of Appeal Justice Robert Bauman as the new Chief Justice of the B-C Supreme Court. Bauman replaces Donald Brenner who resigned earlier this year.

Sent at 7:45am ummm?

Harper wants to re:shape the Supreme Court

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently delivered a speech behind closed doors in Northern Ontario. The speech was very much an election speech, rallying the troops to do the work needed to elect more Conservative MP's.

The CBC obtained the video of the secret speech from the Liberal party who said they got it from someone that secretly videotaped it.

Most of the speech is not a surprise. Most of us know what a majority Conservative government would look like and its not going to be progressive on any front.

I found the most interesting comments were about the Supreme Court and gun registry...

See the speech here on CBC.

Harper on the gun registry...
(4:00 minutes) We are still, you know we believe that you go after the people that use guns to commit crimes, we are still trying to get rid of that registry, we have the NDP, the Liberals and the BLOC stopping us from even having a vote on that issue in the House of Commons. We need to get a mandate so we get that passed.(4:27 minutes)

Harper continuously railed against the appointments to the Supreme Court before he was elected to anything and as opposition leader, here he goes on to imply that there are too many "left wing ideologues" in government the courts and agencies and if you re-elect his party to a majority, he will change this...

(5:31 minutes)...Just ask you to imagine how different things would be if the Liberals were still in power, imagine the bloated bureaucracy their national day care program would have been created and problaby not have delivered a single child care space, imagine how many left wing ideologues they would be putting in the courts, federal institutions, agencies, the Senate, I should say how many more they would be putting in...(5:49 minutes)
We have come along way to providing a decent caring and fair country, only to see the likes of Stephen Harper win a majority government and impose his views of what this country should look like. The Supreme Court will look like the right wing US Supreme Court. Judges throughout the system from the bottom up will have to pass a political leaning test, something we did away with some 40 years ago.

A couple elections ago, Harper said we shouldn't be scared of him because the Supreme Court and the bureaucracy would keep him in check. If Harper gets a majority, who will be there to check his government? No one, no thing, no law, nothing.

We will see neighbourhoods fighting to keep new prisons from being built. The new prisons will be run and operated by private companies just as in the United States. They will have quotas. That is, the Government of Canada will guarantee these private prisons so many new inmates each year. The number of prisoners will have to be increased each year so the private prisons can see growth in its profits year after year.

Health care will be under new restrictions with many services now provided by government handed over to the private sector. Those that can afford it will be able to purchase private services and thus go to the head of the line, just as happens in the US today.

This is only the beginnings of Harper's plan to reshape Canada into what I would call, The Alabama Project. Want to know what that looks like? Take a look at the state of Alabama. Its not pretty.

See CBC story here,
Northwestern Lad's blog post here
and in Montreal Simon Says


Smoking Harper's butts

It seems Jack can't do anything right by red LPCers standards. First they castigate Jack for reminding them the LPC voted for Harper's first budget, and then they voted again for Harper and again. Soon it was ten times and then twenty and then fifty and then seventy-nine. My god how did it get so far out of hand.

Its kinda like the first pull on a cigarette. You cough, you sputter but it also makes your head dizzy. You try it again, a little less coughing, soon you begin to like it, even though you know its bad for you. You keep puffing away, have them more often.

Then the effects of the smoking start to take effect. You are coughing more, and all that second hand smoke is hurting those you seek to support you. People around you glare, you begin to smell...
You get the picture. So have the Liberals really quit? I expect they have this time. So instead of going on, they attack the NDP for not jumping up and down cause the LPCers quit. Jack Layton I suspect is happy the Liberals decided to give up smoking Harper's butts.

Layton however wasn't content that the LPC managed to wean themselves, he wanted to see if he could get the Cons to quit selling those butts and do something a little more healthy for Canadians.

No luck there it seems as Harper is addicted to selling butts.

So it looks like an election this fall. Now it would be cool, if just a couple of those LPC bloggers would say something nice about Jack and how he managed to embarrass the LPCers enough that they had to quit smoking Harper's butts!

Now I want to spend some time going after Harper's Butts and all that gross smoke coming from the PMO.


ThunderBay homophobia attack

Doubtless you have seen this story already. It is horrific.

Jake Raynard was attacked in Port Arthur, part of what is now Thunder Bay Ontario. The initial reaction is that this attack was motivated by hate, homophobia in this case.
Thunder Bay, ON -- On Friday night, a violent attack in the Port Arthur downtown core put a man in hospital with serious injuries. Jake Raynard states, "So the facts. I was assaulted by a gang outside the pier. I managed to get some other people to safety, but not myself. I had bricks thrown at my head, shattering my cheek, eyesocket, and resulting in a broken jaw".

Montreal Simon has been on this story as has been Queer Liberal. Xtra is on it too.

Im more than a little ticked at this right now...

Hey, We Can do better!

The Libs might think I hate them, they actually think any New Democrat that reminds the LPC crowd of broken promises or of the pathetic excuses used by LPCers to prop up Stephen Harper. Some may well dislike those Liberals. Me, I'm pretty pragmatic. I like the NDP, I think they are the right choice, I think the Liberals are the second choice and Stephen Harper isn't a good choice.

With that it was great to come back after a weekend at the cottage away from all the crazy folks and see that the Libs actually came up with a cool ad. It looks even more awesome with what a few NDP bloggers created below...


Joseph Roch discharged for being abused

How else can you see it. Stories like this one make me boil and cry at the same time. I get a gut wrenching pain as if someone is tearing me apart from the inside out. This could have been me or you or someone you know.

read more here in the Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — Former Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Rocha says he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after being physically and sexually abused by fellow sailors over a two-year period. But after a Navy investigation into widespread hazing allegations within the unit, the only sailor discharged was Rocha, because he also admitted that he is gay.
So in the land of Lady Liberty and Home of the brave, this young man was deemed expendable, less than others, despite finishing at the top of his class despite excellent performance reviews, he was the one of the best young men America had to offer. They discharged him because he said he was gay when they investigated the complaint made on his behalf by another soldier.

America you owe this man a great deal and a good number of other young men that have done all you asked of them and more. Why is it that gay men have to do more, be better just to be part of society.

Two years his colleagues tortured, abused, and assaulted him. Not a word did he speak for fear they would discharge him. Now what America, land of the free? What do you have to say for yourself.

Gay service people are in the Canadian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, French and English armed forces. They serve openly. They are valued team members. Why is it that the USA can not recognize gay people are just that PEOPLE.

You will find much more here at Youth Radio

Montreal Simon says

We had child care in 1942

Child care has been a promise of government for years. The federal government once provided childcare in Canada. It began in 1942 when it saw women were needed in factories to assist the war effort. It was not uncommon for women to tether their child in the yard before they went off to work. Other arrangements were made, such as leaving your child with a friend or family member.

see this clip from CBC Archives.

The State saw the value in providing this care then but lost sight of its value when the war ended. Women were let go from there jobs and replaced by the returning men. The women were then expected to stay home and look after these children.

Ontario after some protests from women that lost their husbands in the war, kept some day cares going. The federal government however got out of the business of daycare funding.

The return of the federal government to the provision of daycare funding has been demanded for years. The NDP and the CCF had been asking for it years. The Conservative government of Brian Mulroney promised a national daycare program in 1984. By 1992 it became clear the federal government was going to back out of the promise. (see CBC clip Broken Promises)

Against a strong public protest in 1992, the Liberals in the election of 1993 prominently proclaimed Childcare as high priority in the infamous Redbook Canadians had a reasonable expectation that the long wait was over. It never happened.

In each successive election the Liberal government promised to deliver on Day care. After the election victory, the funding was never found, the promise unfulfilled, but it done its work in seeing some people vote Liberal in a vain hope it would happen this time.

We came close to getting daycare in Paul Martin's government. Martin was looking for issues to separate his Liberal minority from that of the Conservatives led by Stephen Harper. Child care was a key piece of his agenda. They actually started to negotiate with some provinces. Unfortunately Martin wanted to use the carrot of childcare in the election. He did not introduce the need legislation to Parliament. It would have passed had he done so however his thought was that to defeat Harper, he needed to give people something to vote for. The carrot did not work as we all know.

Harper won the election and changed direction on childcare. Now parents get money directly which covers only a very small portion of the cost. The hope of affordable childcare has been lost certainly under Harper.

Now Ken Dryden, LPC MP from Toronto is promising it again. This time they mean it. That's what he and some Liberals are saying. Just as Ignatieff has had to state very strongly his party is going to vote non confidence in the Harper Government, they have to be strong on childcare.

Will the Liberals bring in national funding to childcare if elected. This time they will have too. I expect if the Liberals are in a minority, they will need the NDP support to stay there. Childcare will be high on the list of things required of a minority government.

Whats Kids are wearing in 1973

Okay, it's what kids were wearing in 1973.

I love the CBC Digital Archives. As we approach the beginning of another school year, time for some good fashion reporting from Norman Depoe, veteran CBC reporter. This aired on August 21, 1973.

Note this ...

Here is a sampling of prices for back-to-school clothes from Eaton's, a Canadian department store, in August 1973:
• boys' classic denim flared jeans, $5.98 ($28.94 in 2009 dollars)
• boys' print check plush denim pants, $7.98 ($38.62 in 2009 dollars)
• girls' two-tone leather-look vinyl shoes, $8.98 ($43.46 in 2009 dollars)
CBC also notes the the most popular school cafeteria meal was french fries and gravy, a doughnut and a coke. Cost was 60 cents. Can you imagine a meal like that in today's schools?

Wiki has more here.


Jack 's new fan club

You know that when the Liberals are operating round the clock surveillance they are doing it because they are worried. Is it Prime Minister Stephen Harper they are paying all this attention too? No not Stephen, its Jack Layton.

Kinsella and a few other LPCer bloggers are behaving like frat house kids. Why, they are scared to death that Jack Layton is a serious threat to their electoral success. So serious they have dispatched loyal bumpkins off to hold up silly signs and look pretty.

I'm sure that Layton's team finds it amusing. When was the last time people were actually following Jack like this to "harass" him? It means the LPC brass is very worried about the NDP. Expect the Liberals to pay a great deal attention to Jack and the New Democrats this election.

Its going to be a fun election for New Democrats.

Harper will give Peter an OKS

Conservative cabinet minister, Peter MacKay wants us to believe he forgot he was on the boards of directors for two companies. That's just too bizarre to accept. I bet Mr. Harper is giving Peter a good ole fashion OKS (Over the Knee Spanking)

I mean I can see him preparing to run for office years ago. "Daddy can you make me a Director of your companies?"

"Why sure son, you have never ever been remotely interested before, why now?"

"It could help me look like I know about business."

"It will happen tomorrow Peter, don't worry your silly little head about it, oh by the way, you won't have to come to meeting or make any decisions, I will have your name added to the registry." And that was the last of it for Peter, it slipped out of his head. Perhaps that's why Belinda left....

from the Chronicle Herald...

“My mistake, if anything, was not to have twigged to the fact that I should remove my name,” he said. “I guess it sounds hard to believe but I completely forgot because I didn’t have any involvement with it.”

Halifax MP Megan Leslie said she finds it tough to understand Mr. MacKay’s oversight because MPs and cabinet ministers have to go through a rigorous disclosure process.

“It must be quite the life to forget that you’re the director of certain companies,” the New Democrat said. “I forget how many student loans I have, but we have different lives, Peter and I.” - Chronicle Herald, Halifax, Thursday Sept 3, 2009

Harper will decide

It's up to Stephen Harper

There we have it. Jack Layton said Stephen Harper has to decide if Parliament will continue. Layton spoke specifically to the motions the NDP presented in the House of Commons and indicated that Mr. Harper might want to look at them again.

As to Ignatieff, not a word to him.

“The choice is yours, Mr. Harper,” said Layton. “You can choose to work with other parties, or you can choose an election. In either case, New Democrats are ready.”

Of course LPCer bloggers have been trying to turn this into its up to Jack now. Bcer in Toronto is very keen on it. He hasn't heard a Liberal Talking point that he doesn't like yet. The facts are pretty clear in the NDP motions passed by a majority of Parliament. So I expect that means Iggy liked them enough to vote for them right, or did he do it for the same reasons he voted for all of Harper's regressive actions. Cause he just likes saying yes?

There will be no election if Harper puts out a plan to adopt those NDP motions and actually does it. There will be an election presumming all opposition parties vote against Harper if Harper does not have a magic moment.

Lets see the LPC blogger world flip sideways again....

For the Record

The man who cried wolf...

In Sudbury this week...

“We've kept this (Harper) government on life support for 10 months. It's important to remember that.”

And on the record ...

“Our party is united in its determination to face Mr. Harper down.” – Michael Ignatieff to meeting of New Brunswick Liberals, -Telegraph-Journal December 6, 2008

“We've put down a very clear marker. This government has to get the money out the door … If this government fails to meet these targets, it will not survive for long." – Michael Ignatieff, CBC.ca, January 28, 2009

“Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is looking to June as his first chance to defeat the Harper government over its handling of the economic crisis, according to his finance critic.” – Globe and Mail, February 27, 2009

"I want to make Parliament work but I don't write blank cheques. That's not what my voters sent me to Parliament to do," he said less than three hours before Liberals approved the fund. "If the government wants to make Parliament work, we can find a way to make it work. If they don't want to make it work, look out." – Michael Ignatieff, Hamilton Spectator, March 25, 2009

“Michael Ignatieff declared Thursday that federal Liberals are united, out of debt and "basically ready to fight an election" if an impasse is reached in Parliament.” – Canwest News, April 30, 2009

“The leader of the federal Liberal party has threatened to push for an election if the minority Conservative government doesn't support proposals to reform the employment insurance system.” – CBC.ca, May 3, 2009

“Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says the party will decide next week whether to try to bring down the Harper government and plunge the country into a mid-summer election.” – Canadian Press, June 3, 2009.

Layton lets Iggy stew

It looks like the Tories don't like kool aid. They will love campaigning on the budget especially the home renovation credit. That still has to be passed in the budget when MP's return. Can you imagine Harper out there slamming Ignatieff over that one.

Today Jack Layton comes to the microphone and will respond to recent developments. Layton has left Ignatieff out there all by himself for a couple of days now. I'm sure he hates being ignored. Today The LPC leader will be reminded of his record. Or perhaps Layton will be talking about his and the NDP.

Who was the federal leader that raised concerns for workers losing jobs and a need for expanded EI reform now, not four months later after you study it. Pension reform, protection against rip off cell phone contracts, credit interest rates? Those are things that bite down hard on Canadian wallets.

Who has consistently hammered both the current government and the Liberal government on the child soldier in Gitmo? Whose motion was it that called for the Government to allow American war resisters to remain in our country? Who was it that has been hammering away at getting money for affordable housing year after year and did force the Martin government to do just that and embarrass the Harper government into doing it as well.

Just as an added emphasis, you can bet that if Harper or Ignatieff were Prime Minister when Iraq war was started, Canadians would still be there. Afghanistan is a war effort well supported by Liberals and Conservatives. Only the NDP and BLOC have consistently said, we have to get out. You can bet that the LPC will extend our effort there just as Harper will if he is re-elected.

Those and many more issues were led by the NDP. You want an election, you will get it. The NDP will be campaigning as the real opposition and the party that can not be bought. Liberals will be reminded of their 79 (maybe 80 by the time they gather up the courage to say no) votes in support of Harper.

What changed that Ignatieff couldn't take anymore. He has issued at least seven ultimatums to date. He and the LPC brain trust have decided they want to play chicken. They have a reputation of capitulating to Harper, a million reasons for doing so, none of them reflective of what was good for Canada.

The NDP will largely ignore Ignatieff on the campaign. They will present a real alternative to the Harper government.


Liberals trying to quit, could do it earlier!

Here I have been simply listening to the crowd all a long. The first chance to defeat Mr. Harper is not on the first opposition day scheduled on or about October 1, 2009. The first kick at the can would be shortly after September 14 when Parliament must vote yay or nay to the ways and means portion of the budget.

That makes things a little more urgent doesn't it. Or were the LPCers planning to vote one more time for the Harper Government before they bring them down. It actually sounds a lot like someone trying to give up smoking. Just one more and I will quit. Promise! Bob Rae indicated the vote of non-confidence would occur on or about October 1, 2009, on the LPC's Opposition Day.

It does look like the LPC will in fact quit supporting the government. I mean they have said it out loud. But like a smoker trying to quit, they fall off the wagon a lot before they succeed.

Maybe some smart LPCer can tell us what will happen and when.


BC Budget almost 3 billion in hole

The BC LibCONS have

... tabled a budget with a $2.8 billion deficit.

Total provincial debt will rise over $10 billion over the next three years to almost $53 billion in 2011-2012.

Under the L - 80


Harper's 'time is up,' Ignatieff tells Liberals

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff told a Liberal audience in Sudbury, Ont., Tuesday that the party will oppose Stephen Harper's minority government when Parliament resumes in two weeks. "Mr. Harper, your time is up," he said. "We cannot support this government any further."

By the time it happens, likely in the next few weeks, the LPC will vote against Harper and hope to bring him down. Its about time is some ways. They have had at least 79 chances to do this since Harper was elected.

Now the question will be, what is Harper willing to do to stay in government? I have a few ideas for him...

Comments lost

I'm not sure what happened. I know I posted to Bcer in Toronto's blog yesterday and about twenty others left comments. My comment never made it. Only five comments remain today. I guess it touched a nerve.

I know the issue of the fundraiser has become a little silly, as I posted earlier here, all political parties have them and charge big money, albeit Liberal fundraisers tend to charge the most. That's okay as it is what their members and supporters will pay.

So in that respect I see where Jeff got on his high horse yesterday and then decided to calm it down a bit. Good. Still I wonder why my comment never made the cut. I don't have the exact comment saved so from memory I said Jeff was comparing apples and oranges. A mail out for funds versus holding a big money fundraiser in a town that was facing a hard time are different.

Optics are everything in politics and I guess that is what happened when my comment and the comments of some fifteen to twenty others were deleted from the conversation. Too be fair, there were a few LPCer supporter comments that were lost in the editing of the comments along with some pretty hard nosed NDP comments.

Just to add one more thing, I know I am hard on the Liberals. They give me much reason to be. Still in the end I will prefer a Ignateiff led government to a Harper led one. My first choice is Layton yet I know that will be in the future.

If Liberals want to gain progressive voters then think about what you're saying. Quit sounding like Harper lite and I will have to turn my attention back to Harper. I haven't forgot him, but like LPCers I want my party to become stronger. As long as LPCers keep saying its them or Harper when we know different, you piss us off.

The next election will likely see another minority. I am hopeful it can be someone other than Harper. That will mean we will have to work together. That will mean the NDP will have to moderate its demands and the Liberals will have to deliver on some NDP cherished issues.

It has been done before, remember old age pension, medicare, CPP, Affordable Housing, Canada Health Act, Employment Insurance, 40 hour weeks, right to organize, and education funding agreements.

They all happened under minority situations or Liberal governments facing electoral defeat (1944, King adopted almost the entire CCF platform). They gave rise to much of the social safety net as it exists today.

Partisans in both parties push hard. One pushes and the other pushes back. I know Layton will take cheap shots at the Liberals, he wants to displace them. Ignatieff and his team do the same because they want to limit an NDP rise in seats.