Blood Donations and Gay Men Survey!

I received this from my good friends at Community Based Research in Vancouver  ---

Community Based Research Centre (CBRC), home of the Sex Now Survey and the BC Gay Men's Health Summit, has been asked by Canadian Blood Services (CBS) to circulate a short survey about blood donations and gay men. Here is an opportunity to have your say on this important topic.

CBS has assured that all responses are strictly confidential. No names. It will take less than 10 minutes. Here is the link to their survey:

English: https://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22EXBB93RJT

French: https://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22EXBHE3VB4

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is responsible for the management and distribution of the blood supply in Canada (excluding Quebec).  Survey results will inform a potential policy change regarding blood donor eligibility.

Take a few minutes to complete the survey. CBS is asking for your input by this Friday March 2, 2012.

Have a look.

Rick Marchand
Community Based Research Centre
Suite 234 – 970 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 2R4


Harper and Conservatives bare

Here is a great list of the Harper Conservatives trickery and actual breaking of the law activity over the last few years.  

Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

This is an excellent article. It points to many of the issues that have surfaced on the Conservatives and Harper's win at all costs attitude! 


Distraction Alert, It's About Fraud and Voter Obstruction

Something to keep in mind as we discover more about this voter suppression effort in at least 29 ridings during the last election is that robo calls were a tool used to commit fraud and obstructing people fron voting. The use of the tool is legal. <br /><br />We need to be addressing the fraud and obstructing voters more and less about the tool. This a very serious crime. <br /><br />You can bet the Conservatives prefer we continue to focus on robo calls. Headlines about Fraud are far harder to hide under the mountains of Conservative Party hogwash we're soon to see.

Questionable Election Phoning in BC - 2008

I had forgotten about this.
During the 2008 election, there was an outcry in Saanich-Gulf Islands when a call went to residents the evening before the election encouraging them to vote for an NDP candidate who had dropped out of the race but whose name remained on the ballot. 

The Tyee: Ontario bogus call investigation more successful than earlier BC case

The calls appeared to be from the the local NDP.  That wasn't the case.  The Conservative Candidate won by 2700 votes, while the NDP candidate who withdrew from the election received 3600 votes  Elections Canada investigated but could not find anything.  

Only one party benefited from these calls.  The Conservatives.  It now looks like Elections Canada will look at this again. 

Thanks to @jimbobbysez for the h/t on twitter


Suspicious call urges support for withdrawn NDP candidate

One person Robo Con: not likely

The Harper Conservative government has likely the most serious threat to their government since elected in 2006. Not the prorogued house in 2008, not the guilty pleas to election fraud, not bill C-30, its the robo calls or RoboCon as many on twitter are referring to the scandal.

Andrew Acoyne wrote a good opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun ...
Here is a list of some of the things we do not know about the Robo con scandal (the use of auto-mated "robocalls" to harass or deceive - con - voters in certain riding).  We do not know whether the calls were made by members of the Conservative party. We do not know whether any Conservative authorized them, or even knew about them. We do no know whether anyone was pre-vented from voting, or had their vote changed, as a result, nor do we know whether the results of any riding were affected. But my God, what we know is disturbing enough. Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Conservatives+fought+hard+their+majority+perhaps+hard/6209387/story.html#ixzz1nOvHLmlN 
He is right, no one with the Conservative party has been linked directly.  As many as 27 riding may have had robo calls and or direct live caller calls.  The people making the calls or setting up the robo calls need some very hard to get information.  They need access to voters lists which identify the voting intention.

Generally only two sources have this kind of information on such a massive scale.  Polling/voter contact companies and political parties. Companies that did voter contact for the Conservatives would have this information.  It is possible that a company that did calling for a political party could have had their records accessed for the purpose of these robo or live call.  The company may or may not be aware these records were accessed.

 I have worked campaigns in various capacities, either as manager or in some other significant role. I am familiar with the NDP voter ID program, at least as it was several years ago. The data was stored by a company in Regina.  It is accessed over the net and local campaigns guard that info very closely.  You can only access your local riding information. Its use for other than legitimate political reasons is illegal. I expect the Conservatives voter ID database is similar, perhaps even better.

To get the data for more than one riding you have to work with others. One person could not do this on his own unless he was given full access.  The ridings targeted for the live and robo calls were all considered swing ridings. Harper's election victory was 14 seats, coincidently 14 ridings received live calls, purporting to be from the Liberal party where the callers were rude, calling often and either very early in the morning or late in the evening. From my own experience with the NDP we never called people before 10am weekdays, before noon on Sunday or after 9pm.  Calling after or before those hours just ticks people off.  The desired effect was to turn voters off from voting.  Voter suppression.

Back to the data.  To use party data from inside the party, you would have to be the one in charge or a trusted individual with access.  You would then have to take the data, which is against the law, and then provide it to at least one other person to do the calls.  In the case of the live calls, its clear that many more people were involved.  Thousands of calls were made to 14 or more ridings.  This suggests a great deal of planning and co-ordination.

The other means of doing this without an official party worker would be if a company used to to do voter contact did it on its own.  They keep the information and either do the calls themselves or provide them to someone else to do the calling. The Company's motivation is clear, they work for the party and by doing this they avoid linking the Party directly. Nudge nudge, wink wink!


The Dalton, Duncan and Don Report

The Dalton, Duncan and Don report has some big cuts and changes in-store for Ontario.  The report commissioned by Dalton McGuinty's major minority Liberal government to provide political cover for planned cuts.  Cuts that McGuinty and his party must have known were in the cards before the election, after all they were diligently following our finances.

The Liberals went into the last election promising much in the way of new spending and tax cuts.  They ranted about the mean-hearted Tim Hudak who was certainly Mike Harris in common-folk drag, would do to Ontario.  They attacked the Andrea Horwath, NDP leader for her reckless policy of reversing planned corporate tax cuts.

The Liberals appear to be on track to out-do Mike Harris.  How ironic is that. They campaigned against the proposals of cuts and privatisation made by Hudak, now they will be making those cuts themselves.  Looks like Hudak's ideas won the election, even if he lost.

McGuinty has now accepted the NDP policy of stopping corporate taxes, when only five months ago during the election, the idea was reckless.  

Premier Dad has learned well from one of Canada's most astute politicians, Prime Minister Trudeau.  Trudeau  attacked Robert Stanfield during the 1974 election for proposing wage and price controls.  Trudeau joked that you can't say, "Zap, you're frozen to the economy."  Trudeau went on to win a majority government and the next year imposed the wage and price controls he campaigned against.

We are going to see many cuts.  We are going to see much privatisation. We are going to get what Hudak promised all along.  Its too bad we don't have recall in Ontario.  I'm pretty sure there would be more than a few Liberal MPP's that would be a little vulnerable we're they to face the voters in a recall.  


Billy Graham warned evangelicals

Billy Graham warned evangelicals

AGAINST the formation of a Religious Right!

"I don't want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it."— Rev. Billy Graham, Parade, 1981
from e-list... 


2004 Con's attacked LIBs for OAS cuts

In 2004, Conservative were ready to stand up for seniors. On Friday, Stephen Harper was asked about the possibility of raising the eligibility age by two years and replied "Absolutely, it's being considered."

In 2004 prior to the election, the Conservatives accused Paul Martin of having a secret agenda.  They suggested that Martin and the Liberals were considering raising the OAS from 65 to 67.  

The release stated, "Paul Martin’s real agenda for seniors is so shocking it took an Access to Information request to force it into the light of day."  

What is ironic here is that the Conservatives went after the Liberals for looking at raising the entitlement age from 65 to 67, yet here we are with the same Conservatives looking at actually doing it.  They did not campaign or tell anyone in the public that they were looking at this.

Secret agendas, be they Conservative or Liberal, make for undemocratic government.   


I stand by my assessment of the Senator

The Prime Minister's Office seems upset with NDP MP Pat Martin.  The Conservatives are crying a river over an incident in which Conservative Senator  Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu suggested, “Each assassin should have the right to a rope in his cell to make a decision about his or her life,”. 

While the public and many of us have little sympathy for people who kill others, the Senator's words are abhorrent in a just society.  Next I suggest the Senator will be calling on others in prison to be offered the choice to live or die at their own hands.  

Pat Martin responded quickly to the outrageous remarks of the Senator.  Martin called the Senator an asshole.  It seems in the genteel atmosphere of the Senate one cannot call things for what they are.  

Martin could have used lighter language, if he did of course no one would be looking at what these Conservatives are doing.  The Harper Government will soon be building billions of dollars in prisons, putting kids in jail and establishing harsher sentences for everyone from the casual pot grower to to the big time dealer. They are one and the same in the eyes of the Conservatives.  
Mr. Martin is not moved, however: “I stand by my assessment of the Senator and my reaction to his outrageous remarks,” he says. “If his grief clouds his judgment to such an extent, he has no business crafting criminal justice policy.” - Globe and Mail
As Martin points out, next week is National Suicide Prevention week, 90% of suicides in prison are from hanging.

I suspect the Harper majority would like nothing better than to stop Mr. Martin from speaking out. He is after all an effective communicator, who doesn't dance around the elephant in the room. Mr. Martin's language is far more parliamentary than the Harper Government's behavior. 

Canadian Country singer comes out in new video

A Canadian country singer Drake Jensen has come out. His latest video is in memory of Jamie Huberly and all the young people that have taken their lives as a result of bullying and homophobia.
 “As a child I always knew there was something different about me above and beyond the gay thing. Even during the worst of the bullying I always felt I would make it through. My small town was like a pack of wolves; they sniffed out the damaged ones and turned on them. I was that wolf that was different from everybody else but I always knew God had something special in mind for me...I have been so lucky to be given so much, I have no choice but to give back. I give back through my music and through my story. I’m a homosexual musician telling my story through songs and spreading the message of love. In a perfect world, what could be wrong with that?” - Drake Jensen