Wednesday, December 27, 2006

3 Hours, 45 minutes left to place your bid for the Big Red Bus

I'm a little surprised that there haven't been any bids yet... looks like this could be a real bargain for someone sitting out there waiting for the deadline to approach...

Martha Hall Findlay's Liberal Leadership Big Red Bus on eBay

Update: No takers. Bidding closed with 0 bids.

Grieving the loss...

Record Low temperatures predicted for San Jose...

Now that's cold.

h/t to my friend Bill who sent me the "check this out before they fix it" email.

Update: They've fixed it, so the print screen is all that remains.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hey, Whatcha get?

Favorite gift* of the year for me was a copy of An Inconvenient Truth the book, which is basically a tactile version of the movie. I'd seen the movie on the flight home from Australia and during the spare moments before company arrived and after they left, I read through it cover to cover.

Hey, do you think someone might have given Rona a copy for Christmas? Scratch that thought... it should probably be given to our grand decider, Steve. I wonder if he's seen the movie? No, I guess he wouldn't be referring to "so called" greenhouse gases if he had.

Anyway, the goal for the coming year is to reduce my families "carbon footprint" and give some volunteer time to the environmental movement.

Oddest gift: This thing, from my four year old daughter. I don't know what it is (any ideas?), but I'll keep it forever.

Hope everyone had a great holiday.

*Favorite gift I gave this year has yet to be received so I can't mention it, lest I ruin the surprise.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Odds 'n ends

Good moves on the part of Stephane Dion to start putting the other leadership candidates in useful positions where they can start working towards the next campaign. Along similar lines, has Stephane thought of perhaps reaching out to Sheila Copps?

Egads: Watched 'The Agenda' with Steve Paikin on TVO the other night, and caught his interview of Carol Off on her book "Bitter Chocolate." I was shocked, only ever having heard rumors of the 'dark side' of chocolate before this; the good news is that Carol Off doesn't necessarily advocate a boycott of chocolate (quitting smoking was bad, but this would have been worse), but rather, other productive means of bringing about change, like consumer movements to demand 'fair trade' chocolate. I think this may be on my holiday reading list now. If we as a nation are going to take a stand against child labour/exploitation, then the party might want to craft a position on this.

Firing wide in Margaritaville: So Jimmy Buffet is going to lash out against Canadian Seafood producers as a protest against the annual seal hunt. Is it just me, or is targeting an unrelated industry a little asinine? Like fishermen don't have enough grief already. Couldn't also help notice that the protest website uses a picture of a cute little white-coated seal pup, which is misleading, as the pups are no longer allowed to be hunted.

The site also includes an open letter from Mr. Buffet stating:

The seal hunt is certainly an emotionally charged issue, but my experiences over the years have taught me that real progress in this effort needs to move past emotions and towards solutions that can work for people on both sides of this issue.
He goes on to call for the Canadian government to 'end the seal hunt permanently.' Oh well. So much for taking into account people on 'both sides' of the issue.

Update: Ok, what I refer to as "the protest" website is actually the website of the Humane Society of the United States. Somebody tell them the pups aren't being hunted anymore.

A new candidate will be nominated to run for the Provincial Liberal party in Burlington on January 4th. So far, there is only one candidate who has submitted their papers, so it appears that Joan Lougheed is going to be acclaimed (as far as I can tell... email me if I'm wrong on this...) . First elected to Burlington City council in 1991, she has served the community for 15 years, as well as being an active member of the Museum, Board, Tourism Burlington, the Burlington Downtown BIA, and the Burlington Arts Centre. She is also a founding member of the Voices and Visions Women's Conference, and is a committed volunteer to the CNIB, Heart and Stroke Foundation, and a supporter of the Halton Society for Parkinsons.

Friday, December 15, 2006

So called greenhouse gases?

So called? So called !?

Did Steve really say that?

Can we get a clip on YouTube?

Update: Gotta love YouTube...

It's stunning that you can have such widespread consensus on this topic in the scientific community, and our sitting PM still uses the language of skepticism... or perhaps he just doesn't want to believe; either way, it's an embarrassment.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Trying to create divisions...

...where none exist?

That's the impression I get of this article from the Globe.

At least I hope that any lingering tension is worked out soon, because this party will have rough going otherwise, and another civil war would probably spell doom.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

So what!?

So what if Stephane Dion has dual nationality? Don't all Canadians have the right to hold dual nationality if they are in a position to do so? Why should a politician have any less rights than an average citizen?

Don't give me the "conflict of interest" line. I think if someone is a high ranking representative for Canada (MP, Prime Minister or Governor General), then there is more than enough attention being paid to any decisions or statements that they make, and we'll catch any that don't represent our national interests.

I can hear the Conservative supports wail already: "What if Stephen Harper had dual US/Canadian citizenship? Would you accept that?" The answer being the same; I personally don't think that our MP's or leaders should not have any less rights than the rest of us. The irony with this case being that Harper, even while not being a dual citizen of the US, still manages to display marked predilection towards our friends to the South.

So what difference does the dual nationality really make? If you are seriously suggesting that someone might be inclined to make decisions that favour another nation that they have an affinity for, then doesn't it stand to reason that they could do that anyway, dual citizenship or not? (*cough*Harper*cough*)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

D-day +1

It’s encouraging to hear the latest buzz that both Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff are both going to be sticking with the team. I know Bob has said he would fight on with the party on a couple occasions, but I expected him to reiterate that intention again last night.

I was impressed with Dion’s acceptance speech; very classy. It appears that he is going to be a team builder, and that bodes well for the renewal of the Liberal party.

Speaking of renewal… now that the leadership race is over, renewal needs to become a main focus for the party, along with opposition of the Tories. Both should be prominent, and visible to all Canadians. When the next election does occur, there should be no doubt in the minds of the general public (or at very least the press) that the party has undergone the kind of soul-searching and transformation that that they expect; because if nothing changes, then nothing changes.

I think one of the keys for this will be clearly demonstrating in a very substantive way that the Liberal party will do what is required to guard against the kind of abuses that have occurred in the past, and that helped land us in opposition.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Hail to the Chief

Well, it's almost safe to say at this point it's going to be Stephane Dion, as it looks like much of the support that had moved to the Rae camp has now shifted to Dion; however, I am writing this before the counting is complete and the results of the fourth ballot are in.

I'm a little disappointed that Bob didn't make it to the top spot, but it was a long shot for him out of the gate, and I think he was fortunate to have fared as well as he did.

More surprising to me is that he didn't throw his support behind one of the two remaining candidates, but I guess it is a move that shows some respect for the delegates he had at that point, not to mention the two remaining candidates.

Another disappointment was that Mr. Rae didn't give an unequivocal statement with regards to his staying on with the party to fight Steve Harper in the next election, but again, there must be a number of things to consider: Does the new leadership see a place for him within the party? Where would he choose to run... Would he have to move to find a riding that should be contested? Would there be a riding association that would accept him?.

His experience would be a valuable asset to the party, and so I hope there is a role for him.

Kudos to Gerard Kennedy for making a choice that surely had to be based on conviction, rather than self interest with Dion in place as the new leader, I'm guessing that the opportunity for him to run again might not come for a while, and perhaps even risks that his moment may have passed. However, given time to improve his command of the French language and his profile within Quebec, Gerard would would almost be a lock for the leadership if the next time around is sooner rather than later.

Personally, I'll be glad to see the end of this process. As dramatic and entertaining as it has been, it will be good for the party to come together again.