Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Good Question

In response to my brief post over the latest conservative break from their platform TMcG points me towards this link and asks, "should we all be fighting for this kind of reform? Or would that be stupid?"

What do I think about Proportional Representation?

I'm all for it, or at least looking into applying some form of it in Canada; in a system that calls itself a democracy, too many people feel their votes, their only significant influence, are just wasted. Liberals in Alberta, Conservatives in Toronto, and everybody who doesn't support the BQ in Quebec are all woefully under represented (not to mention supporters of other smaller parties such as the NDP, Green Party, etc).

The common response is that under a proportional rep voting system, we would have to face more coalition governments, and possibly more elections. Maybe there is a solution that mitigates these, or maybe they are part and parcel, and just something we have to accept along with the benefits of having each and every vote count.

Should we be fighting for this kind of reform? I think so, but I also understand that this would represent a huge change to our electoral system, and we all know how well change goes over.

My personal opinion is that anyone fighting for this kind of change is fighting an uphill battle, at least until an overwhelming majority of Canadians feel that the current system isn't serving their interests, and there's the rub: As long as one party has attained a majority, or even a strong minority, then a significant number of Canadians will be happy with leaving things just the way they are.

Note: My off-politics post "Voodoo Doping" had some problems (note to bloggers: use ampersands carefully), so I took it off this site. I didn't put it back up after correcting it so as not to re-insert it on the Liblogs board unnecessarily.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Must be because everyone is watching the Olympics...

The question was: Why isn't more being made of the Harper regimes breaking of promises on Accountability?

Democracy Watch is trying to raise that banner again, after Politics Watch hoisted it on Feb 16th.

Maybe it will get more attention this time... After the hockey game, maybe? We'll see.

Where is that Liberal biased 'MSM' the conservatives are always complaining about?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Week 2

Will the Emmerson and Fortier debacles fade away like the Conservatives are hoping? Maybe, even Andrew Coyne is saying it's time to move on; in this article he does a great job of expressing why he beleives the appointments were wrong, and his dissagreement with the Tory faithful who were willing to white-wash the affair, finally closing with an 'Oh well, whatever happens' type of ending (and, of course. he gets a few pot-shots in at the Liberals, just to let everyone know where he stands).

Ah well, what were we expecting? That the conservatives would have a civil war over integrity? Not likely. Easier just to go on with the program and hope it gets better.

My guess is that the Tory caucus and followers will close ranks, try to assuage their flagging morale, and it will just be a question as to whether the public and opposition can make enough noise and keep up the pressure with regards to these appointments.

I've added an appendix to this blog where I'll be keeping track of all of the Harper government gaffs; it always helps to remember these things later on, when you can remind others. I'll try to avoid nit-picking excessively.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Things are looking up

Between the period before Christmas, when what we feared and loathed most was the possibility of a Conservative government, and February 6th when one was sworn in, things were looking kind of bleak.

What a difference a week (or even three days) makes.

The worst case scenario that had the lean-mean Conservative campaign roll into an equally efficient administration that would skirt any issues until they managed to engineer their own defeat, evidently will not be occurring. The Honeymoon was a non-starter for the Tories, with three inept appointments; and to add to that, Mulroney is coming under fire again to boot.

Could things get any better? Apparently they could, and are. This could get really ugly; hears’ hoping.

Maybe somebody should ask Bill how he feels about leading the party into an election... should one happen to come up soon.

"I want a Liberal Party that people want to vote for. Not because we’re less ‘scary’ than the alternative, but because we offer the most progressive mix of sound fiscal policies and comprehensive social programs—because we offer the best future for Canada." Martha Hall Findlay

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Ok, where were we?

Oh, yeah... the Liberal Party is in leadership limbo (not for lack of talent), and in a little debt.

I'm still waiting to hear more on the Bob Rae bid.

One of the things I notice on the party's main website is a lack of merchandising.

Stop laughing.

Seriously, it's a pretty common aspect for just about any organization nowadays to have some sort of merch available for the faithfull to deck themselves out in. If there is a site available, I haven't found it.

For example, the NDP have this, and the CPC have this.

Who wouldn't have bought a Liberal toque or sweater? (y'know, besides non-Liberals)

So maybe your asking, "Doesn't that kind of marketing strategy require an outlay of cash?"

If that's a problem, then they could consider this option which could make for a cheap easy way to start getting the party out of debt, and add to future coffers.

I'll take one Pearson mug, a Trudeau toque, and a party sweater, thanks.

PS... Another Andrew Coyne post I enjoy. I think now he's trying to chase away the gaggle of neo-tories that thrive in his comments section.

PPS... Ok, now Kingpengvin is REALLY pissed! Normally he reserves this kind of rage for McGuinty... scary! Seriously, 'pengvin is a good example of the politically savvy voter who supported the Conservatives because he was so angry with the Liberals; the Conservatives are chasing away their "swing" voters, at least in the short term.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hypocrisy

Ok, that's the first time I've spelled that word right today; you'll have to forgive me, I haven't had the chance to use it so much until this morning.

It's almost astounding to see the Conservative faithful come together in defense of what has to be the most shameless abandonment of principles we've seen in Canadian politics since McGuinty's Ontario gov't forgot who voted for them.

So, the party that espoused only elected Senate members and cried foul at "floor crossing" is now benefiting from the use of both.

I'm not surprised; this is why I campaigned for the Liberal party in my riding.

Am I surprised that the rabid conservatives are closing ranks on this? Nope, it comes with the territory.

Almost makes you wonder if Harper is trying to bait the opposition into trying to cut down his minority early... Like maybe he feels he could turn the tables to his advantage?

It would make sense; only the politically savvy will really care about these kinds of lapses, egregious as they are.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I think it's going to die down quick, but we'll see.

I think Andrew Coyne should become a political strategist; he seems to have nailed the way to handle this issue right off the bat.

Egads, It's true... and a Senator too?

This came to me from Kingpengvin:

Liberal MP David Emerson has "crossed the floor" for a cabinet position; he showed up at Rideau Hall with the group of cabinet ministers to be sworn in.

'Pengvin doesn't like this kind of political maneuver, but I think crossing the floor is a part of the playbook; it's just the choice of party that I think is poor in this case.

Recent election results (Stronach, Brison) seem to indicate that constituents will usually support a "post-cross" member. It will be interesting to check and see what the overall stats are like on Parliment hill for this type of thing.

It is surprising though that Harper would open himself up to criticism of his integrity by making a move like this, especially when there are so many other Conservatives who won't get to be part of his tiny cabinet.

I wonder if this move is generating any internal friction in the newly minted Conservative government?

What the... the rumor that there was a senate appointment may be true; at first I thought it was this one:(Marjory LeBreton was named government leader in the Senate), where the appointment was done by Mulrony.

But there may be more to this... according to the CBC, "Michael Fortier, an unelected party operative,... is expected to go into cabinet through the Senate and later seek a Commons seat in a by-election.

Appointing anyone to the Senate would be an odd move for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who campaigned on a promise of an elected Senate. He has called Canada's system of appointed senators a 19th-century relic."

Two lapses of integrity in one day?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A Couple of things

A big deal is being made over Paul Martin's sharing of duties with Bill Graham; at Pogge, they say that this is a mistake, as it gives the false impression that Martin's backers are still calling the shots.
My guess is that Martin just isn't going to hang the "Prime Minister" title on anyone for such a ridiculously short period of time... am I wrong? Wouldn't this be a consideration?


Read Andrew Coyne's editorial from yestersday's National Post, and I totally agree with it. The next Liberal leader will also have the benefit of not being open to the "corruption" smear... or at least we hope they won't. I just wonder how the rabid conservative following the seems to live in Andrew's comments section will react... I think he secretly likes torturing them.

Speaking of torture the Liberal leadership race, Mr. Coyne also points the way to a great web poll which seems to predict Stephane Dion winning. If you like, you can also create your own poll.