Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ok, I've cooled down a bit...

This is what happens when I don't read the blogs for a day or so, and then catch the tail end of something like this. I have a chance to read a bit more and digest.

I still think that gaffe was brutal. Ok, it was an off-the cuff answer, and it's since been clarified that nobody is asking to be reinstated, and nobody is considering reinstating. Nothing more to see here folks, move along.

Now, can we maybe make an effort to demonstrate some renewal? Perhaps put something in place that says party members who abuse the trust of the electorate are going to be kicked out for life, and have the full weight of the law thrown at them... maybe in a code of conduct or something like that?

I still think it would help. Couldn't hurt.

Oh, stick a fork in us now...

Update... ok, knee jerk reaction... I've cooled down...

We're done.

Unless of course, if someone can make a really good case for why these guys are being let back in, or why it should be considered. I have to admit that I'm sketchy on the details, so there may be extenuating circumstances; even so, the optics on this are going to be awful.

My guess is that right now, CPC leadership is apoplectic with glee, wondering how quickly they can engineer a vote of non-confidence against themselves.

Seriously, was anybody thinking when this first came up on the radar?

What timing too, eh? Things were starting to look pretty good, or so I thought. Steve & Co. were edging themselves into an ever tighter position, and things could only get worse for them.

Oh well, to steal somebody elses catchphrase, what do I know? I'm just one of the Liberal canaries in the coalmine, who thought a good strategy would be to come out with a high profile way of demonstrating real renewal, and that something like adscam could never be allowed again. My suggestion had been a code of conduct, which every party member should adhere to. This little incident might not point to an ongoing problem, but it sure could be spun that way.

Hey, is that gas I smell?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This is going to be good

It's times like this I wonder why there is any political apathy, because the tension mounting for this minority government is gaining by the week. Stephen Harper is edging himself and the Neo-Tories into what can best be called a rock and a hard, hard place.

It's one thing to sit in opposition and gainsay everything the government does, but its a whole different reality when you are in the drivers seat steering the bus, and Steve's gotta just be hoping that he doesn't take this one over a cliff.

By including up to 50% of a provinces resource wealth in the formula, they will not only have broken a significant promise, but they will be seriously testing the loyalty of one of their 'bases,' namely, mid-Western Canada.

Why would they do this? Well, here's one possible indicator, from the Globe and Mail piece by Brian Laghi:

Mr. Gregg attributed most of the Tory drop to the party's
performance in Quebec. In that province, 15 per cent of voters said they support the Conservatives, down from 25 per cent on election day, when the party won 10 seats. The Liberals would get 25 per cent of Quebec votes were an election held today, up from 21 per cent at the election, while the Bloc Québécois would win 46 per cent, up four points.


The poll also suggests Ontario's view of the Tories is worsening. In that key battleground, the Liberals lead the Tories 45 per cent to 32 per cent, a gap that has grown from five points on election day. The New emocrats have dropped four points from election day to 15 per cent. The Greens
are at 9 per cent, up from five at the election.

Afraid of setbacks in Ontario and Quebec, it looks like Harper is going to take a page from Mulroney's playbook by appealing directly to Quebec, and possibly Ontario, even at the expense of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

I can't wait to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

By-election time!

I was recently feeling a little nostalgic for election campaigning, no really, so this is welcome news for me.

The Provincial By-election in Burlington will be the third one I've volunteered for. Joan Lougheed is running for the Liberals; as stated in a previous post, she was first elected to Burlington City council in 1991, and 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.

The last two elections saw Burlington Liberals make significant gains on the ensconced PC's, but unfortunately still falling short of the victory by a couple thousand votes.

It will be interesting to see the results this time around, as the last Provincial general election saw a significant desire for change manifesting itself, helping the Liberals go from what was pretty much a 2-1 stomping in 1999, to a closely contested race in 2003.

One sticking point working against team McGuinty is the unpopular 'Fair Share for Health Care Levy', which will no doubt figure prominently in the Conservative's attacks, being cast as a tax grab. On this point, we're going to have to remind voters of some of the healthcare benefits that we've gained, especially with regards to building hospitals, rather than closing them.

My thoughts are that strategies for the Liberals will largely have to focus on reminding Ontario voters of the Harris era, and highlighting the improvements made since then, like the fact that Ontario teachers are no longer being targeted and vilified by the government, as when the Harris government enacted Bill 160.

Tally ho!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

State Funerals for WWI Veterans

I'm not entirely surprised that the last three remaining veterans from WWI are all not entirely comfortable with the idea of accepting a state funeral should they turn out to be the last survivor. Anybody with a reasonable sense of modesty would probably have trouble accepting such an honour, so their positions on this are understandable.

But I do think it's a good idea (personally, I think all three should be given the state funerals at this point), and so perhaps it could be conveyed to the last few veterans in a different manner; that the state funeral is as much for all of the Canadian veterans of WWI, and an important part of the nations appreciation and commemoration of their sacrifice. We're not asking that they agree to this for their own glorification, but rather that they consider this a last act of service.

This is not to say that they owe us any further service at this point, but rather that it would serve as an important touchstone for the current generations, the younger of which know so little of this important chapter in our history, which to them must seem as distant as the Napoleonic wars are to us. This may be one of the last opportunities to convey to that young cohort the significance of what that past generation gave during that terrible time, and what a burden they carried for us.