Friday, May 30, 2008

The rise of Hugh Arrison?

New John Stewart entry, with many very interesting tidbits on the (mis)adventures of the Mississauga South Conservatives:

-Phil Green, the Tory candidate in the previous 2 elections, endorsed Hugh Arrison. Green wanteed to run a 3rd time for the Conservatives, but was vetoed by the party, and has not hid his disappointment. Green, in his endorsement, also takes a not so subtle shot at Ted Opitz, the out of riding candidate who increasingly seen as the choice of the party establishment:

"Green says Arrison has enjoyed a "tremendous" financial and business career and understands the concerns of the riding, because he lives in it."Just as important for me, Hugh knows that there can be a big difference between what is legal and what is the right thing to do," says Green, an obvious reference to candidate Major Ted Optiz's recent ploy to buy up web site domains that his opponents could potentially use and redirect people from those sites to his own."

Additionally, the choice by the other candidate, Raya Shadursky to have long-time Tory and two-time mayoralty candidate Roy Willis nominate her clearly shows that Raya and Hugh are going to make Opitz's outsider and establishment image an issue, which could leave Opitz facing an "Anyone but Ted" situation, as Mississauga Conservatives rebel against what they see as Tim Peterson Mark II.

Speaking of which:
"Tim Peterson, who has already expressed interest in running provincially again for the Tories against Charles Sousa in Mississauga South in 2014 (I'm assuming he means 2011), has his house for sale."

To which I say, Say What? Not surprising Tim is selling his place on Indian Road, but Tim Peterson running for the PC's again? He got the worst results for the PC's in the history of the riding, alienated a huge chunk of the Conservative electorate, and ran a bad campaign reliant entirely on John Tory, who has no guarantee to be around in 2011 anyway. I guess he can go for the nomination (something tells me he won't get appointed this time around) but I can't see him performing even close to respectably in an open nomination process.

Anyway, if Opitz does win (although I would say his chances might be a bit lower now) he will have to fight a tough narrative of being Tim Peterson Mark II, with plenty of anti-Ted quotes by prominent local Conservatives floating around. Less then 2 weeks to go now.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Tim Peterson Angle gets played against Ted the Conservatives

John Stewart is back, and while the stuff about Opitz's use of websites is interesting, but hardly a new political development, the real meat is the words of ex-tennis champ David Brown, (who by the way, I am pretty sure is not the same David Brown who ran for the PC's in the last provincial election in Mississauga-Erindale and the federal PC's in Mississauga South in 2000) who is rival candidate Hugh Arrison's campaign manager:

" Brown proceeds to play the Tim Peterson card, suggesting that Mississauga South Tories do not accept interlopers well. Opitz, of course, doesn't live in the riding which means he has to work twice as hard to prove himself to the 400 or so core members of the association, who will likely end up holding the balance of power in the contest."

And while in fairness in Orpitz, who says he will no longer use the re-directing sites, after a talk with the other candidates, I wouldn't be shocked to see Brown's words used in some anti-Opitz literature, should he win the nomination:

"It's not the way to represent the party and it's not the way to conduct yourself with the other candidates. I think people will use this to judge the character, or lack of character within this individual. This is not the way we feel Conservative candidates should be operating."

While we are on the subject, I find it interesting that Brown plays the Tim Peterson card, considering that when I was working in Szabo's campaign office in 2004, Brown came in a requested a Szabo sign with the "Team Martin" part folded back, because he said he wanted Szabo to win re-election, but the Liberals to lose overall, so I am assuming he cast his vote for the MP he is now hoping to knock off with Mr. Arrison.

Did I call it, or did I call it?

"I wouldn't be surprised to see Parsons and Love be candidates in the next election"

and today?

"Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion today congratulated Tracy Parsons on having been nominated to represent the Liberal Party of Canada in the riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. Ms. Parsons is the former leader of the Progressive Canadian Party."

The Liberal Bag: Predicting fairly unsurprising political events since 2007.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

How To Lose A Spin War without really trying

I would have loved to see this as an article:

It shows our leader taking a strong stand for a progressive policy, defending the Liberal vision of Canada, and which although controversial, if presented right, is a representitive of the type of policies that Liberals must stand for.

However, this is the headline we get:

Note to Liberal MPs and spin masters: Publicly bashing a key platform plank of your party is a good way to lose a spin war. Imagine if during the Ontario provincial election, Liberal MPP's almost daily talked to the media behind Dalton McGuinty's back that they supported faith based funding? At this point, it isn't about a carbon tax or not, it is about standing united behind a policy and trying to tell Canadians that only a Liberal government can be trusted with managing the old economy, while creating the new, and demonstrating the callousness of the Conservatives towards the environment, and the NDP in selling out on the file. These leaks and back talkings need to stop, lest the discussion that the carbon tax could be an election become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

RIP Arthur Kroeger

As a student of the College which is named after him, I want to give my condolences to Kroeger's friends and family. Kroeger was the embodiment of the spirit of the professional, non-partisan civil service, serving both Liberal and Conservative governments. I only met Arthur once, at the start of my first year, but I found him to be kind, wise, and a gentleman.

Don Stephens drops out of Mississauga South Conservative race, Ted Opitz the new frontrunner?

The guy who I assumed might have been the initial front runner, Ward 2 Peel District School Board trustee Don Stephens, is done. Stephens gave the standard "personal reasons", which of course means he didn't think he could win, or beat Szabo, or he thought he might be putting his Trustee position at risk. The most interesting tidbit is this:

The guy everyone seems to assume the party wants: latecomer Major Ted Opitz, a reservist with the Royal Canadian Regiment.

Opitz would seem to be the wild card. He has good credentials, but the wrong postal code.Mississauga South stalwarts have always been fussy about having their community represented by native sons or daughters (see Tim Peterson for details.)

Well, the Conservatives have a meet and greet at the Port Credit Post Office from 8:30 am to 1 pm for the Mississauga Marathon, I think I might show up and ask some questions. I encourage other Mississauga South residents, of all parties to do the same.

Canvassing In Mississauga Streetsville

Earlier this week I hit the pavement with a great group of Young Liberals from Mississauga-Streetsville. It was an amazing turnout for a non-writ period, and a wonderful example of the work Young Liberals can do for the party. Bonnie has this one in the bag.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Carbon Tax, Income Tax Cuts, and the need for Unity

I personally really welcome this move, it is a chance for Dion and the Liberals to take back the environmental card, and show Canadians that the Liberals are not afraid to be bold for the benefit of Canada.

The plan is certainly bold and new, and as such, Liberals need to close ranks behind Dion on this issue and support it. A perfect example of what not to do is in the G&M article:

“Just in the short time Dion has mused about a carbon tax, the Conservatives have already preframed the issue negatively in the media,” said a veteran Liberal strategist who opposes releasing the plan now.
“Imagine what they will do with the actual material in a sinking economy,” he says.
“The issue is Stephen Harper and there is a wealth of material to take him down
. Instead, we pass that up to launch a summer of Dion. No wonder Liberal morale is so low.”

Whoever this "veteran Liberal strategist" is, they seem to be quite content on undermining the leader on a key platform plank. Liberals cannot allow divisions in the Party to be exploited. The issue only becomes a "tax grab" if we give the Conservatives room to allow them to portray it as that. Yes, the Conservatives have preframed it negatively. So we frame the Conservatives as a party afraid of the future, afraid of bold moves for the environment and progressive polices to move Canada forward in a time of economic difficulty. Imagine what they will do? We know what they will do, they will attack Dion and the Liberals as not having "leadership" to guide the economy in rough times. So what? We go right back and promote Dion and the Liberal team as having more experience, and better policies for the economy, while highlighting the failures of the Harper Conservatives on key portfolios.

The wealth of material? The wealth of material is nice, but we need flesh on bone, progressive policies, and this demonstrates it. The Harper Conservatives thought they had a wealth of material in 2004, and ran a campaign based on Paul Martin's and the Liberals weaknesses, without proposing real policies. In 2006, they had real policy proposals which were co-ordinated to be universal and control the narrative. The summer of Dion should be a summer of Liberal offensive moves, with the whole Liberal team touring Canada, promoting progressive ideas such as the carbon plan, and highlighting the benefits of Liberal plans. Real policies will raise morale, not more sniping and infighting.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fucking Finally

Mississauga South Conservatives will vote for the party's nominee in the next election in early June, as central party HQ finally cleared the party to have a candidate vote. A few thoughts:

1. Assuming Mississauga South is still high on the Conservatives target list, (they came within 4.1% of winning it in 2006, the 12th seat they came the closest to winning, and along with next-door Oakville, which they came within 1.3% of winning, form the Conservatives best shots at forming a GTA West beachhead) why could they not find a star candidate? Did they simply want to avoid a repeat of the provincial fiasco and let the nomination play out? Could they not find a candidate worthy of "star" status?

2. Is Mississauga South no longer the prime target it once was? With Paul Szabo only winning by 4.1%, he should be a vulnerable incumbent, but with his Chairmanship of th Ethics committee, he has gained valuable face time and recognition. Has Szabo's increased clout scared off Conservative challengers? Have dips in the polls in Ontario lowered all Ontario ridings down on the target list for Conservatives, to focus more on Quebec?

3. What is the state of the unity of Mississauga South Conservatives? With the provincial Conservatives torn by the Tim Peterson fiasco, have all wounds healed? Will the looooong freezing of the race turn off Conservatives from supporting the party and it's nominee? Will still bitter Phil Green supporters (Phil Green was barred from running for a third go, and no reason from party HQ was given) boycott both the nomination battle and the election? This is in comparison to the Mississauga South Liberals, as with the election of Charles Sousa as MPP, with plenty of help from Paul Szabo, divisions in the association most recently brought up by Sousa's challenge to Szabo in 2004, have healed, and Sousa, who managed to successfully pull Conservative votes in his election, will be ready to throw his weight behind Szabo.

4. Who will actually win the Conservative nod? I won't pretend to have expert knowledge of the race, and I have no idea who has the strongest campaign, who has been signing up the most members, who has the support of who, etc. Based on circumstantial evidence, I will guess either Ward 2 Peel District School Board trustee Don Stephens, the only candidate with any sort of real name recognition, or Major Ted Opitz of the Canadian Royal Regiment. If any other candidate wins though, don't claim I was telling people to place bets.

Oh, and the Mississauga South Conservatives are having a meet and greet during the Mississauga Marathon, near the Port Credit lighthouse between 9 am and 1pm, on Sunday May 11th. Anyone who wants to come and perhaps ask some questions should.