Monday, September 29, 2008

NDP refuses to dump 9/11 conspiracy theorist candidate

The Liberals made the right decision in ditching a candidate recently who had made incorrect remarks regarding 9/11. It demonstrated the leadership of Dion, who didn't hesitate to get rid of a candidate who brought disgrace to the Liberal name, as well as re-enforcing the status of the Liberal Party as a party of the progressive mainstream.

Jack Layton's NDP, however, cannot say the same.
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/cbc/080929/canada/news_bev_collins

I've written a couple blog posts now about Bev Collins, and how shameful it is that the party of Tommy Douglas and Ed Broadbent has, under Jack Layton, become an entryist target for every non-mainstream leftist movement, from radical pot activists, to nudists, to 9/11 truthers. The failure of Jack Layton to remove Collins as an NDP candidate demonstrates the true hidden agenda of Jack Layton. As much as we Liberals attack the Conservatives for hiding a true, radical right message under the blue vest of Harper, we must also realize that the NDP has a just as radical, and just as frightening hidden agenda for Canada. Layton says of Collins:

""She has acknowledged that the attack was a terrorist attack, and she hasn't made any attacks against any particular group or element of our society," NDP Leader Jack Layton said in her defence. "I'm satisfied with that."

Interesting. Lets look at this pamphlet from the Canadian Action Party issued while Collins was party president:
http://www.canadianactionparty.ca/_Library/Brochures/CAP_SEATWARMER_9-11_panel.pdf


Do you believe we should be formulating domestic and foreign policy on the basis of the highly suspect US government story of 9/11 or should we demand a new and open investigation?

And: http://www.canadianactionparty.ca/_Library/Brochures/CAP_SEATWARMER_3_PANELS.pdf
(this one is great because it attacks Jack Layton as a supporter of the SPP and "NAU")


What are the differences between the mainstream parties? They have all accepted the completely unproven “official story” of 9/11 as a pretext for a sweeping attack on our civil liberties. They are all complicitly silent as bureaucratic, military and corporate players use the same 9/11 pretext to surrender the last shreds of our sovereignty to US military and corporate interests.

And from Collins pen itself:
http://www.canadianactionparty.ca/cgi/page.cgi?aid=634&_id=128&zine=show

While Bush and Cheney are trying to prevent impeachment proceedings against them, there are talks of terrorist attacks hitting America this summer from Michael Chertoff head of Homeland Security and Republican Rick Santorum,. Another false flag terror attack, to bring about this merging of Canada, US and Mexico?

This is pretty clear evidence that Collins did in fact, harbour vicious conspiratorial views, and at the very least, proclaimed a clearly unparliamentary attitude towards our ally and friend, the United States. The failure of Jack Layton to remove her speaks volumes about the radicalism in the NDP which has prospered under his leadership. Actions like these betray the illusion that the NDP is a contender for power, or anything more then a protest vote.

Friday, September 19, 2008

BC NDP candidates: Strong Leadership for 9/11 truthers, and radical marijuana activists

Another example of the fine candidate recruitment done by the NDP in BC:

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=a61b51a4-bace-4fef-8feb-814d67e12b61

Kirk Tousaw, Dana Larsen, and Bev Collins: The NDP's radical hidden agenda can run (pun intended), but in BC, it can't hide.

Hugh Arrison and Jim Flaherty don't get the job done.



So Jim Flaherty was in town last night for a fundraiser with his close supporter and policy follower, Hugh Arrison.




"This riding is, quite frankly, ripe for a Conservative Member of Parliament and the member-to-be is someone who has the business background, is the right candidate for the right riding at the right time."


Interesting that Jim talks about the importance of the riding to the party, not you know, the people of the riding to the government, but I guess Jim Flaherty lacks the political sense to say something less cold-sounding.


Flaherty also talked about the funds the Tories have set aside for infrastructure in the GTA, a not so subtle attempt to try and make Mississauga voters forget about the times he said not to invest in Ontario and rejected Hazel McCallion's advice on balancing budgets.


So Jim must be pretty proud of himself, n0? Go into a riding they think they can win, put on a dazzle, $250 a pop show for the crowd, and leave Mississauga with the wind at his back.


What a shame that reality has a liberal bias.



Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, vocal in her demands for a better deal for cities, said Dion's plan is just what she's been asking for.


"And it's not for potholes," said McCallion, taking a swipe at Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's statement that Ottawa isn't in the business of fixing city roads. "It's for transit and sewage treatment and bridges and hospitals and colleges and all sorts of important things."


You know all those hard-working, middle class Canadians the Conservatives keep trying to win over? A whole lot of them live in Mississauga, and a whole lot of them like a government that doesn't bash their home province and city.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jack Layton: Strong Leader for Families...and 9/11 truthers


The tossing of one NDP candidate overboard in BC has already been noted aplenty in blogs today, but I think the NDP still has some work to do, considering that in Cariboo-Prince George, the NDP is running a little lady by the name of Bev Collins. Collins is well known on the wing-nut community of Canada, having run for the National Party in 93, and then in 97, 00, and 04, for the even more wing-nutty Canadian Action Party, whose main platform seems to be a mish-mash of left-wing conspiracy theories, with a particular thirst for the SPP's evil plots, and that 9/11 was an inside job. But Collins wasn't simply just a candidate for the party, oh no, she was the President of the Party as recently as last year. Let's look at some of the fine policy positions endorsed by the party Ms. Collins was until recently the President of:

The justification for Canada's draconian anti terrorism laws is the official story of 9-11 - that the US was attacked by Islamic terrorists led by Osama Bin Laden. The problem with this justification is that the official story of what happened on 9-11 is physically impossible...

This is followed by a link to the hilariously discredited Loose Change documentary.

Collins herself says this about the SPP, and moves towards it:

While Bush and Cheney are trying to prevent impeachment proceedings against them, there are talks of terrorist attacks hitting America this summer from Michael Chertoff head of Homeland Security and Republican Rick Santorum,. Another false flag terror attack, to bring about this merging of Canada, US and Mexico? This is exactly what Robert Pastor said could be needed to bring this about.

Another false one eh? Wonder what the first false flag terror attack that Collins is referring to? Oh wait, it's plastered all over the CAP website.

An in a pamphlet issued while Collins was party president:

Do you believe we should be formulating domestic and foreign policy on the basis of the
highly suspect US government story of 9/11 or should we demand a new and open investigation?


And in another pamphlet during Collins presidency:

They (other parties) have all accepted the completely unproven “official story” of 9/11 as a pretext for a sweeping attack on our civil liberties. They are all complicitly silent as bureaucratic, military and corporate players use the same 9/11 pretext to surrender the last shreds of our sovereignty to US military and corporate interests.

Collins also has attacked HPV vaccinations as a conspiracy, just as a cherry on the top.

Collins candidacy for a major party, one that this election claims to be a serious contender for power, is an insult to the innocent people who died on 9/11, particularly the Canadian victims. Collins running for the NDP shows that the NDP is not, in fact, a serious party working for Canadians, but has a hidden agenda just as frightening and radical as anything the Conservatives could whip up. As long as Bev Collins is an endorsed NDP candidate, the NDP cannot claim to be a serious party.

Harper's Mississauga blitz

http://www.mississauga.com/article/18909



Harper has paid plenty of attention to Mississauga since the campaign started, which makes logical sense, as I and others have written before, the GTA suburbs, particularly the Western GTA suburbs, are an area the Conservatives will need to make gains in in order to win a majority. The last quote of the article is interesting:



"This is quite an impressive crowd," Harper said. "And they used to say there were no Conservatives in the GTA."



The suburbs of the GTA have plenty of conservatives, just not so many Conservatives. The provincial PC's used to dominate Mississauga, but lost power when small-c conservative voters switched to the provincial Liberals. The last provincial election was evidence of that, when the PC's failed to even be competitive in the former true-blue stronghold of Mississauga South, as Charles Sousa, who while being socially liberal, could uncontroversially be called a moderate fiscal conservative, held on to the small c-conservative vote.



Given that Harper has such a focus on Mississauga, lets take a look at each seat in the city. I'll try to keep my partisan bias a bit more in check then usual.



Mississauga South

The Tories most likely prospect for a pick-up in the city, and probably one of the top 10-15 targets for them in the country. Liberal support in the South is traditionally concentrated in "wings" of the riding (lakefront areas like Port Credit and Lakeview, and the areas near Winston Churchill along the city border with Oakville) as it has more younger families moving out of Toronto, and bringing small-l liberal social values with them, and a higher concentration of Liberal friendly ethnic communities. Tory support is located in the interior of the riding, in the more affluent and WASP'y areas like Lorne Park. For this reason, Mississauga South will be a bell weather in terms of the success of the Tories attempts to win ethnic votes across the country. Paul Szabo has the advantage of incumbency, relatively high visibility from chairing the Ethics Committee, and being a social conservative, which gives him a bit of a personal vote that might otherwise go Tory. I've written plenty about the Conservative candidate, the Flahertyite Hugh Arrison (4 of the top 10 entries for him on Google are blog posts by yours truly) who while not being the star candidate the party was clearly hoping for (HQ was clearly rooting for Ted Opitz, while I'm still convinced that their were failed efforts to recruit Effie Triantafilopoulos) Arrison is hoping that his made-in-Alberta conservative credentials will be enough to unite the fractured Mississauga South conservative movement behind him. The Green candidate Richard Laushway could potentially be a spoiler here for both major parties, with the potential to take votes from both, and a solid chance to finish ahead of the NDP in the riding.



Mississauga Erindale

Two time loser Bob Dechert is running for the Conservatives (his party insider status got him the green-light to go for a third run, unlike the South's Phil Green, whose environmental credentials scared HQ) against Omar Alghabra, who has held the riding against Dechert in 2006, when the Tories were slightly favoured (I believe democraticspace predicted his victory). Like Szabo, however, Alghabra has benefitted from an increased profile since the last election, acting as critic for immigration and citizenship in a riding where the Liberal base is largely ethnic. The Tories will be gunning hard for this one, having only lost by 5%, but Omar is a good MP with a strong local profile, so I don't expect the race to be as tight as last time.



Mississauga East—Cooksville

The Tories went to all the trouble of subverting the democratic process to appoint ex-Liberal Melissa Bhagat, at the cost of much of the riding association loyalists, in a riding that should stay safely Liberal. Former cabinet minister Albina Guarnieri hasn't faced a serious challenge since winning that riding in 1988, and even if the Tories hadn't pulled a Tim Peterson, Guarnieri would be able to on comfortably.



Mississauga-Streetsville

The Tories ran a decentish candidate in former MPP Raminder Gill in the last election, and could only muster 33% of the vote. Given the not exactly warm reception Mississauga South voters gave the floor-crossing Tim Peterson, combined with Liberal candidate Bonnie Crombie running a very active campaign, and Liberal HQ pouring resources into this riding, I don't expect Khan to be able to retain his special status as the only ethnic urban representative the Tories have east of Alberta.



Bramalea—Gore—Malton

A very heavily ethnic riding, the Tories would need not just a shift, but a landslide change in the voting habits of the people of this riding in order to even be competitive. Gurbax has a good local profile, and a good campaign team. A write off.

Mississauga—Brampton South

The safest Liberal seat in Peel, even if Navdeep Bains wasn't a good MP whose star is rising.

So broadly speaking, B-G-M, M-BS, and ME-C are probably off table for the Conservatives. Mississauga Streetsville might normally be competitive this time around for the Conservatives, but they won't win with a floor crosser, despite the resources they are pouring into it. This leaves Mississauga South and Mississauga Erindale as target seats for the Conservatives, although they face up-hill struggles in both, due to Arrison's links to the locally unpopular Jim Flaherty, and Omar Alghabra's increased local presence and profile.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Today, Jack Layton, Later, maybe progress, if we have time

Just watched a clip of the CTV coverage of the big NDP rally, and I thought the intro was good.

"The rally was supposed to be about an announcement on poverty, but that was pushed back to next week, as Jack Layton continues to talk about 'change'"

*insert clip of Layton talking about change here*

I think that pretty much sums up the modern NDP: All Jack and shamelessly lifted slogans all the time, actual progressive policy and ideas maybe later.

I just intercepted a Tory news release!

Tories pick up big endorsement

Ottawa-
Canada’s new, strong, masculine, and ruggedly handsome government today picked up a critical endorsement today from a group who strongly endorses, and follows, Stephen Harper’s leadership practices: The Association of Canadian Bullies.

“We strongly believe in Stephen Harper’s leadership techniques and practices’, said Butch Gorowski, the president of the Association, ‘When we see him slash funding for things like the Court Challenges program, to ensure that minorities and the weak can’t protect themselves, that is something that really speaks to our values and priorities.”

Pollsters say that bullies and related groups like meatheads, and jerks, are crucial demographics to the Conservatives, given that the homophobic, sexist, and uncultured positions of these groups line up strongly with the Conservative platform.

A high-level Tory source smugly said that “With this endorsement, the Conservatives are clearly demonstrated to Canadians that we are reaching out to the ‘asshole’ constituent. While the Liberals under St├ęphane Dion want to fund little fairy programs like the Court Challenges program, and fight climate change, we know hard working bullies just want to be left alone by the government and be allowed to pollute, keep their wives in the kitchen, and shove nerds in lockers.”

“When I look at him just attack that little nerd Dion, it reminds me of beating up smaller kids for lunch money, giving them swirlies, and then toping it off by pantsing them in front of the whole class,’ said Gorowski, ‘makes me so nostalgic, nearly brings a tear to my ey…” at this point he was jumped by other members of the ACB for showing actual human emotion.

The endorsement of the Association of Canadian Bullies comes after yesterday’s announcement that the United Polluters of Canada, the Canadian Federation against Culture, and the Canadian Association of Inequality.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tom King: "Liberals are the bad guys"

So I was watching a news report on the election in Guelph last night, seemed to touch all the normal bases; The riding is the Liberals to lose, the Conservatives are investing heavily in the riding but still face controversy over the Brent Barr incident, the rise of the Greens, etc. They had a short clip where Frank Valeriote expressed a fear of vote-splitting on the centre/centre-left, and that only the Liberals could combat Harper, they then cut to Tom King, the NDP candidate for a reaction, which was this (paraphrased)

"The Liberals use that line all the time, vote for us, only we can stop the bad guys, well, this time, the Liberals are the bad guys."

So let's review what Tom King and the NDP's message to progressive voters is:

The party of the Kelowna Accord are "bad guys".
The party of a national child care plan are "bad guys".
The party that made gay marriage a reality are "bad guys".
The party that is promoting the most effective and progressive vision of Canada's economy and environment are "bad guys".
The party that will restore the Court Challenges Program are "bad guys".

Meanwhile, what has the NDP, presumably the "good guys" done lately?

The "good guys" have standing arm in arm with the Conservatives in attacking the Green Shift.
The "good guys" sold out the accomplishments of the last Liberal government in exchange for 10 more seats and a Harper government.
The "good guys" are taking such radical, progressive, and boundary pushing positions as err, being against ATM fees and text message fees.
The "good guys" are standing firm with the Conservatives on keeping the Green Party out of the debate, despite 75% of NDP supporters being in favour of letting her in.

If Jack Layton is applying for the job of Prime Minister, he has left his progressive credentials at the door.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tories advertise for the Greens


We've all seen the new image on the Tory website, with Harper talking intently to a young man in a Tim Hortons. Why, this young man, who seems so earnest and clean cut, must be a Tory! Particularly, if he is on the Tory website. I mean, you wouldn't think the Conservatives would be so stupid as to put a non Conservative supporter on the front banner, do you?

Well, given the Conservatives' skill at handling things like the economy, th , it shouldn't be a surprise that the Liberal Bag can tell you that the "Coffee Man" is not, in fact a Conservative hack. He is, in fact, my good friend Chris, the President of the Carleton University Young Greens.

Chris was campaigning to get funding for a community project in Labrador. Harper happened to cross paths with him at a local Tim Hortons, bought him coffee, and listened to Chris about the project. Chris said that Harper listened to him, while the staffers took a bunch of pictures, and then Harper got out of Labrador, never to be seen again.

So there you go, The Harper Conservatives: Strong Leadership, weak fact checking.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Don't Invest In Hugh Arrison


Jim Flaherty, having just dodged a bullet with Mississauga native Buzz Hargrove saying he won't run for the Liberals against Flaherty, looks set to come to town just after the drop of the writ, to fundraise for Mississauga South Conservative candidate Hugh Arrison at the tune of $250 a pop. Flaherty endorsed Arrison as soon as he won the nomination, and according to Arrison, a meeting with Flaherty convinced him to stay in the nomination race back when party HQ was still waiting for a star candidate. Given that Flaherty has spent most of his time as Finance Minister attacking Ontario (and indeed, sometimes Mississauga) directly, I can't help but wonder what kind of rhetoric Arrison will use in his election, given that he is a Flaherty loyalist: "Vote for Me, and the Conservatives won't invest in Mississauga!" The voters of Mississauga South would be better off not investing in Hugh Arrison.

Emerson to Co-Chair Tory Campaign

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/09/05/emerson-election.html

Remember when in the last election, the Conservatives ran on accountability, integrity, honesty, and all that jazz?

Well, here we are, going into an election that is only happening because Harper is breaking his word on fixed election dates, and who is going to be the Tory co-chair? A floor-crossing opportunist. I like the line "I was never a Liberal." Generally, one would think that when you serve in a Liberal cabinet, are included in Liberal Party ads, and say you will be the "worst nightmare" of the Conservative leader, that might, you know, indicate that you might just be a Liberal. If the Conservatives get re-elected, expect Emerson to be named to the Senate real quick.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Why do Tory MP's have no faith in Harper?

Remember when a whole rash of Liberal MP announced they would either be resigning before the next election, or wouldn't be running again? The Tories were quick to pounce, saying that with each resignation that the Liberal Party was falling apart under Dion's leadership, that Liberal MP's knew that Dion would lose the next election, that Dion was not a leader, blah blah blah...

So if Dion is so weak, and the Tories are so confident of victory, why are 14 Tory MP's, including 3 Ministers, not running under Stephen Harper's leadership? Obviously, Conservative MP's are nervous about their chances of being elected back into government under Harper's leadership, and rather then facing a return to the opposition benches, a full 11% of the caucus has turned it's back on the Harper program. Furthermore, look at candidate recruitment. While the Liberals in the past days have recruited the former Regina Chief of Police Calvin Johnston (wait, I thought the Liberals were soft on crime?), and the former President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Bob Friesen (wait, I thought farmers and rural Canadians hate the Green Shift?), the best the Conservatives can muster is a former Winnipeg Jets hockey player (who unlike Ken Dryden, is not exactly accomplished off the ice) in what is probably the safest NDP seat in the country, and a former PC MP in Quebec, whose roots and devotion to the Stephen Harper Conservatives are so deep that he refused to sit with the party after they were formed, and endorsed the Liberal candidate in his riding in the 2004 election.

So again, if the Liberals and Dion are as weak as the Tories like to say, and that Harper's leadership will show the Tories into a bright new mandate, why haven't the Conservatives been able to land high-profile candidates, and why are so many MP's stepping down? If we use the Conservative logic that they used on Dion, the answer is simple: Harper has lost control over his caucus of extremists, high-level Tories already have knives at the ready, and the most damning of all: Stephen Harper is not a leader.