Thursday, April 30, 2009

YLC Race

I have mostly stayed out of the YLC races so far, nothing personal against any candidate running for any position, but I simply had other things going on in my life.

I'm not going to be in Vancouver, however, with the vote coming up very soon, I feel that as a Young Liberal, I should contribute to the process as much as I can, and in that spirit, I endorse the candidate I believe can contribute the most to the process of building the Young Liberals of Canada for the next election and beyond: John Lennard.

I believe John Lennard's focus on building the commission's numbers, attracting youth with real policies and real activism, is the way to go for the YLC. John Lennard's vision of a vibrant YLC within a strong party is the same vision I have for putting liberalism at the forefront of youth politics in this country.

Specifically, Lennard's courage and enthusiastic support of OMOV makes me believe he does more than talk the talk on party and commission renewal, he walks the walk.

From here in Mississauga, I encourage all delegates to cast a vote for John Lennard for President of the Young Liberals of Canada.

Another conservative-sepratist coalition?

With lots of talk around the BQ throwing the Tories a line on the federal level recently, this story is particularly interesting:

To counteract the schedule for Jean Charest who was clearly prepared to trigger elections on December 8, the ADQ had an amazing draw for the PQ in its plan. Mario Dumont and Pauline Marois would go see the Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Duchesne, to say that the formations holding the majority in the House allied to form a coalition government, which Pauline Marois would be the first minister.

The timing, of course, is hilarious. While Harper burned bridges in Quebec thanks to a terrible run-ADQ staffed campaign, and then attack ther coalition for having a support agreement with the Bloc Quebecois, (not giving them a veto over any policy, as Harper spun it) the very same Conservative-supporting ADQ was fully prepared to enter into a formal coalition that would have resulted in a Parti Quebecois led government. The Harpercrites strike again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tim Hudak pics up a big endorsement!

With the race for PC leadership getting into the next stage (the 17th was the cutoff for candidates to enter the race), endorsements have started to roll in more heavily, including over 40 2007 PC candidates declaring for Hudak, including a big (in more then one sense of the word) endorsement from right here in Mississauga:

(ok, my only reason for blogging on this was because I wanted an excuse to use this picture again)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another cabinet minister oops

Jason Kenney has been using his position as Immigration Minister as a bully pulpit to help establish a run for Conservative leadership, whenever Harper leaves/is shoved out, but you would hope a minister of Immigration would at least pretend to be familiar with the citizenship test before shooting his mouth off again.

The minister said the information booklet that leads to the citizenship test has a page on recycling, but he said he doesn't recall seeing one paragraph on Confederation.

Err, not quite, Jason.

Maybe if Minister Kenney spent more time actually paying attention to the needs of New Canadians, and his world-view of multiculturalism extended beyond paying attention to a few select groups who have been targeted for Tory votes, and spent more time actually trying to help build a better Canada, for New Canadians and old, he wouldn't be caught so flat-footing.
But hey, we've got a science minister who doesn't believe in science, so an immigration minister who couldn't pass the citizenship test isn't a huge shock I guess.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


With job losses piling up, and Conservative numbers in Quebec collapsing, you'd think the Tories would at least want to give a heads to the man in charge of Quebec organization, Christian Paradis.

I guess not.

The Conservative MP and Quebec lieutenant is now scrambling to save the Mont-M├ęgantic Observatory, which threatens to become a symbol of the Harper government's recent cuts to research agencies.

“I'm offended and I'm angry,” Mr. Paradis said in an interview yesterday. “I was put in front of a fait accompli. I learned of the decision like everyone else, and it came as a surprise.”

You know things are looking bad for Harper when the Quebec Lt openly blasts him. The Tories are sinking everywhere, Quebec is just the trend-setter.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tim Hudak meet and greet and campaign strategy

Not quite as good as Justin's "I heart Dalton" pic, but it is what it is. John Baird and Lisa Macleod introduced Hudak before his speech:

Also lurking around was Nepean-Carleton MP and general sleezebag Pierre Poilievre:

I talked to Hudak a little bit, we discussed the situation in Mississauga South last election (Hudak was not a fan of what happened), and thinks that the traditionally Tory riding is very winnable. The introduction MacLeod and Baird gave was pretty standard stuff, true conservative yadda yadda, need to stop McGuinty, etc. Hudak's stump speech was good on rhetoric, and short on policy (although given the relative youth of the race, I'm not going to fault him on that, although I heard some grumbling talking to people around the room that only Hillier has released any real policies) and was generally energetic. Perhaps as a sign that Hudak is going to try and pursue the Red Tory vote currently being courted by Elliot as opposed to the rural and social conservative vote, his speech was mostly focused on economic rhetoric, attacking the Liberals on all the standard lines, but omitting any "culture war" style phrasing.

With Hudak as the consensus frontrunner, I tried to get the feel of the room for other candidates (albeit, not everyone in the room was a committed Hudakite, I talked to people who were leaning but not sold, genuine undecideds, and declared Hillier supporters). The general consensus is that Hillier is the candidate who could give Hudak the best run for his money. More then a couple people expressed concern that with so many "establishment" people coming out for Hudak (he has the support of at least 2 federal cabinet ministers, Baird and Nicholson, more then half the provincial caucus, and many Harris-era operators) that Hillier could focus his populist rage entirely on Hudak and if not win, then at least have to have his segment of the party recognized by giving Hillier a high-profile critics position and throw some populist planks in the platform. Elliot was seen as credible, but not a serious contender given her complex ties to Jim Flaherty, and the potential awkwardness of campaigning on the tax harmonization her husband pushed for, and her lack of a high-profile in the House. Frank Klees was largely dismissed, and a number of people suggested he might drop out before the convention.

From what I could tell, the Hudak people are not as worried as Hudak being the "inevitable" candidate, the label that helped sink Hillary Clinton, for a number of reasons. First, the relatively short length of the campaign means Hudak's already battle-ready ground team should be able to hold its own even if Hillier goes for an Obamaesqe massive membership sign-up. Second, the points system somewhat limits the room for growth for insurgent candidates. Hillier could sign up tons of new members in rural ridings, but ultimately, with every riding being worth the same number of points, the number of new members signed up is not as important as in other systems. Third, the Hudak campaign believes that it is the only campaign that will have cross-regional appeal. They expect to do very well in Southern Ontario and the 905 belt (which will have the bulk of the seats and voting points) can run with Elliot in the 416, and will be able to hold their own in rural and Eastern Ontario, Hillier's perceived stronghold. Fourth, with the preferential ballot system, they think they could be the beneficiaries of an "Anyone but Hillier" movement, should Hillier pick up more steam then expected, particularly from Elliot voters. Basically, if they aren't going to be your first choice, they will probably be your second, while Hillier is anything but a compromise candidate.

Overall, it was an interesting look at Hudak's campaign, and I do have to say, if I was a PC party member, I would probably vote for him.

I really really like Keith Martin

Two great articles, one about Martin's effort to decriminalize marijuana, and one by Martin about the future of Canadian healthcare. I could not agree more with both articles:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More on the need for real action on trade

Very interesting article here:

With sobering statistics such as these:

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reports that since the financial crisis worsened in November, the majority of new global trade enactments (55 of 77) have been trade restrictive

Keeping Canada a global player on the trade market, and the Liberal Party as a world leader in combating protectionism, will be of vital importance both to the Canadian and economy, and for the Party to build its economic credentials. A market-based, Trade Out of Poverty agenda is what needs to be adopted, and I hope all those who attend the Eastern Region Policy Parliament will consider it.