Give it up Steve
After last night’s gun registry vote, Stephen Harper did two disservices to this great country.
Dividing Canada between rural and urban Canadians is misguided and is not different from pitting Quebecers vs. the rest of Canada.
Second, can one reporter ask Stephen Harper the following question: If you can have as many votes as you want on the gun registry, can the PQ also have as many referendums as they want until they get the right result? I would greatly appreciate someone doing that.
Stephen Harper gave the Bloc a double dose of ammunition. He will do whatever it takes to get 155 seats in the House no matter what it means to everybody else.
It’s shameful. It’s stupid. It’s divisive. You don’t get much more un-Canadian than that do you Steve?
Just do better!
Enough of this coalition talk. The Liberal party governed Canada for most of the last century due in part to the swagger they displayed while governing. The Liberals knew what was good for Canadians. People called it arrogant, but it also came with results.
We all know the Liberals have done this country a great service. Liberals governed with the NDP for 2 years in the 1970s because they had to, not because they wanted to.
If the LPC had no chance to win any elections until the end of time, I would consider a coalition. Until then, lets cross that bridge when we get there.
I was a vocal opponent of the comments made by the current president of the Young Liberals of Canada. I respect him. We disagree all the time. That is probably why I consider him a good friend. We can tell the other person when their shit stinks.
The media is looking for a sexy story and the G8 security boondoggle isn’t nearly as interesting as the two opposition parties merging. But wait you say. Sam never talked about a merge. I know! But Harper did and the media ran with it.
Jane Taber wanted to keep the story alive and she did just that. The Liberals had to disavow Sam’s statement. The party started throwing rocks at each other (in public) again. Overall, it let Harper off the hook. Was it done purposefully? I doubt it. However, the results were predictable, with the story still alive today thanks to has-been Scott Reid’s quixotic (h/t Jeff Jedras) rant against a merge in today’s Globe and Mail.
Let me clarify a couple of things. A merger is off the table. However, a pre-election coalition IS a merger for all intents and purposes. Since all these talks are PRECEDING an election, it’s not hard to see why everybody put two and two together.
Second, a party that gets rejected by voters should not get to form government. Labour and the Lib Dems could have formed their own coalition. Gordon Brown wasn’t interested because he got the message from the electorate. Harper should be allowed to govern in another minority should the situation arise.
What is the solution? Work harder. The Young Liberals have been devoid of meaningful policy since Star Wars was defeated back in 2005 (with a big helping hand from the LPC’s other major policy organ, the Women’s Commission, whose Quebec wing ALL love Fuddle Duddle! Hello ladies!)
We passed a resolution that year spearheaded by former Fuddle Duddle contributor Denise Brunsdon. Bold policy that wasn’t always accepted by the party, but it kept the chains moving so to speak. I haven’t seen one major policy initiative since 2006 from the YLC.
It took a lot of hard work to build the LPC. It is going to take a lot of hard work to get it back. We need to all make a pledge today to DO BETTER. We need to do our best to do better.
Today, I, Anthony Di Domizio, pledge to do better.
Labels: This should have been posted last night
Liberals Finally Join the Culture War
“You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."
The war began a long time ago. The Liberals are finally taking the field.
The signs are there. Abortion rights, the gun registry, Liberal press releases filled with statements about Canadian values and how the Tories do not respect them.
Welcome to the trenches. We may be here for a while.
THE YEAR IS 2010!
I roll out of bed and head to the kitchen to make some toast. My newspaper is waiting for me at the table. It was delivered there this morning. I read the articles I choose and move on to my favourite book, a political thriller that I can read with my sleepy brain still at half capacity. I can also check my emails and go through my blog roll. I check what time my bus comes and have yet to get up from my kitchen table.
Let's face it, people like convenience, getting my newspaper sent to my fingertips every morning along with a good book, the STM bus schedule and my favourite websites is pretty darn convenient. I can do all this on my iPhone right now, except the screen is really small. I can also do this on a desktop PC or laptop, but those need to boot up. The versatility that the iPad brings to very mundane things is something I cannot wait to experience.
Take the newspaper. If it sent to my iPad every morning, it costs them absolutely nothing in printing or delivery costs and I get to save a few trees in the process. Newspapers will be able to lower subscription rates, but still put ads in my face and make their money. I can also browse several newspapers in a day, especially if I can do it on the move without pulling out a bunch of papers. I can save and email articles with the touch of a finger, spreading the news and ad revenue to my friends. Will it save newspapers? Maybe. Will it allow them to get more eyeballs on their articles? Absolutely.
As for the iBooks, I await this new feature with great anticipation. I buy a lot of books, and I read almost all of them from cover to cover. They pile up in my house and I give some away to local libraries but it still stacks up. Imagine how much a publisher can save if he can send me a book for 5$, without having to pay the price of printing it, shipping it, warehousing it, and displaying it in a store. Look at how much money we save just by ordering hard copies online. Imagine if we did not need to print the books! And it saves a butt load of paper. Every sale of an iBook minus the fee paid to Apple will be pure profit, just like it is with iTunes.
How long will it take for computer techies to put their expensive textbooks online? The cost of college textbooks nearly amounts to the price of an iPad per year. Except on these textbooks, I can highlight with my fingers and add notes where I want them, without having to carry a bulky schoolbag full of books. If I need to change subject or textbook I press two buttons and I can pick up where I left off. Apple knows their market, young people, mostly students, will find a way to use this gadget to save a lot of money over the course of their studies. The price is peanuts when you compare the actual cost of textbooks. These companies will need to adapt quickly and offer their textbooks on iBooks before they feel the brunt of piracy that the music industry has suffered over the last decade.
This is just the beginning and I haven't even gotten to the apps yet. The iPad has the potential to change the world by saving one heck of a lot paper and get people reading again. While many will still watch TV or movies on it, the simple availability of the news and current events at our fingertips (literally) can only help at a point where society is becoming more and more disengaged. I can't wait to get my hands on mine. I hope you will too.
37 days of gong show...
As I stood in line at RBC today to pay my credit card (yea im old school), I thought about how awesome it would be to be able to prorogue things.
I got to the teller and asked her to prorogue my credit card payment. Thinking I had said pay my credit card, she asked me how much I was paying. I told her I was proroguing my Visa bill and would pay her in 37 days. I needed to figure out how I was going to get out of the economic hole I put myself into buying Christmas presents and could not watch the Olympics with pesky collections agents calling me all the time. She had a sense of humor about it and proceeded to explain to me how much it would cost me to shut everything down for 37 days.
That got me thinking as to how much my tax dollars were paying Tory MPs to watch the Olympics.
All salary figures are from 2008
The Prime Minister makes 310 000$
A Cabinet minister makes 230 000$
An MP takes home 155 000$
37 days is exactly 10% of the year (How convenient! We just need to remove a zero)
31000 x 1
+ 23000 x 35 Cabinet Ministers
+ 15500 x 109 Tory backbenchers
2 525 500 Taxpayer dollars
The Conservative government is spending 2.5 million dollars of your hard earned money sitting at home and watching the Olympics. They are not paying you to stay home and watch the Olympics. They want you to go to work and pay your taxes so they can stay home and waste your money watching television.
I paid my Visa bill today. I also bought a bus ticket to Ottawa for January 23rd. Enough is enough. We need to tell Stephen Harper that when you dont show up to work for 37 days, you get fired!
Note to French Newspapers: Anglos will not vote for a candidate who refuses to speak English
There is an article in this morning's Le Devoir, bemoaning the fact that anglophones and allophones made up a large part of Gerald Tremblay's victory Sunday night.
"Leur conclusion? La victoire à l'arraché de Gérald Tremblay a été possible grâce à deux facteurs: la langue des électeurs et le poids des anciennes villes qui ont intégré Montréal."
Translation: Their conclusion? Gerald Tremblay's victory, won by the skin of his teeth, was thanks to two factors: the language of the electors and the weight of the merged municipalities (that didnt demerge)
They are complaining that anglophones exercised their vote in favor of Tremblay. I will give the same history lesson I gave to my friend John Lennard, who at the time was leaning toward Harel.
Louise Harel, with her friends in the Parti Quebecois, have built their careers eroding the rights of anglophone Canadians living in Quebec. Whether it be education rights, blocking skilled immigrants from settling here for not speaking French, pursuing businesses for having signs that are of equal size in English parts of Quebec, the Parti Quebecois has taken every possibility to eliminate the anglophone presence in Quebec, especially with their infamous language police (kept by the provincial liberals). That's right. We have a police. The criminal is English...
One of the reasons I love Jean Chretien so much was based on something he once said at a Liberal convention I attended. He said that when he had the option of increasing rights or taking them away from people, it was up to the government to increase rights.
My friend John told me that he knew of Harel's PQ past and it would not influence his decision. I reminded him that if a party so callously disregarded the rights of one minority, nothing separates that from disregarding the rights of others. Would he feel the same way if Harel spent her life campaigning against the rights of gays or Blacks? Probably not. He voted against her, as any person who cares about rights should...
I will never vote for someone who campaigns to take away my rights or has done so in the past. If Louise Harel would apologize to anglophones for her efforts to diminish the anglophone presence in Quebec, I would consider voting for her.
Maybe I am asking for too much...
However, Harel refused to campaign in English at all during the campaign. Anglophones tried to set up a site called friends of Louise Harel and couldn't find any, so they bought some stock photos from the United States...(the irony is amusing)
Harel snubbed the anglophone community and Le Devoir and La Presse are SHOCKED that they didnt vote for her. They can blame the language barrier, but I challenge them to find an example of a majority of Quebec voters voting for someone who did not speak French.
La Presse and Le Devoir campaigned openly against Tremblay, pandering to their readerships and effectively becoming part of the problem. They do not bring up the fact that Harel did not campaign in these areas. They did not explain that Harel forced the merger of these communities in 2002, making her a despised figure in the suburbs. It is the fault of anglophones and allophones because they are not francophones...
I can only imagine what they would write if all the island municipalities were part of Montreal, the way Harel originally intended. A unilingual francophone is UNELECTABLE in that election. On the island of Montreal, anglophones and allophones make up over 50% of residents and well over 50% of homeowners, who vote far more often than tenants.
Montreal deserves a bilingual mayor. La Presse and Le Devoir should put that in their next diatribe...
Outremont Outburst Saps Liberal Support in Quebec: CROP poll
Imagine if a poll was done post-Outremont explosion and pre-Denis Coderre meltdown.
CROP obliges...and it doesn't look good for Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals.
The Outremont fiasco erupted halfway through this polling period but it seems the party is dropping even faster than you can say green shift...
Ignatieff and the Liberals have their worst score in Quebec ever with 26%, only 2 points more than what Stephane Dion got last year, and 10 points behind their score in June. The Bloc moves up to 33%. Stephen Harper and the Tories nab 21%.
After Outremont, the Liberal Party is left without much of a ground game in Quebec. We will know soon how many of the precious few Quebec organizers are left with Denis Coderre out of the picture.
I have never been a huge fan of Denis Coderre, but I was one of many observers who noted that he busted his ass to help the Liberal Party in Quebec. Denis criss-crossed the province, going to as many nominations as he humanly could. Denis found many of the candidates, which may be easy for potential winnable ridings, but in the Liberal no man's land that is rural Quebec, getting qualified people to run for the party is a difficult task in and of itself.
While the English media completely tore Coderre to shreds over the Outremont issue, he was gaining sympathy among the French media, who he has spent years developing a close friendship. On the day Ignatieff put forward a no-confidence motion in the House of Commons, Coderre took center stage for the last time in a while, attempting in vain to both tear the OLO a new asshole and turn himself into a martyr.
While martyrdom and Denis Coderre should never be placed in the same sentence together, the people in IggyCentral in Ottawa have a couple of major problems. Coderre was the face of the party in Quebec for the last year. He was the party's main organizing force on the ground. There is now a hole that cannot be filled by Marc Andre Blanchard or Jean Marc Fournier. While both men are brilliant, neither are MPs or running for election. Both are providing strategic advice, not putting boots on the ground. As much as I love Brigitte Legault, she can't be the only Quebec Liberal on the ground until the Spring.
The second problem the Ignatieff people have is the willingness of party officials and bloggers to completely throw their own leader under a bus, never mind the Quebec Lieutenant. As much as I appreciate the fake outrage over closed nominations...let's be honest, this wasn't about closed nominations, but about Coderre's power play. The pissing contest, while misplaced, was not a reason to throw most of the party's Quebec organizational work over the last year out the window.
Day after day, Liberal media strategy was a mere waste of breath as many within the party turned their fire on one of their own. As much as Quebec Liberals appreciate the input of party members across the country, if the Quebec Liberal caucus and membership suddenly descended on an MP from another province with the fury seen in this situation, I am sure you would all be scratching your heads as well.
The Liberals cannot have another election right now. Not until they put fresh new blood on the ground in Quebec. Not until every Liberal is committed to getting Stephen Harper out of office. Not until Liberals give Michael Ignatieff a bit of room to manoeuvre. As long as people do not feel that the Liberals are prepared to govern they will not vote for them.
There is one silver lining in the CROP poll, the NDP lost 5 points, even more than the Liberals. The good news for the Liberal Party is that even with an political H-bomb exploding in the riding, Tom Mulcair will still lose.
Labels: Thinking of Petitioning for the name of the riding of Outremont to be changed to Gong Show
Jack and Gilles
Jack and Gilles went up the hill
to fetch a deal with Stephen
Jack fell down just like a clown
as all his voters listened
Up Jack got and home did trot
claiming he got Steve to dance
but in the end he could only pretend
that he really had a chance
Gilles came in and he did grin
adding the vote of the Bloc
with their support he could report
on Friday there'd be a menage-a-trois
Gilles did laugh and Jack did cry
as NDP hopes slipped away
Steve's alive, for now he's survived
but Michael Ignatieff will win the day.
Are the NDP and Conservatives Insane?
This morning we hear that NDP bigwig Judy Rebick has a few words to say about the NDP, and Jack Layton including "I have kind of given on the NDP in terms of how they can change" and "the problem is who is running the party, I don't know who is running the party?" Probably realizing how WTF that previous statement was, she went on to blame the backroom boys and girls for trying to make the NDP a mainstream party...(gasp at the thought right?)
Judy is not going to the NDP convention this weekend and has given up on the NDP because even with a weak Liberal leader and a very unpopular government, they only inched ahead. She doubts they will ever be able to get to government. Rebick is known to many NDP supporters and leaners who have seen her on TV and the radio as a host or commentator. You can expect these comments she made coming soon to a 10%er or campaign flyer near you.
A few weeks ago, an article appeared from the Canadian Press touting the leadership abilities of Jason Kenney and his possible future as a Conservative Leader. The article mentioned Kenney's abilities and had a few unnamed anonymous sources musing openly about leadership when the Prime Minister has not even shown a sign of getting off that pot.
I was surprised to see the Tories doing this. Many Tories I spoke to did not dismiss the story. In fact, they either touted their own guy like MacKay, Prentice, even one Maxime Bernier supporter! Many also took the time to bash Jason Kenney. Nobody denied a leadership squabble. Most importantly, NOBODY DEFENDED HARPER.
Many are leaving the PMO and some are beginning to wonder why. One logical answer is they are setting up future leadership campaigns. We saw it with Martin and many Liberals remember how bitter the party became with each other when that open feud ripped open the Liberal Party.
NOTHING HURTS A PARTY MORE THAN A LEADERSHIP CRISIS
Why two political parties would start launching shots at each other on the cusp of what is likely to be an October election call seems like outright madness. When only one federalist party in Quebec takes on the Bloc, this doesnt end up so well for the sovereigntists either. As the summer ends (did it ever really begin) and the Parliamentary session approaches bet on two things
1) The Liberals will try and pry open these wounds and ignite civil war in the NDP and Conservative Party.
2) If it works, they are pulling the plug on the government and it will be up to somebody else to bail out Harper.
We all knew this was coming...
I will always be a policy wonk at heart. There is an idea coming out of England known as "pay-as-you-save" where homeowners would pay off a retrofit loan with the money they save on energy due to the retrofitting.
Sounds easy doesnt it?
Here is how it works:
Joe buys a house. Joe finds out that by spending $5 000 retro-fitting his home, he can save 20$ a month. That is 240$ a year. Within 21 years, Joe would be saving money. However, Joe doesnt know if he will own his house in 21 years, so retrofitting the house just is not worth the risk. The "pay-as-you-save" loan takes the savings from retro-fitting the home and applies them to the loan. If Joe sells the house, he also sells the loan. After the loan is paid off, the house's value increases as it is energy efficient. If Joe has the need to move, he sells the loan with the house.
The British Plan requires banks to provide these loans. However, I personally don't see the issue with Environment Canada putting up the money. Let's face it, these are micro-loans. While the full costs for retro-fitting a home can be up to $20 000, some measures costs a little as a few hundred dollars. This is money that is directly injected into the economy that is 100% guaranteed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because less energy is spent. It may be the most direct way to turn money into reduced emissions while helping kickstart the green economy that Canada needs to be a part of.
The department needs to put up a website that is interactive. On that website, homeowners can find out what changes can be made and how much money these changes would save them. The homeowners can then make a decision as to what changes need to be made and how much these changes cost, depending on the region. Estimates are made and submitted for approval for a "pay-as-you-save" loan. Payment is determined by the amount of money that is expected to be saved on each energy bill.
Now to rebut a few arguments:
Anthony, this will require a huge bureaucracy to manage.
If consumers are choosing from government approved options, the loan approvals are pretty much automatic, provided a simple credit check is performed. The Canadian government has been managing loans for students and businesses for years. This is not a novel concept.
Anthony, what prevents people from taking the money and using it to buy a new car?
As the estimates themselves are approved by the department loan officer, the contractors can bill the government directly for the amount they estimated and are legally bound to do the work once they bill the government. This is also less headaches for the homeowners as well.
Anthony, what about people with new homes?
Getting this work done in new homes is far less expensive. However, I do not see how the extra cost cannot be used to apply for a pay-as-you-save loan to help alleviate some of the mortgage on the original cost of the home. Think of it as an incentive to get off to a good start.
I am open to other suggestions and questions. I am not proposing it to any particular party like some of my other blogging friends, like Scott who sent me the article over the weekend.
This is a good idea. It will help Canadians. It will help the economy. It will help combat greenhouse gas emissions.
Who knows? If this works, maybe pay-as-you-save loans can be applied to hybrid cars to bridge the extra cost, with savings at the pump applied for the first couple of years.
Sweden's Migration and Asylum and Policy Minister Tobias Billstroem was quoted as saying that Sweden, as Chair of the EU until December, would be ready to slap retaliatory VISA requirements on Canadian citizens.
While some Canadians are wondering if Jason Kenney needs to become Minister of Migration and Asylum and Policy, or just Minister of Asylum, he inadvertently revealed what the problem was.
"We need to streamline the system to provide faster protection for real victims of persecution, while showing bogus claimants to the door much more quickly. Until we're able to come up with reforms along those lines, unfortunately, the visa policy becomes our only recourse,
What Kenney is basically saying is he doesn't have a plan. It just seems so much easier to begin a diplomatic war with a NAFTA partner and the European Union than to come up with a solution to prevent all this.
After Harper's week of missteps at the G8 in Italy and now Kenney starting a spat with Mexico and the EU, it makes you wonder where the hell Lawrence Cannon is, and how much longer he will have to put up with this comedy of errors.
Labels: More on Cannon after my Midterms
Things not to do Before Visiting the Pope
Catholicism has (unfortunately) been a big part of my life growing up. When I was younger and had to attend the mandatory catechism classes, we were told just how important it was to be receiving the first communion.
One little girl asked what I thought was a brilliant question. She asked what to do if we weren’t hungry. The priest turned to her and said “If you throw away the body of Christ, you will burn in hell forever.” I know the wrath of refusing food because my nonna is just as unforgiving.After reading this
, I simply do not understand what the Prime Minister was thinking. Are the protocol people on vacation?
So a few days before setting off to Italy to meet with the G8 and then the Pope, the Canadian Prime Minister has managed to commit one of the biggest booboos possible.
For Harper’s sake I hope this isn’t true. Catholics take this kind of stuff very seriously. If he didn’t want to take it, he just had to stay in his seat when everybody else went up.
I would like to see how many Catholic priests will tell their parishioners to vote Conservative after this kind of flub. If Harper was embarrassed in front of the Pope for funding a pride parade in Toronto, he will really be squirming when he sits down with him next week.
Here’s a tip Steve for your upcoming visit, While in Italy, when someone gives you food, you eat it!
Update: It seems the Harper PR people are denying the story in the face of video evidence contradicting them. They recognize this as a big deal. Covering it up will probably only hurt them more.
Labels: Holy Stupidity Batman
During the 7 “Liberal” years of my life, ethics were rather subjective. I had them when I needed them. Other than that, it was a game of “don’t get caught”.
I joined Concordia Journalism to break away from my political past. 3 campaigns/leadership races in direct succession had made me kinda crazy and very lost.
The program is one year long and I feel like I have learned a little bit about everything. As things wind down, Concordia wanted to teach us ethics before they sent us out into the unemployment lines.
I am put into situations weekly where my conscience is given a real test. Do I ruin somebody’s career to get a story? Do I present the facts in a way that help the flow of my article? Do I report a story from an anonymous source whose only interest is a rumor getting out there?
A year ago, I would have answered yes to all three questions. Call it the effect of partisan politics I guess. I spared nobody in all my Anti-Rae posts or my ridiculing of Dion and Monsieur Kennedy. If I could gain an edge back then, I did.
In a dogfight with the PQ and ADQ, I would never have thought twice about blogging anything fairly. Screw that! I used to think…
As the haze has faded over time, and the ethics I had put aside for all those years come back to me, I am beginning to understand the real hold that politics can have on some people. It is a very good thing that I took a year off politics before entering journalism school.
A friend of mine from my Liberal days MSN’ed me the other day about how he had converted to Iggymania. Naturally he thought I would be thrilled.
Just because im not involved doesn’t mean I don’t follow it. So I asked him what about Ignatieff brought him on board. I mean, 2006 was loaded with policy and ideas (like the nation and a carbon tax).
Now Ignatieff is really coasting on rhetoric and big crowds… (Hey, it worked for Obama right…)
After thoroughly confusing my friend, I got to thinking why I was no longer as enthusiastic about Ignatieff or the Liberals.
It dawned on me. Iggy 1.0 was far different than Iggy 2.0
Let’s face it. Two years ago Ignatieff knew academia and journalism but he was no politician. He started the two biggest policy debates in Canada. The nation debate cost him the leadership. The Carbon Tax cost the Liberals 40 seats.
Michael brought an approach to politics where people used logic and reason to wade through discussions and discourse. He was willing to tackle the sacred cows of Canadian politics.
He addressed Paul Martin’s cuts to transfer payments.
He addressed Quebec’s longing for recognition.
He addressed the dogmatic adherence to Medicare.
He addressed the need for REAL action on climate change and not lip service.
Now he is coy…he plays the politicians quite well…
My friends had been telling me Michael was supposed to deliver a knockout speech to the crowd in Laval a couple of weeks ago. I decided to stay away. It still is too soon for me to be returning to Liberal events.
I watched it on TV. I saw Michael Ignatieff, the politician…not Michael Ignatieff, the journalist.
Ignatieff is much smarter than I will ever be. Let’s hope politics does not ruin what he first set out to do…
Labels: back to my paper...
Waiting on Stephen Harper to Condemn Coup d’Etat Attempt in Israel
Something really evil is happening in Israel.
Tzipi Livni won the Israeli election.
Benjamin Netanyahu, you may remember he marked my first day at Concordia with a little pizzazz, has come in second in the Israeli election.
However, he is claiming victory and is trying to reverse the election results.
Bibi is trying to form government with the 3rd party in Parliament, best known for wanting to secede Galilee from the rest of Israel so they can give it to the Arabs.
The fact Bibi wants to negotiate with these separatists is an act of treason.
When is Stephen Harper going to tell Benjamin Netanyahu that his madness has to end?
Labels: This is post number 666...