September 30, 2006

Great News

Antonio Di Domizio est elu!

I am psyched!

September 29, 2006

Gong Show in Jeanne LeBer

If your candidate's representative threw a reporter outside a church, you will be in trouble tomorrow morning.

Even the Teamsters were surprised.

Gong Show

a Demain

September 28, 2006

Dionistas Making Bad Wine with Sour Grapes

BCer in Toronto is using his Quebec expertise to say Liza Frulla is unimportant. Well Jeff, you are very far from the truth on this.

Liza Frulla was the Chair of the NO campaign in 1995, a popular Bourassa minister, once touted to lead the provincial Liberals before Charest came from Ottawa. If Dion’s attitude is that Frulla’s endorsement is meaningless, then I believe they truly misunderstood the political landscape in Quebec.

Frulla’s non-endorsement of Dion leaves Stephane with no big francophone Quebec endorsements in the province of Quebec. (Francis Fox supported Ignatieff this morning as well.) I would love to hear Stephane arrogantly call her non-endorsement a compliment. Frankly Jeff, you should be ashamed of yourself. Mind you, if the dirty tricks we will see from the Dion campaign in Jeanne LeBer this weekend are any indication, we will be in for quite the gong show.

Ignatieff Most Winnable...says Tories Secret Memo

Linda Diebel drops a bomb into the leadership race right before Super Weekend

I am on hiatus until Sunday...enjoy

Toronto MP Michael Ignatieff is the Liberal leadership candidate the Conservatives would fear fighting the most in the next federal election. And, of the top contenders, the Tories would most like to take on former NDP premier Bob Rae.

The conclusions are contained in a confidential memo obtained by the Toronto Star, and written by Conservative national campaign chief Doug Finley.

Addressed to the CPG, or Campaign Planning Group, the memo assesses the Liberal leadership race from a Conservative campaign perspective to determine "which leadership candidate would be most formidible." It came after extensive polling and focus groups conducted by the party during July and August, including surveys of both the general public and so-called election "switchers," who could change their vote to the Tories.

Finley, a key Tory war-room strategist in the last federal election, says Ignatieff (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) "worries me most." However, a hand-written margin note by an unknown person adds: "Puts his foot in his mouth too much. Will be problematic (for Ignatieff)."

The memo deals principally with the four candidates considered front-runners in the race for the Liberal leadership, calling them the "only serious" contenders. It says:
Rae has "real problems" with potential Liberal-to-Conservative switchers, 35 and over. People think he's a "nice guy" but always come back to his record as Ontario premier.

"The only silver lining for Rae is that his negatives are concentrated in Ontario and Quebec and Ontario, to be fair, has changed a lot since the early 1990s," says the memo. It adds, however, that his record, including "Rae Days" would become a campaign issue.

Former Ontario cabinet minister Gerard Kennedy is described as not ready for leadership, with a Mississauga focus group member saying, "He looks minor-league." His French was criticized in Quebec. "People love Gerard Kennedy on paper until they see him perform." Has a "great life story, nice family" and good record as Ontario Liberal education minister. But "when exposed to Gerard Kennedy on TV, the dials go south."

Adds Finley: "If the Liberals are willing to invest a few elections in Gerard Kennedy, he could grow into the job."

Former federal cabinet minister Stephane Dion got "good news and bad news." He appears more popular among ordinary Quebecers "than the media establishment gives him credit for." Plus, he is not associated in the public's mind with the sponsorship scandal, in which the auditor-general's office found $100 million in taxpayer funds was misspent to sell federalism in Quebec.
Outside of Quebec, Dion was "the toughest sell," criticized for his English. He is rated "the most boring" of the leadership candidates. Comparing him to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Finley writes: "This guy makes Harper look exciting."

Ignatieff was "the most interesting candidate to probe/test." The memo says he "takes quite a bit of heat for his foreign policy positions" among left-leaning Liberal-Conservative switchers. He'd probably lose votes over foreign policy from Liberal/NDP switchers, says Finley.
"But he is an impressive performer and the more people watched Ignatieff, the more they liked him," says the memo, adding one woman in London said "he looks, sounds and acts like a prime minister."

Finley considers Ignatieff's appeal to be strongest among university-educated, middle-to-upper middle class voters in ridings the Tories hope to target, including Don Valley West, West Vancouver- Sunshine Coast and Lac St. Louis.

Concludes Finley: "Dion and Kennedy could evolve into formidable competitors over time but that depends on how long Liberals are willing to sit in opposition and let these two men grow into national leaders."

Liberals in 308 ridings across Canada meet over so-called "Super Weekend," beginning Friday, to choose delegates to the Nov. 28-Dec. 3 Liberal leadership convention in Montreal.
The memo says Dion and Ignatieff supporters are the "most firm in their support," while Rae support is "relatively soft with ordinary members," although he will probably do well among 890 ex officio delegates.

"As my earlier memo on party support indicated," says Finley, "the Liberal Party has a lot of work to do to convince Canadians that they have learned their lessons from January 23rd and changed for the better."

Finley declined to comment last night. A spokesperson told the Star "he is absolutely clear he has had no change of heart on the contents (of the memo) or on strategy. It's as true today as when he wrote it."

September 27, 2006

Ignatieff Offers Hope for the Environment

Michael Ignatieff released his strategy for Sustainable Development in Canada. The speech he made during the release is here.

He lays out his seven point plan to be enshrined in Canada’s first Environmental Sustainability Act. The seven planks of the act involve:

1) Breathing Clean Air
2) Drinking Clean Water
3) Ensuring Access to Healthy Food
4) Become a Global Leader in Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity
5) Preventing the Build-Up of Toxins and Waste in our Society
6) Reducing Canada’s Carbon Emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2050.
7) Ensuring Canada’s Cities are Renowned Around the World for being Vibrant, Clean, Safe and Prosperous

What is most astonishing about this plan is that it is comprehensible and sets out goals in the short medium and long terms. It sets out goals for Canada and goals at the international level. It is full of ideas and means to get these bold ideas accomplished.

I could spend the entire day explaining the plan but I encourage you all to go check it out.
This plan is bold. It sets out goals which critics will call unachievable.

The tax measures in the plan, from helping corporations provide clean vehicles to their employees, to taxing fuel based on its carbon content, to giving preferential tax status to homes which meet the highest standard, to TAXING JUNK MAIL, are so fantastic, they are outright revolutionary.

Protecting our environment will be a major issue in the upcoming election after all the hot air surrounding the Tories’ Made in Canada solution to a Global problem turns out to be nothing but hot air.

I leave you with a quote from Michael’s speech today in Ottawa, which transcends the debate on the environment and applies to many other issues facing Canada today.

“We need hope.

Hope that our environment can be saved. Hope that Canada can make a positive difference for life on this planet.

Not false hope based on phony policies and empty promises.

But real hope.

Hope based on a clear vision. Hope based on the courage to make tough choices. Hope based on the ambition to effect real change and revolutionize the way we do environmental policy in Canada. Hope based on real leadership.”

Update: ted over at Cerberus has more details. He is so thorough.

Worth breaking my "blogger code"...

Unlike SOME fuddle duddle bloggers (cough, cough)* I've generally been trying to keep my posts from being interminably lengthy ramblings about the wonders of the candidate I'm supporting. Firstly, I just don't think I'm as credible on any issue when a post is written from a leadership-oriented paradigm. Secondly, I figure Dion addresses most of the issues better than I can anyway. Thirdly, I'm a generally pretty lazy blogger.

HOWEVER, I've decided to breach my own "no-flagrant-boasting-about-your-candidate" code to give a shout out to

this post. (Ah, screw it. I'm not just linking it, I'm straight up copying and pasting it because I just don't want to lose the few of you who might be turned off by the extra click.)

To wake up every day and learn something new and inspiring about your candidate continues to be not just a privilege, but truly an honour. Thanks, SD =)

Sept. 26/06 Stephane Dion

Last Changed on: 27 September 2006 (Original post date: 27 September 2006) posted by Steve Paikin

I had never met Stephane Dion before tonight's interview, and I must confess, I wondered why so many pundits were giving this guy such laudatory notices. I had only ever seen him on television, and then again, in short sound bites. Now, having met him, I can see what much of the fuss is about. I always knew he was solid on policy. I wondered about whether his English was strong enough to attract voters in English Canada. I also wondered whether a former Quebec intellectual and academic had the requisite people skills for the job.

If the reaction in our studio today was any indication, the answer is, yes he does have it. Dion entered our studio today and did something almost no politician ever does: he shook hands with all the members of our studio crew. I have interviewed hundreds of politicians in that studio over the past 12 years, and I can count on one hand the number of them that
bothered to introduce themselves to the cameramen and/or other technicians. So right away, the crew was positively disposed to him.

You can judge the interview for yourself, but what impressed me was how quick he was on his feet (or, I guess more accurately, on his seat). His English did seem more than satisfactory to the task. He was charming and amusing in ways I had never seen him before. He also demonstrated an enthusiasm and passion for the job, and all of it on five hours sleep a night.

Dion not only submitted to an interview off the top of the program, but also joined four other analysts in a discussion about where the Liberal Party of Canada is today. I know plenty of politicians who might have begged off tangling with their critics on television on the eve of the most important delegate selection vote of their political careers. But he didn't. I suspect hs overall performance only enhanced his stature with our viewers tonight.

*I've decided to start playing up the fact that people think Antonio and I don't get along, which is totally ridiculous. People, we're friends! Trust me!

John Lennard Compared my Blog to Bob Rae!

My dear friend John Lennard has compared my blog to “Fiddle-Faddle a light snack, nothing to be taken too seriously.”

My commentary is unimportant because I believe a candidate should actually stand for something rather than just be there for his good posture and piano playing ability.

Maybe I just want the next leader of my party to be a bit more than just Fiddle-Faddle.

Cheers John

Carolyn Bennett Supporters Do Not Want a Leader, They Want An Agenda

After indebted candidate number 3 joined the richest campaign on the block, we get news that Carolyn’s supporters, those who were supporting her for her values and beliefs, did not follow their leader, but rather followed her agenda. I wonder how many people are actually going to buy Bob Rae’s line that ideas don’t matter in leadership races.

Do we just rent a leader? If he wins, we have to provide him with lines and he goes off and says them? How the hell does anybody expect to take Bob Rae seriously at this point?

It is beginning to get ridiculous. The other candidates in this race will soon have to make a decision whether or not to support a candidate that has brought forth ideas and a plan to build this great country even further.

Watch out for surprises at convention. Just because a candidate may move one way, his/her supporters may not. It sets up some rather odd possibilities. Imagine Dion going to Bob Rae, would Dion’s Ontario delegates follow? Imagine Gerard Kennedy going to Michael Ignatieff, would the dippers in Gerard’s camp go with him to someone they swore as their arch-enemy?

Do not tell me it is impossible after the candidate on the furthest right went to Bob Rae.

This will make the vote even more volatile and, sadly, make Super Weekend results only good for the first ballot.

Sorry folks, this one will go down to the wire.

September 26, 2006

Chantal Hebert Says We Need Constitutional Change

As I stated in earlier posts, there are 3 main French Papers in Quebec (Le Devoir, La Presse, and le Journal de Montreal) After La Presse and the Journal de Montreal's main political columnists supported Ignatieff's Quebec proposal, only Chantal Hebert remained from Le Devoir.

Today, (in the Star) Hebert weighs in on the fire this proposal has lit, but when she throws in her opinion, and you have to look hard to find it because she is such a good journalist, her view is clear.

''Overall, the current regime is set up in such a way that the provinces that depend on the rest of the federation to make ends meet have a bigger voice on the governance of the country than some of those who foot the bills.

The only way to address this dysfunction would be to amend the Constitution. But if, as Dion claims, the lack of modern national institutions is not preventing Canada from living up to its full potential, it may be because Parliament is less and less relevant to its national life. In a normal world, that should be a concern for those who are vying to lead the country.''

The only way to address the problem is to not sit on our hands...I could not agree more...Quebec needed this debate...and the outcome of it will play a big role in the upcoming showdown next year in the provincial election.

September 25, 2006

Dion and Rae a Danger to National Unity says former Quebec Lieutenant

(I had caught this article in La Presse and wanted to translate it and pass it along sooner, but alas, a bad break-up and postal voting has bogged me down. Some editorial stuff, Garneau was Turner's Quebec Lieutenant and Minister of Finance under Bourassa beforehand...enjoy)

No to the Hard Line: Insensibility of Dion and Rae Toward Reasonable Aspirations of Quebec Places Canadian Unity in Danger.

La Presse, Raymond Garneau2006.09.21

I attentively read the interview Stephane Dion had with La Presse last week. In reading his thoughts, I was reminded of the presentation Pierre Trudeau made to the Senate Committee against the Meech Lake Accord.

In sum, Mr. Dion, a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party, tells Quebecers: things are going well: there is nothing to change in the constitutional accord of 1982; Quebecers must understand. I will sum up what I took away from the La Presse interview: NO to Quebec as a civic nation; NO it is not necessary for Quebec to sign the constitution of 1982; NO there is no fiscal imbalance or financing problem in the federation.

Mr. Dion and his new friend Bob Rae pretend that all is going well thank you very much; that we should not discuss the constitution because it’s too complicated: that there is no problem at all.

If this is the case, how come a poll published in recent days shows the Liberal Party still in third place in Quebec behind the Bloc and the Tories. Those who have campaigned for the Liberals in Quebec recently will tell you how difficult it is for them to convince Quebecers to vote for the Liberal Party. The insensitivity incarnated by constitutional hardliners like Mr. Dion and his friend Mr. Rae renders the task next to impossible for federal Liberals In Quebec. This insensibility of the hardliners toward the reasonable aspirations of Quebec will lead the LPC to its ruin in Quebec and will place Canadian Unity in danger. This hard line was nearly fatal in the 1995 referendum.


When I was the Liberal MP for Laval des Rapides in Ottawa, from 1984 to 1988, I had stated that the Liberal Party of Canada had to support the Meech Lake Accord and under the leadership of John Turner, we had done that.

However, my battles within the Liberal caucus in favor of Meech (note: Garneau was Turner’s Quebec Lieutenant) created many problems for me with the hardliners of Pierre Trudeau…which was retaken by Jean Chretien. And now, the torch has been assumed by Mr Dion and his new friend Bob Rae.Bob seems to have picked up on Dion’s idea, during the Leadership Debate in Vancouver, when he said that he was too tired to re-open the constitutional debate on Quebec’s place within the Canada of tomorrow. It was too complicated. Would Rae rather, like editorialist Andre Pratte writes, negotiate secession of Quebec from the rest of Canada than finding a constitutional compromise acceptable to Quebec in the Canada of tomorrow? Certainly, it will be a long process which will take years, but that is no reason to abandon the cause only to benefit those who want to destroy our country. The Pequistes have lost two referendums and they have still not abandoned their cause which is already 40 years old. We must have heads as strong as theirs and continue to find the winning conditions for a Canada best adapted to the 21st century.

The choice is now very clear. The federal Liberals in Quebec have a clear choice to make. Maintain the hard constitutional line incarnated by Stephane Dion and his new friend Bob Rae or opt for the candidate of renewal who believes that the Liberal Party of Canada has to change attitude towards Quebec and prove that we understand and are open to Quebec. This candidate is Michael Ignatieff. This is why I have chosen to support Michael Ignatieff’s candidacy as future leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and I ask all other federal Liberals in Quebec to do the same.

The author was a member of the Quebec National Assembly from 1970 to 1976 and served as Minister of Finance under Robert Bourassa. He also served as a federal Member of Parliament for the Laval-des-Rapides riding from 1984 to 1988. Mr. Garneau is now retired from Industrial Alliance Insurance where he served from 1988 to 2005

En réponse à mon ami Daniel Laprès


Bob Rae, au cours du débat non-télévisé de Québec disait qu'il souhaitait toujours enchasser la reconnaissance de la nation québécoise dans la Constitution.

Pour une raison que j'ignore toujours, il a soudainement changé son fusil d'épaule. De toute façon, on le sait, Bob change vite d'idée. Une journée, il donne au NPD et se réjouit de l'élection de plus de députés néo-démocrates, le mois suivant, il se lance dans la course à la direction du PLC...

Bob Rae est l'homme du passé. Il a fait de bien grandes choses mais ne propose rien sauf des propos creux. Il manque de créativité politique pour reprendre tes mots. Il incarne sincèrement un changement pour le PLC,il sonne réellement comme Jack Layton. Voici une citation sur la "vision de l'avenir" de Bob Rae parue dans le Brossard Éclair lors d'une entrevue. C'est la seule citation sur sa vision future du Canada. «Je pourrais faire des choses positives pour assurer la prospérité du pays, donner des opportunités partagées par les citoyens et une économie qui est durable, où nous faisons face au défi de l'environnement et surtout un Canada qui prend sa place dans le monde avec fierté»,.

La section "issues" du site web est similaire au programme électoral de 2000 du PLC. Pour reprendre tes mots (au sujet du programme du PLC en 2000), ça semble écrit sur une "napkin". Sur l'environnement, Bob Rae se contente de deux paragraphes pour dire quel est son plan pour diminuer les gaz à effet de serre. C'est maigre...

Si tu considères les politiques de Michael comme "loin d'être rassurantes", c'est qu'au moins il en a. Je ne pourrais qualifier celles de Bob Rae car il ne présente aucune nouvelle idée...

D'ailleurs, Bob Rae le dit lui-même, on ne doit pas élire le chef avec les meilleures idées. Il l'a même répété dans Macleans où il disait que l'on élit un chef, on n'élit pas un agenda. (Une chance pour Bob Rae car on ne connaît pas son agenda sauf qu'il fera des choses positives pour le PLC)Qu'élit-on ? Un perroquet ? Je préfère un chef avec une vision.


September 23, 2006

Call Him Kim

Bob Rae has entrenched his view that ideas are not important. You aren’t voting for an agenda, you’re voting for a leader…well I guess he forgot to tell Ontarians that in 1990.

But in all seriousness…here is the quote.

“In an era when just about every politician with ambition boasts of a vision, a blueprint for transformative change, a new way of doing politics, Rae dismisses all that as unimportant. "It's not a campaign about ideas," he told Maclean's. "You're electing a leader, you're not electing an agenda." [...]

If that sounds vaguely familiar, here is a Kim Campbell Refresher

"an election is no time to discuss serious issues"

we are assuming she wanted to discuss the serious issues at another time. Maybe Bob expects the entire Liberal Party to bend over and take it before we actually see where he will take this party.

Does Bob rae seriously think he is entitled to lead the party simply because of who he is instead of what he stands for? There is no misquote this time, he said the same thing twice now.

“Yet he's remarkably blunt in declaring that all this is really beside the real point. Choosing a leader isn't about ideas, he declares, as much as finding "a person you're comfortable with."

So Bob believes that the entire party will be comfortable with a guy who just left another party and joined ours just when the job was open. He expects us to just give him the job, not because of what he stands for, but because of who he is. He expects to try and lead a country after his only previous experience was the Province of Ontario from 1990-1995.

In Quebec, we just saw a leadership race end where everyone chose the guy with no policy simply because of who he was and not who he stood for, Andre Boisclair. Boisclair’s leadership campaign was hardly about ideas. Boisclair was a professional politician who sounded good spouting the party line. Bob Rae is going for the same style.

John Lennard was right, Bob Rae IS job ready. Except we never knew what the job really was. Bob is ready to spout the party line and smile while he does it. Bob is ready to forgo bringing any ideas or values to the table in order to improve his party’s chances. Bob is ready to take the throne his brother always wanted him to take.

If the job is to be the Manchurian candidate, Bob Rae has been job ready all along.

September 22, 2006

Bloc Blackmail Desperate Attempt to Avoid the Election of a Certain Leader

I am actually surprised it took this long. Tory polling numbers have fallen back into third place in Quebec. They trail the leaderless Liberals, who are beginning to be forgiven for our indiscretions. Gilles Duceppe is broke, well his party is. He was expecting a higher share of the vote last election and the Tories stole some of their pot of gold from C-24.

Now the Tories have proven their election promises were just a ploy to get elected. Gilles Duceppe will eat them for breakfast in the next election...another federalist failure...The Bloc needs to get more votes, and fast, in order to keep the party above water.

Duceppe needs to get this done as quickly as possible as there is a danger looming over the horizon. It is possible the Liberals may elect a leader who is sympathetic to the aspirations of Quebec to feel at home within this federation.

Imagine a Liberal leader in Canada who believes Quebec is a nation and is willing to prove it by entrenching it.

Imagine a Liberal leader who recognizes that the LIBERAL finance minister cut too deeply in 1995 and then over cut taxes in 2000, but is willing to find a way to restore full funding to the provinces and solve the fiscal imbalance.

Imagine a Liberal leader capable of building a Canada that brings everyone together while still respecting Quebec’s distinctiveness, proving that this federation can work despite the objection of the PQ and the Bloc.

No wonder the Bloc is scared. Quebec Liberals can smile today. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and Gilles Duceppe is running scared away from the light.

September 21, 2006

NDP Should Return Bob’s Money

Apparently the WAHM-bulance has sounded in the NDP. They are outraged Bob Rae could possibly give money to the NDP, considering he used to be their LEADER. Pure sanctimony if you ask me. But Irene, if you are SO holier than thou, just return the money.

Hypocrisy, thy Name is Bob

If you scroll down so some of my earlier posts, I used to give Bob Rae props for recognizing Quebec as a nation and wanting to fix the “unilateral repatriation of the constitution”. Bob and Michael were on a close enough page here.

From what I heard from friends in Quebec City, Bob was shoulder to shoulder with Michael with his views on the Quebec nation. Then at the debate, Bob changed his tune. Suddenly it was too hard. Looks like John and Eddie (I assume we are on a first name basis with everyone on that campaign) commissioned a focus group in English Canada. Bob also needed something to distinguish himself from Ignatieff. To Bob’s credit, it worked. Depending what paper or poll you read, Uncle Bob is a co-frontrunner now.

So after the donation fiasco, I said it was time for some investigative journalism. I was looking for Quebec City quotes from the non-televised debate. Steve Janke beat me to the punch, and he got more. Oh how convenient

"I have made a personal effort for a long time to ensure the total participation of Quebec in the federation and the country, and it's what I will continue to do in all ways.''

Speaking in support of the federal Clarity Act, which imposed conditions on a future sovereignty referendum, he said he "preferred clarity to confusion, that's all.''

While he said in French that the unilateral repatriation of the Constitution without Quebec must be fixed, Rae added in English that Canada "isn't something broken that must be repaired.''

Below, this excerpt is from that non televised debate

In an all-candidates debate only five of the 11 contenders attended, Bob Rae, Stéphane Dion and Scott Brison said there is a need to recognize Quebec as a nation within Canada.

"I always supported the notion that a nation, it is a distinct society, which we need to recognize in our Constitution and I have fought for that," Mr. Rae said. "The genius behind federalism is that we can be both a Quebecker and a Canadian."

Then at the Citadelle in Quebec during the all-candidates debate

During the third all-candidates' debate yesterday, Bob Rae confronted his main rival, Michael Ignatieff, head-on, warning against promising to recognize Quebec as a nation in the Constitution if the party is not sure it will be able to do it.

Mr. Rae was responding to Mr. Ignatieff, who said the country will eventually need to recognize Quebec as a nation. Mr. Ignatieff insisted there is a need to give Quebeckers hope that one day they will be able to say, "Quebec is my nation, but Canada is my country."

"In my view, it is dangerous for the Liberal Party to promise people that we will change the Canadian Constitution because, my friends, we tried it and, I can tell you from experience, it is not easy to do: the negotiations are difficult and ratification is difficult," Mr. Rae told Liberal supporters during yesterday's debate.

So Bob has flip-flopped on the Quebec nation question. Bob will still do well in Quebec as he has a great team. However, the separatists will have a field day painting him as a hypocrite, for recognizing Quebec’s status but now refusing to enshrine it. If you think the French Press can’t completely destroy someone’s reputation, I suggest asking Stephane Dion, who with his “actual” views on Quebec should have swept the province. Dion also has an interesting choice to make. It is more and more likely that he will be kingmaker on the floor of the convention.

The Quebec academic will have to choose between two very stark alternatives. One will make him a hero. The other will make him a goat. Depending where you’re from, the outcome is interchangeable. I do not envy Mr. Dion.

September 20, 2006

Civic Nationalism: Why Canada NEEDS Michael Ignatieff to Win

Civic Nationalism: Why Canada NEEDS Michael Ignatieff to Win

I said I would find the time to explain some of the more contentious concepts in Ignatieff’s arsenal. While Quebecers need Michael Ignatieff to win, rejection of his civic nation-building will have dire consequences for Canada.

There are two types of nationalism which can help achieve political integration, and to some extent, socio-political cohesion. Civic nationalism, where people are bound to their symbols, values, ideas, and NOT their ethnic heritage, and ethnic nationalism, where bloodline determines everything.

Jacques Parizeau was an ethnic nationalist; he sought to divide along the lines of ethnicity. Those who were not “pure laine” were not welcome in Parizeau’s Quebec.

One undeniable fact is that immigrants in Quebec are beginning to share the same values as Quebecers. Integration is being achieved through a freak combination of Trudeau’s multicultural policy mixed with the PQ’s language protection laws. What it creates is a Quebec society that share the same values, symbols, and a culture, which is “distinct” to Quebec but NOT to the ethnic group of Quebecois “de souche”.

Michaelle Jean was right. The time of two solitudes is over. Canadian no longer means any ethnic group. We are Canadian because we believe in the values, symbols, and ideas which bind us together. Civic nationalism was used to build this great country. It will continue to do so.

But that does mean that there were two solitudes in the first place. They grew into two civic nations which choose to live in the same state. The two civic nations ARE NOT mutually exclusive. One can feel a part of both nations, as I do. Is there a benefit to being in both? Absolutely not. Just because we recognize a historical fact does not mean we throw away our Charter values of equality.

Canada is a multinational state which has chosen to unite on common principles, values and symbols. All Michael wants to do is affirm it so Quebecers can see that English Canada respects their unique status, but does not afford it any privileges.

This leads me to the arrogance of the English Press. Today Montreal economist and Gazette Columnist William Watson further increased the divide between English and French Press by spouting off comments which can almost be described as xenophobic.

Watson disqualifies Michael Ignatieff from the leadership of the party based on Michael’s decision to be a journalist and academic who happened to work outside the country.

Xenophobia is an unreasonable fear or hatred of strangers or those you do not know.

“Have we made such a botch of things we need an outsider to show us how to make it all work?” Outsider? Since when is Ignatieff’s passport no longer valid? Once again he is penalized for choosing to cover the Balkan War, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Rwanda, and other conflicts where ethnic groups killed each other based on race.

The Balkan war was the result of a federation which was built on ethnic nationalism. Despite Tito’s efforts, there was no Yugoslavian nation and no common values or bind that the people shared. It was beginning to form, but the end of communism saw ethnic nationalism take over. People who used to be neighbours turned on each other for bloodline purposes.

Read Empire Lite by Ignatieff and specifically the chapter on the Mostar Bridge to see first hand how neighbours turned on each overnight when war broke out.

We have peddlers of ethnic nationalism in Canada, the likes of Parizeau and Pierre Falardeau. Do not be fooled by the Globe and Mail or Jan Wong. The vast majority of Quebecers do not buy into their dogma.

Getting back to Watson, MacDonald, MacPherson, the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, etc. who have said Michael is wrong about Quebec and say he is out of touch because he was not here. Michael has seen the consequences of other countries that did not recognize certain truths about their history. It is about coming clean; something the party is doing anyway. I will concede that Michael may not have been here for the nitty gritty of the past two rounds of constitutional talks and/or referendums. Where I break with the Anglophone media is why they insist it is Ignatieff who is out of touch with Quebec, when clearly they are out of touch with Quebecers.

75% of Quebecers believe Quebec is a nation. Michael may have been a journalist at the time. However, is the English media prepared to say that

Andre Pratte
Michel C. Auger
Alain Dubuc
Marc Garneau
Liza Frulla
Marc Lalonde
Patrice Ryan (Son of Former Liberal Leader Claude Ryan)
Raymond Garneau
Denis Coderre
Pablo Rodriguez

are ALL out of touch with Quebecers as well?

Prominent Quebecers who have chosen to agree with Michael (for the first 4) or actually support his candidacy for the last 7.

So Watson, Macdonald, and MacPherson better take a better look at Quebec society before writing Ignatieff off. This Anglo arrogance will not serve Canada well if Andre Boisclair wins the election next year.

When we go down the path to get another root canal, some of us will be wondering why we couldn’t just cap the cavity when we had a chance.

September 19, 2006

Bob Rae Top 11!

From the man who said he had experience and some things are "too hard" to do, Bob Rae emerges with another gem.

Apparently, Liberals should not choose the candidate with the best ideas. Pardon me? While I have to admit this was not part of Jacques Saada's pitch when he tried to get me on Bob's team, it does seem to explain how Ontario was run for the early 90s.

Does Bob plan on making this the Liberal pitch against Stephen Harper?

I can see the ads now…Sure the Tories have better ideas, but I am Bob Rae.
(Bye Bye Brampton, Bye Bye Ajax, Bye Bye Scarborough, Bye Bye Beating Harper)

I remember Marc Gendron's event flier in Drummondville this year "Who needs money when you have ideas?" so…

In honor of Bob's ridiculous statement, I have compiled the

Top 10 Bob Rae Qualities Which Are Better Than Ideas

10) Plays the piano…favorite song of Ontario Unions…I don't wanna work, I wanna bang on the drum all day.

9) Has buttons big enough to fill the holes in his credibility

8) Really adept at quoting NDP premiers

7) Rhymes with political favorites like Tom DeLay and Stockwell Day

6) Won "905 Premier of the Year" 17 years running

5) More days named after him than all other Canadian premiers combined

4) History with the color red consists mainly of his budgets

3) Has a sharp tongue…especially when he calls Liberals lepers

2) Turned cutting and running into a political modus operandi on issues ranging from Afghanistan to constitutional talks.

1) Made Kim Campbell's "elections are not a good time to talk about policy" the No. 2 worst political statement of all time.

So if you believe the people going around calling Bob Rae the "safe choice", there is a snowball salesman in Nunavut I would like you to meet.

UPDATE: After today’s revelations, I decided to include a number 11.

11) Thinks the Liberal Party is SO GOOD, he donates money to their opponents to make the challenge even harder!

Time for some investigative journalism…I’ll try and slot it in…in the meantime, click on my friend Kyle’s blog and take a look at the story. To think he was here this whole time and never bothered donating before.

September 17, 2006

Canadian National Hero Weighs In

My views have changed: Recognize Quebec as a nation
Globe and Mail, Sept. 16/06

Many Canadians have difficulty with the idea of recognizing Quebec as a nation. A solid grasp of history certainly helps to understand why this is a legitimate aspiration. Equally important are crystal clear definitions that we can all agree upon -- a Promethean challenge that requires a willingness to accommodate and a great deal of goodwill.

My own views about this issue have evolved significantly over time. One event in particular helped me to focus on it more than I had before.

During the last federal election, I ran in a riding held by the Bloc Québécois. I lost that contest but in the process learned a great deal, most notably, that I was not quite on the same wavelength as my fellow Quebeckers.

First of all, I had been out of the country from 1992 to 2000 training as an astronaut and had not had the opportunity to appreciate the profound changes taking place in Quebec, including Canada's near-death experience in the 1995 referendum.

Secondly, my perspective of Canada and of Quebec was shaped by English national newspapers and from watching English television, which I believed, gave me an encompassing sense of my country. In reality, I was living inside a bubble.

And finally, like most of us, I was not immune to my own biases. For instance, in 1970, I met James Cross when he hosted me and other winners of a scholarship program funded by the British Board of Trade. Just days later, he was kidnapped. A year later, I and the other Canadian students he had hosted, were invited to a lunch and he was the guest of honour. I sat immediately to his left during the lunch and did my best to converse with him. However, when I saw how the man appeared to have aged 20 years, I felt tremendously disturbed by what had happened to him. Clearly, we are all profoundly shaped by our past experiences.

It took my personal involvement in a federal election to get back in touch with Quebec's reality. And today, I can say without hesitation or shame that I had not realized to what extent Quebeckers had evolved in a new direction. I'm referring to all those French Quebeckers who are both federalists and nationalists, that is to say Canadians with a strong sense of their own distinct culture, language and what makes them feel unique within our country. They had moved away from the federal parties because of repeated failures to recognize Quebec's unique status within our confederation. Today, they still feel profoundly wounded by this lack of recognition. And I've come to recognize the legitimacy of their grievance.

As it stands, I believe Canadians think they understand each other and that when it comes to recognizing Quebec, it's just a matter of disagreement rather than of misunderstanding. I no longer agree with this viewpoint. I very much think that we remain two evolving solitudes.
But what concerns me at this point is our inertia. Yes, we needed a cooling off period after so many failed attempts at constitutional reform by so many people of goodwill. Now, however, we must not be gripped by paralysis or by the hope that if we concentrate on other things, the problem will go away.

Or perhaps even the belief that there will be a more favourable time in the future to face this problem.

This problem will not go away by itself. The longer we wait the greater the risk.

We must find a way to recognize Quebec's legitimate aspirations, not for independence but for recognition and reconciliation. I love my country and I love the province in which I was born and currently live. If I could say one thing to my fellow Canadians who do not agree with or understand what they view as an unjustified or irrational obsession coming from Quebec, it would be this: Please take some time to try to understand the issue in all of its historical and cultural dimensions.

The time has come to recognize the sociological and historical reality of the Quebec nation and the enormous power of this symbolic gesture. It won't change your lives, but it will surely make Canada a stronger country.

Marc Garneau, former astronaut and former president of the Canadian Space Agency, was a federal Liberal candidate in January in the Montreal-area riding of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

French Press Keeps Calling English Press Wrong

Educating Canada
by Alain Dubuc (La Presse September 15th 2006)

When Michael Ignatieff, one of the favored Liberal Party leadership candidates, proposed to recognize Quebec as a nation and set that in stone by inscribing into the Constitution, the reaction was lively in English Canada. They accused him of wanting to awaken the Constitutional beast. The beast he awoke, however, was not that of the constitution, but one which was dormant in the subconscious of the Canadian collective.

It is true that the road to constitutional negotiations is painful. All those who went down that road have been scarred by the experiences of Meech and Charlottetown and never want to re-live the experience. That is the main reason why Ignatieff’s main rivals, Bob Rae and Stephane Dion have criticized the idea of wanting to open this Pandora’s box.

But there is one question people refue to answer on the surface and that is: why is this a Pandora’s Box? Because the idea of recognizing Quebec by anything other than a province causes a scandal throughout English Canada. First, distinct society, an empty term, caused trouble. The idea of a nation will provoke a real indigestion. It is not the constitutional negotiations that are the problem, but the fact that they will reveal a profound fracture.

This rejection (of Michael’s ideas) is well expressed by Toronto’s two most important editorial boards. The Globe and Mail, in an editorial entitled “Ignatieff’s Folly” fears that the recognition of Quebec as a nation will serve to dismantle Canada because nations, in legal terms, have the right t self-determination. Same argument in the Toronto Star: “When it will be inscribed in the Canadian Constitution, the word (nation) can have a much more precise legal definition. International law, for example, gives nations the right to secede. The sovereigntists can maneuver the law to invoke their right.” The reasoning is specious, is it not true that the Supreme Court has already recognized Quebec’s right to secede, if expressed in a referendum with a clear question and a majority. But these arguments, in their weakness, reveal the reluctance provoked by the idea of a nation.

Yet, this proposal by Mr. Ignatieff consists of recognizing a political and sociological truth. “Quebecers came to recognize themselves as a nation, with a language, a history, a culture, and a territory, which make them a distinct people. Quebec is a civic nation, not an ethnic nation” Something Stephane Dion also always said, although never believing that it justified creating a distinct country.

This brings Michael Ignatieff, taking into account the place of Aboriginals, to state that Canada is a country where many nations co-exist. Several industrialized countries are pluri-national: Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium. What distinguishes Canada from this group is that it refuses to admit it. In that sense, Canadian nationalism is somewhat dream-like, hanging on to a definition of a country which does not correspond to the country’s reality.

This rejection is not just a socio-political curiosity. It perhaps relates to an Anglo-Saxon reflex to throw everything which is disagreeable under the rug, hoping it disappears. There is a problem; however, one thing which will not disappear is the significance of the symbols, and the importance, for most Quebecers, of the recognition of their identity; that which other countries have understood with regards to their national minorities.

A recognition will not be thought of as a gift to Quebec. Canada would give a gift to itself, by accepting to define what it is, which would go a long way in achieving political maturity.

We are not there. My colleague Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and mail, points out a survey showing how much this question can divide a people. Only 24% of Ontarians see Quebec as a nation and 22% of Westerners. There is the reason why constitutional negotiations seem so far off.

But the intervention of Mr. Ignatieff remains useful if we see it less as a constitutional measure and more of an educational experience. The fact that Canadian leaders define Quebec as a nation, without necessarily making it a big deal, helps English Canada swallow the notion and integrate it into its implicit definition of our country, to play down a concept, which is no longer a big issue in Quebec but is still politically explosive elsewhere in Canada.

September 14, 2006

Sheila Fraser’s Bag of Tricks

If there is one thing our Auditor-General has, it is her sense of timing. Before the lynch mob assails Stephane Dion, I think we should all simmer down and wait for the report.

No doubt that this may hurt the party but I think we should all chill out and not try to staple anybody to a wall. The report will come out and we will read it. Unlike Jason Cherniak, I do not believe in any conspiracy theories, except that this does majorly suck for Dion.

The Liberal Party needs an AG’s report as much as it needs a hole in the head. I guess now we just have to wait and see…

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - Constitution Strain

(This is one in a series of 7:30 AM posts, it is an article by Michel C. Auger, main political columnist at le Journal de Montreal, which I have translated into English. Don MacPherson joined colleague L. Ian MacDonald, calling Ignatieff's plan dangerous...the English-French divide on this issue continues...)

Michael Ignatieff wishes to re-examine the constitutional saga to recognize the Quebec nation. Bob Rae – like just about all others in English Canada and even many in Quebec – say it’s the worst idea anyone could ever have.

We can ask our selves the question: Are Mr. Rae and all others that have lived through the sagas of Meech Lake and Charlottetown – and this includes Jean Charest – perhaps suffering from a form of post-traumatic stress disorder, constitution strain, this disease causing horrible nightmares every time the word constitution is uttered?

We can understand that Mr. Rae still has bad dreams thinking back to those days. However, this was 15 years ago. One generation. At the time, all those like Mr. Rae, considering themselves friends of Quebec, had repeated over and over that the status quo was not acceptable and that the changes they proposed were justified and good for Canada.

Today, the consensus of these elites is that we should not take the risk of re-openining the constitutional file, that it is more important to worry about “real issues” and that the status-quo is worth more than all these squabbles.

At the neart of this notion, there is a fear that another constitutional miss would only benefit the sovereigntists. This is typical of the post traumatic stress disorder, constitutional strain.Except that, in the heart of all Quebec federalists, there is not only a desire for change but the feeling that this change has been so often promised to Quebecers only to have it pushed off to a later point in time, even under the pretext of dealing with “real issues.”

Even those who were convinced of the need to wait for strategic reasons – such as Premier Charest and his government – would like, in the end, that English Canada come to terms with the fact that waiting will cause other risks.

Because an unkept promise of constitutional change is a tool for the sovereigntists. It is even the heart of their argument that Canada is genetically incapable to recognize Quebec’s difference. Michael Ignatieff preaches to be bold but he is right not only on the issue of an important strategic question: if the Liberal Party of Canada wants to be re-born in Queebc, they must attack the sontitutional issue and try to rebuild the pots it has already broken.
Since the unilateral repatriation of the constitution in 1981, the Liberal Party never again received a majority of seats in a what used to be considered a one-party province.

Quebecers have not forgotted that it was Pierre Trudeau who wanted and planned the repatriation, despite the almost unanimous opposition of the National Assembly of Quebec. They also have not forgotten Jean Chretien’s opposition to the Meech Lake Accord.
If the Liberal party seeks to be re-born from the ashes in Quebec, they need to clearly reach out to Quebecers. That means that the party has to somehow accept to re-open constitutional negotiations, even with the risks that it entails.

Between the post-traumatic stress disorder of Bob Rae and the boldness of Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal Party should choose the latter.

Because I am returning from a long stay in the United States, I permit myself to cite a quote from Thomas Jefferson that is engraved in the marble stone of his monument in Washington. It applies rather well to the current situation. «I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors».

September 13, 2006

Stirred And Most Definitely Shaken

Our hopes and prayers go out to those who were hurt in today’s shocking incident at Dawson College. As shaken students reached Concordia University this afternoon, all we could do was hug them and tell them it was ok.

Shockwaves throughout the city leave us all a little sad tonight. Nobody knows why anyone would ever thing of doing something like this. I do not know how a 19-year old got an AK-47, but I sure hope they find out quick.

Kudos to the Montreal Police, who had shot the suspect within 3 minutes of the shooting. Kudos to the staff and teachers at Dawson who took control of the situation and kept everyone as calm as possible. Kudos to the doctors from the Montreal General, Montreal Children’s and the Royal Victoria Hospitals who helped not only the shooting victims, but the fragile students whose psyche is surely distraught.

Montreal mourns as a city tonight. From all of us at Fuddle Duddle, our prayers go out to those at Dawson College.

Linguistic Divide Beginning to Form in Canadian Media

Last week to sign up delegates = Only have time to blog at 7:30AM

After every major English Newspaper had lambasted Michael Ignatieff on his proposal for Constitutional Reform, someone finally came to Ignatieff’s defense, and if you ask any Quebecker, it is never bad to have Andre Pratte on your side.

Here are some highlights:

“I am not surprised that The Globe's editorial board would worry about the impact of such a fundamental change to our Constitution. What deeply disturbs me, however, is the premise of the reasoning: "The current approach to national unity is working . . ." the editorial stated. "National unity is not threatened."

Pardon me? (HAHA I fell off my chair when I read this)

La Presse recently published a poll indicating that even though the Parti Quebecois is led by the unpopular and inexperienced Andre Boisclair, 45 per cent of Quebeckers would vote Yes if a referendum were held today. That is exactly what polls showed three weeks before the 1995 vote.”

It is true that constitutional discussions are extremely difficult. But they are certainly less so -- and much less painful -- than negotiating the breakup of the country, as would need to happen (so stated the Supreme Court) if the separatists won a referendum by a clear majority.

The goal should be to take the feeling expressed during the love-in demonstration held in Montreal a couple of days before the 1995 referendum and bolt it -- in words yet to be found -- in the Constitution. We should not do this because it's easy, but because it's absolutely necessary. If political leaders of Upper and Lower Canada were able to agree in 1867, after decades of crisis, violence and mutual prejudice, why would it be impossible in today's Canada?.”

Nobody can question Andre Pratte’s federalism as many Quebec federalists see Pratte as the main Quebec journalist who consistently is an ardent defender of Canada.

So as the English Papers across Canada keep telling you nothing is wrong, do not say that you were not forewarned.

There is a provincial election next year.

The PQ LEADS Jean Charest’s Liberals.

They have said they WILL call a referendum early in the first mandate.

This time next year, we could be back in a referendum. The threat is clear, and it is there.

On another note, Stephane Dion’s “Canada works better in theory than in practice” was lauded by Roy Macgregor as well as my Canadian Federalism professor yesterday.

Well Mr. Dion, you keep saying that theory is for Quebec and practice is for the rest of Canada and see what happens.

Some may be surprised that Stephane Dion is willing to say Quebec is a nation but still refuses to write it down in stone. His support is based in English Canada so he has to stay true to them, however, if he is chosen leader, Quebeckers will not forget the latest ruse out of Stephane Dion.

The Quebec nation will continue to fight for recognition. The majority would rather see that recognition WITHIN Canada. However, more arrogance from outside Quebec and Stephane Dion will not make this any easier.

I will end the way Andre Pratte did, as it may send a chill down our spine a year from now.

“Mr. Ignatieff's rival, Bob Rae, told The Globe that he would never go back to the constitutional table, "unless I had to." The problem is, as happened in 1995, the day Mr. Rae and other English Canadians realize that they have to, it will probably be too late.”

September 11, 2006

Battle Lines Are Drawn at La Citadelle in Quebec City

I was at the debate in Quebec City this past weekend, and while I will not project a winner, I will say that one candidate stood out from all the rest.

Michael Ignatieff showed he is the candidate who is willing to get his hands dirty to do the right thing.

Bob stood there and said straight-faced that he has tried constitutional negotiations before and that they are not what we need. Then he said to elect him because he had the experience to do something he was not willing to do.

Stephane Dion implied that he does not care how the whole situation works out. “Canada can still work without Quebec signing the Constitution.” Let’s try using that one in the next referendum. When the next PQ premier calls a referendum and says the federal government has been unwilling to negotiate for almost 20 years, they will say we are at a stalemate, and sadly enough, the separatists would be right.

While the Quebec City area elected 9 federalist MPs (YES NINE) in the last general election, the Liberals polled 9%. (YES NINE). Clearly what we were doing before is NOT the answer.

Bob Rae says it is too hard to change. Stephane Dion says that we are already on the right track. Michael Ignatieff says let’s fix this problem.

We want a leader that CAN, not a leader that CANNOT.

Don’t let anybody tell you that your dreams are not possible, because the very reason we are Liberals is because we do dream, and we dream BIG.

A final historical note: How many years after Quebec got conquered were French Canadians given special rights due to their culture, history, and language?

14 years…after Quebec got conquered by les maudits anglais Guy Carleton, the British Governor, made the hard decision to give the French religious rights and a civil code rather than assimilate them.

When was the last time we tried to bring Quebec into the current constitutional framework by recognizing its distinct culture and history…

Yes 14 years

Last Question…Ironically, where did Governor Carleton first propose this bold proposition?

La Citadelle du Quebec

Bob Rae wants to talk about the future but remains stuck in the past.

Today was the leadership forum in Quebec city. What really surprised me is Bob Rae's position on the constitutional issue. In Quebec, Bob Rae has been repeating over and over that he is THE "friend of Quebec" (l'ami du Québec) because he has fought for the Meech Lake Accord in 1990 and Charlottetown in 1992. He says that despite the fact that he is surrounded by the same people that were advising Mr Chretien when he objected the Meech Lake Accord.

Today, he said that he would not reopen the Constitution to get Quebec to sign in and become "really" part of Canada. He said that he fought for Meech and Charlottetown and knows these fights are hard so he would not get into it anymore. Governing is about making tought choices, Bob. You are no longer supposed to be a dipper. Governing NDP-style is easy, you spend money whether or not you can afford it. It doesn't involve making any tough choices.

Michael Ignatieff has shown true leadership in saying he would tackle the fiscal imbalance issue and would find solutions while Stephane Dion and Scott Brison are still busy trying to argue that there is no fiscal imbalance. Michael Ignatieff has shown true leadership, like Bob Rae in 1990, by trying to finally get Quebec to sign the Constitution.

Bob Rae has shown that he was a man of the past; that he fought for national unity through the 90s but that he could no longer do it. Bob Rae is backed by the same old boys network that backed Chretien in 1990. Bob Rae's slogan should be the same as Chretien in 1990 : Welcome to the 1990s. Michael Ignatieff, while the same age as Mr. Rae, has the energy it takes to lead that country and fight the separatists and Harper.

Michael Ignatieff's campaign is a bunch of brilliant young people. They might not have the same experience that Bob Rae's team has but they have the energy, the passion, the conviction and the guts to win this leadership and defeat Harper in the next election. When Michael Ignatieff wins the leadership in December, he should reach out to the experienced guys from other campaigns and combine their experience with the energy of his young people.

On a funnier note. I was sitting a few seats away from Antonio at the debate. At some point, Bob Rae was on stage with the other leadership candidates when Antonio's phone rang. It was Bob Rae "personally" calling him to become a delegate. Is this like Rahim Jaffer and his impersonator ? Will the real Bob Rae please stand up ? The use of auto-dialers is really bad and annoys Liberal members, it's much better to rely on dedicated volunteers than machines that try to convince you into running as a delegate for Bob Rae.


September 9, 2006

Bloc MP Loubier Sees Writing on the Wall

Yvon Loubier, the MP from Saint Hyacinthe-Bagot, has decided he will not run in the next federal election. Saint Hyacinthe was one of the ridings where Bloc leads were cut in half by the surging Tories in the last election.

In ridings like SHB and Repentigny, the Tories have a strong at picking up the seats, meaning the Bloc Quebecois will be fighting two federalist parties instead of one.

While it pains me to see the Tories winning more seats in Quebec, I am happy to see more people voting for a federalist party.

As the temporary ad hoc rainbow coalition hits 5920 days and counting, Quebeckers may be finally tiring of the Bloc. It will actually be interesting to see the Bloc have to fight more than 15 ridings next election. No matter the result, federalists win.

September 8, 2006

Ignatieff Cleans Bob`s Clock

Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff squared off today in Montreal at the Universite de Montreal. Ignatieff booked the room a few months ago, only to have Rae attempt to cancel the appearance, then book his room anyway. So today, the pissing contest began.

I`ll be honest I was a little scared. All our cards were on the table. The Media was going to report this as a showdown. The results, to say the least, were more than what we expected.

Ignatieff organizers were ambitious, booking a room for 300 people, and filling 200 seats. Bob Rae booked a room of 50, and filled the room to capacity. FOUR to ONE. That is fantastic considering the Ignatieff campaign is weak at Universite de Montreal and the Rae people control the Liberals at U of M Law School.

So today, Michael Ignatieff laid out his vision to Quebec. While the Globe and Mail calls it folly, I say it is about time we have a Liberal who has testicular fortitude to debate the most touchy issues of our day. I have lived my entire life with squabbles between Quebec City and Ottawa. The time for these squabbles is about to end. With Michael Ignatieff at the helm of the Liberal Party, we can finally end this argument once and for all. Quebec`s absence leaves a gaping hole in our federation and it is about time that somebody had the balls to address it.
“I want to speak for those Quebeckers who are proud to say, ‘le Québec est ma nation, mais le Canada, est mon pays.’”

I am one of those Quebeckers. Despite the fact that I may be an allophone Italian, I feel that Quebec truly is its own nation that chooses to affirm its place inside Canada. Quebec signing the Constitution will strengthen the document to the point where all further arguments for secession will be moot.

Today Michael laid his vision out in front of a boisterous crowd. Rae also said something too. I`m sure it was relevant.

September 7, 2006

Tony Blair takes a page from Jean Chretien

So after leading his party to 3 consecutive majorities for the first time, the leader of a centre-left party is forced out by its finance minister, who has been eyeing the job this whole time.

Now he is taking one year to leave a legacy, er I mean lay booby traps for his successor.

Good luck Gordon, I have seen how this story will end…now all we need is a British Warren Kinsella…

I wont say much…

I wont say much…

There are some bloggers twisting themselves into knots over Steve Janke’s latest accusation.

Here is the difference: While some of the Dion stuff is seemingly recopied verbatim, the Ignatieff stuff shares the same ideas but is not copied word for word.

I stand by what I said. Janke proved my point for me by talking about how Ignatieff’s people proudly boasted they worked together with the activists, which Dion’s people did as well. The quote "This stuff did not come out of thin air." proves that Michael was not trying to pass the idea off as originally his. My problem with Dion's plan is that some of the stuff was copied word for word, which besides showing laziness, is just poor form.

So while I do eat some crow this morning, I am far from a hypocrite. I do apologize for making a federal case out of it, but to the Dion policy-writers, next time, please use your own words and save us all the trouble.

September 6, 2006

Earmuffs, hypocrites, earmuffs

My favourite part of the movie Old School is when Frank the Tank goes streaking in the quad. By himself. My second favourite part is when Vince Vaughn swears a blue streak in front of his young daughter and but seconds later lambastes Luke Wilson for the same thing.

Yesterday Ignatieff suporters were emailing and blogging in droves about the content of Dion's environmental platform, questioning the legitimacy of using ideas found in consultation with interest groups. Yet today there is a melodic hush as it turns out Ignatieff is also using ideas promoted by other interest groups.

The lesson is clear. When there is mudslinging, people inevitably end up with mud on their faces. So why don't we all chill out a little bit more, ease up on the insta-attacks against gaffes constructed by rabid drama-seekers, and just go streaking in the quad.

September 5, 2006

Jason Cherniak Needs a Dictionary

Jason Cherniak called me disgraceful. Apparently, copying a couple of sentences is not plagiarism. Only Tories would define that as plagiarism.

Sadly, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is written by Tories:

transitive verb : to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (another's production) without crediting the sourceintransitive verb : to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

Jason calls it beyond the pale to suggest that Dion did just that,

However, Dion’s website CORRECTED the release, by Jason’s own admission.

If they did nothing wrong, why did they fix it?

I am sure Dion never meant to plagiarize (in retrospect, I should have said that last night), doesn’t mean he didn’t do it.

As the environment candidate, to have “inadvertently” ripped off half your plan from David Suzuki without giving him credit for it is a major problem, and Dion has lost credibility on it.

What scares me more is that the campaign cannot admit a mistake despite clearly correcting one. No wonder Stephane Dion has never retracted anything. I think that spells more trouble down the road…

September 4, 2006

Stephane Dion’s Plagiarized Policy a Blemish on his Academic Career

So we hear from our not-so-dear friend Steve Janke that David Suzuki had a real good plan for cleaner air in this country. Stephane Dion thought it was such a good plan that he literally stole it.

Now before all you Chernamaniaks get on my case, I would like to point out that Stephane did not steal an idea or two, he took entire chunks of Suzuki’s plan, WORD FOR WORD, and passed it off as his own.

As a student, seeing Professor Dion’s campaign plagiarizing is outright shocking. If Dion submitted this report in any Canadian political science class, he would be given an F for plagiarism, and immediately fail the course.

As for dear Professor Dion, the first question I would ask as an aspiring journalist would be…If a student ever submitted that to you, what would you do to him/her?

Also, letting Stephane Dion off the hook for this would be like saying to political science students everywhere that when it comes to outside school, plagiarism is ok.

As an academic, plagiarism is the WORST possible accusation one can receive, as it is tantamount to academic fraud.
So as I prepare to walk into school for the first time this semester tomorrow morning and I sit down to hear the professors’ lecture about plagiarism and its consequences, it will carry a very different meaning, one a lot closer to my heart.

September 2, 2006

Rae Blogger gets Mud on His Face

John Lennard thought he was being pretty sly when he dissed some Dionistas in Nova Scotia over skipping a bar bill at an event. He accused the Dion campaign leaving his young Liberal supporters to pick up the tab. "Expect bigger crowds. And a campaign that pays its bills." He brags arrogantly...

The joke, it seems, is on Bob Rae. The real irony is that Bob Rae did the same thing at an event at Mcgill, this time failing to pay for the pizza he “bought” the students. I guess it was a Rae day at McGill Pizza. Buy now, pay later. John is from Ontario. Wasn’t that the NDP Modus Operandi from 1990 to 1995?

You gotta be careful when you throw mud John, especially when you throw it up.

Update: Kudos to John for wiping the mud off his face and smiling while doing it. Now while Rae’s people are apologizing for stuff…there is a five year period I wanna discuss…