September 27, 2007

Jamie Carroll Needs to Go

After it was suggested to Jamie Carroll that Stephane Dion needs a few more Quebecers in his entourage to better understand Quebec, Carroll said that in that case, they better get some Chinese people in Dion’s entourage as well.

Carroll implied that French Canadians are just another minority in Canada. In Quebec, saying anything of the sort is tantamount to political suicide. At this meeting of the executives of the Liberal Party, many of the Quebecers in the room found this to be offensive, and naturally, immediately ran to the Press, including Party President Marie Poulin.

A new poll published in Quebec recently put the Liberals 8 points behind the NDP among francophones in Quebec. Stephane Dion, the native son, is about to take his party to single digits among French Quebecers. Due to the federalist vote split in Quebec, the Bloc maintains the lead in Quebec with 31%. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives grab 27%, the Liberals take 19% and the NDP 17%.

Among francophones, the Bloc grabs 37% of the vote, the Tories get 27%, the NDP 19% and the Liberals grab 11%.

Star candidates in winnable ridings are frustrated by Dion’s dithering on choosing candidates and have abandoned ship. Of all the ridings where the Liberals had a chance at winning, only Dionistas Eleni Bakopanos and Justin Trudeau have been confirmed in Ahuntsic and Papineau respectively. Liza Frulla had to wait for Lasalle Emard, so she bowed out. Marc Garneau had to wait for Westmount, he bowed out. Paul Leduc had to wait for Brossard LaPrairie, he bowed out. What do the final three have in common, they all supported Michael Ignatieff. No surprises here, the Liberal Party is sabotaging itself. Even Jean Chretien ran Paul Martin supporters…

Now the Ottawa LPC headquarters and Mr. Carroll are threatening to stop transferring money to the LPC(Q) with a potential deadline tomorrow looming. LPC(Q) is 250 000$ in the hole, and Mr. Carroll just doesn’t care. Why should we be surprised, we all know what he thinks about Quebecers anyway…he was one of those running around telling people that Dion would be a good choice for leader because Dion could rebuild the Liberal brand in Quebec…

If the National Director truly thinks there is no problem in Quebec, believes what Dion has been doing in Quebec is the right way to go and think Stephane Dion is gonna win an election when he is polling at 11% among French Quebecers, he REALLY deserves to be fired…


September 18, 2007

“We All Can’t Make Miracles”

Jocelyn Coulon’s words are drenched in irony after the unmitigated disaster we witnessed last night in Outremont.

Let’s just say some people were not very happy to see me. I wasn’t very happy to see some people either. It was a chilly return to Liberal circles to say the least.

People expected me to be pleased with what happened. Clearly my secret underground movement to light Stephane Dion on fire must be working. Jokes aside, I was mad tonight. VERY MAD!

The firing squad has already turned inward. As expected Jason Cherniak has blamed the voters. In fact, so has Stephane Dion. Sigh. Will they ever learn you can’t blame the voters?

To Justin Tetreault and others who are blaming Adrienne Lafortune, Ginette Pellerin and Yves Lemire, learn to understand how politics works for more than ten minutes and get back to everyone kthx.

Justin, what did they tell you at the doors about your fearless leader? Could you give these people a pamphlet with a big picture of Dion on it? In all reality, where would it have ended up? The garbage? kthx. But all the unilingual Ontarians would have felt better because they had something to do? Oh well, in that case…sigh.

There was gross incompetence alright. These organizers never had a chance…

There is a general rule that in an election, an organization can make up 5% of the vote. Meaning if the trend in your area is going one way, organization can influence that 5%.

In by-elections, with lower turnout, that number can be a little higher.

No organization on the face of this planet can make up 20% in any given riding. Let’s not mince words here. Coulon got destroyed, creamed, slaughtered, taken to the cleaners.

Nobody could have saved him. Yves Lemire is a good man, but he can’t walk on water…

SO, in other news, the Bloc is weak in Quebec?

WAIT WHAT! Shock and Awe! You mean when you actually press the Bloc into talking about issues they have none?

What’s that? They talk to you about the disrespect of the nation and the fiscal imbalance? Damn. Those arguments stick do they? If only we could take those arguments away, the Bloc would be helpless, forced to debate left-right issues where other parties can be just as useful, and not be eternally in opposition. Oh wait, they can?

Quebec Liberals have been saying this since when? FOREVER? Well let’s not listen to them then. I think we should listen to first-year law students tell veteran Quebec Liberals how to run a campaign instead…ok right.

It wasn’t just francophones who abandoned the Liberal Party in Outremont. All the cultural communities did, the Greeks, the Portuguese, the Philipinos…EVERYONE.

But you know what sucked the MOST? What turned my stomach the most?

Seeing some of my BEST FRIENDS and the looks on their faces returning from the polls.

Dejection, Defeated, Outclassed, Battered, etc.

It is the first time I had seen such long faces like this in a while, since December 2nd 2006 or Jan 23rd 2006. Usually, I’m too sad at the time to realize how deep it goes. Monday I watched as an observer and it nearly killed me. I felt bad. Some of these friends worked their asses off and they had NO CHANCE IN HELL to possibly win this.

What did I learn tonight? I learned that I am damn happy I left the Liberal Party to be an outside observer. Because Liberals in Quebec can scream all they want, but at his rate, if Dion and the Chernamaniaks keep blaming Quebecers for not liking Dion, then they will only sabotage themselves. I learned that I will never have a long face like I had to witness last night. My heart goes out to them. I wish I could make it better. But then again, we all can’t make miracles.


NDP storms Liberal stronghold

NDP storms Liberal stronghold
Dippers rejoice in Outremont by-election
• antonio di domizio
For the last 75 years, the Liberal stronghold of Outremont voted Liberal all but once. Even at the height of the sponsorship scandal, Jean Lapierre held off all opponents.

Monday night, Thomas Mulcair and the NDP stormed “Fortress Outremont” and the riding is now NDP territory. At McGill University, Mulcair promised the “Ground Zero of the Orange Revolution.” On Monday night, he delivered.

The NDP scored the upset with a resounding 49% of the vote. The Liberals came in second with a dismal 28%. (that was at time of press.)

Both political machines were buzzing at different speeds Monday with over 500 volunteers helping out Mulcair while the mood in the Liberal headquarters was rather sombre as many knew defeat was most likely.

The Outremont by-election has mostly been fought on two issues: the environment and the war in Afghanistan.

Layton addressed the NDP's position on both topics lucidly at McGill last Friday. He said that after thirteen years of Liberal inaction, only the NDP act on the environment, and cut the $1.2 billion subsidy to the Canadian oilsands. Mulcair's experience as the provincial environment minister has won him support across party lines and helped him pull out the victory Monday.
The anti-war sentiment in Montreal also helped Mulcair at the polls. On Afghanistan, Layton reiterated the NDP's controversial position of an immediate withdrawal of Canadian soldiers from Kandahar province. “There is less security right now in Afghanistan than there was before Canadian soldiers got there,” said Layton. He also stated that if “Canada is going to play a leadership role in making the peace in Afghanistan, we have to stop fighting.”

The Liberal campaign has been marked by panic and infighting that has become not only public, but increasingly ugly. Over the weekend, a Liberal insider claimed former Ignatieff supporters were “sabotaging” Liberal chances in the riding. Organizers in the riding dispute that. Overall, it dampened the enthusiasm throughout the campaign.

With the crushing results coming in, many dejected Liberals listened to leader Stephane Dion console his troops. “We must rejoice that federalist parties progressed tonight. We will bounce back together.” Federalist parties won two of the three by-elections contested Monday with the Conservatives taking Roberval-Lac St. Jean and the Bloc Quebecois holding on to Saint-Hyacinthe Bagot.


September 17, 2007

Fuddle Duddle Prediction Desk is Taking a Break

On a bright sunny morning here in Montreal, I simply cannot predict who will win. My gut tells me it will be a squeaker, but it can easily be a runaway as well.

The lead-up to this by-election has been nothing short of a gong show. Last night, the fun continued with the fake resignation of my former colleague Denise Brunsdon. While I have a general idea who spoke to the Halifax Chronicle Herald, I also know Denise is too smart to send out an email blatantly admitting something so stupid.

However, the person who sent out that email made a few people laugh, and others panic.

Words of a squabble between high-ranking Liberals in Quebec is making the round of the rumor mill this morning as well. This by-election has trouble written all over it.

I am gonna go scout the get-out-the-vote operations before I head to class today. Then I may be able to make a prediction. Over 400 NDP workers will be in the riding today in Mulcair’s two offices…scary indeed.

I’ll post an update or two as the day goes by.


September 15, 2007

Just When You Think You’re Out, They Pull You Back In…

I got home last night and made my way over to the computer. I opened up my internet and checked my email, then I found out that Jason Cherniak had accused little old me of making the Coulon campaign lose.

I immediately checked my calendar to make sure it was not Tuesday, and that I had not fallen into a coma for three straight days. It was indeed Friday and Coulon hasn’t lost anything.

I had responded to Jason’s initial accusation that a blogger who is pointing out the blatant truth in Outremont is bringing down a whole by-election. I must confess, Jason did always give me WAY too much credit.

I have been out of Liberal politics since the Spring, the last Liberal event I attended was the Trudeau nomination, and even then, I was already preparing to make the jump to journalism anyway.

The only requirement necessary to see that there is something afoot in Outremont…is a pulse. The signs are everywhere, literally and figuratively. One campaign is sluggish and dragging their feet while the other is hitting the ground sprinting and not letting up.

Polls have shown the race leaning the way of Tom Mulcair in Outremont and every political analyst in Quebec is saying this may spell doom and gloom for the “weak leadership of Stephane Dion.” Let’s be fair. Some people use untested. Others use fragile.

Back to Jason, who after blaming me, a non-Liberal who made a political commentary reflecting the very dire nature of the Outremont Liberal HQ, for bringing down the Liberal Party, he then said it was people like me, you know the “angry Ignatieff supporter”, who was bringing Dion down.

I would like to mention to Jason that as a former Liberal and aspiring journalism student, that also makes me a former Michael Ignatieff supporter. You know what else makes me a former Michael Ignatieff supporter? The fact that the LEADERSHIP RACE IS OVER!

So after a few insider Dionistas went whining to the media that sabotage was afoot in Outremont, a pattern emerged that it was all a secret plan hatched in Liberal backrooms to make Dion look bad! I love a good mystery and this had all the telltale signs of a good mystery being cracked…

I mean, who doesn’t LOVE a good mystery?

Not so fast, says Cherniak. I don’t mean to say blame Ignatieff supporters. Fire anybody who said that! I mean to blame the nationalists in Quebec. Blame the VOTERS for not liking Stephane Dion! How dare Quebecers want a resolution to the fiscal imbalance or recognition as a nation? How dare they not love Stephane Dion as much as Cherniak does?

This has to be my favorite one yet. Blaming the voters is generally a bad idea in politics. I was only deeply involved for about 8 or 9 years, but I did learn that if the voters think you aren’t doing a good job, the voter is right. They are the boss Jason, never forget that.

So while pandemonium ensues a couple of days early, I would like to clarify that earlier, when I said what was gonna happen Tuesday, I was not assuming a guaranteed Liberal loss. By-elections are wacky and stranger things have happened. However, by blaming everybody except himself, Jason is preparing to blame others in case of a loss and taking all the credit for Dion, if the outcome turns out the other way.

My point the other day was this by-election was the epitomy of the Amateur Hour that has befallen the PLC(Q). A win by 200 or a loss by 200 should send the same message…it should never have been this close. Don’t let anybody ever tell you otherwise…


Mulcair Set to Kick Off Orange Revolution

The Link goes to print Monday at midnight so I have to write a results article anyway.

This was what I submitted for yesterday's event at Mcgill.

Mulcair Set to Kick Off Orange Revolution

Makes McGill Appearance with NDP Leader Layton

Former Quebec Environment Minister-turned NDP candidate Tom Mulcair addressed about 100 students at McGill University Friday. Locked in a tight by-election race with Liberal Jocelyn Coulon, Mulcair appeared with NDP leader Jack Layton in an attempt to help get out the NDP vote at McGill.

Layton and Mulcair addressed the touchy topic of post-secondary education. Layton believes the debt students face after graduation is akin to "placing a millstone around the neck" of our students. Whilemaking sure to respect provincial jurisdiction with regard to education, Layton and Mulcair said they would work with provincial governments to allow more accessibility to the post-secondary education system.

The Outremont by-election has mostly been fought on two issues: the environment and the war in Afghanistan. Layton addressed the NDP's position on both topics quite clearly. He said that after thirteen years of Liberal inaction, only the NDP can bring effective action forward on the environment and end the 1.2 billion dollar subsidy to the Canadian Oilsands. Mulcair's experience as the provincial environment minister has won him support across party lines and has helped him pull ahead of the Liberals in recent polls.

On Afghanistan, Layton faced some criticism over the NDP's controversial position of an immediate withdrawal of Canadian soldiers from Kandahar. Citing Canada's proud tradition as a peacekeeping and peace-making nation, Layton said "there is less security right now inAfghanistan than there was before Canadian soldiers got there." Layton also stated that if "Canada is going to play a leadership role in making the peace in Afghanistan, we have to stop fighting."

Several students objected to this position, claiming Layton was abandoning the Afghan people. One student asked "How is it responsibleto negotiate with the Taliban, a group who has repeatedly ignored several UN resolutions in the past?" The student also asked how Jack Layton could want negotiations with the same people who harbored the group behind the 9/11 attacks. Layton turned the tables on the student, claiming the United States was no better at respecting UN resolutions. A slight murmur was heard in the audience as Layton equated the Taliban to the United States.

The by-election is beginning to heat up with only days left before the citizens of Outremont head to the polls. Mulcair is confident he will win, saying Outremont is "Ground Zero of the Orange Revolution."Mulcair took some shots at his opponent saying Coulon is suffering from the "weak leadership of Stephane Dion", and that Outremont voters see this by-election as a chance to send a message to Stephen Harper and to the Liberal Party, who have generally held the riding for most of the last 100 years. Layton took an extra jab at the Liberals, referring to their green election signs as an "identity crisis."

NDP members at Concordia are confident their guy will prevail. Meanwhile, Liberal Concordia president Tarek Assaf believes the NDP will not get enough of their vote out in order to win, saying "when push comes to shove, depending on the student vote to win is risky business".

Voters head to the polls Monday September 17th.

Cherniak has Gone Mad

This is the response I had to Jason, but it did not clear his "moderated comment section". I put it up word for word with the correction of a spelling mistake. I think I added two other words to clear something up.

Jason is blaming a little blogger and people like him for Dion/Coulon's demise...sigh

Firstly Jason, if you actually read the link you posted, it would answer your question.

The poll was taken Sept 8-12.

Second, if you talk to ANYONE IN OUTREMONT WHO IS FROM THERE AND WAS NOT SHIPPED IN FROM ONTARIO, they will tell you it is not disgruntled Liberals switching, but in fact, bloquistes who are voting for Tom Mulcair.

The bloc polled 14% in that poll, less than half of what they received in the 2006 election. The Liberals are at similar levels of support.

Second you talk about "people like me" like I am some sort of poster boy for a disgruntled Liberal. Everyone i know from all leadership camps went to lend a hand in Outremont. They want Coulon to win. They believe in him.

Jason, I left the Liberal Party in May because I chose to pursue another career where I cannot be of a partisan leaning. You say people like me run the LPQ (sic) but in fact Jason, it is these Quebec Liberals who forewarned those at convention of the dangers of a Dion win, of his past, of his entrenched reputation in the eyes of Quebecers, of his stubborness, etc etc.

You made excuses then, you make them now. You have been apologizing for Dion's poor leadership since last March Jason. It is always somebody else's fault.

Dion picked the candidate.
Dion chose not campaign as much in the riding during the last month of the campaign.
Dion called in all the cavalry from Ottawa to come help when the ship sprung a leak.
Dion got the help from those who had no reason to help him other than to help the Liberal cause.

and all that wasn't enough to hold onto a riding the Liberals held since time immemorial, except when the Abortion debate in 1988 cost Abortion advocate (now senator) Lucie Pepin her seat.

Sorry jason, you can make excuses til the day the Liberals get pummeled in a general election. I am sure you have a great excuse lined up for then too. The problem is that the party hasnt changed and you have already found your scapegoat for Dion's latest shortcoming. "People like Antonio"

So you know what jason, wake the fuck up and take off your blinders. I know all the little Chernamaniaks out there want a happy ending and it is always nice to have a villain like me ruin all your little plans. But if you continue to remain blind to the glaring truth in front of you, I guess it will only hit you harder when the fucking shit hits the fan.


September 14, 2007

Panic Permeates Outremont Liberal Campaign


Panic has settled in at Outremont HQ as a general lack of motivation over the past few months is beginning to reflect in a poll that was commissioned by La Presse, stating that Tom Mulcair is indeed ahead of Jocelyn Coulon by 6%.

Others in the party infrastructure are beginning to sharpen their knives. One member of the provincial executive is preparing a verbal volley at Stephane Dion following the imminent loss.

I speak to former colleagues and they are defeated. They shrug their shoulders and believe their fate is sealed in the next general election. Dion was on the wrong side of the issue in Quebec politics for so long that people grew accustomed to disliking him.

His weak whiny mousy personality did not help his cause. People hated Jean Chretien but he still won Outremont handily. (h/t Chantal Hebert)

Where do Quebec Liberals go from here?

Do they change party policy? They already have. The PLC(Q) passed several resolutions recognizing the change in Quebec. I wrote the fiscal imbalance resolution myself (2 and a half years ago). As many look forward, the Liberal Party looks back to its former successes for some form of inspiration. However, many pieces are still missing.

The Liberals lost many organizers outside Montreal to the Conservatives. The YLC(Q) is barely a shadow of what it was just 2 years ago. Slowly, the Liberal Party in Quebec is losing the foundation that once made it so great.

Tuesday morning, either heads will quietly roll, or there will be mayhem in the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party. Either way, Liberals must ask themselves where they are headed. Today the alarm sounds only in Outremont. Soon, it will be all across Quebec.


September 2, 2007

Puffins, Professors and Republican Toilet Escapades

School is upon us and I am getting back into the grind after a mini-birthday celebration. But I did have a few comments I wanted to make about some news events of the past few days.

I want to thank Andrea Dillon for giving Michael Ignatieff too much screech out in Newfoundland because now any mention of the word puffin will have me in stitches. It is a noble bird indeed. Hiding its own poop eh? Unlike the Canadian media, who are more like pigeons, always needing to be fed and shitting all over the place without concern for the consequences. I hope to be a great pigeon someday…apparently I have practice…

It got me thinking that other political parties need official birds too.

The Bloc Quebecois would be a big blue vulture, preying on Canada, waiting to tear its corpse apart.

The NDP would be a peacock, with all sorts of distractions and colorful feathers. One other thing about peacocks…they can’t fly…

The Tories would shoot their bird and eat it for dinner...unlike Dick Cheney who would aim for the bird and shoot you in the face but more on republicans later...

Moving right along, what in God’s name is Ryerson university thinking by hiring Gerard Kennedy to teach at the school? I sure hope all my teachers have an undergrad degree…I mean, you need one to teach a first grader how to add, but you don’t need one to teach at Ryerson…talk about setting an example.

Think of some of the classes Gerard can teach

1) Convincing People You Are Learning French

2) Ethnic Politics

3) Politics Without Substance

I can really go on all day but I digress...

Republican Gay Sex Scandal has a nice ring to it doesn’t it.

I know if I am ever not guilty of a crime and want to clear my name, the first thing I should do is plead guilty.

This is really the story that keeps on giving. I have no problem with people having a moral objection to gay marriage. After all, I have a moral objection to the city of Toronto…

I just think if you’re a closet homo, the last thing you should be doing is crusading against gay rights…actually that’s the second last thing you should be doing

The last thing you should be doing is plead guilty to soliciting gay sex in a public bathroom...