Friday, April 29, 2011

Take a Closer Look

Bob Rae asks you to take a second look at both the Conservative and NDP platforms. Take your time especially with the NDP list of promises. They don't make any sense.

NDP platform here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ridings Only Get Money if MP is in Government?

The latest offering from Conservative candidate in my riding, Stella Ambler, is telling us that you must have an MP in government in order to get dollars to the riding.

Here's the line:

As Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's Chief of Staff in the GTA, I saw first-hand how much more we could have benefitted [sic] here in Missississauga South if we had an MP on the government side of the House working for us. (bold: hers)

First of all, this Chief of Staff stuff is a party designation and has nothing to do with government. She seems to have inflated sense of self and in my opinion is misleading the riding.

More importantly though, what is she really saying? That Flaherty purposely denied this riding it's due because there is a Liberal incumbent? They only reward their own? They don't work for all Canadians, only Conservative Canadians? I'm sure Hazel McCallion would be surprised to hear that.

She goes on to point out that our MP Paul Szabo says he works hard in Ottawa. Horrors! Of course she's again insinuating that he didn't work hard for the riding, which is nonsense. If you recall, the majority of project spending goes through the municipality. Furthermore, I happen to know that this area had one of the highest up-takes on the Home Reno credit, which does not involve an MP.

What's this election about again? Trust, honesty, contempt for parliament, our democracy?

Ms. Ambler doesn't seem to realise that with every piece of literature that she drops, she just reinforces why the Conservatives should not be in power.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's Meant To Be Shared!

If you still have friends and family who don't know who Michael Ignatieff really is and what the Liberal Party of Canada stands for in 2011, please share this with them. It's a Town Hall for Canada.

Election day is coming and everyone should have the facts, not the myths created by others.


Remember to Tune In

Today, Michael Ignatieff is doing a Town Hall for Canada.

For information about where and when you can watch, go to the Liberal Party of Canada website.

Tell your friends and family.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Canadians Cynical? Nope

It's been suggested during this campaign that Canadians are disinterested and cynical. That statement has been made in large part by Conservatives and some media.

I think they are in for a surprise.

This song was written and performed by Melissa D'Souza. She is an artist from Calgary. She got no help from the Liberal party in producing this song or video. She simply says that she was inspired by Michael Ignatieff's speech.

Well done!

Resume Check Required - Stella Ambler

In my riding, the Conservative candidate featured above, seems to have a number of jobs. The problem is some are real, some appear not to be.

It's one thing to try to be all things to all people, but if you're not being completely honest about it, I think voters have a right to know, don't you?

In our local newspaper, Ms. Ambler submitted a profile of herself. You'll note that she lists her occupation as Jim Flaherty's Chief of Staff. As far as I can tell, that is not true. That job actually belongs to Kevin McCarthy.

Furthermore, on the literature she drops in the riding, she tells us that she is Regional Director to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. I'm told that her nomination papers filed with Elections Canada state that she is a "Mother and Political Staff".

It seems she is telling constituents that she has a heck of lot more influence and information than she actually does. That is, that she knows everything about Flaherty's office and work.

I think it's time someone ask her some questions, don't you?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hometown Glory

Taking a page out of Impolitical's's Friday. Music!

It happens to be music I like and a singer who has a message.

I'm also old enough to have had numerous 'Hometown's'


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Odd Sensibilities

As we near the second and final debate tonight, I've been thinking about some of what has been written and uttered about last night. There seems to be a need by many to identify who won and who lost.

So what are people saying? Well many seem to 'feel' that Harper won because he stayed calm, didn't get angry, kept his cool and was able to deflect issues by saying that's not true or bizarrely, "I don't accept the truth of those facts".

I don't know about you, but that seems faint praise indeed.

I thought Ignatieff was strongest when speaking to the 'democracy and parliament' issue, though he more than held his own throughout. That particular issue though is one that he is clearly passionate about and one that resonates with people. Oh, not the nitty gritty detail of parliamentary procedure etc., (though some of us do love that!), the more fundamental case that he puts forward outlining Harper's style of governing and lack of respect for our democractic institutions.

When faced with these issues, Harper cheerfully (actually sullenly) obliges by arrogantly dismissing any such claims, then goes on to say things like: 'What worries me about having a minority is my fear that we'll have a 5th election, then a 6th election....' (paraphrased). That is an astonishing statement. He also, once again brushed of the contempt finding and referred to it and other such issues as 'bickering'. I think Ignatieff landed a great line at that point, 'Mr. Harper, that is not bickering, it's democracy'. (also paraphrased)

So, I look forward to tonight's debate, not really to see who wins, but rather to see who best demonstrates the sensibilities that I look for in a Prime Minister.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Response Too Large

Last week I mentioned that there was a meeting scheduled for today with Michael Ignatieff. It was meant to be a policy briefing on family issues.

I'm told that the response was huge, soooo, the meeting has been postponed and may be a national on-line chat in an effort to accomodate everyone.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Harper's Final Battle Cry

Those of you who have read me for a long time know I have always shunned the argument that Stephen Harper has a secret, 'social', agenda. I have never believed that, though I do believe with power he would have implemented legislation to turn back the clock only to satisfy and grow his base.

Oh, he does have an agenda. It's just not based on abortion, etc. and to be honest, I wish the opposition parties had focused on that reality more emphatically these past 5 years.

His dream is to turn this country away from L/liberalism in any form. He claims that means small government, but please, check the record and you have to analyse what 'small' means. (Oh, so tempted to go to male metaphors, but I will resist.)

It doesn't really mean less spending. It doesn't really mean less bureaucracy. It really means re-directed money, and lots of it, to what they think is important as a federal government. It's the federal government and it's responsibility that they want to, (and are) changing. Military, corporations (capitalism) and justice. That's the range.

Now, before anyone thinks I've gone rogue and flown left, I think all of those concerns are valid for a federal government to be involved in. What I don't think, is that federal government should be restricted to just that. That is not what this country is nor what it is about.

Harper is talking a game about social issues right now, a game to care, but that is 'the very pretty lure'. Lures are designed to deceive.

Tonight I watched Harper change his speech a bit. There was a bitterness to it. There was the Harper of old coming to the fore. He is now evoking the Trudeau era without mentioning his name. He refers to the Chretien time as one of the most dire times in history and he quietly brought up sponsorship. His tone is all about the evils of Liberal government and he is becoming far more honest about his hatred of that.

I truly believe he thinks the country is ready for a new face and this is his last chance to bring it, as the saying goes. The "Canada's back" statement on Canada Day, will never leave my memory.

To anyone who has watched the man and has not fallen into the claptrap of, "oh look, he's such a centrist!" as many in the media sadly have, his speech tonight gave him away. I'm perplexed that so many clever people have ignored who he is, but they have and we are poorer for it.

This is his last battle cry and watch it ratchet up. Smart folk will see it. Blinders will continue to be distributed to others.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Calling Bloggers Interested in Family Policy

*** Note new time, 1200 pm. ***

Michael Ignatieff will be holding an informal policy briefing this Saturday morning at 1200, in Toronto.

George Brown College - Casa Loma Child Care Centre
160 Kendal Avenue
Toronto Ontario

If you blog about family issues and would like more information on the Liberal position, RSVP here.

It's free, open to all, not just party members and I'm pretty sure there will be no Facebook profiling!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Wait Times

So what's been happening on the policy front during this election?

Well, Stephen Harper and his party have the wealthy, healthy folk covered. Yes, he cares about them, or rather he will in about 5 years...maybe. He also cares about families who decide to have a parent stay at home to raise our future, or rather he will care, in about 5 years....maybe. He's also got duck hunters covered. That's right. He's once again promising to get rid of the long gun registry if, and only if, he gets a majority,, well there is no good reason really, certainly no logical one, but hey, it gets those hunters chanting and that is always fun!

What is he not delaying? Corporate tax cuts and the procurement of the F-35's. Nope it's full steam ahead on those issues. You see, apparently we have danger lapping at our shores, so now is not the time to focus on Canadians. Lapping danger means you must immediately take your gaze away from families. What? You didn't know that?

Now, to be fair, the tax cut for major corporations has already been implemented, but just. Three short months ago, the rates were set at the rate that Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals intend to temporarily return them to. Yes, I said temporarily because that is rarely mentioned. Tax cuts will begin again once we have eliminated the deficit.

As for the F-35's, well the Liberals are not disputing the fact that we do have to replace our current equipment, but they want an open bid and the opportunity to review other aircraft, not to mention the fact that some real numbers on what the Conservatives are proposing have still not been put forward.

So, I guess it would be fair to say that the Liberals have a platform for today based on delaying a tax break for corporations until we can afford it and the Conservatives have a plan to delay anything for Canadians until some time in the future, but will advance breaks for large business today.

Wait times. You decide who should be experiencing them.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Idle Thoughts on Week One

It's hard to believe it's only week one actually, so much has happened. That said, a few things stood out for me.

Other than policy issues, (which I obviously do care about), I've been struck by the mood and the tone of the election thus far. From the beginning there were notable differences.

The Ignatieff campaign started off excited, happy and from the get-go journo's travelling with the group were tweeting fun stories and background. As one friend put it, 'sunshine and puppies' were often featured. As cavalier as that perhaps sounds, you did get the sense that everyone on the Liberal team was ready and happy to be there.

As for the journalists, I'm certain it's gruelling work but they held Ignatieff's feet to the fire while not experiencing huge limitations while doing their job.

Conversely, the Harper campaign began on a sour note that quickly shifted to fear mongering and predictions of impending doom. It was the 'be afraid' campaign from the start and was jam packed with lies and fiction. There was no joy in Whoville and it showed right away.

Instead of actually, you know, participating in the election, a great deal of time was spent telling everyone who was within earshot that the election was a waste of time, shouldn't have happened, etc. Not the most inspiring way to get your supporters to listen to you. Thanks for coming. Wish you weren't here! He'd lost his grip on control and it showed.

In both cases the feelings lasted and by the end of the week more than one story had the Ignatieff team with the momentum. That in part because of how well the campaign was being run and of course in part due to the gaffes being made on the Harper team. Coalition fiction, debate dares and media control.

Now, it's only week one and we've got a long way to go, but watching both men is interesting.

Because I have met and seen Ignatieff a number of times, I'm not surprised by his ease and strong delivery, though I'm delighted to see that others are. All it took in some cases was one look at a Liberal rally to dispel the idiotic ads that have attempted to paint a man who does not exist.

No, the one who has surprised me is Harper. Think back to when he first came on to the political scene, full of ideas, whether you agreed with them or not. He held his political views fiercely and articulated them with strength. Watching him this week, I no longer see that. Oh, I still think he holds those views and has been implementing them, but he couches them in an effort not to frighten and as a result, he seems somewhat cowed.

Being nasty and trading in fear does not exhibit strength in my opinion. It simply paints a picture of a rather desperate man, prepared to do or say anything to maintain his position...but that too has me a bit puzzled. I don't see a man who really wants to be PM, save for the fact that it is the only way to implement his ideas. I think had he been able to have influence from the outside, and he tried, he would have much preferred that.

I don't think he likes much of anything to do with electioneering. Rallies, people and dealing with media don't strike me as his favourite pastime. As for the job he held pre-writ, I suspect he relishes the opportunity it provides to actualize strategy to implement his agenda. Much of what else goes with the job...the sales job? Not so much. Don't get me wrong, he still wants the job as he hasn't completed what he started, but if he had another way, could trust someone else to finish the work? view is that he'd take it.

It's only week one and I'm taking nothing for granted, but I'm excited to watch this play out.