It's risible to hear Paul Martin criticize special prosecutors as an American idea.Liberal hypocrisy and mock outrage. Never underestimate it.
Perhaps he does not recall that the chap who designed British Columbia's system is none other than Stephen Owen--who happens to serve these days in Mr. Martin's cabinet.
Mr. Owen designed the system in his previous life as BC Ombudsman, and has often vaunted the system as the best in Canada and the Commonwealth.
I think he's right.
Here's my most recent column on why it makes sense to appoint a special prosecutor, and the various models.
Of course, Political Staples is always on top of the latest polls of course as well. He's got a link to a great resource of public polling data.
Expect to hear a lot about this.
When confronted with decisions like the one you’re being asked to make on January 23, people sometimes describe having to choose between what’s right and what’s easy. Rarely is the answer to both questions the same.
But rarely have we been given today’s unique opportunity.
I believe in the Conservative Party of Canada, and in Stephen Harper as our next prime minister, because I know we can make a difference – not only for the residents of Ottawa South but for all Canadians.
I believe in responsible government that respects our trust and sees our collective potential, in government that commits itself to goals built on principle – not entitlement.
It’s about accountability.
It’s about public service for the right reasons.
It’s about integrity.
And, when it comes to integrity in government for Canadians, it’s about time.
They also state this about Ignatieff:
Ms. Oleksiuk confirmed that she has not received a membership application from Michael Ignatieff. "I don't know what riding association Mr. Ignatieff belongs to. The Constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada requires that members be "ordinarily resident in Canada." I understand that Mr. Ignatieff has spent the last 30 years living and working outside of Canada," said Oleksiuk.This is far from over - the riding is holding a nomination meeting tonight anyway.
"If I had been asked, as Membership Secretary, to accept a membership application from Mr. Ignatieff, I would have questioned his eligibility for membership, particularly if it was made at a point in time when he was still working outside of Canada."
Several Liberal members, including the chair of the interim committee on national security, Derek Lee, confirmed Augustine will be offered a job by the provincial Liberal government in the near future. Sources say she will be working on a badly needed strategy for race relations for the education ministry. No one would contest her credentials, but the idea that a federal Grit seat should open at the 11th hour through a future provincial appointment just fuels cynicism. The deal was apparently sealed by Karl Littler, national Liberal campaign director and Laura Miller, who works in the Ontario premier's appointments office.
Prime Minister Paul Martin says -- with a straight face -- that the Etobicoke-Lakeshore nomination was completely open. At the same time, the party offices in Toronto literally closed their doors to two candidates from the Ukrainian community who were trying to file their nomination papers. Riding President Ron Chyczij could not even get the party to return his phone calls. Just before the government fell, the party issued a statement that Ignatieff had been "acclaimed" as the nominee -- i.e., no one else contested the nomination.
The reality is while the Prime Minister publicly talks about democracy, the party tries to disqualify those who do not plan to vote "the right way" on a given nomination. An appeal of a 2004 nomination in Davenport that saw 1,700 memberships disappear has yet to be delivered. My own brother saw his membership torn up at a delegate selection meeting in Montreal when he was not voting the right way.
Supporters of the two local candidates in Etobicoke-Lakeshore plan to contest the nomination at a hastily convened coronation scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.
As well, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress passed a resolution calling on Martin to withdraw support for Ignatieff based on a passage in one of his books in which he suggests "Ukrainian independence conjures up images of peasant embroidered shirts, the nasal whine of ethnic instruments, phony Cossacks in cloaks and boots, nasty anti-Semites." (On Monday, Ignatieff said the quote was taken out of context and is in fact an example of a stereotype which he debunks in the book.)
At best, Ignatieff's arrival as a "star" candidate, in a riding with upwards of 8,000 Ukrainian Canadian voters was ill-conceived. At worst, the political gerrymandering makes mincemeat out of Martin's promise to stomp out the "democratic deficit." This mincemeat may stick around long after the last Christmas pudding has been devoured.
I don't have too much say so far - I'm interested in seeing the first of the Conservative commericals and wondering when the platform will be released.
Who will release their's first - will they do so in pieces or all at once?
Speaking of commercials - the first one from the Liberals wasn't that clever. Putting up a headline saying you've given 18 BILLION to the provinces for health care while it's still a problem might a bad idea and mentioning the tax cut proposal that only turned people off as blatant vote buying seems ill advised.
According to a new CanWest News Service/Global News survey conducted by Ipsos Reid throughout the hours following the fall of the government in Ottawa by a successful loss of confidence vote, the federal Liberals (31%, -3 points from a survey conducted November 22-24th, 2005) would be in a dead-heat tie with the Conservative Party (31%, +1 point) in terms of decided vote support if a federal election were held tomorrow. Meanwhile, 18% would vote NDP (+2), and 5% would vote for the Green Party (unchanged).My prediction on this thing:
50 Ontario seats for the Blue team.
Voter turnout 59.5%
Make your prediction here at BlogsCanada - you can win a prize.
I'm already looking forward to it!
Projected Order of Business
(subject to change without notice)
Monday, November 28, 2005
DEFERRED RECORDED DIVISIONS
Business of Supply
Opposition motion — Mr. Harper (Calgary Southwest) — Confidence in the government
It's nice to see it in print.
And where should you go to watch such an event if you are free?
Why - with Ottawa Centre candidate Keith Fountain steps from the Hill of course:
Conservatives are, of course, a pro-fun bunch and we never miss the opportunity to celebrate new beginnings. Tonight (Monday) our riding association is having a get-together at the National Press Club, 165 Sparks St (just a few steps from the Hill) at 5:30 p.m. The idea is to gather to watch the historic event of the defeat of the government and imminent election campaign, while drinking beer and chatting. All my readers are invited; the suggested donation at the door is $10 to help us with campaign costs.
Looks like they are planning on taking feeds from the BlogsCanada E-Group as well.
Paul Martin: “We will put an end to cronyism":
The Executive of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Federal Liberal Riding Association learned late on Friday, November 25, 2006 that their Member of Parliament, Jean Augustine, has resigned her seat and that Ignatieff is to be parachuted in as the sole, uncontested candidate in a surprise nomination meeting scheduled for December 1, 2005. The speed with which the nomination meeting was called and the abridgement of all timelines suggests that the Liberal Party is discouraging all other contenders.I expect the Liberal Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal will be very interested in investigating these allegations.
Despite the abridgement of time, and the difficult nomination filing requirements, two candidates were in fact able to prepare and submit the required forms, including police and credit checks, as well as the required 30 signatures in support of their nominations.
The two candidates delivered their nomination documents to Liberal Party headquarters in Toronto, only to find that the office was locked before the 5:00 p.m. filing deadline. Liberal party staffers could be seen through the second storey windows but they refused to answer repeated knocking on the doors and phone calls to the office.
The two potential candidates are more than qualified to seek the nomination. Marc Shwec, a bilingual (English/French) engineer and MBA, has been active in community and volunteer work. Ron Chyczij, also an MBA, is the president of the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Riding Association and is active in many community and volunteer projects.
Mr. Ignatieff, who had ample notice of Ms. Augustines resignation likely faced no obstacles in filing his nomination papers.
UPDATE: Saint Paul skirts around the issue of course; "We're not appointing anybody. People can run, and if they win it, they win it," he told reporters.
But, Saint Paul, can they really run?
The Grey Cup crowd thought differently.
VANCOUVER (CP) - It appears politics and sports don't mix at the Grey Cup.So the first line isn't really correct then - right? Politics and sports mixed okay for Jean (or maybe it was because universally loved Klein was sitting below her?) but not for Martin.
As Prime Minister Paul Martin was introduced Sunday afternoon in Vancouver, some in the sellout crowd of 59,195 greeted him with resounding boos.
Martin and CFL commissioner Tom Wright then walked to midfield where the prime minister tossed a coin to determine who would start the game with the ball.
Just before Martin was introduced the crowd gave a warm welcome to Governor General Michaelle Jean.
The first phone calls started Monday evening.
Earlier that day, Liberal officials had huddled in Ottawa to hammer out a new tax policy, one they were desperately trying to push out the door before their minority government was toppled. After three hours of debate, they felt they were closing in on a solution that would resonate with voters and at the same time level the playing
field between income trusts and regular companies....
The policy was being developed with such haste, however, that John McKay, Mr. Goodale's parliamentary secretary, went on live television shortly before the dividend credit increase was unveiled and mistakenly suggested Ottawa was also implementing a small tax on trusts. Officials said Thursday Mr. McKay was misinformed about “the decision moving forward” and was not “up to date” on Ottawa's plans.
“A whole bunch of options were considered and on the table and at the end of the day they went with one that they figured would put this issue behind them” with an election looming, a senior official said.
Lawyers, financiers and money managers either made the pilgrimage to Ottawa this week or called the Finance Department to give their two cents on the trust policy.
“It makes the bank merger lobby, or the lobby to let banks into insurance, look like the Girl Guides or the Boy Scouts,” said a financial official close to the lobbying.
Also, do you think these lobbyists were registered? Anyone have time to investigate?
"The phrase is 'abuse of office,' " he said. "I just got back from Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Canadian prosecutors are working on abuse-of-office cases. It's a criminal offence there, but not here.
"I was a prosecutor for 10 years, and I can tell you - when someone breaks the law, you get the police after them and you prosecute.
"You don't call some inquiry with a judge who can't make binding recommendations and let it turn into a three-ring circus."
Kilgour wouldn't say who he thought should have been hauled off in handcuffs - "because we'd both be sued for libel." But he did suggest that Martin's reaction to Adscam sacrificed the interests of justice in order to deliver political scalps to a revenge-hungry public.
"No one is going to be punished for abuse of office, not in a thousand years," he said. "It'll all be swept under the rug."
First it was lobbying, now it's using our government's resources...
Ottawa lawyer Richard Mahoney is getting help on his election campaign from Liberal staffers in cabinet ministers' offices, who have circulated "talking points" for the Ottawa Centre candidate on government e-mail addresses and, in the case of one aide, met with residents of the riding to discuss a controversial parole office.
The ethics code that covers exempt staff prohibits the use of government equipment for anything other than "officially approved activities," according to a spokesman for the ethics commissioner. Treasury Board's policy on the use of electronic networks expressly prohibits using government computers for political activity.
Mr. Mahoney did not respond to requests for comment. David Small, his campaign chairman, said while some lines may been blurred, it is a fact of life in Ottawa that cabinet ministers' aides are politically active -- particularly on the eve of an election.
We are sick of the Liberals using our government as their sandbox.
His concluding paragraph:
As I mentioned before, when other evidence of Liberal corruption of the legal system was brought to light, I really didn't think that I lived in a country which tolerated these sorts of banana republic idiocies. In a perverse Orwellian twist, the mantra of the Liberal party is that the executive (i.e., the Prime Minister) needs to maintain explicit control of the judicial appointments process so as to "preserve" the independence of the judiciary - when in fact their actions show that they are engaged in the exact opposite: they are corrupting the judiciary, and by extension, the entire legal structure of the country, by retaining the unfettered right to appoint whomever they wish (meaning, in practice, Liberals). This isn't just a shame, it's a disgrace.
--You can add, to these variations of incest, that Mr Bird served as a cabinet minister in the David Peterson government:
Charles Bird is a lobbyist for Bell Globemedia (owner of The Globe and Mail and CTV) and is the Ontario campaign chairman for the federal Liberals. He told Ontario MPs the electorate is "very volatile" and warned that "it's going to be a very negative campaign."
That being said, since he has somewhat separated himself from the Canadian Blog Awards that he hosts, I will both vote and link to it here.
Check it out.
Still, Bricker sees potential for Harper to turn the prospect of a minority win to his advantage. Many voters who might consider turning to the Tories in order to punish the Liberals over the sponsorship scandal are worried about how far Harper might push a right-of-centre agenda. The likelihood that he would have to rely on backing from other parties in the House, suggesting a check on the Conservatives, tends to ease those concerns. "A minority works for him a bit if the proposition is he could come in and clean things up, like with his ethics law, but not, say, change the law on abortion," Bricker said. "Even if it is with the Bloc backing him up, there's some sort of control over what he could do."
Change the law on abortion? For $%$^#'s sake - couldn't Bricker pick an actual Conservative policy that the others might not support like Property Rights or a more conservative Child Care policy than the other three parties want. Bricker also uses the 'A' word to describe the what the CPC would push for - it's their "AGENDA".
He must know that the party voted against any change to abortion yet he's propogating this idea. I know we Conservatives are sensitive to this but you don't expect knowledgable people to act like this.
On a positive note, in the same article, this is an interesting point that not many have raised:
"I think the reality is that if Stephen Harper forms a minority government, his biggest support for the next two years will come from the Liberal party, because they'll be in a leadership fight," says B.C. MP John Reynolds, co-chair of the Conservative campaign. "They won't want an election."
I’m looking for someone who was going to vote Conservative in the last election but changed their minds along the way because they were scared, freaked out or worried about the Conservatives, the Conservative agenda or its leader.
Do you think the program will be on how the Liberals misrepresented Conservative policy and therefore led to misinformed voters and how that hurts the political process?
Or, a wonderful chance to repeat Liberal scare tactics and say how the Conservatives need to address these concerns of Canadians?
Please check my math. From what I can see either the plan is to put up more that the currently announced wind turbines (a hot topic in PEI) or there is an impending Federal election and PEI has four seats by constitutional decree rather than the one its population warrants.
You hear that? This week it's all about equipping the CF properly and telling those defence contractors and lobbyists off. Never you mind that last week it was all about toadying to those same contractors and lobbyists, and denying the CF the equipment they need.
When you go to the polls sometime in the next couple of months, don't forget that the Liberals quashed these proposals without a thought to the men and women in uniform. Don't forget that they caved to Bombardier lobbyists in a feeble attempt to save votes in Quebec.
Don't forget that they can't be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to our Canadian Armed Forces.
Oh, they are going to be playing Montreal in case the person that Googled this a few moments ago comes back:
"who won the cfl games yesterday for the grey cup next weekend"
... and they came to my site instead of clicking on the higher ranked results of TSN, and Slam! Sports.
Said the Right Hon. Paul Martin to the TV cameras yesterday, "We have an enormous amount of legislation, very important legislation for Canadians that we want to get through. But, the rules of Parliament are clear, you either have
confidence or you don't have confidence."
This plausible-sounding statement is perhaps the sleaziest thing he has said since, “You can’t cherry-pick human rights.” For this is the very man who ignored a series of non-confidence votes in the Commons last spring, until he could find someone to buy off with a cabinet position to restore his majority in combination with his purchase of the NDP. That was the lowest trick any party leader had pulled to recover power in the Great White North since John A. did the Double Shuffle in 1858. (I would have cited Mackenzie King’s impostures in the King-Byng controversy of 1926, but that wool was at least pulled over the eyes of the people directly.)
The polls show the Liberals ahead, and the public willing to forgive them for -- anything at all. I believe the polls. I do not, however, believe they can predict the result of an election campaign, before it has started. During that, anything can happen. Please, Lord, make it happen, and make this government be gone.
UPDATE: I wasn't going to quote these paragraphs but the Google ad above, when I checked the blog after posting, was a link to CBC.ca which got my goat....
To be fair, judging from Mr. Martin’s last election, the Liberals won’t really be campaigning on their own hallucinogenic platform. They will expect to sweep Ontario and dependencies with the mantra, “Stephen Harper has a secret agenda!” This is quite serviceable code for, “If you think you may be benefiting in any way from the Liberals’ comprehensive system of corporate and personal dole, you should be very afraid of Mr. Harper. Bogeyman’s gonna cut you off.”
He wouldn’t really, and he will spend the whole campaign repeating that he really won’t -- while the freshly re-funded CBC and the Grits’ plump pampered pack of pedigree press poodles snarl at Mr. Harper’s ankles. “Can YOU trust him? Can’t be sure can you?”
Whereas, you can certainly trust the Liberals, whose track record for breaking campaign promises and delivering on secret agendas is beyond challenge. And therefore won’t be challenged by the same media.
(CNN) -- Beset with an unpopular war and an American public increasingly less trusting, President Bush faces the lowest approval rating of his presidency, according to a national poll released Monday.
Bush also received his all-time worst marks in three other categories in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. The categories were terrorism, Bush's trustworthiness and whether the Iraq war was worthwhile.
Bush's 37 percent overall approval rating was two percentage points below his ranking in an October survey.
And at home:
(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Fewer Canadians express positive views on their prime minister, according to a poll by Leger Marketing. 35 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the Liberal government led by Paul Martin, down five points since September.
(Hat-tip to Inkless on the Canadian approval rating)
More chickens coming home to roost.
Let me guess - in order to get a 'bounce' back in the polls maybe Martin will fire the federal court? I mean - Martin and his team have never thought beyond a month before, why should they now.
This is a sharp embarrassment and a setback in Quebec for the Martin government just as an election campaign is about to begin - probably in the next two weeks. This is hardly what they needed.
They are suffering a series of small embarrassments and they're all incremental - they add up to a kind of stumbling out of the starting blocks as the campaign begins.
...taken the view that there needs to be an election to determine whether his party can carry on in government as a result of the findings and recommendations of a justice - a respected justice - that has examined a scandal and reported out. The Prime Minister has said himself that Canadians need the opportunity toNicely done Jack!. Now let's get this campaign started.
judge on the finding and the recommendations and the political party about which the investigation was conducted. We agree. The only question is when.
His proposal in on or about March 1st. Our proposal, which will be coming from the majority of members in this chamber when we see the vote on it next week suggests the beginning of January. So those are the 8 weeks which we are speaking about.
So what is to happen in those 8 weeks?
First, this house is not sitting for 5 of those weeks. In other words, the democratic process of members rising in the house to propose actions on key issues affecting Canadians; the process of questioning the government on their actions and holding them to account; the idea that we should be considering spending or legislation to correct the many unsolved problems that have been left to fester for 12 long years - that work is simply unable to be conducted during 5 of those weeks.
Is the Prime Minister suggesting that somehow those 8 week and those 5 weeks in particular are irrelevant to Canadians?
We submit to you that by having the election in March those weeks are lost as working weeks for parliamentarians to work for Canadians.
Therefore there is no effective or good argument not to be having an election because of 5 weeks when we are literally shut out of this place in any event.
Of course, there will be something going on for those five weeks. We can be sure that vehicles such as the Challenger will be regularly booked; that there will be a number of press releases / announcements, probably from coast to coast to coast in this country.
All paid for, by the way, by the taxpayers. These announements will be based on decisions already made by the House of Commons and spending decisions already made by the House of Commons.
So, as a matter of fact, what will be happening in the 5 weeks that we are talking about is a public relations campaign - not the actions of anything relevant to this particular house.
So, we will be having a publicly financed public relations campaign. Then the House will return for 3 more weeks. What is to take place in those 3 weeks?
Well, a budget will be tabled on which a vote will not be able to happen because the Prime Minister has said there will be an election on or about March 1st. So, it's a budget which will not precipitate or produce any positive action whatsoever. And it will dominate the three weeks. So, our proposal Madame Speaker is simply that this business of the eight weeks being somehow significant or being somehow relevant to addressing the issues of Canadians is false.
The work that needs to be done by this House should take place between now and the holidays and that's what we want to see.
All things Canadian ...
A right-leaning blog with a policy-wonk attitude. You don't just skim over the surface of issues here, you get right down into them.
I have to say this. It's a sad statement on the state of our political conversation that someone thinks what I've written on this site is getting 'right down into' issues.
The poll also found Mr. Martin is on weak ground in his repeated claim that he is intent on cleaning up the government to prevent another sponsorship scandal.39%. Too bad you can't select Conservative minority on the ballot, eh?
In fact, only 35 per cent of Canadians said they would be "comfortable" voting for Mr. Martin's Liberals "because they will govern very differently next time due to the lessons they learned from the Gomery inquiry."
Mr. Bricker said this low level of trust poses a danger for Mr. Martin. "He hasn't been successful making the argument that Gomery represents a clean break from the past."
Meanwhile, the poll found that 39 per cent of voters would be "comfortable voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives to form the government in the next election because we'll probably have another minority which will keep them in check."
Mr. Bricker said those results should cause the Liberals the most alarm because there is a deep public desire for change. Once sufficient numbers of voters no longer feel threatened by Mr. Harper -- despite Liberal attacks ads -- the country could sweep Mr. Martin's party out of office, said Mr. Bricker.
"National daycare" - couldn't do it and now we've got a mismash of unique provincial agreements
"Fix healthcare for a generation" - did you mean that you would be trying to fix it for a generation?
"I am proud to be part of a government that is determined to address the very real sense of alienation that exists in British Columbia and across the West, and I have declared plainly that if I fail as prime minister to diminish that feeling at the end of my mandate, then I feel I will have failed," said Martin in June 2003.
The BMD debacle?
Heck - your biggest accomplishment is launching an inquiry that showed that you didn't know that the largest political kickback scheme in our country's history was going on under your nose in your party in your province! I don't believe you didn't know but hey, it's all you've got.
You wanna govern? You had your chance and you sucked at it.
However, I don't believe that the Liberals actually think taxes need to be reduced and I absolutely don't think they care to hold spending down. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation hits the nail on the head:
“According to today’s economic update, program spending will increase this year by less than one per cent. That’s well and good. But in the 2004 budget, Mr. Goodale said program spending in 2004/05 would increase by 3.1 per cent. It increased by 15 per cent,” concluded Williamson. “Again, let’s not get terribly excited about the government’s dedication to control spending. It’s all been heard before and it is no accident it is being heard again on the eve of an election.”Hypocrisy lives with the Liberals - and they can't be shamed by it.
Remember this from last year's campaign - from Hacks and Wonks:
June 8th, 2004:
"Returning to a deficit, spending imaginary surpluses that don't exist, is really the philosophy that was in place in the 1980s," Martin said during a press conference yesterday."And I don't think anyone in Canada wants to go back there."
"It's a simple question of math. Where is he going to find the $50 billion? It doesn't exist," Martin said.Compare that with today's media.
November 14th, 2005:
Goodale's package will give $30 billion in tax relief while costing a total of $49.8 billion over the next five years. Of that, $39 billion is new spending that had not been previously announced.
The Canada Elections Act has many implications on the financial administration of the Liberal Party and its activities. This position will require the development of a strong understanding of the Act and the ability to communicate the implications of the Act to our stakeholders. Training will be provided.
I wonder when they figured this out about the Elections Act and I'd come up with something funny about the training but it's Monday.
You should give serious thought to proposing that Mr. Broadbent (who won't be running in the next election) head a commission on electoral reform. And you should commit to giving the highest priority to the recommendations of that commission in the next Parliament — which you could dub the “scrub-brush Parliament” — as part of your election platform.The touchy part of this would be proportional representation which would most likely be part of the recommendations of a Broadbent led commission.
This is interesting:
Be it resolved that the Liberal Party of Canada shall request Parliament to consider other methods of safeguarding and protecting the public health care system other than by prohibiting private health insurance;This post highlights the ridiculousness of the anti-Christmas election talk.
Be it further resolved that we shall support all efforts to reduce waiting times by means that go beyond simply prohibiting private health insurance plans;
Be it further resolved that we recommend considering practices that make room for private initiatives whose terms and conditions will be supervised by the government.
The Liberal plan has an election on April 10th. The day after Palm Sunday, right in the middle of Passion Week and right at the end of Lent.Or, as Martin would say, Canadians want to see the Easter Bunny and not politicians. There was also a CBC piece - surprise, surprise - last week on how the opposition proposed date falls on Chinese New Year.
I agree with Sinister Thoughts, to praticing Catholics (of which I include myself) Easter is much more important than Christmas. Easter is the central event in Christianity (do I really need to explain this?) but somehow the Liberals do not seem concerned.
Conclusion - this can't come soon enough in my opinion:
"I think you've seen in the last 24 hours proof positive that this government,
the life of this parliament ... is about to come to an end."
The challenge was issued by NDP Environment critic Nathan Cullen:
I challenge Stephan Dion to a public blood test,” said Cullen.
I haven't seen if Dion has responded.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is a music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncountered:
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.
Laurence Binyon (21st September, 1914)
In Flanders fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae (May 3, 1915)
I'm told today that Mr. Harper says that he does not support childcare - he does not support early learning. I'm standing beside a Premier with whom we have signed an early learning and childcare agreement as have the majority of other provinces. Now if Mr. Harper's values are different let, then the people will ultimately decide.
Yeah Paul - you compulsive liar you - he's going to ban childcare and early learning. Lock up the kids until they are adults.
Of course the provinces are signing onto your stupid plan - it's take it and the money that comes with it or leave it and watch the money go elsewhere.
Here's the Conservative policy on child care and here's a Maclean's article on it.
How many Canadian's think this is really the first step?
These are the pictures of the leaders that accompanied the CTV story today. Nervous smiles?
It wouldn’t cost Paul Martin a cent to thank Cutler for his vigilance, to advance him as a model of bureaucratic integrity. A dinner in Cutler’s honour, an annual public-service integrity award in his name, even compensation for the money Cutler lost because of his unfair demotion and the subsequent impact on his pension: Any such modest gesture would begin to right the wrong done to one man, and pay dividends in improved morale throughout the public service.I suppose Cutler could sue the government.
Instead, pressed on the question of reimbursing Cutler in the Commons recently, Treasury Board President Reg Alcock replied, tartly, that if the former procurement expert wants to discuss compensation, or anything else, he should call the minister. It was discourteous and arrogant and sent an unmistakable message to attentive public servants: If you think you are going to be thanked for doing the right thing, forget it.
For his part, Cutler refuses to phone Alcock or anyone else. “I won’t go to them. I did nothing wrong. I don’t see why I should have to. I didn’t bend in 1996, I don’t
see why I should now,” he says. Not that Cutler wouldn’t like to be acknowledged — and, ideally, reimbursed for lost salary over the years. But if it doesn’t happen, he says, he can live with himself.
Constitutional specialists acknowledged they were scratching their heads over the idea of opposition MPs rallying around a motion that indirectly suggests they have lost confidence in the government, and yet they are willing to let the Liberals govern for another month or two.
"There's something lacking in it," said Ned Franks, professor emeritus at Queen's University in Kingston.
Maybe I don't like the plan because I see no reason not to have a late December or early January election - maybe because another month with Paul Martin as our PM and thinking of his Christmas address is reason enough - maybe because Goodales goodies belong in an election campaign - I would still like to see a simple non-confidence vote early next week.
Many will think this riding isn't winnable for us but I think Keith will surpise.
This is a small-c Conservative riding which is about to get its capital letter back.
How could Martin not go the GG immediately afterwards? Would that not be a clear indication that he has lost the confidence in the House?
It'll be interesting to see the reaction from the other leaders and constitutional 'experts'.
UPDATE: He's not a constitutional expert but here's Spector's take (hattip to Political Staples):
Jack Layton has every right to propose any motion he wishes--including the one he outlined today. And, as has been observed, Parliament has the power to move Christmas to July.
Parliament does not, however, have the power to dissolve Parliament. And the Governor-General, who does have that power, takes advice from the Prime Minister and only from the PM.
To be sure, this dictum applies only when the PM has the confidence of the House. So far, there's no indication that the Opposition parties will get it together and propose a non-confidence motion, and there is every indication that Parliament will adopt the Estimates, which traditionally is a confidence measure.
Layton's motion is primarily about politics, about face-saving and about getting him out of the corner into which he has painted himself.
UPDATE2: Harper supports the proposal in principle and will meet with Layton and Duceppe. He admits the three parties don't have the ability to set the election date but that they have the power to control the agenda of the HoC.
I really want to hear some experts on this. I would think that proving that the government doesn't control the agenda of the HoC or passing a motion like this should finish this parliament.
Martin stretched the limit of responsible government for weeks last spring - now it seems normal to stretch it a month and a half?
"It is very hard for me to understand why one would put in jeopardy the funding that we want to give to lower income families to protect them from the rising cost of fuel oil. It is very hard for me to say that pensions for senior citizens should be put in jeopardy. All of which, to have an election campaign over the Christmas holidays when in fact that election call is definitely going to come within a couple of months."
Hear that! Stephen, Gilles, and Jack! are going to shut down the old age pension on their opposition day!
He sent a comment to M.K. Braaten's blog - a top ten list regarding the inquiry. Here are two points I found interesting...
7. We found out from the testimony of two former director-generals of the Liberal Party’s Quebec wing, Michel Beliveau and Benoit Corbeil, that John Rae, who works in the Office of the Chairman of Power Corp., would be called whenever the party needed an increase in its line of credit, which went from $300,000 to over $3,000,000. Allegedly, Mr. Rae would then call Mr. André Berard, the president of the National Bank, and the borrowing power of the LPC (Q) was increased, to use Mr. Corbeil’s term, “immediately”. This relationship, if true, raises three profoundly important questions. Firstly, If Mr. Rae’s calls were in the nature of a favour, what was the “quid pro quo” if any? Secondly, if Power Corp. was guaranteeing the borrowing, was this declared as a potential liability to its shareholders? If not, then were the services rendered declared as “consideration in kind” to the LPC (Q) as Justice Gomery has asked of so many of the corporations involved in the Inquiry? But the Commission chose not to call John Rae.
8. We did not find out the full extent of the intimacy between the LPC (Q) and Power Corp. When LPC (Q) past President Françoise Patry testified that she worked as a secretary, and the lawyer questioning her asked for whom she worked, Justice Gomery cut off the question. As it happens, Ms. Patry, during her tenure as President, was an administrative assistant in the Office of the Chairman of Power Corp, a job she continues to hold today. Every other witness was asked their backgrounds and current employment. The fact she was allowed to shield her employer raises a troubling sceptre of secrecy. Troubling because so much had been made during the hearings of who really controlled the LPC (Q), and yet the evidence that demonstrated that the money power and the political power of the LPC (Q) was in the hands of two representatives of one of Canada’s, and indeed the world’s, great corporate giants, was never investigated. It would be reasonable to speculate if the cause for the cover-up had anything to do with the fact that Prime Minister Martin’s senior dollar-a-year advisor, Maurice Strong, is a former Vice-Chairman and Board member of Power Corp. and was the man who introduced Mr. Martin to Power Corp.’s Chairman who helped Mr. Martin take control of Canada Steamship Lines.
I guess the question is: Does Jack Layton really want to stop things or has he just gone to level 2 in Let's Make a Deal.
Duff Conacher, co-ordinator of Democracy Watch, an Ottawa-based watchdog agency, gives Harper's ethics plan an A-plus and Brison a great big F. He says had this ethics package been in place, the Liberal's $331-million sponsorship scandal "could not have happened." But Conacher says the main thing missing from Harper's ethics plan is an "honesty in politics law" that would make it illegal for politicians to make false claims and promises -- in the same way that advertisers are outlawed from making phoney claims about their products.
"The Conservatives introduced THE best ethics and accountability platform ever in the history of Canadian government on Friday and Scott Brison responds with slanderous lies against Harper while using government resources," says Conacher. "Brison's unethical, partisan attack is proof why we need an honesty in politics law."
Brison accused Harper of "illegal behaviour" while president of the NCC. As a result, Brison, who has since issued limp, written apologies, is being threatened with libel suits by Harper, the NCC and an ethics complaint by Democracy Watch.
Updates can be read at Gerry Nicholls' blog.
Dosanjh on CTV saying that he is disappointed in Layton for playing politics with healthcare.
He then went on to say that he's also disappointed that Layton didn't provide what specific changes he'd like to see to the package the Liberals had offered.
Her last paragraphs:
He accepted, without reservation, the notion that, despite the high stakes involved, neither Chrétien nor Pelletier got involved in the nitty-gritty of Liberal finances in Quebec.
Gomery is a magnanimous judge. Last week, he gave both past and present Liberal prime ministers the benefit of the doubt.
She doesn't come out and say it but I will again - Bullshit.
"An election before then, he said, would slow down the process of health care reforms, sidetrack federal and provincial governments from dealing with the pressing issue of aboriginal poverty at a first ministers meeting,"
5 minutes on Google pulled up these releases from the Liberal government:
To achieve these goals, First Ministers make the following commitments on health. Their governments will:
work in collaboration with Aboriginal people, their organizations and governments, to improve their health and well being.
Throne speech - 'The government will take further action to close the gap in health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians by putting in place a First Nations Health Promotion and Disease Prevention strategy with a targeted immunization program, and by working with its partners to improve health care delivery on-reserve.'
The Government of Canada will increase funding to address the health of Aboriginal people and work with other governments and Aboriginal leaders to close the gap in health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians through better integration of services.
First Ministers and Aboriginal Leaders agreed on the need for an action plan to improve health services for all Aboriginal peoples and adopted specific measures to close the gap between the health status of Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian public.
Paul Martin - you and Chretien have had 12 years to 'close the gap between the health status of Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian public' and the problems continue. Actually, Chretien's had decades to come up with something - he was Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development back in '68.
"I don't think bringing down the government makes any sense," he said yesterday. "We should try to make the government work . . . there's just too much to be done to force an election."
"For us, the best our party can hope for is another minority situation, but we already have that, so what's the advantage of holding an election?" he asked.
The article also says, "long-time MPs Ed Broadbent and Bill Blaikie are pushing for a vote."
While Ed and Bill may be the soul of the party, we know who is the wallet.
Flashback to the last vote:
"We shared with him, quite forcefully, I would add, that the labour movement was not anxious to have an election," Mr. Hargrove said yesterday. "We saw absolutely no reason that we couldn't make use of the minority situation in Parliament to make some gains on the issues that were important to working people."
They told Mr. Layton they would not support him if he planned to side with the Conservatives and Bloc on an early election.
Mr. Layton got the message, and asked Mr. Hargrove to deliver one to the Prime Minister, whom the union leader was scheduled to meet the next day in Windsor.
"A little push and that was my role at the request of Jack Layton," Mr. Hargrove said. "I said to him that Jack Layton is very unlikely to make a commitment beyond the budget in writing, but I said you have to trust that he is not going to support a non-confidence motion immediately after the budget. He knows he does not have the labour unions' support for an election and we're pretty key to that."
CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief had this to say:
I've been around this town for a long time and I've heard a lot of politicians talking about how they would clean up government. This is probably the first time I've seen such an extensive and detailed report on how a political party would go about doing so.
The NDP had released one earlier this month and it wasn't bad but this is one is pretty extensive and I think it will strike fear in the hearts of many lobbyists in this town that make their money off influence peddling the government.
When 7 of them aren't actually members anymore and the Liberal party doesn't even know if they can ban them.
Much was made of Martin's descision to ban these 10 individuals but the article by Elizabeth Thompson in The Montreal Gazette describes the reality:
However, party officials admitted yesterday that only three of the 10 people that Mr. Martin banned for life from the Liberal Party of Canada for their role in the sponsorship scandal are still members of the party.One of the 10, Beryl Wajsmann, wrote:
Nor does it appear that Mr. Martin can arbitrarily toss them out. Under the constitution of the party's Quebec wing, the party's board of directors can suspend or revoke a membership in the party, but only after giving the member notice as well as a hearing.
The party is also checking to see if it can even legally ban someone for life.
I wasn’t named for blame in the Gomery Report. I received no Section 13 letter. So I guess if they can’t get you one way they try another. I am now one of ten people “banned for life” from the Liberal Party. A party that I am not even a member of. Under it’s current leadership it is almost a compliment. No one even knows if this is legal, but I guess it sure makes a good sound bite.Sound bite is all it was.
I suspect that at the 2004 polls Jack Layton (and Ed Broadbent) merely brought the New Democrats back to their natural level in the popular vote. About one-sixth of us, I think, are simply New Democrat by nature--old hippies floating in internal exile, overgrown red-diaper babies, identitarians of various flavours, Gaia-worshipping vegans, and, above all, workers for whom The Union represents the sum of their aspirations and the totality of their intelligible thought. These people, and especially those in the latter category, may stay home if they're asked to vote for some insincere schoolmarmish warhorse like Alexa McDonough. Give them a grinning, attractive regular-guy who speaks in complete sentences and they'll turn out.
Until recently, I lived in St-Lambert and was a resident during the 1997 election.
There is little question that the Liberals targeted St-Lambert with AdScam and other corporate money in the 1997 election.
From the donations listed on the Elections Canada site, I calculate that the companies implicated in AdScam and their associates, together with the Desmarais family and Power Corp., contributed a total of $19,200, or 30% of total expenses incurred by the Liberals in the riding election campaign. Another $5000 in large donations was contributed by four individuals who I was unable to link to any organization.
Yolande Thibeault deservedly lost the election in 2004 to the Bloc Quebecois candidate. It is really too bad that only Quebec seems to get it. The Liberals are corrupt, and will do anything, including stealing from Canadian taxpayers, to retain their grip on power.
If you leave out the targetted money from 'A. Desmarais/Finance Chretien Desmarais' then still 25% of Thibeault's campaign money - or more accurately the declared campaign money - came from three sources:
Le Groupe Polygone Editeurs Inc.
The Liberals bought that seat in the House of Commons.
See all the front pages
at Norman's Spectator.
Guite said Dingwall had told him to "look after" Jacques Corriveau -- a graphic designer who worked on Chretien's leadership campaigns and was known to be a friend and confidant of the former prime minister.
Corriveau went on collect $6.7 million in sponsorship deals.
"He (Dingwall) said, 'if you ever find somebody in bed between Jean Chretien and his wife, it'll be Jacques Corriveau,''' said Guite.
Chretien will speak later today supposedly. Anyone think he'll bring the golf balls back out? Neither do I.
The report essentially told us nothing new. The federal Liberal Party is corrupt and can not be trusted. Its time for a change.
Ryan Needler, Toronto, Nov. 1
As a Canadian living in the U.K. it astounds me what the public in Canada are willing to put up with. Here they fired a very senior cabinet minister for fast-tracking his girlfriend’s nanny's visa. In Canada we cannot find it in ourselves to stand up to this kind of corruption! What does this say about us as a nation? This was a Liberal scandal because this is the kind of institutional attitudes found in the Liberal Party of Canada. Mr. Martin is a part of that institutional culture, through and through.
Allan Craigie, Edinburgh, Nov. 1
To state that Mr. Martin didn't have knowledge of this scheme strains credulity. This same Martin had taken control of every provincial and most riding associations prior to 2003. He had to have known of the kickbacks. Now that the blame has been laid at the door of Chrétien, will we finally have all players admit the extent of his knowledge?
Samuel Samson, Bridgewater, Toronto, Nov. 1
In the Globe comments, Jason Cherniak, former member of the National Executive of the Young Liberals of Canada, writes:
Paul Martin is "exonerated".To me, that is the only part of this report that will be relevant in an election campaign. Can we please get back to policy discussion in this country?
Just give Jason the millions the Liberals typically spend on election advertising. Put "exonerated" in bold white letters on a black background for 30 seconds and run those spots over and over again.
Thoughts expressed immediately afterwards by Warren W:
The liberals are Corrupt. Even Scott Brison says "the activities outlined by Judge Gomery were endemic in governments for decades." Only a fool could possibly believe this is the only example of it, the sponsorship scandal is just the one they got caught on. I don't care what your political leanings are, the liberal gov't has got to go. Paul Martin could not have risen to power in a corrupt gov't without either being corrupt or knowing about the corruption and doing nothing. I would remind everyone that just two weeks ago the Liberals were caught again trying to place a contract with 'verbal only' instructions, no paper trail. They haven't learned a thing. We must be loyal to Canada first, and political parties second. The liberals corruption is deep, they have to be removed from office till their party can 'clean house' and throw out the old guard. Then maybe they'll be worth voting for again.
Did Adscam Win the 1997 Election for the Libs?
Madely in the Morning - 8:40am --- Steve Madely is joined by L. Ian MacDonald. He is "The Insider", Political pundit and Editorialist. He also guests every weekday morning on CJAD 800 at 8:50 with Andrew Carter.
Basically, the Libs had a 4 seat majority in '97. Did the Adscam money make the difference?
One of those ridings was Saint-Lambert.
I'm guessing it was the Liberals trying to escape the expected fallout.