Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Michael Ignatieff: Losing Momentum, But Gaining Props

(Props as in slang for propellers or possible sources of momentum)

Cerberus's blog is right, there is a lot of media coverage on all the candidates, most notably on Ignatieff, Dion, and Kennedy. Now this is an honest statement, and I open the door to discussion on it yet I hardly doubt anyone would have much evidence; but Ignatieff and Dion seem to only be in the media, at least partially due to particular 'friends' or 'supporters' in the media. Whereas Gerard Kennedy has actually got media attention from policies and his positions.

I admit this sounds prejudiced, as you've noticed this Blog endorses Gerard Kennedy. As a reflective being I cannot say it is completely without bias, as I don't exactly know; but I can present evaluable facts to back up my claim that Ignatieff and Dion are on the down turn of their momentum, that is if Dion ever had real momentum.

Michael Ignatieff recently had an interview about him published in Macleans, it was written by Peter C. Newman; now this article was motivated not because of the man or his policies, but based on his past and currently recent 'buzz.' The article begins with such a hint into the reasoning to choose Ignatieff to do an article on:

"Cool" best describes Michael Ignatieff, the Liberal leadership contender creating all that buzz. Cool is an elusive essence but it sums up the lanky ex-Harvard professor's surprising emergence as the candidate to beat in the Liberal party's desperate quest to renew itself.

Furthermore in that article, the interviewer doesn't ask Micael about his policies, the closest he comes is a follow up question pertaining to expanding Ottawa's powers. This illustrates that Michael is only in the media only as a result to his past momentum and conveys no self-generating force in the media about his campaign.

Another article about Michael Ignatieff that had some Ignatieff blogs hot and heavy, was the article in the Globe and Mail written by Michael Valpy. Now this is all inconclusive, but I think it should be presented and be judged upon. The motivation for this article is still trying to cash in on the percieved momentum of Ignatieff, as it too does not contain specific or broad references to his policies; but tied with that is the possibility of the Globe and Mail commtting a case of favoritism or partisanship.

Evidence for this is:
1. Michael Ignatieff was a Globe and Mail reporter when he was 19, a newspapers reputation or at least it's own perception of itself would increase knowing a future Prime Minister worked there.
2. Another piece of evidence is Michael Valpy, the writer of said article, has known Michael Ignatieff for 40 years, certainly adding to a commitment to the length of the article.
3. Michael Valpy, in the article discusses a conversation with, guess who? Peter C. Newman, the very writer of the Macleans article. Valpy writes:

"I had breakfast at the summer's outset with political journalist Peter C. Newman, who talked over bagels in his north Toronto apartment about how politicians who become accepted into the mythology of the country have nicknames bestowed on them: Rex for Mackenzie King. Mike Pearson. Dief for John Diefenbaker. PET for Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
"And now Iggy," Mr. Newman said.""

Does this not convey a certain sense of like minded individuals trying to 'prop'el Ignatieff?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hedy Fry Turns 65

If you asked me a few months ago of who the oldest candidate is in this leadership race I would have said Bob Rae or possibly Michael Ignatieff. When I found out Hedy Fry was the oldest I was taken back, she does look good for her age, especially compared to Bob Rae who in person looks by far the oldest.

Well it was Hedy's birthday a few days ago, now she's 65 years old, a senior citizen, and she's running to be Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Yup, a senior running as leader....at a time when the Party needs to be rejuvenated, she wants a senior citizen to do the job. I am not saying senior citizens wouldn't make great Prime Ministers, but there are a considerable amount of negatives associated with a more elder Leader.

The criticisms are indeed generalizations, this I'll fully admit; but some generalizations are handy, in fact we use generalizations every day. I mean these criticisms as just addressing the situation and I mean no disrespect to Hedy Fry, senior citizens, or anyone else. I would actually like to hear a response from the Hedy Fry campaign to these criticisms though it will likely be just an attack on generalizing. And such an attack is reasonable, though I maintain human beings have to generalize to an extent to survive, for easy reference see David Hume's Habit or Custom; and in this scenerio, though they even might not apply to Hedy, they would apply to her appearence during an election as Leader and thus provide yet another obstacle to the Liberal Party.

An old Leader conveys an image to the public that the Party is old and dates, criticism number one.

Objection two, is a problem of succession. If Hedy Fry only wants to be in politics for another ten years, which I think would be her limitation; then we already have to begin thinking of posturing for the next leadership convention.

A third is with being set in her ways. Already the Press refers to her as stubborn, which in my opinion is not that bad. However when in times of Elections and major debates one must admit where faults lie and give honest answers and make concessions.

Again I mean no disrespect and I wish Hedy Fry a belated Happy Birthday, I wish her all the best.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

It Is Now Official...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rae Rant: Why I Don't Support Bob Rae - And seriously, why does anyone?... seriously

When choosing a candidate I admittedly only looked at Ignatieff, Dion, and Kennedy. Everyone else did not even appear on my radar. Bob Rae wasn't even a blip; because I can't even think of supporting someone as Leader of the Liberal Party when he started the race with the ink on his membership card still dry. I know everyone knows this but it astounds me that Rae is even a competitor. In the states Rae would have been humiliated for even conceiving to run with a flip as big as the one he did.

Seriously, come on, can someone explain why they think someone who has been a Liberal for a few months can be Leader of a National Party? I know Rae is experienced, but come on! It doesn't matter if you're Jesus, Trudeau, or Denzel Washington, if you have only been a member for a few months on that point alone you shouldn't run for leader, let alone if you just switched allegiances from the NDP.

Why do you need to be a Liberal for a longer period? For countless reasons. The first is so people trust you. Trust is huge. If you were a Liberal member all your life you'd have the respect you deserve instead of the respect you buy or from misgotten notoriety. Another reason is for elections, if Rae was to win, which he won't, he'll end up collapsing into Ignatieff; but if he did win he would be blasted by the other Parties on flip-flopping. I guess the Liberal Party is just missing that critical cut-throat edge found in federal elections.

My argument on this point is pretty subtle and elementary, composed of pure unbelief. But COME ON! I don't get it. Do you realize the huge negative this is for a Liberal candidate to have? He shouldn't even be a 'Hedy Fry' possibility. I am just blown away.

This huge momentous example of a flip flop isn't even isolated. A report from the Canadian Federation of Students stated:

"Students’ fears about Bob Rae’s post-secondary education review were fulfilled today. Rae, a long time advocate of higher tuition fees and higher student debt, called for steep tuition fee hikes along with increased private and public student loan debt. In addition, Rae did call for more public funding and a system of grants for low-income students.

"While Rae does call for grants for low-income students, only families earning less than $22,615 would be eligible. Students from homes with family income between $22,615 and $35,000 would receive some form of grant to cover a portion of tuition fee costs but all those above that income threshold would finance their education exclusively through loans.

“Students welcome the fact that Rae is calling for the restoration of grants in Ontario after he eliminated our grants program as Premier,” said Greener. “However, throughout this process Bob Rae has argued that ‘rich’ students need to pay more. It will come as a surprise to Ontarians that he considers any family with income above $35,000 to be wealthy.”

For contrast look at Bob Rae's Current Plan for Education:

1) A principle we must enshrine in our education systems is that every qualified student should have access to college and university. No one should be loaded down with debts they can’t afford.
2) We need a federal-provincial student grants and loans program to cover both the living expenses of students and their tuition, starting with the least well-off students, and moving steadily upwards.
3) Ottawa should be a full funding partner in supporting the base operations of colleges and universities and priorities for labour market training, apprenticeship, research and graduate education....

The flip isn't that prominent, but it is there. As Ontario Premier he made it clear that he sought only to alleviate the financial difficulties of the very poor ignoring the poor, and in fact, increasing the difficulty for the poor to further their education. Now as a Liberal Leadership candidate he is advocating everyone experiencing financial difficulties be able to attend higher education.

I shouldn't even be addressing the problem with Bob Rae, because he shouldn't have even be running.

Seriously,......Come on!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Candidates Are Already Following Kennedy

Gerard Kennedy on July 25th issued a release pertaining to the safe injection site; in it he "calls on Harper to continuing funding North America's only site." The news release can be found at: http://www.gerardkennedy.ca/news_e.aspx?id=61 . The importance of the date is important because almost a month later Scott Brison and Ken Dryden have come to the same conclusion.

In today's Globe and Mail, an article titled "Dryden, Brison back injection site" by Lillian Au, tells of Brison and Dryden urging Harper to continue to allow the safe injection site, known as Insite to operate. Dryden spouting that "These are people who are in tough shape, have harmed themselves, oftentimes have done harm to others, and the key is to try to find your best answer....The safe-injection site is part of that best answer." Brison adding "Of course, when there's a critical mass of people that need a safe-injection site, that's a top priority."

This is great, that the Liberal Party is forming a consensus, but what does it say with two of the candidates 'following' another a month later?

In Kennedy's release he passionately states that:
"Insite saves lives and is a Canadian social and medical success story. Of the 336 users who overdosed, the experienced professionals at the site performed life saving interventions and helped provide thousands of users with harm reduction strategies to reduce crime and prevent the spread of disease. This is a program that helps protect and support the weakest part of our society. It is a tangible example of practical compassion - something the Harper government should be doing more of."

Another feature that has been duplicated from the Kennedy campaign is Kennedy's address of proactively pursuing equitable participation of women in the Liberal Party of Canada. A first policy of Gerard's was and is to have a goal of 50% participation of women in the Liberal Party caucus. This policy was introduced back in March at every event Kennedy attended, myself being in attendance to a majority of them. At the time he received some misunderstanding and criticism from notable members of the Dion campaign. Some had thought that he meant a mandatory level of 50%; he actually stated clearly that it was a goal to achieve, to move towards in order to promote the talented women of the Liberal Party into the positions they deserve. Now Ken Dryden has put out his own very similar policy.

I cannot say Dryden did not have this policy in mind earlier but I can say he never made it public until now which seems rather questionable. Ken Dryden's vision statement is:
"Liberal Party of Canada caucus with only 21 female members (or 20%) is unacceptable. We must be committed as a party to increasing substantially the number of women who will run successfully for us. This is about increasing the number of women who will WIN. It is also about us as a party winning elections and forming the government, and governing better." I don't doubt that it is Ken Dryden's statement, but I do know however that it is Kennedy's vision.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Stephane Dion Campaign Falsifies Their Records

On Stephanedion.ca you'll find the latest news and information on Stephane Dion. A new item on Display is "Dion and Young Liberals present youth platform" which goes on to give a "10-point plan to increase political engagement of young Canadians."

It furthers with "Young Liberals from across the country have come together with Stéphane Dion to set out a clear vision for increased youth participation in politics, increased youth voter turnout, and increased voice for youth within the Liberal Party."

Near the end of this document it lists what appears to be a long list of prominent Liberals who are supporting Dion. From an unidentified source, I was notified of a name, Adam Miron. This name is of some interest, you'll find it around a third from the bottom; it's from this selection:

Neil MacIsaac, NS, St. FX Young Liberals, Executive VP

Jenna McGrath, NS, Saint Mary’s Young Liberals, VP Organization

Andrew McGregor, NB, President of the Mount Allison Young Liberals

Adam Miron, BC, President of UCC Kelowna Young Liberals

Jackie Moher, NS, Nova Scotia Young Liberals, VP Federal

Jennifer Mowbray, ON, Vice-President of the Davenport Young Liberals

What is of interest here, upon further investigation it was shown that Adam Miron isn't President of UCC Kelowna Young Liberals, in fact he doesn't live in Kelowna at all, let alone visits it regularly. Adam lives in Kamloops where he was trying to form a campus club at TRU, a university.

Even more there is no such thing as UCC, there is no club or association of the Liberal Party that has that Acronym nor one suitably found on google.

It is beyond a doubt falsification took place, possibly either by error or purposeful intent.

The question is why did the Dion Campaign result to such means?

Monday, August 21, 2006

Why I don't support Bennett

At an event Carolyn Bennett stated that "it is time to get non-liberals out of the Liberal Party." I was struck by this comment. A leadership candidate so oblivious to how politics work, how and why politics is the way it is. On the face some may not notice her misconduct; I use misconduct as the gravity of the term well suits the error, as I will go on to illustrate.

To begin then, excuse the obvious premises as they gradually build to unmistakenable conclusions. A political party is engineered to represent the interests of people. A proper political party is organized and composed in such a way that majority ultimately makes the decisions. Therefore a political party represents the majority's interests in each relative decision.

Now let's build from Bennett's claim; suppose she is right, there are non-liberals in the Party. What harm does it do? Does it do any? I'll argue no and on the contrary it makes the Party better.

Addressing having non-liberals in the Party, what harm could they do? Well they could misrepresent the Liberal Party or seem opportunistic. Philosophically I hope it is impossible to misrepresent the Liberal Party as a Candidate or MP on any issue; because to me the Liberal Party encompasses all views. And through this encompassing, there is debate; thus from the trails of fire from the competing points of view, the policy victor is the stronger for having it's impurities casted aside. Practically it is possible to misrepresent the party but that's in regards to slips of the tongue not issues of concern. For a candidate or MP was chosen from their riding association, thus a more conservative MP may not represent the Liberal Party directly, but by representing his or her conservative liberal riding he or she does indirectly represent the Liberal Party of Canada.

So what harm can a non-liberal do within the party? Well that member could have their democratic say, is that bad? They could fight for what they believe in, is that bad? They could be opportunistic (by switching parties for political gain) but fault lies also with the people who would vote or accept such an individual too, thus that argument collapses.

The one argument that could supply Bennet with her justification is that non-liberals are ruining Liberal values by distorting them either too left or too right. But the quick resolution to this argument is to reply, values and policies are decided by a majority, as the majority changes, alas so does our values and policies. That is how the Party changes. That is how it stays current.

It is clear by Bennett wanting non-liberals out, she merely is stating she doesn't want the Liberal Party to change. Because the Liberal Party needs change, and it can be easily seen that Bennett wants to keep the Liberal Party the same, I do not support Carolyn Bennett to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Centrism: The Problem of the Left in the Left

A political organization represents the people in it. A Political Party is created for that sole purpose, of representing and consolidating interests. However there is a lapse in the transference of interest between the party and the people in it.

Let me explain. There is an image of the Liberal Party that it is Centrist or just left of centre. As reflecting individuals we see others perceptions of our party and we cannot help but too see the party that way. To change the Party, we would have to perform either a few actions from an extreme side or many actios from a little farther off skew. But no matter which path we choose our initial first actions will not change public perception immediatly; thus there is a lapse in interest between the peoples in the party's interest and the party's interest.

Currently, because the Liberal Party succeeded in election victory after election victory it became more focused on elections then representing the peoples interest. I must address however that winning elections is valuable and important, yet should not be the sole primary concern. We must now direct our efforts to re-analyzing the peoples interests within the party and identify the Liberal Party as a Party of the Left moderated by interests from the centre, not the other way around.

In this leadership race there are two such candidates who are able to bring the party back into its respective political position. Those candidates are Gerard Kennedy and Stephane Dion.

I have met both candidates on many occassions, I have asked them the same questions, read everything about them, including all of Dion's work and speeches; there is a clear difference between the two and it is transmitted through each of their characteristics.

Stephane Dion is experienced in Federal politics. That experience however is not as intrinsically valuable as it would let on. In all of his speeches he does not argue for anything new, instead he argues to support past government policies, akin to Michael Ignatieff arguing to support American foriegn policies instead of being creative and innovative and producing his own direction.

Gerard Kennedy in every speech and article imparts his inspiration of changing Canada; of making it the greatest nation on Earth. An International Country where we are an example to the world by being leaders in every sphere; by recognizing differences and building the strength inherit in them. Certain elements are familiar, but a Canada that listen's to the quiet sounds, sounds like a child being ignored by a teacher, is so real and compassionate that it's originality is obvious.

Stephane Dion is a past senior member of government; he is stuck in old methods and procedures. Where the Liberal Party needs rejuvination, he'll bring past solutions.

Gerard Kennedy is young and has the political experience necessary to revive the Liberal Party and the Left.

Gerard Kennedy is the person that represents the people of the left, the people of the Liberal Party, and of Canada.