Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Michael Ignatieff, I Hardly Knew Ye

I'll be open and honest. It would be in my interest to have Michael Ignatieff remain a top contender until the final ballot, as Gerard Kennedy's support would grow to counter him for a final ballot declaring Kennedy the winner. And as such it is to my disappointment that I am seeing Ignatieff's general support decline; this is a feeling garnered from the media, blogs included.

To prove my point, here is a collection of news articles portraying Ignatieff in a negative light.

1. Globe: Ignatieff favoured by Harper
2. Reuters: Ignatieff is a Hawk
3. Globe: Toronto debate-poor showing
4. Globe: Iggy not a politician
5. Globe: Iggy betrays Trudeau
6. Globe: Ignatieff not a politician, different article
7. Canada.com: Son finds Ignatieff Offensive
8. Toronto Sun: Ignatieff stands against everything Trudeau believes
9. Globe: Ignatieff dragging the rest of Canada down
10. Globe: Kadis Leaves Ignatieff, goes to Rae
11. Globe: Michael Ignatieff is a "fool"
12. Globe: Ignatieff spouts anti-americanism
13. Canada.com: Ignatieff Out of Touch
14. Globe: Ignatieff lacks Sound Judgement
15. Globe: Ignatieff's Gaffe is last straw
16. CTV: Ignatieff loses co-chair
17. The Star Phoenix: Ignatieff campaign sputtering
18. Calgary Herald: Iggy lacks compassion and flip flops
19. Canada-Israel Committee- Asking ignatieff to apologize
20. Straight.com: Canadian Muslim Congress asks Ignatieff to apologize
21. Globe: Iggy plays into Harper's hands
22. Globe(letter): Iggy divides better then unites
23. Leader-Post: Iggy- Major Gaffe
24. Globe(letter): Iggy trying to fool Liberal Party
25. Toronto Star(letter): Not a Liberal
26. Globe(letter): Ignatieff pandering
27. Toronto Star: MPs wife quits in response to Ignatieff
28. Vancouver Sun: Anybody but Ignatieff- Axworthy
29. Ottawa Citizen: Iggy ain't hip
30. Winnipeg Sun: Ignatieff's Gaffe
31. National Post: Iggy Falls
32. National Post: Iggy thinks Israel is guilty
33. Globe(letter by Cherniak): Iggy is confused
34. Toronto Star: beginning of end for Iggy
35. Canadian Jewish News: Cotler says Iggy was wrong
36. Globe: Iggy divides
37. Globe(letter): Iggy not a favorite
38. Toronto Star(letter): Iggy in his ivory tower
39. The Gazette: Iggy needs to watch his mouth
40. CityNews: article and video- Iggy hurt the Party

And these are just the pages that still are current. I know of at least 1o other articles that I couldn't find.

Again I would like to see Iggy turn this around and finish a strong second to Kennedy, but it looks like that won't happen.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Real Problem With Quebec As A Nation

Between the leadership campaigns, it is clear the problem rests in defining the steps in taking to call Quebec a nation. Gerard Kennedy in this article states a perspective that most candidates are likely to take.

Kennedy argues that Michael Ignatieff should not be attacked because of Leadership politics but any attack must be directed to the debate to add constructive criticism rather then division. Gerard Kennedy suggested:

"...we need to take some of the leadership politics out of this. I think we need to neutralize this discussion as much as possible.

"There are initiatives being taken from a variety of camps to see that this does not become an accident, that this doesn't (come) in the way of what should be a revitalization of the party in terms of taking the next step and turning a page in Quebec."

But behind this non-partisan approach Kennedy did offer his problems with the current situation.
Kennedy said the resolution is so sensitive and "fraught" with vagueness it could end up dividing Canadians and further weakening the Liberal party. He portrayed it as an "accident" waiting to happen....

Kennedy said on CTV's Question Period it is "problematic" for anyone to raise the idea of reopening the Constitution without providing details as to how that would work.
As to be clear all candidates except Martha Hall Findlay have stated Quebec should be called a nation, the exact phrasing, the exact meaning is to be worked out. Like Gerard Kennedy I think this debate should not be hampered by Leadership politics, it should be contested by all sides so a resolution to all is worked out.

A final note if Quebec is classified as a nation, in that it has a people that are more unique then the people of Newfoundland or of BC or of any other province, I will return my Liberal Membership Card to whoever is Liberal Leader. I fully admit Quebec has a unique people and society, but so does every other province.

I could even pose the argument, this is with no eastern roots, infact I've never ventured farther then Alberta, that Newfoundland is the most unique province. Being the last province to join would have that effect. Also more obviously, there are a lot more jokes about Newfoundlanders then Quebeckers thus giving them an identity that we all are aware of. Whereas a Francophone Quebecker has no real difference then a Francophone from Manitoba. To my argument I will amend that the Maratimes are more unique then Quebec, perhaps the most unique regional society in Canada.

But with joking aside this is not a warning, this is fact, if the Liberal Party accepts Canada as a nation in the definition that I stated above I will no longer be a Liberal Party member. This is no light matter. In politics I am a Canadian first
and a Liberal second. If the Liberal Party challenges Canada, I side with Canada.

Gerard Kennedy Will Beat Stephen Harper

I have brought up a few of these points before, but they deserve reiteration. These are points strictly in consideration of campaign worth.

Gerard Kennedy Comes From The West- As Liberal Leader, Gerard would be the first leader west of Ontario, this would not only be a first for the Liberal Party, but it would be a huge election selling point. I can see the election ads stating the western roots of Kennedy, his home province of Manitoba, his education and his social career in Alberta on top of his Ontario experience. Simply Gerard Kennedy has the broadest appeal. Broader then Harper.

Gerard Kennedy Has Been A Social Icon- Gerard Kennedy, doesn't have any baggage, and on top of that ran a National Food Bank for years. His dedication to helping the down-and-out puts him at a higher level then Harper. Just contrast the cld calculating economist of Stephen Harper with the warm, caring, food bank director and Ontario Education Minister of Gerard Kennedy. So not only in consideration of the poor, but Gerard has background in ministerial running of the largest province's Education system. Gerard Kennedy's background is far superior then Harper's, appealing to everyone, and cannot be attacked.

Gerard Kennedy Will Change Canada- As Liberal Leader most Liberal leadership candidates do not offer that great of change. Most of the candidayes offering similar plans in regard to Afghanistan. Gerard Kennedy has an innovative approach to Afghanistan that'll offer the Canadian public a choice, and that choice will be Liberal.

Gerard Kennedy Speaks With Passion- Gerard Kennedy and Michael Ignatieff, and to a lesser extent Bob Rae and Stephane Dion speak well. Gerard Kennedy however, wether on television or in the debates offers a real person conversation. Michael Ignatieff quite often meddles into methods unbefit of a politician such as theorizing and drifting into the dialectical. Bob Rae keeps blindly asserting that his Ontario reign was a success for the time, ignoring reality. Stephane Dion, for me at least, has been increasingly rude and arrogant. He has attacked other candidates to which I expected more of him. Simple those three don't portray a relationship with the everyday person. Gerard does.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Paul Wells Blasts Ignatieff

Now I have articulated my stance in contrast to Michael Ignatieff's, and made clear I disagree with certain portions of his platform, however I must say that different ideas are what the Liberal Party needs. Even if they aren't the best or most proper, different ideas lead to a more thorough debate which in the end gives a stronger conclusion. I believe Gerard's ideas are the best, but if it wasn't for Ignatieff, perhaps I wouldn't have been able to compare and contrast as I did and recognize it. I say this of Michael Ignatieff, as by appearances he is becoming less popular or more of a target of attack, especially in the recent Paul Well's Blog.

The Paul Wells Blog attacks Ignatieff's stance in referring to Quebec as a nation, and goes deep into this argument. Paul quotes the Montreal Gazette:
"None of the Quebec commentators who have been cheering [Ignatieff] on suggest there is even a remote chance of success of his constitutional proposal in the foreseeable future.

"And while the mere word 'nation' might be too much for English Canada to swallow when applied to Quebec as well as aboriginals, the recognition he is proposing is purely symbolic, and so empty that no Quebec government could accept it.

"The campaign manifesto in which he made the proposal says recognition would not be 'a prelude to further devolution of powers.'

"Nor would it be an interpretive clause like the 'distinct-society' clause in the ill-fated Meech Lake accord, directing governments, legislatures and the courts to take Quebec's nationhood into account in interpreting the rest of the constitution, including the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For Ignatieff 's 'fundamental principles' that are to be respected in the constitution include 'the unity of Canadian citizenship' and 'the primacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.'
Then Paul sums up the tirade on Ignatieff by making the same observation I gave weeks ago. My observation, under the title, "University of Toronto Professor: "Ignatieff denies what he said meant what it means," I stated:
So as you see it is fascinating, instead of having to apologize, which most jewish groups want, Ignatieff pretty much denies what he said meant what it means; so any need to apologize evaporates.

I find this ridiculous, and troubling that a scholar could make such a claim without knowing or grasping he is double-speaking. And if he is doing it on purpose, I would rather have a leader who is clear and tries not to mislead.
Paul Wells gives how that opinion is actually applied to reality:
Turning to the Globe, we see Raymonde Folco, an MP who wavered in her support for Ignatieff after he called Qana a war crime. "But after speaking to him at length, she said she believes that Mr. Ignatieff did not say what he really meant."

Precisely. A stout refusal to believe what Michael Ignatieff says has become the central condition for supporting his candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. The opposition to Ignatieff now comes exclusively from people who fear his words have meaning.

As I have mentioned I welcome Ignatieff to the Party he, like Gerard, have brought new ideas to the party, however because they are not the best ideas I think Michael Ignatieff would not make the best leader.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gerard Kennedy Puts Renewal First

Some Liberals believe the Red Ribbon Report was enough, I don't. The Red Ribbon offers superficial changes, changes that are only changes in perspective. We are still the same flawed Liberal Party that lost the last election; we are still the same Liberal Party that fights more amogst ourselves then against the Conservatives. What The LIberal Party needs is real renewal.

The last debate is a prime example of this infighting. Potential leaders digging and attacking other candidates, Liberals booing Liberals, all this is proof the Liberal Party is in repeats. Gerard Kennedy is not attacking other candidates, and he is not trying to divide the Party. There are no "stop Kennedy" websites or venomous articles relating some misdeed Kennedy may have committed in the past, because Gerard Kennedy puts renewal first.

The other leading candidates are focused on gaining the Liberal Leadership, Gerard is focused on changing the Liberal Party. Gerard doesn't want the Liberal Leadership if he can not, with the Liberal membership, change the Liberal Party; to change it into the Party of the 21st Century. I don't want any leader who is interested in anything but renewal, I want Gerard Kennedy.

Gerard Kennedy in a speech at a rally, spoke to myself, and to any other Liberal wanting a real change within the Liberal Party. He was on the stage, looking at every one of us, and he said:

We now have what we needed - a significant foundation to build a strong consensus for real renewal of the Liberal Party. We have already proved part of our point - thousands of Liberals responded to your persuasion, your phone calls, your organization and your example by voting for an ambitious view of the future. There was no outside hype or old machine politics, just other liberals leading the way.

I am more convinced than ever than we can - and we must - win. I know I can persuade Liberals to trust a renewed party - one that relates to ordinary working families, delivers results that matter and earns back the respect of Canadians.
Gerard Kennedy puts renewal first, renewal is present in his grassroots campaign, and it is present in his vision for the Liberal Party.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

And This Is Just The Toronto Debate...

If it was in doubt, the Liberal Party is attacking each other. This clip is concerning the Toronto debate, I'd hate to see one about the recent Quebec debate.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

To The Pundits And Bloggers Who Think Gerard's French Will Stop Him From Being Leader...I Pose A Challenge

To all of those who think Gerard Kennedy's French is the reason he will not be Leader, I offer challenge. Argue Why.

It's that simple.

As to preventing poor arguments, let me refute some right now.

Bilingual Argument - Answering, "Well a Leader must be bilingual, as that is a requirement to be Prime Minister," is not applicable, as Gerard Kennedy has been objectively tested to be bilingual.

Representative Argument- Answering, "Well a Leader must be able to talk French to represent the Quebec people," as above, Gerard Kennedy can speak French, and he will represent Quebec.

Election Argument- Answering, "Gerard would lose a debate against Harper and Duceppe in French," does not hold water either, as in the debates it is clear Gerard can understand French and respond.

Now I do admit, as stated above that Gerard's degree of French is lower then some candidates, but in regard to the Election Argument, understanding and being able to communicate his ideas is more then enough to beat Harper and Duceppe. As Gerard, and some Liberal Candidates already do so on substance alone.

Delegate Argument- Answering, "Gerard only got 1.6% of the delegates proves his French will not get Quebec support in the next election," is so flawed on many levels.

First, an election between Liberals does not even begin to represent how the actual population would vote. If that was true, Paul Martin would have had over 80% of the seats in his election, which he clearly didn't.

Second, only 10% of the Quebec Liberals voted, putting the whole delegate system in question about fair representation. So if you use this premise, you would have to admit all candidates in Quebec are not representative of Quebec.

Third, Gerard Kennedy was at the beginning and apparently still is a dark horse, when Liberal organizational leaders were selecting candidates they chose candidates they knew. I know someone who was at such a meeting of Liberal Organizers, and had let slip they got key organizers in Quebec even before the race begun.

It is your job, you the pundits or bloggers who repeat the same conclusions without providing your premises, to tell me why Gerard's French will prevent him from becoming Leader.

The Comment Section is open to all responses.

Just Look At Kennedy's Record

Gerard Kennedy on October 19th in reaction to the conservatives environment announcements responded by attacking the lack of substance and innovation in their platform. The whole release can be read here.
This is what a leadership candidate should do. A candidate should act as an opposition leader, because, it is pretty obvious, we are in opposition. Gerard has been repeatedly expressing the concerns of the people of Canada against the Harper government. His most recent is blasting the environment plan of the Conservatives.
"The clean air act is actually a dirty piece of legislation," said Kennedy. "It focuses on pollutants that we already have laws to deal with - if they're enforced - and all but ignores the decisive measures Canadians want and expect for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions."
"Once again, Stephen Harper is trying to change the subject because it doesn't fit within his own narrow vision of Canada. He and his Tory cohorts don't believe in climate change - despite the best scientific evidence - so he's coming up with an environmental do-nothing bill that puts off action, maybe forever," Kennedy said. "We should instead implement clean air standards immediately using existing legislation."
Gerard Kennedy has an extensive environment platform, you can view it here and here. Harper's plan for environment leaves Canadians left out of the government's policies. The Conservatives offer no real improvements to help fix the problems that face Canada and the the World.
Gerard Kennedy also notes that the Conservatives environment policy is:
"especially disappointing in its low expectations and in the way it pits one region against another."
"This is cynical politics, and Canadians will know it. Quebecers say consistently that they want action on climate change, and as someone who lived and worked many years in Alberta, I know that Albertans are way ahead of their Tory MPs on this issue...."
"Taking the easy way out - the Harper way - helps nobody. It's time for a revitalized Liberal Party of Canada that will share Canadians' concerns about the environment, and tackle the tough issues."
This isn't the first open barrage on Harper, Kennedy has made. One of the first grevious misjudgements the Conservatives made was their budget, and Kennedy let them know it. He issued a statement, here, in it he says:
With this Budget, the Harper government abandoned our country's commitments to aboriginal Canadians agreed to in Kelowna - cutting planned funding by 80 per cent .
With this budget, the Harper government abandoned our country's fight against global warming - eliminating every single climate change program.
With this budget, the Harper government has abandoned Canada's students - instead of providing up to $6,000 per student for tuition over four years, this budget provides only $80 for text books. Instead of leading Canadians to a shared national sense of purpose, they chose to recycle the failed rhetoric from Mike Harris' Ontario and left Canadians thinking: 'what does this mean for me' instead of 'what does this mean for my country'.
Following that, Kennedy on his website, gerardkennedy.ca, offers an open invitation to write Stephen Harper a letter to express the need for change in Afghanistan, you can read Kennedy's here. But more examples of Kennedy's assault on Stephen Harper and the conservatives on their Afghanistan stance are plentiful. You can read more here, that is where Kennedy poses:
that Canada can help lead the plan to solve the opium trade and development challenges facing the Afghani people, "The only way we can justify staying in Afghanistan is if we can create a mandate for real success."
Newspapers have illustrated Kennedy's forcefulness in attacking the Conservatives failings, you can read such a reference here.
Gerard Kennedy also attacked Harper in his decision to miss the AIDs Conference, you can read his statement here.
And just recently, just before his response to the Conservative Environment policy, Gerard stood up for farmers by demanding Harper keep the single desk for the Canadian Wheat Board. The CWB has been benefiting Canadian farmers for years, the Conservatives want to privatize it through backroom dealings. Gerard,here, states:
"I know from my own experience that the people who best understand how our food system works are the people facing hunger who I met at the food banks and the people who actually produce the food - our farmers.
"They should debate and decide the future of the Canadian Wheat Board, not Stephen Harper's ideological soulmates. And to put forward enterprising ideas that will help our vital agricultural economy, our farmers should have all the information, pro and con, not just what the government thinks."
It is quite clear Gerard Kennedy is leading the opposition against Stephen Harper. The Liberal Party is already coalescing around Kennedy's stance on Afghanistan. And as I've noted in a previous post, Dion promptly addressed the same concerns as Kennedy in regards to the CWB. In all the example I have put forth above, in his very character and in his policy platforms, Gerard has demonstrated to me that he is the best opposition against Stephen Harper.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The End Of The Debate, Gerard's Remarks

The way Gerard handles himself in this video clip only demonstrates to me how a Leader should be.

His speaking skills give him the dominating presence that make it feel like he is the only one in the theatre. The way his voice booms when he is passionate and resonates when he stresses the need for greater human emphasis in politics convey the urgency and importance of everything he discusses.

Most candidates chose to idlely stand behind a podium, a few took the microphone and gave a more personable performance. There is no doubt in my mind that Gerard Kennedy would knock the socks off of a piece of dead wood like Stephen Harper.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dion Copies Kennedy

I recently published a post stating Gerard Kennedy's view on the Harper Government privatizing the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), I posted that blog on October 13 at 1 pm, you can view it here. I wrote my blog after checking all the leadership candidates websites.

Well today I checked them again, Kennedy's still says the same thing while Dion's has a new post, amazingly Dion announces the same position against Harper's move towards the CWB. Not only that but on the Dion website it is dated Oct. 13 2006, you can view it here.

I had thought the Dion campaign dated their website to make it look like Dion made the announcement as soon as Kennedy did, but I cannot prove it. I can say without a doubt Gerard Kennedy had the post on his website hours before Dion.

Inspired By A Comment: Dion's English

I saw this clip on YouTube but I wasn't going to post it because as a Kennedy supporter I know candidates have their weaknesses and Gerard's happens to be French. Well a commentor in a previous post says Dion's English isn't that bad compared to Gerard's French, well watch the clip, you be the judge.

Am I The Only Blogger That Uses Evidence?: Gerard Kennedy Won The Debate

I must acknowledge that this is my own opinion and every other blogger has contributed their own, but none have provided any real evidence.

Michael Ignatieff never showed any passion, prove me wrong; show me a clip where he changed his low voice more then a decibel higher. I watched the debate twice, and I never saw more then an enthused pitch in his voice. Contrary to Kennedy who conveyed his passion to the crowd and Martha Hall Findlay even Ignatieff, watch the clip. Ignatieff also tried to slam Bob Rae, showing disrespect for office of Leader. It back fired and Rae slammed him, and all he could repeat was "That is not true."

Bob Rae showed some passion but there is no doubting that he was malicious in his attacks on fellow Liberals. The more reason why Bob Rae has fallen in my books. After he slammed Ignatieff there is a image of him laughing that makes him look sinister; it's quite disturbing. Further, Bob Rae looked 65; I take this as another flaw for obvious reasons.

Stephane Dion admittedly showed the most passion out of these three but it was dampered by his poor english speaking. Further Dion lost respect by his continual utterance of "This is unfair," to Ignatieff concerning the previous Liberal government didn't get it done. Lastly Dion too attacked fellow Liberals, I don't want a leader who attacked or was so rude to other Liberals that he made the whole Party look bad.

Scott Brison was fantastic. He brought great insight into every discussion he was involved. He provided humour such as "I play hockey too." He only slammed Joe Volpe because Volpe wouldn't let him finish. Only because of this negativity am I offering that Kennedy won, as Brison had done a great debate otherwise.

As for Gerard, watch this clip. His style of speaking was unmatched and the content of his speeches is so undoubtedly Liberal, he only furthers the Liberal cause. Of importance Gerard unlike the other major three never attacked another candidate, he wasn't even rude. This in my books, as should me in yours is a winner.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Harper Tries Another Behind-The-Scenes Maneuver, Gerard Says No

The way this Conservative government has been operating is under the radar. Cut spending to programs indirectly or reorganize departments in such a way so they don't make headlines but they still achieve their mistaken objectives.

A current example is Stephen Harper's attempt to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board.
The Canadian Wheat Board has proposed a major revamping of its role, which studies show have averaged sales of $265 million more per year over nearly a decade in a half than would have been realized otherwise. The Board proposes retaining the "single desk" for sales, but the Conservative government seeks to create a system in which some farmers could opt out.

The Harper government has ordered the Board to stop disseminating information that supports views in favour of the single desk.
This is a backroom attempt to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board; well Gerard Kennedy says no Stephen Harper.
Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy today blasted the Conservative government for seeking to muzzle opponents of its questionable agenda to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board.

"Canadian farmers deserve a say in the future of an institution that affects their livelihoods," Kennedy said. "It's another example of how Stephen Harper's Conservatives put their narrow ideology ahead of the interests of ordinary Canadians. Not only is the government pursuing a wrong-headed agenda, it's doing it in an undemocratic way."

For more on Gerard Kennedy's position you can click here. Farmers are also demanding Stephen Harper stops this action, they have spoken out on the subject to the House of Commons, you can read their address here.

For a fuller explaination of the operations of the Wheat Board you can click here or read on.

The negotiating position of the government of Canada at the World Trade Organization (WTO) talks has been to defend the democratic right of Canadian farmers to choose the kind of marketing institutions that will best serve their interests.

For western Canadian grain farmers, this means defending the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) with its statutory authority as the “single-desk” seller of wheat, durum and barley to all export markets and for domestic human consumption.

It is a democratic right because the CWB has a 15-person board of directors - 10 of whom are elected by farmers. Elections are held every four years and every grain farmer has the right to vote. The ballot is a preferential ballot, which means winning candidates must have more than 50% support in order to be elected.

If farmers want to change the board’s mandate, they can do that through the election process or by a plebiscite. Eight of the current farmer directors strongly believe that the CWB adds value to farmers and support the CWB’s orderly marketing authority.

The U.S. and EU want to remove that decision from Canadian farmers. At the WTO talks, their negotiators have been clear that they want an end to the single desk selling authority of organizations like the CWB. Organizations that, in trade lingo, are called State Trading Enterprises (STEs).

Farmers still control board

Despite the fact that the CWB is farmer-controlled, it is defined as an STE because it operates under the authority of an act of Parliament. That Act enables the CWB, on behalf of all 80,000 western Canadian grain farmers, to negotiate with buyers for the best achievable price for wheat, durum and barley. It also empowers the CWB to negotiate with railroads and other service providers for better service at a competitive cost.

The WTO position of the U.S. and EU, whose companies are some of our biggest competitors in the world market, would basically outlaw farmers’ ability to have an effective organization able to compete with these companies.

It would make it illegal for any farm group in any country to establish a marketing organization that had bargaining powers backed by legislation. It wouldn’t matter whether 51% or 100% of the farmers democratically voted in favour of the concept, as it would be illegal under WTO rules.

That’s when the handful of multinationals that already control more than 70% of the world grain trade will be truly unchallenged in their domination. For all intents and purposes, those companies would completely control the world grain trade and a basic staple of the world’s food supply.
Art Macklin

Those companies are actively working behind the scenes to ensure that happens. On Feb. 2 of this year an organization calling itself Grain Vision sent a letter to Chuck Strahl, minister of agriculture and agri-good, also minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, urging the government to change its negotiating position at the WTO. The letter was also addressed to David Emerson, minister of International trade.

It stated:

"Cabinet needs to change this position (defending the CWB). We are asking you, as the ministers responsible for the negotiating position, to immediately put the need for this change on the Cabinet agenda.… We ask that you begin to provide greater consistency in Canada’s negotiating position by allowing our agricultural negotiators to explicitly bring the monopoly powers of state trading enterprises into the discussions…. For greater clarity, Grain Vision is recommending that the government of Canada be prepared to discuss and negotiate the matter of exporting state trading enterprises at the WTO."

Grain Vision is driven by corporate interests

Predictably, Grain Vision is driven by the interests of a collection of grain companies that stand to make a handsome profit from the end of the CWB. The list of companies signing the letter includes: Cargill Limited, Louis Dreyfus Canada Limited, Rahr Malting Canada Limited, Agricore United (a company whose largest single shareholder is ADM), Saskatchewan Wheat Pool (no longer a farmer cooperative), and James Richardson International Limited.

The letter was also signed by a handful of groups like the Western Canadian Wheat Growers and the Western Barley Growers. Those groups often claim to be a legitimate voice of farmers but in reality would not exist without the sponsorship largess of big corporations. Some urban chambers of commerce, some Alberta government mandated farm groups, the Grain Growers of Canada, and a few other groups also signed the letter.

If the Americans, Europeans and multinational grain companies get their way, new WTO rules will make it illegal for any group of farmers to organize and collectively bargain for export crops.

This becomes an issue of national sovereignty. The principle under attack is the democratic right of citizens or an economic group to have legislation enacted that empowers them to organize effectively in the interests of the majority. To deny Canadian grain farmers this right is also to put at risk this right for farmers producing products under the supply management system.

Trade unions, teachers unions, and many others could also be affected by this principle since they are empowered to bargain for their members by legislation under which a majority vote allows them to bargain for the whole group.

A wide cross-section of Canadian society should be concerned by the WTO attack on the CWB because they could be the next victims if the principle is established. NUPGE

Art Macklin, his wife Donna and their youngest son Nathan operate a family farm in the Peace River Country of northwestern Alberta. Mr. Macklin is a former president of the National Farmers Union and a current elected director of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Top Four Leadership Candidates' Healthcare Comparison

This comparison is compiled by CTV descriptions of the candidates' views on Healthcare; you can view each here (look on right sidebar). For a more accurate source I advise reading each respective candidate's website. These descriptions were written fairly early so they lack current policies, however there are one or two surprises.

Below the list I will enlist my own comments on the healthcare views.

Gerard Kennedy

Although Kennedy has not published a sweeping platform on health care, he has made comments that make his position clear on controversial issues.

Kennedy has called on the Harper government to continue federal funding of a safe injection site in Vancouver, saying it was a program that saved lives and protects the weakest strata of our society.

"Insite saves lives and is a Canadian social and medical success story," Kennedy said in a statement.

"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."

Kennedy also called on Harper to attend the 2006 AIDS conference when the prime minister cited a scheduling conflict, saying he should do the right thing.

"The eyes of the world will be on Canada and it will be a national embarrassment that the head of state of the host country refused to attend," he said.

"Tackling this disease internationally requires the firm resolve of all nations, and Canada has played a significant and pioneering role in the fight to date."
When Kennedy resigned as a Toronto MPP, he reminded constituents of his accomplishments on the health-care front.

He said that highlights during his tenure included significant funding for St. Joseph's Health Care Centre, which resulted in reduced wait times for cancer treatment, hip replacements and cataract surgery.

He also said that while in opposition, he worked with members of the community to stop health care and education cutbacks.

Stephane Dion

Dion has expressed comfort with private practice playing a limited role within Canada's health system, saying most family doctors practice in their own offices and send patients to get blood work or tests in private laboratories anyway.

"But this private sector involvement should in no way jeopardize the five principles of the (Canada Health Act)," Dion added, "notably universal access."

He says what Quebec Health Minister Dr. Phillippe Couillard is trying to accomplish in his province is a good way to engage the private sector. That is, focusing the sector on diagnostic tests, "in a way that strengthens the public sector and universal access to the system as a whole."

Dion said he's for giving significant federal transfers to the provinces so that they have the power to improve their health systems, but within the parameters of the CHA.

"I want to do much more to improve Aboriginal health, increase health research, promote healthy lifestyles and sports activities," said Dion. "I want to put in place a better Canadian drug approval process, and better international cooperation on dealing with pandemics that we must prevent in Canada."

Michael Ignatieff

Ignatieff's health-care strategy so far offers no specifics. In a Maclean's piece in September, he declared that the federal government has a legitimate role under the Canada Health Act to ensure that all Canadians have access to publicly-funded health care.

But he has described health care as a "provincial jurisdiction" which the federal government should play an overseer's role in.

In a speech to the Canadian Club of Calgary in May, he seemed to exhibit openness toward Alberta's desire to pave its own path to medicare.

"Albertans, like all Canadians, believe that Canadian citizenship implies equal access to quality health care paid for out of general taxation," he said.

"Yet each province is bound to experiment about how to best balance the imperatives of equal access and cost control. The federal government can't enforce equality with a big stick, certainly not against Alberta."

He described the best role for the federal government is to be a "clearing house" of ideas on how to deliver the best health care to provinces while containing costs.

Bob Rae

Rae supports a universal, taxpayer-funded health care system -- but he suggested that he wouldn't be opposed to using the private sector to deliver those health services.

On Sept. 7 in Toronto, Rae unveiled a health-care platform that featured a "single-payer" medicare system, and said he would expand that system to include a National Catastrophic Drugs Plan -- which would cover "catastrophic" drug costs such as those some cancer patients are hit with.

"No one in Canada should ever have to choose between their health and financial catastrophe," said Rae, "and that is too often the case today."

"We have to find innovation in the public system. We have to find more cost-effective ways of delivering service; we have to find more technologically adaptive ways of delivering service."

When he was premier of Ontario, Rae also put in place the Trillium Drug program, which covered residents who can't afford high prescription drug costs.


Gerard Kennedy lacks a comprehensive plan, but so do the rest of the candidates. I do admit Kennedy in this description didn't outline his vision as well as Ignatieff, but most points are made, see his website for his more comprehensive view. Kennedy does give evidence of his motivation and experience in healthcare which I find admirable.

Stephane Dion gives a shocking statement, he allows for an element of private healthcare. This is news to me considering I've read every speech listed on his old and new website and his journal work. I am questioning Dion as a potential second.

Michael Ignatieff takes a more decentralized role when it comes to healthcare. My only qualm is that he puts healthcare solely under provincial jurisdiction, this is problematic to me in that not all provinces can supply a sustainable level of care.

Bob Rae leaves it vague as to whether he wants even more private involvement in Healthcare then Dion, which significantly worries me. Also cost-efficiency does not necessitate private healthcare. I believe the current system needs to be more stream-lined and more involvement and coordination by doctors.

Of the four I would have to say Gerard Kennedy and Michael Ignatieff give the most reasonable positions. This is going on the above information. I do have other information but only on some of the above candidates.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

University of Toronto Professor: "Ignatieff denies what he said meant what it means"

I was reading the Globe and Mail when I ran across this story. On reading it I thought it had good points, but would have no real significance as it was probably like my blog, just one voice, no matter how articulate it is. But on reaching the bottom, I was quite surprised to see who it was by, it read:
Clifford Orwin is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto and director of the Munk Centre's program in political philosophy and international affairs.
I was quite flabbergasted for many reasons. First, a Professor of a major University in Canada wrote this about Michael Ignatieff:
Michael Ignatieff? What is it with the guy? He's so intelligent, so articulate, so capable of writing books that impress even me, a hard sell -- and so prone to making an ass of himself. This is nobody's recipe for success as prime minister.
This is interesting in that a high academic was motivated in speaking out against Ignatieff.

This brings on the second point of interest; the fact that the writer is such a academic. Often Ignatieff supporters boast of Ignatieff's education and position, I must admit this seems to indicate that Ignatieffs acclaim is not all that correct.

But of all, this Professor brings up a very good point about Ignatieff's Orwellian style of talking:
Speaking on a Quebec radio show, he addressed the question of the Israeli air raid in Qana, Lebanon, on July 30 during the war with Hezbollah, in the aftermath of which 28 civilian deaths occurred. (Note my careful phrasing; we'll return to it.) "What happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear."

Clear that it was a war crime, or clear that he should have said it? Well, actually, neither. When contacted by a reporter, an aide said that, while Mr. Ignatieff would not retract his use of the term "war crime," that use had been misunderstood.

So rather than retract his statement, Mr. Ignatieff retracted our understanding of it. What he had meant, according to aide Leslie Church, was that "this was a tragedy of war, that this was a deplorable act of war, that this was a terrible consequence of war." He would never have been so irresponsible as to declare a finding in international law on a talk show.

So as you see it is fascinating, instead of having to apologize, which most jewish groups want, Ignatieff pretty much denies what he said meant what it means; so any need to apologize evaporates.

I find this ridiculous, and troubling that a scholar could make such a claim without knowing or grasping he is double-speaking. And if he is doing it on purpose, I would rather have a leader who is clear and tries not to mislead.

Clifford Orwin finishes with the last paragraph:
Is Mr. Ignatieff condemned to lurch from one wrong to another, hoping that somehow the two will make a right? Is this his sorry version of even-handedness? The usual likenings of him to George Bush are partisan, malicious and unfair. But, to quote the late Ann Richards's great line, Mr. Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth. Will this prove Mr. Ignatieff's epitaph as well?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

As Ignatieff Loses Support, Kennedy Gains Support

Michael Ignatieff, as reported earlier has lost the support of an MP:
Federal Liberal leadership hopeful Michael Ignatieff's latest comments on the Israeli air strike in Qana have cost him a key campaign member.

Susan Kadis, a Thornhill MP and his Toronto campaign co-chair, withdrew her support Wednesday after Ignatieff accused Israel in a televised interview on Sunday of committing a "war crime" in the July 30 bombing in Lebanon.

The full article can be read here.

Now it is interesting because on this same day, Gerard Kennedy has another supporter announcing his endorsement:
Greg Elzinga, president of the Vancouver Centre Liberal Electoral District Association, a man who has played key roles in numerous federal and provincial election campaigns in the eclectic urban riding today endorsed Gerard Kennedy's campaign for leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

As riding President in BC and as an extremely experienced individual, Greg Elzinga brings assets that are invaluable to our campaign. When asked about why he joined Gerard Kennedy, Mr. Elzinga reponded:
"Kennedy recognizes the growing importance of Western Canada. I believe he is, hands down, the best of the candidates and I also believe that his stance on what Canadian society, Canada's environment and economy needs to become best reflects my image of Canada.

This is a study of contrasts between two candidates; one discourages a supporter, while the other attracts more.

Michael Ignatieff: The Fallen

Michael ignatieff has lost support and is making enemies. Just scanning the blogosphere you can find Ignatieff supporters renouncing Ignatieff and declaring their withdrawal of support; granted they do so anonymously, but the effect cannot be understated. Further loss of support for Michael has been generated all from his statement, as taken from the National Post:
In an interview on a widely watched Quebec talk show, Mr. Ignatieff apologized for comments in August when he told a newspaper he was "not losing sleep" over an Israeli bombing that killed dozens of civilians in the Lebanese village of Qana.

"It was a mistake. I showed a lack of compassion. It was a mistake and when you make a mistake like that, you have to admit it," he told the French-language Radio-Canada program Tout le monde en parle.

"I was a professor of human rights, and I am also a professor of the laws of war, and what happened in Qana was a war crime, and I should have said that. That's clear."

His accusation that Israel committed a war crime has began a fierce reaction against the leadership candidate that has caused more damage to him then Volpe's scandal to Volpe, and it has been but a few hours.

Just recently announced was that Susan Kidias, a Member of Parliament who had previously supported Ignatieff has stated her withdrawal of said support. This statement came through her communications assistant in a communication that has marked just one disastrous event after another for Ignatieff. The full communication reads:

THORNHILL - Susan Kadis, Member of Parliament for Thornhill, announced today
that she will be withdrawing support for Michael Ignatieff.

Kadis' comments come after Mr. Ignatieff told the French-language
Radio-Canada program "Tout le monde en parle" that Israel's attack on Qana
during theconflict this summer was a "war crime". Mr. Ignatieff was
commenting on astatement he had made in August when he said he was not
losing sleep over an Israeli bomb strike on Qana. He went on to say that it
was a mistake, and heshowed a lack of compassion.

"Michael is an intelligent person and I would think that he would have a
better handle on the Middle East given his years of experience on human
rights and international law". Kadis stated, "I find his unprovoked comments
very troubling given that fact that the Israeli response came in light of
brazen kidnappings by Hezbollah of Israeli soldiers". Kadis continued,
"Israel did not seek this confrontation and would not have occurred if UN
Resolution 1559 had been implemented. This was an attack intended to root
out a recognized terrorist group who were raining down thousands of missiles
on Israel".


For more information contact:

Shannon Earle, Communications Assistant

Yet this is just one of the examples of Ignatieffs fall. The Canada-Israel Committee has put forth a call for Ignatieff to publicly retract his statement and to apologize. You can read their address here.

Further examples are present in the National Post article:
His comments, broadcast on Sunday, sparked an angry reaction among Jewish leaders who learned of them yesterday.

"That's appalling. To call it a war crime is totally, totally unacceptable," said Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada.

"I have to wonder if he is pandering to certain delegates who will be voting in the Liberal election for leadership."

Shimon Fogel, chief executive of the Canada-Israel Committee, said it was frustrating to hear Mr. Ignatieff's accusation.

"For somebody as well-informed and experienced as Mr. Ignatieff, he should know that is not a reasonable charge to level against Israel," he said. "What he ought to be preoccupied with is the kind of intolerance that gave rise to the conflict to begin with and the extent to which there are efforts to have it leach into Canadian society."

He said his group had been concerned by previous comments about the war made by Mr. Ignatieff's chief Quebec organizers, Denis Coderre and Pablo Rodriguez. Mr. Coderre took part in a pro-Lebanon march in Montreal in August at which some participants carried the flag of Hezbollah, which Canada has classified as a terrorist organization.

Since joining the leadership race, Mr. Ignatieff has had to back down from controversial comments several times. Contacted for clarification yesterday, an aide to Mr. Ignatieff said he would not retract the use of the term "war crime,"...

In just under a few hours Michael Ignatieff has caused the loss of the jewish community, of an MP, of notable interest groups, and of grass root supporters; one can only wonder what will happen in the days to come, and what he would do as Leader.

Michael Ignatieff: Judge And Jury

There have been a lot of blogs about this, but I just want to provide my own insight into this event.

The National Post reports, here, Michael Ignatieff "has accused Israel of committing "a war crime" during its conflict with Hezbollah last summer."

Michael ignatieff, a respected candidate for Leader of the Liberal Party alleged on a Quebec talk show that Israel committed a crime paramount to sanctions and international consequences. Now some have said this is just one in a series of Gaffes for Michael, I disagree. This is by far the most irresponsible action one could imagine. This is not some membership scandal like Volpe, but this is an exact example of a mistake Ignatieff would make as leader of the Liberal Party and of Canada.

I seriously fear Michael Ignatieff could possibly harm Canada by what he says. There are fundamentalists that would react quite strongly to such a statement made by a nations leader.

Others already are speaking out against Ignatieff, as noted in the article:
His comments, broadcast on Sunday, sparked an angry reaction among Jewish leaders who learned of them yesterday.

"That's appalling. To call it a war crime is totally, totally unacceptable," said Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of B'nai Brith Canada.

"I have to wonder if he is pandering to certain delegates who will be voting in the Liberal election for leadership."

Shimon Fogel, chief executive of the Canada-Israel Committee, said it was frustrating to hear Mr. Ignatieff's accusation.

"For somebody as well-informed and experienced as Mr. Ignatieff, he should know that is not a reasonable charge to level against Israel," he said. "What he ought to be preoccupied with is the kind of intolerance that gave rise to the conflict to begin with and the extent to which there are efforts to have it leach into Canadian society."

I am really interested in hearing a defence of Michael Ignatieff, because I cannot fathom one, logically that is.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gerard Kennedy-That's to get your attention, Now Brainiacs, Stop Going To Altavistagoogle.blogspot, You Give Him Money

Altavistagoogle.blogspot.com aka Canadian republic, is making up material and making flashy headlines just so the Kennedy supporters and all those who are swayed by tabloid headlines go there because he generates revenue for every person who visits his site. He repeats the same things over and over, he doesn't post anything new!

Don't visit his site! He mentioned Kennedy in one post and now since all those supporters went to his site he has seen how lucrative it is. Just don't go. No one respects him or even thinks he is a legible blogger. He says he doesn't lie, well read his headlines.

Stop going, ignore him. If you keep going you'll only perpetuate his disgusting blogs. He has no job, he has no prospects, (he admitted that himself); he relies on visitors, stop giving him money, stop visiting his site. I am boycotting his site as I hope all bloggers will.

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Green" Gerard

As Stephane Dion has performed at least a highly questionable act, missing the vote on Kyoto, I was motivated to reflect on Gerard Kennedy's platform on the environment. One of Gerard Kennedy's papers on the environment can be found here.

It begins with an introduction by former Minister of Environment, Charles Caccia, MP for Davenport, 1968-2004. Mr.Caccia outlines the importance of certain environment policies, such as the Kyoto protocal, and he also emphasizes the need for a leader who is dedicated to achieving those policies and goals.
To this end we need a leader with a strong commitment to the environment and to environmentally sustainable development; a leader who will not only talk but also walk the talk; a leader who sees beyond the horizon of the next election; a leader who can make difficult decisions. We have such a leader in Gerard Kennedy.
A prominent feature of Gerard's motivation for environment prosperity, is that he knows that our climate, our earth needs real policies that work because of the growing problems we face.
Energy and the environment are becoming the most crucial issues Canadians face. How we produce and consume energy and what we do to protect and preserve the environment, will determine the sustainability of our economy and our lifestyle.
This is what differentiates Kennedy from the other candidates, the role of the economy in relation to the environment. A major factor of the American's not signing on to Kyoto was that other countries would profit by the U.S. being hampered by environmental restrictions. Thus economic concerns outweighed the environment to the Americans. Mr. Kennedy does not place economic interests over environmental interests; he sees them as mutual perpetuating forces, that with the guidance of the federal, provincial, and municipal governments can better both spheres.
While markets are important and have an important role in solving our energy and environmental challenges, it is only by combining markets with federal, provincial, business and NGO leadership that we will become a clean energy superpower.
Having environmental and economic interests working towards a successful Canada, industry and technological advances will serve as a byproduct which will only serve to further the virtuous cycle of environment sustainability and growth.

Gerard Kennedy is putting forth a National Strategy for Energy and Environment. Planning to work with the provinces is necessitated by the reform needed to thoroughly direct environmental policies; "We have to merge and integrate environment and economic policies. We have to modernize federal and provincial tax systems. We have to give momentum to environmentally beneficial technologies." Kennedy advocates such a strategy, a strategy that will work with the provinces and regions to protect the fragile ecosystems that exist in Canada while fostering green-friendly industries, "There is a role for a national framework – a strategy to get the provinces working, in their own way, toward the same common environmental goals and targets."

Energy and environment issues are gaining momentum and importance. As an advanced nation, we have a duty and responsibility to develop a plan that maximizes the value of our resources, minimizes the impact of their extraction and utilization and also protects our environment.

We have to decentralize the decision-making process and seek the input of those who are most actively involved in energy production and environmental protection. We must adopt energy and environment policies that reflect the challenges our producers face from the oil fields off Newfoundland’s coast to the energy sector in Alberta.

Gerard Kennedy does not leave it at just talk, a crucial difference between Gerard and others, is his reliance on results. If a policy isn't working, if it's just talk it is worthless. He provides not just policies but a system of assurances to determine if these policies are as effective as they should be. His framework for his strategy on Environment and Energy has three pillars:

• it will be based on supply and demand of energy
• it will encourage and reward conservation and the production and use of clean energy
• and it will be measured relentlessly: Is it working? Is it cost-effective? Is the environment getting better and the economy getting stronger?

We will recognize sound environmental stewardship – as a driver for creativity, innovation, product development and ultimately profitability and we will encourage enterprise -- innovators and risk takers should be rewarded for their leadership and for driving innovation.

Elements of the plan include:
1. Setting national objectives for alternative fuels and sources of energy including:
• 5 per cent renewable fuels by 2010 and 10 per cent by 2015 (for example, ethanol, bio-diesel)
• 5000 MW of wind energy by 2010, and 10,000 MW by 2015
• 500 MW of new biomass, geothermal and solar energy by 2010, and 3000 MW by 2015

2. Providing reasonable production incentives to produce renewable energy. For example, we will drive innovation by using the tax code to encourage investment in environmental technologies that will result from higher risk, longer term R&D.

3. Optimizing our national transmission and distribution system (including pipelines and the electricity grids) by:
• Creating national systems that are safe, efficient and secure
• Encouraging investment and development by committing to streamlined and transparent processes (ex. removing duplicative federal and provincial work) and reasonable permitting timelines

4. Encouraging, through federal policies and assistance, provincial utilities to embrace renewable projects and integrate them into their transmission and distribution grids, and to explore energy storage solutions that will make intermittent clean sources of energy more useful in our energy networks

5. Setting national objectives on conservation:

• One per cent improvement in energy consumption per capita in five years and three per cent over the next 10 years. Our energy consumption per capita has been rising over the past 30 years, despite the availability of new technologies. We need to turn this around, and start investing in and using the most efficient equipment and processes available.
• Raising our standards by 25 per cent for energy consumption in new home construction and new appliances by 2015 (through building codes, equipment and appliance standards).

6.Committing government support to smart energy alternatives including:
• Hybrid vehicles
• Hydrogen and fuel cells vehicles and power plants
• Modern, high-efficiency and ultra clean bio-diesel vehicles

7. Introducing a GST exemption of up to $5000, for smart energy vehicles and a progressive gas-guzzler tax on all vehicles that have worse than average fuel consumption.

Canadian cars are typically on the road for more than 12 years. We need to encourage consumers to buy fuel-efficient vehicles, which will have an important impact on the environment for years to come.

8. Ensuring that 50 per cent of the government’s fleet purchases are hybrids or alternative fuelled vehicles by 2010 and 100 percent by 2015.

9. Creating programs and greater incentives for conservation including home retrofit programs, pilot programs to monitor energy consumption and energy cost by the minute. At the same time, speed up the approval process for new energy-savings products and systems.

10. Encouraging the highest possible efficiency in home and commercial heating and cooling by providing incentives for ground-source heat pumps. The province of Manitoba has made important strides in this area, and that good work should be replicated nationally.

11. Instilling reachable goals. All new, large energy development projects should have an “environmentally neutral footprint” (for example, if greenhouse gases and local pollutants will be increased, there must be an offset for the project to move forward). Further, we should introduce a mandatory market-based system that allows companies to register and trade emission credits.

I am sure other campaigns have quality environment platforms, on my opinion in substance and practicality Gerard Kennedy has the most principled and applicable strategy. Gerard not only seeks to revolutionize government's outlook at the environment but having it working with it in the economic sphere as partners to feed off of each other to create a more prosperous and successful Canada. It is only through the use and measuring of results that this can happen, and this is a quality that only Gerard Kennedy's platform has.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Real Negatives During The Leadership Race

Over the past months bloggers have made a big deal about many things, so let's try to take perspective on them, and see which are real negatives and which are the most disastrous. I will try to be as unbias as possible, feel free to disagree in the comment section.

Michael Ignatieff

Well in the beginning Michael Ignatieff had the most "gaffes." When asked if he'd run in the next election, Michael answered, "Depends who is leader." After public uproar Michael quickly made clear he would run in the next election.

At the time a lot of bloggers used this to argue Michael isn't that dedicated to the Liberal Party. Because we can't get inside his head, however, and from his past interviews I see that he was kidding in some respect and if one uses a suitable level of charity, the remark could be understood as such.

Yet in politics the public rarely uses charity, so in this regard, Michael's gaffe could foreshadow future errors as Leader. Thus he was termed 'the Rookie' early on.

Also another mistake of Ignatieff's was in an interview Michael said he was not losing sleep over civilian deaths in Lebanon, you can read it here. He even admits it was a mistake. Now this can also be attributed to his being a Rookie, but it also opens the door to another bigger problem of Ignatieff's; he is too detatched. This may seem unfounded, but I have heard this from a Provincial Youth Co-chair of Ignatieff's as well. Michael, being an academic, has been more concerned with theory then reality, and thus does not understand or appreciate the human component as he should. Therefore he committs himself to cold statements such as "not losing sleep."

I see his detachment from the more practical, humanistic side, as the real negative of Michael Ignatieff.

Also there was a dispute involving Michael and memberships but that will be ignored as Michael was proven wholly innocent.

Bob Rae

Bob began well, though not popular, his reputation was rather clean; however as he became more popular, more negatives began to develop.

The first was that it came out, that Bob had contributed to the NDP in the past election. He defended it as (and this is no alteration) "giving to charity." He also pointed out that he gave to the Liberals as well. Including the use of any charity, I see this as undeniably horrific. Bob Rae, a former Premier should know, that a polutical party is not a charity.

For giving to the Liberals, that excuse does not make the first action right. If you consent that giving only to the NDP is wrong then my argument is won. My argument goes: If giving solely to the NDP is wrong, and since Bob Rae gave to the NDP and the Liberals then it is a neutral outcome; then by that reasoning, doing a wrong is erased by the action of something right. However that conclusion is an absurd logical deduction.

Bob Rae did not give to the Liberals to apologize in giving to the NDP but he gave to both illustrating his opportunism. In giving to both parties, Bob Rae made friends in two parties.

His opportunism is further collaberated by his switch from the NDP to the Liberal Party.

This is the real negative of Bob Rae, his opportunism.

More recently, Mason Loh, Rae's BC Campaign Manager resigned because of submitting form 6's that were forged. This is a real negative but not Rae's prominant flaw. As with charity it could be argued Rae had no idea of the scheme and thus is not liable. Then others can claim Rae should be punished for it as Volpe was. Looking at the story right now and basing my opinion on those facts, I think a fuller deeper investigation is warranted, guilt to be judged later.

Gerard Kennedy

Now because I am a Kennedy supporter I don't doubt recieving criticisms of prejudice, and because I made that declaration I don't want to give the impression they aren't warranted, but I would like any comments to illustrate some basis.

Gerard maintained a clear reputation like Rae for most of the race, if not all, however one incident tarnished his record.

I say it may have put a blemish on Kennedy's reputation, but I do not think it did. First, not many people even know what I'm talking about, to show the low profile or unimportance of the event. Indeed the only public mention I can find and that only has been referenced to by any blogger was this. The article states that Raymond Chan brought in voters to a Delegate Selection Meeting on a Bus, and as it notes, is strictly against the rules.

Where I point to it being subordinatly important, is the fact not only that no newspaper or journal or news program picked it up, but that Raymond Chan admitted to the error and took full responsibility. Not only that, but in the same article it is referenced that other Leadership campaigns committed the same offence. In the comments section it is admitted that Ignatieff's Campaign did the similar strategy.

For those who still disagree, I pose that in degrees of offences forgery, as was in Bob Rae's case, and transporting voters, are very distant. The consequences are evident of this. Mason Loh has stepped down, where Chan has publicly apologized.

Gerard Kennedy though has a real negative, but not in the same genera as the previous two, Gerard's real negative is he is not a profficient french speaker. This real negative has been deemed the root reason why Quebec organizers selected other candidates; I won't offer speculation. Gerard has been criticized for poor French, I personally think it is mediocre. I dare you to distinguish between an expert french conversationalist and a French or Quebec citizen. My point being that judging language skills is often done by either saying it is good or that it is bad. Clearly Kennedy could get by in a discussion with a Quebecois, he isn't the best or even good, but he can get by.

I see the reasoning behind the criticism that Kennedy does not speak the best French. And as this is not my defence of Kennedy, I will not go into my argument. The real negative of Kennedy is that he speaks mediocre French.

Stephane Dion

Stephane too like Gerard and Rae began with a clean reputation, but this was a story that broke that reputation for Dion. I read the articles about this and the blogs, I see that there was a lot of exaggeration by the media as no consequences have been imposed. However because Mark Marrison admits to doing the action and Mackinnon makes clear the action is at least questionable I see this in the same regard as Raymond Chan's Bus of voters, but to a lesser degree.

A flaw for Dion, and this is from observation from blogs and results from the super weekend, is that he does not speak English that well. Now he can talk in english and make his point clear, but he does not portray his emotions or strength in any of his speeches. He has gotten better since I met him, but his english is not the greatest. You are probably wondering then if I'm comparing Kennedy's french to Dion's english, well I don't know. I am not perfectly bilingual, so I can not compare the differences.

The most recent and biggest flaw for Dion that I can percieve is that he was absent in the vote on Kyoto. Kyoto was implemented under Dion as Environment minister, Dion was known for his focus and committment to Kyoto. He was so passionate about it, he named his dog Kyoto. Then when the vote was held by the Conservative government Dion did not show. That is the real negative of Stephane Dion; he doesn't stand for what he says he does.

Now this may seem quite negative on my part for making such a claim, however just because I support Kennedy, does not mean I do not support the environment.

Stephane Dion is quite obviously a green candidate in the Liberal Party. So much so, he published his Green strategy in multiple parts because of it's length. Yet a vote to determine Kyoto's implementation, Dion misses it.

Another example is, in a previous post I have mentioned this as well, Dion talks about his youth campaign, and says how he values it; yet there is no youth website. Now money does not necessarily determine value, but in politics you don't usually take someones word when others are actually demonstrating it. Ignatieff and Kennedy both have youth websites to allow the youth of the party to bring their ideas and discuss them in an open environment.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Recount In Quebec And It's Consequences

A recount in Quebec is already underway, not because of hanging chads (What, a 6 year old joke isn't funny? You'd think I'm Jay Leno...) but because the original counters counted wrong. CTV reports that:
According to three different leadership camps, the recount started Thursday afternoon after it was discovered that party officials in Quebec had incorrectly rejected blank ballots or those cast for candidates who've dropped out of the contest.

Under party rules, those ballots should have been counted as undeclared or uncommitted.

The full news report can be read by clicking here. The consequences for this recount are of some importance. Now since those ballots are no longer rejected, but are considered undeclared ballots, that increases the number of undeclared delegates as well as reduces the delegates for the front-runners in Quebec, Ignatieff and Dion.

It reduces Ignatieff's and Dion's as the percentage of undeclared ballots would garner delegate spots and reduce Ignatieff's and Dion's percentages in that riding and thus reduce their delegates. CTV estimates Ignatieff and Dion could lose up to 35 delegates.

Also the report also suggests that the Liberal Party in general failed Quebec. Gerard Kennedy was blasted for his 1.7% turn out in that province, now that percent will increase due to the recount, but also only 10% of the registered Liberal eligible to vote actually did. This indicates the whole Liberal Party failed Quebec. I am a Kennedy supporter. but this article is very disappointing in its exposing of the Liberal Party's problem in Quebec.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rumor About Dion, Important To Note, It Is Just A Rumor

Well the Liberal blogosphere is full of speculation, the word is Dion will drop out of the race to support Kennedy. What is the evidence, you ask? Well it appears that an anonymous blogger made a comment here (Second comment down) and then that led to this which led to a fire around the blogosphere. But I think we have to take this for what it is, a rumor and nothing more.

It isn't backed up by any evidence, though Liberal Outsider suggests Dion hints at it in a letter here, but this does not prove anything. So Anonymous commenter, unless you have any evidence to support your claim, I will say your statement is false and perhaps even a lie.

You may be wondering why I am calling someone who is telling me that one of my candidates competitors will drop out and support him a possible liar, it may seem odd, but I would rather have an honest fight, based on policy, till the convention, then speculation and ghosts.

So let anyone continuing this rumor either provide evidence or don't spread gossip.

Rae, Kennedy, or Dion. All Possible.

Excert from my conclusion:
If we can't say who will win, then what can the Rae campaign, Kennedy campaign, and Dion campaign do? Well they can argue policy, present their candidates better. Cherniak wants to show why Dion can beat Ignatieff to sway the anybody-but-Iggy-crowd to Dion, because he hopes Dion is the only contender who can do that, but as I have stated that is false. Rae, Kennedy, or Dion could take on Ignatieff. I guess Cherniak doesn't believe his candidate can sway people on policy alone.

Who can beat Ignatieff? Honestly, any of the top three, Rae, Kennedy, or Dion, can beat Ignatieff. This is disagreeing with Cherniak's crystal ball but it's a fact. Rae could win this, Kennedy could win this, or Dion could win this, but more importantly Ignatieff could win this.

Rae could win this by Kennedy supporting him. Possibly Kennedy would support Rae over Dion because of ideological similarities. This is in stark contrast to Cherniak's machiavellian view of politics which is quite disturbing.

Cherniak thinks a candidate supports another wholly based on future power gains. It may be true, but that has huge exceptions. Through the exceptions I can easily show that it may be true but it is no way possible to jump to that conclusion due to contrary evidence.

Would Dryden support Ignatieff? In fact Cherniak has a lapse in his power-theory and postulates Dryden would go to Kennedy because they have similarities, not because of power gain. Dryden wouldn't support Ignatieff because of the huge differences in ideology. Furthermore, if a candidate did support another candidate it does not follow his supporters would too. Looking at the candidates, Rae is more similar to Kennedy then Dion. So it follows more would go to Rae. But it is unclear if Rae's NDP background would have an overiding factor to influence Kennedy supporters away.

Kennedy could win this by Dion supporting him. If Dion supported Kennedy, Rae would support Kennedy, or at least his supporters would because of similarities. Dion possibly would support Kennedy because Gerard is more similar to his platform then Rae; also Dion would go to Gerard because of again Rae's NDP background, and since Gerard's poor showing in Quebec, Dion would be given extreme influence in the campaign. His supporters would mostly follow forcing the majority of Rae supporters to come as well.

Dion could win this by Kennedy supporting him. I just said Kennedy would rather support Rae because of similarities, but this contrary opinion within my own post is building on my conclusion that fortune-tellers like Cherniak ignore for obvious reasons. I mentioned it is unclear if Rae's NDP history woud deter Kennedy supporters, and give them to Dion, thus Kennedy could support Dion. With Dion higher then Rae it is possible that Rae goes Dion.

What is evident here, is that any of the three can win. Cherniak uses machiavellian premises to suppose Dion will win. Such premises all rest on a candidate wanting power, such as Martha wanting a french-canadian and quite humourously Cherniak cites "facts are facts." I hate to point out a flaw, actually I don't, as this one is ridiculous; afterall opinion does not equal fact.

Why would Martha want a French-Canadian? So next time it would be an english Canadian? This alternating system between English and French is not even convention, if it was explain Ignatieff's dominance? Wasn't Martin before him? A fact is a fact, an opinion is not a fact. A fact dictates how reality is and will be, clearly I just illustrated a flaw in your facts, mainly because they're opinions, however well-thought out they may be.

What Cherniak and others want to portray is that there are guarentee's, that there are "facts" that can be used in determining who to give your second ballot support to. Well I'm telling you, that any "facts" anybody tells you are opinions. Cherniak wants to limit who can win, but the almighty Cherniak, even he can't do that.

Rae, Kennedy, and Dion have possibilities to win. There are so many factors that it is opinion motivated by bias that tells otherwise. I am a Kennedy supporter, I don't know who will win, but I hope it's Kennedy.

If we can't say who will win, then what can the Rae campaign, Kennedy campaign, and Dion campaign do? Well they can argue policy, present their candidates better. Cherniak wants to show why Dion can beat Ignatieff to sway the anybody-but-Iggy-crowd to Dion, because Dion is the only contender who can do that, but as I have stated that is false. Rae, Kennedy, or Dion could take on Ignatieff. I guess Cherniak doesn't believe his candidate can sway people on policy alone.

A theme then is present here, Cherniak emphasizes the pursuit of power as the ultimate motivation in selecting a candidate. He does so in postulating why candidates should support Dion, but he also does it trying to convince readers of his blog. He hopes readers of his blog are too, only after power. He does have a place for policy; it distinguishes Ignatieff and everybody else, but pursuit of power is what will collapse 'the everybody else' into Dion. Well Rae or Kennedy or Dion have the same liklihood of ganing the collapsing support, it isn't the pursuit of power that should crown one of them, it's policy.

To convince you I urge you to read the below post, it's from thescottross.blogspot.com. It's what real policy means. I give the entire post because the archival system he uses makes it hard to cite. Here it is:

Why I Look Up To Gerard Kennedy
I look up to Gerard Kennedy, and I realize that that may sound corny or overly sentimental. The thing about Gerard is, I don't just agree with his vision of Canada, I admire it. His latest policy release concerning the strengthening of the equality of women is by far the best policy proposed yet in this leadership race.

First let me explain that a major turning point in my deciding a candidate to support was listening to a speech made by Gerard. In it he said that we have to listen to the quiet sounds; those are sounds that institutions don't listen to, that they have no bureaucracy or procedures or funding to handle them. A student having difficulties learning in an overcrowded classroom, with the teacher too busy to help, that's a quiet sound.

All my life there has been a 'quiet sound"; I knew it was an injustice, but it became so normalized that eventually I accepted it even though I knew it still affected my mother. I grew up in a single parent home, my mom had to work two jobs; one was delivering newspapers at four in the morning, the other was a secretary at Sun-Rype Ltd. She worked extremely hard at both. At Sun-Rype she quickly advanced, from secretary to Customer service, and from there she became manager of Customer Service and Sales. Currently she has a staff and a secretary of her own. The thing is, however, that in all this advancement, in all this positions, money was tight, and there was one fact that kept constant; if she was a man she'd have been making 20% more.

As a boy I'd hear my mom refer to this, not as often as she was justified to do. After a while though, she gradually stopped and I never really grasped the effect this has.

There are other policies from other candidates that have their points, and then there is Gerard's international country, the new value of enterprise, and his extensive environment paper; but out of everything from everybody, this women's equality proposal is by far the greatest. It's great for many reasons; first, it's a policy that should be implemented as soon as possible, no questions. Second, it has real practical value. Unlike other candidates who use vague language in which their policies could be implemented a thousand different ways and thus differ in theory and practice, this policy of have women's wages equal to men's has a singlur translation from the theoretical to the practical. Third, this policy is liberal through and through. It looks to correct the institutions that affect our lives, and in doing so, better them.

Gerard Kennedy listened to the quiet sound, maybe not specifically to my own experience, but to someone's; and now that sound willl be answered with the equality my mother and women deserve. That's why I look up to Gerard.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I predict that by the end of the day the numbers will look like this:

Ignatieff: 28%
Rae: 18.5%
Kennedy 18.5%
Dion: 17.5%
Dryden: 5.4%
Volpe: 4.4%
Brison: 3.1%
Findlay: 1.3%
Undeclared: 3.3%

This is just based on the fact that Ontario has more seats to go then Quebec. Quebec will increase Dion, butnot enough. Kennedy will increase because of Ontario and BC, possibly Alberta. Ignatieff will not grow significantly to stay at 30%. Volpe and Brison will stagnate and thus lose % points. Dryden will stay constant but at no % growth.

You can comment, but this is just to put out my thoughts to see how close I am.