Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Multiculturalism in Mississauga


The program in the article which the Ontario Liberal government funds is a very good example of making multiculturalism work. It is interesting to compare Liberal governments, both past and present, federal and provincial, to welcoming newcomers, and helping them settle. The success of multiculturalism as a policy, and investment in it, is embodied in Mississauga, which was once a mere collection of WASP'y outcroppings in the West GTA, into a strong, multicultural unit, and one of the more vibrant suburbs in the country (well, as vibrant as suburbs can be). With the immigration file emerging as a possible election issue, this is a good time for reflection on what immigration and multiculturalism has done for the City of Mississauga.

Oh, the Conservatives had a little fest in the city as well, for appointed (and local association splitting-gee, a Conservative appointee causing trouble for the association in Mississauga? Sounds familiar) Mississauga East-Cooksville candidate Melissa Bhagat, which I would have loved to crash and ask the guest of honour, Jason Kenney, about what we felt the contribution of "overheated Sikhs" to the Mississauga community.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mississauga South Conservative website- just a bit odd?

I just checked the Mississauga South federal association website, and this is the front page:

Now I don't exactly check the website often (particularly as long as no news develops on the nomination race), but doesn't this look kinda...odd? A couple random declarations that "Stevie Harper is a cool guy!" and that "Stephanie (sic) Dion is a wimp". Either the website got hacked, and the webmaster doesn't care/notice, (which given the MSC's lack of Facebook presence, would fit in the trend of Internet apathy) or this is the actual quality of the website. Either way, doesn't bode so well for whoever ends up getting the nod, wonder if they will use the same webmaster?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why do Mississauga South Conservatives hate Facebook?

It seems the most common users of Facebook are students, and people running for political office. With Facebook a great way to reach younger voters (and an increasing number of older ones), I was compelled, out of being bored more than anything else, to see how well represented the parties of Mississauga South are on the site.

My method was rather crude, I simply typed in Mississauga South and see what happened. I got 131 groups, and included only groups that were Mississauga South specific (and political in nature). Here are the results I got:

-Vote Charles Sousa
-Re-Elect Paul Szabo, MP for Mississauga South

-Peter Browne for Member of Youth Parliament - Mississauga South
Mississauga South - Green Party of Canada
-Mississauga South Green Party of Ontario (GPO)
-Mississauga South Green Party of Canada
-Elect David Johnston

-Mississauga South New Democrats

So the Greens have a number of groups (admittedly small in membership and overlapping), the Liberals a few, the NDP none, and the Conservatives, the 2nd party in the riding, none. (I must admit that a Tim Peterson group did exist at one point, I would reckon many defeated candidates in elections deleted the groups)

Given that most political Facebook groups are either deliberately created by the central association, or spontaneously by supporters, I can draw two conclusions about the Conservatives: The central association is either too out of touch to realize the usefulness of Facebook as a tool, or the membership is too out of touch or apathetic to create one. Given the relative slant of Conservative membership to lean towards old white people, at first it doesn't shock me that no groups exist. But then I realize-The MS Conservatives are smack in the middle of a nomination race, and no candidate has a group that could be easily found by simply searching the riding name.

While the Conservatives make no secret of the dislike they have for the youth vote, particularly youth in urban/suburban areas, (and I'm not just talking out my ass on this one, when Ian Brodie came in to talk to my class at the end of last semester, he dismissed much Liberal support as coming from "young people with no particular responsibility") to not take advantage of Facebook in a riding where on paper, they have a good shot, shows that perhaps the Conservatives, (and more specifically Jim Flaherty) given the attacks on the provincial Liberals (who Mississauga voters gave overwhelming support to in the election) and the municipal government led by Hazel McCallion (for whom 90% of the vote can be expected) are perhaps going to write this city, and this riding off.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mississauga South MP Paul Szabo: "Election Before Summer"


John Stewart with another good scoop.

Mississauga South Liberal MP Paul Szabo thinks there will be a federal election "before the summer."Asked how much longer this amazing minority government of Stephen Harper's can continue to breathe, Szabo issued a sigh down the telephone line from the House of Commons this morning and said, "It's hitting a critical mass."

"I like our team," says the chartered accountant turned politico. "As far as I know, our platform is very solid."

With a statement like this from the hardest working MP in Parliament, interesting to see if the Mississauga South Conservatives, whose nomination race could more accurately at this point be described as a test of endurance, move into high gear. Or this could simply be Szabo, who is an excellent campaigner, being crafty and trying to throw the oppposition off in a seat he only won by 4% in 2006. With Effie responding to my blog post earlier with an e-mail to Stewart saying she hadn't been approached, or wasn't pursuing the federal nomination (although it was hardly a Sherman statement) I really don't know who is the presumed front-runner in the Conservative race. Don Stephens is the only candidate with real name recognition, although he has made some controversial statements regarding the place of religion in public schools, which might hurt him if he were to win the nomination. Either way, it looks like Szabo is gathering his resources, throwing out quotes like these, and hunkering down, while the Conservatives are spinning their wheels. Call me crazy, but I'll give an early edge to Szabo.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Justin Trudeau at Carleton

Just giving a little bit more PR to what should be a great event at Carleton on Wednesday:

Title: A Conversation with Justin Trudeau
Location: Mike's Place, University Centre, Carleton University, 1233 Colonel By Drive
Price: 4 OC Transpo Bus tickets
Contact: danielle.mcgee@gmail.com
Time: 6-8 PM
Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Notes: Justin Trudeau is coming to Ottawa-Centre! The Ottawa-Centre Federal Liberal Association and the Ottawa-Centre Federal Young Liberal Association invite you to join JUSTIN TRUDEAU and PENNY COLLENETTE at Carleton University for an evening of drinks and conversation. Possible Topics: Youth Involvement and the Environment

** Why are we asking for bus tickets?
Very recently 9 Ottawa families lost their homes in a fire. Along with losing their homes and their belongings, one family lost their youngest child and have 6 remaining children to care for. Penny Collenette and her team held a drive this past Sunday and we saw amazing support from everyone in the community.

We found out that these families are also in need of help with their transportation costs. So we are asking everyone to bring with them Octranspo bus tickets which we will be giving to the Carlington Community Centre to give to the families.
A bit of History about Mike's Place:

Mike's Place was named in 1973 in honour of Lester B Pearson. Pearson, whose nickname was "Mike", was Chancellor of Carleton University until his death in 1972. His connection with Carleton followed a distinguished career in the public service and politics. He served as Prime Minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968 and is remembered for the introduction of Canada's Maple Leaf flag, among many other achievements. He was also the winner of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for the creation of the UN peacekeeping force to ease the Suez Crisis in 1956. An official photo portrait hangs in the pub to this day.

Hopefully we can have a good turnout, all Ottawa area Young Liberals should come!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Red Tuesday

My camera broke on me last Friday when I was at my programs formal, so sorry kiddies, no pictures of this great event. Anyway, it was good to see a crowd dressed in red (and free food) welcoming Bob Rae, Martha Hall Findlay, and Joyce Murray to the Liberal caucus. I also scored a couple more buttons for the bag, which is always a plus. Other speakers included Pam Hrick, the out-going President of the Ottawa U student union, active Young Liberal, and recent runner-up on Canada's Next Great Prime Minister, Party President Marie Poulin, and Anthony Rota, MP for Nipissing-Timiskaming. A good number of other MP's and candidates showed, including but not limited to Ottawa-Centre's own Penny Collenette, Parkdale-High Park's Gerard Kennedy, Iggy, John Mcallum, Navdeep Bains, and Omar Alghabra.

Overall it was a very good evening, always good to see Ottawa Liberals get together for a good time.