Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Liberal candidate for Newmarket-Aurora, King mayor Margaret Black, has stepped down to focus on a sixth run for mayor. Black was nominated back in August. It will be interesting to see if candidates like Newmarket councillor Chris Emanuel and 2008 candidate and former Aurora mayor Tim Jones jump back into the race. They hadbeen in the running previously but both dropped out, clearing the way for Black to be acclaimed.
Bill Prout has been officially nominated for the Liberals in Dufferin-Caledon. Readers may remember former MP Garth Turner making a play for the Liberal nomination and subsequently dropping out in a characteristic huff.
This article mentions a name going for the NDP nomination in Langley, Piotr Majkowski, a registered nurse.
“This agreement is the result of two weeks of negotiations in which Canada and Environment Minister Prentice, our chief negotiator, played a key part...Canada is working to align our clean energy and climate change policies with those of the Obama Administration."
If that's the case, how do you explain these?
Harper not on he guest list as Obama meets with world leaders on climate change.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu gets an order from "pretty high up" not to even get a photo op with Jim Prentice.
The Cop 15 talks produced a result which many found dissapointing, and it is clear that the only leadership Harper showed at the Cop was leading Canada to another fossil of the year award. If our biggest trading parter is ignoring us when it comes to the environment, which will be the lynchpin of the 21st century economy, what does that say about the Conservatives ability to manage a 21st century economy?
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
While some are pointing to the “Climategate” affair as an excuse to dismiss the conference, a few sentences which are taken totally out of context do not an affair make , (nor does releasing a sexy time later) China is surely cheering on the climate skeptics who are attempting to cause the greatest market failure since the Depression. The new economic industrial order will be a green one, and the skeptics bring nothing to the depate.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Many thanks to Martha Hall Findlay for supporting the YLC Cop-15 delegation on national tv earlier today (although I am biased, I am dating one of the people she mentions by name). It is great to know that the senior party and MP's are supportive of our efforts to show the world that despite Harper winning the Fossil Award once again, Canadians, and in particular, Young Liberals, are standing up to show the world that Canada does care about the environment. Merci, Martha!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Andrew Steele takes a look at some of the myths and facts around the HST, and the risks of Tim Hudak being a flip-flopper on the issue.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
"There are a number of models for harmonizing the PST and GST, ranging from full harmonization ... to various ''made in Ontario" models that allow for certain products to remain exempt from the PST portion of theharmonized tax,'' wrote Hudak.
Harmonization, with exemptions for certain products. We all know Hudak and the PC's were for the HST before they were against it, but can anyone tell me how Hudak's statement above is any different from the Liberal position?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Interesting to see this getting more and more play in the non-Quebec media, as the ADQ, which once came within a handful of seats of forming government on the backs of the reasonable accomodation discusion within Quebec (which in the face of an economic downturn, seems to have almost totally faded as an issue), seems headed towards footnote in history status. Gilles Taillon stepping down as leader after less than a month on the job has got to be one of, if not the shortest reign by a party leader over a party with parliamentary representation.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
attacking Paille for his former ties to the Conservative government, which was countered by the BQ attacking NDP MP's for supporting getting rid of the gun registry with this rather brutal poster:
The Greens really have no stake either way in this round of by-elections, not running a candidate in CCMV last election and gaining between 2-7% in the other 3. If they could break 10% in NWC, which gave them 7% last time around it would be nice for them, but since they really have nowhere to go in the Quebec ones, up or down, and not running a candidate in CCMV makes direct comparisons difficult, this one is sort of a write off, analysis wise.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This article is one of the most regressive things about women in politics I have ever seen written. The article is obviously tounge and cheek and designed to be upsetting, but this crosses a line. I am hard-pressed to think of how one could be more sexist, borderline homophobic and still be printed in a major newspaper. Let's break it down point by point:
Could be our slogan: Come for the culture war ... stay for the chicks.
Right-wing women rock.
Not for us the sturdy, honest calves of the New Democrat/Green Party female, honed on eco-tourist rainforest hikes.
Those legs are often on unfortunate display, extending from a knee-length tweed skirt as hairy as the legs themselves, and end in a pair of Birkenstocks.
Yes, how dare women choose to dress themselves and express their own personal look and style in a way that they choose and that not all women are bikini wearing buxom blondes.
The primary reason our womenfolk are at war with the looming spectre of the nanny state is because you can't buy Jimmy Choos in a socialist paradise.
The only sensible footwear you'll find in a right-wing woman's closet are the Nike cross-trainers that go with her gym membership.
Everything else has a three-inch heel. Minimum.
Yes, the main motivation for conservative women to be involved politically is that they want to be able to buy shoes. Going back to the Birkenstocks, how dare women not wear shoes that appeal to men as opposed to actually being comfortable and functional.
Left-wing drabs recycle. Right-wing women shop -- and the government measures how much they shop every month to find out whether we're still in a recession. Basically, the world economy depends on right-wing women buying shoes.
Yes, the future world economy doesn't at all depend on women working in jobs across the world, or expanding women's rights in the developing world to make them more educated and empowered which with vastly increase the productivity of those nations. It entirely depends on women buying sparkly things.
You never hear a right-wing woman break out statistics pointing out that only 25% of elected offices in Canada are held by women, and then whining about it.
No. A right-wing woman wants to get elected, she runs for office.
If she wins, great. If she loses ... well, there's always more shoe shopping.
Yes, women shouldn't complain that they are grossly underrepresented in the political process, and lobby for change, and if she runs and loses, rather than remaing in politics and advocate for causes she believes in, she should just stick to shopping.
A right-wing woman hits the gym, swings past Sobey's and has dinner on the table by the time you get home ... while her left-wing counterpart is still stuck in traffic listening to Sarah McLachlan on her iPod and feeling morally superior about her carrot choices.
Note the use of the phrase "when you get home." Yes, of course women should do nothing but shop for shoes, hit the gym, and cook dinner for her monogamous heterosexual male partner, who comes home from work as the bread winner and undisputed head of the family.
And when that plate of food is put in front of you by the right-wing hottie you had the good sense to marry, it will be 100% tofu-free. If you're lucky, she just remembered to buy steak and forgot about the carrot entirely.
Right-wing women have traditional families, so they want to raise them themselves ... or at the very least by a nanny they've vetted, rather than abdicating that responsibility to the state.
Yes, how dare women do anything else but have monogamous heterosexual sex for the purposes of procreation, and raise the child while the head of the family is off making the money. How dare a women take a job of her own.
The article goes on, but the point has been made. As a heterosexual male, I will very proudly say that I would rather have a hairy legged, Birkenstock wearing, tofu eating, advocating for social progress woman than a steak buying, gym-going, dinner cooking, high heel wearing girl who doesn't want control of her own reproductive system.
To any of my female conservative friends, this is what your movement thinks of you.
Here is a Facebook group dedicated to letting the Sun and Robinson know how you feel: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=164703397113
Former local mayor Sharon Hartwell was nominated as the Liberal candidate in Skeena – Bulkley Valley on October 24th. Hartwell has strong local cred (mayor for 12 years, village councillor for 6 years prior, chair of the North West Hospital District, executive in the Union of B.C. Municipalities and then with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities) and is probably a good bet to raise the Liberal vote in the riding above the 5% showing last time around.
The Tories might have a situation on hand in London-Fanshawe, with wannabe nomination candidate Gilles Rancourt quitting the party and jumping ship to the Christian Heritage Party, saying that;
"he left a Conservative party that doesn't embrace ethnic members and cares little for grassroots... he said he has spent years wooing members of the ethnic community to the Conservatives, which he says have "no black, yellow, red or brown faces in attendance at local party events."
Friday, October 16, 2009
With Garth Turner out in Dufferin-Caledon, a new possible candidate has emerged for the Liberals, long-time Caledon resident Bill Prout.
I reported on David Delaney looking like he was going to be the only candidate to put his name forward for the federal Liberal nomination in Fundy Royal, and this article shows that he was in fact acclaimed back on the 30th.
The NDP has a whole bunch of nominations coming up, and here is some news for them in Edmonton-Leduc, with Artem Medvedev, a research assisstant at the University of Alberta declaring for the nomination.
Staying with the NDP and Edmonton, 2008 candidate Mike Butler will take another crack at the NDP nomination for Edmonton Millwoods – Beaumont.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Garth Turner won't be running for the Liberals in Dufferin-Caledon, (reasons why are conflicting) and as the article notes, it is probably a pretty safe bet 2008 candidate Rebecca Finch won't be going for the nomination again, having declared after last election that she was done with party politics, and mused about running as an independent. Rumour has it that a reason for Turner dropping out was the entry of a second candidate into the race, so we'll see who emerges.
My home riding of Mississauga South will have an NDP candidate come friday, as UTM student Farah Kalbouneh will be acclaimed as the candidate for the next election. This will be the second election running in which the NDP will run a student, with 19 year old Matt Turner carrying the NDP banner last time out.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It should come as no shock that the Chronicle Herald is reporting that in Nova Scotia, stimulus money is pouring overwhelmingly into Tory held ridings:
More money — $162 million — is being spent in those three Tory ridings than in Nova Scotia’s other eight ridings put together...Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s riding of Central Nova is the big winner, with $87.7 million in stimulus money, 13 times as much as the $6.6 million being spent in Dartmouth, held by a Liberal. In fact, Mr. MacKay’s riding received more money than all five Liberal ridings in the province combined...
If the $322 million in federal stimulus funding so far announced were divided evenly among Nova Scotia’s 11 federal ridings, each riding would get $29 million. Central Nova is receiving about three times that much, while Dartmouth has received only a fourth of that amount...
The metro Halifax ridings — which lacked Conservative representation at either the federal or provincial level — got the smallest amounts of money, except for Halifax, which benefited from university infrastructure spending...
And further down the line:
Two large funding commitments in Tory ridings weren’t added to the list because they were not made under the Economic Action Plan. They are $66 million in funding for CFB Greenwood, including a new recreation centre, in Conservative MP Greg Kerr’s riding of West Nova, and $12 million for a new recreation centre in Pictou County, in Mr. MacKay’s riding...
Several similar projects in opposition-held ridings have been unable to get federal money even though they, unlike the Pictou County centre, have firm funding commitments from the provincial and municipal governments.
One of the Tory talking points when confronted with objective facts that money is flowing more into Tory held ridings is that Tory ridings tend have higher unemployment, so they need more funding.
Of course, the information gathered by the Chronicle Herald and census data clash with this. According to Pundits' Gude, the riding in Nova Scotia with the highest unemployment rate is Syndey-Victoria, a Liberal held riding, yet it has collected barely 1/3rd of the money that Central Nova, the seat of cabinet minister Peter MacKay has, $33 million compared with $83 million, despite having the 8th highest unemployment rate in the country. Going down the list, the riding with the second highest unemployment rate, and thus according to the Tory talking point, the most deserving of funding, is Cape Breton-Casnio, with the 10th highest unemployment rate, yet it has, according to the Chronicle Herald, received a relatively paltry $18 million. West Nova, a Tory held riding with an unemployment rate over 4 points lower than Cape Breton-Casnio, has received $41 million.
Here are some province-wide numbers, again using Pundits' Guide:
Average unemployment rate in Liberal ridings in Nova Scotia: 10.5%
Average unemployment rate in Conservative ridings in Nova Scotia: 10.4%
So as you can see, Liberal and Conservative ridings on average have virtual the same unemployment rate. Lets compare that to the number of projects on average in Liberal vs. Tory ridings, and the amount of spending calculated by the Chronicle Herald:
Average number of projects and spending in Liberal held ridings in Nova Scotia: 18, and $16 million
Average number of projects and spending in Conservative held ridings in Nova Scotia: 38 and $54 million
This extends beyond Nova Scotia obviously. According to the Status of Infrastructure Funding Report by Gerard Kennedy, in Ontario, of 10 ridings which recieved the most funding, 6 were Tory held, and 5 of those 6 were held by either cabinet ministers of the Parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister. Indeed, Carleton-Mississipi Mills, home of cabinet minister Gordon O' Connor recieved more money than the Liberal held Mississauga East-Cooksville, despite Mississauga East-Cooksville having an unemployment rate almost twice as high. Tory arguments that Tory ridings get more funding on average because of they are larger and rural and need more money are also debunked, as the Tory held riding of Oakville, a suburban riding of 83 square km, got $10 million more than Liberal held Guelph a demographically similar riding at 92 square km. It's also worth noting that the different between Guelph's and Oakville's unemployment rate is 0.2%. Additionally, John Baird's suburban Ottawa West-Nepean district of 88 square km got almost as much spending as Guelph, despite OW-N having almost half the unemployment rate as Guelph.
The numbers don't lie: If you don't live in a blue riding, Stephen Harper just doesn't care.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Former Tory MP Paul Forseth, who represented New Westminster-Burnaby/New Westminster-Coquitlam from 1993-2006, is back in politics after missing a chance at being the Tory candidate for the NWC by-election. Forseth was acclaimed for the Tory nomination for the next door riding of Burnaby-New Westminster on the 3rd. The riding saw 3-way fights in 2004 and 2006, like many ridings lower mainland, with the NDP's Peter Julian winning in 2004 very narrowly over the Liberals Mary Pynenburg, who also ran in 2006. The 2008 election saw the Liberal vote slip mostly to the advantage of the NDP and Green's.
More for the Tories in BC, with 3 candidates going after the nomination the BC Southern Interior, another NDP held seat. Meagan Salekin, 2008 candidate Rob Zandee, and Stephen Hill are the candidates, with voting ending on the 14th.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Many bloggers have written about the need for the Liberals to "get smart" on crime as opposed to the Tories populist but tax dollar wasting and ineffective polices on crime. The decriminalization of sex work (as opposed to legalization, which would treat sex work as a vice to be regulated, and not simply work) would be a good start. As others have said, simply parroting the Tories on crime does no benefit to the Liberals, both practically and politically, as all it results in is bad policies becoming law, and it doesn't help us politically, as the Tories will still drone on on how the Liberals are soft on crime, and voters won't support the Liberals over the Tories for supporting Tory policies.
The Liberals need to develop some policy backbone on social issues, and not be afraid to fight to Tories on the crime issue. The greatest advantage of having Ignatieff as leader is that we have a leader who has a grasp of complex issues, and has an international perspective. The decriminalization of sex work is a policy that would play to these needs and advantages. Ignatieff can rightly say that countries which have decriminalized sex work have seen a drop in violence and crime against sex workers, and by freeing up our hardworking law enforcement officials from simply being a morality squad, they can focus on real crimes and real criminals, similarly to arguments in favour of the decriminalization of marijuana (which is another issue the Liberals need to be more vocal on). Canadians will always associate the Conservatives with being "tough on crime", so we need to sell something different from the Conservatives, get some clear blue water between us on the Conservatives on social policy issues. Calling for the decriminalization of sex work, marijuana, and voting against the proposed random DUI tests would be a good start.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
(Linked for size)
The newest round of attack lit is out for the Tories, and apparently Michael Ignatieff not being a feudal Japanese warrior is grounds to not vote for him. I also like how this piece dips further into the anti-immigrant streak that the whole "Just Visiting" campaign has had as a not so subtle undertone, saying that "Michael Ignatieff has spent more time of his life outside Canada than living in it"; as if such a fact made him or anyone who has worked or lived outside Canada any less Canadian. Sorry recent immigrants who came to Canada looking for a better life and opportunity, you are disloyal cosmopolitans.
Lawyer Scott Simser is the first declared candidate for the Liberal nomination in Carleton-Mississippi Mills.
In another Tory held riding, the Liberals have a new candidate, Chuck Chiasson in Tobique-Mactaquac.
Marcel Catellier has officially been named the Liberal candidate in Montmagny - L'Islet - Kamouraska - Rivière-du-Loup, one of the ridings in which by-elections have been called for.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Following up on the last by-election post, the Liberals might have found a candidate for Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, with Cap-Saint-Ignace mayor and head of the Montmagny MRC Marcel Catelier submitting his name for the nomination.
I had a nice little chat at the congres with 2008 candidate (and frequent reader of this blog) William Hogg, who is taking another crack at Compton-Standstead, and he said that at least a couple of Conservatives are organizing for a nomination run, including 2008 candidate Michel Gagne.
And it now looks like Jeanne Le Ber will see a Liberal nomination battle, with 2008 Outremont candidate Sébastien Dhavernas saying he is leaning towards running after a positive reception at the congres. Dhavernas would of course be facing Nathalie Le Prohon, who was Denis Coderre's first pick for Outremont.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
With 4 by-elections now seemingly coming up, now seems as good a time as any to take a look at each riding.
New Westminster – Coquitlam
Located on the edge of greater Vancouver, the riding is a traditionally a swing riding between the NDP and the PC's/Reform/Alliance/Conservatives, (the Liberals haven't won in the area that makes up the riding since the 1968 Trudeau victory) although the Liberals have occasionally made it a 3 way race when the vote has split since then, finishing close thirds in 1993, 1997 and 2004. The Liberal vote collapsed last election, going from 23.5% and 11,931 votes in 2006 to 11.3% and 5,615 votes in 2008. The riding has been often been a person battle between Dawn Black from the NDP and Paul Forseth from the Conservatives, facing each other in 2006, 1997, and 1993. On paper, this is the Liberals best chance of winning one of the 4 by-elections, although that isn't saying much, a more realistic goal would be lifting the Liberal vote from the lows of the 2008 results into the mid-20% range that the party usually turns in when it is perfoming normally. From all I have heard, Fin Donnelly was a good choice for NDP candidate, as the riding is often split between the more NDP friendly New Westminster and the more Tory Coquitlam, and Donnelly was a fairly popular Coquitlam councilor, so in addition to the normal NW NDP vote that helped Dawn Black, he can probably have a personal vote in Coquitlam. The Liberals should, as I said, focus on simply trying to reach say, 25% to show they are back on their feet in the ridings, and should in particular try to work on getting Green voters to go Liberal.
(I didn't do it deliberately, but this result would basically mirror the 2006 result)
Cumberland – Colchester – Musquodoboit Valley
The NDP has high hopes for this rural Nova Scotia riding, vacated by former Tory Bill Casey. They are still hoping to ride the wave created by the provincial party's victory in the most recent provincial election, in which the NS NDP won 3 of the 5 provincial ridings in CCMV, and if the combined total of all those ridings were combined, it would produce an NDP victory. I think though, that the Tories should hold this one. Conservative candidate Scott Armstrong was a middle-man between Casey and the federal Conservatives, and is respected by both Casey loyalists and Tory diehards, so he should be able to pull out most of the old Tory vote for himself. The riding has a very long Tory history, with Casey's election as an independent, and the 1993 PC wipeout (in which Casey lost the seat) being the only times the riding has voted anything but Conservative since 1957 (and even prior to that, the seat leaned Conservative, going all the way back to Father of Confederation Charles Tupper). I expect a Tory victory with the NDP a strong second, and the Liberals making up some of the ground they lost in 2008.
Montmagny – L'Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup
Held by the BQ since 1993, the Conservatives had hoped that the Mario Dumont effect would deliver this seat to them as part of the Quebec breakthrough that would yield a Tory majority, which ended up falling flat (although the riding was ultimately one of the few in Quebec in which the Conservatives did better in 2008 than in 2006). Prior to 1993, the seat had flipped a couple times between the Liberals and the PC's (and featured the Rhino Party finishing in third ahead of the NDP in 1984). The Tories had hoped to lure Dumont into federal politics and take a run at this seat, but Dumont declined, and the 15% showing of the ADQ in the Riviere-du-Loup by-election that followed Dumont stepping down can't bode well for the Conservatives (in fairness, many Quebec Conservatives were supporting the Quebec Liberal Party candidate in the by-election). The BQ should hold onto the seat, and the real battle will be for second place. If the Liberals can muscle ahead of the Tories, that would show the party is taking root in francophone, rural Quebec, while a Tory hold of second place would allow them to ride the narrative of a Liberal falling in Quebec. I think ultimately the Liberals will finish slightly ahead of the Conservatives.
Probably the easiest seat to analyze, this is a safe BQ East Montreal riding. Real Menard never won less than 45% of the vote, and with the BQ lining up probable star candidate Daniel Paillé (although he must win a contested nomination first), this should be a fairly easy BQ hold. The Liberals won a respectable share of the vote last time around, and the NDP is hoping to maintain the relatively strong performance they had last time around, running 2008 candidate Jean-Claude Rocheleau. I've heard no word on potential Liberal or Conservative candidates.
The Conservatives and Lisa Raitt as Natural Resources minister have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars trying in vain to promote high-ethanol vehicles that have none nothing to actually help either the Canadian auto industry or the environment:
...government officials have warned Raitt that giving automakers credits toward new fuel efficiency standards by making cars that can use environmentally friendly E85 fuel will not actually reduce emissions because those cars will never actually use the "green" fuel and will continue to use regular gasoline.
"The point the document is making is fairly straightforward - promoting E85 has no environmental benefits," said Matthew Bramley, climate change director for the advocacy group Pembina Institute....
The Conservative government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars subsidizing the production of ethanol or offering rebates to consumers to buy E85 vehicles.
"The chance for reducing emissions through changing fuels is very limited at best," said Bramley.
The federal government has spent millions of dollars on rebates to consumers who buy FFVs and are allowing carmakers to earn special "green" credits for manufacturing FFVs - even though there are just four gas stations in the country that sell the special E85 blend
Of course, the Conservatives could have actually invested in cleaner, greener auto manufacturing and new technologies to both help Canada build a more environmentally sustainable manufacturing sector and give us a leg up in the restructuring of the global economy, but why do that when you can throw money at Tory friends in the ethanol lobby and twiddle your thumbs? Can anyone tell me why Lisa Raitt is still in cabinet other than Harper wanting a token female voice from the GTA?
This article, and many others, are quoting Coderre's statement that the Liberals had candidates in 68 of 75 ridings. As I have written before, this "68" number is probably a combination of a few things; of actual legal nominated candidates, which Pundits' Guide numbers at 31, incumbant MP's who have yet to be formally nominated, ridings in which candidates have been identified but not nominated, and probably some good old fashioned spin.
We could see more Outremont-Jeanne Le Ber movement with the Liberals, with 2008 Outremont candidate and Quebec actor Sébastien Dhavernas having been asked by members of the association to take a run in his home riding.
And thanks to Facebook, I know a few more Alberta Liberal candidates:
2008 candidate Marlene LaMontagne will challenge a little-known Conservative MP named Stephen Harper again in Calgary Southwest, and 2008 candidate Donna Lynn Smith will again take on James Rajotte in Edmton-Leduc.
This article says for Ottawa Centre Conservatives "four people seriously considering running", which fits into previous rumours I have heard about the local riding association attempt to find other candidates than Bruce, who to my knowledge is the only candidate who has publically declared, and has the backing of the national party but not the riding association executive.
After previous indications that she would run again, former MP Paddy Torsney will not take a crack at the Liberal nomination for Burlington. Businessman Bruce Bowser now looks set to be the Liberal candidate. And in another reversal, the article also says that popular Ward 2 Councillor Bob Bratina will indeed go for the Liberal nomination in Hamilton Centre, despite previously declining to August.
Despite some rumours that she would follow Denis Coderre's lead, his preferred candidate for Outremont, Nathalie Le Prohon, confirms she will be running for the nomination in Jeanne Le Ber, where it looks like she might face previous the Outemont candidate as mentioned above.
Former Vancouver Island North NDP MP Catherine Bell was nominated a couple days ago, trying to take back her old seat from Tory John Duncan. The riding has seen tight battles between Duncan and Bell the last 3 elections, with Duncan narrowly winning in 2004, Bell knocking him off in 2006, and Duncan reclaiming the seat in 2008.
Just found this one, making reference to two possible Quebec City area Liberal star candidates, former provincial Liberal minister Jean Leclerc who apparently is still considering a bid, and radio host Martin Pouliot of FM 93, with the later running in Beauport – Limoilou.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The NDP have a candidate in Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, which is on the way to having a by-election unless a federal election happens. The nomination was going to be contested, but 2008 candidate Karen Olsen has stood aside for Mark Austin, a local farmer. The NDP is hoping to make gains of the back of the provincial NDP's victory in the recent election, which delivered Atlantic Canada's first NDP government, with the NS NDP winning 3 of the 5 ridings which make up CCMV.
A few Green candidate names in Quebec I haven't seen before, Ryan Young in Lac St. Louis and Jonathan Lumer in Pierrefonds-Dollard. 2008 candidate Peter Graham, who ran in Lac St. Louis, is heading to the Eastern Townships to run in Compton-Stanstead.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The Greens have a candidate in Simcoe-Grey, Stuart Starbuck, a former town councillor.
Sticking with the Greens and rural Ontario, they will have a contested nomination in Leeds-Grenville. The 2 declared candidates aren't named, but 2008 candidate Jeanie Warnock will not be one of them.
And of course, the big news, with Gordon Landon stepping down as Tory candidate for Markham-Unionville after he admitted that federal funding to fight the recession was being withheld from the riding for the high crime of elected a Liberal MP.
Friday, September 25, 2009
However, this report says that it has only been agreed that "Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has decided to allow an open nomination contest in the prized Montreal riding of Outremont."
If someone's whose French is better could take a look at the first article and get a better translation, that would be good.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Only one candidate put his name forward for the Liberal nomination in Fundy Royal, Dave Delaney, a long-time Liberal activist and director of operations for Habitat for Humanity.
This article examining the Ottawa Centre race says that the Conservatives have " three or four candidates that have expressed very serious interest and have requested nomination papers". Last I had heard around the rumour mill was that party HQ was supportive of Bruce being the candidate, but the riding association is not a huge fan of him and was attempting to recruit other candidates, but that Bruce was the only one to have offically declared.
In Oxford, former Marijuana Party candidate and past independent provincial candidate Jim Bender has declared for the Liberal nomination.
And a non candidate for the NDP, with former MPP and twice failed federal candidate Marilyn Churley ruling out a third run in Beaches-East York, with her eyes turning towards her original job, municipal politics.
Monday, September 21, 2009
On the left, articles outlying Ignatieff's economic plans in a fairly good light, and Ignatieff delivering some solid policy, something he has previous been criticized for not delievering enough of (and not just outside the party). On the right, 3 articles about party in-fighting. No bets on which set of articles gets more hits. Tous Ensemble, anyone?
First up, the use of the appointment system. Dion did not hesitate to use the appointment system at times, with mixed results. I can't find any sort of list of candidates who in the last election were appointed directly by the leader, but off the top of my head, I do seem to think that Dion used his appointment power mostly to instal female candidates, sometimes with positive results in safe Liberal seats (such as Kirsty Duncan and Michelle Simpson) and other times not as positively (see Joan Beatty in Desnethé – Missinippi – Churchill River). Since Dion publicly called for at least 33% female candidates in his leadership platform (and exceeded that goal) lets start by taking a look at how many female candidates ran in seats that could be considered "winnable" in the 2008 election. I'm going to set the "winnable" threshold here at 15%. So here are the seats that the Liberals came within 15% of winning in 2006, with those that had female candidates in 2008 in bold:
(Note: Ridings not in order of margin)
Hamilton East – Stoney Creek
London – Fanshawe
Burnaby – Douglas
Sault Ste. Marie
Parkdale – High Park
Trinity – Spadina
Burnaby – New Westminster
Timmins – James Bay
Toronto – Danforth
Brossard – La Prairie
Chicoutimi – Le Fjord
Brome – Missisquoi
Vaudreuil – Soulanges
Parry Sound – Muskoka
Glengarry – Prescott – Russell
Tobique – Mactaquac
Fleetwood – Port Kells
Ottawa – Orléans
Kitchener – Conestoga
Ancaster – Dundas – Flamborough – Westdale
Northumberland – Quinte West
Whitby – Oshawa
Sarnia – Lambton
St. John's South – Mount Pearl
Ottawa West – Nepean
Kildonan – St. Paul (Although Lesley Hughes was forced to withdraw, she was still the Liberal candidate at the start of the election, so I'll count it)
St. John's East
Chatham-Kent – Essex
Charleswood – St. James – Assiniboia
Port Moody – Westwood – Port Coquitlam
Haldimand – Norfolk
Lambton – Kent – Middlesex
South Shore – St. Margaret's
Saanich – Gulf Islands
Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo
New Westminster – Coquitlam
And seats in which Liberal incumbents retired, again with ridings which ran female candidates to try and hold the ridings (which due to the incumbency, I will count all of them as "winnable")
I'm also going to include Mississauga-Streetsville in the count, due to it being a Liberal held seat before Khan crossed the floor and was defeated by woman Liberal candidate Bonnie Crombie.
So on the whole then, we have 73 "winnable" ridings without an incumbent Liberal MP running in 2008, and of that 73, the Liberal Party ran female candidates in 25 of them, so of the 73 ridings which could have been considered "winnable" for the party in 2008, 34% had female candidates in 2008, almost exactly the quota. This would indicate that the party did not, in fact, in the last election, throw loads of women into unwinnable ridings, but on the flip side, I'm going to look at some of the "lost cause" ridings from 2006, and see how many of them ran female candidates. If the percentage of women in "lost cause" ridings is significantly higher than then 34% of winnable ridings which had female candidates, then those who complain about the party offering female sacrificial lambs might have a point. In order to have valid comparisons and an equal sample size, I'll take the 73 ridings in which the Liberal Party performed the worst in terms of percentage of the vote in 2006, and again bold the ones which had female candidates in 2008.
Saint-Bruno – Saint-Hubert
Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie
Prince George – Peace River
Nanaimo – Cowichan
Beauharnois – Salaberry
Westlock – St. Paul
Fort McMurray – Athabasca
Laurentides – Labelle
Edmonton – Sherwood Park
Montmagny – L'Islet – Kamouraska – Rivière-du-Loup
Yorkton – Melville
Abitibi – Témiscamingue
Argenteuil – Papineau – Mirabel
Kootenay – Columbia
Haute-Gaspésie – La Mitis – Matane – Matapédia (It should be noted that in this riding the performance of female candidate Nancy Charest turned this from a "no hope" riding into one of the top Liberal targets in Quebec, and Charest was one of the very first Liberal candidates to be nominated for the next election)
Bas-Richelieu – Nicolet – Bécancour
Cypress Hills – Grasslands
Vancouver Island North
Battlefords – Lloydminster
Skeena – Bulkley Valley
Longueuil – Pierre-Boucher
Laurier – Sainte-Marie
Elmwood – Transcona
Saskatoon – Rosetown – Biggar
Saint-Maurice – Champlain
Portage – Lisgar
Chambly – Borduas
Mégantic – L'Érable
Berthier – Maskinongé
Richmond – Arthabaska
Beauport – Limoilou
Selkirk – Interlake
Saint-Hyacinthe – Bagot
Terrebonne – Blainville
Montmorency – Charlevoix – Haute-Côte-Nord
Charlesbourg – Haute-Saint-Charles
Verchères – Les Patriotes
Lévis – Bellechasse
Roberval – Lac-Saint-Jean
Vegreville – Wainwright
Lotbinière – Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Portneuf – Jacques-Cartier
Jonquière – Alma
So of the 73 ridings in which the party did worst in in 2006 (so the "least winnable") the Liberals ran female candidates in 26 of them, or 36% of the no hope seats. This would seem to indicate that the Liberals, in the last election at least, did not stack women into hopeless ridings just to boost numbers. I don't have the time to breakdown the middle 162 ridings that are between "winnable" and "no hope", but I would be surprised if the percentage of female candidates in those ridings are significantly higher or lower than the mid 30% range.
I also think it is worth noting that of the few seats the Liberals did gain at the last election (Avalon, St. John's South-Mount Pearl, Papineau, Brossard-La Prarie, Parkdale-High Park, Mississauga-Streetsville) the gender split between the victorious Liberals was 50-50, with Bonnie Crombie, Siobhan Coady, and Alexandra Mendes picking up seats for the ladies with Justin Trudeau, Scott Andrews, and Gerard Kennedy winning for the males.
So with the retrospective done, lets look forward and see how Iggy is doing. I think it is notable that in the 3 ridings (at least that are known publically) where appointments have either been done or are a fait accompli (Halton, Ahuntsic, and now Outremont) a female candidate has been named (Deborah Gillis, Noushing Eloyan, and now Nathalie De Prohon). In terms of total nominations, using Pundits Guide as a source, the Liberals have 82 nominated candidates, with 33 women, for a 40% female total, above the 33% quota. I'm going to break it down further, and examine how many nominated candidates we have in "winnable ridings" (ridings we lost by 15% or less) and how many of these nominated candidates are women. Once again, ridings with female candidates are in bold, and I'll include Outremont and Ahuntsic in these as well.
Thunder Bay-Superior North
Thunder Bay-Rainy River
Two special cases for this as well, Burlington was supposed to have Paddy Torsney acclaimed, but the meeting has been delayed, and Jeanne-Le Ber, a top Quebec target which is rumoured to have a star female candidate appointed ala Ahuntsic/Outremont. Anyway, the bulk of the close/"winnable" ridings have nominated candidates already, 31 by my count, and of these 31, 14 have female candidates, for an impressive 45% of nominated candidates in winnable ridings being female. That number is more impressive when you consider the 40% total for overall nominated candidates includes a number of incumbant MP's, meaning that if all these nominated candidates were successful, the total female percentage of the Liberal caucus would see a spike in female membership.
This blog post isn't designed to comment on the merits or lack thereof of appointing candidates, and female candidates in particular, but I do hope that this breakdown can eliminate the myth of Liberal female candidates being mostly sacrifical lambs, and to celebrate that the party thus far has done a decent job of providing winnable ridings for female candidates.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Former ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander will run for the Tories in Ajax-Pickering, apparently after declining to run for the Liberals over disagreeing with the party stance on Afghanistan.
As recently as six weeks ago Canada's former ambassador to Afghanistan met with Mr. Ignatieff for what party sources said were talks about a Liberal candidacy – a conversation culminating with Mr. Ignatieff stating the party would not budge from its support for ending Canada's combat role in Afghanistan in 2011.
...He said he at no time demanded the Liberals change their policy on ending Canada's combat role as a condition for running for them. He said he would not challenge a decision made by Parliament. The 2011 deadline was approved both by the Liberals and the Conservatives.
Mr. Alexander has said there should not be a deadline for terminating combat operations and there should be more international troops on the ground.
So here is the thing. He said he won't run for the Liberals because he is against the Liberal policy of ending the combat role in 2011....which is a policy also shared by the Conservatives, at least in theory. Did the Harper Tories cut a deal on a crucial policy issue to land their first star candidate? Are the Conservatives planning on re-thinking the combat mission if re-elected?
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
September 10th, Sue-Ann Levy was at it again. This time telling an all candidates debate audience that “affordable housing is not the answer…. put the homeless into apartments.”
“There’s plenty of apartments available here in the city; vacancy is at an all time high,” she stated.
FACT: Toronto’s vacancy rate is not at an all-time high. It has been consistently dropping since early 2007 and currently stands at a low 2.4% (CMHC Report, June 2009). In fact, the Globe & Mail has predicted a “rental crunch on the horizon” (01/04/2009).
FACT: Experts agree that a comprehensive strategy is needed to address poverty and homelessness. Putting the homeless into unavailable apartment units does not qualify as such. On the other hand, the McGuinty Government has adopted a broad approach which includes: $600 million investment in Affordable Housing, that will help to repair and retrofit existing units and ensure that that families in need live in a safe, clean environment.The Poverty Reduction Strategy which is a long term plan to address the root causes of poverty.
And for a self described fiscal conservative, Tim Hudak has hit up the tax-payers from everything for beer and wings to trips to Las Vegas to TV's.
Some of my favs:
On April 27, 2002, while wining and dining Premier Harris’ Chief of Staff (Hudak’s now-wife, Debbie Hutton), Tim Hudak billed the taxpayers of Ontario for $134 for a room at the Kittling Ridge Winery in his riding.
A new television is a big expense a family (or, for that matter, a student!) may scrimp and save for a long time to purchase. But when Hudak’s staff wanted a larger set, they simply walked into Future Shop with a government credit card and charged the taxpayers $575 for the latest model. Their justification? To watch the parliamentary channel while in the Ministry offices. They went as far as having a bureaucrat sign an affidavit swearing that the TV was in the office and was in good working order. (No word on what they were actually watching.)
(source: St. Catharines Standard, December 6, 2002)
Viva Las Vegas! While Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Tim Hudak spent your tax money to go to a conference in Las Vegas with Vice-Presidential Candidate Dick Cheney.
Tourism Minister Tim Hudak went on a province-wide junket in the summer of 2001. In 145 days between April 1 and August 23, 2001 Hudak and his staff racked up $23,633.55 in expenses ranging from meals and hotels to plants, gum, doughnuts and napkins.
While in this one Levy waxes nostalgic for the days when I was missing class thanks to the Harris union-busting and getting a family doctor was harder for a lower-middle class family:
On August 26th, PC Candidate Sue Ann Levy went on Metro morning and told listeners that “Mike Harris was good for those times”.
Actually…. He wasn’t.
The Harris record is divisive and negative, and then Premier Harris along with then Minister Hudak, worked together to sow strife all throughout our province.
They fired 6,200 Nurses;
They closed 28 Hospitals;
Cut a Billion dollars from education and foisted Teacher Strikes onto Schools;
Eliminated rent control, and cancelled affordable housing initiatives;
and fired Food and Meat inspectors which lead to the Walkerton tragedy and they Alymer meat scandal.
Sue Ann Levy needs to get her facts straight.
Harris times were Horrible times.
In the bellweatherish riding of Peterborough, three time provincial NDP candidate Dave Nickle is eyeing a federal run, after 2008 candidate Steve Sharpe said he wouldn't take another crack at it. The local nomination meeting is scheduled for Sept. 28.
The Miramichi Liberal nomination race gets less crowded, with former mayor and MLA John McKay dropping out.
Back to the NDP and the Peterborough area, 23 year old Waterloo student Patrick Clark will seek the party's nomination for Northumberland-Quinte West, the first declared candidate.
Sticking with the NDP, local CAW leader Chris Buckley will seek the NDP nomination for Oshawa. The riding is often home to close political fights, with 2004 having an extremely close 3 way race, with the victorious Conservatives picking the seat up from the Liberals, but being separated from the third place Liberals by only 1305 votes, and only 463 votes ahead of the second place NDP. The Tories held the riding from the NDP with still close but by no means razor thin margins in 2006 and 2008 as well. The riding is symbolically important for the NDP, being the former seat of party leader Ed Broadbent. (Although it is notable that Broadbent himself faced several close races, only winning the seat by 15 votes on his first election to it in 1968, and almost being knocked off as MP in 1972, 1984, and 1988, while not being a nailbiter, was a cakewalk)
Federal public servants at Transport Canada are routinely filing millions of dollars in expenses – including overtime, salaries and computers – toward a construction project that doesn't exist.
Further, The Globe and Mail has learned that public servants who object to the scheme are routinely overruled by their managers...Though the pipeline remains in limbo, the department has kept the fund alive year after year, using it to cover millions in expenses that have nothing to do with the pipeline...
"To fictitiously spend money on a project that's not going anywhere, I don't think is appropriate,” said captain Daniel Slunder, who has spent most of his career working at Transport Canada's Ottawa headquarters.
Baird apparently is going to launch a probe, and given past Tory internal examinations, I think we can start the countdown towards the Tories lambasting "Liberal appointed bureaucrats" and call it a day.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This article looks at election buzz in Nova Scotia, and has a few nuggets. Former Liberal MP Robert Thibault looks to run for the West Nova nomination, but he may face a challenge. Liberals are also gearing up in South Shore-St. Margaret’s, with former MP and current provincial party president Derek Wells running, as well as software engineer Mark Delory, with previous provincial candidate Rick Welsford considering a run. For the NDP, former MLA Kevin Deveaux is eyeing a run in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, currently held by Liberal Mike Savage.