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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Liberal Leadership Idol Part Deux

Stephen Harper hasn't even been sworn in as prime minister yet and three front-runners (Manley, McKenna, Tobin) have decided they don't want the job. Some conservative pundits are all-over the Liberals saying no one wants to run for them. But I think the Liberals want a leader in a region they are weak in (not from Ontario or Atlantic Canada). Also they probably want a young leader to add some new strength into a party that has been dragged through the mud. Since there are three front-runners no longer in the race I decided to expand my orginal list from 10 potential candidates to 20. It's possible a dark horse candidate could make a splash. Remember, nobody heard of Belinda Stronach before she ran for the conservative leadership.

11. Gerard Kennedy

I never heard of him before the Liberals lost the election. But since the Liberals lost, former Chretien backers are supporting Kennedy for Canada's top job. He was born in Manitoba, went to the U of A in Edmonton where he setup Canada's first food bank and now is education minister in Ontario.

12. Justin Trudeau

He did give that stirring eulogy for his father a few years ago. He lives in BC and might be able to deliver some BC votes. Also, he's young and he might be able to revitalize the party solely on his charisma. But he has no political experience.

13. Allan Rock

Gun registry plagued his cabinet career. But he is on the left-side of the Liberal party and has some charisma.

14. David Orchard

He had a cult like following in the old progressive conservative party. Orchard is a strong nationalist and that movement isn't represented by a specific political party today. Plus he hates MacKay and the new Conservative party more than in any other Canadian. Some of values are in contrast to Liberal values. He opposses free trade, gun control, and wants a stronger military. But he does want more federal power and weakended provincial power.

15. Joe Volpe

Ontario MP with Italian heritage. Carolyn Parish once referred to him as part of the "pasta caucus" of the liberal party. He served as a minister under Martin and seen as a Martinite. That might not be a good thing if the Liberals want to regain lost territory.

16. Glen Murray

He was the first openly gay mayor of a Large North American City. (Winnipeg) He was seen as a strong mayor but failed to win a seat for the Liberals when he ran in the 2004 election.

17. Maurizio Bevilacqua

Six-time Toronto area MP has access to influential backers but nobody outside of Toronto has ever heard of him. His riding is one of the most largest in population in Canada.

18. Ujjal Dosanjh

Name is now clearned in Grewal affair. He is a former NDP Premier of BC and Health minister. He could recapture progressive voters, he's from the west, and a minority.

19. Jane Stewart

Sounds like she is serious of making a bid for the leadership. Took heat for the Human Resources scandal but further investigation cleared her and her department.

20. Anne Mclellan

She's a former deputy prime minister and from Alberta. McLellan could sell Liberals on a strategy of how to win in the west without alienating their Ontario and Maritime base.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Why did the Big M's drop out?

Manley and McKenna were suppossed to be the front-runners but both of them have decided not to try. John Manley might be telling the truth by saying he did not want to be back in the public spotlight. If McKenna truly wanted to lead a private life he would never have become Canadian ambassador to the US. McKenna's team was active on the ground across the country even before voters cast their ballot and he probably saw support for him wasn't as high as he hoped. There a few reasons why Liberals might not have wanted McKenna or Manley.

1. The Liberals have historically alternated between English and French leaders. Martin was orginally from Ontario and Chretien was from Quebec. Does this mean the race is between Dion and Cauchon?

2. Every Liberal leader selected after Trudeau has been over 55 when chosen. With Harper in his 40's the Liberals might want to attract the youth vote.

3. Every single Liberal Leader roots have either been from the UK or France. If the Liberals want to maintain the multicultural vote they need to select a multicultural candidate.

4. If the Liberals want to gain ground they have to elect a left of centre leader and take back the votes as in the words of Layton were 'lent' to the NDP. The conservatives earned roughly the same amount of votes that the alliance/reform and PC party earned in the 90's but the votes are no longer split. between two parties. When Chretien was leader the NDP vote was under 10% and the Green party didn't exisit. A new charismatic liberal leader should attempt to crush the NDP and Green support in order to win power again.

5. Liberals need to win Quebec and the West. The next Liberal leader will have one goal- win a majority. Battling a united conservative party limits any further gains in Ontario and the Atlantic (Manley and McKenna's home territory) In Quebec, the Bloc lost seats and they can't continue using the sponsorship scandal next time. Out west a leader from BC could gain 10-20 seats for the Liberals in that province alone. Also, the prairies might not continue voting conservative if they feel their issues are addressed by the federal Liberals. The NDP lost all of its territory in Saskatchewan because Layton turned the prairie populist party into a urban party that no longer cares about problems with the Wheat Board or the Gun Registry. The Liberals have to end the Conservative monolopoly on rural votes out west. They don't have to become a social conservative party with a libertarian slant but they should offer solutions to problems faced by farmers.

Under Paul Martin's reign the Liberals didn't offer any new ideas to the country. (other than new city funding and daycare) The Liberals need to set the agenda and fight their next election campaign rather than sitting back with a negative campaign and crossing their fingers that the conservatives will implode.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Liberal Leadership Idol

The next Liberal Leadership will be the first time since 1968 when Pierre Trudeau won the leadership on the fourth ballot. John Turner won the 1984 Leadership on the second ballot. Chretien and Martin both won their leadership bids on the first ballot. With no front-runner the liberals have an opportunity to renew themselves and talk where they want there party to head. Do they want to move to the left to take support from the NDP and Green Party. Or do they want to move right fiscally and maintain progressive social policies to maintain their base and expand into the former PC party base. Also if 10 or more candidates plan on running their will be innovative ideas that some candidates will discuss to attempt to make some noise. Constitutional reform, healthcare reform, and focus on international institutions will be debated. With no front-runner it's possible the Liberals may search for the next Trudeau and choose someone who is inexperienced who they feel could dominate Canadian politics for over a decade. Also there are no westerners expected to be front-runners for the top post as Liberal leader and expect Anne McLellan and Ujjal Dosanjh to be kingmaker's who could aid a victory of another front runner. Here's the Top 10 Leadership Hopefuls (with links to sites that support the leaders):

1. John Manley

Pros: Named Newsmaker of the Year for guiding Canada's Foreign Policy through the post 9/11 era. Also finished second to Paul Martin in obtaining the most liberal memberships for the leadership before pulling out.

Cons: Is seen as too American and supports Canada cutting its ties with the monarchy.

Strategy: Will strive to heal rift with US and keep Canada's foreign policy independent at the same time. Also will criticize Martin for mishandling sponsorship scandal.

2. Frank McKenna

Pros: Won every seat in 1987 as Premier of New Brunswick. Was Canada's ambassador to the US.

Cons: As close ties to the Caryle Group and is seen as a loose cannon. Also top Martin strategists are rumoured to be supporting him.

Strategy: Will position himself as a candidate that will heal the Chretien-Martin split in the party and will expand the Liberal base beyond Ontario and Quebec.

3. Stephane Dion

Pros: Created the clarity act and is a francophone. Historically the Liberal Party rotates the leadership between English and French speakers. Also was environment minister in Martin cabinet. One of the few Quebec ministers not tainted by sponsorship scandal.

Cons: Is seen as too close to Chretien and has even less charisma than Stephen Harper.

Strategy: Will run as a candidate who will bring Quebec back to the Liberals. Also will criticize Harper and NDP for being soft on Quebec nationalists.

4. Ken Dryden

Pros: Won 6 Stanley Cups with Montreal Canadiens and was Canada's goalie for the 1972 series. In his post-hockey life he became a lawyer and wrote "The Game", which is arguably the greatest book of hockey, and was President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has close ties to Ontario and Quebec. He is seen a motivator, philosopher and it was his idea for Martin to address the nation to change the momentum.

Cons: Most people don't think he wants to become PM and might not even run. Also his political experience is limited.

Strategy: Will run as someone who will make gains in Ontario and Quebec. Also he is very likely to campaign on some ideas and be a visionary. (ie constitutional or electoral reform)

5. Belinda Stronach

Pros: Former Magna CEO. Once ranked second most powerful women in the world behind the Queen. Is attractive and is thick-skinned. Finished second to Harper for Conservative Leadership. Is progressive on social policies, supports increased foreign aid, and supports corporate tax cuts. Her defection gave federalists six months to plan strategy against Bloc and this election Bloc lost seats and didn't wind up with 65-70 seats in Quebec. If she wins, would become first female leader of the Liberals ever.

Cons: Ran for the Conservative leadership. After defection she was smeared by media and opposition parties.

Strategy: Will play the Female and Youth Card. Will campaign as a leader that will shake Canada up as the first female leader. Also will appeal to youth voters and promise to lower the voting age to 16 if she wins.

6. Michael Ignatieff

Pros: Former-Harvard Professor and son of a well-respected diplomat. His academic background reminds some of Trudeau.

Cons: Anti-Ukrainian. Supported the Iraq war, Missile Defense, is viewed as being arrogant, and it's not clear if he supports or opposes torture.

Strategy: Will try to persuade high-profile Liberals to support him and run on the scholar card.

7. Martin Cauchon

Pros: As Justice minister introduced the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Also as a francophone could rebuild the Liberals Quebec base.

Cons: Martin wouldn't include him in his cabinet and could be seen as pro-Chretien and alienate Martin side of party.

Strategy: Will run as a fighter against Quebec separatism, social conservatives, and Paul Martin.

8. Brian Tobin

Pros: Charismatic. Captain Canada nearly went to war with Spain and spearheaded the Canada rally before the Quebec referendum.

Cons: abruptly quit cabinet as industry minister. Supported the Iraq war. Seen as big government and now as become close with big business.

Strategy: Will run as Captain Canada and is the candidate most likely to stir the pot.

9. Bob Rae

Pros: Former Ontario premier has been visible in his post-political life. Was an NDP politician who could win leadership because their is no high-profile left of centre liberal candidate.

Cons: Was one-term premier and badly managed Ontario's economy.

Strategy: He will campaign as being a champion of human rights and maintaining Canada's reputation as a humanitarian in the world.

10. Scott Brison

Pros: Handled Public Works portfolio in tumulterous time after sponsorship scandal revealed. Is Gay and is seen as socially progressive. Refused to join new conservative party.

Cons: Is a former Progressive Conservative who advocated lower taxes and a privatized healthcare system.

Strategy: Will viscously attack Peter Mackay and say he is the best candidate to stand up to social conservatives. Also will match conservative tax cuts and will try differentiate conservatives and liberal policy exclusively on social policy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fox News Thinks Canada voted out its President

FOX News has corrected their error. But google still stores their error.

Martin did the Right Thing

By stepping down he avoided a Stockwell Day leadership struggle. Potential leaders

-John Manley
-Frank McKennna (is already meeting with candidates)
-Martin Cauchon
-Stephane Dion
-Ken Dryden
-Belinda Stronach
-Scott Brison
-Justin Trudeau
-Michael Ignatieff

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Good Bye and Good Riddance Paul Martin

I find Liberal views most comfortable but the problem with the Liberal party but sometimes they run such miserable campaigns that it leaves me no choice but to oppose them. Paul Martin is not attempting to minimize the damage his crew has done to the liberal campaign, and has put all his cards on the table to try to pull out a miracle. The Liberals have a good platform, the economy is strong, and Canadians don't want Stephen Harper as the next Prime Minister. But somehow the Liberals are poised to go lower than John Turner's 28% in 1984.

The Liberals arguments for being re-elected are weak.

4. The anti-military ad eliminated any chance of Paul Martin keeping his job. Conservatives always have whined the government is anti-military because of low funding. But many soldiers do support Canada's foreign policy (ex. Romeo Dallaire) and are glad we are fighting the right war in Afghanistan and avoided Iraq. But with that ad it's tough to argue the Liberals aren't anti-military.

3. At the debate with two weeks go before election, Paul Martin suggests to drastically change how Canada operates by removing the notwithstanding clause. No leader responds because they don't know what his plans are or even how it would done without involving the provinces. (Desperate)

2. In the final throes of the campaign instead of maintaining his voting base and motivating Canadians to vote Liberal- he brings out the A-bomb. No other issue is more divisive in Canada and the conservatives have publicly stated they won't bring it up. Bring the issues the Conservatives have made a public stance on; Kyoto, gun control, first nations agreement, international affairs, missile defense, and the conservatives plan to increase taxes for Canada's lowest tax bracket. Canadians are tired of the secret agenda, attack the real conservative party. Also, this whole abortion issue is a strategy conceived by Toronto Liberals. I've heard them say it before that it would be an excellent idea to fight a campaign on. Now we will see how low the liberals go. This debate doesn't help the country and weak strategies like this drive potential voters away from the liberals. The more people see the Liberal party is dominated by Toronto elites, the harder it is for Canadians who live in the "hinterlands" to support the Liberals. If all the Liberals seats are in big cities of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver how are the Liberals going to mount a comeback next election, after they abandoned the rest of the country?

1. Paul Martin will go down in Canadian history as the most anti-American Prime Minister this country has ever had. It's allright to be tough with them over issues like softwood lumber and climate change. But the commercial that mentions Canadians shouldn't vote for Harper because it will make Bush happy, is the only time I know of where a Prime Minister has attacked a sitting American President directly.

Saying all that I have a strong Liberal in my riding and the conservative is a nut, so I personally will vote Liberal.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is Harper a Born Again Canadian?

Stephen Harper's entire political career has been centered around far-right politics. He has either been a far-right politician or part of far-right thinktanks. He didn't get involved in politics because of a specific issue, he became involved because right-wing ideas are in his blood. This campaign's platform is very moderate and even more progressive than the liberals on a few policy issues. But can he be trusted? Nothing in his past suggests he can be a moderate. Did he just change his philosophy on a dime or is he doing anything he can to attain power? I fear any policy not mention in his platform or any new situation that arises he will take Canada to the far-right.

During the debate Stephen Harper said he supported the Iraq war because CIA evidence suggested Saddam has WMD. But what about the weapon inspectors who were given unlimited access and didn't find mass quantities of anthrax or a developing nuclear weapons arsenal. Harper supported the Iraq war because he didn't trust the UN Weapon Inspectors and trusted with the CIA with blind faith. If Harper doesn't trust international organizations, why should we trust him?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Canada's First Has Been Prime Minister

On Monday, January 23rd Canadians probably will elect Stephen Harper as Canada's 22 Prime Minister. The Liberals attacking Harper for being the most right-wing Prime Minister this country has ever had. They are right. The last three conservative Prime Ministers; Kim Campbell, Brian Mulroney, and Joe Clark are much closer to the center than Harper. Campbell and Clark were Red Tories who believed in maintaing a progressive social policy. Mulroney was close to the Americans but said no to Star Wars unlike Harper who plans on saying yes to Missile Defense. Mulroney appointed Stephen Lewis to be his ambassador to the UN and didn't want to change Canada's role in the world as a peacekeeper and a respected nation internationally. Mulroney also worked hard to free Nelson Mandela and Rob Anders (runnning for the conservatives) still won't back down from his belief that Mandela is a terrorist. After Monday we will find out if Harper will be able to constrain his ideology and govern from the centre or will he govern from the extreme right.

Stephen Harper's problems are bigger than his political values because he lacks the experience to be Prime Minister. He has been a lifelong critic of the government. His work experience is consisted mostly of serving as an opposition MP or heading a right-wing think-tank. Both of these jobs main function was to criticize the government. Harper doesn't have executive experience like Martin, Mulroney, and Stronach. He doesn't have experience as a lawyer like Chretien and Kim Campbell. Joe Clark even had more experience outside of politics and worked as journalist. Let's see if Harper will be able to lead in his trial by fire as Canada's leader.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Liberals were too late to adapt to a Friendlier Stephen Harper

The Liberals War-Room this election used the exact same strategy they used last election- and Canadians were unmoved. Last Election Harper was pro-American and the positive commericals talked about the economy. This election's strategy was identical but Harper's persona was not. Last election, Harper was delivering his speeches from a podium in front of wealthy conservative supporters. This election Harper delivered his message from an electronics store before Christmas with 5% GST stickers on Big Screen TV, he was at a Toronto Youth Centre hitting a boxing pad, and he spent most of campaign in Quebec and he looks like it paid off.

The Liberals didn't change their campaign till Harper took the lead and it looked like he could win a majority government. The Liberals new strategy failed because it looked desperate. Martin pledging to remove the notwithstanding clause and the super negative ads hurt the liberals worse than Brault's testimony. Also what is the liberals obsession with abortion. Harper isn't suicidal- he's not going to introduce a bill to outlaw it. A sizable amount of his own members would vote against it to save their ridings.

Martin should have focussed on other issues that the Conservatives have made a public statement on. They plan on increasing taxes for Canadians in the lowest income tax bracket, not abide by the Kyoto treaty, not recognize the latest agreement with Native Canadians, and ASK Washington if they can re-enter in the missile defense shield that doesn't even work and Congress might cancel because of the US's massive deficit.

Another area of attack could have been Team Harper- Not Just Stephen. The Liberals could have brought out their heavy guns in commericals: Dryden, Dion, Brison, and Dosanjh. They could have attacked MacKay for his duct tape remark and said Martin doesn't have to hide his liberals. Alas it's too late. But if the current polls hold up it looks like a minority government could limit Harper to 2 years. If Harper gets a majority he wants fixed election dates in the spring or fall and there might not be another election for 4 and a half years.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

10 Things That Would Spur a Liberal Comeback

10. The National Campaign Bus Falls into a snow drift trapping the National Liberal Executive for a week, and candidates rely solely on their own local campaigns.

9. Klein, Day, and Rob Anders take off their duct tape a few days early.

8. Belinda Stronach admits she slept with Bill Clinton, taking all attention of the national campaigns.

7. Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly comment on the Canadian election. (anything would help)

6. Harper has a joint press conference with Lucien Bouchard.

5. Bilderbergs announce that attendees must drink the blood of a virgin at their secret meetings in France. (Harper attended)

4. Harper announces Randy White and Myron Thompson would be his first choices for judges on the Supreme Court.

3. Stephen Harper says he wants to put a nuclear warhead on the Canadarm

2. Jean Lapierre defects to the Conservatives.

And the Number One Thing That Would Spur A Liberal Comeback

1. Peter C Newman releases his tapes of his "Conversations with Stephen Harper"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Jack Layton- The Ultimate Flip-Flopper

Jack Layton flip-flops are notorious. This campaign he is for the clarity act and against a estate tax. But the biggest flip is his position on Belinda Stronach. Without Belinda's help the NDP budget would never have passed but this election the NDP is pretending to take the high road by saying Belinda's defection hurt Canada's democracy.

"This is something that can be welcomed and maybe now we can finally have a House of Commons that can get something done" Jack Layton immediately after Belinda defected to the Liberals.

Seven months later ....

"The next time Belinda Stronach decides to change leaders, she'll have to go back to a byelection to see if her voters agree," Jack Layton during the first debate of the 2005-2006 election.

Complete 180 degree shift in less than 7 months. How can Layton claim to be a champion of government integrity by boasting the NDP's role in getting the budget they wanted and at the same time smearing one of the MP's that helped the "NDP get results". If the NDP was so outraged over Belinda's defection they should have voted down the budget and brought down the government. They all stood up with Belinda Stronach to narrowly pass the budget and now their making a bigger issue of Belinda's defection then even the conservatives. Without Belinda the NDP budget would never have passed and the NDP has to come to grips with reality, and stop pretending that the liberals and conservatives aren't the only ones spinning mixed messages.

Monday, January 16, 2006

3 Bold Ideas for Martin

Paul Martin is in trouble even though SES has shown the Conservatives dropping to 38%. To turn the tide he needs a new bold innovative strategy.

1. Announce if he fails to win a majority government that he will step down.

2. Reprimand the Australian High Commissioner to Canada for having its government's federal party director- Brian Loughnane aiding the conservatives with their strategy.

3. Ridicule Conservatives for their Tax and Spend Plans. The Conservatives are raising taxes for Canadians in the lowest tax bracket and plan to spend record amounts on building new prisons for more prisoners. (Guess what tax bracket they are part?)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Where are the Liberals Losing Support?

Most of the recent polls have the Conservatives in the high 30's, the Liberals are in the high 20's, the NDP is in the high teens, the BQ has also fallen to around 10%, and the Greens are around 5%.

When the election was called the Liberals were in the high 30's, the Conservatives were in the high 20's, the NDP was the same, the Bloc was a few percent higher, and the Greens were the same.

So what happened and where did the liberals lose all their support?

Jan 14: Con: 37, Lib: 34, NDP: 24, Green: 6 (SES)
Dec 3: Lib: 48, Con: 30, NDP: 16, Green: 6 (SES)

Jan 14: BQ: 45, Con: 24, Lib: 20, NDP: 7, Green: 4 (SES)
Dec 1: BQ: 50, Lib: 30, Con: 9, NDP: 6, Green: 6 (SES)

Jan 12: Con: 47, Lib: 28, NDP: 20, Green: 5 (Strategic Counsel)
Dec 1: Lib: 34, Con: 32, NDP: 26, Green: 9 (Strategic Counsel)

Jan 12: Con: 59, NDP: 17, Lib: 16, Green: 7 (Ipsos-Reid)
Nov 29: Con: 59, Lib: 16, NDP: 10, Green: 8 (Ipsos-Reid)

Jan 12: Cons: 45, Lib: 32, NDP: 20, Green: 3 (Ipsos-Reid)
Nov 29: Con: 39, Lib: 25, NDP: 20, Green: 3 (Ipsos-Reid)

Jan 14: Con: 39, Lib: 37, NDP: 22, Green: 2 (SES)
Dec 1: Lib: 49, Con: 31, NDP: 18, Green: 1 (SES)

The Liberals aren't doing bad in one region. Their support is sinking everywhere. The only province with encouraging numbers is Alberta where they are holding their support. In Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada the Liberals have fallen by over 10%. This is tradionally the Conservatives weakest region but the east is where the Conservatives are making the biggest gains. Several prominent Liberals are in dire straits Pettigrew, Brison, and Stronach. Another factor hurting the Liberals is NDP and Green voters are not moving to the liberals. In Ontario it looks like the NDP is actually growing.

If Paul Martin wants to reverse this trend he has to be bold. Something must attract Canadians to vote Liberal. It's too late to introduce new policies. New negative ads, bringing prominent Canadians to support him (no Joe Clark yet), and face-to-face confrontations between Liberals and Conservatives. It will be an exciting week.

Liberal Magic Seat Number is 65

The Liberals will not win this election unless one of the problem conservatives removes their duct tape and says something stupid. The entire conservative team has been well disciplined and all the focus has been on Stephen Harper. No Rob Anders or Stockwell Days this time around. The liberals will lose this election and Stephen Harper will become Canada's 22 PM. The liberals will revert to a defensive strategy to try to hand on their seats. Most of the Liberals that will be re-elected will win inspite of the national campaign and will win because of a strong local campaign. In order for the conservatives to attain a majority they need to win 155 seats. The Bloc will probably win 60 seats and the NDP will win 30 seats. That leaves 65 seats that the Liberals must will to hold the Conservatives to under 155 seats.

For every diehard Paul Martin who supported his civil war to remove Chretien and believed he was the best man to succeed Paul Martin- you were dead wrong and now Canada will pay deerly. No Kyoto, No to the New Aboriginal Agreement, No to Lower Taxes for Canadians with lower income, No Standing Up for Human Rights, and a Canadian Foreign Policy Shifting from a World Leader to a follower of the US. I didn't support Martin because I felt he was soft on Quebec nationalism and not tough enough to stand up to the US. Now with falling poll numbers Martin is now trying to act tough but slipped with the anti-Bush commerical that went too far. Even worse is the stormtrooper commercial that claims Harper is going to send soldiers with guns into our cities. Martin's defense was that he was oppossed to Harper's plan to establish smaller military bases throughout the country rather than superbases. I didn't see that message in the commercial.

One of the Liberal parties worse defeats will rid the party of Martin loyalists. It is only then can the Liberal party rebuild and take Canada back from Stephen Harper. (Hopefully in less than 2 years if the Liberals hold him to a minority.)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Martin Needs to get his star players off the bench

The liberals are down and have brought out the negative ads. But they need to more. The liberals have overused Martin as shown on their signs "Paul Martin's Liberals". It is time to bring out prominent Liberals to save the government. The advantageous to being Canada's national governing party is the Canadian identity is essentially the Liberal identity. Most of our Canadian heroes are liberals and looking at our MP's and senators, the liberals easily have Canada's most respected politicians.

Romeo Dallaire: Very few Canadians are more expected then this Canadian General who served in the failed Rwandan mission.

Ken Dryden: Star goalie backstopped Canada during '72 series and won Stanley Cups for Montreal Canadiens during dynasty of the 70's. Since retiring has become philosopher of hockey and life. In this hockey-mad country he is the most likely former hockey star to become PM.

Stephane Dion:
Recruited after near-death of Canada during '95 referendum and has become a strong Quebec voice of federalism.

Larry Campbell:
Former Vancouver mayor inspired a TV series that is based on him and brought in safe injection sites in Vancouver.

Marc Garneau: First Canadian in space.

Belinda Stronach and Scott Brison: Left conservatives because they couldn't stand Stephen Harper. Tell Canadians why?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Paul Martin's Hail Mary Pass

The C word ended Mulroney's government and reduced the Tories to two seats. No federal leader has proposed an amendment since. But with Martin struggling to find another issue to separate himself from the pack he used his last option the "constitutional amendment". Even if Martin clings on the power, will the liberal party still want him after failing to win a majority in two elections. Also he needs to get the support of most of the premiers. Jean Charest is a no-brainier because no leader will amend the constitution without Quebec's approval. Also what about Ralph Klein he might refuse to sign it even if an elected senate (Martin always stated an amendment is the best way to reform the senate) is approved? Gutsy, but even if the liberals fail to win a majority, will McKenna or Manley follow through with a constitutional amendment.

The rest of the debate went fairly well (not perfect) for Martin. He held off attacks from four leaders. He also attacked Harper without mercy. He read some stupid Harper quotes, criticized him for raising the taxes of Canadians in the lowest tax bracket, and Harper still refuses to say who funded either of his leadership bids. (Can we assume it was the NRA, or even the Republican party itself).

Sunday, January 08, 2006

G' Day, My Fellow Canadians

One Australian is interferring with Canada's Election. Brian Loughnane, John Howard's (Australian PM) federal party director is helping the conservatives with their campaign. Read More

Eerie Australia similarities

Australia: Last election John Howard's Aussie government was embroiled in controversary because of the war in Iraq and the children overboard scandal. To deflect attention they brought up the issue of inflation. (dead since the 1980's) The opposition didn't even think the issue seriously because Australia had high interest rates in the 1980's and no economist was forcasting high inflation regardless of what party won. But it hit a chord with voters and reminded them of Australia's strong economy and voters held their noses and returned Howard to power, even though most of them thought he was a lying rotent.

This election Harper brought GST out of nowhere.

John Howard lost the debate and Stephen Harper was somewhat invisible during the first debate without any memorable attacks. John Howard said afterwards it didn't matter that he lost the debate because the election was more important. After the Canadian debate Harper basically said its not his job to be theatrical.

Now I find out that Harper has hired a foreign political strategist which raises other questions. If Harper cannot find a Canadian strategist to win an election, when he is elected does that mean foreign governments also get to decide Canadian foreign policy.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Liberals Tanking

Most polls show a drastic drop in liberal support and a conservative minority. Maybe even a majority government. The other shocking result of the latest poll is the bloc is at 10%. That means the bloc is in the low 40's in Quebec. This probably means the conservatives might be able to challenge for seats even in Quebec. (The conservatives have spiked to 15% in Quebec) But it's not over yet and the liberals are only down drastically in one poll.

Today Paul Martin announced new funding post-secondary and standing behind him was- Belinda Stronach. Perhaps will see other former-conservatives like Scott Brison too.

Another interesting debate happening among progressive bloggers is if Bourque is biased? After reading today's editorial he exagerates the damage to the liberals during the latest poll and most (if not of all) of his editorials have been against the liberals lately. He is to right of centre but he does post left of centre articles to his website. IIt still is Canada's best alternative news site.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Goldring's campaign troubles

Peter Goldring has one of the toughest jobs for a conservative MP in Alberta. He has to win a riding that provincially votes Liberal or NDP. It is also Alberta's poorest riding and home to Edmonton's inner city. Goldring won easily last election with weak candidates, including an appointed candidate directly from Paul Martin who wasn't approved by local liberal members. This time the liberals went with Nicole Martel who campaigned for the liberal nomination and didn't have it handed to her. That makes it tough to win but when this election campaign manager is a western separtist who claims half of the campaign workers are ready to destroy Canada if they don't seize power- You're in deep trouble.

How bad is the Goldring campaign running? On the CBC election board for the riding, one of the few positive comments is by Gordon Stamp who failed to inform anybody he's works for Goldring and is not just some average voter. I would be very surprised if the conservatives hold onto this riding.