Monday, September 28, 2009

Confidence Vote

Ralph's take on the confidence vote...


A “confidence vote” will be held within the next few days in the House of Commons.

This is one of those periodic tests in our Parliamentary system to determine whether an incumbent minority government can continue. The Harper regime will survive because Jack Layton and the NDP will prop them up.

It’s important to review how this came about.

Last December, the Conservatives had to be drug kicking-and-screaming to admit that Canada was in a severe recession, hundreds of thousands of jobs were in jeopardy, and a package of economic stimulus measures was urgently required.

In January, they belatedly tabled what they called a stimulus budget.

We could have defeated them right then. That’s what both the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois voted to do. But the Liberal Official Opposition said “no”. The responsible course was to give the government a chance to implement their plan.

That plan was far from perfect, but it was already six months late and some help for hard-pressed Canadians was better than none at all. So the government was allowed to continue – with the NDP bragging that they voted 79 times to bring them down.

Through the spring and summer, Liberals tracked the Harper government’s performance very carefully. By the end of August, it was clear that Conservative management of such issues as the economy, preparations for the H1N1 flu, and Canada’s supply of medical isotopes for treating cancer was both incompetent and dishonest.

So we withdrew our support. We had given Mr. Harper the benefit of the doubt. But in return, he delivered 480,000 lost jobs, no help for the most vulnerable, an infrastructure scheme riddled with partisanship, the biggest deficit in Canadian history (which began BEFORE the recession), and a $13 billion payroll tax increase.

This, apparently, is what the NDP now stands for.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, September 26, 2009

True Leadership Is...

When you (or someone in your team) make an error in judgement or an operational oversight, and you are humble enough to change your decision.

The Cauchon decision is a landmark in the history of our party. Do you recall the last time a leadership team sat with those who disagree with them, and changed a decision of this magnitude, and of such national import?

The grassroots were heard. But more importantly, the ability of a true leader to change a decision based on team feedback is something that distinguishes this true leader from the megalomaniacal ideologue who is the "boss" of the Reform-a-Tory Party. THIS is the true difference the public will see in the upcoming campaign - along with a leader who CAN be tough and hit back if and when necessary.

Michael Ignatieff showed the leadership that will coalesce a movement which will eventually "bring to justice" the rogue Harper regime.

Can't wait to see the books opened up...

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shameless Corporate Plug

So our "Homer-esque" PM wants to shamelessly plug Canada's number one heart-attack provider? Instead of being at the UN (where he was supposed to be), Harper would rather flog a commercial product. While other PMs grew Canada's industry and job creation, supporting large industrial concerns, and taking entire sectors on trade missions, Harper would rather slag a particular product from a specific corporate friend.

Did We say friend? Yes. Remember the exclusive contract to slog Joe for the boys in afghanisnam? Obviously the payback includes some gratuitous photo ops...

No effort to improve healthcare, or Canadian's health... Nope. The Conservatives are the party of the 200 sugar calorie artery-clogger... It is so fitting. Over-the-top, fat (deficits), fleeting (won't be around for long)..., bad for the nation's health, inane, lacking substance, empty calories, empty in the middle, and just plain bad for you...

A fitting description.

Break out your carrot sticks... It's time to send this government to the national dumpster...

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Conservative-Socialist-Seperatist Coalition" To Raise Payroll Taxes: Goodale

Another Goodale Weekly Update:


Stephen Harper wants you to believe he’s a tax cutter. He also wants you to believe he tells the truth. But on both counts, hard facts keep getting in his way.

On the issue of truthfulness, remember the $800-million he promised to send Saskatchewan every year in extra equalization payments. Remember his promise never to tax income trusts.

Remember his promise not to appoint Senators. Remember his promise about fixed election dates. Remember his promise never to run a deficit.

In Conservative Party pamphlets, Mr. Harper once proclaimed: “There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept!”

Given his already long record of “promises not kept”, you would think Mr. Harper might be reluctant to be involved in any more such “frauds” – to use his own words!

But another one emerged last week.

The issue was “payroll taxes” – i.e., higher Employment Insurance premiums.

Buried in the fine print of Mr. Harper’s most recent financial statements, forensic experts uncovered $13 billion in Conservative payroll tax increases, scheduled to come into effect just over a year from now.

This is dishonest politically and stupid economically.

It’s dishonest, because it flies in the face of the Harper government’s promise NOT to raise ANY taxes. But just as they increased personal income tax rates and slapped a brutal new tax on income trusts, they’ve broken their word on taxes time and again.

It’s stupid, because the last thing our struggling economy needs is a new Conservative tax on jobs. It’s simply wrong to propose higher, job-killing payroll taxes – to hit every employer and employee in this country – just when they will be struggling to create new jobs in the fight to recover from the recession?

Are these the first fruits of that new conservative-socialist-separatist coalition that’s now propping-up Stephen Harper’s minority government?

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Friday, September 18, 2009

US Health Crisis: More Dead Than 15 9-11 Attacks

That's right.

A well-documented, and obviously very thorough, Harvard University study has shown that 45,000 AMERICANS DIE EVERY YEAR BECAUSE THEY HAVE POOR (OR NO) HEALTH INSURANCE.

To put that perspective, THAT EQUALS OVER 15 SEPT 11 ATTACKS!!!

You would think America would have a sense of "urgency" in dealing with this. Maybe even a "War On Insurance Companies & Adjunct Health 'providers'"?

It is truly repugnant, and quite frightening actually, to see how the Conservative media is able to bury a greater tragedy that occurs over and over, and over, again - every year - in an effort to protect the very people who own and sit on the boards of the media conglomerates: the insurance companies.

Insurance and "Big Corporate MedCos" are pumping millions (nay, billions) into advertising, lobbying, and generally paying off politicians (campaign donations, etc.). Money impacts public opinion, and today, in America, millions of "less informed" people are duped into opposing healthcare reform. It is so disgusting, that people without jobs, and people without health insurance themselves, find themselves in the protests.

Mass delusion. Mass idiocy? The dumbing down of America continues.

Just remember this one fact: More people die from a horrible health care system in the US every year, than 15 Sept 11th attacks. A true shame, bankrolled by the big insurance and health "care" companies... who continue to pad their own, and conservative politicians' pockets.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Conservative Strategy: Turn Voters Away From The Polls

Great analysis on The Tyee regarding the Harper "government" strategy vis-a-vis the next election...

These lines in particular catch one's attention:

"There's two ways to win an election. One is to re-divide the pie as it stands. Another is to make the pie bigger or smaller," explained Pilon.

"Harper's success is partly due to the fact that his style of politicking has driven a lot of people away from politics. A lot of people don't like the mean, confrontational approach of the Conservative party. But instead of voting against it, they just give up on politics altogether," the University of Victoria professor continued.

'Oh, whatever...'

Indeed, voter turnout in 2008 was the lowest in Canadian history. Only 59 per cent of eligible Canadians cast a ballot. But while the Tories and the Bloc each lost about 170,000 votes between 2006 and 2008, the Liberals lost some 850,000 supporters.

"And of course that's what Harper and his bunch are hoping for," Pilon continued.

"They orchestrate a lot of photo-ops in which Harper looks Prime Ministerial. And they run their off-election smear campaign against the other leaders," Pilon said. "They're hoping that, come election day, people say, 'Oh, whatever, let's just put them in and be done with it.'"

Very interesting.

We certainly need to give voters a REASON to come to the polls - especially in Quebec, BC, and Ontario. When we do this, we really need to constantly repeat one central them - over, and over, and over, and over, and over... and ... over. Sure, Liberals are cerebral, thinking types who like to be more "nation-building" in our thoughts and deeds, and constantly harping/parroting a simple theme may not appease our need for political honesty and love of our nation... However, one needs to temper our honest efforts with the science of modern PR. Constant repetition of a theme - no matter how bland - does work, if it has the right amount of funding behind it.

Certainly sometimes one says, perhaps Canadians should get hoodwinked into voting for the bogus "stay the course" argument. We won't know the REAL Conservative/Reformatories until they lay further waste to Canada for 4 solid years - and, in Mr. Harper's words - leave Canada unrecognizable. Fortunately WE CARE for Canada, and we're not about to lie back and let this happen.

In the meantime, we get to watch the ugly, dirty, hateful, and angry side of politics that the Reform-a-Tories have brought to Ottawa and Canadians. Being a macho, angry, tough-guy is apparently the way to go these days (particularly for conservative-types worldwide). Don't take any crap from anyone. MY rights are more important than yours'. Sheesh. It's no wonder kids don't listen to teachers or parents. Why kids seem to be getting into worse stuff earlier... Time for society to lose the macho, me-first, tough-guy "idealism" - and soon. A change to a more mature and cerebral government would be a start.

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Not-So-Good Morning Prime Minister

God... Those words still have to half-choke their way out... "Prime Minister". Huh. More like "Prime Sinister"...

Harper In DC

Great vid. Check it out.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Just Say "No" To Bullies...

Goodale Weekly eNewsletter:


Everybody understands public weariness with election campaigns.

There’s no “good time” to ask people to vote. It will always be inconvenient, especially during an unstable minority Parliament when the interval between elections is shorter.

But at some point – when a government is blatantly incompetent and dishonest – a line must be drawn. Confronted with unrepentant government misbehavior, the Official Opposition cannot just “look the other way”.

After giving the Harper regime nearly a year to show some good intentions, the Liberals have made it clear that their patience is exhausted. (The onus has shifted to the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois to sustain the Conservatives.)

A pattern of unacceptable government dishonesty began accumulating long ago.

The first example was probably that $800 million falsehood told to Saskatchewan about equalization, followed by a $25 billion falsehood told to two million innocent investors about Income Trusts.

Add to that, the dishonesty about fixed election dates, Senate appointments, floor-crossers, the threat of a recession and deficits!

Add to that, the loss of nearly 500,000 full-time jobs, an infrastructure program that has an 80% failure rate, the squandering of Canada’s financial strength BEFORE there was any recession, ballooning debt of more than $160 billion over six years (instead of four more surplus budgets), and the bungling of public health issues around H1N1 flu, listeriosis and medical isotopes.

Add to that, the failure to deliver for Saskatchewan – no help for our livestock and forestry sectors, unfulfilled promises about cellulose ethanol plants and a police research centre, no secure funding for the RCMP Heritage Centre, the attack on PFRA and the Grain Commission, and the elimination of the Prairie Grain Roads Program.

Add to that, months of bitter Conservative attack-ads and hate-mail.

The Harper regime represents what’s wrong with politics in Canada. This country can surely do better!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Harper: "Master of Back Room Coalitions"

Stephen Harper is the "King of Coalitions":

1) His Reform Party was born of a "coalition" between out of power Socreds, Western Separatists (yes, Separatists - Western Canada Concept), and the far right wing of the Progressive Conservative Party...

2) When the Reform Party needed to grow, they jumped on the idea of courting more real Tories, and formed another "coalition": The Canadian "Alliance" (a name loosely based on the evangelical church affiliation of a broad cross-section of party founders and supporters).

3) CCRAP ("crap"): When the Reform-Alliance made their next attempt at "uniting the right", Stephen Harper worked a back room deal with Peter MacKay (now a "Conservative" Cabinet Minister). Recall the MacKay napkin deal too... A party of "back room dealers" for sure... Sneaky.

4) In his last "coalition with the socialists and separatists", Harper signed a deal with the Bloc and NDP to supplant the Liberal Paul Martin Government.

Who is the master of coalitions? It appears Stephen Harper has a post-graduate degree in it... (Perhaps the only educational process he succeeded in - given his "economic genius")...

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Sombre Anniversary

Salute to my New York friends and American family for staying strong through the attacks on Sept. 11th. Even 8 years later one gets all choked up watching the events of the day.

Certainly a reminder that peace is so hard to achieve, and even harder to keep...


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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Fall BBQ and Social With Dominic LeBlanc - Kick Off The 2009 Victory Tour With Us (Greater Vancouver/Lower Mainland)

The Federal Liberal Action Group (FLAG) & Fleetwood-Port Kells Liberal EDA are pleased to invite you to our Annual Fall Social. Come join us for a meal celebrating the bounty of local farms.


FLAG Fall Social - With Guest - MP (Federal Justice Critic, Dominic LeBlanc)

9568 168 St, Surrey (Tynehead), BC (corner of 96 Ave & 168 St)

(Use the 160 St or 176 St exits from the Trans-Canada)

Call 604-317-9005 for tickets (only $10).

Come join us for some great food, great company, and great conversation! Great chance to meet some of our local MPs, candidates, and soon-to-be (seeking nomination) candidates...

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Harper Chose October 2009 For Election

Another great Goodale Weekly Commentary...


Stephen Harper says he doesn’t want an election this October!

That’s odd? Wasn’t it Stephen Harper himself who picked October of this year for a federal election?

Yes, it was! Remember his “Fixed Election Date” law? He pushed it through Parliament about two years ago. He ordered Canadians to the polls in October of 2009. That timing was Mr. Harper’s idea.

But somewhere along the line, something happened. For his own convenience, he pulled the plug early. He violated the law – his law – by calling an unscheduled and unnecessary election a year early, in October of 2008.

No one forced him. He was never defeated on a “confidence vote” in the House of Commons. He just wanted to have an election. Why? Because he knew a nasty recession was coming, and he knew he had already put the country into a damaging deficit long before that recession ever began.

Mr. Harper’s premature 2008 campaign was his way of trying to “beat the rap” for squandering Canada’s hard-earned financial strength.

Another point to bear in mind is this -- instead of governing, the Harper Conservatives have been electioneering for many months now.

Mr. Harper is the one who has saturated the television networks with bitter “attack-ads”. He’s the one who has stuffed mail-boxes across the country with nasty pamphlets. And all of this is subsidized by taxpayers – millions of your dollars wasted on self-serving, misleading Conservative propaganda!

So Mr. Harper picked the original timing for a vote and started campaigning. It’s a bit hypocritical for him to complain about it now.

But hypocrisy has become his trade-mark. Beyond “Fixed Election Dates”, remember all those other broken promises about equalization, income trusts, no deficits, no appointed Senators – the list goes on.

If an election comes this fall, Stephen Harper must shoulder the responsibility!

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Friday, September 04, 2009

2009 Liberal Victory Tour: Michael Ignatieff In Surrey, BC, Tonight!

Michael Ignatieff will be the star attraction at a campaign rally in Surrey tonight at 7pm:


A rally with

Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

Friday, September 4th

Royal King Palace and Convention Centre
366-8158 128th Street, Surrey

Complimentary refreshments and snacks

Bring your Liberal spirit, wear your red proudly and come dressed for the first day of the BC campaign!

To RSVP, please contact

Location: Royal King Palace Convention Center, 366-8158 128 St, Surrey

Time: 7pm

Should be a good one! Get pumped up for the campaign with our leader tonight!

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Liberal MP Talking Points...

To Stephen Harper: "It's the economy stupid"

To Canadians: "Traditionally, in Canada, Conservative governments have run up debt and deficits with pie-in-the-sky tax plans, and voodoo economics. Traditionally, it has been Liberal governments who have stepped in to clean up the Conservative mess, and erase the deficits. Canadians want fiscally competent and responsible leadership in these trying times. History has shown that competence and responsibility comes with strong Liberal leadership for the nation. Canada's future has been built by this party of nation-builders. We are ready to carry on the tradition"

(shorten and modify as needed, but you get the meme)...

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Truth About EI

Ralph Goodale explains the Conservative game-playing this summer...


Last week, I described why the Harper government should correct the rules on who’s eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits during the current recession.

The existing rules impose different eligibility requirements in different parts of the country. Unemployed people in Saskatchewan face among the toughest federal restrictions.

Fixing this discrepancy is a matter of fairness to all those – wherever they may live – whose jobs have been killed by the recession. There are nearly 500,000 such victims nationally; more than 5,000 just last month in buoyant Saskatchewan.

It’s also a matter of effectiveness. By allowing more people to qualify more quickly for the EI benefits they’ve already paid for, the government would inject new purchasing power into the economy, which would immediately help stimulate recovery.

Provincial governments (led by the three western-most Premiers – Wall, Stelmach and Campbell) agree there are EI problems to be fixed. In Ontario, both the Liberal government and the Conservative opposition are on-board.

Beyond politics, independent experts are also supportive, including the moderate Conference Board of Canada, the right-wing C.D. Howe Institute, the left-wing Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the neutral TD Bank.

Unfortunately, Mr. Harper persists in distorting what’s being proposed as possible solutions.

For example, the Conservatives claim a Liberal idea for one national EI eligibility standard for the remainder of the recession would cost more than $4 billion. That’s false! The actual cost would be about one-third of that. And it would constitute only a tiny fraction (maybe 0.5%) of total federal spending.

The Conservatives also claim EI premiums would go up. Again, not so! While Liberals were in office, we cut those premiums 13 consecutive times. The rates are now frozen at that lower Liberal level. They would only go up IF Mr. Harper breaks his promise (again), and raises taxes.

-- Post From My iPhone

The Gig Is Up

The Gig is up. MI confirms we will move to defeat this small-minded Reform-a-Tory at the first opportunity...

Small cold Canada, or a big inclusive Canada?

-- Post From My iPhone