Thursday, June 30, 2011

Will & Kate in Canada!

I have never heard Canadians so simply and eloquently described than what was said today by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on the steps of Rideau Hall to kick-off their visit to Canada.

"Merci beaucoup, Votre Excellence et Monsieur le Premier Ministre, pour votre accueil chaleureux.

Catherine and I are so delighted to be here in Canada. Instilled in us by our parents and grandparents, who love this country, we have been looking forward to this moment for a very long time - and before we were married, we both had a longing to come here together.

The geography of Canada is unsurpassed and is famous for being matched only by the hospitality of its people. We are so very excited about having this opportunity to experience both - and learn much more about this amazing country.

Nous debutons aujourd'hui notre première tournée ensemble. Nous ne pouvions pas être mieux accompagnés que par la grande famille Canadienne.

[Joking about his French, going off-script] It will improve as we go on.

Thank you so much. We are truly looking forward to this adventure. Nous attendons avec impatience cet aventure. Merci a tous."

"The geography of Canada is unsurpassed and is famous for being matched only by the hospitality of its people."

I don't think there's any higher compliment than that.  Thank you, Your Royal Highness for the endearing words and on behalf of everyone here at Hatrock's Cave, we wish you and your lovely wife a wonderful trip.  We know you'll be back too!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wheat Kings

The monopsony Canadian Wheat Board is planning to have a vote to see how many of the 70,000 Western farmers want out of the pool.

Eliminating the CWB is the right move.  Ag Minister Gerry Ritz is correct in saying that farmers should be able to choose who they sell their grain to.

This vote is likely a sham. It's non-binding anyway. But how many of the farmers will actually vote?  How are they voting?  Are they being lobbied?  It seems like a political ploy by this monopsony and nothing more.

Canada Post strike. Air Canada strike. And now the Wheat Board.  Methinks unions of mostly monopolistic corporations are flexing their muscle against the Conservative government.

That said, after watching the documentary "Food Inc.", I'd hate for a private corporation to run all the grain in Canada like they bully American farmers with law suits and this is an argument by the CWB to maintain its existence and control while canola farmers are doing just fine in a free market.

This only continues to solidify my distaste for monopolies and monopsonies whether run by government, as an oligarchy, as crown corporations, or as private business.

And let's not forget, the CWB only applies to parts of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  Ontario and the rest of Canada are not part of it. 

It's time to end it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Afghanistan has a way more democratic and representative senate than Canada

Just out of curiosity, I checked to see what kind of senate they setup in war-torn Afghanistan.  Here is how it is constructed, and it's way closer to a triple-e than Canada could ever be.

102 members, or three times the number of existing provinces (currently 34).
The Meshrano Jirga is composed of three different thirds of members:
1. one representative from each of the 34 Provincial Councils, indirectly elected;
2. one representative from each of the 34  local District Councils, indirectly elected;
3. 34 qualified personnalities nominated by the President 
Voting system: Two-round majority vote.
Term of office:
- four years for senators elected by the province councils;
- three years for those elected by the district councils;
- five years for appointed members.
Age of eligibility or nomination: 35 years
Half of the members appointed by the President of the Republic shall be women.
Representation of minorities :
Two members appointed by the President shall be disabled people, and two others shall be nomads (Kuchis).
- a senator position with being a member of the local electoral council;
- a parliamentary with a ministerial position.
First elections: 18 September 2005
First nominations: December 2005

Nota: Due to problems related to the definition of certain boundaries and estimates of population figures, District Council elections were not held in September 2005. The National Assembly, once constituted, will resolve such issues. To fill the 34 seats reserved for members of the District Council, the Meshrano Jirga will include, in addition to its 34 appointed members, two representatives from each Provincial Council, or 68 other members. Half of these (34 members) will occupy the posts in question until District Council elections can be held.

Canada?  The prime minister recommends to the governor in council who he or she should appoint and they serve until 75 years of age.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alberta - Strong and Free

Have a read of this Globe and Mail article about how many Canadians are moving to Alberta over other provinces.

Could it be lower taxes, higher wages, more opportunity, and quality of life? 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I merely suggest that reform-balking Conservative senators should be flogged because there's no other recourse for their hypocrisy, and then tonight on Sun News Network, Charles Adler discuss flogging on his show with Peter Moskos, author of "In Defense of Flogging".


(new tag: flogging)

Senate reform bill introduced (again but amended)

Barely into this session of parliament, as promised, the Conservative government has tabled a Senate reform bill with term limits now set at nine years and will only apply to senators appointed after October 2008 (34 total).  It also does not bind the prime minister to recommend appointments, nor does it bind provinces into a democratic process, but it "strongly encourages" provinces to do so.

This will pass the house and hopefully in the senate.  If it doesn't pass the senate, but gets stalled and amended there, then I think there are two options, one I've already suggested, and the other I read on Twitter.

1.  Flogging.  Flog any senator who agreed to be appointed based on their support for senate reform but is now balking.  Flog hard. Flog often.

2.  Reduce or eliminate their pay and benefits.

The NDP critic wants the government to hold a national referendum on the fate of the senate because the NDP believe Canadians will want to abolish it.  Well, he's wrong.  Poll after poll suggest a majority of Canadians want it reformed.  In fact, there's a Conservative majority in the House of Commons, who have continually campaigned on senate reform, and so that's the mandate given by the people.

So what will happen now?  Let's say this bill gets Royal Assent. 

Before the next federal election in 2015, we have a pile of (22) senators who have to retire (not including the 34 Conservatives appointed by Harper after October 2008). Broken down as follows:

10 Conservatives
11 Liberals
1 Progressive Conservative

Then by 2019, there will be another 20 (mostly Liberals).

So in the next 8 years, we will have the 34 appointed by Harper, the 22 who have to retire on or before 2015, plus the 20 who retire up to 2019, for a total of 76 out of 105 senators.  (There are about 8 who were appoint by Harper before October 2008, for a total of 84 of 105.)

That's a lot of vacancies.  What will the provinces do?  If I were Harper, I'd stand by his bill and not recommend to appoint anyone from a province unless a province does one of these things:

1a) hold a senatorial election covering the whole province
1b) hold a senatorial election for each region as determined by the province
2a) have the provincial legislature elect senators from a list of nominees to represent the whole province
2b) have the provincial legislature elect senators from a list of nominees to represent a provincial region

My preference is 1b).

And you know what else I'd do?  I'd appoint only a certain number from each province, instead of the full amount, drawing further attention to the blaring inequality of representation. 

In the next 8 years, there will be
3 senator vacancies in B.C., leaving 3. I'd appoint 3 based on if they're elected.3 senator vacancies in Alberta, leaving 3. I'd appoint 3 based on if they're elected.
4 senator vacancies in Sask., leaving 2. I'd appoint 2 based on if they're elected.
4 senator vacancies in Manitoba, leaving 2. I'd appoint 4 based on if they're elected.
18 senator vacancies in Ontario, leaving 6.  I'd leave it at 6.
12 senator vacancies in Quebec, leaving 12.  I'd wait until another 6 retire and leave it at 6.
 3 senator vacancies in N.B., leaving 7.  I'd leave it at 7 and wait for the next one to retire and leave it at 6.
5 senator vacancies in N.S., leaving 5. I'd appoint 1 based on if they're elected.
3 senator vacancies in N.L., leaving 2. I'd appoint 3 if elected, and see about adding another 1 to make it 6.
2 senator vacancies in P.E.I., leaving 2.  I'd appoint 2 if elected, and see about adding another 2 to make it 6.
1 senator vacancies in NWT, leaving 1. I'd appoint 1 if elected, maybe more. Same for Yukon and Nunavut.

You see where I'm going with this.  Each province gets 6 senators, each representing a provincial region (which regions are basically what we have in some provinces already).  After every 3 years, 2 of the 6 senators get elected and serve 9 year terms.

We must must must must remember that we ALREADY have representation by population in the lower house.  Even then, it's usually out of balance and needs correction.   What we don't have is each province having an EQUAL say in the federation.  Canadian provinces are unique and this should be celebrated and acknowledged.  Our current senatorial allocation is archaic, unfair, and not based on any logic.  Why should one province get even more say than another?   Why have provinces then?  Having an equal senate is the next step and having six senators per province appears to be the logical outcome over the next decade.

And for those who hold up stop signs in the senate and want proportional representation, an equal senate addresses this need by being a check against provincial domination in the house (Ontario and Quebec have a majority of seats in the house don't ya know).

So in a way, if provinces start to elect senators, based on the bill today, it is permissible that the prime minister can then only choose the right number to balance out the current provincial inequality.

All without opening the constitution.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sun News Network tour!

That's right!   Lately, I've been religiously watching Sun News Network in various hotels rooms and I've been enjoying it.

I've been working in Mississauga for the last three weeks and have made some trips into Toronto on a couple weekends.  This past weekend, I hooked up with a friend of mine (I won't say who to protect his privacy) who gave me a tour of the Sun News Network studios on King St. East.  We started off with a peek see into Ezra Levant's "The Source" studio which is actually across the street at the Toronto Sun.  An impressive room with robot cameras controlled by joystick across the hall, with lots of books and trinkets on the back wall, and two books which I happened to help myself to a couple copies of were Ezra's "Ethical Oil" and "Shakedown".

Having been only on air for two months, Sun News Network is attracting radio hosts, journalists, and political pundits.  It recently hit 70,000 viewers on Brian Lilley's show "Byline".  Not tied to any other network, it is very independent and entertaining to watch.  It's amazing to me how many lefties in this country wanted to prevent this little network from reaching the airwaves.  Free speech for them obviously only goes so far for them, I guess.  But it's one of many battles and wars that Canadian conservatives are winning.

I'm watching it right now, and it's great to see them giving our dedicated troops currently in Kandahar a way to say hello to their family and friends.  I haven't seen that on other networks much.  They're also going to pump up Red Fridays more to support our brave soldiers.

I mentioned to my friend that I remember years ago when former Reform Party leader Preston Manning (then retired) wrote a newspaper opinion piece that for the conservative movement to succeed in Canada, it needed not just a political party to get behind, but other important institutions such as think-tanks, political training organizations, and also having a media class.

Since he wrote that, we now have a unified Conservative party which has had a five year minority government, and now at least a four year majority.  Behind that, Mr. Manning created the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, there were more newspaper party endorsements, and a plurality of the electorate that has become comfortable with Canadian conservatism.

So now in Canada, we appear to have a polarized political environment with the New Democrats (new?) on the centre-left and Conservatives (newer) on the centre-right.  The debate about senate reform has already become heated and interesting, but I was surprised when the NDP voted with the gov't to extend our mission in Libya.

Speaking of the NDP, I learned today that at their convention in Vancouver, they tabled whether to remove the postfix "ist" from their constitution and call themselves "social democrats" not "socialist" and replace "wealth distribution" with "economic equality". 

This is all good news for the Marxist-Leninist and Communist parties.  They like their "ist".

Anyway, whether you like SunTV or not, adding more voices to the national debate is simply good for our democracy and to deny it, well, you're being a ninny and stubborn. Canada has been subjected to liberal-friendly TV news for many, many years.  It's refreshing to have a new TV news network that opens the debate even wider.  I wish everyone at Sun News Network all the success into the future.

And yes, I also made time to call my dad back home in Edmonton and wish him a happy Father's Day, talk about Rory McIlroy at the U.S. Open and them tell him I got a tour of the Sun News Network studios--a channel he's been watching since it went on air.  He thought that was pretty neat.  And so did I.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strikes, Riots, and the In Dig Nation

What a week in Canada!

Postal strike. Air Canada strike.  UFCW strike at National/Alamo/Enterprise at YYZ (at the same time I was renting).   Postal lockout.  Government back-to-work legislation on Air Canada.  Air Canada deal.  CAW union blowhard saying the government shouldn't be involved (wha?).  Government back-to-work for postal workers?  Conservative senators appointed by Prime Minister Harper balking at senate reform?  Then the CBC claims it actually makes a profit when it receives most of its revenue from uh... taxpayers.

Then Canucks lose the Stanley Cup.  Vancouver area hoodlums riot and trash downtown.  (See Rex Murphy's direct editorial on The National about it by the way.)

Such disobedience!  Such righteous rebelliousness!  Such in-dig-nation!

Is it all related somehow?

Probably not, but seriously, why?  Why are anarchists, socialists, and unions flexing their muscles now, now that it's a Conservative majority?  Are they afraid of their "entitlements" being taken away or something?  Maybe.  And maybe they want to blame and take it out on someone.

Me? I blame that senate page with the "Stop Harper" sign.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NDP MP wants to ban floor crossing

I'm now convinced that the NDP have no concept of how our parliamentary democracy actually works in Canada.

They want to abolish the senate.  But they also want proportional representation to reflect the actual percentage of the popular vote to match the number of seats per party in the lower house.  I've already explained their contradiction in this, but essentially, where are the members for these extra seats going to come from, since the public isn't voting for them specifically, so they only represent a party and not a district, and so how are they held accountable?  Their argument is that they want a check against our first-past-the-post system, but an equal and elected senate would actually cover that and balance it out. (I'll save my further arguments against proportional representation in another post.)

And now NDP MP Peter Stoffer wants to abolish floor crossing.  Seriously, what planet is this guy living on?   He wants to prevent an elected representative of the public from switching caucuses in the House of Commons.  During new MP orientation, don't they give them an idea how the Westminster Parliamentary System works?  I guess not.

If the NDP won't accept floorcrossers then they can have their own policy and not accept the member until they run in a by-election or general election.  But it's typical NDP socialist thinking that their will should be the will of everyone, even upon the public.

Why do I say "public"?  I've discussed this before, but in the House of Commons, parties do not actually exist, but caucuses do.  Despite what some think or how people base their vote on, we elect people, not parties.  It's a person's name on the ballot along with their "political affiliation".  Sure the "political affiliation" gives us an idea of their political views and what caucus they're likely to sit with in the Commons, but if we just elected a party, then they should only show the party name on the ballot. But they don't, so really their argument is moot.

Not only that, our parliamentary history books are filled with records showing MPs switching caucuses or forming coalitions.  Coalitions.  Hmmm, you'd think the NDP would support that.  Coalitions are perfectly legal, but if a coalition government formed out of the opposition parties to take over from a minority government without first going to the public, like we recently almost had, then I think those parties should make it known that that is always their intention. We only had ambiguity from the Liberals on that one and I think the voting public deserves to know what the intention is.

Anyway, having MPs switch caucuses is congruent to a typical voter switching who they support at any time.  That dynamic is extremely important to our democracy and its will is organic in real-time.  There are many examples of where the MP simply states that he or she can no longer support the caucus of the party he or she represents due to policy and then he or she will sit as an independent or ask to join another caucus.  But it is their fundamental right to sit and be accepted into any caucus in the Commons.  Preventing that from happening instantaneously completely undermines our representative democracy.

Then at the next election, if the voters don't like it, let the voters decide.  (By the way, I'm also against recalling an MP.)

I just hope that there are less than 13 Conservative MPs who support this crazy idea or none at all.  I'm also shocked that this notion isn't also completely out of order in even making it to the floor.

Monday, June 13, 2011

CPC Convention

Now that the CPC Convention in Ottawa is done, let's look at a few of the resolutions and their results and my comments. (You'll have to excuse me for not citing the exact wording.)

  • Kill a pregnant woman and the unborn child and get punished for both?  PASSED.  I read that one of the delegates who spoke said if passed, this is a slippery slope issue related to abortion and a woman's right to choose because now we're saying the fetus is a person.  It's really close isn't it.  I don't know about you, but yes, killing anyone is the worst thing. But killing a pregnant woman?  That's even worse.
  • Two strikes your out?  PASSED.  It just seems too obvious to me that if you commit a heinous crime twice, you're screwed even worse than before.  Where's the fine line?  Well, it was when the first crime was committed.
  • The Omar Khadr law--high treason if you're a Canadain and fight against Canadian or allied soldiers?  DEFEATED.  I preferred naming it the Louis Riel law.  It seems to make sense, but underlying this, to me, is a basic fundamental aspect of personal liberty.  I believe we should be allowed to defend ourselves if the government becomes oppressive.  Not saying that this would happen in Canada, but it certainly happens in many countries... like right now in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Tunisa, Bharain, Angola, ... etc.  Speaking of liberty...

  • Limiting powers of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and tribunals?  PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.   Excellent, but why not just scrap the whole thing?  Best argument from my MP, "Edmonton MP Laurie Hawn supported the motion, saying 'we already have hate laws" and the tribunals "punish individuals for expressing legitimate — even if they're controversial — views.'"
  • Youth wing?  DEFEATED.  I already talked about this one and glad about it.

  • Leadership vote riding weight (each riding gets 100 points and up to 400 for more members)?  DEFEATED.  Not a bad idea though.  In looking at the pluses and minuses from both sides (one member one vote vs. equal ridings) we have:
  • If the bulk of the membership are from a particular areas, then candidates would only need to campaign there and not in every region of the country.  I agree.  As well, in a general election, our party leader has to basically visit every region because every riding is equal, so why not in a leadership race?
  • That said, ridings with few members could be easily taken over by a campaign team or by stealth as Belinda Stronach tried to do.
  • However, having the rule that >=400 members = 400 points could give incentive for ridings to sign up more members.  However, we all know that it's the leadership campaigns themselves that sign up the bulk of the members.
Regardless, the system that was originally agreed upon as the last item to bring the Alliance the PCs together remains--with each riding maintaining its 100 points.

And hey, Stephen Harper still won.  Not that his job is in any jeopardy now whatsoever.

So all in all, a pretty harmless convention as far as policy.  I still wished they had a senatorial flogging policy for any of senator who shows signs of insenaty.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Insenity Within

I'm surprised that the media (I'm especially looking at you SunTV) haven't seriously latched onto the story that some Conservative senators, even those appointed by Harper in the last five years, are balking at Harper's plans for senate reform without constitutional amendments.

For this blogger, when I read about it, my first thought was, "Fire them."  But wait, can't be done, can it?  MPs can be easily whipped or pushed out as a candidate in the next election.

"There are a lot of unintended consequences from an elected Senate," Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald told Postmedia News. "(Not only) in terms of its relationship . . . with the House of Commons, its relationship with the government of the day and the relationship of the (senators) with their own provincial governments. These things have to be looked at because . . . the long-term implications are pretty significant."

People often complain the Senate is illegitimate and not democratic but, MacDonald said, "the Senate wasn't set up to be elected."

"It was set up to be a deliberative body and not an elected body and it's been that way for 147 years and for the most part, it seems it has worked pretty well," he said.
And there's the insenaty.  Actually, appointed senator, if you knew your Canadian constitutional history, the Senate was actually SUPPOSED to be elected at its formation, but from negotiations, one the main reasons why the founders signed the dotted line was that senators were to be appointed for the time being.  And even after that in the late 19th century, for a young Canada, there was a desire, but to amend the rigid constitution was difficult, and it still is.

"It seems it has worked pretty well."???? Excuse me?  Senator attendance sucks. Always has.  Criminals as sitting senators?  They've blocked what, how many bills from the House of Commons?  Not many.  And how many bills come out of the senate compared to the Commons?  Way fewer.

This senator needs to be flogged out in the back chamber.  What other punishment can he receive?  Flogging. That's about it, really.  Maybe the Conservatives at the convention should put in a policy for senator flogging. 

The NDP want to scrap the senate because they'll never form government and get to appoint any of them.  Which bloggles my mind that they at least wouldn't want to elect them, then at least they have a chance to have senators.  Then again, the NDP also favour proportional representation in the Commons.  And why's that?  To bump them up with more members in the Commons to ensure the percentage vote matches the seat count. But to make up the difference those specific members have to be chosen from somewhere.  Not directly by voters though, so by what method?  Appointment.  Ah.  And there's the contradiction. 

So back to the senate.  Now some of these rogue senators want to extend the term limit to 10-12 years to overlap governments.  I agree with the concept of overlap, but the best way to achieve this is to do what the US senate does and elect one of the two senators each election.  In Canada's situation, I've proposed that each province get 6 senators, each representing a general provincial region, with half of them elected every three years.  Now, I guess if the term limit was 8 years, we could do it every federal election.

Thing is, senatorial elections are run by provinces, and the candidate represents not a federal party, but a provincial one.  It's an odd situation, but it's the reality of our constitution.  Even then, when a newly appointed senator declares the caucus he sits with, it's with whatever party he or she declares (hence some senators are still Progressive Conservative).

Some provinces are open to having elections to then have the prime minister recommend to the governor general to appoint them to the senate.  But this depends on who's premier.  Ralph Klein had no problem with it.  Ed Stelmach does.  Brad Wall in Saskatchewan is open to it.  Dalton McGuinty is not.  Quebec?  I think they want the whole senate, let alone 25% of it.

My only hope in all of this to lead us toward some kind of senate reform is the resilience and political acumen of our Prime Minister.  By making the 30 appointments in the first place he did two things.  One, he gained seats in the senate to pass bills from the Commons.  Two, he drew a lot more attention to the need for senate reform.

And now there's a third.  With some of his own senators balking, it now proves that unelected senators are also accountable to no one.

And that, my loyal readers, is not a democracy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

CPC Convention - No to youth wing :)

Another issue that never seems to go away is the creation of a party youth wing.

Back in the Reform Party days, there were mumblings about creating one, as they had a national youth director, so why not an excecutive and organization?

The party being basically a grassroots organization, had a distaste for top-down style governance.  Those of us who were heavily involved in Reform campus clubs, especially out West, were vehemently against this concept.  Why?  Simply because we were already organized at various universities and colleges.  While we appreciated the support and advice of the national youth director (a.k.a. Kory Tenycke), we also got lots of support from the local constituency associations, especially in Edmonton-Strathcona.  And the MPs were very supportive, never turning us down to come and speak at our special events and meetings.

But another point against a youth wing, and this, to me, is the #1 reason.  Now, some may say, "Hey, it's good to have youth involved in politics."  Sure!  But consider, if you will, what is deemed as "youth" at the party level.  If you're 29, guess what, you're a youth!  Ah, don't you feel young again?

We always felt that having any wings merely subjecated those groups into their own little sandbox.  If you wanted to be heard and wanted to change policy, you simply got involved at the riding level, heck start a movement within the party, propose policy, go to convention and get it voted on and passed.  If you're under 30 and wanted to get involved in the party, well, get involved!  Run for a position, or heck, even MP.

I think these youth wings are a way for the main party to push aside the youth, not have them get more involved.  Not having a youth wing, a women's wing, a chicken wing, or what have you, actually is more equal, and what is the actual reality of our current democracy.

I remember at the 2002 Canadian Alliance convention in Edmonton, where my friend, Jamie Tronnes, who was president of the campus club, continued our legacy club's policy of "No Youth Wing" and campaigned hard against one, handing out flyers, speaking against it, and giving it her all.  In fact, 6 years before that, we elder statemen, enshrined into our Reform Club constitution that we were against a youth wing.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that same structure and core belief remains in the U of A Conservative Club constitution to this day.

And I'm very glad at this convention, to see that it got defeated once again.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Louis Riel proposal...

But check out this proposal...

Page 24 of Section B:

EDA – Calgary Southeast
Section M – Criminal Justice (NEW)

98. Canadian Citizenship and High Treason
The Conservative Party of Canada believes that any Canadian citizen, whether by birth or by naturalized grant of Canadian citizenship or by claim of landed immigrant or refugee status in Canada who commits treason by taking up arms against the Canadian Forces or the Forces of Canada’s Allies automatically invalidates his or her Canadian citizenship or claim to Canadian citizenship and, if and when returned to the jurisdiction of the Canadian Legal System, should be tried for high treason under the Canadian Criminal Code.

Take THAT Canadian Talibaners!

Oh, and you too Omar Khadr.

New tag:  treason

It's the CPC Convention!

I know it's going on because I read it on Twitter.  But I don't know where. I'd assume Ottawa. Ok, Ottawa it is.  And coming off a big win, it's probably going to be a big beer fest.  Fun stuff.

The only convention I ever went to was in Edmonton in 2002.  I was doing stage security while Mr. Harper spoke and I fended him off from photographers.  That was back in the Canadian Alliance days.  Back when he said (and I remember because I was the closest person to him), "The Canadian Alliance is strong and the Canadian Alliance is here to stay!"   I didn't believe a word of it.  I, like him, knew that unless the PCs and Reformers merge, this wouldn't work.  I knew right away when they named the party CRAP.  Who missed that?  Geezus!  So when the knives came out for Stockwell Day, I hoped Harper would step up.  And he kinda did, didn't he?  So I got involved on his leadership team, which morphed into Laurie Hawn's team.

Anyway, so now with the coveted majority, you'd think that some pretty smart people would propose some good policy that will easily become gov't policy, yes? So what policies are on the table for the Conservative Party of Canada this weekend?

Let's have a quick look shall we?

Leadership vote one-member-one-vote vs. equally weighted constituencies?   WHAT?  I thought they settled that?  So must be because there's a looming leadership race, right?   Oh, nope, Scott Reid, MP is proposing a more balanced approach formula than balanced ridings.

So with these pressing matters, there's some actual policy.  Here are the three policy streams for your perusal:

  1. Canada's Social Fabric
  2. Role of Gov't, Taxation, and Crime
  3. Economic Development
So now we're going to go through each policy item and discuss it.  Wait, let's not. What's the point?  Barely any of these are ever going to become gov't policy anyway.

I don't ever remember calling Quebec "a nation" ever brought up at a convention or heck, even discussed.  I don't ever remember this idea of the Tax Free Savings Account.  Maybe it was, but no one remembers.

So what's the point of these conventions?  Well, it's to keep the grassroots old Reform policy wonks happy, like they think they'll actually make a difference.  Maybe they will now with this majority--it was REALLY pointless back in the Reform days.

In the meantime, it seems like I'm missing a really good beer fest.

Friday, June 03, 2011

A long time comin'...

My loyal blog readers will know that I'm a former Reform Party member.  I joined back in 1991 after seeing a Reform Party Students' Society booth during my first month at the University of Alberta.  It was a small club back then but then after taking the helm of the club in 1996 we rapidly grew and became one of the largest student political party clubs in Canada (with thanks to Kory Tenycke and Rob Anders, MP who helped with recruitment).

I remember meeting Preston Manning many, many times and him thanking me for all the work we were doing at the U of A.  I remember loyal club member, Ezra Levant who was just as boistrous then as he is now.  And I remember in 1996 meeting Stephen Harper in the kitchen at a Boxing Day party event that Ezra and his family were hosting for Reform VIPs.  Mr. Harper was a mild, quiet man back then. 

But what I also remember is the 13 years from 1993 to 2006, when Liberal policy after Liberal policy got me very frustrated with the direction our country was headed.  Sure the books got balanced, but the taxes upon the middle class went up, the gun registry, our foreign relations, our dollar, and especially our lack of support to the military.  There's much more, but I was nearing the point of actually considering moving to the U.S. (I did end up working there for a wihle though on a visa).

Reform went from 1 seat in Deb Grey's byelection in 1989 to 54 in 1993, to 60 in 1997, to 66 in 2000 (Canadian Alliance).  Harper then won the Canadian Alliance leadership (a campaign I worked on in Edmonton) and as soon as PC leader Joe Clark stepped down, with Peter Mackay as the new leader, the parties merged.  And four elections later, we finally have ourselves a majority.

In that time with Harper at the wheel, a lot has happened on the policy front.  Two of my favourite policies being lowering the GST and the TSFA.

And the policies to be now on the table are (a lot of reversing what the Liberals brought in actually):
- Senate reform
- scrap the gun registry
- scrap the party per vote subsidy
- scrap the Canadian Wheat Board
- crime omnibus bill


It's been a long time comin'...

And I couldn't be prouder to be Canadian.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Liberals...kickin' themselves when they're down

Wikileaks cables have revealed the tension within the Liberal Party of Canada since Ignatieff was given the reigns to the leadership, particularly from new interim leader Bob Rae, and former insider Rocco Rossi.

Why is this surprising?

I think many of us in the Conservative blogosphere, knew Bob Rae and his minions were behind the scenes in somehow undermining or planning to undermine Michael Ignatieff's leadership, like Iggy did to Stephane Dion.

Bob Rae knew over two years ago that the Liberal Party wasn't going to grow.  Maybe that's why he let Ignatieff take the reigns unchallenged just after the initial coalition agreement and Dion's resulting departure.

It's also more apparent that Bob Rae, although interim leader, will eventually be crowned permanent leader?  Why?  Because it will be ensured no one will run.

I know I've said on my Twitter that we shouldn't be focusing on the Liberals rebuilding.  I'm not though.  I'm focusing on their demise.