Monday, December 31, 2007

Political Predictions: Looking Back on 2007

Back in January 2007, I made a series of political predictions with decidedly mixed results.

Many of the predictions did not come to fruition because of elections that did not take place(Federal election, Alberta election...). Others, I revised in advance (Nicholson prediction), while others are likely to come true sooner rather than later (Hampton's resignation).

On the positive side, I correctly predicted that the Ontario Liberals would be re-elected with a reduced majority and that John Tory would lose in his own riding.

On the negative side, I incorrectly predicted that the PQ would win a majority in the Quebec election and that the Bloc's anti-scab bill would become law (I was almost right on that last one...)

In the coming days, I'll make my predictions for 2008. Hopefully, I'll be a little closer to the mark.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Holiday Message From Santa Claus


"One day you will learn everything about Santa Claus. On that day remember everything the adults have told you about Jesus."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Memo to Sanctimonious Liberal Bloggers

To those Liberal Party bloggers who have complained that the PQ's Quebec citizenship bill is racist, divisive, and unconstitutional, please note the following story in today's Le Devoir which indicates that the Liberal Party was floating this idea before the PQ.

Un groupe du Parti libéral du Québec voulait proposer une «proclamation de la citoyenneté québécoise» au prochain congrès libéral mais a dû renoncer à ce vocable après le dépôt du projet de loi 195 du Parti québécois.


I'm willing to bet very few Liberal bloggers while criticize the members of the Liberal Party who came up with the idea in the first place... separatists are such easy targets for sanctimonious Liberals.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Blog




Uncorrected Proofs is one year old today. Check out my greatest hits collection to see what I've been thinking about...

My Greatest Hits Collection

I almost can't believe that I managed to blog consistently for a year. It's certainly been an interesting year. Thanks for reading. Check out a sample of my favourite posts over the course of the last year...

Cold War Unicorns... I actually received this for my real birthday.

25% Pay Hike... The public furor over pay raises at Queen's Park sure seemed to dissipate quickly....

Get Orange?... Wow, did I ever hit the nail on the head with this post.

Tunnel Vision... Ditto.

Why the Greens Should be Allowed in the Leaders Debate... Enough said.

A Short History of the Labour Movement in Canada and Quebec

A Unified Secular School System for Ontario... The issue that could have saved the Ontario NDP.

Crossing the Floor... Defections gone wrong.

The Future of Quebec Solidaire... Get your Quebec fix.

My meeting with Stephane Dion... Trust me, he's not a leader.

The Ides of March... Thankfully, I've moved away.

In Defence of Staff Unions... I normally agree with Plawiuk.

The Trials and Tribulations of a Liberal Blogger... He's off the hook, but as nutty as ever.

The NDP and MMP... Don't get me started.

Outremont By-Election... Check out the exclusive photos!

NDP Hit List in Quebec... So close yet so far away.

Confrontation, Struggle, and Transformation... Buy my book!

Danny Glover Stands up for Hotel Workers... My first YouTube appearance.

Top Ten NDP Races to Watch... I didn't do badly with my predictions.

On NDP-Conservative Cooperation... Gasp!

Ontario NDP Leadership Speculation... Long overdue.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peter Tabuns Leadership Campaign

Well, it's certainly not official, but all signs point to a Peter Tabuns NDP leadership campaign here in Ontario.

Although Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton recently announced that he was staying put, the general consensus is that he will retire after the next federal election in time for the 2009 Ontario NDP convention. I have blogged quite a bit about Tabuns and other would-be successors, but a Tabuns candidacy is almost a sure thing at this point.

Here's why:

1. Although the entire Ontario NDP caucus (minus Rosario Marchese) attended Hampton's speech to the Ontario Federation of Labour Convention in November, Tabuns was the only MPP to stick around for an extra day. This is significant because organized labour is an important stakeholder in the Ontario party and Tabuns has a few anti-union skeletons in his closet. He needs to work hard to mend fences with the labour movement.

2. Tabuns has embarked on a province-wide speaking tour called "Dialogue for a New Energy Economy" wherein he discusses an "exciting new plan to transform Ontario from a province dependent on diminishing reserves of imported non-renewable energy to a thriving economy with good jobs built on energy efficiency and renewable energy resources." Sounds like the theme to a leadership campaign to me....

3. As previously discussed, as a former Executive Director of Greenpeace and the NDP's current Environment critic, Tabuns' green credentials make him an attractive candidate in some circles. He's closer to Jack Layton than he is to Howard Hampton policy-wise and many of Layton's people will work for Tabuns.

4. Tabuns, elected in a 2006 by-election, is not tainted by the Rae years like Hampton was. As such, he can disavow the former NDP leader in a way that a former Rae cabinet minister could not. This plays into the theme of party renewal that the anti-Hampton crowd is trumpetting.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Perfected: The Ann Coulter Song

This singer/songwriter hits the nail on the head with this funny song about right-wing nut Ann Coulter.

Americans Launch Recycling Program for Canadians

What a good idea.

Managers of the Fashion Outlets mall in the Town of Niagara may have found a solution to the piles of old clothes that Canadian shoppers are tossing aside in their parking lots, dressing rooms and restrooms.

The mall has placed collection bins at each exit where shoppers can deposit “gently used” and unwanted items.

Whatever is collected is given to Community Missions of Niagara Frontier, said mall spokeswoman Julie Clark.

“It’s been a win-win situation for both organizations,” Clark said.

Thanks to the recent parity between the U.S. and Canadian dollars, there has been a surge of Canadians wielding their buying power on this side of the border.

Retailers have long seen the leftovers from shoppers who like to wear their new purchases home to avoid paying a duty when they cross the border.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Shuffling the Deck

Check out the new links in my "What Cool People Read" sidebar.

Accidental Deliberations (The winner of this year's 2007 unofficial Blogging Dipper award for best blog overall).

Politics'n'Poetry (The winner of this year's 2007 unofficial Blogging Dipper award for best feminist blog).

I also had to remove a link... you need to post if you want to stay on the list!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dump Howie Website in the Works

A disgruntled Ontario Conservative launched Draftaleader.com earlier this month in an effort to organize opposition to John Tory's campaign to retain the leadership of his party.

I'm told several Ontario New Democrats are poised to launch a similar website in the new year as part of a bid to convince Howard Hampton retire as leader of the NDP. The website will likely contain a message board for New Democrats to share their thoughts on Hampton's leadership.

Several names have been suggested as replacements: Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo, former Toronto-Danforth MPP Marilyn Churley, current Toronto Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns, Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath, Welland MPP Peter Kormos, Beaches-East York MPP Micheal Prue, Hamiltom Centre MP David Christopherson, Windsor Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin, and Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash.

In November, at the party's provincial council meeting, Hampton blamed everybody but himself for the party's dismal performance in the October 2007 election. Although he received a standing ovation after his speech to delegates, many party stalwarts and defeated candidates remained planted firmly in their seats, visibly unimpressed.

Hampton has said he will stay on as leader until at least after the next federal election and the next Nova Scotia election (New Democrats have a history of shipping campaign organizers across the country), at which point all options, including staying on as leader, are open. Such a timeline would not normally be objectionable, if Hampton were indeed planning to retire, but there is no strong indication that he will indeed retire. There is also concern that the Nova Scotia election may not occur until 2009 or even 2010. Therefore, grassroots NDP members are moving to convince Hampton to call it quits early, immediately after the federal election expected in the spring of 2008. From what I'm hearing on the ground, I suspect their efforts will pay off.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rick Mercer Meets Mike Huckabee

Could the next US President be as dim-witted as the current one? You decide. h/t to Rusty Idols

Winners Announced for 2007 Unofficial Blogging Dipper Awards

Best Overall Dipper Blog

Nominees:
Accidental Deliberations
Buckdog
La Revue Gauche

And the winner is: Accidental Deliberations, Best Overall Blog

Best Feminist Dipper Blog

Nominees:
Idealistic Pragmatist
F-email Fightback
Politics'n'Poetry

And the winner is: Politics'n'Poetry, Best Feminist Blog

Best Labour Dipper Blog

Nominees:
La Revue Gauche
Rusty Idols
The Daily Dissidence

And the winner is: La Revue Gauche, Best Labour Blog

Best Partisan Dipper Blog

Nominees:
Accidental Deliberations
Buckdog
Northern BC Dipper

And the winner is: Buckdog, Best Partisan Blog

Best Radical Dipper Blog

Nominees:
La Revue Gauche
Paulitics
Red Menace

And the winner is: Paulitics, Best Radical Blog


Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Nova Scotia NDP Widens its Lead Over Ruling Tories

The newest CRA poll is good news for Darrell Dexter's New Democrats.

Vote Intention

New Democrats 39%
Conservatives 32%
Liberals 25%

Best Premier

Dexter 32%
MacDonald 23%
McNeil 14%

Final Reminder - Vote in the 2007 Unofficial Blogging Dipper Awards

Unofficial 2007 Blogging Dipper Award Finalists

Best Overall Dipper Blog
Accidental Deliberations
Buckdog
La Revue Gauche

Best Feminist Dipper Blog
Idealistic Pragmatist
F-email Fightback
Politics'n'Poetry

Best Labour Dipper Blog
La Revue Gauche
Rusty Idols
The Daily Dissidence

Best Partisan Dipper Blog
Accidental Deliberations
Buckdog
Northern BC Dipper

Best Radical Dipper Blog
La Revue Gauche
Paulitics
Red Menace

Vote for your favourite in each category by sending an e-mail to politicaldiscord@hotmail.com before December 14, 2007. Thanks to everybody who participated in the nominations round and a special thanks for people who nominated this blog - which I have deliberately excluded from the competition.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Will Warren Kinsella and Robert McClelland Finally Agree on Something?

McClelland says that Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton has to go.

Kinsella thinks Hampton should stay (in an insulting patronizing way).

I find myself in the awkward position of agreeing with both of them. But, I do have to point out that I was calling on Howie to resign way back in 1999 with the unanimous support of the Ontario NDP Youth Executive. I suppose that makes me a visionary ;-)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Buzz Hargrove, Magna, and Movie Posters


Tomorrow, CAW members debate the Framework for Fairness agreement between the union and Magna. You can read about the controversial agreement, which would take away the right to strike, here, here and here.

Liberal Blogger Off the Hook on Fraud Charges

Liberal blogger, James Curran, who was charged in April 2007 with two counts of fraud on the day before he was to be nominated as the party's candidate for the next federal election, is off the hook. According to a Niagara Falls Review reporter who was in the courtroom today, the Crown withdrew the charges, thus bringing an end to Curran's current legal woes.

Political Graffiti





Courtesy of Dark Roasted Blend.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Liberal Blogger's Fraud Case Adjourned Until Thursday

Former Niagara Falls Federal Liberal Riding Association President, Jim Curran, also known as the "What Do I Know Grit," will finally have his day in court on Thursday December 6, 2007.

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Curran, a 42-year-old businessman was charged in April with two counts of fraud in what Niagara Regional Police described then as a "cheque-kiting scheme" against two financial institutions. The charges were laid the day before the longtime Liberal party activist was to be nominated as the party's candidate for the next federal election.

Read more about Curran here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Protect Our Troops - From the Womb to the War



Protect our troops - from the womb to the war. What if the fetus you were going to abort would grow up to be a soldier bringing democracy to a godless dictatorship?

Plastic replica of an 11-12 week old fetus, 3" long, holding a firearm in its precious little hand, with an assortment of other military paraphernalia, encased in a translucent plastic ornament, with a patriotic yellow ribbon on top. Includes a metal ornament hanger. If only a womb were this safe, attractive and reasonably priced!

Show that you support the "culture of life" by buying and proudly displaying one of these patriotic unborn Americans.

Robin Sears and Brian Mulroney

Former NDP National Director Robin Sears will act as former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's new spokesperson... Before Liberals start another round of Conservative-NDP conspiracy talks, they should read this blogger's humorous insider account of life with Robin Sears.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Unofficial 2007 Blogging Dipper Award Finalists

Two weeks back, I asked readers to submit their nominations... here are your finalists:

Best Overall Dipper Blog

Accidental Deliberations
Buckdog
La Revue Gauche

Best Feminist Dipper Blog

Idealistic Pragmatist
F-email Fightback
Politics'n'Poetry

Best Labour Dipper Blog

La Revue Gauche
Rusty Idols
The Daily Dissidence

Best Partisan Dipper

Accidental Deliberations
Buckdog
Northern BC Dipper

BlogBest Radical Dipper Blog

La Revue Gauche
Paulitics
Red Menace

Vote for your favourite in each category by sending an e-mail to politicaldiscord@hotmail.com before December 14, 2007. Thanks to everybody who participated in the nominations round and a special thanks for people who nominated this blog - which I have deliberately excluded from the competition.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

OFL Convention Update

For the past week I attended to Ontario Federation of Labour Convention in Toronto as the newly elected President of the St. Catharines & District Labour Council.

The convention highlighted speeches from Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Geogetti (who sidestepped the thorny issue of the CAW-Magna deal), Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton (who blamed the media for his third straight pummeling at the polls), and Federal NDP leader Jack Layton (who outlined his party's green jobs strategy).

In terms of convention content, it was pretty much a Buzz Hargrove bash-fest, with labour leaders criticizing Hargrove for giving up the right to strike in his pact with Magna. On the positive side, a campaign for card-based union certification emerged as the most important issue facing labour.

In terms of resolutions, the convention was decidedly post-materialist, with not a single resolution being submitted, let alone debated, on political action or economic policy.

I can now return to a more regular schedule of blogging.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Politics of Parsing: Clinton Flips and Flops

Watch Hillary Clinton flip and flop on Iraq, social security and immigration.

Hampton Says He's Not Going Anywhere-- But Don't Buy It

Don't be fooled by this story in the Toronto Star. Although Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton told the party faithful this weekend that he has no intention of stepping down as leader, campaigns to replace him are being organized as we speak. Ian Urquhart likely has it right when he he writes this:

Some New Democrats believe Hampton has already decided to step down from the leadership in mid-term, or in 2009. That would get the provincial party past the federal election (assuming it is in 2008, which is a big assumption). It would also mean the party could turn its biennial meeting, planned for 2009, into a leadership convention, thereby avoiding the cost of two big gatherings.

If Hampton has, indeed, decided to go in two years, why wouldn't he just announce that now? Because it would make him a lame-duck leader.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Picketing With the Stars

Hollywoods' who's who shows up to support the striking members of the WGA.

Monday, November 19, 2007

WSIB Safety Ads Cause Controversy

Some folks are complaining that the Ontario Government's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board TV spots are a little too graphic for young children. I happen to like the entire series of ads which you can preview at:

http://www.prevent-it.ca/flash/

Quebec Solidaire: Not Dead Yet

The upstart left-wing sovereignist party that contested its first election in 2007 will be back if an election is called in 2008. The party's co-leaders, Francoise David and Amir Khadir will run again in Gouin and Mercier respectively. The party has set some modest goals for itself: Increase its vote total from 3.7% to 5% and elect both David and Khadir. (Khadir was just 4%short of winning in Mercier in 2007).

Unofficial 2007 Blogging Dipper Awards

WHAT?

The 2007 Unofficial Blogging Dipper Awards is an opportunity to nominate and to recognize our favourite NDP blogs. There are no fancy buttons or badges, but I would encourage members of the Blogging Dipper community to link to this post in an effort to generate interest. We are looking for the best Dipper blogs in the following categories:


Best Overall Dipper Blog
Best Feminist Dipper Blog
Best Labour Dipper Blog
Best Partisan Dipper Blog
Best Radical Dipper Blog


WHY?

I have been a member of the Blogging Dipper community for about a year now. Although the community is full of interesting blogs, it continues to operate at the margins in the Canadian political blogosphere. In an effort to bring greater attention to the Blogging Dipper community, I thought it would be interesting to launch an unofficial contest to recognize some of the best and brightest bloggers on the left.


WHO?

Only bloggers who are members of the Blogging Dippers community are eligible for nomination, but all bloggers are free to vote. You can see the full list of potential nominees by scrolling down on the right-side of this page.



WHEN?

Nominations will close on Friday November 30 at noon. Winners will be announced in December 2007.


HOW?

To nominate a blog in any or all of the categories listed above send an e-mail to politicaldiscord@hotmail.com or simply leave a comment in response to this post. The three blogs that receive the greatest number of nominations by November 30 will become the three finalists for each category and a new round of voting will begin in December. I will constantly update the community on the status of the awards.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Green Party Lead Over NDP Melts Away

Just a few short days ago, the Greens had surpassed the NDP in terms of popular support in a national Strategic Council poll. That lead has melted away. In a new poll released today by the Strategic Council, support for the NDP is pegged at 16%, while support for the Greens has dropped to 8%.

However, the fact that the Greens have maintained support levels between 8 and 13% since January 2007 should be enough to prove to the Canadian Broadcasting consortium that Elizabeth May belongs in the national leaders debate. After all, the NDP won less than 7% of the vote in the 1993 election... You can see all the details of the latest poll for yourself here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Hey hey, pencils down. Hollywood is a Union Town!"

Many Hollywood stars are honouring Writers Guild of America picket lines in Hollywood. Among them, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Tina Fey, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Sarah Silverman and T.R. Knight. After honouring the picket line for a single day, popular daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has decided to go back to work and it is creating a stir within the union movement.

The New York wing of the Writers Guild of America, actually a separate union called the WGA East, issued a statement saying DeGeneres was "not welcome" in New York and threatening to picket her show if she went ahead with plans to tape there on November 19 and 20.But DeGeneres, a member of both the Writers Guild and its sister union for TV performers, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, drew immediate support from AFTRA and producers of her show. Both denied WGA East claims the popular TV star was breaking strike rules.

The flap came weeks after DeGeneres sparked a national uproar with a tearful on-air account of how an animal rescue group had taken back a puppy she had adopted but then given to a friend's family without the animal agency's permission.

"We find it sad that Ellen spent an entire week crying and fighting for a dog that she gave away, yet she couldn't even stand by writers for more than one day," the WGA East said.


Ouch! Maybe this strike will convince writers to produce more union-friendly content once the dispute is resolved.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Greens Surpass NDP in National Poll

New Democrats have been dreading this day for a long time. A Strategic Council poll pegs Green Party support at 13 nationally, one point ahead of the NDP at 12%. Is it within the margin of error? yes. Is it one poll out of many released this month? yes. However, one cannot deny the psychological effect this will have on New Democrats who have long wished for the Green Party to just fade away.

This poll is one of many reasons why the Greens should be invited to participate in the national leaders debate. When the Green Party is outperforming the third and fourth place parties in the House, we can't reasonably argue that the Greens have no place in the national debates.

Read more about the Greens and the NDP here, here, and here.

Conservatives Settle Libel Suit

With former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney up to his eyeballs in legal trouble, this story risks flying under the radar.

The federal Conservative party has quietly settled a lawsuit with a former candidate who had accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of libel...Mr. Riddell claimed he was promised $50,000 by the party to cover his expenses if he stepped aside to make room for a new, high-profile Tory candidate in his Ottawa riding; the party claimed Mr. Riddell was disqualified.

Mr. Harper, prior to becoming prime minister, flatly declared there was no deal between the Conservatives and Mr. Riddell — but courts subsequently ruled there was indeed an agreement.



Doesn't sound too Prime Ministerial, does it?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mulroney Fights Back With Call for a Public Inquiry

Gutsy move... Then again, Harper's independent review would have just dragged the affair out longer. By joining the Liberals and the NDP in calling for a public inquiry, Mulroney has clearly indicated that he wants this thing over and done with. I suppose Mulroney was forced to pick his poison. Too bad he published his memoirs before this interesting chapter came to a close.

"I have come to the conclusion that in order to finally put this matter to rest and expose all the facts and the role played by all the people involved, from public servants to elected officials, from lobbyists to police authorities, as well as journalists, the only solution is for the government to launch a full-fledged public commission of inquiry,"

Liberal Membership Numbers Continue to Plummet in Quebec

Click here to read an interesting article on Liberal Party of Canada membership numbers in Quebec and English Canada.

Here's a rough summary for those who do not read French.

Liberal Party of Canada- Quebec section
2004 : 100,000 members
2006: 37,570 members
2007: 15,000 members

Even worse for the Liberals, of those 15,000 members, roughly 5,000 of them live in three Montreal ridings (NDG-Lachine, Westmount Ville-Marie and Bourassa).

Liberal spin:

«C'est un peu normal», explique Robert Fragasso, le président de l'aile québécoise du PLC. Tous les candidats [à la direction], et ils étaient nombreux, tentaient de gagner la bataille du super week-end pour l'élection des délégués. Le nerf de la guerre à l'époque était de recruter le plus grand nombre de membres et de faire élire des délégués favorables aux candidats respectifs.» M. Fragasso explique que ces membres «ont adhéré pour un an et, suite au leadership, n'ont pas renouvelé [leur adhésion]». «Le défi, évidemment, c'est de les conserver, mais ce n'est pas toujours facile», continue-t-il. Le président du PLC-Q insiste pour dire que cette situation se vit «dans tous les partis politiques» et pas seulement au Parti libéral.

Malgré tout, il s'agit d'un creux historique. M. Fragasso reconnaissait lui-même l'année dernière que le nombre traditionnel de membres du PLC-Q oscillait entre 30 000 et 35 000. Il avait même atteint le vertigineux sommet de 100 000 en 2004, à la suite de l'arrivée de Paul Martin.

Poll Confirms: Stephane Dion is Not a Leader

I suppose if you keep repeating the same thing over and over again it eventually becomes true.

Read about the SES leadership poll here.

The startling SES-Sun Media survey shows Harper has steamrolled ahead as the choice for “best PM” of 37% of Canadians, while Dion plunged to third place as the pick of just 13% of Canadians. Layton garnered 17% support across the country.

SES pollster Nik Nanos said the results are big news for Harper, who has cracked opened a 20-point lead from his nearest rival in the leadership popularity contest. The results deliver the worst news for Dion, who has fallen 10 points in the last 90 days.

Nanos said a number of factors are at play, including a recent spate of Tory attack ads and decision to abstain from key votes by Liberals in the House of Commons.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Are the Greens Still a Fringe Party?

The Ontario Greens claim they have gone from fringe party status to serious contender...

We won 350,000 votes or 8% of the popular vote in Ontario, nearly tripling our support from 2003. We also increased our membership threefold. We finished third or better in 18 ridings, ahead of NDP and PC candidates. Twenty-one of our candidates garnered more than 10% of the vote, while our top three earned more than 15%. Our best showing was in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, where Shane Jolley captured 33% for a very strong second-place finish — the best result ever for any provincial or federal Green candidate in Canada. We have raised our status from fringe party to serious contender.


Although the Greens are far from being a "serious contender", i'm wondering if it's time to remove the fringe party label. Although it's true that their leader has little name recognition, the party won no seats, and the Greens are still very much a paper organization in many corners of the province, there is clearly a distinction between this minor party and the other fringe parties in Ontario.

What do you think? Are the Greens still fringe?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Weirdest NDP Press Release Ever

I'm guessing this is supposed to be funny... This from a party who appointed a non-lawyer as Solicitor General during the Rae years and appointed a Tourism Minister who was excited to see Niagara Falls for the first time... sigh.

Toronto MPP Prue lobbies to be NDP Natural Resources Critic

November 6, 2007
Beaches-East York NDP MPP Michael Prue today announced that he is lobbying NDP Leader Howard Hampton and his colleagues in the NDP caucus to be named the NDP’s new natural resources critic.

“Unlike the new minister of natural resources, I actually have some experience with the North. I mean, I go fishing with Gilles Bisson every year in Northern Ontario. I even put my own worm on the hook. I wouldn’t even need to hire a high-priced handler to do that,” Prue said.

Last week, Premier McGuinty appointed Donna Cansfield Minister of Natural Resources. That’s despite a long-standing tradition of naming a minister from Northern Ontario to that portfolio.

“I’m taking my lead from Dalton McGuinty,” said Prue. “In naming Toronto MPP Donna Cansfield the new Minister of Natural Resources, he signalled that there will be a new downtown Toronto focus to the major ministry that deals with issues that are most important to Northern Ontario’s working families. Given McGuinty’s standards, I should be the critic!”

When asked for comment, Hampton said that the only chance that Prue’s wish would be granted would be if “I wake up tomorrow morning and find that, somehow, Beaches-East York has been moved way North.”

Harper On Mulroney

Love him or hate him, Stephen Harper is a pretty smart guy. Initiating an investigation into the allegations against Mulroney may result in a few disgruntled party members, but if this poll is any indication, the public is solidly behind the Prime Minister.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Vision of Students Today

Interesting Kansas State University Project about students, their lives, and their education.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Peter Tabuns to Run for Ontario NDP Leadership?

Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns is rumoured to be building support for a leadership bid to replace Howard Hampton. Tabuns, voted best MPP by readers of NOW Magazine, is a former Toronto City Councillor and Executive Director of Greenpeace. It's Tabuns' environmental credentials that make him an attractive candidate in some circles. A Tabuns-led NDP could help fend off the upstart Ontario Greens and the fact that he is from Toronto would be a refreshing change for the caucus. However, Tabuns represents the same riding that federal NDP leader Jack Layton represents federally, which likely works against him. Tabuns is also considered to be charismatically-challenged, much like Hampton. In the end, he may run to be king-maker and give the party a green boost as part of a leadership campaign.

More Ontario NDP leadership news here, here, and here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

SaskHATchewan Election Candidate Makes Voters Groan

Corny? Yes. Effective? No.

Senate Abolition Referendum Proposal Gains Steam

Jack Layton's proposal to hold a referendum on abolishing the Senate is gaining steam with quasi-support from Stephen Harper. This is hardly surprising given Hugh Segal's recent ruminations about a Senate abolition referendum which I discussed here.

Like I said before:

Looks like Harper and Segal are really only trying to scare the Liberal majority in the Senate into towing the line or risk losing their jobs... smart power play, it will be interesting to see who blinks first.

One more thing: Before New Democrats get all self-congratulatory about having a principled and longstanding position is support of abolishing the Senate, they should remember that the NDP jettisoned its support for abolition the Senate during the Charlottetown Accord talks, when it settled for an elected Senate.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live

The Clintons host a Halloweeen party and Obama arrives dressed as himself.

Friday, November 2, 2007

What Would René Lévesque Say About Reasonable Accommodation?

Former Quebec PQ Premier René Lévesque passed away 20 years ago yesterday. His name has been invoked many times in the reasonable accommodation hearings that are currently taking place in Quebec. Le Devoir ponders what view Lévesque would take on the current debate.

Mais sait-on vraiment ce que René Lévesque penserait des débats actuels? Martine Tremblay, qui a été sa collaboratrice dès les années 70 et qui a occupé le poste névralgique de chef de cabinet, souligne d'abord que plusieurs lui posent cette question sur de nombreux sujets. «C'est un signe que, vingt ans après sa mort, il nous manque toujours», note-t-elle. Le personnage est devenu «un étalon» (au sens d'«étalon de mesure»). «Non, enfin», se reprend-elle, un sourire dans la voix, «pas "étalon", je veux dire une borne, une référence.» Mais selon Mme Tremblay, il est difficile de dire dans quel sens René Lévesque aurait tranché.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Different Kind of Communist Party

It's not quite the Communist Party of Canada or even the Communist Party Marxist-Leninist, but it's a party nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sask Party Poised to Win Majority

The first, and as far as I can tell only, poll of the Saskatchewan election campaign suggests Brad Wall's Saskatchewan Party will win a majority government on November 7. This is hardly surprising given the NDP's unpopularity in recent years.

Sask Party 50%
NDP 35%
Liberal 10%

With numbers like these the NDP will be lucky to hold onto 20 seats and the Sask Party will likely pick up an additional ten seats, thus securing a strong majority for Brad Wall. The silver lining for the NDP is that a greater proportion of Liberals than New Democrats are moving to the Sask Party, therefore increasing the likelihood that Liberal leader David Karwacki will go down to defeat.

For more election info click here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Danny Glover and Niagara Hotel Workers Headed to Court

Danny Glover, international film star and union supporter, Wayne Samuelson, President of the Ontario Federation of Labour, and
Alex Dagg, Canadian Co-Director of UNITE HERE, the hotel workers union are headed to court on October 30th in St. Catharines.

In September 2006, during a rally, Glover, Samuelson, and Dagg entered the Sheraton on the Falls and asked for a meeting with the owner. They were met with calls to police. Police refused to arrest the three and they left peacefully. Despite this, CNH decided to pursue a private prosecution of the three.

This YouTube video features Glover's speech to union members and supporters before the delegation entered the hotel. If you watch closely, you can see yours truly in the background.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Socialist Realist Paradise




Click here to be shocked, inspired, dismayed, and humoured all at the same time.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sask Liberals Say Yes to Decriminalizing Pot

Saskatchewan NDP Premier Lorne Calvert and Saskatchewan Liberal leader David Karwacki both claim to have never smoked pot. However, the NDP is opposed to decriminalizing the drug, while the Liberals support decriminalization.

On the other hand Sask Party leader Brad Wall has admitted to smoking pot, but remains firmly against decriminalization.

Some bloggers are annoyed that the Liberals are portraying themselves as the true progressive alternative to an inevitable Sask Party government. However, this is a pretty good example of how the Saskatchewan NDP is being outflanked by the Liberals on a progressive issue. To be sure, the Liberals are not a left-wing party, but they are an attractive protest vote for traditional NDP supporters who see their party as having abandoned its core social democratic philosophy over the course of the last fifteen years.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why Kormos is Unlikely to Run for Ontario NDP Leader

I’ve previously blogged about the Ontario NDP leadership here and here. You’ll notice I haven’t mused about a Peter Kormos candidacy. The reason is that I think there is little chance he will run.

Why?

He doesn’t seem to want the job. If Kormos really wanted the job, he would have taken it after Hampton lost official party status for the party for the second election in a row in 2003. The fact is that Hampton was willing to step aside, but no one, including Kormos, wanted the job. Why would he want it now?

Kormos would only differ significantly from Hampton in terms of style. Kormos knows how to rally the troops and energize a crowd. He is, by far, a better public speaker than Hampton and would make a much more effective opposition leader as a result. However, in terms of policy, Kormos and Hampton are not that far apart. Sure, Kormos is more left-wing than Hampton, but over the course of the last three election campaigns Kormos has effectively pushed his party to the left. In fact, the last two NDP platforms could have been written by Kormos. The party’s decision to re-commit itself to public auto insurance in 2003, its recent emphasis on anti-scab laws, and its disavowal of the Rae government’s Social Contract Act are all evidence of Kormos’ growing influence within the caucus and the party. That influence grew tremendously after the departure of Frances Lankin and David Christopherson. As House leader, Kormos was able to put his stamp on the party like never before. However, there is a sense that Hampton’s politics are as stale as his leadership capabilities. As such, Kormos may not have that much to offer policy-wise. For example, he is opposed to a single, secular public school system in Ontario – a policy currently embraced by the party’s left wing.

His time has passed. Although he was an MPP during the Rae government’s reign of error, Kormos doesn’t carry the baggage of the Rae government like some potential candidates. That’s because he was a thorn in the side of the government and criticized it for abandoning its core social democratic philosophy. That said, Kormos has been around Queen’s Park since 1988. He is as dynamic as ever, but there is a sense that the party needs to renew itself with a newcomer at the helm.

Kormos has done a lot for the party, especially since Rae’s departure. Rae’s conversion to the Liberals has only vindicated Kormos. Expect his caucus colleagues to appoint him as interim leader while others battle it out for the leadership, but don’t expect Kormos to seek the prize himself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Federal NDP MPs Eye Ontario NDP Leadership

Rumours are swirling that Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson and Windsor Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin are testing the waters for a possible run at the Ontario NDP leadership.

Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton is widely rumoured to be leaving the post before the next NDP convention which is scheduled for 2009.

Christopherson, a former cabinet minister in the Rae government, left Queen's Park for a failed mayoral bid in Hamilton after a falling out with Hampton. He was subsequently elected as the MP for Hamilton Centre in the 2004 federal election and was re-elected with an impressive majority in 2006. Christopherson had explored the possibility of running for the Ontario NDP leadership back in 1996, but most of his potential support base had already committed to supporting Hampton or Frances Lankin. Christopherson is a dynamic speaker, but carries the baggage of the Rae government.

Comartin, who was the only NDP elected from Ontario in the 2000 federal election, finished 4th in his bid for the Federal NDP leadership in 2002. His riding is currently held provincially by Liberal cabinet minister Dwight Duncan. Comartin does not carry the baggage of the Rae government, but he had difficulty attracting support for his federal bid in 2002 and is not nearly as charismatic as Christopherson or other rumoured leadership contender Cheri DiNovo.

Hugh Segal Puts the 'Red' Back Into Red Tory with Senate Proposal

A certain Tory senator sounds an awful lot like a New Democrat these days...

After emerging as one of the only conservative voices in favour of MMP in this month's referendum on electoral reform in Ontario, Tory Senator Hugh Segal has outdone himself with a proposal to hold a national referendum on abolishing the Senate. Abolition of the second chamber has been NDP party policy for some time... Segal himself thinks the senate should be reformed rather than abolished.

But, Mr. Segal said, if the pro-Senate side campaigned on a pledge of reform, “that would constitute a basis to go forward.”


Looks like Harper and Segal are really only trying to scare the Liberal majority in the Senate into towing the line or risk losing their jobs... smart power play, it will be interesting to see who blinks first.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why New Democrats are DiNutso over DiNovo

One week after the October 10, 2007 provincial election and leadership speculation in the NDP revolves almost entirely around Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo.

Why does DiNovo appeal to so many New Democrats? After failing to increase the NDP's seat total for three elections in a row, New Democrats are tired of Howard Hampton and looking for someone to revitalize their party. Cheri DiNovo is everything that Howard Hampton isn't:

1. She's a woman
2. She represents an urban Toronto riding
3. She's articulate and charismatic.
3. She has no relationship to the Rae years.
4. She has support from both the party establishment and party reformers.
5. She knows how to get the media to pay attention to her.

Although there are certainly others who may be interested in the NDP leadership, DiNovo is clearly the front runner regardless of whether or not she is interested in the job.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Proportional Representation Debate Relaunched in Quebec

Despite the massive defeat of MMP in the October 10, Ontario election, Quebec Solidaire is proposing that a similar system be adopted in Quebec. However, with each of the three main parties vying for a majority government in the next election, don't expect to find any strong support for electoral reform. Everybody who thinks electoral reform is a debate about values should buy this book. It's about political self-interest, pure and simple. That's why the NDP in Saskatchewan and Manitoba oppose it, but why the NDP in Ontario supports it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Leave Stephane Dion Alone!

He's the only Quebec-based federal party leader, but he's also the most unpopular federal leader in Quebec. This YouTuber encourages us to just leave poor Stephane Dion alone.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The NDP and the MMP Referendum

Some interesting number crunching reveals the following:

In the ten ridings where the NDP won on October 10, a majority of voters rejected MMP.

Provincial average-- FPTP: 63.2% MMP: 36.8%
NDP ridings-- FPTP: 55.9% MMP: 44.1%

In the NDP ridings where the NDP candidate took more than 50% of the votes cast, support for MMP was even more unpopular. In Welland, MMP won the support of only 39.9% of voters. In Kenora-Rainy River, MMP won the support of just 30.1% of voters, and in Timmins-James Bay, support for MMP was a dismal 22%.

In four of ten NDP ridings (all of the Toronto NDP ridings) MMP won majority support. Support for MMP was highest in Trinity-Spadina (59%) - still under the 60% super majority. In the other six NDP ridings (all of the NDP ridings outside of Toronto) support for MMP was actually below the provinical average, largely due to the intense opposition to MMP in Northern Ontario.

A few weeks back I complained about the party's reluctance to campaign on MMP here and here. I think these results demonstrate how the party dropped the ball on MMP. Communicating with the base would not have changed to outcome of the referedum, but it could have certainly firmed up support for MMP.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Top 10 NDP Races to Watch

Top Ten NDP Races to Watch

Algoma-Manitoulin: Former NDP MPP House leader Bud Wildman held a large portion of this seat up until 1999 and the Federal NDP has been relatively competitive here in recent years. With NDP fortunes on the rise in Northern Ontario, this riding, held by Speaker of the House Mike Brown, could be in play. ADVANTAGE: Liberal

Davenport: This riding is by far the best chance for a new NDP seat in Toronto. However, Liberal MPP Tony Ruprecht has had a solid grip on Davenport for decades. The NDP has an outside shot with Portuguese candidate Peter Ferreira. ADVANTAGE: Liberal

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek: Liberal Nerene Virgin takes on the NDP's Paul Miller in this newly redistributed riding which went NDP in the 2006 federal election. McGuinty's decision to hand-pick the Liberal candidate has rubbed some Hamiltonians the wrong way. ADVANTAGE: NDP

Hamilton Mountain: This riding went NDP in 2006, but the provincial NDP has not been competitive here since the party was dumped from office in 1995. Although the Liberal incumbent has decided not to run for re-election, it's still an uphill climb for NDP candidate Brian Adamanczyk. ADVANTAGE: Liberal

London-Fanshawe: NDP MP Irene Mathyssen took this riding for the Federal NDP in 2006 and her constituency assistant,Stephen Maynard, is hoping to do the same for the provincial NDP in 2007. This riding is one of the very few three-way races in the province. Although the NDP had an advantage going into the campaign given the lacklustre performance of the Liberal incumbent, recent polling suggests that the Liberal could hold on, but just barely. ADVANTAGE: Liberal

Nickel Belt: An NDP stronghold for decades, the departure of longtime NDP MPP Shelley Martel has put this riding into play for the Liberals. NDP candidate France Gelinas is likely to hold on, thanks to the relative strength of the NDP in Northern Ontario, but don't expect her to post better numbers than her predecessor. ADVANTAGE: NDP

Oshawa: The NDP's Sid Ryan is hoping that the fourth time is a charm in Oshawa. He may finally get his wish due to sinking Tory fortunes. This riding is the only competitive NDP-Conservative race in the province. ADVANTAGE: NDP

Ottawa Centre: This riding that went NDP in both the 2004 and 2006 federal elections has no incumbent, but it's far from a slam dunk for the provincial New Democrats who are in a tight race with the Liberals. Sagging NDP numbers in Eastern Ontario may keep this riding in the Grit column. ADVANTAGE: Liberal

Thunder Bay-Atikokan: NDP candidate John Rafferty nearly took this riding for the federal NDP in 2006. He's back at it provincially, but with a much tougher hill to climb. Provinicially, this riding has been a Liberal stronghold over the course of the last few elections. Rafferty is popular and NDP numbers are up in Northern Ontario. This is the party's best chance for a new seat in Northern Ontario. ADVANTAGE: NDP

York South-Weston: The Ontario NDP's newest caucus member, Paul Ferreira, is in for the fight of his life after narrowly winning this riding from the Liberals in a 2007 by-election. It will be much more difficult for him to hold on in a general election. ADVANTAGE: Liberal

Friday, October 5, 2007

St. Catharines & District Labour Council Celebrates 50th Anniversary

St. Catharines and District Labour Council's 50th Anniversary

Come and Celebrate this Milestone with us on Saturday, October 13 CAW Hall , 124 Bunting RD. St. Catharines

Dinner and Dance Tickets $ 45.00 for dinner and dance $ 5.00 for dance Cocktails @ 6:30 pm, Dinner @ 7:30 pm Dance 9:00 pm

Guest Speaker: Hassan Yussuff

For tickets and more information please contact Mariea McNelis 905-688-5050 ext 105

You can order Confrontation, Struggle and Transformation: Organized Labour in the St. Catharines Area, the book the commemorates the anniversary here.

On Conservative-NDP Co-operation

Earlier today, Cherniak wrote:


The federal NDP would be hilarious if they weren't so destructive. You'll have to get to the end of the article, but just as they are starting to gain traction attacking the Tories they are back to attacking the Liberals. I think they just don't get it - people don't trust them to form a government. The federal NDP will never be more than a third party that makes it possible for Conservatives to win elections. Even the Conservatives admit it!


It may come as a surprise to some Liberals, but some New Democrats will admit it too.

Let me give you a good example of how Tory-NDP co-operation helped sink the Liberals in Niagara Falls.

In the 2003 provincial election, when it looked like the local Conservative campaign was going down with the ship, Bart Maves’ people sent the NDP campaign a list of voters who were identified as not supporting the Conservatives. The idea was that the NDP, with very few resources or volunteers, could more easily identify their supporters that way and hopefully, swing a few Liberal votes away from Kim Craitor’s campaign. The last minute Tory strategy failed and the Liberals won the riding.

I wasn’t involved in the 2003 campaign. However, less than a year later, while co-managing the Federal NDP’s campaign in Niagara Falls, we were able to rely on those 2003 Tory lists to build and, more importantly, broaden our base of support. In fact, we relied exclusively on those lists in that campaign and the NDP vote shot up to over 20% on election day and we quadrupled our vote total from the previous election. The Liberals lost a seat they had held since 1993 by fewer than 2000 votes to the Tories.

In 2006, I once again managed the NDP campaign in Niagara Falls. This time we had our own lists left over from 2004 and had more resources than ever before. Our advertising focused almost exclusively on attacking the Liberals despite the fact that it was now a Tory riding. We took this approach because we understood that the Liberals were in decline and our best opportunity for building our vote total came from disgruntled Liberals, not committed Conservatives. We attacked the Tories when it was convenient, but the Liberal record was our major focus.

Our efforts paid off. In fact, on election day we took over 12,000 votes, a record for the federal NDP in Niagara Falls. In debates, in the newspaper coverage, and in our election ads, we took direct aim at the Liberals, sometimes with the help of Rob Nicholson’s campaign. When Paul Martin was visiting the riding towards the end of the campaign to make an announcement about the development of a “heroes fund”, Tory MP Rob Nicholson personally contacted our campaign reminding us that this was originally an NDP proposal turned down by the Liberals. He left his personal cell phone number, said he was happy to help and encouraged us to contact him in case we couldn’t get research help from our own central campaign. Let's just say the Tory war room is faster. With Nicholson’s assistance, we were able to develop a targeted leaflet which exposed the Liberal flip flop and embarrassed the Liberal campaign. Nicholson also personally visited the NDP office and we were in contact with his office over advertising issues, successfully lobbying the Tories to pull a newspaper ad which the NDP candidate thought might hurt our campaign.

To call this collusion would be silly, since our campaigns were very much independent. We did, however, have a common enemy in the Liberals. We both understood, correctly in my view, that our campaigns both benefited from a collapse in the Liberal vote. In cooperating or accepting assistance from the Tories, we never sacrificed our beliefs or principles. Instead, we managed to run a great campaign, which promoted the NDP’s message and exposed the Liberals as a carbon copy of the Tories. This, more than anything, is why New Democrats attack Liberals in my view. The NDP was created because the two old parties were not addressing the needs of the working class. While Liberals like to portray themselves as centrists, they campaign on the left and govern on the right. As such, they can’t expect to be given a free ride by the NDP, even if it means electing a Tory.





Hampton Trashed by Hargrove

Read the story here.

Buzz Hargrove, leader of Ontario's biggest union, yesterday slammed Howard Hampton and the NDP, arguing the party has "lost complete touch" with the people of the province.

"They are worse than they've ever been. I see absolutely no reason to vote NDP," said Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers. His union has 185,000 members in Ontario and 265,000 nationally, mainly in the auto industry but also in other important manufacturing sectors...

Countered Ryan: "Buzz has no idea what he's talking about... It shows how out of touch he is with politics in the Durham Region and with the feelings of the CAW membership in Oshawa."

Pointing out he has the support of CAW Local 222 in Oshawa, Ryan added: "Buzz rarely ever sets foot in Oshawa. ... Buzz is in a bubble."

Hargrove also warned Hampton's election promise to roll back recent pay raises for MPPs is a precursor to cutting the wages of public sector workers in Ontario.

"You can kid some of the people who weren't around, but you can't kid me. I was there," said Hargrove of the NDP record in government from 1990-1995.

"If you look at the NDP when they were in power for five years – and Hampton was one of the key cabinet ministers – boy, they were on the extreme right, including cutting the wages of Sid Ryan's members by 5 per cent for three
years."

How does that union song go again? Solidarity Forever?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New NDP Ad "Speaking Up"

The Ontario NDP's new election ad dispenses with the attacks and tries to put a positive spin on the party's priorities.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Cherniak Wants Blogosphere to Leave Dion Alone

Hilarious spoof of Dion's blogging spin doctor, Jason Cherniak.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

NDP May Finish Behind Greens in 25% of Riding Contests

If current polling trends continue, the Ontario NDP may finish behind the Greens in 25% of riding contests in the October 10 provincial election.

Based on past electoral performance, the quality of local candidates, and organizational effort on the ground, the Green Party is poised to collect more votes than the NDP in several ridings across the province. Although the Greens have outperformed the NDP in a few by-elections in recent years, it is extremely rare for the Greens to collect more votes than the NDP in any riding contest in a general election. However, the Green Party’s support for a unified secular public school system, the public’s focus of environmental issues, and the Greens’ push for MMP have given the party new credibility and, in the process, have shaken loose supporters from the other parties, particularly the NDP. In ridings where the NDP has little traditional strength, the Greens are certainly within striking distance.

As a result, look for potential 4th place NDP finishes in the following ridings:

416 ridings

Don Valley West

Etobicoke Centre

Scarborough Agincourt

Scarborough Rouge River

Willowdale


905 ridings

Brampton West

Dufferin-Caledon

Halton

Markham-Unionville

Mississauga East-Cooksville

Mississauga-Erindale

Mississauga-Streetsville

Newmarket-Aurora

Oak Ridges-Markham

Oakville

Richmond Hill

Thornhill

Vaughan

Wellington-Halton Hills


Eastern Ontario ridings

Carleton-Mississipi Mills

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Leeds-Grenville

Ottawa-Orleans

Ottawa South

Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry


Southwestern Ontario ridings

Chatham-Kent-Essex

Perth-Wellington


Northern Ontario ridings

Parry Sound Muskoka



Other ridings where the Green Party has an outside chance of outperforming the NDP:

Ajax-Pickering

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Don Valley East

Guelph

Mississauga-Brampton South

Mississauga South

Nepean-Carleton

Niagara Falls

Ottawa West-Nepean

Pickering-Scarborough East

York-Simcoe

Friday, September 28, 2007

NDP Shadow Cabinet

I understand Layton is trying to make the NDP look more credible on economic issues by making Mulcair the party's Finance critic, but is it really that smart to but a former Liberal MNA is such an important caucus position? After all, the Charest government was about as neoliberal as they come in Quebec, and Mulcair did not do too much to distance himself from the government's economic agenda.

NDP Shadow cabinet - complete list

Jack Layton (Toronto-Danforth) Leader, Intergovernmental Affairs

Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay)Public Works and Government Services, Treasury Board, Democratic and Electoral Reform

Alex Atamanenko (British Columbia Southern Interior) Agriculture and Agri-Food, Rural Affairs

Catherine Bell (Vancouver Island North) Natural Resources, Western Economic Diversification, Deputy Critic for Fisheries (West Coast)

Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic) Northern Development, Arctic Sovereignty, Deputy Critic for Natural Resources (Energy)

Dawn Black (New Westminster-Coquitlam) National Defence

Bill Blaikie (Elmwood-Transcona) Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons

Chris Charlton (Hamilton Mountain)Seniors and Pensions

David Christopherson (Hamilton Centre) Infrastructure and Communities, Public Accounts, Revenue Canada, Crown Corporations

Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) Citizenship and Immigration, Deputy Critic for Social Development (Children and Youth)

Joe Comartin (Windsor-Tecumseh) Justice, Deputy Critic for Public Safety, Deputy Critic for the Environment (Great Lakes)

Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan) Aboriginal Affairs

Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) Environment, National Parks

Libby Davies (Vancouver East) Deputy Leader, House Leader, Labour, Deputy Critic for Justice (Substance Abuse and Prostitution Issues), Deputy Critic for Infrastructure and Communities (Greater Vancouver Area)

Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) Foreign Affairs, Deputy Critic for Crown Corporations (National Capital Commission)

Yvon Godin (Acadie-Bathurst)WhipFrancophonie and Official Languages, ACOA, Employment Insurance

Peter Julian (Burnaby-New Westminster) International Trade, Pacific Gateway, Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Wayne Marston (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) Multiculturalism, Sport, Deputy Critic of Justice (Human Rights), Deputy Critic for Industry (Steel Policy)

Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) Privacy and Ethics, Deputy Critic for Agriculture (Canadian Wheat Board)

Tony Martin (Sault Ste. Marie) Human Resources and Social Development, Federal Economic Development for Northern Ontario

Brian Masse (Windsor West)Transport, Canada Border Services, Deputy Critic for Industry (Auto Policy)

Irene Mathyssen (London Fanshawe)Status of Women

Alexa McDonough (Halifax)International Development and International Cooperation, Peace Advocacy, Atlantic Canada Region

Tom Mulcair (Outremont)Deputy LeaderFinance, Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park)Industry, Toronto Issues

Penny Priddy (Surrey North)Public Safety, Deputy Critic for Justice

Denise Savoie (Victoria)Post Secondary Education, Literacy, Deputy Critic for Human Resources (Training)

Bill Siksay (Burnaby-Douglas)Culture and Heritage, Housing,Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual and Transgender Issues

Peter Stoffer (Sackville-Eastern Shore)Fisheries, Veterans Affairs, Deputy Critic for Industry (Shipbuilding)

Judy Wasylycia-Leis (Winnipeg North) Caucus ChairHealth, Persons with Disabilities

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NDP Continues to Lead Polls in Nova Scotia

The NDP continues to be the most popular party in Nova Scotia and NDP leader Darrell Dexter is the most popular political leader. Read the details here.

NDP 35%
PC 32%
Lib 28%
Green 5%

Memo to Stephane Dion re: Jamie Carroll

You can be Chinese and Quebecois at the same time. Your party is going down the tubes in Quebec because your view of the province is ridiculously out of date. It's time to take the advice of some leading Quebec Liberal MPs and show Mr. Carroll the door.

Read all the pathetic details here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ADQ, Conservatives, NDP Up in Quebec Opinion Polls

From La Presse:

Provincial:

ADQ 34%
PQ 30%
Liberal 24%
Vert 7%
QS 5%


The Federal results from the same poll aren't available online, but here are the numbers:

BQ 31%
Conservative : 27%
Liberal 19%
NDP: 17 %

Electoral Reform in a Historical Perspective

Humorous YouTube video from VoteforMMP.ca

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Growing Gap


This photo of "Paradise City" in Sao Paulo gives us a good indication of the growing gap between rich and poor. Notice the size of the tennis courts compared to the houses on the left.

Friday, September 21, 2007

One School System Network

This organization's website looks pretty interesting... Also, today I was pleased to read Niagara This Week columnist Doug Draper come out in favour of a single public school system. Momentum is growing... too bad the NDP missed the boat.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Green Party Leader on Restoring Fairness in Education

TVO's STeve Paiken interviews Ontario Green Party leader Frank DeJong about his party's proposal to eliminate public funding for religious schools, including Catholic schools. There is no question the Greens are eroding NDP support by championing this issue of education fairness.

NDP Hit List in Quebec

The NDP is brimming with joy after Monday's by-election victory in Outremont. What's next for Mulcair and the NDP in Quebec? The Halifax Chronicle Herold reports:


Mulcair will stay on as the party’s Quebec lieutenant and is already busy fundraising, organizing and recruiting candidates in a province that has traditionally been a wasteland for New Democrats.

But he said Monday’s result has already made an impression on his possible recruits. One name being bandied about as a possible candidate is Julius Grey, a high-profile human rights lawyer from Montreal.

"The victory will make it easier for us to recruit high-profile candidates," Mulcair said.

"We’ve been speaking with people all along. But let me just say the body language is becoming far more positive (after Monday)."

The New Democrats will now turn their attention to specific pockets of the province where they believe they have the best chance of making additional gains. A main target will be ridings similar to Outremont: multi-ethnic, federalist and urban.

Mulcair said that parts of Montreal are prized targets, as are some resource-producing regions in outlying areas.

Here are the ridings the NDP is likely to target, without much success in my view.

Hull--Aylmer: The NDP's third best Quebec result in 2006 (15.5%). Although the riding is not located in Montreal, the dynamics are similar in that we see declining Liberal vote totals over the course of the last few elections. Former NDP leadership candidate Pierre Ducasse will be running for the NDP, having failed to come close in the Manicouagan riding in 2004 or 2006. Ducasse is smart, articulate, and dedicated, but his popularity within the party does not necessarily translate into votes come election time. That said, the gap between the Liberals and the NDP in this riding is smaller than the gap that existed in Outremont. Still, Ducasse is no Thomas Mulcair. Consider this the NDP's #1 target for a new seat in Quebec.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce--Lachine: The NDP's sixth best Quebec result in 2006 (11.8%). A Liberal fortress in Montreal represented by popular Liberal MP Marlene Jennings. The NDP has room to grow, but it would require nothing short of a miracle for the party to knock off Jennings.

Westmount--Ville-Marie [QC]: The NDP's 4th best Quebec result (15.4%). A Liberal stronghold neighbouring Outremont. Unfortunately for the NDP, there are not enough BQ votes to bleed to the NDP to make a difference in this this riding

Laurier--Sainte-Marie: The NDP's second best Quebec result in 2006 (16.9%). However, this sovereignist stronghold, which neighbours Outremont, is currently held by BQ leader Gilles Duceppe who took well over 50% of the vote in 2006. The NDP finished 5th here behind the Marijuana Party in 2000.

Manicouagan: The NDP's fifth best Quebec result in 2006 (12.8%). An outlying riding which saw some of the NDP's best numbers in 2004 and 2006 thanks to the candidacy of former NDP leadership candidate Pierre Ducasse. However, the NDP still finished in 4th place in 2006 and without Ducasse as a candidate, NDP fortunes do not seem very bright.

Rosemont--La Petite-Patrie: The NDP's seventh best Quebec result in 2006 (11.6%). A Montreal riding, neighbouring Outremont, respresented by the BQ since 1993. A sovereignist stronghold. The NDP could aim for second place here, but there is too much ground to make up. The party finished 6th place here in 2000.

Gatineau: An awkward vote split could give the NDP longshot odds in Gatineau where it took 10% of the vote in 2006. The victorious BQ candidate won only 39.3%.