Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quebec Election : Interesting Tidbits

Quebec Solidaire co-leader Amir Khadir won the party's first ever seat in Mercier.

Former Quebec Green Party leader Scott McKay was elected as a PQ member in l'Assomption.

Former CSQ President Monique Richard was elected as a PQ member from Marguerite D'Youville.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Canada's First Federal NDP Cabinet Ministers

1. Jack Layton (ON)
2. Tom Mulcair (QC)
3. Libby Davies (BC)
4. Judy Wasylycia-Leis (MB)
5. David Christopherson (ON)
6. Linda Duncan (AB)

Of course, it's just a prediction in the event that this coalition falls into place. The MSM is reporting that the NDP will get 6 cabinet seats. The NDP contingent will surely be regionally balanced and conform to the principle of gender parity.

Layton is a no-brainer. Davies has been a loyal Layton foot soldier and a solid performer. Wasylycia-Leis is also one of the party's shining stars in the House. Mulcair is in because he has cabinet experience and is from Quebec. Christopherson also has cabinet experience in the Rae government. My last pick was Duncan - admittedly, she's a rookie, but she'd make a wonderful Environment Minister. If not Duncan, expect Godin or Jack Harris to get the nod to give Atlantic Canada some representation in the NDP mini cabinet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hey Bob Rae, Fire Your Editor

Check this out. Front and centre on his leadership campaign website:

“I have the judgment, the character, the values and the experience to lead at very difficult time in the life of our country.”

And they said Dion had a poor command of the English language...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Party Questions for Blogging Dippers

Calling all Blogging Dippers... I need your help gathering info (that should be readily accessible, but is not) concerning leadership selection methods in NDP provincial sections.

I know Ontario mimics the federal leadership selction process and that Manitoba recently reverted to the delegated convention from a system of One Member One Vote. But what about the other provinces? Any idea... delegated convention, OMOV, or some other method?

Also, I'm wondering which provincial sections have spaces reserved for Labour representatives in the executive structure.

Leaving a comment with any insight would be greatly appreciated...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This Blog is on Extended Hiatus

I have no idea when I will start blogging again. In the meantime, check out the archives.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Jack Layton and Malcolm Allen Talk About the Economy in Niagara

Layton was the first leader to visit the Niagara Region during the campaign.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Meanwhile, in Provincial Politics....

The NDP is still leading the polls in Nova Scotia. The most recent numbers from CRA were published yesterday.

Nova Scotia
NDP 36%
Tories 33%
Liberals 28%

Newfoundland and Labrador
Tories 78%
Liberals 14%
NDP 7%

New Brunswick
Liberals 49%
Tories 34%
NDP 14%

Friday, July 18, 2008

Michael Prue and Separate School Funding in Ontario

NDP leadership candidate Michael Prue made his campaign relevant for five seconds before promptly withdrawing his comments on separate school funding... sigh.

But he quickly ran into a bit of hot water by suggesting the NDP's policy supporting public funding of Catholic schools should be reviewed.

Prue says he thinks "it is time" that the party takes a look at the issue.

As handlers tried to stop the news conference, Prue insisted he wasn't trying to re-open the debate about religion and schools that caused so much trouble for Conservative Leader John Tory in last year's election.

And he insisted it would be up to someone else to bring forward the idea of changing the policy on school funding at the NDP's leadership convention next March.

Any candidate who is willing to champion this issue will carve out a pretty decent chunk of support. Do any of them have the political will?

Michael Prue to Run for NDP Leadership

First Bisson, now Prue. This NDP leadership camapign is shaping up to be the most boring contest in Ontario political history. We can expect announcements from Peter Tabuns and Andrea Horwath shortly, but that won't help much in my view. Among the four, Tabuns should be considered the front-runner.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Why Gilles Bisson's Campaign for the NDP Leadership Will Falter

Gilles Bisson, NDP MPP for Timmins-James Bay is the first candidate to announce his intention to replace Howard Hampton as Ontario NDP leader. He has little chance of winning. He should be considered a token candidate from the North. Why can't he win?

1. He's too much like Howard Hampton (male, tied to the Rae government, and from Northern Ontario).
2. Despite being at Queen's Park since 1990, he has little name recognition. This won't help in a OMOV election.
3. He voted against the Endangered Species Act.
4. I can't imagine he will muster much, if any, support from the party's tiny caucus.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Petition Calls on Ontario NDP to Lower Leadership Race Entry Fee

Ontario New Democrats may be interested in signing this petition. A $15,000 entry fee seems a bit high given that the federall party only required $7,500 to enter the leadership race that elected Jack Layton.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Nova Scotia NDP Majority on the Horizon?

The Nova Scotia NDP has been close to majority territory for over a year now, hovering between 35 and 39% in provincial polls. The most recent poll has the NDP at 38% while the Liberals have 30% and the governing Tories have the support of just 27% of the electorate. Nova Scotia has seen its share of minority government in recent years, but could the NDP's first majority government in Atlantic Canada finally be on the horizon?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vote for Morgentaler

Abortion rights activist Dr. Henry Morgentaler will receive the Order of Canada. The Globe & Mail is asking its readers what they think. I can't think of anyone more deserving. Vote online here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ontario NDP Leadership Convention: Delegated or OMOV?

The last Ontario NDP leadership convention in 1996 was a delegated convention, but I’ve heard from several people that the party has adopted a one-member, one-vote system for the 2009 convention. I haven’t been to an NDP convention in years. Can anyone confirm or deny this?

The format would almost certianly have a strong effect on the result. I doubt Hampton could have won a OMOV contest in 1996.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kormos Coy on NDP Leadership Bid

From the Niagara Falls Review:

Asked if he'd be throwing his hat in for the party's leadership, Kormos repeated, "There's going to be all sorts of competent people putting their names forward, and I'm sure the people of Ontario will be excited by the campaign for the leadership of the New Democratic Party."

Ontario NDP Leadership: The Odds are In

Who Will Run for Leader of the Ontario NDP?

Here are the odds…

(2 to 1) Peter Tabuns. In actual fact, his leadership campaign started months ago. This former Greenpeace bigwig brings green credentials to the NDP and much of the Layton machine in Toronto Danforth will be supporting this charismatically-challenged MPP.

(3 to 1) Joe Comartin. This Windsor area MP was first elected in 2000 and finished with a disappointing result in the 2003 Federal NDP leadership race that crowned Jack Layton. Comartin clearly has leadership aspirations and will likely appeal to those who think the party needs someone from outside Queen’s Park to lead the team. The fact that he is from an area that is dominated by the Liberals provincially will make him an appealing candidate in a party with a tiny caucus with members who are not interested in stepping aside for a new leader.

(4 to 1) Micheal Prue. Prue has been rumoured to be interested in the job for some time, but it’s not clear which camps in the party he can appeal to and how he can differentiate himself from the other candidates. In a field of relative newcomers, he could argue that he is the most experienced, having served both provincially and municipally for many years, but that argument is unlikely to get him that far.

(4 to 1) Andrea Horwath. Elected in a 2004 by-election and re-elected in 2007, Horwath is still relatively unknown at Queen’s Park. However, the Hamilton area MPP’s name keeps popping up in leadership discussions. She is the most likely woman to run for the job.

(5 to 1) Cheri DiNovo. She seems like the perfect candidate. Urban, articulate, female, a fighter who overcame a smear campaign to beat the Liberals and what was considered a safe Liberal seat. She is relatively new, but has impressed many folks in and around Queen’s Park. Problem is, there is no evidence that she is actually interested in the leader’s job. She is more likely to endorse Tabuns than run herself.

(7 to 1) Peggy Nash. If this rookie Federal MP loses her Parkdale-High park seat to Gerard Kennedy in a federal election that takes place well in advance of the March 2009 Ontario NDP convention, she could conceivably run for ONDP leader as a consolation prize. She would have a great shot and lots of support, but this scenario is very unlikely.

(8 to 1) Marilyn Churley. This former MPP was no fan of Hampton. That’s why she left to take a stab at federal politics. She is still trying to break through as the current Federal NDP candidate in Beaches East-York. Besides, if she did win the Ontario NDP leadership, she’d have to ask potential leadership rivals Prue or Tabuns to step aside for her – an unlikely scenario. If a credible woman runs for the leadership of the Ontario NDP, expect Churley to endorse her.

(10 to 1) Peter Kormos. He ran for the leadership in 1996 and finished third, but his star has been rising in the party ever since. That said, Kormos has always maintained that the Ontario NDP needs to move beyond the Rae years and everybody associated with it. For better or for worse, Kormos was a controversial figure in the party during those years. Look for Kormos to be appointed interim leader sometime between now and the convention in March 2009 (especially if a credible left-wing candidate fails to emerge).

(50 to 1) Frances Lankin. This former MPP and current head of the Toronto United Way finished second to Howie in 1996. She was supposed to win. Will she answer the calls of the many New Democrats who are telling her that they won’t make the same mistake twice? Probably not.

(100 to 1) David Miller. The Mayor of Toronto is now a former New Democrat. However, re-joining the party would instantly make him the front-runner in this race. But why would he give up City Hall to be the leader of a third party rump at Queen’s Park.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hampton To Step Down as Ontario NDP Leader

It took about a decade too long, but Howard Hampton has finally announced his intention to step down. The rumoured front runners to replace him are:

Beaches-East York MPP Michael Prue, Cheri DiNovo of Parkdale-High Park, Toronto-Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns and Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath.

You can read my old posts about this anticipated Ontario NDP leadership contest here, here and here.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Atheism in Canada

A recent poll reveals that roughly one quarter of Canadian do not believe in a god. Among young Canadians, 36% do not beleive in a god. Encouraging figures.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

ADQ Loses Ground in Three Quebec By-Elections

Read all about it here.


Gaudreault, Maryse (P.L.Q./Q.L.P.) 45.24 %
Aubé, Gilles (P.Q.) 33.95 %
Clennett, Bill (Q.S.) 9.72 %
Gibb, Brian (P.V.Q./G.P.Q.) 7.20 %
Ruel, Jean-Philip (A.D.Q./É.M.D.) 3.23 %

The ADQ slid from third to fifth place in Hull, where Quebec Solidaire put in its only decent showing.


Kotto, Maka (P.Q.) 40.54 %
Thériault, Lyn (P.L.Q./Q.L.P.) 32.04 %
McKay, Scott (P.V.Q./G.P.Q.) 11.26 %
Mondor, Denis (A.D.Q./É.M.D.) 9.44 %
Legault, Gaétan (Q.S.) 4.41 %

Former BQ MP Maka Kotto cruised to victory in Bourget, besting Green Party leader Scott McKay who registered an impressive vote total. The ADQ fell from second to fourth place.


Léger, Nicole (P.Q.) 55.92 %
Dumais, Mélissa (P.L.Q./Q.L.P.) 21.74 %
Bellemare, Diane (A.D.Q./É.M.D.) 13.90 %
Daxhelet, Xavier (P.V.Q./G.P.Q.) 4.81 %
Pigeon, Marie Josèphe (Q.S.) 1.61 %

The result in this sovereignist stronghold was no surprise. The ADQ fell from second to third place.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Socialism is Good: Punk Rock Edition

A punk rock cover of the famous Chinese cultural revolution song.

Here are the lyrics translated into English:

Socialism is good, socialism is good!

In socialist nations, the people have high status.

Overthrow the reactionaries. Imperialism flees with its tail between its legs.

The entire nation is in great unity and has raised the socialist construction to a new height, to a new height.

The people protect the socialist system.

The popular capacity is solid, the resistance of click reactionaries is dedicated to failure.

The socialist society will definitely succeed, a communist society will definitely be achieved, will definitely be achieved!

The Communist Party is good! The Communist Party is good!

The Communist Party is a good leader for the people.

It holds its promises and works of any heart for the people.

Firmly anchored to the Communist Party, it is necessary to complete, complete the construction of our great fatherland!

The Communist Party is good! The Communist Party is good!

The Communist Party guides China on the way of the power.

The popular capacity is solid, the resistance of reactionary cliques is destined to fail.

The socialist society will definitely succeed, a communist society will definitely be achieved, will definitely be achieved!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008

International Workers' Day Event

International Workers' Day

Saturday 3 May 2008
Niagara Artists' Centre

Presented by the St. Catharines & District Labour Council, the Niagara Artists' Centre, and the Centre for Labour Studies at Brock.


Featuring Musical Guests:

Dave Bidini

Anne Feeney

Red River Rebellion

Also featuring a visual art exhibition and a silent auction


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MoveOn.org Launches McCain Attack Ad

"And you thought no one could be worse than George Bush..."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog vs. Political Spin Doctors

This is from the 2004 Presidential campaign... hopefully we'll see a repeat in 2008.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ontario NDP Supports Back-to-Work Legislation

Shame on Howard Hampton and the NDP for joining the Tories and Liberals in this anti-union exercise.

Here's the a quote from Hampton's speech:

So what is to be done in those circumstances? There are a number of interests to consider. There are all of those people in the greater Toronto area who utilize the Toronto Transit Commission to get to work themselves and to get to doctor appointments and to get to school and to get their children to child care and do all the other things that happen in a very large urban agglomeration like this. There are also the issues of whether this city can even work minus the TTC on an ongoing basis. Finally, you have to consider, as I said earlier: Is there a likely prospect that things will be settled by further discussions at the bargaining table?

I think, on all of those fronts, the recognition arrived at yesterday is that there are serious interests here that need to be addressed-public interests, human interests, the interests of the city-and also the fact that bargaining is probably at an impasse. For that reason, we will support this legislation.

Hampton's entire premise is flawed. If an issue is hard to settle at the bargaining table, a strike or lockout raises the stakes and forces the parties to come to an agreement. Back-to-work legislation, on the other hand, forces an end to the labour dispute, but makes labour relations much worse in the long run because the process of collective bargaining becomes a charade.

In the past, the NDP has effectively stalled implementation of anti-union back-to-work laws. If the party thinks this move will help it make gains, I think they will be very disappointed.

Friday, April 4, 2008

She's F*cking Obama?

h/t to Sarah Silverman ;-)

To Blog or not to Blog

That is the question I've been asking myself these days. The current academic term is winding down and teaching an extra course has taken its toll on my little blog. I've also been busy publishing in the non-blogosphere (Look for me in the Supreme Court Law Review, the International Journal of Canadian Studies, Labour/Le Travail, The Review of Constitutional Studies, and Municipal World). In short, my academic career has taken centre stage and will likely continue to do so into the summer. I plan on writing a new book and cranking out a few more articles before the end of 2008... so it's not that I won't be publishing, I just won't be publishing material here for the next little bit. As always, continue consulting my favourite blog in the right-hand sidebar.

Friday, March 28, 2008

CLC President Expecting a Challenge Next Month

Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti may be facing a challenge at the CLC convention in May. CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan and Toronto & District Labour Council President John Cartwright are both being touted as possible challengers. I suspect the latter two labour leaders are upset over Georgetti's decision not to condemn the CAW's Magna deal.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where are the results?

The Ontario provincial election took place almost 6 months ago and Elections Ontario has still not published official poll-by-poll results... what's the hold up?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Peter Tabuns and the Ontario NDP Leadership

Still unconvinced by this and this?

How about the fact that the domain name ndp.on.ca is now pointing to Peter Tabuns' webpage? The domain name was registered back in 2000, six years before Tabuns was even elected to the legislative assembly.

Also, the brains behind this is rumoured to have abandoned the project at the urging of the Tabuns people, who would rather see Howie step down gracefully than pushed down the stairs.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Joan Beatty Putting "God First" in Saskatchewan By-election.

Joan Beatty, the federal Liberal candidate in the DesnethéMissinippi–Churchill River by-election, has an interesting explanation for why she is running on here website.

My father’s advice about the election was simple: “Always put God first..."

Oh brother... maybe losing her to Liberals wasn't such a terrible loss after all.

By the way, why does the Saskatchewan NDP continue to list her as an MLA?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Is it just me...

Or does it seem strange that the only photo on the New Brunswick NDP's mainpage features a group shot of New Democrats, most of whom do not live in New Brunswick, in the lobby of the House of Commons?

Here's a tip: try featuring your new leader.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

NDP Loses Two Seats in Alberta

NDP leader Brian Mason and newcomer Rachel Notley won seats for the NDP last night, but former NDP leader Ray Martin and rookie MLA David Eggen unexpectedly went down to defeat. The only party feeling worse than the NDP today is the Alberta Liberal Party, who dropped from 16 seats to just eight. (Whereas the NDP was expected to simply hold onto its base, the Liberals were actually expected to increase their seat total).

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Barack Obollywood

I can't really explain it. You'll just have to watch.

h/t Nag on the Lake

Why a Fetal Homicide Law is a Bad Idea

A Conservative MP from Edmonton is proposing a fetal homicide law for Canada. Politics 'n' Poetry outlines 14 good reasons to oppose this veiled attackedon women's reproductive rights.

Niagara Falls Company & Supervisor fined in trench death

ST. CATHARINES, ON, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Tony Garofalo's Concrete Works Limited
was fined $120,000 and a supervisor fined $5,000 in the Ontario Courtof Justice after pleading guilty in the death of a worker in a trench collapse.

Justice of the Peace Carolyn Straughan heard that, on July 13, 2006, the company was waterproofing the basement walls of a home at 6200 Trillium Cres., Niagara Falls. Workers had dug a trench along the side of the house for the work. A worker was in the trench when its wall collapsed. The worker was buried under soil. Co-workers unsuccessfully tried resuscitation. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the trench did not have shoring or a support system, as required under section 234(1) of OntarioRegulation 213/91, the Construction Regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, nor was it sloped as defined in the regulation, section 234(2)(f).

The company pleaded guilty as a constructor to failing to comply with section 234(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91, contrary to section 23(1)(c) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Antonio Garofalo, supervisor of Tony Garofalo's Concrete Works Limited, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that access to and egress from a work area below ground was from stairs, runway,ramp or ladder, as required by section 70(1) of Ontario Regulation 213/91. This was contrary to section 27(1)(a) of the Occupational Health and SafetyAct.

In addition to the fines, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge, as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Alberta NDP Camapign Ad

This ad reminds me one of Peter Kormos' favourite lines: "The Liberals and Tories are buried so deep in the back pocket of big business, they're spitting up lint."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This is My Blog on Break

In the meantime, consult my favourites in the right-hand column.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is The Holocaust Ever Funny?

Most of the political blogosphere has already weighed in on Small Dead Animals' holocaust survivor prank. Warren Kinsella, the target of the prank, was unsurprisingly disgusted... and most other bloggers agreed with him.

But is the Holocaust completely off limits when it comes to comedy?

This clip from a documentary puts that difficult question into perspective for us.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Craziness That Sometimes Comes From Peterborough Politics

In a recent blog post from Peterborough Politics entitled “The Craziness That Sometimes Comes From Quebec's Language Law”, this NDP blogger shows us why his party has little relevance in Quebec.

Read his post carefully and consider the following craziness contained within it:

1. He strangely equates ethnicity with language.

2. He refers to Quebec sovereignists as “Separatits” with a capital “S” as if they are some kind of professional sports team.

3. He ridiculously asserts: “Today's world, especially the work world, is a bilingual one” without any evidence whatsoever.

4. He ignores the fact that there are allophopne and anglophone sovereignists in Quebec.

5. He is incredibly patronizing towards sovereignists, arguing for example that “Quebec's separatists are robbing their youth of valuable skills”, “They are holding their own kids back”, and of course my favourite: “Opening ones mind doesn't make you any less of a person, it makes you more of one and gives the potential to be even greater.” Of course, having an open mind, according to Peterborough Politics, means opposing separatism…

6. Peterborough Politics argues :"Now this might just be me, but when I go to an Irish Pub, I expect to see and hear English, just as in the same way if I was to go to a fine French bistro, I would expect to hear and see French. Actually, if I attended said bistro and was bombarded by English or another language from the staff and the decor, I would be quite unimpressed with the experience and I probably wouldn't go back.” I wonder if he also expects to be served in Mandarin when he visits a Chinese buffet and in Italian when he visits a Pizza Place…

7. Overall, his analysis smacks of anglo-chauvinism, shows a complete misunderstanding for why the OLF exists, and completely mischaracterizes the attitudes of the vast majority of sovereignists in Quebec.

Jack Layton Presented With CAW Jacket

At an NDP fundraiser held last night in St. Catharines at the CAW local 199 hall, NDP leader Jack Layton was presented with a CAW jacket as a parting gift. The symbolism wasn't lost on the 200+ people in attendance. You''ll recall that CAW president Buzz Hargrove made waves during the 2006 federal election for presenting then Prime Minister Paul Martin with a CAW jacket, much to the dismay of New Democrats. Since then, the CAW President has been booted from the party and his union has cut off ties with the NDP. However, the union leadership does not always represent the values of the rank-and-file. The NDP's candidate in Welland, Malcolm Allen, is a CAW member and a local politician who has a decent shot at picking up a new seat for the party. He is being supported by both his union and the party. In the picture above, Layton and Allen shake hands after the NDP leader is presented a CAW jacket.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Hillary Clinton Jumps the Shark

When Hillary Clinton loses the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, people will look back at this moment in YouTube politics and hold it up as a shining example of how to lose an election ;-)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Praise the Lord for Dalton McGuinty

The Dalton McGuinty love-in at this blog is sure to come to an end soon, but in the meantime, the Ontario Premier deserves credit for proposing to replace the reciting if the Lord's Prayer in the Ontario Legislature. I'd be even happier if he was proposing to scrap it all together.

I Need My Fix of Paulitics

What happened to Paulitics? Maybe I'm being a bit hasty, but his blogging hiatus has now surpassed two weeks... and a reader like me can't last that long without routine fix of Paul's socialist investigations. Come back soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Jack Harris to Run in St. John's East?

A perfect storm seems to be developing for the NDP in the Newfoundland & Labrador riding of St. John's East. Former provincial NDP leader Jack Harris is rumoured to be announced shortly as the party's candidate in the upcoming federal election. Harris briefly served as MP for this riding after winning it in a 1987 by-election. He lost the subsequent general election in 1988, but went on to sit in the provincial legislature for over a decade as NDP leader. Harris would unquestionaby be a star candidate and given that Norman Doyle, the incumbent Conservative MP, is not seeking re-election, the NDP is perfectly positioned to benefit from Danny Williams' pledge to defeat Conservative candidates in his province.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Alberta Election 2008: NDP Races to Watch

According to the polls, the NDP has little chance to make a breakthrough in Alberta’s provincial election. In fact, there are only a handful of seats where the party is competitive (and they are all in Edmonton). For New Democrats, these are the ridings to watch:

EDMONTON-BEVERLY-CLAREVIEW Currently represented by NDP MLA (and former Alberta NDP leader) Ray Martin. The New Democrats took this seat from the Tories in 2004 by a comfortable margin. Expect the NDP to retain this seat.

EDMONTON-HIGHLANDS-NORWOOD NDP leader Brian Mason has represented this riding since winning a 2000 by-election to replace former Alberta NDP leader Pam Barrett. Mason should be easily re-elected by a wide margin.

EDMONTON-CALDER Rookie NDP MLA David Eggen is the incumbent in this riding. He wrestled the seat away from the Tories in 2004 . Eggen won the riding by fewer than 500 votes last time around, but expect him to easily win re-election as an incumbent.

EDMONTON-STRATHCONA Former NDP leader and current NDP MLA Raj Pannu has decided not to seek re-lection in this NDP stronghold. In his place, The NDP is running labour lawyer Rachel Notley, daughter of former NDP leader Grant Notley. Expect the party to dump major resources into keeping this seat.

EDMONTON-GLENORA The NDP finished a close 2nd place to the Liberals in this low-income riding in 2004. In 2008, the party is running Arlene Chapman as its candidate. She is well-known within the party and within the community having served as an NDP staffer and as executive director of the Edmonton Social Planning Council. She ran in the 2006 federal election, garnering just under 20% of the vote in Edmonton East. This riding represents the party’s best chance for a new seat in 2008, especially if the Liberal vote collapses.

EDMONTON-ELLERSLIE This is a true long-shot for the NDP, but in the event that the Liberal and Tory campaigns takes a nosedive, this riding could fall into the party’s lap. This was one of very few ridings where the NDP won over 20% of the vote in 2004. Retired university professor Marilyn Assheton-Smith is once again carrying the NDP banner.

For consistent coverage of the Alberta election, be sure to consult the Calgary Grit and Daveberta on a regular basis.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Danny Glover and Ontario Labour Leaders Fined $100 for Trespassing


Friday, February 8th, 2008

"Noble" Actor Danny Glover and Ontario Labour Leaders Sentenced to $100 Fine for Trespassing

Justice of the Peace Moira Moses finds purpose of three defendants noble and their private prosecution by Canadian Niagara Hotels for trespassing unnecessary to protect the hotel's interests. Refuses to pass on $22,000 private prosecution costs to defendants.

Well-known actor and activist Danny Glover has been fined $100 by an Ontario Provincial Offences Court Justice of the Peace, as has UNITE HERE Canadian Co-Director Alex Dagg and Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne Samuelson. The trio was convicted last month of trespassing under a rarely used private prosecution by a Niagara hotel company for entering the hotel during a union rally in September, 2006.

In sentencing the three, Justice of the Peace, Moira Moses found that the purpose of the three defendants was noble in trying to get into the hotel to speak with the owners about serious labour issues. She refused to pass on Canadian Niagara Hotel's $22,000 costs for the private prosecution to the three defendants, finding the prosecution was unnecessary to protect the interests of the hotel's owner, and found the company should have engaged in more good faith negotiations with the union.

"This sentencing decision really shows how silly Canadian Niagara Hotel's private prosecution has been," said Dagg. "It is outrageous that even though our courts are overwhelmed with serious cases and the police refused to charge us for entering the hotel lobby in 2006, this company has wasted its money and the court's time and tax dollars on this matter. We are glad the courts recognized this today and agree with Justice of the Peace Moses that this company should engage in more good faith negotiations with the union."

Dagg noted the union has received messages of support from across North America since word of the conviction became public in January and that the campaign by UNITE HERE to defend the rights of hospitality workers in Niagara Falls will continue.

"We are very appreciative of the support we've received from Niagara Falls and indeed, from people across North America, who join us in being outraged that this company has preferred to purchase a prosecution instead of dealing with their serious labour issues," said Dagg. "I want to personally thank Danny Glover for his incredible support and for helping raise awareness of the difficulties faced by workers at Canadian Niagara Hotel. I agree with Justice of the Peace Moses that our purpose was noble when we entered the hotel in September, 2006 and that Canadian Niagara Hotel's prosecution was unnecessary to protect their interests. It is a shame; they could have paid a room attendant for almost a year on the money they've wasted on this.

"Wayne Samuelson, President of the Ontario Federation, noted the private prosecution has only served as motivation for the rest of the Ontario labour movement to become even more involved in the struggle for workers' rights in Niagara Falls.

"The waste of the courts times by this company's private prosecution is a serious issue," said Samuelson. "But their rather strange response to Alex, Danny and I entering their hotel, has drawn attention to the bigger labour issues down here in Niagara and that is a good thing. Workers, from across this province, have expressed their support and their desire to become involved in the struggle for workplace justice in Niagara."UNITE HERE represents 50,000 hotel, food service, garment and manufacturing workers across Canada and 450,000 across North America. The union has been working with activists, like Danny Glover, to raise awareness of the issues facing hospitality workers across North America.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Mike Huckabee To Stephen Colbert: I'm Still in the Race!

Air hockey has never been so political...

Fourth Place... So Typically NDP

Well the Canadian Blog Awards are over. Uncorrected Proofs finished fourth place in the following categories:

Best Political Blog
Best Progressive Blog
Best New Blog

Uncorrected Proofs managed a third place finish in Best Blog Post Series.

Thanks to all my readers and congrats to all the winners!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Liberals Divided

The federal Liberals are divided over Afghanistan, over human rights, and over the Conservative budget. Do they pull the plug on the government in the near future and cut their losses, or do they wait it out and let the implosion continue? Either way, it will be fun to watch.

The Race to the White House '08: Democrat Edition

A short video detailing the Democratic race for pop culture junkies.

Race to the White House '08: Republican Edition

A short video detailing the Republican race for pop culture junkies.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Canadian Blog Awards: Best Blog Post Series

My blog post series on the history of the labour movement in Canada and Quebec has won third place in the Canadian blog awards. Thank you and congrats to the other winners.

Canadian Blog Awards: Best Progressive Blog

The results are in for Best Progressive Blog:

1. Daveberta.ca

2. Calgary Grit

3. We Move To Canada

4. Uncorrected Proofs

5 .Stageleft: Life On The [Lower] Left Side

Thanks to my loyal readers who helped propel me into 4th place… how typically NDP.
Congrats to the other finalists and the winner.

Stéphane Dion et son anglais...

Whenever I hear people complain about Stéphane Dion’s command of the English language my tendency is defend him against what are normally petty anglo-chauvinist criticisms. It’s harder to dismiss those criticisms when they are coming from Quebeckers, even if they are tongue-in-cheek.

Back in March 2007, when I met Dion in St. Catharines in a face to face meeting concerning the Liberal caucus position on Bill C-257, I wasn’t impressed by his speaking skills in English. He clearly struggled to string sentences together in a seamless way. However, understanding him wasn’t difficult. Over the course of the last year, his English has improved measurably. Each time I see him speak, I’m reminded of how much he has improved. In fact, I suspect that if we don’t have an election until 2009, Dion’s proficiency in English will no longer be an issue… well, at least for those of us who aren’t anglo-chauvinists.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Romney Attack Ad Compares McCain to Clinton

As part of a last attempt to salvage his Republican Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney is using this Super Tuesday TV ad to paint his rival John McCain as too liberal. Effective? Yes, but is it too little too late?

Memo to Jack Layton

It's an open secret that New Democrats are furious that Liberal leadership loser Gerard Kennedy is running against NDP incumbent Peggy Nash in her Parkdale-High Park riding in the upcoming federal election. Why are they so angry?

1. Kennedy, a former provincial cabinet minister and MPP for Parkdale-High Park, is considered a star candidate and the likely victor in a race against Nash.

2. Nash is considered a rising star within the NDP.

3. Dion keeps touting how important it is to elect more women to parliament, but seems bent on defeating an incumbent female MP rather than run Kennedy in another, more Liberal-friendly riding in the GTA.

4. Liberals go on and on about how the the Harper Conservatives are the real enemy, and yet, rather than use Kennedy's star power to take on a Tory incumbent, they decided to run him against one of the most progressive NDP incumbents in the House.

Although I think the NDP is naive to think the Liberals would simply give Nash, or any other NDP incumbent a free ride, Jack Layton is right that Liberals are being hypocritical in their rhetoric by having Kennedy run against Nash. That said, the NDP is certainly not above hyporcrisy.

Case in point.

The NDP has made a big deal of the fact that labour leader Jean-Claude Rocheleau will be running for the party in the Montreal riding of Hochelaga. Hochelaga is currently represented by BQ MP Réal Ménard. Ménard is one of Canada's first openly gay MPs, he has an extremely progressive voting record and has been an outspoken advocate on anti-poverty issues. He may be the most left-wing member of the BQ caucus... so why is the NDP targeting Ménard?

Monday, February 4, 2008

The PQ is Alive and Well in Quebec

...and leading public opinion polls in Quebec.

The latest from CROP:
PQ 35%
Liberal 31%
ADQ 24%

After the PQ's dismal performance in the 2007 Quebec provincial election, more than a few talking heads were eagerly awaiting the party's demise. However, less than a year later, the PQ has re-established itself as a strong political force in Quebec... indicating that the sovereigbnist movement is alive and well.

Funny how the mainstream media in English Canada have been playing down the positive results for the PQ in this latest poll with headlines like this.

Homosexuality is a Disability: News Anchor

I can't really explain it... you'll just have to watch the clip.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

California is Key for Obama

Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama needs to win California in Tuesday if he wants to continue his campaign for America's top spot. Recent opinion polls show that the Illinois Senator is quickly closing the gap in delegate-rich California.

Feb 3 (Suffolk) Clinton 39, Obama 40
Feb 2 (Rasmussen) Clinton 44, Obama 45
Feb 2 (Reuters) Clinton 41, Obama 45

After leading in California for months, the Clinton campaign is faltering. If Obama can keep up this pace, he'll have a shot at defeating Clinton in the long run.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Billary Clinton Steps Up Attacks on Obama

What's wrong with Obama? The Clintons tell us that he lacks experience, that he flip-flopped on Iraq, that he plays dirty politics, and that his health plan doesn't cut it. The list is endless. In fact, the Clinton attacks are so numerous that an entire wiki page has been dedicated to them.

My Favourite Liberal Bloggers

1. The Calgary Grit: Probably the best political blog in Canada. This blogger is as creative, smart, and witty as they come. His political analysis is always clear and well-informed.

2. Far and Wide: Critical, well-written, and insightful. Whenever a new a poll is released, look to this blogger to provide thoughtful analysis each and every time.

3. BigCityLib Strikes Back: Consistent, clever and to the point. An enjoyable read for any political junkie.

4. Scott's Diatribes: Although I find Scott's Diatribes to be among the most partisan of my favourite Liberal blogs, he is clearly committed to the idea of the political blogosphere and works to improve its stature, its quality, and its level of debate on a consistent basis.

5. A BCer in Toronto: A good combination of dry wit and sarcasm weaved into very well structured blog posts. He knows how to take good partisan shots, but is not uncritical of his own party.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hillary Clinton Exposed as Wal-Mart Stooge

I bet Clinton was hoping this old footage wouldn't resurface. Will her union endorsers stick with her despite her murky history with Wal-Mart?

Hulk Hogan Endorses Barack Obama

First, Chuck Norris endorses Huckabee. Next, Sylvester Stallone endores McCain. Now, Hulk Hogan has endorsed Obama. What's next?

Credit Where Credit is Due

I have rarely had anything nice to say about Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, but I must admit that he has done a decent job on several issues in 2008.

In particular, I have been impressed by his opposition to black-focused schools, his threat to impose provincial tariffs to block imports of South Korean automobiles, and his firm stand against the Harper government's House of Commons seat redistribution bill that shortchanges Ontario.

Now that McGuinty is on a roll, would it be too much to ask the Ontario Liberals to reinstate card-based union certification for all of the province's workers? Gee, even the Peterson Liberals believed in that...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Teach Your Son to Respect Women

I saw this billboard in Western New York a few days ago. It's part of an impressive ad campaign called "Coaching Boys into Men". We need more state-sponsored ads like this in Canada.

Canadian Blog Awards: And The Winner Is...

The braintrust over at the Canadian Blog Awards is withholding the the final results of the competition from the blogging masses. Stay tuned.

As of midnight January 31, 2008, the polls for our 27 categories, have closed.
Our nerve center of super computers and statisticians are working through the night to bring you results. And what they will tell you is this:

The winners are being announced a little bit differently this year. Some of you were expecting to find out everyone who won an award as of January 31, 2008. In our instant gratification society it would make sense to tell you all of the winners at once. However, in the interest of building suspense and giving more winning blogs a longer 15 minutes of fame, the CBAs are going to present the winners over the course of the next week!

What Have The Unions Ever Done For Us?

Effective Australian ad dispelling myths about unions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Where Will Edwards' Union Support Go?

John Edwards, who has quit the Presidential race, had the largest bloc of union support of any candidate. His supporters included the USW, the CWA, the SEIU, the Carpenters, and UMWA. Edwards' advisors are suggesting he will not back either of his competitors. However, what about his union backers? Where will organized labour’s support go?

Obama has the support of UNITE HERE and Clinton has the support of AFSCME. If the unions that coalesced around Edwards move as a bloc towards one candidate, it could be enough to put either candidate over the top. Stay tuned.

Rudy Giuliani Withdraws

The most disastrous Presidential campaign in recent memory comes to an end...

Canadian Blog Awards: Last Day of Voting

It's your last chance.

Check out all of the finalists here.

Uncorrected Proofs is a finalist in the following categories:

Best political blog

Best progressive blog

Best new blog

Best blog post series

I don't expect to win in any of the categories.. heck I'm up against titans of the Canadian blogosphere in the first two categories... but whatever the final result, I do take comfort in knowing I garnered more votes than Jason Cherniak ;-)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spotlight on NDP Bloggers

Some of them are calling themselves New Democrats Online while others are still calling themselves Blogging Dippers. While that is being sorted out, I thought I'd shed the spotlight on some great recent posts by a few NDP bloggers.

Check it out:

Dymaxion World on Hillary Clinton.

Blogging a Dead Horse on Elizabeth May.

The Wheatsheaf on partisanship.

Accidental Deliberations on accidents waiting to happen.

Peterborough Politics on Question Period and public opinion polls.

Mike Huckabee's Doggy Style Nightmare

Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has recently argued that same-sex marriage would lead to acceptance of bestiality... this video seems to prove his point.

via Nag on the Lake

Federal NDP Targets in Ontario

The Federal NDP faces both challenges and opportunities in the anticipated 2008 federal election. NDP MP Peggy Nash is widely expected to be in the fight of her political life against Gerard Kennedy in Parkdale-High Park. In addition, after dismal NDP results in the 2007 provincial election, London-Fanshawe’s Irene Mathyssen and Sault Ste. Marie’s Tony Martin may also be in trouble.

However, the NDP also has room to grow, especially if the Liberals take a nosedive in the midst of an election campaign.

The following eight seats are what I see as the party’s priority targets:

Thunder Bay – Superior North
With incumbent MP Joe Comuzzi's decision to cross the floor from the Liberals to the Tories, this Northern Ontario riding is ripe for the picking. The NDP came within 309 votes of taking it in 2006, and represented the riding from 1984-1988.

Thunder Bay – Rainy River
This riding, which overlaps with the provincial riding of Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton, was lost by roughly 700 votes to the party in 2006. The party did extremely well here in the 2007 provincial election and has a history of representing the area from 1984-1993.

Nickel Belt
A long history of NDP representation combined with the retirement of Liberal MP Raymond Bonin has given the NDP an unprecedented opportunity to win back this Northern Ontario riding. A provincial NDP stronghold, the federal party has come incredibly close to winning Nickel Belt in the last two elections.

Liberal incumbent John Maloney has lucked out through a series of vote splits in the 2000, 2004, and 2006 elections. This time, local New Democrats have wised up and nominated Malcolm Allen, deputy Mayor of Pelham, as their candidate. Allen and Welland’s longtime NDP MPP Peter Kormos act like Siamese twins at public events, indicating that the party thinks they have finally found a winning federal candidate. The NDP finished second here and came within 5% of knocking off the Liberals in 2006. Expect a close three way race in 2008.

Although the NDP dropped from 2nd to 3rd place between 2004 and 2006, the party is still very much in the game. If there is a shift away from the Liberals and towards the NDP in Northern Ontario (like the shift that took place in the 2007 Ontario election) expect the NDP to pick up this seat.

Beaches - East York
Former NDP MPP Marilyn Churley is back and ready for a rematch with Liberal incumbent Maria Minna. Churley is a favourite of Layton’s (she quit provincial politics for a federal run) and her riding is next door to the NDP leader’s riding. Expect a spill-over effect and additional resources to flow into this riding from across the GTA. Minna won by just over 5% last time. It will be a hard gap to overcome, but if anyone can do it in this riding, it's Churley.

This is the stomping ground of longtime (former) NDP MPP Bud Wildman. However, the party has never had much success here federally. In 2004 and 2006, the NDP put up a good fight, but fell marginally short. As a relative unknown, NDP candidate Carol Hughes almost won the seat for the NDP in 2006. She has now gained experience and the attention of the party leadership. Expect the central campaign to boost her fortunes this time around with additional resources.

Three time loser Sid Ryan will likely not offer himself up as a candidate for a fifth time, therefore making Oshawa even more of a longshot for the NDP. The presence of a Conservative rather than Liberal incumbent will only make it a harder hill to climb for the party. However, an unexpected Tory collapse could hand Oshawa over to the NDP. It’s a longshot for sure.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Sure Sign of the Apocalypse

McDonald's now has the authority to grant credits that can be used towards a highschool diploma.

Read more.

Jack Layton's Pitch to Ontario Labour Council Presidents

Yesterday, I attended a Canadian Labour Congress Labour Council Presidents’ meeting in Toronto where NDP leader Jack Layton was a guest speaker.

Layton’s speech briefly highlighted the historic roots of the NDP-labour alliance before turning his guns on Stephane Dion and the Liberals, whom he mocked and lambasted for sitting on their hands while workers endure a crisis in the manufacturing sector. Layton also gave us a sneak peak at the party’s election platform, suggesting it will focus on pocketbook issues like ATM fees, and credit card debt to woo voters who are feeling marginalized in the economy.

Layton didn’t mention Stephen Harper once during his ten minute speech, but virtually all of the questions from the audience had to do with Harper’s agenda.

By the end of the session, perhaps sensing the mood of his audience, Layton shifted gears and concluded the meeting by declaring "we've got to kick the shit out of this Harper government and replace them with enough NDP MPs to form or direct the next government."

I can understand why Layton focuses on Liberals... strategically, the top NDP targets in Ontario have Liberal incumbents. However, at what point will voters grow tired of an NDP that goes soft on the government while criticizing the Official Opposition? To be sure, there is lots to criticize when it comes to Stephane Dion, but after witnessing the dynamics of this meeting, I'm beginning to rethink the wisdom of the NDP's focus on the Liberals.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

What's That Smell? It's the NDP

A while back, I posted about the Catalan Socialist Party’s launch of an official fragrance. Apparently, the sweet smell of socialism "mixes Mediterranean herbs and fruits such as Bergamot orange and white tea with base notes from the Orient, which come together to produced an aroma of 'confidence, equality, progress and efficiency'".

That got me thinking… What does Canadian socialism smell like? Here are a few ideas for an NDP scent:

Orange Blossoms
Using the aromatic essences of over a dozen working families in all regions of Canada, the NDP has produced a results-based perfume, Orange Blossoms. The fragrance of this exclusive socialist-inspired perfume represents a subtle blend of Saskatchewan potash and working class discontent, encapsulating the very essence of modern day social democratic politics.

Pinko Perfume
Since politics is about power, the NDP chose a provincial fragrance for this socialist perfume, a symbol of hope for the working class. Pinko Potion is an explosion of socialism, a proletarian gift in a perfume bottle cut like soviet-style architecture. This working class perfume contains the scent of class struggle, capable of unleashing the antagonism of the people who wear it.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Democrats Outspending Republicans in a Big Way

The Liberal Party of Canada could learn something from the Democrats about fundraising...

2008 Presidential Campaign:

Clinton: $90,962,311

Obama: $80,256,425

Romney: $62,829,068

Giuliani: $47,253,519

McCain: $32,124,783

Edwards: $30,329,150

Paul: $8,268,060

Huckabee: $2,345,796

Check out MapLight.org

h/t to Nag on the Lake

Union Organizer Banned From Facebook For Having Too Many Friends

Derek Blackadder, a CUPE union organizer (he organized my old local) and LabourStart correspondent, has been banned from Facebook for having too many friends.

Blackadder, quite cleverly in my opinion, has been using Facebook for progressive purposes: to organize workers. John Wood elaborates on Blackadder's organizing ban:

Derek got a note from the good book, telling him he was trying to add too many friends, and should calm down a bit, or else. Now as a union organiser, he’s quite likely to want to add lots of friends - it’s kind of what he does. So he waits a bit and tries again, and is told he can’t add any more at the moment and to wait and try later. Fair enough. He waits a bit more and tries again, same message. By now, he’s probably frothing at the mouth and muttering “must organise, must organise”, so he has another go to see if the coast is clear, and promptly gets himself a ban.
That being a ban from Facebook itself - no more profile, no access to the stuff he’s built up, no appeal.

Okay, he was probably being a little over-eager, but Facebook is definitely the poorer for not having him, and this is a bit of a stumbling block for unions wanting to use the tools to organise. Add to this the SEIU Canadian profile that got closed down (admittedly they too had been stretching the terms of use), the 1,000 group mailing cap and you’re left wondering if your time investment in it is all about to go up in smoke - it seems the better you do, the riskier your position.

So let’s try to get Derek back in. Come join (what else…) the Blackadder solidarity Facebook group. A very slim chance I grant you, but worth a pop to lobby Facebook on this one. Any ideas you’ve got for making this work - let us know!

If we do manage to get him reinstated, it’ll make Facebook a much safer place for all unions and activists to network (it‘s hardly going to inspire you to put in the effort if you only get kicked out for it). Just don’t ask Derek to add you as a friend though, or they’ll boot him out again. ;-)


From Eric Lee:

Yesterday, I wrote to all of you about the case of Derek Blackadder, the trade union organizer banned from Facebook for ... organizing.

You responded instantly and the word spread like wildfire. Within 8 hours, nearly 2,400 of you signed up to join the Facebook group protesting the ban on Derek.

Facebook has now removed the ban. We won.

Why We Need the F-Word Blog Awards

Feminsim is as relevant today as it ever was... and this short video proves it.

Visit: www.acreativerevolution.ca

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Danny Glover and Ontario Labour Leaders Convicted on Trespassing Charges

As someone who has attended many a peaceful demonstration, including the one described below, I can honestly say that I am surprised by the verdict. However, I'm certain it will not deter the union from taking this employer to task.


TORONTO, January 24th, 2008- Well-known actor and activist Danny Glover has been convicted, along with UNITE HERE Canadian Co-Director Alex Dagg and Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne Samuelson, for trespassing in an Ontario Provincial Offences Court, after being charged under a rarely used private prosecution by a Niagara hotel company.

“It is sad that even though the police acknowledged everyone was well behaved and did not press charges, a rich and powerful company can pay to go forward with a private prosecution,” said Dagg. “It raises serious questions for all of us who believe in fairness and equality before the law but it will, in no way, deter us from continuing to stand up for what is right.”

The case against UNITE HERE organizer, Catalina Gonzalez was dismissed outright and Dagg said UNITE HERE will continue to vigorously defend the rights of workers in the Niagara region.

“Our members who work in these hotels have been demanding justice in their workplace for years and that is where we will continue to focus our energy,” said Dagg. “Our union has a proud history of standing up for justice in the workplace and for establishing those rights through the laws of our land. Today we are reminded that struggle is not over. The rights of working people - to express themselves and advocate for better working conditions - is fundamental. We will be reviewing all of our options, including the possibility of an appeal.”

Wayne Samuelson, President of the Ontario Federation agreed.

“I have attended union rallies and gone to speak to employers with labour problems for decades in this province and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Samuelson. “The Ontario labour movement will not be deterred by this decision today and will continue to utilize our Charter rights to stand up for working people across this province. It is wrong that those with money can go above the police and purchase a prosecution in this province and we will stand our ground against such tactics.”

The sentence will be handed down on February 8th, 2008. Danny Glover has been working with UNITE HERE to raise awareness of the issues facing Niagara area hotel workers who are fighting to improve working conditions. Canadian Niagara Hotels (CNH) owns the Sheraton on the Falls, the Brock Plaza Hotel and the Skyline Inn in the Clifton Hill neighborhood of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The hotels were purchased in 1993 by Dino DiCienzo and his company Canadian Niagara Hotels.

NDP Renewal Site Set to Launch

It’s an Uncorrected Proofs exclusive!

A website dedicated to renewal in the Ontario NDP is currently under development.

I’m told NDPrenewal.org is essentially a “Dump Howard Hampton website,” but focuses on other aspects of party renewal as well (fundraising, internal party democracy).

Who runs the website?

A simple internet search turned up the following:

Registrant Name:Back Blast
Registrant Organization:BackBlast Design c/o Free Private Reg
Registrant Street1:P.O. Box 81024
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Burnaby
Registrant State/Province:BC
Registrant Postal Code:V5H4K2
Registrant Country:CA
Registrant Phone:+852.35941708

Stay tuned. Hopefully, Howard Hampton’s dismal tenure as leader of the Ontario NDP is about to come to an end…

Read more about Ontario NDP leadership speculation here, here , here and here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Québec's Flag Turns Sixty

PQ leader Pauline Marois celebrates the 60th anniversary of her province's flag with the hope that it will one day become her country's flag.

Mitt Romney Gets Punked by His Son

Republican Presidental candidate Mitt Romney receives a prank phone call from "Governor Schwarzenegger"

Manley Report: No Surprises

It looks like Stephen Harper got exactly what he wanted out of John Manley's report on the situation in Afghanistan. It will play well with hawkish Conservatives while putting the squeeze on a divided Liberal caucus. The Liberals have no idea what to do... it was quite humorous watching both Bob Rae and Stephane Dion on television yesterday going on and on about nothing, refusing to take a position on the report. The NDP deserves credit for its clear and consistent position - a position shared by a majority of Canadian: Pull the troops now!

Canadian Blog Awards: Round Two Voting

Your votes carried me into the finals in four categories in the first round of voting… let’s see where the second round will take me. I am a finalist in the following categories:

Best political blog
Best new blog
Best blog post series
Best progressive blog

I suspect my friend Nag on the Lake helped push me over the top in the first round of voting. In appreciation, I’m asking my readers to help propel the Nag to victory in the following categories:

Best entertainment/cultural blog
Best humour blog


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trial of Danny Glover and Ontario Labour Leaders Comes to a Close


Labour Leaders will be in Court to Defend Charter Rights: Thurs Jan 24th

NIAGARA FALLS January 21, 2008 - Well-known actor and activist Danny Glover will be told if the courts will be upholding his rights to peaceful assembly and free speech on behalf of Canadian hotel employees, along with UNITE HERE Canadian Co-Director Alex Dagg and Ontario Federation of Labour President Wayne Samuelson. The trio will be gathered to hear the courts decision which will be the end of a long and rare private prosecution, initiated by Canadian Niagara Hotels (CNH) after a September 2006 union rally at the Sheraton on the Falls in Niagara Falls.

Samuelson and Dagg will appear with criminal lawyer Frank Addario and co-defendant Catalina Gonzalez, a UNITE HERE organizer, at a Niagara Falls courthouse on Thursday, January 24th. The verdict will bring to a close two days of testimony last October that concerned Charter arguments and the impact on the Ontario labour movement of companies using private prosecutions to limit union's free speech, expression, association and assembly rights.

Alex Dagg, Canadian Co-Director, UNITE HERE
Wayne Samuelson, President, Ontario Federation of Labour
Frank Addario, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell Where:
Provincial Offences Court
4635 Queen Street West, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Date: Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Time: The verdict is scheduled to be given at 10:30. Participants may be able to speak to the media after court is dismissed.


Dreamgirls and Lethal Weapon star Danny Glover has been working with UNITE HERE to raise awareness of the issues facing Niagara area hotel workers who are fighting to improve working conditions. Canadian Niagara Hotels (CNH) owns the Sheraton on the Falls, the Brock Plaza Hotel and the Skyline Inn in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Workers at the Brock Plaza have been unionized since 1942. The hotels were purchased in 1993 by Dino DiCienzo and his company Canadian Niagara Hotels. Since then union/management relationships have been difficult and UNITE HERE has been fighting to uphold basic parts of the collective agreement. UNITE HERE represents 50,000 hotel, food service, garment and manufacturing workers across Canada and 450,000 across North America.

Canadian Blog Awards: Round One Results

I owe a big thank you to the readers of Uncorrected Proofs. Your votes have made me a finalist in four categories at the Canadian Blog Awards. I readily admit that I was shocked by the results. Voting starts up again on Wednesday.

Canadian F-word Blog Awards

Round One of the Canadian Blog Awards has come and gone, but the Canadian F-Word Blog Awards are just getting started. Celebrate the feminist blogosphere.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Alberta Liberals Losing Ground: Poll

Not long ago, everybody seemed to think Ed Stelmach's Conservative government in Alberta was vulnerable. However, a recent poll shows that Stelmach is poised to increase his majority government at the expense of the opposition Liberals, who could easily lose up to half of their seats in a snap election.

Consider the numbers:

2004 election

Conservative: 62 seats with 47% of the vote
Liberal: 16 seats with 29% of the vote
NDP: 4 seats with 10% of the vote
Alliance: 1 seat with 9% of the vote
Greens: 0 seats with 3% of the vote

2008 poll

Conservative: 58% +11
Liberal: 19% -10
NDP: 9% -1
Alliance: 5% -4
Greens: 9% +6

"How Do We Beat the Bitch?"

The GOP's saving grace, John McCain, shows his true colours by answering this "excellent question".

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Exact Change: The NDP and the Prosperity Gap

This campaign by the Federal NDP to address the growing gap between the rich an the rest of us should resonate with traditional NDP voters. However, decisions like this are sure to repel the exact same demographic. The more the NDP acts like the Liberals and Tories, the more people will dismiss the party as an option.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What a tangled Web... Registering domain names makes online politicking tricky

University student Dave Cournoyer is being sued by Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach for having registered edstelmach.ca as domain name.
Seeing this political cartoon brought back memories of my own online shenanigans from six years ago... My target was the long-serving Mayor of Niagara Falls, Wayne Thomson, who went on to experience a crushing defeat in the 2003 municipal election. Congratulations to Dave Cournoyer for taking on the Alberta Premier. Let's hope Stelmach suffers the same defeat that Thomson did.
From the December 31, 2002 edition of the Niagara Falls Review:

What a tangled Web...: Registering domain names makes online politicking tricky

Corey Larocque
The Review

NIAGARA FALLS - Larry Savage owns "Wayne Thomson."

Savage bought waynethomson.com, an Internet domain name he's using to criticize the Niagara Falls mayor online. It's bound to create confusion for Thomson's re-election campaign, which used that Internet address in 2000.

"I don't want voters to forget about the mess the mayor has created down at city hall," said Savage, who has said he does not intend to be a candidate in November's municipal election. The York University student from Niagara Falls has fired political shots from the sidelines for years. When Internet users type in waynethomson.com, they're directed to a subdirectory of a Web site Savage created earlier this year. Savage, who fought city hall to keep the ward system, started politicaldiscord.com to criticize council decisions.

The waynethomson.com site identifies itself as the "unofficial web site" for Thomson. It mimics a page on the city's official Web site (city.niagarafalls.on.ca) that lists Thomson's accomplishments. "In that respect, it's sort of a spoof of his own Web page," Savage said.

Because Web sites are so prominent, computer users often look for sites of celebrities and companies by typing their names and adding the common dot-com suffix.

Thomson said he plans to use a political Web site of his own as part of his re-election campaign, which will begin in early January. Thomson said he believed he would be able to use waynethomson.com again because he used it before.

"It looks like an under-handed trick, like we've been dealing wwith the Web site he has set up," Thomson said, reacting to Savage's move.

Savage and Thomson have sparred over the content on Savage's Web site before.

In October, Thomson said he would react appropriately - including taking legal action - when his character is "impugned."

Savage launched the spoof site Friday, just five days before the 2003 campaign period officially begins. Since then, the site has been accessed nearly 200 times, he said.

It lists 13 controversies Thomson has been involved in since 1991. It describes the libel lawsuit against Thomson for his comments about a Chippawa couple in 1998 (Thomson counter-sued and the matter was settled out of court). It criticizes him for negotiating "a poor casino revenue deal" with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

The site also accuses Thomson of contradicting himself at times during council meetings. Savage has also bought the dot-com names for city aldermen Norm Puttick, Selina Volpatti, Victor Pietrangelo and Ken Feren, which link to his main site. It cost Savage about $25 apiece to register all the domain names, he said.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The NDP, the BQ and Party-Union Relations in Quebec

The NDP’s recent announcement that Quebec union leader Jean-Claude Rocheleau will run for the party in the federal election has some New Democrats cheering about the party’s improving fortunes in Quebec. However, it’s far too early to be celebrating. Although the NDP leadership would like us to think that unions and their members are drifting away from the BQ and into the arms of the NDP, there is little concrete evidence to suggest that this is occurring in any significant way.

Gilles Duceppe has solid trade union credentials as a former union staffer and most of Quebec’s labour leaders are solidly in the sovereignist camp even if their unions are not officially backing the Bloc. For example, recall that While Buzz Hargrove was calling on his members in English Canada to vote Liberal to stop Stephen Harper Harper in 2006, the Quebec section of the CAW was endorsing the BQ and actively working to unseat Liberals. The BQ has also been the key player behind repeated attempts to have a federal anti-scab bill passed into law and several of its MPs come from union backgrounds.

The relationship between the Quebec Federation of Labour (the largest trade union central in Quebec) and the NDP is virtually non-existent. The political outlook of the FTQ often conflicts with the centralist policy agenda of the NDP. Although on paper the NDP advocates asymmetry in Canadian constitutional matters, in practice, the New Democrats tend to sway with the political winds on this issue (witness the party’s flip flop on the Clarity Act in 2006). Organized labour in Quebec has had difficulty in embracing the NDP because of fundamental ideological and philosophical differences which exist as a result of constitutional issues. The Quebec labour movement's strong support of decentralization and limits on the federal spending power stands in sharp contrast to the NDP's economic nationalism and preference for a strong central government to set national standards. These contradictory policy preferences were slightly blurred during the Charlottetown Accord talks when the NDP negotiated away many of its core centralizing policy positions, but the NDP compromise did not come close to fulfilling the aspirations of the Quebec working class.

The FTQ’s 2004 convention, in a policy paper entitled “Présents sur tous les Fronts”, reaffirmed its commitment to operating with complete political independence in the realm of electoral politics. After amending its constitution to sever its official ties to the NDP in 1971, the FTQ has chosen to endorse parties in elections on a case-by-case basis. Since 1988, the FTQ has required a special convention resolution in order to endorse a political party in a provincial election campaign. In the 2003 Quebec provincial election, for example, the FTQ chose not to endorse a party and instead ran a third party campaign against the upstart ADQ. In 2007, the FTQ backed the PQ and has generally been supportive of the BQ at the federal level.

The argument is often made that labour parties like the NDP and unions are united through a common ideological commitment to social democracy. In Quebec, the common ideological commitment between unions and parties revolves around the national question, not social democracy. Whereas the PQ and BQ see sovereignty as the ultimate goal, the labour movement in Quebec views sovereignty as a means to an end, namely, social democracy. Until the NDP can come up with a consistent position on the national question (which is acceptable to Quebec nationalists), it is unlikely to win significant trade union support.