Thursday, January 31, 2008
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!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
That got me thinking… What does Canadian socialism smell like? Here are a few ideas for an NDP scent:
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.
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.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Justseeds/Visual Resistance Artists' Cooperative is a decentralized community of artists who have banded together to both sell their work online in a central location and to collaborate with and support each other and social movements. Our website is not just a place to shop, but also a destination to find out about current events in radical art and culture. Our blog covers political printmaking, socially engaged street art, and culture related to social movements. We believe in the power of personal expression in concert with collective action to transform society.
Friday, January 25, 2008
2008 Presidential Campaign:
Huckabee: $2,345,796Check out MapLight.org
h/t to Nag on the Lake
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.
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.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
From UNITE HERE:
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.
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 Postal Code:V5H4K2
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
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
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.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Consider the numbers:
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
Conservative: 58% +11
Liberal: 19% -10
NDP: 9% -1
Alliance: 5% -4
Greens: 9% +6
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
What a tangled Web...: Registering domain names makes online politicking tricky
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
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.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The survey, conducted between Jan. 10-13 for CTV and The Globe and Mail, shows that Dion is the only national party leader to show a significant drop in support.
When respondents were asked if they found the leaders favourable, less than half said they had a good impression of Dion (difference between a Jan. 11-14, 2007 poll in brackets):
Stephen Harper, Conservatives: 58 per cent (+4)
Elizabeth May, Green Party: 56 per cent (-2)
Jack Layton, NDP: 55 per cent (-4)
Stephane Dion, Liberals: 39 per cent (-20)
Best political blog
Best progressive blog
Best blog post series
Best new blog
And since my friend Nag on the Lake suggested to her readers that they throw their votes my way, I'll return the favour and suggest that you vote for Nag on the Lake in the following categories"
Best humour blog
Best entertainment/cultural blog
Monday, January 14, 2008
At a press conference today, the PSC answered the question on everybody's noses since the party announced last week it had created the fragrance: what does socialism smell like?
Apparently, it 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".
Oddly, it also smells a little like air freshener. One journalist at the press conference said the smell was so strong that he was practically overwhelmed and left feeling faint.
The creator, Albert Majós, told Cadena Ser radio station today that it was neither a "perfume nor air-freshener" but the aromatic representation of socialism's values.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Here is the timeline of the labour dispute according to the CEP:
SGEU locked out its staff on November 6.
CEP Local 481 agreed to a SFL request to proceed to mediation.
On November 30, SGEU refused to take part in mediation.
On December 3, CEP Local 481 contacted SGEU to return to the bargaining table.
On December 4, SGEU refused to agree to go back to the bargaining table.
The actions of SGEU leaders speak louder than words.
They try to impose concessions, lock-out workers who refuse to give in, and then refuse to attempt to bargain or mediate an agreement after having kept their workers locked-out in the cold for over a month -- just as we head into the Christmas season.SGEU leaders: your actions will be remembered...
I haven't read anything about this labour dispute in the left blogosphere, which is weird given the number of blogs that come out of Saskatchewan. In particular, I'm wondering what this blogger thinks.
Spitting images en francais!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Monday, January 7, 2008
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Peter Tabuns Meetings
Dialogue for a New Energy Economy
January 15 - London - London City Hall, Committee Room #4 & #5, 6-8pm.
January 17 - Kingston - Delahaye Rm., Kingston Public Library, 130 Johnson St., 7pm.
January 21 - Ottawa - Montgomery Legion, 330 Kent Street, 7pm.
January 22- Peterborough - The Lions Center, 347 Burnham Street. 7pm.
January 29 - Sarnia - CEP Union Hall, 900 Devine Street, 7pm.
January 31- Guelph - Guelph Youth Music Centre, 75 Cardigan Street, 6:45pm.
WHAT: A public meeting with Peter Tabuns, Provincial NDP Environment and Energy Critic, MPP Toronto Danforth and former Executive Director of Greenpeace.
WHY: Because our province is on the brink of crisis: - our energy supply and our economic security are at risk. Peter Tabuns will introduce 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.
This meeting will begin a dialogue with you and others who have been working so hard for a healthy economy, a clean environment, healthy cities, good jobs and a new way forward for the future: A Dialogue for a New Energy Economy.