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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

30 eh? 
(en francais)

Happy Birthday GOTV Stupid!

The cake says it all!

WE Speak at 8:17 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

It pays to go wandering 
(en francais)

While on a recent wandering blog linkwalk, I found this great site - A Canadian Econoview

What a refreshingly good read! Check out these samples:

Don't these people ever learn?

Curse Those Cheap Labour Countries

I think I took Economics at the wrong university, I probably would have stayed awake in Brian's class!

H/T to the Shotgun

WE Speak at 7:10 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)

Strong World
"I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind. July 1, 1960. From the Canadian Bill of Rights. John G. Diefenbaker."

Agree with Bill, disagree with him, but don't ignore him! A proud Canadian and avid blogger.

Stop in and say hello - you may just find yourself staying to read for a while.

(Note: I'm off to an annual BBQ with lots of meat and a keg of Keiths. Any posts appearing in my name in the next 24hrs are the product of my evil twin! )

WE Speak at 6:18 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

It's a long weekend and Murphy's law strikes. 
(en francais)

Ok - who broke the blogroll? Both the Blogging Tories and Ontario blogrolls are pooched, from what I can see.

WE Speak at 3:12 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Blogging MPs and Candidates - Update 
(en francais)

WE Speak at 5:32 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Conservative Resources - Update 
(en francais)

Here are some recent additions to the Conservative Resources list. As always, drop me a line at bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com if you have any additions for the list.

*NEW - Conservative Campaign Academy - run by Richard Ciano, Party Vice-President.
The Campaign Training Series for all Candidates & Campaign Workers. Training sessions conducted in a state-of-the-art campiagn office located in Bradford, Ontario - 45 minutes North of Toronto on Highway 400

*NEW - Conservative Party of Canada Podcast Feed - get the latest Conservative.ca mp3 files delivered to your computer.

*NEW - Conservative Party of Canada - Issues (on the main menu). Stay up-to-date and on message with the latest issue related announcements from the Conservative party.

*NEW - How'd They Vote? - aims to be a non-partisan website which provides a variety of in-depth information on the operations of the Canadian Parliament, specifically, how our politicians vote and what they've said. We take the Hansards from the parliament website, and extract information on bills, members of parliament, votes, and speeches.

*NEW - CanConv 1.05 Beta - (Canadian Conversation) - a distributed conversation tracking application. Designed to track blog posts relating to Canadian topics. You can submit blogs and posts relating to Canadian topics. Subscribe to topic feeds or to all recent content. Designed by Andrew Anderson of Bound by Gravity.

*NEW - Info-Syn - Info-Syn is designed for a quick skim of whatever was published in the last little while. Check out the 'Canadian Bullet - Canada's Top Political blogs at a glance.

*NEW - Institute for Politics, Democray & the Internet - a virtual treasure trove of current political research. "The Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet has three principal goals:
  1. The establishment of a research base for the study of online politics, especially with respect to American campaigns and elections.
  2. The design, testing, refinement, and promotion of appropriate standards of practice for the conduct of online campaigning.
  3. The creation and public promotion of an online public space where good campaign practices and democratic values may thrive.
*NEW - Babelfish - Alta Vista's site translation tool.

*NEW - Google Language Tools - Google's suite of translation tools.

WE Speak at 1:18 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Friday, July 29, 2005

Pass the Hat please... 
(en francais)

Looks like the Liberty Seminar might need to pass the hat a few times in order to make sure Marc Emery attends the weekend.

WE Speak at 7:18 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Menard Report on Healthcare in Quebec 
(en francais)

Old Age Fund Sought to Avert Crisis

At least Quebec is starting to have an honest discussion about Healthcare. I don't agree with much, as outlined in the article, but I'll reserve any comments until I actually read the report.

WE Speak at 9:55 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Gmaps Pedometer for Joggers and Walkers 
(en francais)

Interesting little tool that I just stumbled across. Started out as a Google hack and is now using the Google Maps API. Once you create and measure your route, you can now bookmark it and go back and edit it later on. Measured in KMs or MIs, includes a calorie counter. Nice little piece of work.

Gmaps Pedometer

What is this?
This is a little hack that uses Google's superb mapping application to help record distances traveled during a running or walking workout.

As a runner training for a marathon for the first time, I found myself wishing I had an easy way to know the exact distance a certain course is, without having to drag a GPS or pedometer around on my runs. Looking at Google Maps, and knowing there was a vibrant community of geeks hacking it, I knew there had to be a way. So here it is.

Note that there's a reason this is called a pedometer. Considering that you have to choose all the points in your route individually yourself, it's probably not suitable for driving trips and the like. But I've found it suits my purposes pretty well for getting running distances.

WE Speak at 2:02 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Town Hall Meetings 
(en francais)

Inspired by Andrew @ Bound by Gravity , I think it's time to put the organizational thinking cap on again.

As we move from the summer BBQ season into the fall, a natural progression of political events is the Town Hall meeting. Some CPC candidates have already begun planning and scheduling these meetings. This is an excellent opportunity for the party to continue with a positive message, directly to the people.

Many candidates are still in the process of forming their teams, raising money and beginning Voter ID efforts. Planning an event such as a Town Hall meeting is something that requires experience, carefull planning and skillfull execution. This is certainly an area where the party could help. A few ideas of the top of my head:

  1. A professional Radio ad distributed to all the ridings announcing Town Hall meetings. Simply insert appropriate 'local' info at the end of the ad
  2. Multi-media presentation to be used at meetings. Intro from Stephen Harper, highlights from Conservative Critics on current Conservative policy. Make some digital projectors and other such aids available through regional organizers.
  3. Town Hall planning package - offer several different formats. List pros and cons of each. Include suggested timings, resources and materials needed. The party has access to all the resources, experience and knowledge to put something like this together. Encourage grassroots ideas and feedback - make this a living, changing document. (Wikis?)
  4. Make MPs and CPC officials (National Councillors, Communications officers, Campaign Staff) available as support for these events.
  5. Create a national media campaign in support - ie. "Conservatives Talking to Canadians". This is your opportunity to find out for yourself what Conservatives are really all about.
  6. Provide translation resources so that these meeting can be used as an outreach tool to all Canadians
  7. Virtual town halls - stream content from selected town halls. Offer email and chat access to meetings. Podcast video from townhalls

Just a few ideas. :) If you have any more, throw them in the comments section.

While there's no guarantee anyone from the party is reading my humble little blog, it certainly doesn't hurt to actively discuss things like this. If we truly want to be a grassroots party, then that self-same grassroots needs to make their voice heard. Talk to your local candidate/MP/EDA executive/Regional Organizer. Use the CPC site - send in your ideas and make your voice heard. It's your party too!

WE Speak at 11:50 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Bill Gates - no sense of humour 
(en francais)

An interesting story from the developer of Ctl-Alt-Del keystroke sequence. He gives a run down on why it was created - and then why it became popular. Bill Gates is on the same panel and fails to see the humour of the story. Video clip is a Quicktime movie. Must see for any geeks out there.
h/t Tasteful Future

WE Speak at 9:36 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

London candidates looking for ideas 
(en francais)

The London area Conservative Party Candidates are hosting a booth at the upcoming London fair and are looking for presentation ideas. Drop in and give 'em your best.

London Conservative Candidates Unite for Londons Western Fair !

WE Speak at 8:36 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Mr. Dressup 
(en francais)

From Warren Kinsella's blog:

Oracle of Ottawa

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

WE Speak at 1:24 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Parrish the thought 
(en francais)

I had resolved to leave Canada's motormouth alone, but this one was just too good:

Perish her Thoughts

WE Speak at 12:55 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

My two cents on Rachel Marsden 
(en francais)

Give the woman a break.

In today's world of 24 hour news, blogs, ezines etc, there's no lack of loud-mouth pundits (this blogger included) looking to have their say.

The lady's just trying to put food on her table and make her way through life.

Agree with her, disagree with her, who cares. Me - I celebrate the fact I live in a country where free speech still means something - at least at this point. Not so sure about the future.

That's just my two cents. I'll send ya the GST later.

Flame on!

WE Speak at 5:30 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

We could use a guy like this in Canada 
(en francais)

The reporter Detroit's mayor hates to see coming

"Steve Wilson works to be a thorn in the side of city hall."

This guy's like a dog with his favourite bone. Give us 2 or 3 reporters like him and the Liberals would be worrying about the colour of their jail cell, not the colour of money.

WE Speak at 8:26 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

It's always the statistics they don't report that are interesting 
(en francais)

Quick Facts about the Canadian Firearms Program as of June 30, 2005

Firearms Licences and Registration of Firearms

* Of the 2 million firearms licences issued to individuals under the Firearms Act, there are:

o 1.24 million Possession Only Licences (POLs)
o 735,000 Possession and Acquisition Licences (PALs)
o 5,000 Minors Licences

* 1.65 million individual licence holders have at least one firearm registration certificate.

* There are 4,368 valid business licences. Purposes for a business licence include: retail / wholesale of firearms, manufacturing, auction, display in a museum, and gunsmithing.

* Of the over 7 million firearms currently registered:

o 6.78 million firearms are registered to individuals
o 230,000 firearms are registered to businesses
o 41,700 firearms are registered or recorded to public agencies & museums
So my question to the above is - how many of the 2 million who have firearms licences moved last year? How many weapons do they have, where did they move to and has the database been updated yet?

Seems like a simple question, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you look at the following:

* Law enforcement officers have queried the Canadian Firearms Registry On-line over 4.1 million times since it was launched on December 1, 1998. Currently, an average of more than 3,000 queries are made daily.

Note: The Canadian Firearms Registry Online service provides police officers access to firearms licence and registration information in the Canadian Firearms Information System through the Canadian Police Information Centre. This information helps the police to intervene and respond to calls effectively in order to prevent injury and crime, assists in the investigation of firearm-related crimes, and helps the police to identify and return stolen and lost firearms to their rightful owners.
That leads to my next question, how many of the 3000 queries per day are deemed to be accurate? Do they measure accuracy?

Let me put it another way. Have YOU moved lately? Even though you don't currently own a weapon, how do you know that the previous occupant of your household didn't?

Let's take this one step further. There is a loud arguement emanating from your house tomorrow and your cautious neighbour calls the police with a possible domestic violence complaint or even strange noises and a possible break and enter in progress.

Now do you think it would be worthwhile to know if the person who lived there before you owned weapons?

Statistics don't always tell the full story. As Canadians, it certainly important that we continue asking these sorts of questions.

WE Speak at 4:48 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A great opportunity for youth. 
(en francais)


“The Next Great Prime Minister” is looking for Canada’s future leaders and has been
launched to engage young Canadians in the political process.

If you are between the ages of 18 to 29, send us a 3 to 5 minute videotaped speech telling us what you would do if you were Prime Minister. Tell us how you would make Canada better, stronger, and more prosperous.

Be compelling. Be original. And above all, be inspirational.

A nationally broadcast special airing this fall on network television will feature the top 5 contestants competing in a one-hour televised final. The winner will be chosen as Canada’s “Next Great Prime Minister” and will receive a $50,000 cash prize and a six-month internship with our corporate sponsor with maximum compensation of $30,000. Each of the four remaining contenders featured on the television program will receive $10,000 and a three-month internship with our corporate sponsor with maximum compensation of $15,000.


WE Speak at 10:33 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Time to explore a little 
(en francais)

This plus this = new adventures.

Open some new doors and see what you might find. New and different perspectives are always interesting.

Le Blog de Polyscopique
makes it easy for us unilingual people by publishing in both official languages.

WE Speak at 9:30 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Weekly Sales Pitch 
(en francais)

Help Elect a Conservative!

Great for your summer golf tournaments as prizes or giveaways.

Get your shopping for Christmas done early!

Got a Liberal friend? - Make their day!

Get 'em while you can, supplies are dwindling and this is a one time order.

WE Speak at 8:59 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

The price you pay for not voting Liberal 
(en francais)

U of W $7.5M shy for Games arena
Still hoping for corporate cash

Hmmm.... , the last Pan Am Jr's hosted by Canada were in Quebec. I seem to remember large amounts of federal money flowing to that project. I wonder what the difference is here?

The U of W is not without fault here, if the article is correct. If they only began seeking funds in May, then they deserve whatever mess they end up in. Other funding should have been sought from the day they found out they were hosting the games. The unfortunate thing about this, is that it is the students who will suffer in the long run.

The stadium is about 1/2 mile from where I live and about 1 mile from my office. It's beautiful and will be a lasting legacy for the University, it's athletes and the city. It will be very sad if part of that legacy is a needless debt.

WE Speak at 6:18 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Garth gets it! 
(en francais)

Garth just gets it. He understands. The 36 days of an election are just not enough. Many other campaigns would do well to follow his lead. Regardless of the weather, he's out there knocking on doors every day (among many other things).
As I drive out past the replica stone mill, I can’t help feeling energized. This is now a mission. It’s a drug. But how will I tell Esther, I’m hooked on doors?
And a sense of humour too!

Crossposted to The Turner Report

WE Speak at 2:49 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics 
(en francais)

Take a few minutes and visit the The Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of
Internet and Politics
and vote for fellow Blogging Tories member Lanny Cardow and the organization he works for Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet

After you vote, take some more time and visit the Institute's site, it's well worth it.

WE Speak at 2:23 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

French Translation of Blogger Blogs 
(en francais)

Hat Tip to James Bow, where I first noticed this translation offered. I've adapted it for my blogger site and figured I might as well share it with others. Although internet translations are not exactly the best, they allow you to get the general message of a post and can open new blog avenues for people.

As a party trying to grow across the country, and specifically in Quebec, this gesture certainly can't hurt. I know I have been using the translate feature of Google recently to follow several French language blogs. Outreach makes a difference.

I'm going to play with my template a bit tonight and see if I can't add this to the title as well, to highlight the feature a little more. I'm sure this will work for any type of blog, you just have to figure out what code to insert to reference your permalink.

Blogger Code

Moveable Type Code

Edited to include MT code from James Bow

One person - one vote at a time.

This story was crossposted to Colbert's Comment's Friday Open Trackback Party

WE Speak at 1:19 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Monday, July 25, 2005

TPC Program Update 
(en francais)

Hat tip to Bill @ Strongworld for carrying on the research into the Liberal TPC boondoggle and to Conservative MP for Edmonton-Leduc, James Rajotte for keeping his eye on this developing situation. Considering the lack of coverage of this in the MSM, it seems like we will just have to continue slogging on with our research until we can serve up the complete picture.

WE Speak at 11:38 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)

Amy - my conservative approach to the world.

A young woman not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in.

Such a scary thing to behold in the CPC - don't ya think?

Pop in to ToryBlue and say hello.

Many thanks to those who emailed me over the last week with suggestions on blogs to visit or specific posts to read. I'm making an effort to visit every BT blog at least once per week and have a look at what's going on.

WE Speak at 12:40 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Friday, July 22, 2005

CPC site - Employment Opportunities 
(en francais)

For those that haven't noticed it as yet, the CPC site has added an Employment Opportunities section. There's currently one job listed.

Keep your eyes open - there may be a few postings for the Communications department. :)

WE Speak at 5:49 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Peter McKay BBQ 
(en francais)

For those in the Windsor, Essex and Chatham areas. If you haven't received a daemon dial, personal phone call, email or letter:

Windsor-Tecumseh 1st Annual Summer BBQ
Friday, July 22nd 5pm to 8pm
Special Guests:
Peter Mackay
Deputy Leader, Conservative Party of Canada
MP, Central Nova

complete details...

WE Speak at 1:35 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Some BT blogging tips 
(en francais)

For new members:

1. Take a look at the Members page. Here you will find directions on how to ping the blogroll so that your name moves up the roll. You can either manually ping each time or create a ping html file. Some blogging software will allow you to add the ping details so that it will ping automatically on posting.

2. Send your site's RSS feed to the BT admin so that your posts appear on the front page (the aggregator). If you're using Blogger, the default Atom feeds don't work very well with the BT software. The easiest thing to do is visit Feedburner and generate your own feed and email that.

3. Blogging Tips from Blogs Canada. Short and simple. Good advice.

WE Speak at 12:59 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tech instead of politics 
(en francais)

Still not feeling in much of a political mood today - so Tech is the theme.

How Do We Make Blogs More User-Friendly?

"Net Rage" - A Study of Blogs and Usability by Catalyst Design

WE Speak at 9:37 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

On politics... 
(en francais)

To those who grace my humble blog with their presence, you may have heard a very loud sigh this morning.

How to describe it?

Last evening I was unfortunately involved in a political betrayal of such magnitude that it immediately caused me to lose the rather excellent meal I had recently consumed at a fine local establishment. While not the actual target, I was certainly very involved. For the thousands of times that I have read the expression " felt like I'd been kicked by a mule" or something similiar, I now truly understand what that means.

The betrayal itself will probably be insignificant in the long run, the true crisis is my faith in honesty, loyalty and friendship. My belief in these noble things was shaken in a very profound way last night. As a sad result, I feel my cynicism and mistrust of others has ratcheted up a notch or two. That does make me very sad. I now feel the need to more closely guard my friendships, feelings and ideas. In many ways, I feel I have been silenced by this act.

Cliches of "politics is a blood sport".... etc are always bandied about. One of the reasons I entered the realm of politics is to help affect some positve change for my city, province and country. I have met, and continue to meet, some truly wonderful people in my recent experiences. Passionate, outspoken, opinionated and knowledgeable people. Our differing opionions and passionate debates on the ills of the day are the spice of life.

A very defining moment in politics was arrived at by myself last night. The new morning brought opportunity for others to take part in this defining moment. I must say, I was quite suprised and very encouraged by the response. There are other honourable people in this business. As of last night, I truly wondered.

Though my spirit has been bruised and battered, I take heart in those still standing around us. Your willingness to stand up for honesty, integrity and good old fashioned hard work has not gone without notice. Last night may have permanently changed me in ways I have yet to determine, yet, your continued presence ensures most of the future will be a better place.

Thank-you for that.

This story was crossposted to Colbert's Comment's Friday Open Trackback Party

WE Speak at 7:44 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

(en francais)

is so dirty.

WE Speak at 6:29 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Monday, July 18, 2005

Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics 
(en francais)

From Politics Online:

The results from the call for nominations are in and now we are asking you to select your favorite choice from the list of 20 finalists for the Top Ten Who Are Changing The World of Internet & Politics vote, sponsored by PoliticsOnline and the 6th annual E-Democracy Worldwide Forum.

This year marked the toughest year ever in choosing the 20 finalists. The integration of politics and the Internet has spread like wildfire around the globe, reflected in this year's diverse, international nominees.

The winners, those top 10 nominees who receive the most votes, will be announced at the 6th annual Worldwide Forum on Electronic Democracy -- September 28-29, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, (Paris, France).
Take a look through the list, there are some interesting sites here. Register your vote for the one you like the most. Pay particular attention to Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet, there's a Blogging Tory hiding out there!

WE Speak at 6:48 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Psst Jack ... 
(en francais)

Steven Fletcher on the crumbling NDP/Liberal alliance.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Good job Steven.

WE Speak at 4:47 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

OxyMORONIC pairing of the year. 
(en francais)

This with this.

WE Speak at 5:37 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Out of Left Field - A Response to General Hillier 
(en francais)

It's been said by many others this weekend, but I believe it can never be said enough.

From this Globe and Mail article on Saturday:

However, Gen. Hillier's vow to hunt down terrorists did ruffle some feathers. Maude Barlow, chairwoman of the Council of Canadians, said Canada should retain a more level-headed approach to events such as last week's terrorist attacks in London.

"I'm feeling it's time for people to be as calm as possible. . . . I would love Canada to play a thoughtful, moderating position in this," she said, denouncing Gen. Hillier's comments as "very aggressive."
Gee Maude, maybe we should take away his rifle and send him to bed without any supper. Last time I checked it's usually considered good doctrine to train your soldiers to be "very agressive". You tend to have a better chance of bringing a greater number home alive when you train them as soldiers, not some left-leaning think tank's idea of 'Canadian values projected abroad'.

Not to be outdone by Maude:
But Stephen Staples, a military analyst at the Ottawa-based, left-leaning Polaris Institute, said he found Gen. Hillier's comments "rather alarming."

"Are we seeing an Americanization of the Canadian Forces?" Mr. Staples asked.
This statement is just so profoundly stupid, I'll leave it at that.

Kudo's to General Hillier for breaking decades of Canadian Military lockjaw and telling it like it is. A breath of fresh air that hopefully is building to a wind of change.

WE Speak at 3:00 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Shameless Promotion 
(en francais)

After a hard day of work, I felt the need for a little bit of shamless promotion so...

Help Elect a Conservative Today

WE Speak at 2:00 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Adopt a Conservative Today 
(en francais)

Often times CPC bloggers (and other party members as well) have a rant at the party - "why aren't they doing this - it's so obvious" , or "if we're going to form a government we need to..."

While thinking along these lines, I was surfing through How'd They Vote, an excellent new resource. They have a page on MPs websites, basically a report on who has one and who doesn't along with a breakdown by Party and Province. An interesting thing stood out when I was looking at these stats. In Quebec, only 36% of MPs have websites. 36%?? When looked at another way, that's 48 ridings out of 75 with no political presence on the internet.

This is an opportunity that the Conservative Party and it's candidates need to take advantage of. While the CPC ran a distant third in the majority of these ridings, that doesn't mean that we should not be working to build the party in these areas. One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to do that today is through a website or a blog.

Hmmm - where could we possibly find people to help out in that regard?

Many of these EDAs face uphill battles with little or no resources. I'm sure there are many members out there who have fought elections under similiar circumstances. How many times did you think - 'if only we had some more money' or 'if only we had....' ?

Here's an opportunity for everyone to help out. Take a look through some of the ridings in Quebec. Reach out and offer your skills and a little bit of your time. Maybe one enterprising person could design a simple web template that could be used by all the Quebec candidates. Help a candidate start a blog. If you don't have the technical skills, how about a small donation towards electing a CPC candidate in Quebec? (not sure if Quebec provincial election finance laws apply in any way to this - maybe someone could chime in)

While the lions share of work is needed in Quebec to raise the CPC profile, there are also many other EDAs across Canada that could benefit from the same sort of assistance. Think outside the box a little. Would your EDA consider twinning with another EDA to provide advice and assistance? Could your EDA hold a BBQ this summer or an event in the fall to benefit another EDA? (Elections Canada rules allow for transfers of funds between EDAs) Are you vacationing in another EDA this summer, could you meet with a local person and arrange something?

A friend of mine was at a CPC regional conference this winter. Stephen Harper asked everyone in attendance for ideas on how to attract better candidates for elections. My friend stood up and said "stop losing by more than 10,000 votes." Many laughed, not knowing just how serious he was. Many ridings are simply considered 'lost causes' and little or no effort is expended on them. That's one way to guarantee they remain lost causes.

Think of it in this way - every vote denied the BQ, Liberals and NDP is $1.75 less in financing they will receive in years following an election (for some strange reason, I even think this number will eventually rise to $2.00). Given the financing woes of the Liberals recently, this is a fitting way to continue to take the battle to them.

One person, one vote at a time.

WE Speak at 1:28 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Blogging Tories Poll Results 
(en francais)

Results of the BT Poll

Sorry, would have had these results out yesterday if not for several hours of unsaved Excel work, a thunderstorm and a minor power outage. (yah - I know, lesson learned yet again - save your work)

When I began this, there were 168 Blogging Tories on the roll. I received responses from 56 people. I removed either orr, Captain's Quarters and Progressive Bloggers from the roll to end up with a total of 165.


a. how many are CPC members - 43/56, 76.8 %

b. how many are supporters - I put this question in mainly for those who weren't members. I guess I could have framed it better. 12/13 92.3%

c. are people active either at the EDA level, with a campaign or nationally - 38/56, 67.9%.

Of note on this question, some people noted that they would be interested, but have never been approached or afforded an opportunity. Others stated they would be involved as a volunteer come election time.

d. how many have donated to the party either locally or nationally within the last year - 44/56, 78.6 %.

If you add in the people who stated they had donated time instead of money due to limited funds 49/56, 87.5%

e. how many have attended an event within the last year. 36/56, 64.3%. Of note with this question, many people stated they would attend more events if they had better advance notice or any notice at all.

If answers continue to come in I will update the poll. I had about 10 email bounces and numerous blogs with no email listed, so I could not contact them. Eventually I would like to contact all the blogs.

I'll leave the analysis to everyone else.

I'd like to thank everyone for taking the time to answer the poll. It has been an interesting experience. It has afforded me the opportunity to visit every blog on the roll (a somewhat distracting experience at times!) and really see what a diverse group the Blogging Tories are.

Blog on!

WE Speak at 9:15 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)

North American Patriot

Wonder Woman, One-Line Bio - A Canadian conservative atheist with a passion for justice.

Intrigued? Drop in for a read, it's worth the visit. This is a relatively new blog on the roll that I stopped in on during my rounds for the BT survey.

Welcome to Blogging Tories Wonder Woman. I look forward to reading many more of your blogs.

WE Speak at 6:50 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Friday, July 15, 2005

Daemon Dialer/Auto Dialer Companies 
(en francais)

I'm searching for the above to do a daemon dial to all our supporters locally, to let them know about a BBQ next week with Peter MacKay and several other CPC MPs. I have the info on my system at the office, but alas, am on vacation this week and forgot to bring my contact info with me. Would prefer a Canadian company owned by a CPC supporter/member if possible. I know there are a couple in Ottawa and Toronto, but for the life of me I can't remember the names and Google wasn't much help.



WE Speak at 12:24 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Blogging Tories Poll Results...Update 
(en francais)

Sorry, just a tease for now.

I have received 37 responses so far. The results are so suprising that I've decided to carry on with the poll and attempt to contact every member of the roll, so that I may get as complete a picture as possible.

If you haven't responded as yet - drop me a line at bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com

A couple things I should note. The reason I added the supporter question was to capture data on those who weren't a member. The poll is completely anonymous, I will not be releasing anyones answers or sharing the raw data with anyone. Once the poll is completed I will be deleting everyones responses to me and eventually will delete the raw data as well. The main reason for doing this poll was simply to satisfy my own curiousity.

Thank you to everyone who has responded so far. I've repeated the poll below for those who haven't seen it as yet.

After reading this discussion at Boundy By Gravity, I've decided to do quick
review of the BT roll to see:

a. how many are CPC members
b. how many are supporters
c. are people active either at the EDA level, with a campaign or nationally
d. how many have donated to the party either locally or nationally within the last year
e. how many have attended an event within the last year.

WE Speak at 10:50 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

cConservative.ca adds Podcasting 
(en francais)

The Conservative.ca site has addded podcasting capabilites to the site. Currently there is one feed for Speeches. I'm sure we'll see other feeds in the future to include things like videos and maybe even a Conservative weekly radio show. Who knows?

The page has several links for further info on podcasting and a link for a reader. For further info on podcasting, software and how to create your own - check out this post.

You can also get your very own Blogging Tories copy of a reader here.

Hat tip to the CPC and their webmasters for their latest site additions and to Stephen Taylor for leading the way with the Blogging Tories podcasts.

WE Speak at 10:05 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Quick Blogging Tories Poll 
(en francais)

After reading this discussion at Boundy By Gravity, I've decided to do quick review of the BT roll to see:

a. how many are CPC members
b. how many are supporters
c. are people active either at the EDA level, with a campaign or nationally
d. how many have donated to the party either locally or nationally within the last year
e. how many have attended an event within the last year.

Email me bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com with your answers. We'll see what we end up with.

WE Speak at 5:29 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Suprise? Outrage? Should've seen it coming Jack! 
(en francais)

Well it looks like the Jack Pack is going to get what it deserves for propping up Paul Martin - NOTHING. Now you see it, now you don't.

NDP worry budget deal could 'tank'
Liberal promises hinge on having $2-billion surplus
(subscriber only content)

Simon Doyle
CanWest News Service
July 13, 2005

I'll give you the telling quote -

"Liberal MP John McKay, parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, Tuesday told the Senate committee on finance, currently studying the bill, that the government will not know its 2005-06 surplus until August or September 2006. Not a penny from the NDP-negotiated budget can be spent until then, and only if the government has a $2-billion surplus."

NDP response -
"NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis said the original agreement with the government stipulated the money was supposed to flow this fall after a surplus had been estimated, which she said is expected to be $8 or $9 billion.
"That's not the deal," said Wasylycia-Leis. The NDP may have to revisit the bargain with the government, she said, adding she expects the government to keep its commitments because it has readily sold them to the public."

Did they not even bother reading the text of their own backroom, hotel deal? I guess Buzz was too busy to read it for them.

I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop on this one for a while. I never did understand the NDPs claim that the money was going to start flowing immediately in the fall. If their intention was to have the money flowing based on estimates, you would think they would make sure it was written that way in the bill - it's not. Maybe if they hadn't rushed this through parliament they could have taken time to clarify things.

Payments for fiscal year 2005-2006
1. (1) Subject to subsection
(3), the Minister of Finance may, in respect of the fiscal year 2005-2006, make payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund up to the amount that is the difference between the amount that would, but for those payments, be the annual surplus as provided in the Public Accounts for that year prepared in accordance with sections 63 and 64 of the Financial Administration Act and $2 billion.

Payments for fiscal year 2006-2007
(2) Subject to subsection (3), the
Minister of Finance may, in respect of the fiscal year 2006-2007, make payments out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund up to the amount that is the difference between the amount that would, but for those payments, be the annual surplus as provided in the Public Accounts for that year prepared in accordance with sections 63 and 64 of the Financial Administration Act and $2 billion.

Maximum amount
(3) The payments made under subsections (1) and (2) shall not exceed in the
aggregate $4.5 billion.

At least Belinda got a Cabinet post for her vote. What did you get for your 19 votes Jack? A lesson in Liberal politics - and it's bound to be a lesson you won't forget for a long while. You should have listened to Ed Broadbent. History has a nasty way of repeating itself and the NDP has always come up on the short end of the stick after propping up a Liberal minority.

Paul Martin got to keep his government, the Jack Pack got their 15 minutes of fame and the Canadian people got screwed once again.

Well done Jack!

This story was crossposted to Colbert's Comment's Friday Open Trackback Party

WE Speak at 1:16 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Yet another CPC Candidate Blogging! 
(en francais)

Kitchener-Waterloo CPC candidate Ajmer Mandur

Congratulations to Ajmer on his nomination and welcome to the Blogoshpere.

Drop in and give your best wishes to Ajmer, especially if you're from the KW area.

One person - one vote at a time.

WE Speak at 3:43 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Smile of the Day 
(en francais)

WE Speak at 1:18 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Hate Mail/Post of the Week 
(en francais)

Liberal Underground has this neat little feature called "Hate Mail" where he tries to portray various emails sent to him as being representative of the Conservative party and their supporters.

I'm always a big fan of turnabout is fair play, so, from a posting on Liberal Underground comes this tolerant example of love and forgiveness:
"So the conservative party is mostly radical evangelicals and members have dropped hints and admitted to what they really want to accomplish so yes it is there agenda.

Why is this so hard to understand or believe ?

The party certainly has room to grow change and improve
End Quote

Do you even know what your saying here ? your basically saying "well the party has problems but we will get better", haha, so what ?!

I dont know if you totally see it yet but evangelicals ARE the conservative party, dont kid yourself, i dont know if you dealt with some people that were part of reform or alliance or torys but this party isent any of them (well it is essentially the alliance minus the more talkative members).

P.S. I grew up in that american, conservative shithole windsor ontario, there and essex ontario, couldnt wait to get out of that redneck little city.
As a current resident of Windsor and Essex county, to say I take offense at such a comment is an understatement.

From this point on, I think I can manage to find an appropriate comment, email or post to match Liberal Underground post for post in the supposed 'hate' category.

For those not getting the message as yet, Conservatives are organized, engaged and motivated. The 'demonize the right' tactic is tired, worn and just plain sophmoric these days. Each and every attempt to continue with this tactic will be responded to with an appropriate response.

Every party has it's extremes. To continue to try and paint the whole of a party with the extreme wings is misleading and just plain dishonest.

As far as I'm concerned, let this be notice that such behaviour will no longer be tolerated or ignored. Unlike many in the past I'm not afraid to say:

I'm a Conservative and Proud of it!

What's really scaring the left is more and more average Canadians are saying the same thing every day.

One person - one vote at a time!

WE Speak at 3:47 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Spin, Spin. Things are not always what they seem to be 
(en francais)

"Grewal, first elected as a Reform MP for Surrey Central in 1997 (he now represents Newton-North Delta), blamed the situation on an attempt to discredit him by supporters of federal Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh.

"I have nothing against Gurmant, he's a friend of mine, said Sarup Mann, who says he wrote Grewal a cheque for $600 and never got a receipt.

But he is also on the executive of the Liberal Party's Vancouver South riding association, Dosanjh's riding.

While Mann said he just wants a receipt for his donation, Jaspal Atwal -- who wrote Grewal a $500 cheque -- took a harder line: "I think he should resign."
Nomination donations are not eligible for a tax receipt. Prior to 2004, there was no requirment to issue receipts for nomination races.

As much as I think the whole Grewal affair has been handled poorly by the party, he at least deserves the benefit of the doubt until the various reports have been filed. He has already been cleared of the first allegation.

On the other hand, the honourable thing to do, in my mind, is for Gurmant to resign from the CPC caucus pending the results of the various investigations underway. This is the standard we consistently demand of Cabinet Ministers. It would be good politics for us to lead by example in this situation. While it would be a tough personal and political decision for Gurmant, in the long run, it's just the ethical thing to do.

My 2 1/2 cents (+ GST and PST) for the day

WE Speak at 3:18 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

When a terrorist isn't a terrorist? 
(en francais)

This courtesty of a friend at Liberty is Good.

To say that I was stunned when she first told me would be putting it mildly.

From reading the article, it sounds to me like the CBC and BBC both use the same playbook.

Makes me want to rush right out and order my "Politically Correct Dictionary" to make sure I'm not breaking any rules when I'm blogging. Ya - right!

WE Speak at 12:43 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The decreasing quality of the Blogging Tories 
(en francais)

The decreasing quality of the Blogging Tories.

Seems like some on the left don't like the quality of the Blogging Tories these days.

Rather than engaging in a blogwar, I'll simply offer my view here.

Unlike the politically correct Jack Pack crowd at the Blogging New Democrats, I see the Blogging Tories as a dynamic and growing community. What is really encouraging is that the community is made up of a diverse group of opinions. Virtually every viewpoint from the right is represented and a vibrant discussion and debate is being carried on, all without the typical labels such as 'Red Tory' and 'Socon' being tossed around. Collaborations, both on and offline are being formed as a result of relationships made through BT. This can only be a good thing for the Conservative Party.

Stephen Taylor and Craig Smith have volunteered thier time and money to provide this focal point for Conservatives everywhere in Canada. That it is growing and improving day by day is a testament to their work.

Personally, I enjoy reading the wide range of opinions here. I'm heartened to see that we have many MPs and Candidates blogging. This kind of outreach by our MPs and candidates is further proof that the party has nothing to hide. Our people are putting themselves out there and encouraging Canadians to get involved. This kind of frank and open discussion can only be good for the party and good for all Canadians.

Rather than stifling debate and demanding rank and file obedience as the NDP does, Conservatives value the exercise of debate and discussion. As the only party with a policy of Free Votes for it's MPs, the Conservatives are leading the way in re-energizing the worth of each and every MP. Blogging Tories is doing much the same in offering grassroots Conservatives a venue to make their voice heard. And let me be very clear...

It is being heard!

To all my fellow Blogging Tories - keep up the good work. The rhetoric being pushed from the left tells me your efforts are having an affect. They get very worried when the average Canadian actually starts forming opinions of their own, rather than what they 'should be thinking'.

Blog On!

WE Speak at 5:46 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Monday, July 11, 2005

My Pick for Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)

This is my totally partisan, non-subjective, pick of the week, for someone from the Blogging Tories Blogroll.

While there are many high profile Blogging Tories, new members are joining every week. Many of these new members bring fresh ideas and approaches to policy, campaigning, blogging etc.

The pick of the week intends to highlight a mixture of both types of bloggers. This is not meant as a status symbol, but an encouragement for good bloggers to keep on.

The first recepient of the "Blogging Tories" pick of the week is Colbert's Comments. Brent is a avid blogger, not afraid to put himself out there.

(if anyone want's to save me from Photoshop hell, please feel free to design a better logo and send it on!)

WE Speak at 6:36 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Welcome to a new Blogger 
(en francais)

And I thought Libertarians would have something against forcing a computer to do something it didn't want to. :)

Liberty is Good

Preach on!

WE Speak at 6:22 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

HAH! #11 
(en francais)

HAH! #11 - Democratic Reform

Inspired by Calgary Observer's shining example of free and open debate, I thought tonight would be a good night to expose the Conservative's Hidden Agenda vis a vis Democratic Reform:

Conservative Party of Canada Policy Statement - Democratic Reform

For those that are really having a difficult time finding the policy, the party has been getting tricky lately. Look for the little blue button just like this:

I know - they're such sneaky little so and so's, aren't they!

WE Speak at 1:25 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

"When foam at the mouth takes the place of reasonable arguments" 
(en francais)

"When foam at the mouth takes the place of reasonable arguments"

Seems like free speech and reality are banned from the Calgary Observer.

From the blog header:
Calgary Observer
"Politics, Society, Business, Media and much more from a Canadian and progressive point of view. Blogging Tories are allowed to read this blog, but are prohibited from posting comments. Any comments posted by Blogging Tories will be deleted immediately."
(Edit - seems like CO has had a change of heart, at least as far as the header goes - lmao!)

His recent post:
Canadianna's Place wins the Foam-at-the-Mouth Award for this latest rant: Layton and Martin should be hauled in front of a human rights tribunal.

As for the RC, I agree with other progressive bloggers that excommunicating members for voting in favour of SSM in their capacity as MPs is not the right thing to do at all. The church, in effect, mingles church with state business when, by all rights, they should be separate.

If anything, the RC should start excommunicating all those pedophiles in their midst.

That excommunication business involving two NDP MPs was just payback. Gee, and I thought revenge was a sin ... .
My reply - deleted twice.
Excommunication? Now who's foaming at the mouth? Nothing wrong with partisan blogging, but at least make an attempt to get the facts straight.

Nothing like an NDP member being disciplined for voting against the bill, eh?
It's always interesting to see the Liberals and Jack Packers fall back on the old 'demonize' the right message. Difference now is, the party is organized, the grassroots are mobilized and were not going to take it laying down anymore. When a blogger has to distort and outright lie to ramp up the rhetoric, you know they're getting worried.

Keep up the good work everyone!

For Calgary Observers education - Excommunication

PS - Calgary - you're welcome to post here anytime. Unlike some, us Conservatives place value in those pesky little rights like free speech, open debate, accountability etc. You know, all the things the Liberals seem to have dispensed of in the last 13 years.

WE Speak at 12:54 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Glad as Hell Tour 05 from Calgary Grit 
(en francais)

Calgary Grit has started a new feature on his blog called the "Glad as Hell Tour 05".

Every stop on the BBQ circuit will feature a recap and Harper's ranking on the human index; a scale ingeniously devised by myself where I determine how human he looked at the stop.

And, of course, I invite readers to send in pictures, news stories and fun personal anecdotes from your summer encounters with Harper (they don't even have to be true! Just like Stephen trusts Gurmant, I trust my readers). And slogans! Send me your slogans! I've settled on "Glad as Hell Tour" until something better comes along.

And, without further adieu, here's stop 1 on the Glad As Hell Tour!!!!!
Personally, I stopped by to thank him in the comments. The more people are talking about Stephen, the more likely people will start to get to know him, Even satirical efforts such as Calgary's can be an asset, encouraging people to go out and find out for themselves.

To be fair, given that the Liberals don't have much to talk about on their own, I guess following Stephen Harper gives them something to do for the summer. They certainly can't talk about Paul Martin's accomplishments in the last session. (at least not without an immunity deal up front)

One of these days the Liberals and the Jack Pack are going to realize that the old "demonize the CPC" strategy is fading away with each day. They truly are afraid of Stephen now, afraid that once average Canadians meet him they'll realize what a steaming pile of crap the other parties have been feeding them for years.

So, my message for Calgary Grit is simple - keep up the good work. We appreciate the help!

WE Speak at 3:21 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Who Says Letter Writing Doesn't Work? 
(en francais)

Letters to the Editor
(A weekly round-up of Conservative Supporters 'Letters to the Editor', from across Canada. Send your local letters to bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com)

Write a letter to your local paper today. Get active - get involved. There are many Conservative supporters in every community, help motivate them. One letter a week can do wonders for your riding. Grab a couple of friends and create a group.

One person, one vote at at time!

WE Speak at 6:45 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Jack's Pack #7 - You should REALLY do this? 
(en francais)

Jack Pack #7

Statement Adopted by the CAW National Executive Board on the Windsor-Detroit Gateway:

TORONTO, July 7 /CNW/ - The Windsor-Detroit Gateway is the busiest international trade corridor in North America. The Gateway, which lies at the heart of the NAFTA trade route stretching from the Port of Montreal to Mexico, is used by 20 million cars and trucks every year. A quarter of Canada's $1.3 billion daily trade with the United States crosses over the Ambassador Bridge alone, and more moves across the border at other crossings in the Windsor-Detroit area.

Industry, government and the community of Windsor agree that dramatic improvements in efficiency, and concrete steps toward expansion, are absolutely vital. Despite agreement on the need to move forward, progress has stalled. The CAW is urging the federal and Ontario government to recognize that further inaction and delays are jeopardizing the success of the economy and threatening the future of thousands of Canadian jobs.
For complete press release - Canada News Wire

For all the bleating Buzz and the boys and girls at the CAW do about saving Canadian jobs, they missed the boat, train and plane on this one. If this was so important - WHICH IT IS - why didn't you make this a deal breaker in your late night "Lets Make a Deal" session with Jack Pack leader Layton and Paul "It's our #1 Priority" Martin.

With the uncertainty surrounding this issue, companies are already voting with their dollars, taking contracts, plants and jobs with them to the United States where a clogged road and bridge isn't going to affect them. You had a golden opportunity to ensure that one of the most vital trade links in North America continues to hum into the future decades. YOU BLEW IT!

Windsor's two MPs, Joe Comartin and Brian Masse had a further opportunity to seal the deal. All they had to do was have the courage of their own convictions and stand up for their community instead of toeing the party line. Another opportunity missed. Joe and Brian chose to vote in lock-step with the Jack Pack. (a rather common occurence with Jack Packers - see How'd They Vote.ca for complete details) At the very least the owner of the Detroit/Windsor Ferry could have been afforded some relief and have his customs costs covered as the Tunnel and Bridge corporations do. Instead you have abandoned him to the vagaries of the court system to fight the federal government for a level business playing field.

With Windsor's unemployment rate at 8.6 % and rising, we simply can't afford anymore of your "People Power" agenda. Trucks belch their way through our city everyday, contributing to the smog and air quality problems this area can ill afford. The people of Windsor voted NDP hoping to attain something different from our representatives. Well we got it!

The Jack Pack - all for one and that One is Jack.
(ably supported, encouraged and directed by Buzz, of course)

WE Speak at 12:41 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Friday, July 08, 2005

Monte's Comment Blog 
(en francais)

Having seen Comment's Please, I thought I would give it a whirl for the CPC's star blogger. Due to many reasons, not the least of which is trolls, spammers etc, Monte Solberg doesn't accept comments on his blog.

If you are like me, I'm sure there are many times you would like to reply to one of Monte's missives. This blog will give you that opportunity. Hopefully it will also give Monte a glimpse into the feedback he might get on his own blog, if he was able to accept comments.

Please keep comments on topic and respect others. At least make an attempt to communicate with a degree of civility. Posts crossing the line will be deleted.

The Atom feed has been turned on and I will add a Feedburner feed when I get a chance.

I will avoid posting anything else other than Monte's posts, unless absolutely necessary. When I do, I will bracket the title, in order to differentiate from Monte's original content. eg [Post]

The life of the Monte's Comments may be short-lived, as I respect Monte's postion and the work that he does. Should he not wish to have this Comment Blog, then I will honour that wish and it will simply disappear.

WE Speak at 11:24 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Conservative Campaign School - Sign up! 
(en francais)

Sign up for the latest in training - run by Richard Ciano, Party Vice-President.

The Campaign Training Series for all Candidates & Campaign Workers

Training sessions conducted in a state-of-the-art campiagn office located in Bradford, Ontario - 45 minutes North of Toronto on Highway 400

Cost: $15 per person


Morning Sessions:
8:00 AM - Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - Commencement
12:30 PM - Ending

Afternoon Sessions:
12:30 PM - Lunch
1:00 PM - Commencement
5:00 PM - Ending

Queustions? For more information, please contact Richard Ciano: campaignacademy@conservative.ca

Candidate Canvass
July 23 (AM) & August 20 (AM)

July 23 (AM) & August 20 (AM)

August 27 (AM)

Voter ID Canvass & Phone Bank
August 27 (PM)

Office Manager
August 28 (PM)

Volunteer Chair
August 28 (AM)

August 7 (AM)

August 7 (PM)

Official Agent
August 13 (AM)

August 13 (PM)

WE Speak at 8:05 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

A different perpective - Duelling Taxaholics 
(en francais)

Rick Fuschi was a Liberal in his youth, ran a family business for 10 years and is a longtime Chrysler autoworker and member of CAW Local 444. He began as a Reform Party member and has carried through to today as a proud CPC candidate for Windsor-Tecumseh.

Duelling Taxaholics
(moderated blog)

WE Speak at 12:15 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Thursday, July 07, 2005

CPC Candidates Blogging 
(en francais)

While the CPC MPs such as Monte Solberg receive a high profile for their blogging, many candidates are toiling away unseen. The following is a list of Blogging CPC candidates that I have been able to find so far. Some are listed on the Blogging Tories blogroll, others are not. If you know of any others, please post their URLs in the comments. If you're in a riding with a blogging candidate, drop in and show your support. Offer your help if you can. Help spread the word.

Laurie Hawn, CPC candidate for Edmonton

Ajmer S. Mandur, Candidate Kitchener Waterloo

Dan Mailer, Candidate London Fanshawe

Rick Fuschi, Candidate for Windsor-Tecumseh

Brad Farquhar, Candidate for Wascana

Garth Turner, Candidate for Halton

Keith Fountain, Candidate for Ottawa Centre

WE Speak at 11:12 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Jack Pack #6 - Hypocrites? No, not the NDP! 
(en francais)

Jack's Pack #6

Thu, July 7, 2005
NDP called hypocrites


OTTAWA -- Spending watchdogs yesterday charged the NDP with failing to hold their financing standards to the same level they've demanded of the governing Liberals.

Adam Taylor, research director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, called the socialists hypocrites for being highly critical of parties that welcomed large corporate donations while raking in $3.5 million from unions in late 2003 to buy a three-storey office building in downtown Ottawa.

"They are against corporate money but seem to be for union money," he said.

Hmmm..., not suprising really. Kinda explains why Jack needed to call Buzz Hargrove to get his seal of approval on the budget deal with the Liberals. These are always the interesting little details that they forget to tell dues paying union members.

A vote for the Jack Pack might as well be a vote for Buzz Hargrove. So Buzz, why don't you run?

WE Speak at 7:10 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Blogging Tories Feedback required - please help. 
(en francais)

I think they could still use some more feedback. Blogging Tories is looking for members feedback on whether or not to move to a new software platform.

Speak now or forever hold your peace.

WE Speak at 6:46 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

CPC and Media Bias 
(en francais)

Inspired by Andrew @ Bound by Gravity

The CPC must find innovative methods of reaching out to Canadians and delivering their message without it being filtered by the media.

Blogs are a good start, but they cannot be the whole answer because Joe Canadian is not an avid blog reader. Likewise, the RSS feeds on Conservative.ca are excellent tools, but very few people know what RSS is.

So, how do we bypass the media to deliver our policies to voters so that they can make an informed choice on election day?

I don't claim to know the answer, however I suggest that the next time that you are about to bang out an angry post blaming the media for the CPC's woes, you instead spend some time thinking about alternative methods of selling the CPC platform to the Canadian electorate.

Here's an idea.... think about this issue right now. If you have ideas on new approaches the Conservative Party of Canada can try, please leave a comment.
1. Local Newspapers
Adam Daifallah on CP News and Local Papers
Local papers rule. Most Canadian do not read the Toronto-Star, Globe and Mail or the National Post, they read their local paper. Letters to the editor have a large impact.

2. What is the preparation/training like for our rookie MPs and their staff?

I'll relate a story told to me by a local reporter recently. The CPC were having a roundtable discussion in our community. The Press Release announcing this was sent out an hour AFTER the event started. In spite of this the journalist decided to go down and check things out. Needless to say, he was the only reporter to show. Was kept cooling his heels for over 1 1/2 hours. At the end of that time, just before the MPs came out the EA approaches the reporter to tell him the MPs will not have any time to talk to him as they have to do a local-call in show. Considering the call-in show was on his station, the reporter decided to check. Nope- no idea what the EA was talking about. When MPs come out, reporter approaches them. Turns out real reason is one of the MPs has a flight to catch and little time available. Lucklily this reporter knew one of the MPs from a previous reporting stint in a another city, so got 5 minutes and the story. Had he not got this story, what do you think the story might have been? He still had to file something.

More training for local staff in media relations. At the very least, read the CPC campaign manual on media relations.

3. Local call in shows. Wide local reach.

4. Every MP/Candidate must have a website - CPC Headlines included, RSS feeds from those sites. Duplication works. (10 Conservatie MPs currently don't have websites) 42 Bloq MPs don't have a website, 33 Liberal MPs - opportunity exists there.

5. Weekly/Biweekly/Monthly podcasts from Ottawa. New medium that will grow

6. Conservative Courier is good - expand reach, frequency. Weekly quick blurb.

7. Local Outreach - smaller weekly newspapers, community newsletters, community cable TV.

8. Ridings without a Conservative MPs need a better 'local' response from the CPC on stories. Many small communities have been going to the same person for years for the CPC comment - and frankly - many of these people are lacking in media skills. Fault of the party as well - do they have a list of people in these ridings and send them things like the message of the day etc. Message, Message, Message.

9. Householders- how many CPC MPs got 4 householders out this year vs the Liberals/NDP? Is design help offered to these MPs, if not, it should be.

10. Stop whining about it and start working hard at it. Preperation is key. If you know a paper is biased, make it more difficult to report with that bias. Provide ALL of the relevant facts, links, sources etc. Establish a relationship with that paper's/TV/Radio stations reporters. This doesn't guarantee a non-biased story - but it certainly makes it more likely, especially on the local level. Make yourself available - even for the tough times when you might not want to comment.

Just a few points off the top of my head! :)

WE Speak at 12:28 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How'd They Vote? 
(en francais)

How'd They Vote?

“a resource for political accountability”

Fantastic site.
howdtheyvote.ca was created in May 2005 by Cory Horner, with a small financial contribution by the ABC Theorists. In the interest of remaining non-partisan, we will aim to keep this site advertising-free by accepting donations to help offset our hosting costs, maintain the site, and add new features.
Donate Here

WE Speak at 3:58 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

I guess the CBC isn't left enough 
(en francais)

Independent World Television is building the world’s first global independent news network. Online and on TV, IWTnews will deliver independent news and real debate from professional and citizen journalists -– without funding from governments, corporations or commercial advertising. Using the web to organize and raise funds across borders, IWTnews is building an international movement for democracy.

A truly 'Independent' station, sponsored by:

CAW throws support behind IWTnews
Posted by IWTnews Staff on Apr 23, 2:29pm.
Our Chair, Paul Jay, was in Ontario yesterday, making our pitch to the Canadian Auto Workers Union board of directors. The result is some stellar news for the project: the union has formerly endorsed us and offered a generous contribution to our developing funding.

Their help will allow us to launch our new website later this Spring, finish off our Feasibility & Planning Study, and push ahead into our next phase of work. CAW President Buzz Hargrove has also offered to help spread our message to other labour groups throughout the U.S. and Canada. The endorsement is a major win for the project and we’re extremely grateful to the CAW’s members.
Of course, only the left has 'real' journalists. Everyone else is tainted.
The Problem
Serious news and full-spectrum debate -- on which democracy depends -- are disappearing from television. Across the globe, news media are concentrated in the hands of a few entertainment conglomerates whose interests determine news coverage. They promote superficial "infotainment" over tough investigation, context and holding authority accountable. Public broadcasters face shrinking budgets and growing political and commercial pressures.

The Solution
We need a news and current affairs network that defends the public interest and the highest standards of journalism. Independent World Television will be such a network, a non-profit broadcast service financed by viewers across the globe -- independent of corporate or government funding and commercial advertising.
Financed by viewers? Then they promptly run out and solicit funds from the CAW and various foundations and Hollywood celebs. But of course, they have no agenda - their cause is what's true and right.

I guess that's what you get when you work for the CBC all your life. Check out the TEAM.

WE Speak at 3:33 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Jack Pack #5 - It's irresponsible 
(en francais)

Jack Pack #5

Reading Hansard can be such a fun time for political junkies such as myself. Especially when you find little gems such as the following exchange between Liberal MP Pat O'Brien and Jack Pack member Joe Comartin:

Mr. Pat O'Brien (London—Fanshawe, Lib.):
2004-10-21 17:25 (Government Orders: Supply)

Mr. Speaker, I did not hear all of my colleague's comments but I heard enough that I would like to just ask him a brief question.

I heard him state his personal position and I think he was quite clear about that, but I would like to ask him to speak to the position of the New Democratic Party. I see that the former distinguished leader of that party is close by.

My honest view is that the NDP position on defence, at least in my 11 years in the House, has been somewhat nebulous, if I can put it that way. Others might be less kind, but I would say it has been somewhat nebulous.

The member spoke for himself but to what degree can he speak for his party? Does the NDP support an increase in military funding for personnel in the forces and, if so, to what extent does it support that increase? If there is clarity from his party on this, wonderful, we would like to hear it.

Mr. Joe Comartin:
2004-10-21 17:25 (Government Orders: Supply)

It would be irresponsible for any party to stand in the House and say that it will spend $1 billion on this. I know I want to spend somewhere in the range of $100 million to $200 million on housing and better remuneration for the lower rents. I know I want to do that but I cannot say what the exact number is. Will that figure change if we take on those additional 3,000 or 5,000 in the reserves? Obviously it will go up.

Do we support the replacement of the Sea Kings? Obviously we support that. My colleague from Nova Scotia has been very strong and adamant on that, in spite of the incompetence that has been shown so often by the government on the issue and the length of time it has taken.

However it is irresponsible for anybody to stand in the House today and say that he or she will spend this amount of money. It was irresponsible for the Conservatives in their party policy to say that $1.5 billion had to be spent on operations and $1.5 billion a year on new equipment. They did not know what that meant and they do not know it today either.
That's a pretty strong statement from Mr. Comartin. Irresponsible. This is the Supply day motion that they were debating:
That, in the opinion of this House, the government’s national defence policies are seriously out of date and funding has fallen dramatically short of what is needed to meet defence commitments, the combat capabilities of the Canadian Forces have been permitted to decay and the government is continuing this trend by proposing to raise a peacekeeping brigade at the expense of existing combat ready forces; and accordingly, This House call on the government to commit to maintaining air, land and sea combat capability by ensuring that members of the forces are trained, equipped and supported for combat operations and peacekeeping, in order to enhance Canada’s status and influence as a sovereign nation.

Let's look at this exchange in another context, the Jack Pack Budget, Bill C-48 .

If it's irresponsible for the Conservative Party to stand in the house and call for increased government spending for our military, how is it possible for 1 leader and 18 lemmings to stand up and vote for a bill that authorizes $4.5 billion in spending with no details, plans or limits. THIS is responsible? The actual text of the Bill C-48, once the preamble is stripped out, is not much larger than that of this Conservative Supply Day motion.

At least the Conservatives were only calling on the Liberal Government to increase spending - not handing them a blank cheque to do what they will with it.

Irresponsible indeed.

For those that are interested - much of the material for this blog comes from a fantastic new site called How'd They Vote? From their site:
"Have you ever wondered how your member of parliament has been voting? We've made it easy for you to find out! Contained herein are many of the pivotal votes in the House of Commons, complete with voting history, dissention, attendance and speaking habits."
Take a look - it's well worth it.

WE Speak at 12:55 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Pick a fund - any fund. 
(en francais)

Ferret's blog at Conservative Life is just another great example of the abuse of taxpayer's money that has been going on for the last 12 years. Canadian Television Slush Fund is just another government funding program ($1.5 billion a year) that seems to pay great dividends for the Liberal party.

This is a great project for Blogging Tories everywhere. Got some spare time this summer? Pick a government program and do some research. It's our tax dollars at work funding these things. Little did we know what a great return the Liberals were reaping from them. Adscam was just the tip of the iceberg. There's a lot more hiding beneath the surface.

WE Speak at 5:14 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

HAH! #10 
(en francais)

HAH#10- Criminal Justice

I've been trying to avoid blogging on the whole Karla Homolka saga over these last few days. Not much has been left unsaid regarding this sad tale. I think the only remaining thing left to clarify is:

What would the Conservative Party of Canada do?

I, at least, want to live in a Canada where the victim has as many rights as the criminal. Don't you?

Make sure you check out the complete list of Hidden Agenda Highlights! - they're a must read for all Canadians.

WE Speak at 12:29 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Monday, July 04, 2005

Vote Splitting on the left 
(en francais)

May 10, 2005

Harper's hidden foe

Layton's NDP could make gains in the West at the Conservatives' expense

An interesting article from Macleans Magazine.

While the article focuses on how Layton can be expected to make gains at the Conservatives expense, it fails to look at the flip side. As more time goes by it become increasingly difficult for Paul Martin and Jack Layton to pound on the 'scary conservative' and 'hidden agenda' lines. Paul Martin managed to squeak a minority by scaring NDP swing votes, specifically in Ontario. Many ridings in Ontario where Conservatives came second or third can change quite quickly if you take a strengthened NDP into account.

Barrie is one good example:
Aileen Carroll LIB 21233 42.66%
Patrick Brown CON 19938 40.06%
Peter Bursztyn NDP 5312 10.67%
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins GRN 3288 6.61%

Take 2 to 3 thousand 'scared' NDP supporters off the Liberal total.


Lloyd St. Amand LIB 20455 38.05%
Greg Martin CON 17792 33.1%
Lynn Bowering NDP 11826 22%
Helen-Anne Embry GRN 2738 5.09%
Barra L. Gots CHP 570 1.06%
John C. Turmel IND 373 0.69%

Lynn Myers LIB 17819 42.29%
Frank Luellau CON 14903 35.3%
Len Carter NDP 6623 15.72%
Kris Stapleton GRN 2793 6.62%

Karen Redman LIB 21264 47.13%
Thomas Ichim CON 12412 27.51%
Richard Walsh-Bowers NDP 8717 19.32%
Karol Vesely GRN 2450 5.43%
Mark Corbiere IND 277 0.61%

Why include this one? Take away the couple thousand NDP votes that went Liberal, and take away the Conservatives who voted Liberal because they just can't stomach the NDP. A good candidate (which we have) and good organization can win a riding like this.

Don Boudria LIB 23921 47.86%
Alain Lalonde CON 18729 37.47%
Martin Cauvier NDP 4238 8.48%
Roy Fjarlie GRN 2634 5.27%
Tim Bloedow CHP 464 0.93%

Pat O'Brien LIB 15664 38.08%
Irene Mathyssen NDP 12511 30.41%
John Mazzilli CON 10811 26.27%
Ed Moore GRN 1634 3.97%
Derrall Bellaire PCP 453 1.08%
Cameron Switzer ML 65 0.15%

Very winnable for a Conservative with the Liberals and NDP splitting the vote.

There are many more examples. There is a distinct advantage to being the only party on the right of the spectrum. It certainly flies in the face of those who argue the party needs to move more to the centre to appeal to people.

One other factor that many fail to account for. At the beginning of the last election , the CPC was hardly six months old, and Stephen Harper had just begun as leader. The next election will see a very different team.

Making sweeping generalizations based on polls is always a dangerous game to play. We have 308 distinctly different ridings, and each one needs to be examined in it's own right.

Just my 2 cents.

One person - one vote at a time!

WE Speak at 11:03 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Suprised? - not me. 
(en francais)

Conservatives out-fundraised Liberals in 2004
Canadian Press

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have turned out to be the biggest losers under new party financing rules designed to curb the political influence of major corporations and other wealthy donors.

Figures released Monday by Elections Canada show the Grits raised $5.2 million from private-sector sources in 2004 _ less than half the $10.9 million raked in by the rival Conservatives.

The take for both parties was down from the previous year, but the Liberals clearly bore the brunt of the funding reforms that were pushed through Parliament by former prime minister Jean Chretien in the dying days of his government.

This article is hardly suprising. From what I have been looking at over the last week in my research of the TPC program, it fairly obvious where the Liberals have been getting their money, and how.

Currently I'm looking at Candidate returns from the 2004 election to match up TPC companies with candidates. I've only made it through about 25 ridings so far, but have managed to find some TPC companies. Again, this doesn't include personal donations or numbered companies. That will come in a later phase.

My guess is that the corporate money will simply shift to the individual EDAs and candidates. It's already begun. The last piece of the puzzle will be when Elections Canada posts the returns of all the EDAs. Not sure when this is going to happen, but should be sometime in the next couple of months.

If you take a look at the Elections Canada filings of Statements of Assest and Liablities for EDAs, you can get a good picture of where things stand today. Here's a list of the top 10 EDAs Canada wide:

Association libérale fédérale de LaSalle--Émard $248,001.24 - Paul Martin
Edmonton Centre Federal Liberal Association $194,275.00 - Anne McLellan
Beaches--East York Federal Liberal Association $183,231.40 - Maria Minna
Wascana Federal Liberal Association $160,038.18 - Ralph Goodale
Association libérale fédérale de Beauce $159,955.00 - Claude Drouin
Trinity--Spadina Federal Liberal Association $156,648.35 - Tony Ianno
Calgary--Nose Hill Conservative Association $154,903.58 - Diane Ablonczy
Essex Federal Liberal Association $153,635.21 - Susan Whelan
Saint-Léonard--Saint-Michel Federal Liberal Association $149,940.12 - Massimo Pacetti
West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast Conservative Association $146,304.59 - John Reynolds

It should be interesting to look at the corporate vs individual donations for these ridings, along with the last election returns. I'm sure it will be enlightening.

WE Speak at 9:59 p.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Scott Brison - Working hard to clean up the Liberal mess 
(en francais)

It just never seems to end. Now the watchdog can't follow the contracting rules. How can we have any faith in a system where the government is auditing itself? By the time the Liberals are finished with the national treasury, there won't be any cookie jar left.

Federal watchdog gets hounded for failing to follow contract rules


OTTAWA (CP) - A federal watchdog that's supposed to ensure the government follows the rules when it signs contracts for goods and services has itself been breaking those rules.

The findings suggest Public Works still has some cleaning up to do after the sponsorship scandal exposed a series of manipulated contracts that benefited Liberal-favoured firms.

Macleans Magazine Article

One Person - One vote at a time...

WE Speak at 3:47 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Letters to the Editor - 27 Jun to 02 Jul 
(en francais)

Letters to the Editor
(A weekly round-up of Conservative Supporters 'Letters to the Editor', from across Canada. Send your local letters to bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com)

27 Jun to 02 Jul

Write a letter to your local paper today. Get active - get involved. There are many Conservative supporters in every community, help motivate them. One letter a week can do wonders for your riding. Grab a couple of friends and create a group.

One person, one vote at at time!

WE Speak at 3:03 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

TPC Part IV - and the winner is.... 
(en francais)

The Liberal Party of Canada - TPC fundraiser of the Year.

I've finished the initial donation search. A total of 114 companies were identified through the TPC Annual reports. A search was conducted of the Elections Canada Database for the years 1996 to 2004 for each one of these companies.


Liberal Party 56 of 114 companies 49.1% $1,115,892.25

Canadian Alliance Reform Party - 7 of 114 companies 6.1% $114,526.54

Progressive Conservatie Party - 14 of 114 companies 12.3% $222,932.85

Conservative Party of Canada - 3 of 114 companies 2.6% $750.00

Bloc Québécois - 2 of 114 companies 1.7% $2473.52

As noted earlier, by no means do I think this is a complete list. Some companies currently listed at $0 in the spreadsheet may be listed under a numbered company. Some company names, comprised of initials, hyphens etc, are difficult to search for. For the next stage I would like to do some research on each and every company. I will try to find the principals, executives and board members wherever possible. These too, will be researched using the Donation Research tool. Over the next several days I will be reviewing all the data I have collected to try and find any errors that I may have made. I have reviewed it 3 times now, but it certainly doesn't hurt to walk away from it for a while and then check again. Feel free to download the spreadsheet and check things out. Let me know if you find any discrepancies.

Of particular note is the year 1999. Due to a WTO ruling the TPC program was virtually shutdown that year. The Liberals only managed to raise $6,183.11 that year from their TPC friends. Seems like when the government is handing out money, the companies aren't willing to return the favour. To be fair the other parties also didn't raise much that year.

On the other hand, this isn't about fair. There is no doubt that this is a totally partisan effort, I have never tried to make it anything else. The data I have presented is my effort at research to show just how much the Liberal party believes that your tax money is their cash cow. That being said, I have made every effort to make sure my data is accurate.

Unfortunately, Elections Canada has removed all the financial information for EDAs. At one time you could search the various categories of contributors across all the various party's riding associations. That feature seems to have gone missing. Wonder why? There's no doubt in my mind that there are hundreds of thousands of additional dollars in these records.

A couple of things come to mind as I review this stage of the research. What scares me is, this is but one part, of one funding program, in one department of the government. A program that is open to Parliamentary review and scrutiny by the Auditor General.

What of all the arms length foundations not subject to any of these pesky annoyances?

Think of all the other funding programs that the government carries out. Makes you shiver doesn't it! Given the astounding Liberal fundraising successes in Quebec, why wouldn't this expertise be transferred across the country?

Here's a challenge for all the other Blogging Tories out there. Pick a government department and a funding program and go digging. I'm sure there are plenty of other 'anomalies' out there for us to find.

If anyone is interested in helping with the next round of research, the help would be gratefully appreciated. People could "adopt" a company and do all the research possible on that particular company. Find out the executives, principals, board members, subsidiaries etc, so that a more complete funding picture can be drawn. Drop me a line - bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com I'll keep a running list here of who has adopted what company so as not to duplicate any work.


TPC Excel File - zip format

WE Speak at 2:23 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Belinda Balls 
(en francais)

Just a quick bump before I toddle off to bed:

WE Speak at 7:48 a.m. links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|

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