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

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Boom and echo 
(en francais)

With all the debate about blogs and their effect, or non-effect on the recent election, this piece by the Infozone on blogs is a good read.


The boom, and the echo!
January 24, 2006 IZ Commentary by James Murray

Something I have learned about the blogsphere and the Internet in general is there is a boom and an echo.

When an issue is posted on a blog, or a web site, people read the story.

This is what I call the boom.

If the story is interesting, people on the Internet start talking about it. They email copies to their friends, they post links on discussion forums, and they debate the article.

Then as more people talk about the article, link to it from other pages, it starts to build an echo. It ends up linked all over the Internet. I have back-tracked links from The Infozone to find recipes being discussed in South Africa, comments debated in Australia, and Britain.

This is what I call the echo.

...more
I'm adding the InfoZone onto my links sidebar. Certainly looks worthwhile for a daily visit.

Paul Synnott at 11:32 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Just what the doctor ordered 
(en francais)

Stephen Harper and the CPC seem to be the antibiotic required to finally end the mutual parasitic nature of the Liberals and the BQ in Quebec.


I've blogged about this several times over the last month:

Liberals and BQ - Mutual Parasites

Mutual Parasites - Liberal/BQ

Many see this as being good for current Liberal Premier Charest, but I wonder what affect it will have for the ADQ.

ADQ leader Mario Dumont was vocal in his support for the CPC in this last campaign. I think there is a loose alliance available between the ADQ and the CPC in Quebec. Given Charest's current standing in the polls, there is a possibility the next provincial election in Quebec could result in a Liberal minority with the ADQ holding the balance of power. Quebec voters have always shown themselves to be shrewd and this would be a way to punish an unpopular government without having to vote for the PQ.

Much will be determined by how Prime Minister Harper handles not only the Quebec file, but provincial relations in general. The election results and this latest poll at least demonstrate that people of Quebec are listening.

Paul Synnott at 9:17 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Civil rights activist Coretta Scott King dies 
(en francais)



Civil rights activist Coretta Scott King dies
Updated Tue. Jan. 31 2006 8:15 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. who worked tirelessly to pursue his dream of equality, has died. She was 78.

Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young broke the news during a phone call he made to NBC's Today show on Tuesday morning.

"I understand she was asleep last night and her daughter tried to wake her up," said Young, who was close to the King family.

In August, King suffered a minor heart attack and a major stroke that impaired her ability to speak.

Paul Synnott at 8:35 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Speaking of political accountability 
(en francais)

While the majority of us have been toiling away at various partisan endeavours over the last while, others have been busy. Cory Horner and his team have been busy revamping and updating Howdtheyvote.ca

I'm sure this is a resource many of us will be putting to good use in the coming months and years. A French translation is now online. Other cosmetic and behind the scence enhancements have been implemented.

If you haven't already yet, bookmark the site and visit often.

Have a little spare time? Like many volunteer efforts, they can always use a helpful hand.

Paul Synnott at 7:51 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Gomery Round 2 - 3pm Wednesday 
(en francais)

For all the political junkies, set your watches. The media exits the lockup at 3pm EST tomorrow. It's almost an anti-climax now, but this will still make for very interesting reading. This dovetails nicely with the preparation of the bill to implement the Federal Accountability Act.
Liberals, Tories brace for battle as second Gomery report looms
Jim Brown, Canadian Press


Published: Monday, January 30, 2006The media will have to wait until noon EST to see the text - and that will be at a briefing in a locked room, with no reporting allowed until the lockup ends two hours later.

Paul Synnott at 5:59 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


David Warren gives bloggers a nod 
(en francais)

I apologize if this has already been posted, but I just noticed it in today's Windsor Star. I definitely have to check his site more often.

Ottawa Spring
An entirely new generation of Canadians, most much younger than I, is thinking aloud about the realities we face, and about how to deal with them, with a broad outlook. They feel empowered by Harper’s win -- even many of the disgruntled Liberals -- and they not only feel, but are, involved. The several hundred websites inter-linked through the Red Ensign network, and Blogging Tories, are also the means by which the new government can remain intimately in touch with events “on the ground” -- by-passing the “heritage media”.

As a political and research tool, they are already indispensable. We have fresh minds applying themselves to such practical problems as how to defeat the Liberals in the inner metro ridings; how to appeal to their captive ethnic groups; how to persuade their clients among the denizens of relatively depressed economic regions to buy into the hopeful new coalition. How, more simply, to challenge the big lies that have contaminated our public discourse, and overcome the crippling stench of “political correctness”. In almost every case, it is fresh air that is coming in to a very dank political parlour, and the spirit is generous and enterprising. Dare I say, this is participatory democracy.

Paul Synnott at 5:06 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


The Dalton Gang 
(en francais)

Looks like Dalton McGuinty and the gang aren't learning any lessons from their federal cousins.
Jan. 30, 2006. 01:00 AM

Jim Warren, who served for 18 months as Premier Dalton McGuinty's executive director of communications, has been hired by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

As vice-president of strategic relationships, Warren will be responsible for pursuing new initiatives with the corporation, which oversees lotteries, casinos and slots and is mandated to maximize profits in a socially responsible manner.

Progressive Conservative critic Bob Runciman called Warren's hiring "disturbing," and said his party will look into whether the job was created specifically for him as a political favour.

"One of our concerns is that they're going to use these crown corporations as taxpayer-funded campaign offices," he said. Duncan Brown, the corporation's chief executive, had board approval when he asked Warren to accept the new position, said spokesperson Teresa Roncon.

Warren was communications director for former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman, and worked for Belinda Stronach when she was president of Magna International before taking the job with the premier.

Paul Synnott at 2:36 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Monday, January 30, 2006

Tim Hortons for the troops - update 
(en francais)

Some progress today. Looks like everyone who emailed Tim Hortons received the same email in return from various Customer Service representatives.

It's interesting to note that they state from the outset that the various articles printed were erroneous. I wonder what their spokesman, Mr. Skinner has to say about that. There is also the statement from Frank Cleyson:
Frank Cleyson, director of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency for Task Force Afghanistan, says his agency is in negotiations with the iconic Canadian coffee chain to set up a franchise here, 10,000 kilometres and nine time zones from North America
"It's still in discussions between (National Defence Headquarters in) Ottawa and Tim Hortons headquarters in Oakville," he said. "There hasn't been a decision yet ... (but) I understand the ball is in Tim Hortons court right now."
The reply certainly leaves the door open to negotiations with CANEX for the establishment of an outlet in Afghanistan. I'm going to try and get some contact info for Mr. Cleyson at NDHQ and continue following this situation.

I'm going to change the graphic in the sidebar to one that is a little less provocative, but will continue to highlight this situation.
Dear Mr. Synnott,

Thank you for your feedback. We wish to clarify the news article that ran
on the weekend. Firstly, the article is erroneous. Tim Hortons
unequivocally supports the Canadian Forces and our troops around the world.
We are also very proud to support our Veterans.

Each year we make one large coffee donation to the Forces so that they can
distribute coffee to service personnel at Christmas. This is called
Operation Santa Claus. In 2005, we sent additional coffee shipments to
Pakistan, Tsunami hit areas and Afghanistan as requested by the soldiers.

Secondly, up until today there has been no discussion between the Forces
and Tim Hortons head office about putting a store in Afghanistan. CANEX
(the retail arm of the Canadian Forces) operates six Tim Hortons stores on
bases across the country. We have had an ongoing business relationship with
them since 1994. Requests for putting a location in Afghanistan would only
come from them. If there is a possibility, or the opportunity arises, Tim
Hortons would most certainly look at working with CANEX to have our
products available for the troops in Afghanistan.

Tim Hortons prides itself on giving back to the community and supporting
groups across the country. This includes our partnership with the Canadian
Forces. We hope this clarifies any misunderstanding arising from the
article. Tim Hortons values the sacrifice of our troops and their families,
and will continue to do what we can to bring a little taste of home to the
troops.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regard,

The TDL Group

Sonia
Operations Services Representative

Paul Synnott at 9:50 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Tim Hortons roundup 
(en francais)


Thanks to Wonder Woman for the great post and graphic, helping to highlight this issue. I've taken all the posts that I could find regarding this and placed them in my sidebar, there to remain until we hear some good news.

If you see any other articles or posts, drop a link in the comments so I can add them to the sidebar.

As yet I have not received a reply to my email (other than an autoreply), although I didn't expect one until sometime today. If and when I do receive something, I'll post it here.

You can add your voice by emailing Tim Hortons and letting them know that you support our troops and hope they will as well.

Paul Synnott at 9:00 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


New BBS Political Multimedia Contest Entry 
(en francais)


Album Release: Liberal Beer and Popcorn Blues (Multimedia)
Adjust your speakers! Check out this star-studded Compilation Album, designed to boost morale among the brand new Opposition Liberals.


Shades of K-Tel, Chad of Standsure.ca has a few suggestions for Liberal's listening pleasure.

Well done.

Paul Synnott at 6:02 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Moving day 
(en francais)

Normally I hate anything and everything to do with moving. But in this case, I'll make an exception.

Moving day at 24 Sussex

Paul Synnott at 3:46 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Just spun 
(en francais)

I have spent a fair amount of time over the last week reading various post election analysis articles and posts from all sides of the political spectrum. One in particular struck me as beyond the pale. Digging a little deeper on the authors' site, he is supposedly a journalist.

Politics Unspun - Appearances to the contrary, the Liberal Party was the big winner on election night

"The 124 seats the Harper Party won does not denote victory. It is at best a probationary governing lease, granted solely because Ontario voters were so disgusted by Liberal scandals. "

"When the next election comes, likely within 12 months given the new government’s intellectual gene pool, Harper will have to account for things like the Weyrich connection, and hypocrisy toward democracy in the Middle East. No sooner had the Palestinians held elections as was demanded of them, than Harper dismissed the result. Not even sworn in and Harper commits his first act of stupidity. That must be some kind of record."
For a self professed specialist in Middle East and Canadian Politics, he manages to exhibit a shallow knowledge of both in one article. Not a bad feat. "Harper Party" or my personal favourite, "given the new government's intellectual gene pool"?

Mr. Felton might want to take a few minutes and read some real political analysis.

Edit: after a little Google work, I now understand the above article. This is an example of Mr. Felton's journalistic work.
(.pdf file, page 6)

Paul Synnott at 12:24 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Sunday, January 29, 2006

David Warren on Palestinian elections 
(en francais)


David Warren wades in, in his own unique way.
Hamas Wins
But Fatah has been, from its foundation in the 1960s, as terrorist as Hamas. The difference between the parties is merely tactical. Yasser Arafat discovered that Western (including Israeli) liberals are boobs, who could be conned into believing he was a “peace partner” if he just said so -- in English only. In Arabic, Fatah has never concealed its project of driving Israel into the sea. Hamas, a little more honestly, thinks peace talks are all a sham. It’s the bombings that get results.

Paul Synnott at 10:41 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Priceless 
(en francais)

Stephen Taylor's launch of BT-TV led me back to Google Video and this little gem that I found a month or so ago. First time I watched it, I almost fell out of my chair I laughed so damn hard.



This is also a good example of how easy it is to use Google Video. If you look, they give you the code to embed. Just copy, paste and you're in business.

Paul Synnott at 10:22 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Not so fast Liberals... 
(en francais)

Lorrie Goldstein on the importance of studying your history. H/T Nealenews
Not so fast Liberals
Lorrie Goldstein

What the federal Liberals don’t realize is that they are now standing on the same precipice the Ontario Conservatives fell off of in 1985.

Almost everything they’ve said since Monday suggests they still see themselves as a government-in-waiting. They assume they will be an effective opposition. They’re confident rookie prime minister-designate Stephen Harper will implode in the coming minority Parliament. They believe the public is waiting for them to pick a new leader, so they can be restored to their rightful place as the natural governing party.

So far, they are making every mistake the Ontario Conservatives did when they lost power in 1985 and refusing to admit what they need to do most — conduct a ruthless self-examination of why they lost the public’s confidence.
As more details are revealed about the upcoming Liberal leadership race, we should get a good indication what path they choose to follow.

Paul Synnott at 9:40 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)



Jack's Newswatch
I'm retired and I do this to kill time.

"Nuff said".


Congratulations on the retirement!

Drop in and say hello.

Paul Synnott at 3:01 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Tim Horton's for the troops - Pt II 
(en francais)

From the sound of this article, discussions are still on-going, although Tim's is not convinced of the value of this endeavour as yet. Keep the emails going customer_service@timhortons.com
Tim Hortons in Afghanistan
Forces want troops to have their double-doubles: Canadian icon wary of store in a war zone

Chris Wattie, National Post
Published: Saturday, January 28, 2006

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The Canadian Forces want to raise morale among troops deployed here by setting up the furthest flung coffee and doughnut franchise in the world: Tim Hortons Afghanistan.

But the Canadian icon is balking at the idea of opening shop at Kandahar Air Field, where more than 2,000 Canadian soldiers are being deployed this month, saying it "is not part of our business model."

U.S. soldiers serving in the sprawling Kandahar base have their own Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut franchises and, with thousands of Canadian troops heading to southern Afghanistan this month, senior Canadian officers have decided it just won't be a Canadian base without a Tim Hortons.

Frank Cley-son, director of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency for the Afghanistan mission, says his agency is in negotiations with the coffee chain to set up a franchise here, 10,000 kilometres and nine time zones from North America.

"It's still in discussions between (National Defence Headquarters in) Ottawa and Tim Hortons headquarters in Oakville," said Mr. Cleyson. "There hasn't been a decision yet ... (but) I understand the ball is in Tim Hortons' court right now."

Greg Skinner, a spokesman for Tim Hortons, said in an e-mail interview that he was not aware of the most recent offer by the Canadian Forces, but said the company has turned down such offers in the past.

"We are not setting up a fully functioning store," he said."We are focusing on opening in Canada and the U.S. only. We have tight controls for our product and operations and these could not be maintained in Afghanistan."

The idea of a Tim Hortons in Kandahar arose when the first Canadians arrived at Kandahar air field and were greeted by a row of U.S. fast-food franchises along a "boardwalk" near the centre of the base, Mr. Cleyson said.

"The American military has standing offers with these corporations so you'll see their franchises wherever American soldiers are deployed," he said.

And the obvious way of adding a little Canadian content to the area, popular with off-duty soldiers from the dozens of countries now deployed to Kandahar, is a Tim Hortons.

"It's the most popular coffee franchise in Canada, certainly ... and it's very popular with the troops," said Mr. Cleyson. "We have Tim Hortons on bases across Canada and they're very successful.

"The guys would be lining up if there were one here, no question. Even the Americans are getting interested in the idea."

Mr. Cleyson said the company has been a longtime supporter of the military, donating hundreds of pounds of their tinned coffee to the support agency's "Operation Santa Claus" each Christmas.

"We provide every single solitary deployed Canadian soldier with a bag of goodies," he said. "And Tims has been a faithful donor to that program."

If the corporation and the Canadian Forces agree to terms, Mr. Cleyson said a small "Tims trailer" could be in place within a couple of weeks, perhaps even days depending on how the availability of cargo space on the military flights into Kandahar.

"There's a lot of logistics involved certainly," he said, "but it wouldn't take much to get it up and running."

The 800 Canadians now in Kandahar air field have been buzzing for weeks about the prospect of being able to buy a double-double on their way to their duties.

"American coffee just isn't the same thing," said one grizzled warrant officer, making a face at his morning cup of coffee in the base's mess tent.

"I'd pay some serious coin for a good cup of Timmies."

Paul Synnott at 1:50 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Saturday, January 28, 2006

24 Sussex Drive 
(en francais)

There have been numerous stories over the last several days about 24 Sussex Drive, soon to be the residence of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his family. For a Heritage building, part of Canaada's history, it's a shame that the home has become a political football. Each successive leader has been loathe to spend any money on fixing the home for fear of being pilloried.

I wonder what the response would be if the Conservative Party offered to spend $1 million to upgrade and preserve this part of Canada's history?

One way or another, a way must be found to de-politicize this and carry out the repairs necessary to ensure it's future.

Paul Synnott at 8:42 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Tim Horton's for the troops 
(en francais)

Sometimes a company just needs a little encouragement. For me personally, I think this is one of those times.

I realize that Tim's has very exacting standards and that is a cornerstone of their brand, but I really don't think that the military is looking for a full fledged store here. Some coffee and timbits would probably suffice.

Considering the dangers the military and their civilian support are facing in Afghanistan, the chance to order a 'Nato Standard' Tims seems small in comparison. A double/double would work wonders after 12 hours dressed in full combat gear and flak jacket, escorting a convoy.

The opportunity for a little piece of home when deployed is invaluable. It's really hard to put into words what this would mean for these troops.

Take a minute or two to let Tim Hortons' corporate office know how you feel.

Time to step up to the plate Tim Hortons. You're a part of Canadian culture now, don't let us down.
Java icon balks at franchise
No Tim Hortons for Canadian soldiers


CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, January 28, 2006

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The Canadian Forces want to raise morale among troops deployed here by setting up the furthest flung coffee and doughnut franchise in the world: Tim Hortons Afghanistan.

But the iconic Canadian chain is balking at the idea of opening shop at Kandahar Air Field, where more than 2,000 Canadian soldiers are being deployed this month, saying it "is not part of our business model."

American soldiers serving in the sprawling Kandahar air field base have their own Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut franchises and, with thousands of Canadian troops on their way to southern Afghanistan this month, senior Canadian officers have decided it just wouldn't be a Canadian base without a Tim Hortons.

Frank Cleyson, director of the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency for Task Force Afghanistan, says his agency is in negotiations with the iconic Canadian coffee chain to set up a franchise here, 10,000 kilometres and nine time zones from North America.

"It's still in discussions between (National Defence Headquarters in) Ottawa and Tim Hortons headquarters in Oakville," he said. "There hasn't been a decision yet ... (but) I understand the ball is in Tim Hortons court right now."

Greg Skinner, a spokesman for Tim Hortons, said in an e-mail interview that he was not aware of the most recent offer by the Canadian Forces, but said the company has turned down such offers in the past. "We are not setting up a fully functioning store," he said. "We are focusing on opening in Canada and the U.S. only. We have tight controls for our product and operations and these could not be maintained in Afghanistan."
© The Windsor Star 2006
Cross posted to Progressive Bloggers

Edit: I sent a copy of this post, along with my comments to the email provided in this blog. I'll post whatever response I receive.

Edit 2: I knew Tims was expanding the States, I just didn't realize how far they have gotten. With 288 locations, they are definitely making some inroads. Any Americans are welcome to join in and send Tims an email or two thousand.

Paul Synnott at 5:08 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Friday, January 27, 2006

Expectations 
(en francais)


Navigator - What you can expect from the new government

From Jaime Watt's address to the Empire Club, 27 Jan.

H/T to Kinsella

He's right - it's well worth the read. The results of focus groups carried out in four Canadian cities post-election. (Halifax, Vancouver, Quebec City and Toronto). First rate research and some surprising results.

Also a good example of how blogging can enhance a business, if done properly.

Paul Synnott at 11:39 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


CP reports on Harper's transition team 
(en francais)

For all those screaming hidden agenda, BMD and civil service cuts as some sort of result from Harper's transition team:
Harper transition team packed with non-partisans
Updated Fri. Jan. 27 2006 6:44 PM ET
Canadian Press

Derek Burney, a former Mulroney chief of staff and a former ambassador to Washington, is heading up the small transition team. The five-member team also includes Camille Guilbault, former deputy chief of staff to Mulroney, Elizabeth Roscoe, a former chief of staff to senior Mulroney ministers, Maurice Archdeacon, a veteran public servant with expertise in security issues, and Ray Speaker, a founding member of the Reform party and a former Alberta cabinet minister.

Marie-Josee Lapointe, a former Mulroney deputy press secretary, is acting as spokeswoman for the team but is not involved in the transition process itself.

Lapointe said all members of the team are volunteering their time and none have anything to gain by being involved. None are registered lobbyists and she said it's a "reasonable assumption" that none will go on to work in Harper's Prime Minister's Office or other ministerial offices.

By contrast, Martin relied heavily on a tight-knit inner circle of advisers for both political and governmental advice. His 2003 15-member transition team consisted of a number of lobbyists, including team head Michael Robinson, as well as a host of people who wound up as senior staffers in his Prime Minister's Office.

Also on board was David Herle, a communications consultant who headed Martin's leadership and subsequent election campaigns while simultaneously under contract to various government departments.
But please, by all means, continue to under-estimate Harper. It will make it all the more enjoyable.

Paul Synnott at 10:27 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Canadian Islamic Congress Press Release 
(en francais)

Stephen Harper was pretty clear in his answer and I support him 100%.

Transcript of his first press conference

Question: May I ask a question about Hamas? They've been elected in Palestinian territories. Will the Canadian government recognize them?

Harper: I'll address this in more detail when I take office, Bob, but let me just say as you know, we've always maintained that we support a secure Israel and a democratic Palestine but for a nation to be truly democratic, that nation must renounce any use of terrorism.
THE CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS
MEDIA COMMUNIQUE

January 27, 2006

CANADIAN ISLAMIC CONGRESS URGES NEW PM TO RESPECT DEMOCRATIC RESULTS IN PALESTINIAN ELECTIONS -- IRA LEADERS AND EVEN FORMER ISRAELI PMs ONCE LABELLED TERRORISTS; HAMAS VICTORY A NEW PHASE IN MIDDLE EAST HISTORY

"Palestinians are to be congratulated for holding their recent elections in
a free, fair, and democratic manner," the Canadian Islamic Congress said in
a short statement issued today.

CIC noted that more than 77 % percent of eligible Palestinian voters cast
ballots in this week's elections, which saw a surprise upset in favour of
Hamas party.

CIC is urging the new government of Canadian PM-elect Stephen Harper to
respect the results of a vote that could soon see Hamas in political
control of Gaza and the West Bank.

"Canada should adopt a balanced policy in the region in order to work
towards, and ultimately achieve, peace with justice," the CIC statement
continued.

"Not to deal with the new Palestinian government will be a serious setback
to the peace movement and serve only to escalate the violence. The Irish
Republican Army's political wing proved itself competent to govern without
continuing armed violence; likewise, several former Israeli prime ministers
were once labelled terrorists. Hamas should be given the same chance to
establish itself in this new phase of Middle East history. We believe that
bringing Hamas into the legitimate political process and opening
constructive dialogue will help to moderate its policies."

CONTACTS:

Dr. Mohamed Elmasry
(519) 746-4107 (O)
(519) 498-1350 (Cell)
e-mail: np@canadianislamiccongress.com

Mrs. Wahida Valiante
(905) 771-1023
e-mail: nvp@canadianislamiccongress.com
And just in case, here is some opinions from other world leaders.

Paul Synnott at 9:08 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


In the best tradition 
(en francais)

What Paul Franklin did was heroic in every sense of the word. So why doesn't he want the Victoria Cross

By MICHELE MANDEL

In an Edmonton hospital lies a wounded Canadian soldier who should become the first winner of Canada's own Victoria Cross.

Despite his objections.

We don't have many real heroes these days. There's no shortage of sports legends and shallow celebrities, but true grit and courage in the face of danger is exceedingly rare.

Master Cpl. Paul Franklin appears to be the real thing.

Franklin, of course, was one of the three soldiers injured Jan. 15 in Afghanistan in the suicide car bombing that killed senior diplomat Glyn Berry. Military sources have said that after Franklin's left leg was blown off below the knee, he managed to apply a tourniquet to his own wound and then crawled to comrades Pte. William Salikin and Cpl. Jeffrey Bailey to give them the first aid that may have saved their lives.

A military investigation is now under way and if those details bear out, it's an incredible tale of bravery and fortitude that should be recognized by us all.

Franklin, though, disagrees.

"His official stance on the matter," says Edmonton friend Greg Scratchley, "is that since he was well beyond incapacitated during the event, any suggestion of actions 'heroic' or 'valourous' are likely unsupported -- or unsubstantiated.

"He does not believe that the event warrants such consideration as their mission to protect Glyn Berry was ultimately unsuccessful."

But a campaign on the Internet views it far differently.

"This is a degree of military heroism in the face of hostile enemy action, which is truly beyond normal and is commendable in the extreme," writes Steve Janke in his blog, Angry(in the Great) White North.

"The shock must have been incredible ... yet keeping his head, he provided lifesaving first aid to himself, then began helping his comrades in arms. This man is heroic in every sense of the word. Should he not be a candidate for the Victoria Cross (Canada)?"

No one has been awarded Canada's version of the Victoria Cross since it was created in 1993.

It replaces the original British Victoria Cross awarded to 94 brave Canadians in conflicts between 1856 and the end of World War II.

Franklin and his two wounded colleagues arrived back in Canada Tuesday and are being treated at Edmonton's University of Alberta Hospital.

Scratchley says he is not surprised that his friend is being touted for the highest decoration that can be awarded to a member of the Canadian Forces.

"In the seven years I've known Paul, he has been dedicated to three things above all else -- his family, this country, and our military," Scratchley wrote in an e-mail before visiting Franklin late Wednesday night. "He is a proud soldier -- proud Canadian, and proud father. That said, I can only imagine that he would suggest himself unworthy of the honour."

The department of national defence is currently investigating the details of what happened on the Kandahar road that day.

"It's way too early to speculate," says Capt. Stephanie Godin in Ottawa.

If Franklin were recommended for the award, he would follow in the grand tradition of another Canadian medic -- World War II Cpl. Fred "Toppy" Topham -- whose Victoria Cross was nearly lost to Canada a year ago.

Topham treated his wounded comrades on March 24, 1945, while under two hours of enemy fire, even after suffering a gunshot wound to his face.

But his heroism was not done.

On his way back to his unit, he came upon a burning armoured Bren carrier. Alone, he pulled all three injured soldiers to safety even as the carrier's mortar rounds exploded and enemy gunfire rained down around them.

Toppy's medal is now in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa after the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and the Toronto Sun raised $275,000 to keep the award out of the hands of a British collector.

Shane Smith helped lead the Toronto EMS fundraising efforts, which contributed almost $2,000 to retaining Topham's Victoria Cross in Canada.

After hearing of Franklin's reported bravery, he believes his fellow medic should be considered for a VC as well. "I don't see a great deal of difference in what Cpl. Topham did and what Master Cpl. Franklin did," says Smith, EMS communications supervisor. "Without any regard to his own safety he continued his duties as a battleground medic."

Meanwhile, Franklin -- his left leg amputated -- remains in intensive care as doctors now try to save his shattered right leg.

"For our families -- the Victoria Cross would only remind us of how we already feel about Paul," Scratchley says, "but it would serve to show the rest of our country and the world the kind of men and women we have standing abroad, fighting for what is right and just with valour and honour."

And remind us that real heroes do exist after all.

Paul Synnott at 3:05 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


New game in town 
(en francais)

An interesting little tidbit buried in this article. Any wonder why some in the 'cities' are now concerned that they don't have their 'traditional' members sitting at the government table?
Mulroney and his people play a key role as Harper takes over
In fact, the Montreal business community from which Mr. Mulroney received much support isn't too sure yet how to handle Mr. Harper. According to one source, they are at a loss to understand how the 10 newly elected Conservatives, all of whom are from outside the Montreal region, were able to win without their financial clout.
I would venture a guess that 'they' haven't bothered to read the Federal Accountability Act yet. Might be a good time to start.

Paul Synnott at 6:31 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor Liberty Seminar 
(en francais)



The Windsor Liberty Seminar

Saturday, March 11, 2006

University of Windsor, Katzman Lounge

9:00am to 5:00pm

The Windsor Liberty Seminar will bring together those interested in exploring the ideas of freedom with an international panel of distinguished experts for a series of discussions on the nature of liberty and its potential to improve our lives.

Students and non-students alike are invited to attend this one-day event. The only requirement is openness to the belief that more freedom can create a better world. The Windsor Liberty Seminar is offered free of charge to all participants thanks to the generous support of The Institute for Humane Studies.



9:00 - Opening Remarks

9:30 – Speaker: Dr. Jan Narveson – An Introduction to Liberty

10:15 - Breakout Groups

11:00 – Speaker: Dr. Lydia Miljan – The Media's Hidden Agenda in the 2006 Election Campaign

11:45- Breakout Groups

12:30 – Lunch & Speech: Heather Tally - TBA

1:30 – Speaker: Dr. Stephen Horwitz – Economic Myths

2:15 - Breakout Groups

3:00 – Speaker: Gerry Nicholls –Promoting a Freedom Agenda in Canada

3:45 - Breakout Groups

4:30 - Closing Remarks and Thanks

5:00 – Adjournment

Speaker Bios

Paul Synnott at 5:46 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Bureaucracy run amok 
(en francais)

A Belgian family who have lived and worked in Canada for 8 years, managing a farm and running their own small business, are facing deportation. Why? A document detailing Michel Van Hauve's shoplifting conviction from 20 years ago was attached to the wrong piece of paper.

He didn't try to hide the conviction. Immigration always had a record of the offence, it was just attached to the wrong form.

For this, the family is supposed to leave Canada, wait a year and then re-apply.
Congratulations to Randy Hillier and the Lanark Landowners Association for taking on this family's cause.
"We are nobodies now"
By EARL McRAE - Ottawa Sun
It wasn't until the family applied for permanent residency status last August, says Hillier, that the government brought up the criminal-charge document, saying it was misattached in Van Hauve's thick files to a wrong document and therefore was "invalid," the family would have to be sent back to Belgium for a minimum 12 months before it could reapply.

Paul Synnott at 4:33 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


New BBS Political Multimedia Contest Entry (Video) 
(en francais)

A little farewell retrospective for Paul Martin from Conservative Canadienne

Paul Synnott at 1:46 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Thursday, January 26, 2006

More on McKenna 
(en francais)

More quoteable quotes from that Atlantic sage Frank McKenna:
"Consider this meeting of Atlantic leaders well attended, well prepared and well organized with many inspirational speakers, a call to arms for Atlantic Canada"

"We are tired of somebody coming in on the eve of an election and giving us an EI change believing that we would end up changing our vote over such a paltry thing as that."

"That involves cooperation between the provinces themselves and the Government of Canada. And I can guarantee you that there is not another region of Canada that you can get the provinces to agree on the time of day, not to speak of a program like that.
At least Alberta only wanted to build a firewall. Looks like the east is girding for war.

Paul Synnott at 7:20 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Pearls of wisdom 
(en francais)

Since old speeches by politicians seem to be all the rage these days, I thought I would grab an extra large Tims, fire up Google and spend an afternoon doing some research. Imagine my surprise when I found this speech in my first ten minutes. The Atlantic Tiger: Sharpening Our Regional Claws - Hon. Frank McKenna, P.C. Q.C. - Speech, Septemer 29th 2004 APEC conference
"I’m from the school of thought that believes that retired politicians should be seen but seldom heard and I always fancied myself in retirement as being a wise old man who would occasionally drop a few pearls of wisdom to those who wanted it instead of being a kind of yappy know-it-all…a person who didn’t know when to leave the political stage."
Ouch! I hope Brian Tobin and Allan Rock didn't hear that. Not a bad opener, but you have to wonder if this is just going to be the same old, same old, boring political speech.
"The only asset, I repeat the only asset that I can bring now to you is that I have no axes to grind, I have no special interests, I have no constituencies that I have to suck up to get elected, so I can say whatever I think."
Wow! This one should be a barn burner. Nice to know, though, that that's all Frank has been doing all these years is 'sucking up' to people to get elected.
"Now, there has been some interest in Ottawa expressed at different times but there’s always the suggestion that this would end up violating the Charter of Rights, directing immigrants as to where they have to go. And I’ll tell you frankly, I can’t for the life of me see how a refugee from Bangladesh would have more rights than a community of two million people here in Atlantic Canada that simply want a chance to grow and thrive and make this region better"
Charter rights and immigration all in one. So let's follow along here. The "refugee from Bangladesh" should go where told to go and like it, regardless of the Charter of Rights. Very enlightening.
"And this issue of one region didn’t seem to be a factor two weeks ago when the Government of Canada gave a special side deal to the Province of Quebec in order to get them to sign the healthcare accord. When it’s done in that context, it is called asymmetric federalism. When we want it, it is called special deals for our region and I do not think that is right. So in my humble view this issue of politics and regional politics is the last refuge of political cowards."
Well, we know what he thinks of Paul now.

Take a few minutes and read the speech. It's very interesting.

Paul Synnott at 3:50 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

McKenna resigns 
(en francais)

Game on for the Liberal leadership race. CKNW news flash just reported and Globe posted a quick report.
McKenna resigns
By BRIAN LAGHI

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 Posted at 5:33 PM EST

Globe and Mail Update

Frank McKenna has informed Stephen Harper that he intends to resign his post as Canadian ambassador to the United States, paving the way for him to run for the Liberal leadership, the Globe and Mail has learned.

Mr. McKenna spoke with Mr. Harper yesterday, a day after he wrote the prime minister-designate a letter signalling his intention to quit.

The news comes against the backdrop of a series of political events, as Mr. Harper began yesterday to build his government and as other Liberals considered whether they might run for the top job of their party.

In the meantime, he'll keep working at the job he was appointed to less than a year ago by Paul Martin, who was toppled in this week's election.

Mr. McKenna wants Harper to have the letter before he's officially sworn in as prime minister.

It notes the two men share a mutual commitment to Canada, and says Mr. McKenna would have had no difficulty working with a Conservative government.

The former New Brunswick premier is widely expected to enter the race to replace Mr. Martin, but those close to him say he won't be making an announcement yet.

With a report from the Canadian Press


Cross posted to Progressive Bloggers

Paul Synnott at 5:59 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Bleezer Testing 
(en francais)

From blogger Larry Borsato comes:
Bleezer is a powerful blogging client. And it's free.

Why use Bleezer to blog?

* Blog from anywhere. Work on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
* Work with any blogging service. As many as you want, even Blogger.
* Add tags for any tag service. Technorati, del.icio.us, or anything else.
* Create custom markup. Define your own key combinations for custom HTML markup.
* Spell check. Ensure everything is speeled spelled ok.
* Advertise. Ping Technorati, weblogs.com, ping-o-matic, Pingoat, or any other service.
* Work online or offline. Compose posts offline and post them when you want to.
* Did we mention Bleezer is free?
Andrew mentioned this tool a while ago, before it's first release and I made a note to keep an eye out for it. Looks like in all the election hype I missed the release. Found it in my wanderings today. First testing finds it to be a very promising tool.

Paul Synnott at 3:39 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


I wonder 
(en francais)


With the Federal Accountability Act, or a version of it, soon to be the law of the land, how many $1,000.00 dollar individual donations will it take for the Liberal Party to get out of debt?

With Liberal debt reported to be as high as $33 million and facing soon to be announced leadership race and convention expenses, I wonder how long before donour fatigue sets in?

One avenue left would be a special levy on cash laden EDAs of say, 25 percent? They'll probably start at 40 percent and bargain down to 25 after much local screaming and howling.

With corporate purse strings cut, the reigns of government removed and who knows what still to come from a different set of eyes looking at the nations books, a job removing nuclear fuel rods from a damaged reactor might be preferable to being a Liberal fundraiser in Canada.

Paul Synnott at 8:19 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Mayors and federal politics 
(en francais)

For a group with permanent tickets on the 'Scary Conservatives' bandwagon, a few big city mayors are certainly singing a different tune now. All of a sudden the fiscal imbalance and Stephen Harper's pledge to deal with it have rocketed to the top of big city mayor's agendas.

Personally, I think Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going to win big with this one. Give the money to the provinces, where it belongs, and let them make the decisions. Premiers such as Gordon Campbell and Dalton McGuinty will then be left with the decisions on where and how to spend the money, and the explanations that go with those decisions.
`Opportunity' for cities, Miller says
Tories `will have to reach out' GTA mayors okay with minority
Jan. 25, 2006. 01:00 AM
JOHN SPEARS
CITY HALL BUREAU

Mayor David Miller put the best face he could on Monday's election even though the results mean Canada's biggest city has no voice in the new Conservative government.

Miller did so by speaking the language of Conservative leader and soon-to-be prime minister Stephen Harper.

Paul Synnott at 7:29 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


David Miller spins 
(en francais)


...and loses. This article should do wonders for future credibility analysis of David Miller statements.
How all those crime guns got onto streets
By MARK BONOKOSKI

Having invoked the fear factor that half the guns used to bathe Toronto in blood last year were stolen from law-abiding collectors and shooters, Prime Minister Paul Martin went to the polls Monday vowing to ban all handguns in Canada -- if constitutionally viable, that is, a caveat he later had to add when he misfired on the facts.

Toronto Mayor David Miller sang the same statistical tune, despite contrary evidence in a report tabled last month by his own police service -- a report obtained through access to information that shows, if not twisted, that no more than 16% of "crime guns" in Toronto were obtained through the robbery of legitimate owners.
Read the full article to get a real sense of the depth politicians will sink to in order to further their own agendas, and truth be damned.

Another disturbing thing found in this article.
"The Canadian government reports are incomplete, but partial figures show that the Canadian police or military have reported that they have lost or had stolen over 500 guns."
That would be over 500 weapons exempt from the firearms registry. A quiet little statistic, that one.

Paul Synnott at 7:00 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Coming Soon 
(en francais)

A virtual collaboration space for Tory Geeks and those who want to learn.

Paul Synnott at 3:15 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Burney named head of transistion team 
(en francais)

No surprises here. A wise choice by Stephen Harper. Derek Burney is an experienced hand at government and will be a definitive part of the early days of the CPC government.
Statement by Prime Minister elect Stephen Harper
24 January 2006

OTTAWA – Statement by Prime Minister elect Stephen Harper:

“The Conservative transition team will be led by Derek H. Burney, who served previously as Canada's Ambassador to the United States and as Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Mr. Burney will be assisted by a group with extensive experience in government. Their main objective will be to ensure a smooth transition from the outgoing to the incoming administration.”

-30-

For further information: Marie-Josée Lapointe (613) 355-3011

Paul Synnott at 1:17 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


For what it's worth 
(en francais)

There are many positives that we can take from our recent election endeavours. For example, based on last nights vote the Liberals will be receiving less money.

2004 16219
2006 13412
equal 2807 lesss votes

Which means the Liberal Party of Canada will get $4,912.25 a year less thanks to the voters of Windsor-Tecumseh.

The CPC on the other hand:

2004 9827
2006 12852
equals 3025

$5,293.75 more for the CPC

That at least brought a smile to may face today. I'll take what I can get while the bruises heal.

Paul Synnott at 12:06 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The way forward 
(en francais)


While I dabble in many things politically, I remain firmly on the organization side. I'm not dismissive of policy, just pragmatic in that you will not have a chance to implement your policy without a solid organization to deliver your vote.

The Blogging Tories was a great grassroots initiative founded by Craig and Stephen. The seeds of many other things were planted during this campaign and in order for them to grow they will need attention.

Richard Ciano, CPC Vice-President and National Councillor has long been an advocate of organization. In the coming months and years, Richard and his fellow councillors will need everyone's support to continue building and expanding the party across Canada. As others focus on government, the organization must expand and evolve.

That's where I'll be.

P.S. - now that the elections over I should be able to find some time to read Rescuing Canada's Right. I'm looking forward to it.

Paul Synnott at 9:24 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Time pt II 
(en francais)

Time was written in the pre-election build-up, full of hope and confidence. Time is all the more relevant today here in Windsor-Tecumseh. Reality is the ultimate cold-shower of life. To say that the majority of our campaign team is stunned would be an understatement.

I'm proud to have worked on Rick Fuschi's team. Many have dismissed our numbers as hyberbole and typical campaigning. They would be wrong. Rick was the most dedicated,hard working candidate I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. 19,000 doors and 48,888 phone calls. No spin or bullshit there, those are real numbers.

As disappointing as last nights results were, the team has much to be proud of. The campaign raised and spent the limit. This hasn't been done in over 30 years in our riding. Many people may be thinking today that it's all been a waste of time and energy, myself, I see it as an investment in the future.

Townhall meetings, outreach and expanding our supporter base were just some of the activities from this campaign that must continue. To retreat now from these initiatives would be squandering the hard fought gains. The Conservative Party of Canada truly is a big tent party and to continue moving forward we must invite many more people into that tent.

Adam Daifallah's blog today - Sober second thoughts asks a very pertinent question.
One thing the Tories need to do is look at their urban vote problem. The Tories do not have a single seat in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. They didn't win a single seat in Mississauga, Brampton or London. This was solid Mike Harris country. Why are these people still voting Liberal?

In the coming weeks and months we must analyse our data, speak to people and find the answers to Adam's question. Failure to do so would be abandoning the very hope we've been campaigning on for the last year.

Paul Synnott at 7:30 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Monday, January 23, 2006

Windsor-Tecumseh 8:15pm 
(en francais)

Turnout is fantastic. Phone bank is about to wrap up and everyone is heading out for a last round of door-knocking then off to the polls to scrutineer the count.

Everything's rocking


Paul Synnott at 8:16 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Funniest endorsement of the campaign 
(en francais)

H/T Nealenews
How to Vote by David Warren -
I would vote for my local Conservative if he had two heads and five elbows and was married to a same-sex yeti in Tibet. And I would vote for him with a clean conscience.
A very open and honest article. Worth reading, especially for Conservative trying to better understand all aspects of the party and it's supporters.

Paul Synnott at 1:52 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor-Tecumseh 1:30pm 
(en francais)

Last of the Scrutineer briefings completed and volunteers continue to come in to the office. There's no doubt now that we're fielding the best ground team Windsor-Tecumseh has seen in years. Scrutineers are available for every poll with plenty of backups. Door knockers are heading out for their first round. Second shift will start at around 5pm. Phone calling is rocking along. Almost 1500 calls completed and we're not even at full speed yet. Callers are reporting that people are excited and motivated to vote. Very few not voting or not supporting phone calls. All that VoterID work from the last year is paying off. Office is buzzing and people are having fun.

One person - one vote at a time.

Paul Synnott at 1:32 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor-Tecumseh 12:30pm 
(en francais)

First round of Scrutineer Briefings began at 12:00. Volunteer enthusiasm is a motivator unto itself.

More reports of Comartin signs at polling stations. As fast as they can put 'em up, we spot 'em and deal with them. The ground game has only just begun.

A years worth of planning, preparing, and strategy is going to pay off today.

Go team.

One person - one vote at a time.

Paul Synnott at 12:09 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor-Tecumseh 11:00am 
(en francais)

Poll Captain briefings complete. 22 leaders ready to drive our GOTV plan. Beautiful sunny day here in Windsor.

Supporter phone calls are rocking along. Round 1 calling will end at 12:00 pm, then it's re-evaluate, reload and on to Round 2. Motivation and spirits are high. Everyone can feel that a monumental change is coming.

Reports are coming in that some of Comartin's sign teams were a little over zealous last night. Signs posted on public school fences beside polling stations. Campaign Manager is all over it.

Nothing left to chance.

One person - one vote at a time.

Paul Synnott at 11:05 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor-Tecumseh 9:15am 
(en francais)

Full team is in and the office is humming.

Mobile poll scrutineers were in for their final briefing and are off. Leave nothing to chance. This is the first time the CPC has had scrutineers at the mobile polls.

Great news in the Windsor Star this morning. Article on the front page on Harper's visit to Windsor yesterday, remainder of story inside. No editorial endorsement for individual candidates! This is a first for the Star and reflective of how far Rick's campaign has come. The Star's 5 days of endorsements for the Conservative Party speak volumes about where Windsor-Tecumseh is heading.

Go Blue!

Paul Synnott at 9:13 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor-Tecumseh 6:30 am 
(en francais)

Campaign office open and ready to go. Just finished uploading the last supporters list to our VOIP system. 8 Computers, 8 Volunteers = 24 lines of GOTV dialing power.

Comartin's office - dark, not open
Easton's office - dark, not open

I guess we know who the hungry ones are.

Paul Synnott at 6:30 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Confirmation and a H/T for all 
(en francais)


I made my prediction a long time ago and have never doubted that we would reach this point. Realizing this goal will require all our efforts tomorrrow.

CPC 158
Lib 61
Bloc 67
NDP 21
Green 1

(I made a slight adjustment to account for a slight surge by the NDP)

Big H/T to Craig, Stephen and all the Blogging Tories. Regardless of what some might say, you have made a difference.


Paul Synnott at 9:42 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)

Almost forgot, it's Sunday...



Kerplonka!
KerPlonka:
Function: Noun
Etymology: imitative
Meanings:
1) The sound of this man's drops of unsolicited opinion falling into the cistern that is the blogosphere;
2) The sound of a moonbat being bitchslapped;
3) A silly play on the author's last name.


Blog on!


Paul Synnott at 12:36 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


199,200,218 Reasons not to vote Liberal 
(en francais)


Linda Williamson of the Toronto Sun has the right idea - 218 Reasons not to vote Liberal



Have some fun - try this google search - 200 reasons not to vote conservative

or this one - Dubious Day

Many thanks to all those who linked, emailed and posted this list. I'm still averaging about 50 to 60 unique hits a day on just this post. I've lost track of all the links, but I think it's save to say that hundreds of thousands of people have viewed this list in one form or another this campaign.

That's a good thing!

H/T to Canadian Blue Lemons


Paul Synnott at 11:51 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Harper's Windsor visit 
(en francais)

CTV Newsnet Clip

Harper reaches out to Quebec voters - CBC story

Edit: Well we're up to 400 in the news accounts - Leaders stay on message in final election pleas

Pic from David Akin's Election blog

Edit 2: Akin Live blogging Harper's last campaign day

Fantastic event this morning. CTV pegs it at 300, while tour and our own count had it over 450. Either way it was a great crowd for 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday.(in Windsor - you know, that labour town!) My friend was happy. He won a bet with Don Martin over the crowd size. Martin took 150 or less, my friend over 150. It wasn't even close. We had to get the shoehorn out.

The crowd was energized and Stephen stepped up. Stump speech, but just the fact that he was in Windsor for his final stop in Ontario was worth it. A little birdy tells us that Comartin's campaign is a lot more worried than he's letting on. We've even been honoured with a Comartin shadow at our events now. Moving up in the world.

A campaign couldn't ask for a better finish. Good local media coverage that will play all day today and tomorrow morning. I imagine we should get front page or inside front for the paper tomorrow. I always did like earned media - the price is right.

After the event about 30 people went to Windsor Airport for a tarmac sendoff. Quick stop of the campaign bus, a few last words from Stephen, sign a few posters and signs and they're off to Manitoba.

What a fantastic motivator for the whole team heading into tomorrow. It's a shot in the arm to launch us into the fight. (we picked up 20 more volunteers this morning)

Thanks to Stephen Harper and the tour for expressing confidence in our team and making Windsor your Ontario sendoff. It's just what the doctor ordered.

Trackback to David Akin's CTV Blog


Paul Synnott at 10:50 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Time 
(en francais)

As we near the end of this campaign, I do have one thing I want to thank Paul Martin and his group of advisors for - time. The decision to go with a long campaign, hoping for a Harper gaffe, was just what the CPC needed. While the National campaign was primed and ready to go, many if not most local campaigns had much to do.

The 2004 campaign was a haphazard affair at best for the CPC. The post merger period was still an uneasy one for many people. The infrastructure, experience and knowledge was lacking in a wide array of areas. Some people were still sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how things developed. I don't say this as a criticism as much as simply my view of how things developed.

National spent a great deal of time and effort analyzing the last campaign and working towards fixing what didn't work. Regional conferences were held throughout the country. The policy convention afforded an opportunity for networking and development. The CPC Campaign School, spearheaded by Richard Ciano has worked on overdrive bringing people up to speed on various aspects of campaigning.

The long campaign was the final piece of the puzzle needed to prepare. Local campaigns had time to organize and establish themselves while the national campaign carried the ball. The pre-Christmas period was put to good use by local candidates, with the break giving campaigns an opportunity to take a short breather, regroup and prepare for the second round.

One of the most obvious differences this campaign is the absence of the legacy parties. No longer is someone asked which side of the 'house' were they from. Time has given them shared experiences together under one big tent as opposed to the 'shotgun wedding' feeling some may have felt from the last campaign.

Tomorrow we go into an election as a team revitalized and renewed. Better prepared, better trained and better motivated. One party, one voice.

Conservatives

Good luck to everyone and I hope to meet many of you in Ottawa this February. (for the swearing in, of course!)

Edit: From Wonder Women - Comin' up blue roses...

One person - one vote at a time!


Paul Synnott at 6:04 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Through the looking glass 
(en francais)

Election predictions are all the rage these days, but they aren't the only sort being made.
If Harper wins, where go Tory bloggers?
There has been a lot of blog discussion about what the Conservative bloggers will be like if Harper wins. Will they become ecstatic in the great white north? Will they start dropping off? Will they be conciliatory?

HANDLING DEFEAT

While I still believe the outcome of this election is going to be different than the polls are predicting, I’m realistic enough to allow for any possibility. Because of this, I’d like to lay out a plan for progressive bloggers to follow should Stephen Harper win either a minority or majority government.

The first thing progressives need to remember is that it’s only politics and not a life or death struggle between the forces of light and darkness. That type of thinking needs to be left where it belongs; in the Kool-Aid drinking, conservative camp. In politics, one needs to look at the long view and focus on the long term goals progressives have laid out for a better Canada. And progressives need to realize that it was inevitable that the conservatives would eventually win one.

Educational reads, both of them. I guess I should go mix up a batch of purple Kool-Aid and prepare my gloat quotes.

On the other hand, maybe I'll just go back to working on:

T2OH
A unique new resource for Tories, coming soon to a section of cyberspace near you.

Paul Synnott at 4:51 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Predictions by David Warren 
(en francais)


Excellent piece from David Warren:
Predictions
The polls show the election race tightening. They seem to show that people in the Atlantic provinces, Montreal, and Toronto -- all Liberal bedrock in recent elections -- are having third thoughts about their second thoughts to maybe vote for the Conservatives this time. With an unprecedented number of “undecided”, I think it would be foolish to make election predictions even two days ahead. We’ll see what we see.

If the Liberals do better than expected on Monday, it will certainly have been because their scare campaign finally succeeded -- the dirtiest and most vicious politics we have seen in post-War Canada, and perhaps through our whole national history. But that in itself is no reason to despair. As I argued Wednesday, it is a scorched-earth strategy that will give diminishing returns in every subsequent election. The Internet is growing constantly, undermining the ability of any candidate to utter howlers or perform sleights that sympathetic media might once have let pass. Moreover, diversity of views and interests is re-entering the old media, via the “500-channel universe”.
An interesting comment buried within the article regarding the internet, blogs and how they are helping reshape discussions and issues in Canada. This will be an interesting article to revisit post-election.

Paul Synnott at 11:54 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Liberals try to sneak $1 billion in spending 
(en francais)

Ya gotta love RSS. Contrary to what Mr. Eugene Parks would have you believe, it's a very useful tool available to everyone.


Liberals attempt to sneak $1 billion in spending past Canadians
21 January 2006

OTTAWA – Documents obtained by the Conservative Party indicate that Paul Martin and the Liberals have authorized the spending of $1.13 billion through a secretive and technical Order-in-Council. This spending is effective as of December 22, 2005, yet the Liberals failed to tell Canadians just how the money will be spent.

“This Liberal government has been addicted to secrecy and closed government for the past 13 years,” said the Conservative candidate for Edmonton-St. Albert, John Williams. “This is just the latest slap in the face to Canadian taxpayers, and another example of why this Liberal government must be replaced.”

“The question is not whether this $1 billion is good or bad spending. Instead, the question is: Why are they spending a billion dollars without being open and transparent about it?” said Williams.

“Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party will end this type of government secrecy. Our Federal Accountability Act, which will be the first act of a Conservative government, will truly clean up the Liberal accountability deficit,” said Williams. “Canadians deserve to know where their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent, in an open and transparent way, instead of a Liberal government rushing through a billion dollars of spending in the heat of an election campaign.”
Documents

Whereas the President of the Treasury Board reports that there is no appropriation for the payment of the sums mentioned in the annexed schedule, amounting in the aggregate to $1,130,433,505, and the appropriate Ministers have reported that the payment of these sums is urgently required for the public good;

And whereas Parliament is not in session and there is no other appropriation pursuant to which the payment of these sums may be made;

Therefore, Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the President of the Treasury Board, pursuant to subsection 30(1) of the Financial Administration Act, hereby directs the preparation of a special warrant to be signed by the Governor General authorizing the payment, effective December 22, 2005, of the sums mentioned in the annexed schedule, amounting in the aggregate to $1,130,433,505, to be made out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

SPECIAL WARRANT

Pursuant to Order in Council P.C. 2005‑2337 of December 20, 2005, the President of the Treasury Board is hereby authorized to pay out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, effective December 22, 2005, the amount of $1,130,433,505 for the purposes set out in the annexed schedule.



Paul Synnott at 9:37 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Windsor Star - 5 days, 5 CPC Endorsements 
(en francais)

Tuesday through Saturday. Five days, five editorials endorsing the Conservative Party of Canada. No ambiguity here.

Tues: The election: Canada needs a change
Wed: The U.S.: It's time to mend fences
Thurs: After Kyoto: A chance for better air
Fri: Ottawa's culture: A Tory plan for change

National unity: An opportunity on Monday

Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, January 21, 2006

If your Canada includes Quebec, then your Canada cannot include another Liberal government under Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Liberal corruption under Martin's predecessor Jean Chretien, laid bare with explosive revelations almost daily at the Gomery inquiry, caused support for the separatist Bloc Quebecois to crest beyond 50 per cent in opinion polls.

Martin attempted to exploit that sentiment at the beginning of this campaign when he declared this election a referendum on Quebec separatism. His tactic, a dangerous one considering the disdain Quebecers held toward the tarnished Liberal brand, was designed to frighten soft sovereigntists and disgruntled federalists back into the Liberal fold.

Martin hoped fanning fears of Quebec secession would convince a hostile electorate to hold their noses and vote for the Grits. He also hoped to convince the rest of Canada only the Liberals could stave off the Bloc and prevent the paralysis of another unity crisis. His strategy appears to have backfired for two reasons:

The first is this election isn't a referendum on national unity and Quebecers know it. They are savvy voters. They have twice rejected secession and tend to maximize their clout by siding with the victors in national elections. Quebecers know this election is nothing more than an opportunity to pass judgment on a tired government bereft of vision and beset by scandal. They know a vote for the Bloc Monday is not the same as a Oui vote in a future referendum.

The second flaw in Martin's strategy -- and one he likely couldn't have fathomed when he embarked on this campaign -- is the stunning rise in the fortunes of the Conservative party, which secured only nine per cent of the popular vote and zero seats in Quebec during the last election.

Opinion polls in Quebec indicate support for the Conservatives has surpassed 30 per cent while support for the Grits has plummeted as low as 12 per cent in some polls. Support for the Bloc has fallen to the extent that the Tories are actually ahead of them in two Quebec City districts.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper won an endorsement this week from the French language daily newspaper La Presse and also an endorsement from Mario Dumont, the leader of the Action Democratique du Quebec, a provincial party with five seats in the National Assembly that commands 15 per cent popular support. Harper has also won praise from Quebec Premier Jean Charest, a Liberal, for promising to address the fiscal imbalance and provide Quebec a voice on the international stage.

The rise of the Conservatives in Quebec is fuelled by more than animosity toward the Liberals. It is fuelled by Harper's belief that a strong Canada must be composed of strong provinces and that repeated federal intrusions into areas of provincial jurisdictions have hurt rather than helped create a prosperous and united nation.

The Liberal party is no longer the party of national unity and, in many respects, is no longer even a national party. The party holds just two of the 42 seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan, eight of the 36 seats in British Columbia and just three of the 14 seats in Manitoba. The Liberals won 21 of 75 seats in Quebec in 2004 but are poised to be wiped off the map.

Quebecers are embracing the Conservatives as a viable federalist alternative because they resent the Liberals and their role in the sponsorship scandal. The majority of Quebecers do not resent federalism and they do not resent Canada.

They want a change in government, just like other Canadians, and the Conservative party can provide that change while promoting national unity from coast to coast to coast.
Day by day, editorial by editorial, dispelling the myth that Windsor is simply a labour town. This city is much more complex and sophisticated than people would have you believe. On Monday the 23rd of January, the voters of Windsor-Tecumseh are about to demonstrate that.

Paul Synnott at 7:30 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Paul Martin - what is your policy on Right to Choose? 
(en francais)

We all know what the Conservative Party Policy is regarding a women's right to choose, the question is - What is the Liberal Party's policy?

All we hear from Paul Martin is the smear and fear about Stephen Harper, but we have yet to hear Paul Martin state in the same unequivocal terms exactly what his and his caucus position is.

Considering his attempts to distort the Conservative position on this issue, I think Canadians deserve to hear from Paul Martin.

It would be interesting to hear his response if he was asked by a media member to make the same commitment as Stephen Harper.

In the absence of any clear statements, I guess we just have to rely on what they've said in the past. That seems to be an accepted practice by the Liberals.

What is Paul Martin hiding?

Paul Martin, Liberal leader:

* “Martin said the prime minister must immediately recall parliament to introduce new abortion legislation” (Halifax Daily News, July 20, 1989).

* “I am personally against abortion on demand, but I believe it is very clear that there must be legislation brought in that will deal with what is becoming simply a mish-mash of approaches” (Halifax Daily News, July 20, 1989).

* “It’s very clear that we are going to have 10 different [abortion] laws and that we are going to have these laws made by judges” (Halifax Chronicle – Herald, July 20, 1989).

* Paul Martin said he was personally opposed to abortion (Toronto Star, March 26, 1990).

Joe Fontana, current Minister of Labour:

* Abortion should be limited to “exceptional extenuating circumstances” involving rape or incest
(London Free Press, October 12, 1988).

Joe Volpe, current Minister of Immigration:

* “The government has contented itself with casting the issue in the context of abortion, a context which invariably favours the rights of those who are present against those who are silent, a context which too often is seen as purely a woman’s issue” – (Hansard, November 22, 1989).

Joe McGuire, current Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency:

* Abortion is “the murder of another human being” – (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

Albina Guarnieri, current Minister of Veterans Affairs:

* “Bill C-43 is abortion on demand with red tape...In effect, the legislation makes it possible for women to seek and obtain abortions for reasons that may have more to do with lifestyle considerations than with actual physical endangerment” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

* “In fact, the health clause will operate as nothing more than a rubber stamp condonement of abortion on demand. It will allow women to abort their unborn child based on a fleeting notion of immediate convenience” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

* “The decision as to which life merits protection cannot be left to judges, doctors, or even women themselves. The issue must be dealt with on a national level by Parliament so that we as elected representatives may once and for all establish the supremacy of life and the protection of the unborn as would befit a civilized society. We must not be condemned by a future Parliament for legitimizing the termination of hundreds of thousands of unborn Canadians” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

* “To imperiously determine which life should be afforded protection of the law and which should not would leave our society extremely susceptible to the social decision-making characteristic of the genocidal policies of certain Third World nations” (Hansard, November 23, 1989).

Jim Karygiannis, current parliamentary secretary:

* Mr. Karygiannis said that he would not have been elected to the House of Commons without the support of the pro-life Campaign Life Coalition: “I think in 1988 when I was first elected, Campaign Life probably turned things in my favour” (Charlottetown Guardian, June 6, 2005).

* Campaign Life has sent out brochures endorsing Mr. Karygiannis in every election since 1988, with Mr. Karygiannis paying the postage (Charlottetown Guardian, June 6, 2005).

Maurizio Bevilacqua, current Liberal MP:

* “Hon. members, everything I believe, everything that I hold dear, my social and cultural make-up, my personal beliefs as a human being, tells me that abortion is wrong. I feel within myself, passionately, that abortion is against the natural order. It negates the essence of our being” (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

* “I do not understand how any of us can accept giving the responsibility and the right to anyone to decide on who will live and who will not” (Hansard, November 27, 1989).

Paul Szabo, current Liberal MP:

* Szabo said it's offensive to the many Liberals such as himself who are “people of faith” and who share evangelical Christians' socially conservative views on moral issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage (Kingston Whig-Standard, May 11, 2004).

* “We did not balance the interests of the unborn” (Hansard, October 28, 2003).

* “Even the medical profession does not agree with the legal precedent, which is a person is not a human being until it is born and severed from the umbilical cord” (Hansard, September 30, 2003).

* “There is unquestionably a growing body of evidence that there are medical impacts on abortion” (Hansard, September 30, 2003).

* “The consequences of this issue, whether it be to women's health, whether it be to the health of an unborn child who is recognized as an uncontested biological fact to be a member of the human species, is enormous and growing. The fact that the U.S. will recognize the unborn child from conception to birth as a person entitled to protection means that things are changing” (Hansard, September 30, 2003).

* “Last year there were over 110,000 abortions in Canada with a cost to our health care system of over $10 million. That is over 300 abortions each and every day. It says that each year 110,000 mistakes are made at the expense of all Canadians by those who fail to act responsibly. Is it too much to ask Canadians just to be responsible for their actions? We do have a choice and that choice should be made before we act, not after we have failed to act responsibly” (Hansard, November 27, 1998).

* “Things do change. Science is changing. We can operate on unborn children, examine them, do all kinds of microsurgery, et cetera. All of a sudden we need to start thinking about fundamentals, about what the difference is” (Hansard, March 22, 2001).

* “Linda and I have three children and we loved, cared for and celebrated each of them right from the start. We believe that human life begins at conception” (Toronto Star, October 8, 1992).

* “She [Margaret Wente] also says if there were more responsible men that there would be fewer abortions and makes reference to “unanticipated fatherhood.” Unless I'm mistaken, it takes two to tango. How can she suggest that pregnancy could qualify as an unanticipated consequence of unprotected intercourse? Should we not expect that people should be responsible for their actions?” (Globe and Mail, November 18, 1994).

* Paul Szabo was awarded the 2003 Joseph P. Borowski Award by Campaign Life Coalition, in recognition of “integrity and leadership in defending life and family in the public square” (Western Catholic Reporter, May 24, 2004).

Roger Gallaway, current Liberal MP:

* Gallaway says there is no difference between his party and the Conservatives on abortion (Calgary Herald, June 7, 2004).

* Gallaway, Martin's point man on parliamentary reforms to empower MPs, said Martin is entitled to say he won't encourage private members' bills on abortion, “but that's not a prohibition either” (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* “There's nothing that can prevent a member of the House who's not a cabinet minister from bringing in any private members' bill” (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* “I don't sense there's a very wide gulf on these issues” (The National Post, June 7, 2004).

* Mr. Gallaway says although Mr. Martin may discourage his MPs from bringing forward an abortion bill, there is nothing to prevent an MP from doing so. “A person could bring a private member's bill on abortion and they may draw public scorn, they may very quickly go down in the House.... Members of Parliament, regardless of political stripes or notwithstanding political stripes, can take part in these kinds of debates” (National Post, June 7, 2004).

Alan Tonks, current Liberal MP:

* Liberal MP Alan Tonks, who responded to the survey by saying he would support a ban on abortion and a prohibition on abortion-inducing drugs, said Mr. Martin has stated that matters of conscience are free votes (Globe and Mail, January 14, 2006).

* “Generally speaking, I opt on the side of life. I don't support carte-blanche abortion,” Mr. Tonks said. “If there was a motion that was presented to review and send to committee, whatever the nature of the change being asked, I would always support it going to the committee” (Globe and Mail, January 14, 2006).

Tom Wappel, current Liberal MP:

* Wappel ran in the 1990 Liberal leadership race on an anti-abortion platform.

* “It's fascinating that when somebody like me says I'm personally against abortion, then I'm told my personal views have no business in the public arena” (National Post, July 18, 2002).

* Wappel said that “most people” in his party “agree that the number of abortions in Canada is too high, and that that’s got to be changed” (National Post, April 21, 2004).

* “The tradition of the Liberal party is to stick up for the little guy, and the littlest guy of all is the child in the womb. Surely that child deserves our protection” (Toronto Star, June 23, 1990).

* “Life begins at conception and it must be protected from conception through to natural death. If we do not provide this protection, we abdicate our responsibilities on a personal and national level” (Toronto Star, June 23, 1990).

* “I would like to see our party discuss the issue of human life and discuss the solutions to the problems that abortion raises” (Globe and Mail, June 30, 1989).

* “We are talking about human rights and protecting against discrimination, but we cannot talk about the discrimination that the unborn child has. It has no rights. It has an absolute impossibility of protecting itself from a decision that another person makes about its very right to breathe. Do you not find it interesting, Madam Speaker, that on the one hand it is perfectly acceptable and legal in Canada at the present time to kill an unborn child at any point of its development, right up until it comes out of the womb, yet on the other hand we are wringing our hands about the ethics of experimentation on zygotes? Where is the logic in that? How can it be logical to permit a third trimester abortion at eight months without blinking our eyes and wring our hands about whether or not a fertilized egg is going to be flushed down a scientist's drain?” (Hansard, March 22, 2001).

* “Rape and incest are terrible and lamentable tragedies but they cannot possibly be compounded by the further tragedy of destroying human life” (Toronto Star, July 4, 1989).

* “I for one will not lead a country that takes human life without proper justification ... we've got to stop the killing” (Kingston Whig Standard, November 8, 1998).

* “I will actively work towards a redefinition of human being to be 'a human life, from the moment of conception.' Anything less cheapens our respect for life, for human dignity, and ultimately for ourselves” (Toronto Star, July 4, 1989).

* “I believe the majority of Canadians feel we should have abortion legislation” (Toronto Star, November 27, 1988).

* “terrible tragedy, but an innocent human being is now part of the equation” (in response to a question put to him by a Calgary high school student about allowing abortion in cases of rape) (Toronto Star, March 20, 1990).

* Wappel faced tough questions from students, including one about the impact a pregnancy would have on a high school student. “It's an attitude problem. People don't want to come to school because they're embarrassed to be pregnant,” he said, but it's no reason “to take a life” (Vancouver Sun, March 20, 1990).

* Wappel, a staunchly pro-life MP, said Harper's comments were merely “a statement of the obvious” about the way private members' business works and Martin would act no differently (Toronto Star, June 7, 2004).

* Wappel says there is no difference between his party and the Conservatives on abortion (Calgary Herald, June 7, 2004).

* “I don't think too much should be made of the prime minister's comment,” said Wappel. He said private members' business has never been subject to party discipline (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* He noted that Martin has vowed to eliminate the democratic deficit to give backbenchers more power and said Martin would not, therefore, roll back the clock by trying to direct the content of private members' business or deny free votes on it. “I have no fear that private members' business is somehow going to be attempted to be controlled,” said Wappel, who once proposed a private members' bill to recognize that life begins at conception -- a bill that never came to a vote (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* Wappel suggested Martin simply got caught up in the heat of the campaign when he suggested he'd interfere in private members' bills (The Record, June 7, 2004).

* Wappel, a Toronto-area MP with a consistent pro-life stance, said there was nothing controversial in Mr. Harper's comments on abortion, saying they reflect how the process works (National Post, June 7, 2004).

* He dismissed any inference that his party leader would react any differently to the process: “I have no fear that private member's business is somehow going to be attempted to be controlled” (National Post, June 7, 2004).

* His issue is abortion. He believes it should be an offence under the Criminal Code, punishable by up to life imprisonment, for both the patient and her doctor. He would not allow the termination of a pregnancy, even in the case of rape or incest (Toronto Star, June 16, 1990).

* “If you have a human life and you have an abortion–a medical procedure designed to destroy offspring–you are clearly destroying human life” (Hansard, May 24, 1990).

* “If this bill passes, it will institutionalize abortion. It will, in fact, make the procedure of abortion legitimate. In my view, the respect for life which it pretends to try to engender, will be diminished. Another statement which has been used is: ‘It’s my body.’ The fact is that there are two bodies involved. There is the mother and there is the child within her. Both those bodies are entitled to respect. Both those bodies are entitled to protection” (May 24, 1990)

* Wappel insists that it is unfair to label the Liberal Party as officially pro-choice, and at one point suggests that “most people in the Liberal Party would agree that the number of abortions in Canada is too high, and that that's got to be changed” (http://www.punditmag.com/articles/wappel.html, Interview in 2000 with Adam Radwanski)

* Stated, “The candidates owe it to Liberals and to Canadians to answer three simple questions: Are you opposed to abortion, why, and what specifically would you do about abortion as prime minister?” (Toronto Star, January 29, 1990).

* Stated abortion should be an offence under the Criminal Code, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment (Toronto Star, June 23, 1990).

Opposed abortion even in rape cases (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

* Promised to introduce legislation protecting life from “conception to death” (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

* Proposed making women considering an abortion undergo “psychological, economical and emotional” counseling (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

* Proposed instituting a national program to educate Canadians about abortion techniques “and what they do in terms of killing a human being within the mother” (Calgary Herald, March 20, 1990).

Paul Synnott at 3:35 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|




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