Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Harper speaks with a forked tongue

Prime minister needs to apologize for colonialism denial: Native groups

"This man speaks with a forked tongue," said Cachagee. "He has mud on his face on this one. Colonial pie."

Harper: Standing up for colonial privilege

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NDP Ad: On Your Side

Liberal Iffy's "Bear"-knuckled Approach

It takes Brains, not brawn, to win. Not just the empty "bear"-knuckled approach to winning or one will just get eaten alive. Remember never go into the woods alone!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What do you think? Should NDP support Libs non-confidence motion?

So Liberals really, really want an election. OK

Should the NDP, along with the Bloc help Iffy "save face" by supporting the Liberals non-confidence motion?

What do you think?

Oh, by the way, here is the latest Leger poll from Quebec - enjoy!

Some highlights to recap:

CPC 36 Lib 30 NDP 17

Best PM (adjusted): Harper 32 (41) Iggy 21(27) Layton 18 (23)

More Food for thought:

  • Lack of backlash against the NDP decision not to force an election
  • Some backlash against Liberals for trying to force an election
  • Ignatieff's leadership numbers are heading towards Dion territory


  • Layton LEADS as best PM in Quebec & appears to be more popular than the party

Should Jack and the New Democrats do Ignatieff the biggest favour of his life and support the Liberals non-confidence motion?

Don't be shy - simple yes or no comment will be tallied at the end of the blogging day!

h/t to Sunday Hat

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Iffy goes up the Hill - And Falls down!

With suicidal delusions of grandeur - accompanied by a spectacular disconnect with timing -

WELL, we all know what happens....


Wounded Ignatieff faces test of leadership

Ignatieff faces the real non-confidence crisis

Liberals' united facade shows serious cracks with row in Quebec

Liberals fail elementary political test

Ignatieff must rebuild after rifts

Iffy's time on probation is up!

A blast from the past

“There is a smugness and complacency about the Liberal Party of Canada which has not really changed since my first encounter.”

Bob Rae, From Protest to Power, 1996, p. 274

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Monday, September 28, 2009

"Iffy" - Is this the poison pill you were talking about?

Lib leader Michael "Iffy" Ignatieff and liberals file no-confidence motion while their Liberal Quebec fraction blows up - big time.

Blow backs are a bitch

With Liberal Que. lieutenant Coderre strategically inflicting the most damage possible and taking some of his Liberal friends with him, Iffy's flipping and flopping around - again - sure does not evoke confidence or trust

Not only among Liberals but the public as indicated in this recent poll: Fed election blues

On the question of trust:

Ignatieff fared even worse when respondents were asked about trust. He places third in every region of the country, with only 14% of Canadians saying they trust him, compared to 29% who trust Harper and 17% who trust Layton.


Speaking of POISON PILLS

With the media now treating the Liberal non-confidence motion as a total joke - It's so obvious that the Liberals are so not ready for a fall election, much less prime time,


to put that Liberal "smugness and complacency" aside; you just delivered your own self-inflicted poison pill - LOL

SO Iffy is now

"facing a crisis of party unity as the Liberal elite battle amongst themselves


Well Bob who is now a Liberal - the more things change the more they stay the same in the Liberal Party of Canada.

"There is a smugness and complacency about the Liberal Party of Canada which has not really changed since my first encounter."

Bob Rae,

From Protest to Power, 1996, p. 274

You don't say - LOL

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The False Champion of the Canadian Left: Wolf in Shepherd's clothing

Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff threw down the Gauntlet
Many progressives might think "why not?" Harper is, after all, a wolf in wolf’s clothing, managing to run a neoconservative, neoliberal government with voter support of his party in the mid-30 percent range, and all the rest of Canada to his left.

Unfortunately, Harper’s challenger, Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff, is just as much a wolf, but poses a much greater danger to the Left because he dresses as our shepherd.

Take a walk down memory lane @ Daily Kos: State of the Nation


Progressives SHOULD BE losing sleep over that!

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NDP on the Mark

Lawrence Martin - Globe & Mail
On many vital issues, the NDP have been on the mark
  • Amending the Employment Insurance Act
  • preventing an unwanted election
  • turned the table on the coalition debate
  • on what matters, the EI issue, a policy advance was made
  • need for auto sector strategy
    backup plan for pensions
    led charge in demanding billions in stimulus spending
    vocal opponents of foreign takeovers of Canadian companies

    • environmental warriors
    • income inequality
    • native peoples

    "on many of the vital issues, they've been on the mark. Never mind the political score. On what really matters, vindication has come their way"
    RIGHT ~ thanks by the way - it's been a long time coming!

    NDP ~ On what really matters ~ shows they can do better than the liberals and conservatives

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    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Well Folks, it's raining ~ now where did that EI money go?

    All the "will they or won't they" election talk ignores one important question: Will Stephen Harper's current Employment Insurance bill actually do much for unemployed workers and hard-hit communities across Canada?
    Harper's Bill C-50 has created a clear divide between those he considers deserving and those undeserving of EI support.
    DIVIDE & CONQUER: pitting worker against worker and family against family is ignorant and cuts the ties that bind us as a nation.

    Lewenza president of the Canadian Auto Workers union says this is what should happen:
    It's time politicians got down to the serious business of fixing EI and in particular the Harper government needs to get serious. Something's wrong when only half the country's 1.6 million unemployed are receiving EI.
    NOTE TO LIBERALS: no election for you [read between the lines]

    HMM ~ I wonder why?
    When governments drained off EI surpluses totalling $57 billion, they always argued they'd restore the funds in the event of a rainy day.
    Thanks Conservatives & Liberals cause NOBODY VOTED FOR THAT in an election!

    and no surprise


    I'ts raining - now get back to work

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    Why I'm voting with Stephen Harper ~ Layton

    Citizen Special

    Last Tuesday, after speaking to students at Queen's University, a young woman approached me with a question. She told me her father was a forestry worker who had been laid off after more than 20 years with the same company in Thunder Bay. Her family was devastated and it looked like she would not be able to continue her education. They eventually scraped enough money together for her fall semester, but her further studies are in doubt. Her question to me was: what I could do -- what could New Democrats do -- to help her dad and others like him?

    I've heard many such stories, some with tragic ends. People lose hope.

    My party began calling for significant Employment Insurance reform well before this year's budget. In the spring session, we presented a carefully considered motion to reform EI that earned the support of a majority of the House of Commons. It suggested the elimination of the two-week period that forces workers to wait for benefits to kick in, uniform national qualifying hours, allowing self-employed workers to participate, raising the wage replacement rate from 55 to 60 per cent, and making it easier for workers to get training.

    The Conservatives refused to make any of these changes. To win the support of Liberals, Mr. Harper offered a blue ribbon panel on EI that decided nothing and fell apart when Mr. Ignatieff said he was ready for an election.

    Meanwhile, the OECD forecasts that Canada's unemployment rate will soon hit 10 per cent. The Canadian Payroll Association's recent survey showed that more than half of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque.

    For many, a long, hard winter now beckons. Job losses are expected to continue until next spring. Our party represents many who will suffer most. In forestry, mining and manufacturing communities, hard-working Canadians are asking for our help.

    Last week, Mr. Harper put a $1-billion proposal on the table to extend benefits for long-tenured workers. Workers who have claimed less than 36 weeks of benefits in the last five years will be eligible for an extension of benefits of between five and 20 weeks.

    The Conservatives claim this reform will help 190,000 Canadians. There is some debate about the numbers, but what is clear is that this winter, without extended benefits, tens of thousands of Canadians will slide off EI and onto welfare.

    The choice before New Democrats is simple: We can direct nearly $1 billion to families in desperate need or waste $300 million on an election.

    This new reform falls far short in many ways. It doesn't cut waiting periods, increase benefits or create uniform access across the country. We are under no illusions that this bill fixes the major problems in the EI system. We will continue to work for further changes to EI. In fact, we have a dozen proposed laws before the House that would improve other elements of the existing system.

    But my party cannot, in good conscience, vote down legislation that is a step in the right direction.

    How would I be able to look that young woman in the eye? What would our MP, Claude Gravelle, say to the thousands of laid-off miners in his riding of Nickel Belt? What would our MPs in Thunder Bay, rural B.C. and Southern Ontario say?

    Reluctant as we might be to extend the life of the Harper minority, ensuring that this money gets to the people who are in desperate straits is the right thing to do.

    But make no mistake: we are supporting this EI proposal, not this government.

    Jack Layton is leader of the federal New Democratic Party.
    © Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

    Thank you for saying it like it is,


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    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Was the NDP right to delay an election?

    Shorter - YES
    Some are looking for every opportunity to spin it as badly as possible for Jack Layton and have seized on CAW President Ken Lewenza’s comments that the EI changes which the NDP have said they will vote for are “crumbs.” Of course, Lewenza’s comments made no reference to Layton or the NDP and stated the obvious in that temporarily extending benefits for up to 190,000 people does not help the vast majority of the 1.6 million unemployed.

    You don't say -
    Another concern heard around Ottawa labour and NGO offices is Ignatieff’s lackluster performance and a danger that he may implode once tested. That combined with Ignatieff’s clear shift to the right on social and economic issues, has dampened enthusiasm for a quick campaign (and there was little to begin with) based on the Liberal leader presenting a credible and winnable alternative.


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    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Overall Poverty Increasing in Canada since mid 1990s

    Conference Board of Canada released it's report card

    No Surprise

    Canada got a D grade, placing 15th out of 17 countries, ahead of Japan and the United States
    No Surprise

    Top-ranked countries
    Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands
    No Surprise
    *Those countries are led by Social Democratic led governments

    No Surprise
    Poverty rate in Canada rose to 15.1 per cent in the mid-2000s from 12.8 per cent in the mid-1990s
    What drives inequality and poverty in Canada?
    1. changes in the age and household structure of the population
    2. growing inequality of household earnings
    3. decline in the effectiveness of taxes and transfers in reducing poverty and inequality.
    Federal Governments in power since the mid 90s ~ guess!

    Time for a change

    from Liberal and Conservative governments
    Can do better

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    When Fools rush in.... The Real Opposition

    From Day one, the NDP asked for the wording of the EI improvement bill - sounded good but wanted to see "the fine print."

    Good for Layton

    The legislation is the only reason NDP leader Jack Layton has put forward for providing short-term support for the government in a confidence motion Friday on budgetary matters.
    NDP's support – will be short lived unless the government agrees to NDP amendments.
    Drilling down into the EI bill reveals that it is more about "optics" then actually helping long term unemployed workers - the Canadians who paid into the Employment insurance for years and years, didn't collect, but do to changes Liberals made to EI and they were in power, are now short-changed and kicked to the road side.

    The Bloc is on the same page - Good for Duceppe

    Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe said his party is against any fast-tracking of the EI bill, saying that it would not do enough for the hard-hit sectors of the Quebec economy as it currently stands. Mr. Duceppe raised the same concerns as the NDP, noting that many workers in the forestry sector, for example, would be ineligible for the additional coverage because they suffered temporary layoffs in recent years.
    The bill needs to undergo close scrutiny in committee and be amended. Why?

    It's about helping Canadians hard hit by the recession, long term workers who lost their jobs, paid into EI for years. It's that simple and should be the focus of parliamentarians, the ones elected to represent us in government.

    It's workers' money and they should not be used as "political pawns" for "short-term political ends."

    Meanwhile the Liberals - go for "optics" - want it swept under the table - fast tracked - no matter if it really does nothing to help those long term unemployed workers, in say the auto and forestry industries.

    “The NDP don't want to help the jobless, they just want to avoid losing their own jobs,” Mr. Coderre said.

    What a load of crap - read the fine print instead of "political posturing" - workers might think you care after you screwed up EI so badly when in office.

    Time to do the right thing NOW!

    Next, think about getting serious about helping women who work in non-standard employment. Thanks to short-sightedness to qualifying for EI under the Liberals, 2008, only 39 per cent of unemployed women were eligible for EI in 2008, compared with 46 of jobless men.

    Women matter. Not that you'd ever guess that from where they rank in the federal government's priorities, or those of most of the opposition parties.

    Too bad the Conservatives now, and the Liberal govt before it, see the EI pot as their slush fund rather than an actual employment insurance plan ~ hands off!

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    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    When Fools rush in.... EI may be letdown

    As Iggy "I want to be PM" rushes in to grab the spotlight - not wanting to left off side - cooler and smarter heads prevail
    Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin says an Employment Insurance bill tabled by the Conservative government Wednesday doesn't live up to the way it was characterized by the human resources minister.
    “We just don't see how they claim it will cost $900-million and benefit 190,000 people,” Mr. Comartin was quoted as saying.
    Ms. Davies said her party does have concerns with the bill and at this point is not committing to support the bill into law. She says the NDP will support the bill's passage into committee so that MPs can call expert witnesses to analyze the proposed measures.
    Comartin said the bill could be a particular letdown for many in Windsor because contrary to Human Resources Minister Diane Finley's claim workers having paid in seven of the previous 10 years would see extended benefits, the actual time period is longer.
    [no wonder the NDP wanted the particulars of the bill and the ACTUAL WORDING]

    Comartin also said the bill does not address extending maternity/paternity benefits as had been promised, and the rules surrounding people who received severance packages.
    The Liberals announced Thursday morning that they are offering to pass the bill quickly, in the hope of taking away the NDP's stated reason for keeping the Conservatives in office for the short term.
    [Take that unemployed - Liberals are more concerned about well Liberals - how's that for a slap in the face]

    “We don't want to give Mr. Layton any alibis,” Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said.
    [Ignatieff reveals what's important to him & not Canadians]
    Comartin said the NDP will review the entire bill more closely in the coming weeks before deciding whether it will support the government.


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    Premier gives Layton thumbs up on EI Stance

    Premier NDP Dextor weighs in and gives a thumbs up for Layton on EI Stance.

    "Premier Darrell Dexter is happy the federal NDP has agreed to support the federal Tories’ plan to enrich Employment Insurance rather than sending the country to the polls next month, his chief of staff said on Wednesday.

    "His own experience has been that it’s — for any political party — far better to focus on how to make the parliament work, and to look at where they can find common ground, what they can agree on," said Dan O’Connor.

    "He certainly took the view in the two minorities here — ’03 and ’06 — from election night on, that was the approach we would take. We would pursue the things that were important to the NDP, but we would do it in the context of recognizing someone else was the government."

    The province is glad EI is going to be enriched, Mr. O’Connor said."


    "This is certainly a step in the right direction.""


    "Rick Clarke, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, is upset the federal government isn’t doing more for the unemployed, but he is not sympathetic to Liberal criticism, since they set up the current EI system.

    "I don’t have a real, real short memory, and when I think about something like that coming out of the Liberals, I remember (former Liberal minister) Doug Young," he said."


    Mr. Clarke says the Tories’ proposed changes are a "Band-Aid," that penalizes workers who were laid off in previous years, but he assumes Mr. Layton and the NDP have done their best for the unemployed.


    I’m still more angry at Harper for using this as an extortion issue because he’s playing with people’s lives."

    One needs to know when to play the cards they'll dealt: play'em, hold'em, and fold'em.

    h/t to Dawg for fold'em.

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    EKOS HAS A New Poll

    The EKOS poll, commissioned for the CBC and released Thursday, shows the Tories with 35.1 per cent support, followed by the Liberals with 29.9 per cent. The New Democratic Party followed with 16.5 per cent, the Bloc Quebecois with 9.6 per cent and the Green Party with 9 per cent.

    Interesting changes in direction moving from increase to decrease by largest to smallest difference

    NDP increased by 1.7% (from 14.8% to 16.5%)

    Green decreased by 1.1% (From 10.1 to 9%)

    CONS increased by .9% (from 34.2% to 35.1%)

    Libs decreased by .9% (From 30.8% to 29.9)

    Bloc decreased by .4% (From 10% to 9.6%)

    Field date 9 - 15 of September during the time of election speculation.

    It would appear that Canadians like that there will be some improvement to EI although it is not enough, but like the general direction.

    Making parliament work and trying to do the best by those we represent and our constituent bases appears to mean something.

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    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Crime & Punishment - Jaffer style

    This was yesterday:
    Days before the vote, Jaffer's campaign approved radio ads chiding NDP Leader Jack Layton for comments years earlier that Jaffer cast as broad support for marijuana use.

    The spots said, in part: "Edmontonians understand how difficult it is to make sure our children make the right choices, especially on serious issues like drug use. The Conservative Party supports drug-free schools and getting tough with drug dealers who sell illegal drugs to children. Don't let our schools go up in smoke. On October 14th vote Conservative."

    And today:

    Rahim Jaffer, husband of Simcoe-Grey MP Helena Guergis, has been charged with drunk driving and possession of cocaine.

    Police stopped Jaffer, a 37-year-old Angus resident, on Sept. 11 on Regional Road 50 in Palgrave. Caledon OPP say he was speeding through the village.

    Jaffer will be in Orangeville criminal court on Oct. 19 to answer the charges.

    His license was suspended for 90 days.

    Jaffer was elected MP for the Edmonton Strathcona riding in 1997, a seat he held up until last year's federal election, when he lost to the NDP.
    Zero Tolerance and deterrence - as an example to others - to show what happens when one associates with law & order Conservatives!

    Conservative hypocrisy knows no bounds - ain't that the truth.

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    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Liberal plant invited: Cons thank Libs for nation-wide media attention

    "I have always been a proud Young Liberal, and have never hidden that fact from anyone," Tetreault told us tonight. "I was invited to the event by Josh Pringle, the Conservative riding president, who knows I am a Liberal."

    So let's get this straight. The Conservative riding president invites well know liberal to the "private no media meeting" and the guy openly video tapes Harper's speech.

    Sure, Harper wants to ensure that this plays big time in the media

    And the liberals they don't disappoint. Conservatives have just nation-wide free press at the liberal expense, and all they had to do is invite the local liberal youth.

    Timing is everything - sure wouldn't want this unbelievable economic update to get lots of air time:

    nearly $56-billion bucks and more shortfalls will be deeper and more persistent than Ottawa had previously acknowledged, adding nearly $70-billion more to Canada's debt.

    Wow - who voted and supported that crappy financial management?

    Liberals stilling helping Harper's agenda ~ with friends like that who needs enemies, right?

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    Out of Afghanistan NOW

    "I just don't think in the West that we are prepared to invest the blood or the treasure to get this done," Fowler said.

    "It's not just commitment and the wasting of our youth and the enormous, enormous cost in difficult financial times, it's to get it done we will have to do some unpleasant things. ... This is not a nice war," he said.

    Fowler said he wondered whether the dollars and lives invested in tackling Afghanistan's "complex misery" would be better spent elsewhere.

    "I can show you a lot of places in this world where you can put girls in schools without killing people. ... There's lots of things to fix that can be done more efficiently and probably more effectively," he said.
    What are we fighting for?

    It's surely not democracy or freedom or other western propaganda. No more Canadians dying for oil, pipelines, imperialism


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    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    Even Worse than Harper?

    You don't say:

    Threatening an election requires that a opposition party believes they can do better than the party in power

    • Pro Tar Sands
    At the expense of the environment
    • Corporate trade deals
    at the expense of protecting Canadian jobs, environment and HUMAN RIGHTS abroad
    • Pro-war and empire-building
    at ensuring more indefinite "detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war"

    Bottom line:

    Iggy the liberal is for even more tar sands expansion, pre-emptive wars, indefinite detentions and corporate trade deals at the expense of human rights [and Canadian jobs and environment].


    Iggy's "new way of thinking" is the same old, same old

    No wonder difference matters

    And Jack, in particular, can do better

    h/t Devin Johnston, Tyler Kinch, Terahertz Athiest

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    Saturday, September 05, 2009

    Liberals don't care about unemployed - just a Ploy for Fall election

    No wonder Liberals weren't serious about fixing EI. Again liberals use EI for their own political ends.

    Just a ploy to trigger a Fall election. Taber in the Globe reveals all as libs spill the beans:

    Mr. Ignatieff and his strategists set out last June to map a course toward a fall election, believing they could not sustain supporting the Harper minority Conservative government without damaging their brand.
    But that deal also included an “opposition day” in early fall – later this month or in early October – in which they could, if they so chose, put forward a motion of no-confidence in the government. If the committee didn't work, the Liberals could pull the plug.
    The strategy, ironically, was set with the help of Mr. Harper during his negotiations with Mr. Ignatieff: In return for supporting the Tory budget bill last June [again!], the Prime Minister agreed to Mr. Ignatieff's request for a special Tory-Liberal working group to find ways of reforming the employment insurance system.
    Liberal strategists say, however, that was only one part of the deal. More important was their success in prying from the Conservatives a commitment to give them a fall opposition day.
    This would give Mr. Ignatieff his opportunity to try to defeat the government if the EI reforms did not go his way.
    Liberals weren't serious about changing EI - why would they since it was the Liberals who created this nightmare for workers - whose money is it anyways? Liberals also stole workers' $$$ & used it to pay down the deficit and pretend they slayed that deficit - on the backs of workers back when they were in power.


    • Liberals pretend in June to want to revamp EI - use workers who have been hit by the global recession and still losing their jobs to get 1 opposition day for Fall to trigger an election - Liberals real prize
    • Liberals weren't serious, cons weren't serious in making that EI committee work - why should they as neither the libs or cons give a rat's butt about the unemployed, and those effected by the global recession.

    Make no mistake, it's only the NDP who represents everyday Mary & Joe Canadian.


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    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Layton much more popular than either Iggy or Harper

    Le Devoir - new poll

    There is a new large sample Quebec poll by Leger

    BQ - 35%

    Libs - 30%

    NDP - 16% (I'll take it)

    Cons - 16%

    Quebecors like leaders who are progressive! Go Jack

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