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The Toronto Star gets shrill

Well.. I’m not particularly surprised at the Star rejecting MMP in their editorial today. They pulled out every distortion of MMP they could find to belittle it and try to fear-monger with. What surprises me out of this editorial is that according to the Star, everything is hunky-dorey with FPTP and nothing is broke, so why fix it?

Yup.. with declining turnout in our current electoral system, with 3/4 of the Ontario candidates being male and 90% white, with false majorities, this system is so perfect that only 3 democratic countries left in the West use it.

With this editorial, the Star clearly shows that while it is a liberal […]

If it goes against principles, vote against it

I agree with Jeff and Steve: If the budget goes against Liberal ideals and we think it’s a bad budget for the country, it had better be voted down en masse by Liberals in their seats, there better not be a weak-kneed mass of absent Liberal MP’s from their seats, and we better be going to an election if the other opposition parties don’t like it either. Otherwise, the “Liberals are weak with no principles” theme is really going to be played out in the media and the public’s mind.

As for the argument there aren’t winning conditions, a) Harper didn’t have “winning conditions” when he brought down the Martin government, and b) I continue to argue that the Conservatives will be in a lot better position to win after their next Spring Budget; they’ll just try to do what they did last Spring. It didn’t work out for them then, but you never give an opponent a second chance. I agree with Jeff that Bryan Wilfert and Jason Cherniak are wrong in asking for what is tantamount to appeasement of the Conservatives and giving the Conservatives free rein for the next several months and the chance to build up to their Spring Budget.

Update: This Liberal Blogger also thinks Mr. Wilfert’s idea is a bad one. Woman At Mile 0 also calls for an election and not to pass ” a crummy Throne Speech”.

Update 2: And yet another Liberal blogger comes out against the idea of doing the capitulation… er… opposing the Throne Speech by abstaining strategy.  You know, If this idea goes thru, and our MP’s do this.. I may just steal a line from our blogging friends down south who are frustrated with the Democrats in the Congress, and start calling this group “The Capitulating Caucus”.

Meanwhile, in the current FPTP system…

.A new poll from Ipsos says the Ontario Liberals are headed towards a majority government on October 10 – opening up a 10 point lead over the PC’s.

By the way, the same poll shows that the “leadership matters” theme Tory has tried to portray himself as having as opposed to Dalton McGuinty has failed – He actually TRAILS McGuinty by a percentage point on this question.

DemocraticSPACE.com’s new forecast #’s:

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Hill & Knowlton’s Ontario Predictor is even better for the Liberals – anywhere between 63 and 66 Liberal seats, depending on voter turnout for party supporters.

[…]

In other news, another bizarre anti-MMP column.

If you’ve read his columns dating back the past year, it will not shock you that Ian Urquhart has come out against MMP this morning in his column in the Toronto Star. His rationale is interesting – apparently it comes down to more parties is a bad thing and we MIGHT get that under MMP, and it might allow another Mike Harris type government.

As stated over here, there are not many cases in MMP in other jurisdictions where Urquhart’s scenario has occurred, but regardless of what parties get elected to the legislature, MMP is going to ensure that any legislation passed will have the support of parties that represent over 50% of the popular vote in Ontario – in otherwards, a majority of people. I think quite frankly, that gives whatever legislation is passed legitimacy and a mandate that it might not have under the current system.

Looking at Ian’s main claim in his column, I’m still not sure where all these voters for the Freedom Party and the Family Coalition Party are coming from to give them a minimum of 3% support, which Urquhart claims could happen. Yea, it could,  but a) I find it unlikely, and  b) if they somehow manage to get 3%, then quite frankly, they’ve earned enough support to be represented in the legislature, so good for them. In addition, if the mainstream parties wanted to (and I’m talking the “big 3” parties), they could easily band together to prevent so-called radical fringe parties from controlling the legislative agenda.

This isnt quite as bad as Sheila Copps claiming a radical Islamist party would hold the balance of power in the legislature under MMP, but it’s close (On a side-note, I don’t consider the Greens to be a “quirky environmentalist party” – but maybe that’s Ian preferring we have as little parties as possible. He must love the 2 party system the US has).

For a more thorough rebuttal to Ian’s column, check this blogposting out.

What is it with Liberal advisers of late?

I thought after Martin had left, that maybe we’d get some advisers with some political savvy to advise the new leader, but at least one of them has proven me wrong.

Jamie Carroll is a carbon-copy of Scott Reid, and that in my opinion is not a good thing.

I’m not going to dive off the deep end like a certain other blogger has been doing, and not that I have much influence in Liberal political circles, but for what little my opinion is worth, it’s time to dump Mr. Carroll and get someone else with a modicum of common political sense in there. I question some of the decisions […]

It’s a start.

A H/T to Jim Calder of the Progressive Right for finding this story; John Tory on the picking of list candidates in the National Post:

The Conservative leader went on to say that if the referendum passes, his party will likely find a democratic way to develop its list of candidates. “The history of our party is that the party insists on choosing its candidates democratically. Even the notion that the leader would appoint candidates is something that has been not well received when it’s come up.”

Its not an iron-clad commitment to pick democratically, but I applaud Mr. Tory for saying this much; its much better then what was being said by him a couple of days ago. He is correct in that it would be nice to hear Premier McGuinty’s thought on the electoral reform being proposed, as well as the way the Liberal list candidates will be chosen.

ispeakto.ca encourages young people to be involved in the electoral process.

Let’s face it, one of the problems we have in this country and in this province is that a lot of young people simply do not feel engaged enough to participate in the electoral system. I believe the figure I’ve seen is that only 20% of “young voters” bother to vote. With that in mind, a few of the Ontario Young Liberals have decided to create a website to appeal to that segment of the population and encourage them to be active in the political process, regardless of who they might vote for.

The site is called ispeakto.ca, and I must say I’m very impressed with how tech-savvy it is. […]

How to kill rats naturally.

And now for something completely different. I saw this in a thread over at Bread n’ Roses by Anne Cameron on how to exterminate rats without introducing harmful poison to the environment:

The best use for instant mashed spuds I ever found was RODENTS…I didn’t like to use rat poison because on a farm there are so many other critters could find and eat it but when the rats moved from the chicken shed to the basement…you put down an open container of instant mashed spuds (I used Carnation) and they love the stuff. It has lots of salt in it. They eat and eat and eat and then they […]

Vote For MMP takes John Tory to task.

Not too long ago, I criticized John Tory for having the audacity to complain that MMP would mean that List Candidates would be “appointed” by party leaders, and these MPP’s would then only answer to the party. I pointed out that Tory was in a position as PC party leader to help prevent his own fear from happening by publicly declaring that the PC party would make sure to democratically select their List candidates. I challenged him (as did others in the Vote For MMP campaign) to show some of that vaunted “leadership” on this issue (which he keeps trying to tell people he has) and do a declaration to […]

Canada’s Dept of National Defence wrote Afghan President’s speech?

If the NDP’s documents that they obtained through the Freedom Of Information Act are correct, it appears the Department of National Defence wrote up Afghan President Karzai’s speech to Parliament last year:

The party’s defence critic, Dawn Black, says the papers indicate Karzai’s address was an “elaborately staged political stunt.” Black held a news conference today to release access-to-information documents that suggest a team of military advisers prepared an initial draft of Karzai’s speech, delivered on Sept. 22, 2006. She quoted a situation report from Task Force Afghanistan as saying: “Team prepared initial draft of President (Karzai’s) address to Parliament 22 Sep.”

It’s one thing for the Canadian military […]

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