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MacKay: If we don’t stay in Afghanistan, the bad guys will come and get us.

It appears that since Peter MacKay and the Conservative government has failed with any of its conventional arguments to persuade Canadians about how staying in Afghanistan after 2009 is a good thing, they’re going to try a new tactic – fear:

Peter MacKay ….suggesting the Taliban threat would follow Canadians home if Ottawa left Afghanistan before its mission was complete…”If the job is not done in Afghanistan, if countries like Canada leave, the Taliban can follow them,” MacKay told Canadian reporters here.

Does that threat look familiar to you? Well, it should. It’s an arguing tactic long used by the Republicans and Bush:

….it parrots a long-time mantra of […]

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Initial Media/pundit reaction on the Ontario Provincial Debate..

Dalton and the Liberals did pretty well – even the Toronto Sun says so.

We’ll see if that translates the same from the voters and the media the next week or so.

UPDATE: I’m also disappointed as Mark is that Steve Paiken didn’t ask the Party leaders this question. It would have been interesting to hear a response – particularly from Tory and Mcguinty. We’ll keep bugging them about it however.

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“The end of civilization as we know it!”

Check this out from Don Ferguson of Royal Canadian Air Farce.

This is a light-hearted look at how defenders of the status quo over the years have been on the wrong side of history where improvements to our electoral systems are concerned.

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MMP will make the the electoral process & our MPP’s more diverse.

One of the reasons supporters of MMP often give for supporting this electoral reform initiative is that we believe it will help the legislature become more diverse and more representative of the actual Ontario population. We feel the current system is very much stacked against more representation of women, First Nations, ethnic minorities and so on. Nowhere is that more apparent then in our current Ontario election. Look what Greg Morrow discovered in research at his site about the makeup of the candidates running in Ontario’s provincial election:

With the deadline for candidates to file their paperwork having passed, we now have the final tally of candidates for the 2007 […]

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What have Ontarions learned about John Tory and the Ontario PC Party?

Not really a lot. We definitely know what his views on education are, and we now know he supports having private-for-profit health-care clinics, but beyond that, all Tory has been doing is bashing the Liberals over and over again in his political ads. There has been very little election ads or announcements on any other policy – as if hoping that all the bashing of the Liberals and the negative ads will be enough to convince Ontarions to elect him without scrutinizing anything else he intends to do if he gets elected as the government.

On the other hand, with all the controversy of the education issue (not helped by […]

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Dion takes a stand for habeaus corpus and the right to a fair trial

I know some of the Liberals have been calling for this, but I’m pleased to see the leader take a public stand:

Liberal Leader Stphane Dion is calling on the federal government to intervene in the case of Omar Khadr…Khadr should be tried in a civilian court in the United States, said Dion. “If it’s not something that the U.S. authorities are willing to accept, then we will ask for the repatriation of this citizen,” he said.

We all know the US under the current regime, which is determined to gut the American Constitution in the name of “security” will never acquiesce to such a demand – in fact, they’ve gone into contortions to keep other combatants out of the civilian court system – so it therefore falls to Canada pressuring the US to send him home, which is what every other Western nation has done with their civilians who were detained there. Only Canada retains “confidence” in the US’s ability to give Khadr a fair trial – which is a load of bunk. Dion is saying what others have said – let him face due process in a fair manner in a court of law. If there is evidence against him, present it. If you have none, then free him.

Good on Dion for standing up for the rule of law, habeaus corpus, the right to a fair trial, and every other basic right we expect as citizens in our democratic tradition.

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Conservatives show again they care little about our environment.

Nice of the Conservatives to show again what their primary weakness is going to be in the next election – CBC has discovered they’ve virtually shut down the budget at Environment Canada:

Sources say the budget cuts are as follows:

The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Network, which observes changes in ecosystems, has lost 80 per cent of its budget.
The Migratory Bird Program, which monitors the health of bird populations, has seen its budget cut by 50 per cent.
The budget for the National Wildlife Areas, a program that protects nationally significant habitats for wildlife and birds, has been slashed from $1.9 million to zero.

And what did the Environment Minister have to say? Well, nothing.. he wasn’t around for comment, but his department released a statement saying that spending was being prioritized for climate change. Apparently, the Conservatives have decided not only will they try to fool Canadians into thinking they’re doing something on climate change, but they have also decided that nothing beyond that needs protecting – screw the wildlife.

UPDATE: 6:11 pm – The Sierra Club officially slams the government for doing this, as you would expect, and with a good retort to the Environment Ministry saying money was being prioritized for climate change:

“They can’t just pick and choose,” Langlois said. “If a patient has three types of cancer, you wouldn’t say ‘We’re just going to treat one.’”

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Not all Toronto-based media pundits are anti-MMP.

Proof of that? First, Linda Mcquaig of the Toronto Star writes a column supporting MMP, which ends with this statement:

…it’s interesting to note that, under an MMP system, Mike Harris would never have won a majority government. Nor would the NDP’s Bob Rae. Neither of these leaders had the support of the majority of Ontario voters. Instead we would have ended up with governments that more accurately reflected the generally centrist-progressive nature of Ontarians. Anyone who has a problem with that has a problem with democracy.

..and though she tells me it isn’t in her mandate to write about, if any of you are on Facebook, you will notice that Antonia Zerbisias of the Star is also pro-MMP.

The Toronto media have been getting a generally bad rap as being the Establishment writing against this.. so I thought I’d give credit where it’s due.

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Bringing some sanity to the mix.

Some of the pundit takes on last night’s election results include this good piece from Paul Wells. One thing that got me shaking my head was the fact that he was told there are 10 people in charge of formulating the policy platform. Ten people? Let’s get that trimmed down to 2 people at most.

And Warren Kinsella’s take – he still refuses to use proper links for individual posts, so I’ll quote him on what these results mean:

…it means that the Liberal Party of Canada needs to get its head out of its arse. Staff changes, organizational changes, policy changes, you name it. Top to bottom, all of […]

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On not being afraid to stand up for principle.

Some of the Prog Blog affiliates of the NDP-supporting persuasion are predictably having a bit of fun at Jason’s expense this AM, including here, but I do want to address his comment (he also isn’t the only Liberal blog stating it either).

One by-election loss does not translate into necessarily the same results elsewhere in a general election. If Jason is suggesting the Liberals should just roll over and allow the Conservatives to lay out whatever type of policy they want this fall (as they did when Martin resigned and Graham was the interim leader) for an undetermined amount of time, I’m not prepared to accept that. If anything, we […]

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