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The gong show has started. My thoughts on by-election night.

There are days when I wish I was a bit more involved in the political infrastructure, and there are days where I wonder if its not better to remain a bit removed from it all, which allows me to be a bit freer in my criticisms of the party I support. Tonight, the 2nd thought is a lot stronger then the first, and with apologies to my non-Liberal reading fan-club (which numbers in the dozens) , this post is aimed specifically at the Liberals state of affairs after tonight.

First off, congrats to the NDP. They did their homework, had a good candidate, and were able to massively tap into […]

On MMP and Toronto based news media.

Liberals For MMP has a story this AM basically saying that the establishment – mainly based in Toronto – is doing a full-out assault on MMP. This time, they bring attention to Murray Campbell’s column in the Globe and Mail where he goes at MMP in almost (but not quite the extent) the same line of attack as Sheila Copps did.

In partial defense of the Globe, this is an individual column by an op-ed columnist, not the Editorial Board of the main paper. If one were to skim through the archives of the Globe, you would in fact find that their editorial board endorsed a Mixed-Member electoral system for […]

Bits n’ Bites

– It’s nice to see that Wayne Chu has gotten actively involved in politics since he left Progressive Bloggers, and is involved in a leading way. Best of luck to him.

– I’ve avoided the Quebec by-elections and commenting on them, because I prefer to see what happens before launching into speculative blogposts. I will say that it’s been rather dismaying to see Liberals behave like the old Progressive Conservative party did – which if you weren’t around for that involved constant sniping and backbiting and so on (They also waited til their leader went through a general election campaign before drawing the knives out). There appears to be fault […]

Rick Anderson on MMP

For anyone who doesn’t know, Rick Anderson, former Reform Party strategist, is Vote For MMP’s committee chair. He did an interview with the CBC’s Paul Hunter on the merits of MMP. It’s probably the first time in which I’ve heard Mr. Anderson speak that I actually agree with anything he says 🙂

John Tory: show some leadership on MMP

So John Tory comes out to talk to the National Post editorial board yesterday, and while claiming he was neutral on the electoral reform question, went ahead and criticized it anyhow. The kicker to all this was this statement:

“The notion to me that you’d have a whole bunch of people that would be down there now who will be accountable only to party bosses who put their names on the list, to me seems to be making the place less democratic, not more, and less accountable.”

Uh, John.. you’re the leader of the Progressive Conservative party. You’re one of those “party bosses” you’re so fearful of in your statement. I’m sure you have a say and some influence in deciding how exactly your party would pick your list candidates. Let me repeat to you what Rosemary Speirs said in the Toronto Star yesterday regarding this flimsy argument:

This is where those little understood, much maligned “lists” come into play… The lists are public and each party will try to put its best foot forward. NDP Leader Howard Hampton has already pledged province-wide party nomination conventions to elect his “list” candidates. Premier Dalton McGuinty and Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory should now join in Hampton’s declaration that all his party’s nominations will be open and democratic. Otherwise, think what the No forces are admitting in their desperation to win! Cronyism is alive and well and could get worse?

You had a chance, Mr. Tory, to tell the National Post and the rest of Ontario that if MMP were to pass, you would make sure your party would pick your list candidates in a democratic manner. Instead, you brought up the same bogey-man that the No side does – and you’re one of the people in a position to ensure this doesn’t happen! If both you and Premier McGuinty were to make public statements of the nature that Rosemary Speirs suggests, this argument/fear would effectively be kneecapped (even though I don’t really believe it will happen regardless – there will be too much public pressure I believe to ensure a democratic method is chosen to pick these list candidates – a public declaration from the 2 main parties leaders would still certainly help).

You still have a chance, Mr Tory. Show some leadership on the issue and declare the days of cronyism are over and declare that your list candidates will be democratically picked. Even if you don’t support this electoral reform, you surely can see that its good policy to say to everyone that party hacks and “backroom boys” will not manipulate the lists.(And you too, Premier McGuinty).

Of course, it may be you’re so against MMP that you’re trying to propagate that fear, but again, a “party leader” spreading concerns about what “party leaders” will do under MMP is a tad rich.

People are starting to inquire about the referendum and what’s at stake.

I don’t know whether MMP is gaining grassroots momentum as suggested here, but I can also say I just had happen to me yesterday what Laurette at Politique Vert had happen to her. A friend of mine from college who never has struck me as being overly political sent me a Facebook message asking me if I could explain to her what MMP is, how it works and what I thought were the pros and cons of the system vs the current one. She further explained that she and a friend of hers were talking about the referendum at work and were confused about certain things.

That again points to […]

MMP getting more coverage in the press.

It’s good to see the media are putting in more coverage of the electoral referendum question. The Star has been pretty good at that of late, and today is no exception. You’ll find a Yes vs No dual column on MMP not unlike what I did with Cam over at The Great Canadian Debate website. Rosemary Speirs, former columnist for the Toronto Star, argues for the Yes side, while George Taylor responds for the No (a former Conservative MPP I believe – someone can correct me if I’m wrong).

Obviously you’ll know which column I agree with, but I think Rosemary does a better job at articulating the Yes side […]

Blue Herrings

The Conservatives have been looking for anything to divert attention away from themselves and what some of us are calling the the “Con-Air scandal“, which is of course referring to the Conservatives election scheme of funneling money into and then back out of local campaigns directly back into the national campaign TV ads buy last election – which may have put them 1 million $ + over the legal spending limit, if Elections Canada is correct.

Our first diversion was the “voting by veil” mountain out of a molehill, which the opposition parties unfortunately went along with. The 2nd diversion was then to try and smear the Liberals and Dion […]

Aspiring targets is good for some goals, but not for others.

Remember when the APEC summit ended and Canada was being lauded by all the major polluting nations for helping to get everyone to agree to “aspirational targets” for Greenhouse Gases? In otherwards, nothing definite, no hard caps, no binding legislation, but golly gee, we all aspire to reach those targets!!

Unfortunately, Harper and the Conservatives couldn’t find the same enthusiasm for the aspirations of the Native people in Canada, or the world for that matter, when they were one of only 4 nations to reject the UN Native Rights Declaration:

Fontaine noted the declaration does not include any form of aboriginal veto and would not trump domestic law. “It’s an […]

More suppositions about why MMP is so terrible.

Jason put out a post today where he tried to put together a scenario where he thought MMP could be abused by the political parties. His statement in brief is to claim that political parties would covertly form parties on the side to run as list MPP candidates only, therefore increasing the ideological content in the legislature (and Jason, predictably, uses the socialists as his bogeyman schemers in all of this. I think he dislikes the NDP worse then the Conservatives). This isn’t a new claim by him. He tried using this example to Kate Holloway and I at the Prog Blog Toronto BBQ in late July, and we just […]

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