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An interesting Canadian phenomenon of so much interest in the Democratic presidential candidates.

I find it a bit curious and yet interesting that so many Canadian-based progressive and/or Liberal bloggers are so emotionally invested into the American Democrat Primary race to be the Presidential candidate that they blog constantly on the strengths or weaknesses of their particular favourite candidate, even though Canadians have no say in the matter of who the Democrats pick for their candidate.

One such example of this would be Scott Ross, a good blogger in Alberta BC, but one who has turned his blog recently into at least once-a-day posting and video rant at the failings of one Barack Obama. Scott is aggressively going after him as well as […]

If you were wondering..

…about the situation with my former satellite provider charging me with a 4 month overdue bill when I’d cancelled the service back in October, I wrote a letter to the VP describing what had occurred, and my particular take on the matter. I got a letter back from one of his assistants apologizing for what had happened and a full credit of the amt owing, as well as the cancellation of any action going to their collection agency (and I’m keeping all correspondence from them just in case).

Nanos: Liberals, Cons. in dead heat still.

I am pleased to see a Nanos poll out so soon after the last one he did – mainly because of all the contradictory polling results we’ve seen since then. The latest results? A dead heat between the Liberals and Conservatives, and the NDP falling quite substantially:

Federal Ballot: Liberal 34%(+1), Conservative 34%(+3), NDP 14%(-5), Bloc 10%(nc), Green 8%(nc)

At this particular point, the Liberals compromise on Afghanistan they crafted has not hurt their position from the last Nanos poll, while the NDP has surprisingly dropped during this time period. As others have said, perhaps it’s because they and their position has been marginalized by the media over this debate. […]

Did John Tory get enough votes to stay in as leader?

It looks like he’ll have to think about it:

John Tory says he’ll decide “very soon” whether to hang on as Progressive Conservative leader after winning just 66.87 per cent support from party activists in a review of his performance following last October’s election debacle. The results – lower than internal tracking which showed more comfortably in the 70 per cent range – appeared to come as a shock to Tory.

Personally, in a very selfish way, I hope Mr. Tory leaves, and the Ontario PC’s put in a right-winger as their leader. I think Tory would still have a chance to portray himself as a moderate to the Ontario electorate the next time around, and that usually appeals to the province’s voters. If the PC’s think they need to get a leader that acts more like Mike Harris then Bill Davis, that will ensure the PC’s remain out of government here for awhile.

[email protected]:40pm – Well, that was quick:

After the result, Tory said he needed time to consider his future. The time he needed turned out to be brief. Three hours later, Tory emerged late Saturday to announce that he had consulted his wife and caucus and had decided to stay on as leader.

So, he opted to stick with this amount of support unlike what Joe Clark did with the same amount of leadership support with the federal PC’s  in 1983. It will be interesting to see if this time, the decision pans out for him, unlike for Joe.

The Unborn Victims of Crime Bill (Bill C-484) should be defeated.

I thought I should make a comment about this particular private member’s bill that Conservative MP Ken Epp is attempting to get passed in the House. If passed, it would allow separate homicide charges to be laid in the death of a fetus when a pregnant woman is attacked. While that may sound reasonable, I believe if you closely examine this bill more closely, you’ll see all this bill is really trying to accomplish is a back-door attempt by Ken Epp and his supporters to re-criminalize abortion.

This proposed bill is attempting to add legal status to fetuses and define them as persons. Right off the bat, this bill conflicts with both the Canadian Criminal Code and the Supreme Court of Canada. Section 223(1) of the Criminal Code states quite clearly that foetuses are not persons until they exit the birth canal alive. Further to that, the Supreme Court of Canada has already ruled that a woman and her fetus are considered “physically one” person under the law, and that all rights belong to the pregnant woman. Therefore, I believe this proposed Bill is unconstitutional before it’s even been put into law, and would quickly be ruled as such if it managed to be passed by Parliament.

I said earlier I believe this law was an attempt to re-criminalize abortion. The reason I believe that is for a couple of reasons:

1) If a fetus is granted with personhood legal status, and the right not to be killed, it’s almost guaranteed that anti-abortionist groups and their supporters will use this as a pretext to attack abortion as something that violates the right of a fetus, and they will attempt to use this proposed law if it passes as a means of making abortion a criminal offence.

2) Law-makers in the US who have passed fetal homicide laws have openly declared they were trying to use these laws to overturn Roe-vs-Wade, which was what legalized abortion in the US. You will not find such frankness and honesty amongst the anti-abortion MP’s in Canada (most of them in the Conservative Party); they’ll be a tad more subtle about their intentions. I have no doubt though, that they have the same thing in mind.

Further debate on this bill is scheduled for Feb 29, and a final vote on March 5. It is almost guaranteed that the Conservatives will to a person vote for this bill (perhaps a few exceptions on the Red Tory side of the ledger, but there aren’t many left in this predominantly social conservative caucus). The NDP and BQ will to a person vote against – most are against this Bill anyhow, but their leaders will whip the MP’s to vote against anyhow. The Liberals will not be holding a whipped vote on this. I believe that as with a capital punishment vote, it’s viewed as a vote of conscience. So, it is the Liberal Party that will hold the key to this passing or not.

Even though this is a private member’s bill and not an official Government Bill, I have no doubt that the supporters of this bill – mostly from the Conservative government – will attempt to paint the Liberals as not being tough on crime or on violence against women, in an attempt to fearmonger them into voting for this bill. The truth is that there are already provisions in the current Criminal Code that can be used to provide tougher penalties against attacks on pregnant women – this bill is using that as a cover for its real purpose, which is to re-criminalize abortion. Remember that Stephen Harper and his advisers believe you can’t instantly foist conservatism on a traditionally liberal country like Canada. You have to do it in incremental steps. I see that strategy at play here with this bill, and I urge the Liberals, or at least the majority of the caucus who are on record as being pro-choice, to not fall for this line of attack and to defeat this bill.

If you wish to contact Stephane Dion to urge him to vote against this bill, you may do so very easily here. Note: the folks over there have it setup to send an automatic text message to Mr Dion which lists why they feel he and the Liberal Party needs to oppose this Bill, and then asks him at the end to whip the vote on this subject and force his MP’s to vote against. I don’t know how realistic it will be to expect that to happen, so use your judgement as to whether you wish to leave that line in there or not. You can manually add or subtract things from their message form, so I would also point out in this to Mr Dion that this Bill is probably unconstitutional and already in direct contradiction of the current Criminal Code, as stated above.

You may also contact your local MP to state your opposition to this bill – find that information here.

Slight understatement of the month: Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes are in big trouble.

I was browsing around some of the American liberal and Democratic blog sites, and found this at Daily Kos today:

Once we got past February 5th, Clinton’s only chance was to keep Obama from posting big wins. She failed. In the ten contests since Super Tuesday, she’s lost by an average of 67% to 30%. Even if you take out the territories and the caucus states, looking just at Louisiana, the Potomac Primary and yesterday’s contest in Wisconsin, the average is 63% to 35%.

Now, most of Daily Kos’s contributors and its owner Markos are Obama supporters, but those percentages speak for themselves. Note the large numbers that she’s […]

Ontario Young Liberals: Want free booze and free hotel accommodations for yourself and your friends?

…well then, apparently all you have to do is vote for the “OYL Beyond” slate of candidates at the Hamilton AGM, as detailed by Jamie Callingham over at his blog. Heck, you don’t even have to be an Ontario Young Liberal to go: as long as you’re friends of any OYL’ers who go to this party, you get to go too -as long as you vote for their slate.

Background Info: What Jamie is showing is the invite he got in his email making him aware of a Facebook group that got put up. I should make it clear that Jamie has endorsed the OYL Roots candidates slate – the […]

Internal Liberal angst.

Angst and frustration; there are a lot of both on display on the Liberal blogosphere today over the possibility that the Liberals may yet again abstain on the Budget, which would be a sign that the Nervous Nellies in the Liberal caucus have again prevailed over those who feel it is more then justifiable to go to an election now.

I have a couple of thoughts: first, I’m going to parrot Jeff over at his aforementioned blogpiece; regardless of what the Liberals think they should or should not do on the Budget, they should not be going around openly proclaiming (or leaking) that you don’t favour bringing down the government […]

Major business players come out in favour of fair copyright reform laws

Good news on the Canadian copyright reform front for those of us interested in having fair copyright laws; Michael Geist, the person who in my opinion is leading the fight in Canada for a balanced new copyright act, details how some major companies and businesses have formed a coalition to advocate for fair copyright reform in Canada. Telus, Rogers, Google and Yahoo are amongst the players who warn against accepting a clone of the US copyright law:

The coalition, which also includes the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Retail Council of […]

Chretien advises Dion to bring the Conservatives down now.

I’m not surprised to hear this news today. According to Jean Lapeirre on CTV, Jean Chretien has advised Dion the time to bring down the Conservative government and initiate an election campaign is now:

“We hear now that … Chretien and Jean Pelletier, his former chief of staff, are telling him it’s a matter of credibility, that he can’t support the government any more and that the timing would be right,” Jean Lapierre told CTV’s Question Period on Sunday.

Now, Jean Lapierre wasn’t my most favourite politician ever, but he is right on the money about what he thinks Chretien would do in this situation:

“I’m sure if Mr. […]

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