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OYL Roots calls for gender parity in the OYL, and achieves it in their own candidate slate.

I thought that today I’d highlight the “newsflash” that I saw over at the OYL Roots website – the slate that is running in the OYL elections in March. Their platform basically calls for greater autonomy and more of a say for the OYL in the Liberal Party. In their newsflash, they announced that their team had reached gender parity amongst their candidate slate, with equal numbers of male and female candidates running for them. They further state that if the whole slate were to be elected, they would become the only gender equal youth executive in the country, which would be both impressive and also show there’s a lot of work to be done.

Furthermore, they stated that the OYL Roots team is not just committed to gender equity in not just words, but action. I was wondering what action they propose, till I got a Facebook email from Rose-Mary Brown – the OYL Roots leader and OYL presidential candidate – to the members of the OYL Roots Facebook group.  In it, she outlines 6 points that the OYL Roots slate would do to achieve gender equity:

1) Updating the Constitution and Governance Manual to specify that DSMs for OYL AGMs require 7 males, 7 females and 1 ex-officio. This will make it 50% easier for females to get elected as a delegate and take part in OYL activities, bringing OYL delegate selection procedures in line with LPC procedures.

2) Formalizing a process that requires that each Regional Coordinator to appoint two area coordinators of the opposite sex and one of the same sex. Thus each male regional coordinator needs to appoint at least two women and one male, and each female Regional Coordinator will appoint two males and one female. This will ensure that there is an equal balance across Regions, as well as ensure an ongoing development of experienced youth, both male and female.

3) Engaging the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission (OWLC) by inviting their Youth Representative to sit on the OYL Executive as a non-voting member. This will increase communication, participation and effectiveness between the two commissions.

4) Working with the OWLC youth representative on joint policies that affect both commissions. This will strengthen our collective voice in convention campaigns and add to our voting bloc when trying to pass important policies. (example HPV vaccine)

5) Encourage each Student club to elect a Women’s Committee that helps to identify and address barriers to women in politics, undertake gender analysis of public policy, and work with the OWLC, National Women’s Liberal Commission, the OYL Women’s Issues Committee, and the National Young Liberal Women’s Assocation in the effort to engage women in the political process. This will provide a coordinated effort to increase the number of women actively involved in the political sphere.

6) Adding a 4th Signature OYL Event: This one day event will be a forum for OYLers to discuss gender and diversity within the organization, and how it can be used to strengthen our policies, as well as our operations as a whole. This will provide an opportunity for the OYL to continue to strive towards gender equity and diversity, by bringing OYLers together and welcoming outside experts in the fields of gender equity and diversity to speak to OYLers. Additionally, by holding the event in late fall, we can take the time to perform gender analysis on all OYL policies that pass at the Summer Fling.

Very detailed plans. Some may take issue with the first couple of points as claiming you’re instilling quotas, but really, is it any different then what Stephane Dion has been doing to try to increase the number of women running for Parliament in the Liberal Party? The “conventional” means have obviously not worked to address the inequities of the system, so until someone comes up with a better idea for how to end institutionalized inequity, I think this is the best way to go about doing it.

I like seeing detailed plans behind the general goals that political parties and others out there, so I’m pleased to see this put out there. Whether you agree or disagree, you know where the OYLRoots stand on this issue.


An election in the spring?

Liberal MP Garth Turner seems to think so. From his blogposting today:

On the following Monday, the barrage begins. The debate on Afghanistan will hit the floor of the House on that day, followed by the federal budget the next afternoon. Forty-eight hours later, the first budget confidence vote, on a BQ amendment. Then, when I return from speaking to the big Liberal conflab in Halifax the following weekend, there will be the final two budget votes – both confidence and one (likely in the evening of March 3rd) will bring down the government. Of course, this might change. But I doubt it.

I’m not sure if Garth is going on a gut feeling from what he’s heard inside the Liberal caucus, or if he has first-hand knowledge, but this would be a welcome development for some of us in the Liberal netroots who have been waiting for the Nervous Nellies in the Liberal caucus to stop poll-watching or cowering in fear at every Stephen Harper non-confidence threat. They’ve been making the Democratic Party in the US look tough as it comes to their fear of George Bush every time he shouts “Terror, 9/11, Terror” over not getting his way on another security bill that eviscerates more of the US Constitution.

The Democrats in the House finally stood up to this bullying this past week – perhaps that’s a good omen for some of us  that the Liberals might finally get it that standing up to a bully will win you a lot more respect with the electorate for standing up for your principles then sticking your head in the sand, as some of the Liberals have been wont to do, far too many times for some of our liking.

Slightly off-topic, I’d be kind of interested if Liblogs could run an informal poll amongst the members to see if the yearning for an election is as strong amongst the Liberal grass/netroots as it appears from reading many blogposts of Liberals frustrated at some in the Liberal Party who would rather wait for “ideal” conditions –whatever those may be.


Guest blogpost: Senator Elaine McCoy on Harper’s threats of an election over the crime bill

Foreword: Senator Elaine McCoy was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005. She is a former Alberta cabinet minister in Don Getty’s Progressive Conservative Government, and she sits as a Progressive Conservative Senator, meaning she is independent of the Liberal and Conservative parliamentary caucuses. In her Senate bio, it mentions that Senator McCoy broke new ground as the only member of the Senate of Canada who regularly blogs on her experiences in Ottawa and the political issues of the day. Her blog is called Hullabaloos, and she and her blog are also affiliates of the Progressive Bloggers blogging aggregate. Her guest-column today are her additional thoughts […]


The next shoe drops over Chalk River.

Well, we were all wondering what Linda Keen, the ex-head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Board would do after being let go by the Conservative government – basically for doing her job in enforcing safety standards We get a partial answer to that today:

Canada’s former nuclear watchdog is seeking a judicial review into her firing by the Conservative government resulting from the shutdown of a nuclear research reactor.. The motion, submitted to the Federal Court late yesterday, is the latest development in the bitter dispute between Keen and the Conservatives. She was fired as president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) when she wouldn’t okay the start-up of the aging Chalk River reactor. “By this application for judicial review, Ms. Keen is asking the Federal Court to declare that she was unlawfully removed as president and that the November 2005 Order in Council, which reappointed her as president, remains in full force and effect,” said Ottawa lawyer Allan O’Brien.

In otherwards, instead of asking for damages for wrongful dismissal, she’s asking that she be reinstated as the CNSC’s president. That makes sense, since she wasn’t removed off of the CSNC Board of Directors, and I also don’t doubt she knows it would be a much bigger embarrassment to the Conservatives if the Federal Court declares her firing illegal and re-instates her. Wouldn’t that be just a tad bit fun for her to call up Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, and say, “Hi Gary, I’m back”

From all the facts we’ve seen, and all the lame excuses used by Tony Clement (Health Minister) and Gary Lunn in letting her go (as well as Harper’s partisan low-blow claiming she was more or less just a Liberal patronage appointment), I think the chances are very good for Ms. Keen she will win her case.


A week of blogging demagogues at the National Post?

So Kathy Shaidle has a guest-column at the NP yesterday. Today, its Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals with a guest column there (a partial list of rather dubious blogpostings of both Shaidle’s and McMillan’s – and dubious is putting it mildly – which can be found from links here).

Will we get Richard Evans doing a guest-column tomorrow? (He who helped Kate with the so-called “prank” of tricking Warren Kinsella by writing to him and pretending to be a Holocaust survivor with a fake survivor tattoo on the arm. What hilarity that is, using the death of 6 million Jewish people to pull a joke on someone. ) How […]


Cons: Put your money where your mouth is over “supporting the troops”

Ever since the Conservatives have come to power, they’ve tried to paint themselves as being the only party that supports the troops. Of late however, that claim – which was dubious to begin with – has even had the military folks questioning it. First, we had Harper’s communications person Sandra Buckler doing what I’m presuming is instinctive for Conservatives – which is to blame everyone else for their troubles – and saying the military were the ones who didn’t tell the government about the detainees not being handed over to the Afghani authorities. That went over like a lead balloon, and she had to hurriedly retract it.

Now, we have a soldier publicly blasting the Canadian Armed Forces for issuing them substandard equipment:

A Quebec soldier has reignited a lingering controversy with claims the equipment issued to him and his colleagues from the Royal 22nd Regiment is shoddy and ill-suited to the combat mission in Afghanistan. The Canadian military boasts its soldiers are among the best-equipped in the world, but those claims don’t square with the frequent grumbles from the front lines. Frustrated by what he termed the Canadian Forces’ unwillingness to act, Cpl. Daniel Beaulieu took the unusual step of going public, contacting a reporter from the Quebec-based TVA network this week… Tactical vests issued to infantry soldiers are substandard and don’t have enough pockets to carry spare ammunition, Beaulieu said, adding that holsters for side arms are so poorly designed weapons routinely slide out – a major problem given soldiers’ pistols are often loaded. Boots that bite into soldiers’ feet on long marches are also a problem, he said.

That accusation sent the government into scramble mode, with Peter MacKay issuing a statement that the government tries its best to get good equipment, and the military holding a news conference where they claimed the majority of the soldiers were happy with the equipment.

I’d humbly suggest to Petey MacKay that while you’re looking for all that extra heavy equipment you want to buy to send to Kandahar, you throw in a few extra bucks and get our troops some proper clothing and boots. Those can’t be that hard to find. Put your money where your mouth is and get what they need, rather then mouth plaudits all the time and cast aspersions on others who don’t believe in your Afghanistan philosophy that they somehow don’t support our soldiers because of it.


The National Post just got more Toronto Sun-like.

If you missed it, Warren Kinsella resigned as a columnist from the National Post for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he found their right-wing attitude on First Nations issues, human rights, and racism issues appalling.

The National Post promptly goes out and hires one Kathy Shaidle (who will not get a link to her site from me), whose attitude on all the issues Warren mentioned is even worse then the Post’s editorial position. Her first article, not surprisingly, is decrying the Conservative government for not publicly defending Ezra Levant or for publicly supporting Keith Martin’s attempt to eviscerate the Canadian Human Rights Commission with his private bill.



I’m a tad ticked off at my (former) satellite provider.

Most of you know I moved from Wallaceburg in October ’07 due to economic reasons. At the time, I went through the process of cancelling all my former services. I thought that had gone rather smoothly, till I received a bill yesterday in the mail for close to 200$ from my former (or I thought former) satellite provider, stating I’d been in arrears 4 months and that if I didn’t pay soon, my service would be turned off.

This had to be a mistake, I thought, as I had called the satellite provider a month prior to my leaving, and I’d been assured that at the end of October it […]


Obama’s “movement” moves closer to nomination

I can sort of understand a bit Impolitical’s ….. er.. grumpiness.. over hearing the same Barack Obama stump speech over and over again with only slight variations in it. Clinton’s supporters down south and around here (a fair # of Liberals have gone down south recently to help Hillary’s campaign) would tell you the same thing and then some – to the point of derision and outright hostility.

I guess when you’ve got a buzz around you, people want to hear the speech they’ve heard on TV in person. We also have to remember that 40-50 years ago (even 20 years ago) the proliferation of 24 hr cable tv and […]


Harper leans toward Dion’s and Liberal position on Afghanistan

Well, this is noteworthy and dare I say it, encouraging, from a Prime Minister who hasn’t exactly been known to be the master of compromise:

Mr. Harper said his government will seriously consider the Liberal proposals, which include an end to combat operations in 2009 and full troop withdrawal from Kandahar in February 2011. Mr. Harper said the Liberal commitment to a continued military presence in the country post-2009 is “really very close to the government’s position” and he raised the possibility the Conservatives would introduce a new motion on the matter

Knb said over at her blog it will be interesting to see how the Cons. and the supporters spin this sudden flip-flop on accepting the Liberals position (if they do indeed accept them), which as you note, does contain a definitive end-date. I agree with her that it will be interesting to watch the reaction, particularly when their position has been to argue you can’t set an end-date on combats (such as noted conservative cheerleader Aaron in my comments section in the prior blog-entry saying apparently we should stay there till we win – a la John McCain wanting to stay in Iraq 100 years if necessary. That ought to be a big winner in 2008 down south.. cough… but I digress)

So, if Harper accepts this as part of the Liberal amendments, does that mean Aaron and folks like him all of a sudden think end-dates are good, merely because Harper said it was ok to like them, or will he and his neocon friends skewer Harper for betraying their principles? On another note, I also agree with Jay from the Sleveen Institute, who said over at Knb’s site that Dion has shown real leadership on the Afghanistan issue.

Update: Aaron has clarified at Far and Wide in comments that he still opposes the fixed date of ending the mission. At least he’s being consistent. It will be amusing to see the reaction of him and other Blogging Tories imploding if Harper actually accepts this amendment.

UPDATE 2: One Liberal MP anonymously says in that Globe article this will all be a moot point anyway, as the Liberals will probably bring down the Harper government on the Budget before the Afghanistan motion is brought to the House to vote on. True, but showing in greater detail what you proposed for the mission and showing you were willing to work with the Harper government rather then oppose for the sake of opposing will count for a lot on the campaign hustings.

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