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The Liberals purported Afghanistan amendments look reasonable.

I just was reading the Star, and these are apparently the Liberal amendments that Dion will propose to the Conservative government motion to extend the Afghanistan mission to 2011:

In addition to the February 2009 end date for the combat mission and the full withdrawal by 2011, sources said the Liberal amendment will demand a freer flow of information about the mission. It will call on the government to submit quarterly progress reports to Parliament and for cabinet ministers to make monthly appearances before a new Commons committee on Afghanistan. As well, the amendment will call for the appointment of a special envoy to oversee the treatment of Afghan […]


OYL Roots platform released – doesnt look “negative” to me.

Warning: Internal Liberal Party discussion to follow. If that bores you, there are plenty of excellent blogs elsewhere to read.

One of the criticisms I’ve been hearing about the OYL Roots slate that is running in the March elections for various positions in the Ontario Young Liberals is that they’re “negative”. I’ll point you to the OYL Roots website, and specifically 3 items of interest, and you tell me whether anything in there is “negative” or not.

First up, we have the announcement that the OYL Roots slate has reached gender parity with the nomination of their final candidate. IF this slate was elected in whole, it would be the only gender equal youth executive in the country. That’s a positive, as far as I’m concerned.

Next, we have what the Roots team philosophy is – a mission statement if you will. I strain to find anything “negative” in the core principles they’ve laid out there.

Finally, and what I was waiting to see, we have the Roots platform. One of the chief reasons the Roots team was formed was because of their perception that the OYL had gone from an autonomous organization to one that is subordinate to the senior Liberal Party. It also appears from the platform that they feel the processes used within the OYL can be made better and more responsive to its members. Again, I challenge anyone to point out the “negativity” in the document.

I’ve said in the past on here that I caution both slates to not get too bitter with one another during the campaign, as everyone will have to work with each other after this is all done, and the goal is to work together to help defeat Stephen Harper. I continue to advocate that, but if unfair criticisms come up, they need to be addressed. In this vein, I think attacking the Roots slate as being “negative” is nothing more then attempting to change the channel so as to not having to address the concerns of those folks in Roots as to what has happened in the OYL the past couple of years. I’d hope that tactic ends rather quickly from the opposing slate and their supporters, and some actual substantial debate into the direction of the OYL takes place from the other side.


Obamarama on a roll.

Barack Obama swept the Democratic primaries in 3 states yesterday.

He is declared the winner of the Maine Democratic caucus today.

On top of that, it is announced that he wins the Grammy Award in the Best Spoken Word category for his audio version of The Audacity of Hope.

Talk about having the Midas touch. Obama can do no wrong right now. Hillary better hope changing her campaign manager helps turn the tide, or she’s going to be swept away by this growing wave. Maine was supposed to be a state she could win, like New Hampshire, and she got blown away by double-digits.

UPDATE: A witty sarcastic posting by […]


My particular reasons for voting no to the Cons motion on Afghanistan

Garth Turner has posted the Conservative motion on extending the mission in Afghanistan to 2011 at his blogsite and asked for comments on whether his readers would vote Yea or Nay, and why.

This is what I left over there, and what I will re-post here:

Im an obvious no to this motion. Weve already had 1 extension of this (3 years) and the Cons. propose to have another. If they were still (God forbid) in power then, what would stop them from extending it further when 2011 rolled around, short of a total victory, which even the NATO commander over there says wouldnt be possible without 400 000 troops? (and that amount of troops isnt going to happen).

The Cons. motion is a recipe for indefinite endless war, and endless casualties. Weve done our tour of duty, and weve done it honourably. Its time for all those other NATO countries who give lip-service to how important Afghanistan is but then supply no troops or keep them out of harms way to step up to the plate. And when I say, step up, I dont mean supplying the token 1000 troops that the Manley Report calls for and which the Harperites have seized upon. Im talking the principle of rotation, where a country will rotate their troops in, while we rotate our troops out.

If the NATO countries refuse to do it, the consequences will be on their and NATOs heads, not Canadas. I say no to the Cons. motion – pull them out of combat operations on schedule in 2009.

Further to that, if the Liberals want to articulate their policy better to the public on what their position is (since some Con. cabinet ministers are going around either distorting the Liberal position or claiming they don’t have one, or saying it’s changing all the time) they could do worse then use the points that the Toronto Star’s Haroon Sidddiqui put forth at his op-ed today:

The Liberal way forward, therefore, is clear: Support a limited extension of the mission on specific conditions (along the lines of what British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is already pursuing).

A concomitant push on aid and development in the safer areas where such work hasnt been done due to a lack of co-ordination between Ottawa and the field offices, and between Afghanistan and NATO. Insist on the appointment of a UN co-ordinator.
A major push for a political settlement in Afghanistan opening negotiations with elements of the Taliban, and a separate concerted campaign to increase civilian Pushtun representation in Kabul. Iraq’s turnaround has been achieved by a troop surge and, mainly, by bringing the Sunnis/Baathists into the fold. If doing deals with them is good, why is trying something similar with the spurned Afghans bad?
A co-ordinated effort with Pakistan, even while insisting that President Pervez Musharraf move toward a transparent democracy.

Such a comprehensive approach, clearly spelled out, would give Stphane Dion the confidence to take on Harper, even on the election trail, and let Canadians decide.

I think Dion and the Liberals should be taking those and spreading them far and wide across the land. If their position needs clarifying, stating as listed above will certainly do that.



Things may change after I post this of course, but as of right now, Republican Mike Huckabee has a very good shot at sweeping the Kansas, Louisiana, and shockingly to me, the Washington state primaries tonight. Does that mean the Huckster will win the Republican nomination? Probably not: McCain still has a big lead in delegates, and would still have a good lead even if Huckabee persuaded Mittens.. er.. Mitt Romney to commit his 286 or so delegates to him and the delegates all followed his advice to do so.

What it does mean though is that the Republican conservative base of voters HATE McCain. I don’t doubt that James […]


Journamalism, Part 2

I’m going to borrow Pogge’s phrase here used to describe what he thinks (and is correct in thinking) is bad or inaccurate reporting on some of our Canadian media and point it at the journalists/pundits in another fashion. In this instance, I’m taking aim at the pundits and journalists who months ago ridiculed Stephane Dion and the Liberals for abstaining on the Throne Speech last October and claimed it was done because the Liberals/Dion were weak, or had no principles, etc. I’m not blaming them for being critical of the Liberals abstaining – I wanted the Liberals to pull the plug back then too – but what I’m taking issue […]


A fan in the PCO of weakening the Canadian Human Rights Act?

I’m guessing this person is probably a fan of Ezra Levant as well as Jonathan Kay’s column. I’m also guessing the person figured using a email address would disguise where the person was actually writing from. That’s the beauty of IP addresses however.

I’ll be curious to hear as Warren is whether the official position of the Prime Minister and the Conservatives is to support this attempted evisceration of the Canadian Human Rights Act by Keith Martin’s private bill, as seems to be reflected by the attitude of aforementioned Privy Council Office staff member.

UPDATE: Feb 9/08: The PCO staff member has apologized to Warren for his comments. I think that should end the story.


Liberals take lead in Nanos Research Poll (formerly SES)

For those who didn’t know, SES Research changed their name to Nanos Research – which kind of makes sense, considering it’s Nik Nanos who runs the firm. At any rate, his firm released a new poll, and it confirms the Decima poll from a week ago that shows the Cons. have slumped into 2nd place:

Canada (N=841, MoE 3.4%, 19 times out of 20)

Liberal Party 33% (-1)
Conservative Party 31% (-4)
NDP 19% (+2)
BQ 10% (+1)
Green Party 8% (+2)

Interesting comment from Nik here on the Cons attempted portrayal on Stephane Dion as a weak leader:

Even though the Harper Tories have been merciless in their attacks on Stephane Dion, these attacks have not, over the past year yielded any political dividends in public opinion for the Tories. The reality is that the Tories are not fighting Dionthey are fighting the Liberal brand. In vote rich Ontario and also in Atlantic Canada, the Conservatives have never been able to surpass the Liberals in popular support over the past two years.

More evidence to the Liberal Nervous Nellies that there’s no reason to fear an election (I do believe from what I’ve been reading at Garth Turner’s blog that the attitude is hardening in the Liberal caucus toward the Cons. and that more then less of the caucus want to go… but that may be just me).


Congrats to some CBA winners and the organizers

Just a couple of congrats I want to send out tonight. I’m pleased to see Danielle win Best New Blog at the 2007 Canadian Blog Awards. A very good blog, and from what I’ve gotten to know of her, a very good person.

I’m also very pleased to see Daveberta win Best Political Blog and CalgaryGrit (or as he should be now known as: A Calgarian living in Toronto) finish 2nd ahead of the blog everyone assumed would win because of her rabid followers. It proves there are more progressives out there then you think on the blogosphere.

Congrats to the organizers of the CBA’s operating these awards under occasionally […]


Mittmentum ends…

…but he didn’t leave without going out in a blaze of patriotic glory:

If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

These are the Conservatives mentors, these Repukes… er.. Republicans. Look no further then Mitt to see the type of hyperbole the Cons. use all the time now these days, and where they’ve copied it from.

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