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The Canadian political version of the Phoney War.

We’re in that time period when Parliament adjourns for the summer until it resumes sitting in the fall where things usually quiet down considerably on the Canadian political scene. That usually means that Canadian political and social-oriented blogs quiet down a bit too. Fortunately, we have a US presidential election going on (though even that gets tedious to talk about over and over until we get to the respective party conventions down there), and we do have the Green Shift plan, though even that hot debate I can’t see as being in the news everyday. If it is, then Dion and the Liberals have a major achievement in seizing the […]

Dion tells Harper to grow up and act mature.

I love the response of Dion to Harper claiming Canadians would get “screwed” by the Liberals plan:

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has scolded Stephen Harper over his criticism of the Liberals’ so-called green shift, challenging the prime minister Saturday to an “adult” debate on the issue…”I call on the prime minister to debate with me any time on TV on this issue in a respectful, meaningful and adult way,” an angry Dion said on Toronto’s Centre Island…”It was vulgar and I don’t think Canadians are impressed by that,” Dion said of Harper’s comments Friday. “They want the prime minister to act as a prime minister.”

A perfect frame of […]

No class.

Not only is he one of the most partisan prime ministers in our history, but he’s also one of the most classless:

The prime minister had some uncharacteristically blunt words Friday for a carbon tax proposal by Stephane Dion’s Liberals, saying it would “screw” the country… “(The carbon tax plan) is like the national energy program in the sense that the national energy program was designed to screw the West and really damage the energy sector – and this will do those things,” Harper told a small crowd in Saskatoon. “This is different in that this will actually screw everybody across the country.”

Harper has demeaned the House of Commons […]

Grudging praise.

I’ve often said before in response to other Liberal bloggers attacking Chantal Hebert for dumping on Dion in whatever column she’s written that it’s not news. It’s about as unique as seeing the sun rise in the east every morning.

For me, it would be notable if she actually praised him in one of her columns or give him credit over something. Today is such a day in her column where she critiques the Liberal leader as well as the Green Shift, and gives the strategy and the leader of the Liberals some credit. She calls the plan “gutsy”, and thought Dion gave “his best public performance to date […]

Your Conservative response to the Green Shift…

…basically more or less boils down to Harper making the claim that Dion is lying to Canadians about the details of this plan. Of all the things one can say about Dion, even his opponents have said he was a man of integrity. To pull this line of attack out as a means of trying to discredit the Green Shift is simply in my view a dead-ender for the Cons., but I invite them to try and keep using that attack line if they wish, because all it does is expose the fact that the Conservatives simply have no credible plan of their own to counter with, so they’re reduced to smears and “the sky will fall!” fear-mongering, using an oil-spill as their mascot. I don’t think Canadians will buy it.

As you might guess, plenty of comment on the progressive/Liberal blogosphere today about the Green Shift, as well as the media. Too many to list here, but I was interested in reading this blogpiece by Graheme over at his blog, because while he’s a progressive blogger, he isn’t a Liberal supporter, and he’s pretty non-partisan. He gives the Green Shift a fair assessment and believes overall despite the fact he has some reservations, its a good plan.

To make up your own mind, go to The Greenshift.ca website. You should also read the policy explanation here

As it says over at the website, The time has come to do what is right – not what is easy – for our environment and for our future.

Green Party trying to play political cover for Liberals Green Shift?

Now this is very interesting indeed:

The Green party, meanwhile, will leap out ahead of the Liberal announcement today with a detailed accounting of its carbon-tax proposal. With its more sweeping taxes and savings, the Green plan may help pave the way to making the Liberal plan look more modest and practical, though Green Leader Elizabeth May, already in an informal co-operation pact with Dion, says that’s not the motivation.

Liz May will certainly say that isn’t her motivation, but remember, she and the Greens are on record as saying they don’t mind other political parties “borrowing” their ideas, because in their view, that benefits everyone in the long run. […]

Now we know (in writing) the reason Conservatives don’t want Omar Khadr returned.

They’re being George W. Bush-Republican shills, or at least parroting what they say:

“Mr. Khadr could become a litmus test on Canada’s commitment to impeding global terrorism and the results of our actions today could result in consequences that are not in the long-term interest of the country,”

This was the reason given by the Conservatives in their minority dissenting opinion on a subcommittee report that calls for the Government of Canada to demand to the US that the military commission’s proceedings be halted, that Omar Khadr be repatriated, and that an investigation be commenced and if warranted, Khadr charged and prosecuted under Canadian law.

They couldn’t exactly give the standard line from this government that “Omar Khadr faces serious charges, and we are confident he is being treated humanely and being given due process”. The US Supreme Court ruling last week that habeas corpus applied to Guantanamo Bay detainees and that the Military Commissions were inadequate blew apart the 2nd part of that argument, so they had to give the real reason, which is apparently the global war on terror will collapse if Canada does this. Funny, it wasn’t a litmus test for all the rest of the Western countries that demanded repatriation for their citizens from Guantanamo. I also didn’t notice any collapse on the War on Terror either when those repatriations occurred.

I am fairly confident in saying that if the Conservatives had been in power when Maher Arar was illegally renditioned to Syria, he’d probably still be in detention over there, because if you look up Hansard from back then, he was getting called a terrorist by Stockwell Day and Harper amongst others over in that caucus before the facts of the case had even been heard, when they were slamming the Canadian government for trying to help Arar get released and get home. The only difference with him was he didn’t have a family that raised the ire of Canadians, thus causing the son to be punished for the sins of the family. What IS the same is that the C-CRAP party (an appropriate moniker, if there ever was one) was parroting and believing the George W Bush-Republican cool-aid.. er.. philosophy on this way back then, and has continued to parrot it in its current reincarnation as the Conservative Party.

The Canadian public however is starting to see that for whatever distaste they might have for the Khadr family, the Khadr son’s treatment is neither morally right nor legally right – something the Conservatives on the Committee recognize because of their whining about the opposition and specifically the Liberals just reacting to a “sway in public opinion” – meaning they recognize they’re starting to lose the argument with the public over why Khadr should be kept at an illegal site with little rights being afforded him.

The process in Guantanamo is illegal. Khadr was a child soldier who was probably brainwashed by his father into going to Afghanistan. His US captors and Canadian officials are on record as saying he can be rehabilitated with proper treatment. He has been held without habeas corpus rights for 6 years since his capture and held without charge – something the US Supreme Court has just deemed in violation of the US Constitution. Bring him home and if you have evidence, charge him with something and give him a fair trial in a proper court with the rule of law. And, whether he’s found guilty or not, make sure he gets treatment and rehabilitation as international protocols on child solders demand (which Canada is a signatory to).

H/T Impolitical

Take care of your own house first.

Some bluster from Afghan President Karzai:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday said his country has the right to send troops into Pakistan to fight Taliban insurgents who launch cross-border attacks. Speaking at a news conference in the Afghan capital, Kabul, Karzai threatened to send the troops after Pakistan-based Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who vowed in May to send fighters into Afghanistan to wage war on foreign troops.

Tough talk, but considering the Afghan Army currently can’t even stop prison breaks by the Taliban in their own country, I think that Karzai should be worrying about his own country first, rather then threatening to invade someone else’s country.

H/T […]

Fair Copyright for Canada’s Facebook group continues to grow in numbers.

Now over 63 000 members as of this blogpost. 3000 more new members of the group in over 12 hours.

By the way, this is one of the things the Fair Copyright For Canada FB group is recommending its members do over the summer:

Take 30 minutes from your summer to meet directly with your MP. From late June through much of the summer, your MP will be back in your community attending local events and making themselves available to meet with constituents. Give them a call and ask for a meeting. Every MP in the country should return to Ottawa in the fall having heard from their constituents on […]

Misc topics; electoral-vote button and some new Facebook groups.

It’s a slow news day politically so far this morning, and everyone else at Prog Blog and Liblogs is discussing what I would have discussed, so I thought I’d mention a couple of internet and blogging topics.

I’ve added an icon to my 3rd column pointing to Electoral-Vote.com.  This site takes a look at all the state polls from different polling organizations in the US, averages them out and then shows what the presidential electoral vote would look like if those polls and the site’s algorithm it uses is correct.  When you put this icon on your blog, and the blogpage showing this icon is loaded,  the browser goes to Electoral-Vote.com to fetch the icon containing the current predictions. As you can see, it also calculates what the results would be for the Senate and the House of Representatives. Current polling forecasts a decisive win for Obama (over 300 Electoral Votes), and big gains in both houses of Congress for the Democrats. The site and its forecasts is updated daily as it receives new state polling results.

Clicking on the icon will take you directly to the site, and you can look at each individual state’s most recent polling to see how the state has been calculated the way it has (ie. Strong Obama, Weak McCain, etc). A very interesting site – I recommend checking it out. If you want to put the icon on your own blog, go here.

There are also a couple of new Facebook groups you might be interested in joining. If you’re a Liberal or a Liberal supporter, you might consider joining the Elect Ed Mahfouz MP for Nepean-Carleton, group. If Nepean-Carleton isn’t familiar with you, that’s where the current national embarrassment known as Pierre Poilievre is an MP, and this group was made to help support Ed try to remove that national embarrassment by beating Poilievre in the next election.

If you want to see Pipsqueak Pierre removed, but you’re not a Liberal voter or partisan, your next best bet is to join Pierre Poilievre Must Go/Pierre Poilievre doit être congédié, which basically is advocating for Pierre to be removed as Parliamentary Secretary in lieu of his stupid remarks on CFRA last week on the day of reconciliation, totally tainting that day with his remarks.

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