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Interesting portrayal of Dion

..and one I don’t think is that far from the truth. Go read Aaron Wherry’s perceptions of Dion here.  Perhaps Jim might disagree, with all the animal portrayals he has been doing of late to show his discontent at the official Liberal abstention policy, but personally, I think Wherry’s characterization of Dion is “spot on”.

As for whether the trait that Wherry is associating Dion with is a good or a bad thing, I think it can be both a blessing and a curse.  As I said before, I guess we’ll see which it is over the decision to hold off on a summer election in the coming months.

(PS – While I’m not as angst-ridden as some about policy specifics of the Green Shift/Carbon Shift not being released yet, I do think it needs to be released sooner rather then later, and I think I prefer us using the “Green Shift” term when using a description for it – it projects much more of an optimistic tone).

This attack ad stuff gets better and better

Ha ha. Check out this statement issued by Spacing Toronto that Kady O’Malley points to that shows what the Cons. are trying to do with these gas pump electronic attack ads against Dion and the Liberals may not even be legal, at least in Toronto:

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have tried over and over to brand itself the chief defender of law and order in this country. But yesterday, when it launched its latest round of attack ads on the Liberals, the Conservative Party used illegal advertising space to get its message out, according to the co-ordinator of

The Conservatives didn’t just use a single illegal video screen to play the fiercely partisan advertisement. co-ordinator Rami Tabello told Spacing that every single screen that the spot is playing on at Toronto gas stations is illegal. According to media reports, gas station video screens are the primary vehicle for reaching Torontonians.

Ryan Sparrow didn’t happen to come up with  this idea,  by any chance?

[email protected]:56pm: And now, the idea whether it’s legal or not seems to have gone DOA before it even starts:

Fuelcast, the company that operates the ad system, said Monday it won’t run the Conservative ads at the pumps because it has a policy against political advertising.

Again I ask, was this Ryan Sparrow’s idea? Or Jason Kenny’s brainstorm?

UPDATE [email protected]:51pm: And now, we find out from Kady that the Cons are claiming via the aforementioned Mr. Sparrow that the Cons. have a “binding” agreement with Fuelcast, and the company is expected to honour the agreement.  So if Fuelcast refuses, will the Cons. sue em? I mean, they’ve shown themselves to be a rather litigious lot when it comes to suing their political opponents – I can’t see why they wouldn’t go after a private company – particularly as it involves their partisan political propaganda strategy (try saying that phrase quickly).

There must not be a lot of work for Cons. staffers right now.

I’m guessing that’s who’ve they’ve got roaming around Ottawa today:

..teams of Tory kids in yellow T-shirts have fanned out across downtown Ottawa to hand out post cards critiquing the Dion carbon tax thingie.

I guess they saw the Young Liberals doing this during the Cadman affair, and they figured it would be a pretty cool idea too.. which would be good if they had an actual youth wing of the Conservative Party (which they don’t) so my suspicion it’s Cons staffers.

I’m also suspecting these are Conservatives staffers because they’ve got their pre-programmed parrot lines down to a tee, from what Kady says.

[email protected]:30pm: Steve Marsh, who had a good blog here but has not been blogging of late, informs Paul Wells what are on these post-cards that the Cons kiddies/staffers are handing out:

Having seen the postcard, I can state that “critique” is far to generous a description of what it’s trying to do. It’s a collection of clippings laid out to look like they’re from a wide variety of sources, although in fact there are only three: a Sun Media editorial, an article from the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation and a quote from NDP leader Jack Layton, who must be very proud to be in such company.

The attack ads on the carbon tax shift begins. Arm yourselves! (with facts)

My title partly derives from the fact I was watching a movie last night called “The Last Legion” and felt in that sort of mood today when reading that the Conservative attack ads against the Liberals proposed carbon tax shift has begun; willingly aided  by the Toronto Sun – no surprise there (By the way, congrats to Jason for being thought of as relevant enough to warrant getting mentioned in a Conservative attack website. I’m sure he’ll put that on his belt buckle of achievements).

I actually agree with part of what the Sun and Lorrie Goldstein said as highlighted by Steve over at his blog that the Tories are very worried about this plan if they’re going to such lengths already to attack it before the details and meat of the plan have even been released, and that without having a plan of their own to point to, the Cons. could be vulnerable (that’s Lorrie’s wording, I agree with Steve – they WILL be vulnerable).

I also agree with Danielle that it’s going to be very easy to point to the utter hypocrisy John Baird and the Cons. have on this file toward a carbon tax. They could barely come up with a response to British Columbia implementing it, but now when Dion and the Federal Liberals propose something along the same vein,  “ITS A TAX ON EVERYTHING!” suddenly is the Conservatives fear mongering cry.

What I will say however to Liberal strategists and advisers is that it’s a lot easier to defend this if we actually have specifics to point to, rather then generalities. I realize Garth Turner is doing the best he can with what he knows or is allowed to talk about, but the public and the media and the bloggers need more.

The OLO or the media affairs wing of the Liberals needs to be told that, if they aren’t aware of it already. The Cons are already trying to define to the public in an unfavourable light what a terrible thing a carbon tax is. I realize it’s rather silly to be attacking a plan when all it is right now is a concept, not an official meat and potatoes policy, and I realize the last couple of polls shows the majority of Canadians seem to approve of the implementation of a carbon tax (hence the Cons. attempting to go nuclear now) but the risk is still there that without having any details on the plan, the issue gets defined negatively.

Let’s get the policy details out in the public NOW and have a full throated debate about the merits of this plan based on its specifics, so we can rebut the Cons. propaganda and fear mongering over this concept, which is all it is right now.  Let’s not wait until the general election – whenever that is. (and I am by the way a member of that Facebook group that Jim mentioned – I still believe we should be forcing an election now whether its in the summer time or not, but thats another story).

I believe the fear has been that if we release specifics now , the Cons. will copy it or attack it. Well, they’re already attacking without specifics, which is I think more dangerous,  and we have no fear they will copy this idea, so let’s get the debate over the idea on a level playing field so we have a fair fight here.

UPDATE: Remember when Al Gore warned about Harper back in 2006? Looks like his warnings have come true:

Former U.S. vice-president Al Gore has accused the oil industry of financially backing the Tories and their “ultra-conservative leader” to protect its stake in Alberta’s lucrative oilsands. Canadians, Gore said, should vigilantly keep watch over prime minister-designate Stephen Harper because he has a pro-oil agenda and wants to pull out of the Kyoto accord — an international agreement to combat climate change.

I’m thinking John Baird regrets trying to claim that Gore approved of the Coservatives so-called climate change plan to fight so-called greenhouse gases when he attempted that stunt last year. (H/T Jeff)

Some names to remember.

These 2:

Mr. Dion’s campaign co-chair Mark Marissen and campaign director Gordon Ashworth were also against forcing a snap election, sources said.

Dion of course will bear the most responsibility for however his decision turns out on deciding to hold off on forcing an election until at least the Autumn, so he can discuss his carbon tax proposal with Canadians, rather then forcing a summer election.

However, if these sources are correct, and these two top Liberal advisers were also against forcing an election, their advice would be weighed heavily by the Liberal leader.  So, Liberals need to keep those 2 names in mind when this plays itself out over the summer and into the Fall. Dion as the leader will of course bear the full brunt of either taking the credit or taking the blame for however this ends up, but the chief advisers need to also be given their share of the darts/laurels of the strategy to wait.

If this strategy works out, I’ll be one of the  first in line singing their strategical genius.  If it doesn’t however, the onus of responsibility for that decision falls on their shoulders as  it would on Dion’s, and they would need to be held accountable for that failure in strategy.

Do you think the Canadian Conservative government will approve of this?

Somehow,  I doubt it:

A United Nations committee has reprimanded the U.S. for trying Omar Khadr for war crimes and detaining hundreds of children in Iraq and Afghanistan, when international law requires that they be rehabilitated..“The Committee is seriously concerned that children who were recruited or used in armed conflict, rather than being considered primarily as victims, are classified as ‘unlawful enemy combatants,’ and have been charged with war crimes and subjected to prosecution by military tribunals,” the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child stated in a report released Friday.

It is more likely the Conservative government will either mumble again about US assurances of a “fair trial” and “Khadr is being treated humanely” at Guantanamo, or else they’ll trash the UN through “anonymous Conservative officials”.

Like the Republicans, The Harperite Conservatives  aren’t exactly that keen to follow international law either, or think much of international institutions – even belittling them.  If it’s not ok with Bush and the Repubs, it’s not ok with the Harperite Neo-Cons either.

Comments Remix – New WordPress plugin for comments added.

It’s called “Comments Remix”, which adds some nifty things to the Administrative Menu, as well as gives readers the ability (and commands) to reply and quote to comments.

Let me know if you see or come across any bugs.

Some questions for James Moore.

– Why are you and the Conservatives waiting till September to have this application for an injunction on stopping the Liberals from using the Harper interview on Cadman, if it’s “doctored” and false? (A related question that the Jurist asks: “How can Harper try to argue that an injunction is needed to prevent irreparable harm three months from now if the lack of one isn’t a problem in the meantime?”)

– Why in your injunction are you asking the courts to only prevent the Liberals from not using the tape? Why aren’t the NDP, the BQ, the Greens, the publisher of Zytaruk’s book, and the media also listed in this […]

The US Democratic Race is over – Hillary to endorse Obama this weekend.

Check it out:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will endorse Senator Barack Obama on Saturday, bringing a close to her 17-month campaign for the White House, aides said. Her decision came after Democrats urged her Wednesday to leave the race and allow the party to coalesce around Mr. Obama. Howard Wolfson, one of Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategists, and other aides said she would express support for Mr. Obama and party unity at an event in Washington that day. One adviser said Mrs. Clinton would concede defeat, congratulate Mr. Obama and proclaim him the party’s nominee, while pledging to do what was needed to assure his victory in November.

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton for a hard-fought campaign, and congratulations as well for finally realizing the stark numbers reality of the situation and not stretching this into a Convention fight in August.

More Conservative amateur hour on Cadman-Gate.

The Cadman-Gate affair has been a bit out of the news of late, what with “Nafta-Gate” (the leak from someone in the PMO of notes questioning Obama’s sincerity in overturning NAFTA), as well as “Maxime Bernier-Gate” (I’m sure I don’t need to explain what that is) dominating the news of late.

You’d think this was a dormant issue, what with all the successful filibustering the Conservatives are doing in Committee to prevent it from being investigated, but it appears the Conservatives are still very worried about Harper being caught on tape saying what he did about “financial considerations”, because they’ve just held a press conference this morning where they claim they have experts saying that the tape in question was “doctored” by the Liberals, and that they’ve filed an injunction request, asking the courts to order the Liberals to stop playing the tape, because of their doctored claim.

That’s what they’d like everyone to believe, but as Kady O’Malley blogged this morning, they didn’t do a very good job of convincing any of the assembled media of the merits of their case:


Questions! First, from a French reporter: Did they use the original tape? They used the tape provided by Zytaruk, Moore says.

How did the tape change the meaning of what the PM said? Hm, not really an answer there—reporters pressing him on it. The gist: it was a longer conversation, and the tape was doctored. Doctored!

Oh dear, this isn’t a good sign for the Conservative spin factory: “Are you calling ‘white noise’ a fabricated soundbite?” That doesn’t sound like quite the revelation that the news release promised, and Moore seems to be getting a little frantic. Will there be action against Zytaruk? Sounds like not.

More questions. The Toronto Star wants to clarify whether the words “financial consideration” occurred—no yes or no answer, just that “the tape was doctored.” That’s the line they want us to leave with—not how, or why, or what it changes as far as the actual conversation.

In other, worse news for Moore, someone—Graham Richardson, to be precise—managed to read one of the affidavits, and confronts him with the observation that the expert doesn’t say the tape can’t be trusted at all.


Interesting – so the tape is “doctored”, but they’re taking no action against the person who taped it – and he has been on record in the past as standing up for its accuracy. This apparently is just aimed at stopping the meanie Liberals from continuing to embarrass them about this affair – talk about libel chill.  An impartial judge will see this for what it is and throw this injunction out without looking at it too long, I predict.

If Moore is holding a press conference on an issue that has largely sunk into the background while Nafta-Gate and Bernier-Gate has overshadowed it, the Cons. obviously are worried about it enough to try and discredit it – too bad for them that it appears they are still engaging in Inspector Gadget-type news conferences – this one following up on their highly embarrassing attempt at contacting select media to preempt the release of the affidavit Elections Canada used to explain the raid on Conservative Party Headquarters.

Maybe they should hire Buckets to listen to the tape – he has experience after all listening to Gurmant Grewal’s attempts to doctor tapes. I’m sure he could tell James Moore as well as anyone whether a tape has been “doctored” or not.

[email protected]:28pm: Kady expands on her liveblogging with another entry, explaining why she thinks the Cons. bringing this up again was a big mistake, and how they seem to be stretching their case here.

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