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The progressive left needs a Manning Centre equivalent.

A brief Friday blog foray today. My opinion is the Manning Centre (with all due respect to its founder, Preston Manning, and to Stephen Taylor, Blogging Tory founder and ideological rival, who is a “fellow” there, and writes for them/works for them) is given far too much attention and to me anyhow, given credit for far too much influence on Canadian politics, which I can read in the Sun or National Post every day if I felt like dirtying myself. See the example today of this even in the “left wing” Toronto Star, highlighting a poll for them when we haven’t even seen the wording of the polling questions, and […]


Conservatives still trying to play games at Afghanistan Committee.

So here we are at the newly reconstituted parliamentary committee looking at the Afghanistan detainees situation and at the thorny question of the documentation surrounding Canadian policy and such, and there should be no surprise that the Conservatives immediately try some gamesplaying.

Not a surprise, and not a surprise Laurie Hawn would be the chief instigator of it:

Laurie Hawn then brings forward a motion of his own about former justice Iacobucci, which would recommend that the esteemed jurist review “all relevant documents,” with a particular emphasis on those prepared between 2001 and 2005..Lalonde reminds Hawn that the committee does have a “constitutional right” to see all documents; its members […]


The Jaffer stuff is one part of the faux ‘tough on crime’ Conservative position

Everyone by now across the land knows about the Rahim Jaffer case. I’m not going to get into outrage mode over the seemingly light sentence; there’s plenty of others doing that. What amuses me is the Conservative outrage at the opposition parties for sticking them about that decision in the House during Members Statements and Question Period. Quite frankly, their anger is all sound and fury; they’re the ones who’ve been trying to portray themselves as the “law and order party”; yet when a former fellow MP of theirs gets off with a light sentence, they act all insulted that they’re getting taken to task for their muted reaction.

If […]


The detainee document story continues to grow.

CBC has been doing a bang-up job the last few days on the Afghan detainee documents; the latest revelations was on the 5 pm Power and Politics show yesterday detailing the Conservative government’s plan for PR if torture allegations came to light or even were confirmed:

(H/T Scott Ross for the video)

On another note, it looks like the whisperings about Harper not wanting to be accountable to Parliament and instead trying to get a majority to avoid it by yet again dissolving Parliament and holding an election has been picked up by some in the media – James Travers for one seems pretty certain of it:

Despite Conservative […]


Would Harper rather go to an election then release the detainee docs?

There are rumours and quotations from unnamed PMO staffers that if push came to shove, Harper and the Conservatives would rather dissolve Parliament and call an election over the issue of turning over the unredacted Afghanistan detainee documents if they were found in contempt of Parliament and/or the Speaker issued a Warrant ordering the documents to be turned over to Parliament.

Seems a bit drastic and like a lot of brinkmanship on the part of the Conservatives, you might think. Then again, if the reports from Friday on CBC and via Professor Attaran is true – that Canadian officials wanted certain high-value prisoners tortured to get extra intelligence out of […]


CSIS involved in interrogating/transferring of Afghan detainees

In the wake of Friday’s allegations from Professor Attaran that Canada turned over prisoners to Afghanistan knowing they’d be tortured in order to get intelligence out of them, this report from the Canadian Press today adds even more fuel to the demands for a full fledged public inquiry and/or the Conservative government turning over all unredacted documents to Parliament:

Security experts stunned by CSIS’s role in questioning Taliban fighters who may have been tortured:

Officers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have played a crucial and long-standing role as interrogators of a vast swath of captured Taliban fighters, The Canadian Press has learned..The spy agency’s previously unknown role in questioning […]


In light of CBC report, demand full document release now.

This rather explosive allegation was on CBC news last night – that Canadian officials not only knew some Afghan prisoners were being tortured, but they WANTED some of them to be tortured to glean “intelligence” and information out of them:

Federal government documents on Afghan detainees suggest that Canadian officials intended some prisoners to be tortured in order to gather intelligence, according to a legal expert. If the allegation is true, such actions would constitute a war crime, said University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran, who has been digging deep into the issue and told CBC News he has seen uncensored versions of government documents released last year.

“If […]


Why was former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci chosen by Nicholson?

If you read this blogpost by Steve, it appears he was picked by the government and Nicholson because they felt he might hold some sympathy towards their views that certain documents can’t be unredacted, as based on his prior work:

..In other words, there is NO way Iacobucci is chosen, unless his past opinion and record doesn’t denote some sympathy towards the government’s current stance.

This is again why the opposition parties need to insist this does nothing to show the government is in compliance with the Parliamentary order to the government to turn over all documents to Parliament. Furthermore, if Iacobucci comes back with a report saying some stuff […]


Conservatives still in contempt of Parliament

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson stood up today on a point of order to announce what in my opinion is more or less a stalling tactic on the Afghan detainee documents issue/an apparent attempt to stall any contempt of Parliament motion from Derek Lee of the Liberals:

The Justice Minister has asked Frank Iacobucci, the former Supreme Court justice, to review documents relevant to the Afghan detainee issue and decide which can be turned over to the opposition.

Note that the government is still not willing to concede to the convention of the “Supremacy of Parliament”; that is, that Parliament has the authority to order the government to turn over all […]


No Olympic Bounce in new Ekos poll

The small lead for the Conservatives over the Liberals remains the same as in last week’s Ekos poll. In fact, both of the 2 major parties numbers marginally dropped.

With that, and with the fact 2 other polls have shown the same small lead/deadlock, I believe it’s not unfair in presuming/asserting that one can now say with some confidence that Ipsos-Reid was an outlier poll on the so-called “Conservative Olympic Bounce”, and/or that it was just showing its trend of polling Conservative support higher then the other major Canadian polling outfits (I believe Nanos is the last regular polling outfit that has yet to report out a poll post-Olympics).


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