Posted by Scott Tribe on November 18, 2013, at 6:03 pm |
As an aside to this blogpost’s main point, this would also be a good time to ask Premier @Kathleen_Wynne (her twitter address, if you were wondering) to allow Toronto to use ranked ballot for electing mayors in elections, as was passed by council and which they they requested, and which has been sitting at Queen’s Park for 5 months now, and which according to Adam Radwanski of the Globe and Mail, has been deemed by the Premier’s Office or government officials not to be a “priority”.
I find this, quite honestly, astonishing. This crisis gives them as good a political cover as any to help pass it. (though I dont see why they’d need it) to pass that reform for electing Mayors in Toronto. It might not expressly stop a candidate like Ford from winning, but it certainly makes sure that any candidate running in a multiple candidate race will win with more then 50% of the vote.
The next question might be; why are they stonewalling on this? Do they fear it might work and there might be calls to implement it elsewhere, or provincially?
Toronto is as good a test case as any to see how it operates (and it’s been used by federal and provincial parties to elect leaders, so it’s not like they don’t know how it works). It’s time to stop stonewalling on this, Ontario Liberals – whoever it is, be it the Premier, be it Cabinet, or the staffers in the Premier’s Office – and allow Toronto to change their voting system (and if its the opposition parties who oppose it, let them explain why they wish to prevent Toronto from doing a change in voting setup – which passed with a clear majority from all sides of the political fence).
It isn’t going to make things any worse than the circus going on at City Hall right now, I can promise you.
Posted by Scott Tribe on November 18, 2013, at 4:29 pm |
..or give Toronto City Council the tools to do it themselves, before he embarrasses Toronto and Canada any further or hurts someone:
An unprecedented council meeting descended temporarily into chaos on Monday, when Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford got into a screaming match with spectators..Councillor Pam McConnell, who is barely five-feet tall, was knocked from her feet as Rob Ford charged through council chambers during the melee.”This is a seat of democracy, not a football field,” McConnell said. “I wasn’t ready for it.”
Your video/pic of Ford imagining he was out playing football, rather then being a Mayor of Canada’s largest city:
Posted by Scott Tribe on November 15, 2013, at 6:49 am |
You may have heard of the saying, “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing”. That saying may be too charitable for what has just occurred at QMI media, better knows as the organization that runs the Sun Media Chain and Sun TV.
Their editorial board came out strongly against Rob Ford the other day, calling on him to resign/step down.. yet about a day or two later, we find out SunTV has revived Rob and Doug Ford’s broadcast careers by giving them a new TV show on Sun, and now they’re trying to reassure everyone on the print media side from one of their main writers that everything is ok – they still want Rob Ford to go – but apparently its no big deal about the TV stuff.
I wonder who came up with this silly idea; did some genius at Sun TV decide that with ratings in the dumper, this might be the train wreck show they need to revive interest? Did the Fords approach Sun?
Regardless of whose idea it was – I’ve no doubt the show will get a lot of people watching it at the start to see what dumb statements or excuses the Fords come up with – not the least US late night talk show writers, who the Fords have given constant material of late, and who show no signs of stopping that latest Canadian export.
EDIT: Fortunately, due to CRTC rules, the show will be mercifully short-lived.
Posted by Scott Tribe on November 13, 2013, at 7:40 am |
I found this interesting; one of the Toronto LPC riding associations put forth a list of policy resolutions over the weekend and sounds like it asked their member what should be top priority for a new LPC government to implement. I have a copy of the preliminary paper which lists everything that was discussed, but I’ll refrain from posting it online for now, as I understand several of these were combined in subsequent revisions. If I get my hands on a “final copy” and I’m permitted to do so, I’ll post that.
Until then however, I can post what my “Top 3 Priorities” would be from looking at this list, and what I’d hope a new LPC government would move on first:
3) Electoral Reform – a rather broad statement, but specifically, Justin Trudeau has stated he supports changing our current vote setup to “Preferential Ballot” for elections with MP’s. (Proportional representation was apparently defeated at this riding vote, and preferential ballot, which is the party’s stated position on electoral reform, was endorsed).
2) Restoration Of the Long Form Census – a no-brainer for me. We’ve seen reports about how the “voluntary” one was barely filled out and the “data” from it deemed unreliable and useless, even from Statistics Canada.
1) National Childcare Program – restoring what Paul Martin brought in with the provinces that Harper and his ideological government killed back in 2006 would also be a priority. Sending out 100$ a month or whatever it is not a childcare solution.
Posted by Scott Tribe on November 11, 2013, at 7:22 am |
This will be the first Remembrance Day where I will have to remember both of these fine gentlemen/grandparents, as both have passed on - Flying Officer Le Verne Haley on the left (passed in 2012), Sergeant Stanley Tribe (Army) on the right (passed away this year) – Gr Haley’s pic was taken in Charlottetown PEI before he was posted to England – Gr Tribe was in in England. There was an interesting contrast between the two; my Grandpa Haley would always, as long as he was healthy, participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies in full uniform, and has written about his war experiences (which we always find fascinating to read) plus left a tonne of photos behind. My Grandpa Tribe, on the other hand, barely mentioned his service, and it was a long time before he even got the specialized licence plate with the poppies on it to indicate he was a veteran. I was never sure whether he really didn’t think he merited the attention, or if he’d had a bad experience.I’m sure there are still a few vets like him who felt the same way: it was their duty, and they went.
The remaining veterans of WWII are dying off, I read, at the rate of several hundred a day on average. Make sure you remember the folks who are gone, and give a hearty clap/shake of the hand to those who still remain to let them know that their service is honoured, and we will and do remember – and not just in Remembrance Day
Posted by Scott Tribe on November 5, 2013, at 5:07 pm |
Well, I don’t think I need to re-hash everything that’s gone on in Toronto; other then Mayor Rob Ford has had 2 press conferences in a single day where he’s come out and managed to combine a tearful ‘I smoked crack while in a drunken stupor’ admission into a tearful plea for forgiveness and a tearful re-election plea for Oct 2014, when the next Toronto election for mayor is. Of course, he also said he’s not stepping aside for medical leave, and definitely no resignation.
It appears short of new police revelations and the province taking extraordinary measures to remove him (not sure if that’s even possible without a conviction), he is Toronto’s mayor and will be running for re-election. City Council cannot impeach or remove him, though they may be able to make him into a lame duck.
One cannot automatically assume, however, that “Ford Nation” – that pool of voters who seems to not care what Ford does as long as he keeps taxes low, says he’s saving them a billion dollars (even though he hasn’t) and drops a subway off at their neighbourhood – will turn on him.
If he is still in office by then, pending a change in heart due to new revelations/not in jail/dead from an overdose, those folks may still come out en-masse to vote for him. If Ford opponents are going to beat him, they will need to to get the anti-Ford bloc to come out and vote with provincial or federal type turnout numbers (50-60%). Municipal elections are traditionally much lower (30-40%), and it gives folks like Ford the advantage when his portion of that 30-40% is the more motivated of the bunch to come out and support their “persecuted” guy (which I no doubt believe is what a lot of them will think).
Provincial and Federal parties and their riding associations are normally not involved in municipal elections, but there are plenty of people in NDP, Liberal, and yes, maybe even Conservative riding associations who have a lot of interest in getting rid of Ford. It’s up to those folks to try and motivate their federal/provincial supporters to come out and vote in Oct 2014, if they want to ensure Ford is made a distant bad memory.
(As a footnote, I can honestly say that with whats been going on around Toronto these past few days and months, former Mayor Mel Lastman’s decision to bring in the Canadian army to help in blizzard snow removal all those years ago is looking pretty good in comparison.. but it shows that anyone can get elected in a municipal election with motivated supporters, a half decent marketing image, and low turnout).
Posted by Scott Tribe on November 2, 2013, at 7:47 am |
So says the Prime Minister to his party faithful at their Calgary convention:
“We were blocked by the other parties in the minority parliaments, and now we are being blocked in the courts,” said Harper in a lengthy keynote speech to the Conservative party faithful Friday night….Harper’s designating “the courts” as an enemy appeared to stem from a decision last week by the Quebec Court of Appeal, which ruled reforms such as elections to select senators or term limits could not be legislated unilaterally — as Harper had proposed.
In essence, anyone or any group that tells Stephen Harper he can’t do anything he wants is now the enemy of him and Canada. It wasn’t exactly a contrite speech. I don’t exactly see the point in trying to whip up the party faithful against the judicial system, unless it’s an attempt to make any contrary ruling seem illegitimate – rather ironic, since Harper and his party sent the Senate reform/abolition question to the Supreme Court for reference, asking what the constitutional and legal boundaries are for reform or abolition.
This surely can’t be an attempt to intimidate the Supreme Court into giving him a reference more favourable to his government’s interpretation of what the government can or cant do with the Senate, can it?
Posted by Scott Tribe on October 30, 2013, at 4:22 pm |
Despite the Senate scandal deepening, it appears that for now, Canadians still prefer reforming the Senate over abolishing it, as indicated by this Ipsos-Reid poll from a couple of days ago. 49% of respondents indicated reform (and the Ipsos question on reform is worded as “..reformed to make it for example an elected body“) while 43% preferred abolishing it. Only 8% preferred the status quo – leaving it as is.
All discussions on what should be done with the Senate are on hold until the Supreme Court of Canada rules on the government’s referral on what can and can’t be done with the Senate, and what amount of consent is needed, but there are warnings in those numbers. The NDP are heavily invested in trying to campaign on abolition of the Senate, but so far, every poll I’ve seen, including this latest one, from different polling companies over the past several months shows that the largest plurality of voters still prefer reform of the Upper House – and make no mistake, when people think of “reform”, the majority of them are thinking of reform as the Senate being “elected”.
That also spells danger for the Liberal Party too though – when continuous polling shows the status quo is in the single digits, the idea of just promoting “better” Senators as reform if the LPC was elected isn’t going to cut it – with all due respect to Mr Dion and Mr Trudeau, both who have been publicly in favour of keeping the Senate, but not supporting “radical” change to it that might involve Constitutional talks to do so.
I doubt that advocating “appointing better people” or better Senators as your Senate reform is going to be acceptable after this mess, and I hope Mr Trudeau and the leaders in the party will reconsider that position soon. If there is a fear of electoral deadlock between the 2 bodies, there are ways to make sure a dispute settling mechanism is in place to prevent that (I’ve written about that before). If the Senate provinces/regions have imbalanced representation, you come up with numbers to fix that as well. If you fear constitutional talks would go nowhere, Pierre Trudeau had a tougher task repatriating the Constitution, but decided it was worth the risk of failure and undertook it – and succeeded.
I think the country has matured enough that we don’t risk a breakup of Canada a la Meech Lake if the attempt at Senate reform fails.
Posted by Scott Tribe on October 28, 2013, at 8:37 pm |
You might have noticed I’ve not said much on the continuing allegations/bombshells being dropped in the Senate these days – with more bombs on additional cheques and PMO and PM involvement being dropped/alleged by ex-Con Senator Mike Duffy today.
At this point, I don’t really have much to add that you haven’t already read at other blogs (go to the aggregators Liblogs and Progressive Bloggers for a nice long list of those) and news sites. I’m just buying the popcorn at a steady pace and enjoying the show and the misery that a scorned Senator (or Senators) wrath is inflicting on Harper and the CPC.
I will say though this: the prorogation strategy of keeping Parliament out an extra 6 weeks doesn’t look so great for Harper and the CPC, and somewhere tonight, Stephane Dion is probably quietly smiling that the Duffy worm has turned.
Posted by Scott Tribe on October 27, 2013, at 2:35 pm |
I want to remark on an online/social media phenomenon I’ve seen, (mostly on Twitter) the past couple of days, where NDP activists, particularly ones who are active in the Toronto Centre by-election, are going after Justin Trudeau on his spoken support at a US conference (attended by ex-Australian PM Julia Gillard and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, among others) for Keystone XL and the proposed oil pipeline running south (yet to be approved by the US). This is not a new position he’s taken, though its being played up by some as that (and to be fair, a lot of the US activists he was talking to at the US Conference he attended were not aware that he supports it. He is on record as not supporting the Northern Gateway proposed pipeline to BC, and on other pipelines, he says it has to be based on environmental assessments).
Some of my NDP friends and canvassers in Toronto-Centre are remarking how they’re playing up Justin and the LPC supporting the Keystone pipeline and attacking him/the LPC for this environmentally unfriendly position. What I say to that is this: it’s all fine and dandy to attack JT and the LPC for supporting Keystone, but I’d like NDP supporters to explain how an East-West pipeline – which Thomas Mulcair and the NDP is on record as supporting – is great, while a Keystone/XL running north-south is “environmentally incompatible”.
I don’t particularly support Keystone/XL either (though Northern Gateway is much more of a concern for me), but there’s a tad bit of hypocrisy on some NDP’ers part for attacking the LPC and JT for supporting the one while seemingly supporting the East-West pipeline without any apparent fear of “environmental non-sustainability”
A lot of this NDP howling from the supporters/activists is probably poll-driven; every time a new poll comes out that either shows the Liberals leading the national polls, or the NDP languishing in 3rd (or both), it seems to turn up the volume, and they’ve had several polls this past week saying that; consequently, the partisan rhetoric has trebled from them.
All this crying and moaning about KXL from the NDP in the Toronto-Centre riding about environment is a bit much, when they’re on record as wanting the E-W pipeline at the same time. It’s a sneaky attempt to try and get some voter leverage in a byelection they badly want to win (and make no mistake, the Liberals are favoured in this riding).
If the NDP wants to take the position about keeping refining jobs in Canada, that’s one thing, but don’t go around attacking political opponents and claiming you’re concerned about the environment on Keystone XL, when both pipelines have bad environmental potential.
EDIT: One other minor thing that bothers me is some aforementioned NDP’ers attacking JT for saying he wasn’t going to criticize Prime Minister Harper on foreign soil over any shortcomings on environmental policy about the environment or oil pipelines in general. I never got up in arms over Mulcair’s comments in the US going after the PM (as some others on he conservative right-wing did), but I fail to see why Justin should get a put down for extending a courtesy and deciding not to take that path.