Posted by Scott Tribe on April 19, 2013, at 10:57 pm |
I don’t normally blog this late, or on a Friday night.. but I couldn’t pass this up.
Tonight, the police managed to capture the 2nd suspect in the Boston Marathon Bombing, which is important to find out what in the world caused these 2 to do what they did.
You may remember Harper and the Conservatives attacked Justin Trudeau for his wanting to know the “root causes” of the Boston Marathon attack (and Harper brought it up voluntarily in a foreign country, no less, an extremely crass politicizing of a tragedy.). You may hear more of that inflammatory rhetoric from them from on Monday when they debate their anti-terrorist act (which they moved up to replace Trudeau’s pro-democratic MP reforms for Members Speeches that would have Conservative backbench support, “coincidentally” enough).
Or, maybe you won’t hear it as much now.. or in more muted form. Why?
In an interesting twist tonight, Andrew Coyne re-tweeted the Boston Globe on Twitter quoting Obama’s declaration on the capture of the suspect:
Obama: Major questions: Why did brothers who grew up here turn on this country? Did they have help? ‘We will determine what happened’
Andrew also retweeted this from one of the Globe and Mail Correspondents:
Bad news for those who attacked Trudeau’s “root causes” comment: even Obama believes analysis of motivation is necessary.
I look forward to seeing whether the Prime Minister and cronies dare to group the President of the United States and Justin Trudeau together as wimps or not tough enough on terror and for wanting to actually know and find out the “root causes” of what caused a teenager and a young man to do this sort of heinous act (its also worth noting the current Defense Minister Peter MacKay stressed we needed to find the “root cause” behind the Norwegian mass shooting attacks a couple of years ago as well).
Posted by Scott Tribe on April 15, 2013, at 6:54 am |
Unless you’ve been away this weekend, you already know Justin Trudeau was overwhelmingly selected to be the next leader of the Liberal Party of Canada on Sunday. My congratulations to him, as well as the other candidates who ran for the post.
What might be next for him and the Liberal Party to do, strategy wise? He has up to a year and a half before the next election. There are already rumblings the Conservatives have their attack ads ready to go on him. They used those attack ads to define (negatively) Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, before they could define themselves to the Canadian public. Thomas Mulcair of the NDP went proactive; he and the NDP released positive ads explaining himself to Canadians what he stood for – ads that largely went unanswered by the Conservatives, and which seemed short-term to help boost the NDP and Mulcair’s fortunes.
Logic would dictate the Liberals do the same. Indeed, at the Showcase last weekend, Brian Rice, fellow Liberal blogger who in his political life has managed to get to the lofty position of President of the BC Liberals, (was collecting donations to help “counter JT attack ads by the Conservatives”.
I’m not so sure now whether that needs to be done. Canadians know who Justin Trudeau is; and so far anyhow, anything he’s done in the public spotlight that potentially would be considered a faux-pas has not damaged him politically. Perhaps the money would be better spent on building up ground game and infrastructure to best run an election campaign on. The Trudeau team has shown the most activity on the social media sites and got the most volunteers, so they have a good headstart on this regard.
Lastly; there’s been some angst regarding JT’s declaration to “not go negative”. I think it’s obvious he will still go after Conservative policies he considers wrong; It pertains to the personal attacks the CPC has occasionally gone into the muck to do. I can remember from his eulogy at his Dad’s funeral, where he passed along the story about him as a young boy being in the Parliamentary Cafeteria, making fun of Joe Clark, the Progressive Conservative leader at the time, and his Dad sternly lecturing him on not attacking the person when engaged in politics, and who then invited Clark and his young daughter (Catherine) over to eat with them. I believe he has the messaging ability after several Conservative campaigns of this for that message – if he chooses to stick to it- to have real resonance.
Posted by Scott Tribe on April 11, 2013, at 7:23 pm |
I’ve been offline this week from the normal political/social stuff due to the passing of my last grandparent this past Monday. His funeral was today – someone I’m going to miss a lot, but who made something out of a difficult childhood to live a very good life
Posted by Scott Tribe on April 7, 2013, at 9:57 am |
I thought I’d take a day to reflect on yesterday’s proceedings. Firstly, the Progressive Bloggers event was a success. A good turnout, with some special appearances by George Takach and Deborah Coyne
Now, onto the Showcase – the actual event. I’ve already detailed the power outlet issue, but what of the actual format itself?
First off – 25 mins per candidate per speech was far too long
Secondly, it was my perception that there was an odd atmosphere at this event. Hard for me to explain other then there wasn’t much excitement in the building, other then the first couple of rows where supporters of said candidate speaking crammed together to wildly cheer. Justin’s speech was the loudest and got the most reaction, but even then, at the back of the room, there seemed to be more people intently listening then clapping for every “clapping-point’ he brought up. Perhaps it was because a lot of people felt the fait accompli of Justin Trudeau perceived to be winning in a walk drained excitement away. Perhaps the long speaking time caused people to flag.. when so many candidates were up using their full allotment of time to talk.
I’m not really sure what the answer is for this, when you’re using a system of either One Member One Vote, or a Supporters Category. Last year’s leadership race for the NDP had voting before the speeches.. which made it unlikely that there would be any big moves on the last day for speeches to sway people, when votes had already been cast. In this instance.. voting started after the speeches were done, but the atmosphere was .. muted. Perhaps the lack of Convention “zip” is the price you pay for wanting to get more people involved democratically in choosing a leader.
At some point, I’ll be voting.. though I admit I do so without enthusiasm – as a neutral, I didn’t particularly get inspired by anyone or how the race unfolded (and some candidates simply held positions that were anathema to me). Perhaps others, who weren’t hard-core supporters of their candidate of choice, felt/feel the same way. Perhaps that too is a reason for a flat-ginger-ale-type feeling yesterday
EDIT: I will note what some prominent Conservative supporters have said about yesterday, particularly about Trudeau’s speech, so perhaps there was bigger impact there then I thought. I suppose it also depends on what the TV crowd thought about the speeches, and this speech in particular.
Posted by Scott Tribe on April 6, 2013, at 1:58 pm |
I’m still at the Prog Blog meetup as I type this; we’ve had a good turnout so far with visits from George Takach (and unexpectedly a visit from Deborah Coyne), but I’m hearing rumblings from the bloggers already there at the LPC Showcase that the LPC has failed to provide any tables down there with power hookups to recharge laptops, etc.
I’d have thought that little detail might not get overlooked, but perhaps they were too concerned over the last month with the attendance numbers to have remembered that minor oversight.
I’m sure the journalists have power to their table/area, right?
This about tells you what you need to know about how the LPC in its current form has viewed new/social media. It was like pulling teeth to get them to accredit us to this.. and this oversight basically encapsulates it.
As I’ve said earlier, I hope the new leader brings a new attitude (and perhaps new people) to how they treat social media/new media, etc.
UPDATE @ 4:48 pm: Ok.. I dont feel as bad now.. the media dont have any plugs in press pit for charging either,according to Kady O’Malley of CBC, so we bloggers werent discriminated against! (tho I find that oversight a bit ridiculous)
Posted by Scott Tribe on April 4, 2013, at 5:00 pm |
I will not lie; I’ve been very disappointed with the lackadaisical response from the LPC Leadership candidates to a series of questions I submitted to them for responding – not just mine but ones some Liberal card-carrying members/supporters wanted asked. It’s a far cry from the Ontario Liberal Leadership campaigns, whose candidates for the most part were very eager to submit responses and allow the Ontario Liberal net/grassroots see their views on social media. I would have thought I’d have at least gotten some from the “2nd tier” federal Liberal candidates looking for some exposure, but not a word from them either. I will grant that I’d have gotten response from a couple of candidates who dropped out before they could submit their replies, but I’ve only had one response so far, that of Deborah Coyne.
Well, we have a second response; Joyce Murray, who I talked to personally at the OLP Convention, and who said she would submit some replies. She waited until the very end, but she has submitted them (I thank my fellow Liberal blogger Implitical/Nancy Leblanc, for helping to facilitate that).
Other then my spiel above, I offer her replies with no additional commentary of my own. It’s for you to decide.
1. What do you think the Liberal Party should do to respond to the frustrations behind the Idle No More protests? Is there anything you think the LPC can do to get the First Nations people’s more active in the political process, or are there any policy options you would propose that engage aboriginal communities for regional solutions that empower at the local level but meet national goals?
Posted by Scott Tribe on March 30, 2013, at 2:54 pm |
Former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 70 – not unexpected, as media reported a couple of weeks back that his condition was grave. Now,we have word that Peter Kormos, former NDP MPP for Niagara/Welland, passed away this AM suddenly at the age of 60.
Kinda dreading the news for the next couple of days.
(Both men were not similar in their politics, but very similar in that they weren’t boring. Condolences to all those who know both of them.)
Posted by Scott Tribe on March 27, 2013, at 6:57 am |
I’m still a neutral in this Liberal Leadership race, and haven’t decided yet who I’ll vote for and in what order, but I can certainly tell you who isn’t going to be on my voting ballot – Martha Hall Findlay.
Yes, she represents (or tries to represent) the centre-right in the Liberal Party, and there needs to be a conduit for those views, but she went over the line when she openly said Joyce Murray should be running for the leadership of another party due to her cooperation views with other parties – a tactic that led to the most unusual step of Liberal MP’s openly being critical of MHF (unusual in that it’s normally “anonymous Liberals” that do the criticizing). I don’t agree with exactly everything Ms. Murray advocates either, but her wing of supporters are going to be needed to help rebuild the party – one shouldn’t be issuing statements trying to drive them away (or Ms Murray for that matter – one who holds a these-days rare title of being a Liberal MP).
This petty stuff, more then any of the other policy positions Martha Hall-Findlay holds, leads me to openly declare my resounding non-endorsement of her.
UPDATE @ 2:44 pm: As you might recall, It isn’t the first time she’s done this trying to out-Conservative the Conservatives vis-a-vis attacks. She’s already tried this with Justin Trudeau, (and failed miserably at it).
Posted by Scott Tribe on March 25, 2013, at 10:48 am |
A slightly different blogpost today then I usually do. It’s about Swans. Tundra Swans to be exact.. and thousands of them;
There may be other types of swans or geese in that gaggle, but the calls they’re making indicate this is a large flock of Tundra swans. This is in a farmer’s field just north of Tillsonburg.. Lots of people slowing down or stopping to get out and look or take pictures.
Posted by Scott Tribe on March 19, 2013, at 6:30 pm |
I’ve shared some common ground with Fair Vote Canada over the past few years, because I support electoral reform to our electoral system, as they do, and I generally believe a form of Proportional Representation is a good system to have to cure what ails our current Parliamentary system, as they do.
However, several failed referendums later (with only 1 being close in BC, and that regressed a couple of years later) , it’s rather clear to me and a lot of other reformers that Canadians simply do not have the appetite right now, if ever, for such a radical change to their voting system. I’ve been on record for awhile saying in lieu of that, I support Preferential Ballot (also known as Instant-Runoff Voting, or Alternative Voting), as the choice to be offering to voters for change. Basically, you rank the candidates of your choice in order. In this manner, as lowest candidates get knocked off and votes are tallied for the next choices on your ballot, you eventually will get a winner in the riding or contest with 50+1 majority vote. All the political parties currently use it for voting in their leaders.. so I think it wouldn’t generate as much hostility with them.. and I think it would be less scary to Canadians then PR obviously is.. and it’s not complex to explain either.
Fair Vote Canada does not like this electoral reform; it isn’t proportional (which they are correct in saying) and thus they feel it wont address real voting reform; some even think it’s worse then the status quo.
Not all of them though.
Toronto City Council is going to be voting in May on whether to request to the province that they be given the option of choosing the Ranked Ballot Voting for their elections. There is a group out there called RabiT (Ranked Ballot In Toronto), run by Toronto City activist and blogger Dave Meslin. Most of this group are still members of Fair Vote Canada.. but they are having a bitter dispute with the organization, who has decided (narrowly in a referendum – 55-45 of its members) to not support the Ranked Ballot Initiative – this despite the fact PR has little to no support among anyone on Toronto Council. It’s either Ranked Ballot, or the status quo.
Despite this, FVC would prefer the status quo, it seems. Not only that, it appears they’re going to great lengths to silence the strong minority of its members that support Ranked Ballot in Toronto. You can read more of that from Dave’s POV at the link provided, with other links going out to various parts of the story.
FVC claims Ranked Ballot will not fix our current electoral woes. Maybe not, but my question to them would be – they always have pleaded with the electorate to give PR a chance and try it out to see that it works. I would rebut to them, why not see if Ranked Ballot will work in a civic election scenario (where no parties are running, I might add.. the political ideologies notwithstanding)?
My only guess, other then being stubborn or too binded to PR, is that they’re afraid if it is a success, or more popular with the electorate, or both, then PR might be still-born/dead in the water. I’d respond it’s pretty still-born now, so why not get behind a voting reform, even if its only incremental? It’s still better then the status quo.. and perhaps if people get used to voting on a ranked ballot.. they’ll be more open down the line to voting in provincial or national elections with something like an STV setup – which isn’t too far off from Ranked Ballot.
You have to start somewhere, and I think Ranked Ballot is that place . I hope FVC will reconsider their “less then fair” methods they seem to be employing against their own members for supporting or being part of RabiT. 45% is a pretty large number, and they may find that amount leaving to form their own Electoral Reform group if they keep it up.
Quite frankly, Dave Meslin has been far more restrained then I would be, urging people to stay in FVC and calling for reform from within, but If the FVC Executive continues to employ these tactics, I’d urge him and his followers to consider making RaBiT a full separate organization; support PR by all means, but be open the fact another solution of reform may be the way to go and not close off your mind to it. It has been charged by some that FVC has become blinded to its PR ideology/Holy Grail. I fear they are right.. and it may be time for RaBit supporters to cut bait.
Update: For more information on the Ranked Ballot Initaitive and on the RaBiT group, go to their website here