Monday, December 31, 2007

Peace: Here's To The Future (Let's Have One)

Well, another year has passed. We Liberals do have a lot to look forward to this next year. The Mulroney-Schreiber-Harper-MacKay Scandal should get some more play. We'll need to hear from Harp, his Justice Minister, and MacKay as well (both of them). There are a lot of reasons for Opposition Parties to want to defeat this gov't., and we'll just need to be patient and play our cards when the time is right.

What does the world look like right now? Hundreds of small wars, populations starving or lacking clean water, ideological warfare abounds, an increasingly toxic environment. We really need to wake up as a species. We need to appreciate that this is not OUR planet any more than it was the dinosaurs' planet. A burgeoning population and limited resources mean we have to make some REAL efforts to clean up our little corner of the Universe. Humankind has to rethink our basic most fundamental ways of life, to ensure future humans will have lives at all. Science fiction movies often have hordes of aggressive aliens who pillage planets for their resources, then move on. We need to realize WE are those aggressive aliens laying waste to any newly exploitable resources we find.

As a party that strikes a balance between fiscal responsibility and caring for our world, neighbors, and surroundings, we need to be leaders in the fight for our planet. We need to be leaders in peace, responsibility, and humanity. We need to stand out as liberal democrats. Our political principles are a perfect fit for this needy world right now.

The best of the Season to everyone, and a very happy and prosperous 2008.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When You Send A Bonehead To Do A Statesman's Job

So Peter MacKay gets shipped off to Afghanistan to lay on some classic conservative military patronizing - and keep him from commenting on Schreiber-Mulroney-Harper-MacKay-gate. So what does "el-dorko" (he of the inappropriate comments about a certain lady from down South) do? He decides he should spout off about Iran backing the Taliban with supplies.

There are a few serious problems with this: You don't come out to give a message of peace and support to the troops, and use the time as a platform for your own political gain (the cons LOVE to pretend the military is their baby - even though we know Pierre Trudeau spent more on defense than they do); You don't use such an occasion to take random potshots at another sovereign state - without the appropriate diplomacy and evidence; Looking like some imbeciles simply carting in the standard US messaging has never been Canada's place - we've always been more objective, and it allowed us (even being a NATO and Commonwealth member) to be respected for our opinions. Joining in blindly with the "you're with us, or you're 'agin' us" mentality is a sure-fire way to get hated really fast.

There are ways to approach a nation which could explode at any time - and being the schoolyard bully is not it. Someone will step up and be the peace-broker in this region. Unfortunately, a nation that is shamelessly aligning itself with one of the aggressor sides is not going to be that broker. A nation like Sweden is more likely.

I hope fellow Canadians are starting to realize what a shameful mockery these Conservatives are making of Canada's proud international reputation.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Partisan Witch Hunt, My @$$

Canada's Conservatives.  How can these guys pretend they're different from the federal PCs of old - when they always WERE federal PCs?

So the Cons want to try to tell the world that the Mulroney-Schreiber-Harper Inquiry is a "partisan witch hunt". Hmmm... I thought (according to Harpies everywhere) Mr. Mulroney was part of a party which ceased to exist a few years ago when they united with the Reform-Alliance? I mean the "new" conservatives keep stating how they are not the same as the "old" conservatives - even though they spent much of the last couple of years trying to convince voters they were just that... a "united right". So now, when the obvious relationship between the two (actually one and the same) is hurtful to the government, they want to distance themselves.

Thing is... they keep saying the Opposition trying to find the truth is a "partisan witch hunt". Which means, as is obvious to all Canadians, they are admitting Mulroney is one of theirs'(as is obvious to all Canadians). Mulroney is a conservative, and so are they. A "united right".

"Conservative MP Russ Hiebert (South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale, B.C.) last week emerged from the committee meeting with Mr. Mulroney and read from a prepared statement, which said further committee hearings into the affair were not necessary because they amounted to a "partisan witch hunt." Mr. Hiebert said the views were his own, not scripted by the PMO, and were written during the committee meeting. But CP reporter Jennifer Ditchburn aptly pointed out that Mr. Hiebert read from computer-printed notes with bullets. (thanks Yappa Ding Ding).

If this is a "partisan witch hunt" as the Conservatives say it is, then it is truly a Conservative scandal - linked to their party and their name.

Is This... What They Call Poetic Justice???

Stevie Harper and the Reform-a-tories fought long to convince moderate Canada that they were really, truly, a united right, and the rebirth of the old Mulroney 'populist rush'. They ceaselessly argued with anyone who tried to say that the right wing Reformers had taken over the old PC/Conservative Party. They even paraded the great Brian Mulroney around during the last election, to help with federalist votes in Quebec. The tireless efforts and millions of dollars spent by the Conservative campaign machine did help them convince enough voters to win a small minority.

Recent revelations in the Mulroney-Schrieber-Harper affair are causing some serious problems with Harper's remade 'Mulroney Coalition'. Mr. Harper would like to extricate himself from the PC/old conservative ties. Unfortunately (for him) his team did too good a job convincing Canadians that Harper's "new" team and the Mulroney team were one and the same. The Conservatives now expect Canadians to separate the two conservative parties in their minds. C'mon. These two are "kissing cousins". They all came from the same conservative beast. If one looks at who works in the backrooms of Ottawa, you'll find a lot of old Mulroney era Tories working under Harper and his MPs.

This scandal didn't require Opposition MPs pointing out links to the Harper PMO - Stephen Harper basically created those links himself. A fate well deserved. Let's hope the mud continues to stick to this idea-less, regressive group of neo-cons.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Turkish Bombs Good For Kurds? Saddam's Bombs Bad?

Yes... a preposterous headline. Yet, it seems this is what the American-block would like the world to think about the plight of Kurdistan. If it's an American enemy bombing the Kurds, then it's "deplorable" and a "crime against humanity", BUT if it's an American ally...

Let's see:

Saddam I (Pre-Kuwait): "Good Saddam" (hugs for Rumsfeld, etc.). Go ahead and bomb the Kurds Saddam - we'll even provide the bombs and helicopters.
Saddam II (Post Kuwait): "Bad Saddam". Saddam is the anti-Christ. He is an evil dictator, and he'll pay for these crimes.
Iran (under the Shaw): Kurds? What Kurds?
Iran (under the mullahs): The plight of the Kurdish people is of the utmost importance to the American people.
Turkey (NATO member state): Bombs away! We don't see you. The Kurds being bombed are "terrorists" conspiring to destabilize Iraq and the whole region.

Sometimes the overt geo-political hypocrisy is so obvious it's a wonder "Joe Public" doesn't just see right through it. It seems the days of competent, concerned leaders - who actually cared about the plight of the weak and suffering - are gone. No more great statesmen in the world anymore. You can't speak out on an issue without being colored a color (left, right, capitalist, socialist, terrorist fighter, terrorist supporter, God-fearing, atheist, etc.).

The world needs more true statesmen... not empty-headed ideologues who only care for themselves, their corporate/industrial backers, or their marriage to some oblique philosophy which doesn't work in today's world. We need brave leaders not afraid to speak out against the status quo.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Harpo-Mularkey Image of the Day...

Harpo: "Not now, Brian. Get your hand out of my hip pocket."
Mularkey: "Remember our meeting with Boeing grasshopper? Gordie O worked hard to arrange that. Aren't those transports just what we needed?".
Both Laugh Vigorously...
Harpo: "How could I forget? George whispered it in my ear when we got up this morning".
Mularkey: "Does George do that funny thing with his hip like my Cowboy Ronnie used to do?"
Harpo: "Ever wonder why Georgie's bow-legged?"
Both: "Snicker, snicker..."
Mularkey: "I had to sleep with Maggie to try to score those Harriers... Never did materialize"
Harpo: "Ain't workin' Maggie's farm no more... (snicker, snicker)? I guess that beats being a target for the Godfather (Cheney) when I went to ask for them to recognize us as friends last year..."
Mularkey: "Yeah, I had to pull buckshot outta my backside for a year after I met him in the 80s. Why are you Reformer-types so high on guns again? We almost banned them in the 80s"
Harpo: "Brian! Gun's are our God-given right. You can't take away our guns. Outta our cold dead hands Brian!"
Mularkey: "Temper, temper. What did I tell you about hiding that temper in public? Every time you throw a tanturn you lose poll points".
Harpo: "Those polls are great, aren't they? We're trying to hide the cost, but that stupid report came out..."
Mularkey: "Don't worry. You'll be at least 2 yrs out of gov't before the media decides to tackle you over that one. Ask me... or better yet, lil' Kimmy."
Harpo: "She really took the fall for you guys, didn't she? I still laugh when I think of that... 2 seats... LOL".
Mularkey: "Hey! Show some respect Shrub. Without my 'populist rush' plan, you guys wouldn't have a sniff in Quebec. We know how your Reform buddies sponsored all those anti-Quebec bumper stickers in the 80s and 90s"
Harpo: "Yeah... I had one. 'No to C68, No to Wheat Board, No to Quebec' Looked good on my Suburban..."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Steve & Brian - Best Friends... A Photo Album

We weren't surprised when Mr Harper made public in the last election campaign that one Brian Mulroney was his mentor and key Quebec advisor. Harper served in the Mulroney/Campbell gov't - as an MP's assistant. We're sure the youngster left a mark on big Brian. We know the relationship goes back further than either will admit publicly. Then there is the MacKay link. We wonder why Peter MacKay went back on his written agreement NOT to break up the old PROGRESSIVE Conservative Party. What did Harper have on MacKay that made him turn back on his written agreement? Did the Harper crew threaten to destroy MacKay's political career if he didn't help destroy the PCs? After all, under a young, non-lying Peter MacKay (the old PC's "golden boy"), or Bernard Lord, the PCs' collective hopes were on the upswing. The Reformers had been around along enough, and unsuccessfully, that they were really ready to bust after another election loss - or continue to be relegated to a "regional rump".

Is there a deeper relationship than what appears on the surface? Isn't there always?

Canada's Role In Global Warming - Next Steps...

We've had some challenges (to say the least) in beginning our battle on global warming and greenhouse gases. The Conservative gov't is creating even more roadblocks on the way to undermining the whole Kyoto process - simply to appease their American "overlords".

What comes next for Canada? The obvious choice is a liberal-democratic gov't., versus a neo-conservative one with clear designs on stopping any real movement on climate change. The best bet for the world would be this: All nations who want to sign, sign on. The ones who don't sign would be such a small number (US, China, India, maybe Canada), that practically the whole world would be united in the plan. One further step would assure us that the US, China, and India would sign on. It's really simple if the world really wanted to see real action: Trade measures or levies on goods produced in "non-green" countries. Even the US would come onside with this last measure, with the amount of production they're losing to China. The "new Kyoto" agreement would supercede the WTO, so China would have no recourse but to move quickly to becoming green. Just don't buy their stuff. I'm sure American and Canadian manufacturing sector workers would love this plan. The speed-bump will be the large, US-owned multi-nationals - like Walmart. They are hooked on cheap Chinese stuff. It's time our MNCs' "needs" come after our citizens'. After all, the MNCs are the ones who pushed all the production to China in the first place - leaving millions of North American workers out of work.

I do have further details on how such a plan would work - and work "extra-WTO", and will post more on future "New Kyoto" blog posts...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dinosaurs: Big Oil Stooges, Or Do They Really Believe This Stuff?

For years the Canadian Conservative Movement (backed by Big Oil) has shouted down Kyoto. With help from their big media supporters the Cons were able to make substantial noise about "the science" they didn't agree with, to create some public doubt - especially in Alberta. After creating enough noise and blockages in Parliament (while in opposition), they proceeded to turn around (once elected as "Canada's New Gov't.) and blame the Liberals - who ratified Kyoto (signing on to an international agreement) for "inaction". That's like the bully who kept the school kid from coming in from recess, then pointing out to the teacher that "he was late".

Luckily most Canadians support Kyoto, and feel strongly about our environment.

Now, in a new - most likely American-inspired - effort to appease Big Oil, the "Reform-a-Tory" bullies are trying to "disrupt class" by being the most vocal opponent of reasonable attempts to stop climate change. Once again being shills for Big Oil, the "Reform-a-Tory" bullies are loudly screaming out their opposition to Kyoto, or anything Kyoto-like, instead pushing for the useless shell-game efforts the US and Australia also support. Do nothing, rather than anything that might hurt the deep pockets of Big Oil.

Looking at the "Reform-a-Tory's" "evolution" (devolution?) from Federal PCs, to Reformers, to Reformers who destroyed and took over the last vestiges of "progressive" on the right, one wonders if they are just happy to be on the corporate payroll (via political support and future jobs), or are they really dull enough to believe what 2.13% of oil-company sponsored scientists say?

We always knew Conservatives were heavy on the corporate cheer-leading, but could it be that they really believe this stuff? Being a former resident of Alberta, and knowing a lot of conservatives personally (yeah, I'll admit it - they were nice when we were talking sports - except for their unnatural hatred for Toronto-based sports teams), I'll have to say "yeah" a lot of these guys actually do believe it. Cerebral, intellectual Liberals scratch our collective noggins when we attempt to fathom the victory of "pop culture/pop science" over real science. Being someone who has a science background - right up to grad school - I find it easy to read and understand "the science" (I hate when they call it that) of Kyoto. Perhaps a lot of the loudest, angriest (don't know why they're still angry - they've been in power for 2yrs now) conservatives just don't have the aptitude to understand Kyoto, or climate change and global warming. Like the slowest dinosaurs they didn't realize the world was changing around them until it was too late... And, isn't that what we call conservatives that are non-progressive and stuck in their early 20th century ways? Dinosaurs.

NDP - The "No Damn-use Party": Masters of The Witch Hunt? I Guess Not...

So now NDP MPs are falling over each other to get some of the spotlight that fellow brethren, Pat Martin is getting... Hmmm... Where do they start? How about accuse a Con MP of looking at pictures of his girlfriend. Now, being someone who's worked in the corporate/business world for quite a few years, I would say it is entirely inappropriate to be looking at anything like that in a workplace - no matter whom it comes from - let alone in our nation's Parliament. So, while their heart's were in the right place, their tactics were all wrong. I do stand behind the member's offense taken at having to see the images while at work. Pictures of scantily clad women - or men - are unacceptable in the workplace. I'm thinking that the MP was trying to openly display his lack of interest in the debate that was going on. He chose the wrong way of displaying it. The NDP MP should have made a better case about inappropriate images in the workplace... She failed to do so, and ended up apologizing to Parliament.

Next case: NDP candidate in Abbottsford, BC accuses Liberal candidate of trying to buy him out of running. Allegations turn out to be false, but the Liberal candidate's reputation is tarnished, and so are his chances of being elected. Just goes to show, you need to get your facts straight before randomly accusing people of things. In this case there should be more than just an apology from the NDP to the former Liberal candidate... They should be apologizing to the people of the riding. We also should be looking into what role the former NDP candidate is playing in the party. Is he still in the position to influence voters? To campaign and disseminate campaign information?

NDP marching orders must be something like: "Let's pretend we're the non-corrupt ones, while we accuse the other guys of being dishonest and sleazy... Use any means at your disposal... All we need to do is sling a lot of mud and maybe we can finish 3rd in the next election."

Men of substance - like Tommy Douglas - must be rolling over in their graves. Where is the NDP of the 60s and 70s - the party that used to focus on issues that mattered to average, working class Canadians?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Harper Not Nearly As Tough As Trudeau On Defense

Well, the National Pest - Conservative PR-rag that it is - has finally given Liberals our due when it comes to the field of national defense. Like in every other field, we Liberals are true patriots when it comes to defense:

(from the National Post):

"Former prime minister Pierre Trudeau may still be widely reviled in the military community as a "pinko" who slashed the budget of the Canadian Forces in the '70s, but a new analysis done by Parliament's research branch ranks him as the top spender on defence in the last 37 years.

The figures, detailing the defence budget as a percentage of the country's gross domestic product, indicates Trudeau even outspent Progressive Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney, who brought in a hawkish defence policy in the late '80s.

The figures also show the Harper Conservatives, who have portrayed themselves as being strong on defence, have a long way to go to match Trudeau's levels.

The spending dipped only slightly in the first few years of Mulroney's tenure and then started dropping as cutbacks were brought in under the Conservatives.

Liberal Senator Colin Kenny said the figures show the Harper government has to start doing more in terms of military spending.

"They talk the talk but when it comes time to walk the walk they're just not there," said Kenny. "They don't even come close to the so-called pinko days of Mr. Trudeau. Mr. Harper's got a long long way to go to match that."

In terms of spending on national defence as a percentage of federal government expenditures, Trudeau again leads the pack at 13.3% in 1970.

The Defence Department has made presentations to Treasury Board which would see its budget increased from a little more than $18-billion to $36-billion by 2025.
That figure would be about 1.3% of the country's projected GDP.

By comparison, Trudeau's defence spending came in at 2% of Canada's GDP."

We all know where that Liberal swagger comes from - not to mention our Party colours. Kudos to other bloggers who've pointed this out as well!

Anyone See The Size Of Schreiber's Harper File? Is Mr. Harper Lying?

This morning I watched in awe as Mr. Schreiber handed the committee a large (3"?) binder containing his correspondence with a certain Mr. Stephen Harper - who happens to reside at 24 Sussex Dr.

As with any Canadian with even a shred of intelligence, I find it VERY hard to believe that one piece of stationary did not find it's way to the PMO, considering it would have been delivered there. It is totally unbelievable that Mr. Harper was not at least AWARE of the letters via updates from staffers. I've been around political circles long enough to know that staffers will always update MPs, Ministers, and PMs on any matters of urgency, matters which may cause ... eh... "problems", and persistent writers. We know that Mr. Schrieber contacted Harper's office repeatedly.

For Mr. Harper to stand up in Parliament and state that he knew nothing of this, is blatantly false. He - at the very least - knew that his office was receiving letters, and his staffers would have updated him on details - even if he never opened the mail himself. If his staffers (all loyal Conservative hacks) did not apprise Mr. Harper of the details, then there is a Conservative cover-up of this affair. It's that simple. Harper either lied - or his "Team Conservative" is busy covering up his involvement (or protecting him from involvement). Either way it's a Conservative scandal.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Conservative Language Bigotry?

Being a "son of the Prairies" I not-so-fondly recall Conservative hatred for our second national language. I recall the bumper stickers (which can still be seen on some pickups in AB and SK), and buttons. The anger that swept the Reform/Cons into seats across the Prairies included this anti-French, anti-immigrant, and pretty much anti-anything different xenophobia...

Reading this story today, I was reminded that the xenophobia still exists... Oh yeah, anti-political correctness mavens like to call these bigoted comments "jokes". Ha ha.

If a child in a school playground was subjected to such insolence and hatred, we'd be hauling off the instigators into counseling sessions and race relations seminars.

While I also feel that "political correctness" can be taken a bit far sometimes (for example, the Australian Santa's "ho-ho-hos"), there IS a point where the movement against political correctness/social justice crosses the boundary between "saying it like it is", and bigotry. While the media now-a-days seems to agree with these "straight-shooters" who "say it like it is" (in their perception), a lot of their comments are hateful, and do perpetuate racism, sexism, etc.

Harper To Danny Williams: Suck On This, Danny Boy!

After a "cordial" (according to PMO staff) meeting, Danny Williams and PM Harper "agreed to disagree" (according to Williams) on issues concerning offshore resource revenues and "revenue sharing".

Newfoundland feels it is being deprived of $10 Billion over the next 14yrs due to Harper's refusal not to honor a promise to exclude oil and gas revenues from formulas used to calculate federal support payments under equalization.

Harpo - in typical Harpo fashion - refused to speak to media after the meeting.

Is Caesar unhappy?

*Thanks to the blogger who posted this image... ; )

Kudos To Australia! Fresh Thinking Pushes Aside Big Oil Conservatism

In what is most likely to be a HUGE embarrassment to Conservative big-oil backers everywhere, the newly elected Australian PM, Kevin Rudd, pushed forward with his first major policy initiative today - ratifying Kyoto.

Like the podium in front of Mr. Rudd says, "Fresh Thinking". Fresh, as in the opposite of "conservative"...

Take that Shrub & Bush! Your Big Oil masters must be shaking in their boots...

More Conservative Scandal

J-P Blackburn - Federal Conservative Labour Minister feels he can tool around the country on taxpayer's dollars. According to Torstar, Blackburn used private jets (no Air Canada for us, no sir!) to travel between his riding and Ottawa, and sent the bill to Canadian taxpayers via the Economic Development Agency of Canada - a department under his responsibility, no less.

According to Torstar Blackburn spent around $68,000 of our tax-paid dollars to shuttle mostly himself - all alone on most flights - on 14 aircraft rentals between April and August - not even a whole year. To put that in perspective a Federal Cabinet Minister generally earns roughly $150,000 per year. To add (from taxpayer's coffers) almost 50% to your salary - in only 5 months - in the way of perks is a crime against taxpayers across the country. Flight records - according to Torstar - indicate JP was the LONE PASSENGER on most of these flights.

Where's the accountability Mr. Harper? Maybe it only matters when Liberals are in government? Don't let the bitter irony bite you on the ass in your search for "accountability".

Liberal House Leader, Ralph Goodale Visits Surrey

STAR Liberal MP (and former multi-role Cabinet Minister) Ralph Goodale visited Surrey this past Friday to attend Sukh Dhaliwal's annual riding appreciation dinner. The event was very entertaining, and well-attended by a large (several hundred people) and diverse crowd. Several key Lower Mainland Liberals were in attendance. The Grand Taj Banquet Hall put on a good spread - as usual - and the service was exceptional.

Mr. Goodale's speech was well-received, as he shared stories about his involvement in the South Asian Community, the Liberal Party's strong ethnic support, and missed opportunities by the Harper Conservatives. He also touched on the perils of the conservative agenda.

I laud Mr. Goodale on his efforts to spread his message of liberal moderation right across Canada. He has taken considerable time on his weekends to share the Liberal message of progress and nation-building with Canadians who are eagerly searching for an alternative to the angry neo-con government we currently have in place.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Conservative Scandal - What Did Harper Know, and When Did He Know It?

All together now... C-O-N-S-E-R-V-A-T-I-V-E Scandal. Let's make sure these words are on our lips every time we speak... Doesn't matter what the issue. Using the Gomery affair as the ridiculous example, it doesn't matter how "connected" (or not) the matters are to the party or it's leadership, let's make sure we learned a lesson from the slick Conservative PR machine and use this phrase ("Conservative scandal") at every turn. Throw in the "what did Harper know" every now and then for good measure.
I challenge Liberal bloggers to ensure the use of this phrase in every blog they write for the foreseeable future.

Repeat after me...

Conservative scandal,

Conservative scandal,

Conservative scandal...
Has a kind of comfortable ring to it, doesn't it?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Senate Referendum

What the h@ll is everyone's problem with our body of "sober second thought". The Cons hope to taint the institution, then tie it to us exclusively. It's time we Liberals did something to raise public awareness on the importance of the Senate. It's easy to criticize something no-one properly understands...

We are horrible at educating the public on liberal (small l) values. Time to get to work and convince the people of Canada that we ARE a Liberal nation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fall 2007 Federal Election Debate Coverage...

"When All Other Means Have Failed, It Is But Righteous To Raise The Sword..." And with those words Canada's "Natural Governing Party" decides to go to war to defend Canadian interests.

Stephen Harper wants the fight - he wants it badly. It was so obvious with his move to "prime time" for the throne speech. He wanted all Canadians to watch a gentle lady deliver his "toned down" throne speech. Can anyone recall the last time a throne speech was delivered in "prime time"? Mr. Harper wants us all to think we're listening to a "State of The Nation Address" South of our (still divided) border. Mr. Harper, we still do things the Canadian way up here!

Dion to Harper should sound like this: "Mr. Harper - you wanted this election so badly, you rolled out your platform planks in a throne speech delivered unnaturally during prime time - JUST so the largest number of Canadians could hear it. Please be honest with Canadians and admit this election was YOUR choice."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

China Beckons...

With the US economy tanking, it's time for us Canadians to look elsewhere as our key trading partner (something this blogger has believed firmly for a long time). Conservatives would love to see us "embed" ourselves further into the US. One can recall the calls to adopt the US currency, and further merge our economies.

Chile recently saw a jump in 140% in it's exports by signing a free trade pact with China - the first nation in the Americas to do so. China has now replaced (get this) the US as Chile's top trading partner.

Times are a-changin'... Time for us to change with them. The next great step in the Canadian experience has to be to rise above the region-specificity we learned from bodies like NATO, and truly become a "world nation". We are loved and respected by the whole world. There is much to gain from expanding that relationship. Closer ties to the Far East, South Asia, and the EU should be key planks in any Liberal foreign policy platform.

Bernier Asks for UN Assistance???

What??? The very same Conservatives who endlessly bashed the United Nations; who did everything they could to ridicule the body and call it ineffective; who attacked the body at every turn during the Gulf War (II) and the lead-up to it... These very same Cons are now sucking up to the UN... Why? To ask for a "special envoy" to Afghanistan... Remember that "special envoys" to Iraq who they listened to so well? They wouldn't even listen to the majority of UN states when they opposed the illegal invasion of a sovereign state (Iraq).

Nice to see Conservatives finding some use for the UN - even if it is just to help justify a presence of Canadian troops in that country. Why can't NATO finish the job? Is NATO that weak, indecisive, incapable? Is NATO a watered-down body that's lost it's bite? Oh wait - am I using adjectives for NATO that some right wing individuals used to describe the UN a few years ago? My how times have changed...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cuba Pt. 2 (or Left vs. Right, the Ideological Battle Continues

PM Cartman's recent foray into "America's back yard" gives one reason to think... What are the "New American Century" bunch up to now? Striking out in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a road-block in Iran means "let's find something closer to home" - maybe find another Cold War - yeah... that's the ticket..."

It's a simple (or not so simple) left vs. right thing. To the NeoCon world of Bush and Harper, right wing dictators are OK, while left wing dictators are not. Death squads in Columbia have been much more open and callous in their actions than the results of Chinese prisons, however, I think both are equally bad. Being a Liberal - one who embraces the CENTER of the political spectrum I choose not to embrace either left wing or right wing nut cases.

Harper will follow his NeoCon "New American Century" friends, and embrace all the South/Central American petty dictators. You see, America now sees a threat much closer than Iraq, South Korea, or China... It is people like Chavez. Castro is no longer a threat, but his ideological descendants are. Especially since they are now armed with more than Kalashnikovs... Now they have economic power. Harper, Bush, Cheney, et al need to shore up local oil reserves, and protect this hemisphere. Their NeoCon paranoia is now focused on perceived "threats" in this hemisphere (where it is easier to send troops and money - and exchange guns for drugs if necessary). "Must stop the spread of socialism". There needs to be a "clear and present danger" to confront the military industrial complex.

If it wasn't all so obviously transparent it would be funny. The battle of ideologues goes on. Left wing wackos vs. right wing wackos. If these f'n idiots have their way, there would be no moderation left in the world, only the ideological battle between "left and right", "communism and capitalism", "good vs. evil", "black vs. white", "East vs. West". This is what drives the cogs of their conservative-owned military industrial complex. We must sell more widgets to "tribe X" in "Eastern Blah-blah land". The only way to do that is to guarantee regional stability and rampant free enterprise with little or no controls (not even to protect consumers, if we can get away with it). Oh yeah, and personal freedoms, quality of life, and the environment can all go by the wayside. Share-holder value all the way!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Remember THIS face. Remember the name. Remember this Scandal

O'Connor - Santa Claus For Defense Contractors???
"Scathing Report Shows Rampant Conservative Sole-Sourcing of Military Contracts
June 11, 2007
OTTAWA - The Harper government must place billions of dollars in military purchases on hold in light of a scathing report that shows a spike in sole-sourced military contracts under the former defence lobbyist who is now Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, Liberal Defence Critic Denis Coderre said. "

Seems like I recall posting a personal editorial regarding Conservative defense contracts - back in October...

Hmmm... Here's the link...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bono blasts Harper, accuses him of blocking progress on Africa aid

Gotta love Bono. He doesn't pull any punches. Really like these lines:

"We know who's causing the trouble and who isn't. And we know that Canada blocked progress. We know that Harper blocked it."

He described the prime minister as out of step with Canadians who enjoy a prosperous economy and surplus public finances and would like to help others."

Bono said he doesn't believe the prime minister was too busy to meet with him at the summit - the leaders of the United States, Germany, France and Britain managed to do so.

"It's not the pop stars he doesn't want to meet. It's the movement that we represent," Bono said.

"I said some years ago that the world needs more Canadas, and I meant it. I can't believe that this Canada has become a laggard. I think he's out of sync with the people."

Well, well, well. If the cajone-less Canadian media didn't take a bold shot at Harper, at least Bono is still there...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Is It Just Me...?

Is it just me, or has the environment ceased being an "issue"? Is Harper winning on this front? Has he been successful in convincing Canadians, that like the fabled "Kaiser Sose", the environment doesn't exist? I can see Kevin Spacey right now doing the "and poof, he's gone" thing with his fingers when we talk about the E-N-V-I-R-O-N-M-E-N-T.

Harper managed to produce a rambling budget that had a lot of Canadians scratching our collective skulls saying, "just what is he trying to do here"...

Here's what he's done:
1) Removed the environment as an "issue"
2) When was the last time anyone heard of health care???
3) Created so much confusion on the Hill, that his MPs don't even get noticed

Pretty nice trifecta so far. Once we start doing something (if we find the cash), Harper's little charade may be up... Here's to hoping we have what it takes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Harper's Angry Conservative Outburst No Mistake...

Stephen Harper clearly planned his "sensational" shot at all Liberals today - how else would you distract our "sound-byte happy" media from a crappy budget into which you threw ALL your "best" conservative and stolen liberal ideas???

All Harper did was buy a few days of news away from a truly "limp" budget. While his idea may have worked on the budget front, PM Wimpy has cast more light on the "lying Defense Minister affair".

Wouldn't we all love to be flies on the wall of Harpo's office today? A budget that was as pointless and lame as one could get - one destined to lead Canada steps closer to budget deficits in the near future. A media focused on he - the great leader/dictator - because his caucus and cabinet are a bunch of mutes who could never divert attention away from him. A Defense Minister (and former officer) who it appears lies to Parliament and to Canadians (who knows what other deceit the former defense industry lobbyist hides?). A party living a lie (for how long?)...

If it wasn't so typically anal-retentively conservative this would almost be funny...

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Reformers" Hate Quebec: Why We Should Be Afraid Of A Harper Majority

For 13 years we watched as "full-of-hate" members of the West-centric Reform Party (turned Alliance, turned whatever that thing is that took over the federal PCs) evangelized about how much they hated things: minority rights; immigration; women's rights; "special interest groups"; and one thing in particular: Quebec. Suddenly, over the past year - as Harper's crowd struggles to survive at the mercy of a weak minority parliament - we are asked to believe he has changed to a moderate? Just because of a few conspicuous PR moves??? C'mon Canada - we need to wake up!

Harper has certainly made a few "centrist" platitudes - to try to win enough votes for his majority. But, I believe his gambit is a more heinous one. The Harper Reformers were always at one in saying that they felt Canada was better without Quebec. I lived in the West all my life, and got sick of the Reform-a-tory preaching about "letting Quebec go". Living in small town Saskatchewan, the larger cities, and Calgary, I heard - every day - the relentless "hate-speak" by just about everyone you could read as a "reformer-type". They railed against Quebec - even if they had no reason to, or had never been there themselves. They HATE Quebec with a capital H. Harper will use a majority to allow his little "nation" of Quebec to separate. Why? What every Albertan dreams of: more power in Canada (remember: Alberta "wants in" - even though they've been setting the agenda for almost 10yrs now). A Canada without Quebec makes Alberta the number two power-broker, and with all that oil, perhaps number one. Of course most Albertan NeoCons have never paused to think of the serious repercussions of a Canada without Quebec. In the backs of their minds they think that if things go south, they can also "go South" by joining their Yankee friends.

I have neo-Con acquaintances in Alberta who clap with glee when they hear about Quebecers who speak of separating. When I ask them why, the only answers they have are: 1) They feel tired of Albertans "propping up" Quebec, and 2) They figure if Quebec leaves Canada, Conservative Albertans will benefit greatly from that many fewer "left of center" votes - effectively shifting the power base in Canada to Alberta.

Harper's expression of Quebec as a "nation" is not the problem here. What is, is the context in which he did it. It was not simply a move to beat us Liberals to the punch. It was part of a much bigger game. A game he plans to play out to the end with the oblivious participation of his Quebec Liberal friends (Charest, etal). He is, in part, replaying a game that has played out historically, with Conservatives bringing Canada to the brink - before a Liberal PM brings us back. Mulroney roused a lot of Quebecers simply by playing up "the question" via Meech and Charlottetown, and federal Liberals had to work hard to put the pieces back together - almost at the expense of their own party. Harper will attempt what appear to be similar measures (to Mulroney's), but without the same intentions.

We need to challenge and fight the "Reform-a-tories" as they attempt to change the face of Canada as we know it. They will try to change/kill many of Canada's institutions, marginalize the weak and underprivileged, and do what they can to break up this great country - all to appease their Wild West, gun-slinging, power base.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Now here is something that could really use a Canadian version. Lots of Tories to hate here (even if they're all not true Tories)... Perhaps the founders could be interested in making this a worldwide site to rate conservatives. I've sent an email to the site administrators.

This particular admonition is hilarious:

"No Tories were harmed in the making of this website. We have endeavoured to ensure all the photographs used are in the public domain or are licencenced under Creative Commons or a similar licence"

Friday, March 09, 2007

Harper's Alberta Style Environmental Program: Give Big Oil Money & Let Them Pretend To Be Responsible

Well we always knew Harper was a mouthpiece for Big Oil. Yesterday he proved it. By giving a $150000000 "gift" to his friends in the oil industry, Harper hopes to get his environmental detractors to just "shut up" and go away. In essence, Harpo has gifted one of the richest group of transplanted Americans/pseud0-Canadians a whole lot of cash they don't deserve.

Having lived in Alberta for years one knows that all the Big Oil (and wannabe "Little Oil" guys) are die-hard (usually card-carrying) Cons - typically of the hardcore Reform variety. I spent many a day commuting to downtown Calgary on the "C-train" hearing oil-pushers preaching to each other the values of the Reform movement. God - it was almost a religion with these nut-cases. Not even the most die-hard urban Canadian Liberal can understand how angry and "preacher-like" these people are. Hateful bashing of the "East" was something you actually heard in discussions between total strangers on a daily basis. The one thing most of them seemed to have in common is kneeling at the altar of Big Oil.

Today, Harper has consolidated his position as "friend of Big Oil". He did it in a way that some regular Joe Canadians might be fooled into thinking was supportive of environmentalism. This is a very frightening move for Canadians. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing that indicates that Big Oil will use this money effectively - or in any way to protect the environment. Rather, Harper's designation of funds indicates that the money will most likely be used by the industry for "studies". Hmmm... wonder what these studies will say? Oh, oh, oh!!! Mr. Kotter, I know: They will say there is no such thing as the "so-called global warming", and we need to pull out of Kyoto.

Great anti-environmental move Mr. Harper. You truly are a mad genious. True neoCon through and through. Someone please do something to stop this madman before he dismantles the very system that keeps us a "centerist" country.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Grit Stuff - National Women's Day; TDH Strategies

Happy National Women's Day. I have one comment on this: We need to see more vocal action from women's groups on the direction this quite sexist government is going. The barrage of anti-feminist rhetoric coming from the American neoCon camp and neoCon supporting media has really tainted people's thoughts here North of the border. If someone speaks out they get shut down as "the lunatic fringe", "pinkos", or worse. As Canadians we often don't think of the implications of allowing American media, movies, and "culture" to have free reign in Canadian markets. Where is the CRTC? Being dismantled by the Cons... As Liberals we can carve out some tractable ground on the topic of Canadian cultural industries. We need to ensure the sexist, melting-pot, mono-cultural media in the US stops interfering here, North of the border.

TDH Strategies (Jonathan) - Good work on your "5 Point Plan". I think the part of the plan that I have the most interest in is an area I have long thought we are weak in: getting the Dream Team out there. We have an incredible team of experts available to engage the public. We have used them poorly. Heck, as Liberals one thing we pride ourselves on is the academic, multi-cultural, and legal/constitutional expertise we have within our party membership. We nominate very qualified candidates who we know will be able to negotiate a complex international trade deal, discuss peace, intelligently approach Kyoto, or embark on a UN endeavor. Time to get these experts in the field.

If anything, we're allowing too much attention to be focused on Harper vs. Dion. In a comparison the public is always going to remember the PM. People have trouble remembering politician's names (less so than hockey players), but quite a few will remember who the PM is. While Mr. Dion brushes up on strategy the dream team can spend time engaging the public in key ridings across the country. Remember Mr. Cretien had a "brat pack" of talent which he used to incredible advantage pre-93. Sheila Copps, Don Boudria and crew were a constant thorn in Mulroney's side. I think that Ignatieff, Kennedy, Hall-Findlay, and Rae can fill that role quite well.

The challenge we've had in effectively engaging the public goes back beyond our current leader's office... Mr. Martin's (whom I supported in his leadership bid) office had challenges in communicating effectively with their own party members, let alone the general public. Perhaps leadership styles were different (Mr. Cretien was very cognizant of showing everyone he had balls - which seemed to capture the attention of the public), but that can't be a reason not to continue efforts to engage the public and media via the rest of the team.

If we can show we have a strong team, vs. the "cult of secrecy and personality" that Team Harper has, we can present a clear diametrical opposite to the public. Following some of the great ideas TDH has put into words will certainly help us in reaching our combined goal, and ultimate victory.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Stephen Harper: A Comedic Take Oh His Party's Anti-Immigrant Tilt

Once again we see the anti-immigrant sentiment of the federal Conservatives rear its ugly head - even with this minority Parliament softened neo-Con lite government... It was so apparent that these Cons despise the Immigration and Refugee Board, and will do what they can to disparage it - including attacking Liberal MPs whose family may be appointed members (even if they were appointed by a former Tory PM). What a lot of the commentary on these blogs missed was that Harper really would like to completely reform the Immigration Dept. to meet a more anti-immigrant standard, and his first step will be to attack review boards and immigration judges - the same way he is attempting to attack our justice system.

Yesterday, Harper's Calgary deputy - Jason Kenney - decided to take a shot at highly qualified immigrants who are unable to find work in Canada due to systemic challenges, as well as a lack of recognition of credentials. Rather than address this issue properly, Kenney called the "PhD cabbie" a "myth". Wow. You see, the only immigrants the Cons want in Canada are of the "temporary foreign worker" variety. Just enough to work the Alberta tarsands. Once Fort MacMurray dries up, then they'll want to send them all back, in typical conservative fashion. They couldn't care less if a foreign trained doctor or engineer can't find work.

The following are excerpts from a conversation which may or may not have happened (although we would assume it is quite obvious these discussions happen in "Reform-a-Tory" backrooms all the time):

PM Harpo: "Folks, we need to shore up some of our socio-Con vote by kinda hinting what we really think of immigration..."

Anonymous Con MP with duct-tape over mouth: (PM removes duct tape) "Yeah, can't stand those 'special interest' groups Steevo... It's like these people get all the rights... Whatever happened to rights for middle-aged mainstream males???"

PM Harpo: "(Chuckle, smirk, sneer, chuckle, chuckle) That was a great thought, unfortunately, you know _________, we can't just do what we want to do until the damn Liberal lemming Ontario voters give us a majority... Maybe if we see some change from those lazy Maritimers. Until then, I'm sorry, but I need to stick this duct tape back on your mouth"

Anonymous Con MP: "Sorry sir... I know, I know... anything for power. Alberta advantage uber alles".

Anonymous Con MP #2 (also with tape over mouth): "(Harpo removes duct tape) Steevie, can we just turn back their boats, kinda like that 'Commie-gateway Maru' that sailed into Vancouver Harbour years ago?"

PM Harpo: "I wish I could ________, I wish I could. Those $%*&s tried to get an apology out of me last year when I was in Surrey BC, but I gave them the old Calgary two-step, so I could do the photo-op and get outta there. You wouldn't believe it, but they actually tried to feed me some of their food. Good thing the security detail grabbed the would-be server and tossed her into Guantanimo North".

Anonymous former PC MP (no duct tape): "Why can't we all just get along? Some of those people are my friends. I actually like the smell of their food..."

All Con MPs: "Boo, hiss, hiss, boo..."

PM Harpo: "Can we get the former Tories some duct tape for caucus meetings? These meetings are for 'reformed thinkers' only".

Anonymous Duct-taped MP #3: "(Harpo removes duct tape) Why don't we just put in real conservative social policy right now - so all those damned immigrants won't come in and vote Liberal? We can even say nice things and smile while we cut those programs. Let's get rid of multi-culturalism today".

PM Harpo: "Great thoughts people, but you know we can't act unless we have the majority that is our destiny. We just need Canadians to buy into our fake vision for Canada".

Jason Kenney: "Maybe we need to quash all this crap about 'so-called' PhD taxi-drivers... I'm so sick of hearing about that".

PM Harpo: "I like where this is going... How about this, we can call it: the ""myth of the PhD driving a taxi""Just public enough for real Canadians to hear it..."

All Con MPs: (Raising hands and clapping) "Hmmmphhhh" (duct-tape still over mouths).

Someone needs to stop this conservative media-backed neoCon machine - before a majority accidentally happens.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dion/Neville Chamberlain Comparisons: Response to Mushroom's Blog

A (C)conservative majority would be a nightmare for Canada. If these were any other everyday cons, it probably wouldn't be such a big deal, but these are Harper's right wing Alberta Reform idealogues running the show with Eastern conservatives taking a back seat... Moderate MPs like Lee Richardson sit in the back and smile. They're just window dressing.

Let's not hope for a Neville Chamberlain-esque strategy from Dion - no matter how Chamberlain-esque he may seem right now. Appeasement is clearly not the answer. The neoCons are a real threat. A timely clean-up of the OLO may be the start of an answer. Paul Martin realized that leadership teams don't make very good PMO material and often don't know how to handle "power" when they get it. Mr. Dion needs to reach for the best people in this party if he intends to win, or even hold the seats we have.

As Liberals we need to set out a strong "social" liberal policy platform, and celebrate and advertise our past fiscal excellence. Masters of finance Paul Martin and Ralph Goodale created almost a decade and a half of success for our party - almost entirely based on fiscal responsibility and creativity. Jean Cretien was a PM with balls (yes, I did say that). He recognized the importance of answering Canada's fiscal dilemma in 1993 with his best fiscal point-man - and he set Martin to work.

Our party is a party of the center - let's never forget that. Our electoral success comes from seeing eye-to-eye with a majority of Canadians - who are also moderates. Keeping the socialists to our left (and not within our party) is key. Keeping the social conservatives to our right is also key. We are a "big-tent" party, but we want to absorb what makes us liberal democrats - that is, a human-rights based social policy, and a small business, science and research based fiscal policy.

Our key problem right now (and for the past couple of years) has been an inability to get the message out. We need to be aggressive in our messaging and ensure people hear and understand it. That doesn't necessarily mean swinging wildly to the left (or the right). It simply means that this is not time for "peace in our time". Ensuring all parts of the party are involved in a concerted election push is critical. Time is quickly passing. The time to act is NOW Mr. Dion.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Somewhere In Heaven Rt. Hon. Pierre Trudeau Smiles

It is a great day for Canada. The Supreme Court ruling striking down security certificates is huge. Bigger still is the declaration that our Charter of Rights applies not just to Canadians, but to foreign nationals as well. In essence it protects humans - which is really what human rights are all about. The Court, and the Coalition for Justice are to be lauded for the actions they took to instigate this 9-0 unanimous decision.

We hear some neoCons harping about the fact that these laws were passed by a Liberal gov't. Sure they were - in the light of the most brazen attacks ever seen on North American soil (in this century at least). Canadians were almost feeling as paranoid as their American neighbors. The Reform/Alliance unanimously supported the laws. But beyond supporting them, the Reformers are on the record as being their shrieking, angry selves and attacking the government for not going far enough. It was a Reform/Alliance opposition backed by one giant conservative media conglomerate (all the CanWest/Global group) who consistently bashed the Liberal gov't on being "soft on terrorism". They came up with fantastic stories (based on these very cases in the Supreme Court) about "Canada's weak borders and lax immigration laws", and basically accused Canada of allowing, first, terrorists to enter the country and plot attacks, then somehow being responsible for them entering the US. If a Liberal gov't passed the laws, it was certainly due to overwhelming demand - and a loud pro-US lobby - at that time ("at that particular time" is a very key point here).

Jump to 2007, where police have successfully investigated alleged terrorist groups WITHOUT the help of the Anti-Terrorism laws. Most lawmakers feel that the laws have passed their necessary life-span. This is the very reason the Liberal gov't instituted a "sunset clause". Liberals were aware of how draconian such laws can be if left unfettered. The "sunset clause" for the anti-terror laws is a critical component which ensured that citizens could have a reprieve from said laws IF it was deemed that there was less of a threat - or no real threat.

The security certificate decision will impact the greater argument concerning the anti-terrorism laws. Canada is a "safe" country. We need to continue our tradition of being globally neutral. When we ally ourselves with a particular side, it should be through the auspices of our Parliament and the United Nations (security resolutions, and mandates, etc.). Maintaining our neutrality and even-handed fairness will help us continue to grow as the greatest nation on earth.

As a party, we Liberals need to ensure the public is aware of the ongoing battle with neo-Con extremism, so we can protect Canadian democracy. It is our duty to educate the electorate on ideology, rather than strictly focus on platform (which can too easily be mimicked by other parties). It is critical that citizens know about the underlying ideologies which feed the various party apparatus. What do the membership of a party think? A party machine will often say or do things based on public opinion, however laws made by that party when in power are very often dictated by the party membership, and their ideological bent.

Today the Supreme Court helped fire a strong salvo in the coming ideological battle. We Liberals need to ensure we are prepared to carry the standard of human rights into the fray.

Somewhere In Heaven Rt. Hon. Pierre Trudeau Smiles

It is a great day for Canada. The Supreme Court ruling striking down security certificates is huge. Bigger still is the declaration that our Charter of Rights applies not just to Canadians, but to foreign nationals as well. In essence it protects humans - which is really what human rights are all about. The Court, and the Coalition for Justice are to be lauded for the actions they took to instigate this 9-0 unanimous decision.

We hear some neoCons harping about the fact that these laws were passed by a Liberal gov't. Sure they were - in the light of the most brazen attacks ever seen on North American soil (in this century at least). Canadians were almost feeling as paranoid as their American neighbors. The Reform/Alliance unanimously supported the laws. But beyond supporting them, the Reformers are on the record as being their shrieking, angry selves and attacking the government for not going far enough. It was a Reform/Alliance opposition backed by one giant conservative media conglomerate (all the CanWest/Global group) who consistently bashed the Liberal gov't on being "soft on terrorism". They came up with fantastic stories (based on these very cases in the Supreme Court) about "Canada's weak borders and lax immigration laws", and basically accused Canada of allowing, first, terrorists to enter the country and plot attacks, then somehow being responsible for them entering the US. If a Liberal gov't passed the laws, it was certainly due to overwhelming demand - and a loud pro-US lobby - at that time ("at that particular time" is a very key point here).

Jump to 2007, where police have successfully investigated alleged terrorist groups WITHOUT the help of the Anti-Terrorism laws. Most lawmakers feel that the laws have passed their necessary life-span. This is the very reason the Liberal gov't instituted a "sunset clause". Liberals were aware of how draconian such laws can be if left unfettered. The "sunset clause" for the anti-terror laws is a critical component which ensured that citizens could have a reprieve from said laws IF it was deemed that there was less of a threat - or no real threat.

The security certificate decision will impact the greater argument concerning the anti-terrorism laws. Canada is a "safe" country. We need to continue our tradition of being globally neutral. When we ally ourselves with a particular side, it should be through the auspices of our Parliament and the United Nations (security resolutions, and mandates, etc.). Maintaining our neutrality and even-handed fairness will help us continue to grow as the greatest nation on earth.

As a party, we Liberals need to ensure the public is aware of the ongoing battle with neo-Con extremism, so we can protect Canadian democracy. It is our duty to educate the electorate on ideology, rather than strictly focus on platform (which can too easily be mimicked by other parties). It is critical that citizens know about the underlying ideologies which feed the various party apparatus. What do the party members of a party think? A party machine will often say or do things based on public opinion, however laws made by that party when in power are very often dictated by the party membership, and their ideological bent.

Today the Supreme Court helped fire a strong salvo in the coming ideological battle. We Liberals need to ensure we are prepared to carry the standard of human rights into the fray.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Conservative Xenophobia Raises Its Ugly Head - Yet Again

As a proud South Asian Canadian I am shocked by Stephen Harper's attack on Sikh Canadians today. Now Canadians are well aware of racist statements made by conservatives Reformers, and Alliance MPs and candidates in the past. We are also pretty aware of Harper's now classic:
“You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society.”- Rt.Hon. Stephen Harper, PM of Canada”.
The very definition of Conservative is "resistant to change" - like the change new immigrants and cultural change bring to a country. Harper's neo-Cons have repeatedly shown their anti-immigrant bias - whether in policy constructed to leave out the disadvantaged in society, or in glad-handing immigration policy which really amounts to a hill of beans in the real world.

Harper's comments today are all the more shocking (for average Canadians - not for those of us who lived in his riding and know this man) when you consider this is what he says in public - just imagine what Stephen Harper thinks of certain minorities in his private life. Just imagine what he thinks behind closed doors in his (very non-multi-cultural) cabinet meetings when he formulates policy.

Harpo's attack today was an attempt to (very inappropriately) attack an MP of resounding integrity based on the mere questioning of a (non-blood) relative in a terrorism case. Forget the fact that this man may have been nothing more than a mere witness, or a community leader in the know, and had no link in any way to the events. Forget that we have a justice system in this country (we all know what the Conservatives think of the Canadian Justice System).

Harper did a very ugly thing today: the deliberate and blatantly racist attack on an entire minority group based on a racist stereotype.  This is not new for Reformers.  Remember when a turbaned Sikh wished to join the RCMP, and Harper's (then Reform) now Western Conservative compatriots helped attack the Sikh community by opposing Sikhs in the RCMP, and lauding the creators of a very racist button being distributed at rallies in Western Canada?

Stephen Harper singled out a turban-wearing Sikh MP, and the entire Sikh community today. In speaking to many Sikhs in Surrey today we can confidently say that he has also angered this community. More importantly he has shown his true colors today (and those of his right-wing party), and any feeble attempt by him to curry favor in this community (as we know are bound to happen come election time) will fall on very aware ears. I urge all Liberals to carry this message forward when speaking with people from my community. I know this will be my main focus during the next few months. We have to ensure the large Sikh communities in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal are aware of Harper's public feelings towards us, and the callous way in which he will try anything to paint us all with the same brush.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bravo Ralph!

It is great to see a man with impeccable integrity exonerated like we knew he would be. Ralph is a good friend, and really a great human being - besides being an incredibly honest and successful politician.

The Conservative SMEAR tactics were hurtful during the election. We all know the so-called sponsorship scandal was nothing more than a couple of low-end nobodies who just happened to hold a party membership (some even worked for the Cons previously). We now also have PROOF that the Cons relied on vicious drive-by smears to eke out a tiny minority. We need to turn the tables this Spring. Our MPs and candidates need to be witty and quick on their feet to succeed, and help us get the soundbites we'll need this election.

Time to get to work folks!

Happy Flag Day Canada!

Happy Flag Day! It is truly too bad that Canadian politics this past year or so do not reflect the values and spirit of Parliament in the days when our new flag was born.

Bear down team. We need to do everything we can to remove the neoCon scourge from the halls of Parliament. Talk to friends, neighbors, and co-workers to ensure they are well-educated on the policies of this government, as well as what Liberal ideology is all about.

Remember the flag. Peace.

Bravo Liberals! Our Strongest Opposition Moment Since The Election!

Well, it's about time. We finally have mounted a successful gambit in the Opposition Benches. Nice to see our experience and intelligence taking a front seat to our lost stumblings of the past several months.

On a lot of blogs on Liblogs I see bloggers talking about how Stephen Harper is governing like a dictator, and not someone with a slim minority government. The thing that many of us forget (hopefully not most of us) is that Harp is fully aware of the fact that we can't have an election right now... that most of the opposition is not ready (whether with policy, fiscally, or just plain mentally).

The puppetmaster team (Harp's US electioneering advisors) are fully aware of current Canadian political reality. He can be aggressive in his policy because he doesn't know anyone who will oppose him. His handlers can position him as the "tough, go-getter, driven" leader who is standing alone against the opposition. Harper is very good in this "lone gun" role. For neoCons, machismo and bravado are keys to turning public opinion into the flag-waving, beer-swilling, iconographic egoism we see represented by extreme conservatism in the United States. We're talking about a brand of machismo and extremism - punctuated by anger, fear, and hatred - that we haven't seen since Europe circa 1930s. What I fear most is that some of the public may look past his extreme policy just because they feel bad for him.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sure... They Can Organize Now...

I'm a huge fan of education. My years in University were enjoyable and rewarding. I am, and will continue to be a HUGE supporter of the Canadian student, and this nation's education system.

Yesterday we all got to view some of the best, most encouraging, and well-planned student protests I've seen in years (and I've had the chance to set up a few myself...). Understanding that the student's main lament is extremely high (albeit not at US levels yet) tuition, I have one question:

When PM Martin was promising a program that would cover the 1st and final years of Canadian University students' tuition, where the @%T^#Q! were all the students? Why could we not get them out to vote the same way they came out for these protests??? This is just as much an open-ended question for our own party, as it is for Canada's students.

There are only a couple of parties which would really try to do something for education funding, and research funding. Harper's Cons are not one of them.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pathetic Harper

Stephen Harper looked pathetic this week when arguing that Stephane was "denying" the science of clean air. It would take much more than Harper's stumping to change the truth on this one. Harper has been caught in an "inconvenient truth" situation... He was part of the "Alberta Oil Cartel" (so to speak) which got the neo-Cons elected - through all sorts of 3rd party manipulation (see National Citizen's Coalition, certain church groups, the Big Oil lobby, NRA, Farmers For Justice, etc., etc.).

Up to this year key Cons have been denying global warming. Now that polls are showing this to be a possible election issue, Harpo decides he needs to destroy the issue - rather than do anything about the actual problem. Harper looked like a clown when questioning Dion's commitment to the issue. He continues to gripe about Dion not doing anything... then goes on to cancel programs we Liberals did put into place (ex: Energuide). He fails to consider that Mr. Dion was part of a cabinet - not the PM - and may have had a lot less say than Ministers of other portfolios (ex: Finance, Public Works, etc.). There were many other priorities in the post-911 era.

Whatever the reason (and we don't need to make excuses), it is just a joke for the Cons to be questioning a dedicated intellectual's commitment to this matter. I had a few opportunities to meet with Mr. Dion over the years. I clearly recall the environment being the framework of a discussion he had with Young Liberals in the Westin Hotel in Calgary way back in 2004. He talked about how important the issue is, and how important Kyoto is. This was back when Mr. Dion was engaged in Mr. Harper's "war against Kyoto". Mr. Dion was a champion for Kyoto. If there was any reason why we Liberals couldn't do more than we did, it was due to the very LOUD NOISE coming out of Alberta - led by Mr. Harper, and Ralph Klein - both rabidly opposed to any measures that would impact Alberta's oil industry.

Mr. Harper is now in a bit of a conundrum. Unfortunately his lies about "a greener Canada" wouldn't cause him to lose votes in Alberta - no matter how angry people there get. Alberta is a very safe province for Harp. This makes it very easy for him to lie to the rest of Canada. All I gotta say is: If you think things are a little scary now, just see what happens if these clowns are given an accidental majority by the Canadian people.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Raminder Gill Patronage Appointment Used To Clear Way For Wajid Khan Defection? How Long Was This Planned?

This certainly is nothing abnormal - considering the Cons' complete lack of credibility on the principles of "accountability"...

With the appointment the Cons hoped to have 2 influential (in their own minds) South Asians able to press the flesh in the riding during an election. In a desperate ploy to obtain real MPs in Canada's largest urban centers they are finding the only way they can even appear to be trying to do this is via appointments.

The Gill appointment was wrong - according to Con "principles" in many ways: they say they don't believe in patronage... hahahahaha... lol, lol... They claim they are "attempting" to build bridges to the South Asian community. Hahahahaha... that's like saying "I'm not racist, I have (insert appropriate minority here) people as friends..."

The bottom line has always been: The definition of Conservative is "protecting/preserving the ways of the past". Any conservative movement - anywhere in the world - has typically always created policy aimed at preserving the mono-cultural identity of the majority population, while at the same time limiting the chances of success of any minority group. Canada's conservatives are no different. Growing up in "the West" (prairies, actually) allowed me to encounter many of those conservative ideas while knocking doors. The prairie heartland is where the roots of this new type of Conservative Party exist. Does anyone of any minority group actually think they (Cons) will be disloyal to their angry, mostly-immigrant-fearing SoCon base? C'mon!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mainstream Media Sits On Collective Butts While Harper Twists Truth Without Consequence

Well, the headline basically explains it all. How can Canada's mainstream media be so willfully blind, that they can fail to take Harper to task on his stance on the whole Arar situation? I mean c'mon, the Conservative/Alliancers were a certifiable lynch mob when debating Maher Arar's release in Parliament. They were attacking our Liberal government on not arresting Arar ourselves. They were screaming about Arar being another example of poor Canadian immigration and border control, and how their American allies were being impacted by it.

I guess we can suppose that the nature of the conservative ownership of much of Canada's "new" tabloidish media explains why the BBC and sometimes CBC are among the last honest, non-sensationalizing true news agencies left in this world... This is the very reason why we cannot allow groups like BBC, CBC, and PBS die. The right will continue to try to paint these agencies as "left-wing", but these networks are really the only hope of any real neutrality in reporting in most of the world.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

So Why Aren't We Hammering Home The Fact That Harper Is A Kyoto/Global Warming-Denier???

Stephen Harper (aka "Shrub") is a global warming denier. Pure and simple. He has railed for years that the Cons don't agree with "the science of" global warming. He has railed against the Kyoto Accord. We should be standing at every street corner in Canada (during Vancouver blizzards, minus 55C weather in Regina, or in a boat in the formerly frozen over Arctic Ocean) yelling at the top of our lungs about Harper's open opposition to the global scientific evidence of severe climate change. You would think we would have plenty of ammunition... Here are a few examples, in case our 100-some odd MPs draw a blank in question period (really, I think we're all clamoring for our star MPs to stand up and start firing some zingers at this pathetic wanna-be government):

Tories would turn back Kyoto

Last Updated: Friday, January 13, 2006 | 9:39 AM ET

A Conservative government would abandon the Kyoto accord and set new Canadian-made targets that are easier to meet, leader Stephen Harper said Thursday in Halifax.
Harper said Kyoto's emission targets couldn't be met within Canada or even internationally. He pointed to the country's woeful record on climate change since the agreement was signed in 1997.
"The Kyoto accord will not succeed at achieving its objectives..."

(WesternGrit: When I set a goal/target for, let's say weight loss, I don't say I'm not going to set a target because I can't achieve it - that's against the very nature of goal-setting itself. If we never set targets we wouldn't have this great society we live in today. For Harper to argue that we won't even TRY to reach a target because it is [in his narrow opinion] unachievable is something he needs to be taken to task on. It is a pathetic cop-out to the oil industry. A pullout from Kyoto at this point would hurt the agreement and environments worldwide. Most of the World is currently a signatory. Very few nations are not. In order to get the remaining few dregs on-side we need to set a good example, and we need to push the biggest polluters - our "best friends" to the South).

Harper always spouted about Kyoto being unrealistic. All we ever heard during the election and the past few months especially (ever since the Environment got on the map as a vote-losing issue for the Harpies) was about how the Liberals were surpassed by Bush in greenhouse gas reduction (oh, he was very careful not to criticize Kyoto). Hmmm... wonder if the Americans beating us in some areas has anything to do with this: The US is by far the worst polluter in the world, many times worse than Canada. Couple that with the fact that a LOT of America's most polluting industries have jumped to countries like Mexico and China, while Canada's resource-based industry remains here - often exploited by American companies (like Big Oil). Our oil industry wouldn't just pack up and leave - while a lot of factories and manufacturing plants have vacated the US in the past decade. Any laws passed by a government to battle consumer/institutional pollution would scarcely make a dent in Canada - while in the US the exact same - or even lesser legislation would have a much bigger impact. This is due to the nature of the main polluters in each country. Here in Canada it is Big Oil and some other resource industries, while in the US individual consumers are a huge part of the equation. What Harper effectively has been doing is helping Alberta build a firewall around the oil industry, using any breath he had to protect big oil (along with a lot of help from oil lobbyists), while criticizing any efforts made by former Liberal governments - knowing full well that he and his oil-lobbyist friends, and Ralph Klein, and Danny Williams (both loyal conservatives) would have all conspired to create a national crisis had the Liberal governments done ANYTHING that even suggested some regulation in the pollution-rich oil sector. As a campaigner in Alberta, all one ever hears is hateful, vindictive statements about the Liberals and the NEP - as if it is some sort of "pre-emptive strike" in case voters even think of voting Liberal.)

Remember what a great statesman (Albert Gore) said about the Harper Government's motivation:

Renata D'Aliesio and Katherine Monk, Calgary Herald; CanWest News Service

Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006
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.
"The election in Canada was partly about the tar sands projects in Alberta," Gore said Wednesday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
"And the financial interests behind the tar sands project poured a lot of money and support behind an ultra-conservative leader in order to win the election . . . and to protect their interests."
(WesternGrit: To successfully do our part in stopping global warming and climate change we will need to face challenges in our oil/resource sectors. We Canadians need to have the cajones to take the leap and decide to impose earth-saving regulations on these sectors, as well as continue with efforts our past Liberal governments made in the environment. The choice is ours to make)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baird and Harper Hope to Sell Environmental Sham

So... a few million in funds (versus the billions the government will give to the oil industry). While that is quite a story, it's not the real story. The story here is that the menial funding is a total sham in itself. The paltry 58 million dollars will fund what basically amounts to "looking into the problem". Nothing in the way of real policy to (for example):

1) Regulate the biggest greenhouse gas polluter in Canada (the Alberta oil industry). The provincial government is partially responsible here - charging a pittance in royalties, clearly robbing the people of Alberta to help pad the pockets of their conservative oil company overlords. Even Peter Lougheed (former PC Premier of Alberta thinks the province is being fleeced by big oil). If the Yanks want to come up here for "safe oil" they're going to have to pay for it. Canada's sole purpose is NOT US "oil security". With the backbone of Stephen "Shrub" Harper's electoral strength being Alberta oil country it is highly unlikely anything will happen in this area, meaning Canada's rampant CO2 emissions will remain high.

2) Put strict fuel-efficiency standards on all automobiles - including SUVs

3) Tax SUVs at point of purchase - to convince consumers to choose more sensible vehicles (I drive a compact pickup for my business, instead of a monster SUV/wagon because it hauls everything I need and still manages 30mpg on the highway (not bad for a 5500lb 4x4)

4) Tax cuts for purchasers of hybrids (to help offset the price crunch when you purchase them

5) Tax rebates for home renovations geared to conserving energy (ex: geothermal/solar heating; insulating basements, attics, and garages)


As a party, we need to stand up and call to task the Harpies on their sham of an environmental "policy". We will need to be prepared for Canada's biggest gas-emitter - Minister Baird - to spout his usual sputum-laden diatribes concerning things "the last government" didn't accomplish. The nice thing is that Canadians are getting sick and tired of hearing the old schoolyard "he did it, not me" crap.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Khan & Harper Use Taxpayer's Money To Solicit South Asian Votes In Mississauga

Conservative "Accountability" In Action:
- Stephen "Shrub" Harper and Wajid Khan openly solicited South Asians to "join the Conservative Party".
- Khan had plans to cross the floor PRIOR to the cabinet shuffle (according to Stockwell Day's Riding newsletter) - showing he lied about Dion pushing him from the party. We all know that Khan was a Con fifth columnist all along. His numerous conservative friends were more than likely getting Liberal insider info for years. Anything for a buck eh Wajid?
- Conservatives lambasted Belinda for crossing the floor - going as far as uttering sexist slurs, and making very stinging public comments. Mr. Harper claimed the "ethics" of floor crossing was one of the big reasons he felt the government needs more accountability (prior to the 2006 election). How the tables turn when you run a minority government yourself.
- Khan promised a report would be made public when he returned from his Middle East and Asian vacation. We now know how much it cost, but Khan and Harper have indicated they will not release the report. Were they blatantly lying to taxpayers? Shrub? What happened to "ethics".

The popular rap group NWA once did a short rap titled "Here's what they think of you..." Here's what Harper thinks of "Asians": "You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society."

- Conservative leader Stephen Harper, in Report Newsmagazine, 2001. (Thanks to a fellow Blogger - Jeff Davidson - for posting this old Harper comment)

As one of the "WesternGrit" columnists, I'm
a descendant of immigrants living in the West. I don't recall living in any ghettos when I grew up in the West. I actually most recently resided right in Calgary SW - Stephen Harper's own riding. I have personally experienced many a far right conservative in my life in the rural West, and believe me - while it might be different in urban metro Canada - much of the Conservative "base" is very strongly anti-immigrant.
Wajid Khan is joining the Cons simply as an opportunist. Like many collaborators in history he is perfectly willing to sell out his own interests - at the expense of ethics - simply to increase his own importance. Good riddance. As Liberals it is our duty to ensure these breaches of Harper's "accountability" principles are tossed right back in his face during the next election. Mr. Dion needs clear talking points outlining all of the Conservative's accountability lies. We should be publishing a list in national newspapers. We need to ensure he can't ever play "holier than thou".

Mr. Dion also needs to engage the immigrant community, but also all minorities in general. Some of the defectors to the Conservatives are saying we took minorities for-granted - that we thought we had their votes as a "given". While we may have banked on these votes, we need to begin a "Multiculturalism Engagement Campaign" to ensure we explain to minority groups across the country that our party ideals, policy, and ideology are the most supportive of minorities in this great land. I propose that the Liberal Party have a statement/booklet showing the views and activities of our Multiculturalism Committee available to cultural groups across the country. We HAVE a Multiculturalism Chair - the Conservatives don't and don't care to. We need to use this fact to help highlight how much we are in tune with cultural issues, and how the Conservatives could care less about multiculturalism. As a matter of fact it was Reform/Conservative policy to oppose Canada being a multicultural nation. They would rather we were a "melting pot" like the US.

The Conservatives will do anything to try to get minority votes - and trust me, the VOTES is all they're after. They could care less about creating any long-term policy changes to help minority groups, new immigrants, and the underpriveleged. Platitudes and tokens - that's all they'll put forward. Unfortunately this may be enough to win over some cultural minority votes. We need to remember that politics works differently in other lands - and typically the person is voted for, not one of the dozens of parties they stand for. Indian sub-continent politics is a good example of this. To maintain these votes we need to:

1) Continue to engage community leaders "on the ground"

2) Educate new Canadians and other minorities about what we have done and continue to do for them on a daily basis

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

So Mr. Harper... Do You Still "Reject the science of Kyoto"? Do You Still Feel "There is no solid proof of Global Warming"???

A third snowstorm on the West Coast. Vicious blizzards on the Prairies. Record warm temperatures in the Maritimes (cripes, they're golfin' out dere!). No snow in Southern Ontario and Ottawa (no skating on the Rideau!). Giant Arctic ice shelves breaking off our northern islands... Record cold in Northern India. More devastating storms occurring around the world than at any other time in recorded (or scientifically determined) history.

What is going on? It seems the climate is doing something... Something different than it did over the past several thousand years... What's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeah... change. Looks like our climate is changing...

Stephen Harper (Shrub) spent the last 10+ years ranting about how "the 'science' behind Kyoto was flawed...", how there is no such thing as climate change. Remember where Harper comes from: Calgary AB - the heart of Canada's American-dominated and controlled oil industry. AB Conservatives/Reformers tend to be angry oil industry apologists. Guess who campaigned for Shrub (many AB Cons - assured of a sweep in the "home province" spent most of the last election sermonizing across the rest of Canada) and financed his run to Ottawa??? Thousands of neo-Con ideologues right out of Canada's neo-Con heartland. Guess who most of them work for (either directly or indirectly)? The Alberta oil patch. Whether they are investment bankers, geologists, self-proclaimed "rig-pigs", oil execs, or any of the myriad oil service and oil related businesses, they all serve the goddess "Petroleum".

Will Shrub ever change his opinion of Climate Change? No. Sure he'll talk about (and listen to his words closely) "doing more", and "doing more than the last government". All he's going to continue to do is try to make it look like he's outdone the Liberals. If he treats this like he treated National Child Care, we may have nothing to worry about (when the facts come out). Unfortunately what we have at stake is the future of our planet and most likely the human race. A party which still has members who believe dinosaurs roamed the earth with men, and the earth is only 6000 years old, and for years has insisted on being "Climate Change-Deniers" has no place at the helm of this land as we face the greatest challenge to human existence.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Why Isn't Khan In Pakistan???

So former Pakistani Air Force Officer, self-proclaimed "knower of people", "expert" on Middle Eastern and South Asian affairs, and PM Shrub's latest blatant attempt to buy minority votes, didn't accompany External Affairs neophyte - Peter MacKay - to (of all places) South Asia. Mr. Khan indicated his "expertise" in the region would help the Shrub government deal with a situation involving the arrests of suspected terrorists in the GTA.

Why would Canada's "expert" on South Asian affairs - someone who claims to have "special" insight into the region's problems - not join a tour of Canadian officials to the region? Can anyone guess why this might be? Anyone? Bueller? Maybe - just maybe (and this is just a wild guess based on "wild speculation") - PM Shrub thought he would be able to "buy" South Asian votes in the GTA with this move. What easier way to do this than to pick someone who has some conservative leanings (re: Wajid's stand on same-sex marriage), conveniently located in a city where the Cons got shut out last election? Now PM Shrub and his neo-Con brethren can claim a couple of things: 1) they're "engaged" in the Middle East; and 2) they can't be a party harboring any "closet racists" when they have (insert appropriate race/ethnicity/demographic here) in their party. Does he really hope/think that modern urban Canadians will easily forget the hate-filled remarks made by former Reform/Alliance candidates - most of whom are still keenly active within the party?

Where's Khan's report? Last Spring he promised (according to CBC News): ..."Khan promised at the time that his report would be available to all political parties, promising it would be "unbiased and freestanding."" Khan lied to Canadians - with PM Shrub's help. Where's ANY accountability in that? What area of Middle East relations does Khan hold expertise in? Not sure how being a car dealer helped with that. The American-backed Pakistani Air Force did little if any work with any Middle Eastern nations - especially the one's he visited. Yet, Khan still claims: "some expertise, I have contacts and I have intel." Wouldn't Foreign Affairs benefit from his being along on the junket?

Here's reality:
1) Petey has no power to do anything in the region anyways, and his trip to South Asia is just another "Bush-esque" flag-waving, tax-payer-sponsored PR junket aimed at rallying Canadians to "support the troops" in the most politically partisan manner one can dream (I mean seriously, we all know that conservatives are the only ones anywhere who "love troops" - they're just usually too "chicken-hawk" to serve alongside them)
2) Newsflash - Khan isn't an expert on anything besides selling used cars and flying scrapped ex-American warbirds, and he landed himself a cushy position where he has to do basically nothing - just because of the riding he happened to cross the floor in.

Accountable government?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Wajid Khan - Turncoat Action May Help Us In The Long Run

So PM Shrub thought he'd have a 5th columnist not-so-hidden among Liberal ranks. Harper could not cajole, beg, or borrow an urban Canadian seat in any of the major metros, so he bought one (Emerson), and now by giving a glory-hungry South Asian (I'm South Asian, so I can say with confidence what I know precisely what a lot of South Asian 1st generation politicians and wannabes are like) an "important" role in caucus ("Official Currier - would that be vindaloo? hahaha - of Favor for South Asian Affairs"). 2nd generation politicians tend to be a lot less driven by these factors - people like Ruby Dhalla, Rahim Jaffer, or Navdeep Bains, all raised in Canada have a fresh new outlook on politics, much different than their 1st gen parents.

As a South Asian I'm appalled that any person of my cultural background would even consider running for the Cons. Sure, they may have some things in common (ex: liking "free enterprise"), but so do Liberals. These people seem not to consider that the full slate of Conservative views are detrimental to both immigrants and visible minorities (as well as women and minorities in general). As someone who grew up around a lot of first generation immigrant South Asian politicians, I can say that many of their "facilitators" were only concerned with "being the boss" or the "bigshot" in any community. They typically run no-holds-barred fights just to gain key roles in community religious or cultural organizations. After these (often dirty) fights, they divide communities and end up hurting the parties they work for (as the people who despise them will typically work for "anyone but" them - regardless of ideology, it becomes a popularity contest).

Politicians like Mr. Khan (good riddance) have no scruples. To sell out your principles (if indeed you had any) for a position, is really the wrong thing to do. I know what Mr. Khan was thinking... He must be basking in the glory of his position as THE link to the federal government for the several hundred thousand South Asians in Canada - as well as the millions of South Asians they relate to abroad. This type of position - while not seeming important to a lot of Canadians - can have a huge reward for the position-holder - both personal and often financial. Certainly being able to reinforce one's political power is one huge part of it.

Perhaps we Liberals need to be a little more careful in our selection of candidates, although I don't think this is really the key. What we Liberals need to do is to stop taking for granted that we "own" the minority vote. Sure, on the issues we are right there with minorities across Canada. Being moderates lends itself to that. The thing is, when the Cons run at us, they will usually hit us with some "quick-win" approach that costs them nothing (ex; apology to Chinese Canadians), or something equally visible - but for which they could care less. They typically will do this rather than have actual social policy which helps minorities and underprivileged Canadians move ahead. I strongly urge our newly elected Multicultural Chair - as well as our new leadership - to do something in the way of a concerted Multiculturalism Policy for the lead-up to the next election.

We saw a leadership campaign in which bus-loads of South Asian (in particular) delegates were aggressively courted by all camps. It is time for the favor to be returned - for the good of Canadian minorities AND for the good of our party. If we fail - as a party - to secure a mainstay of our urban vote, we will struggle to retain some urban seats in the next federal election. Knowing our "glorious successes" against Conservatives in rural ridings, we may well be in trouble if we don't shore up our "bread and butter" vote. The party needs to begin a concerted campaign outlining what great leaders like Laurier, Pearson, Trudeau, and Cretien did for minorities and immigrants. I hope Mr. Amarjit Grewal (our new Multiculturalism Chair) is up to the challenge. Hopefully he'll get some help in consulting our leadership on engaging the multiculturalism issue in a general election (and before it). MPs like Ujjal Dusanj, Sukh Dhaliwal, Ruby Dhalla, and Navdeep Bains will all have to play a key role in this "Multiculturalism Renewal Process".