Thursday, February 28, 2013

New downtown T.O. ridings

Came across this map proposal yesterday in the course of some other reading. It shows the new downtown layout for federal Toronto ridings (and presumably provincial if it follows suit, which has been the plan). There are two newly created ridings: Spadina-Fort York (aka condo central) and University-Rosedale. Notably, Trinity-Spadina gets broken up posing a question on where Olivia Chow would run if she runs in 2015.

I see that folks on rabble are discussing the changes based on a map I posted a while back in the heavy post-May 2011 election period. The babble discussion is guessing who has the advantage where, etc.

Not sure people should be so fixated on what happened in 2011 as a predictor for 2015 though. We'll have two new federal leaders in the mix at that point, a factor that won't necessarily translate so neatly on to the coloured quadrants on a map. I guess junkies will be junkies though.

It is cool to see these new ridings taking shape but the more important issue that remains to be resolved, of course, is how Canada should be electing its MPs to represent all these ridings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The daily momentum watch #lpcldr

Video of the candidate with the "wind at her back." On how she's bringing new people into the party, will rebuild it as priority number one...and so on. Well worth a watch.

Yes, I realize my site is becoming a little heavy on the political candidate side but it's the final week sign-up push after all. Give a blogger a break.

Is she starting to look like Hillary, or is that just me...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Momentum in #lpcldr

This is the last week for supporters to sign up by the March 3rd deadline. Take note and spread the word! So there is a lot of activity going on in the race in various momentum building activities. I like the way this blog item puts it for Joyce Murray's week to date:
Murray's campaign seems to be gaining some momentum. On Tuesday, Murray held a press conference announcing that Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette has endorsed her ahead of her campaign's Quebec tour.
Last week, environmental guru David Suzuki penned an open letter to his supporters endorsing Murray. Suzuki's endorsement shouldn't be discounted. The popular — yet polarizing — figure has over 238,000 Facebook supporters and over 40,000 Twitter followers.
Murray is also expected to get a boost from pro-cooperation advocacy groups, as explained recently by the Canadian Press. and several other groups are urging their members to sign up as Liberal party supporters in order to promote the idea of electoral co-operation among progressive parties to ensure defeat of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives. boasts some 225,000 members, a huge pool of potential supporters for leadership contenders to tap into.
This is still Justin Trudeau's race to lose, but Murray is quickly becoming the 'other one' to watch.
Suzuki open letter here.

Hervieux-Payette is the former Dion Quebec lieutenant, MP and chief Liberal organizer in Quebec during the '08 election, the last time the Liberal vote went up in that province.

I also note tea leaves like the responses to Martin Cauchon's "have your say" site that include many requests for consideration of cooperation and electoral reform.

Hearing that certain other Liberal offices have been flooded with emails on that subject as well.

Then, consider Andrew Coyne's column on electoral reform of the last 24 hours.

All adds up to intriguing developments in this race.

Carry on campaigning!

Go Doctors

Doctors’ group takes Ottawa to court over refugee health-care cuts." Jason Kenney's remarks in this report are a disgrace for a federal minister. He and his government continue to demonize the refugee "other" for crass political purposes. Meanwhile:
“The Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care has for months documented an escalating number of refugees being denied care,” Dr. Philip Berger said Monday at a news conference to announce the court challenge.
“Pregnant women, children and refugees with chronic diseases are not showing up for appointments, even at clinics who would see them, (because) they’re afraid of the costs.”
Total support for the Canadian Doctors for Refugee Care. Support them here.

P.S. Here are some more of the "militant leftists," as Kenney puts it, who are against his government's inhumane and un-Canadian behaviour in denying refugees basic health care:
Also participating in this campaign to stop the cuts to health care services for refugees include:
College of Family Physicians of Canada
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Canadian Association of Social Workers
Canadian Dental Association
Canadian Medical Association
Canadian Nurses Association
Canadian Pharmacists Association
Canadian Association of Community Health Centres
Canadian Doctors for Medicare
Canadian Association of Midwives
Registered Nurses Association of Ontario
Canadian Federation of Nurses Union
Canadian Psychiatric Association
Canadian Paediatric Society
Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Canada
Médecins du Monde
Public Physicians of Canada
Ontario’s Council of Medical Officers of Health
Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians

Monday, February 25, 2013

A theory of politics playing out in #lpcldr

This blogger has a lot of smart things to say.

A candidate with policy convictions proposing them and finding they connect with highly motivated Jove, I think she's on to something!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

David Suzuki announces support for Joyce Murray #lpcldr

Joyce Murray's campaign for Liberal leadership gets a nice boost today:

February 20, 2013

"An open letter to Canadians:

I am writing this as an individual citizen, not on behalf of any organization or political party. In fact, I do not belong to any political party. I will support candidates, platforms and policies of any party that move our country towards a more just and sustainable future.

I was delighted to see that the federal Liberal party allows any Canadian to participate in the choice of its leader. I urge everyone who is concerned about democracy, the environment and social justice to take part in this selection process and thereby register support for specific policies and visions for this country.

I am heartened by the platform laid out by Joyce Murray. Sustainability is one of the key concepts underlying her policy proposals from food to climate. She recognizes that Canada is one of the most vulnerable industrialized nations to the impact of climate change: as a northern country where warming is going on faster, with the longest marine coastline in the world threatened by sea level rise and the economic vulnerability of climate sensitive areas of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and winter sports. Her proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions includes doing what Sweden, Germany, Australia and even China already do, namely, put a price on carbon, which is both an effective inducement to reduce emissions and a revenue source for much needed initiatives such as public transit, efficiency and renewable energy.

Gender equity is a critical issue today and her proposal to mandate targets for government organizations and committees is much needed. And finally, she calls for progressive elements to work together to avoid election of parties with a smaller proportion of votes. She is boldly pressing for electoral reform through proportional representation to get away from the tyranny of our first past the post system so that minority positions can be represented in government.

You can influence the policies of the Liberal party by registering to vote in the leadership race. For me, Joyce Murray presents a platform that I am going to support. I hope you will give her your support too, if you agree.

David Suzuki"
Nice to see a prominent Canadian stepping up to recognize the tremendous opportunity we have at this moment to change Canadian politics fundamentally.

Come on in, Canada, the water's warm!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Irresponsible Polling Developments on "Responsible Resource Development"

Interesting report from Canadian Press on the government's advertising campaign on "Responsible Resource Development" in more ways than one: "Light on facts, heavy on patriotism, focus groups help hone NRCan advertising." Two things here...

Natural Resources hired Leger Marketing to do some research on the government's advertising messages, as the report notes. OK. Further down, however, you read that CAPP, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, met with senior Environment Canada officials and provided them with a CAPP-commissioned poll by Harris-Decima that indicated how voters were receiving CAPP's own ads. Notably, the CAPP poll provided the government with a breakdown of how their ads were going over with voters identified along partisan lines, among Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats. So the government officials could see how partisan leaners would respond to certain advertising.

Why is this interesting? Government public opinion research must be non-partisan. But here, the government was able to access partisan-oriented research.

Second, Postmedia obtained this information via a federal access to information request. Guess CAPP's stuff made its way in there enough to be covered by the request.

All not appropriate. Some official types should look into this.

Wonder what kind of ads we'll see if Obama ties carbon legislation to approval of Keystone...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

GTA debate aftermath

Dan Veniez has a column up this morning worth noting:
Only three can legitimately claim to have earned the right to stay for the next rounds: Trudeau, Garneau, and Murray.
While I may differ with Joyce Murray on some of the content of her program, she has proven herself to be one tough cookie and a very serious candidate. Besides her track record of actually winning contested nominations and close elections, she has positioned herself squarely as an important voice on the "progressive" wing of the party.
Murray has a thoughtful, comprehensive, and cohesive set of ideas. And whether I like it or not, Murray has shown a lot of guts to be the lone voice and intelligent advocate for "cooperation" with other parties.
Read the whole thing, of course.

The above excerpt also mirrors a conversation I had early on in this campaign with one of those senior politico types - you know, the over 50 ones who have been around a bit and who you should listen to if you are smart - who has worked as an adviser in Ottawa, provincially and municipally. We spoke at the end of November. He told me that as the race goes on, Joyce will be even keeled and steady. A leader. Others will flail and be all over the place by the end of the race.

Campaigns matter. Having been elected repeatedly matters. That came through in many ways for many of the candidates on the stage yesterday.

Carry on campaigning!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday night

Too short but nice Deadmau5 doing a little Valentine thing this week. Very cool. Deadmau5 is in looooove. That's his fiance singing.

Have a good night! What's left of it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Liberals on cooperation

From a letter distributed to the leadership campaigns last week, some content of interest on the issue of cooperation that you may not be hearing in other channels. Ron Hartling ran for the party presidency last year and is the President of the Kingston riding association. Ron is neutral in this leadership race, to be clear, and has committed to his riding to his neutrality. Following his email is some data shared by one of his riding executive members.
From: Ron Hartling []
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 04:00 PM
To: David Bertschi ; Martin Cauchon ; Deborah Coyne ; Garneau, Marc - Personnel; Martha Hall Findlay ; Karen McCrimmon ; Murray, Joyce - Personal; George Takach ; Trudeau, Justin - Personnel
Subject: FW: Cooperation

Dear Candidates,

I am forwarding for your information some member feedback on your recent debate responses to the cooperation-with-other-parties question. It was sent to me by the Kingston and the Islands Outreach Director who has personally spoken with over 200 of our members in the course of our current membership renewal campaign.

Her findings are consistent with what I also hear from many of our members, who I have long assured that constitutionally they are the legitimate “owners” of the Liberal Party, which exists to advance their values in Parliament. That of course is a bit of a tough sell as they have seen precious little supporting evidence in recent years. From that perspective, eight out of nine candidates flatly rejecting electoral cooperation in any form is more than a little disheartening. There are many ways to approach electoral cooperation and the encouragement of strategic voting to lift from the majority of the electorate the spectre of yet another damaging Harper Government. Perhaps you could consider whether it is appropriate to close the door on all such options and how you as Leader would respond if it turned out that the majority of our members actually wished their Party to find a way to cooperate. Open-minded discussion could result in a solution which would include selecting 308 Liberal candidates and which would respect the right of EDAs to make their own decisions as to what they would do in their ridings. Arguably, with or without NDP cooperation, such a solution could result in more Liberal MPs elected than if we once again go to the electorate with the Ignatieff OLO’s position that the “Big Red Tent” is the only option for progressive voters. They obviously didn’t buy it.

Best wishes to you and your campaigns,
Ron Hartling
President, Kingston and the Islands Federal Liberal Association
LPC(O) Eastern Region President

I think that the issue of cooperation is something that needs to be addressed and the public needs to be educated on the options, as well as the prons and cons of each option. The sentiments I've received from talking to people on the phone, as part of our virtual phone bank reminder for memberships renewal, and others at social gatherings are the following:

- some who watched the first debate thought it "arrogant" for all the leadership candidates, except Joyce Murray, to so quickly and definitively reject the possibility of cooperation with the other parties on the left

- some blamed the Liberals in particular for the lack of possibility of cooperation and saw this as "business as usual" politics, targeted at getting back into power than working towards any real sense of promised "renewal" and "what's best for Canadians"

- some used more colourful language to talk about the Liberal party, using words like "greedy", "power hungry" and "childish"

- some expressed frustration as they saw no real option of defeating Harper with the vote being split on the left

Clearly some of these statements lack a bit of sensible reasoning since it's not a one-sided issue, as any form of cooperation would require all the parties (or at least the NDP).

However, I think it's important that we are aware of what people are thinking and that we must do something to clear up this oversimplification of the issue, which posits the harmful view of "childish stubbornness" against the "logical" argument for cooperation.
Circulated here for interest's sake and to give some perspective on how some Liberals out there in the ridings are reacting to the cooperation issue.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An opposition motion worth supporting on missing and murdered Indigenous women

This motion is to be argued tomorrow in the House of Commons:
Opposition Motion
February 12, 2013 Ms. Bennett (St. Paul's) That the House recognize that a disproportionate number of Indigenous women and girls have suffered violence, gone missing, or been murdered over the past three decades; that the government has a responsibility to provide justice for the victims, healing for the families, and to work with partners to put an end to the violence; and that a special committee be appointed, with the mandate to conduct hearings on the critical matter of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, and to propose solutions to address the root causes of violence against Indigenous women across the country; that the committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair is from the government party; that in addition to the Chair, there be one Vice-Chair from each of the opposition parties; that the committee have all of the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders, as well as the power to travel, accompanied by the necessary staff, inside and outside of Canada, subject to the usual authorization from the House; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Whip of each party depositing with the Clerk of the House a list of his or her party’s members of the committee no later than March 28, 2013; that the quorum of the special committee be seven members for any proceedings, provided that at least a member of the opposition and of the government party be present; that membership substitutions be permitted to be made from time to time, if required, in the manner provided for in Standing Order 114(2); and that the Committee report its recommendations to the House no later than February 14, 2014.
This is the kind of issue that all parties should be able to rally around and support. Harper stated this in the House of Commons yesterday:
In terms of the specific issue that the member raises, this is a very strong concern for this government. That is why we have invested additional resources in police enforcement, in investigation and prevention, and we continue to look to ways that we can act.

The murder and abduction of women in this country is completely unacceptable. We will continue to move forward with a vigorous criminal justice agenda to address these problems.
There are at least three reasons why the Conservatives should support the motion. If this is indeed a "very strong concern," and they "continue to look to ways that we can act" a special committee could help carry out Harper's intentions. Second, it would also be a matter of the Parliament of Canada giving national recognition to the issue and it deserves it. Look at the international news today. Third, speaking to the bigger picture, this is a time when his government has been criticized as detached and indeed in abrogation of its duty to consult aboriginal peoples on legislative changes such as the environmental law changes in the recent omnibus budget bills. They should say yes to this to build on the recent national meeting and to continue trying to repair the relationship.

Obama on climate change

President Obama's State of the Union remarks on climate change last night:
But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.
The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we. (emphasis added)
What must the brain trust in Ottawa be thinking after hearing that? Would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the Harper living room or office or wherever it was viewed. A bit of discomfort, you'd think.

The McCain-Lieberman draft legislation was a cap and trade system. Interesting if that is indeed what the Obama administration will be pushing Congress to pursue. If it did come to pass, it would affect Canada's choice too.

Also note his emphasis on clean energy and going all in. Ontario has been a leader in this but imagine what could be done if we had a federal government that creatively engaged and encouraged clean energy across the country. 

Now what to watch...Harper et al's language and whether it changes ever so slightly in any regard on this issue.

Oh why, oh why can't we have nice things too....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Big day in Ontario

As Kathleen Wynne is sworn in as Ontario's first female Premier and generally awesome individual:

Meanwhile, Andrea Horwath miscalculated and inexplicably missed a big moment:

In any event, great day and much support all around for Wynne as evidenced by the reception in the legislature.

Optimism is in the air today.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Missing Hillary already

A little too jokey for my taste. When Hillary met with these Conservatives, you always had a sense that she knew exactly where they were coming from and treated them accordingly. There seems to be a bit of a shift with the new guy.

Come back...

PM's "Key accomplishments" missing a few

Harper's "Key accomplishments" backgrounder on criminal justice issues seems to be missing a few things...let's help them out a bit.

Bruce Carson.
Patrick Brazeau.
Conservative party pleading guilty to election law infractions.

That's better.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Most viewed Ask me Anything on Reddit?

Interesting answer here! Joyce Murray's Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit this week is likely to be the highest viewed Canada Politics AMA ever, according to the Reddit people. The reason? Her answer to this question went viral:
Q: “Would you rather fight 100 horse sized ducks or 100 duck sized horses?”

A: "Well, my first thought is, do we have to fight? What are the demands of this tiny horse army? What does this over-sized duck want? Maybe we can find some common ground and cooperate on our shared problems.

I saw what happened to Romney when he tried to take on Big Bird, but still I’d rather take on the horse-sized duck. I was British Columbia’s Minister of Water, Land, and Air Protection. That duck doesn’t have a chance."
Reddit gave the response this entry title, upon the response going viral, "[canadapolitics]joycemurray, a Canadian politician, gives the most Canadian answer to the question "Would you rather fight 100 horse sized ducks or 100 duck sized horses?"

Note that the Redditor mucked up the question. The question should reference "one horse sized duck" in order to be comparable to other responses by other pols on the same - now classic - question. Anyhoo.

People love them some ducks and horses questions and the politicians who have fun with them.

P.S. Obligatory link to picture of horse sized duck and tiny horses

Friday, February 01, 2013

Friday night

New Avicii that I've been listening to this week. A tiny bit on the cheesy side but that's ok. We all need some cheese here and there:) Think this is a free download too, so there you go.

Have a good night!

Winnipeg Liberal leadership debate tomorrow

There was a lot of hullabaloo on twitter last night about the format of the Liberal leadership debate happening tomorrow in Winnipeg. But substance matters too:

WINNIPEG - Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra and candidate for the Leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada called on the Liberal Party to put Indigenous issues back on the agenda for Saturday's debate in Winnipeg after a letter to the Liberal Party's National President from the Aboriginal Peoples Commission was distributed to Leadership candidates.

"More Indigenous people live in Winnipeg than in any other major city in Canada and it's a shame that this timely and important issue was dropped," said MP Murray. "The Liberal Party has to do more to engage with Indigenous Canadians, not less. As the Idle No More movement has captivated Canada's attention and begun serious dialogues on Indigenous issues now is not the time to be removing this discussion from the debate. It is a time for our Party to commit to building new relationships with Indigenous peoples."

In the letter from the APC, a commission within the Liberal Party that represents and promotes the interests of Aboriginal members, they state that Indigenous issues were dropped from the topics for the debate and urge the Party to strongly reconsider not including Aboriginal policy content in the Winnipeg debate.

"This debate was an opportunity for the Liberal Party to reach out to the largest urban demographic of Indigenous Canadians and engage them on issues that matter to their communities," said MP Murray. "Now Indigenous people are being left out in the cold without a forum to have their issues discussed. I join the Aboriginal Peoples Commission's call in urging the Party to put Indigenous issues back on the agenda immediately and let these issues be talked about by all the Leadership candidates."

Tune in tomorrow at 1 - 3 pm CT/2 - 4 pm EST.