Friday, November 30, 2007

Have a laugh

Unfortunate name for a lawyer: check this out, it's guaranteed to make you laugh.

Don't mess with Hazel, part II

Her words carry great weight in the GTA and she's continuing to hammer Jim Flaherty over the infrastructure deficit facing cities:
Armed with fresh ammunition from yesterday's Ontario Throne Speech - which called on the federal government to share its GST revenues with cities - Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion took dead aim at federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

"I will challenge him to a debate on this," Ms. McCallion declared, adding that Mr. Flaherty "does not seem to get the message" that cities face a growing infrastructure deficit and need extra federal help.
...
Irked by what she described as Mr. Flaherty's recent "unprofessional" comments about municipalities - he called mayors "really grumpy" and said they could better control their own spending to pay for roads, bridges and transit - Ms. McCallion said the minister "should be reminded how he downloaded on us" when he was finance minister of Ontario.

"I challenge him to come out to Mississauga and show us where we are not efficient and have not set money aside," she said, noting her suburban municipality is debt free. Even with reserves of $600-million, she adds, "we cannot afford to pay for infrastructure on the property tax base."
The Conservatives have fires to put out all over this country...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The "Harper might be toast" commemorative piece of toast



I think you might get....oh, say, maybe a nickel on eBay for this apparition on a piece of toast...:) It's no Virgin Mary...:)

Thanks to the Wingnuterer...where oh where have you been, my friend? We need such hilarity to brighten these dark Harper days...:)

Rove investigator under investigation instigated by White House

This is a shocker. The guy investigating Rove's politicization of non-partisan government offices and functions has come under investigation, at the instigation of the White House. Likely because Karl Rove's fanny must be protected at all costs. We witnessed as much during the Fitzgerald investigation into the outing of Valerie Wilson as the White House and Bush stonewalled and steered the public away from Rove by publicly denying he was "involved." This investigation into Bloch could be more of the same. It certainly appears to be suspicious.
The head of the federal agency investigating Karl Rove's White House political operation is facing allegations that he improperly deleted computer files during another probe, using a private computer-help company, Geeks on Call.

Scott Bloch runs the Office of Special Counsel, an agency charged with protecting government whistleblowers and enforcing a ban on federal employees engaging in partisan political activity. Mr. Bloch's agency is looking into whether Mr. Rove and other White House officials used government agencies to help re-elect Republicans in 2006.

At the same time, Mr. Bloch has himself been under investigation since 2005. At the direction of the White House, the federal Office of Personnel Management's inspector general is looking into claims that Mr. Bloch improperly retaliated against employees and dismissed whistleblower cases without adequate examination.
...
Mr. Bloch said no documents relevant to any investigation were affected. He also says the employee claims against him are unwarranted. Mr. Bloch believes the White House may have a conflict of interest in pressing the inquiry into his conduct while his office investigates the White House political operation. Concerned about possible damage to his reputation, he cites a Washington saying, "You're innocent until investigated."

Clay Johnson, the White House official overseeing the Office of Personnel Management's inquiry into Mr. Bloch, declined to comment. Depending on circumstances, erasing files or destroying evidence in a federal investigation can be considered obstruction of justice.
That's Clay Johnson, long time Bush friend:
He was a classmate of President George W. Bush at Phillips Academy, roommate and Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity brother at Yale University, where he helped pull down the goalposts after a Princeton game, and received his B.A.
I'm sure this return investigation of Bloch is all on the up and up, right? This is the garbage the Bush White House has specialized in. The White House will protest that its pursuit of Bloch is eminently justified. Yet it's just as likely, based on their track record, that it's one more in a long line of outrageous abuses of power that are pressed to the uber limit until someone stops them. Few have thus far, so they keep going and going and going. Hope Scott Bloch is made of some pretty stern stuff.

Meanwhile, Rove's become a celebrity columnist and life couldn't be grander for the rotund fellow with ruined lives in his wake...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Denial is not just a river in Egypt...

Worthwhile editorial in the Star today taking Harper to task for his performance at the Commonwealth on global warming: "PM fails on world stage."
Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems quite pleased with himself after almost single-handedly leading the drive to water down a proposed action plan by Commonwealth countries to seriously tackle global warming. Instead of an aggressive statement by the 52-member organization at its meeting in Uganda that would have called for binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions on major developed countries, the group issued a tepid communiqué that simply urged all nations to work toward undefined goals of reducing such emissions.

Commonwealth officials pointed the finger of blame for blocking the original plan straight at Harper.

But the Canadian leader scoffed at the criticism, saying at the close of the three-day meeting that the leaders should be proud of their work.

"I believe we have much to be pleased of from the work that we have done here," Harper said. "We have delivered a substantive statement on climate change, consistent with those of a number of other international organizations and one which builds momentum towards next month's important United Nations conference" in Bali.

Canadians should not be surprised by Harper's attitude. Since taking office, he has consistently fought against tough emissions rules. His current plan has been dismissed as grossly inadequate. It is based largely on reduced intensity targets, or cutting the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per unit of economic activity.

Unfortunately, his Uganda performance may be a bad omen for how Canada will act when world leaders gather in Bali starting next Monday to open negotiations on a new climate-change treaty to go into effect when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
This weekend seemed to showcase the worst in Harper, principally his know it all arrogance that does not flatter him at all. For a leader who is failing to gain traction with the Canadian public, it's incomprehensible to hear his unilateral bravado as on full display in his closing news conference.

And by the way, favourite moment from a CTV report last night...the Ugandan leader shaking Harper's hand and telling him he can now relax...very telling.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A great Canadian died this weekend

Tip your hats and take a moment to remember the former Chief Justice of Canada, Antonio Lamer, who made a substantial contribution to our rights and freedoms as a pivotal member of the Supreme Court over a near 20 year period following the adoption of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The report linked to is a great summary of his career. There's an anecdote that is somewhat relevant given the Harper government's moves of late on the death penalty:
Often labelled by others as left-wing or interventionist, Lamer preferred the word libertarian to describe his style.

He drove the point home, in an interview marking his appointment as chief justice, by recalling the days before the abolition of capital punishment, when crowds would gather at Bordeaux Jail in Montreal to protest the executions carried out there.

"It's easy to be against the death penalty the night of a hanging," said Lamer. "But it's more difficult to be against the death penalty the night of a murder.

"The acid test is not to be a libertarian when it's popular. It's to be a libertarian when it's unpopular."
Isn't that the truth.

"Our position is the strong position"

The picture of choice from the Commonwealth meetings of our PM in action, as chosen by both the Globe, front page, and the Star, accompanying its report on the outcome of the environmental discussions there.

He's clearly not bothered in the least by the outcome and appears quite relaxed and contented with the results. Some might even say he has a slothful look to him. Good eye on this photographer. It really is true what they say about a picture, isn't it.

As a follow up from my post yesterday on the subject, it has occurred to me that they may be setting up the Bali meetings, along with the Americans, to push nations to agree to binding targets, albeit much lower ones and likely significantly lower ones than Kyoto. Harper and Baird may be planning to push the world toward mediocrity on global warming by defining downwards the binding targets. And of course, spinning it as a breakthrough on the world stage demonstrating the tremendous "leadership" of Harper. We shall see. But yesterday is certainly not the end of the story.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Harpie the global warming gambler

Harper is taking a huge gamble with the position he's taken at the Commonwealth meetings on climate change, to say the least. What I'm wondering is whether negotiations of any kind have been occurring in the background, if any, with the Americans on the problem of committing to binding targets for emission reductions. Does Harper know something we don't or is he just continuing to delude himself that George W. Bush will do what he has refused to do for seven years? Here are some comments from Harper post-debacle:
So Canada helped rewrite the Commonwealth resolution.

It now says all countries should seek to reduce their emissions, but suggests those reductions could be voluntary instead of mandatory.

A diplomat from another Commonwealth country described Canada's position - that there's no deal unless everyone agrees - as a recipe for inertia on climate change.

But Harper pointed out that Canada's position at the Commonwealth is identical to the one it took at the G8 and APEC summits.

"We will not agree to a framework that binds some countries and not others, because that's a recipe for failing on the issue of climate change," he told a news conference.

"We already have a protocol like that and it doesn't work. So we need a protocol that involves everybody. I think we're on solid ground.
"

As for binding emissions targets: "Canada's view is that we need binding targets on all nations. That's going to be the approach we're going to take to international negotiations."
I would find it hard to believe that they would put themselves so far out there on this position-poor ledge without having something up their sleeves. Are they this stupid?

Or, is it just as simple as acknowledging that, yes, indeed they are. In which case I'd agree with this blogger, who sums up Harper's folly, if that's what it is, quite well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Good riddance to dinosaur John Howard

It's Friday afternoon in Australia and the last day before Saturday's general election. And it certainly looks like the 11 year tenure of Bush ally and climate change denier Prime Minister John Howard is just about over. A humorous anecdote from the report:
"I believe the coalition can win this election," Howard told Australian radio. "I believe that there is a bit of a tide coming back. I sense it in the streets."

During a final campaign day walk in the tropical city of Cairns 24 hours before the start of voting, Howard was heckled by protesters and told to "have a happy retirement".
His Labour opponent, Kevin Rudd, who has promised to sign Kyoto and take their troops out of Iraq is ahead in the polls. And Howard's got a mini-scandal on his hands in the last few days - a phony pamphlet handed out by his party supporters suggesting his Labour opponents would be soft on Islamic terrorists. Ring a bell? The favourite fear tactic of right wingers worldwide these days.

Howard's made one last appeal not to change. But we all know there's little to be done when it's a "change" election. The political consultant who can figure out how to undo that dynamic will be worth their weight in gold. Until then, it's likely bedtime for Howard, a kindred spirit of one Stephen Harper on the world stage.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The wisdom of Jean Chretien

There's a worthwhile CP report this afternoon canvassing Chretien's views on a number of current issues as he continues on with his book tour. My personal fave, on the topic of Senate reform:
Chretien was downright dismissive of Harper's threat to abolish the Senate if he can't win parliamentary support for his attempts to reform the unelected upper chamber.

"I think it is a waste of time to talk about it," he said, maintaining that the approval of at least seven provinces is required to change or do away with the Senate. He predicted that five - Quebec and the four Atlantic provinces - will never agree.

He suggested Harper is simply pandering to his base in Alberta, where the idea of an elected, effective Senate with equal representation for each province is popular.

"They never looked at how you could do it. You know, I'd like to go to the moon but I cannot go with a Piper plane. You have to be realist."
Hilarious. And just distills the lunacy of this sudden disorganized supposed plan for Senate reform to its core.

Other comments of note include his disapproval of the Harper clampdown on veiled voting and criticism of the intolerant views coming out of the Bouchard-Taylor commission hearings in Quebec. Worth a look this early evening.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bush "involved" in Plame leak cover up

So says Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary, although we're not clear yet on the manner of involvement of the President. Here's what McClellan writes in his forthcoming book, not out until April:
"The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White House briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

"There was one problem. It was not true.

"I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself."
Now the word from the White House, predictably, is that the President was misled in the same way as McClellan. Poor little innocent knave that he is, right? Why we would believe anything from them at this point is a whole other question. Supposedly misled by whom? Cheney? Rove? Still no answers but it sure as heck does not look good. In fact, the term "criminal conspiracy" was raised on Olbermann last night where it was noted that Patrick Fitzgerald has not closed his investigation, formally:



And I think it's a capital idea, indeed, to get McClellan up on the Hill in front of the "klieg lights," as he so eloquently puts it. Time for some good Senate Judiciary Committee interrogation, methinks.

Now having said all that, it's good to see that McClellan's words are cementing once again the perception of the Bush administration as lying thugs. But I'm not holding my breath that anything of consequence will come of it for Rove, Bush or Cheney. They have defied congressional scrutiny and legal accountability by thumbing their noses at such quaint mechanisms of the American democracy. And surely, it will continue until they're gone. None of this, of course, is a reason to just shrug one's shoulders and ignore the McClellan story. The historical record damning their every move should be fully documented.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tear down this wall, Mr. Greenspon

Looks like there's a worthwhile editorial in the Globe today on the veiled voting brouhaha. Too bad we can't read it since the Globe insists on maintaining its asinine walled-off editorial content. The New York Times drained their moat and let the drawbridge down. When will the Globe follow suit? What we can read, from "The Phantom Irritant" :
From the moment Prime Minister Stephen Harper ignited it in September, the debate over veiled voters has been a brazenly hypocritical and disingenuous one. The notion that Muslim women unwilling to show their faces pose a threat to Canadian democracy ignores the fact that visual identification is not required to vote in this country if voters provide two pieces of non-photo ID. Tens of thousands of Canadians living abroad are not forced to meet even that standard, and are allowed to vote with mail-in ballots rather than being required to visit a polling station. The debate also addresses an apparently non-existent phenomenon, since there has been no documented evidence of women refusing to remove their burkas or niqabs while voting.
Hiding material behind content walls means the Globe is not part of the online discussion and that's unfortunate. Lots of good material is being missed. We subscribe but due to whom we subscribe from, we're not entitled to access it online. It's truly bizarre.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Conservative hatorade watch: Harper opens his mouth

Harper yesterday in the House of Commons in an exchange with Ralph Goodale:
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the question was whether Mr. Mulroney complied with the law.

The Mulroney-Schreiber issue reignited in the media only days after the government came into power. There are damning letters in the Prime Minister's Office, but the paper trail is hidden.

Ministers deliberately refused to be briefed. A justice department review was started and then suddenly stopped. Some ministers consult Mr. Mulroney daily. He has numerous personal encounters with the Prime Minister. Was Mr. Schreiber ever discussed?

Will the Prime Minister change the mandate to include specifically whether the government was involved in a cover-up?


Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, all the allegations made by the member for Wascana are completely baseless. They are complete fabrications.

All they are is designed to try to prove that other people are just as corrupt as the Liberal Party of Canada. I am afraid the Liberal Party of Canada has the trademark on corruption.
This guy will say just about anything, well on the way to setting a new low road standard for Prime Ministers. It's painful to even write about this, it's so inappropriate for a PM to be speaking like this. No substantive response, just pure gutter politics. And demonstrating complete disregard for the office he holds and the level of discourse he should be striving to set for the country. He should be addressing the issues and leaving this damaging, unhelpful rhetoric aside.

Guess there's some solace in this, however, knowing that Harper's base state conditions him to utter such divisive rhetoric when pushed. And that it'll likely inhibit his growth potential, as we've seen thus far.

But man, it's so disappointing...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Let's not get too slap happy over this one

Sun Media roars:
The startling SES-Sun Media survey shows Harper has steamrolled ahead as the choice for “best PM” of 37% of Canadians, while Dion plunged to third place as the pick of just 13% of Canadians. Layton garnered 17% support across the country.
No, this is not good news for Dion. When you've had negative attack ads run at you at an unprecedented level and without adequate response, this is hardly surprising. The Liberals need to get their butts in gear and meet this stuff head on.

And let's recall, for the umpteenth time, what percentage did the Conservatives receive in the last election? 36%. So Harper's at 37? I can certainly see how this can be categorized as "steamrolling" the opposition...not.

These numbers are not particularly good for anyone cited in the poll.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A permanent erosion

Brilliant Frank Rich column today, "The Coup at Home," drawing parallels between the Pakistan "mess" and the toxic dump state of the American democracy. Excerpts:
Rather than set a democratic example, our president has instead served as a model of unconstitutional behavior, eagerly emulated by his Pakistani acolyte.

Take the Musharraf assault on human-rights lawyers. Our president would not be so unsubtle as to jail them en masse. But earlier this year a senior Pentagon official, since departed, threatened America’s major white-shoe law firms by implying that corporate clients should fire any firm whose partners volunteer to defend detainees in Guantánamo and elsewhere. For its part, Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department did not round up independent-minded United States attorneys and toss them in prison. It merely purged them without cause to serve Karl Rove’s political agenda.

Tipping his hat in appreciation of Mr. Bush’s example, General Musharraf justified his dismantling of Pakistan’s Supreme Court with language mimicking the president’s diatribes against activist judges. The Pakistani leader further echoed Mr. Bush by expressing a kinship with Abraham Lincoln, citing Lincoln’s Civil War suspension of a prisoner’s fundamental legal right to a hearing in court, habeas corpus, as a precedent for his own excesses. (That’s like praising F.D.R. for setting up internment camps.) Actually, the Bush administration has outdone both Lincoln and Musharraf on this score: Last January, Mr. Gonzales testified before Congress that “there is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.”

To believe that this corruption will simply evaporate when the Bush presidency is done is to underestimate the permanent erosion inflicted over the past six years. What was once shocking and unacceptable in America has now been internalized as the new normal.

This is most apparent in the Republican presidential race, where most of the candidates seem to be running for dictator and make no apologies for it. They’re falling over each other to expand Gitmo, see who can promise the most torture and abridge the largest number of constitutional rights. The front-runner, Rudy Giuliani, boasts a proven record in extralegal executive power grabs, Musharraf-style: After 9/11 he tried to mount a coup, floating the idea that he stay on as mayor in defiance of New York’s term-limits law.
...
Wrong track is a euphemism. We are a people in clinical depression. Americans know that the ideals that once set our nation apart from the world have been vandalized, and no matter which party they belong to, they do not see a restoration anytime soon.
Heavy sigh...hopefully Americans will be smart enough next time around not to elect one of those who are bidding to outdo Bush on the extremist front...

Funny


Yes, shameless cartoon rip off. Thanks Patrick Corrigan for a great one...:)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Don't mess with Hazel, part II

Dalton McGuinty had a meeting with Harper yesterday on the issue of funding for cities, among other things. Didn't go so well. From McGuinty's account, which was polite and coolly respectful, you can sense the tension.
The two leaders met privately for 45 minutes yesterday at a downtown hotel, with the premier suggesting federal funding could help cash-strapped Ontario municipalities.

"I raised the issue directly with Mr. Harper as to whether his government had any interest whatsoever in lending direct support to our municipal partners," McGuinty told reporters later.

"It would be fair to say that he is not particularly receptive to that approach."
...
But sources say the Prime Minister emphasized in the meeting that he had "no plans to transfer tax to another level of government" and noted municipalities are creatures of the province – not a federal responsibility.
Oh to have been a fly on the wall during that meeting...

The even more colourful and no nonsense talk on the issue emanated from Hazel McCallion, once again:
McCallion told the Star after hearing what Harper said to McGuinty that she expects other mayors across the country to take up her crusade and take it to the people – especially if there is a federal election next year.

"The citizens have a choice," said McCallion, mayor since 1978 and one of Canada's most popular and influential civic leaders. "They can press the federal government or they pick up the tab on their property taxes. They can't sit back and do nothing."
That's a pretty powerful message which could effectively undo the tax cutting halo the Conservatives are attempting to wrap around themselves. They seem to be blinded by their pseudo-Republican fantasies in which they fancy themselves as the tax cutting Republicans saving Canada from tax and spend Liberals. Wrong country though, fellas. And wrong story line.

More from Hazel, just for fun:
McCallion said she's not surprised Harper and federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty aren't listening to cities given that the former Ontario Conservative government – of which Flaherty was a part – downloaded social housing, ambulance and other costs on municipalities.

"We got shafted. You think he's going to change his colours when he gets to Ottawa? We've got a fight on our hands," she said.
Good for her.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Don't mess with Hazel

The longtime Mayor of Mississauga's fighting mad. And if you're a property owner in Mississauga, today you are as well. The same thing's going on in Toronto and no doubt will occur across the country. Enjoy the GST cut, everyone, because we're all going to be paying for it for a long time:
Mississauga councillors have voted to add an unprecedented 5 per cent surcharge to property taxes next year as the city tries to tackle an infrastructure crisis that could put the famously debt-free municipality in hock within five years.

The levy, to be imposed on top of a proposed 3.9 per cent hike in the city's share of property taxes, is expected to bring in about $12.5 million next year. It could make Mississauga the most heavily taxed city in the GTA. And it still won't be enough.

While the surcharge will add about $50 to the average residential tax bill, it falls far short of garnering the $75 million needed in each of the next 20 years to cover $1.5 billion in repairs and replacement of aging bridges, roads, and water and sewer systems.

In that respect, Mississauga's position is similar to Toronto's, where council last month voted to impose new taxes on land transfers and vehicle registrations to cope with a fiscal crisis after draining the city's reserves. Toronto has a $7 billion infrastructure deficit but is already heavily in debt. Water and sewer replacement alone will cost $2 billion.
And here's Hazel:
Mayor Hazel McCallion plans to use the new surcharge as a launching pad for her own national campaign – dubbed Cities NOW! – to pressure Ottawa to use its huge surplus to help urban centres tackle the infrastructure mess.

"I am in a fighting mood," McCallion said after the vote was passed. "We are in a fighting mood."

She said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's mini-budget, which ignored urban needs in favour of cuts in the GST and income tax, left Mississauga with no choice but to impose a levy that could be collected annually for the next 20 years.

"It's a sham," McCallion said, slamming the tax cuts as a cynical attempt to gain re-election.

"Is the federal government going to wait for more bridges to fall down?" she said, citing the results of neglect in the recent collapses of bridges in Quebec and Minnesota.
We'll hear from the Conservatives about the billions they're handing out to Ontario presently, in the news yesterday and said to be $7.9 billion. What's that figure for Toronto's outstanding infrastructure deficit? Oh, 7 billion. Well, I'm sure 7.9 for the entire province will just about cover us. Digesting these figures underscores just how foolhardy GST and minuscule income tax cuts are to property owners in Canada who are getting reamed with property tax increases in order to make up the lost revenue.

Too late, Harpie

This comment yesterday was rich, coming from the guy who whipped up sentiment against veiled voters in Quebec the week before the recent Quebec by-elections:
Quebecers could do without the ongoing debate on the integration of immigrants into society, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday.

"I do think that most Quebecers are feeling increasingly secure in the position of their language and culture in this country, as they should," Mr. Harper said. "My sense is... kind of going back over debates over language or culture or immigration is not frankly where most Quebecers want to go."
Yes, people who are "increasingly secure" do not need to single out Muslim voters for special treatment, as Harper proposes to do in an amendment to the Canada Elections Act, when there have been no issues reported with Muslim women refusing to lift their veils while voting. That is the kind of legislation we can do without. It's not the Canadian way, as the Star opined in a recent editorial.

Looks like Harper's trying to backtrack from his earlier inflammatory blast against Muslim voters by making the above remarks yesterday. The hypocrisy in his doing so in what seems like complete obliviousness to the effects his words and actions have had, however, is duly noted.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Harper campaigning in the West, handing out money in Quebec

The perpetual Conservative election campaign is on. The economic update with its tax cuts last week was a central showpiece. And the plethora of events Harper has had scheduled this fall across this country continue as he's now out west continuing to give his campaign style speeches that he has been giving across the country. Oh, and what's this? A few Quebec companies seem to be getting funding this week, as well. And the media are even invited to share in the big news.

Gee, you'd almost think someone had an election campaign all mapped out and ready to go for this fall and heck, is still executing it anyway...too bad for Harpie and the gang that they didn't get their wish.
In Castlegar, Harper put out the call for more Tory blue in B.C., even getting a bit ahead of himself in asking voters to support their local Tory candidate at the polls "next year."

He quickly corrected himself to say "next time."
Yes, maybe "next time," Harpie. Somebody might want to tell him to calm his self down...and maybe be trying to get some work done instead of the photo ops, campaigning and funding announcements. You'd think the government simply existed to serve the Conservative party's political needs.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Why they can't escape their ceiling

Statement from Mark Warner, former Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre, ousted by the Conservative head office (click to enlarge):



More on Warner's departure:
Warner, who was acclaimed as the Conservatives' candidate for Toronto Centre in February, learned abruptly on Tuesday that he was being disqualified from running. It came after months of head-to-head battles with the central Conservative campaign machine over his focus on poverty, housing, health and other issues at odds with the master Tory political strategy.

Warner would have been running against former Ontario premier and Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae, who called Warner's ouster this week "a national disgrace."

In his press release announcing his ouster, Warner calls himself a "red Tory" and Dion agreed yesterday that this moderate streak of Conservatism doesn't seem welcome in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's party any more.

Dion said that Warner is probably going through the same experience as other red Tories who've come over to the Liberals – Belinda Stronach, Scott Brison and most recently, Halton MP Garth Turner.
What a shame...Conservatives being exposed for their lack of tolerance of a candidate's independent spirit...

And by the way, this appears to be an out and out lie:
So deluded are the party brass that they boldly claim they couldn't be turning their backs on an ethnic candidate because they didn't even know he was black or from Trinidad. (emphasis added)
Didn't know, hey? There are a few in the PMO who went to McGill with Mark Warner (see his biography). It's hard to believe that they did not know this.