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 CĂ©line 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!

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.

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!