Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's that time, kids #lpcldr

It's that necessary evil in politics rearing its head...fundraising! If you are in downtown Toronto early this evening and care to come out to support MP Joyce Murray who is charging up the hill in this leadership race, then here's an opportunity to do so. If you're not in Toronto, there is always the magic of the internet to make your own particular contribution.

Here are some of the details of tonight's event:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The University Club of Toronto
380 University Avenue
Toronto, ON M5G 1R6

Ticket: $250
(anyone who has already donated $500 or more
to Joyce's campaign is welcomed without charge)

Event Committee:

Hon. Paddy Torsney
Dirk Brinkman, Gary Gladstone, Carey Miller,
James Morton, Edward Nixon and Tim Reid

Please RSVP to
(Click the link above to RSVP, then click here to donate $250 or more to Joyce's campaign), or call Carey Miller - 416-827-4326

If you can't attend, Joyce still needs your help. Click here to donate.

(Max. total contribution to all 2013 LPC Leadership candidates is $1200)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Friday night

Have a good night!

Attack can be the sincerest form of flattery #lpcldr

As readers of my blog would know, I have been supporting Joyce Murray in the Liberal leadership campaign. I have been proud to do so as Joyce has run a smart, positive political campaign from the get-go.

She has emphasized her vision of a Sustainable Society with compelling proposals on environmental sustainability, a digital economy, promoting democracy abroad, advancing the participation of women in Canadian society, smart crime policy that would legalize cannabis, and yes, a strong political platform that would enable these policies to be put in place.

Her electoral cooperation proposal, underpinning the key and crucial goal of achieving electoral reform, is the political means of putting a progressive vision for Canada in place. And it has attracted much support as the campaign has gone on. Issues have connected with groups and a coalition building process, key for the Liberal party's future electoral success, has unfolded.

So it's no wonder that today there was an attack email blast launched at Joyce's political plan. Many Liberals and supporters of the Liberal party who signed up to vote in the leadership race will no doubt have received it.

But attack politics is not the kind of politics that Joyce subscribes to and it is one further compelling reason to support her in this race. Cooperation is not just about one's political platform. It's a way of being Liberal. Working with others where you agree, agreeing to disagree on other points. But always doing so in a civil way and not resorting to the old politics style fear mongering. It's not helpful to where we need to go as a party.

For those who received the email and would like a refresher on her proposal, note the ridings that she proposes to focus upon in her political plan: 
That’s why I support a common-sense, riding-by-riding approach to electoral cooperation among opposition parties in the 2015 election. The majority of Canadian voters hold progressive values, but our values won’t be reflected in government unless we figure out a way to overcome our dysfunctional electoral system and win.
I’m proposing a one-time agreement with the NDP and Green Party to give Canadians the government we deserve — not a merger between our parties.
As Liberal leader I will empower individual riding associations to nominate their Liberal candidates in all ridings across the country and then to assess our situation on the ground and determine if cooperation makes sense. We will focus on ridings where incumbent Conservative MPs won power with less than 50% of the vote. Where appropriate, Liberals will cooperate with local NDP and Green riding associations to put forward the strongest candidate — the one best able to take that seat from a Conservative. (emphasis added)
This means that if you review those ridings where incumbent Conservatives are in office, having won less than 50% of the vote, that there are quite likely no seats in Quebec, based on the 2011 election results, where cooperation would be considered.

Old saw politics invoking separatist bogeymen as possible cooperation partners is not where Canadians or Quebecers seem to be these days and is not useful.

The central feature of Joyce's cooperation plan is that it is indeed democratic. It is a bottom-up process, not top-down. Riding associations, bolstered by the new presence of thousands of supporters who have signed up during this leadership race, will be the drivers of this process. Cooperation, if desired by ridings, would likely occur in a subset of the country's 338 2015 ridings.

Joyce is the one leadership candidate in this race who is saying that she will listen to the voices in the Liberal party and beyond that believe this option needs to remain on the table. 

But as mentioned at the outset here, the likely motivation to go after Joyce at this point is not solely about cooperation. It's about her position in this race, as judged by the competition. Attack can be the sincerest form of flattery.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Notes from #lpcldr this fine morning

The Globe has a misguided header but a somewhat interesting report nevertheless: "Ontario, B.C. have biggest say in Liberal leadership race." Since every riding is equally weighted for voting purposes, technically those provinces don't have the biggest say in the race. What is nevertheless interesting is the remaining fact of the large number of sign-ups in both Ontario and BC as opposed to other provinces:
"More than half of the eligible voters in the race are in Ontario (125,000) and B.C. (40,000), giving those provinces a bigger say in the vote than their relative share of the overall Canadian population. The Atlantic provinces are also slightly overrepresented in the party’s list of eligible voters, while Quebec and the three Prairie provinces are clearly under-represented."
The two chunks from Ontario and B.C. stand out as successful efforts and may have been the overall point of the newsworthiness of the report. Of the top tier of candidates, one is from B.C., two are from Quebec. The point could also have been for the Globe to say look, we have a copy of the riding breakdown.

Also of interest, another Liberal riding executive member speaks in favour of electoral cooperation, this time in Dufferin-Caledon:
“To guarantee, as opposed to just hope, that the Conservatives will not form the next government, even in a minority, I personally would not oppose the concept of a one-time ‘strategic alliance’ of the main opposition parties.”
“While David Tilson may have out-polled the second-place party in the last election by a wide margin, the combined opposition vote was essentially even with the Conservatives,” he said, “and the total turnout was quite low.
“Mix in the variable of a single progressive candidate, add the momentum from a two or three party strategic alliance to defeat Harper, and the result is pure synergy. “There would be more citizens active during the election campaign, which would result in more voters coming out and, even in Dufferin-Caledon, there are more progressives than there are pure Conservatives.”
The report canvasses others who are not as positive about the idea, to be fair, but none of it is particularly surprising and a bit of a re-hash of the same arguments. No one seems to think about the new supporters signed up and the ongoing opportunity they present for Liberals, for example. Innovation can occur beyond the scope of this leadership race. Look at all the activist groups who have been growing by leaps and bounds.

Dufferin-Caledon is not on the list of the subset of about 57 ridings where the Conservative won with less than 50% of the vote in 2011 and where progressive parties might target their efforts, subject to 2015 realities, as a first tier seat. Interesting to see it being added into the mix by someone on the ground who wants to see the Conservative Tilson defeated.

Elsewhere: "The candidate of co-operation finishing strong again, this time for Liberals: Tim Harper"

Have an excellent day out there, kids!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Fair Vote Canada on the Murray-Trudeau exchange #lpcldr

Fair Vote Canada clarifies one of the assertions made during Sunday's debate on proportional representation.
"In a remarkable exchange during the Liberal leadership debate in Halifax on Sunday, March 3..." 
Release is worth a read.

Post-debate video, numbers, etc. #lpcldr

Joyce Murray on Sun News once again.

A little additional reading: "Why Supporting Joyce Murray Is the Best Way to Defeat Stephen Harper."

Oh, and apparently there could be 300,000 in the pool. Numbers yet to be announced by the party.

Have a good day!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Fun with literacy

So there's this incredible story on CBC right now that deserves attention and what-on-earth-were-they-thinking treatment: "Literacy guide uses partisan example to conjugate 'elect'." Here's a screen shot of one of the sentences that is being used to teach people how to read in government financed literacy programs in the Harper Government™ era.

Suggested completion of sentence 5 above: "The majority of voters DO NOT VOTE conservative and as a result they MOST UNFORTUNATELY STILL END UP WITH a Harper government."

Or, have your own fill in the blanks fun!

Hilarious if it weren't so shamefully wrong and all that...

Harris & Russell on Murray #lpcldr

While the race goes on in the background, two pieces to note that are out in the last 24 hours on Joyce Murray demonstrating her continuing ability to impress.

There was the column in iPolitics as of last night by one tough cookie, Michael Harris: "The credibility candidate: Joyce Murray in conversation." It's out from behind the paywall so I'll leave you to read it.

Also on the must read list is Peter Russell's column in Ontario Newswatch: "Joyce Murray is the Best Choice for the Liberals and the Rest of Us." He is impressed with her stance on climate change and of course, her position on democratic reform.
As a non-Liberal but someone who is concerned about the sorry state of our parliamentary democracy, I find Vancouver MP, Joyce Murray, by far the most impressive candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Equally impressive is Murray’s grasp of the key structural problem behind the sagging performance of our parliamentary democracy – the increasing irrelevance of parliament and the decline of citizen engagement, especially among the youngest eligible voters.

She is fully committed to reforming the electoral system so that the distribution of seats in the House of Commons is closer to the distribution of voters’ preferences across the country.

The simple plurality system that rewards a party like Mr. Harper’s Conservatives which gets 40 percent of the votes with over 50% of the seats must be reformed.

But she understands that reform of the electoral system will take a while.

In the meantime, Murray stands out as the only Liberal candidate willing to consider the kind of electoral co-operation with the Greens and the NDP that might be necessary to ensure that the 60% of Canadians who reject the principles and policies of the Harper Conservatives will not have to endure four more years of rule by the Conservative minority after the 2015 election.

Murray supports nomination of Liberal candidates in all ridings, but proposes a process of riding-by-riding co-operation with the Green Party and the NDP to support a candidate who has a good chance of defeating the Conservative candidate.

This approach would focus on ridings where Conservatives are in a minority position and their candidate can win only by more progressive parties splitting the opposition vote.

It takes both common sense and courage to take this position.

It is surely a sensible way of protecting Canada from government by a party whose policies and principles are not supported by a majority of its people.

But at the same time it is courageous because it goes against putting one’s own party first above all else. And it is that partisan passion which tends to infect the party faithful that Murray will have to overcome.

For the sake of her party and our country, I hope she succeeds.
As always, carry on campaigning.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

A reaction to the debate #lpcldr

Just received this in my inbox:
There is a difference between a cheerleader and a leader.

Seven candidates in this race are acting like cheerleaders, expressing their faith that Liberals will win power either because it is inevitable (sailing dangerously close to the arrogance of assuming we are Canada's natural governing party) or because voters will simply like their leadership (little more than conceit). Neither suggestion is realistic, but the fans love it and applaud vigorously because we always want to cheer on our team, even when we know we are trailing by 165 to 35.

Only one candidate, Joyce Murray, is acting like a leader by recognizing the huge challenge ahead and laying out a practical roadmap to meet it. Fans may not like the medicine being prescribed, but they know in their hearts that it is temporary and that it will get us to where we want to be.

Proof that her message is being heard and taken seriously is the way in which other candidates are scrambling to misrepresent her position and talk about her alleged desire to "merge with the NDP." We trust that Liberals and Liberal supporters will recognize this for the attempt to deceive that it is.
The heat was on Murray this afternoon but she stood her ground and really sharpened the choice she is offering.

Tonight at midnight is the cut off to sign up as a supporter in the leadership race. Sign up here or here.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Friday night

Just came across that and I think I like. So British and fun!

Have a great night.