Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ok, buh-bye now!

The regime is gone. Leaving with its tail dragging. Mired in scandal, RCMP investigations, gross mismanagement and after a long inept campaign that relied on fear mongering and scare tactics. The Liberals hung on for their lives, with a campaign that likely traveled depths of scum like no Canadian campaign has ever seen. There is a cancer in the Liberal party and they can now try to remove it.

Martin is stepping down. No surprise. His goal was to become the PM. After that he was lost. There was no plan. No direction. His goal should have been to be a PM. He has no intention of being an opposition leader.

Well, this is my 150th and likely last post into this blog. Ding dong the witch is dead and there is no reason for it any longer. Paul will slink back behind the oak desk at CSL where he can layoff more Canadian workers and employ cheap foreign labour under a foreign flag.

Ironic that the true demise of the current regime was the very leader said to be the chosen one (sound familiar Star Wars fans?). Martin bullied his way into the party. He split the party. He lost the party brand and it became "Team Martin".

Despite his words otherwise, this was a man that walked in a different direction than his talk. As Ducceppe quipped in the leadership debate, he campaigned NDP and acted Tory.

In any case, thanks for the years of service and don't let the door hit you on the way out...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Comments Turned Off

To make sure this blog complies with the restrictions on publishing results, comments will be turned off.

Get out and vote!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Martin predicts comeback like in 2004

BRAMPTON, ONT. — Liberal Leader Paul Martin told supporters today his party is poised to win a comeback victory — despite polls showing it trails the Conservatives by up to 10 percentage points.

With only the weekend left in the campaign, Mr. Martin has tried to rev up crowds in London, Kitchener and Brampton by telling them that he is in the same position now as he was late in the game in the 2004 campaign.

"Today, we're right where we were when we were going into the final weekend of the election the last time," he said to a crowd of supporters packed into a small room in London, Ont.. "And we pulled that one out."

But on the last weekend in 2004, polls showed his Liberals just ahead of the Tories, while a new poll conducted by The Strategic Counsel and published today in The Globe and Mail found the Liberals 10 points behind Mr. Harper's Conservatives.

The Liberal Leader denied there is any difference, insisting that people were predicting he would lose in 2004.

"The vast majority of people out there were predicting our defeat. The fact is, we won. There's no doubt that we're going to win this time."

Election 2006 - Liberal Campaign Scandals & Bloopers

The following e-mail showed up in the Blue Maple Leaf’s inbox today. It is a list of Bloopers from the liberal campaign in the first 53 days of the campaign. The list comes to us courtesy of Steve Morrissey in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

1. ITSCAM: The RCMP launched a criminal investigation into to the release of information by the Department of Finance, related to the income trust issue. Also the failure of Goodale to resign and the obfuscation as to who knew what.

2. WorkScam: "Campaign Cash Grab" The Liberal Party will lay off much of its campaign headquarters staff over Christmas with no pay, and has told some on leave from the government they should collect vacation pay from the public payroll if they have it coming.

3. Liberal lobbyists - also being laid off and 'Mike Duffy Live' reported that they were told by the Liberal party to return to their employers and request to be paid in the holiday interim. A lobbyist working on a campaign, even if they've de-registered temporarily, is in violation of their ethics rules and they're putting politicians in a conflict of interest which violates their ethics rules.

4. Abotech Affair - Liberal MP David Smith (Pontiac). The computer consultancy firm that he once ran, now run by his wife out of the family home, has had contracts with the federal government suddenly terminated as a result of an audit at Consulting and Audit Canada, a branch of Public Works. Not to mention Aboriginal slurs. The controversy surrounding Mr. Smith is now being reviewed by the federal ethics commissioner.

5. Elie Betito resignation - president of the Liberal riding association in Oakville provoked an outrage over comments he made to a voter. In short, he wrote "take your NRA , GUN LOVING ASS BACK TO THE U.S. WHERE YOU BELONG".

6. Omar Alghabra - Ontario Liberal candidate, according to eyewitnesses, declared when he won the party's nomination that, "This is a victory for Islam! Islam won! ... Islamic power is extending into Canadian politics".

7. Belinda Stronach - being investigated by Elections Canada for campaign spending. Documents obtained showed that on voting day in the June 28, 2004, election Stronach's campaign engaged in a spending spree for entertainment and a hefty bill from Atlantis Creative Group, a Toronto-based public relations firm. The payments flagged by Elections Canada include an invoice for $34,240 for what was classified as an election day project. A subsequent invoice from Atlantis treats that earlier payment as a deposit for the project, whose final price tag grew to $75,378.

8. Jean Pelletier - fired, rehired and now fired again.

9. Klander Slander - Mike Klander, executive vice-president of the federal Liberal party's Ontario wing, stepped down after photographs of Chow, the NDP candidate for the Toronto riding of Trinity-Spadina, and a chow chow dog were posted on his blog dated Dec. 9 under the heading ``Separated at Birth".

10. Scott Reid & John Duffy - Now infamous "beer & popcorn" remarks.

11. Washington Gaff - evidence shows Martin, Frank McKenna and others orchestrate the Washington spat for cheap political gain.

12. Photo Smear - Stephen Harper says it's "beyond tasteless" for the Liberals to use a photo of himself and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe at a Holocaust memorial. The photo shows Harper whispering to Duceppe during the Holocaust memorial last spring on Parliament Hill, suggesting he would work with the separatist party.

13. David Emerson - Industry Minister is quoted in a blog by Jamie Elmhirst, the Liberals' B.C. president, as referring to Layton's "boiled dog's head smile." Emerson said he would not apologize for comparing NDP Leader Jack Layton to a boiled dog's head because he didn't mean the remark to be insulting.

14. Dave Haggard - former labour leader and a failed Liberal candidate in 2004, was paid $9,000 a month plus expenses by the Paul Martin government to produce a report on apprenticeship training that has yet to be released to the public. Haggard, who is running again for the Liberals, said Thursday he worked as a special adviser on apprenticeship issues from early January to Sept. 30, when he submitted his report.

15. Sam Bulte - MP for Parkdale/High Park is having her election campaign bankrolled by the Canadian entertainment cartel. Bulte previously authored a one-sided report proposing crazy, US-style copyright laws for Canada, and her pals from the Canadian Recording Industry Association threw her a $250/plate fundraiser. "How else am I supposed to raise money?" Bulte said.

16. Dale Muti - a prominent Calgary Liberal, a hand-picked candidate by Paul Martin for the 2004 election, defected to the Conservatives saying the Liberals are unprincipled and that Mr. Martin has failed Canadians, for the Grits’ unethical behavior as outlined in the Gomery report on the sponsorship scandal, but also because the prime minister is ignoring the concerns of Albertans.

17. Oral Report - revealed that in February 2005, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs hired a consultant for $132,000 and specified in the contract that "presentations shall be oral with supporting material provided to aid comprehension but not retained by the department".

18. Claude Laverdure - Canada's ambassador to France remains the biggest diplomatic spender even though he cut spending on cocktail receptions and fine dining in half last year. He came under fire for racking up more than $201,000 in hospitality claims in 2004, spent $105,261 in 2005 hosting foreign dignitaries and businesspeople in posh Paris.

19. "Small Business" - on Jan 4 Paul Martin says, "Let me tell you, I am very proud of having started with a small Canadian company, uh, a small Canadian company, which today, uh, build, uh, most of it's ships in Canada…." He was hired as Maurice Strong's personal assistant (1966) - the family friend who was head of Power Corp - who then owned CSL. He was put on the board of CSL, then President, and then the next year, in a sweet-heart leveraged deal, bought the company for $190 million.

20. Vickers and Benson - Martin continues to award contracts to a company implicated in the sponsorship scandal. In March of 2000, Former Public Works minister Alfonso Gagliano received assurances from John Manley and Paul Martin that Vickers and Benson would continue to receive government contracts. Gagliano assured the company that they would not lose any business. Guité said he was told that competitions could be rigged. Contracts awarded: $3,411,230 on Oct 28, 2005 and $492,200 on September 28, 2005.

21. Relocation Services Scam - Royal LePage. A billion dollar contract to relocate civil servants across the country is mired in allegations of mismanagement and cronyism so serious that the parliamentary spending watchdog may send it to Canada's Auditor General for review.

22. Options Canada - allegations that the organization contravened the Quebec Referendum Act and clearly broke federal Treasury Board rules and the years of cover-up. The organization was created at the last minute and received $4.8 million two or three weeks before the 1995 referendum, one week after it was created. RCMP called in by the Department.

23. Marc Garneau - Liberal candidate and former astronaut Marc Garneau has compared the sovereigntist movement in Quebec with Washington's decision to invade Iraq.

24. Kim Doran - Deputy National Director (Organization and Policy) of the Liberal Party found currently working on the campaign in Eastern Ontario), at the same time was representing the Coalition for Gun Control. She was awarded in March 2003 a five month $380,000 contract by the Justice Department to lobby the federal solicitor general, Treasury Board and Privy Council, according to a detailed lobbyist report for funds for the ailing firearms registry. The RCMP have now been asked to investigate by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association.

25. Income Trusts II - Jan. 6, the American SEC is taking "very seriously'' complaints of insider trading involving Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's November announcement on income trusts. There is also a signal that the Ontario Securities Commission may be doing the same.

26. Edward Keyserlingk - Canadian taxpayers shelled out $53,000 over two years to ferry a hand-picked government appointee between his job in Ottawa and his home in Montreal. The public service integrity officer, is paid between $675-$800 a day for the position that keeps him occupied an average of three days a week. John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, called it an "absolutely preposterous and outrageous" practice that's ripping off the public.

27. "Soldiers with Guns" & "Duffy on Duffy" - Jan 10, negative anti-military ad posted on Liberal website, distributed to media and hours later pulled. "Duffy on Duffy" results as John Duffy attempts to intimidate Mike Duffy over further questioning of the ad. Second time John Duffy makes an ass out of himself during campaign.

28. Platform Leak - on Jan 11 it appears entire Liberal platform leaked to Western Standard and perhaps others. As well on this day Liberal shrill Susan Murray says "Bullshit" to Brad Lavigne on Don Newman’s "Politics".

29. Ujjal Dosanjh - on Jan 12 it was revealed he received $16,000 in campaign donations from two Ontario families involved in health-service companies when he was seeking election to the House of Commons in 2004. Six weeks later, he was named health minister in Paul Martin's Liberal government.

30. Jack Layton - who's campaigning as the defender of public health care, it was revealed that he had surgery at a private clinic in the 1990s, Canadian Press learned. Layton had hernia surgery at the Shouldice Hospital, a private facility in the Toronto suburb of Thornhill, while he was serving as a Toronto city councillor. Yes, not a Liberal scandal, but still worth mentioning.

31. Bob Speller - (Haldimand-Norfolk) Liberal candidate proudly displays on his website a letter that claims western farmers want him back. Turns out, the three "farmers" who signed the endorsement happen to be a Manitoba Liberal candidate, campaign manager and riding vice-president.

32. David Oliver - Abbotsford BC Liberal candidate turfed over allegation he and his campaign manager guaranteed NDP candidate a win in the next municipal election, and offered him a job in Ottawa, if Oliver went on to win the election on Jan. 23. The NDP has written to Elections Canada requesting an investigation.

33. Tony Valeri Flips - Hamilton (East-Stoney Creek) Liberal cabinet minister more than doubled his money in three months when he flipped a property next to his home to the son of a prominent businessman with ties to the Liberal party. Valeri, Liberal MP for Hamilton, purchased the property on Ridge Road along the escarpment in upper Stoney Creek for $225,000 last April. Three months later, Valeri sold the property for $500,000 to John Ng.

34. "Soldiers with Guns II" - Paul Martin defends ad that warned the Conservatives would put "soldiers with guns" on the streets of Canadian cities. After saying several times that he had approved the ad, Mr. Martin reversed himself on a CBC-TV town hall meeting where he replied that he'd seen a transcript before they were approved. Liberal candidate Keith Martin in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca apologized for the release of the ad. "Some idiot went and sent it out with the other 11 ads, and it was never sanctioned by the party, never approved, and we are completely appalled that this went out”.

34. Brenda Chamberlain - voter cards for Kevin and Gillian Chamberlain, son and daughter-in-law of Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain, who both live outside the Guelph riding, were sent to campaign office address withing the riding. Chamberlain says if anyone in her family broke the rules by voting in the riding of Guelph in 2004, it's not her place to do anything about it.

36. Notwithstanding Blunder - Martin said his vow to ban the federal government's use of the Constitution's notwithstanding clause is something he's been thinking about "for a long time," despite the fact there is no mention of the issue in the party's (leaked) platform. Ottawa South Liberal MP David McGuinty was featured in the morning papers wondering aloud what the heck his fearless leader, Paul Martin, was thinking when the PM announced he would scrap the federal use of the notwithstanding clause. Deputy PM admits she was in the dark about it too.

37. Andrew Telegdi - Liberal MP made it into the bad news with a story he had once used the racial slur "niggers." He says the remark was made 32 years ago, when he was the head of the student’s federation at the University of Waterloo, and the word was then used on campus to describe any disadvantaged group.

38. Denis Coderre - Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan filed a lawsuit against Liberal MP Denis Coderre, alleging the former sports minister falsely accused him of making a slur against francophones during an NHL game. A senior NHL official unloaded on federal MP Denis Coderre on Thursday after the former minister in charge of sports asked Hockey Canada to reconsider Shane Doan's selection to the Olympic hockey team over an alleged ethnic slur.

39. Joe Volpe - Citizenship and Immigration Minister rented limos to ferry him on long trips from Toronto last year, with one ride to Buffalo and back costing more than $1,000, Sun Media learned.

40. PCO Solicitation - Paul Martin's Liberals have issued an "urgent" call to Privy Council Office staff for their support and donations in the run-up to the Jan. 23 vote. Liberal party president Mike Eizenga mailed bright yellow teledispatches directly to the office addresses of employees of the PCO, which is supposed to remain non-partisan and non-political.

41. Gary Richard - Mothers Against Drunk Driving has accused the Nova Scotian Liberal candidate of trivializing their message, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." Gary Richard, the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley candidate, is using the slogan "Friends don't let friends vote Conservative" in his campaign pamphlets. The similarity of the two slogans has upset the president of the Cobequid Chapter of MADD. "We're disappointed with it. We feel it trivializes a very serious message about driving impaired," Kathleen Foster-Alfred said.

42. Access to Information - On November 7th, 2005, and November 16th, 2005, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation submitted two access to information requests asking for the total amount taxpayers paid for lawyers fees at the Gomery Inquiry into the Sponsorship Program. These requests went to two government bodies – the Privy Council Office and the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada. On December 5th, 2005, both the Privy Council Office and the Department of Public Works replied saying an additional 60 days was needed for one request and an additional 100 days was needed for the other. Coincidentally, the election will be over by the time this information sees the light of day. Update: the little info now revealed shows $2 million in legal fees required to recover $1 million.

43. Chris Axworthy - in the riding of Saskatoon-Wanuskewin Liberal candidate Chris Axworthy has apologized to Conservative incumbent Maurice Vellacott after someone used a phone in Axworthy's campaign office to falsely accuse Vellacott of sexual assault on a live televised candidates' forum earlier this week.

44. Gilles Savard - A Liberal candidate in Quebec has conceded defeat and urged his supporters to vote for the Conservative party. The Liberal candidate for the riding of Jonquiere-Alma, is throwing his support behind the Tories to stave off a Bloc Quebecois victory. Update: he is now backtracking somewhat from his earlier remarks.

45. Buzz Hargrove - Canadian Auto Workers president used a campaign stop in Strathroy to call Conservative Leader Stephen Harper a separatist whose Alberta-born political principles place him outside mainstream Canadian values. He seemed to agree with questioners that Quebecers should vote for the Bloc Quebecois over the Conservatives. A day later Buzz did not back down on his statements, he encourages Quebeckers to vote for the Bloc Québécois in a bid to siphon support from the Conservatives. Buzz believes the NDP should leave Quebec to the Bloc. Harper responds, "It is absolutely unacceptable to in any way, shape or form suggest that people should vote for the breakup of this country in order for the Liberal party to maintain its entitlement to power," Harper said during a campaign stop Thursday morning in Waterdown, Ont.

46. Ron Chyczij - In a last-minute blow to high-profile Liberal candidate Michael Ignatieff, the president of the party’s riding association in Etobicoke-Lakeshore swung his support today Jan 20 to Conservative rival John Capobianco in Monday’s federal election.

* New *

47. Don Lindsay - at the Pembroke Outdoor Sportsman's Club, Liberal candidate Don Lindsay's self destruction continued when club member and Canadian Veteran George Tompkins stood to ask the candidates his question. "If the handgun ban goes forward. What plan would your party offer to compensate those of us who legally own the guns that would be confiscated?" To which Lindsay replied "Sir America is our neighbor not our nation, if you elect a society that talks about that kind of perspective I suggest that perhaps you go there!"

48. Anne McLellan - Laurie Hawn, Conservative Candidate in Edmonton Centre, has filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Elections Canada after massive voter list irregularities were uncovered by his campaign. For some time, there have been rumors of election irregularities in Edmonton Centre. At an all candidates meeting with Elections Canada on January 4, 2006, it was revealed that two buildings had been struck from the electoral rolls because they were not residences. In reality, these buildings were both mailbox stores. Several days later, the Laurie Hawn campaign identified a third non-residence building which sells mail boxes and reported it to Elections Canada. A few days ago, the Laurie Hawn campaign was alerted, via e-mail, by an Edmonton lawyer that: "Lots of [Anne McLellan] supporters are enumerated at their downtown office address instead of at their houses. One of them was bragging about how many times he could vote liberal (sic) based on the number of leases he had in her riding."

49. Reg Alcock - after a candidates debate in parking lot after Reg was heard to utter in a load voice, inter alia, "Correctional Officers are dumb as Posts".

50. Translation services contracts - $3.6 million to Lexitech International (Liberal friendly Irving Company) and $1 million to Les Traductions Tessier of Ottawa. On Jan 16, 2006 bidders asked to extend the validity of their bids until January 25, 2006 - 9 days, a very unusual length and two days after the election. The contracts were actually awarded on 21 December 2005 and published on the MERX on 22 and 28 December 2005.

51. Travel Gate - Martin says Harper’s unfit to lead, form independent international policy because he has no world travel experience. Martin’s arrogance grew further as he told the media that Canadians who have not extensively traveled the world are not fit for public office. Paul Martin incorrectly stated that Stephen Harper had not left continental North America, when in fact, Mr. Harper has often traveled internationally – and several times with Paul Martin himself. Beyond forgetting these events completely, Mr. Martin suggested that only world travelers are capable of holding public office in Canada, because of the nature of the globalized world.

52. Alphonso Gagliano - revealed by the Western Standard is RCMP’s criminal background check of Gagliano, done before Jean Chrétien first appointed him to cabinet. It is almost completely blacked out. Then Commissioner Norman Inkster suggests that Gagliano be fingerprinted to prove or disprove the worst of the findings.

53. Energy Rebate Cheques – The energy rebate cheques are out now. These $250 cheques were supposed to help the poorest Canadians with the added costs of heating a home given the spike in oil prices last year. When the liberals set January 23rd as the election date, they chose that date to coincide with the issuing of those cheques. Now we learn that many of those cheques have gone to the core supporters of the liberal party, the inmates of Canadian prisons.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Round the table

John Derringer gets a massive migraine trying to figure out, just why someone would vote for the Liberals.

Just when you thought the Lieberals couldn't sink any lower. False sexual assault allegations.

Harper now has a double-hidden agenda - no touch backs!
"Liberal Leader Paul Martin is accusing Conservative Leader Stephen Harper of keeping his socially conservative candidates in hiding.
"It's been a long time since (Stephen Harper) has allowed them to go outside, and they are getting cabin fever," Martin told a crowd of Liberal supporters in St. John's, NL." --- PMPM is just wishing he kept Buzz hidden!

"Liberal candidate who questioned Prime Minister Paul Martin's leadership skills and said he was conceding defeat and supporting his Tory rival has changed his mind." --- The Lieaberal can't even quit right during this election. Did Martin's thumb breakers threaten his life or something? We don't know, they won't tell us! ;)

"You have seen their campaign," he told supporters at a rally in Mississauga. If the Liberals "are re-elected we will not have any kind of direction for this country. We will never find the money taken in the sponsorship scandal. The scandals, the cover-ups, the investigations will continue. We cannot have our country go forward like that." --- you think!?

More laughable desperate comments from Martin. Wish it didn't work so well. ""In the final days of the campaign we're finally beginning to see the real Stephen Harper," he told reporters during a Toronto press conference, pointing to a Supreme Court vacancy and adding the courts must be protected "at all costs" from the Conservatives. Let me tell you something Jack Layton, we're down to the short strokes and if you're not willing to take the fight to Stephen Harper, then move over because I am," Martin said, accusing Layton of "abandoning the fight." "

Etobicoke Liberal riding president throws support to Tory

From the Star:

In a last-minute blow to high-profile Liberal candidate Michael Ignatieff, the president of the party’s riding association in Etobicoke-Lakeshore swung his support today to Conservative rival John Capobianco in Monday’s federal election.
The controversial process by which Ignatieff was acclaimed the candidate over local hopefuls ruled ineligible by the party was a major factor in the decision, said Ron Chyczij, who had hoped to contest the nomination himself.

“I can no longer in good conscience support the Liberal candidate in this riding,” he said in a statement released this afternoon.

“After the nomination fiasco, I’ve purposely waited on the sidelines to see if Michael Ignatieff can in some way redeem himself as a credible Liberal candidate in this riding . . . this has not happened.”
C'mon! Paul Martin was going to erase the democratic deficit - wasn't he? Then again, I guess Paul Martin was going to do a lot of things!

Ed Broadbent Said:

"Mr. Martin accuses the New Democratic Party of partisanship. Were it not for the NDP putting its interests aside and putting working people’s interests first, the Liberal Party would have been fed to voters last spring.

It now is. And it has run a campaign that at best is incoherent, and at worst is deeply offensive. To women. To members of our armed forces. And to people who long for intellectual honesty in politics once more.

It is clear the Liberal Party no longer has the moral authority to deserve people’s votes. It is, simply, not the party it used to be or the party it portrays.

Mr. Martin’s team is running a campaign based on intellectual dishonesty. Cynical manipulation. And recklessly using significant issues for the sole purpose of continuing Liberal entitlement – which we know is used to benefit Liberal insiders, not working people."
You go Ed!!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Albertans don't have "Canadian Values"?

I am so sick of the left throwing this term around. It so f@#$^ing exclusionary. You are only "Canadian" if you share their values! One thing that struck me once I heard more of Buzz's comments is he said, and yes I am not making this up, that Quebec seperatists share "Canadian Values" more than Canadians living in Alberta. Can you believe this shit!?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

MADD angered by Liberal's use of their slogan

CTV.ca News Staff

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has accused a Nova Scotian Liberal candidate of trivializing their message, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk."

Gary Richard, the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley candidate, is using the slogan "Friends don't let friends vote Conservative" in his campaign pamphlets.
Seriously, has Dithers' group done anything right this campaign?

Blogging Tories: Stephen Taylor's Response

In case Bloggingtories' Stephen Taylor's blog gets too much traffic and you miss his response, we have copied it here.

Blogging Tories: Stephen Taylor responds

If you turn on the television late at night and catch the evening news you might catch a story about how a regular citizen, perhaps your neighbour, your mailman, or your teacher has broken the latest news through their blog. ("blog" is short for "web log" -- a sort of personal online diary of events arranged in reverse chronological order). Now, if you turn on your cable news station at anytime of the day, tune into podcasts or if you sure as shit know what a "blog" is, you already know the news. While Peter Mansbridge and Lloyd Robertson tell you "and that's the kind of day it's been", indeed, the sun has already set on their format of news.

For those of you just catching up, this election has been set by the pulse of blogs. For those of you who have been following the blogs for your election coverage, we've been glad to have you along for the ride. For those of you who are still trying to sound out the word and wonder if "the trend" is anymore than disgruntled teenagers talking about how the world sucks and how they like to cut themselves, its time to catch up.

Indeed, all three federalist parties in Canada during this election missed the boat on blogs. The Liberal Party mustered up perhaps the best effort in Scott Feschuck's inane attempt to channel what people think blogs are (see above) as opposed to how blogs can be used effectively to convey breaking news, eyewitness reports and in some cases, brilliant editorial opinion. The Conservatives launched a noble effort which faced criticism in the early days for being too much like a press release. The NDP though has been on record saying that since blogs didn't have an effect in the 2004 election, they likely would not have an effect during the current election. While all the Liberals and the Conservatives tried to hop on the blog bandwagon, they did so in a way that they tried to capture the trend instead of use it to its full capacity.

The media, however, has perhaps been the most ignorant of the use of blogs and what they truly represent. While the CBC Newsworld anchor turns it over to the knockoff "inside the blogs" segment to find out what Larry in Flin Flon thinks about the handgun ban (he thinks "it sucks"), your friendly neighbourhood blogger is calling his sources, digging through government documents online and is rounding out his story through tips left by email and via his comments section.

Indeed, bloggers have broken countless news stories during this election. Weeks before Christmas, Steve Janke and I were digging through forensic financial data from the markets, receiving tips from concerned brokers and were tapping our contacts at the Western Standard, CTV, and the Globe and Mail for leads and information that was "too raw for primetime". We broke the income trust scandal on our blogs and were aghast when the CBC gave a summary view of the story and called it an exclusive.

Other stories broken by bloggers during this election include the potential truth behind the international spat orchestrated by Paul Martin, Ralph Goodale's request for a sole-source contract for Earnscliffe, Ralph Goodale's faxscam, David Smith's Abotech affair, and Tony Valeri's land dealings among others.

How did the bloggers do it? After all, many of them haven't graduated from journalism school, most do not have the resources to follow the various leader's tours for $1500 a day. How do they do it?

A good political blogger has sources like any other journalist, sources in each party, sources in various news organizations and sources at the local coffee shop. It is quite ignorant to think that bloggers do not have the know-how to make a phone call, the talent to follow up with an email or the ability to set up a meeting or an interview.

This is why I read with not much astonishment that Blogging Tories, as a group, has been forwarded to Elections Canada. My lack of astonishment doesn't reside in the fact that the group that I co-founded has been libeled; my lack of astonishment is a function of the ignorant parties involved in the persecution of bloggers.

Canada's election watchdog received a complaint yesterday from a disaffected party member who claims the Tories tried to sway political opinion in cyberspace in the leadup to, and during, the election by setting up the popular "Blogging Tories" website.

This accusation is untrue. The Conservative Party of Canada had no involvement in setting up Blogging Tories. Blogging Tories was founded on December 28th, 2004 by Craig Smith and me. This can be easily verified.

The site appears to be a coalition of like-minded individuals who have met in cyberspace to share their political opinions and express their frustrations with Paul Martin's Liberals.

Appears to be? Please, you obviously didn't spend 10 seconds looking at the site. Anybody with two brain cells to rub together would conclude that we are a group of like-minded individuals.

But a Victoria man, Eugene Parks, and Toronto Tory dissident Carole Jamieson allege the venture may be in contravention of the Elections Act and third party financing laws. They say it may have unduly influenced the election coverage and potentially the outcome of this campaign."

Canwest is quoting a random man from Victora and a "Tory dissident"? So much for reliable sources. Are we in violation of the Elections Act and thirdparty financing laws? Blogging Tories has no official (read: legal) affiliation with the Conservative Party of Canada. Certainly there are members who hold membership in the party (like me), there are even some candidates from the Conservative Party running for election who are listed in our blogroll. However, Blogging Tories is actually quite a cheap operation to run. It's hosted for about $16 US per month (that's right: conservative-ideologues. Canadian friends of Stephen Harper. Running a website. Hosted in the US). The domain registration was about $30 Canadian and lasts the whole year.

In fact, I swear, under the penalty of perjury, that I have not received any financial compensation from the Conservative Party of Canada regarding the website "BloggingTories.ca" or "StephenTaylor.ca" nor have I been promised financial compensation by the Conservative Party of Canada in the future for my work on these two websites.

Am I volunteering for the party? I am under no obligation to the party for volunteering. I would certainly like to see Stephen Harper become the next Prime Minister of Canada, however, I have not been recruited for a volunteer role. To the extent that my blog and Blogging Tories breaks news that helps Stephen Harper become Prime Minister, I suppose I am volunteering in that sense. However, one should note that the finacial investment in Blogging Tories during the writ period has cost less than a good pair of walking shoes that a typical volunteer might buy to go door-knocking in a local riding.

Parks said he was approached by senior Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy in December 2005 after a Tory caucus retreat in British Columbia and asked to head what he described as a preelection initiative on behalf of the party. "At the time I was somewhat willing, but my loyalty to the Conservative Party was somewhat shaky," he said.

Blogging Tories was up and running (and taking off) in late December 2004 (see above).

Third-party election financing laws state that it is illegal for a group to spend more than $150,000 during an election period related to a general election. It can also spend no more than $3,000 of that money "to promote or oppose the election of one or more candidates in a given electoral district."

I wish I had that kind of money! For those of you who don't know me, I'm an independent graduate student studying biochemistry at Queen's University. If I had $3,000 to spend on promoting the Tories, I'd be more likely to spend it on food and rent instead of accumulating debt.

The law also says that the third party cannot bypass the spending restrictions by "splitting itself into two or more third parties."

At it's core, Blogging Tories is a list of links to conservative-minded blogs and an aggregation of entries from these blogs. These blogs do not contribute exclusively to Blogging Tories nor is there any financial obligations between Blogging Tories and the blogs that appear on the blogroll. Blogging Tories is certainly not a venture of the Conservative Party of Canada. Most bloggers that are associated with Blogging Tories have registered for free blogs at blogger.com.

I believe that blogging is perhaps one of the greatest things to happen to democracy. Often, blogging is free if you set up with a host like blogger.com, but blogging is certainly affordable to even the poorest members of mainstream society. Blogging allows the average citizen's voice to be heard and Blogging Tories enables this for less than the price of a cup of coffee per day. Blogging, more than journalism, is market-based reporting and punditry; the success of a blogger is correlated to the strength of their writing and ability to break news. If your national newspaper put together a story on Blogging Tories (without calling it's founders as sources) then that is just another hill over which the sun will set on the and old and arid landscape that is the mainstream media, Carole Jamison and those that refuse to embrace or understand how blogs are the new tool for bringing free speech and democracy to the average citizen for little to no cost.

Just more unfounded Liberal crap.

Martin gets negative endorsement

The best endorsement NOT to vote for Paul Martin.

Wonder if the endorsement would change as soon as the election is over?

Check-Out this Site

The Subliminal Party of Canada ... visit the site. Great spoof videos on it.

Dumbest Thing said this election award

And it goes to Buzz, for this ....

Labour leader Buzz Hargrove says Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's attitude toward the provinces is essentially a separatist approach.

"If you devolve all the powers to the provinces, what do you have left? His view of the country is a separatist view," Hargrove said as he campaigned alongside Paul Martin.

He said Quebec voters should choose the Bloc Quebecois over the Conservatives.
The Conservatives want to give the Provinces more power to properly manage programs within their own jurisdictions, that's bad. So let's vote for a party that actually wants to break up the country! Stupid, stupid stupid!

Liberals solicit cash from bureaucrats
Well, it seems when the public doesn't want to support you, you go to your employees. The cash-strapped Liberals are begging office staff to donate a minimum of $100 to help this corrupt inefficient government keep its stranglehold on this country and its purse strings.

Martin back to the hidden agenda
Martin back to the insulting retoric, "He's contemplating something. He wants free rein for some reason. He wants to do something very badly, and he's afraid the courts are going to stop him," Martin said. No, PMPM. What he said was a Conservative government would not have the freedom that you enjoyed in your regime because the Courts, Senate and bureaucrats are all Liberal. It wouldn't be any different than a democratic President saying the same about a Republican house. Doesn't mean they are trying anything. Are Canadian stupid enough to buy this crap from Martin yet again?

NDP may have a toehold in the Liberal stronghold
I've said it before, we need a stronger NDP to keep the Conservatives in check. The NDP would do an admirable job, the Liberals would just sulk and whine and disrupt the house from getting anything done.

Hargrove wants you to vote for the Bloc
He urged Quebec voters to choose the Bloc Québécois over the Conservatives. He is NDP, is endorsing Paul Martin and now apparently he wants us to vote towards a party that wants to break-up Canada. Mind boggling!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rick Mercer Rant

Wish I had a transcript from Mercer's rant tonight, it was about the attack ads. It ended something like (me paraphrasing), "you treated Canadians like they were stupid. " and he went on to say something like, "people won't take that, and you're about to find out."

Liberals like quoting Mercer so this must have stung even worse than Le Presse and the Globe and Mail.

Martin attacks Layton for not attacking Harper

OK, my head's spinning! Lot's of attacking going on here! ;)

From CBC

Liberal Leader Paul Martin chastised NDP Leader Jack Layton, claiming he had given up the fight against the Tory agenda to attack the Liberals.

"Jack Layton has been making some very strange comments during this campaign. He's attacked Liberals, not Conservatives. In fact, he's all but ignored Stephen Harper."

Martin said Layton would rather risk a Harper victory "than be faithful to his own party's principles."

OK, Martin has been telling NDP voters to vote Liberal and form a coalition, Layton plays a turnabout and Martin cries fowl. Typical of this hypocritical party.

Altogether now Liberals. Wah! Wah! Wah! Media bad! Wah! Jack Layton bad! Wah! I'm not your best friend anymore! Wah!

Shane Doan takes legal action against Liberal MP

Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan filed a lawsuit against Liberal MP Denis Coderre on Tuesday, claiming the former sports minister falsely accused him of making an ethnic slur against francophones.

The lawsuit seeks reparations for damages in response to remarks Doan considers "false and defamatory" made by Coderre. Doan alleges Coderre made damaging statements that were falsely attributed to him during a game between Phoenix and Montreal last month.

The NHL reviewed the allegations and Colin Campbell, the league's executive vice-president and director of hockey operations, concluded that the allegation had proven to be baseless. The NHL did not take any additional disciplinary action against Doan.

CBC Vote Selector

The CBC has a vote selector on their site.

My Score:

Your Results:
1. Stephen Harper Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (100%)
2. Jack Layton Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (73%)
3. Gilles Duceppe Leader of the Bloc Quebecois (47%)
4. Paul Martin Leader of Liberal Party of Canada, Prime Minister of Canada (42%)

About what I thought. This score would give reason that there are many areas for the NDP and Conservatives to work together on common ground.

Martin gasping at his last breaths

While Paul Martin is asking NDP voters to form a "coalition" of "progressives" to fight against the Conservatives in a last-ditch attempt to hang-on to the Liberal reign of entitlement, mismanagement and corruption, Jack Layton has a different take - vote for the NDP.

While it has been reported that the Bloc is dangerously close to forming the opposition, it is a must that the small 'l' Liberals vote for Layton who can provide an opposition party that will help keep the Conservatives in check and work their hardest as leaders of opposition to get what is best for Canadians as opposed to Martin who will just try to be oil to the conservative water.

Send a message, rid our government of this cancer that has plagued us and bring a large number of committed NDPers led by Jack Layton into the house. It will bring the balance the house needs.