Friday, May 30, 2008

Update: The Reform Party of Ontario responds

So, after I recieved the e-mail in the last post, I e-mailed these guys to ask:

1) How they got my e-mail, as I'm always curious as to who is selling which Party lists and

2) Who the heck this person was, given there was no name at the end of the e-mail from the Reform Party of Ontario.

I told them if I didn't hear a response, which I usually don't when I make this kind of inquiry when I get a mass political e-mail, that they are basically the same as everyone else.

Here's the response:

Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 05:31:09 -0400
From: "exec dir 1"
To: "B-Dub"
Subject: Re: June Meeting

1) I don't actually know. These lists sometimes just take on a life of their own.

2) Phil Miller, Executive Director of the Reform Party of Ontario on behalf of Brad Harness, Leader of the RPO. I wasn't actually trying to recruit anyone. Dalton McGuinty and John Tory do that for us.Not quite like every other party.....Phil


Thanks, Phil. It's pretty sad when the Executive Director of a so-called political party - and who is the author of a blast e-mail - cannot or will not disclose where he got his lists. As I, ironically, have said about John Tory during his Together4Ever antics: Phil is either incompetent or not being truthful.

No Executive Director would send something out without knowing where the list he's sending it to came from. If he doesn't truly know, he's not very good at his job. If he does know, he's not willing to disclose it. So much for transparency.

And a parting remark about how he's not trying to recruit anyone with said e-mail? Give me a break. Of course you are.

Either way, not an impressive start to the Reform Party of Ontario.

I have to say, given my current disillusion with John Tory, I was open to hearing what they have to say. But looking at who's running the show over there, I'll be sending my regrets for this June meeting.

I already have a membership with a Party that's having trouble get its act together, thanks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another Player Enters The Ontario Battlefield...

Haven't checked with Blogging Tories today, so this may be repetitive, but this popped into my inbox this morning:

From: exec dir 1 []
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2008 10:58 AM
Subject: June Meeting

Fellow Ontarian;

Mike Harris brought sanity to Ontario with two majority governments.Sadly, since Iron Mike retired, we've seen Ontario slide badly.The province that once led Canada with it's industrial might has been diminished.

We now lead elsewhere:

-Job Losses
-Tax Hikes
-Government Growth

The Liberals, bolstered by the ineffectual opposition of John Tory and Howard Hampton will continue to bring Ontario more of the same.

There is an alternative.

The Common Sense Revolution didn't die.It just has a new home.....The Reform Party of Ontario.

Join us June 21 in London to plan a better future for Ontario...........or attend one of the other meetings scheduled across the province as we build for 2011.

For ticket information, visit or call 519-293-1019

Together we can return sanity to our province with the common sense of the common people.

Please forward this to anybody you know who is worried about Ontario's future.

Thank you.


I've always believed that two right wing parties will replicate the 10-year circus we saw in Ottawa and basically guarantee a Liberal majority government in Ontario for the next 2-3 terms, but I can't say I'm surprised.

As always, I wonder how they got my e-mail, given it was sent to my work e-mail, which I don;t give out for political causes.

Like the "YES" side in the Leadership Review, I'm hoping the spectre of a Reform Party will keep the pressure up on Tory to make some serious changes and develop some solid platform ideas. If not, I can see this fledgling movement gather some steam.

We shall see.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh, Thank God...

There's a new trailer for the Pacino/De Niro flick "Righteous Kill." I'm happy this came out, because the first one made the movie look fairly lame.

I'm actually stoked to see this now.

"Most people respect the badge. Everyone respects the gun." Woo hoo!

Hey Sharon: Shut the Holy Hell Up!

Sometimes I wonder why any news agency in the world would give a damn about what actors and entertainers think when they are off stage or not on screen. Then I realized that it just makes for good copy. Here's Hollywood intellectual Sharon Stone imparting her wisdom on why the earthquakes took place in China:
"I'm not happy about the way that the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because
I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else," she told reporters at
Cannes. "And so I have been very concerned about how to think and what to do
because I don't like that." She said she's also been wondering how the United
States should handle the Olympics because China is "not being nice to the Dalai
Lama, who's a good friend of mine." When the earthquake hit, Stone wondered if
it was a case of what goes around, comes around. "Then all this earthquake and
all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice,
that the bad things happen to you."

You don't like being unkind to anyone else? Really? Are you sure?

To quote Al Pacino in the cinematic classic Heat: I am over-f**king-whelmed.

So, the Communist Chinese government refuses to give up militarily strategic territory and the karmic invoice is over 20,000 citizens losing their lives? How is that nice?

Isn't displaying breathtakingly callous indifference to the plight of poor people suffering from a natural disaster cruel on a Darth Vader scale?

You think your pal the Dalai Lama is looking at the earthquake victims, giggling to himself and muttering "Serves you right, you rat bastards." Maybe, but I doubt it.

Sharon Stone needs to stick to what she does best: desperately clinging to her beauty from 20 years ago and playing minor roles in forgettable films.

That's the Sharon Stone I know and ignore.

Who said WHAT now?

Joe Who is apparently baffled by Stephen Harper's government?!?!?!

CAUTION: This post is not well written because I just want to rant!

No doubt because the current PM can govern with a minority "as if he had a majority" and gets away with it.

The more Joe Who opens his mouth, the more irrelevant he shows himself to be.

What a pathetic, little man he has become. One more time opening up the "hidden agenda" issue -

He said he was also skeptical about the Harper government's treatment of Quebec and how sincere the Prime Minister and his government are about accommodating Quebeckers. In 2006, Mr. Harper's government passed a motion recognizing the Québécois as a nation within a united Canada.

"It was a very clever manoeuvre at the time and very successful at the time," he said. "But I'm still a skeptic as to what his view is of this accommodation of genuine diversity in the country, and we won't know for a while."

My biggest question is this: The man was PM for 9 months in 1979-80. What took so long to get a portrait done? Was he just so busy with all his other work, or did he figure he might as well wait until after his second stint as PM?


I especially love the part about being a "political orphan". Give me a break. Get over yourself.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not The Same At All

Ever in pursuit of an issue that will put the Harper government's ethics on par with the Chretien/Martin-era Liberanos, there is a story in today's Ottawa Citizen about how relatives of some Tory MPs are on the government payroll:

The children and siblings of some Conservative MPs have found work on Parliament Hill in the offices of other Tory parliamentarians, a review of government records shows.

For example, Mark Toews, son of Treasury Board President Vic Toews, works as a special assistant on the Western desk in the ministerial office of International Trade Minister David Emerson. The daughter of Saskatchewan Tory MP Ed Komarnicki works for an Ontario MP, and MP Maurice Vellacott hired his brother to work in his constituency office.

OK - some dude is working as an assistant to a backbencher in a constit office. Alrighty. So what is the parallel Chretien example?

More recently, when Jean Chrétien was prime minister, he was accused of nepotism when his daughter, a lawyer, was appointed to a federal position on a 2010 Olympics organizing committee -- an allegation his office rejected.

Yeah, 'cause that's the same thing. Firstly, let's not forget that France Chretien-Desmarais was only one of three appointments back in 2003. Who were the other two? Ricky, let's go to the tape:

Ottawa appoints three of 20 board members. In addition to Ms. Chretien-Desmarais, two others who have been named are raising eyebrows.

One is Vancouver millionaire Peter Dhillon, said to be a close ally of Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal, a loyal footsoldier to Mr. Chretien.

The other is Tony Tennessy, a friend of [Heritage Minister and Minister tasked with these appointments] Ms. Copps' husband, Austin Thorne. Both Messrs. Thorne and Tennessy have been highly involved in the union movement.

Secondly, being on the board of the 2010 Olympic games is not - hard to believe, I know - the same as working on tracking down a social security check for lovely Ms. Beck on Cherry Street.

I get that the MSM and the Liberals are trying to find any crack in the ethical armor of this government. After being pistol-whipped by a $200M kickback scheme on the eve of a federal election, the Libs are looking for their own dirt to throw at the Tories: biker gang girlfriends, $1M in local ad spending, playing footsie with the Mayor of Ottawa. I guess they figure if they throw enough crap, something will stick.

But trolling through the public payroll to find some gal who is the cousin of an MP who works on the Hill is hardly a road the Liberals want to go down, given their Olympian (pun intended) abilities in the art of patronage.

I for one would welcome the opportunity to see which party appointed the most well-connected hacks to various jobs and appointments in the federal government and who spent the most taxpayers money on slush funds, junkets, promotional golf balls and travel.

Let's put that in a t-bar graph, pull out the ol' calculators and add up the grand totals.

The Libs may want to stick with their carbon tax plan. Would do them much less damage in the polls.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

CPC HQ: In Need of a "Hip" Replacement

"If I wasn't in the rap game, I'd probably have a key
Knee deep in the crack game;
Because the streets is a short stop
Either you're slinging crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot."

- Notorious B.I.G., "Things Done Changed", 1993

So through Canadian Blue Lemons, I caught wind of a fairly stupid piece the CPC has on the Party website about hip-hop and crime. As long-time CH readers know, I'm a huge hip-hop head. I bought my first rap album in 1986 (Run DMC, Raising Hell) and have been hooked ever since. So, I have a few thoughts about the parody.

Firstly, I should say that I understand what the ad is trying to do: namely, characterize the Liberal approach to crime under the whole soft, "hugs for thugs" type of small-l liberalism. I get that. But here's what the ad really does - it plays to type. Guess what? The CPC is seen as the party of 40-year old, rich, white guys. This does not help. Some photoshop of Dion in a 80's era dookie necklace and a stupid hat? Yeah, a 26-year old kid in a blazer and khakis thought that one up, I can guarantee you. No faster way to look like a party of old white dudes.

You may dismiss hip-hop, but I will GUARANTEE that some of our key target demographics - young mothers, various ethnic groups of the South Asian and eastern bloc variety, young families - listen to a whole lot of rap music. 7 of the 10 top songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week is either an R&B song featuring a rapper or a rap song (#1: Li'l Wayne, "Lollipop").

Third - you know what? Ignatieff is right. In some cases, getting youth into programs such as producing and recording their own music is much more beneficial that a jail cell. As Adam Radwanski and others pointed out, some successful Canadian rappers such as Kardinal Offishall got their start from that kind of a program. As Kardi says:

"In the aftermath of all the kids rampaging downtown following the Rodney King verdict in 93, the Bob Rae government stepped in with some funding for youth-oriented programs like Fresh Arts. That’s really how Saukrates, Jully Black, Baby Blue Soundcrew and I got our start. It gave us something useful to do.

"We were able to go to radio stations and recording studios and see how engineers and producers worked behind the scenes. Many of us had never been inside a studio before, let alone recorded a song in one. Through that program we also got to promote our own events, from making the flyers to doing radio promotion, everything. I can’t begin to put a dollar value on what I learned."

I'm a big law and order guy, but I also recognize the complete and utter lack of opportunity that exists in some areas of society. There are no jobs. Its sports, music or running the streets. Can I identify with that? No. I had a lot of opportunities and I took advantage of them. But I also recognize that it isn't always that way for everyone.

Chuck D of the iconic group Public Enemy called rap music "the Black CNN." It has and will likely always be a reflection of life in urban America, for better or worse. While I concede that it is much more rare in Canada to find the abject poverty, crime and gang activity that is seen in the ghettos of large US cities, the same type of challenges exist here: a breakdown of the family unit, a lack of community services and employment opportunities, a sex and violence media culture. Does that give them license to be a criminal? Hell no. Is it a factor in driving people to commit crimes? Absolutely.

Hip-Hop is the messenger, whether you want to believe it or not. It goes back and forth with country music as the #1 selling music genre in North America. Future voters listen to hip-hop music. Current target voters listen to hip-hop music. The faster you get that, the faster you will effectively reach out to those voters.

We Conservatives constantly whine about how the Liberals have a natural societal advantage in Canada. But sometimes we give them that advatage by constantly and blatantly appealing to our core base: older, white suburban and/or rural voters. Try broadening your horizons, a bit there guys. It may mean more votes.

The ad is stupid and you look like a bunch of out-of-touch nerds relying on stale stereotypes. How will that help us to become the natural govering party? We're better than this.

Remember: More people listen to P Diddy than PM Harper.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tough Sell

Try to think Green for a minute.

Take a moment to think about how much "carbon" you use in your daily life. If you drive, you use it... if you heat your home, you use it... if you consume electricity, you use it (even "green" energy uses it in the production of the "green" equipment)...

Now, think about how much you are willing to pay for the new Liberal "carbon" tax.

This is going to be some campaign when the time comes...the Liberals are actually considering a plan that says they are going to "tax and spend".

Ralph Goodale is having kittens because the surplus he was planning to use has been eliminated, not through poor planning, but by giving it back to taxpayers in the form of tax cuts.

I think that the Liberals are going to pitch this idea to well-healed audiences who actually believe that it will be revenue neutral, get it in their head that they are going to have a winner of a platform, pull the trigger on an election and...

...well, I guess we will have to wait and see.

Myself, I don't want an election until October, 2009. For no other reason than I am too busy to get involved to the level I would like this year. But I can't wait.


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