Thursday, May 1, 2014

Come Back

I think I'm about to start writing here again. You have been warned.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Root Causes

Just want to make a quick point here about PM Harper's attack on Justin Trudeau for using the words "root causes" that's too long for the Twitters.

Thursday, January 24, 2013



Obviously, I lost the plot a little bit with my earlier attempts to profile all the candidates.

But, with the Ontario Liberal convention upon us (today is what the pros refer to as "convention eve" (not really), I did want to find time to endorse.

This has been a fantastic race. I've been really impressed, and really proud, of the people running. Glen Murray, Eric Hoskins, and Harinder Takhar, as already discussed, brought great ideas - and Takhar showed that he's a serious political force (huge kudos have to go to his impressive campaign manager for delivering big time).

Charles Sousa has established himself as a key voice within the party. His style and attitude have raised him up, and impressed a lot of people.

Gerard Kennedy has definitely, definitely belied the media narrative that he's washed up. Despite having been deep in federal politics for years, he stormed back. He has charisma, ideas, and, obviously, a political organization that was still able to deliver him a third place finish. I want to particularly highlight a really impressive democratic reform platform plank he put out (which on a quick glance I can't find the link to - it may have been emailed to me). He's done a great job of proposing steps that would prove what we so often hear - that he would change how things work in the party. That's not easy to do.

Sandra Pupatello has also proved to be an impressive campaigner. Her team won the most delegates - not an easy feat at all. She's shown she has the charisma that she was expected to bring. She's also successfully branded herself as a "blue" candidate, and garnered the endorsements of the Globe (unsurprising) and the Star (more surprising, even if they seem to have spent the rest of the week trying to make up for it by running column after column endorsing her main rival).

If we Liberals are going to have our best shot at running the government, call me a romantic, but I think we have to run on hope.

Hope that we can return to the House and succeed in moving the agenda forward that Ontarians elected their government to do.

Hope that we can offer solutions, not dogmas.

Hope that those solutions can be practical, real, and in line with our values.

Hope that our new Premier can be rewarded for running a strong, positive campaign.

Hope that our new Premier can be someone who can inspire us to be better.

And it's clear to me that the best person for that job is Kathleen Wynne.

Kathleen has been relentlessly positive, in public and in private, and her team has taken on that identity. She's laid out a clear vision for Ontario, which builds on the incredible successes we've already had. She proposes a Premier, party, and government that can continue to improve and protect our most important legacy - that of world-leading health and education - while actually emphasizing fiscal responsibility. She gets a key Liberal truth; we're prudent to be progressive. We're going to build a better society the only way that works - with compassionate changes to improve the bottom line that don't erode our progress.

I'm also proud that there are real ideas, and real details, behind what she pledges to do. No slogans, nothing like the Conservative/Republican approach of "if you say it enough times, it must be true". She brings a sophistication of thought and of discourse that I find exceptionally refreshing. She delivers on her ideas with charisma that can be best described as "clear". You know what she means, and you know that she means it, and that's something we can, and will, take to all Ontarians.

At least for now, I don't want to dig to deep into the ugliness that's started to seep up in this race (proudly, none from Kathleen) other than to refute. And I'm not going to link to that kind of attack. And I also know Kathleen is ready to take on her real opponents, and hope she's made the right decision to keep he powder dry within the family.

But Kathleen is a winner. Ask John Tory (who I believe is in fact a fan). And she can do it again.

She's "electable" (and you know what that's code for). Every time she's stepped up to the plate lesser people have come at her about it, and she's smilingly knocked the hate thrown at her out of the park.

She will be electable in northern and rural Ontario. She's taken them seriously. They'll take her seriously. And we'll be back.

And she's not a woman to take something like this on unless she meant to beat her opponents. Although she's refrained from trying to beat her fellow Liberals senseless, the NDP and PC parties should be nervous about what's coming for them on Monday morning.

If we find out late Saturday that Kathleen is our next Premier. I think every Liberal is going to be able to support her with pride. And be a part of a unified party that's ready to go.

These races need to be about hope. And people like Kathleen deliver it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Eric "Dark Horse" Hoskins

Third in our serious, following Harinder Takhar and Glen Murray, we reach Eric Hoskins. [Author's note - putting the nickname into the title was actually super fun, and I would not put it past me to make some up for the rest].

Glen Murray

I decided the only fair way to do these was to go in the order of currently-reported delegate totals (which I recognize may change as the party finishes it works), which, following Harinder Takhar brings me to Glen Murray.

Former Mayor of Winnipeg (interestingly, the first of two Manitobans competing for the top job here in Upper Canada) and up-'til-he-entered-the-race Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, Murray has brought a lot to the race.

Ontario Leadership - Now With More Takhar!

With the new year, and people presumably finally tuning in to feel the excitement that is the Ontario Liberal Leadership Race (capitalization mandated), I've decided to tune in myself. I'm going to lay out my (relatively quick) thoughts on each candidate - then may have some topical stuff to come later.

Last in, first on my list is Harinder Takhar.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I realized on this lazy Sunday that I've never actually sat down and read the Sherbrooke Declaration, which we've heard some about and will probably hear much more as the NDP claims it's on its way to government. It being Sunday, I'm not going to organize these thoughts, but here are some bullets as I go.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics

And yes, I assume I'm the first person ever to use that title for a blog post. Wait, the What Wing? West?

Here's Jeff writing something I think is a little off, quoting the G&M:
Overall, a majority of Canadians "agree" either strongly (19 per cent) or somewhat (38 per cent) that they consider the Liberal Party to be a "party of the past, not a party of the future," according to the poll.Among Liberal supporters, 21 per cent believe their own party is a party of the past.--Canadians as a whole seem divided on whether a new Liberal leader will make a difference: one half (52 per cent) agree that regardless of who the party chooses as its next leader, they have "pretty much written off the Liberals."
Which leads him to an existential crisi.  Here's the thing about these numbers. If 52% have "pretty much written off" the Liberals, that means we're playing for... carry the two... 48%. And even if the 57% that think the Liberal party is "of the past" can never, ever be convinced otherwise, not even if we elect a bearded leader too, why that means we can't possibly get ourselves over... 43% support. And in a first past the post system, doesn't something funny happen right around 43%?

So I don't get it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

From the Annals of Politicizing Tragedies...

We have this little gem from... oh, what a surprise, Julian Fantino:
Federal cabinet minister Julian Fantino, a former chief of the Toronto police and the Ontario Provincial Police, said on Sunday the fatal Toronto Eaton Centre shooting underlines that there is a criminal element willing to fire guns in public without concern for who might be caught in the crossfire.
Mr. Fantino, now the associate minister of defence, said the federal government is trying to address gun and drug crimes with stiffer sentences.
“Some of these people obviously need to be taught a lesson,” Mr. Fantino said. “We haven’t been able to effectively get their attention. That’s why some of some of these sentences, severe sentences and mandatory sentences are absolutely critical.”
The Conservatives have now had a majority for one full year. So I'm not even going to Google to check - I think we can assume whatever they wanted to bring in on crime has been brought in. If not, then great - by their own twisted logic this is their fault. But since it's been a year - then Fantino's quotes come to you directly from Crazy Town. Let's follow the logic, shall we?

If there's a shooting then we need to stop judges from having discretion.

That works super great, except that we already have tougher laws, so it's not only not something that works (since no one who commits a murder is thinking "and I bet that soft, librul judge will only give me 15 years in prison"), it's just ridiculous.

It's also a situation where the right, just like on taxes, has set itself up in a (false) win-win situation. Crime goes up? Need tougher laws. Crime goes down (which it is, by the way)? Tougher laws succeeded, need tougher laws.

If there is no circumstance that could prove your totally ridiculous assertion wrong, there's a problem.

But all that is about logic, reason, and fact - not exactly the CPC wheelhouse. So let's take this another way.

Why have the Harper Cons failed to prevent crime? They haven't shut up about it for 6 years of government, and more years of slimy opposition. They don't have a plan to prevent crime - they have a plan to try to look tough and try to get elected. We need something that might actually stop these things, and threats of jail time that potential criminals won't even know about won't do it.

This is something liberals need to talk about - a lot. Which also requires us to lay out what we'd do differently, by the way...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Corrupt Practices

By the way, I recognize the headline is super misleading.

Just wanted to highlight this article in which we find out that stimulus cash (which, let's remember, we had to have a constitutional crisis to get Harper to even do) flowed to companies involved in corruption.

The defence it looks like Paradis (who it's kinda hilarious to have on the "clean as a whistle file", by the way) is going to run with is "well, the municipalities picked the projects". Which has some problems, to whit:

  1. Your argument is that "hey, we didn't put into place any oversight, so nyah nyah"
  2. If you'd done a proper job of looking after the economy by taking a big picture view of where stimulus dollars needed to flow to build a better country, then none of this would have happened.
This is not a government that gets it on the economy. This is a government that gets if it says "economy" over and over and over again then apparently that's good enough, especially when the party that actually gets it cedes the field.

Sunday, February 26, 2012