Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jennifer Ditchburn in search of unhappy Conservatives.

Jennifer Ditchburn is no fan of the Conservatives, as anyone who has ever read her stuff is keenly aware, and today is no exception as she finds a couple of unhappy Quebec Conservatives and writes about their disillusionment and uses the opportunity to again bring up the issue of weighing ridings for leadership votes, which will be brought up at the convention along with dozens of other proposals.

Anything that works negatively to the conservatives I guess.

BTW I always thought that candidates and their campaigns were responsible for their own signage. (Can you imagine what Elections Canada would do if the Party actually purchased and distributed the signs!)

Here is some more on Jennifer from this blog, and some from BC Blue including her big breaking story on Helena Guergis and the town playboy.

Monday, May 30, 2011

The good news keeps coming!

Chrysler has repaid their 1.7 Billion in loans received from the governments of Canada and Ontario.

StatsCan: The Canadian economy expanded 3.9% in the first quarter of 2011.

Some action on the Senate.

And the House has yet to sit for even one day of Parl41.

Much more to come.

The end of the long gun registry.The end of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly. The end of party subsidies...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NDP spin on new MPJean-Francois Larose's resume. #Fail

More resume problems for the NDP and their pathetic attempt to spin their way out of it.*

This past Friday QMI learned that the new NDP MP for a federal riding north of Montreal does not have a degree from the University of Montreal, contrary to what his official electoral biography stated. This after another similiar resume incident with their most famous MP, Ruth Ellen Brosseau.

Like with Brosseau, the NDP spin on Lerose was that it was a staffers error: On Brosseau the story was that a staffer had "inadvertently" changed the wording, embellishing her resumé. On Lerose we hear of a similar tale using similar words describing how a NDP staffer (now gone)  had made an "inadvertent change" to Lerose's resume posted on the party’s website.

Only with Brosseau the spin was at least plausible, staffers do make mistakes and there is really no reason not to take the NDP's word for what happened, but with Larose the NDP spin is so ridiculous that it insults the intelligence because this is not the first time that this has "inadvertently" happened. "The false credentials were also posted about Larose on the La Presse newspaper website when he ran for in the Montreal municipal election in 2009." So unless that very same NDP staffer wrote the bio in 2009 and again in 2011, I have some serious doubts that it was their fault in the least.

BTW what happened to that staffer? The NDP claim that they no longer work for the NDP but why is that?
Were they fired? Did they resign? Were the pushed to resign? We don't know and so far the media couldn't seem to care less about the NDP lying to them or about what happened to the staffer that the NDP claim was responsible. ( anyone remember certain MSM types mocking the CPC when they blamed a staffer for anything?)

HT BC Blue.

Related: More spin, also total BS that the media bought, from the NDP and Jack Layton's infamous shove to get some camera time for himself.

*Which appears to have worked because judging from the lack of questions and coverage, our MSM seems to have swallowed the BS spin from the NDP. 

Another #fail from Canada's political journalists.

Friday, May 20, 2011

And now the end is near.....

Number one on the list: An end to taxpayer subsidies for political parties.

Next up: The oppressive Canadian Wheat Board and soon to follow, the long gun registry.

And for an added bonus some common sense on cap and trade and incandescent light bulbs!

The left is going to go nuts.

For your daily media fear-mongering fix we have Lawrence Martin trying to convince everyone that the media is in the PM's pocket.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Alfred Apps and the Liberal Party: Passing on the blame.

From the Globe and Mail: " In a Facebook post Thursday, Mr. Apps warned Liberals “not to put the cart before the horse.”

“Very gratified with the goodwill, as well as the honest and constructive dialogue with our MPs and Senators,” he said of the caucus meeting. “Even the high emotions are respected, after all it was a devastating defeat and desire to fix blame is totally understandable. But we should move on.”
Meanwhile, he said he and the party executive had nothing to do with the strategy behind the losing campaign. He said he delivered on his part of the job – supplying the money to fund the campaign. "

Sure Alf, aside from going down to the US to recruit Michael Ignatieff for the leaders job and then falsely using the coalition crisis as an excuse to trample the Liberal Party constitution and voice of the grassroots to appoint Ignatieff as leader, you the party executive had no part at all in the defeat.

Sigh. When will these guys learn. Ignoring the grassroots party members is never a good idea, and trying to re-write history to spin your own people is even worse.

Oh and there is also this about the party not authorizing funds to the struggling Ignatieff campaign in the last couple of weeks of the election campaign.

Previous entries on Alfred Apps.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Chretien urges PM Harper not to follow through on election promise.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper should reconsider his vow to end the direct per-vote subsidy for political parties, says former prime minister Jean Chrétien.

Sort of arrogant, no? Having a former PM ask the current PM not to follow through on his election promises?

Thank you Jean, but cutting party subsidies was an election platform promise, in fact I would call it a major plank of that platform, and the Conservatives were elected on that platform. The Conservative Party of Canada is not the Liberal Party where promises to abolish the GST or the numerous times they promised a national child care system are never followed through on.  This PM will follow through on his platform promise.

If a party's own members do not care enough to support that party with their own money, why should the taxpayer have to prop them up?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Did Quebec reject the Bloc to make a coalition easier?

There has been lots written the last couple of days about the collapse of the Bloc and the NDP surge in Quebec and so far I have not read anything that really explains what happened. Did BQ supporters all wake up one day and decide to toss out a party that for years has enjoyed their support because of something Duceppe did or did not do? Were they all taken in by the guy from downtown Toronto with the big smile and equally big spending promises? 

While I don't claim to know the answer I do have some thoughts and a possible piece of the puzzle as to why Bloc supporters decided to abandon their party and support the NDP.

The coalition.

Whenever the idea of a coalition has been discussed it has been quite clear that having Bloc MPs as part of any coalition was not to the liking of most Canadians. During the original coalition crisis both the Liberals and NDP were desperately trying to spin that the Bloc were not actually part of the coalition, only that they would be supporting it, and Ignatieff himself had this to say as to why he didn't enter into the deal he had signed: "I could be sitting here as your prime minister, but I turned it down because I didn’t think it was right for someone who believes in the national unity of my country to make a deal with people who want to split the country up," 

Having separatist Bloc MP's either in or supporting a coalition government did not fly in 2008 and was never going to go over well with Canadians. Bloc supporters were as aware of this problem as much as anyone else but what to do about it.

The solution: Drop the Bloc and elect enough NDP MPs so that a coalition would not only be legitimate but it would have a much better chance of being accepted by the rest of Canada.

It makes sense and possibly explains why dedicated separatists tossed their own party and blindly voted for NDP candidates some of which were barely old enough to vote themselves, did not speak French, or have NEVER even been to the riding in which they were running in.

Your thoughts?

Friday, May 06, 2011

Some Local Campaign 2011 Musings.

Yesterday around noon I dropped off my last load of lawn signs officially ending, for myself at least, the 2011 election campaign. During the past 40 days I have run the gamut of emotions from depressing lows to exhilarating highs, with the added bonus of running myself to near exhaustion at times in the process, and now that I have some free time I thought I would put together a post on some of my election 2011 thoughts and experiences from the local level. From the time the writ was dropped until the last sign was removed, it was 40 days that I will not soon forget.

 The early days consisted mostly of helping to get the local campaign office up and running, which in our case consisted of turning a rather large empty space into the hub of the local campaign, and getting the signs out. Desks and furniture had to be brought in, temporary walls/dividers had to be fashioned, equipment such as computers, phones, copiers, shredders and even TVs had to be located brought in and hooked up, and the volunteers organized. Aside from some early grunt work of hauling things around and some minor 'construction' work, the set up of the office was capably handled by many others; I worked more on getting the signs out.

When the writ was dropped on the last weekend of March there was 3 feet of snow in my yard, there were huge windrows along every road, and the ground frozen solid, not the best situation to be putting out election signs. The signs were being stored in a shed on a rural property in the riding and a Bobcat had to be used to clear a path through the snow just to get access. But we got them out and we got them up. Within 2 days all major and minor intersections in the riding had signs placed in all directions, but because the ground was still frozen they had to be placed in the deep snow and within a couple of weeks every single sign had to be re-visited and put solidly into the ground.

More on signs: There were plenty of stories during the campaign on sign vandalism etc and while there were some places more effected than others, I think it is fair to say that EVERY candidate had to face some type of sign vandalism.  If you have ever dealt with signs in a campaign you can sort of tell who is going after your signage and why; when you see a bunch of signs knocked over or pulled out ( including those from your opponent) it is a good guess that it is just kids who did so as they walked by. It is when only your teams signs that get hit while the oppositions remain standing, or when your signs have be damaged or made non reusable ( no details but sign people know what I am talking about) that the political motive questions start being asked. Why people do it is beyond me, it is just stupid not mention illegal, but no matter the reasons when they knock 'em down, someone has to go out there and stand 'em back up.  BTW there were more than a few times that I stood up NDP signs that were knocked down along side our own ( You're welcome Nadine).

Blogging: One of the regrets that I do have was not doing enough blogging during the campaign. You would think that blogging would be a no brainer as it is a political bloggers 'busy season', but the time and my energy level were just not there. I have to look at my drafts but I can wager that I have at least 10 blog entries sitting there in various stages of completion that I started but did not finish/publish for various reasons. I had a great series that I had planned on Ignatieff, aka Mr. Democracy, for the final week of the campaign but to be honest I felt that it was a waste of time and towards the end I started feeling sorry for the guy and didn't want to pile on. On the positive side I did follow closely much of the wonderful work my fellow Blogging Tories did during the campaign and when I had the time I did quite a bit of Tweeting (a quick tweet is much faster than writing a blog post).  Also my long running issue with Scott Reid and the CBC was finally resolved thanks to the Ombudsman, but even there what should have been a few days worth of good material only made it into a single blog post.

Door-Knocking: While I did quite a few other things during the course of the campaign, it was door-knocking that took up the most of my time and provided some of the most enjoyable moments along with some of the most depressing moments of the 2011 campaign. It is my favorite election activity as I enjoy going out and knocking on doors meeting people face to face getting instant feedback, and one of the more memorable trips occurred in the middle of a spring snow storm when I met up in Millwoods with the candidate and blogged about here. The trips into Edmonton-Strathcona though were memorable for much different reasons. The first trips I made into E-S were great; lots of positive feedback and when we left there were as many Hastman lawn signs out as there were Duncan signs. But those first trips were in polls on the edge of the riding and as we got closer to the University area things became much different. Most of people I met at the door were polite enough, although having a door slammed in your face even just once tends to make for a bad day, but it was clear that most of those met were Duncan supporters and in these polls the Duncan signs were everywhere. On one particular street there were 15 homes, 9 of which had Linda Duncan signs on the lawn, and this was not an anomaly as it was near impossible to go to more than 5-6 homes anywhere in these polls and not encounter an Orange NDP sign. Needless to say that after a couple of days of that sort of thing that ones confidence goes down somewhat and you become unsure if you are having any impact at all.

Election night: When it was all over and the votes counted we had won in Edmonton Millwoods Beaumont, lost in Edmonton Strathcona, consumed an over abundance of chicken wings, and for the first time ever the CPC had enough seats to form a majority government, but all I could really think about was that we didn't have to do this again for another 4 1/2 years and that in 2015 my daughter will be eligible to vote for the very first time.

It was over but for the clean up, which would begin bright and early Tuesday morning.

The campaign started when the government fell on March 25 on a Liberal motion of non confidence ( Insert joke of your choice here) the political situation for the Conservatives was not great, the weather was cold and miserable, and there was still 3 ft of snow on my front lawn. 40 days later and we now have a majority government, the sun is shining, the snow gone, my grass is starting to turn green and flowers are starting to come up.

It was worth all of the work.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

2011 Election: What happened in Edmonton Strathcona.

The contest in Edmonton-Strathcona between Linda Duncan of the NDP and Ryan Hastman of the Conservative Party was considered a riding to watch by many because it was the only riding in Alberta not held by the Conservatives. Duncan won the riding in the 2008 campaign defeating Rahim Jaffer by a slim 463 vote margin and it had been no secret that the CPC wanted it back and that the NDP would stop at nothing to hold it.

The end results: Turnout: 48,763 out of 71,050 electors. 68.6%

NDP   Duncan     26,134     53.6%
CPC   Hastman   19,755     40.5%

LPC   Sinclair       1,363      2.8%

GPC   Fehr           1,127       2.3%

So what happened in Edmonton Strathcona?

The best summation that I can make is that the election was won by the Linda Duncan NDP campaign and that it was not 'lost' by the Ryan Hastman team. I know how that may sound like I am trying to blow smoke somewhere but it really is the best explanation of the reality in the Edm Strathcona race.

Full disclosure: On a few occasions during the 2011 election I actively campaigned (mostly door knocking) for Ryan Hastman in Edmonton Strathcona.

The NDP pulled out all of the stops in an attempt to hold the riding which they called "Battleground Alberta" in a national fund-raising campaign.They had volunteers from all over descended to do the ground work (there were rumours of paid door knocking crews but with the numbers of volunteers the NDP had at their disposal from provincial assets I have my doubts), and even Jack Layton came to town on two separate occasions to rally the troops and local dipper voters. They were funded, had the man power, were well prepared, and ran a smart and effective campaign.

On the CPC side similiar can also be said. They were well funded, had the man power, were well prepared, and ran a smart and effective campaign but they faced an uphill battle from the beginning as well as some obstacles and challenges that the Duncan campaign did not. Challenges such as the power of incumbency and demographics not seen in other Edmonton area ridings.

Getting rid of a sitting MP is not generally a easy task as people tend to re elect people they know and are 'familiar' with, and when that MP is believed to be doing a decent job it is even more difficult to accomplish.  I heard it myself at the doors from people who would be considered to be conservative supporters that they thought that she was doing a decent job on the local level as their MP, they had issues with her and the positions she and the NDP took in Ottawa, but not her work at the constituency level. This is sort of a double whammy because one of the biggest reasons why voters turned to Duncan in the first place was because Jaffer was considered by many to be an absent MP. I don't want to go into the demographics too much other than the say that the riding contains the 'hipster' areas of Whyte Avenue and old Strathcona as well as the Campus of the University of Alberta. To say the riding is unique for Edmonton or even Alberta would not be an understatement.

It was an uphill battle to begin with and to make matters worse the Hastman campaign not only had to fight a formidable NDP campaign, incumbency and the unique demographics, they would have to face intangibles which nobody could plan for; namely the almost complete collapse of the Liberal vote and the unexpected surge of the NDP nationally. In 2006 the Liberal candidate received over 9,000 votes under the Paul Martin banner, in 2008 they received over 4000 while under Dion, (which many assumed would be the low point for  the Libs and that under Iggy they would at least hold that vote if not increase it), but that was a very wrong assumption as their candidate received only 1,363 votes in total. As for the surge; I am not sure how many more votes were actually gained from it in the riding on the whole, I don't believe it was that many but one thing I am sure about is that it fired up their staff and volunteers and it galvanized the already existing vote/support in the only NDP riding in Alberta.

In the end Linda Duncan and her team deserve full credit for the victory that they worked so hard to obtain and Ryan can take heart in knowing that he and his team ran one hell of a campaign* against almost impossible odds.

* If there is one positive in this it is that Ryan has proven himself to be capable candidate and a tireless formidable campaigner. Having won a close nomination race in June 17th 2009 he had knocked on 9,000 doors before the one year anniversary of that nomination passed and when the writ was dropped hit the ground running, not stopping until it was over. He performed well in the campaign and even though it was not rewarded with a win at the ballot box, his determination, work ethic, and energy didn't go unnoticed; causing even the NDP to put extra money and resources into the riding into an effort to beat Hastman and hold the riding. I would say that is an accomplishment in itself.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

We did it: A Conservative Majority.

And now we don't have to do it again for 4 years!

A big thank you to all the volunteers from across the country that worked so hard during the campaign to reach our goal. Take a bow, as it would not have happened without you.

 There will be much to write about over the coming days, including what happened in Edm Strathcona and of course on the future, or rather lack of a future for the Liberals, but first some much needed sleep and then there is a little matter of a few hundred signs that have to be dealt with.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Election Day 2011.

Get out and vote. Canada deserves a strong stable majority government and as the news from earlier this evening reminds us, we also need a proven leader at the helm in these difficult times. Go with the guy with the proven 5 yr record. See you on the other side.

Comments have been put on moderation and there will be no updates until after the polls close in BC.

Curse you and your archaic rules Elections Canada!

It is as simple as this.

You only have to look at the last 5 yrs under a Conservative government and their record and compare it to the oppositions of 5 yrs of smear/fear while they accomplished nothing constructive for Canadians to know who you should be voting for come Monday.

A conservative majority not only means stability by not turning over the reigns of government with its taxation and economic policy powers to the big spending left leaning opposition Liberals, NDP, Bloc (or any combination of), it alse ensures that there is not another 350 million dollar election for at least another 4 yrs.

You know what to do.

Look around today at your own situation and that of your country, and get out and vote Conservative tomorrow!