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Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Blahg: HARPER ON SOFTWOOD: "I can’t help but notice that Harper’s stance on the softwood lumber dispute is the exact same as Paul Martin’s; for which he was labelled as anti-American."

Richard McAdam: Words of a Grad Student: Paul Martin's "Phony War" in Dealing with the United States: "At the debate last night, Stephen Harper called Paul Martin on the carpet for 'phony war' tactics and damaging commentaries vis-a-vis the United States in the ongoing trade dispute over softwood lumber. As has been the case in recent weeks, I find myself in ready agreement with Harper, and here's why."

Burton Front: Exempt Media To Win For Best Supporting Role: "The media are playing their role to prop up a corrupt Liberal government with all of the bias they can muster. Message to the mainstream and exempt media: There ain't no Captain Canada; there is only the Captain of the Titanic."

RightThinkingPeople: What’s to debate?: "Take the debates of the last two days. What, exactly, is there to debate? Do we have to decide who has the better vision for Canada? Paul Martin offers a broken party and a slate of broken promises; his political machinery has been skidding hither and yon, lurching frantically between initiatives in an attempt to avoid being mowed down by Harper’s platform like a greased-up fat guy on a rink trying to outrun the Zamboni."

Political Staples: The Iraq thing: "So that little point that Stephen Harper made about Iraq last night - Paul Wells provides the background. He's right this denial actually proves Stephen Harper's point. In 2004 Paul Martin wanted to send troops to Iraq and Stephen Harper rejected it."

Pilgrim.Not.Wanderer: 2nd TV Debate: "OK. Here's one you won't hear about much. Under Martin's watch Canada effectively agreed to 'the militarization of space' and the missile shield by allowing it to officially fall under NORAD. So no matter what Canada has to say, America can go ahead with it under NORAD. Of course America wants Canada to be on board and to publically co-operate. That's when Martin stands up!!! After it doesn't really matter any more. Why does he get all worked up after he himself changed NORAD to include the missile shield? I can only assume to get votes. Why else? "

Political Staples: Scoring the debate: "...Twenty-nine percent polled said Martin won the debate, compared to 28% for Harper. Jean-Marc Leger, CEO of Leger Marketing, summed up the debate as 'a real tie.' 'This format doesn't really provide for a clear winner. It's more of a chess game than a boxing match.' Leger said the numbers are likely a reflection of voting intentions -- and that's good news for Harper. 'Only 18 months ago he was the devil. This time a tie is very good news for him,' he said."

Free Democracy: Canada in the crosshairs: Media conservatives sling mud north of the border: "Following Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin's remarks criticizing U.S. global environmental policies, a number of conservative media figures have attacked Canada, hurling baseless accusations and derogatory comments at America's northern neighbor. Media Matters for America documented Fox News' host Neal Cavuto's December 14 attack on Canada. Cavuto asked: '[H]ave the Canadians gotten a little bit too big for their britches?' and '[C]ould our neighbors to the north soon be our enemies?' In the same vein, MSNBC host Tucker Carlson dismissed the entire country as 'essentially a stalker,' and 'your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving.' Also, Douglas MacKinnon, press secretary to former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), alleged that 'the Canadian government not only willingly allows Islamic terrorists into their country, but does nothing to stop them from entering our nation.'"

Frost Hits the Rhubarb: The utter hypocrisy of Paul Martin: "I don't understand how the Liberals can still be ahead in the polls. Between PM and Team's stated lofty goals and the reality falls the shadow every time. Let us start with the conference on the Kyoto Accord held in Montreal. Martin had the gall to hector America about not having a global conscience on pollution. Here Martin managed to skewer two of his election promises. First, he angers our major trading partner and security blanket; then he tries to come off as a pollution fighter, even though, under the Liberals, Canada has seen pollution emissions rise 24%. Roughly twice the amount in America. The only saving grace was that the conference wasn't held in Toronto, which was probably smogged in again."

Pundits Pan Opposition Debate Performance: "[Harper] made little ground, however, with his new promise not to invoke the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to put an end to same-sex marriage. "

Prime Minister Martin’s Debate Performance Wins Rave Reviews: “Paul Martin was so effective, and so passionate, when speaking of his feelings for Canada.” (Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun, December 17)

Singing Sally: More on Mr. Harper: "Prime Minister Paul Martin demanded Conservative Leader Stephen Harper come clean that he intends to use the notwithstanding clause to overturn the Charter right to same-sex marriage. Mr. Harper said during tonight’s leader’s debate in Vancouver on the topic of abolishing same-sex marriage: “I will never use the notwithstanding clause on that issue.” Prime Minister Martin asked that he be honest with the Canadian people regarding his intention to override a Charter right. "

The Sorry Centrist: Liberal Eggheads at Work: "“I have never — never once — said that I would send troops to Iraq, or contemplated it.” Well, those were the exact words from Paul Martin during friday night's English-language debate. And according to our good friend Paul Wells over at Inkless Wells, he had read a press release in his hand that had been issued by the Liberal minions in the war room, but being overworked at Macleans, suffering from a lack of sleep as well as a new hip NDP girlfriend, his plate was too full to react to another Dithers blunder. Therefore, he decided to issue a challenge to all late night bloggers"

John Lott's Website: Canadian Liberal's Handgun Ban Opposd by Most Voters: "Interestingly even 44 percent of Liberals oppose the handgun ban proposal from their own party."

Ride a Pale Horse: The Fetters are Off: "The U.S. and Canada have been sharing national information since the creation of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) in 1958. This bi-national agreement to provide aerospace warning and control for North America is scheduled to expire in May 2006. In preparation for the renewal of this contract, the U.S. and Canadian commanders are proposing to expand the integration of the two countries, including cooperation in the “Star Wars” program, cross-national integration of military command structures, immigration, law enforcement, and intelligence gathering and sharing under the new title of NORTHCOM, U.S. Northern Command. Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien refused to join NORTHCOM. To circumvent his decision, this “illusive transitional military” (aka NORAD/NORTHCOM) formed an interim military authority in December 2002, called the Bi-National Planning Group (BPG.) The command structure is fully integrated between NORAD, NORTHCOM and the BPG. The BPG is neither accountable to the U.S. Congress nor the Canadian House of Commons. The BPG is also scheduled to expire in May 2006. Hence, the push for Canada to join NORTHCOM."

THE BEAR 604 SHOW: "Two of the four leaders debates are now complete, and Paul Martin is starting to look like a political Dave Dickenson. The Prime Minister was continually sacked by Harper, Duceppe, and Layton, yet somehow managed to get up for the next play. Martin was able to make a few good reads, scramble and improvise, at one point going as far as stealing the 'Stand Up for Canada' line from the Conservative playbook in reference to Canada-U.S. relations. Unfortunately for Martin, just because one can handle being knocked around doesn't mean the team can necessarily deliver when it counts.

Stephen Harper didn't alter course much from Thursday night's French-language debate, which, unfortunately for him, saw the other party leaders smoke out the Conservative position on same-sex marriage. The Notwithstanding Clause remains as the Elephant in the room, while Martin, Layton and Duceppe are stuffing Harper's pants with peanuts. Harper's other collision with logic took place during the question on child care. 'Beer and popcorn' may have been somewhat callous, but handing out money to parents for childcare when those childcare spaces don't exist shows a disturbing callousness right under the CPC leader's hairpiece. "

Maize Page: The Canadian election ignores national suicide: "'The last time I looked, the United States was not on the ballot for the Jan. 23 election,” U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins said to scattered applause during a speech last week. The comment came as a sharp and un-diplomatic rebuke to Prime Minister Paul Martin who is campaigning to keep his Liberal party in power after he recieved a vote of no-confidence last month. Like Schroder in Germany four years ago, Martin is bashing the U.S. and generally being rude to the U.S. about issues like Kyoto and climate change. This is all a distraction from a great problem in Canada, writes the venerable Richard Gwyn of the Toronto Star"

Just Like Conservative MPs, Harper's Plan Won't Deliver For British Columbia: "Stephen Harper outlined his British Columbia platform today. Just like his 22 MPs in the province, the priorities are wrong and won't deliver for the province. On softwood: Jack Layton has laid out a plan to repatriate the illegal tariffs imposed by the U.S. by linking the dispute to oil and gas exports. Until then, the federal government should be offering forestry companies loan guarantees against the illegal tariffs imposed by the U.S."

A Canadian View of American Politics: The English Debate - Thoughts: "Is it just me or was Jack Layton the only one whose microphone ever got cut off? Wait, let me put it another way. The only speaker whose micrphone NEVER got cut off was Paul Martin. I kind of thought he talked too long at least a couple of times. So why didn't he get cut off? I could be wrong, but it did seem a little suspicious to me."

Views from the: English debate: "Well it would seem the only news to come out of the Liberal war room, other than the press release on the War on Iraq being pulled (h/t Paul Wells), is this: Prime Minister Paul Martin: now with 17% more passion"

The English Language Debate: Harper wins, Martin loses: "Just by judging the the headlines of three major papers, each from a different point on the political spectrum, we see that Stephen Harper is given the nod, while Paul Martin failed to impress. From the Globe and Mail: Martin attacked by all leaders on riff with U.S. From the Ottawa Citizen: Harper takes own path in English-language debate From the Toronto Star: Martin lashes out at rivals"

The Tao of Jeremy: Gay Marriage Fireworks In Second Debate In Canadian Election Campaign: "(Vancouver, British Columbia) The divisive issue of same-sex marriage triggered the most emotion-charged confrontation of the second debate by the leaders of Canada's four main political parties Friday night, with accusations of hidden agendas and hypocrisy. Prime Minister Paul Martin moved to exploit the chink in Stephen Harper's political armor, suggesting the Conservative leader has a hidden agenda."

Dissonance And Disrespect: Patriot Acting: The Quebec Question Goes Unanswered: "Televised debates generally confirm people in their previous intentions; even a supposed knock-out blow, like the one that Brian Mulroney felled John Turner with in 1984, merely let voters ratify what they'd already decided. So let us not despair or rejoice too much over poll results that announce the winner. Let us, instead, look at Paul Martin's last desperate plea to Gilles Duceppe not to take away his country:"

Canada's John Galt: If the U.S. really wanted to show Canada that friendship isn't a one way street: "With my previous posts about U.S. ambassador David Wilkin's comments about the shrill anti-American tone coming from the Liberals in this campaign, and Paul Martin's subsequent wrapping himself in the Canadian flag, it got me thinking. What would the U.S. do if it was really pissed at the Canadian government and wanted to send a real message to the Liberal about friendship being a two-way street. Of course, I'm hypothesizing, not advocating this, but this is what I came up with. Kind of a passive-aggressive response that does not violate any trade agreements or other bilateral agreements. Here is what I came up with:"

The Road Hammer: Canada's state religion: "I proudly display both a Canadian and American flag decal on my car which is basically my way of giving the middle finger to the high priests of Canada's state religion, anti-Americanism. Here's a letter to the editor from today's Ottawa Citizen on the same subject which I think is bang-on. "

More To The Story: Keep Poking The Bear, Pt II: "How did the US view Martin in the beginning?"

Joe Lamerde: What Paul Martin Really Said About Iraq: "'I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible,' (North Bay Nugget, April 30, 2003) 'Once the war in Iraq began, Canada was far from neutral. The only satisfactory outcome was a defeat of Saddam Hussein and his removal from power.' (Speech in Toronto, April 30, 2003) 'Canada's strongest desire was for a swift and just victory by coalition forces. Thankfully, that occurred.' (Paul Martin Times, May 1, 2003) "

Dawg's Blawg: "A simmering 66-year-old injustice against an Indian Nation known as the Lubicon Lake Nation is being perpetuated in Canada, with the active connivance of Paul Martin. In fact, it is nothing less than a mini-genocide, but, done over time, genocide seems somehow less...like genocide. Nevertheless, here's the definition of the term: 'A systematic attempt to annihilate a racial group or nation. The word was first used in 1944.' Read on, and judge for yourselves.

Throughout the unfortunate history of the Lubicon, the outlines of classic colonial administration unmistakably emerge. Native people in Canada do not even have the right to determine who is, or is not, 'Indian': that is a (white) government responsibility, under the Indian Act. The construct 'Indian' is imposed by lawmakers and courts; and 'culture' in Supreme Court of Canada decisions such as R. v van der Peet appears to be frozen and reified in pre-contact timelessness, with 'central' and 'non-central' elements to be decided by the Canadian judiciary, an anthropologically-illiterate position as some lawyers, at least, have grasped. As Calgary law professor Nigel Bankes put it, for example, 'aboriginal peoples of Canada have rights so long as they remain in a fossilized or primitive state, but their rights are progressively diminished to the extent that they avail themselves to the benefits and burdens of the twentieth century.'"

The Road Hammer: Paul Martin speaks out of both sides of his mouth AGAIN: "Paul Martin's claims that he never supported Canadian participation in the Iraq effort is 100% bogus."

The Files of the Phantom Observer: Paul Martin's Sovereigntist Thinking: "Last night I decided to work on some personal projects, instead of watching the debates. Based on the news reactions and subsequent coverage, I gather I didn't miss much. However, I was struck by Paul Martin's attempt to defend Canadian integrity in front of BQ leader Gilles Duceppe. While it might have been passionate, it shows everything that's wrong with the current Liberal line on Canada-Quebec relations."

khaki snack: real websites are for communists: THE LIBERAL WAR ON CLOCKMAERS: "This election season when you're deciding who to give your valuable vote to i'd like you to take a second to consider Canada's valuable clock industry. This week Paul Martin's Liberal government announced a new 2% excess tax on clocks, declaring that clocks excessive and a luxury. Strangely enough, however, the same duty is not levied against watches. So Paul Martin is saying that a diamond encrusted rolex is a necessity, where a simple, efficiently designed clock is a luxury. Now I can understand how Paul Martin and his rich, fat cat, public money stealing friends can't live without their rolex watches, but i don't think this rule applies to most hard working Canadians. "

Marry in Massachusetts: One Harper Harping: "Even the allegedly very smart Canadian Tory leader Steven Harper nods and stumbles. In the current campaign, some of our Northern neighbors thought he did the bright, if not the right, thing in putting the same-sex-marriage issue out to air. Lately though, he is sputtering along with his campaign. His party is trying to claim that a majority of Canadians want a vote in the Commons to revisit the issue. Without evidence, he says SSM has damaged the nation. Oddly enough tough, poll after poll reveal that what the majority want is to get on with their lives, to leave homosexual couples to do the same, and for the government to deal with pressing issues instead."

GayandRight: More thoughts on Stephen Harper and Same-Sex Marriage. "I watched the boring debate last night and fortunately, I didn't have to wait long for a section on same-sex marriage. Here are some of my thoughts on Stephen Harper and SSM."

Paying attention: Harper and Layton fare best in debate round one VICTORIA - Not a bad leader's debate night in Vancouver, although I did feel a bit of a loser spending my Friday evening in front of the television. Nobody scored a big breakthrough, nobody stumbled badly, but I'd call it a better night for Stephen Harper and Jack Layton than it was for Paul Martin. They had much easier jobs.

Harper unveils Stand Up for B.C. platform. VICTORIA – Conservative leader Stephen Harper today released the Conservative Party’s “Stand up for British Columbia” platform. A Conservative government will address issues important to British Columbians, including the softwood lumber dispute, expanding trade with the Asia-Pacific, and greater representation in the House of Commons.
“Standing up for B.C. is more than a slogan - it’s our commitment to the people of this province,” Harper said.

Layton Says Together We Can Do More. Paul Martin is a broken record. VANCOUVER – NDP Leader Jack Layton said people saw what this election is all about at last night’s Leaders’ Debate. Speaking to enthusiastic supporters at a breakfast in Vancouver, Layton said “In the debates, Liberals have nothing to boast about other than what New Democrats forced them to do in this minority Parliament. They’ll say anything to buy your vote – but you can’t believe a word they say. Paul Martin has a broken record and is a broken record.

Red Tory: Auto-Rating the Debate. This "auto-rating" is based on the performance of the leaders during yesterday's political debate, sorted in the writers estimation.

Layton Scores In French Debate. VANCOUVER – NDP Leader Jack Layton made a strong showing in Thursday’s French language leader’s debate. Layton outlined the NDP’s record of getting results for people in the last Parliament, highlighted the Liberal record of broken promises and challenged Gilles Duceppe’s claim that the Bloc supports all measures that support Quebec.

Harper offers hope and change over Martin’s visionless campaign. VANCOUVER – Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper tonight presented Canadians with a vision of hope and change while Liberal leader Paul Martin offered only bluster and evasiveness during the first English-language debate of the federal election campaign.

Layton Misrepresents Support for Child Care Plan. In the eyes of the Liberal party Mr. Layton misrepresented the childcare issue by voting against the 2004 Budget of $5 billon for early learning and childcare. When given then chance Mr. Layton in his proposed budget did not reuqst additional funds for childcare.

Layton Demands Change, Integrity, Accountability. VANCOUVER – In tonight’s Leaders’ debate, Jack Layton had another strong showing. He stressed that this election is about getting results for people. “When you elect an NDP MP – you’ll be sending a voice for change to Ottawa,” Layton said. “It’s very different from the political games and the vote-buying promises from the Liberals and Conservatives.”

Brad D. Zander: Political Stripes. Does it really matter what kind of tie politican wear? Left stripes or right stripes! What about no stripes?

Liberal apologizes for saying Harper day-care bucks may buy beer, popcorn "Don't give people 25 bucks a week to blow on beer and popcorn," Reid said during a panel discussion on CBC News: Sunday. "Give them child-care spaces that work. Stephen Harper's plan has nothing to do with child care."

Leaders extend battle over same-sex marriage. In tonights second debate, the main issue was same-sex marriage. Harper wants to bring back the same-sex marriage issue while all other leaders want to leave this issue allone. Paul Martin claims Harper has a hidden agenda. The next major event was between Martin and Duceppe concerning the Clarity Act and Quebec's sovereignty. Then came the U.S.-Canada relations, Paul Martin took a beating from all his opponents. Health-care priorities and Digniti in the House of Commons ended the debate. Strategists say voters will be more focusing on the second set of debates, scheduled for Jan. 9 and 10.

Official Party Websites.
Here are the offical websites for the corresponding Canadian parties running in the 2006 federal election.

- Liberal Party of Canada
http://www.conservative.ca/ - Consevative Party of Canada
http://www.ndp.ca/ - The New Democratic Party of Canada
http://www.blocquebecois.org/ - Bloc Québécois
http://www.greenparty.ca/ - Green Party of Canada

Canadian politics needs your help to keep this blog updated with all the latest happenings related to Canadian Politics concerning the 2006 Elections. Interested parties e-mail me.

The Green Party of Canada has an extensive platform that covers everything from same-sex marriage to waste management. One of its key values is sustainability, both environmentally and fiscally. Like many of the other parties, it places a heavy emphasis on health and education. But the platform also includes policies on crime and foreign policy.

Based on information posted on the Green Party's website as of November 23, 2005.


All of the Bloc Quebecois's policies are framed around its central aim of making Quebec a sovereign nation in charge of all matters now shared by both the provincial and federal governments.

The Bloc views sovereignty as a necessity and an inevitability. Until that day, the party believes its mission is to promote the values of the citizens of Quebec within the federal system supporting social democratic principles.

Based on information posted on the Bloc Québécois Party's website as of November 30, 2005.


Under Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party policy takes a clear stand on controversial issues, such as the decriminalization of marijuana. The NDP platform also emphasizes clean economic growth and green jobs.

Based on information posted on the NDP website as of December 12, 2005.


Under the watch of party chief, Stephen Harper, Conservatives hope to take more seats from the Liberals. The party's latest policy document outlines the Conservative position on topics from same-sex marriage and health care, to democratic reform and defence.

Based on information posted on the Conservative party's website as of December 12, 2005.


Friday, December 16, 2005

Prime Minister Paul Martin hopes to turn the Liberal minority government into a majority. In addition to democratic reform and government accountability, health care and municipalities are at the top of his list of policy priorities.

Based on the Liberal government's 2004 and 2005 Budgets, and information posted on the Liberal party's website as of December 12, 2005.


Jim Harris: Jump on the Green train. While many Canadians do not recognize Green party Leader Jim Harris by sight or by name, he could be in an enviable position. "I just don't know much about him," University of Toronto political scientist Nelson Wiseman told CTV.ca. "It's both a problem and an opportunity. It means that you don't have much baggage," Wiseman explained. But he added: "It's going to be all uphill, because to everyone he's a fresh face." The Greens, under Harris' leadership, have seen a remarkable ascent up the polls since he became leader two years ago. Harris told CTV.ca the increase in Green support means voters are saying "a pox on all your houses. We are angry, cynical, disenchanted with old-line political parties."

Gilles Duceppe: Sovereignty's steadfast soldier. Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe is living every politician's dream. His party is so popular in Quebec right now, he can do no wrong. The Bloc already controls 54 of the province's 75 seats, and according to the polls, this election could bring him even more seats. Of course, little of it has to do with Duceppe himself. Instead, he has the sponsorship scandal to thank. Known as "le scandale des commandites" in Quebec, the scandal was front and centre in the minds of Quebec voters during the June 2004 election, when they punished the Liberals and handed the Bloc 16 new seats. This year, with much of the scandal fully exposed through the Gomery inquiry, anger and resentment with the Liberals has only intensified. And that's great news for the Bloc. Duceppe believes that Bloc supporters are looking to continue punishing the Liberals -- not only because their tax dollars were wasted with the sponsorship program, but because the federal government tried so hard to crush Quebec's aspirations for separatism.

Jack Layton: Common-Sense Gambler. In his rookie stint in Parliament as federal NDP leader, Jack Layton has been called a fair share of colourful names courtesy of his Ottawa brethren. "Say Anything Jack." "Jumpin' Jack." "The Toronto stuntman." Even "Chicken." But in the dawn of this winter election campaign, "The Gambler" would be most apropos. It was Layton who provided the pivotal opposition push that began the process of toppling the Liberals from power, sending Canadians to a holiday season vote after Paul Martin wouldn't accept his so-called "common sense solution." It was Layton who put himself and his party on the line by bringing his caucus on board the same battleship as the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois to tank the Liberals -- showing he can, indeed, strategize and scheme with the rest of them.

Stephen Harper: The next prime minister?. During his tenure as Conservative leader, Stephen Harper's oratory has largely focused on one assertion: that the Liberal government lacks the moral authority to govern because it is corrupt and can no longer be trusted. Yet many Canadians wonder whether Harper, himself, can be trusted. And these reservations could hurt his chances when the time comes for voters to head to the polls in January. Harper's political foes have long portrayed him as a harbouring a secret agenda. The Strategic Counsel's Managing Partner Timothy Woolstencroft says Harper will need to address that sticking point if he is to gain the trust of the Canadian electorate.

Paul Martin: Still bullied by politics. Paul Martin assumed the Liberal leadership vowing to create a new kind of politics, and a more transparent and open government. And how did that work out? John Gray, the author of Paul Martin: The Politics of Ambition, sums up his views of Martin's time in the PMO with one word: "Disappointment," he told CTV News in an interview from his Toronto home. "He allows himself too easily to be bullied by politics." Now, as Martin wages his third major campaign in 25 months (first the Liberal leadership race, then the federal elections), he is still being bullied by politics. Especially the politics of governing from a minority position in parliament.

Don't dictate to me, Canada's Martin tells US. RICHMOND, British Columbia (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin escalated a war of words with the United States on Wednesday, telling Washington not to dictate to him what topics he can raise in the run-up to Canada's January 23 election.

Canadian snowbirds urged to vote by mail. About 200,000 snowbirds are planning to escape the Canadian winter south of the border -- but they may not be able to escape Elections Canada.