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Friday, September 29, 2006

A leader for our times

Dear Member of the Liberal Party of Canada,

In a country of two official languages, 10 provinces, three territories, Aboriginal peoples and immigrants from around the globe, we need leaders who can bring us together and, more importantly, bridge what divides us, build common cause and find solutions to whatever problems we face. In a country as complex as ours we ask a great deal of those who govern on our behalf. We believe Bob Rae is one of the few who can meet that challenge.

Some of us are long-time Liberals, others simply Canadians who care deeply about the direction and unity of our country. We are united in believing that Bob Rae is someone whose experience, qualifications and character set him apart in electoral politics and they are among the reasons why we are supporting him to become the next Liberal leader and Prime Minister and are urging you to vote for him on Super Weekend.

Anyone who enters political life faces onerous demands. Wherever politics is played there is harsh criticism and in the modern political arena of twenty-four hour news the responsibility is unrelenting. There are few enough among us who have what it takes to be a Canadian Prime Minister, and fewer still who are willing to make the necessary personal sacrifices. Fortunately, Bob Rae is willing to take on that burden and we know he is up to the task.

Bob has always put the public interest first and been a true public servant in that respect. His guiding beliefs and vision are in keeping with the best Canadian traditions of decency, the common good and an independent, principled foreign policy. But he also understands that government is more than just about vision or ideas: it must deliver on fundamental obligations, manage core services, resolve disputes and respond to crises. This requires the kind of knowledge and acumen that only comes from experience. Bob understands the challenges and dilemmas incumbent in leadership and he is prepared for the range of challenges that may arise and test our leaders.

Since leaving office, Bob went on to do so much more in other fields: in mediation, in trade law, in domestic and international conflict resolution, as a champion of the arts, in his commitment to a united Canada and to federalism. He has been a leader in every sense of the term. It is no wonder he has been the "go-to guy" for premiers, prime ministers, industry and the non-profit sector in resolving tough issues and reviewing important files. His experience is remarkable and his understanding of the issues and the peoples of Canada profound.

We are people from all parts of Canada who have come to know and respect Bob. What we realize above all is that he truly understands our country. He knows our past and those values that have bound us as a nation. He is a leader for our times and it is our hope that Liberals and Canadians have the opportunity to have a statesman such as him as a leader in our national government.


Tony Abbott
Herb Dhaliwal
Gar Knutson
Jacques Saada
Phillippe Angers
Jack Diamond
Leo Kolber
Andy Savoy
Margaret Atwood
Jan Donio
Pascal Lépine
Raymond Setlawke
Chris Axworthy
Arthur Donner
Mason Loh
Gerri Sinclair
Lloyd Axworthy
Frank Dottori
Dr. Fred Lowy
Gerald Sheff
Suresh Bhala
Donald Duprey
Colin MacDonald
Lionel Schipper
Monique Bégin
Sheldon Ehrenworth
Allan J. MacEachen
Eric Simard
John Kim Bell
René Fontaine
Kathleen Mahoney
Don Smith
Charles Bird
John Fraser
Deepa Mehta
David Staines
May Brown
Eileen Gelowitz
Michael Mendelson
Jane Stewart
Elmer Buchanan
Rose Ellen Ghiz
Robert Nixon
Paul Summerville
Barry R. Campbell
Alastair Gillespie
Walter Noel
Clive Tanner
David M. Campbell
Ira Gluskin
Betty Notar
Don Tapscott
Martin Cauchon
Dr. Richard Goldbloom
Peter Oliver
Nick Taylor
Ronald F. Caza
Scott Griffin
Ratna Omidvar
Julia Turnbull
John Cordeau
David Gray
Charles Pachter
David Warrack
Gordon Cressey
Scott Griffin
Lata Pada
John Watson
Barney Danson
André Harvey
Louise Pitre
John Webster
Michael Decter
Paul Hoffert
Jack Rabinovitch
Dr. Joseph Y. K. Wong
Michael de Pencier
Alan Hudson
Lola Rasminsky
Carol Young
Dr. Brian Desbiens
Hal Jackman
Jean Therese Riley
And I, John Lennard, affix my name to this letter as well.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

On ideas (part 2)

Bob Rae is an ideas machine. He has more experience than anyone in the race. In speeches and discussions, he regularly points to his numerous accomplishments, like implementing the Trillium Drug Plan in Ontario, and his work advising governments and organizations here and overseas. He is the former head of the Institute for Research on Public Policy and the Forum of Federations. He was counsel to the Free Trade Lumber Council and Commissioner on Post-Secondary Education to the McGuinty Government in Ontario. He has written two books, one of which deals quite deeply with his political philosophy and views. And throughout this campaign, he has spoken to policy and to his record in spades.

Because certain mischief-makers say Bob Rae has not issued policy, let's be clear: Bob has been as active as anyone on that front.
  • On June 6th, Bob outlined an economic policy plan with four components: An Education, Training and Research Strategy; Strategic Investments in Green infrastructure; Renewing the Architecture for Income Security; A Smart Tax and Smarter Regulation Agenda with income tax cuts, and corporate tax fairness. Full text of Bob’s June 6 speech and announcement on prosperity, opportunity and sustainable development, is here.
  • His experience as Post-Secondary Education Commissioner in Ontario informed his education policy here.
  • Here is Bob’s August 10 speech on Foreign Policy and Overseas Development, where he commits to the Pearson target for foreign aid.
  • On improving the participation of women in politics, Bob Rae responded to the McLellan task force on time, unlike Dr. Ignatieff, who was on vacation.
  • In a detailed plan on health care from earlier this month, Bob suggests that Canada adopt a National Catastrophic Drug plan so that no Canadian ever has to choose between paying his/her bills and getting the medication he/she needs.
  • More details on his health care plan.
  • An agenda for First Nations, Métis and Aboriginal Canadians.
  • On Quebec and Confederation.
  • Bob Rae was the first to say that Liberals should vote against the dangerous softwood lumber deal.

Anybody who says that Bob Rae is not a policy person should screw their heads back on, or lose the bias.

On ideas

Jason Cherniak is wrong. That's all I have to say about this for now.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thank you Hedy!

She may not have had a lot of support, but I've always seen Hedy Fry as being a leader. Honestly. She was the most inspirational of the bunch, with a compelling personal story, a solid work ethic and a clear sense of where we need to go as a party and as a country. Her lack of French was a huge drawback.

In any case, I'm glad Bob has her support. Welcome aboard.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

UPDATE: My friends JR, TR and DG from the Rae campaign are probably itching for me to say this, so here it goes...IT'S HEDY TIME!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Chuckles quietly

back briefly for a quick post...

As I read Antonio's commentary over at Fuddle Duddle, all I can think of is this:

More and more, Fuddle Duddle is starting to look like Fiddle-Faddle. Which is to say, a pretty light snack. But nothing to be taken too seriously.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rick Mercer, genius?

I know I said I'd be out of commission for a while, but I just have to say that Rick Mercer is a fantastic man. Check it out for yourself.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

See ya in a bit!

I'll be out of commission for a little while. I just wanted to (quickly) put in my two cents on a few things while I still can:

  • The fact that Bob Rae, as a private citizen, donated money to a few personal friends(including his former secretary) during the last election is big news? Please.
  • The fact that Bob Rae quotes from Tommy Douglas from time to time is big news? Come on, Antonio. Are we really going to go there? You and I both know your preferred leadership candidate can quote George Bush almost as well as Stephen Harper can.
  • Is it big news that despite all the hype about Bob Rae being a polarizing figure, he's still THE TOP SECOND CHOICE OF LIBERAL PARTY MEMBERS and has the greatest potential for second, third and fourth ballot growth? Absolutely! Is it big news that this same poll confirms that in Ontario, where he is supposedly hated, Bob continues to enjoy the highest ratings among the candidates? Absolutely! Liberals seem to be confirming what I've been suggesting all along: Bob Rae is job ready. And truth be told, it makes me smile.

Looking forward to an exciting fall,

John Lennard

Monday, September 18, 2006

Job ready

The fourth (and perhaps defining) leadership debate took place last night. This will probably be the last official opportunity for Liberals to compare the candidates side-by-side before the Delegate Selection Meetings.

What did we see?

We saw a fantastic performance from Scott Brison. He is a dynamic speaker, solid on the issues and passionate about taking on Stephen Harper (I loved his "Stephen Harper is so far right, he's wrong" line). However, I fear his French, while greatly improved, is not quite up to standard. The Liberal Party needs a bilingual leader. Scott Brison is close, but he's not job ready.

We saw a good performance from Stephane Dion. He was spirited, as always. However, his English was surprisingly weak (perhaps even incoherent at times), and he seemed quite nervous and unsure of himself. It may just have been a bad day for Stephane, because from meeting him in person, I've always felt that he exudes pep and confidence. That being said, he doesn't seem to be able to channel that confidence effectively as a communicator. Stephane Dion is good, but he often has trouble getting his message across. He's not job ready.

Ken Dryden is something else. At times, I'm amazed at the passion with which he makes his arguments. His attacks on Stephen Harper (the "write'em off" line is fantastic) are always sharp and convincing. I think Ken understands what's at stake. I think he understands that beating Stephen Harper is our most pressing task. Despite what the Gandalf poll may lead us to believe, I don't think Ken is the best person to accomplish this task. His speaking style is heavy, and he shows little depth when addressing specific issues. Perhaps he'd be a great national campaign chair, helping to shape the overall Liberal message in the next election. But as leader, he's just not job ready.

We saw another compelling performance from Hedy Fry. I think she's fabulous. She's the most motivational of the bunch. Feisty, intelligent, quick on her feet, I see no reason she wouldn't be good for the top job, other than the fact she doesn't speak French. Hedy Fry is a leader, but would not be a good Liberal leader, because as I've said before, a Liberal leader needs to be bilingual. She's not job ready.

Joe Volpe needs to stop interrupting people for no reason. It's annoying. He's not job ready.

We saw another good performance from Martha Hall Findlay. She speaks intelligently and refreshingly about the issues, and at times brings up points that some of us wouldn't otherwise consider (a complete review of the Indian Act, for instance). However, Martha needs to stop introducing herself to us. We know who she is, we know that she's new, and now, apparently, we know that Stephen Harper is afraid of her winning. I don't buy that last one. She lacks the experience needed to be leader. Give her some time in Parliament, and I think she'll grow. But for now, she's not job ready.

Gerard Kennedy did a good job. He seems to be getting into his groove as it relates to policy, showing more depth last night than I've seen in a long time. His closing speech was a barnburner. I still think he needs more time to grow into federal politics. On the issue of the Kelowna Accord, for instance, his response drifted back inevitably to the question of education. While he's made some great progress, Kennedy still has lots of room to grow as a federal politician. He's not job ready.

I don't trust Michael Ignatieff. I don't trust a person who continues to be disingenuous about his reasons for supporting the Iraq war, or who continues to speak out of both sides of his mouth on the question of national unity (regionalism is bad, but a Quebec nation is good), or who insists that he's not running to be the next Pierre Trudeau and yet invokes his memory at every opportunity. I just don't trust him. He's not being honest about his record nor is he being consistent in his pronouncements. In short, he's not job ready.

Which brings me, finally, to Bob Rae. What did we see from Bob Rae?
  • We saw a man would not have brought us into Iraq. He would not have voted for Stephen Harper's Afghanistan extension. He would not precipitiously reopen the constitutional debate. We see a man committed to Kyoto, committed to Kelowna, committed to child care. On a range of issues, Bob Rae shares the goals and values of most Liberals. Bob Rae is job ready.
  • We saw a man who is able to speak substantively about every issue presented to him. Why? Because he has substantive experience on virtually every issue facing the country today. Bob Rae is seasoned. Bob Rae is job ready.
  • We saw a man who is able to get his message across effectively, compellingly and fluently in both official languages. Bob Rae is a good communicator. Bob Rae is job ready.
  • We saw a man who understands which issues are really important to Canadians. An independent Canadian foreign policy is an important issue. Senate reform, within the context of a greater discussion on constitutional reform, is not a pressing issue. Bob Rae understands Canadians. Bob Rae is job ready.
  • We saw a man who understands that all this talk of "nation building" and "bringing hope to Canadians" means absolutely nothing if Stephen Harper remains Prime Minister. Nice words aren't enough. Innovative policies, while great to have, aren't enough. It's about having the experience, the levelheadedness and the communication skills to bring people together, to get our message across and to convince Canadians that the Liberal alternative is better. Bob Rae knows what's at stake. Bob Rae is job ready.

For me, that's what it comes down to. Sure, I'm biased. I won't pretend to be a neutral observer, because I'm not. But more and more, I'm getting the sense that others are beginning to feel the same way. Bob Rae. Job ready.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Now THIS could be interesting!

Looks like the Alberta PCs will be holding their leadership convention at the same time as ours. I'm guessing they're using a "one-member-one-vote" system, based on this news report. Still, I'd rather not be sharing our spotlight with the likes of Wacky Ralph and Crazy Ted.

Then again, the contrast might not be so bad...We'll be looking at ways to build a better Canada, they'll be looking at ways to build firewalls around Alberta. We'll be tossing around policy ideas, they'll be tossing around policy books. We'll be attacking the Tory's legislative record, they'll be attacking innocent legislative pages. We'll be cheering for our favourite leadership contenders, they'll be screaming at homeless people.

Oh, the possibilities!

Sunday morning roundup

A few thoughts before I get back to my homework:
  • The Star is reporting that there's a lot of "grumbling" in the Ontario Liberal Party following our loss in Parkdale-High Park. I've made my views on this known. I thought the "sermon attack" was a bad idea from day one, but hey, what do I know? An unnamed party official suggested: "[T]here was a backlash against the party after some overly enthusiastic young bloggers used their websites to attack DiNovo." I wonder who s/he is referring to?
  • I'm looking forward to tonight's leadership debate in Vancouver. In particular, I'm anxious to see the first grouping, which consists of presumed frontrunners Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Stephane Dion. Break out the fireworks!
  • Michael Ignatieff exudes confidence following Bennett's endorsement of Bob Rae. Is he losing sleep over it? Not according to Canadian Press: "Not at all," Ignatieff told reporters following a speech on national unity and immigration. "I've got a third of the caucus already. I've got a third of the riding associations in Quebec ... I feel the momentum is excellent." Oh, the humility!
  • In the same article, while addressing the issue of how his plan to speed up the immigration process might cause some security issues, Ignatieff says: "Cutting those queues is going to cost a lot of money...On the security side, I think we have to look at ways to simply simplify this process." Simply simplify this process. This guy gets more insightful by the day.
  • Welcome to the Liberal Party, Paul Summerville! Summerville's recent endorsement of Bob Rae is good news. It provides further proof that the NDP is increasingly moving outside of the mainstream of Canadian politics, and that the Liberal Party is the only real progressive alternative to Stephen Harper's conservative agenda. Regardless of the outcome of this leadership race, I hope we can keep Paul in our tent.
  • Speaking of Paul Summerville: Now that we have his endorsement, and Carolyn Bennett's endorsement, can we expect a call from Peter Kent anytime soon? C'mon, Peter! Let's make it a hat trick!

That's it for now. When it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press. Back to Tim Russert, and then homework.

Friday, September 15, 2006

And the momentum continues....

Thank you, Carolyn!

And Cherniak, get over it. After yesterday's events, you're hardly the one to be talking about credibility over anything.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

DiNovo 41%, Watson 33%

Wow. Did this really have to happen? My gut tells me "absolutely not." My gut told me a week ago not to make hay out of the DiNovo sermon issue. I didn't see much relevance in it, and I thought it would look desperate, particularly coming so late in the campaign. My gut told me it would backfire.

Was my gut right? I think so. But I guess we'll never know for sure.

Uh oh

Looks like the new "third pillar" of Liberal politics may be on shaky ground.

Not good. Not good at all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Governing IS about making tough choices!

What a bunch of garbage. To suggest that, as Premier of Ontario, Bob Rae never made any tough choices is absolutely ridiculous. Alex Plante should know better. Obviously he doesn't. Not much I can do about that, other than to suggest he read this, or better yet, this.

What's at issue here is whether we should reopen the Pandora's box of constitutional discussions. Bob Rae, an experienced politician and statesman who was around for these debates throughout the 1980s and 1990s, doesn't think we should go there. He feels that we should be focussing our collective energies on finding practical solutions for the real problems we face as Canadians. Like laying the foundations for a national pharmacare program. Or reforming our EI and welfare systems to eliminate poverty traps.

Ignatieff, a journalist and academic who was nowhere to be seen in this country throughout the 1980s and 1990s, thinks a new round of constitutional discussions is needed. As Michael Valpy puts it, Ignatieff wants to "connect with the romantic vision" of Canada. Newsflash: Governing isn't romantic. There are no quiet walks on the beach, no pretty sunsets late in the evening, no candlelit dinners under the stars. Governing IS about making tough and practical choices that impact people's lives. Bob Rae gets it. That's why I'm on his side.

Michael Ignatieff is an amateur. Like most amateurs, he continues to make rookie mistakes, almost by the day. Four days ago, he claimed that Quebec has all the powers it needs to flourish. Yesterday, he said he's in favour of reopening constitutional talks. What does he expect these talks to yield? Does he honestly believe Mr. Charest (or heaven forbid, Michael's fellow Harvardite, Mr. Boisclair) will just show up at the table and say: "Oh! You've finally called us a nation! Where do we sign?" Of course not! They will demand more powers. So will the other provincial leaders. The Senate and its composition will be up for discussion again. So too will the "fiscal imbalance" which, as some have pointed out, is defined differently in every province. And other issues, of course: Enshrining social justice guarantees into the Charter, redefining the role of the monarchy, reviewing our national commitment to bilingualism (should there be more than two national languages?), etc, etc, etc. Where does it end? I don't know. And neither does Ignatieff.

It's time to be realistic. Canadians, including Quebecers, have priorities. A new round of constitutional discussions, at this point, is not one of them. Bob Rae realizes that. Michael Ignatieff doesn't. If Ignatieff wants to make lofty promises to Quebecers about enshrining their "national" status in the Constitution, that's up to him. I'd give him a word of caution, however. Canada once had a novice leader who, with the same bravado and smugness, promised to "fix" Pierre Trudeau's mistakes and "resolve" the contentious issue of national unity. His name was Brian Mulroney. And when he couldn't deliver, we all know what happened: He ended up destroying his party.

Let's not make the same mistake.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Iggy Nation

An interesting concept, to be sure. Hey, a good idea is a good idea, and I'll give credit where credit is due. Kudos to the Ignatieff team for taking a page out of Gerard Kennedy's playbook and designing a youth-oriented website.

A few quick and trivial questions, though:

  • What would we call a member of this "Iggy Nation"? An Iggy Nationalist, perhaps?
  • If so, would Jason Cherniak (a proud Dionista with a newfound affinity for all things Iggy) be considered a Soft Iggy Nationalist?
  • Will Denis Coderre be the Quebec lieutenant, or Iggy Smalls (aka "Le p'ti Iggy")?
  • If Iggy had a twin would his name be Twiggy?

Saturday morning roundup

A few thoughts...
  • Highlights from the Decima poll: Bob Rae holds a national lead in the number of people who say they will vote Liberal or would consider voting Liberal if he were leader. In Ontario, Rae leads Michael Ignatieff, with 11% more Ontario voters saying they would vote Liberal or consider voting Liberal if Rae were leader as opposed to Ignatieff. Gerard Kennedy has the broadest appeal among Liberal voters, with Ignatieff, Brison, Dion and Rae slightly behind. Michael Ignatieff appeals the most to Conservative voters nationally. Scott Brison does surprisingly well among NDP voters, tying with Kennedy among this group. Bob Rae comes on strong in this segment as well. Stephane Dion and Bob Rae have seen tremendous growth in their potential voting pools in Quebec (+9% and +7% respectively) although they both slightly trail Ignatieff, who appeals the most to separatist voters in Quebec.
  • Decima concludes with the following: "[B]elow the surface, there are some interesting story lines. Mr. Kennedy's numbers being stalled suggests he is making less of an impact than the others. Mr. Ignatieff, despite being the perceived front runner and having considerable media attention, has not been able to put real distance between himself and the others, when it comes to voter impressions. Bob Rae has significantly increased his potential to draw soft NDP support, which is arguably the most promising segment of voters for the Liberal Party to focus on. Scott Brison is showing increasing potential among soft BQ and soft NDP voters, and is competitive when it comes to holding Liberals and drawing soft Conservatives."
  • This is a good piece. Did he make mistakes? Admittedly, yes. Did he have successes as well? Unquestionably, yes. Should we highlight his mistakes, ignore his successes and disqualify him from the Liberal leadership? In my opinion, no, but that's for the convention delegates to judge. But a word of caution to everyone: Any candidate who can't point to his/her record and say "Yeah, I've made mistakes in politics; I've learned lessons on what works and what doesn't work, what can be done and what cannot be done" is either inexperienced or a liar. In either case, s/he is not qualified to be leader.
  • Another study in contrasts: "Ignatieff, a former academic and now MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, spoke in a lecture hall to 150 to 200 students and supporters. Rae, a former NDP premier of Ontario, spoke in a smaller classroom, to about 100 students, one floor above. Rae took students' questions, Ignatieff did not." (And then Denis Coderre goes on to call Rae's team "childish" for holding an event at the same venue, even though it was booked weeks in advance. Childish? Childish is shying away from students' questions. Well, perhaps not childish. Amateurish is the better term.)
  • My local MP and former federal Health Minister, the Honourable Diane Marleau, has endorsed Bob Rae for the Liberal leadership. This, in addition to Bob's support from former Health Ministers Ujjal Dosanjh and Monique Begin (who introduced the Canada Health Act), should solidify my guy as the best candidate to defend Canada's universally accessible, publically funded health care system.
  • Speaking of health and health care, we finally have someone talking about the issue. For years, it's been the top priority for Canadians, but throughout this leadership race, health care has been noticeably absent from the discussion. Here's a surprise: I like Bob Rae's plan, particularly his push for a national catastrophic drug programme called The Maple Leaf Drug Plan. I personally hope this will be the first step in the direction of a national pharmacare plan so that, as Bob puts it, no Canadian has to choose between their health and their personal finances.
  • Are you anyone's "biggest blog crush"? I am! But I'm not gonna tell you who (because a true blogger would never kiss and tell, right?)... All I can say is I'm flattered.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A study in contrasts

Isn't this great? From the Toronto Star:

Bob Rae says he's a Liberal for the long haul regardless of whether he wins the party leadership.

"I'm going to run in the next election and I hope I'm running as leader," the former Ontario NDP premier told the Toronto Star editorial board yesterday.

"Conventions will decide who the leader is, but I very much want to get back into politics," said Rae, premier from 1990 to 1995.

"I very much want to be part of the team. I'm very committed to renewing the Liberal party and to defeating (Conservative Prime Minister) Stephen Harper. Those are two things which are very, very critical for my sense of well-being in life."

Rae's unequivocal answer was a stark contrast to one from chief rival, MP Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke-Lakeshore).

Ignatieff, who returned to Canada last winter after living abroad for 34 of the previous 36 years, was asked the same question by the Star's editorial board last Wednesday.

"Depends who's leader," the prominent academic said, noting there are "all kinds of ways you can stay committed and involved and active in the Liberal Party of Canada, believe me, without being an MP."

And from the CTV website:

Federal Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae is proposing a national catastrophic drug program to prevent patients from having to choose between their health and their bank balances.

The idea is the centrepiece of a six-point health-care strategy Rae unveiled today at a news conference in downtown Toronto. [...]

His announcement comes one day after leadership rival Michael Ignatieff unveiled his own campaign platform at a splashy rally in Toronto.

So there you have it, folks. Firm commitments versus evasive bumblings. Real solutions for people versus "splashy rallies" in downtown Toronto. Experienced leadership versus superficial showmanship. Substance versus style. Take your pick.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Well I'll be!

Wow. Conventional wisdom sure is a funny thing, ain't it?

"In Ontario, Rae has an even wider lead over the perceived front-runner, with 11 per cent more voters saying they would vote Liberal or consider voting Liberal if he were leader than if Ignatieff won."

Oh cynics and naysayers, where art ye?

On plagiarism

Some people have asked me why I haven't taken a more aggressive stand on the whole plagiarism issue "afflicting" the Ignatieff and Dion campaigns. My answer to that is simple:

Since when do we, as Liberals, let Conservative bloggers set our agenda?
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rae interview on Next Face

You know, the Next Face interview with Bob Rae was so good, I was thinking of re-posting it here on my site. Then again, I wouldn't want to be accused of plagiarism...

Part three should be up shortly. I encourage everyone to read the series.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mea culpa

Antonio at Fuddle Duddle will be happy to know that I'm taking a page out of his guy's (Michael Ignatieff's) playbook and issuing a retraction. Seems I shouldn't have criticized Dion organizers for skipping on a bar tab in Nova Scotia when Bob Rae was guilty of doing the same thing at McGill University.

To be truthful, I'm a bit disappointed in Bob. Leaving students to pay for the pizza you promised them? Shame on you! Must have been a UofT/McGill rivalry thing. I really don't know.

What I do know is I owe Dion's Nova Scotia youth team an apology. They claim it was an honest mistake and that the media had it wrong. Quite frankly, I'm inclined to believe them. And for the hell of it, I'll buy some pizza for the McGill contingent at the leadership convention. Talk about good faith!

See you all in Montreal!

(FYI: To any Nova Scotians who were wondering, Bob Rae will be in Halifax this Tuesday for a youth event. Hopefully we'll be able to get eleven people to show up.)

Dion supporters drink and run

This is funny. For those of you who can't read French or aren't inclined to do so, here's the scoop:
  • Apparently, Stephane Dion recently held a reception for supporters in the Halifax area. Fifty people were expected to attend. Ten people showed up.
  • His supporters evidently thought it was an open bar reception, because they left without paying for their booze.
  • The irate bar manager literally had to chase down Dion organizers to pay the bill. Dion's people were apparently reluctant to pay, saying they had "better things to worry about."
  • A Dion worker and local Young Liberal, Colin Hebb, finally settled the $123.00 bill, but left a very, very cheap tip: $6.50, far less than the 15% norm.

Wow. You'd think with $530,000 in loans and, according to Cherniak, a fundraising machine that is finally "in the money", the campaign wouldn't have to be dragged kicking and screaming to pay a lousy bar tab. And a $6.50 tip on a $123.00 bill? That's beyond sad.

For the record, Bob Rae will be in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick today through Wednesday. Details are on his campaign website. Expect bigger crowds. And a campaign that pays its bills.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I don't get it

This is taking satire to the extreme. Is she drunk? Stoned? Deranged, perhaps? Maybe she was dropped as a baby (or as an adult). Or maybe she's just trying to be humourous. I really don't know.

I guess it's sort of funny. And everyone knows I'm not Michael Ignatieff's number one fan. But still...