Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stephen Harper and Saulie Zajdel in happier times ...

Stephen Harper seen here campaigning for Saulie Zajdel back in 2011. 

Saulie didn't win but he did go on to become a political aide to then Canadian Heritage Minister James Wilfred Moore - where he used his six-digit taxpayer-funded job in Moore’s office to undermine Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, the candidate who had defeated him in the election.

Campaign Research helped out with that.

Here Harper and Zajdel share a moment over brown paper bags. 

Not many Conservative politicians have the chutzpah to be photo-opped with a prop like brown paper bags ever since former PM Muldoon successfully sued Canada for $2.1 M for even mentioning them.

CBC, yesterday : Saulie Zajdel pleads guilty to corruption charges for real estate deal
"He had faced charges of bribery, breach of trust, fraud and corruption.  Zajdel's lawyer, Jeffrey Boro, told CBC News pleading guilty was a difficult decision for his client. 
"Mr. Zajdel has decided to turn the page, close that part of his life and move on," he said. He received a suspended sentence and was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and donate $10,000 to a charity."
It was a difficult decision but Mr. Zajdel has decided to turn the page, close that part of his life and move on...  
Yeah, quite a lot of that going around ...
Brown bag photo h/t : Robert Jensen2 via Holly Stick in old comments.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hard Workin' Steve - "It's hard work!"

It's attack ad season from now to Election 42!  

Steve isn't doing TeaPaw Pawlenty this time round, harkening back instead to earlier roots.

Con Party ad - not exactly as shown here.

Justin Ling on the whole batch : 

"... the Conservatives have another ad, featuring Sad Harper sitting at his desk, all alone, late at night.

But it'll be the Trudeau attack ad that you see again, and again, and again.

You know why? Because the Conservative Party has (and this is the proper accounting term) a fuckload of money.

By the end of 2013, the party had $11 million in unrestricted cash in the bank to spend. Since then, they've raised another $27 million."

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Election Day in Canada : The Rise of Voter Suppression

The Script&Film Company's EDayFilm "
Election Day In Canada: The Rise Of Voter Suppression" is travelling across Canada visiting communities where live and robocalls were made to record the stories of the electors Elections Canada has abandoned. 
It kicks off at 6:30pm tomorrow Wednesday May 20 at the main branch of Public Library in Guelph with a presentation and a fundraiser. Free admission. More deets here for an event on the 21st in Waterloo and then back again to Guelph on the 23rd - Guelph where an estimated 7,760 robocall attempts were made.

Because isn't it time we had some answers about what happened with the robo and live calls in 237 ridings right across Canada in the 41st federal election before we deal with more of the same again in the upcoming 42nd election this fall

In November of 2012, nine months after the robocall story really broke open nation-wide, Elections Canada commissioned and published a survey which reported that 85% of electors polled said the 41st election "was fairly run". Subsequent missives from EC show they never wavered far from this comforting conclusion, despite the commissioner's own final report on the termination of any further investigation stating that 27% of the complainants they investigated received fraudulent calls. 

So it's up to us now.  
Support the film any way you can - with a donation, promoting it online, or organizing presentations in your community like the ones in Guelph.   

It really is up to us now.  

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Cons, Libs pass C-51 anti-terrorism law.

"The federal government's controversial new anti-terrorism bill has won the approval of the House of Commons.The Anti-Terrorism Act, also known as Bill C-51, easily passed third reading by a margin of 183 to 96, thanks to the Conservative government's majority and the promised support of the third-party Liberals."

April 1, 2015
"Not one of the more than 100 amendments submitted by opposition parties to try and change the government’s much-criticized anti-terror bill were adopted as a House of Commons committee wrapped up its study of the legislation." 
During a clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-51 that ran late into Tuesday evening, the public safety and national security committee voted down all the amendments proposed by the NDP, Liberals and Green Party. 
The bill on the whole was passed in committee with Conservatives and Liberals voting in favour, and the NDP against."

Justin Trudeau answering questions on his support for C-51 at UBC, March 4, 2015:
Transcript :

Trudeau : "I agree that Canadians have real concerns about this bill and that's why we're putting forward some very very clear improvements.  My hope, however, is that this government, the same way it did on C-31- the TellVicEverything Bill, and some other ones, that it actually realizes from public pressure that it is going to have to make significant amendments to this bill. But we know that tactically this government would be perfectly happy if the opposition completely voted against this bill. Because it fits into their fear narrative and let's people bash people on security. 

The fact is I don't want to encourage them to not make those amendments. If they think if they don't make the amendments that the Liberal Party won't support this bill, they can make political hay out of it and I do not want this government making political hay out of an issue - more than they're already trying to - out of an issue as important as security for Canadians. 

This conversation might be different if we weren't months from an election campaign but we are. And the fact is these measures - three measures in particular that I talked about - are going to keep Canadians safer in the immediate, deserve to be brought in. The bill needs to be fixed and if this government doesn't do it now, we will do it after the next election."

Q : "Ok, you yourself have expressed reservations about this bill. And yet you've already all but unconditionally guaranteed your support of the bill."

Trudeau : "That's the same question we had earlier."

Q : "It's not. You said I am hopeful that the government .... but if the government does not, I will still support the bill."

Trudeau : "Yes"

Q  : "Now if the government does not accept your amendments..." 

Trudeau : "If the government does not support my amendments, we're still going to support the bill.  We will be offering changes as part of our election platform because Canadians are asking for those changes and when we form government we will bring it in." 

Q : "Sir, I must say supporting a bill you know is dangerous while promising to reform it when you are elected to government is tantamount to holding our rights hostage where our vote is our ransom."

Trudeau : "Yes I appreciate that. [Applause]  Thank you for expressing your concern.  I've heard this - we've heard this from Canadians and I share those concerns about this bill and that's why the pressure that you and everyone else are putting on this government is getting them to understand that if they don't bring in oversight, if they don't bring in review, if they don't narrow the overly broad provisions in this bill, they're going to have a very difficult time in the next election campaign convincing Canadians that they're worthy of their trust.  And I think that that's a good thing - that Canadians are challenging them on this and I certainly hope that it will result in this government making significant amendments to this bill, but the fact is there are elements in this bill that keep Canadians safe right now, and I am not going to ...sorry?" 

Q: "Can you give examples?"

Trudeau : "Yes I can give three examples ... preventative arrests... Sorry, there's a whole bunch of people here with questions, ok? And i think I've been very generous - I've answered a couple of times on this one. I appreciate your presence here today. It's great to see you. Thank you very much for your support. I'm glad you're taking an interest in the process but I am going to get a few more questions in on this."  

45 of 48 witnesses who appeared before the House Committee criticized the bill.
The bill now goes before the Liberal and Conservative held Senate for an easy passage into law.

Below are the 33 Liberals MPS who voted in favour of C-51 May 6, 2015

Write to them. Tell them their peacetime consiglieri appeasing Harper aren't cutting it :

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Hey, federal political parties - this is how it's done.

In three days Albertans go to the polls. Here's how that's looking as of yesterday according to 308 :

May 5 Update : 308 has updated Vote and Seat Projections - now even higher for NDP.
    and the results :

As part of his election platform, Calgary-Klein Green Party candidate Noel Keough made a great case for raising corporate taxes in Alberta - the lowest in the country - by just 2% in order to raise $12-billion annually for Alberta's decimated public coffers : 

An environmental design prof at the University of Calgary, he also put forward solid policy on fossil fuels and advocates a PropRep voting system replacing first-past-the post - the better to more fairly represent Albertans.

But then he looked at the very close polling for his ridingand at an all-candidates debate in Calgary two days ago, Keough announced his decision to step out of the race and support his NDP rival rather than split the vote. Notable that he referred to this decision as a party decision. Keough : [bold:mine]
"So, with a heavy heart, but a firm conviction in my decision I am stepping out of the race immediately and putting my full support behind the New Democratic Party and their candidate Craig Coolihan. The policies of the NDP are not in perfect alignment with The Green Party but they are the most closely aligned. A win for the NDP in Calgary-Klein will advance Green principles and will make Alberta a better place to live."
Putting your constituency and province ahead of the party system - what a novel idea.
People have said the Greens couldn't have won the seat anyway. Not the point. Keough did the one thing he could within his power to help voters avoid splitting the vote by trying to guess how they should vote strategically.

Well, federal NDP, Libs, and Greens? We're waiting for a sign you plan to follow Keough's example here.

As Canadian Cynic observed : "forget strategic voting, here's strategic candidacy."

As for the rest of us, support for Prop Rep should be the line-in-the-sand litmus test for whether we support a local candidate.  Between election fraud and the Stephen Harper the Economist's disastrously incompetent corporate-driven fiscal policies, we just can't afford another unrestrained and poisonous first-past-the-post 24% minority misrule. 

FairVoteCanada is soliciting citizens in all ridings across Canada to get local candidates of all parties to sign a pledge to support PropRep so we'll know who we can afford to vote for before the next election. Go. Sign up to do it.

Meanwhile, a Globe and Mail editorial from the very paper which has endorsed Harper in every election since 2006 is now shilling for Prentice : For Alberta, Jim Prentice is the best choice.

I only mention this entirely unsurprising endorsement so you can enjoy the thorough shellacking they get for it in comments.

The Edmonton Journal editorial: 
In this election, we are picking a CEO for the province makes the same mistake and gets a similar shellacking.

And then there's the threat from five CEOs in the Edmonton Sun : Corporate business leaders warn of risks to Alberta NDP government : "We won't make donations to charities."
Think the commenters under that threat aren't pissed?
"In response, NDP leader Rachel Notley pointed out the donations of the five businessmen to the PCs in the past five years have topped $86,000 collectively."
ObligaTory shot of then Minister Jim Prentice with PMO fraudster and "special adviser to Minister Prentice" Bruce Carson above.

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