Tuesday, January 31, 2006
“The CAW and Buzz Hargrove have every right to endorse Liberal candidates in any election, if that’s what they feel is in their interests. But it’s important Canadians know that the vast majority of unions and their leaders simply don’t agree and are sticking to supporting the New Democratic Party as the best choice for working people.”
What’s interesting about this statement is the way Neumann says “unions and their leaders” support the NDP.
He puts it that way because he knows full well that most unionized workers don’t support the New Democrats.
Yet Neumann and Hargrove force these workers to subsidize the NDP through their forced union dues.
That’s an issue that’s much more important than whether or not Hargrove is betraying “working people”.
The fact is “working people” should have the right to make up their own minds regardless of what their bosses think.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Personally I hope the rumours that former NDP Premier Bob Rae is going to take a run at the Liberal crown are true.
It would give us a chance to bring back some of those famous billboards from the 1990s.
Friday, January 27, 2006
On March 11, 2006, “The Freedom Project” is holding a seminar at the University of Windsor aimed at exploring the ideas of freedom with an international panel of distinguished experts for a series of discussions on the nature of liberty and its potential to improve our lives.
I bring this up for two reasons: 1. I was born and raised in Windsor, and believe me this town needs all the libertarian ideas it can get. 2. I am one of the “distinguished experts” scheduled to speak.
It should be a fun and interesting event.
The Freedom Project, by the way, is dedicated to promoting individual freedom in Canada, and to supporting the efforts of those working towards the same goal in other countries.
You can learn more about the Liberty Seminar and register online here.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Our timing was lucky.
When we planned this event back in the fall, we had no idea there would be a federal election and certainly no idea the Conservatives would win the election.
Anyway, David’s talk was excellent.
One of the interesting points he raised was the possibility that the Liberals might seek to topple the Conservative government much quicker than pundits would have us believe.
Frum reasons that a quick humiliation of Stephen Harper in Parliament and a subsequent snap election might be the Liberal Party’s only hope of returning to power anytime soon.
That’s because Frum believes the impending Liberal leadership race will be a blood-soaked affair pitting Chreientites against Martinites in a civil war that will cripple the party for years.
Martin and his supporters will do anything to avoid that.
And just remember that’s essentially what happened to Joe Clark’s minority government in 1979.
Clark’s budget defeat gave the Liberals an opening to return Pierre Trudeau, who was stepping down, to power.
Can Martin pull the same trick?
What a scary thought.
Oh and Frum made one more brilliant point.
He noted that the NCC played an “absolutely vital” role in the defeat of the Liberal Party.
But that’s a double-edged sword, because certain media elements have taken to distorting the NCC’s agenda.
Case in point, an article sent out by the Bloomberg News agency described the NCC as a “lobby that called for abandoning the nation’s public health-care system and revoking union rights.”
When I saw this piece I emailed the reporter the following message:
“In your article “Harper Helped Split Canada's Conservatives, Now Leads Them Back”, you described the National Citizens Coalition as a lobby group that calls for “abandoning the nation’s public care system and revoking union rights”.
That’s an incorrect description.
The NCC promotes free enterprise, less government and individual freedom. We are not a lobby group, but an advocacy organization. That’s a big difference. We don’t lobby politicians; rather we raise awareness about issues through advertising campaigns.
Nor do we call for the country to abandon public health care. We think having a government monopoly on health care is wrong and inefficient and we think there should be more choice for consumers.
Again that’s a big difference.
Finally the NCC does not call for “revoking union rights.”
We have, in fact, pushed to protect the rights of unionized workers against oppressive labour laws.
For instance, we don’t think anyone should be forced to join a union against their will and we don’t think a worker’s forced dues should be used to support political causes the worker may not support.
You can learn more about the NCC at our website www.morefreedom.org
I hope you can clarify this matter for your readers.
I must admit I didn’t expect anything to come from this.
But lo and behold, the article on the web today, is updated and now describes the NCC as “a lobby group that calls for ending the government's ‘monopoly’' on health care and easing labor laws.”
OK he still calls us a “lobby group” but this is still a big improvement.
Credit to Bloomberg News for doing the right thing.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
The piece, “Canada's Shift: To the Right, Gently” (free registration required) by Clifford Krauss examines the Canadian election in general and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (still not used to writing that) in particular.
“In the 1990's he (Harper) directed the National Citizens Coalition, a conservative advocacy group that favored free-market economics, privatizations and tax cuts, an agenda that does not necessarily resonate with most Canadians even today.”
Well maybe free-market economics, privatizations and tax cuts would resonate if any political party had the sense to make them part of its agenda.
Until that happens we just won’t know.
Here’s the list:
Out of that list only three actually were defeated: McLellan, Robinson and Ryan.
So do you think I’m disappointed?
Not really. I mean that’s a three out of 10, that’s a .300 average.
If I were a baseball payer a batting average like that would get me into the Hall of Fame.
Oh who am I kidding? I am bitter. Very bitter.
How in the heck did Stronach get re-elected?!! What were the voters thinking? Jeesh.
OK rant over.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Score one for the Secret Society.
Of course, we here at the NCC are all excited and proud of Stephen Harper for his electoral victory.
But we also recognize that he is going to have a tough job, especially given the size of the Opposition he will face.
In the months ahead, the NCC will play a role to help Stephen push for changes and to push for democratic reform.
We will also be here to remind him to keep his promises.
Monday, January 23, 2006
That’s the law which makes it illegal to prematurely transmit election results from regions of the country where the polls are closed to regions where the polls are still open.
You can learn more about this law here and here.
The National Citizens Coalition is helping Paul Bryan fight this law in the courts because we think it infringes on free speech and because we think it’s unenforceable.
In today’s Internet age anybody with a computer can access information and there’s nothing Elections Canada can do to stop them.
We are going to the Supreme Court of Canada later this year to fight this archaic law, so hopefully this will be the last censored election.
I am going to be on CHQR's The World Tonight at 7:05 Calgary time to talk about the blackout law.
1. Having an election during Christmas wasn’t all that aggravating, or at least no more aggravating than having an election any other time of the year.
2. NDP leader Jack Layton is against private health care unless he’s the one using private health care.
3. Former CEO and former fiscal hawk Prime Minister Paul Martin is really a progressive, working class hero who likes to wear leather jackets.
4. Union boss Buzz Hargrove is a great asset politically, as long as he’s working for your opponent.
5. Paul Martin and Gilles Duceppe have at least one thing in common: They both think Calgary is a scary place.
6. Anybody who is against same-sex marriage and abortion is an “ultra conservative” and an “extreme right winger”. And here most of us thought the late Pope John Paul II was a nice guy.
7. The National Citizens Coalition is a secret society. In fact, it’s so secret they forgot to tell me it’s a secret society.
8. Whenever Canadians get extra cash they will rush out and buy popcorn and beer.
9. Public opinion polls during elections will be confusing 19 out of 20 times.
10. Nobody should ever let Paul Martin close to musical instruments.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Saturday, January 21, 2006
And indeed Harper did take a hit --- according to the Globe’s own poll which said the Tories went from 41 percent support to 37 percent, while the Liberals jumped from 25 to 28.
The Globe even helpfully explained why this tightening had occurred. It seems, explained the paper’s reporters, that Harper’s comments about the Supreme Court had spooked Ontarians.
Well they couldn’t have been all that spooked because today the Globe poll reports the Tories have gained a point and now lead the Liberals by 10 points.
So you would think today’s headline would read, “Tories Widen Gap” or “Harper Regains Momentum”.
Indeed, this latest development is buried in their election coverage and actually given a Liberal spin: “The Liberal freefall seems to have abated.”
Yeah. Freefalls usually abate when you hit the ground.
To get more on the Globe’s wonky election reporting check out Andrew Coyne’s excellent site.
As for me, if the Tories win the election on Monday, I hope to see this headline on Tuesday: “Globe’s Credibility Takes Hit”.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Just got out of a presentation from Bricker and he made a convincing case that the election is over.
The Tories will win. They will likely win a strong minority.
In fact, says Bricker, the election was actually decided two weeks ago when the Tories took a big 10 point lead and never looked back.
And unlike other pollsters who claim the race is tightening, Bricker’s numbers indicate the Tories have maintained their lead for the last two weeks.
It hasn’t wavered a bit.
The turning point?
It was the tragic shooting in downtown Toronto on the Boxing Day weekend.
Prime Minister Paul Martin’s response was to promise to build more playgrounds and youth centres. Stephen Harper promised to get tough on crime.
Ontarians – in the suburbs at least – liked Harper’s answer better.
Here’s Bricker’s seat breakdown:
Liberals – 64-68
NDP – 29-33
Bloc - 57-61
In “voter-rich” Ontario, Bricker says the Tories will win 45-47 seats outside the GTA plus a couple of more in the GTA.
Now let’s see if the voters agree with Bricker
Just to be a little more specific and to help the numbers add up, Bricker predicts the Tories will win 11-13 seats in the GTA, at least according to my scribbled notes which I can now barely read.
Update 2: You can now get all the scoop on this poll here.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
But there’s one thing I do know for sure: the Liberal Party has undergone a profound metamorphosis. No longer a party of the “centre”, the Liberals are now clearly a party of the extreme left.
Prime Minister Paul Martin has redefined his party as the socialist alternative to the Conservatives.
His cuddling with Buzz Hargrove, his wooing of “progressive” voters, his increasingly shrill class-war rhetoric – are all evidence of his conversion.
What does this mean?
Well it means if the Liberals win the election Canada will experience a dramatic shift to the left when it comes to our polices.
Our foreign policy will feature an unrelenting and ugly strain of anti-Americanism.
Our domestic policy will feature more spending, more taxes and more government.
Our federalist policy will feature division as the Liberals pit one region of the country against the other.
Not a pretty picture. You might even say it’s scary.
And if the Liberals lose?
If the Liberals lose we can expect a political death match between the Liberals and the NDP to determine who will assume the mantle of the voice of Canada’s Left.
That won’t be pretty, but it will be fun to watch.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
A couple of days ago it was left-wing journalist Linda McQuaig taking a shot at us, and now it’s Prime Minster Paul Martin’s designated bully-boy Buzz Hargrove.
Today in a rambling news conference, Hargrove threw about a gallon of mud at Tory leader Stephen Harper, calling him a “separatist”.
And he also smeared the NCC to get at Harper calling us a “secret society’.
Is this what Martin is reduced to? Does he really feel it’s necessary to smear non-partisan private organizations? Is he really that desperate for votes?
It’s bad enough his party has corrupted our government. Now the Liberals are corrupting the election.
I once thought Martin was a decent man.
Clearly, he will say or do or smear anyone or anything to keep power.
And he doesn’t even have the courage to do it himself.
Or so say a couple of ex-Tories who have launched a complaint with Elections Canada, claiming the site infringes on the infamous election gag law.
“They’re using a third-party agency to get elected,” fumes Eugene Parks, one of the complainers.
Is this the kind of society we are evolving into? Do people really think it should be illegal to express opinions on a website?
It’s unlikely of course anything will come from this ridiculous complaint.
The election gag law, after all, is designed to prevent people from “buying” elections. It is only triggered when there are election advertising expenditures above a certain limit.
Anything posted on the Internet is outside of its draconian reach --- for now.
Should the Liberals win this election, however, watch for the gag law to be expanded to include internet communications.
That’s why the Supreme Court’s ruling to approve the gag law was so dangerous. Once you accept the notion that election speech can be curtailed you start down a scary road.
Who knows where we will end up?
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Specifically, I suggested the Liberal strategy to attack former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution would backfire.
It looks like I was right.
Writing in today’s Globe and Mail, John Ibbitson examines the Tory surge in Ontario and says:
“The Harper Conservatives are achieving this seismic electoral realignment by promising to lower taxes, get tough on crime and put an end to entitlements --- exactly the same message that the Harris Conservatives used. Once again, the Liberal strategy has had a result diametrically the opposite of its intent.”
Remember you read it here first.
Monday, January 16, 2006
He will present Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper as a George Bush-loving, Neo-Con admiring, Mike Harris-imitating, right winger who will change the face of Canada forever.
Yet some conservatives are wondering what all the fuss is about.
Check out Rondi Adamson’s piece which appeared in the Sunday edition of the Toronto Star.
Adamson looks at Harper’s platform and says it isn’t much different from the Liberal polices of the 1990s and concludes it isn’t “scary or frankly particularly conservative.”
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Well it has started.
In the Sunday edition of the Toronto Star, weedy leftist Linda McQuaig, aims her poison pen at the NCC.
Writes McQuaig of Harper: “One of his few ‘outside’ jobs, from 1998 to 2002, was heading the National Citizens Coalition, a lobby group founded in the 1960s by a wealthy businessman Colin Brown, expressly for the purpose of preventing the establishment of public health care in Canada.”
Ohh scary eh kids. Or is it?
Colin Brown started the NCC expressly for the purpose of protecting Canada’s values, traditions and freedoms.
Colin opposed high taxes, he opposed budget busting spending, he opposed the ever expanding growth of big government.
So he set up the NCC to give a voice to Canadians who shared his values and principles.
And yes, back in 1968 he believed giving the government a monopoly on health care was a bad idea. He thought it would lead to a costly and inefficient health care system that just wouldn’t work in the long run.
Sorry Linda, it turns out Colin was right, just ask the Supreme Court of Canada which ruled recently that Quebec must permit a private health alternative to the public system.
I wonder if McQuaig thinks the Supreme Court is part of some NCC right wing conspiracy?
Oh and McQuaig also attacks the NCC for opposing election gag laws. “Another pet cause of the NCC,” she writes “has been fighting laws aimed at restricting the power of corporations to influence election outcomes through advertising.”
Yes the NCC fights gag laws. Unlike McQuaig, we believe in free election speech. We believe everyone – not just politicians -- should have the right to express a political opinion. Elections, we believe, should be a free market place of competing ideas.
The fact that McQuaig and other left wingers think free speech is scary says more about them then it does about us.
And the fact, that the NCC is becoming the focus of left wing attacks also says something else: We are good at what we do!
Friday, January 13, 2006
Called the “Think Twice Coalition” it’s made up of the usual leftie types -- union bosses, artists, environmentalists, feminists --- and they want to warn Canadians about the Tory’s “scary” agenda.
So watch for a massive “Think Twice” anti-Harper media blitz over the next few days …. Oops wait a minute, I just remembered, they can’t run a massive anti-Harper ad campaign.
There’s an election gag law in effect.
This law actually makes it illegal for the Coalition (or any other group for that matter) to effectively make its point through paid advertising.
Too bad. Bet they would have run an effective ad campaign too.
And here's the irony: left-wingers generally applauded the gag law when it was enacted because they saw it as a way to make elections "fairer" and to stop the “rich from buying elections”.
Wonder if they think the gag law is such a good idea now? Wonder if they ever thought they would be lumped in with the rich?
Wonder if they ever think about anything?
Thursday, January 12, 2006
After all, Stephen Harper was our president for about four years.
So what will a Liberal anti-NCC TV attack ad look like?
Well it will probably go a little like this:
Announcer: Stephen Harper once headed the National Citizens Coalition.
The National Citizens Coalition was established in 1967.
The year race riots tore apart Detroit.
What does Stephen Harper have in store for our cities?
He won’t say.
We are not making this up.
Yikes, this ad scares me and I wrote it!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
I am talking about the ad which subtly suggests Stephen Harper is planning an armed coup.
The ad is ridiculous and what’s worse it makes the Liberals look ridiculous.
And that’s the killer.
In politics there’s two things you never want to be called: a crook or a fool.
Right now the Liberals are looking like both crooks and thanks to this ad -- fools.
If Harper can capitalize on this it will undercut the effectiveness of the other Liberal attack ads – which are not that great in the first place – and deflate the much anticipated Martin counter-attack.
It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
So here goes: In my view the Liberal attack ads stink.
Now I have nothing against attack ads per se. In fact, they can be quite effective when employed properly.
The attack ads the Liberals ran in 2004, for instance, touched the right hot buttons – abortion, Iraq etc. They seemed to have a strategy behind them.
But these 2006 attack ads are less focused and seem just nasty for the sake of being nasty.
And is it really smart for the Liberals to attack Mike Harris in Ontario? Harris won back to back majority governments, so some Ontarians must still like him. Besides he’s been gone long enough for the nostalgic factor to kick in.
In other words, in attacking Harris the Liberals might drive Ontarians to support the Tories.
It seems to me that these ads are more designed to hold onto the Liberal core vote than they are to win over the undecided.
If that’s the case, then it's just another sign that Team Martin is in panic mode.
The Toronto Sun's Christina Blizzard makes a good point in Wednesday column about the Harris attack ads. Writes Blizzard: "The whiz kids who dreamed them up might want to consult with their star candidate and high profile turncoat in Newmarket-Aurora, Belinda Stronach. When she ran for the leadership of the Conservtive Party, Stronach was nominated by Harris. Not just that, a large number of Harris's inner circle worked on her campaign."
Jack Layton is changing the name of the New Democratic Party to the Third Option.
Canadians apparently care about the Notwithstanding Clause
Paul Martin thinks Canadian values are the same as socialist values
From the NDP and Bloc perspective, the Liberals and the Conservatives are the same.
From the Liberal perspective the Conservatives and the Republicans are the same.
Paul Martin loses his temper whenever he talks about Quebec
Toronto isn’t Detroit – That’s true the Pistons might actually win something this year.
Parliament needs women.
Different formats still make for boring debates.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Last two debates beginning tonight. The first two were like exhibition games, but these are for all the marbles – or at least that’s what the media, eager to hype up these contests, would like us to believe.
What can we expect from the leaders?
Well, the polls show Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper is ahead, meaning a lot of Canadians will be sizing him up tonight to see if he’s really Prime Minister material. So Harper will likely approach this debate like a job interview or an audition. He’s got to show people he can play the part. And, of course, he’s got to avoid making any major errors.
As for Prime Minister Paul Martin, well he’s got to do what he does best: ramp up the compassionate rhetoric and hit people’s emotional buttons. There’s a lot of undecided voters out there and Martin can still win this thing if he can convince them Harper is a scary guy. Remember that’s what he did last time. And Martin’s big advantage is that the media is looking for a reason to spin him as the winner.
Jack Layton just has to remind people that he is still in the race. He’s almost been invisible during this election, a non-factor. His big aim will be to somehow convince the soft-NDP vote to abandon the Liberals and come back home.
Gilles Duceppe has the easiest job of all. He just has to keep reminding Quebeckers about Liberal corruption.
So who will win?
We won’t know the answer to that until January 23.
I'm scheduled to be part of a panel discussion on CFRB radio at 4:15 PM EST to discuss tonight's debate. Also scheduled to appear are Warren Kinsella and Judy Rebick.
Friday, January 06, 2006
This led a doctor friend of mine to send me the following message:
“I would like to know which other countries he (Martin) plans to recruit 5000 family doctors from. Belarus? Romania? Who would want to come here in ordered to be coerced into providing service at grossly discounted rates dictated by the government, and in order to be a member of the only profession denied by legislation the basic human right to sell its services and expertise privately?”
By the way, I will be on the Gary Doyle Show (570 AM Kitchener) at noon today to talk about my Must Lose List.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Sometimes during an election we focus so much on who we want to win, that we lose sight of something that's equally important -- who we want to lose.
With that in mind I decided to compile a list of candidates I would love to see lose on January 23rd.
Here’s what I came up with:
1. Belinda Stronach – No explanation I think is necessary.
2. Svend Robinson – Never mind his loony left-wing politics, if Robinson ever gets elected it will cost taxpayers a fortune to pay for all those little chains they will have to attach to the pens in the House of Commons.
3. Scott Brison – An unprincipled turncoat who once tried to smear the National Citizens Coalition. But hey this isn’t personal.
4. Sid Ryan – union boss who has lost about 100 elections in a row. Why spoil the streak?
5. Jean Lapierre – Just want to see if he will go back to being a separatist if he loses.
6. Michael Ignatieff – The last thing we need is another left wing intellectual in the House of Commons.
7. Olivia Chow – Ok relax. Chow is on this list because of her politics; it has nothing to do with dogs of any breed.
8. Ralph Goodale – A Liberal MP from Western Canada? It just doesn’t make sense.
9. Anne McLellan – Surely she has to lose sometime.
10. Bonnie Brown – You probably don’t recognize her name. But she’s the Liberal MP from my town of Oakville. A complete non-entity, she is the poor man's Carolyn Parrish, only with less charm.
OK I’ve done my bit.
Now it’s up to the voters.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
In the movie First Contact for instance, Captain Picard proudly boasts that the Federation economy is not based on money!!
So how do they pay for Romulan ale?
Anyway, I bring this up because today I came across a neat site that makes a strong case that the Federation is actually a Soviet-style totalitarian state.
Beam up me Scotty!
Sun Media is joining an application to suspend those sections of the Canada Elections Act which make it illegal to post real time elections results on a website.
Jose Leal, general manager of Canoe, says the goal of the application is “to be able to release online information relative to the (Ontario) audience without waiting for the polls to close in Vancouver.”
Right now, such a posting would be a criminal offence. Indeed, under Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act, it’s illegal to transmit any election information from a part of the country where the polls are closed to a part of the country where the polls are still open.
Besides Sun Media, the CBC, CTV, CHUM and Canadian Press also oppose Section 329.
It’s good to see the media getting involved in this case. After all, they are the ones who are being censored on election night.
The NCC has been battling the black out law ever since we offered to help Paul Bryan who launched a legal challenge to Section 329 back in 2000.
Paul believes this law is an infringement on his right to free expression and we agree.
His challenge is going before the Supreme Court of Canada sometime later this year.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
OK so now that the phony “election war” is over and things are set to begin in earnest starting today, what can we expect in the final few weeks before voting day?
Well, here’s what I think will happen:
1.The Liberals will run an attack ad that will portray Conservative Party leader Stephen as somewhere between Attila the Hun and Satan.
2. The CBC will release a documentary which will clearly prove that Stephen Harper is actually working for the CIA, in its “Satan division”.
3. The news media will scour the country looking for a Tory MP who believes the Charter of Rights should be dismantled so that we can pass laws against married, lesbians of colour who want to have abortions.
4. The Globe and Mail will run inflammatory headlines which will include the word “Christian” at least four times.
5. Paul Martin will put Alberta Premier Ralph Klein under 24 hour surveillance hoping to catch him whenever he utters the words: “health care”.
Yes indeed, expect democratic debate at its finest.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Every sentence begins with “Let me be clear” or with “Let there be no doubt” or with “In fact.”
And I’m not the only one who has noticed.
Joel Johannesen, over at his always excellent Proud to Be Canadian site, has come up with what he calls the “Fact You” game.
Let me be clear, you should check it out. Let there be no doubt, Joel has, in fact, come up with a great game.