Monday, April 30, 2007

Rumbles from the Right

Something seems to be happening in Conservative-land.

The natives are getting restless with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's swing to the left.

As mentioned earlier, my Post column has generated quite a response from disillusioned grassroots conservatives.

And now others are taking up the standard.

Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant notes in a Calgary Sun column today that the Conservative plan to ban light bulbs is "all baloney".

The Conservatives, says Levant are "alienating conservative voters who know it, too. And the environmentalists and rock stars who pretend to believe it will never vote for them anyway."

Columnist Lorne Gunter adds in today's National Post: "To understand just how deeply the Tories (I hesitate any longer to call them Conservatives) have drunk of the Green Kool-Aid, consider that their green plan, released last week, will cost Canadians as much as $8-billion a year in tax-funded spending, higher prices, pollution fines and reduced economic activity."

And finally here's what Professor Barry Cooper from the University of Calgary wrote in the Maclean's 50 comment section: "In his recent op-ed in the Ottawa Citizen, Environment Minister John Baird sounded more like David Anderson or even David Suzuki than a Conservative Minister of the Crown who - at least in principle - is connected to common sense."

I'll say it again, I hope the Prime Minister and his team are listening.

Trudeau Part 2

Congratulations to Justin Trudeau on winning the Liberal nomination.

Of course, the young Trudeau can expect quite a bit of media exposure over the next few months.

Everything he will say or do will make news.

The CBC will likely give him his own TV show to celebrate the "Second Coming."

And, of course, nothing Trudeau has done will merit any of this attention. He does have a famous last name; and he does support just about any trendy left wing cause out there, but that's about it.

Mind you all that coverage could end up being a double-edged sword for the Liberals.

Justin, after all, is inexperienced but full of himself -- and in politics that's a bad combination.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I got letters (OK really emails)

My column in yesterday's National Post on the Conservative Party selling out its principles triggered quite a response

Here's a sampling of some comments I received:

"I couldn't agree more. They (the Conservatives) have really gone off the rails in recent weeks, to the point that I am considering sitting out the next election ( and I am someone who used to take a very active part in the political process to the point of being on a riding executive board ). I hope a lot more people speak up about this. Maybe Mr. Harper and company will get the message before it's too late."

***
"The Conservative Party of Canada appears to have become just a bunch of socialists without the corruption."
***
"I am greatly appreciating your efforts!"
***
"The Liberals are now far more pro-business than Harper is.I voted and contributed to the CONservatives [emphasis on CON].NEVER AGAIN!!!! I'M DEDICATED TO THROWING THEM OUT."
***
"I don't get it and feel, as you do, that there is little to no difference between the crooks we had out last time, and the new generation of crooks we're breeding at the moment."
***
"Your column is right on the money. I have been a supporter of the Reform, Alliance and Conservative parties, financially and otherwise. But I can't support a party that wants to tell me what kind of light bulbs to use in my home."
***
"I enjoyed your article 'Selling out true conservatism'. All I can say is it’s about time somebody comes out and says it. This conservative government seems no different to me then the liberal governments I have known my whole life."
***
"I too am one of those who wonder how far the party will wander from principles in an efort to hold on to/gain power.. I keep hoping that it will shift back if it has a majority.. but grow less confident of that every day.."
***
"Thanks for putting into words what I have been feeling lately. I must also be one of the principled conservatives because I am thinking Harper and the crew are starting to turn into Chretien and the crew."
***
"Excellent commentary in today’s NP. It contained the same message I gave to my MP after the last budget. He seemed surprised that I wasn’t pleased with all the government announcements and even more surprised when I said 'please, don’t do me any favours'. The fiscally conservative (small c) has no representation and no alternative."
***

"Bang on, Gerry! Very well said."
***
"Thank you for confirming that I am not alone in my disappointment with the new Conservatives. . . We need more writers like you to wake up the boys in policy that there is a great hunger to redress the imbalance that has our country close to total nannyism. Good on you."
***
"Although I understand your conservative principles, I don't think you're being realistic . . .I think that most Conservative Canadians are very happy with Mr. Harper at the helm and want it to stay that way. I'm one of them and I don't think I'm deluded. I'm a realist."
***
"Excellent..... Your division of a conservative party has an universal appeal."
***
"AMEN! Once again, just like 15 years ago, I have a feeling I have no political home. Where do we go this time? Do we have to start another “reform” movement?"
***
"For someone like yourself to be writing negatively about Harper is just what the Libranos love to read and quote and it really hurts to give them any comfort. You have to undersatand that NOTHING Harper could do would be worse than another run of Liberal rule."
***
"Just don't start another Reform wing! Harper needs to get rid of Flaherty and replace him with a visionary, but he also needs that elusive majority. He's walking a tightrope fairly successfully, but there's something about him that causes Canadians to pull back (or am I just listening to the CBC too much?)"
***
"Terrific piece that hit the bull's-eye on why Harper's government will end up failing . . .if you ever launch the 'Principled Conservative Party of Canada' you can count on my support."
***
"How did this happen? It's almost like Stephen was kidnapped by Chretien and has been brainwashed. He now appears to be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome."
***

It's great to get all this feedback.

Hope the Tory "braintrust" is listening.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Green Blues

About the best thing I can say about the Conservative government's "Green Plan" is that it will probably do less damage to the economy than a Liberal "Green Plan."

But that's cold comfort.

The fact is we are no longer debating whether we should implement a dopey treaty; we are now debating how much we should wreck the economy.

That's not a good road to go down.

No matter who wins that debate Canadians will be forced to shell out; and for what?

Let's face it, the Tory plan will do nothing to halt "global warming" and it will do nothing to impact on global weather conditions.

No plan would have an impact. We could de-industrialize the whole country and live in dark cold caves and it still wouldn't make any difference.

The only reason politcians are pushing this "Green" junk is to win votes.

It has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with wooing the "Suzuki Nation."

Me I preferred the Liberal approach.

Talk about the importance of Kyoto but do nothing.

That's one Liberal policy I wish the Tories would copy.

Selling out true conservatism

Make sure to pick up a copy of today's National Post.

I have an op-ed in it that's near and dear to my heart.

It debunks the myths tossed at me by those Tories who defend Prime Minister Stephen Harper's drift to the political left.

Myths such as Harper needs to go left because "Canada is a left-wing country" and "Conservatism is too scary".

The fact that some Conservatives actually believe those myths is sad; the fact that Harper seems to is just plain baffling.

Media Update:
I will be discussing my column and other issues on the radio shows Montreal Today with Joe Cannon at approximately 10:20 AM EST and on Adler Online at approximate 4:20 PM EST.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

And Edison Worked so Hard

Looks like the army of discontented conservatives is growing.

Stephen Taylor -- blogger extraordinaire -- has an excellent posting blasting the Conservative government's decision to ban light bulbs.

Writes Taylor: "So, the government has decided to ban light bulbs to appease the growing hysteria that, some might say, stems from the left-wing need for global social and economic reconfiguration. Granted, the ban will have a measured benefit in the short term. But, for reasons I've outlined above, it is best for the consumer to make such a decision because the market has shown a great talent for addressing consumer needs, whatever they may be."

Exactly.

Slinger Slings at me

Check out this column by the Toronto Star's Joey Slinger.

He says I am "dead wrong" when I condemn what he calls the "liberalization of the Harper Tories."

Essentially, Slinger argues Harper needs all the Liberal voters he can get to win an election and that means he must alienate his base of right wing "loons".

Which just goes to show what a wacky world we are living in these days: A Conservative Prime Minister is seeing eye to eye with a Star columnist.

Ban the bans

Am I wrong, or does the sole business of government these days consist of banning things.

Think of it.

Government bans smoking.

It bans guns.

It bans pitbulls.

Now the Conservative government wants to ban light bulbs!

In the process, of course, what they are really doing is banning our freedoms.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quote of the day

"Your money does not cause my poverty. Refusal to believe this is at the bottom of most bad economic thinking." P.J. O'Rourke

Painful Taxes

Kudos to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation for coming up with a brilliant poll question.

The CTF recently asked respondents, "Which is more unpleasant a root canal or a tax audit?"

Forty-seven percent of those surveyed responded “root canal” and 38% said a “tax audit".

I feel queasy thinking about either one.

Oh yeah, the CTF poll also revealed 67 percent of Canadians believe they will not personally benefit from what tax relief there was in the latest federal budget.

See more details here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TV or not TV

In case you haven't heard, this is "Turn-Off TV Week".

We are all supposed to turn off our TV sets and computers and enjoy the real world!

Yuck.

Anyway according to the chronic do-gooders behind this program, TV is bad because:

*"On average, children in the US will spend more time in front of the television (1,023 hours) than in school this year (900 hours)". -- They say that like it's a bad thing.

* "Forty percent of Americans frequently or always watch television during dinner." -- What we really need are TVs in the washroom.

* As US Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher said at the Kick Off of TV-Turnoff Week 2001, "We are raising the most overweight generation of youngsters in American history...This week is about saving lives." --- Hmm, that's right kids stop watching TV and go out and play in the traffic.

But seriously this anti-TV campaign is a swell idea.

And I would defintitely take part, but I just have to find out if Lilly will forgive Daniel for his porn addiction on the Young and the Restless!

Censoring the Net

Have you heard about the recently introduced private members bill C-427?

It's called the "Clean Internet Act" but "Censorship Internet Act" would be more fitting.

This proposed bill would give the federal government sweeping new powers to control the flow of information through cyberspace.

Dr. Michael Geist has more on this bill here.

Now what's really weird about all this, is that Bill C-427 was introduced by Joy Smith, a Conservative MP!

I thought Conservatives were supposed to be about promoting individual freedom.

Mind you, 20 Conservative MPs were also sympathetic to Bill C-257 which would have given dangerous new powers to union bosses.

It just goes to show, that many in the Conservative Party just don't understand conservatism.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Real Stephen Harper

The Ottawa Citizen has an indepth piece today which speculates on what a Harper majority government would be like.

The article notes:


In his first 15 months as prime minister, Mr. Harper has governed more like a cautious centrist: rolling out a big-spending budget aimed at middle-income families, reaching out to moderate Red Tories in his caucus, and appealing to "soft" nationalists in Quebec. The difference has been so stark, in fact, that former right-wing allies are accusing him of selling out to the political left.

I guess I am one of the former "right-wing allies" because the writer quotes me quite a bit in the article.

Check it out.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Sic Transit Gloria

Politics is an odd business.

Just ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

A few weeks ago, the media was suggesting he was almost a sure bet to win a majority government.

Now, after a few polls show his political star isn't rising as fast as anticipated, the Toronto Star is openly musing about Harper's possible successors.

That's a bit premature.

But what the heck, if somebody were to ask me who should replace Harper, I'd say Industry Minister Maxime Bernier.

Bernier has done a great job in cabinet and more importantly, he is a true blue conservative.

And one of my female friends once described Bernier as "handsome, tall and charming and well-dressed," and added she was "tired of being governed by ugly people! Bring back the JFKs! Bring back the John Turners! Bring back the Bibi Netanyahus!"

So there's another reason to support Bernier.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Kyoto Klash

Yesterday the Conservative government released an independent economic study which says if we implement the Kyoto Accord the economy will suffer a recession.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May called the study "alarmist".

This from a woman who for the past year has been crisscrossing the country fomenting climate change hysteria, with predictions along the lines of:

* The Western Prairies will soon be home to roaming bands of heat-crazed camels.

* In a few months glaciers will push Toronto into Lake Ontario.

* Hurricanes the size of Jupiter will flatten the Rockies.

Yeah if anybody knows about alarmism it's Elizabeth May.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Me and the Last Angry Man

Listen to me tonight at about 7:30 PM EST, as I am interviewed on the Last Angry Man radio program with Beryl Wajsman.

Creating jobs

The quote of the day:

"When the GOVERNMENT spends money, it creates jobs; whereas when the money is left in the hands of TAXPAYERS, God only knows what they do with it. Bake it into pies, probably. Anything to avoid creating jobs." -- Dave Barry

Integrity in Politics

Toronto Sun Money Editor Linda Leatherdale has an excellent column today taking to task the undemocratic shenanigans associated with political floor crossers.

(One of the excellent things about this column is that it quotes me.)

Anyway, Leatherdale notes that Progressive Conservative leader John Tory seems ready to decree former Liberal MPP Tim Peterson will be his candidate in the riding of Mississauga South.

And no there will be no nomination fight. The riding will apparently be handed to Peterson on a silver platter.

Leatherdale writes: "what's not fair is how three quality candidates are being shut out of the nomination process in Mississauga South after spending money, pounding the pavement and lining PC coffers by selling memberships. One, Effie Triantafilopoulos, who insiders say had Tory's blessings to run in the riding, even quit her job as CEO of Save the Children Canada. "

Whatever happened to principle in politics?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

You're welcome Stephane

Who says the Liberals can't take advice?

About a week ago, I had a column in the Toronto Star suggesting the left-leaning Liberals needed to adopt a more fiscal conservative stance if they were to have any hope of forming the next government.

Well lo and behold today's Globe and Mail reports, "In a change of tactics that marks a rethinking of Liberal political strategy, St├ęphane Dion set up shop on Bay Street yesterday to accuse the Conservative government of handicapping Canadian business and making the country's corporations vulnerable to foreign takeovers."

OK Stephane, that first bit of advice was a freebie, but from now on I'm charging for my consulting services.

Me in the Maclean's 50

OK this is exciting.

I have just been inducted into "The Maclean’s 50."

And no that's not an elite military outfit.

It's actually a select group of Canadians who have the opportunity to comment directly on the magazine's online coverage of national affairs stories.

Others in The Maclean's 50 include people like Preston Manning, Allan Rock, Hugh Segal, Tom Flanagan, Steve Paikin, Lewis MacKenzie and a whole bunch
of others.

Clearly, it's kind of an august group, and I am happy to be among their number.

So be sure to read Maclean's online and watch for my brilliant comments.

Virginia Tech Tragedy

My friend Pierre Lemieux has some interesting thoughts on the horrendous massacre at Virginia Tech.

Join the Conspiracy

Next month I will be attending a Civitas conference in Halifax.

What's Civitas you ask?

Well, it's a society which exists to "promote and deepen understanding through the exchange of a wide range of political and economic, social, religious, cultural and philosophical ideas concerning the principles and traditions of a free and ordered society."

In other words, it provides a venue where conservatives of all stripes can meet to discuss issues , to argue and to socialize.

And one of the best things about it, is that you get to meet fellow conservatives/libertarians face-to-face.

Oh and Civitas, is also officially part of Canada's "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy."

Learn how to join here.

And if you do join, be sure to look me up in Halifax.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beware of Belindaism

Toronto Sun editor Lorrie Goldstein has a great piece in today's paper entitled "Liberal? Tory? Who can tell?"

In it, Goldstein makes the point that Belinda Stronach relfects the "new face" of federal politics.

And it's true.

Stronach, who is leaving federal politics, never really stood for anything -- except gaining power.

Likewise, says Goldstein, our federal parties are ceasing to stand for anything.

That's why Belinda could so easily shift from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Party.

As Goldstein writes: "it's pretty hard these days to tell a Conservative from a Liberal."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Harper's Secret

Click here to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper's secret weapon.

New Internet Fad

I have just signed up on Facebook.

Ok I am still not sure how to make the best use of what I'm told is the hottest thing on the Internet.

But check it out and be sure to "sign my wall" or "become my friend."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Me in the Globe (Twice)

I have a column in today's Globe and Mail (sorry it's behind a firewall) lamenting the leftward drift of the federal Conservative Party.

My point is simple: conservatives need to pressure Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stick true to his principles, otherwise we might as well elect Liberals.

My column is mentioned in this news article, which also appears in today's Globe.

Media Upate:

I will be on Focus 980 at 11:15 AM EST to discuss my op-ed and Belinda Stronach's departure.

Will also be on CFRA radio at about 1:20 PM EST.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Get Ready for Summer Liberty

My buddy Peter Jaworski says some nice things about me over at his blog.

And more importantly, he also has a special announcement about this year's Liberty Summer Seminar.

Check it out.

The NCC and Me

The National Citizens Coalition discusses my termination on their blog, here are some of the posted comments:

* "I really admired Gerry and his honesty and integrity. I have to be honest; this makes me very nervous. We need a strong independent voice to fight for the citizens against the excesses of big government. With the conservatives so obviously now leading that charge with the Liberals and the NDP and even the Greens following now we need that independent voice even more. I’m questioning now if I should have recently joined the NCC."

* "The recent treatment of Gerry Nichols is a disgrace. To publically humiliate a fine man like him who has been the face of NCC , and done so much to advance the cause of NCC is totally lacking in hunan decency and good judgment. I hope he gets a good lawyer. He deserves the best."

* "The most cogent explanation of who you are or were with gerry Nichols was in the Toronto Star this morning where he writes about the failed dream of us Conservatives as we see Mr. Harper’s lack of action on our issues. Too bad that wasn’t done in previous months and years. Your exposure level needs a bit of a kick start."

Interesting, eh?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Present for the Liberals

Check out a column I wrote, which appears in today's Toronto Star.

Basically it's free political advice from "One of the Top Five Political Minds in the Country" to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Yeah, I know I shouldn't be helping the Liberals, but it's an Easter present.

Media Update:

I will be on the Gary Doyle Show at 2:30 PM EST .

Friday, April 06, 2007

I'll get by with a little help from my friends

If I've learned anything in the last couple of days, it's the importance of friendship.

Since my departure from the National Citizens Coalition, I have received an avalanche of calls and emails from so many friends and colleagues offering kind words of encouragement and support, that I can't even be properly depressed!!

I am so grateful to all of you for your warm wishes. It means a lot.

Here's a sampling of some comments:

* "I’m sure you won’t be unemployed for long. With those rugged good looks…"

* "I have no doubt that whatever you choose to do next, it will be done with the same ass-kicking passion for liberty that has clearly driven your career."

* "The NCC is losing their best star!”

* "It's hard for me to imagine the National Citizens Coalition without you.”

Also special thanks to Rondi Adamson, Adam Daifallah, Paul Tuns, Janet Neilson and Peter Jaworski who have all blogged about this.

Blog Update:

Here are some more blog mentions: At Home In Hespeler, Road Hammer, Corridors of Mind, Objects of My Interest, and BBS.


Happy Easter everybody!

Media Update:

I am scheduled to appear on The World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge at about 9:00 PM EST.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Post-NCC Update

Well its been 24 hours since the axe fell.

Here is what they are saying about my demise over at the Toronto Star and at the Globe and Mail.

It hasn't been an easy time for me, so I want to thank all of you out there who have been sending me words of encouragement.

It helps.

Media Update:

I will appear on Mike Duffy Live this afternoon somewhere between 5 and 6 PM.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Farewell NCC

This is the hardest postings I have ever had to make.

You see, I am announcing that I no longer work for the National Citizens Coalition.

After 22 years, the NCC and I are going our separate ways.

I am proud of the work I did there over the years, helping to transform it into Canada's top organization for the defence of our economic and political freedoms.

So many battles, so many campaigns.

I am also proud that I always put principle first.

And one of the best things about working for the NCC, was having the chance to meet so many conservatives/libertarians who shared my love of freedom.

Oh well nothing lasts forever I guess.

So it's off to my next challenge.

The fight for freedom must go on.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

In For a Penny In for a Coyne

Andrew Coyne is one of Canada's brightest and most perceptive political commentators.

And it's rare that I disagree with him.

But one of those rare occasions occurred yesterday, when I read a posting on his blog in which he complains about the Conservative Party's anti-Liberal attack ads, which he calls "manipulative, inflammatory and tendentious."

Now I happen to think so-called "attack ads" are a legitimate weapon in any political party's arsenal.

So I posted this comment on his blog: "Memo to AC: Politics is a bloodsport, it's about time the Tories started fighting fire with fire."

In a posting today, Coyne replies: "Oh, but I forgot . . . .`politics is a bloodsport,' and this sort of thing just goes with the territory. Fair enough, I suppose: but doesn't anybody want to change politics any more?"

Now I am not sure what Coyne means by this.

Change it how exactly? By banning tough and hard hitting ads?

That would infringe on free expression.

By one side unilaterally declaring it won't use "negative ads"?

The Tories tried that "taking a knife to a gunfight" approach in the 2004 election and they lost out to the Liberals who had no compulsion about employing "manipulative, inflammatory and tendentious" ads.

The fact is, "negative ads", if used properly, work.

And there is nothing wrong morally with using them.

Democracy, by its very nature, is a messy, rough and tumble business --- it always has been and, I suspect, it always will be.

It doesn't need to be changed.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Geek Alert

Hey, I just figured out (courtesy of my son) how to put Youtube videos on my blog!!

Prepare for Glory

Today is the most important day of the year: Opening Day.

And if you have to ask "Opening day of what?", then you and I clearly don't have much in common.

Of course, I mean it's time to get ready for another season of that most perfect of sports: baseball.

And yes baseball is still the perfect game despite all the problems associated with it: steroids, interleague play and wild card teams.

As Bill Veeck once said, "Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world.
If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off."

Anyway, in honour of opening day, here is my list of top five baseball movies:

And of course, what opening day would be complete without one of the greatest comedy routines of all time.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Insults Galore

Have you ever been in an argument with somebody and got the worse of it because you lacked the proper put down?

Me too.

So when I saw a book called 2000 Insults for all Occasions at the bi-annual Oakville library book sale (where they sell books for something like 10 cents a pound) I snapped it up.

According to the blurb on the back of the book it's jam-packed with "on-the-spot ammunition that will annihilate your antagonist with the squelch of the party!"

Oh boy, I can't wait for some wise guy to take me on because now I can sting him with zingers like these:
  • You got a fat chance to get me sore -- and a head to match!
  • While you don't get yourself X-rayed to see what people see in you.
  • I don't know what makes you tick, but I hope it's a time bomb.
  • I can't think what I will do without you, but it's worth a try.
  • Don't you ever get tired of having yourself around?
Hmm, not sure this stuff will actually "annihilate" anybody.

Upon closer examination, I see this book was published in 1965; maybe people were easier to insult back then.

Sexiest Man Alive

Hey, I just got some exciting news.

People magazine is voting me "The Sexiest Man Alive" for 2007.

What an honour!

Ha, ha.

Just kidding. It's just my little April Fools Day joke.

Bet I really had you going there for a while.