Saturday, May 14, 2005

Signs of Change

The Globe says the Liberals are dropping "TEAM MARTIN" from their election signs, and removing the face of dear Leader.

The signs from last year's election have been scrapped. The new sign will be a straight-up, red-and-white sign that features the candidate's name in bold white print, but narcissist Martin doesn't have confidence that his candidates can be re-elected without him, so the words "Paul Martin's Liberals" appear on the top right corner.

The tight grip of power in the higher echelons of the Liberal party continues. Martin likely wanted the new slogan to differentiate between his Liberals and Chretien's Liberals -- but as Stephen Harper pointed out a few weeks back: "If one group of Liberals calls another group of Liberals 'liars' what difference does it make which group of Liberals we believe."

I'm kind of disappointed they aren't using the ones with Paul's face. I rather enjoyed seeing him adorned in devil's horns and goofy glasses.


Friday, May 13, 2005

Solicitation, Liberal Style

I can't tell whether the Liberals are buying or selling.

Today in Newfoundland Martin stood, straight faced and said:

"The future of that budget really is in the hands of Loyola Hearn and Norman Doyle (Newfoundland's Conservative MPs) . . . Depending on how they vote will [decide] whether, in fact, the budget succeeds or not. So the Atlantic accords are in their hands and I really hope they do the right thing."

If he's not selling the financial undertakings of the nation to Buzz Hargrove, or offering our troops to political-prostitute Dave Kilgour, or buying votes in Quebec with money for Bombardier, Martin is trying to sell a bill of goods to the Canadian public.

By placing the blame for his tattered government on the shoulders of two Conservative MPs, Martin again shirks responsibility for the failures of his own leadership.

First it was Harper's fault for withdrawing support for the budget. Martin wants us to forget that Harper decided to stop propping up the government when the Liberal's cancelled Opposition Days. Prior to that point, Harper had said he would not defeat the budget -- which is not the same as 'supporting' it. All of which of course, led to the televised solicitation of pity.

Blame, blame everywhere and not a drop for him.

Martin has governed with naked ambition as his driving force. He has no ideas, no vision, no passion to serve. In his quest for the role he coveted for so long, those surrounding him failed to notice the man is but a sponge. He soaks up policy and ideology from other parties, from lobbyists, or rock stars and with each lie he utters, he oozes contempt for the public he pretends to represent.

I sometimes wonder if Paul Martin orchestrated Adscam, expecting it would blow up in Chretien's face, only to find himself holding the powder keg.

There is a lot of buying and selling going on. All the Liberal-sucklings wait, mouths agape. I don't believe Hearn or Doyle will buy the rubbish Martin's selling -- nor will they sell out their country for a piece of the action.



Thursday, May 12, 2005

Who is Holding Canada Hostage?

To hear the media tell it, one might be excused for thinking parliament is being held hostage by a Tory-Bloc conspiracy.

CBC News says Parliament shut down for 2nd day - Conservative and Bloc Québécois MPs joined forces to shut down Parliament for a second day Thursday.

Macleans says Tories, Bloc shut Parliament for day in effort to push government to defeat The opposition grabbed control of the House of Commons on Thursday, shut it down, and said the Governor General should move to trigger a federal election. . . They shut down Parliament first by announcing they would boycott parliamentary committees, then powered through a motion to close the House of Commons just before noon.

People accused Stephen Harper of wanting to send our troops to Iraq to stay 'in' with the Americans. I don't believe Harper came out and said that -- I believe he was being metaphorical when he suggested that we should 'stand shoulder to shoulder' with our American allies -- and he said that because Parliament voted not to support the Iraq war. (The question voted on was never -- should we send troops -- the question was -- do we believe the Americans have the right to go to war against Iraq).

Well, Stephen Harper may have been misguided in suggesting we support the Americans in that war, but I believe history will vindicate that opinion.

But nothing will ever vindicate Paul Martin for sending our troops to a hopelessly war-torn area with no mandate, no authority to create or keep the peace, no jurisdiction, and no clear terms of engagement. And all to keep his white-knuckled grip on power.

And, apparently, 100 troops is not enough to buy David Kilgour's vote, (link to CNEWS):

The Liberals' frailty was underscored when Independent MP David Kilgour demanded 500 Canadian soldiers be sent to Sudan. He warned that the Liberals might not get his key vote on the budget unless he sees enough Canadian boots on the ground in Darfur. He said he was unimpressed with Martin's promise to deploy up to 100 Canadian Forces personnel and hinted he might vote to defeat the government.

One man's ego and lifetime obsession with being Prime minister, is determining not just the fate of the nation, but the fate of hundreds of our soldiers. They are the newest pawns in his vile political games.

Bad enough he won't relent and hold the vote when the ill Conservative MPs can be there, but buying votes with the lives of our soldiers . . . Then again, "get power at all costs; keep power at all costs" is not the Liberal Manifesto for nothing.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Liberals Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

The nastiness in the House has got everyone slamming the Conservatives.

CTVs headline is pretty non-partisan, but if you read the article: Grits accused of planning vote around sick MPs most of the quotes are by people like Tony Valeri, Paul Martin, Scott Brison, and even Jack Layton -- about the Conservatives making the accusation, rather than the distinct probability that its true. (Thanks to
905 Tory for the link).

I subscribe to the Liberal newsletter, and they released 'A Statement from the Prime Minister" which was verbatim what he said today at the press conference before Question Period. As his excuses for delaying a 'real' confidence vote, Martin said:

On May 17, voters in British Columbia will be going to the polls in a provincial election.Next Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be in Regina to welcome the Queen to Canada. On Thursday, May 19, I will be in Ottawa. And I am proposing that there be, on that day, a vote on the budget bill. This vote will be a matter of confidence.

It's already been pointed out by others that his itinery is irrelevant. There is nothing so gravely important in that list that the budget is somehow connected to it or could be affected by it. The only answer is what Harper and the Tories suggested -- the vote is being postponed because Martin is betting on at least one of the sick MPs being too sick to travel.

The indignation and sanctimonious bleating of the Liberals is disingenuous. They act offended -- Stephen Harper must be LOW to have even thought such a thing.

Had Martin thought May 19th was a good day for the budget vote, his letter would have said: We the government, believe there is business in the House that needs to be completed before the budget vote. We need to wait for the Veteran's Bill to clear Senate, and for the DNA bill to be rushed through the House and Senate. Both of these things will be expedited, but we believe, in order for the budget to have fair debate, a vote should be called no earlier than May 19th.

The letter doesn't say anything like that. It mentions no work that needs to be completed. It makes no reference to time for debate. It lays out Martin's itinerary for next week and says -- we're too busy to entertain the will of the people at the moment --we'll get back to you when we've time.

The Liberals made the mistake of genuinely wanting the vote when some Tories might be too sick to be there. Instead of offering reasons for their decision, they had to offer excuses -- because liars think up excuses. The reasons were there, and could easily have justified the delay. But they were lying. Paul Martin stood up in front of all of us and said -- we can't have a confidence vote now, I have to meet the Queen.

And now they stand there sputtering all offended. How could Stephen Harper accuse us of something so beastly . . . so reprehensible . . . so sleazy . . . how did he know?

He knew because it's so typical.


Turning the Tables

In answer to a question about a Liberal higher-up having confessed to taking illegal money and giving it to the Party, Scott Brison said that there are 'allegations against members of the Conservative Party and the Bloc' at Gomery, and in order to save everyone's reputations, the opposition should stop asking questions about Gomery in the House.

I happened to come across a news item that I clipped out of the National Post back on April, 11 2005:

The federal government has given $100 million in grants and interest-free loans over the past decade to Mont Tremblant, a Quebec resort owned by ski giant Intrawest Corporation, a major donor to the Liberal party. According to federal government documents, Mont Tremblant received more government money between 1993 and 2004 than any ski operation in Quebec. The money went into the construction of roads, water and sewer systems, recreational and convention centres that were part of Intrawest's massive hotel and residential development at Mont Tremblant. The company also receive matching funds from Quebec. Over the same decade the federal government was pouring millions into Mont Tremblant, Intrawest and related companies donated more than $100,000 to the Liberal party. The records show that Intrawest gave the Liberal party $1,000 in 1993 but the donations increased considerably after the party came into power. The donations shot up to $9,000 in 1995, averaged about $3,500 in the mid-1990s, and then jumped to $10,000 in 2003. Conversely, donations to the Conservative party shrank. The Intrawest group of companies gave the party $2,446 in 1993, the last year the federal Tories were in power, a few hundred dollars after that and $2,000 in 2000. (Mohammed Adam, CanWest News Service).

I decided to check out who they donated to in last year's campaign. They donated only $1,000 -- to the Conservatives.

All the donations to the Liberals must have been in brown paper bags.

Last week from Gomery, was the news that some ad agencies accused of illegitimate donations to the Liberals, also donated to the Bloc. The gist of the reports was that this made the Bloc dirty too.

It would seem the Liberals are making sure their pals distribute the largesse so the other parties can be implicated if necessary.

This whole thing has gotten out of hand. If Martin had any shred of decency, he would resign, even if he was not complicit in this mess.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Do They Know Something We Don't?

Perhaps I'm a cynic or a latent conspiracy theorist -- but I'm suspicious about the numbers in the vote tonight.

Could it be that the Liberals wanted to lose this vote?

Two Cabinet Ministers did not attend -- Justice Minister Irwin Cotler and Natural Resources Minister John Efford.

Last week, in anticipation of a crucial vote in the House of Commons, Veteran's Affairs Minister Albina Guarnieri was called home almost as soon as she touched down in Holland -- that 'crucial' vote wasn't even on the agenda. Today, the Liberals had full knowledge of an impending 'crucial vote' and yet two Cabinet Ministers don't show ?

CTV says Cotler was in Montreal for a family funeral. Not to be insensitive, but at 5:45 p.m.? I believe Cotler was in the House Monday, and he was scheduled to give the keynote speech for the Ottawa Police Services on Monday night. There is no indication that this speech was cancelled. It appears Cotler might even have been in Ottawa this morning (see link) for a meeting about the new DNA Registry. If the government had considered this a crucial vote, I believe he'd have flown back to Ottawa immediately after the funeral service.

Apparently Efford was receiving 'medical treatment' in Newfoundland. Again, this might be true, but the timing seems suspicious to me.

Did the government want this vote to pass? I believe they did. The Queens Park Liberals are notorious for sending up trial balloons. Their federal brethren are likely doing the same. They'll listen to the feedback (or fallout) and then they'll decide on their own terms, how and when to close shop.


Monday, May 09, 2005

With Friends like These . . .

Ontario provincial Conservative leader John Tory, has taken the position that the Layton/Martin budget should be passed.

I was angry when Toronto's socialist mayor, David Miller, spoke out, 'warning' the Conservatives to pass the budget or else he would speak out more during a potential election campaign. But I am shocked and disappointed by John Tory's comments.

It is irresponsible and disrespectful for Tory to be questioning his federal counterparts. His statements lend credibility to Martin's defense of the budget, and undermine Harper and the Conservative party (apart from Belinda) has remained focused and united.

Ambition must have blurred this man's vision. His ill-timed comments will carry a lot of sway with soft conservatives. Tory is considered a moderate, and is respected here in Ontario. The Liberals will use Tory's comments at election time and the effect his statement could have on the Conservatives is immeasureable.

Silence would have been a better reaction if Tory disagrees with his federal counterparts, but he could have used this as an opportunity to point out the implausibility of the monies flowing to the province in the near future, regardless of what happens on Parliament Hill.

As we witness the jockeying, the glad-handing, the grandstanding, I become bitter. Is there not more at stake than money or power? Here's a link to last Friday's column in the Toronto Sun by John Derringer. It puts words to my lament.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

CTV -- Spinning the Facts

Peter MacKay and Anne McLellan appeared on Question Period today. The topic was the Martin/McGuinty budget. Title links to the story on the CTV website.

Here is a quote from the website coverage:
McGuinty puts the figure at $23 billion -- something Prime Minister Paul Martin disputes.

On Question Period, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan put the agreement this way: "You see Premier McGuinty and Prime Minister Martin getting on with the business of governing. And while they may choose to disagree about some gap in terms of transfer payments, what you see here is how the federation works."

MacKay said the gap existed because Martin cut transfer payments while finance minister in the Liberal government of Jean Chretien "while riding the revenues of GST and free trade."

The Liberals also inherited a deficit in excess of $40 billion from the former Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.

The bolded text is CTV's excuse for Paul Martin's drastic slashing of transfer payments.
Am I wrong, or is that revisionist history?
Mulroney left a huge deficit -- true, but to make that statement without qualifications -- without indicating that he TOO, inherited a huge deficit from the Trudeau era, is misleading.

While it may be argued that slashes in the transfers were necessary to reduce the deficit, it must also be remembered as MacKay said, that the Liberals had the benefits of the GST & free trade. They campaigned on scrapping the GST, renegotiating or getting rid of NAFTA, and did neither. So not only did they gut provincial transfers, they also had an unparalleled tax boon.

The CTV's webwriter made this sweeping half-true statement in the guise of exposition. Or maybe this is what serves as 'analysis' in their newsroom.

The Conservatives (any incarnation, any problem) are to blame.

Many of today's voters either weren't alive or had not arrived in Canada, when Mulroney was elected, let alone Trudeau. Through the efforts of the CBC and other like minded institutions, even people who lived in those times have come to regard Trudeau as some sort of populist, renegade hero. So, it isn't surprising that people will accept this sort of statement without question. It takes much less mental effort to read the news than to think.

The Liberals don't even have to come up with excuses for themselves anymore, they just sit back and 'journalists' do it for them.