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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Drain the swamp at the U.N.!

One of greatest non-profit organizations in the world, Freedom House, today released its annual compilation of the world's worst regimes. You can read the report here. (PDF required.)

Six of the countries on their list currently sit as members of the U.N. Human Rights Commission: China, Cuba, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

I guess we should be outraged, but this is the U.N. No sense in wasting energy getting mad anymore.

Adam Daifallah

Posted by Adam Daifallah on March 31, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Welcome To Paradise, Martyrs!

We have good news and we have bad news.

(ht)

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 31, 2005 in Religion | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Big Surprise, This.

CTV:

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected claims by francophone Quebecers to let their children attend English language schools.

In a unanimous decision, the country's top court has upheld the language legislation in Quebec known as Bill 101 -- which obliges French speaking parents to send their kids to a francophone school. A group of eight francophone families have been fighting hard for their children's right to attend English language schools, claiming they're being discriminated against.

"The Supreme Court ruled that the anti-discrimination provisions of the Charter of Rights do not override the language provisions of the Charter of Rights," reports CTV's Mike Duffy from Ottawa. "They stand side by side."


There's a provision in the Charter that denies some citizens the right to speak other languages and that's equal to the one that doesn't descriminate on the basis of language, so it's ok to descriminate against them?

But I'm not a lawyer - I only play one on the blogosphere. So, as requested by a reader - an open thread. Discuss.

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 31, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (34) | TrackBack

Hypocrisy watch

From the CP story on the a human rights complaint being filed against Calgary Bishop Fred Henry:

Stephen Lock, regional director of Egale Canada, a gay rights lobby group, said he doesn't dispute that Henry has an obligation to represent the views of his church, including on same-sex marriage. But Lock said lumping homosexuality in with things like pornography and prostitution is going too far. "When anyone starts calling for the coercive power of the State to suppress or curtail any legal activity, that's really oppressive to be saying stuff like that," Lock said.

And what about the oppression of using human rights tribunals to punish or, at the very least, attempt to silence, oh, I don't know,  a bishop who speaks out against homosexuality?

There are some good comments to the post on this issue yesterday. I especially liked Doug's suggestion:

"... simply treat every HR complaint as an HR violation itself. And in this case, it certainly is. The purpose of the complaint in this case is quite clearly to suppress public debate by terrorizing citizens into silence with the threat of legal consequences for holding and expressing unauthorized opinions."

I've had related discussions with conservatives about the tactic of using human rights commissions against illiberal liberals for borderline hate speech against people of faith and the like. Some people really like the idea of using this apparatus of the Left against itself and others (including myself) don't want to lend such institutions and processes any credence. That said, I'm open to being convinced that there will be a time for a tactical shift.

Posted by Paul Tuns on March 31, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Flikr

If you have several extra minutes of life to waste on useless stuff. Like I do



kATe

(Via Lewis)

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 31, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A Saudi Interview With Victor Hanson

I've been reading Carnage and Culture since picking it up at a used bookstore at the Raleigh airport, and it's proving a good read. Today, author Victor Davis Hanson responds to questions from Idris A. Ahmed, editor of the Saudi daily, Al-watan Newspaper. (Their wording makes me wonder if Mr. Ahmed shouldn't have run for the chairmanship of the DNC.)

It's another good read.

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 31, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wolf In Banker's Clothing

The neocons extend their grasp, with wild-eyed polarizers at their side. Moonbats flutter in alarm.

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 31, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

A Liberal on the Road

Why was the Liberal unable to cross the road? Because when he reached the middle he simply didn't know which way to turn, so he "Dithered" and became  one of those "Tis a consumation devoutly to be wished". Apologies to Hamlet and Kate.

Posted by Bob Wood on March 31, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What is to come

LifeSiteNews.com reports that Calgary Bishop Fred Henry has had a complaint filed against him with the Alberta Human Rights Commission because he spoke out against same-sex "marriage." From Bishop Henry's response to the Complaint:

"My rights to freedom of religion and free speech have been violated.  Those that support same-sex marriage want to shut the churches out of this important debate.  Those who favour same-sex marriage have been given full opportunity to state their views on this issue.  But now they are saying that anyone who speaks out against same-sex marriage is discriminating against homosexuals."

Few other details that have been made public at this stage but it will be worth watching.

Posted by Paul Tuns on March 30, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

How to handle hecklers

One of the tactics of the left, especially on campuses, is to heckle (or riot) when conservatives come to campus to talk.

But listen to Ann Coulter dispatch the rent-a-mob crowd that came to meet her the other day at a Kansas college. I love it: if it comes down to brute force, which is what these rent-a-mobs are about, I'd bet on some College Republicans in a dust-up with some vegetarian, gun-controlled pacificts, too.

Hat tip: NealeNews

Posted by Ezra Levant on March 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

Ministry of Information

How do you feel about a former minister of communication in Communist China running the U.N.'s Internet authority? And how do you feel about that authority now seeking greater regulatory powers?

Hat tip: Instapundit

Posted by Ezra Levant on March 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Buy Product of Canada Seafood

Today the organizers of the Canadian seafood boycott have started a campaign of radio and print ads in the Atlantic region to try and stop the seal hunt, the ads, especially the radio ones, come across as arrogant and condescending. The organizers claim that their repeated warnings have gone unanswered, and that it is time for the people of the region to pay for not heeding their advice.

The organizers claim that the seafood boycott will cut the market for Canadian seafood in the United States and the European Union, Canada's two largest markets, anywhere from 25 to 50%. Here is a section of the print ad that appeared in my local newspaper,

"We urge fishermen, fishing industry executives, and responsible elected officials to make every effort to persuade the federal government to end the commercial seal hunt as quickly as possible in order to reduce the unnecessary and prolonged financial hardship the Canadian seafood boycott will inflict."

In my opinion, most of the goals of the boycott are just wishful thinking on behalf of the organizers. But just to make sure, I urge all Canadians who resent outsiders meddling in our business to buy seafood marked with a Product of Canada label for supper this week as a show of solidarity and support for the Atlantic region. Bacon wrapped scallops anyone?

crossposted to canadiancomment

Posted by Bob Matheson on March 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Interrogated

Ammar Abdulhamid, a dissident blogger in Damascus, recounts a recent interrogation at the hands of Syrian intelligence.

This regime is so cut off from reality that it always ends up making what seems so unlikely well-nigh inevitable. That is the essence of my intuition. The withdrawal from Lebanon is not the end of the ordeal, as some want, but the real beginning of it. The wolves who are interrogating me today will once again be sent loose among the sheep to help ensure our continued patriotism.

And the leadership's line of defense against its critics at this stage will be, as is usually the case in these circumstances, to plead ignorance, albeit it is taking place will be taking place in their name.

Indeed, they might be right. Indeed they will not know all the details.

For ours is not simply a system where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, it is a system where the thumb, or the middle finger if you like, does know what the other fingers of the selfsame hand are doing. And so it goes. In order to assure yourself that you have true deniability, you have to grant too much autonomy to the worst most ignorant and sadistic elements in the system.

Yes. Yes. These days are coming back, just when we thought and hoped they were gone never to come back. Few of us might end up going first to this cross, but all shall soon follow. It does not take a prophet to predict this.

No. This is not a comforting thought. Nothing about this is comforting. Comfort has no place here. But then, when the noose tightens, comfort is not exactly what's at stake.


Via Roger Simon.

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 30, 2005 in International Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Phew. That was close.

Headline in today's Post: "Tories Defuse Crisis."

OTTAWA - Conservative leader Stephen Harper will attempt to change a key budget bill [which includes a Kyoto carbon tax] in committee, rather than force an election by voting against it in the House of Commons . . .

Brilliant. If Harper keeps "defusing" crises like this, Martin just might want to give the guy a cabinet seat,

Posted by Kevin Libin on March 30, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Alive, But Dead

In the fine tradition of "Fake, But Accurate", CBS erroniously reported on March 28th via their website that Terry Shiavo had died (Radio host Glenn Back grabbed a screen capture (pdf).) - then quietly removed the story absent retraction, correction or apology. (And some claim that bloggers lack "journalistic ethics"...)

One wonders how a news organization with as many resources as CBS could manage to jump the gun so badly on the number one news story of the day - perhaps someone finally noticed the Kinko's fax number on the leaked "death certificate"?

hat tip OTB

Posted by Kate McMillan on March 30, 2005 in Media | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Food Police

Steven Landsburg gives the Schiavo controversy a libertarian/economics spin in today's Slate (it was bound to happen eventually). The take away? Since Terri appears to have no consciousness, she can have no choice in what happens to her. But then Michael Schiavo also has no arguable use for the body any longer. So who is he, exactly, to prevent others who want to enjoy Terri and feed her from doing so? Put it that way and suddenly he becomes Dalton McSchiavo telling people what they can and cannot enjoy doing, simply because he believes he knows what's best.

Yeah, it's a stretch.

Posted by Kevin Libin on March 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

Daniel Pipes Talk

Know full well that the price I pay for sunny weather on Vancouver Island: missing out on great lecturers in the East. Daniel Pipes is doing a talk in Toronto, along with the usual protests, but if you feel like making the trip, it will probably be worth your while.

  • Sponsor: Middle East Forum Club at the University of Toronto
  • Co-sponsor: Muslims for Israel
  • Topic: “Radical Islam and the War on Terror”
  • When: March 29, 2005, 7:00 pm
  • Where: Sam Sorbara Auditorium, Brennan Hall, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
  • Cost: Gratis
  • Posted by Dylan Sherlock on March 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    Red Ensign Standard

    A summation of some of the best the Canadian blogosphere has had to offer these past two weeks is up at Tipperography.

    Posted by Rob Huck on March 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

    Playing politics with Canada's economy

    Further to Bob Wood's post below, the editorial in today's National Post states the case as well as it can be done. In their aptly titled Good strategy, bad policy the Post points out that by adding a Kyoto rider into the budget implimentation bill the Liberals may have backed the Conservatives into a corner and have created a favourable ballot box question, they have done the Canadian economy no favours.

    ...If the Conservatives bring down the government by voting against it, as they say they might, the Liberals will be able to win votes east of Alberta by labelling the Tories anti-environment, accuse them of triggering a premature election that few want, and go to the polls before the Gomery inquiry can inflict more Adscam damage. Meanwhile, if the Conervatives vote against the bill or abstain, they will alienate core supporters to whom the Liberals' environmental policies are anathema.

    It is frustrating to watch politicians play one voting block off of another (to be clear, all political parties do this). Here the Federal Liberals are enacting legislation harmful to Conservative voting Albertans while innoculating Liberal voting Ontarions and Quebecers from the harms of a "Carbon Tax".

    It is similar to what the Ontario Provincial Liberals have done with the Greenbelt. This legislation has dramatically decreased the value of farm land in the Greenbelt. This lowering of supply has created a higher demand for land in the 416 area. Is it a coincidence that rural voters are by and large Conservative and urban voters by and large Liberal? I think not.

    PoliticalStaples

    Posted by Greg Staples on March 29, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Monday, March 28, 2005

    The Budget, Kyoto, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Lab

    The Liberals are at it again. At first I thought that they were only trying to sneak their assinine Kyoto plan through the back door by bundling it with the budget vote. Now they have been found out in that they are also tying the payouts of resource income to Newfoundland & Labrador to the same vote. What this does is make Conservatives, who vote against the budget because of the Kyoto implication, responsible for stopping, or least delaying the payments to NS and N&L. Divide and conquer. Liberal spokespeople say they have to link them because the money for NS and N&L has to come from somewhere. That comment confirms for me that they are targetting the people of Alberta again. The carbon taxes they collect from the oil industry in my province will be used to offset the payments to the two easternmost provinces. I, and I am sure most Albertans, do not begrudge the agreed to payments, but we already carry a disproportinate of equalization payments within Canada and will be tapped for more if Ontario's McGuinty is successful in his pleas to Ottawa.

    Canada cannot the tolerate strains this government is inflicting on the country. I say Harper should tell the country that the Liberals  are the sabre rattlers on this issue , and that he will not flinch even if it provokes an election. He has only  to say that NS and N&L will get their pomised payments with the money being taken from pet Liberal programs that are not needed. From my point of view an early election is a small price to pay for ridding the country of this deliberately divisive, deceitful and incompetent government.

    Posted by Bob Wood on March 28, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack

    Resistance is futile

    As I write these thoughts I find myself at a crossroads. I am not sure whether to continue blogging or any other participation in political discourse for that matter.  "Resistance is futile" it was said on Star Trek. Maybe it is futile. Since becoming politically aware I had an avid interest in politics because, being young and naive, I thought that I could somehow change things. I was encouraged by the efforts made by political leaders such as Premier Mike Harris, Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper, only to be disillusioned at the end that their efforts produced little or no improvement for my province and country.

    While America continues what little remains of its culture war, conservative Canadians have lost this war some time ago and the odds of a resurgence are slim to none. Let's face it, this country is going down the garbage chute. Gay "marriage", high taxes, government red tape, "Big Brother" government tactics, abortion on demand, radical feminism, a confused self-destructive immigration policy, third-rate government health care, the erosion of property rights, affirmative action, an inexplicable devotion to the UN, an inadequate criminal justice system, school curricula increasingly hostile to family values, prevailing anti-Christian attitudes, smug neo-socialist media, judges with radical-left agendas, a national unity approach which favours Quebec at the expense of all other Canadians - these really are Canadian values. If they are not, why haven't we been able to change ANY of it? Think about it. Conservatives and libertarians can gather in their little cliques and produce as much written opinion as they would like but it's not changing a darn thing. The individual liberties of Canadians are being taken away gradually while they sit there complacent like a frog in increasingly hotter water.

    I look to our neighbours to the south - one of the last bastions of liberty in western civilization. Europe, of course, has long ago exchanged liberty for the "progressive" social-democratic state. But what do I see? I see a disabled woman being put to death by the law of the land. Death by starvation. And they call that progressive.

    Posted by Michael Dabioch on March 28, 2005 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (47) | TrackBack

    Nova Scotia moves against double taxation

    The Halifax Herald reports this important (to Nova Scotians) story about the proposed elimination of the occupancy tax. Because businesses face both a business occupancy tax and a commerical property tax at the municipal level, provincial Municipal Relations Minister Barry Barnet announced plans to kill the occupancy tax which hinders NS's chances of attracting and creating new business. This is, of course, to be applauded. But more of a problem is that municipal tax policy (but not the level) is determined by the province, yet another absurdity of the lack of official recognition (constitutionally) of cities.

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 28, 2005 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Sunday, March 27, 2005

    How much, er, research are they going to do?

    Sun Media today:

    "A group of MPs studying Canada's prostitution laws is seeking $200,000 in federal funds to visit European cities with red-light zones and legal brothels. "

    Of course they do. Possible destinations include Sweden, Netherland and perhaps Nevada. NDP MP Libby Davies, who has a private members' bill on legalization of prostitution before the committee that wants to travel abroad to check out the hookers, said , "We want to go to Sweden because they have a particular model there where they decriminalize the sex worker, or the prostitute, and they still criminalize the customers." That makes perfect sense, doesn't it. Whatever one thinks of legalized prostitution, I think we can all agree that this junket isn't really necessary, is it? Especially when Davies has a bill before the committee. She obviously has an idea of where she wants the nation headed so why the need to see how other countries do it?

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 27, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

    Saturday, March 26, 2005

    Mom and Apple Pie

    A long, long time ago, when I was young and idealistic, and thought most people were basically honest and reliable, I heard or read comments on controversial issues such as "You can't argue against Mom and apple pie". I of course agreed and was likely swayed in my take on the issue involved. Now that my eyes are no longer veiled by ignorance and inexperience ( Joe G will likely disagree there) I realize that there is a technique in argumentation that is as old as dirt (and dirtier) that is extensively used by those on the left and much employed by political spinmeisters. I could name a particular spinmeister but I have no wish to enrich lawyers in frivolous lawsuits. The technique is to directly link your arguments to"Mom and apple pie" issues so that you can turn on the people who disagree with you and accuse them of being against, you quessed it, "Mom and apple pie". Jean Cretin (that,s the spelling my spell checker suggests) was particularly adept at this, linking all his pronouncements to "Liberal Volues" then equating them to "Canadian Volues" which would automatically make you 'Un-Canadian" if you dared to disagree with him. This technique should be exposed whenever we encounter it.

    Posted by Bob Wood on March 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack

    No, not "Paul who", "*Joe* Who"

    Recently, the U.S. paleoconservative website VDare posted some criticism of Mexican President Vicente Fox, following a recent summit with President Bush in Texas, here:

    http://www.vdare.com/bevens/050323_summit.htm

    What's of passing interest to us, however, is the writer's introduction to her piece:

    "....Along with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin (whoever he is), Fox and President Bush have just concluded yet another summit meeting..."

    She's probably just being snarky. Offhand, though, I wonder what would be worse for a country--having a leader that would annoy a paleocon writer, or having a  leader that isn't even worth thinking about.

    Posted by Rick Hiebert on March 26, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (15) | TrackBack

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    More on the Senate appointments

    The Conservative and ND parties are saying no to the senators Paul Martin appointed and party affiliation he assigned them in order to dodge criticism of partisan stacking of the Senate. The NDP, of course, doesn't want any senators under their party label in the Senate because their official position is to eliminate the chamber of sober second thought. The Conservatives are not happy that Martin named two Progressive Conservative senators because there is no federal PC party anymore. The Canadian Press reports that Stephen Harper said in response: "There is no federal Progressive Conservative Party. This is usually a euphemism now for people who support the Liberal party federally."

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 25, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

    What the Terri fight is all about

    Thomas Sowell understands why, in Peggy Noonan's phrase, so many people seem to have fallen half in love with death, why so many liberal commentators, politicians and bioethicists  seem so eager to see Terri Schindler-Schiavo die: 

    "Terri Schiavo is being killed because she is inconvenient to her husband and because she is inconvenient to those who do not want the idea of the sanctity of life to be strengthened and become an impediment to abortion. Nor do they want the supremacy of judges to be challenged, when judges are the liberals' last refuge."

    You can read regular Terri updates on news and commentary at Sobering Thoughts.

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 25, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

    Marching orders

    Jeremy Hinzman, the U.S. soldier who signed up for all the benefits the U.S. army offers but ran to Canada when his country called, may finally be headed home. The Immigration and Refugee Board turned down his request for refugee status.

    Hinzman had first tried claiming that he had opposed the war because it was "illegal"—though apparently this man of laws didn't mind committing the high crime of desertion in response. Apparently, he figures two wrongs make a right.

    Then he claimed that he would face persecution if he went back to the U.S. Actually, that's pronounced prosecution, Jer.  But how can anti-war types argue Hinzman would be treated cruelly in the U.S. when they themselves—and they number in the tens of millions—are a standing testament to the fact that dissent is commonplace in the States? In fact, polls show Jer would be among the majority of Americans who now think the Iraqi war was a mistake.  The refugee board wisely rejected this silly claim, concluding that removing deserters like Hinzman would not lead to "a risk to their lives or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment."

    Even Hinzman admits that he signed up with the army for the free college education and panicked when he realized he'd be expected to kill people. In his website's Frequently-Asked-Questions, in response to the question, "why did you join the army if you never wanted to fight?" Hinzman is blunt:

    "Literally everything about a soldier's life is subsidized. Perhaps I have a cynical view of human nature, but if one is guaranteed almost total security in their life they will take it, even if they have to exchange their autonomy."

    Only Hinzman doesn't have to sacrifice his autonomy. He didn't even have to go to war, if he really opposed it. If he truly is a man of convictions, he could have used this backbone he claims to have and faced justice. As Muhammad Ali put it when he refused to fight in a war he objected to: "What's wrong with me going to jail for something I believe in?"  But Hintzman doesn't even have the cajones to make the sacrifice of a conscientious objector. Instead, he ran away to Canada in hopes that we'd protect him from having to face any adult responsibilities.

    So here's a question for Hinzman that's not so frequently asked: When are you going to pay Canadians back for the thousands of dollars you've cost our taxpayers in legal fees and court costs for this sham refugee claim?

    Posted by Kevin Libin on March 25, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (39) | TrackBack

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Who says there's a democratic deficit?

    Canada has nine new senators today, including three from Alberta. None of them the three senators elected by Albertans in November.

    Martin did see fit, however, to appoint former Transport Minister Art Eggleton to the Senate. Eggleton was virtually driven from office after it turned out he had awarded a $40,000 government contract to his girlfriend, without any public bid process. In other words, another round of Senate appointments that flies in the face of good governance.

    Here's the other appointees:

    Romeo Dallaire
    Jim Cowan
    Nancy Ruth
    Lillian Dyck
    Robert Peterson
    Grant Mitchell,
    Elaine McCoy,
    Claudette Tardif

    Posted by Kevin Libin on March 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (41) | TrackBack

    The latest "crossover comic" from Marvel Comics: The Punisher vs. Gordon Campbell

    Remember that police mug shot from when Gordon Campbell was caught driving drunk in Hawaii? Well, now blogger Jordan Bateman has spotted it being used on a Marvel Comics T-shirt promoting The Punisher:

    You may see it here:

    http://www.langleypolitics.com/2005/03/when-i-first-read-about-this-last_24.html

    He bought one of these shirts in a Vancouver suburb, so expect the local press to notice this coincidence soon.

    Posted by Rick Hiebert on March 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Harper’s Big Tent

    Craig Oliver asked Stephen Harper on last week’s CTV Question Period if he was going to crack down on bimbo (or bozo) eruptions within the Conservative Party.

    OLIVER: Are you going to get tougher with members of your party who say things which embarrass you and the party and are often off base with what the party stands for? In other words, are you going to refuse to sign their nomination papers so they cannot run as a Conservative?

    HARPER: I've already made it clear that if candidates are going to be detrimental to the party during an election campaign, if they don't reflect our views, if they're going to jeopardize the interests of our members, I wouldn't sign nomination papers. But nothing's a perfect world. Anybody can make a quote, whether it's deliberately or accidentally and be spun, so one has to, obviously one has to keep some discipline. One has to use some temperate judgment in how one does that.

    Harper’s quote is pretty nuanced: somebody who is an extremist or deliberately detrimental will get the axe, but an accidental misquote requires a judgment call. Unfortunately, the Sun chain took this as evidence of an imminent purge of so-cons or frank talkers, with headlines like “Lippy Tories Told to Zip It”.

    Harper set the record straight in the Sun today: as long as you are temperate in your remarks, there is room enough for all in the Tory big tent:

    "Recent articles in the Sun have suggested that I intend to restrain the free speech of candidates and MPs who have views different from my own or the Conservative Party's on sensitive issues such as same-sex marriage or abortion. In fact, I stated my position clearly in my convention speech last Friday.

    'As Prime Minister, I will bring forward legislation that, while providing the same rights, benefits, and obligations to all couples, will maintain the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. And, as Prime Minister, I will not bring forth legislation on abortion. As your leader, if you disagree with me on these matters, I will not call you stupid or label you a threat to Canadian values. I care less about your views on these matters than whether you are prepared to respect the views of those who disagree with you. And that is why I will always allow all of your MPs to vote freely on matters of conscience.'

    Obviously, a candidate who says things which are extreme or damaging to the party's interests will have to be disciplined, but this does not prevent candidates and MPs with differing views from engaging in open, respectful debate, whether that means candidates and MPs who support same-sex marriage, or candidates and MPs who maintain a pro-life position on abortion.

    As long as discussion is civil and respectful, there is room for different points of view on these issues in the Conservative big tent.

    Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.

    Leader of the Opposition

    Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada"

    As Harper also said on Friday, this is the Party of Belinda Stronach and Stockwell Day - and both sides better get used to that.

    Posted by Joe McCartney on March 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Tear to a glass eye

    Canada has truly come of age under the expansive Liberal ethos of multiculturalism. We take a back seat to no one in the care and nurturing of anti-semitism and nascent terrorism.  A proud moment.

    Posted by Alan Rockwell on March 24, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    How to Die

    I know there is no single right or wrong answer with the Terri Schiavo case in Florida, the vegetative woman who is has had her feeding tube removed and, possibly, re-inserted after a few days. (If you want to go into all the possible contradictions in this case, go to Heart of Canada and witness Theresa's impressive attempt to rationalize the issue.)

    Leaving aside the moral arguments for and against allowing this person to die, not to mention the susequent court ruling which should have finalized her fate, I simply wish that the cause of death could be something less barbaric than starvation. Even condemned criminals on Death Row have access to a humane death, one which puts a person to sleep painlessly before a quick end to life. But Schiavo doesn't have this option given to her as she will have her life taken away over 14 days without food and water.

    If she is going to be condemned to death, then put her out of her misery, quickly and honestly.

    Posted by Rob Huck on March 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (29) | TrackBack

    Can someone explain the Belinda Bandwagon?

    I am confused. Other than the fact that MP Belinda Stronach is a rich woman is there anything that makes her stand out as a potential leader of the CPC (street cred time, I was happy the PC's nominated Kim Campbell...well, at the time they did it). We have Adam Radwanski of the National Post promoting her. 

    ...Under Harper, this still looks too much like the party Preston Manning built. To many, that's endearing. But the lingering bouts of amateurism and unwillingness to impose the discipline needed to stay on message - like, say, removing those anti-Charter buttons and the guy distributing them from sight as quickly as possible - prevent it from taking the next step forward.
    That step, though, may not be far off. If Stronach replaces Harper after the next election, she and the Red Tories around her will probably have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to complete the party's professionalization.

    We have Richard Gwyn of the Toronto Star supporting her. 

    ...My succeeding guess is that Harper's contribution to his party will be as a kind of John the Baptist, opening the way for centrist Belinda Stronach. Stronach's prospects will soar if either Hillary Clinton or Condoleezza Rice makes it to the presidency in 2008, generating an intense catch-up urge among Canadian voters.

    And we have PolySpy conjecturing (correctly I think) as to the reasons behind the MP MacKay Meltdown (I will cut to the chase, protecting MP Stronach's leadership aspirations). For an even bigger carving check out this blast from the past from Paul Wells.

    The question I have to ask is have any of you actually watched her in the House of Commons? In my opinion she is incapable of asking a question without a nervous smile on her face and a shaky voice to match. Maybe this will improve but right now she does not inspire confidence. If I am being honest (Simon Cowell is ringing in my head) MP MacKay is much better in Question Period (I find him better than MP Harper in this context). As is MP James Moore, MP Monte Solberg...heck even MP Stockwell Day (who has done a surprisingly good job as Foreign Affairs Critic). Furthermore look at MP Diane Ablonczy over the last couple of days (who was rewarded with second question position by the Conservatives today), that is passion!

    But that's just me.

    Posted by Greg Staples on March 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack

    Town Hall meetings!

    I'm hosting some town-hall style meetings this week to talk about the Western Standard, and our new share offering. Everyone's invited.

    Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, from 7 p.m. til 9 p.m., I'll be at Saskatoon's Holiday Inn Express, on 315 Idylwyld Drive North.

    On Thursday night, from 7 p.m. til 9 p.m. I'll be at Toronto's Sutton Place hotel, on 955 Bay Street.

    Both meetings are free of charge, and there is no obligation. I'll give Western Standard enthusiasts an update on our magazine's first year, and I'll talk about our business plan for the year ahead, and our share offering.

    Shares are $186 each, and you can buy as few or as many as you like -- I'll give you more information, including our Offering Memorandum prepared for the Securities Commission.

    It's a great opportunity for people to move their involvement up a notch, from enthusiatic reader to owner!

    Please RSVP to Rhonda at rhonda@westernstandard.ca or call 1-866-520-5222.

    See you there!

    Posted by Ezra Levant on March 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

    Peter won -- and so did we!

    Jaworski_1 Peter Jaworksi just won the Felix Morley prize -- competing against some of the brightest young journalists in the English-speaking world.

    Peter, as observant WS readers know, worked for us throughout the summer of 2004, and penned some wonderful pieces, including his cover story on Dr. Jacques Chaoulli and his fight against the government's monopoly over health insurance.

    Congratulations to Peter for his prize -- what an honour for our magazine, too. It's the first award won by one of our writers, and it's a big one!

    Posted by Ezra Levant on March 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    It's the stupid controversy

    Adam Radwanski isn't the only political commentator to tsk-tsk the lapel pins we handed out at the Tory convention this weekend—both the Globe's Jane Taber and the Post's Siri Agrell took issue with them, too. As did this blogger, this blogger and this blogger. Oh, and this one, too. Radwanski's just been the most vocal about it, so far, having determined that they constituted a betrayal of the Conservative party and that our magazine's publisher deserves to have his ass-kicked for producing them (no permalink—scroll down to Saturday's post).

    Of course, it's tough to be nuanced on a 2 inch square of cardboard, so I guess I can't blame these folks for missing the meaning behind our slogan "It's the Stupid charter."  And besides, the fact that all these people think we should be falling in line behind a political party shows that they entirely misunderstand the point of being an independent magazine. It doesn't surprise me when left-wing media tries to paint the Standard as the house organ of the Conservative party. But I am surprised that smart fellas like Radwanski swallow it. Guess what? It's not our job to help Stephen Harper moderate his message to appeal to Quebeckers. That's Stephen Harper's job.

    What we do offer is a voice for a strain of conservatism that doesn't get a lot of play anywhere else. And most of the folks I mentioned above (at least the ones I've heard of) are hostile to that message every other day of the week, so I'm not surprised that our blasphemous little pin sent them all into such a tizzy.

    So: How dare we speak poorly of the almighty Charter? Easy. Why not have a read of  our latest cover story (dead tree only till next week), in which we actually take the time to talk to the fellows who signed the damn thing. Guess what? They're not thrilled about the state of Charter affairs these days, too.

    Why? Because the blessed Charter has been turned into something it was never intended for. The "reasonable limits" allows judges to decide that gun owners being forced to tell the government about their sex life is reasonable, while denying the rights of prisoners to vote is unreasonable. The Charter is interpreted by (often openly partisan) judges—selected by the Liberals, without scrutiny—any way they want to interpret it. They merely "read in" things that were never there in the first place and that the original framers, as you'll read in our story, never envisioned.

    This is precisely the kind of message that Harper probably believes, and wishes he could say out loud, but cannot because the Liberals have been so successful at venerating the Charter as some kind of tablet handed down at Sinai, that criticizing the thing gives everyone the vapours. Meanwhile, the Charter's most important clause—Section 33—has been vilified by the same gang as though it were inserted there by the devil, rather than the ultimate dealbreaking clause that made the whole thing possible.

    Let's stop being stupid, please. When Liberals defend the Charter, they're actually defending their hand-picked judges who can twist and bend the thing into whatever shape suits the political purpose of the day. If they really cared about the Charter, they'd stop trashtalking its most important clause. Do these people really think the Western Standard is against rights?  Have they even read the magazine?

    Time to get smart about this. There's a big difference between liberty and the Charter. Canadians had a bill of rights before Trudeau and the country didn't disintegrate into chaos. Britain is the oldest  liberal democracy on the planet and it has no bill of rights. The Soviet Union, by the way, had a bill of rights, too. It didn't mean that people there were free. And the U.S. bill of rights is a far more sensible document than our own Charter and their Supreme Court appointments are open to bipartisan scrutiny—a frank acknowledgement of the fact that judges come with agendas, another truth that Canadians seem fearful of uttering aloud.

    Yes, it is the stupid Charter. Only shallow thinkers assume that one cannot stand for rights and be against the Charter. How come Conservatives can advocate Health Care reform, economic reform, reforming foreign affairs, reforming provincial/federal relations, reforming the equalization formula, reforming the democratic deficit, reform, reform, reform, but we can't even mention constitutional reform without scaring all the horses in Toronto?

    Posted by Kevin Libin on March 22, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

    More soft (headed) power

    We can take a little trip through the looking glass this morning by reading Alan S. Alexandroff in the Toronto Star: Why Canada must continue aid to China.

    Canadians remain ambivalent over the U.S. willingness to resort so easily to force as an instrument in achieving the spread of democracy.

    But if Canadians want to play a leading role in the world, we cannot ignore the critical importance of supporting and leading societies to freedom, prosperity and democracy and away from autocracy, poverty and radicalism.

    If democracy and freedom are fundamental aspects of our community, how do we ignore these same values for others? The good news is, we can support the spread of democracy and we can do it our own way.

    Which brings me back to China. If we don't support the institutions and the democratic practices and interests that can bring liberal democracy to this already powerful economic and influential nation, then who will? Surely not the Chinese government.

    What Alexandroff is suggesting is that our foreign aid is actually helping to undermine China's undemocratic government and the Chinese government is saying, well, that's just fine.

    Aren't we clever? Give that man the Neville Chamberlain Award for Clever Diplomacy. No, wait, maybe I should call bullcrap. Prove our foreign aid is going towards fostering democracy in China and not towards enriching the government (allowing it to make bids on our resource companies like Noranda), prove that the Chinese government is allowing their rule to be imperiled by our foreign aid, and you have a flying chance in h-ll of making this argument. Otherwise it's sweet nonsense.

    Posted by Kevin Steel on March 22, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    The Conservatives move to the centre

    Not really. The media narrative is that the party moved to the centre and there doesn't seem to be much reason for this other than the fact that the Conservative Party of Canada endorsed a motion that prevents the party from "supporting" any "regulation" of abortion in the event that they form a government and, to a lesser degree, the party's reconciling itself to official bilingualism (which received much less coverage). But does anyone not expect the MSM to label the Conservatives extremist come the next election? Indeed, regarding abortion, by not making some commitment to either a pro-life or pro-abortion position, the CPC will open itself to charges of a hidden agenda. I hope I'm wrong but I'll bet that time will prove me right. Furthermore, regarding the idea that social conservatives had a bad convention, consider this upbeat analysis from LifeSiteNews.com.

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 21, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    Terri wants to live

    Lawyer Barbara Waller reports on her visit to Terri Schindler-Schiavo Friday morning before the slow-motion execution by starvation began:

    "All morning long, as I was in the room with Terri and her family, we were telling her that help was on the way. Terri was in good spirits that morning.
    ... At one point, I noticed Terri’s window blinds were pulled down.  I went to the window to raise them so Terri could look at the beautiful garden outside her window and see the sun after several days of rain. As sunlight came into the room, Terri’s eyes widened and she was obviously very pleased. At another point, Suzanne and I told Terri she needed to suck in all the food she could because she might not be getting anything for a few days. During that time, Mary Schindler, Terri’s mother, joined us for a bit, and we noticed there were bubbles in Terri’s feeding tube. We joked that we didn’t want her to begin burping, and called the nurses to fix the feeding tube, which they did. Terri’s mother did not come back into the room.  This was a very difficult day for Bob and Mary Schindler. I suspect they were less hopeful all along than I was, having lived through Terri’s last two feeding tube removals.
    Suzanne and I continued to talk and joke with Terri for probably an hour or more.  At one point Suzanne called Terri the bionic woman and I heard Terri laugh out loud heartily for the first time since I have been visiting with her. She laughed so hard that for the first time I noticed the dimples in her cheeks.
    The most dramatic event of this visit happened at one point when I was sitting on Terri’s bed next to Suzanne. Terri was sitting in her lounge chair and her aunt was standing at the foot of the chair. I stood up and learned over Terri. I took her arms in both of my hands. I said to her, 'Terri if you could only say "I want to live" this whole thing could be over today.' I begged her to try very hard to say, 'I want to live.'  To my enormous shock and surprise, Terri’s eyes opened wide, she looked me square in the face, and with a look of great concentration, she said, 'Ahhhhhhh.' Then, seeming to summon up all the strength she had, she virtually screamed, 'Waaaaaaaa.' She yelled so loudly that Michael Vitadamo, Suzanne’s husband, and the female police officer who were then standing together outside Terri’s door, clearly heard her. At that point, Terri had a look of anguish on her face that I had never seen before and she seemed to be struggling hard, but was unable to complete the sentence. She became very frustrated and began to cry. I was horrified that I was obviously causing Terri so much anguish. Suzanne and I began to stroke Terri’s face and hair to comfort her. I told Terri I was very sorry. It had not been my intention to upset her so much. Suzanne and I assured Terri that her efforts were much appreciated and that she did not need to try to say anything more. I promised Terri I would tell the world that she had tried to say, 'I want to live'."

    Take it for what its worth, but it is certainly worth a court investigating, don't you think. I plan to have twice daily updates on what people are saying on this rush-to-kill case at Sobering Thoughts (for example here and here). Also check out Blogs for Terri for the latest breaking news.

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 21, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (18) | TrackBack

    The left has no right to call themselves 'compassionate'

    Whitehouse.org provides this satirical press release by President George W. Bush on "President Bush announces '66 uses for persistent vegetards'": beanbag chair, cat scratching post, coal mine canary, carpool lane passenger, throw pillow, ashtray, lawn sculpture, puppy teething toy, doorstop, minesweeper, speedbump, insulation, medicine ball and cutting board. Just disgusting.

    (Hat tip to Relapsed Catholic)

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 21, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

    Another blogging Tory

    While Monte Solberg has gotten some notice for blogging, Jeremy Harrison, MP for Desnethé, Missinippi and Churchill River hasn't. Perhaps because he hasn't updated it in a month. Want to bypass the liberal (and Liberal) media, this is the way to do it.

    (Hat tip to Stephen Taylor)

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 21, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

    The Chretien vs Martin Conflict

    The suggestions by ET and mr on "My thoughts on the Tory Convention" led me to ideas roiling in my mind for some time. I have always wondered what was at the root of the enmity between Chretien and Martin. Since Chretien has proved himself to be such venal, vindictive, small minded man it isn't difficult to imagine any number of scenarios for this conflict, but I seem to be seeing a pattern as suggested in ET & mr's comments.

    Here are some what ifs:

    1 Chretien was and is disappointed that Power Corporation rewarded Martin through Canada Steamship Lines, far more than they rewarded him, , even though his daughter is married to Paul Desmarais' son;

    2 Chretien knows more than any of us how indecisive (Mr Dithers) Martin really is, and maybe to give him more credit than he deserves, he knew how bad he would be for the Liberal party and tipped off the Desmarais clan of that weakness;

    3 He rushed through the change to the political financing act to prohibit corporations from directly contributing to political parties, thereby, in his mind at least, thwarting Martin's Liberals from benefitting from Power Corporation's largesse;

    4 Finally, Power Corporation, seeing ample evidence of Martin's weaknesses, and sensing their impending loss of over influence over federal government matters, have begun their campaign to regain that influence by buying off anyone  in the CPC susceptible to their blandishments .

    Does any one else see these things as I do? If I am right, we cannot on one hand blame the Liberals for the affect we consider the Power Corp has had on their policies, and at the same time not call on the CPC to ward off Power Corp's baleful influence.

    Posted by Bob Wood on March 21, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

    The Betamax of politics

    This is how COMPAS refers to the Conservative Party of Canada.

    In Canadian politics, the Conservative party is the political "product" with the more appealing features in the eyes of today's consumer-voter, much closer to where the public stands on issues. The Liberal party appears to outsell or outpoll the CPC because it appears to outperform the CPC in marketing. In consumer product language, the Liberal brand appears to trump the Conservative brand while the Conservative brand while the Conservative product appears to outperform the Liberal product.

    They have found that on issues as wide ranging as crime, smaller government, lower taxes and free-markets, Da Canadian Values are Conservative Policies.  In fact of the 10 issues that COMPAS has determined to be most important to Canadians, the public prefers the CPC policy in 7 of them, tied on 1, and the Liberals are preferred in 2.

    Anybody know a good marketer?

    More on this can be found here.

    Posted by Greg Staples on March 21, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

    Sunday, March 20, 2005

    UWO to honour Morgentaler

    Abortionist Henry Morgentaler is among those who will be honoured at the University of Western Ontario's convocations this year with a Doctor of Laws. (Other liberals similarly being honoured include the feminist former editor of Chatelaine and one of the first Canadian journalists to call for the legalization of abortion Doris Anderson, chairman of the Council of Canadians Maurde Barlow and former Trudeau-era cabinet minister Marc Lalonde). I was interviewed by the London Free Press for a pro-life reaction to the news. I said that it was shameful that Morgentaler was being honoured because 1) he broke the law for nearly 20 years operating illegal free-standing abortion clinics, 2) since 1969 it is estimated that he has killed nearly one-third of all babies concieved in Canada and 3) he exploits vulnerable women; I don't think that those are the values a university should honour. More poignantly, my colleague Fr. Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight, told the LFP: "I thinking it's an absolute scandal that they could do such a thing. As far as I'm concerned, he's the greatest mass murderer in Canadian history."

    Posted by Paul Tuns on March 20, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (25) | TrackBack

    My thoughts on the Tory convention

    The highlight of the Conservative convention of me, of course, was the Western Standard/Greenfuels hospitality suite. About 1,000 people came through our massive room -- room actually wasn't even the right word for it. It was an enclosed street, with a 75-foot-high glass ceiling. (Funny enough, Power Corp's head office was at one end of the enclosed street. I was sure to leave behind a few copies of our cover story detailing their links to the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal.)

    Big thanks to Kory Teneycke and Melissa Armstrong at Greenfuels for their work and sponsorship of the night. Our chairman, Lyle Dunkley, was there, too, and he worked the crowd -- especially everyone from Saskatchewan!

    All the stars of the conservative firmament were there: David Frum, Preston Manning, Stockwell Day, Monte Solberg, John O'Sullivan, literally dozens of other MPs and Senators, Laureen Harper (who came specifically to tell me how much she enjoys the mag!), leading conservative advocates like John Williamson of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Naresh Raghubeer of the Canadian Coalition for Democracy, Gerry Nichols of the National Citizens Coalition, etc., etc. Of course, the most exciting guests for me were our enthusiastic readers.

    Thanks to Rita Phillips, our circulation manager and her sister for staffing our subscriptions table, and handing out hundreds of lapel pins that Kevin previously mentioned.

    There were other interesting things besides our hospitality suite, of course. I thought Harper's leadership approval number, 84%, was surprisingly high, given the fact that the party is still freshly fused from two fractious factions, and more to the point, that Peter MacKay, Belinda Stronach and others have already started their leadership campaigns, which are naturally destabilizing. The fact that so many former Tories supported Harper is a good sign of the party's unity, and perhaps more accurate than just reading the Globe and Mail's editorial front page.

    I met privately for half an hour with Harper, and we talked about the magazine. He told me what Western Standard readers probably knew already: That a liberal media is one of the largest challenges to getting a Conservative party elected in this country, and that the Western Standard is an important part of the solution. It was good to hear, and it was a message that I heard from dozens of MPs and party workers. The fact that we are often a constructive critic of the party is not only not resented, it is welcomed -- we are a countervailing force to the pressures of the Red Tories on the party.

    I came away from the convention with my expectations exceeded -- it was not a wholesale march to the left; and, if anything, MacKay and Stronach's acting out discredited them amongst party stalwarts -- it certainly did not take away from Harper's leadership numbers. The mood was good, the conduct of the convention itself was professional, and the party looks grown up. My friend Kevin Bosch, a Liberal observer, told me that he has no doubt that one day the Conservatives will beat the Liberals -- he remarked on how much the demographics and professionalism of the party had changed from just a few years ago. I think he meant it -- the Liberal future is not inevitable, and it was the convention that told him so. Read tomorrow's Calgary Sun for more of my thoughts.

    Posted by Ezra Levant on March 20, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (19) | TrackBack

    Saturday, March 19, 2005

    What it took to win

    Fellow blogger Vitor Marciano has been elected to the National Council of the Conservative Party of Canada.  Congratulations Vitor.  You can check out his blog at What It Takes to Win.

    PoliticalStaples

    Posted by Greg Staples on March 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Victory party

    Word is that the Western Standard shindig was a hit last night. So popular, in fact, that fire marshalls showed up to restrict entry after the crowd grew to a perilous size.

    The other place to be, by the way, was Belinda Stronach's bash, reportedly a $100,000 affair (!!!). Tom Cochrane was there, performing (though I hear Red Rider was at the Standard party, tossing back Rahim and Creams).

    Posted by Kevin Libin on March 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

    Supporting Steve

    Stephen Harper's leadership has been reaffirmed by an 84% majority.

    Quotes from the victory speech:

    This has been the most spectacular, the most successful gathering of Canadian conservatives in 20 years. And the size and the diversity and the unity of this convention puts the old Liberal party to shame.

    I want to tell you how suprised  I am by your endorsement of my leadership. Not only does it confirm my natural charisma.I think it speaks to how far we have come as one Conservative voice. It is an endorsement of your unity and endorsement of each other.

    An entire generation of Canadians is desperately looking for a government they can finally trust and be proud of. That is what we'll move forward to provide.

    From here on in the days of this corrupt, incompetent Liberal government are dwindling. They're on their way out at last—and we're gonna replace them

    We have a moderate mainstream program which reflects Canadian values proudly and faithfully

    The merger of the two parties was the Liberals' worst nightmare. Now we're building the dream team for everyone who wants change and knows they can do better.

    It's obvious to all [ours] is a better caucus than the Liberal caucus, a better front bench than the Liberal front bench. Much, much better. And they'll  be a better government. Much, much better.

    We still need to communicate our message to Canadians. We cannot count on the media. We know that when Canadians understand what we stand for, they agree with us and they don't agree with this Liberal government.

    We will be ready for an election anytime. At a moment's notice. It could be anytime and we'll be ready for that election.

    Quebeckers can express their solidarity within the Conservative party of Canada.

    It is the common values of Conservatism that unite humanity.

    Paul Martin has tried convincing Canadians that Liberal values are Canadian values. Waste, mismanagement and corruption are not Canadian values. Honesty and hard work are Canadian values. Economy and enterprise are Canadian values. Safety and security are Canadian values.  These are not the values of today's Liberals. They are the values of today's Conservatives. The values of the Conservatives who founded this country and the values of the Conservatives who will lead it into the future.

    Posted by Kevin Libin on March 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (16) | TrackBack

    Overheard at the children's table

    The Young Liberals of Canada, showing far more spirit than the tired boomers that actually run the party,  are doing their best to turn the Tory policy convention into a recruitment drive. The push by Tories to eliminate their own youth wing is being branded as "muzzlegate"—an attempt to silence the ideas of the young people. As they note on the web site:

    “This kind of attitude is typical of Stephen ‘Mr. Muzzle’ Harper’s attempt to silence anyone that might actually give voice to the truth of his party’s extreme views.”

    Now that the motion has been passed, the kiddies are handing out flyers encouraging disenfranchised boys and girls to join the Liberal party, where their voices will be heard.

    Actually, the voice of youth is already being heard in the Tory party: they have the youngest caucus in the House. While the Liberal youth are relegated to the sandbox, twenty-something Tories like Jeremy Harrison, Pierre Poilievre and Andrew Scheer are actually working for constituents. It's probably not as much fun as those young Liberals in the web site photo look like their having. But, in the Tory party, the youth actually count, rather than being segregated at the kids table.

    Posted by Kevin Libin on March 19, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack