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Saturday, May 28, 2005

The lost Liberals

From Michael Coren's Sun Media column today:

"Whether you liked it or not, there was once in this country a party that stood for something. Liberalism held sway and the vague yet compelling notions of constant progress and social justice attracted mass support.

We could vote for or against such a party. Conservatives may not have approved of the Liberals, but they grudgingly acknowledged the greatness of the party. Canadian liberalism was a yardstick with which to measure the body politic.

The stick is now broken, the party is gone, the philosophy has evaporated. Instead of something solid and impressive, we now have mush and mess. A vehicle for power, an entity obsessed with government for its own sake, a symbol of empty boast and plastic politics."

So I have a question: where have the principled Liberals gone? Has everyone who believed in "constant progress" and "social justice" become socialist and thus NDP? Are there not small-l liberals who believe in "bettering society" but are not hostile to free enterprise? Who believe in improving the living conditions of those in the developing world but are not anti-American? Who are not hostile to religion and worry about the moral trajectory of the nation? I disagree  fundamentally with what C.D. Howe and Lester Pearson did but at least they had vision and, I believe, earnestly held views. We were led to believe that Paul Martin was such a man but that is obviously not true. (And I think we would have to admit that although Pierre Trudeau veered from the Howe and Pearson path that he, too, had principles -- he wanted power to implement them, not just to hold power.)

Recently I was on television and the discussion turned to Red Tories. One of the other panelists said that the Liberal Party is the new home for Red Tories because the "extreme right-wing shift of the Conservatives." (Okaaaay.)  Considering that the Red Tories don't really believe in anything except holding power, I would say that the comment is true: the Liberal Party is the home for Red Tories. But I wonder where should old-time Grits, Liberals who actually believe in something, park their votes?

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 28, 2005 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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» It's The Politics That Got Small from Gods of the Copybook Headings
Two very fine writers, though men I disagree with profoundly on many issues, Paul Tuns and Michael Coren, try to come to grips with the anomie that is the modern Liberal Party of Canada. [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-05-29 8:53:07 AM


Sickness survey.

University of Calgary (National Post today)

Who's the best - eh?

A web-based survey of adult Americans living in Canada who have used both health-care systems, i.e., US and Canadian systems.


Or call 1-877-210-0030 (before 30 June 2005).

The Canadian system is moribund? Paul Martin slashed transfer payments drastically in 1995.

Throw the Budget Slasher out of office.

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-28 8:10:31 AM

Some have gone here:


With great specificity, as Joe Who?, was wont to say, they are liberals, not Liberals.

Tell your story to them/post it on their site.

Go now, as Dr. Seuss says, go now and report in.

Bring down the corrupt, criminal Liberal/Socialist regime.

Long live freedom and democracy.

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-28 8:16:40 AM

I agree with the clip from Michael Coren's column.

Yes, there are lots of principled liberals and principled Liberals who still believe in the framework of Liberalism but who don't recognize it's current incarnation.

There are lots of us who still believe in "constant progress" and "social justice" and embrace free enterprise. I argue that, today, the CPC is the best place for those liberals to be (Maz2 has provided the link)

There are some really compelling reasons not to vote Liberal and the current crop of reasons not to vote CPC are, for the most part, bogus

Posted by: A Harper Liberal | 2005-05-28 8:42:22 AM

Tories to renew attack
Return of House will see motions on Gomery, confidence

Tim Naumetz, with files from Chris Wattie, National Post
CanWest News Service, with files from the National Post

May 28, 2005

OTTAWA - The Conservatives have set the stage for a potentially acrimonious return to Parliament on Monday by blindsiding the government with three motions -- including one calling for indictments in the sponsorship inquiry -- for the first opposition day since the House of Commons showdown began last month.

The first Conservative motion listed on the order paper calls on the government to amend the terms of reference for Justice John Gomery's inquiry into the sponsorship scandal "to allow the commissioner to name names and assign responsibility."

Liberal party witnesses and advertising executives have testified that hundreds of thousands of dollars of sponsorship money were illegally funnelled to campaign workers and the Quebec wing of the federal Liberal party for election campaigns. Some of the testimony has been challenged by other witnesses.

The Conservative motion stems from opposition criticism that Judge Gomery will be prevented from assigning blame by a paragraph in his mandate that directs him "to perform his duties without expressing any conclusion or recommendation regarding the civil or criminal liability of any person or organization."

The paragraph also directs the judge not to jeopardize criminal investigations or trials.

During a visit to Toronto yesterday, Stephen Harper seemed to set the tone for the resumption of Parliament next week, telling reporters the Liberals are spending money to keep their government afloat.

"Just because we have the money doesn't mean we should spend it all," the Conservative leader said during a tour of a retirement home and Italian cultural centre in north Toronto. "It should be managed more carefully. ... I think a lot of money is being spent very unwisely so that Mr. Martin can keep his coalition [and] keep himself in power.

"We have a government that is up to its eyeballs in a corruption scandal -- it should be held responsible for that," he said. "We will continue to press for this government's removal. But as long as they're prepared to buy off the NDP and as long as the NDP's prepared to back corruption, it's going to be difficult to remove them."

In Ottawa, Conservative party spokesman Geoff Norquay acknowledged that Gomery motion on Monday is not binding on the government and will be no more than an expression of advice from the Commons. However, he said, the party intends in part to test the extent of the alliance the NDP forged with the Liberals in order to pass the budget.

"One of the things that will be revealed in the next little while is the extent of the NDP-Liberal coalition," said Mr. Norquay. "In our view, the NDP has signed on to support Liberal corruption and they will have to put their money where there mouth is and reveal whether they're in for a penny, in for a pound with the government."

NDP MPs have said since the budget vote, which included a bill containing $4.5-billion in new spending on social programs sought by the NDP, the party should wrest further concessions from the minority Liberals in return for continued support.

The NDP did not respond yesterday to a request for an interview.

A spokeswoman for Public Works Minister Scott Brison said the Tory move is unnecessary and an attempt to discredit the Gomery inquiry.

Press secretary Renee David said the Inquiries Act already gives Judge Gomery the mandate to assign blame once the inquiry is complete.

"It's a blatant attempt to discredit an independent judicial inquiry and the work of Justice Gomery," Ms. David said.

She said the paragraph prohibiting conclusions or recommendations about civil or criminal liability is a routine direction given to all commissions of inquiry to prevent them from interfering with the judicial process or fair trials.

The government also said yesterday that one of the motions, expressing non-confidence in the government, contradicts Mr. Harper's pledge not to try to topple the Liberals following the cliff-hanger confidence vote on May 19.

Furthermore, since the Conservatives gave the required 48-hour notice on three motions rather than one for the opposition House day scheduled for Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Liberal House leader Tony Valeri said the manoeuvre does not allow the Liberals a fair opportunity to prepare for the debate.

Under Commons rules, the government might not find out until Tuesday morning which of the three motions will be moved. A vote will be held following the debate on Tuesday or the next day.

Conservative House leader Jay Hill said the possibility of a confidence motion, moved by Mr. Harper himself, is a signal the government should not expect a free ride from the opposition simply because the budget passed by one vote.

© National Post 2005


Cliche? but pertinent; Your future depends on it succeeding.

Go Harperliberals. Unite with us and oust the Liberal regime.

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-28 9:52:14 AM

When I meet a principled Liberal that isn't willing to sell his principles for power or profit, I'll let you know Paul...so far my search has been fruitless....then again I don't have the requisite telescopic optics to see a principled Liberal in the sea of Yea votes during the budget vote.

If some make it out od that sea of corruption we welcome their salvation but they should associate themselves as principled independents...which would distinguish them from unprincipled independents like Parrish and Cadman.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-05-28 10:31:10 AM

I sue people for fun and recreation

Deveryn Ross, President of the Brandon-Souris Liberal EDA (riding association) has threatened to sue Travis Smyth, a Blogging Tory:

I sue people for fun and recreation, and can easily have a statement of claim filed against you by the close of business tomorrow. You have until then to delete your post, as well as all of the responses.

This was prompted when Travis posted some info about Ross’s 1995 criminal conviction for fraud.

According to this post, Ross has recently requested the federal Justice Department to re-open his case and to order a new trial, based on evidence that he feels should have been disclosed to him at the time of his first trial.

I don’t know whether Ross had a fair trial in 1995 or not. I don’t know whether the evidence warrants a new trial. But I do know that he is trying to bully a blogger with threats of legal action because the blogger, who is admittedly critical of Liberals, posted information about him which is a matter of public record.

Mr. Ross may not be happy about Travis’ post, but he will have a hard time proving libel. This is pure out and out legal intimidation designed to silence a critic – and that’s just not right.

Only Travis can make the decision on whether or not to remove his post, but whatever he decides, Mr. Ross has already shown us what kind of person he is.



Liberal = Intimidation

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-28 11:30:16 AM

The following is copied from Lorne Gunters post over at the National Post.

"Todd Russell, the newest Liberal MP who won a seat this week in a Labrador, has an outspoken if not controversial past that includes several attacks on his new Liberal colleagues. As leader of the Metis nation, he's advocated "aggressive civil disobedience" against Ottawa, accused federal Indian and Northern Affairs minister Andy Scott of helping "extinguish" the Metis, criticized Justice Minister Irwin Cotler for ethnic "profiling" of his people and has supported arguments that government policies against his people are a form of "cultural genocide." Russell acknowledges his past, but says he has no plans to temper his message."

Sounds like a real nice guy representing Labrador. Are the people who voted for this guy nuts??

Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-28 12:23:20 PM

a statement of fact can not constitute libel. justification, or the truth of the statement, is a full defence.

Yes, I am a civil litigator. Yes, that was intended to be amusing, but true.

Posted by: santos | 2005-05-28 12:55:10 PM


It has come to my attention that Deveryn Ross, President of the Brandon-Souris Liberal EDA, feels that my website fails to accurately portray the Liberal party, and that my views are typical of many misguided conservatives.

I do not know Ross personally, nor have I ever met him-- I could care less if I ever do.

Ross, the President of the Brandon-Souris Liberals, was convicted of fraud back in 1995 and served jail time. Ross had been a successful lawyer prior to his conviction; however, the Law Society of Manitoba subsequently disbarred him.

I wonder if anyone in the Liberal Head Office knows they’ve got a convicted criminal sitting as the top Grit of an electoral district?

My point here is that Mr. Ross portrays an excellent example of the types of people you will find in the Liberal party; those who care not for a greater cause, but who are willing to compromise good morals and values to achieve their goals.

I and many others tend to think this website does a fine job of portraying many Liberals as they truly are: corrupt, arrogant, wasteful, and mismanaging. Surely not every Liberal would fall into all of these categories, but I would bet that every Liberal falls into at least one.


The following is the reply Ross sent to my personal email account:

You're right; we haven't met before. That means that you don't know me, and you don't have the right to make fun of the most painful event in my life and in the life of my family. It might be funny to you, but it isn't to me or my family.

While portraying me as a "convicted criminal", your blog fails tomention my well-publicized application to prove my innocence, endorsed by Jim McCrae, among others. Reviewing the information found at this link will fully inform you as to the true facts of my "criminal record" that you make light of.

Merely because I disagree with the content of your blog does not giveyou the right to smear me in the manner you have.

I sue people for fun and recreation, and can easily have a statement of claim filed against you by the close of business tomorrow. You have until then to delete your post, as well as all of the responses.

Otherwise, I will happily see you in court.

Deveryn Ross

I replied to Ross, reminding him that when it comes to Libel, the truth (ie: his public record) is my absolute defence. Everything I published in my post is a matter of public record. I made no allegations of any sort.

posted by TraviSmyth @ 12:29 PM



Posted by: maz2 | 2005-05-28 2:20:19 PM

Further to MikeP's post above referring to Lorne Gunter:

First, the people of Lab aren't necessarily nuts. But they are addicted to federal handouts, and don't bite the hand that feeds.

But more importantly is the real meat in Gunter's post, as follows:

"Thursday afternoon, CanWest News Service sent the following update down the wire alerting its papers to a story ready to be filed that day: [enter MikeP's snippet here] ....

The originating paper was the Calgary Herald. I checked the Herald today and our other major metropolitan daily papers. ... And nothing. Not a word.

Let's hope the delay can be explained by the need to fact-check the story, or by an interview that didn't materialize when planned. I'd hate to think this important story had been packed off into an editorial closet somewhere."

THAT's the real point of Gunter's post. Is this information about the new Lib MP going down the memory hole?

One for the bloggers here to follow up on.

Posted by: Doug | 2005-05-28 2:55:25 PM

Yes Doug I didnt carry it that far, I only wanted to remind people of what Liberals can get away with, can you imagine like Gunter said if this man was conservative. Thanks for filling in the rest, illustrating once again, what kind of press we have.

Posted by: MikeP | 2005-05-28 4:20:50 PM


Apologies - this is a summary of comments on a previous post about that byelections, in case anyone was wondering exactly what Lorne Gunther was referring to.

The Gliberal winner, who claims to be the leader of something called the Labrador Metis [BTW, he's one of the Minister of Indian Affairs biggest critics - ha ha - have fun sitting in Parliament together], on CBC said something like, "Stephen Harper was rejected by my people because he doesn't care about us!"

So, who on earth are his "people"?

From his platform:

"Settlement of land claims for all Aboriginal groups in Labrador, and equal access to programming, will create stability and lead Labrador on a clear path to prosperity. I will fight hard to see that the concerns of the Inuit, the Metis and the Innu are heard and not ignored."

From http://counterweights.ca/cms/content/view/64/:

"Liberal Todd Russell is also president of the Labrador Métis Nation - a particular attraction in a riding where aboriginal Canadians account for more than a third of the population."

From http://stjohns.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/PrintStory?filename=nf-russell-liberals-050402&region=Stjohns:

A passionate advocate for Métis in Labrador, Russell promised not to be quiet in putting Labrador issues on the federal agenda.

"Labradorians who were signed up in the Liberal party spoke up loud and clear, that they want a voice that speaks up for the people, of the people, above all else," Russell told supporters.

From Reuters:

"Todd Russell [is] a leading member of the Metis people, who are half-Indian and half-French."

Now this is hilariously inaccurate, and could lead to some tense moments in Parliament if Mr. Russell ever does have a position of influence, because according to his website, and the interview I heard with him this morning, he calls his "people" Metis because he's part Inuit and part "settler".

However, the Metis we often hear about in the news making land and hunting claims, assert their special status as descendents of a particular population of Indians (not Inuit), French, Scots, and a few other stragglers who founded the Red River Settlement.

I don't think they'll be too happy about Mr. Russell standing up in Parliament making speeches on behalf of his own "Metis".

Someone's "heritage" all makes no nevermind to me. (As St. John the Baptist said to people who thought that being descended from Abraham would give them a pass on judgement day: "I tell you that God can take these rocks and make descendents from Abraham.") But try telling that to a race-proud Manitoba Metis - and then duck for cover!

Can we also look forward to angry "letters to the editor" and claims of "shock and outrage" when some poor reporter tries to identify Russell as "half Indian and half French"?

More racial fun and games in the former Dominion of Canada! LOL

The plot thickens. This from http://www.labmetis.org/f.htm:

"The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is taking aggressive action. They have dispatched a flotilla of boats and helicopters to stop a peaceful activity that is based upon our inherent right to fish for food. There have been attempts made by DFO officials to seize fishing nets, but our people remain strong and resilient. DFO is not needed. ... President Todd Russell is issuing a call for action to our entire membership. Now is the time to stand together and exercise your right as an Aboriginal person and Nation. We urge you to offer your support in any way possible by providing boats, fishing gear, gas, monetary donations or any other gift you can contribute. ... THE TIME IS NOW!!!"

It gets better and better:

"The new Labrador Interpretation Center in Northwest River is another example of the Newfoundland Government's cultural GENOCIDE policy against the Labrador Métis.

"The Department of Tourism plans to build three cultural exhibits in the Center ? one each on the Innu, the Inuit, and the Settlers. The Department considers these to be the "three primary cultural groups in Labrador". ... But there is no display on Labrador's largest Aboriginal group: the 5,000 strong Labrador Métis Nation .

""Once again, we have the Newfoundland Government excluding us," says LMN President Todd Russell. "They don't recognize us so that they can come in on our land and exploit our resources, without even consulting us. They did it with Voisey's Bay and they plan to do it with Churchill Falls. But there will be no peace in Labrador until we are recognized and respected as the Aboriginal People we are."

"The Department of Tourism says that Metis culture will be incorporated into the Settler Exhibit. Metis people are angry about this.
The Labrador Metis Nation will fight Government cultural GENOCIDE policies like the Interpretation Center displays. As long as Government promotes such policies, our people will not be able to get a salmon for their supper nor a duck for their pot without the fear of harassment and prosecution we have endured for too long. And outsiders will continue to reap the benefits of our resources while our own people are denied economic justice.

"We are not asking for anything that is not already ours!"

So, new Glib MP Russell has already been to war with the Newfie gov't and Conservative backstabber Danny Williams, and is in a war for government handouts with the Innu and the Inuit (Labrador's "other," more racially "pure" Aboriginal groups)

A few years back, Native "Warriors" were trying their best to get run over by DFO boats, so they could then get on the CBC to complain about GENOCIDE. And who was behind those mini-wars? Todd Russell, MP (Glib).

More from new Glib MP Russell's "People" [OUR PEOPLE http://www.labmetis.org/cps.htm]:

CBC Radio Commentary by Chris Montague, from Northwest River, founding member of the Labrador Métis Nation: "The origin of both our matriarch and our patriarch have been documented. Susan, an Inuk orphan, met and married Ambrose Brooks, a draft dodger from the Napoleanic War. Together they forged a race of people indigenous to this land. They set up their own mode of worship, their own education system, their own method of land use, and survival which draws its strength from both cultures. Others followed the example of the Brooks family. ... We, their children, are not wresting the land from other native groups, but we are a people who have seen our culture in this land reach us back in time immemorial. No Canadian law, no Canadian government can change the stark reality of this truth."

Jeanette Russell, member of the Labrador Métis Nation from Mary's Harbour: "I find it extremely ironic that the Canadian Government celebrates National Aboriginal Day to celebrate the contribution Aboriginals made to Canada, when many Aboriginal groups, such as the Labrador Métis, are struggling to be recognized. An unfavorable land claim decision cannot be respected and will only motivate our people to take more serious action to achieve the recognition we and our ancestors deserve."

John Rumbolt, member of the Labrador Métis Nation from St Lewis: "There will be no peace in Labrador if the Labrador Métis Nation land claim is not accepted."

Will there be sparks and fireworks from The Member from Happy Valley on National Aboriginal Day on his "people's" lack of legal recognition?

My own patriarch and matriarch were a couple of spud-munchers form Ancient Oirish and Proud Huegonaut stock.

As far as I know, there were no orphans or draft dodgers involved. But they did forge a race of people, set up their own mode of worship of prime time TV and beer, and their own educational system (i.e. judicious use of a 2-by-4).

We demand our own land! THE TIME IS NOW!!!

Read the following and enjoy the irony of Danny Williams betrayal of "scary" Newfie CPC MP's might have helped lead to his enemy Russell being the new face of Federal Labrador. Justice!

"Labrador Metis Appalled" (February 5, 2004-Goose Bay, Labrador) [http://www.labmetis.org/PR_2004-02-05.htm]

The Labrador Metis Nation (LMN) was shocked and appalled [Canayjins seem to spend half their lives being SHOCKED & APPALLED!] to learn that the Province will proceed with litigation on hunting charges. ... This sudden shift to an adversarial and confrontational approach is a direct contradiction to Premier William?s commitment to the Labrador Metis people.
"In the past three months, the LMN has made repeated written and verbal requests to negotiate harvesting arrangements based on the Premiers? commitments. "Our numerous letters and phone calls have gone unanswered," said Todd Russell, President of the LMN. In a meeting on Saturday, messengers for the Premier, Tom Rideout and John Hickey informed the LMN that the Province would proceed within days with prosecution of wildlife charges "for your own good." "Prosecuting innocent people and denying them their rights is never a good thing," retorted Russell.

""This Premier has misled my people and now he wants to take the food from their mouths and the caribou and fish out of their fridges," said Russell. "I am disgusted that a man refuses to stand by his commitment; by contrast, in Inuit-Metis culture a person?s word is worth something."

"Mr. Russell continued, "The decision to prosecute these charges is high handed and designed to beat us down through a very costly and time consuming court system. No consultation on the legal impacts of the Powley decision have been held with our communities. I can?t believe this is the strategy of a government at a time when they say they want to partner with Aboriginal peoples. Where is the honour of the Crown in this kind of conduct? This is a fight we do not want, but make no mistake, if it is a fight they want, it is a fight they will get, and the 6000 Inuit-Metis I represent will win," concluded Russell. (For an interview with Todd Russell, please call (709) 896-0592.)"

I am shocked and appaled at my own obvious racism, and by my barely-concealed contempt for the brave struggle of the Labrador Inuit Metis.

Having engaged in a bout of self-criticism, I would now like to congratulate Mr. Russell on his well-deserved win, and urge him to continue his fight against the forces of evil and intolerance in this brave postmodern nation.

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-28 5:09:34 PM

Please let's not fall into the trap of admiring the NDP for their ideological purity in contrast to the awfully corrupt Blaberal Party.

You see how low the dippers can go just to try to pass an NDP amendment to one budget.

Imagine if they actually had to govern!

Posted by: Brian O'Neill | 2005-05-28 5:16:11 PM

Even though a lot of liberals have indeed lost faith and know that something is seriously amiss ... the ones I know will still doggedly vote red ... go figure. Course, this is Ontario ...

Posted by: Aidan Maconaghie | 2005-05-28 5:55:59 PM

There was no golden age of philanthropic socialism in Canada. Every socialist law which is passed does more harm than good, and it always does the most harm to the allegedly downtrodden people it is supposed to protect. Minimum wage laws hurt unskilled people by making them too expensive to employ. Free health care causes rationing, and the poorest people are unable to afford to buy private health care because doctors charge tremendous fees. The fees are too high for many reasons, all of them to do with government interference. Business subsidies hurt business, because they punish successful companies in order to prop up marginal businesses and outright failures. And so on.

And I hope that no one thinks that the level of waste and corruption in government affairs was any lower, back in the day. An old fellow who worked in crown corporations and government going back to the early 60s was chatting with me the other day, and said that as far as he can tell the corrupt practices were in place long before he came on the scene.

If things seemed better back in the 30s, 40, and 50s, it's because government was still much smaller and taxes were much lower than today. The new socialist policies seemed great, because the burden of imposing them seemed so small. We were strong, because our government was weak.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-05-28 8:50:15 PM

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