Monday, August 01, 2011

Heather Mallick ignores Andrea Horwath as the only party leader who rightly champions women's rights, or sorry sister it's hard out here for a Liberal shill like me

According to Heather Mallick in Today's The Star:
But what he and Hudak and Harper should understand is that abortion is not a “chip” on a woman’s shoulder, it is her body and her life, her internal sanctity and her choice.
I am warning those who want Canadian women to lose their right to abortion that this will not be a skirmish. It lives in the hearts of girls and women. We will fight you on this.
Sweeet! We're going "progressive" with this election. Only two questions Ms Mallick.

1. Why snub a sister like Andrea Horwath? She after all is one of those in whose heart lies the fight to preserve a woman's right to choose. Secondly, she's leader of the only unified, positive, and progressive political party out there.

2. Why would a feminist shill for an avowed Roman Catholic man? There are few symbols that conjure up more starkly the history of exclusion and systemic violence against women than the RC Church and powerful male politicians (i.e the State).

Lastly, a question for "progressives". Is it possible that the latent, less obvious forms of sexism that well up occasionally from Liberals actually represents a more refined, opportunistic, and insidious form of discrimination -even if Liberals are more likely to "apologize" for their cock-ups???  Remember this???

Trivial or insidious sexism???

Saturday, July 30, 2011

According to latest poll, ONDP and Liberals in virtual tie and Andrea Horwath way ahead with highest approval rating as well as lowest disapproval rating

"[Andrea Horwath] is making a great impression on voters.”
Horwath’s approval is up to 63 per cent from 59 per cent and her disapproval down to 37 per cent from 41 per cent.
Dalton McGuinty, by far, remains the leader with a lowest approval rating (39%) and the highest disapproval rating (61%).

Although to hear Liberals tell it, this is great news for them????

Keep sending us your "progressives" dear Liberals. We welcomed them home in May and we'll welcome them home in October.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

McGuinty all rhetoric on abortion, or how does an avowed Roman Catholic maintain any credibility on feminist issues?

The recent turn by Ontario Liberals to dredge up the abortion issue is quite fascinating. Is it out of sheer desperation to change the channel? Is it a suicide pact?  A vain attempt to hold on to "progressives" they've manage to fool in the past?

Although McGuinty has done little of the talking, how could one fail to see the glaring contradiction in an avowed Roman Catholic posturing as a feminist? So speaking of "choice", it seems to me a serious feminist Roman Catholic would have only two choices vis a vis this horribly stratified and perverse expression of Christianity, one which has been unfailingly misogynist and conservative.

Choice one: Claim Roman Catholicism but work tirelessly to reform it from within. As a "progressive" Christian, I have often asked some of my female RC friends how they find it possible to remain within such an oppressive, hierarchical structure, particularly an institution from which they are barred "full membership" (not having a right to ordination or to fully preside over the sacraments is not being able to be a full member.) A very compelling response from some of these friends has been 1) I stay because it is part of my story and I want to help change it into the institution is should be. 2) I stay because without me to show love and support, it would be an even worse place for women and the LGBT communities.

Choice two: Walk across the street to any number of truly progressive expressions of Christianity, such as that eminently Canadian institution, the United Church of Canada.

Thus, I'm only being a little facetious when I ask how can McGuinty confidently claim credibility on the "progressive" file, especially the feminist file?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Add Wild Hyperbole to their Campaign to Woo "Progressives"

As part of the Ontario Liberals' suicide pact, I mean campaign to woo progressive voters we get this nasty example of hyperbole in the hopes of redirecting the coming election away from pocketbook issues towards "progressive" issues. Gritchik opens yesterday's blog posting with this doozie.
"Since Dammit Janet! helped vault Hudak’s position on abortion into the internet stratosphere"
Just a tad overstated, no? I mean, Oslo bombing, US debt ceiling, Amy Winehouse's death, and, of course, Hudak predictable stance on abortion? Or perhaps just desperately wishful thinking. Polling must be showing an even bleaker picture than already portrayed. Liberals now seem in a desperate fight to hold onto second place. Trending and recent history of the May election are certainly not on their side.

I've been canvassing in probably Ontario's most progressive riding and not one person has brought up women's reproductive rights at the door. Nor has one person mentioned Hudak's stance on abortion. But I hope they do, since in the Liberals there is a caucus divided on the issue and in the NDP there is a caucus united around the issue.

What I don't understand is why the Liberals think they are well positioned to capitalize on "progressive" issues. It clearly appears that to The NDP, as we saw in Canada's most progressive province (i.e. Quebec), is overwhelmingly where progressives are turning.

Finally Canadians realize that 1) Liberals are not Progressive and 2) It is possible to get out from under the tweeddle dee/  tweeddle dum, one party faux democracy under which we've been held hostage for so long.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Add Disingenuousness and Hypocrisy to Campaign to Woo "Progressives"--Updated

In their desperate attempt to halt their slide down the polls, the Ontario Liberals are preparing to spread out across Toronto's subway to distribute flyers charging the NDP with abandoning the environment while crowing about David Suzuki's pat on the back.

Oh the irony.

The OLP is hardly known for its commitment to the environment. I'm still waiting for Nanticoke to be closed down. McGuinty promised to do so by 2007. He has not only not phased out coal energy but has wrongly committed to go into Big Nuclear (something which Suzuki chides McGuinty for, but I'm sure won't appear in their flyer tomorrow). Although Liberals rightly see the NDP as the strongest advocate on the environment, the OLP is hardly in any position to call them out on it.

Second. Killing trees to convey an a green message on glossy full page flyers.

Third, fanning out across public transit lines to convey a green message when you're the party refusing to use electric trains in favor of diesel trains for a rail link to Pearson Airport.

 The NDP have yet to roll out their environmental platform, but I know this. The NDP has always been far ahead of the other parties on the environment. And, the NDP has one of the best minds on the environment, former executive director of Greenpeace, Peter Tabuns.


The following letter by the ONDP was cc'd to the David Suzuki Foundation among many other environmental organizations. Guess David didn't find the time to read it. Either that or Mr. Suzuki is stuck in the same blue door red door paradigm that we saw shattered in the May election. Progressives do have a choice, and it's not the Liberals- never has been. The NDP has been and continues to be the most authentic choice for progressives, students, women, workers, small businesses, and the poor and marginalized.
"We are writing to outline the NDP’s position on renewable energy in order to expand on our commitments in our recently released "Plan for Affordable Change," the first of our policy documents.
The NDP is committed to aggressively expanding renewable energy, conservation and efficiency in Ontario as the path to the development of a vibrant green energy economy in the province.
To this end, we will maintain the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for smaller projects led by farmers, municipalities, churches, schools, co-operatives, First Nations communities and private producers. We plan to expand the ability of community-based organizations to become significant power producers.
As well, we will mandate Ontario’s publicly-owned power generator (Ontario Power Generation) to engage in an ambitious program of large-scale renewable energy projects in Ontario, creating a sustained demand for products and services from Ontario-based renewable energy companies.
The NDP will honour existing green energy contracts and will ensure fair treatment of large and small renewable energy project proposals in the pipeline. We know Ontario has to maintain and build momentum for green energy investment.
To repeat, the NDP will continue to expand conservation, efficiency and renewable energy use in Ontario in order to protect the environment, stimulate good jobs and keep electricity affordable.
In fact, the NDP’s plan creates a more certain future for renewable energy in Ontario than the Liberal plan, which places a moratorium on all renewable power projects starting in 2018 when expensive new nuclear plants are projected to come on line.
Finally, please note that the NDP has yet to release its full environmental platform and we will announce details on a range of issues such as climate change and the protection of land and water in Ontario in the coming weeks and months."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Predictably Resort to Useless Smearing and a Failed Strategy

So the Ontario Liberals want the coming provincial election to be about ethical issues such as women's reproductive rights. Now I get the strategy. Distraught with their free falling in the polls, the Liberals are desperate to pander to their supposed base (i.e. progressives, women, progressive women) and thus have taken to publicly demonizing the Tim Hudak and the Conservatives. Now I also get that Hudak is pandering to his base and to women with his whole tough on crime shtick.

So in the past few days, the Ontario Liberals have attempted to undermine Hudak's integrity with charges of waffling on issues, calling him a weasel, circulating pictures of of him next to a weasel, and dredging up his previous statements on abortion in an attempt to move the electorate to a deep foreboding over this horrible monster that is Tim Hudak. Isn't it interesting to have two men, both of whom have questionable records on feminist issues fighting to see who is more feminist? Of  course, the obvious feminist choice in the coming election is Andrea Horwath and the NDP. Some thoughts on this whole fiasco.

It's smearing and and has no place in civilized politics. Intelligent voters want democracy based on issues and debate not character assassinations. Just because it's effective, especially when done by an unscrupulous, well oiled and primed machine like the Harper regime, doesn't mean it's right. Btw, the OLP is not the CPC. The OLP's smears will not be as effective and Liberals are underestimating the intelligence of the voter base they're trying to solidify.

While I understand that it would be suicide for the OLP to laud its economic platform and achievements, trying to run a campaign right now on ethics/morality will just as likely lead to the decimation faced by the federal Liberals in May. And that pleases me.  Actually secretly I'm quite pleased the OLP is deploying this strategy.

Canadians discovered many things in the May election. Foremost, the electorate discovered it has the freedom and license not to stick with the same old/ same old "two party system" (in truth we've endured a system that masquerades for the one party wantonly pro capitalism and pro big business system that it really is). So change is possible but not with either the Liberals or Conservatives. Related to this was the realization that for women, progressives, youth, the marginalized, workers, and the middle class, the far more authentic voice is the NDP and thus, the Liberals have essentially become redundant and irrelevant in the current political landscape.

This, of course, is why the Liberals are desperate to shore up want they traditionally have considered their base. At this point, I believe, the OLP has given up (and the polls certainly bear this out, indeed I wonder what the Liberals; own polls are showing) forming the next government, but they are desperate to hold on to what they can. But what they fail to see is that running on the moral high ground is disastrous for them right now, just as it was for Ignatieff to run as defender of democracy. Why?

First, the Liberals have squandered any and all moral capital they may ever have had. Liberals just don't have any credibility on that front. McGuinty has been caught repeatedly  in public treasury mismanagement from slush funds to ehealth to exorbitant salaries for senior public servants. McGuinty was part of what provinical ombudsman described  as among the most flagrant civil rights abuses in Canadian history in the handling of the G20 protests. The use of diesel trains and the party of big Nuclear. McGuinty has continued the assault on organized labour launched by Mike Harris etc etc.

Second, the NDP has surfaced as the legitimate and powerful voice for progressives. While the NDP has always been considered as the party of conscience and defender of human rights and the environment, until recently the NDP was not always considered a credible alternative.  May 02 changed that and the tarnished image left by Bob Rae is no longer in play as it once was. I look to the NDP to come up big in the coming election. So OLP keep pushing your base out your right and left door into the waiting arms o the Conserevatives and NDP respectively.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ontario Liberals in Free Fall: Desperate to make political hay resort to outsourcing derangement syndrome

In response to the outrage expressed by the handful of Ontario Liberals still hanging on to that sinking ship over the American photo gaffe by the NDP, I redirect you to the biggest such gaffe of them all: The Ontario Liberals outsourcing provincial flags to China. Procurement of the provincial flag, which as McGuinty admitted, "there's nothing nearer and dearer to the soul of our province than the flag" was being outsourced to China, resulting in very little savings, lost Ontario jobs, and lesser quality flags.  So Liberals before becoming unhinged by a little gaffe, re-read this piece from a couple of years back:
Outsourcing outrage; Province having its flags made in China only saves a few pennies
Column by Joe Warmington, Sun Media
Posted 2 years ago
For crying out loud, even the Chinese consulate in Toronto doesn't order its flags from China!
Only the Province of Ontario would do such a thing to cannibalize its own workforce.
It is disgraceful -- although perhaps fitting Ontario now has its own provincial flag made in China, where the rest of the province's jobs have been disappearing to for years.
What's next? We start ordering our takeout Chinese food from China!
Don't give them any ideas in a province that has already lost thousands of manufacturing jobs to a country that can find workers at a rate considerably less than what is expected to be paid here.
Meanwhile, as Ontario sells out its own workforce, the great Province of Quebec still gets its fleur-de-lys provincial flag made in Ontario.
How about that! Run that news up a flagpole at Queen's Park!
And, as mentioned above, so does the Toronto Chinese consulate, which has a lot of official dinners here in Toronto and when you see that striking red Chinese flag on your table, you can be proud that it was made at Flying Colours right here in Parkdale.
Actually most of Canada's provinces get their flags made here -- as do other countries and U.S. states.
"We make millions of flags every year," says Edward McLean, of Flying Colours International. "And we make them for everybody."
Except, of course, for the Province of Ontario.
Flying Colours has been making flags in an early 1900s factory on Sterling Rd. since 1926. But in 2007, the Province of Ontario rejected their latest bid of $18 a flag and they lost the $40,000 annual contract to a Chinese manufacturer who can make flags for less.
"But it's not that much less," says McLean.
"And our quality is of a different level."
The colours in the Canadian and Ontario flags made in Toronto are second to none.
"Our colours are richer. And the flags are to exact standard."
At this plant they also "unfortunately" make the Canadian flags for the caskets of the Canadian soldiers who come home from Afghanistan.
So far, no one has made any suggestion about outsourcing those. Again, don't give them any ideas.
"But I do worry that we could have soldiers over in a war zone -- somebody fighting for a flag that was made in China," says McLean. "A flag is not a pen or a book. A flag is a symbol."
Here are more symbols: Carmen, Savi, Edna, Larisa, Savitra, Bosina, Daisy and Ivy. These are just some of the women on sewing machines we met, who could lose their jobs if the trend set by your province continues.
These are Canadian employees -- about 100, some of whom hail originally from China. They all want to keep as much work here as they can. Although companies like Flying Colours are holdouts, many are succumbing to the economic pressure.
"There are no guarantees" that these jobs will stay here forever, McLean says.
They certainly won't if others follow the lead of Ontario and send the work abroad.
"If this keeps up in Canada we won't have manufacturing anymore," adds McLean, who as he shakes his head says, "all to save a couple of pennies on a flag."
Since 1926 Flying Colours has resisted the lure of offshore mega-profits and stayed right at home. "It's a small family-owned company and for us it's about more than just making profit," he says.
"It's about a community. All of our people live in the city and we love them. The average employee has been here 17 years."
Loyalty. On both sides. Companies who outsource have abandoned that principal and traded it for fat coffers while ambitious bean counters cheer them on.
Of course how can you blame them when this very province encourages business arrangements with China.
"This was an exciting trip that showed just how much potential there is for Ontario to develop partnerships in China that will lead to jobs and opportunity for our province," said Premier Dalton McGuinty after a 2005 trip there -- one of many.
He ought to drop by Flying Colours and take a look at a top-flight Ontario manufacturer and its fine workers facing extinction.
And I would love to do a column on how many Ontario jobs have been created from his China trips. Please, point me in that direction.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Warren Kinsella Jumped the Shark Roughly at the Same Time as the Phrase "Jump the Shark" Jumped the Shark.

As the rhetoric, games, and spin ramp up in the lead up to this fall's provincial election, am I the only one noticing that Kinsella, who's purportedly running the McGuinty war room, carries that same stench of dead man walking that McGuinty has for the past year or so?

His blog has become a desperate, futile, sophomoric and, most of all, an utterly underwhelming attempt to smear his opponents. Indeed, what strikes me most deeply is how unaffected I am by his disingenuousness and puerile attempts to make political hay. In the past such intellectual dishonesty and such stupid attacks would have led me to respond, but now the most I can muster is "meh" and "whatever".

All to say, TiGuy I owe you an apology. You were entirely right. Kinsella has indeed been irrelevant and ineffective within the Liberal party for quite some time and my attacks on him were totally misplaced. I should have targeted someone who continued to be germane and relevant in the Liberal world.

Perhaps he should pass on the torch of cynical, dishonest, and gutter politics to Cherniak and his ilk. Cherniak may not be very intelligent, but he could crawl under people's skin.

Cherniak is like the petulant and overindulged child who kicks and screams when he doesn't get his way, but is so annoying that usually someone panders to him.

Kinsella has become the petulant and overindulged child who's flailing away at his opponents but can't get past their outstretched arms keeping him at bay. Sad! No more posts about Kinsella on here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Conservative Shot Across the Bow? Sexual Orientation is a "Choice" and does not Deserve Protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act (Updated)

I know this story is a few days old but worth revisiting. Check out some of the choice comments.
The BC Conservative’s leader-designate John Cummins has made headlines for suggesting that sexual orientation is a choice that does not require specific protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
For CBC coverage, including video, see here.


I don't know who called John Cummins this weekend but the back pedalling was swift and decisive, even if disingenuous.  Anyway, his muzzle is back on, and sadly that doesn't bode as well for the BC NDP as it would have had he continued to help split the right of centre vote in BC.

Still, talk about mental gymnastics. First, he uses "choice" as the grounds on which to remove discriminatory protection related to sexual orientation. Now "choice" means one's ability to live one's life in the way they he/she wants. He makes no sense and his apology is completely insincere.

Wow! He must have received some heat over this.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hard to believe Kinsella once had a high school crush on Ignatieff, or progressives just let the Liberals implode

Clearly there are still old deep fault lines in the LPC ranks, and the Big Red tent of brokerage ideological politics of "pragmatically" offering to be everything to everyone is being evacuated from both the left and right doors. And not too surprising. The LPC, with Ignatieff at the helm has moved so far to the right as to make itself a redundant choice within the Canadian political landscape. On the other side, small "l" liberals, lefty liberals, progressives are finally waking up to the fact that the LPC only campaigns from the Left (it is not of the Left) and there is a viable alternative: the NDP, a party which is actually progressive.

The LPC is redundant to as it moves to its the right and an impostor as it moves to its Left.  To paraphrase Michael Ignatieff: "There is a side Left door and there is a side Right door. Liberals choose your exit, but no one enters."

Warren Kinsella is not too happy but also only too willing to rub it in Ignatieff's face. From his blog today:

"I was tossed on the political barbecue pit by Michael Ignatieff and his Super-Smart Senior Staff (4S, for short) for having the temerity to suggest, out loud, that Messrs. Chretien, Broadbent and Romanow were right.“I have no relationship with Warren Kinsella,” sniffed [Ignatieff] the fellow for whom I’d busted my hump for a couple years, and that was that. 
My sin? Agreeing with, you know, the most successful Liberal leader in history: suggesting that those of us who opposed Conservatives clearly needed to get together if we were ever to defeat Conservatives.  And, more broadly, that Canada – like other democracies around the world – seemed to be heading towards a binary political universe, whether the political classes approved or not.
What now? Well, that’s a really good question.  If the NDP make history, and carry their current popularity past the weekend and into next week, they could very well form the Official Opposition.  The instant that happens, as I told this PostMedia reporter yesterday in a long chat, the aforementioned Ignatieff and 4S are gone.  They’ll all have to resign on election night if they are to escape the enraged, pitchfork-wielding grassroots Grits. Even in 1984′s rout we held onto Opposition status.  With that gone – and the staff, and budget and influence that brings – it will be a long, hard slog back."