2/15/2002


Most Richmond voters feel Joe Peschisolido acted out of opportunism: poll

B.C. MP Joe Peschisolido said Thursday there's no chance he will resign despite growing public pressure in his riding to force a byelection.

A new poll conducted this week suggests a clear majority of Richmond voters, including Liberal supporters and Asian Canadians, believe he acted out of opportunism rather than principle when he bolted from the Canadian Alliance to the Liberal caucus last month.

The poll, obtained by The Vancouver Sun Thursday, followed the launch on Wednesday of a new group gathering signatures aimed at forcing a byelection to let the people decide.


Maybe Joe should go see Honest Howie and have him issue a statement that "Joe has always been a Liberal. He ran as an Alliance candidate by mistake and, as soon as he realized his error, he corrected it. Joe Peschosolido did not switch sides in his own mind so there was no issue. There is no issue, and there will be no issue."








Rumours of last night regarding Warren Kinsella are (sort of) confirmed today.

Industry Minister Allan Rock must not only apologize to his Grit pals for insulting them, but fire his chief organizer for branding them racist.

Backbench Liberal MPs say Rock has no choice but to dump Warren Kinsella for suggesting Finance Minister Paul Martin was trying to stop ethnic groups, such as Sikhs, from supporting him.

"If Kinsella doesn't retract those statements, then Rock should get rid of him," said Toronto MP Joe Volpe. "Kinsella's declarations ... tarred everybody with the brush of racism. It was malicious and it's clearly wrong."


Well boys. What's it gonna be? Will Rock blink or will he follow through on his promise 'not to be bullied.?' Will Kinsella back up his charges (and I believe he should) or will he apologize?

No wonder Joe Volpe doesn't want to hang around in Ottawa. On Parliament Hill he's nobody special, in Toronto he's fighting it out for the title of Head Chest Thumper with Dan McTeague.

Dan McTeague, the MP for Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge, says Allan Rock has picked a fight with the wrong guy.

"I think he should understand that if he's going to provoke a battle that yanks the Liberal party into a debate by going public rather than discussing these things behind closed doors, then he best be prepared for Dan McTeague and others to challenge him," Mr. McTeague said.


The time has come for Rock & Kinsella to lay their cards on the table.

The Sun reports that - Neither Rock nor Kinsella were available for comment.

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2/14/2002

Hey Maurice,

Here's one for the boy's on the boat. Is it real or is it Photoshop?

Link via David Janes

Rumours R Us



Are the knives out for Warren Kinsella? Stay tuned.
I try really hard to post some good news once in a while; Here is today's contribution.

Citizens seek by-election in Peschisolido's B.C. riding

A grassroots movement is building in Richmond, B.C., to try to force a by-election in the riding held by Joe Peschisolido, a Liberal MP who crossed the floor from the Alliance without warning last month.

Mr. Peschisolido, who parachuted into the riding from Ontario last year to defeat incumbent Liberal Raymond Chan, was greeted warmly by the Prime Minister when he switched allegiances.


Now I don't kid myself that this is going to change anything, there is no mechanism for recall. But it does cheer me up that people are less willing to accept this kind of opportunistic crap. The goal is to get more signatures on the petition than the number of votes it took to win the seat (21,000). Good luck to the people out there and good on ya.




Dhaliwal told to 'butt out' of rules issue

Ontario Liberals are furious with Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal after he intervened in the debate over putting new limits on recruitment for the federal party in the province.

"I think he should just butt out," said Janet Tieman, a longtime party activist and president of the Mississauga South riding association, who also harshly criticized Industry Minister Allan Rock over his attack against the new rules.


She questioned the motives behind Mr. Dhaliwal's intervention, saying, "Why don't they stick to the rules in B.C.?"

You can't have it both ways, people. If you want to be seen as open and inclusive you have to stop trying to stifle your own members and drawing boundaries between 'us' and 'them'.




2/13/2002

Don't get uppity with the Phone Company



A man in New Zealand finds out the hard way.

Telecom has ordered an investigation after a customer received an account charging him a "penalty for being an arrogant bastard".

Auckland businessman James Storrie discovered the $337.50 charge, printed under "product or service", when he opened his mobile phone bill on Monday.


Link via Fark.com


David Warren is saying that an attack against Iraq is a foregone conclusion.

'The United States will attack Iraq, and depose Saddam Hussein and his government, at a time of its choosing before the end of the year. There is no timetable that can't be adjusted; no window or deadline before or after which the U.S. won't strike.

"It is likely to be sooner than later, however, and very likely that a new president of Iraq will be among the guests hailed at the next State of the Union in January, 2003."

This was not said by U.S. President George W. Bush on Jan. 29. It was instead offered to me as a translation into even plainer English of one of the policy formulations in his "axis of evil" speech, by a senior adviser to the Bush administration.

Yesterday was a pretty quiet day on the Liberal battlefield but there's a fair bit of news today. Probably the most significant development is the fact that Herb Dhaliwal has come out, fairly strongly, on the Rock side.

"If people want to pick up more Liberal memberships to make more Liberal members, we should be inviting them and welcoming them," Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal said.

"That's what the strength of us is, and anybody who says otherwise has a short-term view and a parochial view."


The Globe & Mail, in an unspoken concession to the truth of the ethnic framework, solicited an opposing view from another immigrant MP (and a Martin supporter), Jim Karygiannis. The problem is that the quote provided does not really contradict Dhaliwal, in fact it confirms the problem...

"This doesn't bar any ethnic member from wanting to join up," he said. "Look, if I'm really pushed in order to sign them up, I will say to them, 'Do me a favour, go downtown and get your own forms.' " [Emphasis added]

It seems that Jim is unclear on the concept of damage control.

Daliwhal goes even further in his criticisms of the membership rule changes in an interview with the Ottawa Citizen.

Mr. Dhaliwal said the restrictions mean Liberal brass can pick and choose which individuals and groups can join the party.

"If somebody doesn't like a certain group of people or a certain person or the way you look, you leave it open to abuse," he said in an interview.

The minister said he and many Indo-Canadian Liberals would likely have stayed away from politics had these rules been in place when they joined, and said restrictions could ultimately drive new Canadians away from the party.


The Martin camp is trying, very hard, to downplay the racial component of this whole mess. But they're having little success. Say what you like about Warren Kinsella - and I have said a lot against him - but he's got this issue front and center now. Stick handling and finesse will win you a lot of games but sometimes you need a 'role player' to clear the crease or get the boys fired up with a good scrap. Sens fans will know whereof I speak.


This sounds like something out of a Coen Brothers film...

Police seek records from rendering plant
Beating a Dead Horse with a Wooden Shoe

More accusations against Gagliano. (who?)

2/12/2002

The Globe & Mail uses URLs the approximate length and complexity of a Shakespeare Sonnet - but they don't rhyme and I hate them. Blogger doesn't like them either. I tried to edit the entry below but Blogger just plain refuses to have anything more to do with it. Can't say as I blame it.

Anyway, what I was tryin to add to the entry below is;

Even though I'm not in full agreement with Murphy on this issue, you have to admire his skill as a writer.

I suppose I'm not going to be able to walk away from that qualified disagreement quite so easily as that. Murphy makes a very strong case that the outcry over the prisoner's treatment was almost hysterical in it's lack of proportion. I agree. But I disagree that we (Canadians, Lefties, Observers, Whoever) have no standing to ask these questions. The issue has been clarified and the Americans are acting with all the consideration (and more) that the Geneva convention and pure reason would demand. I'm very glad of it and I think it is to the American's enormous credit. But I don't think we owe an apology or an explanation for asking the question.
Jay McKeown alerted me to another great column by Rex Murphy...

Some people seem to think we're in Afghanistan by choice. They think our government took a look at the American war on terror and decided that, as neighbours and allies, we owed it to the Americans to support them.

According to this logic, since we're there purely by choice and out of pure solidarity, we have some rights to insist on the terms of our engagement, and issue bulletins on the morality of the campaign, particularly as it turns on the treatment of those captured or held by the Americans in the course of that effort. Having no "direct stake" in the combat, we Canadians have a clearer view of the war.

If this were true, it would be a very wholesome vision. But it is not. Somewhere along the tormented way since Sept. 11, the inconvenient, even tragic, fact that 24 of our own were sent under the earth on that day seems to have either slipped from the public debate or been entirely discounted in all public discussion of it.


Even though I'm not in full agreement with Murphy on this issue, you have to admire his skill as a writer.
This item is from Happy Fun Pundit.

The New York Times reports that a forthcoming book on George W. Bush reports , among other things, the troubling facts that GWB doesn't know from "Sex and the City", and chose Chuck Norris as his favourite film actor. The book also reveals that George "often lifted his pinkie to the corner of his mouth to mimic the Dr. Evil character in the Powers flicks."

2/11/2002

"Beyond Contempt"



So says Mr. Martin on the news. "Let's bring this back behind closed doors," says Stan Keyes, newly minted Liberal Caucus Chair. "Have we learned nothing from the Alliance party?"

I say, "Rock would be crazy to back down now." He had to know going in that this was an all or nothing strategy. Working out a compromise behind closed doors might get him a consolation prize but it will be the end of his leadership hopes. I hope he has the nerve to carry it through. He still might get squashed like a bug but Chretien's antipathy towards Martin may give Rock more space to maneuver than what would first be apparent. And quitting now is quitting for good, I think.
Peter Carayiannis writes about the dollar in the macro sense and the micro sense...

I was amused when, a few weeks ago, Martin et al. spoke to the international finance markets of the "perception problem" with the Canadian dollar. The fact of the matter is that the 62 cent dollar is not a perception problem. It is the result of 30 years of mismanaged fiscal and monetary policy.

I have another issue with our currency and I wonder if you (or your readers) have any opinions on this topic. Have you noticed the number of Canadian retailers who will no longer accept our currency in denominations of $50 and $100? I understand that the passing of counterfeit bills is a significant problem but what I can't understand why the government is silent on this issue. The $100 bill is next to useless as legal tender and the same can be said of the $50 bill.

What is the end result of this government's approach to the Canadian dollar?

Our currency is not respected internationally (which explains its plummeting value over the past decade) and, in certain denominations, is not respected domestically.

How is it that the government has not recalled the old notes and issued new ones?


I've heard people mention this problem and, of course, I've seen the signs posted everywhere. It doesn't inconvenience me in particular because I tend to use my debit card for any transaction of $50.00 or more. Which is another example of that knee-jerk complacency so particular to Canadians. I have a feeling that there has been no move to rectify the problem because it serves the banks interest (fees) and the governments interests (taxes) to have people use debit cards. In fact, I don't remember the last time I heard of a counterfeiter being busted, yet every single sign mentions the large number of counterfeit bills in circulation. If I put on my conspiracy theorist tinfoil hat I can point out the fact that debit cards leave an easily accessible paper trail - soon cash will be outlawed and only outlaws will use cash.
Here's Warren again, this time in the National Post.

Moreover, he said the five-form rule, without the requirement of prior identification of prospective members, has been in place since 1996 and no MP has faced a challenge as a result.

''So they're lying. It's about something else,'' Mr. Kinsella said.

He also said the disparaging talk of instant Liberals is ''code'' for keeping ethnic groups out of the party. He said it's no coincidence the Martin camp began pushing for membership restrictions only after Sikh supporters helped Mr. Rock take over the Manitoba provincial executive and win a couple of contests in Alberta.

''That kind of elitism and exclusivity and possible racism belongs in the Reform party, not the Liberal party,'' he said.


Warren must have come into his inheritance - he's cutting off career options like he's mowing the lawn.

Okay, that's enough Warren-bashing for now. Here's a further quote from the same story - but this one's from someone else.

Toronto MP John McKay, a Martin supporter and chairman of the Ontario caucus, has said he finds it bizarre that ''children and non-citizens'' are able to determine who becomes the next prime minister. Mr. McKay attended Saturday's meeting and voted in favour of the extra restrictions.

It's funny that the Liberal's want to cast this as a fight more fitting for the 'racist' Reform/Alliance party. Rob Anders got in all kinds of trouble a couple of years ago for objecting to 'non-citizens' in a similar context.

MP Rob Anders said he wants to bar landed immigrants from voting in Alliance nominations because they aren’t full-fledged citizens.

"You have people who are determining a nomination process, who have no ability to vote during a general election," Anders said. Proof of Canadian citizenship is a requirement to vote in provincial and federal elections.

Anders’ suggestion was met with disdain by the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, who called his comments "regressive" and bordering on racist.


All kidding aside, where is the media outrage about this (racist?) reasoning on the part of Liberals?



It looks like I've burned my bridges with Warren Kinsella. I was kind of excited on Saturday when I scooped Bourque (who is patting himself on the back for scooping the rest of the media ) but I guess I blew my one 'Insider" connection by putting the wrong spin on the information. Warren hasn't got back to me since. Oh well. You can catch Warren's latest comments in the Toronto Star.

"These guys (Martin backers) deserve two gold medals: one for stupidity and one for dishonesty," said Warren Kinsella, a Chrétien loyalist who would be aligned with the Rock camp when the leadership race officially begins.

"When we have these kind of fights started by a bunch of lobbyists and hacks, it affects everyone. This is what happened to the Reform party. People say: If you can't manage your own house, we don't want you to manage the country."


Speaking of burning bridges... you might want to be careful with that flamethrower, Warren.
I worry about copyright issues and the 'fair use' doctrine. When I'm writing these posts I try to err on the side of caution. Thankfully, some people don't share my hesitancy. So I can link this very interesting article which gives some speculative background on Allan Rock and the Access to Information changes.

The new restrictions on the federal Access to Information Act have angered opposition politicians and other critics of the government who say the release of expense records is crucial to determining if Rock used taxpayers' dollars to pay for a number of appearances in the lead-up to a controversial election of executives to the federal Liberal Party in Manitoba last month.


This is from an article that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press. It is counter-intuitive that the Free Press does not provide it's content online unless you are a paid subscriber. Read the article, lot's of reckless accusations against Rock and associates. This is one of the reasons that I think Rock is playing a dangerous game of Chicken. I'm starting to like the guy.


Well, this should be an interesting week. Allan Rock is trying to force a showdown between Paul Martin & Jean Chretien. It's an interesting strategy and you have to give Rock credit for moxie. Whether or not it will prove out as a smart move is still very much up in the air. Everyone agrees that Chretien doesn't like to be pushed, if Rock cranks the rhetoric much higher he may find himself on the losing end of a Chretien smackdown. Manley must be sleeping like a baby these days.