Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hébert: Afghanistan Vote to Define Liberal Leadership

Once again, Chantal Hébert is bang on the money. Today's column in the Star features on analysis of how Wednesday's vote will shape the Leadership campaign contrary to Harper's intentions.

Kudos to the candidates who voted against an extension: you WILL have a chance in Quebec. With this latest bit of folly, Harper's ballroom days are over.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

No Big Surprises: Vote on Afghanistan Mission

It's no great surprise that of the Liberal Leadership Candidates, Michael Ignatieff and Scott Brison voted in favour of extending the mission. The vote should hurt Ignatieff in Quebec, where among his caucus supporters on;y one - Raymonde Folco - voted in favour.

The Afghanistan issue is sure to chip away at the Conservatives fragile support in Quebec, as this mission will surely become as unpopular here as the Iraq war was and still is. Brison never had much of a chance in Quebec anyway, but what will this do to Ignatieff?

Prediction: Ignatieff will plummet like a stone and it will be between Dion and Dryden in Quebec.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Budget 'mean-spirited, crass, dishonest': McCallum

What a fantstic dissection of an opportunistic budget! In his typical quirky style, McCallum pinpointed each of the groups who had been short-changed or otherwise villified (i.e. one Tory suggesting homeless people should be put in jail) and made clear how these groups were selected: they are not likely to vote Conservative anyway. The spin given as response to his scathing and brilliantly executed attack was feeble.

I particularly enjoyed his comparison of the tax credit for 'sports parents' as opposed to the big zero for 'music parents'. His implication was that most Tory voters are less than cerebral and certainly not culturally inclined. Way to go, John!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Women and the Liberal Leadership Race

Canada has a very poor record among the developed world and even now the developing world in terms of women's representation. At last year's National Policy Convention women Liberals made it abundantly clear that this is something that has to change. Yet, we fielded a dismally low percentage of women candidates nationally in January, even more dismal when looked at in terms of 'winning ridings'. In Quebec, 26 of the 75 candidates were women, but only two were in 'safe' Liberal seats.

The candidates for leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada need to address this imbalance - whether it's a woman or a man. This issue is a constant focus of Women's Commissions and clubs across the country, but it is something that goes virtually ignored when nomination time rolls around. The wise candidate is the candidate who pays more than lip service to changing the Party Constitution to entrench proportional representation of women in the Commons, Senate and Party structure.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dion Best Leader: 'Quebec Liberals'

Yesterday, La Presse reported on a sample of 'Quebec Liberals' who believe Stéphane Dion would be the best person to lead the Liberal Party of Canada. This article and, indeed, the methodology used by CROP are misleading and useless for the purpose of the current leadership race.

The term Quebec Liberal is inaccurate given that these people have only identified themselves as Liberal voters. Among that sample, 21% would support Dion; Bob Rae would claim 15%; KenDryden 14%; Michael Ignatieff 13%. Lesser known candidates Joe Volpe and Scott Brison each have 1%. Note these are not card-carrying members of the LPC-Q who will be voting here in Montreal in seven months' time, though M. Dion would do well to start trying to recruit some of these people, as even among these identified Liberal voters, 34% are undecided. This report is no reason for celebration.

It's also telling that half of the total 'population' could care less about this race, but 43% believed that the leadership of the LPC should stay in Quebec. This is so very typical of Quebec, but it is also where things begin to fall off for M. Dion. Among the general population of Quebec, his support is at 15% to Ken Dryden's 13%, with Ignatieff and Rae at 12% each.

But what does this mean for the Leadership Race? Not too much without serious delegate recruitment from all camps.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I first learned of the Stop Iggy campaign this past weekend at the Conseil Général of the LPCQ. Though initially I thought about how inappropriate negative campaigning is within the Party, since visiting the Stop Iggy website, I realise that this website is an invaluable source of information on Mr. Ignatieff's viewpoints and writings. And while I do not endorse Stop Iggy in any way, I will say that it's a definite boost to some of the other campaigns.