Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Daily Digest November 14TH, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:
The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN’S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs

ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - Membership has its rewards
http://www.thetelegram.com/index.cfm?sid=401&sc=3

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Ottawa should not hesitate on state funeral
Last veteran of First World War should be given national farewell

http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sc=7

HALIFAX NEWS - Resistance to national ID card dwindling 
http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=9505&sc=7

HALIFAX HERALD - From usury to URB
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/540709.html

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Safety of Iraqis must first be assured
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=132ed17f-9a5e-4939-b074-503fb52c69b0

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Al Jazeera could open a dialogue
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=7ffca154-3792-4bcd-9040-0f6304a1f4f0

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Microcredit is a big success
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=97cea731-e1af-409c-9bdf-ad4660b4c314

TORONTO STAR - Retrograde innovation
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1163458214510&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

NATIONAL POST - Alliance of the irrelevant
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/editorialsletters/story.html?id=6db1198b-37fa-49c4-b219-f4da2226d1c6

K-W RECORD - High-tech protection
http://www.therecord.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=record/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1163458217948&call_pageid=1024322168441&col=1024322320546

WINNIPEG SUN - The criminal’s choice
http://www.winnipegsun.com/Comment/Editorial/2006/11/13/2350955.html

CALGARY HERALD - Defending public transit
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=a2611a24-610a-4ad9-a315-5c49691891c4

CALGARY HERALD - Mr. Harper goes to China
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=a5b902c9-d485-4c9e-a5c8-3e4a315c5164

CALGARY SUN - High time for new law
http://www.calgarysun.com/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=161733&x=articles&s=comment

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Worried about the water
Strong foresight needed to protect our most valued resource
http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/1editorial.lasso

EDMONTON JOURNAL - Answers needed from teen attackers
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=46e5e039-9f70-4e48-9815-878a289d790a

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Ugly run of off-colour comments continues
http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/article_4934.php

VANCOUVER SUN - Toews should at least be honest about his attacks on judicial independence
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=b72c42ff-c3bb-47b4-aa06-90a9151c0fc8


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
Ottawa clear on occupation issue: McGuinty
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061114.woccupat1114/BNStory/National/home


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
Diverging economies: The West … and the rest
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/economy/diverging-economies.html

Hard-pressed manufacturers seek Ottawa's help
Wish list calls for tax breaks, but sector says bailouts can't fix underlying woes
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.RMANUFACT14/TPStory/Business


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
China snubs Canada for bilateral meeting at APEC conference in Hanoi
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/061114/national/canada_china_apec


HEALTH CARE RELATED
Canadians OK with electronic health records, but only if data is secure 
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/bodyandhealth/story.html?id=ec656b3f-a618-41c7-b933-c7822e0eb657


JUSTICE SYSTEM
Tougher justice urged for teens
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Edmonton/2006/11/14/2351490-sun.html


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
The looming candidate cull
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Stanway_Paul/2006/11/14/2351636.html


POLITICS
Defence minister on tour to promote Afghan mission
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/11/14/afghanistan-mission.html

O'Connor hopes to boost support
Defence minister to kick off speaking tour
Canada also trying to get NATO allies to take bigger role
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1163458214488&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

Harper and the oil patch
http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_zolf/20061113.html

Where the Liberals stand on the economy
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/liberals/liberals-economy.html

Canada wins 'fossil' award for second day
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061113/ambrose_conference_061114/20061114?hub=Canada

Canada should breathe easy
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Corbella_Licia/2006/11/14/2351620.html

Grim outlook for Grits - Party in disarray poses little threat to Conservatives
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/Columnists/Jackson_Paul/2006/11/14/2351622.html

Survey shows Liberals have one Rae of hope
http://calsun.canoe.ca/News/National/2006/11/14/2351573-sun.html

Turner says party time should be over
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061114.wgarth1114/BNStory/National/home

Domestic critics assail Ambrose abroad
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.NAIROBI14/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Harper's ministers fan out across Quebec
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.QUEBEC14/TPStory/TPNational/Pol
itics/

Rae has financial edge in leadership race
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.LIBERALS14/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Ex-fundraiser for Tories to fight expulsion in court
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.RIDDELL14/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Attacks on Ambrose start before arrival
http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/canada_world/story.html?id=be994692-1898-4325-a6e6-017edfa7e5ac

Liberal leadership hopeful targets petroleum producers
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=3fffd5bd-3aa8-4bd8-ab77-48f3aff42ba3

As Ignatieff stumbles, two seek to stand tall
Rae and Dion aim to assure Liberal voters they would not make such damaging slips
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.RAE14/TPStory/National

MPs close to quitting: Turner
http://www.politicswatch.com/turner-nov14-2006.htm

The Garth who cried wolf
He promised earth-shattering news, but Garth Turner's captive audience of Ottawa journalists would beg to differ
http://www.macleans.ca/topstories/national/article.jsp?article=2006_11_14_1163543679#continue

Canada says it remains in Kyoto climate pact
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/061114/canada/canada_environment_canada_kyoto_col

Veteran Tory fears Rae as most dangerous of potential Liberal leaders
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/061114/national/liberal_leadership

Transport minister says new funding doesn't mean public transit is not safe
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/061114/national/transit_security

Quebec nation debate eclipsing other, more important issues: Rae
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/061114/national/rae_quebec


PROGRAMMES
Keep tourist rebate, feds told
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/11/14/2351677-sun.html

Cops want say in choice of judges
http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Canada/2006/11/14/2351215-sun.html

Oilpatch outrage? Give me a break
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=35a01d00-f1f5-4082-b61f-11171d5b7a83&rfp=dta

Minister Day consults on effective gun control measures at Dawson College
http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2006/nr20061110-2-en.asp


PRESSURE POINTS
Anti-terror laws have Canadians fearing for privacy
Survey questioned 9,000 in 8 countries Looked at attitudes to ID cards, profiling
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1163458214362&call_pageid=968332188774&col=968350116467

UN report to cite 'much stronger' signs of human role in warming
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061114.wclimate1114/BNStory/International/home


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Mail-in ballots compromise secrecy
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Woodcock_Connie/2006/11/14/2351743-sun.html

The Canadian jihadist
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Worthington_Peter/2006/11/14/2351473.html

Big new push for new gas taxes
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a046b33c-9d4f-4ba4-8314-5e040097ac27

Matter of trust: Was the Conservatives' income trust decision a betrayal?
If so, was it necessary? Experts weigh in on the issue
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=c99070aa-8d57-4268-8496-844e3f73cda0

'These women are trapped'
High housing costs are forcing many Alberta women who fled abusive relationships to return to their abuser
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=ecc0e5a4-252e-47bc-8616-b790bdbf66a8

Peacekeeping
When did Canada shift to 'neutral'?
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/westview/story/3773245p-4364129c.html


INFOS

Le Chine refuse de rencontrer le Canada à l'occasion du sommet de l'APEC
javascript:showArticle('ID:15641021');

Le débat sur la nation occulte des sujets plus importants, croit Bob Rae
http://mesnouvelles.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/061114/N111484U.html

# Les villageois afghans se tourneraient de plus en plus vers les talibans
http://mesnouvelles.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/061114/N1114130U.html

# Rona Ambrose promet de jouer un rôle constructif mais suscite le scepticisme
http://mesnouvelles.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/061114/N1114132U.html

Le Canada est ouvert à l'idée d'une zone de libre échange
http://www2.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2006/11/20061114-210414.html

Hugh Segal craint Rae davantage qu'Ignatieff
http://www2.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2006/11/20061114-211635.html

Des maladies s'étendent avec le réchauffement climatique
http://www2.canoe.com/infos/international/archives/2006/11/20061114-211937.html

Maxime Bernier vante les efforts des conservateurs
http://www2.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2006/11/20061114-192236.html

Garth Turner s'attaque aux systèmes érigés par les partis politiques
http://www2.canoe.com/infos/quebeccanada/archives/2006/11/20061114-183252.html

La police épouse les positions de Toews
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20061114/CPACTUALITES/61114015/1025/FRONTPAGE

Les 45 secondes de gloire de «Tarzan» Béchard au Kenya...
http://www.ledevoir.com/2006/11/14/122789.html

Faut-il négocier avec les talibans?
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2006/11/14/002-afghanistan-insecurite.shtml




Federal Byelection

Former president sidetracks May - Haskett proves tough to tie down - Pearson banks on a busy day
http://lfpress.ca/cgi-bin/publish.cgi?p=161448&x=articles&s=elections

In the Forest City, two kinds of Tories sprout up
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.LONDONBY14/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Liberal candidate's aide steps down for on-line remarks about women, gays
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20061114.LONDONBOX14/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

Liberal calls party corrupt
Hurts Grits in byelection
http://torontosun.com/News/Canada/2006/11/14/2351689-sun.html


BELOW(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)30)30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)(30)


The 'earthworm" and Free Dominion

        Al Heisey, Hize, cz, writes in his "earthworm" the following :  (Joe, by the way, seems to have got over his desire to create  a backup political
        party on the centre right in case S and the tories  do not measure up in the public’s estimations. Good on, you, Joe,  come back into the big
        tent party where there is a light in the window,
)

        Its too late to respond this evening other than to state a breakthrough in the MSM occurred today with the headline in the Globe and Mail

        The two are the Old Tories who lineage reaches back to the Party of Confederation and the New Tories of the New Government of Canada.

        More on that later.

        To-day I indulged myself, posted to Free Dominion and engaged in back and forth with New Tories. You may have an interests in the discussion
        on some of the topics - if so visit!  Guests are always welcome on FD.

                  Joe

         Should Inky Mark be ejected from Caucus?  

         In the Forest City, two kinds of Tories sprout up

         OTTAWA :Ex-fundraiser for Tories to fight expulsion in court

         Best critique yet:The Garth who cried wolf

         Minister Day consults on gun control at Dawson College

         Canada says it remains in Kyoto climate pact

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Jason Hickman

Joe:
 
Re: The CWB:
 
In the 11/13/06 DD, Rene uses the "bundle of sticks" analogy, presumably in support of the CWB.
 
Not being a grain farmer myself, I am reluctant to tell farmers how to sell their wheat - which to me is the point of the argument.  A bundle of sticks may be stronger than one stick alone ... but the real issue is, what if a particular stick doesn't want to be part of the bundle?
 
If farmers *wish* to join a collective body such as the CWB, or something similar, nothing should stop them.  But if individual farmers wish to "opt out" of such an arrangement and sell their wheat (or whatever) as they see fit, that should be a choice for those individual farmers to make.  Despite the oft-stereotypical treatment farmers receive from some "easterners", every farmer that I've met is a rather sophisticated and knowledgable sort, especially when it comes to their own affairs; let's allow them to decide, *as individuals*, whether they wish to be  part of something like the CWB or not.
 
Regards,
 
- Jason.

===================================
Stephen Thiele

Hi Joe:

Vote2006 is over in Toronto. Mayor David Miller won easily and so did most of his left-wing cronies.

It is now time for action in Toronto. If Toronto wants to continue to elect NDPers to the financial heartland of our country, then we can all sit on the sidelines and watch it happen. But if we want real change, it is time for conservatives of all political shades to join the Toronto Party.

www.thetorontoparty.com

Cheers,

Stephen Thiele
Co-founder, The Toronto Party
torparty@yahoo.ca

  ===================================
Rebecca Gingrich" <r.gingrich@sympatico.ca>

Subject:DD--CWB

===================================
Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

to Joe

re November 2, 2006, Daily Digest, The Canadian Wheat Board, as a problem?

The letter, on the value of free choice for farmers, from Becky. Could someone please enlighten me? No mention was made therein of the power that the megacorp entities like Cargill and Midland -Archer Daniel can apply! (among others.)   In making use of the similarity to communism, did that come from south of the border?

While Western farmers must sell to the collective, Eastern farmers are free to sell to whomsoever they want!  If you think that the CWB does not sell to Cargill, Tyson etc you are sadly mistaken.  There is NO MOVE BY ANYONE to get rid of the CWB--just to allow farmers the right to choose to opt out of the forced control by CWB.

Why would we ignore the simple examples we have been given in history of the bundle of sticks (unfortunately a fascist story), about how 1 stick can be broken, even three together can be broken, but a bundle of sticks can be almost unbreakable. Or, united we stand against opposition, divided we fall. Again, look at what the unions have attained against the more greedy of our corporate entities.

Are you saying that only Western farmers could be broken?  That Eastern farmers, because of their superior intellect, are not in danger of being 'broken'?

One could say that those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Considering all these samples of the power of unity, how, pray tell can we so easily forget it when faced with the most powerful corporations, that know how to use corporate unity to divide and conquer us?

I do not favour corporate control over us, BUT, those that prefer to belong to a collective should be allowed to do so, BUT those that wish to individually sell their own product privately should not be forced to be controlled by the collective.

I suspect that in the states, the farmers would love to have a public body that could stand up to the mega agriculture corporations.

Then let them start their collective.  I suspect that the American farmer would not for one minute allow Big Brother Government dictate to them how they sell their product. 

We have it , and we are willing to let it go to please the lobbyists from the really big corporate guys, who only want to remove competition from a united Canadian source?

Is this the 'Royal WE' you are discussing.  I notice your phone # is from the Toronto area--would you sell your product only to the collective, and if that collective decided they cannot move your product in a timely fashion you would be content to let it rot and lose income because of the decreased quality?  Would you roll over and accept the statement that 'sorry, we ran out of money so cannot pay you your final instalment for your product'?  This is what happens to the Western farmer that is FORCED to belong to the CWB.

Becky, where did the ideas come from? It would really help to know. Say, just for the hell of it, the source of the ideas was farmers who are getting a financial consideration for planting lies and opposition to the Canadian Wheat Board in Canada, like the kind of stories we get from Randy Koback in David Anderson's office, (deputy agriculture minister and part of the Wheat board) about how the Canadian Wheat Board has to go! These days one must watch for such things as such tactics are only considered ASTUTE BUSINESS PRACTICE!

Rene--I lived in Alberta for 20 years and many friends of mine are grain farmers.  I have heard the horror stories form many of them.  Granted some want the CWB, and that is their prerogative to belong.  But that does not mean everyone must be forced to belong if they don't want to.  What is wrong with a dual marketing board?  It is the CWB that is skewing this discussion, not the farmers.  But I guess it is working, at least on the people from the East.

No entity that size is infallible, but consider the corporate alternative!

No farmer is infallible either, but that is not the argument.  The discussion is forced control of a private producer and their product by an unaccountable government run collective.  There have been farmer run co-operatives that were decimated by the CWB.  They were run and financed by the farmer and were halted by the government run CWB.  After all, we all know that the government is only there to protect us--NOT.

Especially when we're starting to realize the need for a leash on corporate/financial entities, before they get completely out of hand, and call for corporate-controlled Continental Integration now that they have used up the U.S.

Are you saying there is no corporate/financial entities controlling the Eastern farmer?  I live about 20 minutes from a large Cargill plant in SW Ontario--are you saying that Cargill does not buy from the Eastern farmer?  Dream on--As for corporate controlled Continental Integration--thanks to Martin, Manley and the Liberals we are well on the way to that happening.  BUT--if you do not believe the CWB is a corporate entity then you really don't know anything about it.  Just as we cannot see Cargill's books, neither can we see CWB books.  CWB is right in there with its corporate cronies--believe it.  CWB gets to play with the Big Boys while subjugating the Western farmer.  What I don't understand--in all the 'arguments' to control the Western farmer from becoming 'controlled' by corporate entities(as if the CWB isn't a corporate entity), we completely ignore the fact that our governments are controlled by the same 'corporate entities'.  Why is the Western farmer used as an example of how to fight 'corporate entities', while the East is allowed to frolic with the wolves?  I guess it is the thought that the West is still too immature to make their own decisions?  The West must be controlled while the East is given free rein?
 
Becky
519-458-8213

===================================
Jean  Pycock

Hi Joe,
    By now you have probably learned that the Le Devoir article was in the Globe and Mail on Saturday November 11th, Focus p.9, under the heading "It's not what the Fathers wanted", and it's very good!  Jean Pycock

(May be someone can find it who has a subscription and send it to me)

===================================
 Michael Watkins
To: letters@globeandmail.com
Cc: mwente@globeandmail.com

Subject: Re Wente, Tuesday November 14

To the Editor, regarding Margaret Wente's Tuesday column, "Denying the new
realists":

Global warming denier and curmudgeon Margaret Wente's quixotic defence of a
small minority of climate change science skeptics is illustrative of Wente's
well documented SUV-loving, transit-hating, me-first, me-only, character.
Clearly it is not the underdog nor rational skepticism that she champions.

When a small minority of climate scientists first started warning a skeptical
world of humankind's impact on the planet, did Wente hold up those folks as
heroic buckers of conventional wisdom then?

Michael Watkins
Vancouver, B.C.

===================================
Raymond Denson

Subject: We want the truth.

To anyone who still fails to understand or refuses to believe that 9/11 was a "false flag" operation by the American government, I recommend a recent book by David Ray Griffin, "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11". The theology is limited to Chapter 8, which can be omitted by those who are bored with metaphysics. The rest of this work, substantiated by meticulous research, is verbal dynamite. Griffin concludes with a call for reflection and action.
Raymond Denson

Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action (Paperback) 
http://www.amazon.com/Christian-Faith-Truth-Behind-Reflection/dp/0664231179
===================================
“earthworm” 06 11 12 Sunday
PUBLISHER
alan heisey <hize@earthlink.net>

London lone stars lose longterm

I have long admired the quality of thought of Robert Ede of Thornhill, who writes regularly to Joe Hueglin’s interesting Daily  Digest. (Joe, by the way, seems to have got over his desire to create  a backup political party on the centre right in case S and the tories  do not measure up in the public’s estimations. Good on, you, Joe,  come back into the big tent party where there is a light in the window,) Robert Ede has thrown his hat in the ring to represent presumably his  wife, family and friends  in the contest fot the London by-election. 

I think he cherishes one illusion and that is the sheer quality - and  quantity - of his views on the political world will get him a serious  share of the coverage which will flow to those candidates  representing established political parties where one had to fight a  nomination to be there.
I had such an illusion in the Toronto mayoralty struggle for the new  city back in 1997. As a two termed alderman I thought I could make a  case for some serious coverage of some of my concerns, including, no  surprise, one person one vote.

One of the realities of that contest was that two former mayors  offered the total range of core choices. The one, male, wealthy,  flamboyant, conservatish and uptowner and the other female,  diffident, progressive and downtowner, and the papers ate them up. I  vividely recall both getting near-full pages of interviews in the  Star and the Globe whereas both, by my careful reckoning, gave me  about three column inches each total over the total campaign about my  views on urban issues of war and peace!

As in Robert’s case the media knew I had zero comparative  organization, so all the good ideas were for naught!

I hope that Ede gets a much better deal, but he is still going to be  the usual in the windstorm. Meanwhile, back in the Tory party, guys  and gals like him need to exploit opportunities offered by policy and  other processes to build a solid reputation and earn a valued  nominations where literally hundreds of people will got to bat for  them, because they went to bat dozens of times for others in earlier  situations.

“Package” eligibility not yet clear

My phone message and open letter to our party’s executive director   regarding eligibility to receive “as of right” the newsletter he  sends out monthly to eda presidents remaining unresponded to. I now  have tried the senior minister responsible for the GTA for uh answer  I can publish here.

I responded via the spot on his interesting web site wherein we are  invited to make enquiries. I again drew to his attention that the  document, while emailed only to presidents, is labeled “"ELECTORAL  DISTRICT ASSOCIATION MAILOUT " which indicates to me that all party  members should receive it via their e.d.a., not just the 9,000  directors across the country who are eligible, I think, now to  receive it.

 Some one will eventually let me know and I probe to find who that  special person may be! Could it be S, himself?

Party constitution review: when?

Policy chief suggests May regionals?

Below the public eye, where we like to keep policy discussions, there  is a lot going on and I take the space necessary to report it. Key  news comes via a recent, helpful phone conversation with the nationl  policy committee chair, Victor Marciano of Edmonton.

I had called Victor to get a sense of how to advance my view favoring  eda policy conferences being open to the media and to other non- participating observers. Alas, Victor shares the sentiment of the  great majority of the Tri-Spa policy committee in that there is zero  confidence that the major media would give such events fair treatment.

Much complicating Victor’s insights into the policy conference  process is what he sees as the substantial risk of a spring national  election. I had also intended to suggest to him that the regional  policy conferences following the late December eda deadline to draft  new policy positions would most likely take place early in the new  year, maybe even in January.

He quite surprised me by suggesting that they might take place in  May, implying that there could well be an election in the interval. 

The protracted schedule of the whole policy process, with our local,  main eda-level imputs being rushed through this year,  for regional  conferences then not scheduled until possibly May(?) and a national  conference hard scheduled for November, has been giving me a lot of  difficulty: it seems to me the local level attentions are being  squeezed unreasonably into this current year-end, and betweeen very  leisurely following stages, designed to live with the uncertainties  of the current parliament.

I respectfully suggest that our national policy committee should have  addressed, and still should address the two possibilities a lot more  directly: call them plan A and plan B.

Since Victor, quite reasonably suggested that just possibly the  opposition parties might well not see the advantages of an election  in the first half of next year, meaning May regional conferences  could proceed unimpeded, and possibly a lot sooner. I think his  committee should set out some options for a rejigging of the  timetable, given no  sign, as the new year approaches, of an early  election.

All in this business must adapt to changing realities, but a reality  which is getting short shrift is allowing only two short months  between the supposed  conclusion of part one - reviewing of elements  of the policy statement deserving special attention - and the  conclusion of part two, draft resolutions from edas focusing on  larger and small aspects.

(Incidentally, I have to advise those interested that there will be  absolutely no interest amongst our elected M.P.s in allowing media to  overhear the conflabs of the individual, even the regional gatherings  of our policy activists. Sandwiched as they are within the  predeliction of our mass media to focus, mesmerized, on our front  bench, and the inevitably less polished draftings of our great  unwashed in the provinces, as the Brits call it, they’ll do as much 
as possible of the talking for the record, and thank you very much!)
(So barring some sudden realization by our local brighteyes that they  might, yes really, actually, benefit from hardbitten big city  reporters covering their local policy conferences, the GTA policy  organization will be mute, guys, mute!)

I am especially troubled by the haste to draft the major and minor  changes to the master statement coinciding as it does with the  continuing, intensifying attack on rep by pop (disguised under the  motherhood concepts of “electoral reform”) by proponents of an  elected senate and their minions in all those over-represented areas  of northern Ontario, the seven over-represented provinces and the  three likewise northern territories.

To be specific I submit that the present paragraph entitled “10.  Electoral Reform”, needs a very focused study. It sets out

”“i) A Conservative Government will consider changes to electoral  systems, including proportional representation, the single  transferable ballot, fixed election dates, and the use of referendums.

i”i) In reviewing options for electoral reform, a Conservative  Government will not endorse any new electoral system that will weaken  the link between Members of Parliament and their constituents, that  will create unmanageably large ridings, or that will strengthen the  control of the party machinery over individual Members of Parliament. 

A national referendum will be held prior to implementing any  electoral reform proposal.”

Before offering my own views on the dangers of that paragraph being  endorsed as written I remind all that the national policy committee  favours participation in the drafting of positions from our  membership-at-large. The implies that all stages to date have been  carfully forwarded to our individual eda members and I doubt that  this is the case.

When our entire membership has been apprised of the process and the  tight schedule eda policy committees will proceed with great  authority to draft reviews of this and other parts of their document. However, this particular paragraph involves a whole history of acts  of parliament and the supreme court which set about undermining the  case for each person’s vote having the same authority as every other. 

But the paragraph endorses them all with its attack on anything which  would create “unmanageably large ridings”, meaning, be clear,  geographically large ridings, not the more common problem of  unmanageably large populations in a riding!

Thus I would see this phrase tossed out on its ear, but the reality  of political life in Canada is that the case for more meticulous  attention to one person one vote needs a re-rewriting of all sorts  of legislation and judgements and pressure, lots of pressure, dear  friends from we the under-represented voters of Canada.

I have five specific suggestions regarding the whole policy process  and the giant category of electoral reform:

1. we  in the majority of Ontario ridings and the under represented 
urban ridings in most other parts of the country call for maximum 
population variances in any electoral district of + or - 5% fron the 
national average, regardless of other legislation, bearing in mind 
that variances in all American congressional districts are of the 
order of 1-2% (yes, please check this out), and that variances in 
many provincial re-districtings are nearly as low!

2. We oppose any move toward an elected senate with better regional 
balance than at present until representation of Members of Parliament 
in the House of Commons meticulously reflects the populations of the 
individual provinces and territories.

3. We oppose any move toward proportional representation until the 
house of commons directly elected members are meticulously 
proportionate to populations of the individual provinces and 
territories.
or

4. We endorse the principle of the David Simpson Amendment to the 
effect that all votes in the house of commons and legislatures shall 
be counted by each member being considered a representative of the 
ridings populations: thus PEI M.P.s votes  and all other provinces 
would count as their individual populations count in the national total.
or

5. We favour an extraordinary national policy conference of the 
Conservative Party of Canada devoted to the subject of strengthening 
electoral justice for all Canadians.


I submit that electoral reform is the core issue facing our party and  many interested Conservatives right here in the St. Paul’s riding. We  may need time into the new year to set out and vote a proposed,  substantial reform of present electoral injustices and ask that it be  allowed to take the time required. If a large number of riding policy  processes make common cause in this area, a lot could happen!

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