Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Daily Digest March 5, 2007

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

EDITORIALs

CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - MPs duck the challenge of autism print this article
Shawn Murphy’s failed bill may have raised awareness. But families of autistic children need support.
http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=14718&sc=103

HALIFAX HERALD - Drive sober, and slower
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/562706.html

MONTREAL GAZETTE - The bull has left the China market
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=bbb3b739-234a-41ed-a502-0cac245526fd

MONTREAL GAZETTE - TJapan takes a step backward
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=94355176-1634-4bcc-8954-6fad2dd7a836

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Parents know best
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=3031d790-4b4d-46c4-88e7-86081b2bdedf

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Poppy wars
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=9945968e-8cf7-4c98-b16f-e16d10a9d3af

OTTAWA CITIZEN - Our ailing health care
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/editorials/story.html?id=10f2d49b-9589-423d-8ab9-e91c72008900

TORONTO STAR - Too many tumble into income gap
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/187764

TORONTO SUN - Hey Dion: It's not East versus West
http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2007/03/05/3698540-sun.html

K-W RECORD - Diabetes epidemic cannot be ignored
http://www.therecord.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?GXHC_gx_session_id_=a66e81699f152461&pagename=record/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1173048612668&call_pageid=1024321927354&col=1024322198380

SUDBURY STAR - Doctor shortage is long term; Despite billions more in spending, things aren't likely to get better soon 
http://www.thesudburystar.com/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=430362&catname=Editorial&classif =

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - Safe-drug hypocrisies
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/editorial/story/3899776p-4510138c.html

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - English obstacles
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/editorial/story/3899777p-4510159c.html

CALGARY HERALD - Hey, big spenders: Alberta's bad habit exposes need for tighter fiscal reins
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/theeditorialpage/story.html?id=7b4ad6b6-8c39-4e87-8953-d00f24861fd6

GRANDE PRAIRIE DAILY HERALD TRIBUNE - Taking aim at ATMs
Do the math. It's gouging and almost usury
http://www.dailyheraldtribune.com/1editorial.lasso


ISSUES

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS
Natives look beyond Kelowna
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/187767


CANADIAN FORCES
South Asia
    Mar 6, 2007 Taliban fire off spring warning
As the Taliban begin the first phases of their spring offensive, the battlefield is getting bigger, as is the number of contestants.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IC06Df01.html

Troops ready for Taliban spring offensive, O'Connor says
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/03/04/oconnor-afghanistan.html

Afghan prisoner transfer deal toughened: O'Connor
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070304/qp_occonnor_070304/20070304?hub=Canada

AFGHANISTAN: Gov't bid to boost police in south
http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=70504

Nothing is business as usual in Afghanistan
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/562757.html

Troops to fight insurgents — by the book
First-of-its-kind manual to help Canadians win guerrilla warfare
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=4e2b99c8-c6b2-47d4-8a43-5eb1c2813e49

Afghan Media: U.S. Troops Deleted Images
Afghan journalists say U.S. soldiers deleted photos, video after bomb attack and shootings
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/04/ap/world/mainD8NLIME80.shtml

UN fears Afghan opium 'explosion'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6421749.stm

Taleban spread wings in Pakistan
As the spring sets in Taleban fighters in Pakistan's tribal region of Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, are increasingly visible.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6409089.stm

Canadian food aid sustains Afghan drought victims
http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/world/story.html?id=07a159fb-75ef-4f36-8c81-dd7b69b29570


CANUSA/USACAN
Security bottlenecks snarl U.S.-Canada trade
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/070305/canada/canada_usa_security_col


ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
Gov'ts expected to boost spending
Experts split on impact of budgets
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/story.html?id=788e6a73-2df4-42e6-8318-edcf3ee04f5d


HEALTH CARE RELATED
Widespread fraud in health supplements
Consumers advised to ignore all advice from anyone selling them, and stay out of health food stores
http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/opinion/story.html?id=01b3c988-b73d-40ce-8c4d-9376d7ce6394

Spreading death
http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Columnists/Jacobs_Mindelle/2007/03/04/3698031.html


MIGRATION
Regulatory agencies hurting efforts to recognize foreign credentials: Kenney
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/070304/n030483A.html


POLITICS IN THE PROVINCES
Citizens' assembly confronts true art of politics
http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/188122

Charest calls on Harper to honour Kelowna aboriginal accord
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/politics/story.html?id=01b6e6af-f4dd-4baa-84b1-7cfc317d5699&k=49604

For once, a Quebec election isn't about sovereignty
Leadership is the issue - the leadership of Boisclair, who is slipping in the polls
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=de8ed2eb-1846-48bf-be18-93af00d5bfab

Stelmach warns Ottawa on oil sands
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070305.SANDS05/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/


POLITICS
More election talk: time for Canadian voters to take stock, says key Tory
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/070304/n030441A.html

Tory minister doesn't dampen spring vote talk
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070304/spring_elxn_070304/20070304?hub=Canada

Liberals hope Dion tour showcases his strengths
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070304/dion_tour_070304/20070304?hub=Canada

Strahl's dirty tricks campaign sends out propaganda in Inky Mark’s constituency
http://www.savemycwb.ca/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1173072789&archive=&start_from=&ucat=4

Opposition attacks $2 million transit tax credit ad campaign
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=c677fc02-9fc4-454f-b9f9-a065c7a80bdd&k=64078

Minister sees red over protest plan
B.C. group wants children, dressed in black, to carry coffins to fisheries department
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=e60572b4-645b-4add-8110-3d60d0d07881

Gloves coming off on left
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=75255ea7-8707-43d7-928c-9007cccb9e3f

PM offers Ontario cash for transit, environment
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070305.wxontario05/BNStory/National/home

Ottawa mulls weakening lobbyist rules
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070305.wxlobbying05/BNStory/Front/home

Lunch with banks yields no promise on ABM fees
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070305.wbanks0305/BNStory/Business/home

Ex-Dumont staffers in Harper government forge bond between Conservatives, ADQ
http://www.recorder.ca/cp/National/070305/n0305132A.html

How soon will PM move in for kill on Dion?
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/188123

All parties are responsible for Ottawa's lunacy, but PM sets tone
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Giese_Rachel/2007/03/05/3698542-sun.html


PROGRAMMES
Safety cuts risk air disaster: Judge
Crash inquiry judge attacks federal move to cut airline inspection
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/186973


PRESSURE POINTS
How Gore's massive energy consumption saves the world
http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/281949,CST-EDT-STEYN04.article

An environmentalist's case for CANDU
http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?GXHC_gx_session_id_=acb0a9a59f134e77&pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1173048610450&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112188062581
        
Nuclear safety
http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?GXHC_gx_session_id_=acb0a9a59f134e77&pagename=hamilton/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1173048610540&call_pageid=1020420665036&col=1112188062581

Canadian CEO group announces climate task force
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070305/ceos_climate_070305/20070305?hub=Canada


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Confounded by conventionality
http://www.ftlcomm.com:16080/ensign/reality/edgingtowardawareness/weeklyRant/2007/march/march_02/confounded.html

Unique? Yes. Valuable? Yes. But let’s stop there
http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=15&cat=48&id=845356&more =

Don't insult religion - unless it's Christianity
The Jesus-debunking stories are not a theological issue, they are a journalistic one
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=8b2eee40-1a1f-4977-bf87-7d1a5ebf1a9e

Reasonable doubt: As religion takes centre stage, rationalists are fighting back
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=162b6ad5-94c7-49e2-91be-2026c6b94af9

Decades of darkness
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=81b0a894-6704-4e8c-b175-2149a70c9542

Judicial activism complaints dismissed
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=1d12d6ef-4731-4fa4-89c7-075cf6c74fe5

Why we can fail to communicate
Body language tends to take over when words confound us
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=98ba9496-7aea-44e4-9db9-f07d5b1bcdf1

Pseudoscience setback
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=09167431-d95f-49fa-9ba8-383857323242

Activists filmed ignoring dying seal 
http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=e8540ad7-f1b1-4a35-9555-ac847b4f4d05

China won't yield to lectures from us
Top Canadians and business leaders must persuade Chinese that their trade interests are best served when Beijing adheres to the rule of law,
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/188124

Guaranteed income, guaranteed dignity
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/188196

The politics of cowardice
http://www.ottawasun.com/News/Columnists/Smith_Jordan_Michael/2007/03/05/3698278.html


INFOS

Fonctionnaires fédéraux: plus vieux, plus féminins et plus de savoir qu’avant
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/070305/N030509U.html

Frais aux guichets : le ministre Flaherty rencontre les banques
http://argent.canoe.com/lca/infos/canada/archives/2007/03/20070305-101855.html

Des élections fédérales après les provinciales?
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20070304/CPACTUALITES/70304148/1025/FRONTPAGE

Le PC propose de nouveaux plans pour réduire les GES
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20070304/CPACTUALITES/70304140/1025/FRONTPAGE

Le PC propose de nouveaux plans pour réduire les GES
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20070304/CPACTUALITES/70304140/1025/FRONTPAGE

Afghanistan - Au moins dix civils tués par des tirs américains
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/03/05/133564.html

En chute libre dans les intentions de vote - Stéphane Dion fait une tournée du pays pour améliorer son image
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/03/05/133539.html

Diplômes étrangers - Le ministre Jason Kenney blâme les ordres professionnels
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/03/05/133537.html

Ottawa déploie des soldats en détresse psychologique
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/National/2007/03/05/001-afghan-depression.shtml

Les villes réclament une politique nationale
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/regional/modele.asp?page=/regions/Montreal/2007/03/05/002-Villes-Transport-commun.shtml

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)

CANADIANS IN AFGHANISTAN
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/features/afghanistan/index.html

        Visit the site above. You will see nothing there to dissuade you all is not well in hand in Afghanistan. This view is that to which most Canadians are exposed.
        
        The Asian Times, the Pajhwok Afghan News and the BBC bring quite differing perspectives.
        
        It would be interesting to conduct a poll and ask how many are aware of North and South Wiziristan, the city of Quetta and particularly Helmand province
        where the opening salvoes are taking place.

                  Joe

«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»

Ian Berg

Popular Mechanics edition March 2005 described, investigated and
dismissed several conspiracy theories about 9/11. Click below for the
section about WTC 7's collapse:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military_law/1227842.html?page=5

Ian Berg
Calgary AB

===================================
To Mike Watkins
Through Joe
>From Rene Moreau
    re; david emmerson

    On the subject of David Emmerson, some would like to know if  he  holds dual citizenship, secretly, apparently.
    His office, when asked, says that personal information and he doesn't have to reveal that, despite the obvious conflict  of interest that entails, while he's in office.
    Could you let me know, since you seem to have a pretty good grasp on the situation. I would suppose you know, as well that he was the CEO when Slocan was apparently 'bought' by Canfor and the management of the Canadian company became American, under his watch!
            Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)

===================================
Brad Thomson
Ottawa
 
Joe,
 
    Over the years we have seen many an attempt to make a lot of money by bringing Christianity into question. The media jumps all over it, certain Christian groups are outraged, and the seats in the theatres are full as a result. Ah yes, the God all-mighty dollar. The various theories that have been presented are either purely hypothetical, or as in the most recent example, are based upon such scant evidence that the case would be thrown out of any kangaroo court. It is remarkable that the Americans could not convict Simpson, Clinton or Jackson, but are always quick to label Jesus as guilty as sin. (In this particular case with the help of a Canadian.) Of course, in truth they are only judging themselves. They purport to be a Christian nation but act as if they are possessed by Satan. Indeed, the Americans are doing more than anyone else to ensure that Armageddon and the return of Jesus are nigh.
 
    I will not waste time trying to refute this latest attempt to get the people to send their money to the Lord, but I will say this. If Jesus had sex, I don't care. If he was married, I don't care. Jesus was sent here to BE human. And I have no doubt but that he was. All of this nonsense does nothing to bring Christianity into question.
 
    I will change my opinion if anyone can write a book that covers the next seven millennia, with hundreds of exact predictions containing names, dates, times and places, and with all of the predictions coming true and none failing. Anyone who could so accurately predict everything over such a long period of time is not simply a very lucky guesser. He, or his Father (I reject the notion of the Trinity) is the one choosing the course that history will take. Whether He or His Son was married or not.
 
Brad Thomson
Ottawa

===================================
Rebecca Gingrich

Subject: Ethanol

The Big Green Fuel Lie
George Bush says that ethanol will save the world. But there is evidence that biofuels may bring new problems for the planet
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/climate_change/article2328821.ece

Published: 05 March 2007
The ethanol boom is coming. The twin threats of climate change and energy
security are creating an unprecedented thirst for alternative energy with
ethanol leading the way.

That process is set to reach a landmark on Thursday when the US President,
George Bush, arrives in Brazil to kick-start the creation of an
international market for ethanol that could one day rival oil as a global
commodity. The expected creation of an "Opec for ethanol" replicating the
cartel of major oil producers has spurred frenzied investment in biofuels
across the Americas.

But a growing number of economists, scientists and environmentalists are
calling for a "time out" and warning that the headlong rush into massive
ethanol production is creating more problems than it is solving.

To its advocates, ethanol, which can be made from corn, barley, wheat, sugar
cane or beet is a green panacea - a clean-burning, renewable energy source
that will see us switch from dwindling oil wells to boundless fields of
crops to satisfy our energy needs.  continued

===================================
Mary-Sue Haliburton
Ottawa West - Nepean
 
Dr. Matthias Rath, who has done extensive research into holistic treatments using vitamins is one of the leading opponents of the "Codex Alimentarius" which will ban most herbs and vitamins in any therapeutic potency except by prescription, thus vastly raising the prices and restricting availability. Even many foods we are accustomed to getting may be taken off the market. The laws are already on the books here to permit any herb to be added to the banned list without public discussion. Forcing every nation to agree to Codex is part of the "harmonization of laws" that the FDA, the planners behind the "North American Union" and the CEOs promoting corporate globalism are seeking.

I hope you will be able to view these sites (they are sometimes hacked and unavailable):
< www.dr-rath-foundation.org > The non-profit Dr. Rath Foundation's extensive and informative site includes his books available for FREE download as PDFs.
< www.dr-rath-foundation.org.za > Dr. RAth's controversial site directed to the people of South Africa.
< www.eu-referendum.org> An inititiative of Citizens in Europe to hold a referendum in defence of natural remedies.
This referendum on behalf of natural remedies may be necessary in Canada as well. We cannot take for granted the continuation of laws allowing access in the marketplace to the various products and services we are accustomed to getting without hindrance and at reasonable cost.
< http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story?page=8&coll=la-home-headlines > This in-depth story exposes anti-AIDS big-money self-styled "philanthropists" as major shareholders in AIDS-drug manufacturing.

Please look up "Codex Alimentarius" in a search engine and read the actual document: this is the world we'll be in very soon and which some European countries are already operating under. Then decide for yourself. Please question every person seeking nomination to be a candidate in the upcoming election, and every candidate already selected, for his or her position on this important subject. Will this person defend the right of Canadians to choose their philosophy of health care, or will they vote for Codex and bring the international pharmaceutical dictatorship into effect in Canada?

Mary-Sue Haliburton
Ottawa West - Nepean

===================================
Rubie Britton


Peak Oil primer and links

  1. Peak Oil primer
  2. What can be done?
  3. Links and further information
===================================
Ron Thornton

Hi Joe:

I had already came across the article Rebecca Gingrich linked to regarding St. Al Gore.  What I loved most about the article was the following:

"Al buys his carbon offsets from Generation Investment Management LLP, which is "an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 and with offices in London and Washington, D.C.," that, for a fee, will invest your money in "high-quality companies at attractive prices that will deliver superior long-term investment returns." Generation is a tax-exempt U.S. 501(c)3. And who's the chairman and founding partner? Al Gore.

So Al can buy his carbon offsets from himself. Better yet, he can buy them with the money he gets from his long-time relationship with Occidental Petroleum. See how easy it is to be carbon-neutral? All you have do is own a gazillion stocks in Big Oil, start an eco-stockbroking firm to make eco-friendly investments, use a small portion of your oil company's profits to buy some tax-deductible carbon offsets from your own investment firm, and you too can save the planet while making money and leaving a carbon footprint roughly the size of Godzilla's at the start of the movie when they're all standing around in the little toe wondering what the strange depression in the landscape is."

The hypocritical SOB!  Anyone who continues to buy in to this Kyoto carbon-credit fiction needs to give their head a shake.  In the very least, I wish those who subscribe to Goretology to please preface their babblings with the admission that they are mindless twits who do not know what they do, nor are they capable of actually thinking for themselves.  At least they would be saying something I could believe. It is becoming more and more evident that this is just another method of scaring and conning enough to abandon both their wallets and well-being to line the pockets of people they love to worship for some unGodly reason, like Al Gore.  Buying carbon credits from yourself so you can continue to do what you preach others to not do because you gave yourself permission to do so, and still have folks idiotic and rationally challenged enough to still buy in to the bullsh*t.

To think we are actually on the top of the food chain.  Unbelievable.

Ron.

(TRUST BETRAYED: A reason why there are so many apathetic pessimists)
===================================
Bill Neville

Harper poisoning the political system

Fri Mar 2 2007

In the 2004 and 2006 federal elections, Stephen Harper's critics warned of a secret agenda considerably different than the one on which he was campaigning. In both elections Harper sought to disarm the critics by emphasizing that integrity in government was the over-riding issue, on which there was broad consensus for cleaning house and making government more transparent. In the 2006 election he tried to soothe concerns about his agenda by noting that there were important national institutions -- the Senate and the courts -- which would be a hedge against a Conservative government's instinct for social engineering.

This was widely viewed as a gaffe: He seemed to be saying that Canadians could take comfort from the thought that the courts were partisan institutions that would restrain a Conservative government from acting on its own worst instincts. Neither half of that proposition was particularly reassuring, nor was the thought that if there was a radical agenda in the wings, the Senate and the courts would have to be fixed before the Conservatives would have a free hand.

Well, lo and behold, fixing the Senate and the courts has begun. Indeed, in the case of the courts, Harper has been quite explicit in saying that he wants more conservative courts and that he will appoint judges accordingly: shades of Hugo Chavez. To that end Harper has moved to further politicize the provincial advisory committees that make recommendations to the minister of justice, while simultaneously lowering the bar on qualifications by eliminating the category "highly recommended" in favour of recommended or not recommended. With these changes, a majority of the voting members of these "independent" advisory committees are now appointed by the minister of justice, who is allowed no thoughts other than Harper's.

To note these changes is not to ignore the fact that the previous Liberal -- 
and Progressive Conservative -- appointees to the superior courts excessively reflected partisan connections. But as Peter Russell, probably Canada's preeminent authority on the processes of judicial appointment, pointed out in the Globe and Mail this week, there is real danger when political and ideological considerations start trumping everything else. Harper's approach is highly reflective of the trends in American judicial appointments in recent years and as such represents an unprecedented politicization of Canadian courts. That bog, once entered, will be very difficult to escape, and future governments wanting to stack the courts will cite Harper's regime as the one that got the ball rolling. Moreover, as Russell observes, Harper is embarked on this mission in a political system that lacks the checks and balances of the US system - which result in extensive and increasingly confrontational public hearings conducted in the Senate and, in consequence, the media.

Harper's approach here is of a piece with his approach to public issues generally: know-it-all, rigid, confrontational and apparently infallible. He admits to no mistakes because he makes none. He does not apologize for comments that are low or irresponsible or unfair because he makes none. Without flinching he can accuse Paul Martin of being a supporter of child pornography or refuse to cancel commercials that accuse Ralph Goodale of wrongdoing even after Goodale has been exonerated by the RCMP, or denounce those who disagree with him as being soft on terrorism, crime or some other outrage, or accuse the Liberals of shaping their security policy in the interests of the father-in-law of some relatively obscure Liberal backbench MP. In short, he sings from George W. Bush songbook -- or at least the one Bush sang from till American voters cut him down an octave or two -- which seeks to demonize and polarize.

Harper's world is one of absolutes and black and white issues. Though some such issues may exist, the real world is one of complexities in both societies and issues. Navigating that world requires recognition that some measure of conciliation, restraint, accommodation, nuance, and acknowledgment of the legitimacy of differences are essential components of domestic statecraft. But people who disagree with him on Afghanistan or on the appropriate balance between civil rights and security are open to being castigated as weak or disloyal or enemies of Canada.
Though one would never guess from listening to him, Harper is not infallible. He may be unaware of this limitation. But, aware or not, it suits his appeal to the faithful neo-conservatives who constitute his base: Many of them, after all, see themselves as damn near perfect when it comes to politics, faith, morals and personal rectitude. Harper's self-confidence and self-regard, regularly displayed, assure the most faithful and loyal members of his core constituency that he is one of them. And why not? All he needs is to keep the base happy, secure and loyal -- and add to it four or five per cent more of the electorate. He is content to govern in the interests of 35 per cent or 40 per cent of the country. And as the pro-Conservative Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitson wrote recently: "There is nothing, nothing Mr. Harper won't do to win."

This pattern of inflammatory statements and an absolute unwillingness to acknowledge their character or consequences is not completely unprecedented. But not since Pierre Trudeau has there been a prime minister so cavalier (recall Trudeau's calling opposition MPs "nobodies" once they were 50 feet off Parliament Hill) or so dismissive of opinions other than his own; but Trudeau at least had wit and -- sometimes -- wisdom, charm and grace. Harper has none of these, but he has, abundantly, the capacity and, it seems, the wish, to poison the well-springs of our politics for his own ideological purposes.

wnwfp@mts.net

===================================
Why Hize bounced from St. Paul"s

Your correspondent advises that he ran 31st of 30 candidates for director at the St. PaulÕs eda annual meeting on the 19th.

Having had time to reflect thereon I chaulk it up to a substantial  philosophical difference between myself and the majority of the board  on control of information. I found myself over the past year amazed  at how little public information, at least across the riding, was  available on the good work of our board at the same time that the 
Liberal M.P.'s name was plastered all over everywhere as she was a  candidate for their party leadership.

But more particularly I find myself reluctant to buy into what one  might call the "Las Vegas" school of information, as in "what happens  here, stays here".
Thus I viewed participating on the committee as equivalent to being  on a small town council, rather than on a private corporation's board  of directors. I suspect most Tory eda boards prefer no discussion  outside of their board on their always-private meetings, though I am  far from persuaded that that serves the interests of their members 
equally well.

I could smell trouble when the board more than once advised that  there would be no issuing even to its members any more information  about them as individuals than their email addresses. I was told that  I could go ahead and prepare such a spread sheet for those who might  want their phone numbers available, but that was not my job, at least  to my way of thinking.

I think spooking the board in part is some overweening  misunderstanding of what the various privacy acts permit. According  to a friend who has in fact read the acts they do not cover most  private proceedings though that is not the general understanding.I recommend to the board that they clarify the role of their  executive committee, since I never did understand how it shared in  agenda preparation or other items. And I would like to see the party  nationally share its preoccupation with the president of each of the  308 associations by giving the board secretary equal billing in  receipt of information; as a hedge, if you will, on how data flows. 

ItÕs my recollection that the former federal progressive  conservatives gave more standing to board secretaries and I think it  shares the load.

The board should consider appointing a knowledgeable one of its  number as media spokesperson, charged with keeping local newspapers  and broadcase media well briefed on association events. The party's  well considered policy processes are a perfect example of events  which could attract members of the general public into joining, if  only they were aware of them taking place. Similarly, a new members'  event would seem like an ideal occasion to aggressively promote in  the local weekly tabloids and even on some local radio stations.

I would also see a director charged with responsibility for using the  association's own email list as a medium of very regular  communication about the board discussions and events. If that were  the case the members themselves would have been advised immediately  of the policy process announced in a party document last June, in 
accordance with the national policy committee's statement that "We  strongly encourage all EDAs to plan now for consultation with your  members during each stage of the process leading up to Convention."

Putting data on the web site does not reach out efficiently the way  regular notices and points of view will, if pushed out quickly on the  official email list. I also recommend the board identify an executive member as director  of membership, charged with promoting that activity, adding to  committees, and reporting on its status. It is not clear to me  whether the board, or the membership at large, is entitled to know  about the growth or otherwise in membership. Like the basic plan for  the next election, (very little needing secrecy) I submit that much  more information to the members, and to the public, will build  support to win, whenever! cz

===================================