Monday, November 12, 2007

Excerpts of interest from *Hize-O-Gram #28 "earthworm" 07 11 11


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        j, still smoking that good stuff about your pitiful rump group ready to take over the cpc share of the political spectrum! i thought you were restricting       comments on those windmill tilters to a separate mailing list from which your faithful 5,000 are restricted unless we invite ourselves in, no?  cz
        
         Politics used to be more pleasurable than it is.  Al Heisery, Hize, cz and myself have been in contact since he wrote a Letter to the Editor after Election '68
        in a Taranta paper and I traced him down.

        cz's views and mine differ from time to time.  His take on the broad political scene was stated in his latest  "earthworm" received last night in the attached pdf file:
        
                                                     Sorry to be a disappointment on the question of....
                                                     delineating political parties, past, present and future, federal or
                                                     provincial: I have a much cruder way of seeing the fine points:
                                                     either as a party governing or as a party in opposition. Opposition
                                                     parties are a dime a dozen.. divided and conquered. Governing parties
                                                     are unifiers, united and ruling. I favour much
                                                     more attention to conciliation between the assorted movements
                                                     but the greens and the crats, as examples, demand and nurse their
                                                     ideological purity,  which keeps them out of office for their too-
                                                     narrow appeals to the electorate. I like two big tent parties,
                                                     one governing, one ready to take over, staring at each other from the 
                                                     two crude sides of the house of commons!
"
        
        Al Heisey works within.  He does not slavish consider everything his party's hierarchy does as flowing downward from Mount Olympus or Mount Sinai.
        
        Rather than this he raises matters of concern to him and those with whom he communicates.
        
        His views on a number of matters are expressed below.

        They are passed on to you without comment on my part
        
        Any comment you may have please direct to him
        
        Should you wish to receive future editions of the "earthworm" Hize would be most pleased to add your address to his lists.

        If  he gets even a couple of new addresses I may get some brownie points and he'll be less scathing in his comments regarding my activities outside the Digest
        
                  Joe .

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From: alan heisey <hize@sympatico.ca>
Subject: "earthworm" 07 11 11 sunday.pdf
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2007 23:17:55 -0500


Publisher comments

T.O.Centre demoralization: Next?

A good chum expressed the view recently that headquarters could not  have dumped candidate Mark Warner without a much more substantial  reason than those published, could they have?

I thought about it for a whole day and then phoned my chum that I  thought they had indeed dumped him primarily because he would not  stick close enough to the songsheet, regardless of how the imbroglio  might play out around Toronto.

That dumping has done a lot of damage in our town, and far away,  starting with a former lieutenant-governor of the province and  longtime Tory stalwart Hal Jackman phoning the Star to blast h.q.  interference with a riding decision and riding values:

Jackman denounces Tory move
Candidate ouster angers ex-lieutenant-governor
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/273194

Nov 03, 2007 04:30 AM
Susan Delacourt
Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA–Hal Jackman, the former lieutenant-governor of Ontario and a long-time Conservative supporter, fundraiser and sometime candidate, is outraged that the party has ousted Mark Warner as its next candidate in Toronto Centre.

Jackman called the Star yesterday to register his anger.

"I'm so mad at someone in Ottawa telling us, the party in Rosedale, who their candidate should or should not be," Jackman said.

"I think that is offensive, it's offensive to the constitution of the party, to the whole tradition of responsible government in Canada. We in a riding pick members of Parliament and the members of Parliament pick the prime minister."

Warner, a 43-year-old international trade lawyer, was told this week he would not be allowed to carry the Conservative banner in Toronto Centre during the next election. The ouster came after months of Warner butting heads with the central campaign organization, which objected to the way he was emphasizing social and urban issues at odds with the master Tory strategic plan.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper attempted to wash his hands of any involvement in the decision when asked about it yesterday in Halifax.

"Frankly, I'm not involved in those kind of decisions," Harper said. "The National Council is democratically elected and makes those decisions under the constitution of the party."

Jackman said Warner's ouster is a product of "control freaks" in the party who don't understand Toronto Centre or its concerns. Even if they had reservations about Warner, the power to have him as a candidate rests in the riding, Jackman said.

"Whether he should or should not have been the candidate, I don't know. It should not be the choice of someone in Ottawa," he said.

My limited enquiries within the eda suggest severe morale  reverberations from the broadaxed deposing of this established, urban  professional.

It is also clear that regardless of standing in one's own city  community our headquarters micromanages words, phrases and concepts  right out of individual assessments of what will appeal to local voters.

The Toronto Star editorial page digested an editorial from the  Halifax Chronicle Herald which saw Mark Warner as "an impressive Red  Tory lawyer and economist who would be a cabinet natural if he could  upset Liberal Bob Rae. But he was dumped for addressing local issues -"

Our essentially-underground national council takes the heat in the  down-east editorial, carrying the can as "the council's bullying will  make more voters decide arrogance is an issue".

A question raised in Toronto is just who would be the point person on  our national council on this matter. I find the reality of our four  Ontario representatives on the council being elected "at-large" means  they all have diffused responsibilities to represent this downtown  Toronto electoral district association. Which is to say none of them 
has very much influence in the  situation.

I think the cause of the collective party and campaign would be  served by another nomination meeting soon - in which Warner would be  invited to participate.HQ would not like it one little bit if the Rosedalians dared to re- confirm their original candidate, but it could do wonders to help  elect M.P.s in the GTA and other urban areas of the country, Halifax  not excepted.

Pinpointing Ontario's 4 councillors


I have had three or four conversations with Toronto tories about what  is in fact happening regarding the proposed party constitution process.

The only information I have in writing is the release  I received  informally which says for part one:1. PHASE ONE: (August, 2007 thru December, 2007)
a) Local Meetings of EDA membership to discuss concerns that can be  addressed by constitutional amendment. Responsibility: EDA Executive  Members.
b) Regional Meetings of EDA representatives to consider and  consolidate constitutional concerns and suggested constitutional  draft amendments. Responsibility: National Constitutional Committee Provincial Representatives.
c) National Council to develop National-Council-sponsored draft  constitutional amendments for submission to National Constitution  Committee. Responsibility: National Council.
d) Completion by December 31, 2007.

I can testify as a lay member of St. Paul's that no information  whatsoever in writing has been forwarded to me *OOPS, JUST BEFORE,  AHEM, PRESSTIME, JASON HICKMAN, ONTARIO MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL  CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE, FORWARDED A STATEMENT FOR INCLUSION HERE!)  and I understand that no information has been forwarded in my former  riding of Tri-Spa.

However, I consider that moves are definitely afoot to give individuals like  myself and our local electoral district associations, who care about  our great party, opportunities to propose refinements in aspects of  our party's constitution.

I'm thrilled at the thought because 18 months ago I spent a Saturday  at my cottage detailing two very specific amendments to the makeup  and election of Ontario members to our party's national council, the  same group as referred to the first item of this edition.

The intiative for these changes comes from the views of Peter  Tudisco, from the Cambridge area, who proposed electing each Ontario  councillor from a separate region of the province. The current  experience of the council, when it is not possible to tell which  Ontario councillor should be most involved in the Toronto Centre  difficulties, shows how desirable it would be to pinpoint one  councillor to that region and its electoral district, and free the  others of direct responsibility.

A second insight is in the vote of the population of Ontario in the  recent referendum regarding proportional representation. A move to  that method would have involved the election of some 39 M.P.P.s at- large across the province, but it was rejected almost two to one! I attach hereto:

1. a spread sheet showing the delineation I recommend of the  province's population into regions of approximately equal  populations; and

2. a map showing the incredible variances in land mass which are  implicit if the regions, without subdividing any one electoral  district's boundaries, are to be of essentially equal population.

Equality of populations is profoundly important to Ontario voters who  have been under-represented in the national parliament since  confederation.

To reflect the fact that Ontario's population of 11,295,000 is about  three times that of the largest province with two authorized  provincial councillors I recommend that our present four councillors  be increased to six councillors, (not presuming what Quebec party  members might also propose.)

The six regions were calculated using the 2001 census so should be  updated to reflect population changes identified in the 2006 census. 

I also took as a premise that the six regions would all have  geographic names and no town or city would be identified in the six  names.

I consider there is exceptional interest in this amendment in the  greater Toronto area I expect to be invited to a constitution review meeting of ridings in 
the area immediately to the east of the city of Toronto  mid-December.


Late news flash: Jason Hickman details constitution review process

"All Electoral District Association ("EDA", a/k/a riding association)  presidents should have received, directly from Party HQ, a package  setting out the means by which amendments can be proposed to the  Party's constitution.

It's important to remember that this process focuses on the EDA's and  the EDA membership, and that at this stage, each EDA is responsible  for deciding whether it wants to work on its own, or in combination  with others. Each EDA should, before the year is out, make an effort  to solicit the views and thoughts of its membership as to changes  that should be made to the Party's constitution.  One way to do this  is a general meeting of the membership, but there are other ways to  accomplish this goal, and it isn't the National Constitution  Committee's objective or mandate to "handcuff" EDA's into just one  format, so long as members are given a chance to have input into the  process.

If your EDA has not held or scheduled a time for this discussion to  take place, you should contact your EDA president, and if he or she  would like my assistance in organizing a meeting, he or she can  contact me at <jason.hickman@rogers.com> (It may take a day or three for me to  respond, but respond I will.)

At this stage of the process, EDA's do not have to draft formal  amendments - although they are free to do so.  If they wish, they can  submit desired changes and suggestions for changes that are approved  at the EDA level, even if they are not in a strict "legal" form. For  example, if an EDA is of the view that one must be a member of an EDA  for 60 or 90 or whatever number of days before being able to elect a  candidate, or if an EDA feels that a province's National Councillors  should be elected by region rather than "at large" - it can say so in  as simple language as that, or it can cite the precise section of the  Constitution that they wish to change.  For anyone who wants to see  the Constitution as it presently exists, they can go to the following  website: http://www.conservative.ca/media/20050319- CPCConstitution.pdf (opens to an Adobe Acrobat document)

At this initial stage of the process - which is intended to finish as  of the end of the year - EDA's can submit concerns and draft  amendments by using the forms provided to EDA presidents.  After  that, the national committee will review the suggestions and concerns  that have been received and develop consolidated draft amendments.  
Then, those draft amendments will be sent back to the EDA's in the  spring of 2008 for review and prioritization, prior to the Party's  next national convention in Winnipeg in the fall of 2008.

(Of course, the foregoing is obviously subject to change in the event  that the government falls and an election is called between now and  the scheduled convention in Winnipeg.)

Finally, the notion of regional meetings, involving more than one  EDA, are permitted but are not required.  If there are EDA's that are  interested in arranging regional meetings but would like some help or  guidance in doing so, please do not hesitate to contact me at  <jason.hickman@rogers.com>  Similarly, if an individual EDA would 
like any help or guidance in setting up a meetings of its own, that  EDA's president (or designate) should contact me as well." Jason Hickman

Bill C-56 to short-change Ontario

Ontario M.P. and cabinet minister Peter Van Loan has been quite plain  about his proposed bill arranging new, additional house of commons  seats for Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The two western  provinces are to be given additional seats to a population  equivalency to Quebec, but Ontario is to get distinctly fewer seats.
He even projects the spin that Ontario will be getting some ten  additional seats and so we should be grateful for that.I, as a long-time proponent of one person one vote, say that the Van  Loan proposal is simply not good enough and we, of all political  persuasions across the province, have to fight like hell to force him  to play fair with his home province voters!

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty only two months ago sent the  following letter, his second on the subject, to the prime minister:

The Right  Honourable Stephen Harper, PC
  Prime  Minister of Canada
  Langevin  Building
  80  Wellington Street
  Ottawa,  Ontario
  K1A 0A2

Dear Prime  Minister:

I noted  with interest your address to the Australian Parliament on  September 11, and  agree with your description of democracy as "an  instinctive sense of fairness,  self-restraint and compromise."

It was my  concern over the lack of fairness in the treatment of  Ontario voters contained  in Bill C-56 that prompted my letter to you  on June 4.

I call on  you now, as I did then, to restore representation by  population in the House of  Commons, and I continue to urge you to  make a simple amendment to Bill C-56 so  that Canadians in Ontario  receive the same treatment as those in British  Columbia and Alberta. 

Based on current population and future projections, the  people of  Ontario are entitled to at least 10 more seats than anticipated in   your legislation.

I note that  you have prorogued Parliament and will begin a new  session in October. In the spirit  of starting anew, I suggest that  now would be a good time to consider amending Bill C-56 prior to its  reintroduction in the House of Commons to take into  account  Ontario's fundamental concerns.

The  language in the bill guarantees that, in calculating seat  entitlements, Alberta  and British Columbia would be given additional  constituencies sufficient to give  them, on average, about the same  population size as ridings in Quebec. There is  no good reason why  Ontario citizens should not benefit from the same provision.  A  simple amendment to Bill C-56 to treat Ontario in the same manner as  Alberta and British Columbia  would demonstrate your government's  commitment to the democratic principle of  fairness and would meet  your commitment to restore representation by population  in the House.

An  alternative to an early reintroduction of an amended C-56 would  be to take the  time to conduct a fundamental review of how to best  design the formula for readjusting seats among the provinces in the  House of Commons in consultation  with the provinces. The legislation  need not be in place before the census in  2011. The government could  consider taking more time to develop an appropriate  way forward that  treats all Canadians fairly, including those living in  Ontario.

As I wrote  in my earlier letter, I do not believe that your  government or minister, in all  good conscience, would introduce  legislation that attempts to entrench in the  Constitution a formula  that so clearly disenfranchises Canadians living in Ontario.  I urge  you to live up to the principles you articulated in your Australian   address and make the necessary amendment to the legislation.

Please  accept my personal best wishes.

Yours  truly,


ORIGINAL SIGNED BY THE PREMIER
September 16, 2007

What is particularly interesting about the premier's letter is that  it proposes a fundamental review about how to readjust seating among  the provinces, surely a wiser approach than leaving only Ontario  voters behind in any  realignment.

The Queen's Park leadership contrasts with the general indifference  of the major media in our Queen City: they never have seriously  focused on the under-representation of Ontario in the national  parliament or of our home city in the provincial or national  parliaments - nothing comparable to the attention they all gave the  recent referendum about proportional representation.Surely, the federal and provincial Tory riding associations in  Ontario have the duty to represent Ontario voters within our own  party processes.

As chair of the policy committee of the Tri-Spa provincial  association I drafted a motion on this subject for consideration by  the 7 other members of the committee. It has now been endorsed  verbally by five of us with the sixth one "undecided" and the two  remaining offering no position. Thus the  motion goes forward to the  15-member, Tri-Spa directors' meeting before this coming Thursday.

Its content is predictable, picking up from the premier's concern  about the shortfall of some ten federal seats. I won't be in Toronto  for the directors' meeting but hope the motion will be endorsed and  made public, fast, via emails to all the major Toronto media, as well  as being forwarded to all federal and provincial constituency  presidents across Ontario and to our two party leaders and their  association counterparts!


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