Monday, December 10, 2007

Daily Digest December 10, 2007


The DAILY DIGEST: INFORMATION and OPINION from ST. JOHN'S to VICTORIA.

EDITORIALs
HALIFAX NEWS - Youth-justice changes a work in progress
http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=87865&sc=90

HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD - Make a plan, not a speech
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Editorial/997257.html

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Pessimism about French is premature
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/editorial/story.html?id=7a9bff37-cee0-44b9-afa8-028ee2e490d1

TORONTO STAR - Guarding our troops
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/283662

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - A delicate balancing act
http://www.thespec.com/Opinions/article/294075

WINDSOR STAR - Trade barriers
Fixing the economic drain
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=781c27e9-6492-4be3-88b3-d691b7b9fb80

SUDBURY STAR - Federal reforms unfair to Ontario
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=811446

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - New course after Kyoto
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/editorial/story/4090990p-4689252c.html

SASKATOON STARPHOENIX - Paying for Tory polls
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=141109f5-a19c-4ac6-b202-0d4f5a13dbd8

CALGARY SUN - New Kyoto must include U.S., China
http://calsun.canoe.ca/Comment/POV/2007/12/10/4716579-sun.html


ISSUES

CANADIAN FORCES
Afghan, NATO forces recapture Musa Qala
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wcanukafghan1210/BNStory/International/home

Holding the town of Musa Qala has taken on symbolic importance for both sides.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7137041.stm

Easy money hard to resist in Afghanistan
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=2afd28b8-761b-4d92-b82f-01ce4694ebb9


FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The boy who cried wolf in Iraq is at it again in Iran
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/997318.html

The rape and revision of Nanjing
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/IL11Dh01.html


JUSTICE SYSTEM
Watchdog needed for RCMP: MPs
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wrcmp_pension1210/BNStory/National/home


MIGRATION
Crowd prevents Vancouver deportation
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.windi1210/BNStory/National/home


POLITICS
Tories accused of trying to muzzle military
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/284231

Queen not on the list for Quebec City birthday bash
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071210/harper_queen_071210/20071210?hub=TopStories

NDP plans to send strategists to Australia
NDP will run an $18.5-million campaign, to match Tories and Liberals.
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/

The 'toughest job' at Parliament
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=47ec4ad3-2b86-4652-a8ab-1f7b31120e24

Taxpayers may be last to know about polling issue
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/997209.html

Liberals pressure Ottawa to keep Aurora maritime patrol planes
http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=87947&sc=89

Baird to PM Harper: I'm Clean
http://www.cfra.com/headlines/index.asp?cat=1&nid=54041

Charges against mayor send ripples through Ottawa
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071210/ottawa_mayor_071210/20071210?hub=Canada

                 L'affaire Schreiber

Can Conservative Ottawa swallow yesterday's man?
http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/284050

Bear Head, Schreiber & the politics of influence
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/997256.html

Schreiber learned ropes in Alberta
http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=7d96085b-1fdb-4e8c-baee-cbf83cc7c59f

Only Mulroney has the answers
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/story/4091071p-4689266c.html

Schreiber strategy: get deal with Mounties
http://www.thehilltimes.ca/html/index.php

Mulroney 'does want these questions answered'
Former prime minister will face MPs this week equipped with specific responses to allegations, spokesman says
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wmulroney10/BNStory/National/home

Schreiber back in the hotseat Tuesday
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=4928b164-a1c1-43ba-966e-fd9e0bedc06d&k=72044


PROGRAMMES
Reproductive Techniques - Expensive federal headquartered in Vancouver
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ledevoir.com%2F2007%2F12%2F10%2F167914.html&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Prentice to unveil his answers to copyright law disputes
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=6a8d9c46-b98a-4832-af6b-5f258b3f0b66


PRESSURE POINTS
Canada assailed from all sides at climate talks
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/284178

New Kyoto must include U.S., China
http://www.torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2007/12/09/4716251.html

'Make peace with the planet,' Al Gore urges
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wclimatewarn1208/BNStory/International/home

Baird announces $85.9-million for climate change
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wbalicash1210/BNStory/International/home

Business gets a voice on Canadian delegation at Bali
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wbali10/BNStory/International/home

Canada criticized at UN climate change summit
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071209/bali_baird_071210/20071210?hub=Canada

Ottawa uses warmed
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.radio-canada.ca%2Fnouvelles%2Fenvironnement%2F2007%2F12%2F10%2F001-climat-annonce-baird.shtml&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Canada has the first goal in Bali
http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyberpresse.ca%2Farticle%2F20071210%2FCPACTUALITES%2F712100641%2F1025%2FCPACTUALITES&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Canada's boreal forest locks up twice the carbon of a tropical rainforest
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_paper/story.html?id=156973

Climate battle's war of worlds
Talks in Bali this week on combatting the problem pit developing nations against U.S., Canada, Japan
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/284049

Using hydrogen to clean up fossil fuels
http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/284015


OPINION AND INFORMATION
Government of the people who buy the people
http://members.shaw.ca./nspector3/globe312.htm

Waiting for the meltdown
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/subscriber/westview/story/4091020p-4689261c.html

Poll finds Canadians in an upbeat mood
But their feelings do not translate into support for the Conservatives.
http://www.torontosun.com/News/Columnists/Worthington_Peter/2007/12/10/4716768-sun.php

Mixed signals
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/columnists/story.html?id=bc7d4435-b20a-43b5-a0b0-a901dd92e58c

Ottawa, provinces together resurrected CPP: Martin
http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071210.wpaulmartin1210/BNStory/robNews/home

The rule of law's limits
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/opinion/story.html?id=c3904459-92dc-4159-b625-99ab8869de0c

Steering shipbuilders toward first-class future
http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/editorial/story.html?id=e2d6cb8d-406b-4a0f-a92a-03098feb7453


INFOS

Fusion des bourses: un passeport pour la Bourse du carbone, dit Charest
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071210/N1210143AU.html

Le ministère de la Défense se voit ordonner de bâillonner ses militaires
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071210/N1210225AU.html

Le Canada est assailli de toutes parts pour sa position au sommet de Bali
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071210/N1210223AU.html

Amnistie: Ottawa compromet la réputation canadienne de défenseur des droits
http://info.branchez-vous.com/Nationales/071210/N1210205AU.html

Ottawa sert du réchauffé
http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/environnement/2007/12/10/001-climat-annonce-baird.shtml

Climat: optimisme prudent à Bali
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/12/10/167915.html

Techniques de reproduction - Coûteux siège social fédéral à Vancouver
Les dirigeants de Procréation assistée Canada accumulent les dépenses pour aller travailler dans un bureau fantôme
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/12/10/167914.html

400e anniversaire de Québec - Harper n'invite pas la reine
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/12/10/167908.html

Mulroney dès jeudi au Comité de l'éthique?
http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/12/10/167894.html

Le Canada compte le premier but à Bali
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20071210/CPACTUALITES/712100641/1025/CPACTUALITES

La Défense bâillonne ses militaires
http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20071210/CPACTUALITES/71210209/1025/CPACTUALITES


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From: Jacob Rempel
To: "Editor DAILY DIGEST" <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject:  Naomi Wolf  on YouTube
__________________________________________
The End of America - a video presentation by Naomi Wolf- a call to all
ordinary people to assume the patriotic fight  to restore liberty while we
still can, to believe in our power and to stand up NOW

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc

===================================
From: "Marie Hooey"
Subject: A l'affaire shreiber  Hi, Joe

 L'affaire Shreiber
 
Marie Hooey
 
I was fortunate on Friday to be able to catch some of Karlheinz Schreiber's testimony before the ethics commission and a few things stood out for me.   One of the major points was Schreiber's recall of his 45 years of international involvement in politics and how he, "tried to support Conservative causes wherever support was needed.  This is the main reason of my troubles, since no good deed goes unpunished," he wrote in a letter to Harper last Jan.24 th.
 
Read:  Rambling Schreiber documents include threatening missive to Mulroney
           The Canadian Press     Sue Bailey
       http://www.am1220.Ca/news/national/viewstory.php?story=n120597A.xml
 
Shreiber's financial meddling in the Canadian landscape of politics, goes back to 1983 and his involvement in the "dump Joe Clarke" movement, which I addressed in my last post and which is explicitly dealt with in Lawrence Martin's great article entitled:
"The Real Schreiber outrage: How foreign money toppled Joe Clark,"
posted on the Digest last week by Jacob Rempel. 
 
Lawrence Martin explains that Wolf, Schreiber and possibly Strauss detested Mr. Clark's moderate brand of conservatism and wanted him out.  They had Mulroney waiting in the wings.
              
Schreiber then made a handsome donation to Mulroney's election campaign when he ran for the leadership of the conservative party in 1984.
 
Apparently, Pat Martin was hoping this week to pursue with Schreiber his possible involvement in the collapse of the NDP in Manitoba.  Apparently Martin was informed by someone this week that Jim Walding, Manitoba NDP, MLA was bribed in 1988 to vote against his own government's budget which brought down Howard Pawley's NDP, forcing an election won by Gary Filmon's Tories.  There were strong suspicions expressed that Schreiber was responsible for the bribe.
 
Schreiber has stated in recent testimony that he had made a sizeable donation to Premier Jean Charest's 1993 federal leadership campaign for the Progressive Conservative Party against leadership rival Kim Campbell.   Mr. Schreiber told the ethics commission that he had donated $30 000 but Mr. Charest's brother later confirmed that Mr. Schreiber had indeed made a contribution but that it was only for $10 000.
 
Mr. Schreiber told the commission that he fully expected the donation would win him influence with someone "new" and "fresh," who, would automatically become Prime Minister if he won the leadership.  He also stated that, "of course, if Mr. Charest would have won the leadership convention and would have become the prime minister after Mr. Mulroney, sure I would think he would recognize that he got help from us when he ran for the leadership."  One thing certain is that Mr. Schreiber was covering all of his bases.
 
Read:  Surprise testimony
            Elizabeth Thompson and Kevin Dougherty
            The Gazette's Quebec Bureau
  http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=65909157-757b-4eaa-9ea4-a7d01064e3bb                       
 
Schreiber also stated that, "I was a close witness to the painful decline of the Conservative government of Brian Mulroney."  One can be sure that an obvious, staunch Conservative he indeed wanted to do something about it and that that something, might help him with his goal, of being able to stay in Canada.
 
It certainly isin't a far fetch to think that he was throwing some money around the last few years in order to assist the Conservatives to get back into power.
 
As stated by Frances Russell in the Winnipeg Free Press, "Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper worked together to create the new Conservative party and government.  "Without (Mulroney), it wouldn't have happened," says Robert Plamondon, author of the book, Full Circle, on the Progressive Conservative-Canadian Alliance merger of 2003.
 
Someone who played a major role in helping Peter (I am not the merger candidate) Mackay get the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party was none other than current lobbyist Fred Doucet.  His name popped up in Schreiber's testimony this week too.  Mr. Doucet was Mulroney's former chief of staff and a senior policy adviser.  In fact according to Norma Greenaway's article officemates used to joke that, "he sleeps at the foot of Mulroney's bed."
 
Read: Mulroney's ultimate righthand man, Fred Doucet, plays key role in story at:
http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=f6d17afa-1365-4126-9d56-eed32e69270a
 
Guess who Peter Mackay's campaign manager for his run at the leadership in 2003 was.  Why, non other than Fred Doucet.  Doucet along with Senator Noel Kinsella were, the orchestrators of the deal Mackay made with David Orchard to win the leadership.  The three met with Mr. Orchard for 15 minutes and agreed that free trade -- a deal Mr. Doucet helped negotiate in the 1980's-- would be reviewed by a blue-ribbon party committee in return for Mr. Orchard's support.
 
Read:  Frantic quest for votes led to pact
http://www.notacolony.ca/orchardsbigdeal/Frantic%20quest %20for%20votes%20led%20to%20pact .htm
 
We all know what transpired from there.

===================================
From: John Anderson <john.anderson@jcaa.ca>
Subject: Latimer vs. Pickton


Hello Joe

Robert Pickton was convicted yesterday of second-degree murder for what,
by all accounts, was a particularly revolting crime.

Robert Latimer was convicted seven years ago of second-degree murder for
what was, by all accounts, a mercy killing.

There is something wrong with this equation.  In the latter case, the
courts were obliged to impose the legislated penalty for the "crime" --
despite the pleadings of the trial judge and the trial jury.

This could have been mitigated to some extent if the National Parole
Board had, in fact, done its duty and applied its guidelines properly.
But, in effect, the National Parole Board took it upon itself to equate
Latimer's crime to Pickton's crime.

I think this is blatantly unfair to Robert Latimer, and it certainly
puts our administration of justice in a bad light.

Best Regards, JOHN ANDERSON

AND

Subject: Recent RCMP Deaths

I want to weigh in on the recent initiative to make sure that RCMP
officers going into "dangerous" situations always have instantly
available backup -- even at the cost of millions of dollars.

The problem is that our societal respect for law and order is being
eroded.  In years past, an order from a Canadian police officer was
assumed to be lawfully given and would be honoured as such -- even by
criminals.  Unfortunately, we seem to be going in the direction of the
United States on this matter; in the United States, an order from a
police officer, unless backed by instantly available overwhelming force,
is frequently assumed to be a matter for debate, i.e. gunplay.

(To be fair, the RCMP has to take some of the blame for this; there have
been too many cases in recent years where RCMP officers have abused
their authority as peace officers -- and then tried to cover it up
and/or whitewash it.)

An apocryphal story:  Years ago, a man wanted in the United States fled
to Canada and was eventually captured by the RCMP.  After his
extradition hearing, the man was escorted to the U.S. border by a single
RCMP officer.  At the border they were met by a heavily-armed posse of
American police officers ready to the the wanted man into U.S. custody.
The American officers were absolutely astonished that (a) the RCMP
officer was prepared to take such a risk with a presumably dangerous
criminal, and (b) that the wanted man was prepared to accept and respect
the RCMP officer's authority.

Bottom line in my view: (1) The RCMP absolutely must clean up their act,
and (2) We need to amend the Criminal Code to include provision for the
offence of killing an on-duty police officer.  I would suggest that, as
a minimum, even the unpremeditated killing of an on-duty police officer
should carry the same penalty as first-degree murder.

Best Regards, JOHN ANDERSON

===================================
From: "Suan H.Booiman"
Subject: Harper loves Quebec
Cc: info@russhiebert.ca

Some of Harper's recent licking heels in Quebec.
 
Harper pitches Tories' approach to Quebecers
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2007/12/07/qc-harperriviere1207.html

More aid for Quebec possible, Harper says
Battered manufacturing and forestry industries
would benefit - in ridings Tories would love to win
http://www.thestar.com/News/article/283747

Harper to help manufacturing, forest sectors before next budget
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/politics/story.html?id=177007b7-3081-4af6-bdb8-064d3f802d39&k=54449

Harper in Quebec to woo ADQ supporters
Prime Minister's visit angers some Charest Liberal cabinet ministers
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071208.HARPER08/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/

PM makes new friend in Quebec
Comment; ADQ leader says 'significant' action required
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=154663

From: "Suan H.Booiman" <sumi701@shaw.ca>
Subject: Quebec Nation within the nation

To: PM@pm.gc.ca, Day Stockwell <Day.S@parl.gc.ca>, Cummins John <cummij@parl.gc.ca>, Cannan Ron <Cannan.R@parl.gc.ca>, Abbott Jim <Abbott.J@parl.gc.ca>, Fast Ed <Fast.E@parl.gc.ca>, "Harris Richard B.C.Caucus Chair" <Harris.R@parl.gc.ca>, Hiebert Russ <Hiebert.R@parl.gc.ca>, Hinton Betty <Hinton.B@parl.gc.ca>, Kamp Randy <Kamp.R@parl.gc.ca>, "Warawa Mark ." <Warawa.M@parl.gc.ca>, Grewal Nina <Grewal.N@parl.gc.ca>, Hill Jay <Hill.J@parl.gc.ca>, Lunn Gary <Lunn.G@parl.gc.ca>, Lunney James <Lunney.J@parl.gc.ca>, Moore James <Moore.J@parl.gc.ca>, Strahl Chuck <Strahl.C@parl.gc.ca>, Mayes Colin <Mayes.C@parl.gc.ca>, Emerson David <emersd@parl.gc.ca>, Day Stockwell Minister of Safety <days1@parl.gc.ca>,
 "Strahl Chuck B.C. CPC MP." <riding@chuckstrahl.com>, Thompson Myron <Thompson.M@parl.gc.ca>, Rajotte James <Rajotte.J@parl.gc.ca>,
 Prentice Jim <Prentice.J@parl.gc.ca>, Menzies Ted <Menzies.T@parl.gc.ca>, Lake Mike <Lake.M@parl.gc.ca>, Jean Brian <Jean.B@parl.gc.ca>,
 Harper Stephen <Harper.S@parl.gc.ca>, "Calkins B." <Calkins.B@parl.gc.ca>, Ambrose Rona <Ambrose.R@parl.gc.ca>, Ablonczy D <ablonczy.D@parl.gc.ca>,
 Anders R <anders.R@parl.gc.ca>, Casson R <casson.r@parl.gc.ca>, Epp K <Epp.K@parl.gc.ca>, Goldring P <Goldring.P@parl.gc.ca>, Hanger A <Hanger.A@parl.gc.ca>, Hawn L <Hawn.L@parl.gc.ca>, "Jaffer R." <Jaffer.R@parl.gc.ca>, Kenney J <Kenney.J@parl.gc.ca>, Merrifield R <Merrifield.R@parl.gc.ca>, Mills B <Mills.B@parl.gc.ca>, ObhraI D <Obhrai.D@parl.gc.ca>, Richardson L <Richardson.L@parl.gc.ca>, Soberg M <Solberg.M@parl.gc.ca>, Sorenson K <Sorenson.K@parl.gc.ca>, Storseth B <Storseth.B@parl.gc.ca>, Warkentin C <Warkentin.C@parl.gc.ca>, "Williams J." <Williams.J@parl.gc.ca>

Cc: Calgary Herald <letters@theherald.canwest.com>, Calgary Sun Paul Jackson <paul.jackson@calgarysun.com>, Edmonton Sun <mailbag@edmsun.com>, Hallifax Herald <letters@herald.ca>, Montreal The Gazette <letters@thegazette.canwest.com>, National Post <letters@nationalpost.com>, Ottawa Citizen <letters@thecitizen.canwest.com>, Ottawa Sun <feedback@ott.sunpub.com>, Peace Arch News Editor Lance Peverley <editorial@peacearchnews.com>,
 Star Phoenix Saskatoon <spnews@SP.canwest.com>, The Now <edit@thenownewspaper.com>, The Province Editor <provletters@png.canwest.com>,
 Toronto Star Editor <lettertoed@thestar.ca>, Toronto Sun <editor@tor.sunpub.com>, "VS. Editor" <sunletters@png.canwest.com>, King Maurice <maurice.king@dialogue.ca>, Globe and Mail Neil A Campbell Executive Editor <NACampbell@globeandmail.com>X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.3138

December 10, 2007
 
The Rt.Hon.Mr.Harper and his silenced Western MPs.
 
Mr.Harper and democratically elected representatives,
 
Am sure you will be buying votes in Quebec with the voice
of generosity, willing to hand out money to help industry.
Even your words will help the needy Quebecois, the
residents in the Nation within the Canadian Nation, that,
in your view unites the country. Suggest you keep on
spending your time there and use the tax-payers money
to make you a hero. It does answer a major question
"why should anyone in the west donate to the Conservative
Party that could careless about the public opinion there".
 
Suan H.Booiman
204-1220 Fir Street
White Rock BC V4B 4B1
Canada

===================================
STRATOS
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        Late again - and no BELOW (30) Takes time to put the stuff below together and assist in decorating the house and wrapping presents and, and . . .
        Seems the Yanks are concerned about losing their sovereignty more than Canadians are   The Alberta map and the part in the Manitoba Throne
        speech proving the NAFTA Superhighway is not fiction would never have come forward in the media here, would it have?

Yes, Yanks can be jerks that way. (Pun intended!) Truth be told, though, that's not really true since when it comes to political opinion, there's no such thing as typically Amuuurican consensus. And all this is reflected in US political discourse ... if there's anyone who could possibly have to pay a price (even if it's good for his country) for an initiative of any sort, some group or other will form to pressure government for compensation. And since individual US politicians are much more sensitive to the squawking of their constituents and groups that aim to organize some of them, US politics is unavoidably messy.
 
And hence the often-too-typical behaviour of US politicians:
 
   - US Presidents, being elected by all US voters (with intermediary electoral colleges), almost always stand above all the squabbling and push for policies that are "good for the whole"; this is why it's CRUCIAL that the Canadian government get along with the US Presidency ... anything less means that the Canadian government has to deal with the US Congress on its own, without the President's occasional arm-twisting (deal-making) of the Congress;
   - US Congressmen (Representatives and Senators) are to a large degree loudmouthed, bare-knuckled bruisers if they're effective at all; some are ineffective and are just warming their seats (e.g. Fred Thompson when he was a federal Senator sitting for Tennessee); but some do rise above the others and are more serious in their business, less purely partisan in their positions, and less bent on pandering to every loudmouth and lobbyist who pipes up;
   - State politicians ... well, they're even more parochial than Canadian ones are.
 
So, most of the federal US political static that one reads in US papers and hears on US radio is driven by private interests, numerous lobbies, and Congressmen on the make. And some do it for pure $$$ gain .. you won't believe how many (obviously partisan) political commentators there are on US radio down there.
 
All the yammering actually reflects to high degree how US-style "let's make a deal" politics works. I could many examples, but one that almost derailed the original FTA agreement really stands out. Once the FTA agreement had been finalized by the Canadian and American negociating teams, the deal had to be ratified by both federal governments. We all know what happened in Canada ... ratification was saved at the last moment by Brian Mulroney, who stood up for it and persuaded enough Canadian voters to back him and not the "we'll tear the thing up" Liberals (and Heaven forbid, the NDP). On the US side, the whole thing at one pointed hung on the vote of ONE MAN ... one of the Senators sitting for Hawaii (!!!), can you believe it! You see, for the FTA deal to be ratified in the Senate, a majority of the 10 Senators sitting on its Steering Committee (or whatever) had to approve its being put on the agenda. Right down to the last couple of days, five Senators were for inclusion and five were against .. and a tie vote at the Committee meeting would mean that the agreement would NOT get on the agenda, that time would run out for ratification, and that there would be no FTA, period. At the last monent, the Canadian Embassy in Washington persuaded the Senator from Hawaii to change his mind ... by intimating that Canadians would be angry that the FTA deal had not made it to the Senate agenda and that might result in fewer Canadian tourists going to Hawaii, which wouldn't be good for the Senator's constituents. THIS kind of thing was actually a make-or-break issue in the biggest free-trade deal the world had ever known, for Heaven's sake. In the end, the vote went 6-4 in favour of having the FTA deal on the agenda.
 
Now, the reasons for some of the Committee member-Senators being against the FTA, were fairly straightforward:
 
   - Max Baucus, Senator from Montana (yes, him; the one who makes life hard for all Canadian imports, with particular malevolence to Canadian beef and cereals): he just wanted to keep Canadian competitors out, for the benefit of his farming-ranching constituents and lobbies;
   - whatisname from Hawaii: keeping out Canadian competitors to US industry, and protecting US jobs; changed his mind when the Canadian tourist thing was brought up;
   - Lloyd Bentsen, Senator from Texas (and fire VP running-mate for Michael Dukakis; LB's the one who pilloried Dan Quayle, GHW Bush's running-mate as "not being Jack Kennedy"): vile piece of work this one ... if something didn't directly benefit Texas, he was against it; in this case, doubly so, since the FTA would open the US markets to "foreign" Canadian competitors; (that the reverse waqs also true didn't carry any weight);
   - some other guy who wanted to protect some industry in his state;
   - and the most shocking one ... some Senator from Maine: incredibly, despite the fact that there was (and now there is even more) much business between Quebec and Maine (their mutual border harbours lots of forests, so forestry workers and companies tend to go back and forth between them) and that that business would benefit from the FTA provisions, this bozo voted AGAINST the FTA deal's making it to the agenda because ... can you believe it ... POTATO FARMERS IN HIS STATE WOULD SUFFER!!! Not that there are many tater farmers in Maine, but the FTA deal almost flopped because this bozo was ready to let this humoungous trade deal founder so that some potato farmers wouldn't have to face Canadian competition without tariffs being imposed.
 
So, when Yanks are nattering about losing their sovereignty:
 
   a. we have to take them seriously, based on who's sitting where on Congressional Committees and who's pushing what in Congress;
   b. have as-good-sa-possible relations with the US Presidency, which is in a position to influence (i.e. cut deals with) individual Congressmen for the greater good; and
   c. have a good crew at the Washington Embassy to keep track of what's going on, to establish and maintain contacts with Congressional and Presidency players, and to as much as possible keep things from going off the rails.
 
Item B above is why the Chretien-Martin Liberal pandering to Canadian anti-Americans was such a dangerous thing to do. As for the same thing that was done in the Trudeau years: well, PET was a self-indulgent bunghole that way.
 
_________________________________________
To: National Media <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
From: Joe Hueglin <joe.hueglin@bellnet.ca>
Subject: F.Y.I: "NAFTA Superhighway" on AB government map.

Another Canadian Province, Alberta , is being cited in American Presidential Nomination Campaign rhetoric.  Is the NAFTA Superhighway akin to an "interplanetary " highway as some would have it, or reality?
 
I vote interplanetary. This Superhighway twaddle is just a catchy name that someone came up with to attract attention of what, at best, can only be the enlargenent or other upgrading of existing highways. See those yellow traces labelled "NAFTA Superhighway" below? Those are (the already existing) Interstates 29 and 35. The only thing new here is what appears to be major highway from the border to Winnipeg. Right now, all there is there is a secondary highway at best.
 
Notice how one of them (the branch on the right) ends in Minneapolis, hundreds of kilometres away from the Canadian border. There's an Interstate that leaves there and cuts across to the left branch. The only thing that links Minneapolis to Northwestern Ontario right above it is hundred of kilometres of secondary highways ... to lightly-populated areas in Canada (I've been there). Zzzzzz ....
 
Now, add in the Railway Superhighways, Maritime Superhighways, and Skyway SuperHighways, and you get a tangle of lines that tie down the American giant, Gulliver-like, boo-hoo. And worse: the biggest Maritime route is primarily Canadian-run (the St. Lawrence Seaway), as is the biggest and most efficient railway network (CN, an ex-Crown Corporation no less!, which has a network running from coast to coast, owns a bypass around the Chicago rail-bottleneck, AND owns a network running down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico). So:
 
   1. no WONDER the Americans feel menaced by invading hordes waving investment dollars; (ppppfffttt!) and
   2. it's only right that Canadians feel threatened by cut-price Old El Paso tabasco sauce and other Mexicanries flooding supermarkets and businesses and undermining the virtuous domestic-Canadian spice and jalapeno industry (double-pffftt!).
 
Hoping that the above proves educational (and mildly entertaining) ...
Stratos
 
P.S. And "being cited in Amuuurican Presidential Nomination Capmpaign rhetoric" ... pppfffttt! They'd call for exterminating feral bndgies in the Florida Everglades if it could get them votes.

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