Pebbles Take

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Conservative largesse hits again

The Conservatives spent $9 thousand dollars on an untendered contract to design the cover of the Federal Accountability Act. The contract to Acart Communications for cover design concepts was $9,048 to be exact.

I have an idea for a cover, how about the standard cover that has been used for years, a white cover with the title of the act.

But it is interesting to see where the Canada's new government logo came from, since it is featured so prominently on

Yes, money from the accountability act has provided a resource to the Conservative Party. I shouldn't be surprised.

Thanks but no thanks McKenna

Frank - the last thing we need is another coronation, not that I think that if you jump in after labour day that will happen. Hopefully this trial balloon gets shot down like the many other attempts to tempt him back into the race. No need to embarrass yourself, unless Ignatieff leaves for some health reasons {shoshana} . The article is right however, that

"Mr. Ignatieff, on the other hand, doesn't have one [an organization]. He is not the one who has created the organization: the organization has created him. They can drop him like a stone if he's not perceived to be a winning candidate any longer. "

But we don't need or want Frank to come back. We don't need a savior.

And I personally am very comfortable with Graham leading us into a snap election if one is called. I am not sure where the journalist found the 'strategists' but they seem like very crazy people. Almost Martin Kool-aid drinkers type people. The very people whom had been pushing McKenna to run.

The Hill Times Article.

What NOT to do as a PTA President

Talk to the Toronto Star at length about how the Leadership race and I quote
"I gotta tell you, there's very little interest out here, apart from a few diehard Liberals."

- In a province where the Liberal membership has tripled over the course of the race? That sounds pretty exciting to me.

{LINK} to the TorStar Story

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dinning is Dimming According to Tories

One of my regular correspondents is a friend that moved to Alberta and converted to Torydom, our conversation was about a new issue in the Tory leadership race. Here, Here and most importantly here is some background on this.

Lexis Background on Dinning and Martin

"Premier Ralph Klein said former provincial treasurer Jim Dinning is probably embarrassed that his private message calling for Paul Martin to replace Prime Minister Jean Chretien has become public.

But Klein's not sure whether it will damage Dinning's chances if he makes a run at Alberta's Conservative leadership one day.

The premier was responding to a new story that Dinning wrote a note calling for Martin, the federal finance minister, to replace Chretien. The note accompanied a $25,000 donation by TransAlta Corp. to Martin's unofficial leadership campaign. Dinning is TransAlta's executive vice-president for sustainable development and external relations.

The note insisted it was time for Chretien to step down and be replaced as prime minister by Martin. "It was urging the replacement of Chretien with Martin -- soon," a Liberal insider said.

Dinning confirmed Tuesday that he wrote the note, but suggested it is TransAlta that wants Martin to replace Chretien.

"Remember, it is TransAlta Corp. that you're talking about, and I am an officer of TransAlta Corp.," he said. "By the very definition of TransAlta making a contribution to the Paul Martin campaign, we were expressing a preference."

Dinning has often been touted as a possible successor to Klein.

On Wednesday, Klein was reluctant to say that Dinning would be embarrassed because he aspires to become involved in provincial politics again. "I can't speak for Jim Dinning, but Jim is sort of a political junkie.

"One assumes that's not his personal donation, it's a donation on the part of TransAlta."

Martin, Klein said, is probably one of the most popular federal ministers in Alberta. But he said he would not vote for the Liberals, even with Martin as leader.

Dinning could not be reached for comment Wednesday."

"TORONTO - A note calling for Paul Martin to replace Jean Chretien that accompanied a controversial $25,000 donation to Martin's leadership campaign was written by one of Alberta's most prominent Conservatives, former provincial finance minister Jim Dinning, the Globe and Mail reported today.

Dinning, who was a key figure in Ralph Klein's Tory government and is touted as his potential successor, had not previously been identified as a backer of efforts to replace the prime minister with Martin, the finance minister.

The $25,000 donation to a trust for Martin's leadership campaign, as yet unofficial, came from TransAlta Corp., an energy distribution company where Dinning is executive vice-president for sustainable development and external affairs.

It was accompanied by a note that insisted it was time for Chretien to go and be replaced as prime minister by Martin. "It was urging the replacement of Chretien with Martin -- soon," a Liberal insider said.

Government sources told the Globe on Tuesday that Dinning wrote and signed the note to fundraiser Jim Palmer.

Dinning confirmed that Tuesday, but suggested that it is TransAlta that wants Martin to replace Chretien.

"Remember, it is TransAlta Corp. that you're talking about, and I am an officer of TransAlta Corp.," he said. "By the very definition of TransAlta making a contribution to the Paul Martin campaign, and chose to do so."

Dinning was treasurer in the Klein government from 1992 to 1997, when it acted dramatically to eliminate the province's deficit.

The hefty donation caused opposition politicians last month to allege Martin had a conflict of interest because Palmer collected it. At the time, Palmer was also being paid to advise the Finance Department on taxation of the resource sector.

One of his law partners, Daryl Fridhandler, who is also a Liberal fundraiser, called this week for a vote to dump Chretien in a leadership review at next February's Liberal convention.

Calgary-based TransAlta, which has assets of $7.8 billion and reported net earnings of $277.7 million in 2001, is a large energy producer and distributor that operates coal, gas, diesel and hydro power plants.

Credit: The Canadian Globe and Mail"

Thanks Lexis Nexis!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Mi Rumours

"Canada should never be quiet when a democratic state is attacked by terrorists." - but a leadership candidate that has a good chance of being Prime Minister should be quiet? Link

There are also a bunch of rumours floating around, that MI is MiA due to health problems that may interfere with his ability to stay in the race. Rumours in SB's comment section

In any event, the lack of a general statement from MI, shows that his lack of electoral political experience. Hopefully he starts learning fast.

Voters, expect elected leaders to have opinions on world events that are well formulated to represent the electors on the international scene. That these opinions count for (usually) squat doesn't matter.

Now, I would link to this, or credit it, but it was by an anon comment:

Mi Community
"Attention Ignatieff people. There is a rumor floating around some Liberal blogs that Ignatieff will be dropping out of the race and this explains his lack of comment on what is happening in the Middle East. If this is not true, this is certainly something Ignatieff and company will want to quash.:

Calgary Grit
"This is a man who has studied the Middle East for decades and is certainly well aware of the situation there; I'm sure he could have formulated a well reasoned statement in a limited amount of time. "

TDH Strategies
"Blind support is never productive, and from my point of view, Michael needs to weigh in with his depth of knowledge and perspective immediately. "

Mi Community 2
"Lebanon: Ignatieff zzzzzzzzz"

Red Tory
"As someone who has ostensibly “endorsed” Ignatieff, I cannot tell you how profoundly disappointed I am by his lack of response whatsoever on this issue."

Behiond the Headlines

"Ignatieff has positioned himself as the foreign affairs expert in this race. He's published widely on international relations and war and yet, we've heard nothing from him yet. If we are to consistently place him amongst the "front runners" in this race, shouldn't he act like it? "

Paper Dynamite Online
"Michael Ignatieff's reluctance to comment on the Israel/Lebanon crisis makes perfect sense if he is the candidate rumoured to be pulling out of the leadership race, due to health reasons. "

Stop Harper
"imspartacus said...
Inside info or a fertile imagination? I believe people will be surprised and a little shocked at the latest development -- one of the frontrunners is dropping out next week due to 'health reasons' and will throw his support behind the former minister from Quebec."

Shoshana B
"If Ignatieff and his team don't come out with a statement in the next 24 hours, he has got to be out of this leadership race. "

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Taking the Big Red Machine in for a Tune Up Part I

How do we turn ourselves back into an Election Winning Machine?

As a party we have come to the conclusion - a seventy member executive is unable to be as nimble as we want it to be. We must ask ourselves, how do we want to fix it?

A significant problem can be the executives themselves, all wishing to control the levers of power. This would hamstring the executive from forming more nimble sub-committees with defined mandates. Having the executive make significant operational decisions is also misguided, and the executive could be overburdened with decisions.

An option to solve this problem, would be to turn the current executive positions into a board of directors, which provides direction to a much smaller executive, which implements the decisions of the board and takes care of the day to day operation of the party.

Many people have brought up ideas of a council of presidents (of all the ridings). I believe this isn't a good idea, and would be pretty useless, what would it do?.

It would however be useful to train riding presidents in party operations, how to help win seats, and other things. It would more be a weekend workshop for presidents, either by province region, or maybe national.

In my next post I will talk about the future for PTAs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Make mine a Rae and Ginger on the rocks please!

Bob is is certainly a polarizing figure in Canadian politics. In 1995 labour and the right ganged up on him to elect the Harris government.

The Canadian Auto Workers, the Ontario division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union turned on the provincial NDP and in turn Rae.

I remembered a quote from Mike Bliss, which I looked up on Lexis Nexis from the 1995 campaign
"No one is more horrified at this thought than today's rigid defenders of the status quo, the New Democrats. Irony of ironies: In the desperate three-way fights taking place in ridings across the province, every vote the NDP siphons away from the faltering Liberals helps make a Tory victory, and a turn to the right in our government, more likely.

In more ways than one, Bob Rae is Mike Harris' best weapon."

In some ridings across the country this is true federally today. So, Rae finally realized the error of his Dipper ways, and it only took him ten years to do it.

I also decided to look up some classic Rae while I was on Lexis today.

Rae on debt:

`The debt and deficit are like a lot of other things, but they aren't the things to worry about,'' Rae fielding calls to the CBC's Radio Noon talk show.

``You've got to worry about jobs, you've got to worry about health and services, and I think we have to ask ourselves whether it's right to leave an awful lot of people entirely on their own to face a very uncertain world.''

Rae, who campaigned yesterday in Mississauga, Toronto and Hamilton, was asked on the phone-in show if Ontario's debt and deficit is ``really just hype?''

``I think there is too much of pushing various panic buttons[on the debt], and I don't think that's helpful, I don't think that's right,'' Rae said.

Lower interest rates would reduce the interest charges on provincial debt, Rae said, and allow the province to climb out of debt sooner and use the savings more productively.

So, we have a Premier, whom was interventionist enough to ask for interest rates to be adjusted for political reasons, and whom was not concerned about the debt.
A person whoes ideas of successful governance was completly different from the Chretien
/Martin financial frameworks, whom attacked that framework while in government.

And now we are supposed to buy that he has learned his lesson, while he had four elections to get elected as a Liberal MP in support of the Liberal vision and he didn't take them? When he was asked every election since he was defeated as Ontario Premier to serve in a safe seat, and likely offered a cabinet post for his efforts by the leader and didn't follow through?

Rae, whom attacked Lyn McLeod and Mike Harris for having a``a lovers' quarrel'' during the 1995 election debate, is still an enigma to me. Too bad he didn't prove himself a liberal by runnig against Layton in the last election. I can't support someone with so little depth in the party, and such a poor record as Ontario Premier.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New to this blog thing

Hi! I am pretty new to this blog thing, so forgive me if I screw up royally. Having some help setting this site up on LibBlogs would be great!

I was inspired by the articles in the Star and Globe this week about blogs, and have decided to get involved, and provide a different view (and hopefully more seasoned perspective) than people with less depth in the party.

That being said, I am a table officer with one of the parties PTAs (can you guess who I am?), and in my day supported John Turner for leadership (hopefully I have learned some lessons since then).

It would be really helpful for people to ask questions, or suggest topics to write on, or ask for a response to a piece on their blog.