Pebbles Take

Saturday, September 30, 2006


All you Kennedy people! Dion Owned you! Owned!


Thursday, September 28, 2006


Ignatieff: Front-runner confident the Liberal crown is his

"I'm going to win this [leadership] race" - Iggy

Despite their ego, at least they see the cards falls as they are:

They estimate that Rae will probably come in third, behind Gerard Kennedy and just ahead of Stephane Dion, registering support in the mid- to high teens. [Ignatieff coming in first naturally]

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fry Withdraws ... yawn

It is unfortunate Hedy Fry did not withdraw before September 15th, all of her declared support will have to run as independents, and not be passed to 'Bob'.

This is assuming Hedy has any more than marginal declared support (people had predicted her coming into convention with less than 50 votes) after a poll conducted in Ontario and Quebec indicated zero support for her.
Not a single respondent chose Fry.
"There were over 3,000 opportunities for people to pick her (as first, second or third choice)," said Graves.
"She literally got zero. I have never seen that in over 20 years of polling."
I remember when she started the race and predicted she could raise easily one million dollars.
During the summer, her campaign so lacked organization, and funding that she tagged along on Dion's three day tour of the provinces interior. Her home province was not organized enough to support her coming out.

The late withdrawl is symbolic of all the problems in Hedy Fry's campaign. The only thing I am disappointed with is her going to Rae.

I wonder if this is another one of Rae's I will sell memberships in the ridings of other candidates, (as was rumoured with Maurizio Bevilacqua and C.B.) as to pressure them to come with me to not face the embarassment of not being able to control their own riding.

With all the time Fry spent with Dion this summer, I would think she would have went to that side.


The Status Quo is the Way to Go

"It is an illusion to believe that constitutional reform, and the recognition of Quebec as a nation, could ensure a federalist victory if there were another referendum on sovereignty. "

"Only someone who doesn't know much about Canada's contemporary political history could entertain the idea of walking into such a swamp."

These two lines, open and close respectively an insightful article from Lysiane Gagnon [Link Reopening a constitutional can of worm] which unfortunately is behind the subscriber wall.

I can only hope that the nation can avoid another divisive constitutional round.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Constitutional Tar Baby

Probably the funniest column line I have seen in the race so far, comes from a former editor-in-chief of The Globe and Mail and The Gazette who is also an Order of Canada member.

Put in brackets to amplify his disdain, Norman Webster has this to say:

(Ignatieff, back home after three decades abroad, also wants us to go back to grappling with the constitutional tar baby. Aargh.) [emphasis added] [link]

This had me wondering, what is a tar baby, and after a little research found :
The more that Bre'r Rabbit fought the Tar-Baby, trying to get free, the more stuck he got. {source}

Funny aside, it is interesting to see the perspective from across the country. From Norman's view, the race is a four way between Ignatieff, Dion, Dryden and Rae. He mentions Kennedy as a possible fifth contender, but does not explore his biography/campaign as he does the other 'contenders'.

At least the race isn't just between Ignatieff and Rae anymore, as it has been portrayed as of late. Goes to show what a little polling with a completely false methodology can do for you [and by you I mean Dryden].

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What a little money can do to a campaign

So, I am reading the Saturday Globe today (props to the Rae article, even though I don't like their rose coloured glasses in relation to his inelectability in Ontario) sipping some earl grey tea with lemon, relaxing into the Style section when my phone rings.

The caller id has a 877 number. I ask myself, charities don't usually call on Saturdays, furnance cleaning places names always show up, so who is it?

After a moment of contemplating not answering, I pick up. I hear at the other end of the line, the monotone methodicalness of

"Hello, its Micheal Ignatieff!" (exclamation added, he sounded less than thrilled to be making calls.)

For a moment my political senses flutter, is it actually him? Is he trying to find the last undeclared members of the parties executive the weekend before delegate selection?

Then I hear him say in french [obviously translated by me into english] "press 1 to hear this message in French"

What? I think to myself? Does his campaign not have volunteers? How dare he use a recorded message and a Demon Dialer (albeit a high end one with the touch-tone options).

The content of the message was pretty blah, get out and vote, including the gem:

"In the next election, the Liberal party needs to speak with a strong united, progressive voice. With your support, we can make this happen. "

Progressive? Maybe. Leading to a united liberal party? I laugh at that second assertion. Ignatieff is more devisive than Volpe (everyone would be united against Volpe!) for reasons I am sure everyone acknowledges by now.

So what does the demon dialer represent? Money. How many people recieved these calls? I don't know. I do know that I and many other people respond much better to actual calls from actual people (usually volunteers) during municipal, provincial, and federal elections. I have known alot of candidates that have used auto dialers at their peril.

The lack of respect, and the contempt for voters autodialing represents is something that should be taken into account by all campaign managers. Hopefully other campaigns do not following this candidates lead in using this deplorable practice.

Micheal Ignatieff did not sound excited and engaged on the recording, and I think it was because he knew this was bad strategy, and an illadvised thing to do.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Rutherford to Shake up the Queensway

Ottawa gets first taste of Dave Rutherford on television, and I am not impressed:
CTV's Question Period: Media panel on gun control

Dave Rutherford
addition to the Ottawa scene seems to be the begining of the end of quasi-intelligent political coverage in this country. The balance that Rutherford seems to make is between Stockwell day style conservatives, and Stephen Harper type conservatives - not much of a balance at all. It is a disgrace he shares the surname of one of Alberta's great Liberal premiers.

This is a coup for the Harper government, to have a show [Mike Duffy Live] which influences the opinion makers of this country subverted by a die hard supporter from Alberta is disturbing.

A quote from Rutherford:
" I have biases like everyone else and I don't hide them. I think my listeners want to know where I come from on an issue. This doesn't mean I shut down debate, far from it; I love a chance to hear other opinions. I'm not going to agree with them all, but that's what this kind of radio is all about."

I just hope Mike Duffy recovers before Rutherford gets a toehold on the program.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Endorsing Dion

Looking into the leadership candidates, I have done lots of soul searching and research to find a candidate that is right for me. I started with reading Straight from the Heart, to help inspire me, and to help me narrow down what is needed in a leader.

Moving on, I did initially start reading a couple of Ignatieff's books, but before finishing them I concluded he did not have the experience necessary to be party leader. I hope to finish them on my drive to Montreal.

I discounted Rae, as Rae has the burden of too much bad political history along with not counteracting them by running for the Liberals in the four elections since he was premier.

Hall Findley has never held elected office (besides positions of importance of the sports club near her cottage). However, having run in a contested riding, and having lost puts her with more experience than Ignatieff, in my opinion, while her dealings with the party structure in dealing with the Belinda switch gives her experience in the 'guts' of the party. In hindsight it is too bad Belinda switched, and H-F didn't win a seat in the last election. It also reflects badly that a riding couldn't be found for her to run in last time. Hopefully she will be around next time.

Kennedy, while I like, I still do not believe he is ready. Coming from provincial politics, a few years as intergovernmental affairs, industry, or the treasurey board president would make him a shoe-in next time (if he kept up his french lessons)

Brison suffers from the same problem as Kennedy - youth. Hopefully Brison will get more cabinet experience and be cured of his foot in mouth diesease.

Bennet would be wonderful for party president.

Fry is running to secure a place in history, and to garuentee her a spot in cabinet when BC caucus is growing by leaps and bounds providing many alternative candidates for appointments.

Dryden if he could light up a room in english and french, he'd be near the top of my list.

Volpe - I had to look at a list of candidates to even remember he was running - I have never considered him as an acceptable choice

And we get to Dion. For Dion, I began searching, and came across these letters, here, here, and here. Along with hearing a speech about the three pillars (which I am happy to say has been expanded and refined alot since I heard it back in February), along with views on federalism, social justice, international development, women in politics, early learning and other matters, I am very confident that Stephane Dion is the right man, at the right time to lead our party back into power, and to lead Canada into a more prosperous future.