Friday, March 31, 2006

The role of Propaganda

Please remember some things take a little time before people recognize that a smiling cat with stiff hair, may actually turn out to be a nasty rat.

Look at the Bush example set. (and the example now appears to be being followed by our fearless leader)

In the Bush example, It took until the second term for the extent of the lies and the propaganda to wear off enough for people to finally recognize the cat as a rat.
THE FIRST VICTIM OF WAR IS THE TRUTH. We can all be taken advantage of by the propaganda machine. First you control the press into only reporting and talking about what you want to talk about. (sound familiar so far )
Then if you push to go to war for some reason you have to raise the ire and patriotic furvor of the general public.
You do this by say we are defending democracy( appealing to our way of life being threatened). Then Statements like "We are liberating and giving women and children freedom and a better way of life" (freeing them from rape and torture and the evils of ????), "These people only want to live like us in a free and democratic society."

Believe half of what you see and 1/4 of what you read. If you want the truth, do not block out or discount any opinions. Read from multiple sources, to be a good citizen of the world you need to look for your own truth.
Do not take some else's message as the truth. The more you hear the same story from some aligned or focused group, the more likely it is propaganda.
Propaganda is what is used in every society to make the common people go along with whatever the administration wants at any particular point in time.
Find you own truth.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

David Emerson No Stranger to Conflicts of Interest issues.

Is David Emerson really the kind of guy that makes a good Minister for International Trade. Will he make decisions that are good for you and me or will he always be thinking of his friends? What a tangled web some of our politicians weave, sometimes never quite crossing the line of breaching the law, or breach specific conflict on interest rules. It is somewhat amusing how our politicians can so easily switch back and forth between Senior Government positions, Government Minister positions, CEO of corporations which need, want or will substantially benefit from government policies. You would think that as a result of this we would end up with a lot more conflict of interest issues.
Conflict of interest has to be one of the most difficult items to prove. The Federal Governments definition of Conflict of Interest is below.
"For the purpose of this Act, a member has a conflict of interests when the member, the member’s spouse or a dependant in relation to the member has significant private interests ... that afford the opportunity for the member to benefit, whether directly or indirectly, as a result of the execution of, or the failure to execute, any office of the member."

The benefit directly part is probably pretty easy to prove. At some point or another a paper trail will show up that will get you in hot water. The indirectly is much, much more difficult. An example of indirectly might be as simple as getting a job in the future as CEO of a major corporation along with major pay and pension benefits that go along with it.
As you can see the indirect one would be both impossible to prove,as well it may not have any appearance ever of a conflict of interest. As the big guys say that's just the way things get done. Who benefits? Both the big business and the CEO. Who doesn't benefit usually one way or another - it's you and me.
Here's some of David Emerson's brushes with conflicts of interest and lobbying.

1. Action of Oxford Academy and Central School District regarding contingency budget expenses and conflicts of interest. Sept 15 1992"Although I have dismissed this appeal, I must take judicial notice of the fact that David Emerson, Board President is also President and owner of more than 5% of the stock of the Blue Ox Corporation. This corporation has contracted with respondent district since 1985 for the sale of fuel oil. General Municipal Law '801 prohibits a municipal officer from having an interest in any contract with the municipality of which he is an officer. General Municipal Law '802 lists the only exceptions. The record does not reflect that this contract fits into any exception. Although respondent asserts that David Emerson disclosed his interest pursuant to General Municipal Law '803, disclosure of such interest in no way cures a defect. If respondent was heretofore unaware of this violation, then respondent is now on notice. The continuation of such contracts may result in the removal of any board member engaged in this willful violation of the law."

2. David Emerson and Forest Practices Code.Question period BC legislature. "And guess who's leading the attack to get rid of the Forest Practices Code. Guess who's saying that the Forest Practices Code is overregulatory and full of red tape: none other than people like David Emerson. He stood up the other day -- representing, of course, Canfor -- and spoke volumes of praise for the Leader of the Opposition. He knows that the Leader of the Opposition is bought and paid for. They've made their contributions, they've got their deal, and part of that deal is to get rid of the Forest Practices Code.

3. David Emerson and BC Ferry dealArticle from;
"Federal industry Minister David Emerson, former B.C. Ferries chairman, has been asked to waive $ 125 million in federal import duties.Emerson has a major conflict of interest in the case because he happens to be a former chairman of B.C. Ferries and has close connections to David Hahn, the American CEO recruited by Campbell and the Liberals as the new head of B.C. Ferries."

4. David Emerson and VA AuthorityQuestion period BC legislature."All tax policy is, of course, constantly under review. Mr. David Emerson has been to see me and my staff. He did lobby, as do most groups, for tax reduction, and we've carefully considered his comments. I might note, however, that after he came over on behalf of the airport authority and asked for further tax concessions -- this government had already exempted the new airport authority from any of the income tax, property transfer tax or other taxes -- he then had a press conference and announced that they themselves are looking at imposing a brand new departure tax on everybody leaving the airport. It's quite interesting that we get the same message from everybody: give us tax relief, but don't worry about anybody else's problems.

5. David Emerson CEO Canfor, Lobbist, Softwood Lumber NegotiatorArticle at:
From article:"Canfor is a member of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, which employs André Albinati of Earnscliffe Strategy Group as a lobbyist. The B.C. Lumber Trade Council also employed Michael Robinson as a lobbyist until September 24, 2003--three months after the media reported that Robinson was leading Martin's prime-ministerial transition team. Emerson is also listed in the Lobbyist Registry as Canfor's "principal representative" when it hired Bob Plecas to lobby Industry Canada and other ministries concerning softwood lumber. "

Thursday, March 23, 2006

P.M. Harper has the nerve to lecture on Democracy

Harper says Belarus election "was not free and fair"

Well Mr. Harper, perhaps we should clean up democratic issues in Canada before lecturing other countries on how their democracy should work. What about being FAIR to the voters of the riding of Vancouver Kingsway ? When are the voting rights going to be respected by you and your current Minister of International Trade David Emerson ? When will they get an MP that represents the party they voted for ?

See story below.
Canada raps "dictatorial and abusive" BelarusWed Mar 22, 2006 1:40 PM EST OTTAWA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the recent election in Belarus as unfair on Wednesday and said he was shocked that such "a dictatorial and abusive regime" could exist in Europe. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko easily won re-election in a poll on Sunday, which many international observers said was flawed.
Harper, whose Conservative Party took power in Ottawa only last month, said the Belarus election "was not free and fair" and noted that opposition workers and candidates had been harassed by the authorities.
"I am shocked that a dictatorial and abusive regime such as this one can continue to exist in today's Europe," Harper said in a statement."We will work with other free and democratic societies in developing our response to this situation."
See also:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tories to allow free vote on Floor crossing

Tories to allow free vote on Floor crossing

21 Mar 2006
Great we may finally get a law, But will David Emerson Face his constituents.
From my point of view this is still too little an too late.
I would be happy enough to see this become law, But that does not change the fact that David Emerson should resign and face the voters of Vancouver Kingsway in a by-election.
Oh and Mr. Harper I am not a partisan Zealot, I don't belong to any party and haven't in the past.
David Emerson's floor crossing and the timing of it , just proves what ethic standards he lives to, what he thinks of our voting rights, and his total disregard of our democracy.
The group of 20,400 + that have signed the recall David Emerson petition are not all Partisan zealots. As a matter of fact the number that have signed the petition EXCEEDS the total number of votes you received.
Any poll I have seen from the east coast to the west coast say what you did was wrong and that you should face your constituents in a by-election. The poll results I have seen range from 60 % on the east coast of canada to 80 % on the westcoast.
Time to resign now, the issue is not going to go away.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The CPC view of Democracy ?

Is the CPC really interested in Democracy ?

CPC policy in the Stand up for Canada Document describes how "Liberal prime ministers have often unilaterally appointed Liberal candidates to run in ridings, leaving various ethnic and cultural groups feeling they have been discriminated against."
Then leaves the riding of Vancouver Kingsway "various ethnic and cultural groups feeling they have been discriminated against" by encouraging their elected Liberal David Emerson to switch parties and represent the conservatives in this riding as a conservative. Even though the conservatives finished a distant 3rd in voter support in the riding)

The CPC policy states "On issues of moral conscience, such as abortion, the definition of marriage and euthanasia, the Conservative Party acknowledges the diversity of deeply held personal convictions among individual Party members and the right of Members of Parliament to adopt positions in consultation with their constituents and to vote freely." and yet does not allow our democratically elected MPs to speak or discuss any topics not approved by Stephen Harper !!

CPC Policy states "A Conservative government will:
• Give the Ethics Commissioner the power to fine violators.
• Prevent the Prime Minister from overruling the Ethics Commissioner on whether the Prime Minister, a minister, or an official is in violation of the Conflict of Interest Code.
• Enshrine the Conflict of Interest Code into law.
• Close the loopholes that allow ministers to vote on matters connected with their business interests.
• End “venetian blind” trusts that allow ministers to remain informed about their business interests, and require all ministerial assets to be placed in truly blind trusts.
• Allow members of the public – not just politicians – to make complaints to the Ethics Commissioner.
• Make part-time or non-remunerated ministerial advisers subject to the Ethics Code."

And yet Stephen Harper will refuses to cooperate with the Ethics commissioner.

CPC Policy describes democratic reforms to make the senate elected then, Appoints a non elected Michael Fortier to the senate and then as minister to Public works and government services. After the sponsorship scandal , how can we now have some one who is not elected and not does not sit in parliament and therefore can not be questioned by other MP's be the minister whose department is responsible for:

Accountability and Transparency
Public Works and Government Services Canada continuously strives to be transparent and accountable in how it does business. Here you will find links to detailed departmental information on our operations, including
Proactive Disclosure
- Information on contracts over $10,000.
- Information on travel and hospitality expenses for senior departmental officials.
- Information on the reclassification of occupied positions by PWGSC.
Transparent Contracting
Code of Fair Contract Practices
Government Moves to Strengthen Transparency
An Integrity Pact Between Government and Suppliers
- A comprehensive government-wide review of procurement objectives, activities, policies, legislation, and management.
- A database containing information on contracts awarded by PWGSC on behalf of other federal government departments and agencies.
Internal Audits and Reviews
helps guide, assess and continuously improve the ethical conduct of departmental employees.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The 39 Silent MPs

The Emerson issue continues to be a nightmare for Harper. I’m sure Mr. Harper appointed Emerson for what he thought were the right reasons, but look at the costs. We now have an electorate that no longer trusts Harper or the CPC to keep their word. The party no longer looks to have the ethical high road. The promise of democratic reform looks totally unbelievable and if changes are made, what about the sacrificing of the democratic rights of the people of Vancouver Kingsway. Are all of our votes equally expendable if for some reason they fit the need at the time ?
What of the 39 re elected Conservative MPs that voted in support of the MP floor-crossing prohibition bill, bill c-251. Thirty nine are now silent.
Is this the kind of party the conservatives are now, a party where MPs shut up and sit on their hands and don't say what they believe ? A party that used to support voters rights, the rights of constituents and now that the party's in power principals go out the window ?Why are they not speaking up on the David Emerson issue. It is clearly wrong, clearly against their ethics and beliefs and clearly not what the voters of Vancouver kingsway wanted.
More than 20,000 in Vancouver area have chosen not to remain silent on this issue, have a look at the petition at and read the comments.
"The silent 39" . The 39 MPs are now proving themselves very questionable value to their constituents as they will sit on their hands when it comes to question of ethics. They believe the Emerson switch was wrong, they believe in silence.
Rona Ambrose - Edmonton Rob Anders - Calgary
David Anderson - Cypress hills James Bezan -Selkirk
Garry Breitkreuz - Yorkton Gord Brown-Leeds—Grenville
Rick Casson -Lethbridge John Cummins- Delta
Barry Devolin- Haliburton Ken Epp - Edmonton
Diane Finley - Haldimand—Norfolk Gary Goodyear - Cambridge
Nina Grewal -Fleetwood—Port Kells
Helena Guergis -Simcoe Grey Richard Harris-Cariboo—Prince George
Russ Hiebert- South surrey Jay Hill -Prince George—Peace River
Brian Jean - Fort McMurray Randy Kamp -Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge
Gerald Keddy -South Shore—St. Margaret's Daryl Kramp -Prince Edward,Hastings
Tom Lukiwski - Regina James Lunney -Nanaimo—Alberni
Rob Merrifield - Yellowhead Larry Miller -Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound
Bob Mills - Red Deer Bev Oda - Durham
Charlie Penson -Peace river Pierre Poilievre -Nepean—Carleton
Joe Preston- Elgin Middlesex James Rajotte- Edmonton-Leduc
Carol Skelton - Saskatoon Joy Smith -Kildonan—St. Paul
Myron Thompson - wild rose David Tilson -Dufferin—Caledon
Bradley Trost- Saskatoon Maurice Vellacott -Saskatoon
Jeff Watson- Essex Lynne Yelich -Blackstrap

Thursday, March 09, 2006

We care about Childcare. No Really I mean It.

So here you go families read it an weep. The 1200.00 is taxable as well, unless your a stay at home Mom. In which case you don't pay tax on it, but then you don't need childcare. (I guess it helps pay for the swiming and dance lessons for rich folks who can afford to have only 1 parent work.)

- Prepared by the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada

Stephen Harper says he'll tear up child care funding agreements with the provinces. The Conservatives would take back billions of already committed child care funding that the provinces are counting on. The provinces are responsible for child care and would have to abandon their plans to use these dollars for much-needed expansion and quality improvements, with devastating results. For example, Manitoba would have to cancel plans for 3,000 new community-based child care spaces and 200 nursery school places would no longer be feasible. Toronto would not get its planned 5,000 new subsidies to help low- and modest-income parents pay for child care and would not be able to build 58 new planned centres. Saskatchewan would have to cancel an announced wage increase for child care staff. And the plans of other provinces would meet a similar fate.No worries, the Conservatives will give families $25 a week.
The proposed allowance would be taxed back from all families except those with one parent at home, so $25 represents a maximum. This cash would not help parents find high quality child care - you can't buy what doesn't exist. Even existing child care (only enough for 15 per cent of young children) costs 10 or 20 times the $3 or $4 a day the allowance would provide. While many families do need income support, families with young children very much need and want a range of quality, affordable child care services.
An increase in public investment in high quality child care and at the same time an increase in the existing National Child Benefit would make much more sense for today's families.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A funeral for Democracy, may result in a birth.

A funeral for democracy was held today In Vancouver Kingsway. Has democracy really died in Canada?
We'll it's close.

Stephen Harper, David Emerson and a bunch of Conservatives who have previously espoused the better way, the way to more democracy, proponents of allowing MPs being recalled are now jumping up and down of the chest of democracy screaming "Die sucker Die".

But, despite the grotesgue efforts of Harper, Emerson and the bunch of chicken crap MPs elected as conservatives (who are willing to say what they believe only until the PM says quiet) , In Canada and in Vancouver Kingsway, democracy is showing a spark of life.

It could actually be that very very unintentionally The Emerson and fortier issue have given democracy a stronger spark than it has had in the past 50 years, who knows maybe even since Louis Real lead the rebellion in 1885.

The people of Vancouver Kingsway are fighting for it, they're protesting, making mock funerals, running mock by-elections, signing petitions, writing letters to the editor and to the MPs.

The petition is now at over 20,000 signatures to recall Emerson.

It is wonderful to see people sticking up for their democratic rights, and the democratic rights of all Canadians at the same time.

I congratulate you, and I thank you. I want to let you know you are not alone. I will fight with you. I will write my MP, I will write letters, I will particpate in my democracy.

Poverty In our Democracy

I heard yesterday that Dalton McGuinty did not believe that he was going to be able to keep his promise to stop deducting federal the National Childcare Benefit from welfare payments.

Think about that for a minute. A single parent with one child on partial welfare and working at a minimum wage job may be making as little as 16,000 a year.
They have rent to pay, daycare, groceries, phone, transportion, clothes and misc. Just like you and I do. Do I need to do an expense budget to show how ridiculous this is.

These are poorest people in the country, living in poverty, and we can't manage to allow then to recieve the money that the federal government trys to give them, because we in Ontario can't afford it.

I can't think of any one more deserving of the term Poverty Pimp that Dalton. Can you ?


How tax cuts usually work:

A family of four earning 75,000 to 90,000 $ you probably get about 1000.00 - 1500 $ a year, enough to buy a liitle more feul for your snowmobile or boat. Or maybe a bit to put towards a vacation.

A family of four earning 100,000 to 200,000 $ you may get between 2000.00 - 3000 $ a year.

And yet the person earning working at their minimum wage job being subsidised by welfare may get an extra 100.00 if they are lucky.

Do we really want a tax cut that bad, when the tax cuts mean some kid gets no breakfast. (or have to eat Kraft diner all month long)

Time to stop turning your backs, this is not a charity or foodbank issue, this is a political issue and we need to deal with it with our taxes and our polititians.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Vancouver Still Fighting for our Democracy

Our friends in BC and Vancouver Kingsway, are continuing to fight for our democratic rights. Support them by writing letters to newspapers, write to your MP, sign petition (links at the side of this page or take part in a walk for democracy.

Here's a recent note from Vancouver:
Emerson Campaign taking the fight into the streets
Starting this Saturday at 10am and 1:30pm the Campaign to De-elect David Emerson is taking the fight into the streets. We will be rallying at the corner of Kingsway and Victoria Drive and will be including a funeral for Democracy (complete with a coffin and pall bearers). More than 138 people have signed up on-line to volunteer and support the cause since David Emerson decided to arrest his constituents for wishing to peacefully speak with him. Hundreds have requested lawn signs and the momentum continues to grow.

You can get lots of news of what's going on locally in Vancouver at their site.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What's your democracy Pick One.

I talked to my daughter last night. A brilliant student,(At least I think so) currently completeing her Masters degree at University of Toronto.

We were talking about democracy and politics and such, and she said keep working on changes to the current system, but Dad we're sort of working around the edges of the issues.

Here's an example. The arguments on David Emerson gets twisted and turned around by our current system.

Case 1: You vote for the individual ? Is he the best guy to represent you in your riding ? You don't care what party he belongs to right, It shouldn't matter if he is the best guy to represent your riding.

Case 2: You vote for the party ? The party is what currently describes policy, what the party things is right and wrong, where they stand on democratis rights, gay rights, medicare rights, social policy etc etc. The stuff we read in the newspapers , hear on TV and are bombared by in an election campaign.

The current party system has huge control over their MPS (I say their MPS not your's on purpose here). They control what they can say, and can't say. In the case of David Emerson you see how quickly the Conservatives who cryed foul, blonde dipstick and other names our polititians just don't deserve to be called, instantly changed to keep their collective mouth's closed over this party switch.

So the fundenmental problem in our democracy is what ? You got me, I don't know, but i know we deserve better.

We deserve better Prime Ministers. We need Prime ministers with morals and willing to fight for the good of all canadains not just his party favorites.

We deserve better MP's, not ones that just tow the party line because an issue happens to go their way this time, who cares if you said it was wrong before .

We need MP's that stand up and run for what they believe in (espouse policys they believe, and say what they mean), and are willing to tell us why they fell the way they do.

David Emerson who is Stephen Harpers Worse enemy one day and his best friend 14 days later.

We need laws that protect voters from these corporate criminals cleverly disguised as polititians.

We need the abilty to vote for what we believe, to have those beliefs fought for by our MPS.

If we need parties at all, we need parties that are not power hungry, that don't toss around our MPS like they are so much cannon fodder, if they don't happen to believe exactly the same way as the prime minister does on an issue.

Maybe our prime ministers shouldn't be selected until after the election. Maybe the first act of parliament is to put forward a list of 10 or 12 possible MPS and then pick a prime minister. That way were not as distracted when we vote by trying to figure out if we are voting for a party or MP or a Prime Minister.

What ever we do , what we are doing now is not fair and not working. David Emerson is the example of what is not working. We deserve and need better.
I'd love to hear your ideas !!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Suing David Emerson

Way to go Peter.
Lets keep fighting for a better democracy In Canada.

As Abbie Hoffman said "Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles."

Your can see Peter Dimtrovs full article at

Vancouver Winter Olympics tainted already !!

What a way to start.

We expect our Canadian Athletes to be drug free, fair minded, moral (not cheat) and represent our country with dignity and fairness.

Now we go on the world stage with our own hosting of the winter Olympics in Vancouver Whistler in 2010 and yet before we even begin we allow the Federal Minister responsible for the Olympics, (David Emerson) to be a politician that has just cheated the voters of Vancouver Kingsway.

To bad we don't expect the same fair play, and attitude of dignity and fairness of our politicians as we do of our athletes.

No medals for you David.