Category Archives: Parkdale High Park

Ontario Liberals insinuate ONDP hates babies, or when will Ontarians tire of cynical, disingenuous, and negative politics???

As a constituent of what must be one of Ontario’s most progressive ridings, Parkdale-High Park, I was dismayed and disappointed by the first piece of Liberal campaign literature that showed up in my mailbox. In a riding where the Conservative candidate, by all accounts very worthy, is an extreme long shot to get elected, I get that the Liberals will be attacking the NDP. It will be interesting to see if the Liberals will once again engage in personal smears on NDP incumbent, Cheri DiNovo- one of the strongest and most outspoken MPP’s at Queens Park. It devastatingly backfired before, I don’t think they’ll do it again.

Still, for some inexplicable reason the Liberals have decided to attack the NDP on its environmental policy. Personally, I think it’s a big mistake. The NDP is now rolling out very solid environmental platform. The NDP has long been recognized as the strongest advocate of  the environment of the three major parties. And the NDP has in its caucus one of the strongest minds and advocates for the environment, former Greenpeace Canada Director, Peter Tabuns.

Regardless, in my mailbox arrives a dead tree -I mean a glossy multi-ink cardboard card- with a picture of a beautiful baby playing on a lawn on one side and on the other side “Fact: Doctors agree, harmful pesticides pose serious health risks”.   First, I like the redundancy in that sentence. It’s foolproof even. Really, do you need doctors to confirm that harmful pesticides poses a health risk. Doesn’t anything that is harmful pose a health risk. Anyway, I think if you’re going to kill trees to send out messages to the electorate, you should communicate truthfully, logically and responsibly. This campaign piece is none of that.

Underneath this “fact”, we are told that PCs and the NDP both voted against the provincial pesticide ban introduced by the Liberals. Apparently because the “PCs [Progressive Conservatives] side with pesticide lobby”  and because the “NDP sides with PC’s [Personal Computers???]”.  The inference, of course, we are asked to make is that the only reason that someone would vote against the proposed legislation would be that one hates babies, one hates lawns, and one especially hates babies playing on lawns. Moreover, we should be reminded that the ONDP is the second coming of Mike Harris and “the proof” is that both the PC’s and the ONDP voted against the pesticide ban. Ontario Liberals, you have got to be kidding!

First, this is so reminiscent of  Harper’s attacks during the recent federal election; one attack that particularly irked me was the federal Conservatives insinuation that because Ignatieff  had rejected the budget, Ignatieff must be against seniors and students.  I guess the Ontario Liberals figure that if it worked for Harper, it might work for McGuinty. Applied in this case, the “logic” runs if the ONDP voted against the provincial pesticide ban, it must be because its against babies.

As is patently obvious, this attack is founded on puerile and faulty logic. Just because pesticides may be harmful  and pose serious health risks doesn’t mean any proposed legislation around a pesticide ban must be supported. Moreover, just because the ONDP voted against the pesticide ban, doesn’t mean they did so for the same reasons as the PCs.

Anyway, should anyone want to confirm that Andrea Horwath is not Mike Harris, or that the ONDP does not in fact hate babies, nor hopes to foreclose our future by destroying our environment, go to Stop the Smears. Also, for anyone really interested in the actual debate around the provincial  pesticide ban proposed by the Liberals, read the actual debates here.

It’s sad that Dalton McGuinty prefers to wage a negative campaign, forcing parties like the ONDP to expend great effort just to counteract these smears. It’s sad that this distracts from real debate and discussion on very serious and critical issues. It’s sad that McGuinty would rather have people vote against his opponents than vote for his vision and record.


Message to "Strategic Voters" in Parkdale High Park: Vote Peggy Nash

You know that in principle I’m profoundly against strategic voting, which I see as the symptom not the cure for a deeply flawed electoral system. But I guess if there’s one thing worse than “strategic voting” it’s “non strategic strategic voting”.  “Strategic voting” advocates say to vote for Peggy Nash in the riding of Parkdale High Park. 

Wouldn’t want you to vote for the other guy thinking you were voting “strategically”.

p.s. contrary to misinformation that’s out there Elizabeth May is NOT telling Green supporters to vote Liberal.

p.s.s. Even, a site hopelessly skewed in favour of the Liberals, is recommending that voters of Parkdale High Park vote freely with their hearts. Both Peggy Nash and the other guy are “environmental stars”.

Dr Dawg, one of Canada’s best bloggers, officially endorses the NDP

I know it’s not a shocker, but do link over there for some very compelling reasons to vote for Jack Layton and the NDP.

A Message from Peggy Nash

Throughout this campaign I’ve written mainly with the “progressive” voter in mind, and have attempted to discredit the Liberal Party of Canada’s claim to represent that label.  I’ve discussed things like disingenuous or cynical politics played by Liberals (here, here, here, here).  I’ve noted Dion’s highly dubious costing of the Liberal platform and his “regressive” voodoo economics around the Liberal position on slashing corporate tax rates. Progressive voters really just need to keep in mind, that if the Liberal Party of Canada actually stood for “progress”, they would run on electoral reform to address a failing, unfair electoral system which produces things like strategic voting and I believe is partly responsible for decreasing voter turnouts and citizen participation in our democracy.

Peggy Nash really needs no introduction. She is among the most respected MP’s in the House of Commons by her peers and by parliamentarians. About the race in Parkdale High Park read here, here, here.  Election Prediction Project now predicts Peggy Nash the winner.


Peggy Nash brings years of real experience in negotiating with some of Canada’s largest businesses. Canada needs her judgement and skills in the House of Commons in this time of uncertainty and worry.”  
Jim Stanford, Economist and Contributing Columnist, Globe and Mail

“This exemplary woman is not a promise. Peggy Nash is a given.”
Cheri DiNovo, MPP Parkdale- High Park

“ You can vote with more than your heart, even your head, for … Peggy Nash in Parkdale-High Park…. and be confident that you will have made your mark beside the name of one of the best MPs that Canada will elect next week.”
NOW, October, 9, 2008

“One of the best local MPs in any party….”
Don Martin, The National Post, October 6, 2008

“…power chick NDP (MP) Peggy Nash… and MPP Cheri DiNovo, they have the riding all sewn up”
Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun, Sept 24, 2008

“Kudos …to MP Peggy Nash for spurring opposition to the sale of Canadarm and Radarsat-2 satellite technology to a U.S. defence contractor…”
David Olive, Toronto Star, April 14, 2008

“Laurels to …MP Peggy Nash: For standing up for Ontario; too often our representatives in Ottawa forget their roots.”
Editorial Page, Toronto Star, March 1, 2008

The Toronto Star should be ashamed!

I was wondering when The Star would ramp up it shilling for the Liberal Party of Canada, and I guess today’s Saturday edition must have been decided as the best time to do so. I suspect that next Saturday is when we’ll see the editorial board come out and officially endorse the LPC. I still maintain The Star should have been claimed as a campaign expense by the McGuinty Liberals last year and that they failed the public miserably in their coverage of  the provincial election.

It’s unfortunate that the Left and progressives in this country need to be dependent on the whims of  the CBC and The Star in order that occasionally and inconsistently their voices may be heard in the MSM. But, it’s downright shameful when The Star resorts to this kind of irresponsible, transparently biased, reporting.  Seriously, in this story The Star approaches Cherniakian levels of desperation and disingenuousness. As we’ve seen in the last couple of days, The Star’s story line to aid and abet the Liberals is going to be to attempt to refashion Dion’s image as leader and to create the impression that the tide is turning. 
Thus, under the banner of Winning Support, we see the bold headline Dion in need of converts”.  We are then told the story of conversion of  Sue Cox.  I think Sue Cox was chosen because apparently women supporters of the Liberal Party have been drifting over to Conservatives for a more phallic leader. But anyway, this articulate woman had come to see Dion with a certain negative predisposition and amazingly walked away “completely changed”.  Cox’s conversion was of biblical proportion. It was like Saul becoming Paul on the road to Damascus. The tide is turning, Dion is a really leader (note how, he defended Lesley Hughes, then after flip flopping, following apparently heavy influence from Jewish community groups, he showed leadership and fired her, without even telling her).  The tide is turning, the campaign isn’t over. We have a leader. Right? Well, not so much. (numbers today showed NDP and Liberals tied in support at 21% and Liberals bleeding support to Conservatives).
Back to the article, and Sue Cox could have been one of those women lured to the dark side by Stephen Harper, but having seen Stephane Dion, she has become a “CONVERT”. This is all well and good if by “CONVERT”, The Star actually means “shill, decoy, Liberal hack, and Gerard Kennedy campaign worker.  I repeat, The Star, and Bruce Campion-Smith particularly, should be ashamed of their grossly incompetent journalism. Just about everyone in Toronto knows Sue Cox’s direct connections to the LPC. 
While Gerard “don’t hate me cause I’m a spoon fed white boy “Professor” who fights poverty sitting on a chair earning good coin” Kennedy was building up his “incredulous” reputation as a poverty activist, Sue Cox was his right hand woman, who eventually became herself the Director of The Daily Bread Food Bank (this is not a shot a the Food Bank which has served our community admirably, but to the extent it has done so, it is largely because of the many people who volunteer and who actually roll up their sleeves and go meet poverty head on).  Sue Cox endorsed Kennedy’s run a the Liberal leadership, and has been working on his campaign to represent Parkdale High Park. She is also part of the Parkdale-High Park Federal Liberal Riding Association.
So, I’m left wondering. How can anyone with any integrity refer to Sue Cox as a convert. Perhaps, the headline should have read “Liberal insiders finally starting to respect Dion”. But then again, perhaps that headline should’ve come ago so that the Liberals could have mounted a credible challenge and alternative to Stephen Harper.  More worrisome, however, is the brash and transparent attempt to propagandize for the Liberals and deceive the reader!  This article was clearly contrived to attempt create a different image of Stephane Dion and to reverse the trend for Gerard Kennedy, whose star is rapid falling here in Parkdale High Park.

Pundits beginning to predict a Kennedy loss in Parkdale High Park

(image courtesy of janfromthebruce)

I usually agree with Christina Blizzard, who always calls them as she sees them

Political recycling bin
No reducing, lots of reusing as many past politicians use name recognition en route to ballot box


Checking out some federal lawn signs these days, you could be forgiven for thinking you were caught in a time warp.

The political space and time continuum seems to have become bizarrely bent out of shape. A former premier, a former NDP cabinet minister, one of McGuinty’s former cabinet ministers, a clutch of Mike Harris-era former provincial Tory cabinet ministers and the odd backbencher all have their names on the hustings.

They’re ’90s names in an ’08 world.

It’s like reduce, reuse and recycle for politicians….

A lot of Liberal insiders are wishing it were Rae taking on Prime Minister Stephen Harper, New Democratic honcho Jack Layton and Green Leader Elizabeth May in the TV debate.

Rae is a formidable debater, with experience in televised debating. And his French is better than Dion’s English.

Rae is set for an easy win — especially since the Tory candidate running against him, Chris Reid, was forced to quit over some oddball blog entries.

Which brings us to former McGuinty education minister Gerard Kennedy. He’s in tough in Parkdale-High Park against NDP power chick Peggy Nash. Provincially the riding is held by another popular New Democrat woman, Cheri DiNovo. Between DiNovo and Nash, they have the riding all sewn up.

If Kennedy loses, it will be poetic justice. He was the guy who foisted Dion on an unsuspecting party by throwing his support behind him in the leadership convention.


Most pundits predict it will be adieu, Gerard. And the end of his political career. Any openings at the food bank, I wonder?

Federal Election 2008: Parkdale High Park

There are numerous ways to break down this tightly contested race between Peggy Nash and Gerard Kennedy. While I believe that we desperately need to reform our electoral system if we want to revitalize our democracy, given what we have to work with, we should first focus on the strengths of the First Past the Post system to mitigate its inherent unfairness. An obvious strength of the FPTP system is that it allows voters to establish a direct and local connection with their elected representatives. In the FPTP system, each voter really is asked to evaluate the candidates running in the riding and choose from among those the one that will best represent and defend his/her interests. For PHP, in a head to head comparison, Peggy Nash is the clear and superior choice for most voters, particularly progressive voters.

Peggy Nash is the incumbent who, with MPP Cheri DiNovo, helps make this one of the best represented ridings I can think of. Peggy Nash has served this riding admirably and her hard work and commitment are unrivaled. Nash has deep roots in the riding, is very well respected and liked, and is well worthy of re-election. She is a bona fide advocate for small business,the arts, workers, and the poor alike. Her life and career prove that. Progressives and anti-poverty activists surely will find their interests better reflected in Peggy Nash.
Gerard Kennedy, on the other hand, may have provincial political experience, but he has never represented the riding at a federal level. He doesn’t live in the riding, nor has he served the riding in any official capacity for well over two years. Although he was quite popular when he served as MPP, it may have been a little presumptuous to expect to return unabated after having abandoned the riding the way he did. Moreover, the title of kingmaker seems to have lost some of the sheen, owing to the fact that Kennedy, by ensuring that Dion would become leader of the LPC, may be seen as partly responsible for the mess in which the Liberal Party currently finds itself. All resulting in what surely looks like an unchallenged road to either a large minority or a small majority government for Stephen Harper.
Still, a perennial flaw of the FPTP system is “strategic voting”. “A vote for the NDP is a vote for Harper” say the Liberals around here. No, a vote for the NDP is a vote for the best candidate AND a vote for the only party that stood consistently and vehemently against Harper. It was in fact the Liberals who essentially allowed the Harper Conservatives to govern as a majority government during the last parliamentary session. It is the Liberals who, because of infighting, backstabbing, holding grudges, choosing the wrong leader and policies, have turned this election into a virtual lock for the Conservatives, with the only race being for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Thus, if we’re really going to be “strategic” (i.e. vote to attenuate the dangers of a Harper Conservative government), the call across the land actually should be to vote NDP. Who can doubt that Jack Layton and the NDP as official opposition would be more effective against Harper than Dion and the squabbling Liberals? Why reward the Liberals for their incompetency? Why not give Jack Layton and a united NDP caucus the responsibilities attached to the Official Opposition? Liberals and Conservatives are already complicit on some many fronts. Let’s not perpetuate that in our parliament, where the role of opposition is as fundamental as governing.