Category Archives: Stephane Dion

Desperate Dion attempting to connect with "the kids", or how effective Cold War era Red baiting will be for Dion

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Cherniak "Gives it to Dion"?

Hey Cherniak wakes up and doesn’t go “wee look at me! Look ma, I made it I made it. The MSM noticed me!”  Instead today he rails against the press for not providing more coverage on D’Yawn’s performance last night and, moreover, accuses the press of swiftboating Dion. 

Btw, did anyone buy the whole I’m not whining because Dion was NOT pronounced the winner thing? I think the truth is without that headline the Liberals are officially out of the running to form the next government. Duceppe was right when he said besides himself there were three other candidates also not in the running to become the next PM (a fair shot at Layton, but also a direct shot at Dion, who still pretends the Liberals can win).

I was also struck by the line in Cherniak’s post “Even the Toronto Star doesn’t allow readers to read what Dion said in response to Stephen Harper when they first print the attack.” What could this mean other than an admission that the Star is indeed a Liberal rag and shill?
Anyways, prior to this post, Cherniak headlines a post “I GIVE IT TO DION”. Hey I’m not judgmental, but others can draw their own inferences. Still, to Cherniak’s claiming a victory for Dion in last night’s debate, I have to say “No fuc*ing kidding. What else would you ever have done?” A better headline might have been Layton gives it to Dion:

So much for Dion not going negative, or hanging Gerard Kennedy out to dry

Even a brief perusal of their website will confirm that CBC has brazenly become a shill for the Liberal Party of Canada. If that’s not enough proof, last Sunday, just as the Liberals were desperate to turn around their sagging fortunes (tied with the NDP), CBC Radio magically comes to the rescue granting Stephane Dion a full hour of free (or rather tax payer funded) air time, on a very popular nationally broadcast show on politics, Cross Country Check-Up. I await to see if the same courtesy (invitation to appear in this highly coveted time slot) and hospitality (serving up easy questions and allowing Dion uninterruptedly to proselytize, to mischaracterize his opponents, to misrepresent their platforms,  etc.) is extended to Jack Layton and Stephen Harper. 


That The Star should do the same is shameful and irresponsible, but it is not, in my opinion, an obstruction of democracy and fair elections as is the case with the CBC, which is publicly funded. The Star is privately owned and supported and may express, however prejudicially or irresponsibly, whatever opinions it wishes. In fact, I’d be surprised if the Star’s editorial board doesn’t come out and officially endorse the LPC. But again, that the CBC, a publicly funded network for all Canadians, is essentially endorsing one party over the others, refusing to engage in responsible reporting and not informing Canadians as best it can, all with money that I cannot voluntarily donate, is a basic affront to democracy and a clear obstruction of free and democratic elections. 
Anyways, I don’t pretend to be surprised or even shocked that Dion and the Liberals have thrown all principles over board and have gone decidedly and desperately negative. I knew it was around the corner when CBC started using the words “more aggressive” and “feisty” to describe Dion’s approach heading to the debate. Of course, that was simply code for “going negative in a big way.” And have Dion’s Liberals ever started the mud slinging and the gutter politics. They’re desperately looking through everything candidates has ever said or done that might rightly or wrongly be construed in a negative light. They’re looking for “truthers”, exposing Harper’s “plagiarism”, tapping into old fears in Ontario that a Harper government would be worse than a Mike Harris government, demanding apologies and resignations. Some of it strategically motivated (i.e. looking to hurt NDP candidates in BC where Liberals were really slipping), while some is just perpetrated out of malice and distress. 
And the Liberals have gone negative because it works! To get votes that is. Except it also works to cheapen democracy and to decrease voter interest and turnout.
Yet there might be some collateral damage in all of this. Gerard Kennedy will likely become a casualty of this approach.  The few Liberal candidates actually running on the Left of the Liberal Party and running on principles rather than Liberal brand will likely be hurt by this.
Gerard Kennedy, whether principled or not, has been forced to run on principles, because otherwise he’s seen as either the kingmaker with poor judgment who served up Dion and ensured the return of a Harper government. Or the king maker who chose selfishly to position himself to for a future run at the leadership, thereby ensuring the return of a Harper government.  Kennedy’s only tack now is that of principle: he truly chose Dion out of principle, which conveniently fits in with the whole food bank activist thing, working together thing, etc… Kennedy is running on a principle and a clean campaign.
Problem is, as Kennedy begins to adopt more and more the desperation of the Liberal Party and goes decidedly negative, he also undermines his electability. For instance, at an all candidates meeting last night, when pushed on Liberal absenteeism as the Official Opposition, Kennedy couldn’t respond with a tactical justification (i.e. our squabbling and infighting coupled with our low polling meant we would have lost an election). Thus, Kennedy responded that the Liberals’ ineffectual opposition was, in reality, honourable and done on behalf of all Canadians. Of course, he was rightly and resoundingly booed. There is never an upright reason to abdicate a basic democratic duty!
At that same meeting, constituents also began to see a more desperate Kennedy, who like the Liberal party, is resorting to fear mongering and tapping into the fears Ontarians have regarding the Harris/Eves governments. This tack can easily backfire on Kennedy. It wasn’t the Canadian people that handed Stephen Harper a “majority” the last couple of years, it was the Liberal Party of Canada. Many Canadians, thanks to the LPC experienced the Harper “majority” as “not horribly bad government” (the same strategy made so successful in Ontario by McGuinty), and thus, the fear mongering is likely to be less effective. Thus, resorting to fear mongering undermines both the credibility of the LPC and the honour on which Kennedy is running.
Going dirty in this riding also is not very wise, since one of the nastiest smears in Ontario politics happened in Parkdale High Park and constituents seemed to vote resoundingly to denounce negative campaigning. Constituents here are intelligent, ethical, and not easily deceived. Kennedy is implicated in two ways. First, it was his abandoning of the riding to seek, rather impossibly, the leadership of the LPC that sparked that fateful by-election in the first place. Second, Gerard Kennedy was a DIRECT participant in the smear campaign against now MPP DiNovo.  So much for principle, honour, and the high road!
Going decidedly and nastily negative is not “Progressive”. Just another reason for “progressives” not to vote for Liberals.

re: Cherniak’s frenzied zeal to pin label of "Truther" on anything that moves

Cherniak wakes up this morning and goes “wee look at me! Look ma, I made it I made it! I’m a totally disingenuous windbag who long ago traded in integrity, principles, and critical thinking for good ole Liberal opportunism and entitlement.”  That plus some of his other views might explain his zeal to pin a “truther” label on anyone who dares to question the Official 9/11 story. 

To parrot Cherniak: “I give no commentary.  I only ask that my readers (and hopefully some professional media) be the judges.”  See here and here.


P.S. It is very interesting to watch Stephane Dion hypocritically claim that he is above gutter politics and that he will conduct a different kind of campaign.  Dion neurotically whines that he’s been the target of a massive Conservative conspiracy. Dion vilifies Harper at every turn. He deliberately misrepresents his opponents’ positions. He gutlessly sits idly by as his thugs engage in his dirty work.  This may qualify him as a Liberal, but not to the claim that he is doing things differently.
I should note that when Cherniak, then blog campaign co-chair for Stephane Dion, shamelessly participated in what John McGrath (Queens Park reporter) described as the worst smear campaign he’d witnessed in Ontario politics, Dion, presumably aware, never condemned the tactics. 
Truth is, as Cherniak inadvertently admitted yesterday, the Liberals and Conservatives are part of the same family, neither are above running dirty, smear filled campaigns. They are, in fact, virtually indistinguishable.  

Dion: women, whine, and song

From The Toronto Sun.  I was listening to a documentary last night, which discussed how the language and linguistic style of our political leaders (in this case the French language) helps shape the public’s perception of them.  When, Dion’s French was discussed, it was referred to as exact, refined, but also that his speaking style was detached and “professorial”. Professorial is a patronizing attitude that conveys superiority, and it also is used derogatorily to refer to insensitivity, detachment, and lack of connection.  As one commenter put it, great leaders inspire in the public a perception that they are there to listen to them. To some extent, all our political leaders are “professorial” but Dion’s particular weakness, one conveyed either in his effete French or his body language is his awkwardness and failure to connect with people. Fair enough, if I were standing that close to Ruby Dhalla, I might too feel “uncomfortable” (that’s all I call it), but this is common body language for Dion. I mean, there seems a dis-ease about Dion when he’s too intimate and close to people (see also his reaction in photo with Rae).  I believe this is why he’s not connecting with the electorate, not because of relatively poor English. Chretien massacred the English language (apparently French also) but he nonetheless connected with the public.
On Dion and women.  Dion sided with a Conservative budget that announced massive cuts to women’s programs. For 13 years, the Liberals promised a Child Care program (arguably the most obvious and important way to help women), and failed to deliver.  Dion may have a number of women candidates, but its clear he doesn’t listen to them. Some of his prominent women candidates like Martha Hall Findlay and Carolyn Bennett, not to mention most “progressives” have repeatedly called for electoral reform. In ignoring all those pleas, Dion forfeits any right to call himself a “progressive”.
On Dion and song. Well it’s the same old song and dance.  Dion asking “progressives” to reward the Liberals for failing to perform their basic duty as Opposition, for squandering an opportunity to present a credible challenge to Harper, and for insulting their intelligence. 
The NDP is the only credible choice for “progressives”. Women will be much better represented in choosing NDP.  41% of the last NDP caucus were women, the largest percentage of any party. Moreover, Layton’s plan of investing in people and families, rather than the corporate socialism of the Liberals and Conservatives, will strive to create a just and fair society where every man and women can have an equal opportunity to participate fully in their society. Layton has announced poverty reduction targets, chid care program, chid benefits, increased minimum wage, pharmacare. It is the recognition that social justice is not only ethical, but smart business.

Dion: whine and cheese!

From The Globe & Mail. This was supposed to have been a photo-op to showcase Liberal unity and the leader’s confidence, but it looks to me that Bob Rae has just planted the kiss of death on Stephane Dion.
Note that Stephane Dion keeps getting invited on CBC radio where he is served up big fat slow pitches to hit. Dion prattles on with old baseless canards about the NDP and indulges his delusions of grandeur by whining about being the most targeted man in history. Today he was on “Cross Country Check-Up for a full hour.  Has the CBC officially endorsed the LPC or will the other leaders be invited to appear on this publicly funded station?
A couple of reactions to Dion’s “blasting” of the NDP. Dion has no justifiable claim to calling the Liberals a “progressive” party. He propped up a Conservative government for over two years, and kept agreeing to extend the war in Afghanistan. Dion voted for a Conservative budget that cut funding to women’s programs, cut the court challenges program, cut literacy funding and attacked social spending.  Moreover, until the Liberals run on electoral reform they continue to support a flawed democracy and have no right to call themselves “progressives”.
Dion attacks the idea of repealing the corporate tax cuts and the strategic investment in business, particularly the green economy, which he misrepresents as an “old-fashioned socialist approach” that is not being used anywhere. Well, the idea of closing loopholes that allow greedy corporations to eschew their responsibility, and not slashing corporate tax seems good enough to be a cornerstone of Barack Obama’s economic plan.  In fact, slashing corporate taxes, and a trickle down economic philosophy seems to me the outdated approach, and we might consider Layton’s approach as the truly “progressive” approach. 
According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a study conducted by economist Jim Stanford found that corporate tax cuts will only increase gap between oil-producing provinces and rest of country. The CCPA states:

“Despite what Finance Minister Flaherty says, corporate tax cuts are an especially uneven policy tool,” Stanford says. “These corporate tax cuts constitute a significant net fiscal shift in favour of Alberta, and away from Ontario and every other non-oil-producing province.”
According to the study, Canada’s three oil-producing provinces, which account for 15% of the population, generate 36% of corporate profits—and can be expected to reap a similarly large share of the benefits of corporate tax reductions. On a per capita basis, companies operating in the oil-producing provinces can be expected to receive three times as much benefit from the tax cuts as companies in the rest of the country.
The study also questions the economic impact of corporate tax cuts. Despite the dramatic decline in corporate tax rates this decade, business spending on capital equipment and R&D has been remarkably sluggish—even as Canadian companies are enjoying all-time record profits.
“Corporate tax cuts, as expensive as they have been and will continue to be, have had no visible impact on the broad pattern of business investment at all,” Stanford says.
“In addition to asking whether the regional and sectoral impacts of the Harper government’s $15 billion annual corporate tax cuts are fair and acceptable to the majority of Canadians, we should also ask whether they will have any beneficial impact on Canada’s economy at all,” concludes Stanford.

Vickky Angstrom in the comments section of the G&M article linked to above, puts it well:

Dion doesn’t understand what the NDP knows: the strongest economic platform IS healthcare, education and childcare. These stabilize the society so that the creativity of business can flourish. Investing in people is smart business.

A Vote for Dion is a Vote for Harper!

Good analysis at “Blevkog”: h/t to janfromthebruce

May-Dion Deal is Scurrilous and Layton’s Refusal Principled

>The Dion-May deal is unscrupulous because it is completely cynical and disingenuous in the sense that it pretends to be:
1. not a “back-room deal”
2. genuine and desperate non-partisan concern for the planet (read the Green Party’s open letter to the NDP-plleease!), and
3. mutually beneficial. Green Party candidates and members were sold out by their Leader and have nothing to gain and everything to lose by this.

This was so transparently a dirty back-room deal intended to bleed the NDP and I wouldn’t have had any issues with the improprieties of the deal had it been presented as a united front against the NDP. I still would have thought it a dumb move and a good sign for the NDP, but not a scurrilous one. The corrupt heart of this deal was its deception and disingenuousness. I should say I am not in principle against backroom deals, nor do I think is any politician. I am against dirty, deceitful backroom deals.

So was Layton’s denouncing of and refusal to come to the table on this particular deal truly unprincipled? Obviously to the extent that the May-Dion pact was corrupt, then Layton’s refusal to participate was ethical and principled. I’ve desperately tried to understand the indignation over Layton’s refusal to deal with May, but I can’t. I think his rebuffing Elizabeth May and indirectly Stephane Dion was both pragmatic and principled. Perhaps he saw that he was being ambushed and chose not to be a willing participant! Perhaps he is sincere when he says “New Democrats don’t think that Peter MacKay or any Conservative deserves to go unchallenged. The Conservatives have a lot to answer for.” Since his party is in the best position to challenge that seat, why should he forfeit competing for it? I mean the charge that the NDP is not anti-Conservative is preposterous. The NDP is not only the sole voice of leftist party politics, but also the sole hope for any “progressives”.

Stephen LaFrenie, nominated Green Party candidate in Trinity-Spadina well enough understands what the May-Dion deal means and why Layton rejected it, why can’t the Liberals? Stephen is worth quoting in full:

“Jack Layton is an honourable man. Stephane Dion is NOT. Stephane Dion voted in line with liberal policy that has strangled Haiti. Joined in the liberal denial of human rights abuses and propped up a murderous temporary Government there. Stephane Dion voted against labour rights by not supporting the anti-scab labour bill to please the corporate power structure rather than actually thinking about what it meant. The Greens would have supported the bill. Stephane Dion did what he was told to do. Which is nothing but shut up and vote the way you are told when he was in cabinet and as leader has stated that he will impose the same rule of discipline. Vote his way or end your career. Stephane Dion was a willing participant in the liberal government of Paul Martin which did nothing but cater to big corporations and did nothing for the environment. The liberals with Stephane Dion’s support would have voted to extend the mission in Afghanistan if they had maintained a second minority government.

For the record it was Paul Martin who stopped cooperating with the NDP in the last minority government. It was Paul Martin who said he would call an election in March. It was Paul Martin who decided to continue the liberal policies of doing nothing for social justice, labour justice, working against everything the Green Party stands for. The NDP joined in defeating the liberal government because the liberals were simply going to use the spring budget to bribe Canadians with empty promises which was the liberal tradition for over a century.
Stephane Dion was elected leader by only a few thousand liberals who could afford to attend the convention. Even then he was elected by Rae supporters who wanted more to stop Ignatieff than support Dion. The liberals don’t even have the awareness to respect their own membership.

Jack Layton has a clear history of fighting for social and labour justice. Stephane Dion does not.Why should Jack Layton show Ms. May and ourselves courtesy when she has done nothing but insult him since becoming leader. She comes from a conservative mind set and has done nothing in her leadership to build the kind of cooperation she now claims to be trying. She has been a liberal sympathizer for many months with little consideration for the NDP. She has continued to praise the liberal record through her misguided support of Dion, a record that pales in comparison to the NDP record which is mind boggling considering they had the power and the NDP does not. Stephane Dion does not believe in electoral reform nor parliamentary reform. Like Stephen Harper he will ignore any and all reform that threatens the dictatorial power of the PMO.You guys are living in a delusion spun by both Ms. May and Mr. Dion that may yet prove fatal for the Greens. Stephane Dion will cast aside any cooperation with the Greens or the environment issues if he gets a majority government.

I continue to find the Layton bashing, partisan nonsense of many Greens on this site to be unacceptable. You are kidding yourself if you think the NDP is going vanish from the political landscape. If we continue to justify failed politicians and political parties like Stephane Dion and the liberals then we will only be seen as liberals and not an alternative.Either we stand for something or we don’t.”

(Stephen LaFrenie, nominated Green Party candidate)