Saturday, August 29, 2015

This Weekend In Lotusland...The Wall Of Joy.


Eyoalha Baker's new pictorial mural project is done.

You can see it take up one full side of the Arco Hotel at the corner of Abbott and Pender.

Her website is here.

Capsule proMedia description is here.


Friday, August 28, 2015

At The End Of The Day...

When I climb on my bike and ride by those 'Stop Harper' signs in the dorm room windows...

I wonder...

How the heck can we get those kids to actually go vote?


This Day In Clarkland...Mr. Casavant And The Two Bears.


First, in a report from the MoCo's Sharon Lindores, the good news regarding those two bear cubs that provincial conservation officer Bryce Casavant saved from the bureaucracy's hasty and, it would appear, unwarranted death sentence:

...The bear cubs' mother was killed by Casavant after it repeatedly raided a freezer full of meat and salmon, but despite an order to kill the cubs too, Casavant took them to a veterinary hospital instead, believing they could be rehabilitated.

They were later transferred to a recovery centre run by the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, also on Vancouver Island.

Subsequently the cubs were approved for the orphaned bear cub rearing and release program, said Vivian Thomas, communications director for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. They'll stay at the centre until 2016 when they'll be released...

Now, the bad news:

...Bryce Casavant, the B.C. conservation officer who was suspended after he refused to kill two black bear cubs near Port Hardy in July, is being transferred out of the Conservation Officer Service...

But so what....

After all, the Clarklandian government spokesthingy/media line dispenser concerned who, presumably,  knows absolutely nothing whatsoever about whether or not a bear cub in custody should be destroyed says to have no fear, because...

..."No employee involved in this case has been subjected to any discipline."...

Are these people insane?


#Elxn42: First They Came For The Folksingers...


And, just in case you think that header is an exaggeration...

It is not:

An Ottawa federal scientist is being investigated for breaching the public service’s ethics code for writing and performing a highly political protest song to get rid of the Harper government.

Tony Turner, a scientist in habitat planning at Environment Canada, was recently sent home on leave with pay while the government investigates the making of Harperman, a music video posted on YouTube in early June that has attracted about 48,000 hits...

Is this Canada?


Is it?

And yes, Mr. Turner works for Environment Canada...He currently works on the habitat of migratory birds...So....Does his song compromise/impinge/affect that work at all?....Of course not.


#Elxn42...First Pass On Where Strategic Voting Could Matter In British Columbia.


Friday Lunchtime: Please see the reader-driven update at the bottom of the post...

First, another important tidbit from that Insights West Poll we mentioned yesterday, specifically regarding the malleability of so-called 'decided' voters in British Columbia:

Do you see what I see?

Essentially, those British Columbians who have identified themselves as Liberal and, especially, Green Party voters are those of us who are most willing to change their votes.

And, presumably, at least some of those 'changeable' Green- and Red-leaning folks are willing to do so if they recognize it will do some good (i.e. help stop the re-election of the Fed-Cons).


Where could that 'good' occur in British Columbia, specifically.

Well, as a starting point I've had a close look at Eric Grenier's early aggregator projections (from and have tried to identify key ridings in a couple of clusters....

Ridings where hopeless (i.e. can't possibly win) Green votes alone (not to mention almost hopeless Lib votes) could stop the Con by helping to elect a Dipper:
Cariboo-PG....Here Dipper looks to be very strong but Green votes alone (not to mention a few % of those almost as senselessly weak Liberal votes) could seal it:
Con - 38
Lib - 11
Dipper - 42
Green - 9

Northern OK...Here, any significant movement from a stronger (but still non-winnable) Green vote could put the Dipper over the top for good...And, again, the Lib vote here that doesn't look like it can win either would help stop the Con.
Con - 34
Lib - 15
Dipper - 36
Green - 14

Central OK...The Dipper is only a little behind the Con and, if things stay the same the Green votes alone could turn this Okanagan (yes, Okanagan!) riding orange.
Con - 37
Lib - 20
Dipper - 33
Green - 10

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon...Here the Dipper has been rising even higher recently, presumably based on recent polls...That Green vote could drive in the last spike however.
Con - 35
Lib - 17
Dipper - 42
Green - 6

Ridings where hopeless (i.e. can't possibly win) Green votes alone (not to mention potentially hopeless Dipper votes) could stop the Con by helping to elect a Liberal:
Steveston - Richmond East...This is one where my Dipper compatriots may argue (and or get mad at me) but I just don't see that orang vote holding in this riding (although I'll change things if it does)...At the moment, the safe place for the few Green votes to go to surely beat the Con is to theLiberal.
Con - 31
Lib - 35
Dipper - 28
Green - 5

South Surrey - White Rock...Here, at least at the moment, things are a little more clear than in Steveston.... Greens for sure, and maybe a few Dippers too(?), should consider going Liberal to stop the Con.
Con - 34
Lib - 35
Dipper - 23
Green - 7

Richmond Centre...The Con is still pretty strong here, but the Liberal has gained and has a chance with those Green votes and a few Dipper votes for good measure.
Con - 37
Lib - 34
Dipper - 22
Green - 6


Finally there are a few weird ridings where it still looks it's too difficult to tell where, specifically, any excess vote should go to beat the Con....

First there is WestVan, etcetera where the Con vote is suddenly weak enough that it looks like even a 50:50 split in a significant (but not winnable) Green vote to either the Dipper or the Liberal could send the Con off to climb the Chief in perpetuity...I wonder....Should this be dubbed the 'Rafe' effect?

Then there are the new/redrawn Van-Granville and Delta ridings where the Con could win if everybody else doesn't get together to form some sort of an alliance (i.e. the nightmare scenario that elected so many Cons in 2011)....Ugggghhhh.

So, have at it...Especially you pros/insiders/deepnumberdivers out there...Again, please remember that this is only a first, early look at things...
And why am I doing this as an 'equal' opportunity Strat-Voting enthusiast?....Because, as things currently stand, I don't see this thing as being a majority for anybody...Thus, it is my position that anything that helps lower the Con count at the end of the day on Oct 19th is vital to the interests of all Canadians (and that includes those folks who are more than willing to vote against their own best longterm interests for an extra hockey stick or three)...OK?
Update: Paul Ramsey makes a very important point in the comments that the Grenier riding predictor runs on a "proportional swing model" which relies heavily on previous election results as a starting point  that then change based on regional polling numbers as they roll out...While it has had some validity in the past with picking winners when things are pretty obvious, particularly as things get closer to E-Day (and more regional polls accumulate), it is no substitute for riding-specific polling - particularly in riding where things are tight...Which, in my opinion, is why folks should not get excited about single Forum polls that say the Dippers are in majority range (for example)...


Thursday, August 27, 2015

#Elxn42...Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra-Stealth-Cons.



They're not just for Lotusland anymore.

Richard Brennan and Robert Benzie, following up on the StealthCon pronouncement of Joe Daniel we mentioned last week, have the story in the TorStar.

Here is their lede:

Conservatives running in the federal election have been advised not to attend all-candidates’ meetings or speak to reporters during the campaign, a party source says.

A Conservative insider said Wednesday that most of Stephen Harper’s flag-bearers have “been told no debates and no media.”

The informal edict appears to affect Tory candidates across the country, which explains why so many press interviews are being rebuffed.

“They’re getting pulled out of everything,” the source said, noting even some experienced cabinet ministers are being instructed to avoid candidates’ forums before the Oct. 19 election...



#Elxn42: The Citizenry Will Have To Make Sure 34% Does Re-Elect The Fed-Cons...


....Because, at least at this point, it would appear that the Green Party of Canada sure as heck won't.

From the Canadian Press:

A Green party association in Ontario won't support its candidate's decision to withdraw and endorse the NDP nominee.

The Green party's Peterborough-Kawartha Electoral District Association says candidate Gary Beamish's apparent plan took the organization by surprise.

It apologizes for any confusion Beamish's move may have caused supporters in the central Ontario riding.

The association says it is considering options and plans to discuss the next steps with local members...

Here is Eric Grenier's early line on the riding in question, Peterborough-Kawartha (scroll down):

Con - 37
Lib - 27
Dipp - 34
Green - 4

'Nuff said?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#Elxn42...Are Lotuslandian Dippers Being Bamboozled By That 41% Thingy?



I really, really hate it when I'm forced to acknowledge that the good Mr. Kouvalis might actually have a point...


Speaking of Mario Canseco...

One bit of that Insights West poll that created so much heat in both the public prints and on social media platforms after it was released yesterday was problematic in the extreme.


Not because the poll itself was crappy (it was actually very detailed) but rather because, in my opinion, the press release from Insights West featured the following graphic prominently...


Looks pretty exciting, right.

After all, 41% of folks voting Dipper in Lotusland, while simultaneously crushing all of the other parties, would seem to be a pretty big deal indeed.

Which is how things were (and are still being) reported, pretty much straight-up, all over the place.

Except when you dig into the poll's details things are not quite so exciting.

First of all, that 41% is based on using only 'decided voters' in the denominator (see small bit in parentheses on the info-graphic above).

However, when you factor in all the folks who were polled, including the undecideds, the numbers look like this:


Have you got it now?

Specifically do you see that it is only 32% Dipper amongst all potential voters.

And that Dipper number is even lower outside Metro Vancouver.

And look at that whopping 24% for the Greens on VanIsle.

Finally, have a look at the age splits by party in that table above.

Do you see what I see (and what I've been bleating on about for awhile now)?

Decided Dipper votes skew decidedly young.

And, as much as I like and admire all young'uns everywhere, as we learned here in B.C. in the 2013 provincial election, the kids just don't vote like the old codgers do.

And that's why I begrudgingly have to admit that there is a kernel of truthful non-truthyism to Mr. Kouvalis' snarky tweet at the top of the post (but just a kernel).


Upshot?...In my opinion, even in the face of continuing Dipper-friendly poll results like this, strategic voting could still make a huge difference in BC...Which could really, really matter in the end of the night on Oct 19th if Nanos is correct that things are starting to shift back to the Con side of the ledger in Ontario (scroll down)...
There is some bonus good news in that IW poll however....And essentially it is how malleable the non-Con vote is in Lotusland...Which, again, means SVoting could work.


At The End Of The Day...

...Sometimes all you need is a really good story song.

This one is from a young kid named Aaron Lee Tasjan:



You can blame Mr. Beer for turning me on to that 'Hillbillies 'N More' radio station in Knoxville Tennessee for this one.

The kid's website is...Here...Apparently there's a big record comin'.


#DuffyTrial...PM Can't Talk About It But He (And His) Can Manage It.


What's all this about a PMO 'issues manager' showing up in court to watch the former 'issues manager' give testimony as a witness in the Duffy Trial and then talk to said witness in the hallways during breaks in the festivities?

Kady O'Malley runs it all down in her Ottawa Citizen mobile app on-the-go column thingy.

From the perspective of the potential for peddling of all issues influential, I found this bit to be most interesting:

...Although he’s reportedly been at the trial throughout the last two weeks, (current PMO info manager) Koolsbergen apparently managed to escape notice by the attending media until Tuesday, when he found himself pursued by cameras upon exiting the courthouse after (former PMO info manager) Woodcock’s testimony had wrapped up.

“I know [Conservative campaign spokesman] Kory Teneycke would be very happy to take any questions you guys might have,” he told reporters.

In an email to the Ottawa Citizen, Teneycke confirmed that Koolsbergen is currently on leave from his PMO job to work on the campaign.

As for his assignment at the Duffy trial, it was “the same as reporters,” Teneycke said: “to relay information on court proceedings.”

He (Teneycke) did not respond to a follow-up query on whether Koolsbergen had spoken to the witness...

And, of course, when asked, the always influential but never, ever peddlish, Mr. Harper continues to say he can't speak about matters before the courts:

...At a campaign event just outside Ottawa on Wednesday morning, CTV reporter Laurie Graham asked Harper if Koolsbergen had been told to “instruct” Woodcock.

“Are you aware that it is highly irregular for someone from the Prime Minister’s Office to talk to a witness who is under oath and under cross-examination?” she asked.

“These are matters that are before the court, and we don’t interfere with them,” Harper said before shifting to his standard answer on the issue...


And for those wondering...Yes, I do recall the government media minder that showed up to the Railgate trial...I also remember how little the Lotuslandian proMedia cared...


Monday, August 24, 2015

#Elxn42...Five Questions.


Justin Ling, who writes for Vice, made his own way to a Harper campaign event in Eastern Ontario yesterday hoping that he would be able to ask a question.

Unfortunately, despite diligent attempts to have his question 'pre-cleared' by Kory Tenyecke, Mr. Ling was not allowed to ask it.

Interestingly, it had nothing to do with going over the five question limit given that the french language reporter from RDI, one of the 'paying' National Press, was not there.

Regardless, one of the other paying national proMedia members wanted to know where the magical 'Big Hand Five' came from.

So he used up one of his precious questions to ask exactly that:

....Harper wraps up, and begins taking questions. One on Duffy. One on retirement benefits. Then Andy Blatchford, Canadian Press reporter, asks: "Why do you only take five questions at your campaign events?"

Harper's answer:

"I think you're all very aware of how we've structured our press conferences. This is a long-standing policy, it was cleared with everybody. And what's important to me is that we're able to answer a range of questions on a broad range of subjects. That's why every day I speak to a different topic."...


Here's the thing I, as a 'long-standing' member of the citizenry who has agreed to no such democracy-stomping 'policy', would like to know...

Why the heck isn't every single member of the press who attends these things shouting multiple relevant questions at this person who wants to 'structure' our country in his image?


Why the heck aren't they?

Of course, when last we heard from the good Mr. Teneycke about goings on in Lotusland he was telling Mr. Blatchford that the reporter who was hustled out of a recent Harper campaign event in Richmond BC for having the temerity to ask supporters relevant questions was being 'hypersensitive'.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

How Many More Times?...The Changing Of Margaret Atwood's Copy.


Jesse Brown at Canadaland says that Ms. Atwood's 'Hairgate' piece was changed twice.

The first time the changes made were minor and she agreed to them.

As for the second time?


...Sources within the Post confirm that the article went through their entire editorial process in that time. It was read by Comment editor Andrew Coyne, who signed-off on it. 
(Coyne has not yet responded to our request for comment.)
The resulting, senior editor-approved piece was published on the National Post's website yesterday (you can read this original version on The Walrus' site here). 
An hour later, CANADALAND has learned that Comment staff were asked to make two edits. One of these was the addition of some minor, mitigating language to a sentence, the other perhaps more interesting: a reference to Harper's "enemy stakeholders list" was changed to "enemies list." 
These changes were sent to Margaret Atwood for her approval, which she granted (you can still read a cached copy of that version here). 
But then the article vanished completely from the Post's site and was edited again, under guidance from senior Vice President Gerry Nott.
Margaret Atwood was not consulted, and did not agree to these changes.
Journalist Jonathan Goldsbie has made a complete list of these changes. The censored sections are significant, and accuse Stephen Harper of hiding "the two-million-dollar-donors to his party leadership race," and make reference to Harper having given "four mutually exclusive answers" about the Duffy cover-up....

And the explanation now?

It was Ms. Atwood's facts that were wrong.

So management just had to step in and correct them.

In an Op-Ep column-type piece.


Maybe she should have just pulled out all the stops with an advertorial instead.

'Cause everybody knows that's where all the truthiest of most excellent truthyness lies.



Will Boo Radler Soon Control The VTC?


Paul Willcocks, who knows a thing or two about running newspapers, has an interesting post up analyzing what's going on with Glacier Media.

After dealing with the consolidation/asset harvesting part of the deal, particularly as it pertains to the community paper part of the chain, Mr. W. then wonders about what's going to happen with the Victoria Times Colonist:

...Glacier bought the Victoria Times Colonist in 2011, as part of an $87-million deal that included two other small dailies and 20 weeklies. Postmedia’s community papers in the Lower Mainland were likely the prize that Glacier wanted.

The corporation has acknowledged, vaguely, that it is not the sole owner, describing “certain assets acquired from Postmedia” as “Joint Ventures and Associates.”

In the latest report, after the swap with Black Press, it specifically put the Times Colonist in that category, without saying who was the “associate” involved.

An informed bet would be that Glacier’s associate is David Radler, Conrad Black’s long-time business partner jailed for mail fraud. The corporation has partnered with Radler in newspaper properties in Alberta, the Okanagan and the U.S. He is still, apparently, taking a management or advisory role at the Times Colonist.

Which raise some interesting speculation about the plan to “monetize” its newspaper assets. The Times Colonist, as a daily newspaper in a mid-size city, never fit with Glacier’s focus. It’s even possible Postmedia forced Glacier to take the Victoria daily if it wanted the Lower Mainland community papers.

If Glacier wants out, Radler is the person most likely to take over...

Oh boy.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Elxn#42...Riding-Specific Polls Start To Roll In.


Leadnow, a group of folks with strategic voting on their minds, have commissioned Environics to run polls in what they consider to be swing ridings.

The three they looked at last week in Lotusland are:

PoMo-Coquitlam... Dipper Donnelly killing; StratVote means nothing.

Vancouver Granville...Close...Dipper Oreck has barely more than MOE lead over Con Broshko... Lib Wilson-Raybauld surprisingly weak...Green vote of about 10% could really, really matter here if things stay this close.

WestVan...Lib Goldsmith Jones leading slightly over Dipper Coopman....Con 5-7 points behind them...If Con gains through the smearblitz period (i.e. the first two weeks of Sept. after Duffy trial goes on hiatus again) theGreen swing vote could really matter here as well as they are in high teens.

This is going to get really, really interesting.

And for Dip-leaning readers living in Granville who wish that they, like me, could vote for Don Davies...Nevermind all that...DD is a lock...Talk to your Green-leaning friends and influential uncles!

Doug Ward has more on this up at the Tyee...


#Elxn42...The Ultimate Stealth-Con.


Joe Daniel is a Conservative Party of Canada Member of Parliament.


It turns out that Mr. Daniel took a most interesting trip to the Caribbean with (no longer Conservative) Senator Don Meredith earlier this year. As a result, Mr. Daniel was contacted by the Ottawa Citizen for a comment.

The following, according to the OCit's Glen McGregor, was Mr. Daniel's officially officey response:

...Daniel, who is currently running for re-election in the riding of Don Valley North, is not doing media interviews until after the federal election, his office said Thursday...

Just let that sink in for moment or three...

We have reported on local Lotuslandian Stealth-Cons in the past...More on the 2015 edition(s) to follow...


This Day In Clarkland...Friday Afternoon Document 'Bump'.



It's Friday.

And some folks are still upset about that 'bump' business on the Lions Gate bridge that snarled traffic, caused bus cancellations, and resulted in massive Seabus line-ups for no good reason at all.


What have the Clarklandians and their wizards decided to do about it?

Why, roll-out the spokesthingy, of course:

...The ministry (of transportation) has promised to make a rep available to speak to NEWS 1130 about the bump this afternoon...



#Elxn42: Trumpywood Squares...Etobicoke Edition


All the Ford brothers need now, apparently, are his and his combovers according to Josh Wingrove writing for Bloomberg:

The brother of Toronto’s controversial former mayor is considering a run to take over from Stephen Harper, should the prime minister falter in Canada’s election.

If Harper were to step down as head of the Conservative Party after the Oct. 19 vote, Doug Ford would probably seek the leadership, according to his brother Rob Ford -- who as mayor admitted to smoking crack cocaine.

“Doug said if it’s a minority government, Harper’s going to step down. He wants to run for leadership,” Rob Ford, 46, said in an interview Thursday. “If it’s one member, one vote, he said, you know, he’s as popular as anyone else across Canada.”

Reached Friday, Doug Ford -- 50, himself a former mayoral candidate and city councilor -- said he fully supports Harper but wouldn’t rule out joining a race to replace him...


Could this be a twisted media 'li(n)e to keep the disaffected leaners from falling off the fence into that field of orange?


Did the Onion just buy out the former mayor of New York?


Duff Masters Flashing...All Their Conspiracies 'R Us.


Poetic poli-blogger guy Kirby Evans, after continuing to wonder why only Mr. Duffy was charged, brings up an interesting point:

...There is, in other words, more than one conspiracy here. There are the ones that took place in the PMO, one to pay off Duffy's expenses and hide where the money came from, and the other to interfere with the audit. But the other, more ominous conspiracy, and the one few people are really talking about (and no one in the MSM) is the RCMP conspiracy to insulate the Prime Minister and the PMO from the full extent of the original wrong-doing. Harper's lawyer, Benjamin Perrin gave a sworn statement concerning the extent of those who knew of Wright's payment to Duffy. He had no conceivable motivation to lie about it, he just told what he knew. He then confessed to being shocked that the RCMP had ignored that information and publicly reiterated the PM's line that only Wright and Duffy knew of this conspiracy to pay off the money and then mislead the public into thinking Duffy had paid his own expenses. If the RCMP was, in fact, still an independent expression of the law, at the very least Wright would have been charged with bribery. But, more importantly, a raft of conspiracy charges would also have been laid...

Not that we here in Lotusland have any experience with bribees being tried while the briber(s) go scott-free or anything.



Thursday, August 20, 2015

This Day In Clarkland: Nevermind The Bridge/Seabus Lines...

...Because The Wizards Have Media Lines To Roll Out.

First, on Tuesday, there was the Ministry of Transportation's 'bump' on the Lions Gate that folks/drivers were told just didn't matter:

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The province says there’s no need for drivers to slow down when going over a metal bump left by construction crews on the Lions Gate Bridge.

The Ministry of Transportation says the plates are covering up ongoing joint replacement for the bridge deck and will be removed when work is done in about four weeks.

It says the bump is safe to drive over at full speed...

And then there was the cancellation of Translinkian bus service over the bridge which meant huge lines for the Seabus this morning:

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – People trying to commute into Downtown Vancouver from North Vancouver faced long SeaBus lines, all because of cancelled TransLink bus trips across the Lions Gate Bridge thanks to that big construction bump...


What was the response of the wizards?

An announcement that the bump would be dealt with immediately?

How about an announcement of extra bus service across second narrows?

Extra Seabus runs?


Apparently, none of the above.

Instead, we learn from the media following the wizardry that that good Mr. Fassbender is going to make an 'important' Translinkian announcement later today:

Because, you know, it is all about fixing the media 'lines' rather fixing the realworld/actual problems that leave people in 'lines'.

Or some such thing.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...All Your IT Outsourcings 'R Us


Recently Paul Ramsey, writing over at his decidedly non-idiotic blog, The Clever Elephant, let us know that British Columbians, thanks to their BC Liberal government, are now spending more than $450 million per year for information technology that is outsourced from very, very, very far away.

And, as Mr. Ramsey, some of the less idiotic bloggers and even a few proMedia folks, most notably the VTC's Lindsay Kines, have pointed out, a whole lot of this money is spent on stuff more useless than an abandoned strip mine filled to bursting with Commodore 64's.

And what's worse, in some cases there is verifiable evidence that doing this kind of work in-house would be both cheaper and more efficient.

Not to mention the fact that doing things in-house actually build skills, technology and infrastructure locally.

Which brings us to the latest folly as brought to us by Mr. Kines in yesterday's VTC. Here is his lede:

A computer system spearheaded by the B.C. government to manage infectious disease outbreaks across the country is five years late, plagued by problems and 420 per cent over budget, the auditor general says.

In a blistering report released Thursday, Carol Bellringer said the government botched the Panorama project and ignored repeated warnings from front-line staff about its shortcomings.

“Panorama has been impacted by defects from the start,” she said. “It’s inefficient to use, it’s burdensome to public health staff and it requires ongoing financial support.”

The error-prone system, purchased from IBM, has already cost the province $113 million and requires an additional $14 million a year in maintenance, she said.

“Years of delay mean that Panorama may already be outdated.”...

And that's not even the worst of it:

...(AG) Bellringer said the ministry not only failed to control costs, but made decisions that increased costs unnecessarily.

For instance, she said, her office discovered that when IBM failed to deliver on its original contract, the Health Ministry negotiated a new deal that transferred the risk from IBM to taxpayers...


Shifting the risks onto the backs of the paying public while shovelling the profits down the private corp's gullet.

Where have we seen that before?


We await Mr. Ramsey's in-depth analysis...

Of course, there is more than one way to keep on locking-in to an IT-heavy system that is obsolete before it is ever used.


#Elxn42...And Now A Word From The Trenches.


Don't know about you but I always enjoy Mr. Beer 'N Hockey's dispatches from the perspective of party volunteers doing the sherpa work along the campaign trail.

Recently, his stuff from Alberta was both fun to read and illuminating (caution, reading Beer is not for the faint of heart):

...If you have never worked, really worked, a campaign, I am talking 14 hour days. We had to drink fast in the evenings because you cannot drink and sleep at the same time so far as I know.

Who we met in one campaign headquarters after another were people who really care about their province's future and backed that up by being willing to do something about it. They were no different from most of the Albertans I met. They care, they are responsible and they are willing to put in the work to do a job right.

On Election Day (which should be a paid holiday by the way) after our work door to door reminding people to get the f*ck to the polls we spent an hour or so on the phone making our last voter contact before the corsair captain in charge of our zone house set us free.

"Go get drunk you dirty pirate motherfuckers," she told us before she returned to campaign headquarters to watch the vote tallies come in with the other captains and the candidate.

We went straight to the party...


Now, Mr. Beer is back home working on, and writing about, the federal campaign from the heart of Lotusland's bible belt buckle:

Election news anybody? Here on the ground we are not sensing any enthusiasm for the Conservatives. Nor are we getting doors slammed in our face...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...The Conservative's supporters are weary of supporting them and unsure where to turn. They get queasy looking at their Naked Emperor. People in my town are not real keen on politicians and when it turns out their guy, the guy they thought was good, is worse than most and perhaps the worst of all and that by voting for him and his local stooge once again they are pissing on what is left of their own old time values, and that his undoing is paving the way for the NDP (the f*cking NDP!) to take over just like they did in Alberta, it makes a man sit up and pay attention...

Can't wait for more.


#DuffyTrial...Did The Cover-Up Come Before The Crime?


The NaPo's Andrew Coyne, whose reading of the Email trail leads him to conclude that the pay-off was invoked to ensure that the co-optation of both the Senators and the audit remained a secret, seems to think so:

...It wasn’t just on his housing expenses that Duffy wished to be absolved of any wrongdoing. The emails from his lawyer are explicit in demanding that all of his expenses be found “in order.” It wasn’t enough that the auditors should punt on the housing allowance question. The audit had to be called off altogether. And there was yet a third demand: the government was to promise not to refer Duffy’s expenses to the RCMP.

It is to the credit of Wright and his co-conspirators that none of these demands were met. It is very much less to their credit that the rest of the fraudulent scheme went ahead. The decision to pay Duffy’s expenses, on its own, might be written off as an error of judgment or even, as Wright would have it, a good-faith attempt to return the money to the taxpayer.

But once it is seen as part and parcel of a broader effort to tamper with a supposedly independent audit, to rewrite a (Senate) committee report and hoodwink the public, it takes on a rather darker hue...

All of which is bad enough, and pre-emptively Nixonian, in and of itself.

But Mr. Coyne, at least in this piece, refuses to step into the real CREEP(M)y abyss.

Which is that deep, dark place where the Plumber-in-Chief's Senators were systematically strip mining the country to fill the CPC's massive campaign war-chest.

And doing so on the public's dime.



Friday, August 14, 2015

At The End Of The Day The Tried And True Chord Progressions Of...

...Our Neil Still Slay Me.

The Whackadoodle and I were taking our nightly walk around the block last night.

I had the old beach guitar with me and it was still warm after the sun went down.

And suddenly I found myself playing an old 'new' tune of Mr. Young's.

Which got me thinking about days gone by...

Some people ask me (well, to be perfectly honest, only one or two actually)...If you're playing the guitar and you're walking the dog, what do you do with the poop bag when it's full?...Answer: That's what the capo is for...OK?


#Elxn42...The Absolute Uselessness Of The Robocall Registry.


The former blogger previously known as Sushiboy (i.e. Glen McGregor) has the story in the OCit.

Here is his lede:

The names of more than 150 registrants listed on the much-vaunted “robocalls registry,” intended to prevent fraudulent calls to voters, will be kept secret until after the federal election.

The Conservative government created the Voter Contact Registry last year as part of the Fair Elections Act, in response to outrage over pre-recorded calls in Guelph that directed voters to the wrong polling location in the 2011 election...

But wait, there's more.

Essentially it is that new FedCon elections 'law' that is preventing the citizenry from finding out what's actually going on:

...The registry is now up and running but voters will have no way of consulting it to see if the calls they receive are legitimate until at least a month after the Oct. 19 election.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commissions (CRTC), which administers the registry, says it is prevented by law from disclosing the registry until 30 days after balloting.

“As the timing of the publication of the registration notices is specifically set out in the Fair Elections Act, the decision to publish the list after the elections was made by Parliament,” wrote spokesperson Patricia Valladao in an email...



Here's the thing.

The fine folks currently running the show don't care what happens AFTER the election as they have already demonstrated, in both 2008 and 2011, that any and all allegations can and will always be taken care of.

Which is why the 66% of us Canadians that want a new government have to work together to make sure that it is not even close on Oct 19th.



#DuffyTrial....In Mr. Harper's Own Words, Allegedly.


“...This issue is about $'s, not this..."
Stephen Harper 

Now, assuming that Mr. Novak, who once worked for the always honourable Mess'rs Manning and Anders, was telling the truth in this Email sent to a most interesting group of folks...

Are we not done here?

And what was the '$'s' reference referring to?...Well, based on the evidence I am of the opinion that it is not unreasonable for a reasonable person who has been paying attention to hypothesize that it refers to...This.


#Elxn42...Why The Latest Round Of Polls Scares The Beejebuz Out Of Me.


On a recent comment thread we got to kibbitzing about how weird it would be, if late on the night of Oct 19th, it all came down to South Vancouver Island.

Which is why that rising green bar above 'British Columbia' from the latest IPolitics/EKOS poll scares the crap out of me.

And as for the possibility that that little green bar is making some robo-dialing daemon's trigger finger located in some hidden bunker somewhere a little itchy?...Well...Never forget the location of ground zero.


This Day In Clarkland...The MCFD Double Down.


With their own 'investigation' in place (which has, essentially, shut down Child and Youth Advocate Mary Ellen Turpel Lafond's ability to do anything), the Clarklandians are doubling-down and going back to court.

And according to Ian Mulgrew, who has, by far, done the best job of covering this story in the VSun, they're going after the Mom.

Here is his lede (but go read the entire piece):

The B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development has all but declared war on the mom at the centre of scathing court rulings hammering social workers.

The provincial government wants to prevent a cost award in the scandalous six-year-old case until it has a chance to impugn the judge’s fact-finding and reasoning.

While Minister Stephanie Cadieux maintains the family isn’t the focus of her damage control, the mom was told in a letter sent Wednesday that pretty well everything Justice Paul Walker said in his blistering decisions will be disputed.

“I expect there will be grounds of appeal that put in issue the factual and legal foundation of Justice Walker’s liability findings, including bad faith, breach of fiduciary duty, special costs, etc.,” wrote government lawyer Karen Horsman in correspondence provided to The Sun...

Here's the real question...

No matter the specific details, or even the shades of grey (which, based on what we know so far, do not seem to even exist), how can a government, a government acting in our name, be so heartless?

The details of how Mr. Plecas' appointment has been used to neutralize Ms. Turpel-Lafond, the INDEPENDENT children's advocate, are also in Mr. Mulgrew's piece....Man, I hope Mulgrew talks to Ted Hughes about this.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pierre Poutine(s?) Revisited...That Was Then & Thenner...This Is Almost Now.


That was then (i.e. pre-Poutine trial in April of 2014):

Former Guelph Conservative campaign worker Andrew Prescott has given evidence related to the alleged involvement of two other campaign staff in the “Pierre Poutine” robocalls case, sources say.

With an immunity agreement in place, Prescott gave evidence to prosecutors regarding the only person accused in the case, Michael Sona, as expected, but also provided information about Ken Morgan, who was the manager of the Guelph Conservative campaign...

{snippety doo-dah}

...Sources say Prescott gave evidence that Morgan, the campaign manager, asked him to log into a robocall account on his computer. Prescott also told investigators he later destroyed that computer...

That was thenner (i.e. post-Poutine trial in August of 2014):

...Judge Gary Hearn said in his decision that he believed Sona did not act alone in arranging the calls made by someone using the pseudonym “Pierre Poutine.”

Hearn said there was reason to believe that, based on testimony in Sona’s trial, another campaign worker, Andrew Prescott, may have been implicated.

Prescott, however, cannot be charged because he was given an immunity agreement from the Crown in exchange for testimony against Sona — testimony that, ultimately, Hearn found unreliable...

{snippety doo-dah}

Ken Morgan, the campaign manager, has refused to speak to Elections Canada investigators and moved to Kuwait during the nearly three-year investigation. He has not been charged. His current whereabouts are unknown...

This is almost now (i.e. January 2015), according to Scott Tracey writing in the Guelph Mercury:

Ken Morgan, manager of Conservative candidate Marty Burke's infamous campaign and a figure with alleged links to the robocalls scandal, has been spotted in Guelph.

Morgan was seen entering a south-end restaurant Sunday morning. A short time later, fellow Burke campaign worker John White confirmed by telephone his friend is in the area, but would not reveal where Morgan is staying.

Efforts to contact Morgan directly for comment have been unsuccessful and he has not returned messages left with White.

White said late Monday Morgan had gone to Montreal and will be returning to Kuwait, where he teaches English, within days.

It's the first confirmed visit by Morgan to Canada since he moved to Kuwait, in August 2012, at the height of Elections Canada's investigation into the bogus calls which falsely notified thousands of Guelph voters their polling location had moved on election day 2011...


As I said the other day...

The hubris, eh?


#Duffy...Isn't Patriotism Supposed To Be The Last Refuge Of A Scoundrel?


From the CP's report of today's cross examination of the good Mr. Wright by the Duffmaster Flash's lawyer Mr. Blayne:

...Wright said he was trying to quietly do a “good deed” when he gave Duffy $90,000, then privately notified the prime minister’s director of issues management.

Wright, a devoutly religious man, also told court he was following the advice of a Bible passage that counsels “righteousness,” but warns against doing it in front of others for the sake of self-aggrandizement.

“This is sort of Matthew 6, right?” he told court, citing Scripture.

“You should do those things quietly, and ‘not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.'”...


Is it possible that Mr. Wright composed Emails to the PM with one hand and Emails to his minions with the other?

Subheader worming it's way into your ear?....This!


#Elxn42...Mr. Harper's Media Clampdown Brings In Kory Teneycke.


Finally, a big proMedia outlet has asked the CPC to respond to CKNW reporter Shelby Thom's claims that she was kicked out of a Harper rally in Richmond B.C. Tuesday because she had the audacity to ask party supporters if they agreed with the leader's stated position on the (non) legalization of marijuana.

Andy Blatchford got Kory Teneycke on the record in the NaPo, not to address the actual incident but instead to do a bit of deflective dissembling worthy of the former head of a propaganda network:

...Asked about the incident, Teneycke said nothing prevented the reporter from speaking with people outside the venue...

And then, strangely (or maybe not when you think of the base that matters most to Mr. Harper) Mr. Teneycke kinda/sorta made like Donald Trump talking about Megyn Kelly sans, of course, for the hemoglobin:

...“I think it’s just someone maybe being a little hypersensitive,” Teneycke said...

Imagine that!

And, as to the previous 'explanation' from a lower level CPC spokesthingy that things were closing down....Ms. Thom has indicated that, firstly, she was badgered repeatedly and, secondly, that there were still dozens of people milling around when she was ultimately hustled out a side door by a CPC staffer...And none of those dozens were kicked out also.


This Day In Clarkland...Mr. Bullock Speaks.


Evan Duggan has the story in the VSun:

Richard Bullock, the former head of B.C.’s Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), wears his firing from the provincial commission in May as a badge of honour.

Just over two months after getting ousted by the government, Bullock, an outspoken defender of farmland and a multi-generation fruit farmer from Kelowna, shared his reflections and vision for B.C.’s farmland with a packed lecture hall at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

....On developing farmland only as a last resort: “I think communities have to have a real look at how they want to grow within their own boundaries. Have a look at what they have for inventory — land inventory — and find places to put it. The one thing I insisted upon was: don’t be looking at agricultural land as the first option for development. Look at it as the last. But it is an option, and that option must be looked at, but look at it critically.”...

{snippety doodle dandiest}

...“One of the reasons I may have gotten fired is because I thought I could lead the charge and get them (the Clarklandians) to move in a direction that they didn’t want to do. I took it as an honour to get fired quite frankly … I really don’t know. There’s probably 100 reasons, but what was the one that tipped the boat? I’m not sure. But I take it as a bit of a sign of honour that we were standing up for agriculture, and certain parts of the province weren’t maybe appreciating some of the things we were doing or did, and there you go. If you push back hard enough and long enough, there’s going to be consequences, and I accept those.”...


A former public servant with the freedom to explain that he did what he did because he believed in the public good because he did not fall into a passel of cushy corporate directorships etcetera etcetera...

Imagine that!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

What's Bernie Sanders Got That Eugene McCarthy Didn't Have?


Sure, they both had the massive crowds with actual kids (yes kids!) in the them?

But what the kids staying clean for Gene didn't have was...

The internet.

And Brent Budowsky, writing in The Observer, is predicting that all that means, especially at the crowd sourcing level is going to put Mr. Sanders over the top as all the candidates on both sides move toward the first real tests of the campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire:

...If the major media and political worlds were surprised by the summer surge in support for Sanders, the increasingly huge crowds for his campaign appearances and his impressive small donor numbers in the past, they will be shocked and stunned by the humongous surge in small donors to Sanders that will be announced for the current quarter. Everything happens for a reason, and the reason for the Sanders crowds and small donor surge is this: The coming political revolution that is caused by the explosion of social media combined with the waves of progressive grassroots enthusiasm and action that is widely ignored and disrespected by old-style political pundits opining on old-style broadcast media but is exploding throughout the social media world that is powerfully underestimated by those who meet the press and face the nation...

Eugene McCarthy and his whippersnappers took down a sitting president with one early primary win in 1968.

Me thinks those triangulating behind Ms. Clinton just may be a little worried for all the same, and yet somehow very different, reasons.

Heckfire, even his Trumpness, who knows nothing if not to try and glom on to any and all happenings, tried to take a swipe at ol' Bernie today.

And, make no mistake, Mr. Sanders is an old guy who has been singing the same tune for a long time now.


But who really cares about all of that.


Because if The Observer's Mr. Budowsky is right Mr. Sanders small money ascendancy will let everybody with a progressive bone in their body know that we don't have to put up with the crap and the big money (and all the influence and networks it buys) anymore.

And we won't need ibogaine to do it.


And, ya, I know ibogaine comes from the wrong campaign...But what the heckfire...When everything's comin' up Sunshine Specials....Well.


#Elxn42...FedCon Spokesperson Kinda/Sorta (But Not Really) Explains The Non-Removal Removal Of A Reporter From Harper Rally.


As we noted previously, Lotuslandian CKNW/Corus radio reporter Shelby Thom was shuffled out a side door at a FedCon rally in Richmond yesterday when she started asking the party faithful about their feelings re: Stephen Harper's stance on not legalizing marijuana that has been in the news recently.

Well, anyway...

In one of only two non-Corus proMedia stories we've seen so far, the HuffPo's Zi-Ann Lum received an Email statement from a party CPC spokesperson kinda/sorta explaining why this is a non-event event from the FedCon perspective:

...When asked (about the incident), party spokesman Stephen Lecce did not provide any details or reasons why Thom was shown the door.

“The reporter in question attended the entire event and was the last reporter to leave after the event concluded,” Lecce told The Huffington Post Canada in an email...

Which is all well and good...

Except that the reporter, Ms. Thom, who like all other reporters present at the rally was not allowed to direct any towards Mr. Harper or the assembled CPC candidates, insists she was still working when she was ushered out based on what she said in an interview with CKNW talkshow host 'Drex' last night (quoted passage starts at 4'00''):

"...I did feel, essentially, that I was kicked out. I was interviewing supporters after the rally and I was continuously interrupted by conservative staffers..."

So, given what went down in the context of recent events and the apparent incongruence between the reporter's own account and the CPC spokesperson's inability to (and/or desire not to) provide any reasonable explanation of what happened and why, here's a question...

Why is this story getting so little proMedia play, locally, regionally and/or nationally?

And, ya....For those of you who are not from either Courtenay and/or downtown Lotusland Central...It is the same 'Drex'...Imagine that!
Update: 3pm Wednesday...Ms. Thom, via the Twittmachine says that there were dozens of fine folks milling about the room while she was asking her questions...To the best of her knowledge she was the only one who was ushered out...


This Day In Clarkland: Just In Case You Missed It...

...Our good Premier has a fine new wizard working in her office.

It all came down as an adjunct to the recent cabinet shuffle, and we're absolutely certain it had absolutely nothing to do with the naming of the fine former public servant to head the MCFD inquiry:

...Bobbi Plecas moves from Advanced Education to the Office of the Premier...

Absolutely nothing.

Say it again!

Update, Lunchtime Wednesday...Merv Adey and North Van's Grumps actually noticed this one way before the un-bylined VTC story linked to above...Apologies for missing the post while away in the far outer wilds of what used to be Lotusland's rainforest...It's a good one.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#Elxn42...Man In Blue Suit's Media Clampdown Comes To Lotusland.



Update 10am Wed Aug 12th...Kinda/sorta interesting how little proMedia pick-up there has been on this story...Two internal/local Corus radio outlet web pieces (one, on NW's site is dreadful...under Ms. Thom's byline she refers to herself in the third person), one HuffPo, and one very early Province 'blog' hit....Hmmmmm...

Update 9pm Tuesday Aug 11th: Ms. Thom tells her story to 'NW's 'Drex', in which she claims that she was repeatedly harassed by FedCon staffers before being shown the door,....Here.

CKNW's Shelby Thom is escorted out of a campaign event in Richmond for having the audacity to talk to...wait for it...

Mr. Harper's supporters:

You can read more of what happened by having a look at Ms. Thom's twittmachine feed.

Please note: The high-tech shoe as door stop....
Update, 8pm Tuesday night...The Province's Patrick Johnson adds a little context....Why might have Ms. Thom wanted to know how Conservative supporters feel about the devil weed?...Well, earlier today Mr. Harper claimed that the majority of Canadians are against its legalization...