Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shameful Tactics at the University of Guelph

I only found out about this today as I casually saw the front page of today's Guelph Mercury. The University of Guelph's Central Student Association (CSA) revoked official club status for Life-Wise, Guelph's pro-life club, and on hearing an appeal of the decision the board of governors was not able to come to a conclusion.

The Guelph Mercury was right to condemn the CSA's decision noting:

For an ostensibly "pro-choice" entity, the Central Student Association at the University of Guelph has made an incredibly ill-advised choice in pulling the accreditation of a campus anti-abortion club. . . . Through its action, the student association's board has signalled that "freedom of choice" in this instance is limited to just one side of the extremely controversial debate about abortion -- and that's not the anti-abortion side.

Exactly right. I don't understand how the inherent contradiction is not obvious to this student society as they state in the same breath, I'm 'pro choice', and you don't have the right to form/choose an opinion. It's enough to make your brain explode.

I still think/hope that they will come to the right decision, however, the very fact that the CSA wants to silence opposing viewpoints is a sad commentary on the student leadership at Guelph.

Monday, October 27, 2008

When Will we Kill (or at Least Neuter) Human Rights Commissions?

This is wrong. Just wrong. The Canadian thought police are at it again, but this time they aren't just picking on a poor print shop owner or a right wing blogger. According to Ezra Levant, they're going after a former member of parliament. It's a relatively short article, and it's tough to pull out the most relevant part but this should give you a sense of the story:

In Saskatchewan, the CHRC [Canadian Human Rights Commission] is prosecuting a former Member of Parliament for politically incorrect mail that he sent to constituents five years ago.

Jim Pankiw, an MP who served from 1997 to 2004, is on trial for sending out flyers criticizing Indian crime in Saskatchewan. If convicted, Pankiw can face massive fines. He could also face other orders, ranging from a forced apology to a lifetime ban on commenting about aboriginal issues. If Pankiw refuses to comply with such an order, he could serve time in jail.

. . .

It’s unlikely that Pankiw will win, because the CHRC isn’t a real court, and real defences don’t apply. It’s presided over by a non-judge, and the hearing is stacked with every kind of politically correct apparatchik around. Take one of the “experts” relied upon by the CHRC, Derek Smith of Carleton University. As Terry O’Neill reported when the complaint was filed more than four years ago, Smith found proof of Pankiw’s racism in the colour of ink used in the brochures: black and red, on white paper.

Those are “colours very much associated with aboriginal people, for whom four colours have come to be associate with the four cardinal directions and have great spiritual significance,” wrote Smith. “One can hardly claim that the symbolism in this pamphlet is not inflammatory.”

Honestly this is scary stuff. Elsewhere in the article, Ezra rightly points out that MPs are given greater freedom of speech than ordinary Canadians through Parliamentary privilege. If they can't publish flyers on a legitimate election issue, then what about the rest of us?

It's time to reign these lunatics in. Now.

Incidentally, this is not new. It's been an issue for years and it's becoming mainstream. Back in the spring I had a post about Rick Mercer letting Canadians know about this travesty of justice.

It's Funny Because it's True!

I haven't heard it as much this year with all the Obamania, but there always seems to be some Hollywood star that threatens to move to Canada if the Republicans win. This video let's them know just how welcome they are!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Mornings May Never be the Same!

Our Church had a Hallow e'en fundraiser last Friday. It was a great success, must have had 1/3 of all the couples in the parish there. I was amazed by the creativity of the costumes. Actually it was really stiff competition, we had to settle for runners up in the best couple's costume category. We just couldn't compete with the couple that came as the cheerleaders from Will Ferrel's old Saturday Night Live skit, the perfect cheer. We certainly couldn't compete with their dancing! Other competition came from Indiana Jones and Laura Croft, Old Elpaso Salsa and the Nacho Man, A Football and Basketball player, and a Hippie couple where the husband wore an authentic baby blue leisure suit.

Our Priest, Father Jack Sparrow, had one of the best individual costumes, while the biker gang, super-safe cyclists, and the 50's table were awesome groups.

I expected an entertaining evening, but by letting loose with the people we usually just smile politely at, I had way more fun than I would ever have imagined. We'll definitely go again next year.

The only thing was that mass this morning seemed different. It's probably something about imagining a reader in Western gear and a Eucharistic minister in blue leather pants!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why The Election Mattered

I've heard it said repeatedly that this election was a waste of time and money. One of my favourite commenters has even said it repeatedly. Well nonsense. In the spring session of parliament the Bloc, NDP, and Liberals threatened to defeat every government bill. Stephen Harper responded by making every vote a confidence motion, and the opposition parties would eventually give up and allow the bill to pass. It was workable enough, in fact it wasn't substantially different than the earlier sessions when the tactics were similar.

The big difference this time was the volume of the oppostition. Based on their bravado, the opposition parties would almost certainly defeated the government this fall. The election was a matter of when not if.

Critics will say that the result is still the same, nothing has changed. Again that's simply not true. Stephen Harper gained a strengthen minority government. While they're rebuilding, the opposition Liberals will have to ensure the Conservatives can push forward they're agenda, so we're guaranteed to have an effective government for at least a couple years.

The leaders that matter are sounding pretty conciliatory right now, and I believe Stephen Harper can be either cooperative or ruthless, so it's going to be up to the Liberals to set the tone. Either way the Conservative agenda will go through.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Victory in Kitchener Centre


YEAH! Stephen Woodworth won in Kitchener Centre by 339 votes. I'm elated to have such a strong conservative and such a good man on his way to Parliament. Congratulations Stephen!

I'm deeply satisfied with my decision to help out in Kitchener instead of in my own riding. Michael Chong earned another massive mandate with 57.6% of the vote, so he managed to do OK without my help.

It's really late, but I'm very happy! I may be late for work in the morning.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

For the Record . . .

I predict a Conservative majority in today's election. Given my track record that's maybe not saying a lot, but I believe it will happen especially with today's strength on the markets easing people's fears. I'll be doing my part to get out the vote in Kitchener Centre.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Informed Opinion Says Vote Conservative.

The endorsements for Stephen Harper have come fast and furious. The Economist, an international magazine based in Britain started things off on Thursday with the ringing endorsement, Stephen Harper does not deserve to be dumped. Despite their distance, they've actually a good read on the situation:
Canadians have not warmed to him [Harper]: he comes over as a bloodless control
freak. But he is hardworking, and a skilled parliamentary tactician. He governs a rather successful country that needs incremental improvement, not a revolution.
The Globe and Mail has a similar, though less entertaining assessment. Identifying many of Harper's faults, they also state that he's a competent leader. More importantly they identify that Harper has been able to grow in office:

Indeed, the most important characteristic Mr. Harper has shown over 33 months in
office is a capacity to grow. There is no reason to think he won't continue along the same trajectory if re-elected — a good thing, too, since there is much more for him to learn. . . .

Whatever you think of him, the Stephen Harper of today is not the Stephen Harper of 2004 or earlier. The "firewall" temperament has largely subsided, despite the odd recurrence on matters such as artists who choose free expression over popularity. He is in better control of his emotions. He is smart enough and adaptable enough to recognize that his tendencies toward pettiness and hyper-partisanship hold him and his party back.

By and large, Canadians still don't really trust Mr. Harper and so he has not yet earned their comfort with a majority government. If he prevails next Tuesday, it will be as a default choice, not a popular choice. Voters generally respect him — and, right now, competence trumps the unknown — but if he ever hopes to complete the
construction of a governing party of the right and be remembered as more than a middling, minority prime minister, Mr. Harper will have to show as much capacity to grow over the next four years as he has over the past four.

It's true there are reasons to doubt Stephen Harper. He's incredibly shrewd and I'm sure that he will change his mind on any issue if he sees an advantage, the Globe calls this 'growing'. However, even though I've been disappointed on some issues - beginning with his decision to merge the Canadian Alliance and PC parties - his judgement has been incredibly sound.

The Vancouver Sun has also joined the chorus summing up the decision quite neatly:

While the Liberals and NDP have tried to use the economic uncertainty to their advantage, it's clear to most Canadians that our government can't be blamed for the downdrafts we are starting to feel here.

That understanding defines the economic issue as "who can best manage the economy in uncertain times," rather than "who is responsible for the mess we're in."

This has been the Conservative message. Steady leadership for uncertain times. It's the right answer especially since the markets in New York posted their largest one day gain ever today, proving Stephen Harper's calm reaction to the recent weakness in markets was once again the right decision.

Finally the strongest endorsement from a national newspaper belongs to the National Post. The National Post slams into the Liberals hard and provides a new take on why it's best to vote Conservative:

Most importantly of all, Mr. Harper has avoided the temptation to impose any large-scale Trudeauvian social-engineering schemes on the country, of the type the Liberals seem to cook up every few years. Yesterday's Tory platform, largely a rehash of previous announcements, is admirably stingy. It contains no multi-billion-dollar pharmacare program, no federally micromanaged daycare, no new National Energy Program. And for that, Canadians should be thankful.

It's true, and very similar to the point I made in my last post. Too often politicians are trying to sell us a new bold agenda that is taking us some place we don't want to go (think Green Shift).

So, I'm not going to tell you how you should vote ~ cough Conservative cough ~ but bear in mind that most major publications in this country have offered solid reasons to vote Conservative today!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Social Policy in the Election

I haven't blogged much on the election this past week. One big reason is I'm upset at Harper's complete refusal to even let his MPs bring up the topic of abortion. I think it shows a contempt of parliament, and a contempt for many of his supporters, donors and volunteers.

However, I think it's useful to think about the reason he made that claim. Harper felt the need to insulate himself from the claims he has a hidden agenda to radically change Canadian social policy. I just don't understand how that can stick, he's had three years to try to push an agenda and he hasn't done anything.

I understand social policy is divisive and most people would rather just not talk about it. In real life, neither do I. For this reason, the opposition has a lot of incentive to make Harper look like an extremist. After all, it's worked before. The only problem is it's a pile of hooey. If you want to avoid difficult social issues, the only way to vote is Conservative.

The left has plenty of social issues they want to press. Liberal senators are regularly pushing for euthanasia. The NDP and the Greens are for decriminalizing drugs. Further down the line are polygamy and legal prostitution.

As much as I would like him too, Harper is not going to push the abortion issue, but he won't push the other issues either and that's a very good thing.

Life Chain in KW

Sunday was a beautiful day for the Life Chain in Kitchener. I've been to a number of pro-life events on King St. in front of Grand River Hospital, but today seemed different. Maybe because we're in the middle of an election campaign, maybe it was just the fresh fall air, but there was an energy that isn't always there. Approximately 150 people sacrificed a few hours on a Sunday afternoon to stand for life and speak out against abortion. Notable was the vast range in age, there were a few less of the old pro life stalwarts and a lot more young people and new families.

Lots of cars honked the horns, many happy honks, and a few less happy honks. Many people waived most with a smile, some with a few fingers missing. And there were a lot of people who just turned and looked and then started a conversation in their car. So I think it's safe to say that the people in the traffic seemed more engaged than during other years.

There were also two small things that I've never seen before. First a great big bus full of passengers honked the horn again and again passing the whole block as the bus driver waived. Second about 30 minutes into the event a small car stopped suddenly and a girl who looked about 16 years old jumped out of the car started talking to her friends and picked up a sign of her own!

Talk about results, and all we had to do was stand around and enjoy the fresh fall air!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Strengthened at Mass

There's a big meeting that will determine the future of my company today. It will likely have an impact on my career. I can envision more negative outcomes than posititive ones. Naturally, this has been weighing on me for a while. So part of the second reading at Mass yesterday was more than welcome:
Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and
petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of
God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ
Thanks, St. Paul, I needed that.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Crazy Talk

See my earlier post, Maybe They Should All Resign. A couple days ago there was more crazy talk from the Liberals that another Conservative candidate, Alice Wong, should resign. Here's the scandal:

Wong is alleged to have donated to the group, attended fundraising dinners and been a member and fundraiser for Defend Marriage in B.C., a twin organization.

Wong spoke alongside K-John Cheung of the family values association at an August 2003 rally against Bill C-250, which added sexual orientation to hate-speech laws.

Now wait a second, defend marriage was a big, mainstream effort to defend the definition of marriage as a man and a woman. Opponents of Bill C-250 sought to protect free speech. The ridiculous assertion that Alice Wong should be silenced because she stands for free speech, proves just how necessary her actions are. I'll be watching the results from her riding on election day.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Knocking on Doors in Kitchener Centre

On Monday night I went door to door for Stephen Woodworth in Kitchener Centre. The Liberal candidate won last time by about 11%, but with the Conservatives lead in the polls it will be a very close race for certain. Just a few observations:

  • If the poll I walked was any indication, the riding will go solidly Conservative.
  • Stephen Harper's biggest problems seem to be with voters that I would have suspected would lean Conservative. The first door I knocked on, the person who answered the door said he normally voted Conservative, but wasn't sure because he was very upset that the Order of Canada was given to Henry Morgentaler. Another voter was really upset because they thought the election wasn't necessary.
  • It takes all kinds. There was one house with a Green party sign, and 4 big gas guzzling vehicles parked in the driveway.

Last thing, I forgot how much I enjoy doing the real work of an election campaign. I definitely hope to be out a few more times and of course on Election Day!