Friday, May 29, 2009

Barbara Yaffe: Blinded by Ignatieff or......

Barbara Yaffe thinks that the recent ad campaign has backfired. I think she is wrong.


The Vancouver Sun May 28, 2009 9:00 PM

A two-week old Conservative advertising campaign that attacks Liberal Leader Michael is flopping, for a bunch of reasons.

Flopping? Judging by the way the Liberals are running around trying to discredit the ads I would say that in itself is proof that they are anything but a flop, but I am not a seasoned unbiased professional such as yourself.

First, the initiative has been undercut by the Harper government's predictably weak political standing in the face of a recession.

"Predictably weak" No bias there Barbara, none at all.

No party in power thrives during an economic crisis, but the Conservatives appear even more challenged than they should be in the midst of the current downturn.

With their credibility in tatters, negative commentary that the Conservatives have been dishing out about "the other guy" rings hollow.

"Tatters" You sure like using these leading adjectives in your writing don't you.

The Ignatieff Liberals have found a particularly vulnerable target in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty who last November projected budget surpluses and even five weeks ago asserted he had a handle on the deficit.

Now, with Flaherty revealing this week that the 2009-2010 deficit will be upwards of $50 billion instead of the anticipated $34 billion, the government looks like it's entirely flustered fiscally.

The Liberals' tag for Flaherty -- "the $50-billion man" -- is far more likely to stick than any mudpies in Conservative ads about Ignatieff being elitist or speaking French with a Parisian rather than a Quebecois accent.

I guess Barbara is not aware that the last budget was fully supported by the Ignatieff and the Liberals and that they have been calling for even more spending which would increase the deficit even more. It's those little nagging details you know.

Second, Ignatieff, in the leadership spot for four months, by now has created an image as a pretty successful leader. Hence, the ads don't ring true.

Indeed, since the former Harvard prof has taken the helm, the Liberals have scooted past Conservatives in the polls.

He has tried to 'create' that image but in reality not so much and so far only the kool-aid drinkers have bought into it. BTW did you look at the latest poll before you wrote this?

He has dissociated the party from the unpopular notion of an opposition coalition, addressed his party's indebtedness and tended to the Grits' fundraising challenges. He's also advancing an appealing policy change in support of more generous Employment Insurance terms.

Just because you write something does not make it true Barb. You may think that Ignatieff has dissociated the Liberals from the coalition, or perhaps you wish it to be true but that monkey is going to be on Iggy's back for some time to come. As for that appealing policy change to EI that you write about, would you be so kind as to please explain to us all how this is not going to add more to that deficit? You right along with the LPC seem to be trying to play it both ways here.

The fact is, Ignatieff is a much better communicator and a more effective partisan than his predecessor, Stephane Dion, who Conservatives were able to successfully portray as a leadership loser.

Well if you say it is a "fact" it must be, because you haven't been wrong yet in this column, but thank you for publicly writing that the Dion ads worked.

Third, the ads portray Ignatieff in a bad light for having travelled and worked abroad for 34 years -- but surely this can be construed as a bonus when you're in line for a job as a national leader.

Surely this came from Liberal talking points the day the ads first aired, but which they later abandoned because it reiterates how long Ignatieff was away from Canada and brings focus onto what he was doing while he was out of the country. Hint: he wasn't working for Canada. Again, if this is such a bonus what is the harm in the ads airing and why are you and the Liberals working so hard to counter these ads?

While Dion opted to ignore Conservative attack ads, Ignatieff is using them to his advantage -- as a launching pad for attacks on the government.

In a YouTube video, he turns the tables on Stephen Harper, accusing the PM of trying to change the channel: "When you're presiding over the worst unemployment in recent times, record bankruptcies and soaring deficits, you'd try to change the channel, too. You'd try to make Michael Ignatieff the issue.

Cheer lead much Barb? Give me an I.....

"But I'm not the issue. Right now Canadians are worried about their jobs ... their pensions."

The Liberal leader cites the Conservatives' criticism of his having lived and worked outside the country and suggests the Harperites are slamming "new Canadians born outside this country" and "Canadians who live and work overseas."

This was day 2 Liberal talking points when they realized that pointing out how long he was gone was not such a great idea but again it, sorry to borrow your word here Barb, flops. The ads are clearly about Ignatieff and Ignatieff alone. It is untrue and purposely divisive spin to claim otherwise and judging by what your hero Iggy says next I would think that the new Liberals would be against that.

He calls for a new kind of politics, characterized by "civility and common purpose." See above.

The Harperites, in deploying the same sort of attacks against the new Liberal leader as the old, were hoping to get results similar to the Dion destruction.

Harperites? Would that make you an Iggyite?

But when tactics are repeated, often the public becomes desensitized and more skeptical.

Kind of like reading you spin Liberal talking points day after day with your column.

Simon Fraser University political scientist John Richards calls the current ad campaign "a dismal portent of how the Tories intend to wage politics in the near term."

I got a quote too. Does it even things up? Political blogger Alberta Ardvark calls the current ads campaign "a brilliant use of the truth by showing Ignatieff's own words and actions to Canadians who might not be fully aware of his past."

For the government's own sake, it had better not be.

The truth is hard to defend against but you and the Liberals are giving it your all trying to do so, and all for the sake of ads that are "backfiring" and show Ignatieff in a positive light.

Additional reading: BC Blue on Yaffe using anonymous website comments in one of her stories.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Liberals send out the lawyers

The Liberals send out the lawyers to try to stop ads that they claim they are not worried about.

C-SPAN's corporate vice president and general counsel, Bruce Collins, said Canada’s Liberals called to alert him to the use of copyrighted footage of leader Michael Ignatieff in a Conservative attack ad.

Collins says he was contacted by a lawyer who said he was representing the Liberals after the ad came out.

“He wanted to know if we were aware if our video was being used in this way,” Collins said. “If our rights were being violated, he wanted us to enforce them.

Those Liberals, always worrying about the rights of others. Err maybe not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Kinsella on Ignatieff

-----Original Message-----
To: Liberal Convention
Sent: Fri Dec 01 20:00:13 2006
Subject: CTV cut away from IGGY

CTV NewsNet cut away from Iggys speech.

Were they bored too?
Posted by Warren Kinsella on 12/1/2006 9:27:05 PM

Feeling lonely? Me too.

As a former Chrétien staffer and I agreed yesterday, you always feel a bit, well, alone in the circumstances in which Michael Ignatieff has placed us.

In the initial handshaking and glad-handing, one wonders (fleetingly) if one shouldn't just get onside and join the frat party. It's truly that seductive, this devolution stuff - and, to be honest, it conforms with our national personality: to compromise. To try and be conciliators. I've seen it before at Meech, and Charlottetown, and any other time a politician wants to write him or herself into the constitutional history books. The elite consensus is so strong, and so pervasive, you start to question yourself.

You shouldn't. As before, as with Meech and Charlottetown, the elites are way, way behind the people. In both of those cases - as now - the people will eventually take notice, and rise up, and put an end to it.


Source. (it looks like it has gone down the memory hole but it is a good thing I have most of the good stuff copied)

Local: Edm-Strathcona News.

For those of you that live in Edmonton-Strathcona and have a current membership there is going to be a nomination candidates forum this Thursday May 28th at Austin O'Brien School 6110-95 Ave at 7 p.m.

The person you choose is the one that gets to face off against incumbent Linda Duncan of the NDP in the next election. So come out, listen to, and talk with the candidates, become informed and choose wisely.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Some more thoughts on the ad campaign.

For Monday a few thoughts on the truth ads put out by the CPC.

The Media: Overwhelmingly the MSM has come out against the ads by saying they are childish, they won't work, they will backfire etc. It was also these same members of the MSM almost to a member who said exactly the same thing about the 'not a leader' Dion ads when they first came out, yet today this same group must grudgingly admit that the Dion ads did work in spite of what they first predicted. They got it wrong last time and I think that time again will prove that they got it wrong a second time as well.

The Liberals: For a group of people who claim they are not concerned about the ads they sure have spent a lot of time responding to them; including radically changing their strategy on fund raising as a direct result of the ads. I guess it is just another case of Liberal words not matching their actions.

The spin: The spin from the Liberal on the ads has been something of a mixed bag. The first comments played the victim card with the Libs decrying the general use of attack ads in general, but this was a tough sell since the Liberals have a long history of doing this very thing themselves and pretty much everyone is aware of it so it fell flat.

The next bit of spin comes from trying to claim that the ads say something they really don't, that is that Ignatieff is not Canadian, or not Canadian enough. BS! Nowhere in any of those ads is the claim made that MI is not Canadian; the only place that this exists is in the minds of liberal hacks trying to take the heat off of their boss. Look, if the CPC really thought that Ignatieff really was not a Canadian you can rest assured that they would not bother to run ads on TV about it they would instead have deported his foreign ass out of Canada a long time ago if that were the case, because as lefties everywhere are always saying, the Harper government is just that evil.

A slight variation on this has now come out from the Liberals claiming that the ads attack new Canadians, or those that work or study abroad, but again they are reaching as the ads are clearly only aimed at Ignatieff and the weak attempt to tie it to others does not stand up to any scrutiny what so ever. The ads deal with Ignatieff and Ignatieff alone; any claims to the contrary are just smoke and mirrors by a party that claims they are not concerned.

The bottom line question: This is what the Liberals are doing everything in their power to distract Canadians from and not to dare answer themselves.

Why did Ignatieff really return to Canada?

No wonder the Libs are doing their best to try to avoid the question because we all know what the answer to that question is don't we. So why hasn't ANYONE in the MSM asked it?

The ads:

Here, here and here.

Ignatieff's response: (sort of)

Update: As I was writing this something sort of ironic hit me. On the subject of the ads with all of the media punditry and the Liberal counter spin involved, the only thing true about any of it is contained in the actual ads themselves.

Late Update:NDP television personality and strategist Brad Levigne:

LAVIGNE: You may have written a book on negative campaigning Warren, but the
"Just Visiting" ads on Ignatieff are a far cry from the "Face" ads against

Here are five reasons why these ads will have an impact.

5. They're timely. Most of the country doesn't know Michael Ignatieff. These
ads, and his response to them, will have an effect on how he is defined by

4. The narrative is simple. It's not about working overseas or about who is a
good Canadian (that's the Liberal talking points trying to change the channel).
The storyline here is questioning the motivation for coming back to Canada after
34 years to get power and if he doesn't get it he'll leave again. Average folks
grasp that. Doubt is being planted in the mind of the jury. Once credibility on
motivation is lost it doesn't matter what Ignatieff promises after that.

3. They use Ignatieff's own words. One reason why the "Not a Leader" ads were
effective was because they used Dion's own words ("Do you think it's easy to
make priorities") and Ignatieff's own words ("Stéphane, we didn't get it done")
to carry the message. This is also the case with "Just Visiting." This is
Ignatieff on Ignatieff. And his lines "this is just as much as my country as it
is yours" in reference to the U.S.A. is devastating to cross-pressured
Liberal-New Democrat vote switchers while "I don't want to take a GST hike off
the table" will be a tough sell to Liberal-Conservative switch voters.

2. The buy is large and the campaign is multi-platform. There's no question
there is some substantial weight behind the ad buy. Pick a non-elite channel or
show, including Blue Jays games and Family Guy and you'll see these ads. It's a
full campaign using a variety of platforms including the web and Facebook
meaning that its reach will be substantial.

1. We're talking about them. And as a result, we're analyzing Ignatieff's
motivations much more closely than had the ads not been produced. There is huge
gulf between the bubble of Ottawa and Main Street Canada. While some
commentators suggest that these ads are "stupid," others need to get over the
fact that just because you don't like the messenger (Harper and his Team),
doesn't detract from the relevant question their ad campaign poses.

But Warren, you are right to suggest that average folks would much rather have
their federal leaders focused on the economy. And while you manage the latest
flip-flop and Tim defends his ads, Jack Layton and the team will continue to
dominate Parliament by getting EI reform, real credit card protection, a right
to repair bill, a charter for airline passengers and help for our vets passed
through Parliament.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"If I am not elected, I imagine that I will ask Harvard to let me back,"

A just visiting Michael Ignatieff said:"“If I am not elected, I imagine that I will ask Harvard to let me back,” Ignatieff said. “I love teaching here, and I hope I’ll be back in some shape or form.”

Quote source

h/t commenter Bruce at Blue Like You.

“I have the best job in the world, and I can’t see any foreseeable circumstance where I want to change. And that’s the hand-on-heart truth,” he told the newspaper.

From the comments a must read :

It reads like a blueprint for Ignatieff's political career to this point.


Related: Courtesy of Chucker who blogged that Ignatieff was on a CBC show and claimed that being our PM was not something that he woke up every morning hungry for.

From the same article above: “I love teaching here, and I hope I’ll be back in some shape or form.”

So here we have a man who would rather be teaching at Harvard than be the PM of Canada.

Come on Canada, let's give Ignatieff what he wants and send him back to the job he loves. It is the Canadian way!

Overheard last week in the Liberal Caucus

The chant USA! USA! USA!

Could this be the reason why some are claiming that the Liberals are the most united they have ever been?

In other news; somewhere Carolyn Parrish is believed to be screaming uncontrollably at this very moment.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ignatieff unites us all again.

Michael Ignatieff the self proclaimed uniter is at it again.

Since it appears that Mr.Ignatieff has no real economic polices of his own he has decided to tap the minds of others to help form future Liberal economic policy. One of those helping him in this endeavor is none other than Ed Clark, the CEO of TD Bank Financial Group and a man who recently assisted the Ontario government on its recent, and not very popular, budget.

But more interesting is that this is the same Ed Clark who as a former senior bureaucrat played a large role in crafting the Trudeau government's National Energy Policy in the 1980s.

Yup you got it. Ignatieff is asking one of the major players in the creation of the NEP to help create Liberal economic policy. Now that is a uniting idea if I have ever heard one because
if there is one thing we in the west, and in Alberta in particular, are fond of that is the NEP. (sarcasm off)

Related: A Liberal blogger's take on Ed Clark.

In Michael's defense he did move away from Canada in 1978 while Trudeau was still PM and the NEP was yet to face the light of day. Perhaps he was unaware of the dislike out west for the NEP and that it turned out to be an absolute failure policy wise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Michael Ignatieff: Words vs actions

Michael Ignatieff: His words, his actions, but perhaps other peoples ideas.

Below you will find a short YouTube video of Michael Ignatieff discussing citizenship and the Liberal Party.

Here is some what he said that he wants to do.

"One of the things I most want to do is to revive the Liberal Party of Canada as a group of citizens working together and make sure that when they meet together at their kitchen tables down at, you know, down in the grassroots of the country and in their homes, we get a kind of channel up right to the cabinet room get up to the leadership so we listen."

While reality was quite different.

The backroom boys who led coup for Ignatieff inside if the LPC did everything in their power NOT to let the grassroots have a say in who would become the party leader. Ignatieff may have said that he wanted to strengthen the grassroots but the truth of the matter is that he hijacked the leadership process and ensured that at the LPC convention policy and renewal was abandoned angering the grassroots of his own party.

Did you happen to catch the bit on electricity corridors?

Say; isn't this one of the very few policy ideas that we have have heard from Iggy and one that he wrote about in his latest book that he claims was not written to improve his electoral chances?

Interesting that he makes no mention that it was not even his idea doncha think?

If this is how Michael Ignatieff treats his own party I would hate to see what how he would treat Canada if he ever became our PM. Let's make sure that does not happen.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Edmonton-Strathcona. Last week to purchase a membership

Friday May 22, 2009 is the deadline to purchase or renew your CPC membership if you want to be eligible to vote in the upcoming nomination contest to chose the candidate that is going to take Edmonton-Strathcona back from Linda Duncan and the NDP.

Do you live in Edmonton-Strathcona and need to update or purchase a membership?

Here are the contact numbers/email of the candidates: (phone #'s edited out)

Cathay Wagantall: Email:

Linda Blade: Email:

Ryan Hastman: Email:

Sign up, get informed and have your voice heard.


I will be writing more on the candidates and the nomination some time in the near future. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ignatieff, a blast from the past.

There is already a long list of times where Ignatieff has put his foot in his mouth and has had to go back to"refine" his own words, but it seems to me that this example has dropped off of the radar.

At a news conference before the vote, Maureen Basnicki, whose husband Ken was among two dozen Canadian victims of the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks, urged MPs to "stop playing politics" and to "vote with their conscience and not with their party.

Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said he sympathized with terror victims but labelled their appearance during the debate as "just a sideshow," prompting an angry response from Basnicki.

"Sideshow? I was a victim of terrorism. My husband was murdered. I don't like to be a victim of politics. The issue here is the security of Canadians," Basnicki remarked.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another day another Ignatieff flip flop.

Michael Ignatieff May 2, 2009:"I'm trying to protect these unemployed workers across the country who badly need help and if the government will work with me, we can get it done," Ignatieff said. "If they won't, we'll have to have an election."

Michael Ignatieff May 13, 2009:
"The call for EI improvements has perhaps been misinterpreted - it isn't a call for elections this summer. I think Canadians by and large would be less than happy to face another election - but I've said earlier we're going to hold the government accountable, and we're continuing to do this, and make Parliament work."

Michael Ignatieff May 14, 2009:
"And I'm telling you straight and I'm telling you clear: I cannot continue to make Parliament work unless we get substantive EI reform before this Parliament rises in June." "But I can't back down on an issue as fundamental as EI. This affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians."

In a little under 2 weeks time Iggy has changed his position 3 times.

What will tomorrow bring?

Quote of the day from May 14, 2009 on Ignatieff weak response to the truth ads: "Canadians who chose to work outside the country don't pretend that Canada is not their country" Dimitri Soudas. h/t Wilson.

Maybe this is why Ignatieff cannot take a stand on anything: Insecure Ignatieff.

The CP gets caught promoting Liberal talking points which again are not based on reality.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A note to Michael Ignatieff.

MI:"On a day when we've got record bankruptcies, we've got unemployment skyrocketing, all this government can think of doing is running attack ads on me," Ignatieff said."This is the old style of politics. We're in the middle of a serious economic crisis. This government needs to grow up and do its job properly."

I know you have been out of the country for a long time and are not familiar with our traditions and norms, but the Government of Canada and The Conservative Party of Canada are 2 different entities. The CPC, which has support and donations that Liberals can only dream of, are the ones that put out the ads.

So Michael just to clarify, it was not the government that put out these ads, it was not government money which paid for the ads, and it wasn't government employees that created the ads. Just helping you do YOUR job properly as the leader of the opposition.

One more thing Michael about this quote were you said the Liberal party "has not and will not run attack ads".

It might be just me but the term blatant lie comes to mind here. Perhaps you were out of the country but The Campaign of Fear™ against the conservatives has been, and I am sure will continue to be, the number one tactic of the LPC. A couple of examples can be seen here, here, here, and in case you forgot about this bit of Liberal love that got free air time thanks to the MSM in Canada.

Just another lie to add to that long and ever growing list of lies, half truths and flip flops.

A quick update: The NDP were the first other party to produce anti Ignatieff ads, but the very first ads were produced by Liberals themselves in the 2006 leadership convention. Does "Anyone but Iggy" or better yet, "Stop Iggy" ring a bell?

“We don’t do that kind of politics in the Liberal party.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ignatieff: I Like Myself.

Last Friday Jane Tabor commented: Last Sunday at the Vancouver airport (they were leaving from the Liberal convention that acclaimed him leader) the two were leafing through copies of HELLO! Canada. Coincidentally, the issue featured the couple – Mr. Ignatieff in a tuxedo and Ms. Zsohar in a fantastic Oscar de la Renta gown.

Jane contends that because Ignatieff enjoys keeping up on all the celebrity news and gossip in tabloid magazines that he is not an intellectual snob, but I contend that this is not really the case.

I think Ignatieff just likes to look at pictures of himself. I could be wrong, but take a look at the following picture and a his extremely happy expression and decide for yourself.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ignatieff, Flaky on the Coalition.

This should get Ruby out of the blogs for a couple of days as Ignatieff again talks of the coalition. May 8, 2009:

Some highlights: If the proposed coalition of opposition parties had come to power last year it would have deeply and enduringly divided Canadians, says Michael Ignatieff.

“There was also a question concerning the legitimacy of the coalition that troubled me.” While he said the coalition was democratic he added it would nonetheless have given Canadians the feeling that the parties had "in some sense or another stolen power.”

“I felt it was very difficult to guarantee the necessary political stability during a time of crisis with three partners in a formal coalition,” “That was my first doubt. I couldn't guarantee the long-term stability of the coalition under the circumstances.”

Coming from a guy who said this Dec 1, 2008: The announcement comes only hours after the three Liberal leadership contenders said they would support Dion as the leader of a new government coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois. Speaking outside of the Liberal caucus meeting, Dominic LeBlanc, standing shoulder to shoulder with Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff, said they all back the deal forged with the NDP.

"The accord that was presented to us received unanimous support and the other issue which is very important is we decided the only person and the best person to lead and form a coalition government is the elected leader of our party, the leader of the opposition Stephane Dion," LeBlanc said.

Ignatieff echoed his words, saying "I support the [coalition] accord because it's fiscally responsible, it provides responsible economic leadership in tough times and it also conserves the basic principles of national unity, equality, that our party has always believed in." and upholds Dion as party leader until May.

"We are at one, the three of us, that the only person who can lead the party is the duly elected leader of the party Mr. Stephane Dion," Ignatieff said.

You can watch Ignatieff here (video 15) ht Wilson.

This December 5, 2008 . "Mr. Harper's only chance for survival is to split the Liberal Party of Canada." "He will try to drive a wedge between us, and he will not succeed. Our party is united in its determination to face Mr. Harper down."

"Canadians can have confidence in a coalition, provided they know certain things are on the table and certain things are off it at all times. And they have our iron-clad assurance they we will govern in their best interest.

"I think this is what Canadian people pay us to do. They pay us to get it right, and I think we have to find a way out of this for all Canadians. I am convinced we can do this. We are up to it. "We are aware we are we are living historic moments. We are aware of the responsibility."

And this January 21, 2009 : "The choice is up to Mr. Harper," Ignatieff said after the meeting. "It's up to him to make the right decision and up to me to decide if he made it. A coalition is still a possibility . . . a coalition if necessary, but not necessarily, a coalition."

And with all the doubts that he now says that he was having about the coalition Ignatieff still managed to sign this:

This guy is too flaky to even be considered for the job of PM as his word and signature obviously mean squat.

Update: Dr. Roy in the comments brings up a very interesting point. If Iggy had doubts about the stability of the coalition back in December when he signed the agreement, he wasn't just lying to Canadians, he was also lying to the Governor General to get her to allow this coalition to take power claiming among other things that it would be stable enough to form the government.

Steve Janke doesn't mince words: Ignatieff is a liar. He also has an interesting point at the end of his blog entry asking when Ignatieff is going to thank the PM for proroguing Parliament and saving the country from an unstable coalition government involving "people who want to split my country up".

Update May 21: Coyne has similar thoughts.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pork Cull: Does Alberta Agree with China?

About 500 hogs have been culled on the pig farm in Alberta where the new swine flu virus was detected. The cull was not due to the animals possibly being sick or carrying the H1N1 A virus but rather due to overcrowding. Normally the farm would be sending about 100 animals off the farm weekly to market, while at the same time 100 piglets are born to replace those that are sent off the farm. With one half of this process not taking place due to the quarantine, the number of pigs on the farm has increased beyond the capacity of the farm to properly care for them forcing the need for a cull.

Up to this point I have no problems with what has taken place because the farm only has so much capacity and with the increased numbers on the farm it makes sense for such a cull.

Now here is what I am having a BIG problem with.

Alberta's chief veterinarian Dr. Gerald Hauer said the following; "Everything is obviously being diverted from the human food chain and actually we're diverting it from the rendering chain as well, just to be on the safe side."

After doing everything they can all last week to tell the world that there are no valid reasons for countries to close their borders to Alberta pork because it is safe; the chief veterinarian of Alberta tells us that "to be on the safe side" that they are going to keep these animals not only out of the human food chain but out of the rendering chain as well.

Talk about validating the decision of countries like China to close borders to Alberta pork. I mean if China or anyone else are closing borders to be on the "safe side" how can we now argue the point.

Friday, May 08, 2009

On Conspiracy and Timing

Joyce Murray on Power Play was pushing the conspiracy theory by questioning the timing of the nanny allegations by asking who benefits the most by having these allegations surface after the recent Liberal leadership coronation of the now absent Michael Ignatieff. Of course when directly questioned by Tom Clark about who she thinks is behind the "conspiracy" Murray just looked stunned and couldn't, or rather wouldn't answer the direct question looking very foolish in the process, but that brings up an interesting point on timing.

If this was some kind of evil plot by the conservatives wouldn't it have been better to have these allegations come out just before the LPC convention and not after? I mean with the press that this has been getting it would have totally devastated the Liberal convention as the media would be sticking microphones in the faces of every Liberal they could find, and they all were there, asking not about the new leader but about the nanny scandal. To suggest that this information was being held back for after the convention for political benefit is just about as stupid as claiming that the nanny scandal is some kind of conspiracy in the first place, but when it is all that you got.......

I just thought about this again and maybe there is something to it. I now believe that this information may have been held on to until after the convention for political gain, but it wasn't the conservatives who were playing games with the timing, it was the Liberals themselves. At least the Provincial Liberals of Ontario sure look like they were.

Some background on the timing:

Ontario Liberals hold a public roundtable during the week of April 20, 2009 where the nannies feel comfortable enough to come forward with their allegations.

The Liberals give the nannies a hotline number to call at that same meeting.

The hot line # becomes active a week later.

The Star interviews Ruby Dhalla (PDF) April 29, 2009. (Ruby Dhalla tells Judy Sgro about the interview/story.)

The Liberal convention takes place April 30 - May 3 2009.

The Star breaks the story May 9, 2009. (Ruby Tuesday)

Michael Ignatieff caught by reporters in the hallways of the H of C says only "We are checking the facts."

Ruby holds a press conference May 8, 2009, nothing new is learned other than the claim that this is some kind of conspiracy with no details given.

Michael Ignatieff briefly comes out of hiding on the 8th due to contractual obligations to flog his book and says the following:"As leader of the party, it's tremendously important that every member of Parliament, everybody in public life treats their employees with the utmost respect and that they comply in every detail with federal and provincial law. We've been working closely, in my office, with Ruby Dhalla. She has mounted a vigorous defence of the charges made against her. They're serious charges. We take them very seriously," Ignatieff said. "We need to get to the bottom of these allegations quickly, get closure, both for Ms. Dhalla and the young women in question." Ignatieff refuses to answer reporters questions.

May 10, 2009. The Liberal Party of Canada caucus refuses to send anyone to discuss the issue on CTV's Question Period.

May 12, 2009. Ignatiev (proper Russian spelling) the Illegitimate comes out in support of Ruby, sort of. Angry on Ignatieff's ability not to be able to take a position and stick with it. From the link: "I think Ruby made a vigorous defence of her integrity, her honour and her treatment of these – the people in her employ"

Stay tuned........

Oh oh! Somebody else taken advantage of?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Don Martin:Smelling up the place.

Don Martin has out done himself with his latest on the Dhalla nanny scandal. (My comments in bold and I have highlighted some of the more interesting parts.)

Being young, ethnic, female, ambitious and camera-friendly should be the dream ingredients of Canadian political star power.

But in federal politics, they make you a juicy target. (Based on what Don, your own opinion or is it that anyone in politics is a target. Juicy or otherwise.)

Ruby Dhalla is the Liberal MP at the epicentre of an incredibly nasty smear campaign as she moves to fight allegations by a pair of Philippine nannies who accuse her of making them work too hard doing menial tasks beyond their job description. (It only a smear if it isn't true. Neither you nor I know this at this time but don't let it stop you.)

This has triggered a mighty media firestorm, with some of her own MPs, quoted as anonymous sources, decrying her as “high maintenance” and gleefully piling on her in payback for being all-about-Ruby with little Liberal party dedication.

The PM goes to Afghanistan.

The PM goes to Afghanistan and leaves the safety of the Kandahar base to tour the good work we are doing in that country, while back in Ottawa Michael Ignatieff is still hiding under his desk.

Joanne at Blue Like You was thinking the same thing @ the same time. LOL, great minds =)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's Ruby Tuesday!

A little late to the party but an article in the Toronto Star today about Ruby Dhalla has just ended Michael Ignatieff's honeymoon period much sooner than I bet he was expecting. His only comment today was that they "we're checking the facts."

Since most of you are already aware of the details there is no need to go over them all again, but here are a few things that I found interesting in the article and maybe the Liberal fact checkers might find them interesting as well.

Ruby is "Shocked and appalled" over these allegations and stated that she had"no knowledge of the details regarding the live-in caregivers for her family" or "no involvement in the selection, interviewing, hiring, supervising, sponsoring or any financial transactions whatsoever with a live-in caregiver for my family."

All of the nannies say otherwise, Richelyn Tongson has stated that she was interviewed and hired by Ruby Dhalla on Feb. 22, 2008, the same day Gordo said she quit. Tongson said Ruby Dhalla gave her a test, making a noodle dish. She said the MP liked it and put Tongson on a three-week "tryout," promising to sponsor her if she worked hard during the trial period, she said.

Interesting considering that it is not just the nannies who are saying otherwise but so is Akemi Taniguchi, who runs a placement agency that placed the nannies. Taniguchi said she dealt mainly with Ruby Dhalla and placed the women after the MP assured her she could expedite the necessary work permits. "I was told that she could work on it right away because she's an MP," said Taniguchi. Also of note is that when Tongson was worried about her passport being taken she turned to Intercede, a separate agency that helps foreign workers. Intercede has confirmed that they called Ruby Dhalla's office in Ottawa and got immediate results.

That sure is a lot of people saying the same thing isn't it.

Here are a couple of other things I found interesting. Ruby is quoted as saying " I've never raised my voice to anyone." Umm, has anyone ever seen her on the attack in the House of Commons? Come on. Also one of the nannies stated that when she finally was paid the money owed to her that payment was made to her at a McDonald's restaurant and she recieved $400 cash in a bag.

Cash in a bag given at a restaurant. LOL, this just gets better and better.

So there we are. There are lots of other questions like were the proper taxes deducted, or how can a live in nanny possibly work legally without the necessary LMO paperwork, why didn't the proper government agencies know about these nannies etc, but those I will leave up to the fact checkers in the OLO to get to the bottom of.

More from Ruby on a recent visit to India.

I know the spin on this was that she had no idea that the children were beaten by the police, but if this was the case why did she in the FIRST interview make the comment that "I cannot control what the police does." unless the police had already done something that she was aware of? More questions for the OLO fact checkers I guess.

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday.........

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Uniter uses the word "we" an awful lot

Michael Ignatieff on CNN. Count the number of times he uses the word "we".

Ignatieff says the Darndest Things.

"I have a fundamental disagreement with the Prime Minister about how he handles the country, that is I think he divides, as opposed to unites".

What the ...? How can Michael Ignatieff make a statement like that, which itself is intended to be divisive, about how the PM is being divisive and still manage to do it with a straight face knowing the Liberal record on divisive politics?

This is not something you would expect from a so called academic who is supposed to know Canadian politics to say; it is like he was out of the country or something for the last 27 years.....

Wait a minute.

Here is some more of what Ignatieff the Illegitimate* has been saying on this subject.

"For three years you have played province against province, group against group, region against region, individual against individual," referring to the PM.

"When your power was threatened last November you unleashed a national unity crisis and you saved yourself only by sending Parliament home.

Is Iggy saying that he actually does support the coalition with that statement? I get so confused with Ignatieff's position on this at times; but really what else could he be implying here other than he wished that the PM would have been tossed out by a coalition headed by Stephane Dion????

Update: Charles Adler has some eerily similar thoughts

* copyright The Anthill Institute.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Michael Ignatieff: Ready to take on PM Harper.

How can Michael Ignatieff possibly be ready to face off against PM Harper when he can't even find the courage needed to face his own party membership who voted against him in 2006?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Did you know....

Did you know that according to Liberal spin doctors that:

This is a conservative recession. It is not a world wide recession and what is happening in other countries around the world should be ignored.

If you criticize Ignatieff in any way shape or form it really means that you are really just scared of him. It definitely does not mean that there may be something legitimate to criticize or point out to the public other than you are Iggyphobic.

The reason that the Liberals have not released any policy is because if they do the conservatives will steal them. It definitely does not mean that they have no policies or care enough not to play politics with good ideas (if they did have any) and keep them a secret from Canadians while they suffer through a recession so the Liberals can benefit.

The Liberal Party is more united now then it has ever been. It definitely does not mean that there are still deep divisions within the party going back decades and new ones created when Ignatieff and his crew tossed out the party constitution and democratic process by seizing control of the party.