It's quiet ... *Too* quiet ...

Sorry about the paucity of posts. I'm up to my eyeballs trying to get work clued up in advance of my road trip to Montreal for the CPC convention.

More to follow!

- Jason.


Goodbye, Randy White...

There's no question that this guy had the firm support of the people in his riding (I wish that all CPC MP's had this level of support). It's also quite likely that he enjoyed the support of many socially conservative members of the CPC, and perhaps he even had some supporters amongst people who are concerned that decision-making power has been taken from - or abandonned by - Parliament in favour of the courts.

But while I can commend his service, and while I can - to at least some extent - appreciate his point of view, the fact is that his infamous "to heck with the courts, eh" interview did the Party a lot of damage. Not just in terms of its content, but because it demonstrated that at least some high-profile, long-serving CPC MP's continued to see themselves as an opposition party, rather than a government in waiting.

The whole issue of freedom for individual MP's to speak for their constituents is something I do feel strongly about, and I don't have time to do it justice now. But I also believe that there has to be a certain amount of discipline and restraint. Yes, I do think the whole interview was a set-up, but an experienced politico should have seen it coming, and acted accordingly.

Even if you do honestly feel that socially conservative values are worth fighting for - and I have a lot of respect for those who do, even if I disagree on a particular issue - the fact remains that you need to be able to persuade people, not scare them or put them off.

So, speaking solely as a grassroots CPC member, I can say "thanks" to Mr White for his service to his constituents, while still offering a much more grudging "thanks" for reminding us what happens when we shoot from the lip without thinking it through. Too bad the latter lesson had to be paid for with more Liberal seats.

- Jason.


88% - It's enough, but still ...

This is obviously good news for Paul Martin ... but I wonder if it gnaws at him that it's not quite as high as what ol' Jean got at his review?


Let Us Never Forget

As we mourn them, let us never forget that men and women like these are the ones who we depend on to uphold the rule of law and civilized society.

This isn't the time to debate what lessons - if any - can be learned from their deaths in the line of duty. That time will come. For now, let's remember how much we all depend on the bravery, skill, integrity and dedication of our police officers across the country.

God rest their souls, and bless their families.

- Jason.

King John

Good column from Premier John Hamm in the Globe and Mail (it's behind a subscription wall, so no link for you, but the main page is, of course, here). In it he talks about the recent offshore oil / equalization deal between NS, NL and the feds.

I'm naturally inclined to give Premier Danny Williams a large portion of credit for the deal, and I think he deserves it. But it should be noted that John Hamm has been beating the "campaign for fairness" drum for years, and lately his particular negotiating style was a good compliment to DW's.

Anyway, the reason for the plug today is that in his Globe piece, Hamm re-commits to putting every cent of the money he got from Ottawa against the provincial debt. Now, take the following into account when you consider what this means:

  1. NS, while arguably the largest & strongest of the Atlantic economies, isn't exactly rolling in dough (although apparently, they are planning to bring in another balanced budget);
  2. You know everyone and their dog probably had plans in mind for how to spend that money as soon as it was announced; and
  3. Hamm - like a certain PM I could name - is in a minority-government position. The temptation, and the pressure, to simply spend that money and spend it quick to try and secure a majority must have been substantial.

And yet, here's a guy who'll use the cash to pay down his province's debt. I think that's pretty darned impressive.

(For interest's sake: I understand that Williams plans to put his dollars into an Alberta Heritage Fund-style trust account. I would think most conservatives would find that pretty acceptable, too.)

- Jason.


Quick n' Dirty Thoughts Re: PCPO '05

Some random thoughts on the PC Party of Ontario's convention last weekend:

* It seems the Party intends to move to "the centre" (whatever *that* means). On the one hand, it should be noted that thanks in large part to Mike Harris, the "centre" has been shifted. On the other, if we're just going to be "Liberal Lite", I can see this causing some problems.

* That said, the policy process should belong to the membership. If conservative PCPO members don't get out there and get involved in that process, there'll be little point bellyaching once it's done.

* Credit where credit is very much due: John Tory is really quite good at connecting with an audience (true, an audience of Tories, but nevertheless, I could name some party leaders who weren't able to do so). He's also pretty quick on his feet. Libs who think his lack of political experience will leave him tongue-tied at Queens Park may be in for a surprise. Besides which, let's remember that the guy *did* run for mayor of Toronto, which means taking part in about 5,000 meetings, speeches, debates & c. over the course of a few months, and his performance during that campaign continuously improved. There's naturally be a learning curve, but he'll be fine.

* The mood over the weekend, even amongst right-leaning Tories, was quite positive. Granted, there wasn't much that was divisive on the agenda, but I can only hope that the CPC convention in Montreal is as upbeat.

* The seminars that I attended were quite useful. They may be as dull as dishwater to the non-hacks out there, but I find that you usually do pick up a few tricks of the trade. When you live in a most-decidedly un-conservative riding (for now, he says, in a fit of optimism), you can use all the help you can get, and I got some here.

* A new party executive was elected - or in most cases, acclaimed. However, in the contested races for which I had a vote (i.e., treasurer and secretary, and not the regional VP's), "my" candidates won, so huzzah.

All in all, a good time and a good use of a weekend. Now it's time to get ready for Montreal ...

- Jason.