Sunday, August 27, 2006

Off to the Races: Dion, Ignatieff and Québec.

Just got back from a few days off, mostly spent frolicking in the Eastern Townships wilderness with Jules and the humans. Lots of catching up to do on my reading.

First big surprise, even Montréal’s Le Devoir
has nice things to say about our man Stéphane Dion. Sorry, just a partial link here
as you need to subscribe to read the whole thing.

However, here’s a rough translation on the subtitle: "The Big Surprise of the Summer: Stéphane Dion’s Performance". Le Devoir’s Hélène Buzzetti then goes on to say: "Without a doubt, the biggest surprise so far in this leadership race has been, at least from a Québec standpoint, Stéphane Dion’s performance. Indeed, despite a disappointing finance campaign, Dion succeeded in entering the top tier, next to Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff."

I know that many pundits and bloggers have, in the past, doubted Mr. Dion’s capacity to gain traction in the province of Québec. If you lived in Québec, you would know that if even the separatist Le Devoir now considers their mortal foe to be a top contender, the times they-are-a changing. Actually, the mere fact that they’re writing about Stéphane Dion without any offensive and gratuitous remarks is quite telling. More on that topic later. Hope someone translates the whole thing.

I still have to read the quasi-novel about Michael Ignatieff in Saturday’s Globe. I hear it’s a good piece. I won’t link to it though, since everyone has already done so.

Finally, about a week ago, I referred to an editorial about Dion in Québec’s Le Soleil entitled Coureur de fond. You can read it here
in its English translation: Long Distance Runner.

All things considered, I’d say that things are picking up. Looks like a lot of people agree: we now have a Big Three: Ignatieff, Rae and Dion. September should be fun. Start your engines!

Wag on,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Another Vic Toews Gem!!!

Last week, Justice Minister Vic Toews toyed with the idea of sending 10 year old kids to jail.
His latest gem: Why not do away with preliminary hearings altogether? Says
the Honourable Toews: “Quite frankly, I don't see the value any more of the preliminary hearing”.

Toews added: "in most situations, all we're doing is duplicating. We're giving defence lawyers, essentially, a second kick at the cat." That is verbatum: "at the cat." At least according to the

Here are a few un-educated thoughts:

1. I don’t know about you, but when I was a young pup, I kicked the can, never the cat;
2. Preliminary hearings, in many cases, actually save money, when the judge decides that a trial is not in order (i.e. insufficient evidence. Yes, it often happens);
3. Many accused actually elect to skip the prelim hearing phase;
4. Our criminal justice system has been working just fine for a very long time. And it’s considered one of the best in the WWW (whole wide world). So don’t mess with it!
5. What’s next? Skip trial and go straight to sentencing?

Please, Mr. Toews, don’t cause too much damage.
Three tails down for Toews – No pun intended!


Monday, August 21, 2006


Yesterday, in my Iggy and Dion post, I wrote that the Dion Environmental platform would be released within a week. It seems like my source misspoke, or that my ears were filled with bugs. Anyway, my entry should have read “in the upcoming weeks”. Sometimes, you hear something and want to be the first pup to report it … so you run with it like a brand new bone!!!

One tail down for me,

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Iggy to Go Green - Dion is Green

Our sources, and to be honest, Sunday’s Star, tell us that Michael Ignatieff will announce his environmental policy this Monday. Will it be Kyoto Lite or Kyoto Plus? Let’s wait and see. I wouldn’t hold my breath. But then again, I’m a Dion pup.

Environmentally speaking, reliable sources told the Alter Boys that Alpha Dog Stéphane Dion – our main man – will release a very detailed Policy statement on energy and climate change within a week. This one I can’t wait to read. The man does have serious green credentials.

Wag on,

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mea Culpa

Yesterday, I barked and grunted about the MSM’s lack of coverage of the Dion campaign. Well, I barked too soon. Mea Maxima Culpa: Here
is Today’s Globe and Mail piece on our main man, courtesy of Campbell Clark.

There’s also a front page piece on Orchard supporting Dion in the National Post.

Speaking of the Post, Jules and I are preparing a few barks and bites of our own in response to Barbara Kay's irrational rants on Quebecistan. Coming soon.

Wag on,


Another Blow to the Bush Empire

This just in: A few minutes ago, a U.S. Federal judge ruled that the Government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional. The judge ordered an immediate end to the program.
Of course, this is not the end of it, but it's a good start. Although they haven't said so yet, you can bet your shirt on this: they will appeal!

Two tails up,


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What's up Toronto?

Interesting piece by Campbell Clark in the August 16 edition of
The Globe and Mail
entitled “Liberal rivals pick up the pace.” It’s all about who is picking up steam. It’s all about Iggy and Rae. Who has the big MO? What will Dryden, Kennedy, Volpe and Brison do?

However, it’s still a mystery to us why some of the Toronto MSM just go on ignoring the Dion campaign. Of course, we at the Alter Boys have indicated, way back in May, that we were endorsing the Alpha Dog Stéphane Dion. Of course, our bias is clear. But still, it seems that some national papers, like The Globe, just refuse to acknowledge that Dion is a serious contender. Iggy and Rae might sell more papers, but …

Some people might, just might, get a big surprise when the fat lady sings. It’s not unheard of.

Wag on,


A Few Bones to Chew On: Rae, Dion, Hersh

Congrats to Bob Rae for attracting Maurizio Bevilacqua over to his camp. As far as I’m concerned, Maurizio is a serious, decent and well-respected guy. I’m just wondering though: Rae and Bevilacqua being on opposite sides of the left-right spectrum (Liberally speaking), will Maurizio’s people follow? To be continued. Comments anyone?

Congrats as well to Stéphane Dion, for getting David Orchard’s endorsement. The guy might be a tad controversial, but his supporters are said to be loyal, so Dion gets a few more votes there. It’s just realpolitik. Granted, Orchard has been a Liberal for only a year or so. But then again, when did Bob Rae buy his membership card?

A few days ago, I linked to an op-ed, in French, by Stéphane Dion, on the role of our Canadian Armed Forces. The English version is now available on Dion’s site, here.

If you haven’t read Seymour Hersh’s piece in The New Yorker
about the latest Middle-East conflict, get to it! If you believe everything Hersh says - and I’m inclined to believe him - those gung-ho guys in the White House are even more incompetent (and dangerous) than I thought they were.

Here’s just a little bits and pieces to chew on:

The Bush Administration was closely involved in the planning of Israel’s retaliatory attacks. President Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney were convinced, current and former intelligence and diplomatic officials told me, that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah’s heavily fortified underground-missile and command-and-control complexes in Lebanon could ease Israel’s security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground.”

This is scary. These madmen (well … their troops, which is really not the same thing) have been bogged down in Iraq for over three years. Now, they want to know just how well an American Air Force bombing would work in Iran?

Hello!!! Iran is four times the size of Iraq, has a population of 75 million, and actually has a real and well-equipped army. In every sense of the word: just don’t go there.

Says a Hersh source: “The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result”. Yeah! We figured that one out already.

Wag up and down,

Encore des bonnes nouvelles!

C’est officiel, nos sources en Saskatchewan nous confirment que David Orchard annoncera cet après-midi son appui à Stéphane Dion. Orchard, pour qui ne s’en souviendrait pas, est bien connu pour ses prises de positions pour la défense de l’environnement, pour l’agriculture biologique - il est lui-même un fermier en Saskatchewan - et contre le traité de libre-échange. Il a de plus été candidat au poste de chef du Parti progressiste conservateur du Canada à deux reprises – en 1998 il est arrivé deuxième derrière Joe Clark et en 2003, il se classait deuxième quand il a offert son soutien à Peter McKay si celui-ci s’engageait à ne pas faire la fusion entre le PC et l’Aliance canadienne. On se souvient de ce qui est advenu de la promesse faite par Peter M.

David Orchard est toujours très actif sur la scène politique et, récemment, il s’est montré très critique à l’endroit des politiques étrangères du gouvernement Harper, notamment à propos de l’Afghanistan et du Liban. Cet appui est une très bonne nouvelle pour Stéphane Dion, dont la campagne, soit dit en passant, va de mieux en mieux.

Une autre bonne nouvelle? Le buzz dans les parcs et les ruelles où nous rencontrons nos amis qui font prendre l’air à leurs compagnons humains est que de plus en plus de jeunes libéraux quittent les organisations adverses pour se joindre à la campagne de notre ami Stéphane! On chuchote entre autres choses que le camp Brison aurait perdu plusieurs supporters qui auraient rejoints la dynamique équipe de jeunes qui appuient Dion.

À suivre…


Monday, August 14, 2006

Vive l'Acadie!

C'est aujourd'hui le 15 août, alors: Bonne fête à tous les Acadiens de toutes les allégeances politiques!
Jules et Dudley

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stéphane Dion's Working Holiday

Our K-9 Husky friend, Kyoto, called a couple of weeks ago to tell us that his very own personal unsinkable human, better known as Liberal leadership candidate Stéphane Dion, had finally - and reluctantly - agreed to take a few days off the campaign trail.

Yes, Dion did agree to rest for a little while. But it was no holiday in Eastern Europe.

Seems like Mr. Dion spent his whole off-time “pen in hand”! Kyoto was quite disheartened, but substance-hungry grits like us pups were not. Dion managed to write:

1. On Israel and the Middle East conflict in the Globe and Mail August 3 edition;

2. On Climate Change in the Toronto Star August 9 edition;

3. In the meantime, managed to get a very good review in

"Stéphane Dion. Only candidate from Quebec. As university politics professor, led fearless intellectual attacks on Quebec separatists. Recruited by then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien as unity minister. Had impressive stint as environment minister. Most government experience of all candidates. Impressing many people on Liberal campaign tour. Timing might be right to harvest drifting Quebec voters. Good bet to make it to short list, possible compromise choice."

4. And, finally, penned a very eloquent op-ed piece in Le Devoir on our Armed Forces Missions abroad - sorry, no link, have to subscribe. Text in French is on Dion’s site.

Here are a few bits :

(...)Une force armée étrangère peut, dans certains cas, apporter la sécurité dans un pays, elle ne peut pas y bâtir la démocratie. Celle-ci sera peut-être développée par la population elle-même, grâce à la sécurité rétablie, mais cela est hors du contrôle de la force armée étrangère.

Les Canadiens doivent continuer à venir en aide à des populations en danger, là où leur présence est souhaitée et où ils ont des chances raisonnables de faire diminuer la violence. Ils ne doivent pas refuser les engagements qui comportent la nécessité d'utiliser les armes et le risque de subir des pertes. Mais ils doivent s'abstenir de participer aux entreprises qui ont pour effet d'augmenter la violence plutôt que de la faire reculer.

C'est à partir de ces critères que nous devons évaluer la poursuite de notre mission en Afghanistan. Si une force internationale est créée pour le Liban, notre décision d'y participer devra dépendre de la possibilité pour celle-ci de rétablir une sécurité réelle dans la région ainsi que pour la population libanaise si cruellement éprouvée par les événements récents. Et ce sont les mêmes critères qui devront nous guider pour évaluer d'éventuels futurs engagements.

Well, that was Dion's so-called holiday. And I probably missed a few of Stéphane's barkings too. After all, these are the Dog Days of summer...

Some of those humans have to work. Looks like Dion did. Good for us.

Wag on,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Three Tails Up For Dion

Just visited Cerberus
and saw that our favourite Alpha Dog Stéphane Dion was, as of today, in the lead in the Blogger Endorsements! And how sweet it is that your favourite pups, The Alter Boys, were the ones to put him on top (31 Dion - 29 Iggy, for now at least).

Only thing is: We’re listed as the ALTAR BOYS … Once again: We do politics. We don’t do religion. We were never abused by any catholic priest.

Anyway! Coming soon: more on Dion and his one week working vacation.

3 tails up for Dion.


Ceci n'est pas une prise de position sur le conflit au Moyen-Orient!!

Libéral ou pas?
Qu’est-ce que c’est que cette histoire??? Depuis quelques jours, on dirait que les « défections » pleuvent sur le Parti libéral du Canada. La semaine dernière, c’était le couple Onex-Indigo qui claquait la porte du PLC pour rejoindre les rangs des militants conservateurs, because la position de Stephen Harper sur le conflit israélo-libanais; ensuite, ce fut au tour du sénateur Grafstein de critiquer les déclarations de Bill Graham et d’encenser le PM pour son appui inconditionnel à Israël.

Maintenant, nous assistons impuissants au spectacle désolant que nous donne le député libéral de Mississauga-Streetsville, Wajid Khan, qui a accepté le poste de conseiller spécial du PM sur les questions concernant l'Asie du Sud et le Proche-Orient. Et pour finir le plat, le député de Mont-Royal, Irwin Cotler a décidé lui aussi que son allégeance envers Israël était plus importante que celle envers son parti et son pays.

Est-ce que ces gens n’ont pas compris que, lorsqu’on joint une formation politique, on le fait pour le meilleur et pour le pire? On peut ne pas être d’accord avec toutes les politiques et les positions adoptées par le PLC, mais comme dans un mariage, on accepte certains compromis parce que les bons côtés l’emportent. Quand un couple ne fonctionne plus, il demande le divorce. Est-ce que Grafstein, Khan et Cotler vont demander le divorce?

Ces grands démocrates ont-ils oublié que dans notre système parlementaire, le Parlement est composé, entres autres, d’un parti ministériel et d’un parti d’opposition officielle? Ont-ils oublié que le rôle de l’Opposition est de s’opposer au parti ministériel et non de le soutenir contre son propre parti? Ont-ils oublié qu’il existe au sein des partis politiques des instances, comme par exemple le « caucus », où les membres peuvent discuter et critiquer les positions de leurs leaders, derrière des portes closes? Ils ont du oublier également que le devoir des membres du caucus est de se rallier à la majorité et à leur chef, une fois qu’une question a été débattue en caucus et qu’une décision a été prise.

C’est une chose pour un(e) candidat(e) au leadership de son parti de se prononcer sur une question épineuse ou encore d’expliquer ce qu’il ou elle ferait différemment. Mais, à ce que je sache, Grafstein, Khan et Cotler ne sont pas dans la course pour la chefferie du PLC!?!?

En tant que membres du Parti libéral du Canada, mon collègue Dudley et moi sommes fiers de ce que notre parti a accompli depuis plus d’un siècle. Nous sommes fiers de l’héritage que les Laurier, McKenzie King, Saint-Laurent, Pearson, Trudeau et Chrétien ont laissé aux Canadiens. Nous sommes extrêmement fiers de la réputation de neutralité que le Canada avait su bâtir et garder sur la scène internationale et ce, jusqu’à tout récemment. Je suggère à Messieurs Grafstein, Khan et Cotler de quitter le PLC et de rejoindre les rangs conservateurs, s’ils croient que les positions de Stephen Harper reflètent mieux leurs propres valeurs. S’ils ne le font pas, j’espère sincèrement que notre chef intérimaire, l’honorable Bill Graham, leur montrera la porte du caucus.
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