Friday, September 29, 2006

A Well of Information

If you have not yet read Paul Wells’ piece on Dion in the September 29 issue of, get to it pronto! If you’re still undecided, it might help you. If you have made your choice already, it still makes for a great read.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dion in the Québec Media

Great interview with Stéphane Dion last Wednesday night on Les Francs-tireurs - The Straight Shooters - a public affairs programme on Télé-Québec. If you catch this channel on Cable or Satellite, and understand French, the interview will be aired again this coming Sunday at 8:00 PM and next Tuesday at 0:30 AM: Channel 722 on Starchoice.

Watching Stéphane Dion standing up to self-proclaimed nationalist intellectuals is always a treat!

There’s also an excellent interview with Stéphane Dion in Tuesday’s Le Devoir. The interview is quite comprehensive, with Dion talking about his bid for the leadership, the environment, nationalism, good governance, his relationship with Québecois and national unity.

The whole thing is of course in French, but here are a few bits, translated by Yours Truly. I’ll try and translate a few more parts in the upcoming days.

On the question of Iraq:

«PM Chrétien believed, as I did, that going into Iraq might create more insecurity than the opposite, says Mr. Dion. Current events tend to prove him right. »

On his first order of business should he become Prime Minister:

«Putting in place Green Fiscal Incentives, in order to encourage the purchase of less-polluting items and energy efficient appliances and machinery. »

All in all, quite a good week for Dion in the "so-called" hostile Québec media.

Two Tails Up,

Cerberus Leadership Central: A Must Read!

If you have not visited Cerberus lately, get to it now! His Leadership Central and Leadership Endorsements page, updated on September 28, is a must-read. It is comprehensive and rigorous. Numbers, names, details, predictions, trivia ... everything a political junkie needs on a late Thursday night.

Two tails up,

Frulla Goes Iggy: No Big Deal

Jeff, AKA A BCer in Toronto, may not be, as he puts it, a Québec expert. But he is right on the money about Liza Frulla’s endorsement of Michael Ignatieff: it really is No Big Blow to the Dion campaign. It is no big susprise either. Softies on nationalism like Frulla, Lapierre, and yes, Paul Martin, were never on Dion’s side.

I never forgot - nor forgave - Mrs. Frulla for declaring back in 2000 that "everyone in the Party would be relieved if PM Jean Chrétien left". Remember that in 2000, Frulla had just been elected to the House. Talk about loyalty! Well, she and her friends eventually got their wish, and we Liberals were relieved ... of Power.

Liza Frulla might be a household name in Québec’s general population, but I have it on good authority than she doesn’t carry too much weight within the Liberal Party. In my neck of the wood, Denis Paradis’s endorsement of Stéphane Dion’s bid is a little more important.

Wag on,

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mind Your Own Business, President Musharraf

Dear Pervez Musharraf,

I heard your interview on the CBC, and here is my reaction: Mind your own business! I do not need you to tell me how to feel or what to think about our soldiers dying in Afghanistan. Canadian lives matter to me.

Here’s what Pervez Musharraf had to say, courtesy of The Globe and Mail:

"We have suffered 500 casualties, Canadians may have suffered four or five," he said in the interview. "You suffer two dead, and there's a cry and shout all around the base that there are coffins. Well, we've had 500 coffins."

First of all, get your facts straight. We lost 36 soldiers in Afghanistan, not four or five. I understand that you have a book to sell, but please do not insult us Canadians. I do not know what value you personally place on a human life, but to me, every Canadian soldier’s death is a tragedy. Our boys and girls didn’t ask to go and die in your troubled region. Maybe Musharraf should clean up his own backyard, don't you think?

Oh, and for the record, I don’t even think our soldiers should be out there under the current situation. So there’s nothing “political” about my outrage.

You say we’re whining. Here’s my answer: Zip It! I’ll cry and shout if I want to!

Two tails down,

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Canine Interlude

Courtesy of the BBC, another proof, if need be, that humans can’t get by without us puppies: A breakdown patrol man who came to the rescue of a woman motorist has managed to get her car started using her dog.

Speaking of pups, Dog Lovers for Dion Days are coming soon to a Blog near you. Stay tuned!

Wag on,

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The United Nations Today: Bad Manners and Good Marketing

Busy day in New York. Here's what caught my attention.

1. From the bits I caught on the evening news, it think that the Afghan delegation didn’t even bother to show up for Stephen Harper’s speech at the UN General Assembly earlier today. Talk about bad manners. Canada sends its soldiers to fight and die in Afghanistan, and they’re too busy to attend? I did not see the whole thing live. If you did and saw the Afghan delegation in attendance, please send in your comments or rebuttals.

2. Within hours of Hugo Chavez’s speech at the UN on Wednesday, Noam Chomsky’s book, Hegemony or Survival, jumped into the Amazon and Barnes & Nobles Top Ten List. Now, that’s good marketing. Read the whole story here.

3. The CBC, among others, is citing a UN report claiming that over 6,000 Iraqi civilians died violently over the months of July and August. Is this what G.W. Bush would call “Good progress”, or is it a mere case of “Freedom on the March”? On a (not so) slightly lighter note (?!?), the BBC reports that "Torture may be worse now in Iraq than under former leader Saddam Hussein, the UN's chief anti-torture expert says". This is scary, but not unexpected.

4. Judging by the press conference held by Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York this morning, it is no wonder why G.W. Bush wouldn’t meet with the Persian Boss. Apart from the obvious John-Wayne-Macho-Wannabe rhetoric, the main reason is that Ahmadinejad sounds much smarter than the American President.

That's the kind of day it's been on my TV set.

Wag on,

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here we go again!

It had to be expected. It couldn’t last. Up until now, we have witnessed a relatively clean leadership campaign. Of course, they’re have been a few sparks between candidates, a few blunders here and there, but it has so far been a real race, not a masquerade such as the one we experienced 3 years ago.

However, while many Liberal militants were starting to believe that the Party had turned the page and was ready to start a new chapter, ghosts from the past have apparently decided to reappear. Reliable sources have brought to our attention that certain members of our Dear Departed Leader’s inner circle (among others, Tim Murphy, Lucie Castelli) have been exerting pressure on some prominent organizers working on the campaign. Apparently, they were asked not to present aspiring delegates in some ridings, such as in Lasalle-Émard, our previous Leader’s constituency.

Organizers we have spoken to have made it very clear: it is out of the question!

This leadership race began under the auspices of integrity, and this is how it will continue. That is what Party members believe and want, and they are coming forth in hordes. A source on Team Dion tells me that in Québec only, over 800 members sent in their forms to become Stéphane Dion delegates.

What do those “Martinites” think anyway? Do they really believe that all the efforts of reconstruction and renewal made over the past few months by Liberal militants and directors were just a sham? Do the “Martinites” think that all they have to do is show up, and that we will disappear and apologize for having taken back what is ours? Do they really believe that they will enforce upon us another coronation, just like they did in 2003?

Dudley, with files from Jules

Friday, September 01, 2006

Wine and Cheese with the Candidates

Jules and I went to the Liberal Wine and Cheese Bash at the Paradis vineyard Thursday. Good crowd (300), six candidates, plenty of reporters and a few MPs and former MPs. Just a few observations: Ken Dryden has improved his speaking skills, but his French still leaves a lot to be desired. And he’s even taller in person than on the tube. Scott Brison was actually quite likeable and feisty. Good speech. His French seems to have improved quite a bit.

Stéphane Dion, true to form, was mostly substance: agriculture, economy, climate change and issues of interest to the region (St. Armand, Bedford, etc…). Dion seems to be getting more and more comfortable with a crowd. Looked and sounded quite good.

Bob Rae actually looked much older in person than on TV. His speech was a little flat, though he did mention Sir Wilfrid Laurier, which is always music to my ears.

Michael Ignatieff was also there, overdressed. He seemed quite popular with the reporters. Watched the news when I got home, and it turns out he spent most of the evening clarifying his recent declarations on whether he would run if not chosen leader, and on that “Civil War” thing. (We’ll have more on that later). His speech was OK.

Hedy Fry was also in attendance. All I remember is that she mentioned she was the only candidate from the West.

Where was Kennedy?

All in all, a good time was had by all. From where I was standing, Dion and Brison got the biggest pops.

For more, see The Montreal Gazette
or La Voix de l’Est

Wag on,
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