Liberal rebranding

The Liberals launched their new campaign website yesterday with a new look.

This is the image on the splash page that greeted visitors to the website.

liberal-front.jpg

I’ve gone ahead and made the obvious move (it was really too obvious).

stop-liberals.jpg

UPDATE: Thanks to SDA and Dan Cook of the Globe and Mail for the links.

If you want to put the Stop Liberals Logo on your blog, here’s the code:

UPDATE (12/1 @ 5:30pm): Perhaps we’ll never know why (we can always guess) but the Liberals have changed their logo on their splash page to this:
liberal-new-logo.jpg

UPDATE (12/1 @ 5:45pm): Let the Liberals know what you think of their redesign by clicking on this stress-relieving link. In fact, you can take aim yourself if you click here.

Share this post with your coworkers and friends, you know they’ll want to take a shot too!

Another RCMP investigation dogs the Liberals

This can’t be good for the Liberals. It’s day two of the campaign and the RCMP are investigating a new Liberal scandal.

Turns out that the market moved in anticipation of Ralph Goodale’s announcement that income trusts wouldn’t be taxed and that the corporate dividend tax credit would be increased.

Goodale called it a “drive-by smear” when opposition MPs questioned him on the market jump prior to his announcement.

However:

A forensic accountant told CTV Newsnet’s Mike Duffy Live that he thinks the probability there was insider trading is between 75 and 85 per cent.

Goodale said he made it clear an announcement would be coming before the opposition non-confidence vote, which took place Monday evening.

However, Rosen said most of the trading involved three brokers at most, and seemed to occur between 3:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. that day.

Bloomberg News cites some examples of heavy trading volumes:

The Yellow Pages Income Fund rose 3.4 per cent ahead of the announcement, in which Goodale said he wouldn’t tax income trusts such as Yellow Pages.

The S&P/TSX Capped Income Trust Index climbed 1.5 per cent on Nov. 23, the day of Goodale’s announcement, and jumped 4.4 per cent the next day.

Pair this developing scandal with Conservative leader Stephen Harper’s announcement creating an independent office of public prosecutions and it’ll be very difficult for even the best Liberal spinners not to concede that this second day of the campaign has been won by Stephen Harper.

If this scandal turns out to be insider trading (75-85%), then this may end up plaguing the Liberals during most of the campaign.

My analysis of Harper’s call to appoint an independent prosecutor

Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper announced in Quebec city today that if his party is elected to government it will create an independent office of public prosecutions to ensure that if a scandal such as Adscam ever happened again, people who were involved politically would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

News of this move by Mr. Harper drew criticism from CBC political analyst Carolyn Dunn who only managed to qualify her disdain with the classic “but it’s an American style approach” excuse. Mr. Harper noted that similar offices exist within other countries such as Australia at the federal level and even within Canada at the provincial level in Nova Scotia. Dunn continued to draw parallels to independent prosecutor Ken Starr who investigated former US President Bill Clinton before the 42nd president was impeached. However, Dunn could have qualified the independent office of public prosecutions (and thus Mr. Harper’s announcement) by noting that the current US prosecutor is now chasing right-wing bogeymen of the CBC such as Conrad Black and Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

Mr. Harper’s idea to create such an office is welcome, even in the face of the criticism that by doing so would imply that the RCMP isn’t doing its job. Under political direction by Jean Chretien, Brian Mulroney faced about a decade of uncertainty as the Liberals tried to look under every rock and into every dark corner of the Conservative PM’s life. In the past couple of weeks, Mr. Mulroney has finally been cleared of any wrong doing alleged by the Liberal party.

Cases of the Liberal party using the RCMP to investigate political foes aside, the current crop of Liberals are alleged to have corrupted elements of the RCMP during the Sponsorship scandal.

An independent (of political interference) office of public prosecutions is certainly needed in a country that has faced the worst political directed scandal in Canadian history. If there is any element of Stephen Harper’s plan that is “American like”, this is merely left-wing commentators using the United States as a qualifier for their bias against centre-right politicians. In America, and quite frankly, in most industrialized nations, people that break the law sit in small cold cells for extended periods of time. While in Canada, people that break the law get to appoint their own inquiry of investigation, set its mandate and if found guilty, get to lecture ethics at McGill.

“It was this Prime Minister who determined that all Canadians had the right to know what happened in relationship to the sponsorship program. It was this Prime Minister who put Mr. Justice Gomery in place.” — Anne McLellan, deputy Liberal Prime Minister (Hansard)

Liberals broke the trust of Canadians. An independent office of public prosecutions that is impervious to political interference is what this country desperately needs.

Shame on the lazy ones in the media

Reporter: “Stephen Harper, do you love Canada?”

Stephen Harper: (long winded answer about how much he wants to do for the country. Doesn’t utter the exact words, but everyone gets the picture)

Liberal war-room release: “STEPHEN HARPER DOESN’T LOVE CANADA”

Liberal media: smells blood in the water, goes in a tizzy

Arguably, the 2004 campaign may have been lost by an over-caffeinated staffer in the Conservative war-room releasing the press release “Paul Martin supports child pornography”.

In the most recent example, the media followed the tune of Scott Reid’s pipe when the Liberal spinmaster wanted to emphasize how upset the country should be at the Conservative assertion that somehow, out of everything that we’ve heard at Gomery, that perhaps, just perhaps, the Liberals were connected to organized crime.

“What an outrageous statement!” Scott Reid said as he lead the media in a chorus. “When will Stephen Harper apologize?” they sang in harmony.

Now we have the Liberals questioning Stephen Harper’s love for Canada?

Most people that sacrifice much of their life, at the expense of family and friends and pursuits in private industry, to run for the leadership of this country must certainly have a love for it. This is without a doubt.

The Liberal Party assertion that Stephen Harper does not love this country ranks among the most vile and outrageous things said during any recent campaign.

If the Conservative Leader had said the same about Paul Martin, the headlines would have read “Angry Harper”. Since the Liberals issued the release, the headlines will read “Harper Might Not Love Canada”

Shame on the media.

Gurmant Grewal not seeking re-election

Here’s how the official story goes: Gurmant Grewal contacted the official party brass to tell them that he won’t be seeking re-election in the riding of Newton North Delta in British Columbia.

Now whether or not GG contacted the CPC or the CPC contacted GG about the news is up for anyone’s speculation. However, it doesn’t matter at this point, Gurmant isn’t running.

Grewal was seen by some party strategists as a stumbling block in what will be one of the most hotly contested provinces.

Landslide Anne to leave Alberta?

If Anne McLellan loses her Edmonton Centre seat in the election, will she flee to run again in her home province instead? How committed is McLellan to her constituents?

Consider this story from this year’s January 30th edition of the Halifax Chronicle Herald:

During a Liberal fundraising dinner in Halifax on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan joked about how lonely it can be being a Liberal in Alberta.

Ms. McLellan, who is originally from Noel, said she should run for a seat in her home province, quickly adding she wouldn’t run against fellow Grit Scott Brison, minister of public works.

Mr. Brison, who spent must of his elected life as a Tory, said he knew of a perfect spot for her to run.

“I’m going to start off, ladies and gentlemen, by introducing to you Anne MacLellan, the next member of Parliament for Central Nova,” he said to huge cheers from the crowd, who instantly recognized the riding as the seat held by Peter MacKay, deputy leader of the Conservatives.

It’s been no secret Mr. Brison and Mr. MacKay haven’t been exactly on friendly terms, especially since Mr. Brison’s defection to Paul Martin’s Liberals.

The Liberal Government Falls

Well, it’s finally over. On Monday, the House voted upon Stephen Harper’s motion of non-confidence (seconded by Mr. Layton) and it passed by a wide margin of 171-133. Kilgour and O’Brien voted against the government while Parrish voted for the government.

It was heartening to see the unhealthy Conservative MPs receive standing ovations for their attendance while it was particularly nice to see a warm goodbye for NDP veteran Ed Broadbent. However, as the Liberal MPs stood to vote it seemed that every fifth MP received a standing ovation from the Liberal caucus.

The Liberals certainly played the vote as some sort of odd victory in defeat. They obviously are trying to portray this as an opportunity to deliver their message, however muddled it may be, to Canadians.

Paul Martin and Stephen Harper addressed their caucuses at the same time after the vote. CBC and CTV carried Paul Martin’s speech live while they played Stephen Harper’s speech right after the PM’s. During Paul Martin’s speech, when the PM alluded to Stephen Harper and his ‘uncanadian vision for Canada’, CBC took the opportunity to show a split screen of Martin’s speech and Stephen Harper’s speech already in progress. I don’t know if it was intended or not, but it appeared that CBC used Stephen Harper as a Martin prop against the Conservative leader himself.

Paul Martin’s speech itself was given in the tone of a man who had won something, whereas history will record a Prime Minister who lost the last shred of any mandate he had left to govern. The self-proclaimed Defender of Canada stood before a large Canadian flag, wielding it as his figurative shield. He’ll use Canadiana to attack the Conservative party as uncanadian and it’s a tactic that we’ve seen before. Labeling an alliance of ‘neo-conservatives’ (huh?), the separatist Bloc and the NDP, the Prime Minister didn’t deviate from the Liberal game plan: L’état, c’est Libéral.

Stephen Harper spoke warmly about his team and the Conservative family while he gave a strong hint towards the Conservative gameplan: Gomery is the past, accountability is the future. Liberals and negative politics are the past, Conservatives and a hopeful message are the future. Hopefully we’ll see what the Conservatives will offer Canadians instead of merely criticisms of Liberal corruption. If Stephen Harper is going to Stand Up for Canada, he’ll need more than the motivated Conservative base; he’ll need the undecided voter to stand up and cheer for the Conservative platform. Hopefully his speech last night was indicative of what we can expect.

Jack Layton seemed to be the student who showed up late for his final exam. His pre-campaign launch was limited to a short speech in the lobby with a small cheat sheet of talking points. Jack missed his opportunity.

Gilles Duceppe had a similar speech at the microphone in the lobby; however, he didn’t seem to put much stock in the evening’s events. In a non-chalent manner he indicated that he’d been ready for an election for a long time.

A particular highlight of this historical first defeat of a government on a non-confidence motion was the Speaker’s announcement of a party after the vote where members could extend holiday wishes.

While Paul Martin is surely going to be waging a brutally negative campaign against the Conservatives, hopefully Stephen Harper will be able to maintain his merry mood and deliver us good cheer and a fresh start for 2006.

Liberal plea to a disgusted membership

Here’s a recent email from Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) president Mike Crawley (with some explanatory links from me – be sure to click through on them)

Prime Minister Paul Martin committed to call a general election within 30 days of the release of the Gomery Commission final report but the opposition parties are eager to have a holiday election campaign resulting in Canadians going to the polls in January.

This means that we must be ready to run a winning campaign now. We are asking you today because your involvement now is key to a Liberal victory to donate to the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) and to volunteer your time on a local election campaign.

We have made important progress since being elected. Better health care. Stronger environmental standards. Equal rights for all. Investments and commitments in every community across the country. We are making positive change together. And Stephen Harper is threatening our progress. We need your support to make sure he doesn’t get a chance.

You can make a real difference today. We need every Liberal in Canada to donate now. You will receive a tax receipt for your contribution – and join thousands of Canadians supporting the Liberal Party’s campaign for Canada.

Mike Crawley

Media already spinning for the Liberals

In the days before a Canadian federal election campaign, we’re already starting to see signs of bias from the CBC.

Watch this video and ask yourself “Promising poll for whom?”

CBC Newsworld headlines (26 sec) (requires Real player)

Promising for the entitled media?
Promising for the CBC?
Promising for the Liberals?

Certainly not for the Conservatives.

I cannot imagine the CBC putting a “Promising poll” title on a news story suggesting a Conservative majority.

This is editorialized news folks, from our state-run broadcaster.

Pair this with the effect of leading and influencing polls on the electorate.

Book launch at the Albany Club

Last night I attended the book launch of Adam Daifallah and Tasha Kheiriddin’s new book, Rescuing Canada’s Right at the Albany Club in downtown Toronto.

The event was hosted by Mike Harris and was attended by more than a few notable guests. One of which, of course, was Conrad Black (we always seem to show up at the same parties…). Humour aside, his appearance was apparently a surprise (it would be reported as such) to the horde of cameras that was camped out in the lobby of the club. As he arrived, the cameras flanked him as he made his way about the room. He stopped only to congratulate the authors and to chat with Gerry Nicholls of the NCC. The mess of cameras and reporters left the club and the party continued on as usual with a few people left stunned. CTV later that evening would gleefully report that Conrad Black had appeared at a launch event for a book on rescuing Canada’s conservative movement.

Fellow Blogging Tories Greg Staples, Bob Tarantino, Steve Janke and Eli Schuster were also in attendance and were talking politics and election predictions for most of the night.

I also finally met Warren Kinsella, who it turns out was as impressed with me as I was with him. Seriously though, Warren was a good sport for climbing into the proverbial lion’s den of conservatism that evening to support some mutual friends.

The other Liberal that showed up that evening was Jason Cherniak. Later in the evening, Jason and I smoked a couple of cigars and talked about (what else?) blogging and politics.

A couple of my favourite MSM scribes were also taking in the festive atmosphere of the evening. Rondi Adamson and Michael Taube stayed to chat through most of the evening, while Andrew Coyne, after passing on some faux-guilt for my recent penchant for heckling and after receiving some of my faux-guilt for his lack of blogging, left to do the National‘s “At Issues” panel.

Unfortunately I missed Mike Harris and Tony Clement as the two common sense revolutionaries left the party early. Tony and I are scheduled to do a podcast one day but his life is incredibly busy right now as he fighting hard to win the riding of Perry Sound Muskoka for the blue team.

All in all, the event was wildly successful and a good time for those that attended. Adam and Tasha are set to start their tour, so check the dates and pick up your copy. I’ll be posting my review of the book soon.