68 posts categorized "truth or fiction?"

December 12, 2009

My Friend's Got a Bad Case of the Betrayed by Stephen Harper Blues

It's terrible when a friend is hurting.

It's even worse when that friend is hurting because she has terrible taste in men. I mean, the worst.

If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Miss Ruby Jones, this video will explain who she is and why she's singing the betrayal blues. (Well, not literally. She left the singing to KISS.)

I hope 2010 will be a better year for you, Miss Ruby Jones (a.k.a. Harper Girl: the self-appointed president of the Stephen Harper Fan Club).

November 03, 2009

Dean Del Mastro as the Patron Saint of Political Ad Spending

You would think that before Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro was invited to play the role of the Patron Saint of Political Ad Spending, someone might have posed the obvious question: is he the right man for the job?

Some folks in Peterborough Riding are shaking their heads, thinking about all those CPC-branded hockey pucks that were handed out at the United Way kickoff breakfast back in September -- and the annual Dean Del Mastro hockey tournament that is as much about scoring political points for the Conservative Party of Canada as it is about raising dollars for the United Way.

Raising funds for the United Way is a great idea, of course. But if you're doing it for the right reasons, why not leave the Conservative Party of Canada hockey jerseys in your hockey bag and invite politicians from all parties to get in the game. In this case, the reason is obvious: it's a branding opportunity for the CPC -- and you can't brand properly if there aren't any logos on parade.

And as for Del Mastro's intention to ask Sheila Fraser to investigate the sponsorship scandal? Given that Fraser has already done her job on this file -- her investigations led to the Gomery Commission -- Del Mastro comes across looking like another John Baird: a Harper wind-up toy who will carry out the will of the PM, no matter how foolish or facile.

[BTW -- Don't miss this deliciously snarky lesson in Parliamentary procedure, courtesy of Kady. I'm sure Del Mastro will be taking note of it in future.]

September 21, 2009

Dear PR Firms Working on Behalf of Stephen Harper

Dear PR Firms Working on Behalf of Stephen Harper (or Friends of PR Firms Working on Behalf of Stephen Harper):

As much as I have enjoyed receiving the emails via your hotmail account, I'm going to have to request that you remove me from your mailing list.

While you obviously see yourself as providing a valuable service to bloggers (alerting us to the availability of pro-Conservative Party of Canada content on YouTube), you might be surprised to learn that most of us are capable of sourcing material on YouTube on our own. The search engine on the site is quite user-friendly.

Might I suggest an alternative focus for your firm: re-remaking your Leader's image in time for the next campaign?

After all, the Canadian public is already on to the blue sweater.

And the cowboy hat and the construction hat are getting a little tired, too.

Better come up with something fresh - and soon.

If you run out of wardrobe options, you might be faced with the task of re-casting the part of Party Leader.

And that could mean curtain time for you.

Best wishes,

Email recipient

June 17, 2009

Facebook Group Created for Those Who Oppose MP Dean Del Mastro's Little Lake Development Plan

IMG_2698 I just posted this to the wall of the newly created Facebook group We Oppose MP Del Mastro's Little Lake Development Plan:

I'm every bit as opposed to the process (the balloting process; how inappropriate it is for our MP [Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro] to be pitching a project on behalf of one private developer) as I am to the project (environmental concerns, conflict between Parks Canada mandate to project the land for everyone's enjoyment vs. how the land would be used by public developer).

Our MP should have backed away from this project the moment early objections about the project and the process were raised, as opposed to forging ahead with a highly flawed and undemocratic balloting process. Every day, more facts emerge about this situation that raise additional concerns about the project and the process.

So far, political checks and balances aren't serving the people of Peterborough well.

Perhaps a major media outlet with the investigative reporting resources to thoroughly research this story can help the citizens of Peterborough get the answers they deserve.

Related:

Impolitical: Conservative Dean Del Mastro Should Run for Peterborough City Council

Impolitical: Why Is Dean Del Mastro Taking Surveys on Behalf of a Private Developer?

Impolitical: Checking in on Dean Del Mastro's Survey on Behalf of a Private Developer

February 17, 2009

The Globe and Mail: Dean's Train is Officially a Ghost Train

I'm pretty sure this was the funding announcement that Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro was anticipating when he assured area residents as recently as a few weeks ago that ground would be broken in 2009 for the much-talked about Toronto-Peterborough rail extension (a project that has recently earned the nickname "the ghost train" around town).

Problem is, a train that doesn't head any further east than Markham isn't going to score many points with the voters who were railroaded into voting for Del Mastro by his promise to bring the train to Peterborough.

It would appear that the ghost train has met the same unfortunate fate as the ghost battery plant. Guess that leaves the ever-optimistic voters of Peterborough Riding with just two of four Del Mastro campaign promises to pin their hopes on: the constitutional amendment regarding property rights and the resort complex for Little Lake -- both far-fetched but not officially dead yet.

Return on campaign promise investment (current stats):
2 out of 4, just four months post-election.

Rating: Not impressed. Not surprised.

Related:

GO Transit infrastructure investment details (Government of Ontario press release)

Comments @ Maclean's Magazine about potential for Montreal-Toronto high-speed rail: A couple of readers can't figure out where Peterborough would fit into the picture, except as a political-point-scoring pitstop: "Dean likes this route to Ott/Mtl because his riding is along the way." "Despite the fact I would love and use a Peterborough stop, it should go along the lakefront." "I’m a big fan of high-speed rail but when it comes to Dean Del Mastro - what a chooch(oo)!"

Metrolinx: The Big Move: Regional Transportation Plan: Peterborough is included in the long-term plans (15 to 25 year time frame). These are the immediate plans. Of course, all this has to make its way through the provincial government approval process. And anything can happen when the infrastructure fairy godmother is dropping taxpayer money from heaven.

January 20, 2009

Obama, Harper, and Leadership

After riding the Obama wave all day, I made the mistake of catching up on politics on this side of the border. Shudder. Talk about culture shock.

The shift south of the border has changed things for us, too, Canada. When the House of Commons resumes next week, we can't settle for business as usual (or as it has been for the past three years). It is time we raised the bar for our leaders here at home -- that we put our MPs and political party leaders on notice that the time for change is now, whether there's a change in leadership, attitude, or both.

Personally, I vote for both.

Harper isn't showing any evidence of becoming a team player. And who can trust a leader who believes that when the going gets tough, the tough crank up the propaganda?

Not me.

January 13, 2009

The Frank Truth

The first post on the twitter page of frankluntz

"A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth."

January 05, 2009

Campaign Promise Countdown: 2 Down, 2 to Go

Battery plant runs down - Peterborough Examiner - Ontario, CA.

It's no wonder voters are so cynical.

As The Peterborough Examiner reported on Saturday, the battery plant that Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro announced with much fanfare five days before the federal election in October appears to have run out of charge. Some of us with non-battery powered crystal balls had predicted this outcome right from the get-go -- proof that it pays to invest in a crystal ball with a power adapter.

And it appears quite certain that the commuter train to Toronto -- another key part of the Del Mastro platform -- won't be running between Peterborough and Toronto anytime soon. The only train between Peterborough and Toronto that's even pie-in-the-sky at this point (see this November 28, 2008, Metrolink map showing that Peterborough isn't a priority for them now or anytime soon) is a route that would go via Orillia -- not exactly a convenient route for commuters looking for an alternative to the car.

But Del Mastro isn't about to see half of his campaign promises go up in flames three months after the election. (That would only leave him with his promise to change the Canadian constitution to safeguard landowner rights against government interference (a pretty tall order, that); and his election-eve announcement of a flashy plan to build a resort on Little Lake (one that might bode well for his family's tourism-industry RV business, but that isn't necessarily the best use of this key piece of land, given the kind of innovative approaches that other communities are taking to community planning these days). Del Mastro is denying that the battery plant idea is dead and he's insisting that the train is still a comin'. He's either the most optimistic man in Peterborough or....

I'll let you fill in the blanks.

December 08, 2008

Dion vs. Harper

Partofcanadianflag It's no secret that I've always had a great deal of respect and admiration for Stéphane Dion. A politician with his kind of personal integrity and long-term vision for what this country actually needs (as opposed to what it wants for itself over the short-term) doesn't come along very often.

Unfortunately for Canada, Dion had the bad luck to cross the political stage at the same time as another once-in-a-generation (or once-in-a-lifetime) politician: in this case, a mean-spirited, rabidly partisan politician who is willing to do anything to keep his bulldog grip on power, including creating a political and national unity crisis.

The contrast in personal styles or value systems between the two men couldn't be greater. Dion mapped out a vision that represents where we really need to be headed as a country, if we're to kick start the green economy and address the growing gap between the haves and have nots in this country (a root cause of much of the youth crime that the neo-conservatives bellow about so much). What prevented Canadians from hearing much of what Dion had to say was the bully who misled Canadians about what the man and his policies were all about.

I don't know about you, but I'm not proud to live in a country where the top politician in the land can savage a political opponent and get away with it -- and then go on to "hide behind the Queen" (as some Americans are putting it as they watch what's been happening in our country in amazement) in order to escape his own political day of reckoning. When George Bush was acting so outrageously a few years back -- and the American people went on to re-elect him, we Canadians looked smugly at one another and said, "That could never happen in Canada."

But, of course, it did: the neo-conservative way of thinking is alive and well and living in Canada now. And we're going to be stuck in this political twilight zone until enough Canadians wake up and realize that they are being lied to and misled by the party in power -- on a routine basis.

This is why parliament isn't working: the traditional rules about parliamentary conduct have been tossed out the windows of the House of Commons and replaced by the same U.S.-style political code of conduct that has made George Bush famous -- or rather infamous -- the world over.

Dion bore the brunt of the attacks from the bully-in-chief of the current regime. When history looks back on this time, people are going to be astounded that more Canadians didn't speak up and decry the McCarthy-like attacks that were carried out during this time -- and that the media was complicit in these attacks.

I feel proud that I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I spoke out against the attack ads, the campaign of misinformation about Dion and his policies (to say nothing of the Conservative Party of Canada and its record) and that I had the opportunity to let Mr. Dion know, on more than one occasion, how much I appreciated his efforts to hold the Harper government accountable.

Dion may not have been the most savvy politican our country has produced, but he is certainly one of our most dedicated. He has served his country well.

December 04, 2008

The Real Dean

"Immediately after Question Period this past afternoon, the NDP’s Libby Davies rose and asked that Conservative Dean Del Mastro be made to withdraw various invectives hurled in the direction of the New Democrats. Apparently Del Mastro had referred to Ms. Davies and her peers as “traitors.”  Del Mastro stood and twice, instead of apologizing, defended his slurs. His fellow Conservatives applauded him."
Macleans.ca: 'A lot of fear and anger and hatred.'

Found via Accidental Deliberations: On Political Violence

Related:
Rusty Idols: Violent Language Encourages Violent Acts

MyKawartha.com: Video of Two Rallies in Peterborough -- Dean Del Mastro Rousing the Crowd - Conservatives Confronting Coalition Supporters - Coalition Supporters Explaining Their Views (found via Maxwell's House)