Stephen Harper in Kingston

Yesterday, I met Stephen Harper in my riding of Kingston and the Islands. Mr. Harper was recruiting support for his leadership campaign and he addressed a room full of about 80 people. His speech was interesting and straightforward, underscoring his capability and accomplishments as Leader of the Opposition. In his speech, he informed us that Canadians have told him that the leadership race should not be a competition, but a choice. Indeed, I have always believed that the leadership candidates should focus on attacking the Liberals instead of each other. In my opinion, the victor should be the one who most effectively does this. However, I am confused as to why Stephen Harper would endorse Lois Brown, a nomination contestant in Belinda Stronach’s riding.

Memorable moments: At one point during the evening, a member of the audience asked Mr. Harper to differentiate himself from the other candidates. Stephen Harper replied, in jest, that he is “male and tall”. Another memorable moment came when John Reynolds promised that if I get my nomination, they’d get me elected and on my way to Ottawa because the Liberal Party is falling apart across the country.

Speaking of which, the Harper event was the official kick-off of my campaign. I worked the room talking to members about the leadership race and their concerns. At the end of the evening, I was interviewed by a reporter from the Globe and Mail.

Stephen Harper.jpg
With Stephen Harper – Click to enlarge

Liberal Monopoly Reviews

The reviews (and traffic) has been pouring in all thanks to my little spoof of the Liberal Party last Monday. My Liberal Monopoly gameboard has elicited laughter and a flurry email forwards and it has also sparked heated discussions at other websites.

My favorite review is by Mr. Andrew Coyne, the national affairs columnist for the National Post:

“Hail to StephenTaylor.ca for the idea, and the work. Folks, this is what the Internet was invented for.”Andrew Coyne

I’m glad that you all liked it. Now play nice, even though the other guys are cheating.

I’m in

Hello! I’m glad that you’ve found your way to my website. Since you are here you must share my interest in changing Ottawa for the better and for making government work for you, the taxpayer, instead of the other way around.

My name is Stephen Taylor and I’m seeking the nomination for the Conservative Party of Canada for Kingston and the Islands. In conversations with other Canadians and particularly Kingstonians, I have heard how disappointed most of us are in our current government and how we must seek change.

The unification of the Conservative Party of Canada presents us with a unique opportunity for democratic change in this country. No longer will principled conservatives sit on the side-lines or feel that their vote doesn’t count. No longer will this country’s politics be uncompetitive and conducive to voter apathy. Indeed, the Conservative Party of Canada presents a viable alternative to the Liberal party so that Canada will no longer suffer from a so-called “democratic deficit”.

I am currently finishing my undergraduate degree in biochemistry this year at Queen’s University. Kingston has been my homebase for the past five years and my family has had roots in this community during the past three generations. This city has a historical significance to Canada and to the Conservative party that Canadians appreciate and that we, as Kingstonians, truly cherish. Indeed, the limestone city was the home of Canada’s first Prime Minister and father of the Conservative Party, Sir John A. MacDonald.

My experiences as a biochemist have lent me incredible opportunities for which I am grateful. In 2002, I was employed by the University of Notre Dame as a malaria researcher where I investigated the particular genetic contribution of a particular gene that causes drug-resistance in the new harmful strains that permeate throughout the developing world. Last year, in Ottawa, I had the opportunity to work on a team developing a novel gene therapy approach for the treatment of prostate cancer.

I would be honoured if you would consider me to be your voice in Ottawa. As your representative, I would spend my time, while not in Ottawa, living in Kingston so that I may be more attentive to the needs of its constituents. This party is based upon its grassroots and it is my sincere hope that you will help us bring responsible government to Ottawa. I believe that I would bring an invigorated approach to politics on Parliament Hill.

Stephen Taylor
email@stephentaylor.ca
(613) 540-2001

Liberals in freefall

newfebpoll.bmpThe polling information from this weekend seems accurate as it seems to be a valid indicator of Canadian outrage to the Liberal sponsorship scandal. Numbers released today indicate that, not only have the numbers held, the Liberals have fallen another 4% (from 39% to 35% popular support). The Conservative Party of Canada, with welcome momentum, has climbed 3% to 27%. The margin of popular support between the two parties is narrowing and the trend would indicate that this differential will only narrow further. As new relevations come each day, more and more Canadians are becoming aware of the mismanagement and inappropriate behaviour by their government.

To the average Canadian, the Conservative Party of Canada is becoming a viable alternative to Paul Martin and Jean Chrétien’s Liberals. Indeed, our house is united while theirs is becoming more and more divided.

Liberal Monopoly

Please select your screen resolution below

I created this Windows desktop wallpaper yesterday. I figured that since the Liberal Party of Canada seems to have a ‘monopoly’ on power in this country, I’d make a Liberal-themed Monopoly gameboard! The properties on the gameboard detail Liberal scandals and how that party has failed Canadians as a government. Set it as your desktop background and pass it on to friends!

Please choose your resolution by clicking one of the following. After loading, right-click the image and select “Set as Background”.
1280×1024 | 1024×768 | 800×600

The Liberals have passed GO three times, let’s stop them from playing this game with our country.


Canadians react to Liberal scandal

Good news for Canadian democracy.

febpoll.jpgThe numbers this weekend provide hope for our political process — when a party is involved in corrupt practices, giving taxpayer money to party-faithful, the Canadian electorate will react and send a powerful message to Ottawa that they are upset and that they will be heard. Democracy isn’t dead. At a time when the Conservative Party of Canada is gaining momentum, this latest turn of events may indicate that Canada may indeed escape the Liberal Limbo in which it has been suspended for the past 11 years. A competitive political environment is alive in Canada for the first time, in a long time, and Canadians deserve nothing less.

The numbers this weekend are supportive of this fact with 1 out of 5 liberal supporters effectively turning their backs to the party. The Liberals are down 9% from 48% to 39%, the Conservative Party of Canada is up 5% from 21% to 26% and the NDP is up 2% from 16% to 18%. These numbers indicate that the Liberals would not likely form a majority government if an election was held today.

A valid alternative choice to the Liberals is what Canadians deserve and the Liberals are giving Canadians reason to shop around.

The $2 Billion Boondoggle

Paul Martin and the federal Liberals are not having a good week.

CBC News reports today that the cost of Canada’s national gun registry has soared to $2 Billion. Critics of the Liberal boondoggle have only recently pegged this figure at about $1 Billion dollars. Conservative MP Bill Casey’s website at gunregistry.ca compares the billion dollar pricetag of the program, which has been largely ineffective, to what else could be bought for $1 Billion. Mr. Casey, you’ll have to double that figure today.

The program was introduced in the mid-1990’s under the fiscal eye of then finance minister Paul Martin. The now Prime Minister has declared that he will not scrap the wasteful program. As always, the Prime Minister has stated that he will ‘review’ it and then make some changes. Mr. Martin, as some psychologists would declare, suffers from entrapment bias which is defined as an increase in commitment to a failed course of action to justify the investments that were already made. The original cost of the program was estimated, by Mr. Martin’s department, to be $2 million. Now, the program’s costs have burgeoned 1000-fold. When’s the last time that you spent 1000 times more on a purchase than you originally intended? In a hypothetical comparison, no Canadian would finance a $25,000 car at a cost of $25,000,000.

The program itself isn’t an effective measure for crime prevention; gun registration requires compliance. Most of the guns used in crimes are largely unregistered illegal weapons. Meanwhile, every farmer and hunter in this country is being told to register their rifles.

If we are to update the figure on Mr. Casey’s website, we’d be astonished to learn that in the realm of crime prevention (which is the intent of the program), $2 Billion dollars could buy: 66,666 police cruisers at $30,000 each or it could pay for the salaries of 2000 police officers forever ($2 Billion invested at 5% interest). Alternatively, the money could have paid the tuition for almost every single university student in this country for 2 years.

On the leadership campaign trail

All three candidates vying for the leadership of the new Conservative Party of Canada are now in the heart of their respective campaigns. As Tony Clement, Belinda Stronach and Stephen Harper criss-cross the country, signing up new members and impressing current ones, here is a comparison of their campaigns.

On the Liberal sponsorship scandal
As we’re all aware, the latest scandal has hit the Liberal Party and it has hit it hard. Dr. Hill, Leader of the Opposition, has been trying to crack this one wide open. The next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada will have to be effective in pointing out Liberal lies so how do Stephen Harper, Tony Clement and Belinda Stronach approach this issue?

“Does Paul Martin seriously expect us to believe that he is a stranger in the Liberal Party? He was not only Minister of Finance during the Sponsorship scandal, but he served as the senior minister for Quebec in the last election. He sat on the cabinet’s Quebec Committee with Alfonso Gagliano – a man whom Martin has just fired. I demand to know the reason he was fired.” — Stephen Harper

“The only way to clear the air is for the Liberal Party to return the money it received from communications companies involved in this scandal … In addition, The Chief Electoral Officer should investigate all other Liberal Party financing to ensure that no taxpayer dollars ended up in Liberal Party coffers” — Belinda Stronach

Quebec
Some say the battle will be won and lost in this province of many ridings and few members. Indeed, if either candidate is to win Quebec and thus win the race, membership sales will be key.

Belinda Stronach is on her way to winning the province as she has received endorsements from 42 Riding Association Presidents and from 5 former MPs. There are 75 ridings in Quebec and Belinda Stronach has done well to capture the votes there.

Stephen Harper, it seems, is not doing as well in Quebec. He sent out an email requesting that his supporters, “Help [him] sell memberships in the province of Quebec” and “call your friends or relatives in Quebec and get their information to fill out the (membership) form and sign them up for the new party”. This seems to stand in stark contrast with Belinda Stronach’s organizational efforts in Quebec as she has most of the Tory organizers working/volunteering for her there.

So, Stronach and Harper are making varying degrees of progress in Quebec, yet Tony Clement hasn’t made too much noise there. If it is any indication of Tony’s success in Quebec, he is the only leadership candidate without a goofy photo with the Quebec city Carnival’s Bonhomme de Neige. While Stronach and Harper are sweeping through Quebec, Tony has decided to go to Saskatchewan.

harperbonhomme.jpgstonachbonhomme.jpg

Policy
Where Tony Clement has turned some heads, however, has been on a “radical” (according to the Toronto Star no less) tax reform policy. This leadership candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada has proposed that the first $250,000 of earnings by every Canadian should be tax free.

“This is about giving young people an opportunity to start their lives here in Canada … A lot are immersed in student debt, they’re looking for an opportunity to make a start in life and here’s a chance if you stay in Canada, the first $250,000 you make is tax free.” — Tony Clement

On tax policy, Belinda Stronach has not been shy. She has pledged to make mortgage interest partially tax deductible and to allow parents to deduct their children’s post-secondary tuition from their income taxes. She has also promised to repeal the tax on capital investment.

Stephen Harper, meanwhile, continues to espouse lower corporate taxes instead of corporate handouts. However, Mr. Harper also proposes to eliminate subsidies given to the Maritimes by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. This position is sure to be controversial in the East.

Conclusion
All three leadership campaigns seem to have their advantages and disadvantages. However, a definite advantage must be recognized in the campaigns of Belinda Stronach and Stephen Harper over that of Tony Clement. The race is still wide open, however, as the upcoming all-candidates debate on the 22nd could provide some surprises and will likely provide momentum to the candidates that do well.

Martin knew about it

As the liberal sponsorship scandal continues to unfold, a startling revelation from a Liberal MP comes out. Montreal MP Marlene Jennings told the press that she had brought up the issue at a 1999 Caucus meeting at which Paul Martin (then the finance minister) was present.

In fact, other Quebec Liberal MPs had raised concern about the sponsorships as well. All of these concerns were voiced before the 1999 audit was initiated.

“I was asking questions of why there were commissions, because the companies weren’t doing anything” — Marlene Jennings, Liberal MP

So, ordinary Quebec Liberal MPs had raised questions in Liberal caucus meeting concerning the ridiculously large commissions earned by companies headed-up by Liberal supporters. Sorry Mr. Martin, if these ‘ordinary’ Liberal MPs knew about it, so did you. If Mr. Martin didn’t know about it, he was certainly made aware of it back in 1999.

What does this mean? It seems, from this reliable internal source (Liberal MP), that Paul Martin was indeed aware of the sponsorship scandal and the “fraud” as described in Auditor-General Sheila Fraser’s report.

“Just because it’s the year of the monkey doesn’t mean that people are going to fall for this hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil on the part of the Liberals.” — Bill Blaikie, NDP MP

“The Chief Electoral Officer should investigate all other Liberal Party financing to ensure that no taxpayer dollars ended up in Liberal Party coffers” — Belinda Stronach, Conservative leadership candidate

Auditor-General’s report

martingesture.jpgThe Auditor-General’s report came out Tuesday afternoon and it is quite damning to the Liberal Party. Auditor-General described Liberal government abuses as ‘outrageous’. The word ‘fraud’ appears in the document detailing the $250 million in advertising programs and sponsorships that were channeled through Liberal party supporters who had a take-home share of $100 million.

Now 13 cases involving these payments are now under criminal investigation by the RCMP, who, ironically, did not escape controvery within the report.

“This is just such a blatant misuse of public funds. It is shocking … Words escape me,” — Sheila Fraser, Auditor-General

Today, Paul Martin responded to the report saying that he had nothing to do with it. He claims that a “sophisticated” group of insiders was responsible for the “fraud” as Ms. Fraser labeled it in her report.

Indeed, about $100 million was paid to Liberal Party donors and their advertising companies. This totals 40% of the advertising budget which was intended to boost Canada’s image in Quebec after the 1995 referendum on sovereignty there.

In one case, a Liberal advertising firm netted commission for handling a transaction between the federal government and a crown corporation. Hardly necessary for passing a cheque within the same organization.

Paul Martin, who was finance minister at the time, defended against wrongdoing by declaring that he didn’t know what was going on.

Are we to believe that $100 million gets passed between the coffers of the federal government and Liberal Party supporters without the minister of finance knowing about it? If that’s the case, Paul Martin had failed as finance minister. The most basic job of the minister of finance is to balance the books. Doesn’t a $100 million discrepancy jump off the page? The other scenario, of course, involves Paul Martin’s cognizance of what was happening, in which case he is also at fault.

So now the Liberal party and members of the Paul Martin’s federal government will now be under criminal investigation for fraud yet they are already guilty for violating the trust of the Canadian people.

“This is so outrageous, what happened here, I don’t know how anybody can take this lightly,” — Sheila Fraser