Ontario PC Policy convention

I hear that the Ontario PC policy convention this weekend was quite busy. While Ontario Tory policy was discussed, the convention provided a showcase for the three candidates vying for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Tony Clement, Belinda Stronach and Stephen Harper all put on hospitality suites to woo the attending members of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

Some putative policies were underlined by the three leadership hopefuls. Tony Clement declared that he believes that capital punishment should be an option for extreme cases.

“My personal view is that in the case of serial killers and murderers of police officers, for instance, that it would be appropriate in those circumstances”. — Tony Clement

On the same issue, Belinda Stronach declared “I’m against the death penalty”.

Furthermore, the 37 year-old mother of two voiced her concern that women are underrepresented in parliament. Stronach explained that women make-up only 20% of the federal legislature. Meanwhile she criticized the media for their focus on image. While the media’s focus doesn’t bother her, she worried that it may discourage other women from running for office.

“It should be about the ideas, not necessarily about the shoes you’re wearing. We should reflect on how other young women would feel about the focus on the clothes and the shoes” — Belinda Stronach

Stephen Harper, Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement were all active friday night as they hosted party members, yet Harper did not campaign on Saturday at the convention.

Leadership web campaign heats up? (Image)

shesabillionairedamnit.jpg

Well, I found the Google advertisement attacking Belinda Stronach on her wealth. The above advertisement “Even the playing field” links to Stephen Harper’s oneconservativevoice.ca and the bottom advertisement is the standard Belinda Stronach google ad. It should be noted that both of these ads were displayed when “Belinda Stronach” was googled.

Leadership web campaign heats up?

Today I noticed a couple interesting things as I was meandering around the Internet. As I was googling on Google, I noticed some rather savvy/sneaky techniques used by Belinda Stronach, Stephen Harper and Tony Clement. It seems that if one searches for Tony Clement on Google, a Belinda Stronach ad is displayed as a Google advertisement off to the side. Similarly, if one searches Stephen Harper the very same thing happens; plainly and emphatically “Belinda Stronach campaign. Join. Recruit. Vote.” I found this little strategy to be a little amusing and to her campaign team’s credit, very clever. Out of the three, Belinda Stronach has the most polished website, with its very own blog and sophisticated recruitment program. Stephen Harper has a website which is decent in comparison while Tony Clement’s website is so very very basic. More interestingly is the backlash by the campaign team of Stephen Harper in response to the Google campaign of Belinda Stronach. When one googles Stephen Harper there’s the Belinda Stronach ad but under it is a much more interesting ad. It’s an ad that seems to point to the fake internet address “Shesabillionairedamnit.ca” with the tagline which says something like “She’s a billionaire damnit. Click. her. ads. waste. her. money”. When you click on the advertisement it redirects you to the campaign website of Stephen Harper.

Interesting indeed.

I wish that I had gotten a screen shot because when I reloaded the Google search in disbelief, the Shesabillionairedamnit ad had disappeared. Maybe my clickthrough on the google ad had capped-off the ad’s daily spending limit? Anyways, is this a sign that Stephen Harper’s team is feeling a little heat from Belinda Stronach? I wish that I had gotten a screen shot because when I reloaded the Google search in disbelief, the Shesabillionairedamnit ad had disappeared. Maybe my clickthrough on the google ad had capped-off the ad’s daily spending limit? So, a google war between Stephen Harper and Belinda Stronach. We’ll just see how much of an effect these internet campaigns will have on the leadership race.

Oh, and Tony: Really! Please do something about your website!

Another note about the media…

Has anyone ever noticed where the bias may lie within a particular news report/article merely by the method in which the reporter describes the government?

If the reporter has a positive bias towards the government they will laud the organization. Conversely, if the reporter has a negative bias towards the government, they will vilify the individual.

For example:
The Liberal government declared today that…
The Harris government announced its policy concerning…

See the difference? It is easier to vilify a person because one can put a face on a target whereas media reporting concerning an unpopular policy by a favoured government is easily distributed across an organization when made faceless.

An interesting comparison

The pundits at Bluedraft made an interesting and yet legitimate criticism of the media today concerning the bid of Belinda Stronach for the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Just compare Belinda Stronach’s treatment at the hands of the national press to another famous kid with a rich daddy.

When Justin Trudeau makes a speech, he’s not described as a tasty little piece of beefcake, but as “the heir to the Trudeau legacy.” Media outlets line up to write breathless profiles of him, slavering at the prospect that he will run for public office. “It’s a question of when, not if,” they intone. Trudeau’s qualifications, thin though they might be, are overlooked in the rush to resurrect Trudeaumania.

Stronach, who’s actually accomplished something in her life, runs for office and she’s instantly dismissed as “the It girl.” Because she’s blonde and attractive, she qualifies for descriptors such as “hot,” “bodacious” and the press reports on what she’s wearing as if she were Queen Elizabeth.

I don’t know what causes this cynicism it the media and this attitude unfortunately filters down to some Canadians. Is there an agenda or does this invective petty attitude actually sell newspapers?

Happy Family

It’s good to see that the first Conservative Party of Canada caucus meeting went very well today. Today’s meeting represented the final step for the merging/reunification of both Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative caucuses and the first step of working together as one united front against Paul Martin’s liberals.

It seems as though much of the same had been discussed separately but now we are seeing conservative coordination concerning policy and House strategy.

Glad to see it.

Belinda Stronach!

Today I watched Belinda Stronach jump into the leadership frenzy while I was on campus. Her announcement speech was very good and she handled the following press conference very well.

I must admit, I am very excited about Belinda Stronach’s bid. As a political rookie she brings a fresh approach, face, and sense of trust to the contest for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Many observers had been concerned that as new face, Stronach would be shy on policy and people wouldn’t know where she stands on many political issues. In her announcement, and in her subsequent news conference, she came on strong. There are two fundamental issues for which she will fight: to make Canada into a competitive economic force worldwide (as it should be yet we have much ground to recover) and to get youth involved in the political process (that’s me).

Stronach explained that she believes that policy doesn’t go from the leader-down, it comes from the grassroots-up. Belinda is a believer in grassroots politics! The 37 year-old mother of two is also progressive yet strictly conservative on issues such as keeping marijuana criminalized and handing down tougher sentences on criminals who commit their crimes with guns. So, she’s pro-duck hunter and anti-gun violence… what a concept!

While I consider myself an avid follower of political news and a supporter of the political party, many Canadians do not consider themselves as such. Belinda Stronach brings the much needed flair and electricity to our new party and she’ll cause a lot of people to pay attention. A fellow student, who happened to be watching the announcement on television beside me exclaimed numerous times about how impressed she was with this woman and what she has accomplished. Resigning a lucrative job to serve one’s country is indeed an impressive act.

I believe that she’s got a great shot at the leadership race; her campaign has exploded out of the gates with her jazzy online presence @ belinda.ca. Her website features a section where you can become a Belinda recruiter and keep track of your successes in recruiting for her campaign. Also of note, another example her campaign’s superior web savviness is her placement of google searchword advertisements; type “Belinda” into Google and her ad shows right up!

Combine incredible business success, progressive conservatism, and great media presence and you’ve got Belinda Stronach. She is an ideal candidate to represent many Ontario conservatives.

This will be one to watch…

CPC founding meeting

I attended the founding meeting of the Conservative Party of Canada for the electoral district of Kingston and the Islands. I would estimate that approximately 250 showed up to establish the new organization.

I met a lot of former members of the Progressive Conservative party and former members of the Canadian Alliance. Everyone seemed enthusiastic to start the process of making this Conservative Party of Canada a veritable force against the Liberal incumbent Peter Milliken and his Liberal leader, Paul Martin.

During the meeting, I was nominated and subsequently elected to the board of directors. A couple of other Queen’s students were also elected to the board along with a student from St. Lawrence college and two others from RMC. I summarized my enthusiasm for this showing of youth interest in our party during my short address to the members. I pledged to get more youth involved as I believe that this party does represent many of the concerns of youth voters. I am confident that my belief is shared by the soon-to-be-declared leadership candidate Belinda Stronach. While not much is known politically about this contender, she has been a motivator of youth to get involved within the political process. Her “As Prime Minister” essay contest is testament to this very fact.

Finally, I learned something else at the meeting. While older people may be hesitant to accept the political involvement of youth, once they know that you are very energetic and enthusiastic they have nothing but sincere encouragement and enthusiasm themselves.

Sheila and Paul – betrayal in Hamilton

What is happening in federal politics?!?

With the game of musical chairs (or seats) going on in Ottawa these days, it’s just another day as rumours swirl about party defections and betrayal. The latest particular rumour seems to have a little more substance as we learn that Sheila Copps, a former deputy prime minister and a former leadership contender for the Liberal Party of Canada, is being forced to walk the plank of the Liberal ship and, further, she may even be saved by Mr. Jack Layton in the rubber dinghy of the NDP.

A political veteran of the Liberal party and a Liberal member of the house for 20 years, Ms. Copps may have to contend for the nomination for her own riding against a Martin supporter who doesn’t even live in the riding! By stifling any Liberal who differs from Paul Martin in opinion, the coronated Prime Minister seeks to widen the democratic deficit within his own party rather than to narrow it as he had promised.

If Ms. Copps is forced to leave her party, I predict that the left flank of Paul Martin’s personal party will leave with her giving another breath of life into the NDP. By attempting to co-opt the policies of the centre-right, Mr. Martin is losing his support on the left and burning Ms. Copps may only be the spark that starts the fire.

Regardless of the policies for which Sheila Copps stands, Canadians of all political affiliations will wince when they see a woman, who has given her heart to public life, become trampled by the Paul Martin machine.

Tony’s in

Former Ontario health minister Tony Clement announced yesterday that he will seek the leadership of the new Conservative Party of Canada and will soon mount a campaign to compete for the post against Stephen Harper.

As the former health minister of the nation’s most populous province and as former Ontario Progressive Conservative party president, Tony Clement will bring his knowledge and experience to the leadership race. His experience and leadership, during one of the most trying health crises in Canadian history, further attests to his qualities as a leadership contender. Particularly encouraging is that regardless of the outcome of the Conservative leadership race, he has explained that he will run for the party in the next federal election.

So, great news! Tony Clement’s announcement today is particularly encouraging due to his high profile in Ontario and thus he brings another degree of national marketability of the Conservative Party. He is no stranger to the alliance caucus either as he was a founding member of that former party. Yet, he may be a stranger to voters outside of Ontario, thus he has a considerable campaign to mount in the next couple of months.

Developing…