CBC: please correct the record

Yesterday I wrote:

I am now reporting that Wajid Khan will join the Conservative ranks tomorrow as a backbench MP. Doing so protects Khan from cynicism of the press and opposition of making such a political move for career advancement, or for monetary considerations. Khan joins the Tories without taking a position in either cabinet or as a Parliamentary secretary.

Today, the CBC writes:

On Thursday, Conservative blogger Stephen Taylor fuelled speculation about the defection by posting a report that Khan would join the Tories in the cabinet or as a parliamentary secretary.

I appreciate the nod from the CBC, but I hope that they correct the record.

UPDATE: CBC has changed the text, but it is still wrong:

On Thursday, Conservative blogger Stephen Taylor fuelled speculation about the defection by posting a report that Khan would join the Tories possibly as a parliamentary secretary. He has not accepted a cabinet position.

I never mused on the possibility of a parliamentary secretary job for Khan. In fact, I ruled that possibility right out (along with stating that Khan wouldn’t join cabinet either)

UPDATE: CBC has deleted the entire paragraph.

BREAKING NEWS — Khan crosses floor — EXCLUSIVE

I am now reporting that Wajid Khan will join the Conservative ranks tomorrow as a backbench MP. Doing so protects Khan from cynicism of the press and opposition of making such a political move for career advancement, or for monetary considerations. Khan joins the Tories without taking a position in either cabinet or as a Parliamentary secretary.

This move has been a long time coming and I expected to report on this just after the Liberal leadership convention as such a move would have been wise political strategy to deflate the post-convention bounce in the polls that benefitted the Liberal party.

Khan is expected to make a formal announcement tomorrow and will likely describe that he is switching parties because of the “values” that the Prime Minister represents.

UPDATE: Liberals are reportedly doing their best tonight to lobby Khan to keep him from leaving their caucus.

OTHER THOUGHTS: Khan should have to face nomination in his own riding with the local Conservative EDA before he should attain the label of “incumbent” in the next election. Khan switching to the Conservatives nets no discernible gain for Khan (from backbench MP to backbench MP) and it should net no discernible gain for him in the future (such as having his nomination grandfathered, as the Liberals do). Before Belinda Stronach faced the voters in Newmarket-Aurora, were the Liberal members of that riding given the opportunity to challenge her nomination before the next election? Let’s hope that Khan will have to stand for nomination for the party before he faces the voters.

UPDATE Jan 5, 9am: Dion draws a line in the sand. Susan Delacourt reports on the Liberal leader’s new ultimatum for Wajid Khan.

If this story is subsequently reported on television, radio, in a newspaper, or on an MSM website, please give proper citation to this blog.

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!

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.

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…