Globe and Mail too pessimistic (biased!)

First, from CP:

WASHINGTON (CP) – U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says American officials are reviewing the status of Maher Arar.

Rice said today she has taken the matter up with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and that he and Justice officials are looking into the matter. But Rice said after meeting in Washington with Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay the U.S. must have its own processes and come to its own conclusions in security matters. …

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The Globe and Mail headline screams: “U.S. snubs Canada’s Arar Plea”
The Toronto Star prints: “U.S. gives Arar new hope”

Bonus headline from the Ottawa Citizen’s front page: “U. S. Homeland Security to review Arar case”

Has the media love affair with Dion already begun?

First, Kate McMillan and Bob Tarantino rout out a suspicious Dion friendly source used by CP.

Next, Lawrence Martin the Globe and Mail scribe, former Chretien biographer (two books…one was written under duress), and a man paid over $6000 by Liberal governments for two speaking jobs gives new Liberal leader Stephane Dion the highest of praises, and apologizes for one of Dion’s recent flip-flops (my comments in bold):

There is a suspicion out there that Stéphane Dion is a man of honour, a politician of dignity with true character. (there’s only one thing I’m suspicious of at this point Mr. Martin, and it’s not Dion)

True character is the reverse of trying to be all things to all people. It means not seeking others’ approval. (Lawrence never wrote any biographies about Paul Martin, you’ll note) When, as a political leader, you stop doing that, and just be the essential you, people want some of what you’ve got, some of that core. You’re the magnetic field. (oh captain, my captain!)

But politics is about selling, reaching out, pandering. (first hints of apology) And so here was Stéphane Dion in his first week as Liberal leader, already in the grip of the ugly claws of the enterprise(the grip!… the ugly claws, poor Stephane!). He was faced with a middling controversy over whether he should maintain his dual French citizenship. It was a sensitive issue for him, one that cut to his heart and, in responding, he got testy. (I’ll make full disclosure for Lawrence Martin here… the Globe and Mail scribe is a dual citizen too)

His answer was sound enough (of course…), but he couldn’t help thinking of the political equation. Well, if maintaining my French citizenship loses me votes, he said, he might have to reconsider. In other words, let’s cast aside the principle involved here and make a decision on the basis of politics.

That wasn’t the man of honour talking. It was hardly the new politics. It was an example of him looking over his shoulder, seeing the dark shadow of pollsters in pursuit, about to smother the light within. (dark forces made Dion do it. Dion is made of pure light, by the way)

Martin then contrasts “honour” with big bad Stephen Harper:

Stephen Harper has an impressive skill set. He had a chance, himself, to bring more honour to governance. But since the opening bell when he elevated a floor-crosser and an unelected senator to his Cabinet, he has shown himself to be a leader whose abiding imperative is political opportunism (wow…). His Senate reform, announced yesterday, which would allow voters at last some say in Senate appointments, is a step forward that he need not have framed in the context of political partisanship. His brazen approach in this regard has cost him, as voters, turned off by this kind of politics, have responded with declining approval ratings. (brazen, turned off, declining!)

Hence the Dion opening is all the greater. The Leader of the Opposition must find a way to resist the temptation to respond in kind to the cheap attacks and slanders. To succeed, to avoid being dragged down into the brothel, the rules of engagement are many: He must be a champion of principle. He must remain stoic, keeping the level of discourse high and noble, holding to his true character (wow…). He must, while letting other caucus members tackle the seamy questions, be seen as frequently as possible with the other tower of integrity in the Liberal thicket, Ken Dryden.

It’s not difficult to figure out how Lawrence Martin votes.

Finally, when Dion named Ignatieff as the deputy of the opposition Liberal Party, it made the front page of the Globe and Mail. When Stephen Harper named Carol Skelton as deputy leader of the opposition Alliance party in 2003, no such fanfare from the Globe. However, it did make page A10 of the National Post!

UPDATE: You may have read in Macleans that Susan Delacourt and Greg Weston were snubbed from the PM’s media Christmas party. I’m also hearing that Delacourt, after her invite was “lost in the mail”, was trying to lobby her fellow PPG members to boycott the PM’s party. UPDATE: The pro-Delacourt camp assures me that this isn’t true!

This Ontarian understands Western alienation

I was born in Vancouver and lived there for the first four years of my life before I moved to Ontario. Whenever I feel the need to show Western credentials, I laughingly pretend that these formative first years give me enough ‘cred’.

The rest of the truth is that I’ve lived most of the rest of my life so far in the province of Ontario. I joked with a friend out West today that being a Conservative in Ontario shows that by not being a Liberal by default in this province, my type is serious about bringing change in the province and to the rest of Canada.

Anyways, to my friends out West (many of whom I haven’t met yet), I understand what you’re going through because I read it today in the Globe and Mail.

Take a look at this article and, if you’re from Ontario (and not a twit driven by a false sense of entitlement), you’d be likely to empathize with the alienation that Westerners are feeling.

I’ll cut right to the worst of it:

Alberta’s energy riches are propelling its surplus toward $7-billion, raising questions about how the province will use its windfall while not creating jealousy among the country’s cash-strapped provinces.

“there are concerns about how the Ralph Klein Conservatives will use the riches

However, if the wealth is largely hoarded by Albertans, [Gibbins] predicts there could be national consequences.

“That guy in downtown Toronto who is pumping $1.10 litre gas into his car is going to react quite differently,” Mr. Gibbins warned. “He is going to make an argument that something is fundamentally wrong.”

Seriously, who writes this way and gets away with it? Apparently Patrick Brethour and Katherine Harding, that’s who. They win the biased media prize of the day.