Democratic deficit grows for Liberals in Ottawa

Today I received a tip from a couple of sources that describe discord among Liberal EDA board members in Ottawa West Nepean and their leader as the board is complaining that former Ottawa mayor Bob Chiarelli has asked Liberal leader Stephane Dion to forego the nomination process and appoint him as the candidate in that riding to face-off against Conservative Environment Minister John Baird.  This is obviously undemocratic as former Martin Defense Minister David Pratt is known to want the candidacy.

Pratt would make only the second Liberal to make his intentions officially known.  Ottawa University professor Nour El-Khadri also has made it known that he seeks to contest a nomination, however, Chiarelli is trying to enter in through the backdoor, according to sources.

Pratt and El-Khadri aren’t late comers to the work required to win the nomination either.  El-Khadri is believed to have sold about 500 memberships in the riding as far back as April 2007.  A source on Pratt’s team said “selling memberships and fighting a fair contest will not be a problem for…people like David”

Sources on the OWN Liberal executive say that an emergency meeting has been called for September 2nd.  Each of the three men will have to make a case before a special nominating committee as to why they believe they are the best candidate to take on Baird.  The recommendation will then be made to Stephane Dion who has the power to appoint the candidate directly.  This “beauty contest” approach (as one board member put it) is in direct contravention of the OWN Liberal Party constitution and will cause a great deal of grief with supporters of El-Kadri and Pratt.  As the same board member put it, “the fix is in” for Chiarelli.

John Baird fought his own nomination for the Conservative Party candidacy and one may speculate that expediency is being pushed for given an accelerated timetable for an election call that many expect this week.  However, it is unknown why a former Ottawa mayor without experience in the federal government would be favoured over a former Defence Minister.  Pratt fought under Martin’s banner of “fighting the democratic deficit”.  We’ll see if he’s still up for the job against Stephane Dion and Bob Chiarelli.

Announcing govtweets and

I’ve been working on a couple of new website that use twitter.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with twitter, it’s a new web service that simply asks “what are you doing?”.  Think of it as Facebook stripped down to the status update, with integrated direct messaging a channel communication.  The status update has been with us for a while from the days of the ICQ away message, to MSN messenger name changes, to Facebook and now twitter.  You can update your status from the web, from Firefox, via SMS or Blackberry.  Twitter is great for finding out what your friends or those who you follow are up to as it aggregates status updates from those you set up on your account.

govtweets is a website that I created to follow conversations, not just from friends, but from the public “tweets” from individuals discussing the US Presidential race at and Canadian politics at  The updates appear live and inline on the websites, so you don’t need to refresh to have the updates streaming in.  Americans are hooked in to twitter and so has a constant stream of the conversations that are occurring regarding McCain, Obama, Biden and Palin, while Canadians have yet to embrace the service in a big way so updates trickle in on Harper, Dion and Layton (I may add May soon since she’s a real contender now /sarcasm).

I’d encourage you to check out both websites.  For political web junkies, interesting URLs for interesting websites and articles are tweeted by users.  I found and the news that Palin’s wikipedia paged was scrubbed just before news of her selection was made official all via

Let me know what you think and if you want to see more action on the page, start tweeting about Canadian politics.

Oh, and follow me on Twitter!

Stephen Harper channeling US Presidents?

Stephen Harper on the economy today in the Northwest Territories:

“Somebody said a recession is when people start losing their jobs, and when your neighbour loses his job. There are job losses, but overall employment is pretty stable”

That somebody the Prime Minister refers to was former US President Ronald Reagan during the 1980 Presidential campaign:

“A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

And remember the Conservative line?:

“The Conservative Party supports Canadians that work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules”

Thank Bill Clinton:

“My tax cut plan will give families a $500 per child tax credit. The congressional plan denies the child credit to up to 4.8 million families who make less than $30,000 a year. But these families work hard, pay their taxes, and play by the rules.”