Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:35 am Post subject:
St. Paul's vote a national battlefront?
Liberal Eric Hoskins, left, and Tory Sue-Ann Levy will contest St. Paul's provincial by-election. Email story
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Sept. 17 by-election expected to be called today in a Liberal stronghold that Tories are eyeing
Aug 19, 2009 04:30 AM
Queen's Park Bureau Chief
Premier Dalton McGuinty is poised to call a Toronto by-election today, the results of which could have national implications.
McGuinty is expected to announce voters in St. Paul's will go to the polls on Sept. 17 to elect a successor to high-profile former Liberal minister Michael Bryant.
If the Progressive Conservatives, who are fielding a scrappy Toronto Sun columnist, wrest the seat from the Liberals, it would be the first Tory win in Toronto – provincially or federally – in a decade.
That should have Prime Minister Stephen Harper watching the contest closely, observers say.
"We have to be aware of this," a senior Liberal strategist said.
While the insider said Dr. Eric Hoskins, co-founder of the charity War Child Canada, should hold the seat for the Liberals, by-elections are notoriously unpredictable.
"If we learned anything from (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, where Liberal challenger Rick Johnson stunned former PC leader John Tory on March 5), it's anything can happen," the insider said.
Given the Tories have not elected an MPP or MP within the Toronto city limits since June 1999, when former premier Mike Harris's party won eight seats, a St. Paul's upset would spark tremors.
It would end the ignominy of being shut out in the 2003 and 2007 Ontario elections and in the 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008 federal votes.
Tory Leader Tim Hudak has a star candidate in Sue-Ann Levy, the Jewish, openly gay Sun columnist.
Some Liberals, mindful of Levy's appeal in a riding where almost one in five voters is Jewish, are trying to convince McGuinty to delay the by-election until Oct. 1 to give Hoskins more time to campaign.
A Conservative strategist said yesterday the contest is "a long shot" but "a genuine win-win for us."
"Is it good news if we win? Of course it is. But is it bad news if we lose? No, because we're not expected to win," the insider said.
Harper's minority government could collapse next month if the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff join with the other opposition parties to trigger an election.
A provincial Liberal source conceded a Hoskins defeat in St. Paul's might spook Ignatieff because Toronto is a party stronghold.
"This is the most educated riding in the province. We hold it federally (with MP Carolyn Bennett) and if we lose St. Paul's, it's not a good sign," he said.
Still, Liberals and Tories agree the stars must align for a PC win – rookie NDP Leader Andrea Horwath needs a strong showing from her candidate, who will be selected Sept. 9, and the Greens' Chris Chopik has to siphon Liberal votes.
There's also the wild card of the new 13 per cent harmonized sales tax that takes effect next July 1.
Provincial Tories would like St. Paul's to be a referendum on the tax that will meld the 8 per cent provincial sales tax with the 5 per cent GST – and increase levies on hundreds of goods and services.
The HST is tricky for federal Tories – Harper cajoled McGuinty into blending the taxes, giving Ontario $4.3 billion in transfers to do it.
Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 160 votes: 2
Posted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:46 am Post subject:
Thank you for your post, NorthernRaven. While I understand what you're saying, I wonder why would you want to do anything? If you could do something, what would it be?
Once you recognize that for the most part homosexuallity isn't a choice, you cannot forceable turn someone into a heterosexual. There is certainly a lot that we don't understand about biology and human nature. They are who they are, and they are compassionate and productive individuals in our community. The law is clear so long as their activity is between concenting adults in their privacy, then there is no need to have a law or policing of our bedrooms.
And frankly I do NOT want to waste any political capital that I or the movement that I support on this issue as there are far more important issues, just a Criminal, Immigration, Tax, and Senate Reforms to proceed with, to name a few.
Practically the big tent party doesn't need to reach out to the full gay community. We only need to reach out to those that want lower taxes, less government intervention, and similar Conservative values. By doing so we also reduce alienating the very valuable female voters, and accepting male voters, that normally get turned off by the CPC when they do stupid stuff that make them appear intolerant.
As for the gay pride parade. Optically it looked very bad to remove that funding this year, since it was already allocated. It makes more sense to cut its, and other festival funding for the following year, as I favour reduced government involvement in local cultural events. Over time a more accepting community might reduce its flamoyantness, but for one day every summer it does bring a lot of money into our communities.
As for an AIDS policy, perhaps the CPC should consider a practical policy that is preventative and encourages a healthy community. Since it is communicable through fluids, the erradicatoin solution is through stopping the transmission. And you can reduce that if:
1) We as a community accept homosexuals for who they are.
2) Encourage the long term relationships, as we encourage in the heterosexual community.
3) Encourage people to disclose their sexual history to their partners.
4) And protect victims of HIV infection through disclosure laws, which I believe we now have, whereby if someone knowingly is infected can be tried criminally for manslaughter if they transmit to their partner.
5) Allow churches and faith institutions to choose which couples they may allow to marry, as there should be no problems from same-sex couples to get married at the local court house, or have a similar legal wedding.
Mac, your comment was typical. And when you make a statement that I do not know what a libertarian you expose yourself. You do not debate. You came out with "none of your business". Society, culture, safety, guidance of children, proper medicine, politcs, how our taxes are spent are just a few things that are my business. That is why I vote, spend time learning what is going on in the new dialogue of the Internet world, question things.
For your conservative-libertarian interest, I ran one of the biggest fahsion shows in the country, for a season, and hired a gay director. And as you know the industry is gayville. But I have no problem with a wise homosexual life. Starting with safe sex. Nevertheless, I had a marvellous reputation as a fashion producer, loved by the "queers' as they called themselves, and we raised the bar and set new standards of the fashion show world.
However, I have never been for Same-Sex Mariage or Gay priests in Christian or any other religion that prefers not to have a homosexual minister. They could start their own. But once more it's pushing the enevelope. Is this where Toronto, Queens Park and Ottawa are heading. We will be the Gayest country that will certainly please the UN human rights.
My political strategy would have been quite different, still is, than Hudak and his team with what to do with Toronto and the PC Party.
Nonetheless, so far your moderation has been fair on many topics. This website and forum needs wise moderators to counter pretenders.
Some would (and do) argue choice is involved in the decision to engage in homosexual sexual encounters... the same as the choice to engage in heterosexual sexual encounters... although most folks acknowledge the actual desire itself is likely not a matter of choice. The law (clear or otherwise) shouldn't enter into the matter.
Accepting personal responsibility for one's own conduct in all matters would likely resolve much of the world's ills including AIDS. Responsible behaviour is it's own reward, so to speak, and would alleviate the desire for an all-encompassing nanny government.
You hit upon a key point although you didn't tie it directly to SSM. Marriage is supposed to be a longer-term, dedicated relationship (although some folks don't act that way!) so SSM should encourage that kind of responsible behaviour from the gay community.
I agree with you about not wasting political capital, energy or resources on a matter which should never be subject to government attention... and your list of important issues more-or-less mirrors my own.
The one area where I don't agree with you is the funding of public events like cultural festivals. I would rather see taxes left in the coffers of businesses and individuals so we can choose which events we wish to support... which also means governments aren't placed in the awkward position of choosing which events to support and which to ignore.
Was there any kind of arts, parades or festivals before governments went socialist and started funding everything and anything? Of course! Were those events and/or works of art less desirable? It would be hard to argue that Michelangelo or any of the great masters were lesser artists than Barnett Newman or any of the artists who lives off of the largess of governments.
Forgot to add this, MAC. Whenever someone states a word such as Libertarianism, I reread the content to get a better appreciation of the context.
Libertarianism is a very broad brush.
"Libertarianism is a term used to describe a broad spectrum of political philosophies which seek to maximize individual liberty and minimize or even abolish the state. Libertarians embrace viewpoints across that spectrum ranging from pro-property to anti-property, from minimal government to openly anarchist. The word libertarian is an antonym of authoritarian."
Whereas, I believe in certain traditions. For example I love classical music. Practically every morning I turn on 96.3 FM, enjoy a coffee, sometimes edit my novel, or check the forums while the wonderful sound permeates and uplifts me. Rock & Roll doesn't do that for me. Maybe some. Forget about Hip-Hop or RAP. And is this what has replaced jazz, and Bach? Mind you I loved the Beatles and many more groups and solo singers over the years. However, the above is an example of a traditonalist and perhaps someone who would profess to be Libertarian, and accepts and enjoys everything. Well good for them, they are more open than I.
Furthermore, at my age and experience, I do not fear intelligent and humourous criticsim, the opposite worries me such as one or two that use this forum to vent their failures.
When John Tory was making his feeble attempt for the PC Party I advised some strategists of counter-punches about the faith-based issue. For example, I believe in political reform rather than electoral reform. But, either they did not present it to Tory, or his ego got the better of him.
During that Squinty McGuinty spending spree (and it goes on with eHealth. Ouch!) I told the entire group of citizens representing ridings and organizers I was Conservative (no one else did) and I was virtually the sole speaker against the special interest reform. TVO has the video archive. I wanted this attempt to stop and let the public decide during an election. The Liberals, NDP, Green and Special Interest crowd, along with the selected team by Squinty brushed me aside and guffawed.
But as I predicted they had lost by a strong majority.
The PC Party is also up aganst the media for the Toronto area. And, frankly, celebrities are not the answer, the party must focus on what has been succcessful and why. This time it is pure economy in Ontario, once the spine of the country.
Conservatism is derived from the word conserve. We, I think you as well, try our best to keep the good stuff.
Last edited by Edmund Onward James on Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
When John Tory was making his feeble attempt for the PC Party I advised some strategists of counter-punches about the faith-based issue. For example, I believe in political reform rather than electoral reform, get rid of the senate for one thing or change it, let the people vote for senators. But, either they did not present it to Tory, or his ego got the better of him.
The probably didn't bring it up to him because Ontario got rid of their senate hundreds of years ago...
NorthernRaven, that was funny... even if it was the CBC... :lol:
Edmund, it appears you misread or misunderstood my intent when I said it wasn't your business. I was being literal rather than figurative... It was an invitation for you to defend your position. You, sir, chose to avoid discussing your reasons for denouncing SSM.
Thank you for sharing details of your past career but, if anything, that makes your stance on SSM even less understandable for me. I'm also glad you now realize libertarianism and conservatism isn't an inconsistent combination. I, too, feel there are many aspects of our society which are worth conserving and enhancing. For instance, I would prefer governments restricted to their traditional roles rather than governments engaged in social engineering.
I don't worry about some folks venting their frustrations... and some of those who do have valid points to share. Sometimes folks are overly sensitive but that's better than everyone being uncaring and callus, I suppose.
Cool Blue, I meant something else provincially, not the senate. My main interest is the federal government. But there is political reform required in Ontario. And had the electoral reform won in Ontario then it wouldn't be long for Parliament Hill. The reformists refuse to give up in BC.
Last edited by Edmund Onward James on Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:40 pm; edited 2 times in total
MAC, how much more clear can I be about Same-Sex Marriage. If the conservative government was a majority do you think Harper and party would have been so forthcoming. I think not. If there was a referendum I don't think it would have been legalized. I am totally against it. However, if they received some kind of declaration so be it.
Take a look at California. Tha majority, including African-Americans (whatever) and Hispanics do not want it, but the Gay Activists or as they say in the biz "Gay Mafia" keep pushing the envelope. They''ll stop the hairdressing salons and the women would go insane, especially in West Hollywood and Rodeo Drive.
They are a strong block vote in Toronto, hence Sue Ann Levy, who has some credibility other than being gay and as you said married. We shall see. Nonetheless, thank goodness I no longer live in T.O. Now, I'm in a strong federally Conservative and Provinical riding.
Regardless, I enjoy reading your comments and agree with much of what you state.
Edmund, you were clear you're against SSM but you haven't given any reason for that position, other than some ambiguous comments about society, culture, safety, guidance of children, proper medicine, politcs, how our taxes are spent... rather generic comments which could easily be applied to almost any situation...
Can you demonstrate how any of these matters are threatened by SSM? Aren't they equally or even more threatened by the alternative of not allowing SSM?
A bit of food for thought for you. Marriage is the exclusive jurisdiction of provincial governments and before the minority Liberals enacted the federal Civil Marriage Act in 2005, 8 of the 10 provinces had already adopted SSM legislation. SSM was coming regardless of what the feds did...
So the Liberals, with the willing assistance of the NDP & Bloc, were putting their noses into something which is provincial jurisdiction and therefore none of their business. This is something the Liberals do very well which the Conservatives, for whatever reason, haven't figured out how to counter effectively.
Why is there a federal Health Ministry when all health-related matters are provincial jurisdiction? Tommy Douglas was never PM and his party has never held power federally... but the Liberals were more than willing to extend the reach and grip of centralized federalism.
You like traditions? Let's bring back traditional government and dump the socialism which plagues this nation. Demand our provincial governments take back their jurisdiction and put an end to the "blame game" (where different levels of government blame each other for the creeping encroachment of the nanny state into the lives of citizens).
Marriage, once more is between man and woman. Though I am not religious I agree.
I think that a majority Conservative government would have prevented it, or tried their best, perhaps even a national referendum.
But you still continue to be dead set on it. Do you have someone gay in your family or perhaps friends? Do you think this is a proper way for children, adopted children to be brought up?
But you still continue to be dead set against it. :P
For those who are religious, marriage is the blessed union of a man and a woman... but for the government, marriage is a form of legal contract; a licenced arrangement which involves certain responsibilities and entitlements for the participants. Marriage licences are issued by the provincial government, not the church. Most of the responsibilities and entitlements relate to survivorship, taxation, power of attorney and so forth... legal and/or government functions.
Although Canada was founded on Christian principles, it is a secular nation in that Canadian citizens have freedom of religion... and freedom to not be involved in religion... which is why marriages can be conducted by Justices of the Peace and/or registered marriage commissionaires completely independent of any church. As I stated earlier, 8 of 10 provinces had already adopted SSM before the Liberals presented and enacted legislation. The federal government has no jurisdiction in the matter whatsoever.
Yes, I have gay members in my extended family and I have gay friends. Can you tell me what that has to do with anything? I invite you to debate the issue and to assail the logic of my arguments but if your only argument is my viewpoint is influenced by my friends and family, that's little better than an ad hominem... and does little to support your position given your personal history.
Children need a stable home with loving parents who provide support, discipline, encouragement and a good example. I've dealt with too many dysfunctional and/or abusive heterosexual families over the years to believe that the classic "mom & pop" family is the only acceptable model. I would much rather see children cherished by a SSM couple than abused by a hetero couple.
Finally, I don't feel a need to "win" this debate but I hope you pour a dram of good scotch (not the cheap stuff), fire up a stogy and give some thought to my logical arguments. I must confess my first reaction to SSM was much like yours... I rejected the concept out of hand... but when I confronted the reasons for that position in the quietness of my thoughts, I came to the conclusion my rejection of SSM was bigotry on my part, based in my ignorance and discomfort... Personal growth as an individual is rarely easy...
LOL. I can't imagine having to choose between a Liberal and a gay politician in waiting.As much as I detest the Longnose McGuinty liberals I couldn't put another gay persion in that position, I think of Wynn, Brison and Smitherman, poor examples all.
And to say that 2-6 or eight provinces approved SSM is dead wrong Judicial activism did the job.
Iin Ontario 3 unelected, unaccountable judges decided for 13 million people, in the rest of the provinces it was just one. And that to me, is so wrong.
The only way handle that was by a free vote and that did not happen. On second thought it did, back in `99. There was a vote, an overwhelming majority, to support the long standing definition. The Liberal PM's right hand girl said, "we will support the traditional definition of marriage `till hell freezes over".
I'm not sure that I'm against two consensual people getting together, but I just boiled over at the hypocrisy that got it done.
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Sue Ann Levy running for Tories in St Pauls by-election