All or nothing -

All or nothing


Susan Delacourt notes an interesting question posed at an all-candidates debate in Kitchener.

One of the audience members had posed an intriguing question during the debate — he said MPs are valued for their independent-mindedness, so in that spirit, could all the candidates say what part of their party’s platform they don’t endorse? Former Liberal MP Andrew Telegdi said he had some problems with his party’s support of some law-and-order measures by the Conservatives. The Green Party candidate, Cathy MacLellan, said she was still “working through” some of  the finer points in her party’s platform  on genetically modified organisms. Then, when it came time for the NDP candidate to speak up, Bill Brown said sorry, he supported the NDP’s platform in its entirety and wouldn’t be standing for office if he couldn’t. Peter Braid said more or less the same thing.


All or nothing

  1. Funnily enough, I asked this same question at a local candidates' forum.

    Two of the party representatives said more or less the same thing at the time. Guess which two parties those were?

    (Hint: try the last two.)

    • I wonder if this is more a function of politicians being political (and some not being political). Certain candidates not wanting to disrupt their "base," so they hedge and say there are things they don't like about their party's platform, so as to encourage voters who wouldn't otherwise vote for them because they vote party-lines. Interesting that the Conservative and the NDP candidate were the two that held strong in saying that don't see anything wrong with the platforms of their parties.

      With Love and Gratitude,


      • I'd love to see how the NdP guy lap danced over his party's unhinged meanderings re. the long gun registry…

  2. Email to CTV Newsnet

    I don't want to be an alarmist, but inadvertently, there was something very disturbing, told Canadians on the CTV News Network this morning, that should be of great concern about the neutrality, impartiality and the role of some members of the media in this election campaign.
    In reporting about a Harper rally this morning, and the questioning of the Prime Minister, Robert Fife told Jackie Milczarek “We'll get him”.
    This conjures up a picture of some sort of conspiracy by some members of the media, to undermine or carry out some subversive attack in the dying days of Harper's campaign, to influence the results of this election or worse – certainly not the role of a supposedly impartial media.
    I think it behooves Robert Fife and CTV, to make public who all constitites the “we”, because otherwise, this is a suspicion and smear of other members of the media who are innocent , professional and not deserving of this accusation of unprofessional conduct.
    Are Canadians , Elections Canada , CRTC and Harper's protective detail entitled to an explanation of this threat? Has the media watch dog been alerted?
    At best Canadians should be warned of the objectivity and neutrality of some members of the media, in their coverage of this election campaign, and that some individual media types are not above distorting and misrepresenting their reports to Canadians.
    The report that include that threat of “we'll get him” aired shortly after 11:00 A.M. CST, and I see any reference to it has been removed since in Fife's reports – for a cover up, and what I would say are obvious reasons. Does CTV brass think that Robert Fife should remain as a reporter on the campaign trail or are their viewers entitled to a more ethical and reputable coverage? Here is the opportunity for CTV to demonstrate to Canadians who have expressed concerns about biased coverage, that they will not countenance any hint of it, on their network coverage of the election campaign and that their integrity is more important than a reporter's personal vendetta.
    I expect CTV will be issuing an apology to their Canadian viewers.

    • I have seen this being spread on Twitter too. I have a hard time believing it to be honest. I didn't see it, but if that quote is correct, I'd sure like to know the context. Anyone? I can't imagine a reporter like Robert Fife would actually think that, let alone say it.

      • It's all over the place – looks like an organized attack. The press is the enemy to Harper it seems.

        • Oh, grow up. You wouldn't be happy unless they were falling over themselves kissing his ass anyway, so what difference does it make what they think?

    • I haven't seen the report made by Robert Fife but I know there was a huge outcry from Conservative supporters when Harper was asked about the Conservative ties to Malik who is impliicated in the Air India bombing. From what you have written it is unclear what Mr Fife's remark is addressing. Is it Harper himself or wishful thinking that he would be able to get Harper to actually answer the question asked.? I am not a fan of Robert Fife as he seems to enjoy trashing everyone. For that reason alone he should have been removed from the campaign trail long ago.

      • Harper's media tactics laid open to disinfecting sunlight:

        "…The front-running Conservatives are openly seeking a majority mandate for the first time in three general elections, and Harper is employing an extremely cautious campaign that has his opponents deriding the prime minister as "bubble boy."

        Harper is providing only short, clipped responses to the few media questions his handlers allow. Journalists travelling with him at a cost of $11,000 per week are granted four questions per day.

        Unlike the other party leaders, Harper holds all his media availabilities in rooms filled with partisan supporters — a built-in cheering section for his press conferences.

        He's not doing any mainstreeting and holds campaign events only in rooms with carefully screened supporters…"

        Clearly the Conservatives are trying to do damage control.

    • An apology for what?

      Because you and your 'blogging Tories' see yet another conspiracy here?

      What kind of world do you live in anyway that you see threats everywhere?

      • Well, studies show that conservatives have a larger fear center in the brain on average. On a side note, Liberals generally speaking have less sense of when to call elections as a result of just the opposite problem.

    • Well, thank goodness you don't want to be an alarmist.

      I expect you won't be issuing an apology for publicly accusing Fife of being part of a covert conspiracy to commit a "subversive attack" against the Prime Minister of Canada and/or against our democratic system itself.

      Meanwhile, you'll forgive me for waiting to see the actual footage of Fife's alleged threat. If it was broadcast, it's out there, and some enterprising conservative will find it and post it. I think you'll understand why I'd be a little leery of relying on your account and interpretation.

      [reposted from another thread]

      • Well, PeterB posted the same remarks here:… which I found on google, but the only other place those remarks appear are on various Macleans blogposts, probably all made by PeterB, who appears likely to have made the whole thing up.

        hashtag #fail, PeterB

  3. Delacourt's second observation was more interesting. MPs not wanting to question their party's platform is not all that shocking.

    I have noticed a divide between msm/pols and electorate during election campaign as well – it is amazing how seriously pols and journos take themselves while electorate think they are watching freak show.

    "But Canadians are sophisticated buyers — and they see campaigns now as raw salesmanship, even hucksterism ….. so what looks to us like a big-deal piece of a party platform looks to voters like those "today only, deep-discount" signs that merchants put on end-of-season merchandise."

  4. This comment was deleted.

    • well I clicked your link ….
      thanks for all the leads to the strategic voting sites…
      It warms the heart to see such diverse groups who believe in democracy trying to get the center and center-left voters to act rationally!
      Let's hope others find their way via your considerate posting and help defeat Harper.

    • Are you going to post this on every thread?

      • Pageviews give him a warm feeling in his cockles.

  5. This is what I posted on the Liberal ad discussion. If you are going to run as a candidate under a party banner you shouldn't get to pick and choose which part of their platform you will support. What would be the point of any party presenting a platform and saying here's what we stand for but if your member of parliament doesn't agree with some aspect of the platform it's ok cause we'll let them vote to defeat any proposed legislation ? If they don't agree with a portion of the platform and feel they cannot support it then maybe they should run as an independent. If you expect a party to provide financial support to get you elected then you should be prepared to dance with the one who brought you.

    • that's right, throw your opinions out the window! Become a robot!

    • It seems the problem you're having is that you don't actually want an MP, you want a seat-warmer.

      Might I suggest that rather than go to the polls, you go to Walmart.

    • I don't always agree with Sallly, but I do on this one.

  6. oh peterb……
    So, is it possible that even the die-hard-Con-reporters like Fife are fed up with Harper's peek-a-boo frolics?
    The comment was likely …."we'll get him" (to answer a question).
    but sure – ignore the $1M in-and-out scandal. the $Ms of tax dollars spent promoting the ruling party and the plethora of crooks surrounding the Grand-Con and invent some more nonsense.

    • I don’t think anyone’s “ignoring” anything. A comment was made by a member of the MSM, and clarification is called for. Nothing more, nothing less.

  7. Will Iggy support the Tory platform or the NDP's when the House of Commons resumes sitting?

    • From your lips to God's ears. It would be awesome if that's what Iggy has to decide after May 2.

      Ding Dong ….. the witch is dead …. which old witch …..the wicked witch

      • God and witches….a typical Con connection

        • I really should have set up that roadside firewood and pitchfork stand in Alberta, I'd be retired by now.

        • Why is it everyone is entitled to religous freedom unless they politically disagree with you?

          • What?

            Everyone is entitled to believe in pink unicorns if they like….just as long as they don't try and fob it off on me.

          • And where in the post that you commented on was their any indication that the poster was trying to fob off religion on to you. Admit it that was a random poke at what you assmed to be someone's faith.

          • Perhaps you could read the original post.

            Only Cons would equate God and witches.

            Neither exist, except in the christian imagination.

          • Yes because only conservatives believe in God and know about Wizard of Oz showtunes. Is reason so difficult that every time you attempt it you have to lash out at those comfortable in their own faiths and beliefs?

          • Do you have any idea what you're blathering on about? Because I don't.

            How did you drag the Wizard of Oz into this?

          • "Ding Dong ….. the witch is dead …. which old witch …..the wicked witch"
            Here's a question musical fans, from which famous Broadway show does the above song lyric come from? Here's a hint it starts with Wizard and ends in Oz..

            It's not blathering its calling you out. I'm suprised you can't tell the difference as I'm guessing you get called out on your b.s all the time.

          • Witches are mentioned in the bible, you dolt.

          • Sure, but they're also mentioned a few posts up in reference to a common song from the Wizard of Oz. Actually I think that just might be the post that you claimed represented the alleged Torrie obsession with all things religious. Now maybe I'm just your classic all Canada sane "dolt" but it seems that you are reading into others words what you need to see, and that frankly shuts the door on any possible discussion. So with that I shut the door on this progressively more and more inane line of posts. I'd like to say it was fun, but that would suggest this tango involved anything more than my attempts to introduce you to critical thinking and your poorly hidden anger at those who don't agree with you. Feel free to blast me with some childlike last word, it's on me.

          • We are not discussing your knowledge of broadway tunes….we are discussing the Con connection of God and witches.

            Only Cons believe in both things.

          • Well, this offensive. That you would feel the need to blatantly attack any religion in such a despicable manner is pathetic, but even more pathetic is the fact that you seem to think you can get away with it. Religious intolerance is religious intolerance, whether those persecuted carry bible, Qur'an, or anything else.

          • We have freedom of religion in Canada….also freedom FROM religion.

            I'm an atheist. Live with it.

          • That's fine, I've got no qualms with that. However, being offensive for the sake of being offensives is juvenile and frankly wrong, AND in and of itself violates freedom of religion. If you're atheist, that's fine, but attacking those who aren't is a Goebbels tactic.

          • Tough titty.

          • What an eloquently worded persuasive argument. To be clear, you do realize that you are stating that you are willing to violate freedom of religion on the argument that ones 'tittes' are too 'tough'? Look, this is silly, religeous freedom is a serious issue – please show a bit of respect. Show the topic at least some of the thought it deserves, don't just say things for the sake of doing so.

          • Yes, freedom from religion is a serious topic.

            If someone was wandering the countryside preaching about Zeus and Apollo and Athena you would either

            a) take them seriously

            b) report them to your nearest mental health unit

            Same thing goes for your bronze age goat-herder fantasies.

            I have no interest in fairy tales.

          • What you think about religion frankly is irrelevant. If I asked you to join me in an orgy outside of the temple of Aphrodites as part of a religious ceremony, yes you would have reason to raise questions about the validity of such practices. However, if I choose to practice a religion without violence and without violating others rights, than you have no reason to say anything about it.

            If you start infringing on other peoples right to freedom of religion, you're no better then the person asking people to join in a public orgy. It's not a difficult concept to understand. Stop forcing your views on others.

          • Go study. It's what you're supposed to be doing over the Easter holidays.,

          • You know, study is always a good idea. Who knows, maybe you'll take your own advice and become more informed. If can suggest some Easter weekend readings for you, how about taking out a copy of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms from local library, it might do you some good.

          • If your going to attack someone for not having rel. views don't pretned to be basing it from a pos. of faith. All rel. is violent in nature the crusades prove that. Stupid Con Bot.

          • Though I hardly feel like dignifying this post with a response, I will simply say that this above comment, in essence, represents everything wrong with the country. Good day

          • Look at you dec. what is canadian. That is not canadian! Stop def. others in your box stupid con bot.

  8. Odd question to ask….but nobody in the country supports the entire platform of their party 100%

  9. The NDP surge looks dangerous. May we be helped if a party that doles not understand how wealth is created gets enough power, with or without the tax–and-spend Liberals. Several provincial, experiences have proven the point -0 Sask under Tommy Douglas with his failed shoe factory and other "businesses," BC with its plundering of the surplus and the fast ferries. Don't give 'em a chance at the Federal Treasury or we'll be paying taxes up the nose.

    • LOL Cons certainly don't have an understanding of 'how wealth is created'

      To them it's all magic.

      And I remind you the Libs produced a dozen years of surplus, with no deficit….that the Cons promptly blew.

      • That a recesion "promptly blew." And said deficit was basically an all party effort with some grits and NDP mps wanting to spend even more. Which is fine but lets not pretend the tories just randomly threw all of the surplus out a window of the parliment building.

        • No, sorry, but we were in deficit before the 'recession' came along. The surplus was long gone.

          Harper agreed to the stimulus at a G20 meeting with Bush in DC…so don't blame other parties.

          • If Martin had won in 2006, we'd have a childcare, income taxes and Kelowna deficit instead of a GST cut deficit. Both parties were campaigning on blowing the surface.

            However, the real substantive point that needs to be made is that deficits on the order of our projected structural deficit (<1% of GDP) really don't matter. The evidence that deficits are bad is actually fairly weak – the main mechanism is the crowding out effect (public sector deficits drive up private sector interest rates). What really matters is whether we are spending money wisely, on the public goods needed to hold the country together.

            The deficit is a fairly small consequence of the recession. Job losses and negative economic growth is the real cost of the recession.

          • No, we had a $12B surplus…there would have been no deficit.

            The GST cut gave us not only a deficit….but a structural deficit. Nothing to do with any 'recession'.

            Kindly don't recite Reagan nonsense to me.

          • Uh, the crowding out effect is textbook economics. Here is that crazy right wing Nobel laureate Paul Krugman discussing it in the context of the US (he advocates a bigger stimulus):

            You know, if you took your partisan blinders off once in a while, you might actually learn something.

          • Krugman is a Dem…I'm surprised you'd mention him.

            However it has nothing to do with the topic.

          • You realize that many Democrats would in Canada align with the Conservatives. Believe it or not there are actually two very different political climates between the states and Canada.

          • LOL no they wouldn't.

          • "LOL", he's right you know. A conservative here is a liberal there (generally speaking that is)

          • Generally speaking, the two countries are quite different.

            But Harp claims to be a Republican.

          • When has Harper claimed to be a Republican? If you can thoroughly prove such allegations please do, you've certainly got my interest.

          • The Liberal party is very much your northern Democrat, or mainstream Democratic party, a party that is less concessionary to the secessionists than the PCs, but still somewhat concessionary. And they still occupy the mainstream of public opinion in Ontario, which is the big and powerful province, politically and economically, alongside Quebec.

            The Reform party is very much a modern manifestation of the Republican movement in Western Canada; the U.S. Republicans started in the western United States.

          • Interesting source, but hardly conclusive. I understand where you're coming from, I frankly don't like Harper much either (though more because of his attitude towards the federal public service), however claims like that really require more backing up than a wikiquote's article.

            As for the political and economic importance of Ontario and Quebec, I think you've seriously overstated the matter. Ontario is, let's not forget, a have not province – it's big oil from out West that keeps this country afloat at the moment, and that's coming form an East-coaster. Furthermore the political weight of these two provinces is part of what gave rise the Alliance in the first place. Western provinces have long gotten the short end of the stick, and so they are willing to ally themselves in a broad sense, often adapting a singular political party that represents them. That party was once the NDP, then the Alliance. Now, the conservatives seem to be the only party that cares about issues that are important to them.

          • Go study. It's what you're supposed to be doing over the Easter holidays.

          • Well, if that's your response to a reasoned argument, I can't say I'm surprised. If you can't come up with a decent argument, don't bother posting trivial insults.

          • few things:
            1) Sure some Liberals match up quite nicely with the more left wing Dems, but those are the Democrats that are the exception to the rule when it comes to where they stand on a global political scale.
            2) Liberals no longer have much sway in rural Ontario, and are losing ground in many cities, just check out where the torries have been winning seats the last few elections. Indeed, the only Liberal strong hold in Ontario is Toronto.
            3) Quebec is politically powerful, economically, no not so much. Ontario to is politically powerful simply due to its population size, yet in recent elections it has diluted this power due to its dalliance with several poltitical parties.
            4) The West is, when united, both stronger politically and economically. The economics bit should be common knowledge (but then so too should have been Ontario and Quebec's lack). the politics however stems from the reality that the Reform party's descendent has formed the executive branch.

          • When a bill gets passed through parliment the "blame" falls on everyone who makes up that parliment not just the people who you're not too fond of.

          • No, it gets blamed on the govt.

          • Exactly we place that blame on our government, both its legislative and executive branches. Or did you not know that parliament was a crucial aspect of our government?

          • Kindly stop arsing around.

          • I'm going to take that as a no

          • No, take it as 'kindly stop arsing around'

          • You're mistaking arsing around with actually understanding how our democracy works.

          • Which you don't.

          • Which part don't I get the part where our government is made up of the legislative (parliament) and the executive (cabinet) or the part where in a minority government the passing of any bill requires the approval of at least a few opposition MPs. Oh wait those are the bits you don't get.

          • This has nothing whatever to do with the topic.

            Try to keep up

          • Wow, in one corner (VBCC) I see a concerned member of this proud nation, acting like a bit of a jerk but at least trying to present a rational argument. In the other corner, it's just getting catty. If you have an actual point OriginalEmily1 please make it, don't just chase your tail.

          • Catty? Con sexism again.

            Lemme know when you figure out the topic here.

          • Funny, cats, last time I checked at least, come in both male and female. Plus, sexism has nothing to do with political affiliation.

          • Don't bore everyone with your nonsense please.

          • Listen, labeling others as sexist and trowing around anti-religious statements in attempts to cover for your striking lack of political understanding is, though entertaining, not a good way of going about political discussion.

          • It's Saturday night and I ain't got nobody…sings werberman

          • Well, I'm glad to see how committed you are to staying on topic.

          • The one you wandered away from ages ago?

          • Oh hypocrisy, how funny a thing you are!

          • Our topic pertains to whether we should blame the government for bills we don't like or just the parties we don't like in that government. You were arguing that government is simply the executive branch, which is in fact not true and after that being pointed out you decided to resort to, well, asking me to stop pointing out you were wrong. So yes it is on topic, so how about we get back to that instead of the casual, but off topic, digs.

          • The govt gets the blame for whatever happens under it's watch. Period.

          • Right, I think we both agree on that point. Do we also agree that government as it exists in our system stems from parliament, both in the plain old fashioned legislative and by the party that has the support of the house that then forms the executive? Because that is how our system works no matter how deeply one may despise those who form the executive.

          • So in other words, you consider the Liberals responsible for the Red River Flood of 1997. Yet you continue to support them. Please tell me Emily, why to you hate Winnipeg?

          • LOL you guys are just bored on a Saturday night. Neither of you are discussing the topic.

            Winnipeg was a nice red herring though.

          • Whether I'm so bored to tears or currently bungee jumping does not in any way negate the fact that you don't understand how our government system works and cover up for it by doggedly declaring that no one else understands what the topic is except for yourself. I'll give you one thing, your damn good at irony. I've commented on two of your posts because they were very insulting in their reliance on ad hominems and in the acquitting of everything including the kitchen sink to a political party that for whatever reason seems to be the target of your ill will. By all means smear campaign away but be prepared to back up your statements with reasoned arguments instead of employing obvious evasive techniques.

          • I've been elected twice, baby.

            Talk to the hand.

          • Elected to what exactly? I don't think being elected student body president gives one much weight in discussing the Federal government. To be honest being elected Prime Minister would not make you an authority giving the way you have been debating tonight. Though that might explain a few things currently going wrong in Ottawa's political culture.

          • Public office.

            Geez, do you think other Cons haven't used that line to death?

            Craig's list is ashamed of you.

          • It may not be protected by any national constitution but I would hope that a student president held a public office otherwise things might get a bit confusing about who exactly is supposed to kiss up to the PTA.

            You're also quite right that all who disagrees with you are obviously TORIES (dear god stop Americanising our political vernacular) and not just any Tories but those recently bought from Craig's list. Thanks for this fascinating lesson in partisanship, that indeed helps to explain the current politics in this nation. And by the way, the partisanship of the Tories does piss me off, but even more galling is the Grits not only being just as partisan but declaring that they are anything but and that all who disagrees with them must be their feared opponents. Can we all not give it a rest?

    • Plundering a surplus? Conservatives really understand how wealth is created and how business works, right? That's why they always handle the economy so well and why no Conservative government has turned a deficit into a surplus since SJAM. Tory times are tough times…

    • You Conbots consistently suffer from selective memory. In Sask., the greatest public debt (billions) and legal fraud by some party members was the result of the Grant Devine gov't. of the 1980's.

  10. I realize this is being presented as a sign that Tories and Dippers are braindead pawns of their tyrannical leaders. Maybe that's true, but it is also indicative of a problem for the Liberals. The Liberal party has historically been the party of power in Canada. It attracted money, support and candidates because people sought to use the Liberal party as a vehicle to accomplish their goals, than because they were attracted to the basic tenets of the Liberal party. Indeed, since Mackenzie-King the basic tenet of the Liberal party has been winning.

    Since losing power, the Liberals have been adrift because they not only lack a unifying principle, but also lack the power that used to bring in the best and the brightest of the political class. One Andrew Telegdi isn't a problem on his own, but a whole party of them can be in a Westminster democracy (especially in a minority where every vote counts). Until the Liberals build themselves around some actual principle they will continue to face extinction.

    • So your answer to building a party with some principle is to remove the vast majority of principled MPs?

      I think I now understand the Conservative Party of Canada!

  11. For crying out loud, even married couples don't agree on everything, but they support the person as a whole. Discussion fuels the search for knowledge and growth. To agree unquestionably to everything you are presented with is a sign of some underlying problem.

    • Tell that to some of the commenters on this board. Or even better, stroll over to the G&M comment boards

      • Grey – my favourite colour.

  12. I think this is a very intriguing question. The minutaie of what they said is not the important bit……but the honesty they showed.

    It is inconceivable that in a country this vast that a party's platform in an election is a one-stop be-all end-all solution for everyone, it IS very likely that while candidates agree with the vast majority of a platform, that they do have issues that at a local level don't meet what their riding would like……good party dynamics and communications ususally sort that all out after an election.

    I find it very telling that the NDP and Conservative candidates did not have the courage of independent thought and did not have the courage to speak honestly to the question.

  13. Peter Braid ( K/W conservative) showed the nation his stalwart obedience to his party's values during his interview last year on CTV.

    [youtube m_4D2qUbXuw youtube]