Today’s edition of Last Candidate Standing – Special “Did you even Google “NDP” before signing up to run?” edition

UPDATE: McKeever has apologized for his remarks. Well, sort of — but probably enough for the party to keep him on the ballot, at least unless something else turns up in the Googlecache-ic record of the Internet.

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What, really, can one say about Andrew McKeever, the NDP’s candidate in Durham, who, according to the Liberals, spent his spare time this summer engaged in a protracted Facebook flame war with supporters of “American traitors” like Corey Glass, the former US soldier who fled to Canada to avoid being sent back to Iraq? Other than wonder how he managed to miss the fact that it was the NDP – the party for which he’s now running – that successfully passed a motion in the House to protect Glass and others from deportation, of course.

McKeever apparently even started a rival group – “DEPORT US WAR RESISTERS” – although he admitted that it didn’t have as many members as the pro-resister group, which didn’t stop him from directing borderline threats at his detractors. A sample: “Answer a fucking direct question you cunt. I can guarantee, if I ever see you face to face, I will make you squeal for the same authorities that you have such a (baseless) [sic] disdain for.”

To quote McKeever himself, “Ugh. You people are nowhere near as bright as you think you are.”

Seriously — did he just not know about Olivia Chow’s motion? Or was his anti-war-resister persona just one of those “social experiments”?

Meanwhile, out west, longtime Calgary incumbent Lee Richardson has come under fire from both the NDP and the Liberals after suggesting to Fast Forward, a local newsweekly, that immigrants – not “the kid that grew up next door” – may be to blame for rising crime rates:

“Canada accepts so many refugees, for example…These are people that have had a very difficult life from whence they came. If you’ve been in a refugee camp, then you live day-to-day. And those are troubled people. They come here and, well, it’s easy to take advantage of people that are trying to help.”

To his credit, however — or his political judgment, at least — Richardson apparently did realize that his comments might come back to haunt him, and attempted to mitigate the damage before the story had even gone to press:

When Fast Forward phoned Richardson the day after the initial interview to ask him to clarify his earlier comments, he expressed regret for what he’d said. “I just don’t want to go there at all,” said Richardson. “That is not my intention. If I misspoke, I apologize to you for that.” Richardson said he was referring to only a “small minority” of people and was reflecting what he’s heard from his constituents. “What their comments are based on is probably anecdotal — what they read in the newspapers,” he said.

“I just don’t want [my comments] to be torqued out of context,” Richardson added. “We see anecdotally — and through our experiences here — the differences from the Alberta that I grew up in. And that’s the same in a lot of big cities across the country. That’s really all I was trying to say…. I regret having said that yesterday.”

The Conservatives fired back with a demand for the Liberals to remove Hedy Fry, Garth Turner and Keith Martin for various past comments on crime and immigation, but apparently didn’t double check the dates of the quotes dredged up by the War Room research squad: Turner’s comments are from 1993, when he was a Progressive Conservative, while Martin’s remarks were from 2001, when he was still part of the Canadian Alliance caucus.

Today’s edition of Last Candidate Standing – Special “Did you even Google “NDP” before signing up to run?” edition

  1. That NDP quote is just priceless…

  2. This election is getting more pathetic by the day.

  3. I wish the press would just declare blog/forum posting off-limits / private conversations and be done with it. This is getting silly. If you look hard enough everyone with the internet has said stupid things on it.

  4. The quality of the candidates is a pretty fair comment on the significance of the positions they are apply for!

  5. Stew: should the character of the candidate not have any bearing on whether they should be elected, or hold government positions? If anything, blogs provide a more direct view into the character of an individual. It is important to look at these more than ever, given some parties have resorted to gagging candidates and using the RCMP to prevent media attempts to ched some light on who these people are.

  6. Zing! The Little Shop of Tories strikes out again. Thanks, Kady. That was quick!

  7. even better, the Liberals have a lock, stock & barrel Truther running in Winnipeg.

    Lesley Hughes . . who knew !

    “German Intelligence (BND) claims to have warned the U.S. last June, the Israeli Mossad and Russian Intelligence in August. Israeli businesses, which had offices in the Towers, vacated the premises a week before the attacks, breaking their lease to do it. About 3000 Americans working there were not so lucky.

    Ironically, the stock market was also warning anyone who cared to notice that something peculiar was afoot: in the week prior to Sept. 11, unknown speculator(s) were suddenly betting that the stocks of United Airlines and American Airlines were going to fall in value; the trades were placed through Deutschebank/AB Brown, a firm formerly managed by Buzzy-Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.

    So far, no one has been bold enough to claim $2.5 million in profits. No serious search for the speculator is under way.

    More important to Canadians, the facts uncovered by Internet journalism suggest that the war in Afghanistan has little to do with the attacks of Sept.11; that it’s the result of lengthy failed negotiations between American businessmen and the Taliban over access to drugs and oil.”

  8. I can’t find any further informationn but I wonder if Andrew is related to Paul McKeever of the Freedom Party. He (Paul) was a candidate in the last election.

  9. I like the future of Canadian politics, where only individuals who have been kept locked in their basements without contact with the outside world for their entire lives will be running as candidates.
    It will be like living out the thought experiments of Rawls’ Veil or Plato’s Cave!

  10. His language was revolting, but I agree with McKeever’s sentiment. It can’t help but be galling to our troops fighting over in Afghanistan to have American deserters seeking refuge in Canada. Send them all home.

  11. To quote jwl’s close personal friend -”Enough !”

  12. I agree that this is getting out of hand…comments made supposedly to a private audience, comments made on a blog in the heat of debate, comments made that are torqued out of context even if perfectly accurate…grew up folks; everyone has occasion to say something they shouldn’t at one time or another.

    I think the media takes this way too far leaping gleefully on any supposed comment or action from many years ago to last week. If swimming in the nude is a sin then Bob Rae should be turfed.

    I personally think the reason all this is becoming a problem is that with the Liberals imploding everywhere, there is not enough news to make the campaign interesting. The media can do better…there are many issues facing this country that need addressed rather than this trivial fly poop on the proverbial manure pile.

  13. Privacy is for personal issues. McKeever was talking public policy on a public website. (Well, more like ranting about public policy on a public website, but still.) Live by the internets, die by the internets.

  14. “Protracted Facebook flamewar”? Rival Facebook group? Could it get any more juvenile?

    It’s downright bizarre that an NDP guy would want to shoot the American refugees/deserters, though. I mean, that part I don’t get at all. Does this guy know what party’s he’s with?

    Meanwhile Richardson says, “These are people that have had a very difficult life from whence they came.”

    Politics aside, that’s one hell of a series of grammatical mistakes there, buddy. Resign now!

  15. Wonder how he will treat residents in his riding who disagree with him. Hope they don’t mind being called obscene names.

  16. Ugh, it’s official: Canadians are now “developmentally disabled” as a body politic. Jack and Steve are running in some kind of pantomime presidential race (not the party/parliamentary kind that exists in the real world), and voters are eating it up. When Dion speaks about policies, he’s vilified for being boring. May is playing Stranger on a Train. I have a feeling that, as per usual, Canadians will shake the sleep from their eyes about two years after the election and say, “Hey, how the hell did this happen?”

    It’s very disheartening that, for example, Mr. Harper has been given a complete pass on his shocking policy reversals concerning Afghanistan, our so-called biggest foreign policy commitment in a generation. Never mind the “don’t ask our candidates any questions” stance, which would rightfully be political suicide in a mature political culture. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Canada. I just think we deserve a better political culture and, as part of it, a less amnesiac press.

  17. Oh Boy- I totally agree with everything you said except for the last line. I have come to the conclusion (which is honestly devestating for me) that we don’t deserve better, we deserve exactly what we get. If we had made these stupid mistakes once or even twice it would be one thing but we keep knowing far too little, voting for the wrong thing at the wrong time for the wrong reason. Sadly, we deserve the crap we elect. Perhaps when we finally start learning to listen and pay attention to what matters we will deserve something better. I hope to see that day.

  18. The sad part is Keever and Richardson are both correct in their views. They just express them in incorrect ways.

  19. People need to be able to say something controversial without being vilified.

    It is all part of our politically correct culture. If you don’t toe the line, look out. Now you can even be hauled into court for saying the wrong thing, even if it is true.

    It’s not just the politics, it’s Canadian society as a whole. We are seeing the politically correct culture reach the political sphere.

  20. Raphael “They just express them in incorrect ways”

    That is political correctedness in a nutshell, the fact that people actually say things like “They just express them in incorrect ways”, the fact that people actually think there can be something wrong with the way an idea is expressed, regardless of whather the idea itself is wrong.

    As if it should matter how you express an idea, especially an idea that is true.

    People do not believe in free speech anymore.

  21. Lets see what happened today:

    Calgary Tory comments about immigrants
    Winnipeg Liberal comments about the jews having prior knowledge of the twin towers
    Toronto NDPer obscene comments towards supporters of American military deserters
    Did a green or a bloc say something stupid as well?

    So what we have here are 4 or 5 or 6 spinning tops (representing all the parties) spouting inappropriate comments followed by howls of outrage and cries of resign! followed by apologies until it all melds into one big mass of words that nobody cares to listen to at all.

  22. Please let us have a moratorium on calling for candidate resignations. The voters can decide on Oct. 14.

  23. (rumble rumble rumble) Can the news media try to discuss some godforsaken POLICY ??!?!?

  24. I think the spirit of the article is that with the emergence of new media (the internet) politics – like the United States is experiencing – is unable to keep up with it. It’s a pretty new deal. Facebook, Youtube, Google, etc.. Digital communication is now a part of the 5th Estate. And I can’t even really fault the people for making this mistake either. I mean, here’s a man or woman who wants to run for an office and along the way they make mistakes of judgment, and say the wrong thing. It’s baseless to make a judgment about what one person says unless you examine their record.

    Otherwise run for yourself, or find a better candidate and scrutinize them just as much.

  25. That is political correctedness in a nutshell, the fact that people actually say things like “They just express them in incorrect ways”, the fact that people actually think there can be something wrong with the way an idea is expressed, regardless of whather the idea itself is wrong.

    I’m fairly certain you missed the tongue in cheek of that turn-of-phrase.

    Check my article today on “Apologizing. It’s The Latest Hottest Craze In Politics” for a more indepth explanation.

  26. Oh Boy
    It’s very disheartening that, for example, Mr. Harper has been given a complete pass on his shocking policy reversals concerning Afghanistan, our so-called biggest foreign policy commitment in a generation

    Jack O’latern wanted our soldiers out immediately.
    Mr. Harper didn’t get a pass and no shocking reversal of his own policy.
    Parliament voted to keep our soldiers in Afghanistan until 2011–with the provisos that Canadian forces be reinforced by 1,000 troops from elsewhere and that Canadian forces concentrate less on combat and more on training Afghan security forces.
    The Allies did not come through with the proviso to date. Mr. Harper announcement few days ago informing Canadians as well as giving notice to our Allies that our soldiers will withdraw from combat but will provide training and constructions only.

    Isn’t it wonderful to have the luxury of freedom of speech. A precious Gift bestow to all of us by our brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives and those before them. Freedom comes with responsibilty
    The media and some voters bear the responsiblity of creating the political landscape that we faced today. By disseminating propagandas, spins and misinformation for public consumption.
    Ever seriously consider disseminating non-bias truth nothing but the truth for the sake of our country.

  27. “(rumble rumble rumble) Can the news media try to discuss some godforsaken POLICY ??!?!?”

    MYL- Now stop asking rediculous questions!! You already know the answer to that one! We can argue about how it got to this point and who is to blame but no matter what we come up with the answer to your question is, apperantly, a resounding NO!

    SF- “People need to be able to say something controversial without being vilified.”

    I agree with you, albeit with some reasonable limits (no constitutional reference intended). I am curious though, would you say that this principle also applies to the NDP candidates that Harper vilified for speaking against the mission in Afghanistan?

  28. Sheila,

    Quibble 1: The 2011 commitment was specific to Kandahar. Harper now implies a near-complete military pullout by that date, save for some training. The head-spinning reversal was his public announcement of an end-date for our combat mission in the country as a whole, following nearly 3 years of excoriating comments and ridicule towards anyone or any party who wished to debate the length, depth and nature of our military commitment. I’m not spinning. It’s in the Hansard.

    I very much support our military, and knowing this, you might re-read my comments and see them in a new light.

    Quibble 2: Our freedom of speech was not bestowed upon us by our “brave men and women in uniform”. Our freedom of speech was not born in combat, nor was it codified by soldiers. That’s flatly false. People and their political representatives fought for these rights at home, first in the UK and then in Canada. It’s a perversion of history to suggest that the protectors of our freedoms “bestowed” them upon us. They may be tying to spread these freedoms abroad (debatable), but our rights come from Crown, the people’s Parliament and Constitution, and it is the military who are subordinate to these institutions — not the other way around.

    It really freaks me out wen people say things like you did … and seem proud of their delusions.

  29. Don’t any of these candidates talk about sex online? That’s what the mythical “ordinary people” are up to.

  30. I appreciate your second point, Oh Boy (@7:50 am).

    It is important to counter those who try to militarize our culture by falsely attributing all that is good in our society to soldiers and wars.

    I think you did this effectively, and you did it in a civil and intelligent manner.

    - JV

  31. I wonder if anyone at Lib HQ googled Lesley Hughes. Jewish voters are significant bsae for Libs in many Toronto and Montreal area ridings. What are they going to think about Hughes ideas about 9/11 and why Dion has not kicked the anti-semite out of the party.

    How desperate are the Libs?

  32. jwl: “why Dion has not kicked the anti-semite out of the party.”

    He did.
    Not desperate.
    Principled even if it costs him a candidate.
    Happy now?

    Just visiting:

    Thanks. I, too, think it’s okay to be pro-reality (history), pro-democracy AND supportive of a professional and principled military, most of whom would pipe up and say, “Hey, we don’t pick our missions; Cabinet and Parliament do.”

  33. Oh Boy

    I thank you and appreciate your response. I am for most part very much a reader of comments and generally do not make comments. It is depressing and disturbing how divided and polarized our country is based on comments that I had read all over the internet and fellow citizens conversations in my local community. There is so much bias and die hard party loyalty that real
    issues and policies are assigned to the waste paper baskets. This happened in every election.
    Please do not freak out and I can assure you that was not my intention. I came to Canada 22 years ago as a landed immigrant in Ottawa. Perhaps not the best place to land as a newbie. Totally mortified to find myself living in a
    socialist bordering communist governmental system. As an ex pat worker in Hong kong, resigned from a great job because the British is returning Hong Kong to China. Last option, return to an Islamic country where I grew up as kafir with NO RIGHTS. I am just a humble realistic Canadian and trying to illustrate a point to invoke a non-hostile and non-emotional discussion about the state of affairs that concern all of us. I would love to find a forum where reasonable discussions takes place but tell it like it is without bias and BS of political correctness that suppresses the truth and reality.

    I specifically response to your comment as an opening line about what is going on in our country which appeared to be shared by majority of posters in this forum. Can’t say the same for most forums that I had visited. Mostly output and no input. Input presented in bias attacks and names calling thrown in with some personal perception of factual truth. My mother regularly reminded me as child that lies or untruths is not a virtue when it involves matters of importance that could effect others.

    Quibble 1: Our soldiers had been designated to the most volatile area and the Allies are not covering their backs by providing more backup. Our minority government and oppositions are not in agreement. Being a minority government
    and working under our current political landscape is almost impossible.
    The votes went through not by consensus but dictated by dire circumstances facing the Liberal party. Their hands are tied, short of voting it down and go to the poll. They didn’t have the money to trigger an election nor the stomach to face voters who do not want an election and get punish at the poll for pulling the plug. Canadians preferred our soldiers to do peace keeping and rebuilding but there is no peace to keep and real rebuilding can only happen when war is over Meanwhile, expecting our soldiers to rebuild and keep peace in a battle field is unrealistic.One of our soldier killed is one too many. Without an end game and our Allies not coming through with more backup, we are exposing our soldiers in harm ways more than it need to be and decreases the gains they had made.
    My comment in no way meant to question your support to our troop. I do not judge a book by it’s cover nor would I make judgment about a person based on couple of lines of comment. Communication and exchange of view points is the path to understanding our shared common values and comprises on our differences.

    Quibble 2: I thank you for correcting the deliberate factual inaccuracy and wish more of this is happening with media and public forums.This illustrate the point I am trying to make and like to clarify that this is a general
    comment about what is occurring in our midst rather than specifically at you or any person in this forum. I do my best to educate myself about world history most of my life. Especially Canadian history , governmental and political history in the past 20 years in what spare time I have. As a voter, the vote I cast not only effect the people nearest and dearest to me but
    effects all of us and vis-versa. There are many of our fellow citizens who are not in a position to actively participate in the discussions and debates in our political process. Too busy working at 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet or lack understanding in the political process are casting their votes based on hearsays, spins and fear mongering.

    Correct me if I am wrong. Democracy means by the people for the people. Right now our country is divided into 5 groups to 5 participating political parties. The only way we are going to get pass this stalemate lies with us the voters. Not the politicians who wish to form our government. Canadians create and shape how our political parties conduct themselves if they ever hope to get the job to form the government. Cause and effects.

    JV your comment is well taken and I can assure you that like most reasonable people I do not believe nor advocate war. Militarization of our country couldn’t be further from my mind. Our military is a necessary evil for defense because we live in very trouble times. Your last comment, I am in total agreement for positive and productive discussions and debates although I think the high five or pat on the shoulder is not necessary. For lesser minded person it would serves to divide rather than unite.

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