‘You are no longer welcome here’

The London Free Press recounts the stories of two individuals who say they were ejected from a Conservative rally after they were accused of being sympathetic to other parties.

Aslam and a friend registered online to attend Harper’s Sunday rally — part of the restrictions the Conservatives place on such events. Aslam said her friend’s dad is a card-carrying Tory who showed them how to sign up online.

About 30 minutes after arriving and signing in, with thundersticks in hand, the two girls were asked by a man to follow him out of the rally, Aslam said. Though confused, they complied. In a back room, Aslam said he ripped off their name tags, tore them up and ordered them out. “We were confused. He said, ‘We know you guys have ties to the Liberal party through Facebook,’ ” Aslam said. “He said . . . ‘You are no longer welcome here.’ ”

Aslam and her friend both attended last week’s Liberal rally in London, where they managed to snag a picture with Ignatieff that both posted as their Facebook profile pictures.




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‘You are no longer welcome here’

  1. As Ignatieff says, Harper should spend more time looking at his closest staff's criminal record before trusting them with sensitive government information and less time looking at Canadian's Facebook pages and bumper stickers to see whether they should be allowed to hear his speech.

    • That's their "intel" — checking Facebook and Twitter. And bumper stickers.

      If we have some young people so interested in the political process that they want to check out numerous platforms, I'm all for it. Our prime minister only wants to talk to his own supporters. Explain to me how this will win new voters over to his cause.

      In Halifax, I read, they refused to allow an apolitical volunteer who looks after homeless vets attend. Oh well, keep giving them rope; sooner or later, Canadians will realize the calibre of the man and dump him.

  2. i have all parties on facebook, twitter, in my e-mails, to make an informed decision… and i follow videos and tv! ARE THEY CRAZY???

    • Just extremely controlling and paranoid. Well, maybe a little crazy.

  3. This incident is a symbolic illustration of the exclusionary nature not just of the Harper party, but also the Harper government. He thinks, and his government thinks, a person or group is "with us or against us."

    If you are not with them, you are an enemy. If you are an enemy, not only will a Harper government not care about what you might care about, they will have no problem attacking your views, beliefs, values, etc.

    Canadians have to know that if you aren't one of the 4 (or so) in 10 voters they pander to, then you can go screw yourself. That's the kind of government anyone should expect from Harper. The hyper-partisan exclusionary nature of the Leaders tour is just a helpful illustration of the udnerlying governing ethos of any Harper government.

    • Agreed! Now stick around, Passing by. ;0D

    • I agree with you. School yard tactics don't belong in politics. Can someone tell, Mr. Control Freak Harper, mother to give her son's balls back.

  4. That's how they'd run Canada with a majority, too!

    • The PM would offer to meet personally with everyone who complained they'd been told to leave an event? That doesn't sound very efficient.

      • Some backpedalling after the press found out about their tactics? Not with a majority, m'boy.

        • They wouldn't wait for the press to tell them about people with grievances if they had a majority? Now that's just crazy – having the PMO seek out Canadians who want to meet with him. I guess they'd have more time for that with a majority, though, since Parliament would be running so much more smoothly.

          • hey, if there wasn't an election he'd laugh in hte complainants face. Unless you're a veteran with a complaint about benefits, in which case they steal yoru private medical files to try to discredit you.

            This conversation is over.

          • no.

          • Yeah, you still haven't convinced me that Harper would use his majority to have face-to-face meetings with people, and the laughing thing seems even more out of character for him.

      • Doubtful, because anybody who complained about the country would be ejected from it, which would include, first and foremost, the media, so there'd be nobody to report on the rest.

  5. ^NOT^ welcome to the big blue tent

  6. Harper will deny all knowledge of this event and someone will be thrown under the bus.

    • Are you suggesting Harper was scanning the crowd and facebook at the same time, somehow checking everyone, and made the call to boot these two?

      • No, but the fish stinks from the head.

      • I don't think that's the suggestion. Is this standard operating procedure at conservative events? Do they do recon on people attending then eject those that have the slightest hint they may not be die hard CPC supporters?

        • I don't know. That's what I'm not willing to pass judgment on because of ONE instance, especially considering that one instance is only being told about from one side right now. We'll see I guess. I do know that this feeds the confirmation bias of those who already have passed judgment on Harper, but hey, that's what confirmation bias is all about.

          • It's not one incident. There are these two young women and there is the man who works with homeless vets at another Harper event. Also, there have been multiple news stories over the past week about the security for getting into a Harper event – with the suggestion that lots of indicators point to these events being confined to previously-checked-in-advance Harper supporters. And if you read the blogs, there were bloggers claiming last week already they were turned away from events, but they didn't go to the press with their complaint.

  7. Yet the criminal record and shady past of Bruce Carson eluded the Conservatives? What's the bull meter reading on that?

    • Conversely, what's the bull meter reading on this?

      • Sadly, this is your strongest riposte since your return.

        • Why thank you, Mike. Your comment is among your best too.

    • Can someone explain to me how saying he would not have hired Carson had he known about the SECOND set of charges — how does that make harper accountable?

      In fact, can anyone identify any major issue where harper has been accountable?

  8. This comment was deleted.

    • Well, we can only hope as a nation that the ROC has the last laugh on you Reformatories after May 2. Pernicious, festering boils on the body politic…

  9. Welcome to the party of exclusion. Now, who funds the resources that would be necessary to obtain this intelligence? The spy apparatus that must be in place to seek and eliminate perceived outsiders is frightening to contemplate. Can anyone in the media track down this violation of democracy? Surely there's a deeper story here that goes beyond one rally in London.

  10. There have been some allegations raised that the person who intially asked them out of the rally was RCMP. If that’s true, this is a big deal.

    If not, it’s still dissapointing.

    • The Guelph newspaper reports:

      RCMP Cpl. Tony Fowler of the “O” Division/VIP Security Section told the students the event was by invitation only and they would have to leave.

      Are the RCMP involved because Harper is Prime Minister? Last election the RCMP controlled which media could get close to Harper. The previous election they leaked an investigation of Goodale. The RCMP seem way too involved in our elections.

      • Were the RCMP told the event was by invitation only and to eject those who weren't invited? Then the corporal is following orders. Orders from the top.

        • Except the students were registerd/invited guests.

          Which, frankly, is bizarre enough on its own to require ordinary Canadians to pre-qualify just for the privilege of hearing our own Prime Minister speak to us.

      • The RCMP provides security to the party leaders by law. Presumably they do background checks on the people who commit to attending RSVP events like this to try and ensure there's no known high risk individuals attending.

        This information is not meant to be accessible in this way by the campaign teams and,If this private data is being used politically, someone should be raising hell.

    • I've seen some comments elsewhere that the RCMP was entitled to act under the trespass to property act. I don't think that's true.

      The act requires that the offending person be asked to leave. Case law has interpretted this to mean they must be given a reasonable time to comply. Until that happens, there's no offence for the RCMP to involve themselves with.

      More to the point, should the RCMP, who are there to provide security for the leader, be enforcing provincial statutes at the behest of his political staff for baldly political reasons?

      …all of which is still beside the point that the best defence team Harper has for kicking a 19 year old girl out of a rally was that it was something the law technically allowed them to do.

  11. Hah, this is nothing. The other day a CPC campaign organizer knocked on my door and told me I'd have to close my drapes as the Harper bus passed by my house.

    • Did they explain why?

      • Look at his avatar — Robert wasn't wearing any pants (just a pair of glasses…)

        • Maybe if he wore dark glasses he'd be OK?

          • Groucho Marx glasses with eyebrows, nose and beard would be my preference. ;)

    • In fairness, that's as much for your protection as it is theirs.

    • "Hah, this is nothing. The other day a CPC campaign organizer knocked on my door and told me I'd have to close my drapes as the Harper bus passed by my house."

      C'mon Robert, fess up.You were mooning him weren't you? I can see it all over your"face" :)

    • Oooooooh so many possible answers..
      What's in it for me? … Come to think of it what's in it for you?

      YES! Absolutely! All hail the 1000 year reign!

      I'll do it for 100 million sponsorship dollars.

      What if I have blinds?

      Wuh?… ooooohhh! *wink wink* I'll break out the chocolate fountain, the 30 year champagne, and the Micheal Bolton cds.

  12. Yeah, that sounds about right.

  13. I have to say, I have a VERY hard time believing this story. I know that's not going to be popular, but I am willing to believe it if there is further corroboration, but as it stands right now, it's from one side, and it just seems to ridiculous. I know many of you have no problem believing Harper and his team are ridiculous, but some of us are less biased. So again, this just seems to far-fetched, and until there is further information, I for one am dubious. I mean, he ripped their name tags off and tore them up? C'mon.

    • "I for one am dubious."

      You might want to edit that sentence from your comment.

      • Why's that?

        • Soudas has already offered an apology. His normal modus operandi is to deny, deny, deny. There's no way he'd offer an apology if there was any wiggle room. Ergo: the story is true.

        • "Why's that?"

          Unless you mean to say that YOU are the dubious thing (as opposed to your being doubtful), the comment displays poor usage.

          Oh, the individuals involved, the press and Tory staffers acknowledge it happened.

    • You find that hard to believe?

    • What do you make about the media reporting a specific RCMP Cpl's name then? Seems that person could easily speak out and say he never asked these young women to leave. I have a difficult time believing a newspaper would name an RCMP officer and attribute actions to him that were fabricated.

      • Like I said, I'm willing to believe when further information comes out. Until then, when it's just one side of the story reported in a local paper, I am suspending judgment. That's all.

        • you are pathetically transparent, conbot!

          • My goodness. Is it your guys' goal to discourage me from every participating on these boards ever again? Because you are actually succeeding.

          • For what it's worht, I don't think you are a Conbot and I have no problem with you commenting here even though I completely don't buy your equinanamous view of how things went down in London.

          • There is a very angry little group of Liberals here that dominate the discussion. Not very informative but it can be entertaining at times.

        • The Conservatives have already apologized and passed the buck by throwing another volunteer under the bus.

        • Soudas has apologized, so that implies tacit acknowledgment of the occurrence of this event.

          • But he did not confirm that it happened the way it was reported. That's all I'm saying, really. Nothing more. Just dubious about the way it went down. Didn't know so many of you were so sensitive. Now I know.

          • Not sensitive. Pissed. And moreso every day. I never liked Harper but I haven't always been so pissed with him.

            Harper is hiding from Canadians. Media aren't allowed to do their job and are fenced off far away from him. He is trying to block two significant accountability reports from coming out, one on detainees and one on G20. You aren't even allowed to hear him speak, let alone ask questions, unless you pre-qualify and even then you risk getting kicked out if you are not "the right kind of person". There are at least three incidents now of ordinary Canadians getting kicked out of Harper events for exercising their fundamental rights of association and free expression prior to the Harper events in question (i.e. not because of their behaviour at the event). The Conservatives are even shouting at their own volunteers for even mentioning to local reporters where Harper was going that day.

            This is connecting to Canadians? This is how you apply for a job? This is Harper's version of open, accountable and transparent government? This is Harper's democracy.

          • Un-frickin'-believable.

          • This is the ground Ignatieff needs to win on if he is to convince joe average Canadian to support him. Canadian's don't like this kind of behaviour.
            The cons are going to say it's no different from the Trudeau bubble election strategy [ i didn't like that either] in 1980. No comparison. It was hard to pin old fuddle duddle down – but he wasn't screening people; kicking people out of his events or limiting acess to the media overtly. This is our future folks. You can have dissent, but only controlled dissent. Welcome to Steve's brave new world!

      • That's a different incident, where two people peeled off from a protest and tried to enter the event. Have there been any protesters at Liberal events?

        • So cheering for Canada and encouraging young people to vote is a protest?

          • It does look like a crowd of Liberals thanks to the unfortunate colour scheme. But no, it was silly to ask them to leave. Maybe the Conservatives could keep some blue sweater vests on hand so future partipants could cover up their red and white outfits.

          • Unfortunate colour scheme? Seen a Canadian flag lately?

          • Style thinks our flag is a liberal party plant. He's argued as much here before. And been taken to school. Probably he was just joking here – at least i hope so.

          • Is there actually a conspiracy theory out there that Lester Pearson manipulated the choice of the Canadian flag's color scheme in order to favour the Liberals? I just think it's inappropriate to let one political party use the flag's colours as its own.

          • Sure…let's just colour it blue whenever the tories are in…don't be surprised if that isn't on Harper's to do list if he gets his majority.

          • Yes, the only solution to the Liberals using the flag's colour scheme is to change the colors used on the flag. What colours should we use on the flag during an election? Or if there's a coalition?

      • I know. I read that. Wherry linked it. Thanks.

    • I was initially very skeptical as well. Since the conservatives are not denying it and have offered to apologize I no longer have any doubts that this actually happened. It's unbelievable that this took place in Canada.

      • Yeah, they probably were asked to leave, which is disappointing, perhaps even outrageous, full stop. But some of the details? Because of a picture on facebook? ripped the name tags off? I'm just curious to hear what really happened, that's all. And like I said, if the other side comes out and admits this is how it really happened, then fine.

        • Your standard of proof is bizarre. If someone is willing to stand in front of the press and admit they did something stupid, then and only then will you believe they might have done something stupid. Even if they apologized for doing the stupid thing. If they didn't specifically admit that they were being stupid, then you don't think they were.

          Do you apply that logic to everybody, or just the CPC?

    • It's the Muslim-sounding names that is throwing you off, eh RealityCheck? Maybe they were terrorists coming in to smack Harper over the head with thundersticks?

      • Ummmmmm….does this guy make these sorts of accusations often?

        • Just so you know. That wasn't me making those accusations there.

          • You mean someone else posted under "Anon"? Or that someone else originally made that accusation?

          • You'll never know….mmmwwhahahaha…

            Anon

  14. Seriously, with the set-up an NDP supporter and a Liberal supporter walk into a Conservative rally, this is the best punch line we've got? I mean, the suggestion the RCMP is checking people's facebook pages after they sign in at rallies is sort of funny, but we should be able to do a bit better.

    • that's the thing with Canada, isn't it? Our political corruption is always so eye-glazingly boring!

      • The banality of evil.

        • Why you're right, it is just like Eichmann in Jerusalem…! yeesh.

    • The RCMP did not check the facebook account. These two were asked by a conservative organizer to leave. The RCMP were echoing the request to leave voiced by the Conservative organizer because it was a Conservative closed event by invitation only with an RSVP. They signed-up, got their RSVP but were asked to leave after they had been confirmed as being on the list to enter! It is typical of Harper and Conservatives to do this activity! They are always controlling their message and this was the control of someone that had got past the first check point legitimately but the Conservatives subsequently felt they were going to subvert their rally based on them having a facebook page picture with Ignatieff! Conservatives are very protective of who gets to hear their message right from the PMs mouth. If they are even a tad bit not TRUE Conservatives that hear the message then they could take the message out of the blue tent and repeat what was actually said and give ammunition to the enemies of the Tories! Then all heck would break out because the message would be leaked in an uncontrolled manner! It makes perfect sense for the control freak Harper!

  15. From the same story:

    "When Ignatieff was here last week, the RCMP got physical with two Free Press reporters, even elbowing a pregnant reporter in the stomach. Told she was pregnant, the male Mountie said: “That's what you get for rushing a bodyguard.”

    I knew Ignatieff hated unborn babies!

    • So you believe those two selected sentences but not the rest of the article about all the good people being tossed out of Conservative meetings?

    • Funy you chose to believe those two sentences.

    • I never realized that Ignatieff had that much pull with the mounties…reality give your head a shake. I can hear the rocks bouncing around in it from here.

  16. I have a hard time not believing ‘Reality Check’ does not work for the Conservative Party.

    The RCMP needs to be reformed.

    • Yeah I know. We all think those who disagree with us work for the other guy. Aren't we all so wise to the trickery and tomfoolery of our opponents.

      Give be a break bud. All I said, is that so long as it's just one side of the story, I'm withholding belief and judgment. You really take that as grounds to accuse me of being a party hack? Unreal.

      • You also said

        "I knew Ignatieff hated unborn babies! "

        So this says what about your character?….

    • @wsam
      If you did your homework b4 posting criticisms, then you would have read that IT WAS THE RCMP THAT TOSSED THEM OUT! AND THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES!!!

      • so does all caps.

    • Remember when they illegally ordered the medical files of a veteran who was criticizing them?

      • That was the bureaucracy..which is every bit as troubling.

  17. I suppose you don't follow Canadian politics?

    • So you have passed judgment on me already, from one statement, just like you have already passed judgement on Harper and the Conservatives, from one girls story. I get it.

      • Well, this fits a bit of a pattern.

      • when you say stupid things i treat you like you are stupid.

        • I see. By they way, that's about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. So now I'm going to treat you like your stupid. I look forward to our future yelling matches.

          • no.

          • YES! (Hey, I can do this all day. I actually find it fun)

          • YES! (Especially if it helps others to see the level that you and your type bring the conversation to. I'm just following your lead, and will continue to only and always respond to you in kind. Again, it's great fun)

          • To be fair to Mike, he treats people like they're stupid whatever they say. The best is when he and Emily get into a conversation – the two of them abusing each other while agreeing is delightful.

  18. Where's dennis to post some lame reponse? We're waiting for ya.

  19. don't forget Iggy…..Mr Harper is STILL our Prime Minister even though you can't accept that. Something else concerns me, how did you know what took place with the two girls……did you send them there intentionally to aggrevate Mr. Harper…that is your style.

    • I'm waiting for Reality Check to express his skepticism for this allegation.

      • Sorry,but he's busy donning his other ID right now. [ just kidding RC ]

  20. Sure no-one has reported any hard evidence that these two girls were up to no good. Chock up another one for Stock! The fact is that great Canadian institutions such as the Conservative Party & Revenue Canada need to use all the tools at their disposal to catch nasties before they commit their heinous acts.

    I would not be the least surprised that these two were not intending to go all out in their Ignatieff-inspired attack on the PM. They may have even shouted out a sixth question if they were not stopped.

    • They are guilty of unreported intentions.

    • Lord knows what happens if you draw the 7th one then? Probably worthy of an attack ad the very least. Gotta spend that limit.

  21. First I was outraged that Canadians are not allowed to hear the man trying to become our Prime Minister.

    Now I realize that all of us tax paying peons get to pay for these events that we aren't allowed to attend.

    What percentage of campaign expenses gets refunded to the conservatives by Elections Canada?

    If we aren't allowed in maybe we should refuse to pay.

    • I believe that the Conservatives tried to let you stop paying a couple of years ago. It didn't work out for some reason, but they've said they'll try again after this election.

      • I fully support the per vote subsidy. Its the refund for donations that I am against and would like to see phased out.

        But this about refunding election expenses, a third form of income to political parties. If the Conservatives are running private events, then Canadian taxpayers should not have to subsidize the cost.

        • Thanks. Eliminating expense reimbursements seems like it would tilt the system even more toward the party's with the most successful fundraising apparatus – making our system operate much more like the American system. Am I missing something to this argument?

          • Yes. You're missing the fact that Harper has never expressed any interest in ending the flow of millions of taxpayers dollars his party receives, despite your claim to the contrary above.

          • Right, we've covered that. I'm now asking why we would want to end the reimbursement of campaign expenses. While it doesn't eliminate the fundraising gap between political parties, it seems to help all parties afford to maintain a professional campaign. The concept that it should be tied to how the party organizes its election events seems like petulance aimed at the current PM.

        • OK – I went to the link – what's wrong with practical mom's understanding of this?

          • Nothing at all. I was responding to Sty.

    • It's not a trivial amount. Harper got more money from his expense refunds then he did from fundraising and vote money combined. It puts his illegal in/out scheme in a new light when you see the volume of it.
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/part

  22. @RealityCheck
    I agree with you 110%. The moment I read the part "he ripped their name tags off and tore them up"……I knew that this is bull.
    Most of these commenters are to young or naive of history to know the mechanics of shills. All they have to do is look up the history of the auto manufacturer Ford. Or politics or unions in days of yore. 2 SHILLS plant themselves in crowded bars, pretending to exchange a secret chat, knowing full well they can be heard and viola…….their propaganda spreads like wild fire. Destroying everything in it's path.
    It would be pretty stupid of any political stripe to not consider that undecided people will want to attend all the different candidate rallies, and who knows, maybe that particular rally can win that voter over to their side.

    THERE IS WAY MORE TO THIS STORY THAN MEETS THE EYE. This is way to one sided.
    THERE'S ALWAYS 3 SIDES TO EVERY STORY……..YOURS, MINE AND THE TRUTH!

    Smart people do not jump blindly into witch hunts……..they stop, look and listen……they wait for the truth to unfold.

    • And they get hit on the road because they're waiting for the truth to unfold.

      Smart people look at the evidence available and examine precedent, in order to make a judgement call about which way to go before it's too late to make the choice.

  23. My bad. Deny, deny, deny remains the modus operandi.

  24. Direct Quote: "when they were asked to leave by a RCMP officer." Taken from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/s

    Funny, NO mention of any tags being ripped off. Next, it was the RCMP that asked them to leave!
    Why is NO reporter interviewing the RCMP to find out why these girls were asked to leave??? We are not talking about an over zealous, misguided Conservative party member at the door…….we are talking about the RCMP! Could it be that the RCMP found that these girls had a history of trouble making??? hmmmm? Seems to me, that there is way more to this story than is being reported.

    ATTENTION ALL REPORTS…….GO INTERVIEW THE RCMP AS TO THE REASON FOR THIS ACTION!

  25. Someone please investigate who is gathering the information on these individuals: PC Party agents or the RCMP.

    I say this because there's a pretty fricken thick line between executing a background check to determine if RSVP guests pose an imminent danger to a party leader and expanding that search to include executing one to remove those who might simply state a dissenting opinion or be an "agent" of another party. Our Police forces should never cross it, and if any party is requesting or encouraging such they should be dealt with severely.

    • I wonder if they are taking pictures and using face-recognition software at these events.

  26. (WARNING: Do not be forced to read my posts)

    Bring on the silly allegations against the Conservatives and their polling numbers will continue to climb.

    I think it's great campaigning for the Conservatives, the way Aaron is going about it.

    Now, if the media would ask Ignatieff some serious questions, we would have a real election campaign on our hands.

    Question to Mr.Ignatieff: "Could you explain what it means to have a Permanent Consultation Mechanism in place with the BQ? And would the other nine provinces be entitled to one also???

    • It was harper that signed in writing a full blown coalition agreement with the Bloc – this is fact.

      Another fact is that Dion signed an agreement with the NDP to form a coalition, with consultation with the Bloc.

      And yet another fact is that Iggy has not signed any coalition documents, or stated intentions to form a coalition, in fact he has done the opposite.

      It's time for Harper to stop spreading lies! His hypocrisy is sickening

      • elmo says:"It was harper that signed in writing a full blown coalition agreement with the Bloc – this is fact"

        Elmo, then why does no one in the media have the documents to show us? Why not print the so-called signed document on line, right here at Macleans?

    • Like it or not – the Bloc members are duly elected to Parliament by Canadians, You may not agree with their politics – but we must not set up Canadians/lesser Canadians and Members of Parliament/lesser members of Parliament. In a minority government you are stuck with the reality that to get anything done you must convince other members to be on your side.

      • You say:"but we must not set up Canadians/lesser Canadians and Members of Parliament/lesser members of Parliament."

        Exactly! I have said that all along.

        Why do we have a party which fields candidates in only one province? When a MP sits in the House, he or she sit in a federal House and should represent a federal party.

        But your first part is most interesting. I'm so glad you agree with me. I, too, do not like to make distinctions between Canadians.

        That's why I wonder why the media does not ask Ignatieff to explain himself when he signed, together with Layton and Duceppe, the coalition agreement in 2008,stating at the top, in it's preamble, that:

        "Preamble
        The new Government is supported by parties that share a commitment to fiscal
        responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act
        as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers. Where appropriate, these goals
        should be pursued in full partnership and consultation with the provincial and
        territorial governments."

        What does Ignatieff mean when he says: "Canadians AND Quebecers"? Aren't Quebecers Canadians?

        Aren't you surprised the media doesn't want to ask Ignatieff?

  27. You don't have the opportunity to be swayed by the words of the Prime Minister? It's quite distressing to hear. It's kind of sad to know that in this day and age you are not allowed to be interested in what more than one party has to say. If I knew Harper was coming to my area, and I had the time, I sure would try to go hear him speak. I might not agree with him, but that shouldn't be a factor in whether I'd be allowed to listen.

    Last week I was in Vancouver when I heard Ignatieff would be speaking at Langara college. I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I'd stop by. By the time I got there the place was filled to capacity and I couldn't get in. Still the person at their front desk told me to wait, and he'd see what he could do for me. I may not have gotten in, but they gave me an opportunity to meet him instead. I got to shake his hand and have a quick word with the man. No one bothered to ask me my name. No one cared what my party affiliation was, I was welcomed in. Period.

    So my question is, what's Harper's problem?

  28. Why does Harper bother to travel the country if he is only going to speak to the converted? He could do some TV slots and achieve more. How is he going to gain a majority if he wont accept newcomers in to hear his pearls of wisdom?

    What is his problem?

    • If he goes and speaks to set up crowds, the media obediently reports on this, and we see news clips of him standing in front of a bunch of adoring people, and he gets advertising without paying for it.

      If he does TV slots, he has to pay for it, and then he has to send the money to the local campaign before taking it out again, and then there's paperwork to forge.. it just all gets to be a serious hassle.

  29. I have heard that the media executives organizing theTV debates were instructed by a senior organizer (Soudas??) that for the TV debates they want tol have commands coming across the screen that all Liberal voters have to instructed to turn their volumes down and not look at the TV when Harper speaks so the Harper message only reaches real conservatives! Harper does not see the NDP nor the Bloc nor the Greens as a threat so it is OK if they hear and watch what Harper has to say! It's true! I got the info from the same team that assessed the accuracies of the Harper F35A costs! It can't be wrong!

  30. Yes, that is a good question. I too would like to hear practical mom's explanation for why she would eliminate the tax deduction for political donations.

    • While I agree with you that it's futile to even imagine Harper would ever answer an unscreened question, I can't agree that "practical mom" is an appropriate substitute to answer my question – particularly considering she clearly stated she wishes to keep the smaller subsidy and eliminate the larger subsidy.

      • The Globe graphic suggests the tax deductions are the smallest subsidy, unless I've misread it. And that's what practical mom wants to eliminate.Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

        • Practical mom indicated she was displeased with the tax refunds and the EC refund, which together dwarf the per-vote subsidy.
          But you're right, the per-vote subsidy isn't the smallest subsidy when considering all the parties, though it is the smallest part of the conservative's subsidies.
          Funny coincidence, that.

  31. I've just finished watching an interview with Awish on CTV. I really think Ignatieff should hire a better actress next time. It's clear that this young lady was at the rally for less than altruistic purposes. My hat is off to Ignatieff, as I 100% believe that he found out or simply guessed that Harper would do this and sent her there for this exact purpose. This is nothing new in Canadian Politics and is certainly nothing the Liberals haven't done in the past. I remember being booted out very similarly from a "public speech" by Chretien who was in Barrie to bolster Aileen Carroll for fears she might lose the seat as the conservatives had finally merged back into one party.
    Having Awish's profile picture as one posing with Ignatieff clearly infers that she is a supporter. Between the fact that it this is her profile pic, (completely public) and her laughable performance on CTV, it seems more than a little plauseable that this was hatched in a Liberal backroom as opposed to 'students wanting to know how to vote'. Again congratulations Mr. Ignatieff – well-played.

    • 1- Having Awish's profile picture as one posing with Ignatieff clearly IMPLIES that she is a supporter. You would INFER that she is an Ignatieff supporter from the profile picture she posts of herself with Michael Ignatieff. Though it wouldn't necessarily be a strong inference.
      2- But so what?

  32. I disagree that we're funding public events when we reimburse a share of some campaign expenses – we're supporting the political process. We probably don't want to regulate too closely how parties conduct their campaigns, such as by specifying how attendance at their rallies should be determined.

    Your second point can be collapsed to "why should I pay for causes I don't support". Put that way, you probably don't agree with the argument. We subsidize fundraising this way because it's part of how Canadians build civil society, which we all value and which is subject to free-riding.

    • How does a private event support the political process? I think it distorts it. We have images of everyone clapping and cheering – not because everyone agrees but because anyone who doesn't agree isn't allowed to be there. So the answer may be not lie in funding restrictions but in public awareness. Maybe we should require any footage from a private event to be labeled as such. Call me naive but I was shocked to learn that Harper's events had restricted attendance.

      I agree that we don't want to overly regulate how parties conduct their campaigns. Voters just need to know what is happening and then they can vote accordingly.

    • I am not one who doesn't want to pay for causes that I don't support. Taxes pay for all kinds of things that each of us may or may not support. But those items have been approved by Parliament, which was elected by us to make those decisions. But a personal decision is just that – one person deciding to support a cause without any scrutiny. Why should that trigger repayment from all taxpayers?

      Why do you think people would reject building a civil society just because they won't get a refund? People are better than that and I'm sure we will all continue to support what we like. In fact if personal income taxes are reduced we may choose to donate more. Isn't that the argument? Les taxation and let people decide what to do with their money?

      I'll repeat that it is unlikely that refunds for donations will ever change. It is just too entrenched. If we had never gone down that road, I'm sure we would still have lots of charitable giving. we have gone down that road so I doubt we can turn back now.

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