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November 2007 Blog Archive

My archived blog articles for November 2007 are below. You can also click the respective links for my current blog articles, my featured blog articles, and my complete blog archives.

Facing the Party Assassin
14 November 2007, 12h01 EST (GMT-5)

CTS Television's Michael Coren Show
CTS Television's The Michael Coren Show
Click logo for the programme's home page

Tomorrow, I will join a panel on federal political affairs on the Michael Coren Show, along with Conservatives Richard Ciano and Mark Warner, and the NDP's Adam Giambrone.

Broadcast nationally on the CTS network, the programme features the inimitable Michael Coren, a sometimes-immoderate moderator but an always forthright, intelligent, and ruthlessly principled one. His programme is often combative, but is just as frequently enlightening, as the one-hour format militates against empty sound bites and demands meaningful debate.

Tomorrow's programme is, however, likely to be particularly eventful.

Mark Warner is an international trade lawyer whose CV reads like every Tory organiser's dream: a West Indian immigrant to Canada; fluently bilingual; an international trade lawyer; a local social activist; and an internationally sought-after lecturer. Little surprise, then, that no one dared challenge him for the nomination to run as the Conservative candidate in Toronto Centre.

Talent, however, was not good enough for Harper's central party, which seems to value mindless sycophancy over democracy. Warner was unethically removed as the candidate, over the objections of the Conservative riding association, for the grave sin of emphasising the needs of the local community and appealing to the interests of local voters in his campaign, rather than mouthing the central party's platitudes.

Who wielded the knife that was plunged into Warner's back and into the heart of Conservative democracy? The Conservative Party's National Council, which counts in its membership Richard Ciano, the other Conservative on tomorrow's programme.

Warner will finally have a chance to face one of his political assassins, and Canadians will have a chance to judge the new Conservative Party's commitment to democracy.

To find your local CTS station, please click here. To find your local broadcast time for the Michael Coren Show, please click here. To send Michael Coren an e-mail about the programme, please click here.

Update: Alas, Richard Ciano withdrew from the programme, refusing to speak for the Conservative Party's conduct in this matter. The silence, however, has an unmistakable eloquence.

Maclean's 50: My Enemy's Enemy
09 November 2007, 17h20 EST (GMT-5)

Maclean's 50
The Maclean's 50
Click logo for full commentary

"Pakistan has been made a soft state where the supremacy of law is questioned. This situation can not be tolerated any more," said General Pervez Musharraf. Shortly thereafter, he dismissed Pakistan's Supreme Court, suspended the constitution, proclaimed martial law, and delayed democratic elections.

To put it at its most charitable, the west's alliance with Musharraf discredits our claims to be champions of democracy and dishonours the very values for which we are struggling.

In my recent commentary at the Maclean's 50, I argue that we make a cataclysmic error when we craft foreign policy through Faustian bargains with tyrants such as Musharraf. My enemy's enemy is not always my friend; all too frequently, he is just as odious as my enemy himself.

My full commentary is available at the Maclean's Magazine web site by clicking here. A full list of the Maclean's 50 and our writings is available by clicking here.

Of Leadership and Brinksmanship
03 November 2007, 18h57 EDT (GMT-4)

TVOntario's The Agenda with Steve Paikin
TVOntario's The Agenda
Click logo for the videocast

There is no denying that the past few weeks have been difficult ones for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Stephen Harper has delighted in attempting to taunt Stéphane Dion and the Liberal Party into precipitating a premature election on Conservative terms. Dion has had to exercise considerable leadership to resist Harper's brinksmanship: while Dion's decision is right in long term substance, he is undoubtedly enduring a short term cost for it.

Steve Paikin and Alan Echenberg, respectively host and producer of TV Ontario's flagship public affairs programme The Agenda, invited me to gird my loins and defend the Liberal position in a debate ominously entitled, "Red Party Blues: Liberals in Crisis?"

The discussion was a spirited one, with the imagery of salvation jostling alongside that of damnation.

The panel was composed of the University of Western Ontario's Christine de Clercy, Toronto Star journalist and Stephane Dion biographer Linda Diebel, National Post journalist John Ivison, former NDP National Campaign Director Robin Sears, and myself.

A videocast of the entire programme is available at my television page by clicking here. It is also available through subscription to my iPodcast by clicking here. The more technically inclined may obtain the footage by subscribing directly to my RSS 2.0 newsfeed.






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