Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Famous Last words: Sarmite Bulte

On her defeat in Parkdale-Highpark
Elections 2006

"What do you expect me to say?

I have no thoughts.

You run on your record and the people
decide for change," she said.

When asked about her thoughts on a
minority government, she said,

"To be frank, I don't care.
I dedicated my life to the people
and to the riding and they decided.
It's great; it's a democracy."

Bulte, a lawyer, said she will
return to her practice.

"According to everybody, I did nothing.
You work so hard and devote your heart
and soul and the people have chosen.
So good luck to the NDP. Good luck to
Peggy Nash and good luck to the country."

The Toronto Star
Jan. 24, 2006. 01:00 AM

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nash wins, Parkdale-Highpark goes NDP

Parkdale-Highpark started January 24
with a new social democratic
representative. The majority of
voters in our riding chose Peggy Nash
and the NDP to represent
us in Ottawa in the 2006 Canadian
federal elections.

Nash took the riding from Liberal
Sarmite Bulte who has held her
job as M.P. here for the past 9

And here are the official results.

Candidate Party VoteCount Vote Share

Peggy Nash NDP 20690 40.31%
Sam Bulte LIB 18489 36.02%
Jurij Klufas CON 8767 17.08%
R. Rishchynski GRN 2820 5.49%
Terry Parker MP 311 0.61%
Lorne Gershuny ML 133 0.26%
Beverly BernardoNA 119 0.23%

Over 51,000 folks in our riding voted,
going along with a trend in Parkdale-Highpark
of increasing voter participation.
In 2000, 42,000 people voted.
In 2004, 47,000 cast their ballot.

With 4,000 extra voters, Nash gained
a little more than 4,000 from the last
election when she got 16,201 votes.

Amazingly, the Liberals stayed
relatively stable in Parkdale-Highpark,
losing only 1,000 votes. The damage
could have been alot worse.

So, the unexpected phenomenon in
Parkdale-Highpark was the number of
new voters.

Way to go Parkdale-Highpark.

Monday, January 23, 2006

On the Day Of Elections

Dictatorships seldom appear full-fledged but emerge piecemeal.

Paul Craig Roberts, "Bush Has Crossed the Rubicon"

Mike Harris, Walkerton, microscosm. George Bush, siphoning funds off the Dam, New Orleans disatser, Macrocosm.

To paraphrase a commone saying:-

Be Careful what you Vote For.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Electing a new government -Mon. Jan.23, 2006

Parkdale- Tomorrow, Canadians will
vote in a new government. They will
head to their local polling stations,
and cast their ballot for what in their
minds is the candidate that will best
govern this great country.

I wouldn't go so far as saying that they
will vote in someone who best serves
their interests, but you get the point.

In Parkdale-Highpark, the tide is
swinging towards the NDPs Peggy Nash.
This afternoon, I saw and greeted
Peggy's campaigners at Joe's No Frills
on King near Jameson.

I had to salute them on this mild
and sunny day because I honestly
didn't expect to see them here.
"Nice to see you down here in
South Parkdale," I said.

And there was even one more fellow
at the corner of Jameson and King
who I also saluted. He smiled when
I said "go peggy go." Support is always
good for street campaigners who often
have a tough time.

But nonetheless they were here
and that's an important first step.
Hats off to the Peggy Nash campaign
for that.

In the rest of the riding, Nash won the
sign war, hands down. I'm guessing
Liberal supporters are a little embarassed
to show their neighbours that despite
Liberal corruption and arrogance, they
intend to continue voting for them.

The big question for the NDP
tomorrow is: will our supporters
actually go out and vote?

Election Day is a whole different
ball game. It's a day of dodging
for lots of potential voters who
made promises of support that
they didn't intend on keeping.
Particularly NDP supporters.

Pulling the vote is possibly most
important for the NDP, but given
what is most likely to the closest
race ever for the Liberal incumbent
Sarmite Bulte, the Libs also
have their work cut out for them.

As for Jurij Klufas, the Conservative
candidate, I think he's pulled in a
little more than 10,000 supporters
in this riding. He's laughing 'cause
although conservative, he's got a
sense of humour. It didn't cost him
much to get his name out there for what
will be the winning party. But for Bulte,
his campaign may cost her her job,
but not to old Klufas.

Bulte will see her support diminsh
from over 19,000 votes to about
16,000, around the same amount
for Nash. My prediction is that Nash
will win by a slim margin, but that's
ony if the Nash campaign can
successfully pull the vote tomorrow
on E-Day.

Who knows though, the upset would be
if Klufas actually goes beyond 10,000
and thrashes Bulte, making him the front
running opposition for the next election
which will most likely be called sooner
than later.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

On the 2nd Day before elections...

Istanbul, Turkey

This is the culminating session of the World Tribunal on Iraq. It is of particular significance that it is being held here in Turkey where the United States used Turkish air bases to launch numerous bombing missions to degrade Iraqs defenses before the March 2003 invasion and has sought and continues to seek political support from the Turkish government, which it regards as an ally. All this was done in the face of enormous popular opposition by the Turkish people.

-Arundhati Roy, Opening Statement of Arundhati Roy on behalf of the jury of conscience of the world tribunal of Iraq.

The link

Friday, January 20, 2006

On the 3rd Day before Elections...

Just so you don't think I'm going gaga over The Daily Show:-

If you're going to be a rebel,
Then do do intelligently.
It adds all the more potency
To what you're doing.

Inviting the former head of the CIA onto your show so he can portray a kinder, gentler image of the organization?

Grenada anyone?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

On the 4th Day Before Elections...

Just to reiterate- The United States is now less progressive than South Africa

-'The Daily Show's John Stewart on S.Africa's Supreme Court ordering the government to allow gay marriage rights

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Parkdale, Nash, the NDP and the 2006 Federal Elections


In Parkdale-Highpark, NDPer Peggy Nash
is making another go for Liberal Sarmite
Bulte's MP job. Bulte has done nothing
substantial for Parkdale-Highpark.
But at the very least, she has shown up
to community events in the area since
the last election. Talking to folks in
southern Parkdale, they have told me
that they have not seen Nash since the
last election.

Much of southern Parkdale's population
is the working poor and recipients of the
very social services the NDP says its out to
protect. Southern Parkdale is truly NDP
territory although it seems to have been
given up to the Libs for lack of NDP
organization in the area.

(THE EASY WAY, short-term)

The easiest way for Nash to win this riding
is if Jurij Klufas, the Conservative
candidate strips a few thousand votes
from Bulte.

In the 2004 election, Nash (16,201)
lost to Bulte (19,727) by over 3,500
votes. Although a loss to Nash, it
was a 50 per cent increase in popularity
for the NDP, considering that in
the federal election of 2000, the NDP
got less than 8,000 votes.

In 2004 Bulte lost 1,000 votes, and the
Green Party gained slightly more than
2,000 votes. This is quite the achievement
for the greens since this equates to a 200%
increase in votes for the politcal newcomers.

According to the 2000 election results,
the merger of the Canadian Alliance
with the PC's should have given the
new Conservatives in Parkdale-Highpark
under Klufas about 10,500 votes in the
2004 election. But Klufas got just
over 7,000 votes. Not bad for someone
who didn't even bother showing up to
all-candidates neighbourhood meetings.

Another interesting statistical tid-bit
was the voter turn-out. In the 2000
election, 42,000 people cast their vote.
In 2004, 47,000 people in
Parkdale-Highpark voted.

Here are the statical questions:
Where did Bulte's 1000 lost votes go?
Where did the conservative's 3,500
lost votes go? And for which parties
did 5,000 new voters, vote?

Here is a hint. The only two parties
to gain substantially in the 2004
elections were the NDP with an
additional 8,000 votes and the greens
with an increase of more than 2,000 votes.

This year though, we should not
underestimate the performance of the
Conservatives and Klufas.
The Conservatives are enjoying a wave
of popularity across the country.
And right here in Parkdale, Klufas is
actually showing up to all-candidates

At the all-candidates meeting at Parkdale
High School on Jan.16, Klufas charmed
the audience with his sense of humour
and simple, regular guy charm.
He is the guy to watch this year
for vote gains. It's doubtful he will get
the new vote. What he may do,
to Nash's benefit, is strip the
Libs of what could be thousands
of votes, pitting Nash and Bulte in a
neck and neck race.

(THE HARD WAY and for the long run)

If the NDP wants to win this riding,
it has got to work way before an election
is called. Southern Parkdale is not an
easy neighbourhood to organize.
But if the NDP says it represents the poor,
the working poor and the working class,
then this is NDP territory.

Given the population density of southern
Parkdale, if good work is done here, you
know that this poor and downtrodden part
of Toronto can send an NDPer to Ottawa.

To organize effectively, the NDP needs
workers in each block of Southern Parkdale,
if possible in each building in Parkdale.
You get this through talking to old-time
neighbourhood organizers. Remember,
they may not be party organizers but they
know the neighbourhood and the people
here better than anyone in the NDP. If they
have trouble organizing for the party, the
party can help them get organized.

The Liberals already instituted their own
cell in Parkdale and other low-income
neighbourhoods to take over community
space and organizations through their
economic development corporations.
Through government funded, ostensibly
independent "community" organizations,
the Liberals are able to rule over poor
neighbourhoods, taking over every nook
and cranny of civic space, and giving
regular folks and the neighbourhood
nothing in return.

Now if the Libs can organize in poor
neighbourhoods, albeit with lots of
cash at their disposal, why can't the
NDP? I know that higher level NDPers
suffer from racism, classism, sexism
and a sense of intellectual superiority,
but so do the Libs and that didn't stop
them from organizing in Parkdale and
making alliances with other Libs in
the area.

The people of Parkdale have been
organizing in their own small way without
support for years. All these people need
is a little moral support from the party
and some resources to organize
south Parkdale and then the NDP may
stand a chance of wining here with the
efforts of the people of Parkdale.

However the challenge for the NDP
will be to support southern Parkdale
in its bid to organize, accepting
Parkdalians as allies rather than
followers. Fierce independence is
part and parcel of being poor and
fighting for your rights.

If the NDP is willing to support
locals in their independent bid
to support the party and its social
platform, then the federal NDP might
just win another seat in Ontario.


On the 5th day before elections...

... you get to learn a new term.

"Harris Kids":-

The end result of the destabalising and social effects of those who've been at the receiving end of his cutbacks.

See: gun shooting incidents.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

On the 6th day before Elections...

One week, less a day before the electoins start... you get a quote with the unlucky number of words: 13.

Kind of fitting, considering who it is about, and what's been wrought.

Heard at the PTA meeting:-

"My knees are still aching from the marching I did under Mike Harris."

Monday, January 16, 2006


Monday, January 16, 2006


Plagued by political scandal, the Liberals
under CEO, Paul Martin, are finally
responding to the Canadian public after
years of sitting on their laurels, or should
I say, pots of gold. Well, they're responding
now to documented cases of corruption at least.

The Libs are not just Canada's strongest
political party, they make up Canada's
political culture, that is our public institutions,
our media, immigration and our international
image. The Libs stretched beyond politics
and weaved their way into Canadian culture.
Now that's power and that's why they don't
really need to be accountable to the public.
They know they will continue winning,
corruption or not.

The Conservative contenders are upstart
westerners led ironically by Toronto city
slicker, Stephen Harper. The Conservatives
are a testament to the Reform party and their
evolution into the Canadian Alliance which
took over one of Canada's oldest poltical
parties in a stunning internal coup.

But not without a fight.

Old time Progressive Conservatives (PC)
like former Prime Minister Joe Clark
rejected the takeover of the PC party
by western regionals. For those who
know western Canadian history, the
Canadian Alliance represents a U.S.
annexationist political current that is
older than the nation of Canada itself.

U.S. annexationism was never successful
which made the Canadian confederation
possible. With the take-over of the
PC party, the annexationists are closer
to power in Canada than ever before.

Both the Liberals and the new Conservatives
have one thing in common, they are both
competing to represent big business,
corporate interests, U.S. policies, and

With politicians in Ottawa standing
to enrich themselves personally through
selling off Canada through privatization,
the NDP is supposed to be our alternative.

However, the NDP has been so thoroughly
used and abused by Liberals in disguise
(Bob Rae, Ujjal Dosanjh, and others
still haunting the party) that it has lost much
of its credibility. Labour union executives
like Buzz Hargrove also work towards the
defeat of the struggling party in the interests
of the Liberals.

Add to this sorrowful motley crew of
internal opposition, the media, that is CTV,
the Toronto Star, and the the Sun, are
dedicated to showing the NDP as a
redundancy at best, making NDP leader
Jack Layton look like a man without a

When you have so much against you,
you would hope the NDP would see this
an election as a political war on all fronts
and lead a no-holds-barred political
campaign to fight for the people of this
country who face the same enormous
pressures the party faces.

Up to now however, the NDP has run
what can be kindly called a meek

On the 7th Day Before Elections...

... you get a seven word quote.

the tagline for your news stations:
(the word "corporate" is implied, as well as "mainstream", since these are the types of news outlets people know, recognise, and refer to)

"Tailoring needs to suit an advertising demographic"

Sunday, January 15, 2006

On the 8th Day Before Elections...

The more they (the public) comsume your media, the less they know about the subject matter and the more they'll support government policy, that should be the worst thing any journalist would want to hear."

-Bob Mc Chesney, Founder of Free Press/ author of "The problem of the Media" on "Outfoxed"

Saturday, January 14, 2006

On the 9th Day Before Elections...

Instead of your Four Calling Birds, you could probably do Four Minutes of Silence.

From the Rupert Hotel Memorial held Thursday, December 15th.

See them now at

Background Information:

Two days before Christmas, on December 23, 1989, a terrible fire roared
through the 'Rupert Hotel' rooming house at the corner of Queen &
Parliament in Toronto. 10 people died in the blaze.

The link

On the 10th day before elections...

On 5.13, the ten(millionth) reason Bush should be kicked out of office:-

Oh, neat-o. It's finally official?...

Bush defends gov't spying on citizens:
"No wonder Bush was so desperate that The New York Times not publish its story on the National Security Agency eavesdropping on American citizens without a warrant...""...any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations."

NSA's just one of many federal agencies spying on Americans. Apparently sources close to the administration say spying on Americans by the National Security Agency is not only more widespread than President George W. Bush admits but is part of a concentrated, government-wide effort to gather and catalog information on U.S. citizens.

And ain't this nice: NSA spying is just the tip of the iceberg.Although supposedly killed by Congress more than 18 months ago, the Defense Advance Project Research Agency’s Terrorist Information Awareness (TIA) system, formerly called the “Total Information Awareness” program, is alive and well and collecting data in real time on Americans at a computer center located at 3801 Fairfax Drive in Arlington, Virginia.

The link

Thursday, January 12, 2006

On the 11th day before elections...

...Your Two Turtle Doves. So to speak.

The link

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On the 12th day before Elections...

Your Partridge in a Pear Tree

For those who refuse to believe economic control = political control and that what you don't know (about the the MIA giving the us the red-carpet access to Canada) won't hurt you, read:

"On the stand (for the defence), Barrick Gold Corp's founder and chairman Peter Munk was often unable to recall the company memos and letters put inf ront of him by lawyer Joe Groia, but that didn't stop the defence from painting a picture of corporate intrigue and backroom dealing involving Barrick and wealthy businessmen whose influence extended to the top ranks of Indonesia's government."

-excerpt from Toronto Star's business section front page story, "Never a hint of fraud", December 8, 2005

In the 12 Days before Elections, things to seriously consider

I was going to do this in the same vein as "The 12 days before Christmas, but with something more subatantial than tha gifts. Then i thought of doing the 12 days AFTER Xmas, starting in New Year's Day.

Then it hit me. 12 days before Election day.

So here's a little something, to refresh your memory all sorts of things that hang in the balance, not just "oh they're corrupt" and "politicians are corrupt" that not only affect us locally, but on the international stage, which is just as well, since we're almost joined at the dysfunctional hip to our neighbour South of the border, and they stretch their... hm, claws out in their efforts at affecting the world stage.

Try remembering something telling that happened here on this contenent, however:- we elected Mike Harris, and we got the Walkerton scandal. In the United states, where they're 10 times as populous, they elected George Bush Jr; then they get the New Orleans flooding disaster, the net result of funds being siphoned off from the dam for years now.

Yes, yes, politicians are corrupt, blah blah blah, it's a moot point. it's smoke and mirrors, a way to distract you from the REAL damage being done.

My case in point:- by now you've heard the term being bandied about, "Harris Kids", those who reaped the benefits of his cutbacks, the gun shooting incidents in recent weeks the most visible. Check the timeline between the two-tiering Frankenstein job being done on our health care, erosion of sovereignity, with the NAFTA and Mulroney's being in office (check out the MIA agreements, too).

As "bad" as the Liberals are being portrayed, you can't fool yourself that the Conservatives AREN'T going to be worse. Who knows, maybe in the grans scheme of things we might find out that the cause for the sponsorship scandal getting the public spotlight was so that we might have cause for retaliating, 1995-against-Bob-Rae style.

Only this time, instead of me predicting to Sheila, one of the 8 chicks in a house I was living in at the time, that you'll instantly regret it and are sending things from the frying pan into the fire, it'll be on a national scale.

You like the idea of Harper Kids in a population range nation wide?

Politicians will be corrupt; we have jokes about lawyers being a low form of life. But that don't mean we reject all lawyers outright.

Keep things in perspective.