About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Old Man and the Chair

So what was that?
It was pure entertainment, that's what it was. Amongst a media event so scripted, it might as well have been overseen by a Hollywood filmmaker, the Republican National Convention brought out an actual Hollywood filmmaker to open an evening of important speeches on its final night. Now laying aside the irony of how the party that chastises "liberal Hollywood" for its dalliances in politics while beatifying the few members of Hollywood out as conservative, I'm sure no one in the Republican National Committee foresaw the events that transpired last night.
Making his entrance like the Hollywood legend that he is, to the tune of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as if he were about to present an Oscar, the following 12 minutes were as memorizing as they were unexpected.

Romney's Speech: A Critic's Commentary

Last night, Mitt Romney accepted the hotly contested Republican nomination for president before the crowd of the party's faithful in Tampa, Florida. Neither hurricane, nor differences in policy, nor grumpy old men talking to empty chairs could throw Mitt off his course, the role he's been working his way up to for his entire adult life. Now, only Barack Obama's re-election stands in his way of taking the presidency, and despite the months of primary posturing, last night was his opening argument.
You can read the entire text of the speech here, but in the space below I've cut and pasted a few choice segments and offered some rebuttals.
Tonight I am asking you to join me to walk together to a better future. By my side, I have chosen a man with a big heart from a small town. He represents the best of America, a man who will always make us proud – my friend and America’s next Vice President, Paul Ryan.
In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better. But last night America got to see what I saw in Paul Ryan – a strong and caring leader who is down to earth and confident in the challenge this moment demands.
But what America got to see in Ryan last night was a big fat liar. Even Fox News, which is no stranger to perpetuating right-wing falsehoods, was taken aback at just how badly Paul Ryan lied. Fox News contributor Sally Kohn even took a time out to detail the lies in Ryan's speech Wednesday Night. But hey, Ryan's still a great dad and has got an awesome playlist on his iPod...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ford Sticks Foot in Mouth. Not That Ford. And No, Not That Ford Either...

There's been a lot of discussion about the naked ignorance of some of our brethren south of the border when it comes to the issues of sexual assault and human biology, but it seems that some people in Canada really know how to step in it, in a proverbial sense, as well. 
Krista Ford, niece of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and daughter of Councillor Doug Ford, spoke out with some, ahem, advice for women on how to keep themselves safe. There have been a series of rapes recently in the Annex area of Toronto, so naturally, women in the neighbourhood are on guard. It's also natural that another woman, especially with the high profile of being the Mayor's niece, would want to reach out at a time of such tremendous fear, and give some comfort and words of support. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Whatever Happened to Pierre Poutine?

On the Gang of Four a couple of weeks ago we talked about the robocall scandal and what news had since been developing there. If you were hoping that the case was wrapped up in neat little package like a typical Law & Order episode, you'll be disappointed, but we all took the red pill last spring and we're seeing just how far down the rabbit hole goes.
And the rabbit hole has brought us a community southwest of Guelph, and a nondescript home to five residents who all had access to the same IP address from which Pierre Poutine went about his local vote defrauding efforts. For the less technical among us, an IP, or Internet Protocol, address is the distinctive number that identifies where you are when you're on the internet. The thing is that you can do a Google search and in a fraction of a second get several thousand results that will tell you how to hide your IP address. 
That's why when Elections Canada went to the home of the IP address Pierre Poutine used, they found five residents who knew nothing about the Marty Burke campaign in Guelph, knew no one involved with the Marty Burke campaign, and had to connection whatsoever to the campaign and the campaigners. A dead end, right? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

City Touts Renewed AA Credit Rating

To all the naysayers who think that the city is going down a fiscal path to apocalyptic ruin, the powers that be in Guelph are apparently saying "hard cheese." The city's communications department released a press release today saying don't worry be happy, as Guelph has a "AA" credit rating and is looking good to get that upgraded to a "AAA."
The real question is why we got this news on a Friday afternoon, known in the business as, "taking out the trash day." Is there another shoe to drop, as in we're going to get some horrible economic news soon and the city doesn't want to seem misleading, but still want to soften blow? Or maybe they were just super-excited about the information, which would hardly be surprising considering the sky-is-falling attitude of the deficit hawks that post all the time on the Mercury website. 

CRTC Fines Valeriote for Campaign Ad

In the midst of the robocall scandal, Conservatives tried to pivot to the real villain: Liberal MP Frank Valeriote. 
During the 2011 Federal Election, Valeriote's campaign produced a robocall with someone clamming to be an ordinary citizen informing the voters of Conservative candidate Marty Burke's stand on abortion and trying to get the pro-choice vote out against him on Election Day. The problem was that the call was never identified as being from the Valeriote campaign, and thus came to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission for violation of telemarketing rules (and yes, there apparently are some). 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Those Lousy Cyclists...

The police proudly completed a recent blitz of bicyclists over two days, August 14 and 16. They handed out 22 tickets and numerous warnings; tickets to people riding on the sidewalk and warnings to young people riding without helmets. Thank goodness the police are there to put the kibosh on this open rebellion of scofflawness, today kids are riding around without helmets, tomorrow they'll be joining gangs, selling drugs and packing heat.
So that's extreme. And while I would never advocate that kids ride helmetless, or that cyclists aren't supposed to follow the same rules of the road everyone else does, as a bike rider myself, I understand the root cause: the roads of Guelph are scary, and car drivers make it that way. Even side streets and bike lanes aren't necessarily oases, so I understand the compulsion to want to stay away from the traffic for the relative safety of the sidewalk. Again, I'm not saying that bike riders should be exempt from the rules of the road, but if I'm clipped by a cyclist then I'll probably just need a band aid, but if I'm hit by a car I'll need to go to the hospital. Or the funeral home.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Republicans Behaving Badly

It's a curious thing how Americans can be so easily divided when so many people in one of their two main political parties continue doing and saying things that should put even the most loyal, but still sound-minded supporters on their heels. 
Take Rep. Todd Akin, now candidate for the U.S. Senate, for example. Yesterday, he made a gaff so embarrassing, so misinformed, so misguided, that he might as well have said that he believes that leprechauns are real and that on the weekend he chases rainbows to find the pot of gold at the end. Of course, if Akin did actually do that, it's his own affair; no more a looney a pass time as collecting stamps or Star Wars memorabilia. But Akin's ignorant comments have real implications, and dangerous ones at that. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Minor Transit Changes Coming Sept 2

Attention all bus riders in Guelph, there are some slight changes a foot that are going into effect on September 2. The changes are both situational and financial. Situational meaning that there are some slight changes to the routes and running times, all of which are listed below. As well, the platform assignments at Guelph Central Terminal and the University Centre at the University of Guelph are playing musical buses, apparently because Transit is monitoring people's migration and decided on a better arrangement. 
But all this is fairly standard. The real gist is that September comes with a price increase for your bus pass. Right now for a monthly adult bus pass, the cost is $72, but a three to four per cent increase translates as a $2 to $3 increase in amount of money. The increase was approved by council in this year's budget.

Warren Trial Begins Today

It's hard to believe that it was more than three years since the tragic events in a south end park that ended the life of Isabel Warren. The 14-year-old died in an accident when the wall of the washroom in South End Community Park collapsed, and the city is being brought to trial by the Ministry of Labour for failing to ensure the safety of the site. And the trial starts today.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maggie Laidlaw Trapped in Manila - Not Really

To preface, Maggie Laidlaw is fine. She's home in Guelph safe and was not held at gunpoint in the Philippines. Why would you think this? Maybe you were on the e-mail chain that got sent spam from Laidlaw's hacked e-mail address saying as much.
From the creators (probably) of the rich Nubian prince that needs your help to secure his inheritance, and the same UK lottery commission that says you've got millions in winnings coming your way, comes an urgent communique from Maggie Laidlaw from the wilds of Manila.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ryan Rebuttle

It didn't take long for the Obama-Biden ticket to start cranking out the counter spin to today's announcement of Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wi) as Governor Mitt Romney's running mate in this fall's U.S. Presidential election. Surrogates on behalf of President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden sent out two e-mails in eight hours to supporters in an effort to start deflating the GOP's celebratory mood, by attacking Ryan on his background and policy, particularly his proposed federal budget, Roadmap for America’s Future, which includes new tax cuts, deep spending cuts and privatization of entitlements like medicare.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Blind Leading the Blind?

It was announced late last night that former Governor Mitt Romney had selected Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin to be his running mate in this year's U.S. Presidential election on the Republican ticket. It's a move that's seen as both strategic and complementary. Ryan, a darling of the Tea Party and widely seen as one of the intellectuals of the current right, bolsters Romney's conservative credentials while Ryan seems to be one of the few people that Romney's been comfortable campaigning with. In other words, he humanizes Romney, a factor that the embattled former Massachusetts Governor desperately needs. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eric Davis Running for Liberals in K-W By-Election

Coming more than a full day after the writ was dropped in Kitchener-Waterloo and Vaughan for by-elections for the Ontario Legislature, Liberals in K-W have announced lawyer Eric Davis as they're candidate for the riding, CTV is reporting. Davis beat out Waterloo Region Police Officer Raj Sharma, and Waterloo City Councillor Karen Scian for the Liberal nomination, and he will now go on to face Conservative Tracey Weiler, NDP Catherine Fife, and other candidates to represent our Highway 7 neighbours at Queen's Park. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Game On For Not One, But Two By-Elections

In the midst of this summer of discontent, Premier Dalton McGuinty is going for the double down. Needing to win one seat to keep his minority government seat count at 53, and needing to win two in order to achieve his slight, but coveted majority, McGuinty announced today that the voters in Vaughan and Kitchener-Waterloo will go to the polls on September 6th. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

By-Election Showdown in K-W

Rarely does so much ride on one seat. Hyperbole? Perhaps. But each of Ontario's three major parties have something to prove, and something to lose, when voters in the riding of Kitchener-Waterloo go to the polls later this fall.
On the one hand, the Liberals are one seat away from a majority. With it, Premier Dalton McGuinty buys himself three years of not having to negotiate with the opposition, Tim Hudak's Conservatives keep a seat currently sitting in their column and stick it to McGuinty as the heir apparent, and Andrea Horwath's NDP gets to add fuel to that orange crush that's sweeping the nation. But what do the odds look like for any of these contenders?