Friday, July 28, 2006

A Very Profitable War

Cross-Posted to Gerard's OC

I just received this press release from the Gerard Kennedy campaign and I assume it will be up on his website soon (UPDATE: Globe article here). I suspect that trying to make some money off Harper's "principled stand" is bound to rub some people the wrong way because the implication is certainly that you should donate to the Tories because they support Israel.

Kennedy Condemns Immoral Conservative Fundrasing Tactics

Toronto, ON -- Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy today condemned the Conservative Party of Canada for using the recent conflict in the Middle East as a partisan fundraising tool in reaction to an appeal sent out last night from Conservative Party executive director Michael Donison.

“We have people dying and families being displaced on both sides of this conflict and meanwhile, Stephen Harper is allowing his foreign policy to be used as a partisan fundraising tool. This crosses the line.”

Under the heading, Finally - A Leader who's willing to stand up and take a tough stand, Conservative Party Executive Director Michael Donison emailed party supporters asking for "a special contribution now of $150 or $75" in response to Harper's "principled stand on the new turmoil in the Mid-East".

Kennedy called on the Prime Minister to denounce the email and state clearly that Canada’s foreign policy is not a partisan political tool to be wielded crassly for the sake of Conservative Party gain.

Here's the original e-mail:


Subject: Finally - A Leader who's willing to stand up and take a tough stand
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2006 18:20:16 -0700
From: Conservative Fund Canada

En Francais In English

During the last federal election, Stephen Harper promised to give Canada a principled foreign policy that advances and defends the Canadian values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law. As Prime Minister, he is delivering.


Our Conservative Prime Minister, Stephen Harper was amongst the first of the world's leaders to take a principled stand on the new turmoil in the Mid-East. Since then, leaders the world over have risen to stand with Stephen Harper. Our nation has every reason to be proud.

Admit it: Moral clarity feels a lot better than the endless equivocation we found with our previous government.

But not everyone is grateful for the strong, clear direction of Canada's new government and this includes in particular the opposition parties who are only interested in maneuvering for party advantage.

And so, I must turn to you to ask you for your support.
The fact is: the opposition is not thrilled with the growing strength of the Harper government and the resurgence of national pride Canadians are showing in their country. You need only look at their ceaseless machinations to see that they are doing everything in their power to bring this government down..

We must be ready for an election now because the opposition is blindly determined to drag the country to the polls, on any pretext they can contrive.

As a matter of public record, everyone knows the Conservative Party of Canada managed the last election without adding a dime to the Party's debt. You made that possible, it's just that simple. And if we intend to win the next election and win a majority - we need to continue moving heaven and Earth to be ready.

When an election comes, we will have just days to mount a campaign and ensure the continuance of the most dynamic and forward-looking Canadian government in recent memory. The time to lay the foundation is right now and we continue to need your help if this effort is to succeed.

It is a wonderful thing to be reminded of the power of ideals, principles in which we believe and on which we will act. We have had far too many years of vacillation on ideals and fundamental values about which the majority of Canadians are clear and certain.
Unsurprisingly, Don Martin got it just right in his July 20th National Post column, speaking of Prime Minister Harper, he wrote: " He's proven himself bold, imaginative and unpredictable. This is something refreshing on the Canadian political landscape - a leader willing to take risks to do what's right in the face of certain criticism. It stands him in stark and favourable contrast to the hesitant poll-driven Martin reign."

What did surprise me, though, were the private comments of a Liberal acquaintance, among them the following: " I have never been so proud to be Canadian. I'm thrilled that we're investing in our military. I'm thrilled that we're staying to finish a job in Afghanistan, and I'm ecstatic that we are finally taking a position on issues of global importance like what is happening in the Middle East. Please let Stephen Harper know that I've never been more proud of being a Canadian."

Ultimately, not everything is about party politics. Canadians know what's right and wrong and it is a great satisfaction even if one may not politically admit it - to have a government that has the courage to tell the plain truth.

This government is worth the fight; help us make sure we win the next election whenever it comes. We can expect an avalanche of Liberal fury to get back into power and a flood of media support for their effort. Help us keep the focus on principle and character and Canada's return to its place in the world.

I ask you to make a special contribution now of $150 or $75 to the Party today and help us be prepared to defend the decisive leadership of Stephen Harper and our New Conservative government.

With my sincere thanks,

Michael D. Donison
Executive Director, Conservative Party of Canada

P.S. - Your contribution is tax deductible. To find out the specific tax advantage of your contribution, we've provided a simple tax calculator. For more specific information on the rules governing personal contributions to political parties, click here.

If you prefer that I not contact you again by email, please click here.

Authorized by Conservative Fund Canada, Chief Agent of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Delayed Hat Tip: Public Eye Online and a BCer in Toronto had this one yesterday


  • This made the CP wire by Joan Bryden

    Liberal leadership candidate rips Tory fundraising pitch

    By Blogger Concerned Albertan, at 7:28 p.m.  

  • Using foreign policy to fundraise you say??

    I'm pretty sure I got an email from the Liberal party executive saying they needed money to fight harper's growing closeness to George Bush. The email went on to cite several "reasons" why Canada was becoming a republican state.

    Now, when the Conservatives send an email out saying "our leader is decisive, please contribute so we can keep a concisive leader in office" how is that different than the Liberals who email out and say "we hate George Bush and the U.S., please send us money so we don't become republican?"

    Both fundraising tactics have to do with foreign policy don't they?

    By Blogger Forward Looking Canadian, at 7:44 p.m.  

  • riley; Fundraising against Dubya would certainly be a bit of a low blow too. And it certainly wouldn't do much to dispel the "Liberals are anti-American" storyline.

    I just have a hunch that a lot of people in certain communities will be none too pleased that Harper is using his support of Israel to raise a few bucks.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:49 p.m.  

  • It's not just the issue, it's the fact he's using it to solicit donations while the bombs are still falling. Nine Canadians have died so far. Yesterday, the day they sent the e-mail, still more Canadians arrived in Turkey from Lebanon. And the Conservatives are asking for cash.

    As mentioned, Public Eye broke this first last night, and deserves a lot of credit:

    By Blogger Jeff, at 7:53 p.m.  

  • This is an issue, like SSM, that just keeps on giving -- black eyes to the Tories

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 7:56 p.m.  

  • Grit, I blogged on this as well. Kennedy's comments follow a logical pattern on this government:

    "Of all the leadership candidates, Kennedy has done the best job defining the Conservative agenda as nothing more than a "marketing strategy". Kennedy's latest assault is consistent with this idea, once again highlighting the hyper-politicism of this government, which apparently sees no bounds to partisanship. IMHO, Kennedy's approach offers the Liberals their best hope to derail the government's slick campaign. If you can raise doubt as to motive, the battle is already won, no matter how "attractive" the policy."

    By Blogger Steve V, at 7:58 p.m.  

  • funny!

    so, here's a guy saying:

    hey, you like my foreign policy? support me!

    as opposed to raising funds first and then shaping foreign policy after it. not that anyone's ever done that before.

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 8:00 p.m.  

  • The implication is a matter of interpretation and maybe it is impling that we have a PM who is decisive and is not afraid to take a stand before holding a year long focus group.
    By the same token should the libs cancel their leadership race as it could be construed as crass and opportunistic especially since the bombs are still in the air.

    By Blogger Silverwinger, at 8:22 p.m.  

  • Ok so this story seems to be breaking on the ctv, and globe and mail sites... likely cause they read this blog and got their act together haha.

    I still don't see whats wrong with this. In every story I see that the media wants to paint this as Harper capitalizing on the deaths of Canadians over seas.

    Nobody seemed to have a hissy fit when in 2000, Paul Martin went around helping at fundraisers for the Tamil Tigers front groups, hoping to use Canada's foreign policy position in Sri-Lanka to get Liberals votes in the 2000 election. Read all about it in Stewart Bell's "Cold Terror" on pages 70-73

    No one complains when Liberals send out mass emails denouncing George Bush and implying Harper is a Bush-proxy and asking for money to help fuel the fight. Here's a quote from the email I recieved in late june, asking me to donate to the Liberal party....

    "Mr. Harper is aligning Canadian policy with that of George Bush’s United States....[editors note, they list seven things Harper has done] Seven policies: Seven steps towards a Republican Canada.

    It’s time to shine a spotlight on Stephen Harper’s real agenda. More than ever, the Liberal Party of Canada needs your help to defeat this emerging threat."

    Now that was using foreign policy to get money from the party wasn't it? How bout when Canada responded to the tsunami crisis, and spent most of it's relief efforts randomly in Sri-Lanka.... but wait a second, Paul Martin had a lot of campaign funds recieved from Sri-Lankan canadians.... could that have played into our foreign policy??

    By Blogger Forward Looking Canadian, at 10:56 p.m.  

  • Hmmm... I should point out that I don't necessarily think it's great for the Cons to be seeking financial contributions in the midst of a middle east crisis, but I don't think it's outrageous either. I just don't see the need for hooplah.

    By Blogger Forward Looking Canadian, at 11:13 p.m.  

  • "Liberal leadership candidate Gerard Kennedy today condemned the Conservative Party of Canada for using the recent conflict in the Middle East as a partisan fundraising tool in reaction to an appeal sent out last night from Conservative Party executive director Michael Donison."

    Interesting approach. Just who is using this email for partisan, political purposes? Did Mr. Kennedy send a private letter to Stephen Harper to register his concerns or possibly place a phone call? No. Issue your own partisan press release to make political hay out of an issue that you're accusing your opponent of captializing on.

    I'm looking forward to the time in the Liberal Leadership race where the candidates actually run against each other with some policy instead of running against Stephen Harper

    By Blogger WE Speak, at 11:26 p.m.  

  • "candidates actually run against each other with some policy instead of running against Stephen Harper"

    That is hilarious, considering Harper ran two campaigns solely against the Liberals. Even the Tory bluebook, a policy piece, first bashed the Liberals before any ideas were put forth. Please sit down, you apparently have no leg to stand on.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 11:51 p.m.  

  • Wow BBS, I haven't laughed that hard in some time. Thanks for that.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 12:50 a.m.  

  • bbs; Umm...isn't Harper kinda the enemy? I mean, doesn't it make sense for Liberal leadership candidates to attack the guy given that that will be the job of one of them in a few months?

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:39 a.m.  

  • I'm not on the CPC e-mail list, but contribute twice a year. With a possible election this fall, they will need extra $$$.

    Thanks Gerard for the reminder! The cheque is in the mail.

    By Blogger wilson, at 1:43 a.m.  

  • If Harper is "the enemy" then shouldn't good Liberal leadership contenders try to distance themselves? But based on previous posts, they CAN'T as the Liberal party has done equally crass things. So, instead, they try the "we're better than them" approach that always works so well, and the Liberal supporters sing Hallelujah.

    Oh, sorry, wrong blog.

    By Blogger Candace, at 1:44 a.m.  

  • Hey, I'm more than happy for all of them to continue playing policy lite and attacking Harper. Just the kind of "Liberal Party renewal" I'm looking for.

    By Blogger WE Speak, at 2:31 a.m.  

  • "That is hilarious, considering Harper ran two campaigns solely against the Liberals. Even the Tory bluebook, a policy piece, first bashed the Liberals before any ideas were put forth. Please sit down, you apparently have no leg to stand on."

    You're right - knee slapping hilarious this is. That's how I like to pick my Liberal leader - who's the best at attacking Harper and keeping that Liberal policy nicely hidden.

    But I digress, the main theme was how much the Conservatives were supposedly taking advantage of the M.E. situation, unlike the altruistic Gerard Kennedy, whose press release was not meant to garner any attention or score partisan political points. Truly hilarious.

    By Blogger WE Speak, at 2:40 a.m.  

  • The Conservatives do issues based fundraising all the time. It's fine. The Liberals need to do more of it to suceed electorally, fundraise in smaller amounts successfully and get our message out. The question is what is our message. If the Party had been whipped and Graham had voted against the carte blanche extyension of the combat mission in Afghanistan, we could have fundraised based on putting forward that position n the commons. But we can't. There is nothing wrong with Candians knowing what their money is supporting or having a party that actually listens to policy development at the grassroots level. Apotex knows exactly what its getting for its 80,000 to Vope's campaign. JOe and JAne Canadina want to know what policy their $100 will support from Liberals too.

    The Conservatives are doing this correctly and the Liberals need to start doing this as well soon, or we have no hope in the next election. Big money and big money favours are over, lets staret listening to Liberals and to Canadians and getting them to support us for our consistent Policy positions in the commons.

    By Blogger S.K., at 8:28 a.m.  

  • Good points SB... but I hope no one listens to you. ;-)

    She (SB) is right about the issue based fundraising e-mails... I get them regularly, like the one I just got asking me to donate to the CPC because Mr. Harper has once again kept his promises via the Choice in Childcare allowance... a promise keeper, unlike the previous guys in the PMO.

    (ps - I signed up months ago to get the Liberal fund raising e-mails too... "pot calling kettle, pot calling kettle, come in kettle, over...")

    By Blogger Christian Conservative, at 7:25 p.m.  

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