Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The 411 on 150

For those of you who weren't glued to the online webstream this weekend, Jeff Jedras provides an excellent recap of the weekend at Canada 150.

The media reaction to the conference has been (predictably) mixed. All I'll say is that if people are going to knock the Liberals for not knowing what they stand for, you can't knock them for trying to figure that out.


UPDATE: Andrew Potter slams the media.

11 Comments:

  • At least you're willing to admit that this was a Liberal conference, and not a "non-partisan" event as some have attempted to portray it.

    By Blogger Paul, at 11:03 PM  

  • It was always, obviously, Liberal-organized, but from what I read the intent was to have non-partisans, people outside of the political bubble (not simply Liberal militants) sharing their perspective and pitching their ideas for the political class. It seems they did that and recently have been getting positive press for doing so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 PM  

  • I just don't understand the reaction.

    Something is fundamentally sick with our country in a deep, tuberculosis sort of way when we're attacking a political party for having a conference with people who aren't all partisans to talk about ideas.

    It's surreal. It's like criticizing MPs for reading more than one book a month or something.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:39 AM  

  • The Liberals organized it with the intent of building a platform. OF COURSE it was partisan.

    But, listening to the speakers, it's also clear they invited many non-partisan speakers to attend.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:36 AM  

  • What they didn't do, according to critics, was invite many people to speak who weren't older white men from Ontario and Quebec.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:29 PM  

  • nuna - That's probably a fair criticism.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:23 PM  

  • I'll give nuna the Ontario/Quebec one, but there was a very good gender balance on the panels. Most were older, but there aren't many 18-year-old academic or business leaders. One that was there though was Ryan Hreljac, the young founder of Ryan's Wells, who had an amazing story to tell.

    The critics you speak of, by the way, were nearly uniformly all old white men, as one middle-aged woman journalist pointed-out. I didn't hear the same criticisms of too many old white men from anyone who didn't fulfill all three criteria themselves, ironically.

    By Blogger Jeff Jedras, at 1:30 PM  

  • "OF COURSE it was partisan"

    Well, that's clear to you & to me, but the Liberal Party position has been that it was non-partisan, and therefore does not constitute a "political donation" under tax law (reducing the donation limits accordingly, and barring the attendance of anyone who had already donated more than a few hundred dollars).

    By Blogger Paul, at 3:10 PM  

  • Full amount wasn't a donation, and you only get a tax receipt if the conference made a profit. The registration form had this on it however:
    "Personal cheque made payable to “Liberal Party of Canada”

    Note: Payment must be from personal chequing or personal credit card accounts only."

    Obviously, the party considers this a possible donation in all but name.

    By Blogger Kyle G. Olsen, at 5:15 PM  

  • Kyle, once again, the problem isn't that it was a donation to the Party.

    The problem is that the Liberal Party took the Conservative Party to court, through Elections Canada, arguing that a Party Conference is a political donation whether it made a "profit" or not.

    I happen to agree that conference fees should not be a political donation to be subsidized by taxpayers, but that is NOT the official position of the Liberal Party of Canada. (Yes, there also need to be rules to ensure we don't end up with "conferences" with three people, costing a million dollars to attend, to get around donation limits.)

    The Liberal Party just has to decide what its own position is on anything: so far it has not shown any degree of consistency on any topic I can think of.

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:54 PM  

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