mardi 31 août 2010

A View from the Back Roads

By Mike McDevitt
Sherbrooke Record
August 30th, 2010

Last weekend, Liberal party of Canada leader Michael Ignatieff and his highly-charged retinue swept through the eastern Townships as part of a summer long national tour dubbed "The Liberal Express." In many ways, it was a throwback to whistle-stop politicking from an earlier era, if one could ignore the high-tech bus and the incessant cacophony of Blackberries, cell phones and printers.

Ignatieff made great pains to emphasize the particular nature of his visit here, emphasizing his family’s Richmond-area Canadian roots where his immigrant family “was accepted’ by both French and English-speaking Townshippers. It was here, he claimed passionately, that his vision of a ‘tolerant, open-minded society was hatched.

Reminding Townshippers how special they are never hurts a politician in this region, as even René Lévesque understood as he uttered his famous “Ils sont tellement cute les Cantons de l’Est,” referring to the Townships historical inability to fit into the linguist stereotypes so popular at the time. A history of rural people cooperating across religious and linguistic lines is a hard reality for many professional nationalists to swallow, but it has nevertheless shaped and coloured the ‘Quebec question,’ in this region for decades.

But as special as we are, Townshippers must still cohabitate with dull Canadian normals and face the reality of the country’s political slide into farce as the Stephen Harper dog and pony show continuers to encourage Canadians to believe that everything this country has stood for over the last half-century can be discarded at the whim of a male Sarah Palin in a blazer.

Mr. Ignatieff came out swinging against the Regressive Conservatives, bemoaning the demise of the “progressive’ moniker that for so long contributed to the Tories playing a constructive role in this country’s development. One suspects a progressive conservative party might have been a comfortable fit.

But the disguise is off now, and Mr. Harper has demonstrated that he believes he can form a meaningful government with only the support of one-issue rednecks (guns) and corporate profiteers (money). Since he has eliminated the ability of Statistics Canada to paint an accurate portrait of the country, he has also ensured that his delusional reveries won’t be interrupted by any unpleasant ‘facts.’

It is clear from Mr. Ignatieff’s statements over the weekend that he has come around to understanding the importance of progressivism in this country - regardless of which party it plays out, but whether the Liberal Party can carry the mantle itself remains to be seen. With the NDP steadily sliding into irrelevance and the Bloc picking its issues from its collective navel, those of us who are seeing this country devolve into a poor, country cousin of the political disgrace to the south may find ourselves hoping against hope that a reinvigorated Liberal Party might be able to snap enough of us back to our senses in time to stop Mr. Harper from completing his mission of handing the country over completely to the shameless, the muddle-headed and the afraid.

Is leadership really too much to ask?

NB: Mr. McDevitt rode the Express with us from Magog to Hatley last Friday...

lundi 30 août 2010


Voici quelques photos des évènements avec Michael dans Compton-Stanstead.

Could not have asked for better weather for the event - 21 degrees, beautiful late summer sunset.

About 100 supporters came out for the funder.

8 maires, 3 conseillers, président de l'UPA, former candidates, MPs.

Great speech. As one doubting attendee said, and for my own protection I will not name names, Michael said everything he wanted to hear, and tipped his hat to him. And he is a doubter, a "chialeux" en bon français.

Good food from local producers on the menu...

After we went and opened the Ayer's Cliff Fair, THE end of summer event in my riding!

jeudi 26 août 2010

L'Express demain!/Express tomorrow!

(English message follows)

Avis aux médias

Pour distribution immédiate

Horaire de l’Express libéral dans Compton-Stanstead

Hatley, mercredi le 25 août 2010. William Hogg, candidat libéral dans Compton-Stanstead, a annoncé aujourd’hui l’horaire de l’Express libéral dans Compton-Stanstead.

Vendredi le 27 août, 2010

17h00 à 18h30 Village de Hatley
Salle St. James
98 rue Main

M. Ignatieff, M. Hogg et l’Express seront disponibles pour les photos lors d’une dégustation de produits locaux de 17h00 à 18h00. Ensuite, M. Hogg et M. Ignatieff feront des discours, suivis par une disponibilité aux médias de 18h15 à 18h30.

19h00 à 20h30 L’exposition d’Ayer’s Cliff
1082 rue Main
Ayer’s Cliff

M. Ignatieff fera le discours d’ouverture lors des cérémonies d’ouverture, qui débutent vers 19h15. Après le discours, M. Ignatieff et M. Hogg feront une tournée des exposants jusque vers 20h30.



Media Advisory

For Immediate Distribution

Schedule for the Liberal Express in Compton-Stanstead

Hatley, Wednesday, August 25th, 2010. William Hogg, Liberal candidate in Compton-Stanstead, announced today the scheduled stops for the Liberal Express in Compton-Stanstead.

Friday, August 27th, 2010

5:00 pm to 6:30 pm Hatley Village
St. James Hall
98 Main Street

Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Hogg will be available for photos during a tasting of local producers from 5 pm to 6 pm. From 6 pm to 6:15 pm Mr. Ignatieff will give a short speech, followed by media availability from 6:15 pm to 6:30 pm.

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm Ayer’s Cliff Fair
1082 Main Street
Ayer’s Cliff Fair

Mr. Ignatieff will give the opening speech for the fair at 7:15 pm. Mr. Hogg and Mr. Ignatieff will then do a tour of the site until roughly 8:30 pm.