My late night chat with Mayor Rob Ford, who tells me how politics works – UPDATED

Last Sunday, on his weekly radio program, Toronto’s mayor offered to generously to sit down with women – over coffee even – and “explain how politics works” to us. A lot of people were astounded and offended by this. I decided to take him up on his offer. I called him and left a voicemail, only leaving my first name and my cell.

Now, I don’t really need any help, politically speaking. I’ve worked on the campaigns of impressive women and I’ve worked on campaigns with impressive women, so I kinda know how this whole politics thing works. But what I really wanted to know was why Ford felt that he – a man – should be giving lessons to us about politics. That’s what I really wanted to ask him.

He called me back last night, very late. (Nobody calls me that late except for my kids and they usually want money, or a ride.) And honestly, for the first few seconds of our one-minute long conversation, I wasn’t quite sure it was actually the mayor.

My first question was asking what he thought women should be doing to get more involved in politics. My second question was if he had any advice to women other than “get your name on a ballot.”

What you really need to listen to is my third question, which was why do you think women need help? Listen to what happens next.

Update: For the record, the entire conversation lasted only one minute.


Going after Deb to get to Tim

I don’t know Deb Hutton but I do know what it’s like when a politician goes after you because of who you’re in a relationship with.

There is no excuse for this.

And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about. Check it out. Here and here, too.


(Also, important to note, then, as now, it was an NDP MPP who stood up against it.)

Question everyone is asking: What will the NDP do?

If they can position themselves as the left-of-centre party of change, I think they’d have a good shot. The question for them becomes, ‘Do they want to give this government another year?’

Harper government using taxpayer dollars to attack Trudeau – UPDATED

The Tories say that Justin Trudeau is in over his head but I think that the Harper government has lost its mind.

As a Grit staffer for many years, I have produced and had distributed countless 10%ers and Householders in my early Hill career (ask any staffer what the least favourite part of their job is and this is way, way up there). Taxpayers fund the salaries of the staffers who develop these flyers, they fund their production and they fund the mailing and distribution of them. The purpose of 10%ers is supposed to be to inform your boss’s constituents about the goings on in Ottawa, new government programs and things he or she is up to both in the House of Commons and in the riding.

And, when I was there at least, these flyers were always subject to the approval of a non-partisan body. If they were deemed to violate any rules – and I can’t believe something like this would be allowed through – they would be sent back and you redo it.

All this to say, I can’t believe that the Harper government is getting away with this.

Attack Justin Trudeau with private fundraised dollars all you want, but I can’t believe the gall/stupidity of this government to use public money to do so. My money. And yours.

UPDATE: Trudeau finally responds. CPC MP and government House Leader Peter Van Loan says the mail-outs don’t violate parliamentary rules. (I find that hard to believe – it would be nice if those rules were publicly posted. Anyone?).


On Air Jitters

Everyone has them. This poor fellow had them worst than most. But, as you can see from his tweet below, he had a sense of humour about it. (FYI, NSFW).





I don’t think this ad is scaring Harper

Maybe it’s just me but I don’t think the new PSAC ad attacking the Harper government’s environmental record is all that effective. The Public Service of Canada VP thinks otherwise, however, calling it “shocking and aggressive.” But, really, it’s more of a yawn.

It’s about a minute too long and you don’t know who it’s attacking – nevermind why or who is actually doing the attacking – until the very end. Big, big waste of money. Huge.

Tory MP Michelle Rempel calls the video “embarrassing fear-mongering.” I just call it dumb. And a lost opportunity to criticize the Harper government’s abysmal environmental record, effectively.

So, the only thing shocking about this ad is how bad it is.


Fight the Power

I saw these guys play live at the Luv-a-Fair about 23 years ago now. Couple of things to note: 1) I’m old and 2) it never should have taken 23 years for Public Enemy to receive this kind of recognition – long overdue.

And if you don’t know what the iconic Luv-a-Fair is – a place I hung out at (well before i achieved legal drinking age) before I bartended there – you should check it out. Long gone now, but a huge presence in many of our younger lives.

One small step for the government

One giant leap for the opposition.

Leadership battle imminent?

For the Tories, perhaps. Why do I think so? This is what you do when you’re thinking about making an exit.

Mayor Rob Ford goes international. Again.

Check it out here. And watch the clip, below.