Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22nd: The Next Big Idea!

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Our Next Big Idea!
Brad, I just had an epiphany reading Dobbin’s latest article – he suggests the NDP start a culture war and I think he’s right. So, can you gear up the war room – it’s time for a true orange jihad. And, this is a war we can easily win since the people are with us. If we act fast, we can catch the stupid conservatives off guard – they’ll just be eating burgers at their idiotic lame barbecues. So, call up your contacts at the CBC and tell them it’s time to go to the mattresses! Olivia and I have been waiting for this magic moment for years.

And I think I know exactly where to start. I was just sent an advance copy of “A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping”, and I haven’t been able to put it down for a second. Here’s where the rubber meets the road – instead of just talking about sustainability, we can lead the movement for the urban chicken! Who doesn’t have a hankering for fresh eggs? Gee, the Americans made a big deal about ‘a chicken in every pot’, so it seems natural that we can make a big deal about “a chicken in every yard”. This could be the big idea that proves we are ready for power.

I mentioned to Olivia that Stornoway would be perfect for the NDP’s first coop. But, as soon as I mentioned it, she said no fucking way was I was going to ruin her backyard! My god, she actually threw a pot at me! It might take her a while to warm to the idea, so how about we ask the GG whether we can set up a coop at his residence. They have a ton of room and this way we can call it Canada’s coop!

The best part is that for just $100 we could have a real sturdy coop – so, it wouldn’t take much out of his budget. So, can you please have someone purchase the materials and get going (just send the invoices to the office of the GG). We must have some summer interns who can handle this, no? But, before we start, can you find out if the GG is exempt from Ottawa city regulations about chicken coops? If he isn’t, I can set up a meeting with the Mayor to ask for an exemption – or make a trade if we have to. What can we give Watson that will make him happy? Well, tell him the first hundred eggs are his! If you have to bargain, we’ll go to 150.

And Libby had a great idea to mobilize the masses – one that really shows why we can win the culture war. Instead of going to silly barbecues around the country this summer, how about we start the NDP Vegan Circle Tour. We can make them all potlucks and that way we can all sample the best vegan food! We can do this in local parks, and Olivia and I would be happy to bring some of our incredible raw vegan zucchini pasta with flaxseed and parsnips! I think everybody is going to love the O’Doul’s Premium Non-Alcoholic beer which has just received its vegan certification.

The only problem is that vegans don’t eat eggs, so how do we square the circle? Can we get a ruling from Greenpeace or somebody that this is all kosher? Or, please call the people at CLUCK - Canadians Liberating Urban Chickens Klub - in Ottawa..they might have an idea.

One last thing, please call our Tee supplier and order a few thousand of the Layton tees with my picture on the front and back. I have a feeling I’ll be autographing a whole bunch of them this summer.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th: Grandstanding!

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Grandstanding!
Brad, I am wondering if we have time for a quick press conference this month. I think the press needs to understand the new NDP muscular foreign policy. Last week, Dewar and I stared down the Israelis regarding the Canadian Boat to Gaza (we told Miriam Ziv, the Israeli Ambassador not to harm the Tahrir and she was quaking, let me tell you), and this week we’ve torn John Baird a new one.

Can you believe Baird announcing that Canada will boycott the UN Disarmament Conference because North Korea is the chair? Dewar drew some blood with his line about the Conservatives “grandstanding”! I mean that’s what they always do....they swagger, they strut, and they flaunt. But, we’re the party of talk, we’re the party of constructive engagement – and they’re the party of boycotts.

For God’s sake, they’ve even announced a boycott of the Durban III conference on racism! How stupid is that? They haven’t even seen the agenda! Well, guess what? We’ll go to the Durban conference and we’ll show people why Canada needs to engage on the world stage. Brad, can you book Olivia and me first-class tickets to New York for September? Let’s book now to avoid the rush – and can you book the Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons? Olivia feels their Infinity Edge bathtubs are perfect for my back, and I love their Swedish Hastens Vividus mattress (I sleep like a baby). We’ll need their limousine service to quickly get us to and from the conference. And, for some reason, it’s the only hotel in Manhattan that carries the CBC!

Do we have to take Dewar? Probably best to leave him at home – Olivia and I are much more photogenic, no?

And, can you find out how many delegates are going to attend the Durban Conference? I’d like to give them all an Orange Jack Layton pen and pencil set – you know the ones with the natural vegetable dye inks? Perhaps we can package them in a recyclable paper box with my picture on the front (do we have the budget for four-colour printing?). And, then inscribe them with a “Happy Durban III from your friends at the NDP.” And, one last thing – have them numbered sequentially for authenticity. I have a feeling they’re going to be collectible.

This might be the perfect time for my maiden speech to the UN. But, instead of addressing the General Assembly, I can focus, like a razor, on human rights. And, that’s always been our specialty, no? All the right people will be there, so who can make this happen? Can you call Naomi and see if Stephen Lewis can make some phone calls? If you have to, tell Naomi we’ll give out copies of her latest book out along with our pen sets.

And, should we give the exclusive to the Toronto Star? Normally, I’d give it to Rabble, but I want to see this in print – perhaps a huge above-the-fold headline linking to a double-page colour foldout. Something like – “Jack goes to the UN” – complete with pictures of Olivia and I talking to foreign leaders. Or should I say engaging foreign leaders?


Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8th: Libby Returns...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Libby Returns!
Brad, thanks for organizing that welcome back party for Libby! She is exhausted, tired and just plain worn out from waiting in Greece for our great Canadian boat, the Tahrir, to set sail. I didn’t know it, but Libby’s been sea-sick for two weeks now and the ship’s bathrooms could hardly keep pace with all the sick passengers.

She says the docks of Athens are now swarming with gravol dealers, and that a small bottle is more expensive than crack cocaine. Anyways, to alleviate the sea sickness, the passengers had to all toke up (cause it’s cheaper), and Libby said the munchies were quickly eating up the food supplies, which is why she decided to pack it in and come home.

Libby is a true NDP hero and we are all so proud of her. They took a great picture of her at the helm when they made their attempt to leave Greek waters. They even gave her a captain’s hat! But, why wasn't she wearing one of my orange Layton Tees? But, no matter. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Front cover, baby, of our next newsletter! But, let’s make the story about NDP leadership and you can tie it in with our amazing diplomatic outreach.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with Paul Dewar! He set up a meeting with Miriam Ziv, the Israeli Ambassador and it was terrific. It did get off to a rather shaky start. She thought we wanted to hear her views and so she just went on and on and Dewar almost fell asleep. She finally clued in that WE were the ones with the advice! Of course, our main concern was Libby – so Dewar warned Ziv that if even a hair was harmed on Libby, the NDP would go postal. We were so tough that she was speechless! I don’t blame her – lots of people are speechless after they tangle with us.

And, Brad, while you’re at it, can you call John Baird and tell him we want to meet with the Greek Ambassador? For some reason, he's not returning Dewar’s calls. All we need is an hour – less if we do all the talking. Maybe they’ve heard from Ziv what tough cookies we are!

Perhaps that also explains why the American Ambassador kept avoiding us at his garden party on July 4th. I wanted to tell him that I am ready to fly down to DC anytime to meet with Barack. Perhaps I can advise him on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hell, we’ve shown we can make Parliament work, so who best to tell him how to make Congress work?

Brad, these are heady times for the NDP. First, the filibuster success, and now negotiating with Israel and Greece! Do you think I can be invited to address the UN in September?


Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th: Feedback on Canada Day...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Feedback on Canada Day
Brad, that was the worst Canada Day ever! I was all set to meet Kate and Will when Lemelin called and told me I had to serve burgers at the CUPW BBQ. He had me standing out there for over three hours doling out burgers and hot dogs and then I had to wash some dishes. My god, he had most of the caucus there cleaning up (he had more NDP MPs there than we get to caucus meetings). Let me tell you, my back is now killing me. And, no honourarium or anything - all I got after was a CUPW reusable enviro bag.

I’ve agreed to be on the cover of the next CUPW magazine dressed in a mail carrier’s outfit. But, Lemelin wants me to wear something off the rack rather than having it custom tailored! Can you talk to him about that? And, Olivia’s all bent out of shape because she wants an outfit too and she thinks we should both be on the cover. Olivia doesn’t buy off the rack, so there’s no room for compromise there. So, how about a picture of me delivering the mail to Stornoway with Olivia at the front door? Olivia’s even agreed to smile! Ask Lemelin if he can also get me a mail cart to roll around – I think I can use one of those at the cottage.

Libby’s stuck in Greece waiting on the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Apparently, her first-class cabin doesn’t have its own bathroom, and she hasn’t been able to find any vegan food. I guess with all the rioting the suppliers can’t get to the boat and that has made her a tad grumpy. She’s particularly upset that the satellite TV in her cabin has 589 stations but no CBC! So, she has nothing to watch while she waits. Is it possible for us to FEDEX over some cucumber sandwiches and a bushel of carrots for the trip?

And, while you’re at it, when you are sending that package to Libby, perhaps you can include Layton T-shirts for the crew and passengers. Imagine the photo op – the Israelis diverting the ship with everybody on board wearing an orange Latyon Tee. Make sure we send the shirts with my picture on both sides, not just the front. If the Israelis board the ship, we could get some major coverage world-wide, no? Time for us to think big here!

By the way, I’m still basking in the glow from the filibuster. But it’s the small stuff that’s getting us points. Those earrings that Papillon wears are amazing! I knew she was a good pick to run in Quebec City. It’s that sort of attention to detail that’s made us the official opposition. Can you send her a Layton Tee with a big thank you?


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28th: Lessons from the Filibuster....

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Lessons from our Filibuster...
Brad, boy did we catch the Conservatives off guard with our filibuster! Did you see Stephen Harper’s icy cold blue eyes? Of course you didn’t. My god, they were red! I caught him yawning 3 times! Baird could hardly see straight (a joke, Brad!). And, those guys never have any fun – gee, we had a slumber night; I counted at least 5 poker games; and Libby showed “I Love Lucy” reruns all night. It was like being back in University! I even won a few bucks.

I was really sad when Lamelin called it all off – I was all set for an evening of Murphy Brown. Olivia had even bought hot chocolate with those tiny marshmallows. Oh well, we’ll save it for the next filibuster.

I do think there were some key learning’s – I want to show that the NDP is open to change and that we can even make filibusters better.
1. That revolving poker game was a hoot! I can’t believe that Libby smoked us all out. Fuck, those NDP kids from Quebec don’t know squat about poker – I think they’ll be doing Friday duty for Libby for years. But, next time tell them they can’t crap out after losing a few hundred dollars – Goddam, they’re in the the big leagues now. And, tell Rae to get his own fucking game – I think he was looking for some easy marks.

2. Brad, can you call Van Loan? I think it would be much better for the next filibuster to use the Senate Chamber rather than the House of Commons. Since we’re rotating MPs in and out of the debate, we don’t need as many seats, and let’s face it, the seats in the Senate are much more comfortable. They’re almost made for a filibuster, no? I wouldn’t have to bring in all my extra cushions. If Van Loan agrees, we can play this up as yet another example of how the NDP is making Parliament work.

3. Can you keep Justin Trudeau away from our MPs? I think he was playing Hide and Go Seek with Brosseau and her friends. I can’t say for sure because they all ran when I walked down the hall, but I can tell Trudeau’s Armani shirts from a mile away. Can’t he play with his own caucus?

4. Can you call Lemelin and tell him not to text me 487 times in one evening. He was sending over amendments, talking points, and even fake letters from constituents. I mean, helpful stuff, but can’t you get him to text Mulcair or Dewar? And, can you tell Lemelin to give us some warning before he pulls the plug? We had just ordered in Chinese and we had to wait for the delivery.

5. Can you tell all the MPs to keep at least 3 changes of clothes in their office? The big win out of all this is that the Canadian public realize that we dress better than the Conservatives, but let’s really drive the point home in the next filibuster. And, can you ask the Speaker to perhaps loosen the rules for filibusters – perhaps easing the requirements for ties. Maybe we can get all party approval for this.

6. Olivia wants to know if she is entitled to overtime pay. I couldn’t see why not, but can you check with Privy Council office?
Brad, one last thing. Can you make a small statuette for the entire caucus to commemorate our first filibuster? And put on the back “Mr Layton Goes to Ottawa”. Let’s make it classy!


Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24th: The Filibuster...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Our Filibuster..
Brad, can you run a few errands for me while I am tied up in Parliament? I have a few overdue bills to pay, so can you quietly find an NDP staffer who can drive my cheques to Toronto and hand deliver them? I think Olivia also has a few things she needs delivered, and can you pick a few pairs of stockings from our house?

Jesus, sitting here all day has not only fucked up my back, but my haemorrhoids are killing me. Can you run out and get a few tubes of Preparation-H? You might want to text Libby and see if she needs some as well. Is there any chance I can bring in an extra cushion for my back? Perhaps you can check with the speaker if he’ll allow it? That big orange cushion (with my picture on it) in my office would be perfect. Perhaps we can make a deal with the government to shorten the debate if I can get my cushion. Once again, we can show how the NDP makes Parliament work.

As a nice touch for the caucus, can you go out and buy 103 of those neck pillows that people use on the plane? Get them in orange – it would be a nice statement if the whole caucus used them tonight. Do you think there’s enough time to put my picture on all of them?

Libby is getting crabbier and crabbier. If this goes on much longer, she’s going to explode in the house. First, she’s trying to get out of here to catch the Canadian Boat to Gaza. She has a first class seat and they’ve promised her only the best vegan food. All of her friends are on board and Rabble is paying her to cover the journey. If she misses the boat, life is going to be hell back in her riding. Secondly, she has to pee every 10 minutes and half the caucus has to get up to let her through. Mulcair refused to get up and forced her to jump over him and, let me tell you, that was a kerfuffle. When I suggested she use those adult diapers, well, let’s just say she was a tad miffed.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22: Feedback on the Convention...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Feedback on the Convention
Brad, I am totally exhausted from the Convention. I’m really happy Olivia insisted on using the corporate VIP box – the wine bar alone was more than worth the price! I don’t want to be picky, but can you tell them they need to stock a few more Quebec wines? Olivia also found the couches to be a tad on the hard side, so she had to send her staff to buy some throw pillows and an ottoman for my feet. It was a good thing you were able to talk the store into opening at midnight, otherwise Olivia would have been grumpy. I’ve attached the receipts, so please have the office send her a cheque as soon as possible.

It’s great that we’re so united, but the bitching and complaining was a pain. Every two minutes somebody was knocking on our VIP door telling on somebody. Libby was upset that Mulcair accidentally spilled his apple juice on her seat. Dewar complained that Pat hogged the cucumber sandwiches at the Vegan Circle lunch. Comartin didn’t think it was fair that Brosseau’s seat was three rows in front of him. And, the young socialist bunch was really pissed when they were called the young socialites in the programme. But I had to laugh when Judy suggested we take the word ‘socialite’ out of our constitution! I never knew she had a sense of humour.

I didn’t know that Libby was on garbage patrol. I can’t believe she had her team go through all the garbage and send me a report. For Christ’s sake, it was 27 pages single-spaced! She found 178 Harvey’s wrappers; 135 KFC boxes; 457 water bottles; 265 hot dog wrappers from vendors outside the Convention Hall; 477 Coca-Cola cans (diet and regular); 389 condoms (a new NDP record by the way); 18 crack pipes; and 235 needles. What was most troubling was that she found over 190 copies of the National Post! If I know Libby, she’s now checking the security tapes and dusting those papers for fingerprints; I told you she watches too much CSI.

Brad, can you have a chat with Dewar? When I saw that the initial turnout from our youth wing was poor, I sent him over to bail some of them out of jail. But, he had to miss half of the first day and he wasn’t happy at all. Dobbin thinks they rioted because of Preston Manning and I think he’s onto something. Can you get him to work this up into a speech on, what I would call, the Manning Generation? Give the speech to Dewar and let him run with it – perhaps he can get some testimonials from some of the kids he bailed out – you know, blaming Preston?

Brad, I was delighted to see that the Broadbent Institute will be opening in the fall. Is there anybody in Canada who is more qualified to bring some ethics back into government? Can you call Ed and see if he can put Olivia on his Board of Directors? But first, find out if the Directors get a honourarium. If the pay is right, she might also be willing to teach a course or two. In return, I think I can get Rabble to be a co-sponsor of the Institute – gee, we can make it the Rabble-Broadbent Institute. A win-win situation for everybody!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 16: The Convention

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: The Convention
Brad, I am a bit disturbed by that girl Brigitte’s proposed keynote address to the Convention. She sent in a draft and it’s just not up to spec. Here’s her first paragraph:
We have to stop Harper. Like, he’s so much a dictator. I mean, like we need an Arab Spring in Canada. We have to stand up, like really tell him he didn’t get our vote. C’mon Canada, tell Harper he’s so last year. Like don’t even friend him in Facebook. Hash-tag-fail in the extreme!
Not bad, but can someone perhaps clean up her grammar? Let’s sharpen it up - maybe Pat can add some invective. At least she has the big picture. I’m really happy she is using my hash-tag-fail line!

Did you call Suzuki and cancel his keynote? He wants to know where to park his 3 buses, and whether they can plug into the power at the Convention Centre. He’s also asking about his dressing room and whether we brought in 20 cases of his favourite beer from Saltspring Island. He says this is all in the rider that he faxed over this morning. For fuck ‘s sake, it’s 20 pages! He even wants doves to fly from the podium as he ends his speech! Brigitte takes precedence so find out what David wants to keep him happy. We’ve already bought 4,000 of his books, do we now have buy his DVDs?

Libby had her usual tantrum this morning. She says the Canadian Boat to Gaza People have built a scale model they want to roll onto the stage and then put on a small play. She wants me to play the captain of the boat. When I told her I was way too busy, she just went beserk. I mean she was crying that I don’t love her and that I don’t care about Gaza. I had to agree to get Olivia to play the captain which I guess is also good for gender equity. So, can you call Olivia and tell her the fitting for her costume will be tomorrow at CUPW headquarters downtown? Tell her she even gets a sword.

And, that reminds me. Is everything set for Olivia’s big entrance to the Convention? She says we have to pick the right sort of music for her – something regal yet common. And, are the applause signs working? Please check them out -- Olivia will go nuts if people don’t go nuts when she arrives. How do we get everybody to stand? Print signs? Cattle prods? Do we need a rehearsal? Let’s not fuck this up – because if we do, I’m the one who will suffer.

I’ve been getting complaints from the new Quebec MPs about our plans for food at the Convention. It seems that some of them are NOT vegans. I thought we screened these people. They’ve actually circulated a list of the McDonald’s locations near the Convention Centre. Tell Mulcair that if I see just one McDonald’s bag or wrapper at the Convention, I’ll have his fucking MPs spend a week with Libby de-toxing. And, no fries either.

Hans Modlich of the socialist caucus is driving me bonkers. Have you seen their resolutions? Sheesh, they even want proportional representation within the NDP! They also want our policies binding on elected officials, and they want the party to fund local riding associations. Those guys go too far sometimes. I mean building bridges with Cuba and supporting Venezuela are fine, but trying to change the party? C’mon. If only the Canadian Boat to Gaza had left yesterday, we wouldn’t have to put up with this crap.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 14: Leaked! Memo from Justin Trudeau....

Memo to: Luc Cousineau

Re: My Seat in Parliament
Luc, is there any way I can change my seat in Parliament? Sitting in front of Elizabeth May is killing me. First, she just can’t stop whispering, and that laugh of hers just totally, like really, grates my nerves. Baww, every time, I take a drink from my water bottle, she smacks me on the back of my head. But, that’s not the worst. Yesterday, she asked to use my hair spray three times during the day, and I had to send a staffer to buy a new bottle before adjournment. She also wanted to use my hair brush, but I told her enough is enough.

BTW, I love the new NDP freaks – like, they’re so cool. I’m sort of their big brother – kinda – they didn’t have a clue where to smoke some 420, so I showed them the best places to take a toke. Can you call my dealer and cancel my next shipment? I think I’ll just mooch off these guys for a awhile. Its funny seeing them get the munchies – man can they down the Big Macs and fries during break time. No vegan shit for them!

That last caucus meeting was so fucking boring. I mean, like, Rae just thinks he owns the place. With Ignatieff, I could just sleep through the meetings – and with 73 MPs I could just sit in the back and hide. But, now, with only 30 people, Rae actually assigned seats to everybody and he fucking puts me right in the front. Then he had the nerve to ask me questions in front of everybody. Like I have all the answers! Duh, doesn’t he get it? Fuck, I thought the 2 hour meeting was going to drag on, like forever. Luc, do I have to attend all the caucus meetings? Those NDP boys say that Jack does all the talking in their caucus meetings and that they don’t have to say a thing.

And, why on earth did Rae make me fucking critic for University and Colleges. Like I even have a degree! But, it’s cool, I’ll get to spend more time on campus, and it will make it easier to attend Israeli Apartheid Week. Do you think I can be a guest speaker at some of the events in 2012? I love it when the babes start talking about sanctions and boycotts!

Luc, can you get a quote for some Justin 2012 t-shirts? When the EDA gets its refund from Elections Canada, I want to make 5,000 of the suckers. But, not just any t-shirt – let’s make them Armani. Giorgio showed me some new designs when I was in Italy last year, and he said he could tweak them for my new campaign. Something that says brash, something that says substance. Can you call him? And, can you ask him, like, where’s my last order?


Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12th: The Canadian Boat to Gaza...

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Canadian Boat to Gaza...
Brad, I’ve been getting all sorts of phone calls and e-mails from people asking about our position on the Canadian Boat to Gaza. I am very, very concerned about this project, and I have some tough questions that I want answered immediately. As you know, the NDP takes the moral high ground whenever possible.

So, can you ask Libby to schedule an appointment with me to go over some of the following questions about the Boat?

First, is the Boat being built by Canadians? I’d like to know the level of Canadian content. Is union labour being used? Are all the materials used in production bought through fair-trade methods? Is there diversity amongst the workforce? Are womyn involved?? Will the boat serve vegan food? Will there be halal food? Will smoking be permitted on-board? Are there facilities on-board for disabled people? Are all signs on board the ship bilingual, as well as in Braille? Is there an Insite facility on-board the ship?

Will the staff on the ship provide a caring community environment? Will there be good natural light? What is the level of recycling on board the ship? What are the waste policies? Are fair living wages going to be paid to all workers? How many hours is the work week? Will workers receive overtime payments? Are there pension benefits? Maternity leave? Are there compost facilities on board?

Is there a training manual for all workers? Will there be an orientation session? What about safety training?

I also want assurances that no child labour will be used. Is there an harassment and abuse policy?

Have carbon offsets been purchased for the ship?

Brad, tell Libby to come with answers! Human rights are not just a slogan to the NDP – we live and breathe human rights every day. I want to ensure that the Canadian Boat to Gaza is completely ethical.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7th: Brigitte Marcelle!

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Brigitte Marclle

Brad, let’s cancel Suzuki’s keynote at our upcoming 50th Anniversary Conference in Vancouver. I mean he’s good, but he’ll go on and on about the end of the world. I have no problem with that, but then the solution is always more and more David. And, why does his solution always entail buying more of his bloody books??? As if only he can save the planet. Sigh, he’s so old-school. To be honest, let’s go with someone with a positive attitude – Brigitte Marcelle has accepted our offer to be the keynote. She’s a can-do type of person and I want to inspire the troops, not get them all depressed.

Can we take her “Stop Harper” sign and make some slight changes? Let’s make it orange, and then put my face on the back. Then we can add a small handle so people can wave them! Can you get a quote on 4,000 of these suckers? What a sight that will be – everybody in the Convention Centre waving my “Stop Harper” signs, I mean, our “Stop Harper” signs. The press will eat this up – Craig assured me that CTV would play this up big-time, and Milewski even said he wants 20 of our signs for his local crew!

And, what a collectible piece they would make, no? Everybody is going to want one. So, we need to actually make more than 4,000. But, before you print up the signs, let’s make sure we trademark the “Stop Harper” slogan. This could be a huge money-maker for the NDP – signs, buttons, t-shirts, hats, pens, etc. Can you get Brigitte to sign a release form – I don’t think she really needs a cut of the action, do you?

I can sense some trouble with Libby. So, can you make 50 of those signs with Libby’s face on the back? That way, she can give one to all of the attendees at our ‘vegan circle’ lunch. If Libby wants more, she can buy them at our special MP price. Brad, I hope this heads off another one of her meltdowns. Yesterday– she was not one bit happy with how she appears on TV during question period. So, right in the middle of things, she tries to change seats with Mulcair, because she feels that his seat would highlight her better side. Mulcair wouldn’t budge and I had to promise Libby I’d see if I can change the camera angles. So, can you call Van Loan and see if they can adjust the cameras? Yet another area where the NDP can work with the Conservatives to make Parliament work.

Brad, if the Stanley Cup finals go to a game seven, I believe it will overlap with our Conference. So, here’s my plan. Let’s smuggle in 5,000 of these signs and get people to wave them during the game.

I assume everybody will wave them, right?

This will give us national coverage on the CBC and if we time this for when Don Cherry’s segment is on, we’ll hit a sweet spot. Cherry will go nuts! He’ll be frothing at the mouth, no? If we get him to go off the deep-end on national TV, I bet we can sell thousands of the suckers. And, guess what, who needs that fucking $2/vote subsidy when we can sell all of these “Stop Harper” signs???

Don’t you love our new can-do attitude?


Saturday, June 4, 2011

June 4th: The start of Parliament and other stuff....

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: The start of Parliament and other stuff...

Brad, is it too late to change seats in Parliament? It was torture waiting to be called into Senate for the throne speech. Between Libby chewing my ear off and Mulcair sticking his tongue out at Rae, I just couldn’t concentrate. That was bad enough, but then the two of them got into a fight and she reached over and kicked him! I had to call a time out. I counted to ten and told them I wouldn’t allow them to hear the throne speech until they promised to behave. I knew I should have sat next to Dewar – he doesn’t even snore when he falls asleep.

I was totally blind-sided by this report that claims I am the most uncivil MP in the House! Has this idiot Sevigny ever heard Mulcair speak? Gee, he’s hardly even civil with me. And, what about Pat – he’s downright annoying, no? I had to have the caucus draw short straws just to see who would sit next to him in Parliament. The worst part of this whole sordid episode is that Olivia just can’t stop giggling. And, did she have to tweet the story to the whole caucus?

But why did the press even report this? I thought they liked me. That’s what they always tell me. They keep telling me they all vote NDP. When I tell them I am the conscience of Canada, they always agree. I think they know that I don’t just speak for the NDP; I speak for the people. Brad, they bury so much other stuff on us; you’d think they would have had the good sense to ignore this one. Can you have a word with some of them and see if we can get them back on track? And, what happened with Milewski? He usually warns us about this sort of stuff.

Ralph Goodale called me yesterday to complain about getting kicked out of his office. I’ve known Ralph now for over 20 years, and I am quite upset about this. I understand we’ve now moved him to a basement office, with no windows, in west block. That wasn’t what I had in mind when I said we need to move some of the Liberals out. That fucker is still way too close. Couldn’t we find something further away? I was kind of thinking about cleaning out a broom closet somewhere in Gatineau and sticking him there. And, while we are at it, let’s take his parking spot. Call Van Loan and tell him this is another area where the NDP and the Conservatives can work together to make Parliament work.

It was great getting our first pay stub yesterday. I can tell you I can really use the extra $75,000. But, Olivia was shocked when she opened her envelope and saw no change. She was under the impression that the Shadow Cabinet gets hefty raises. Brad, is there anything we can do about this? Olivia is, how should I say it, a touched pissed that people like Mulcair get an extra $40,000 and Charlton gets an extra $28,000 – and that’s just for being the stupid whip. Had Olivia known she wasn’t going to get a raise, she would have put her hat into the ring to be speaker. When you call Van Loan, please tell him I might be amenable on Senate reform if we can get a big chairperson job for Olivia and a few extra bucks. Again, I am willing to compromise to make parliament work.

I got an angry phone call from Suzuki late last night. He says we haven’t bought the necessary carbon offsets for our upcoming Conference in Vancouver. And guess what? He just happens to have a company that sells carbon offsets. Anyways, to make a long story short, I agreed to pay, I mean buy $75,000 worth of his bloody offsets. The big problem is that David, being David, assumed that HE was giving the keynote at our Conference. This means we now have to bump Naomi – but I can’t deal with the family. Naomi will call Avi, Avi will then call Michele, Michele will then call Stephen, Stephen will then call Ed, and then Ed will call me, and I’ll have to donate to yet another African charity. So, can you call Avi directly? Tell him Al-Jazeera can have an exclusive on our ‘Zionist Entity’ seminars at the Conference. And, yes, he can even sit next to Libby.

I called Denis Lemelin, the National President of CUPW to talk of my extreme concern about the postal strike, and it impact on Canada. I believe the strike should have been put off until the Canadian Boat to Gaza had finished their fundraising and not before. We are all relying upon CUPW to get this initiative off the ground, and any delay in freeing the people of Gaza is just not acceptable. This selfish strike action has the whole caucus up in arms. Can you call Sid and see if CUPE can replace CUPW? A least Lemelin assured me that striking workers can still make the trip.

And, can you call the Insite people and see if we can get them to set up at the Conference? A number of our MPs have indicated it might be awkward to leave the Conference and head on down to the Insite location downtown. So, let’s bring Insite to the Conference. I think it will improve attendance dramatically. But, can we add some sort of rule for conference attendees – no more than 4 needles per day? Is that reasonable? What about just 2 needles per day for MPs? Should we put some limits on the press, or will they shout about press freedom?


May 30th: Quebec & the NDP 50th Anniversary Convention

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Quebec and the NDP 50th Anniversary Convention
Brad, those new MPs from Quebec are driving me crazy. Right after I told reporters that Quebec deserved more seats in the House, a bunch of them came to see me asking for more delegates to our upcoming 50th Anniversary conference in Vancouver. Ravignat wants to bring all 319 members of his Ottawa Medieval Sword Guild! I wasn’t sure what to tell them, so I said that the only way that could happen would be to change the NDP constitution.

The problem was that I then couldn’t find the bloody constitution. I had our 2 maids turn our houses upside-down and it was nowhere to be found. Because of this, the maids didn’t have time to clean out the hot tub and Olivia had to miss her hydrotherapy session. Needless to say, I’m in some real hot water.

I then called Ed and he spent a week searching for it. Eventually, he found a copy at his summer cottage – it was in a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory in the basement. By the time he got it back to me, it was pretty grimy. Anyways, turns out we cannot change our constitution unless there is a two-thirds vote at the conference. I called Dusseault to tell him the rules and he threatened to move a motion to change it to 50% plus one.

Is this chutzpah or what?

Let’s be clear - you don’t just change constitutions – particularly a political party like the NDP. There’s a reason why we put it at two-thirds vote. Don’t they know they’re in the big leagues now? Brad, can you go over the constitution and see if there’s some sort of procedural move we can use to stop them?

Then Libby called. She wants Rabble to co-sponsor the conference and to change the name to “The NDP – 50 Years of Rabble”. Pretty clever, eh? When I told her that Rabble didn’t deserve top billing, she had a fit. She threatened to hold her breath until I agreed. Fortunately, after 40 seconds she came up for air. But, I had to give Rabble exclusivity at our award presentation for Journalist of the Year. When I told Libby that Heather Mallick was winning the award (rather than Rabble’s Gerry Caplan), she was furious! Brad, if you let Heather and Gerry share the award, Libby says she will get you a preferred seat on the Canadian Boat to Gaza. Sounds like a deal to me, no? We can all go home winners.

We also have an issue with the keynote. Judy Rebick called and said she wants to speak on “Contextualities and Discourse: Zionist Hegemony, George Bush and the Oil Economy”. Wow! Who wouldn’t want to be there for that?

Then Naomi Klein called and said her keynote, “Zionist Hegemony: Deconstructing George Bush Narratives through Iconic Imagery in the 21st Century” was all set to go.

What a 1-2 punch!

Then, out of the blue, Sunera Thobani texted me to say she was ready with “The Capitalist Voicing The Queer: George Bush, Theory and Collusion.”

Imagine the riches at our Conference!

The problem is that we only have room for 2 keynotes. Brad, what should we do? At the last Conference, Rebick kicked me in the shins when I insisted her speech couldn’t be over 3 hours. Can you imagine what she’ll kick if she doesn’t get a keynote at our 50th?



May 25th: Feedback on orientation last week

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Feedback on orientation last week
Brad, hearty congratulations to you for the incredible orientation session we had in Parliament last week. It was amazing to see so many NDP MPs walking the halls – and the press just lapped it all up.

Jane Taber’s puff, I mean excellent, piece in the Globe & Mail on Brosseau just blew me away. Did you write that? Or did Jane actually write it herself? As soon as the paper came out, I got over 40 calls from other new MPs wanting to be profiled. Dusseault’s mother left at least ten messages on my answering machine – she wanted to know why Brosseau and not her son? Isn’t her son good enough for the Globe? Brad, how did all these people get my cell phone number? And, as of this morning, I have 37 new messages to go through.

I am very concerned about Libby. She tried to push the Globe vending machine down the stairs after she saw the profile. She was breathing so hard, I thought we’d have to get a defibrillator. Did you know the Globe has never written an in-depth article on Libby? Well, after 15 minutes of yelling, I now know that! She only stopped when I promised her that the next NDP newsletter would have her picture on the cover. Please call the editor and have her schedule an appointment with Libby – and make sure there are no questions about Brosseau - Libby is still a bit touchy.

Libby wasn’t the only one who was pissed. Olivia actually called John Stackhouse, the editor of the Globe & Mail to demand why she’s never been profiled. I think even John learnt some new words! So, we need to make a deal with the Globe – a profile of Olivia (including a colour picture on the front page) and I’ll let the Globe have preferred parking for their bicycles at our upcoming conference in Vancouver. Is that enough? If you have to, tell Stackhouse that Taber can have an exclusive covering our ‘vegan circle’ lunch. By the way, Olivia has given me a list of questions the Globe can ask her.

We also need to sort out the parking spaces in Parliament. First, Dewar parked his Volt in Ignatieff’s space, assuming it was free. Then, Ravignat parked his new Lexis in Cannon’s spot, thinking that he also gets his parking space. Anyways, when Ignatieff and Cannon showed up, they had to park in other spots, and soon there was complete gridlock – the RCMP had to come down to clear it all up, and that’s why we all started 2 hours late. I called Van Loan and said this might be a good project for the NDP – we can fix the parking problem in the basement! You see, thanks to the NDP, Parliament’s already working better.

It also sounded like there was a fucking demolition derby in the basement. First, Brosseau scraped Olivia's Beemer, and it’s now in the shop for two weeks. She is still bitching about the lack of leather seats in her replacement car. Then Dusseault rear-ended Pat Martin's Corvette and security had to be called to pull them apart. Three agents from State Farm Insurance were in my office all afternoon. Can you sort this out, please?

And, that reminds me. That last revelation about made-up resumes has me worried. What’s next? That Libby failed toilet training? Seriously, can you check to see if all these new MPs actually have valid driver’s licenses?


May 19th: The Shadow Cabinet & Libby

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: The Shadow Cabinet & Libby
Brad, can you tell those idiotic new MPs to stop texting me about the shadow cabinet? Brosseau sent me 348 texts today and I can’t even understand them. I know she doesn’t speak French, but does she even know Standard English? Ever since I made that stupid Hashtagfail joke, everybody thinks I know the twitter lingo. And tell Ravignat to have his Ottawa Sword club stop messaging Olivia –she went over her limit and Rogers suspended her account. Boy, was she pissed! I think Ravignat's going to be sitting way in the back of parliament...perhaps in the corridor near the kitchen.

And, for some reason, he thinks Olivia makes all the decisions! Can you believe it? By the way, ask Olivia if she’s gone through all the resumes.

Can you have a word with Libby? Last week, she asked me to attend a Nakba demonstration. When I told her I was busy training Brosseau, she had a complete meltdown. I could only get her to calm down by promising to have two minutes of silence for the Nakba at our upcoming Conference in Vancouver. Couldn’t she bug Mulcair or Dewar for a change? Why is it always me? But, you’re right; her face does turn an amazing shade of red after 10 minutes of yelling.

I’ve been thinking hard about the shadow cabinet. I think we should have some sort of ceremony to ‘swear’ everybody in. I don’t mean bibles or any of that shit...and we certainly don’t need the Governor-General (Olivia will do, thank you very much). Do you think we can still use Rideau Hall even though the GG won’t be invited? If not, speak to Sid about using a CUPE hall. If he asks for a speaking slot, just be polite and say no. He’ll scream for a few minutes, well, maybe more than just a few, but just wait him out.

I don’t want our ceremony to look like Harper’s. Who can we consult on this? Maybe we can fly in Maude from the UK to help out. If I know her, she’ll want to splash ‘holy water’ on everybody. But, let’s make the event meaningful. Perhaps everybody can get a brand new set of beads and maybe we can all smoke a peace pipe. Olivia can ‘bless’ everybody after we finish chanting.

And, let’s make this a CBC exclusive. They’ll eat it up – and I think they might even let me play some guitar. Call Milewski and tell him this story has his name all over it. Do you think we can get prime time? Perhaps, Sunday at 8:00 PM? I’m sure they could bump “The Nature of Things”. I’ll get Olivia to call David – the last time I had his show bumped he was just a wee bit angry! He threatened to support Elizabeth nationally and I had to agree to bulk buy his latest book for our convention delegates – 4,000 copies. And he still wouldn’t give us a fucking discount!

I want to be bold with the shadow cabinet. For instance, I want a shadow cabinet minister for peace. Let MacKay and Baird talk all they want about freedom and democracy and all that shit. The NDP’s not fooled – we all know what that really means. I was thinking of Libby – after all she does have all those tie-dyed shirts and that incredible collection of peace buttons – but I think with all the yelling and screaming that she’d be better off as our chief whip, no? Call Dewar and let him know he’s our peace guy! He does like corduroy sports jackets. Do you think we can get him to smoke a pipe?

So, we now need a shadow minister for fair trade, a shadow minister for NGO outreach, a shadow minister for alternative energy, and a shadow minister for taxation. I’ll leave it to Mulcair - these would all be great jobs for some of the new MPs – but if I know him, he’ll just pick some names out of a hat.


May16th: Feedback from our first caucus meeting

Memo to: Brad Lavigne

Re: Feedback from our first caucus meeting

What a blast! After getting a 15-minute standing ovation, I couldn’t help but throw my cane away and do a little jig – gee, that Brosseau woman can dance! What a great addition to the caucus! She livened the whole place up! Good thing it was before Olivia came into the room.

And, that reminds me - we need a firmer hand on NDP protocol. Can you please tell the caucus that they must stand when Olivia enters the room? She purposely waited 20 minutes to make a grand entrance and then nobody stood up. I can’t tell you how pissed she was! That made her really crabby for the whole day – and my back just can’t take sleeping on the couch.

Brad, we’ve got to work on the vocabulary of our MPs. First, while I don’t mind shouts of “Allahu Akbar” at caucus meetings, I don’t want to hear it during Question Period. Secondly, please tell Libby to chill out. She blew her stack when Mulcair used the term “Israel” rather than the “Zionist Entity” – and, believe me, 20 minutes of Libby yelling and screaming isn’t fun. But, what a pair of lungs, eh?

I’ve attached the seating arrangements for Parliament. Libby won’t be happy, but I’ve put her down at the end of the front row next to the Liberals. Let’s hope she sits next to Rae – she’ll drive him crazy! Mulcair begged me to put Brosseau next to him, but it will take a few weeks before she is front row material. I told him that if he continued to bitch I’d put him next to Libby. That shut him up! He hasn’t texted me in a week!

I understand there’s a shortage of office space in West Block for the whole caucus. I’ll be happy to share with Brosseau. She’s going to need some private tutoring, no? Is there any chance you can assign Olivia to East Block? Tell her the Privy Council made the office assignments, and it was all out of your control.

And, can we use the roof? Let’s put up some solar panels and take the NDP caucus right off the grid. Do you think we could force the Liberals in West Block to buy our excess power? It might be time for a more muscular NDP, and just charge them, whether they like it or not! The profits could then be used for a roof garden where we could grow our own food. Also, can you send some of the new MPs to gather the berries that grow behind Parliament Hill? They might as well do something constructive. Don’t you think this would make a great photo opp for Rabble?

It is very clear that we need to have some in-house seminars to get our new MPs up to snuff. So, call Noam at MIT and see if he can come up for a weekend. Maybe he can bring Finklestein with him to talk about the Middle East. Tell him to leave his books at home – last time, he wanted to charge full retail and he wouldn’t autograph his books unless people bought them. And, find out if we can show Fahrenheit 9/11 in the evening. I’ve seen it 7 times and I still learn something every time I see it. If Noam is busy, perhaps Ward Churchill can make it.

I received a lot of tweets complaining about the singing of the national anthem at caucus meetings. To balance things out, how about singing a song about Gaia? Call Suzuki and see if he knows a good environmental anthem for us to sing. But, don’t tell him we’re inviting Noam for some seminars, otherwise, he’ll just show up. And, then he’ll send us another one of his bloody invoices.


May13th: First Caucus Meeting

Memo to: NDP MPs, Brad Lavigne

Re: First Caucus Meeting

I want to congratulate all incoming MPs – I know you all worked hard to win your riding.

Our first caucus meeting is on May 20th at The Green Door Restaurant (198 Main Street) starting sharp first thing in the morning at 10:30 AM. We’ve booked the entire restaurant , so no worries about what you say. By the way, caucus meetings are vegan only (Libby goes ballistic if she even sees cheese). I heartily recommend the cucumber sandwiches.

Olivia would prefer if everybody could bike to the restaurant. If you don’t have your own bike, Brad has just received a shipment of sturdy 1-speed bikes from China. You’ll love them!

There will be press outside and I want them to get some great pictures of everybody arriving. Please do NOT talk to the press, unless they are from Rabble. You’ll be able to recognize the Rabble folks because they’ll all be wearing Keffiyehs. You can count on them to get the facts right.

A short note about the dress code. Orange, orange, orange. Enough said on that.

If you have to wear a button, then please only wear the standard orange NDP buttons. Leave your Cindy Sheehan and George Bush buttons at home. I don’t expect suits for the guys – but for those of you who don’t own a sports jacket, please see Brad for our list of union tailors.

For all of our womyn - please no sleeveless shirts – I don’t want people to think you are from Sun News.

Brad has arranged a nice surprise for everybody – we’ve gotten the National Cane company to market a ‘Jack Layton’ model, and everybody will go home a shining brand new cane. Limit is one per person, but if you want some for your friends and family, Brad can give you a link on the web.

We typically start our caucus meetings with the National Anthem. For those of you don’t know the lyrics to O Canada, please check your handouts when you arrive. We’ll also be singing Gens du Pays. If you can’t pronounce the words, then please hum along!

Remember not to tweet during our meeting. But, to help you after the meeting, Brad will be giving out our platform in 140 word segments.


May 3rd: Renovations at Stornoway

Memo to Brad Lavigne
Re: Renovations at Stornoway

Brad, I want to hit the ground running, so please read this memo carefully – I want all the renovations at Stornoway to be finished before the end of May.

As you know, I plan to take the bus to work during the winter. Unfortunately, the recent cutbacks to buses in Ottawa means that the #2 no longer stops in front of Stornoway. Please schedule a meeting ASAP with Mayor Jim Watson and see if some infrastructure dollars can be used to restore service. I’d like the #2 to stop in front of Stornoway at 7:30 AM, and I’d also like the route changed slightly to pick me up in front of the West Block at 8:00 PM. Make sure the buses on this route are all hybrids.

In the summer, Olivia and I plan to bike to work. Right now, there’s only a viable bike path for about half of my route. Talk to the Head of the NCC and see if they can quickly put together a bike path right to our front door. There’ll be a huge photo opp the first day we bike to work, so please see if you can set up some sort of viewing gallery for the press.

While Olivia loves the kitchen (but, please see her separate memo about new colours and new floors), we need to install a second kitchen on the other side of the house. When the union boys come over, I’d like to feed them burgers and the like, but when our vegan friends come over, I want the finest raw food in the country (local produce only). Two separate kitchens and two separate cooks will keep our constituencies happy. By the way, the last time I was at Stornoway (for that awful lunch with Ignatieff and Duceppe to discuss the coalition), I noticed that Israeli humous was being served. Libby will have a hissy fit if she sees this, so please take it to the food bank in Ottawa.

Thus, in terms of personnel, we can let go of the chauffeur (but can we get him into subsidized housing to ease the transition?) and replace him with another cook. Since we are hiring another person, we can qualify for the new NDP small business incentive of $4,500. Perhaps that money can be part of the severance package for the chauffeur.

I want to dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of Stornoway. If we assume two limousines, a full house of people, I estimate a total of 75,000 lbs of CO2 emissions per year. If we take a peak month – let’s say 9,000 lbs and multiply by 12 – we can get a normalized total of 108,000 lbs of CO2 per year. Let’s announce an immediate 10% target reduction from the 108,000 figure. It won’t be hard – you’ve seen the backyard – I think we can get 4 windmills in there easy.

Please talk to the staff about changes to holidays. I’d like May Day to be a regular holiday at Stornoway. Great day for burgers with the union guys. Earth Day (April 22nd) is very important to Olivia. Please ensure the power goes off for the whole day, rather than just one hour. Now, do you understand why that vegan kitchen is so important?

Please take care with the handling of my eight guitars. I’d like to put on regular concerts for the press, so can you turn two of the bedrooms into a mini-performance room? Do you think we can televise my first concert? Speak to the CBC. Their reporters always sing along with me.

One last thing. Was Ignatieff a TV junky? There are cable TV jacks all throughout the house. Well, hasn’t anybody noticed that you don’t need cable to get CBC? Call Rogers and cancel our cable, and buy one of those rabbit-ears for the roof; take the savings and donate them to Rabble.