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Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy holidays!

Many thanks to all the readers of the blog! I hope that all is well with you and yours this holiday season and would like to wish you all the best in 2012. Let it be a positive year, in spite of all the odds.

Best regards,

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Saturday February 11th from 2 to 4 pm at the Riverbend Library (Rabbit Hill Road and Terwillegar Drive)
Income inequality is a very old issue, but the problem is that it is only becoming worse. Since the 1970s, the top 10% of Canadians by personal wealth at least doubled their share of all wealth. In the same period, the income of most Canadians has remained practically the same, or even shrunk, leading to an increase in the level of poverty in our communities: 10% of all Canadians today live in poverty. This is not simply a statistic. This is the everyday reality for millions of people in our country. Do you have anything to say about this? Would you like to hear other people’s opinions on ways Canada can resolve the gap between the wealthy few and the struggling many? Please join us for our first Round Table of 2012!

Facebook event:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bigger cuts to services mean bigger bonuses?

Globe & Mail reports: "Axe-wielding executives in the public service stand to earn big bonuses based on how much they cut in the run-up to the 2012 federal budget." How does this make you feel?
Does this mean that if a bureaucrat fires 1000 people instead of 100, he gets a bigger bonus? It does seem so.
Does this mean that if an over-zealous staffer proposes to, for example, relax environmental controls, his office will only benefit from it? It does seem so.
Does this mean that the Harper Conservatives couldn't care much less for what we all think? Easy question...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Notes for the Election Report to be made at the Edmonton-Leduc NDP AGM

Election result – 11,488 and 19.3%. Best for the party in the riding’s history. Best for non-Tories since 2004.
NDP 1st in 4 polls (1 in Brander Gardens, 1 in Royal Gardens, 1 in Sweet Grass, 1 in Blue Quill Estates).
We are second in all but a handful of the rest of the polls.
We have a very good result in several other polls in Royal Gardens, Riverbend, Hodgson, Blue Quill, Greenfield, Sweet Grass, Duggan, Steinhauer.
We have significantly improved our standing in a number of polls in Aspen Gardens, Brander Gardens, Brookside, Rhatigan Ridge, Buylea Heights, Henderson, Leger, Haddow, Terwilleger, Ogilvie, Skyrattler, Ermeniskin, practically all of Leduc and all of Devon.
Importantly, while we jumped almost 8% and almost doubled our vote count, the result for James Rajotte went up by less than half a percent point. Given the number of new areas and residents since 2008, this cannot be good news for the local Tories.
Discouraging news for everyone in this election is not only the fact that the Tory vote still went up, but also that the turnout increased by just 3%. Still, this is the highest number of people that voted ever in Edmonton-Leduc.
Once again, heartfelt thank you to everyone that participated in the campaign. Our canvassers and volunteers in the next campaign will meet more former NDP voters than ever before. We are definitely moving forward. We still have a long way to go, but if we don’t stop now and wait until the next election, we’ll get a lot done. Thank you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Southwest Edmonton NDP AGMs coming up

Thursday, October 6 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Southminster-Steinhauer United Church
10740 - 19th Ave
Edmonton, Alberta

GUEST SPEAKER: Elisabeth Ballermann, President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta

Edmonton-Leduc Federal NDP

Edmonton-Whitemud Provincial NDP
Edmonton-Rutherford Provincial NDP

Find out what the SW Edmonton social democrats are up to these days.

You don't have to be an NDP member to attend!

Facebook event

Saturday, September 10, 2011

$500,000 spending limit per leadership candidate, really?

I almost feel like supporting the NDP leadership hopeful that doesn't spend more than a few hundred dollars on the campaign. Given the fact that dozens of federal riding campaigns throughout the country in the 2011 election worked with around $15,000 budgets and thus could only ironically smile at suggestions of "second mailers towards the end of the campaign" and "larger signs placed strategically", the $500,000 spending limit per candidate in the leadership race doesn't sound anywhere reasonable to me. I don't know, maybe I'm new to this and don't understand something important that would make this a logical number, but I don't see how spending some 33 riding campaign budgets (times however many candidates there will be) on an in-party race in a social-democratic party makes sense. Running a Facebook page and a Twitter account, together with support for a wide online discussion and the opportunity of asking questions at a series of public forums (which several candidates can hold together) doesn't cost half a million dollars. Please, don't prove me wrong! Let's use this outrageous amount of money (which must be available, or else why would it ever be mentioned?) on revitalizing a bunch of riding organizations, holding interesting events and training sessions, organizing a joint fund to support innovative approaches in grassroots campaigns, staying in the mainstream media, anything else that will prove more worthwhile in the long run.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Round Table Discussion on Labour Rights and Privatization Issues in Canada

Hoping to see many of you at the non-partisan Round table discussion taking place on Sept. 20th starting at 7 pm at the Riverbend Public Library in Edmonton. Representatives of CUPW, CUPE, the Council of Canadians (and the federal NDP) have confirmed attendance.

Facebook event:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Shall we stop calling things "politics"?

A number of events of the past week really got me thinking on whether the omnipresent terms "politics" and "politician" are adequate and even appropriate to describe the actions and people usually tagged as such. Just to think of it - someone orders that hospitals be shelled (or "inspires" gun battles in and around hospitals, while patients and doctors suffer and die) and people be burned in their homes, and they are officially political leaders. Other individuals live the whole life caring for their neighbors, the environment, fight against corruption and hatred, playing an indispensable part in building a more just society - and we call them politicians. The same goes for "political". An organization calling for community-destroying school closures and the privatization of our health care system is political, just like the grassroots groups working for safer communities, literacy, access to medication. So what is "politics"? Is it greed, violence, deception, crime and total lack of any moral and ethic guidelines? Or is it compassion, love, optimism, not asking for anything in return for help? If it's both, then maybe it's time to stop using this pointless label.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The dubious achievement of renaming things

Stephen Harper and his party seem to have a real urge to rename objects and organizations, place labels and signs on things, and do all of this in the name of Canada. Looking back at their previous "achievements" on this front of "work", it's possible to predict/guess what they will turn their name-calling or name-changing efforts to further:
  • 2009: "Annual Budget of Canada" renamed "Canada's Economic Action Plan"
  • 2010: Tony Clement's Slush Fund renamed "G8/G20 Expenses"
  • 2010: The War in Afghanistan renamed "A training mission in Afghanistan"
  • 2011: "Government of Canada" renamed "Harper Government"
  • 2011: The word "royal" reinstalled in the names of Canadian military
  • ????: Stephen Harper's riding of Calgary Southwest renamed
  • ????: Ottawa renamed
  • ????: Parliament renamed
  • ????: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms renamed
  • ????: Canada renamed

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Attempt at a conversation with Minister Raitt

Mrs. Raitt,
As you've started your tenure as a Labour Minister with a major breakthrough in taking labour rights in Canada into the 19th century, here is some advice for the future (as the tough-on-workers approach will surely provoke more strikes, not fewer):

  • Fastest way to decrease unemployment: stop recognizing those unemployed as workers at all. Just start treating them like a nuisance that can be easily disregarded. Pat on the shoulder from neanderthal colleagues guaranteed.
  • Easiest way to push through back-to-work legislation: quickly claim that anyone opposing the legislation is unpatriotic and wants to kill the economy. Get a few sunny-news papers and TV channels to spread the word. Everyone goes back to work while you can go back to sleep.
Something to think about.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thank you

Dear friends,

It has been a privilege to run as the New Democrat candidate for Edmonton-Leduc. I'm honoured to have received the support of almost 11,5 thousand of voters in our riding - this is the best result for progressive politics in our riding in the past several elections. During the campaign, I've been fortunate to rely on the help and advice of a wonderful and dedicated group of volunteers and I would like to thank each one of them, as well as every person that joined our campaign for positive change by donating, taking a sign or simply engaging in meaningful dialogue about ways to build a better future for Edmonton, Leduc and Devon.

Please note that my weekly show on Leduc Radio continues after the election and I plan to remain actively involved in keeping our MP accountable to voters. The campaign website will remain up as a record of our campaign, but updates will only be made to my blog at for now.

Once again, thank you for your kind support. It really means a lot to me.

Artem Medvedev

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Where to vote?

Find out HERE

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Sunday May 1st

We're spending the last day of the campaign as actively as ever!
Interact with our team throughout the day at the following locations:
  • Leduc Recreation Centre
  • Main Street Leduc
  • YMCA on 111st in Edmonton
  • Terwillegar Rec Centre
  • Riverbend Library
  • Whitemud Crossing Library
  • 119 Street
  • 23 Avenue
  • 111 Street
  • Calgary Trail
  • Ellerslie Road
  • Rabbit Hill Road
to name just a few. Interested in joining our efforts, email Artem at or call him at 780-222-6175 throughout the day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Saturday April 30

From 10:30 am to 1 pm, our team is in Leduc, first joining the Leduc Black Gold Days Parade downtown Leduc and then dropping by the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC).
Throughout the day, we are campaigning at various shopping malls, two public libraries and two recreation centers in Edmonton.
Campaign trail phone number is 780-222-6175. Messages can be left at 780-421-4821. I can be reached by email at

Let's make history out there, people!

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Friday April 29

At 2:30 pm, we are campaigning next to Confederation Recreation Centre and the two schools right next to it.
At 7:30 pm, I'm speaking at an all-candidates forum organized by the Muslim Association of Canada at former Lessard Mall (6102-172 Street).
Throughout the day, our volunteers and I will also be appearing at Riverbend Public Library, Whitemud Crossing Public Library, Terwilleger Recreation Centre and various shopping malls in the riding. Let me know if you would like to join our efforts in these crucial last days of the campaign!
The phone number to catch Artem and the team on the campaign trail is 780-222-6175.

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Thursday April 28

Thursday we are in Edmonton again. If you need to track us down, call 780-222-6175.

Meeting at Bear Mountain Cafe in Southgate at 3:45 pm.

  • Confederation Rec Centre
  • Lous St. Laurent School
  • Ainley School
  • Whitemud Crossing Library and shopping area
  • Terwillegar Rec Centre
  • Riverbend Library and shopping area

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Wednesday April 27

  • On April 27th we are campaigning in Devon and then having a BBQ with Jack Layton in Edmonton!
  • Starting 10:15 and until 4 pm - Artem and the team making spontaneous appearances throughout Devon.
  • At noon we are holding a larger meet-and-greet next to the Devon Royal Canadian Legion on the corner of Superior Street and Athabasca Avenue.
  • Our campaign then moves to Edmonton for a BBQ with Jack Layton - first national party leader to pay a visit to Edmonton-Leduc this election. Join Jack, Artem and other Edmonton-area NDP federal candidate at 5:30 at Fort Edmonton Park.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP: upcoming events

  • Jack Layton coming to Edmonton-Leduc! Wednesday April 27th at 5:30 pm - join Jack, Artem and the other Edmonton NDP candidates at a BBQ at Fort Edmonton Park.
  • Artem and his team will be visiting various shopping malls and other public spaces in the riding throughout the next week. Daily itineraries posted on Artem's blog at
  • Attending all-party meeting organized by Muslim Association of Canada on Friday April 29th at 7:30 at former Lessard Mall (6102-172 Street).

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Tuesday April 26th

This Tuesday we are campaigning in Leduc!
Starting from Edmonton at 3 pm (meeting at Bear Mountain Cafe at Southgate).
Main Street Leduc - around 4 pm.
Corinthia Plaza
City Hall
Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC)
City Centre Shopping Mall
Leduc Town Square
Shopping Centre across from City Centre
Return to Main Street Leduc

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaigning Itinerary for Monday April 25

1                Terwillegar Recreation Centre - meeting at 10 am
2                Riverbend Library
3                Riverbend Square Shops
4                Rabbit Hill Road Sobeys
5                Rabbit Hill Road Shops
6                Westbrook Shopping Centre
7                Aspen Gardens Shopping Centre
8                Petrolia Shopping Centre
9                Confederation Recreation Centre
10           Duggan Shopping Centre
11           Whitemud Crossing Shopping Centre and Library

Friday, April 22, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP Campaign diary, continued

Dear friends,
With only a week till election day, the campaign needs your help like never before. We are seeing wonderful response and support in the community, but need to keep the momentum going.
1) We are organizing a series of meet-and-greet events for next week. Please check the campaign website later this weekend for details on times and locations and let me know ASAP if you would like to volunteer.
2) We are still in great need of phone and foot canvassers, as well as people to help with the signs. Either call me at 780-421-4821 or respond to this email if interested.
3) The two candidate forums went very well and drew good media attention in the riding, but we need your help spreading the word that recordings of parts of those forums are available online on our YouTube channel Also, if you know of events I should attend as candidate, please let me know - there are several events in planning stage, please consult with the website for information.
4) If you can donate to the campaign, please either donate online at or send a cheque written out to "Bohdan Harawymiw, Official Agent" to Bohdan Harasymiw, 5034 Whitemud Road, Edmonton AB T6H 5B1 or call 780-437-6629 to have your cheque picked up. Any help is deeply appreciated!
This has been a great 1,5 years of campaigning! Thanks for your help, everyone!
Artem Medvedev
Edmonton-Leduc NDP candidate

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Second all-candidates forum in Edmonton-Leduc

Tuesday April 19th at 7:30 pm: All-candidates forum at Southminster-Steinhauer United Church in Edmonton. See you there!

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Days 18, 19, 20, and 21

Monday, April 11, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Days 14, 15, 16 and 17

As you can see from the gap in posts, we've been really busy here in Edmonton-Leduc.
  • Canvassing efforts becoming more intense: more and more people want to engage in doorstep discussions and even debates, sometimes in groups. Great job on the part of several of our volunteers for keeping up-to-date on details of the NDP platform and Tory/Liberal performance stats. People are obviously impressed.
  • Our Volunteer Appreciation Night / Leaders Debates Watching Together Night is this Tuesday. Many thanks to Somayya and his family for hospitality.
  • First all-candidates forum in the riding coming up this Wednesday at 7 pm at Leduc Composite High School. See you there?
  • Signs from the Tory and Liberal candidates starting to pop up. We are still the most visible campaign in the riding, due to strategic placement at most visible locations. Actually had some problems with over-zealous volunteers on that front last week, but it's all good now. Enthusiasm is commendable.
  • Make sure to listen in to our radio show at 6:30 on Wednesday on . The same website/station will continue at 7 pm to broadcast audio and video live from the candidates forum. We will be recording some as well.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

First Edmonton-Leduc candidates forum coming up!

Wednesday April 13th at 7 pm: All-candidates forum at the Maclab Centre for the Performing Arts (Leduc Composite High School, 4308 - 50 Street in Leduc). See you there!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Days 11, 12 and 13

Too busy to write for the past few days.
  • Spoke for the NDP at an all-party (the Conservatives didn't attend without giving a reason) forum at Concordia University College. It's refreshing to see young people actively engaged in the political process, genuinely alarmed about the state of our democracy. Several questions: about early child education, green economy, Libya, small businesses, the need to vote. A big thank you to the organizers and all that attended.
  • We're having a sign blitz this Friday at 7 pm (meeting at Terwillegar Rec Centre front desk). Going to make our campaign much more visible!
  • Our website gets over 100 new visitors every day. We'll be over 3000 in April if the interest in our campaign keeps up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Representing the NDP at an all-party forum this Thursday!

Thursday April 7th at 11 am: Artem Medvedev participating on behalf of the NDP in an all-party forum in the Tegler area of Concordia University College in Edmonton.
I hope to see you there! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 10

Based on our active stage of pre-election canvassing so far, it's possible to single out the following groups among area voters:
A) Not home. Or home but not opening the door. This group further includes those with "Don't put stuff in our mailbox" signs. I would say this group is the more mysterious one, as we have no idea if/how they will vote in the May 2nd election.
B) Old supporters: People that brighten up the day of our canvassers with invitations to come in for a cup of tea, people asking us for signs and extra brochures to share with family and friends.
C) New supporters: former Tories who just can't make themselves vote Conservative this time around, former Liberals that cannot look at the "new" Red Book without smiling a little, former non-voters that see that Canadian democracy is at a turning point and voting really does matter
D) The undecided. A big group at this point, which will shrink more and more as we keep going. Many of these in our officially super-conservative riding are leaning towards the New Democrats. The phrase I hear most from this group is "Well, I'm definitely not for the Tories".
E) Liberal and Green supporters: certainly do exist, although many are complaining to us (for some reason) that they aren't seeing their local campaigns. Most of the people in this group are quite friendly, seeing the unifying goal of kicking James Rajotte out of here.
F) The biggest mystery of them all: Conservative voters. Slammed doors, "thank you, but no thank you"s, hand wavers and head shakers. I sincerely have no idea as to why anyone would want to vote Tory in this election, but we are seeing such responses too.

Don't ask me for percentage divisions into these groups. All I can say is that group A is quite large, which is a bit disappointing at times, but groups B and C are not only evident but clearly growing since the last election.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 9

About to leave for some more canvassing.

  • Sign placement is going well. If you live in the riding and would like to have a lawn sign, please let me know and we'll deliver it shortly.
  • I'm apparently the first (and so far only) federal candidate in Alberta to sign the pledge for civil elections (organized by an organization called exactly that)
  • I've signed the pledge to work to eliminate poverty in Canada
  • The all-party forum for this coming Thursday is now confirmed. Please check campaign website for details on this and other forums.
  • Still trying to find where the Edmonton Sun is putting the interview that they called for on Thursday morning.
  • The preliminary spending limit for candidates in the riding is just over $100,000. No further comment.
  • Both happy and unhappy that Friday April 15th is the last day of teaching for this term. More time for the campaign, yes, but I love BOTH politics and teaching, so this is not good, when you look at it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 8

What? He has time to blog in the middle of the day?!
Just unsure if I'll get to my computer after returning from canvassing tonight.
  • Sign placement is going quite well. Of course, the hardened ground and the icy snowbanks and the dirty puddles make the work of the signs team more enjoyable than desirable, but this is why our whole campaign team applauds everyone participating in this exercise.
  • I may be speaking at an all-party forum organized at Concordia University College of Alberta this coming Thursday April 7th. Don't have any details so far, but I think this would definitely be a fun and informative experience.
  • Seeing a drop in emails and phone calls on Friday, I was shocked! I will have to take a few weeks vacation when the election is done =) Campaignoholic...
  • Was in Linda Duncan's riding today - see of orange and green. We'll get there too!
  • I'm now officially confirmed as a candidate by the Returning Officer - my Official Agent, Bohdan, will be picking up a box of materials (and apparently also a CD - any guesses? music? vintage computer games?) from their office on Monday.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Days 5, 6 and 7

Was too busy to write for the past few days, and have a lot to report:
  • We now have a Campaign Manager. Thanks for your help, Aaron!
  • The number of volunteers and sign locations is growing almost hourly. Let's keep it rolling, people!
  • The website hits a new record number of visitors every day. We went to almost 700 visitors in March overall. The number of people Googling for information on the campaign and the riding.
  • Two candidate forums are being scheduled. I will post information on the website shortly.
  • Was interviewed by the Edmonton Sun yesterday. Look out for something covering our riding within the next little while.
  • We are running an an in the Edmonton Senior with the tagline "Pensions or Prisons?"
  • This afternoon, our riding association president, Bob, and I are going to the Elections Canada RO to submit nomination signatures and finish up all the formalities.
  • New pictures were posted on our Flickr page.
  • If you have some time to contribute, please contact me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 4

Day 4 of the election campaign was, as all the previous ones, successful and busy.

  • I conducted canvassing training for 2 new volunteers, both of whom are an excellent addition to our team. Welcome, Jay and Brad!
  • Canvassing today brought several fence-sitters over to the NDP side. People most unhappy about the Tory-Liberal corporate tax cuts, the state of health care, access to education, and taxation. Many looked surprised to see an NDP candidate at their doorstep. A recurrent phrase - "Well, I'm certainly not a Conservative!" Sounds good to me =)
  • Sign placement has started, although we are still trying to figure out an apparent City of Edmonton bylaw that prevents us from putting signs on public property for the next few days. What is funny is that after we had placed just a handful of signs someone left me a message "I just saw your sign! Cool!"
  • Several candidate forums appear to be in the works. I will publish more details when I have them.
  • Our Twitter account went over 700 followers, surpassing a few more Liberal and Conservative MPs and candidates. We are just getting started! The Twitter account can be accessed by clicking on the Twitter badge on the right side of the screen.
  • The campaign website partly crashed when 25 people tried to access it at the same moment. Problem fixed now.
  • New pictures put on our Flickr account, several new additions are from the campaign launch with Jack Layton this past Saturday. The Flickr account can be easily accessed by clicking on the Flickr badge to the right of this message.
  • As always, looking for more volunteers and sign locations!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 3

Have half an hour before the team starts assembling for our first meeting during the actual campaign (we've had numerous meetings since nomination, of course). The day so far has been quite good:
  • I made a brief statement and answered several questions at a public forum held at the University of Alberta. Thanks to the organizers and to Rachel Notley for inviting me and for this opportunity to address the questions of students. I'm also grateful to several people tweeting at the event and to Aditya Rao for even putting a picture online while I was still talking: . I was teaching a class within an hour of the event's start time and so had to leave early, but this was certainly a great experience.
  • As I returned, I discovered messages about a media opportunity, two donations and several new volunteers waiting for me.
  • The team meeting starting shortly will deal with volunteer direction to work more than actual volunteer recruitment for the first time. We have a number of really dedicated people anxious to get into battle and they will have every opportunity of doing so immediately!
  • Of course, the campaign still needs your support. Signs and ads and leaflets are not cheap - if you can donate, please either write a cheque to "Edmonton-Leduc NDP" and mail it to 14719-51 Ave NW Edmonton AB T6H 5E6 or go to this link to donate online with a credit card. Volunteers are needed as well! Please contact me for details.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 2

Had an interesting and fruitful day today.
  • Organized a short canvassing training session for a few volunteers in the morning, then canvassed for 4.5 hours. Several new sign locations identified, several signatures added to our Elections Canada documentation (we should be ready to march down to their office in Edmonton by Thursday at the latest), several very nice supporters found. 
  • Had a rather lengthy doorstep discussion with an undecided voter in the Greenfield area - he had questions about health care, pension reform, childcare, taxation, Tory "hospitality" expenses - and left with definite support for the NDP and a sign location on a major street. 
  • At the very end of the canvass, talked to a former Conservative supporter who said that he "just cannot force himself to vote Tory this time around". Music...
  • New volunteers identified in Edmonton, Leduc and Devon. Sign placement to activate tomorrow.

Edmonton-Leduc NDP campaign diary, Day 1 going to Day 2

At the suggestion of one of my volunteers, Aaron, I will try and use the blog as a means of sharing step by step, day by day information about how our campaign here in Edmonton-Leduc is progressing starting with the writ drop and until election day. Don't expect this to be punctual (as this very first post shows), as of course the work on the ground will take precedence to my blog.

Day 1: 
  • Getting numerous calls/emails/Facebook and Twitter notes from people interested in volunteering for the campaign. Responding takes some time, but I try to keep it is personal as I can, therefore no "Thank you for your email, someone will get back to you", of course.
  • Signatures for Elections Canada are almost 100% ready, I think we have 10 to go, so should be ready to go and submit those papers within the next week.
  • Our signs are arriving and the Signs Director, Al, is putting together a solid team to have a lot of those out in the next 10 days. Of course, the snow and the ice would make the sign placement an exercise of great resilience and strength...
  • Canvassing effort continues at a high level. Of course, we need more phone and foot canvassers, so let me know if you are available.
  • Jack Layton launched our campaign at a very well-attended rally at the Art Gallery of Alberta. One phrase that really sunk in was "Stephen Harper must have decided that if he broke one promise, he might as well break the rest of them." To the point.
  • The day concluded with a short meeting with new and old volunteers discussing strategy.
Day 2:
  • The day is just starting, but I may have no chance of writing again till Monday.
  • A large group assembling today at noon for a major canvassing effort. We'll start with a training session for those new to canvassing and direct voter contact.
  • The website shows a record number of people (70) coming to our website in just one day. With this kind of exponential growth we'll be up to several hundred people by May 2nd.
  • Twitter account keeps attracting more people as well, having just passed a couple of MPs in popularity. Will try to keep it interesting =)
  • Of course, as expected, the thoughts of "have I done enough in the pre-election campaign?" are attacking my brain viciously. Reassuring words from family and friends getting me back on track. Thanks, everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some ideas for Mr. Ignatieff

Okay, so Mr. Ignatieff seems to be searching for a good metaphor and not finding it, so proceeding to the next one. It used to be those boutique parties, now it's the "red door and blue door - there is no other choice" variant. First of all, of course, this brings up the whole Matrix moment of "red pill vs. blue pill", as multiple people have already noted (the first one I caught was Christopher White here in Edmonton). If that's an image Mr. Ignatieff wanted to invoke, I'm still trying to grasp it - this may be deep... The words "red door" actually got me thinking of a fire exit, while "blue door" reminded of the "house with a blue door" in "Notting Hill" (gosh, that was a while ago now). Again, the comparison is strange and doesn't seem to work. I cannot take this any longer so here is a list of a few suggestions for Mr. I. to use, that could work just as well or even better (in no particular order):

1) "You can like pizza or you can like coffee - you cannot like both nor can you like anything else": this may add that down-to-earth component to Mr.I's image.

2) "You can be 5 feet tall or 6 feet tall - these are your only options": may narrow down the electorate a bit, but worth trying out as well.

3) "There are buses and then there are spaceships - decide!": may ring a bell with both the transit and the space exploration communities, which will definitely appreciate the attention.

4) "Toronto or Yellowknife - no other places to live in": may help with the whole 'GTA liking Liberals less' question.

5) "Orange door or green door": sounds familiar, but no less fact-based and interesting, so why not give it a try as well?

6) "Good vs. Evil: choose wisely": sets the bar a bit high, but is doable, resolves the dichotomy once and for all.

This can go on forever, but you get my point. Explore! Discover! Surprise us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Are you sure this is an actual budget?

Looking at the so-called "federal budget" the Tories had made public today, I can't but wonder if they've mistakenly released some joke version or inside version that had never been intended to be seen by Canadians. Some of the points made in this "budget", such as the "increased support" for seniors in poverty and the one-year revival of the EcoEnergy program, are, simply put, cynical and clearly showing how little Stephen Harper and his party care as to what people say. But now that they've released this joke of a budget, I really hope that people will say something very soon and throw this contemptuous gang and its anti-social ideology out.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Let's throw this "government" out!

Many thanks to everyone who has contacted me in the past few days with a common message of "How long can we keep the Harper government in power?!" Believe me, if it were only up to me, it wouldn't have been long before the Tories would have had to stand up before Canadian voters and finally answer the main question - how can you pretend to have Canadian values at heart when you care nothing for democracy, honesty or even decency? It is high time for Stephen Harper and all of his acolytes to go. Our political and social system can withstand a lot of harm (and has already suffered in the hands of the current Canadian Harper Government), but there is a limit. The Tories are way beyond that limit. Just to think of it - a Canadian Harper Prime-Minister saying "You win some, you lose some" in response to the Parliament Speaker's ruling that his government may be in contempt of Parliament (and through it, in contempt of Canadians)...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Another letter to the Edmonton Sun

Dear editor,
Your "un-electable candidates" and "unrealistic alternatives" discourse reveals more about your ideological stance than you might think. Tell the people in Linda Duncan's riding and the people of Manitoba and Nova Scotia that they didn't elect NDP and explain to them why.You cannot fool all the people all the time. Social-democracy is more popular, more realistic and more electable than the Tories, Liberals and Edmonton Sun want us to believe.
Artem Medvedev

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A letter to the Edmonton Sun

Dear editor(s),
It seems that the Letters to the Editor section isn't used by you appropriately.
First of all, many letters appear to be edited in such a fashion that sentences no longer make any sense grammatically or meaning-wise.
Secondly, your comments following each letter leave much to be desired in terms of reader-friendly and objective journalism. Just recently, you wrote in response to my letter regarding Harper's Orwellian hypocricy in the Bev Oda case that "the NDP are an anachronism, not a realistic alternative". Fortunately, the 2,5 million Canadians that supported New Democrats in 2008 didn't share this view. If saying something against governmental fraud and lies is an anachronism to you, perhaps you should consider a career change.
Artem Medvedev
Edmonton-Leduc NDP

Monday, February 21, 2011

I need your help, people!

Yes, this is a shameless call for volunteers sent out by means of the blog. Blame me if you need to, but first - please join our team here in Edmonton-Leduc. You don't need to be actually living here, as there are a lot of projects, such as research and online media help, that we could use a hand in. You don't have to spend a lot of time on the campaign - even an hour a week would be appreciated. You don't even have to be a 100% NDP supporter - just a positive person wishing to make a difference.

The list of available work is not exhausted by the following:
  • canvassers
  • phone canvassers
  • volunteer recruiters
  • advertising director
  • canvassing director
  • online media helpers
  • researchers
  • area contacts
  • literature distributors
  • designers
  • webmaster
Please email me at , call me at 780-421-4821 or contact me through Facebook or Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you!
Artem Medvedev, NDP Candidate for Edmonton-Leduc

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Well said, Mr. Dobbin

I don't remember the last time I had read something online that struck me as so well-phrased and well-argumented:
The way to move us from apathy of the most and activism by a few to a truly open democratic society indicated here is clear. Let's be bold, let's be different, let's win, friends!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are there really "losers" in a democracy?

Harper's constant "loser parties" discourse, repeated once again this week in the 5-year-summary interview for CBC, really got me thinking whether he understands how a parliamentary democracy is supposed to work (no doubt, he does understand how he makes it work for his and his banks/corporations advantage).
Does a party really "win" if they get less than half of the votes? To follow the same line of thought, does the party really "win" if it gets 100% minus 1 vote? I'm really sorry for Stephen Harper (and Michael Ignatieff, for that matter), as one day the truth will manifest itself to them, the fact that unless we are in a 2-party system or a 1-party system, both of which are made specifically for those rulers and groups that cannot stand to be called or considered "losers", there are, actually, no "losers" in a truly democratic and equal and fair parliamentary system. A party that gets 1% of the vote is a winner as much as the party that gets 45% or, however unlikely, 60%.
If each Canadian's vote is of equal value and we all build this country together, then why would the opinions expressed by groups be evaluated only on the basis of numbers, percentages, seats?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Civilized political discourse is still possible

With the persistent Harper-Ignatieff "coalition partners" and "boutique parties" discourse picking up within their parties and splashing over into the language of the media, it is difficult to see a different way in which we could hold discussions of what is happening to Canada and how we see the steps necessary in the future. It seems sometimes that this Us vs. Them or Us vs. Losers or Liberal vs. Boutique or Tory vs. Non-Canadians discourse is the only way to go. The reasons for that are understandable - it's easy to split the world into dichotomies that don't really ring true and don't really last, but work for the beauty of one's phraseology or the value of one's self-appreciation. Harper and Ignatieff's tragedy is, perhaps, that they appear to honestly (erm... what's the word? "Sincerely"? No, that's not it either...) think that this kind of kindergarten talk in politics does them and their parties a favor or that it's even good for Canada. I beg to differ. Yes, with these two bully-like individuals around it's becoming increasingly tough to stay within the boundaries of civilized, respectful, reasonable conversation. Does that mean we should all give up trying?