Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Should Don Cherry Be Awarded The Order Of Canada?

Tonight's poll question, do you think Don Cherry should be awarded the Order of Canada? Today Michael J Fox joined the club with two other people, and once again Don Cherry was not recognized. We are talking about an iconic figure who gets a rock star reception virtually anywhere he goes in the country. One could also argue that he is a divisive figure that breeds animosity. I have watched Coach's Corner virtually every week for just about my entire life, in addition to owning a large collection of Rock'em Sock'em videos. The Don's influence on my childhood is likely the reason I regard Europeans as whinning, prissy, babies. Which is ironic considering 100% of my ancestors came from Europe (all my grandparents were born on this continent).

So what do you think? Should he become a member of the Order of Canada? I can think of a few people who are in that club who don't belong there. Michael J Fox, I will not object to. I absolutely loved Back to the Future, except maybe the 3rd one. It is fun to watch Back to the Future 2, and look at what they thought the world would look like in 2015. We should have flying cars in the next 5 years. Though my own opinion on flying cars is that there are enough drivers on our roads who can barely drive in 2 dimensions, I don't know about opening up a 3rd dimension to civilian traffic. You could be asking for trouble.

Why We Shouldn't Cry For Elin Woods

Elin Woods, Mrs Tiger, has been awarded a 750 million dollar settlement for her husband's infidelity, which should soften the emotional blow. The news on the radio is that she was given a little extra if she agreed to never speak publicly about their marriage. In May 2009 Forbes estimated Tiger's net worth at 600 million, and he lost a lot of endorsement money thus far in 2010 (and sat out the second half of 2009 with a knee injury). It appears on the surface that she has taken just about all of his money. That does seem excessive, especially considering Tiger was a more dominant golfer before the two were married. Unlike Mrs Michael Jordan, Elin can't claim any credit for any of the career success her husband had.

If Tiger just agreed to give away most of his material wealth as an act of penance, should we change our opinion of the man?

Important Jobs: No Experience Required

I have noticed a growing trend among Democrats in the United States, that evidently having little to no relevant experience is now considered to be an asset when applying for a job. When Obama was campaigning to be President, he was actually running on a lack of experience. Now we have his second Supreme Court nominee, who has never sat as a judge and the Dems are calling it "refreshing". I have always wanted to be an astronaut, and I think what most qualifies me for the position is no formal training or experience. Forget "space travel as usual", I would bring a fresh new perspective to a tired aged profession. I'm sure if I applied to be an airline pilot, my prospective employer would find my lack of flying experience "refreshing".

Goodbye Larry King

Of all the people currently employed in the American media that I would like to see resign their positions, Larry King was not very high on my list. I can't say that I was a fan, he just wasn't someone who excited any animosity in me and I enjoyed watching some of his interviews with compelling guests. Anytime I did watch, it was more for the guest than the host. The thing that really bothers me about his retirement is who CNN may bring in to replace him. Apparently Ryan Seacrest from American Idol is the lead candidate, which I don't have an opinion on because I have never watched American Idol. Just please don't let it be Joy Behar. I can't stand Joy Behar. Though I don't know why I care, because I very rarely watch CNN anymore.

My nominee to replace Larry King would be Tucker Carlson.

God Save The Queen?

Are you excited that the Queen is visiting Canada? Will you be traveling to a location near you to possibly catch a glimpse of the Monarch? Personally, the British crown does not appeal to me and I would rather we cut our official constitutional ties with the mothership. Nearly every man that I have met in my entire life who speaks with a British accent has insulted me after I mentioned my Scottish ancestry. The most common joke being about sex acts with farm animals. As a result, I don't have a fond opinion of the British. Never in my life have I been sexually aroused by sheep, much less any form of livestock.

My general opinion is to Hell with England. I don't want the Queen to be my head of state, and my preference would be to cut all formal ties with England.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G20: Dalton's Fake Law

Turns out that on Friday when Toronto's chief of police announced the new measures that anyone coming within 5 meters of the G20 security fence would be detained, he was in fact not telling the actual truth. Those particular powers were never instituted, and nobody was arrested for that transgression. It is unclear whether the chief knew that law was not in effect when he made the statement, or if it was intended to discourage protesters from conducting their disobedience directly in front of the fence. The law that was passed by the McGuinty government was to make the area inside the fence public land, with the same jurisdictional status as say a courthouse.

Even if it was a mistake for the chief to announce a new law that wasn't actually a law, they were told shortly after that there was a mistake, but nobody corrected it (even Dalton McGuinty who was under fire for allegedly introducing the law). As a matter of fact Dalton has been decidedly quiet on this whole episode of Ontario life. The longer Dalton stays in power, the more withdrawn he becomes, which seems to help him deflect responsibility for anything.

NHL Free Agency

NHL free agency is fast approaching, and with that I would like to ask which player you would like to see your favourite team sign? July 1st has become more exciting than the trade deadline day or entry draft, though this season's class of free agents is relatively weak. 35 year old Sergei Gonchar is looking for a 4 year deal because he plans to play in Sochi in 2014. Kovalchuck is the most talented offensive player on the list, but he is in danger of bolting back to Russia for a monster contract. The Canucks are supposed to be taking a run at Dan Hamhius, though their draft day acquisition of Keith Ballard gives them a solid top 6 defense.

Name, Last Team, Age, 2009 Salary
Olli Jokinen, Rangers, 31, $5,500,000
Ilya Kovalchuk, Devils, 26, $7,500,000
Mike Modano, Stars, 40, $2,250,000
Chris Higgins, Flames, 27, $2,250,000
Paul Kariya, Blues, 34, $6,000,000
Alexander Frolov, Kings, 27, $4,000,000
Ray Whitney, Hurricanes, 37, $3,550,000
Fredrik Modin, Kings, 34, $3,500,000
Raffi Torres, Sabres, 27, $2,750,000
Alex Tanguay, Lightning, 29, $2,500,000
Tomas Holmstrom, Red Wings, 36, $2,250,000
Keith Tkachuk, Blues, 37, $2,150,000
Pavol Demitra, Canucks, 34, $4,000,000
Lee Stempniak, Coyotes, 26, $3,500,000
Scott Walker, Capitals, 35, $2,500,000
Sergei Gonchar, Penguins, 35, $5,500,000
Kim Johnsson, Blackhawks, 33, $5,300,000
Pavel Kubina, Thrashers, 32, $5,000,000
Paul Martin, Devils, 28, $4,500,000
Anton Volchenkov, Senators, 27, $3,200,000
Dan Hamhuis, Predators, 26, $2,500,000
Evgeni Nabokov, Sharks, 34, $6,000,000
Marty Turco, Stars, 34, $5,400,000
Jose Theodore, Capitals, 33, $4,500,000
Chris Mason, Blues, 34, $3,000,000
Ray Emery, Flyers, 27, $1,500,000

Canadian "Civil Liberties"

Should blocking traffic be a constitutionally protected right? Should I be allowed to stop traffic to protest a speeding ticket? Should physical aggression of any kind against a police officer be protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? If an officer instructs you to walk in the opposite direction, should it be your right to walk towards the officer while shouting verbal threats? The right to protest is one thing, but just how far should the leftards be allowed to push the envelope? Because as we are micro-analyzing the G20 conference held this past weekend, these are questions we should be asking.

And to those who want to blame ALL the disobedience on the black pajama brigade, there were plenty of non pajama clad clowns taunting officers, pushing against police lines, throwing punches, and verbally threatening the brave men and women who took time away from their families across the country to protect Toronto from itself. Certainly the CBC is able to find plenty of citizens rabidly pissed off at Stephen Harper for anything that the protesters did, it is the Liberal stronghold after all. In their mind it is not the fault of the protesters, it is the fault of police or the Prime Minister. On the weekend people like Warren Kinsella were pissed off that the cops didn't do enough, and then on Monday all the left were pissed off that the cops did too much. There is a brutal double standard in these very tense circumstances.

Monday, June 28, 2010

June Polling vol I

Here is the first half of my polling results for the month of June 2010. What would you call Iggy's summer bus tour? Who should be the Prime Minister's deputy? What would you name a newly merged Liberal/NDP Party? What should Al Gore's next documentary be named? Who is the funniest living Canadian? What is the all-time best Canadian television show? Where possible I have linked the blog post that launched the poll, and to view a complete history of my polling results, click here.


No (54%)
Yes (40%)
Undecided (6%)


Under The Bus Tour (26%)
Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone Tour (25%)
Wheels Off The Bus Tour (19%)
Harvard or Bust Tour (13%)
Magical Mystery Tour (10%)
3 Hour Tour (4%)


Yes (53%)
No (43%)
Undecided (3%)


Yes (50%)
No (44%)
Undecided (6%)


No (89%)
Yes (11%)
Undecided (0%)


Daydream Believers (23%)
New Socialist Party (21%)
Communist Party of Canada (20%)
Liberal Democrats (13%)
Lippers (11%)
New Ditheral Party (8%)


No (95%)
Yes (4%)
Undecided (1%)


No co-operation at all (48%)
Formal merger (42%)
Non compete pact (5%)
Coalition only after an election (4%)


Yes (78%)
No (19%)
Undecided (3%)


Yes (71%)
No (24%)
Undecided (5%)


Tories (77%)
Liberals (14%)
Bloc (7%)
NDP (2%)


An Inconceivable Douche (24%)
The Tipper of the Iceberg (20%)
An Incorrect Truth (16%)
Al Strikes Out (10%)
A Conveniently Large Ethanol Investment (10%)
A Convenient Mistake (10%)
An Inconvenient Prenup (7%)


No Interest (44%)
England (18%)
Whoever is playing North Korea (13%)
United States (9%)
Germany (4%)
Netherlands (4%)
France (2%)
Mexico (2%)
Italy (1%)
Brazil (1%)


Jason Kenney (26%)
Peter MacKay (25%)
Maxime Bernier (19%)
Stockwell Day (12%)
John Baird (8%)
Lawrence Cannon (4%)
Jim Flaherty (2%)
Tony Clement (1%)


0% - 25% (49%)
26% - 50% (19%)
76% - 100% (18%)
51% - 75% (12%)


Iran (79%)
Saudi Arabia (6%)
Syria (4%)
Turkey (3%)
Russia (2%)
Lebanon (0%)


Leslie Nielsen (18%)
Mike Myers (16%)
Jim Carrey (16%)
Russell Peters (13%)
Brent Butt (10%)
Ron James (8%)
Rick Mercer (5%)
Norm MacDonald (4%)
Dan Akroyd (4%)
Eugene Levy (2%)


No (60%)
Yes (30%)
Undecided (10%)


Yes (97%)
No (3%)
Undecided (0%)


SCTV (26%)
Red Green Show (19%)
Corner Gas (17%)
Trailer Park Boys (9%)
Kids in the Hall (7%)
Due South (7%)
The Littlest Hobo (6%)
Street Legal (2%)
North of 60 (2%)
DaVinci's Inquest (1%)


No (79%)
Undecided (12%)
Yes (9%)

How About We Blame The Protesters?

There is a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking going on today in the Canadian media, with CTV and the CBC focusing almost entirely on the protests and their aftermath, with little to no mention of the important things that took place inside the fence. Some are angry that the police overreacted to protests, others are angry that they didn't do enough to prevent the destruction. How's about we put the blame where it is due, with the clowns who were aggressively confronting the police officers? People have the right to assemble in protest, but they don't have the right to throw punches at police officers and destroy property. It baffles me that after a bunch of hooligans go on a rampage; and here our major news networks are blaming the police for the insanity of others???

Shouldn't we be talking about what was accomplished at this Summit? On the "global bank tax" where many CBC pundits were criticizing the Prime Minister for being against it when Europe wants to do it. Basically it isn't a bank tax, so much as it bank insurance. A proposed global insurance fund that the developed world pays into and banks who fail can get bailed out. That's right, get carried away with bad loans, and we will save their asses. In economics there is a term called "moral hazard" which is the effect of an insurance policy that actually increases the probability of incurring a loss. If you eliminate the downside risk for financial institutions, then they will engage in more high risk transactions increasing the probability of catastrophic failure.

Why was it so critically important for Canada to host the Summits? Because Canada's financial system has weathered this "Great Recession" better than pretty much every other G20 partner. We absolutely should have been the one country setting the agenda on discussions, because our banks are the shinning example for the rest of the world to follow. The answer is bank reform, not bank insurance. It is important for the world's major economies to reduce their government deficits that are running a high risk of public debt crashing their currencies and thus their financial systems. Obama wants to keep spending, duh, no surprise there. The policies he's looking to pass are going to cost a lot of money, making deficit reduction impossible.

Sharing the Canadian model with the rest of the world is very important to avoiding another serious downturn. Now hopefully they will listen and make the necessary policy measures to reduce the probability of a second global catastrophic collapse. I doubt that many G20 partners will have the testicular fortitude to make the necessary budget cuts (it is easier to spend money than give it away), but if they take our Prime Minister's advice the world will be better off. Time will tell.

G20 Protest Slogans

Have any leftards yet forwarded the conspiracy theory that the black pajama brigade were in fact Harper loyalists trying to discredit legit protests? We know how the left has a tendency to accuse others of doing dishonest things that they do themselves, not unlike how lefties in the United States will dress up as Adolf Hitler and go to a Tea Party protest. So in the spirit of the lonely patron peacefully protesting to bring back MacDonald's pizza this weekend, what would you write down on a sign to take to the next G20 Summit to discredit the anti-globalization movement?

"Hamster Racing Is Exploitation!"

"Legalize Crime!"

"Free Houses For Everybody!"

Newman and Milewski Looking For Negatives

For a guy who is "retired", Don Newman sure spends a lot of time working for the CBC. Sunday he was on television discussing the results and goals of the G20 meeting and when he got to the part about reducing deficits in half by 2013; Newman suggested that Prime Minister Harper's initiative would be impossible to achieve because President Obama will not be able to cut his deficit. That's right, if Obama keeps spending, this whole G20 meeting will be a failure, Harper's failure (or at least that was Don's interpretation with an arrogant grin on his face).

Then you had Milewski also running around the media pavilion trying to hunt down anything that could possibly reflect poorly on the Prime Minister. The best he could do was a comment by French President Nicholas Sarkozy that the cost of an upcoming Summit in France would cost less money. Terry's interpretation of these comments were that he was taking a direct and deliberate shot at Canada's Prime Minister by saying "we aren't going to spend money like those crazy Canucks!" Yes, the CBC "journalist" took the comment as Sarkozy calling Harper a crazy Canuck.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Where In The World Is Mike Ignatieff?

Were there any Iggy sightings over the weekend? Was the Liberal leader in his Toronto riding as his city hosted a major international event, or on vacation France? Actually neither, he is in England (credit Joanne at Blue Like You). His summer under the bus tour to meet "the Canadians" doesn't start until July 13th, and while the most important people in the world gathered in Toronto, Iggy decided that it would be best if he left the country. I was going to call Toronto Iggy's backyard, but I see that as a temporary arrangement until he loses his job as Liberal leader and returns to Boston.

For a guy who spent 30 years living abroad, only to return in a foolhardy attempt to become Prime Minister, shouldn't he be spending every minute he can INSIDE Canada trying to get back in touch with the country he is so out of touch with? As soon as we close the doors on Parliament, this guy is taking off to Europe for extended vacations, even when the city that elected to him to Ottawa is hosting a major international Summit! This is crazy. Despite his many shortcomings, at least Stephane Dion gave a damn. If he plans to be the leader of Canada anytime soon, shouldn't he be here on Canadian soil greeting other world leaders when they are visiting his city?  Toronto is burning, and Iggy is out of country, the story of his life.

If the guy has a sense of humour, the loud speakers should blast the song "Don't forget me when I'm gone" on the loud speakers when he gets off the bus for BBQs...listen to the song, it works on so many different levels...

Germany Wins Battle of Britain

This morning Germany crushed England in the World Cup knockout round 4-1, as the Brits join France, Italy, and the United States as spectators for the remainder of the tournament. The Krauts rolled over the Brits like they were the French army circa 1940. The long tortured English soccer fans will have another 4 years to lick their wounds before failing again in 2014. Although Germany won the game comfortably and dominated the English, there was controversy over a missed call on a goal; but either way the best team won. I am actually looking forward to the next game of Germany against Argentina. It is not often that I'm proud of my 1/4 German lineage, but I am today.

I have to say that I’ve been enjoying the World Cup, even though I don’t enjoy soccer. In fact the World Cup is the only time I even remotely pay attention to the sport. It’s fun because so many people around the world care so much, so having some knowledge about this epic event does give you a topic of conversation with people you otherwise would not share common interests.

Men In Black

Perhaps it is wrong to call them men, and Misguided Youth In Black would be a more appropriate title. Either way I would like to point out that while the black pajama wannabe ninjas were responsible for the worst acts of violence, they were certainly not the only ones clashing with police this weekend. There is plenty of video of people not wearing black crashing into police lines, throwing punches, and engaging in violent civil disobedience. After the lunacy yesterday, I am pleased to see the police make over 500 arrests as of today (including 70 at Iggy's alma mater the University of Toronto).

Perhaps the reason that the Liberals wouldn't even condemn the burning of police cars is that their core constituency (misguided youth) are among the primary protest participants? At this point it is just a theory, but certainly plausible. The older people get, the less likely they are to vote Liberal. Prey on them while they are young, before they have had a chance to accumulate enough life experience to see the forest through the trees.  You know, like the kind of clown who would crawl through a sewer just to get inside the security fence. Though as I think about it, the sewer crawlers are more likely NDP, as that is the dipper's natural habitat.

The Wildroses

Lost in yesterday's scorching of Toronto was the convention of the Wildrose Party in Alberta. The membership voted down some of their more controversial policies and instead went with a more moderate platform to appeal more to the center of the spectrum. In my humble opinion, they should have voted to change the name of the party. Perhaps Alberta really loves their flowers, but I have a suspicion that there will be people who will never vote for a party called "wildrose". Maybe they are born to be wild, but I'd prefer Wildcougars, or maybe Wildgrizzlies?

Right now the best thing they have going for them is an intelligent and charismatic leader, which may or may not be enough to overcome a terrible party name. Though I would not have advised the backhanded compliment that Danielle Smith gave to the membership "that shows a level of sophistication I didn’t actually expect to see". Perhaps it would be better if the leader had higher expectations of member sophistication?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Liberal Party: "We don't comment on events as they unfold"

At least Jack Layton was able to make a public statement today condemning the violence at the G20 protests. When Evan Soloman went to his friends at the Liberal Party for a statement, their official spokesperson released their official statement, "we don't comment on events as they unfold". Even Peter Mansbridge had a laugh at the Liberal Party line. These are people who would like to lead our country, so hopefully in future scenarios they would be able to govern events as they unfold. Come on; at least condemn the burning of police cars! Who are they afraid of offending?

And to all those in the media trying to say that the Clowns in Black were they ONLY people to engage in any sort of violence is not accurate. There are plenty of videos with crowds crashing up against police lines, throwing punches, and engaging the officers in conflict; and they weren't all wearing black. There were plenty of plain clothed people raising Hell.

Strengthening My Support Of Globalization

If you are one of those people sitting on the fence regarding "globalization", weighing the pros and cons as you try to decide on which side of the issue your opinion will fall; you should watch the lunacy taking place in Toronto right now. If the people who oppose it are this crazy, do you really want to be on their team? They are torching police cars in a Canadian city for crying out loud! International free trade and commerce can't be such a bad thing, and if you doubted it before, just turn on your TV and watch these clowns who want it abolished.

Might I also say that Steven D'Souza of the CBC reporting on the protests from among the protestors was enjoying himself entirely too much. Police cars were burning a few blocks away and he was smiling, laughing, and making jokes. Very professional. I doubt that even Jane Taber would be giggling in that situation, much less Rosemary Barton.

G8/G20 Protests: "Bring Back MacDonald's Pizza"

The people protesting the G8/G20 are not all there lobbying for the same cause. They represent a mosaic of different objectives, from global anarchy, to global socialism, to the resurrection of MacDonald's pizza. I am disappointed that I didn't know in advance that my comrades would be taking our fight to bring back MacDonald's pizza to riot police in Toronto, because I would be there on the front lines if I had. I loved MacDonald's pizza, enough to risk my own arrest and detention for the re-birth of its distribution. If by my own imprisonment I could help bring this delicious food back to the world, it would be worth it.

Okay, so I'm kidding. I think it is fun to read the signs as these miscreants promote their various mission statements. Thank you Tony Clement for Tweeting the MacDonald's pizza sign. Also, if you are going to dress all in black and cover your face for a protest, that should alone be grounds for arrest. These people are running around Toronto smashing windows, turning over mailboxes, throwing Molotov cocktails, all in a bid to recruit you to anarchy. I'm sure on Monday the left will be blaming Stephen Harper for these clowns running around smashing windows.

Granted I don't know if these people truly believe in anarchy or if they just enjoy smashing things. But having said that, MacDonald’s pizza was awesome...

Afghanistan: Gold In Them There Mountains

In a fantastic turn of events, a giant deposit of precious and industrial metals has been found in Afghanistan worth an estimated one trillion dollars. In memory of Bre-X we may want a second opinion before we start buying shares of Afme Drilling Co, but this is excellent news for a war torn country that counts illegal opium as its largest export. As their country will be facing a long insurgency, it is important for them to have a source of wealth that can be used in part to fund the fight against the extremists who want to take them back to the Stone Age.

I don't yet know what our long term role will be in Afghanistan, but if they have the resources to pay for our services, then that benefits everyone but the Taliban.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dalton McGuinty's Police State

I enjoyed watching the Tom Clark Show this evening, specifically the part where Mark Holland was brought in to complain about the new policing measures introduced to deal with the G20 protests in Toronto. Just as Marky Mark was starting with his "Stephen Harper needs to explain why" Tom quickly jumped in with "Stephen Harper had nothing to do with it" and that it was done entirely by the Ontario Liberal government. This put Mark on his heals, as he was very reluctant to say anything negative about their provincial counterparts. He would much rather blame the Tories for something Dalton did, as opposed to directing his criticism at the source of what he's complaining about.

I saw Sid Ryan on television complaining that the large police presence is discouraging people from attending the protests and that they expect a much smaller number than would have attended with fewer police and a lower security budget. Too bad Sid. I'm sure Canadians across Canada feel really bad that your followers won't be getting the fire hose.

Free Conrad!

Personally I don't believe that Conrad Black belongs in a federal penitentiary. I don't believe that he represents a threat to society, and I was pleased to see the Supreme Court rule that the prosecution erred in its interpretation of the law. Thus far it would appear that 75% of you agree with me. From what I understand they didn't free Conrad Black yesterday, they just decided that the prosecutor misinterpreted the law and the lower court was wrong to agree with that definition. I respect his work with the National Post, though I'd probably recommend as one of the terms of his release (assuming he is released); be that he not be allowed to run a company. Other than that, he has already paid a substantial price for whatever wrong doing he might have done and I would have no objections to his moving in next door (though I'm assuming he could afford a much nicer place than the house next to mine).

Meech Lake Hindsight

Do you think 20 years later with hindsight being 20/20, that Canada would be better off today had the Meech Lake Accords to bring Quebec into the constitution accomplished its goal? Had it passed, it is unlikely that the Bloc Quebecois would exist today as a federal Canadian political party, and their large block of seats do significantly diminish the quality of our parliamentary democracy; both by putting the singular interests of a single province ahead of the greater good of the country, and by reducing the probability than any party wins a majority of seats.

I'm not trying to argue that the specific elements of the proposed Meech Lake treaty were awesome, but the 1995 referendum and now nearly 20 years of Bloc Quebecois later, maybe we'd be better off had Mulroney been successful. You could also argue that the Meech Lake initiative contributed to the Reform Party splitting away for the PC Party, giving Canada nearly a dozen years of Jean Chretien in a cash stuffed envelope.

Or does the greatest fault rest on the lap of Pierre Trudeau for re-writing the constitution? I was 8 years old when Meech Lake failed, so I do rely on the opinion of others who remember it better than I.

Protesters Justify G20 Security Bill

I have been bombarded with video footage in the media this week of the clowns flocking to Toronto to protest the G20, and my primary thought as I'm watching all of it is thank heavens we brought in all these extra police. I offer my best wishes to the RCMP officers from across Canada who have put their own safety at risk to protect the world's leaders from hoards of miscreants. The crazier the protests become, the more justified the cost of policing. It is fair to argue that our nation's biggest city is not a good choice to host a major international summit as most Liberals contend. We should not host important people in large quantities in Toronto, or so I am hearing from the Liberal Party.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Lottery

You can't be struck by lightning if you never leave the house. The odds of winning the lottery might be one in 28 million, but you can't win anything if you don't buy a ticket. Personally I don't play the Lotto, but I couldn't help but notice that they have sold $124 million dollars in tickets for the most recent $50 million dollar grand prize. Many Lotto players are not discouraged by the long odds, playing their entire lives without winning so much as a consolation prize. But I suppose we shouldn't be too hard on Lotto players, who contribute a significant amount of money to our government's revenue. Lotteries are a cash cow for government, and if we outlawed Lottos for their impossible odds of victory, we would be depriving the public treasury of a major source of revenue.

So march on brave Lottery soldiers, keep living the dream.

Fake Lake "is actually kinda nice"

Now that the international media have begun to arrive at their pavilion, the "fake lake" is quickly becoming a popular gathering area for visitors. The CBC's Margo Mcdiarmit was just on TV talking about it and she said that people have heard of the controversy but when they visit the reflection pool, the common response is that it is actually really nice. Everyone is really enjoying it as it becomes a popular tourist destination within the media center. Glad to hear that it was a good idea and nicely done. Iggy might have jumped the gun when he called it "Lake Wastamytaxes" in Question Period. Maybe we should call it Lake Effectiveuseofmytaxes?

Just a thought.

Australia's New Climate Activist Prime Minister

I was a big fan of John Howard when he was the Prime Minister of Australia, and now that his replacement Rudd has been ousted by his own party (in part for the failure of their climate change bill); I am not feeling pleasant about the current state of Aussie politics. It is fascinating to see a governing party in a British parliamentary democracy oust a sitting Prime Minister from their own party in the middle of his first term. I am guessing that very rarely happens. What are the rules on caucus revolts in Canada as compared to Australia?

I have met at least a dozen Aussies in my life, and never have I met one that I didn't like. I watched the press conference with the new Prime Minister who wants to focus on reviving a failed Climate Change initiative, and I think that I have finally for the first time in my 30 years I have been introduced to an Aussie that I don't like. I am not a fan of Australia's new Prime Minister.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Holland and Coady: Catch a Liberal Shooting Star

The past session of Parliament saw the Liberal Party give a lot of air time to two MPs that Canadians previously had not had much exposure to, Mark Holland and Shiboam Coady; two MPs who play the role of angry politician very effortlessly. I don't know if the LPC actually selected these two at the beginning of the session to become their main spokespeople, or if they just lucked into having critic roles of the portfolios that created controversies. They could be rising "stars"; they could just have been in the right critic chair, in the right place at the right time. Public safety critic and ethics critic are two excellent positions for opposition members who do angry well.

Whatever you think of John Baird, every political party needs a few MPs of that ilk to survive in the pressure cooker, especially with 24 hour instant media. The kind of MP who walks into Parliament and thinks of Robert Duval in Apocalypse Now "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." You may recall when Coady snapped at Baird in committee, the left applauded the brave MP standing up to the "Big Bad Baird", but look into her eyes when she unleashed the fury. That lady has a nasty, nasty temper. I'd say she got more face time on the CBC the session than Ujjal Dosangh and Scotty Bryson combined.

It is not my intention to insult John Baird by comparing him to Holland and Coady, but they are just Liberal versions of him. They serve the same function within the Liberal Party as John Baird did when he was in opposition (provincially). The main difference being that since the Tories formed government (federally) we have found that Mr. Baird is also a very effective Cabinet Minister, so he has a bureaucratic competency that I suspect is lacking in the Liberal attack dogs.

These two Liberal shooting stars are both at big risk of crashing down to Earth in the next election. Holland has a very tough fight ahead of him in Chris Alexander, and Coady has the NDP right over her shoulder. I'm sure she would love to see a deal where the NDP candidate capitulates. Newfoundland will be really tough to predict next time around, as Danny Williams ABC campaign skewed the data in 2008. Did you hear that Don Newman, Ms Coady is a perfect example of how the Liberals can benefit from a strategic non-compete agreement with the NDP.

Prison Spending

I couldn't help but notice today that Liberal MP Mark Holland is upset that tougher prison sentences are going to cost money. If we are going to institute tougher minimum sentences, obviously we are going to need to build new prison cells. The alternative is our current system which is overcrowded and criminals get forced out early to make room for the new criminals. I would the money to be spent prudently, but obviously it is going to cost more money. What percentage of crimes are committed by repeat offenders? By putting regulations in place to further quarantine criminals from our society, there will be fewer criminals on the streets to commit crimes. There is a net benefit to society that is not as easy to measure as a simple cost prediction for additional prison cells.

Baby Beluga Dies

Yesterday I was saddened to hear of the death of the baby beluga whale at the Vancouver aquarium. I have visited the aquarium a few times and I find it to be a wonderful place to visit. I hadn't yet been to see the baby beluga, and now that it has passed I'm sad that I didn't. While they were doing the necropsy on the carcass they found obstructions in the blow hole, which included a penny. There is a high probability that the penny was thrown into the tank by a human being. My only criticism of the tank that they are in is that it should be larger for such a large mammal, but I do support captive breeding programs for threatened or endangered animals.

Foreign Governments Infiltrate Canadian Government

I must admit that I was surprised to hear the announcement yesterday by CSIS officials that foreign governments have apparently infiltrated our government at the provincial and municipal level. They allege that we have elected officials who act in the interests of those foreign governments, possibly even compromising the best interested of the citizens who elected them. This is plausible, and should be fully investigated. CSIS did not disclose which officials were behaving badly, but they did say that there is no evidence of such corruption at the federal level (though I suspect some NDP members are acting on behalf of Hugo Chavez).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Governor General's New Job

We will soon have a new Governor General in Canada, definitely before the next session of Parliament. I think that Michaelle Jean has been an excellent GG, and I would have supported her appointment to a second term. However she is now going to be the new United Nations Special envoy to Haiti, to help rebuild her native country after that terrible earthquake. I remember when Iggy demanded her term be extended, I don't think he thought to ask her if she would rather be Governor General, or a special envoy to rebuild Haiti. I suspect that she is very eager to begin her new job, where she can literally start saving the lives of people whose lives have been destroyed.

There will be a lot of anticipation building towards the announcement of a new GG, and I for one am excited to know who the appointment will be. I did some polling on this question in January, though I didn't include Rick Hansen who is considered to be one of the front runners for the job. Lewis MacKenzie defeated Preston Manning in that poll, where a lot of people believe that Presto is a serious candidate, assuming he even wants the job.


Lewis MacKenzie (23%)
Rick Hillier (17%)
Preston Manning (16%)
Michaelle Jean (14%)
Deb Grey (12%)
Mike Harris (9%)
Ralph Klein (5%)

Conservatives Leading Liberals Among Female Voters

According to the latest poll by Harris-Decima, the Conservative Party has now opened up a lead on the Liberals among female voters. This coming as some media pundits have been bashing the Tories on their maternal health initiative, claiming that it has backfired. If there truly was outrage among female voters, I don't think the Tories would be leading the Liberals in that demographic. The evidence is mounting that this "scandal ridden session" hasn't been scandalous at all, at least as far as "the Canadians" are concerned.

I think most Canadians can see that the Liberal push to bring safe abortions to Africa isn't about saving lives at all, as many pundits claim. "Botched abortions" rank very low on the causes of death in Africa and you could save millions more lives by providing access to clean drinking water, food, and inoculations against preventable diseases. This entire African abortion strategy is an entirely manufactured rouse by the left to get pro life activists talking about abortion in Canada. Either that or the strategy is more sinister and the goal is to reduce population growth.

NDP's Great Leap Forward

I see in the newspaper that the NDP would like us to adopt a national food policy where Canadians shift their diets to locally produced foods. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as it isn't the first time Lucky Jack has borrowed policy from Chairman Mao. I'm waiting for the next announcement that land should be seized from wealthy farmers and redistributed to urban peasants for the greater good of collectivization. Private farming should be deemed counter-revolutionary and a criminal offense.

With the imminent merger of the NDP and Liberals, I gotta say that I look forward to more industrial announcements by the socialists and I encourage them to keep talking. I wonder if Jack had to get Iggy to approve?

Protest Tourism

On Monday I watched opposition members cry foul over the loss of revenue that the G20 Summits would bring to Toronto businesses. Holland and Siskay were blaming our government for any disruption of Toronto civilian life while hundreds of protesting clowns were disrupting Toronto traffic. Anything that diminishes the quality of life for those living in Toronto can be blamed on the Tories for the inconvenience (according to the opposition), not the loons actually causing the disruption. What I want to know is why nobody in the Canadian media is talking about the tourism dollars that these protestors are bringing to our largest city. Sending the clowns to Toronto will introduce increased revenue to Toronto business, unless the protestors have no money, which is entirely possible.

Personally I hope they break out the new water cannon on the protestors. It is fine to protest in a park or someplace where you don't disrupt normal life, but when they pour out into the streets and disrupt commerce, then I have a problem. Should we have put the largest summit in our largest city? That is up for debate, but if you support Toronto hosting international events like the Olympics, they had better be able to provide security for the G20. I trust Stephen Harper, and that he will do the right thing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Liberal Fundraising Clock

I heard today that the Liberals have unveiled a new clock on their website to count the money we are paying to police officers to protect Toronto from the protesting clowns at the G20 Summit. What I would like to see is a Liberal Fundraising Clock which counts all the bags of money the Liberals have raised in donations. It should be pretty easy to design the clock, as it would never have to go above zero. If you included failed leadership and election debts, it would likely have to count in the opposite direction into the red. I'm sure merging with the NDP is not going to help them raise money from Bay Street.

Just a thought. I noticed that the opposition members on television today were blaming government for the protestors pouring into the streets and disrupting everyday life of the citizens of Toronto. There was plenty of space for them to protest in the park where they met, and pouring into the streets to block traffic only justifies the presence of the police!

Does Stephen Harper Need a Majority?

Today on the Tom Clark Show a panel of reporters was musing that Stephen Harper's leadership of the Conservative Party has been a failure because he has not won a majority, and the lady from the Red Star said boldly that if the Tories don't win a majority in the next election Mr. Harper will be finished as leader. Ergo, if he wins another minority he will be ousted by Jason Kenney. Personally I thought the whole exchange was just a bunch of left wingers day dreaming about the ouster of a very skilled political opponent. This talk started last election, where pundits said it was majority or bust for the Prime Minister, which turned out to be little more than wishful thinking. I remember one of my NDP friends trying to convince me that the Conservatives actually lost the 2008 election because they didn’t win a majority.

What the panel failed to mention is that since the creation of the Bloc Quebecois, the probability of winning a majority in any election by any party has been significantly diminished. Chretien only accomplished his majorities because the Conservative Party was split in two. JC only beat the sum of the PC + Alliance vote by 3% in his last victory in 2000, but won 94 more seats. This theory being passed around that anything but a majority is a failure is flawed. As a country we are looking at high probabilities of minority governments every election going forward. As a Tory blogger, if there is a fall election and we win another minority, I will not be demanding Stephen Harper's resignation. I think he is a fantastic Prime Minister and our country is fortunate to have him.

Kinsella's Voice of Reason

Evidently there are some Liberals out there who think that $57,000 for a reflection pool (also known as fake lake gate) in a media center hosting thousands of international journalists, will gain enough traction with "the Canadians" to justify collapsing the government. With Pavlov's Liblogs frothing at the mouth, leave it to Warren Kinsella to point out that "the Canadians" don't care. In fact 75% of "the Canadians" believe there is value in our country hosting these international events, and do not share the opposition's rabid response to yet another faux controversy. Either that or this is an example of the diminishing marginal returns to crying wolf. I think most of "the Canadians" have started tuning out the Liberals, such that when the wolf actually shows up, nobody cares.

I know that a significant proportion of Conservatives aren't keen on hosting summits like this, but I for one support any event that brings this many important people from outside Canada into Canada. I strongly support hosting as many Olympic Games as we can get, or any other event that raises our great nation's profile on the international stage. On the matter of security spending, I would much rather spend too much than not enough. The downside of an international dignitary being harmed on Canadian soil is far greater than spending a little extra money on overtime pay for RCMP officers.

That's my opinion.


This evening the History Channel aired the film Braveheart, arguably my favourite film of all time as a person of predominantly Scottish ancestry. But I have to say, the historical accuracy of this film is flawed at best. As I have researched some of the story, I am miffed at Mel for butchering the actual historical events. I happen to have the same last name as one of the noble families in the film, as my family name is one of the most common in Scotland. Though my dad once listened to Scottish born Canadian tell him that our ancestors are "just a bunch of f*@king lowlanders."

Here are my 3 biggest complaints about Braveheart:

1) William Wallace riding into the bedroom of a Scottish noble on a horse. Guaranteed that never happened. If Wallace indeed snuck into the room and killed the man as he slept, there is no way he did it on a horse. That scene is ridiculous.

2) Mel Gibson butchered the battle of Sterling Bridge. It didn't happen even close to how it was depicted in the movie. Mel thought it would be a better movie his way, but there is little to no historical accuracy to his version of that battle.

3) The biggest joke is that Edward the Longshanks lived on for 2 years after Wallace was executed. To have the Princess whisper in his ear that she was pregnant with Wallace's child was insane. Even if he lost the ability to speak, guaranteed the King knew how to read and write. He couldn't have written on a piece of paper that the future Queen was pregnant with Wallace's baby over a two year period? In fact, I am willing to bet that the entire romance with the Princess was fabricated for theatrical purposes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Elizabeth May Running Fast?

I think Jane Taber needs to put a little more creative thought into her headlines, "Elizabeth May running as fast as she can" doesn't exactly move mountains, as I doubt she is even capable of a brisk walking pace. It should be "Elizabeth May riding her adult tricycle as fast as she can"; as she spends the summer in a futile campaign to unseat Gary Lunn (her victory will be literally impossible unless the Liberals pull their candidate). There is much dissention in the Green ranks, as Slick Lizzy is insisting again on trying to defeat a Tory Cabinet Minister instead of running where she has the best chance to win. It was remarkably stupid to run against Peter MacKay, and had Dion not pulled the local Liberal, then that 14% gap between her and pistol Pete would have been even larger.

She owes Taber a favour. The media has pretty much been ignoring May this session, either than or she has been so consumed with the internal turmoil that she hasn't been talking. Evidently taking Elizabeth out of the news cycle and off the television is great for Green poll numbers, if you believe that EKOS results are an accurate reflection of Canadian popular support. If you see a poll with the Greens at 14%, something is wrong. Based on my own studies in election math and probability theory, I would estimate that the Greens chances of reaching double digits in the next election are less than 10%.

For the record I attended a Town Hall meeting featuring Gary Lunn during prorogation (when the Tories were meeting with constituents and Liberals were on vacation), and I was very impressed by his intellectual acumen. My own MP John Weston had to repeatedly defer questions to Gary (though John is a rookie MP and Gary is a veteran and a Cabinet Minister).

Voting On Minimum Sentences For Trafficking Minors: Iggy Absent

It is interesting to read the list of 81 votes that Mike Ignatieff has skipped in the legislature since his rise to the throne of the Liberal Party. This is the same man who a few short months ago said "Parliament is the sovereign", but evidently protecting the sanctity of Parliament doesn't include showing up to vote on minimum sentences for human trafficking of minors. He missed 4 votes on bill C-268. He has missed votes on restricting crystal meth production, but hey he is probably a fan of Breaking Bad. Forget about budget implementation legislation, Mike wants no part of that, missing 12 votes on jobs and economic growth (C-9) this year and another 12 on C-10 last year. So as important as our economic recovery has been, the leader of the Liberal Party doesn't consider it worth his time to show up to work to vote on budget legislation.

Roughly 60% of Conservative MPs have missed fewer than 5 votes, and roughly 60% of Liberals have missed at least 20 votes. In the next election, whenever that may be (based on the Lib ad blitz, that could be sooner rather than later), if you vote for a Conservative you are voting for a representative who is more likely to show up to work on your behalf to vote in the House of Commons. Remember people, Parliament is the sovereign. It is important that MPs show up to work. Iggy didn't learn this while working at Harvard, where if you have tenure, you don't need to show up to teach classes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Iggy 307th On Parliamentary Attendance List

You may recall during the months of January and February the opposition was running amok screaming that proroguing Parliament represented a violation of our democracy and that it is critically important for MPs to show up to work. For Ignatieff, this was a classic case of do as I say, not as I do. With the 3rd session of the 40th Parliament now behind us, Iggy ranks 307 out of 308 for showing up to vote on legislation. In fact Iggy had a far better attendance rate in the mock "shadow Parliament" during prorogation than he did when the legislature was actually sitting. Since becoming Liberal leader, Iggy has voted yes 41 times, no 20 times, and absent or abstain 81 times. Yes Iggy will often show up for question period when the cameras are rolling; he's not a fan of putting in a full day's work and sticking around to vote on legislation.

Here is a list of bills and motions that were not important enough for Iggy to cast a vote on:

17/06/2010 C-45, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 3
17/06/2010 C-45, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 3
17/06/2010 C-44, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 2
17/06/2010 C-44, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 2
17/06/2010 C-45, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 3
17/06/2010 C-44, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 2
16/06/2010 C-469, Second Reading Canadian Environmental Bill of Rights
16/06/2010 C-280, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) qualification for and entitlement to benefits
14/06/2010 C-2, Third Reading Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
09/06/2010 C-475, Third Reading methamphetamine and ecstasy
09/06/2010 C-395, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) labour dispute
09/06/2010 C-2, Motion Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
07/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
07/06/2010 C-9, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
07/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
07/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
07/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
07/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
07/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
03/06/2010 C-9, Motion Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
26/05/2010 C-501, Second Reading pension protection
05/05/2010 C-201, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) deletion of deduction from annuity
05/05/2010 C-201, Motion deletion of deduction from annuity
05/05/2010 C-288, Third Reading Tax credit for rural graduates
28/04/2010 C-343, Second Reading family leave
28/04/2010 C-302, Third Reading Italian-Canadian Recognition and Restitution Act
21/04/2010 C-384, Second Reading and Referral to Committee right to die with dignity
21/04/2010 C-470, Second Reading and Referral to Committee revocation of registration
21/04/2010 C-429, Second Reading and Referral to Committee use of wood
14/04/2010 C-475, Second Reading methamphetamine and ecstasy
14/04/2010 C-474, Second Reading Seeds Regulations Act
31/03/2010 C-232, Third Reading understanding the official languages
31/03/2010 C-444, Second Reading broadcasting and telecommunications policies
24/03/2010 C-241, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) removal of waiting period
23/03/2010 C-7, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 1
23/03/2010 C-7, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 1
23/03/2010 C-7, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 1
23/03/2010 C-6, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 5
23/03/2010 C-6, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 5
23/03/2010 C-6, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 5
02/12/2009 C-393, Second Reading drugs for international humanitarian purposes
25/11/2009 C-36, Third Reading Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act
25/11/2009 C-36, Amendment Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act
18/11/2009 C-395, Second Reading and Referral to Committee labour dispute
04/11/2009 C-392, Second Reading Made in Canada Act
02/11/2009 C-50, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Employment Insurance benefits
28/10/2009 C-290, Second Reading tax credit for loss of retirement income
26/10/2009 C-42, Second Reading
26/10/2009 C-52, Second Reading
21/10/2009 C-306, Second Reading Canadian Products Promotion Act
21/10/2009 C-311, Motion Climate Change Accountability Act
08/10/2009 C-311, Motion Climate Change Accountability Act
07/10/2009 C-23, Amendment
07/10/2009 C-51, Second Reading and Referral to Committee
30/09/2009 C-268, Motion Minimum sentence for trafficking minors
30/09/2009 C-268, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Minimum sentence for trafficking minors
30/09/2009 C-268, Third Reading Minimum sentence for trafficking minors
30/09/2009 C-304, Second Reading and Referral to Committee affordable and accessible housing
29/09/2009 C-50, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Employment Insurance benefits
17/06/2009 C-309, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Economic development agency for Northern Ontario
10/06/2009 C-279, Second Reading and Referral to Committee amounts not included in earnings
10/06/2009 C-280, Second Reading and Referral to Committee qualification for and entitlement to benefits
03/06/2009 C-307, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Charter of the French Language
03/06/2009 C-302, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Italian-Canadian Recognition and Restitution Act
01/06/2009 C-20, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act
27/05/2009 C-232, Second Reading and Referral to Committee understanding the official languages
27/05/2009 C-288, Second Reading and Referral to Committee
13/05/2009 C-201, Second Reading deletion of deduction from annuity
13/05/2009 C-273, Second Reading right to repair
13/05/2009 C-310, Second Reading Air Passengers' Bill of Rights
05/05/2009 C-11, Third Reading Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
29/04/2009 C-241, Second Reading and Referral to Committee removal of waiting period
23/04/2009 C-24, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Peruvian Free Trade
22/04/2009 C-291, Second Reading refugee appeals
22/04/2009 C-300, Second Reading
22/04/2009 C-268, Second Reading Minimum sentence for trafficking minors
01/04/2009 C-311, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Climate Change Accountability Act
25/03/2009 C-9, Third Reading Security and human safety of dangerous goods during transport
23/03/2009 C-9, Amendment Security and human safety of dangerous goods during transport
12/03/2009 C-2, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) European Free Trade
12/03/2009 C-2, Motion European Free Trade
09/06/2010 C-2, Motion Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
09/06/2010 C-2, Motion Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
09/06/2010 C-2, Motion Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
08/06/2010 C-9, Third Reading Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
05/05/2010 C-310, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Air Passengers' Bill of Rights
27/04/2010 C-3, Motion Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act
19/04/2010 C-9, Second Reading Jobs and Economic Growth Act (Budget)
09/12/2009 C-62, Amendment Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
09/12/2009 C-62, Amendment Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
17/11/2009 C-51, Third Reading
04/11/2009 C-391, Second Reading repeal of long-gun registry
03/06/2009 C-15, Motion Minimum sentencing for drug offences
30/03/2009 C-2, Amendment European Free Trade
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
09/06/2010 C-309, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage)
09/06/2010 C-2, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
05/05/2010 C-471, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Pay Equity Task Force Recommendations Act
05/05/2010 C-311, Third Reading Climate Change Accountability Act
19/04/2010 C-2, Second Reading Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
14/04/2010 C-311, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Climate Change Accountability Act
10/12/2009 C-291, Third Reading refugee appeals
10/12/2009 C-64, Third Reading
09/12/2009 C-62, Third Reading Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
09/12/2009 C-62, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
08/12/2009 C-62, Second Reading and Referral to Committee Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)
04/11/2009 C-308, Second Reading improvement of the employment insurance system
19/06/2009 C-49, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 3
19/06/2009 C-49, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 3
19/06/2009 C-49, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 3
19/06/2009 C-48, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 2
19/06/2009 C-48, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 2
19/06/2009 C-48, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 2
08/06/2009 C-15, Motion Minimum sentencing for drug offences
08/06/2009 C-15, Third Reading Minimum sentencing for drug offences
03/06/2009 C-24, Motion Peruvian Free Trade
03/06/2009 C-24, Third Reading Peruvian Free Trade
03/06/2009 C-15, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Minimum sentencing for drug offences
25/05/2009 C-8, Amendment Family Homes on Reserves and Matrimonial Interests or Rights Act
27/04/2009 C-11, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Human Pathogens and Toxins Act
30/03/2009 C-2, Third Reading European Free Trade
24/03/2009 C-22, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 1
24/03/2009 C-22, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 1
24/03/2009 C-22, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 1
24/03/2009 C-21, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 5
24/03/2009 C-21, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 5
24/03/2009 C-21, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 5
04/03/2009 C-10, Third Reading Budget Implementation Act
04/03/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
03/03/2009 C-10, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Budget Implementation Act
12/02/2009 C-12, Concurrence Motion (Report Stage) Appropriation Act No. 4
12/02/2009 C-12, Third Reading Appropriation Act No. 4
12/02/2009 C-12, Second Reading Appropriation Act No. 4
12/02/2009 C-10, Second Reading Budget Implementation Act
12/02/2009 C-10, Motion Budget Implementation Act
05/02/2009 C-2, Second Reading European Free Trade

What Bothers You About Soccer?

Today's poll question is what bothers you the most about soccer right now? If you have been watching the World Cup, you are likely familiar with that blasted buzzing noise that sounds like they are playing in a bee hive. Perhaps you are a casual fan who enjoys the game but laments the exaggerated vigour with which the players go crashing to the ground when they are touched? If you don't like soccer, why not? The sport has very high enrolment rates at the youth level, and despite this participaction Canada is currently ranked #63 in the World Fifa standings directly behind Macedonia (also trailing powerhouses like Burkina Faso and Iran).

I watched a half hour of the Germany Serbia game at 5am because I couldn't fall asleep, and I'd say that 85% of the time a Kraut and a Serb made contact, the Serb went crashing to the ground. The ref went nuts with the yellow cards, and Serbia capitalized for a stunning upset. I sent a text message to my friend "I haven't seen Germany take this many penalties since the Treaty of Versailles!" It's not often that I find myself cheering for Germany, despite my mom's mom being 100% Kraut (my German forefathers left the Deutschland while Bismarck was unifying the kingdom). It may be more entertaining to watch an underdog win in any sport, but it diminishes the accomplishment when it is achieved by acting like they've been shot if anyone touches them. When those teams win, it increases the incentive to dive and the whole sport suffers. Italy was rewarded with a World Cup in diving in 2006.

Rick Reilly has been covering the World Cup for ESPN, and he wrote a funny bit on ten things that bug him about soccer.

Access To Information Not A Constitutional Right

Interesting that on the same day that all non-NDP Members of Parliament consummated a deal to review military documents, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that access to information is not a constitutional right. The vote was a tight one, 7-0. There exists sensitive information that the regular citizenry should not be privy to, such as military documents which discuss our combat tactics. What's odd is that our highest court waited 18 months to release this decision (which is very long by SC standards). The judges were unanimous in their support, but it took 18 months? Could they not have decided this 12 months ago in a 4-3 vote, or did they have to deliberate until there was unanimous support?

Jack Layton could not have liked this Supreme Court ruling. The NDP want more documents made public, even if it compromises the safety of our troops currently deployed in the field. If any of our soldiers behave badly, they are subject to a court martial. The military regularly investigates the conduct of our soldiers and prosecutes and punishes where necessary, kind of like the TV show JAG.

One Single Liberal In The Canadian Media

I did some radio channel surfing yesterday, and I found myself listening to the Q Show on the CBC (the Billy Bob interview is all I know of him). First, is the CBC paying royalties to the Star Trek people for ripping the Q name? He laid out his guests for the upcoming week, and Uncle Leo from Seinfeld was the only name I recognized. I listened to 20 minutes of the show which featured a panel of media "experts" on the potential creation of Sun TV. While listening to this panel, I was told that there is only a singular Liberal in the Canadian media, and his name is Rick Sultan at the Globe. Nobody else is in the entire Canadian press corps are left wingers. Chantal Hebert is an independent, and no mention was made by this rabble about Jane Taber, Jim Traverse, Craig Oliver, Susan Delacourt, Kady O'Malley, Bob Fife, Julie Van Dussen, et all potentially having a left leaning bias.

Talk radio in Canada is right wing, and thus the entire Canadian media must be right leaning, according to Q's panel. To her credit, Marg Wente was on the panel and completely disagreed with that assertion. I like Wente. Even the former CBC henchman heading Al Jazeera English sounded more reasonable than the clown from rabble. Say what you will about the fledgling Sun TV and whether it will resonate with Canadians, but to say that the current Canadian media is center-right is nothing more than a remarkably stupid comment.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Liberal Radio Ads

Tonight when I was driving home from work (yes I do have a job), I heard a new Liberal Party of Canada radio ad on the Team 1040 that mentioned "fake lake" 3-5 times. Granted it never said what the reflection pool actually cost, it just kept repeating fake lake, boondoggle, and out of control deficits. First, our deficit is not out of control. If you compare it to the rest of the G20, we are among the best performers in this economic downturn. What did kind of surprise me was that the cash strapped Liberal Party was actually PAYING for advertising time. Moreover they purchased the ad on the Team 1040 during sportstalk radio, which has an audience of maybe 75%-85% men. Roughly 60%-65% of men in BC (as in much of the country) vote Conservative. Basically the Liberals are targeting Tory voters with fake lake gate.

The bottom line is that for a Party in such serious financial trouble, they must be very concerned about their poor polling numbers to actually pay money for radio advertising in a non-election period. I don't know how much a spot goes for on the Team 1040, but given that hockey season is over I'm sure their prices have dropped. When the Canucks are in season, their ratings have to be significantly higher. In the summer they spend way too much time talking CFL, which while there are plenty of fans, there are easily 15 hardcore Canucks for each hardcore Lions fan, if not more.

I am curious to know if they are running this ad cross country, or if they are targeting specific regions. How much total money are the Liberals spending on this blitz?

What's Up With Sid Ryan?

Why is it such a big deal to the Canadian Federation of Labour and the Canadian Union of Public Employees to disrupt civilian life in Toronto during the G20 Summit? Has this Sid Ryan guy lost his marbles? This would be classified as a positive civil service, but rather a disruptive one. I understand that Mr. Ryan lost his job last year as CUPE boss, but he is currently President of the OFL (which is an affiliate of CUPE). When he was representing the Public Employees, he spent a lot of his time participating in and encouraging political activism on a variety of issues which had nothing to do with CUPE's collective bargaining agreements.

To watch him now inciting civil disobedience at a time when we should want to put on a good show for the visiting international dignitaries, I find it discouraging that this clown has a public voice. I don't know what kind of influence he has over the membership of the parent company the Canadian Labour Congress, but shame on anyone who listens to this man and then marches out to disrupt the lives of Ontarians. You don't win people over to your cause by raising Hell.

Now the police union is demanding his resignation.

Did Rahim Jaffer Damage His Wife's Political Career?

After examining all the evidence against Rahim Jaffer, it is hard not to conclude that what he was doing was in fact lobbying. Being a former MP and the spouse of a Cabinet Minister, he had a responsibility to act responsibly and he clearly did not. I believe that among all the alleged allegations that led to the dismissal of Helena Guergis, the lobbying activities of her spouse was most likely the largest contributing factor. He should not have done what he did, and as such he damaged his wife's political career. To watch him now chastising his former party for unfair treatment is just ridiculous. When he was contacting all these Ministers to better his own business, he put their careers at risk.

Instead of lashing out at the Prime Minister, he should accept responsibility and apologize for his own actions. Helena said in the Mansbridge interview that it was impossible for Rahim to have done anything wrong, because he promised that he would never hurt her career. He may have broken that promise, but he doesn't seem very keen on acknowledging that he displayed poor judgment with his own activities on behalf of his own fledgling company.

Chretien Is As Chretien Does

Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff has finally given his approval for Jean Chretien to conduct coalition negotiations with the NDP. What took you so long? When these merger stories first hit the media, Iggy should have come out and said "Jean is a winner, I'm not, he is more than welcome to negotiate the merger and dissolution of our party as it exists." Had he done that, he could have avoided all the friendly fire he's been taking from Liberal colleagues for being weak on the inevitable merger.

Iggy's comments today come as no surprise, as I am pretty sure that Chretien is a supporter of Bob Rae's leadership bid, Bobby being a former NDP merger who undoubtedly seeks a partnership with his former party. Let them do their thing, keep them happy, keep them out of his hair until after an agreement has been achieved. This is a great way for Iggy to kick off his Summer Under the Bus Tour, at least that's my opinion.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

G20 Protest, "Scorched Toronto"

I have never understood that part of the psyche of protest organizers where they feel they can grow support for their cause by deliberately disrupting people's lives. I support peoples right to assemble in protest, but I get pissed off when they block traffic. No cause has ever recruited my support by sending activists into the streets to disrupt every day life. The protest organizers for the upcoming G20 Summit are preparing a "walk out" where activists spread out and cause havoc. It is similar to the Scorched Earth strategy used to repel invasions of Russia, but it is not something that will endear you to the local people whose lives you are disrupting.

Parliament Gets It Right On Homolka

I was glad to see our nation's politicians put aside partisanship in the last week of this session of Parliament to reform the pardon process before Karla Homolka could possibly be granted a pardon. The same people who pardoned Graham James cannot be trusted to sit in judgment of Karla Homolka under the current regulations. It is a shame that she got her plea bargain before they discovered the video tapes that showed her own eager participation in these terrible acts. Now if only we could convict her of another crime then we can put her back in federal prison where she belongs.

Hiring Liberals For Sun TV

Are there any Liberal opinionists that you think should be hired by Sun TV? The question was put to Kory Teneycke today, but he can't exactly speculate on specifically who could be hired to appear on the evening opinion shows. Or do you want these shows to be "a bunch of Conservatives sitting at a table agreeing with each other"? Most of the left wing people on the other networks seldom declare their political bias even though it is painfully obvious in their published work.

My question to you is who would you like to see the other side's perspective represented at the table in the new opinion shows? If yes, do you have any suggestions? Maybe Warren Kinsella? Chantal Hebert? You don't have to like them, but I would personally prefer to watch my opinion makers debating the opposing positions with a person who represents that point of view. You have to give the CBC credit for ever hiring Kory Teneycke, even if that deed was offset by the hiring of Scott Reid.

Let's hear some ideas. Who is out there that you think should be Sun TV's Allan Combs?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Helena's Maternal Health

I would like to wish former Cabinet Minister Helena Guergis best of luck with her new pregnancy, and I think it is completely wrong for her husband to accuse the Prime Minister of compromising her maternal health. Meanwhile it was her husband's poor lapses in judgment that contributed to her release from caucus, and by using her office to lobby government one could argue that Rahim is the one who has "compromised" her maternal health, not the Prime Minister. It is the prerogative of the party leader to decide who sits in Cabinet and who sits in caucus, and there is nothing in Canadian law forcing a full explanation as to why she was no longer deemed adequate enough to fulfill those responsibilities.

The Prime Minister has not wronged her in any way, and it is inappropriate to suggest that she would have or should have been treated different simply because she is pregnant. That is bad karma Rahim. Your wife's pregnancy should not be exploited to score political points in the media.

Newman vs Teneycke: There Will Be Mud

It is certainly entertaining television to watch Don Newman and Kory Teneycke going head to head with Evan Soloman stuck in the middle. I've watched a lot of Newman over the years, and I'd have to say that I have never seen him as confrontational as when he is on TV with Kory. Newman's assertion is that this new news network will fabricate stories for purely partisan gain and not report real news, which is certainly an inflammatory accusation against a network that has yet to air a single news story.

To be fair, Don did land the best jab of the sequence when Kory was complaining about the CBC getting a billion dollars in parliamentary appropriations, and Newman pointed out that Kory didn't seem to mind when he was getting paid to appear on the network. The main point of attack was whether or not there will be Liberal pundits to appear on the network to present opposing opinion, like an Allan Combs. I think there absolutely should be some Liberal opinion on the network, rather than just have a bunch of Conservatives sitting around a table agreeing with each other. Granted if any Liberals are chosen, you will likely hear accusations from the left that the token Liberal will be chosen on the basis of being ineffective (and as such an easy target for the mean right wingers to beat around).

The new network is not going to tear apart the fabric of Canadian society. It will provide a format that Canadians don't have available from a Canadian news network, hard news during the day and opinion shows at night. If people don’t like it, they won’t watch. And yes they should hire some Liberals. I suppose my next poll question should be which Liberal pundit would you hire to provide balance to this fledgling network?

Spending In The Muskokas

The riding that will be playing host to the G8 meeting has received a disproportionate amount of infrastructure spending. The internal memo to Liberals; start ringing Hell's Bells and prepare the standard scripted outraged response! This session of parliament is almost at its end, but there is still some time for the opposition to cry foul in the House of Commons. Like many things that outrage the current crop of lefties, I don't understand what the fuss is about. It is perfectly logical to spend extra money above standard appropriations to a riding preparing to host a major international conference.

Should Nipissing and Muskoka receive the exact same amount in parliamentary spending when one is hosting the G8 and one is not? Moving to the G20, I see where the leftards are now planning a “walk out” into the streets to attempt to gridlock the city and cause disarray on the first day of that summit in our nation’s largest city. They will attempt to make their point by inconveniencing the general public. It reminds me of the anarchists who think that smashing windows will help convince the public that anarchy is necessary. I don’t think a “scorched Toronto” strategy is going to win hearts and minds, but that's just my opinion.

HST Affirmations

The question that I would like to ask is do you as a taxpayer and consumer support paying more in sales taxes on the possibility of lowering business taxes? For as much as I am a fan of making Canada competitive economically, I do not support doing it by boosting sales taxes. I have always been a strong supporter of the Conservative initiative to reduce the GST. The father of economics Adam Smith regarded consumption as the beating heart of capitalism, where Karl Marx regarded consumption as the root of all evil. I am an economist who supports the lowest possible sales tax; but I suppose at the end of the day economics is a social science, not an exact science.

The HST is destroying Gordon Campbell. Nobody wants it because it represents a massive increase in the sum total of sales taxes with the promise of possibly reducing business costs. It will not be a zero sum tax, as the GST was originally promised to be. It will increase provincial government revenue. The whole reason people are pissed off is that hundreds, if not thousands, of consumer products and services are about to become more expensive. Gord had the option of not adding PST to previously PST-exempt goods, and Gordo turned down the offer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Bad Day For Jack Layton

This was a really bad day for the leader of the NDP, who was on the defensive against broad bipartisan demands for the resignation of Libby Davies. According to the "Power Panel", Jack Layton was clearly agitated that he had to apologize for his deputy and left early in a hurry. Add to that the bipartisan agreement on detainee documents that everybody BUT the NDP supported. The Liberals even went so far as to defend to Conservatives for ceding as much control as they have. I think the NDP is upset that some documents contain sensitive military information and best not be made public. Jack would prefer to release that information to the Taliban, whom we will be fighting for another year.

This comes after the Saints Broadbent and Romanow have been negotiating to have the NDP absorbed by the Liberal Party. Jack's leadership is being put to the test for the first time in a long time, and he isn't handling the criticism well. Jack isn't going to renounce socialism, but evidently that is what is being negotiated without his consent. For Jack Layton, summer vacation couldn't come soon enough.

Iggy Policy Announcements

Ignatieff has had a busy day of policy announcements, which surely caught most pundits off guard because he so seldom discusses real policy. Generally his press conferences are exhibitions of out of control hyperbole while staying very vague on anything to do with actual tangible policy. He had his standard spiel on being ashamed of Canada, and that we need a foreign policy that Canadians can be proud of. As a matter fact Mr. Ignatieff, I have been very proud of the role Canada has been playing internationally under the leadership of Stephen Harper.

I do agree that we should maintain a presence in Afghanistan after 2011. At least that much Iggy and I agree on. I'm not sure how the Dippers are going to feel about that one. But I strongly disagree that we need a massive foreign policy overhaul, including creating a slew of new diplomatic posts and assignments. I disagree that more bureaucrats is the solution to any problem. I also disagree that building abortion clinics in Africa is the most effective means of spending the money that has been set aside to save lives. If your goal is reducing mortality rates, there is a much more effective way to spend the money.

NDP Speaks Up

When I listened to Libby Davies latest controversial remarks on the state of Israel, my initial reaction was a re-affirmation of my own preconceptions against NDP MPs. I would like to encourage more NDP candidates and officials to make more unscripted public comments, so that Canadians can see for themselves what nightmares may come from giving the NDP real power. What will happen if and when Iggy hands over the keys to the Liberal asylum to this particular group of inmates? Obviously the Liberals will have to shift their foreign policy to the left to placate their future partners.

The more controversial statements that are made by those clowns to the left, the more unpalatable it will be to Canadians if they merge with the Liberals. We know that it is highly unlikely that they will renounce socialism, especially Libby who represents the downtown eastside of Vancouver. We need to stop domestic oil production, right? Give us more buses, not tar sand! Canada is illegal! End Globalization! Make love not war! Free houses for everyone! Minimum guaranteed incomes!

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

PS: Ross Rebougliati is going to end poverty.

Name That Network

We should soon know whether the CRTC will grant the Quebecor bid to start a new 24 news network in Canada, in what has been nicknamed "Koryvision" or "Fox News North". What should it be called? I am assuming that the Fox Network will not be involved in this measure, so calling them Fox News North is unlikely plausible. One of my colleagues already asked this question, and some of the suggestions were News Canada, Real News, and CANTV. Personally I like the Canadian World News Network.

I don't think it would be wise to name the network Koryvision. Do you have any ideas? I would like this to be the theme of a poll question.

UPDATE: This morning they announced that it will be named Sun TV.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Waterloo Juiced

I have to admit that I'm somewhat surprised that the University of Waterloo football team has been suspended for the entire upcoming season for 9 steroid/doping infractions. This then raises the question, should we have steroid testing in Canadian amateur sports? The CIAU obviously has a testing program which caught these cases, but should testing programs be applied to high school sports? It is something which substantially increases performance while having serious negative long term health effects. There is significant incentive for young athletes to risk their long term health for short term gain, and it is something that should be monitored.

When I played high school football in Ontario, I never knew anyone who openly took steroids, but there were some people that many suspected may be juicing. One of my friends and teammates even went on to play for the Waterloo Warriors, though he was just a "pork rind eating lineman on the Scout Team" and never made "starting defense"...

Who Should Host FNN Flagship Politics Program?

I have read some rumours that Ezra Levant is being courted to host the fledgling center-right Canadian news network's flagship politics program to compete with Soloman and Clark. Ezra is certainly not my first choice for the coveted slot. While I do frequently agree with Ezra's opinion and I'm glad he's on my team; he can become really nutty when he gets worked up and is best taken in small doses. For my money, the perfect host would be Charles Adler. How much money would it take to lure Adler out of radio? Roy Green would also make an excellent selection, as would Rex Murphy if they could poach him from the CBC. Though I'm not sure Rex is even interested in hosting a daily show.

Possible nominees for host of the "Real" Power and Politics on soon to be released webpoll:

Charles Adler
Roy Green
Dave Rutherford
Mark Steyn
Rex Murphy
Andrew Coyne
Lowell Green
Ezra Levant
Michael Coren
Steve Paikin

Some of my past polling on this subject is included below.


Mark Steyn (43%)
Charles Adler (39%)
Rex Murphy (14%)
Evan Soloman (1%)
Rosemary Barton (0%)


Rex Murphy (67%)
Don Cherry (17%)
Amanda Lang (10%)
Rick Mercer (2%)
Peter Mansbridge (0%)
Susan Bonner (0%)
Evan Soloman (0%)


Charles Adler Show (58%)
Rex Murphy's Point of View/Cross Country Checkup (48%)
Roy Green Show (34%)
Michael Coren Show (34%)
Dave Rutherford Show (34%)
CBC: At Issue Panel (18%)
Tom Clarke's Power Play (18%)
CTV's Question Period (15%)
Rick Mercer Report (9%)
Evan Soloman Show (8%)