Saturday, July 31, 2010

Best Liberal Express Outtakes

This evening's poll question, what has been the biggest gaffe or worst image to emerge thus far from Ignatieff's summer tour? He started with the sulphur joke, and then a few days later the bus broke down. He claimed talking to children and riding a bike is living dangerously. We have the dancing Queen routine on the sidewalk, the Chretien presser, the Traverse "declining years" comment, or perhaps the $55 a plate breakfast at the Calgary Stampede. I will post the poll in about an hour, I just want to leave this open for a bit to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.  When all is said and done the Tories will have accumulated some excellent clips and sound bites for future campaign commercials.

Georges Laraque: Lizzy's New Deputy

A man who has taken thousands of bare knuckle punches to the head is now the deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada? This seems like an odd political play, but given that she has been busy trying to stomp out a mutiny within her party, I suppose it makes sense to bring in a goon on her flank to keep those detractors in line. I have always been a fan of Georges work on the ice, but repeatedly exchanging punches to the head over a long period of time hardly qualifies someone for political life. Joining the Green Party is one thing, but the deputy? That means theoretically if anything happens to Lizzy May, Georges would become the leader of a federal political party. If you have ever listened to this man speak about something important, the evidence of possible brain damage is quite apparent. He's almost like a francophone Rocky Balboa. It is virtually impossible to take thousands of bare knuckle punches to the face without sustaining some level of brain trauma.

I like you Georges, but not in politics. As a Conservative I am not concerned that this might be successful; rather I should want this celebrity appointment to attract more voters to the Green Party. Liberal and NDP voters are far more likely than Tories to defect to the Greens. Yet I have a strong suspicion that this is going to backfire on Elizabeth May.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Why We Need An Air Force

The Russian air force feels that it is prudent to deploy bombers on practice runs towards the Labrador coast, requiring Canadian fighter jets to scramble and shadow the Ruskies. According to the agenda being set by Jane Taber et all at the Globe and Mail, using this incident to justify the need for new fighter jets is just a shameless PR campaign. Honestly, the Russian desire to send bombers towards Canadian soil is absolutely a justification for us maintaining an active air force, and our current fleet is as old as I am and crashing at air shows. It isn't just partisan politics to declare the obvious, unless the agenda you're trying to set is that everything the Tories do is wrong.

When somebody finally tells Russia that the cold war is over and they don't need to send their bombers on runs to the Canadian coast, then perhaps the need for a modern air force will be diminished. It would seem to me that they are testing our response times and readiness, and it is imperative that we pass the test and discourage them from deploying them on actual bombing missions in the future. I support Canada having a modern air force and if that makes me a blind partisan puppet, then so be it. Ring a bell, and I'll salivate...

China Infiltrating Canada?

I just finished listening to Rosemary Barton interview Tory MP Rob Anders who had some interesting things to say about China potentially bribing Canadian politicians in an attempt to gain political favour. Granted this is coming from the same politician who voted against honourary citizenship for Nelson Mandela because he believes Nelson to be a communist and a terrorist. These allegations also come on the heels of the CSIS boss claiming that China has infiltrated our political class, remarks that caused a firestorm of controversy.

If Rob has directly witnessed any Canadian politician (Liberal or Conservative) accepting favours from the Chinese presumably in exchange for votes in the Commons, then he should report that to the appropriate officials. That is not the kind of information that you discuss for the first time with Rosie. He said that he had not talked to the Prime Minister about his allegations, but it is okay to talk about them with Rosie on the CBC? He should be talking to the police, not an amateur like Rosemary Barton.

RCMP Chaos?

Next time Scott Brison tries to blame the Government for a breaking controversy, he might want to check with his own party to see if they supported the decision when it was made (credit John Ivison). This week he blamed Stephen Harper for appointing a civilian to lead the RCMP which is responsible for a so-called revolt of senior RCMP officers; yet when the appointment was made, the PM received strong bipartisan support from the opposition Liberals, even the NDP. Now Brison is saying that Harper created chaos by appointing a civilian, who was supposed to "shake things up" in the senior ranks which were widely viewed as flawed, if not corrupt. Everyone agreed that the RCMP was broken and needed to be fixed. These same senior officers currently "in revolt" were opposed to civilian leadership, much less one with the mission statement to clean up inefficiencies.

Is it a coincidence that people strongly opposed to a civilian being hired as their boss are now the same people revolting? The commish was hired to shake things up, not make friends. And Scotty Bryson jumped the gun with blanket condemnation of the Prime Minister before even checking to see the Liberal party's position when the appointment was made.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Canadians Split On Long Form Census

I had been under the impression that there was widespread grassroot opposition to the Government's proposed voluntarization of the long form census. Don't let the CBC fool you, because according to Ipsos Reid Canadians are split about 50-50. The Globe and Mail did a survey asking if readers thought the long form census questions are too intrusive, and the results were split 50-50. As it turns out public opinion is not as unanimous as some of the doomsayers in the media have been proclaiming. Personally I support the big census being mandatory, but with a fine not jail time. But while I might oppose the Tories on this change, I hardly believe that it is such a grievous foul as to warrant a recall of Parliament or an election. The census just isn't very high on my list of political priorities.

It just isn't as big a deal with Canadians as the Kady O'Malley's of the world would have us believe. At the rate she's writing on this issue, she'll have enough blog posts to fill a book by the end of the summer.

Jimmy The Deficit Slayer

All hail Jim Flaherty and Stephen Harper for their magnificent fiscal leadership during this so-called "Great Recession" (at least that's what Don Newman called it). Today it was announced that our deficit reduction is going so well that we are expected to be back in surplus a year ahead of schedule. Of course Jane Taber did not mention this latest news when she was setting the Globe and Mail's agenda today. The PM's Chief of Staff speaking at a legal seminar signals the sky is falling, but God forbid she set the Globe's agenda to actually report news that reflects favorably on our Government.

I seem to recall Ignatieff not wanting anything to do with the responsibility of dealing with this "Great Recession" when it was in its infancy. I found a great video where Iggy actually says in early 2009 "we are living in an exceptional, extraordinary period which is Mr Harper's responsibility alone." Other than demanding a stimulus package, the leader of the Liberal Party wanted nothing to do with sharing in the fiscal governance of our country, despite our minority parliament, so now he can't share any of the glory for the remarkable performance.

Somehow I expect some of the video below to find their way into campaign commercials whenever we get back to the polls...

The Audacity Of Vacations

Jane Taber sets the agenda at the Globe and Mail, and since returning from her vacation she has been a busy little bee. Today's agenda is complaining that the Prime Minister has taken the last week to spend time with his family. It is okay for Jane to take a vacation because all she does is set the agenda, where the Prime Minister has the responsibility of governing the country. Yesterday's agenda was complaining that the Tories were shadowing the Liberal Express, and today it is complaining that the top Tory is not shadowing enough. The audacity, errr hypocrisy, of vacations! I'm sure Liberals never take vacations (how much time has Ignatieff spent at his villa in Europe over the last 4 years?) At least the PM stays in the Ottawa area getting daily briefings such that he can continue governing the country. It should also be noted that the PM very rarely takes vacations, certainly when compared to his Liberal counterpart.

"RCMP Chaos Harper's Fault"

Thank you for that headline CBC. The Commissioner of the RCMP is regarded by his employees as an asshole, which in and of itself constitutes chaos at our national police force, and it is all Stephen Harper's fault... or so the headline asserts. This particular CBC headline was derived from an interview with Liberal Scott Bryson. I suppose Scotty is writing headlines for these days where Kady O'Malley generally sets the agenda. With Taber setting the agenda at the Globe and Kady setting the agenda at, which is more biased? A difficult question to be sure, but worth asking.

The complaints against the bossman refer to him as "verbally abusive" and "insulting", which describes about half of the bosses I have ever had in my life. Over the course of his 3 years on the job, he was subject to the disdain of officers for being a civilian, and thus it is not a surprise that the underlings have turned on the boss. Personally I don't know enough about the man to render a judgment about whether or not he is good at his job. To me the measure of success is not how happy his assistants are, but how effective he is at his job. I do not have the necessary information at my disposal to make that assessment. I will trust the government to evaluate his job performance and make the appropriate decision.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tories Stalking Liberal Express

Peter Donolo and Jane Taber set the agenda at the Globe and Mail, and today it was the conspiracy theory that the Tories are shadowing and stalking the Liberal Express this summer. I don't know why Ignatieff would need to hire a blogger to follow him around on tour when Taber provides virtually the same service free of charge. He Tarzan you Jane. She even produced a top secret leaked invitation to a Tory event and they wouldn't reveal their source (conspiracies abound). Honestly this smells like paranoia, as Liberal MPs would prefer to have the summer spotlight all to themselves and the fact that the Tories are hosting any events must surely be a signal that they are stalking the Libs trying to steal their sunshine. Fortunately for Donolo he has Taber just a phone call away from setting his agenda. He has his head so far up her ass that it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins; may as well call her Tabolo.

"Where's Harper?"

The Liberals are now asking where is the Prime Minister, and why is he not also doing a summer bus tour? Iggy is on a campaign to convince Canadians that he is worthy of being elected Prime Minister. Stephen Harper has already been elected Prime Minister twice by Canadians, and therefore his primary responsibility is to govern the country on behalf of Canadians, not to rent a bus and spend the summer campaigning. Iggy might not understand this, but being the leader of this country is a full time job. The Prime Minister can't just work 2 hours a day and blow off the rest of responsibilities to get a good seat at happy hour like the Liberals do. The PM rarely takes vacations, and unlike Iggy he does not have a vacation home in Europe.

Today Ontario Liberal Mark Holland is hosting a BBQ in British Columbia. For the low price of just $20, you can meet Mark Holland. Either that or you can save up $100 and hope you can get a plate at the Justin Trudeau gala in PEI.

Clash Of The Titans

Last night I watched the movie Clash of the Titans, a release that I have been eagerly anticipating as a fan of Greek mythology. I find that in this genre my opinion differs from the mainstream critics, as I really enjoyed the movie Troy; but apparently a lot of people did not share my enthusiasm. Clash of the Titans was a solid C+, but not what I would call a memorable film. The special effects help enhance what is otherwise mediocre entertainment. That being said, there are so many bad movies being released these days such that this ranks higher relative to the competition. It likely ranks as Liam Neeson's worst acting performance, though none of the cast really stole the show. If you enjoy the Greek mythology fantasy tales, or you just enjoy watching superb special effects, it is worth watching.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Omnipresent Magical Bus Tour

According to Ignatieff's personal blogger, the Liberal Express is everywhere at once, in all places, doing all things, stalking Canadians at every turn. The Liberal Express is not just a bus, it is every Liberal MP. And of course what cross country promotional blog would be complete without a Tim Horton's drop? "At this very moment, somewhere in Canada, there is a Liberal MP standing in line at a Tim Horton’s." Yes that's what they say. There are 77 people in Canada who can are Liberal members of Parliament, and at any given minute of any given day, one of these 77 people is standing in line at a Tim Horton's. That begs the question, how many times per day would each Liberal MP have to visit a Tim Horton's for there to always be one in line? I'm pretty sure Iggy drinks Starbucks, so count him out of this experiment.

The magical bus tour continues!

The National Unity Crisis Card

You may recall back in September and October when Ignatieff was trying to convince Canadians that we wanted an election, he was labeling many an issue as a "national unity crisis". Well Iggy pop is back at it, trying to convince Canadians that the governing Conservatives are deliberately trying to tear the country apart. That beloved Taber-toothed tiger setting the agenda at the Globe and Mail would have you believe that I am only pointing this out to distract attention away from my own hidden intention to chop the country up into pieces. Sadly though, I did not receive this infamous memo circulated to Tory supporters, but Jane Taber did.

The last time I saw Iggy breaking out the national unity card on a daily basis was when he was trying to convince us that we wanted an election. Could this latest salvo indicate that the Liberals are eyeing a fall election? Or by asking that question am I simply attempting to hide my hidden agenda? By the way, another Taberite at the Globe is unearthing the Tory Hidden Agenda card again; claiming the only motive that makes any sense on the census changes is the hidden agenda of declaring war on poor people. I get the feeling that the media are trying to sensationalize an otherwise low importance story in the doldrums of summer to try and sell a few extra newspapers when most Canadians are enjoying the warm weather and are disconnected from politics.

And where does Taber get her ridiculous political cartoons? The latest is a kid holding ice cream and a stick man resembling Iggy asks for a lick. The kid's thought bubble reads "Harper would have just taken it". HA HA HA that's too funny! HA HA HA...

"Retirees wary of Tory census move"

GI Jane Taber is back on the war path to set the agenda for the Globe and Mail, and as per usual it is splitting down partisan lines. Her argument is that based on an unreliable newsletter poll she concludes that retirees, a key voting demographic, is preparing to break away from the Tories over the decision to make the long form census voluntary. I don't think failure to fill it out should be punishable by jail time, but I support making the random sample fill out the long form census. When you make it voluntary, the people more likely to fill it out are the people with more spare time. If you work 50 hours a week and are hardly ever at home, you are far less likely to fill out the form. If "more spare time" people disproportionately fill out voluntary forms over very busy people, then the results will skew to one demographic over another. Ergo, retirees with more spare time will be better represented in the census which may benefit their demographic in the form of government policy.

I believe that the government will negotiate a compromise. Make it mandatory, but with a fine not jail time. The people who are the most likely to be annoyed doing the long census paper work are the same busy people who will be under represented in the government policy that results from the voluntary survey. And also, the names attached to the data collected should be protected by the government. Not all of the information should be released to the public, and certainly not that containing valuable private information.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Jane Taber's "Employment Equity Debacle"

It would appear that Jane Taber is back from vacation. In her Monday "morning buzz" on the Globe and Mail website, she made reference to the "employment equity debacle". This is a curious stance to take considering that the Globe's own polling showed 80% of their readers supporting the government's position. How can it possibly be framed as a "debacle" when it has strong bipartisan support? Are you reporting it as a debacle, or are you trying to frame it as a debacle?

Forgive me for being suspicious, but it was only yesterday that I read an op-ed at the Globe and Mail (that did not list an author) that tried to argue that the "ridiculous attack" on the long form census proved that the Tories had nefarious intentions when they took an unrelated position on a policy that is in harmony with the Globe's readers.

Nice try Jane. The greater debacle as I see it is posted near the top right hand side of the Globe and Mail's politics page: "Jane Taber and The Globe's parliamentary bureau set the agenda"

Funky Ann Medina

Sunday I listened to an hour of Cross Country Check-up on the radio with Ann Medina guest hosting for Rex Murphy. CBC radio is generally low quality entertainment, but Rex is among the best in the business. I thought Ann Medina did a fantastic job as guest host moderating a national conversation on the Conrad Black appeal. I know her best from Fact and Film on the History Channel, and this was the first time that I listened to her in this kind of format. As a journalist perhaps the best compliment I can give her is that she was fair to both sides and did not display any discernible political bias. She was very good at political commentary and I would encourage her to engage in it at every opportunity.

Even Dr. Roy called in and made some excellent points. My summary of the whole Conrad Black discussion, some people really love him and some people really hate him. I think most people are in the middle. He's served time and helped tutor inmates acquiring an education, and he may yet be acquitted. The Conrad detractors mainly focused on the relinquishing of the citizenship, that he should have no more rights than your average tourist. Not Interested In Clement Rescue Story

I suppose that jumping into a raging river to save a drowning woman just isn't that interesting, at least in the eyes of Tony Clement's act of heroism occurred on Saturday night, and it did not make it onto the CBC Canadian News page until the late afternoon on Sunday and it had mysteriously disappeared by Monday morning. Being a hero isn't news. What is news is a scathing op-ed by Don Newman which calls Tony "seemingly" capable, blind partisan, and ultra ambitious. The Newman piece was posted before the Clement story on Sunday morning, and the piece is still there. I visited the website several times Sunday to see if and when the CBC would report the story, but their Canadian News page was just too packed with really important stories, such as: P.E.I. bids for potato peeling record or Regina bookstore casualty of online trend.

Tony Clement really is an inconvenient hero for the CBC who is attempting to vilify him on Censusgate. Kady O'Malley has written two posts today and has not made a single mention of the heroic incident. What Kady is really excited about is Tuesday's impromptu committee meeting where MPs will get to question Tony about the Census (or what she calls "the countdown to censusfest 2010"). Kady even complains in one about Monday being a "slowish day". Really Kady? You couldn't have discussed anything that occurred on the weekend? The hero story was really only news for a few hours, but Don Newman op-eds last forever...

For the record, both the Globe and Mail and National Post still have the Clement story posted on their politics pages.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Rapper Wycleff Jean President of Haiti?

In one of the worst ideas that could possibly be conceived for earthquake torn Haiti, rumour has it that Haitian born rapper Wycleff Jean plans to run for President of the country. This is a terrible idea, and while he may do admirable charity work for his native country, he is absolutely not qualified for this position. Infact given the fragile state of the country, not only would this stall the recovery, it might actually set them back. Come to think of it, former Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean would be an excellent choice if she were interested and at least she has head of state experience (defacto or otherwise).

If you want to know what would happen if Wycleff were elected President, watch the video:

The Cautious Politician

On Saturday the Liberal Party posted a press release titled "Living Dangerously" where they boasted that leader Mike Ignatieff was living life on the edge by riding a bicycle and talking to children. "A cautious politician does not ride a bicycle" they said. Later that same day, Tory Industry Minister Tony Clement jumped into a raging river to help save a woman's life. I suppose Tony is not a cautious politician. If Iggy considers a high five with a toddler to be living in the danger zone, I suspect that he would not be jumping into a river to prevent a drowning, but we never know how any of us will react to such a situation until we find ourselves in it.

My question to you is what other activities does a cautious politician not do (measured by Liberal standards)? Does a cautious politician drink Tim Horton's coffee? Does a cautious politician walk and chew gum at the same time? Does a cautious politician swim 15 minutes after eating?

Conservatives "Worst Possible Motives" On Affirmative Action

There is a curious editorial up at the Globe and Mail which suggests that the battle over the census is evidence that the Tories have nefarious motives on affirmative action. The article, which does not list an author, claims "coming so soon after its baffling attack on the mandatory long-form census and politicization of statistical methodology – and the efforts of Conservative politicians to cast that decision along overtly ideological lines – it is understandable that the worst possible motives are being inferred." I would guess that this was written by Taber or Galloway, given that the "worst possible motives" are being inferred on an issue with bipartisan support.

There is a hesitation on the left to directly attack the Conservatives on this employment equity issue, largely because polling suggests that many Liberal supporters are against hiring based on skin colour. They risk alienating people on their own side if they defend the practice, hence why even Pavlov's Liblogs are generally avoiding the discussion. The Liberal website is going so far as to say "Conservatives attack minorities", but the rats aren't following the Pied Piper on this one. So in a vain attempt to change the focus, the unknown writer wrote "it would be a lot easier to take the employment review seriously were the government not persisting in its ridiculous attack on the long-form census."

Look, can we really accuse Tony Clement of being evil? The man jumped into a river to save a drowning woman.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tony Clement The Hero

When he isn't busy saving Canadians from those evil census collectors, Industry Minister Tony Clement is pulling drowning women out of raging rivers. If there is indeed an upcoming Cabinet shuffle, the Prime Minister may want to consider Tony for Minister of Public Safety. Of all the Tory MPs who could have found themselves in this heroic situation, it is he who has been under the most fire from the media this summer. It has become so bad that some of the more passionate pundits have accused him of manipulating the census to deny poor people services. Do evil people run down to the river and jump into the rapids to save a life?

Well done Tony, well done indeed!

Ignatieff's "Declining Years"

When Jim Traverse speculated that Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff had an "exit strategy" in the form of a high profile job at the University of Toronto, Iggy's response was that Jim Traverse has taken to "writing fiction in his declining years". When JT countered, he noted that Ignatieff is one year older than he is! If Jimmy is in his "declining years", then what does that make Iggy? Does he see himself declining, hence why he is labeling others in his demographic as in decline? Jim wisely pointed out that Ignatieff may want to take care not to offend the baby boomers who may not appreciate this kind of comment.

It is nice to see Iggy adding to his ever growing video library of absolutely asinine comments. He has tremendously poor political instincts. Like today, bragging about taking the enormous risk of talking to children. A cautious politician doesn’t talk to children, they say the darndest things. It is very challenging to match wits with a toddler, at least for someone as clueless as Mike.

Ignatieff: Life On The Edge

The Liberal Party wants you to know that their leader is a man without fear, a political daredevil who takes extreme risks like riding a bicycle, answering questions, or giving children high fives. That's life on the edge. As a new press release "Living Dangerously" on their website explains today; "a cautious politician does not ride a bicycle, when there is a risk of falling off...a cautious politician does not give high-fives to kids...a cautious politician does not take unscripted questions." He is the political equivalent of Evel Knievel, and I wish him good luck riding that bicycle. If he is afraid of falling down, he can always opt for training wheels or the Lizzy May adult tricycle. He doesn't have to risk his life to connect with Canadians.

Sadly he won't be attending the Liberal Big Red Bike Ride in British Columbia, instead hosting lunch in Stratford. I suppose BC doesn't matter...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why We Need New Fighter Jets

When our existing fleet of fighter jets start breaking down and crash landing while practicing for air shows, then perhaps it is time to start thinking about ordering some new equipment for our pilots. Today's crash landing in Lethbridge, where a plane stalled in flight forcing the pilot to eject, should signal to Canadians that we had better buy some new jets. Wait, we already have? Outstanding. Can we ask Lockheed to speed up that first delivery?

Thankfully the pilot only sustained minor injuries.

Earlier this month I asked the question:


Yes (96%)
No (4%)

Votes: 206

CBC Audience Supports Employment Equity Changes

I had been expecting the opposition to jump all over the announcement by government that employment equity policies are going to be reviewed. What I did not expect was a majority of Evan Soloman's audience at the CBC actually agreeing with the government's position in an online poll. It seems that there is bipartisan opposition to the practice of hiring people based on skin colour. I suppose that you don't have to be Liberal or Conservative to feel discriminated against when you fill out a job application that asks for your race and then states that preference will be given to applicants of another colour than you.

On one hand it seems kind of strange for the government to get a single complaint from a Tory blogger and then announce an overhaul of government policy. That's all it takes, one complaint? I have complained about the HST, how come that hasn't been revisited? And yet, this may turn out to be a very smart political play that may gain some traction among opposition supporters. The Liberal website is accusing the government of declaring war on minorities, but in all fairness maybe they should have checked with the 246 left wing viewers of the Soloman Show first?

Should the government review its employment equity policies?

Yes 53% (131 votes)
No 43% (105 votes)
Unsure 4% (10 votes)

Total Votes: 246

Chretien: "the leader is always the best man for the job"

Among the many "pearls of wisdom" that have been bestowed upon us by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien over the years, "the leader is always the best man for the job" has to now rank among my all-time favourites. When a reporter prodded him on why he was endorsing Ignatieff, JC responded "because he's the leader" which felt like a thinly veiled jab at Paul Martin. It is no secret that JC thinks that Bob Rae would be a better leader, but in the spirit of the old wounds that have yet to heal from the Paul Martin uprising in JC's days; and being the leader is what qualifies the current puppet show to do the job? Granted the reporter did not ask the obvious follow up question: is a candidate who has never won a leadership convention a qualified choice to be leader of the party?

Affirmative Action?

I am struggling to figure out why the Tories have chosen now to inject affirmative action into the national conversation. Yes I have been denied work because I am a caucasian male, but I'm not about to start decrying that I have been hard done by because I'm white. At the 30 year mark in my life, I am quite certain that being white has been an advantage. So regardless of how I feel about skin colour based employment discrimination, I am not going to start fighting for more rights for whites. I'd say that I already have it pretty good.

The fact that the Tories have launched an initiative most likely to be supported by white males, the demographic that votes Tory in higher proportions than any other, suggests to me that the purpose of this is to goad the opposition. The last time we saw such a deliberate attempt to mobilize the opposition was tax subsidies for political parties, something the PMO decided to do after the NDP announced a deal with the Bloc in a public conference call. I guarantee you that many a Liberal and Dipper across this country were frothing at the mouth with excitement when they saw Tories looking to re-address affirmative action.

Sometimes the "rope-A-dope" can be a very effective strategy in politics, a strategy that I'm certain Stephen Harper is familiar with. Affirmative action feels like a "right hand lead". For a complete understanding of what a "rope-A-dope" is and how it is effective, watch this (experts explain the rope-A-dope while showing the Ali v Foreman fight):

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chretien Gives Ignatieff Quebec Brand Marketing Advice

Today marked "Jean Chretien Day" on the Liberal Express Tour of Quebec, where Mike Ignatieff praised all the advice he has been so fortunate to receive from the only Prime Minister. This being an election dry run through Quebec, I'm sure Chretien had much advice on brand marketing in Quebec. How to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on raising a national profile in La Belle Province is a part of JC's area of expertise. I seem to recall JC launching a marketing campaign in Quebec once upon a time, where tax dollars purchased billboards, some flags, some radio ads, while also compensating party insiders for "services" rendered. Iggy would be wise to accept any and all advice he can possibly get from this Liberal icon who never defeated a united right.

I'm sure the meeting today had some awkwardness. Chretien is widely believed to be in the Bob Rae camp, though he never passes up an opportunity to get himself in front of cameras. You may also have noticed Justin Trudeau trying to squeeze his mug into as many photo ops as possible this summer.

If Iggy Wants To Connect With Canadians...

If it is really important for Ignatieff to connect with Canadians this summer, my advice would be to take up one of our country's popular recreational activities, jet skiing. He should find himself a wetsuit, rent a jet ski, and then invite the national press gallery to come photograph him. Having Canadians see him doing something we all love to do will surely vault him into national prominence and prove to the entire country that he's one of us worthy of leadership. Far be it for the Liberal Party to take the advice of a partisan Tory, but sometimes our warnings are accurate. I remember last September when Iggy announced that it was time for an election; I wrote that they were either bluffing or really stupid. I had some leftards dropping comments saying "you are a Conservative; we should do the opposite of what you think we should do."

How did that election in the fall of 2009 work out for you?

Jay Hill

I would like to thank the honourable Jay Hill for his nearly 20 years of service representing Canadians in Parliament. He was (and for now still is) an outstanding parliamentarian who will be sorely missed and not easily replaced. Rosemary Barton today was glowing when discussing her conspiracy theory that this retirement is a signal that the Tories are going to try and force a fall election. Slow news cycle Rosie? Her contribution to the national conversation today was Guergis suing Harper for defamation and Jay Hill's retirement signaling the Tory intention of collapsing their own government when Parliament resumes less than halfway into their mandate.

Thanks Rosie. Talk about anything but Ignatieff's blundering 3 hour tour to deflect attention; though I have long suspected that there is a high probability that Rosemary Barton votes NDP. It is a gut feeling which I cannot confirm. Most media don't tell you how they vote, even if it affects their reporting. I prefer disclosing my bias at the very top of my page before people scroll down to my opinion. I don't think that Jay Hill's retirement signals anything other than 20 years is a lifetime in politics and very few last that long in the madness of it all.

Have a great retirement Jay; I encourage you to stay involved. Maybe you can help Sun TV get off the ground? I'm just saying...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Helena Cleared

I was pleased to see today that the RCMP has ruled there is insufficient evidence of criminal activity taking place in the Conservative government involving Helena Guergis or Rahim Jaffer. Now we are just waiting for the Ethics Commissioner to render a ruling as to whether or not there was a violation of Parliamentary ethics, and if she is cleared of any wrongdoing, I think the Prime Minister should invite her back into caucus (which she may or may not accept). Rosemary Barton was glowing with excitement when she suggested that Helena could sue the Prime Minister, which is not going to happen. The defamation came from the likes of Marlene Jennings who suggested that Helena had ties to organized crime and was engaged in drug trafficking.

Doesn't anyone remember Rahim Jaffer boasting about his access to government on his website before Helena was dismissed? And while they may have been cleared by law enforcement, remember that the Prime Minister could not have known what the result of the investigation would be when he called for it. He is a smart man, but he's not Nostradamus. There were allegations that the husband of a cabinet minister was peddling government influence on top of a trail of e-mails and conversations between Rahim and government ministers about government contracts. A quarantine was the absolute right thing to do. We are in a minority parliament with a 24 hour news cycle, and the PM had a responsibility to his party and the people of Canada to ensure the integrity of government business.

Here's how I saw the dismissal happening; Snowdy went to the Tories with allegations that Jaffer was peddling influence, so the Prime Minister talked to his ministers who told him that Rahim was frequently inquiring about government contracts and that his activities could be construed as lobbying in a court of law. There may still be an ethical violation even if there is no criminal violation. And if Helena were to sue the Prime Minister, she has little to no chance of winning. All the PM has to say is that we are in a minority parliament and the majority opposition was demanding her dismissal and he listened, but not until he had credible reports that Rahim may have been peddling government influence.

Again, if she is cleared by the Ethics Commissioner, I support her being invited back into caucus, despite how stupid she came across in the Mansbridge interview.

Dalton Reversing The Tax?

I must say that I was surprised to see Dalton McGuinty repeal his new eco tax after consumer outrage began to reach a fever pitch. Of all the dozens of new taxes and existing tax increases that the McGuinty administration has burdened Ontario tax payers with since their first election, how did this one get repealed so quickly? I am at a loss to explain why this tax elicited a quick reversal, where other unpopular taxes have endured. Is Dalton becoming paranoid? Since when has the unpopularity of a tax swayed his position, much less on an issue as righteous as the environment. I'm still waiting for his carbon tax.

Tories Tough On Crime

Yesterday Statistics Canada released its latest batch of crime stats, and Canada has experienced a 17% decline in the crime rate over the last decade; a significant proportion of those declines coming under Conservative governance. Homicides are down, break ins have plummeted, and robberies are down. I'm not holding the Tories solely responsible for the lowering crime rates, as the Chretien administration had some success in this regard. Certainly the Conservative government and their soon to be 5 years in power deserve a quality pat on the back for continuing to lower crime rates.

If you rank crime as a major priority in who you vote for, the Tories are the only option. Bob Rae would have Omar Kadhr free in Canada, possibly living in a neighborhood near you. My opinion is that if Bobby feels so passionate about freeing Omar, he should be released into Bob Rae's custody and make Bob criminally liable for any crime that his house guest commits.

Will Censusgate Cost Tories Votes?

I sincerely doubt it, but that is one of the politics headlines at the Globe (and today's poll question). There have been a lot of things this past year that could have conceivably cost the Tories votes, issues far more serious than this. As a stats junkie I support making Canadians fill out the long form census, but I know that a lot of normal Canadians don't like filling out the long form with all that detailed information. Maybe putting the G20 in Toronto will cost the Tories some votes in Toronto, but how is relieving a large proportion of the population from doing something they don't want to do going to cost the government votes? It seems like a silly question to ask, which is why I'll ask it...

Look, it is the summertime and not much is going on. Most political pundits undoubtedly experience a decrease in traffic during the summer. People spend more time outside during the summer. I suspect that those friendly to the Liberals in the media are trying to pump up the volume to deflect attention away from Ignatieff's 3 hour bus tour. Kady O'Malley for example has written 8 consecutive posts on censusgate, and the last non census piece was "munk ado about nothing" denying the Iggy U of T job offer rumours. You have the Liberal leader touring the country making an ass of himself, and all Kady wants to write about is something that only academics seem to care about. Again, I support making Canadians fill out the big census, but if the form is dumped I won't lose any sleep over it...

Iggy doesn't lose sleep over war crimes, but the long census, that's another story! Or is the media creating this separate from the Liberal party because the summer news cycle has been slow, and the only interesting political story has been Ignatieff fumbling through his first attempt at campaigning. The G20 protests backfired on the protesters. Fake Lake was massively popular with the thousands of visiting foreign media members. Is the only reason this is a story because the news cycle has been slow?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Which Tory Is Having The Best Summer?

I would like to take a moment to applaud Rona Ambrose for her exemplary work as Minister of Women this summer and ask you which Tory you think is having the best "offseason" thus far? A number of cabinet ministers have been busy with governance this summer, though some are doing better than others. Tony Clement has probably been under the most fire, justified or otherwise. Jason Kennedy was being heralded by both the left and right for his immigration bill at the end of the session. Which Tory do you think is having the best summer thus far?

On that note I would also like to send a supportive "Hell Ya" to the 22 Tory MPs who were not absent for a single vote in this last session of Parliament. How many Liberals had perfect attendance? None, except Speaker Peter Miliken.

Tom Lukiwski SK
Mike Lake AB
Jay Hill BC
John Duncan BC
Mark Warawa BC
Rick Dykstra ON
Dave MacKenzie ON
James Bezan MB
Rick Norlock ON
Colin Carrie ON
Dick Harris BC
Sylvie Boucher QC
Leona Aglukkaq NU
Lois Brown ON
Scott Reid ON
Nina Grewal BC
Gordon O'Connor ON
Lisa Raitt ON
Patricia Davidson ON
Guy Lauzon ON
Gary Schellenberger ON
Ed Holder ON

Defending Mel Gibson?

I find it curious that anybody would be out there defending Mel Gibson right now, but that isn't stopping Ezra Levant from marooning himself alone on an island. If you listen to that entire phone call and your first reaction is to try to defend Mel, you have problems. I suppose Mel had every right to be angry, because he deserved to be "blown" in the jacuzzi; and that it was denied to him justifies his threat to blow up the house. If she gets raped by a pack of *racist expletive deleted*, it will be her fault. Look, he didn't find out that she had fake boobs until after he knocked her up, so he has every right to be angry.

Or as Ezra wrote: "I wouldn't want to be spoken to the way Gibson allegedly spoke to his ex. But I am also equally sure about what's going on here"

There is nothing allegedly about it Ezra, it is all on tape, and it is completely crazy. Listen to the clip where he says that she must give him a blowjob before he blows up the house...

Mallick's Back

Heather Mallick is once again writing for the CBC where she discusses her views on literature, selling books, and writing in general. She even claims that the National Post has offered to PAY her to become a subscriber. Evidently the Post covets Heather's inclusion in their online community, be it as a writer or just a reader. Nowhere in her CBC essay does she even mention Stephen Harper or the government of Canada, so this is not in the same class as saying Conservative men are sexually inadequate. It is possible that the CBC instructed her to remove the partisanship for any of her work they publish, but you have to wonder why they would even publish her work at all. She has a history of divisiveness, and would certainly be a useful literary ally if the Liberals wanted to engage in a full blown culture war blitzkrieg.

I think Fox News described her best:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Elizabeth May's Democratic Reform

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is a self proclaimed expert on democratic reform. Now that there is a public challenge to her leadership from within her own party, we are reminded of her notion of democracy. She wants to change Canada's constitution to make it easier for her party to get into Parliament, and now she wants to change her own Party's constitution to make it more difficult for her party's membership to vote on her poor leadership. One person's democratic reform is another person's fascism. Let's change the way we have elected our MPs for nearly 150 years so that we can make it easier for Elizabeth to squeeze herself into a seat, then change the Green Party's constitution so she can stay leader for life; and we will call it democratic reform as we toast the brave new world that Lizzy would like to impose upon us.

I watched an interview with leadership rival Sylvie Lemieux (a retired army lieutenant-colonel no less) and my first impression was favourable. Granted she did not discuss policy, and there is a very strong possibility that I will strongly disagree with her policies. At the very least, we both agreed that Elizabeth May's policies are flawed and her leadership has been poor. For now the enemy of my enemy will be my friend. According to Rosemary Barton, Lizzy is quite upset over this leadership challenge. Rosie tried to get Lizzy on the show, but all she got was a "snarky" letter condemning the challenge.

The Greens are in trouble. Their funding is way down, their membership is declining, and now her rivals are publicly challenging their leader. Kind of makes you wonder how Frank Graves has them consistently at the %12 level.

Liberal Express Taking A Break

After a whole week riding around on a bus and eating lots of food, Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff has earned a few days off. As Kady O'Malley tells it, he needs some time to "refresh" after his whole week of campaigning. He must prepare himself for a 4 day tour of Quebec that starts off in Maxime Bernier's backyard in the Beauce. I suppose the few weeks off Iggy had before this tour even began was not sufficient. Let's be fair, Iggy was so busy skipping votes in the legislature last session that he deserves a vacation, a vacation from his problems.

Has anyone on that bus been counting how many Tim Horton's stops there have been? There have been reports that Iggy has been seen on this trip drinking Starbucks. I have yet to substantiate these allegations. Is the Liberal Express going to be running into August? If you go by the events schedule on the Liberal Party website, it appears the Summer Tour is over July 30th when it only just started on the 13th. This is a 3 week tour that is starting to feel more like a 3 hour tour.

Prince Charles

I am curious to know how you would feel to have Prince Charles as your Head of State? Regardless of your own feelings on the Monarchy, there really is nothing bad anyone can say about Elizabeth; but who is coming next, and how much power could that individual exert over our Governor General? I believe that most people turned against Charles after the Princess Di tragedy, while others have likely been turned by some of his environmentalist policies. Could King Charles force the Governor General to put a climate changeologist regime in power should a minority block vote down a throne speech immediately after a Federal Election?

I am someone who will take every opportunity to discredit the monarchy's role in our Parliament, not because I have a complaint against the current monarch, but rather because I am looking a few moves down the chess board at who might be coming next. Either way I don't believe the Crown should be our Head of State. I have not yet made up my mind on William. Today's poll question, would you accept King Charles as your Head of State?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Two Escobars

Today I watched the ESPN "30 for 30" documentary "The Two Escobars” and it was absolutely fantastic. The doc discusses how the drug cartels started putting their money into Colombian soccer in the 1980s to launder money, led by the notorious Pablo Escobar. This climaxed at the 1994 World Cup when Colombia lost to the United States after an own goal by star player Andres Escobar, who was gunned down in the streets of Medellin upon returning to his native country. Shame of the incident prompted many fans and elite players to walk away from Colombian soccer, which was brought to prominence with the cocaine money from Pablo and collapsed after the own goal and subsequent execution of Andres...the Two Escobars.

This deserves some kind of award. The cartels gambled huge sums of money for Colombia to win, and after they lost to Romania in the first game of the 1994 World Cup, the death threats started coming in before the second game against the United States in an attempt to force victory. It was not successful.

The House Ignatieff Built

Last week Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff made a stop in Cobourg Ontario to help Habitat for Humanity build a house. My first thought; is anyone going to live in that house? I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable moving into a home that Iggy helped build. They even permitted him to operate power tools, a skill I suspect him to be lacking experience in. Given that Iggy has the reverse Midas touch where everything he touches turns to shit. When the home gets a tenant, they should be informed that the phony aristocrat drove nails into the structure and they should therefor report anything out of the ordinary.

I feel like Ignatieff's newfound love of carpentry can be turned into a poll question. Any ideas? What is he qualified to be building? Sand castles?

Follow The Liberal Express

I decided to visit the Liberal Party Website to see if the Liberal Express would be making a stop at a Tim Horton's near me in BC. Sadly it does not appear that Pandora's Bus will be leaving Quebec and Ontario (other than a lone trip to Saskatoon today). The Liberal list of summer events does include British Columbia, but those events conflict with a softball tournament in Laval, or "lunch with Ignatieff" in Stratford. I'm guessing that he won't be attending "The Big Red Bike Ride" in BC, as he scheduled conflicting breakfast and lunch events in Ontario.

There has been some false advertising. A cross country tour? The bus is making 95% of its stops in only two Provinces! That leaves a lot of Tim Horton's unvisited. I suppose from a pragmatic point of view this makes sense. Iggy has little chance of electoral success west of Ontario, so why make the effort? Atlantic Canada will elect Liberals no matter what, so they are easy to take for granted. Also there are only 3 events scheduled for August and September (none of which include the "Liberal Express"), so when they said a "Summer Tour", what they really meant was two weeks in July.

They wanted to give the impression that they would spend the entire summer visiting the entire country. When Mike said that he'd visit every Tim Hortons even if it killed him, what he meant to say was that he'd visit a half dozen Tim Hortons in Ontario over a two week period. This is not the Summer Across Canada Tour; this is the "Two Weeks in Ontario and Quebec Tour", with one lonely stop in Saskatoon. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, as we should have known that they couldn't afford what they were advertising.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Artistic Activism

This week on the Soloman Show, I watched an interview with "activist" singer Sarah Harmer where they discussed the importance of political activism by artists. It is fine for artists to have an opinion and voice that opinion, but I get annoyed when they believe that their opinion is somehow more important than others just because they were blessed with quality vocal chords. The ability to sing or act does not automatically trump another person's ability to think. Kind of like how Rosie O’Donnell and Charlie Sheen's opinion on structural engineering is more important than that of actual engineers.

You might have some nice pipes Sarah (I don't know as I have never heard your music), but be careful not to take yourself too seriously.

Sun TV Denied Mandatory Inclusion

The CRTC has denied the proposed Sun TV 24 hour news network a Category 1 license for mandatory inclusion into cable packages. As a consumer I would like to purchase this product as soon as it becomes available, but I can't say that I support making people buy it. I don't think people should be forced to buy CBC Newsworld, so I don't think people should be forced to buy Sun TV. Those pundits proclaiming this to be some type of massive defeat for Kory Teneycke likely overestimated the probability that mandatory inclusion would be granted. I think this was a long shot at best, but if you are Kory obviously you have to take it. Mandatory inclusion gives you guaranteed subscriptions and more money, so even if the probability of getting a seat in first class is 10%, you have to try.

There is nothing wrong with Category 2. Put together a quality network that people want to watch, and there will be eyeballs. Hopefully this does not discourage Quebecor from making the capital expenditures necessary to get the party started, now that there aren't guaranteed subscriptions. So you have to negotiate individual subscription deals with cable providers, there is a demand for the product and eventually supply will follow.

If you build it, they will come.

Do You Believe In Karma?

Today's poll question; do you believe in Karma? That if you do something good or noble for which you are not rewarded, that the probability of something good happening to you increases in the future. Or visa versa, refer to someone as the Devil then three days later depart on a bus tour only to have the vehicle break down and be fixed by a company with the same name as the person you accused of being from Hell. While this might be the premise for the television show My Name Is Earl (which I'm a fan of and you may or may not enjoy), where do you stand on Karma? Is it perhaps that if we all try to be better people that the world will be a better place? Does doing good deeds increase the number of good deeds to go around.

I'm watching Iggy's bus tour, and I'm starting to believe in Karma. What say you?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Recall Parliament Over Census?

While I support making Canadians fill out the long form census, I think it is insane for the Liberals to muse about an emergency recall of MPs to Parliament in the middle of the summer recess. First of all you know the Liberals have to be bluffing because if they call everyone back to work in the middle of their vacations, how many do you think will actually show up? We are talking about the party who has great difficulty getting their members to show up when Parliament is in session, much less when they are on vacation.

Just as a refresher, here is a list of Liberal MPs and their voting absences in the last session of Parliament (you may or may not recall their manufactured prorogation outrage where they insisted on the importance of MPs being allowed to work. I love this "How'd they vote" site. I wonder if the Liberal MPs knew that somebody would be counting all those 1787 times one of them ducked out of work early for Happy Hour.

Voting Absences from March to June (for perspective, roughly 70% of the Tory caucus missed 5 votes or less; the average Liberal missed 23 votes, for 1787 total absences):

Member of Parliament Absences
Michael Ignatieff 63
Jim Karygiannis 56
Marc Garneau 51
Denis Coderre 49
Irwin Cotler 45
Stéphane Dion 41
Pablo Rodriguez 40
Keith Martin 39
Anita Neville 38
Raymonde Folco 36
Ruby Dhalla 36
Mario Silva 34
Dan McTeague 33
Navdeep Bains 33
Justin Trudeau 33
Glen Pearson 32
John Cannis 31
John McKay 31
Carolyn Bennett 31
Albina Guarnieri 31
Bernard Patry 31
Larry Bagnell 30
Bryon Wilfert 30
David McGuinty 29
Derek Lee 29
Marlene Jennings 29
Gerard Kennedy 29
Lawrence MacAulay 29
Jean-Claude D'Amours 27
Michelle Simson 27
Todd Russell 26
Joyce Murray 26
Scott Andrews 26
Joe Volpe 25
Sukh Dhaliwal 25
Andrew Kania 24
Frank Valeriote 24
Francis Scarpaleggia 23
Ujjal Dosanjh 23
Judy Sgro 22
Martha Hall Findlay 22
Rob Oliphant 21
Borys Wrzesnewskyj 20
Kirsty Duncan 19
Bonnie Crombie 19
Anthony Rota 19
Marcel Proulx 18
Yasmin Ratansi 18
John McCallum 17
Scott Brison 17
Massimo Pacetti 17
Mauril Bélanger 17
Maria Minna 17
Gurbax Malhi 16
Brian Murphy 15
Maurizio Bevilacqua 15
Ralph Goodale 14
Hedy Fry 14
Mark Holland 13
Geoff Regan 13
Alan Tonks 13
Mark Eyking 13
Ken Dryden 13
Alexandra Mendes 12
Dominic LeBlanc 12
Gerry Byrne 11
Lise Zarac 11
Wayne Easter 10
Michael Savage 8
Scott Simms 6
Siobhan Coady 6
Judy Foote 6
Shawn Murphy 4
Paul Szabo 3
Rodger Cuzner 1
Peter Milliken 0

New Jet Planes

Today's poll question; do you think the Canadian Air Force needs new fighter jets? If your answer is no, then the next question would be do you even think Canada should have an Air Force? My personal opinion is yes we absolutely should buy new jets and 9 billion spread out over a dozen years seems like a reasonable price. I would have preferred the contract going to Boeing, but I assume that Lockheed makes better fighter jets at a better price. Canada has had some bad experiences with selecting local producers for similar projects instead of better choices abroad. If you live in BC, you are likely familiar with the story of the Pacificat Ferries.

"The provincial government at the time, led by New Democratic Party (NDP) premier Glen Clark, decided to use provincial Crown corporation BC Ferries to advance its economic goal of supporting British Columbia's shipbuilding industry by creating a fleet of custom-designed high-speed catamaran passenger/vehicle ferries for BC Ferries,"

Cancelling the contract is not the solution. Let's not repeat the mistakes of Jean Chretien who cancelled the helicopters that it turned out we desperately needed. The Sea Kings crash on rescue missions, where we then need to call the American Coast Guard to rescue our rescue crew. We needed those helicopters, but it made for great politics when Chretien promised to scrap it. Turns out it was a mistake to cancel the contracts. Let's not make the same mistake twice.

Ignatieff "Don't take me too seriously"

This week Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff appeared on the Soloman Show to discuss his "Summer Under The Bus Tour", and the host asked him to clarify his remarks suggesting that the Prime Minister was either the Devil or a demon from Hell. Iggy just smiled, laughed and said "don't take me too seriously". That is excellent advice to give to all the Canadians who will listen to him speak this summer, he is not to be taken seriously. I have been following that advice since Iggy first returned to Canada to run for Prime Minister.

When Iggy has to spend Day 2 of his "3 Hour Tour" explaining to a national television audience that he is not to be taken seriously, you know they have problems. When he spends Day 3 accusing a Liberal friendly Torstar journalist of making up stories about job offers from the University of Toronto, you know they have problems. Does Jim Traverse just make up stories about Liberals? I know he has a lot of sources in the Liberal hierarchy, some more reliable than others. Or is he just doing Bob Rae's dirty work?

Ignatieff Taking Job Offers?

Rumour has it that Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff has been offered a very prestigious job at the University of Toronto, but Iggy has assured us that he is not going to take the job. I for one am ecstatic that Iggy will be staying on as Liberal leader, as the road to a Tory majority is paved with the same bricks that fill Iggy's thick skull. I can say this much with certainty, if they have to spend the 3rd day of their blockbuster cross-country tour denying their leader's exit strategy, Etobicoke Lakeshore you have a problem.

The bigger question, who leaked the story that Iggy had been offered this job? This smells like Team Rae.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Iggy Needs A Teleprompter

Somebody had better tell the Liberal Party that they need to get their gaffe prone leader on a teleprompter lickity split. It is becoming increasingly apparent that this man's intelligence and charisma have been vastly overrated, and Donolo would be well advised to take a cue from the Obama people putting Iggy on prompter for the rest of his public appearances. It is much easier to be a great public speaker when getting all words spoon fed to the candidate from the war room. I have even seen Obama addressing kindergarten students with his teleprompters!

Also somebody had better tell the Liberals that if they are going to get indignant about prorogation and not being allowed to do their jobs, it would be smart to actually show up to work when Parliament is in session. Most of the shadow cabinet had a better attendance rate during their anti-prorogation workshops than they did when Parliament was in session.

Get your leader on a teleprompter and show up to vote on legislation. That is my advice today for the Liberal Party of Canada.

Iran Outlaws Male Ponytails And Mullets

I must admit that I'm torn on some of the latest legislation to come out of Iran. On one hand, I would consider supporting a ban on male ponytails, but as a lifelong hockey player and fan I cannot support outlawing the mullet. I'm sorry; I consider the mullet (or "hockey hair") to be a part of my Canadian Heritage. A ponytail always looks silly on a male, so making them illegal does at least serve the purpose of protecting that small group of men in our society from embarrassing themselves. If you are a man, a ponytail can only do you harm, but with a mullet you can touch the sky!

The Big Census

The decision by the Conservatives to scrap the long census form for a shorter voluntary survey is drawing criticism from all sides of the political spectrum (at least from those who care about the census). I don't think the sky is falling, but I support making a random proportion of the population fill out a longer form with extra questions. Though I am a stats junkie, and I want as many statistics as possible to plug into my equations. I would rather ask too much than not enough. So the damned thing takes you 45 minutes instead of 30 minutes and you miss part of American Idol; just answer the damned questions.

That data will become our history, and mathematicians like me will be analyzing it forevermore. Maybe we don't have a good reason to ask some of the more obscure questions now, but maybe 20 years from now there will be a reason to look back into the time capsule? So you miss part of survivor, we waste our time on far less important matters. The Liberals are trying to run with this issue and claiming that this is part of a dark scheme to deny poor people government services.  If that's what you want to go with, fine.  I understand that you did not get the desired traction from loonie toons trashing Toronto.

Jim Flaherty Replaced?

Rumour has it that there will be another Cabinet shuffle this summer, and the Globe and Mail is speculating that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is among the likely candidates to lose their jobs. It is possible that Jim would like to step down as Finance Minister, given that it is the most challenging portfolio in cabinet and he is now 60 years old. Personally I think that Mr. Flaherty has been a fantastic Finance Minister and I would like him to stay in his current job assuming he's still willing to shoulder that responsibility. Do you think it is time to replace Jimmy? Our economy has weathered this great recession better than 95% of the countries on Earth, and Jim Flaherty deserves some credit for that.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How To Stump The Liberal Leader

Evidently the best questions you can ask to stump Mike Ignatieff are those about legislation that he is supposed to have voted on. A farmer asked him today how he could support NDP bill C-474 that would harm the ability of farmers to innovate, and Iggy didn't know his own position or if he should support it; followed by "If we got on the wrong side of [Bill C-474], we better take another look". Another look? When parliament voted on it, Iggy wasn't there! He never got a chance to make his first impression, so when asked about it; obviously he didn't know what his opinion should be.

I would strongly encourage anyone visiting a Liberal BBQ this summer to bring a question about legislation that he was supposed to be there to vote but wasn't.

Steinbrenner; "Star Wars would suck without Darth Vader"

I was listening to Bill Simmons and Dave Dameshek talking about the passing of Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, and Dave described it best "Star Wars would suck without Darth Vader". I cheer for the Yankees to fail, but I have to admit that the George was an iconic figure and the world was a better place with him in it. He brought deep pockets and aggressive spending to baseball's largest market and created an evil empire that is a perennial contender that everyone loves to hate. Personally I don't like to see so many of the top free agents going to the Yankees every season; as the business of sports franchises is where I become somewhat of a communist. I am strongly pro salary cap and revenue sharing in sports to try and spread talent to the smaller markets so that they can stay competitive.

He will be succeeded by his son Hank, whom I have heard compared to Chris Farley's character in the movie Tommy Boy. George may not be with us anymore, but his legacy will last forever.

The Fate Of Pandora's Bus

I love how the Liberals paid for a bus painted head to toe in Liberal colours with the large title "The Liberal Express" (the best bus the "Victory Fund" could afford) and that bus died before its first stop 100km away. They sent a replacement bus without the paint job. My question is will they get a new bus with a new paint job, or will they just try to repair the hapless "Liberal Express"? I am very interested to see how this bus selection story plays out. They can't just sit around and wait for the original to be fixed, or else how long does it take to paint a new bus? Will Iggy cancel BBQs while he waits for the bus situation to be resolved? How many Tim Horton's visits in Ontario and BC will he have to cancel while the wheels spin in neutral?

This whole story is just too entertaining! In the meantime, will Rosie Barton have to take a taxi?

UPDATE: This post was originally written last night for an early morning release, but we had some technical difficulties of our own at the Blogging Tories so I had to re-submit it and it was posted late. They managed to fix the bus overnight and had it in the hotel parking lot the next morning. They are driving in Pandora's bus right now. The bus was fixed by a company called Harper's! The irony is out of control!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tories "Ram" Budget Bill C-9 Through Legislature?

Today on the Soloman Show Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff was discussing the Senate snafu over Bill C-9 (which failed...dramatic drum roll please...because Liberals skipped work), and Iggy accused the Tories of "ramming" their budget legislation through the elected House; only to have Liberal Senators serving their sober second thought. Curious that Iggy would know what happened with the most important bill of the year in the Commons, and why do I say that? Of the ten C-9 votes in the HoC, how many do you think Iggy was present to vote on? A whole two. That's right, all those extra readings, amendments, debates, and votes, Iggy was someplace else 80% of the time. I suppose their Senate leader had to fill him in on what exactly was in the bill, because Iggy was absent for the debates on its ingredients! I doubt he has even read it.

If this legislation was so bad as to justify an election, maybe Mike it would have been worthwhile for you to SHOW UP TO WORK when the HoC was debating it??? Maybe your Senators would not have needed to inject their sober second thought had you been sober enough to show up for work! We just narrowly avoided a possible election because Ignatieff never took the time to read it and debate it the first time. Next time Mike, do your job.

Where have you gone Stephane Dion, the Liberals turn their lonely eyes to you...

Ignatieff's "Irony Gone Wild" Tour Stalls

Here I was concerned that we Tory bloggers wouldn't have much to write about this summer, until a reader predicted 3 weeks ago that "the BBQ season should be pretty entertaining", and on the ceremonial launch day the "Liberal Express" can't even make it 100km from Ottawa to Cornwall! I'm not a religious man, but after Iggy's weekend "smells like sulphur" comments, today's broken down bus kind of feels like divine intervention. Iggy has a big press conference/speech before everyone boards Pandora's bus, where he says how important it is for them to take their message to the BBQs, to the backyards; and the "Liberal Express" dies before they even get to their first event! Does it get any better than that? The jokes write themselves.

If you haven't seen the footage of the press conference before Iggy boards the bus, it is priceless must see TV, especially knowing that the bus was going to breakdown. Iggy puts on this silly red hat, tells the camera how important it is to take his message to Canadians, and the rest is irony. Suggest the Prime Minister is the Devil, then your bus tour stalls after launch? I'd say the probability that God exists is higher this evening than it was this morning.

This did remind me of my only experience with a stalled bus. After winning our first of two regional football championships, we were at a field an hour outside of town and our bus wouldn't start. We all got out and pushed. We got it going pretty fast and we made it back safe and sound. You'd be surprised how fast a high school football team can get a bus moving in a short distance.

Liberals don't strike me as the types to get out and push...

Iggy's $55 a Plate Green Eggs And Ham Breakfast

When provided the opportunity today to clarify Ignatieff's "Harper is the Devil" comments at the Calgary Stampede, spokesperson Michael O'Shaughnessy was able to elaborate, "The smell of rotten eggs is quite evident when one faces the Conservative government on a daily basis." I suppose referring to the smell of the rotting eggs that Iggy was serving for breakfast to those able to fork out $55 a head (children aged 7-12 got a great deal at $40 per head).

Would you pay $55 a head to eat Iggy's green eggs and ham? How many kids were at the event? How many parents of children aged 7-12 tried to convince the bouncer at the gate that their child was actually 6 years old? How many families showed up to the Liberal tent and were turned away because they did not want to pay $250 for a family breakfast when the honourable Prime Minister was giving pancakes away for free at the same event?

They Wanted An Election?

On Monday Evan Soloman asked his predominantly left leaning audience if Canada should have an election over the budget bill in the Senate, which was originally approved by the elected Liberals in the lower chamber. A whopping 63% of his viewers (all 309 of them) wanted to see an election over the legislation that the elected members already approved, had the Senate kicked it back to the elected chamber. At the end of the day, despite all the Liberal rhetoric, the budget was finally approved by the Senate after an emergency late Monday night vote (voting attendance is not a Liberal strong suit).

If the left thought they had a winner there, they are in bigger trouble than I thought. Let's not forget that if these few clauses were so unpalatable, why didn't the Liberals demand their removal before they allowed the budget to pass? Did Iggy even read the budget before allowing it to pass?

Do you think Canadians should go to an election over the government's budget bill?

Yes 63% (309 votes)
No 34% (164 votes)
Unsure 3% (15 votes)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Iggy Says The Darndest Things

Last October I ran a poll: What is the dumbest thing Ignatieff has said since joining the Liberal Party? Being as how that was nearly nine months ago and there have been plenty of stupid statements since, I should update the options and run the poll again. Some of the new entries "you can smell the whiff of sulphur on the guy", or his insight on seal meat "it tastes meaty", or if elected Prime Minister he'd like to live in a hotel, or proclaiming "Parliament is the sovereign" during prorogation before being the 2nd most truant MP in the next session. There was the quote during Thinkapalooza when he encouraged us to export our most skilled workers to foreign countries. Then there was the time Helena Guergis apologized for her screw up of the day and Iggy said "Canadians don't get to say I'm sorry".

We have lots to work with here. What am I missing?

What is the dumbest thing Ignatieff has said since joining the Liberal Party?

"If you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done!" (35%)

"The government is sending the message that they want aboriginals to die." (32%)

"Mr. Harper, your time is up!" (18%)

"A coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition." (10%)

Hugo Chavez Says The Darndest Things

Now that we have a politician running to become leader of Canada who likes to rip lines from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, perhaps we should pay a little more attention to some of his quotes. I'm talking about Hugo's quotes that we could very well here pop out of Ignatieff's mouth on his summer wheels off the bus tour. What Hugoism will Iggy Pop borrow next? Perhaps:

"Capitalism leads us straight to hell."

"I hereby accuse the North American empire of being the biggest menace to our planet." (last time I checked, Canada was part of North America)

"No part of the human community can live entirely on its own planet"

"Socialism builds and capitalism destroys."

"There is no turning back."

"Families go and begin to disguise their children as witches."

Iggy loves the smell of sulphur in the morning...

I am very excited for the start of Ignatieff's summer under the bus tour, which was kicked off at the Calgary Stampede with Iggy doing a Hugo Chavez impersonation. I really hope that we have a camera on this guy 24 hours a day all summer, preferably unscripted without teleprompter. This guy has more gaffes than Joe Biden, and the more attention focused in on Iggy, the higher the probability that one of his many screw ups blows up in his face. Let's get him on camera like the Truman Show and give him his own cable channel. Yes we can!

If comments about sulphur smell coming from the Prime Minister is the new style for our political leadership, maybe next time these two are set to attend the same event the PM can hang garlic all around his tent to try and keep Count Chocula away? What was Iggy doing serving breakfast? Doesn't he sleep in his coffin during the day? Or should vampire jokes be off limits? Is it a coincidence that the only demographic that likes Ignatieff are young people who race to the theatres to watch Twilight?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Smokey "The Barefoot" Bandit Captured

19 year old Colton Moore, also referred to as the Barefoot Bandit has been captured in the Bahamas after two years on the run. I first learned of the kid with the cult following when his picture was in the Vancouver Sun a year ago because he was believed to be operating in British Columbia at the time, breaking into homes and stealing airplanes. One of his biggest problems is that he knows how to fly a plane, he just can't land one. I wonder if going to flight school and saying "I don't need to know how to fly a plane, just how to land one" if that would raise red flags at homeland security?

While he will now have a little more time on his hands, he may want to consider writing a screenplay for a movie about his life. Granted it would be very similar to Catch Me If You Can with Tom and Leo, which diminishes the originality and thus the value of the project. They wouldn't be able to cast a better actor than DiCaprio, but with the cult following the kid has, it is what he should be looking to do. He must pay a penalty for his dozens of break, enter, and steal; and I would like to encourage him to find a career that does not involve crime. The world is a better place when we don't steal from one another, and when I see a plane in the sky, I'd like to know that the person flying it is trained to do so.

Dalton "I will not raise your taxes" McGuinty

Has anyone out there been keeping a running tally of new taxes or tax increases levied by Dalton McGuinty since his election in 2003? I am assuming that the majority of his tax increases don't make the newspaper, so you'd probably need to do an access to information request to get that information. I recall that election campaign that brought him into office, when he repeatedly ran the "I will not raise your taxes" commercial. In his first budget after winning, he introduced massive new taxation and blamed it on a "hidden" 5.6 billion dollar deficit left behind by Ernie Eaves. So he introduced billions in new taxes, and now here we are 7 years later and Dalton is running a projected deficit of 25 billion dollars.

Interesting how you could add billions in taxes and simultaneously quadruple the deficit. How much would you have to increase spending to increase the deficit while raising taxes by that much? The answer, you need to double spending.

"Government program spending under Mr. McGuinty was $64.3 billion in 2003/04. Spending in 2010-2011 is projected to explode to $115.9 billion. This is an increase of $51.6 billion in seven years – an increase of over 80 per cent – above 11 per cent for each year of the McGuinty government."

So to the people of Ontario, how do you like all these new taxes? It is only a matter of time before you get a carbon tax; though Dalton did use the HST to crank up gas prices, which serves the same purpose. The province cannot keep this up, and Dalton will never be able to cut the spending necessary because most of it is his own pork. CUPE has him by the balls.

Animal Soccer Psychics

My first exposure to an animal that allegedly had the ability to pick winners in sporting events was Maggie the monkey on TSN. Granted the monkey just spun a wheel that landed on a picture, so Maggie never directly chose a winner and had a very poor success rate, unlike the psychic octopus who accurately picks soccer winners. Paul, a British born octopus who currently resides in Germany actually selects a box with a country's flag on it and has been eerily accurate thus far in the World Cup Tournament. After predicting Spain would knock Germany out of the tournament, many angry Germans began demanding his execution for high treason. Angry Germans demanding an execution is not a happy place to be. Not to be outdone, PETA is demanding Paul's release.

The psychic octopus has selected Spain, but before you pick up that phone to call your bookie; be warned that Singapore's psychic parakeet Mani and Estonia's psychic ape both chose the Netherlands. Can any of these animals see into the future? I doubt it. Somebody call the mythbusters to bust the psychic animal myth; though if it is deemed plausible you may want to administer Extra Sensory Perception tests to your pets at home. If it turns out that your gold fish can see into the future, you could become very wealthy! If you suspect that your pet might be able to glance at the future, there is a book for you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Is Ignatieff A Russian Spy?

With the smell of conspiracy theories in the air today, I would like to share my own concern that the leader of the Liberal Party Mike Ignatieff may in fact be a Russian spy. Canada's top intelligence official recently announced that foreign governments had infiltrated our political class, which occurred prior to a team of Russian spies being captured operating in the United States. We know that Ignatieff's father and grandfathers were deeply involved in the Russian government helping to usher in an era of communism before coming to Canada. Now we have the son of a Czarist campaigning to become the leader of our Country. If you are alarmed, you should be.

There are just too many coincidences for this to not at least be considered plausible. It is certainly more plausible than our police torching their own cruisers to try and make the anti-globalization protesters look bad. One of the spies captured in America attended Harvard while Iggy was there. Each coincidence you add to the pile makes the conspiracy more likely. We know that Iggy is obsessed with his Russian album, even publishing a book about how awesome his forefathers were. He lived and worked for a while in London England, which has a very high Russian population. He also bears a shocking resemblance to Count Dracula, which is further evidence that he is a foreign operative.

Then there was that time he said:

“Between my two pasts, the Canadian and the Russian, I felt I had to choose. I chose the vanished past, the past lost behind the revolution. I could count on my mother’s inheritance: it was always there. It was my father’s past that mattered to me, because it was the one I had to recover, to make my own.”

If that's not a confession, I don't know what is... :O

G20 Conspiracy Theory

Rumour has it that Oliver Stone is already starting to read scripts about the recent G20 protests in Toronto. The latest theory being formed in the protest community is that actual RCMP officers dressed up in black pajamas to torch their own police cars in an attempt to delegitimize the "legitimate" anti-globalization movement. Once you start down that particular conspiracy path, it is not a stretch to attach some nefarious purpose to Stephen Harper deliberately choosing Toronto so that his agents would have a larger stage when they brazenly attempted to delegitimize the anti-globalization crowd.

I would like to encourage the leftards to continue with these conspiracy theories. It in fact makes them look worse, and I support anything that exposes the lunacy of that ilk. Some people just enjoy blocking traffic, but others have beliefs not shared by the mainstream that they would like to force upon the mainstream. That's the modus operandi of the majority of protesters is to try to make you believe what they believe. Maybe not every anti-globalizationist is an anarchist, but every anarchist is against globalization. Birds of a feather flock together, not RCMP officers dressing up like crows to set fire to public property.

I'm guessing one of these clowns has already started a Facebook group.

Ignatieff Career Options

As the Liberal Party sinks to new lows in the polls amid the incompetent leadership of Mike Ignatieff, the likelihood that he is fired from his current job is getting higher. If the man is going to need to dust off his resume and embark on a job search in the near future, what do you think he is most qualified to do? Let's help him out with some suggestions. He could be a clown for kid’s birthday parties, or his lack of experience at any real job should qualify him to be a "community organizer". I would suggest he take a shot at being a rodeo clown, but I think such a suggestion would be an insult to actual rodeo clowns (who deserve more respect for what they do than Iggy does).

I think he would make an excellent crash test dummy, but I again I don't want to come across as disparaging crash test dummies. He could move to France to taste wine and cheese for a living, or maybe he already has a second job as a Russian spy? It is plausible. His grandfather was the Minister of the Interior for the Czar of Russia before they infiltrated Canada. They were spared by the Bolsheviks, possibly to serve a higher calling? It is a theory. I have no actual evidence that Iggy is a Russian spy. Call it a hunch...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bob Probert, Rest In Peace

Today marked the funeral for Bob Probert, who is among my top 10 favourite hockey players of all time. This man is one of the reasons that I am a Red Wings fan (having grown up in Northern Ontario, not Detroit), and I am very saddened by his passing. I haven't been this choked up since we lost Steve Irwin. Probert fought hundreds of fights against the top ranked contenders, and still found the time to score 163 career goals. What percentage of players who play a single NHL game will go on to score at least 163 goals? Two percent? Probert was much more than a goon, as he brought value with his gloves attached to his hands. When I was 9 years old, I stood in an elevator with Bob Probert. He was happy to sign an autograph and I was awestruck.

This begs the question, how would you rank the all-time hockey list for hockey tough guys?