Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Iggy Flop

What do you think has been Iggy's most substantive flip flop since becoming Liberal leader? It is no coincidence that a number of his flips have flopped to more NDP friendly positions, such as corporate tax cuts, which he supported until he was against it. Though he did do a last minute flop away from EI 360, leaving the opposition high and dry. He has abandoned his own MPs on private members bills that were important to his caucus, which may or may not count as an Iggy flop.

I would like to build up a list of his flip flops for a future poll question, possibly even a series of poll questions.

Iggy Draws "About 300" In Winnipeg North

This weekend Iggy did a campaign stop in Winnipeg North ahead of the November 29th byelections (where the Liberals scored a whole 9.2% of the vote in 2008) and according to the Winnipeg Press drew "about 300" people. That being said, he outdrew a parallel event by Jack Layton in the same riding, and this is an NDP riding. If Ignatieff is drawing more people than Layton in a riding where the NDP beat the Liberals 63% to 9% in the last federal election. Liberal voters must have been voting "strategically" for Judy Wasaleesalees, or the Dippers are in big trouble. Iggy should not be outdrawing Layton on same day events in the same riding where the NDP won with 63% of the vote.

Liberal proponent's of "strategic voting", which party would you encourage your followers to endorse? Truth is, if NDP voters are jumping off the NDP Titanic in Manitoba, that would increase the probability that the Tories pull off an upset.

Liberals Scare Children

Today's Halloween poll question; which opposition member would you put on your front lawn if you really wanted to scare trick or treaters on Halloween? I got the idea from the Halloween episode of Modern Family where they had someone in costume out in the front yard of a haunted house to maximizing the haunting effect of the haunted house. I also remember that last year before Halloween, Bob Rae appeared on the Soloman Show to tell Canadians that they would die of swine flu and it would be the government's fault. "Spooky Bobby" was just fear mongering for the purposes of creating a false hysteria that would cause panicked voters to blame the government for something that never happened.

Which opposition member scares you?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Great Guergis Defeat

Last week's Ontario municipal elections yielded a very interesting story, 3 members of former Tory Helena Guergis's family running in mayoral elections in Simcoe County lost. Evidently the Guergis family has been mired in controversy at the local level and have been gradually losing public support. Helena sent a letter to her cousin, then mayor of Springwater, promoting husband Rahim Jaffer's green energy company ahead of plans to take the company public. All this while Rahim was using Helena's office to "lobby" his former parliamentary colleagues. Removing her from caucus was the right thing to do.

I suspect that the Prime Minister was aware of the controversy at the local level and the effect it would have in future elections when he removed her from caucus. Between her husband's unregistered "lobbying" and the growing unpopularity of the Guergis brand in Simcoe, it would not be wise to run her under the Tory banner. Good call Mr Prime Minister, always looking several moves down the chess board.


"Tony Guergis received a letter from Helena Guergis, his cousin, touting a green technology company to Simcoe County officials while her husband, Rahim Jaffer, and businessman Nazim Gillani were involved in a plan to take the firm public in a $1 billion deal.


Meanwhile, David Guergis became famous for wanting to dissolve the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority. He drew criticism when it emerged that his wife owned potential development property on a local flood plain."

What Ever Happened To The Pig Flu?

I seem to recall one year ago right before Halloween, Bob Rae appeared on the Soloman Show and proclaimed that every man, woman, and child in Canada must be provided with a pig flu vaccination or many would die. "Spooky Bobby" was trying to stir up some mass hysteria ahead of the annual day of fright. Stephen Harper would then have blood of innocent Canadian children on his hands, except that the crisis never happened and was completely blown out of proportion. Swine flu is less lethal than the normal flu. I haven't caught the flu in 10 years, and over that span I have had zero flu shots. You don't hear the Liberals doing the same fear mongering one year later; kind of makes you wonder whatever happened to this crisis?

On Halloween I am going to run the poll question: "which opposition member would you put on your front lawn if you really wanted to scare trick or treaters on Halloween?" Last year I asked:

WHAT IS THE SCARIEST COMBINATION OF WORDS THAT YOU COULD EVER HEAR ORIGINATE FROM THE MOUTH OF BOB RAE?

“As your newly elected Prime Minister…” (70%)
“I accept the honour of Finance Minister…” (11%)
“Your daughter and I are…” (6%)
“You will die from the flu…” (6%)
"I have been managing your retirement portfolio, and…” (5%)

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Tax Cuts

With his personal approval rating plummeting into single digits, British Columbia Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell surprised the province this week by announcing a 15% decrease in income tax. I welcome any lowering of any tax, but this move smells like desperation. Where is he getting the extra money to lower income tax? Didn't the Liberals say that the HST is supposed to be revenue neutral? Now that I think of it, they also jacked up the carbon tax when they unveiled the HST, so that carbon cash cow might be paying for the income tax cut.

I know that some Liberals want to stick the blame for the wildly unpopular tax on the Conservative government in Ottawa, but you might remember that the Tories gave Campbell the option of not adding 7% tax to previously untaxed goods. The harmonization is unpopular because a whole lot of things cost more, not because the money is going to be redirected through Ottawa.

The Funniest Show On Television

Today's poll question, what do you think is the funniest show on television? There are plenty of options to choose from; My Name is Earl, South Park, Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Saturday Night Live, Everybody Hates Chris, Modern Family, Family Guy, The Office, 30 Rock, Wipeout, Glee, The Simpsons, American Dad, or none of the above. I was looking for shows that are still making new episodes. For me it is really a coin toss between South Park and My Name Is Earl.

I suppose that I could have included the Daily Show and Colbert Report, but I decided to cut it off at 15 shows.

Why We Need A Modern Air Force & Fewer UAE Flights

On Friday a United Arab Emirates airlines flight flew into Canadian airspace and was unresponsive to calls from air traffic controllers, forcing the Canadian air force to scramble two fighters to intercept the wayward flight. This serves to remind us why we need a modern air force; while it is unlikely that we will be invaded by Russia, the threat of hijacked civilian aircraft flying into buildings is very real. It is arguably the most important reason to maintain a modern fleet of combat aircraft.

Ironically enough this plane came from the UAE, who kicked us out of Camp Mirage because they want the right to land more of their jets on Canadian runways. This is not going to help their case. The Liberals called it an example of Tory incompetence, and so I am wondering if the Libs will be campaigning on opening up our air space to more flights from the Middle East? This also happened on the same day that several letter bombs were found on cargo planes around the world destined for Jewish sites mostly in the United States.

On the day when we were evicted from Camp Mirage, Rosemary Barton guest hosted the Soloman Show and tried to make the "free market" case that consumers were being harmed by these "protectionist" policies of not allowing more UAE flights. Great call Rosie. Don Newman pleading to block Sun TV from ever being created, that's not protectionism though, right?

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Name Is Earl

What do you think is the funniest comedy on television right now? I have to say that nothing makes me laugh more than My Name Is Earl, and I would vote for it as the funniest show on TV with Jason Lee as the best lead in a comedy series. South Park is in a very close second place. Saturday's poll question will be "what is the funniest show on television", and I will be accepting nominations in the meantime. I am looking for suggestions for shows that are still in making new episodes. The best episodes of My Name Is Earl were "two balls, two strikes" with Norm MacDonald and "get a real job".

I know that Corner Gas is popular, but if you have watched the spin-offs Dan For Mayor and Hiccups, they are not funny at all. Everybody Hates Chris is another show that cracks me up, but mostly because of the dad. Paul Crews is hilarious. I used to enjoy The Office, but each time I watch Steve Carrell he gets less funny. Family Guy isn't funny anymore.

Rate Stephen Harper In 2010

Today's poll question; do you approve of Stephen Harper's performance as our Prime Minister in 2010? He has been under constant attack from the media for most of this year, starting with prorogue-gate, continuing with G20-gate, census-gate, F-35-gate, Security Council-gate, and so on and so forth. Soloman, Barton, Taber, and O'Malley have spun so many controversies this year that I have lost track. Perhaps somebody should explain to Donolo about the diminishing marginal returns of crying wolf. Judging by poll numbers, they are having little to no effect of the electorate.

So do you approve of our Prime Minister?

"Devastated" Tories Rising In Polls

You might recall a few weeks ago when we were denied a seat on the UN Security Council, Jane Taber and Jim Travers kept throwing around the word devastating to describe what effect this would have on the Harper Tories. Two new polls have the Conservatives with a significant lead, despite faux controversy after controversy being pumped by the Liberals and their friends in the media. Angus Reid has the Tories with an 11% lead, while Liberal pollster and donor Frank Graves has the Tories up by 6%. Donolo has to be banging his head against the wall out of frustration wonder what exactly the opposition needs to do to gain traction with the electorate. Perhaps voters have been paying attention to Iggy's serial absenteeism?

The next big test will be the 3 byelections for a Tory, Liberal, and NDP seat. The most probable outcome is all 3 parties retaining their seats. For any of the parties to lose their seat would be truly devastating.

Taber Finally Scolds Ignatieff

It would appear that Jane Taber took a break Thursday from singing praises for the Liberal leader to scold him for ducking out on yet another vote in the House of Commons, this time on a Liberal bill enforcing business ethics abroad. "Ignatieff’s mixed message on mining leaves Liberal heads spinning". If Jane Taber is being critical of Iggy Flop, then it has be serious and I'm sure there are a number in his party who are not happy about Iggy's "I don't vote on private members bills" philosophy. That elitist attitude and serial absenteeism are going to be a major talking point in the next election. When that student asked Iggy why he was absent for Kennedy's "conscientious objectors" bill and Iggy responded with "I don't vote on private members bills", boy I hope we got that one on camera. That clip in and of itself should be a campaign commercial.

Iggy, you may want to start showing up to work more often. Even Jane Taber is pissed off at you now, and that's something you don't see very often.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Iggy To Cancel F-35 Contract

Previously the leader of the Liberal Party had announced that he would review our contract to purchase new fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, but now he has done another "Iggy flop" and would cancel the contract if elected into the Prime Minister's Office. I don't know if this has to be approved by the House of Commons before we buy the jets, but if so just make it a private members bill and Iggy won't be there to vote on it. His shit smells too sweet to waste his time with technicalities like voting on legislation, so if we ever need to pull a fast one on him, just pass initiatives on PMBs and half the Liberal caucus won't even show up.

And could the media stop reporting this as a 16 billion dollar contract? The cost of buying the jets is almost half of that, but months ago somebody decided to include the cost of maintaining the fleet over a long period of time in the total cost of the package. Question; how much are we currently spending to maintain our obsolete fleet? The CBC hasn’t mentioned it. It has to be expensive. Will the cost of maintaining F-35s be more than our current planes which were falling out of the sky at a recent airshow? You can't include the cost of owning them in the purchase price because we already spend billions of dollars maintaining obsolete jets that we already own.

Do the Liberals want a repeat of the Sea King fiasco? It helped get Chretien elected, but scrapping the contracts proved to be a terrible move for Canada.

Adler On Khadr

If you would like to listen to a first class analysis of Omar Khadr's potential return to Canada, go to http://www.charlesadler.com/ and listen to his October 27th monologue. The Boss of Talk sets it up magnificently. I am a proud citizen of Adler Nation on the Corus Radio Network. Charles Adler gets my vote for the best political orator in Canada. You can download his podcast for free on I-Tunes, or visit his website. In Vancouver his show airs 7-9pm on CKNW 980. This is the best pundit in our country, followed by Dave Rutherford, Rex Murphy, and Roy Green in no particular order.

There's Something About Ruby: Iggy Abandons Her

Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla has been thrown under the bus by her fearless leader; stripped of her critic's role, banished to a back corner of the House of Commons, and abandoned on her extra benefits for recently landed immigrant seniors. One has to wonder if Ruby is considering joining the Conservative Party to spite Ignatieff. Granted the Tories are not going to endorse her private members bill ever, but I'm sure would accept her into the party if she wanted to cross. Would you? That is the subject of today's poll question.

Credit Don Martin with writing a great piece in the Post, something I don't often say these days. Donny to me is like Old Yeller. Once upon a time I enjoyed his work, but over the past two years I find myself disagreeing with him more and more. I suppose there are some writers who can only really do what they when complaining about the government, whether it be liberal or conservative. Coyne is comparable.

Byelection Preview: NDP Superstar Defeated In Winnipeg

Perhaps it wasn't such a bright idea for NDP stalwart Judy Wasaleesaleese to vacate her federal seat in Winnipeg North in a vain attempt to unseat the mayor of Winnipeg. She lost, which is hopefully a preview of the November 29th byelection in her former riding where the NDP won with a massive margin of victory in 2008. Based on the dipper margin of victory in the last federal election in Winnipeg North, the odds of them losing the seat are next to impossible; ergo if they do, it would be catastrophic...I just wouldn't bet money on it.

Hopefully Judy's defeat on Wednesday is a sign of things to come.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Duck, Duck, Noose

I would generally defer the fight against birds landing in the oil sands tailing ponds to the good people at Ducks Unlimited (where my father volunteers), but if ducks insist on landing in toxic pools then the best course of action would be to cover tailings ponds with nets. It is easier to save a duck from a net than from an oil bath. If sound canons can't do the job, cover the ponds in a nylon mesh. I realize that these ponds are quite large and covering them with a net would not be cheap, but I'm assuming it would cost less than the many pounds of flesh they have to pay in damages. Until natural selection evolves these birds to recognize the difference between water and oil, we are going to need to think outside the tailings pond...

Omar Khadr Popular At Gitmo

According to testimony yesterday at Omar Khadr's sentencing hearing, the 24 year old Omar is quite popular among the world's most dangerous men in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Charles Adler is calling it "Welcome Back Khadr", and I strongly recommend visiting his site to listen to his rant. I have never spent any time among Jihadists, so far be it from me to speculate as to what it takes to gain popularity among terrorists, but Omar allegedly has. It is clear that his legal team is doing whatever they can to get him back on Canadian soil where it will be easier to have him freed. Our Supreme Court can't force the Americans to turn over a confessed war criminal, but I bet you that they can force him freed once he's back in Canada.

While I believe that Canada's corrections facilities are able to hold him, I believe that there is a very strong probability that Canadian courts will order he be freed shortly after arriving. There is a high probability that Omar Khadr is very dangerous.

Randy Quaid Living Like A Refugee

In the news of the weird, actor Randy Quaid skipped town on charges of squatting on a property that he used to own and is now seeking asylum in Canada. He fears that a secret society of celebrity hunters are trying to kill him. Today's poll question; do you think he should be granted asylum? As much as I loved his performance as the drunken crop duster who was abducted by aliens in Independence Day, I'm not sure that I approve of him being granted asylum in Vancouver. I live in Vancouver and while I'm sure he is no threat to me personally, something is not right with that guy.

What do you think? Should his oscar callibre performance as the robot bodyguard in Pluto Nash sway our decision?

Jack Layton Lowering Cost Of Fossil Fuels?

The NDP has a "fresh" new campaign commercial ahead of the November 29th byelections where they are desperate to defend Winnipeg North. While the NDP has always favoured the Kyoto Accords to make burning fossil fuels more expensive, suddenly lowering the cost of home heating oil is the main dipper platform heading into the byelection? It had been expected that the NDP would pay a price in Winnipeg North over the gun registry, which recently experienced a significant killing spree. It will be interesting to see if the NDP campaigns on saving the gun registry in Manitoba, even though the registry did nothing at all to prevent this terrible tragedy.

Eliminating taxes on anything is clearly designed to appeal to the Tory base, it just feels like quite the hypocrisy for a party who wants to tax fossil fuels suddenly decide they want decrease taxes on fossil fuels. Will voters see through the smoke screen and this hypocritical attempt to buy votes? We will see, the NDP won Winnipeg North by a huge margin in the last election, and losing that seat would be nothing short of devastating, more so than the Liberals losing Vaughan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Have You Driven A Ford Lately?

Canada's largest city is glowing a nice shade of Tory blue after electing a conservative Mayor tonight be a margin of 11%. Local liberals have to be worried that their strangle hold on Toronto is slipping away as 47% of voters voted the right way. The headline at the Globe and Mail is "Ford’s dominant victory ushers in a new era for Toronto", at the Post "Ford leads suburban barbarians to Toronto’s gate" (which is undoubtedly a spoof on the Star's "barbarian at the gates" headline about Stephen Harper a week before the 2004 election), and at our tax funded CBC the headline reads "Ontarians choose mayors in municipal votes". There is no mention of Ford's name or victory in their headlines (at least as I am writing this in the wee hours of the morning after).

For the best spin on the results, I recommend Kelly MacParland.

Where Should Omar Khadr Serve His Sentence?

Today's poll question; do you think that Omar Khadr should serve his prison sentence in a Canadian prison? You may have noticed that despite Obama campaigning on the promise of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Gitmo is still open for business. You'd think if it is good enough for Bernardo it should be good enough for Khadr, but once he is back on Canadian soil, if our left leaning Supreme Court rules that he should never have been imprisoned in the first place, can we even legally keep him in custody at that point? I would suspect that the motive of the guilty plea was to try and get him to serve his sentence in Canada, then once he's back on Canadian soil, fight to have him freed. What is the probability that Khadr is released shortly after returning to Canada?

Canadians are not eager to have Khadr released into their neighbourhood, but do you mind if he is locked up in a Canadian prison? A year ago I ran the poll question:

WOULD YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH OMAR KHADR LIVING NEXT DOOR?

No (83%)
Yes (8%)
Decline to answer for fear of Jihad (8%)


The bottom line is that Canadians don't want this guy moving into their neighbourhood, as much as Bob Rae wants to paint as a child soldier and a victim. I suppose my next poll question should be "do you think Omar Khadr is a terrorist or victim?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

"'Selective' Tories try to lower by-election expectations"

That was Jane Taber's morning buzz, reporting that the government was trying to lower expectations in the upcoming byelections based on a memo Tory strategists circulated to MPs: "The Government in power very rarely wins by-elections, especially in ridings they didn’t win in the previous general election. Official opposition parties win by-elections, and two of these ridings have been held by opposition parties for decades."

That was not an accurate statement by Tory strategists. This government in particular has performed very well in byelections. There have been 13 federal byelections in Canada since Stephen Harper first became Prime Minister. 62% of those were won by the party defending the seat. Of the 5 byelections that went to a new party, 4 flipped to the Conservatives. So yes, the incumbent party is most likely to win, but when they switch they are most likely to turn Tory blue. The Harper government has also successfully defended all the Tory ridings that came up for byelection. 

I did not continue further to pre 2006 byelections because I have to get ready for work. That data is available at the Elections Canada website if anyone wants to look up how Martin and Chretien performed in byelections while in government.

Blogging Tories: "This site may harm your computer"?

If you type "Blogging Tories" into Google, the result will produce a warning "this site may harm your computer"; because apparently allegedly somebody has hacked or attempted to hack the site to upload "malware", or people have been sending complaints to various search engines and web browsers prompting the sudden addition of a warning. I would be really interested to know exactly how this came to pass, and I'm sure the site administrators will get to the bottom of the situation. Some browsers will not even allow people to enter the Blogging Tory site, warning message or not. That being said, my own traffic has been strong today, so I don't think that fans of the Blogging Tories who use the site frequently have been discouraged.

For your peace of mind, the Liblogs site will not harm your computer, only the evil conservative site. It would appear that somebody wants to silence the conservative blogs. According to Alberta Ardvark: "FYI Stephen Taylor has responded: code injection attack. I’ve fixed it and asked Google for a review."

NDP Frightened About Rural Seats

With rural voters set to turn on the NDP for Jack Layton's stand on the gun registry, they are grasping for straws ahead of the upcoming Winnipeg byelection bid to keep a seat that voted overwhelmingly NDP in 2008. Now they are saying that there should be no federal tax on heating oil, where any tax elimination often appeals to Tory voters. I'm just wondering how this jives with the NDP anti-fossil fuel global warming crowd? Is Jack Layton giving up on increasing the cost of fossil fuels? Should we not cap and trade heating oil? What about all those millions of Canadians who heat their homes by the miracle of coal-fired electricity? Should there be no tax on coal because it heats Canadian homes? Or are the NDP just trying to stop their rural bleeding ahead of an upcoming seat defense byelection?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Crisis In Haiti; Best Call Portugal

As a cholera epidemic is taking hold in Haiti and geologists are predicting another possible earthquake that could devastate the country, who ya gonna call? Punch Portugal into the speed dial, as this Security Council member is in a far better position to help the helpless. Isn't that why they beat us for the SC seat; their ability to respond quickly to international crisis? I'm sure the European Union trying to stack the Security Council with EU members had nothing to do with it, Portugal must just be better than us in global security matters.

I just hope that they are able to help the Haitian people. As members of the Security Council, I expect that they are able to do so.

Toronto Votes!

On Monday Toronto will be voting to elect a mayor. It is expected to be a close finish as Conservative Ford and Liberal Smitherman face off in the polling booths after a long and gruelling campaign. Liberal voices are preparing to claim a victory in either eventuality; saying if Ford wins it represents anti-establishment sentiment and Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be afraid, or if Smitherman wins Liberalism is alive and well in Toronto and again Harper should be afraid.

I will be rooting for Rob Ford, but I won't be holding my breath. Any predictions?

Tony Genco: Liberal Candidate For Vaughan Byelection

Today the Liberals announced their candidate to run in the November 23rd Byelection in Vaughan Ontario. The Liberals have a lot riding on this contest, as this is a longtime Liberal seat close to Toronto that would be extremely embarrassing to lose. I don't yet know much about Tony Genco, other than what is on his website, which doesn't reveal much. Thursday the Globe speculated that he would get the nomination and described him as "a businessman from the riding who is involved in a lot of community initiatives and charities."

He will be running against a big name in former Ontario Police Commissioner Julian Fantino. Jane Taber, who has inside access to closed door Liberal strategy sessions wrote: "It seems that Mr. Ignatieff is rather anxious about this by-election – and he has good reason to be. Mr. Fantino, the former Toronto police chief and recently retired Ontario Provincial Police commissioner, is well-known in the riding and instantly recognizable; he also plays well to the Conservatives’ law-and-order agenda."

Tony wants your feedback on how to build a more progressive and compassionate Vaughan. And please, no jokes about "Chubby Chasers". That kind of low brow humour won't get you anywhere in politics...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ignatieff: "I don't vote on private members bills"

Question askers at "Open Mike" sessions can ask the darndest things, as the leader of the Liberal Party found out this week. When asked why he skipped out on Kennedy's War Deserters bill, Iggy replied that he does not vote on private members bills. Today's poll question; do you expect your Member of Parliament to vote on private members bills? Iggy was of course lying because he has voted on many private members bills, as I expect he was trying to quell rising criticism about his poor attendance for votes in Parliament. Private member's bills allegedly don't matter? I beg to differ, they do matter, and you owe it to the people who elected you to represent them to show up to vote on their behalf in the House of Commons. Maybe tenured professors are not required to show up to work, but elected officials are expected to show up to work to justify collecting their salaries.

Greatest Athlete Of All-Time

Who would you say is the greatest athlete of all-time? Would it be "the Great One" Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, or Michael Jordan? It can be difficult to measure athletes in team sports vs those who compete in individual competition. For all the respect that I have for what those gladiators did on the field of battle, I am going to nominate an athlete of small stature but incredible heart, former Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders. He may not have won a championship, but he performed miracles on a terrible team. Then he shocked the sporting world by retiring healthy at age 30 just 1500 yards shy of the all-time NFL rushing record (he averaged 1500 yards per season). At 5 foot 8 he was one of the smallest players on a field with giants, and he had a terrible offensive line. As one pundit once put it, "every time they gave him the ball, he was running for his life."

Was he the greatest athlete of all-time? Maybe not. This much is certain, he was the toughest player to tackle in the history of football, a David among Goliaths. Plus, one reason that the United States is not a top competitor in soccer is because guys like this in the USA play football. Had Barry Sanders played soccer instead, he might have been one of the greatest soccer players of all-time.

Watch the montage and decide for yourself. Oh, and he never celebrated any of his 109 touchdowns.

Prince of Persia

I recently had the pleasure of watching the film The Prince of Persia, and I must say that if you are looking for a movie to rent this weekend you should enjoy this Disney venture. I am generally not a fan of Jake Gillenhall, but his performance in this role was solid and I recommend watching the film if you enjoy the fantasy adventure genre. Great action, a strong storyline, two thumbs up. In another fantasy action movie, Ironman 2 was alright, but not as enjoyable as the Prince of Persia.

Adam Carolla and Mike Rowe Talk Skilled Trades

I strongly recommend listening to the latest interview with Dirty Job's Mike Rowe on the Adam Carolla Show. Carolla is a carpenter turned comedian while Rowe gets down and dirty every week on the Discovery Channel. Their concern is that we are sending too many kids to University to study the arts and social sciences, without enough respect and attention paid to the skilled trades. They don't teach you how to be a plumber at Harvard, but plumbers are in far greater demand than sociologists. This idea that we have to send all our kids to University is creating a serious shortage in the skilled trades. We have thousands of unemployed philosophy students and not enough trades workers. Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff wants to send all our kids to University, where they don't teach you anything about the majority of the available jobs in our workforce.

Download for free on I-Tunes or at the Adam Carolla website. It is great listening! If you are looking for Christmas gifts for friends and family, I also recommend Carolla's new book "In 50 years we'll all be chicks".

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Media Reads Blogs, But Rarely Link Them

In my blogging career I have written nearly 2000 blog posts and sent thousands of exit links to our national media sites. In return, I have never received a single link from the Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC, CTV, or Toronto Star. But I have received e-mails from several journalists from these institutions anytime they think that I have taken one of their articles out of context. I wrote a post with the words "according to Susan Delacourt", and she e-mailed me a correction within hours. I get plenty of clicks every day from the CTV web server, and there have been a number of instances where someone in the national press has repeated a hypothesis of mine after I have written it. For the record I am not a journalist; I watch/read the news and write my own opinion of the events reported by real journalists. That’s why I have sent the Post and Globe over 10,000 hits in the past 2 years. When I write something after reading something written by someone else, I link their post. But this is a one way street.

The members of our media definitely follow the political blogs; they just don't want to send them any traffic. They use blogs to develop their own opinions, but they certainly don't want to risk bleeding more readers to people like us Blogging Tories.

Shutter Island

I recently had the opportunity to watch the movie Shutter Island. The cinematography and acting was of high quality, but the script was awful. Leo DiCaprio is great in pretty much everything he does, but the movie tried way too hard to re-create the Sixth Sense. I did not enjoy the movie at all and don't recommend spending your hard earned money to watch it. If you wait until it is released on cable television, you won't be missing anything. Granted, I knew the ending before I watched the movie and perhaps that spoiled it for me. I won't spoil the ending for you if you decide you'd like to see it, but I do want to give you a heads up if you are looking for something to watch this weekend.

Lewis MacKenzie: Thank You Portugal

If you want to read a fantastic analysis about Canada and the UN Security Council, you have to read former General Lewis MacKenzie's latest piece Thank You Portugal. He discusses the failures of the United Nations, and is very qualified to talk about it having served in on UN peacekeeping missions. Of course "peacekeeping" is an oxymoron given that the UN does precious little to actually enforce peace.

Thank you to Adler Online for tipping me to this piece. I also strongly recommend listening to Adler's interview with MacKenzie about this issue. To listen, just visit http://www.charlesadler.com/ and scroll down his archive on the right hand column.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Retirement Riots In France

Public employees have been rioting in the streets of France to protest the raising of the "national retirement age" from 60 to 62. First, why does any modern country have a legislated age of retirement? People should be free to work as long as they want to, even if the majority of people want to retire as soon as is logistically possible. Nobody should ever be forced into retirement if they want to keep working, and conversely nobody should be forced to work until 62 if they want to retire at 60. What's happening in France is completely unecessary on so many levels.

This public union unrest is happening throughout Europe as many governments try to reign in spending. It is nice to see so many of those governments listening to Stephen Harper's advice at the G20 conference when Obama was trying to lobby to continue spending. On that file, Europe liked Canada a whole lot. If only we sat in the European Union, then maybe the EU bloc would have supported us for the Security Council?

James Cameron Hypocrite

I just finished listening to a fantastic interview with Phelim McAleer on the Dennis Miller Show. He has recently finished a short video on carbon crusader James Cameron, who wants all of us little people to consume less. So what Phelim did was rent a helicopter and fly it over one of Cameron's many homes. There were no solar panels or windmills. They have made it into an outstanding 2 minute video, which is a must see.

Blogger Of The Year: Blue Like You

Last year in the race for Blogger of the year I endorsed Stephen Taylor. This year, I endorse Joanne at Blue Like You (though I do still really enjoy Taylor). BLY is easily the #1 blog among the Blogging Tories. While I generally oppose anyone who would pump themselves for any award (nightmares of Kanye West), in this case it is most deserved. I can't link her site directly right now because it is down for renovations, but there is a permanent link to her site on mine that you can use anytime when her outstanding site is back up and running.

In my opinion, Blue Like You is the best political blog in Canada.

Should Canada Have The Death Penalty?

Today's poll question based on the recent details of the Colonel Williams murders; do you think that Canada should have the death penalty? My own opinion is that we should be executing multiple murderers, but that's it. When Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976, forensic science was nowhere near as advanced as the CSI world of today. There was a far higher probability of convicting innocents 30 years ago. Forensic science has evolved enormously since the abolition of capital punishment.

People can cite statistics that the death penalty doesn't deter violent crime, as lunatics will always behave badly whether the consequence is life in prison or lethal injection. That's fine. If you are psychotic enough to become a serial killer, I don't think that the difference between life in prison or death is going to convince you not to be crazy. My contention is that these most violent offenders can never be released, and it is a waste of tax payers money to keep them incarcerated for life. How much does it cost us each year to keep Paul Bernardo locked up? He was convicted 15 years ago and is currently 46 years old (meaning he has 20+ years on his life expectancy). When all is said and done the guy will probably have been locked up for 40 years after his conviction. That costs a lot of money for somebody who forfeited his right to live among us.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Norm MacDonald Roasts Bill Clinton

After watching Norm MacDonald's hilarious guest spot on My Name Is Earl, I was in the mood for more Norm comedy and punched his name into YouTube. The most prominent links were from a 1997 roast of Bill Clinton, though a clip with only 1/6 of the view count as Stephen Colbert's roast of George Bush. But I gotta say that the MacDonald roast is definitely the funnier of the two. "Al Gore couldn't be here; he broke down and is in the shop". I love Norm MacDonald. Every time I see him on TV I enjoy the experience. I wish he did more television. I want more Stormin’ Norman!

There were a lot of jokes critical of Liberals that got a dead silence from the Clinton fans in the audience, though he did get a standing ovation.



Part 2:



Norm was hilarious with his impersonation of Larry King. If you want to see top quality comedy, watch for My Name Is Earl, episode "two balls, two strikes". It is a half hour of Norm MacDonald doing a hilarious Burt Reynolds impersonation.

Colonel Williams

I don't think that I have yet written anything on this matter, as those who loathe our military I'm sure will write enough for everyone; but after hearing the details of his crimes yesterday, this guy is high on the list of functional psychopaths in our nation's history. The biggest mystery is that police estimate that he did not begin committing crimes until the age of 44, where most serial killers have a long history of crime that builds up to murder. Was he always a psychopath, because it doesn't make sense how somebody could suddenly become one that late in adulthood. We are talking about somebody who stalked female victims, broke into their homes, and took pictures of himself dressed in their clothes! I don't understand how this kind of insanity can suddenly afflict a military officer at age 44.

I scored a B- in the one intro to psychology course that I took in University. I am not qualified to present any psychological analysis of the man except to say that he is a lunatic. Was he always a lunatic, or did he become a lunatic later in life? I can't answer that.

A Tale Of Two Cities: Toronto Shifting Right, Calgary Shifting Left

With the election of mayor Nenshi in Calgary, I have heard pundits arguing whether or not Calgary is shifting to the left; while the emergence Rob Ford in Toronto is evidence that city is shifting to the right. Whether or not the political landscape is changing in Liberal/Tory strongholds, the most important talking point is that in 2008 67% of greater Calgary voted Tory, while 12% of Calgarians voted Liberal. In greater Toronto 39% voted Liberal and 36% voted Conservative. The GTA has 38 seats to the GCA's 11.

I don't know how you'd like to spin this record, but if the story is true that Toronto is shifting right while Calgary is shifting left, the Tories unquestionably have to most to gain and the least to lose. If the Tories lose 1 in 10 voters in Calgary to the Liberals, they stand to lose zero seats. If 1 in 10 Liberals instead vote Tory in Toronto, the Libs stand to lose 5 seats. If a full 1/4 of federal Conservative voters in Calgary defected to the Liberals, the Tories would lose...wait for it...zero seats. If 25% of Toronto Liberals shift Tory, the Liberals would lose...wait for it...19 seats in a large Tory majority.

You could peel off a quarter of Tory Calgary votes and give them to the Liberals and no seats would change hands. Do the opposite in Toronto and the Liberals would lose a quarter of their caucus! That's the math. So who has the most to lose if this narrative is true? The Tories aren't far behind the Liberals in Toronto, where the Liberals have virtually zero chance of winning any seats federally in Calgary. Somehow I doubt that Jane Taber will bring that up. There are more Conservatives in Toronto than some people would have you believe.

Fire A Democrat

Today's poll question; which Democrat up for election in the November midterm elections in the United States would you most like to see in the unemployment line. According to polling numbers, House majority leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority Harry Reid are the two most unpopular representatives in the United States. Yes, I know that we would all love to see Obama collecting EI, but we have to wait another 2 years for that opportunity. At least if one or both chambers flip, the Democrats will lose monopoly control over the executive branch of the world's most powerful government.

The elections are in 13 days. I am very excited to see the results, and I finally have Fox News in my cable package to watch events unfold. By the way, I loved Glenn Beck when he was on CNN and Arguing With Idiots is a great book, but when did he become a televangelist? I get a bad vibe when I watch him now. I think when South Park ripped into Beck was the beginning of the end. That is still one of the funniest episodes of South Park I have ever seen, next to maybe the Dogg the Bounty Hunter episode.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Liberals To Balance Budget???

If the Liberals were to take office tomorrow, they claim that they would reduce the deficit by 2/3 in their first two years in office. Seriously??? What about all the spending promises from Thinkapalooza? Does this mean that they are throwing away national daycare, Kyoto compliance, extended stimulus, higher EI payouts, etc, etc. Just a note to Scotty Brison, it will be impossible to rein in government spending if you form government with the NDP. The big government party will want to take advantage of their political leverage to make large payouts to their base.

The idea that a party promising big spending initiatives is suddenly going to become the party of fiscal responsibility is laughable. Their plan to pay for EVERYTHING is cutting a tax cut that hasn't even happened yet! What about the GST? Would they raise the sales tax to balance the budget? I'm curious to know if anywhere in their speeches Goodale or Brison promised not to raise taxes. There are two ways to try and balance a budget, reduce spending or raise taxes. As Dalton Mcguinty is learning in Ontario, raising taxes can have a very negative impact on economic output.

The promise of reducing the deficit to their promised goals in their first two years in office will likely be easier than it should be because they aren't likely to form government before the stimulus is over, after which Jim Flaherty will be able to significantly reduce the deficit. The stimulus (which the Liberals demanded as a condition of relinquishing their attempted coup) is a really big chunk of our current deficit.

Dalton McGuinty "Hand In Your Pocket"

Tim Hudak needs to make a campaign commercial using the "hand in my pocket" song with Dalton McGuinty's face juxtaposed with the banker. Dalton never met a tax that he didn't like, well except those eco levies that he rescinded after public outrage changed his opinion. I wonder why public outrage at all the other taxes never swayed him until the eco fees? The problem with selling your soul to the public employees union to get elected is that when it comes time to pay the piper, the money has to come from somewhere.

Also, voting is now open in the choose your favourite nickname for Dalton the Dolt. I voted for Taxman.

Aren't Conservatives Supposed To Be Racist?

Calgary, the most Conservative city in Canada has just elected a Muslim mayor named Nahed Nenshi. Here I thought that Conservative people are supposed to be racist bigots who hate minorities? A city that votes for a very ethnically diverse cast of elected officials can hardly be labeled as racist. It was just last week that Liberal pollster Frank Graves proclaimed that "white male seniors from Alberta" were the backbone of Tory support. In the 2008 election the Tories won roughly 67% of the vote in the greater Calgary area, the highest popular vote result for the Conservatives in Canada (followed by Edmonton at 60%, Saskatoon at 51%, and Winnipeg at 47%). By comparison, the Liberals pull only 39% of the vote in greater Toronto and 29% in greater Montreal.

As Jason Kenney tweeted last night:

"Note for those from outside of Calgary who seem to be stunned that Calgary would elect a Mayor named Naheed: Calgary has had a far more ethnically and religiously diverse contingent of elected representatives than any other major Cdn city for as long as I can remember."


"Where was the first Muslim MP elected from? Alberta (Rahim Jaffer). The first Canadian Hindu MP? Deepak Obhrai, from Calgary."


"Question: Where was the first Muslim Cabinet Minister in Canada from? Edmonton, Alberta. (Larry Shaben in the Lougheed PC government)."
Well said. I don't know much about the new mayor as I did not pay much attention to the election, but I am always pleased when Conservatives break Liberal stereotypes.

Dalton McGuinty Nickname Contest

What do you think is the best nickname for Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty? There are many variations of Dalton nicknames in circulation like Dalton McSquinty or Premier Dad or McSlippery, but my favourite has to be "The Taxman". I would like to launch a webpoll later today for the best nickname, and your nominations are encouraged.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chilean President New Celebrity?

Sunday I watched footage of the President of Chile in England, where he seems to have attained rockstar status because it took over a month to evacuate trapped workers from an unsafe collapsed mine. The dude did an interview were he waxed on and off about how this month-plus rescue will make the world have greater respect for Chile. Seriously? The mine was unsafe, it took several weeks to get the people out, and you are parading yourself to the international media as a hero? That doesn't make any sense!

I am glad to see the workers have been rescued and it is great news, but that they required rescuing in the first place was a monumental blunder. The questions people should be asking him are what kind of safety standers should have been in place for Chilean mines but were not?

"Devastating" For Harper?

I happened to catch the pundit's panel on CTV's Question Period Sunday, which could hardly be called "balanced" with Taber, Oliver, Travers, and Galloway. When discussing Canada's failed bid for a seat on the UN's Security Council, the panelists kept repeating the word "devastating" when discussing the effect on the government. Travers even went on to say that people had been confusing the inept General Assembly with the prestigious Security Council, but did not mention that the General Assembly elects the temporary members of the Security Council. As per usual, Taber had a big smile on her face while talking about this "devastating" turn of events.

In other news, the latest polling numbers show the Tories with a significant lead over the Liberals. Jane, if this is "devastating", shouldn't it harm the government? To "devastate" after all is "to cause great destruction". We will see over the coming weeks if the polling numbers shift, but in the meantime, no great destruction has been done. As there is no evidence of “great destruction”, to call it devastating is a left leaning opinion that is a wee premature.

Bieber Behaving Badly

Canadian pop star Justin Bieber stands accused of assaulting a 12 year old at laser tag in Richmond BC. The kid sustained no significant injuries, but that didn't stop his dad from calling the police after the fact. I suppose that a police report increases the probability of winning a lawsuit, which had to be on the dad's mind. If Justin Bieber hit me in the head with a toy gun and I was unharmed, I'd seriously consider suing too. I don't support frivolous lawsuits, unless they are against ridiculously rich celebrities. Watching interviews with some of the other kids who were there, the defense is that laser tag can get pretty intense. When you have a bunch of kids running around in the dark shooting at each other, shit happens. What ever happened to the code "what happens at laser tag stays at laser tag"? Sheesh!

The dad should sue while he can. The 16 year old singer’s voice is starting to drop in pitch and he’s awful at lip synching. I suspect the gravy train will soon be coming to an end. And by the way, in my entire career as an adolescent, I saw a lot of kids get hit in the head, but nobody ever called the police.

Prentice Hanging Out With Chretien?

A number of people (myself included) thought it was very strange to see Jim Prentice go on a camping trip with David Suzuki and Evan Soloman, only to see a week later Jim doing a ceremonial event with Jean Chretien. I am pleased to see that the former PM has recovered from brain surgery, I was just not expecting to see him cutting ribbons with the Conservative Environment Minister yesterday. What's next, going out for ice cream with Warren Kinsella? Dinner and a movie with Scott Reid? Jim would likely have to pay for the beer and popcorn, as I know how much contempt Scottie has for spending money on such classless pleasures.

Maybe Prentice has started some kind of Liberal outreach program, and this is all part of some sinister master plan?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gordon Campbell's Approval Rating Falls To 9%

The leader of the BC Liberal Party has fallen to new lows as a new poll puts his approval rating at a paltry 9%. It is among the worst ratings ever recorded for a Canadian Premier, lower even than Glenn Clark before he was overthrown by his Justice Minister Ujjal Dosangh. Before the BC NDP starts dancing in the streets over these poll numbers, it should be noted that while their party is polling at 49%, their leader Carole James remains comparatively unpopular with a 27% approval rating. Nearly half of the respondents stated a preference for the NDP, but nearly half of those people did not approve of the NDP leader. It is the opposite of the federal party, where the leader has a much higher approval rating than his party's numbers.

I do not approve of Gordon Campbell even though I reluctantly voted for him in the last election. I vote in every election federal, provincial and municipal. In last year's provincial election, I walked into a voting booth with three choices Liberal, NDP, and Green. It wasn't a choice; it was a lack of options. On the day that I voted, I proclaimed it the "none of the above" election, an option which sadly was not on my ballot. I wanted to boot him out for the carbon tax, but would never vote Green or NDP.

As I wrote on May 12, 2009: "I am overjoyed and incredibly relieved that the Sherriff of Nottingham has soundly defeated the Wicked Witch of the West in BC’s “none of the above” Election today."

Tim Hudak Channeling Mike Harris?

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty doesn't have enough on Conservative leader Tim Hudak to defeat him in an election, so Dalty has dusted off his Ouija board to resurrect the ghosts of elections past. Instead of campaigning against Hudak, Dalton is planning on campaigning against a former Premier who has been out of politics for nearly a decade. I proudly proclaim myself to be a "Mike Harris refugee" (a term I first heard from the mouth of Scott Reid during Coup Scam) and I believe that he was a far better Premier than many pundits remember him, but Tim Hudak is his own man. They are not the same person. It's like Obama fighting an election against McCain but campaigning against George Bush. It is a stupid strategy, and just because Obama rode the perfect storm does not guarantee that the same playbook will give Dalton a 3rd term.

Here's the bottom line; Dalton McGuinty has been a terrible Premier. It is tough enough for a Premier to win 3 consecutive mandates; I don't think dusting off the 99 and 03 campaigns is going to lead to victory. If he is just going to run the same campaign, why not just run the same commercials? Remember those winning campaign commercials? "I will not raise your taxes" the man said over and over again.

This is Dalton talking about his first tax raise in his first budget.



What a f**king shocker! There wasn't enough money to pay for his campaign promises, duh! Since the multi-billion dollar health tax levy, he has introduced a number of new taxes. He "hated" raising taxes the first time, but evolved to become much more comfortable with it. "I will not raise your taxes" by Dalton McGuinty, the most violated promise in the history of provincial elections.



I emigrated from Ontario after Dalton's first budget. I added to the statistic "number of University graduates who left Ontario during the McGuinty administration."

The Difference Between Liberals And Conservatives

I don't know who wrote this, but my father forwarded it to me yesterday. It is a fantastic comparison on the difference between Liberals and Conservatives.

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one. 
If a Liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Liberal will delete it because he's "offended".

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Venezuela Going Nuclear

On the list of the all-time bad ideas, Russia is going to help Hugo Chavez go nuclear. This story did not make headlines in the Canadian media, but the world must be concerned about a nut like Chavez getting a nuclear bomb. This is nearly as troubling as Iran going nuclear, except that Venezuela has not threatened to wipe any countries off the map...at least that I'm aware of. Hugo likes to conduct his warfare through a proxy FARC, and I think has a lower probability of using a bomb than does Arachnidinijad. Granted Iran conducts its crusade against Israel through its own proxy Hezbollah, but the distance between Tehran and Tel Aviv is much larger than the distance from Bogota and Caracas. If Iran deployed a bomb against Israel, at least Syria and Jordan would soak up most of the radiation.

I think Hugo is less likely to use a bomb, but if he gets one, he will give leverage and aggressive diplomacy a new name.


http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/10/15/russian-vows-help-venezuela-build-nuclear-power-plant/

Losing Security Council Vote No Tragedy

Rex Murphy wrote an excellent piece for today's National Post about our loss in the vote for a seat on the UN Security Council. Whereas Jane Taber and John Ibbitson have been trying to spin this as a "devastating loss" for the Harper government, Rex points out several great reasons why we should not be devastated or treat this as a terrible insult. I suppose that type of first clas logical analysis is why the Globe let Rex go last year.

Also, voting is now open for the "what would Iggy have done to win us a seat" webpoll. I voted for praise China on human rights.

United Nations Reformation

There are some serious institutional problems at the United Nations, and I would like to know what you would do to reform the world body. Despite these problems, I still believe that the UN should exist and that it can still serve a useful purpose, even if it does not anymore. I don't believe that there should be a one world government, but the UN at least provides a mechanism for the global political machinery. Our two biggest barriers to Security Council entry on this most recent ballot were the EU nations trying to stack the SC with EU members and the United Arab Emirates turning on us visa vis our air space and support of Israel. Canada contributes more to the United Nations, to world aid, to global security, and to global sanity than does Portugal; and we were ultimately the most deserving of a seat but regional politics kept us out.

One reform that I would really like to see is that if you are not a democracy then you should not get a vote in the General Assembly. If you don't believe in democracy, then why should you have the right to participate in democracy? I also think the armed wing of the UN is even more flawed than the General Assembly and is arguably in the greatest need of reformation. Just watch Hotel Rwanda; that will tell you everything you need to know about the effectiveness of the UN's "peacekeeping" force.

What Would Iggy Have Done?

If the accusations from the leader of the Liberal Party are that we were denied a seat on the United Nations Security Council because of what we have NOT done internationally, I would really like to know what he would have done differently. Iggy tells us that he could have been Prime Minister in January of 2009 but turned it down. Well, let's say that he was more ambitious than he claims to be and had been Prime Minister for the past 2 years; what do you think Iggy would most likely have done to improve our chances? I am accepting nominations for a poll to be released later today. Thus far my options are.

1) Join the European Union
2) Open up more Canadian air space to Arab airlines
3) Comply with Kyoto
4) Condemn Israel
5) Praise China's human rights record

What am I forgetting?

Friday, October 15, 2010

What Is The Ideal Retirement Age?

Today's poll question; what do you think is the ideal age to retire? On one hand it is advantageous to maximize lifetime earnings, but people also want to be able to enjoy their "declining years". According to the leader of the Liberal Party, your "declining years" start somewhere from 60-63. Jim Traverse once asked if the leader of the Liberal party decided to enter politics in his declining years. Frankly nobody wants to be like Traverse trying to hang on as their skills erode at age 62, as a 63 year old Ignatieff once pointed out.

So when do you think is the ideal age to retire? Should Iggy be considering retirement? The Prime Minister is 51 and just entering his prime.

Should Canada Join The European Union?

If our objective is to win a "western" seat on the United Nations Security Council, our chances would increase if we were members of the European Union. So if the Ignatieff Liberals would have done what was necessary to win a seat on the SC and stay at Camp Mirage; would that include joining the European Union? Would we have increased our chances if we had supported a Green Shift? Some coalition MPs certainly think so. If climate change was a factor, what is Iggy's Climate Change policy? He doesn't want to touch his predecessor green terd with a ten foot pole; I’d just like to know what the man who wants to lead us would have done instead.

I would like to know, would the Liberals like to open up Canadian air space to Air Dubai? Would the Liberals commit to climate change legislation? Would the Liberals join the European Union, which supports its members in popularity contests? If this has been a catastrophic failure of our government, what exactly would a Liberal government have done differently?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Behar, Whoopi Walk Away From Bill O'Reilly

Here is some must see TV as Joy Behar throws a fit after Bill O'Reilly said that 70% of Americans were against the 9/11 Mosque because the United States was attacked by Muslims. After Joy gets up and throws her tantrum, Whoopi Goldberg gets up and they both walked off the set together. My congrats to O'Reilly; if you piss off Joy Behar, you are doing something right!

"White, male seniors from Alberta give Tories solid upper hand"

The Conservative Party has been trending upwards in the last two months of EKOS polling, and just look at Jane Taber's headline! I suppose that I owe a thank you to all the white male seniors in Alberta who have been driving up Tory national numbers, as this single demographic of people are the reason that there is good news for Conservatives nationally. I'm curious, what percentage of white male seniors from Alberta voted Tory in 2008? I'm guessing 80%? Did we lose a bunch of while male seniors from Alberta since the last election, only to win them back in the last two months?

Great headline Jane. Did you think of that one yourself or did Graves? Granted, error rates are significantly higher when you focus in on individual regions and demographics. You take good news for the Conservatives and draw up a headline to spin it as solely attributable to white male seniors from Alberta. That's about what I've come to expect of Taber.

Should Christian Paradis Resign?

The Tory Natural Resources Minister stands accused of issuing government contracts to a party fundraiser, and today's poll question is do you think he should resign? Be it from Cabinet, caucus, or both, if there is going to be an investigation should he step aside? Helena Guergis was asked to step aside while being investigated for wrong doing, and she was not asked to return when it was determined there was no evidence of malfeasance. Clearly there should be an investigation into whether or not there was an ethical violation by Paradis, but should he step aside in the meantime?

I supported Helena resigning from Cabinet while she was being investigated, and I supported her reinstatement into caucus after being cleared. That being said, if the Minister in charge resigned each time there was a controversy in any portfolio, we would have run out of Cabinet Ministers by now! We need to judge these on a case by case basis.

Did Obama Interfere In Canada's Security Council Bid?

In the lead up to Canada's failed bid for a seat on the Security Council, the American delegates did not campaign for Canada or do anything to help rally support for another North American seat. According to a former American United Nations spokesperson this was not an accident, but rather an executive order. The charge is that the American delegation was ordered to do nothing to help Canada win a seat. It is unclear whether this order came from the Oval Office, but what is clear is that the United States did nothing to help us win the seat.

"U.S. State Department insiders say that U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice not only didn’t campaign for Canada’s election but instructed American diplomats to not get involved in the weeks leading up to the heated contest. With no public American support, Canada lost its bid to serve. That gives the EU more than 25% control of the body and a strong voting block to ensure EU priorities become global priorities."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Charles Adler: "I love my country, I don't love the United Nations"

Charles Adler delivered a fantastic monologue yesterday about Canada being denied a seat on the United Nations Security Council. He discusses how we have fallen out of favour with a group of countries for taking a stand in support of human rights in places like Iran. According to Charles, "they feel that Canada is too pro American or too pro Israeli and so they don't vote for Canada, and I think that's great! We should wear their scorn proudly". I strongly recommend listening.

To listen, visit charlesadler.com and click on Oct 12th pt 1 in his audio vault (located in the cellphone graphic on the right hand side). There is also a great rant on today's show. Click on Oct 13th Hour 1 and fast forward to the 10 minute mark.

Rosemary Barton: Restricting UAE Flights Hurting Consumers

Rosemary Barton guest hosting the Soloman Show today had an interesting spin on the issue of allowing more United Arab Emirates flights in and out of Canada. The theory goes that the government is blocking foreign competition and that it will hurt Canadian consumers. Really, because I don't remember that level of "free trade" enthusiasm at the CBC when we were talking about allowing Egyptian cell phones to enter our wireless market (Kevin O'Leary notwithstanding). One CBC pundit wrote "Friday's decision to let Globalive enter Canada's cellular market could be a slippery slope, say critics. The Star's editorial calls the Industry Minister's announcement troubling." Or how about more competition in our cable news industry? If you restrict entry, aren't you hurting consumers?

Refusing the demand to allow more UAE jets to land in Canada is the reason that we are being evicted from Camp Mirage. The Liberals are saying it is an example of incompetence and was preventable; ergo had we just granted greater landing rights, we could still use the base. Well good ole Rosemary Barton was on the airwaves today trying to make the case for foreign competition. Will there be any Jewish people on those flights? I once worked with a guy who was denied entry into Abu Dhabi because he had the letters "jew" in this last name and he wasn't even Jewish.

Conservatives Holding Strong In Public Support

With all these contrived controversies seemingly one after the other, it is a wonder that the latest poll shows the Tories holding at 37% support. Wasn't prorogation supposed to have a permanent damaging impact? Wasn't Harper supposedly harangued by e-mails from furious Tories outraged at the decision to make the long census optional? Weren’t the secretive actions of this government trying to block journalist's Access to Information requests supposed to get some traction with the voting public? G20 protesters torched police cars during a so-called "billion dollar photo op", surely that would erode the public's support of its government? What else, Helena Guergis was allegedly a drug dealer while her husband illegally lobbied his former caucus colleagues. Oh yeah, the government was going to kill thousands of people by not getting pig flu vaccinations for every man woman and child.

So why aren't more people leaving the big blue tent?

"Security Council rejection a deep embarrassment for Harper"

Sometimes I feel like Peter Donolo is writing the headlines at the Globe and Mail, as in the case of our entirely predictable third place finish in Security Council seat votes in the United Nations General Assembly. Most of the discussion on this matter in the media has been whether or not Canada should apply for a seat, and nobody at all predicted the predictable, that our stands in support of Israel, human rights, and climate change skepticism actually put the seat in jeopardy. The last time we won, there were two nominees for two Western seats. I have always supported our bid for a seat, but I never predicted we'd win in a popularity contest because the media was noticeably silent on whether or not there was a contest going on.

Between the anti-Israel lobby, the pro-climate-wealth-redistribution lobby, et all, we never really had a chance. Why wasn't that ever a story? And while I don't support what Iggy said on the matter, I don't think he has near the influence to sway the United Nations. All this being said, there were a number of Conservatives who opposed even applying for a seat in an organization as corrupted as the UN. I wanted to see Canada add a voice of sanity to the Security Council, but would we be able to affect change at an institution with a long history of corruption?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CBC Glee

It appeared from watching CBC Newsworld today that somebody slipped a healthy dose of Prozac into the public broadcaster's morning coffee. Carole MacNeil could barely contain her excitement as she reported on Canada being evicted from Camp Mirage and being denied a seat on the Security Council. MacNeil frequently repeated that this was the first time since the birth of the United Nations that we have failed to win a rotational seat, which she spoke with a smile on her face and a glow in her eyes. I have not seen the collective on air staff this excited since prorogation protest day back in January.

Hindsight being 20/20, given the selection process we should never have expected the SC seat. Staging a popularity contest with the general assembly severely complicated matters. Canada's strong support of Israel the past few years has no doubt influenced the plurality of Muslim votes who use the United Nations as a tool to publicly condemn the Jewish nation. Also the African delegation was apparently upset that Canada gives aid to fewer African nations than it previously had, so instead they chose Portugal, one of the largest exporters of slaves from Africa to the new world for 300 years? Good choice Africa. Furthermore our opposition to climate change laws and the global redistribution of wealth is another alleged cause of the denial. So be it, if supporting Israel and rejecting climate change means that we can never again sit on the Security Council, I’m okay with that.

Leaving Camp Mirage

Another story making news today; the United Arab Emirates is evicting Canada from Camp Mirage and according to Mike Ignatieff, this is a story about the incompetence of our government. What's at the heart of the story is that Dubai and Abu Dhabi have purchased hundreds of large commercial passenger jets and are seeking expanded landing rights at airports across the world. Evidently they are not satisfied with the status quo and are using the only real leverage they have to extract a better deal. So should we be allowing more UAE jets to land in Canada in exchange for being allowed to rent Camp Mirage? I'm sure that if we are there, we are already paying them some form of benefit.

There are plenty of NATO bases around the world that we can use to stage our withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2011. We don't need to use that base and I don't think we should respond with concessions to them refusing to allow our Minister of Defense and top General to land at a base where there were Canadian troops. I think Canadian airspace should be closed to "Air Dubai", as direct flights to and from the UAE is not something that Canadians need. For those who want to travel there, you can catch a connecting flight from Europe, no big deal. Once a country decides to refuse our military leadership to land at a base where there are Canadian soldiers and personnel in order to get better landing rights for their fleet of commercial airliners, we should withdraw from the base immediately.

Farewell Security Council

For all the complaints that I have about the inefficiencies and problems with the United Nations, I do prefer that it exists and that Canada help reform it from within. Alas that won't happen in the Security Council, as Canada has bowed out after losing to Germany and Portugal in the first rounds of voting. According to Don Martin the Tories are now going to line up to blame Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff, who came out and said publicly that "Harper" did not deserve a seat. Personally, I don't think Iggy had anything to do with why we did not get a seat because I just don't think he's that relevant internationally.

The more that I think about it, I don't think that we ever really had a chance. One of the most common functions of the United Nations is condemnation of the state of Israel, a country that Canada strongly supports. There is a significant plurality of the 192 member General Assembly that would never vote to put a pro Israeli country into the Security Council. It was worth a try to get the seat to bring our moral compass to the council who vote on matters of global security. Had we won a seat I'm sure there would have been voices on the left comparing it to putting Anakin Skywalker on the Jedi Council. I don't know that it counts as a significant defeat if you never really had a chance at victory.

It does seem odd that the government would come out and announce a stronger trade relationship with Israel hours before the General Assembly was scheduled to vote on Security Council membership. I'm sure the conspiracy theorists will soon be out to accuse the government of sabotaging its own membership bid so that they can blame it on comments made by the Liberal leader that Canada did not deserve a seat. By the way, where can I get a list of countries that did not support Canada's bid?

"Since Arab and Muslim countries either control or have varying degrees of influence over a majority of the votes in the assembly, Van Loan’s announcement has the potential to lose Canada support in the ballot.

The so-called Arab and Muslim “automatic majority” has for years sought to isolate Israel at the world body, and denounces moves it considers to be pro-Israeli."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Flaherty Fiscal Update Tuesday

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is scheduled to release his latest fiscal update on Tuesday. It was a fiscal update that triggered the coalition trap in December 2008, when the Liberals and NDP attempted to take control of government after losing an election in an agreement with a significant bounty for the Bloc. I don't expect this fiscal update to trigger a constitutional crisis, but I do expect the Finance Minister to paint a positive picture and I expect the opposition to disagree. The degree to which they disagree, that we'll have to see. If they want a fall election, this fiscal update may be their best opportunity.

I Am Thankful For Ignatieff Truancy

Last winter when friends of the Liberals organized a cross country day of protest over the "Prorogation Crisis", several voices in the media claimed that this was going to get traction with voters and permanently damage the Conservative government. Over those several weeks basking in the media attention, a number of high profile Liberals had a number of very sanctimonious things to say about the necessity of parliament being at work. Ignatieff himself proclaimed "Parliament is the sovereign", and there were a number of ordinary Canadians who don't like the idea of government being paid not to work; hence why the movement against prorogation was said to be one of the "grassroots" variety. Ignatieff claimed that he heard a loud voice from Canadians saying "do your darn job...do what you were elected to do!"

How important is showing up to work in Parliament? If voting record is any indicator, Iggy does not put much value on showing up to work. He is set to become the most truant MP in the House of Commons since the last prorogation. As a supporter of the Conservative Party, I am thankful for Ignatieff's hypocrisy. I expect this to be the subject of at least one campaign commercial; even show Bob Rae protesting prorogation in the streets of Toronto, and then show how he prorogued almost every year he was in power in Ontario during an economic crisis. If you think this truancy is unique to Ignatieff, you'd be wrong. 26 of the 30 most absent Members of Parliament belong to the Liberal Party. That's almost half their caucus in the top 10% most absent.

After everything they said about prorogation, I'm thankful that were not true to their word and provided the Tories with great campaign material.

I Am Thankful For The Coalition

It is generally tradition on Thanksgiving to share the things that you are thankful for. I am thankful for the Coalition of Losers. I am thankful that Jack Layton, Stephane Dion, and Gilles Duceppe gathered together to sign a document promising to overthrow the government immediately after the last election. At the time I was very concerned about the prospect of being governed by those clowns, but on the other hand I look forward to campaigning against that unholy alliance.

Some people might accuse me of fear mongering, of resurrecting the 2 year old ghost of December's past. Personally I think it is fair game. These guys tried to take down the government and put themselves in power right after the most recent election. We have not fought an election since this failed parliamentary coup, and those opposition parties and pundits hoping for a collective dose of national amnesia next election campaign won't be so lucky. If they did not want this to be an election issue, they should never have held that press conference, signed that agreement, and posed for this picture…

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Does Canada Need An Air Force?

Today's poll question; does Canada need an Air Force? If we are going to start a debate over whether or not to upgrade our Air Force with new fighter jets, maybe we should discuss if we even want to maintain a fleet? We aren't set to receive delivery on these jets for a few years yet and if we cancel the contracts it will delay the upgrading of our fighter force by another several years. We have the option of ceding sovereignty of our air space to the Americans, where we can call the Pentagon if Russia sends bombers towards our shores on practice flights. Our current fleet is old, crashing at air shows, and needs to be upgraded. Should we postpone that by a decade? Should we give up on our Air Force?

I ask you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Who Is The Best Premier In Canada?

If I am going to ask the question who is the most corrupt Premier in Canada; I may as well ask the question who do you think is the best Premier in Canada? The title for most corrupt is a two horse race between McGuinty and Charest with Campbell holding back in third place. If I could pick any Canadian Premier to come to my province of British Columbia and replace Gordon Campbell, I'd probably have to go with Brad Wall. Saskatchewan has been an incredible success story over the past five years, specifically its ability to maintain economic production and employment during the "Great Recession". Which Canadian Premier has the highest approval rating? Is there a website that tracks Premier approval ratings?

Who do you think is the best Premier, and why?

Obamanomics Dragging Down Canada

Canada unexpectedly lost jobs in the month of September, and the primary cause was a contraction of exports to the United States. Any slowdown of the world's most powerful economy has an immediate impact on Canadian production. I have not heard any complaints lately about the "buy American" policy that the Democrats inserted into their stimulus package, so it is difficult to say if any of those proposed trade barriers have actually been erected or enforced; and if they have contributed to the decline in our exports to America.

The Democrats have had two years with control of the Oval Office and both houses to introduce reforms to fix the problems that caused the 2008 meltdown. The issuing of mortgages and credit to people who would not be able to pay them back created a critical mass of toxic debt that crashed financial markets. Stimulus programs are like giving morphine to a patient in critical condition and long-term the patient won't recover unless you concurrently fix the problem that sent them to the emergency room. The Dems claim to have overhauled the financial system, so we will see if it works...but I wouldn't hold my breath...

A second recession in Canada would undoubtedly favour the Liberal Party, and a failure of Obama's economic policies would certainly cause a second recession. Ergo, the Canadian Liberal Party should be cheering for the failure of Obamanomics.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Which Canadian Premier Is The Most Corrupt?

With all the talk about corruption in provincial governments lately, today's poll question is which Premier do you think is the most corrupt? I will personally be voting for my own Premier Gordon Campbell, but Jean Charest would be my second choice for the most unscrupulous administration. I would rate Dalton McGuinty the most flawed Premier, but Charest and Campbell have an edge on the corruption scale. Dalton is beholden to CUPE and would put their interests above the common citizenry, but would you rate that as corruption or destructive ideology?

From what I've heard, Brad Wall is very well respected. Stelmach is regarded as a boring policy wonk and political dummy, but I don't recall ever hearing allegations of outright corruption. Danny Williams is a "chicken hawk" who wants to keep getting federal welfare checks while his province is getting rich, but he does strike me as morally balanced. I don't generally pay much attention to Nova Scotia, but I have heard rumblings that the NDP Premier Darrell Dexter is doing a typical NDP job at governing. I know absolutely nothing about the Premier of Manitoba; I had to Google "Manitoba Premier" just to find his name, which I did not even recognize.

Coalition Plot Thickens

The more we find out about the Coalition story of 2008, the more entertaining (and troubling) it becomes. Yesterday Gilles Duceppe said that he was approached by Jack Layton 10 days after the election about forming a coalition government and Gilles refused him. He would approve it if there was a significant bounty for Quebec, but he declined the invitation to officially join Jack's band of merry men. All that Gilles wanted to do was extract monetary gain for Quebec and line up for the photo-op. Also, he said that he was approached about a coalition 10 days after the election, where we had previously been led to believe that it all sprang up spontaneously after the government's fiscal update. As it turns out, all this was planned well before there was any mention of pulling the vote subsidies.

The story we have been fed by the coalition partners is not all it appears to be; there is more to the story. Over time, I'm sure we will find out everything we need to know...the whole truth.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Harper's Got Mail?

Well isn't this convenient, the Canadian Press did an Access to Information request for e-mails that the Prime Minister received in the early days of Censusgate from people claiming to be Conservatives threatening to withdraw their support for the Party if the long form census was made voluntary. The names attached to the e-mails were not released; we are just supposed to accept at face value that these are Conservative supporters revolting over the census. I can say that as a Tory blogger, I have seen hundreds of comments from people (mostly in Toronto) who claim to be Conservative supporters and make outrageous statements. Are these the same "Conservative supporters" who e-mailed their census complaints to the Prime Minister? We will never know because their names are blocked, but their e-mails remain.

The Probability of Winning Vaughan

Today the Toronto Star reported that former Ontario Police Commissioner Julian Fantino is preparing to run for the Conservative Party in the vacant Liberal riding of Vaughan near Toronto. The Liberals won the seat by 15% in 2008. There were 77 ridings that elected their MP by a margin of 10%-20% in 2006 and 88% of them elected the same party in 2008. If you figure a high profile candidate like Fantino has a better than average chance, you would still only be looking at a 1 in 4 chance of winning the riding. If the Conservatives win this riding, it will be a very significant upset. Fantino does have some detractors in the big blue tent (evidenced by the comments at Blue Like You), so it is unclear if he will be able to raise enough support to pull off the upset.

Here are the results of my statistical analysis on margin of victory and probability of retaining the seat:

*41 ridings won by a margin of 40% or greater in 2006. 100% went to the same party in 2008.

*98 ridings won by a margin of 20%-39.9% in 2006, 98% of them re-elected the same party in 2008.

*77 ridings won by a margin of 10%-19.9% in 2006, 88% of them re-elected the same party in 2008.

*92 ridings won by a margin of less than 10% in 2006, 64% of them re-elected the same party in 2008.

By-election Preview

There are four by-elections expected to be called for this November, which should provide a strong indication of where all the parties stand. During the last round of by-elections in which the Tories were the big winners, the Liberals claimed it was not a defeat because they were not expected to win any of the ridings. They will not be able to cover themselves in that blanket a second time, as one of their own Toronto area seats is up for grabs.

In the lone Quebec riding being contested, the Liberals finished within 1000 votes of the Bloc winner in 2008 and need ridings like Haute-Gasp├ęsie if they are ever going to form government again. This was actually one of the relatively few ridings where the Liberals increased their vote total in 2008 over 2006. Nancy Charest ran for them in 2008 and increased their vote total by nearly 7,000 votes. Nancy is known for making critical remarks about Iggy at a cocktail party and is known to be on the Dennis Coderre side of the LPC rift in Quebec last year. Charest will be running for the Liberals again.

The NDP will only be competitive in 1 of the 4 by-elections. They should be able to retain their seat, but if national polling numbers are correct, expect Judy Wasylycia-Leis's 40% margin of victory to be reduced. This riding should provide an indication over how big a price the NDP will pay for saving the gun registry.

The Tories should retain Inky's seat and finished in 2nd place in two of the other ridings. If they are able to win any of the 3 oppositions seats, it would be a significant victory. The name of the game will be "strategic voting", which I suspect already occurs in these ridings. The Liberals are below 10% in Winnipeg North, and the NDP are below 10% in Vaughan and Haute. In Dauphin however the NDP is at 17% and the Libs are at 14%. If the Liberals pulled their candidate, it would shrink the Tory lead from 45% to 31%. In exchange if the Dippers pulled their candidate in Haute, that would theoretically be enough for the Liberals to take a Bloc seat (punishment perhaps for Duceppe leaking coalition secrets)

The Conservatives are unlikely to win Haute or Winnipeg North and a victory in either would be an epic accomplishment. Vaughan however is a much different story. The Liberals fell from 37,000 votes in 2006 to 28,000 votes in 2008, and losing this Toronto area seat would be devastating. Maurizio won his seat by just over 8,000 votes, and if the Tories were able to erase that margin, a number of Liberals in nearby ridings would have plenty of reason to be concerned about their own futures.

The Green Party is not relevant to this discussion.

Bloc--NDP: He Said He Said

Well it would appear that the coalition partners have different narratives about how their unholy union came to pass. There is the NDP version, and the Bloc version; where the Dippers are now calling Gilles Duceppe a liar. You have the Dipper claiming that they were going to roll with the NDP platform, and Duceppe claiming his would become coalition policy. Will this war of words drive a wedge between the coalition founders? Maybe that's the whole point, hindsight being 20/20, the Dips and Libs realize that their union with the Bloc was toxic and they want to try and put some distance between them? But ultimately unless the Liberals and NDP can win enough seats to have a 2 party coalition, they are going to need the Bloc. Best play nice boys and girls...