Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Bill Gates knows full well what's wrong with the F-35s"

I am still waiting for Microsoft founder Bill Gates to tell us what's wrong with the F-35 fighter jets. Ignatieff enlightened us that Bill Gates, the US Secretary of Defense knows full well whats wrong with them. I was unaware that Bill had been appointed to Obama's cabinet, but I'll take Iggy literally at his word rather than out of context. Being that I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bill Gates as a business man and technological innovator. I would love to hear his opinion on the F-35s just as soon as he's willing to do so.

Alberta Ardvark put together a great clip of the incident and how it was cut out of a CTV news broadcast.

Coming Soon: Canadian Parliament

I bet everyone is really excited for Parliament to be returning to business on Monday, I know that I am! YES, YES, YES! Iggy's fall voting attendance was 19%, so we will see if he shows up to vote on legislation more than 1 in 5 votes. I can't say that I'm optimistic on that one. Has Ignatieff been the most absent MP in this session of Parliament? YES YES YES! 30 of the top 40 most absent MPs are Liberals. Making democracy work by not showing up to vote. Remember last year about this time when they were screaming how important it was that Parliament be allowed to do its job? After all that sanctimonious rambling, you would expect them to show up to work a little more often.

By contrast, how often do Tory MPs show up to work? 92 of the top 100 most present MPs are Conservative. Now the Tories need to craft an eagerly anticipated budget, but I need to warn Mr. Flaherty that he should think twice before putting any Liberal policy positions into his budget. There is a risk that the Liberals will suddenly decide it is advantageous to switch positions and attack the government for agreeing with them in the first place. I know that it may feel healthy for a democratically elected government to include policies of the opposition parties in their legislation, but the Liberals will attack you for agreeing with them.

Ignatieff Supported "Crazy" Legislation

Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff gave an amusing interview on Question Period today. He called corporate tax cuts "crazy", despite Oliver reminding him that they are becoming law because the Liberals supported them when it was time to vote. Of course Iggy doesn't have a straight answer for that. Here he is running around the country saying that the sky is falling because legislation he supported and allowed to pass is about to become law. That kind of depraved hypocrisy shouldn't be fooling anybody. Iggy didn't flop on corporate taxes until after the budget.

If you're running a minority government, how are you supposed to govern effectively when your opposition encourages specific policies, then turns around and attacks them after they become law? If these tax cuts are so demonstrably destructive, is it too much to ask the official opposition to say so before the government compiles its budget? I'm just saying...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mark Holland Most Hated Liberal MP?

Jane Taber has now declared that "Mark Holland has earned the status of most-hated Liberal MP among Stephen Harper’s Conservatives". While he certainly makes my top 10 list, he is up against some stiff competition for most dislikable. She even goes on to use such ghastly inflamatory language as "right at the top of the unofficial list of seats Conservatives have in their sights as they aim for a majority government". How dare she use the words "sights" and "aim"! Such careless language could encourage violence! All this after Barak Obama called for more civility! Shame on you Jane...

So today's poll question, which Liberal MP do you "hate" the most? Also note the use of sarcasm in the above paragraph.

Political Comedy

One of my guilty pleasures in life is listening to or watching political comedy. I am a political junkie, and I enjoy people making jokes about politics. Unfortunately while the right dominates talk radio, the left has had a long stranglehold on the political comedy genre. I don't have a definitive explanation for why successful comedians who satire politics are so much more likely to be batting from the left side of the plate. In Canada the gap is even larger, as we have a severe shortage of right wing comedians who make frequent relevant jokes about Canadian politics.

In the United States, two of my favourites are Nick DiPaolo and Dennis Miller. Those guys crack me up. Sadly we don't have Canadian equivalents. Who is out there that I haven't heard of yet? If they have podcasts I'd love to subscribe. If Sun TV news were going to do a late night comedy show, who gets the job?

NHL All-Star Draft

It was interesting to watch the NHL All-Star teams be selected by a captain's draft. Eric Staal picked his own goalie Cam Ward 1st overall, in a clearly partisan move. By the way, isn't it ironic that Carolina had 3 All-Stars but are currently sitting outside the playoff race? Meanwhile Detroit, sitting in 2nd in the Western Conference had one player named to the game. Though the Wings have been hit hard by injuries and very likely made Zetterberg and others unavailable for the game. It was outstanding that the Toronto Maple Leafs only selection, Phil Kessel, was the very last pick in the draft. Chicago had 4 All-Stars and currently sit in the 7th spot in their Conference, but at least they won the Stanley Cup. Jonathon Toews seemed to enjoy the draft the least. He was not comfortable.


Listening to the Charles Adler Show regarding the recent budgetary demands by Gilles Duceppe, I heard a new term that was brilliant; "blocmail" as opposed to blackmail. This move by the Bloc for a laundry list of demands gives the Tories an out on arena funding for Quebec City, which the PM previously supported. It allows Harper to oppose the "Blocmail" without being seen as "Quebec bashing". While I as a Vancouver resident and hockey fan support any measure to bring franchises back to Canada, this is not popular with the base. If you compare the future benefits of some of our "stimulus projects" against an NHL franchise, it is a no brainer.

But, it is generally unpopular and Gilles is helping give the PM an out on his previous position.

Commercial Condemnation

Maybe I'm just a blind partisan, but I don't see the justification for moral outrage over the recent Tory TV ads. How on earth has this breached any kind of ethical boundary? They aren't nearly as bad as ads made by the Liberals just a few short years ago, and none of the material is libelous. Okay, so all of a sudden we think that "context" is a prerequisite for commercial advertising? Maybe I have just seen too many Bud Light commercials in my life to take this crap seriously; but I cannot understand for the life of me how anyone finds this offensive.

If you are offended by these ads, then maybe you should consider sniffing some smelling salts. There is a lot of malicious, graphic violence on our TVs 24 hours a day. Saying that Ignatieff wants an election and showing a clip where he looks ridiculous should rank very low on our scale for what's offensive and what is not. Am I just desensitized, or is it nuts how mad some people are about this?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Rex Murphy: An Election Is Coming

Rex Murphy, one of the few remaining reasons to ever watch or listen to the CBC (kudos also to Don Cherry and Kevin O'Leary); had a fantastic monologue on the CBC on Thursday night. This is a must watch. Rex is adamant that all signs point to a spring election. He breaks it down beautifully, and I agree with his opinion. The only point where I would disagree with him, is that I don't think the NDP actually wants an election. They'll play tough to try and gain leverage, but their byelection results were nothing short of catastrophic. If they aren't shitting their pants, they bloody well should be. I do think that there are a number of Liberals who would like to see an election but don't think Ignatieff can win. They support other candidates, but realize that Iggy is going to get at least one election. They have already invested too much in this sunk cost, and would like to get it over with.

That's how I see it.

Canada Moving In Right Direction

On Thursday even Liberal pollster Frank Graves was showing how Canadian public sentiment in the positive direction of our country has been trending upward for the past few months. Iggy is running around out there asking people if they are better off at a time when many people are starting to feel better off. I suppose I have to give kudos to Graves for his spot on the Soloman Show Thursday, because his presentation was really bad news for the Liberals no matter which way you look at it. Maybe Frank was watching the Liberals go headstrong into a spring election and wanted to say "relax guys, now is not a good time to be doing this".

Which Former Premier Should Run Federally?

As we have lost 3 Premiers to resignation in just a few short months, I'd like to ask which former Premier would you like to see run for the federal Conservatives? Who'd you like to see run as a Tory MP, not immediately as leader of the party? There is Danny Williams, Bernard Lord, Mike Harris, Rodney MacDonald, Pat Binns, Bill Vanderzalm, Ed Stelmach, and Gary Filmon. I suppose it doesn't have to be confined to conservatives. I don't think anyone would mind if Gary Doer ran for the Tories. Gordon Campbell was a Liberal, but accused of being a far right winger by the BC NDP. From what I heard Ralph Klein has some health problems and is not physically able to perform the duties of an elected official. I am a fan of King Ralph and wish him good health.

I'll have to vote for Mike Harris, but I have always been a fan of Bernard Lord. By all accounts Pat Binns was a really effective Premier who governed PEI for a long time and nobody has ever heard of. I think Vandershazaam is a bit of a nut who destroyed the Social Credit dynasty in BC. I don't see Danny Williams running federally anytime soon.

Ignatieff: "Bill Gates, Secretary Of Defense"

In a preview of what would come under an Ignatieff administration, apparently Bill Gates is now the United States Secretary of Defense. Evidently Robert Gates no longer has the job. Iffy may not know which Gates is running the American military, but he insists that Bill Gates knows what's wrong with the F-35s. What's more is that CTV News ran a story on the fighter jets and showed the clip of Iggy where he made the mistake, but cut out the "Bill Gates" gaffe from the clip. Then in the very next segment, they criticized Peter MacKay for suggesting that California and BC share a common border. Obviously Peter made a simple speaking error where the words did not come out in proper sequence. He is way too smart to not know that geography. The point is that in a tale of two gaffes, one got cut out of CTV News, the other was a story. It is what it is.

Thank you Wilson for pointing out;

"On CTV National, the Libluvers ran the entire LPC fighter jet attack ad,
then followed with a clip of Iffy saying "....the secretary of defence, knows full well the problems with the F-35s" but CUT the Iffy gaff out. "We think that BILL GATES, the (US) secretary of defence, knows full well the problems with the F-35s" and of course CTV brought up McKay's gaff

I don't do twitter, somebody should point out to Ms CTV that we are aware she cut Iffy's gaffe out of her National segment tonight, and gave the Liberals free prime time advertising."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stephen Harper Visits Africa

Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper is visiting Africa to promote his maternal health initiative to try and reduce the mortality rate of mothers and children. Whenever I watch my Prime Minister perform abroad, I can't help but feel proud that this man (and not Stephane Dion) is the top statesman who represents Canada around the world. Ignatieff would be just as embarrassing, fortunately it doesn't look like he'll be winning any elections anytime soon.

As the Prime Minister visits North Africa, there is escalating tension in Egypt as protesters are demanding the resignation of the long serving President Mubarak. I think democracy would be great for that part of the world, but the current Egyptian leader has been keeping the peace for many years now. There is a risk that a new regime could escalate hostilities with Israel, which would be really bad for everyone involved. It is very important that the Muslim Brotherhood not gain power in Egypt.

Ignatieff-Harper Debates

One thing that I would love to see happen in the next election campaign is for the leaders of the Tories and Liberals to meet regularly for head to head debates. You can still have your both languages all party debates to make sure everyone gets a voice, but I would like to see Harper challenge Iggy to additional head to head debates. I don't think Ignatieff can hold his own on a policy debate with Harper, and needs the other opposition parties to distract attention from his inadequacy. Historically about 3/4 of Canadians are deciding between Liberal and Conservative. It makes perfect sense to have some extra debates between the parties that most Canadians are deliberating on, displaying the major differences between these two parties.

Iggy would look really weak saying no, but his best case scenario is an all party debate where he has help.

68% Of NDP Voters Support Death Penalty?

According to a new poll, only 28% of Canadians oppose the death penalty in all circumstances. There is a division on whether or not the government should reinstate it as law, but a large majority support its use in certain cases; by party; 77% of Tories, 68% of Dippers, 51% of Liberals, and 48% of Bloc supporters. I found it strange that NDP voters are substantially more likely to support the use of the death penalty than Liberals (though only 48% of Tories and 46% of Dippers believe that it should become law once again). It is odd because if you listen to the "social justice" rhetoric of its leaders, you'd think that party would be the most opposed to this form of penalty.

I suspect that the answer to the mystery is that many of the union guys and gals who vote NDP out of habit don't actually agree with all that much NDP policy (at least in non-economic matters).

Ignatieff Announces Quebec Arena Support

Why am I not surprised that the leader of the Liberal Party is now supporting federal funding of a new arena in Quebec? The Tories originally floated this idea and then backed off after some strong opposition within their own rank and file. Quebec MP Maxime Bernier was the loudest voice opposing the arena project. As an opposition party there is virtually no negative effect to them taking this position, and it could infact gain the Liberals seats in Quebec. The Tories have ten seats in the greater QC area, and could have expanded that with a partial stake financing a popular project. If the Bloc team up with the Liberals to force this issue, it could cost the Tories a majority in the next election. Oh well Max, at least you've got your principles. Hopefully you retain your seat.
As a sports fan I want as many hockey teams in Canada as we can get, and Quebec can only get a franchise if they build a new barn. I support the government spending my tax dollars to get a team back in Quebec City. That's my opinion, but many of you do not share my opinion on this matter. I say do let's do it! Hell, I even once advocated putting a franchise in Whitehorse, but that was purely sarcastic.

PS: Isn't this a great photo of  Count Chocula?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alberta's Next Premier

Thursday's poll question will be; who should be Alberta's next Premier? In the meantime your suggestions are welcome. If Steady Eddy Stelmach is going to step down before the next provincial election, then whoever runs to replace him will become Premier for a short time before going to a general election. Wouldn't it be nice if Danielle Smith replaced him? Except that would require her to leave the Wildrose Party, which I expect she's unwilling to do. The best thing that the Alberta PC Party could do is find someone who is very popular federally.

Personally I'd love to see Danielle Smith run for the federal Tories.

Iggy Pops!

When several pundits start comparing one of your speeches as a "Howard Dean moment", remember that is more of a faltering than flattering comparison. Howard Dean's own "Howard Dean moment" pretty much destroyed his future running for elected office because he looked so ridiculous that nobody would take him seriously again. Even Jane Taber called it a "Howard Dean moment", and I don't think she intended that as a compliment. It generally takes a screw up of epic proportions for Taber to write something negative about the Liberals. He looked like an idiot, and I would encourage him to put that same "passion" into future speeches, if not more. I still think he can dial it up a notch if Donolo tells him to.

Ignatieff On Corporate Tax Cuts

I was watching Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff pop off yesterday in very entertaining fashion, and I started trying to remember the moment when Iggy first flopped on corporate taxes. I did a Google search, and found a Toronto Star article from March 28th, 2010 after Iggy's keynote speech at Thinkapalooza. Then I looked up what I had to say after Iggy's keynote speech at Thinkapalooza.  The Liberals had their big thinkers conference, and changed their minds on corporate tax cuts. The week before Thinkapalooza, the Liberals had the embarrassing failure of their motion to force Canadian tax payers to pay for abortions in foreign countries, after a number of their own MPs boycotted the vote.

At the time, Iggy wanted to pay for his future social programs by repealing tax cuts that hadn't even happened yet, but that the Liberals had approved of previously. They went from supporting the cuts to changing their mind and attacking the government for what used to be their own policy position. The hypocrisy boggles my mind.

And Then There Was Dalton...

We have now seen 3 Canadian Premiers announce their resignation in the past few months, first Gordon Campbell, then Danny Williams, now Ed Stelmach. Two of the three are stepping down due to unpopularity, where Williams wants to go out on top. What I would like to know if this recent trend is putting any pressure on Dalton McGuinty to do the honourable thing and step down before his Ontario Liberals get trounced in the next election this fall. Today's poll question; should Dalton McGuinty resign as Premier of Ontario?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Obama Borrowing Harper's Policies: Corporate Tax Cuts

Tonight Barak Obama gave his state of the union speech in Washington, and I was pleased to see him borrow quality economic policy from the Harper government, lowering the corporate tax rate. The Liberal messiah looked north for advice on how to help repair the American economy. Ironically the Liberals up here have decided to focus their vitriol on corporate tax cuts, which is now also Obama policy. Granted it always needs to be pointed out that this is only becoming policy in Canada because it was originally supported by the Liberals. They are now campaigning ferociously against a policy position that they supported last year.

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Ignatieff Imitates Howard Dean

Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff gave a fiery over-the-top speech today at a campaign stop that was reminiscent of former Democrat hopeful Howard Dean in Iowa. All that was missing was a loud "we're going all the way to Washington DC to take back the Whitehouse, YEEEAAAAHHH!!!". As a partisan Tory, I found his speech to be very entertaining and I would like to encourage Iggy pop to be this passionate again in the future, as often as possible...even more passionate if that's possible. I hope one of those sketch "comedy" shows on the CBC does a parody of this speech, because this is the kind of speech that deserves to be ridiculed.

What Happened To Don Martin?

Did Don Martin get fired as host of CTV's Power Play or is he getting a long vacation just a few short weeks into his new gig? Dan Matheson has been standing in for the last several episodes, and before that Liberal activist Jane Taber spent some time setting the agenda. Did Martin's people negotiate a lot of vacation time into his new deal, or is CTV having sober second thoughts about their selection? While I admit that Don Martin sucks at TV, I do prefer him to Taber and Matheson. Its the lesser evil.

I googled "Don Martin fired" and didn't find anything.

Appointing Senators

Today's poll question; do you think it is okay for the Prime Minister to appoint Senators to enact real Senate reform? The goal is Senate elections and term limits, but the Senate has been filibustering Senate reform. In order to fulfill a promise, the Prime Minister had to break a promise. Do you think that is wrong? He'll be vindicated when his Senate reform legislation finally becomes reality, but in the meantime it has been and will continue to be a substantial avenue of attack for his opponents. He spent the first part of his mandate refusing to appoint Senators, but when the number of open seats became too high and the opposition attempted a legislative coup, Stephen Harper had no choice. Had the Liberals seized power, then they would have dozens of open seats to stack the upper chamber, which you know they would do. This decision was the product of unstable minority government, not a desire to break a promise.

Monday, January 24, 2011

NDP War Room

Today we got a sneak peak into the NDP war room on Power Play, and the NDP really, really wants you to know how ready they are to fight an election; even when polls and recent byelection results indicate this might not be a good time for them to go to the electorate. What they have is a wall with half a dozen big screen TVs, all set to a different news channel (I'm sure they'll get set back to Teletoon when the CTV cameras leave). They have maybe 20 people sitting at computers surfing the internet, some I'm sure covering the blogosphere (hi guys). In the corner they have a small green screen filming area where they do up to the minute damage control as their local candidates are forced to resign over various controversies (such as Dana Larsen).

Watching the whole tour, it felt artificial, like they are really trying to sell how ready they are. Meanwhile in the most recent round of byelections the NDP performed miserably. They have to be concerned about going to the polls right now, so this "we are really ready for an election" enthusiasm they are trying to sell feels so fake.

Ignatieff's Canada

With the new Liberal attack ads focusing on "Stephen Harper's Canada", I would like to imagine Mike Ignatieff's Canada if such a place existed (the probability is under 1 in 5). If he were to actually win, he would be demographically represented by Toronto, Montreal, parts of Atlantic Canada, and maybe 8 MPs west of Ontario (if he's lucky). He won't have a regionally diverse cabinet. There won't be much talent to choose from. Personally I think Ignatieff's Canada is a fantasy that will never become reality, but if he were able to squeak out a minority, it will be based on a few regional pockets in an unstable government. It isn't going to be a happy productive place.

By the way after watching these Liberal attack ads I'm thinking that as a stimulus project, why don't we drop money over Canada out of our outdated military jets? Instead of replacing our dying fleet, let's shower Canada in money, dropped from military aircraft. It seems like the alleged price tag keeps getting bigger, even though we are talking about a window of several decades. This is not going to be $60 billion dollars out of the next budget. Meanwhile, the Liberals were the ones who signed us up for the F-35 project. They are again releasing attack ads attacking positions previously held by themselves. I guess they don't see the hypocrisy. They knew that we needed new equipment, and made a cash investment in this project. Now they are attacking the Tories for continuing their previous policy.

"Ignorance is bliss when it is folly to be wise"

-Jim Lahey, Trailer Park Supervisor

Stephen Harper Day

As I was leaving the house to go to work on the 5th Anniversary of Stephen Harper the Prime Minister, I was thinking, this should be a statutory holiday. We should have a day every year where we celebrate the leadership of Stephen Harper and make it a stat holiday so that citizens can have day off work to show up to their local festivities. While we're at it, I would also love to see them build a giant platinum statue of Stephen Harper on the lawn of parliament. Not necessarily as tall as the Statue of Liberty, but on that scale. For a stimulus project, we should consider carving Stephen Harper's face into the side of a mountain someplace in Canada and make that area a national park. We could then hold annual Stephen Harper Day events at these venues.

PS: This is me doing a parody of myself, if you didn't notice the sarcasm. My tongue was in my cheek, though I'm sure that some of you took me seriously. But on a serious note, I think that he has been an outstanding Prime Minister under very difficult circumstances.

Canada's Greatest Prime Minister

Today's poll question; who is the greatest Prime Minister in the history of Canada? In my own personal opinion Liberals rarely make good PMs, so none will be included in the poll. Is it too soon to start calling Stephen Harper one of the greatest Prime Ministers in Canadian history? Because as I was watching Martha Findlay describe the last 5 marvelous years, it only strengthened my belief in our leader. I think he at least belongs in the conversation, though he has many years of leadership ahead of him to strengthen his legacy. Sir John A Macdonald is the longest serving on the list of options and one of the early favourites.

What say you?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Canada Needs More Asians

We are in the process of a substantive demographic shift that is going to see us lose a very important chunk of our labour force to retirement in the next decade. Unless Canadians start producing more children, we have to start making up the difference elsewhere. Europe has the same problem, and I doubt we could count on another significant influx of European immigration anytime soon. To be honest, I would much rather have more Asians than more Europeans. I have worked with many people in Vancouver who were born in Asia (mostly China), and they are great people and hard workers. If we are to continue aborting a significant proportion of our future labour force, then lets import more Asians because we really need them.

I remember the Liberals attacking Harper for boycotting the 2008 Beijing Olympics in protest of human rights abuses, then a few months later a large chunk of the Asian Canadian population in British Columbia shifted to the Tories. The riding with the largest Asian population is Richmond, which shifted from Liberal to Tory in 2008 (including West Vancouver, North Vancouver, among others with a large Asian population), and a narrowing of the gap in virtually all greater Vancouver ridings. I would guess 75% of the people living in Canada who were born in China are opposed to the current ruling regime in their motherland. I want more Asians in my Canada. I really like those people.

Why do you think that the Prime Minister appointed one of his most talented ministers to the immigration portfolio? It wasn't to bury him.

Discouraging Abortion

While I have always been and always will be pro choice, I do think that there is a good reason to discourage abortion in Canada 2011. It is not a matter of religion or morality (I am an agnostic humanist), but rather a simple matter of economics. The baby boomers are starting to retire and we are about to face a very serious labour demographic problem in our country. There is about to be an enormous influx of cost on a shrinking labour force. Canada pension expenses goes up, health care costs explode, and there are fewer tax payers to pay for it. Ladies of Canada, I support your right to choose, but right now we need future workers and we need them as soon as you can produce them. Please start cranking out more kids.

And read America Alone by Mark Steyn.

Coalition Leadership

After having the pleasure of reading a fantastic discussion on the subject of a possible plausible Liberal-NDP power sharing agreement at Blue Like You, I would like to ask the question; if the Liberals and NDP form a coalition government after another Tory minority in the next election, who would be Prime Minister? Ignatieff, Rae, or Layton? Those are the only plausible candidates. I am reasonably convinced that part of the agreement in which Bob Rae abdicated to Iggy after the Dion disaster was that Count Chocula gets one election and resigns if it is a loss. If the Conservatives win a minority, Iggy steps down, and Bob Rae forms a coalition with the NDP. That's how I see this playing out.

Do you agree?

Harper's Canada

Well the Liberals have started airing their new ads on real television, meaning that they have been forced to spend money that they really can't afford to spend. Normally they just rely on CBC Newsworld playing their ads repeatedly as news for free. It would appear that Iggy is repeating the mistake of his predecessor by trying to campaign to the left of the NDP. Trying to out flank the Dippers on the left never works out well for the Liberals. I'm curious, this legislation that is bringing in corporate tax cuts, has it already been voted on in the House of Commons? If so, how did the Liberals vote? Was Ignatieff present or absent for that vote? It would seem that the tax cuts are not coming up for a vote because it has already passed our minority parliament.

I'm curious, has a party ever aired attack ads against their own policy position? It was only in the last year that the Liberals flopped their position on this issue, and now they are attacking their previous position in political attack ads. I would presume that Iggy only changed his position after Donolo said it could get them NDP votes. You could make hilarious ads about the Liberals attacking their own recent policy in attack ads.

I am proud to live in Harper's Canada. Ignatieff's Canada is a singular elitist fantasy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Liberal Ads

Well if you listened to Martha Hall Findlay on Friday, the Liberals are only releasing their latest attack ads as a reaction to the latest Tory ads; as though they made them in just the last couple of days. What's even more ridiculous, is that Martha complained that the Tories should have pulled the ads after Obama's speech for more civility in political talk. Meanwhile, an elected Democrat in Washington compared Republicans to Nazis AFTER Obama's civility speech. His own people aren't even listening to that suggestion.

Martha wasn't done there, she even went on the ads should have been cancelled after the Arizona shootings, in a foreign country. It was all part of a larger attempt to frame negative political ads as inherently dangerous to society...on the same day the Liberals released their own attack ads! But Martha says they had no choice. The Tories forced them to release negative ads because they released negative ads. I guess two "wrongs" do make a right?

If the Liberals greatest weakness is Iggy's personal unlikability numbers, why not release commercials that attempt to sell how great your leader is? I suppose it's futile to sell that ridiculous hyperbolic snake oil. They have to attack Harper because campaigning about the non-existent strength of their greatest weakness won't accomplish anything.

Blog Censorship

Ever since the link was drawn between the shootings in Arizona and the exaggerated rhetoric of the political punditry, I find myself second guessing my own words and terminology on occasion while writing posts. Today's poll question; do you think that current pundit analysis encourages people to kill other people? My blog is a one person show with no editors or oversight. I have enough common sense that I've written 1800 posts without getting sued, trying to be at times controversial, often sarcastic, but not libelous. Unlike Scott Reid, I've never written of my political opponent "kill him, kill him dead". What if a mentally unstable left wing kook had actually tried to kill our Prime Minister a few weeks after the Globe and Mail published that rant by Reid? Anyone who watched that G20 chaos unfold in Toronto is all too familiar with the fanatic nature of the left wing kooks.

I guess my question is how should I proceed as someone with public opinion? I revel in sarcasm, but as Jon Stewart said you can't stop crazy. Crazy always finds a way. If someone reads my blog and then goes out and does something criminally insane, is it my fault? Do I need to remove the words "shoot, aim, target, kill, terminate, slay, hunt, end, etc" permanently from my vocabulary. Speech isn't really free anymore is it? Where does it end?

Liberals "Bleeding Enthusiasm"

Friday on the Soloman Show a pollster (not named Graves) came on to describe the current state of the Liberal Party of Canada. When discussing Ignatieff's personal likability and approval numbers, he made the magnificent conclusion that the Liberals are "bleeding enthusiasm". That is brilliant, and I wish I would have thought of it myself. This explains why Iggy can't gain traction with non-Liberals, and why the party is having so much trouble raising money. Because Liberals themselves are bleeding enthusiasm. I seem to recall a recent poll that had 1/3 of Liberals wanting a new leader. Great time for an election guys, see you there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

No Cure For Crazy

Do you think that parents should be held responsible for the actions of their adult children if they turn out to do something crazy? I was listening to the Adam Carolla podcast the other day, and when he discussed the Arizona shootings his position was blame the parents. By his belief, if you made parents criminally responsible for their adult children then that would provide incentive for people to be better parents; that if any offspring goes on a shooting spree, there should at least be an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell when Carolla is being serious and when he's kidding, but obviously you can't charge the parents unless they actually somehow aid or participate in the act. It is insane to suggest a parent go to jail because their offspring goes nuts. Bad parenting can lead to crazy, but even with good parenting, crazy can find a way to take hold. If you are a bad parent, that may increase the probability of their offspring engaging in nefarious behavior, but crazy does not prove bad parenting. Many families with multiple children will have one that's in and out of trouble while the others lead noble and prosperous lives. There are many factors outside of how good of a parent you are that have a major impact on the sanity of your adult child. It is a bad idea to always blame the parents. In this case, I disagree with Mr. Carolla.

"Why did Harper bring up capital punishment?"

That is certainly a misleading headline at the Globe and Mail, but it is from left wing kook Jane Taber, so don't be too shocked. The reason it is misleading is because the Prime Minister did not "bring it up", the question was introduced by Peter Mansbridge in an interview. Harper never said anything about capital punishment until Mansbridge asked him about it. Mansbridge "brought it up", and the Prime Minister answered with what has always been his position. There is nothing new here, but Taber is trying to pounce on whether or not is was wise of the PM for introducing the death penalty to the debate. Unless the PM said to Mansbridge before the Interview "hey Pete, ask me about the Death Penalty", there is no story here because one journalist asked a provocative question and got the expected answer.

Even the CBC has their caption for the interview link saying only "death penalty, abortion not on agenda". Really? That's your synopsis of the entire interview??? Nothing on the economy, jobs, employment, but just the two deliberately provocative questions that the interviewer decided he needed to ask.

This is getting really nutty...

Iggy The Tourist

I would like to know how much money in total the Liberal party has spent on these frequent little cross country tours Iggy has been doing for little to no benefit. His personal numbers remain abysmal despite the repeated parading around our country like a high profile tourist. Look, just because you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night, that does not mean you are qualified to run the country! They should turn this so-called Liberal express into a National Lampoon's movie with Paulie Shore playing Ignatieff. Iggy is about as likable as Paulie. If elected Prime Minister, Ignatieff has already announced his declaration that he would like in a hotel. Does anyone know if he sold his residence in Boston?

I watch the Liberals burning through cash on such futile ventures and I reminded of the term in economics of "sunk cost" or "a cost already incurred that is not able to be affected by subsequent actions and thus has no relevance in evaluating future decisions". It refers to businesses who make the mistake of continuing a project because of the money already spent. Sometimes organizations or even people will justify future spending on a worthless venture because of what they have already spent. When in reality, you have to look forward at future expected value against future costs. Live in the now, see that it isn't working, is not going to work, and cut ties. The money the Liberals have spent trying to get people to like an inherently unlikable man is a sunk cost. You can't recover it, and the asset (or liability) is never going to provide any significant return on their investment.

PS: I had originally written "terminate the project" in the above paragraph but changed it to "cut ties" because I did not want anyone to get the wrong idea...we're supposed to be civil right?

News Before A Studio Audience (Live Or Otherwise)

I have to ask the question, should news opinion shows be filmed before a live studio audience? If and when Charles Adler launches his own show on Sun TV News, is it better with or without a live studio audience? Sun TV will share similarities with Fox News, and Glenn Beck does his show in front of a studio audience. I don't watch every politics show so I can't say how many of them do this, I just know that plugging in the audience was about the time that Beck started losing me. When he's working his audience, he gets too emotional and becomes creepy. I liked CNN Beck much better than chalkboard/audience Fox Beck.

Should a news opinion show have a studio audience?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Death Penalty Scandal?

Peter Mansbridge specifically asked the Prime Minister in a recent interview if he planned to introduce the death penalty if he won a majority. Was this up for debate? The PM answered that he supported it in some cases (like serial killers), but that it was not tenable public policy and would never be put on the table in a Tory majority. Now all of a sudden the opposition are using this to attack Prime Minister Harper? He said he's not going to do it, and somehow this is being used by the opposition to attack him? Does this make any sense? I thought it was odd that Mansbridge even asked the hidden agenda questions in this interview when many think an election is imminent, but the PM said no this will not be policy and the Liberal response is to attack no change in current law.

This is getting nutty.

Lance Armstrong Investigated

A federal grand jury is now investigating allegations that cycling legend and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs. Personally I think this is a waste of time and money. I don't care if he did it, because cycling is the dirtiest sport for "performance enhancing" in the world next to maybe bodybuilding. I feel confident declaring that a substantial proportion of the people Lance beat on the road to victory were juicing or doping. Cycling catches dozens of cheaters per year, and those are just the guys who don't have trainers who can beat the test.

Do I think Lance Armstrong somehow enhanced his performance? I don't know. His success was statistically remarkable, but I'm not going to cast guilt on him because I see the whole sport as guilty. What I do know is that Lance beat cancer and has raised millions of dollars towards saving the lives of other people stricken with cancer. If they find him guilty and strip him of his Tour de France titles, I bet whomever they give it to was not racing as "God intended". Performance enhancing or not, Lance Armstrong is still on my hero list.

The Ford Effect Hits Ruby Dhalla?

Has Toronto's rightward shift that elected Rob Ford as mayor spilled over to federal politics? If it wasn't worrisome to the Liberals to lose their stronghold in Vaughan to Julian Fantino, they have to be really worried that their staffers in the Toronto area have started defecting to the Tories, jumping off the Titanic before it sinks. The team is collapsing, and these guys are saying that it is time for an election? Good luck with that. They have been wasting money on these ridiculous field trips Iggy is taking across the country like he's some kind of tourist. Watch as Iggy meets Canadians outside of Toronto for the first time in his life! Of course he looks wide-eyed and excited, this is the first time he's seeing most of these places!

I seem to have gotten off topic. Anyway, Ruby Dhalla is losing staffers to the Tories. That's a great story. Fantastic even. Can Ignatieff even win Etobicoke Lakeshore? He's not too far away from Ruby Dhalla's riding, and Iggy's constituents voted mostly for Rob Ford.

Think about it.

PS: My use of the word hit is not intended to imply assassination. The use of hit is in the meaning of "to collide with". Just so you don't get the wrong idea.

Harper On Spring Election

The Prime Minister has come out and said that he sees a 50% probability of an election in 2011. Most people agree that the Ontario fall election rules out the second half of the year, so today's poll question is what do you think is the probability of a Canadian spring election in 2011? Pick your probability. The Prime Minister has it at 50% for the whole year, and I have it at 65% for a spring election. Though I am starting to sense the Liberals might be getting cold feet. I believe that the Liberals who are pushing the hardest for a spring election are the ones who would like to see Iggy replaced. Iggy himself should want to wait on the prayer that his likability numbers improve, unless he's growing tired of Canada and wants to move back to Boston. That's "his" country.

The poll numbers that come out in the next few weeks may have a dramatic effect. If the Liberals don't improve, or even decline, there will be a lot of second guessing at the wisdom of forcing a spring election. This could be a very interesting February.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Liberals Broke

If you don't have very much money, what do you do to publish advertising? You could try to get the media to follow your daily tour stops to get your face on TV, but the reason the Liberal Party is not running ads ahead of the election they claim to want is because they can't afford to. The Liberals complete futility at raising money is becoming a major problem. Canadian Sense put it beautifully yesterday in No Money, No Ads. "Why are Liberals threatening an election if they can't get their own financial house in order? (Have they given up trying to find new donors?)"

Why do you think the opposition parties refuse to relinquish their tax payer subsidies? Because they can't afford to live without the handouts.

What Happened To Don Martin & Andrew Coyne?

I have to say that over the last two years, I have found myself agreeing with Don Martin and Andrew Coyne less and less. These were two of my favourite pundits in Canada only a few short years ago that I frequently agreed with, but nowadays I don't find myself in agreement with their analysis. Andrew Coyne can be downright nutty sometimes, though I acknowledge him to be a very intelligent man. BC Blue asked yesterday if Andrew Coyne has officially lost it, which I believe to be a very valid question.

My question is, what happened to these two pundits that I used to value? I don't know if Don Martin started attending too many Liberal cocktail parties when he was writing the Stronach book and fell into that world, or if he's someone who writes better when he's complaining about the government. I suspect that some writers are better when they are complaining about government and power. Or maybe the media does higher ratings in unstable minority governments than in majorities, such that it would be in the media's own self interest to keep it close?

All that being said, Coyne and Martin take more shots at the Liberals than a Taber or Delacourt. I don't think Don Martin is a partisan Liberal, nor do I think Coyne votes Liberal. Rather I think it is more pragmatic, that if they dedicate X amount of their time attacking the government they will appeal to a larger audience. It is likely a traffic maximization formula; similar to when Warren Kinsella criticizes the Liberals and Blogging Tories jump on it as unhappiness within the other team's ranks. Or were Coyne and Martin always Liberals, pretending to be right of center when it benefited their careers?

CBC Complains About Tory Ads

The CBC has now complained about their footage being used in recent Conservative ads, which they see as a violation of their "intellectual property". They receive a billion dollars annually from tax payers, last time I checked, their "intellectual property" was actually "public property". Today's poll question; should CBC footage be permitted for use in political ads? I find it odd that the public broadcaster would object to their footage being used in an approved political advertisement. Do you think the CBC has been wronged? They are publicly funded, but seem appalled at the idea that their news footage is public. If they want ownership of their footage to be private, then they should not accept such massive funding from the public.

As Stephen Taylor pointed out yesterday, "Pair this with the broadcaster awarding of a polling contract to big time Liberal donor and adviser Frank Graves in an apparent twisting of the CBC’s own written guidelines and this only raises more questions about neutrality."

An interesting report also from cnews also shows that the CBC spent a lot of money to shred documents ahead of their falling under the power of the Access to Information Act in 2007. Even though they shredded the most damaging documents, they still fail to comply with ATI requests because they feel it compromises their "artistic integrity". Yeah, like Kady O'Malley's expense account needs to be private to protect her artistic integrity...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mansbridge Re-introducing Hidden Agenda Card?

You have to respect our Prime Minister for returning to do interviews with CBC's Peter Mansbridge after some of his past treatment. This time around, pistol Pete decided to ask which classic "hidden agenda" items Harper has planned if he's able to win a majority government. Abortion, death penalty, gun laws, etc; the items that the Martinites campaigned on in 2004 and 2006. We will see if Ignatieff dusts off the old strategy now that Mansbridge has opened the door.

You may remember during the 2008 election campaign at the start of this economic downturn Harper encouraged weary investors to invest in Canada in a Mansbridge interview, and Pete expressed dismay that the PM would do something so morally insensitive. Let the record show that the TSX was at 9,000 points at the time of the interview and is currently sitting around 13,000 points (a gain of 31%).

Here is the hidden agenda sequence of questions from the most recent Mansbridge interview (note that the Prime Minister did not bite on the partisan questions):

1: As you mentioned earlier, you said you haven't been able to do all the things that you wanted to do, given the minority situation. Let's assume you wind up with a majority. The gun laws - would they change according to the way you were hoping to change them?

2: Would you re-open the abortion issue?

3: Capital punishment?

4: You don't sound as firm as...

5: You've appointed dozens of senators.

6: Senate reform. What would you do with senate reform if you had a majority?

7: Because of doing something you said you'd never do?

Liberal Attack Ads

When you review the history of Liberal attack ads, you can't help but notice the one of accusing Stephen Harper of being "prepared to work with the Bloc Quebecois"; made all the more ironic by Dion signing an agreement to form government with Duceppe. We need to remind all the Liberals bemoaning the latest Tory attack ads of their own past history. They have some doozies in their own closet from the era of Mr. Beer and Popcorn.

"Prime Minister Michael Ignatieff puts his critics on ice"

I must admit that headline caught my attention at the Globe and Mail, a little wishful thinking perhaps by Taber. The story scored over 1000 comments, so clearly it caught other people's attention to. Seriously, a kid mistakenly calls Iggy Prime Minister, and this is headline news? The Liberals have been struggling to get people to show up at these events, and I feel comfortable predicting that is the first and last time anyone will call that man Prime Minister. Personally I'm curious to know who the child who called him Prime Minister belongs to, be it a staffer, party member, or just a random passer by. If one of the child's parents works for Iggy, the accidental PM slip loses some of its luster.

Where Does My Traffic Come From?

I was looking at my site statistics and thought you might be interested to know from where my traffic comes. Most come from Canada and the USA, but I have still had thousands of international visitors. Overseas, my largest audience is in South Korea. I get more traffic from Germany than Britain. I have virtually no audience in China, India, or Mexico.
Geographically, here is my top ten all-time rankings:

1. Canada 85.3%
2. United States 11.8%
3. South Korea 0.7%
4. Germany 0.6%
5. United Kingdom 0.6%
6. Netherlands 0.5%
7. Russia 0.2%
8. Denmark 0.1%
9. Luxembourg 0.1%
10. Australia 0.1%

In terms of referring sites, my January traffic has came from:

1. Blogging Tories 80.7%
2. Google 11.7%
3. Small Dead Animals 3.4%
4. Blue Like You 2.4%
5. Twitter 0.7%
6. Canadian Sense 0.5%
7. Bing 0.3%
8. Yahoo 0.3%

Although that does not include "no referring link" which is roughly 10% - 15% of my traffic, people who access the site directly. Monday one of my posts was recommended by Small Dead Animals, resulting in an influx of 500 visitors. Generally a link from another blog results in 10-50 hits. That lady has a substantial following, and if you get linked by her you are going to have a good day. Monday was the most hits I've had since October 14th, and in my top 7 traffic days in the two year life of this blog. Thank you Small Dead Animals.

The Blogging Tories is the only site that hosts my posts. There are other blog hosts out there that I could publish on like Canadian Bloggers. But that site would be competing with the BT site for traffic, and I would like to remain exclusive to the Blogging Tories because I believe in the brand. I have decided to attach my blogging fate to Stephen Taylor's brainchild.

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Soldiers with guns in our cities"

It is amusing to see Liberals get sanctimonious about negative advertising, this being the same party who brought us the 2004 and 2006 election campaigns where they warned of "soldiers with guns, in our cities. In Canada. We did not make this up." I also recall another where they pointed a gun at viewers suggesting they might get shot if the Conservatives win. I found a few examples of Liberal attack ads, which is a great reminder for any left wing kooks crying foul over the Tories using negative advertising. Maybe two wrongs don't make a right, but a negative multiplied by a negative is a positive. That's deep...

The Liberals would be running ads of their own right now if they could afford them.

Attacking Attack Ads

There seems to be some buzz in the blogosphere today about some new Conservative "attack ads" as some people don't like negative advertising in our "political media" cycles. In a perfect world I might be inclined to agree with you, but it is not a perfect world and I measure right and wrong by what works and what doesn't work. Granted there is a precedence where if you go too negative, it can back fire. Paul Martin and Scotty Reid circa 2006 is a great example, when they released an ad suggesting that Stephen Harper would take the military and invade our major cities. It was a ridiculous ad and only hurt the Liberals. Even the CBC parodied the Liberal attack ads with bits like "Stephen Harper wants to put a giant laser on the moon and carve his initials in Greenland."

The guest host of Power Play today went nuts on this subject. From a marketing perspective, I think these latest Tory ads are brilliant. They are playing back Iggy's own words with commentary and music. Will they be effective? Conservative polling numbers have been very stable for the past year, with the Liberals and Dippers swinging up and down. These ads aren't likely to move the overall numbers up or down, but they should help keep Ignatieff's personal likability numbers low. Right now the biggest obstacle for the Liberal Party is that a large majority of Canadians just don't like their leader. I don't know how many Canadians will even see these ads, but I doubt that anyone will watch them and suddenly decide they like Iggy.

Personally my favourite wasn't about Iggy, but NDP ambition. It cracked me up in agreement.

5 Years Of Stephen Harper

Saturday the National Post dedicated several pages to the 5 year anniversary of Stephen Harper's reign as Prime Minister. The commentary wasn't all positive, as some pundits wrote scathing pieces. Conrad Black declared that there is a new natural governing party. Ivison wrote a great piece on why Canadians are better today than 5 years ago, countering recent election mongering assertions by Ignatieff. David Frum called 5 years of stable governance a "great accomplishment", while Rex Murphy said he hasn't moved mountains, but he has kept the seas calm.

Stephen Harper is a couple months away from cracking the top ten list of longest serving Prime Ministers in Canadian history, minority government or otherwise. So the Post had all their writers do a piece about 5 years of Harper, but I want to know what you think. I think Rex put it best that there is more we can look for, but given the complicated nature of minority governance, it is remarkable how effective Stephen Harper has been at his job. One thing you don't see the Liberals playing these days is the "hidden agenda" card. He has been our Prime Minister for 5 years and guided us through an incredible economic recovery. The hidden agenda message just don't bite anymore.

I strongly approve of the job Prime Minister Harper has done despite the harsh reality of minority government. They are designed to fail, he makes it work.

Do You Curl?

Today's poll question; have you tried the sport of curling more than once in your life? Yesterday I had an Australian tourist ask me what percentage of the Canadian population curls, and I figured I'd poll my audience to find out how many of you have done it more than once. My guess to the Aussie was 5%-10%, but I did tell him that those who like it, like it a lot. I have curled a few times this year, which I would do more during the golf off-season except that you can golf year round in Vancouver. Golf is my primary form of recreation.

I will say this, curling is one Olympic sport that people watch and speculate that if they picked up the game tomorrow, they could possibly make it to an Olympics. I don't think people appreciate just how difficult it is to play that game at the level of the pros. Novice players can randomly make perfect shots, but to play professionally you need to be able to make great shots 95% of the time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Should MPs Host News Shows?

Today's poll question; should Canadian members of Parliament be hosting political shows on a major news network? Shabon Coady co-hosted CTV's Power Play on Friday, where many Sun TV detractors say that having partisans on TV news channels will destroy the fabric of our media. Personally I don't care if MPs co-host talk shows, I'd just like to see Conservatives get equal air time. I think Jason Kenney would be fantastic co-hosting a Sun TV news show on special occasions. But to all those people who say it is bad to have unapologetic partisans hosting shows in media, what about Coady? Should Don Newman be outraged that she co-hosted Power Play?

Iggy Visits Lizzy's Saanich

Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff visited the riding of Saanich-Gulf Island Saturday, where Elizabeth May hopes to get elected in the next election. She runs in a new riding every election as you know (she is running  in her 3rd riding, never returning to where she loses), but Iggy isn't going there to offer moral support, he's trying to get votes. Stephane Dion made a non-aggression pact with Lizzy May in 2008. Not only is Iggy running a candidate against her, he is going there on his pre-election tour to pander for votes. The only way that May could ever possibly win that seat is for the Liberals to fold their candidate. It would be stupid for the Liberals to fold Saanich to the Greens, because they were a close second there last election.

It was a ridiculously stupid move for Elizabeth May to choose a riding where the Liberals should want to win. Choosing a riding where the Liberals have no chance of winning would have been the pragmatic selection for the first Green election victory in history. Lizzy has a higher probability of converting Liberal voters than Tory voters and if the Liberals run a candidate in Saanich where the last finished in a strong second place, she just can't win.

Elizabeth May will not survive her next leadership review and will only remain as leader so long as she can delay the next leadership review.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bill Simmons And Adam Carolla

Two of my favourite voices in the podcast universe are ESPN's Bill Simmons and Adam Carolla, especially when they team up. If you enjoy sports and pop culture, you will enjoy the latest edition of the BS Report on ESPN. Show description: "Bill Simmons and Adam Carolla discuss boxing movies, reality shows they'd like to see in the style of "24/7," bad Nic Cage movies and much more. In Part 2, the guys deliver another product idea for cheaters, create a fake movie pitch and discuss the podcasting industry."

I love podcasts. I also strongly recommend the Charles Adler podcast.

Tony Clement Visits Restoule

Nobody can ever say that Tony Clement doesn't care about the little guy. He is doing a Townhall meeting today in Restoule. If you have never been to Restoule (as 99.999% of the country has not) it isn't even really a town and its out in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive for an hour to get to North Bay, which is a Metropolis by comparison. I have spent many hours in Restoule and have a lot of family in the area. When I went to University in Guelph, I would describe Restoule as "you drive up to nowhere, turn left, and drive for an hour." People from Restoule would generally answer yes a lot to Jeff Foxworthy's "you might be a redneck" questionnaire.

It is a great place to rent a cottage in the summer time, but I can't see the benefit to our industry minister doing a Townhall there. There is no industry in Restoule! Except tourism; they know how to party and have fun. Great hunting and fishing if you are looking for an affordable vacation destination to take your family. I suppose those are Tony's constituents, and it is admirable that a minister would visit such a tiny and remote population.

Coady And Taber Host Power Play

In a sign that we are facing either a pending election or maybe the apocalypse, Liberal MP Shaboom Coady and Liberal friendly Jane Taber co-hosted Power Play on CTV on Friday. Seeing them introduced as hosts made me laugh, because I remember so many of Sun TV's detractors decrying how destructive it is to have partisans hosting opinion shows on Canadian television. To Don Newman such a thing destroys the fabric of our culture, or at least I suppose, when it is right wing. God forbid Jason Kenney ever guest host the Adler Show on Sun TV, but Coady and Taber, well that's just good television....(insert sarcasm)

The moment I saw the Liberal MP hosting a politics program on a major news channel, I knew that I would be writing a blog post about it. Normally I reach for the mute button when Coady pops up on TV, but I watched the first two segments. It was a disaster. You basically had a fierce Liberal partisan (and an MP) hosting a show that had Conservative MPs on as guests. You have to respect Shelly Glover for agreeing to appear on that program, and she handled herself marvelously. When you watch Taber host any politics show, she has a look on her face like she thinks its funny she even has that job.

Should members of parliament be hosting political shows on 24 hours news networks? Personally I don't care if politicians guest host politics programs, but this situation feels a lot like what many pundits were saying was bad about the idea of Sun TV.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I have a request for the people of Outremont. Please vote for someone other than Tom Mulcair in the next election. I would even encourage those voters to vote Liberal, because whoever Iggy has hand picked would be better than Tommy Boy. I have to say that Tom might be the most irritating politician in the Canadian legislature to my ears. Anybody but Mulcair. Applauding a Liberal victory is not generally in my nature, but in this case I can make an exception. The Tories have no chance in Outremont, so I have to ask its voters to vote Liberal in the March election.

I know that Mulcair would take this post as an "orange badge of courage", I just can't listen to him anymore. Quoting him directly could give me great material as a Tory blogger, but I'll take that loss of inspiration to spare myself from the nausea of his political speech.

Party Subsidy Idea

After watching a heated exchange on the Soloman Show today, it is clear that the opposition parties are not prepared to part with their entitlements. The Conservatives plan to campaign on scrapping the per vote subsidy, so my idea is for the party to give their subsidy money to earthquake relief in Haiti. Donate it to this worthwhile tragedy, and challenge the other parties to do the same. You know the Liberals won't give up the money, as they still haven't paid off their 2006 leadership race (which Iggy lost). It would make for an interesting news story. I'd be interested to hear Tommy Mulcair attack the Tories on that one.

Is Canada's Economy Better Off Than 2 Years Ago?

Iggy has been hitting the campaign trail asking the question "is the Canadian economy better off than five years ago?" Five years ago there was a housing bubble which inflated financial markets. I think the more appropriate question (and the subject of today's webpoll) is Canada better off than January 2009 when the "Great Recession" hit its lowest point? Most Canadians are in about the same position, as Canada is the only G7 nation to recover the jobs lost to the downturn. The TSX experienced double digit gains in 2010. If Iggy wants to attack the Tories on the economy, good luck with that. Conservative economic management has been fantastic, among the best in the world. It is funny to me that the Liberals are trying to attack the best economic recovery in the industrialized world.

Iran's Proxies Behaving Badly

With all the other big stories dominating the media cycle, I am not hearing many pundits talk about what is currently happening with Iran's puppets. First, radical cleric and Iraqi militia leader Muqtata Al Sadr (who had been living in Iran since they called off his revolt) has been sent back to Iraq by the Ayatollahs. Within a week of that development, Hezbollah (another Iranian proxy) withdrew from the Lebanese government creating a crisis in that country. Sending Sadr back to Iraq right before Hezbollah collapses the Lebanese government may indeed signal that Iran is preparing for something.

We will see what happens. I am not going to make any predictions, but the Sadr story and the Hezbollah story happening so close together did trigger my "spider sense". I want to see just how strong Lebanese President Sulieman is, given his influence over the military. Does Iran sending Sadr back to Iraq signal that Iran would like to subjugate Iraq when Obama pulls the troops out? Does Iran want to escalate hostilities while Obama is still in power? It is plausible. I can't predict Iranian intentions, I just know that I am alarmed by these two events.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Prime Ministers Either Too Controlling Or Not In Control

You often hear Stephen Harper's political opponents accuse him of maintain excessive control over the government. Wednesday I read a great quote from our Prime Minister; "I’ve only ever heard two criticisms of prime ministers: They’re either too controlling or they’re not in control. Prime ministers who are not in control don’t last very long". The PM also declared his intention to campaign on eliminating vote subsidies for Canadian political parties, which costs tax payers many millions of dollars.

I have never denied that Harper runs a tight ship, nor have I ever complained about it. In fact, I'm glad he does because in our 24 hour news cycle it can be devastating if you don't centralize the message. If you just let MPs run around and say whatever they want, regardless of the party, you are going to have problems. The Liberals accuse Stephen Harper of controlling the Tory message, then they do the same thing themselves. They have often instructed their MPs not to discuss specific issues. They even told Ross Rebougliatti to avoid talking to the media. The only reason we found out about that was because Mrs Rebougliatti told a journalist calling with a question that they had been told not to talk to the media.

It is better to be in control than out of control.

"Tories see tour as proof Ignatieff will force ‘needless’ election"

That is an interesting headline from Liberal activist Jane Taber, who "sets the agenda" at the Globe and Mail. What her article fails to mention is that Iggy has actually said it is time for an election and he intends to try and force one. You can't rightfully hammer the Tories to responding to what Ignatieff has been saying, rhetoric which includes election mongering. Iggy said it is time for an election before embarking on his campaign style tour. The fact that he's on yet another tour is not itself proof of a pending election, but rather the clue is the Liberals saying it is time for an election. He stopped short of saying "Mr Harper your time is up", likely because it failed so miserably last time he did so.

One of Jane's passion projects is trying to refute any possibility of a coalition government of losers with the NDP and Liberals.

Seasonal Unemployment

It would appear that there is significant support from the Blogging Tory audience to make people who are unemployed more often pay higher EI premiums after each claim. People who have had the same job for 20 years currently pay the same rate as people who are frequently unemployed, be they habitually unemployed or a seasonal worker who may or may not look for off-season work. We have a lot of workers in Canada who work in industries that don't operate in the winter, and many of those workers collect EI on an annual basis.

I expect the majority of seasonal workers can't live on 55% of their income in the off-season and get another job, but everyone knows a few people who collect EI every year and don't look for work while their industry is idle. The seasonally unemployed don't pay enough into the EI fund to pay the cost of their annual payout, so the people who sustain continuous employment are left paying the cost for people who don't work in the winter.

Even if escalating premiums for repeat claimants (like your car insurance) is a great idea with a strong base for support, I doubt that this will ever become law in Canada. I don't know exactly how big this seasonally unemployed demographic is, but I do know that the Tories would never introduce this policy for fear of losing votes. Many rural ridings have significant proportions of their labour force doing seasonal work, and any party would be too afraid of losing potential voters in ridings where they can't afford to lose any votes to do something that would likely be supported by the majority of the population. Like it or not, I think the status quo is here to stay.

Party Subsidies?

Today's poll question; do you think that political parties should receive annual subsidies for each vote they get in general elections? The Prime Minister has declared his intention to campaign on eliminating the subsidy in the next election campaign, where the opposition parties have become largely dependent on these tax funded handouts to conduct day to day operations. The Bloc does virtually all their campaigning on party subsidies, and has to be the most ardently opposed to eliminating that source of funding. Ironically enough the Tories bring in the most money via vote subsidies by virtue of getting the most votes in the last two elections, and they are the ones who are going to campaign on eliminating it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NHL All-Star Game

The NHL's decision to decide the final All-Star teams by selecting all the players then appointing captains and having them take turns picking their teammates is fantastic. I might not watch the All-Star game, but I will damn sure watch the All-Star draft. That will be great television. This is a great idea and they need to do it every year. I want to see Crosby and Ovechkin be the captains, and I want their own personal rivalry to spill into the game. There are no to players in the game with a higher profile desire to defeat each other each time they compete.

Well done NHL.

Layton Embarks On Competing Tour

While Ignatieff tries to get his face on television with his latest hail mary, Jack Layton will be doing the same. Both will be focusing primarily on Tory ridings, which is no big surprise considering that Tories hold a large plurality of the seats in the Commons. Left minded pundits in the media are emphasizing the targetting of Conservative ridings and Iggy visiting some NDP ridings. Jack will be visiting almost exclusively Conservative ridings. Layton is ignoring ridings held by Gilles Duceppe, where Iggy is going to visit Montreal and Quebec City.

Word on the street today is that the NDP are ready for an election, and that the Liberals are allegedly absolutely determined to go to the polls in March. If this an election were to produce another Tory minority, I expect Iggy steps down, Bob Rae steps in, a coalition will be formed and the opposition will vote down the throne speech.

Spring Election

I am starting to sense that the probability of a spring election this year is growing increasingly likely. The Liberals have continued to reaffirm their intention of voting down the next budget, and now even the NDP is saying that they have all their election machinery ready to go. The Conservatives are certainly not afraid of an election, as they are leading in the polls and in the best shape financially by quite a substantial margin. The Liberals are talking tough from a very weak position and their election mongering campaign doesn't make much logical sense.

Either the Liberals are bluffing (which they have proven inept at in the past), or Iggy is getting pressure from caucus to go as soon as possible. With Dalton up for election in the fall, the choice is to either go in the spring or wait until 2012. If you want to take the position that Stephen Harper is destroying the country, then shouldn't you have a moral responsibility to save Canadians from this perceived destroyer of nations? A rational leader should want to wait until his own numbers are advantageous (or at least respectable) before calling an election. If the Liberal rank and file have given up hope that the numbers will ever improve, that has to be where the pressure to go to the polls ASAP is coming from.

One of my best predictions for 2010 was that there would not be a federal election that year. There still has to be at least a 25% chance that the Liberals are bluffing their desire to take down the government, except that the last time they tried that, they failed miserably.

Bob Rae Complaining Abroad?

Today's poll question; should Bob Rae have travelled to the United Arab Emirates to complain about Canadian foreign policy? Winston Churchill used to say, "when I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home". Now understandably our Rae of plight is taking heat for his latest trip to that country. Even the CBC is calling this "the airline flap", though their subsequent article help attempt to defend what Bob Rae did. As Boob said "sitting down with another sovereign country and its institutions to hear their point of view is part of national leadership."

I guess Bobby thinks he is currently sitting in a leadership position? He isn't even leader of his own party, let alone leader of our country. Personally I don't think it helps our image abroad to have opposition members making global tours attacking Canadian foreign policy. That should be done at home. There is a reasonable probability that the latest Liberal declaration to defeat the government came under pressure from Team Rae, who may want to force an election that Iggy can't win in order to force Iggy out of his leadership position. We still don't know the deal between Bobby and Iggy that prompted Rae to concede Liberal leadership without a convention after the abrupt departure of Stephane Dion.

Personally Bob, I hope that you are never in a position of national leadership. I lived in Bob Rae's Ontario for its full duration. God help us all if you move into 24 Sussex.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ignatieff's "Hail Mary Tour" Visits John Baird

With his last 3 tours failing to gain him any support in the polls, the leader of the Liberal Party is making one last desperate attempt to travel the country trying to get people to like him. I am calling this the "Hail Mary Tour", from the definition "a Hail Mary pass in football refers to any very long forward pass, made in desperation with only a small chance of success". Tomorrow Iggy Flop will be visiting the Ottawa riding of John Baird.

It would be funny if John Baird would show up at or near Iggy's tour stop on the same date and time to see who can draw a bigger crowd. His last few tours played to very tiny crowds of dedicated party loyalists. The general public is not showing up at Iggy's tour stops. So when Iggy goes on to boast about how he spent the summer "talking to Canadians", what he means to say is that he is spending time talking to partisan Liberal voters. The Tories should hold competing events at or near this tour stops. I think that would be awesome.

The Liberals are largely ignoring large parts of the east coast, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. He will briefly visit BC, but the major focus is Quebec and Ontario. Big shocker.

The Palin Controversy

While I think Sarah Palin's so called hit list was in bad taste, the people blaming her for the Arizona shooting are out to lunch. I listened to Monday's Charles Adler show and strongly recommend people tune in for the conversation about Sarah Palin. Some of the commentary coming out of the United States is downright nutty. Again I thought that it was in bad taste, but I certainly don't think she deserves any blame for the incident. I would also recommend David Frum's piece in the National Post.

EI Premiums

Today's poll question; should workers pay higher unemployment premiums the more often they make EI claims? It doesn't seem fair that a worker who maintains long term continuous employment pay the same rate as someone who makes frequent claims. EI is most certainly not "actuarially fair", the price for insurance which exactly represents the expected losses. I suspect that if the Tories attempted to pass this EI reform, the opposition would rally around the status quo possibly defeating what would be a confidence motion. I'm not sure where public opinion stands on this matter, hence the webpoll. It is sound economic policy, even if the opposition claims it is attacking the unemployed.

Is this legislation the government should consider?

Monday, January 10, 2011

UAE Leaders Complain To Bob Rae

The leaders of the United Arab Emirates have been lobbying for greater landing rights at Canadian airports, and now they are pleading their case to none other than Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae. They must not understand Canadian politics very well, because there is precious little Bob Rae can do it about the situation. If you are going to do a publicity stunt, why not go for a meet and greet with the leader of the opposition? Why go to his political rival? Granted they probably asked Iggy first, he wanted nothing to do with it, and passed the hot potato. I don't think you are going to sway all that many voters by taking the UAE's side in this dispute.

When they kicked our military out of Camp Mirage, that clearly punitive action is where you walk away from the negotiating table. Punishing Canada is not the best way to get what you want and you can't reward that behavior. If you think that we should have granted more runway space to their airline prior to the expulsion from Camp Mirage, that's fine; but they should have complained to Bob Rae before evicting us from our base. Do the PR campaign before the punitive action. You don't want to send a message to other countries that this is how you get what you want from Canada.

Sarah Palin's "Hit List"

As a public service announcement to Sarah Palin, I have to say that it is a REALLY bad idea for a politician to publish a "hit list" with political opponents pictured in the cross hairs of a sniper scope. The recent tragedy in Arizona, where a politician on Palin's "hit list" was actually shot by a gunman now reflects very poorly on Palin. I wish Gabrielle Gifford a speedy recovery, even if I disagree with her ideology. I understand that Palin did not make the hit list hoping that these people would actually be shot, but it looks really bad in the scope of hindsight. If she hasn't already taken down her list, she absolutely should.

I would also like to encourage her to stay on TLC instead of running for President.

BC ABC: Anybody But Christy

In the campaign to replace BC Premier Gordon Campbell, I am joining the "ABC movement" Anybody But Christy Clark. I voted for the BC Liberals in the last election despite my dislike for Gordo because I really really don't want another NDP regime (my ballot had 3 choices; Liberal, NDP, Green). As someone who voted for that party I am strongly opposed to the leadership of Christy Clark. I don't like Kevin Falcon and I will be supporting George Abbott to become the next Premier of British Columbia. Please, please anybody but Christy!

Expanding Prison Capacity

Today's poll question; do you think that expanding Canada's prison capacity is a quality expenditure for our government? It was recently announced that the government will spend $2 billion dollars to expand 8 penitentiaries, in a move which will give us space for the tougher sentencing laws that have already been passed. Our current prison network is brutally overcrowded, so if you are going to have tougher sentences, you need to expand capacity. You can't very well support tougher sentencing if you are against expanding capacity. That's almost as bad as voting to send troops to war and then voting against funding them. I expect the Liberals to attack the government on this prison expansion initiative, despite many Liberals voting in favour of tougher minimum sentences. Then again, hypocrisy is something that I have come to expect from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Candian Cynic

While I am honoured to be frequently linked by Blogging Tory friend Canadian Cynic (it is a blue badge of courage), I am very disappointed that he doesn't send as much traffic as he used to. In 2009 if CC linked you, you got 40-70 clicks (advantageous for anyone with a monetized blog). Nowadays, you only get 5-10 clicks from his Twitter links. CC seems to have trouble maintaining his audience. I want him to link me, and I want him the send me his audience. Sadly it seems as though he just doesn't have the sway he did a year ago. I wish you good luck buddy. I hope that you can find the audience you once had and send me those page views. I even turned off comment moderation because a very valued reader asked me to. I enjoy what you do. You entertain me.

Gomery Commission Foolish?

Don Newman is still doing plenty of work for the CBC while collecting his pension. In his most recent article he has called Paul Martin's appointed Gomery Inquiry "foolish", suggesting that the government should not have investigated this very substantial theft of tax payers money. Did Martin calling a commission to investigate government theft to investigate the period when he was Finance Minister cost him the 2006 election? Donny thinks it was foolish, with hindsight being 50-50.

Don did state when he retired that he didn't really want to retire, but for the language in his contract he had to. Now he is collecting his pension, and I would really like to know how much the CBC is paying him for work on top of retirement. I would submit an access to information request to probe payments to Don Newman after retirement, but I'm sure the CBC will ignore my request.

Ignatieff 2011

I am curious to know Iggy's #1 New Year's Resolution, and that is the subject of today's poll question. It would seem as though he would like to force an election at the nearest possibility, while his friends in the media try to distance the Libs from any potential NDP coalition agreement. Maybe he wants to subdue Bobby Rae, or maybe he wants to spend more time at his European vacation home? How about voting on private member's bills?

You decide.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Iggy's Next 3 Hour Tour

It is official, after the complete ineffectiveness of the campus tour, Thinkapalooza, summer tour, and Open Mike to make any dent in public opinion in 2010; Iggy is preparing his next fruitless venture. As a Tory pundit, I really enjoy Iggy's little 3 hour tours. The Iggomaniac gives us lots to talk about, and his attempts to be act like a "regular Canadian" are comical. I am very excited, and I hope he makes a stop in Vancouver. I would really enjoy attending one of comical catastrophes. Iggy pretending to be Canadian, now that's entertaining (and not in a complimentary way). The guy is nothing if not persistent, which is fantastic for those of us who enjoy reveling in his failure.

Longest Serving Minority Government

As we prepare for the 2011 sitting of Canadian Parliament, it should be noted that our current Tory government is now the longest serving minority government in Canadian history. Detractors might say that this is not a positive reflection on Stephen Harper, who fell inches short of a majority government in 2008, but I think it shows just how effective our 22nd Prime Minister has been. Having navigated the shallow shoals of generally volatile minority government amid a turbulent economic downturn just shows the remarkable survival skill of our current leader. He's no Joe Clark, that's for sure.

Does this make Harper the most effective PM in recent history? He has to be close. There is a reason that minority governments are historically short lived in Canada, as our government was designed to be most effective in majority mandates.

Iggy's New Year's Resolutions?

Tomorrow's poll question; what New Year's resolutions do you think Iggy made for 2011? Is it to spend more time in his European vacation home? Should he learn how to sing and dance? Will he be moving back to Boston? Perhaps maybe just maybe he will actually show up to vote on legislation? I know that last one is a long shot, as the Iggomaniac will likely finish this Parliament as the most absent MP. What do you think his New Year's resolution was or should be? Your suggestions are encouraged. The poll will be launched late Saturday, early Sunday.

Do Tories Deserve Credit For Canada's Economic Recovery?

Today's poll question; do you think that the Conservatives deserve credit for Canada's sensational economic recovery? Scott Brison announced on Friday that the governing Tories do not deserve any credit for Canada's remarkable recovery. We are the first G7 nation to recover all the jobs lost in the downturn, so if you are trying to make the case that the governing Conservatives have been terrible economic managers and that we need an election, the evidence suggests otherwise. Canada added 22,000 jobs in December, with many of those being high paying full-time manufacturing jobs. As commodity sales heat up and all these newly hired employees start paying taxes, it is going to be really easy for Jim Flaherty to slash the deficit in the next budget.

The Liberals don't want to give the Tories any credit when things go good, but they sure as hell like to blame them when things go sour. Those rare months when Canada has lost jobs over the past 2 years, the Liberals are always right there to throw it at the government. The fact that we have managed this recovery in a volatile minority government shows the tremendous skill of our Prime Minister and his team. Well done!

Friday, January 7, 2011

World Food Prices Soaring

In a good news/bad news story for Canada (one of the largest food producers in the world) suddenly food prices are peaking again. There was flooding and other freaky weather around the world this year, significantly reducing food stocks. I'm sure Al Gore will blame this on climate change, but prices vary according to supply and demand. Reduce supply while demand is always increasing, and there will be price spikes. Impoverished nations that can't produce enough food to feed their large populations are going to have serious problems. Canadians shouldn't feel it very much considering the strength of our agricultural base.

If food ceases to become available in a number of hotbeds, we could have a very serious problem on our hands. We shall see how this plays out elsewhere.

CTV Newsnet Fair And Balanced?

With all the furor and outrage by the mainstream media against the fledgling SunTV news over allegations it will be right leaning, you don't hear many people talking about the other Canadian news networks being left leaning. Actually, if you listen to the Charles Adler Show, you heard a very enlightening interview with Mark Bonokoski about exactly that on CTV's political show Question Period. To listen go to and look for the recording of the January 5th show, part 2 or download for free on ITunes. Charles does occasionally show up as a guest on CTV Newsnet, so he has a very educated opinion on this matter.

In the 2010 year review segment, regular Mr Fife called Census-gate the worst decision our government has ever made and everyone agreed with him. As Bonokosky put it, thank heavens we live in a country where the decision to make the expanded census voluntary was the worst decision our government has made! If that's the worst thing our government has done, then we must be in really great shape. Go to website and listen to the interview. Charles Adler is the best voice in the business.

Canada's Economic Stength Bad News For Liberals

It will be funny to listen to Liberals try to explain to Canadians in the coming months that we need an election because of the government's reckless economic management. Meanwhile, Canada is one of the top economic success stories of the latest global downturn. The TSX gained 15% in 2010, a boom in commodity prices is widely expected this year (which will benefit Canada), and with lower business taxes now is a great time to invest in Canada. We should be praising the Canadian economy, and the Conservative government's strong economic policies. Our unemployment rate is 2% lower than south of the border. With the drop in business taxes, the Wall Street Journal is now encouraging its readers to "go north".

But hey, if you listen to the Liberals, the sky is falling and we are all screwed. The economy continues to be a top priority to Canadians, and most Canadians rightfully trust Stephen Harper on economic stewardship far more than Ignatieff. Why do they trust our Prime Minister? Because our economic performance in this downturn has been among the best in the industrialized world and he did all that in a minority parliament, which are generally historically dysfunctional. I'd say this is a great reason to give the Tories a majority. If the Tories were this effective in a minority parliament, imagine what they can do with a majority?

John Ivison wrote a great piece in the Post on this subject.

Farewell Governator

California's Arnold Schwartzenegger experiment has come to an end. Today's poll question; do you think the Arnold was a good Governor? I admit to being happy when the so called Republican was first elected, but his tenure was an unmitigated disaster. I never expected him to do a good job, there was just something strangely funny about the Governator winning such a Liberal state. He turned out not to be Conservative at all, and his fiscal policy was a complete failure. He was a better Governor than Jesse Ventura, but that ain't saying much. A chimpanzee would make a better Governor than "the body".

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beware Of Bieber

To any young attractive starlets out there, be warned that you may want to avoid hooking up with Justin Bieber. His latest femme is Disney starlet Selena Gomez, who has started to receive death threats from jealous Bieber fans via the wonderful world of Twitter. I suspect though that young Justin might be nearing the end of his long 15 minutes, so we shall see how well he hits those high notes when his voice fully drops. It might have already begun. He can drag this out by just performing recordings of himself when he could hit those notes.

Republicans On Guard

It was nice to see a new Congress sworn in the United States yesterday, as the Republicans take control of the House from Democrats, breaking up their monopoly in the legislative and executive branches of government. Do I think that the Republicans are going to do anything substantive? Probably not because the Dems still have the Whitehouse and Senate. Any Meaningful reforms will be subject to a possible veto, so this victory is most significant for blocking Obama's funding. It forces the Democrats to shift their policy back to the center if they want to get it funded. This victory is more preventative than constructive, but I celebrate it none the less.