Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kelly McParland On CBC Vote Compass

Wednesday Kelly McParland was at his best in the National Post with a piece titled "The “big red tent” for people with no clue" about his latest experience with the CBC vote compass. Evidently if you vote "don't know" or no opinion for all your answers, it says you are most closely aligned to the Liberal Party. The piece is quite entertaining. He also goes beyond the compass to point out fatal flaws in Ignatieff's political reasoning; "So on the one hand Mr. Ignatieff has to criticize the government as “wasteful,” while urging even more spending. He has to denounce it for spending too much, while promising to spend more. And he needs to wrap it all in a promise the Liberals will be “prudent”, even though they won’t cut anything important."

Read the full article.

Why Don't We Have All Inclusive Leaders Debates?

If we want to truly respect the spirit of democracy, we should have one televised debate with the leaders of all 19 parties that ran candidates in the last election. Tens of thousands of people vote for "other" and they are not being represented. I say we either do more one on one debates with the top two parties, or we do debates with every single party. Let's get our Rhinos, our Marxist Leninists, Animal Alliance Environment Voters, Christian Heritage, First People's National, and so on and so forth. 7,000 Canadians voted for 26 Libertarians in 2008. Why isn't Dennis Young in the debates. Would Elizabeth say that Dennis is too small? Why not even more than just her? For all the media attention she's getting, why doesn't anyone ask her that question? If we are going to have the Green Party, why not the Marijuana Party? Is it that the Greens have a bigger budget that they should be allowed to crowd out the smaller players?

Let's allow no one party to ever really be allowed to talk for more than short sound bits in our debates. Maybe the more fringe elements you include the more the debates dilute the messages of the only two parties capable of forming government, but listening to Elizabeth May, you'd think everybody should be there. So screw it, let's have one with everybody. Then do the rest on demand.

Early Stages Of A Liberal-NDP Non-Compete Agreement?

The recent trend of Liberals and NDP who don't really have a chance against the other bowing out of the election has aroused my curiosity. Is this the beginning of a new trend? Will the Liberal in Edmonton Strathcona bow out of the race? Short of a public announcement of a partnership, perhaps the alleged deal negotiated between Chretien and the NDP Saints was for local candidates to bow out and support the other. We shall see if this early trend continues, or if it was simply a single one off trade in London and Nanaimo. Could be a sign of things to come, or an anomaly. It is in each other's best interests, so I don't see why they wouldn't do it.

Speaking of switching sides, thank you Tony Genco for endorsing Julian Fantino in Vaughan! Much appreciated and I'm sure it's rare to have a Liberal candidate so soon after a byelection loss to come out and endorse the Tory. The Liberals put a lot into that Greater Toronto byelection. I'd like to request somebody put together a Youtube video montage of televised statements that high profile Liberals made about Tony Genco, just a few short months ago. Because Tony now supports Fantino in Toronto. How many people who once volunteered for Ruby Dhalla are now volunteering to defeat her? I guess when you swing to the left, you expose your right...

60% Of Canadians Don't Want An Election

Perhaps the most effective platform for anyone to win this unwanted election is to point at that you were the only party who voted to continue Parliament. If anger at the people who decided it prudent to trigger an early election turns out to be the number one ballot box issue, that spells bad news for the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc. Right now the only consensus that I am hearing and seeing from regular people is frustration that there is an election. The fact that Stephen Harper forced the 2008 election instead of the opposition likely cost him a majority government. In 2011 the opposition decided it was a good time, and we shall see what price they pay in the polling booth for thrusting this upon us.

With the number of early elections we've had in the last decade, the cumulative effect on the average Canadian psyche is negative emotions about the frequency of elections. Ironic how around the world people are protesting and even dying for the chance to vote, and in Canada the only consensus is anger that we get too many opportunities to vote.

The best way to postpone the next election until 2015, vote Conservative.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Expiry Date-gate

When I hear Shelly Glover muse that Anita Neville has exceeded her "expiry date", I tend to agree. However this is not a case of age based discrimination. There are many quality politicians of her age that do a great job and I support, but this particular politician is frequently vile and disturbing in the House of Commons. It has nothing to do with her age, but rather the vitriol that spews out of her mouth. When I made the personal decision that I had enough of Anita, her age was not a factor. Her words were all the reason that I needed to think she had reached her expiry date.

It is ridiculous that Glover's comment is even becoming an issue. Shelly is an admirable individual and there is no way she intended to attack Anita's age. It is her policies that have expired, not her ability to function as a politician.

“Operation Fast Start”

According to Liberal spokeswoman Jane Taber at the Globe and Mail, the Liberals are preparing to begin an advertising and campaign blitzkrieg they call "operation fast start". Gee whiz guys, just how soon do you plan to get started? Clearly this strategy is not named after polling results, otherwise it would be called "operation far behind". Government Daycare is going to be the difference? In which direction? I've seen politicians try that one and fail.

But I digress. I have some beer and popcorn waiting for me in the games room...

Heather Mallick Fear Mongering

For all the left wing accusations of Tory "fear mongering" in the past few weeks, where is the outrage when Heather Mallick writing for the Toronto Star does the exact same thing from the left hand side? Her most recent piece about what would become of Canada in a Conservative majority government is borderline insane. But fortunately for me I don't need to respond to it because one of my favourite voices in the media Charles Adler has already done so far better than I ever could. So rather than direct you to her article, I will send you to where you can scroll down the audio archives on the right hand side and listen to marvelous punditry. Look for the segment March 29th part 1. Adler is on a roll, and you need to listen to his show every day during this election campaign on the Corus Radio Network.

The Faces On The Buses

Isn't it interesting that the only campaign bus without the face of the party leader on the side is the Liberal Party? This is a brilliant strategy on their behalf, since the party polls far higher than the leader. Best not to remind anyone who or leader is, and if they don't already know, more is the better. The more they can hide Ignatieff, the better off they will be. This is not a a criticism, it is an acknowledgement of shrewd strategy. The man is toxic. Hide him as much as possible, the best strategy for Liberals 2011.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Elizabeth May Denied

The leader of the Green Party has been excluded from the televised leaders debates, and I have to say I'm quite delighted. Do you think the the Green Party should be included? That is today's poll question. The debates were far too diluted in 2008, and while they're at it Gilles Duceppe should not be in the English debates. This is not an abhorrent denial of democracy, but rather good television. Personally I'd like to see Ignatieff and Harper have more one on one debates. Make it 4 Debates, the NDP gets 2 and the Bloc gets 1. We need at least two one on one dust ups with Liberals and Conservatives, because they are the only parties who ever win.

I will allow you to democratically decide if you think Lizzy should be in the debates.

CBC Vote Compass

After having heard a few people talk about this new "vote compass" on the CBC website, I decided to try it out. After answering 30 questions, their compass pegged me about where I should be on the spectrum, but they had the Conservatives slotted really far to the right. As one commentor said on an earlier post, I would be really interested to see the algorithm they are using. If anyone had the patience to take the test 30 times and recording answers and results, you could work out the math without having the original formula. Truthfully I don't care enough about the CBC vote compass to waste 5 hours of my life measuring it empirically.

It put me roughly where I belonged, but I'd be curious to know if any of you experienced erroneous results.

Jack Layton's Idea Of "Compromise"

As this campaign begins, I have noticed that Jack Layton keeps talking about how he was willing to compromise and make Ottawa work. He had presented a list of demands for his support of the budget, and the Tories only allocated $700 million dollars. Jack had demanded over a billion dollars, so he pulled his support for the government. You call that negotiating? 70% of what you wanted suddenly isn't good enough, it has to be 100% or bust? You are doing a yeoman's work for our democracy Jack. Did Jack even read the budget? He couldn't get into the foyer fast enough to make his big announcement. I suspect he might have still pulled the plug had 100% of his demands been met. I personally just find his claim to be a great negotiator to be hypocritical at best.

This demands a poll question: is your idea of compromise getting everything you want or nothing at all?

Adler At His Best Monday

If you have not listened to Monday's Charles Adler Show, he delivered a great monologue on the election that will undoubtedly entertain you. Evidently Chuck is starting to get a lot of angry e-mails regarding "Fox North", and his frustration level seems elevated, but he did a great show Monday. Adler, Dave Rutherford, and Roy Green are the top 3 people you should be listening to on the radio to decipher this election. If you can't listen on the radio, you can listen online.

To listen to Charles Monday monologue, click here and go to the audio vault on the right hand side, scroll to March 28th part 1. He also had a good rant on Heather Mallick in a later segment.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Iggy Loves Elections

In a speech that is unlikely to resonate with the general population, Ignatieff Monday was on stage screaming about how he loves elections, how Liberals love elections, and how we need this election. Iggy was responding to early statements be the Prime Minister lamenting that the opposition forced this unnecessary election, which to Iggy sees as proof the Prime Minister does not like democracy. By contrast the Liberals love democracy and love elections (just not leadership conventions). Ergo if you decide to open that "red door" and vote Liberal, you can expect many more frequent elections in Canada's future. The "blue door" leads to a stable majority, not a reckless premature election loving minority.

You decide. Taking the loving elections angle isn't exactly appealing to main stream Canadians Mike.

Harper The "Angry" Man

On CTV's Sunday Question Period, Liberal spokeswoman Jane Taber described Stephen Harper as "very angry" in the opening day of the campaign after visiting the Governor General. Her colleague Craig Oliver previously described him as agitated and almost angry, but Jane took it even further. Meanwhile, the PM was discussing that we are now officially having an election forced by the opposition, and expressed frustration that we are being forced into an early election. Jane, a lot of Canadians are angry that the Libs forced this election, so they are likely to feel sympathy for Stephen Harper's frustration. Watch this Saturday speech, you can hardly call him "very angry".

To: Jack Layton, Re: HST

Jack Layton is going on the offensive in Tory ridings in British Columbia as his first campaign priority, and his biggest point of attack, the HST. What Jack did not mention in his fiery speech is that the Prime Minister gave Gordon Campbell the option of not adding 7% tax to goods that were not previously taxed provincially. The soon to be unemployed Premier made the personal decision to add tax to goods that were not previously taxed. People were not mad at the harmonization, they were mad because a large basket of goods and services became more expensive. In a place like Vancouver with such a high cost of living, a lot of people are already living pay cheque to pay cheque.

Had Gordon Campbell taken the offer by the PM to charge different rates for different goods and services, nobody in BC would have been pissed off about the HST. The move was tantamount to announcing that a whole bunch of new items would be 7% more expensive, instead of no prices changing. For Layton to attack the federal Tories on the basis of the HST is ridiculous because Gordon Campbell had the choice not to do the very thing that pissed people off. The pox of the HST in BC is on Gordo, not Harper. The HST passed the House of Commons with support from the Ignatieff regime.

Should Party Leaders Be Elected By Party Members?

Today's poll question; should the leaders of political parties be elected to their position by party membership? Evidently this election is about respect for democracy, an election caused by a political party that didn't even elect their current leader. Ignatieff came to power after a backroom deal with Bob Rae in a mad rush to get rid of Dion as quickly as possible. They could have easily had a leadership convention in Vancouver in early May 2009, instead they turned it into a coronation. Liberal members got to shake Iggy's hand, but not democratically elect their leader. I will respect your right to democratically decide whether leaders should be democratically elected by their membership....

Back when I was pitching ideas for a book about Ignatieff, I did some quick photoshops of rough drafts of possible covers. I'm waiting until he goes back to Harvard before I start propositioning publishers.

Taken at the May 2009 coronation convention.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

All The Czar's Horses And All The Czar's Men...

Somebody over at Liberal election HQ thinks it is a good idea for Iggy to do press conferences surrounded by a dozen of his own MPs. Where most leaders go solo, Ignatieff likes to appear with a team. This is a clever strategy by his handlers, because you want to surround him with visual distractions when he's speaking as he's an inherently creepy person to watch give a speech. Audiences don't respond well to Iggy alone, so best hide him in a crowd. I wonder if Scott Brison will even campaign in his own riding, or if he will just follow Iffy around the country looking over his shoulder and nodding in approval?

Ignatieff: "I will not seek a coalition with the NDP"

Thanks for clearing that up Mike, but notice that he used the word "I" and not "the Liberal Party". I never believed that Iggy would be the one to seek and form a coalition government; my theory has always been that his backroom deal with Bob Rae to become leader was that a coalition would be Bobby's business. Rae used to be NDP, so who better to unite the left? Iggy had to come and say no to a coalition otherwise this issue would have dogged his campaign, and if he said yes he risked losing votes and both his right and left flanks. The use of the word "I" instead of "we" was his clever way of deceiving without lying, in my humble opinion. Because if Iggy loses, resigns, and Bob Rae assumes control and forms a coalition, no lie would have been told.

Then again, if the Tories win a majority, this whole conversation is moot.

Election 2011: The Rope-A-Dope Writ

As this new election campaign kicks off, I've been hearing some rumbling in punditry that Stephen Harper in fact engineered his own defeat by tricking the opposition into voting down his government. This is a plausible thesis considering the lead the Tories have in the polls, leaving a lot of people scratching their heads wondering why the opposition would be so recklessly foolish triggering an election when they are so far behind. If the Tories win a majority, this "historic" contempt of Parliament vote will be forever viewed as one of the dumbest political blunders in Canadian history. The opposition might have done the Prime Minister a giant favour by forcing an early election, and it might be exactly what Stephen Harper wanted.

If you are not familiar with the "Rope-A-Dope", it was the strategy that Muhammad Ali used to beat George Foreman. He spent the first 7 rounds leaning back against the ropes letting Foreman punch himself out, then in the 8th round Ali went on the offensive and knocked him out.

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee; your hands can't hit what your eyes can't see!"

Ignatieff Don't Impress Me Much

Today's poll question; what should be Ignatieff's campaign theme song? My 3 favourites are Rasputin by Boney M, Lust For Life by Iggy Pop, and That Don't Impress Me Much by Shania Twain. Okay, so you taught at Harvard; that don't impress me much. The first verse of the song is a great metaphor of Ignatieff. There were many great suggestions for campaign music, but I had to narrow it down to 10 choices.

"I've known a few guys who thought they were pretty smart
But you've got being right down to an art
You think you're a genius, you drive me up the wall
You're a regular original, a "know it all"

Ohwooh, you think you're special
Ohwooh, you think you're something else

Ok, so you're a rocket scientist...

That don't impress me much!
So you got the brains, but have you got the touch?
Now Don't get me wrong, yeah I think you're alright
But that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night
That don't impress me much!"

I strongly recommend Iggy Pop's Lust For Life if for no other reason the shocking resemblance between these two men. Both are worth a million in prizes and dance like hypnotizing chickens.

Loser by Beck is a great song. Historically I don't think it gets enough credit, especially how it describes Iggy's political future.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Refusing To Answer Questions = Contempt For Democracy

In his speech to the media following the collapse of Parliament, the Prime Minister did not answer questions from the media. The leader of the Liberal Party immediately jumped on this as proof that Stephen Harper has contempt for Democracy. Meanwhile just a day earlier, Ignatieff refused to answer straight forward questions about whether or not he would pursue a coalition government in the even of another Tory minority. By his own logic, Iggy has contempt for our democratic system. If he has no intention of a coalition, then why not answer the question?

For all his pounding on the drum of Democracy, Iggy was never elected to his post of party leader. That would make a great poll question, should party membership elect party leaders? Backroom deal with your rivals are hardly democratic.

Are Coalition Governments More Moderate?

Friday night CTV news channel had a political expert on to talk about how globally coalition governments are considered good because they are more moderate, at least generally speaking. Because two or more parties have to negotiate every piece of legislation, the theory goes that they need to make compromises that appeal to a larger segment of the population. I would be curious to see the data of what happens when a left wing party forms a coalition with a party even further to the left. If the Liberals team up with the NDP, the compromise is going to be more left wing, not closer to the center. Two lefts don't make a right. That's not going to please Liberal swing voters in the center.

In Britain right now, they have a large right wing party in a coalition with a smaller left wing party. Ergo, the zone of agreement shifts towards the center. But if you have a left of center party and an extreme socialist party, policy will be shifting left, not right. The expert on CTV did not discuss this nuance.

Forcing An Early Election To The Sound Of Applause

When the Liberal party and their opposition allies voted to force an early election on Friday, their MPs erupted in applause. The large majority of Canadians do not share their enthusiasm for an early election, so one has to ask if they are going to pay a price at the polls for thrusting this writ upon the people. That is today's poll question. The Liberals were very excited to topple the government, and I suspect their enthusiasm might produce a backlash. The general public is starting to pay attention again, and a lot of people are annoyed that we are having our 4th election in 7 years.

The two elections that Stephen Harper won, it was the Conservatives who forced the election. In 2011, it was the opposition. At least we won't have anyone complaining that Stephen Harper is violating his own fixed election date law this time. This time, it is the Liberals fault.

Friday, March 25, 2011

True Patriot Abandonment

Back in April 2009 when my blog was just two months old, Mr Ignatieff the newly anointed leader of the Liberal Party released a book called True Patriot Love. As a patriotic Canadian, it bothered me that this man was writing a book about his "profound" patriotism, when he lived virtually his entire adult life abroad until Ian Davey went to Boston and talked him into running for Prime Minister.

This is what I had to say when his book was released. Sorry, I didn't buy it, I just read excerpts in MacLeans.

True Patriot Abandonment
April 26 2009

I recently had the opportunity to read excerpts from True Patriot Love in Friday’s National Post and again in MacLean’s magazine. My first impression of this man auditioning to become the leader of my country is that he is a gifted writer. That being said, when I am making my choice of which individual I’d prefer to become my Prime Minister, policy is far more important than the ability to write a narrative. Thus far Ignatieff refuses to release any policy. I want to know what he intends to do if elected when I make my decision; not read superlative rhetoric trying to convince me that he loves this country despite living anywhere but here for almost his entire adult life. I am getting the feeling that he loves 19th century Russia more than 21st century Canada.

That’s what I find creepy about this book, that he has composed this elaborate exposition of why Canadians love our country. I am a young adult and I love this country so much that I choose to live here! It’s as Mr. Ignatieff writes in his book “a country begins to die when people think life is elsewhere and begin to leave.” Oh, really? He thought life was elsewhere, and he left. Does this then suggest that the country is born again when those who chose to emigrate and live abroad for 30 years triumphantly return and immediately begin to campaign for their ascension to political power? Michael got out of Dodge before I was born, and returned when I was 26. I have my own reasons for loving my country, and I will not accept a naturalized foreigner obsessed with Czarist Russia to tell me why I am a Patriot.

Furthermore, he only decided to return to Canada after the Gomery Commission was going full steam ahead and ravaging the Martin Regime in the polls. It took Liberal insiders to actually visit him in New England feeding him delusions of grandeur to pry him away from the United States. Does anyone doubt that had Paul Martin won a majority in 2004 that Michael Ignatieff would still be living in Boston telling people he’s an American?

Now that he has ascended to the throne of Liberal leadership, the biggest obstacle standing between Iggy and true patriot power is justifying his 30 year absence. It is imperative that he make Canadians feel comfortable with his perpetual decision to live anywhere but here before he will ever be elected Czar of Canada. He must convince Canadians that he loves his country, despite not wanting to live here. Enter True Patriot Love, a manifesto of convoluted hyperbole designed to enlighten Canadians about how they feel about patriotism. It goes far beyond the author attempting to convince the reader that he loves his country; it has the audacity to inform Canadians of how we feel. Did he happen upon these revelations while he was living in Great Britain or while he was living in the United States?

It is abundantly clear in reading his writing, that Michael Ignatieff has a substantial preoccupation with his family ties to Russian Czarist aristocracy who were forced to flee Russia during the Russian revolution. My own ancestors immigrated to Canada from Scotland two centuries ago, because the new world was the land of opportunity and they wanted to live here. They were not forced to flee here as refugees because their own incompetence of governance led to the collapse of a hereditary monarchy. My patriotism has been passed down from generation to generation of middle class Canadians with a love of country that was born from our desire to live here. My ancestors did not resent that they had to leave their homeland; they were not angry that they had been overthrown from a position of entitlement and power.

Here is an excerpt from MacLean’s review of True Patriot Love

“Michael Ignatieff was drawn more to the Russia his grandparents, father, and uncles had fled than to the Canada they embraced, the country prepared for their arrival, in effect, by people like the Grants. “Between my two pasts, the Canadian and the Russian, I felt I had to choose,” Ignatieff wrote. “I chose the vanished past, the past lost behind the revolution. I could count on my mother’s inheritance: it was always there. It was my father’s past that mattered to me, because it was the one I had to recover, to make my own.””

He was not lured back to Canada for love of country, he returned because he wants to be the Czar of Canada. He resents that his ancestors were forced to become Canadian, and as evidenced by the sub-title “Four Generations in Search of Canada”, he confesses that his ancestors spent an inordinate amount of time trying to decide if they even liked it here. Four generations to make up their minds, that despite living in Canada they still felt the need to search for it. This culminated in Michael himself deciding that he wanted to live abroad once he had entered adulthood. This was not just a one year venture teaching English in Korea, he left for 30 years. He admits to telling people he was American while living in America. That sure sounds like true patriot love to me...*cough*cough* When I visit the United States, I wear my Team Canada hat, my Team Canada shirt, because I want everyone who sees me to know where I’m from because I am proud of my Canadian heritage, whereas Michael Ignatieff is in love with his Russian lineage.

“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.”

-Sir Winston Churchill

No Royal Wedding For Harper

The word on the street is that if we are indeed officially in an election campaign in the next few days, the Prime Minister will be declining his invitation to the royal wedding of William and Kate. Some had thought it would be a nice photo-op in the middle of a campaign, but somehow I suspect that the PM would be attacked by the left if he took a break from campaigning to attend the wedding. It would certainly be used against him, so cancelling the trip in an election is probably the most pragmatic move.

That's too bad. I thought it was cool that Harper got an invitation but Obama did not.

Who Do You Trust?

Today's poll question; which Canadian federal leader do you trust the most? Evidently some people think that the Prime Minister is now vulnerable on the issue of trust, though when compared to Ignatieff he does very well. Many Conservatives feel there are areas where the Harper Government can improve, but they still like him a whole lot better than the alternative. The opposition has been trying to wear the government down with overblown controversy after overblown controversy. If any low level staffer uses the wrong letterhead or makes a procedural mistake, it suddenly becomes headline news on the CBC.

The question is, how much of an effect will this have on the electorate. We will find out soon enough.

No Coalition Requests Before Dissolution Of Parliament

As we prepare for the imminent collapse of the current Canadian government, some people were speculating yesterday that Iggy could try to ask the Governor General to form government after the non confidence vote and before an election is declared. This is not going to happen. Iggy is not going to ask to form a coalition before the writ is officially dropped. There is a 0% chance of that happening. Ignatieff refuses to answer the "will you attempt to form a coalition government in the event of another Tory minority", because he does not want that to be an election theme. He's hoping this issue goes away. Dissolution
If he asks to form a coalition before an election, the GG is likely to say no, and then the left wing coalition officially becomes a ballot box question (which I believe it is already). We are going to have an election, and there will not be a coalition request in the next few days. That's just wishful thinking.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ignatieff Campaign Songs

What song would you like to hear playing on the loud speaker when the leader of the Liberal Party gets off the bus in the upcoming election campaign? This is the subject of a future poll question, your suggestions encouraged. My own personal favourite Ignatieff theme song is Rasputin by Boney M, but Lust For Life by Iggy Pop is a close second. Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi would also be an appropriate selection, or I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred.

Any other ideas?

Unprecedented Contempt

In the dying days of the 40th Parliament of Canada, the Liberals are now rallying around an "unprecedented contempt" motion as one of their main talking points for the upcoming campaign. For starters, the reason this rarely happens is because it can really only happen in a minority Parliament. Only about 1/4 of our elections produce minorities, so this is unprecedented with a historical sample size of about a dozen. Of those other minority governments, when the House lost confidence they voted no confidence at their nearest opportunity. They never used to go to the trouble to hold committees on contempt, loaded with opposition members granted by an opposition House Speaker.

What's unprecedented is how long this minority government of Stephen Harper has lasted, and no previous minority government had to deal with a 24 hour news cycle and the internet. Well Paul Martin did and it destroyed him. What the opposition has done in 2011 is just conjure up a procedural gimmick to parade in the media in an effort to damage the Prime Minister. They have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the PM since he was elected, and it hasn't even made a dent. Is the contempt idea going to work? I guess we will soon find out.

Has A Coaltion Deal Already Been Struck?

Today's poll question; do you think that a coalition deal has already been agreed to by the opposition parties prior to this Canadian election? Don Martin had a panel of radio hosts on Power Play Wednesday, and two of three (including Dave Rutherford) were convinced that a deal has already been struck, whether on paper or with a handshake. If an agreement has been finalized, the proof will be on the ground and just how hard they fight each other in a few key ridings around the country.

Do we have a statistic to measure the effort made by the Edmonton Liberal who will run against Linda Duncan? While the NDP are happy to admit that they would like to be part of a coalition government, the Liberals still have to maintain the facade that they actually have a chance at winning. Obviously the Liberals first choice would be to win, it just appears increasingly unlikely that is going to happen. I'm willing to bet that the Liberals will spend less money and effort in NDP ridings they are unlikely to win.

Even if they have the framework for a deal in place, I'm not sure if they are going to attempt a coup right away in the event of another Tory minority. I'm not convinced that the Liberals won't want to have a leadership convention first. Iggy never won a leadership vote by the party membership, as grassroots democracy was not convenient when he took control. They might wait until after a leadership convention, or Iggy abdicates to Bob Rae before a vote. Would they go with back to back unelected leaders? Maybe Iggy competes in the leadership convention, or maybe he goes back to Harvard.

We'll see what happens...

Ignatieff: "Bring Democracy Back To Canada"

It would appear that the leader of the Liberal Party has a new campaign slogan to "bring Democracy back to Canada". In his latest rants of hyperbole gone wild, Iggy repeatedly mentions that Stephen Harper is an enemy to Democracy, and the Liberals are the only true choice to those of us who respect our political system. Gotcha, like how Iggy was democratically elected as leader of the Liberal Party? What, he became leader after a backroom deal with Bob Rae? Very democratic Mike.

Or surely respect for Democracy means showing up to vote on legislation. Who was the most absent MP from the last session of Parliament? Again, Mr. Ignatieff. He considers it beneath him to vote on private members bills. Boy he sure loves his Democracy, so long as it isn't scheduled on a Friday. He doesn't like working on Fridays. I sense an overdose of hypocrisy, saying that voting for Iggy will restore Canadian Democracy. He was never elected leader and he likes skipping votes in the House of Commons. Is that the kind of Democracy you want in Canada?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dippers Vulnerable To Tories: Linda Duncan

The next election in Edmonton-Strathcona should be interesting, as Linda Duncan returns to where she barely defeated Rahim Jaffer by less than 1% in 2008. Where Rahim was a fading star preparing to collapse into a black hole, Linda is going to have to face Ryan Hastman in the next round. I don't know much about Hastman, other than he looks about 18 years old and is a small business owner. The youth movement continues. The Liberals are unlikely to make any significant effort to win this riding. They have no chance of winning, so it benefits their coalition chances to elect a Dipper in Edmonton.

Tory Election Slogan Contest

In the spirit of the inevitable election, I would like to collect your ideas for Conservative campaign slogans for a future webpoll. Perhaps it could be a ballot box question like "Tory majority or left wing coalition?" or "Harper's Canada or Czarist Russia?" Perhaps something simpler like "it's the economy stupid" would be more effective? Clearly the Tory campaign platform will be the budget, which was dead before arrival. They threw Layton a bone, but it wasn't big enough. Despite the drama of Tuesday, it is very likely that Jack had his mind made up before he knew what was in the budget.

Please submit your suggestions for campaign slogans like "Ignatieff, getting called one bluff at a time"...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who Do You Blame?

Today's poll question; which opposition leader deserves the most blame for this pending Canadian election? Jack Layton was the last one to pull his support, and did so after Flaherty included NDP demands in the budget. Jack decided he wanted all of it or none of it. So is Jack to blame? Iggy pulled his support months ago, and boxed himself into a corner that he now has to campaign against the budget which will be the Tory campaign platform. Iggy denied tax credits for children's arts programs, more for seniors, continuation of home reno credit, and a substantial reduction of the federal deficit.

The budget is fantastic as an election platform, and the Prime Minister holds the hammer on the timing. As Chantal Hebert said on At Issue, nobody questions that the government has lost the confidence of the House, so he has justification to ask the Governor General to call an election whenever he chooses.

So who deserves the blame, Iggy, Jack, or Gilles?

Ezra Levant Great On The Charles Adler Show

From all the news and analysis of this busy day in Ottawa, by far the most entertaining interview was Ezra Levant on the Charles Adler Show. While I don't always agree with Ezra, in this case he was at his best in describing how ridiculous it is for Iggy to cry foul over Conservative comments about Ignatieff's family history. To listen, visit and look for the audio archive on the right hand side. The segment is March 22nd part 1 and is must listen.

Election 2011: Full Steam Ahead

It is still unclear when the deciding vote will be in the House of Commons, but everyone agrees on its result. We are going to have a spring election, despite Flaherty unveiling an excellent budget which a substantial reduction of the deficit from "$56 billion" to $30 billion (last year's deficit was $56 billion, right? I'm sure Iggy hasn't been high balling that number). Former Liberal Finance Minister John Manley was on the politics shows today praising the budget. The opposition wanted less deficit reduction and more spending, so at the nearest opportunity they will defeat the government in a vote of no confidence.

For the record the Tories did try to put some spending measures in the budget that came from the NDP wish list, but Jack was not satisfied with the dollar amount. He wants an election because he wants a lot more money for his spending policies. He would likely get all the money he wants as Finance Minister in a Liberal-NDP coalition government.

The deficit will be falling from $56 billion to $30 billion, a reduction of almost half! Granted I don't know that our last deficit actually clocked in at $56 billion, I'm just going off the high-ball number the opposition likes to throw around. It makes the size of the deficit reduction appear larger if you use the same number the Liberals have been recently. Furthermore this budget lays the foundation to all but eliminate the deficit by the end of a Conservative majority term.

The rhetoric is ridiculous. Scott Brison says there is a $40 billion dollar "black hole" in the budget, which supposedly includes $30 billion for fighter jets. Meanwhile, that $30 billion is spread out over 30 years, but Scotty acts like the entire amount is supposed to be coming out of our bank account next year.

"Tories and Bloc poised for modest gains in snap election"

I'd like to send a sarcastic thank you to the Globe and Mail for running the article "Tories and Bloc poised for modest gains in snap election" with a comic strip of Stephen Harper dressed as Napoleon Bonaparte with the outstretched arm of the Nazi salute. Boy oh boy, that is fair and balanced news coverage. I suppose that's what happens when you appoint Jane Taber to "set the agenda". Sure, saying anything about the Ignatieff family's service to the regime of the Russian Czar is an attack on families, but depicting our Prime Minister as a French Nazi, that's fair game.

Ignatieff's Beloved Family Tree

Liberal leader Mike Ignatieff was on Question Period Sunday crying foul about the Conservative Party commenting about his ancestry. While Iggy has been trying to sell that his father came to Canada on a boat with nothing (for his own political gain), the Tories pointed out that he came from Russian aristocracy and were quite wealthy for quite a long time on the backs of the Russian people. Should we be looking at overthrown despots fleeing to Canada as endearing symbols of our culture? Because that has been the picture Ignatieff has long been trying to paint.

Iggy claims virtual victim status about his family losing everything in the Russian revolution. Yeah, but they were doing pretty well for themselves working close to the Czar, exploiting and pillaging their own people to the tipping point where Communism was thrust upon the world. Well done Ignatieff family! Your failures helped spawn the "Iron Curtain", but this is something which should be celebrated as a symbol of Canada? If Gaddafi's henchmen flee to Canada and one day one of their decedents runs for Prime Minister, would it be out of line to point out that the sanctity of their legacy is a question mark?

This is not an attack on Iggy's modern family, his wife, or his children, but rather on the legacy of the entire Ignatieff family tree. I'm sure if we look closer at what the Ignatieff family did under their service to the Czar prior to the revolution, it wouldn't be all sunshine and lollipops. These were the guys punching in with Rasputin every morning.

By these standards, the following music video must damn-near be slander!

Monday, March 21, 2011

NDP Musings On Budget Eve

The hot new rumour of the day seems to be that the NDP may support the budget amid speculation the Tories are including some items from the NDP wish list. If they decide to vote with the government on the budget, what then would happen to the upcoming confidence vote on ethics-gate? If you listen to Dipper deputy Tomas Mulcair, we gotta go to the polls now. Tommy Boy has even started putting up his campaign signs!

It would be a fascinating juxtaposition to see the NDP support the budget and then take down the government on a trumped up ethics allegation. That's like validating the government on the economy, but saying we need an election because Bev Oda denied funding to Kairos. If the NDP were to vote with the government on both the budget and the ethics complaint, how furious will Pat Martin and Muclair be?

This could get interesting...

Liberals Can't Budge Polls

Polling data in Canada continues to show a large lead for the Conservative Party, despite Liberal repeated attempts to cry wolf on the ethics file. The latest Nanos poll has the Tories leading 39% to 27%, which is very close to the results in 2008. By trying to force an election the Liberals taking a very big gamble with their deeply unpopular leader. Their behaving as though they have a quality candidate to replace the Count, but are they going to do any better with Bob Rae? I doubt it. "Go for Rae, Go for Broke!"

Don't you also love when Ignatieff keeps complaining that Stephen Harper doesn't respect democracy? Say Mike, which of the two was elected to the leader's job by the party membership? Where's your respect for grassroots democracy? Also, Iggy keeps citing the whim of Liberal MP Peter Milliken as evidence that the government is corrupt. Convenient.

The NDP is almost at 20% while the Green Party is virtually non-existent. Lizzy must still be busy quashing challenges to her leadership avoiding a performance review.

CUPE Really Wants To "Free Gaza"

On my way to work on Sunday I was driving through downtown Vancouver when suddenly all traffic was stopped by a large protest. Initially I thought it might be a rally for the people of Libya, but then I looked closer and it was a protest to "free Gaza". What struck me as odd was the massive number of CUPE signs spread throughout the protest, and those people were in an angry frenzy. My question, why does the Canadian Union of Public Employees go this batshit crazy over Gaza? How exactly is this supposed to benefit the public workers they represent in collective bargaining?

Honestly guys, I saw about 4 CUPE signs for each "Free Gaza" sign, so who exactly are you trying to promote? Are the public employees they represent going to get a higher pay rate if Gaza is "freed"? Or are their union dues being spent in this manner such that the membership can sleep a little better at night? This is way far and beyond their intended mandate. It doesn't make any sense to me. Is Cupe Nucking Futs?

"I've been trying to make some sense of it all, but I can see it makes no sense at all"

-Stealer's Wheel

PS: The last time I drove by a pro life protest, they were standing at the side of the road and not blocking my passage to and from work. Blocking traffic pisses more people off than it wins you in general support. I'll cheer tomorrow if I see the IDF blow up a Hamas weapons cache.

Iggy Will Say Anything To Seize Power

After watching Ignatieff blowhard his way though another interview in Sunday's Question Period on CTV, one cannot escape the unavoidable conclusion that this man will say anything to seize power. He denies that Liberal attack ads are even attack ads, he maintains that he needs to see the budget before deciding how to vote on it and then says that the government has zero credibility and cannot be trusted economically. The Liberals first announced their intention to bring down the government in December, and have never attempted to negotiate terms whereby they would support the budget (which they did to back the NDP into a corner). Meanwhile Canada has had one of the best economic recoveries in the G20 and has received international praise for our fine performance.

Granted, I understand why he is trying to fabricate a false narrative about poor economic performance, because it is generally seen as Stephen Harper's greatest strength. So long as that continues, the Liberals will continue to sit in opposition. We'll have to see if Iggy keeps saying "56 billion dollar deficit" when Flaherty significantly reduces the deficit this week. All this being said, I hope Iggy Flop keeps doing interviews. I'd even like to see more interviews. It is quite comical to watch him in these situations, where he almost does a satire of himself. The more Canadians see of Iggy, the less they like him.

Keep talking Count Chocula, please, keep talking.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Next Week In Canadian Politics

The next week in Canadian politics should be very interesting, and I'm pleased to be off work on Monday and Tuesday to follow the show. The budget will be coming soon, and the opposition seems fully intent on bringing down the government at their nearest opportunity. I feel like HBO should have a camera crew running around Ottawa for the next 14 days. You could turn that into a mini-series. By the large majority of accounts, an election is going to happen. As Albert Einstein said "you cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war."

I really want to see the budget.

Liberals Vulnerable To Dippers: Michael J Savage

The next election in Dartmouth-Cole Harbour should be interesting. In the riding where Sidney Crosby was born and raised, Liberal MP Mike John Savage beat his NDP rival by just 7.9% in 2008 (his lowest margin of victory in 3 wins). The Tories held this riding from 1968 to 1988, but they never recovered from Mulroney in that territory. MJ Savage would most certainly be one of the most vocal Liberals behind closed doors in favour of a Liberal-NDP non-compete agreement...and if he's not, he bloody well should be. The Dippers have him in their sights, and it would take a minor miracle for the Conservatives to win the riding.

Well Done Bev Oda

Having watched Bev Oda's statement at the committee hearing, it confirms what many of us have been saying all along. There has never been any intent to mislead anyone of anything, other than CIDA recommendations not providing an option for the Minister in charge to decline funding. Perhaps writing in "not" was not the best way to deny funding, but CIDA now provides an option to say no. There was a flaw in how CIDA bureaucrats recommended funding, and it has since been corrected. Having additional documents where this technique was used proves that this was how funding was denied, NOT that Bev Oda wanted to deceive parliament on Kairos. Okay, maybe she should have instead used a big red stamp that said "denied", but this is neither contempt of Parliament or abuse of democracy.

May I also include that NDP MP Pat Martin is one of the most vile and vicious partisans in our legislature. Please Liberals, if you seize control of the government with a coalition in the next election, I beg of you not to put Pat Martin in charge of anything above hall monitor. You to wonder what's going through Jack Layton's mind when he watches that filth. Does he consider Martin an asset, because he is clearly an NDP liability. Back away from the microphone.

To view the video and read another insightful analysis on the Bev Oda testimony, read this post be Sandy at Crux of the Matter. I would also recommend Hunter at Climbing Out Of The Dark.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Run Bernard Run!

Rumour has it that former New Brunswick Conservative Premier Bernard Lord is considering taking a run Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe, where Liberal MP Brian Murphy won by just over 3% in 2008. The riding is very vulnerable for the Liberals, who have to be concerned about the recent rightward shift in Atlantic Canada. Bernard Lord is an excellent candidate and would make a valuable addition to the Conservative Government of Canada.

No commitment has been made as of yet, and perhaps April 2011 is a little too soon for Bernard to resume his political career. He has been long rumoured as a possible replacement for Stephen Harper when the Prime Minister decides to retire, and I would like to see him put in some service in Ottawa before that day comes. This Blogging Tory would like to formally request that Bernard Lord run for the Tories in the next election, whenever that election is. Please Bernard?

War With Libya?

As six Canadian jets from a Quebec base are on their way to the Mediterranean to assist in the enforcement of a no fly zone, are you willing to risk going to war with Gaddafi to enforce this endeavour? That's today's poll question. After declaring a cease fire, Gaddafi's forces were opening fire on ambulances and civilians. Personally I say yes, this nut needs to be cracked. Kudos to French President Nick Sarkozy for being ready and willing to "go hot" against Libya for over a year, before the protests even started. It would appear that the French and British will be taking the lead. Canadian forces will still take a few days to get all their equipment and support staff into the theatre, but the French and British are ready to start at a moment's notice. Good on our colonial forefathers. Vivre La France!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Ken Dryden

The next Election in York Centre should be interesting. Despite his legendary status in the sport of hockey, Liberal MP Ken Dryden only won by less than 6% in 2008 in a riding that has been Liberal red since 1962. Dryden won this riding by 23% in 2006, and by 29% in 2004. So what happened Ken? Perhaps the media does not give enough credit to the inroads Conservatives have made in Toronto, and have continued to deny it after the historic victory by Rob Ford. It is as though Toronto elected Mike Harris to be mayor, but CBC's Evan Soloman did not consider Ford to be a big enough 2010 newsmaker to add him to his newsmaker of the year poll.

Ken Dryden should go back into hockey. That's where he belongs, not politics.

My Favourite New Liberal Ad

Okay, I've seen the new Liberal elections ads, and this is my favourite. As a partisan Tory, when I say it is my favourite, that's not a compliment...just to be clear. I want more ads with Iggy one on one, because the more Canadians see Ignatieff, the less they like him. He's just creepy, and very especially in this ad. It played on the TV at work last night, and a few patrons started laughing.

"Harper's Canada"

Today's poll question; do you feel that Stephen Harper's Canada is your Canada? That is evidently going to be a major Liberal campaign slogan in the next election, so I'll ask you what you think. Personally as an economist who closely follows the global economy and I am a big fan of Stephen Harper's Canada. So is CBC financial expert Kevin O'Leary. There is no other country in the world where I'd rather live than Stephen Harper's Canada. He has been a very effective Prime Minister, despite running a minority government in a dysfunctional parliament with a hostile media. He's doing a great job.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

BC Minimum Wage

Within a day of being sworn in as Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark has decided to raise the minimum wage. I'm sure that will be very popular with the less than 5% of the work force who earns minimum wage, and the other people who will be fired because their job is no longer cost effective for the small business owner at a higher price point. Ironically, Christy's first major policy announcement is one of the top priorities of the NDP. This is a slippery slope, trying to out flank the Dippers on the left. What NDP policy will she choose next?

Come on BC Conservative Party, find a quality candidate for leader! Mr Cummins and Mr Strahl would be excellent selections.

New Liberal Ads Coming Soon

The Liberals next volley of attack ads are already made and prepared for release. While the party had maintained that it will hold off on their ad blitz until an election, these latest ads are coming soon to a television near you. Clearly they think an election is imminent, otherwise they would not be able to afford this campaign. The ads confirm their strategy, try to deflect attention away from our fantastic economic recover and paint the words "deceit, abuse, contempt" next to the Prime Minister. Forget what really matters to Canadians and instead replay all those instances where the Liberals cried wolf.

All we need now is an ad predicting that Harper will use the military to invade our cities. I've seen this movie before. It didn't work out so well for Paul Martin and Scott Reid.

More Prisons Or More Stadiums?

Today's poll question; what do you think Canada needs more of, prisons or stadiums? We have the opposition Liberals threatening to take down the government over prison spending, all while they have unveiled their own plan to fund stadium construction projects across the country. So what do we need more of? Personally I support building more stadiums, but as a sports fan my opinion is biased. Regardless of my support for stadium construction, I do think it is a greater priority to expand our prison capacity. Our prisons are overcrowded to the point of being inhumane.

I already tried to convert more people to the side of stadium construction, but alas my pleas were not successful. Public opinion is largely against this, no matter what case you try to make in support of the venture. People like sports, but don't want the feds subsidizing it at the professional level.

Ignatieff Channeling Joe Clark?

Kelly McParland recently wrote a great piece in the National Post titled "Michael Ignatieff’s Joe Clark strategy for success", which is a must read. He asks the question when was the last time a party doing so poorly in the polls was this determined to force an election? "We could be a week away from the writ being dropped, and the latest surveys suggest that, if anything, Michael Igantieff and his caucus are less popular than ever. What kind of party forces an election when they are ten points or more behind the government, and losing ground?"

It is a curious scenario. Most parties typically wait for a momentum shift before they get election hungry, but the Liberals are acting like they have no idea how unpopular they are right now. They're currently sitting at 23%. The only answer that makes any sense is that the Liberals are growing tired of their own inept leader and need an election to replace him. They just have to hope that they don't become so unpopular that the Tories win a majority government. Just wait, that will come next. Tory majority fear mongering.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Andrew Kania

The next election in Brampton West should be interesting. In 2008 Andrew Kania barely won by 231 votes, a 0.4% margin of victory over Tory candidate Kyle Seeback. Andrew is a generally low profile candidate who rarely makes an appearance on the TV news shows. He does not even sit in shadow cabinet, which consists of the top 40 Liberal MPs (that's more than half of their caucus). You'd think Ignatieff would be doing a little more to raise the profile of a Toronto MP who barely won his riding? Maybe Kania is a lost cause for the Liberals, and they have given up on the next election in Brampton West. The Tories should be targeting this riding. I'm sorry, am I allowed to say targeting anymore?

Delaying Opposition Day

Rest assured that the federal budget will be released as scheduled next Tuesday, and the Liberals will not have an opportunity to introduce a non-confidence motion on Monday. The Tories have delayed the opposition day by one week, which I'm sure will draw the ire of the Liberals who would rather you don't see the budget. They are free to vote no on the budget and trigger an election if that's their prerogative, but there won't be a contempt of Parliament defeat before the budget is voted on. Great, I'd really like to see what's in the budget before I decide if we should have an election.

I'll admit that I did not like when Paul Martin delayed Conservative opposition days after the roof collapsed in the Gomery Inquiry, but Paulie delayed them for several months, not one week. I would like to see the budget before the next opposition day, and we won't have to wait very long. This was a great move.

Harper Earthquake-Election-gate

With the massive devastation in Japan, one of the world's largest economies, there are now growing fears of a global economic retraction. So Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper came out and said that right now might not be a good time for an election, which seems to have created a controversy. It might be a bad time to dissolve Parliament for an election, and the Prime Minister's statement is entirely fair. This is not an attempt to benefit from a catastrophe, but rather a reminder that we might want Parliament in session for the next few months. The Conservatives have done a fantastic job of economic management through this last recovery, and I want them at the steering wheel for the next one.

Now would be a really bad time to have Jack Layton as Minister of Finance. By the way, if you did not see the CBC's Lang and O'Leary Exchange on Tuesday, Kevin O'Leary was almost misty eyed about how great a job Flaherty and Harper have been doing. He has even forgiven Flaherty for costing him a lot of money on income trusts. K.O also discussed that whenever there is an economic retraction, there are buying opportunities. I'll wait and see if he's condemned by Mansbridge. Since O'Leary has the best rated show on CBC with Dragon's Den, I'm sure Kevin helps pay Peter's pay cheques.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Justin The Barbarian

Today's poll question; is barbaric a good word to use to describe honour killings? Justin Trudeau doesn't seem to think so, in fact he thinks that description is tantamount to cultural discrimination. A practice where family members murder female family members because they have allegedly shamed the family for things like getting raped and wanting a divorce is absolutely barbaric. New Canadians coming from countries where this is acceptable need to see the strongest possible language to make sure they understand that is criminal in this country. I'm not sure who exactly Justin expected to win over by making these statements, but it was clearly ill advised.

All those people who want us to tone down our condemnation of honour killings must have been applauding today...

Iggy's Latest Political Move In Quebec Shrewd?

The leader of the Liberal Party has announced that if elected Prime Minister he will allocate federal money to build a new stadium in Quebec City. This is going to put the Tory Quebec caucus in danger in the next election, but could lead to greater gains for the Conservatives in Ontario, BC, and Atlantic Canada. The current Mayor of Quebec campaigned on a new arena and won 80% of the vote in the municipal election, so this is something that resonates with the people in Quebec City. But there is little to no support for federal arena subsidies in Southern Ontario, so this is likely to be unpopular in the Liberal stronghold of Toronto. Etobicoke Lakeshore voted largely for Rob Ford in 2010.
Stephen Harper was considering the funding, but after substantial push back from the base he backed off. As Charles Adler said on Monday, "no matter how the would Tories played it, it would not have been to their benefit", and he's probably right. The question is, how many seats will the Liberals lose outside of Quebec because of this policy announcement? Also, most of those Tory QC seats are likely to shift to the Bloc, not the Liberals. So the end result might be more Tories elected outside of Quebec, and more Bloc MPs elected inside Quebec. Maybe Iggy expects the Liberals to win those seats, but even if they go Bloc, the Liberals and friends could put a big spin on the Tory Quebec caucus getting wiped out.

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Joe Volpe

The next election in Eglinton-Lawrence should be interesting. Liberal MP Joe Volpe won by less than 5% in 2008. He won by enormous margins of 22% in 2006, 25% in 2004, 43% in 2000, 37% in 1997; yet barely squeaked out a 5% victory in '08. What happened Joe? He was fined by the Liberal Party in 2006 for signing up dead people to join his leadership campaign. Maybe he just has a heightened sixth sense, but even with the dead people he only finished 7th in the leadership race. He will once again be facing Conservative Joe Oliver, who had the best Tory finish in Eglinton since 1984.

Vote for change, vote for Joe Oliver. He doesn't see dead people walking around all the time...

Are You Ready For An Election?

Today's poll question; are you ready for an election in Canada? Most pundits agree that it is imminent and now can't be stopped. As Albert Einstein once said "you cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war". In late December when Iggy first declared Canadians "election ready" I asked you the question; are Canadians ready for an election? The result was No (56%), Yes (43%), Undecided (1%). It would be interesting to see if your opinion has changed in light of what's happened in the 3 months since the original poll.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Liberals Dreaming 2011 Replay Of 1993

Liberal MPs are confiding in Jane Taber that 2011 "looks a lot like" 1993, though her "sources" remain confidential. That is quite a lot of wishful thinking if you ask me, especially since now there is no Reform Party to split the Conservative vote in two. The Liberal Party might be borrowing some Chretien policies from 1993, but expect the result to be far different. They'll run a campaign similar to Chretien's 93 rise to power, but in a far different landscape. The fact that Donolo is running the campaign again and they want to scrap a fighter jet contract just allows Liberals like Taber to wax nostalgic about the good ole days to try and energize the foot soldiers.

By the way, the two main Chretien policies were a bust. Scrap the GST was never done, and turfing the helicopter contract ended up being a costly and really bad idea. Our helicopter fleet was falling part and needed to be replaced, and that it was not added logistical complications to our search and rescue operations. If you want to look back at the 1993 campaign, I see broken promises and bad ideas.

Stephen Harper TV Star?

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has filmed a scene for the television show "Murdoch Mysteries" where he plays a police Sergeant. The episode will be aired next month, and I will reserve my judgement of his acting prowess at that time. Do I think he has a career as a TV star after politics? No. I'm not even sure that I like my Prime Minister playing a fictional role on a television series while in office. Brief appearances in shows as the leader are acceptable, like Bill Clinton in Contact. Laureen might very well have talked him into this, but I'm not sure it was a good decision. A little help from my friends at the Arts Centre was a great idea, but you can take the arts angle too far.

The Layton Blame Game

NDP leader Jack Layton was on Question Period Sunday in a vain attempt to convince you that if he forces an election, it will be Stephen Harper's fault. Elections are generally unpopular, and no party wants to be seen as forcing an early vote. Ergo the coalition partners are trying to create the narrative that Stephen Harper is purposefully trying to engineer his own defeat. If that's the case, then the opposition is doing exactly what he wants them to do. Sure CTV's Barney Fife was on TV a few short weeks ago saying that Stephen Harper was trying to stay in power because he likes power, but you'd be foolish to take Fife at face value.

It might be true that the PM wants an election. The Liberals want an election, and threw the "stay in power" hot potato to the Dippers. "Carrying out the desires of the Conservative Party", is that the NDP 2011 slogan?

Economic Action Plan Ads

You can add a new complaint to the opposition pre-election wolf crying repertoire, the government is spending money buying advertisements outlining Canada's economic action plan. Evidently trying to inspire consumer confidence is a bad thing, especially when the Liberals have been proclaiming that the sky is falling. Maybe we wouldn't need to buy these ads if the Libs were a little more honest about the fantastic shape of the Canadian economy? Why do stock markets go down when consumer confidence goes does? Because nervous consumers is bad for economic output. Personally I don't see a problem inspiring confidence in our economy. The Liberals want to convince Canadians that we are in worse shape than we actually are.

I'm sure the Liberals never bought ads outlining government programs when they were in office...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Idea For Two And A Half Men

Good on CBS for firing Charlie Sheen. The show must continue as soon as they can get production rolling. I would even like to pitch a plot idea for how they should resume the show. Have Allan wake up one morning and Charlie is gone without explanation. Maybe he leaves a short note like he just stepped out for a night of hookers and blow, then never returns. Eventually everyone becomes worried that something might have happened to him, so they call the police. The detective assigned to the case is John Stamos.

Somewhere in the investigation Stamos tracks down Charlie's long lost 10 year old son who is basically a ten year old parody of Charlie. Better yet, the kid can be a child star, either in TV or music. There are several different directions they could take that story line. The kid could win ownership of the house in court, and moves in with his step dad.

That's my idea for the show. I would like to see it succeed without Charlie. Chuck Lorre also does Big Bang Theory, which is a marvelously written show. They must hire John Stamos. Charlie is not a fan of John Stamos.

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Wayne Easter

The next election in Malpeque, PEI should be interesting. Wayne Easter has held the seat since 1993 with several overwhelming victories, but in 2008 he won by less than 5%. This riding was mostly PC from 1968-1988, but has been Liberal since Mulroney's second term. The Conservative Party stands poised to make big gains in Atlantic Canada, and have an excellent candidate in Tim Ogilvie to fight Wayne Easter.

Wayne has gained partisan notoriety in the past few years for breaking some controversies which turned out not to be nearly as perilous as he proclaimed. The worst was allegations that Helena Guergis "assaulted" airport security personnel. Even Mansbridge said that it wasn't all that bad when he got a chance to see the video.

Nuclear Power

With news breaking Saturday that nuclear reactors in Japan are at risk of a meltdown due to earthquake damage, do you think Canada needs more nuclear power plants? On one hand, a ping pong ball sized piece of uranium can produce as much energy as what, a million gallons of gasoline? But yet, the worst case scenario is significantly worse than with the fossil fuels. The guy on the news said that Japan's reactors were built to sustain likely magnitude earthquakes, but not the worst case earthquake. How ridiculous is that? If you are the #1 earthquake zone in the world and you are building a nuclear power plant, you better make sure to make it earthquake proof.
Now they are pumping sea water into the whole facility to try and keep the core from getting so hot that it melts the containment structure. Hopefully it will work out for the best, but they should modify all their nuclear power plants to handle big earthquakes. Canada is one of the world's largest exporters of uranium, so we do have an interest in the continued use of nuclear power worldwide. Should Canada expand its own nuclear power program? The last time we built new reactors they didn't work properly, heated up too fast, and were shut down.

Farewell Stockwell

It is official, Stockwell Day will not be seeking re-election in the next election. That's too bad, I voted for him to be Prime Minister in the first federal election I was eligible to vote in. Also departing will be Chuck Strahl and John Cummins. As a British Columbian, I hope that at least one of these departing Ministers will consider running for leadership of the BC Conservative Party. The commute from BC to Ottawa is horrendous, and that is often the reason that West Coast MPs decide to step away. The BC Conservative leadership vote is a month away. If Stockwell puts his name in, he will be the next Premier of British Columbia.

Who is going to replace Stock? Thus far fellow Blogging Tory BC Blue has put his name in the running to replace him, and I definitely think Dean can be the next Garth Turner. I would endorse Dean Skoreyko to run for the federal Tories in Okanagan—Coquihalla. The Tories are going to win that seat regardless of the candidate. Too bad Ross Rebougliatti quit, Stockwell's resignation would have been good news for him.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Leadership In A Crisis

Today's poll question, who would you rather have as Prime Minister of Canada in a crisis situation? When I see catastrophic events happen around the world, I can't help but wonder what if that happens here, and I am grateful that Stephen Harper is Canada's leader. The events in Japan are worrisome for west coast Canadians who live in an earthquake zone. I was watching the news as the earthquake happened, and they issued a tsunami warning for the BC coast. As someone who resides in a basement apartment just a stone's throw away from the Pacific ocean, I was somewhat nervous as I went to bed; albeit comforted by the fact that if the telephone rings at 24 Sussex at 4am, neither Dion or Ignatieff is answering the phone.

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Mark Holland

The next election in Ajax Pickering should be interesting. Liberal MP Mark Holland has held the riding since 2004, but his margin of victory declined from 16% in '04 to 6% in 2008. To make matters worse for the incumbent, the Tories have a fantastic candidate lined up to battle Marky Mark in the next election, none other than Chris Alexander. This will be one of the most competitive and watched races in the country, as the Liberal version of John Baird will be contending with a very difficult opponent. For the record, I don't call Holland "The Liberal John Baird" as a negative reflection on John Baird. I just know that John drives the Liberals nuts, so I try to remind them that they have their own version.

For more on Chris Alexander, you should read this piece by Margret Wente. Then visit his website and make a donation. He's here for Canada!

It's The End Of Democracy As We Know It, And I Feel fine...

Having listened to this week's At Issue panel on the CBC, all I have to say is wow. To listen to these "experts" discuss the current state of Canadian politics, one gets the impression that Canada's democracy is collapsing all around us. Chantal Hebert was glowing about Ignatieff crying wolf over these "government secrecy and abuse" matters, claiming that he is finally "connecting with voters". Right, just because Iggy is "connecting" with Chantal, he must be connecting with the rest of the country. By the way, haven't recent opinion polls showed the opposite to be true? Iggy's support is declining while Chantal thinks he's "connecting". Sounds like wishful thinking.

Peter Mansbridge even got annoyed with Andrew Coyne who mentioned the Liberals poor polling numbers. Though you can't say that Coyne was defending the government, because his rants were just as gloomy as the rest of the panel. Remind me again why I still download that podcast? I've stopped watching CBC Newsworld in favour of CTV, but I'll stop watching both when Sun TV News finally launches.

Why Liberals Don't Want You To See The Budget

This evening on the CTV news ticker there was a blurb that Jim Flaherty's March 22nd budget could include a substantial reduction of the deficit, which explains why the Liberals are going to such great lengths to overthrow the government before the budget can be read into record. Now it is all starting to make sense, why Peter Milliken helped his party by speeding up both his contempt decisions allowing the opposition a window to take down the government before budget day. Sure the opposition could just vote against the budget, but then the make the election about the economy, which is the Tories greatest strength. Voting down a budget that slashes the deficit is also bad optics.

Liberals, why not wait until the budget to vote no confidence? What are you afraid of?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Anita Neville

The next election in Winnipeg South Centre should be interesting. Although the riding has been Liberal since 1988, with Anita Neville taking over for Lloyd Axworthy in 2000, she only won by 6% in 2008. In 2000 she won by 22%. In 2004 she won by 19%. In 2006 she won by 8%. Notice a trend? Her margin of victory has become smaller each time she has run for office. She has become one of the most vile Liberal mudslingers in Question Period, and it is time for her to be put out to pasture.

Again I would encourage you to visit the website of Tory candidate Raymond Hall, and if you're tired of Anita Neville, make a donation.

The Politics Of Crying Wolf

As the Liberals steer themselves foolishly towards an election, all of these alleged controversies they have been screaming about is not registering with the electorate. More polls are confirming a sizable lead for the government, as Ignatieff's personal approval numbers continue to plummet. Since Iggy became leader, the crying wolf strategy has been used every time there is even a sniff of a controversy (often premature). Some pundits think the constant mud slinging will have a cumulative effect, but it would appear to have the effect of the town's people tuning out those crying.

Our economy is roaring, and we are supposed to need an election because staffers made minor memo mistakes? Right. Personally I like Canadiansense's take that the Liberals want Canada to spend $300 million dollars to replace their leader...

Details Lacking On Jet-gate

Kevin Page disagrees with government forecasts of maintenance for our yet to be purchased fighter jets, especially between the years 2030 and 2040. According to Page, this project is supposed to cost us $30 billion dollars over 30 years. Thank you Taber and Ibbitson for collaborating on a piece that once again makes no mention of how much we pay in maintenance for our current air force annually. Let's pretend we don't buy the F-35s and we keep the F-18s until 2040. What will be the total maintenance bill? For all the media stories about F-35s, this is one question that no journalist seems able or willing to discuss.

This is what annoys me about Jet-gate, all these stories insist on talking about a 30 year period as though the entire sum is coming out of the next budget (by the way, Page's estimate averages out to $1 billion per year which seems very reasonable for 65 stealth fighters). Also, they don't discuss if maintenance on the new jets will be more or less than the ones we already own. Kevin Page is making estimates for maintenance costs 30 years from now. 60% of Page's estimated costs are "sustainment costs". Buying the planes will cost substantially less than $30 billion. He is estimating maintenance cost 30 years from now for aircraft not yet in service. I'm sure his prediction will be exactly right....

Michael Chong For Canada's Next Speaker Of The House

Top Can deserves the credit for this suggestion, but I second his nomination for Michael Chong to be our next Speaker of the House. After the next election, we need a Tory Speaker. Peter Milliken will not be running again in the next election, as he delivered a nice parting gift to his Liberal Party in the form of two hurried contempt motions. Chong should even campaign in the next election that if re-elected, he will be running for Speaker of the House. I encourage you all to strongly support Michael Chong in the next election in Wellington-Halton Hills, and to make a donation. His riding has Guelph surrounded...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Ujjal Dosanjh

The next election campaign in Vancouver South should be interesting. Incumbent Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh barely defeated Conservative Wai Young by 20 votes in 2008. His support suffered a major collapse, and from what I can tell Wai Young will be back to fight another day. This riding went to the Progressive Conservatives from 1972 to 1993, but the Tories never really recovered from the massacre of 93 in Vancouver South, until 2008. Ujjal is treated as a "star candidate" because once upon a time he was Premier. But he was never elected Premier by the people, he overthrew his boss between elections. When he fought an election as Premier, he won two seats. I'm sorry, his party won two seats. Ujjal as the incumbent Premier did not win his own riding.

I suppose you could call Kim Campbell a star candidate, that doesn't mean she wins elections.

Don't Forget The Economy Stupid

An election is brewing, and what should be the ballot box question? Should it be Canada's outstanding economic recovery in this substantial global recession, or opposition allegations of "government secrecy"? That is today's poll question. The opposition has been very busy trying to re-frame the narrative away from the economy and to lesser matters. The Liberals know that they can't win on the economy, and if the next election springs from a budget vote, the budget (and thus the economy) will be front and center in the campaign. That's why Milliken did his party a huge favour by speeding up his contempt of Parliament rulings to just before the pre-budget recess. This should allow a vote of non-confidence based on contempt the day before the budget is read into the Hansard.

Wednesday substantially increased the probability of a spring election. The Liberals don't want you to see the budget.

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Ruby Dhalla

The next election campaign in Brampton-Springdale should be interesting. Ruby was first elected in the 2004 election as one of Paul Martin's star candidates. She won in 2004 by 22%. She won in 2006 by 16%. She won in 2008 by less than 2%. Do you notice a pattern? In May of 2009 the Toronto Star broke a story that Ruby had illegally hired and mistreated two different nannies hired to care for her mother, and has not had to fight an election since nanny-gate. Moreover, several members of her I-Ruby team have been defecting to the Tory candidate in the riding.

For information more on Conservative candidate Parm Gill, visit his website.

Major Setback for Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla’s Campaign
January 19, 2011

Brampton-Springdale MP Liberal Ruby Dhalla’s campaign suffered a major setback yesterday when several of her core team members crossed the floor to join Conservative candidate Parm Gill’s growing camp of dedicated and loyal supporters.

The Vice President of the Brampton-Springdale Federal Liberal Riding Association, Mr. Joginder Shahi, was among the numerous names to desert Ruby’s crumbling campaign.

Along with the influential Mr. Shahi - Bachittar Golia, Jaspal Mann, Billa Virk, Sunny Bajwa, and Bhupinder Deol made the decision to join Parm’s campaign team as well. These individuals were considered the core team behind Ruby Dhalla. They now bring much experience and wisdom to the Parm Gill campaign.

The consensus among those who have left Liberal Dhalla for Conservative Gill is that she has not lived up to the expectations and that she has failed to represent their needs in way that was promised to them. Furthermore, Mr. Shahi stated that they were disappointed with the structure of Ruby’s campaign – feeling it was not addressing the needs of their community.

"Like many immigrants, I have come to realize that the Liberals like Ruby Dhalla are all talk and no action when it comes to getting things done for Canada’s ethnocultural communities," said Mr. Shahi. "The Conservatives exemplify the entrepreneurial and family values of New Canadians. Most importantly, they've delivered and have not taken us for granted like Ruby Dhalla and the Liberal Party.”

The core team that once embodied Ruby Dhalla’s campaign now supports Parm Gill, stating that he is the right individual to represent their community and Brampton. They now stand behind Parm in the next election – forced to cross the floor because of the false promises, community mistreatment and overall failure of Ruby Dhalla to represent her constituents.

"Based on the core values and results delivered by the Conservative Party of Canada, the party has been growing," said Parm Gill. "Accomplished people like Mr.Shahi, his friends and all Canadians have a home and a future in the Conservative Party."

Over the last years, Parm Gill has tirelessly worked for the needs of the people of Brampton-Springdale – working to provide a safer, more prosperous place to live. More and more people have begun to recognize his work ethic and drive to create a better community for our citizens and their families, evidenced by the growing support for Parm, his values, his initiatives and the Conservative Party of Canada.

Peter Milliken The Partisan Liberal

How convenient of the Speaker of the House to hurry up both his contempt of parliament motions and squeeze them in before the pre-budget recess. The Liberal Party could not have hoped for better wording of the statement if they had written it themselves. Speakers are chosen by secret ballot in the House of Commons, but the Stephen Harper never made any major effort to elect a Tory to the post, which was clearly a mistake.  Seeing Harper and Dion humorously escorting Miliken back to the Speaker's chair in 2008, there may have been warm and fuzzy period of bipartisan delusions, but alas it was short lived. Minority government in Canada is chaotic at best, and a Liberal speaker will just default to his partisan feelings when it matters.

I am not surprised by either ruling. At this point it was just about what I expected. Milliken said exactly what his party wanted him to say and he said it when they wanted him to say it. The Liberals needed him to speed up his "investigation" before the budget vote. For the Liberals to fight an election on the budget would have been futile because the Conservatives are considered strongest on the economy. Their only chance is to parade some kind of cloak and dagger shenanigans trying to paint the Prime Minister as some sort of authoritarian dictator.

The only good news out of this whole sorted affair is that we are likely to have a non-confidence vote the day before the budget vote. Peter Milliken's days as Speaker are numbered. Good riddance. The question for Canadians will be what matters to you more, the economy or alleged government secrecy? Because if it is the economy, the Tories will win in a landslide. Our economy has been one of the best in the world during a substantial global recession. We were lucky to have had Stephen Harper with his hands on the steering wheel to drive us through the fog.

I look forward to an election. Should be great for my site traffic.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Liberals Vulnerable To Tories: Keith Martin's Replacement

Keith Martin will not be running for the Liberal Party in the next election, but whoever does will be facing a difficult battle in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. Martin was a popular local doctor and one of the original MPs of the Reform Party. In 2008 he defeated Tory candidate Troy DeSouza by less than 100 votes, and now Keith will be replaced by city councillor Lillian Szpak. Martin won by large margins when running for Reform and Alliance, but never won his riding by more than 5% as a Liberal. Will the remnants of Martin support shift to Szpak? Only time will tell, but this will be one of the toughest seat defenses the Liberals will face in the next election.

Conservative donors may want to donate to Troy DeSouza directly instead of the national party so nobody needs to make cash transfers to this critical battleground riding...

Tories "Stole" 2006 Election?

The recent narrative of the Liberal Party's furor over in and out-gate is now rallying around their allegation that the Tories "stole" the 2006 election. Paul Martin is not to blame for the loss, the Tories simply bought the election with fraud. This allows them to justify their loss by some alleged criminal activity rather than their own futility. Whatever helps you guys sleep at night. It is similar to how they claim that Iggy is not unpopular because he's a douche, but rather because of clever Tory attack ads. The Liberals seek narratives that absolve them of personal responsibility for their futility.

Are they alleging that they only lost because of "in and out" fraud by the Tories in 2006? After learning how Elections Canada interpreted the law, the practice was stopped in 2008. What happened? Did the Liberals storm back into power? Not exactly, the Tories won a larger minority. They stopped "in and out" transfers, and won more seats.


Liberals Vulnerable To Dippers: Gerard Kennedy

Note to Gerard Kennedy, it looks like Peggy Nash will be back for another run at Parliament in Parkdale-High Park when we have our next election. Gerard beat her by 7% 2008, and he has not done much since to strengthen his image. I visited Peggy's website, and she had just posted a new piece about Kennedy's serial absenteeism from votes in the legislature. Peggy Nash wants her seat back, and she won't be pulling any punches.

There is virtually no chance of the Tories winning this riding. Gerard would have to be one of the Liberals who would love to see a non-compete agreement with the NDP. He has a very tenacious Dipper to contend with. The advtange Gerard has is that in the last 10 federal elections, this riding elected a Liberal 8 times, a Tory once, and a Dipper once (Peggy Nash in 2006).

Gerard Kennedy Absent for Parkdale—High Park
Tue 8 Mar 2011

The Globe and Mail ran a front page story on MPs who are constantly absent from their work in the House of Commons. Michael Ignatieff led the way at 129 absences, but not far behind was Gerard Kennedy, MP for Parkdale-High Park, at 86 missed votes.

“The people of Parkdale-High Park deserve to have their voice heard in the House of Commons,” said New Democrat candidate Peggy Nash. “How can Gerard Kennedy expect you to vote for him when he won't show up to vote for you.”

What were some of those absences?

· The HST in Ontario
· Second reading of Budget 2010
· EI benefits for families (C-280)
· Budget 2009
· Liberal motion on abortion funding to the developing world, helping to ensure its defeat

Gerard Kennedy also voted against:

· EI benefits Act (C-50)
· Made in Canada Act (C-392)
· Canadian Products Promotions Act (C-306)

Is that the kind of representation voters in Parkdale—High Park asked for?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Helena Guergis Running As Independent

Today watching Power Play I learned that Helena Guergis will indeed be running in the next election as an Independent. Kudos to her for wanted to continue with public office after all that controversy, but her probability of winning is actually very small. The Guergis family was all but wiped out of municipal politics in the area in the 2010 elections after being mired in controversy over a local land development issue. The Guergis brand has become politically toxic in Simcoe-Grey, which is probably part of the reason that the PM did not want her run on as the Conservative candidate.

The Liberals won this riding in 1997 and 2000 when the Tory vote was divided, but the Libs never surpassed the combined vote of Reform/Alliance + PC. This is a rather Conservative riding, and it will be interesting to see how many Tory votes she can take with her. The key to her winning will be her ability to attract Liberal voters, and I'm not sure if she can do that. After some of the inflammatory statements made by Liberal MPs in the early days of Busty hookergate, I don't see how they cross that bridge.

NDP Buying Campaign Stickers

The big story in the news today, the NDP has ordered decals for their campaign plane. What's interesting is not that the NDP are buying campaign stickers, but rather that this is even a news story. Did Jane Taber get an anonymous e-mail from someone at the decal factory, or did the NDP leak the story? It seems as though the NDP have been going to great effort to convince the chattering classes that they are eager and able to fight an election. Personally I don't think the NDP actually wants an election, but that they are trying to bluff a stronger hand than they have. If they are buying new stickers, I strongly recommend the scratch and sniff.

The feeling was similar when the NDP gave Dan Matheson a tour of their new election war room. In WWII the R.A.F used to build fake airfields with cardboard planes to convince the Luftwaffe that their strength was greater than it actually was. I'm just saying...

Liberals Vulnerable To Dippers: Siobhan Coady

To kick off my new blogging mini-series of Liberals who are vulnerable to Tories and Dippers is none other than St. John's South-Mount Pearl MP Siobhan Coady, who in 2008 barely defeated her NDP counterpart Ryan Cleary by less than 3%. Before that, the riding had been held by the Conservatives for both the 2004 and 2006 elections. The riding is 53% Catholic. Ms. Coady defeated her local NDP candidate by the smallest margin of all her caucus colleagues against the Dippers. She likely owes her victory to Danny Williams ABC campaign, but now Danny boy has made his peace with Prime Minister Harper and is riding off into the sunset.

One has to wonder if Siobhan can win without a popular Premier campaigning against the Tories amid rising Tory support in Atlantic Canada. To make matters worse, the likely Tory candidate in the riding will be Loyola Sullivan, a former Williams Finance Minister and House Leader. I doubt that Danny will be campaigning against one of his own important former cabinet appointees. Moreover, in the aftermath of "wafer-gate" and "foreign abortion-gate", I doubt Coady will be able to carry the Catholic vote in the next election.

Shiboan will be very vulnerable in the next election, be it next week or next year. It would appear as though the Tories have lined up an excellent slate of candidates to run on the rock, many of which have ties to the Danny Williams government. Coady is vulnerable on the right and left; that's never a good combination. I'm sure she would love a non-compete with the NDP in her riding.

Bloc Endorsing Thomas Mulcair?

When Chantal Hebert wrote last week that the Bloc and NDP are now "objective allies" in Thomas Mulcair's riding of Outremont and that the Bloc wants Mulcair to win the seat in the next election; what exactly does that entail? So the party dedicated to breaking Canada apart are cheering for Layton's deputy? Are they pulling their candidate in Outremont, or just fielding a weak candidate with little campaign support? Chantal discusses how both the NDP and Bloc want to beat the Liberals in that riding, but is decidedly quiet on details.

In the next election, Mulcair will face a more threatening Liberal foe in the shape of former justice minister Martin Cauchon. But it seems he will once again not have to worry about a strong Bloc challenge.

In the battle to keep Cauchon out of the House of Commons, the Bloc and the NDP are objective allies and the same is also true in the neighbouring riding of Papineau – where Justin Trudeau is seeking re-election.
If the separatists want Muclair to win, what does that say about Tommy boy? They must think he's doing a great job of dividing Canada and breaking up the country. That looks bad on you Tom, even if you are angling to replace your ailing leader.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Liberals Trying To Force Quick Election

The word on the street today is that Scott Brison has been busy trying to engineer a vote of non confidence in the government before Jim Flaherty is even allowed to read his budget on March 22nd. These rumours began to spread the day after Jack Layton had major hip surgery, which should take him at least a few weeks to recover from. Perhaps the timing of the Liberal accelerated election plans and Jack's surgery is just a coincidence. It seems too callous, even for Iggy, to fast-track an advantageous quick election because of the health of an opponent.

The more plausible scenario is that the Liberals may be worried that Canadians might like the budget. They have committed to voting against it regardless of what's in it, and it could be a great budget. The upside of withdrawing support for a budget months before it is even written is that you force the other opposition parties to be seen as the ones responsible of either forcing an election or propping up the Harper government. There is however a downside, and that it boxes you into a corner if the budget turns out to be a good one. It also withdraws you as a negotiator and thus contributor to the legislation.

Today on CBC radio the guy was saying that the Liberals need Milliken to rule on Scotty's request very quickly, as parliament won't be sitting the week before the budget. My message to the Speaker is wait until after the budget. It could very well contain detailed outlines of the prison infrastructure spending, which would make Mr. Brison's current quest for fire moot.