Saturday, April 30, 2011

Will Layton Be Denied His Happy Ending?

Everybody needs to relax and stop the smear campaign against Jack Layton. Jack is a victim! This is a desperate attempt to deny him of his happy ending on Monday. Just because police raided a rub and tug 15 years ago where Jack was getting a plain and simple massage by a plain and simple therapist, does not mean that he was involved in any of the alleged illicit activities that took place there. Police even told him at the time that he did not do anything wrong except being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bad luck really.

What I can't seem to find is what happened to the criminal investigation against this establishment? Were they shut down, or are they still operating? I'd like to know more about the massage parlour. What exactly was going on there? This information is not included in the media reports about this story.

The question I'd like to see Terry Milewski ask Jack Layton, is why did he choose to get his massage at this location? Was it close to home, or was it recommended to him? If so, who recommended it? Somehow I don't expect any CBC reporters to heckle Jack with inconvenient questions.

Why The NDP Will Not Reach Latest Expectations

With recent polls launching NDP expectations to historic highs just days before the 2011 election, rest assured that the Dippers will fall short of these lofty predictions. They will have one of their best showings in party history at the polls, but they will not "touch the sky". The biggest reason is not so much the soft attendance of the swing vote, but rather the election day ground game.

The problem with relying on a whole bunch of people changing their minds at the last minute is that you don't know who they are. The Conservatives and the Liberals already know many of the people who vote for them, and have scrutineers at every polling site getting frequent updates on who has voted. If either party knows you are likely to vote for them and knows you have not voted, they will call you in the afternoon and offer to arrange a ride for you to go and vote. Each party is provided with a list of registered voters for every polling station in the country. They get regular updates which are nicknamed "bingo cards". The NDP are not nearly as diligent with their scrutineers as the two main parties.

Elections are metaphorically comparable to football. The long deep passes might make the highlight reel, but most games are won on the ground. The NDP ground game is largely focused on unions and dependent on union leaders.

Are We All Canucks?

On Thursday before the start of the Canucks 2nd round playoff series against Nashville, Stephen Harper made a rare appearance on a local Vancouver sports talk radio show and said that the whole country is behind the team. In this same show, one of the guests talked about how there were a significant number of people in Calgary sports bars cheering for Chicago in game 7 on Tuesday. Another said that many people in Toronto were not cheering for Vancouver, which is now Canada's last team in the playoffs.

So are we all Canucks? That is today's poll question; are you cheering for the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Meet The NDP

If we are to believe the polls and the NDP are about to double their seat count, we should be introduced to many new and fun Parliamentarians. If Dippers are going to start winning ridings they never expected to win, then we will be meeting some kookie candidates that they never expected to send to Ottawa. Be they former communists, vacationing bartenders, or plain and simple enviro activists, these are not the kind of people you want forming cabinet. But they are coming. It is all fine and dandy to protest the ineptitude of the Liberals, but be careful what you vote for. The biggest reason that I oppose a coalition is because it gives the far left NDP dangerous levels of power, but the thought of prime minister Jack Layton is far worse than Jack Layton finance minister...unpalatable as both might be.

The protest vote can be sexy, but proceed with caution.

Vote For Public Services?

Thursday I found myself listening to Vancouver talk radio, and there was a curious commercial that did not endorse any political party, but it did take a swipe at Harper for wanting to support big banks. The message of the ad was encouraging voters to vote for more public services, an ad paid for by public employees. There was no discussion of whether to vote Liberal or NDP, just Harper bad, public services good. For full effect our public employees should have just referred people to strategic voting websites to vote for the most likely non-Conservative to pick on election day.

Some on the right are angry at Harper for increasing the size of the civil service, but if public employees are getting such a glutinous ride, why are they buying advertising time trying to defeat the Prime Minister?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Can Liberals Still Replace Leader?

Where have you gone Stephane Dion, the Liberals turn their lonely eyes to you...
It is unlikely this has ever been attempted a few days before an election, but the Liberals might be wise to switch leaders before Monday. They are trending towards a disastrous collapse to third party status and have to think of something. Stephane Dion is looking like the smarter pick at this point, which is probably why Iggy lost to him back in 2006. At this rate he'll be lucky to win his own seat!

Iggy Free Falling

Some pundits are trying to spin the NDP surge as bad news for the Tories, but Iggy is unquestionably the biggest loser in this whole mess. The Liberals being in 3rd place is catastrophic, hence why they were invoking the ghost of Jean Chretien yesterday. That could be too little too late. Jean proclaiming his confidence in Iganiteff is moot with many Canadians, and is unlikely to excite anybody beyond Liberal foot soldiers. This was more about rallying the base than making inroads into the center.

Good luck Mike, you're going to need it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Layton Getting Cocky

Jack Layton's handlers might want to consider advising the NDP leader to take it easy on the arrogance when he's up on stage. Tonight he was working his crowd with repeated references to himself as Prime Minister, which was all find and dandy until he started saying it then pausing for applause. It felt more like an inauguration speech than a campaign speech as he seems to be intoxicated by the delusion that he has already won. The election at this point is more of a formality than anything. We already know how this story is going to end, so even bother with an election? Is Jack aware that you have to finish in first place to become PM, or does he have something else in mind?

To those trying to spin the NDP surge as most damaging to the Tories, it absolutely does more damage to the Libs and Bloc.

Layton's Gain Or Duceppe's Failure?

If we are to believe the polls, the NDP stands poised to increase their Quebec seat count from 1 to 50. That might be a stretch, but it still tells a story. So is this Jack's gain or Gilles failure? The Liberals are falling faster than the last Czar of Russia, but the Bloc could be the biggest losers on May 2nd. I look back on the debates which I watched with two of my left leaning friends who are only mildly interested in politics, and they were laughing out loud at how bad Gilles Duceppe was. He has never recovered, and now is free falling.

So who deserves the most credit for the NDP rise in Quebec? That will be today's poll question.

5 More Sleeps Until E-Day

In just 5 nights sleep Canada will be voting in a federal election. While parties scramble to win votes this week, a large chunk of the Canadian electorate has already voted. Just how much room is left for gain? Special ballots and advanced polls are closed until May 2nd, as early voting numbers increased substantially since the last election. If early voting favours the parties with momentum, then the NDP are sitting in a very comfortable position while the Liberals should be messing their adult diapers. Ignatieff's fate is likely already decided, as his party lays the stage for the regime of Bob Rae. Fortunately I think Bobby will have 4 years to get ready for the next election.

As Iggy once said "if you mess with me, I will mess with you until I'm done". Well Mike, the end is nigh.

Another NDP Campaign Vacation

This is too much! The day after Ekos ridiculously predicted the NDP would win 100 seats (including 51 in Quebec), we find out that yet another Dipper is on vacation instead of campaigning. The Quebec candidate is in Las Vegas, as the party says candidates cannot be expected to cancel or reschedule vacations to run for Parliament (ironic considering the NDP helped force this early election). This was not discussed on the CBC's National tonight, despite the NDP being discussed at great length. What they did discuss on the National was that the royal wedding is this weekend, so political parties will struggle to get media attention (Milewski notwithstanding). There may not be any movement in voter preference. We could be locked in, and the Liberals are in trouble.

NDP candidates must be feeling lucky. Jack might want to try his luck at the roulette table.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Night In Vancouver

The Chicago Blackhawks have accomplished the improbable and pushed their playoff series to a 7th and deciding game after going down 3 games to 0. The city of Vancouver is in a very uncomfortable place ahead of Tuesday's game 7 at home. Monday sports talk was very pessimistic with some fans calling the radio shows declaring the season over. One of the most heated topics of conversation was would any team take Luongo's contract. At first you'd think that a week before the election all the politicians should want to be in Vancouver for this event as BC is a battleground province. However, I know where I'll be on Tuesday night and it will not be anywhere near downtown. No doubt riot police will be on standby.

Vancouver played a great game on Sunday, but the referees were just about as lopsided as I have ever seen in a playoff game. David Bolland alone should have had 3 penalties. Vigneault is terrible with line match-ups. You can't have your best players always hurrying off the ice whenever the Hawks put out their 3rd line. You don't win hockey games that way.

If any team would be willing to take Luongo's contract, I'd do almost any deal in a heart beat. The future is Cory Schneider (who needs to start practicing handling the puck far more often).

Iggy Should Take GST Hike Off The Table

One of the most damaging Ignatieff sound bites that the Conservatives have aired in multiple televisions ads is "I will not take a GST hike off the table". Mike, you might want to think about taking that GST hike off the table, because people get very angry when you raise their taxes. Granted, it might be too late for Iggy to make a major campaign shift, as I don't think many Canadians are paying much attention to him now. You gotta think of something quick, may as well rule out increasing sales taxes.

NDP Projections?

Far be it from me to recommend that polling firm Ekos begin random drug testing of its employees (and CEO), because projecting the NDP to win 100 seats is borderline insane. Today's poll question; how many seats do you expect the NDP to win? It is only fitting that Ekos is the main political pollster for the CBC. There is a 0% chance that the Dippers will win that many seats, and I would wager any sum of money they won't even come close. If the NDP wins 55 seats, they would likely be the official opposition in a Tory majority. 60 seats would be the high water mark, best possible case scenario and even that number I would put below a 20% likelihood.

What do you think?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Campaign Vandalism

For years the Conservatives have been the victims of relentless campaign vandalism, but it isn't a national story until it starts happening to Liberals. Now suddenly Carolyn Bennett's frowning face is being paraded as the unfortunate victim to the same kind of vandalism that Tories face every election. Welcome to the daily grind of Conservative candidates. While we should all condemn vandalism against both sides, forgive me if I don't cry any tears for Carolyn Bennett. On this matter, the victim card is falling on deaf ears.

The Right Honourable Joe Volpe

Evidently Joe Volpe is worried about the Green Party in Toronto, as his campaign has been caught throwing Green campaign material in the garbage. You may remember Mr Volpe as a contender in the last Liberal leadership convention (the one that elected Stephane Dion, Iggy never won a convention), but a number of controversies derailed his leadership bid. There were allegations that he took campaign donations from minors and that he signed up dead people to vote for him to be leader. Well Joe's riding is not as safe as it used to be, and suddenly he has taken to breaking the rules. We will see if Elections Canada calls in the RCMP.

A Green Party worker saw Volpe and a campaigner take and discard Green Party material. They took several pictures.

Ignatieff's Town Hall For Canada

On Sunday I was not home for the airing of Mike Ignatieff's 30 minute TV special "Town Hall for Canada", so I set the DVR in my cable box to record it while I was away. After returning home I nestled up to the television with some beer and popcorn to watch Iggy in action, and I was treated to 30 minutes of a golf tournament. As fate would have it the tournament went into overtime and pre-empted most of the program. I don't know if Global continued to air the special and bounced the next program because my DVR cut out at the 32 minute mark. But I will say this, if the whole program was as creepy as the 90 seconds that I saw of his intro, maybe it was better to get bounced for some playoff holes.

This might have been good news for the Liberal Party.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ignatieff Should Avoid Public Places

For the last week of the campaign, the leader of the Liberal Party would be advised to avoid public places where large numbers of people gather. After getting his ugly mug flashed up on the jumbotron in front of thousands at a Mississauga hockey game, the building erupted with booing. The optics of such an event are horrific for a political campaign, fortunately for them it was treated as a secondary story by their friends in the media on Easter weekend. The story is not anywhere to be found on the Globe and Mail Election page, who are instead leading with "Embattled Ignatieff offers passionate defence of Liberal vision". Really Globe? You don't think thousands of people in the GTA booing Ignatieff a week before the election deserves a headline on your election page? Seriously? Are you kidding me?

I'm waiting for people like Jane Taber, Gloria Galloway, Susan Delacourt, Joan Bryden, Terry Milewski, Roger Smith, et all to finally call a spade a spade. This campaign has been an unmitigated disaster for the Liberals. You could say that the entire Ignatieff reign has been a disaster for the once mighty Liberal Party of Canada.

NDP Amateurs

Well finally the Liberals came out to take some shots at the NDP, and their line of attack is to label the NDP as amateurs (though I would hardly call the Ignatieff regime professional). It really begs the question, if the surging NDP are amateurs, what does that make the struggling Liberals? Iggy is now calling Team Layton novices and fiscally irresponsible, which will be an interesting awkwardness if there is a Tory minority and the two conspire to vote down the throne speech. Can they co-exist after attacking each other? The NDP can demand Iggy show up to vote in the House of Commons as a term of their agreement, provided such an agreement ever takes place.

The Igg Who Stole Easter

As families gather for another Easter Sunday, let us all remember that we are having an election in a week because the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc decided now was a good time. Who knows, maybe some families will gather around their television sets to watch Iggy's 30 minute super Sunday TV special, which is a compilation of video clips. Don't expect any resurrections.

There is now a webpoll for those of you who would like to vote on what we should nickname Iggy's TV show.

Have a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ujjal Getting Desperate

The degree to which the Liberal Party has been desperately grasping for anything they can spin into a controversy has become ludicrous. This strategy has been in use for a few years now, but the Libs are cranking up the insanity dial as we head into the last week of the campaign and they have been overtaken by the NDP. The "big story" of the day is that a controversial person attended a speech by the Conservative candidate running against Ujjal. That's it.

Wei Young was invited by the principal of a Sikh school to give a speech at parents night and this guy showed up. When I got off work tonight I turned on my car radio to hear Ujjal Dosangh accusing his opponent of campaigning with a terrorist. I suppose we need to start taking IDs at the door and doing background checks of anyone who attends any campaign event. Any individual who has ever been charged with a crime, whether pardoned or acquitted should be barred from entry. That's the moral of the story.

Ujjal beat Wei by 20 votes in the last election.

What's funnier is that a "CBC reporter" tried to "grill" the Prime Minister but was drowned out by a large cheering crowd. The Globe and Mail even did a story on the CBC reporter, but never said in their article who the reporter was. I bet it was Terry Milewski. The Globe reported "It’s the first time a Conservative crowd has purposely drowned out a reporter"

Let Terry ask his follow-up question dammit!

If you want to see "vintage" Terry, look for the clip of his question for Stephen Harper at the Copenhagen Climate Conference. It is classic. He basically goes on a 5 minute rant where he asks about a dozen different questions. I remember watching it live and getting a good laugh.

Was Iggy's Biggest Mistake Giving NDP A Free Ride?

Today's poll question; do you think it was a mistake for Ignatieff to give the NDP a free ride in this election? Throughout much of this campaign the Liberal attack machine has focused squarely on the Conservatives, while their leader is reluctant to say anything bad about the Dippers. Layton meanwhile scored the best punch of the debates on Iggy's poor attendance in the House of Commons, and even released an ad about how Iggy rarely shows up for work. The result is that the NDP is now overtaking the Liberals in national polling, and Jack is suddenly being thrust into the spotlight.

I understand that the Liberals want to play nice with the NDP in the event they form government after voting down the throne speech, but at this rate they had better start taking shots or they risk a devastating exodus on their left flank which is already in progress.

Names For Iggy's TV Show

On Easter Sunday the Liberals will be airing a 30 minute TV special called something like "Townhall with Canada", but I would like to collect some ideas for alternative titles. The poll is going to be launched on Saturday night, but I still need some help. My two ideas are Mr Ignatieff's Neighbourhood and An Inconvenient Douche. I feel this goldmine of possible ideas has not been adequately tapped. It is not a live show, but rather a compilation of video clips.

Thus far we have

1) Mr Ignatieff's Neighborhood

2) An Inconvenient Douche

3) America's Funniest Home Videos

4) Dr. Ignatieff's Old Tyme Rise Up Revival....sponsored by Viagra

5) Liberal Party Holiday Special

Friday, April 22, 2011

Long Lines At Advance Polls

CTV news is reporting that polling stations across the country were very busy on the first day of advance polls, showing many clips of people complaining about having to wait in line. I voted at an advance poll on Friday, and waited 15 minutes. At some polls the wait time was a matter of hours instead of minutes, which either signals that voter participation could be higher on May 2nd, or many voters showed up because it was Good Friday and they had the day off. According to Nanos, high turnout at advance polls tends to benefit the party with the most momentum, aka the NDP.

CTV news focused on a lady who complained after voting that it was too slow because they had too many stations. If you want it to be faster, you need fewer people per poll box, which means more polls, which means more tables. Does she want to take away the registration table? It would really slow things down if you have DROs and Poll Clerks doing registration and revisions. How do you plan to make things faster by having fewer stations? Yet this lady got a lot of air time on CTV Newsworld Friday night. Slow news cycle.

I just want to say this, if you think you were violated because you had to wait in line for an hour to vote prior to election day, boo hoo. There are fewer poll boxes at advance polls because generally only 1 in 10 voters vote at advance polls. If clusters decide to vote early and flood certain locations, accept it and wait in line, or vote at the next opportunity. If you are really really busy, go into your local election office and vote by special ballot. Line-ups occur sometimes. The right not to have to wait in line for more than 30 minutes is not protected by our charter of rights and freedoms. To have the convenience that some people seem to be demanding, you are increasing the cost of each individual election by millions of dollars.

I had to wait in line! Oh the humanity! Put me on the evening news!

Nervous In Vancouver

The Chicago Blackhawks have won 2 games in a row after going down 3-0, and suddenly the Vancouver Canucks are playing terrible hockey. The nervous tension in this city is rising rapidly, as many expected this year to be THE year. When they won the first 3 games against the team that eliminated them from the playoffs the last 2 seasons, it felt like destiny to Canucks fans. If this series goes to a game 7 at GM Place, there had better be riot police on standby.

Thursday afternoon I played a short round of golf with some of my friends, and I wore my Detroit Red Wings jersey. Normally that would attract smart ass comments from Canucks fans, but the Nuckleheads that I encountered were nervous and avoided eye contact. Detroit closed out their series after going up 3-0, and helped send the Jets back to Winnipeg.

You can read more on my sports blog.

Liberal Advertising Blitzkrieg

Over the past two weeks the Liberal Party has committed substantial financial resources to a national advertising blitz. Some have been attack ads labelling Stephen Harper as power hungry and as having a secret agenda to dismantle Canadian health care. Many others have been these one on one feel good rants about public health care that are poorly produced and Iggy's make-up looks like it was done by a mortician. Great call with the early election Mike...

Since unveiling these ads, Liberal support has now fallen below the NDP nationally, a catastrophic occurrence, especially 10 days before a general election. You have to question the wisdom of doing a 30 minute TV special focusing on Ignatieff. The more Canadians see the man, the less they like him. They should turn their TV special into a 30 minute attack ad against the Prime Minister. Keep Iggy out of it, because his face on TV is not helping you, it is hurting you.

Polls Open Friday

Just a heads up to everyone that advance polls open today, so you can start voting without filling out a special ballot application. If you expect to be busy on May 2nd, you should get out to the polls this weekend. Encourage your friends and family to participate in democracy, and if they need to know where to go, just go to and enter your postal code into the form at the bottom of the screen. It will direct you to your nearest poll center. Advance polls are open Friday, Saturday, and Monday.

Everybody vote!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Vote For Ignatieff Is A Vote For Harper

The Liberals like to say that a vote for the NDP is a vote for Stephen Harper, but after some dramatic movements in public opinion polls, the left will have to consider voting NDP if they want to block a Conservative majority. If you had told the Liberals before their non confidence motion that they would be trailing the NDP 10 days before the election, they might have changed their minds about forcing an early vote. Ipsos has the NDP ahead of the Liberals, and Ekos has them in a tie. Two unrelated polls confirming one undeniable conclusion, the Liberals have big problems. The difference between the two polls is that Ipsos has the Tories at 43% and Graves has them at 34%.

It looks like Jack Layton can staying on the campaign trail that a vote for Ignatieff is a vote for Stephen Harper, and all left wingers should unite around his orange revolution, the only party who can stop a Tory majority.

No Coalition, We Get It...

After hinting that he's considering voting no confidence in the government right after the election, Ignatieff keeps saying no no no to a coalition. That's fine, because whatever left wing monster emerges from another Tory minority, the Liberals will not call it a coalition. Maybe Jack Layton won't be the next Minister of Finance, but if the Liberals form government after the Conservatives win the election, they will have to shift left to win NDP support on every piece of legislation. Call it a coalition, or call it a coalition by proxy, but the Libs still need the NDP. They need to keep them happy to maintain government.

If the Tories pass legislation with the help of the NDP, the "zone of agreement" is at least somewhere near the center. When the Liberals rely on the NDP, the result is much further down the left hand side of the spectrum. Remember the last year of Paul Martin? Whether it is a formal agreement or a backroom handshake, they must placate the socialists.

Do You Get Sun TV?

Today's poll question; do you get Sun TV News in your cable package? It would appear that there are distribution problems in the first week, which should work itself out over time if they produce a quality product. There is no Sun TV in my Telus package, and we have an expanded package beyond basic cable. I get roughly 15 news channels including Fox News, MSNBC, and several international channels; a dozen CBC feeds, but no Sun TV.

Exactly what portion of the Blogging Tory audience gets this on their televisions? Watching on the internet was not included as an option in the poll question because I am trying to get a figure on the proportion of people who get this on their television sets. I'm a little pissed off that I don't.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Iggy's TV Special

The leader of the Liberal Party is going to be featured in a 30 minute television special this Sunday, unfortunately I have to work so I won't get to watch. Damn. There is a very good chance that 98% of Canadians will also be tuned out. This won't be a live show, as it is rumoured to be a compilation of stump speeches and previously recorded town hall meetings. It will be interesting to see the ratings for Mr Ignatieff's Neighborhood as he takes his dozens and dozens of fans on a journey through his land of make-believe.

Personally I don't think it helps his cause to have people watch him talk. The way he keeps sticking out his tongue when he speaks makes him come across as reptilian. If you had to pick a name for his special, what would you call it. This will be tomorrows poll question. Thus far I like Mr Ignatieff's Neighborhood.

No Great Debate In Etobicoke Lakeshore

The leader of the Liberal Party proclaimed himself the "any time, any place" debate master genius, but he will not be attending candidate debates in his own riding of Etobicoke Lakeshore. No constituency has been less represented in Parliament in 2010, as Ignatieff missed more votes than any other MP. Private Members bills are a waste of his precious time. The Liberals are so stagnant in the polls that they should want Iggy to be on TV as much as possible debating, if he's as effective at the craft as his supporters claim.

Iggy says lack of respect for democracy is the reason we are having this election. If that's the case Mike, maybe you should show more respect for democracy and actually show up to vote in Parliament on behalf of the people of Etobicoke Lakeshore.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Sun TV For Me

Sadly I do not get Sun TV in my Telus cable package, and my computer is too old and fragile to watch video online. As excited as I have been to watch the newest news network, alas I shall be deprived of this essential service. Telus generally displays all the channels available, even if you don't get them in order to encourage you to buy an expanded package. After a diligent search of all channels, there was no Sun TV.

I'll send an angry e-mail to Telus, but I can't afford to buy an expanded package. We already had to buy 25 channels just to get the History channel. It is almost criminal the way they bundle channels together. If you are looking for a cable provider, I do not recommend Telus. I'm locked in for another few months, but if they don't offer Sun TV, I won't be a customer for much longer.

I get 12 different CBC feeds for f**k sakes! This is not fair!

A Coalition By A Different Name

If the Liberals want to form government in the event of a Tory minority, they don't need to form a formal coalition with the NDP. All they need to do is vote against the throne speech and in theory the Governor General will offer Iggy the keys to 24 Sussex. That's what Ignatieff was talking about today in an interview with Mansbridge. The Liberals would need the support of the NDP and Bloc to pass legislation, but with a healthy serving of socialism and bribes to Quebec, that shouldn't be too hard. It is unclear whether or not Jack Layton would be offered a spot in cabinet, but it is very clear that the opposition are strongly considering voting down the throne speech before we even know what the electorate decides.

So what do you call it if there is not a formal coalition, but instead a different three headed monster?? It would be a combination of socialism and separation by proxy, and a lot less desirable than a Conservative majority. Gilles Duceppe sees a Tory majority as being a hindrance to the Quebec independence movement, whereas an Ignatieff government would help split up the country.

Ignatieff: The North Is Not Grounds For Military Maneuvers

Monday the leader of the Liberal party was up in the arctic and at his press conference said that the north is not a place for military maneuvers, which is clearly a reference to military exercises that Canada practices in the far north. Well, maybe Ignatieff can further clarify what he meant when we said that the arctic is no ground for military maneuvers. Maybe he was referring to the PM on an ATV as a military maneuver, or he was referring to our military being able to maintain our sovereignty?

Our military needs to be able to conduct operations in the arctic or our land ceases to become Canadian soil. It's pretty simple. We need to practice military maneuvers in the Northwest Territories. Maybe Iggy isn't concerned about Russian planting a flag on the North Pole, but some of us are. Does Iggy want us to abandon the north and cede it to Russia? Maybe not, but I still suspect the man is more enamoured with 19th century Russia than 21st century Canada.

Liberals Are Advertising On My Blog

Imagine my surprise when I loaded my website last night and saw that somebody had bought ad space on my website for the Liberal Party through Google. For those who don't know, the ads you see on Blogger pages are assigned via a bidding process with Google Adsense. Individual bloggers play no role in choosing who places ads, except the right to block specific links. The ad on my site linked to a Liberal Youtube video titled Rise Up Canada. I don't know who bid to have the ad posted, the party or a supporter, as Google doesn't share that information.

This first showed up on the same day as Sun TV premiered, and many observed that most of the political ads on the network were from the Liberal Party. It would seem as though the Libs are trying to venture into generally unfriendly waters. This is part of a strategy, though I doubt that it will be effective. Two weeks ago the CBC bought ad space for their Vote Compass.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Duceppe: Tory Majority Bad For Separation

Gilles Duceppe has been telling the crowds in Quebec that a Conservative majority government would make it more difficult for Quebec to separate, and that a minority coalition would be the best thing for the separatist movement. Did everyone else in Canada hear that loud and clear? A Conservative majority government is the best case scenario for Canadian unity. Meanwhile Iggy was in Vancouver on Sunday talking about how sometimes the Bloc Quebecois have good ideas. Conservative majority great for national unity, a brilliant insight from the Quebec separatists. I would accuse the Bloc of having a secret agenda, but their agenda is hidden in plain sight.

The stakes are too high. Vote Conservative.

"Harper Demands More Time In Power"

That's one way of describing a bid for re-election in the latest Liberal attack ad, which attacks the Prime Minister personally above simple policy. Didn't Ignatieff say they only make ads about policy, not about Harper demanding more time in power while destroying anyone who stands in his way. So much for the Liberals being above such things, instead they are resorting to lies and fear mongering to try and prevent a Tory majority. At this point, a Liberal minority victory is virtually impossible. These desperation moves are just a vain attempt to block a stable majority government. Iggy was even saying on Sunday that the Tories are running a campaign of fear, meanwhile the Liberals have been fear mongering since they forced this early election.

Rick Mercer, The Non-Partisan Democracy Crusader

Rick Mercer's crusade to get students to vote at University instead of back home is being heralded by the Canadian comedian as a completely non partisan effort. He's in this for the kids, not the Liberal Party. Normally I would not object to a campaign to encourage voter participation, but Rick is taking it a step further saying that there should be early voting stations in every University campus in the country so we may herd them up in "flash mobs" and send them to vote en masse. I would be interested to know just how much partisan involvement there was in or near these flash mobs. All those people wearing red were just showing their support for Canada, right? I'm sure that thought never crossed the mind of Lester B Pearson when he decided to make the Canadian flag the same colours as the Liberal Party...

The convenient truth is that students have more voting flexibility than the majority of Canadians, as they can choose to vote either at home or at school. Even if they don't have a local address on their drivers license, all they need is two pieces of mail with their University address to be allowed to vote there. If you are a parent with a child in University coming home soon, perhaps you should call your local Elections Canada office and ask them where your children are supposed to vote. When an election happens in the middle of a school semester, students are encouraged to vote at school because they live there and can't necessarily make it home. This time it is different, because most students will be home on election day. Parents should be encouraging their children to vote.

I doubt the sincerity of Rick Mercer when he says that these flash mobs and his encouragement of them does not have any partisan objectives.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gas Taxes

Today's poll question; do you think government should reduce taxes on gasoline as prices soar? In British Columbia many were paying $1.40 per litre on Sunday, and a chunk of that is the Liberal carbon tax. Would newly minted BC Premier Christy Clark consider reducing or eliminating the carbon tax? What about a reduction in federal sales tax on gasoline? This could be a winning political issue for any party who embraces it, because there are a lot of regular Canadians out there right now complaining about the price at the pumps. In BC we have the Liberals to thank for a carbon tax that is sucking drivers dry. The federal Liberals are hitching their wagon to cap and trade, which is only going to increase costs. Canada is an oil rich nation, we should probably expand our refining capacity.

"Liberal and NDP gains dampen Tory hopes for majority"

The Liberals are up about 1% in the polls to 28%, and the headline at the Globe and Mail is about Liberal gains dampening hopes for a Tory majority? Talk about grasping at straws, where they claim in the first paragraph that "Ignatieff's Liberals are on the upswing". You call that an upswing? A tiny fraction of an increase (and still below 30%) is being heralded as ending Stephen Harper's dream of a majority government. Come on man! That's almost as nuts as Mercer saying his get the students to vote campaign has no partisan objectives whatsoever. Trying to get as many students as possible to vote at school without proper oversight instead of voting when they go back home where most permanently reside. What's wrong with that?...

Jack Layton, Rise Up, Rise Up!

With the leaders debates in our rear view mirrors, it is becoming increasingly clear that Jack Layton was among the big winners, as the NDP has risen back from the brink. The NDP had fallen below 15% prior to the debates, and now find themselves back in 19% range. While Iggy is furiously screaming rise up, rise up at his townhall meetings, the one rising is Layton, not Ignatieff. Today Iggy is hosting a lovefest with Paul Martin and Ujjal Dosangh in Vancouver and I was thinking about showing up but didn't want to pay the cover charge. Paulie M must still have the "midas touch", because the Liberals are charging $20 to get into this event (where you need to book ahead to gain admission).

There's a bad moon on the rise!

The Busy University Of Guelph May 2nd Exam Schedule

Okay so according to Ignatieff we are turning into Syria because our government is allegedly viciously denying students the right to vote. Meanwhile, Elections Canada has declared the controversial poll unauthorized and thus illegal. Part of the justification for this advance mobile special ballot poll was that students are very busy during exams. So I decided to check the University of Guelph exam schedule, and 95% of exams are done by April 21, and 100% are done by April 25. Most students are going to be done school and back home before regular advance polls open on the 22nd. Students in campus residences (numbering in the thousands) have to move out within 24-48 hours of their last exam. At least those were the rules when I was a student at the University of Guelph.

It sure seems to me like the purpose of this illegal poll was to have as many students as possible vote in Guelph instead of going back home to vote. Guelph is a battleground riding. Most of these students will be relaxing at home with lots of spare time on their hands May 2nd. Meanwhile working parents in Guelph do not have mobile advance polls at their workplace to facilitate more convenient voting. Normally this kind of mobile advance poll is reserved for military and the sick, but somehow students are supposed to qualify?

It is odd that Elections Canada would announce the votes are valid after the poll violated election law because they did not have proper oversight. If the law has been broken, the Chief Electoral Officer should order a full audit of all registrations and votes at the illegal poll. Make sure the agents there on the scene followed the rules, even if the poll itself was against the rules. Somebody wanted as many U of G students as possible to vote in Guelph before going home, where they are also eligible to vote. Quick, somebody call the police, and have the CBC meet them at the Guelph election office.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Liberals Getting Desperate

The wheels are starting to come off the Liberal bus, and the longer they go without gaining any traction, the harder those wheels begin to spin. They say that the Prime Minister was irresponsible when he dismissed Helena Guergis from caucus, when they had been furiously demanding her dismissal for weeks before it finally happened. They are now even sending "operatives" (I doubt Gloria Galloway will call them that) to protest Conservative events who were invited inside and refused; only to have Ignatieff complain about them being denied entry moments later.

You may have noticed that for some time now, the Liberals have been using a strategy whereby Ignatieff always tries to be the first to star a video clip response to any breaking news story. Facts be damned, he always tries to be the first to have an opinion, such that his video clip can run with the news story as it breaks. These premature opinions are becoming more and more hyperbolic as the wheels start to spin in the mud. Such that by the time anyone has had a chance to fully fact check a story, Iggy is on CBC Newsworld proclaiming controversy X is destroying Canadian Democracy. The CBC and to a lesser extent CTV will often allow the Liberal response to become the biggest focus of the story, if not the headline.

Is this going to work? The wheels on the bus are spinning in the mud and it is getting worse by the day. At this rate, what kind of "our democracy is crumbling" ridiculous controversies are going to be unleashed in the next 2 weeks? That should be a poll question, at the rate we're going, what absurd controversy do you expect from the Liberals in the last week? We know these guys like to sit on stories for months until a strategic time, so we'll see what happens. I bet the last week will be about abortion and a secret agenda.

Layton Spins Vacationing Candidate With Fixed Election Date Debate

Look, people running for elected office can't possibly be expected to cancel or reschedule their vacations in the event that an election is called; at least that's what Jack Layton is saying. The NDP candidate in Ajax-Pickering was tanning on a Caribbean beach instead of contesting Mark Holland's bid for re-election, and Jack is trying to spin this into a debate on the need for fixed elections dates. Clever spin, but still lacking. This guy wants to run for parliament but can't reschedule a vacation to make it happen?

News flash Jack, this is not 2008 when Stephen Harper called an early election; this is 2011 when the opposition forced an early election. Jack, you voted down the government! You teamed up with the Liberals and the Bloc to force an early election. If you want to be pious about fixed election dates, you should have waited until year 4 to vote down the government. This is a cheap way of validating why one of your would-be MPs is vacationing instead of campaigning.

Tories Accused Of Repressing Democracy

There was a controversy on Friday as the Conservative Party was accused of diabolically trying to deny people the right to vote. Ironically this little dust up happened in the same building where I voted for the first time in a federal election, the University Center at the University of Guelph where I voted for Stockwell Day to be the next Prime Minister. On Friday Elections Canada's Guelph office had set up a special ballot voting booth on campus so that students would be able to vote on campus throughout the election. The Conservatives complained that this violated election law, and Elections Canada admitted that the poll was not authorized and violated their own rules. I wonder if they will call the RCMP to raid their Guelph office.

This advance poll made it easier for students to vote at their convenience, but did not extend the same convenience to the rest of the general population. EC has said that the ballots already cast will be valid, but they are going to shut down the special voting booth. What it comes down to is that if you want to set up a mobile poll to run throughout the election in one area, then you should extend that right to all areas (unless we are talking about a care home). Anyone can vote at any time during an election on a special ballot by visiting your local Elections Canada office. There are advance polls where you can vote if you are busy on election day. It is no more difficult for a student to get to a ballot box than a parent with a full-time job. Giving one group more convenience than the other is not equitable treatment.

For Ignatieff to start complaining that we are turning into Egypt is borderline insane. He's opportunistically trying to plug into something that was trending on Twitter a few weeks ago, because Canada is nothing like Egypt in terms of Democracy. This is not a matter of trying to prevent people from voting, it is about having different rules for different groups. There are Conservatives among the student body at the U of G, many at the Agricultural College. But it is true that young people are more likely to vote Liberal, because they are young and lack life experience. People are more likely to become Conservative as they age and begin to understand the world.

There should be a table at the center of every University campus to register people to vote, but there's no reason to have this mobile polling station at the University in the middle of the campaign. If you do, you have to set them up in communities across the polling district (which substantially multiplies the cost of an election). Also, one of the reasons we encourage people to wait until election day to vote is that it is at the end of the campaign. Some people change their minds, and there is an advantage to letting the campaign run its course before everyone votes. You can learn new information. Shouldn't we encourage people to learn as much as possible before they vote?

Harper's Smear Campaign

Any respect that I had left for Helena Guergis vanished on Friday in her weepy press conference where she accused the Prime Minister of engaging in a smear campaign against her. Not only do I agree with her expulsion from cabinet and ultimately caucus, it is absurd to accuse the PM of a slanderous effort to discredit her. Her husband was using her office to lobby for government contracts, and he was advertising on his website that he had special access to the PMO. That's the biggest reason Helena got the boot, not some evil conspiracy to end her career. We can say that people should not be held responsible for the actions of their spouse, but they certainly should if they are a member of parliament and their spouse is using their office for lobbying purposes.

In the limited television I watched on Friday, I did not see anyone in the media talking about how the Guergis family was all but wiped out in her region in the last round of municipal elections due to conflict of interest allegations on a controversial land development initiative.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Tory operatives crash Ignatieff barbecue in Eastern Ontario"

Some Tory volunteers show up at an Ignatieff BBQ to celebrate the anniversary of his pledge to raise taxes, and the story in the Globe is about evil "Tory operatives". Right, because the people who show up to protest Conservative events never have any party affiliation or have received any direction from their party. I don't recall the last time the Globe published an article with the title "Liberal operatives crash Tory event". This is what happens when you allow Jane Taber to "set the agenda". People show up to protest a Liberal event and it is party operatives, but people show up to protest a Tory even and it is grassroots. Gloria Galloway is almost as biased as Taber, with Southey and Bryden rounding out the quartet of Liberal partisans at the Globe's politics section. May as well add John Ibbitson to the list. Nobody has ever accused him of being fair and balanced...


Another controversy comes and goes before it ever really started. A misguided Tory campaign volunteer sent out an e-mail encouraging people to wear ethnic costumes at the day's political rally. This created a furor in a short period of time, including a Facebook movement to protest the rally. It was hyped all day in the media. By the time the even was underway, a whole 20 people had showed up to protest. There were more journalists than protesters. This was a bigger deal in the media bubble than it was to Canadians, as the comment was more bizarre than offensive. Ignatieff was on TV shortly after this became a story accusing the Prime Minister of ordering the "ethnic costume" order personally. Classy.

This controversy fizzled out before I even got a chance to write about it.

Friday Guergis Day

If you did not think that Helena Guergis would become a story in this campaign, you thought wrong. Helena has obtained the letter the PM sent to the RCMP leading to her dismissal from caucus, and she has provided that to the CBC. She is expected to a major story on Friday (which is clearly her intent), as the Liberals will undoubtedly attack Stephen Harper for dismissing Helena without sufficient evidence of criminal wrong doing. Meanwhile, we will see if the CBC shows any clips of what the Liberals were saying about Helena in Question Period prior to her dismissal when they were demanding she be fired. Pay really close attention to what Marlene Jennings was saying.

This is all fine and dandy, but allegations of drug and hooker trafficking had less to do with her dismissal than did her husband using her office and e-mail to lobby for government contracts and claiming to have access to the Prime Minister. Rahim Jaffer never had that access he boasted because he never received a contract.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Price Is Right In Montreal

Well done Carey Price, after getting booed by Montreal fans in the first period of the first home exhibition game; Carey carried the Habs throughout the season and into the playoffs with a shutout in the 1st game against Boston. At the time I blogged that "The Price Is Not Right In Montreal", and this post is a follow-up. Just remember Habs fans who now praise Price, it was not long ago that you irrationally blamed your goalie of the future for the Jaroslav Halak trade. Now we are in the playoffs, and I have not yet heard anyone longing for Halak's return to Montreal.

Jack Layton was in Montreal on the day of game 1, and Tweeted that he was going to a pub to watch the game. Just a warning to any patrons who find themselves near Jack Layton during one of these games, do not get between him and any cameras in the room. You risk personal harm to yourself. As we saw during the Olympic hockey, lucky Jack will dive in front of people to get his mug into the camera shot.

For additional sports commentary, you can check out my sports blog. It is something I have been experimenting with since November.

Who Won The Debates?

With both debates now behind us today's poll question is who do you think won? The early Nanos poll numbers show a very large spike in Stephen Harper's competency rating. Prior to the debates 35% of Canadians thought Harper was the most competent of all the leaders. After the debates that jumped to 48%. Nanos even joked that they had to extend their "y axis" in their leadership rating graph. Immediately following the French debate, even Chantal Hebert was crediting Harper with the best line of the night, so you know it had to be a great night for the Tories.

Ignatieff is said to have performed better in the French debate than the English, unfortunately a lot more people watched the English debate. Nanos said that roughly 1/3 of Liberal supporters think Harper is the most competent, though that has not yet translated to the national party polling numbers. 20% of Liberals now think Harper has the best vision for Canada.

NDP Attack Ad: Two Thumbs Up

Well done NDP for airing a campaign ad about Ignatieff's poor attendance in the House of Commons. The coalition friendship is not all sunshine and lollipops. Despite being a blogger who apologetically engages in coalition "fear mongering" (as Jane Taber would say), I have enjoyed this line of attack by the Layton team against the Ignatieff regime. This ad is clearly designed for those handful of ridings where the Libs and Dips are going head to head, like Outremont and Parkdale. In the many non-compete seats however, the weakest coalition link is often running absentee campaigns. The Libs won't lose many votes to the NDP in Ajax-Pickering, where the local dipper decided to take a vacation in the middle of the campaign.

"Ignatieff’s rebuke of Harper majority hailed as Liberal ‘turning point’"

Interesting headline at the Globe and Mail Wednesday, where Iggy was being praised for a victory in the 2011 English language debates. Who is their source? The Liberal campaign manager. The fact that it came from Donollo is not included in the headline, and headlines always gets more attention than what is written inside the article. The headline as it stands is extremely misleading, because it is the opinion of the person running the campaign. Dimitri Soudas, the top guy for Stephen Harper thought that the Tories won the debate, but Jane Taber didn't turn a Soudas victory statement into a national headline. Jane is quite an active spokeswoman for the Ignatieff regime, which is becoming even more apparent during an election period.

The Globe happens to be running a webpoll pointing to Stephen Harper as the clear winner of the leader's debates. Instead of applauding Harper as the winner, Taber is trying to spin the debates as a historic turning point for Ignatieff. There is nothing wrong with having a partisan opinion, so long as you state your partisan leanings prominently on your posts. Pretending to be impartial when you are anything but is disingenuous. The same applies to Kady O'Malley.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ignatieff Photo Caption Contest

As per request, I'd like to try a photo caption contest with this particularly goofy photo of Ignatieff. It looks like he's trying unsuccessfully to do the Macarena, or like he's auditioning for a background spot in a Vanilla Ice video. Or maybe he just really wants to be a T-Rex when he grows up? There are many ways you could go with this one.

The Secret Handshake of Russian Aristocracy: a high five followed by a knee in the "package"

Liberals Trail NDP In Quebec

Ouch, more bad news for Ignatieff on the day of the French language debates. According to Nanos the NDP has now overtaken the Liberals in popular support in Quebec, which once upon a time was a Liberal stronghold. Even with the Dippers polling higher, the Liberals will win more seats than their socialist counterparts because most LPC support is efficiently concentrated in the Montreal area. Polling in 4th place in the 2nd most populated province virtually eliminates any probability that the Liberals win even a minority government.

The irony here is that the Tories were supposed to be wiped out in Quebec for not pledging tax money for the new arena. Iggy came out before the election and opportunistically announced that he'd help pay for it. Now here we are halfway through the campaign and Team Ignatieff is plummeting in la belle province. We will see what happens on election day, but it seems like every time we have an election these days, Chantal Hebert predicts the death of the Tories in Quebec at the start of the campaign. How many times does she have to wrong before she admits that she is not as in tune with the average Quebecker as she purports; but rather her own circle of friends. It is as they say, birds of a feather flock together.

All this being said, the French language debates tonight can change everything.

Coalition Campaign Strategy

Over the past week I have travelled through roughly a dozen Vancouver area ridings, and there was a very noticeable trend in campaign sign distribution. In Liberal ridings there were comparatively few NDP signs (unless the Tory candidate is a non factor), and in NDP ridings there were very few Liberal signs. There are some ridings where the NDP and Liberals are competitive and there is an equal distribution, but in most that I visited it was obvious that the weaker coalition partner was not making a full effort to win the other's seats. The Liberals are afraid to make a formal public non-compete agreement with the NDP, but there are non-formal ways to encourage "strategic voting".

Has anyone else noticed similar trends elsewhere in the country? When the election is over Elections Canada will publish a final tally of money spent by each party in each riding, but I'm not sure that money alone is an adequate metric to quantify how much effort a party has made in a riding to get elected.

Duceppe Bombs

Chantal Hebert declared the 2011 English language debates the worst ever performance at a debate for Gilles Duceppe in his long tenure as Bloc leader. I'm not often inclined to agree with Chantal, but on this point her analysis is absolutely correct. Duceppe was so bad it was funny, or at least would have been funny if not for the balance of power this man could posses in a coalition government. Gilles answers were all fluff and he struggled with his word selection more than usual. That being said, there really is little risk to him in the English debates, as his livelihood depends on the French debates.

The part where he was praising multiculturalism was a bit rich coming from the province of language police that is more assimilation heavy than any other part of Canada. If you aren't moving here from a French speaking country you will struggle living in Quebec, especially if you are an entrepreneur.

By the way, the Bloc should not be included in the English debates.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great Canadian Debates 2011

Congrats to Stephen Harper on a job well done in tonight's leader's debates, where he was calm, cool, and collected while Ignatieff just came across as a grumpy old man. To those pundits who presumed that Iggy was a great debater because he went to college have to be a little bit embarrassed after Tuesday's performance. Jack Layton did surprisingly well, I'd say the best showing I've seen of him since he became NDP leader. The best moment of the night came when Layton cornered Ignatieff on missing 70% of votes in the House of Commons. Iggy had no clever retort and was clearly not expecting this question, as his response was just an angry "how dare you lecture me on Democracy". It was the closest thing to a knockout punch.

Listening to some of the analysis, the consensus is that Ignatieff lost (if you don't count Duceppe, who was so bad it was almost funny). In the French debates, Harper and Layton need to just do what they did tonight, while Iggy needs to take a sedative of some sort and try to be more like Harper. Many are saying that he missed an opportunity to discuss and present the Liberal platform. He spent too much time on the offensive and came off as uncomfortably abrasive. Mansbridge was making jokes about the opposition trying to "provoke angry Steve", but nobody had to "provoke angry Mike"; he was proudly displayed for all to behold. Of course Mansbridge was trying to spin the results as Harper getting lucky with podium placement. Whatever helps you sleep tonight Peter.

Harper and Layton won, Ignatieff and Duceppe lost. I'm glad that Elizabeth May was not invited.

The Demise Of The PC Party

The PC Party is almost dead, as they will only be running 7 candidates in 2011, down from 25 in 2006. No I'm not talking about the Progressive Conservatives, I'm talking about the Progressive Canadians which was founded after the merger of the PC and Alliance. You know, that small cabal of so-called Tories who favoured continued vote splitting on the right to produce more Liberal governments; but alas that dream is slowly coming to an end. Sunday night I watched the first installment of "The Kennedy's", which was entertaining. There was the part about JFK's first congressional victory where his dad paid to have someone run for congress that had the exact same name as JFK's chief opponent. It is comparable.

In other news, the Work Less Party is not running any candidates in 2011. It must have been too much effort.

Your Opinion Of Ignatieff?

Today's poll question; how has your opinion of Ignatieff changed since the beginning of the election, is it more or less favourable, or unchanged? Clearly he is becoming more angry on the campaign trail, and despite all these false and premature controversies, poll numbers aren't changing. He does not seem to be winning over many fans, especially among the right of center. Thus far it appears the only people the Liberals are wooing is the soft NDP vote. The timing of these alleged controversies is very convenient, like the Liberals are deliberately trying to re-create the effect of Goodale being investigated by the RCMP during the 2006 campaign. Those were the comparisons in the press gallery yesterday. They really want it to be so.

Questions About Auditor General Draft Report Leak Timeline

What fortunate timing for the Liberals that this incomplete draft of an Auditor General's report on G8 spending was leaked to the media right before the debates. The Liberals were expressing shocked outrage on Monday, but they were fully aware of this report's existence because it was thoroughly debated in a government committee that included the opposition parties. At some point a few months ago it was obtained by a Liberal supporter and later leaked to Joan Bryden at the most strategic date possible. Otherwise the Liberals would not have been allowed to talk about this report, but instead yesterday it was all they were talking about.

AG Sheila Fraser was upset that the report had been released prior to the final draft, because that draft was still in the fact checking phase. It was not prepared for release to Canadians as the investigation was incomplete. I'm curious to know when did the committee discuss this report, and when did unknown source first obtain it? The committee was likely closed to the public because it discussed a report that was not permitted to be released to the public. I'd really like to know more about that time lag when it discussed versus when it was obtained. Given that this report was illegally leaked, there will almost certainly be some kind of formal investigation into the timeline of this convenient confluence of events.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Communist Party Of Canada Fallen On Hard Times

What a sad day. The Communist Party of Canada has been reduced to just 19 candidates out of 308 ridings in the 2011 election. By comparison the Marxist-Leninist Party is running almost as many candidates as the Bloc Quebecois. The heady days of top-down authoritarian socialism appear to be over in favour of a more bottoms-up populist approach. The times they are a changing. The Commies are actually one of our oldest active parties, born in 1924, 30 years older than the NDP. It would make perfect logical sense for the Commies, Marxists, and Dippers to merge into a socialist super party. This vote splitting on the far far far left is dragging them all down.

G8 Spending-Gate

Winston Churchill used to say, "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on". Today a Liberal allied bureaucrat illegally leaked an incomplete draft report from the Auditor General alleging a misleading of Parliament on G8 Summit spending. The media has been going bananas. This prompted Sheila Fraser to come out and say that this report should not have been released because it was still in the fact checking stages and that the public should be cautioned to wait for the final report.

Barney Fife at CTV was trying to make it sound like the Tories were trying to funnel money into Tony Clement's riding for partisan purposes. The headline on Power Play was "Tories may have broken law on G8". It is irresponsible to draw any conclusion about alleged criminal activity until the investigation is complete, when all you have is an early draft from the middle of an audit that had yet to be fully fact checked. There's a reason these reports are supposed to be kept secret until they are finished, but I suppose the Liberals were desperate and one of their supporters obtained and leaked a document from an incomplete investigation.

At the time of the Summit, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page (certainly no friend to the PMO) reviewed the Summit budgets and concluded that all the spending was reasonable, albeit expensive. Yes the Summits were expensive because we ambitiously planned to host two Summits at once, and many people on both the right and left were against this before it even took place. It is perfectly reasonable for anyone to be opposed to Canada hosting the Summits, but going so far as to allege fraud or some criminal activity is premature if not absurd.

The Conservative Party said today that they would like the final report released, and they wouldn't be saying that if they knew they had done something wrong. CTV News is running this story every ten minutes on a loop. I did not watch Soloman today, but I'm guessing it is all he talked about. He gets pretty worked up about G8-gate.

Liberals Postpone June Convention

So the Liberals had planned a convention in June but have decided that it needs to be postponed. Thank you Alberta Ardvark. This decision is unlikely to have anything to do with conspiracy theories or signalling a coalition, so much as the Liberals are going to bankrupt themselves in this early election they decided to force. Conventions are expensive. I was more shocked to hear that the Liberals had planned a June convention than I was to hear it had been cancelled. If the Tories win a majority, there will be a Liberal leadership convention in the next 6 months. If the Tories win a minority, we will see who becomes Prime Minister...

If You Could Ask Iggy 1 Question...

If you had the opportunity to ask Liberal leader Ignatieff one question in the upcoming leaders debates, what would it be? Remember that Stephen Harper will have a chance to respond to Iggy's answer, and the two could even debate your question one on one. If I could ask him something it would be on raising corporate taxes lowering TSX stock values and thus Canadian retirement savings. Why did the Liberals decide to attack pensions starting at Thinkapalooza?

What would be your question?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

NDP Platform; Spend! Spend! Spend!

After seeing the NDP unveil their policy platform, my first thought was of the terrible fiscal horror that would befall Canada if Jack Layton ever became Finance Minister. It is unclear what Jack's role would be in a coalition government, but I would like to hear Ignatieff rule out Layton for Finance. It would help me sleep at night. John Ivison at the National Post wrote a piece noting the number of similarities between the Liberal and NDP platforms. Clearly the Libs have shifted to the left prior to any coalition attempt to make it a smoother transition. This shift has been a slow gradual creep which started at Thinkapalooza.

The closed doors meetings at Thinkfest 2010 seems to have produced a consensus that the Liberals need a more socialist platform; be it to woo NDP voters or narrowing the zone of agreement to where both parties agree on most issues and can work together more effortlessly.

Holland Vs Alexander On Question Period

Just a few moments ago, the Tory candidate in Ajax-Pickering Chris Alexander had a one on one debate with Liberal incumbent Mark Holland. This high profile race has been garnering much attention in the media, amid accusations that Mr. Alexander has been avoiding the press. He is running in his first ever campaign, while opponent is now in his 4th campaign. Holland has a significant experience advantage as the go to Liberal political pit-bull, while Alexander has the disadvantage of being a really nice guy. When they were debating with Jane Taber moderating, Holland continuously interrupted when Chris was talking. Alexander was much more diplomatic, allowing his opponent to speak until he was finished.

Holland was being Holland. Debating him is like trying to nail jello to the wall as he was all over the map on law and order. The day that the controversy exploded about the Liberal candidate who wants to show more compassion to sex offenders, Holland made an erroneous statement that the Libs would not oppose many of the Tory crime bills waiting to pass into law (which is contrary to what Ignatieff has said). When asked about the contradiction, Mark said there was no contradiction and then transitioned into a rant about California mega prisons.

This is going to be a tough campaign for Chris Alexander. I really hope that the nice guy finishes first, because Mark Holland is an asshole.

Ignatieff Telling Lies?

For the first 10 days of the campaign, Ignatieff was travelling around the country saying "if you stop telling lies about me, I'll stop telling the truth about you", a line borrowed from American politics. After the Tories released their platform (which included no cuts to health care) Iggy started speculating that the Conservatives would make massive cuts to health care. Basically you have Iggy running around making accusations without any promise, indication, or historical evidence to support his conclusion. It is 100% speculative. What happened to telling lies versus telling the truth?

At least with coalition speculation, there is a written signed agreement which has yet to expire, and an on-air statement by Ignatieff that he's willing to lead a coalition government. There is at least a historical basis to talk about future coalitions. These health care accusations by Ignatieff are completely out of left field and smells like desperation.

Iggy's Debate Vulnerabilities

Today's poll question; where is Ignatieff most vulnerable in this week's debates? There are plenty of options to choose from; is it on the coalition, taxes, arena funding, cap and trade, poor candidate vetting, the military, law and order, flip flops, trust, or so on and so forth? Some in the media speculate that Iggy is a great debater because he out foxed Stephane Dion on stage. Congrats Mike, you beat one of the most pathetic leaders ever elected to Liberal leadership. I would include you in that group, but you were never elected Liberal leader by the rank and file. Back room coup explains your succession.

I know this is one of those polls where many would like to select multiple answers, but for simplicity sake, just tell me where you think he is most vulnerable.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ignatieff Now The Angry Man

After the first week of the election campaign, Jane Taber described Prime Minister Stephen Harper as "very angry". Liberal leader Ignatieff however was given a general thumbs by the media for running a positive effective campaign. Now at the end of week 2, the wheels have started coming off the bus for the Liberals while the Tory leader is coming across as more confident and relaxed. The Libs have been in constant damage control with controversies exploding at the riding level thanks to drunk drivers, a white supremacist, and a kook who thinks we need to show more compassion to sex offenders. Ignatieff is starting to show his desperation and frustration on stage, becoming angrier and angrier it seems with each appearance.

He's even getting on stage making up total lies about Tory policy. He claims that the Conservatives are going to slash healthcare spending, despite the fact this is not in the Tory platform. He is alleging an alternative motive. Meanwhile, when Tories muse about the opposition parties attempting to form coalition government, the Liberals flip out calling the Tories liars. But hey, it is okay when the Liberals make up lies about the Conservatives, right?

Harper Goes Bollywood

Just two days after the Liberals had to sack a Quebec candidate for founding a white supremacist organization, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a public appearance with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar in Brampton Ontario. This event was not very far away from embattled Liberal Ruby Dhalla, who happens to be a failed Bollywood performer. After her career as a dancer flopped, she later became involved in politics. This kind of high profile event with a popular Punjabi star can only hurt the Liberal Party in Greater Toronto.

Nice to see the Prime Minister supporting the arts.

"Canada and India are much closer today, not just business-wise, but also culturally, and this is all because of your leadership and commitment," Kumar told Conservative leader Stephen Harper at a Brampton, Ont., movie theatre where fans gathered to watch his latest film 'Thank you.'

"I want to dedicate this film to the prime minister," Kumar said, before dancing on stage with Harper's wife, Laureen.

NDP Free Falling In Ontario

On Friday Nanos released new polling numbers that show the NDP has fallen below 15% nationally, which is enough for them to lose about 15 seats. Most of their loses appear to be in Ontario, and could be a signal of pending catastrophic collapse on the morning of May 3rd. This begs the question, why did the NDP even want an election? Their performance in the November byelections were also devastating. Between that and their leader's recovery from multiple health issues, it would have behooved the NDP to reboot and wait a few weeks or months to force an election.

Was the NDP foolishly dismissing what was obvious to everyone else? Did they really think they were going to do well?

On Feb 8 I blogged:

"Truthfully the NDP should not want an election, unless their intent is to bleed enough votes to elect a Liberal minority with them as power brokers. The NDP unquestionably had more bargaining power in 2005 than 2010. I would expect federal parties to always do whatever they can to maximize their vote totals, but maybe it would be better for the Dippers if they donated some votes to the Liberals?"

Trump For President?

People are starting to talk seriously about Donald Trump being a viable candidate to run on the Republican ticket for President of the United States in 2012. Today's poll question; do you think Donald Trump would make a good President? He seems to be adopting the birth certificate conspiracy theory as his main campaign platform. At first he said he was skeptical and asked Obama to show his birth certificate, then after the ratings of his TV show went up, he doubled down and went all in. I'm not sure this is a winning strategy, and maybe this man is only flaunting himself as a possible Presidential candidate to boost show ratings and make more money. Forgive me if I do not immediately trust Trump's benevolence.What do you think?

Friday, April 8, 2011

NDP Shipbuilders

Jack Layton was in British Columbia on Friday praising his party's commitment to building ships, as the only party with a "shipbuilding critic". Perhaps Jack didn't get the history lesson, but the NDP have a horrific record of shipbuilding in BC. Many BC residents still remember those ambitious relics of 1990s NDP rule, the Pacificat Ferries. The “Manhattan Project” that went horribly awry and arguably represents one of the single largest provincial fiscal f**k-ups in the history of Confederation. Even the Bricklin SV-1 looks like a brilliant idea by comparison.

While the Catamaran Ferry is an efficient design and the province clearly needed new ferries, the NDP insisted that they be built in BC by their loyal friends over at the Ship Workers Union. Rather than take advantage of the comparative advantage of International Trade, they awarded the project to a partisan union that had no experience building this type of vessel. The average Joe may view the decision to “keep the jobs in BC” as noble and productive, but sometimes the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Why buy 3 high quality boats from Germany at a lower cost, when you can buy 3 pieces of shit for twice the price? Once these little aquatic Hindenburgs hit the water the mess went from bad to worse. The boats never functioned properly, the budget flew out of control, plagued by mechanical problems, and their wakes hit the BC waterfront with the force of a minor tsunami.

By the time these marvels of stupidity were decommissioned in 2003 less than 5 years after rolling off the assembly line, the NDP had already been guillotined by the Campbell Liberals. While Layton has to offer some nuggets to NDP members down on the docks, the rest of the country should not be taking advice on building ships from the NDP. Last year these boats were purchased by the United Arab Emirates for pennies on the dollar.

Je me souviens...

Debate Predictions?

The next poll question; on what issue will the knockout punch be delivered in next week's debates, if there is any knockout punch at all? In Vegas I'm sure the smart money would be on no knockout punch being delivered by any leader, but where is Ignatieff most vulnerable? With some suggestions from you, I plan to launch this poll later this evening. Personally I think Iggy's biggest vulnerability is the link between tax cuts, market performance, and pension value, considering his flip flop on the tax policy. Granted, I don't know if something as dry as economics will result in a Mulroney-Turner moment.

If this becomes a debate about ethics, well suddenly Iggy has been on the defensive with several ethical controversies at the riding level. Drunk drivers, a white supremacist, and someone who thinks we need to show more compassion towards sex offenders. The weakness of the Liberal vetting process is an asset to Stephen Harper in the debates.

Tories Let Protesters Into Rally

On a campaign stop in Hamilton on Thursday, a group of people protesting outside were invited into a Tory rally. The Prime Minister apologized for some people previously being denied access to events by the RCMP and is trying to be more inclusive. The Prime Minister would be advised to proceed with caution however, as this will encourage the loony left to start showing up at Tory events in greater quantity for a chance to get on TV. As the wise philosopher Jim Lahey Trailer Park Supervisor once said; "When you plant shit seeds, you get shit weeds". Consider yourselves warned, this new "let the protesters in en masse" strategy could backfire in a hurry.

Across town on the same day the leader of the Liberal Party was busy apologizing for comments made by one of his candidates that we need to show more compassion to sex offenders. The candidate will be allowed to stay on the ballot, as the Liberals continue to target the soft on crime demographic. We should be sending criminals and sexual deviants to University, not prison. This will inevitably create heaven on earth.

"Do not let spacious plans for a new world divert your energies from saving what is left of the old."

-Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Liberals Soft On Sex Offenders

After a strong first week on the campaign trail, suddenly we are finding out that the Ignatieff Liberals have surrounded themselves with candidates who have morally flawed personal opinions. The latest is an Alberta Liberal who does not believe in mandatory minimum sentences for sexual offenders, and that some sexual offenses deserve no prison time at all. According to this Liberal, getting into bed with a girl without her consent and fondling her genitals should not carry with it any prison term. Iggy says we can reduce crime by sending offenders to University instead of jail, exciting news I'm sure for parents of young girls leaving home to get an education. Expanding our prison capacity and getting tough on crime is supposedly irresponsible. Instead the answer is sending everyone to University. Because nobody with a University degree has ever committed a crime.

Do you want to show sexual offenders more compassion? Vote Liberal. Do you want to put sexual offenders in prison? Vote Conservative. The Liberal Party of Canada, soft on sexual assault. I'm sure that will help them with female voters. Oh, and the Liberal candidate who made these comments is being allowed to stay on the ballot. Team Ignatieff, showing compassion to perverts, drunk drivers, and racists.

On Pensions And Corporate Tax Cuts

In March of 2010 corporate tax cuts passed in the Canadian budget with the approval of the Liberal Party. The Liberals flipped their position about a month later at Thinkapalooza after initially supporting the cuts. The position they initially supported but flipped on is now among their top fiscal complaints in the 2011 election. They are now promising to pay for all their spending promises by reversing tax cuts they helped pass in last year's budget. Just out of curiosity, how has the TSX (Canada's top stock exchange) fared in the last 13 months? It has gained over 2,200 points from 12,000 to over 14,200.

There has been a lot of talk about pensions in this election, both securing them and increasing their payout. So how much is the CPP invested in Canadian stocks and bonds? 75%? The Canada Pension Plan has recovered all its losses from the 2008 meltdown, plus profit, thanks in part to a lowering of the corporate tax rate. The large majority of Canadians pay into the CPP, and virtually all are entitled to it when they retire. Raise corporate taxes, lower the value of the CPP, and lower the amount they have to cover guaranteed Canadian pensions.

Sure, anyone is welcome to condemn Canadian banks as greedy capitalists, but how much does the CPP have invested in those banks? I'm guessing it is substantially above 0. Lowering taxes on banks increases their value and thus increases the value of the CPP and Canadian mutual funds. Do you own shares in a mutual fund? How much does your mutual fund have invested in Canadian business?

Just in case you weren't following at home, the TSX has almost doubled in value since its low point in early 2009. Remember that so-called "Great Recession"? Aug 1st 2008 a month ahead of the global market collapse, the TSX was trading at 13,645. April 1st 2010 it was trading at 14,118. If you want to talk retirement, how many of you have retirement investments? I'm guessing it has been a good two years.

Liberal-NDP Not Always Friendly

While we cannot disqualify the possibility of a left wing coalition forming in the event this election produces another Tory minority, the relationship between the Liberals and NDP is not always sunshine and lollipops. The Dippers exposed the Liberal white supremacist candidate in rural Quebec on Wednesday, just as Iggy happened to be in rural Quebec. This story derailed his day and a lot of his momentum. There are 10-20 ridings where the Lib-Dips are closely competing head to head, such as Outremont. I'm cheering for the Liberal candidate Martin Cauchon over Mulcair. Iggy almost split his Quebec caucus in two by appointing a hand picked candidate in the riding instead of the former Liberal Minister.

Mulcair is vile. I've had enough of him. I don't often cheer for Liberals, but in this case, I'll make an exception. By contrast, I'd like to see Peggy Nash take out Gerard Kennedy.

RCMP "Restricting Access" To Tory Events

Yesterday the RCMP announced that they have been actively restricting access to Conservative tour stops, begging the question who escorted Iggy's Facebook friend out of the London event? Was it an over-zealous party supporter, or a plain clothed police officer? There have been accusations among the punditry that this now infamous incident was perpetrated by a party "heavy", which may have been premature. There was talk from the beginning that the RCMP was involved, but that it was unclear how much. The next day the RCMP apologized for multiple "incidents", but did not fully clarify which "incidents" they participated in.

The young lady who was asked to leave the event got her 15 minutes of fame. The Liberals even made an internet attack ad about the incident before we even knew what role the RCMP may or may not have played. Iggy jumped all over it before we really knew much about what happened, and the media played into his hand. CTV News Channel showed an interview with the student about 20 times Tuesday night. The story about the Liberal white supremacist tossed from the ballot did not receive nearly as much coverage on the network. We shall see how this tale of two news stories evolves in the next week. The televised debates cannot come fast enough! There will be one on one debates during the main debates, so all those detractors claiming Harper is ducking Iggy can shut up. They will debate one on one.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The National Post's GeoPollster

The National Post has unveiled a new election tool that they call the GeoPollster. Their description of the tool is "cast your vote whenever you check in on Foursquare. It's easy! Sign up and choose which party you want to vote for. Each time you check in on Foursquare, GeoPollster will tally your vote." This isn't quite the CBC Vote Compass, but rather some kind of mobile polltracker that registers a "vote" whenever you check in with a local Foursquare.

I wanted to give GeoPollster a spin, but I've been having computer problems forced to run 10 year old versions of Windows and Internet Explorer that and can't run the program. Have other people tried it? What's the scoop? Is the GeoPollster any good? My computer has crashed 6 times since Monday night as its lifespan draws to an end. It was built in 2002, so we've had a good run. If I suddenly disappear from the blogosphere in the next few days, you know why. And yes, I will be accepting donations for the Iceman's "buy a new computer fund". Without a little help from my friends, I might not be blogging during the 2nd half of the election campaign.

Liberal White Supremacist Taken Off Ballot

Could you imagine the firestorm in the media if a Tory candidate in Quebec was discovered (after the nomination process) to be the founding member of a white supremacist organization? Well today the Liberal Party found themselves in exactly that situation, with Iggy having to pull a Quebec candidate for creating the Association for the Rights of Whites (I'm sure that won't help them with the immigrant vote). Evidently the Liberals aren't very diligent in their vetting process, forcing Ignatieff to spend most of the day in damage control (it took Mike 5-7 hours to turf the neo-Nazi). All it would have taken to find out who this guy was in the nomination process was a single Google search, but that's too much work for the Liberals.

I'd say this takes a little steam out of the "strong" Liberal campaign, unless "white power" was one of their intended slogans in rural Quebec. If you have been paying attention to the campaign, you'd know that the Liberals have been relentlessly attacking the Tories for allowing questionable characters to volunteer for the Party. Meanwhile the Liberals have questionable characters running for office, and that's much much worse than a plain and simple volunteer.

So somebody got asked to leave a Tory event. That's better than a white supremacist running under the Party banner.

Red River Threatens Election In Manitoba

The Red River is rising, and depending on how fast and furious the flooding is, it could massively complicate voting on election day. This flooding has been widely expected for months, so perhaps the Liberals and NDP should have considered the people of Manitoba before forcing an early spring election. Hopefully our federal government has enough power in the writ period to adequately respond to such an emergency, and may the people of Manitoba be safe. With any luck the winner of the federal election in Manitoba will not be decided by which party has the most canoes.

Be well Winnipeg.

Should Stephen Harper Attend Royal Wedding?

Prince William and his lovely bride to be will be married the weekend before the Canadian election. Today's poll question; do you think the PM should honour his invitation? If he does go, he will be relentlessly attacked by his opponents for leaving the country in a campaign, whereas staying in Canada has no risk. It is unfortunate that the Liberals and NDP forced this election before the royal wedding, because it would have been a very memorable international event to have our leader attending. As it stands, the smart move is to decline the invitation, which Harper has said he's going to do. Can he send his invitations to the Obamas?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Elizabeth Gets Lucky

After watching all the publicity that Elizabeth May has been getting since being denied a seat at the debates, you have to think this was really the best thing that could have happened to her. Basically right now she is getting plenty of air time on every radio and TV show talking about a single issue, her participation in debates. She's not out there lobbying for a carbon tax, shutting down the oil sands, or any of the nutty pieces of the Green platform. Her entire campaign has become solely about the debates, and she is getting far more time on the air waves than she otherwise would have.

I listened to her on Tuesday and a big part of her argument is that if the Bloc is in the Greens should be in. My contention is that neither should be in. Let the Bloc do the French debates, but not the English debates. I'd like to see the NDP dropped from the French debates. The all inclusive debates last year were convoluted. And I reject the idea that May should be there because Duceppe is there because I do not think the Bloc should participate. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Speaking of respect for Democracy, why isn't anyone in the media asking Elizabeth why she foricbly avoided a leadership review for two years? A leadership review was not in the best interest of Lizzy's Democracy. By the way, Green poll numbers have stayed flat since the announcement that the Greens were not invited to the debates. I don't think anyone really cares, and the people that are most likely to care vote Liberal or NDP. Jack and Iggy are taking her side, but the stronger the Green Party is, the worse it is for the other left wing parties. Jack won't come out and say he'll do better if Elizabeth weakens, but it is still true.


There seemed to be some shock in the media today that security screening takes place at our Prime Minister's public events, which even includes screening Facebook pages. It makes sense to me why the RCMP or CSIS would screen people attending events with the leader of our country, it even makes sense to look at Facebook pages for any signs of a predisposition to violence. But I don't think simply being Iggy's friend on Facebook is itself justification to get tossed. You need a better reason. If somebody visited her Facebook page and saw her picture next to Ignatieff, that can't be in and of itself a reason to bounce a student from the event. It would make sense if someone like Scott Reid wrote of Stephen Harper on his Facebook page "kill him, kill him dead", then yes, he should be shown the door.

Certainly the PM is not to blame if this student in London was tossed by police and security personnel. There is no way he micro manages on that level, no matter how much of a control freak his opponents accuse him being. I'll be interested to see if we find out more about this story in the next few days. It is a fact that the volume of people attending these tour stops is greater for the Tories than all the other parties combined. There are limited spots to see the Prime Minister speak, and a lot of demand to attend. Was this event at capacity? Were any party members waiting outside for a chance to get in? The Liberals and the NDP don't care who attends because they are desperate for people.

Dude, Where's Our Carbon Offsets?

The Conservative Party is not buying carbon offsets for the 2011 election campaign, and they are the only Party not to do so. Oh the humanity! That sounds like a great idea for a poll question; should taxpayer subsidies go to buying carbon offsets for political parties in election campaigns? The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc are largely dependent on vote subsidies from tax payers to fund their campaigns, and they are buying carbon offsets. Frankly, I don't really care what political parties want to do with their own money, but once vote subsidies are involved, I become a little more frugal. It is best if we just cancel the vote subsidies altogether.

Harper Campaigning In Quebec

Today Stephen Harper is campaigning in the province of Quebec. Hold on a second, hasn't everyone been saying that the Prime Minister has given up on Quebec? The lack of arena funding, the support for Newfoundland electrical infrastructure, and no HST payout were all supposed to be evidence that the PM was intentionally tanking Quebec to pick up seats elsewhere in Canada. So how is it that the Tories are beating the Liberals by over 7% in the Q?

This is yet another example of how polling data is not fitting the story being told by the media. We were told that the Tories had a terrible week 1, but they went up in the polls. Iggy was supposedly on fire but his trustworthy numbers are free falling. The Conservatives were supposed to be vulnerable in BC on the unpopular HST, but they are sitting at almost 50% support on the left coast. Public opinion is not supporting what the media is saying.

Monday, April 4, 2011

CBC Vote Compass: Over 1 Million Responses

The CBC is now boasting on their website that their Vote Compass has had over 1 million responses. Of course 1 million responses doesn't mean 1 million people, as many take the test multiple times frustrated that it isn't aligning them with the party they support. Evidently it is really difficult to get the test to say you are NDP. The data I'd like to see that isn't posted on the CBC website, what percentage of that over 1 million were told that they most closely align with the Liberals? Granted, I'm sure I'd have to do an Access to Information request to obtain that information, and even then they'd probably deny it on the basis of "artistic integrity".

If I were a computer programmer, I'd write a program to take the test 100 times with completely random answers and see what the results are.

Which Leader Do You Trust? Iggy Falls To 12.7%

When asked on Sunday which federal leader Canadians trust the most, Ignatieff was the answer for a whopping 12.7% of voters. That is down 4% from the previous poll. Unfortunately for the Liberals, they have been trying to frame this election as a matter of ethics and trust. It is difficult to attract voters on the basis of trust when so few trust the leader of the party, which probably explains their poor performance in the early days of Election 2011. This election is heading towards a Tory majority, and I believe that history will judge the Liberal decision to force an early election in 2011 as one of the most historic blunders in modern Canadian politics.

Iggy is running around the country saying we can't trust Stephen Harper, but few people trust Iggy, so what does that mean for his message?

Ignatieff = Trudeau 2.0?

Do you think that the current leader of the Liberal Party is the next Pierre Trudeau? Because John Ibbitson at the Globe and Mail is treating Red Book 2011 as though it is the glorious path back to "Trudeauville". By that he must mean massive increases in spending on social programs and higher taxation to pay for it. That's what Pierre Trudeau's legacy means to me, more spending and more taxes. Granted I don't remember much from his time in office, as he finally stepped down as Prime Minister before my 5th birthday. My memories of Bob Rae's Ontario are much more vivid and intense.
Last week a colleague at work asked me who would have to be Liberal leader for me to consider voting for them. I said that Bob Rae was the worst case scenario, but my favourite ex-Liberal is John Manley. For the record Manley was on TV after the writ dropped saying he supported the budget and it is ridiculous that we are having an election.

Jack Be Nimble

As we begin the second week of the campaign, I'd like to send my best wishes to Jack Layton. May you be in great health, running a strong campaign, and may you win back that 3% you lost to the Liberals in week one. Canadians are tired of minority governments, so we need a strong Jack Layton to help deliver a majority. Monday's rolling Nanos poll has the Tories up to 42% and the Liberals at 28%, which is majority territory. It looks like the Liberals lost a few votes to the Conservatives on the weekend. When the Tories are at 40%, the Liberals at 30%, and the NDP at 17%, that still projects to a few seats shy of a majority. 40%, 28%, 19% is majority territory. May the force be with you Jack!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ignatieff The Family Guy

The Liberals released their party platform on Friday which they are calling "The Family Pack". It is to the point where the current CTV news loop they're covering the announcement of a Tory athletic tax credit proposal with the headline "Liberals unveil family pack platform". Of course the Liberal platform also contains little nuggets from the Conservative budget. Iggy Poppins was on stage talking about the home reno tax credit like he just thought about it! The coverage he's getting from the media is generally positive from CTV and CBC, though John Ivison at the National Post did write "buyer beware".

Earlier fellow blogger Chasing Apple Pie was sarcastically comparing Ignatieff to Mary Poppins, but I think he might be more of a Peter Griffin. "Where are those good old fashion values on which we used to rely? 'Iggy' is a family guy! Lucky there's a man who, positively can do, all the things that make us...laugh and cry! He's a family guy!"