Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rob Ford "Is Legitimizing Hate"

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. Now the Globe and Mail is running an article that by going to his cottage for Canada Day, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is now enabling bigotry and legitimizing hate? Come on, seriously!? Ford did not make any discriminatory comments or say anything that could even be remotely construed as hate speech. He simply does not want to attend a parade where there will be naked men, and has his own family traditions on this annual holiday weekend. The people making the big fuss about this aren't the bigots, but rather the media. If the bigots are indeed emerging from their hiding places, the blame rests in the microphones and keyboards of the media members sensationalizing this story.

If Rob Ford were trying to outlaw the pride parade or even enforce laws against public nudity, then sure you could draw the conclusion that he were "attacking" the festival, but that's not the case. He's going to his f**king cottage people, not herding anyone up to be sent to concentration camps. The clowns at the Globe and Mail need to relax.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"How The Grinch Stole Canada Day"???

I suppose Kady O'Malley deserves some credit for the clever title of her latest blog post, I just fail to see what's the big deal about the Canadian embassy in Washington reducing its holiday party budget. Seriously, do we really need large scale Canada Day parties in foreign countries? This does not strike me as an issue that will lead to people swarming into the streets for mass protests, even if the Beastie Boys once declared that you gotta fight for your right to party (there is speculation that some Canadian expats who weren't invited will be staging a protest at a nearby park). Truth be told, there just isn't much happening for Kady and friends to write about these days. With Filibuster 2011 behind us, why not write a piece about how the evil Grinch reduced funding for a party in Washington? And for the record the funding was reduced, not cut entirely. So perhaps a more appropriate title for Kady's post would be "How The Grinch Reduced Funding For Hot Dogs And Pop On Canada Day"...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lack Of Pride?

Today's poll question; should the Mayor of Toronto be made to attend the Gay Pride Parade? I must confess my own confusion that this seems to have become a scandalous controversy, yet here it was today as one of the major debate subjects on the Soloman Show. Whether or not the Mayor attends the event does not make it more or less enjoyable for those who are in attendance. Moreover, there is a significant of male public nudity at the parade, and people should have the choice as to whether or not they would like to see that, even the Mayor.

Besides, I'm willing to wager that the overwhelming majority of the people attending this parade are not fans of Rob Ford. Whether or not he would get booed, I can't imagine anyone being upset that a politician they don't like is not attending their event. If I were hosting a cultural event of any kind, my first thought wouldn't be "gee, I hope Bob Rae shows up". In fact I would enjoy my event more if the politician I despised did not attend.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Goodbye Power Play

CTV's Power Play is off the air for the rest of the summer, while Evan Soloman is still doing new shows on CBC Newsworld. Rather than find a summer guest host CTV is choosing to air no politics program over the summer break, which is a shrewd move. I'll be curious to see if the Soloman show plows right through the summer because there is precious little to talk about in the summer months when Parliament is in recess. Hopefully they at least claw him back to one hour. My cable provider (Telus) still does not carry Sun TV, so I am limited in my options for Canadian political television programming. It is funny listening to Libby Davies right now trying to explain how very important the NDP filibuster was at pressuring the government. Right, how did it end? It accomplished nothing and did not represent any victory whatsoever Libby.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Filibuster 2011 Over

Filibuster 2011 is now officially over with the NDP accomplishing nothing other than strengthening their union support and the Canada Post back to work legislation has passed. This is among the benefits of having a majority government. You can pass your legislation with the interests of the public held above the interests of a public employees union. Now the bill passes to the Senate, where there are no NDP Senators to filibuster. With the standoff concluded, we will be getting our mail again soon.

I'm willing to wager that we will see at least 2-4 more filibusters before the end of this majority parliament. Unable to block legislation, this dog and pony show is just about the only option the opposition has to make a point. What are our the final opinions of Filibuster 2011 and beyond? If you could use one word to describe the last 3 days, what would it be? Childish?

Friday, June 24, 2011

...And Going...

It is Friday night, and the filibuster of post office back to work legislation continues. I've just spent the last 10 minutes watching CPAC, and this is absolutely ridiculous, comically so. There might not be any cat calls, but these speeches are being drawn out and the NDP fails to see that the public on majority does not agree with their position. The NDP are playing to their union base instead of advocating a position that would benefit all Canadians who pay taxes and receive mail. This Andrew Cash is a clown. He's trying to sell his snake oil that the public is largely in support of the overpaid public union when polling shows that is not true.

Anyway, there is a ridiculous display on CPAC right now for you political junkies out there.

And They're Still Going...

The sun came up this morning and our members of Parliament were still up debating the back to work legislation for Canada Post. I can't remember the last time our Parliament pulled an all nighter, but it continues to move forward. This means that the NDP's 59 Quebec MPs won't be going back to their ridings for their sacred St Jean Baptiste Day (and rumour has it they aren't too happy about this). The debate of course is ideological pablum for the Dippers, union collective bargaining.

This filibuster is all for show, since the legislation is guaranteed to pass as soon as the opposition bag of tricks is empty. And if you are concerned for the health of your own MP, don't worry, the parties are facilitating this continuous debate in rotating shifts.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"It's Time For Change In Ontario"

The Ontario Conservative Party has begun airing new campaign ads on Canadian television, directly targeting Dalton "The Taxman" McGuinty on taxation. These ads are very well done and should be very effective leading up to the fall Ontario election. For more ideas, I think that they should develop an ad that frequently replays Dalton's 2003 campaign commercial pledge "I will not raise your taxes". One thing is for certain, it is definitely time for change in Ontario.

Layton Filibustering BC HST Referendum

A few weeks back when we were in our federal election campaign, Jack Layton was travelling British Columbia railing against the HST and the need to scrap the tax. Now here we are waiting to receive our referendum ballots in the mail to vote YES to scrap the tax, but we can't because there is no mail service. The federal government wants to force postal workers back to work (allowing us to hold our referendum), and what's the NDP doing? The Dippers are filibustering the legislation, postponing our much anticipated vote. Come on Jack, end the filibuster and let us receive our referendum ballots.

Regarding the HST, I never opposed merging the taxes, my fervent opposition was about the BC Liberals using it to jack up the cost of food, recreation, and various services by 7%. The federal government gave the Liberals the option not to add 7% to all these consumer goods, and that offer was declined. Things from gym memberships to haircuts did not need to become more expensive. You can charge two different rates. This isn't 1930. I'd rather modify the HST than scrap it altogether, but that is not an option on the referendum ballots we are waiting to receive.

Dropping the rate to 10% on all goods and services would easily offset the 7% increase on the smaller basket, I just don't trust the Liberals to do it. They have lied about the HST at every turn; first that they wouldn't do it (during an election campaign), and then the laughable claim that it would be revenue neutral. It is and always was a cash cow. Dropping the total rate to 10% nullifies the bulk of my complaint against the tax, but when I do finally receive my ballot I will be voting yes to scrap it because I'd like to throw some egg in the face of the BC Liberal Party.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Green Party In And Out Controversy?

Exactly how much money in the 2011 election campaign was diverted from other ridings to elect Elizabeth May in Saanich? All we know so far is that it was a lot of money, but as soon as Elections Canada calls the RCMP and raids Green Party headquarters we should get some answers. I will hold my breath in anticipation for this inevitable investigation into this possible subversion of the very foundation of our democracy.

The "Elizabeth or bust" strategy of the Green leadership might have won May a seat, but nationally the Greens received 40% fewer votes than they had in the last election. All those brave Green Party candidates coast to coast to coast paid a hefty price for Lizzy's success and were forced to suffer at the hands of this authoritarian regime. Great strategy. If we still had $2 vote subsidies, the 2011 results would have cost the Party a lot of money.

All that being said, as a Conservative I wish the Green Party all the best. I hope that they rise to %15 nationally. If the Greens can hit double digits in 2015, then we will get a second Conservative majority. Elizabeth May is a far greater threat to Jack Layton than to Stephen Harper, because the Greens and Dipps are competing for the same naive youth vote, communists, and anti-globalization activists.

Go Greens Go!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

In Bob We Trust?

The latest polling done by Nanos has both good news and bad news for the Liberal Party. On the trustworthy scale, a whole 8% of Canadians cited Bob Rae as the political leader they trust the most, which has to be near or beneath Ignatieff's worst rating (Iggy was at 13% a month before the election). Do you trust Bob Rae? That is today's poll question. Despite the poor trust numbers, the Liberals had fallen below 15% in the last poll done before Bob Rae became the leader and now find themselves at 22% support (gains coming at the expense of the NDP). The Tories meanwhile are polling at 42%, which is above their May 2nd election performance. Boy, that whole appointing Senators controversy is really hammering Conservative support...

Those trust numbers are a really bad start if Bob intends to seek permanent leadership. It isn't like Bobby just came back to Canada after a lifetime abroad, many Canadians (especially in Ontario) already know who he is and what he purports to stand for. Yet the gap between the Liberals and NDP was 18% on May 30th, and is just under 6% on June 21st. Warning to Jack Layton, objects in rear view mirror may be closer than they appear.

Stephane Dion Is Back!

According to Jane Taber's latest puff piece, former Liberal leader Stephane Dion "has a new bounce in his step" and it is official, "he's back". Ever since the timely departure of Ignatieff, Stephane has stepped out of the shadows to take a bigger role in the reduced Liberal Party. Last weekend he was even sent by Bob Rae to be the Liberal emissary at the NDP convention. It was a bit of a catch 22; on one hand Dion negotiated the deal for a coalition between the two parties in 2008, but he was also the architect of the Clarity Act (which is very unpopular with Jack's newly anointed Quebec caucus). Now that the NDP has absorbed the Bloc Quebecois, surely Mr. Dion's popularity in the Dipper caucus is not what it once was.

Is Stephane Dion "back"? Not really. He was just muzzled under Ignatieff (whether that was a direct order or self imposed), and now they are letting him speak in public again. It is not a matter of a rejuvenated Dion capturing hearts and minds, it is about a depleted Liberal Party with a shallow bench and lack of palatable options. Trust me, the Liberals aren't sending Dion out into the breach expecting him to revive a dying party, they are doing it because they have been reduced to 34 MPs and have a desperate lack of choices to choose from.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Good Year For The CBC

With record ratings during the Stanley Cup playoffs, the CBC's Hockey Night In Canada franchise raked in a boat load of revenue this spring. I don't know exactly how much they made, but I did hear Peter Mansbridge on CBC radio about 2 weeks ago saying that it was a very significant amount. If the CBC brought in substantial amounts of revenue this spring, does this mean we can reduce their tax payer funding next budget? They made lots of money, so we should give them less tax money. The things I've been reading from James Moore since the election has me discouraged that cuts will be coming anytime soon, which may be some advanced form of Stockholm Syndrome. The CBC has long been anti-Conservative, and many Tories would like to see them privatized, and yet our new Tory majority is increasing their funding. Can they even survive without the tax tit? As long as Canadian hockey franchises continue to succeed in the playoffs there will be a strong source of revenue, but most of their other programming is so terrible it is painful to watch. HNC and Dragon's Den are currently carrying the network.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

NDP Delegates Vote Down Resolution Forbiding Liberal Merger

The NDP introduced a resolution at their convention in Vancouver this weekend to outlaw any talks of merging with the Liberal Party, and the resolution was soundly defeated by the NDP delegates. There were strong emotions on both sides of the argument; one saying that the NDP should not abandon its socialist roots and move to the center, the other that uniting the left presents a growth opportunity. You may recall that very recently the NDP's self ascribed "socialist caucus" came out and demanded that the NDP should shift farther to the left now that they have burst into the "mainstream". You know, growing support by moving away from the center where the greatest plurality of voters exist.

Will there ever be a merger between the Liberals and Dippers to unite the left? Your guess is as good as mine. There are Liberals who support a merger and Liberals who oppose one, just as with the NDP. One thing we do know for sure is that a majority of NDP delegates are at least receptive to the idea of holding negotiations.

In June 2010 I asked:


Daydream Believers (23%)
New Socialist Party (21%)
Communist Party of Canada (20%)
Liberal Democrats (13%)
Lippers (11%)
New Ditheral Party (8%)

Happy Father's Day

Normally I would use this opportunity to brag about the unparalleled awesomeness of my own father, but today I'd like to send a proud shout out to all fathers. I love my dad. He has been a tremendous caregiver for my entire life, and I could not have been blessed with a better role model. But for all the praise and respect that my own father has earned, every father who participates positively in the lives of their children and go to great lengths to ensure their future success is abundantly deserving of praise and accolades. To all the deadbeats who knocked a girl up and walked away from future responsibility, f**k you. May karma bring you a shitty father's day. Simply busting a nut does not give you any honourable distinction.

I was blessed with a father who has done everything he could to improve the quality of my life and I thank the eye in the sky for being born to such a dedicated man. Dad, I love you, and I owe everything I am to you.

Liberals Delay Leadership Coronation 2 Years

Saturday the Liberal Party officially announced that it will wait 2 whole years before naming Bob Rae their permanent leader. Holding conventions aren't cheap, so it makes sense to delay the gala until the Party can reload its coffers (assuming they are even able to raise money going forward). It might not be 100% guaranteed that Bobby leads the Liberals into the next election, but I'd say there's at least a 75% chance. Unless the Liberals crash below rock bottom and file for bankruptcy before negotiating a merger with the NDP, Bobby is going to be the man. Yes there is opposition to his leadership within Liberal ranks, but where there's a will, there's a Rae...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why Frank Graves Was Wrong

On election day 2011 the Conservative party beat EKOS pollster Frank Graves final prediction by 6%, giving EKOS the distinction of being the most inaccurate Canadian polling firm at forecasting the May 2nd result. Frank was devastated and wanted to figure out what went wrong and what he discovered "raises worrying questions about the nature and future management of Canadian democracy" (in the words of Michael Valpy at the Globe and Mail). Why was he so wrong? Because Frank's methodology is so advanced that it is a more accurate reflection of voter preference than actual election results. Yes, Frank being wrong proves our democracy is broken, and he was wrong because he was too accurate.

Here's an idea, why even bother holding elections? Instead we can hire EKOS to poll a "random" sample of the population to decide who sits in our Parliament. We should trust Frank Graves more than the voting public, because some of the voting age public don't vote; and if the people who don't vote had decided to vote, it would hurt the Tories. That's the explanation anyway in quite a flattering piece by Mr Valpy.

"Mr. Graves has made a practice of going beyond other pollsters to tell the country's story, tracking Canadians' values, attitudes, generational conflicts and thoughts on everything from nationalism and the state to the role of emotion in politics, and class and age dispositions toward knowledge and morality."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What To Do With The Canadian Senate?

Today on Power Play the media panel discussed the upcoming Senate "reform" legislation to impose term limits, which allegedly might die in the Senate despite the Tory majority in both chambers of Parliament. This then led to speculation by Oliver and Ibbitson that if this legislation fails the Prime Minister might move to abolish the Senate altogether. There seems to be more support among the Premiers for abolishing the Senate than electing it; ergo it would be easier to pass a constitutional amendment to scrap it. I'm not convinced that Stephen Harper will change his strategy to abolition. Today's poll question; should the Canadian Senate be elected, abolished, or unchanged? I asked this question in January 2010, and 71% of respondents wanted an elected upper chamber. Has your opinion changed in the last 15 months? I support electing the Senate and giving the chamber more power and responsibilities. I do not support the Senate as it currently exists.

Here are the results from some of my previous poll questions on this subject.


Elect it (71%)
Abolish it (24%)
Hands off it (4%)


No (95%)
Yes (4%)
Undecided (1%)


Yes (76%)
No (24%)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vancouver Burning

Well the Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, and now downtown is burning. This city should be embarrassed and all these hooligans need to be brought to justice. Trust me, they were all captured on candid camera. To all the fans bracing themselves for another 11 years of Roberto Luongo for $60 million, I say sell sell sell. If Gillis can find a buyer, the future is Cory Schneider. When the Detroit Red Wings lost game 7 at home to Pittsburgh in 2009, there were no riots. Remember that Vancouver, for as much of a cesspool as Detroit is, they don't set their own city on fire when they lose. F**king Detroit has more decorum than Vancouver. That's all I've got to say...

Hockey Night In Vancouver

It is not very often that a Canadian city hosts a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals, but that's exactly what's happening tonight in Vancouver. You can expect tens of thousands to gather downtown in what promises to be a big party, whether or not it has a happy ending. They might need to declare Thursday a holliday. The good news is that Vancouver has won every game at home and historically the home team is 12-3 in the 7th game of finals, so there is reason to be optimistic. The biggest problem facing the Canucks right now is that they don't have a legitimate tough guy on their roster. When Shawn Thornton skates over center ice in the warm-up and shoots a puck at Luongo who is stretching on the side boards, somebody needs to clock that guy! The Canucks need a Gino Odjick or a Tiger Williams.

I'm confident the Canucks can win, depending on which Roberto Luongo shows up. Evidently he now sucks when he can't take a pre game walk along the sea wall. He'll get to take his walk today before the game.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Should NATO Remove Muamar Gaddafi From Power?

Today's poll question; should NATO remove Muamar Gaddafi from power in Libya? NATO has admitted that its goal is indeed regime change in this North African country, and that the alliance will use air power to help achieve this objective. Before we ask the extent to which Canada should participate, the big question is should NATO be in the business of removing tyrants from power? Does anyone doubt that the world would be a better place without Gaddafi, Assad, or Mugabe? I vote yes. Next stop Zimbabwe.

I'm sure there are Senate pages out there who would like to see NATO force be used to remove Stephen Harper from power. He stole the election and was not democratically elected. Right?

Canada's "50% + 1" Parliament

We have heard a number of left wingers in the last 2 months arguing that because the Tories did not receive "50% + 1" of the popular vote that they have a "false majority". The question is, what would Parliament look like if each MP had to win over 50% of the votes in their riding in order to be declared the winner? The answer is that there would be 107 Tory MPs, 36 Dippers, and 2 Liberals (both would be in Newfoundland). Fewer Than 50% of the people in Toronto Center voted for Bob Rae, so he really has a "false seat" and was not truly democratically elected. By all means, lets introduce more 50% + 1 provisions into our electoral law at the riding level, grassroots, because that will help the Conservatives more than anyone else.

Or here's an idea, why don't MPs who get at least 50% of the vote in their riding get an extra vote in the House of Commons? Only 2 Liberal MPs reached the 50% mark, one of those being Gerry Byrne. You might remember him, after Gail Shea was hit in the face with a pie by an animal rights activist, he wanted it declared an act of terrorism and prosecuted as such.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hudak Extends Lead

That's odd. After all the fuss over the idea of having inmates clean our streets, Tim Hudak has actually increased his lead over Dalton McGuinty to a full 6% (up from 3% in January). Either "chain gang-gate" was not as toxic and divisive as some pundits pontificated, or McGuinty's own toxicity just trumps all potentially negative policy announcements by the Tories. Is it that Dalton has become so unpopular that it doesn't really made what the Tories do? Right now Hudak is more or less maintaining a lead, not growing momentum; so I won't feel comfortable until I see the McGuinty Liberals hovering around the 30% line. The wildcard in this election will be the NDP.

The bad news for Hudak is that he only has the support of 40% of the province, and we all know that all politicians need 50% + 1 for any victory to be democratically legitimate.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

O'Malley And Barton "Live Blogging" Tory Convention

Has the CBC begun answering access to information requests, because I'd really like to know how much they paid Kady O'Malley and Rosemary Barton to "live blog" this weekend's Conservative convention. If you are unaware what "live blogging" is, one basically shows up at an event with a Blackberry and a Twitter account belting out 140 characters of wisdom every few minutes. This is where journalism is trending, and you can get paid to do it! Having both Barton and O'Malley present led to some riveting back and forth Tweeting between Rosie and Kady about John Baird's hair.

Here is a sample of their more Tweets...I mean live blogs...from the convention. For as much as I dislike both of these "journalists", Rosemary came off particularly clueless.

RosieBarton: Sheesh, that was a weird moment.

kady: Also, what on earth is going on with @JohnBairdOWN's hair? It's like a stealth pompadour.

RosieBarton: I must say, this convention is not really full of gripping debate.

kady: And -- oh, surprise surprise: everyone supports eliminating the per-vote subsidy -- other than a few BC'ers. They're just punchy.

RosieBarton: Oh! I hear the MP 5 may be singing O'Canada

kady: And now, a round of applause for Northern Ontario! Hurray! Also, Eastern Ontario! Take that, GTA

RosieBarton: I have no idea what Jacques Demers is talking about right now

kady: Alert the local patios. @wmcbeath: Hmm... 2,000 delegates heading for coffee early?

RosieBarton: I saw @DeanDelMastro!!

kady: Oops -- it appears that the #CPC11 closing ceremonies have gotten underway a wee bit ahead of schedule, thus causing me to miss the start.

kady: Alright, the co-chairs have now congratulated the delegates and each other, and been congratulated in return. It's pretty much over

kady: Yes, that means I'm going to shut up for a while. But I do hope you enjoyed the coverage!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

When Should Stephen Harper Retire?

Here we are, not even 2 months into a Conservative majority government and already the media is clamouring about the heated race to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the Party. I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that Mr. Harper was retiring anytime soon. Today's poll question; when should Stephen Harper retire? He's only 52 years old, so he has at least 20 years of productivity left if he even wants to keep the job that long. Prime Minister is a very difficult and demanding job. If he leads the party into the next election and wins another majority, why would he leave before 2020?

What if the Tories win 4-6 consecutive majorities? That will not be as difficult as it sounds once we destroy the Liberal Party. Should we continue with the status quo for the next 2, 3, or 4 majorities? I think we should retain the services of Stephen Harper for at least 3 more majorities. Who should be the next leader of the Conservative Party? Get back to me in 2025...

And yes, my tongue was in my cheek writing this post, responding to the latest media speculation of a behind the scenes power struggle to replace Stephen Harper.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Should Leaders Be Chosen At Conventions?

Today's poll question; what system should be used to elect political leaders at leadership conventions? When the Conservatives replace Stephen Harper 10-20 years from now; should it be one member one vote, or should all ridings be weighted equally? This is currently being debated at the Conservative convention, with equal weighting for each riding association currently being the status quo negotiated when the PC and Alliance parties merged in 2003. There have been 3 attempts before to change the system, all of which have failed. The "all ridings created equal" system elected Stephen Harper as leader of the party in 2004.

There are pros and cons to both. Each riding has equal weight when we elect governments, and having such a system at the party level provides more regional diversity. However if delegate A is from a riding with only 100 members because it is not a strong Conservative riding and delegate B is from a riding with 10,000 members, then A's vote is worth 100 times more than B's. That hardly seems fair. I like elements of both systems and think there should be a compromise somewhere in the middle. Maybe we could have an "electoral college" with each province having a set number of votes?

The BC Liberal Party had equal weightings for all ridings in their recent leadership race, and it ended up electing the most left wing leadership candidate Christy Clark (which will prove disastrous for the party), with Christy carrying a large advantage in NDP held ridings.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Conservative Convention Kicks Off

The Conservative Party is kicking off their 2011 policy convention this weekend in Ottawa. I just finished watching John Baird's opening speech on CPAC and he was pretty jacked up. The CBC's Rosemary Barton assures us that the media will be shut out of all the meaningful closed-door discussions, so fear not if you miss the festivities; Rosie says you won't be missing anything substantive. This is really more a victory party than anything...

Eventually at some point I would like to attend a political convention. Today's poll question; have you ever attended a political convention? You can watch on CPAC. There is quite the jovial atmosphere. Jason Kenney is speaking right now, I gotta go. "Tory Toronto is back!" just got a standing ovation.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Should The Prime Minister Fly Commercial?

If the Prime Minister of Canada is flying somewhere on a personal trip, should he be flying on a commercial airliner? That is today's poll question. For security reasons he presently has to fly on a government jet if he wants to travel to a hockey game, and this seems to have angered CTV's Barney Fife. Elizabeth May is also furious about the Prime Minister's carbon footprint. Since I rarely agree with Lizzy on anything, the fact that she's pissed off gives me more confidence in the Prime Minister's actions. Perhaps we are far enough removed from 9/11 that hijackings are no longer a concern, with airport security advancing by leaps and bounds, that we can put a high value target like the leader of our country on a civilian airplane.

What do you think? Should the PM fly with the rest of us if he wants to make a personal trip? He is paying $1000 (the commercial airline equivalent of a flight to Boston) to fly on a government jet to attend the hockey game. This will not cover the whole cost of the private flight, and that's what had Fife so worked up on Power Play.

Stephen Harper Goes To Boston

In two short hours the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins will face off for game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals in Boston and the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper will be in attendance. This is a critical game for the Canucks who were blown out in game 3 and need to reclaim control of the series. Hopefully this will help motivate the team to maximize their performance, though I'm not sure all the Canucks European players hold any reverence for Canada's democratically elected leader. Harper was good luck during the Olympics, so it can't hurt.

The Prime Minister will be paying for his trip out of his own pocket, or at least what it would cost him if he were to fly commercial. For security reasons our leader flies on government jets which will cost more than the $1000 he's putting up. This begs the question whether or not our Prime Minister should travel on commercial airlines for personal trips. That's a good idea for a poll question. Are we far enough removed from 9/11 that hijackings are no longer a concern? Airport security has improved by leaps and bounds in the past decade; so is it now fair to expect our commander and chief to fly with the rest of us?

Go Canucks!

May Polling 2011 vol II

Here are the remainder of your polls for the month of May 2011. What cabinet seat is best suited to Maxime Bernier? Who will lead the Liberal Party into the next federal election? Should prisoners be put to work? Only 91% of you said yes, but according to at least one blogging tory you were tricked into supporting my opinion by my careful wording of the question. I'm sorry if I tricked you, as is alleged; but I tend to give my visitors more credit than that. My ardent opposition to Dalton McGuinty evidently makes me a blind cheerleader for Tim Hudak. Only 88% of you would like Tim Hudak to win this fall's Ontario election. Candice Hoeppner was voted the MP most deserving of a cabinet seat, but an equal number of you voted that cabinet is fine as is.

Here are the rest of the questions:


Any Conservative will do (54%)
Andrew Scheer (26%)
Lee Richardson (6%)
Undecided (4%)
Merv Tweed (2%)
Barry Devolin (2%)
Denise Savoie (NDP) (2%)
Bruce Stanton (1%)


Yes (91%)
No (5%)
Undecided (3%)


Tim Hudak (88%)
Dalton McGuinty (5%)
Undecided (3%)
The NDP guy (2%)


Somebody not currently sitting in Parliament (30%)
Dominic LeBlanc (20%)
Bob Rae (16%)
Jack Layton (9%)
Justin Trudeau (8%)
Marc Garneau (3%)
Denis Coderre (3%)
Scott Brison (2%)
David McGuinty (2%)
Ralph Goodale (1%)


Winnipeg Jets (70%)
Other (11%)
Manitoba Moose (5%)
Manitoba Jets (4%)
Winnipeg Thrashers (3%)
Manitoba Thrashers (2%)
Winnipeg Moose (1%)


No (98%)
Yes (2%)
Undecided (0%)


Happy (55%)
Indifferent (36%)
Upset (7%)


Candice Hoeppner (28%)
Cabinet is fine as is (28%)
Chris Alexander (13%)
Shelly Glover (7%)
Pierre Poilievre (7%)
Michael Chong (6%)
Kellie Leitch (4%)
Bernard Trottier (2%)
Mike Lake (1%)


Treasury Board (27%)
Canadian Heritage (16%)
Industry (15%)
International Trade (10%)
Public Works (9%)
He should not be in cabinet (6%)
Finance (5%)
Sport (3%)
Labour (3%)
Other (3%)
Foreign Affairs (0%)
Human Resources (0%)


Yes (85%)
No (10%)
Undecided (4%)


Wait 2 years (46%)
As soon as possible (40%)
Undecided (12%)


Immigration (57%)
Foreign Affairs (26%)
Justice (4%)
Treasury Board (1%)
Health (1%)
Public Works (1%)
Environment (1%)
Industry (0%)
Labour (0%)
Transport (0%)
None of the above (3%)


Scrap vote subsidies for political parties (37%)
Scrap the gun registry (23%)
Privatize the CBC (15%)
Tough on crime bills (8%)
Seat distribution reform (7%)
Scrap Candian Wheat Board (3%)
Senate reform (2%)
None of the above (2%)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Parti Quebecois Revolt Escalates

Another Parti Quebecois caucus member has defected from the separatist party citing Pauline Marois' ineffective leadership as the primary reason. This now marks 4 members who have defected in the last week as the sovereignty movement seems to be collapsing on all fronts. The only hope at this point for those dedicated to an independent Quebec is the NDP. Since absorbing the Bloc Quebecois, Jack Layton has begun taking up the causes once championed by Gilles Duceppe. Now Marois and the PQ are sinking despite the corruption of the ruling Charest regime, and there is no knight in shinning armour coming over the horizon to save them. Is there a provincial NDP in Quebec? If not, the PQ should start one and fold into the new brand as the Bloc did.

Would they consider replacing Marois with Duceppe? Given the result of the federal election this move looks unlikely, but still has to be considered. You may recall prior to Marois selection, for a few days it looked as though Duceppe was going to take the job. His colleagues in Parliament all but wished him farewell before a sudden movement in the PQ rank and file blocked the transition in favour of Pauline. Gilles name is being mentioned as a possible replacement.

Something has got to give. In any event, it is entertaining to watch the separatists die a slow death...metaphorically speaking.

May Polling 2011 vol I

Here are your poll results for late April to mid May which overlaps election day. Within a week of the election 82% thought the NDP would get 60 seats or less (they crushed my own forecast of 62 seats). Only 21% of you correctly predicted that Gilles Duceppe would be the first federal leader to lose his job after the votes were counted. Duceppe quit on election night while Ignatieff waited until the morning after. 40% of you thought that Stephane Dion should be the interim leader of the Liberal Party. It didn't happen.

Here are the rest of your results.


No, Iggy is that ignorant (69%)
Yes, he's a chessmaster (26%)
Undecided (3%)


Stephane Dion (40%)
Ralph Goodale (17%)
Bob Rae (11%)
Dominic LeBlanc (10%)
Justin Trudeau (8%)
John McCallum (7%)
Scott Brison (3%)


Yes (56%)
No (37%)
Undecided (6%)

WHO SHOULD BE CANADA'S NEXT SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS? (my nominees were completely arbitrary and none of these people ended up running for Speaker)

Michael Chong (26%)
Diane Ablonczy (20%)
Bev Oda (12%)
John Baird (6%)
Maxime Bernier (6%)
James Moore (3%)
Leona Aglukkaq (1%)
John Weston (1%)
None of the above (21%)


Yes (75%)
No (23%)
I don't live in Canada (1%)


Yes (78%)
No (13%)
Undecided (8%)


No (53%)
Yes (40%)
Undecided (5%)


Mike Ignatieff (63%)
Gilles Duceppe (21%)
Elizabeth May (8%)
Stephen Harper (5%)
Jack Layton (0%)
Undecided (0%)


Yes (63%)
Don't Care (22%)
No (13%)


Mike Ignatieff (58%)
Gilles Duceppe (21%)
Jack Layton (19%)


At least 100 (3%)
80-90 (3%)
70-80 (4%)
60-70 (8%)
50-60 (17%)
40-50 (27%)
30-40 (20%)
20-30 (11%)
10-20 (1%)
less than 10 (2%)


Yes (41%)
No, I'll wait until election day (40%)
No, I've already voted (17%)
I'm not voting (0%)


Yes (69%)
No (19%)
I don't have cable (9%)
I don't care (1%)


Yes (84%)
No (11%)
Undecided (4%)


Yes (71%)
No (25%)
Undecided (3%)


An Inconvenient Douche (21%)
How The "Igg" Stole Easter (14%)
National Lampoon's "Canadian Vacation" (14%)
Lament of a Dilettante (12%)
Canada's Worst Campaigner (8%)
Death of a Salesman (8%)
Michael Ignatieff's "Weird or What?" (7%)
Mr Ignatieff's Neighborhood (6%)
America's Funniest Home Videos (5%)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Liberal President Wants To Distance Party From White Men

Jane Taber must have enjoyed writing this one; the President of the Liberal Party Alfred Apps is optimistic about the Party's future because they are no longer dependent on middle aged white men. Let's be honest, middle aged white men are responsible for all the world's problems and therefor it makes sense for a political party to purposefully shun this demographic. White men, the Liberals are happy that you've abandoned them because this should really help their electoral fortunes going forward. And remember, it is not all men that destroy the world, just white men, specifically middle aged. Young white men are acceptable, but once you hit 30-35 then you are a detriment to the success of any country, especially Canada.

Should Military Be Used For Clean-up?

With Jack Layton demanding that the Canadian military be used to clean up flood damage, today's poll question is should soldiers be used to clean up the mess after natural disasters? The military was sent into flood zones to help build barricades while also protecting and evacuating citizens at risk of harm. Now should they stay to clean up? Personally I hold our armed forces in higher regard than providing janitorial services, but when I supported inmates being used as street cleaners some of you became angry (90% of poll respondents supported putting prisoners to work).

I worry that if we order our troops to start cleaning up, trading guns for brooms, we are setting a precedence. In the future all municipalities will start demanding troops for clean up duty any time they experience a natural disaster. Is that a good thing?

"Creative" Civil Disobedience

If the first week of our new Conservative majority Parliament has taught us anything, it is that we might be entering a new era of creative civil disobedience. More and more people are willing to make asses of themselves for a chance to get on television, and as the CBC audience becomes desensitized to these extreme measures the more extreme the stunts will have to be to produce that coveted 15 minutes of fame. By virtue of the law of diminishing marginal returns, activists need to turn up the volume with each new protest to have the same effect of the one previous. What tool will the "civil disobedience" crowd use in the next 4 years? Flash mobs seem to be all the rage these days. Expect more of those.

Frankly now that we have a majority government, these little PR stunts don't bother me like they would have a few months ago when we were treading lightly in minority waters. Now I find them more amusing than anything. Watching interviews with "Stop Harper Girl", I couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. She really believes she is some kind of new age Princess Leia who is leading a rebellion against the evil Emperor Harper. She is really upset that Canadians elected a Tory majority, and in that sense I find her anxiety entertaining. It gave us something more interesting to talk about than a standard boring throne speech, so in a strange way I suppose we pundits owe her a thank you.

Expect more stunts in the coming years, with ever increasing degrees of ridiculousness.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kelly McParland's Beautiful Deconstruction Of "Stop Harper" Girl

If you have not yet had the chance to read Kelly McParland's piece today on the now infamous "Stop Harper Girl" who protested the throne speech, it is a must read that will make you laugh and think. This was a ludicrous incident that requires sarcasm and humour to adequately summarize. Kelly nails it. He's on the Roy Green Show right now discussing the article, which I strongly recommend listening (I subscribe to Roy's podcast for free on I-Tunes).

There were plenty of ways she could have registered her protest, but there is a lot of competition in the protest business, and standing on a sidewalk handing out pamphlets doesn’t get you on the front page of the Star. So Ms.De Pape worked up her sign, smuggled it into the Senate chamber and revealed it for the photographers. After being heaved out by the sergeant-at-arms, she was ready with a press release and a pal ready to schedule interviews with the media. Very slick.

The NDP "Socialist Caucus"

Now that the NDP have suddenly become the official opposition in Canadian Parliament, their party's self described "Socialist Caucus" is making demands. There aren't any surprises on the wish list, which includes shutting down the oil sands, nationalizing our banks, boycotting "Israeli apartheid", etc. These policies and positions have appeared in past and current NDP doctrine, the question is will the party turn right or left as it springs into the "mainstream"? How much is there left to win on the left? Clearly the only place to make significant electoral gains is to shift party policy towards the center, but somehow I doubt that Jack is going to do that. You don't become more mainstream by becoming more radical. We have seen in the past that Jack's idea of compromise is getting everything he wants.

What will happen next is the NDP convention when the left wing of the NDP will try and pass resolutions on these policy matters. Layton and the party leadership do have mechanisms to kill or at least mute these resolutions. We'll see what happens.

Winnipeg Jets Sell 13,000 Season Tickets

The soon to be Winnipeg Jets have surprised the hockey world selling 13,000 season tickets in just 4 days, which has to be close to a league record. Each season ticket package comes with a 3-5 year commitment, and gives the franchise a solid foundation as they begin the journey of building the lowly Atlanta Thrashers into champions. It is an exciting day for Manitoba hockey fans, as the franchise must now set its attention to hiring a new General Manager, re-signing free agents, and preparing for the draft. Canada is on track to add a franchise and win a Stanley Cup within a month, making it a great time to be a Canadian hockey fan.

There are some quality building blocks coming to Manitoba in that Thrashers roster.

Under Contract (and worth being excited about)

-Dustin Byfuglien: $5.2 million per year for 5 more seasons isn't cheap, but 26 year old 6'5 260 lb defensemen who score 20 goals and 50 points don't grow on trees.

-Tobias Enstrom: Great value contract at $3.75 million for two more years, 27 years old and 50 PTS from the blue line.

-Evander Kane: 140 NHL games played before his 20th birthday and played for Team Canada at the world championships this year. The future of the franchise.

-Bryan Little: Having a 24 year old 50 point scorer under contract for 2 more years at under $3 million per season is a good contract.

-Alex Burmistrov: 8th overall pick in 2010 draft, 20 PTS as a rookie. Worth watching.

Restricted Free Agents (team must re-sign, allowed to match contract offers)

-Andrew Ladd: Team's leading scorer. Market value $4-5 million per year.

-Anthoney Stewart: 25 year old power forward due for a raise. Market value $2-3 million per year.

-Blake Wheeler: 25 year old already has 140 career PTS. Market value $3-4 million per year.

-Zach Bogosian: 21 years old already with 200 career GPs. Was in line for a big contract but regressed last season. Market value $2-4 million per year.

Bad Contracts

Nik Antropov and Ron Hainsey not worth what they are being paid, each under contract for 2 more years over $4 million per season.

If you've read this far, you might enjoy reading some more sports analysis.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Post Office Strike

Today's poll question; should postal workers be paid more, less, or the same? Canada is now facing rolling strikes by the postal union until a new collective bargaining agreement has been negotiated. Obviously the postal workers want more money, even though mail volume has fallen considerably in the last 10 years with the evolution of the internet and telecommunication technology. In ten more years, the post office might be entirely obsolete. We should ask Fed Ex or Purolator to place bids on regular mail delivery and just see what they offer.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Stop Harper"

The newest darling of the CBC is a 21 year old naive Senate page who stood up during the throne speech holding a sign that read "Stop Harper". As you can imagine she is quickly becoming a "hero" with those who do not like our Prime Minister. Having just watched an interview with her on CTV, I would caution the left to watch this interview before proceeding with idol worship. I don't want to say she's an idiot, but she is clearly lacking either intelligence or good judgement. She goes on to say that "Harper's agenda" is so dangerous that we must all rise up with creative civil disobedience in order to stop him. Yeah "Stop Harper", that's very creative. Doing so in the Senate isn't creativity, it is having the opportunity as an employee. In reality all she succeeded in doing was getting on the news and getting herself fired. Really the only thing you can do when you watch this kind of immature stunt is to just laugh.

I'd like to know how much that job pays and who hired her. I wouldn't hire her to work the cash register at MacDonalds, let alone put her in our "sacred" Senate. How does someone like that get this kind of job? Maybe we should be encouraging more of these clowns to show up at work with signs, getting themselves fired?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Layton Complains About Lack Of Proportional Representation

On Power Play Thursday Jack Layton had the nerve to complain about getting 32% of the vote in Saskatchewan and zero seats, which he cited as a problem of no proportional representation. In the past the NDP has been an opponent of our first past the post electoral system, but I would have thought after the results of this last election Jack might quiet down on this issue. The NDP were the overwhelming beneficiaries of our non-proportional system in Quebec, winning 59 seats instead of the 32 that 43% of the popular vote would produce. The NDP won 79% of the seats with only 43% of the vote. Will Jack give some of those seats back to the Bloc? The poor Bloc had almost 25% of the vote, but only 5% of the seats.

I'd say a lack proportional representation benefits the NDP. They have more seats in the Commons than a truly proportional system would have awarded them.

Most Desirable Canadian NHL City?

Today's poll question; in which Canadian NHL city would you rather live? Now that Winnipeg has been restored to NHL status, some pundits are asking if NHL hockey players would want to live there. That begs the question, which is the most desirable city for free agent hockey players? The strength of the Canadian dollar and economy assure that this endeavour in Manitoba will be more viable than when they left. The devaluing of the currency killed the Jets and Nordiques. Personally I'm a fan of living in Vancouver. The length of the golf season is particularly appealing. You become accustomed to the rain.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Liberal Shadow Cabinet

Well Bob Rae did not have much talent to chose from, but today he managed to cobble together a shadow cabinet. With only 33 MPs and 28 spots to fill, just about every MP has a gig (when you include leader, deputy leader, whip, etc). It must be difficult when you have 32 jobs to fill and 33 people to chose from. Cape Breton MP Roger Cuzner is the only one I can find on the outside looking in. None of the posts are interesting or amusing, except maybe Justin Trudeau as the new critic of University and College. That makes sense for Bob to keep potential rivals in low places, though he did name Dominic LeBlanc as Foreign Affairs critic, Bob's old job.

This is not a compelling news story. Does anyone really care about the Liberals anymore?

My Advice For The Bob Rae Liberals

As difficult as this advice might be for a prima donna like Bob Rae to accept, the best thing the Liberals can do right now is just sit back, shut up, and allow Jack Layton to implode on his own timeline. The NDP has the impossible job of needing and trying to muzzle dozens of new and idealistic MPs. NDP Amateur Hour will be on full display when Parliament resumes, as it has been in the weeks leading to go time. The best opportunity for the Liberals to gain any significant ground is by attempting to appeal to NDP voters after they've had a chance to peak behind the curtain. Certainly naming Bob Rae as interim leader will not appeal to the center, especially in the most populous province of Ontario.

The downside of an allegedly "centrist" party appointing a very socialist leader is that it becomes extremely difficult to appeal to the Tory left flank. If Bobby makes gains, it will be at the expense of the NDP. Hell, if you add 100% of the Liberal and NDP votes together from the last election, the resulting coalition would have over 180 seats. That has to be goal for the day dream believing coalition supporters. The danger for the Liberals in pursuing a left wing strategy is that they again expose their own right flank. Though I suppose the Tories have absorbed the majority of right leaning Liberals already, otherwise we wouldn't have a majority government.