Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dalton McGuinty's Contempt For Voters

In his latest television commercial, Dalton McGuinty truly treats the voters of Ontario like dolts and chumps. He starts off with a joke about how he's not very popular in the polls and goes on to say that doing what's right is not always popular. Translation: if you dislike Dalton McGuinty because you disagree with the policies he has enacted while in office, then you are either wrong or misinformed. Dalton is doing what's best for you even if you happen to disagree with the initiative. Don't worry Ontario, Dalton is smarter than you, and whether you like what he's done or not, you would be advised to submit to his vision and foresight.

Geez, I really hope Ontario votes this chump out of power. Two terms is more than enough for such an arrogant wretch.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Who Is The Best Replacement For Jack Layton?

Today's poll question; who do you think would be the most effective replacement for Jack Layton as NDP leader? I've already asked who you think the leader will be, but I'm curious to know who would be the best. Personally I think there is little doubt that Gary Doer would be their best possible replacement, I just don't see the hard left of the party accepting Doer as leader (assuming Doer even wants the job). Thomas Mulcair would be the most destructive leader, and for that reason Tories should probably be endorsing his candidacy. As an aside, might I say what a wonderful and noble man Tom Mulcair is.  Libby Davies may or may not run, but she has a zero percent chance of ever being elected Prime Minister, and for that reason I believe she has a zero percent chance of being selected leader. Layton's inner circle seem to be pumping Brian Topp, but he's a failed coup away from his next nervous breakdown (although I'd take him over Mulcair in a heartbeat). There has been speculation about Paul Dewar as a potential candidate, but he strikes me as an overly sensitive self-righteous blowhard. It is not known if Peggy Nash will run, but she will likely get the endorsement of the unions.

Bob Rae will not be included in this webpoll. He was alright as a possible replacement, but I can't in good conscious include him as an option for most effective replacement. I'm sorry.

As I asked when Jack Layton stepped down.

IF JACK LAYTON IS UNABLE TO RETURN AS LEADER OF THE NDP, WHO DO YOU EXPECT THE NEXT PERMANENT LEADER TO BE?


Tom Mulcair (29%)
Bob Rae (25%)
None of the above (18%)
Libby Davies (9%)
Peggy Nash (4%)
Pat Martin (4%)
Charlie Angus (2%)
Nycole Turmel (2%)
Linda Duncan (1%)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why We Need The BC Conservative Party

The BC Liberal Party led by Christy Clark is doomed. Their brand has suffered irreparable harm from which they may never be able to recover. If the Conservatives do not run a full slate of candidates in the next provincial election we risk returning to NDP government. The notion that we have to vote Liberal to keep the NDP out of power needs to be put to rest. The Liberals are f**ked and we'd better have an alternative ready to rock and roll. Should the BC Conservatives start accepting defections from the Liberals? Since they do not have any seats in the legislature, it would be pragmatic to welcome sitting MLAs.

After the horrific failure of the HST, Christy was on television saying that her new focus is jobs jobs jobs. Great, the only jobs Christy creates are lucrative government jobs, but sadly those are reserved for her friends and campaign boosters. Hindsight being 20/20, Christy Clark becoming Premier might have been the best thing to happen to the fledgling BC Conservatives. Please, let's keep Bill Vanderzalm away from the party. I really don't trust that man, but if he wants to start a petition to overthrow the carbon tax, that would be fantastic...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Who is NDP leadership contender Brian Topp?"

On the day of Jack Layton's funeral, Jane Taber wrote a flattering piece about Brian Topp and his emerging candidacy to become the next permanent leader of the NDP. I first took notice of Mr. Topp's existence in February 2010 after he appeared on the Soloman Show to promote his book "How we almost gave the Tories the boot", where he detailed the attempted coup of December 2008. He was one of the primary architects of the NDP's move to form a coalition with the Liberals to overthrow the newly democratically re-elected Conservatives. After the attempt to seize power failed, Mr Topp suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. Far be it from me to dispute or belittle the diagnosis, I just don't think that someone who has a nervous breakdown after his own party's failed effort to seize power is a strong candidate to one day become Prime Minister. My apologies to anyone who suffered PSTD after a genuinely traumatic event.

Scott Reid seems to think that Topp's candidacy is a sign that Layton's inner circle is trying to keep Thomas Mulcair out of the leadership chair, and Scotty might actually be right on this one. Topp would be a good candidate for interim leader rather than permanent leader. The best possible replacement is Gary Doer, but his candidacy is unlikely unless he wants to leave his diplomatic post in Washington. It is also likely that Doer is considered too far to the right by many of the NDP membership. Peggy Nash should get the most support from the unions given her past as a high profile union leader. If there is indeed a strong movement within the NDP to keep Mulcair out of Stornoway, then perhaps there is hope for them. I would support Topp over Mulcair without a moment's hesitation, but neither of them are in Gary Doer's league.


Friday, August 26, 2011

HST R.I.P

Today in a historic referendum, the people of British Columbia have collectively slapped Christy Clark and her Liberal Party in the face by voting to scrap the HST. Frankly the news is bitter sweet because the best answer to the HST problem was not even on the ballot. Merging the GST and PST was a good thing to do, but what hurt tax payers was the 7% extra that was added to the price of a large basket of goods and services previously excluded from the PST. When the HST was being implemented, the Prime Minister gave the BC Liberals the option not to add new tax to all these services, but the offer was declined. The Liberals really needed the money. Now experts are saying that BC will have a multi-billion dollar hole in its budget, ironic considering the Liberals told us that the tax was going to be revenue neutral (which was yet another lie).

Christy Clark's first few months as "interim" Premier are proving to be a disaster. My personal favourite was coming out saying that the gas tax was bad for families until somebody told her it was her own government's policy, and she promptly changed her mind. When Christy seized power, she told us that she would go to the electorate soon to get a mandate to govern. Well, don't expect her to call an election anytime soon. In fact I expect that because she is likely to lose the next election that she will just decide to serve out the remainder of Gordon Campbell's mandate. Whenever we go to the polls, Christy Clark is going to lose. That's why I'm going to start calling her our interim Premier.

The BC Conservatives need to run a full slate in the next election and now I expect that they have more time to recruit quality candidates. "If you build it, they will come..."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Should Canada Attend Expo 2012?

Today's poll question; should Canada spend $15 million dollars to attend Expo 2012 in South Korea? With the media's attention focused elsewhere, you might not have heard that Canada has declined our invitation to build a pavilion at the world fair. According to Heritage Minister James Moore, these Expos are not what they used to be and no longer justify the cost. It is more a ceremony than a productive trade mission. Personally I'm kind of on the fence with this one. The "austerity" is appealing, but then again I wouldn't exactly be upset if we decided to attend on a low budget. We should accept the invitation and in Canada's designated space put one person sitting at a folding table. Don't hire a contractor to build a multi million dollar pavilion and pay Circle De Soleil to do a few shows, just send half a dozen people with some brochures. Any business who want to market their products at the Canadian pavilion can buy their own plane ticket and set up their own booth. We can tell foreign dignitaries that we are saving our money until Europe declares bankruptcy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jack's Dream Of A Better Canada

As the NDP mourns the tragic loss of their leader Jack Layton and prepare to celebrate his life, many are praising his public service and mapping out his legacy. Scattered throughout the well wishes and condolences, you are hearing NDP pundits saying that we need to "carry on Jack's dream of building a better Canada". This is where I start to get uncomfortable because I strongly disagree with several aspects of Jack Layton's "better Canada" and feel like a jackass for saying that we do not need to become more socialist. You can only hear so many plugs for "social democracy" before it becomes annoying (FYI: social democracy is what all the cool kids are calling socialism these days).

To those on the left I would say that one day even Stephen Harper will pass away (unless we can confirm suspicions that Harper is infact an android not restricted by the boundaries of human life). I'm sure you guys and gals on the left won't be comfortable if we on the right start saying we need to carry on Harper's dream of making Canada a safer place by expanding prison capacity and toughening up criminal sentencing. It makes your opponents uncomfortable when you start pumping controversial policy positions as part of your grieving process. There were many who liked Jack Layton on a personal level who disagreed with the majority of his policies. Please do not use a tragic incident as an opportunity to deify your party platform.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Future Of The NDP

It has been a sombre summer day across Canada with the passing of NDP leader Jack Layton this morning. He carried the fortunes of his Party on his shoulders, taking the NDP to new electoral heights that few had even dreamed possible. Journalists have been choking back tears all day while reporting on this story and reading Jack's last letter to Canadians. He was well liked even by those who disagreed with his policies because he was always that one politician that everyone wanted to have a beer with.

When the mourning period has passed the NDP has some difficult decisions to make, trying to replace the irreplaceable. Today's poll question; do you think the NDP can sustain its current support in the next election without Jack Layton? There is little to no precedence for this in Canadian history, with Layton being among the first major party leaders to pass away while serving in office. It is very difficult to forecast what's going to happen next. Much will depend on who the party selects as permanent leader. In the near term I expect the NDP to rise in polls out of respect and sympathy for the loss they have sustained.

Goodbye Jack, you will be missed.

In July when Jack stepped down as leader I asked:

IF JACK LAYTON IS UNABLE TO RETURN AS LEADER OF THE NDP, WHO DO YOU EXPECT THE NEXT PERMANENT LEADER TO BE?

Tom Mulcair (29%)
Bob Rae (25%)
None of the above (18%)
Libby Davies (9%)
Peggy Nash (4%)
Pat Martin (4%)
Charlie Angus (2%)
Nycole Turmel (2%)
Linda Duncan (1%)

Is There Room For CTV News Channel?

The Sun News Network is changing the landscape of Canadian media, and I can think of a few people that have to be really pissed off about this new reality. Don Newman and Jane Taber were probably the two most vocal opponents who tried to stomp out the idea while in its infancy. Despite losing its bid for the must carry status that CBC Newsworld and CTV enjoy and being available on millions fewer television sets, Sun News is overtaking the competition after just 4 months on the air. One thing is clear, CTV News Channel is getting its ass kicked and is a distant 3rd place. If you ask me Jane Taber drove that network into the ground, to the point where we need to ask if there is even room for Taber's network in the new Canadian media. Back when the CRTC was deliberating whether or not to give the Sun must carry license Jane was vilifying Kory Teneycke on an almost daily basis. Ironically, now that the Sun Network has been born, you don't see the same mud slinging anymore.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Stephen Harper Attends Hockey Games

Stephen Harper may or may not attend the Winnipeg Jets home opener in over 6 weeks, and evidently this is headline news at the CBC (must be a slow month). "Call it a perk of holding the highest elected office in the land: if there's a big game in the life of his hockey-mad country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper seems able to snag a ticket, even when an event is sold out and his attendance is arranged on short notice." Today's poll question; does it bother you that the Prime Minister attends NHL hockey games? When the PM attended a Stanley Cup finals game in Boston, the opposition erupted in outrage despite Harper paying for his own ticket. It is quite common for politicians to attend sporting events, but rarely does it lead to media criticism. This is quickly becoming a new theme by which the left is attacking the PM.

Meanwhile at the Globe Jane Taber is accusing Stephen Harper of creating his own brand of populist nationalism which includes embracing the British Monarchy and being a hockey fan; and you can expect a lot stories like that from Jane over the next 4 years. To say that Stephen Harper should not be allowed to attend NHL hockey games would be absurd, just as it is to accuse him of having a sinister hidden agenda when he does attend.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Should Canada Have Internet Voting?

Today's poll question; should Elections Canada adopt Internet voting in federal elections? That option is currently being explored as a means of increasing voter participation while also allowing them to scrap the publication ban on early election results. Ironically, the most recent election saw CBC Newsworld break the publication ban on early results, showing footage of Atlantic Canada results well before the polls closed in Vancouver. Rather than enforce a penalty, it looks like Elections Canada is just going to change the rules. On May 2nd 2011, I sat in my living room in Vancouver and saw results that looked very encouraging for the Liberal Party hours before my local polling station closed. Then after a few minutes the screen went blank. When the clock finally did strike 7pm, I tuned back in to see the Liberals throttled.

Logistically I'm not a fan of Internet voting because it makes electoral fraud substantially easier and you can't verify the identity of the person doing the voting. At polling stations, Elections Canada requires you to prove that you are who you are supposed to be. That's not logistically possible with Internet voting. It is a bad idea, and I'm not exactly sure why Elections Canada is considering online elections. Do they want to turn our federal elections into Canadian Idol?

Ezra Levant Vs Evan Soloman

Every afternoon at the same time Sun TV's Ezra Levant's television show goes up against that of the CBC's Evan Soloman. The Soloman Show is available on nearly twice as many television sets, but to be fair Sun News is only 4 months old and not mandated by the CRTC to be included in cable packages. So what is the ratings difference between the two competing politics shows? Well according to the latest ratings, there is very little difference in their audience size. Soloman is on 10.6 million TV sets and had 59,000 viewers while Levant is on 5.5 million TV sets and had 57,000 viewers. CTV News Channel finished in a distant 3rd place, though their keynote politics show Power Play is currently on a summer vacation.

Evan Soloman had a head start when he took over the afternoon slot, inheriting Don Newman's audience. I'm not sure what size of audience Newman had prior to his departure, but it had to be better than Soloman's haul. It would be very interesting to see the historical ratings for the Soloman Show since its inception in 2009, data that the CBC is mandated to track but doesn't share publicly, among other things.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stephen Harper, The 2nd Greatest Prime Minister?

I'm not sure what is the bigger news story, that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now regarded as the greatest PM (since 1968) by 19% of Canadians (putting him in second place, well ahead of Jean Chretien), or that 36% of Canadians still think Pierre Trudeau is the best in a new Angus Reid poll. The momentum however belongs to Harper, who has jumped from 11% last year to 19% after winning a majority government. By the time he wins his 2nd majority, Stephen Harper should be the unanimous choice as the greatest leader in the history of Canada...

I'd be curious to know how Quebec sovereigntists voted in this poll since they have never had one of their own in the top job. 48% of respondents picked either Trudeau or Chretien, so that should provide some indication of who Gilles Duceppe and his ilk might have selected as Canada's greatest Prime Minister.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Battle Of Ontario Heating Up

According to Nanos, the Ontario Liberal's attack ads accusing Tim Hudak of treating Ontario voters like "dolts and chumps" have been effective (at least among women) and Team McGuinty has now closed the gap with the provincial Tories. It's funny because Liberals will so often cry foul and play the victim card when they are the targets of negative advertising, but have no problems when they are the ones doing the attacking. To add irony to insults, nothing Tim Hudak has ever done compares to the flagrant contempt Dalton showed for Ontario voters when in he repeatedly pledged in his first winning election campaign that "I will not raise your taxes". Dolton kept promising in TV commercials (aired hundreds of times) not to increase taxation while simultaneously pledging to increase spending by billions of dollars. What happened in his very first budget? Massive new taxation. If you ask me, that is truly treating voters like dolts and chumps.

With the data showing that women are driving the momentum towards McGuinty, one can only draw the conclusion that women like paying more in taxes. If you love new taxes, increases to old taxes, and just paying more to the taxman in general, then Dalton McGuinty is the best possible Premier you could have. All that being said, you have to question just how reliable political polling is in the month of August when many Canadians are on vacation, spend less time at home answering phone calls, and are generally disinterested in politics.

Monday, August 15, 2011

G8 Spending Cover-Up?

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Today the NDP has been on the offensive against Tony Clement for allegedly covering up meetings and reports surrounding G8 Summit projects in his riding. Charlie Angus held a press conference to unveil the documents he obtained via a simple access to information request as proof of an elaborate cover up. The information was requested and the government provided it, yet this is supposed to be a cover up? Martha Hall Findlay was just on the Soloman Show decrying this alleged controversy as an example of our democracy being destroyed. Martha basically accused the government of "eliminating the paper trail", but obviously that information was not destroyed and was available by making a simple request.

And do you know why the NDP would have even known to make an ATI request? Because Sheila Fraser already investigated this matter and determined all the spending had been properly accounted for. The accusation of a secret elaborate slush fund doesn't hold water. This is just a retread of an old controversy. You can debate how much money should have been spent making Muskoka look nice ahead of hosting leaders and media from around the world, but the conspiracy theory is a little rich. On the bright side, at least Evan has something to talk about in the middle of August. He kept waving around the documents today. It was quite comical. I'm sure the other dozen people watching found it as amusing as I did...

What To Do About Syria?

The debate is growing in the Western world about what should be done to deal with Syria, a country that has been massacring its own people marching for democracy. Should the same type of military action used against Libya be used against the Assad regime? That is today's poll question. Sanctions are fine in principle, but in practice they often end up hurting the very people they are supposed to be liberating more than the regime they are trying to punish. Does the civilized world have the responsibility to fight against brutality?

If there is going to be an international force carrying out a Syrian mission, I trust NATO far more than the United Nations. Syria and Libya are close enough that you could probably use the same military base as the staging point for a new operation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Solving Problem Of Overcrowded Prisons

Sometimes it can be difficult to follow the left's condemnation of the Tory tough on crime agenda, with frequent criticisms of plans to expand our prison capacity, followed by outrage that we have more prisoners than our prisons were built to hold. There is a consensus that our prisons are indeed overcrowded leaving Corrections Canada to repeatedly cram multiple inmates into cells designed for single occupancy. The argument is what to do about it. The Rosemary Barton Show today discussed the overcrowding issue and is running a poll question asking if the Conservative tough on crime agenda is increasing violence in prisons (65% of their audience say yes the rise in prison violence is the Tories fault). The contention is that overcrowded penitentiaries create violence, and that the Tories are responsible for the overcapacity problem. The Mark Hollands of the world might not want to come right out and say it, but their solution to the overcrowding problem seems to be putting fewer people in prison. Too noble by half if you ask me.

Today's poll question; what do you think should be done to solve the problem of overcrowded prisons?

CBC Warns Government Cutbacks Can Lead To Riots

On Tuesday Rosemary Barton was on our publicly funded broadcaster discussing the riots in London, speculating that "government austerity measures" can lead to public violence. Did you hear that Canadian government? Consider yourself warned! Try to roll back the CBC's cost expenditures, and it could lead to hooligans out in the streets of Ottawa throwing Molotov cocktails at police cars. Rolling back the number of climate change jobs at Environment Canada could lead to looting and widespread civil unrest. Sure, CBC employees might have a conflict of interest when discussing government spending, but there are many historical examples where spending cuts have led to public employees gathering in large numbers to protest (with some of those deteriorating into violence).

Does this mean that we should avoid doing the right thing because a small number of hooligans might become upset? Something feels inherently wrong about appeasement made under the threat of violence. If you believe that reducing government spending is a noble and necessary cause, then you should not compromise those values because a small number people are violently opposed to the measures. I'm not suggesting that Rosemary Barton or any of her CBC colleagues are threatening violence if their budgets are reduced. For all the things I've had to say about Milewski, Soloman, or O'Malley, I would not expect to see any of them on TV setting fire to coffee shops or smashing windows (though I wouldn't be shocked to see Terry throw a garbage can at the Prime Minister's limo). Typically when public union protests deteriorate into violence, it is the result of a small criminal element taking advantage of the public gathering and intense emotions.

We should figure out the best way to isolate and separate criminals from innocents when people gather publicly, but we should not avoid "government austerity measures" because the CBC says it could lead to violence. A lack of government austerity in the United States and Europe is why our global economy is teetering on the edge of catastrophic collapse. Two words, "sovereign debt".

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What To Do With Denis Lebel?

The Conservative Minister of Transport Denis Lebel once held membership in the Bloc Quebecois, so today's poll question; what should be done with him? Should he be disqualified from sitting in cabinet? Would you go so far as remove him from caucus? Or is it okay with you so long as he's not chosen to lead the party? He disclosed this information about his past prior to joining the Tories, so this was known to party officials. David McGuinty was in full throttle attack mode on Monday, questioning the Prime Minister's patriotism. Ironically, the Liberal Party is itself divided on whether or not the NDP leader's former Bloc membership is acceptable or destructive. Granted the Liberals once teamed up with the Bloc in an attempt to overthrow the government in 2008, so it is a little rich for the Liberals to attack the Tories for having a cabinet minister who once had a Bloc membership card as being unpatriotic.

I have no objections to Mr Lebel sitting as Transport Minister, though I never would have appointed him in the first place. He became a junior minister a year after being elected in a byelection in 2007, and was promoted to a bigger portfolio in 2011 after the Quebec Tory caucus was cut in half (the PM had only had 5 MPs to choose from with 4 of them being appointed). Had the Tories won more seats in the province, it is unlikely that Lebel would have been selected to his current post, but the PMO insisted on having as many Quebec cabinet ministers as possible and so here we are. It will be interesting to see which Liberals attack Lebel and defend Turmel.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Liberals Overtake The NDP

According to the latest Nanos poll, the Liberals have now overtaken the NDP for 2nd place in popular support as Dipper support in Quebec is collapsing following the bad news about Jack Layton's health. The Liberals now find themselves at 27% support where they had fallen below 15% in the weeks following the election (nearly doubling their support over the last 2 months). True, Ignatieff took the party to a bold new rock bottom, meaning that Bob Rae had nowhere to go but up with recent gains being helped by NDP misfortune. The Nycole Turmel appointment has been a disaster, but reneging on her leadership because of a history with separatist parties will not play out well in Quebec where many new NDP voters have likely previously at one point voted Bloc.

We all wish Jack Layton the best, but we do have to acknowledge that he's irreplaceable as leader. The good news for the Dippers is that we are at least 3 years away from the next election, so all this polling data is just moot anyway. In minority governments polling matters a whole lot more because it can fuel election speculation.  For the next 3 years, it doesn't matter what happens in the news or in the polls, there won't be any federal elections.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Economic Crisis; What Would Bob Rae Do?

As the western world teeters on the brink of another major recession, Liberal leader Bob Rae has started dispatching economic advice to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Keep spending and take it easy on the cuts. Thanks Bob. While it is true that Rae has previous experience dealing with financial turmoil (his entire term as Premier of Ontario was one big economic crisis), he sure as Hell ain't my go to guy for solving fiscal problems. The Tories have signalled that there will be spending cuts, and already you can see the Liberals and NDP lining up to attack every single one of them. It will give the opposition a rallying point to join forces against the government. They'll fight to defend global warming jobs at Environment Canada.

At this point it is still questionable whether or not we should have done the first stimulus, but Ignatieff demanded it as a condition of supporting the 2009 budget. Plus the Americans were doing a stimulus, so it seemed like the popular thing to do at the time. Canada's economic recovery in the last recession was among the fastest and most efficient in the western world, but that likely has more to do than with the strength and stability of our economic system rather than tax money pumped into the economy. We did not have a recession because our economy is broken, it happened to us because we are so closely tied to America and Europe who are broken.

When all is said and done, I'm going to willfully disregard economic advice from Bob Rae, and you should too.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

USA Debt Ceiling Raised, Yet Global Markets Collapsing?

Hold on a minute, I thought all the experts were telling us that if the USA did not raise their debt ceiling, they would lose their AAA credit rating? And yet, the debt ceiling went up, and the credit rating still went down? What kind of madness is this? Now global stock markets are plunging, despite Obama reaching a deal to drive the United States deeper in debt? How is this even possible? Maybe just maybe, the answer to a debt crisis is not going deeper in debt? Obama should be on the phone with Stephen Harper asking him for advice, because his administration as been leading the American economy into the abyss. Obama is in over his head, and he needs help.
Canada is in comparatively great shape, but if the United States collapses we will feel the pain because we sell so much to our southern neighbours. I'm just responding to all those who said the debt ceiling had to be raised to maintain America's credit score, but you did and the rating fell anyway. Good work. Taking out new credit cards to solve the problem of maxing out your previous credit cards doesn't solve any damned problem.

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Who Leaked Turmel's Bloc Past To The Media?

This is a question that we might never know the answer to, but I'd be very curious to know who informed the media of NDP leader Nycole Turmel's Bloc membership history. This was not something that the Dippers put in their original press release, but it was something known to their leadership. Had this information been easily available, the media would have reported on it when she was appointed interim leader. People knew prior to the NDP's Wednesday announcement that she had previously endorsed a Bloc candidate, but not that she was a due paying member. There have been rumours that the information came courtesy of Tom Mulcair, though at this point such an assertion is just speculation. It just as likely came from the top NDP brass after people on talk radio (CBC Sunday Cross Country Check-up) were openly calling her a separatist.

The leak had to come from either the Bloc or from within the NDP, because those were the only two parties that seemed to know this information. We know that a number of NDP MPs expressed surprise when they found out, so it is unlikely that the party leadership disclosed this information when her candidacy for leader was put to a caucus vote. Guaranteed the Bloc was well aware that she was a member and sending them money, so it is plausible that they leaked it to the media. Either way, this looks really bad to Canadians outside of Quebec and the Dippers would be smart to replace her before Parliament resumes. Then again, they don't want to admit that there could possibly be anything wrong with running people who were once Bloc members now that they are dependent on former Bloc voters for the majority of their caucus.

When I asked my friend who is a registered NDP member what he thought about the NDP gains in the 2011 election; his response, "easy come, easy go"...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

BC Liberal Premier Skips Pride Parade, Little Media Response

When Mayor Rob Ford went on vacation instead of attending Toronto's gay pride parade, the national media erupted in outrage that Mr. Ford was "legitimizing hate" by not attending. Fast forward to last weekend when the Liberal Premier of British Columbia Christy Clark skipped Vancouver's pride parade for a vacation, and where is the outrage in the media? Where are the headlines at the Globe and Mail? Listening to talk radio here in Vancouver yesterday, there was some speculation that she skipped the parade intentionally to try and appeal to Conservatives. I'm not sure I believe that. It's just ironic how the media treats these two comparable stories with completely opposite levels of attention. If it was deliberate, I'm not sure it was intelligent because Christy's strength is supposed to be her left flank. She won the leadership nomination with overwhelming support from NDP held ridings.

The Soloman Show dedicated no time to the BC Premier skipping Vancouver's pride parade, unlike the furor that followed the decision of Rob Ford.

Does It Matter That NDP Leader Was A Due Paying Bloc Member?

Today's poll question (borrowed from the CBC Politics Show); "does it matter to you that the interim leader of the opposition once held party membership in the Bloc Quebecois?" Normally I'm not a fan of cutting and pasting CBC poll questions, but in this instance I'd like to see how the Blogging Tory audience responds to the exact same question. The CBC audience went 50% no and 49% yes. The Soloman Show has an audience that is normally about 80% or more left wing, so clearly you have Liberals going both ways on this matter.

Does it matter to you? Who are the Liberals saying yes, and who are the Liberals saying no?

July 2011 Polling

Here are the results of your poll questions for the month of July. While much was happening in the world, it was a slow month for Canadian politics; that is until recently when our political landscape started heating up with various revelations coming from the official opposition. We found out that Linda Duncan has the worst hairdo in politics, while 25% of you think Bob Rae will be the next permanent leader of the NDP if Jack Layton is unable to return. A slim majority (97%) of you think that the names and pictures of suspected war criminals should be published to the Canadian public. 3% of you think gas taxes should be increased to fund public transit expansion.

Here are the rest of your poll questions:

IS IT ACCEPTABLE FOR OUR NATURAL RESOURCES MINISTER TO TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES TO PROMOTE CANADIAN ENERGY?

Yes (99%)
No (1%)
Undecided (0%)

SHOULD WIRELESS INTERNET BE ILLEGAL?

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

IF JACK LAYTON IS UNABLE TO RETURN AS LEADER OF THE NDP, WHO DO YOU EXPECT THE NEXT PERMANENT LEADER TO BE?

Tom Mulcair (29%)
Bob Rae (25%)
None of the above (18%)
Libby Davies (9%)
Peggy Nash (4%)
Pat Martin (4%)
Charlie Angus (2%)
Nycole Turmel (2%)
Linda Duncan (1%)

SHOULD THE NAMES OF SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINALS HIDING IN CANADA BE MADE PUBLIC?

Yes (97%)
No (2%)
Undecided (1%)

IF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF VIOLENT CRIMES HAS DECLINED EVERY YEAR SINCE THE TORIES CAME TO POWER, SHOULD THEY CHANGE COURSE ON THEIR “TOUGH ON CRIME” AGENDA?

No (94%)
Yes (6%)
Undecided (0%)

SHOULD CANADA EVEN HAVE A CENSUS, BE IT LONG OR SHORT?

Yes (73%)
No (24%)
Undecided (3%)

WHICH MEDIA/POLITICAL PERSON HAS THE WORST HAIRDO?

Linda Duncan (20%)
Elizabeth May (13%)
Susan Delacourt (12%)
Donald Trump (11%)
Julie Van Dussen (8%)
Rosemary Barton (7%)
Kady O'Malley (7%)
Frances Russell (5%)
Jane Taber (4%)
They all have great hair (4%)
Rebekah Brooks (2%)
None of the above (1%)

HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED THE SHOW CASH CAB ON THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL?

No (69%)
Yes (31%)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE JOHN BAIRD'S EARLY PERFORMANCE AS MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS?

Excellent (51%)
Acceptable (35%)
Replaceable (7%)
Undecided (5%)

WOULD INDIA BE JUSTIFIED INVADING PAKISTAN TO TAKE OUT TERRORIST GROUPS?

Yes (62%)
I'd say yes if Pakistan did not have nukes (23%)
No (10%)
Undecided (4%)

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE FREQUENT LIBERAL CROSS COUNTRY TOURS?

Beg boosters for more money (50%)
To be seen making an effort (29%)
They don't make any sense (14%)
Connect with regular Canadians (2%)
Quell rebellion (2%)
Undecided (0%)

SHOULD GAS TAXES BE INCREASED TO FUND PUBLIC TRANSIT EXPANSION?

No (95%)
Yes (3%)
Undecided (2%)

SHOULD THE PRIDE PARADE RECEIVE GOVERNMENT FUNDING?

No (96%)
Yes (3%)
Undecided (1%)

WOULD YOU LIKE PRINCE WILLIAM TO BE CANADA'S HEAD OF STATE?

Yes (67%)
No (31%)
Undecided (2%)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Absorbing The Bloc: NDP Strategy?

When the NDP gobbled up 92% of the Bloc Quebecois' seats in the 2011 election, it might not have been a coincidence, but rather coordinated strategy. I'd be curious to know just how many of the new Quebec NDP MPs are former members of Quebec separatist parties and organizations like their new interim leader. Turmel disclosed her past associations to NDP leadership prior to running in the last election, so the Party knew this information prior to her candidacy and eventual selection as Party leader. What better way to attract Bloc voters than to run Bloc members? The Bloc still had 890,000 votes in 2011, votes I'm sure the NDP are trying to woo.

It is starting to look like Turmel is fast becoming the best thing to happen to the Liberal Party in the last decade. Her interview on Tuesday with Rosemary Barton trying to explain why she joined the Bloc Quebecois and Quebec Solidaire was vague and hardly made any sense. She joined the Bloc because her friend asked her to, and she liked their policy on "scabs". The sovereignty matter was not important, well except that as a member she was also giving the Bloc money allowing them to fuel their fight for independence. Who cares about that, they had good policy on making it illegal to hire replacement workers in the event of a strike. National unity, or no more scabs? Yes, she willingly donated financial resources to an organization dedicated to splitting up the country, but her friend asked her to and everybody hates scabs, right? That was the Rosemary Barton Show on Tuesday.

With each passing day, this leadership selection is just getting worse for the Dippers. However there might be more at play than meets the eye, mostly whether or not the Bloc will even continue to exist without party subsidies. The Bloc was entirely funded by federal tax money, and without that cash, it makes sense to fold the Bloc and put all their resources into the Parti Quebecois mothership. If the Bloc folds, then nearly a million Quebec voters are suddenly up for grabs.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is Nycole Turmel A Good Choice For Interim NDP Leader?

Today's poll question; is Nycole Turmel a good choice for interim leader of the NDP? That was the subject of yesterday's Cross Country Check-up, which produced a wide variety of phone calls. Some NDP supporters are doing their best to put a positive spin on the selection, while others are very concerned. In past elections before becoming an NDP candidate, she has endorsed candidates from the Bloc Quebecois and the Qu├ębec Solidaire Party, prompting one Liberal Blogger to write a post "Nycole Turmel - Dancing With Separatists". She reminds me of a female Stephane Dion without the experience of having previously sat in Parliament. Where Dion came from academia, Turmel's roots are in big labour, and she rates the needs of public unions above national unity. Who cares if you want to split up the country, what can you do for my union membership?

We all wish Jack Layton the best in his recovery, but if he is unable to return the NDP has some very serious problems. Their large gains in the 2011 election can be almost entirely credited with Jack's personal popularity. He delivered a knock-out punch to Ignatieff in the english debates and followed that up by obliterating Gilles Duceppe in the french debates; helping us win our beloved Tory majority. What happens in the fall is anyone's guess at this point.

UPDATE: Tuesday we found out that not only did she previously endorse Bloc candidates, but that she was a registered member of the Bloc Quebecois! She only quit the Bloc earlier this year to run for the NDP, and all of this was known to Jack Layton and the Party. This news is going to create problems for the NDP outside of Quebec.