Thursday, September 29, 2011

Peter MacKay Should Fly Commercial

Today's poll question; did Defense Minister Peter MacKay abuse his privilege by chartering millions of dollars in flights on government jets? It would seem that Peter does not like flying commercial as he has logged hundreds of hours on expensive government Challenger jets over the last two years. While I believe that our Prime Minister should never fly commercial, that sentiment does not extend to all government ministers. Calling in government helicopters to pick you up from a fishing trip is not an appropriate use of government resources. If a minister needs to travel somewhere on government business, then they should not have to pay for their flight, but that flight should not be on a private jet. I will defend Stephen Harper for taking a jet to a hockey game, but not Peter MacKay for flying a Challenger to a Lobsterfest. Sorry Pete.

Ontario Election Final Week

We are now officially one week away from the Ontario election, and I really hope to see the good people of Ontario give Dalton McGuinty the boot. Eight years has been more than enough, despite David Suzuki's endorsement. You may or may not be aware of Suzuki's plug, with Dalton bragging about it at every opportunity (including television advertisements). It has practically become his entire campaign. Never in my life have I seen a politician make so many references in a single campaign to a single endorsement. Please elect me so we can make David Suzuki a wealthier man.

Look, many of us grew up watching the Nature of Things, but be aware that Suzuki is a wealthy man, a wealth built on selling "environmental awareness". He has a financial incentive to endorse politicians willing to sink large sums of money into the "green" rabbit hole. That's how Suzuki gets paid, that's how his friends get paid. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying what it is. Gullible politicians can be very lucrative to people in the business of lobbying.

Please, end the reign of Dalton McGuinty and give fiscal prudence a chance. I do not recommend the CBC Ontario Vote Compass, which puts the Green Party closest to the center (slightly to the right of the Liberals). The Tories on the other hand are way over on the right.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bob Rae Rips NDP

Canada voted today to extend our military mission in Libya despite the vocal opposition of the NDP, but the most surprising part of the entire debate was when Liberal leader Bob Rae blasted the Dippers for wanting to cut and run. He even went so far as to call their position ridiculous. "It is a fundamentally absurd proposition. Because of the internal workings of the New Democratic Party, they say we have to be the party of peace. Well, we’re all the party of peace... It does not mean you have to be a party of appeasement or of indifference."

I was not expecting any friendly fire between Liberals and Dippers this fall, but it is plausible that the Libs will actually try to win votes back from the NDP. In this salvo Bobby attacked one of the NDP's greatest weaknesses, foreign policy, so he wasn't exactly pulling punches. In the event that these two parties were to merge, the greatest internal divisions would likely occur on matters of foreign policy. The NDP and the Liberals disagreed quite often over Afghanistan (except when it came to accusing our troops of being war criminals).

How Should We Ship Canadian Oil?

Today's poll question; how should we ship our oil to the United States? Should we do it with a fleet of thousands of trucks? Should we rely on giant oil tankers? Or maybe, just maybe, a pipeline is actually the best way to move this stuff? We aren't going ship this via Federal Express, so we had best find the most effective and efficient means of transporting our black gold to our biggest customer. There was a small protest in Ottawa today (actually quite a pathetic turnout by recent standards), and somehow I suspect if you polled those people the most popular answer would be to stop selling oil altogether. There is well over a trillion dollars worth of oil in the ground in Alberta, and blocking its sale would lead to catastrophic economic damage. Regardless of what overrated celebrities from cheesy 80s movies you get to protest this development, you can't stop the oil from being sold. It will be transported from point A to point B, guaranteed. The question is how do we want to do it? How many trucks would it take to ship the same volume of oil that the pipeline could ship in a single day?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Christy Clark's Failure In Vancouver Riots

We are starting to find out more of the many reasons why BC Premier Christy Clark changed her mind and postponed our next election, such as this story that she received a request from the Vancouver mayor and police chief for more money to put more police officers in the streets for game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. Her answer was no, and the consequences of this decision was a horrific and embarrassing riot that saw businesses looted and police cars burned. The police presence was far too low to control the crowds, and Christy shares responsibility. It is no wonder that she came out so forcefully the next day promising to bring the hooligans to justice, unfortunately here we are several months after the incident and very few people have even been charged with a crime (despite most of the offenders being captured on video looting).

We need to support the BC Conservative Party if we are going to block the NDP from taking power when we finally get to the next election. The BC Liberals are proper f**ked.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How Much Money Should Canada Spend Bailing Out Europe?

Today's poll question; how much money should Canada send to bail Europe out of its debt crisis? Should we spend millions, billions, or nothing at all? Sure it makes sense to pay down our own debt before we start helping our allies pay theirs, but others would argue that we cannot let Europe collapse and have a responsibility to try and prevent a meltdown. In Canada we have the good fortune of a strong economy and comparatively manageable debt. It is great to be in a position where Evan Soloman even has the luxury of asking how much money Canada should send across the pond. Jim Flaherty might be the best Finance Minister in the G20 and we are lucky to have him managing our budget.

Walking Out On Crazy Leaders

While normally I would be proud to see Canadian diplomats boycotting an Iranian speech at the United Nations, I do have a procedural request. The visual effect is far greater when you get up and walk out of the room 10 seconds after he starts talking than if you don't show up at all. The Canadian seats at the UN assembly were empty before Ahmadeninejad even began talking. Over 30 countries walked out during his speech, and that visual was broadcast on news stations all around the world. It was great to see. Next time, let's send our people to the speech and have them walk out as soon as he begins talking so cameras can catch the visual image.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Libby Davies Backs Out

As a Conservative blogger I must confess my disappointment that Libby Davies has dropped out of contention for the leadership of the NDP. I was really looking forward to providing a commentary on Libby's candidacy, whether she won or lost, it would have been nice if she at least participated. Now the leadership debates are less likely to include arguments on why crystal meth should be legalized. Libby has some of the most embarrassing personal policy positions in the party, so it does benefit the Dippers to remove her from the race before candidates begin debating issues. Libby did have a distinct advantage over Mulcair and Topp by being a cornerstone of the BC wing of the NDP, a province which contains 1/3 of all card carrying Dippers. I wouldn't be surprised if the party brass prefers no BC candidates such that nobody gets that "BC boost". We have some of the most bat-shit crazy Dippers in the country.

Now that Broadbent and Romanow have endorsed Topp, I'm curious to know if they are trying to talk other candidates out of running. This week the NDP also lost popular east coaster Megan Leslie as a candidate, as both her and Libby don't speak French. I never expected Libby to win the nomination, but I at least wanted her to run. Thus far the trend has been candidates dropping out, to the point where nobody is going to be left to run against the front runner.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NDP Saints?

Today on the Soloman Show, Evan referred to former NDP Premier Roy Romanow as a "patron saint", an increasingly common media reference to former NDP Premiers and leaders. I'm kind of curious to know who started nicknaming Dippers like Broadbrent and Romanow as "patron saints", because you never hear this terminology used to describe retired Conservatives. God knows nobody at the CBC has ever described Brian Mulroney as a "patron saint". Sure Broadbent is a respected politician, but should he be canonized as a special envoy for heaven on Earth? I'd say that's a bit of a stretch.

I'm interested to know where this specific terminology originated. The first place I noticed it was in June 2010 when Chretien, Romanow, and Broadbrent held meetings to negotiate a plausible merger deal between the Liberals and the NDP. Several news outlets referenced Broadbrent and Romanow as the NDP saints. I suspect that the "NDP saints" references did not start until post coalition merger speculation, and that it might have been coined by Liberal President Alfred Apps. The Liberals like Apps and Chretien who were trying to push a merger used that terminology to try and sell the possibility of a merger to other Liberals and it stuck. Now Soloman calls Broadbrent and Romanow saints every time they are mentioned on his show. It's almost Pavolvian at this point.

What's interesting is that both Broadbrent and Romanow have endorsed Brian Topp. Ed and Roy held merger meetings with Chretien last summer, and Topp was Jack's point man for the attempted coalition coup in December of 2008. Can you see where we're going with this?

The NDP's First Day Without Jack

Many have predicted that the NDP will have great difficulty performing without leader Jack Layton, and their first day back to work since his death only helped solidify this belief. First, the NDP needs to have their leadership convention as soon as possible because Nycole Turmel is a terrible public speaker. She was painful to watch in Question Period. Her English is harder to understand than Stephane Dion so most of her questions are in French, and she has to read all of her questions off of a piece of paper. Bob Rae by comparison is bloody Shakespearean.

Then you had Peggy Nash demanding that the government stop cutting taxes to businesses and instead focus on "the real job creators". I suppose in the wonderful world of "social democracy" the government becomes the most important and "efficient" employer (especially those positions which are unionized). Yes it is looking like the NDP's fall jobs plan is about creating more public sector jobs. CUPE, not small business, is the real job creator in this country. Either we could hire more unionized public employees, or we could just funnel money directly into CUPE. I doubt the NDP would complain.

Also today, Mulcair threatened not to run for leader unless the party does something to "rectify" Quebec's lack of card carrying NDP members. Since half the NDP's seats are in Quebec, then the province should be guaranteed 50% of the influence in selecting the next leader; regardless of how many memberships Team Mulcair is able to sell. But since rumours have it that Layton's inner circle does not want Mulcair to be the next leader, don't expect the rules to be changed to increase Tommy's probability of victory.

Day 1 was interesting to say the least.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bob Rae's "Jobs Crisis"

Canadian Parliament resumed today with a very spirited episode of Question Period. At one point Liberal leader Bob Rae demanded that the government produce a plan for dealing with "the jobs crisis". Really Bob? You consider 7.3% unemployment to be a crisis? For the record the United States and the European Union have unemployment rates hovering over 9%, so when compared to the rest of our G7 and G20 colleagues we are doing quite well. We have a manageable debt, solid employment, and a strong banking system. To call this a crisis is absurd. Of course there is a threat of a global economic slowdown that will have a negative effect on Canada's economy, but we will enter that slowdown in a stronger economic position that most industrialized nations.

The only nice thing that I can say about Bob Rae today is that his public speaking skills are so much more advanced than Nycole Turmel that I'm not sure the Dippers amateur hour will be able to keep the Liberals at bay.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Green Jobs Delusion

You've gotta love Dalton McGuinty running television commercials bragging about his "green jobs economy", which according to David Suzuki is a model for the rest of the world to follow. I'm not so sure the world would be advised to follow the Pied Piper on this one, as his beloved solar panel factory has had to shut down production due to lack of demand for what they produce. They didn't just slow down production, they shut it down entirely. Workers will have to wait at home indefinitely hoping that the company actually gets a few orders before they can return to work. That looks really bad for the man on television praising himself as a visionary. I guess Dalton thought it would be easy being green, but unfortunately nobody wants to buy this overpriced crap. What's really frightening for Ontario voters is that Dalton is promising to create even more of these inefficient and impractical green jobs.

How many more tax dollars can Dalton piss down the rabbit hole chasing a delusional pipe dream of producing inferior products nobody wants to buy? If you vote for him, maybe you'll get to find out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Politicians Pre-Election Health Disclosure

Today's poll question; if a politician finds out prior to an election that they have a high probability of dying before the end of their elected term, do voters have a right to know? If you've been listening to (or watching) the Charles Adler show lately, this is a conversation that the boss of talk has been having often. It began with a controversial piece titled Dead man campaigning, and the conversation has evolved. When prostate cancer spreads, it tends to spread to the bones in the hip or pelvis. Once that happens, the probability of survival plummets to 10%. So if Jack Layton's hip surgery prior to the election was related to his prostate cancer, then he would have been aware of his odds of survival prior to defeating the government and forcing the writ. If Jack was willing to risk his health for the best interests of the NDP, that is his decision. But if he ran for Prime Minister knowing that he was unlikely to be able to finish his term, do you have a problem with that?

I don't want to disrespect anyone currently suffering from cancer. One of my sisters was diagnosed with cancer this week. I would ask her if she's interested in running for public office, but I'm pretty sure I know what her answer would be...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Topp Stumbles In British Columbia

If you happened to listen to newstalk radio in British Columbia today, you are likely aware that NDP leadership hopeful Brian Topp created outrage in his first campaign style trip to our province. He's here to build support for his leadership bid and while on a local radio show declared that Quebec should get more seats in Parliament. The phone boards erupted. I'm not sure if he's aware of this, but there is a significant anger in BC about our under-representation in Ottawa and you aren't going to win much support here by advocating for increased representation for Quebec. Roughly 1/3 of all card carrying NDP members are from BC, making this province the most powerful voting block in the leadership race. I can't imagine that Mulcair will oppose Topp's plan to put more seats in Quebec, which could create an opportunity for longshot candidates like Libby Davies and Peter Julian should they take the populist position.

Topp has already secured the endorsement of the most influential Dipper Ed Broadbent, but it will be difficult for any candidate to win the nomination without substantial support from BC. Topp is a dud and Mulcair is divisive. This leadership campaign could be very interesting. You could end up with a situation where polarization between the top two contenders paves the way for longshot sneak in and win the race, like when the Liberals stumbled into Stephane Dion.

As Charles Adler said recently on his radio show, "some people say that nobody is irreplaceable. Well if Brian top is the replacement, then Jack Layton is irreplaceable."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What To Do With Tory MP Who Sent Amorous E-Mails?

Today's poll question; what should happen to the Tory MP who sent amorous e-mails to a Chinese state journalist? Should he be removed from his Parliamentary Secretary role? Should he be expelled from caucus? We have yet to learn all of the details about this story, but what we do know doesn't look good for Mr. Dechert. At the very least he showed poor judgement, and at worst he could have shared sensitive information. We did not expel Maxime Bernier from caucus when he left cabinet files at his girlfriend's apartment, and I don't think we should toss Dechert from the Party. That being said, he should be removed from his Parliamentary Secretary role, even if only temporarily while a formal investigation takes place.

Given the symbiotic relationship between the Chinese spy agency and the Chinese news agency, an investigation as to what information might have been shared is warranted. Was this just e-mails, or was there also a physical relationship? Was the journalist proactive in this relationship, or did this MP just get horny for a woman who did not reciprocate? I'm sure it is not impossible that the Chinese government would send attractive females to foreign countries with the purpose of extracting information from horny male politicians. Knowing which of the two initiated these flirtatious exchanges could affect my opinion on this story, but either way Mr. Dechert showed poor judgement.

At least one Blogging Tory is defending Mr. Dechert, but the Phantom Observer appears to be alone on this one at this early stage in the story.

Forced Membership In The Canadian Wheat Board

Today's poll question; should farmers be forced to join the Canadian Wheat Board? Canadian wheat farmers recently voted 60% in favour of keeping the institution, which forces the other 40% to join the monopoly. Personally I don't think they need to scrap the CWB. If 60% of farmers want to only sell their wheat to the CWB, they should be allowed to do so. The problem is with forced participation in the monopoly, and that should be broken. According to an economic impact analysis on their own website: The Canadian Wheat Board "exists to serve the needs of approximately 85,000 western Canadian farmers, with a sole mission to maximize their returns from the sale of their grain".

How do monopolies get the best price for their product? They restrict supply, driving up the price. That's worse for consumers than it is for the majority of farmers. Less wheat makes it to market, making it more expensive. The means by which supply is restricted will benefit some farmers while hurting others; but the only group guaranteed to pay a price is consumers. Should millions of Canadians have to pay a higher price at the grocery stores so that 60% of farmers can maximize their profit margin? You would think that the NDP would want to bust up the monopoly, but evidently they are taking the side of the price fixing cartel. That's not what I would call "populist".

Monopolies are economically inefficient and hinder market growth. Perhaps somebody should ask Pat Martin if he supports all monopolies, or just this one particular monopoly.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Targeting Bin Laden

It has only been a few months since Bin Laden was killed in a "top secret" Navy Seal operation, and already the Discovery channel has a full length documentary outlining the event in extraordinary detail (including a full set of interviews with Obama about the decision making process). Boy that was fast! How long is sensitive information like this normally supposed to stay classified? You rarely see television documentaries on highly classified black ops, especially so soon after the event. I watched the doc with great interest and enjoyed it, even Obama's detailed descriptions of his decisions was entertaining. Obama has every right to thump his chest on this one, and I can understand if they fast tracked the declassification process in order to get the film crew in and out before the 10th year anniversary of 9/11. Had I been President and killed Bin Laden, I would probably have done the same thing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Jack Layton Would Have Wanted

With a new session of Parliament right around the corner, get ready for the NDP to start telling us what Jack Layton would have wanted. The Dippers have already been injecting policy platforms into their grieving process and soon they'll be saying that we need to follow NDP policy because Jack Layton would have wanted it that way. Perhaps they are within their rights to invoke the posthumous desires of their deceased leader and I'm just a jackass for complaining about it, but it's become uncomfortable to be put in the position of having to repeatedly disagree with a pseudo-martyr. I expect as Parliament resumes it's only going to get worse; and make no mistake, being turned into a martyr to sell NDP policies is indeed what Jack Layton would have wanted...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's The Greatest Threat To Canadian Security?

As we approach the ten year anniversary of 9/11, what do you think is the greatest threat to Canadian security? That is going to be today's poll question later this afternoon following a short nomination/suggestion period (your suggestions, both serious and sarcastic are encouraged). The Prime Minister seems to have offended some people on the left by suggesting recently that Islamic terrorists remain the most dangerous threat to our security. So is he spreading hatred or being realistic. Aside from terrorists, other legitimate threats would include drug cartels, gangs, anarchists, international spies, ninjas, mother nature, aliens from outer space, vikings, hippies, Mongol hoards, and last but not least socialists.

Am I forgetting anyone?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Dalton McGuinty's Colossal Mistake

Dalton McGuinty has made a serious blunder ahead of the upcoming Ontario election with a campaign pledge to offer businesses lucrative tax credits for hiring foreign workers over Canadian workers. I would say that Dalton has pulled a John Tory, but this could (and should) end up eclipsing the faith based school funding fiasco of the last election (which derailed the Tory campaign before the campaign officially began). Today's poll question; should the Government of Ontario offer tax credits to businesses for hiring foreign workers over Canadian workers? I can only imagine how the half a million unemployed Ontarians are going to feel about this.

This policy is so foolish, I'm starting to wonder if there was some Machiavellian purpose behind its creation. Dalton is misguided, but he can't be this stupid. What I'll be most interested to see is how the media responds to this story in the upcoming weeks. Now that Labour Day has passed and summertime is over, regular people tend to start paying attention again. The timing of this policy is great for the Conservatives.

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

-Steelers Wheel

Mulcair And Topp Split On NDP Leadership Convention Rules

A difference of opinion has emerged between the two top NDP leadership contestants Tom Mulcair and Brian Topp regarding the rules to elect Jack Layton's replacement. Currently NDP policy is to guarantee a minimum % of votes for organized labour (which Topp supports), where Mulcair wants all NDP members being treated as equals. While I'm inclined to agree with Tom on this one, this is unlikely a clash of pure ideologies and rather both men trying to maximize their probability of winning the race. I would be willing to wager that Topp is more popular than Mulcair with big labour and that is his motivation for "defending tradition" against a more populist position.

In almost every kind of contest participants will favour the rules that make them most likely to win. It is difficult to say with certainty how the rule change would affect the victory odds of either candidates without digging into internal NDP polling numbers (which are not public). Mulcair might have the more palatable position, but don't believe for a second that he wouldn't be doing the exact opposite if he were more popular with the union establishment.

Friday, September 2, 2011

August 2011 Polling

Here are your poll results for the month of August. It was quite an eventful month with the passing of Jack Layton changing the landscape of Canadian politics. The HST was overturned in a referendum in BC prompting Christy Clark to flip flop yet again, this time on her pledge to get a fresh mandate from the people before the next scheduled election in 2013. What should be done to deal with the next recession? Can the NDP sustain its current level of support in the next election without Layton?


Yes (86%)
No (13%)
Undecided (1%)


No (75%)
Yes (14%)
Maybe if it cost less (7%)
Undecided (4%)


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


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


No (80%)
Yes (15%)
Undecided (5%)


No (63%)
Yes (30%)
Undecided (7%)


Expand prison capacity (57%)
Bring back the death penalty (32%)
Multiple inmates per cell (6%)
Put fewer people behind bars (2%)
We should do nothing (2%)
Undecided (1%)


He's fine, just don't make him party leader (69%)
Remove him from Cabinet (17%)
Remove him from Caucus (7%)
Undecided (5%)


Reduce government spending (92%)
Nothing (6%)
More stimulus spending (1%)
Undecided (0%)


Yes (91%)
No (9%)
Undecided (0%)


No (70%)
Yes (23%)
Undecided (7%)


Yes (83%)
No (14%)
Undecided (3%)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Should Fighting Be Banned In Hockey?

This has been a tragic summer for the National Hockey League as 3 "tough guys" who played in the league last season have died. It is starting to raise questions about the long term physical and emotional damage that the enforcer occupation can do to a human body. Today's poll question; should fighting be banned in hockey? I have always been a fan of the fisticuffs but I'm starting to wonder if I need to re-consider my position. Perhaps it is just an unfortunate coincidence that these 3 men have died this summer, or perhaps there is a correlation between years of repeated bare knuckle blows to the head and an early grave. Should I have a guilty conscious because I cheer for these players and I applaud what they do as the modern day gladiators they are?

Darryl Boogaard died by mixing alcohol with prescription pain killers while recovering from a serious concussion. Rick Rypien and Wade Belak committed suicide. One thing all these players had in common was that they fought, and fought a lot. Fighting legend Bob Probert, one of my favourite players of all-time, died at the age of 45 and his family donated his brain to science. The researchers found evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. According to wikipedia:

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease found in individuals who have been subjected to multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. A variant of the condition, dementia pugilistica, is primarily associated with boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in gridiron football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports, who have experienced head trauma, resulting in characteristic degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of tau protein. Individuals with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy may show symptoms of dementia such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression which may appear within months of the trauma or many decades later.

Should fighting be banned?