Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Dictator

This week I took my nephews to see the latest Mission Impossible, and by far the biggest response from the audience was this preview for the latest film by the creator of Borat spoofing Lybian dictator Muammar Gaddafi. We'll see if the movie to be released this summer is as funny as the preview, but it is appropriate that this movie was made in the same year that two nutty and dangerous dictators died. It might not be easy to find comedy in Middle Eastern megalomania, but if anyone can pull it off, it is Borat.

Friday, December 30, 2011

12 Predictions For 2012

Every year I attempt to make some predictions for the upcoming 12 months. Last year at this time I predicted a spring federal election, a Conservative majority, and that Ignatieff would be ousted as Liberal leader. While those predictions came true, roughly 70% of my forecasts were wrong. With that being said, what do I think is going to happen in 2012? Today's poll question; which of these predictions is most likely to happen?

1. Planet outlives Mayan Calendar
2. Assad regime ousted in Syria
3. Putin remains in charge of Russia
4. Few if any emerge to challenge Rae for Liberal leadership
5. Allison Redford will be defeated in pending election
6. Sidney Crosby plays fewer than 30 games in calendar year
7. Romney defeated by Obama
8. Republicans take back Senate
9. There will be no war with North Korea
10. There will be hostilities with Iran
11. The NDP will be polling below 20%
12. Irwin Cotler will not retire, even if he had previously been considering it.

Canadians Have Some Advice For Liberals: Get A New Leader

Jane Taber's latest headline piece at the Globe is titled "Canadians have some advice for Harper: Communicate with people" based on a recent Nanos poll. That is to say, 12% of Canadians offered that advice, the 88% did not. It should be noted that the Prime Minister communicated his way to a majority government earlier this year, so it is not as though he lacks the ability to communicate effectively. I'm just throwing that out there...

Perhaps the more intriguing story from this poll is that 12% of respondents offered this advice to Liberals: "get a new leader". A new leader would be someone other than Bob Rae, otherwise their advice would be "make your temporary leader permanent". The same number of people who responded that Harper needs to improve communication also said the Liberals need to ditch Bob Rae, and yet I do not see Bobby's name anywhere in Taber's article (she only wrote "the Liberals will not be holding a leadership contest until 2013").

6% of Canadians want the Tories to be more honest and transparent. Interestingly, that's the same proportion that want the Liberals to be more honest and transparent. I'm not sure this poll is even newsworthy, but given the slow news cycle over the break, it's difficult to find headline news stories.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The CBC's $7 Million Dollar Birthday

Wow, the CBC sure loves to throw a party and they certainly spare no expense! For their 75th birthday celebration the public broadcaster spent $6.6M dollars, and once again many of the details regarding those expenditures are being withheld to protect "creative practices". We do know that they spent over $300K on DVD box sets. They spent $19K on commemorative coins and "employee recognition", $37K in banners, and $40K for a former anchorman to do a series of lectures. FYI guys, with that kind of coin you could buy several fake lakes and beautification gazebos. A nice gazebo and flower garden can enhance a community for many years to come, certainly more so than the anchorman monologues.

The birthday budget dwarfs the $72K plus they spent to celebrate the renaming and shortening of the Strombo Show. Though the Strombo party was just one single event (an exclusive gathering of celebrities and CBC employees at a 5 star hotel), where the birthday celebration was a series of smaller parties held across the country where they actually invited members of the general public.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Montreal Should Only Hire French Coaches

As a hockey fan who loathes the Montreal Canadiens, I would like to encourage the franchise to hire only francophone coaches. Why? Because there are so few in the NHL to choose from, and many of them have already coached the Habs (Vigneault, Therien, Julien, Martin, etc) and been fired. Is Randy Cunneyworth the right guy for the job? Maybe, maybe not, but insisting that fluency in French is an absolute requirement severely limits their options. It is not as though the team is loaded with French speaking players and that language harmony is required for the coach to communicate with players. The perceived language requirement is mostly for communicating with local media, which hardly affects the team's on ice performance.

Please Montreal, keep lobbying so vehemently for a French speaking coach that the team is left with no choice but to scratch 90% of the candidates off their list. That's what I'd like to see, the Habs forever doomed to mediocrity.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A History Channel Christmas

It is Christmas Eve and what is being featured on the History Channel? A series of documentaries about the pending end of the world. Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy it, as it will be your last Christmas before the end of the Mayan calendar. Oh well, it is a step up from having "ancient astronaut theorists" describing to me how the virgin Mary was impregnated by E.T and that the last supper was one last attempt by alien Jesus to phone home. You really have to wonder about some of the crap that passes for programming on the History Channel these days. Surely it caters to a certain audience and it gets ratings, otherwise they wouldn't be showing it.

Everyone have a Merry Christmas!

PS: I was watching ET before channel surfing, and let me say hindsight being 20-20, that movie is way overrated. The best Christmas movie of all-time is still a toss up between Rocky 4, Die Hard, and Gremlins.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Helena Guergis Suing Stephen Harper For $1.3 Million Dollars

While it is fair to question whether or not Stephen Harper should have banished Helena Guergis from caucus over busty hooker allegations, it is ridiculous to suggest that he's guilty of intentional infliction of mental suffering. The Prime Minister was concerned about surviving in minority parliament and winning elections, not deliberately trying to hurt her feelings. What we do know for sure is that she was removed from caucus after the busty hooker story came out, and she was not reinstated when she was cleared of wrong doing in that case. The truth is that there was more to her expulsion than just Magnum PI's cocaine and prostitute story. Her husband Rahim Jaffer created his own business and was using her office, even her e-mail account, to lobby Conservative MPs for government contracts. They even had a website that suggested Jaffer had special access to the government, unnerving considering he was married to a Cabinet Minister.

People seem to forget that there was more to Guergis-gate than just hookers and blow. There was the airport meltdown that prompted Mark Holland to accuse her on national television of "assaulting airport security", though I don't see his name included in the defamation lawsuit. Anitta Neville accused her of being a drug dealer, but she's not getting sued either. While Guergis may have been cleared of trafficking drugs, her husband was still picked up driving dangerously while in possession of cocaine. I always believed that Helena's permanent expulsion from caucus had as much to do with the indiscretions of her husband than anything she had been accused of. It had everything to do with winning the next election in a minority parliament with a rabid media and opposition, not the intentional infliction of pain and suffering on Helena Geurgis.

The less covered story is that Guergis had several family members involved in local politics in her riding, and they were all wiped out in municipal elections in 2010. The family brand had become toxic in that area because of their support for a very unpopular development project. Why was the riding association in Simcoe so quick to let her go?

"Tony Guergis received a letter from Helena Guergis, his cousin, touting a green technology company to Simcoe County officials while her husband, Rahim Jaffer, and businessman Nazim Gillani were involved in a plan to take the firm public in a $1 billion deal.

Meanwhile, David Guergis became famous for wanting to dissolve the Nottawasaga Conservation Authority. He drew criticism when it emerged that his wife owned potential development property on a local flood plain."

It was the Prime Minister's right to remove the candidate if he felt they damaged the electoral prospects of the party. The illegal lobbying and her husband's indiscretions caused more harm to her political career than Stephen Harper removing her from caucus. She still ran in the 2011 election and lost. Her constituents did not want her to be their MP any longer.

Biggest Canadian Political Gaffe Of 2011?

Today's poll question; what was the biggest Canadian political gaffe of 2011? Obviously Ignatieff forcing the early election has to be at or near the top of that list, though Duceppe also forcing that election was a colossal blunder that decimated his party. The appointment of Nycole Turmel was an enormous mistake, as the NDP was so eager to find someone who could speak French that they overlooked her inability to speak English. Seriously, news channels need to start cutting to the voice-over translator when she's speaking in both languages, or at least have subtitles at the bottom like the show Swamp People. We had an F-bomb tirade by Pat Martin and an S-bomb tirade by Justin Trudeau. Also, Christy Clark and Allison Redford being selected Premier by their parties also deserves consideration, as they will both likely cost their parties the next election.

Why BC Tories Should Vote Conservative

All of a sudden heading into the Christmas break, the BC Liberals and the BC Conservatives are in a dead heat for second place to the NDP. Unlike others discouraging vote splitting in favour of unelected Premier Christy Clark, I say we need a viable alternative because the BC Liberal brand is mortally wounded. The NDP taking power is obviously a serious risk to the province, but voting for Christy greatly increases their chances of taking power. The BC Tories need to run a full slate of candidates when we finally get around to an election. Christy chickened her way out of a quick vote which she had promised, and now the rest of us are left to wait. The BC Liberals are damaged goods. We need John Cummins to do a good job and save us from the NDP. Salvation ain't coming from Christy...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Strombo Knows How To Party!

Are you looking to host a really great Christmas or New Year's party and have $70K-$100K to spend? If so you should consider calling the CBC's George Strombolopololis. Strombo really knows how to throw an epic party! Your base cost will run you about $72K plus extra for booking a 5 star hotel and a private security team to protect Strombo. For your trouble and extravagant cost, you can expect celebrities, Twitter buzz, and a magical night you won't soon forget. Granted I cannot be more specific about what exactly you'll get for your money, because that information is tightly guarded.

Last September Strombo threw such a party at a cost to taxpayers of $72,372 (which does not include the cost of the 5 star hotel and Strombo's personal bodyguards). Most of the financial details of this party are being withheld by the CBC on grounds that their release "would harm CBC's creative, programming or journalistic activities." The party was intended to launch his new show "Strombo Tonight"; which is basically the same show he had before but 30 minutes shorter with a different name. That's a lot to spend on a party to celebrate the renaming of a television show. It's also a bit rich to claim that releasing how much you spent on booze somehow jeopardizes your creative property.

This might be the most ridiculous example yet of the CBC fighting the release of information on creative grounds, but if you want to throw a bitchin' party, call Strombo.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Canadian Parliamentarian Of The Year?

Today's poll question; who was Canada's top parliamentarian of 2011? Jim Flaherty is considered by many to be among the best Finance Ministers in the industrialized world, so he deserves significant credit for our country's strong economic performance relative to the global economy. Jason Kenney has done outstanding work with the Immigration portfolio, and John Baird has exceeded my expectations in Foreign Affairs. Peter Kent had a great year. Clearly if Stephen Harper is included in the poll he'd be the runaway winner, but I think of our Prime Minister as more than a regular MP. It wouldn't be fair to everyone else if the PM were included in the poll.

I will be launching the webpoll at 11pm pacific time, and in the meantime let me know who you think should be nominated.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bob Rae Finally Discovers Attiwapiskat

There must not be much happening in the Canadian news cycle if Bob Rae (leader of the 3rd place party) making a trip to Attiwapiskat is headline news. According to Bobby, the reserve is living in deplorable 3rd world conditions and Stephen Harper must act. Hopefully the Prime Minister's response will be better than Rae's response to a similar crisis while he was Premier of Ontario and in charge of the reserve's provincial money. Bob Rae did precious little to fix the problem when it was presented to a Royal Commission while he was Premier, but now he expects others to do what he was unable or unwilling to fix when in power. Now that he's got no power at all, he's screaming bloody murder.

This reminds me of Bob Rae protesting in the streets against Stephen Harper briefly proroguing parliament, before we were reminded that Bobby prorogued almost every year while he was Premier of Ontario. It seems like a common occurrence that Bob's outrage over certain issues end up uncovering hypocrisy based on his record in a leadership position. Thank you to the Toronto Sun for uncovering this latest bout of Rae's hypocrisy.

Top News Story Of 2011?

What in your opinion was the top news story of 2011? Was it the Conservatives winning a majority government? There were significant events in the world, like the deaths of Bin Laden, Kim Jong Ill, Jack Layton, Steve Jobs and Muamar Gaddafi. There was the Japanese earthquake, the crisis in Attiwapiskat, the occupy protests, the European debt crisis, the Arab spring, and the US withdrawal from Iraq. Quite a lot of significance happened in this year, so today's poll question, what do you think is the biggest story? Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, there were shootings in Norway, the death of Steve Jobs, Prince William and Kate were married, and Charlie Sheen had a public meltdown. There are certainly many stories to choose from.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Do Not Buy Chiquita "Conflict Bananas"

When you buy a Chiquita banana, be warned, you might end up with blood on your hands. The fruit company boycotting our oil sands has a long history of bribery, violence, and corruption in Latin America to secure its banana monopoly. In recent years they have admitted to large monetary payments to terrorist organizations like FARC, who use violence in attempting to overthrow governments. Do you want to purchase and consume these blood bananas knowing that the money could find its way into the hands of paramilitary groups guilty of murder and kidnapping on an industrial scale? As Ezra Levant said "where do you think the term Banana Republic comes from?"

Ezra deserves most of the credit for discussing the violent history of this corrupt company, and for "blood bananas" trending on Twitter. All of this came to pass because Chiquita thinks our oil sands are unethical. Do they think the local environment will be better off if we leave the oil in the sand? Listen people, we have a serious problem. Thousands of acres of sand in Alberta are contaminated with oil. To me oil sands production is a massive clean up effort, not a precursor to doomsday. The oil companies deserve our praise for removing the oil from the sand. Plus I'm sure when workers strike for better working conditions, I doubt Suncor issues orders to open fire on their employees.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Should Opposition MPs Be Invited To International Conferences?

Today's poll question; should a delegation of opposition MPs be entitled to travel with the government to international conferences or meetings? Why is Peter Kent allegedly a piece of s**t? Because he did not invite opposition members to attend a conference with the government. Justin Trudeau's little temper tantrum was based on a belief that the opposition is entitled to tag along to these symposiums at the tax payer's expense. Meanwhile the Liberals are sitting in 3rd place and are not in power. When you are out of power, you don't get to share the job of governing. Then again, Justin has only ever sat in opposition, so he can be forgiven for being a little rusty on the rules of majority parliament.

Also in his Tweet the day of the S-bomb, Justin claimed that Peter Kent "banned" the opposition MPs from the Durban Conference. I'd like some clarification, did Kent call Durban and tell them not to allow any opposition MPs from Canada? Or did he simply decline to offer them tax funded hotel rooms and plane tickets? The left is now trying to flip Trudeau's tantrum as Peter Kent's fault, with Trudeau calling for an apology. Gee Justin, Lizzy May found her way to Durban. Even "Stop Harper" girl made an appearance. Just because nobody offered to pay for your plane ticket, does not mean that Peter Kent "banned" you or anyone else from attending.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trudeau Wants An Apology?

Justin Trudeau lost his temper in Parliament calling a Conservative Minister a "piece of s**t", and he thinks Peter Kent should apologize. Really??? Yesterday he Tweeted "I used unparliamentary language and apologized. Is Kent going to apologize for chiding the Opp for not being at COP17 -when HE banned us!" Keep talking JT, because you aren't doing your party any favours by dropping expletives in the House of Commons. Justin, you are a piece of s**t and I demand an apology from you for making me so upset that I was left with no choice but to curse at you. You are responsible for my irresponsible behavior! This is all your fault!

Come on man! This is ridiculous. The CBC is defending Justin this morning. They did a segment reading e-mails and the host starts off by saying "instead of focusing on what he said, we should look at why he was upset." Then he only read e-mails with that theme.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bloc Gets New Leader, NDP Plunge In Quebec

Over the weekend the Bloc Quebecois elected a new leader, and it barely made a ripple in the Canadian media. Today Harris Decima released a poll showing the NDP has plunged 16% in support in Quebec since the May election and have fallen into a tie with the Bloc. It appears that the NDP has bled support to all the major parties, not just the separatists. Clearly Nycole Turmel is not helping their fortunes in the one province where she was expected to be popular. Given her inability to speak passable English, she already has a significant challenge connecting with voters outside Quebec. The appointment of Turmel was one of the biggest political gaffes of the year (next to maybe Iggy and Duceppe forcing an election), and they can't pick a new leader fast enough. Forcing the May election did work out well for the Dippers who reached historic heights in the polls.

The interesting question is how plunging support in Quebec will affect the NDP leadership race, as candidates make an array of promises to try and stop the bleeding. This could launch Mulcair to the top of the charts if the membership decides that it needs a Quebecer to maintain what they've got. Then again, Mulcair will never have the personable popularity of a Jack Layton, and they really have nowhere to go but down regardless of who becomes the next leader.

Peter Kent "You Are A Piece Of S**t!"

So much for the new era of civility and decorum in Canadian Parliament, as today Justin Trudeau called the Minister of the Environment a "piece of s**t". Smooth move Justin, but it would have been nicer had you just told him to f**k off. On Power Play Justin explained that he's frustrated with the lack of Conservative accountability and just couldn't take it anymore. Right, it is the Tories fault that Justin can't control his temper. Also Justin, you might want to consider shaving the goatee because you look ridiculous, like a cheap retro Bond villain.

Political pundits this afternoon were musing that our parliamentarians need a vacation, despite many opposition members skipping a whole lot of votes in this session. Justin only missed 19 votes to Bob Rae's 46. Even Ruth Ellen Brosseau who famously vacationed in Las Vegas during the last election campaign has only missed one vote in this Parliamentary session. She deserves some credit, because her NDP colleagues account for 6 of the top 9 most absent MPs. 50 Tory MPs missed zero votes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quebec Suing The Government?

Quebec is going to sue the federal government to try and save the gun registry, or rather the data contained within. Their plan is to start their own gun registry, which is their government's prerogative. If the province would like to go ahead with their own gun registry, then that's their business. The matter of debate is whether or not the data held by the feds can or should be shared with provincial jurisdictions. The Tories have long campaigned on abolishing the registry and were recently elected to a majority government (including MPs from Quebec). The abolition of the registry becomes law in January. Should the gun registry data be shared with provinces who want to start their own registries? That should be a poll question.

Personally I would not object to the Tories sharing limited data about only Quebec residents, but the information of gun owners outside the province should be off limits. Although I am not a gun owner, I have always supported scrapping the gun registry because it is expensive and does nothing to prevent crime. If my province of British Columbia planned to launch a gun registry I would strongly oppose that action and it would affect my vote. However if it is popular in Quebec, go ahead, knock your socks off.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Please Sort Your Garbage

Today at work we removed all the garbage and recycling bins, replacing them with a more complex waste disposal/recycling system. We generally get about two thousand people per week come through our facility (sometimes more), and the municipality decided this green initiative was of critical importance. There are now different bins for several different types of waste, which requires the public to participate by sorting their garbage before tossing it out. Food items go in one bag, containers another, napkins another, etc. Will the public do their part? Unlikely. The old system had 2 different bins, garbage and recycling, and people would very frequently throw garbage in the recycling bin. Some people care, many don't.

I was often reminded today of the "Green Police" Super Bowl commercial, joking with my boss about waste disposal infractions and our authority to enforce a moral responsibility in the general public. This disposal system will not produce the intended results unless there is some kind of enforcement policy in place. We need badges and the authority to issue fines. Throw a bottle in the paper bin, $50 fine or a night in jail!

Today's poll question; how much of a priority do you place on recycling? Is it very important, something you only do when convenient, or no concern at all?

This Penn and Teller Bullshit episode is priceless...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

End Of The Year Poll Questions

With three weeks remaining in 2011, I would like to run some webpolls for the (blank) of the year. The two big topics are the top political newsmaker and top news story of 2011, and your suggestions for additional poll questions are encouraged. The two biggest political stories would be the death of Jack Layton and the Conservatives winning a majority government; which would then suggest that Layton and Harper are leading candidates for biggest newsmaker. The Liberals falling to 3rd place was a big story, and Iggy made significant news for all the wrong reasons. What was your favourite piece of legislation in 2011? Which politician had the worst 2011, not counting the deceased?

Please submit your suggestions, both for poll questions and for nominations of biggest news maker/story of the year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Stombo The Historian

Of all the people on the CBC roster that management could have chosen to host a series of historical documentaries, how they decided upon George Strombopolis boggles the mind. Seriously, the glorified disc jockey with all the piercings, that's your chosen educator on matters of world history? In his WWII doc, he kept talking about Hitler and Mussolini with frequent references to "right wing ideology". In the latest history lesson, we learn that Ronald Reagan was one of the true villains of the Cold War. Did the world really need more documentaries on WWII and the Cold War? What we needed was history according to Stombo...

I'd be very curious to know how much these Love-Hate docs cost to make, and how much they paid George to read the cue cards. Sound like an idea for an Access to Information request. They should not have cost much to make because there was no original research and they just recycled the same historical footage used in every other documentary. I'm willing to wager that they spent more than they should have. For those of you considering buying the Love, Hate, and Propaganda box set for $35 at the CBC Shop, be aware that they play these with great frequency on CBC TV. You'll probably get about 500 opportunities to watch it for free in the next year. This is not something you want to spend money on, though since your tax dollars helped pay to make it, you already have. That's sad.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Peter MacKay Did Nothing Wrong

Did you know that the search and rescue squadron that hoisted Peter MacKay away from his fishing trip runs 2 training events every day as part of its regular routine? On that infamous day when they took MacKay away, they were actually seeking something to do because a new engineer needed experience operating the hoist in a real life simulation. There was going to be a flight regardless of whether Peter MacKay needed an airlift or not, and the Minister was willing to put his life in the hands of rookie who required training. These exercises increase the competency and readiness of our search and rescue fleet, so that when there is a real emergency and people's lives are on the line they get the job done.

The NDP demanded MacKay's dismissal for reasons of incompetence based on e-mail semantics and hearsay before anyone thought to talk to the actual pilot! Even Don Martin of all people came to MacKay's defense today. Peter and Don don't get along, which Martin speculates might have something to do with the Belinda Stronach Biography. He wrote about the testimony from the pilot today:

If the opposition parties refuse to throttle down their hysterical demands for MacKay’s apology or resignation, MacKay has plenty of high-calibre ammunition for return fire to make them look even more hysterical than usual in Question Period today.

In two sentences, Maj. Reid removed most of the political heat from the controversy.

“The flight would have been flown regardless of whether or not the minister was included because the squadron conducts two training events per day as part of a regular routine,” he declared. “In this case, a new flight engineer required hoist training, therefore the training intentions were well matched.”

So there you have it. It was a routine flight while MacKay’s hoist helped train a newbie looking for rescue experience and never dreaming it would include the Defence Minister.

It’s been a fun controversy to cover, exacerbated by horrible spin from a minister who used to excel at media relations, but there’s nothing more to see or say on this file. MacKay’s search for a rescue is over.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saanich Gulf Islands Byelection?

With rumours swirling around the internet that Green Party MP Elizabeth May could be defecting to Papua New Guinea, the local Tories in her riding should start preparing for a possible byelection whenever that might happen. Even if the byelection is years away, there is a benefit to cold calling constituents to identify possible voters. Is it fair to engage in such activity before the MP has officially resigned? If there is a plausible basis for the speculation, then why not? Elizabeth May has started working on behalf of the government of Papua New Guinea, so it is entirely plausible that she might defect. Call it wishful thinking if you will, but we should start working the phones on Vancouver Island.

I have to take a principled stand on this issue, and do what's right. Identifying supporters allows you to offer help getting them to the polls at election or byelection time. This is furthering the cause of democracy by trying to get as many people as possible out to vote. Getting people out to vote is morally sound and should be embraced, not confronted with outrage and self important righteousness...some assholes are just completely irrational...

How Did The Ancestral Cree Survive James Bay Winters?

As the housing and infrastructure crisis in Attiwapiskat continues, one can't help but wonder how the Cree ancestors of the residents survived the harsh northern winters for hundreds of years. They have been living up there for a very long time, and somehow managed to survive without $250,000 homes and millions of dollars in government aid. I suppose these people have now lost their ability to live off the land, where they prospered self sufficiently for a millennium. Now these once proud people have deteriorated into a welfare ghetto with complete dependence on government.

Charlie Angus, the federal NDP MP for the area is applauding the band for telling the 3rd party financial managers to go home because they didn't bring supplies. Auditors and accountants are not the Red Cross, yet Charlie seems to think they need to function as delivery people. Don't expect the auditors to get a warm welcome or cooperation from the band leadership that squandered $90M over 6 years. We need to find out what really happened to the money, therefor auditors and 3rd party management are required, not optional.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elizabeth May Representing Papua New Guinea

Excellent news that Elizabeth May has opted to represent the people of a foreign country at an international symposium. If we are lucky, her return trip from the conference will be to Papua New Guinea instead of Ottawa. Seriously Elizabeth, you should consider taking up residence in your new country. It is a tropical climate and word has it that the local people are very friendly. You can swim with sharks, forage with tree kangaroos, and enjoy everything their ecosystem has to offer.They even recently introduced a Limited Preferential Vote system for elections that is similar to how the Liberals elect their leaders. Very exciting, right? I would support the Prime Minister making her our ambassador to Papua NG, allowing her to reside there year round.

Moving to Papua New Guinea is something you should seriously consider Elizabeth. Many people would love for that to happen, even if the happiest people would be in Canada.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Should Peter MacKay Resign?

The Minister of Defense is once again under siege for his impromptu helicopter extraction from a fishing trip as he stands accused of lying in his initial version of events. Today's poll question; should Peter MacKay resign? The Prime Minister says the the Minister was recalled from vacation and thus they sent a helicopter so that they could conduct government business. However the connecting flight was only a 2 hour drive from the cottage, making the helicopter part of it appear rather unnecessary. Or perhaps they were overdue on training to evacuate VIPs from cottages? Come on, if you don't practice every so often, you don't know what can happen in an emergency. I'm a little bit disappointed, but not angry about this incident. Some pundits and politicians are furious.

Regardless, Peter MacKay won't resign and he will not be dismissed over this controversy. Truth is the Tories have reduced Challenger flights by 80% since taking over for the Liberals. I'd be curious to see how many Challenger air miles Ralph Goodale collected while working as a minister of the crown.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dippers Say The Darndest Things

On Sunday the NDP will have their first leadership debate, which may or may not produce the next hot sound clip for the next election. Today's poll question; which NDP leadership candidate will produce the most "memorable" quote in the leader's debates? Memorable in the same way that Ignatieff's "we didn't get it done" knocked Stephane Dion off the rails once upon a time.

There are 9 names to choose from:

1) Brian Topp: most likely to screw up on a stage in front of the cameras.

2) Paul Dewar: plays the self-righteous blowhard better than anybody.

3) Tom Mulcair: I'd love for Tom to tell us what he really thinks about international terrorism. The most gaffe prone in the field.

4) Peggy Nash: She's likely to make the most in spending promises.

5) Niki Ashton: I don't know anything about this person.

6) Romeo Saganash: I don't know anything about this person.

7) Martin Singh: I don't know anything about this person.

8) Robert Chisholm: I don't know anything about this person.

9) Nathan Cullen: Least likely to make a gaffe. He's a savvy media guy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

NDP Leadership Debates Kick Off Sunday

Just a heads up to political junkies out there, the NDP will be having their first official leadership debate on Sunday. While many of us are disappointed that Libby Davies will not be participating, the festivities should still produce memorable quotes which can be used as campaign fodder. Brian Topp has been the hand picked front runner thus far, though Mulcair and Dewar are unlikely to waste the opportunity to take some shots at the establishment candidate. What will be interesting is whether or not any of them will deviate from current party policy left behind by Jack Layton, and blaze forward with their own juicy initiatives. Or will this debate be about who would do the best job of enacting the policies of Jack Layton?

There's a strong chance that aboriginal affairs will dominate the discussion given the recent emergency in Northern Ontario. Who will make the biggest spending promise? Guaranteed there will be some very colossal dollar figures thrown around in this debate. This should be entertaining television for those of us who follow politics closely, though we will be lacking the wild and crazy ideas of Libby. Expect Peggy Nash to lead the way on dollars promised to public sector union workers, with the 8 other contestants clamouring behind to try and court that crucial demographic of the NDP constituency.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Polling

Here are your poll results from the month of November. Who should be the Premier of Alberta? Do you know the lyrics to our national anthem? Should Rob Ford sue the CBC? Do you think that a fleet of tankers is cleaner and safer than a pipeline? Is Canada screwed? Hermain Cain topped your list as the Republican who should face Obama in 1012, but there have been some new extra marital affair accusations since the poll, so his candidacy is in jeopardy.


Yes (84%)
No (16%)


Danielle Smith (63%)
Monte Solberg (19%)
Alison Redford (5%)
Wayne Gretzky (4%)
None of the above (2%)
Ted Morton (1%)
Ed Stelmach (0%)
Raj Sherman (0%)
Doug Horner (0%)
Gary Mar (0%)
Naheed Nenshi (0%)


No (68%)
Yes (21%)
Undecided (7%)
The world will end in Dec 2012 (4%)


No (96%)
Yes (4%)
Undecided (0%)


No (93%)
Yes (3%)
Undecided (2%)


Herman Cain (30%)
Newt Gingrich (24%)
Mitt Romney (17%)
None of the above (7%)
Ron Paul (6%)
Undecided (5%)
Rick Perry (2%)
Michele Bachman (2%)
Rick Santorum (1%)
John Huntsman (1%)


Yes, and bring tasers (82%)
Yes, no tasers (13%)
No (4%)


Yes (40%)
No (38%)
Undecided (22%)


Yes (91%)
No (6%)
Undecided (3%)


No (53%)
Yes (36%)
Undecided (10%)


Yes (83%)
No (15%)
Undecided (2%)


No (88%)
Yes (9%)
Undecided (3%)


Yes (55%)
No (44%)
Undecided (1%)