Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Trudeau Coronation Begins

Tonight Justin Trudeau will officially launch his bid to become the next Liberal leader, in what many expect to be a coronation rather than a leadership race. Justin is a far greater threat to the NDP than he is to the Conservatives, as you can guarantee he'll be fighting hard for votes in Quebec, where the Dippers had their major breakthrough in the last election. Tom Mulcair should be far more worried than Stephen Harper. Perhaps the biggest question is who would give the Liberals the best chance of winning the next election, Trudeau or Rae? Personally if I had to decide between Trudeau or Mulcair, I'd have to go with Mulcair. Justin is a little bit nuts. He'll speak about himself in the 3rd person and has an exaggerated belief in his own greatness, which is his birth right dammit! He's no piece of *bleep*.

Trudeau makes Mulcair look reasonable and pragmatic. And yet, is there anyone to oppose the young future King? Rae has dropped out of the race, or forced out, however you want to look at it. As a Tory, the Liberal who worries me the most is Dominic LeBlanc. There is no doubt in my mind that Stephen Harper would eat Justin Trudeau alive in the debates. Justin has an unusually high probability of saying something outrageous and idiotic in hindsight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Parliament Returns, Does Anyone Care?

Canadian Parliament has resumed for another session, 17 months into the Conservatives majority mandate. The Tories have a comfortable lead in the polls, as all that fuss last spring over the sinister "omnibus budget" appears to have fallen on deaf ears. Is the average Canadian even paying attention right now? We suffered through more than 6 years of minority governments where every faux controversy was sensationalized and the next election was always right around the corner. Most of us have been enjoying the comparable peace and tranquility of majority rule. Even some political bloggers have struggled to stay interested. Who knows, with the NHL currently locked out, maybe there will be a few extra Canadians tuned in to Parliament Hill this fall?

The NDP seems to have lost some support to the Liberals over the summer, ironic considering Mulcair has been trying to move the party closer to the political center where the greatest plurality of voters are found. Perhaps the Liberals received a bounce from Bob Rae announcing he won't run for permanent leadership? With the Liberal Party continuing to struggle for relevance in a crowded political left, it's fun to see Gloria Galloway at the Globe vigorously defending the party seriously lacking tangible policy (difficult to do without a permanent leader). The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Liberals have been accused of lacking substance and they're not going to take it anymore dammit! Rumour has it that Liberal strategists will try to capitalize on Mitt Romney's "victims" gaffe by comparing Stephen Harper to Romney. Good luck with that...

Friday, August 24, 2012

CRTC Fines Liberal Party For Illegal Robocalls

It is nice to see that the Liberal party has been fined for making illegal and misleading robocalls during the last election in the riding of Guelph, breaking election rules. Interesting though that the penalty is coming from the broadcast regulator, and not the electoral regulator (which did not consider the matter worth investigating). Elections Canada is far too pre-occupied with the hunt for Pierre Poutine to actually reprimand the third place party for breaking the rules. The CRTC seems to take the enforcement of rules and regulations more seriously. But hey, what's wrong with paid partisan phone calls pretending to be from a regular citizen and not from a political party? Some might call that fraud, others might call it an accidental misunderstanding.

Don't forget, Valeriote had the biggest vote gain of any Liberal in Canada over 2008. He jumped from 32% to 43% while his party was decimated, his leader defeated. Whatever Frank did, you can't argue that he got strong results. With Liberals collapsing all around him in apocalyptic fashion, Frank gained ground. Good job Frank.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Here Comes The PQ!

The slow painful death of Jean Charest's political career in Quebec appears to have finally reached its end, while the separatist Parti Quebecois is poised to recapture the reigns of power lost in 2003. This is by no means a sign that another referendum will be coming anytime soon, but rather an indicator of the weakness of alternative choices. Charest did prove to be a survivor winning 3 elections, a difficult feat for any Premier in any province. But that elusive 4th victory is proving to be out reach. The surprise is not that the PQ is ahead, but that Pauline Marios, not Gilles Duceppe, is leading the way. I really thought Gilles would be the one leading the mothership back to glory, but evidently his larger than life federal persona did not translate into popularity in sovereignty's circles.

Is this the end of Charest's political career? Well there is a power vacuum at the top of the federal Liberal Party. If he has interest in taking a shot at the Prime Minister's job in 2015, his best chance at leadership of a major party would be Liberal. Granted, I still don't believe Bob Rae is giving up his best chance to lead a major federal party into an election, despite what he has announced. I'll believe it when we get to the next election and Rae is not running for the top job. That being said, in the event that Rae does not run, there's a strong chance that the Liberals will choose a leader from Quebec to try and take power and seats away from the NDP (good luck with that).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romney And Ryan: The Economic Dream Team

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has announced his running mate for the November election, Congressman Paul Ryan, head of the House Budget Committee. Many pundits are calling this a "risky" selection, as the Ryan agenda to slash government spending has earned him the ire of many Democrats. Despite how Democrats and media people feel about the new VP candidate, he is the perfect selection. Romney has no choice but to fight the election on the economy and government spending. His own greatest strength is his business acumen, so it makes perfect sense to double down on the budgetary portfolio, a file that nobody knows better than Paul Ryan.

Frankly, I would argue that there is no such thing as a "safe pick". Romney is going to face a trial by fire during this election campaign, regardless of his VP selection. There was a significant risk to every possible candidate, so best to select the optimal choice to fight economic battle that Romney has to fight. Joe Biden is going to struggle mightily when he has to face Ryan in the VP debates. Romney was already facing an uphill battle with Obama ahead in the polls. Of the last 4 times an incumbent President has run for a second term, 3 of them have won re-election. Under Obama's watch, Bin Laden was killed and Gitmo is still operating. If you try to fight Obama on national security, he can counter with having issued the order to kill America's #1 enemy. The economy and the budget have to be center stage, and if it is, Romney/Ryan have a better chance of winning.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Judge Overturns Etobicoke Election Result

The results of the 2011 federal election has been overturned in the riding of Etobicoke Centre by an Ontario judge because Elections Canada workers at one specific polling location had inadequate knowledge of Canadian electoral law. The people trained by EC made up their own rules, and now the Conservative who won is paying the price. Less than 100 people were allowed to vote at the wrong location, but because the riding was won by less than 100 votes, the result has been thrown out. It should be noted that we have no idea how these people voted. They could very well have all voted for the defeated Liberal candidate, but tens of thousands of votes have now been thrown in the trash because EC workers f**ked up. This is a black eye for Elections Canada, and if we're going to start challenging the competency of their workers nationally, this is only the tip of the iceberg. This ruling should be appealed to the Supreme Court before we go and throw out thousands of legal votes because EC botched 79 registrations.

Fraud was not a factor in the judge's decision; "we need to be assured that those who vote are qualified to do so. We need to be confident that those who receive a ballot have been identified as persons who are on the official list of electors or who have registered". So if election workers in several ridings also circumvented the vouching/registration rules, do those results also need to be discarded before Canadians lose faith in their democracy? As the judge said "if we give up these foundations of our electoral system, we are risking a loss of confidence in our elections and in our government". Personally, I haven't lost faith in the government, I've lost faith in Elections Canada and their ability to teach electoral law to their army of temporary workers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Overturning Election Results

One year after Canadians elected a Conservative majority government,there is one court challenge trying to overturn the results in one riding, Etobicoke Center, which was won by the Tories. The basis for this legal challenge is not allegations of Tory robocalling or fraud, but rather the incompetence of Elections Canada workers who did not properly understand our country's electoral law. The law says that you must vote at a designated poll location on election day, but there is a common misconception that you can show up to vote anywhere of convenience. This can lead to naive (though often well intentioned) election workers attempting to circumvent the law allowing them to vote in the wrong location. Typically this would be done either by an improper registration/revision or illegal vouching.

In Etobicoke the registration forms are either missing or never existed. Allegedly people were also being told at that location that they could vote in the box with the shortest line, and if people were doing so than many were voting in boxes where their name was not on the list; which would require corroborating incompetence by the DROs,  poll clerks and poll supervisors in addition to the information/registration officers. Now a Conservative MPs victory is being challenged in court because election workers did not do their jobs properly. The Tory has the most to lose, but make no mistake, it is Elections Canada on trial.

Has a judge ever overturned a federal election result? I'm not sure that you could just void all the results from that specific poll location, throwing away thousands of legal votes because of a few dozen improper registrations/vouchings. Can a judge force a byelection in a riding because workers at a given location screwed up? If that's the case, there's probably 100 other MPs who should be concerned for their jobs. In a perfect world, election workers would know election rules and perform their duties accordingly. Unfortunately when dealing with a large temporary workforce assembled and trained in a short period of time, you are going to get mistakes, in some place more than others. Is this sufficient to force a byelection?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tory Majority; One Year Later

As we reach the one year anniversary of the Canadian Conservative party winning majority control of parliament, how would you rate this first year of Tory majority government? Do you approve, disapprove, or are you neutral? Much has been accomplished, and there is still 3 years remaining with lots of time on the agenda. Some would argue that democracy is being slowly ripped away from us, others would say the government is doing a far better job than the alternative ever could. Kind of depends who you talk to.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bob Rae Is Running For Liberal Leader?

All of the people who were expecting Bob Rae to keep his word and not run for permanent Liberal leadership after accepting the interim position must have been shocked to learn today that Bobby intends to run for the job (though that's what many of us believed all along). Since being the party leader would give him an unfair advantage in a leadership contest, he is "expected" step down from the interim post in June. That's precisely why it was the Liberal Party who demanded that Rae promise not to run for the permanent job before taking the interim job. Originally Bob demanded he be allowed to keep the interim job for two years, now he's "expected" to resign (provided the party board of directors allows him to run for the full time job).

Bob Rae wants to be Prime Minister. That's why he joined the Liberal party and entered federal politics. That's what I've been saying all along. Today's poll question; should Bob Rae be allowed to run for permanent leader of the Liberal Party?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wildrose Lost?

Ouch, very few saw that one coming. Given that Wildrose was leading in the polls for most of the campaign, one of two things must be true; either there was a last minute swing in support, or the polling during the campaign was completely inaccurate. Wildrose won zero seats in the previous election, so a jump to 20 should be considered a strong step forward; had it not been for repeated lofty expectations of a Wildrose victory. If the polling was accurate, then what officially knocked the train off the tracks? There were some comments by individual candidates which created significant amounts of negative press. Was it simply a case that in a pinch, people will tend to go with the devil they know rather than the one they don't? Can we find a way to blame this on the unions?

As a non-Albertan, I can't speak about the mood on the street; but I am trying to figure out what happened. I'd still rather live under Allison Redford than Dalton McGuinty, so in that sense Alberta, it could be worse (aka living in Ontario).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lessons For British Columbia's 2013 General Election

The BC Liberal Titanic is slowly sinking, as the NDP easily won 2 byelections in the province on Thursday. When you break down the numbers, the Liberals lost votes to both the NDP and Conservatives. Christy Clark will certainly try to blame this result on the Tories while attempting to scare monger for the next election, but the truth of the matter is that her party is bleeding votes in all directions, right and left. People like Chuck Strahl and Stockwell Day endorsing Christy's party have only delayed the inevitable Liberal demise, they can't stop it. After 3 straight majorities, the people are growing sick of the governing party. People want change. If Day and Strahl want to play the roles of the band playing the happy music as the Titanic slowly sank, the people of BC are going to pay a price because not enough people will get onto a life boat before it is too late.

The BC Conservatives saw a substantial increase in their vote totals over the last election, so anyone trying to portray this as a "disappointment" for the fledgling party set the expectations too high. The Tories went from 7% and 0% to 25% and 15%. But hey, if people want to call massive increases in vote totals as a "disappointment", then so be it, even when the party bleeding votes in all directions has struck an iceberg. Chilliwack and Port Moody, both went Tory federally with 58% and 55% respectively in the 2011 federal election. The BC Tories are growing while the BC Liberals are dying. If you are a pragmatic right winger in this province, to which should you look to for hope next year? The answer certainly is not Christy Clark. The party which brought us the carbon tax and the HST needs to be replaced.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BC Byelections Thursday

Just a reminder to the people of Chilliwack-Hope and Port Moody-Coquitlam to get out Thursday and vote in those BC provincial byelections for the Conservative candidates. These are strong right leaning ridings who otherwise vote Liberal provincially out of fear of the NDP, but the Christy Clark party is mortally wounded and doomed to lose the next general election. The sooner you abandon ship for a fresh new start, the better. It starts Thursday. Advance polls saw a significant increase in turnout, which tends to be a bad sign for the incumbent party. It's time for all the former Socreds to pick up and move to a new home with the BC Tories. The Liberals have passed their expiration date, and are surviving on borrowed time. Christy originally wanted a quick election to get a mandate from the people, until she discovered that the people don't much like her, now she'll delay as long as possible. Let's send a message.

Boneheaded Election Mistake

A piece of advice to anyone running for public office, there are smart things to say and incredibly stupid things to say. For example; going on the radio and saying that the colour of your skin gives you an advantage over your opponent is among the dumbest things any candidate could do in an election campaign. That's what happened today yesterday in Alberta, which has a chance to derail Wildrose momentum. I'm a fan of Danielle Smith. I think she'd make a great Premier and a strong candidate to one day run for federal Tory leadership. I'm willing to bet she's mightily pissed off at Ron Leech for his comments, which could jeopardize their chances of usurping a provincial political dynasty. The media has already been trying to paint her as a Canadian Sarah Palin, which is ridiculous (one is a Libertarian, the other is a hardcore social conservative). Even clowns like John Ibbitson have been on television saying "having an arch-conservative in Alberta is bad for Stephen Harper", which is asinine. How on earth is a Redford better for the Prime Minister than Smith?

When Alberta does go to the polls, I'll be cheering for Danielle to be the next Premier, but I'd like to see Leech taken off the ballot if it is not too late to name a replacement.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Did You Celebrate The Charter's Birthday?

Today was the 30th anniversary of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Did you throw a party or otherwise celebrate this occasion? That is today's poll question. There were minor grumblings in the media that the Conservatives were crudely shunning human rights by not throwing a party, which shows you how far the level of discourse has fallen in the Canadian press. I've always viewed the Charter as something that feels nice in theory, but in practice has proven to be a Pandora's Box of frivolous litigation. Frankly it is ridiculous to criticize the Conservatives for not hosting a government celebration of Liberal legislation. Why wasn't today a national stat holiday? Why not hold annual birthday parties for the National Energy Program?

Vancouver, Where Have All The Car Flags Gone?

One thing you can't help but notice driving around Vancouver this playoff season is the stunning lack of car flags in the city. Last year it was borderline ridiculous how many vehicles were running Canuck colours, and one year later the fad has easily fallen by at least 90%. Last year they could barely keep them in stock, this year there has to be boxes upon boxes of this unsold junk in merchandiser inventories. It isn't just that Vancouver has fallen behind 0-3 in their series against Los Angeles, the virtual extinction of this phenomenon happened from day 1 of the playoffs. Did the Stanley Cup riots sour everyone's spirits? It's possible. Or everyone just got sick of an asinine exercise.

Today's poll question; who will be the next Canadian NHL franchise to win the Stanley Cup? Vancouver is all but done this season (with less than a 5% chance they can come back when down 0-3), but would still have to be the Vegas favourite to win next season. Ottawa still has a chance this season, but their long term odds don't necessarily look good as the window on Alfredsson and Spezza closes shut. It is tough to tell anything about Toronto anymore (99.9% chance next season is Burke's last in TO if they miss the playoffs again) , Montreal is a mess, Calgary is barely mediocre bordering on a mess, and Winnipeg is still a few pieces short. Edmonton has the greatest abundance of high end young talent, but are still waiting for them to come of age.

What will happen? Nobody knows for sure. That's why they play the games. TSN's expert projections had Pittsburgh and Vancouver meeting in the finals. Now both are down 0-3 (for example, you have a 6% chance of winning a 50-50 proposition 4 times in a row). Even the experts are wrong a lot.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Are Budget Cuts Putting Your Life At Risk?

Today's poll question; are you concerned that government budget cuts are putting your life at risk? That seems to be the running theme lately of the CBC "ballot box" questions. They even have an article about challenging the scrapping of the gun registry that includes a picture of a gun pointed at the viewer (where have we seen that before?) Basically the message is that government cutbacks are putting your life at risk. Do you agree? It should be noted that the CBC is hardly an unbiased observer, as they have been whining about their own budget cuts. They are trying to help sell the story that government budget cuts are bad; but hey, if I were receiving a hefty government salary, I'd probably be saying the same thing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

F35-gate: What's In A Pricetag?

Reading and listening to the media outrage over F35-gate, you would be convinced that the consensus opinion in Canada is to have gasoline and insurance costs included in the sticker price when you go to buy a car. If the dealership does not put your cost of fuel for the next 30 years in the purchase price, then it is lying deceit and the salesman should resign. It's that simple, or stupid, depending on how you choose to look at it. The dealership should attempt to guess what oil changes will cost in 2040, and then include their guesses in the 2012 price of purchasing the vehicle. It shouldn't matter if you are already paying a similar amount for maintaining and operating your existing car, you must guess how much the next 30 years of associated expenses will cost and put that in the current price. And if you're off, you must resign.

F35-gate has proven to be another case of crying wolf when there is no wolf present. The Tories campaigned on the cost of NEW expenditures, but others disagreed with what should be included in the price tag even before the election. If this was such a grand controversy worthy of the Prime Minister resigning, why weren't the opps able to hammer him on this during the campaign? This cost debate started well before election day. Now you have the media spinning Peter McKay's response of a difference in accounting procedures as him blaming an "accounting error". McKay never said it was an error, it was a matter of campaigning on the cost of new expenditures and not money we already spend on our current air force.

Today's poll question; Should costs already incurred by the Canadian air force be included in the purchase price of new jets?

March Polling 2012

Here are your poll results for the month of March. There were fewer poll questions than in previous months, but I've been busy with life. Not much exciting happened, unless you consider the NDP leadership contest exciting, which is debateable. How do you see the new Conservative ads against Bob Rae? What should be the mandatory minimum sentence for the sexual assault of a child by an adult? 29% of you think that people should be required to pass a test before voting.

WHAT IS THE MOST PLAUSIBLE EXPLANATION FOR THE NDP LEADERSHIP RACE INTERNET VOTING PROBLEMS?

Technical glitch or system flaw (61%)
Liberal cyber attack (11%)
Anarchists (19%)
Undecided (3%)
Foreign espionage (2%)
Tory cyber attack (1%)

HOW DO YOU SEE THE NEW CONSERVATIVE ADS ABOUT BOB RAE?

Necessary Infomercial (75%)
Indifferent (11%)
Have not seen them (8%)
Deplorable Attack (4%)

WHAT SHOULD BE THE MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE FOR THE SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD BY AN ADULT?

Life  (32%)
Castration  (31%)
20 years  (14%)
10 years  (8%)
5 years  (7%)
30 years  (3%)
2 years  (2%)

WITH THE DEBATES OVER AND THE VOTE THIS WEEKEND, WHO WILL BE THE NEXT LEADER OF THE NDP?

Tom Mulcair  (62%)
Nathan Cullen  (9%)
Peggy Nash  (9%)
Undecided  (8%)
Brian Topp  (7%)
Paul Dewar  (1%)
Martin Singh  (1%)
Niki Ashton  (0%)

SHOULD SCOTLAND SEPARATE FROM BRITAIN?

Yes  (51%)
No  (45%)
Undecided  (4%)

WHAT SHOULD BE THE VOTING AGE?

You should have to pass a test to vote  (29%)
18  (25%)

20  (16%)
25  (11%)
19  (8%)

30 11 (5%)
17  (1%)
13  (0%)
16  (0%)

SHOULD ROBOCALLS BE OUTLAWED?

Yes  (49%)
No  (45%)
Undecided  (6%)

SHOULD THERE BE A BYELECTION IN GUELPH?

No  (54%)
Yes  (42%)
Undecided  (4%)

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT BRITISH COLUMBIA'S TEACHER'S ARE ON STRIKE?

For the money  (97%)
For the children  (3%)

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY ENGAGED IN WIDESPREAD SYSTEMATIC VOTER SUPPRESSION IN THE 2011 CANADIAN FEDERAL ELECTION?

No  (92%)
Yes  (7%)
Maybe  (1%)

WHO DO YOU THINK IS PIERRE POUTINE?

Liberal  (37%)

Dipper  (16%)
Anarchist  (13%)
Media member  (9%)

Conservative  (7%)
We will never know  (6%)
American Activist  (5%)
Marxist  (1%)

Chinese spy  (0%)
Green  (0%)

Taliban  (0%)

Friday, April 6, 2012

"New" Old Revelations In F35-gate

As F35-gate continues, there are many suggesting and saying that Stephen Harper deliberately misled parliament and the Canadian people by campaigning on an optimistic estimate of the cost of the F-35 program. They said $15 billion, somebody else said $25 billion, all of which were estimates of future costs, none guaranteed to be accurate. Were the Canadian people kept in the dark about the alternative estimates of future costs (where no actual cheques have been written)? Well Kevin Page was on the Soloman Show 2 weeks before the 2011 election saying that the program would cost $30 billion, leading to a major headline piece in the Globe and Mail. So who had what number when? Well EVERYBODY had Kevin Page's numbers prior to the election. The Liberals, the NDP, the media, and the major debate was over maintenance costs; like Kevin Page can guarantee the cost of an oil change in 2030 (and with nobody saying how much we spend to maintain our dying fleet).

These recycled old debates prompted Bob Rae this week to demand the Prime Minister's resignation, but there are no new revelations in this latest controversy. Of course the government knew that there were conflicting estimates, EVERYBODY DID! It was public knowledge prior to the Tories winning a majority! They didn't steal anything from taxpayers, and this debate over what estimate to use was being debated in the media weeks before the election. There's nothing new here, other than the auditor general reporting about what was being reported over a year ago. As the CBC reported March 10th 2011:
Page warns that the total pricetag for the F-35s is subject to change due to a number of factors including: possible modifications to the technical specifications of the aircraft, any reductions in the number of planes countries participating in the Joint Strike Fighter program end up purchasing and the "circumstances prevailing" when the planes are due for a mid-life overhaul.

He also points out that his analysis is based largely on historical data and that the possibility exists that the F-35 deal won't fit with historical cost trends. "This means that it is possible that the F-35 constitutes an outlier, in that its costs might be significantly different relative to what the historical trend would suggest," the report states.

And I'm done linking the National Post. Anyone who wants to link dump those articles, they are destined for the recycling bin. At this point, I'd rather read the Globe and Mail, and that ain't saying much. Kelly MacParland is damned near the only writer left at Postmedia worth reading. The rest of their writing staff has turned into an anti-government clown car every time there is a new controversy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

How Much Money Have We Actually Spent On F-35s?

The Canadian media sure has been busy lately reporting on the F-35 cost estimate "fiasco, mess, debacle, crisis, catastrophe, etc, etc", and I've been pouring over these articles trying to find how much money we have actually physically spent on the F-35 program to date. Thus far all I can seem to find is a few hundred million forked out by the Chretien Liberals when they originally signed us up at the beginning of this joint development project with our military allies. This fiasco is much ado about estimates, as Lockheed Martin has slowly boggled the project. Andrew Coyne has called this "a spectacular illustration of how our system of government has gone to hell". Ivison says Canadians were played for fools. It looks like the National Post asked every writer on staff to write a rant about this "crisis" with a different apocalyptic synonym in the title.

Perhaps the government should have admitted that the project was going sideways a few months earlier, but I'm willing to wager that Lockheed Martin hasn't exactly been completely honest about the state of affairs thus far. They stand to lose quite a lot of money if the program crashes completely and would be providing their customers with the most optimistic appraisals of the project. If there is a silver lining in all of this "mess", it's that the program has crashed and burned before we actually bought the damned planes! Unlike the BC NDP dropping half a billion dollars on Fast Ferries, which we did not learn until after they were in the water that they did not meet requirements and were God awful machines.

The worst part of the "F-35 Fiasco" is that our timeline for acquiring jets to replace our dying fleet has been set back. I'd suggest buying second hand equipment from the British, but that didn't work out too well for the Chretien Liberals. It does underscore how terrible the previous government was at military procurements. They cancelled a contract for helicopters that it turned out we actually needed, they signed us up for the F-35 program which now suddenly doomed to failure, and those second hand submarines they bought have been a disaster. For crying out loud, we didn't even get those boats back to Canada before one caught fire, killing a sailor! The Conservatives inherited a mess from the previous government, and have tried to make the best of a bad situation.

If a dispute over cost estimates and project specifications is the worst F35-gate has to offer, it is still an upgrade over Liberal government.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rae Calls Mulcair "Mini-Harper"

Bob Rae must be afraid of Tom Mulcair stealing some of his mojo, as today he called the new NDP leader a "mini-Harper", a moniker that is surely offensive in left wing circles. Personally I don't think Mulcair is anything like Stephen Harper and that the comment is more offensive to the Prime Minister than visa versa. The NDP would be lucky if their new leader is as effective and efficient as the man who currently leads a majority government. The comment shows that there is some concern on Rae's part that Mulcair is either a threat to his long-term chances at forming government, perhaps just a short-term threat to steal television time, or both. This much is clear, the Mulcair era is beginning with some nastiness by the Liberal leader, which might be a sign of things to come. Stay tuned...

Justin Trudeau; There Will Be No Rematch

Having defied the expectations of many partisans and non partisans alike, pulling off an upset in a charity boxing match against Senator Brazeau, Justin Trudeau will not allow his opponent an opportunity to redeem himself. He's done. Retiring on top. Given that Justin proclaimed his victory to be a symbolic representation of the fight between Liberals and Conservatives, losing the rematch would itself be ripe with symbolism. As Apollo Creed said to Rocky at the end of the fight in Rocky 1, "there will be no rematch". He probably knows that he was lucky to win, and even though a rematch would likely raise even more money for cancer research that the original fight, he's had enough. It makes sense from a self image perspective. Muhammad Ali won both rematches against Joe Frazier. Lennox Lewis creamed Hollyfield in their rematch. Rocky won the second fight against Creed. If you win, that's basically as good as it is going to get. Who wouldn't want to go out on top instead of risking embarrassment in a rematch?

Is Justin Trudeau retiring from charity boxing because he's preparing a run at the Liberal leadership next year? Today's poll question, why do you think Trudeau is denying his defeated opponent a chance at redemption?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Do You Care About The Juno Awards?

That is today's poll question. Personally I won't be watching and couldn't name with certainty any winners from the last 10 years. Michael Bubble probably won one or two. Drake is a big deal. Didn't Justin Beiber cut in front of Tony Clement in line at the airport once? At least the Junos are a few notches above the Gemini Awards, which have become a joke and should be abolished. Any crap green lit by the CBC can win a Gemini in one of about 10,000 categories. At least Juno winners have to sell a few albums. Do you care enough to at least find out who won, if not watch the show? William Shatner is hosting this year. He's hard to book.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Will The Liberals Now Stop Complaining About Deficits?

For the last three years we've heard the opposition constantly complaining that the governing Tories were running a deficit. The Liberals in particular hammered this point at every opportunity, trying to paint the government as spending irresponsibly (even though it was the Liberals who demanded a multi billion stimulus package as a condition to supporting the 2009 budget in a minority parliament after a coup attempt). Fast forward to 2012 when the Tories have taken measures to reduce the deficit and cut spending, and suddenly they are accused of viciously attacking Canadians with allegedly draconian cuts. It's hard to please these guys. I suppose at the end of the day, that's what the opposition is here for, to complain.

The good news is that the CBC will have their federal funding cut by 10%. Maybe that's not enough, but it is a start and a move in the right direction. Of course as you can imagine, the CBC is none too happy about this budget. They are talking about it on Newsworld today under the headline "BUDGET FALLOUT". They'll either have to scale back their expenses, or charge a little more for advertising on their shitty programing. Can I recommend holding a telethon perhaps? It would be interesting to see how much money they could raise, if any. Most CBC employees are paid far far more than the average Canadian.

I like this budget. We could have used this last year, but the Tories campaigned on the minority budget that the opposition voted against to force the election. They were locked into last year's budget, this one is far better. We are still more than 3 years away from the next election, so we have a few more Tory majority budgets left.

Get used to it Liberals. Do the NDP have an opinion on the matter? Probably, but who cares?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Who Attacked The NDP Leadership Vote?

Okay so let me get this straight, the company responsible for the NDP's online voting in their recent leadership race claims that someone hacked hundreds if not thousands of computers and directed them to the website where the NDP was conducting online voting in order to suppress democracy. They are not openly accusing the Conservatives, but did say that such attacks are "often launched as protests by the organization's political or economic opponents" and came from 10,000 different IP addresses. Hint hint. Do you really think the Conservatives would do this while already under investigation for electoral fraud? How stupid would you have to be to do such a thing when so many are trying so hard to convict them of a similar crime? Meanwhile, what is the probability that the NDP's online voting problems were the result of a technical glitch or the system being unable to handle the volume of voters? Allegations of a "cyber attack" came pretty early in the day, not long after after the problems began. But hey, accusing Pierre Poutine 2.0 of a cyber attack makes for a better news story than a technical glitch or system flaw.

Today's poll question; what is the most plausible explanation for the NDP leadership race internet voting problems? Was it a large scale cyber attack from the Tories or Liberals? Was it a technical glitch? Was it foreign espionage? Was it Anarchists?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

BC Liberal Titanic Slowly Sinking

British Columbia's Liberal Premier Christy Clark has lost her first MLA to the BC Conservatives, as John Van Dongen has defected for "personal reasons" (the reason being profound disagreement with Clark's leadership). The Titanic is slowly sinking, and Tories have begun jumping on the lifeboats. He won't be the last to defect. Even with Stockwell Day and Preston Manning playing the role of the band playing happy music on the Titanic to avoid panic, the gig is up. Christy Clark can't win and her party is mortally wounded. The BC Liberals chose a left winger to replace Gordon Campbell, and she's losing ground on both the right and left flanks. The BC NDP is polling in majority territory, so the Liberal leftist can't even win the left and she is alienating the right.

The writing is on the wall, and it is time for BC Conservatives to explore their options. When she became Premier, she promised a quick election to get a mandate from the people. When the polls started showing people turning on her and her party, she postponed that election as long as possible. I said this was a disaster during her leadership campaign, she won anyway with the support of internet voting from fans of her radio show, and now is proving me right. She's an Allison Redford clone, both elected in questionable leadership races (not by the people) who are falling flat in the public's eyes. The biggest difference is that Danielle Smith has a far stronger base than John Cummins, but both are a far better option for provincial Tories than the one in power.

Bob Rae Infomercials

Today's poll question; how do you see the new Conservative ads about Bob Rae? Are they necessary infomercials? Are they deplorable attack ads? Do you care? Have you even seen them? As a survivor of Bob Rae's Ontario, I see them as infomercials necessary to educate rest of the country about the consequences of Bobby taking power; others see them as cheap "dirty tricks". Why would the Conservatives even target Rae if he's only the "temporary leader? Because none of us believed him when he promised to step aside after 2 years, now he will not deny the possibility that he's running for the full time gig, proving us right. Being the acting leader gives him a decided advantage heading into the not so distant leadership campaign.



I'd rather Mulcair become Prime Minister than Rae, and I'm no fan of Tommy Boy. It does seem as though Tom is trying to tune down the angry man routine, but we will see if that lasts and if he can truly squeeze the Liberal Party in the center. Appointing Libby Davies to be your deputy hardly signals a move to the right.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mulcair Finishes On Top

The NDP elected a new leader last night, as Tom Mulcair defeated establishment favourite Brian Topp on the 4th ballot. Clearly Topp's biggest mistake was his failure to hire a marching band to follow him around the convention center, putting Tommy over the top. For a party dependent on leadership idolatry for electoral success, Mulcair played it smart to surround himself with such a large entourage, constantly on the move. Those of us who watched Saturday's gong show got to see a never ending parade, almost like he was doing laps around the building while Topp stayed far more stationary looking as though he was on the verge of another nervous breakdown. Perhaps "nice guys" don't always finish last, but they rarely finish first; as the official opposition is now to be led by an attack dog that allegedly would have ran for the Tories had Stephen Harper offered him a cabinet seat.

Still, had the Dippers listened to Broadbent and elected Topp, they would have had a disaster on their hands. He's an effective backroom strategist, but lacks the mental toughness to fight on the front lines. If NDP voters were seduced by the marching band, then it was probably for their own good. Granted, their internet voting was hacked, but party insiders insist the vote result was legit. At the very least it showed us one of the many reasons why internet voting is a terrible idea in federal elections. Is Pierre Poutine still at large? I did not see anyone actually accuse the Tories of a cyber attack, but hey, I fell asleep half way through the 3rd ballot. The accusations will surely be coming in the near future, even if they were thinly veiled over the weekend.

Now that the Dippers have this leadership race behind them, they can get down to what's really important; finding the body of Osama Bin Laden to confirm he's dead, or that he ever existed in the first place. I know how important that conspiracy is to the new leader of the official opposition...

To celebrate his victory, I have even started a Mulcair "tag" on old blog posts if you'd like to read a history of my posts where he was mentioned.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pierre Poutine Recorded "Vote Liberal" Message

In an interesting turn of events, the infamous "Pierre Poutine" (allegedly responsible for the supposedly "greatest electoral fraud in Canadian history") also recorded a message supporting Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote in Guelph. I'm not sure why a Conservative operative would want to encourage people to vote Liberal, but the recording is attached to the account. Batman and Robin (aka Maher and MacGregor) have theorized that the purpose of the call (which was recorded but never sent out) was intended to annoy Liberal supporters. This argument is a bit hypocritical considering the Liberals themselves sent out thousands of robocalls encouraging people to vote Liberal, not all of which were legal according to election law. If sending out robot calls saying "vote Liberal" will discourage liberals from voting, then why would the Liberals send out their own robocalls encouraging people to vote Liberal?

The true identity of Pierre Poutine remains a mystery, at least to the public. Supposedly Elections Canada already knows who he is and aren't releasing his identity until they have completed their investigation.

Regardless, this story just got a lot more interesting...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who Will Be The Next NDP Leader?

With the debates over and the NDP leadership campaign heading into it's final weekend, who do you expect to win? Will it be Mulcair, or will Topp land on top? By the way, prepare yourself for the silly puns if Topp is crowned the next leader. Will Broadbent's last minute attempt to swing momentum from Mulcair to his boy Topp have any significant impact, or did he unwittingly help Mulcair? Will the media be asking questions about Mulcair's hidden agenda, which Ed Broadbent alleges he has? Will Kady O'Malley ask Tom is he believes Osama Bin Laden is dead? These are questions we'll know the answer to on Monday.

At the beginning of the campaign some speculated that the Tories were the most afraid of Paul Dewar winning the leadership, which I'm not so sure about. There is not a single candidate on this list who will even be half as effective in that job as Layton. It's all downhill no matter who they choose. There will likely be a temporary bounce for replacing Turmel, but come the next election, we are looking at a likely fall in seat count (with the severity depending on the performance of the new leader). Nobody has any idea how Topp will perform in the House of Commons, where we at least know Mulcair can yell and scream across the aisle.

For 2013, I call dibs on the headline "Orange Crushed"...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good Luck To Bob Rae In Toronto-Danforth

Today the former riding of Jack Layton is holding a byelection, and I'd like to offer Bob Rae the best of luck. Isn't he the candidate? Funny how there are giant billboards advertising his face throughout the riding, meanwhile he's only supposed to be the "temporary leader". I'm willing to wager that there is not a single Nicole Turmel billboard in Jack's old stomping ground, which the NDP are likely to win no matter how often Bobby's ugly mug shows up on campaign ads. That's some kind of interim leader. Make a guy who promised to step down in a year the face of the party. Granted, some of us never believed Rae when he promised his leadership was only temporary. He wants to be Prime Minister. That's why he joined federal politics and defected to the Liberals. He's the man. He will be the Liberal leader in the next election, which I believe is what he wanted all along.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ed Broadbent Knee-caps Mulcair

With one week remaining before the NDP elects a new leader, one of the party's "patron saints" Ed Broadbent appeared on the CBC Thursday to declare front runner Tom Mulcair essentially unfit for leadership. This was a last minute attempt for Eddy to swing party support towards his man Brian Topp, who has slipped since entering the campaign as the establishment favourite. In the event that Mulcair pulls out a victory next weekend, the Tories have been provided with some excellent clips for the next election campaign. Broadbent pretty much accuses him of having a hidden agenda, that nobody in the party knows what he's going to do.

If Brian Topp finishes on top, not only can you expect that pun to be ridiculously over-used, but many may look back on the Broadbent rant as a possible turning point. Although the Tweets popping up on the TV screen during the interview were more along the lines of Eddy coming across as a grumpy old man, so it remains to be seen how much damage he did to Mulcair's candidacy, if any at all.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

31,000 More Like 700

Anyone who had been confused into thinking there were 31,000 specific allegations of voter fraud from the last Canadian election, be aware that number is actually more like 700. The other 30,300 are just spam complaints from a left wing online form letter filled out by people who want an election mulligan and do not refer to specific incidents. The statement today by Elections Canada that they were investigating 700 "similar" complaints had several media members very excited that there are indeed some real allegations on top of just spam. Terry Milewski was pretty jazzed up when he reported the "new" information; and I say "new" with caution because we don't know when exactly all of these specific complaints were collected. There were dozens, if not hundreds of complaints to the Guelph EC office on election day regarding misleading calls. They have been investigating this for a while now.

Considering that Pat Martin has already informed us that 10,000 robocalls (which insiders would call a "blast") costs less than $200, that 700 number could and should be much larger, whether Pierre Poutine ordered multiple blasts or just one. The excitement shown by Batman and Robin (et all) was due largely to the confirmation that real complaints exist, and that it's not all just spam (even if 700 is less "sexy" than 31,000). Be careful not to hold your breath waiting to find out how many of the 700 "similar" allegations are actually complaining about real fraud.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today In Robogate: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

The latest conspiracy theory (so exciting only one Canadian news agency would report it) is that anonymous Conservatives have been trying to frame a young former staffer of being the infamous Pierre Poutine, which must surely be evidence of a systematic voter suppression campaign cover up. The left's new favourite investigative journalists Maher and MacGregor have found a "source" who speculates that the kid could not have acted alone, and had to have been helped by those now trying to frame him. It's all a bit contradictory, they propose either he's innocent of any wrong doing and guilty Tories are trying to frame him; or he's guilty and needed help from the Conservative Party (who then tried to turn him into a patsy, the next Lee Harvey Oswald). This suggests that Maher has no idea who Pierre Poutine is, he's just laying out alternate theories, keeping the story alive. The National Post was the only news organization that would publish this speculative garbage. If there were any truth to this Tory conspiracy story, the CBC would have been all over it like flies on shit.

Personally I think we should let investigators investigate and leave the poor kid alone. It is borderline irresponsible to engage in this kind of specific allegation before we know the facts. It would not be a surprise if Maher got a phone call from the young staffer's attorney today. The original article was altered in the middle of the day, or at least the headline was. The talking points remained largely the same. I feel sorry for the kid.

Are Maher and MacGregor writing all their work together now? Somebody in Blue Like You's comment section referred to them as Batman and Robin, which gave me a good laugh. That's awesome. I'm considering calling them Batman and Robin in all future blog posts on the subject.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Robogate Absurdity Continues

Guy Giorno really said it best tonight when he Tweeted to Stephen Wicary and Susan Delacourt "You assume we have records of things we didn't do. Elections Canada can take what it wants but CPC can't volunteer what it never had." This coming on the heals of the Liberals handing over phone records earlier this afternoon, which does seem an appropriate gesture considering they have already confessed to breaking electoral law regarding partisan phone calls during the writ. It would be interesting to know how much paper was shredded today in the office where these records were produced. The sooner EC completes its investigation, the sooner we can get to the bottom of these Liberal dirty tricks. I want to know if Frank Valeriote stole the election in Guelph.

The Conservatives have already voted unanimously with the opposition to increase Elections Canada's investigatory powers, and are not withholding any information from them. As of yet, the only party proven to have engaged in illegal activity in Guelph are the Liberals, despite what fake confessions you might have seen on Youtube today. So many people wanted so badly for Pierre Poutine to be a Conservative office worker that they jumped all over the fake clip before finding out its lack of authenticity. Even a Blogging Tory wrote a premature post "Pierre Poutine is Michael Sona". Come on people, this is getting ridiculous.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Who Benefited From Robocalls In Guelph?

There have been allegations of large scale "voter suppression" in the riding of Guelph in 2011, and the interesting question is who benefited the most from this alleged fraud? Of all the Liberals who ran in the last election, which candidate experienced the largest increase in popular vote? That's right, none other than Frank Valeriote in Guelph, who had 32% of the vote in 2008 and 43% in 2011, an 11% rise, the single largest increase of any Liberal in the country (while the party was plummeting nationally). Only 21 out of 308 Liberal candidates experienced a net gain (Central Nova doesn't count because they ran no candidate in 2008), and only 2 of those won their seat. So while 287 Liberals (93% of the party) experienced declines in popular vote, Valeriote hit a long home run with an 11% gain? Meanwhile in neighbouring ridings Cambridge and Wellington the Liberal vote fell 8% and 6% respectively. When you look at the statistics, Valeriote is the Barry Bonds of the Liberal Party.

Boy, if the Conservatives were trying to suppress the Liberal vote in Guelph, they sure did a phenomenally terrible job at it!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Robogate Protests: The Diminishing Returns Of Crying Wolf

The Canadian left's ability to attract protesters to their little gatherings sure has fallen a long ways since Prorogate (remember the outrage when we delayed the start of Parliament by a few weeks to host the Olympics) where the most lofty estimates guessed hundreds of thousands of demonstrators coast to coast to coast. This weekend they tried to organize a similar protest about allegations of Conservative voter suppression, and attendance barely even made a whimper. On Parliament Hill, about a dozen people showed up.


Ladies and gentlemen, your "Canadian spring"! Thank you to Richard Madan for snapping that picture from the CTV studio. This helps to illustrate that the people who have been continually pumping and promoting idiotic protests are experiencing the diminishing returns of turning issue after issue into a major national crisis. Eventually people stop listening to you. Even Occupy Canada drew less of a crowd than the prorogue protests, though it did attract a small number of young clowns who wanted to hang out for a camping trip to complain about capitalism and maybe shoot a little heroin. We're almost at the point where the number of media people covering the protests are outnumbering the actual protesters. Did "Stop Harper" girl even show up? Just a suggestion, perhaps the left should dial down the feigned outrage, otherwise if a wolf actually shows up, the average Canadian is not going to take you seriously.

Bob Rae Is Cool With Robocalls

Saturday Liberal leader Bob Rae was on the Roy Green Show to make it perfectly clear that there is nothing wrong with Robocalls. He's all in favour it, and defended the illegal robocalls made by the Liberal campaign in Guelph (where the caller pretended to be a regular concerned citizen, not a paid representative of the Liberal Party). Bob also backed off accusing the Conservative Party of wrongdoing; he simply wants what everyone on both sides wants, to find out who misdirected voters to incorrect voting locations. Anyone planning to show up to a Robogate protest with a sign "Democracy, not Robocracy", know that the Liberals are cool with Robocracy (even if the calls violate election law), so long as it is issue based.

To be fair, Roy Green did not handle the interview particularly well. He kept quoting Dean Del Mastro and then when Bob tried to debate the points, Roy kept say "I'm just telling you what he said" instead of engaging him in a conversation. I suppose Roy was trying to get Rae to respond to what Del Mastro had said earlier on the program, and Bob kept answering questions with questions; except to say that he was entirely in favour of robocalling during a campaign. So if anyone out there is upset that they received a robocall in the last election, the opposition parties are not proposing making robocalls illegal. They are only outraged about specific robocalls of which no evidence currently exists is connected to the Conservative Party. Bob might have been premature calling this a "Nixonian moment" for Stephen Harper. The "if anybody did it, it's these guys" argument alone is not adequate ground for a conviction in a court of law.

The Liberals have said that Elections Canada is aware of their illegal calls. I'm interested to know if there was a fine or penalty issued? Did they raid the Liberal campaign office?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Liberal Illegal Robocalls Not As Big Of A Story

Interesting that the Liberals have been caught making illegal robocalls in the controversial riding of Guelph, but the story is noticeably absent from the CBC Politics page. The big headline is a request to investigate Julian Fantino's election finances. It would appear that confessed Liberal "dirty tricks" just isn't as interesting a news story as allegations of Tory "dirty tricks". Then again, the Liberals are in 3rd place and not promising to cut the CBC's budget by 10%, so I can see where they might get bumped down the priority list. Does anyone care about the Liberal Party anymore? Perhaps when the story broke this afternoon, the CBC online editors had already gone home for the weekend? Somehow I doubt that Evan Soloman will be leading his show with this on Monday. We'll see how many of the 31,000 "complaints" (if we can call them that) collected by Ian Chapstick and friends were actually "complaining" about robocalls ordered by the opposition parties.

Protests have been planned for this weekend in cities across the country. The Robocall protests to date have not mustered much attendance, but we'll see if this new information on Liberal dirty tricks helps boost the numbers. Will there be any signs demanding an end to Liberal dirty tricks? I won't hold my breath...

Today's poll question, should there be a byelection in Guelph, where the Liberals won handily by using dirty tricks?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is The Media Slowly Uncovering Elections Canada Incompetence?

Over this past week the opposition and the media have been hammering the Tories with allegations and speculation of large scale election fraud, and their relentless "digging for the truth" may be about to uncover large scale election incompetence by Elections Canada's army of temporary low wage workers. For example, CBC's Terry Milewski reported today on several hundred incomplete or bogus registration forms in the riding office of Eglington Lawrence, where Joe Oliver defeated Joe Volpe (of course you might remember Joe Volpe, who formerly registered dead people to support his Liberal leadership campaign). The accusations that the Conservative candidate was responsible for sloppy paper work in the EC office started flying before anyone thought to point out that Elections Canada is responsible for ensuring that registration forms are properly completed with proof of ID provided before they add that voter to the list of electors. This is not Joe Oliver's fault, but that inconvenient truth is absent from Milewski's investigative report.

If Elections Canada registration forms are suddenly going to fall under the media's watchful scrutiny, be prepared for errors and mistakes numbering in the thousands (I'd recommend looking into the riding of Libby Davies in East Vancouver for starters). EC would much rather investigate allegations of misleading robocalls than expose their own mistakes. That is not to paint all election workers with the same brush, but we are talking about a work force of thousands with varying levels of competence. There's an idiot in every room and election law is complex and continually evolving. If we start a full investigation into botched or incomplete registration forms, this is going to extend far beyond a single Toronto riding, and the black eye will belong to Elections Canada, not the Conservative party. If we find that most of this "greatest electoral fraud in Canadian history" was actually primarily Elections Canada f**k-ups; I won't hold my breath waiting for an apology from Pat Martin or any of the other dipshits so eager to jump to conclusions before there exists any evidence of wrong doing by the Tories.

I don't often recommend people read Milewski's work, but if you scroll down and read the comments, it just might make you sick to your stomach.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Who Needs A Public Inquiry When We Have Pat Martin?

What does it say about an alleged controversy when the official opposition has a vile piece of work like Pat Martin become the defacto spokesperson for the issue? The opps lose credibility, and yet seem perfectly happy to let him grab the Robogate football and run with it. Who needs a Judicial Inquiry when we have Pat's Twitter account? He's already got the whole thing figured out, and if you don't know, just ask him. Below is a selection of his Tweets from the last few days (in chronological order with most recent on top). You'll be happy to know that he's moved beyond his extended conversation about the Hamburgler and Mayor McCheese stealing an election....

@bigpicguy that is likely but as yet it has not been proven they have violated the act

@Monctonsnowman yes but we're not talking about contracts between RMG and the CPC. We want the ones between RMG and the Cons Government

@Monctonsnowman Nope. Because EC's mandate is described in the Elections Act and Govt contracts with a private company not in scope of act

@Monctonsnowman Yes RMG would have to comply with court order. Just not sure EC could get a court order for matters not related to election.

@Monctonsnowman EC doesn't comment on investigations at all. And I think investigating Govt contracts with RGM would be outside their jurisd

@Nicki_Doyle I know. Sometimes I almost hope we're wrong because the prospect of being right is almost too sad. Like the end of innocence.

@Nicki_Doyle No kidding, when Deano starts with, "let me be clear" you know you're going to get a whole load of bullshit.

@Nicki_Doyle yeah but in agitate, educate, organize; we're still at the 'agitate' stage. This is only starting to resonate and penetrate

@tylercranston I don't really like people very much which is limiting if you aspired to be national leader. #IHateAllTheCandidates

@Nicki_Doyle I know. I did put three written questions on the order paper but govt has 45 days to respond. Not many other options...

Why won't the Cons tell us what contracts the Govt has given RMG? Asked three times and nothing. This is public record and yet they refuse.

@EmmMacfarlane @acoyne Robocalls are the concussion of the nation.

Have Rush eat Ann Coulter. Then, drop Ann Coulter on Kony.

I love how the conservatives applaud when they vote for Time Allocation...sheer perversity

@thepresentMO They won't tell us what the RackNine govt check was for, or how many other govt contracts he has received.

@thepresentMO RMG checks were not from Govt. They were paid by CPC as election expenses. Question is what other Govt business did they get

@thepresentMO $15,000. The same amount as in 48 other ridings... Total of 94 ridings hired them for other amounts.

Yeah but if you're going to kick Sleepy off the Vet's Committee what about Dopey and Grumpy and Sneezy? Seems discriminatory...

@stphnmaher Nah. Pierre Poutine's just a patsy, the master mind is the Hamburgler.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Sanctity Of The Voter Information Card

For those who do not already know, that Voter Information Card you receive in the mail that tells you where to vote is printed out in the first week of the election campaign. They print out a whole bunch of mailing labels, a whole bunch of cards with poll locations all them, and then bring in an army of low wage temp workers to stick the proper label on the proper card. There are thousands of workers sticking labels on millions of VIC cards in a rush to get them to Canada Post by the end of week two, and mistakes happen. Thousands are returned by the post office to EC riding offices for a variety of reasons, be it incorrect address or the elector being deceased. Most of the temporary workers are efficient and effective workers, but there is always at least one absent minded, seemingly competent, worker in that room.

During the last election, Elections Canada changed 127 poll locations during the campaign (and at a national average of about 900 voters per location), that would mean that roughly 115,000 voters (give or take 10,000) had their poll locations changed mid election. How did EC inform all of these people that their polls had changed? They can't call everyone because they don't have every voter's phone number (that is not mandatory information, and many people don't want to volunteer it). The best thing they can do is mail out new VIC cards, hope they arrive in time and that the elector shreds the old one. It does seem strange to instruct the parties not to call people to inform them that a poll location had been changed. That doesn't help get the vote out. Changing any poll location will create a mass of confusion among those affected, so when you had the media last week reporting on alleged "massive electoral fraud", anyone who received a phone call they didn't like or were informed that poll locations had changed, suddenly thinks they might have been the victim of attempted fraud (with the real kick in pants being that the overwhelming majority of complainants actually did get to vote).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Feb 2012 Polling

Here are your poll results from February. Should Canada halt trade with China until they adopt a more agreeable foreign and domestic policy? Has Vic Toews been treated fairly? Should James Moore be sitting in Cabinet? There are also questions about this year's Presidential election. The Republican race should be decided on this week's Super Tuesday. I predicted before the first primary that Romney would win the nomination and then lose to Obama. We'll see what happens.

HAS JUSTICE MINISTER VIC TOEWS BEEN TREATED FAIRLY THIS WEEK?

No, it has gone too far (76%)
Yes, he deserves it (20%)
Undecided (4%)

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE JUSTIN TRUDEAU BECOME LEADER OF THE LIBERAL PARTY?

Yes (74%)
No (25%)
Undecided (1%)

SHOULD THE LIBERALS HAVE BOUGHT CANADA'S 4 COLD WAR ERA SUBMARINES FROM THE BRITISH 13 YEARS AGO?

No, we should have bought new subs (90%)
No, we don't need any subs (6%)
Yes (3%)
Undecided (1%)

SHOULD CANADA HALT TRADE WITH CHINA UNTIL THEY ADOPT MORE AGREEABLE FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICIES?

No (88%)
Yes (8%)
Undecided (4%)

IF YOU ARE BEING THREATENED, IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO FIRE WARNING SHOTS WITH A GUN?

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

SHOULD WE STOP ACCEPTING ALL INTELLIGENCE FROM COUNTRIES KNOWN TO ON OCCASION USE TORTURE?

No (88%)
No, but have them prove no torture was used on a case by case basis (6%)
Yes (6%)
Undecided (0%)

HOW MUCH TRADE SHOULD WE SEEK WITH CHINA?

More (81%)
Less (10%)
The Same (5%)
Undecided (4%)

DO YOU THINK THAT JAMES MOORE SHOULD BE SITTING IN CABINET?

No (72%)
Yes, but not Heritage (19%)
Yes (7%)
Undecided (2%)

WHAT IS NEWT GINGRICH'S BIGGEST WEAKNESS?

Record in office (34%)
Marital Infidelity (24%)
He's named Newt (13%)
Attacking Clinton for similar Infidelity (8%)
He's only moderately wealthy (8%)
Age (5%)
He's flawless (5%)

WHAT IS MITT ROMNEY'S BIGGEST WEAKNESS

He's too liberal (60%)
Mormonism (19%)
Record in office (8%)
He's flawless (6%)
He's too rich (5%)

SHOULD PUBLIC SECTOR PENSIONS BE SCALED BACK (INCLUDING THOSE OF MPS)?

Yes (94%)
No (5%)
Undecided (1%)

SHOULD THE AGE OF PENSION ELIGIBILITY BE SLOWLY RAISED FROM 65 TO 67?

Yes (68%)
No (19%)
Undecided (13%)

BC Teachers On Strike "For The Children"

Today's poll question; why do you think British Columbia's teachers are on strike? Is it for the money, or for the children? Most of the commentary coming from the teachers is that they are fighting to give your children a better education, fighting for special needs, that this job action is not about the teachers, it's about the children. What do you think? Personally I'm of the opinion that it's all about the money, trying to get a 15% wage increase during a time of fiscal austerity. No question there are great teachers out there who have a sincere desire to see their students succeed, but that's not why you walk off the job. They're trying to get paid.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Curious Case Of "Pierre Poutine"...

Today's poll question; Who is Pierre Poutine? He's the anonymous figure who seems to be at the heart of Robogate. As the authorities conduct a proper investigation we should find out his true identity. If and when that becomes public, who will he turn out to be? A Conservative, Liberal, Dipper, Anarchist, Marxist, Media member, Green, foreign spy, Al Qaeda, Taliban, an American activist, or do you think that we will never know? The hyperbole regarding Robogate has been insane. The allegations warrant an investigation by the proper authorities, more the police than Elections Canada, and I'd like to know more about the EC riding office in Guelph last April. Something smells fishy, in my professional opinion.

So who is Pierre Poutine? Might as well make a prediction before we find out the truth, assuming we ever do. I'm voting he's a random Anarchist. I'd be shocked if he were a prominent Tory insider.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Elections Canada "Launching" Investigation?

Elections Canada announced yesterday that they are launching an investigation into Robogate. Here I had been under the impression that they were already investigating this, since there were several complaints about misleading phone calls on the day of the last election. What the hell have they been doing for the last 10 months? We knew on Election Day that this was happening. It's not like the story has come out of nowhere. Sure enough, the day after EC announces this new investigation, a few hundred protesters took to the streets demanding a new election. Jurisprudence be damned, they want a mulligan and they want it now! What's the point of even having an investigation? We should just rush to judgement, let loose a barrage of baseless accusations, and give Mike Ignatieff another shot at the Prime Minister's Office. The PMO was stolen from Iggy.

Look, 10,000 robocalls costs you less than $200 (according to Pat "Columbo" Martin, who knows all the price points for ordering this service). The anonymously infamous Pierre Poutine who ordered many of these calls is more likely to be an anarchist trying to disrupt democracy than an agent of the Conservative Party. All the people who are saying that this will damage the CPC regardless of the outcome, are the same people who said proroguing Parliament for a month to host the Olympics would cost the Tories dearly in the next election. Bob Rae (a multi-proroguing offender as Ontario Premier in a recession) marched in the streets Dammit! We won a majority. Oh that's right, I'm sorry, allegedly stole a majority. The Conservatives remain guilty until proven innocent (what else is new), so we on the right may as well just hold tight until this new investigation is complete.

I'm curious what percentage of complaints in the months following the election were due to mistakes by Elections Canada large temporary workforce. There are thousands of them, hired in a short period time, some less reliable than others, and they are fallible. By the way, if we instruct everyone who received an undesirable robocall to report it to Elections Canada, the complaints would number in the millions, because all the major parties use robocalls in some capacity. Recently the NDP even flooded a Quebec riding with robocalls about a non existent byelection.

BC Teachers And Students UNITE!

Next week British Columbia's teachers will be walking off the job for a 3 day strike because they won't be getting the 15% wage increase they are demanding. In what has been heralded by local media as a show of solidarity, a few hundred BC students walked out of class on Friday. While listening to certain journalists making a big deal out of this, I couldn't help but laugh. How many students wanted to show "solidarity" with their teachers, and how many wanted to leave school early on a Friday afternoon (and/or get their face on the evening news)? Public opinion is solidly against the teachers salary demands, and yet, here we go again with a work stoppage. I recall being in high school when Ontario's teachers walked off the job; and 97% of us were excited to get an unexpected holiday. The students who showed "solidarity" were a minuscule minority, often the sons and daughters of teachers.

The Premier should bump March break up a week, one of the teachers many paid vacations, so that it coincides with the work stoppage. Won't happen, but it's an idea.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Andrew Breitbart, You Will Be Missed...

There is one pundit that I have enjoyed since the first time that I listened to him, and that is Andrew Breitbart He will be missed. It is not often that I shed a tear at the passing of a political pundit, but upon learning that Andrew Breitbart had passed at age 43, I couldn't help it. This was a man who was doing something that I respected tremendously, going head to head with the most vile forces on the American left, who even enjoyed doing so. My only hope is that Breitbart 2.0 is waiting in the wings and is ready to step forward. Is it someone at Big Hollywood? Is it someone that he inspired? I don't know, but let's hope that another one of him steps forward in the near future.

Of all his speeches, the one that you most need to watch was at the latest CPAC conference. We just lost a valuable ally in the fight against left wing media bias.



Will the next Andrew Breitbart please stand up?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

CBC's 10% Budget Cut

Today it was announced that the CBC can expect a 10% cut in its government funding in the upcoming budget, not that you would have noticed with all the hoopla over Robogate. James Moore has to be pretty choked up over this one. I can already see Pat Martin's Tweets tomorrow that the Tories are trying to suppress the CBC from investigating and reporting on Robogate while declaring war on Canadian culture; killing two birds with one stone. Though it should be mentioned that the once right leaning National Post has been hammering Robogate with as much vigour as the public broadcaster, again with no evidence of wrong doing. The first place that the CBC should be looking to cut is employee salaries. We don't know what Mansbridge, Soloman, or Strombolopulus get paid, but it's a safe bet that the number is way too big.

Will the national media and opposition parties start accusing the Tories of "suppressing" the CBC? Give it a week, though it should happen sooner than that. Turns out the CBC has a large number of employees in the top 10% of Canadian wage earners. Will the 90% revolt against the fat cats at the CBC? Don't expect any tents to pop up outside CBC HQ anytime soon.

Robogate: Do You Believe?

Today's poll question; do you believe that the Conservative Party engaged in widespread systematic voter suppression in the 2011 Canadian federal election? The poll question at the CBC politics page is; do you believe laws were broken in the last federal election? 95% of their audience has voted yes, though the question doesn't specifically ask if people believe the Tories broke the law. Frankly there is no evidence to suggest that the party is responsible for these phone calls, but the presumption of guilt has been running rampant through the media and opposition benches. One panel guest on CBC radio this week said "if anyone would do this, it's these guys", as though one journalist's presumption of guilt is adequate justification for criminal allegations.

We also have fringe parties in this country who are strong advocates of proportional representation, who often cite low voter turnout statistics as proof we need to overhaul our democratic system. These parties also get copies of the voters list, and have more incentive to engage in "voter suppression" than the Tories. They've got nothing to lose, whereas the Conservatives would have a lot to lose for doing this (with a high probability of being caught). Many Conservative supporters also received these misleading phone calls, which is not a very intelligent strategy for the Tories. Do I have any evidence that the Green Party or the Marxist Leninists engaged in voter suppression? No, but that shouldn't prevent me from alleging criminal behaviour. If I believe there's a chance it's true (and they have incentive to do so), I should be allowed to make unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud, right? (that was sarcasm by the way)

Pat Martin's latest theory is that the Tories were trying to suppress votes in safe Liberal and NDP ridings to deprive them of the $2 per vote subsidy money. Meanwhile the Tories campaigned on scrapping subsidy and have made good on that promise.

This is getting crazy. Elections Canada has been investigating this for months, and we should let them finish. Why is the investigation taking so long? My guess is that they are trying everything they can to find evidence of criminal activity by the Conservatives. If no evidence exists, this could take a while.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

We Finally Know Why The Liberals Lost

If you were shocked that the Liberals got their asses kicked in the last federal election, fear not, we finally have an explanation. Robocalls. Case closed. The latest scandal of the week is that a company hired by the Conservatives to do campaign work in the last election was allegedly robocalling voters directing them to false voting locations. That is not only a stupid idea, it is illegal. Investigating it should be a fairly simple matter, find out who made the calls and charge them with a crime. Either the company was told to use this particular tactic, or it was their own idea. Either they were calling from a predetermined list of known Liberal supporters, or they were random dialing numbers out of the phone book (in which case they would also be misdirecting right leaning voters to false locations). That's what investigations are for, before we all go rushing to extreme hyperbole (I'm talking to you Bob).

Here's the part I don't get. There were reports on election day that people had been receiving telephone calls misdirecting them, which again, is illegal. The election was 10 months ago and Elections Canada was obligated to investigate those reports, as I'm sure they have been. Does anyone know how that investigation is going? It should not be hard to get phone records for criminal phone calls (and if it is, I have some suggested additions to bill C-30). They already know the name of the company alleged to have done this. We know that a number of conservative voters also received such phone calls. Mostly, I'd like to know who thought this was a good idea. It is an easily traceable criminal offense with a high probability of being reported and investigated. Bob Rae is out doing his best to tie this directly to Stephen Harper, but Stephen Harper is not stupid. This was a stupid idea, likely to become known and damage public perception of the party.

You need to read what Sandy at Crux of the Matter wrote about her own experience. We know Bob Rae is already blaming the ass kicking his party received on robocalls. Investigation be damned Stephen Harper must have a Richard Nixon ouija board in his office. All political parties get a list of the registered voters in the riding before the election. Before election day, they even get an updated list on who has voted and who hasn't.

I downloaded Google Chrome because I wanted to write about this after listening to Bob Rae yap on the radio today. This web browser sucks. Please Google, resolve your spat with Microsoft.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sorry Google...

Google Blogger seems to be having a bit of a dispute with Microsoft, as Blogger is no longer accessible through Internet Explorer; the message goes "your browser is no longer supported by Blogger". They want me to start using Google Chrome, but unfortunately I am a fan of IE and am not changing my preferences just because Google and Microsoft are having a technical dispute. So for the time being, I'm shutting things down until I figure out my options. Wordpress seems to be the best alternative, though I have to look into the logistics of transferring a library of 2,500 posts.

"I'll be back"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Has Vic Toews Been Treated Fairly?

Today's poll question; has Justice Minister Vic Toews been treated fairly this week? On Tuesday he introduced a government bill to help police catch child pornographers, which had many on the left and some on the right going bananas expecting to be persecuted like child predators. By Thursday the CBC was promoting places on Twitter where you could go to attack Vic personally. One Twitter feed with a House of Commons IP address went so far as to post sensitive details from Toews personal life. All this because he introduced a bill to catch child predators, then made the ill advised comment that if you do not support the legislation then you support child pornography.

Liberal MP Wayne Easter seems to think he deserves what he's getting, but I'd rather hear what you have to say. Has this now gone too far?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Should Trudeau Run For Liberal Leader?

Today's poll question; would you like to see Justin Trudeau become leader of the Liberal Party? Previously I have endorsed Gerard Kennedy as my favoured "scorched earth" candidate, but he has been overtaken in recent days. There is no doubt in my mind that the Tories would win a second majority if JT led the party into the next election. The assortment of video clips that are piling up in his wake are becoming legendary in a bad way, and will provide priceless material for election ads. The third person references are outstanding and hopefully those will continue.

Realistically the separation fiasco this week has eliminated the likelihood that he runs against Bob Rae in 2013. He has a constituency should he decide to run, and I truly hope he does. Promoting separation as an option if you disagree with the elected government? The fact that he doesn't seem to understand why his words were so toxic, is just further evidence that he's not fit to lead the country, but lead the Liberals, absolutely. He can count on the Iceman's endorsement, because the Iceman also lives Canada in his bones.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Catch A Predator

It is astonishing how a piece of legislation designed to make it easier for law enforcement to capture and prosecute those who produce and traffic child pornography, in matter of hours, can have the media going bananas with broadcasters comparing the bill to George Orwell's 1984 (thanks for that Lisa LaFlamme). We can all agree that producing or possessing child pornography is a despicable crime, one we would all like to see wiped out. We know that the people who commit this crime in the greatest volume are incredibly cryptic and difficult to catch.

The perverts we see on the show "To Catch a Predator" are more of the casual/curious pedophiles, the big fish generally aren't that easy to catch. If this legislation is a bad idea, then does anyone else have any better ideas on how we can increase the rate at which we capture them? Certainly having officers cruise the Internet posing as sexually curious minors is a great deterrent and should continue. We want the creeps to know that if they go online to try and find a victim there is a reasonable chance it could be a cop. I'd like to hear from those officers who specialize in capturing child predators and pornography traffickers why this legislation is good or not.

I don't need left wing journalists alleging that Stephen Harper's thought police are going to hunt down scores of innocent civilians under cover of darkness. Honestly 99% of Canadians will never be affected in any significant way by this legislation. I'm a Libertarian with no objection given the objective. But hey, maybe I'm just an idiot for trusting the police.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Justin Trudeau: Idiot At Best, Separatist At Worst

Today Justin Trudeau told a Quebec radio host that if he thought "Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper" that he would consider making Quebec its own country. This is a remarkably dumb thing for a man who sees himself one day running for Prime Minister to say. Clearly this was not something blurted out on a whim like the "piece of sh*t" cat call in Question Period, but rather something "I always say". He's put a lot of thought into it, with the intended strategy of appealing to the Bloc swing voters who elected all those Dippers last May. This might play well on the Quebec left's cocktail circuit and might make him some new friends; but outside the province, he looks like an idiot at best, a separatist at worst.

"I always say that if, at a given time, I believed that Canada was really the Canada of Stephen Harper and that we were going against abortion, that we were going against gay marriage, that we were moving backwards in 10,000 different ways, maybe I would think of wanting to make Quebec a country."


He's going to have this one thrown back in face for the rest of his political career. I'm sure Bob Rae has no intention of instructing Justin to stop saying ridiculous things. Trudeau has a significant base of support to run for Liberal leader whenever he decides to do so, but shit like this piling up doesn't help his chances. Up until now he was probably Rae's biggest threat, and these self inflicted wounds only improve Bobby's chances of capturing the permanent leadership.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Canada's Aging Second Hand Submarines

Today's poll question; Should the Liberals have bought Canada's 4 cold war era submarines from the British 13 years ago? Hindsight is starting to show that it was a colossally bad idea, as repeated problems and frequent repairs have wiped out the savings from buying the boats used. Would you rather we buy new subs or do you think that we don't need any at all? Canada has one of the world's largest coastlines and as such submarines can serve a useful purpose (like patrolling for smugglers). If there are more efficient and less costly means of performing this function, all options should be considered. The current sub fleet is close to its end anyway, so we are going to have to start slowly decommissioning them in the not so distant future. Perhaps we can buy fewer planes and a few more boats?

Evan Soloman was trying to float the idea today that there was a mysterious cover up regarding a training accident last summer, and that the government has been "misleading" Canadians. It was reported that there was an accident, but apparently we should have been told there was a big hole in the front of the boat. None of the sailors were seriously injured (two had minor bruising), the boat made it back to base on its own power and an inquiry was held into the incident (which is why Evan even had pictures to wave around for the camera). I'm not sure why they seem to think every detail regarding damage to our military equipment needs to be broadcast immediately to the entire world. How many other countries do that?

Evan was focusing in on the fact that the damaged sub was removed from the water at night to support his cover up conspiracy "under cover of darkness". Then later he had a military rep on the show who simply explained that it was done at 4am because they needed high tide to lift it onto the dry dock. Evan struggled to come to terms with the simple truth, and that the damage was structurally like "ripping the skin off your bumper", except that it is an expensive bumper. He had a very unhappy look on his face. It was almost funny to watch him conduct his interview while trying to compute the information, after he'd been pumping a cover up of a larger story for the first hour and a half of his show.

This is yet another example of the media breaking a story before they have completed their research. In the modern 24 hour news cycle and Twitter universe, journalists compete to be the first to break a story, and often do so before completing their due diligence. The bloggosphere and punditry class then go on to draw conclusions based on incomplete information. When they end up looking like idiots, they'll blame the government for not telling everyone every detail about everything immediately.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Three Cheers For Pandas!

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's trade mission to China has been a roaring success. Not only did he secure Canada billions of dollars in trade agreements, but he scored Toronto and Calgary a pair of pandas. Nice touch! Granted, there are some people who don't want us to sell resources to China or accept their pandas. Rather what we should be doing is boycotting trade until they change their foreign and domestic policy to something that's more agreeable with Canadian values. Evidently making public statements disagreeing with Chinese policy is insufficient, we should cut off trade altogether until they change (because doing so will surely make them change course).

The poll question today on the CBC's Rosemary Barton Show was; is Canada putting trade with China ahead of human rights? 83% said yes. It's ridiculous that Soloman has started naming his polls "the ballot box question", when most of his loaded questions are completely irrelevant to how people vote. I'd like to see Rosemary permanently take over for Evan. The better question is; should Canada halt trade with China until they adopt more agreeable foreign and domestic policies?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Warning Shots-gate

The controversy of the day on Thursday was whether or not it is appropriate to fire warning shots with a gun to deter someone threatening your life. Recent comments by the Justice Minister set off a small media firestorm, including attacks in Question Period and a grilling on the Soloman Show. Though when Evan ran a poll asking "should you be able to defend your property with a gun?" it is unlikely he was expecting 80% of his audience to answer "yes". You can lead sheep to water, but you can't always make them drink. He should have asked if it is cool to fire warning shots.

Today's poll question; if you are being threatened, is it acceptable to fire warning shots with a gun?

Liberals For Life

Looks like the pro-life wing of the Liberal Party is starting to become more active, but I don't see rampant media accusations that the Party is trying to re-open the abortion debate and threatening women's rights. Instead the conspiracy is that "some federal Liberals fear single-issue pro-lifers are trying to hijack their weakened party." That was the opening sentence of Joan Bryden's recent exposé in the Globe. Thanks Joan. Any mention of the word "abortion" coming from the right is generally like "cat nip" for the left, but they struggle to process it when the words come from their own side.

Remember when Bob Rae tried to pass legislation for Canadian taxpayers to fund abortions in foreign countries? That bill died on the floor of the minority House of Commons because a handful of "Liberals for Life" declined to show up for the whipped vote. Now Liberals for Life are trying to get a pro lifer nominated for the Liberal Party in the upcoming byelection in Jack Layton's old riding. Rest assured Bob Rae will overrule the candidacy even if they succeed, but it will be interesting to see how he goes about stomping out this fire. The Liberals have been attacking a Tory "hidden agenda" on abortion for over a decade. Meanwhile it is an agenda shared by a number of Liberals who don't get anywhere near the attention of Tory backbenchers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Happened To Kevin Page's "Demographic Time Bomb"?

Certainly I can't be the only one who remembers Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page hammering the Tory government's long term budget projections in 2010 because they did not take into account Canada's "demographic time bomb" (aka: our aging population). Fast forward to 2012 when we are debating pension reform and suddenly everything is sustainable and does not require change? Well Kevin, which is it? Is a bomb about to explode, or is everything sunshine and lollipops? Forgive my confusion, maybe Kevin has just been so busy booking Liberal fundraisers that he's taken his eye off the ball. Certainly Andrew Coyne thinks we have a very serious problem.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Government Promoting Torture?

The big controversy today on the Soloman Show was a "government directive to CSIS" to use information that MAY have been obtained through torture if that information can save lives. As you can well imagine, the usual suspects went bananas claiming that this was tantamount to promoting and encouraging the use of torture. Gerard Kennedy was damned near ready to ship Vic Toews off to the Hague. Evan kept referring to "groups" who might use torture, when in fact what he's talking about are foreign governments, a number of them our allies.

Canada has intelligence sharing agreements with roughly 150 countries, and a chunk of them allow what we define as torture. Does that mean we should immediately stop accepting all intel from those countries, or should we have them prove that no torture was used on a case by case basis? I was hoping that Evan would list all our allies who permit torture that we should stop sharing intel with, but he would only mention the United States and Afghanistan. Today's poll question; should we stop accepting all intelligence from countries known to on occasion use torture? We're going to have to stop using most intelligence coming out of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. I'm not sure how much we can use from South America either.

One thing that kept coming up today was that the information obtained through torture "is not reliable" or "tainted". It is most unreliable when obtaining a confession, but I would be curious to see the actual numbers when it comes to the locations of militant bases, future attacks, or the names of operatives. That data is likely classified, but my guess is that the more specific the information, the more reliable it is. I don't condone torture nor want to see my country torturing enemy combatants, but if Saudi Intelligence informs us that there could be an attack on a subway on a certain day, we certainly can't ignore that because someone may or may not have been tortured. It may not be 100% reliable, but neither is it 100% unreliable.

The letter Vic Toews wrote to CSIS (which Evan kept waving around for the camera today) made perfect sense. It is not creating a "market for torture" if we accept intel that may save lives. One panel loon even
went so far as to say that this memo was going to lead to rendition, where we start shipping off prisoners to foreign countries for the sole purpose of having them tortured. Come on man! Seriously?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Canada's Relationship With China

Once upon a time when Stephen Harper criticized China for human rights abuses, the Liberals went bananas saying that it jeopardized our valuable trade relationship. Now that Harper is in China on a trade mission, Bob Rae is on the CBC saying that the PM should speak out against human rights abuses when Evan Solo asked him how he should deal with China. I believe Bob's exact words were that the Harper government must "become a more robust proponent" on human rights. Meanwhile the PM has gone so far in the past as to boycott the Beijing Olympics, which won him support in the Canadian Asian community.

Now Mark Holland is on criticizing the Prime Minister for once doing too much and now not doing enough. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Either way, China has a lot of money and we have a lot of resources to sell. Though 63% of Evan's audience does not think that we should "boost ties" with China while they support Syria. My poll question: how much trade should we seek with China? More, less, or the same?

The Soloman Show has a neat new feature that if you Tweet something with the hash tag #PnP during the show, it will pop up on the screen during the broadcast. Obviously there is a filter. I went 2 for 3 today. My Tweet asking if Mark Holland gets paid for panel appearances (and if so how much) did not make it to air. It was a surprise to see my Tweet "Anytime anyone even loosely affiliated with the Tories mentions abortion, Soloman has to dedicate half his show to it. #PnP" pop up on my television. Solo has really been pumping the Twitter hard.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The James Moore Decline

Very rarely do I run a poll during a "controversy" asking if a Tory minister should be expelled from cabinet with the result leaning 75% yes. Yet James Moore has accomplished exactly that. Did this collapse in support happen overnight or has he been slowly building towards this since taking the Heritage portfolio? He has lost more support in the right leaning community in a short period of time than Helena Guergis ever did. Many have stood by Christian Paradis, Maxime Bernier, Tony Clement, Bev Oda, Lisa Raitt, etc; but Moore's support of the CBC and his prophecy of Sun News demise has created more ill will than any of the aforementioned "controversial" figures.

I'd have to say that the first Blogging Tory I can remember hammering James Moore on a semi-regular basis was BC Blue. He's been on this for a while, but the calls for his cabinet expulsion are a very recent phenomenon. Once upon a time Moore was a rising star, but after too many galas he's become drunk on the elixir of Canada's cultural elite.