Skeletons maybe?...

Brian Tobin is out.

The field for the next Liberal leader seems now to be dominated by low grade names, and former members of other parties that some would label "traitors..." Not me, but other nameless people...

This is like the contest of disappearing contenders... Someone was remarking to me lately that the reason why he thought McKenna took the bow, was that someone let him in on a Liberal skeleton that will likely come out before the next election. It's all conjecture of course, but now that Tobin's taking the bow I have to ask the question is that theory even slightly true?

Is there something we don't know that the Liberals have hidden away somewhere that Harper's just bound to stumble on?

Even McKenna's bowing out was weird. He first resigned as Canadian amabassador to the US quickly... Almost too quickly fueling speculation that he wasn't going to wait for Harper to fire him so that he could run for the leadership. He was all smoke and mirrors then about the whole issue of his running. The turn around caught everyone off guard. And that's what makes it all the more weird.

When Astronauts Leave NASA...

I just had one of those moments...
'The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) is a type of propulsion system that produces a plasma exhaust at temperatures similar to those in the interior of the sun. The system may generate rocket thrust with performance hundreds of times higher than that of present chemical rockets. The increased performance could mean dramatic reductions in fuel requirements. While conventional rocket nozzles would melt under the extreme temperatures, VASIMR uses magnetic force fields to control and direct the plasma exhaust jet.'(link)

Sounds neat. Don't know how viable it is though. Chang-Diaz seems pretty convinced of this technology's future:
'A NASA astronaut and scientist for 25 years and a veteran of a record seven Space Shuttle flights, Chang-Diaz retired from NASA in July 2005 to continue work with the development of the VASIMR engine with Ad Astra Rocket.

'Chang-Diaz conceived VASIMR in 1979 while at The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Mass.

McKenna's A No-Go

This is just... Out of nowhere...
' OTTAWA (CP) - Frank McKenna says he won't seek the leadership of the federal Liberal party because he doesn't want to return to the "trap" of politics. '(link)

Now stop that hyperventaling politicos everywhere... McKenna's gone, yes, but the Rapture has not yet happened. The dead do not walk the earth, and the mushroom clouds haven't appeared so buck up already. Take a brown paper bag and take a deep breath.

McKenna's gone.

That means a couple things. There is no air apparent anymore. The field of opportunities for Liberal leader has just been blown wide open.

I still hold out a gut instinct/slight incling that Brian Tobin will appear out of nowhere and give it the "what-ho" at the Leadership. Allan Rock may be far more of the darling of members of the left of the Liberal Party like Warren Kinsella.

Either way things got a whole lot more exciting.

Challenger 20 years yesterday...

Reaction from Robot Guy on the 20 year anniversary of the Challenger disaster:
'There was an inquiry, of course; it turned out that there were no lessons learned from the shuttle disaster that were not already known beforehand. Seventeen years later, NASA would have to be subjected to those exact same painful lessons all over again when the Columbia disintegrated over Texas.(link)

What actually caused the Challenger disaster was that one of the Solid Rocket Boosters collided with the main tank of the shuttle. The main tank, being a huge tank of liquid hydrogen rocket fuel, exploded.

The SRB collided with the main tank due to a loosening of a connection with the main tank. This was believed to have been the cause of an O-ring failure, which is supposed to prevent the escape of gases laterally out of the SRB.

The O-ring is said to have failed because of the much cooler than normal temperatures the Shuttle launched at. NASA had received warnings of possible O-ring failures in the past, but had ignored them as an acceptable flight risk.

The most disturbing story I've heard about the tragedy was that the crew may have survived the initial explosion. Some say that the crew compartment may have stayed intact and point to some video evidence of such. That would mean that there may have been crew members alive, but probably unconcious when the crew compartment hit the water.

Either way, yesterday's anniversary is a reminder of exactly what the stakes are for space exploration and NASA. It's one of those reminders that it isn't just some debate about some thing that exists out there somewhere. That NASA safety issues aren't just theoretical Engineering points of discussion. It reminds us that this is real, and that what NASA does is not a game.

Hippy Doublespeak...

I just don't understand some people:
' "Bottled water to me is one of life's crimes," Trudeau told an audience of 200 people at a University of Guelph environmental science symposium over the weekend.

' "It's not natural, pure, clean," said the ex-wife of the late Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau.(link)(via)

Forgive me for bringing this up, but public water hasn't had the exact tract record of "purity..." Remember the Walkerton tragedy? When public water goes awry, everyone buys bottled water like nuts. Why? Because a company's name is behind it, and there is someone to sue if things go wrong. Meanwhile the government or those responsible in government or government agencies can get away scott free when they screw up. No one complains about bottled water then.

So sorry Mags, no pay dirt there on that lefty socialist doublespeak.

From The Man Who Invented The Internet

Al Gore Strikes!
'"The election in Canada was partly about the tar sands projects in Alberta," Gore said Wednesday while attending the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

'"And the financial interests behind the tar sands project poured a lot of money and support behind an ultra-conservative leader in order to win the election . . . and to protect their interests."(link)(via)(100+ Canadian Comments On Al Gore's Stupidity)

For all Al Gore knows about Canada he obviously doesn't know that there is a limit on what corporations can donate to political parties up here unlike the US. Also the Tories ran on a promise to ban corporate and union donations to political parties. Also the Tories got most of their donations from individuals according to elections Canada. It was the Liberals that got more money from big business wouldn't you know.

Could the election, maybe, possibly, per chance, hazard a guess to have been about the hundreds of millions stolen in the sponsorship scandal? Or what about the billions lost in other scandals? Didn't that even cross Gore's mind when he opened his mouth?...

Sorry using the old Canuckian noggin' again. Stupid Canuck, I should know better than to use what's in between my ears.
'"They've talked about the need for a made-in-Canada plan, which is exactly the terminology Stephen Harper used," Bennett said. "They've talked about targets for Kyoto being unreachable -- that's similar."'

It's a conspiracy! Two Conservatives from two different countries coming to the same conclusion... And beavers can fly... Well maybe in Manitoba they can.
Gore believes the issue of the oilsands and the sway he contends the industry holds with Harper didn't garner news coverage during the election because "media concentration has taken a toll on democratic principles around the world, and Canada is no exception."

What a ridiculous thing to say. A majority of the money donated to political parties from both the CTV and CBC media outlets in this country went to the Liberal party. There's media concentration in Canada alright - with a Liberal bias. And Harper's connections to Alberta were brought up in the campaign more than once. Apparently being an Albertan is a liability, because they're rich, and have oil. By that logic everyone that comes out of that province is some demon spawn of hell.
"I see them moving a lot closer to the Bush government. Talk a lot, but do nothing."

Actually that would be moving a lot closer to the previous Liberal government. They talked alot about Kyoto. But what did they do to implement it? What eco-fascist or environmental nutso out there would even begin to claim that some green friendly tax credits would achieve the reductions required by Kyoto? Especially after the Liberals gave exemptions to the powerfull auto industry - and guess who else?... that's right the Alberta Oil industry. So who's in cahoots with big oil again?

All this amazing insight comes from Al Gore, the man who once said he helped invent the internet... We got a saying for that type of fantasy in Canada - It's called eating the Mad Cow eh...


Since my claim about the Auto Industry and the Oil Industry receiving exemptions for Kyoto has been called into refute I'm posting the following quotations from selected sources...
'“At a time when the Minister of Natural Resources is proposing to weaken Kyoto targets for industry on economic grounds, we wanted to understand the extent to which the federal government is actually bolstering the profits of this already highly profitable sector,” said John Bennett, Executive Director of the Climate Action Network.

'Twenty percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions came from the oil and gas sector in 2002 — an increase of 47% over the 1990 level. “Kyoto targets for the oil and gas industry should be significantly toughened, especially in light of this corporate welfare that the sector is receiving,” added Bennett. (link)

The Sierra Club is biased of course. But they are right when it comes to the oil and gas Industry making small cuts. Just look at this from government of China:
'"Project Green," Canada's 10-billion-dollar plan to meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, makes individual Canadians responsible for at least 74 percent of emission reductions even though they are responsible for only about one-fourth of the country's emissions, environmental organizations said.

'By contrast, they added, Canada's booming oil and gas sector, among the most pollution-intensive in the world, gets off lightly under the plan. (link)

And that's the exact conclusion I came to when I heard of the exemptions the Liberals were making to the auto and oil industry. If they don't make the cuts there, just where will they make them? On consumers of course. At first I figured the Liberals would just start an Albertan revolution by implementing Kyoto, but after that announcement I figured they would start a Canuck revolution!
'All major companies in Canada's automobile industry are part of the agreement.

'"Canada's automobile industry has a long history of introducing new technologies that make the vehicles we produce more environmentally friendly and safer,'' said Hinrichs.

'"As we look to the future, we remain committed to doing our fair share to reduce GHG emissions while contributing to economic growth."(link)

That was when the Liberals made the Kyoto deal with the auto industry. What reductions did the auto industry have to make? 5.3 megatons. How much were they originally going to have to cut? A whole heck of a lot more than that. And most of the "cuts" are supposed to come from the incorporation of new "green" technologies.

What's worse is now I'm going to quote David Suzuki:
'Though the Large Final Emitter (LFE) system has not been transformed into a voluntary system, the federal government has responded to pressure from the oil and gas sector. Most notably, industrial targets are now based on emissions intensity. That means if production goes up, LFEs are allowed to emit more greenhouse gases than their original target. Thus, massively increased emissions from the tar sands, as projected by NRCan, will be allowed under Canada’s plan.

'Further, the LFE emission reduction target has been weakened from 55 Mt in the 2002 climate change plan to 36 Mt in the 2005 version.10 The new target is just 13% of the reductions needed for Kyoto, though LFEs make up almost 50% of Canadian emissions. Worse, the business-as-usual “baseline,” the starting point from which industry must reduce emissions, has been increased by 35 Mt, mostly due to increased emissions from the tar sands. This makes the new LFE target indistinguishable from business-as-usual projections from a few years ago.

Took that from a pdf from the David Suzuki foundation but have no link as of yet.

Notice that the Liberal deal included targets based on "carbon intensity"? That's what the oil companies have wanted for years. That's what Harper's Conservatives have always suggested should be done. And I even think that's what Bush's Environmental plan in the US is based on. It's a reasonable bar to measure carbon reductions by, no matter what David Suzuki says.

So Suzuki and the rest of his eco-fascists are ticked off for good reason. The Liberals signed Kyoto, in my view, with little real intention to implement it.

I think some probably figured whatever they couldn't haggle out from industry they could gain by getting credit for clean energy Canada exported to the US. Canada never got credit for that, and emissions keep on going up in the meanwhile. In other words, Canada is no where near it's targets, and the deadline looms.

I see Kyoto as being good PR. I never saw it as realistic. And neither did the Liberals obviously by their exemption giveaway spree. I wish I could find the links to the original stories that I read calling it outright an "exemption" but you'll have to trust me that I had seen them before... Probably a good year ago.

Either way the auto industry and the oil and gas industry in the plan have to make no real significant reductions. That's why investors are now investing again in Alberta and haven't fleed in fear. They know the truth. It's sad that not everyone else does.

Astronomers Find Earth II?... Ladie Friggin' Da...

A major, hugely, massively, SUPEREXTREMELY, important, and earth shattering discovery was apparently made today concerning extra-solar planets...
Today, a team of scientists has reported the discovery of the lowest mass planet yet (view a news video of the discovery, or read about it here). The planet, called OGLE-2005-BGL-390Lb, is about 5 times the mass of the Earth, orbiting a star about 25,000 light years away. That’s halfway to the center of the Galaxy! So we won’t be visiting it any time soon.(link)(via)

The hype was just so over blown at this announcement. Buzz was abounds hailing that Earth II had been found... A planet with an oxygen atmosphere... A nice little planet we could all rush off to and take a fresh breath on, or find "life"... I really have to say - who cares?

I've said this before and I'll say it again: "Who Cares if we find life thousands of light years away?"

I think for some the motivation is more political than they would like to admit. They figure, find that essential microbe, or find that signal, or find that jewel in the sky that screams "LIFE" and overnight the public will start clamering the goverments of the world to get it together and spend billions for an expedition. Considering the track record NASA has with space exploration, I'd rather we didn't. Knowing how it'll work out, we'll plant a flag in the ground, do a little science, go home and pat ourselves on the back for 30+ years.

And plus, sending a few blow dried suckup cocky pilots isn't what I'd deem "space exploration..." We need colonization not more science experiments.

Don't get me wrong, it'd be pretty neat to find ET. But I think we'll need to do more than just stare through a telescope to find it... And even if we do, we'll still need a way to get there. And for right now, were stuck on this rock until we stop obsessing about bending light and get on with the business of finding a cheap way into space... Not to burst anyone's bubble, but that's the ways I sees it. Astronomers are a cool lot, but this tirade some go on I think is more of pie in the sky hope than anything.

Prime Minister Harper

Bittersweet the election results may have been for some, the victory last night was still sweet. Stephen Harper's Tories won 124 seats for a minority government ending 13 years of corrupt Liberal rule. The Liberals though still managed to hold on to 103.

Harper was on the cusp of winning a majority according to some polls last week. They showed some tightening when the Liberal Party released a barrage of attack ads claiming that Harper was a US styled Conservative, that he wanted more of a military presence in cities, and wanted to ban abortion. Of course, on every point they were all fabrications. The fact though remains - that makes little difference. Negative attack ads work. They work, even in polite Canada.

Turncoat opportunist and all around traitor to the Tory party Belinda Stronach was re-elected. Ujal Donsjalhn (or however the heck you spell his name) managed to get re-elected as well. He was the former premier of BC under the NDP banner, and defected to the federal Liberal party. Scott Brison out east - another Tory turncoat - once again got re-elected. Even Jean Lapierre, the once Liberal then seperatist then Liberal again got the thumbs up from voters. It seems that some Canucks like traitors... Me?... Not so much.

Harper could have won more that's for sure, but that's not the point. The point is that the Liberals have finally been turfed from office. That regime has now been effectively squashed.

I was hoping for more of humbling of Paul Martin and the Liberal Party, but I'll take what I can get.

Harper's biggest accomplisment comes from one place: Quebec. La Belle Province elected 10 new Conservative MPs, and beat the Liberals in terms of votes. The Tories are now the official federalist alternative in Quebec. Not bad for a bunch of ridings they said there was no chance in a million Liberals that it would be winable for the Tories... Those guys must be jumping for joy in Quebec right now. Just imagine this, many of these lucky idiots were really two guys in shanty running a campaign. They are now winning campaigns.

Though when you look at it all, it's as if the Tories have won after receiving a massive beating. Well, nothing good didn't come without a little pain did it?

It'll all make it worth it when I have my GST cut. It'll make it that much sweeter when we end that Child Care social experiment in molding the minds of the young that the Liberals started. It'll be nice when people that do crime, do the time, and serve out their FULL TERMS. It'll be sweet when Paul Martin and Jean Chretien get put on trial for the crooks they are... Well, I can hope can't I?

Harper has it easy?... Please

Warren Kinsella praises James Bowie today: "I admire this young guy for his honesty. I obviously don’t agree with his support of the worst Liberal leader in nearly two decades. But he’s the kind of person the Liberal Party will need as it rebuilds, over the next three to six years."

What did James have to offer to the blogging world that deserved that much praise?... Here she blows:
"Whoever manages to pull off even a minority in this Winter Election Canadians Don't Want will have a year of free reign.

"Either Harper or Martin is going to get the axe after this election, and the parties have spent themselves into massive debt. Either party would have to fundraise and organize a leadership convention. Neither the Tories nor the Grits are going to be in any position to defeat a government until well after the next budget.

"So Harper's comments on 'checks and balances' should be taken with a grain of salt... Harper will pass his budget, because nobody wants the next election so soon.

Now maybe I've been left out of the loop, but at last glance the Tories had internalized their debt and were effectively deft free, if not well on their way the last time I heard. They had no problems with Bay Street Bankers. It was the Liberals that if anything were raising some eyebrows. Especially with the new election law that effectively makes political parties dependant on individual donations.

The Tories have always depended on individual donations... Most of their donations come from committed individual Tory members. That is part and parcel of not being in power for the past 13 years. Corporations dont' give a flying fart if you aint in power. So individuals are all you can count on.

The Grits on the other hand have done poorly getting individual donations. As far as I know the Tories had raised almost double what the Liberals did pre-election time last year.

Doesn't seem like the Tories that have the debt woes if you ask me... Maybe the Bowie would like to enlighten this stupid caveman barbarian uncivilized unprogressive as to where that impression of his comes from.

Gonna take the rest of this stuff one step at a time...
"And even in a minority, a Harper PMO would make a slate of political appointments. We'd get a new US Ambassador, new people at the UN, and a new PMO staff - just the same as if we had a Harper majority. Canadians should ask themselves if they're ready for Stockwell Day and John Reynolds to represent their country."

Touche, we would get a whole bunch of appointments that can be easily reversible if a new government were elected and have little if any real power.

Am I ready for the Stock and the Reynolds? Sure am. Tell me something, do you think it was right that I had to endure Hedy Fry and Carolyn Parrish for all of those years? Give us uncivilized lowly barbarians a break... We handled it - so can you. Get off your high horse, suck it up and live with it. It's called "a difference of opinion."
"It is easy to feel comforted by the prospect of a minority Parliament. Sure, Harper's ability to repeal the Civil Marriage Act and other progressive legislation would be somewhat curtailed..."

"Somewhat curtailed?" "Somewhat curtailed?!?" Maybe you don't exactly understand the situation my friend. How exactly is Harper supposed to bi-pass the Liberal senate? Mulroney did it by stacking it with Conservative members, but Harper has pledged to make them elected... Not to mention the fact that he has the Supreme Court, the RCMP, and every other government agency or anything else the Liberals have managed to infiltrate over the last 13 years stacked against him... Me thinkee you don't thinkee that one out too much.
"...however, the executive branch would have the same authority as a majority government."

Maybe you need a political lesson. The executive branch can make appointments and such. In a minority parliament if Harper wants to pass a law allowing him to go pee-pee he needs either the support of a) the Bloc, b) the NDP, c) the Liberals or some rebellious Liberal MPs. There is a big difference of authority. Now maybe you're talking purely from the executive branch perspective - but definitely there is a real difference in terms of parliamentary authority.
"All they have to do is pass their budget, and they would. Because as much as Canadians are miffed about this election, they'll be even more angry if the next one is too soon."

That will be a lot harder than he's making out. Harper has to sell a 1% GST cut to someone, along with his Child Care policy. Who's gonna bite? The socialist Bloc? Or the Socialist NDP? Maybe, just maybe, the Liberals would support it for fear of them going into an election in the tattering financial mess they are in. That, I'll give to you as a possibility.

Harper by no means has it easy after the 23rd. I think he can do it, but Warren K and the Bowie are living in a fantasy land if they think that Harper has it easy.

Why does it seem like Planned Parenthood is running the Liberal campaign?

Got an email from someone today completely unrelated to politics. "Check out this link: ... Just like Planned Parenthood..."

Now I've seen the Liberal web site throughout the campaign. It looks nothing like it does right now. "Conservative MP Calls Woman's Right to Choose Undemocratic... Harper's Extreme Agenda Must Be Stopped... Stephen Harper's Covert Support for Cheryl Gallant... Harper Muzzling Local Candidates..." Every story seems to talk about that dreaded "A" word...

Then I read this: " 'What's going to happen after the election? Are these social conservatives going to stay in hiding ... (or) are they going to come out and start expressing their views, advancing their causes?' Martin said at a rally in Atlantic Canada."

That emailer was right on the money. The Liberal campaign seems more like Planned Parenthood is running it than a true national party that has more to say than some narrow field of focus.

This is the line in the final days of the campaign?... It's becoming sad to be honest. Where is the policy? Martin talked of a "positive" message he wanted to talk about in the campaign. Where is it?

The Liberals end the campaign talking about the "A" word? This line of attack has such little basis in reality, especially with Haper's often repeated pledge not to touch it. To the annoyance of many Social Conservatives that policy was duly passed at a convention. Some left the party over it.

And it was warned then, that just because we passed such a policy wouldn't mean the Liberal attacks would stop. Giving into a hostage takers demands tends to embolster the hostage taker if anything.

And these attacks make even less sense considering the fact that Martin himself wanted a law on the "A" word back in 1989...

In politics, death is twice as worse. It's a long drawn out process far too often. I've been on the losing side far too often, and know what it's like to see my own guy die. To a certain extent I kind of hope that Paul Martin and the Liberal campaign gets put out of it's misery as quickly as can be done. This is just excruciating to watch a dead man fight for his last breaths when all he's doing is digging himself farther down into the hole.

Maybe these attacks will work. Maybe they won't. Either way Paul Martin as a statesman and a leader has effectively died in this election campaign.

Spoke to soon...

As soon as I start thinking we might win, cold water gets poured down on me via a new poll.

In short what this all means is one thing: negative advertising works. It don't matter one ayota whether your attacks are factual or not - it's fear. Fear works. Let me re-phrase: fear works on 10% of the population. On the majority, Canucks are pretty smart monkeys. Canucks are probably above and beyond the smartest and most well informed voters on the planet. But there will always be that 10%.

That 10% includes people, like certain friends and family members of mine, who will wait till E-day to make a choice. They flip through the channels and find out that Bush will be happy if Harper's win.... "Oooo!!!.... How scary - not going to vote for that dog, eh?"

They pull open a paper and find out about how Harper will bring the country into a deficit..."We can't have that happen - just like Mulroney all over again."

They listen to the radio and listen to claims about sexual abuse and assault being lobbed on Conservative candidates and think "oh no, we can't have these sexists in power."

Of course what they don't know is those allegations are false and made up. Liberals are being sued as we speak, and those negative ads have no more factual basis than Pravda was un-biased news network in Russia. Propaganda, especially negative propaganda, works. The Conservatives have a couple negative ads. The Liberals have a dozen. The Liberals win by shear numbers.

Apparently the Tories still show some signs of momentum though in all of this.

And this is the kicker: these national polls mean nothing. It's the regional battles that count. Quebec is a battle for the flag of federalism between the Liberals and the Tories, and in Ontario it's anyone's game. Harper's spending the final days in Ontario trying to win in Battleground Ontario. Anything could happen.

It's not over yet. All this poll means is that this election campaign has just become an election campaign again.

Axworthy Does It Right?

That Conservative Candidate that had to respond to false allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman got an apology:
"Axworthy concedes the call came from his office but believes someone not connected to his campaign sneaked in and made the call.

"But Vellacott insists that it was an Liberal supporter because someone he knows recognized the voice and says he's prepared to take legal action.

"Axworthy - a former Saskatchewan justice minister - issued a statement Thursday afternoon apologizing and called the sex assault allegation "deplorable."

" 'In as much as it appears that our phones were misused and that the comments were hurtful to Mr. Vellacott, I offer my heartfelt apologies,' Axworthy said in the release.

I commend him for attempting to make an apology, though I have to admit to not trusting him when it comes to him not being connected to this whole mess. I have heard of similar allegations being made by other Liberal candidates to Conservative candidates locally since this story first broke. I'm of the opinion that some Idiots out there are just unable to live with themselves anymore. They have based their whole lives on the Liberal party. And now that that is going down they are turning to desperately stupid moves that anyone can see through. I may be wrong, but trusting Axworthy at this point is a very difficult thing to do.

Spooky Randomn Cost Increases

Trouble with NASA's new launch system already:
"Sources report problems have been encountered in designing an expendable version (RS–25) of the current SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engine) for the CLV's second stage that can be air-started. Concerns have also been raised that a possible alternate second stage engine, a derivative of the Apollo era J-2S engine, may be underpowered for the task.

There is something I like to call "Spooky Randomn Cost Increases" that I think exists in Engineering. Wanna build something? Got to expect some "Spooky Randomn Cost Increases..." I've seen in so many projects - big and small. Some things you just can't account for. You learn quick to expect it more in uncertain projects involving technology that hasn't been tested or hasn't been quite broken in as something more simple and well...old.

I know that was the idea behind using a design that incorporated Shuttle tech into a new launch system. You would need less testing in the end - but it's also that randomn crapola that concerned me... But the problem I had was that incorporating old technology into a new design is still a new design. Stuff can still happen. No one has tried anything like this before and that creates uncertainty - and in my experience uncertainty causes those randomn cost increases that you have to explain to your boss unconfortably.

The worst part is that NASA didn't do that - instead they decided to frankenstein a new launch system from the Space Shuttle solid rocket boosters and space shuttle engines. And hence my main apprehension about this new launch.

Of course this is just at the design stage and already they're having problems - and this will no doubt lead to longer design time which will lead to more mula... And then those "Spooky Randomn Cost Increases" will kick in.

Easy as pie to build this system? Doesn't seem like it no more.

Shucks!... No Mushroom Cloud...

The New Horizons mission to Pluto launched without a hitch:
"An unmanned NASA spacecraft hurtled toward Pluto on Thursday on a 3-billion-mile journey to the solar system's last unexplored planet -- a voyage so long that some of the scientists who will be celebrating its arrival are just taking their first physics class.
"The launch went off without incident, to the relief of anti-nuclear activists who had feared an accident could scatter lethal radioactive material.

And another launch with a incredibily minute chance of extremely slight and unworriable radiation leakage happened without any problems.

Nuclear Rockets are just gonna take off tomorow aint they?

When desperation turns into stupidity...

A Liberal Candidate was caught falsely accusing a Conservative candidate of sexual abuse by posing as a caller on a radio show:
"Tuesday night on Shaw Cable, a caller phoned in falsely accusing front-runner Conservative incumbent MP Maurice Vellacott of sexually assaulting his church secretary at North Park Church.
"Vellacott has never been accused by any woman of sexual assault and was never a Pastor at North Park Church.
"After the cable show ended, Vellacott was handed the requested phone number by Shaw Cable producer Gracie Field. Upon arrival back at his campaign office he was told that a person had reported in and was confident that the accusers voice was that of a friend of Liberal candidate Chris Axworthy. When the (306) 956-2570 number provided by the Shaw Cable staff member was dialed, it was found to be Chris Axworthy's campaign office phone number. The same number is also listed as the main campaign office number on the website of the Liberal Party of Canada here:

I guess the next stage after desperation must be stupidity. This is just unfriggin' believable. No matter how desperate you are in politics, there is more to life than politics. It's not the end of the world if you loose. Trust me, as a Conservative I KNOW ~ I've lost more than once. Got some bumps and bruises, but I'm none the worse for it.

So my advice to the idiot Liberal is fess up and apologize. Admit you did wrong and move on. None of us are perfect, but we have the ability to recognize our mistakes and make good where we did wrong.

The brakes are gone on the good ship Liberal. Then the steering went bezeerk. Then the wheels feel off. Then the frame started falling apart... And now? What's left? I'm wondering just what is keeping it together anymore.

24 hours, it was just 24 hours...

A quick recap of the events of the last 24 hours... Two-Four hours... That was it...

CAW Union leader Buzz Hargrove called Harper a Seperatist while he endorsed Paul Martin. That prompted Martin to renounce his pally union buddie's comments in the media firestorm it started and affirm his belief in Stephen Harper's "patriotism." Strange since this campaign started with Paul Martin questioning Harper's patriotism when he heard that Harper had problems saying "I love Canada" on Day one of the campaign... But there I go speaking straight talk again - silly me.

Then SES said that the Tory lead was narrowing. To 5 points to be exact. Then the Strategic Council said that it was narrowing too. However they said that lead was 18 points. Margin of error alone can't account for that slight differential.

I'm thinking there must be a something awry somewhere in those numbers... The way they ask their question must be mighty different - or at least it produces a mighty difference. If it aint wording they must change their tone or voice or something... Maybe one has a phone bank of Dark Vader wannabees that freak out people into voting one way or another?... I'm just thinking that's way more than just "statistical variation."

An Ontario health minister said he would move up his same sex marriage if Harper won the election. At the same time an attack by a former now disgruntled Joe "who?" Clark Tory against the Bloggin' Tories was lobbed...

Apparently any involvement by the Tory Party in a simple website collecting links to bloggers that support the Conservative Party could construe pre-election spending. So off it goes to Kingsley the Elections Canada head guy for him to find out if the Tories have over the spent their limit by this dirty trick. Of course, that line of thinking carefully forgets that radical left wing gets actual federal tax payer funding but isn't under anyone's scrutiny. Like that your tax money goes towards such things as attacks against the Pope? Well I guess Hedy Fry might not mind - but I shouldn't talk for nobody... She could surprise me! Either way if anything the Blogging Tories should be a lobbying for equal treatment to if anything.

Bias? Nah... This is just the Liberal's Canada. Go ahead and "choose your Canada" boys and girls.

And that's just the stuff I can remember... Can you smell a Liberal breakdown? Well, if not that atleast this is all very exciting in an election campaign marked more by a dead Liberal party that refused to do anything until after January 2nd... It was the known as the infamous "phase 3" of the campaign. The theory was no one was going to pay attention to a darn thing until after the holidays so the Liberals would conserve all the moneys until then and then unleash a barrage of activity.

Maybe not such a good idea in retrospect...

In all of this Chantal Hebert once again proves that she is the only reason why anyone should buy an issue of the Toronto Star.

"Quebec has been the scene of a dramatic shift, a sea change whose implications are still difficult to measure except to know that they are significant. ... Regardless of Monday's seat count in Quebec, this will have lasting consequences. For better or for worse, the Conservative party has for now become the federalist option of choice in Quebec. "

And that is the ultimate kicker that this election will most probably be remembered for: the rise of the Conservatives as a force in Quebec. This will have lasting consequences in the Canadian political landscape for a while to come... All the rest of this activity is just a side show circus.

We might actually win this thing...

I'm starting to think that the Tories might actually win this sucker, as evidenced by the latest poll numbers by the Strategic Council shown on the left...

Now of course these are the "high" numbers for the Tories out of the lot released thus far. Other polls show the lead the Tories have as being lower. What this poll basically does is it confirms that the Tories are in a 7 to 13 point lead over the Liberals.

The poll numbers have not really dramatically changed in other regions of the country. The Tories were competitive with the Liberals in Ontario and way out in the lead out West, as well as being the natural opposition out in Atlantic Canada. That gave them enough to be tied or slightly behind the Liberals nationally.

The real big story in this campaign is the numbers in Quebec:

Who would have figured? At the start of this campaign the Tories barely had a heart beat being somewhere in most polls between 5 and 12 %. The real story of this election will not be what happens in Ontario, out West, or even in Atlantic Canada. The real upset in this campaign is in Quebec, where Paul Martin has effectively dessimated the Liberal brand name. This is why the National numbers have risen really. The increases in support in Ontario might have given the Tories an extra couple points at most, and not the 7 to 13 point lead they now enjoy. Quebec gave them that lead.

This election may very well go down as the one that made the Liberal name an unviable federalist option in La Belle Province for a very long time. All thanks to Paul Martin - or at least that's how it very well might be remembered.

Though there is still less than 5 days left in this campaign... Anything could happen. I find myself taking my head out from the trench for a while and I can't help but start to think might this be it? Or do we have to wait another few years to throw the bumbs out?

You see being a Conservative in Canuckland, where the Liberal Party has been in office for over 75% of last 150 years is very much like being a Boston Red Sox Fan... Just when you think you're about to win something always happens to screw it up. And the most common refrain I get from most Conservatives is what is going to happen to screw it up this time...

Space Governor...

FAA's authority from Congress extends only to takeoff and landing. This is duly implemented in the new proposed regs. The Outer Space Treaty makes the US liable for damages caused by US spacecraft and citizens to other signatory's people and stuff whereever they are. That includes outer space and the rest of the planets. These areas too should be considered and governed for every US citizen and corporation that wants a US flagged spacecraft. There are excellent opportunities for US (mobile home) colonies in unoccupied territory. It's time to appoint someone whose job it is to make that happen. A new position should be created: the Governor of Outer Space Territory.

Like the Space Paidhi in C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series, there would be a need for bridging tremendous cultural gaps between political leaders and spacers, quick thinking about governance modes, and even some rough frontier justice. (link)

Maybe I'm a little bit stumped by this one, but why do we need a friggin' Governor?... Don't we have enough government on terra firm already? We have enough problems here, we don't need to export them into space. Afterall the easiest way to kill a new frontier is to bring a government in "to fix things" or to "civilize the barbarians."

Frontier justice is a good rationalization for some type of policing maybe controlled through some type of government... but I would argue justice would come natural with demand. Like in the old frontier people would hire sheriffs when they needed them. They didn't start off with 10 legions of troops standing on guard.

Are we going to create a new layer of bureaucracy before we've even lifted off the ground? That's one surefire way to strangle a spirit of Liberty on a new frontier.

Man o' lou!... It would have been like appointing a governor of the Internet back in the 1980s. We would still be using phone modems today if that were the case no doubt!

Seven days to go, no dent made yet...

Despite a barrage of Liberal attack ads over the last five days, the Conservative party's lead over the Liberals continues to slowly grow, says a new poll.(link)(via)

Although SES' tracking poll does show some slight movement up for the Liberalismos, it's well within the margin of error. This poll seems to show that the momevement is just statiscal variation if anything.

Seven days is an eternity in an election campaign. I don't want to speculate about what will happen over the next week... But I hope Ralph Klein keeps the duct tape on his mouth until then.

But there is an interesting problem that will plague the party when it gets in parliament... Same Sex Marriage.
Conservative star candidate John Baird running a tight race against a Liberal incumbent in Ottawa West Nepean riding is receiving a gruelling fight, not from his Liberal opponent, but from a young independent candidate who is ensuring that Baird's stand in support of homosexual 'marriage' is known to the public.

Meet John Pacheco, familiar to social conservatives in the area and abroad as the man who organized the 15,000-strong March for Marriage on Parliament Hill last summer - the event at which Conservative Leader Stephen Harper spoke. Pacheco is running against Baird as an independent with the sole purpose of pointing out that Baird is betraying conservatives with his strong anti-family views.(link)(via)

A large chunk of Harper's support no doubt comes from those against SSM. I've met people who had a seething hatred for Brian Mulroney and Mike Harris but are now voting for Harper just because of that one single issue - and more than just one.

It's incredible really. This coalition is nothing like Mulroney's in 1984. This coalition includes social conservatives that are fiscally liberal. Harper's biggest challenge will be keeping this coalition together. How will this jive with MP's like John Baird who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal?

Civil wars start over less in political parties. Though, I doubt there is a better person more fitted to the job of keeping the family together than Stephen Harper... My guess is that this at most will lead to some interesting caucus and cabinet meetings.

Those Banned Words

Many other people have posted on this I'm sure, but I still feel the need for whatever reason:
I am pissed off. I just watched Stephen Harper end his platform speech on the National with the words "God Bless Canada". God Bless Canada? That is a nice kiss to the Socons Stephen, but where the fuck do you think you are anyway, Texas? Newsflash, you are not running for Pope, so stop blessing people! You must really think you have this all sown up if you can start in with that kind of nonsense. You need a humbling, just as much as Paul Martin does.(link)(via)

I don't understand why people act with so much vitrol to the slightest religious invocation in this country. If you aren't religious, then I would simply take a blessing as a blessing... It means he means nothing but good intentions towards you.

I guess blessings have been banned from Canada under some new form of common law I am as of yet unfamiliar with. Maybe not all blessings, just Christian ones... Something tells me that blessings from other religions are all the more welcome by this person.

And his reaction to the So-Con backlash?
The experience tells me a lot about what we could expect from a Harper majority government, should we elect one. These supporters of his, are like alcoholics cut off from booze for 12 years. They are going to get drunk with power and very quickly. Woe to anyone who gets in their way. The vibe I got from these folks was very reminicient of the Harrisites, early in the Mike Harris era. There is an arrogance about them that you can feel as a physical force. They know what needs to be done and they will do it, regardless of anything the opposition (including internal opposition) says or does. Indeed, any opposition will convince them of their righteousness and push them onward.

Someone is going through withdrawal but I highly doubt that it's so-cons. This blogger would be well to do a better analysis of who exactly is in control of the Conservative party... We have a party that is now officially "pro-choice" based on the last policy convention, that is merely promising to allow a true free vote on SSM in the next parliament. That contrasts well with the NDP, that will boot people out of caucus if they don't believe in SSM, and the Liberals which wouldn't allow a vote in the first place.

Sure, the CPC is just overwhelmed with So-Cons taking control...

Now just who is drunk on power these days?

On Inmates Voting Liberal....

You know, it's important to have compassion towards those that reside in correctional institutions. Not all inmates are murderers or rapists. Some have honestly done something wrong, realise it, and are trying to pay out their time.

They don't deserve to be treated like animals or to be opressed.

That being said, in a responsible honest society, we must believe in justice. True justice is not punishement. That's revenge. True justice is preventing wrongs from being done again - or at least doing our best at that.

When it comes to many crimes that means removing the offender from society. We take away his right to freedom to go where he chooses, for a period in time. We hope that this will either act as a deterent to others from commiting that crime, or that this will provide time for him to consider what he has done. In other cases, jails serve as a place for people that will re-offend unless they kept away under lock and key. Sometimes, that is the only way of guaranteeing justice - of guaranteeing that the crime will never be done again.

Ignoring the other issues right now surrounding inmates, justice and the correctional system, the issue of voting rights for criminals to me seems pretty clear. For someone that has committed a crime, I'd think it should be reasonable to take away certain rights of his, to try to prevent that person from committing crimes again. Afterall we already do that.

And I think the right to vote is a small right to take away. Giving prisoners the right to decide the future of the country seems like an odd way to rehabilitate prisoners. Even in the most minor of crimes, prisoners have screwed up. By the very fact that they have commited a crime shows that. They have to reflect on that if they want to be re-habilitated I would think.

What kind of message are we sending people when we say that prisoners should be allowed a right to decide on the future of the country? We are saying that their actions, whether it be murder, rape, or something minor like theft do not show enough lack of reasonable judgement on their part to prevent them from deciding the future of millions of people.

I'm a big fan of Robert Heinlein - although I can't say I agree with him on many things. Though I can't help but think of what he would say at the proposition of allowing prisoners the right to vote. I would think he would exclaim that it would be insane to allow criminals, rapists, and most generally those people that have shown no respect for rights of others, any power at all over the future of the country. Such a thing would be a recipe for disaster, corruption, and chaos.

It's important to have compassion for prisoners, but it's another thing to give them the keys to our house, cars, jewelery boxes, and safety deposit boxes.

Election Tidbits...

Harper has had one of the best lines of the campaign so far in this: “I believe it’s better to light one candle than to promise a million light bulbs.”

What a more succint way of summing of the Conservative ideology and projecting that "vision thingy" all at the same time?

New Liberal Lesson: Don't Tick off Mike Duffy

We all expected the Liberals to go negative at a certain point in the campaign... The Liberal negative campaigning history is legendary... Or I'm sorry what do they call it now?... That's right it's not negative - it's "comparative" campaigning...

In any event, the Liberals released 12 new attack ads claiming that George W. Bush would be happy if Stephen Harper won, that Stephen Harper admires American US Conservatives, that he eats babies, lives on Mars, and even one claiming that he wanted "increased military presence in cities..."

Ok the eating babies and living on Mars was made up - but the military one was no joke.

The point is that even the Liberals realized their venom was way over the top and pulled back the ad on the military from their website... Because well - it was made up. Stephen Harper said he would want to have more soldiers ready to be deployed in cities when natural disasters happen. The deplorably underfunded state of our armed forces means that in those situations like the floods out west where Canada would be unable to respond adequately.

Apparently that translates into "Stephen Harper wants an increased military presence in Canadian cities... Soldiers.... Soldiers with guns... We are not making this up..."

The Liberal excuse thus far has been that no ad was ever pulled... The double speak is based on the fact that the Liberals seem to believe that you need to have the ad actually run on TV and then be pulled before the ad can be considered to be "pulled." What a pointless debate that is.

The fun part of all this, is that the Liberals expected to attack the Conservatives dead on with these Ads... Instead they are now being forced to explain away The Ad That Was Never PulledTM.

In an interview Thursday morning on CTV's Canada AM, Martin said he approved every one of the harshly critical ads -- including one that suggested the Tory Leader would use the military to occupy Canadian cities.

The ad did not air and was pulled from the party's website within hours of being posted. But Martin said the ad was lifted simply because he didn't think it was very good.


"Some idiot inadvertently sent out an ad that was not approved and not supported by the party with the 11 (ads) that were supported," Martin told CP. His riding includes CFB Esquimalt, the headquarters of Canada's
Pacific naval fleet.(link)

An act designed to destroy their political opponents has somewhat backfired into their faces making them look desperate and mean spirited.

What's worse is that we now have a Duffy vs. Duffy moment here... What I'm talking about is a confrontation that happened between legendary CTV election reporter Mike Duffy, and the Paul Martin's right hand man John Duffy over The Ad That Never Ran TM.

"You were in here earlier when we were off the air on a commercial break trying to intimidate me into not going back to that ad," said Mike Duffy, his voice rising in indignation. "We will not be intimidated. We will do our jobs as journalists."(link)(video)(via)
Mike Duffy is said to be a Liberal supporter, and was once in line towards an appointment by the Liberal Prime Minister into the Senate. I've never seen a moment like that on Canadian TV before. Mike was steaming mad. If there is one political lesson the Liberals should take from this is never tick off Mike Duffy.

The Ad That Never Ran TM may go down as one of those pivotal moments in a campaign that those that loose would rather forget...

It Finally Happened...

It finally happened. I don't really quite understand why they waited this long to unleash the barrage. It's barely 2 weeks from zero hour, and they let the polls go this far down for them...

And the bulk of ads they've relased: a dozen 30 second spots. It's an explosion of activity on the airwaves all attacking Harper now. Some say that negative ads need time to sink in. They need time to really affect people, because the initial intolerance towards them decreases over time. Because, afterall, even if someone doesn't like the tone of an ad or an attack, the idea is still placed in their minds at the end of the day. So waiting this long really makes no sense at all.

This is going to sound strange but I'm almost relieved that it has finally happened. We've all been told that eventually the Liberals would go neg... And that moment would be the real test for Harper. This was a long time coming, and it was like torture just waiting around for it to actually happen.

Now it's out. It's in the open. The Liberals will hopefully seem desperate because of it. Though we all know that their will be those that actually buy into the last minute propaganda. The real question is how well with Harper respond to all of this? How much of an effect will it have? Will the Liberals be able to scare people once again?

For this country's sake I sincerely hope that fear does not win out the day.

The Supreme Leader's Not-with-standing Gambit

At some point today I wanted to write a post about another memorable moment in last night's debate: The Supreme Leader's pledge to remove the not-with-standing clause from the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You see in this country, we didn't really have our own constitution. Our Constitution for years was an act or a law passed by the Brittish parliament called the BNA act that created the "Dominion of Canada."

Now we, as a nation, could have been content with that. Though at a certain point we felt the need to "re-patriate" the constitution. And that's exactly what Pierre Eliott Trudeau did. He even created a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that would enshrine Canadian Liberties reminiscent of the American Bill of Rights.

So, when we wrote of rights, we wrote of the right of assembly, the right of free speech, the right of security of the person and so on and so forth... Of course, Trudeau, some say being a in the closet Red Square Commie, cleverly forgot to mention one right: the right to property.

You see at first, Canada was more like Britain. Britain has no constitution. It is ruled by the common law. In other words, it is ruled from tradition and precedent. When Canada wrote up the constitution, there were some concerns that Canuckland could turn into another US with the Supreme Court having the heyday of power. So Trudeau, being the smart fox that he is, included the "not-with-standing" clause...

Basically it's a "but we can do whatever the heck we please" clause. By invoking it, the government of the day can override any Supreme Court decision... say like Same Sex Marriage.

I have to admit to thinking that was the most ridiculous thing ever when I first learned of that clause. How could we guarantee people certain rights and then say we can take away those same rights at a moments notice?

What I didn't see then was that it's all a question of interpretation. Everyone can agree that all individuals are equal. Not everyone can agree that Same Sex Marriage is a debate about equality. And since Supreme Court appointees don't undergo the scrutiny they do in the US, the prospects of the concentration of power into one unelected body that has such far reaching influence can be a disastrous proposition.

Some say Martin did it as a desperate gambit in the last stages of the game to knock Harper off guard. And it very nearly did, and that's what surprised me that no one has picked up on. You could tell in the debate that Harper did not see that coming, and instead offered a pre-canned response to the Charter of wanting to include a "right to property..." That is a great idea, but it was obvious he was just rhyming off talking points.

Then Martin pressed Harper again on the issue, and you could tell Harper had to make a decision right then and there that could possibly affect the rest of his campaign. Making party policy up on the fly is never a good idea, and can be down right disastrous. This issue is not covered anywhere in Conservative policy that I know of. I've never heard it discussed by anyone. But Harper needed to make a decision right then and there.

Finally, his response was that he supported the Charter as is. Perhaps he leaned on his own Burkean roots, which told him when in doubt to uphold the status quo and keep tradition before steaming ahead into unknown territory.

Whatever happened, whether Harper really was almost stumped or not, this will something discussed for a while by pundits and the like. And I bet Martin liked this idea as well, because it involves getting a reaction of the Premiers for it... Anything to get Ralph Klein's mouth to open I guess....

Post Debate Blues...

Following stories Sunday in the Star and the Toronto Sun about Harper hinting at a majority, right-wing blogs were abuzz with dark — and unsubstantiated — suggestions of a mainstream media conspiracy to stall the Tories' momentum.
Ironically, hours after refusing to rule out a Tory majority win, Harper criticized EKOS by name while chatting with reporters aboard his campaign plane in Hamilton on Saturday.
"They are, in my view, the least believable," he said. "Our people feel the momentum, but it is a statistical dead heat. ... There is over two weeks to go and a lot of things can happen. ... There is no certainty."
Graves said the "wild card" in the campaign now is how Canadians react to the potential of a Harper government — minority or majority.(link)(via)

Well let me be the first to jump on the "dark" and "unsubstantiated" "suggestions" that the mainstream media is in a conspiracy to stall the Tories' momentum. But it's all for very rational reasons. Before the campaign began the Liberal Ontario campaign chair - who just happens to be a CTV lobbyist - gave Liberal MP's some advice. He told them that the media would be easy on Harper until the final 3 weeks of the campaign, to try to make the race seem like a horse race.

Is it a conspiracy? No. The media want people to watch. In order to do that they are prepared to make it look exciting - regardless of the truth.

Grave's is a Liberal bagman extrodinaire. His firm, Ekos, is a Liberal puppy. And moreover I think it's clear he loves the Liberals. He can't stand the Conservatives. He's inflated the analysis of certain polls in the past to make the great JC seem good, that anyone with a rudimentary understanding of statistics could tell you was biased. Of course those glaryingly biased analyses are less frequent now that King Paul is heading the good ship Liberal. Now he's not alone for pollsters doing stuff like this, but let's be honest about who and what we are dealing with here.

So his Harper boosting polling results lately, that seem slightly higher for Harper than other less biased pollsters, seems all the more weirder. That "dark" "suggestion" makes a lot of sense. What better way for the Toronto Star to sell newspapers to freaked out Lefties in the Toronto market that makes up a bulk of it's subscribers? Two words: Tory Majority.

But it's not just the Star, it's also CTV, that suggested that Harper went down the road to predicting a majority then pulled away at the last minute... Truth is that Harper I don't think ever mentioned the word "majority" once. This is all just conjecture on behalf of the media, and anyone can see it.

What's worse, I watched the debate last night.

I was so surprised. It didn't seem like Duceppe or Layton was paying attention to Harper at all. In fact, I saw maybe more attention being paid on Martin. And Martin, to me at least, didn't seem to be attacking Harper any more than usual.

I kept on wondering, if those poll numbers that have been coming out lately are true then either Layton and Duceppe have a death wish or something's up. I couldn't see any more attacks on Harper than usual.

Then I watched the post debate analysis only to learn that Duceppe and Layton were hammering Harper somehow, and that it was a gang up on Harper fest (almost). I heard about how Duceppe went to the extravagant lenght of actually mentioning Harper in his opening remarks... Stupid me, I thought mentioning his name more than once would be a sign, but apparently one mention is good enough for the media for Duceppe to be foaming at the mouth.

Where is all of this coming from? I can't help but think the same as other bloggers with that "dark" "suggestion" that is "unsubstanstiated" that the media is playing with people's perceptions to suit another agenda. It may not be a Liberal friendly bias necessarily - it may be a selling newspapers type of agenda.

Has It Finally Started?

Needless to say, the phony election war is over, all parties are down to the short strokes and there is no room for error, said the Liberal, who pointed out that the capacity to adjust slippage is becoming more minimal each day. (link)

This is the worst hyped "going neg" prediction of the campaign . . . Everyone knew at the beginning of this campaign that the Liberals would at some point say that Harper was the demon spawn of hell. Everyone knew that the Liberalismos would flood the airwaves with Tory-Hating propaganda on Jan 2. Everyone knew that the media would turn sour against Harper at some point. This was going to be the most negative campaign in Canadian Electorial history. "Going neg" was a foregone conclusion.

What do we have to show for it on Jan 9? Bupkis.

Despite this, everyone is still saying that the gates of hell are about to unleashed on us all and soon, because the Liberals are in a seering desperate panick. And with fear comes irrational desperate measures in politics. And with poll numbers like these, it still makes little sense for the Liberals to be anything but going insane at this point.

But what happens if Friday comes around, and yet no major negative assaults have been launched at the Harper Tories?

Some say that the Tory ad last week warning that the Liberals were about to go "neg", effectively did two things: inoculate the Tories against the Liberals going "neg", and put the Liberals in a precarious situation of either going "neg" and proving the Tories right, or not going "neg" in order to avoid it.

Others have even suggested that the Liberals can't afford any new ads because they can't raise any money and are heavily in debt.

When will this darn thing start already? When will they finally do it? Liberals are getting antsy, but so the heck are Harperites such as myself... This is like knowing someone's gonna pistol wip you, but they never do, and although you know it's about to happen and you get unwelcome assurances that it is coming, it's like a strange taunting thing because it still hasn't happened. I'm almost afraid to open my eyes to look around, fearing that it is mainly a sense of false security!

Liberal Astronauts Part Trois...

Garneau strikes again:
Liberal candidate and former astronaut Marc Garneau is defending what he calls his strong feelings of patriotism.

'I don't think a lot of Quebecers have thought it through' — Garneau

He told Montreal's La Presse he could not live in an independent Quebec and would leave if the province were to separate.

"It's a little bit like the United States going into Baghdad. It happened very quickly. But what after that?" he said Wednesday in Montreal. "If you say you are a sovereigntist, you have to think it through. I don't think a lot of Quebecers have thought it through."

Garneau is quoted as saying he has "the maple leaf tattooed on his heart."(link)

His comments are splashing across the media everywhere right now. Garneau's becoming more of a liability at this point than a "star." The intent on running him was to showcase Liberal talent... So much for that idea.

Garneau should have never entered politics. He should have stuck to justifying a pointless Canadian space program that does nothing more than piggy back on the Yanks...

Don't Celebrate yet

Everybody's brimming with polls showing that the Supreme Leader Paul Martin is tanking in the polls...

Stop celebrating. This is no different than in 2004 election which saw a similar bump post debates... Remember we still have another round of debates left, and two weeks left for someone to screw it all up - Like Ralph Klein.

I hope someone muzzles him, because like it or not, he has just got a knack for saying the wrong things at the wrong time that tend to be very unhelpful for Stephen Harper.

So stop celebrating.... The Liberals are going neg, and soon. I find it hard to believe that they still haven't done it, though I'm guessing they must be saving it up for the final week of the campaign - after the next round of debates.

I Told You So...

...the exact same thing happened in the last federal election and the first provincial election that saw the Harris Tories win I think. The Tories were behind in the first weeks of the campaign, only to jump up by 10 points after the debates.

The truth is that there are Conservatives out there I like to call "Thinking Conservatives." They aren't necessarily Red Tories or Ontario Reformers... They are merely people that have no official loyalty to the Conservative Party and reside in the Province of Ontario. They reserve judgments until the end. Though they tend to always vote Conservative - unless something happens drastically changing their opinions.(link)

I said this back in December. This latest poll shows exactly that...
In the key battleground of seat-rich Ontario, the Liberals have fallen four points to 36%, giving the Conservatives, who remained at 38%, the edge. The Liberals have won four consecutive elections largely on the strength of their popularity in Canada's most populous province.
Mr. Harper's party enjoyed a similar slight lead in the polls in the run-up to the 2004 federal election, but many voters -- particularly in Ontario -- jumped back to the Liberals in the closing days of that campaign.

Now this poll shows no change for the Conservatives, merely a 4 point drop for the Liberals. Though other polls are showing a same shift away from the Liberals. However we must keep in mind that these polls reflect the support of decided voters. Undecideds are not included because it's believed that only those that have made a choice will vote (I think). In this poll there was 10 percent undecided. I believe I remember hearing 20 percent undecided levels in previous polls, so it may not be that either made any gains... It may just be that the Tories convinced more undecideds after the first debates than the Liberals did.

Also, there is a weird nature to this campaign, being that there will be more debates to come, and that it is a 56 day campaign versus the normal 30 day. So many "Thinking Conservatives" are probably still waiting to hear more, and to see if any "Reptilian Kitten Eater from Hell" moments suddenly surface...