2012 Predictions

1. The PCs will be defeated in Alberta.

The PCs have had their 3 decade run. They're bereft of any new ideas. They've drifted into moderate political limbo so much that their wishy-washiness is eerily resembling the Federal Liberal Party.

In Alberta, political change seldom happens. But when it does it comes quick.

My bet is on the Wildrose Alliance winning government come May 31st.

2. Jean Charest wins another term.

Jean Charest's best before date passed last winter. The Quebec people know it. He's been in denial since... birth? His inability to recognize when the gig is up is starting to seem Chretienesque.

Yet his opposition is divided. He has no clear opponent. The PQ is in shambles.

The people of Quebec I believe are at a crossroads. There is a demographic crisis exploding in the province - it isn't having enough babies and yet it's welfare state is European in ambition. The population is very old, and there is an apprehension against mass scale immigration. The end result is mass scale erosion of Quebec's society, culture and an economy not keeping pace with the rest.

I firmly believe that this is facilitating the volatility we have seen in La Belle Province for years now. I expect it to culminate in the devastation of the PQ and the rise of another party as an alternative.

3. We will not have an Ontario Election in 2012.

I don't believe either of the provincial opposition parties are prepared to reface voters in 2012. Financially their base has been taped out by both a federal election and a provincial election in 2011.

Further, their is no impending challenge to Hudak or Howarth in their respective leadership roles.

The federal NDP is engaged in a serious leadership convention which will decide the fate of the Progressive movement in this country like nothing in the past half century. Provincial distractions, as Howarth I'm sure knows, can be a dangerous thing under those circumstances.

4. Peggy Nash wins the NDP leadership.

Mulclair is untrusted by the NDP brass. He hasn't had time to organize the Quebec base that would normally be his. I expect his candidacy has always been a measure to increase his standing within the party first and foremost.

Brian Topp I believe has failed to make a connection with the NDP base. He also has no seat. Without any parliamentary experience behind him, and an inability to debate well, he will find it difficult to compete with Mulclair. He also carries the baggage of being part of the ill-fated liberal-NDP-separatist "coalition."

Peggy Nash on the other hand has come from a union background, and as a former party president has those connections to make her palpable to the NDP establishment. She also has relatively low levels of baggage. My bet is with the NDP's preferential ballot she will emergence in front as everybody's second choice.

5. Romney will be the Republican Presidential Candidate.

The Republican Party has never been more in disarray. The level of division is amazing. No dominant candidates have emerged as front runners in the race. Romney, being the only consistent candidate polling wise, barely registers at 25%.

He'll win the nomination - because the other candidates are seen as far worse by either the GOP base or the establishment or both. Although I would expect Congressman Ron Paul to surprise many and further expose the heavy divisions percolating through the GOP these days. A win by him in Iowa or more states needs to be seen as what it is - a protest vote against the GOP establishment.

6. Obama will still be President of the United States.

Unfortunately for the US, Obama will win. Romney, bruised an bloodied from one of the most divided and scarring nominations, will be unable financially or organizationally to compete. Republicans won't unite with Romney. Obama will sail to re-election having one of the worst economic records in history.

But that's nothing to fret over for true Conservatives.

It's amazed me to watch the GOP having mental breakdowns over the fact that such notable Conservatives as Paul Ryan and Gov Chritie took a pass at the GOP nomination. Paul Ryan is more, and has acted more as a leader than Obama. So has Governor Christie. Ironically, young politicians will little power are having more influence in DC than old experienced politicians like Barak Obama.

I expect what will seem like defeat at first will turn into something else. Obama will be re-elected, but with a Congress firmly opposed to his agenda. There will be no taxing the rich. There will be no gross expansion of the state. There will be gridlock. And gridlock in government can sometimes be healthy.

Meanwhile principled Conservatives like Paul Ryan and others will emerge to challenge the status quo. It may not seem like it - but an Obama victory may manage to do the impossible: unite the GOP and keep Big Government in check.

Now I Disclaim Everything

Predictions are fun. They are also profoundly stupid. The concept that anyone can predict the outcomes of events depending on the individual choices of millions of people deserves to be ridiculed for the fantasy that it is.

Either people make successful predictions by making them so vague they have no way of loosing, or they make them so extravagant that when they do get one right it is noticed and the other barrage of wrong ones are forgotten.

Yet last year I did make some noticeably good calls. McGuinty is still Premier (Despite what the polls said would happen). There was an election going on in April as I predicted. Brad Wall is still Premier. But the NDP still rains in Manitoba. A 75% success rate can't be just luck can it?

Three years of predictions: 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Sesame Street Socialism

It aint easy being green:
'A “food insecure” Muppet is helping to promote a national “Food for Thought” campaign that teaches poor families to seek out nutritious food and to eat on the taxpayers’ tab.

(...)

“What ‘Food For Thought’ does is remind people that eating healthy now gives them a good health outcome in the long term. So the folks you’re looking at up here, the programs that they represent, what ‘Food For Thought’ does is really a deficit reduction strategy, and we hope policymakers will take notice of that,” Greenaway said.

Greenaway didn't elaborate further on how this would work towards deficit reduction.(link)

First it was Obamacare, then Employment Insurance... pretty soon fighting obesity will be a 'deficit reduction strategy.' So will National Day Care, and just about any other top-down government-run program Progressives can dream up.

Calling anything you like a 'deficit reduction strategy' has now become one of those trendy political tag-lines politicians use over and over and over and over and over... until finally it gets so bad everyone has a vomit moment and suddenly the political world moves on...

I can still remember when calling something a 'deficit' was trendy. Does anyone still remember the 'Democratic Deficit?' What about the 'Infrastructure Deficit?' You see that was back when fighting deficits was seen as a something everyone could agree with - anyone would have to be nuts to argue against eliminating a deficit wouldn't they?

Really though is there anything nowadays that isn't a 'deficit reduction strategy?'

I've reached my 'vomit moment' how 'bout you?

Dipper Keystone Twits

Halifax MP Megan Leslie is heading to Washington on Tuesday to urge U.S. legislators to hold off on deciding whether to approve the massive Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas.

(...)

“Harper’s been down there saying it’s a no-brainer,” Leslie said Monday. “But I don’t think he’s bringing the voices of a lot of Canadians. That’s only a particular sector who think this pipeline’s a good idea.”(link)

Did the NDP even consider the optics of having an Eastern MP, from their Eastern dominated caucus, go down to the US and argue against Western Oil?

It's not like the NDP doesn't have a good chunk of western MPs they could have chosen from. I'm just flabbergasted that a party that showed surprising political smarts in the last election besting the Liberal Party to become the official opposition would make such a terrible terrible decision.

It's the equivalent of sending Rob Anders (whom I do admire) to Halifax to argue against equalization.

Just a bonehead move.

Fiberals Until The Very End

New figures show that, despite the Liberal claim the party spent "very close" to what it was legally permitted on this year's campaign, it actually spent far, far less.

(...)

"Do you guys make this s--- up on the fly? Are you kidding me?" Ian McKay said in an e-mail. "You're so wrong it is laughable. Don't give up your day job if you're actually considering journalism as a future career," he continued.

"I cannot stand by and watch as you publish a piece that is complete and utter rubbish."(link)

I expect that Justin Trudeau will immediately come out and offer a heartfelt sincere apology (filled with qualifications galore) on behalf of Liberals that he won't mean whatsoever.

Not to pick on Justin, this is a Fiberal Party wide problem.

It's called institutional arrogance. It's a pesky thing. Usually the first sign that you have it is you start believing you don't.

But, oh I forgot - the Liberal Party ran a brilliant campaign in 2011 and lost because of some sort of magical "disconnect" with voters... Arrogance, mission drift, and a profound hatred of anything rural, Western, or religious had of course not a thing to do with the result.

The Political Career of Frank Klees, RIP

McGuinty must be giddy:
“There’s no doubt it makes it more challenging for both opposition parties,” a grim-faced Hudak acknowledged, portraying his former leadership rival Klees as a turncoat who ignored an edict that no Tory would vie to succeed retiring Speaker Steve Peters.

“Clearly, I’m disappointed. We all hoped Frank’s first goal would be to help us on the opposition benches in keeping this government on a short leash . . . Frank’s made a decision and Frank is Frank.”(link)

I don't quite know what Frank is thinking. This makes no strategic sense Klees. Not for his career or for his agenda.

The only thing I think, is that Frank has chosen suicide. He's 60 years old. He must figure he can't wait out another PC leader for his shot. That's a bleak assessment - but I can't help but come to that conclusion.

No Trespassing

The Tories seem to have decided that criminals shouldn't hold the balance of power in Canadian society:
The law would permit people threatened with violence to commit a reasonable act to protect themselves or others, as well as use force to protect their property from theft, damage or trespass.(link)
Protect a person's right to self-defense?

Next you'll say we gotta protect people's right to own stuff (like a gun), and they're right to say whatever the hell they want without having a zealously bigoted bureaucrat coming after them for "offending" someone... That's just crazy talk isn't it?

Obama's GE Immeltisms

It's like watching bad car salesman go...
If Washington can agree on anything, it should be this — and it should be now,” the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness said in the report, to be presented to Obama at a meeting in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.(link)
Buy this car now! Limited time offer! If you and your wife can agree on anything agree on this!

The statement just makes no logical sense. It wraps itself in the cloak of "bipartisanship" by emphasizing agreement, yet at the same time holds an ultimatum indicating that the only thing that should be agreed on is this.

That alone presumes that Washington can "agree" on anything. Which further assumes that "agreement" is actually a good thing. Agreement and uniformity of opinion only comes through force - - Anything else is a lollipop land fantasy.

“We never thought there was going to be a silver bullet to create jobs,” Immelt told Reuters in a telephone interview.
Ok, this is the point where the dealer realizes he's overselling... Time to cover your butt - - "Now I'm not saying there is such a thing as the perfect car..."

Gee Immelt, with this much fine-print people may not buy for fear of a hidden "first born child clause."

What we want to offer the president is a very broad set of ideas that can help mo[v]e the economy forward,” he said. “It’s comprehensive and it’s specific.”
(Insert Laughter here). How can it be both "specific" and "broad"... But don't forget it's also "comprehensive..."

Immelt's future as a car salesman is all but assured.

Can't Drink This

OTTAWA — Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster should be renamed “stimulant drug containing drinks” and only be sold under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, an expert panel for Health Canada has concluded.(link)
Can't drink this. Can't eat that. Can't turn right. Can't move forward. Can't move back. Can't speak. Can't turn left. Can't jump. Can't drive. Can't own. Can't risk. Can't run. Can't walk. Can't crawl...

They might as well just tell us what WE CAN do. It would save a ton of time.

Liberal Tobacco Hypocrites

The Anti-Tobacco Liberals are apparently not so much so when the end justifies the means:
“I have done crazy things,” Holland says in the audio recording. “Like...and if anyone repeats this I’ll deny it (until) the cows come home...I have gone to a shelter in the riding of St. Paul’s with a carton of smokes and said, ‘I’ll give you them after you vote.” I have done that...but they were already smokers...”(link)
Apparently this comment, according to Holland, was a joke. By the way this isn't her just denying it until "the cows come home."

People should be able to smoke whatever the hell they want so long as they don't harm others. The Ontario Fiberals should back off. Good luck on getting that from "Premier Dad." He'd rather ground us if we eat what we shouldn't, play where it's dangerous, and smoke what he'd rather not - and don't worry he'll make sure we make the right decisions on who to vote for - even if he has to exploit us in the process.

Update...

Holland has resigned, after making her fake confession.

The Liberals are now jumping on the offensive accusing Hudak of having ties to big Tobacco... I kid you not. You can't make this stuff up.

If you're going to make an apology, make it right or don't make it at all.

Saudi Canada

I'm sure Ezra Levant didn't intent on it, but one of the curious unintented consequences of the Ethical Oil Ads, and their subsequent censure by CTV at the behest of the Saudis, has been to expose just how much influence the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia has in this country.

The fact that the Saudi's even care about their portrayal in Canuckland speaks volumes in itself, let alone the relative ease that the ads were pulled, shows some terrifying truths about the moral and (ironically) the ethical decay prevalent in this country.

Canada is definitely a more ethical country than Saudia Arabia (Despite what some CTV reporters seem to believe). But when our own media can't seem to stand up for our basic right to freedom of speech it definitely shows that our own historical ethicality is only half embraced by by our national elites. Can't fight the Saudi's - Lawsuits are too expensive. Notions of journalistic integrity are considered expedient by these Ivory Tower Newsmen.

What's worse is that these members of the "media party" have shown a willingness to take on lawsuits when it suits them. Damian Goddard was recently fired by the CTV child Sportsnet for merely expressing support for the traditional definition of marriage. Obviously his bosses were not concerned about the costs associated with any future lawsuits from Damian. Again the concept of freedom of speech seems to lost on the Saudi dominated Media Party.

Damian's lawsuit is pending, but obviously in this case the network in question decided that a potential lawsuit was worth the cost.

If anything the Ethical Oil ads have shown clearly that the Saudi way of doing things - oppresion, fear, and bullying - are rapidally finding a home in Canada.

That is to say if networks like the CTV and Sportsnet have any say in it.

It's a Saudi-Canada from now on.

Education Inflation

“Undergraduate education is almost the equivalent of what a high-school degree used to be – almost everyone goes to university,” she said.

(...)

Mr. Steele thinks “students are being oversold on the idea of university, and some people are going purely out of a desire to earn a bump in income.” (link)

I bet McGuinty doesn't want many people reading this.

All of sudden cheaper tuition, more universities, and the "Education Premier" don't seem so useful anymore.

CBC: Nothing To Hide

A motion to call the corporation to testify before MPs was the first item of business this fall for the Tories on the access-to-information, privacy and ethics committee. It is expected to discuss Tuesday which witnesses to call.

The CBC is scheduled to present arguments before the Federal Court of Appeals on Oct. 18 about why the information commissioner should not be allowed to view certain records.(link)

What are they afraid of?

That well find out that Strombo smells? (Come one we all suspect it).

That the Mansbridge is actually a robot that the CBC built and designed to be a super-duper-Anchor during the Cold War?

That Lisa LaFlame is secretly a fairy princess (Oops! Wrong network).

Oh wait, I forgot, this was all explained in the latest Conservative Hidden Agenda Memo (TM): this is all a conspiracy by Harper to find out how the next episode of Murdoch Mysteries ends... That sly snake PM of ours...

Daring To Question The King

Doesn't always end well:
“If, Alexei Leonidovich, you disagree with the course of the president, there is only one course of action and you know it: to resign.”

Mr Kudrin responded with a jibe: “I will take a decision only after having consulted the prime minister.”

“You can get advice from whoever you want, with the prime minister if you want,” snapped back Mr Medvedev. “But as long as I am president, these decisions I will take myself.”(link)

Putin should just get it over with: have the coronation already.

Here We Go Again...

WASHINGTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama laid out a $447 billion jobs package of tax cuts and government spending on Thursday that will be critical to his re-election chances but he faces an uphill fight with Republicans.(link)
Obama's taken the old adage "IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN" a little too literally.

If Obama were a poker player, he'd be the sorry bum chasing his losses from the past stimulus package gamble that failed so badly to save face.

The Best Decision Ever

Took long enough.

The NOTW phone hacking scandal I think is a classic example of organizations encountering failure and not knowing what the hell to do. Instead of adapting and trying to learn from the failure there almost seems to be a stubborn inertia that sets in - a type of unwillingness to accept there is a problem as the company (or government) acts like a deer caught in headlights... And if you aint ready to accept the failure signal, then you aint ready to change.

It's only a shame that NI seems to be learning only now. It came too late for 200 employees of NOTW and it will cost the company dearly in lawsuits - not to mention the loss in reputation.

That being said, the shark like feeding frenzy that's being unleashed is just silly.

If you don't like FOX news, it seems that wild accusations are your best friend right now. Never mind that NI is a huge corporation. Never mind that FOX news is just a small chunk of that company. Conspiracy theories don't depend on facts.

What happened here is that a company, a small chunk of a larger corporation, failed in a spectacular fashion - and maybe even criminally so.

The larger corporation is liable - as it should be. The smaller company had to be shutdown because the problem was so widespread. The larger company now has to find a way to survive and learn.

Unfortunately, as with centrally planned economies, as a conservative I know full well that the nature of decision making from the top down by people 2000 miles removed from the situation is that hardly anyone ever learn from their mistakes. Bottom-up is a lot more successful when it comes to learning and adapting.

Best of luck to NI in learning lessons from the top-down.

The gun registry a waste of money?... No Really?

It's a bizzare bunch of events not only as King Charest's government said it was considering a provincial gun registry to replace the one about to get sacked by the Feds, then they said they wanted money from the Feds to do it.

Hoeppner seems to be the only Tory to care to respond:

OTTAWA -- Provinces would be foolish to set up their own gun registry when the national database is scrapped this fall, said the Manitoba Conservative MP who led the charge against the federal long-gun registry last year.

(The registry) has been proven to be a complete waste of money and a complete waste of effort,” Candice Hoeppner said.

It doesn't combat crime, it certainly doesn't combat violent crime. The registry does nothing to stop individuals from acquiring or being able to possess a firearm.”

And those are the facts. If Quebec or Ontario, or Santa Claus wants a registry they can waste their own money.

Gun Registry Seperatism

The Quebec government, stubbornly, is considering passing a long-gun registry of it's very own if Ottawa turfs the federal one.

How quaint. How wonderfully "autonomous". The Feds don't want to continue the war against Canadian Red Necks then Hell! - we'll show those Anglophone Bastards and make up one of our own!

Quebec has every right to do whatever it pleases, but Quebequers would do well to pay attention the facts before they give King Charest their blessing to create a Provincial Registry:

  • Since the registry's mandatory implementation in 2003, a grand total of a whooping 47 registered firearms have been used in homicides out of 2441 (less than two percent). It's obvious that criminals aren't stupid enough to register their firearms.(link)
  • The registry was originally budgeted to cost a net 2 million dollars. In reality (although the total costs are unknown) actual costs are known to be well over 2 billion dollars according to most estimates. That's at minimum an average of 43 million dollars per registered firearm homicide. Putting it in other terms, that at least 36 RCMP officers a year per registered firearm used in a homicide that we could have hired (or 1700 RCMP officers total). The waste in money is staggering.
  • The non-compliance rates have been absolutely horrendous. Regardless if you accept gun advocate numbers of a 70% non-compliance rate or the Liberals 10%, the fact remains that several extentions of registration deadlines were made for good reasons. 70,000 firearms at minimum remain unregistered in this country. This failure can't be ignored.(link)
  • The registry has had no effect on homicide rates, total suicide rates, or any other indicator. Registry advocates will no-doubt point to declining homicide rates since the 1990s as proof the registry works. Yet these same statistics were already declining by similar amounts before registry implementation. Nothing has gotten any better since the registry was passed. The registry has been ineffective in the truest sense of the word.(link)
In short the registry has done nothing except to waste taxpayer dollars that could have been spent doing things that could have actually reduced crime. It's treated Canadian hunters living in rural areas like criminals by placing them on a national registry - a distintion reserved for among others child molesters.

I can understand the need to do something to respond to the horrible attack that happened at the Ecole Polytechnique in 1989. However the registry has done nothing to prevent further such attacks from happening.

A far better approach to avoid future similar school shootings, would be to invest in better mental health iniatives, and other crime prevention measures that actually work.

McGuinty: The Government Slasher

OPSEU announced on its central website Friday it was launching a “mini site” to fight the Dalton McGuinty government’s plan to shrink the public service.

“Starting this summer, Premier Dalton McGuinty will eliminate 1,900 vital public service jobs,” the OPSEU website says. (link)

Back in January, I postulated that McGuinty's government would be at the forefront of most of the labor unrest that this year of Austerity is unleashing.

I've been surprised at just how much attention the unions have been placing in Ottawa - a government that is by all indications depending on expiring infrastructure projects, attrition, and retirements to both reduce expenses, the public service and so balance the budget.

McGuinty is depending heavily on laying off members of the OPS to get where his government should have been a long time ago. What's worse is that McGuinty is probably having to do more cutbacks to fund the disastrous policies elsewhere in government currently eating away at funds.

Yet where is DePape holding up a "Stop McGuinty" sign? Where is "Working Families" coming out swinging against the horrible slash-and-cut McGuinty?

Their silence speaks volumes.

Just as Mike Harris's education policies in Ontario were actually borrowed from an Education commission started by the Bob Rae NDP, McGuinty is borrowing ideas from his right wing counterparts like Harper and Brad Wall to do what clearly needs to be done. Except that due to the blind partisanship of this country's Public Secotr Unions, he clearly is not facing the same level of "mob warfare" we've come to expect from the Canadian left.

A Right To Pornography?

A 21-year-old Michigan inmate has filed a lawsuit that contends he's been stripped of civil rights because he isn't allowed to look at porn, claiming his lack of access to the material gives him a "poor standard of living" and "sexual and sensory deprivation."(link)
This is what happens when "positive rights" are given the same status as "negative rights."

A plague of Socialists

All hail the Great And Infallible Gerald Caplan (PhD), the Great Academic, Socialist (er I mean "Social Democrat"), public policy analyst, former CCF member, and general all around "smarter than you" political activist.

Shhhhh!!! He's speaking. Let's hear what our unparalleled unequal has to say:

"We know what the Egyptians, or at least their head honcho Pharaoh, did to attract the wrath of G-d. He wouldn’t let His people go. But everyone paid the awful price – those ten vile plagues culminating in the genocidal murder of all Egyptian first-born.

"But what have Canadians done to evoke the wrath of the heavens? What have Ontarians done? Or poor Hogtowners? Though it’s our pharaohs who sin, only regular folks pay the price. It’s a trifecta, folks. Harper the asbestos killer in Ottawa, Ford the city-wrecker in Toronto, and, come October 6, very likely Hudak the math-challenged in Ontario. Won’t we be in a pretty pickle then? What have ordinary people done to deserve this plague of right-wing Conservatives? Equally mysterious, why have so many ordinary folks supported them?(link)

Why indeed.

This has to be the billionth time that Tories have been compared to Middle-Eastern dictators. It's apparently gotten so bad, that Progressives are resorting to quoting biblical Jewish Dictators to keep it alive. (Isn't that against the Progressive Atheist religion to believe that anything in the Bible is real?)

In one foul swoop this great genius of Canadian politics has called Harper a mass-murderer, Rob Ford a destroyer of entire cities, and Hudak (incomprehensibly) a moronic imbecile that can't count.

What's amazing about that last claim is that Tim Hudak, hate him or like him, has a Masters degree in Economics. Our good Doctor has his PhD in History. In the grand scheme of things my bet is that Hudak scored higher in grade 12 algebra that Dr Caplan.

Further Rob Ford has done nothing. He's been around for so little a little a time. Give him time, dear Doctor, to atleast prove you right before you level charges of "conspiracy to destroy cities".

Stephen Harper (contrary to Progressive Popular thinking) is not an African genocidal maniac. His government chose not to devaste an entire industry and put it's trust in companies and individuals in using Asbestos in a responsible manner. The good Doctor's use of the word "killer" is nonsense. If he really believed what he said he would have contacted the RCMP by now.

Calling Conservatives a "plague" is hard to joke about. I know I have cooties. Sorry to the world. But I insist on spreading them. If Dr Caplan wants, I can come over to his house for dinner tonight and spread a little of my plague (I'd be happy to). Really this is getting juvenile.

Seriously though the Doctor is spewing what would normally considered "hate speech." Just replace the words "right-wing Conservatives" with "Jewish." Or "Muslim."

Doesn't sound so innocent now does it? Infact it sounds a lot like a book written by a Nazi named Hermann Esser.

"Hardly anyone of right mind disagrees that it was the insatiable greed and reckless irresponsibility of Wall Street, which had been deeply unregulated over the past 30 years, that plunged much of the world into its economic tailspin.
The good Doctor would be best not to discount people who disagree with his opinions, lest he creates an ideological box wherein he can reside and the the rest of those "of non-right mind" can leave him alone to never grow or learn.

Further, I would suggest that Dr Caplan is falling into the same trap that many a Conservative has fallen into as a result of the financial crisis.

Conservatives have blamed government interference in the loan market (in some cases) as the sole reason for the economic disaster. The truth is not so simple. Cheap loans, perpetuated by low interest rates, bad government policy favoring those cheap loans in the US, and yes bad decisions by those in the Derivative industry lead to the financial disaster we saw.

The markets responded by attempting the correct the situation. Governments responded by bailing out the offenders and preventing what should have happened - failure for those that made those bad choices.

The real problem is a cult in this society that claims that certain organizations are "too big to fail." But I digress.

"...Bear in mind this is a man who thinks Jeffrey Simpson is 'centre-left.' Conservatives, Mr. Kay wrote, 'do not even pretend to have a solution to the inequality problem. Based on my experience at the Post, I’d say that most do not think of it as a problem at all...' "
I would agree with that point. Inequality, at least the way Progressives like Dr Caplan measure it, isn't inequality at all.

What matters to Conservatives, is not that there are some people that are very successful and a vast majority who aren't - that's a fact of life. Dr Caplan, or any "Social Democrat" can try to change that reality as much as they would like, but in my experience we fail far more often than we succeed.

The real measure we should look at in our modern civilization, is not how unequal success is, but rather, do we all start at the same line? Social mobility is the key point here. Artificial barriers to people's success is the real problem.

What Dr Caplan fails to recognize, is that we all should have a right to fail or succeed based on our own merits, efforts, and creations without it being interfered with unreasonably by others.

It makes good economics, and further anything less than having this right to fail or succeed is (in my opinion) destructive to the human soul. Humans thrive on challenges, adversity, and the need to have areas to channel their productive creative talents. I would argue that the very same policies Dr Caplan would support, destroys people's right to take chances and to fail or succeed.

Speaking from personal experience I can tell you how frustrating it is to being hampered from taking risks, thinking outside the box, challenging the rules, by those who would rather choose the illusion of stability and control.

Dr Caplan's commentary lives in a zero-sum world where "shamelessness is the signal characteristic of those who survive and prosper in this life..."

I had hoped I would be able to poke fun at Dr Caplan in good jest. But reading lines like these it's clear that to him, if I work my butt off, save every penny I earn, strive to upgrade my skills, and therefore "survive and prosper" I am very low on his hierarchy of human beings.

I honestly hope his views on humanity evolve one day - for his own sake.

Duccepe's Alternate Reality

Mr Duccepe, the man who faced the worst assault and disaster of all political leaders on May 2 of this year, going from dozens of MPs to only 2 with his own seat lost, is insistent that Secession from Canada is a must for Quebequers to avoid "assimilation" :
“If Quebeckers don’t move, it’s unavoidable that they will be on the same slippery slope as francophones outside Quebec and Acadians,” he said. “It’s a falsehood to state that francophone communities are thriving.”(link)
Further Duccepe suggests a timeline of 15 years for this to occur.

I have to take issue with this assertion. Mainly because Mr Duceppe is cleverly avoiding discussing the fact that Quebec is ALREADY on the path of self implosion.

Having some of the lowest birth rates in the Country (in our recent history), combined with an aging population has some suggesting that Quebec's population will peak soon and could potentially drop over the next 50 years.

Regardless if Quebec's population actually drops, one thing is for certain: Statistics Canada predictions that the trend that has shown Quebec making up a lower and lower share of the Canadian population will continue.

If this continues, it's well more than plausible that British Columbia could overtake Quebec in terms of population by the end of the century.

Plotting the results of the Statitics Canada projections, along with actual census results you can see what really is happening:

Quebec, in Duccepe's words, has been on the path towards "assimilation", but hardly has this been "fulgurante." It's been a slow process, going on for years.

We can guess at a number of reasons for this trend. Perhaps it's been due to Quebec culturally abandoning it's Catholic, large family roots. Perhaps it's been due to Quebec's embrace of socialist low-groth policies. Perhaps, it even might be that Quebec has been too closed to anglophone immigration.

Regardless of the cause, it's highly laughable to claim that Canada is responsible for this trend. There's been no ethnic cleansing of Quebequers by the Canadian government. They have not been disadvantaged in Confederation - if anything you might argue they have been the bearers of great charity.

This population implosion is happening for reasons otherwise. There's no reason to believe it would change if Quebec left Canada.

If Ducceppe, and those like him, were really interested in stopping this trend, they should be looking to reform Quebec society, culture, and it's politics to make it a pro-family, pro-growth, pro-business jurisdiction.

Unless that happens Duceppe is right - Quebec is going the way of the Do-Do. But it won't be because of Canadian efforts, it'll be in spite of Canadian efforts.

Kill The Senate?

NDP Pat Martin's plan to kill the senate:
We may not be able to abolish the Senate by constitutional amendment, but we can cut off its blood supply,” he told The Globe.

(...)

“We might not be able to get rid of it,” the veteran Winnipeg MP said, “but we don’t have to fund it.(link)

First off, I'm glad someone from the NDP has finally admitted that abolishing the senate through constitutional reform is a fraud policy doomed to fail.

Admitting that a constitutional amendment is no-go was a tactical mistake by the honorable MP that he may learn to regret.

Secondly, this isn't that bad of an idea for the Tories. So long as the senate refuses to pass reform legislation we can say "fine, we'll cut the taps off."

I can just see the howls of righteous indignation from the Right Honorable (And Unaccountable) Richard Neufeld.

What will the likes of Mr Neufel do? Appeal to the Canadian people?

What will he say?

"The Tories are forcing us into poverty through their hurtful cutbacks to our $100K+ salaries..."

Somehow I think the argument won't get much traction.

The Senate Nuclear Option

Harper's Aussie meanderings are spooking some back home:
"Reform means reform. We would like the senators are elected and have fixed terms. We believe we are on track. But the comments of the Prime Minister in his speech in Australia always reflect his thoughts, "said a government source said yesterday in La Presse.

In that speech, Mr. Harper said: "Australia's Senate shows how a reformed upper house can function in our parliamentary system. And Canadians understand that our Senate, as it is today, must change or, as the old upper houses of our provinces, vanish. "(link)

To be fair Harper has not said he would consider abolishing the senate. Neither did Jason Kenney when he recently insinuated that the government would consider more "dramatic" options should the senate reform bill fail in the Senate.

One very real option is to pull a Mulroney: appoint more Senators. Tip the balance of power - but make sure that these guys Harper appoints stick by their word this time. That gives Harper the majority in the Senate he needs to reform it.

Yet Harper used the word "vanish" without much explanation. He would no doubt know the implications back home. This leads me to conclude that Harper intended to cause a splash.

He knows there is no appetite for the type of constitutional reform abolishing the senate would require. Yet every opposition party in parliament supports the notion of "abolishing" the senate. Including some provincial governments.

What I think this really is, is a concerted strategy by Harper to call the opposition's bluff. If they really believe in Senate abolition - we'll give it to them.

This puts the opposition in an awkward position. I don't believe for a moment that the Progressive left in this country actually believed in abolishing the senate so much as opposing the government's senate reform plans. The Canadian Senate has been a boon to the Canadian Left for decades acting as a nice socialist-second-thought to our Elected Accountable House of Commons.

With the Tories calling their bluff, and Senator's seeing that the PM is willing to call it quits with trying to fix the senate, the only option left for those opposed to having an elected accountable senate is to accept reform or face oblivion.

G20 Costs VII

Somewhere at the bottom of an article on the Auditor General's report on the G20 summit...
In a separate report, the Auditor-General looked at the overall financial management of the G8 and G20 summits, stating Parliament was ill-informed as it approved $1.1-billion in funding. The Auditor-General said that final expenses came in at nearly half of the amount, or $664-million.
"Ill-informed" is a terrible wording to use. Maybe "unprepared" or "MPs did not sufficiently review" are better ways to describe it.
“Because of the short time frame to prepare for the summits, departments had to prepare budgets quickly, often with limited information,” Mr. Wiersema said. “As a result, the funding requests significantly overestimated the amounts needed.”(link)
Now I've been pretty critical of the Tories on this issue. I don't believe there was enough review of the budget estimates by civil servants, the Tories, or the regular MPs who voted on it.

But you would think costs coming it at 1/2 estimate would be a good thing.

Quite frankly it was a foregone conclusion. What's baffled me is that I could do some simple google searches to verify that their estimate was pretty off. It baffles me that not a single MP, Tory, or civil servant did the same.

The fact that costs came in so low proves it. But really, the costs at $664 million are still a multiplier off from the costs of previous summits.

I'm not a parliamentary procedure or budgeting expert. I'm sure there are plenty of details about this situation I don't understand. But I don't like my tax dollars being wasted. And I think it's fairly obvious that a lot of money went down the drain when it didn't need to.

Bad decisions were galore over this file. I don't believe that figures like Tony Clement or John Baird will go without learning lessons. I hope one of those lessons is to have more independent review and confirmations of spending estimates.

I hope another, is that rushing billions of dollars of spending estimates through any organization (especially parliament and the civil service) is a recipe for mistakes to be made - and big ones at that.

G20 Costs VI
G20 Costs V
G20 Costs IV
G20 Costs III
G20 Costs II
G20 Costs I

Liberals Never Learn

Canadians love Big Ideas - don't they?

They love politicians that obsess about stuff they don't care about... You know things that have nothing to do with putting food on the table, getting the garbage out, getting the kids to school...

Canada should entrench economic rights such as the right to timely heath care and a decent education into an updated Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the president of the Liberal Party of Canada said on Thursday.

Alfred Apps, who faced calls from within the party for his resignation after the Liberals’ crushing electoral defeat, speaking to the Empire Club of Canada in a downtown Toronto ballroom, said his party should make the push for a “second Charter” one its fundamental long-term goals.(link)

I'm sure Alfred is a nice guy, but holy moly was this a bad time to be talking "big ideas" as an embattled Liberalismo Party Presidentay.

Just recently the Manning Institute released a poll showing that Canucks don't like Big Ideas.

To fair I don't think Canucks have ever liked Big Ideas. Meech Lake and Charlottetown are good evidence of that.

To make matters worse for Apps, these really aren't good ideas.

Who out there really believes by enshrining a fantastical right for Canucks to Free Healthcare in a "timely manner" will actually guarantee it?

Further, if we really wanted to talk about expanding the Charter, wouldn't you want to go to the most glaring problem - no property rights?

Brilliant Stupendously Amazing Strategy for the Opposition

What are those knuckleheads in the opposition up to this time? Plenty:
OTTAWA - Just days into the new session, opposition parties are accusing the Harper government of showing disrespect for Parliament.

New Democrats and Liberals are criticizing the government for dispensing with the traditional debate and vote on the throne speech.(link)

Let's see what the Great Mulclair has to say:

"It's a lack of respect for our parliamentary traditions," Mulcair said, laying the blame squarely on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his penchant for "hyper-control."
Sounds bad. What do you say about all this Bobby?
"Having the speech on a Friday, with no debate, means no one else gets a chance to speak, no other voices heard," Rae said.

He said the Conservatives are "uncomfortable with Parliament and uncomfortable with opposition."

Sounds like we should storm the Bastille already.

Actually it sounds an awful lot like the election campaign we just had. You know the one. It's the one where that Dude Iggy Puff got creamed.

Oh, and what was his strategy? Try to paint the government as being Gadaffi like.

Is it possible that the Tories might have another justification?

Parliamentary procedure expert Ned Franks said the tactic is somewhat surprising but "justifiable" because the government must quickly pass its budget or risk running out of money over the summer.

Franks noted that the government has been using "special warrants" to finance its operations since Parliament dissolved in March for the election campaign. But the ability to rely on warrants expires 60 days following the return of the election writs.

Memo to the Opposition: Canadians don't care. Canadians don't believe you.

I know that's hard for Urban Progressives to grasp in their ivory towers, but it's true. Canadians care about paying the bills, taking care of family, putting food on the table and changing diapers.

You'd think that the opposition would get that after the election we just had. I thought Layton had heard that message from Dexter.

At this rate Harper will be PM for the next millenium with an opposition as immature, short-sighted, and daft as this.

PQ Implosion?

Pauline Marois is having a bad day:
QUEBEC - National Assembly members Lisette Lapointe, Louise Beaudoin and Pierre Curzi have resigned from the Parti Québécois caucus.

The three are leaving over the insistence of PQ leader Pauline Marois that they support a bill that would retroactively legalize an agreement for the management of the Quebec City's proposed hockey arena.(link)

I've heard of MPs leaving a party for many different reasons: contentious moral issues, issues of taxation, broken campaign promises, and changing political winds...

But never, ever, EVER have I heard of a politician quitting his party over a private member's bill which legalizes a contract which ensures a Hockey Arena gets built.

Without a doubt this is merely the last straw that broke the camels back. PQ leader Pauline Marios has had a shaky hold on the party for the past year. Loud rumblings could be heard that she wouldn't pass a leadership review back in April.

Former Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duccepe was an obvious contender for the PQ leadership up until May 2nd. He was a separatist politician that was a winner.

Now, after experiencing the worst defeat in BQ history, Duceppe is politically dead.

Marois faced no leadership contenders, an unpopular Quebec Liberal government, a leadership endorsement from members and an election fast approaching.

The fact that she was willing to take the chance of a caucus revolt by trying to force her members to vote in support of this bill is no shocker. The bill would be seen as being supportive of Quebec City's bid for a new NHL team.

What is shocking, is that in spite of the thrashing that the sovereigntists just received on May 2, and the lack of any credible standbearer for their cause, three PQ members chose the nuclear option anyways.

Time will tell whether this was foolhardy or not on their part. Either way, Pauline Marois has a fire to deal with - especially when she doesn't need one.

Required Reading For DePape

If I ever met Brigitte DePape, I would give her a book that her parents should have read to her as a child.
Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who lived on a farm . She was friends with a lazy dog , a sleepy cat , and a noisy yellow duck .

One day the little red hen found some seeds on the ground. The little red hen had an idea. She would plant the seeds . The little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me plant the seeds ?"

"Not I," barked the lazy dog . "Not I," purred the sleepy cat . "Not I," quacked the noisy yellow duck .

"Then I will," said the little red hen . So the little red hen planted the seeds all by herself.

When the seeds had grown, the little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me cut the wheat ?" "Not I," barked the lazy dog . "Not I," purred the sleepy cat . "Not I," quacked the noisy yellow duck .

"Then I will," said the little red hen . So the little red hen cut the wheat all by herself.

When all the wheat was cut, the little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me take the wheat to the mill to be ground into flour ?" "Not I," barked the lazy dog . "Not I," purred the sleepy cat . "Not I," quacked the noisy yellow duck .

"Then I will," said the little red hen . So the little red hen brought the wheat to the mill all by herself, ground the wheat into flour , and carried the heavy sack of flour back to the farm .

The tired little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me bake the bread ?" "Not I," barked the lazy dog . "Not I," purred the sleepy cat . "Not I," quacked the noisy yellow duck .

"Then I will," said the little red hen . So the little red hen baked the bread all by herself.

When the bread was finished, the tired little red hen asked her friends, "Who will help me eat the bread ?" "I will," barked the lazy dog . "I will," purred the sleepy cat . "I will," quacked the noisy yellow duck .

"No!" said the little red hen . "I will." And the little red hen ate the bread all by herself. (link)

Then I would ask her, what will she do once her Progressive revolution is done to prevent the Little Red Hens of Canada from not making bread anymore?

You see, I think people like DePape really believe they are helping the poor and the suffering. But what of the Little Red Hen?

Stop DePape

Reading Depape's Press Release was a real eye opener:
“This country needs a Canadian version of an Arab Spring, a flowering of popular movements that demonstrate that real power to change things lies not with Harper but in the hands of the people, when we act together in our streets, neighbourhoods and workplaces.”
Notice her comment that we need to "demonstrate that real power" does not belong to Harper.

Interesting. In that subtlety it betrays everything that is wrong with DePape's opinion.

DePape has compared the Conservative government to a violent oppressive dictatorship.

Yet DePape's method to achieve the necessary blocking of Harper must come by acts of civil disobedience.

Notice she didn't say an election. She didn't say a vote. She said "acts."

What she means is that SHE and her fellow Progressives should have power and should force other people (non-violently of course) to accept progressive views.

The problem is that forcing other people to do anything, is an act of coercion, and is violence of another type. It's intellectual violence. Something that is equally if not sometimes more destructive than the violence frequently displayed by TRUE tyrannical dictators in the world.

Ironically, the same violent dictatorships DePape is comparing the Conservatives to, are more easily fitted in the framework of DePape's Intellectual Violent Dictatorship of the Left than in Harper's Incremental Conservatism.

Perhaps it is Dictator DePape that needs to be Stopped.

DePape Should Refund Taxpayers

The raging Socialist (and probably proud of it) Page named Brigette DePape should refund taxpayers her salary.

Is that too harsh? I don't believe so.

DePape was "...nearing the end of her year-long job as a page..."

So much for bravery. According to the Parliamentary Page Web Site, Pages are paid $11,807 in 26 installments, with an additional $1,200 paid at the end of their contract.

Knowing this, her actions are not brave, but rather a little tincy-wincy bit cowardly.

Her contract was up. Her time was over. She had nothing to loose (expect maybe her reputation).

I was going to withhold her name from this article, because quite frankly I think her actions will be a death knell to this poor girl's future, but then I read this:

DePape appeared to have a job offer from someone at the Public Service Alliance of Canada before the day was done.
This world is insane. Obviously the left in this country has a slightly different definition of "civility" than I do. Go figure.

I don't care (and I don't think most Canadians care) what ridiculous teenage-ish stunts DePape pulls and is fired by. There are more important things in life.

What they do care about is that their money has been wasted going to someone who has acted unprofessionally, without honor, tarnishing the image of Parliamentary tradition of Pages, ultimately being undeserving of the honor of being a Page.

DePape, you should refund your salary. It's the only honorable thing to do.

Update...

Words of wisdom from DePape's father:

“My dad was quite critical of it. He sort of asked what concrete changes can this actually have,” she said.
No kidding. The answer to that question is pretty self evident. This girl's father is probably thinking: "she just ruined her reputation for what?..." You don't need to be Conservative or "Progressive" to get where this father is coming from.

Quebec Liberals Back Off on Senate... Sort Of...

"We do agree that the Senate should be reformed, but we do not agree on the way the speech [from the throne] proposes it will be done," Moreau told guest host Alison Crawford.(link)
Ok.

So is it elected Senators that the people of Quebec choose that you disagree with? Do you prefer unelected unaccountable bagmen of Prime Minister's past representing you instead?

Or is it Senate term limits that you disagree with? I can understand how putting limits on a politician's power would seem crazy nutbar radical for a Provincial Government intent on preventing parents from actually daring to teach their children their own values.

Please sir do clarify.

Because I want to be clear on just what you are opposing so, that come the next Provincial election in Quebec, the people will be able to exercise the accountability that you may (or may not) object to being present in our beloved Chamber of Sober (Although Not Always) Second Thought.

Desperate Last Gasp of the Socialist Senate

McGuilty, Dexter, and Quebec Liberals agree. Don't reform the Senate. Abolish it.

Balloney.

I don't believe these knuckleheads for a nanosecond - no wait - not a picosecond!

Canadian socialists, oh hell let's call them what they want to be called - elitist snobby neo-urban "Progressives" - love an unelected, unaccountable, unequal senate.

It's served them well. Being a home for the privileged few experts that can manage all things from the top down is a theme not unknown to Socialists everywhere - especially well mannered Jack Layton.

The senate was the only real opposition to Stephen Harper since 2006. The rest of the political left being too afraid to offend voters, actually grow a pair and fight for what they actually believe in.

The Senate is a Progressive's dream legislative body. Filled with former bureaucrats, former social elites, former/current criminals, former media personalities, and artists how could it get better for the Canadian left?

Jack Layton isn't change. Neither was Iggy Puff. They are the status quo. Canadian Progressives have been in charge in Canada for decades, controling the judiciary, most bureaucracies, and proliferate among most of the upper echelons of Canadian society.

That's what it's really about for Progressives - fear of change.

In order to avoid charges of being elitist they turn to calling for the Senate's abolition to mask their hidden agenda. The truth is Senate reform is the only practical way of fixing the senate. Abolishing it would require Constitutional reform - good luck with that! Progressives know this, which is why Senate abolition is such a good fall back for them. They can always block any changes and avoid any charges of elitism by saying "abolish it!"

Canadian Conservatives finally have the power to reform that dis-functional disgusting throwback to European feudalism. And Canadian Progressives are scared.

They should be.

A Liberal gets it right...

In his blog post, St. Pierre argues that centrism is an electoral strategy, not a political philosophy, and that the Liberals should now start listening more closely to the current wisdom of — yes — Preston Manning, founder of the old Reform Party.

Manning uses an iceberg metaphor to describe politics — parties in themselves represent the 10 per cent above the surface, while ideas, movements and activism form the 90 per cent you don’t see.

“I fear the Liberals have become ice cubes — a party for a party’s sake, and an accumulation of people interested in being in a party and implementing a party’s vision,” St. Pierre wrote...(link)

My thoughts exactly.

The Trouble with the Liberals is they'll never see things that way.

They will forever be a party "of the center." A party that hugs onto a political position that shifts with the blowing wind. A party without a base.

A party that stands for nothing (except maybe to get elected).

A party of nothing.

Osama: Good Riddens

In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.(link)
The world is a better place this morning.

Count Iggy Needs A Day Off

I'm just speechless at this quotation from the esteemed Count:
“The Liberal party is a democratic institution, it’s a fact. I want to stay. I want to continue. I want to win this election on the second of May but my faith is not just in my hands. Hey folks, it’s in the hands of millions of Canadian voters out there,” he told reporters and supporters outside Liberal candidate Mark Holland’s office in Ajax, Ont.

“After the election, we see where we are,” Ignatieff said.(link)

I'm confused... No I think the Liberal leader is confused... "... my faith is not just in my hands."? Wha...? That sentence makes no sense.

"The Liberal party is a democratic institution, it’s a fact..."

Really? The party of the "friendly dictatorship" that governed in the 1990s?

It gets better:

"We know how to get a deficit under control, we know how to make promises and keep them," Ignatieff said.

(...)

"Mr. Harper hates everything the Liberal party stands for," Ignatieff said. "Mr. Harper has no vision for Canada, but he has a very sharp vision for the Conservative Party of Canada which is to drive a stake through the heart of the Liberal party."(link)

This guy needs some caffeine and pronto.

Does he honestly believe he can use a promise-keeper line ala Mike Harris? He's leader of the party that backtracked on the GST, NAFTA, the "democratic deficit", etc., etc....

And I'm even more confused about Count Iggy's outrage of the "hatred" that Harper shows to the Liberal Party.

I know the Liberal leader was out of the country at the time, but his predecessors made it a priority to destroy the PC's and the Reform Party with an efficiency that would make Karl Rove blush. That's politics. Does the Count really expect us to believe that he wouldn't "drive at stake through the heart" of the Tories if he had the chance?

On top of it all he has failed to realize the blunder he made making that statement. Usually people only talk about "driving a stake through the heart" when they are referring to an unearthly mythological demonic creature. In effect he's saying that the Liberal Party is a member of the undead. Now I realize that the Liberals are down to historic lows in the polls, but I for one do not believe in Vampires or Vampiric Parties and have no intent on supporting them.

Partisanship and joking aside, in all sincerity the Liberal leader needs to take a day off. He's obviously exhausted himself - his entourage should be reading him the riot act at this point because all he's doing by pressing forward is to make more folly for himself and his party.

Why Traditional Media Is Dying

This election is giving plenty of reasons why Canadians are increasingly tuning out the traditional media establishment. (To be frank I wanted to title this post "Gutless Media Jerks" but consider this my good deed of the day).

Most recently we have exhibit one: Heckling reporters.

A reporter asked Harper recently whether he'd hypothetically "accept" a decision of the Governor General to allow an opposition coalition to govern.

To which Harper replied, as any politician with a half brain would, that he wasn't going to answer hypothetical questions.

That should have been good enough. The reporter got his shot at the Tory leader. Time to move on to other attempts to make Harper foul up - after all that reporter needs a juicy story doesn't he?

Instead he pressed Harper further. To which the Conservative crowd booed.

Now, you would think that might be a sign to said reporter that he might have crossed a line there. Instead it has become about how Tory supporters want to silence the press, believe their leader infallible, and are plain simply barbarian hoardes or alien kitten-eating devils.

Exihibit two: Jack's Massage.

Layton had a massage 15 years ago. Only problem is that the massage parlor he went to was suspected of being a bawdy house. The police questioned him. No charges were laid. Nothing's happened since.

To put it simply: who cares?

Certainly not Canadians. Canadians care about putting food on the table and making coffee in the morning. Whatever alleged infidelity Jack Layton may have committed 15 years ago doesn't rank higher up on that list than paying the bills, or getting the newborn feed. Gilles Duccepe and Stephen Harper recognize this and have refused to comment on the story.

Sun TV News was supposed to report the REAL news. Be the voice that the rest of media wasn't. This trash reporting does none of that.

I think the real moral of the story here is don't take massages ... I kid.

Exhibit three: The Liberal Disconnect.

I swear if I read one more article about how the Liberals ran such an amazing campaign but just can't seem to translate it into votes I'm going to puke.

I don't want to kick a guy when he's down, but in all fairness Iggy's campaign was far from flawless.

He had a candidate in Quebec that turned out to be a white supremacist, a gaffe on the coalition question on day one, a lackluster debate performance, and an inability to stay on message just to name a few problems.

I think it was that last point that was the worst. What was the Liberal ballot question again? Oh ya - Are you better off now after 5 years of Stephen Harper?

Whatever happened to that message was lost in Iggy's bizzare "Rise Up" chants that I can only assume that he made up while high on medical marijuana on the Liberal campaign bus.

Maybe Iggy should've had a more scripted message. Maybe he should have focused on trying to control the story just a bit more. Maybe he should have limited what he said and limit the "off-the-cuff" remarks he's so fond of.

Those things are quite frankly more plausible reasons for Iggy's failure then an apparent magical "disconnect" that can't be explained.

The Folly of Seat Projections

The recent surge of the NDP into Liberal and Bloc territory seems to continue without end. Despite the doomsdayers the lines will stabilize (if they haven't already.)

In the mean time we're being treated to a spate of seat projections showing such varying dizzying results. Some Tories, uncomprehendingly, have come out claiming that a Tory Majority is now out of reach. Some believe the Bloc is dead. Others that the Liberals are on life support.

All of this could turn out to be true. But much of it probably won't.

What puzzles me the most about this situation is the almost complete certainty of some with regards to just what these polling numbers actually mean.

How could anyone know what they mean? What are they gods of election prediction? Do they have some sort of crystal ball that allows them to see magically where these new NDP votes are going? Seat projections are based on certain theories on how votes distribute themselves. They have a history of working well when parties poll within a few percentage points of where they did the last time around.

With NDP support not doubling, not tripling, not quadrupling, but increasing by factors of ten or more in Quebec and lesser so elsewhere who is crazy enough to create seat projections at all?

The truth is that no one really knows (or should claim to know) what the NDP surge in support will mean. These new votes could be efficiently distributed for the NDP - or advantageously distributed for others.

Given this uncertainty, the insanity of all this news coverage is apparent. I expect (or maybe I hope) that many will be surprised come May 2nd.

If not it will stroke the already over-bloated egos of some, and turn others into blind pollster worshipers.

Harper Really Does Just Need To Survive

I was right then. And I'm still right.

Conservative optimists and pessimists alike need to take a deep breath.

The fight isn't over. It's only beginning.

The only difference is Comrade Layton, not Count Iggy is the Captain of the pirate ship Coalition.

All that means is that the Socialist/Separatist insurgency will be much more short lived.

Personal Attacks II

"... a senior Liberal strategist, speaking on background, said the Conservatives have forgotten the first rule of politics: that hope beats fear."(link)
It looks like the Liberals have had a change of opinion:

This ad is brilliant (strategically). I don't know why the Liberals haven't tried this yet. The Paul Martin and Jean Chretien Liberals toasted their Conservative opponents with the "hidden agenda" healthcare smear.

And, it worked.

My guess is that Count Iggy was finally convinced that if he wants to have a chance he needs to play rough.

What a massive hypocrite.

"These personal attacks are unprecedented in the history of Canadian democracy..."
And how personal is it to accuse someone of wanting "absolute power?" I'll let you answer that one for yourself.

I will give credit to the Liberals on one front - they didn't attack Harper for his faith, being not anti-American enough, or his patriotism. I guess they've learned something after feeling the heat themselves for once.

Personal Attacks I

Electoral Irony

MONTREAL - A tree fell on the former home of deceased Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau on Thursday, causing minor damage to the building.

The art deco-styled house, located on Pine Avenue West, is considered a heritage site. The reason for the tree falling is unknown.(link)

A sign of a looming Tory majority?... I kid of course.

G20 Costs VI

I honestly didn't think I would ever write another G20 post. Little did I know, Sheila Fraser had other plans.

However, it should be said that this couldn't have been that surprising to anyone. When a summit costs upwards of 150 times the value of similar summits held recently something was misspent.

The interesting part of this whole affair is that the report was leaked now. I find it hard to understand how this would inflict maximum damage. If I really wanted to hammer the Tories over this I would wait until the day of the debates, thereby ensuring that the Tories are caught off guard.

Yet at the same time, I don't think the opposition will get much play over this issue. The G20 summit happened a long time ago now. The public has well over forgotten.

Moreover, financial scandals have hard time sticking to governments. Just ask Jean Chretien. It has to get really really REALLY bad for people to take notice. One billion dollar boondoggle alone is not enough.

To make matters worse for the opposition, they are unlikely to convince many that they would do a better job. Fiscal responsibility is just not a core winnable issue for the left in general. It would be the equivalent of the Tories criticizing Liberal policy on healthcare. Would Canadians really believe the Tories are the defenders of public healthcare? Regardless if it's true or not - the prevailing bias is what it is.

I believe that the Tories will most likely emerge from this and survive. And (I hope) learning some hard lessons.

G20 Costs V
G20 Costs IV
G20 Costs III
G20 Costs II
G20 Costs I

Laytonisms

Layton Speaks!
"If Mr. Harper is in charge of the future of health care in our country then Canadians should be very, very worried..."

(...)

"They don't believe it's a federal issue. They want to leave it to the provinces knowing that the provinces don't have the resources that are necessary and privatization will become the only option."(link)

That's cause it aint a federal issue. That's what tick's off most provinces - especially Quebec. Oh well - Layton will just zap those pesky national unity issues with laser beams from this manly moustache!

Also, Mr Moustache, you're wrong about the Tories. Not wrong in the sense that a lot of Tories would like privatization. Not in the sense that we do believe it isn't a federal issue either.

You're wrong in believing that the Tories will do anything that you wouldn't do on the healthcare front.

The Tories fear one word more than anything (even the "A" word) : healthcare. It's been the beating stick used by their opposition over and over and over... To the Tories, whatever their personal opinions, no one will ever ever touch healthcare. Even worse - if you propose to do anything to healthcare I would be willing to bet that Harper would come out the very next day and say "us too!"

Be wary as we travel into a political parallel universe, with the same party leaders just ideologies switched!

SURREY, B.C. — NDP Leader Jack Layton is promising to get tough on crime, particularly gang violence.

The party's strategy would put an additional 2,500 police officers on streets across the country and double funding for programs that try to keep children from joining gangs.(link)

I bet there's some sort of pro-hippie fine print in that policy - but in the meantime the NDP get kuddos from me on joining the fight.

Harper's Slam Dunk

SAANICH, B.C. — The Conservatives will allow Canadian families with children under 18 to split up to $50,000 of their income annually to lower their taxes, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday.(link)
This is a slam dunk policy wise for Harper. The delayed implementation is unfortunate but I believe understandable by most of the electorate.

Firstly, this is righting a long standing wrong in the Canadian tax system. Just because mommy or daddy decides to stay home and take an income hit, doesn't mean they need to be taxed higher (comparatively) too.

Secondly, announcing this early provides Canadians an opportunity to plan. It will set off a change in behavior that will ultimately mean more economic growth, more savings for Canadians, and more jobs for Canadians over the long term.

From a purely strategic perspective the Tories have scored as well. Taxes and the economy is right now THE Tory issue. The Liberals and NPD don't have much they could counter this with. It's a big policy move and it's a bread and butter issue.

Wouldn't you like an extra $1300 bucks? All you have to be is Canadian, have kids, and an average salary. That's a very easy sell. And it's definitely something to put wind in Tory sails.

Liberal Fantasy Land

Is populated by relentless optimists it seems:
The Conservatives hope the coalition question will develop into a much-coveted “wedge” issue – a debate that polarizes support into two camps, with one party on one side and all the other parties together on the other.

(...)

But a senior Liberal strategist, speaking on background, said the Conservatives have forgotten the first rule of politics: that hope beats fear.(link)

To they honestly expect Canucks to buy that argument from the Party who invented fear-mongering?

Sure... Hope beats fear of an Abortion Law? Hope beats fear of Canadian Soldiers in Iraq? Hope beats fear of proliferating guns? Hope beats fear of losing welfare benefits?

Fear motivates. Fear wins. Hope is an ideal that we are so far from it's laughable to suggest anything else. Especially from the Party that invented that concept in Canadian politics.

Harper Just Needs to Survive

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end - which you can never afford to loose - with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."- Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale

It's important, particularly now, for Federal Tories to remember the above quoted "Stockdale Paradox." Now isn't the time to be relentless optimists.

This rings especially true in our present state of affairs. Don't believe Count Iggy's newfound distaste for coalitions - one is in the works, behind the scenes, ready for deployment.

It's impossible to conceive of a logical reason otherwise for the recent Liberal penchant for an election right now. Count Iggy had a year to turn Liberal fortunes around in the polls - and that hasn't happened. A year is enough for most Liberals. His time in power, he must reckon, isn't going to last much longer. His only shot at being Prime Minister is now. And if he can't get it by winning votes, there's always "... a coalition if necessary."

That means that Conservatives need to confront the brutal fact that a coalition of the left in this country is almost assured.

The way I see it, there are three possible tactical counter moves to this problem:

1) Win an outright Majority. To me this qualifies as the relentless optimist's choice. Most polls have consistently shown that the Tories have a ceiling of support of a bare majority - at best. Even former Harper Advisor Tom Flanagan has pointed out that we are living an era where a Tory majority is a reclusive dream. That doesn't mean that a Tory majority isn't possible - only improbable. If it happens great, but despite Tory hopes, and Tory best efforts (which should not abate), a majority will most likely not materialize. But there are other options.

2) Convince Some Opposition MPs to Switch Sides. Current polling projections shows the Tories winning somewhere between 150 and 153 seats in an election. That's just a 1/2 dozen seats to a majority. It's possible that some opposition MPs, unhappy with Count Iggy Puff's coalition of losers, would be willing to jump ship. To me this is a very realistic scenario, and one that would save Canada from a socialist fate that would make even Pierre Elliot Trudeau Blush.

3) Resign En Masse. To me this is the nuclear option. At the end of the day, it's the very one thing that could blow any coalition attempt away - yet it brings with it high political dangers. If every Tory MP resigned en masse as part of an organized take down by the Harper Tories, it would prevent a new coalition government from functioning. Everything would grind to a halt. Effectively it would force the short lived Prime Minister Count Iggy's Government into another election. Very quickly the man who said he wouldn't, and the other men who said nothing would be facing an angry electorate asking the question why? Good luck to the opposition on navigating that situation.

Given the above, the Tories need to prepare themselves for the brutal reality of a coalition government. It's possible that Harper may not be Prime Minister for a brief time (despite winning the most seats), before returning to power in a snap election. The best thing they can do is make the moves now to strategically position themselves for what they will need to do later.

In short, Harper doesn't really need to win a majority at all. What he needs to do is survive. If he can, very shortly he could find himself facing a divided, unpopular, cash strapped opposition as Prime Minister of a stable Majority - Even if he has to take a short lived "walk in the snow" to get there.

The Battle Begins

All three opposition parties have rejected the Tories 2011 budget.

An election in early May is certain at this point.

Make no mistake about it, this time around the question will be Yes or No to a Socialist Coalition.

Iggy Puff and the Laytonator know full well what they're doing. The only question will be how long it takes for it to come out.

Personal Attacks

Iggy Puff is insulted:
“While the Ignatieffs have made the most of their coming to Canada in their respective fields, they have never ceased to enjoy great privilege, as a function of the financial and educational resources and social status they brought with them, and which are theirs to this day,” a website authorized by the Conservative Party says.

(...)

In response, the Liberal Leader accused the Tories of twisting the facts and acting outside the bounds of decency. “Their attack on me is a disgrace. They’ve attacked my patriotism. They’ve attacked my commitment to the country. And now they’re attacking my family.”

He said the Tories’ targeting of his character and family is unparalleled in this country. “These personal attacks are unprecedented in the history of Canadian democracy,” Mr. Ignatieff charged.(link)

Those horrible Tories! How could they! Why... If they only knew what it felt like!


I guess I should probably say hi to those soldiers out in the street... They seem to be nowhere to be seen...

Also better go to my Hospital for my "US style healthcare." Meanwhile I thought Abortion was going to banned... Oh well I guess not all of the "hidden agenda" could be right.

PS - I don't blame you Iggy for making such a wildly inaccurate statement. After all you were out of the country when these attacks were launched, most likely, by some of the very same people sitting in your War Room right now. (No attack intended... Ok maybe a little bit of attack intended).

PPS - Do I think the Tories should be calling into question Iggy Puff's family history? No. It's ill advised. There's plenty of more important things to talk about. Canadians don't care what part of Iggy's family history is exaggerated. That being said, such a comment from a Canadian opposition leader is not only wrong, it's uninformed, and a little pretentious (which no doubt just reinforces the Conservative attack that Iggy is elitist and out of touch).

The Awakening in Lybia

...Mercenaries were reportedly killing anyone in their way, women, children and elderly. Tanks were entering the residential areas. A Man from Ajdabiya vowed to get his revenge on Gaddafi, as reported by ShabLibya. Even if dead, the man said, he would dig Gaddafi up and burn him, as he mourns the loss of so many killed men, women, children and elderly.(link)
I sincerely hope that man gets his wish.

With determination like that, Gadaffi's toast.

Cotton-Picking Moments

"If you say democracy is a little distraction, it doesn't matter to you, look out because the ... Canadian people will say now 'wait a cotton-pickin' minute here,'" Ignatieff said.(link)
First off, I'm sure Iggy Puff is no white supremacist running amok in Ottawa. I'm sure happy he made a gaffe like this one and do hope the Tories push this issue just as much as the Liberalismos would do under similar circumstances. That being said, it's a distraction that doesn't deserve more than a news cycle.

I would like to make one quick comment: Iggy needs to loosen up. I don't know if verbage like this is entirely normal for him, but it's precisely that kind of verbage that makes him appear aloof and out of touch.

We all know he's smart. He was a friggin' Prof at Harvard. He doesn't need to dumb it down for the rest of us. He may not be trying to do that, but it really doesn't matter in politics. Perception is everything.

He'd be best to drop the folksy talk...

A great new device that can detect Liberal Hot Air

A Canadian government scientist has spearheaded the development of a high-tech measuring device to more accurately gauge the amount of methane released by burping and farting cows - a significant source of the world's greenhouse gases. (link)
They better not shoot those laser beams at Warren Kinsella... The thing may blow up.

Trudeau Faux Pas

Le Trudeau is having a bad week:
"Canada's openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, 'honour killings,' female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence."

During an interview with radio station Newstalk 1010, Trudeau, the Liberal immigration critic, said he was "uncomfortable" with the government labelling honour killings as "barbaric," a remark that sparked a series of attacks from Conservative MPs.

"You could say it's absolutely unacceptable as a phrase," said Trudeau, adding that the word could have the effect of making newcomers "defensive."(link)

We wouldn't want to make people "defensive." Oh my. That might lead to people being uncomfortable.

That might lead to some people feeling unwelcome. Like people who might believe in "honour killings."

I gotta tell you, unlike some, I don't spend one moment at night worrying about making killers "defensive."

But hey - mistakes happen. Even to the best of us. No need to go overboard on Trudeau over this (The Tories have better things to do). I'm sure Trudeau realized how wrong he was as he spoke the words out of his mouth - Just make a quick apology and forget about it.

Instead he did this:

"Perhaps I got tangled in semantic weeds in my comments, particularly in view of the Conservatives' cynicism on these issues. I want to make clear that I think the acts described are heinous, barbaric acts that are totally unacceptable in our society," he wrote in an email to Postmedia News.

"I retract my comments and apologize if they've been interpreted by any one as dismissing or diminishing the serious and appalling nature of honour killings and other gender-based violence."

He added: "My expectation — given their vehemence against me — now that the Conservatives take this issue more seriously than their record indicates, is that they will immediately bring forward a comprehensive national strategy to combat violence against women as the House of Commons has been calling for since 2008."

Either you should apologize completely, honestly, or you shouldn't bother.

I'm not convinced, after reading what he said above, that he entirely realizes how wrong he was. He's left he impression that he still agrees with some aspect of what he previously said.

I'm sure Trudeau doesn't believe that "honour killings" are anything less than "barbaric."

The point is he's acting like a complete douchebag right now. The Tories did nothing wrong here. They've done plenty wrong elsewhere that he can talk about. But an apology isn't the time to talk about it because it makes you look like a twit. It isn't the time for qualifiers. What you said was wrong - admit it and move on. It's not about "semantic weeds" or how people "interpreted" your comments - your comments were wrong and offensive.

Instead he's managed to create some EXTRA negative headlines for his team.

Iggy Puff, wisely, is not defending his shadow minister - how could he?

This is a bad day for Trudeau. My advice to him would be to suck it up and take it like a man. The rest of us should take a valium and let it go - we could have easily made the mistake ourselves.

Banking Shenanigans in Wisconsin

Blackmail is not out of the question for Big Unions in Wisconsin:
The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin...

In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company. (link)

I guess after trying to make a run on the pro-Walker M&I bank in Wisconsin didn't work, extortion is next best alternative...

The uniquely Canadian part of this story is that ever since December of last year M&I is owned by Bank of Montreal.

Americans everywhere can rest easy that a Canadian company will be paying out M&I's treasury IOUs... I wonder whether M&I's new "Canadian" influence will lead to less ardent Walker support.

Our great Rehabilitation System

CALGARY — A dangerous, 402-pound convicted killer ... has escaped from custody while on an escorted leave in Edmonton.

William Wade Bicknell, 42, overtook a lone guard driving him back to the Drumheller Institution around 8 p.m. on Thursday.

Holding the guard hostage, he also stole several firearms and an quantity of ammunition.

Police said Bicknell then drove to a rural residence near Chipman, Alta., just northeast of Edmonton, and forced his way into home.

(...)

Prior to leaving the home, Bicknell disabled the telephone and Corrections vehicle, threatening both men not to call police. Neither person was injured.(link)

I sure hope his "escorted leave" lead to some good rehabilitation...

And I hope that firearm was registered!

The fact that this man was even granted an "escorted leave" baffles me. Thanks to that decision he's been given more opportunities to create new victims. Those responsible for this in government should either be reprimanded or dismissed - neither will likely happen.

This isn't the first time the granting of "escorted leave" to a dangerous criminal has made headlines in this country. I just for the life of me can't understand how anyone in their right mind can think it's reasonable to let high risk offenders out roaming in society - even supervised.

What a disgrace. We have no Justice System in this country. What we do have is a "Rehabilitation System." "Justice" doesn't even seem to be on the radar screen.

PS - As a disclaimer - I have no problem with rehabilitation being a component of the justice system. Certainly it has it's place particularly for young offenders who must re-enter society one day. I have a problem with it being the sole purpose of our Justice system. Rehabilitation is the common refrain that numerous Liberal MPs profess an almost idolatrous devotion to - to the exclusion of Justice. It's as if the concept that our Justice System is there to protect people is just so archaic and alien it's almost gains scorn by the Left. The reason why again baffles me.

Weird political moments...

This exchange with NDP MP Mulclair is telling:
“Tom, are you trying to kneecap your leader while he’s recovering from a bad hip? Tim Powers is out there saying it looks like you’re trying to replace your leader by beating the drums for an election.”

(...)

Turning to face Mr. Lilley, who was parked behind the usual roped barrier put there so reporters don’t get too close to MPs at the microphones, he responded: “Well Brian, since I have so much respect for you as a journalist, why don’t you tell me what you heard me say that would make you say that, and not something that a Conservative spinmeister would say.”

(...)

Mulcair: “You tell me something that you’ve heard me say that would lead you to say that? You’re the journalist who asked me the question. Tim Powers isn’t a journalist, he’s a Conservative spinner.”(link)

The entire exchange is just odd. The appropriate response would be something we're all familiar with: "I support Jack Layton as leader 100%. Jack has been instrumental in brining the NDP to where it is today. And I think I speak for the members and for the caucus that the party is united without a doubt behind his leadership."

Or something to that effect... The confrontational hostile Q&A is at best bizarre.

Maybe Muclair had a bad day. Or maybe there's something else going on behind the scenes we don't know about.