Monday, September 29, 2008


The financial markets are in meltdown. Canadian investors are losing their shirts. Canadian seniors unlucky enough to not have fat civil service or parliamentary pensions are seeing their nesteggs nuked. Again! It's a very, very scary time for many, many Canadians.

So how do the Harpercons respond?

Well, while Flaherty and his advisors are busy coming up with ideas to help Canada and Canadians weather the storm,

little Stevie Harper is singing his new economic theme song.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What was that about peaceful Sunday mornings?

Sunday is a day to which I particularly look forward, if for no other reason than I normally get an extra ½ hour sack time. And this morning was no different. Blissfully unaware of what was to befall me (and the neighbourhood) I was far off, on a favourite beach, surrounded by hard bodies (you just have to love how reality isn’t allowed to interfere in dreamland), enjoying the sun, sand, and surf.

And then – KABOOM!

What the... ?

6:38 AM.



Aw crap! It turns out that today was opening day of the duck hunting season. Our little lake had been filling up with migrating ducks for the past week or so, which had apparently been noticed by at least two hunting parties. So at the crack of dawn all hell broke loose with competing groups on either end of the lake trying to outdo each other to see who could put the most RPMs (rounds per minute) into the air overhead.

Less than 10 minutes, and at least 100 rounds later, everything was quiet again. Any ducks with any sense of self-preservation had exited stage left, flying through the clouds of ack-ack, searching for cover among the homes on the lake. The neighbourhood dogs had stopped barking. Even the hunters had disappeared leaving behind nothing but a vague whiff of gunpowder, ringing ears, and piles of spent cartridges to later be discovered by local residents. And I was up, making the coffee, much, much earlier than planned.

Ah, life in the country.

Monday, September 22, 2008

They just can't seem to keep from lying.

I just listened to Flaherty and McCallum on Don Newman's Brooooaaaadcast, and the discussion turned, naturally, to income trusts. Flaherty insisted, on at least two occasions, that the income trust sector had rebounded, showing a 14.5% increase since September 2006. According to him, the only people who lost money in the income trust fiasco were "people that lost early on when they panicked and they sold". McCallum called him on it claiming that he (McCallum) had checked the figures this very morning and the sector had not rebounded. He was promptly told he was "wrong" and "totally inaccurate".

Then I find this chart posted at CAITI-ONLINE-MEDIA that clearly shows an 11.1% DROP in the income trust index since September 2006.

I'm beginning to think they really just cannot help themselves. It's pathological.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let's do it all again, shall we?

Wow, that didn't take long. The election hasn't even been held yet and already Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is threatening "confidence motion". According to this story, Nicholson said "We will be taking a zero-tolerance approach. Our crime measures will be confidence measures, we are determined that our law and order agenda will be passed."

That's right. Lock 'em up and throw away the keys. And if you don't agree, we'll keep spending your money, $300,000,000 at a time, until you see things our way.

In other words, the beatings will continue until morale improves.


It's simply outrageous!

Conservatives cry foul over Island Liberal MPs’ pre-election newsletters

Let's see now. The Cons have been flooding the land with 10-percenters for weeks now, including a few from Baird's riding (and possibly others) that arrived in people's mailboxes after the writ was dropped, with the predictable response. So now, when Liberal Wayne Easter (he of Gary Ritz fame) sends mailers out it's the Cons turn to feign outrage.

Childish. All around.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

$22 Billion

According to this article in the Ottawa Citizen today, "The Afghan war is going to end up costing the Defence Department more than $22 billion, in actual money spent on the mission and future payments to rebuild equipment and provide long-term care for veterans...".

For another perspective on the cost of this war, read this post by The Enlightened Savage.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is there a pattern emerging here?

Every 50 feet or so along a stretch of Terry Fox Drive in Kanata this afternoon there was a Re-elect Gordon O'Connor sign posted beside the roadway. In among the sea of blue signs were the torn out signs of the NDP and Liberal candidates (There may have been some Greens in there too, but I was trying to pay attention to traffic at the time.) Not a single sign for the other parties was left standing that I could see.

Unfortunately this was a day I left my camera at home, but that image I think says more about one element of Stephen Harper's base than anything I could say in this blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Liberals have the key to Alberta .... who knew?

According to John Baird, climate change expert extraordinaire, the Liberal Green Shift Plan will be "welcomed by the oilsands industry". And he should know, being well aware of what it takes to please those guys.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Palin and Clinton on SNL

In case you missed it. Besides we can all use a break from the campaign and the latest financial news...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"I've got a crush on Harper"

Don't click the link until you've had at least 2 or 3 cups of coffee. And make sure the Maalox is handy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Campaigning should not be dangerous!

In the heat of an election campaign, this may be considered old news as it was posted 18 hours or so ago, but I think it bears being highlighted again.

Garth Turner’s blog for Day 5, posted late last night, describes some of the intimidation tactics that are being used against him and his family in response to his campaign. Anonymous threats, vandalism, electronic tampering – all very frightening and worrisome. Like the Guelph incident, there is as yet no proof that this behaviour originates from any particular party or its supporters, but as I posted a few days ago, it would not be surprising to find some impressionable neanderthal responding to Harper’s compulsive hatred of all things Liberal with this sort of behaviour.

Let’s just hope that before they progress beyond making threats these morons are caught and dealt with to the maximum extent of the law for what really amounts to hate crimes based on political beliefs.

And it wouldn't hurt to have all party leaders make a clear and unambiguous statement that this behaviour is not only not acceptable but it's criminal and anyone caught will be charged, along with anyone who has directed or otherwise encouraged such behaviour.

It needs to stop. Now!

Is no one paying attention?

There’s been a lot of blogging on all sides over the last 24 hours or so about Canadians being called stupid – or not. Well, one can’t help wonder if there isn’t a lot of truth to that comment when this happens:
  • Conservatives show just how juvenile and partisan they really are through Puffin-gate, Sparrow-gate and the whole not-a-leader shtick.
  • Conservatives are caught using copyright material on their web site and ordered to cease and desist by at least one network.
  • Harper self-identifies as a fruit.
  • The RCMP pushes members of the press away from the PM so he won’t have to answer questions while standing in a Quebec vineyard (presumably relating on a personal level to the grapes). When they realize the potential damage, the Tories subsequently back track and later allow the press to question Harper on the Sparrow situation.
  • Harper threatens to not play at all if the Greens are invited to the debates, then back-tracks when his buddy Jack flip-flops.
  • In Quebec, Harper trots out national unity as a feeble (and convoluted) excuse to vote against the Liberals and their Green Shift.
  • Harper backtracks on his ‘no reductions in fuel taxes’ stance of about three weeks ago to offer up a transparent vote-buying 2 cent reduction in diesel fuel taxes, thus encouraging the use of fossil fuels and discouraging conservation.

And the Canadian voting public responds like this: “The Nanos daily tracking survey for CPAC and Sun Media puts the Conservatives at 37% nationwide, up from 33% in August -- when a Nanos poll placed the Tories and Liberals in a statistical dead heat.”

Just what is it going to take to get people to wake up?

Monday, September 8, 2008

The devil must be lacing up his skates.....

Never thought I'd see the day, but I have to agree 100% with Raphael on this one.

Election strategy for voters

There probably has never been an election where strategic voting has been more important than this one. Let’s face facts. At this time, the only party that has even the remotest chance of forming a majority is the Conservative Party. And the only way that will happen is if the other 3 (or 4, in Quebec) parties manage to split the vote on a riding-by-riding basis, giving the Cons undeserved wins with 30% or less of the popular vote in those ridings.

To simply suggest that folks vote Liberal (or NDP, or Green, or Bloc) across the board will only increase the Cons’ chances, possibly giving them the win and leaving us all with 4 more years of Harper, this time with a possible majority. If that happens, you can say goodbye to the Canada we know and love. It will take years to repair the damage.

So if you want to help ensure that the Cons do not get a majority, then the objective of this election has to be to deny them seats wherever possible. And to do so may mean supporting the candidate in your riding who has the greatest chance to win and/or to unseat a Con incumbent regardless of your own political stripe.

Political affiliations are important, but I believe that preventing a Con majority in this election is even more important. And in reality the differences that exist between the Liberals, Greens and NDP are far, far less than between any of those parties and the Harper Cons. And if we all do this right and deny the Cons their majority, even if they get another minority, we’ll have an opportunity to do it all over again in a couple of years, most likely with Harper gone, at which time you can vote away for your party of choice.

Go get 'im Brent!

Brent Fullard of CAITI fame has announced he will run for the Liberals against Jim Flaherty, subject to approval by the Liberal riding association (who'd be fools not to agree). Fullard will attack Flaherty on all manner of fiscal and policy issues, not just income trusts.

Flaherty is certainly at risk given his remarkably inept handling of the economy (income trusts, Ontario bashing, free-spending budgets, improper contracting, inaction on job losses, and now flirtation with a deficit after blowing the Liberal's $13 billion surplus in 2 years) so this seat offers a real opportunity for the Liberals.

We're with you Brent. Send Jimbo back to ambulance chasing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A new Senate seat opening up?

So can we now assume that on Monday Michael Fortier's resignation will be on Harper's desk?

Update: September 7. According to this story, Fortier has done the right thing and resigned to run in the upcoming election. I have to admit I am surprised.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

When did political discourse in this country become a hate issue?

Politics has always has the ability to inflame passions and get the blood boiling, hence the long-standing warning that “sex, religion and politics are not to be discussed in polite company”. Now personally I believe that any discussion that does not include at least one (and preferably all) of the above is singularly boring, but the level of debate has certainly deteriorated recently and has now reached dangerous levels.

Historically political leaders have always served as something of a lightning rod for strong sentiments such as: “Stephen Harper, I hate that son of a bitch with a passion!” In fact pretty much every PM – Liberal or Conservative (with the possible exception of Kim Campbell) - has attracted that kind of comment from those who disagree with them. It goes with the territory. But what is happening now is that more and more frequently those strong feelings are being directed beyond the leadership to include supporters of the party. One need only peruse the comments made by Con trolls on any liberal, progressive, or left-leaning web site to see evidence of this.

But what is even more worrisome than their usual unintelligible and intellectually void jabberings in the blogosphere is that those expressions of hatred are now being manifested in criminal behaviour such as was recently seen in Guelph with the spray-painting and life-threatening vandalism to Liberal supporter’s cars.

No one yet knows who the Guelph criminals were and whether they were actually politically inspired or not, but it’s not hard to see where the sentiment comes from when, according to Tom Flanagan, Harper’s goal is not simply to govern Canada, but to utterly destroy the Liberal Party of Canada. Under Stephen Harper’s leadership, political “debate” on issues of importance to all Canadians has deteriorated from being an enthusiastic and vociferous sharing of opinions to the dismissive personal put-down and the nasty sound-bite. Combined with his deep-seated and frequently demonstrated rage against many of Canada’s institutions, his continued referrals to opposition parties being crooks and liars who are out to “screw” Canadians, and his divisive style of politics it’s not hard to see how impressionable and pliable Harper followers can make the leap to a passionate hatred of all things non-Conservative.

The Americanisation of Canadian politics continues.....