Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Insurgency is in its Last BOOM! Throes

So, Dick Cheney is welcomed to Afghanistan by a car bomb. It used to be that these little visits were well orchestrated photo ops. Now, they seem to be an excuse for the Taliban to kill people. More than five years after the invasion of Afghanistan and things seem to be in worse shape than ever. M. Dion needs to get out there now and take Gerard Kennedy's position on Afghanistan to the people. This is a good idea for a host of reasons:
  1. Kennedy was right. We need to either redesign this mission or end it. The mission as currently constructed will fail no matter how bravely and nobly our soldiers fight.
  2. Calling for a withdrawal in the face of mounting Canadian casualties is a dangerous game. People can call you a coward or accuse you of using a soldier's death for political gain. However, the Canadian mission has not lost a soldier in weeks. The timing is perfect.
  3. Dion has become a one-trick pony and desperately needs another trick. We cannot win the next election on the environment alone. We need to present a more comprehensive vision. Here's a first step.
  4. The announced withdrawal of British troops has been viewed by many as intelligent if perhaps not completely honourable. Announcing a Canadian withdrawal at the same time will frame it in the right context.
Now, I know Mr. Ignatieff will hate this position. I don't care. Iggy's (and Harper's) argument that the overwhelming force of the American military will produce peace is demonstrably false. It would be necessary to respect the peacekeeping force in order for his plan to work. You don't try to blow up a diplomatic partner.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Kennedy's Lieutenants

I've returned from a frozen Warsaw to a slushy Lund. Still catching up on the news... I've been noticing that a lot of been centred in one way or another around members of the Gerard Kennedy campaign. From the strength of Mark Holland's work in question period, to Harper's slur of Navdeep Bains to the announcement of Justin Trudeau running in Papineau. What does this mean? Probably nothing. I'm just pointing out the coincidence.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Suzuki on the Environment

Okay, this is slightly out of context but from the Mercer Report:

David Suzuki "The planet?! Hell! what about my nuts?"

Isn't that what Alberta's asking?

I Thought Harper Was Smarter Than This

I just finished watching Harper's moronic attack on the integrity of Navdeep Bains and his family. This is unacceptable. There is no other word for it. Has Mr. Harper no sense of decency? Has he no shame? Has he no respect for the office that he holds? What's next an attack ad featuring Stephane Dion and Osama bin Laden a la Saxby Chambliss' attack on Max Cleland? Harper claims that he was merely pointing out the importance of the bill. Don't piss on my leg, and tell me it's raining. I thought Harper was trying to court minorities in the 905. This is the way to lose the 905 and any vote of a Canadian with a moral conscience. Mr. Harper may have just given the Liberals seats in the next election. It is tragic that it had to come at the expense of the good name of Navdeep Bains and his family. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I really should just give up this politics thing now...

DemocraticSpace is reporting that the Citizens Assembly has deemed Mixed Member Proportional as the best of the non-first-past-the-past systems. This does not mean that this will be on the ballot only that if anything is on the ballot it will be this. I will reserve judgment and comment until they come out with their proposal in full. There are far too many variables undecided to start critiquing now. I just wanted to note that my preferred system, two-round voting, got exactly 0% of the vote. WOOT! I rock.

Oh... some opinion poll came out. Apparently bad news. Let's see... are we in an election yet? No? Then read my lips: it doesn't mean anything!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Could Someone Please Wake Up Alberta?

So, I just finished watching the new French Conservative attack ads. What strikes me is how far Stephen Harper has fled from his Reform Party roots. Could you imagine Preston Manning releasing an ad saying "Avec les Conservateur, Le Quebec prends des forces" as Harper does in all three of his new ads. Weren't these the guys who split from Mulroney's Tories because he gave too many concessions to Quebec. Harper's new ads talk about the ghosts of the Liberal past. Someone needs to show all those West Wants In people that their boy Harper has been possessed by the still living spirit of Brian Mulroney. The Liberals should just run the end of the Conservative ads with English subtitles in Alberta as an attack ad. Let's review the classic Reform complaints and how Harper has done:
  1. Stop cow-towing to Quebec. Let's see... special deals left right and centre. Most prominently the appointment of a Quebec representative to UNESCO
  2. No More Appointed Senators: Calling Senator Fortier. Not only appointed to the senate but also to Cabinet
  3. Electoral Reform: ..... Was that tumbleweed?
  4. More Westerners in Cabinet: Let's see, Here's some key positions in Harper's cabinet: Minister of Finance: Ontario. Minster of Health: Ontario. Minister of Foreign Affairs: Nova Scotia. Minister of Defence: Ontario. Minister of Transport: Quebec.
Four strikes and you're.... rewarded with 28 seats in the next election. Mulroney in a cowboy hat is not a Reformer. WAKE UP!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's Quebec Stupid

I openly worried about Stephane Dion's electability in La Belle Provence before he became leader. I am still worried today. Especially, as the next election seems to be destined to be in some way or another focused on Quebec. The first thing that is related to Quebec is the timing. With the Quebec election now basically set for the end of March after the federal budget, the federal election will take place after that, how far depends on who pulls the plug. Here are the scenarios:
  1. What the Bloc and the Liberals want: If Charest wins it will in all likelihood be related to his ability to get a deal on the 'fiscal imbalance.' Therefore, the opposition will be reluctant to go right after a budget that is popular in Quebec. If Boisclair wins on the other hand, the Bloc will sense momentum for separatism and the Liberals will be able to portray Mr. Harper as being unable to stop separatism.
  2. What the Harper wants: If Charest wins, Harper will undoubtedly view this as a ringing endorsement from Quebecois. He will try to force the opposition to bring him down. On the other hand, if Boisclair wins, Harper will be forced to wait lest he try to run on a budget that was rebuked by Quebeckers.
In any case, Quebec is likely to be the reason Canadians go the polls. M. Dion's credibility in the province is still low. Quebeckers are getting tired of voting for a party that can never hold power and are looking for an alternative. Right now, they don't see one. The Conservatives are so wildly out of step with Quebec on almost every policy area and Stephane Dion, as the Bloc is sure to remind voters, is the author of the Clarity Act. Stephane Dion may prefer to wear a green scarf, but the Clarity Act is still the millstone he wears in his home province. M. Dion may have helped to relieve his ultra-federalist label by voting for nation motion in December but he is still toxic to many Quebeckers. If Liberals are able to win the next election it will be because Dion is able to reinvent himself in Quebec. I hope that he will but as I say I'm worried.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I would be very embarassed if he became Premier of Ontario

So John Tory is putting out some self-serving ads on what a great and compassionate leader he is. The theme of the ads seems to be that all his friends like him so you should too. These ads are beyond boring. He's trying to introduce himself to the people of Ontario. Fine, go ahead. I'm waiting for Tory to go negative like he did in 1993. It makes me sick to my stomach that Tory is trying to portray himself as being above the mudslinging when he approved that ad. I know everyone is allowed to make mistakes, but to me that ad is unforgivable. Don't believe the hype Ontario.

Monday, February 12, 2007


To George Smitherman on being engaged to be married. The deputy premier and minister of health for Ontario is one of my favourite politicians. A community advocate and tough critic during his time in opposition, Smitherman has become one of the stars of the McGuinty government. A tough no- nonsense politician, Smitherman is unafraid to tell it like it is. He has fought hard for the people of Ontario in successive negotiations with hospitals and their staff and has been largely successful. All the best to him and his groom-to-be.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Morning in America Part 2?

Apparently I've caught Obama fever because here's another post on the junior Senator from Illinois. So at left is the official Obama campaign symbol. A rising sun over an American flag. Hmmm... why does this sound familiar? Oh yeah, Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America." That's right. So, Obama announces his candidacy in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln with Ronald Reagan's imagery. Is this a subtle indication that he is moderate enough to get elected? Probably not. Is he going to do his next campaign event on USS Eisenhower with a Teddy Roosevelt monocle? The symbol does fit the Obama campaign idea of a new hope for America and a new politic. However, it is disturbingly Reagan-esque. I guess playing to history isn't a bad idea. I just would have thought he would have gone JFK not Reagan.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Barack Obama announces his candidacy for president today. I'm really curious to see if he connects with the average American. Three of the top Democratic contenders are a woman, a black man, and a Hispanic. This should be interesting.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Insert Bad Turner Pun Here

Garth is a Grit. Woop dee doo. I don't oppose floor crossing. I believe MP's are at least in theory a local representative first and a partisan second. The best MP's in the house fit that description. It's one of the reasons I oppose systems of proportional representation based on party success. Therefore, I do not morally oppose Turner's move to the Grit benches. However, I do think we might have lost our chance to win Halton in the next election. Turner runs as an independent or a Green, he splits the Conservative vote and the Liberals win. Now, Conservatives can run a candidate and talk about a betrayal of trust etc. etc. Turner could win the next election but he's no shoe-in. Garth, I believe you know Belinda and Scott? Welcome to the party. The more the merrier.

Side note: Could all the members of the Green party take themselves off Liblogs? I know not everyone on that list is a card carrying member but if you're a member of another party get your own blog roll. At the end of the day, it's not my decision. Cherniak can do what he wants. It just annoys me to see so much rooting for another party by so-called Liberals.

I'm Seeing Red.... or Orange Again

David Miller is at it again. This time he wants to stop development in the Queen West area. Apparently, the construction of low-income condos will threaten the artists of the community. Mr. Miller's argument is that art can only be created in poor housing. Condos are clearly destroyers of all creativity. When you move into a condo, apparently all you see is ones and zeros. Give me a break! When will this Mayor and his allies learn that the best thing this city is to go dense? New York still has its character and its charm. Oh, and just a little bit of creative capital. Miller has done nothing but hold Toronto back and contribute to urban sprawl. Thank God the OMB is slightly smarter than Miller on this one.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Disheartening Choice

This post is very local. If you don't go to Queen's you really won't care. Queen's University is holding its elections for the executive of its student government, the AMS, tomorrow and Wednesday. My vote is lost as there is no way for students on exchange to vote. However, because I'll read anything that's political, I've been looking at the two teams running this year. I am completely unimpressed. Here's a brief summary of the teams.

: Kingsley Chak et al. provide a laundry list for the voters. The green thing I like but I doubt the AMS' ability to make a difference outside its own offices. They also provide support for things like a video tour of Queen's for incoming students. This is clearly a vote getter for students already at Queen's. Some stuff about making it easier to get involved in the AMS. Unless you work for the AMS, you never think about it.

TPC: Alvin Tedjo et al. are proposing things that they will never be able to do. They propose a revived and expanded flex-card that's just too expensive to get off the ground. Their promise to provide cheap LSAT lessons makes my eyebrows go way up. How exactly do you make it cheaper? How do we pay for it? Any specifics whatsoever? They also want to interfere with the faculty societies which would seem to be overstepping their jurisdiction. Think of Stephen Harper telling Ontario how to run its schools. Like provincial premiers the society presidents will not like the intrusion into their turf.

Common: Mental health is on both platforms. A problem but not something that people are going to go out and vote for. So is the green stuff. The presidential candidates both have losing records. My memory says Chak was acclaimed or beat one horrible candidate for the position he holds on the board of trustees. Tedjo finished last in the ASUS race last year.

In other words, yawn!!! Apparently, the golden cockroach is going to solve the housing issues in the ghetto. Tuition's going up, no discussion. Big report on racism, CMM gives a vague PC paragraph, nothing from TPC. CMM seems to want to be in office to do some housekeeping. TPC has big ideas that won't work. Sigh. There's a campaign out there to spoil ballots. If I could get my hands on mine, I would do it. I don't believe in spoiling ballots normally but this is like choosing between Abercrombie and Fitch. These two teams are so inside the JDUC it's stupid. Voter turn-out will be abysmal. I think there will be a bunch of spoiled ballot for the returning officers to sort through.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Emperor has No Clothes

No, this post is not about Bush or even Harper. This is about Kyoto. Stephane Dion is barking up the Kyoto tree again. This time a resolution in the house. This might be politically savvy. It is also bad policy. I've written about the flaws of Kyoto before. I will simply say that the Kyoto process is dying. The post-Kyoto negotiations are going nowhere. In order to stop global warming, we must engage the entire world. This cannot be a white people plus Japan thing as it is now. The argument that the first world are the major polluters is only valid until a billion Chinese and a billion Indians are driving cars. Dion has credibility on the world stage on this issue. If the Conservatives want to steal our environment policy, let's steal theirs. A "made in Canada" solution is viable but not just for Canada. Let's find a way to engage the Americans, engage the Indians who are currently outside the Kyoto process. Let's see if there's any legitimacy to that whole "honest broker" and "middle power" thing. We can stop global warming. We can't do it through Kyoto. Let's lead the world and find a real solution. Let's give the emperor some clothes.
All views expressed in this blog are those of the author and the author alone. They do not represent the views of any organization, regardless of the author's involvement in any organizations.

All comments are the views of the individual writer. The administrator reserves the right to remove commentary which is offensive.

The author is not responsible for nor does he support any of the advertisements displayed on the page