Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Comments please....

Alright folks....

I invited a few new people to be members of this blog and at least one person has taken to posting, thank you guygoode.

The rest of you need to get on it... Create your own posts or leave comments.

I am very interested in what you might be interested in posting. But, I am really looking forward to reading your comments regarding the postings of your humble host, and the others who are and will eventually begin posting here.

General musings are good, I try to keep it mostly political, but things about Hockey, music, and general pop-culture are A-OK too.

Feel free to reference other blogs also.

My only major ground-rules are these:

-Keep it mostly family friendly language. The occasional f-bomb, or other words are OK as long as it is in context and adds to understanding or honest emotion.

-If you want to dispute something posted, respond in the comments to that post. A fresh post in response to or in refutation of a previous post is not accepted and will be removed. Keep the disputes behind the cabinet (comment) doors, thanks.

-Some of us (myself included) post under pseudonyms, there's a reason, so please don't reference our names if you know them.

-Tell some others about this site.

Enjoy, and happy blogging.


"Western Europe lay beneath a chilling overlay of large red mushroom clouds..."

Poland's newly elected government threw open its top secret Warsaw Pact military archives, including a 1979 map revealing the Soviet bloc's vision of a seven-day atomic holocaust between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces.

Bush was right

Truth guised as music.

CBC's Don Newman - Looks like a Muppet?


I really mean no offense by making this post. I really like what Don Newman does in his show. He really raises many good issues and creates a great climate of debate and discourse on politics that I think is essential to our democracy.

But, seriously, every time I see him speak on TV I can't help but notice that his top lip doesn't move.....

He really looks like a muppet.

I do like his journalism and I absolutely mean no offense by my post here. Just the observation of your humble host.

Don, if you ever read this post, thanks for what you do. If you want, I will remove this post. Heck, I will even apologise on the air to you.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Harper's Gaffe or non-Gaffe?

So, today Harper said a Conservative Party government would re-open the same-sex marriage debate.

Calgary Grit has a good post on this issue and I think he gets the analysis right on the strategery on this move.

I think the impact of this statement is directly proportionate to the amount of media attention it gets. I think it really only has any effect on those for whom this issue is paramount, people like me.... It will either solidify support for or opposition to Harper. It is a wedge issue, but it is not as powerful here as it is south of the 49th.

But.... if it were possible to get a group of protesters to dog Harper at every turn, turning the issue into a human rights issue, I think it could keep the issue at the fore-front of the campaign and in the media. With a little luck, it could become the issue of the campaign.....

Anyone willing to pay me 2 months salary to organize this?


BTW I get paid currently in USD$.

Distant from the details

With the Canadian federal election coming up, how could anyone be talking about Bush right now? When Powell's former chief of staff calls him "a moron, an idiot, or a nefarious bastard".

Stephen Harper on the Same Sex Marriage Issue...

This is an MP3 of his comments on Parliament Hill today regarding the question of preserving or relinquishing Same Sex Marriage Rights.

I know it works in RealPlayer as I listened to it that way.

My question is, he says that they will try to roll it back if that is the will of the House, and then in the same breath says that those same sex marriages that exist presently will not be nullified... How nice!


Rick Mercer is a funny guy...

and he's got funny readers.

Check out the Chretien photoshops here and here....

A. (laughing) Liberal.

Holy Crap! | U.S. condemns Emirates' mass arrest of gays

I am not surprised that the U.S. is condemning this practice, but I am sure Dr. James Dobson is pissed off that the U.S. would come to the aid of such people. In fact, maybe he's taking notes on just how to deal with these "sinners".

I am just stunned that such a thing actually happens in this day and age.....


Swiftboating - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brought to my attention during a perusal of Joshua Micah Marshall's Talking Points Memo, wikipedia now has an entry for the term Swifboating.

Interestingly, it is currently locked for editing in order to protect it against vandalism. Boy the truth really hurts the right wing attack machine, doesn't it!?

Wikipedia opens a huge door for revisionism doesn't it?


Latest column and posting by Warren Kinsella

Warren Kinsella's latest thoughts....

Can a political party win by losing?

In the election campaign that effectively begins today, that is the question many Liberals are asking themselves. And, in quiet moments, many of them are concluding that losing power – not for a long time, but long enough – would be a good thing.

As a former senior Liberal cabinet minister told me just last week: “We need renewal. We need new people, we need new ideas, and we need the kind of things that can only come with some time in the penalty box. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but we need to lose.”

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Liberal Party of Canada is broken. Beset by a paucity of ideas and energy, struggling with mounting debt and scandals, riven by infighting and division, despairing of an ineffective cabinet and a dithering leader, the formerly great party of Pearson and Trudeau and Chrétien is great no more. Its soul is lost.

No better recent example of this can be found than in the sad drama that unfolded in the past few days in the Toronto riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. For more than a decade, the riding had been ably represented by Jean Augustine – an honest, respected woman of colour who would have easily won re-election in 2006. But last week, as Ms. Augustine cried in the national Liberal caucus, disbelieving Members of Parliament learned that she was “stepping aside.” Having endured nearly two years of bullying by Paul Martin’s aides, few believed that Ms. Augustine was doing so willingly.

This week, Liberals in Etobicoke-Lakeshore witnessed the astonishing spectacle of hard-working local Grits being excluded from the process – literally denied entry to party headquarters, whilst Mr. Martin’s minions inside ignored their pleas to open the doors. And, shortly thereafter, the locked-out Liberals learned in the media that Ms. Augustine’s successor had already been decided – a white man and foreign resident named Michael Ignatieff.

The Globe and Mail and a few members of Toronto’s brie-and-chardonnay chattering classes have been championing Mr. Ignatieff for many months, now, talking him up as a successor to Mr. Martin. Despite the fact that Mr. Ignatieff has not lived in Canada for more than two decades – despite the fact he supports George W. Bush’s illegal war in Iraq, opposition to which remains one of Jean Chrétien’s most popular legacies – Mr. Martin and his bunkered circle of advisors were undeterred.

Mr. Ignatieff, a Harvard University professor and author, arguably possesses an impressive curriculum vitae, as do many of the other rumoured aspirants to the Liberal Party crown – among them former New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna, former Minister of Justice Martin Cauchon, or former Ontario Premier (and former NDP member) Bob Rae. All of these impressive men (no women among them so far, another telling indicator of the Liberal Party’s state of disrepair) would be laudable candidates for leadership.

But – and I say this as one who possesses no enthusiasm whatsoever for Mr. Martin’s leadership nor the insular group around him – what the Liberal Party needs is much more than a leadership race. A leadership race will not attract the sorts of things the Liberal Party of Canada desperately needs: new ideas, new approaches, new people and a new generation of leadership. What Liberals need is not just a new leader – what Liberals need is a new Liberal Party.

Power, which Liberals have been privileged to wield since 1993, tends to have a corrosive effect on political parties. Cabinet ministers and Parliamentary secretaries start spending more time in Ottawa than in their ridings; senior staff and Parliamentarians socialize with deputy ministers instead of local mayors and community leaders; the opinions of national media columnists take on a greater significance than the voices raised in town hall meetings and church basements.

In time, Liberals (and, before that, Conservatives) find that they have lost touch with the people they were hired to represent. They start to make mistakes, as they did again in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. They become, in effect, what they were sent to Ottawa to change.

Thus the Liberal Party of Canada, circa 2005 A.D. Dispirited, disliked and divided in much of the country – and spared the loss of power only by the fact that their principal adversaries are (for now) distrusted by many female voters. Too many Liberals confuse the Conservatives’ continuing inability to win an election with enthusiasm for the alternative. One day – and one day soon, I believe – the Conservative Party will attract the support of enough Canadians, and Liberals will bitterly rue the day they forsook renewal.

Some Liberals, and all of Paul Martin’s sect, will dismiss all of this as the carping of an exiled Chrétien-era Liberal, naturally. That is their way. Their cloistered arrogance – their near-total inability to make out the country that lies beyond the Parliamentary precinct – led to the loss of Mr. Chrétien’s majority and, a few weeks hence, will further reduce the dimensions their listing, listless minority government. Their opinion, at long last, counts for nothing.

For the rest of us, however – for a majority of Canadians and, I believe, for a silent number of traditional Liberals – we know that an election loss would be a good thing. For the country, and for a once-great political party, too.

I think he is thinking exactly what I am thinking, though he has much more disdain for Martin than I. I am just simply disappointed in PM the PM.

The game begins....


Monday, November 28, 2005

Stephen Harper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stephen Harper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Wikipedia entry for Harper says the following...

"In Parliament, Harper became known as a staunch fiscal conservative and federalist but was moderate on social values issues; for instance, he was one of only two Reform MPs to vote in favour of the Canadian gun registry."

Not so sure about the "moderate on social values issues" entry, I haven't seen much evidence of that in the last little while.

But the main reason I bring this up is that he seems to have voted for the Gun Control Registry. I cannot find it in Hansard, but my capabilities in that regard are somewhat rudimentary, I am looking to find somewhere or perhaps someone who can confirm this fact. Is his name listed in Hansard as voting in favour of the legislation?

Kinda makes it tough to lambaste the Liberals on this if your leader supported it during his first go-around in Parliament huh?

Or does it?


Philosopher King Watch continued....

CBC News: High-profile Liberal, NDP candidates step forward in Toronto

And there you have it.

My gut instinct is that while he'd take a cabinet post in a Martin government, he would likely be more interested in being the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Cut your teeth out of government and then sweep to power. I think Ignatieff sniffs both of these possibilities and perhaps relishes the latter.

Just my thoughts.


Friday, November 25, 2005 - Michael Taube - History on Harper's side - Michael Taube - History on Harper's side


I might even be comfortable with that for a short time. The BQ are sufficiently progressive/liberal for me to be assured that the country wouldn't take a hard-right turn with Harper at the helm in this type of arrangement. They did almost kiss last summer (Duceppe and Harper) after all....

It's almost like the country has a natural urge to purge... after 12 years of Liberal rule, it needs a cleansing - to wash out the old Liberals in order to then turn around and re-elect them as the "new Liberals" under Ignatieff or someone else.

After 12 years with Trudeau as PM Canada opted for Joe's minority PC's, then inadvertantly we ended up with the same guy again for 4 years. Then in 1984 we elected Mulroney, had him and his bunch for 9 years and then felt sufficiently convinced that they had done a poor job, and we had the bills to prove it (albeit some from Trudeau's era too), we were also sufficiently convinced that the Chretien Liberals were different enough from the Trudeau Liberals to give them the keys to the House.... Which leads us to now.... We need to be convinced that Martin's Liberals are different enough from the Chretien Liberals, and so far we haven't been convinced.

If he (PM the PM) wins a majority this time, I will be surprised, happy but surprised. What he really needs is to get some daylight between his Liberals and the Sponsorship debacle, 3-4 years of a majority would get him there.

If he does not get a majority, either Taube's prediction will come to be and Martin will get to play the role of Leader of the Opposition, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Or Canada will have another Liberal minority gov't (hello Captain Obvious) which will further frustrate the electorate, and will result in backroom calls for Martin's ouster as leader.

I know that's a bold prediction, but I just can't see Martin recovering with any credibility should he sit again as a minority PM.

So yes, I am sticking my neck out on this one.

A. (clairvoyant) Liberal

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Philosopher King watch....

CalgaryGrit: Ignatieff Running

Calgary Grit made this post on Ignatieff's stated intentions... overheard at a University of Calgary Liberal Association Fundraiser Grit attended.

Good observations cobbled together from a number of sources.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Alberta the Good

This Magazine: Alberta the Good

Until today, I had not heard of This Magazine. Too bad, because my impressions during my first read are quite good. I like that they are willing to hold people accountable regardless of political stripe (read the article on Canadian Steamship Lines) and yet they can also praise the good that a province like right-leaning Alberta has done (and continues to do).

This article does a nice job presenting an overview of Alberta's past and present, albeit from a progressive/liberal perspective.

Well done.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Bravo Ralph!

The Globe and Mail: Klein announces $20-million in education for entire country

I have to call it as I see it. This is definitely a step in the right direction for Ralph Klein.

The best case scenario is that it quiets down some of Alberta's loudest critics - those who think the enormous energy windfall should be shared. At worst, it could be considered not enough.

The bottom line is 325 students from across Canada will be getting $2005 to put toward their tuition bill, every year for eternity. At least that is how I understand "endowment". So, good for him and good for his government.

I am not blindly partisan that I cannot praise even Ralph.

A.L. - Fundraising cap urged by Liberals - Fundraising cap urged by Liberals

I wholeheartedly agree with this proposal. This will head-off US-style 527 groups in Canada. While the NCC has done a nice job going after the Liberals, and you can bet there'd be groups going after the CPC if they were in power, it is important that the electoral process be dominated by those actually seeking office.

Citizens should have the power to participate and influence the political process, and they do, through supporting the candidate of their choice in their own riding or by supporting the national party of their choice with time, talent or treasure.

This legislation strikes a nice balance, putting everyone on an equal footing by limiting the donations at the same levels as donations to political parties.

It's a shame they didn't tack this onto the original campaign finance legislation.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Give it to 'em Paul!

The Globe and Mail: Martin rebukes Bush at APEC over trade

Way to go PM the PM! You tell him! Seems like an open and shut case to me, can't have liberal trade if you won't honour the agreement's rules nor the arbitration panel set up by the agreement!

While you're at it maybe you could try to talk to him about Iraq. Explain that there were no Ws of MD, no connections to Al Qaeda, and that there are more tare-rists there now, than before the US invaded.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Yo-yo redux...

The Globe and Mail: PM's party snaps back

Again, we have the Canadian electorate yo-yo...

While this poll does present the Liberals with a statistical lead, it doesn't take long to figure out that this also means they could be virtually tied. Shave 3.1 percentage points off (the margin of error) the Liberal numbers and we're at 31.9% and then add that to the CPC numbers and they bump up to 31.1%.

So, really has much changed? The Liberals do have a .8% statistical lead, but in our system, one had better hope that support is concentrated in enough places to eke out a win.


Monday, November 07, 2005

The Globe and Mail: Layton opens door to election

The Globe and Mail: Layton opens door to election

Uh oh!

Here we go. Hang on, the next little while is gonna be bumpy.

My question is, what does Layton think he will gain from this? A few more seats in the House, and playing angry socialist opposition to Harper's neo-con goons in government? Add to that the fact that if the CPC wins, then it is likely that the Liberals are the Loyal Opposition and the NDP will still trail the Bloc as the 4th party in the Commons.

It will be a raucous next week.

A.waiting Liberal.