Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday Night Massacre

I wonder why the Tories did this now? What other event is going on that would obscure their cowardly action? Bastards.
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Nation I Can Get Behind

Since the Parliament of Canada now seems to be in the business of designating groups as nations, I have started a petition to bestow that status on a real nation. I am of course talking about the "Colbert Nation", the true fans of the greatest television journalist working today, Stephen Colbert. Sign the petition. We are a nation, proud and strong. Let's get the government to recognize the truthiness of our uniqueness.

Update: Read the Colbert Nation Covenant. It is truly awe inspiring.

Update 2: For those who believe such resolutions are meaningless, read this. The Premier of Quebec is floating the idea that he will use the "Quebecois as nation" resolution as an argument for more power for Quebec, before the courts -- and HE IS A FEDERALIST! Imagine what a separatist premier would do with it.
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Random Thoughts On London North Centre

The NDP finished fourth. Jack had better get used to it. Also, are Canadians ready for a "majority government" elected with 35% of the vote?
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Monday, November 27, 2006

By His Own Words He Condemns Himself

Question: Can you — to follow up on Hélène's question, just to make it very, very clear, especially to my readers at The Gazette, when you talk about les Québécois does it include every resident of Quebec regardless of which boat their ancestors came over on?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon: No, it doesn't. It doesn't. Let's be clear on this. Four hundred years ago, four hundred years ago when Champlain stepped off and onto the shores in Quebec City he of course spoke about les Canadiens. Then as the debate went on on parlait des Canadiens français. Et au Québec on parle des Québécois maintenant qui occupent cette terre-là, Amérique. Il est fort possible — non seulement il est fort possible, il est tout à fait évident qu'il y ait des Canadiens français qui demeurent à l'extérieur du Québec, qui demeurent en Ontario, qui demeurent au Nouveau-Brunswick, qui demeurent partout au pays. Et donc dans ce sens-là nous on a répliqué à la motion que le Bloc québécois a mise de l'avant, une motion qui a dit singulièrement les Québécois et les Québécoises forment une nation. On dit, oui, ils forment une nation et à deux reprises, plus à quatre occasions, à l'occasion d'élections ils ont manifesté leur attachement au Canada. Ce soir, cette résolution-là, après 40 ans, est en train de reconnaître les décisions qui ont été entérinées à plusieurs occasions par des Québécois et des Québécoises de dire nous on fait partie du Canada. Nous on continue de construire le Canada. Et c'est ce que cette résolution-là formellement dit ce soir.

Question: Je ne suis pas une descendante de monsieur Champlain et tous ceux qui n'ont pas des noms canadiens-français ne sont pas des Québécois selon votre définition.

L'hon. Lawrence Cannon: Non, pas du tout, madame Buzzetti.

Question: Il y a plein de gens qui sont arrivés (inaudible).

L'hon. Lawrence Cannon: Non, non, mais pas — et moi aussi parce que ma famille est débarquée en 1795. Est-ce que je me considère comme étant un Québécois? Oui, je me considère comme étant un Québécois et ceux qui se considèrent comme étant des Québécois ils peuvent bien le porter. Mais je ne pense pas qu'il y ait question de forcer quelqu'un qui ne se sent pas comme étant un Québécois qui doit être nécessairement lié à cette chose-là et ça c'est le dilemme dans lequel le Bloc québécois s'est toujours trouvé. D'une part faire reconnaître par l'Assemblée nationale l'intégrité du territoire et d'autre part dire que les Québécois ou les Quebecers comme vous dites font partie de ce territoire-là c'est faux parce qu'il y a des gens qui fondamentalement ont opté pour le Canada et c'est ce que nous reconnaissons ce soir. Quand on a demandé au Bloc québécois d'accepter cette chose-là c'est ce qu'ils acceptent tacitement, que les Québécois font partie de la nation canadienne dans un effort d'unité nationale et c'est ce qu'on reconnaît.

I love the way he answers the question "Does it include every resident of Quebec regardless of which boat their ancestors came over on?" With "No,it doesn't" and then he denies saying just that later on.

Question: (Inaudible) Montrealers why they're not Québécois.

Hon. Lawrence Cannon: I didn't say that.

Question: Well, you said that it doesn't — you said it doesn't apply to people that aren't French.

Hon. Lawrence Cannon: I didn't say that they're not Québécois.

Man, this is the most fucked up government I have ever seen. They should resign en masse. The problem is, why would anyone want to vote for any of the parties? They are all lower than toejam.
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The New Three Wise Men

Chong, Dryden and Kennedy. Real Canadian leaders for the twenty first century. Thank you all, gentlemen.
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Ken Dryden Speaks For Me And My Nation

Ken Dryden Quebec Nation Statement in the House
Declaration Chambre des communes
(francais suit)

Quebec as a Nation - Speech in the House

This feels wrong to me.

It felt wrong when the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party passed its resolution.

It felt wrong when passionate, worried debate rose up across the country.

It began to feel even more wrong when last week the Bloc presented its motion.

It didn't feel less wrong, but it felt more hopeful, as if the worst might pass, when the Government then presented its counter-motion.

It began to feel fundamentally, irredeemably wrong when the Bloc announced it would support the Government's motion, saying that "Canada will become the first country to officially recognize the Quebec nation," and that "there will be many other countries that will recognize the nation of Quebec and the country of Quebec."

My country is more than this.

Canada is centuries and centuries of aboriginal peoples, their respectful relationship to the land, their culture and history.

Canada is French and English, struggling to survive a hard, new world, to make a life for themselves; different in language, culture, religion and law, struggling to live with each other. And making it.

Canada is people from almost everywhere, coming here, changing us and themselves in ways exciting and unknown.

Canada is immense resources, unimaginable possibilities - our future still in the making, still in the becoming.

Canada is a great global experiment. A true global society that works in the only way our global world of the future can work.

Canada matters. It matters to me, it matters to us, it matters to the world.

So when we deal with constitutional change, with things that lay out what we are and shape our future, it matters. It matters a lot. Meech Lake and Charlottetown, agree with them or not, we examined, we debated, we took time. Meech Lake and Charlottetown felt serious.

This feels wrong because it doesn't feel as serious as it must be.

It feels like games - bad, manipulative, opportunistic games. Political games. Box somebody into a corner so they say or do something they don't want to say or do just to get out of the corner. Just to save face. For them to box the other guy into saying and doing the same. So we all save face, and all get into a bigger box - a bigger box called "the future." Except that box is somebody else's.

And all of these games, these manipulations aren't really about now. They are about creating the slippery slope for later.

And the public has learned to accept most things political, but not this. The stakes are too high. "This is my country," the public says. "You have gotten yourself into this, but why should I join you. And why should I let you do this to me. This is my country."

This is pure politics. All this started with the ludicrous concept of having a debate fundamental to the country based on different understandings of the word "nation." In the last few days, it has deteriorated into the ludicrous reality of such a debate in practice.

To those who want to engage the debate honestly, seeking definitional clarity - forget it. Other parties to the debate want none of it. They want to say "nation" means whatever they want it to mean, now and to change definition whenever they decide they want it to mean something different. So they can go to the public and argue and spin, and try to achieve by misunderstanding what they can't by understanding.

When I first arrived in Montreal, it was the pride of Quebecers that struck me. The whole world's being taken over by the English language, American culture; Quebecers had no chance. But they said no, not me, not here. I know what I am. And that's who I'm going to be. Forever.

And Quebecers know who they are. They've had to. They couldn't have made it if they didn't. They don't need any official definers to tell them. And some day we, all Canadians, will get down on paper what Canada really is, what Quebec really is, what together we have made ourselves to be. But it won't happen this way. It can't happen this way.

Does the Bloc really want to engage Canadians outside Quebec so they will agree that "Quebec is a nation"? Not at all. They want the process to be so inappropriate that all such Canadians will reject the question. To grease that slippery slope, so that Canadians inside Quebec will reject those outside Quebec, and the Bloc's cause of independence will be advanced.

The pawn in this game is the public. As Canadians, we feel deeply about our country. Politicians and political advocates for decades have been playing games with our emotions, manipulating them for their/our own purposes. They/we have completely poisoned the well of discussion and debate on this question. No side trusts any other, no citizen trusts any politician.

Though it doesn't seem this way, the problem isn't really the language of French and English - it is the language of spin and manipulation and bigger agendas. Neither the Government's motion nor the resolution of the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party will do anything except create greater division and distrust.

My country, Canada, is more than this.

For me: no precise language, no precise understandings, no time and mechanism to work this through, no clarity - no support.

The Government motion should be defeated

Hat tip to Warren K.
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A New Hope

Gerard Kennedy is the only politician in the country that gets it. If he wins next week, I will vote Liberal. If not, I probably won't vote at all.
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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Just Say No

Warren K. has started a petition to support those MP's who are thinking of voting against the "Nation Motion". Go sign it at
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The Provincialist Manifesto

Thanks to Robert at My Blahg for posting Stephen Harper's "Firewall Letter". This letter, written while Harper was head of the National Citizen's Coalition, needs to be revisited, in the light of his most recent initiatives. It is clear, in this letter and in his actions, that Harper sees Canada as a highly decentralized grouping of semi-autonomous states with the Canadian government relegated to, printing money and fighting foreign wars. The "Firewall Letter" is, in effect, the Provincialist Manifesto. Under Harper's vision, there would be no national daycare program, no medicare. In fact there would be no national vision of social programs at all (except of course in Quebec, which we all now know is a nation). This is a not a vision for the nation of Canada, because, it is clear, Harper does not believe such a nation exists. Harper is the ultimate provincialist and he and his grand provincialist "vision" must be turfed as soon as possible. Just as Canadians soundly defeated this idea in the Charlottetown referendum, we must rise up again and tell our political masters that we don't want this non-Canada, Canada. We are one people, one nation -- not 13 peoples and 13 nations.
Dear Premier Klein:

During and since the recent federal election, we have been among a large number of Albertans discussing the future of our province. We are not dismayed by the outcome of the election so much as by the strategy employed by the current federal government to secure its re-election. In our view, the Chretien government undertook a series of attacks not merely designed to defeat its partisan opponents, but to marginalize Alberta and Albertans within Canada’s political system. One well-documented incident was the attack against Alberta’s health care system. To your credit, you vehemently protested the unprecedented attack ads that the federal government launched against Alberta’s policies – policies the Prime Minister had previously found no fault with.

However, while your protest was necessary and appreciated by Albertans, we believe that it is not enough to respond only with protests. If the government in Ottawa concludes that Alberta is a soft target, we will be subjected to much worse than dishonest television ads. The Prime Minister has already signaled as much by announcing his so called “tough love” campaign for the West. We believe the time has come for Albertans to take greater charge of our own future. This means resuming control of the powers that we possess under the constitution of Canada but that we have allowed the federal government to exercise. Intelligent use of these powers will help Alberta build a prosperous future in spite of a misguided and increasingly hostile government in Ottawa.

Under the heading of the “Alberta Agenda,” we propose that our province move forward on the following fronts:

• Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan to create an Alberta Pension Plan offering the same benefits at lower cost while giving Alberta control over the investment fund. Pensions are a provincial responsibility under section 94A of the Constitution Act. 1867; and the legislation setting up the Canada Pension Plan permits a province to run its own plan, as Quebec has done from the beginning. If Quebec can do it, why not Alberta?

• Collect our own revenue from personal income tax, as we already do for corporate income tax. Now that your government has made the historic innovation of the single-rate personal income tax, there is no reason to have Ottawa collect our revenue. Any incremental cost of collecting our own personal income tax would be far outweighed by the policy flexibility that Alberta would gain, as Quebec’s experience has shown.

• Start preparing now to let the contract with the RCMP run out in 2012 and create an Alberta Provincial Police Force. Alberta is a major province. Like the other major provinces of Ontario and Quebec, we should have our own provincial police force. We have no doubt that Alberta can run a more efficient and effective police force than Ottawa can – one that will not be misused as a laboratory for experiments in social engineering.

• Resume provincial responsibility for health-care policy. If Ottawa objects to provincial policy, fight in the courts. If we lose, we can afford the financial penalties that Ottawa may try to impose under the Canada Health Act. Albertans deserve better than the long waiting periods and technological backwardness that are rapidly coming to characterize Canadian medicine. Alberta should also argue that each province should raise its own revenue for health care – i.e., replace Canada Health and Social Transfer cash with tax points as Quebec has argued for many years. Poorer provinces would continue to rely on Equalization to ensure they have adequate revenues.

• Use section 88 of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Quebec Secession Reference to force Senate reform back onto the national agenda. Our reading of that decision is that the federal government and other provinces must seriously consider a proposal for constitutional reform endorsed by “a clear majority on a clear question” in a provincial referendum. You acted decisively once before to hold a senatorial election. Now is the time to drive the issue further.

All of these steps can be taken using the constitutional powers that Alberta now possesses. In addition, we believe it is imperative for you to take all possible political and legal measures to reduce the financial drain on Alberta caused by Canada’s tax-and-transfer system. The most recent Alberta Treasury estimates are that Albertans transfer $2,600 per capita annually to other Canadians, for a total outflow from our province approaching $8 billion a year. The same federal politicians who accuse us of not sharing their “Canadian values” have no compunction about appropriating our Canadian dollars to buy votes elsewhere in the country.

Mr. Premier, we acknowledge the constructive reforms that your government made in the 1990s – balancing the budget, paying down the provincial debt, privatizing government services, getting Albertans off welfare and into jobs, introducing a single-rate tax, pulling government out of the business of subsidizing business, and many other beneficial changes. But no government can rest on its laurels. An economic slowdown, and perhaps even recession, threatens North America, the government in Ottawa will be tempted to take advantage of Alberta’s prosperity, to redistribute income from Alberta to residents of other provinces in order to keep itself in power. It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.

Once Alberta’s position is secured, only our imagination will limit the prospects for extending the reform agenda that your government undertook eight years ago. To cite only a few examples, lower taxes will unleash the energies of the private sector, easing conditions for Charter Schools will help individual freedom and improve public education, and greater use of the referendum and initiative will bring Albertans into closer touch with their own government.

The precondition for the success of this Alberta Agenda is the exercise of all our legitimate provincial jurisdictions under the constitution of Canada. Starting to act now will secure the future for all Albertans.

Sincerely yours,
Stephen HARPER, President, National Citizens’ Coalition;
Tom FLANAGAN, professor of political science and former Director of Research, Reform Party of Canada;
Ted MORTON, professor of political science and Alberta Senator-elect;
Rainer KNOPFF, professor of political science;
Andrew CROOKS, chairman, Canadian Taxpayers Federation;
Ken BOESSENKOOL, former policy adviser to Stockwell Day, Treasurer of Alberta.
Update: Wanted: One federal party that believes in one Canada.
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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Living In A Looking Glass World

I am now officially living in Wonderland. I must be. I now find myself on the same side as both Tom Axworthy and Michael Bliss. Don't get me wrong, both have first class minds with vast knowledge of the history of the constitution. I just never, ever, thought I would agree with them about anything. I guess if you live long enough, anything is possible. From Tom Axworthy:
"We are being drawn willy-nilly into the dead end of constitutional negotiations."
From Michael Bliss:
Oh, come on Bliss. Lighten up. Who cares if political games are being played here. Does it really matter? No one's proposing to reopen the constitution. No one's proposing to give Quebec special status. It's all just symbolism. It doesn't mean anything in the real world. If it keeps the Quebecers quiet and happy, why worry? Isn't Stephen Harper clever?

The near-criminal recklessness of this position lies in everything we have known about separatist/nationalist politics in Quebec over the last 40 years. Are Quebecers going to be happy to be recognized as a nation within Canada if that recognition doesn't mean anything? If it doesn't confer anything? If it's meaningless?

Of course they aren't. Remember the hypocrisies of Meech Lake and Charlottetown? What the rest of Canada will be told is meaningless symbolism, will be sold in Quebec as profoundly significant. Significant because it gives Quebec special recognition within Canada. Every Quebec premier will use the recognition of "nationhood" to argue for special status, special powers, and, in the case of separatists, to insist upon logical consequence of ethnic/civic nationhood, which is the right of self-determination leading to independence.
My God, I couldn't have said it better myself, if I sat here and typed for a hundred years. Neither of these gentlemen writes anything that should be a surprise to anyone who was around for Meech and Charltottetown. What they are predicting is as plain to see as day following night. We are heading down a brightly lit, familiar tunnel, but a tunnel none the less.
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Friday, November 24, 2006

A Motion Even Separatists Can Love

Thanks to all our federalist parties for creating a motion to recognize Quebec as a nation. It was such a smashing success that the BQ has decided to support it. Don't let that trouble you. I am sure it means nothing. Go back to sleep, now.
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The "Nation Motion": The Provincialists Speak

To those who still cling to the hope that the motion before parliament will have no consequences for the nation, I invite you to read Lorne Gunter's reaction. Mr. Gunter writes:
As Andrew Coyne put it in Thursday's National Post, Harper's speech in the House of Commons marked the final "hollowing out of the national idea," the death of "a vision of Canada as a coherent national entity, capable of acting with a single national purpose."

Yeah, so? I have never been keen on the idea that Canada and its parts should think and speak as one unified, centralized whole. And I have never understood how those who insist our strength lies in cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity cannot accept that it lies in our regional diversity, too. One-size-fits-all national standards and social programs simply cannot work in a country as large and dispersed as Canada.

If Harper's Wednesday motion killed this "national project" view of Canada, so be it.

Instead, what bothers me (obviously) is the way setting Quebec above or apart from the rest of the provinces frees it to act on its own, while all the rest of us remain consigned to the "single national purpose" dumpster.(emphasis mine)
The "single national purpose dumpster". There you have it. The idea of a Canadian nation is now viewed as worthy of the dumpster. Think that the idea of "nation" will be meaningless and confined to Quebec? Think again. Be prepared for the provinces to begin lining up for more power and money as befits the nations that make up the geographic space that was Canada.

Mr. Harper is getting a lot of advice from Brian Mulroney. With this motion that advice is showing through. We are headed for Meech/Charlottetown 3.
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Words Are Just Words Until They Move The World

Watch this (especially around the 21:20 mark), or listen to this and ask yourself a) doesn't this all sound familiar and b)Where are the voices who speak for Canada now? Make no mistake, the same forces of provincialism Trudeau is denouncing, are loose upon our country during this current fiasco. If you don't believe me, take a look at Mario Dumont's reaction (or Ted Morton's for that matter) to Harper's move. What is missing today is someone with the guts to say NO! We are one nation!

I keep hearing that what Harper (and let's face it the whole political class in Canada) has done is no big deal. "Calling Quebec a nation doesn't mean anything anyway", is the common refrain. Well why do it then? Do you think Quebecers are stupid? Do you think they (or more importantly their politicians) will accept a meaningless motion? No, this will be used as a club wielded by provincial politicians who want more power. For this is about power, in the long run and who has it.

This also about competing visions of Canada. One is the traditional view of Canada as one nation, with a strong central government, made up of diverse regions. The other is one based on a smaller Canada, a mute Canada, a Canada that is nothing more than a loose collection of semi-autonomous "nations", a United Nations of a country if you will. I for one don't want to live in the Untied Nations. I want to live in Canada. One nation. The greatest nation and country in the world.
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This Is What We Lost Yesterday

From Pierre Trudeau's speech at the repatriation ceremony for the Constitution, 1982:
The Canadian ideal which we have tried to live, with varying degrees of success and failure for a hundred years, is really an act of defiance against the history of mankind. Had this country been founded upon a less noble vision, or had our forefathers surrendered to the difficulties of building this nation, Canada would have been torn apart long ago. It should not surprise us, therefore, that even now we sometimes feel the pull of those old reflexes of mutual fear and distrust.
We are about to embrace that "less noble vision". We are unilaterally "surrendering to the difficulties of building this nation".
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Oh My God, They Killed Canada! You Bastards!

It is a rare day when Andrew Coyne, the Star's editorial board and myself agree about anything, but today is that day. Recognizing Quebec as a "nation", even "within Canada", is a disaster waiting to happen. It legitimizes the old idea that ethnic nationalism trumps civic nationalism (that ethnic nationalism is the only "real" nationalism), that Trudeau fought against his whole life. I never liked Trudeau, for many reasons, but I always agreed with him on this issue (as did the NDP at that time). Ethnic nationalism was the cause of most of the bloody history of the last 200 years. Whenever you get ethnicity trumping civic rights, you are bound to have "winners" and "losers" decided by genetic lottery. Why anyone would rush to endorse such an obviously bad idea, is beyond me.

I have to admit, I have been very uneasy about the NDP's drift in the direction of supporting this concept over the past few years. It is based on the idea that the party can make gains in Quebec by swallowing their vision for a "national" enclave in Canada. My agreement with the party over a myriad of other issues kept my unease in check. No longer. I find myself, for the first time in my life, party-less. There is no party in Canada that represents a progressive worldview with a dedication to civic nationalism. There is no party that speaks for me, or Coyne or the good folks at the Star. We are orphans in a "country" that is not a real "nation". I guess Lucien Bouchard was right all along. Pity.

Update: Oh yeah, what Wells said, too.
It is telling that only one nation was discussed in the House of Commons today, and it was the nation most Canadians don't live in. Apparently most of us don't deserve a nation. Certainly we don't seem to deserve a prime minister who names our nation for us. And if you don't like today's events in the Commons, you pretty much have to lump it, don't you: Vote Tory, NDP or Liberal, it's all pretty much of a muchness, because none of them can name a nation worth defending except Quebec
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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Income Splitting

Andrew Coyne writing about the "fairness" of income splitting:
Is income-splitting unfair to singles? A couple earns $100,000. A single person earns $100,000. Income-splitting would benefit one but not the other. Shouldn’t they pay the same of tax? No, of course not. Horizontal equity requires that we treat like as like. But a single person and a couple aren’t in similar circumstances. The couple has $100,000 to spend between them. The single gets to spend it all on himself. He thus has more discretionary income -- the amount left over after basic living expenses -- out of which to pay his taxes. It’s only fair he pays more.
What about a single father paying child support, which would be a much more common occurance given our divorce rates? It seems to me that people in that position would cry foul. Look, I don't want to dismiss this idea out of hand, because there is some merit to it. However, it is a very expensive proposition and I haven't noticed the Canadian people crying for $5 billion in cuts to federal spending. What we need is a rational discussion about this (what about caps or making this move toward fairness revenue neutral?). What we don't need is more propaganda.
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Monday, November 20, 2006

Unique Trade Strategy

Psycho Steve from yesterday's newser:
Mr. Harper, however, was unapologetic about the state of affairs and indicated that a more engaged relationship under the Liberals didn't help much in opening doors to Canadian business.

"Presently, we run a massive trade deficit with China. The fact of the matter is that neglecting human rights hasn't opened a lot of doors either, so obviously we don't think you get anywhere by short-changing your values."
O..K.., I guess the best way to address our trade deficit with China is to attack them publicly on human rights. I think that's what he was saying. Or, he may have meant he didn't care about hurting our relationship with China because we will never improve our trade position anyway, so why try? I call this "Steve's Kyoto Strategy".

Look, I have no problem with Steve talking to the Chinese about human rights. Steve's sin, for all his supposed "strategic brilliance", is to telegraph it ahead of time, and in public. I am sure it makes Steve feel like "a real man", but if it does nothing to acheive Canadian foreign and trade policies (whatever they are these days), let alone human rights in China, it is merely an autoerotic exercise on Harper's part. Grow up Steve. You are in the big leagues now, pal.

Update (the Foreign Minister weighs in): Peter MacKay, bringing all the interpersonal relations skills that has made his personal life so successful, commented:
"They need us," Mr. MacKay said. "They are very interested in doing business in this country."
Translation: "I treats countries like I treats women. Tough love man, the ladies just love it. They always crawl back for more sweet, sweet, Petie".
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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Totally, Mindblowingly, Awesome

I just got finished playing tennis with my younger son, on the system my older son waited in line all night to get. All I can say is, I have seen the future and it is Wii.
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Harper Hears A Hu

News item: Harper Meets Chinese Leader Hu Spokesman Says It Was 'Frank and Constructive' Chinese Claim It Was 'Very Brief'

We at the Sinister News Service have obtained the transcript of the meeting:

Harper: Hey You!

Hu: Wong, who is this?

Wong: It is Stephen Harper of Canada, the one they call "Psycho Steve".

Harper: You wanna fight, you slanty eyed cocksucker? You got one of my boys locked up and I want him now. Ha, we tossed one of yours out the country. What do you think of that? Eh, eh?

Hu: Wong, tell Mr. Harper he is holding up the buffet line and to kindly move. Oh, and tell him to have a good day.
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My heartfelt condolences goes out to Ed Broadbent, as he mourns the loss of his beloved wife Lucille.
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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Enough Politics....This Is The Really Big Story Today!

Guess who is going to play Hiro's father on Heroes? I am in geek heaven. This has made my week.
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Who Are You Lookin' At?

Our foreign policy, under Psycho Steve, can be compared to a bar-drunk at closing time. We seem to be moving from one table to another, looking for a brawl. Steve seems so have an endless list of countries "He hassss beeen wwwanting too tell offf fer a llong ttime". In this case however, Steve may have stone cold sober reasons for picking a fight with the patrons of this particular table. What better way to get a reluctant nation to do your bidding, than to stir up trouble with the neighborhood troublemaker?

Update: Meanwhile, no matter who Psycho Steve is trying to provoke this week, he always knows who his true enemies are.
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Ew, Those Evil Eastern Elites... Hate Them So Much... Revenge Soon

From John Ibbitson's latest fish-wrap:
The elite of the liberal consensus may well get their way; they usually do. But here's a thing. Money and power and people are flowing steadily westward and the decline of deference continues to drain power out of the common rooms and into the commons.

One day, not that far off, the West will choose the song, and the masses will elect whom they please, and the elite of the liberal consensus will find themselves talking only to each other, and being listened to by no one at all.
I will not dispute Albertans' right to "chafe" at the "liberal" elite consensus, but I have a hard time believing they sit around thinking they are oppressed by liberal elites and can't wait until their time for revenge has come. Real people in Alberta (as opposed to John Ibbitson, apparently) have lives after all.
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Post-Modern Policy

It has come to this. The press is having to deconstruct Rona Ambrose's bizarre environment policy. We really have crossed into Alice In Wonderland.
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Finally, The Real Numbers

The SES poll is out and it confirms what everybody knows. The Tories have retreated to their base and have pulled up the drawbridge. They are behind everywhere but "the West"(meaning mostly Alberta). These are definitely not majority numbers for the Tories, but rather a portent of doom, if they keep on their present path. The numbers suck for the NDP too. I fear that Harper has scared NDP voters enough that they will vote with their feet and go Liberal. It is all so sad and so predictable.
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I'd Like To Thank The Academy

Canada takes the "Top Fossil" award. Congrats Rona, you worked hard to earn this. If nothing else, it will give Margaret Wente something to complain about in her next column.
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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's Ok, Steve Doesn't Want To Talk Anyway

So, if the the Dear Leader is right and the Chinese are not going to speak to him because he wants to talk human rights; and he insists on his right to speak about human rights at all times, does that mean our government will never speak to the Chinese until they drop that condition? Also, does the Dear One intend to use that criteria for his dealings with all foreign governments, or just with the Chinese?
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Diary Of A Tory Wingnut

Dear diary. What the Hell? Don't those Chinese devils know that the Dear Leader is the greatest Prime Minister of all time? How dare they snub him! Well, so much for them. Who needs the Chinese anyway? It's not like they are important or anything. We need to think of a cute nickname for them that ends in fascist. It is going to be a busy day.

Update: Paul Wells, as usual, describes the situation with precision.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Religion Of "The Realists"

Margaret Wente encapsulates the conservative dissent on the question of global warming. The main thrust of her argument is this: The "left" is concerned about it, so it must be wrong. Wente thinks people concerned with global warming are casting people like her as holocaust deniers. I think that is wrong. They are closer to creationists who insist, despite all evidence, that the world is 10,000 years old and that evidence to the contrary is based on flawed science and "faith" in the scientific method. There is no reasoning with creationists, just as there is no reasoning with people like Wente (and the rest of the Harperite band). They are a brave minority of "realists" fighting against the world. It is just too romantic a worldview to counter by reason. They need to be shunted to the side so they can carry on their brave fight, alone and unheard. It is how they like it. It makes them feel like their worldview is confirmed.
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Monday, November 13, 2006


Conservatives, who cream themselves whenever the sainted name of George Orwell is used as a cudgel against their leftist enemies, will surely be interested in this news item.

To Quote Saint George himself from 1984:
"The Party said the Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But, where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth."
One thing conservative readers should understand, George was condemning the practice, not recommending it.
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Sunday, November 12, 2006

The "Norman Co-Ordinate" Quote Of The Week

"We're on track to meet all of our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol but not the target...."
Rona Ambrose using the brilliant mind melting techniques pioneered by Kirk, Spock and the rest of the crew, in the classic Star Trek Episode, "I Mudd".
Next she'll be telling us we are all millionaires, except for the money. Fucking brilliant, except Canadians are people, not androids -- although I have my doubts about our Prime Minister.
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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why Have A Country When You Can Have Provinces?

If you want to know what Psycho Steve wants to do should Canadians be foolish enough to elect him with a majority, read this. This is another example of a policy position by PMS that is like red meat to his base, but somewhat iffy with everybody else. I mean, how many people outside the Tory base (and perhaps the PQ) would want no federal presence in health, education, or the environment?
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How Am I Feeling Today?

Thanks for asking. I used to like Remembrance Day. Well,"like" is the wrong word. I always felt a quiet sadness, mixed with gratitude toward those who gave up their youth to go to hells like Vimy and Ortona. It was a time to praise those who had sacrificed and promise not to have to send more kids off to die. This year, I am not feeling that way and it's all because of Stephen Harper.

Under Harper, the message has changed from "love the veterans, remember their sacrifice, work to avoid war", to "love the veterans, remember their sacrifice, glorify war as an enterprise". I get the sense, when I watch Harper, that he revels in his role as chief cheerleader for the concept of war. It's like he sees war as a means for a country to assert its collective manhood and show the world it isn't gay. It is a fetishization of war and the military and it is deeply disturbing to me. War is a sad failure, and is nothing to be glorified. Harper's love affair with the idea of war, has injected a creepy eroticism into Remembrance Day (even going so far as to say that Remembrance Week will "climax" on Remembrance Day) and it makes me feel dirty.
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Friday, November 10, 2006

Captain Queeg Conservatives Going After More Invisible Enemies

Remember Stephen Harper's election statement that he saw the judiciary as a arm of the opposition? That was just election talk, right? Surely, the Conservatives and Psycho Steve have moved on since then, right? You could be forgiven if you thought the Conservatives would have realized they have bigger issues on their plate than librul judges, but you'd be wrong. When it comes to creating priorites, hunting down and destroying imaginary threats always trumps solving real ones for our Dear Leader. Remember with Harper, it's always about who stole the strawberries.
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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ding Dong The Prick Is Dead

If the Democrats don't do anything else in the next century, they have done enough with this act,to earn my eternal thanks. Just kidding about the "dead" part. Cockroaches like Bolton never die, they just go to the roach motel and wait for another opportunity to infest another Republican administration.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Line Of The Day

From Chantal Hebert:
It could be that voters have replaced a Liberal government that had made a practice of sending misleading and contradictory signals to the American administration with one that does the same to the rest of the planet.
Change the "could be" to "is certain" and I would agree totally with Ms. Hebert.
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Thank You America!

For defeating the forces of darkness.

Update: Not to kill my own buzz, but this outcome will be a decidedly mixed blessing for Canada. Still, I am happy the Dems wiped the smirk off those fucking frat-boy, asshole, Republican, faces. Pricks.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Free Yourselves

Go out in vote in such numbers that those Republican bastards won't be able to steal another election. Cuz, you know they are going to try.
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Why They Fight

I haven't written much about the income trusts brouhaha, largely because I am one of those for whom it does not much affect, directly. For the record, I am glad the loophole has been closed. I am not going to give much credit to the Conservatives though, as it was their unceasing boosterism of the scheme that made it take off, in the last year. I think this will be a net loser for the Tories, given that someone like me, who think it was was a good idea, will not vote for Psycho Steve under any circumstances. These folks on the other hand, were potential (or previous) Tory voters and I have a feeling they carry a grudge. Hat tip to Coyne.
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Ted Needs Help

The following is from Rev. Ted Haggard's letter to his congregation:
I am a deceiver and a liar. There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I’ve been warring against it all of my adult life. For extended periods of time, I would enjoy victory and rejoice in freedom. Then, from time to time, the dirt that I thought was gone would resurface, and I would find myself thinking thoughts and experiencing desires that were contrary to everything I believe and teach.
Wow, have you ever read anything more self hating in your whole life? This is what fundamentalism does to people. I am sure Ted could have had a nice life if he had been allowed to accept his true self in a community of caring people. Instead he hid his sexuality under a cloak of religious piety, among people who consider homosexuality a sin.

As a result, Ted felt dirty about himself and bitter and angry at those who had been able to escape the expectations of "normal" society and live as themselves. Haggard used his fundamentalism as a cover for his orientation and as a stick with which to club other gays. Haggard needs to sit down and truly look at his life with honesty and compassion toward himself and others. I have grave doubts he will.
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Is It Bruk, Bruk, Bruk Or Cluck, Cluck, Cluck?

The Dear Leader, as we all know, must never, ever hear criticism (just as Garth Turner). So, his cancelling of his meeting with the EU was no great surprise, as he was in for some harsh words about the Hot Air Act. Now, thanks to Jack, the Dear One's excuse (minority house -- can't risk my government, etc.) has been exposed for the tissue of lies it truly is. Too bad they don't hand out white feathers any more.
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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rex Murphy Sucks Himself Up His Own Asshole

After demolishing "climate change" as merely a leftist propaganda plot, Mr. Murphy will next push for the inclusion of "Intelligent Design" in schools. After all, evolution, like climate change is just a theory, right? No need to pay heed to a rival "belief" system (despite the supporting evidence) when blind (and in Rex's case, snotty) faith in your own will do. If I want to believe that the earth is 6,000 years old and that the Flintstones was a documentary, who are those egghead scientists to tell me any different? Because, in the end, nothing can be "proven". So thanks, Rex. Rex Murphy, poster boy for truthiness in Canada.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Borat Conservatives

That is what I hereby call people like the following, Mary T., one of the charming commenters from SDA:
Wonder what the ted kennedys, nancy pelosi, john kerry, taliban jack supporters will say when the islamofacists come for them. Bush is right, fight them there or fight them in the usa. They are already here and just waiting. Pullling out of Iraq will not stop muslims from killing muslims. How many of the supposed 500,000 killed were killed by muslims. I look at those numbers and think, thank GOD, they will no longer be able to reproduce. (emphasis mine)Can't wait for Curics sign off to be, good night, allah be willing.
What will it take for the leftist idiots to wake up.
I bet Mary would be singing along with Borat, too. Although, I suspect outraged denials on that score. These days, in polite Borat conservative circles, genocidal hatred is reserved only for Muslims (unless, like Borat, you get them into a sing along). But, it isn't at all a stretch to believe that in another time and place, Borat conservatives would be flocking to the theatres to see the Eternal Jew. The same naked hatred is on display. Only the target has changed.
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Then And Now

Then: I can take a hit -- Stephen Harper

Now: Stephen Harper has surprised and annoyed European Union leaders by cancelling a planned Canada-EU summit, where he was going to be criticized for abandoning this country's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Pandering To The Base

From John Ibbitson's latest apologia for the Tory Party:
People often accuse the Tories of pandering to their core supporters. The Tippers of Edmonton aren't feeling particularly pandered to today.
Oh, they're pandering to their base, all right. The Tippers' mistake was in thinking they were part of it.
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Thursday, November 02, 2006

How Do You Define "Shadenfreude"?

An evangelical, anti-gay, bigshot friend of Bush, potentially caught up in a gay prostitute scandal. This is too delicious. It can't be true. God doesn't have that much of a sense of humour, does She?

Update: Yes that would be the same fellow who can be seen below denouncing gays.

Update 2:
It just goes to show you, the old proverb is right. Men plan and God laughs.
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Remind Me To Stay Away From That Mall

Our mentally challenged Foreign Minister has done it again. This time he compares the suffering that Canadians endured during the frantic and botched first few days of their evacuation from Lebanon to the chaos in a shopping mall at Christmas. It's a wonder Peter can say anything at all with both feet in his mouth.
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Who Gets Beaten With This Big Stick?

I am having second thoughts about the utility of sending the Hot Air Bill to committee. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will play out as follows: The bill goes to committee. The committee changes the bill completely. The government stalls reintroducing the bill until just before the budget. The government is defeated on the budget and the bill dies on the order paper. The Dear Leader spends the next 37 days blaming the opposition for killing the "greatest environmental bill in history". The CPC is re-elected and ignores climate change, while continuing to pack climate change skeptics onto scientific agencies.
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At Least He Can Count

The Dear Leader has accepted Jack's terms and is moving the Hot Air Act into a committee for an apparent overhaul. It will be interesting to see how Harper tries to fix the committee structure so that the overhaul will be more cosmetic than real. Harper's gesture tells me he does not see Jack as a major threat to him, but as a major pain in the ass for the Liberals. After all, the environment is not a big issue for the CPC base, but throwing Jack a bone may peal a few votes from the Liberals. We will see.
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Coyne Dons His Tinfoil Hat

Andrew Coyne is in full wingnut mode here:
And now consider that we are still in the shadow of September 11. The Taliban have been toppled and, as critics of the Iraq war would have it, the Americans have kept their "focus" on Afghanistan. That doesn't mean they've caught Osama bin Laden -- the escape from Tora Bora was in 2001, long before the Iraq "distraction" -- but it may well mean he and his followers are in need of a new hideout. We know that they were in continual contact with Saddam, even if Duelfer found that this did not amount to a "relationship." Where in this world would they find a regime more willing to defy the Americans, then at the height of their power? What might they have achieved, within the shelter of a nuclear-armed Iraq?
You have to admire the audacity of someone who uses air quotes on "relationship" (as if by doing so it leaves open the possibility that they did in fact have an as yet "undiscovered super-secret" one), when there is absolutely no credible evidence that Hussein and Bin Laden were working together. In fact, the evidence shows that while they talked, their interests were so divergent they could never find common ground.

To suggest, as Coyne does, that Bin Laden was ever going to end up in Baghdad as an honored guest of Hussein, is just a flight of wingnut fantasy. Yes, yes, it is possible that it might have happened (though as Coyne himself points out, Bin Laden was chased out of Afghanistan long before Saddam was toppled, and did not go to Iraq) as Coyne theorizes, just as it is possible that Stephen Harper will admit his love for Jack Layton, but it is highly, highly, improbable. So improbable, that Coyne has left the realm of journalism and has entered the realm of alternative history.

I know it hurts to have Hans Blix say that Iraqis had it better under Hussein, but sometimes you just have to stand there and take the truth for the team. Giving the world yet another "King Lear yelling at the wind" denial of reality only makes Coyne look like a loon.
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