Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Further Questions!

Harper shuts down his own press conference.
On Thursday, Harper was asked to explain why — when Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP leader Jack Layton provide news conferences with no limits on questions — he insists on no more five questions.

Harper chose not to answer that question and moved on to the next questioner.

When journalists then pressed him for an answer to the question he ignored, Harper said. "If there's another subject I'll answer it."

That led to another question from a journalist, who noted that politicians such as himself promise openness and accountability. With that in mind, he was asked again, why the limit on questions during the campaign?

"If there are other subjects I'm not addressing, I'll take them. What's the subject? One subject."

Journalists asked another question, about Canada's position about the conflict in Libya. Harper answered and then ended the news conference.
We are about two days away from full meltdown.
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Will I Take Harper At His Word?

Let's say I buy into Harper's paranoia about an evil coalition. Then is he encouraging me to vote Liberal in order to strengthen the number of potential coalition members in the House? That is the rational response to his message, since the Liberal finished second by 17 votes, in my riding last time. However, I would have thought he would rather have me vote NDP, out of principle, and allow the current Conservative MP to get in on the split vote. Am I missing something, or is the Vulcan chess master as crazy as he seems?
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Hebert Speaks

About the debate debate:
The larger reality is that the federal leaders are only on a level playing field for the time of a debate or two.

But the options of a two-tier debate or a duel between Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff both involve an even greater level of distortion.

A one-on-one debate between the Liberal and Conservative leaders would be completely divorced from the electoral reality of regions such as Quebec and the Prairies.

In a pre-election CROP poll, the Liberals barely beat the Greens for support in francophone Quebec.

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, shifting votes from the NDP to the Liberals is usually a formula for electing more Conservatives.
Perhaps, if a one on one is inevitable, it should be broadcast on TVO and in the Atlantic Provinces, the only two places where a head to head race between Iggy and Harper mirror some sliver of reality. Or, they can keep things as they are, messy, just like our country.
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And They Call Iggy An Out Of Touch Elitist

Maybe instead of debates we should have the various leaders try on work gloves. Is this Harper's "George Bush at the grocery checkout" moment? H/t to Warren K.
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Are The Conservatives Toast?

Too early to tell, but the buzzards are definitely circling. I will know for sure they are done, when I read the first "We have to pull Alberta out of this Goddamn country" post from a Conservative blogger.

Update: This line:
Conservative officials later announced the national Harper tour would no longer take questions on local campaigns.
means things are really going down hill fast. The next to go will be questions about the national campaign. All that will be left are questions about who will succeed Harper.
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Attention MSM

Why is Doug Finley working on the Conservative campaign? After all S├ębastien Togneri is only under investigation by the RCMP. Finley, on the other hand, has been charged under the Elections Act. H/t to BCL.
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The Tale Of Edmonton Strathcona

Is the tale of the Harper presidency -- big money backers, unelected, hand-picked candidates pretending to be elected MP's and a guest appearance by a flunky under policy investigation. Harper and company depend on the niceness of Canadians. They count on Canadians to not say or do anything about their deviant brand of politics because it would be unpleasant. It is time that the Conservatives were shown the door. We have a Canadian way to do it, quietly, behind a cardboard partition. Let's show those bastards we are fed up.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An Iron Curtain Is Descending

Two days before the start of this campaign, I predicted the press would be restricted by the Harperites:
No questions please, this is the PM's chance to talk to the peasants voters.
We are not quite there yet, but it's coming. Harper does not like to be questioned. Period.
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This Needs To Be Investigated

Are the Conservatives hiring people to post pro-Harper propaganda on web sites and in comment sections of newspapers? It sure looks that way. I think I might send Elections Canada an email to see if this is all Kosher. Ht to Orwell's Bastard.

Update: I sent an email to Elections Canada. I asked if this fell within their jurisdiction and also asked if this was an outside organization, whether it was considered third party advertising, or if it was actually a party run program, whether they needed to identify themselves.

Update 2: If this is a put up job by another party, that needs to be aired too. We have to teach all of the junior Donald Segrettis of the world that we won't stand for this kind of nonsense.
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The Worm Has Turned

The worm, of course, is Stephen Harper. It seems the MSM isn't willing to accept his bullshit as gospel anymore. I particularly like how this editorial punctures Harper's lies about guiding us through a recession. If it was up to him, we would be where England is now. The only reason we got stimulus spending was because of the gun being held to his head. That gun was the coalition threat, which Harper so reviles and why not? Being forced to do the sensible thing, is not what Harper wants. He wants a majority so he can do all the wrong things with no accountability.
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The Old MSM Stretch

Gloria Galloway is not one to let reality get in the way of a good narrative. The narrative for this election is the NDP and the Liberals are out to get each other. Now, the evidence does not support this (not on the NDP side in any case), so it leads Gloria to write this silly paragraph:
In the first three days of the 2011 campaign, the Liberal Leader has taken his plane to ridings that are held by New Democrats. And on Tuesday, Mr. Layton will repay the favour, heading to Brant and Kitchener, Ont., where the Liberals have always enjoyed good support even if they were not victorious on election night in 2008.
Our intrepid reporter noticed (as I did) that Iggy has been turning up in NDP held ridings a lot (although to be fair, not exclusively) this election. Layton though, has only gone to NDP ridings, or those currently held by the Conservatives. If Ms. Galloway wants to speculate about Iggy's motives, that might just be fair game, but Layton seems to be fishing in Conservative waters, at least to this point.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Harper's Priorities

Instant tax cuts for banks and oil companies and a sort of, maybe promise of a tax cut for the middle class, some day.
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Questions Of The Day

How long will it be until we are obligated to make morning obeisances to Mr. Harper? Will we be allowed to choose which of his images we will hang on our walls to venerate? Really folks, we are getting into North Korea territory, here.
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Has Anyone Else Noticed

That the only leader looking sweaty and desperate so far, is our very own reincarnation of Richard Nixon? The rest of them look relaxed and look to be having a good time. Not having to lie your ass off every second, of every minute, of every day, has that effect on people.
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harper Pwned

Andrew Coyne edition. I am glad someone in the MSM is willing to call out Harper on his intellectual dishonesty. I would never want Andrew Coyne to have his fingers on our economy, but if I ever needed someone watching my back on issues related to democracy, he would be my choice.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shorter Harper

What we did in 2004 was not a coalition. It was an agreement to cooperate on an ongoing basis with socialists and separatists. Now you have known me long enough now to know that when I say "cooperate", I mean "Do what I want". So, the socialists and separatists were, in effect, agreeing to make me a majority Prime Minister without endangering the economy with an unnecessary election. Check and Mate. Now if you excuse me, mommy says I can go play with my dollies.
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Vain Hope Watch

Gilles Duceppe had plenty to say about Harper and coalitions. It turns out coalition talks, in 2004, between Harper, Layton and Duceppe ended with the signing of a joint letter to the Governor General, asking to be given a chance to form a government, something that Harper now says is illegitimate. As Duceppe says:
"He (Harper) finished second in that election," Duceppe said in French. "If he says that's undemocratic, well, that's exactly what he was asking for. So let's not play games with history. He has to take responsibility."
Good luck getting Harper to take responsibility for this or for anything else. That is not his thing. His thing is to lie and smear. It is the way he operates.
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Stephen Harper

Does not understand parliamentary democracy. His statement this morning at Rideau Hall shows this quite clearly. He believes that a minority government has a "mandate" to govern, and if it does not have the confidence of the House, there must be an election, regardless of when this happens. That is not how our government is organized. That is a totally bizarre reading of our constitution.

Let's be clear here. Harper is right that if he gets a plurality of seats, he gets to try to form a government. If he is unsuccessful, and he does not have the confidence of the House, the Governor General has every right to ask the opposition parties to form a government if they can command the confidence of the House. It is quite simple really, but Harper wants to confuse the public by pretending that our Constitution is illegitimate.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Two Things

First, will someone in the Liberal Party please help Iggy with the coalition question? For Christ's sake, Paul Wells has been warning you for two years that this was coming. Iggy looked evasive and when you are trying to frame the election as "Who do you trust", that's a bad thing.

Second, Iggy, do not tell NDP and Green Voters that they will kill kittens if they don't vote Liberal. It looks desperate (especially given that the writ hasn't even been dropped), is insulting and it won't work over a month-long campaign.

If this is what we can expect from Team Liberal, an Ontario 1990 may become a possibility.
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My Little Corner Of Election Hell

I came to the conclusion, long ago, that the only way the Conservatives can rule is by confusing the public about how our democracy is set up and by perverting democracy itself. They are loathsome, contemptible, and thuggish. They must go. I am not sure what I am going to do yet, as far as my own vote, but I am going to assess which candidate in my riding has the best chance to knock off the Conservative incumbent and I am going to vote for him or her.

Our democracy is broken. It did not break on its own. Politicians in both the Liberal and Conservative governments have eviscerated parliament and have concentrated power into the hands of the PMO. It is the biggest frustration of my life that I may be forced by circumstance to vote for a Liberal, a party that is as corrupt as it ever was. That is what this Conservative government has driven me to. I curse them and I curse all of our elite overlords who have frustrated and strangled democratic reform over the last several years. Somehow, we the people of Canada need to make it plain that we are not content to live in a country with a sham democracy any longer. How we do that is still unclear, but one thing is clear, the election on which we are about to embark is a mockery of democracy and we must find a better system to choose our government.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Road Ahead: Stephen Harper

Given the fiasco of the rebellious press corps incident yesterday, we can expect the PM to be hermetically sealed away from the ink-stained wretches. What we will get is one photo op after another, with out intrepid PM dressed up in all kinds of neat hats (he loves hats, helmets, any head covering really). No questions please, this is the PM's chance to talk to the peasants voters. If he is ahead in the polls, watch for him to push for a very early debate with very strict rules about the actual debate part. Look for it to be as content free as the Conservatives can make it. Meanwhile the Conservative smear machine will fling crap in every direction. Finally, if he does happen to lose (God forbid!), he will take it gracelessly and will retire to Calgary to write an angry screed, calling for Alberta to separate from Canada.
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What Can I Say

We are having an election. Yay, I guess. I have to say, I am not looking forward to this. It is going to be the dirtiest election fought in this country, probably ever. By the time it is over, Canadians will be begging for a bullet to the head-- and those are just the ones who stay tuned for the next five weeks. If it is as bad as I think it is going to be, voter turnout will be at an all-time low. What can I say? Voter suppression works? We shall see.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Business As Usual

The lobbying rules are quite clear. You must be paid to be considered a lobbyist and lobbying must constitute over 20% of your work time. So, Bruce Carson, allegedly tried to set up a deal for his ex-hooker girlfriend, so she will get the benefit from his non-lobbying, lobbying. He keeps his activities to under the "20% of his time" level and so he is not in conflict with the lobbying rules. So, nothing to see here, I guess. What we have here is just another case of a member of the ruling class, gaming the system. No one could be upset by that, could they?
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why Diefenbaker Was Right

Polls are only good for dogs. I read this screaming headline in the Asper Post Media papers Conservatives most trustworthy party: election poll, But if you read the article they "won" this contest with a whopping 28% share of those who cited a preference. In fact, if you actually look at the numbers, the reality is that none of the parties is considered trustworthy. That makes sense. The rest is just the Aspers Post Media sucking up to the Conservative Party. Fido, come here boy. I have something for you.

Update: Mound of Sound points out in comments, that the Aspers are no longer involved in Post Media. Sorry about that guys, I thought you were still in control of that small corner of your empire. In fact, it is Paul Godfrey's outfit that is sucking up to the Conservatives (no big stretch).
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How An Intervention In A Civil War Can Go Wrong

First, be denounced by an organization that gave you cover for your intervention.
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shorter Harper

Bruce Carson? Bruce Carson? Oh yes, he used to work for me I think.
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Turning The Page

Now, I am not going to say that the Conservatives have gotten us into another foreign civil war, as a means of turning the page on some politically unhelpful news, but the timing is mighty convenient.
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Stephen Harper's Iraq Do-Over

"If we change every government we don't like in the world where do we start? Who is next?" Jean Chretien, 2003. It is as valid a question today as it was in 2003, when, you will remember, Stephen Harper was hot to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
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On Habitual Cliff Jumping

If we had an opposition, instead of Bob Rae, it would point out that we are already involved in a war in Afghanistan -- a war that has lasted 10 years and is not going all that well. They would insist we clean up our messes elsewhere before jumping off yet another cliff in another part of the middle east. But since we don't have an opposition, just Bob Rae, all we are going to get is "Where do we sign up?".
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Harper Believes In Freedom

That's why he is willing to send your children off to die for it. He, on the other hand, is too busy to go himself. Otherwise, I am sure, he would be the first over the top. Wanker.
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Naughty Lobbying And Alleged Hookers

Or maybe it's the other way round. In any case, this baby has got it all. I wonder if you can prorogue and election and just declare a winner? I bet Steve is looking into that, right now.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Well, That Was Predictable

The government, faced with contempt, dumps a large pile of crap on the floor and says, there you go. Then it sends out cabinet ministers to the chat shows to tell the world that it was in compliance all the time, it thought, but now they are really in compliance with the Speaker's ruling. When asked though whether all the figures released today was the same as those used to make the policy decisions made by the cabinet, those same cabinet ministers (Vic Toews I am looking at you) say they cant tell us that, because that would be breaking cabinet confidence. Maybe yes, maybe no, but pass the budget anyway. These guys make Milo Minderbinder look sane in comparison.
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Thomas Hobbes Quote Of The Day

"Corporations are may lesser commonwealths in the bowels of a greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man." Worms indeed.
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Hands Up

Those of you who have confidence the RCMP will ever charge any powerful politician with anything. Thought so. Me neither.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Shorter Konrad Yakabuski

The decline of North America can be traced to unionized workers demanding livable wages. Canadians should rise up and destroy them so they can enjoy the same public services we have in the U.S.

Greg says: Trillion dollar bailouts to Wall Street, on the other hand, have done nothing but good for the world. So, let's kill the middle class and move back to the 18th century. Things we so much better for everyone in those days, before workers got greedy.
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Friday, March 11, 2011

We'll Soon Change That

Human Resources Minister Diane Finley's spokesthingee, Ryan Sparrow, while commenting on an incident involving a ministry worker who hurt Ezra Levant's feelings while using his work email, said something that pricked my ears up. I will quote the preceding section of the Sun article for a little context:
According to a source, Eaton is an employment-insurance processor with Service Canada and works out of its Brampton, Ont., office.

Disciplinary action could range from a warning to firing, but "warnings are the most likely senario" because of union protection federal employees receive, Sparrow said.

"These are federal employees that are union members, (so) warnings are the most likely disciplinary action that takes place." (emphasis mine)
You can almost hear him say, "Damn unions. When we get our majority...."
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The Carlin Manifesto

George was not a prophet. He just had eyes in his head and the courage not to turn away from the ugliness he saw. Ht to Let Freedom Rain.
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shorter Harper

She was entitled to her entitlements.
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Harper To Sex Trade Workers

If you are a prostitute you have chosen to give up your rights as a citizen of Canada.

How the hell do you have no obligation to protect any citizen, even one whose lifestyle you oppose?
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If The Conservatives Are Toppled March 21

I expect Jim Flaherty to give his "budget speech" on March 22nd anyway. Probably surrounded by the entire Conservative caucus at some auto parts plant somewhere.
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Colour Me Shocked

Not. Over at David Akin's place, are a couple of documents every Canadian should read. They are the charging document of the four Conservatives involved in the "in and out" scheme and the decision from the Federal Court of Appeal on the lawsuit between the Conservative Party and Elections Canada.

There are many gems to be found in both documents, but I want to highlight this one. It goes to the core of the Conservative philosophy and does much to clear up the question of why they did what they did.
The Respondents argue that the CEOC’s statutory function with respect to candidates’
statements of election expenses is narrow in scope. Contrary to the Judge’s conclusion, the
Respondents assert that the CEOC is only authorized to review the documents submitted to him
pursuant to the Act. His function, they say, is limited to ensuring that all the statutorily required
documents have been submitted and, on their face, disclose that a candidate incurred an election
expense as defined in the Act.

[36] Once satisfied that an official agent has submitted the required documents, the Respondents
argue, the CEOC is under a duty to provide a certificate of compliance to the Receiver General, so
that candidates can be paid the final instalment of the reimbursement of their election expenses. The
Act confers no audit function on the CEOC with respect to candidates’ electoral campaign returns.
Hence, he is not entitled to go behind the documents submitted in order to determine if, for
example, candidates have in fact incurred the costs claimed as election expenses, or have correctly
stated the commercial value of goods or services provided to them
The Conservatives' believe that the state has no business telling private groups what they can and cannot do and so view every statute as being narrowly focused. In simplest terms they believe that if a law says you cannot kill someone with a gun, then it is ok to kill someone with a knife. In this case, they argue that Elections Canada has no right to look at anything other than what it is given by the parties and that it has no right to look into the information given to them by the parties, but must accept what it is given as true. This philosophy should give all Canadians pause. We have a governing party that believes itself to be the final arbiter of what is right and that the state has no business overseeing the legality of what it is doing. To me, this is gangsterism disguised as governing. Al Capone probably felt exactly the same about government interference in his rum-running business.
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Rape In Wisconsin

Played out for the whole world to see. Class warfare is real and the rich are winning.
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Monday, March 07, 2011

The Kenney Affair

The letter is a red herring. The central question in this case is this: should a minister of the crown be lobbying for votes for his party among those for whom his ministry has responsibility? How can his ministry's constituents be certain that the minister is doing his job based on the merits of their case, rather than on the political weight he gives to their community? Once you start to blur the line (or in this case obliterate it) between partisan politics and ministerial duties, you open the door to cronyism and money for votes quid pro quos. If Kenney had any character at all, he would resign. I expect him to stay.
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Saturday, March 05, 2011

I Drink Coffee

Does anyone else see the irony in the glorification of the modern Tea Party, by the idiot squad surrounding Rob Ford, in a country founded by people running away from the thugs responsible for the original?
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Friday, March 04, 2011

Welcome To Harperland

It's a wonderful place, full of older, smiling, white folks, who just love them some ethnics. Canada was so 20th century anyway.
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Conservative Ads

The Conservatives are going to ask new Canadians if it isn't "Time we all voted our values". For a party whose values include cheating and ignoring rules, it is pretty cheeky to use the word "our" to potential voters. Somehow, I don't think new Canadians will accept membership in that particular club.
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Thursday, March 03, 2011

RIP

Robopundit. You were a not so crypto-Liberal hack, but you slapped the bad guys more often than not.
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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

To Hell With A Senate Referendum, Jack

And bold move over electoral reform, Jack. Another committee to study it. Way to go. With initiatives like that, we will see electoral reform sometime after Jesus comes back to Earth.

Here's a counter proposal. Adopt a position, publicly, before an election, that the NDP will not form a coalition with any party that will not agree to the immediate abolition of the Senate and to implement electoral reform. Let the election be your referendum. That is how responsible government is supposed to work.

Update: Rob Silver provides an almost instant taste of the stuff the Liberals would spread during an actual referendum. They specialize in this kind of thing. You see according to Rob Silver, we can't do anything, ever, in this country, because maybe Hitler will rise from his grave and demand equalization payments, if we do. As I said Jack, the only thing these bastards listen to is a kick in the balls. Use whatever leverage you have after the next election wisely. Your coalition partners are evil pricks.
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