Sunday, November 30, 2008

It Looks Like It Is On

CBC is saying it is a deal. I wonder if the two parties will sit together in the Commons tomorrow? Exciting times.
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Most Sensible Line Of The Day

From Paul Wells post:
Some Liberals say the NDP will not accept Bob Rae as PM. I spoke to an NDP negotiator who said the party does not care who serves as PM. “The Liberal leader will be PM. The Liberals get to decide who their leader is.”
My feelings exactly.
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Rogue Government

Yesterday morning, in comments to a Paul Wells post, I innocently asked "Paul is prorogation at the end of next week, out of the question?". I asked simply as a mental exercise. I asked myself, what is the slimiest, most cowardly way that the government could put off a day of reckoning until conditions might be better for them?

Think about it. If Harper prorogues, he can call parliament back after Obama has taken office and he can act as if none of this unpleasantness ever happened. Harper will come in with a new Throne Speech and a budget chalk full of goodies. Never mind that it will months later than needed and never mind that should something really bad happen between now and then, there will be no parliament to deal with it. It will also push the occupancy date of this government into months rather than weeks, so Harper will be able to whine to the GG that an "established" government is being threatened by a cabal of opposition parties and damn it, only an election can solve it.

To a sociopath like our PM and his minions in the PMO, it sounds like a "clever" plan. I put the thought aside though, because not even Steve, would do something that wantonly destructive to the parliament and politics of the country during an economic crisis. Apparently I was wrong to think so. Again. With Steve, a man without a moral compass of any kind, anything, anything is possible. If he gets away with this, the only tool left in his bag, would be to call out the army. But he wouldn't do that, would he?

Sunday Update To Another Story: Also, yesterday evening I suggested that perhaps this government could survive if Harper walked the plank and the Tories put in someone like Jim Prentice in his place. Apparently, someone was listening. Tip of the hat to Blogging if necessary, but not necessarily blogging.
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

F.U. Do Over?

News item:
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty scheduled an announcement on Sunday as the government sought to persuade the country it was combating the economic slowdown, the CBC reported.
I wonder what Flaherty will say? "Gee, I was just kidding about cutting spending. Really, look here let me throw some money at these homeless guys. See, we're serious! Don't vote us out, Steve will kill me!" It is a possibility. Or, Flaherty could try to hold the line and feed the base. With this government, the only thing you can say for sure is, they won't be thinking of the country's best interest. We will either have a thrown together snow job or a rock-ribbed Republican hootenanny. Just more games from a bunch that just can't seem to grow up.
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Tories Throwing Meat To The Wolves

The wolves seem unimpressed. Really, seriously, about the only thing that might appease the opposition at this point is Harper's personal resignation. Anything less than that and I think the conclusion is forgone.
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Tory Drinking Game

Every time you hear one of these talking points over the next week, take a drink.
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Line Of The Day

From Aaron Wherry in MacLeans:
As his spokesman explained to reporters beforehand, the government will simply prevent the opposition from moving forward with its confidence motion on Monday. Apparently they can do that. Canadian democracy is wonderfully flexible that way. Though not flexible enough, mind you, to tolerate a coalition government comprised of three parties representing more than 60% of voters.
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Time For A Change

Robopundit gets it right. The tactical genius is to blame for this mess. It would be good for the country and for his party, if he went back to the private sector. Prime Minister Jim Prentice might be able to save this government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

If You Remember Just One Thing During The Next Week

Remember this. The Liberals, NDP and the Bloc represent a majority of voters in this country and they have a majority of the seats in the House. Stephen Harper is the head of a party that represents a minority in both categories. Stephen Harper likes to pretend that this is not true, but he will, much to his dismay, discover this is the truth during the coming days.
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Games, The Games

I had hoped that the greatest economic crisis in 70 years would be enough to focus the mind of this government. I was obviously silly to hold that hope. I thought, "Surely, they will put aside the silly games they so love, for the good of the country?" What a fool I am sometimes. To Conservatives, I am sick of games. I am sick of "the game". For the love of God, will you just govern? If you aren't interested in the job, then for all of our sakes, please resign, enmasse and let someone else do the job. There is no shame in admitting you haven't a clue how to do the work for which you were elected. There is only shame in playing silly games while the country is sinking into economic despair.

Friday Update:Wells feels the same way, but says it so much better.
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Ok One Thing

Note to opposition parties and their friends on the nets. Do not bite on the cuts to party subsidies. Go after the government on its passivity during the economic equivalent of Armageddon. That is all.

Update: Btw, it occurs to me that do this will only ensure that the Liberals will simply abolish the rest of the financing rules, if and when they regain power. Nice one Steve.

Update 2:Best take of the day. I love the way he outlines the cooperative efforts of governments and opposition parties around the world and then turns his eyes to Ottawa. The bush league Bushies are in for a world o hurt.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nothing To Say

Canadian politics will be consumed with deficits and the Liberal civil war for the foreseeable future. I have nothing to say about either issue other than I support both. I am trying to take a more positive attitude toward life (since cynicism has only made me miserable), so I may not have much to contribute to the blogosphere for a while. I will drop by other sites to leave comments and I may write here from time to time, but I think the blog-intensive part of my life is on the wane.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Gee, This Sounds Familiar

Oh "progressives", will you never get a clue?
This on a day when one anonymous Democratic aide bragged to Chris Cilizza that letting Joe Lieberman keep his chairmanship would mean: "The left has been foiled again. They can rant and rage but they still do not put the fear into folks to actually change their votes. Their influence would be in question." It's odd that Buchanan shows more respect for the left than leading Democrats do. The Lieberman decision is an abomination, and Obama and the Democrats may well regret it. Buchanan is no friend of the left, obviously, but he's an old-time pol who understands the importance of keeping the base happy. Too many Democrats seem to think the first thing they should do when they get power is display contempt for their base.
Of course, "progressives" in the U.S. have an excuse, they don't have many voting alternatives. Canadian "progressives" on the other hand, just keep getting kicked in the nuts and come back for more.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Funk Will Save The World

The meltdown in the world economy, Stephen Harper, and God the Liberals, always with the Liberals. Is the constant flow of bad to apocalyptic news getting you down? Never mind. The groove is in the heart.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


From the great minds think alike department. Conservatives in Canada and conservatives in the U.S. are eyeing the furniture and pricing the silver, in a desperate attempt to meet the rent, or so the story goes. Really, this is nothing more than more of the same, from the same geniuses that gave us the 100 year deal for the 407.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Least Surprising Headline Of The Week

What's next, "Sun Rises Today, Will Again Tomorrow Scientists Predict"?

Instant update: Will Stephen be the lone spoiler at all international meetings from now on? Will the international community care, if the U.S. changes course?
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What Obama Should Do And What He Will Be Up Against

J.K. Galbraith, writing about another crash (1987) and other era of deregulation and crazy supply-side economics, outlines what needs doing and the consequences:
The rush to increase taxes, still uncertain as to result was unquestionably unwise in the immediate aftermath of the 1987 crash. But, in the longer run, if we are to avoid what may perhaps be called the Mexicanization of the American economy, there must be strong steps away from past fiscal policy. Taxes must be raised, one hopes on those best able to pay. This will close the budget deficit, resist inflation, allow interest rates to remain low. Low interest rates, in turn, will encourage capital investment and improvement of capital plant and avoid upward pressure on the dollar. From these steps will come our best hope for narrowing the deficit in our international trade.

Such action is not pleasant -- both higher taxes and a lower dollar address adversely the standard of living. The latter can be protected to some extent by a more rational policy on military expenditure -- a sensible response in an age of nuclear overkill. But no one can suppose that from years of aberrant economic policy there is any completely agreeable escape. Those who warned against past aberration should not now be expected to come up with a perfect solution for adverse results. And those who urged the aberration will not do so. Economic, like alcoholic, excess has its inescapable aftermath. (The Great Crash 1929 from the Introduction)
The solutions to this crash are probably obvious to all. Short term stimulus, followed by prolonged long term tax hikes and government cutbacks (since it is unlikely that military spending will come down any time soon). Whether Obama has the will and the American people the stomach for this is very, very much in question. After all, Americans have for years been told that they can have government services without paying for them and become rich by trading bits of paper to each other. I don't envy Obama one little bit.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Shorter Friedman: Since we all know foreign policy is merely an extension of personality politics, foreigners who hated the invasion of Iraq because they hated Bush, should now embrace Iraq, since they like Obama.
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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sanity Returns?

Let's hope this is true. It would be good to think our PM is neither so reckless, nor stupid as to create a phony confrontation a month after a $300 million election. My guess is the government did some polling and found out if they did approach the coming session with that attitude and were defeated in the House, they would get slaughtered in an election. People are scared. Really scared. Especially in Ontario and Quebec. This recession is going to be bad. The very last thing people want their government to be doing is playing silly buggers with the opposition. This government and this governing party have a serious problem with the idea of governing. As Rachel Maddow observed on Colbert the other night, why hire someone who doesn't believe in the job in the first place? The Conservatives have to dispel the idea that they don't believe in government.

The people of Canada have given Harper and his crew one more chance to prove that they are not ideological ass clowns. One more chance to prove that they understand government actually has a role to play. If they do not have the ability to adjust, they will get tossed onto the sidelines like their ideological inspirations in the south.

The signal sent in the Globe article is a positive one. I just hope it sticks.
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Friday, November 07, 2008

Viva La Revolucion!

Never fear Republicans, you have your own Che Guevara and he heading to the hills to begin the fight anew. Republicans, because they are more into permanent revolution than actually governing, are brilliant at pivoting into insurgency mode, whenever voters toss them to the curb. Viva!
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From The Department Of Useless Statistics

David Brooks (although I have heard other conservatives blather on about this too as they try to discourage any change in governing philosophy) writes today: Only 17 percent of Americans trust the government to do the right thing most or all of the time, according to an October New York Times/CBS News poll. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe this number will change if they have a government, that you know, believes in government.
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Thursday, November 06, 2008

The First Taste Is Free, Mr. President

Harper is wasting no time trying to corrupt the Obama regime. It is trying to convince the new government that the oil sands are a good way to ensure America has a secure source of energy. "Never mind the pollution Mr. President-elect" says the snake in his ear, "the oil sands are so sands are soo easy, soo secure. What's the harm in a little more carbon in the atmosphere, eh? In the long run we are dead anyway." All I can say to Obama is, beware. This is the same group that tried to defeat you during the election by leaking private and erroneous information. They are bush league Bushites and cannot be trusted.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

To The Neighbours

Congratulations to the American people on the successful conclusion of their election. Even to a cynic like me, it is inspirational to see people so motivated to take political action. Senator Obama's message resonates beyond the borders of America. His message touches on the founding Tory ideals of Canada. Peace, order and good government are as Canadian as it gets and they are Obama's watchwords. Americans need a good Tory government right now, after eight years of radical experiments, both at home and abroad. Here is hoping our neighbours get what they need.

As a sidelight, I agree with the prevailing sentiment this morning that the election of Obama is an amazing event. To think that a bi-racial American was elected, given the history of America, is mind-blowing. As a Canadian, it is hard to imagine us confronting our own history in the same way and electing, say, a Metis Prime Minister. Just when you think America is finished, Americans go and do something unexpected, gutsy and great. Thanks for that.
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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008


One last screw up from an incompetent and crooked administration? I report, you decide. Ask yourself, who benefits from a leak of this kind just before an election where both race and immigration are subterranean issues?
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Not That I Think This Is Wrong, But

I think it is kind of rich for the Wall Street Journal to suddenly embrace "bipartisanship". The best line is this one:
Put simply, as Peggy Noonan said on this page last Saturday, 43%, the absolute minimum expected size of the Republican vote, isn't nothing. It would be a profound mistake to underestimate the desire of the electorate for bipartisanship, conciliation and a centrist approach to problem-solving.
Funny, I don't remember them telling George Bush to take the 49.99 percent of the vote of 2000 (of Gore and Nader) into consideration when making policy. The prospect of losing power does some damned odd things, neh?
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My Take On Obama

This is pretty close to how I perceive Obama. Obama is a Tory in the old sense. He would have fit right in with the old, WASPY, Progressive Conservatives. He has the same sense of "don't change if you don't have to", combined with noblesse oblige present in Toryism (not to be confused with Harper Republicanism). If he is elected, the lefties in the United States are in for a shock (except Dennis Perrin who sees things pretty clearly). This guy is not, not, not, one of them.
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The Party Is Over

What happens when you take an iconic commercial and bring it up to date? You get one of the best political videos I have ever seen.

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