Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Insurance Reform Blue Liberal Style

Premier Daddy Dalton is all about giving us kids choice in car insurance. What a wonderful daddy he is. Starting tomorrow, we can "choose" to pay the same money for less coverage or we can "choose" to pay more money for the same coverage we enjoy today. Isn't "choice" swell? Thanks Daddy Dalton! And a special hug to uncle Bob Rae for making this all possible.
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Monday, August 30, 2010

Irony Of The Day

With the vote on the long gun registry, a prime minister who has dedicated his political life to the dismantling of the Liberal Party, may instead become the midwife of an agrarian NDP rump, dividing the rural vote and leaving the cities to the Liberals.
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I'm Not Worried Either Jack

But there will be consequences if the long gun registry goes down with your party's help and denunciations -- lots of denunciations.
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I Am Just A Simple Blogger, But

More faux populist bullshit from the Conservative press. You know the stuff I mean. It always begins "I am just a simple "insert favorite prosaic profession here"", and then proceeds to rail against "the elites" and (in this case) against "coercion" as a method for cooperating on the census. It is funny how these working class heroes never rail against the owners of the country, nor for the abolition of coercive laws against drug possession or trespassing, isn't it? Perhaps the state should pay me not to take drugs and to not make myself comfortable in my neighbor's living room, too. Really, this is just more crap from the endless manure conveyor belt that is the modern conservative movement. Sadly, there seems to be a willingly stupid 30% of the population that eats this shit with a spoon.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

It's Not A Risk...

It's a promise:
The first four days of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Arctic tour were all about claiming Canada's right to the great white north.

But the last night of his Arctic odyssey was about painting Canada in Tory blue.

Harper addressed a crowd of party faithful jammed into the Whitehorse Inn.

He trumpeted the Conservative's achievements in the economy but warned that his party needed a stable mandate when the next election comes.

The alternative, Harper said, is a coalition of the Liberals, Bloc and NDP and the risk that the work of the last four years would be undone.
We can only hope that a coalition would undo the damage that Harper and his psychopathic band of lunatics has done to this country. I can't wait, myself. The only thing standing in the way of this glorious possibility, is the leader of the Liberal Party.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Census Fallout -- With 100% More American Content

Canada will pay a huge price for the Harper government's "short-sighted" decision to scrap the mandatory census, say leading U.S. statisticians.

"This decision will lower the quality and raise the cost of information on nearly every issue before Canada's government," Stephen Fienberg at Carnegie Mellon University and Kenneth Prewitt at Columbia University say Thursday in the journal Nature.

Fienberg elaborated in a telephone interview from Pittsburgh, saying the decision makes little sense and the added costs will be enormous.

"It's just mindless," he says, predicting that government will end up spending "billions" replacing the mandatory long-form census that was sent to 20 per cent of the population with the voluntary survey to be sent to 33 per cent.
The problem with these fine statisticians is they do not understand the Canadian conservative mind. Conservatives are insane yes, but not mindless. To Stephen Harper, wasting "billions" is a feature not a bug. In fact, the more money he can waste, the less his government has for useful things like health care and day care. Also, he knows that wasting billions of dollars will give his loonie followers something to obsess over, as they sit in their bomb shelters, awaiting the knock on the door, from the men in black they "know" is coming.
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Of Health Care And Long Guns

Headline: Health care system’s value can’t be measured, Auditor-General says . Don't tell Shelly Glover, she will say that that means it is worthless.
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Shorter Shelly Glover

Because police officers checked the long gun registry and weren't killed, that shows it doesn't work. Of course the fact that 14 of 16 of the last officers killed in the line of duty were murdered using long guns shows it doesn't work too. I expect perfection. After all, look at our PM.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Have Seen The Future

And it doesn't work. Sorry about the lack of postings today. I am still recovering from seeing Evan "Look Out Bambi" Solomon fuck up Canadian political journalism, yesterday. Mr. Solomon, who I am sure is a fine fellow and a wonderful arts reporter, has no business hosting a show about politics on the CBC. The man is a lox. Case in point, the long gun registry and the chiefs of police.

I sat in disbelief as Mr. Solomon referred to a "straw poll" (read a posting on a police web site) as a "survey". Over and over again, he pretended that this abortion, was somehow a legitimate sample of opinion among rank and file police and should be given equal weight with the vote by the Chiefs of Police. Just as I was about to stroke out, Scott Reid called bullshit on him (not that Solomon admitted his error). If Evan Solomon can't tell the difference between a statistically valid survey and the internet equivalent to a radio phone in show, he should be fired.

As a final note, Tom Flanagan should be ashamed for his attempt to make Scott Reid's intervention on behalf of valid statistics look like a partisan shot. Luckily, Mr. Reid countered Dr. Flanagan quite well and at least Tom had the good grace to look shame faced. If this is where political reporting is going, we are well and truly fucked as a country.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness Of Being A Conservative

If you are a conservative, all you need to do to swat away any rational opposition is to use the following sentence: "While the facts may support X (climate change, gun control, the census) that does not change my belief in Y ( that climate change is a hoax, the gun registry is useless, the a voluntary census is just as good as a mandatory one)". It is simple and it does not need any evidence to support it.
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Then And Now

"The same-sex legislation is a question of human rights, that's why it's a fundamental question of principle in our party and we won't be able to accept members voting against the party position," Layton said. (Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.: Jan 28, 2005. pg. A.06)
But unlike the Liberals, Layton isn't whipping his members to vote against the government, allowing them instead to "represent their constituents.”

"Our members are in constant touch with their constituents," Layton said Friday. "Our members represent their constituents, and always have, and have brought their views forward."
What are we to conclude? That in the last five years, the NDP has abandoned fundamental principles in favor of the old Reform motto of "Constituents uber alles"? Or, is this a recognition that Layton is unable to hold his caucus in line and is now trying to make a silk purse out of a pile of shit?
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Friday, August 20, 2010

Shorter Bill Elliott

The facts say that the gun registry is useful, but if my political masters want to indulge in magical thinking, then put me down for two unicorns and a griffin.
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Polling The Urban Tories

Here are the addresses, etc. of some urban Tory MP's. Please write, phone, fax, or email them and let them know that your vote is contingent on their support for the long gun registry.

Peter Braid
22 King St. South
Waterloo, ON
N2J 1N8

Stephen Woodworth
Kitchener Centre
#12-300 Victoria St. N.
N2H 6R9

Ed Holder
London West
200-390 Commissioners Road West
London, ON
N6J 1Y3

Terrence Young
337 Kerr Street (Main Office)
Oakville, ON
L6K 3B7

John Baird
Ottawa West Nepean
418-2249 Carling Ave. (Main Office)
Ottawa, ON
K2B 7E9

Peter Kent
7600 Yonge Street
Thornhill, ON
L4J 1V9

Alice Wong
360-5951 No. 3 Road
Richmond, BC
V6X 2E3
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Let Me Turn That Around Mr. Flanagan

Should we all just shut up and do what Stephen Harper tells us to do, even though he and his party represent, at best, one in three voters and is only prime minister because of our grossly antiquated electoral system?
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

What's Next, You're A Poopy Head?

The Conservative's have reached the point in their mandate when the refrain "Yes, but the Sponsorship Scandal" is losing its utility. Besides, I have never understood how saying that their party is as corrupt as the Liberals, so nah, nah, nah, helped the Conservative cause.
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Well, At Least He Isn't A Tamil

Another otherwise law-abiding, rural, salt-of-the earth, Albertan who was exercising his right of long gun ownership,is unfairly having to answer to the man. When will the police realize that real men -- conservative men, solve their problems in their own way (with guns, trucks and copious amounts of alcohol)? Butt out. The state is not wanted in them there parts.
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A Gathering Of The Tribes

And James Bow did send forth the word and the word was "Drink". And there was much rejoicing.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Steve

I really think you have gone and done it this time. You have made Don Martin cynical. You bastard.
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Greg's Two Step Solution To Gun Registry Frustration

For Joe Comartin:

Step 1: Pick up the phone and dial Jack Layton's number.

Step 2: Tell Jack to stop being pigheaded and whip the vote on the long gun registry.

You're welcome.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Our PM held an event to whip up anti-refugee sentiment and coincidentally, divert attention from his government's bungling of the Veterans' Affairs file. That Steve, what a class act.
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Wrong Approach

Another appeal to reason over the census, is in the Star Phoenix today. It is a wonderful editorial and should be widely read. Unfortunately, an appeal to reason is the wrong approach with this government. They are immune to reason. What is needed instead is a wild charge, based on irrational fear and tribal hatred -- something designed to appeal to the average Conservative voter.

For instance, opponents of the government's decision to scrap the long form census should say that scrapping it will help Al Qaeda. If we don't know how many Muslims there are in Canada, the terrorists will use that to smuggle more suicide bombers into the country and may increase the chance that our daughters will marry one. It is complete nonsense of course, but it will scare the shit out of the Conservative base, something this government will not let stand.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

A Common Thread

This sounds very familiar:
“It just seems everybody in Ottawa that tries to do their job and let the government officials and bureaucrats know what's failing and what's wrong and what needs improvement are being canned,” said Mr. Manuge, a former army corporal who suffered a debilitating back injury in 2000.
This government does not care about "doing one's job"(ask Linda Keen or Paul Kennedy). They care about ideological purity and loyalty to Steve. Veterans are not exempt from those organizing principles. I guess it should be "Support the troops--until they deviate from our narrative".
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Still Not Getting It

From today's Toronto Star:
“When the government uses words like smuggling, Tamil Tigers and terrorists, most Canadians assume there is evidence,” said Siemiatycki. “But there isn’t … and making statements like that is irresponsible and does terrible injustice to the people on the boat.”
When will people realize that "evidence" is no longer prized in Ottawa? The government's actions on the census, the long gun registry and Stockwell Day's musings on "unreported crime", all contradict evidence. The point is, evidence is objective and appeals to the rational and is therefore suspect. In Stephen Harper's Ottawa, the emphasis is on messages that appeal to the limbic system. Stephen Harper and his mini-Republicans have learned that if you push those primitive emotional buttons and scare people to the brink of insanity, you can get them to accept just about any government policy. Evidence is the tool of the prey, not the predator, the weak, not the strong. This is a government of predators. Don't look for evidence there.
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Progress Of A Kind

Watching Power and Politics yesterday, I was struck by the exchange between Vic Toews and Evan Solomon, over the issue of terrorists on the recently seized Tamil ship. Given the way this government likes to make claims, based on what the world looks like through beer goggles, it is always prudent to ask for evidence when dealing with one of its members. To his credit, Mr. Solomon repeatedly did ask for evidence of terrorist infiltration of the ship. Clearly taken aback, Mr. Toews retreated into a "Well, I had an intelligence briefing, so there just have to be terrorists involved', stance. It was clear, that Vic Toews has no evidence. None. The fact that he had to essentially admit that he was making unsubstantiated claims, in public, is at least progress. It won't stop the Conservatives from spouting bullshit, but calling them on it, is no longer considered rude by the MSM.
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Say What?

Shorter JIm Flaherty on the census: What is all the fuss about? Why, I asked a bunch of my CEO friends the other day to come to a meeting and they did. That is the same thing as getting people to fill out long form. Case closed.

I guess for Jim, that is a random sample of opinion, eh?
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I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing

Pogge points to a CBC report indicating that BMO is urging caution when it comes to ending stimulus spending. The story includes this:
To support its arguments, the bank tried to dispel what it calls myths about spending, including that bond markets are worried about high borrowing by governments.

That would usually be indicated by high interest rates as lenders priced in the higher risk of default.

But BMO said most government bond markets are showing no such concern this year.

"Quite the contrary," said the report's author, and the Bank's deputy chief economist, Douglas Porter.

"Ten-year U.S. treasury yields have recently dropped to their lowest level since April 2009, when the economy was still mired in recession and losing more than 600,000 private sector jobs per month," he said.
The fools, making logical arguments with facts and statistics. Don't they realize that facts and statistics are meaningless when weighed against the gut feelings and divinations of Stephen Harper?
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On Wasters

What would you call a government that would spend $30 million extra on a census, in order to get an inferior data set? If you said "Prudent managers of the taxpayers' money", Senator Doug Finley is standing by for your donation to the Conservative Party of Canada.
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Meanwhile, Aboard The Good Ship Conservative

PMO Minion: Captain, captain, that censusberg has nearly done us in. We have sprung a serious leak and we are listing to port. What are your orders?

Captain Harper: Throw all the brown passengers overboard. That will steady the base and help us smooth over the hole that the censusberg caused.

PMO Minion: Yes sir! Right away, sir!
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If Tony Was A Play

He would be closing after opening night. The critics are not impressed.
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Question Of The Day

Why, if the new voluntary long form census is just as good and valid as the old long form, is Tony Clement moving the language questions from the voluntary form to the evil, coercive short form? I know they are peddling some bullshit about getting rid of jail terms as something new and novel (when it is something the other parties have been proposing for a couple of weeks). But if that is so, then why can't they just keep the old long form, sans jail penalties?
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The Question Is

How can anyone trust the Harper Government again? They are now fully exposed as liars. Who, except their most dimwitted, tin-foil-hat-wearing "base" would even consider voting for them? Bring on an election. We have to cleanse the stench in Ottawa, once again.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dare To Compare

To understand why we on the left may have some difficulty with Iggy's idea of "coalition", you need to take a look at a case study of Iggy style "coalition" in action. The key concepts to remember if you are a leftist in such a "coalition" are, sit down, shut up, don't criticize us even if we our policies are right wing.
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What A Prince

King Steve says this about the enforcement of the census law:
“I know some people think the appropriate way to deal with that is through prosecuting those individuals with fines and jail terms,” Mr. Harper said. “This government will not do that. In this day and age, that is not the appropriate way to get the public’s co-operation.”
Our king does not believe threatening people with jail time or fines is the way to get cooperation from the public. I am sure now that he has spoken, his servants will adapt this philosophy to all areas of criminal law, and persuasion, not prosecution will be the focus. No more drug busts. No more prostitution sweeps. I think I might even start up my own lottery, if I don't like the government's argument. Christ, Canada is going to be one big party from now on. Oh, wait.
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Monday, August 09, 2010

Money, Hate And Data Based Policy

The Conservative government is giving money to help combat hate crimes against organizations. I have two questions. How do they know this is a problem and how will they measure success? My guesses, given how the Conservatives roll, a) Peter Kent's neighbor saw a story on Global about hate crimes and b) Vic Toews will wait a few weeks and then ask a cab driver in Winnipeg if he's heard anything lately about hate crimes.
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Oh, The Honesty

That the government this citizen supports was as honest about its intentions:
Dude: Very slowly now: Libertarians don't want to tinker with the census, we want to destroy it, the bureaucracy behind it, and the money sucking programming it spawns.
The only reason I support the gov'ts plan is to fatally undermine the institution that socialists like you abuse every day to further your demented ideology.
I want the gov't to collate the info it already has about us because I suspect many lefties will be going to shiny new jails if they do.
I know it is an unrealistic dream. The Harperites lie about their intentions (or hide in their bunker and say nothing) because they know they would be turfed in milliseconds if they didn't.
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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Oink Oink

In other news, Sheila Fraser will be looking for a new job by December. Max Bernier will blame it on Communism. Stockwell Day will claim it was the "Wee Folk".
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Saturday, August 07, 2010

This Time For Sure

There is a "Charlie Brown and Lucy" vibe to Stephen Chase's account of the laughable "news conference" yesterday, in which Harper and his people showed, once again, that rules and procedures are for suckers. The media's problem is not that it tried to follow the proscribed rules, as set out by the PMO, but that it agreed to such rules in the first place. What's the worst that can happen if the press decides it will no longer play that game? Harper will stay away from press conferences? Well, he did that for the last month, and the pressure on him to come back kept building until he pretty much had to do something, or face universal condemnation for cowardice. The sensible thing for the media to do is to say "Enough". Sadly, I doubt the media can act collectively in its own best interests. As a result, Harper wins and another brick in the wall of accountability falls to the ground.
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Friday, August 06, 2010

Schism Or Bad Governance?

The Globe and Mail is talking about an East/West schism over the census. I am not sure I would agree. I think the leaders of the three western most provinces are heeding the call of their tribal leaders in Ottawa. I am not sure their people are entirely on board the Ignorance Express.
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Steamboat Tony Wants To Privatize The Census

The so-called minister in charge of the census, Tony Clement, held a news event yesterday in which the following transpired:
Mr. Clement said statistics users are free to spend their own money to gather the demographic data they need if they don’t like what Ottawa collects.

“All these provincial governments and these social institutions and private businesses – we’ll get them some data that will be useful and reliable,” he said. “If they don't want to use that data, it's up to them. They can pay for it another way. … You don't have to rely on the government of Canada.”
Hands up everyone who would like to substitute private interests like business as the gatherers of intimate details of your daily life?
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Go Get The Torches And Pitchforks

Time to throw these bums to the curb. H/t to Buckdog.
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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Great Moments In Stupidity

Remember, these guys are running the country. The minister in charge of the census says that the provinces should set up their own censuses, if they don't like what Ottawa is doing. Oh, and private companies should too and maybe the Anglican Church. There is no sign of intelligent life in Ottawa.
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A New Concern

Stockwell Day came out in favor of building shade screens, in response to what he calls an "Outpouring of concern" from some Canadians over the possibility of catching skin cancer at night. "Yes, that's right", Mr Day told reporters,"I have information that many Canadians feel that the moon is tying to give them cancer. It is a widely underreported problem."
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Shut Up. That's Why

Stephen Harper will not be questioned about the census. Everyone go away, the man has a country to destroy.
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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

No Shit

In a rare moment of honesty, Rob Nicholson articulated Stephen Harper's governing style :
"We don't govern on the basis of statistics," Nicholson said. "We govern on the basis of what we hear from the public and what law enforcement agencies tell us. That has not changed in the four and a half years we've been in government."
Rather than govern on the basis of facts and reason, this government rules by anecdote and hearsay. I am glad Mr. Nicholson cleared that up for the two or three people in the country who didn't understand the fucking obvious.
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Stockwell Day Lives In An M.C. Escher World

Campbell Clark attempts to follow Stockwell Day as he travels up and down the staircases of his mind:
Although the official crime rate is going down, a senior Harper government minister says there is reason to disbelieve the statistics and spend billions of dollars on new prisons: an “alarming” increase in unreported crime.

Stockwell Day’s argument is based on a Statistics Canada survey, conducted like a large poll, which showed a slight rise in unreported crimes – though the increase was in property crimes and petty theft, not violent crimes. And the survey was conducted in 2004 – an ironic twist given that Mr. Day made his case only minutes after he maintained that the long-form census is not very reliable because it can be as much as five years out of date.
Mr. Clark was treated for "strained brain" and released. Medical authorities have warned others that trying to follow Stockwell Day's thinking is dangerous and should only be attempted while using "extreme caution".
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Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Tsar Stephen sends out Stock Day to defend the gutting of the census. Comedy ensues.
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Just Like The Good Old Days

I see the pogrom is making a comeback. Well, it did keep the Romanovs in power for a bit longer. Nothing like a bit of racial/religious hysteria to help people forget their problems, eh? No matter that the airline in question has denied the incident took place as screamed in the Sun chain. As we all know, in Harper's Canada, truth is overrated. It's belief and gut instincts that matter.
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When The Truth Won't Work

This government has no trouble lying. Christ, I don't even know where to begin with Steamboat Tony's minion's latest steaming pile:
“I think we've already presented a pretty reasonable position: and that's if Canadians wish to give the information to the government – to census takers – then by all means they can,” Mr. Waddell said. “We just think it's absurd that anyone should be threatened with jail time or fines, and we're not going to budge on that.”

Mr. Waddell suggested that the opposition parties are not interested in compromise. He noted that during a Commons Industry committee meeting last week, the Conservatives’ political rivals signalled they are only interested in restoring the previous census regime.

“When that committee meeting ended, it was the opposition parties who banded together and voted in favour of there being only one option – and to their mind that's full reinstatement of the mandatory long form, including jail fines and monetary penalties,” Mr. Waddell said. “And if that's their position, we can't support it.”
The fact that every statistician in the world says that a voluntary census will be useless doesn't phase Mr. Waddell. As for threating jail or fines, well, that is true except for the parts of the census that still threaten jail or fines, like the short form and the agricultural census.

And while it is true that the Industry Committee did pass a motion demanding that the long form be reinstated, there have been plenty of signals, at least from Layton, that the opposition would drop the jail penalties (which, have never been used) from the act. Really, the lies are getting more desperate by the day and Harper's lame excuses for hiding behind his children are quickly losing their charm.
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Monday, August 02, 2010

Norm Spector, Killer Of Straw Men

Norm is in fine fettle today, arguing that the Governor General will thwart an evil coalition by offering the Conservatives (assuming they win the most seats) the keys to the kingdom. Full stop. Constitution, ya know. He makes it sound like this is a controversial point that needs clarification. Well, no it isn't. But, it is only half the story. Sure, the GG will offer Mr. Harper first crack at forming a government, but he will need the support of the House of Commons. If he does not get it, the Governor General is under absolutely no obligation to call an election, if he feels another stable alternative is available, within a short period of time since the last election. Now, given the way this PM plays with the constitution, it would surprise me not at all if he does something like not recall parliament for a long, long time after the election and then play games with the confidence votes, until it is past the six or seven month mark past an election. In the meantime, you can be sure millions of dollars will be spent on advertising, demonizing the very idea of a coalition. Regardless, if a coalition ever did take power this way, it would also not surprise me one bit if the PM refused to yield and called on the army to protect him. Harper is capable of anything.
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