Monday, January 30, 2006
B! TALK DAILY: REALITY CHECK, AISLE 4
Well, one of you, anyway.
I have read about this show, but I'm not going to watch it. And if I were a former PM, I would tell the producers of the show to stick it.
These people ran the country, were heads of a G7 nation and now their judges on a reality TV show? Please.
You wonder why people look at politicians with little/no respect?
Shame on Clark, Mulroney, Turner and Campbell for participating in this farce.
Are we THAT desperate to get people engaged in the political process? Is this the best way to get people to take politics, government and democracy seriously?
If so, we're in deeper doo doo than I thought.
However, for a lot of reasons, I want her to win. "Prime Minister Butt" is a perfectly appropriate outcome in this instance.
"The Butt Government"
"I'm a Butt Head"
"Butt Out, Butt!"
"The Butt Building was christened today....."
"Check out our PM.... nice Butt"
These things just write themselves.
POLITICS AS USUAL: ELECTION CHOCK-A-BLOCK
Took me a week to recover.
I was all hot to trot, give my insightful analysis on the outcome, but my PSP was calling to me, and it's one tough, unforgiving master.
So, I thought I'd share a few thoughts; presented, as always, in easy-to-digest point form.
- As Christian Conservative ratted me out (damn, he's an ugly bastard), I can now say I was the E-Day Chair in Guelph. I knew we we're in trouble when he announced he would be "live blogging from campaign HQ" and he never showed up. All kidding aside, he was an excellent and dedicated volunteer in an areas we needed to have a strong showing in--and we did.
- Canadians wanted a Progressive Conservative majority goverment, and through "strategic voting", it would seem they got it. Guess the real check on PM Harper is the House of Commons.
- Speaking on "checks on our government", the best check was saying dumbass things in the last week. In Week 8, we sucked ass. I'd say it cost us 14-16 seats, mostly in Ontario.
- But for the first 7 weeks, we were ALL friggin' brilliant.
- I've noticed that as a general rule (yeah,yeah, your riding is different), the vote tallies for each riding shifted about 4-5,000 votes. If you were in that range, you won. If you were further behind than that in '04, you lost.
- Did anyone notice that Harper was wearing a cool ass sweater/jacket combo like 2 DAYS after I wrote this? I'm trying to find picture proof, but I have been confounded thus far. I remember him getting off the plane thinking "Well, at least SOMEONE reads my blog". A shiny nickel for anyone who finds me that pic.
- $20.00 say Harper's kid made his Dad PROMISE not to kiss/hug him goodbye when he walked him to school. "C'mon, Dad, not in front of the national media......"
- I know Joan Tintor doesn't agree with me, but I got a great kick out of throwing stones in the same direction as Warren and CalgaryGrit. OK, OK, so they're like the Russia in WWII (first again' ya, then with ya), but Russia KICKED HITLER'S ASS. Now that the armastice is signed, I expect the analogy to continue (but without the Stalin-esque executions, I presume). If that doesn't set off Warren's "Warren Kinsella + Hitler+ Stalin+Ass" Google Alert, I'll be extremely surprised. It was fun boys, but its back to our respective corners.
- I'm sill not tired of hearing "Prime Minister Harper"
- Some peers were elected (or reelected) as MPs. Special shout outs to Rick Dykstra, Patrick Brown, Andrew Scheer and Helena Guergis: friends of mine who put their name on a ballot and smoked their opponents. Sometimes twice!
- Er, that's it.
Onwards and upwards, folks. Here's to the Diefenbaker two-step!
Just remember, Canadians gave into a naughty one-night stand because they we're mad at their boyfriend.
Don't think you've put a ring on that finger quite yet.
Monday, January 23, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINES--UPDATE
Heavy turnout here.....
Our supporters seem to be a large number of them.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
Sunday, January 22, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: NEWS FROM THE FRONTLINES
Greetings from Southwestern Ontario. I want to be cautious about where I am (FIBerals can read!), but I can tell you that Harper visited us this weekend
I'm heading up Election Day efforts for this riding. I can tell you that things here are coming together quite well. We've spend the entire weekend strengthening our E-Day team and putting everything in place to have a smooth, well-run electoral effort.
I took a walk to the local FIBeral campaign, and I wasn't surprised by what I saw: the campaign office was basically empty, and when I asked (innocently) about their e-day efforts, it was mostly phone-based, which tells me they're short on volunteers. Not a surprise when your "victory" party is set to be more of a wake than a celebration.
Our riding is one that is "on the bubble". We lost by over 10,000 last time, but as we all know, in this contest, the past doesn't really predict the future. We have a fantastic candidate and a very strong NDP campaign. While we could always use new volunteers, we have enough to cover our bases.
This is also a "519" riding, one we need to pick up if we hope for form a strong minority or a majority. I will predict a win with a 500- 1,000 vote margin. If we lose big here, it will be quite the upset for Liberals in Ontario if not Canada. The demographics are favourable to us, so if voters here don't buy our message, that spells trouble for us across the country.
In any event, I wish all Tories across Canada good luck. I hope to blog over the day and I look forward to reading the "tale of the tape" when I get back home.
GOOD LUCK, FOLKS--BRING IT HOME..
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
Friday, January 20, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: BITS AND PIECES
- I know I've ranted about our whiny focus on the bias of the media (Liberals do too, strangely enough), but its starting to get crazy. In the Toronto Star's front section there were 7 articles on Stephen Harper's "right wing agenda": 3 stories, 1 column, 2 op-eds and 1 editorial. Talk about overkill.
- You know you're in tough when endorsements are hard to come by even after you've been in power for 13 years. Today, I came across a piece by Oakville MP Bonnie "Not Bobby" Brown. The big endorsement on the back? "Canada....is a health rival to the American way....At its best, Canada combines a vigorous American-style capitalism with the social provision and socially liberal attitudes of western Europe." --The Economist, Dec 1 2005. This just in--influential magazine endorses Canada!
- I know everyone is freaking out about the polls, but I wanted to say a few things: 1) EKOS is trend positively for us and let's not forget we're 10 points up. 2) As I heard this morning and as Darrell Bricker has confirmed, Ipsos will be publishing a poll that has us up 38-26. So let's relax, focus and get the job done.
- CalgaryGrit is musing about a "nuclear" story coming out on CTV about the Harper campaign. Sources tell me its likely a senior campaign person or MP saying something stupid. The usual crap. I hope we hit the Libs back with all the garbage their caucus has said in the past (hello, Hedy Fry!). But be prepared for it.
I will be chairing the vote efforts in a Southwestern Ontario riding, so I will have to post remotely from now on. I hope to do some Election Day live blogging from my little corner of Ontario.
Good luck on Monday. folks. We've all worked hard. Now its time to seal the deal and bring positive change to Canada.
GO HARPER GO!
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: WE DON'T TALK ABOUT ABORTION HERE, BUT...
POLITICS AS USUAL: YOU SAID IT, PRIME MINISTER...
It sure is, Mr. Prime Minister. It says you're willing to get into bed with ANYONE to ensure you stay in power.
Even someone who would rather elect candidates bent on breaking up this country rather than a fresh new government who will make some much needed changes at the federal level.
That statement also tells me that the union leadership in the country is way out of touch with its members--members who the FIBeral government hasn't done a damn thing to help out in 13 years.
The only one who's a threat to the country, its people and to national unity, Buzz, is you.
POLITICS AS USUAL: TO PARAPHRASE SCOTT BRISON..
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: BLAST FROM THE PAST
Its an interesting read on January 17, 2005--6 days from election day.
"Like you, I find myself in a political party that currently has little or no possibility of running this country anytime soon. Indeed, I have begun to think I may be stuck with a tax and spend Liberal Government in Ottawa for the rest of my life! I voted for the merger of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance because I believed that it would end the Liberal stranglehold on Ottawa by giving Canadian voters choice.
So why hasn't that worked what has gone wrong?
Let's review these events. The newly minted party, The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC), needed a new Leader following the merger so that there would be no baggage carried over from the legacy partners.
Naturally, many people considered the prospect of leading a conservative party with a real chance of forming a Government. Peter MacKay, though interested, knew that the Party was a clean sheet of paper and should have a fresh face. Stephen Harper, either missed that section of the text in Political Science 101 or, saw this as a way to finally get rid of that pesky Progressive Conservative Party that had been standing in the way of his destiny: 24 Sussex Drive.
Meanwhile, with his numbers falling, falling, falling, Harper jumps into a new strategy. Instead of hiding out in the bunker in the summer of 2005, why not get out on the BBQ Circuit. Quite the strategy! Let's see, first, let's tell the world that we know our public image is bad; second, let's announce to the world how we intend to fix it and how; third, let's contrive a way to roar around all summer (while the world is on holiday) and flip burgers for the conservative voters we already have. Did I get that right? Oh yeah. That should work. Mr. And Mrs. Average Canadian will LOVE the man by the end of the summer. I know I personally thought the "Harper does the Calgary Stampede" look was his best casual ever! Made him much more approachable.
So where did this all get us? Are we any closer to seeing Conservative Government in my lifetime?
If Harper does not recognize this and move on, the electorate will be finished with us too and the CPC will not survive. Think about this. Many of you are sitting in the weeds whispering Oh well. He'll be gone after he loses the next election anyway, so let's not bother ourselves and just wait him out. What does that do for this struggling young party? How does that help us convince Mr. And Mrs. Average Canadian that we hear their concerns and know we have the wrong message and the wrong Leader? How can we swing the natural conservatives (to the extent they still exist) back to trusting us? Regaining TRUST is the hardest thing in politics.
So, why do I want Harper gone sooner rather than later?? Because, what matters to me, and what should matter to all of us is the recovery and survival of the Conservative Party of Canada beyond Harper. According to Mr. And Mrs. Average Canadian, his 15 minutes are up and they don't plan to invite him over for BBQ, so lets get on with it!
- Carol Jamieson, Toronto, ON.
September 19, 2005"
If you want to take a look at all the fine folk who decided it would be better to give up than put their shoulders to the grindstone, click HERE.
I wonder--will they be showing up to their local candidate's office anytime soon?
Monday, January 16, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: LIBERALS LIE AGAIN
Paul Darby, Chief Economist of the Conference Board of Canada stated that two major items (Healthcare Wait Time Guarantee, Provincial Fiscal Imbalance Redress) in the Conservative platform were not a part of the version he looked at when originally costing it.
Okay, so what do the FIBerals do? Why, stretch the truth, of course.
From their press release:
"Conference Board Economist Can No Longer Stand By Conservative Platform Costing: 'Talk to Harper'"
January 15, 2006
Ottawa – The prominent economist who was hired by the Conservatives to verify their platform said today he can no longer stand by his costing because he was not given all the numbers.
Paul Darby, Deputy Chief Economist of the Conference Board of Canada, told Canadian press today that the version of the Conservative platform that he was given to vet didn’t include its health care guarantee and its promise to redress the so-called “fiscal imbalance” between Ottawa and the provinces.
“Those are two items that are not in what I was presented to analyze,” Darby said. “Those items were not costed, which leads me to believe that they're something that they're having under consideration that they're not committed to.”
When asked about the costing, Mr. Darby replied: “Talk to Harper.
“It is not in the platform I received from them.”
But where exactly did he say he "no longer stands by his costing"?
In fact, Darby later went on to reaffirm that he stands by his original costing.
Frankly, I think Harper and the Tories were right to keep those two items out of the platform. There is not specific number and they can't negotiate with provinces during an election campaign.
If the surplus projections were razor thin or even non-existant, then I could understand why a promise such as this would be problematic. But with a surplus, the provinces have a pretty good idea as to what's in the kitty.
But that won't stop the Liberals from misquoting Darby.
Once again, Paul Martin just can't stick to the facts.
The FIBerals--liberal with your money, liberal with the truth.
POLITICS AS USUAL: BROTHERS IN ARMS?
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: HERE'S THE NAPKIN
Western Blog has the FIBeral's Policy Platform, such as it is.
Take a look, have a chuckle.
Monday, January 09, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: STILL WAITING FOR THE NETWORKS TO CALL....
Coming to you live from Hipster HQ.
Thought I would use the wonders of technology to give my thoughts on the debate. I guess that would make me a "pundit". Certainly I would consider myself a TV pundit.
So, without further adieu, here are my key findings after a knee-slapping few hours:
1. Jack Layton wears lip gloss, if not blush and/or rouge.
2. If I'm Ralph Goodale and Paul Martin called me the "most honest person I know", I wouldn't consider it flattery.
3. Its official--Stephen Harper has a straight up beer gut. I can see why he appeals to middle class dads--he looks just like one. Harper's stomach was literally resting on top of his podium.
4. My daughter cries everytime Gilles Duceppe talks. Out of the mouths of babes...
5. Is there a suit sale at Moores? Did the 4 horsemen pool their money for a discount? Apparently, it was 70% off if you buy 4 black suits or more.
6. Does PM Martin have vertigo? He's rockin' and swingin' and flailing his arms. He might not be at home behind a podium, but I would put money down on his wicked log driving skills.
7. Paikin could clean a crock pot with his hair.
Oh well. My daughter is falling asleep. I envy her.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
Thursday, January 05, 2006
MY SO-CALLED LIFE: POPPIN' TAGS
So, I got tagged by regular CH contributor Sorry Centrist to list 5 weird things about me. Sorry, Sorry, didn't see it until tonight. Without getting into that unfortunate incident between me and Lindsay Lohan, here is my shameful list.
Judge me not, world!
- I can't STAND when people bite on mittens or rake their nails against denim. Drives me up the friggin' wall.
- I am right handed but I golf and bat left (I also have that reverse knife thing Sorry has).
- I am a big fan of "Sex and the City", "Maury Povich", "Nanny 911", "Supernanny" and "America's Funniest Home Videos". I have no excuse whatsoever.
- I have a huge phobia of the dentist.
- I read an advice columnist every day. I'm such a girl.
Most of my friends are too cool to have a blog, so its tough to tag. The only one I wanted to hear from was Les over at Spiderman's Web, but he's already been tagged, so I guess it ends here.
NEW POLL: WHICH WKRP CHARACTER ARE YOU?
Since we spend lots of time on polls of the electoral variety, I thought I'd conduct an original one.
You can vote over to the right and way, way down. I can see how CH readers view themselves--in a 70's TV ensemble cast way.
Who are you?
Bombshell Goldigger Jennifer?
Cool Cat Venus?
Tight-shirted Bee Gee cast off Andy?
Please feel free to provide your reasoning in the comment section.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
POLITICS AS USUAL: SIGNS, SIGNS NOWHERE LIBERAL SIGNS
I would now like to harness the power of the Blogging Tories.
Something has been bothering me for a while.
In the last three weeks, I've been across the GTA, Ottawa, Southwestern Ontario and Toronto. Durinng that time, I've probably seen 20 FIBeral signs--in total.
What are all of you seeing?
What do you think is going on?
Deliberate, or a sign of voter discontent?
Right now, it seems like the NDP has more signage than "Team Martin".
I'm perplexed. Help me out.
POLITICS AS USUAL: PAGING DR. WASTEMONEY...
Today, Paul Martin gleefully announced his "Wait Time Guarantee*" and told Canadians that his government would fix health care once and for all.
Hurrah! Hurrah! Now I can have that annyurism without any fear! But as we all know, the devil is in the details.
So, Martin is pledging to spend $100M over 5 years to hire 1,000 new doctors. He'll do this by offering more residency spaces and accelerating placement for immigrant doctors. So, what dies this mean for us? $100M (that's like over 1/3 of the sponsorship money) and what do we get for it?
Not a lot.
The Canadian Medical Assocation boasts a membership of about 60,000. So lets say there are 60,000 doctors in Canada. Adding 1,000 new doctors will increase the total doctor population by a mere 1.7%.
Alright, better that decreasing it, right?
Before you drive with no seatbelt, you must take into account the fact that according to the CMA, Canada loses about 200-250 doctors each year, primarily to the U.S. So, even if all 1,000 are added (who knows what FIBeral friend or agency will get some of that money as part of a "recruiting" contract), that same number of doctors will have already left in 5 years!
After $100M spent, we will have EXACTLY the same number of doctors we had when the program started.
On top of that, we haven't even begun to address the doctor shortage in this country. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, the average ratio for doctor per 1,000 people is 2.9. In Canada, the ratio is 2.1.
To get us up to those levels, (you might want to check my math on this) it would mean we would need approximately 30,000 more doctors to bring us up to where we need to be (3 for every 1,000 people), or at least where other countries are.
A far cry from the paltry 1,000 we are being offered for the low, low price of $100M.
This isn't even a band-aid. Its salt on the wound.
B! TALK DAILY: THE FAMILY UNIT--HOLLYWOOD STYLE
After numerous phone calls and e-mails from various posting-starved CH readers, I finally decided to get off my duff and write down a few posts or two.
So, let's get to it, shall we?
On my vacation, I had the opportunity (I won't say fortune) to see "The Family Stone". This movie, which stars Canadian hottie Rachel McAdams, American hotties Sarah Jessica Parker and Claire Danes and gereatric hottie Dianne Keaton. Oh yeah, and there is Dermot "Not Brian" Mulroney and Luke Wilson for the ladies.
It provided a fair amount of insight into what Hollywood thinks is or should be the "typical" American family around the holidays. While they are dubbed "unconventional", it was a platform for almost every pet cause of those crazy cats on the left.
- One son getting stoned with dear ol' dad.
- Mom describing in detail how each child lost his/her virginity.
- Of course, the business professional (Parker) is unhip, uptight and cold.
- In the end, the brothers swap partners (well one is a sister) and everything is coolio.
And the coup de grace: the gay, deaf son, with the black boyfriend/significant other who goes on to adopt a baby in the film.
Now, as many of you know, I'm not big on the value judgement. I didn't leave the movie thinking "what a bunch of sinners". In fact, I find it interesting to read conservative movie critics talk about "liberal hollywood films" like Jarhead ansd Syriana that apparently spread anti-war and anti-U.S. rhetoric. I've seen both and found those messages in neither.
But I was taken by the commentary in this film was making on the middle-class family dynamic.
A good example was the dinner they all had together in the middle of the movie. They were discussing the three sons and someone joked about how the Mom (Keaton) "wanted all her sons to be gay". Parker, the "fish out of water", comments that no mother could possibly want her son or daughter to be gay, with all the prejudice in the world.
Cue the gnashing of teeth, wide eyes, shocked looks and righteous indignation, followed by various speeches on how "normal" gay/deaf son is and how those who feel differently aren't. They are the ones with a problem. The conversation ends with both Mom and Dad getting upset and Parker running from the table in embarassment.
Anyway, I found it interesting that a "light hearted" Christmas comedy decided to weigh in on homosexuality and gay adoption, drug use, infidelity, interracial dating and nudism (unfortunately, there was no nudity, just talk of it).
Guess Hollywood is trying to make us "think". Only just about the right things.
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