Friday, November 30, 2007
The New Castro
CNN makes a technical mistake and Pres for Life (PFL) Chavez gets all squirrely (more so, surely - ed.)
USA Today was commenting on the referendum in Venezuela on Sunday which would essentially give PFL Chavez full dictatorial powers.
Turns out, though, the revolution is stumbling. While everyone is championing the healthcare and the education for the poor, no one told them that price controls would result in shortages of bread and milk because it is no longer profitable to make them.
Socialism, fueled by oil money, only works if everyone is compelled to participate.
Businesses are leaving Venezuela and lots of people (those with the means) are doing so as well.
Chavez expects to be around for another 40 years to keep "poking the US in the eye".
Sunday's results will be worth watching.
Good luck Venezuela
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Text Message to PMSteve2008: Hallellujah!
However, I will be very unconservative in one view: I think the government is completely in the right to offer subsidies for new companies who want to come into the market. I suspect it is largely driven at US companies such as Cingular and Verizon.
Monday, November 26, 2007
In Case You're Keeping Count....
Seems to be happening more and more.
But who am I to say? His War Room sure did run a fantastic campaign in to October election here in Ontario.
Who could forget this classic gem?
However did John Tory get up from that fatal blow?
Guess he saved the good stuff to shill in his latest doorstop.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
A Big Loss For The Anglosphere....
A sad election result in Australia. John Howard was an exemplary Conservative leader. He was a strong, determined ally on the War on Terror and an excellent case study for modern Conservatives across the globe: a great record of economic development and a rim stance on important values.
People may claim that his loss was a sign that conservatism is on the decline, but few leaders - regardless of political stripe - can survive 11 years in power without an inevitable hunger for change.
This is a huge loss for the Anglosphere.
I hope this is not the last we have seen of John Howard.
UPDATE: That didn't take long. Looks like Australia is in for a lot of change.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Do the Right Thing...Resign!
While Jim Jones may be a Conservative (former PC and Alliance MP), he needs to RESIGN.
They should call a by-election and if he wins that, then fine. But he does NOT have the moral authority to continue in his position.
And it is laughable that his lawyer claims this assault charge has nothing to do with his job, and it is a "personal matter". When you're in public office, it has everything to do with it. It calls into question your judgement, ethics and morals.
If you don't have those, how exactly can you provide leadership in government?
Do the right thing, Mr. Jones.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Are We Just Too Tired?
I left Toronto largely in part because I was unwilling to trade off the benefits of living in a large city for allowing the local government to constantly invade my life, tell me what I can and can't do and tax me out of existence. Then then told me about his trip to Alberta a few weeks ago where he constantly ran into ex-Ontarians who had come to Alberta because it was the "last refuge of common sense" left.
I am concerned that conservatives (small and large C) are essentially leaving the civic battlefield in almost every aspect of everyday life because they are just too tired to fight anymore. And I don't mean the activists - I know there are many warriors on the right who battle lefties, write letters, post blogs, etc. I mean the common sense majority and those who are generally right wing in their outlook on life.
As my friend and I discussed, we are all too busy with everyday life - we work hard at our jobs, we are often raising two, three maybe even four kids and we are active in our communities through church, school, sports or charity work.
Conversely, those on the left of the spectrum also admittedly work hard; but they are often engaged in activist pursuits with government or politics. They are the ones sitting on committees, running for Council, writing policies and making presentations to elected officials. Not to generalize, but allow me to generalize: these folks often have no kids (or possibly one), technically savvy, extremely passionate and generally younger.
Now, a part of me says to the winner goes the spoils - they work at it, so they should get a starring role in shaping government. But I'm more concerned over how less and less people on the right side have the ability or stamina to "fight" these policies and ideas.
As we all know, politics is not family friendly - meetings are often during the day in urban/suburban settings and it take a lot of effort just to stay abreast of the issues. Compound that with the fact that those on the right/centre-right often feel like a lone voice because others are too busy living their lives and don't show up to voice their opinion.
I'm worried that this is an ongoing trend as people struggle everyday trying to live their lives, make a decent living and provide for themselves and support their loved ones. Oh, and maybe have a little fun along the way.
We just need to remember that while we're at the bantam hockey game cheering on our kid, the other side is in the Council committee room explaining to elected officials why this new tax on you will be good for the underprivileged.
And, of course, the fact that no one is there to oppose it illustrates it has wide support in the community.
Silence implies consent, after all.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
HST for ONT
Our family business in 1990 manufactured many products that were subject to the 12% MST. As soon as the GST was introduced in 1990, we immediately reduced our prices by that 12% tax and our sales increased.
We made more money and paid more money in federal and provincial taxes.
I don't have a problem with the government harmonizing the GST and PST.
What I don't get is the argument against it being we don't want to give all products that are currently PST exempt to now be subject to the PST. Or, it could be a huge windfall for the provincial government.
How about this solution:
Figure out how much the PST brought in last year (about $14 Billion if I recall the last budget, but I stand to be corrected)
Figure out how much the HST would bring in at 8% and reduce it accordingly.
If the HST would bring in $16 Billion, reduce by 1 point.
Or leave it the same and dedicate 1% to cities.
I would be willing to accept a 12% HST (7%+ 5%) on everything I had to buy.
I would also be willing to accept 13% HST on everything I had to buy if it would shut David Miller, Hazel McCallion and all the other whiners the hell up.
Friday, November 16, 2007
My meeting with John Tory
First, full disclosure:
1) I never supported John Tory for leader of the party. I was a Flaherty supporter.
2) I warmed up to John Tory as leader after having the opportunity to meet with him as part of a municipal delegation at AMO while on our local council.
3) My wife doesn't like John Tory because at the last convention I dragged her to, we had to wait 45 minutes for dinner because John Tory was late starting. This point doesn't really apply but it is worth mentioning.
4) I was (am still) incredibly upset with the campaign team John selected, the way they chose to ignore volunteers and the way they chose to run the campaign.
5) Faith based funding was not a problem for me personally, as my child attends a catholic school. As a product of the public school system, I would prefer to eliminate ALL faith based funding, eliminate private schools and force all children to comingle among their peers in a well funded, well thought out public education system. Since such a system does not currently exist, I am happy with the status quo.
6) Before the meeting, it was my intention to vote for a leadership review and try to convince every delegate I met in London to do likewise.
After the meeting, I may change my position on item 6. I don't think I will try to persuade anyone to vote for or against the leadership review. I think I will see what happens and IF John Tory wins, I will work hard for him and the party for the next four years.
1) John accepted responsibility for the debacle in a way I never thought I would hear from a politician. He justified my earlier impression of him as a man of integrity and honesty.
2) John shared a plan to rebuild the party.
3) John shared his vision for formulating a new policy platform.
4) John asked for the opportunity to lead us into the next election.
I think, given what happened to Mike Harris and Stephen Harper (and Dalton McGuinty) in their first campaigns, the opportunity should be afforded to John if the party allows him to do so!
PS Re this letter
I am often faulted for letting people know my opinion, my train of thought and my reasoning behind the comments I offer and the decisions I make. I take responsibility for my actions within the party. I agree 100% with B-Double. If you have a point to make, make it. But at least have the courage to stand by your convictions.
Anonymous Letters Are Super Lame...
I haven't received your letter yet, but I probably will, as I am a Ontario PC Party Member in good standing. I sympathize with where your coming from. Heck, I may even agree with a number of your points.
But stop being a big-time coward.
I give John Tory his due: he is meeting with members across the province to take his lumps directly. That's a tough gig - and its substantially harder than sending out anonymous letters.
Sure, we all know the campaign was ass. We know that the strategy was that there really wasn't any strategy. We know the Leader's Office and Campaign Team was insular and arrogant.
But what happened to people with balls? You seriously couldn't find enough people willing to sign on to (and spell check) your opus? Or people who are willing to stand up and challenge the establishment? If this Party has any future, we need people who are willing to check the Leader when needed.
And from your apparent lack of spine, you ain't it. Sad.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
One Member (One Vote) to Rule Us All?
I think OMOV is stupid.
Let me articulate that statement by listing the arguments I hear over and over again from those who would like to see the way Conservative conventions are currently run stay the way that they are.
ARGUMENT #1: ITS DEMOCRATIC
While it may be true to say that OMOV is the most directly democratic, its not true to say that a delegated system is not democratic. That's like saying the way we elect MPs or MPPs is undemocratic. Like general elections (or the Electoral College in the US), in a delegated system you elected delegates to vote on your behalf. That way, you are able to have your voice heard.
The delegated system is merely an amplified version of the boring and lifeless OMOV. If riding X wants Candidate A or Resolution B passed, they will send delegates who reflect such a choice. If 54% of the delegates support a candidate/idea, that's the same as 54% of members from that riding traipsing down to the Convention to vote.
ARGUMENT #2: ITS A FAIR SYSTEM
What's a fair system? Not OMOV. I don't think its particularly fair that you have to attend the Convention to have your voice heard. In some instances, especially with national parties, the cost can reach upwards of $1,000. How is that fair? Seems elitist to me.
But what about those backroom deals? Delegate spots being given to Party elites? Who's elitist now, B-Double? Fair enough - and I have seen that happen from time to time. But I have always been of the belief that its your own fault if you let someone from outside the riding - with no history or particular interest in local affairs, save the results of the convention - come in and take over the riding. You have only yourself to blame.
There is NO WAY I would be able to saunter into some riding in Northern Ontario and grab a delegate spot. I'd get smoked. But if that is happening in your riding, what more of a motivation to get off your behind, start making some calls, send out some letters and rally the troops. Create a network. In short, organize and kick the bastards out.
Oh, but you say that if there is a Leadership Convention and there are multiple ballots, you could be disenfranchised? Not if you elect the right delegates. This makes it harder for a candidate to pull a Tony Clement at the last minute, with chaos ensuing afterwards. Local riding members would elect delegates who clearly outline their choice on the second/third/fourth ballot
ARGUMENT #3: ITS INCLUSIVE
Well, that may be what OMOVites are selling, but no one's buying. Are Party memberships up? Nope. Are more people getting involved in politics? Nope. What OMOV completely eliminates is what drives many to politics in the first place - the chance to be involved in something exciting.
Now, excuse me for painting with a wide brush, but the majority of OMOV advocates seem to be policy wonks and party hacks. Yeah, I said it. There are people who get jazzed about writing new amendments to the Party constitution. They represent, what, 1.5% of the population? Most people like the electricity of an event like an election and to be a part of something. OMOV is about as exciting as actually voting: as in going behind a booth and filling in a box with a pencil.
The OMOV system has to go. Its great that a Facebook group has been created and populated by former Queen's Park staffers and Party officials, but these are the 1.5-ers. They are the super committed hacks who will attend every convention, rain or shine, regardless of location.
Now that I've addressed the basic arguments for OMOV, here are my top 5 reasons I think we need to go back to a delegated system. Most of which are centred around making politics more appealing to a wider range of people:
- Its WAY more exciting - more media hits, greater effect on new members
- Its cheaper for members and for the Party
- It discourages laziness/encourages activism from Party members
- Can be an excellent training ground for upcoming elections
- Gives power back to members through their delegates (nothing like voting in a block)
Disagree? Bring it.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Apparently, Bees eat Lions for Breakfast...
According to today's box office numbers, "Lions for Lambs", featuring the left's most handsome wingnut, Robert Redford, came in a disappointing 4th place with $6.7 million. By contract, Jerry Seinfeld's "Bee Movie" jumped to the number one spot, earning $26 million.
Now, it would be easy to spout off about "liberal Hollywood" and how out of touch they are. But that's not what I find so curious. Movie studios are about as purely capitalist as they come: if something makes money, they support it; if it loses money, they drop it.
So why do movie studios continue to greenlight leftie films that no one goes to see? If you go to Apple's fantastic trailer site, there is no shortage of war or environment-related movies that have either come out (In the Valley of Elah, The Kingdom, Rendition, 11th Hour) or will be coming out in the near future (Charlie Wilson's War, Grace Is Gone).
These studios are clearly NOT in the business of losing money. But nearly every Iraq war movie, with the notable exception of Fahrenheit 9/11, has been a bomb at the box office.
So, why do these films keep getting released? Family movies are proven box office gold. Whether its Shrek, Chronicles of Nardia, Bee Movie or Harry Potter - non-partisan, non-preachy movies do very well in theatres.
I'm very curious as to why the studios keep churning out movies about how bad America is or why the terrorists are, in actuality, freedom fighters. Release after release has shown that this is a recipe for failure.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thanks to these brave men and women, my daughter can live in freedom and without fear.
Lest we forget. And more and more people are.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Back on the reservation...
I kind of think that since he is back to being his regular self, I will suggest to the B-Double we kill our link to him.
I had high hopes as he really seemed to show some maturity with his treatment of Stephen Harper, but I guess it was just him being p----- off with Martin.
It's okay, but time to move on.
Great to see you back, Q. Yep. I agree. Let's get him off of there. I'm bored with him anyway. I actually think Kinsella is dead wrong on this. I don't think ANYONE gives a rat's a-s about him and money he supposedly got AFTER he left office.
Adscam was just as much about ill-gotten money as it was about Liberal arrogance and voter fatigue. One of B-Double's "Boffo Rules of Politics" is that unless it directly affects voters, they don't really care - which is why that when you peel back the layers on the environment file, people are all willing to be green as long as it doesn't affect their green.
Same goes for Mulroney:
I don't often use it in its literal context (do the ladies still douche? I thought that was passe?), but I think its hilarious as an insulting name to throw at someone that deserves it.
In any event, I thought I would pass along a recent experience that perfectly illustrates what I believe a "douchebag" is.
I was on a short flight in the US this morning. This guy was already in his seat (not a problem), reading the sports section. His arms were streched out so he not only took his armrest, but he also took mine.
Then, during the in-flight "meal" service (if you can call it that - OJ and animal crackers), he insisted on getting a water and an orange juice. When the steward accidently gave him only one, he sniffed "Excuse me! Excuse me! I asked for water AND orange juice!!" until the male stewardess gave him one.
Then, heaven forefend, our row were passed over when the animal crackers were handed out. Not only did he repeatedly raise his hand exclaiming "Excuse me!" for all to hear, he repeatedly pushed the call thingy to get the airline folk to come even more quickly.
All the while, he was waching ESPN on the airline TV screen and snorting/laughing throughout.
On, and he was a Buffalo Bills fan.
Voila - a douchebag. Wonder no more, my friends. Thought I'd share.
P.S. Q is a douchebag. He's certainly not posting, so I thought I'd see if he's actually reading. Way to step up your game, boyo.
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