Archive for the ‘Politicians acting badly’ Category

Buy Your Own Damn Christmas Tree!

December 1st, 2010
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On the day before Rob Ford became mayor of Toronto, winning with a campaign that promised no more culture of entitlement, the politicians at Queens Park were fighting over who’s gets the biggest taxpayer funded Christmas tree in their office. It appears that Speaker Steve Peters made off with a tree that had been designated for Tim Hudak.

The story of this absurd pissing match begins, but does not end, with speaker Peters invoking himself in the third person:

The Speaker wanted to have the tallest Christmas tree in the building,” Speaker Steve Peters explained.

Hey Peters, you want the biggest tree, go to Loblaws and buy the biggest tree. MPPs make over 110,000 a year, the speaker gets a stipend on top of that (the biggest stipend in the building, At Home in Hespeler is betting).

Here’s the irony. In large letters, all by themselves, on the Speakers web page, it says, “The Speaker is a servant of the House.”

Just as our public servants think the term servant means “we get to lord over you,” so the speaker thinks the term means “the speaker gets to lord over the house.”

Lest you think I am unfairly advocating  pox on the Speakers oversized, taxpayer owned and operated house, think again:

Tim Hudak’s staff was in an uproar Tuesday after his large office Christmas tree was nabbed and replaced with a stunted version of Yuletide timber…

PC staff members… handed out “free Tim’s tree” stickers to passersby in an effort to get it back. (Wonder who paid for those stickers?)

Yes, the leader of the Conservative Party started this nonsense. The left like to accuse Tim Hudak of being all Mike Harrisy, but I don’t see Harris caring about his office Christmas tree:

“In fact, it looks a bit more like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree,” charged Hudak. “Size does matter when it comes to Christmas trees.”

What’s with the Peanuts-aphobia? Cartoon characters vote too Mr. wanna be Premier. And another size matters joke, dear God! What if the teacher hears?

Yes, what if?

”I guess around here the boys think that size matters,” she (Andrea Horwath) said. “Apparently my tree is on the way and I’m sure it will be lovely… It’s more about the celebration than it is about the size or shape of a tree.”

Actually, it’s not about  the celebration, it’s about taxpayers apparently putting Christmas trees in every bloody office from Yorkville to Osgoode Hall:

Members who were concerned about the size of their Christmas tree were to be allowed to pick out a new one from a selection in the northwestern parking lot of the building.

Free trees in the Northwest parking lot at Queen’s Park, got it. Know were I’m going tomorrow. And now that the war on cars is over, it should be a breeze to get downtown.

Funny, Premier Dad has been vewy, vewy quiet on this issue. Wonder what he’s up to:

…the tree outside Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office was… so big in fact that a hydraulic lift was brought in to help with the decorating.

A pox on all their houses. And I repeat…

Buy Your Own Damn Christmas Tree!

Christmas, Politicians acting badly , , , , ,

Parrish the Thought

April 15th, 2010

“You appeared ungrateful, ungracious and downright rude,” Ms. Parrish told the Mayor 

Politicians acting badly , , , ,

In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario…

March 9th, 2010
If daltons-ontarioGrandpa takes Grandma shopping and gets going more than 50KM over the speed limit, they take away his car and he faces fines in the thousands.

If an ex-MP gets drunk and has coke on his person, then hops in his car and drives 93 in a 50 zone, it’s a $500 fine for careless driving.

One wonders whether the table is now set for Michael Bryant’s “walking his dog without a leash,” plea bargain.


Correction. I originally stated Jaffer was found guilty of dangerous driving. It was actually careless driving.

In Dalton McGuinty’s Ontario…, Politicians acting badly ,

Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

March 2nd, 2010

spiral torontoA steaming mad Councillor Paula Fletcher challenged a citizen asking questions at a budget consultation meeting Monday…

Challenged? She screamed like a petulant child at a taxpayer, concerned about ever more taxes. And the citizen was right, she damn well ought to be fired.

But don’t believe me, listen to the audio here.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your elected representatives.

Politicians acting badly, Toronto: Not in a Death Spiral , ,

While Giambrone Fiddles…

February 9th, 2010

The perfectly calculated, carefully manipulated political career of (TTC chairman) Adam Giambrone just became unzipped.

The Ward 18 councillor and declared candidate for mayor of Toronto has seen his ambition to run this city take a hard turn for the worse after he admitted he had an “inappropriate relationship with a young woman.”

Confronted by the Toronto Star after university student Kristen Lucas spilled the beans about the more than year-long affair, Giambrone apologized to everyone, including the lovely woman found at his side for his campaign launch and his “see, I’m not gay” photo opportunities, Sarah McQuarrie.

What seems most galling, beside the two-timing, of course, are the allegations Giambrone told the now 20-year-old Lucas he’s been using McQuarrie as political furniture on his arm. That it’s “important for the campaign.”

If that’s true, then maybe slimeball isn’t a strong enough term.

The TTC burns.

TTC union president Bob Kinnear lashed out at the members of the public who have been filming and snapping pictures of TTC staffers on the job and his message to them was clear: Stop it.

“Listen, folks,” Kinnear said at a packed press conference at the Sheraton Hotel. “Stop harassing people who are doing their jobs. Stop insulting them. Stop waving your phone cameras in their faces as you get on the bus or streetcar. Stop spitting on them. Stop calling them lazy or overpaid.”

For the record, I am now accepting pictures and videos of TTC employees and will post them. Meanwhile, can somebody at the TTC please tell these complete and utter morons, who obstinately refuse to get it: stop blaming the customers!

graceless politicians, Politicians acting badly , ,

Ten Percenter…

August 11th, 2009

sounds more like a patch honest politicians would wear on their Armani jacket. It is, instead, a rule for an MP sending Parliamentary flyers to someone else’s riding.  It’s wrong, and it should end.

When a bureaucrat deigns a "ten percenter" patch.

When a bureaucrat designs a "ten percenter" patch.

John Mraz goes over the top,  calling it corruption. It’s not, but it is, as he notes, “the diversion of public resources to politicized ends.” I would not call it corruption more because it’s above board, and of such a small scale. Mraz, a former Liberal campaign manager, also throws a blame grenade at the Conservatives, both here and in the US. Note, for example, fringe Republican Obama birthers are the only ones who are nuts, ignoring Democrats who thought GW Bush was a) the dumbest man ever to learn to knot his own tie b) the criminal mastermind behind 911. In other words Mr. Mraz’s biases get in the way of his thesis.

His thesis, however, is spot on. Ten percenters are wrong. Parliamentarians are using the rule that allows them to send informational material to ridings other than their own, up to a total of ten percent of the constituents in their riding. I have complained before about this policy, but still receive quarterlies from Jack Layton. These things are not informational, they are propaganda. Paper wasted bashing the other party, taking biased surveys, that you can send back at parliamentary expense (i.e. taxpayer expense).

To be sure, I receive the same nonsense from my MP, Conservative Gary Goodyear, but he’s at least my MP. Their is a legitimate argument to be made that an MP needs to communicate with constituents, and needs to offer constituents a forum to let their MP know how they feel on issues. If I find the communiques so offensive, I can always vote for someone else. I can’t, however, choose to vote against Jack Layton MP. So why am I receiving his mailers? And why, far more significantly, am I receiving his mailers at parliamentary expense?

Conservatives and Liberals are not innocent in this, and Gary Goodyear has been the subject of a formal complaint to the speaker on this very subject.

They are all doing it. And they are all wrong. On this, I agree with Mr. Mraz. It’s time to stop the practice of ten percenters.

Politicians acting badly, Silly Politicians , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Conservatives Clock the Count

May 14th, 2009

The Conservative Party took a different tack against Michael Ignatieff than Stéphane Dion.With Dion, they attacked right away, not giving him a chance to get comfortable in his job and in the process, defined him before he could define himself.

With Michael Ignatieff, they seemed to be holding back, let Ignatieff define himself. When they finally released some negative ads yesterday, some of the Tory faithful said, at last. But the original strategy was, in my opinion, effective. The more Canadians see Ignatieff, the less they will like him. Let the Canadian people begin to have their doubts, save your response until an election, then release it all at once: a little shock and awe politics.  That’s what I thought they were doing, and that’s what I thought would be effective.

Then yesterday, the Conservatives released this ad:

Know what I got out of this ad: Tory Times are Tough Times. Who approved an ad that had the central message from The Liberals negative ads running right through the middle of it? And who puts out a negative attack ad accusing the other guy of using negative attack ads?

But even after those blunders, what is the main theme of this ad? Ignatieff wasn’t in Canada all those years. For some people, me included, that could be construed as a positive.  A little international man about town would be a nice change from the base provincialism that’s grinding the gears off so much in this country.  And it sure beats the professional politicians that are running the country into the ground now.

There’s a fair amount to dislike about Michael Ignatieff, very little substance to his politics among them.  There was not one of those reasons on display for this ad, and that’s why it’s simply not good enough.

h/t Gerry

Politicians acting badly , , , , , ,

Scott Bryson “We Heart America!”

February 13th, 2009

There’s an opinion piece in today’s Post by Liberal MP Scott Bryson in which he opines on the value of a good Canadian American relationship and how Stephen Harper has done so much damage to that relationship by… what exactly, Mr. Bryson? Getting along with the American’s?

The Canada-U. S. bond transcends economics and politics. We are friends, neighbours and family. We share common values. We believe in equality, democracy and the rule of law. We face common challenges, whether in security, the environment or economic policy.

We trade $1.5-billion worth of goods and services every day across the Canada-U. S. border, and since 1989, Canada-U. S. trade has more than tripled to over $700-billion this year.

We build things together. The average North American car crosses the Canada-U. S. border the equivalent of four times before it is completed.

Each province in Canada now trades more with the United States than with other provinces. Our economies are so intertwined that if we were ever to try to separate them, it would be like trying to unscramble an omelette…

During a time of economic crisis, protectionism can turn a downturn turn into a depression.

OK, so far, I agree with everything Scott Bryson just said, and believe me, that is not something I type every century.

There is a strong vein of protectionist sentiment in the U. S. Congress. When American congressmen move forward with protectionist measures, Canada must respond immediately through established relationships. The Conservatives were so focused over the last three years on building relationships with neo-con Republicans that they neglected to build relationships with Democrats. Now that there has been a sea change in the American political landscape, Canada is disadvantaged.

Bipartisan relations that are strong during the good times help protect our joint interests during the tough times. Fixing those relationships now, during an economic crisis, is like trying to fix the roof during a rain storm.

Hold on. They aren’t even in charge anymore and Bryson is blaming the Republicans. Where was all this from Bryson when Liberal governments were calling the President of the United States a moron? Making major foreign policy announcements regarding the Americans before telling the Americans? Blaming George Bush for global warming?

Bryson is dead on, a Canadian government needs to have a bi-partisan approach to relations with American governments. But when the Liberals had the chance, they acted like spoiled, bratty, pouty teenagers.

Stephen Harper is Barack Obama’s first foreign visit, and that visit hasn’t taken place yet. Relationships take little time to destroy, but time and effort to build. Stephen Harper knows this better than some minor Liberal thinker. The Harper Conservatives were not focused on building relationships with neo-cons these last three years, they were focused on repairing the damage done by the Liberals with the sitting President. The fact Bryson spent time bashing the Conservatives for repairing that damage proves how little the Liberals understand the damage they did.

Over the past thirty years, Conservative governments have proven they know how to get along with American administrations while the Liberals, and their public relations arm in the media have mocked, protested and chided the Conservatives for doing so.  It is Liberals who have actually had difficulty getting along.

Mr. Bryson’s comments today read like a teenager scolding his parents. His vitriolic hatred of both Stephen Harper and George Bush shows through in this piece, and renders it unfit for publication in a serious paper like the National Post. It goes without adding, Scott Bryson is equally unfit for a serious position in any government.

Politicians acting badly, Silly Liberals

Not Drinking the Stimulus Kool Aid

January 23rd, 2009

I have been puzzled by what to say about the reported $35B budget deficit for next year. Flabbergasted begins to explain my reaction, but the larger question is, what was the point of saving the government from the coalition of the economorons? So the Conservatives could outspend them? Harper should have let the opposition take ownership of this kind of deficit, and fought them on it when they cannibalized themselves.

Today, Stephen Harper is queried by Sun Media. Believe it or not he calls this a majority government budget except for, “a couple of things where we’re making concessions to the opposition we wouldn’t normally make…”

Seriously Stephen Harper, economist, you would create a $35B deficit with a majority? Finally we have found that mysterious hidden agenda.

Meanwhile John McCallum was earlier this week blaming the Tories for the upcoming budget deficit because they increased spending and cut taxes in the past couple of years. But hold on, the Liberals are demanding stimulus. Threatened to topple the government because there wasn’t enough stimulus in the fall update. In fact, John McCallum said this recently:

Finally, this government is talking about a real stimulus, which is what other countries have been doing for months.

(And what have other governments been doing John McCallum? In Britain, they cut the VAT, their version of the GST. Is that the tax cut Prime Minister Harper shouldn’t have made? Like the “other countries have been doing…”?)

But, if spending and tax cuts provided stimulus, and the Tories have been spending and cutting taxes, how did we get into a recession. The reason is simple: all that spending doesn’t really provide stimulus, and tax cuts provide some, but minimal. When government spends money, it must first take it out of the economy, there is no stimulus, just money moving from one area of the economy to another, usually from productive to non-productive.

As for the idea of building roads. There are only so many machines capable of building them, so many people capable of operating what machines there are. If you start throwing money into road building what you end up with is not more people working, more roads built, but more expensive roads and the people who work on them making more money.

So Prime Minister Harper, save us the nonsense about stimulus. Let the government fall, let John McCallum tender a $35B deficit budget, and fight them hard when their coalition eventually falls.

pimply minions of bureaucracy, Politicians acting badly, Pompous Igghead, Silly Liberals


December 4th, 2008
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What an apt choice by Governor General Michaelle Jean to prorogue Parliament: It would hard to find a larger gallery of rogues, and, as Brian Mulroney would tell ya, they’re a pack of old pros.

Politicians acting badly, Silly Politicians

Spitzer? I damn near killed her!

March 13th, 2008
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I was not planning on blogging about Elliot Spitzer unless I felt I could add something to it, but I wanted to point to Lorrie Goldstein’s column in today’s Sun Governor should’ve zipped it:

If you’re wondering what my wife is doing up here on this podium beside me looking miserable — again — it’s because that’s what f…ing idiots like me do whenever we’re caught being f…ing idiots.

We believe having our wives stand beside us while we do our half-baked mea culpas, will somehow send out a message to the public that what we did can’t be all that bad because, after all, our wives have forgiven us.

In any event, please allow me to continue.

I am deeply sorry … that I got caught.

I can’t tell you how sorry I am … that I got caught.

I am devastated … that I got caught.

I apologize … for getting caught.

But if you think I’d be up here apologizing if I hadn’t been caught — like, if, say, I’d had an attack of personal conscience and could no longer live with my shameless self-righteousness and hypocrisy — boy, do, I have some ocean front property in Wyoming I’d like to sell to you.

And speaking of Spitzer’s milfish wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, I agree with Rondi Adamson that Silda looks like Jennifer Aniston – it was my first thought when I saw the pictures of her yesterday. What is it with Jennifer Aniston types that us men seem to want to leave them behind while we go off with some skanky tramp?


One thing I would add. My original inclination looking over this story Monday was to say, you know your having a bad day when you read your name in the paper in the same paragraph as “federal wiretapping operation.” Your having a worse day when your wife reads in the paper your name in the same paragraph as “spent Valentines day with a prostitute.”

I wish I could say that Elliot Spitzer doesn’t deserve the kind of week he’s having but, by all accounts, he does. And if Silda Wall Spitzer is giving him that rough week, all the better.

Politicians acting badly, sex

Harper Goes on the Offensive

March 3rd, 2008

I have been pondering la affair Cadman all weekend, trying to get my head in the right place for commenting on it. My concern was that I was quite prepared to pooh-pooh this whole thing because my team are the bad guys. That’s not good enough thinking, and I tried to turn it around: if this was a Liberal scandal, how would I react?

My conclusion, there wasn’t enough there yet. Legally, there is no crime committed, only hearsay evidence. Ethically, again it’s one a few peoples word vs. the hearsay of what a dead man said (if Cadman was alive, we have a different story). My conclusion was going to be, until the other shoe drops, there’s not much here. However, I also felt there was more to come, and it could complete this story. The question was, who was going to look worse once the story played out?

Well, Stephen Harper dropped a shoe today, a big one, by threatening to sue Stephane Dion, Ralph Goodale and Michael Ignatieff:

The prime minister served notice Monday that he plans to sue the Liberals if they don’t apologize for comments they made concerning the Chuck Cadman affair.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, the Liberal Party of Canada and MPs Ralph Goodale and Michael Ignatieff were all served letters over statements published on the party’s website.
Those statements question Stephen Harper’s alleged involvement in financial “offers” made to Cadman to sway his vote in a crucial 2005 Commons showdown.
Harper’s lawyer, Richard Dearden, calls the statements “false and devastatingly defamatory.”
“These malicious and reckless defamatory statements impugn the reputation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper,” Dearden writes in a letter of notice.

Who knows what’s coming next, but one things for sure: Harper has decided he doesn’t want an election over this issue. Unless the Liberals have more proof to offer (and believe me, the folks at the “Warren Kinsella coffee house and war room” are looking), they won’t be inclined to bring down the government over this issue – at least not yet.

Politicians acting badly, whack-a-mole politics

A Rash on All Their Asses

February 28th, 2008
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It’s a sad state of affairs when the local newspaper starts reading like The Onion, but that’s the case today. These guys are nuts, and they’re running this province.

Health care in Ontario is a +$30B dollar ministry in Ontario, and the guy running the show doesn’t have the native intelligence to figure out how unpleasant it might be to wear a soiled diaper:

Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman says he’s considering personally road-testing a new absorbent adult diaper to see if it’s appropriate for the province’s nursing home residents.

“As a matter of conscience, it’s something that I have been seriously considering,” Smitherman told reporters yesterday.

The super diapers have become a flash point in the debate around adequate staffing in long-term care facilities.

It’s a mighty cold day in hell, and Hespeler when Sid Ryan and Peter Kormos are the guys making sense in a debate, but in Dalton’s Ontario, that’s how effective banning pit bulls has been against global warming:


“So if the minister wants to play silly games, let him put on a diaper and sleep in it all night long and come into the legislature and wear it until 12 o’clock, and let him soil that diaper and lay around in it for the length of time our seniors have to do in this province.”


“Smitherman’s a damned embarrassment. One doesn’t have to use or exhaust one’s imagination to understand the humiliation, the indignity, of sitting in one’s own waste for what could be hours at a time.”

Really, wet socks are annoying, how much brains and imagination does it take to know spending hours in wet diapers is not good enough.

Then there’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister Duncan Bryant, who is telling developers not to pay extortion to the Six Nations Development Institute, a group who is demanding $7,000 fees to develop along the Grand River, land which the institute has no legal claim on:

Ontario will not stop Six Nations from charging developers fees on disputed land near the Grand River, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Michael Bryant said.

He spoke yesterday as calls mounted for the government to halt what some are calling extortion.

A Six Nations development institute is demanding developers pay fees to build around the site, while protesters continue to occupy a former Caledonia housing project.

Developers who got letters seeking fees say the province is hanging them out to dry by not intervening or guaranteeing their safety.

But Bryant said it’s up to police to intervene and press charges.

“Developers … didn’t just fall off the turnip truck,” he said. “They know very well what the rules are and the laws are.”

But Bryant won’t step in and nobody can reasonable expect the OPP to do anything about it. Not after Caledonia. So the developers pay the bribes necessary to do business in Ontario (how about a new slogan? “not your average third world country.” That ought to rake in the tourists). So the developers pay, the Liberals pretend the issue has gone away, businesses moves on to the next province, and Ontario sinks in to have-not status.

Speaking of which, Dalton is doing a fair bit of whining this week:

Federal politicians have to stop “talking down” the Ontario economy, Premier Dalton McGuinty says.

The premier said he wasn’t prepared to follow their advice to cut taxes because he would have to close hospitals, cut social services and stop buying textbooks for students.

Instead, the Stephen Harper government should be partnering with his government on strategic investments in training, jobs and infrastructure to help grow the provincial economy, he said.

“It’d be nice to have the federal government in our corner,” McGuinty said. “It’d be nice to have a federal government which doesn’t seem to take so much delight in talking down the Ontario economy.” Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s comment that the McGuinty government is letting Ontario slide into “have not” status and should cut taxes to improve the business climate did not go over well at Queen’s Park.

It would be nice to have the federal government in our corner. Instead, the feds are reduced to acting like stern parents, warning the province of the consequences of it’s actions. Dalton’s response? Right on cue, here comes the petulance. Answer one question Dalton, are we or are we not heading for have-not status according to the federal equalization formula? If not, answer the argument with facts. If so, why? And don’t say it’s Mike Harris’s fault.

Better yet, someone give this guy a diaper.

Finally, we go back to article two, Bryant Skips Home Fight, for one last item:

Meanwhile, Tory party leader John Tory wrote Gary McHale yesterday opposing the Richmond Hill activist’s “inappropriate” planned Caledonia demonstration Sunday at OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino’s home in Woodbridge. Public figures accept protests with their jobs, but “have a reasonable expectation that our families and our private homes will be left out.”

While I agree in principle, don’t the people of Caledonia have a reasonable expectation that there families and private homes will be left out of protests, whether by native bands, angry unionists or local nutjobs? And if they do end up in the middle of “inappropriate” protests, that their leadership, both politically and in the police, will aid them? And if that doesn’t happen…?

Ladies and Gentlemen, your Government of Ontario: a rash on all their asses

Dalton, John 'Red Green' Tory, Politicians acting badly, Silly Politicians