Archive for October, 2006

Federal Accountability Act Now Added to Sidebar

October 24th, 2006

You will notice a new graphic in my sidebar:
This has been designed by Ferret at Conservative Life and is for blogs to put on their sidebar to remind readers that the Federal Accountability Act is being held up by the un-Accountable Senate, dominated by Liberal senators. Or in Ferrets own words:

While the Liberals bitch and complain about two by-elections that will take place during a Liberal event, their unelected counterparts in patronage hall are undermining democracy by stalling a very important piece of legislation that was passed by the democratically elected Canadian parliament.

While the media might find Peter MacKay’s dog comment more important “news”, I personally am frightened by the irony of having appointed senators effectively killing an Act dedicated to accountability!


Garth Turner Should Resign

October 24th, 2006

I have been thinking a bit about this, and waded a bit into the debate over at Garth’s blog. The more I think about it, the more Garth Turner should resign as an MP. Not because he did anything wrong, not because I think MPs should have to resign when they leave the parties they were elected to serve, but because Garth believes that – or at least that’s what Garth says:

Instead of being chosen by the voters, MPs are seen as becoming important just because they are MPs. That makes them think they can switch parties between elections.

In a couple of hours I will be visiting twenty of so constituents in Oakville for a neighbourhood focus group. These people provided some keen insights for me during the election campaign, including a sense of outrage at MPs who thumb their noses at the voters by switching party allegiances after being elected.

Given the events of the last couple of weeks and my censure by both the prime minister and the rest of the party leadership after I voiced this same opinion in public

I told them floor-crossing should bring with it an immediate requirement to have an election and let the people judge.

Anybody who switches parties should go back to the people. To do otherwise is to place politicians above the people when, actually, it’s the other way around.

And more accountability, which should include legislation that, as Brian Mulroney used to say, means you dance with the one that brung ya.

We need legislation to force a by-election when an MP switches parties, forcing him or her to go back to the people for support.

And that’s just a sample. Note that he never says anything about voluntary. A member “who switches parties should go back to the people,” “you dance with the one that brung ya,” “force a by-election when an MP switches parties.” Garth has switched sides. Voluntary doesn’t really enter into it. I know this isn’t Emerson re-dux, I understand Garth was forced out, but he has stated publicly way too many times that crossing the floor should mean a by-election. And he now sits on the other side of the floor.

However, I am willing to concede that as long as he sits as an independant, he should be OK. But if Garth switches to another party, regardless of who pushed who, Garth should immediatly resign his seat and go to the electorate. It’s what Garth would expect of the rest of the house.


Michael J Fox Does Political Commercial

October 23rd, 2006

Normally I don’t like celebrities pitching for a party or candidate. Shut up and sing is my usual response. There are exceptions, however, and a very shaky Michael J. Fox pitching for a given candidate, specifically because that candidate supports stem cell research, is OK with me.

Showing obvious signs of Parkinson’s, Michael J. Fox is entitled to a pass from the usual criticism on this one, I believe… Even if there has been a setback on the research.


Belinda and the Dog

October 20th, 2006

This is Dylan.
Dylan is a dog. He is loyal and faithful and has been so for fourteen years. He watches the house when we are out, notifies the family of visitors, and verifies all visitors as worthy.

This is Belinda. In three years in Parliament, she has run for the leadership of two parties and changed parties once. She rarely seems to be in the house.

Belinda demands Peter MacKay apologizes for comparing her to a dog. She has spent the day barking about why this apology is her due.

Dylan respectfully requests that Peter MacKay apologizes for comparing him to Belinda. He believes his reasons are fairly obvious, and will thus save his barking for visitors.


Memo to David McGuinty

October 20th, 2006
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Instead of worrying about Peter MacKays dog…

Shouldn’t you be worrying about whether your brother is planning on banning Peter MacKays dog.

If only we could get brother Dalton to ban “poor little rich girl” stories.


How To Tell Bad Policy

October 19th, 2006

I’m still trying to digest Rona Ambrose’s clean air act, but it appears to be just plain bad. How to tell?

A very quick look through The Blogging Tories, Liblogs and The Blogging Dippers, only one of the parties is not talking about it, and it’s the supporters of the party that released the act.

What I’m trying to understand is why the Tories put this front and centre in the past few weeks, when there is nothing there to see. Convince me otherwise blogging Tories, but right now, I’m thinking Ambrose is in over her head.


On Garth Turner and Blogging

October 19th, 2006

One thing that has intrigued me the last day since Garth Turner has been booted from the Conservative caucus: every report I have seen, every quote from people involved, even every cartoon I have seen, Garth Turner’s blog has been mentioned. If the principles can agree on nothing else, they seem to agree this all has something to do with his blog.

As more politico’s get involved in blogging, I have wondered how long until a political death by blogging would occur. That it would be Turner was probably an even money bet.

But since getting involved in blogging, one thing has surprised me, it is political parties allowing their representatives to blog. It is such an off the cuff way of writing, and thus outside of the control political masters like to have (hey, isn’t that why they become political masters?). The blogger basically runs a whole newspaper, thus a political blog can offer comments on TV, pop culture, music &tc. It is often written quick, posted and forgotten. Stupid things will be said by most bloggers. But what if an MP says something stupid?

Never mind giving policy secrets, what if an MP was cheering for one of the racial groups in Survivor? Declared themselves an unabashed fan of the Battered Wives? What if a justice critic declared themselves thoroughly hooked on Grand Theft Auto? Never mind if a male MP posts about bumping up against Rona Ambrose at the Christmas party.

The point is, there is a lot of places where a blog can be a disaster for a sitting MP, and it is not surprising that Garth is in trouble, apparantly because of his. It is a surprise that it took this long, and it will be a surprise if he’s the last.


Garth Turner leaves Conservatives

October 18th, 2006

I have come to believe that, at my root, there is a conspiracy theorist. How else to explain my reaction to today’s Garth Turner ousting.

I heard Lorrie Goldstein and Charles Adler on this subject today, and they speculated the Tories are panicking because of today’s poll numbers.

Ha, says I.

Lets try turning that around a bit. If the poll numbers shocked them, and they have only a one vote majority in the commons, they wouldn’t jettison a member, they would try to gain members. But what if your own polling says something different? What if you want to force an election ASAP, but don’t want to look like you are manipulating the timing of an election? Kick out a contentious, pain in the ass member of caucus (who, it should be noted, hasn’t been too big of a pain in the ass of late).

The agreement is, he is welcome back in caucus after the election, the MP gets to be the hot shot he likes to be, and you get the election you want, without looking like you manipulated it.

It sounds crazy, it sounds like way too many ifs, but some days I swear this is how Stephen Harper thinks.

By the way, here’s Garth’s me-video from today:


MPtv – Garth Turner’s message to His Constituants – October 18, 2006

October 18th, 2006
Garth Turner M.P. delivers a message to his constituants – October 18, 2006


Happy Birthday Chuck Berry

October 18th, 2006

Bob Seger sang about “All of Chuck’s children out there, playing his licks,” in Rock and Roll Never Forgets. Having played guitar for years, learning on Chuck Berry licks, having played Johnny-B-Goode and Memphis Tennessee in public, I count myself among Chuck’s children.

But are we really his Children? His pupils is more like it. If Elvis is the King of Rock (And Michael the Prince of Pop), then Chuck Berry is the majordomo who showed us all how it’s done.

His original songs include Johnny B Goode, Rock and Roll Music, Sweet Little Sixteen, Roll Over Beethoven, School Days, Around and Around, Maybellene and No Particular Place to Go. And that’s just scratching the surface.

If anybody has been a more influential rock musician, I don’t know them (even if he did take Johnny B Goode from his cousin Marvin, who heard it from Marty McFly).

For all that, and for so much more, happy 80th birthday Chuck Berry.


Now that Bono is done telling the Canadian government what to do with my taxes… he could pay his own damn taxes.

October 17th, 2006


It’s an Irish term. Roughly translated gob means pile and sheit means excrement. As in you Pile of Sh*t. In common usage, it is preceded by the adjective fockin’. eg. “What are you doing with my wife, you fockin’ gobsheit?”

Which brings me to Bono, and his band of sullen men, U2:

After Ireland said it would scrap a break that lets musicians and artists avoid paying taxes on royalties, Bono and his fellow U2 band members this year moved their music publishing company to the Netherlands.

This would be the same Bono, of the same U2 that came to Canada to scold the Canadian government for not doing enough. Remember he was going to be Martin’s “biggest pain in the ass” if he didn’t follow through on his commitments.

The Dublin group, which Forbes estimates earned $110 million in 2005, will pay about 5% tax on their royalties, less than half the Irish rate.

The move is explained by U2 guitarist David Evans (The Edge) as a strictly business move:

“Our business is a very complex business,” Evans said Oct. 2 on the Dublin radio station Newstalk, breaking the band’s silence after weeks of public criticism. “Of course we’re trying to be tax-efficient. Who doesn’t want to be tax-efficient?”

Exactly! Tax efficient. That’s what I want to be too, except when I try, or when governments try on my behalf, busy body know it alls like Bono show up and spend the money on their own pet projects. They are, to paraphrase Mr. Evans, awfully tax efficient with my tax dollars.

I liked this line, however, from Jill Cassidy, presumably an ordinary citizen of Dublin:

“Among the wealthiest people, I suppose it’s the norm. In U2’s position, it does come across as quite hypocritical.”

Hypocritical indeed. Now, what was that poetic little Irish term?


"We have finished preparations to teach the Zionist enemy a lesson it will not forget."

October 16th, 2006
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Things are heating up again between Israel and Hamas. The bone of contention this time is in Gaza, where Hamas is smuggling weapons in to Gaza through Egypt (click on the map for an enlarged version, to see the geography). That put Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethleham and even Tel Aviv a lot closer to the action. Predictably, Israel does not look kindly on these developments.

See more here, here, here, and here:

Some quotes from the stories:

This latest round of attacks comes amid widely circulated Israeli reports of a buildup of more sophisticated weapons in Gaza, which could put nearby Israeli communities in the line of fire.

“Israel cannot afford to let Gaza turn into a southern Lebanon,”

“The PA is in total disarray, and there’s no attempt to prevent Gaza from being used as a launchpad. All of those pieces together lead to a need to pay whatever price is necessary,” he says, “to keep it not just from becoming Lebanon, but Somalia.”

At least eleven Palestinians were killed over this past weekend during Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip.

Dan Diker, Senior Knesset Affairs correspondent and analyst for Israel’s Channel One English News, said on Adler that he’s hearing war in Gaza is “inevitable.”

Once again, things are not looking good in the middle east.


Picture of the Day – Kitten, meet the Blogosphere… Bologosphere – Kitten

October 14th, 2006

Click Image to Enlarge


Picture of the Day – Sir John A’s Favourite Watering Hole

October 13th, 2006

Bob Rae is Offended – Again

October 13th, 2006

They say voters have short memories. I think there’s some truth to that, but only some. For instance, I well remember Bob Rae’s Ontario, the Rae Days, the dirt tax, Pink Floyd Laughren, arguing over Sunday shopping, for God’s sake. A couple of stories that have been hot in my part of the world lately, Toronto’s garbage and the mess that is Ontario’s doctor crisis, have it’s Genesis in those Rae days of yore.

But I had forgotten how dismal it was. I used to joke that the New Democratic Party was an oxymoron. It was New Democratic, or it was a Party, but it sure wasn’t both. NDP came to be known as No Damn Phun. I had forgotten that, until this morning.

It seems PM Harper set the cat in the Liberal budgie cage yesterday, saying of Michael Ignatieff’s recent comments on Israel:

I think this is consistent with the anti-Israeli position that has been taken by virtually all of the candidates for the Liberal leadership…

The response from this bit of political sport was quick, as the leadership wannabees all predictably condemned Harper’s comments (wouldn’t it have been refreshing if one had said, “hey, it’s politics, what did you expect Stephen Harper to say?”)

But it was Bob Rae who went off like a little girl in a spider store. Sounding like Shelly Martel after some male politician went on TV to show his pasty white ass, Rae used all of the following words in his ridiculous rant: “shameful”, “appalling”,”offensive”, “take profound exception”, “simplistic and divisive.”

Bob Rae’s New Democrats where consistently offended, appalled or took profound exception (although, sadly, they were rarely shamed). This is his/was their way of dealing with opponents, whining that they are unfair. What Rae never seemed to learn, even after getting pasty whitey handed to him by Mike Harris, is this sort of politics rarely works against someone who won’t take the bait, and Stephen Harper won’t take the bait.

It is instructive that Rae was not the only Liberal leadership hopeful who complained about Harper’s comments, most of them did. Yet not one pointed to a concrete example showing Harper is wrong.

Funniest Liberal of the day goes to Scott Brison, who complained he is Pro-Israel and Pro Hezbollah. Look Scott, you are either for the guys who walk into the cafe with the bomb strapped on them, or you are with the patrons of the cafe. You can’t really be pro-both.

Or as Confucius might say, “men who spend day straddling fences spend night with sore nuts.”