Sunday, October 19, 2008

"You can't turn off the big red machine; you just shut it down for maintenance."

And so it appears that the machine is going for an overhaul on Monday. Call it ongoing renewal (I mean, we're obviously not done yet are we?)

Stephane Dion will have packed a lot of experience into the year and a bit (correction: two years) at the helm of the Liberal party. From a heady and improbable fifth-to-first victory in the leadership race, to the distinction of being the target of at least two unprecedented off-election-cycle attack add campaigns launched by the governing Tories, to the agony of defeat and finally the victim of an ignominious push by Liberal party members who are perhaps a little impatient in their desire to get back to winning.

I hope he doesn't take it too hard. He fought the good fight, with a better than expected showing in both debates, and only one minor gaffe which unfortunately accentuated his only weakness, that of his English language skills. Too much time was spent trying to gloss over or defend this chink in the armour. Consider it this way, political leaders whose primary language was English but had a poor grasp of French have always been seen as liabilities (usually for the NDP or some Reform/Alliance leader). Yes, Chretien had his own language difficulty, but in hindsight he also had decades of experience in the trenches of the bloodsport of Canadian politics.

In the end, Mr. Dion's intelligence and integrity couldn't necessarily translate itself into the kind of withering attack that would be required to take down even a bumbling Stephen Harper (who truly did bumble-away a majority that was finally within his grasp), nor could he galvanize public opinion in such a way as to draw out the required support from an increasingly politically apathetic populace.

That raises a good point: was it Stephane Dion, or was it an election that just couldn't bring out Canadians to the polls? Three elections in six years is a bit much (correction: three elections in four years? worse); if the next one falls anywhere within a winter season, be prepared for an absolutely appalling turnout (provided there isn't some sort of scandal or trigger that inflames our less than glowing hearts).

Denied the second chance that even Turner was given, Stephane Dion will be relegated to one of the brief chapters in Liberal party leadership history. He wasn't my first, or second choice for leader, but once chosen he did grow on me, and I personally would have supported him for another campaign at the very least. But this is Canadian politics, and the Liberal party prefers less and less to twist and dangle in opposition.

Warren Kinsella has called it: "The Liberal Party will win the next election: that's my prediction. I'll put money on it."

We'll see, just hopefully not too soon.


Monday, October 13, 2008

T-minus 1 day...

This should be my last post until the election is final. I'll be working to G.O.T.V. tomorrow, starting at 9:30am.

Nader eh? Yeah, we'll take it. This should piss-off Jack.

Have a happy E-day everyone, and remember... we can disagree without being disagreeable.


Conservative Softwood Sellout Blowback

There's still time for Harper and the Conservatives to wear this one, if enough people hear about this:

h/t to Red Tory

Here's a link to another post on the topic also: Harper Soffwood Sellout becomes U.S. payout


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Theft and Defacing of campaign signs is unacceptable regardless of which party is attacked

Until today, I had only heard about Liberal signs, houses and cars being targeted for election vandalism; however, it now seems to be blight that is affecting the CPC party as well.

It doesn't matter which party is being targeted, this kind of attack is utterly unacceptable, and an anathema to the democratic principles of freedom of speech and security of property and person.

In a time when the average person's regard for politicians and the political process is almost at an all time low, any such criminal behaviour that drives people further away from participation is utterly detestable.

It strikes me as such a bizarre tactic on so many levels... it only reflects poorly on the party(s) who signs aren't affected. The added expense ends up costing all taxpayers a little more, and if the perpetrators are to be caught and their association with a specific party is revealed, the effect for that party could be disastrous... why risk it?

It's easy to assume that the rival parties somehow endorse or condone this kind of behaviour, as I've figured must be the case here in Burlington and nearby Halton where the main victims appear to be Liberal, but such a knee jerk reaction would be equally wrong, and lends itself to possibly reinforcing these acts of vandalism.

I think all parties should make it a priority to condemn and acts of election vandalism, especially when it affects their rivals.

It might also help to restore some people's faith in the Canadian political system.


Now the muzzles on the other... er, you know what I mean...

Nice to the see the press is picking up on the fact that Stephen Harper has chosen to muzzle himself, along with the rest of this CPC caucus in the closing days of the election.

He might be giving speeches, but he won't be taking questions.

If it keeps him from giving out any more ill-informed stock advice, it might be the smartest move he's made in quite a while. I hope nobody was caught up in Steve's irrational exuberance with regards to 'good buys' in the market... now there's a piece of tape that would have been better off lost in translation.

Still, keeping himself at arms length from people with questions won't keep this tactic from being recognized as that of a weak leader. The Globe might think he's growing into the job, but I think he's wilting.

It's ironic that Harper had the temerity to jump on Stephane Dion's unfortunate taped interview from last week, when it proved to be a minor gaffe, and one that hasn't stopped Mr. Dion from meeting the press and taking questions.

Who's 'not a leader' now Steve, eh?


Meanwhile, South of the border...

Theft of the 2008 Election:

Just one more reason I'm grateful to be Canadian.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Toronto Star endorses Stephane Dion and the Liberal party

The Toronto Star's editorial board have endorsed Stephane Dion and the Liberal party, and contrary to what the Tory trolls will undoubtedly say, their choice was not 'automatic' or 'a given,' but rather one arrived at after some debate and discussion.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has run a government that has put partisanship and ideology ahead of the public interest.

In fiscal policy, Harper has pursued a neo-conservative strategy to cut the GST – not, as economists had recommended, income taxes – in order to reduce dramatically the role of government. He inherited a $12 billion surplus from the previous Liberal government (under Paul Martin) and has squandered almost all of it. His moves have left the government with little room to manoeuvre in the current crisis. (more)

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Campaign sign theft in Burlington

My sign was stolen some time last night. @#%&*!

I arrived home around around 1:30am and noticed it was gone. I had noticed other Liberal signs on our street were missing (but not any CPC signs, curiously).

Checking the brake lines on my wife's and mother-in-law's cars which were in the driveway, everything looked ok... I'll test them out to be safe.

Well, I had a small sign before... think it's time for a big one now.

...and I'll be extra vigilant for the next few nights.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oh well

The hope was nice while it lasted. Hey, maybe it won't be such a big deal, or make much of a difference, but then again when an "awkward moment" from a taped interview makes the national news, it usually makes an impression.

Tough break Stephane. It's too bad you won't be judged for what is really most important. C'est la vie.

Let's hear it for the liberal-biased MSM!

Update: Hey look, front page of the Star. @#%&!.

For future reference Stephane, asking for a do-over in a taped interview is like telling the interviewer to garrote you with the extra tape.

As usual, Red Tory says it best.


Campaign thought for the day

I'm nowhere near being connected to the larger campaign, so this post amounts to some off-handed speculation.

Quebec and BC are the key battlegrounds for a Liberal minority.

I come to this thinking:
  • Things couldn't get to much better in Atlantic Canada
  • Ontario is trending in the right direction
  • Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta are as tough as they'll ever be... always worth the effort, but don't expect much return.

The next 4 days are going to be interesting, to say the least.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

OMG Is this a joke?

This has to be some sort of bizarre joke right?

Of course, in a government where central messaging control is religion, it is all purely coincidental that the feds' latest marketing mascot is a white guy with a helmet-head hairdo and the same name as George Bush's favourite moniker for our PM.

And the timing... I'm speechless. Was this really supposed to help attract tourists to Canada?

On the page featuring Victoria, for instance, there's a picture of Steve in a wetsuit, looking oh-so-Stockwell Day, and talking about sea kayaking around the blue-hair capital of the universe.
Steve "tips his hat to Calgary" in an urban cowboy outfit, which at least looks a lot better on a bobblehead than the PM's famous vest get-up for the Stampede. Notably, a third of the page is devoted to the Calgarian inventor of the Bloody Caesar cocktail.


Afterthought: Hey wait a sec... is this their platform!? You will vote for bobblehead Steve... look into his eyes.... you're getting sleepy.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Monday morning... "The fundementals of our economy are _______"

You fill in the blank.

Hey, things could turn around this afternoon...

Update: 11:43am and things are already rebounding... but oil is still down. While I won't mind the lower gas prices, that will be the harbinger of rough seas for the Canadian economy.
Update 2: 3:17pm... yow, this sucks.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Conservative Foreign Policy train wreck continues

Couillard told to trash NATO briefings? Sacre bleu!

Wow. Can the Conservatives be revealed to be any more inept and unfit to lead?

I'm hoping more Canadians wake up to this fact, but again, I'm not holding my breath.

The debates are going to be the best opportunity to take a bite out of the CPC. If Harper uses any prepared statements, Stephane Dion should ask him if they're his own original work.