Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Sarah Palin Random Quote Generator

Disturbing

There is something truly disturbing about watching your Prime Minister (then the Leader of the Official Opposition) parroting, almost word for word, a speech by another Prime Minister from another county.

Could someone pass on a message to PMSH that it's still plagiarism even when you aren't in school?

Ok, sure, it's a five year old speech; 'big deal' you say.

I say it should serve as a reminder that PMSH would have had Canada involved in the 2nd Iraq war. I wonder what the Canadian casualty count from that escapade would have been?

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey Jack, Listen up: This is why I'm not going to vote NDP*


I had the pleasure of catching a brief snippet you on CBC Radio1 on the drive home tonight, and I just thought I'd pass on a little advice:

I get that you don't just want to be leader of the official opposition, but rather that you want to be elected Prime Minister.

I get that your job is to attract as many voters to the NDP as possible. Got it.

I totally grok that you and all of the NDP supports out there truly and passionately believe in the NDP vision, and furthermore that you all believe it is the best path for all (or at least most)Canadians. Check.

But when you start flatulating about voters not choosing the "same-old-same-old," as you put it, you only steel my resolve not to vote for you.

Did it ever occur to you or your genius campaign advisers that maybe some Liberals vote Liberal not just out of habit, but because its the party that has best represented our values, and has achieved great things? When you denigrate those achievements, you only succeed in driving my vote away.

Was helping ensure that gays and lesbians are not second class citizens, but instead enjoy the same rights and privileges as all Canadians the "same-old-same-old"?

Was lengthening maternity leave to one year the "same-old-same-old"?

Was balancing the Federal budget and helping ensure prosperity for Canada the "same-old-same-old"? This one is especially poignant, because Mulroney left Canada with the largest deficit ever, and there is no way any NDP'er could ever say with a straight face that the NDP would have had the cool hand to pull that recovery off.

Was choosing to keep Canada out of the 2nd Iraq war the "same-old-same-old"? Meh, probably, and the NDP would have done that too I guess.

Has the NDP ever even come close to the remotest possibility of achieving the position of leadership in this country to be able to achieve any of these things? Ever wonder why perhaps?

So Jack, the quick and dirty is that your "same-old-same-old" line is, quite frankly, offensive.

So kindly get stuffed.


*at least in this election, for certain. If , in the future, for some unforeseen reason I should find myself living in a riding where the NDP have the best shot at winning the local seat in a close race with a CPC candidate, I would likely hold my nose and lend you my vote, because that's the kind of guy I am. Get stuffed.


Update: Let me spell this out for people like Lefdog who just don't get it... I listened to Jack instead of reflexively turning off the radio, and he only succeeded in offending me. Is this a good strategy? Hmmmm? Shit, why am I bothering?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Get the message out: Tories anti-abortion agenda

From the Toronto Star:

Women's groups accuse Tories of anti-abortion agenda


Sep 25, 2008 01:53 PM

OTTAWA–The Conservative government is eroding women's reproductive health and right to abortion "by stealth," a group of advocates representing labour and women's rights charged this morning.

"There is a clear anti-abortion hidden agenda at work that puts women's health at risk," said Carolyn Egan, of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

At a news conference, the groups representing the Canadian Labour Congress, the Quebec Federation for Family Planning, and the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women, called on all individual candidates and party leaders to clearly state their views, and their political intentions, challenging them to oppose any moves to extend "personhood" or legal rights to fetuses.

They did not limit their criticism to the Conservatives, but reserved especially harsh comments for the government after its announcement, in August, that it would bring forward a bill this fall to allow harsher penalties for offenders who cause injury or death to a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman.

They also pointed to the Conservative government's failure to force New Brunswick to publicly pay for abortion procedures in a Fredericton clinic. The previous Liberal government also refused to sanction the N.B. government under the Canada Health Act.

In addition, the women cited two other private member's bills to ban abortion after 20 weeks, and to absolve "pro-life" health practitioners who refuse to refer women to legal abortion procedures, which Egan said is a "serious violation of medical ethics" that puts women's health at risk.

"We represent the pro-choice majority in this country that fought and won women's right to abortion and we will not stand idly by while these rights are eroded," said Egan.

Barbara Byers, of the Canadian Labour Congress, said she believed Prime Minister Stephen Harper, known for his tight control of his caucus, realized the implications of the private member's bill that claimed its objective was to express society's abhorrence of crimes against pregnant women, not to re-criminalize abortion.

"Don't tell me and don't try and convince me that he didn't realize this was going to be chipping away at women's reproductive rights and it was a backdoor way to get what he wants anyhow," said Byers.

Byers said she believed a Conservative majority would chip away at the status quo which – since 1988 when Parliament failed to re-legislate against abortion after the Supreme Court of Canada struck down an old law – allows publicly funded abortions.

"My sense is it's going to be done by stealth," she said, pointing to the U.S. where various measures such as those that curb late-term abortions are restricting the right to abortion.

In August, the Conservative government said it would rewrite a private member's bill that had passed second reading with the support of several Liberal MPs, in order to address the question of whether it would recriminalize abortion in any way.

At the time, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said the government's re-written version – not tabled – would replace C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, and would make the injury or death of a fetus an aggravating circumstance for judges to consider during sentencing. He said the government's bill "leaves no room for the introduction of fetal rights."

Egan said it would re-open the debate over abortion "under the guise of stopping violence against women."

The groups have sent a 9-page questionnaire to all parties demanding to know where they stand on different questions of abortion rights and violence against women.

Liberal leader Stephane Dion described himself today as in favour of a "the right of women to choose" abortion. "As prime minister, I will protect this right," he told reporters, and called on Harper to clarify his position.

"Where is Mr. Harper? He needs to make his view clear because Canadians have the right to know."

Dion stumbled when he identified himself as "pro-life." An aide later clarified that he meant to say "pro-choice."

Strategic voting. Friends, Canadians, lend us your votes... or not

Vote for Environment seems to be getting a lot of attention. I'm obviously in favour of strategic voting, as I prefer to see the Harper Conservatives braying at the government from the opposition benches.


But I'm not getting my hopes up.

From their analysis on the seat allocation if everyone votes 'smart' (VFE's words), it would seem an obvious win-win-win-victoire situation for the parties in the Progressive spectrum.

The Achilles heel for this plan is the funding question. Parties that receive over 2% of the national vote are given $1.75 per vote received on election day. Add to that the riding's that receive over 10% of the vote locally will receive back 50% of their campaign spending. These two points alone give the NDP and Green party boosters sufficient reason not to support strategic voting.


The Greens even have a page arguing against strategic voting.


Score
Greens, NDP and Democracy: 1
LPC and Strategic voting: kick in the groin

Of course, the parties then forming the coalition government could find legislative solutions to make up for such future shortfalls. Just being an active part of a coalition has benefits such as higher public profile and governing credibility that, imho, outweigh one-time election funding.




Still, I just don't see it happeneing to any substantial degree. The parties aren't interesting in risking their votes, and the 'non-politicized' public is just not that fired up about preventing another Haper government.

Nice try though. Nice site too.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stephen Harper Economics

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Divide and conquer: Harper takes aim at artists and academics

Well, if you didn't see it before now, it's becoming pretty clear what demographic the Harper Conservatives have targeted.

His appeal to the "ordinary average" Canadian is being spread pretty thick.

Earlier, I finished listening to him mangle a statement on why the average Canadian doesn't support the arts, conjuring images of "rich people at galas" complaining about not getting enough funding; rather, he contrasts how "ordinary Canadians" know how they have to live within a budget.

The message is that artists are "elitist," and "ordinary" Canadians shouldn't support them.

Now I read that he's rejecting the assessment of sociologists, criminologists and others "who work in ivory towers" and oppose his get-tough, law-and-order proposals.

The message is that sociologists and criminologists don't live in, or are somehow disconnected from the world of the average Canadian. Never mind, Harper suggests, their education or specialized study in the fields which he presumes to understand better.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Real Harper

Is this add going to appear on tv? It should...

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Good point

This is the kind of message that needs to be spread outside of Ontario, with Canadians who haven't shared our previous experience with these Conservatives:

Earlier Wednesday, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said the first act of a Liberal government would be to ask for an audit of public finances to see whether Canada is in deficit already.


He said he would take his cue from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who asked for an independent audit of his province's books after taking over in 2003 from a Progressive Conservative government in which Finance Minister Jim Flaherty had served as a cabinet minister. The audit revealed Ontario had a $5.6-billion deficit.


“The first thing we'll do, we'll ask for an audit, an independent audit … and we'll see if Mr. Flaherty did to Canada as he did to Ontario,” Mr. Dion said in Kitchener, Ont., during a stop in the campaign for the Oct. 14 election.


From this article in the Globe and Mail

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Government study supports the green shift

With a hat tip to Steve, I'll add my voice to the chorus...

What Stephen Harper doesn't want Canadians to find out, is that they stand to benefit from the green shift plan.

TORONTO – The Green Party is releasing a secret report to the federal government from one of Canada's leading economists, obtained under the Access to Information Act in 2007. The report supports a carbon tax as an effective way to make significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and concludes that a $50/tonne tax on carbon would have an insignificant impact on the Canadian economy and would open tremendous economic opportunities. The model estimates this carbon tax shift would cut emissions by about 36 megatonnes (MT) by 2010, 59 MT by 2015 and 114 MT by 2030 (Table 3).


Green Party leader Elizabeth May May diverted from her intended remarks at a campaign event in Toronto today to point out the hypocrisy of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and thereby kicked off the leaders’ debate.


The study, undertaken for Natural Resources Canada by M.K. Jaccard and Associates (MKJA), calculates the impact of carbon taxes of between $10 and $250 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) beginning in 2006 and applied throughout the economy at a single rate.


The report – Cost Curves for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction in Canada: The Kyoto Period and Beyond – concludes that the GDP impact of a $50/tonne tax shift is less than 0.1% of GDP per year until 2010, is virtually zero during the next five years and is then positive after 2015 (see chart below).Further, the report projects net financial savings to those who take action as a result of the tax shift, after taking into account the investment in emissions reductions. At $50 per tonne, that windfall
comes to $13.8 billion by 2010 and climbs from there (see chart below).


“Mr. Harper’s ridiculous claim that taxing carbon will bring about economic ruin and a recession is starkly contradicted by his own research,” said Ms. May. “In fact, this report shows a positive impact on GDP beginning in 2015. With this in the public omain it is clear that Mr. Harper is deliberately distorting the evidence. Mr. Harper’s fear mongering on a carbon tax is a deliberate and premeditated effort to demonize a sensible plan.


“The government’s own analysis proves that a $50 carbon tax shift will benefit businesses and individuals, and will achieve deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The Prime Minister should now explain to Canadians why, in the face of this compelling evidence, his government stubbornly refuses to consider the carbon tax option and continues to viciously attack those who do. Mr. Harper must bring some honesty into this debate.”


In remaining doggedly opposed to even considering a carbon tax and attacking those who do, Conservatives are ignoring a growing international consensus among leading economists and a government-commissioned study contradicting its warnings of economic meltdown.


The Green Party of Canada would implement a $50 per tonne carbon tax shift – with matching cuts in income and payroll taxes – as the cornerstone of a comprehensive plan for a green energy future that will reinstate Canada as a leader in the global
campaign to prevent catastrophic climate change.


“When we first released our plan to put a price on carbon, Environment Minister John Baird saw fit to deride our plan as ‘the mother of all tax increases’ even though we propose a tax shift with no net increase in revenue,” said Ms. May. “It’s another example of the government’s willingness to deliberately mislead Canadians in support of its ineffective and widely discredited climate change policies.”

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I read the news today, egad...

This is a situation that needs to be turned around, and I think it still can. If it's one thing that Dion has proven, is that he can achieve victory against daunting odds.

Part of the problem is that the CPC, which has been steadily gaining strength since they unified, has developed and honed an effective election machine.

The Liberal campaign has got to go on the offensive, and this is one way to do it, especially now with the price of gas jumping up. The other way is by hammering away at the broken promises, scandals, and situations that should rightfully make Canadians doubt the integrity of the Harper Conservatives

Another point that the general public seems to be missing, and that must be brought to their attention is that the Green shift is a combination of taxes combined with tax breaks, and that it's possible to come out ahead with an overall tax cut.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Suggestions

A friend of mine raises a couple good points; where are the Liberal attack ads about:

a) Tony Clement being AWOL during recent Listeria crisis.

b) Reminding Ontarians about Flaherty's anti-Ontario statements.


There needs to be more pointed criticisms levelled at the Conservatives.

Perhaps a frugal Liberal campaign has these ads in the works or waiting to go as the campaign comes down to crunch time?

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

I don't like Nik's numbers...

... especially since he tends to be so accurate.

Despite a gaffe riddled campaign, the Harper Neo-Tories appear to be leading in the polls, according to pollster extrordonaire Nik Nanos

Our first set of CPAC-Nanos nightly tracking indicates the Conservatives have entered the campaign with a five point lead over the Liberals among decided voters (CP 37%, Lib 32%, NDP 13%, BQ 9% GP 9%). Notably, the Conservatives are showing strength in central Canada where they are statistically tied with the Liberals in Ontario (Lib 41%, CP 39%) and close on the heels of the Bloc in Quebec (BQ 35%, CP 32%).


Looks like we've got our work cut out for us.

Update: Rumors have Liberal war room considering a few strategically timed gaffes.

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Harper sees threats from Green Shift plan

Prime Minister Stephen Harper warns that the Green Shift plan would be a threat to Canada's economy, possibly causing a recession, as well as posing risks for national unity in Canada and in other countries, such as Belgium, the United States and Burkina Faso.

He went on to claim that the Green shift would also cause all of the food in your fridge to go bad, scratch all of your CD's and DVD's.

Your iPod's contents will be erased, your pets will run away and your morning coffee will taste weird.

Raccoons will take up residence in your attic, if they haven't already. All your colours will fade in the laundry. Your rush hour commute will take longer than normal.

Your risks of Cancer, Alzheimer's and Halitosis will increase by 120%.


Asked about their alternative plan, Harper just gave the Prime Ministerial stinkeye:




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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Scandalpedia

Nice list eh? Scandalpedia is your one-stop shop for The CPC's greatest hits.

And to think, the Harper and his minions acheived this in such a short time. Now that's effective government!

What's your favorite CPC scandal? For me, the Cadman affair just edges out the Income Trust betrayal for outright audacity.

h/t to penlan (who appears to be a war-room blogger)

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4 former PMs join call for climate change action

It will be interesting to see how much traction this story will get. It's the kind of thing that should get more attention, but somehow I almost expect it won't.

I always expect elections to bring out the public's biggest concerns and make them clear platform choices.

All this story does is add another underline to the fact that yes, climate change is a concern.

What is doesn't do, is give any specific endorsement to a specific plan. That doesn't help Joe and Jane Frontporch, who don't really know much about which is the best plan. Joe and Jane are concerned, and they wan't to work towards a better tomorrow for their children or grand-children, but they don't have all the facts.

Oh well. Next story.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Day 1

My sign is up, and I'm ready for one month of election overload.

Never having much in the way of serious commentary to offer, today I just felt like practising my motivation sign building.


I'm sure there are going to be a few good photo ops in the next month, so I'm going to start brushing up now.





One thing is certain, the success of the Liberal party hinges on Canadians being able to get to know Stephane Dion... out to dinner with friends the other night and I'm still hearing that people just don't know much about him. Hopefully this will change.


I disagree with Kinsella on the importance of the plane not being ready. Non-issue. Next.






Did Layton really say he wants to apply for Harper's job? Last election he just wanted to be the leader of the official opposition.








As a Liberal supporter, I'm spooked by the prospect of the Green party splitting the vote, but from a political standpoint, it is going to be exciting to see how well they can emerge from this election.







Similarly, I'm kind of pleased to see the Bloc running scared. I want to see the Liberals form the next government, but failing that I'll settle for seeing the Bloc Quebecois savaged on their home turf.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sound advice... mostly

Mostly Sound advice from Patrick Corrigan of the Toronto Star

Oh wait, thats right, they're going to rescue some jobs from a Ford Engine plant in Windsor... guess that one might have to come off the list.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I like Nik's numbers...

Although I think Canadians still need to get to know Mr. Dion a bit better.

I guess the big test will be convincing the swing voters, or for the neo-tories: how effective will their smear campaign be?

They must have one in the can waiting to go... we should see it soon.

It must be nerve wracking to see all the money spent on three media smear campaigns in two years have brough minimal results, at best.

Nik on the Numbers The latest Nanos poll shows that the Liberals and Conservatives are gripped in a deadlock (LP 35%, CP 33%, NDP 17%, BQ 8%, GP 7%).Of note, in the province of Quebec, support for the Bloc has decreasedsignificantly by nine points in the last quarter, with the NDP picking up most of that support. On the best Prime Minister front, Stephen Harper still enjoys a significant advantage over Stephane Dion.A potential election poses risks for both the Conservatives and the Liberals. Prime Minister Harper seems ready to risk his mandate while his party is tied with the Liberals. Liberal leader Stephane Dion has not been embraced by Canadians.

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