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Monday, May 31, 2004

Ipsos-Reid releases new poll: bad news for Liberals

Liberal slide worsens, according to new poll:

The poll found that the Liberals are now at 34 per cent among decided voters -- their lowest level since Paul Martin became prime minister in December.

Not far behind is the Conservatives, who have jumped four points to 30 per cent. Support for the New Democratic Party has dropped slightly to 16 per cent, down two points.

[...] Based on those numbers, Ipsos-Reid drafted a seat projection model that suggests the Liberals would win only 122 to 126 seats if an election were held today. The Conservatives would get between 107 to 111 seats, the NDP 15 to 19, and the Bloc Quebecois 56 to 60.

[...] The poll suggests 66 per cent of Canadians believe it is time for a change, up from 60 per cent two weeks ago. Those numbers are highest in Alberta and Ontario.

Meanwhile, 29 per cent of those polled said the Liberal government deserves to be re-elected -- most of those in agreement with that statement were in Atlantic Canada, followed by British Columbia and Saskatchewan/Manitoba.

[...] According to the responses given, the leader with the least amount of momentum is Martin. Only 11 per cent of those polled said their opinion of the Liberal leader and his party had improved over the last few weeks, compared to 47 per cent who said it had worsened. Thirty-six per cent said their opinion has "stayed the same."

The momentum instead appears to be pushing up Conservative Leader Stephen Harper. Thirty-two per cent say their opinion has improved of him over the last few weeks, while 14 per cent say their opinion has worsened. Forty-two per cent said their opinion has "stayed the same."

There is a still a long way to go before the end of the campaign, but there is no doubt that the Conservatives are on the right track.

Posted by Laurent Moss on May 31, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sea of Red Ink

If you're watching the Flames game, as folks in the office are now doing, then you're obviously not reading this.

For those who are reading this: in addition to a riveting hockey matchup, you're missing a parade of election ads from both Liberals and Conservatives.

There's something a little perverse about seeing these ads, which are now paid for by tax dollars, used to buy space on a broadcaster which is already propped up by tax dollars. Most Canadians are probably naively enjoying this hockey game with little thought to how much it's costing them.

For those of us looking for a reason to spoil the fun, however, one of our interns, Peter Jaworski, has promised to count the campaign ads that air so we can get a sense of how many of our hard earned bucks are being Zambonied over the course of three periods.

(See Peter's comments below for the running tally...live.)

Posted by Kevin Libin on May 31, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

How Canadian

930 saxophonists play Hockey Night in Canada theme in possible world record.

[Rick's Miscellany]

Posted by Rick Hiebert on May 31, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why can't we all just get along?

According to a poll reported in the Montreal Gazette, a majority of Canadians, especially Quebecers, think war is an outmoded way of "settling differences". I'll preface my comments by suggesting that this poll, like most "attitude" polls, asked manipulative and leading questions based on the presuppositions of the pollsters and/or the prevailing social mythology of the time and place, and is therefore likely not an accurate reflection of public opinion. That being said, if what this poll says is true, I suppose then, conversely, that the appeasement of, and pandering to, dictators, thugs, banana republics and murderers must be, for Canadians, the path to peace. I think certain of our enemies (al-Qaeda comes to mind) would be happy to negotiate with Canada. We'll have a rap session, man, while they express their culture by holding knives to our throats. Groovy.

[Occam’s Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 31, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack

If the Election were based purely on ads....

Jack Layton might just win.

I saw three ads from the three parties during the hockey game on Saturday night.

I hated two and liked one.

The Conservative ad ("demand better") featured Steven Harper talking to the camera about the Liberal Government and asking us to demand better. It isn't a bad ad but it has a very flat feel to it. I guess because there is no music and Harper is standing, well leaning against a desk and he looks kind of stiff. It isn't a crappy ad but it isn't a great one either.

The Liberal ad (second one on their ad page) features Paul Martin at what appears to be a cottage near a Canadian lake (where a lot of Canadians will be during the election campaign). He is fretting about health care and how badly we need to reelect him so that he can do something about it.

Oddly the tranquil mood of the surroundings takes from his message. You almost expect him to say "Wow health care is in trouble" and then start leisurely skipping stones accross the lake.

The end of the commercial features a close up of Martin but he doesn't look Prime Ministerial at all. He looks frightened. This is a lousy ad.

The NDP ad (called Ideas) suprisingly looks the most expensive. I guess all those leftists in the media are giving them cut-rate deals. Whatever the reason it is a slickly produced 30 second spot that touches all of the key NDP points (well they are all non-sequitors) in a pithy and effective manner. Jack doesn't talk to the camera (except for the first and last part of the ad which anchors the message) but does the voice-over as the camera cuts to different shots of him talking to Canadians. He looks comfortable and telegenic unlike his competition. His themes are reinforced with text on the screen at various points in the ad. At no time is the ad loud, blaring or alarmist (a possible first for any socialist advertising). I was fairly impressed.

But I ain't voting for him.

The Meatriarchy

Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on May 31, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Lefties becoming desperate

From today's edition of Norman's Spectator
(with articles hotlinked):

Our top international story yesterday—the bloody denouement of the siege in Saudi Arabia —leads the major US papers today, Memorial Day.

At home, Olivia Chow and Dennis Mills got into a screaming match immortalized on the front page of the Toronto Star. According to the man known in Vancouver-Kingsway as Jack Chow, this proves the Liberals are desperate. He may be right: Health minister Pierre Pettigrew told the crowd of 50 he drew to the opening of his headquarters that the Liberal campaign had gotten off to a great start.

Thank God both Paul Martin and Stephen Harper took Sunday off: it should spare us further attacks on the Conservative leader for his religious beliefs, such as the bigotry penned yesterday by the Toronto Star’s David Olive. (I quote: “So it falls to the press, if they can tear themselves away from certain distractions, to ask Harper exactly what he meant last year when he wrote: “While retaining a focus on economic issues, we must give greater place to social values and social conservatism, broadly defined and properly understood.” What is the evangelical Christian Tory leader saying here?”)

After a light campaign day, the Tories, taking a leaf out of the Liberal spin book, have leaked details of today’s expected announcement on military spending, and all the papers lap it up. The Globe and Mail’s front-page version is a strange jumble, as is the election analysis by Drew Fagan. (Question: Did the Globe’s news editors miss the long weekend by seven days?) Susan Delacourt , on the other hand, comes through for the Star on page one with flying colours.

The National Post, whose John Ivison is not up to her standard but is a tad better than Fagan, still hasn’t decided whether it will endorse Martin or Harper: the conflicted paper fronts the military story but buries within it what the Ottawa Citizen’s editors understand is today’s


Grits, Tories in dead heat, poll shows: Former cabinet minister wants purge of Martin's campaign team

Posted by Norman Spector on May 31, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Kinsella predicts Mills v. Layton

We're not supposed to use naughty words at The Shotgun. Warren Kinsella knows no such limits. And I'm just reporting what he said. Check out Sobering Thoughts.

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 30, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Forget Atkins, just cut out urban sprawl

Today's Washington Post has a story headed "Car Use Drives Up Weight, Study Finds." The basic thesis is that people who live in the suburbs are fatter because they use their cars more and don't walk as much as people in cities. This would be a fine and dandy conclusion if the study actually showed such a causation, but it doesn't. At all.

Yes, the researchers found a positive correlation between car use and obesity, but they also found that 90 percent of their subjects did not walk at all, regardless of where they lived (city or suburb). So, it's hard to see how they can justify their conclusion that it's all that walking the city folks do that keeps them slimmer. Could it not be related to their income levels instead? Urban dwellers tend to have a different socioeconomic profile from suburbanites. Maybe the former are more likely to diet or go on health food kicks or or join gyms or simply be able to afford spending more or fruits and veggies.

Obviously, I don't know the answer, but I think it's a little early for the urban planners to start jumping up and down with self-satisfied smiles and lecturing us about how sprawl causes obesity. Despite what the Washington Post may say, that isn't what the study proves.

Posted by Marni Soupcoff on May 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Kofi didn't quite get the right word

Writing in the Telegraph about the conflict in Sudan -- Rwanda II -- Patrick Smith notes: "So bad are the conditions in Darfur that the normally cautious UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, said: 'The international community must be prepared to take action... by action I mean a continuum of steps that may include military action'." Annan must have meant "continuous steps" and instead of include, "up to but not including." No one really believes that the UN would sanction military action, even if it was designed to prevent a slaughter. Do they?

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Liberal majority not an option

I said earlier this week that I would explain my prediction of a Conservative minority government but this weekend has not afforded the time to do so. For now I want to make two points.

1. Stephen Harper will win at least a minority government, unless, of course, the Conservatives have peaked too soon and Canadians reconsider their desire to punish the Liberals when they seriously consider the possibility of a Conservative government. In my gut, I cannot believe Canadians will embrace the Conservative Party.

2. Can we stop pretending that the Liberals can win a majority. There are three possible outcomes in this election and in this order: Conservative minority, Conservative majority, Liberal minority. Still, people like the Toronto Sun's Lorrie Goldstein write:

"Support him to the tune of 100 or more seats -- as they did Jean Chretien and the Liberals in the past three federal elections -- and Martin gets his majority. If Stephen Harper and the Conservatives break through with, say, 40 seats, then Martin could be facing a minority."

Read that again: the Martin Liberals lose 40 Ontario seats and they could lose their majority. To do that, they would have to pick up 20 non-Ontario seats. Where is that going to happen? In the best case scenario, the Liberals lose only 12-15 Quebec seats and a handful of Western seats. That's best case for them. The fact is, the Liberals will lose seats in the West, Quebec and Ontario (at least a dozen, more likely two dozen, any more than that, as I predict they will, and they face the likelihood of not being a government). So can we stop talking about the Liberals as if they might lose majority status. They're now fighting to hold onto the most seats.

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 30, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Day After Tomorrow

I’m a little late commenting on this film, and no, I haven’t seen it nor do I intend to. I’ve seen formula disaster movies before and have no need to waste a couple of hours of my life to see this one. I get it. We’re evil capitalists and for our wanton consumption and sins against normally benevolent Mother Earth we will be delivered our righteous destruction. I guess I shouldn’t be, but I am a little surprised to see so much mainstream media coverage of this junk science extravaganza. Le Devoir even had it very prominently splashed across their front page with a large colour picture on Saturday, but I guess this is to be expected given high profile promoters. One can imagine Al Gore pimping for the film with ending off with a big “SEE THIS YOU IDIOTS? WE’RE ALL DOOMED, YEAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”.

But anyway. This film is to the eco-moonbats what The Passion of the Christ was to born again Christians, so let them have their fun. It should be an interesting comparison, actually. The movie buffs figured The Passion would be a bust, and the fringes of society likely to go see it would be scary passionate wackos whipped into an anti-Semitic frenzy likely to go on Jew-lynching pogroms. Uh-huh. It turns out there are actually large numbers of practicing Christians and they aren’t actually prone to lynching Jews, at least in North America (who knew?).

Well, I’ll go out on a limb and make a prediction over The Day after Tomorrow. There are far fewer eco-moonbats than practicing Christians, resulting in a vastly smaller box office and shorter runs for it than The Passion. And, unlike Christians at The Passion this movie won’t pass without any violence. I’ll predict that at least somewhere in North America or Europe there will be a mob of eco-moonbats and anti-globos that will go on a rampage vandalizing SUVs, slashing tires and getting into other mischief.

(Also posted at Trudeaupia)

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 30, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why are the Israelis in Gaza?

This slide show -- from the BBC of all places -- helps explain it.

Posted by Ezra Levant on May 30, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sherlock Hargrove

The case of vandalism directed at the offices of Tapesty Pictures, a film company which produced Prom Queen, remains unsolved. But Buzz Hargrove, fresh off of nearly destroying Air Canada, has already figured it out:

The destruction inflicted on the offices of Tapestry Pictures earlier this week is a hate crime against gays, sparked by the upcoming broadcast of the CTV movie Prom Queen, says Canadian Auto Workers union president Buzz Hargrove.

And Hargrove is urging all Canadians to tune in next Tuesday night as a statement against homophobia and to support fundamental human rights. Prom Queen was "inspired" by the true story of Oshawa, Ont., teen Marc Hall, who won an injunction in 2002 that allowed him to take his gay boyfriend to the prom at his Roman Catholic high school. Hall, who became a media celebrity at the time, is still involved in a legal battle designed to set a precedent that would prevent Catholic Church policy from overriding other gay students' rights.

"Marc Hall is a hero," says Hargrove, whose union backed the teen and his family during the 2002 dispute. "Because he stood up for what was right in the face of considerable hostile opposition."

The offices may very well have been thrashed by people who consider the film anti-Catholic or pro-gay. (Indeed, it wouldn't even be surprising to anyone who's seen "Reverend" Fred Phelps in action.) But there is an alternate explanation which has gotten comparatively little media attention:

The offices of the production company were vandalized last Sunday night, and Toronto police called in the hate-crimes unit to investigate. However, a spokesman for CTV said it was also possible the action was taken by environmental extremists because Tapestry also produced another recent CTV movie, Burn: The Robert Wraight Story, about the violent 1990s feud between an Alberta farmer and the province's oil industry.

If it turns out that this crime was committed by a radical supporter of Wiebo Ludwig, will Hargrove apologize or retract his comments? Sure he will.

Posted by Damian Penny on May 30, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

The press cover Liberal woes

From today's edition of Norman's Spectator
(with articles hotlinked).

With week one of the campaign over, Ontario is shaping up as the key battleground. The polls are turning south for the Liberals everywhere but on the CBC, which is sparing Canadians the bad news about their paymasters.

Political preferences are increasingly obvious at both the Toronto Star--which would welcome a Liberal minority government supported by the NDP--and CanWest papers, which are apoplectic about that prospect; the Montreal Gazette applies its own Anglophone spin in following up disastrous stories for Paul Martin reported yesterday in French. And, here’s one by the Star’s CAROLINE MALLAN on McGuinty’s Fiberals that skips the reality check completely, neatly complementing Les Whittington's sympathetic coverage of Paul Martin’s Saturday.

Only the Quebecor-owned Sun papers follow up on Greg Weston ’s “scoop” yesterday about a Liberal-Tory backroom deal in 2000 to elect Joe Clark. On the brighter side, they’ve got some first class columns analyzing the campaign.

South of the border, the Washington Post’s Ombudsman writes about “megaphone journalism.” The New York Times’ public editor writes about the paper’s Iraq coverage, and does not spare the bosses. Both pieces should be of interest to Canadian newspaper editors and readers alike.


PM: I'll quit if I break my promises

Though the Star's Whittington skips over the biggest promise of all, the Ottawa Citizen fronts Anne Dawson’s report of Liberal desperation:

“Prime Minister Paul Martin said he would resign in two years if he breaks three promises he has made during this election campaign: improving Canada 's health care system; enhancing living conditions in cities; and maintaining social programs without going into deficit.

Mr. Martin's promise is seen as an attempt to distance himself from Ontario 's Premier Dalton McGuinty, who vowed not to raise taxes during last fall's provincial election, but in the May 18 budget, dealt taxpayers huge increases on everything from health care to alcohol.

Posted by Norman Spector on May 30, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Liberal Party blasts Churchill, supports Chamberlain

The Québec section of the Liberal Party of Canada has started an amusing feature called "Bloc Whoppers" that denounces daily the Bloc Québécois. However, in their article posted on May 29, they simply and completely lose it by titling "Preemptive attacks in Iraq - George W. Bush and Gilles Duceppe on the same wavelength" (sadly, this article is only available in the French version, is the Liberal Party engaging in two-tier bilingualism?) It is well known that Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Québécois steadfastedly opposed a Canadian participation to the war in Iraq. But the Liberals rather want to emphasize the fact that Duceppe would have supported Bush's concept of preemptive war by the following declarations in front of the House of Commons on January 29, 2003:

However, there is the issue of pre-emptive strikes. I know that this is the issue raised by international law. International law is evolving and so it should. IF THERE HAD BEEN PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKES on Hitler, from 1933 to 1936, before Munich in 1937, before the Sudetenland crisis, before the Anschluss, before the invasion of Poland in 1939, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR ALL HUMANKIND, EVEN IF INTERNATIONAL LAW DID NOT ALLOW IT. That said, we still need evidence. We had sufficient evidence against Adolf Hitler. THE PACIFISTS WERE WRONG NOT TO ACT.

(Emphasis by "Bloc Whoppers" of the Liberal Party)

Let's try it again by putting emphasis in a different way:

However, there is the issue of pre-emptive strikes. I know that this is the issue raised by international law. International law is evolving and so it should. If there had been pre-emptive strikes on Hitler, from 1933 to 1936, before Munich in 1937, before the Sudetenland crisis, before the Anschluss, before the invasion of Poland in 1939, this would have been good for all humankind, even if international law did not allow it. That said, we still need evidence. We had sufficient evidence against Adolf Hitler. The pacifists were wrong not to act.

(Emphasis by Laurent Moss)

This sheds a whole new light on these words, don't you think?

Whether you were for or against the war in Iraq, I think we can nevertheless agree on this. First, "hawks" like Winston Churchill were right in the 1930s when they said it was necessary to adopt a hardline position toward Nazi Germany and that she must not be allowed to remilitarize herself and annex neighbouring territories in violation of peace treaties. Second, "doves" like Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier were wrong to pursue a policy of appeasement, a policy viewed as enlightened and progressive at the time, in multiplying concessions toward the Hitlerian regime. The pacifists who blissfully applauded when Chamberlain came back from Munich waving his famous "piece of paper signed by Herr Hitler" promising peace were in error.

It is somewhat odd to see the Liberal Party of Canada taking the side of Neville Chamberlain against Winston Churchill more than 60 years after the Second World War.

(Crossposted at Le Blog de Polyscopique)

Posted by Laurent Moss on May 29, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Shake Head or Weep? Tough Decision

It would be difficult to imagine how one would begin to construct a criminal justice system as profoundly dysfunctional as the Canadian. Three current examples, in ascending horror:

[taken from page A8 of the National Post, print edition] Jack Carleton sent Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty an email the other day, which was "disturbing" and "harshly worded". The letter apparently expressed Mr. Carleton's discpleasure with the recent Ontario budget and its attendant tax increases. So what happened? The police obtained a search warrant for Carleton's home, invaded it, found 79 registered firearms, 3 unregistered firearms, a crossbow and two marijuana plants. Carleton has been arrested and is currently being kept in jail. It is important to note that Carleton's email "didn't contain any death threats or threats to cause bodily harm", according to police. Bizarrely, it was evidently sufficient to justify a search warrant. Lesson: don't be mean to Dalton.

[from the Toronto Star] "A mother and daughter have been convicted for their roles in what police say is one of the largest welfare frauds ever in Ontario. The women used 21 different names and pretended to have 13 children to collectively bilk more than $450,000 in payments from welfare agencies throughout Greater Toronto during the past eight years." Mandi Felardeau had been arrested after returning from a South American vacation. But it's all okay: the judge really liked her. "Justice Hugh Atwood said he would recommend that she receive early parole and wished her "good luck," telling her that he sympathized with her traumatic life... Atwood also praised Falardeau for entering a guilty plea without forcing the courts to conduct what would have been an extremely lengthy trial, adding that it was the "greatest saving of time" that he has seen in his 11 years on the bench." Lesson: don't work a day in your life, steal a lot of money from taxpayers, and make sure you pout during your trial.

[from canada.com] Martin Ferrier "has raped women, pulled guns on police and once tried to burn a family to death"; he has also told police that his mission in life is to be Canada's 'most prolific killer'". Our top-notch "justice" system has never seen fit to give Ferrier a stiff sentence, despite "crimes including rape (six convictions), kidnapping and arson with disregard for human life (three convictions)". "Prison doctors say he has intentions of mass murder, hears voices instructing him to kill and is ranked as one of the violent criminals most likely to re-offend... [and] wants to 'become a household name, like Bernardo or Manson'. The National Parole Board also says Mr. Ferrier, diagnosed as an "incurable psychopath," will kill once released." His own mother wants him to remain in jail.

It gets worse: "One of the last times he was in court -- for an assault, robbery and armed standoff with police in Brampton -- he asked the judge to give him a maximum sentence of 15 years, saying he'd hurt someone once released and the court would be to blame. The judge gave him just 15 months."

Ferrier "has told family that he likes it [in prison] and has hopes of becoming a 'lifer' so he'll never have to leave prison again".

So, what is happening to Martin Ferrier? He will walk free on July 7, 2004.

Lesson: he should have sent an email to Dalton McGuinty.

[cross-posted to Let It Bleed]

Posted by Account Deleted on May 29, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

We needed more proof that Joe Clark has no principles?

No, but in case you did check out Greg Weston. Apparently the Libs and Tories conspired in the 2000 campaign to get Joe Clark and Anne McLellan elected. Not too surprising, but that doesn't make it any less wrong.

Posted by Adam Daifallah on May 29, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Liberal Party Co-opts Hockey!

In a gesture, if not exactly fraught with irony, then at least 'liberally' sprinkled, Paul Martin has declared the Calgary Flames to be "Canada's Team" . Actually, he's guaranteed it to be so. This is based, naturally, on the traditionally high esteem in which the Liberals have held Alberta. Martin, looking just a little goofy in his new Flames sweater, made the declaration as part of his campaign team's unseemly plan to co-opt Canada's sport. A vote for the Conservatives should be considered by all right thinking Canadians (i.e., Liberals) to be a vote for some sissy foreign sport, like golf, or tennis or cricket.

As part of this generous endorsement, can the Flames can expect a wee little something under the subsidy tree, come budget time?

[Occam's Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 29, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Friday, May 28, 2004

Another Old Tory Tradition Stolen

Jack Layton wants to repeal the Clarity Act. Who says that only conservatives go for the separatist vote?

Posted by Kelvin on May 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Essential Viewing

I dump on CBC UselessWorld all the time, but I'll give them some credit: they're taking time away from their constant Fashion File/Antiques Roadshow marathons to show an absolutely horrifying documentary, In the Name of God: Scenes From the Extreme, this Sunday.

Regular readers of LGF or MEMRI might think nothing in this film will shock them. They're wrong.

[originally posted to Daimnation!]

Posted by Damian Penny on May 28, 2004 in Television | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

If you think Abu Ghraib is bad...

Good column in today's Toronto Sun about Abu Ghraib. Worthington is ashamed as a former soldier but compares what went on there to what Canadian military prisons used to be like.

Abu Ghraib brought to mind the Canadian military justice system of WWII and Korea, before King's Rules and Regulations were replaced by the National Defence Act.

A friend from army days and Korea, Vince Courtenay, recalls the system better than I.

It sounds primitive now, but sentences of three to seven days on nothing but bread and water were routine for minor offenses. The commanding officer could dish out 28-day sentences.

Bread and water consisted of eight slices of white bread and a canteen of water, which Vince recalls troops calling "piss and punk."

A full meal was required every third day on this diet, and "heavy fellows lost weight rapidly," says Vince, who insists he's not talking from personal experience.

I had a friend who was sent to a military jail after a fight with another soldier and he never got into trouble again. I have to confess I nearly landed there myself after a brawl between the infantry and the engineers outside of an on-base bar one night. For some reason the engineers refused to accept the superiority of the infantry and felt compelled to argue the fact. Fortunately most of us disappeared before the MPs showed up. I didn't want to discover the joys of military jail myself.

Read on

Posted by Steve Martinovich on May 28, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New deal for the PMO - stop meddling!

Here’s a new deal the federal government could consider – stop meddling in provincial jurisdiction. Believe it or not, if we want to fund cities with a gas tax today we are perfectly capable of doing so without any involvement by the PMO whatsoever.

I don’t have much sympathy when the Quebec chattering classes mutter about the supposed fiscal imbalance – the idea that Ottawa has too much revenue and other levels of government too little – but Paul Martin essentially is admitting that they are right. He is saying that the federal government is collecting 5 cents/litre in gas taxes for which they have no use whatsoever at the federal level. The military evidently has all the money they need, every federal department is fully funded, the debt is being repaid at an acceptable rate and he has 5 cents/litre burning a hole in his pocket that he has to go looking into other jurisdictions to spend. Fine, if that’s the case then stop collecting it!.

Once they stop collecting it each province can determine whether they wish to replace it with their own tax to fund cities, fund something else, or let their citizens keep their money themselves. I already elect a provincial government and a city council. I don’t need the PMO to tell them what they can or can’t do, or to benevolently hand out grants like a paternalistic uncle. I very much prefer that they be accountable to me, the citizen, not be a sycophant to the PMO to grovel for handouts. There’s only one taxpayer, and a tax paid at the pump has no need to be laundered through PMO cronies before reaching its destination.

Clearly the only purpose of this deal is to expand the power of the PMO, not to improve Canadian governance.

(Also posted at Trudeaupia).

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 28, 2004 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Scott Reid

Western Standard - Independent Voice of the New West.

Everyone should take a valium and calm down.

The EKOS poll is on the front page of La Presse, as it is in the Toronto Star, though not quite as prominent.

Posted by Norman Spector on May 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Scott Reid - not a gaffe

Contrary to media attempts to find a gaffe, what Scott Reid said was not one. People in Quebec don't lay awake at night wondering if they'll be served in French at a Post Office in Vegreville if Harper gets elected. Nor do they care how many kids are in French immersion in Toronto. Quebec wants the Federal government to stop interfering in provincial affairs where it has no business.

And Paul Martin, is, to say the very least, a hypocrite:

"If anybody has to ask is there a difference of opinion as to the kind of Canada that we want and the kind of Canada Mr. Harper wants, I think that this is an indication of what that's all about," Martin said in Victoria.

Martin moved to Montreal four decades ago and became fluently bilingual. He has been a staunch defender of French-language rights since then.

"This is a question of principle," he said. "I find it quite disappointing that Mr. Harper was unable to express himself on what I really do think is an essential foundation of the way in which we look at the country."

"I support official bilingualism. I support it unequivocally. I support minority language rights and I support them unequivocally."

No you don't, you fool. The forced amalgamation of small Anglo municipalities in Quebec also extinguished their rights to English services. I don't care about such things myself, living in solidly francophone Gatineau, but many Anglos were not at all happy about it. To my knowledge, you, Paul Martin, have said nothing whatsoever in their defense. All this sudden passion about theoretical minor tinkering with bilingual requirements in the federal civil service is rank hypocrisy.

And in any case it's not a gaffe. It's a bored national media overreaching to find a "gotcha" moment.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 28, 2004 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

"....[T]he claim that [abortion] legalization has prevented the deaths of thousands upon thousands of women doesn't hold up...."

The Straight Dope writer Cecil Adams does pro-lifers a favour in today's column when he points out that the estimates of the amount of women who died due to illegal abortions in the U.S. prior to Roe v. Wade are probably grossly overinflated.

[Cross-posted to Rick's Miscellany]

Posted by Rick Hiebert on May 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Liberals sinking

From today's edition of Norman's Spectator

Most papers are snoozing, or preparing their Saturday editions. The Toronto Star’s Ottawa bureau chief, SUSAN DELACOURT, beats up on the competition and delivers today's top story:

Martin headed for minority government, Star's poll numbers show

Gap closing in Ontario as Liberal support falls

Canadians witnessing `remarkable turn of affairs:' Pollster

“The federal Liberals are headed toward minority government, according to a Toronto Star poll released today.

Prime Minister Paul Martin's party is slumping in support in the first week of the federal election campaign, according to the poll, conducted by EKOS Research Associates.

The Liberals have 38 per cent support among decided voters — a three percentage point drop since last month — while the Conservatives and New Democrats are climbing, especially in Ontario.

The poll conducted for the Star and La Presse, shows Liberal support bleeding to the Conservatives, at 30.4 per cent, and the NDP, at 18 per cent. The Bloc Quebecois is at 10.7 per cent and support for other parties is at 2.8 per cent. The Tory and NDP numbers nationally represent two percentage point climbs for each of them since April.

"A minority Liberal government would seem to be an optimistic conclusion for (Prime Minister) Paul Martin," says EKOS president Frank Graves, who believes Canadians are witnessing a "remarkable turn of affairs."

Posted by Norman Spector on May 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No truth, please, we're Canadian

What was Scott Reid thinking? How dare he criticize the other sacred cow of Canadian politics? Doesn't he know that the 100% bilingual population of this country will not tolerate such heresy? We are deeply aggrieved, offended and enraged by his gross insensitivity to the cultural realities of our great country. From coast to coast, we are of one mind in our condemnation of his wilful blindness to the fact that each and every one of us speaks and loves both of our noble official languages. Just give us a few minutes and we'll come up with a way to intimate that his remarks are somehow racist.

All kidding aside, what the heck was Reid thinking? This is Canada, big fella - the truth will definitely not set you free here, well, except in the sense that it will leave you free to pursue other interests after you lose the election. Get your muzzles out, Mr. Harper. No more of this.

[Occam's Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Maybe they should sue Jeremy Rifkin?

About 9-10 years ago a book appeared called "The End of Work" by socialist Jeremy Rifkin. Rifkin was scared and wanted all of us to be scared as well. You see we were soon going to face massive unemployment because technology was making humans redundant and work was becoming extinct.

Rifkin's answer? Well he didn't have a lot but one thing he championed was the shortening of the work week. This would create more jobs since if you cut everyone's work time employers would have to hire more staff.

Not many countries were stupid enough to follow Mr. Rifkin's brilliant strategy. Except one.

France implemented a 35 hour week to the self congratulatory crowing of Mr. Rifkin and it has now been denounced as an absolute disaster.

The problem with shortening the work week in this fashion is two-fold.

One it assumes that Rifkin was correct (he wasn't). In the years after his book was published The US experienced record employment and even now it is still a mere 5.6% and this is when their economy is supposedly doing poorly.

In socialized Europe unemployment is averaging close to 9% almost double the US and even higher than Canada's.

If our unemployment rate was hovering at 9% this election you could bet Paul Martin would be catching hell.

Which leads us to the second problem with the "end of work" thesis: if you assume that your economy is only capable of producing a finite amount of jobs you are wrong and wrongheaded.

The employment/unemployment issue is not a problem but a symptom. If your economy is not producing enough jobs don't throw up your hands in despair and start rationing out the meager amount of jobs you have. Start looking at ways to ramp up economic growth.

France has long been shackled with extremely powerful unions who are already set to fight like crazy to prevent the 40 hour work week from being reinstated. It's economic growth last year was a miniscule .17% compared to the US's 3.12%. Yet no one seems to be suggesting that France or the rest of Europe (which trails the industrial world in economic growth) adopt America's approach to economics: largely unfettered free markets.

If they did there would be no end of jobs and no "end of work".

The Meatriarchy

Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on May 28, 2004 in International Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quick Hits of Torpor

Rick Salutin: "...the failure of market solutions in areas like health and schooling has made government action seem necessary and potentially noble.

Did I miss something, or have we not ever even tried "market solutions" in "areas like health and schooling" in this country?

I Swear I Am Not Making This Up Dept.: "We need to go back to the values of the 1960s: love and peace, that's all there is, man!" (Pierre Fortin, Professor of economics, University of Quebec, Montreal in the Toronto Star)

Posted by Account Deleted on May 28, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Dalton McGuinty: out of touch

The McGuinty Liberals, whose recent budget forced Ontario families to fork over hundreds of dollars more annually in new healthcare taxes while simultaneously de-listing services like trips to the eye doctor, chiropractic and physiotherapy services from public health insurance, are set to re-list sex change operations! (That wasn't a typo, RE-list, not DE-list.)

I can't get over this!

Could there be a dumber political move right now? Bad public policy, voters still reeling from the bad news budget, federal election on....you've got to wonder whether McGuinty's people have graduated from Politics 101?

Posted by Adam Daifallah on May 27, 2004 in Canadian Provincial Politics | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

The "w" word

On the weekend I was going through all the information I had, riding by riding, including, in some cases, local polling results. Then my computer began misbehaving Sunday night and since then I have been cut off from the e-world. My gut still says the Liberals just miss a majority but the careful and thoughtful analysis shows something quite different. I don't have the exact numbers but here is a prediction that looks less bold today than it would have Sunday: Conservatives win a minority government. I don't have my exact calculations but something in the vicinity of the high 130s, Liberals about a dozen behind, the Bloc 58, the NDP around 20 and one or two independents (both in Saskatchewan -- Jim Pankiw, who is polling what his opposition is combined, and perhaps Grant Devine or Larry Spencer). Why: the Liberals are reduced to 17 seats in Quebec, just six west of Ontario and four of them are in Winnipeg, and beating the Conservatives by about 15 in Ontario. Dossanjh, Goodale and McLellan lose.

I am ready and eagerly await your comments and realize that many will suggest that, in Anthony Powell's words, the wish is being father to the thought. But I will return on the weekend to explain in greater detail why we can begin to think about a Conservative win.

Posted by Paul Tuns on May 27, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

That "escalating" insurgency

Do insurgencies ever do anything other than escalate? Apparently not. Here is Haroon Siddiqui in The Star:

America's Number 1 problem in Iraq is lack of credibility. This is a bigger problem than the escalating insurgency against the occupation. The first feeds the second.
But of course you can pretty much look at any story in almost any major media outlet and be pretty sure that the insurgency in Iraq is escalating. So how bad is it?
Here are the wounded in action casualties for the last serveral months:
Dec 261
Jan 186
Feb 144
Mar 301
Apr 1099
May 190
There was certainly a spike in casualties in April that coincided with fighting in both Fallujah and Al Sadr's thugs. But now that fighting has stopped in Fallujah, most southern cities and Al Sadr is trying to talk his way out of Najaf why are people talking about an escalating insurgency? How about a sputtering insurgency, a failing insurgency, or a fizzling one?

And how about that Palestinian intifada? Israel's been in the news a lot lately, one would think someone could work in an assessment about whether their tactics are working. There were plenty of stories about how Israel's attacks on terrorist leaders would inflame the Palestinians (as if they weren't capable of inflaming themselves). You might be surprised to know that for all the international hysteria and condemnationIsrael's approach is working:

The army says there were 25 such attacks in 2002, which killed 147 people. Last year there were 20, killing 141. So far this year there have been only two, in which 19 died.

The Israelis are starting to believe that their tactics are working. Palestinian groups fighting them tend to agree.

Terrorists can be fought and defeated. It is not hopeless, no matter how hard the media try to convince us otherwise.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 27, 2004 in Military | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Today, Labrador...

It's interesting that when the Liberals are called upon to develop a democratic system from scratch, rather than being handed one ready made from the motherland, they come up with something that excludes members of the community from participation in the top levels of government based solely on their ethnicity. This is what has happened with the latest addition to the ranks of Canada's heavily subsidized self-governing native territories, Nunatsiavut, in northern Labrador. Never fear, though, non-Inuits will still be able to vote for community leaders, just as long as they don't get too big for their britches and try to run for higher office themselves. Maybe this is a pilot project. On a national level, how about letting conservatives vote, as long as they don't try to run candidates?

[Occams' Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 27, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Taxing Inconsistency

When Harper announced his plans for tax cuts, pundits were jumping to cast doubts on the economic basis of his plan. The argument was basically that he was too optimistic about the revenue stream to maintain his spending promises.

But now Jack Layton is out with a plan to increase taxes, with the objective of increasing revenue by $29 billion. So where are the economists now? I'm halfway through my economics degree, and I can already tell that increasing taxes by $29 billion isn't exactly an incentive for economic growth (and developing a tax base!).

And that's assuming that everyone sits tight and actually let the NDP stick their hands in our pockets!

But then, nobody seemed to mention the boost to economic growth that the Conservative plan would provide anyways. Supply siders and Keynesians would both agree that lower taxes increase GDP: when nobody in the press mentions that, I wonder what economics school they come from.

Pundits were after Harper within probably hours; I'm still waiting for them to say something about Layton. In most cases, nobody would waste any breath on the NDP anyways, but with a possible Liberal minority, someone should be watching what their likely coalition partner is saying these days.

Posted by Kelvin on May 27, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Liberals sinking in Ontario

From today's edition of Norman's Spectator

The latest US security warning and the Canadian angle get a lot of attention. The Globe, Star and National Post all focus heavily on the tax increases in the NDP platform. However, for the second straight day, the Ottawa Citizen wins the prize for

** top story

Liberals plunge to 33% in Ontario : Fallout from Ontario budget still hurting Martin: survey
Lee Greenberg reports,

“Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's budget continues to damage federal Liberal hopes in the province, according to a poll obtained by the Citizen that shows only 33 per cent of Ontario voters will support a Liberal candidate in the coming election….

Both federal and provincial Liberal support is at historic lows according the poll, which began tracking data in April 2000.
Ontarians' support for Paul Martin's Liberals has dropped from 56 per cent in January to 33 per cent -- a 23-point slide in just four months. Since April, support has fallen seven points, according to the poll.

Posted by Norman Spector on May 27, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hell Freezing Over Alert

Sometimes my head feels like it might explode. Could someone at the Toronto Star actually agree with me?

Consider this:

On Tuesday I wrote the following:

...."Why is it that the Liberal platform seems to be based on this zero sum solution?

Namely out of all the things we spend money on if we have to reduce our budget via tax cuts the first thing to be cut will be health care spending.

Let’s review:

Current surplus 5 billion dollars.
Money wasted on Gun Registry 2 billion dollars.
Money pissed away at HRDC 1 billion dollars.
CBC money pit 1 billion (per year)
Sponsorship scandal ¼ billion.

Total squandered plus surplus = 9.25 billion dollars.

This was money that could easily been thrown at health care but the Liberals chose not to.

Also this doesn’t include the monies that we don’t know about. I am sure there are other scandals lurking in the background somewhere.

So if Steven Harper wants to cut taxes he certainly can do it without affecting health care.
If the government has a budget that can allow it to throw around roughly 10 billion dollars without touching health care surely Steven can give some of that back to us."

Yesterday Carol Goar in a column entitled Harper is no mere Harris clone wrote the following:

Ottawa has been running a surplus for seven years. There is enough manoeuvring room in the federal budget to cut spending without starving health care or social services, provided Harper were prepared to gut other programs. His tax cuts would not represent a sudden or seismic policy shift. Paul Martin reduced taxes by an unprecedented $100 billion four years ago.

It is disingenuous of Martin to claim Canada can't afford Harper's tax cuts, when his own tax relief package is still being implemented


Now could someone in the media please challenge Mr. Martin directly on this?

The Meatriarchy

Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on May 27, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

"Just the facts?" Try...just *these* facts

In a Canadian Press story that will likely start to hit newspapers on Thursday morning, there's several funny things. Funny as in pecuiliar, not funny as in amusing.

It begins:

Cuts to U.S. tax levels would be expensive, likely mean social cuts: experts


OTTAWA (CP) - Ottawa could take the Conservatives' advice and cut taxes to levels paid in the United States, but Canadians might not like the final bill, experts say...."

Fair enough, but...

a) There are only *two* experts in the story, one from the Bank of Montreal and the other from the Canadian Tax Foundation

b) No one from the Tories is quoted in defense of the policy that is being critiqued. Why not? Because it isn't necessarily Tory policy! As Mr. Harper took pains to point out on Sunday, cutting Canadian taxes to US levels is not something that the Tories want to do in their first term of office. A long term goal, if that.

c) Why doesn't CP quote an economist from the right regarding the feasibility of the idea?

d) Oddest of all. This CP story, which quotes the opinions of these economists, has been given an internal code for classification by CP.

This opinion filled story's CP code is at the top of the linked page. It is:

FedElxn-Just-The-Facts, 1stWritethru

[Rick's Miscellany]

Posted by Rick Hiebert on May 26, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alberta, Everyone's Favourite Destination

Dean Esmay makes an interesting point about world population, and population density. To illustrate his argument, he moves everyone on the planet to Alberta.

Living in Saskatchewan, I have no problem imagining how this would look.

Posted by Kate McMillan on May 26, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

It's not inconsistent, it's nuanced

So what is the Liberal Party's position on emission of greenhouse gases?

Here's Environment Minister David Anderson doing his usual scaremongering for the eco-moonbat wing of the Liberal Party:

Current preoccupation is with terrorism, but in the long term climate change will outweigh terrorism as an issue for the international community," he said. "Terrorism will come and go; it has in the past ... and it's very important. But climate change is going to make some very fundamental changes to human existence on the planet."

Anderson said Canada would need to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 60 percent of 1990 levels by 2050. Canada has ratified the Kyoto protocol on climate change, which calls for a 6 percent cut from 1990 levels by 2012.

But Anderson said the consequences of doing nothing would be disastrous; he said the wheat-growing prairies of Canada and the Great Plains of the United States would eventually no longer produce enough food to support the population if nothing were done to fight global warming.

Ok, I think I get the picture. It sounds like on balance you're against greenhouse gases.

And what about Paul Martin? Today he announced he will raise the issue of high gas prices at the next G8 summit and urge OPEC to pump more oil:

I intend when I'm at the G-8 meeting in Georgia, to raise with my counterparts — the heads of state of the other G-8 countries — the necessity of really asking OPEC to increase production.
Fundamentally, we're very, very concerned about all this.
Okay you're being a little too nuanced for me. If you're asking OPEC to boost production can you at least cancel the Kyoto boondoggles first?

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 26, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ars- Poetica

The waning of Spain
Falls mainly on the Ukraine

[Occam's Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 26, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moore lied, so forth and blah blah

OK. Maybe you think two guys went bowling when they didn't.

Then you spend millions of bucks and countless manhours making a whole movie about it.
I don't get that, but hey: I didn't get Pulp Fiction either.

Someone asks if the three guys beside you are your bodyguards. You call the guy "a racist."
Hmmm. Guess you've had a bad day or something. Have a scotch and relax, mkay?

But then you make up completely imaginary telephone conversations with real live people, and put 'em in a book that's number one in the Non-Fiction lists. And you just don't seem to care that you might get caught, that they might dare to complain.

You're also obsessed with intricate conspiracies. You make up stuff about your past, and compulsively blame your troubles on everyone else. Your employees abandon you in droves, sometimes in tears.

Then I'm beginning to think you've moved from mere mendacity to mental illness.

How long before Michael Moore is hospitalized for "exhaustion"? Anyone want to run the pool?

[Thanks to Tonecluster for the heads up...]

Posted by Kathy Shaidle on May 26, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Maybe Martin can get him into a Medisys clinic

Spare a thought for poor Goran Persson, the Swedish PM. He needs a hip replacement and is in pain but the socialist health system in Sweden is plagued with waiting lists. He hopes to get it done by Christmas. More here:

Swedes are likely to applaud their leader, whose party pledges "people before markets" in its campaign poster for next month's European Parliament elections.

"Right now I'm in quite a lot of pain, but that's not the fault of the health system," Persson told reporters reluctantly after initially saying his health was a private matter.

Somehow I just don't quite get how making the elderly suffer in agony for months on end amounts to compassion or putting "people before markets". I'm sure Paul Martin's Medisys clinic could get him fixed up in no time, which strikes me as a far more compassionate way to treat an elderly gentleman in pain.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 26, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CSL sails into the campaign

From today's edition of Norman's Spectator
(with articles hotlinked).

The Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail provide straight coverage of Paul Martin's health announcement, neatly separating news and opinion and giving opposition and provincial nay-sayers their say. So does the National Post, though editors cannot resist adding spin in the headline (PM makes health top priority: Have Liberals won 'mother of all lotteries?' Tory leader asks).

Jeff Simpson is getting a bit tiresome on health care. Thomas Walkom in the Star and Jeff Sallot in the Globe do fine reality checks; the Sun’s Greg Weston and the Post’s John Ivison don’t do so well. (Memo to Greg: millions of Canadians will die in the coming years. Period.) Jim Travers is better on the front page of the Star than today's rather Socratic piece by Andrew Coyne on page one of the Post.

Yesterday’s slowpokes find neat ways to follow up on Robert Benzie’s story in the Star; Bob Fife, in particular, has some good quotes from David Herle and Paul Martin on Earnsclilffe's role in the Ontario budget. La Presse Canadienne's Isabelle Rodrigue catches Paul Martin correcting Jean Lapierre's goof about a minority government, and stumbling over his words again.

In summation, the Liberals made news yesterday, and thank God, or the Ottawa Citizen, for today’s

** top story

Martin consulted on rules that benefited his company: Pension fund changes used years later by CSL to pocket $82.5

The Ottawa Citizen’s Glen McGregor reports,

“Newly released documents from 1995 suggest that then-finance minister Paul Martin was consulted on changes to pension rules that later helped his family shipping company take $82.5 million out of its employee pension plan, the Conservative party charged yesterday.

In a 1995 briefing note written for Mr. Martin, then-superintendent of financial institutions John Palmer writes that "your idea" and "your question" about allowing employers to use pension surpluses would give them "a more flexible regime."

In consultation with Mr. Palmer's office, the government changed the pension rules three years later. Last summer, Mr. Martin's shipping company, Canada Steamship Lines, used provisions of the revised law to liquidate its $165-million pension surplus and split the fund equally between the company and its pension plan members.

But the prime minister's communications director, Mario Lague, insists Mr. Martin had no involvement with the file. He says the "you" that Mr. Palmer refers to in the note is actually Douglas Peters, a junior minister responsible for the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) who is copied on the memo.

It was pro forma to address the correspondence to Mr. Martin, Mr. Lague said.

Because of the CSL pension surplus, Mr. Martin had been advised by former ethics counselor Howard Wilson to avoid any discussion of changes to the Pension Benefits Standards Act, which set out the conditions for employers to cash in their pension plan overruns. Discussions about pension reform were left to Mr. Peters.

"On something like that, there's a gatekeeper at the office of the minister of finance who would say, 'Whoops, that one ain't going through. Send it straight to Mr. Peters," Mr. Lague said of the memo.

Mr. Peters said yesterday he didn't remember the exchange with Mr. Palmer, but did have a keen interest in the subject of pension reform. "I don't recall back that far, but it probably was my request," he said.

Conservative party finance critic Monte Solberg said he doesn't buy that explanation.

"If it's addressed to Paul Martin and the pronouns are 'you' and that kind of thing. It pretty strongly suggests that it is a proposal that came from Paul Martin," Mr. Solberg said. "It's outrageous that he would seemingly be directly involved in something that is in his area as finance minister."

** (Runner-up)

Ouellet audit quietly moved to PM's office: Opposition fears report will be held until after election campaign

The National Post underplays Andrew McIntosh’s report (Memo to editors: What’s a journalist Paul Martin brought into the Finance Department doing with his hands on the report and, for that matter, in a senior Privy Council Office position?):

“The minister responsible for Canada Post has quietly handed responsibility for an audit that examines president Andre Ouellet's conduct in the sponsorship affair to the Privy Council Office, raising concerns the government will delay releasing the report until after the June 28 election.

Stan Keyes last week referred responsibility for the audit, which offers an examination of senior Canada Post management sponsorship decisions and conduct, to officials in the Privy Council Office, which is the prime minister's department.

PCO spokesman Francois Jubinville confirmed that Mr. Keyes had handed responsibility for the delicate matter to his department, where it is being handled by Dale Eisler, the assistant secretary to the cabinet on communications issues.

A copy of the audit findings "or whatever form it's at" has not been shared with the government, though oral briefings about those findings may have been given, Mr. Jubinville said.”

Posted by Norman Spector on May 26, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Math 101 and the CBC

The CBC has discovered the hot-button issue of this election. See they took a poll of Canadians and asked them what their top concern is for the upcoming Martin coronation.

What did Canadians reply?

Health Care!!!!!

And the CBC has been leading off every story about the election ever since with a focus on……

Health Care!!!!!

On at least 3 occasions while surfing by the state owned media ether in my car or on the TV I have heard them invoking the “Health Care is the number one concern of Canadians this election” mantra while leading into a story about Paul Martin giving money to health care or bad old Steven Harper and his tax cutting "American Style" madness.

Two nights ago on CBC they unveiled their numbers from the survey they did to come up with HEALTH CARE!!!! as the number one issue.

So how many Canadians do you think named HEALTH CARE!!! as their number one issue?

80%? Nope

70%? Nope

50% Go lower…

The actual number is 35%!!

Can you believe it? The majority of Canadians are not concerned about health care. A full 65% of us are more concerned about something else.

In fact if I were to have conducted this survey my conclusion would have been:

“Surprisingly only 35% of Canadians named health care as their number one concern. The overwhelming majority of Canadians named other issues as coming before health care in the upcoming election.”

So why do you suppose the CBC is beating the HEALTH CARE!!! drum so incessantly.

It couldn’t be that they want to create a single issue campaign allowing Martin and the Liberals to scare Canadians with the “cutting taxes means less money for health care” garbage that they used last election could it?

I mean surely the national broadcaster is an objective institution with no bias in either direction right?

I mean they take their budget out of the checks of all Canadians so they speak for all of us, even the overwhelming majority who don’t care about health care.


The Meatriarchy

Posted by Justin Bogdanowicz on May 26, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

An amazing feat

Here is the Liberal blueprint for health care reform, the skeletal frame upon which 9 billion dollars worth of electioneering blubber is to hang. Such a spindly thing to carry so much weight. A mere 10 pages to transform the fundamentally flawed socialist medical model. Quite a trick, really. A rather unfortunate title, though - "A Fix for a Generation". Are we a nation of hopheads? We'll find out how much we've really been jonesing on June 28th, I suppose.

[Occam's Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pro Logo

The Raging Kraut is hosting a snappy new Conservative Party logo.

(Ghost of a flea)

Posted by Ghost of a flea on May 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just Between Us Dictators

Who best to grease the skids in your business dealings with totalitarian regimes? Why, the guy with the proven track record!

"Oil, I don't know what for you talk for. Oil - I put that in my car."

(The CEO of PETROKAZ has an interesting resume.)

Of course, this isn't a full time gig. The dance card started filling a few months ago.
Mr. Chrétien is expected to hold meetings with CITIC's top executives, who plan to visit Canada this year. Chinese sources say he also has tentative plans to meet next week with top executives of Unicom, one of China's two main cellphone companies.

He'll be accompanied by his son-in-law, André Desmarais, the president of Power Corp., who is a director of CITIC Pacific Ltd., the Hong Kong affiliate of the CITIC group.

The subject of their meetings is unknown. But Power Corp. has extensive business interests in China, including property development in Shanghai's booming Pudong district and a joint venture with Bombardier to manufacture railway cars in the coastal city of Qingdao.

All in the family. (This is the Desmarais family with major holdings in PetroFinaElf .. the French oil company who had billions in contracts at stake in Saddam's Iraq.)

Right after Chrétien retired from the PM's office, Warren Kinsella appeared on local talk radio. When a caller brought up the family connection between Chrétien and Desmarais - he interrupted, threatened to sue the station, and the caller was cut off.

Nice touch and such a loving reminder of the old man.

Hey, maybe while he's there, he can have someone dig up Zahra Kazemi and ship her home. It's not like she has to stick around for the trial.

Posted by Kate McMillan on May 25, 2004 in Canadian Politics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Laugh? Cry? Just Whimper? I Can't Decide

The headline made me shake my head; after months of having the NDP to kick around for hauling out Ed Broadbent's carcass, it appears that the Conservatives, in an effort to offer some Bold! New! Ideas! on governing, might be drafting... oh, just read it: Ex-Mulroney minister Crosbie ponders comeback. Cripes.

Then I read the piece and realized, hey, look, media bias! How unique! Herewith, the Canadian Press weighs in, disguised in the words of an unnamed source:

"As a Red Tory [Crosbie] would help the former Canadian Alliance leader [i.e., Stephen Harper] shed his public image as a right-wing ideologue."

I wonder if an editor's pen struck out "zealot" before deciding on "ideologue"?

"And as a longtime minister under Brian Mulroney, he would help raise the party's profile in Newfoundland, where the Conservatives held just three of seven federal seats going into the campaign."

Let me see if I'm understanding this... the Conservatives currently hold... one, carry the two... 43% of the seats in the province, the provincial government is Tory... but they need to "raise their profile"? I don't think the Conservatives will win a majority in this upcoming election, but damn I'd like to see them do it just to watch the jaws drop on so many Canadian journalists.

Posted by Account Deleted on May 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Finding socialist health care unresponsive?

How to fix a centrally planned health care system?

Da, a Five Year Plan. One would think Martin would want to avoid associating failed socialist systems with Five Year Plans, but apparently not:

The waiting time strategy also has a “Five in Five” plan to reduce times in five key areas where pressures are greatest – cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging, joint replacements, and sight restoration – and set targets for reduced waiting times by the end of 2005 and meet those targets by the end of 2009.
One little problem though. Delivery of all of these things are in provincial jurisdiction. Five Year Plan really means throw money and hope for the best.

Posted by Kevin Jaeger on May 25, 2004 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Let's have another go at it, then

If you hired a firm to run your business, went off on a trip around the world and returned to find they had run it into the ground through general incompetence, short-sightedness and extremely poor prioritizing, would you take them up on an offer to fix the whole mess for a further exorbitant fee, payable solely out of your own pocket? There would be a new management team, of course, but the firm’s new chairman of the board would be the same guy who ran the day to day operation the first time around.

No? Then, why in God’s name would you trust the Liberals to fix health care?

[Occam’s Carbuncle]

Posted by Alan Rockwell on May 25, 2004 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack