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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When's a cabinet not a cabinet?

Maybe I'm missing something here, but what's with Prime Minister Harper's announcement of a new "Ministry" for Canada? I found this press release confusing, because at first read I thought Harper was announcing a brand new cabinet portfolio -- aka, a ministry.  It appears, though, that he was simply using the word "Ministry" in place of cabinet. Why this usage, when it causes confusion in the ranks of even relatively well-informed Canadians (such as me)?

Anyway, the big changes are Peter Mackay into Defence and Maxime Bernier into Foreign Affairs. They seem to me to be solid moves. Interesting and typical to see the Globe stressing the negative (who lost which portfolios) instead of the positive (who got which portfolios).

Posted by Terry O'Neill on August 14, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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At least no Ministers were dismissed for reasons like those in this story:

"Liberal Sen. Raymond Lavigne charged with fraud"

Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- A senator who was booted from the Liberal caucus has now been charged with fraud.

The RCMP says Raymond Lavigne is accused of mishandling public funds and abuse of authority

He was charged today with fraud over $5000, breach of trust, and obstruction of justice.

He is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 18.

The charges are in connection with Lavigne's alleged use of Senate resources for personal gain.

The 61-year-old former MP was named to the Senate in 2002 but was expelled from his party's caucus last year when alleged irregularities surfaced in his office expenses.

He lost a bid this year to have an estimated $90,000 in legal expenses covered by the public purse.

The legal bill is related to a lawsuit filed against Lavigne after one of his office staff cut down trees on a neighbour's property.

The tree-cutting incident helped expose the alleged irregularities.

Lavigne, a native Montrealer, was elected three times to the House of Commons starting in 1993 after having owned a successful furniture-store business.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-14 3:52:18 PM

This is a long post, but worth the read. Change "Democrat" to "Liberal" and the message holds true.

"If It's Bad for America, It's Good for Democrats"
By Dennis Prager

One of the two major political parties of the United States has linked all its electoral hopes on domestic pathologies, economic downturns and foreign failure.

It is actually difficult to name any positive development for America that would benefit the Democratic Party's chances in a national election.

Name almost any subject, and this unhealthy pattern can be discerned.

If African Americans come to believe that America is a land of opportunity in which racism has been largely conquered, it would be catastrophic for the Democrats. The day that most black Americans see America in positive terms will be the day Democrats lose any hope of winning a national election. Whatever one believes about the extent of racism in America, one cannot deny that the Democrats need black Americans to feel victimized by racism. Contented black Americans spell disaster for the Democratic Party.

If women marry, it is bad for the Democratic Party. Single women are an essential component of any Democratic victory. Unmarried women voted for Kerry by a 25-point margin (62 percent to 37 percent), while married women voted for President Bush by an 11-point margin (55 percent to 44 percent). According to a pro-Democrat website, The Emerging Democratic Majority, "the 25-point margin Kerry posted among unmarried women represented one of the high water marks for the Senator among all demographic groups."

After women marry, they are more likely to abandon leftist views and to vote Republican. And if they then have children, they will vote Republican in even more lopsided numbers. The bottom line is that when Americans marry, it is bad for the Democratic Party; when they marry and make families, it is disastrous for the party.

If immigrants assimilate, it is not good for Democrats. The Democratic Party has invested in Latino separatism. The more that Hispanic immigrants come to feel fully American, the less likely they are to vote Democrat. The liberal notion of multiculturalism helps Democrats, while adoption of the American ideal of e pluribus unum (out of many, one) helps Republicans. That is one reason Democrats support bilingual education -- it hurts Hispanic children, but it keeps them from full assimilation -- and oppose making English America's official language.

Concerning the economy, the same rule applies. The better Americans feel they are doing, the worse it is for Democrats. By almost every economic measure (the current housing crisis excepted), Americans are doing well. The unemployment rate has been at historically low levels and inflation has been held in check, something that rarely accompanies low unemployment rates. Nevertheless, Democrats regularly appeal to class resentment, knowing that sowing seeds of economic resentment increases their chances of being elected.

The most obvious area in which this rule currently applies is the war in Iraq. The Democrats have put themselves in the position of needing failure in Iraq in order to win the next election. And again, perceptions matter more than reality. Even if America is doing better in the war, what matters most for the Democrats are Americans' perceptions of the war. The worse the stories from Iraq, the better for Democrats.

That helps to explain why the mainstream media, who ache for a Democratic victory, feature stories of wounded American soldiers, grieving families of killed soldiers and atrocity stories -- such as the apparently fictitious story printed in the New Republic. But they almost never feature stories about military heroism and altruism. Americans read and watch far more stories about soldiers who commit atrocities than about soldiers who commit heroic actions and who show love to Iraqi civilians.

The list is almost endless. Thus, when pro-American foreign leaders -- such as Nicolas Sarkozy in France -- are elected, even that is not good for the Democrats. The more the Democrats can show that America is hated, the more the Democrats can argue that we need them in order to be loved abroad.

Undoubtedly, some Democrats might respond that the same thesis could be written if a Democrat were in the White House and the Republicans were out of power. But that is not at all the case. First, there is no equivalent list of bad things happening to America that benefits Republicans. Second, everything written here about the Democrats -- except about the Iraq War, which was not taking place then -- could have been written when Democrat Bill Clinton was president.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-14 4:11:02 PM

I'm curious to see if the Hon. Josee Verner is less eager to take bribes from the media industry than her predecessor, Bev Oda.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | 2007-08-14 4:12:05 PM

What a sad spectacle. You could almost hear the band playing "Nearer My God To Thee" as Harper re-arranged the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Posted by: Don | 2007-08-14 4:16:20 PM

You mean the Titanic - like the pictures al-Reuters claimed were Russians planting their flag in the Arctic - when most of them were from the actual area around the Titanic?

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-14 4:21:05 PM

Canadian Soldiers will hate to see General O'Connor out of the Defence Minister's chair but MacKay, a jack will do alright -but he will be compelled to give up his Minister in charge of ACOA position which is a clear conflict of interest. ACOA as bad as it is is charged with administration of Industrial Regional Benefits generated by Major Crown Projects focused on Defence procurement. Thus Harper will be compelled to replace MacKay in that portfolio. A female MP from Alberta would be most appropriate to rein in Liberal patronage dominated ACOA -our Group of companies will not even talk to ACOA much less deal with them. Perhaps as a gift to Canadian taxpayers Harpoon will sink ACOA - MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-08-14 5:05:44 PM

I was wondering how long it would take for some unoriginal post about ‘shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic."

C'mon. We expect better creativity that that.

Oh, yeah. It's only the critics from the left.

Move on, move on. No originality here.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-08-14 5:14:11 PM

You take one here and replace with another. Take a good guy, replace with another. Take a bad guy and find someone mediocre.

Nothing, nothing, nothing about Canada. Nothing, othing, nothing about Harper, except he is a one man show.

Where is someone, anyone, who will see the Muslim threat and put the resources into the war?

Harper is Dion in wolf's clothes....sellout! Where is OUR political party?

Posted by: montgomery | 2007-08-14 5:20:32 PM

We lost our man. The damned liberals in the Harper governmnet have taken over.


Posted by: old guy | 2007-08-14 5:43:26 PM

The Real Men and Women have been left out. Harper is nothing but a liberal.

Posted by: Lost in Space | 2007-08-14 5:57:06 PM

Harper is still far better than DeYawn or Taliban Jack, that's for sure.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-14 6:01:08 PM

JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS - Where have I heard that phrase before?

"Adscam's Guite says he was simply following orders"

CanWest News Service

QUEBEC CITY -- Charles (Chuck) Guite says he was just following orders when he doled out millions of taxpayers' dollars to ad agencies in return for little or no work on the sponsorship program.

Not doing so while he was a senior bureaucrat in the department of public works would have meant being shelved, Guite claims in his defence filed Monday in Quebec Superior Court.

The disgraced bureaucrat who was in charge of the sponsorship program was convicted last June of fraud and sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for authorizing payment of $2-million for bogus invoices from ad companies.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-14 6:04:40 PM

you got it OBC. No one is better then someone. Love your research.

Posted by: just | 2007-08-14 6:08:36 PM

Funny/strange, Guite says he was just following orders, who's orders?

Same with Gagliano when questioned in the HOC on his actions as Minister, he replied he just did what he was told. By whom?

Seems a lot of orders were given out by some no-name to know nothings to dispense millions of our dollars in paper bags or trinkets or whatever to make the ROC more loved by Quebecers.
Thankfully, Quebecers are better than that, the whole thing backfired and it ain't over yet, still playing out. Could it be the biggest Weasel is yet to be snared?

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-08-14 6:29:06 PM

Where's the spirit? Where's the backbone. Let's get O'Connor back.

Posted by: New Guy | 2007-08-14 6:30:31 PM

Whenever I visit my sister in Toronto, I let her blather on incoherently for a half-hour.

She also believes that the declarations she makes must be important and that she wins all the debates because all I do is listen without responding.

At least she does not speak in capitals.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-08-14 6:43:19 PM

OBC, that is low, impersonating someone. Very trollish, in my opinion. Does anyone ever get banned here?

Posted by: Edmontonian | 2007-08-14 7:33:04 PM

That is a minor issue. However, I thought that Harper would add some new faces to the Cabinet. He should not have employed Mackay as Defence Minister. Since he only had a year at Foreign Affairs. Mackay should have been given more time at his old position.

Posted by: Edmontonian | 2007-08-14 7:36:21 PM

"That is one reason Democrats support bilingual education -- it hurts Hispanic children, but it keeps them from full assimilation -- and oppose making English America's official language."

Yeah! How am I suprised to hear that from obc as anything to compare with Canadian's reality.

Guess what: your new favorite Minister of foreign affairs speaks french. Assimilate that !!!!
...Or, pay another 3000$ to make a fool of yourself. (colice ! that made my day)

Be aware of where you're sending your kids to school, Albertans. Maybe they will be stock with immature teachers who named themselves after assasins of Presidents.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-08-14 9:31:53 PM

ROGER you seem a bit paranoid. Forget to take your medication again?

I wish there was an age minmum for sites like this....sigh

Posted by: ROGER'S gay brother | 2007-08-14 9:51:31 PM


Those were the words of the authour - Dennis Prager. But I guess it's too much for you to have noticed that - you might have to read from the top to see.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-14 10:12:11 PM

Oh, I saw it - but you're the one comming up proudly with his words (bullshit). Why would it be too much for me to have noticed that...?

Posted by: Marc | 2007-08-14 10:47:30 PM

Unfortunately, Harper caved in to the media over the MND. O'Connor was doing a reasonable job even if he wasn't a salesman. But did the MSM give him a fair hearing. McKay likely won't get a fair hearing either. Someone in gov't should devote some time to cultivating a good relationship with the media, other than just with Peter Worthington.

Posted by: DML | 2007-08-14 11:00:55 PM

Asserted conclusions are worthless. Come up with facts.

Posted by: DML | 2007-08-14 11:41:16 PM

Non mais...
What kind of gvt we have in Canada ?
For real, I mean.

That you have some kind of "political affection" for Stephen and his group is one thing.
But now, our Minister of Defence is a man who cried on tv because his wife prefered to fuck a real man and Steve-n, with is minority gvt, have gone faster than any previous ones in buying Quebecers for more votes. Is that all you've got ?

I for one personally cannot care less about what wing we have in Ottawa but at least the last ones did looked like a strong Canadian gvt in front of itself; then, in front the world.
Considering the times we're in...maybe it would be a better idea to have a strong gvt and a gvt that gives a shit about issues other than the ones related with les ti-amis avec beaucoup de cash. Whatever the wing in Power, could we at least expect to have real politicians who would be preocupied about THE COUNTRY and IT'S PEOPLE.

One thing about the green stuff: If Alberta, Montreal and Toronto need to be more carefull regarding the envronment...well just impose real radical measures that will force us to act as if. Oh, we will be penalised for trying things but at least we will be the people who tried something. And who know's, maybe some great Canadians will make history, once again, for inventing great things that helped the World.

Forget about all this, I'm just dreaming about the days my father and grandfather were my age.
I'm just convincing myself how Quebec should be it's own country and it works pretty well. I'm not even forcing...it's just the heart speaking to my head and my head's agreeing with my heart.

Enjoy the bashing.
I don't mind, I'm tired of all that anyways.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-08-15 12:12:51 AM


Posted by: Paul | 2007-08-15 1:31:15 AM


Posted by: Paul | 15-Aug-07 1:31:15 AM

Stop spamming, if you have nothing important to add to the discussion, Paul.

Posted by: Edmontonian | 2007-08-15 1:39:09 AM

Roger: Umm, what is your alternative to Stephen Harper?

Posted by: tomax7 | 2007-08-15 3:36:35 AM

So Marc, we get your message, you are a Separatiste.

Get your facts right, Peter McKay was not married to Belinda. Her leaving the Conservatives had nothing to do with "f***ing a real man", it was all about blind ambition in politics. Let's say she betrayed the trust of both her Party and Peter, her boyfriend, in a very underhanded and unprincipled manner. She left Peter and the Conservatives to upgrade Belinda with Paul and the dying Liberals.

Enjoy your dreams, Marc, we can always dream, it's free.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-08-15 5:37:49 AM

"I for one personally cannot care less about what wing we have in Ottawa but at least the last ones did looked like a strong Canadian gvt in front of itself; then, in front the world."

Might I suggest a good optometrist Marc?

Your obviously f**king blind, as is anyone who could support that lying, corrupt bunch of a**holes.

The ability of people like you to put on the typical "Canadian" blinders on in regards to the embarrassment that is the Liberal party of Canada, truly is amazing.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-08-15 7:26:37 AM


In Marc's Quebec, of course. That's why Quebec haS SUPPORTED THE Lieberals for years - scandal money and ROC money.

It's all about the cash to Quebec - legal or otherwise.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-15 7:31:46 AM

Personally obc, I think it has to do more with the Anti Americanism and the Anti Jewish stance they openly endorsed for many people east of the Manitoba border.

Pretty sad really but a clear indicator of just how out of touch with reality people of become.

Hating our allies and supporting our enemies has simply become passé to these morons.

Its not just Canada, the entire free world is losing its mind on a mass scale.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-08-15 7:42:54 AM

Deepblue: Do you think the anti-American, anti-Jewish stance east of the Manitoba border might have something to do with the new demographic created by the immigration policies over the past two decades?
This is the dumping area for most of the type of immigrants who come here bearing hatreds for Jews and the United States.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-08-15 7:50:40 AM

Deepblue. I certainly agree with you on the Anti-Americanism here in the east but the Anti-Jewish stance is something else. Unless, of couse you are referring to the left-wing supporters of the Palestinians and such groups as Hezbollah, in which case it has nothing to do with demographics but rather political dogmatism which can be found anywhere. Anti-Americanism seems to be a national pastime, particularly in the east but practiced by many of differing political views.
The anti-Jewish sentiments are shared only by the left.

Posted by: atric | 2007-08-15 7:53:35 AM

"Do you think the anti-American, anti-Jewish stance east of the Manitoba border might have something to do with the new demographic created by the immigration policies over the past two decades?"

. . . mix in a hefty portion of indoctrinated university students, and voila!

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-15 8:28:59 AM

Absolutely, the Universities are rife with tenured Lefty professors. It doesn't help that these students have graduated from a good dose of Lefty propaganda ingrained throughout high school, especially in Ontario.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-08-15 8:38:55 AM

Teachers unions are the new Mafia.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-15 8:50:51 AM

What about indoctinated high school teachers ? Those who named themselves after >American Presidents' killers< especially...

Having a high school teacher who would have tought me to NEVER critisize some of the ways of our allies...would not be a friend of this country.
A real teacher in democracy is suppose to give the kids tools that would help them making up their own minds about what's a free world; not IMPOSING on them their personnal vues on politics. If most Canadians are "ANTIs" or other crap for critisizing some bad moves from our allies...why qualified us as "The free world" ???
Why bothers about Afstan ?

Many canadian Right-wingners are much more "anti-Canadians" inna sense than Left-wingners are "Anti-Americans". Some of you people having an orgasm each time Anne Coulter bash on Canada.
I sincerly beleive we need a bit of the two to be a great people but extremists, from both extremes, are the real problem...not part of the solution.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-08-15 8:56:05 AM

Yes Marc, but Anti-Americanism in Canada is nowhere considered to be extreme. It is so endemic in our society that it is considered socially acceptable. There have always been extremists with extreme views but when I see friends, relatives and neighbours doing it on an ongoing basis I consider it to be a big problem.
And the biggest culprit? The MSM, particularly the CBC. When the masses are indoctrinated with this view, literally from childhood, and then the view is supported by teachers, parents and the media, we end up where we are now, with bunch of bigots.

Posted by: atric | 2007-08-15 9:20:22 AM

At least we are better off than with Chrétien and Martin. I believe we are heading the right way.

But there is much to do in our country.The Gospel is right: there is more joy in giving than receiving. Try that as a way of life. Offer someone a service. Cut the grass of a neighbour.

And please, stop killing babies.

Posted by: Rémi Houle | 2007-08-15 9:51:49 AM

WE have the MSM we deserves; just like our politicians.

If CBC would be such a problem in our society, it would have been long since SH, with it Cons' one man show, would have done somthing about all this. I don't watch CBC often but I can assure you that both wings are represented fairly @ Radio-Canada. I am not saying they're doing a great job; but either sides have full rights to express their vues and they do so. Most of the speakers are from the centre with a penchant for the left (I agree) but it's not >because< of the SRC itself. Hardcore right-wingners would be free to go there and speak out and some do but we don't see many of them. If the people would feel more like right-wingers, we would have more of them on tv; thats all.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-08-15 9:58:12 AM

"stop killing babies"

Like if that only sentence best qualifies the values of "the centre" and the "Left of the centre" in Canada.

The other extreme would now come up to Remi with "Stop killing babies...in foreign countries" kind of answer.

Extremists are the problem in that "free world" of ours. This blog is not a better voice for canadians...it is part of the problem.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-08-15 10:08:32 AM

The Harper Conservative government cannot make sweeping changes to policies ingrained and DEPENDED upon by years of Liberal rule and patronage.

Jack MacLeod: How does Harper get rid of a regional industrial benefit like ACOA in Atlantic Canada? The Liberals put it there in their usual pandering for votes,Harper would seal his fate for good if he dumped it, you have to know it ain't gonna happen.

It will take time and a Majority government to do what's got to be done to bring us back to the proud country our forefathers forged through great hardships.

The MSM are gradually making themselves redundant, by skewing the facts to manipulate opinion. The masses are gradually realizing they can't take what's reported as plain fact without checking out reports from all sources, doing their own digging.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-08-15 10:16:20 AM

I hate to say this, but I have to say it, because failure to say it, will leave people thinking about it, rather than discussing it.

You see, I don't believe that the same emphasis is placed on women's education, as it is on men's education, and vice versa. People do as they have been taught, and clearly, women have not been educated (vice versa) to the same extent as men in Canada. And by that I do not mean that the education has all been poorly operationalized at the institutional level, but all all levels, including the grape vine, the party line, the media line, the internet line and so on and so forth.

Now why would I say that about my own fairer gender?

Well, I am struck, all too often, with just how unfamiliar women are (and men with what women need in politics) about world politics. You ask any woman whether she believes that women should be denied their human rights, and 100% will say, 'of course not'! However the Afghanistan issue has been communicated to the public, ever so badly, at all levels, especially by the political parties that have sung the domestic song and gained women's votes, that women are literally numb to the pleas for help, by the Afghanistani women! Only a cad of a woman would be so utterly blind, as to suggest pulling troops from Afghanistan, makes any sense whatsoever.

And why are women still in this numb-struck position?

Because clearly one out of five women has had the wool, literall and figuratively, pulled over their eyes. Too many cads in the leftists have fed them lies, and promises, that they have been incapable of fullfilling. And yet the women, like those with batterred woman syndrome, keep going back for more, as if one day, the leftists will actually come through with what they have promised.

We know it is all lip service.

Women know that women are lied to all the time, and told things that are not true--like, you are do beautiful and sexy, yada-yada-ya! (Sure--all women are so beautiful, one walk down the streets of Verdun, and you all will be thankful there is a ROC and a GD!) and, yes, 'we will give you all the daycare you need', and 'it will be in your community--yet so expensive that you would have to be earning $100,000 a year (not that that is a bad idea) in order to afford it. Fact remains, most women, and most men, are not in the economic situation to afford the high prices of daycare.

And I am sure that some will simply say, 'yup--and they oughtta stay home like my momma did...blah-blah-blah', or 'they should wait until they can afford children...'. Well, it is a fact that when women wait, until they have enough money, that they wait too long, and then they cannot have children. We know that when they wait, that their eggs are not as good as the ones they had when they were younger. And we know, that when women wait too long, that they actually have fewer children--and some decide they are too old to adjust their lives, to have children.

So, what this means is that we end up with the low birth rate that we have.

If we think there is a labour shortage now, wait until another 15 years has gone by. Senior citizens in long term care, will be sitting in their own poop for days--and there will be no one looking after them. You wait. The stories that will be coming outta the homes that will be taking care of the boomers, are going to be attrocious!

And what has this got to do with the war in Afghanistan? Well, it is all connected, from the ideological level, from a total lack of the right kind of principles, that are being meeted out by a bunch of floosey leftists, who have no connection with reality whatsoever! Them and their talibani friends, would love it if all that is Canada, dries up in the next few decades, so that we will be forced to immigrate more islamofacists. What will happen is what we see in Eastern Turkey, Southern Lebanon, Somalia, and a whole host of other places, that prove themselves incapable of meeting the needs of the people. This total ignorance is reflected in that survey. It is a disaster waiting for a place to happen.

Afghanistan used to be a Budhist nation. It happenned to Afghanistan.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-08-15 11:04:56 AM


You are on this blog, so you must also be part of the problem, eh?

Posted by: missing link | 2007-08-15 11:16:05 AM


ROGER => ASSHOLE is not the correct equation

more like:

ROGER = Edmontonian

They are the same person.

Posted by: ROGER's gay lover | 2007-08-15 11:22:43 AM

gay lover -

I suggest you change your moniker. No need to remind anyone of the insanity that once raged here.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-15 11:25:28 AM

"Don", your sadly bankrupt of original thought.

Liberal gatherings are pretty solemn affairs, look more funereal, where "Nearer my God To Thee" would certainly be appropriate theme music.
Too bad too, we need an effective Opposition.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-08-15 11:38:22 AM

DeYawn has the look of a funeral director trying to sell his most expensive casket to a poor widow.

Posted by: obc | 2007-08-15 11:41:17 AM

People who are either ROGER or ROGER's object are all about getting people away from the topic at hand. They are good at that, and most of us are bad at staying on topic.

And I am glad his stupid posts have been removed--sent to gehanna where they belong!

Personally, I am glad that Peter is where he has been placed. He was excellent at Foreign Affairs, and I believe he will be excellent in his new post. So, Hurray for Peter!

Posted by: Lady | 2007-08-15 11:41:47 AM

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