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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Upper hand in the upper house

When the Western Standard closed down last week, we were just about to go to press with a new issue. Several of my stories, representing several weeks worth of reporting and writing, were to be part of that issue. So, rather than letting the stories gather dust, I'll be posting them on The Shotgun, one at a time, over the next few weeks. Here's the first. Enjoy.

Westerners and Easterners alike have never needed to look far to find reasons to show their contempt for central Canada, especially Toronto. From the Maple-Leafs obsessed TV coverage of the Toronto-based CBC to the city’s self-aggrandizing “centre of the universe” pretentions, Hog Town is widely viewed with the sort of animus usually reserved for internecine rivals. The scorn is so endemic that filmmaker Albert Nerenberg decided it was worthy of satire, and thus produced a mock-documentary on the subject, Let’s All Hate Toronto, which was screened in July at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal.

But dislike for central Canada is a serious subject that is linked inextricably to still-festering Western alienation. Ontarians and Quebeckers may discount the West’s frustration or even claim that it is baseless, but recent irritants involving Senate reform—an issue strongly supported in the West but given short shrift by central Canada’s political and media elite—suggest Westerners have plenty to be angry about.

The minority Conservative government of Stephen Harper, which has deep roots in the West, has launched an incremental plan to reform the Red Chamber. One bill, introduced in the Senate itself in May 2006, would limit to eight years the length of a senator’s term; the second, introduced in December 2006 in the House of Commons, would establish a national system for electing senators.

But neither bill has become law; the latter ran into opposition headed by the Ontario-dominated Liberal party and has been stuck since May at second reading, while the former underwent seemingly endless debate and was then sidetracked by the Liberal majority in the Senate, which in late June urged the Harper government to obtain an opinion from the Supreme Court of Canada on the constitutionality of term limits. “We had more faith in the ability of the Liberal senators to be reasonable and responsible than we should have had,” says the Tories’ leader in the upper chamber, Senator Marjory LeBreton. “It’s a setback for the Canadian public for sure.”

One might have expected that an unelected body’s stalling of a democracy-enhancing law proposed by a democratically elected government would have been the subject of great national interest. But the Liberals’ delaying tactics on term limits went by with hardly a peep of protest from central Canadian opinion leaders. Similarly, when Harper signed an order-in-council on July 10 to appoint Senate reformer Bert Brown, Alberta’s elected choice, to the Senate—an event that, in the context of the stalling of the Commons bill to elect senators, also might reasonably have been seen to be of national interest—the Ontario media virtually ignored the story.

Indeed, a detailed Internet search reveals that neither the Toronto Star nor the National Post published even a single word on the signing, an omission matched by CBC and CTV national news. In fact, only one paper in Toronto, the Globe and Mail, and one outside the city, the Barrie Examiner, reported the appointment. This, despite the fact Brown was only the second person, after the late Stan Waters (whom then-prime minister Brian Mulroney appointed in 1990), to be sent to the Senate after winning a popular vote in his home province which, in both cases, was Alberta.

It is not as if Canadians don’t want Senate reform. An Ipsos-Reid poll made public in June 2006 found that a plurality of Canadians (44 per cent) supported an elected Senate. Moreover, a December 2006 Decima Research poll found 64 per cent support for Harper’s plan to elect senators. That may be why Harper is still confident his reform plan will succeed. “Liberal senators will not stop Senate reform,” he said in late June. “They will only ensure that they are not part of the reform that is coming, because reform is inevitable and the public will not stomach any longer an institution that functions like that.”

The Tories’ anti-Liberal, pro-reform campaign actually started even before Parliament adjourned for the summer with the launch in May of the “not a leader” web site. The Conservatives contend that Liberal leader Stephane Dion is a weak leader because he is on record as supporting term limits, while the Liberal majority in the Senate opposes them. LeBreton figures she knows why the Liberals are stalling. “They actually think the Canadian public made a huge mistake in January 2006 [in electing the Tory government],” she says, “and that sooner or later they will come to their senses and they [the Grits] will be back to their old, ‘entitlements-for-us,’ selves again.”

Canada’s newest senator recognizes the roadblocks, but is still optimistic. “I’ve gone beyond hope a long time ago,” he confides. “I know—and I don’t need to hope any more—that we will have Senate reform.” Brown, who began campaigning for a Triple-E (provincially equal, fully elected and effective) Senate two decades ago, says he is intent on pursuing his dream. “But I’m realistic enough or, rather, not naïve enough to think I can change the Senate, as one elected senator,” says Brown, who topped Alberta’s Senate-election vote in 2004. “What I can do is help Harper get the other 12 vacancies elected.”

Absent the passage of a federal Senate-elections law, Brown says he will lobby provinces to hold elections on their own. B.C. once had such a law, but let it lapse; the Manitoba legislature plans to strike a special committee to study the subject. “The only real opposition to Senate reform is from premiers who mistakenly believe they have a major influence in Ottawa,” Brown says.

Harper tried to enact his Senate-reform initiatives on an incremental basis, rather than reopening the constitution, with the hope that piecemeal legislation would create the momentum needed to drive wholesale change. It’s a strategy Harper should not abandon, says Tom Flanagan, a University of Calgary political scientist who was the Tories’ senior communications adviser in the last election. “I don’t see the prospect of anything else working,” Flanagan says, noting that it also makes good politics because the Conservatives can accuse the Liberals of obstruction in both the House of Commons and the Senate.

Moreover, with the Tories looking for polarizing issues to solidify their core support and recapture the policy magic they enjoyed in the last campaign, Senate reform could have the dual benefit of distinguishing the party from the anti-reform Liberals, Bloc Quebecois and NDP while at the same time not being seen as an obvious right-wing issue, a perception that could turn centrist voters away from the party. If it works, and the Senate-reform policy helps the Tories win a majority, then Bert Brown’s 20-year dream may finally come true.

--Terry O'Neill

Posted by Terry O'Neill on October 7, 2007 in Canadian Politics | Permalink


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Can't we just post a sign in front of the Senate that reads:

Political Hacks Rest home - and then arrange for them to play bingo until 9 p.m., give them some medications and put them to bed?

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-07 12:27:47 PM

"Senate reform could have the dual benefit of distinguishing the party from the anti-reform Liberals, Bloc Quebecois and NDP while at the same time not being seen as an obvious right-wing issue."

Or it could put everyone to sleep in two minutes, which is the most likely result.

Posted by: bigcitylib | 2007-10-07 12:50:41 PM

. . . only in the mind of a big city lib, of course - whose mind is asleep already.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-07 12:54:01 PM

There is no justification whatsoever for opposition to the proposed changes. They are reasonable and would benefit all Canadians (expect the Liberal hacks of course), no matter where they live.

This habit of the Liberals to pass the buck to the courts stinks to high heaven. We do not elect judges and the role of judges (let us remind over and over these idiots) is to interpret the laws made and passed by our elected government.

Enough already!

Posted by: Alain | 2007-10-07 12:56:50 PM

I am certainly glad that you are publishing this story on Shotgun Terry O'Neill. I will print it for my non Internet friends.

The senate has long been a stinking, useless, corrupt institution, IMO. As it stands right now it is a curse to taxpayers.

I resent supporting these party hacks with my tax dollars yet I know that the Prime Minister is correct in stating that the senate could be useful if it properly represented the patrons (taxpayers) paying them: an elected, small body of regional representatives reflecting the concerns of the regions (not the provinces) of this nation. I am not enthusiastic about waiting for the eventual evolution of this through reform by attrition. I would like to see the only senator left in that chamber to be Bert Brown; when the smoke clears after the next election.

These petty, self important hacks of past Prime Ministers can go graze in someone else's pasture - Ontario and Que can support them if they want to keep them! These people should all be put out to pasture without a pension for obstructing democracy - they have all had ample opportunity for illegal 'inside trading' to make themselves rich enough to buy their own grub in the future.

The old letches cannot be gone fast enough for my Scottish nature!

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-07 3:18:53 PM

Terry -

Was there any discussion during debate regarding Senate changes about how the Senate was elected in the original U.S.A. Constitution (i.e. prior to our 17th Amendment to our Constitution), where American's Senators were ELECTED by the vote of ONLY the elected and currently serving members of the various Legislatures of each of the individual sovereign (50) States.

Our 17th Amendment changed that system and made it so that the members of our U.S. Senate were elected by the popular ballot (of all the voting eligible citizens) of each of the individual States. That 17th Amendment change just made our Senate very much like our House of Representatives. That is, once elected, ALL of those guys became creatures of Washington, D.C.

Whereas, pre-17th Amendment, the Senators were VERY MUCH different from our "House" members because the Senators were creatures of or beholden to the individual State's particular needs and issues.

American LOST a huge "State's Rights" advocate when our 17th Amendment was ratified.

If you folks are making changes in your Senate, why not get a BIG helping of POWER vested into the hands of your individual Provinces, and away from the "federal" government lackies?

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-07 3:58:12 PM

Conrad raises an interesting point. Why can't the government simply call an election for the vacant senate seats and either have the popualtion at large vote or have the elected members of the provinces in question vote. I recognize that no system is perfect but surely we can rid ourselves of our present one.

Posted by: DML | 2007-10-07 8:22:44 PM

Heres a thought, maybe we should try out this famous proportional representation on the Senate and introduce term limits as well...lol just a thought.

Posted by: Sean Whelan | 2007-10-08 2:37:47 AM

Conrad-USA; You pose an interesting proposal. If Canada were a Republic, the best form of Democracy, IMO, I would be all for it.

Canada is not a Republic, consequently, the provinces often elect irresponsible provincial governments,(as in Sask.), governments that do not represent the best interests of the province, rather their reason to be is to conduct a social engineering agenda. Provincial governments would elect their own political hacks to represent people in the senate.

The senate, if elected by regions, instead of provinces, would be responsible to the people of the regions rather than any particular provincial government. IMO, this would give an elected senator much more independence.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-08 1:26:39 PM

jema54j -

How did the entire Quebec Separatist agenda occur if the Provinces are so mushed into the federal entity? Evidently those guys understood their particular "rights" and not as part of a "region" but as a (threatened) separate country.

I have great fondness for Canada for my entire life. Unfortunately, it seems that Canada is very influential and supportive of the homosexual and feminist and Socialist and Atheist segments of American society (i.e. the Democrat Party). All of those influences are poisonous. Consequently, anything that Canada's normal citizens can do to reverse the Leftist trends in your society would benefit America (as well as benefitting Canada, of course).

Your Charter from Trudeaux seems to be a fatal blow, if separations of power (systems built into the government structure) don't work.

There is obviously MUCH to know about Canadian government and I hardly know anything of it.

I just really hate to have a great nation and forever ally seemingly institutionally predestined toward a Socialist-Communist (and childless, via homosexuality and feminism) future.

I wish Canada would help LEAD the world out of this death spiral (like perhaps France will do now with their new leadership), rather than be another anchor adding weight to the Communist-Democrat Party dragging America down.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-09 3:01:07 PM

"There is obviously MUCH to know about Canadian government and I hardly know anything of it."

It shows...


Canada is leading over the US in many ways...

First, we're on top.
2. You it's war, here it's "peace keeping".
3. Our loonie worth more than your dollar.
4. We have a better quality of life.
5. We know hockey.
6. Our celebrities are not more important than "the other news".
7. And...we drink beers, not yellow water cans.

That's about it.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-09 3:27:53 PM

The whole separation thing, in Quebec, started because Canada was a British colony in 1867; Britain was recuperating from a war with Napoleon, in France and with colonies in USA. The troops were stretched!! To avoid another battle, Britain gave the French and Irish people, living in Quebec, the status of a equal founding member of this new nation; two official languages - French and English, the right to be Roman/Irish Catholics in an Anglican colony, etc. The British were concerned about defending India and other more valuable colonies in their great empire - they left us with a BNA Act that gave both upper and lower Canada (Que/Ontario and the rest of the country) equal rights.
It all worked, to a degree, until Canadians; in their stupidity, elected a left wing fanatic named Trudeau and he invented a Charter that undermined our rights as citizens and Provincial rights too. Trudeau had a majority government - he was a dictator - he sent the army into Que. and he bankrupt Alberta with a tax on resources(oil).
We do not have checks and balances written into our Constitution like you do in the United States.
We have an honorable Prime Minister for the first time in our History right now; he is changing a few things; hopefully we will soon have an elected senate that will end the threat of a totalitarian Prime Minister that could rule indefinitely.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-10 2:25:21 AM

Jema54j -

I've been moping around a bit after Ezra's announcement, and sort of wondering what will result from this set back.

Your response above helped me see something that was right in front of my nose.

You folks NEED TO develop, or evolve, this blog into an online Canadian Constitutional Convention.

YOU really need to FIX your entire government.

jema54j, you and so many others posting-commenting here (aside: what is it that I am doing right now? am I posting or am I commenting?) who possess such a wealth and depth of knowledge - education - insight that you could knock this thing out (a Constitution) in short order and then have Ezra carry it forward to Prime Minister Harper as a "platform" of "program" (I don't know the lingo) for your next election, SWEEPING ALL of the Lefties right to Hell OUT of your government!

Have Ongoing-continuing blog topics, e.g. SENATE, House of Commons, Supreme Court, Provinces-states, Bill of Rights (e.g. RIGHT TO LIFE !!!!), etc.

Give Ezra and Harper the document with which to THROW THAT STUPID CHARTER INTO THE TRASH !!!

Everyone who posts here (from my memory) could contribute real value, but MANY would really deliver brilliant value (you jema54j are one of the latter).

What do you think?

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-10 5:13:37 PM

"YOU really need to FIX your entire government."

You start.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 5:23:22 PM

Marc -

I'll play, starting with a deliberate "misunderstanding" of your meaning.

Not a popularly elected Senate, but use the pre-17th Amendment U.S. Constitution model for your Senate to jealously represent and protect your several Provinces' positions and needs.

And, since we (down here) have caught the "reading in" bug infection of our judges, recast your Supreme Court as narrowly defined and focused upon the task of only deciding whether or not new (and existing) laws enacted by your various legislatures (federal and Provincial) ARE OR ARE NOT "Constitutional" with the clear meaning that the proposed law MUST be authorized by the nation's basic law, or not prohibited by it.

Bill of Rights type language MUST include the right to (innocent) human life from conception to natural death. Without hard crafted exact language in this day of terror-Atheism the basic dignity of humanity will be lost. DON'T COMPROMISE ON THIS. Sweep ALL of the trash away.

Canada could absolutely lead-uplift the entire world and for all of remaining history with this single bold Truth.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-10 7:25:20 PM


It's not that I disagree with everything you're saying. it's just that before comming onna canadian blog to challenge the politics and values...there's a truckload of work to do in your country. The States need more of your morality lessons than anyone - no hesitation.
Sounds like Paris Hilton asking Shania Twain to be more virtuous.

I'm not trying to tell you not to post here or anywhere you want but, you should be ready to face some criticism if messing with other countries' politics & values.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 7:57:50 PM

the Charter is the bane of our times in Canada. what's not understood by many is it's attack on liberty on social and economic fronts. it is essentially a fascist socialist document, forcing individuals to look to the State, either running toward it like someone crying to mommy because someone hurt his feelings or he didn't get what he thought he deserved, or over his shoulder with a vague feeling he might be doing or saying something a bit too politically incorrect.

fascism is a socio-political ideology which puts the interests of the State ahead of individual liberty (exactly like the fruits of communism). i harp on this alot (forgive me), but i put my property rights, free speech, and right to bear arms ahead of the Charter. too bad the Charter doesn't recognise this premise in any solid way. Trudeau was a smart statist. the slow almost unnoticeable erosion of individual liberty is a testament to his genius.

senate reform (EEE) would go a long way toward fixing this problem. the Charter isn't carved in stone, and senators should be elected by the people of each province (not "area". that's not logical. decentralization is the key. most provinces are massive enough. the smaller ones could rest assured they had equal say in matters). this could embolden provinces to detonate the Notwithstanding Clause. now THAT would make people like bigcitylib drop their Starbucks chocolate chunk cookies into their lattes. heh heh...

bigcitylib, if the Conservatives pushed Senate reform into the public sphere, it would definitely NOT put everyone to sleep. holy crap!! quite the opposite, particularly from the Opposition, who now sound like ineffectual alarmists.

we have a window of opportunity. we have to exploit it before it closes.

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-10 8:14:28 PM

Conrad ~

You are more welcome to post here than the separatist from Quebec.

Ignore his nose-in-the-air attitude. He is French - 'nuff said on that score.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-10 8:37:39 PM

obc is right,
I'm from Quebec, sons of the Voyageurs.
I'm a separatist, sons of the Patriotes.
I'm not french, I'm a French Quebecer.

I'm one of these guys (http://youtube.com/watch?v=JJPGgOUIDn4) and that's why obc feels inferior to me every day. See, obc is having troubles with it's self-esteem so he's mixing everything. He is in the us presently for health problems. My guess it that he's looking for a deal on viagra.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 8:53:00 PM


Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 8:57:20 PM

Nice try, Mark. I'm here on vacation - and using the health care thingy to write the trip off on my taxes - you know, like Quebecers always do to cheat the system.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-10 9:03:18 PM

Good, you're helping the system.

Look obc, this was the first link i'v tried to post. Hope it will work this time.
This is one "facist, socialist, marxist, nationalist, issssssss..." of yours, colis!

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 9:09:12 PM

I never look at your links - but mange ta mere.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-10 9:11:04 PM

. . . . if you know who she is.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-10 9:15:14 PM

c'est plate...
It wasent points for me.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 9:16:35 PM

Not only her but all her ancestors since the first put a foot on Quebec soil 340 years ago. Same in my father's side.

but...you're more picky than usual...maybe I've hit something somewhere in my Viagra joke.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 9:21:23 PM

let's look at some facts.

Quebec is, historically, the biggest beneficiary of combined national welfare dollars of any province (transfer payments, infrastructure grants etc.).

Quebec's birthrate is shrinking faster than any other province.

corporate welfare has, to a large extent, propped up Quebec's otherwise dismal economy.

individual welfare and grants etc. are through the roof.

Quebec contributes nothing of any practical value to the ROC (except some incredible bands like UZEB, Maneige, and Harmonium).

if Quebec separated, she would quickly devolve into an economic basketcase.

Quebec has the highest per capita debt in the country, and would have to assume that debt upon separation.

unlike most other provinces, if Quebec separated, there would be almost no economic trauma to the ROC. on the contrary, there would be economic benefit.

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-10 9:24:49 PM

"Quebec contributes nothing of any practical value to the ROC"

Shel, I'm starting to like you.
Can I borrow u before the next election ?
I'm paying the beer and the restaurant.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 9:29:38 PM

thanks Marc. actually, it would be my money you'd be paying with, but i'm used to it.

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-10 9:35:27 PM


I'm a sales rep having a serious success working for a firm that started from nothing.
Previous to that, I grew up in restaurants and I'm well known in that sector for having a lot of success as a chef.
As you know, those two need a lot of work if wishing to be successful. I never go to an hospital, never been on welfare, I hardly take my holidays even if it's mine.
I've never accept to work under unions.
In fact, I see nothing of the taxes I'm paying witch represent half of my pay.

Again, stop prentend about people you know shit about. You sound like a teenager - how old are you ?

Still, I wish to invite you before the next elections and wish to pay for everything.
Please accept, you and I are targeting the same goal anyway...

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 9:57:07 PM

Marc. you're sounding a bit shrill. i think you should take your own advice and not be so "picky". ever read Shakespeare? probably not. he's English, and your interest in history probably doesn't go back farther than Papineau.
"me thinks thou dost protest too much".

here's a stat: in the States the Republicans have, collectively, a substantially higher iq than Democrats. i'll let you figure out why. this blog has some smart people on it. i haven't been here long, but i'm impressed.

here's my point. you can't come trolling around this blog, trying to piss people off, and then feel all outraged when someone calls you on it, kills your arguments with facts, and pokes you back with sarcasm. some good natured ribbing is ok and even entertaining (the Harper cowboy pic). but you go too far. i can't let stupid statements go. sorry.

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-10 10:21:32 PM

So Set, I guess I won this one...what do you say ?

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 10:25:14 PM

how did you win? refute my "Quebec facts".

Posted by: shel | 2007-10-10 10:38:28 PM

"i'll let you figure out why"

Posted by: Marc | 2007-10-10 10:39:27 PM

Marc -

You bristle at my suggestions about change in the structure of your government, citing my American identity (I'm always conscious of my "visitor status" in a foreign country, but also offer that I have life long relationships with Canada and I own a little "farm" with an ocean view up there that figures importantly in my dreams).

But you also talk right past me by saying that I am criticizing Canada's "...politics and values..." as oppossed to my particular focus upon the structure of your government which seemingly necessitates continual expansion of government control and intrusion rather than limiting such intrusion while protecting and serving individual free people.

My single (minded) "values" issue is my advocacy of absolute (worldwide) protection for all innocent human life from conception until natural death.

Then you attempt to silence me by suggesting that I must first make changes in America, citing nothing except evidence of the great liberty and tolerance in American law and society (e.g. our pandering-demeaning and heavily Leftist-Atheist media).

I have no problem with criticism, yours in particular has been inconsequential (i.e. one of our wise Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, observed that: "The sting in a rebuke, is the truth.").

The single barb you hurled toward America which might be worth crediting since it is ubiquitous among Leftists is the notion that with America it is "war" whereas with YOU it is "peace keeping."

America is a fully functional nation which considers self defense a basic human right. We don't engage in war for the purpose of conquest but only very reluctantly to defend ourselves and our allies.

I like the Israeli styling (probably voiced by Benjamin Netanyhu - pardon my spelling), regarding international dealings, asserting that Israel would willingly bargain with other nations, offering: "...peace for peace."

Limited human rights respecting free nations (and individuual free people) keep their own peace and protect themselves through robust unrelenting preparations for war (self defense).

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-11 9:53:51 AM

Conrad ~

I agree with you in the main, but you are wasting your time with the socialist, anti-Semitic, America hating separatist. Facts mean nothing to his ilk. They just want what they want - and want it now.

Posted by: obc | 2007-10-11 9:57:34 AM


You hit it bang-on when you said ‘facts mean nothing.'

Marc as much admitted to that two nights ago. I was at an out-of-town computer that day and have not seen his response yet to my question about whether feelings trump facts.

My assumption is that if Marc feels he's oppressed, that's good enough.

And the fact that this feigned oppression and victimization by the anglais only feeds into this delusion.

The seperatists are running scared now because PM Harper has made moves toward giving Quebec the powers it agreed to under the BNA Act when it joined Canada. To me, that's only fair.

The only important fact here is that the seperatist movement has been fuelled as a reaction to the Trudeau vision of centralization by which Ottawa encroaches upon provincial jurisdiction.

Kick out that raison-d-etre and the seperatist movement is pointless.

About 20% of Quebeckers understand this and that represents the drop in PQ support in the recent byelections.

Facts are facts, Marc. You can't run your life on feelings, because your feelings are open to misenterpretation. Besides, that's a traditionally feminine way of looking at the world.

Are you a man, Marc?

Posted by: set you free | 2007-10-11 10:14:24 AM

obc -

I don't know about whether such people as Marc being impenetrable.

It seems that many people are unthinkingly influenced by the "voice" of the crowd, especially on "distant" issues such as government function, purpose and structure, especially if their formal education was deficient (i.e. government schools).

Our (government) schools are systemically polluted by government-union teachers who betray their moral duty to their students in order to support and elect governmental leaders who will increase government teacher-worker compensation provided that the teachers, "teach" expansion of and dependence upon government.

Even a committed Leftist when confronted by clear statements of truth about the Communism may recoil in horror about the ultimate results of that ideology.

Posted by: Conrad-USA | 2007-10-11 10:25:54 AM

Thank-you for compliments and vote of confidence, Conrade-USA. I do not hesitate to return the same vote of confidence to you. We likely know more about the USA than most Americans know about us because the USA is the most powerful nation in the world. It is also the most generous and has the best Constitution of any country on earth, IMO.

Your idea to send our Prime Minister worth while suggestions would be met with grace and appreciation by Mr. Harper. He is a man who listens to genuine ideas - he, unlike past Prime Ministers, wishes to govern well. He has many piles of corruption to plow through but he is has made a lot of headway in the few months he has been our Prime Minister. The Liberal hangers on who were accustomed to slush $$ (in brown bags) funding pet projects are squawking but the taxpayers/ working people are happy because we finally have a Prime Minister who works for us not co-operate friends and supporters.

I have always lived within a hundred miles of the American border: Montana, Alaska and Washington. I have much more in common with these NW Americans than I do with Eastern Canadians consequently I have friends as well as family living in NW USA. I consider my freedom and independence in Canada a direct result of living next door to my best friends who also have the most powerful Military in the world. Thank-you Conrade and all your countrymen for protecting us in the dark days of Puffin/Dipper rule.

You are a well informed and welcome contributer here, IMO. I always read your posts.

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-10-16 1:22:19 AM

Well said, jema54.

Speaking of Puffins........
One person we have to give credit to is Puffin Iggy.
Being the thoughtful professor with the wandering thought process he came up with the perfect bird as Mascot for the Liberals, one that knows how to hide poop. This was one enlightening thought whether deliberate of inadvertently.

Iggy has been there long enough to know they have to hide a lot of it if they're ever going to get back to power. Trouble is he's a bit too late, we already know they're in deep doo-doo, too much for one bird to hide from us.

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-10-16 6:53:35 AM

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