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Friday, December 28, 2007

Someone inform the lefties: the world is not Europe

Amidst the hand-wringing down here by the usual suspects on how Bush is to blame for the Bhutto assassination (no, I'm not kidding), we're headed for the usual Bush-has-made-America-hated nonsense that passes for "analysis" down here and up there.

Amazingly, even as we are discussing a Pakistani assassination, there is almost no mention of India (save Jonah Goldberg at National Review On line), which just happens to be both the largest democracy on Earth and a place where President Bush is quite popular.

Given that India has a larger population than all of Europe, wouldn't it make sense to include it in any conversation about Bush's popularity worldwide?

Then again, such data would be unfathomable to the sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by D.J. McGuire on December 28, 2007 in International Politics | Permalink

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Comments

India's Prime Minister was not elected, he took control by intimidation. It seems that no matter how we try we can't find a good example of a functioning democracy in Asia.

Posted by: dp | 2007-12-28 1:49:12 PM


dp,

With all due respect, are you in some parallel universe?

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2007-12-28 2:06:32 PM


When someone is elected that isn't the favorite of those from the left side of the political spectrum, they either cheated, lied or used intimidation. I sure am glad that none of those tactics were tried by the NDP in the recent Saskatchewan election. /sarc off

Posted by: Brian Mallard | 2007-12-28 2:10:08 PM


That doesn't sound all that respectful to me.

Do you have some facts to put me in my place? Did I get confused about something?

What do you call it when an elected leader immediately hands power to a member of a militant group?

Posted by: dp | 2007-12-28 2:12:51 PM


"...lefties... hand-wringing... nonsense... Bush Derangement Syndrome."

It hardly sounds like you are looking for a conversation, but here goes anyway:

"Bush is to blame for the Bhutto assassination"

No. No one has said this. Not even in the link you give. What has been said is that Bush policies might be a contributing factor, but if you read the article you link, you will see that Bush is *specifically* not named as being primarily responsibile.

"Given that India has a larger population than all of Europe, wouldn't it make sense to include it in any conversation about Bush's popularity worldwide?"

When did this become the conversation? A paragraph ago the conversation was whether or not Bush could legitimately be seen as responsible for the assassination. You seem to have switched subjects. It's also not a discussion I have been hearing in the news right now.

But since you mention it, the news story linked to from the blog you link to points out that his popularity is only at 56% and that Bush's popularity in India is tied to "the steady flow of jobs to India through outsourcing by American companies" and "the increase of H-1B visas for high-tech workers in the United States." So Bush is good for Indian employment and emmigration. The article also says "many Indians part ways with Bush over the Iraq war, which remains highly unpopular there" and "affinity for Bush is limited to India's burgeoning middle class, which is benefiting from the economic boom spurred by jobs created through outsourcing by U.S. companies. That's only a fraction of the subcontinent's 1 billion people, and they're likely the ones being polled."

So even in India, Bush is not clearly a strongy beloved figure and insofar as he is, it is not for his foreign policy at all.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2007-12-28 2:28:59 PM


Our nic napper is back with no shame or apology.

You may safely disregard all that he says. It is quite worthless from one of his character.

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-28 3:04:53 PM


It is so brainless it make sane people weep for humanity. We keep hearing the same nonsense repeated over an over to the point where it's meaningless pap....BUSH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THE EVIL IN THE WORLD, HITLER IS CONSIDERED THE PATRON SAINT BY THE LEFTOIDS.

Let them go on. Who in their right mind, with the ability to reason would could be suckered into their sicko ideology?

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-12-28 3:51:42 PM


"Who in their right mind, with the ability to reason would could be suckered into their sicko ideology?"

Too many college students, for one. The dope they use makes them open for programming by their Leftoid profs.

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-28 3:56:25 PM


God Bless America, and God Bless George W. Bush!

Posted by: atric | 2007-12-28 4:07:35 PM


“God Bless George Bush”
Indeed.
George Bush who went into Iraq telling lies about why. And was surprised to find that the “US supplied” weapons of mass destruction were no where to be found.

They went to install democracy after supporting Hussein for years, until he stopped “playing ball”

“America is a Nation with a mission - and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate,
no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace - a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman. “
George W. Bush

And then he turned a mercenary army (Blackwater) loose on them. I’m sure they’re loving all the new “Democracy” so far.

“Free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction. “
George W. Bush

America is supposed to be a free nation, yet they attacked Iraq without any real provocation….Oh Wait a minute…it’s the UN who attacked them.
Congress never declared a war, did they?

Bush to Katie Couric today: "One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."

That would be because there was/is NO connection.

Bush: 'We Don't Torture'

President Tells Katie Couric That Connecting Iraq To War On Terror Is Hardest Part Of His Job
(CBS) It was one of the worst-kept secrets in the world — and on Wednesday, President Bush confirmed it: In a major speech about the war on terror,
the president, for the first time, acknowledged the existence of secret CIA prisons around the world.

Liar.

“I think there ought to be limits on freedom”
George W. Bush

Thanks George I was feeling like I needed to be a little more “secure” anyway.
The surveillance is a nice touch too.

And let’s not forget his great advances in the spirit of freedom and civil liberties like, “The Patriot Act” and “Rendition” and the suspension of “Habeas Corpus”.

This is truly a great president. He has single handedly destroyed the Constitution, Civil Liberty, and Freedom faster than any previous 10 presidents combined.

And he is definitely following in the footsteps of his ancestors like a good son and grandson.

Prescott Bush, the social climbing tire salesman who married into banking and
laundered money for the Nazi’s. What a Patriot.

And George HW Bush is proud he helped set the stage for the “New World Order” Another Great Patriot.

Not to mention their partnership with the Bin Laden’s in the Carlyle Group, a munitions supplier that is making Billions off all this “Peacemaking”.

Just a bunch of good ol boys doing what’s right….for THEM.

Yep, God Bless George Bush…

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-28 8:34:29 PM


"Posted by: JC | 28-Dec-07 8:34:29 PM"

And god help the endless, mindless, blathering rhetoric from America hating idiots like you.

You are as tiresome as you are boring.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-12-29 1:24:37 AM


This is truly a great president. He has single handedly destroyed the Constitution, Civil Liberty, and Freedom faster than any previous 10 presidents combined.

Posted by: JC | 28-Dec-07 8:34:29 PM

Nope, as much as it is fashionable and easy to either hail Bush or condemn him, most of this was done by Congress and Congress continues to do it all. Nothing has changed when the Democrats took it, nothing will change with whoever is going to sti in the Whitehouse next. No matter what his or her name is going to be.

It is easy to try and put it on Bush's shoulders, and surely he was the man at the wheel, but Congress hasn't quite yet dismantled the system yet to the point where only the President has the power (though they are trying hard to get there).

So for the time being: Thank (and bless) Congress for all the things that have happened ever since 1792.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-29 1:33:36 AM


India has been a functioning Democracy since it's independence around 1947, it was part of the the British commonwealth.

We could critique our own Democracy and show a fine line between it and a dictatorship when we have in place a Majority government of the same party for over a decade as we had with the Libranos under Chretien. He did whatever the hell he wanted. Remember Adscam, Shawinigate,and various and sundry things like HRDC Boondoggle and entitlements like that MINTED to Dingwall.

Democracies are the best we can have, they're not perfect. If it were up to the Left we'd all be living in communes, lining up for rations, stand for nothing, and have nothing to protect or fight for,perennial Hippies.
They keep crying about big industries getting tax breaks overlooking the fact these are the engines that drive our economy. Without them we'd have no jobs never mind no money for all the social programs they're constantly yipping for.

Alas, there's no cure for Leftoiditis,they're born with a defective gene, they are incapable of reasoned thought.

Brian Mallard @ 28-Dec-07 2:10:08 PM....good shot, so true!!

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-12-29 7:03:59 AM


And god help the endless, mindless, blathering rhetoric from America hating idiots like you.

You are as tiresome as you are boring.

You just don't get it do you?
I am one of the biggest supporters of Americanism you will ever find. I love the Constitution and I love the Bill of Rights...which is why I'm so damned angry. You should be too. The real America has been stolen. No go back to polishing your jackboots.

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-29 8:13:05 AM


“Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
~Hermann Goering~

And the Neo-Cons are inspired....

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-29 8:44:00 AM


Remember the first attempt on Bhutto’s life back in October JC? Well, did you know that on November 21, 2007, The Australian reported that the bomb which killed 170 people and left hundred more wounded, was strapped to a one-year-old child carried by its jihadist father?

The Australian piece, signed by Bruce Loudon, adds that the suicide bomber tried repeatedly to carry the baby to Ms Bhutto’s vehicle as she drove in a late-night cavalcade through the streets of Karachi. Loundon adds: "At the point where the bombs exploded, Benazir Bhutto herself saw the man with the child and asked him to come closer so that she could hug or kiss the infant," investigators were reported as saying. "But someone came in between and a guard felt that the man with the child was not behaving normally. So the child was not allowed to come aboard Benazir's vehicle."

Ms Bhutto is said to have told investigators she recalls the face of the man who was carrying the infant. She has asked to see recordings made by television news channels to try to identify the man.


What kind of culture would create a man so inhuman that would do this to his own son, a one-year child? Do you think that president Bush and the neocons created that monster JC? I only wish that the US government could capture all the other inhuman monsters and lock them up forever in Guantanamo.

Posted by: andré | 2007-12-29 8:56:08 AM


Snowrunner hit the nail ON THE HEAD!

The powers of the President are severely curtailed by Congress, especially so by the Senate. Very much unlike the system we have, where the PM, in a majority governing position, wields supreme and absolute power (if he's a liberal that is) with no checks or balances. The Yank system has checks on the powers of the prez that we could only dream of having here in Canada for our PM. In the case of Iraq, the patriot act and the "war on terror" every sitting congresspersun and senator that voted "yes" is jointly responsible for any erosion of civil liberty in the USA, yes even Shrillery Clinton! They chose to believe what was presented to them and, as supposedly intelligent persuns, they voted without any further study.

Back to your comforting conspiracy theories JC....there's lots and lots of blame to go around.

Posted by: Hoser | 2007-12-29 9:31:32 AM


I would agree and stand corrected. Snow runner makes a good point. So if Bush tables the law and congress passes it (probably without actually reading it) who is responsible?
And its no theory, and its not a conspiracy, its an agenda....there's way too much hard evidence. You just have to look a little beyond the TV screen...maybe read some history books.

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-29 10:41:01 AM


So if Bush tables the law and congress passes it (probably without actually reading it) who is responsible?

Posted by: JC | 29-Dec-07 10:41:01 AM

Congress, simple as that. They have done a lot over the past 60 years or so to slowly give away their power (Since the '70s the president can wage a "limited war" for 90 days? Anybody ever heard of any war were one side (without admitting defeat) just went home after 90 days and said: "Oh, never mind"?

Congress also gave Bush the authority to "defend the homeland" without having to come back to Congress to ask for permission to go to War, that's how the US ended up in Iraq.

Who is responsible though? Still Congress. The American people elected these people to represent them and make decisions FOR them. But clearly, there is a desire in a part of the American population, to a higher degree in the Senate and obviously here on the Blog for a "Strong Leader" that can "save us (The West I presume)" from the evils of this world.

The Founding fathers would have probably put a sunset clause into the Constitution if they would have forseen that the people who followed them would want their own emperor or wouldn't even have tried.

BTW, to all these "2nd Amendment is there to protect me from my Government people". May I suggest that NOW woulde be a good time to put your big mouth to good use and actually use them before your Country goes down the crapper completely? Clearly, your representatives have sold you down the River.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-29 10:49:20 AM


Posted by: Hoser | 29-Dec-07 9:31:32 AM

As much as I agree that in theory the US system with it's checks and balances is better, in practice I think the Canadian system is more representative of the population as a whole these days.

Main reason for this is that there is more than ONE party in the House of Commons, this in general will provide a better "feedback" to those in power and allow a citizen more "influence". Secondly, a Minority Government cannot quite rule with an iron fist, unless they can be certain that the majority of Canadians are behind them, and I don't think we'll see another majority Government in the near future, there is just a bit too much distrust into officials these days, ironically enough in part because of what is happening down south.

And no, I don't think the Canadian System is perfect, there are a few things that are in dire need to be updated, but much like in the US, the ones in power realize that all they would do is erode their own power, so don't hold your breath.

The main difference I have seen is that to me it appears that Canadians are a wee bit more involved on a Federal Political level than people in the US are, if that will make a difference in the end remains to be seen.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-29 11:04:56 AM


Thanks Snowrunner. Its nice to see some intellectual analysis with some obvious education behind it. As oppsed to say...frothing at the mouth fascism. How soon we forget the lessons of the world.

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-29 11:13:33 AM


India is a single party system... has been since their independance. Calling it the "largest democracy" in the world is something of a joke. Has been a joke since they gained independence.

Liking Bush isn't something they do either... They see America as an enemy, and a challenge to their own growing influence in the Indian Ocean.

Western journalism treats them as benign, focusing more on Pakistan in the context of Afghanistan, but you'll notice the Americans, British, Nato et all, don't not foray from bases in India do they?

There was a time when relations were better, but that was 30 years ago, and India began sliding towards the Eastern blok for technologies and weapons. In current times, India is a bigger friend of Russia.

Pakistan started moving to the west around the same time, because of it's fear of India.

Posted by: Joe Calgary | 2007-12-29 11:22:00 AM


Ahhh, Snowjob and JC-BS, a match made in heaven!

Together their combined intellect, in regards to geo politics, and their own counties, wouldn't be enough to light a single led Christmas bulb.

You go guys!

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-12-29 11:28:14 AM


Joe calgary: "India is a single party system... has been since their independance. Calling it the 'largest democracy' in the world is something of a joke. Has been a joke since they gained independence."

Number of consecutive years the current governing party of India has been in power: 27
Number of consecutive years the current governing party of Alberta has been in power: 36

Number of changes in government in the 60 years of Indian independence: 2
Number of years in Alberta with the same number of changes of government: 86

Posted by: Fact Check | 2007-12-29 11:43:15 AM


deepblue:

Anything to add in response to snowy's points?

Posted by: set you free | 2007-12-29 11:46:52 AM


"It seems that no matter how we try we can't find a good example of a functioning democracy in Asia."

What about Japan?

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 11:59:11 AM


“George Bush who went into Iraq telling lies about why. And was surprised to find that the “US supplied” weapons of mass destruction were no where to be found.”
And of course, you have PROOF that he lied. That would make exactly one of you in the world. While it’s clear that he was mistaken and perhaps even willfully blind, there is NO evidence that he lied through his teeth. As for “US-supplied,” get real. Practically every weapon to be found in Iraq today is of Russian manufacture. This is true for both political and practical reasons.

“They went to install democracy after supporting Hussein for years, until he stopped “playing ball”.”
They supported Hussein AGAINST IRAN to prevent the spread of the Islamic Revolution. The strategy was a success; the Revolution did not spread. Only three years later, Hussein invaded Kuwait and committed innumerable war crimes, far more than Bush is claimed to have. Tell me, why do you hold America to a higher standard than anyone else? Do you offer them anything in exchange for kicking the bar up six notches for them and no one else?

“And then he turned a mercenary army (Blackwater) loose on them. I’m sure they’re loving all the new “Democracy” so far.”
Blackwater tendered for, and was awarded, a security contract. Yes, they committed crimes. But blaming Bush for that is for like blaming Bush because the Iraquis plundered their own Museum of Antiquities. Next you’ll be trying to blame him for the JFK assassination; after all, he was alive at the time.

“America is supposed to be a free nation, yet they attacked Iraq without any real provocation….Oh Wait a minute…it’s the UN who attacked them. Congress never declared a war, did they?”
Nobody declares wars anymore, JC, because a declaration of war means a TOTAL war, a fight to the finish resulting in the utter devastation of one of the belligerents. That lesson was learned after World War II. Wake up.

“That would be because there was/is NO connection.“
No. Hussein was funneling $25K to the family of every suicide bomber in order to promote the intifada in the West Bank. That’s why Israel began demolishing their homes, so the families would realize no net benefit from the cash payment. It’s not the same as committing troops, but funding terror is funding terror.

“(CBS) It was one of the worst-kept secrets in the world — and on Wednesday, President Bush confirmed it: In a major speech about the war on terror, the president, for the first time, acknowledged the existence of secret CIA prisons around the world. – Liar.”
Interrogation does not mean torture. TORTURE is used routinely in many countries, including those who protested so energetically about the Abu Gharib scandal. Pity they don’t put more of their efforts into protesting their own governments. Oh, wait—they don’t have that freedom.

“Thanks George I was feeling like I needed to be a little more “secure” anyway. The surveillance is a nice touch too.”
To what surveillance have you been subjected? Also, since you clearly oppose any limits whatever on freedom, may I presume you support a man’s right to keep and bear arms?

“This is truly a great president. He has single handedly destroyed the Constitution, Civil Liberty, and Freedom faster than any previous 10 presidents combined.”
If the Supreme Court rules that certain laws violate the Constitution, Bush or any other President will be forced to back down. This has happened to virtually every President in one form or another. The Constitution remains in force and little black girls can still go to all-white schools. We’ll do without the drama, thank you.

“And he is definitely following in the footsteps of his ancestors like a good son and grandson.”
Perhaps you identify more with the love generation, who spat and defecated on the customs and culture of their forebears and then had the nerve to act insulted when their own children, having never been taught any better, do the same thing to theirs?

“Prescott Bush, the social climbing tire salesman who married into banking and
laundered money for the Nazi’s. What a Patriot.”
Hope you never drove a Ford or bought gas from Shell, JC. Practically every large organization has skeletons in the closet. The case against Prescott Bush—“remaining on the board of a company likely to financially benefit Germany”—is no stronger than it would be for someone illegally importing Cuban cigars. But if you’re like most Leftists, you’d probably hail the smuggler as a folk hero. Applying the law a bit selectively, aren’t we? I thought you believed in personal FREEDOM.

“Not to mention their partnership with the Bin Laden’s in the Carlyle Group, a munitions supplier that is making Billions off all this “Peacemaking.” Just a bunch of good ol boys doing what’s right….for THEM.”
Would you think better of them if they were all bad young girls doing what was WRONG for them?

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 12:26:16 PM


“You just don't get it do you? I am one of the biggest supporters of Americanism you will ever find. I love the Constitution and I love the Bill of Rights...which is why I'm so damned angry. You should be too. The real America has been stolen. No go back to polishing your jackboots.”


Sure, the way the 2000 election was “stolen.” It’s called the majority rules and is the foundation of all democracy. The alternative is that the MINORITY rules, which is what leads to countries like Iraq and Somalia. Bush’s term expires next year and there’s not a thing he can do about it, just as the Senators’ and Congressmen’s terms are also limited and they have to regularly prove themselves to their constituents or face expulsion from the legislature. Every law that comes out of Congress can be struck down by the Courts.

“The real America has been stolen.” What Leftist claptrap. But then, I suppose I shouldn’t expect any better from a demographic who thinks the height of political debate is to spell out “War is the tool of the sexist death merchants” on the grass with the bodies of naked human protestors.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 12:35:41 PM


P.S. The "real" America, to my knowledge, has not used jackboots since at least the American Revolution. Several of the countries with whom the Left identifies ideologically, however, use them to the present day.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 12:37:33 PM


“I would agree and stand corrected. Snow runner makes a good point. So if Bush tables the law and congress passes it (probably without actually reading it) who is responsible?”

Ultimately, the people are responsible. Because they picked these leaders.


“And its no theory, and its not a conspiracy, its an agenda....there's way too much hard evidence. You just have to look a little beyond the TV screen...maybe read some history books.”

Are you talking about REAL history books, written by committed scholars without agendas of their own, or sensationalist exposés written by greedy authors trying to cash in on America’s ideological divide? Or, perhaps, embittered university profs who curse Bush for not giving them an undeserved, unelected seat at the big table they nevertheless feel entitled to, by dint of their intellectual and cultural superiority?

I've read lots of history books, JC, probably more than you will read if you live to be a thousand. Not one of them claims that America has been "stolen."

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 12:43:30 PM


“As much as I agree that in theory the US system with it's checks and balances is better, in practice I think the Canadian system is more representative of the population as a whole these days…”


I’m afraid I have to disagree, SnowRunner. Your point that a minority government can’t rule with an iron fist is a good one, but out of 140 years of Confederation, how many years of minority Parliaments have we had? Not many. It doesn’t represent the reality of most of Canada’s history, during which Parliament *did* govern with an iron fist, at the whim of the PM. There are few free votes in the Commons (unlike in the U.S.), and the ability to declare any vote a confidence motion is pure political blackmail. Anyone who defies the party line risks expulsion from the caucus. The Senate is appointed, not elected, and the entry requirements are laughable—Mulroney stacked it to get the votes needed to pass the GST, while Chrétien was hardly better, appointing a *fashion designer.*

We won’t even get into the fact that all of Canada is essentially governed by *two cities* (Toronto and Montréal), or the fact that Atlantic Canada has four times the Senate seats of British Columbia while having half the population.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 12:54:20 PM


“Thanks Snowrunner. Its nice to see some intellectual analysis with some obvious education behind it. As oppsed to say...frothing at the mouth fascism. How soon we forget the lessons of the world.”


First of all, JC, your own posts are riddled with spelling errors, so you’re in no position to be judging the merits of someone else’s education. We’ve had just about enough of self-appointed saviours admitting only the faithful with terms like “enlightened” or “sensitive,” and dismissing everyone else as pea-brained knuckle-draggers. And secondly, while Snowrunner made an honest analysis and offered a reasoned conclusion, I’m afraid it does not seem to jibe very well with Canada’s political realities, for reasons I have pointed out above.

The lesson YOU ought to be taking away from this is that emotion is infinitely inferior to logic when it comes to debate and public policy, and that arguments founded upon logic (like Snowrunner’s) are always more convincing than those founded upon feeling (like your own), even to those who outwardly favour emotion.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 1:01:23 PM


I’m afraid I have to disagree, SnowRunner. Your point that a minority government can’t rule with an iron fist is a good one, but out of 140 years of Confederation, how many years of minority Parliaments have we had? Not many. It doesn’t represent the reality of most of Canada’s history, during which Parliament *did* govern with an iron fist, at the whim of the PM. There are few free votes in the Commons (unlike in the U.S.), and the ability to declare any vote a confidence motion is pure political blackmail. Anyone who defies the party line risks expulsion from the caucus. The Senate is appointed, not elected, and the entry requirements are laughable—Mulroney stacked it to get the votes needed to pass the GST, while Chrétien was hardly better, appointing a *fashion designer.*

Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 12:54:20 PM

Shane, I am aware of the history of Canada and how in the past majorities ruled. That doess't mean though that things can't change. I do think people in Canada have started questioning the Status Quo and in part I think it is due to what is going on in the US. If a Canadian blog like the Standard seems to be overly obsessed with the American Presidential race you can bet that the average Canadian at least occasionally peaks south as well.

The other reason is the mud slinging between the Conservatives and the Liberals. The Liberals lost trust because of the whole Sponsorship thing (though that was the latest straw) while the Conservatives (in the public mind) committed "Kyoto Betrayal" (and yes obc, Kyoto is a scam, intended to rob you of your riches and funnel money to godless communists). While the Liberals did diddly squat when it came to actually implement Kyoto, the Conservative, probably blinded by the strong anti-Kyoto sentiment in Calgary, just outright gave it the finger, completely missing the point that many Canadians ARE concerned about the environment and seem to at least consider Kyoto a good start.

The end result of this (and a lot more things) is essentially that nobody trusts the established parties anymore. Look at the poll numbers, the Greens have risen quite a bit. I wouldn't be too surprised if they would actually manage to grab a seat in the next election, if only to "show the established ones" that they are being watched. Will Canadians settle back down again and elect another majority Government? Maybe in time, but for the next decade at least I suspect Canada will see a minority Government at the helm and if we're lucky a few more parties in the House of Commons.

Of course all of this could change should the economy go south, in "times of crisis" people tend to want decisive action and that could see a Majority Government again, the odds it to be either Liberals or Conservatives I would peg at 50/50 a lot really depends on how Harper is addressing the concerns of people outside of Calgary.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-29 1:55:41 PM


Wow Shane!

Enjoying your monologue?

Posted by: set you free | 2007-12-29 1:56:34 PM


No reason NOT to give Kyoto the one-fingered salute, Snowrunner; as you say, it's a scam. People of sense knew it would be from day one, and the voters are beginning to find it out. What's astonishing, though, is that they still think it has significance, even if only a symbolic significance.

As for the demise of the traditional three-party state, don't hold your breath. The Libs and the Tories are still the dominant parties; only the third-place spot is up for grabs, between the NDP and the upstart Greens, who have failed to win a single seat. You'll have to show better results than that before reasonably claiming that there's a sea change taking place in our political landscape.

It won't take long for Canadians to wake up to the fact that the reason their government won't commit to anything is because they won't commit to a choice of government. Once the Next Big Thing comes along and action is demanded, they'll tilt one way or the other; most voters put less thought into their vote than they do into ordering a pizza.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 2:12:04 PM


Great posts, and great logic Shane.

Your common sense, and adhering to the facts instead of leftist fiction is much in line with my own thinking.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-12-29 2:23:00 PM


I still maintain that one does not have to be a Bush "Loyalist" to be an American Patriot.
All else is subject to interpretation.

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-29 4:12:56 PM


No reason NOT to give Kyoto the one-fingered salute, Snowrunner; as you say, it's a scam. People of sense knew it would be from day one, and the voters are beginning to find it out. What's astonishing, though, is that they still think it has significance, even if only a symbolic significance.


Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 2:12:04 PM

Kyoto may or may not have been a scam (it doesn't really matter, Canada didn't do squat to follow up on it's committment under either Government), but at least it was an attempt to make a change. I am not a fan of the Carbon Credits, but hey, that is a concept that was cooked up by countries like Canada and the US, because they (wrongfully) assumed that they could just pay lipservice to the idea of carbon emissions while at the same time not change a thing. Guess that didn't quite work out.

Having said this, it doesn't really matter if abandoning Kyoto was the right thing or not, the WAY the Conservatives did it was bad politics, the majority of Canadians DOES seem to desire some comittment / change / ideas by it's Government, to kick the whole thing out the door over night has, mildy put, irritated the masses. Not the smartest political move, regardless if you agree with it or not.

------------------------------------

As for the demise of the traditional three-party state, don't hold your breath. The Libs and the Tories are still the dominant parties; only the third-place spot is up for grabs, between the NDP and the upstart Greens, who have failed to win a single seat. You'll have to show better results than that before reasonably claiming that there's a sea change taking place in our political landscape.


Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 2:12:04 PM

First of all I didn't speak of a Seachange, I spoke of a change. I do think this change IS happening, barring a "9/11 like" event in Canada but it won't be overnight. As long as the Conservatives and Liberals are more concerned in slagging each other than trying to convince the voting public to vote for them on the merit of their policies the change is inevitable. How quickly will that have an impact on Ottawa? I don't know. I do think we'll see a test balloon during the next Federal Election, if it will stay or keep going remains to be seen. I have seen the Greens move over the course of 20 years from a nieche party that nobody cared to a party that became part of the Government for 7 years in Germany, even though the "first past the post" is a disadvantage for any new party sooner or later that damn is going to break as well.

---------------------

It won't take long for Canadians to wake up to the fact that the reason their government won't commit to anything is because they won't commit to a choice of government. Once the Next Big Thing comes along and action is demanded, they'll tilt one way or the other; most voters put less thought into their vote than they do into ordering a pizza.

Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 2:12:04 PM

Have you looked at the 2006 Census numbers? Chances are the votes won't go to the Conservatives.... It will be interesting, but quite frankly as long as the usual suspects on here are hailing Harper above everything else it is pretty clear that the majority of Canadians isn't trusting him. That's the thing about the Western Standard, it's a nice Canary in the coal mine, they are so far off center that the majority of Canadians can't identify with them. Whatever they want to happen is most likely not going to happen, otherwise there would be more than a handful of "devout conservatives" here on a regular basis.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-29 5:40:35 PM


"I still maintain that one does not have to be a Bush "Loyalist" to be an American Patriot. All else is subject to interpretation."

That's the first sensible thing you've said, JC. Why did you save it for last?

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 6:27:25 PM


“Kyoto may or may not have been a scam (it doesn't really matter, Canada didn't do squat to follow up on it's committment under either Government), but at least it was an attempt to make a change. I am not a fan of the Carbon Credits, but hey, that is a concept that was cooked up by countries like Canada and the US, because they (wrongfully) assumed that they could just pay lipservice to the idea of carbon emissions while at the same time not change a thing. Guess that didn't quite work out.”

The fact of the attempt and the good intentions do not, on their own, justify signing onto a losing cause. The moral outrage people can drag up over this dead letter of a treaty is simply astounding. I will never understand why some people put so much energy into manufacturing a symbolic victory instead of working a little harder to achieve a less spectacular, but ultimately more useful, real victory.


“Having said this, it doesn't really matter if abandoning Kyoto was the right thing or not, the WAY the Conservatives did it was bad politics, the majority of Canadians DOES seem to desire some comittment / change / ideas by it's Government, to kick the whole thing out the door over night has, mildy put, irritated the masses. Not the smartest political move, regardless if you agree with it or not.”

So the real message here is: “Be dishonest”? No wonder politicians lie so much; the public demands it!


“First of all I didn't speak of a Seachange, I spoke of a change. I do think this change IS happening, barring a "9/11 like" event in Canada but it won't be overnight. As long as the Conservatives and Liberals are more concerned in slagging each other than trying to convince the voting public to vote for them on the merit of their policies the change is inevitable. How quickly will that have an impact on Ottawa? I don't know. I do think we'll see a test balloon during the next Federal Election, if it will stay or keep going remains to be seen. I have seen the Greens move over the course of 20 years from a nieche party that nobody cared to a party that became part of the Government for 7 years in Germany, even though the "first past the post" is a disadvantage for any new party sooner or later that damn is going to break as well.”

All political parties slag one another, and have done so ever since there were democratic institutions. That isn’t going to change, because the PEOPLE who vote for them won’t stop slagging those in the other camp. What people tend to forget is that their government is chosen by the people, from the people, to serve the people. If we get bad governments, it’s because we’re bad voters.

By the way, the German Greens are not the Canadian Greens, and it’s fatuous to suggest that their victory in Germany bodes well for their fortunes here. “First past the post” has long been a fixture of Jeffersonian and Westminsterian democracy, and despite idle talk of change, it would take an even greater act of popular will than the abolition of an unelected and useless Senate. And even that’s proving a daunting task.


“Have you looked at the 2006 Census numbers? Chances are the votes won't go to the Conservatives.... It will be interesting, but quite frankly as long as the usual suspects on here are hailing Harper above everything else it is pretty clear that the majority of Canadians isn't trusting him. That's the thing about the Western Standard, it's a nice Canary in the coal mine, they are so far off center that the majority of Canadians can't identify with them. Whatever they want to happen is most likely not going to happen, otherwise there would be more than a handful of "devout conservatives" here on a regular basis.”

Then they’re stupid, because Stephane Dione is cut from Jimmy Carter’s mould—an overeducated theorist who would respond with bewildered incompetence should he ever get a chance to govern. His first year as leader of the Libs has been an almost unmitigated disaster, and recent polls show that far more Canadians would pick Harper as PM over Dione. Harper is currently top dog for the same reason Bush is currently top dog—the opposition could not produce a credible opponent. Of course, I understand that Trudeau’s son is entering politics, and enough Canadians still go ga-ga over the Trudeaumania phenomenon to vote for him on that basis alone. Like I said: Less thought than a pizza.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 6:47:52 PM


The fact of the attempt and the good intentions do not, on their own, justify signing onto a losing cause. The moral outrage people can drag up over this dead letter of a treaty is simply astounding. I will never understand why some people put so much energy into manufacturing a symbolic victory instead of working a little harder to achieve a less spectacular, but ultimately more useful, real victory.


Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 6:47:52 PM

I considered Kyoto as a first step. A goal was defined, and now one had to manage to get there. Of course the majority of people / companies never intended to reach this goal, the inclusion of Carbon Credits in the accord made that pretty clear from the beginning.

The reason why so many people get upset about the dealing / handling of Kyoto is that many people DO believe that it would have made a difference, it would have done SOMETHING at least and they could have felt better. If you look at places like Germany who took its commitment somewhat more serious they did actually make strives, new technologies, new ways of doing thing have contributed (in part) for them to at least move somewhat in the right direction. Canada on the other hand signed on, then felt good about, got Rick Mercer on TV telling everybody to do their part and then promptly forgot about it.

----------------------------

So the real message here is: “Be dishonest”? No wonder politicians lie so much; the public demands it!

Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 6:47:52 PM


Actually I think the public wants results, but most aren't willing to bring the sacrifices it would require. So the politicians do the next best thing: They lie through their teeth. It's sort of a win-win really, the politician gives people the feeling that they elected the right guy and can feel good and the voter can later claim he was deceived. A Comedy show I saw maybe 20 years ago summed it up nicely:

Character 1: I don't know who to vote for!
Character 2: Oh, it's easy. Just listen to all the lies the politicians tell you, then pick the one you like the best. No worries, nothing will change.

--------------------------

All political parties slag one another, and have done so ever since there were democratic institutions. That isn’t going to change, because the PEOPLE who vote for them won’t stop slagging those in the other camp. What people tend to forget is that their government is chosen by the people, from the people, to serve the people. If we get bad governments, it’s because we’re bad voters.


Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 6:47:52 PM

Of course there will always be slagging, but the problem is that NEITHER party right now does have anything ELSE. They try to win on the pure merit that they are not "THEM", and I don't think the public is buying it. They aren't coming out and saying: "Okay, the other guys are wrong here, and THIS is what we are going to do." What they do is say: "Hey, they suck, vote for us, we are not THEM!".

------------------

By the way, the German Greens are not the Canadian Greens, and it’s fatuous to suggest that their victory in Germany bodes well for their fortunes here. “First past the post” has long been a fixture of Jeffersonian and Westminsterian democracy, and despite idle talk of change, it would take an even greater act of popular will than the abolition of an unelected and useless Senate. And even that’s proving a daunting task.


Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 6:47:52 PM

Sure, as I said earlier there won't be any change that will level the playing field for any new party, but even in a "first past the post" system sooner or later someone new can break in, when the old structures aren't satisfying anymore enough people will want the change. It won't be a revolution, it won't happen over night, but I think they have a shot at it.

------------------------------

Then they’re stupid, because Stephane Dione is cut from Jimmy Carter’s mould—an overeducated theorist who would respond with bewildered incompetence should he ever get a chance to govern. His first year as leader of the Libs has been an almost unmitigated disaster, and recent polls show that far more Canadians would pick Harper as PM over Dione. Harper is currently top dog for the same reason Bush is currently top dog—the opposition could not produce a credible opponent. Of course, I understand that Trudeau’s son is entering politics, and enough Canadians still go ga-ga over the Trudeaumania phenomenon to vote for him on that basis alone. Like I said: Less thought than a pizza.

Posted by: Shane | 29-Dec-07 6:47:52 PM

Hence why we'll see a minority Government for the foreseeable future. Harper may get a renewed lease on 24 Sussex Drive, but not to an extend that will make him happy. He may be more of a Leader than Dion, but that doesn't mean people trust him. Politics is, obviously, partly a popularity contest, but I doubt many people will give Harper the vote just because he's not Dion. But now we're back at the difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals: They are just not the other guy, that's the best either of them can manage. Albertans will continue to vote Conservative because they always have done so (admitted to me by a Friend in Edmonton who isn't really sure about the Federal Conservatives anymore either), while most Ontarions will continue to vote Liberal. Quebec will go to the Bloc as "always" and maybe somewhere in BC you see a Green get elected, the rest of the country will be a wash.

Either LIberals or Conservatives have to come up with something new that differentiates them AND interests most people if they want a Majority Government again.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-29 7:24:57 PM


Joe Calgary, Fact-Check and dp,

All three of you are wrong.

dp, kindly name the "militant group" to which you refer? The party that currently governs is the Congress Party - has been since they won the elction in 2004.

Now, Joe and F-C, the Congress Party has only been in powr since 2004. They were bounced in 1997 by the voters, who handed power over to the BJP. The BJP was re-elected in 1999.

I will agree that the Congress Party dominated Indian politics for many a decade, but those days are gone. India now has a competitive two-party system, and in fact, it has had it for a decade.

Posted by: D.J. McGuire | 2007-12-29 10:26:45 PM


That’s quite an involved response, Sunrunner, so I hope you won’t mind if I choose a different and somewhat condensed format. Otherwise I’ll be here all night.

Yes, Kyoto could be called a first step. But few people would be willing to continue on a journey with so inauspicious a beginning. If you want to make a first step, make it an achievable one and build some momentum. But as you say, it’s largely about feeling good, so of course nothing is ever going to come of it. People might allow the walls of civilization to crumble all around them, but they will never permit their feelings to be hurt. The public doesn’t want results; it wants bread and circuses. And that will never change.

As for platforms, the fact is that both parties do have them. It’s just that they don’t have anything ELECTRIFYING. People aren’t interested in the boring details of day-to-day governing; they want grand programs to fire their patriotism and enrich their existences. Canadians in particular want something that will set them apart from Americans in order to salve their perpetual identity crisis. The fact is that Canada is doing extremely well and doesn’t NEED anything radical. Sure, a nip and tuck here and there would make for better government, but there’s nothing really pressing. You know the country is well off when the chief concern on voters’ minds is the ENVIRONMENT.

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-29 11:13:18 PM


Someone should inform the Lefties that CHINA is also not Europe:

"The great fall of China"

Revised GDP calculations show that Beijing isn't the giant we thought it was.

The most important story to come out of Washington recently had nothing to do with the endless presidential campaign. And although the media largely ignored it, the story changes the world.

The story's unlikely source was the staid World Bank, which published updated statistics on the economic output of 146 countries. China's economy, said the bank, is smaller than it thought.

About 40% smaller.

China, it turns out, isn't a $10-trillion economy on the brink of catching up with the United States. It is a $6-trillion economy, less than half our size. For the foreseeable future, China will have far less money to spend on its military and will face much deeper social and economic problems at home than experts previously believed.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/commentary/la-op-mead30dec30,0,1035099.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

Leftoids will undoubtedly disparage this news emanating from the country they so admire - and root for - but, bottom line, it still is a Communist country that lies, cheats and steals like all others before it - with a similar amount of freedom for its citizens, including the right to have their organs donated to the highest bidder - hearts included.

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-30 9:56:12 AM


...oh i wish i was an left winged Euro-winnie, then everyone would fall in love with meeeeee....

(With apologies to Oscar)

Posted by: toamx7 | 2007-12-30 9:58:35 AM


Shane,

I don't think you do the topic any favours by "summarizing" it. Pretty much anything these days is a complex web and trying to dumb it down to bullet points is what leads to hollow political phrases and the fact that nothing does change.

It is not that majority of people is too stupid to understand the complexity, it is that the media and the politicians don't WANT the majority to understand it. It's easier to throw small pieces of info out and make them sound as if they are the whole story.

@obc

Really, can you either get posting privliges here or start your own blog and stop blowing your internet finds in any threadm regardless if it fits or not? thank you.

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2007-12-30 8:20:29 PM


Another Leftoid trying to tell others what to say & how to think. How typical!

Maybe HE should get his own blog to enforce his rules.

SHEEEESH!

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-30 8:23:25 PM


So what are you saying, Snowrunner? I am well aware that many people have a vested interest in keeping the grey area as large as possible, for one or more of the following reasons:

1. To excuse inaction.

2. To excuse failure.

3. To bolster their own self-importance.

4. To secure funding.

That doesn’t mean the issues can’t, or shouldn’t, be simplified. People introduce complexity

Posted by: Shane | 2007-12-31 12:45:26 PM


Posted by: obc | 30-Dec-07 8:23:25 PM

Maybe obc, for 2008 you should try not to be as much of a prick as you were in 2007, I know I know, these darn leftoids calling you a prick, nothing is every your fault.

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That doesn’t mean the issues can’t, or shouldn’t, be simplified. People introduce complexity

Posted by: Shane | 31-Dec-07 12:45:26 PM

Shane,

certain things certainly can be simplified and be dealt swiftly with, having said this, many things these days (not in a small part due to globlization) have taken on a complexity that doesn't allow for "one liners" anymore, unless of course you're obc in which case it's always the leftoids (aka, everybody else) fault.

Any shooting "from the hip" will most likely not result in a solution that will satisfy you (or me) int he long run. Peddeling to "simple folks" is not really a solution (as tempting as it may be) in the long run.

The irony in this for me is of course that Strauss was pretty much arguing the same way: The majority of the people are too stupid to plot the course of a society and thus a selected few (intellectuals) should take this over. These "Strausians" are known in modern slang as "Neocons".

Posted by: Snowrunner | 2008-01-01 12:16:42 AM



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