Friday, September 29, 2006

"A tie, just what I've always wanted!"

In an ironic or perhaps prophetic destiny, back in 2005, Peter Mackay, sitting across from Belinda in the House of Commons after her defection, waved a tie at her which she bought him a few weeks earlier. She sure know how to get to you. "Fine then, I'll date a Tie."

MacKay met Stronach defection with 'fury'
Liberal MP hoped their relationship would survive floor-crossing, book says


OTTAWA -- Belinda Stronach hoped to convince Peter MacKay that their relationship could survive her defection to the Liberal cabinet, according to a new biography of the wealthy and glamorous opposition MP.

But according to Belinda: the Political and Private Life of Belinda
Stronach, Mr. MacKay reacted with "volcanic fury" as he urged her not to leave him during talks that lasted into the early morning.


Her new seat on the government benches had her sitting directly across from Mr. MacKay. As she cast a key budget vote that kept the Liberals in power, the book says, Mr. MacKay "deliberately and defiantly" waved his tie, which she had given him just a few weeks earlier.

"In the weeks that followed, MacKay's furious glares across the centre aisle so unnerved Stronach that her new colleagues decided to relocate her to another side of the Commons, where direct eye contact was more difficult."

Read entire article.

Secret Belindomi News

Just got this in from one of my sources...

And I actually spoke to Tie Domi (no shit) at Cowboys in the VIP tent the first Saturday of Stampede ... Things were good then Belinda’s in my grill, telling me to fuck off and leave Tie alone. I’m like, holy shit
what the hell is SHE doing here with Domi, and then 3 weeks later I learn they are an item. So what I’m saying is, I saw it first…and I’ve got a picture on my cell phone to prove it.

And here I thought what is done at Stampede stays at the Stampede.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


On another blog, a commentor wondered about coming up with one of those cute combo-celeb names like Brangelina or Bennifer for Belinda Stronach and Tie Domi. A couple suggestions were: Tielinda and Tomach.

I'm throwing "Belindomi" into the ring.

Some bloggers and postings have said they don't care about this affair. I call bullshit. It may not affect you directly, but it was certainly interesting news.

Canada doesn't often have these political-celebrity scandals of the heart, but you have to admit, Belinda has certainly made the political scene more interesting. Has this translated into more people paying attention to politics again? Voter turnout increased sine last election. Ah, who knows.

First with the whole switching parties the day before a confidence vote, which apparently also meant breaking up with Peter Mackay. Next time I break up with someone I'll just say, "Hey, sorry, switching parties." That relationship didn't work because Pelinda, Petelinda just doesn't have any ring to it.

Then we see pics on Belinda and Bill Clinton. No one knows the details there, but even if it were a scandal, would it have been such a surprise? I'm pretty sure we would have called them Billinda and they would have stuck/snuck around for much longer.

Recently, when Peter Mackay (ironically the minister of Foreign Affairs) met with U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, the media tried to sensationalize the meeting and put a sexy twist on it. But it wouldn't have worked anyway. For the life of me, I can't come up with anything...

Peterleezza -- sounds more like that grunge concert
Condipete -- ??
Condolepeter -- maybe
Peterice -- no thanks
Condomackay -- see the twist? ;-)

See, none of those work. Poor Peter, the vowels in his name just do not flow into women's names and I'm afraid he just won't find true love (...whimper).

But now we have Belindomi (emphasis on "lin", as in buhLINdomee). It's not a great name combo, but it was only meant to last 20 minutes of play in New York anyway.

Which will be much like Belinda's political career, but I think she'll only get 2 minutes for hooking.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Prime Minister Harper gets frank ... er .. I mean Paul:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a stinging response Wednesday to
former prime minister Paul Martin's accusation that Canada had lost its way in

Speaking to reporters in Romania, where the Francophonie summit officially
opens on Thursday, Harper said Martin approved the current mission in the war-torn country and was not in a position to criticize it.

"The fact Mr. Martin is incapable of sticking by his decisions explains
why he is no longer the prime minister of Canada,"
Harper said.

Zing! I like him more and more each day.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bloc blocker blog

Well, it appears the idea behind my previous posting about how the Bloc won't block the Conservative government has apparently been blocked by the Bloc.

The Bloc is now asking for $12 billion in federal transfers as part of the new fiscal balance or they won't prop up Mr. Harper and Co. TWELVE BILLION!!!

Now in any part of negotiation, you always demand more than you need to see if the other party will meet you somewhere in the middle.

But a hostage situation isn't like that. It's all or none. But those demanding usually end up being taken down or shot.

Now it appears that the recently proposed formula is a negotiation, yet due to the inclusion of 50% of provincial non-renewable resource revenues, and that Quebec will continue to receive the bulk of the transfers, it feels like they were able to get away without harm... again.

- Equalization would be calculated using a 10-province average,
rather than the current five, and include 50% of a province's non-renewable
resource revenue in its fiscal capacity.
- "Have-not" provinces would share an increased amount of nearly $900-million in 2007-08.
- Provinces that do not get equalization would be included in increased social transfer payments to pay for post-secondary education and training.

The Quebec separatists are a confused bunch aren't they? They want full autonomy and independence from Canada yet demand more money and threaten to bring down the current government if those demands aren't met.

Is it an idle threat?

Are the Bloc negotiators or hostage-takers? But given the history, it seems it's been more of the latter since the very beginning.

Will Duceppe pull a Trudeau and say, "Just watch me"?

My guess is Duceppe will stall on this one. He'll say, "We are looking at the current fiscal imbalance proposal and we will determine our position in the near future ... blah blah blah..."

BUT, will Harper use this threat to have the Bloc bring down his own government and call an election for Spring with the Liberals off-guard?

Harper could talk tough during and election and say, "Quebec is receiving more now than ever and yet the Bloc still don't see the benefit of staying in Canada. It's one or the other Gilles. You can't have both."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Goodbye Ralphy-boy!

What will I remember about Ralph Klein?

Folksy charm

  • He's got an "aw shucks" about him and we forgave him and forgave him because of it.
  • He would apologize for some of his acts and his outright honesty when he said his government didn't have a plan regarding the rapid economic growth and that the opposition was right, kind of silenced the opposition didn't it?
  • A fat smoker and drinker
  • He tried to sound smart, but couldn't pull it off. "Alluding to ... alluding to ... ". "What you have here...".
  • Appeared aloof or drunk when giving a gift to former President George Bush Sr. at a $1000/plate dinner back in '95. "Mist...mister Pres ... President...."
  • Drunk and out of his limo, he threw change at people at a homeless shelter
  • Appeared to have thrown a book at a page during a legislative session
  • A friend of mine who was bartending an event spoke with Ralph at the bar, where he was drinking non-alcoholic beer. My friend said he looked depressed.
Total lack of political loyalty
  • Basically encouraged Stockwell Day to run federally, which was smart on Ralph's part
  • Never outright supported the Canadian Alliance, whose supporters also voted for Ralph
  • During the 2004 federal election campaign, spouted stuff about private health care, which gave fodder to the Liberals and likely cost the Conservatives some seats
  • He used to be a Liberal.
  • I think it was a monthly thing, but his continued "bash Ottawa" diatribes, including unfounded separation threats had many Albertans roar in agreement
  • Continually called the NDP and some Liberals "socialists" and "left-wing nuts"
  • Took his time stepping down
  • No deficit
  • No debt -- although our current infrastructure is far behind the times
  • Lowered personal and business tax cuts - flat tax
  • Health care reforms
  • Allowed Senate elections to take place


  • Infrastructure debt
  • Education cuts
  • Tuition hikes
  • Randsacking the Heritage Savings Trust Fund
  • Lack of democracy - few sessions of the legislature
  • Environmental record
  • Health care premiums still around despite overflowing coffers
  • No vision for growth

Some say a monkey could have done just as good of a job as Ralphy managing the province with the oil and gas revenues piling in. That might be true, but you wouldn't get that folksy indignancy would you?

However, I stopped supporting Ralph many years ago due to that indignancy. Although last election I was helping a friend with her PC campaign, after attending the kick-off rally and catching myself chant "Ralph! Ralph! Ralph!", after Ralph spoke, I realized that this guy has no idea what he's doing anymore and I didn't vote PC.

Ralph was one of those politicians that will be remembered for a long time. Like Trudeau, he was either hated or loved, ne'er both at the same time.

A legacy has ended. King Ralph has left the building.

Goodbye Ralph, and good luck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Bloc is not blocking

Although the current Conservative government is in a minority, it's not. What we are seeing here is a similar coalition to what Mulroney had in the 80's.

So far, Duceppe and co. have supported the Conservatives at every turn, knowing full well that if they didn't an election would be called. The Bloc holds the balance of power, but they do not seem interested in abusing that power nor do they threaten to use it in media grandstanding, unlike the other parties. The Liberals know that this coalition is working and so they oppose for the sake of opposing.

Looking at the major Conservative kept promises, the Bloc, in supporting them, have basically formed the old de-facto Quebec wing of the Tories and thus moved away from their supposed left-centre socio-economic policies to the centre-right policies of the Tories.

Issues the Bloc have supported:

  • 2006 budget which included GST cut, $100/month child-care allowance, boost for military, and other items
  • softwood lumber
  • Afghan mission

Support for the Afghan mission and boost for the military is interesting, being that many Quebeckers haven't been nor currently are interested in war and the military. No one is calling for conscription, so Duceppe can continue to go along with Harper.

The main reason is that both soft and hard separatists don't like federal centralization--same with many Albertans and British Columbians. With the equalization issue, Harper and Flaherty have appeased those who'd normally give soft-support to the Bloc, so the Bloc doesn't have a bone-of-contention with that. Basically, both parties are both vying for these Quebec votes.

So I believe Harper can look to Duceppe for continued support. It could even be said that on other issues, Harper prefers this situation which has made him appear as more of a moderate rather than what he was formally and incorrectly labelled as "scary".

The next budget will be telling, but I believe the Bloc will support it, meaning we can expect to be in this majority coalition for some time and although I hear rumours within the party that an election is brewing for Spring 2007, I just don't see that happening.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine Eleven and the Museum of Flight

This date is ever etched into our hearts and minds. "Where were you when it happened?" is a common question, like when President Kennedy was shot.

After driving to work and listening on the radio I remember the thoughts in my head... "Armageddon? Is this the end? I have friends in New York. I have to find out if they're okay."

So I hopped on my work computer and emailed my network of friends. Within a day I found out that several of my friends were indeed okay. The Internet proved extremely valuable at this point. My co-worker-friend and I were glued to several website grabbing any piece of news. I don't we got any work done that day. I don't think anyone did.

After having been to the Museum of Flight in Greater Seattle last month, I had a very emotional experience walking through the World War II exhibit. This exhibit was huge, had full-sized fighter planes, tonnes of war memorabilia on decorated pilots, videos and pictures on every air battle, front page newspaper clippings, etc. The enormous room had a dark erie feeling with lighting only where needed.

I thought about how many had died. I thought about my late grandfather who fought in WWI as a teenager then fled Ukraine for Canada a decade later. I thought about his late brother who was in WWII. I thought about my friend Gordon who was in the Navy on D-Day. I thought about how lucky I am. They weren't just fighting and dying back for freedom back then. They all fought for all of us to live as we do today.

While I believe freedom and liberty are a right for every person, over history, it has been one of the most difficult rights for us to achieve and maintain. After nine eleven, we have been assessing the threat to our freedom and liberty by terrorists. We have also assessed our own country's need to tame some aspects of freedom and liberty we used to enjoy in the name of security. It's a difficult balance.

For the brave Canadians who have died in Afghanistan, there are many questions. While for many, at the present moment it may seem like the sacrifice was in vain, we must also look to the future, for they have died for that future.

When you think of what happened five years ago, not only should we think of all the people who perished that day, but think of all the people and events that were effected as a result of that horrific act.

The battle for freedom is ongoing. For if it was not, I wouldn't be typing this.

Lest we forget.