Thursday, November 29, 2007

When the Schreiber hits the fan

Do you get the feeling that Karlmarxheinzketchup Schreiber is using the Liberals to stay his extradiction to Germany?

Of course. Everyone knows it, but no one is saying it publicly in the House of Commons.

Do you also get the feeling that the Liberals are seeking revenge and are trying to find that magic bullet scandal against the Conservatives, similar to what they endured under Martin?

Of course. They don't care about the truth. They only care about throwing mud at the government. Do you think some of them are frustrated with their own leader, standing in the polls, so they're trying to deflect that negative attention onto the Conservatives.

They think they're onto something here. Again, not the truth, but how Canadians will perceive the supposed connection between Mulroney's shady dealings and the current government.

With phrases coming from the Liberals like "Mulroney infested party", "that party's elder statesman", "top political adviser", and seeking to find out about every governmental minister relationship with Mulroney, you wonder what the Liberals really stand for, if anything, other than seeking power.

They're trying to do the same thing with the so-called "In and Out Scandal" which they cry that shady transfers of money between the Conservative party HQ and local ridings for local TV ads was illegal. The Conservatives are suing the Liberals, and are providing evidence that every party does the same thing and that this transfer is not illegal.

During Question Period in the House of Commons, whenever Liberals ask the government why certain things aren't being done, the simple repetitive answer has been, "But we have already done that when the Liberals sat on their hands. In fact, Mr. Speaker, we've done more about solving that issue in the last 22 months than the Liberals ever did in 13 years!"

And you know what? Canadians aren't buying into the Liberal crap being thrown and if they throw too much BS, it's not going to hit the fan, it's going to blow right back in their face and the Liberal party will stink even more than they do--which of course, isn't a bad thing, just don't stand next to them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another death too many...

This is shameful. I can't, for the life of me, understand why tasers are still being used by the RCMP and other authorities in this country, when even one unjustified death occurred over 9 years ago.

19 deaths? By a taser?

The robocop nation continues.

Where's V when you need him?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Frickin' Robocop Taser Beams

"One death is a tragedy. A million is a statistic." - Josef Stalin

Another taser death.

This is ridiculous.

I've been watching Question Period in the House of Commons lately and I gotta agree with NDP leader Jack Layton continuing to call on Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to order that the use of tasers be suspended until we learn more about them. None of these deaths were warranted or sanctioned.

With things like photo-radar, red light cameras, and street surveillance cameras, all of these things are inching toward "robocop enforcement", where more money is put into technology, which often doesn't work, and not into actual people doing the actual enforcement of the law, especially having more of them together. (The recent young Mountie's death in Nunavut a couple weeks ago was most tragic, especially with him being the only officer on the call.)

But now we see the frequent use of tasers to assist with enforcement, which time and time again, we have seen failing in the most reprehensible manner. The use of them should have stopped after the first death.

This is Canada for crying out loud.

Here's a recap of taser-related deaths:


  • (unreleased name), 45, in Nova Scotia Correctional Facility
  • Quilem Registre, 39, in Montreal.
  • Robert Dziekanski, 40, in the Vancouver Airport in October.
  • Claudio Castagnetta, 32, died in Quebec City on Sept. 20, two days after being tasered.


  • Jason Dean, 28, in Red Deer while running from police in August.


  • Alesandro Fiacco, 33, in Edmonton, arrested while wandering into traffic in December.
  • James Foldi, 39, of Beamsville, Ont., while being arrested for breaking and entering in July.
  • Paul Sheldon Saulnier, 42, while being restrained by police in Digby, N.S., in July.
  • Gurmeet Sandhu, 41, of Surrey B.C., while being restrained during a domestic dispute in June.
  • Kevin Geldart, 34, in Moncton, N.B., in an altercation with police.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ra Ra Ras Putin

The superstitious are ruled by the church.
The ignorant are ruled by the state.

And the fearful are ruled by the mob.

- wise words from Manly P. Hall.

Those three statements above have been proven time and time again.

As such "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" is one of my favourites, but it is only relative, assuming first that the person even has knowledge of that history.

So what if you're not even knowledgeable at all of history? Well, then the three statements will apply to you.

I'd sure like to educate Canadian youth today about Canadian political history, the corruption, the unfairness, and hypocricy since confederation. I'd like to educate some Americans on their own history. Brits too. Heck, it applies everywhere.

What's common is the lack of historical knowledge about one's own country, nevermind others.

And this is very dangerous.

But in looking at world history, there is a consistent pattern by power hungry political leaders in their quest to take control over people and a nation. They usually start small but rise quickly due to a vacuum of power resulting from a calamity, down-turn, or national depression. Then apply the tried and true formula.

Start with an identified enemy--that being a religion, a region, a country, a party, a race, and "prove" how that everything is their fault. Heck, if you're so inclined, silence any protesters and nay-sayers with force, if not remove them altogether. Act like you're telling the whole truth with much grandstanding and fanfare and spout out rhetoric with words like "strong", "peace", "order", "future", "one people". And if you're smart enough, stage a mock rebellion, or better yet, secretly control an actual rebellion or planned terrorism, and show just how mighty you are. Only you can provide the strength, the security, "the peace, order and good government" because you know they're ignorant and don't know any better.

So "build it and they will come!"

Ah, you've heard about this all before in history and are able to provide at least five examples, yes? ... At least I hope you have.

So where does this all lead?

Vlad Putin has been the Russian President for 8 years. He's leading the campaign for his party to win parliament. He's pretty popular. He's done a lot of things. He's also done a lot of things we don't know.

The young Russian energy apparent in Vladimir Putin's parliamentary run is very high. But what do they know of Vlad's history in the KGB or even when Russia was communist and ruled by ruthless dictators? Do they know he just went and had Russia claim the North Pole? Do they know how much force he's used to silence peaceful protesters (see right).

Are they ignorant of these things and history in general?

Do they fear "the west"?

You be the judge...

"Nothing is predetermined at all," a grim-faced Putin said. "Stability and peace on our land have not fallen from the skies; they haven't yet become absolutely, automatically secured."

Addressing about 5,000 backers at the rally, which blended elements of a Soviet-era Communist Party congress with the raucous enthusiasm of an American political convention, Putin suggested his political opponents are working for Russia's Western adversaries.

"Regrettably, there are those inside the country who feed off foreign embassies like jackals and count on support of foreign funds and governments, and not their own people," Putin said.

He accused unidentified Russians of planning mass street protests, like those that helped usher in pro-Western governments in the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine in 2003 and 2004.

"Now, they're going to take to the streets. They have learned from Western experts and have received some training in neighboring (ex- Soviet) republics. And now they are going to stage provocations here," he said.

Putin seemed to refer to anti-Kremlin demonstrations planned for this weekend in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Police have used force to break up several marches and demonstrations, beating and detaining dozens of protesters.

Putin, whose nearly eight years in power coincided with rising energy prices, has repeatedly charged that the West wants Russia weak and compliant.

"Those who confront us don't want our plan to succeed," he said. "They have different plans for Russia. They need a weak and ill state, they need a disoriented and divided society in order to do their deeds behind its back."

Without naming names, Putin railed against his liberal, pro-business and Communist opponents, raising the specter of the economic and political uncertainty that preceded and followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

"If these gentlemen come back to power, they will again cheat people and fill their pockets," he said. "They want to restore an oligarchic regime, based on corruption and lies."

After his speech, the normally reserved president plunged into the crowd, shaking hands and kissing a woman. The crowd, consisting mainly of young people, responded with chants of "Russia! Putin!" Some blew horns and jumped in excitement.

With the election nearing, Putin has made a string of appearances at carefully staged events where speakers have emphasized his indispensability as a leader.

The campaign has drawn heavily on imagery from the Soviet and czarist eras, periods that still evoke feelings of pride in Russians despite their history of bloodshed and oppression.

But there is also an effort to appeal to a new generation of Russians with few memories of the country's past struggles. The scenes in the grandstand at Wednesday's rally sometimes resembled those of a rowdy soccer game.

Nostalgic Soviet-era bands mixed on stage with young performers, including a girl group in miniskirts who sang "I want someone like Putin."

Elderly women wore blue United Russia T-shirts. A young man had "Russia" painted on his shaved head, and a woman sported "Putin" written by lipstick on her cheek. Many had faces painted with bands of white, blue and red—the colors of the national flag and the United Russia party.

The speech seemed intended to transfer some of Putin's popularity to United Russia, which controls parliament but stirs few passions among voters.

Have a visit to PutinWatcher.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

On the Senate, House, and Mulroney

On the Senate...

The Conservative government has reintroduced two bills into the House of Commons--one to limit senator terms to eight years (instead of up to 45) and the other to consult voters by province on who they want as senators which the prime minister would appoint. Last year, this was introduced and stalled in the Senate (due to "insenaty"). But now that's they're being introduced in the House and if they pass, they will go on to the Senate. Will the 99% appointed Senate defeat it and go against the wishes of the electorate?

If so, then the Conservatives are going to support an NDP bill to hold a referendum to abolish the senate altogether. And while this isn't really a binding referendum because in order to turf the upper chamber, that would require a constitutional amendment.

Again, there hasn't been this much activity regarding senate reform since the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords under Mulroney. What Stephen Harper is doing here though is instead of opening up the constitution, he's doing everything else to push senate reform to the forefront and continue on his path to rid Canada of Liberal politicians. While he won't likely get rid of them all, he's certainly giving it a good run.

On the House...

Today the government tabled a bill to give more seats to British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario and have this in place by 2012. Using Quebec as a benchmark, as we know they and PEI have a disproportionate number of MPs compared to their population, BC will get 7, Alberta 5, and Ontario 10, upping the total number from 308 to 330. I really wonder if there's any room left in the House. Seriously. It's bloody packed in there. Eventually, it's going to look like the British House of Commons where there's no desk, just benches.

So I say they also introduce a bill to limit the total seats in the House to the maximum number of desks it can actually fit in there. And instead of buying new seats, I guess if they abolish the senate, they can always use those ones, and their offices too.

On Mulroney...

Steve Janke at Angry in the Great White North has been following the intricacies of the Mulroney-Schreiber affair. Schreiber has actually been in contact with a Liberal MP. In fact, while Stephane Dion slams Harper for having known about this issue seven months ago, so did the Liberals and NDP, all receiving letters from Schreiber on this issue, who is doing everything he can to avoid extradition to Germany for all sorts of criminal dealings.

Mulroney continues to maintain his innocence and has called for an inquiry himself. Warren Kinsella guesses that Mulroney knew one was coming and was able to hit the media first. Sounds reasonable.

The Liberals and NDP have done a good job on slamming the government, and although their claims are hypocritical in a sense, Harper has called for an inquiry, but to the avail of a dip in the polls for the Conservatives--especially in Ontario, where just last week, they were ahead of the Liberals after the tax relief announcement. This is just a blip although it shows that Ontarians don't like Brian Mulroney or that Harper has him as an advisor.

It will be interesting to see how much play the Mulroney Schreiber affair gets in the national media. Will the Conservatives be able to spin it back onto the Liberals? They might want to only do it once, as it will only prolong the issue in the media.

In summary, neat and crazy things are happening in Canadian politics, which only makes it all that much more fun.

(Senate and HOC images courtesy of the Parliamentary website ( Mulroney image courtesy of LA PRESSE CANADIENNE/Adrian Wyld.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One Liners

  • The Conservative government tax relief package passed through the house. With the Liberals having sat on their hands throughout, you wonder who's more relieved. Too bad gas taxes weren't also lowered. (Plop plop fix fix..)

  • Today, the Conservative government is tabling "An Act to provide for consultations with electors on their preferences for appointments to the Senate." Of course, Liberals will cry their usual "insenaty": -- "I've always been in favour of senate reform, but not piecemeal reform like this." In consulting with electors, I think they're sick of hearing you say that. (Not so much..? How's this one...)

  • As you may have read, Brian Mulroney has called for a full inquiry into his dealings with Schreiber; this time he really wants to clear the airbus. (Ba dum dum!)

  • Prime Minister Harper's poll numbers are up and Dion's are way down. After the tax package was announced, Conservative numbers went up and Liberals went down. Now after the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, Conservative numbers are down and Liberals are up. Is this what we call poll dancing? (Yes? Yes? Ok, no...)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Drop the Writ!


The website temporarily displayed a short sentence saying that information about elected members was no longer available because an election writ had been dropped.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Ken Kowalski, said it was a glitch, not a hacker.

Or maybe it was a teaser.

Lowest Planet Taxes

Prime Minister made a speech to the Canadian Club today with some great tax sound bites:

"one of the most competitive and attractive tax environments on the planet."
I now wonder what taxes are like on other planets. The carbon tax on Mars must be really high (even though it's poles are melting too).
"Federal taxes will fall to the level they were at in the last year (1963) of the Diefenbaker government -- before the policies of the late 1960s, before Trudeau -- back to the lowest level in nearly half a century"
Ah yes, before socialism.
"the lowest corporate income tax rate among the major developed economies"
Oh no! Not those evil corporations like Ford and GM who provide thousands of jobs in Ontario!
"These are economists who believe the GST is a good tax; which of course comes from the school of economics that believes there's such a thing as good taxes,"
Harper is obviously not one of those economists.
"The Liberals' opposition to tax cuts should deeply trouble you, should deeply trouble every Canadian taxpayer,"
They always have.
"[Bob Rae] spent five years using Ontario as a lab experiment for tax, spend and borrow policies,"
Yep. And like Trudeau, Ontarians have been paying for it ever since.
"And keeping taxes down, not raising them back up, is key to keeping this country moving in the right direction,"
Yeah, no kidding. That's the most libertarian thing Stephen Harper has ever said.

These are the kinds of speeches I like to hear. Bravo!

Now let's hope continued tax relief announcements are made in the 2008 budget. But I get the feeling that there won't be any. Maybe a reduction in the middle rate, that would be nice.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The insenaty has already begun! Hahaha!

With Harper supporting Layton's motion to have a referendum on abolishing the senate, I predicted there will be "insenaty". I'd like to add to the definition of that word I made yesterday and mention not just the Liberal politicians, but all the naysayers like constitutional "experts" (probably Liberals) and libloggers who dismiss any tinkering with the upper chamber.

A constitutional lawyer:

Errol Mendes, a constitutional law professor at the University of Ottawa, told CTV News that Layton and Harper "know this will not get through the Senate."

"So, again they want to use the Senate as a stick to beat the Liberals with in the election."

A liblogger, one of my daily reads, Mr. Calgary Grit:
As for me...meh. I think there's something to be said for having the Senate as a check on the House and they do a lot of good committee work, adding needed amendments to more bills than people realize. It's abundantly clear that the current system is deeply flawed but I think an elected Senate would be far worse. Once you elect Senators, you're giving the institution legitimacy and inviting activist decisions which opens up a whole can of worms, especially if you have unfair regional representation.

So, yeah, it's kind of a non starter for me. But for all of you out there who love talking Senate reform, go nuts!
Well Dan (aka Calgary Grit), I will go nuts, in fact we've been going nuts ("insenaty"?) over this issue since confederation. The ideal situation would obviously be a triple-e senate with equal representation--that's the whole idea! The senate has a terrible and embarrassing history of low attendance, patronage, and waste. An elected senate is a step in the right direction because it also HOLDS THEM ACCOUNTABLE. Get it?

We should "give the institution legitimacy" because THEY are supposed represent US. WE pay THEIR salary and expenses through OUR taxes.

Stephen Harper is showing real leadership to move this issue to the forefront and try and get something done about it. And for that, I applaud him.

And perhaps by abolishing it, we can start from scratch and build a new one if the will is there.

Or are you Liberals afraid of giving up your power instead of doing what's should have been right for Canada since 1867? Being that the Liberal party hasn't done anything about it, it's proven that all it's interested in is power and lip-service.

That's what I call ... you guessed it ... "insenity".

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I'm coining a new word--"INSENATY". Definition: "The repetitive process by which a Canadian politician talks about constitutional reform of the Senate but he or she actually does nothing about it."

I'm obviously primarily talking about Liberals. Liberal leaders have in the past said they "favour Senate reform" but didn't make any headway whatsoever.

In fact, it was former Prime Minister, Jean Chretien who had the constitution changed that made it more difficult for such reform requiring 7 out of 10 provinces representing at least 50% of the population to agree on such change. What that really means is without Ontario or Quebec agreeing, you can forget it. Nevermind what the ROC (rest of Canada) thinks.

A triple-e senate is the ideal situation. Prime Minister Harper, in less than two years has made more strides on pushing for senate reform than any other prime minister by promising to appoint any provincially elected individual to the upper chamber, which he did with new Alberta Senator Bert Brown. As well, he put forth a bill to impose term limits on senators to 8 years, but it was scrapped by the Liberal dominated senate. Other bills, such as stricter crime bills were all stalled in the last session of parliament by the Liberal senate.

Needless to say, the non-elected, non-accountable Liberal dominated Senate must be very frustrating for the Prime Minister.

From a western Canadian point of view, with Alberta represented by 6 Senators and PEI with 10 makes no sense whatsoever and the constitution treats underrepresented provinces more like colonies with power centralized in central Canada.

Reform is difficult considering several provinces (read: premiers) don't want to reform it, but get rid of it altogether, including Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty. So what do we do?

Today, Stephen Harper's long-term plan to wipe out the Liberals continues with his announcement to support a proposed NDP motion by "effective opposition" leader Jack Layton to abolish the senate by putting the question on the ballot in a referendum next election.

In order to gain more voice, the NDP have always wanted to get rid of the senate as they've never had much of a say in there, if at all, and likely won't in the future. Much like their strong support proportional representation, the NDP will continue to be shut out of the debate as they just don't have the numbers.

But I don't think Harper wants to get rid of it. I think he understands it's important to have equal provincial representation like they have in Australia and the U.S. That said, it's virtually impossible to reform it without opening the constitution, which Harper has mentioned doing.

I'm sure he's considered this, but with the failing of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, they opened the door for Quebec separatists to almost breakup the country, is it a path we want to go down again.

Presenting the issue directly to Canadians will generate a lively debate, thus making senate reform and democracy the top issue in the next election. For many years in online and personal discussions, I don't hear anyone agreeing that the current system is ideal, that something needs to be done.

Even if Canadians vote to abolish the senate, this decision actually has no constitutional power to carry that wish out. That said, such a referendum will corner the Liberals (again) as the entire nation, Canadians of all stripes, will peer into the history of lip-service by the party that has dominated the upper chamber for sometime and has shown absolutely no action on the issue itself. It is then you'll start hearing "insenaty" coming from Liberals again. Statements we've heard before, like "I've always said we should reform the senate" will be spun like a sticky spider web, only that Liberals will get caught in their own creation of hypocrisy.

With the will of Canadians and majority of MPs (Conservatives + NDP > 50%) agreeing to get rid of the senate, but the constitution not allowing it, then perhaps the middle ground of full-on triple-e reform will finally take place, which is in line with what Prime Minister Harper knows is right for Canada.

Question is, will reforming or ridding the senate be the final nail in the coffin for the Liberal party that Stephen Harper has been planning and effectively picking away at for sometime now?