Friday, June 26, 2009

Hey Gilles, quit whining!

Blogging from New York and I read this...

Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe has called for the federal gov't to deliver services in Quebec only en francais and called Prime Minister Harper AND Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff "rednecks".

I love the response from Soudas:

"There are certain days in the year when Mr. Duceppe should put aside his whining, his complaining, his constantly seeing the glass as half-empty," Harper spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Wednesday.

"Quebecers see the glass as being half full. Mr. Duceppe just comes across as a big whiner."

I was recently at the Montreal-Trudeau airport and the FIRST language EVERYONE spoke to me in was French.

So yeah, quit yer whinin' Gilles and let us rednecks tawk the English in Quebec will ya?

Monday, June 15, 2009

An election if necessary but not necessarily an election

Duly elected Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff wants to hold the Conservative accountable by having them meet the 45 day qualification for Employment Insurance, stimulus conditions or face defeat.

According to Ignatieff, the government must meet the following conditions:

  • Provide more details about improving the employment insurance system before the House of Commons votes on budget estimates at the end of the week. The government has said it will introduce new EI proposals in the fall.
  • Give more information about stimulus spending and the ballooning deficit than included in last Thursday's progress report.
  • Provide clearer answers on the government's action plan to deal with Canada's medical isotopes shortage.
Details, information, and answers. Reading this it would appear that again, Michael Ignatieff stands for nothing and has a way out to avoid an election.

You know the line, "an [election] if necessary, but not necessarily an [election]".

This was the Liberals best chance and they missed it.

See you in 2010... a Space Odyssey by Iggy Stardust.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jasmine MacDonnell, Lisa Raitt, and Fishy Plants

Blogger Steve Janke points out that, Jasmine MacDonnell, the assistant of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt, is the daughter of Liberal party fundraiser Ralston MacDonnell.

Something smells fishy to me.

Just over a week ago, secret documents related to the Ministry were left behind at CTV. CTV called the party and someone picked them up with the news media ready and waiting. I remember a scenario similar to this not long ago when RCMP confiscated boxes from a Conservative party office and the media just happened to be there, ready and waiting.

Back to Jasmine... she resigned after Raitt asked Prime Minister Harper if she herself should resign, which he refused. Apparently, Jasmine was in tears.

Then only a few days later another story came to light. A tape recorder containing a conversation between Jasmine and Lisa Raitt while in Victoria back in January was then left behind at the press gallery in Ottawa months ago.

The recorder was given to Mr. Maher [of the Halifax Chronicle Herald] in February by another reporter who found it in a women’s washroom on Parliament Hill and recognized his voice on the recorder. Mr. Maher had interviewed the minister on Jan. 21.

Mr. Maher informed Ms. MacDonnell that he had the recorder and invited her to drop by his office to pick it up. She never did.

A few questions..

1. Why the heck would Jasmine MacDonnell record a private conversation between her and her minister?

2. Why would she leave it behind in a women's washroom? She must have been listening to it or would she not have kept it in her purse/pocket?

3. Why didn't she recover it when asked by Mr. Maher at the Chronicle Herald? Did she totally forget?

3. Why would she leave secret documents behind at the CTV?

4. Why did this all come to light in the last week?

5. Why didn't the Prime Minister fire Lisa Raitt as he did with Maxime Bernier when he had secret foreign affairs documents lying around for his then girlfriend to see?

Incompetence just doesn't describe this anymore.

And I'll just state it again. Jasmine MacDonnell is the daughter of Liberal party fundraiser Ralston MacDonnell.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NDP win majority in Nova Sociala

Jeez, after reading comments in this article, you wonder how the heck they got elected?

My bets are that the PCs just didn't have the gumption, the grassroots, or any GOTV (get out the vote) going on. And all the soft-liberals shifted to the NDP.

Now, I haven't done any post-election analysis, but I think this election just shows that campaigns really DO matter--that good campaign teams, grassroots volunteers do work and last-minute desperate campaign attack ads don't make much difference against positive political momentum.

Will this bode well for the federal Conservatives? I don't know. What I do know is that having left-leaning gov'ts in the Ontario legislature does after a period of time. As long as McGuinty is Premier, there's a large group of Ontarians that will balance it out with federal Conservative MPs.

Anyway, HUGE win for the NDP in a province with a recent long history of electing minorities. It appears Nova Socialans (sic) are looking for ... what's that word? stability. but change was a big thing.

Hello Jack Layton? Are you seizing this opportunity? .. the NDP did grow massively in BC. They have a gov't in Manitoba and now Nova Scotia. Oh my guess he's still practicing his crappy Question Period rants in the hallway.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Time IS right for Grits

Globe and Mail and Metro columnist Lawrence Martin says the "time is right for Grits" to force an election.

I would have to agree. The economy and unemployment have likely reached their lowest point. The Conservatives have been mired in a mostly currently ineffective ad campaign against "duly elected" Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. The deficit misreads by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, massive bailouts for GM, and the very recent misteps by Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt--including the secret documents left behind at CTV news by her assistant, and her tape recorded conversation left behind, again, by her assistant, the possible lack of radioactive isotopes for cancer patients, AND the loss of gold at the Mint, could the news get any worse for the Conservatives. Perhaps.

Don't forget that the polls show the Conservatives in 4th place in Quebec and trailing the Liberals in Ontario. With opposition calls for dramatic EI reform and the Conservatives seemingly slightly compromising, while it's an issue no doubt, it's not an election issue.

But here's why an election isn't going to happen as Lawrence Martin speculates...

1. The economy. The last thing I think most people want, especially investors and bankers, during this time is instability.

2. Liberals need the NDP and Bloc to get enough votes in the House of Commons to force an election. The NDP have indicated they don't want to go to the polls, especially with them badly trailing the Liberals, they'd likely lose seats. The Liberals also lead the Bloc in parts of Quebec so the Bloc probably won't do any better than they are now.

3. No one wants a July or August election. In fact, this would favour the incumbant as many are away on holidays.

My bet is by October, when the House resumes, the Liberals and Bloc will assess the polling data, and if the Conservatives don't have a big enough scandal to lose confidence, we might not see an election until Spring 2010.

But by that time, the economy will likely have recovered, and the main reason to go to the polls will no longer be the issue.

Also, Michael Ignatieff will have flip flopped on so many issues that more and more people will want to know what he really stands for. And I bet that will be the next salvo of Conservative Party attack ads.

And the Liberals will have missed their chance.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Reverse Insenaty

Some people say that insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and getting the same result. But I'd say in the case of reforming the Canadian senate, it's worth it to pursue and is not insane, nor is it "insenaty", unless those opposed to any reform (Quebec) have anything to say about it. And they always do...

OTTAWA - When it comes to Senate reform, the Harper government is applying the old adage: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

The government reintroduced for the third time Thursday legislation that would force senators to retire after serving a single, non-renewable term of eight years.

And it intends to reintroduce legislation soon that would create a process to elect senators.

"Well, here we go again," said Marjory LeBreton, the government's leader in the Senate.

Two previous attempts to impose term limits went nowhere amid objections from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, which argued that Senate reforms require a constitutional amendment approved by at least seven provinces.

Quebec, which views the Senate as a chamber designed to protect minority rights, has been the most adamantly opposed. It has threatened to take the federal government to court if it persists in trying to unilaterally reform the upper chamber.

Some have asked my view on senate reform. I believe having a triple-e senate a key ingredient to national unity, otherwise many provinces are just colonies within the dominion. Canada has changed dramatically over the past 100 years and our current senate makeup is a relic of an old system that needs major reform. And I'll take any kind of reform, any progress to get to a triple-e, even if it's one step at a time.

This is the key issue of why I support Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

First off, we have too many senators. I propose the following, similar to the U.S. system:

- Each province gets 6 senators and each territory gets 2 for a total of 66. (Keep in mind that they have 100 senators in the U.S. (2 per state).

- Each province is divided into 6 regions (not necessarily based on population). These regions are determined by the provincial legislatures. For example, Alberta would be divided as such: Edmonton Captial Region, Calgary Region, Central, Northwest, Northeast, South.

- Three senators are up for election every six years in conjunction with a province's civic elections usually held every three years.

- Because of elections, there is no need for term limits. I believe if someone is doing a good job and continually gets elected, then there's nothing wrong with that.

- Current campaign financing laws would apply with an adjustment to the amount a campaign can spend depending upon the population of the region.

Now is that so insane?