Friday, May 28, 2010

What about Bob?

With a hat-tip to the Christian Conservative blog, just as I called it, Bob Rae has some thoughts on a Lib-Dip coalition.

Remember what I said just the other day:

As I always do, look at this from another point of view...  a certain someone and Jean Chretien were on PowerCorp.  Chretien likes Dion and brought him into cabinet.  In first leadership race after Martin steps down, a certain someone drops out and supports Dion on last ballot, not Iggy. 

Do you think the NDP grassroots would ever want to be in a coalition with Ignatieff?  I don't think so.  But perhaps a certain someone. Someone who was a former provincial NDPer himself. 
Again, I ask, if Michael Ignatieff's poll numbers weren't so low, would anyone be talking about a coalition?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Liberal talking points...

Ah that Warren.. the king of spin...  apparently, the Liberals aren't talking coalition.
Here are Warren's talking points... note what I said about Harper's 2004 letter where there was NO mention of forming a coalition gov't, unlike the Liberals did with Dion four years later.

Talking Points:
Conservative coalition fear-mongering


• The Harper Conservatives are trying to change the channel from their skyrocketing G8/G20 summit costs by resurrecting a bogus coalition boogie-man.


• Liberals will campaign to form a Liberal government. We aren’t interested in coalitions.

This accusation is rich coming from Stephen Harper, who signed a letter with Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe in 2004 offering to form a Conservative-Bloc-NDP coalition government.

• As former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien confirmed yesterday, there are no coalition talks, no mandate for negotiation, and no negotiating taking place.

• Something the Harper Conservatives just don’t understand is that parties in Parliament can work together – without forming a coalition.

• The Conservatives have even attacked David McGuinty for suggesting that parties in Parliament “should be working together to put the interests of the Canadian people first.”

• The Conservatives think that parties in Parliament should not work together, and would rather put Conservative Party interests before the interests of Canadians.

On the first point -- if you're not interested in coalitions then why did your leader say, "A coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition"?

On the second point (highlighted) -- again, Harper's letter NEVER offered to form a government, only that the Governor General consider her options and consult with the opposition parties.

On the fourth point -- if the Conservatives haven't been working with other parties, then in this minority situation, why do the Liberals continue to vote with the government or let legislation pass?

On the fifth and sixth points -- a Liberal putting the interests of Canadians before his/her party?  That's a good one.  Liberals are only interested in gaining power and will say anything to get there.  It's their M.O. and reason for existence.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coalition talk: Contrast the context in opposition requests to the GG

Ah, Liberals and Dippers are now using a letter written in 2004 by then opposition leader Stephen Harper 2004 letter to then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson regarding the current minority government situation. 

From Jane Taber at the Globe and Mail:

But the Liberals fired back this morning, noting that when he was opposition leader Mr. Harper signed a letter to the Governor-General “stating that he was willing to work with the NDP and the Bloc to form the government.”

“Yes, that was a coalition between three parties, including the Bloc,” a senior Ignatieff official says. “And the Conservatives were in the thick of it. So please, stop pointing to that scarecrow!”
Scarecrow?  Um, really?  Maybe click your heels three times and come back to reality.  Contrast the context in the request in Stephen Harper's 2004 letter to the one in December 2008 written by then opposition leader Stephane Dion (pdf).

Stephen Harper 2004 letter (Bold emphasis mine):
September 9, 2004

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson,
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1


As leaders of the opposition parties, we are well aware that, given the Liberal minority government, you could be asked by the Prime Minister to dissolve the 38th Parliament at any time should the House of Commons fail to support some part of the government's program.

We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority.

Your attention to this matter is appreciated.


Hon. Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Opposition
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Also signed by Duceppe and Layton
Note that while the letter reminds the GG that the three opposition parties constitute a majority in the House, nowhere does Stephen Harper suggest that the three opposition parties wish to form a government.  NOWHERE.  Yet Libs and Dips continue to use this as a gotcha tactic.  Well sorry. 
Now let's contrast that with Stephane Dion's infamous 2008 coalition letter...
December 1, 2008
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean,
C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
Governor General
Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ontario


As Leader of the Official Opposition, I wish to inform you that, as of this writing, the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House of Commons, have been in close consultation concerning the failure of the Conservative government to address the impact of the global economic crisis on Canadians.

As a result, I wish to inform you that my party and the other two opposition parties have lost confidence in this Conservative government.  The Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada are resolved to form a new government and to this end we have the support of the Bloc Quebecois for a period of 18 months. This new government will effectively, prudently, promptly and competently address the best interests of the people of Canada in these critical economic times.

In light of the significant economic challenges facing our citizens, and that the last federal election was held less than two months ago, we respectfully request that, should a call for dissolution arise, you consider exercising your constitutional authority to call on the Leader of the Official Opposition to form a new collaborative government with the New Democratic Party of Canada and supported by the Bloc Quebecois.

This new government should be allowed to demonstrate it has the confidence of the House of Commons.

Your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.

Hon. Stephane Dion, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Official Opposition
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada
Note the difference?

Not only that but Dion, Layton, and Duceppe were shown in public meeting togetherpublished a letter to the public the same day as well as put out cooperative and policy accords.

Monday, December 1, 2008

To our fellow citizens,

Canada is facing a global economic crisis. Since the recent federal election, it has become clear that the government headed by Stephen Harper has no plan, no competence and, no will to effectively address this crisis. Therefore, the majority of Parliament has lost confidence in Mr. Harper's government, and believes that the formation of a new Government that will effectively, prudently, promptly and competently address these critical economic times is necessary.

The contrast between the inaction of Mr. Harper's government and the common action taken by all other Western democracies is striking. We cannot accept this.

A majority of Canadians and Quebecers voted for our parties on October 14, 2008. Our Members of Parliament make up 55 percent of the House of Commons.

In light of the critical situation facing our citizens, and the Harper government's unwillingness and inability to address the crisis, we are resolved to support a new government that will address the interests of the people.

Today we respectfully inform the Governor General that, as soon as the appropriate opportunity arises, she should call on the Leader of the Official Opposition to form a new government, supported as set out in the accompanying accords by all three of our parties.


Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada

Hon. Jack Layton
Leader, the New Democratic Party of Canada

Gilles Duceppe
Leader, the Bloc Québécois
For anyone to say that Stephen Harper tried to form a coalition government with the NDP and Bloc in 2004 is dead wrong.

So now, the Lib-NDP coalition talk continues, with supposed high-level talks between former Liberal PM, Jean Chretien and former NDP leader, Ed Broadbent.  The Conservatives have already released a statement warning of the risk of a coalition, again.
“A Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois Coalition would be led by a man who left Canada for 34 years and professed his love for America,” the talking points say. “It would put our economic recovery in the hands of former NDP Premier Bob Rae and current NDP leader Jack Layton. And it would contain a policy veto for the Bloc Quebecois – a party that doesn’t even believe in a united Canada.”

All this aside, I wonder if the resurrection of the coalition wouldn't be happening if current Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff's polling numbers weren't so low.

As I always do, look at this from another point of view...  a certain someone and Jean Chretien were on PowerCorp.  Chretien likes Dion and brought him into cabinet.  In first leadership race after Martin steps down, a certain someone drops out and supports Dion on last ballot, not Iggy. 

Do you think the NDP grassroots would ever want to be in a coalition with Ignatieff?  I don't think so.  But perhaps a certain someone. Someone who was a former provincial NDPer himself.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Of idealism, realism, and appointing senators

Long-time Blogging Tory, Springer on "Sort of Political" has written an excellent post on why Prime Minister Stephen Harper has had to appoint senators, despite the fact that before he got elected, he said he wouldn't appoint an unelected senator.

"Thus, it is no mystery that, to achieve even most symbolic reforms to the senate, PM Harper has had to fight tooth and nail every step of the way against a deeply entrenched indifference and/or ambivalence within the greatest part of the Canadian population centered in Ontario and Quebec that is a fact of our nation."

I would add the simple fact that in politics, circumstances change all the time, yet Harper has always had the long-game in sight and ignoring the naysayers (mostly Liberals and Dippers) who say they believe in reforming the senate but have no guts to do it.  I've thus termed this condition as "insenaty".

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy 110th Grandpa!

If my Grandfather were still alive today, he'd be 110 years old.  That's right, he was born in 1900, and in a small village Southwest Ukraine.  He was 45 when my dad was born and he was alive for over 16 years of my life, passing away in January of 1989 from prostate cancer.  I'm named after him.

He lived through much turmoil.  In WWI, at 17, he was forced to fight for the Austrio-Hungrian army on the Italian front, a period he talked little of.  On his return, he found out that the Polish army had taken his dad prisoner where he later died from typhous. I can't imagine the feeling of not being able to say goodbye.

He soon joined the Ukrainian Army, fighting the Russian Bolsheviks who were trying to take over Ukraine.  Then out of the blue, in his mid-20's he left for Canada, and ended up in Edmonton, speaking no English. Thinking about that journey alone by ship makes my comfortable airline trips to the States seem trivial.

Upon arriving in Edmonton, he got a job working in construction and due to his hard work, gained the trust of his boss, and was able to have that boss secure a business loan for him to open the Home Meat Market. It became a staple of the best koubassa in town and my Grandfather became well known in the Ukrainian community, volunteering on councils and community groups.  You can find the shop on West side of 101 Street and 108 Avenue.  Seriously, the koubassa is outstanding!  He was able to help bring over a family member to Canada--his brother, John, who fought valiantly in WWII for Canada and then settled in Winnipeg.

I remember the family dinners.  He didn't say much, but when he did, everyone listened.  He was one of the best checkers players around, and wow, could he snore!  I remember being babysat by my grandparents at their home which he built.  I remember the family vacation in Fairmont, BC, and I remember his car, a Buick Wildcat, in immaculate condition.  I remember their 50th wedding anniversary at our church hall.  There were a lot of people there, and I remember saying how my Baba was such a good cook.  You see, I hardly knew my Grandfather, because he spoke so little, yet he was always there for the family. That was until I remember at one family wedding in Winnipeg where he and I spoke for quite a while about cars and music, while he tapped his feet as we watched everyone dance.  There's a picture of us and it was one of the first real bonding moments with him for me.

My Grandfather just missed the fall of the Berlin Wall and most especially, Ukrainian Independence in 1991. Since then, Ukraine has had its up and downs as it get pulled from East to West.  I wonder what my Grandfather would think about what's happening there now and what the future lay in store for it.  The new president, Victor Yanukovich, is quickly taking the country toward more Russian influence, which is not accepted by Western Ukrainians by any means.  Not long ago, coming off the Orange Revolution, the future of Ukraine looked promising--possibly joining NATO or the EU.  Putin wouldn't have it though.  Now the future looks bleak, it becoming more and more influenced by Putin.  Please have a read of this blog post about the situation there. It really churns my stomach.

The last time I saw my Grandfather alive, I was at his bedside at the extended care hospital in Edmonton (only 7 blocks from my home today) where a few days later, he would pass.  He was very sick and had difficulty speaking, so he took my right hand, squeezed it, shook it with all the love one could feel, and he wouldn't let go. 

And neither will I.

Happy Birthday, Dido.

The Culture War continues...

Before I begin, it's quite sad to hear the loss of Colonel Geoff Parker in Afghanistan.  Not a day goes by where I don't stop to think about our troops over there.  They HAVE made a difference and their bravery, courage, and honour will live in eternity. God Bless Our Troops.

The Culture War

Liberal support is down to 25.1% in the latest Frank Graves Ekos poll.  Yeah, yeah, I know. It's Ekos. If the Liberals took Frank's advice on the culture war, then it looks like they need new advice. I still question Ekos polls, especially with the Green Party consistently above 11%, when every other poll doesn't have them so high.  As well, interesting how Frank released this 'unbiased' poll just when the CBC ombudsman said Frank and the CBC weren't biased. Hmmm...

And even if the Liberals didn't take any advice, then the culture war still continues.. The Quebec Assembly sure as hell ensured it endured with their 109-0 vote on demanding the Prime Minister take a stand on abortion.   The PMO responds:

“The Prime Minister has consistently said throughout his political career, before we formed the government and even after, that our government will not initiate or support legislation that reopens the debate on abortion,” said Dimitri Soudas.
So there.

Iggy and the Grits

And in his dull non-specific speech to Liberal supporters at $500 plate dinner in Toronto, Michael Ignateff thinks that the Tories are the ones who started this culture war.  (And if they did, so what, you'd lose anyway.)  Jeffrey Simpson of the Global and Mail has some comments on Ignatieff's "Tired rhetoric, and not much more" speech.

More on Iggy, even before the latest poll numbers, Michael Ignatieff says he's got work to do.  He's been saying that for a while now, hasn't he?  He thinks his rivals have "done a number on him".  Well, boo-frickin'-hoo, Iggy. That's politics.  And with you in dead last of likable leaders, yeah, you do have a lot of work to do.

Other stuff

On auditing MP's expenses.  Here's a solution, why not release the expenses that are over, say, $500?  I don't think every nickel needs to be scruitinized, that becomes a waste unto itself.  Oh, and does this apply to Senators as well?  I haven't heard a peep about that.

If an ex-MP gets caught, it's front page news and the opposition demand his wife gets booted from cabinet. Harper goes one further and boots her out of the caucus and as a candidate. Then she goes on CBC and cries crocodile tears while the Liberal Party president says she was mistreated.  BUT!  But if it's a sitting Liberal MP who gets caught, then barely a sound is made and he remains in caucus.  Double standard galore!

Prime Minister Harper fights the good fight

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and his army of cabinet ministers have been fighting THE GOOD FIGHT against the European global-socialist weenies on the proposed global bank taxIn speaking to a group of students, he has also said that at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits in Canada, that the economy should be the focus, not "side shows". That's an obvious jab at Liberals.  He recently told United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that climate change would probably not be a high priority on the agenda either.

With the Greek government and economy in turmoil, raising major doubts about the Euro, this has had immediate effects on Canada's economy.  The Loonie and Canada stocks have taken a hit.

So to all you out there, Harper's right.  And to use the old Democrat adage, "It's the economy, stupid."

There's so much more going on, it's difficult to keep up, but I hope this post helps.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Marci Macdonald's book

Have a read of this review by Naomi Lakritz of the Calgary Herald on Marci Macdonald's crappy book "Armageddon Factor", which assumes every policy of the Harper gov't is based on Christian-fundy influence.  "Shrill nonsense" she says.  I agree, but let's go further and just say liberal bullshit nonsense.

The following bit from the article defines where I believe Canadians are at in their ideological beliefs and why this made-up "culture war" by Ekos pollster Frank Graves, the Liberal Party, the CBC, and others is already failing.

"Ordinary Canadians, regardless of faith, were equally outraged that their tax dollars had been frittered away on such garbage; and clearly, the government's response showed it was listening to public sentiment, not that its strings were being pulled by a small group of evangelicals."

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Coalition is dead. Long live the Coalition!

In the aftermath of the recent UK election resulting in a new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, Liberals and NDP in Canada have been saying, "See!  Coalitions DO work.  They don't even do minority governments there."

Well hold on a sec...  I read former Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella's blog posts regularly.  Let us go through the logic here.

Today Kinsella posted:

This is now. 
That was then. 
Key message: if Stephen Harper’s Reformatories do it, it’s okay. If anyone else does it, it’s Satanic.

No, it's not clear.  Kinsella is referring to his own speech given at the Alberta Liberal Convention in Calgary where he talks about getting together with the NDP.

The "This is now" link above refers to Conservative strategists lambasting the Liberals for considering the coalition idea again, as they should. 

Now keep in mind that the FORMAL coalition between the Liberals and NDP had support from the Bloc Quebecois until June 2010.  A letter to the Governor General was signed by them in a request to to basically hand over the reigns of government to them, with Stephane Dion as Prime Minister and NDP would have cabinet posts.  While a coaliton government such as this is totally legal and constitutional, the point is that the Canadian voter was NEVER presented with this option going into the election, so many Canadians felt cheated, which is why polls for the Conservatives went up considerably after that.  Oh, and you know who else signed that letter? One Michael Ignatieff.

In the "That was then" link, Warren stretches out back in history to when Stockwell Day was leader of the Canadian Alliance. You know, before the Conservative Party existed and before Stephen Harper was even on the scene as a potential leader, let alone prime minister.  Yeah, yeah, we know Stock is cabinet now, but it's obvious here Warren's "Reformatories" moniker is slapping shit together from different piles to try and make it stick. Nice try.

(Should I mention that Warren's old boss, former Prime Minister Jean Chretien, had discussions with former NDP leader Ed Broadbent to kickstart the coalition negotiations?  Ok, there, I did.)

And one such pile is when Liberals and NDP say "How can you be against a coalition when you did it yourself!", referring to the time that when in opposition, the Conservatives, NDP, and Bloc voted non-confidence in the government, which sparked an election.

Key message:  When Liberals, NDP, and Separatists do it, they want to be an instant government without voters deciding. When Conservatives do it, they want to trigger an election and let the voters decide.


Long live the Coalition!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Separatist Who Cried Shit Wolf

Ah Gilles!  Trying to build some momentum are we?  I see that you are using 2010 to drum up the old license plate adage "Je me souviens" so Quebeckers remember the round number anniversaries of the Levesque referendum (1980) where you "Oui"s lost, the failed Meech Lake Accord (1990) which sparked your little party, and the Bouchard referendum (1995) where you guys lost again!

Thus continued the whole "unity" debate, resulting in billions more federal transfer dollars pouring into Quebec, symbolically highlighted by kick ass Canada Day fireworks displays in Montreal.

And where does that get us?

Well according to you, nowhere really.  So to get the ball rolling (again), you go on a cross-Canada tour, which from what I recall, barely anyone noticed or even attended your little gatherings to see what Canadians thought of you guys.

But you know what?  We remember stuff too!  Remember when you said that it's "undemocratic" for the Conservative government wanting to remove the $1.75/vote taxpayer subsidy for political parties, where your party gets over 80% of its revenue from? Yet now you cry like a selfish child when its proposed that Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia should get more seats to have a proper and fair representation by population in the House of Commons--you know, to achieve a better democracy that you claim to embrace!

Now, you release a poll from a pro-"sovereignty" company to show that Canadians outside Quebec don't want to open the constitution where Quebeckers overwhelmingly do. 

How convenient is that?

"Canadians have moved on to other things," he said. "They build their country as they see fit, that's all. They're no longer open to satisfying the ambitions of Quebecers. Federalism is a dead end for Quebec."

HAHA!  Ah, Gilles. You make me laugh so hard it hurts like my arteries do when chowing down a huge plate of hot poutine.  As you may or may not be aware, Mr. Duceppe, building Canada has largely included propping up Quebec, expanding bilingualism so far that even on WestJet flights you can start to make out the French recording translation telling you that "Il s'agit d'un vol non-fumeur".

Canadians have moved on indeed!  Why?  Because before, when you Quebec separatists whined and complained about EVERYTHING, we still came running to you with chocolate, flowers, calling you a "nation" with Craven "A" cigarettes, and begging you to reconsider, listening to your every word.

But now Gilles, this so-called momentum you're trying to move to reinvigorate animosity is falling on deaf ears.  This time, Gilles, no one's listening, because no one cares. Not even the great Bouchard gives a puck anymore.

All you and your Canadian taxpayer federally funded party are doing now is crying shit wolf.  Shit wolf, Gilles.  Shit wolf.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stelmach slaps Alberta in the face

Thanks Ed.  Thanks for nothing. Thanks for negating decades of work by Albertans to make Alberta an equal partner in Confederation and reforming our democracy.  Instead, you will continue relegate our jurisdiction to colony status all out of fear and all for your own political gain. 

Thanks for negating Alberta history and the win of Canada's first elected Senator, Stan Waters, as well as Bert Brown, who our current PM appointed, and our currently elected Senators-In-Waiting, Cliff Breitkreuz, Ted Byfeld, and Betty Unger.

As the six year term of three is to come to end in December of this year, and that civic elections are being held this fall to coincide with another senate election, thanks for forgoing that, essentially slapping the majority of Albertans who want an elected senate.

And the timing couldn't be more telling, especially when the Harper-led Conservative federal government recently introduced a bill to encourage provinces to elect senators who would then be appointed by the Prime Minister.

Thanks Ed.

And citing costs is the weakest argument.  Isn't democracy worth it?  By that logic, we shouldn't bother electing MLAs anymore either. Too costly ya know.

And thanks Ed.  You've now made us pro-senate reform Albertans folks look like hypocrites. 

And as if anyone would have really equated the provincial party that a senate candidate would have to run under and their win in another party as a vote against your Progressive Conservative party and government because once appointed to the senate, they would likely sit with the federal governing party's caucus anyway, you know, the party you should try to work with more.

But thanks Ed, you've only given us MORE reason to not support you or your PC government and support a provincial party that fully supports senate reform.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Eloquent words from Prime Minister Harper

This is one of the best speeches he's ever given, and I'm proud to share it with you here.

Excerpts of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Netherlands speech

I'd like to welcome Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, it is much appreciated that you would take the time to join us here today.

Mayor (Han) Polman (Mayor of Bergen op Zoom) Gen. (Walter) Natynczyk. It's also a pleasure to have B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell here with us.
It is my profound honour on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians to greet you today 

To greet you here, at this place of solemn remembrance, where the intense sadness of a distant time is lifted by our deepest national pride. One does not measure the worth of a man in gold, nor the legacy of a country in centuries.

Certainly, our beloved Canada is not ancient among the nations.

However, by their actions, our forefathers have decided this for the generations that came after them:

They have decided that our priceless heritage should be one of standing on guard not only for our country, but for the underlying principles that make it great: freedom, democracy and justice.

Thus it was at Vimy, more than 90 years ago, when Canadians stood firm against imperialism.
And thus it was in 1944, the year the First Canadian Army tore this land from the tyrant's fist.

This army, more than 175,000 Canadians reinforced by Dutch and allied forces, fought its way from Normandy to Rotterdam, field by field, canal by canal, dike by daunting dike. They crossed deep, boot-sucking mud. They passed over ground heavily mined. They navigated flooded lowlands, the water sometimes too high to wade through, but too shallow for boats.

And around them, and before them always, the dreadful rattle of the machine-gun.

More than seven and a half thousand Canadians gave their lives so that the people of the Netherlands could live again. Here, in the Bergen-op-Zoom war cemetery, 968 of them rest forever.

A skeptic would ask why?

These Canadians did not fight for their country's gain. It was not for the sake of our power in the world, for the riches of our citizens, or even hatred of the foe they faced.

No, this army of Canadians fought then for the only thing their country fights to this day -- that which is right.

For the right of human beings to share in the freedom and peace that we as Canadians enjoy. For that alone, Canadians have answered the call.

And for that, we are eternally proud.

Ladies and gentlemen, when the living come to salute the dead, our words speak loudest to those whose lives still lay ahead of them.

In this, the age-old act of remembrance, we gather not to call out a requiem, for those for whom we speak it are not here.

Their gallant souls are long departed, gone ... to a place far gentler, of which it is said: "There shall be no more death, Neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain."

No, they shall rest in peace.

We have come together to greet their comrades, while yet we may, and to declare to new generations that, in such a place as this, you may understand how our land, Canada, gives birth to greatness.

Would you know what heroism is? Look here.

Would you know what it means to be a citizen? Look here.

Would you, a lifetime awaiting you, know how you should live? Then look here, and look about you. 

Where only heroes rest.

Yes, my friends, in a place such as this, surrounded by the graves of so many brave young souls, the past speaks wordlessly to the future.

In the face of such deeds, words seem small acknowledgment.

Nevertheless, to those remaining members of this once-mighty army here with us today, we say thank you. We salute you. And, we honour you,

You, and those of your comrades who lie around you here.

We honour too, our Dutch hosts. The bonds of our friendship were forged under fire, bonds that have been reinforced ever since in so many ways.

Let me name just two.

First, our comradeship in arms in Afghanistan these past few years, where together our countries have continued to uphold our highest ideals.

And then, every spring in our nation's capital, there is the eternal celebration, of our friendship, christened by the gift of your beautiful tulips.

They are a reminder that, during the war, it was our country's privilege to offer shelter to members of the Dutch Royal Family.

And, at this very moment, they bloom triumphantly.

We owe the dead only this. To now live as nobly as they died. 

We shall remember them.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Quick Quibbles

My comments on the latest in the politico world...

  • On MP Helena Guergis getting turfed from above as the Conservative candidate in her riding although her riding association supports her ... I haven't talked about Helena or Rahim at all, and will continue to do so.  But I will say this... if anyone thinks that there's any resemblance of the Reform Party's grassroots structure in place, think again.
  • Liberal Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff has the 2nd worst attendance record in the House of Commons and the Liberals dominate the worst.

  • Speaking of whom, regarding the Prime Minister seeking the private opinion from Count Iggy on who the next Governor General should be, and Iggy ignorantly and stupidly goes public about it, politicizing the tradition, that he'd like Michaelle Jean to continue for another term, is it me, or did Harper somehow know Iggy was going to do that, making Iggy looking like a broken eggy?  Harper's playing Iggy like a fool by tapping into Iggy's weakness--his ego.

  • Then the Liberals introduce a motion in the House of Commons to tighten lobbying rules, which passes unanimously, but the Conservatives want to take it further and have it apply to all MPs, Iggy backs down by saying he hasn't read the proposal. Regardless, call it what you want, it's another sneaky countermove by Harper and Co. and they won.

  • The deficit isn't going to be as bad as previously predicted and Canada's economy is still tops in the G8. But I do grow weary of gov'ts ALWAYS getting their "forecasts" wrong.

  • Politicians swear all the time, just not often publicly.  That said, the issue that Canada will not take part in G8 funding for abortions abroad appears to be in-line with UN policy, so what's the issue?(h/t Stephen Taylor)

  • UK Conservative David Cameron will be the next UK Prime Minister after today's vote, but it will be a weak minority with the balance of power going to the Liberal Democrats. I predict something like this...
    • 300 Conservative
    • 230 Labour
    • 100 Liberal Democrats
    • 20 other
  • On Petty Officer Second Class Craig Blake: “One conversation was all it took to like and respect him.” -- Brigadier-General Dan Menard. He had successfully completed his mission near the village of Pay-e-Moluk on Monday when the blast struck at 4:30 p.m. local time.  h/t Dr. Roy.

  • And with that, the Canadian Navy celebrates 100 years.  Their most notable victory was D-Day. I happen to know a great man who was there. Read an interview with him.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Stephen Harper fights global socialism

While currently in Europe, Prime Minister Harper is pushing back on this global bank tax, saying that Canadian banks didn't need to get bailed out because of proper regulation here in Canada, so why do we have to take the hit for other another country's lack of governance?

We don't.  Now look at what this Barroso guy says about this tax.. "level playing field"...

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said such a tax should be applied to banks worldwide to "have a level playing field" and ensure that nations are working together to prevent another meltdown.

"We believe it makes sense -- at least to avoid this situation to come again -- that there is some contribution from the financial sector, a kind of insurance against this coming back again," Barroso told reporters. "And we believe it makes sense to do it if possible at the global level to have a level playing field and not to have contradictory measures."

CTV's Roger Smith, who is travelling with the prime minister on his four-day trip to Europe, said Harper disagrees with the proposal.

"(Harper) says Canadian banks have been well-regulated, they never took some of the risks and reaped the benefits that some of the banks that got into trouble did. He said there were no bailouts in Canada, so why should Canadian banks have to be punished?" Smith told CTV News Channel in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon.

"Now he says he will be pushing against a bank tax when the two (G8 and G20) summits occur next month in Toronto and Huntsville and arguing that the world should concentrate on a better system of regulation for banks, rather than more taxes."

And I'm glad we've got a Prime Minister who's willing to stand up for Canada globally and economically.  This global bank tax is the dumbest idea I have ever heard of and we should fight any tax forced upon the sovereignty of the people of Canada. Because any tax on a bank is only going to show up in more and more fees and no bank tax is going to weather the storm of another financial meltdown.