Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alberta PC gov't continues its war on fun

Just when I thought this government couldn't get any more useless and intrusive, "Prohibition Eddie" is continuing his war on fun.

I have made the prediction that this PC Ed Stelmach government will soon raise the alcohol drinking age to at least 19 to match our adjoining provinces, if not higher or back to 21.  I am further convinced of this with today's stupid announcement that they are banning the sale of beer with an alcohol content of more than 12%.  

Since Ed's been in power, they have banned happy hours having cheap drinks, have limited a person to two drinks after the midnight hour.  They have taxed booze and revoked it leaving much of it at higher prices.

I don't know anyone who binge drinks on this higher-end beer.  And it is higher-end.  I remember being in San Francisco this August at a really cool bar on Haight Street that had the widest variety of beers, stouts, ales, malts, and Pislners I have ever seen.  I tried a couple that were above 12% in alcohol content.  They were delicious but let me tell you, I wouldn't have a second one of that same kind.  Very filling.

With the recent passing of their "comprehensive distracted driver" law which studies show that it will actually INCREASE accidents, it's nice to know that there's a nanny-state government right here in "strong and free" Alberta.  It's nice to know that they are incrementally removing responsibility and freedoms.  It's nice to know that I'll never vote for this party ever again.

So why stop at beer?  While we're at it, let's ban ALL booze with an alcohol content above 12%.  That will wipe out many wines, all liqueurs, and hard booze.  And while we're at it, let's just ban all booze.  Because if you make an argument that high-alcohol boutique beer is a problem, then you HAVE TO argue that all booze is a problem.

And "Prohibition Eddie" will soon have a real problem--declining revenue and a vast underground economy run by gangs.


Bloggers like me and other pundits go gaga over elections. We like to make intelligent predictions although I do suck at them. I go by feel. Not very scientific, I know.

Part of that feel is geared toward party preference. That is more prevalent in a general election, where in by-elections, I believe the feel is more toward the individual candidates themselves because there is more national media attention given to them, not their party leaders or campaign promises.

So I don't think anything should be read into or spun that these results were a real win or loss for Harper, Ignatieff, or Layton.

All three ridings were very well represented by capable, likable MPs. Inky Mark in Dauphin, Judy Wasylycia-Leis in Winnipeg North, and Mario Belaquavila (sp?) in Vaughan worked hard as they got reelected everytime they ran.

The real question in these by-elections is not whether the winning or losing party is on the up or downswing or a "test of leadership", it's simply whether or not their successors will gain the trust of the voters in their respective ridings and win again in a general election.

Beyond that, I'll go back to making sucky predictions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

> 80 native chiefs make more than the PM

And you wonder where all that money went?

acoyne (@acoyne)
10-11-22 12:01 PM
Maybe they had a better year: "More than 80 native chiefs were paid more than Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year." http://bit.ly/9KhrRr

Sent with Twitter for iPhone

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Harper's virtual majority

The Senate smartly voted down bill C-311, a climate change bill which, of course, originated in the House of Commons. 

So although the Conservatives do not have a majority in the House, and they don't necessarily have one in the Senate just yet, common sense is prevailing.

Of course, what would also be common sense is the day these Senators are elected and each province is equally represented.

It seems in this situation, they at least got one of the "E" of triple-E.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Reason #7928 why the Senate should be elected

"Despite being suspended from the Senate three years ago, Liberal Sen. Raymond Lavigne has managed to cost the Canadian taxpayer more than $700,000 since 2007, public accounts reveal."
You know, if we had regular senate elections, does anyone think this guy would get elected and waste our money like that?

I sure don't.

h/t Dr. Roy

Harper's strong stance on Israel

On Parliament Hill today, Prime Minister Harper has some strong words about Canada's support for Israel, including a likely hint at why we lost a temporary seat on the UN Security Council.

"Not just because it is the right thing to do, but because history shows us, and the ideology of the anti-Israel mob tell us all too well, that those who threaten the existence of the Jewish people are in the longer term a threat to all of us."

The prime minister acknowledged that his position is not popular with all governments and organizations, including members of the United Nations and the Francophonie.

"And I know, by the way, because I have the bruises to show for it, that whether it is at the United Nations or any other international forum, the easiest thing to do is simply to just get along and go along with this anti-Israel rhetoric, to pretend it is just about being even-handed, and to excuse oneself with the label of honest broker.

"There are, after all, a lot more votes -- a lot more -- in being anti-Israeli than in taking a stand. But as long as I am prime minister, whether it is at the United Nations, the Francophonie or anywhere else, Canada will take that stand, whatever the cost."
I have to say, this is strong leadership.

Friday, November 05, 2010

O Canada! #1 in hockey. #1 in brand

I'd like to say that my frequent trips to the U.S. this past year has finally paid off.   Canada now has the number one country brand in the world.  I knew this day would come.

Ok, so maybe it was the Winter Olympics in Vancouver--especially the hockey gold medals.  Maybe it was the Canadian clothing put out by The Bay store.  Maybe it was our kick ass troops in Afghanistan.

I know for me, this year I finally forked out the cash and bought myself an authentic Canadian Olympic men's hockey team jersey as well as a 'CANADA' hoodie from Roots (with thumb holes in the sleeves!).  I went to Kelowna for Canada Day and rocked out some live music on a house boat in the middle of Lake Okanagan with my friends while watching the fireworks.

I don't know about you, but after being in the U.S. so much and now returning home, I'm feeling an immense pride for my country.

I know my American friends and co-workers there used to make fun of me being Canadian.  It used to be a running joke, "eh"?  Then I drank them under the table and pulled their jackets over their heads...

1000 year old skull fragment of St. Vladimir the Great recovered

Completely unrelated to politics, but being that I'm from Edmonton and Ukrainian Orthodox, I thought I'd share this news.

"A thief broke into the home of a priest with St. Herman's Orthodox Church, on 167 St., in the middle of the night last week, said Archpriest Phillip Eriksson.  The thief took the relic, a wallet and the keys to the priest's truck in which he made his escape.  After a frantic call to police, officers began a street to street search. They found the truck just over three hours later about 10 blocks away. The relic was with the truck, still inside its ornate box....

...Squadron 8 asked the church if it can claim St. Vladimir as their patron saint and the church has agreed."

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

BC Premier Gordon Campbell steps down

It's a bit of a shock, but things just weren't looking up for him come next election.

My questions to conservative-leaning folks in BC:

With the useless carbon tax and the HST, these aren't exactly conservative things are they?

Are you finally going to throw money and support behind the BC Conservative Party and get a strong leader with some good candidates or continue to prop up the Liberals just so the NDP don't win?

Because now's your chance.

Update:  Leadership rumours are already abound.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

It's Tea Time!

Since President Obama has been in power, his agenda has been an aggressive one.  Not realizing that many in his own majority party became reluctant to the drastic and massive changes in economic and health policies, he pushed anyway.

The result is where the Democrats had to battle on three fronts:

1.  The Tea Party. One of the biggest grassroots political movements in history. Mostly Republican and conservative.  These people are motivated and will certainly vote.  They think Obama is a socialist.  They are mostly tired of the government being involved in their life and are mad has hell!  While most of the Tea Baggers don't make over $250k a year, they're still pissed that Obama is taxing more out of those above that amount.

2.   Independents.  They'll balance this out, but they're not too happy with Obama or the Democrats either.  They may simply vote out incumbents, no matter which party, but they're more driven to vote out the party in power--the Democrats.  And as many independents can be fiscally conservative, those ones are pissed that Obama totally forgot about "pay as you go" but more especially on the job front.

3.  Democrats.  The lefties are ticked that Obama didn't deliver on their agenda--gay marriage, "don't ask don't tell", climate change legislation, and even more comprehensive health care reform.

As the Tea Party is a new thing, was the whole purpose of it to win these mid-terms?  I don't think they even know.  What's going to happen after this election when Republican presidential candidates start organizing their campaigns?  Which candidate will emerge as the Tea Party favourite, besides Sarah Palin?  Or will Tea Baggers split up into different camps, basically ending the movement?

I said it from the beginning that this Tea Party thing is a fad.  It's a fad because it doesn't REALLY have a leader at the front, or any formal organization.  And as a fad it will fade.  Just like the Obamatons did--but even they had a strong leader and an extremely well run campaign organization.

So to my Tea Bagging friends in the U.S.A, and you know who you are, enjoy the party while it lasts!  (That would be tonight by the way.)

Monday, November 01, 2010

U.S. Midterm Elections 2010 prediction

Senate:  Democrats hold by 4 seats (52-48)

House:  Republicans win by 4 seats

  • Current (including vacant):  Dems 256 + GOP 179 = 435.
  • 218 seats needed for majority. GOP gains +43.

Why?  The Tea Party/GOP base is waaaay more motivated than Democrats.

Obama gets caught in the middle.
The U.S. is at a stand-still, except for only a few minor non-partisan issues.

Canada wins due to Democrat protectionist attitudes no longer prevailing in the House.