Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It's now a tribal chant from the right-wingers in the media and all the CON trolls.

The Liberals (or NdP, if they cared a hair to focus on THE government) won't be able to use that ol' Scary Stephen card anymore.

There is no hidden agenda, they say. We've got the whole book on Harper and what he stands for (apparently upping the bid on Quebec voters; getting all his friends and bagmen into high places; expending a lot of energy on attacking and baiting the opposition; a lot of photo ops with Kings, bitter pills, Queens, neo-con flunkies and holy men). Never mind the devious tome published by FlanaganUSA that essentially draws a picture of this connivingly evil switch-and-bait script (take one lobster, put him in a pot of cool water; turn up the heat and add butter an hour later!), Stephen Harper is exactly what you see. A two-dimensional photocopy of someone's idea of Potsie with an anger issue. And no one dare call him on it -- well except maybe this guy. He must love living in France.

Well, if that's the case then I think you're missed the point, mr and mrs gullible pundit. IF Harper and his CON-gregation isn't interested in devolving federal powers, eliminating many programs that provide social services to Canadians (and assigning them to church groups ala Bush), re-enacting the wonderfully successful (Now, Entering its 24th Year on Tour!) American War on Drugs, giving the Canadian foreign service a lobotomy and an injection of extra-testostorone, while bringing Canadian social and economical underpinnings in line with America's, then his secret agenda was to fool the Reform crowd into believing he stood for exactly those things.

They didn't vote for someone who'd join forces with nationalist Quebecers, lobbing bags of Canadian money to influence an election, or to see him join the trend of acting as though global warming wasn't just some socialistic balderdash cooked up to soften the brain tissue of our younguns, spend like a drunken Liberal and generally not give a hoot to our redneck needs.

Of course, I believe ol' Steve is keeping his cards closer to his vest, having learned many lessons from numerous debaucles while as a mere MP and later, a clumsy leader of the opposition. Remember the Grewal affair? How about his 'fire wall' letter? And while we're onto letters, what about that Wall Street Journal missive? Or his opinion of Atlantic Canadians?

Calculating, yes. Deceitful, I'll bet my house on it.


It seems the CONs are going for broke now, blowing their wad on breaking the shackles from those restrained polling numbers that seem to keep them at some glass ceiling.

Here they go, producing one hulk-sized economic update, scribbled on the back of a Fatburger napkin in the span of about 14 minutes, and all to bury Sheila Fraser's latest report?

Okay, I'll admit that all these tax cuts would be an impossible target to campaign against -- if that's all there is.

But that is first, if you buy Jimmy O'Flattery's number-crunching; he does have a reputation for being a tad excitable when it comes to getting figures right. Secondly, the CONs have a spotty record of keeping their promises, and for what was revealed today, there's a lot of promises here. Remember Income Trust (Happy Anniversary!), creating daycare spaces, honouring signed agreements with other governments, making government more accessible and accountable, and those health care wait lists...

Thirdly, these tax cuts are predicated on the current maui-like surf of great economical waves we've been riding for nearly eight years now (Tory trolls can begin moaning about how all good things and manna came to exist only one year, nine months and a day ago; prior to that, Canada was just a steaming pile of half-baked lava, waiting for an uptight white savior-guy with a vengeance issue and a seriously bad fashion taste). Hmm, what are those storm clouds off in the distance doing? Must be heading AROUND our little island of bliss because we're completely not prepared for any kind of thing that starts with an 'R', and weren't those eradicated with some kind of polio vaccine?

And finally, my final point being, that the Harperites have essentially tied their vessel to this great tax giveaway. Their load is shot. Kaput, except for a big box of kleenex to mop it up with, but promises to call while scrambling feverishly for their socks and cel phone.

That droning on by nearly every economist, that the GST cut is dissuasive for economic growth, rather than persuasive, may not ring many bells with Joe and Jill Canada. Hey, who ever turned their back on a quarter found under the couch cushion? However, to rely wholly upon tax cuts to pleasure the voters is another divisive tool by this group of, well, Tory tools. As a minority gov't, survival is predicated on planning and gift-giving. The gov't at the same time has legislated that a certain percentage of surplus must address the national debt (no argument from me), but now, will be taking less in. Okay, all Canadians virtually love this idea (except Jack) however they also have other priorities like daycare, the environment, better and newer infrastructure, poverty and health care, and some aren't going to be placated too quickly by this promise of instant lucre. Remember, Paul Martin -- a guy who really knows numbers and who's comments on these events are sorely missed -- provided a similar budget at one time and what did it get him?

Mr Harper, you have just tied your fortune to a tax break -- one that effectively restores the past Liberal tax cut. You have few, if any, arrows left in your quill. So we can expect more negative ads in the near future while you pretend to govern.

I'm certain that your troops expect a good 4-5% bump in the opinion polls after this, and I'd say I wouldn't be surprised either. You'll even re-convert many of the conservative minded people who have been swearing at you the past 12 months, with your cosying up to Quebec, your lame tax credit piecemeals and hamhandling the economy while bullying both former friends and foe alike.

You will then be aiming to trip-up the opposition within the next 4 months (my guess in late February) to cash in these votes before the economy really turns sour. Hear that ticking? It isn't just that reminder note on buying Georgie a farewell gift.

And if those poll numbers don't materialize, or they only last as long as so many of your promises? Me thinks your Tory natives in the backroom will be getting mighty restless...

Friday, October 26, 2007


Damning Evidence #2 on Colonel Harper's Mystery Convalescent Preposterouso Tour:
It's all about the language, or what pops up into Canada's First President's head. He loves those stubby sentence constructions, perhaps because it worked so well for his favourite action hero, George 'Hell No, I won't Show up for My National Guard Duty! Bush. Anyhoo, today's class will dissect one of Harper's more famous one-liners: "The Country Is Unified."
He's also used the term 'more united', of course using the ubiquitous reference to THAT Past Government, those darn dividing Liberals.
In unified, he is leaning on the Gaelic-Hun translation, which is: 'to bring together in conflict. Also see, 'Alcoholic rage leading to forgotten fine motor skills.'
The evidence as to Harper's unifying talents are plenty, and let's be sure to highlight the best ones. Naturally, whenever you get one province taking the Federal Government to Court, you've got a heaping amount of unity on the way. Nothing, other than a restraining order hand delivered by some burly cop, says unified like a law suit. Of a subsection to this item, we have the "calling one's bluff."
You can't tell your dance partners apart when they coddle and cuddle so, right?
Our PM is an equal-opportunity uniter, as evident with his efforts to bring together angry, white Quebecois over the terrible threat of muslim women. Then there was one of his inaugural attempts at bringing people together, sending a letter to a right-wing newspaper to announce that First Natives shouldn't be so united with the water. Hmm, funny, I seem to recall him using this tactic before...

And any great unity guy needs a tango partner, and so for Harper's Peaches we have finance finagler Flaherty's Herb. The mathematical answer to incongruent continence, Flaherty has taken his boss' message to heart. He stepped into it royally with the Atlantic Accord by signing a letter which threatened 'No More Side Deals!', angering rappin' Rodney...
Most recently, Flaherty took up the fight by uniting Canadian retailers and the image of Ebenezer Scrooge prior to the three ghosts. Not one to let facts, reality and the science of free market supply and demand get in his way, the Finance Minister challenged Canadian retailers to 'Stand Up for Canada or I'll have to Stand UP and Buy This Book!' Nothing says 'Unity' like a good hearted 'blamin'. Canadian consumers went to bed with smiles that night, I bet.
Here's hoping Harper pulls off the ultimate unifying job, getting progressives back together for a happy ending!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


In the dissection of a leader, we've seen the CONs work a pretty mean-spirited game. Drive to the hoop, crash the crease, spit on the goalie. They've kind of thrown out the Marquess of Queensberry rulebook and replaced it with the Marquis de Sade's, to apparently the media and smaller parties' delight.
That below the belt tactic from their truculent, so-called leader will provide a perfect contrast to our eclectic, bookishly refined professor who prefers to lead with his moral core.
While the media seems skittish to try and decipher Stephen Harper's scatalogical history, neither recent or a little past, we offer this small case study of demystification for a self-proclaimed 'smartest guy in the room' (broom closet edition).
Apparently he's a fan of Stalin, or at least some of Stalin's modus operandi. He probably could do with a little Hans Christian Andersen, too. Because this naked Emperor, who remains full clothed in the eyes of the major media outlets' mandarins, apparently doesn't have any coattails with his invisible rayon jacket.
Look at all the friends he's tried to wield his power for, boasting to large crowds how they'd become the next Premier -- minutes after giving the reigning premier a crude brushoff. You're now familiar what happened to his man in Ontario.
He then unloaded a big truck of cash to help another co-hort in his decentralization plan on the eve of his provincial election, resulting in a minority tumble for his hand-picked horse in le belle province. Even the gloss from his own tepid victory, over a stumbling, tired government wasn't enuf to halt a pair of maritime upsets, where one future rival and a faux sadsack farmer fell with a big boom.
The one good sign for the CON of cons? A rousing win for his estranged doppelganger on the far east coast.
Oh well, maybe that 'brilliant tactician' will be able to pull Rodney's and Ed's fat from the fire. I guess right now, they're hoping he stays far away...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Let me get this straight, ol' blathering Jack believes the government has to fall. He stomps his feet and accuses the Liberals, remember, led by the guy Jack said was "a very, very very very good cabinet minister and people should vote for him", of not forcing an election.
Apparently, either Jack believes the CON party also doesn't want an election, or that he's all about a better seating arrangement in the House.
Of course, the PM who doesn't want an election, puts in a few items in his Throne speech to cause consternation among the opposition as to which way the country is heading. And whether a Throne Speech is the exact time to draw his rival into calling his bluff.
Dion stands his ground, believes that he has grounds to bring down this government, but listens to his caucus and the polls which say Canadians don't want an election.
But, because President Harper has deemed everything, including bathroom privileges, to be a defining moment in his gov't, that any defeat of any kind would bring down his gov't, Dion attempts to do his job by putting forth an amendment to the TS that states: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Tories are to blame for failing to live up to Canada's Kyoto targets;
The previous Liberal government was on track to meet those targets;
Canada's combat role in Afghanistan should end in 2009, but the door should be left open for some sort of continued role.

In Jack's wisdom, self-interest trumps following his own script. Yesterday he was taunting the Liberals for not voting down the government. So when the Liberals provide the exact opportunity for such an event, what does Jack do? He doesn't say 'Canadian's don't want an election', because that ruins his main premise. But he does stick to Harper's playbook, which is when in doubt, punch away.
So who's propping up who? Bueller? NDP Bueller?
Harper has a new teammate. His name is Jack. Throw him a bone and watch him scratch.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


It was suppose to be election primer but was more like elmer's paste. More 'throne' than 'thorn', but certainly prickly enough to draw the scolding of high-priest Layton and cheese-hat Duceppe.
High drama and pompous ceremony seemed to stand on end in the lead-up to yesterday's speech, otherwise dubbed 'Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?' Day. It was the preamble to the media's ongoing anxiety about 'what will Dion do?'

It's the day that an almost 21-month-old government tosses off the 'New' label for something less, well, 'New'. How about 'Slacker' or 'Pimply-Faced' Government?
Back to the event. Poor Micheille Jean. Making nice with the faux Emperor and the former Ms Teskey, and then being forced to read the equivalence of 'Dr Zhivago Does His First Tonsillectomy' as written by William F. Buckley outloud. Who said being the representative of the Monarchy would be fun?
Okay, to the speech itself, or at least to some of its earlier moments. Let's face it, if Jack Layton wasn't going to sit still to listen you can be sure I wasn't either.
Hmm, sounds fairly pablumic, referencing the reason why we're having a TS two weeks before Halloween because it "is an important moment in our country’s democratic life. Through the Speech from the Throne, the Government shares its vision with Canadians... And because 'Throne Speech always comes after 'Prorogued'."
Ah, a nice tribute to one of the last successful CON-serfative-minded minority government's, John Diefenbaker's in 1957. Mention the Queen in there, too, just to keep Jean in her place.
Now, to kowtow to those CanCon people -- "hey, we got rid of slavery awhile back, and would have brought in the citizenship act much earlier if the evil Liberal dog-loving MacKenzie King -- he talked with dead people, didja know? -- hadn't robbed us of our place in history. And don't forget the 40th anniversary of the Order of Canada, obviously a socialistic tool brought in by those evil Liberals again. But we'll get that ship-shape soon don't you worry."
Here's where Harper's studying of Earle Birney pays off: "And although Canada is a young country, its history is marked by our unwavering willingness—which I was touched to see all across Canada—to be and to continue to be a generous society, granting million-dollar gifts to American lumber protectionists and white men everywhere."
Oh-oh, here comes Harper on automatic pilot again, with the "sets clear goals" and "delivers concrete results" sell job. You forgot "makes whites really white" and "two out of three dentists recommend"... And the obligatory 'Canada's Back.' But what about Canada's Front? When it comes to slogans, Harper is about as authentic and real as, well, you get the picture.
He goes on and on. Telling us about that illusionary "more money in our pockets" because of imaginary tax cuts (personal income tax for most Canadians went up) and this doozy "Families now have real choice in child care" like whether Mommy should quit her job and learn an underground economic skill or keep buying bulk Heintz beans.
I don't know if I want to touch that crack about "Canadians now have a government committed to helping them get the medical care they need more quickly" because everytime I laugh it only hurts that long-ago diagnosed hernia. Wish I could make that disappear like Harper made his 'wait times priority' evaporate last summer.
Onto that favourite crime topic. Making neighbourhoods safe just by saying its so. Good thing there's no stats on that, oops! No need to admit we don't know what we're talking about but there are more people packing non-registered firearms, so I feel safe, don't you?

Finally, some substance: "Our Government will focus on five clear priorities: strengthening Canada’s sovereignty and place in the world (building firewalls for everyone with the help of Uncle Sammy!); building a stronger federation (or else!); providing effective economic leadership (with the cooperation of your new employer, Mr Zhao and Dieter Schmidt, who purchased your company overnight); continuing to tackle crime (that TV light is on, right?); and improving our environment (with New Improved TarSands Plus)."

BlahblahblahArcticblahblahblahsovereigntywohwohwohmilitarybigbuckswohwohwohbringsresults. Oh and I'll trade you Nelson Mandela for Aung San Suu Kyi because she knows where a woman's place is...
And that Afghanistan, what a mess eh? Those Liberals put us in there -- buy Chretien's book -- and I promise to get us out by 2011, just because George said you'd never boot out a 'war president.'
That so-called Kyoto thingy can't be achieved, obviously, and we'll tie our effort to anyone who is agin it, because you know-who has a dog named after it. But to show my sincerity, I'll plant a tree at Stanley Park and eat a rainforest bear burger, extra onions at the Red Barn on my way home tonight. That's all the divine providence I have to offer, but hey, I'm a leader and you-know-who isn't.

I didn't see any poison pill or Tonya Harding-with-a-steel-pipe to Dion's knees here. Perhaps the CONs don't want an election. But judging by the lack of originality and authentic ideas, its hard to say that they want to govern either. Appears that the only arrows in their quill seem to be for making mean with the opposition. But that's probably got its own committee instruction booklet, second publication.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Stephen Harper's plans for Canada not only include bringing God back into government and putting women and minorities back to their historic (in white man's culture, anyways) places, while also quashing progressive acts of government, but it's also to re-write history.
He and his CON hordes have subtly taken it upon themselves to subvert what is known as 'common knowledge' and to rehabilitate the images of conservatism, despite its thin trademark at the national level in this great country. In power, it has created the mantra 'Canada's New Government' as though our nation is a box of soap for sale; he has on numerous occasions, cancelled the programs of the past gov't only to rebrand them in a weaker version, correcting his one mistake while claiming an achievement in the same swoop.
Before he became our own TinPot Governor, he first made some attempts at this on his own, where it revealed him for what he is : a fractionist, petty, misguided , dishonesty and politically clumsy.
Those quotes in themselves should have been able to hang an 'unelectable' sign on this republikan robot.
However, with a little boost from the conservative-minded men who run today's mainstream media, Harper and his beliefs have gone largely redacted.
It's a tool that he is engaging in now to change the opinions of Canadians on things we have come to believe and know.
Remember last summer, when the Beaver magazine held an on-line poll for The Worst Canadian?
Meant as a fun way to engage readers after the wildly popular CBC show 'Most Popular Canadian', they offered up examples like former Toronto Leafs' owner Harold Ballard, syrupy chanteuse Celine Dion and murderer Paul Bernardo.
That's where the Blogging Tories got into operation to try an experiment. They circulated a very tightly closed command, where the goal was to make sure that not Paul Bernardo or Clifford Olson won the poll, but that the winner of this dubious award should be none other than Liberal immortal Pierre Trudeau.
Now, I've got family and friends in Alberta, where Trudeau's name still draws a grimace and a curse by many, and none of them consider Trudeau the worst Canadian. Half of them don't even consider him the worst politician -- surprisingly enough, this self-aggradizer still reigns even in Wild Rose country when you're talking Bad.
But as an exercise, the CONs pulled one over. And they remain quite singly minded in their goal.
It is to decimate and eliminate the Liberal Party from the mainstream of Canadians' political mindset, propelling Canada into a game of polar options. Blue, God Bless Canada, Hail to the Chief kind of conservatism, or Orange, Solidarity Forever, Che Rocks socialism.
The word of caution for those progressives who endorse the NdP because they feel it represents the best choice to govern should take heart: in Britain, after the Liberal party disappeared, the Conservatives won 3 out of 4 elections, until Tony Blair effectively gutted the Labour Party to be a watered down centre-left version of its former self. And that change took a dozen years and ended up with their nation being hoodwinked into the Coalition of the Willing but Unthinking.
There is a reason now for all liberals to unite; we may not have the power and purpose of an ideology fueling us, but we share the belief that a country, rich in resources and people of compassionate means, despite our multiple differences, can build a greater community and better society.
If we fail, we let the Demogogue win.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Well, we've known that the Stephen Harper-led CONs think they're Clifford 'friggin' Irving, writing history their own way. Apparently, the economy has been chugging along like no one's business only since late January 2006, and hey, did you know Canada is back, from some snowbird holiday down south, I suppose.
And that Canadian dollar, wow, just imagine what could happen if us voters were to grant this magical flute-blowing troupe a finger-snapping majority! We'd be trumpeting kronas out of your ying-yang!
Best of all, newly minted ministers with their own khaki wardrobes can fancy-feet it over to Afghanistan, unload a pontoon-load of tasty sweet goodies, personally sampled by our Master in Command, and correct all the wrong conclusions that stats and figures have been feeding us the wrong impression.
Apparently, the war is almost done. Everything has improved since a year ago -- oops, Maxime! That should have read "a year and eight months..." Oh well, the people know what you mean. The Taliban are on the run, and the opium will soon be delivered just to the dens of kindly, wise-and-elderly chinese men for their own personal use.
Because once the media gets this news straight, we've got a war on drugs that has proven a big hit down south we're eager to import...

Monday, October 8, 2007


There are few reporters out there who seem to dig and dig some more.
Bolan at the Vancouver Sun did a tremendous job on the Air India tragedy aftermath. When it comes to the current political climate, despite being spun some sticky stories and given the bums rap and cold shoulder all in one swoop, journalists (or maybe moreso their editors and publishers) are faithfully for the most part following the current Government's lead.
Well, except Kady O'Malley. This clever whip of a columnist (cute as the doe that Rudolph fell for in my favourite Christmas TV show) is bucking the McLean's habit of hanging to the right. With a deliberate energy, she is covering the coming and goings on Parliament Hill as tho' it matters, which is a refreshing change from the 'one-sided hacks' and 'one-foot-in retirement slugs' that inhabit much of the hill's gallery. She has an interesting history, at least what one can gather from doing a google search, making enemies in High Places.
Her reportage is balanced and dripping with black humour.
O'Malley sticks a fork in the recently too-rich for words photo op duel in Afghanistan, where Bernier and Oda get the red carpet treatment, plus none of the hard work, while Coderre sits in the airport for a mysteriously delayed flight.
Just because I like it, and I've been as partisan as a card-carrying political robot can be on this site, doesn't mean that she doesn't turn her sarcastic jibs to the Grits when it is due. She does. And it's still funny.
If this was the 1940s, I could get away with the cliche: 'What a dame.'
I think what she most richly deserves is recognition as an honest to goodness journalist.