Sunday, May 31, 2009
Who is behind the tele-polling this weekend which is asking a lot of questions about Michael Ignatieff?
My spouse got polled Sunday from an unfamiliar agency. Among the questions asked were: Michael Ignatieff will return to teach at Harvard if he doesn't win the next election - how do you feel about that?
The man also asked: The current advertising about Michael Ignatieff 'Just Visiting' talks about his recent return to Canada - How has it affected your opinion of him?
Michael Ignatieff was a supporter of the coalition - are you more, less or undecided on if you support the coalition?
Michael Ignatieff has said he would raise the GST if elected - are you more, less or undecided likely to vote Liberal knowing this?
Michael Ignatieff proposed the Green Shift first - does that affect your opinion of him positively, negatively or undecided?
Which party is the one you feel can deliver on the following issues: getting tough on crime; dealing with the economy; and protecting Canada's place in the world?
Which statement is closer to your opinion: To get Canada on track we need a Conservative majority; or, to get Canada on track we need a coalition government?
There were more questions, she said it took about 10 minutes and the man asking the questions would not say who had commissioned the poll. It's fairly obvious to me who commissioned it, and for what purpose.
The CONs are spending a lot of money to see what kind of effect their current ad campaign is having on the public, while also fishing around for the next missive (coalition? taxes? economy?)... That the questionaire was knee-deep in lies and twisted truths is enough evidence to be convinced who is behind it.
I'm just hoping that we tax payers aren't paying for it. Oh, who am I kidding - we know that they are using public funding for this kind of BS; whther its via tax-payer subsidized political donations or fisking the federal treasury for its polling/focus grouping expenditures, Canadians are coughing up.
Too bad the MsM is only worried about its piece of the action to not dig up the dirt on Harper and his disgusting alliance.
Posted by rockfish at 11:12 PM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Finally, the CON government has revealed its long-hidden agenda for Canada's public nuclear industry. Just as its investing billions in the auto industry, Harper and Co. have opened the barn door and is going to put up for sale a portion of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd by splitting it into two.
The timing remains suspicious -- days after the radiated heat began to grow on the current medical isotopes shortage began getting into the news, and a few days after finance mismanager-minister Jimbo Flaherty dropped a $50-Billion bombshell in the foyer of the House of Commons, the gov't is talking about turning over Canada's public nuclear industry into a McDonald's restaurant-style partnership. Nuclear, under new management, the sign may read.
Suddenly, the shortage of isotopes isn't a 'conspiracy' as before, but a convenient coincidence as the 'For Sale' sign goes up.
In one sense, it may be a relief that the operation of this potentially dangerous power source is out of the hands of this incompetent crew. Unfortunately, the current Chalk River reactor's troubles has provided a golden opportunity, and while the official aim is to entice the best offer, this group is just as likely to secretly single-source it.
While the Governor General showed her courage and integrity by chowing down on a seal heart morsel, I'm betting Harper won't be ordering the three-eyed fish anytime soon. But those down stream may have to.
Posted by rockfish at 11:41 PM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
So how do you like your tax dollars going for negative advertising- outside an election cycle.. because for every $100 a con-bot gives to his party, $75 of it is paid by you and me.
Are you happy that your tax dollars are helping flood non-conservative ridings (or any riding!) with 10-percenters with dubious messages?
Should Canada accept the current government policy of infrastructure investments in mostly CONserf-ative held ridings only?
Now that numbers-challenged finance minister Jim Flaherty has coughed up his latest faux paux of $50 BILLION - as in deficit - do you think Stephen Harper and his CONs know what they are doing, and is what they are doing good for Canada?
Posted by rockfish at 9:05 AM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Seems like the CONs' neg-ads are going over like poop pan cakes.
As many of the critics point out, debating or disagreeing on policy or positions makes perfect, and fair, sense.
Hitting someone because they've done more than your so-called leader is just downright dumb.
Let's not forget Harper, the man who thought building a firewall around a province as a perfectly keen idea during a dispute, who prior to becoming the leader of his party hadn't traveled off the continent. This is the same guy who, when disgruntled over the then-government's decision to not back the coalition of the Willing, posted his disagreement in an American newspaper -- the same journalistic natives he prefers to spend a lot of time with these days.
Another famous Canadian knew what it was all about. He hit the road and traveled far. Hank Snow was a proud son of it, and he is just one of many Canucks to find success at various corners of the globe but always know where his heart is. So in tribute to him and all those who believe that venturing and succeeding beyond Canada's borders is not some sort of sign of unCanadianism, I leave you with this:
Posted by rockfish at 11:20 PM
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Looks like Giorno got his way - again.
The Prime Minister's pitbull continues to alienate staff and bump out top civil servants, this time with the surprise announced 'retirement' of Clerk of the Privy Council Kevin Lynch.
As per usual when the dirty work gets done, so-called leader Stephen Harper is somewhere else. But don't worry, the fingerprints don't lie. Giorno, Harper's hitman who has been helping him maintain fear and loathing behind the doors of the Prime Minister Office, while also advancing a 'take-no-prisoners' approach with any grumblers in private or public. Will the piper have to be paid soon? Don't hold your breathe for the spineless members of Harper's caucus see the light anytime soon. That would take balls and bearing.
When loyal to a fault CON fartcatcher Ian L. MacDonald catches on and prints it, you know there's trouble in Toryland.
Although Lynch may want to talk to a lawyer after MacDonald gave him the backhand of compliments:"There is no question that Lynch was always one of the two smartest guys in the room, and that the other smart guy was usually named Harper."
Posted by rockfish at 2:44 PM
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
These are serious accusations.
And if they stand up after investigation by the proper authorities, I'll be hoping that the consequences will be serious. The cost, if then, will have to be more than just her political career.
But today they remain accusations only.
Not that I'm surprised that the media, especially Crapwest, is rolling this out coast-to-coast as national scandal. The Globe's latest story paints Ruby Dhalla as a high-maintenance MP, a Liberal diva. That certainly helps ensure that the facts will all be weighed fairly, no doubt.
But I have a few curious questions on how this has evolved... Kinda funny that it all came to light immediately after the end of the Liberal Convention, eh? Also kind of coincidental, I'm sure, that it also surfaced when CON leader Stephen Harper, he of the 'this isn't for print, is it?' footprints, is out of the country. Just as he likes to assign a lot of the dirty heavy lifting in the House to his chubby minions, guess who's leading the charge, not waiting for the justice system to work its magic?
Of course, they've had good success in past years with their immigrant outreach, or luring people with bribes and promises program. It's interesting how they are trying to twist this story in the House, while also using it to dampen Liberal interest to force a spring/summer election. While the scope of the story is important, I can't really believe it is worth day-after-day-after-day reporting, with the facts still to be determined, while Canwest essentially ignores things like this.
I know CONs have no faith in the Canadian justice system, unless of course it's their butt they are trying to cover. But you'd think they'd show a little hesitation of going on the offence over unproven facts... You know, considering this.
And the NDP, playing along. Quelle surprise, eh? Did they learn anything from this?
I suppose they all are certain that there's only one side to this story, and if you jump to conclusions enough times you'll be on the right side once or twice.
But I'm reminded about the current cycle of radio commercials that run on the Giant NW (big fans of the CONs, of course) these days. After the tax lawyers calling all tax cheats to come to them, there is also the investigation service company that helps you screen those caregivers who are ready to cheat your parents, after they shadow your partner to see who he's cheating on. I never liked their commercials. And I dislike the CONs tactics even more.
Posted by rockfish at 11:30 PM
It's not about a hockey team, but more of a battle between two stubborn powerful egos.
And while it's easy to pick a horse in this race, it's likely that the previous trend will continue.
Ontario -- whether it's Hamilton, Waterloo or Orangeville -- is not the real battleground. It's in the board room of the NHL, where Blackberry's Jim Balsillie is aggressively trying to get his way on the third try.
Although expansion-loving and game-wrecker Gary Bettman should be on thin ice with his bosses, the owners of the 29 other NHL teams, he has been very successful in the past on keeping them on message.
Bettman pulled the rug out on Balsillie when he thought he had a deal for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The NHL commish then deked out the RIM CEO on a purchase agreement for the Nashville Predators, instead prefering to invite future jailbird named 'Boots' Del Biaggio III. Another Bettman protege, Anaheim's Henry Samueli, is currently on probation and wearing a criminal record after pleading guilty to charges of financial wrongdoing.
The roof is falling in on the Coyotes, who were busy denying just a week ago that the NHL had taken over daily operation. The current owner has been seeking an buyer or deep-pocketed partner for a couple of years now with no luck. While the rumours are out there that Russian billionaire Alexander Medvedev, who owns that thorn-in-the-NHL-side Continental Hockey League, is ready to buy a North American team, another story has Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf as being a more NHL-friendly option for Phoenix.
But why the hate on for Balsillie? He has the money and the interest -- two very critical and currently hard-to-find assets in the current economic climate. Under Bettman's watch, NHL owners will continue to carry the burden, even if a miracle new owner steps forward, for low expectations and lower fiscal returns on the dying Phoenix. Never mind the messes that are Atlanta, Long Island, Nashville, Tampa Bay and Florida. The southern markets in general are sucking badly on the league revenues, while Canada continues to be the wind in the NHL sails.
Is it that Bettman has another plan for southern Ontario, which doesn't involve a headache named Balsillie?
While he had no problem shipping 'ready-made' playoff contenders from the northern hinterlands of Winnipeg and Quebec City to Arizona and Colorado, respectively (with the Denver team winning the Stanley Cup in their first year away from La Belle province), it appears he only wants Canadian hockey fans to take the dregs, while the NHL owners pick up the rewards.
An expansion team in a league of 28 or 30 teams won't be blessed with talent, and even under the most generous player dispersal, will be a dog to watch. For years. But Bettman knows Canadians will eat it up, while the other NHL owners will each rake in a pretty expansion-team penny.
While I don't give Balsillie a snowball's chance in Dallas of winning this, I'm thinking he'll settle to see the NHL owners turn on their own employee. Bettman's reign is due to end sooner than later, and this may be the final straw. For Canadian puck fans, Bettman's end can't come soon enough.
Posted by rockfish at 10:32 PM
Monday, May 4, 2009
No doubt Stephen Harper will play 'kitty-bar-the-door' after the barn is empty.
His science and technology plan, which is becoming like a rerun of George W's comedic travesties, apparently is carved out of stone.
There is no doubt that his 'starve science, feed a cold' attitude is seeing results.
Harper recently boasted about the importance of the arctic -then proceeded to turn out the lights and shut down the heat needed to keep it operating.
And now, the whole 'shush on science' tactic has helped pave the way to Florida for Canada's top AIDs researcher.
You may remember Harper's reaction to a little criticism from AIDs groups during an international conference in Toronto was to delay some funding announcements, with the threat of withdrawal. Coupled with the shocking ignorance of minister of state for science and technology, who is one step behind the bouncing yogas of the 1970s, and you can see where this is heading.
Canada is back, Harper once boasted. To the back of the class, that is.
Posted by rockfish at 11:23 PM
As though to prove their master-skills of fiscal responsibility, the Stephen Harper CON team has been working day and night, night and day on things beyond the scope of real Canadians.
A committee, originally put together to help oversee privy council appointments, the yard-arm of patronage for the Prime Minister, continues to burn the midnight oil despite the fact that the PMO has taken on the duty of picking and choosing who gets the political pork.
Remember the childish manner inwhich Harper grabbed his ball and stormed away after the opposition rejected his choice of CON gifter Gwynn Morgan as chair?
Don't worry, hogwash trainee Pierre Poilievre said. While the non-committee has cost Canadians $1 million and counting despite having no apparent function, it will be a "blue-ribbon panel... in the process of establishing this important enhancement..."
In the meantime, one has to wonder what have they been doing over the past three years?
Supplying Gerry Ritz with jokes? Crunching numbers for the continually revising Flaherty? In charge of finding the most evolved running shoes for Gary Goodyear?
Certainly he wouldn't be tying up this invisible trio with menial, bi-partisan tasks like feting the numerous names of CON pigs-at-the-trough who think it's business as usual? Harper wouldn't have this trifecta of phantom committee members working on some secret CON party partisan pap for the masses, now would he?
Posted by rockfish at 10:22 PM
Friday, May 1, 2009
The CONs have tried to make much hay out of Michael Ignatieff's response to a rhetorical question - what would he do to deal with Canada's fiscal deficit if the current proposals fail? - with little degree of traction.
No doubt it will be part of the big negative ad/canwest lifeline buy coming soon to a media outlet near you.
However, some in the media must start to ask so-called leader Stephen Harper a few tough questions. If raising taxes are not an option (yeah, like this and this never happened) for a CON government, how is a government that is currently buying into the North American auto business, going to balance a budget in the near future?
What services will be excised from the public system? Where are you going to cut? Who are you going to layoff? Or will they choose, like their past incarnation, to put the cost of dealing with this burden onto the next generation?
Who is going to pay for the highest spending government -- even before the current economic downturn rolled in -- and its unprecedented vote buying habits?
Posted by rockfish at 10:31 AM
My first shift had ended on schedule, my feet ached and my back was sore. Although I spent just four hours putting delegate kits together, and occasionally handing them out, it seemed like a lot of time in isolation.
A great group of people have come forward to help make this a wonderful experience -- all the volunteers I met Thursday were eager and interested in doing their part in making this the stepping stone to something great. I felt a camaraderie being in their company.
Still, as is my habit, I found myself in quiet thought when not gifting some anxious-looking delegates and curious-looking observers. And those Laurier Club members! Hats off to them - it seemed like every fifth person who came to claim their tote bag w/ hand wash had written an Ed McMahon-sized cheque to the Liberal party... That's very encouraging, and especially knowing that their involvement doesn't end in just a tax receipt. They're here to make a difference.
And so are we volunteers.
Well, back to to me. As I did during the last leadership contest, I assigned myself a personal task, of securing something that could be used for our riding in a future fundraiser. Nothing radical - no lock of Ruby Dhalla's hair, although if she offered...;^) - but last time it was a Team Canada hockey jersey with all 11 candidates' signatures. This time, it was a Vancouver Canucks t-shirt that I wanted to have signed by as many party elites as possible. In a previous post, you can see Marc Garneau laying down the inaugural hancock.
But being trapped behind a table, with many bags to stuff, I turned over the t-shirt project to the talented Doug McKay, youthful and sometimes too-exuberant for his own good, but a true grit. And within a few hours he had added 3 notables.
One other object I carried with me to the Vancouver Convention centre. In my satchel I had packed a carefully stored copy of Billy Harris' telling of the Toronto Maple Leafs' Stanley Cup adventures in the 1960s, thinking that one autograph would make this book -- even here in laid-back Lotusland -- a nice trophy for a future silent auction.
Now, that Team Canada jersey with the scribblings of Maurizio Bevilacqua, Carolyn Bennett, Hedy Fry, Joe Volpe, Scott Brison, Gerard Kennedy, Martha Hall Finlay, Bob Rae, Stephane Dion, Ken Dryden and some guy named Ignatieff produced more than $400 for our riding's coffers (the raffle winner graciously offered it back, and it was sold again at a silent auction last month), but sentimentality has no price.
So you'll understand me when I say today's scoop will always rank up there as a priceless moment.
I took off my red volunteer shirt (the one that made me look like a bloated tomato) at the end of my shift and scanned through the halls. I saw a few friendly and familiar faces, but no former PMs or party celebrities about. My stomach hinted at a delayed dinner. So as I rode the escalator to the exit, I caught a glimpse of a tall, dapper gentleman accompanying an elegant lady walking towards the doors. He carried himself a little slower than the man I saw during those Hockey Night in Canada telecasts, swooping his large stride down the Forum ice. But it was him.
You have to understand, even while I disliked the Montreal Canadiens for beating my Bruins with regularity, I came to admire the Big 'M'. Like Yvan Cournoyer, Frank Mahovlich brought his own style, a formidable grace, to the great game.
I dug inside my satchel and quickly took the moment when there was a pause in the greetings he received from friends and strangers, to awkardly approach him.
Let me tell you that it not a natural skill of mine -- I am stubbornly shy when the need to be assertive arises. But I wasn't about to let this moment be one of THOSE, those moments that are looked back with regret.
In truth, I had introduced myself to Mr. Mahovlich once before, during the last leadership race. It was one of those six-seconds conversations, welcoming him to Vancouver... one that goes by so fleetingly it seemed to barely exist.
Just as then, he still cut an impressive figure. Tall, good looking with that trademark slicked hair, Frank Mahovlich moved slower and wasn't as tall as he use to be. But he was still a gentle star, of the quality and calibre of Jean Beliveau and Stan Mikita. As expected, Frank Mahovlich was immediately obliging and took a look at the cover of the book. And his 70-year-old eyes suddenly lit up, seeing the faces of his former linemates on the cover, with his own face framed atop hockey's Holy Grail. It was like he relived that moment, was awash in memories with those best friends whom were no longer with us. And while he signed that signature, Frank Mahovlich told me a brief story. It was a quick moment but it made me feel that I was not imposing on a man who wanted to enjoy a walk with his wife in the brilliant Vancouver sunshine, but as someone who shared a familiar bond.
My convention time, the hours of volunteering, of standing and trying not to provide the wrong directions, had now become a tremendous achievement. My moment with the Big 'M' will be my convention memory - no matter if I am fortunate enough to get trapped alongside Jean Chretien and Paul Martin on the escalator (and if they are to have that misfortune, I assure them it wasn't my fault!), it will still be the convention where Frank Mahovlich looked at me, his eyes glistening as though 1967 was yesterday.
And let me warn you - don't bother trying to out-bid me at the auction. The book is spoken for.