Thursday, August 24, 2006

 

Burnie Endorses Dion

Ok so tonight I took a rare departure from my distance from RL politics and attended a leadership reception in conjunction with the National Caucus meeting in Vancouver. Let me tell you - going in I was largely undecided. By default I was probably in the Brison camp, if I voted based the largely arbitrary method of who I thought did the best outreach it would have been for Ken Dryden and if I voted on who would do best head to head against Harperbot it would have been Iggybot. Let me tell you what happened tonight.

Bob Rae served as the opening act, he warmed the crowd up with the typical shots at Harper being Bush's cabana boy. His speech was peppered with dumb jokes, jokes he knew were dumb and you can tell by the look on his face that all he was thinking was "I can't believe these people actually laugh at this crap?" When he talked about former party members the room laughed when he said something about former NDPers and when he talked about former PCers I shouted "Thanks Bob."

Bubba Rae was then followed by, as Blair Wilson put it, the Diva of Vancouver Centre. Hedy's speech was largely uneventful - basically the I know I'm not going to win but we're on my home turf so I'll get lots of cheers anyways.

After Hedy spoke for a couple minutes and managed to avoid accusing Prince George of burning crosses came a man I have a great deal of respect for and a man who will be Prime Minister someday. Scott Brison took the stage and began by regailing us about his first date with a woman in years. He apparently had dinner with Martha Hall Findley, and he made a dumb joke about how if he'd met her years earlier that "things might have been different." He made a few more gay jokes and the only profound statement of the evening was when he said that he wasn't born into the Liberal Party, he chose it.

Following Scott came 2 minutes that have had a greater political influence on my life than some years. We were treated to possibly the most inspired and inspiring speech anyone in that room has ever heard. We were given vision, we were given a promise and we were given our next leader and the next Prime Minister of Canada (providing that Harper doesn't get hit by a train before then.) Stephane Dion gave one of the best political speeches in the history of the world. The man talked about the things that are important to us as a party and a country - and he inspired the room. Granted his organization had already stacked the night, but folks there wasn't a still hand in the room when he was done. I met Canada's next Prime Minister tonight and his name is Stephane.

After Prime Minister Dion came Carolyn Bennett - in all honesty I missed most of her speech because I pushed my way through the crowd to shake Stephane Dion's hand, wish him luck and get my picture taken with him. Not a whole lot of people listened to her, there was a very audible hub-bub about what we'd just heard from Dion; this was somewhat unfair because Bennett is the only female candidate in this race who deserved our attention. What I did catch of her speech was good stuff and I hope she'll stick around.

Following Dr Bennett was the only other really inspiring speaker. Ken Dryden got up there and kicked some butt. He has all the right passion and if only he had deeper political roots this race would be between him and Dion. The man has the right vision and I hope he will be around for a very long time.

After Ken Dryden we had our comic relief for the evening. Scott Brison's date got up on the stage, handed him flowers (which were later spotted back in the hands of her staff) and talked about her big red bus. She has a bus, of course, because her campaign is a joke and it can't afford a plane. The ranting and raving that came from MHF's mouth was laughable and it looked like a confused Highschool Freshman getting flustered in her first public speaking class.

After the Big Red Bus moved onto it's next stop came the man that many perceive as the frontrunner. I have no idea why - Iggybot makes his cardboard cutout look interesting. The man had no passion, no emotion and no expression. Sure he's brilliant - but you aren't going to win Canadians over with brains alone. In his defence a very trustworthy source told me that he is sick, so that could account for a lack of expressivness; but I didn't see any hint of passion so I think the problem is deeper. That being said, the guy has the smarts, and let's face it Harper isn't exactly drippping with personality either so it wouldn't be a massive strike against him this time around; and Iggybot does have the smarts to take on a fellow academic policy wonk when it comes to debate time.

When I thought the evening couldn't get less inspiring - Gerard Kennedy took the stage. Someone please tell me what anyone sees in this guy! In all honesty there is nothing about his speech that has stuck with me. There was nothing memorable in it whatsoever, it made dull look interesting.

Joe Volpe was the closing act. I didn't listen to his speech - don't really care what he has to say so I made my way over to the Dion table to sign up. In place of commentary on the Volpe speech I give you a selection from Goodfellas

Quote:
Look at me! As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.To me being a gangster was better than being president of the United States. Even before I went to the cabstand for an after-school job I knew I wanted to be a part of them.


After this was all over Bill Graham got up and said a few words. He really should be in the race, I think he'd make one heck of a leader and I'd have a very hard time picking between him and Dion. When I talked to him after we said that he wasn't running because he was to old, I said he wasn't - then he told me the real reason; he's too smart.

Friday, February 10, 2006

 

You Were Right Mr. Emerson

Apparently, David Emerson was right, but not quite in the fashion I think he expected to be. On election night he promised to be Stephen Harper's worst nightmare - I know I heard him. Now - thanks to this most unprincipled, very undemocratic and freaking hilarious debacle Mr Emerson (and some French guy too, can't forget about him) has made the new Prime Minister 0-3 when it comes to honesty, accountability and democracy.

I've talked to a few Tories, the few who still take my calls, and the general feeling is that the only reason all the Liberal outcry is getting coverage is because we have better media people. In the grass roots the Tories are actually even more pissed than we are. If you look at this morning's headlines I think it tells the story perfectly "Two Tories say Emerson should quit" from the Star "Tory revolt brews and Iceberg ahead" from the Calgary Sun and my personal favorite "Wake up Canada! We've been duped again" from the Hamilton Spectator. Frankly, this has been a great unifier in Canadian Politics. From coast to coast, red, blue or orange, Canadians are joining together in agreement over the fact that David Emerson is a douchebag and that Harper managed to strike out on day 1.

So in a totally unintended fashion David Emerson has become Stephen Harper's worst nightmare. On an unrelated note I hear that the PMO is announcing a billion dollars in research grants for anyone working on time machines.

p.s: I'm sorta back again :)


Thursday, December 29, 2005

 

Warning, the Following Post Contains Sarcasm, Humour and Other Things the Media and NDP Find Offensive

I don't mean to go off on a rant here, but what is with the obsession of the media and the opposition parties with this moral indignation, holier than thou crap lately? Guess what, people make jokes about other people especially public figures. It's never been a problem for Air Farce or 22 Minutes to make a joke about a politician, so why is it suddenly so terrible for a politician or his hack to do it? This latest one, http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20051227/ELXN_template_date/20051229?s_name=election2006&no_ads=, is possibly the dumbest thing I've heard since, the media told the same story about a different hack in another province doing the same thing.

Seriously, if the worst thing Jack Layton gets called is a dog then he should consider himself lucky. Personally I'd never use the term to describe him, having two dogs I think of myself as a dog person and I think that dogs are both better looking and I'd probably trust them with my country long before I would the NDP. That being said I can think of a few animal related names for Jack, most of them belong to the rodent family.

Well guess what, Liberals aren't the only ones who make these kind of jokes. I've seen on message boards where Conservative supporters have made fun of the weight of Liberal Candidates, we've got pretty much the entire Conservative blogging community – if not their whole party comparing the Liberal Party to organized crime and all of that seems to be acceptable within the realm of hyperbole, wit, sarcasm and general low-brow humour.

I should probably stop ranting now, because I'd hate to see my blog be the next one to end up on the news. Hopefully I'm unimportant enough that they'll keep ignoring me, but on the off chance that anyone I've potentially offended is reading I'll just apologize in advance to: Dennis Miller, The CBC, Politicians, Hacks, CTV, The Media, Dumb People, Jack Layton, Dogs, Rodents, Blogs, Organized Crime, Humour and everyone in Canada except the Conservatives, you guys don't deserve an apology for anything – you're just ugly and you smell bad.

Happy New Years

PS: Sorry to ugly and smelly people for comparing you to the Conservatives

PPS: Sorry to people for implying that Conservatives come from your species

PPPS: Sorry to anyone who doesn't have a soul and thereby a sense of humour everything other than the first and third paragraphs was a joke

PPPPS: Joke means "Something said or done to evoke laughter or amusement, especially an amusing story with a punch line"

Saturday, December 24, 2005

 

Merry Christmas Y'All

Hope everyone has a great Christmas or whatever other holiday you celebrate this time of year. My rantings will be back next week. And just incase you are feeling stupid and are going to drink and drive this video should scare you straight.

http://www.normandcompany.com/FUNNY_FLASH_CARTOONS/Funny_Flash_Cartoons_Bus_Song.html

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

 

The Problem With Gun Crime is Crime not Guns

Ok Liberal friends, please don't disown me for this, but...

Whoever decided that banning handguns is going to reduce crime needs to give their head a shake. Come on people, do you really think that someone who has no qualms about committing murder, armed robbery or even carrying a concealed weapon will give a rat's butt that the gun itself is illegal? This just isn't smart policy, it's impractical and idiotic.

Now, this isn't nearly enough to change my mind on the over the general politics of this election. Don't get me wrong Paul Martin and the Liberals are still by far the best, and frankly only, option for overall government. The biggest problem I have with this particular proposal is that it reeks of yuppie college idealism as opposed to practical and realistic thinking.

For the most part, Prime Minister Martin does use common sense instead of ivory tower politicking, and that's what I like most about him. This time I don't know what he's thinking. Frankly, there's no way that this is going to lower gun crime, gun accidents maybe – but that's not why it's being proposed. Now I hate to do this, normally if I'm going to disagree with an idea I try to propose an alternative proposal. Now call me cynical or defeatist, but I don't think that there is a legislative answer to gun violence.

Violent criminals aren't like you and me, they don't consider the law as part of their decision making process. If a normal person has a problem with someone, or wants something someone from another person we have ways of getting it dealt with. If one of those people was in the same position, to them it's nothing to pull out a gun, or a knife or a pointy stick and assault and possibly kill the other person. They will do it, no matter what our laws are and what they have to do to carry it out. We make plenty of things illegal in this country and criminals still get their hands on them.

Which leads me to my next point, the problem we need to focus on, the real problem, is violence not gun violence – crime not gun crime. Even if we could effectively get handguns out of the hands of criminals are we really better off when the number of stabbing deaths goes up by the same number shooting deaths go down? A handgun isn't a more effective killing tool than a knife, a baseball bat or a rock.

It's a very commonly held misconception that handguns are super duper killing machines. In fact – a handgun is no more or less deadly than any other weapon because it's not so much what causes the trauma, but rather what trauma is caused. A stab wound to the throat, a blunt heavy object to the head or either one of those to a vital organ is just as deadly as a bullet. The only reason we demonise guns the way we do is because, unlike baseball bats, pool cues, beer bottles and knives, guns don't serve any other practical purpose but killing.

So instead of banning guns, I propose we ban criminals. Because frankly, as long as we have criminals we will have crime and even if banning guns did get them off the street, which it won't, they'd just use something else to rob or kill their victims with. Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe in a US style, arm everyone approach and I'm rather indifferent on guns in general. I just think that you're dealing with the wrong half of gun crime when you fight guns instead of fighting crime.

Monday, December 05, 2005

 

In The Movies

Just a note, don't expect anything substantial from me until Wednesday, I'm currently benefiting from the booming Canadian Film Industry (thank you very much good Liberal Government policy) and working as an extra for 3 days in the movie Little Man, a hockey scene is being filmed in my little town. Who'da thunk they'd actually pay me to cheer at a hockey game?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

 

The Rt. Hon. Kimmie Takes Her Shot at Harpo

Now this is just too darn funny to not write about. Kim Campbell, that lovely woman who was Canada's last Tory and first woman Prime Minister, has come out saying that Harper won't win. I always knew there was an understated brilliance about her. But this just goes to show you that even the Centre-Right of Canadian politics doesn't take Harpo seriously, nor should they.

I think if I hadn't written off the Tories' chances already, I might after a day like today. First Harpo comes out with the promise he wants to make a campaign on and his own think tank (Fraser Institute) comes out and agrees with the Liberal Finance Minister that it's stupid economics. Oh and what a promise to make eh “I'll cut the GST” I bet most of the Canadian public thought “sure you will Stevo, and you'll replace it with Pixie Dust royalties right?” I don't mean to imply that we're all as bitter and cynical as me, but seriously – promising tax cuts during a Campaign does it get anymore cliché than that? Then before he can even get all his talking points out, Harper gets a firm kick in the party jewels from a former Leader and Prime Minister calling him unelectable.

Frankly, on the economy he's wrong, on social issues he's wrong and Canadians know this. On January 23rd Stephen Harper is wrong and simply put the voters are going to return a Liberal government, even if some of them are holding their noses while they are at it. Until there is a serious alternative Canada is a one-party state, and with joke-offs like Harper and Layton running around you may as well get comfy because it's going to be a long ride.

 

It's Stupid Economics Harper

In 1992 in the US they had “It's the Economy Stupid.” Well here we are 13 years later and a little farther north and we're close, with stupid economics. I thought Stephen Harper was supposed to be an economist? Oh yeah, let's cut a consumption tax as opposed to letting people keep more of their money in the first place. A GST cut is going to disproportionately cut taxes for the rich, since they spend more than those of us who need every paycheque.

Now I'm not an economist, but I did pass high-school math. People who earn 6 or 7 figures spend a lot more money than ordinary people, so they stand to benefit a whole lot more than I would. Or – we could go with Goodale's proposal which would see personal income taxes cut which would leave more money in my pocket off the paycheque. Call me blindly partisan here, but I'd rather have more money every 2 weeks on my cheque than saving 3 cents every time I stop at Tim Horton's.

Most people I've talked to agree with me that it would be much better to have more money on every cheque than saving a few pennies every time they bought a cup of coffee or bought their groceries. This is just another swing and a miss from Harper. In his comments he said “all taxes are bad”. Funny I thought taxes are what paid for our healthcare, our national defence, our infrastructure and just about everything else we need to do collectively instead individually.

Oh well just another example of how George W Harper wants to turn us into the United States of Canada. Taxes are unpleasant, and they are a pain in the but to pay – but at worst they are a necessary evil. Then we have Harper and the GOP North, that's an evil that's totally unnecessary.

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