Thursday, November 22, 2012

Irony of ironies

My M. P., Stephen Harper just sent a pamphlet outlining how Parliament works.  Funny thing is, no mention of contempt, ministerial responsibility, responsible government, prorogation, confidence votes.  He did state that one of the key responsibilities of the Crown is to ensure there is always a P. M.  So long as he is called Dear Leader?Recommend this Post

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Three down. Three to go

Impolitical gets a little excited about three up-coming by-elections.  And suggests that there might be 2 more to come.  At a time of a well deserved drop in support.
Well if the idea of 5 by-elections brightens up a cloudy post-Canada Day day, think about this: This illegitimate Conservative government is based on a majority of 12 seats. (s/t Creekside).  All we need is the 3 confirmed, the 2 Impolitical predicted and 1 more.  Win them and Harper will need to make another trip to the Governor General.

Irresponsible speculation.  It would be irresponsible not to!Recommend this Post

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Never attribute (wholly) to (F35) incompetence that which can be adequately explained by malice

The AG has shown the Harper Regime to be a pack of liars.  The Galloping Beaver has, along with lots of other bloggers, done a great job of unraveling the many ways in which this fiasco came to be.  Now, never let it be said that I take a rear guard position when it comes to pointing out that Harper et al. are dumb, dishonest and unfit for Opposition never mind the government benches.  But I think all of this fine analysis is missing something.

And this something is that I have no doubt that as Harper directed this lie-fest, at the back of his mind he was also thinking that if he could get away with foisting the F-35 on us he could insert a fiscal time bomb into the federal framework.  His tax cuts have been a transparent attempt to reduce the flexibility of future governments to maintain or add social programs.  If he was able to insert this time delayed sclerosis into the financial arteries of the government it would really have messed it up for when sane people take over the reins.

The F-35 is more than an over-priced plane that doesn't serve our needs.  It is another way for Harper to destroy this country.Recommend this Post

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An example of the need to stop Robocalls in their tracks

I was watching the CTV news last night (Give me a break.  It is the only channel I can get here) and at the end of a segment on the Alberta election campaign there was a mention of people complaining about receiving rude  calls at 5:30 A.M. from the PC party.  Which the PCs denied making.  I looked on the website but could not find the actual segment.  If anyone else has seen this please let me know so I can update with a link.

It is obvious that the provincial wing of the Harper Party (aka Wild Rose) isn't scared of using the same tactics as are under investigation federally.  These tactics must be excised from our politics.  And the people authorizing them sent away for a long time.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Looking back at the effects of voter suppression in 2008

I read with interest Professor Anke S. Kessler's draft paper on the effect of Robocalls on the 2011 election.It reminded me that I had run a series of posts from 2008-2010 on voter suppression and it's effects on elections.  These posts can be found here.  I still find this one particularly instructive with regards the power of vote suppression aimed at a particular party.

It would appear that Harper realized that shameless character assassination against a far better man wouldn't be enough.  So off to direct voter suppression he would go in 2011.

But all is not lost.  If we can motivate people to look past the despicable Rovian tactics of Harper we might be able to experience a higher vote turnout.  Sort of like I described here.  As a matter of fact, I like the implications of this graph so much I am going to repost it.
So the answer is: Get people out to vote.  As with all problems, once the solution is apparent, the path to achieve it becomes clearer.Recommend this Post

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Cons need to join AAA

Attack Ads Anonymous that is. (or What is up with the Attack Ads?: Inferring the final act of Robcon).

So they went back to the only trick the Reform Pony knows.  Attack Ads.  But why now?  So early in their mandate.  Against an interim leader.

One pundit feel this is aimed a long game:
So there is unaccustomed dissatisfaction in the land, and the government is shaky at precisely the moment it had thought it was finally solid. These new “positive” ads seem designed to adjust ominous perceptions.  
On the other end of the spectrum, a blogger leading the Robocon charge mapped out a scenario weeks ago in which an election could be forced through non confidence.
I think the attack ads are evidence of an incipient Harper initiated election premised upon a need to "clear the air over Robocon" so he can return to providing a "safe and strong economy".

It is apparent that Robocon was the result of a coordinated effort of the CPC national campaign.  All that is required is the final proofs.  None of the spin is working.  So far, the Beav is a good source for the data on which to base our induction.  What else can they provide on which to base a prediction on?

How about that these most diaphanous of defences are they best they have:
I don't know of any organization the size of a national political party which does not perform a post-event analysis. ...
It is also well-known that large organizations, whether they be corporations, churches, government departments or national political parties, watch media items related to their activities like a hawk. Message management, (something the Harperites treat as a religious item), requires never allowing a potentially damaging item to drift around without at least some prepared tactical response.
And that means that the same items which Alison has shown to have been in public view in those early days of May 2011 were a part of the scrutiny that most assuredly was carried out by the Harper campaign immediately after the election. They knew then that there was a bright shining light and they would have prepared for any exposure. From May 2011 to February 2012 they were trying to cover up. 
Any competent party leader would also have been aware. In May, 2011.
That would mean that Harper knew, chose not to know, or is just plain stupid. 
So they most likely did this crime, knew the inherent dangers and had a contingency plan in place.  And that plan isn't working.  There is evidence that 77 ridings were affected by this scam.  That is 5.5 times the margin of the Conservative "majority".

One could predict (as I hope) that this will lead to an election forced over this scandal.  Either called for by the courts, non-confidence could be declared or the writ might be dropped by Harper as a defence tactic as the trail leads ever closer to him.

Calling for an election would be an example of  flucht nach vorne (trying to get out of a tough situation by being even more aggressive).  Attack is all Harper knows and it has worked for him so far.  He isn't going to try something new when everything is on the line.  It also bears remembering that he loves campaigning and hates governing (the boring bits between campaigns).  And an election is an opportunity to bleed the Liberal bank accounts down even further.

It doesn't matter in the end.  As this plays out, we must remember we are dealing with a ruthless authoritarian tyrant.  He has displayed the willingness to go where no one else has to achieve and maintain dictatorial power.  He won't go easily.  He prorogued Parliament twice to avoid a confidence vote.  What will he do when he might be facing jail time?  It will be an ugly campaign.  No holds will be barred (whether ethical, legal or moral).  But it will be an opportunity to fight for our democracy.

A common gripe about Canadian history is that it is boring due to a paucity of pitched battles.  Those people should be careful what they wish for.Recommend this Post

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Take a moment to feel sorry for Michael Sona

Yes, I remember Michael Sona and his actions from last May.  At the time I was thinking about how strong a kool-aid dependency he must have.  In my opinion, to have run in to disrupt a legitimate polling station requires a hyper-fanatical devotion to a cause.  That sort of outburst didn't appear to be particularly rational.  This cult-like sort of commitment seems to be a trait of several Conservative supporters.  They will follow the brand right or wrong.  And they have developed a faith in their Dear Leader that the majority of the country just can't fathom.

So put yourself in Michael Sona's shoes.  You had a something in your life.  You believed in it.  You dedicated yourself to the advancement of the cause.  It gave meaning to your life.

And then at the first sign of trouble, the leaders of the cult scraped you off the bottom of their shoes.  So, like a strong majority of Canadians, I believe we must find who did perpetrated this crime.  We must send them to jail for a long time.  We must fix the system.

But there likely is a price being paid by all these Conservatives junior staffers that have bus tread marks on their backs from the last 6 years of Harper rule.  People betrayed by their cult suffer consequences.  I hope this isn't the case for Mr. Sona and those others that proceeded him under the bus.  But if it is, I hope he has a strong support mechanism in place.Recommend this Post

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Phollow the phones?

The person who purchased the scammer phone used in Guelph used the puerile pseudonym "Pierre Poutine".   It is likely that if other phones were used, similarly insulting aliases were used.  Would it not be a fruitful endeavour to get a list of the names these phones are sold to and look at the purchasers names?  This increases the chances of uncovering the trail.

And if the only people who use these phones are drug dealers, Tony Soprano and (as seems likely) Conservatives why are they allowed?Recommend this Post

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Harper is to Canada like a tequila binge is to you

Whither Canada?*  There have been a lot of posts and editorials of people despairing of the future of Canada recently. They aren't hard to find.  Here is one.  This C30 business will only exacerbate things.  While I share the disdain for Harper and his cretins and I do sink into despair at times, I realize the real Canada will rise again.  Tyrants often seem strongest right before their fall.  And there is a parallel in that one time you really over imbibe.

You know what I mean.  Normally you shut it down after a couple of drinks.  Every once in a while you slip a bit and have a couple of Margaritas (sort of like electing Mulroney).  Some embarrassing things might happen but nothing unforgivable.  The humbling you receive is actually good for you.

But there is that one time.  You don't quite know why but an evening that starts out normally enough goes off the rails and you find that you have almost finished an entire bottle of Mescal.  You know this won't end well.  But you keep going and finish the bottle.  You know it is the worst thing you can do but you do anyways.  You see yourself doing things you would never do when sober.  Normally you are polite.  Perhaps overly so.  But under this evil influence you act rude and uncouth.  You are profligate with your money.  You gross everyone out and everyone reconsiders their opinion of you.  You see yourself doing these unforgivable acts and you can't believe this is happening.

But the effects don't last forever. The next day you begin to sober up.  You have the worst hangover.  Ever.  And you swear that you will never drink that evil liquor again.  And you don't.  You make the rounds.  Make sincere apologies to those you insulted.  And you work all the harder to make amends and reinstate your good reputation.  And everyone forgives you.

That is what will happen.

Now you may say to yourself: "why CV, what a great metaphor.  I am ready to keep fighting the evilness of the Harper regime.  But where do the worms at the bottom of the bottle fit in?"

You diodn't think I would forget, Baird, Van Loan, Poliviere et al. did you?

*Fun tid bit: "Wither Canada" is the title of the first episode of Monty Python.Recommend this Post

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just take the phone lines away from the Harperians

While I was at home, preparing for Burns Night, I received an interesting couple of phone calls last week that I would like to relate.

Call number 1 was from a woman claiming to be calling on behalf of the Calgary Centre Conservative Association.  I told her there was no way the Conservative Party would ever see a penny from me.  I also pointed out that unless they were incredibly incompetent, the people who gave her the calling list should know that I reside deep in the heart of Calgary Southwest.   I told her that I wanted no part in whatever pushy poll type call process they were engaged in and hung up.

I soon after received call number 2 from a chap claiming to be calling on behalf of the Liberal Part of Canada and asking about my membership.  I informed him this was the second call from a political party that  evening and that I was uninterested in talking to either one and hung up again.

Thing is; the call from the "Liberal Party" was not to the phone number I used on my registration.  So I am very doubtful that this was a legitimate call.  An inference can be made that the first call led to the second call.  I am not overly surprised that their paranoia leads them to database those who object to the antics of the Harper regime.  But in the heart of the Party stronghold?  Are they that insecure.  Have they identified me as an Enemy Of The Party?

In any event, it was an interesting pattern.  Perhaps Conservatives would be more well adjusted if they stopped monkeying around with the Machiavellian stuff and put their energies into governing the country the way the people want.Recommend this Post

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Steady on, Montreal Simon

Montreal Simon draws his bead away from Captain Anti-Canada for a post defending the  honour of the world's greatest poet from a senseless and uncalled for slight..  He does a great job and the fact that the passion for his homeland matches that of his home shines through.

I usually refrain from responding to such attacks since they are usually the manifestation of jealousy.  After all, only one nation could have invented whisky.  But it does seem that to a large segment of the population gratuitous attacks, that would be unthinkable directed at any other ethnic group, are widely accepted.  Such as being "Scotch" is a synonym for cheap.

Perhaps as a middle way, we can ask those who feel the need to expiate their feelings of inadequacy by maligning people of Scottish descent to refrain from doing so on January 25.  When it comes to the rest of the year, fill your boots for all I care.  But have show some respect for Robert Burns and Scotland on this one day.

Please.Recommend this Post

Monday, January 23, 2012

One thing I don't understand about Harper and his ilk

I get that he is a wee petty man full of hate. I understand that he would benefit more from spending his spare time on a professional's couch then writing a book about hockey (snerk). I recognize that although he is smart enough to be tactically cunning, he isn't intelligent enough to understand the historical background to the structure Canada and the rest of the modern world is built upon. What I can't come to grips with is why he is following his agenda. I could see why George W. Bush favored the rich. He is the scion of wealth and privilege. Harper's father was an accoutant for Imperial Oil. In other words; solidly middle class. But not at the upper end of that demographic. The destruction of the social safety net doesn't benefit those close to him. He will, of course, be richly rewarded by being named to several boards when his work is done. Until those markers are overshadowed by his inability to play with others. But in the end, having destroyed Canada in the services of interests other than those from his own background he will have no reward. The same goes for all of the people railing against taxes while claiming they support expanded Medicare. And on and on. I just don't get it.Recommend this Post