Saturday, December 22, 2007

There goes the neighborhood

His much ballyhooed “Youthquake” registered about a 0.3.

His self-admitted “Stock-aholism” turned out to be a fairly serious disability.

His ill-fated $150,000 quest for a Commons seat got nixed by Stephen Harper.

His magazine proved unpopular with a crowd who prefers their opinions screamed at them on AM radio.

Heck, even Muhammad couldn’t save him.

So here’s the news we were all waiting for . . . he’s turning his Midas touch on the blogosphere.

Hate to break it to him, but if this doesn't work out, stuffing photocopied manifestos under windshield wipers is what's next.

Friday, December 21, 2007

REJOICE! The "strategic voting" moon-bats are back to save us all

Alice Klein is in a tight race with Stéphane Dion over who can become the Liberal Party’s worst advocate.

Not because the editor of Toronto’s alt-weekly NOW doesn’t believe in the “strategic voting” hokum she spewed all over the pages of her magazine.

No, the problem is with how clumsily she did it.

Klein’s impassioned entreaty to the hog-wash that is “strategic voting” makes absolutely no sense. Because if she was actually serious about defeating Harper:

a) why does she endorse the Liberals, who since October have sat on their hands to keep Harper in office?
b) why does she not call for the Liberals to stand down in ridings the NDP holds? Shouldn't Gerard Kennedy be running against a GTA Conservative like Jim Flaherty instead of trying to unseat Peggy Nash in Parkdale?
c) is she also saying progressives should vote for the separatist Bloc in Quebec where the Liberals are in tatters?
d) why does she besmirch the NDP but boost the Green Party, which has no seats and, by their own admission, have no realistic prospect of winning a seat?
e) what does she say to the people of Saskatchewan who "voted strategically" and ended up with 12 Conservative MPs for their trouble?

It's because dear reader, as Klein makes transparently clear, defeating Harper is the façade for the tired ploy of trying to convince people to vote for the same listing Liberal Party they abandoned in 2004, 2006 and are continuing to today.

The real strategy to defeat Harper is Jack Layton and the NDP -- a party that has been the effective opposition to Harper, and has shown the most growth, as the Outremont by-election demonstrated so clearly.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Liberals live Second Life through latest poll.

Liberal bloggers (here, here and here) are declaring this poll the greatest moment in Liberaldom since Paul Martin's Juggernaut, bloodied with the carcasses of Jean Chretien and Sheila Copps, began careening through its election opponents -- before slamming prematurely into the reality that people didn’t want to vote Liberal anymore.

Among the nuggets of reality that the bloggers are glossing over at this moment:
a) Liberal support is virtually frozen from this time last year;
b) the poll only puts them within the margin of error of Harper;
c) at 32 percent, Liberals are only 2 points higher than the wholloping Canadians gave them in January 2006, and at the same level that the Joe Clark Tories were defeated with in 1980;
d) the poll didn't ask about your party's leader who is still about as popular as Chinese-made Polly Pocket dolls this season.

The other reality: Liberals are slapping each other on the back over this video game victory, while in reality, Harper remains in power.

Where was all this unseemly Liberal bloodlust and jubulation when New Democrats were begging Liberals to help defeat Harper this fall? Liberals had FOUR chances to defeat Harper, but just like with Kyoto, they just didn't get it done.

Shooting the messenger

Only twelve months in and Dion is already on his third director of communications.

Is Leslie Swartman more talented than either André Lamarre or Nicolas Rustkowski? Maybe.

Is it asking too much of one mortal to direct the messaging of a caucus with no focus or leadership, riddled by internal sniping as well as put a fighting face on a leader who blew four chances to defeat Harper since October? Yeah. It is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Liberal family Christmas

Whenever the dysfunctional family gets together around the holidays you can always count on fireworks. Grievances rekindled. Simmering revulsion boiling over. Passive aggression finally giving way to the real deal.

Despite all the counseling and frequent pronunciations of domestic tranquility, the Liberal family remains the worst on the block. A get-together yesterday to celebrate past glories turned ugly as former patriarchs unearthed the hatchets to blame each other for this.

At least for once Liberals are blaming themselves for screwing things up.

Holiday advice from your favourite equine themed politics blog: Keep the kids away from the windows and the noise by-law number near the phone.

Monday, December 10, 2007

NDP to learn from the Aussies' winning ways

The NDP is looking to last month's Australian election for a strategy to topple Harper in the next election expected in the spring.

The NDP has already announced they will run the biggest campaign in its history, matching the Conservatives dollar for dollar.

And today, the electronic pages of The Hill Times quote Layton's communications head saying that they are headed down-under to talk to Australian PM Kevin Rudd's election team:

" . . . we know that there's a tremendous amount of willingness on the part of the Australian Labour Party to work with the NDP to show us, to teach us from what they learned from their most recent elections," said Brad Lavigne, director of communications and research to NDP caucus in an interview with The Hill Times last week."

This makes sense, of course, as Harper turned to the former Howard government for tid-bits on their 2006 election win.

Look for an eerie symmetry in the election results.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ralph Goodale: King of the sniping pejorative

With each passing day, Ralph Goodale appears more and more the last angry man, hurling churlish vindictive as though to deliberately undermine his statesman status.

Maybe it’s the grinding pace opposition, or perhaps the weight of his leader’s sub-stratospheric standing in the opinions of Canadians.

But when Irene Mathyssen apologized to James Moore, Goodale’s first instinct was to grab for the mud and start a-chuckin’.

"This kind of abusive approach corresponds more with Mr. Layton's leadership style.... This is the kind of junkyard dog approach that Mr. Layton is famous for,"

Amazing. Goodale strikes a blow for the high-road while factlessly tunneling beneath the sewers to land on a journalist’s notepad.

And it’s not just the NDP that brings out the man’s passion for the pejorative.

Of course he would never stoop to malign the characters of anyone, let alone those of Misters Mulroney or Schreiber.

Why is Stephen Harper ignoring the police?

So a couple of years ago, Canada signed a UN treaty to control the trafficking in firearms. One of the provisions of the treaty was that countries agree that small arms be marked with the country they were made in or imported to.

Canada’s police associations support this initiative so they can identify smuggled guns that are used in crimes.

So surprise then when the NDP’s public safety critic Penny Priddy yesterday asked the government why they ignored the police and stalled implementing the treaty for another two years!

Anyone expecting a sensible response from Day didn’t get one:

“ . . . there are significant concerns that go with that, which have, in our view, questionable effects on reducing gun crime. We want to consult, not just with groups and organizations in Canada, but with the European community, which is being very slow to implement this because it has concerns. Liberal MPs have raised it with us. That is why the previous Liberal government deferred this. We will continue to look at it.”

So what’s going on? The NDP and the police have it figured out: the Harperites have caved to the gun lobby. Groups like this one.

But of course, the Liberals have nothing at all to say on this. They signed the treaty in 2002, wrote the regulations in 2005 and when they were to come into effect in April 2006, they irresponsibly delayed it for another two years so it would fall into Harper’s lap.

When so many of the guns that are used in crimes in Canada are illegally smuggled across the border, why is Stephen Harper ignoring the police?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"Dion's New Year's resolution: stop propping up Harper in 2008"

"Dion's New Year's resolution: stop propping up Harper in 2008"

That's today's actual headline . . . in the Globe and Mail. No, seriously. It really is.

But it gets better . . .

"He suggested that in the new year the Liberal caucus will stop propping up Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority government by abstaining on votes and will instead consider each vote on its on merit . . ."

What a concept! Just another sign of success for the Artificial Opposition.