Sunday, May 08, 2005

Belinda Mania

UPDATE: If you got to this page on google, looking for the latest on Belinda's defection, go here.

Now that the Liberals are back up in the polls, the speculation has shifted from replacing Paul to replacing Steve. And that’s fair enough. While Martin has lusted for power his entire life, I get the sense that Stephen Harper’s internal monologue on most days would be something like:

“Why on earth do I have to shake hands and smile and talk to people…I hate people. And why am I doing this? I’m a smart guy, I’ve made the party moderate, and I’ve got an incompetent ditherer with the biggest scandal in our lifetimes as an opponent and I still can’t crack 30% in the polls…this is absolutely ridiculous! It’s not worth the time, effort and half an hour it takes me every morning to get my hair looking so spectacular for this…”

So I think it’s safe to say he’ll quietly walk away if he loses the election. Which raises the obvious succession question and hence all the Belinda talk of late. Now, I’m not overly plugged in to the Tory ground war but I figure I’ll give a quick run down of the contenders for leadership as I see them – mainly since I’m starting to get a little tired of writing posts on polls and election speculation. Any Conservatives who know more than myself are invited to weigh in with their thoughts.

Heavy Weights

1. Peter MacKay – I know I’m going against the popular train of thought, but I think Ken has a much better chance to win than Barbie. I just can’t imagine the hard right Conservative members backing her whereas they might be willing to compromise on MacKay. The Orchard deal will hurt him but at least it shows he’s cutthroat enough to win.

2. Bernard Lord – I’m firmly convinced that Bernard Lord would be Prime Minister today and Paul Martin would be milking cows on the Martin farm had Bernie decided to throw his hat in the ring for the Tory leadership last year. Admittedly, you can count the number of premiers who have successfully jumped to federal politics on one amputated hand but he’s the best they have. The only reason I don’t have him at the top of the list is because of the unstable minority government they have in New Brunswick right now.

3. Insane Right Winger To Be Named Later – I’m not sure who it will be, but this party has a reputation for shooting themselves in the foot. I think there are enough grass roots Conservatives who either don’t care about winning or haven’t learned their lesson from the Stockwell Day/Stephen Harper fiascos. I could see a strong groundswell of support for…Stockwell Day. Don’t laugh. Rick Mercer will endorse him, I’m sure. Jason Kenney is another guy I wouldn’t count out. The never married 36 year old’s strong fight for the traditional definition of marriage could play well among a lot of the grass roots members.

4. Belinda Stronach – Yeah, she’s good looking and very moderate which would finally put all this “hidden agenda” nonsense to bed. And seeing the Canadian Prime Minister in the US tabloids would be kind of cool. But I just can’t see Belinda succeeding until she:
a) learns French
b) learns how to give a speech without reading it word for word from a paper
c) shows she’s got some smarts and/or political savvy
And, like I said, I can’t see the old Alliance crowd supporting her.

Great candidates who likely won’t run

James Moore – This guy is a future PM. Very smart, very well spoken, right where he needs to be right and left where he needs to be left. He’s likely too young to win this time but keep an eye on him, he’s going places.

Rona Ambrose – Belinda’s looks and Harper’s smarts. She’s not seen as a fanatical Alliance lunatic but is still conservative enough that the old Reformers might back her. She’s a bit of an unknown but I think she’s got a very bright future.

Monte Solberg – Deserves it, if only because his blog is one million times more interesting than “Paul’s blog” from when Martin ran for leadership.

Weak candidates who just might run

Jim Prentice – His SSM stand makes him seem more moderate but I just can’t see him finishing ahead of the other “moderate” candidates. And I know he’s really despised by a lot of Conservatives in Calgary.

Tony Clement – Seems to enjoy losing so much that he might just give it another try. Plus, I’m sure he’s closing in on the record for political defeats in a three year span.

Rahim Jaffer – If nothing else, he’d have a great attendance record in Question Period as Prime Minister since his assistant could impersonate him on days Rahim is too busy to attend.

Interesting Names…

Mike Harris
Jean Charest
Mario Dumont
Gordon Campbell

Just throwing them out there for discussion. And I’ve opened up the comments section of this blog to everyone so comment away.


  • I guess a credit to the Tories is that they have quite a wide variety of MP's that could be potential leaders.

    Im not sure you could say that about the Liberals, yet their the ones in power. Go figure.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:56 a.m.  

  • Anonymous,

    It's because of all the potentially good leaders the CPC went and chose perhaps the worst candidate. I think they must enjoy losing. It gives them more to gripe about. Hell, what would we Albertans do if we didn't have "western alienation" to complain about?

    -Socialist Swine

    By Blogger Socialist Swine, at 3:08 a.m.  

  • The Globe & Mail wants Stronach as leader.

    I get the sense that a lot of Conservatives would like Mike Harris. But he wouldn't do much for their little "winning in Ontario" problem, given that he fled Ontario politics rather than face the music.

    By Blogger wonderdog, at 9:52 a.m.  

  • Monte Solberg:

    We'd have fun going after him for his loving support for dearest 'screw those redskins' Kate at Smelly Dead Animals:

    If Mike Harris became PM, years after his eventual, humiliating defeat, if they released a commemorative stamp with his face on it, people would spit on the wrong side.

    Nix Harris.

    Peter MacKay? Belinda? Would it really matter who won the leadership? It's all just BelindaMac to me.

    By Blogger Mark Francis, at 10:22 a.m.  

  • MacKay is out best choice, IMO.... and he voted against SSM so the SoCons won't froth overly much, and he's seen as fairly moderate by non-CPC members.

    Belinda is a poor choice at least for another decade... she's started to learn the ropes, but has a long way to go.

    Harris would also be nice.... but I don't think he'd run.

    By Blogger Andrew, at 11:35 a.m.  

  • I wouldn't be surprised to see Stockwell make a comeback. Yes, yes, yes, he'd be a disaster for the party and (therefore) for the country.

    But party leaders are not chosen by the electorate, but by the party, and there are an awful lot of so-cons in the CPC. They are the best organized constituency within the party and probably make up 40% of the party membership. (I'm guessing that is the number by those who voted against the motion at their convention to not have a party position on abortion.) Stockwell has a strong following amongst tem and knows how to get-out-the-vote.

    By Blogger buckets, at 3:41 p.m.  

  • I think Harper will win the election. Therefore, it's too soon to talk about the next leader.

    By Anonymous Two Cents, at 5:17 p.m.  

  • Why do you say "Martin has lusted for power his entire life"? There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be Prime Minister. The harsh connotation seems unfair.

    As for the discussion, Jean Charet would probably be their best choice. By so-con CPC standards he is left wing, but by Canadian standards he would probably be considered a moderate. Despite his current unpopularity as Premier in Quebec, he still retains some support and may help the CPC pick up some Quebec seats. He is also a strong federalist and many of us would trust him to fight an effective battle against the Quebec separatists.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 8:25 p.m.  

  • Interesting political viewpoints there in western Canada :)

    By Blogger Don Quixote, at 10:04 p.m.  

  • Two thoughts:

    1. As I see it, the fears Ontarians have about Harper are unfounded. Note the difference between legitimate policy disagreements and fears. And, the cold shoulder shown to him there reflects more on the character of the country than on the character of Harper.

    2. Suggesting Harper was a bad choice as leader for the CPC is like saying Moses was a bad choice for the Jews.

    By Blogger matt, at 10:15 p.m.  

  • Belinda: I suppose political savvy and presentation skills can be learned--quick-wittedness and the impression of deep-thinking can't. Maybe she's just one of those politicans that "comes off better in a small group" or somesuch but there is no way she'll win the CPC leadership.

    MacKay: Good chance if he can smooth out the rough edges that cause him to criticise the Liberals like he's a terrier on PCP. Putting some time between the Orchard deal and another leadership bid would also help.

    Harris: Too much personal and political baggage--especially in Ontario. Mulroney (Brian) has a more sellable brand in Central Canada.

    By Blogger Rhetoric, at 10:16 p.m.  

  • Danny Williams: There has been speculation around here (NL) that he could run for the federal Conservative leadership sometime. I think he'd be good, but some people see him as a bit of a dictator so I think he'd have trouble keeping a minority government from falling.

    Peter MacKay: Seems liked in Atlantic Canada. Given, we don't have enough seats to make a huge different but we have some. :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:15 p.m.  

  • Please make #3 be Jason Kenney!!

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:19 a.m.  

  • cycles; Oh, it's not neccesarily a bad thing. I'm just saying that becoming Prime Minister likely hasn't been a goal of Harper's his entire life. So, if he loses the next election, he'll quietly walk away. I'm not sure if Martin will.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:45 a.m.  

  • What about Ablonczy? She might be an ideal compromise between the two wings.

    I think that Prentice will have a tough time securing his renomination in the coming years, let alone the leadership of the party.

    By Blogger PR, at 4:52 a.m.  

  • Ablonzcy? She has a hard enough time convincing me to vote for her in my riding. No way I'd vote for her or her party if she was the leader.

    By Blogger Jasen, at 10:34 a.m.  

  • Bart, I agree with you 100% on Bernie Lord, he would have cleaned house. He's everything that the CPC is missing with Harper... moderate, not from the Reform-Alliance tradition, and he would have a pulse in Quebec too. No matter who the Conservative leader is, the party will still win big in the West, and the social conservatives have nowhere else to park their vote. Until the CPC realises that they will never win big with an Alliance-Reform leader, they'll be stuck stinking it up at 30%, when any party worth its salt with these conditions should be at 40%+!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 p.m.  

  • cg, youre a great guy, but im going to have to throw you a big ole WTF in light of your favourable description of james moore. i live on the cusp of port moody, bc, so ive been laughing at the official 'randy from trailer park boys' lookalike of parliament hill because of this statement since 2001:

    (from hansard - sep 17/01)
    "As the last member for Calgary Southwest made mention, there are evil people in the world. We cannot change the value of life in their hearts and minds .

    There are some people on the planet who believe that the world ends when they crash a plane into a building. The only way we can prevent those people from crashing a plane into the building in the first place is with capital punishment."

    um. yeah. capital punishment is TOTALLY the best way to go after suicide bombers. way to go, jimbo.

    By Blogger angela, at 4:03 p.m.  

  • CG, You are probably correct. Harper will resign quickly. Martin may attempt to remain as leader.

    Every elected PM since Joe Clark has run in a Quebec riding. Every PM elected with a majority was born in Quebec. It doesn't bode well for anyone on the list except Charet, Dumont or an unknown Insane Right Winger from Quebec.

    Given how many people like Duceppe, maybe we just like Quebecers the most.

    By Blogger Psychols, at 5:59 p.m.  

  • John Tory, but not this time though.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:34 p.m.  

  • Insane right-winger from Quebec? Jeff Fillion!!! ;-)

    I'm in the "I think Harper will win" camp.

    By Blogger The Tiger, at 10:11 p.m.  

  • Well, one thing is all but certain.

    Either Martin or Harper will be gone after the next election depending on who wins or loses.

    On the Liberal side, I'd say Frank McKenna would easily be the replacement front-runner.

    On the Conservative side, my best guess would be Bernard Lord or Peter McKay, depending on who does or doesn't run.

    Neither Stronach nor Harris has a hope in hell of winning. Harris has far too much baggage (can you say Walkerton) and Stronach is just, well, totally incompetent.

    As for who will win the election, I'd put my money on Harper if he gets one this spring.

    By Anonymous Brandon, at 12:26 a.m.  

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  • Visualization is a tool that has been used for thousands of years by initiates of all the metaphysical schools. Today, it is incorporated into top athlete's daily routines and is used in business affairs frequently. It's use is wide-spread among highly successful people, either consciously or unconsciously, aware of its create power. So if it has stood the test of time and is still being used by high achievers we must come to the conclusion that it works! But has it ever worked for you?

    If you answered 'yes' to the above question then you know how powerful this technique can be. If, on the other hand, you gave the more likely answer 'no' then take heart for I am about to reveal to you a sure fire way of reaching your objectives through this mostly misunderstood art.

    The trouble with visualization is simple - its in its name!

    When studying and contemplating the art of visualization most people have the impression that they must create visual images and make them real or life-like. Many people, in fact the majority, find this almost impossible to do. Even if they can formulate a solid picture of their objective they find it extremely difficult to sustain the image for any length of time. Either the image fades, changes or other intruding thoughts intervene.

    This type of visualization is almost impossible to sustain and luckily it is not at all necessary. Why? Because it is in the subconscious mind that your visualization needs to be placed and there is good news. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between an imaginary event and a real one. Your visual image only needs to be a strong visually as any other imagined event. However, that is only half the story.

    If all you had to do was just imagine stuff and your world automatically changed to reflect your imaginings this world would be full of chaos (not to mention all those creepy crawly bug-eyed monsters!). Therefore, there are a few more steps to complete before the visualization is passed to the subconscious for manifestation.

    Let's try a little experiment. Remember a scene from your past that has a lot of good feelings around it. Any good memory will do, like the first time you heard the words "I love you" from your partner, an amazingly spectacular sunset, a great holiday event or your last birthday. Pick one and remember it. How clear is the image? Can you remember any sounds? What way did you feel? Is there any sense of touch, taste or smell? Identify how your memory works. Is it mostly visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or of a feeling nature?

    Now we are going to create an imagined event in our lives that has the same strength and potency as that image. So relax and let's go.

    Imagine something that you do everyday, something that you did yesterday, today and will do tomorrow. Let us take the example of waking up tomorrow morning. Don't try to add or take anything away, just think about it and analyse the scene. Is it dark or light? Are you lying next to someone in bed? Do you still feel tired? Has the alarm clock sounded? Are you irritable that you have to get up or full of joy at the dawn of a new day?

    You will find that the imagined event is very similar to the memory with probably one key difference - your point of perspective. Is the memory behind you and the future event in front of you? Is one to the left and one to the right? Maybe they are both in front of you or the future seems to move in a clockwise direction. Whatever the perspective the thing to notice is that they are very similar in appearance.

    Now imagine doing your future event a week from now, then a month from now, then six months from now. Where are those images placed? Are they moving further away, going clockwise, from left to right? This is your time-line and using it is important in visualization as you will see later.

    Ok, let's imagine something that is very unlikely to happen and see where it differs from the last image.

    Imagine you are sitting somewhere familiar which is extremely comfortable and relaxing to you. Now imagine that a person you know well comes up to where you are and says "hello". Imagine them telling you that they want to show you a new trick. All of a sudden they have three juggling balls. They throw them in the air and begin to juggle with ease. Then they begin to whistle one of your favourite tunes. You suddenly realize that there is a strong smell of flowers in the room and notice a vase of them just behind the juggler. Imagine laughing loudly at the scene and feeling joyful at the experience. Then the person juggling leans forward stands on leg and puts the other leg outstretched behind them. All the while still juggling and whistling. Then they begin to hop on their leg as a small bird flies over to perch on their head. Once you have the imagined event and stayed with it a few moments just let it fade.

    Ok open your eyes. What was the difference between the two images? Can you spot any? Did you use more, less or roughly the same senses in your fantasy event as you did in the future one? Did you see them from different angles? Was the picture bigger in one than the other? Was the sound clearer, the feelings more acute or the smell stronger? Take some time and go back to each scene in your mind. How does the future event differ from the fantasy one? Are you looking at both from a different vantage point? Do you see yourself in the image of one but not the other? Analyse the scenes and see where they differ.

    Have you identified how the future event differs from the fantasy one? If you have then its time to make visualization work for you! Take a goal that you have been working on or would like to achieve. Nothing too far-fetched at this point please! Pick something that is possible but at the moment seems a little impractical. Once you have it form a mental image of what it would be like to have, be or do that thing or be in that experience. Remember to form it the same way you do a memory. Give it the same strength visually, in sound, feeling, taste and touch - use your mind in its natural state. All you have to do is imagine the scene.

    Ok how does it differ from the scene of waking in the morning? Can you identify the differences in perspective, sound, taste, touch, feelings and what you hear?

    Now there will be one other key thing that differs in the images- it is very simple but often overlooked. You know that the future event is going to happen! This is reflected in the way we experience the image. So what we are going to do is fool your subconscious mind into thinking your goal is definitely going to happen by manipulating your goal image!

    Once you know what the differences are in each image begin to change the goal image so that it is seen the same way as the future event in your imagination. Place the visualized scene in exactly the same position with the same perspective as your future event.

    Place it in the correct position on your time-line. You may already begin to feel that the goal is more possible. Visualise in this way everyday and you will condition your subconscious mind to manifest the experiences necessary to make your goal attainment certain.

    One more thing to remember: During the day think about your goal often. This reinforces the visualization and will begin to dispel doubt from your mind. Hypnosis

    By Blogger mario, at 4:35 a.m.  

  • I am sure you have heard the song "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club but have you ever given much thought to its meaning? While on Earth, you are living in a world of reincarnation which is governed by the law of karma. Karma begins to propel you as Soul on a personal journey through the universe. Karma ends when you have reached enlightenment and fully realise that this physical reality and the Universe itself is just an illusion. When you reach a state of knowingness that there is but One all pervading essence and that essence or consciousness is You!
    So what is Karma and how does it work? While in the illusion you have a soul. This soul lives past, present, and future lives. To grow in love, joy, and awareness, you reincarnate into a series of physical bodies to experience different existences. This road leads to the experiences of being both sexes, all races, religions, and ethnic types throughout many lifetimes.
    Karma in its simplicist terms can be described by the biblical statement "as you sow, so also shall you reap". Karma is the principle of cause and effect, action and reaction, total cosmic justice and personal responsibility. It brings 'good' experiences as well as 'bad' - a debt must be repaid and a blessing rewarded.

    A more indepth esoteric look at karma gives us the following distinctions: Sanchita Karma: the accumulated result of all your actions from all your past lifetimes. This is your total cosmic debt. Every moment of every day either you are adding to it or you are reducing this cosmic debt. Prarabdha Karma: the portion of your "sanchita" karma being worked on in the present life. If you work down your agreed upon debt in this lifetime, then more past debts surface to be worked on. Agami Karma: the portion of actions in the present life that add to your "sanchita" karma. If you fail to work off your debt, then more debts are added to "sanchita" karma and are sent to future lives. Kriyamana Karma: daily, instant karma created in this life that is worked off immediately. These are debts that are created and worked off - ie. you do wrong, you get caught and you spend time in jail.
    As a soul, you experience a constant cycle of births and deaths with a series of bodies for the purpose of experiencing this illusionary world gaining spiritual insights into your own true nature until the totality of all experiences show you Who you really are - the I AM! Until you have learned, you will find that pretending that the rules of karma do not exist or trying to escape the consequences of your actions is futile.
    Although it may often "feel" like punishment, the purpose of karma is to teach not to punish. Often the way we learn is to endure the same type of suffering that we have inflicted on others and also rexperience circumstances until we learn to change our thinking and attitudes.

    We are all here to learn lessons as spiritual beings in human form. These lessons are designed to help us grow into greater levels of love, joy, and awareness. They teach us our true nature of love. Where we do not choose love, show forgiveness, teach tolerance, or display compassion, karma intervenes to put us back on the path of these lessons. Quite simply, the only way to achieve a state of karmic balance is to be love.
    Before you incarnated into your present personality, you agreed to put yourself in the path of all that is you need to learn. Once you got here, you agreed to forget this. Karma is impersonal and has the same effect for everyone. It is completely fair in its workings and it is predictable - "do onto others as you would have them do unto you" is a way to ensure peace and tranquillity in your own life as well as the lives of those you come into contact with. The law of karma is predictable - "as you sow, so shall you reap" what is done to you is the net result of what you have done to others!
    Karma gives you the opportunity at every moment to become a better person than you are and to open up to the realization that you are the master of your own fate.

    The goal of karma is to give you all the experiences that you need to evolve into greater levels of love, joy, awareness, and responsibility. Karma teaches that you are totally responsible for the circumstances of your life. They keep you on the straight and narrow until you have mastered your vehicle and can ride freely on your own. Once you understand that you are the master of your own circumstances and that everything you experience is a direct result of your past actions due to your thinking and emotional responses you can overcome its seeming negative effects by creating only 'good' karma.
    Karma forces us to look beyond ourselves (oneness) so that we can see ourselves as we truly are Whole, Complete, at One with everything. Once we truly understand ourselves, we can see our divinity and our unity with all life.
    Karma drives us to service. Love means service. Once you accept total responsibility for your life, you see yourself as a soul in service to God. Once you do, you become a fully realized being, allowing God to experience the illusion through you.
    Belief in karma and an understanding of its workings will lead you to a life of bliss. Only your own deeds can hinder you. Until the time comes when we release ourselves from our own self-imposed shackles of limitation and fully understand who and what we are we will live under the mantle of karma. So until that day why not create some wonderful experiences for ourselves by "doing onto others, as we would have them do unto us". subliminal

    By Blogger cylon, at 10:38 a.m.  

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