Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mid-Week Musings

1. Stephen Harper has his first casualty as Maurice Vellacott resigns. It may not be as exciting a way to go as over Romanian strippers, but I'm sure it still hurts.

2. If anyone can find a picture of Diane Finley with the horrifying glasses she keeps wearing to QP, I'll be forever grateful. (UPDATE: Apparently Diane has a medical condition requiring them which I wasn't aware of. Now, as for Stockwell Day's rainbow coloured tie he wore on Monday, I wonder what message he's trying to get across)

3. Not only does Bob Rae's site avoid the use of the word "Rae", the main banner seems to be devoid of Bob himself. Or maybe it's pictures of people named Bob. Or people who like "What About Bob?". I'm a little confused.

4. In fairness, I'm finding the unexpected attack of the pdfs on Gerard's site a little annoying.

5. Paul Wells is back blogging and his post saying that Jean Chretien Tony Blair should sack Paul Martin Gordon Brown has spawned a few comments among Libloggers. For the record, I think Chretien was in the right to fire/quit Martin - no Prime Minister should be expected to tolerate someone actively campaigning against him. That said, it's very much debatable if that was the right strategic move since it allowed Martin to be even more overt in his plotting.

6. Anyone want to take bets on when Andrew Coyne ends his hiatus?

7. The race for the right to complain about the Green Party's exclusion from the leader's debates is on.


  • Oh! I do most definitely support the Green Party's inclusion in debates - thanks ever so.

    That Vellacott business was awful - however, I am cheered that he's gone so quickly. Excellent work.

    By Blogger Lois, at 5:09 p.m.  

  • I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when I saw Finley sporting shades in the HOC. However, they are as result of a health problem she is having so that one should be left alone.

    By Blogger SteelCityGrit, at 5:16 p.m.  

  • Re: Chrétien/Martin. Agree 100%

    Re: Finley

    Note, she wears them because of some sort of genetic medical problem. Not just to look cool.

    Re: Coyne.
    If the Conservative budget didn't bring him back, I'm not sure anything will.

    By Blogger Darrell, at 5:25 p.m.  

  • CG, you forgot to mention Bob Rae's Munich comparison. Comparing Bush/Harper to Hitler/Chamberlain.

    By Blogger Eric, at 5:30 p.m.  

  • I have heard that John Murney is backing Gerard Kennedy (

    By Blogger tobefair, at 5:51 p.m.  

  • Coyne resurfaces at a serious non-confidence vote or an election call.

    Kinsella is going to nail Rae. But an apology for crappy analogies is all that was needed from Rae and Vellacot. Garth Turner is actually correct on this one. This represents a new low from the Liberals.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:02 p.m.  

  • bye bye Vellacott....he shouldn't have been chair of the Aboriginal committee in the first place....

    By Blogger Sean S., at 6:08 p.m.  

  • "he shouldn't have been chair of the Aboriginal committee in the first place"

    Then the non-conservative MP's who confirmed him have a LOT of 'splaining to do.

    A committee picking someone different with some civility would have been refreshing.

    The hysteria about a lousy analogy that detracted from his point about "discovered law" is just another low on a race to the bottom.

    Looking at Rae's remarks (which only require an apology BTW) the whole outrage thing looks like DISPLACEMENT.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:18 p.m.  

  • Mr. Chretien firing Mr. Martin was absolutely correct.

    The Finance Minister of a country cannot publicly muse about whether he wants to keep his job. The negative impact of such musings on the country's finacial markets is incalculable. No self respecting PM would allow that to happen.

    The musings by Mr. Martin were calculated to have himself fired to create outrage amongst his followers and amongst those who might have been thinking it was time for Mr. Chretien to go and to free himself for the leadership wars endgame.

    It worked.

    To Mr. Chretien's credit he did not take the politically expedient route he actually took the best decision for Canada and Canadians.

    By Blogger ottlib, at 6:27 p.m.  

  • And I am sure Diane Finley will be grateful if you can find her a cure for Grave's.

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 6:27 p.m.  

  • If Rae apologizes for the Munich Pact statement or fudges on it the CPC and Kinsella and right wing blogs will never let him forget.

    It will never appease them. He should forget these guys...they are not his supporters anyway. Once they blog surge you and you twist...they own you.

    By Blogger riley dog, at 6:48 p.m.  

  • If Rae doesn't apologize for that Nazi analogy (which is far more offensive than the analogy Vellacot bobbled and withdrew), when Kinsella is finished with him he'll wish his name was Doris Rae Day.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:52 p.m.  

  • I'm surprised Rae would slip up like that - he's usually a fairly well spoken politician. There was media there Friday so someone in the media must have heard it, right?

    I wasn't aware of Finley's medical condition...I guess that explains it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:17 p.m.  

  • Hmm, you can apologize for trying to make fun of a medical condition, or you can make a thinly-veiled reference about someone's tie.

    I would have gone with the first.

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 7:33 p.m.  

  • CG--One would assume that there were in fact reporters present. Hmmmm.... I wonder why they let Bob's foray into the land of ill concieved analogies slide???

    Oh well just one of those mysteries of life. Although I am going to include his effort in the 2006 LPC Leadership Race Award for Hysterical Hyperbole.


    By Blogger syncrodox, at 8:03 p.m.  

  • The medical shades still makes Finley look cool, but in a more like roy orbison wore shades kinda cool.

    By Blogger bza, at 9:31 p.m.  

  • I think the entire conservative caucus should all join Ms. Finley with Blues Brotheresque sunglasses to show solidarity with her condition, kinda like when a whole school shaves their head cause one kid has cancer.

    Wouldn't the front bench look cool in their matching dark suits and glasses?

    By Blogger polarslam, at 9:39 p.m.  

  • Actually.... that would look cool, as you call it.

    But then, I also think Parliament should have Theme Days, wherein MPs dress in Hawaiian shirts, or wear all Green, or Backwards Clothing.

    They already act like high school students... I just thought it would make the whole illusion complete.

    By Blogger Lois, at 9:56 p.m.  

  • See, I wanted Jim Harris in the leaders' debates. Nothing would have scuttled the Green Party's electoral fortunes faster than letting Canadians watch him sweat, stammer and use the word 'sovereignity' - like I saw him do at least twice during one of his major press conferences last January.

    This new candidate, however, sounds a little to competent for my liking.

    By Blogger freshly_squeezed, at 10:07 p.m.  

  • So with Jim Harris gone is the Green Party going to be a legitmate left of centre party instead of the strange Reformite Green party it was under the ex-Tory's leadership?

    Not that it really matters. The core vote of the green party couldn't care less about who their leader is, or if it had a policy to kill all the first borns in the country because they just look at the name "Green" and think that sounds like something differnt from the older parties.

    By Blogger polarslam, at 10:10 p.m.  

  • (Of course, now that I actually go and look at PW's post, I suspect he might be just being -- in classic Shakespearian style -- very dryly ironic.)

    By Blogger Mike Gillis, at 10:33 p.m.  

  • Oh, Freshly Squeezed, you make me laugh! He was an awful speaker - I shouldn't laugh, really, I always felt for him, and I think he had terrible nerves.

    I do think the Green Party could have a place in Parliament - I hope they can really pull it all together for the next election and put in an MP or even two.

    By Blogger Lois, at 10:34 p.m.  

  • Here's the Rae site as it looked in mockup...

    By Blogger Optimus, at 10:50 p.m.  

  • "Apparently Diane has a medical condition requiring them which I wasn't aware of."

    I thought she was trying to be one of the Blues Brothers.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 12:16 a.m.  

  • In his statement, Count Chocula look-alike Vellacott said, "I submit to a sovereign God to provide me that opportunity at some point in the future."

    If he's religious that's fine, but I don’t understand why this nutter needs to yammering on and on about God all the freaking time. That's like Harper’s God Bless Canada, recitals. Someone needs to remind this crowd of fundamentalists that Canada is not the southern U.S.

    By Blogger Dale Kirby, at 8:36 a.m.  

  • not the southern U.S. yet...I'm just saying that some of the Denny's are starting to carry grits, so the Cons are probably ahead of the curve on this one. I for one welcome the day when a NASCAR event is all I need to take my mind off the damage the last tornado did to my trailer...ahh sterotypes...good times

    By Blogger Leny Vilekoskytch, at 9:00 a.m.  

  • You're right. Gerard's site needs a little technical work.

    PS - I really hope you guys pick Bob Rae. :)

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 10:52 a.m.  

  • I Think Diane Findely has "Graves Syndrome". I guess it causes her to be extremely light sensitive (like a Tequila Hangover) and causes tremors and tics.

    Elizabeth May is a nut-job, but at least now she can get some more exposure in order to compare Harper to Bush......

    Same old Same old.........chicken littles coming home to roost.

    By Blogger James Halifax, at 10:59 a.m.  

  • Uh, yeah, what we really need is a fourth left-of-centre federal party. Why didn't anyone think of this before?!

    I appreciated the Greens' previous "eco-capitalist" approach. For a voter who's socially liberal and fiscally conservative, they were a pretty reasonable choice.

    But if Elizabeth May gets in, forget it.

    By Blogger dr_dog, at 11:52 a.m.  

  • CG -

    when does Kennedy's personal blog get started? I'm very excited by the promise of said blog, but wonder why its taking so long to put it together. Surely, he must be bursting with insights to share with us.

    Do you know?

    By Blogger Tarkwell Robotico, at 11:59 a.m.  

  • dog: The Greens have a fairly strong opportunity to present a serious threat to the NDP. Harris' policies were incoherent compared to his European and American counterparts, and the simple fact that "fiscally conservative and socially liberal" is a joke wasn't much help.

    (Social programs cost money, and environmentalism generates the kind of red tape that "fiscal conservatives" abhor. You can't have your cake and eat it too.)

    The Greens stand a chance of exploiting the NDP's dwindling popularity with Labour to steal away the eco-conscious, non-union left voters that both the NDP and Liberals are attempting to court, and the NDP is just as vulnerable a target as the Liberals.

    (It will also harm the conservatives, because a weaker NDP means likelihood that the NDP will drain away Liberal support, as an NDP fighting on its own left can't effectively challenge the Liberals on theirs.)

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 1:03 p.m.  

  • If the Green Party couldn't do better than fourth place even in its "strongest" ridings, it will not win a single seat. Elizabeth May and her Sierra Club pals are irrational extremists, nothing more, who are, at best, somewhat effective lobbyists.

    The Greens stand a chance of exploiting the NDP's dwindling popularity with Labour to steal away the eco-conscious, non-union left voters that both the NDP and Liberals are attempting to court, and the NDP is just as vulnerable a target as the Liberals.

    What "dwindling popularity" are you talking about? The two last elections have seen the NDP recover its traditional support base, while attracting new supporters as well.

    By Blogger JG, at 1:32 p.m.  

  • "I'm surprised Rae would slip up like that - he's usually a fairly well spoken politician. There was media there Friday so someone in the media must have heard it, right?" - Calgary Grit

    Catherine McMillan isn't surprised at all: "Now, don't expect any brouhaha in the media over this. There's a difference between comparing the leader of our largest trading partner to Adolf Hitler, and say - a Conservative MP alluding to Supreme Court Justices as 'playing God'. That difference is, of course, that Bob Rae is running for the Liberal leadership."

    Kinsella had no trouble confirming the remarks and the Rae campaign has confirmed them.

    The blogsphere hasn't been anywhere near as shy as the media. e.g Jeff Jedras's reported the comments the night they were made: "Rae compared Neville Chamberlain and the Munich Pact/appeasement of Nazi Germany with Stephen Harper's surrender to Bush on softwood. I thought that was over the line"

    In today's Post Kinsella points out how widespread this kind of nastiness runs and mentions that

    I'd still like to think Rae will have the sense to withdraw the remark.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 p.m.  

  • ...and mentions Graham's similiar boorishness.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 p.m.  

  • Not to put any damper on the fun to be had by bashing Rae, but for the record and what it's worth, he did not compare either Bush or Harper to Hitler or the Nazis.

    He was comparing the statement made by Chamberlain "peace in our time" to the supposed softwood lumber peace. Hitler stole Czechoslovakia from the Czechs and the Munich Pact gave it a rubber stamp. The US stole $5B from us and we said here's $1B for your troubles. And everyone knows very well that the fight isn't over for the US lumber lobbyists. So in a sense there is a comparison between the two deals and not every reference to Germany from 1933 to 1945 is a making someone out to be a Nazi or to Hitler.

    BUT (in all capital letters)....

    ... it was still a very inappropriate analogy.

    It wasn't so bad as to merit the kind of screeching from the conservative blogosphere and certain conservative-supporting bloggers and Rae should be smart enought to recognize he can't control how people interpret his statements, but there are a million better ways to make the point.

    I should also note that I'm glad to have seen a rather negative response from Liberals at the convention itself since many conservatives seem to want to portray this as a typical Liberal/liberal approach to argument.


    By Blogger Ted Betts, at 2:48 p.m.  

  • Ted,

    Rae and Graham should be smart enough to back away from such comments.

    Has it occured to you that Kinsella doesn't care whether its from left or right?

    Stupidity is as stupidity does.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 p.m.  

  • ... the Tory blogsphere is mostly talking about the double standard.

    Most of them think Vellacot had a point about the justice's actual remarks but that his analogy (playing God) was poorly chosen.

    The contrast to McKay, Rae, and Graham is frankly the left's problem. Any free rides from the media just let your idiots dig deeper holes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:10 p.m.  

  • _I "royally stepped in it" as well in regards to Ms. Finley's medical condition. It was diagnosed and publicly revealed about a month ago.

    By Blogger CQ, at 3:19 p.m.  

  • Ted,

    If Rae doesn't mind idiots making Bush/Hitler analogies there is no need for him to back away from Harper/Chamberlain analogies.

    You drew a distinction between the Tory blogsphere and Tory supporting bloggers. If that was a shot at Kinsella you might want to go to the Jon Stewart link he's posted. It's not about left or right. It's about recognizing stupidity at par.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:27 p.m.  

  • I think Rae should apologize as a way to demonstrate a peaceful diplomacy amongst the different factions of the party.

    By Blogger Brent, at 9:37 p.m.  

  • Someone needs to remind THIS crowd of anti-Christian bigots that it's not yet illegal to express one's faith in public - even if that person is an MP.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 2:31 a.m.  

  • No one went short on Coyne.

    The winning entry would have been today: May 15th.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:28 p.m.  

  • By Blogger raybanoutlet001, at 11:44 p.m.  

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