Sunday, December 04, 2005

Week in Review

With a campaign this long, it might make more sense to do monthly updates but I'll try to do a "week in review" every Sunday evening. If there are any other features you'd like to see in the "week in review", feel free to suggest them in the comments:

Weekly Winner: Political Junkies. An avalanche of polls, a long campaign, actual policy to debate, lots of media attention, over two hours daily of politics shows on both CBC and's gonna be a fun campaign.

Weekly Loser: Michael Ignatieff. And people wonder why more academics don't get involved in politics. The guy has seen every word he's ever written get taken out of contest, he's been called an "egghead", he's been heckled - it's been ugly. I tend to agree with Radwanski's take on this:
It'd all be very cute if we were some small town in the American south and he'd just arrived from New York thinking he was all superior. But are we really so insecure as a country that we need to make life difficult for smart folks who've made a name for themselves abroad and want to return home to make a difference here?

Hey, if you're happy with the quality of representation we currently have in Ottawa, then no worries. But if you're prone to wondering aloud why most of our politicians are so mediocre...well, here's your answer.

Ignatieff has been thrown to the wolves on this one. I don't agree with a lot of what he's said but I think he'll be a huge addition to parliament. But the guy has a lot to learn. This week has certainly shown that the talk of "Ignatieff for Liberal leader" is extremely premature.

The Polls
The following numbers are based on an average of the end of the week polls (based on five Thursday-Saturday polls). In brackets you can find what these translate to in seats, using the Hill & Knowlton election predictor:

Liberals 35% (118)
CPC 29.6% (102)
NDP 16% (25)
BQ 14% (62)

Blog of The Week: Hack & Wonks
Every week I'm going to pick a blog that I feel has been on top of the game in election coverage and analysis. This week, I've kicked it off with Hacks & Wonks, who has been quick to post the best news and pictures of the campaign trail all week long.

Scott Feshchuck Line of the Week:

2:44 PM - Just want to take this opportunity to say hello to the hard-working person in the Conservative war room whose job it is to spend his or her day perusing this sorry blog for imaginary offensive references that Jason Kenney can get hysterical about. Keep sharp, stay on your toes. I sense a reference to The Killers coming on, at which point you can launch your "Paul Martin Supports Indiscriminant Homicide" press release.
Yeah, Scott's blog is a gaffe waiting to happen, but it's actually been surprisingly enjoyable so far.

Joke of the Week: "Sure, Ignatieff supports torture - he's in favour of Paul Martin's re-election, isn't he?"

Got Too Much Media: The "Harper Hates Canada" stuff. Good grief.

Got Too Little Media: Jack Layton's post-secondary spending announcement.

Quote of the Week: "You must chose the best man to lose the country" - Paul Martin.

Liberals Week in Review: Grade B-
Getting Buzz Hargrove was a big catch and the polls are still very positive for Paul. Still...the warning signs are all there when you look at the "bonus questions" in the polls. The Ignatieff candidacy has blown up in their faces and I'm starting to wonder if the Liberals have any policy promises to make this election. If they don't, they could find themselves in trouble.

Conservatives Week in Review: Grade B+
After stumbling out of the gate, Harper finished the week strong. He looks relaxed and has even been smiling a bit. He definitely needs to get his wife and kids out campaigning as much as possible (once school ends) to humanize him. Getting all the policy announcements out there early is huge since it's going to make the "hidden agenda" attacks very difficult. And I do think the GST promise will resonate with a lot of Canadians.

NDP Week in Review: Grade C
Maybe I should change Jack's campaign song to "don't you forget about me". Layton has become invisible, and it's starting to look like a lot of Liberals may just have been parking their votes with smiling Jack. No real mistakes on Layton's part, but he's got to be very worried about how things have been going so far.

BQ Week in Review: Grade C
A lot of people kidded around about it, but I really think Duceppe's hockey team idea could hurt him. A lot of people in Quebec look back fondly on Gretzky and Lemieux playing side by side in all those Canada Cups; hockey has always been one of the things to bring Canadians together.

More importantly, soft nationalists like the idea of keeping the Canadian passport and dollar, even in a separate Quebec. The more you remind them of the things they won't be able to keep, the more uneasy they'll get. Sure, they'll still sweep the province, but it's a rocky start for Gilles, Don Cherry's endorsement aside.


  • I generally agree with your assessment of the first week. You mention that Layton has not made much impact. Today he stumbled and muddied the NDP position on healthcare.

    After struggling valiantly all week to attract some attention to the NDP, Layton muddied the waters of the NDP position re healthcare . Layton says his party will focus on stopping the flow of public money into private health care, not on shutting down private clinics. Layton said private clinics are a "fundamental aspect" of the health-care system founded by former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas and not much can be done about them. Layton says he wants to stop tax dollars from boosting the bottom lines of big health-care corporations.

    "Our focus is to keep public health-care dollars going to public and non-profit facilities. What happens with people in the privacy of their own relationship financially, that's up to them."

    Layton said private clinics have been around from the beginning. He said the NDP focus is on what happens to the public tax dollars.Layton said: "We want them going to non-profit and public facilities and services."

    Layton's statement seems to contradict what the NDP has been saying about stopping the privatization of health care. If he doesn't clarify his position quickly, he's going to lose one of the few clear issues on which the NDP might have been able to differentiate itself from the Liberals.

    And what do you think of Duceppe's boast of a possible Bloc sweep in Quebec. Bolstered by a 30-point lead in opinion polls over the Liberals,Duceppe said the sovereigntist Bloc will win all of Quebec's 75 ridings, effectively making the Liberals disappear from the political landscape. Does Duceppe know something we don't or has he fallen prey to a flight of rhetoric?

    By Blogger cardinal47, at 11:27 p.m.  

  • 30 point leads make people arrogant, and therefore sloppy. Between the hockey team and this stupid statement, it's clear that Duceppe thinks he is invincible. However, with a 2 month campaign, all he'll need is a drop of a few points in the polls over Christmas to snap him out of it for the January push. He'll no doubt still do well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:13 a.m.  

  • 1) The NDP campaign has been a disaster so far. Then again, it always is. Every single election, Dippers talk about a breakthrough, and every time, they come up with 20 seats. It's kind of sad..

    2) The Bloc's ceiling is around 66 seats. Randy White could win in Montreal's west if he ran as a Liberal.

    3) I feel like the Liberals are saving up most of their announcements for after Christmas. Their theory could be that people will forget everything over the break and the campaign will essentially "reset" in January. They could be right. Or maybe I'm just giving them too much credit...

    By Blogger Michael Fox, at 10:31 a.m.  

  • Woah - the seats you got out of the election predictor are damn near exactly my seat predictions on Bow, James Bow. I just got an eerie little shiver. I'm off by 3 seats.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 a.m.  

  • Thanks for the plug of the ole blog CG.

    We must be careful though, because we're starting a mutually infatution society between our two blogs.

    After all, we're supposed to be enemies you know... *grin*

    By Blogger The Hack, at 1:24 p.m.  

  • Radwanski said;"But are we really so insecure as a country that we need to make life difficult for smart folks who've made a name for themselves abroad and want to return home to make a difference here?"

    Give me a break. The guy is a Liberal. I guess if you call "making a difference" stealing from the public then you are probably right.

    Horny Toad

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  • Many people try to achieve goals. Most fail. Some strive, work hard and plan for all the details yet they achieve little or nothing at all. Others strive, work hard, plan and achieve huge success. Yet there are a few individuals who do little else than take small steps and seem to achieve a great deal with what seems like effortlessness. What is the difference between these people and which one would you like to be?
    Most members of the human race fall into two categories - those who live in the past and those who live in the future. Most live in the past. Many of these are the people who achieve very little in their lives and are so fearful of the future that they dare not strike out to get anything. They are the under-achievers who hang onto bad episodes in their lives and either relive them time and again or look at new situations as similar potentialities. They say things like "all men are deceivers" or "all women are interested in is money" or "I can't do it. I tried before and it didn't work so why bother!". Due to bad experiences in the past they believe that all future events will turn out the same way if they dare to go after what they want.
    The other type of person lives in the future. This type tends to create more of the things they want in life. They have a vision of where they want to go and exactly how they are going to get there. They work diligently at making concrete plans and they pursue those plans with a persistent ferocious appetite for success. These people are the high achievers - The Richard Branson and Bill Gates of the world. These people have much to teach us about setting and achieving goals.
    However, there is a third type of person who almost goes unnoticed. They are the person who takes life in its stride and yet achieve most of what they want. I am sure you know of such a person in your life that just seems to saunter through life and yet they always come out on top. Or a person who you hear of that has decided to open a shop. You meet them a few months later and they have three shops all doing well! So what makes these people so successful and if they aren't living in the past and aren't living in the future where are they living?
    I suppose you guessed it! Whether they are consciously aware of it or not they are living in the present. It is in the 'living' present that we have our greatest power. Everything happens in the present. You live your entire life there - even if your mind does not!

    By becoming more aware of the present and by 'accepting' it as it is we are much more in control of our emotions and focus. When we live in the past we are fearful of making bad choices and/or getting hurt. We do not wish to recreate the past again! When we live in the future we can also be fearful of what might happen. But even if your future vision is full of power and worthy of working towards many people can, and often do, get stuck there. By constantly reaching for bigger and better goals they fail to enjoy what they have in the moment.
    If you wish to start living a life that is almost effortless begin first by living in the present. Accept your situation the way it is and then you can enjoy what you have. Your focus changes from a memory of what was or a vision of what might be to a realization of what is. You become much more empowered to then see the beauty of life and also look at where you wish to make changes. But to make changes you must first accept the situation as it is. Trying to escape from your present only increases your focus on your problems by creating resistance to what is. Accept your life as it is now. Make no judgement, just accept it and then you will be free of doubt, worry, pain and fear. For you only experience these things when you live outside the 'moment'.

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  • 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". personal development

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