Saturday, May 27, 2006

Saturday Snippets

Gerard Kennedy was in the news talking about immigration this week. There's also got a new front page up on his website with Gerard in an Oilers jersey (this might make the Calgary campaign a bit more challenging...).

TDH Strategies has an interview with Michael Ignatieff up. What TDH Strategies does not have are permalinks so you might need to scroll down a bit to catch it.

A BCer in Toronto is actually a BCer in Seattle this week and he has a review of Seattle urinals. I mention this only because if I ever close this blog up, I always thought it would be interesting to do a website with reviews of public washrooms. I'm telling you, it's a million dollar idea.

I've already blogged about this before, but I'm all for fixed election dates. And even though we obviously won't make it to 2009 with this Parliament, it'll make it harder for Harper to pull the plug himself so I give him full marks for bringing in this sort of legislation.


  • Hear, hear, for fixed election dates. And then we need to get proportional representation and a few other democratic renewal measures under way.

    By Blogger George, at 10:40 p.m.  

  • That only makes me happier to support Kennedy :)


    Fixed election dates are definately an initiative I agree with. Now we need to look at the German electoral system for inspiration for how to find a balance between FPTP and Proporotional Rep.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 12:31 a.m.  

  • Great Gerard pic!

    Harper would be a moron (and he is not) to wait for the Liberal convention to call an election. He will find an excuse before then. The Calgary Sun said just as much on Friday: "...the next federal election, which could occur at any time."


    By Blogger Peter, at 12:51 a.m.  

  • If Harper calls an election without a non-confidence vote he'll have a lot to answer for.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 1:30 a.m.  

  • With or without a non-confidence vote Harper (who everyone acknowledges is still in election mode) is more than likely preparing for a fall election. If polls are accurate, a majority is at hand so why would/should he wait?

    The Liberal Party and the declared leadership candidates should spend some time preparing/discussing for this serious possibility.


    By Blogger Peter, at 1:52 a.m.  

  • I think Canadians would certainly react with anger to an election call that early.

    What basis would he have for it? On top of that, it would be obviously dirty politics when his main rivals don't even have a leader yet.

    IMO there's no way that happens.

    By Blogger Shawn, at 4:51 a.m.  

  • I'm also for fixed election dates. It would be political suicide for Harper to introduce a bill for the same and then call a snap election this fall.

    The more likely scenario is Harper will engineer a non-confidence vote by introducing legislation so onerous to the left that they have no choice but to bring down the government.

    Speaking of elections, does anybody care to comment on Joe Volpe's acceptance of $32,400 in donations fron the offspring of Apotex Inc. executives?

    An amazing figure when one considers that four of these kids are teens and it is unclear if the other two are adults or toddlers.

    Even more interesting were the comments by Volpe's campaign director and the national director of the LPC.

    Volpe campaign spokesman Corey Hobbs said "all donations are in full compliance with the Canada Elections Act and with Liberal party guidelines."

    Similarly, Steven MacKinnon, the Liberal party's national director, said he saw "nothing particularly untoward" about the donations.

    "On the surface, there's certainly nothing illegal at all."

    Hmmmm...One would think that a morally and financially bankrupt party trying to distance itself from a legacy of scandals might take a slightly different approach.

    On the other hand I could have this all wrong. The LPC guidelines may include a brilliant strategy to invigorate the party by recruiting hundreds of thousands of teens with $5400 each thereby wiping out the party debt and bringing a youthfull exuberance to policy discussions!!

    (scarcasm off)



    By Blogger syncrodox, at 8:52 a.m.  

  • Eh, Calgary is out of the running, just like my beloved Montreal, and Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. It's time for all Canadians to rally behind the Oilers; it's been way too long since a Canadian team won the Cup.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 9:13 a.m.  

  • I really like the grin on GK's face in that jersey. It's nice to see a politician who knows how to have fun like the rest of us mortals.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:52 a.m.  

  • I give Volpe a hard enough time here often enough, but he is right that it's within the law. I'm sure all other parties have done the same sort of thing at times.

    If Harper drops the donation cap to 1,000$ a person, obviously it will help limit stuff like this.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:01 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Dale Kirby, at 4:48 p.m.  

  • That Oliers thing is very smart and very Kennedy.

    I still think he will be the one to beat.

    By Blogger Dale Kirby, at 4:50 p.m.  

  • Yup Kennedy actually looks fit for a Hockey jersey.

    In other news I wonder if Muslims are going to be angered by Stockwell Day's latest slip of the tongue.

    "In an apparent reference to the violence sparked by recently published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed, Day noted Christians have been restrained in their opposition to Brown's debunking of Christianity.

    "I haven't seen the clerics order that the movie studios be destroyed or that the newspaper places be burned down," he said. "Isn't it great that the message of Jesus Christ is one of love and tolerance?"

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 5:20 p.m.  

  • Dan, I think that story is developing. I think we'll see something about it within the next few days and probably and mea culpa from Stock...after a severe beating from Harper though.

    By Blogger Zac, at 8:00 p.m.  

  • What? Urinals - you're crazy ;)

    By Blogger Pedro, at 9:08 p.m.  

  • What I've always liked about your blog: you're not afraid to recognize the good the other side of the aisle might propose. And that, even if the official party line is that it's against tradition and other similar rubbish solely meant for partisan reasons that don't help Canadians.

    Nice critical thinking.

    In a related note, I look forward to perusing your section on the race for Stornoway.

    By Blogger lecentre, at 11:25 p.m.  

  • Oh, and of course, though I'm a Montrealer, I'm rooting for Edmonton!

    I liked the sarcasm from Syncro, and it was a good point that it would be suicide for Harper to call a snap election, and I'd hate for him to engineer a non-confidence vote. At $300 m an election, I don't think we should be making them an annualized ritual, or even every two years. We're desensitized to it, but 300 million is a huge sum. Imagine what it would if we donated that to foreign aid! Hell, Bono would like us again! lol

    On a serious note, there's nothing for Day to apologogize about. Clerics did call for placees to be burnt and destroyed, and were in fact behind the whole controversy, when initally, the toons had been republished to no effect in Egyptian newspapers. Consider also these pro-terrorism videos, which were shot soon after the London transit system bombings, if I'm not mistaken.

    Centrerion Canadian Politics

    By Blogger lecentre, at 11:36 p.m.  

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  • I don't like Day's comments. They smack of "my milkshake is better than yours" and Christians weren't very nice in, say, Beirut, relatively recently. On the other side of the fence, the Danish cartoons were hardly the first example of muslim clerics getting excited. Anyone remember the killings (i.e. translators) surrounding Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses"? Crappy article all around.

    By Blogger matt, at 9:12 a.m.  

  • CG:

    I generally find your site to be intelligent, fair and lucid. I include your site on my regular "must read" list. That said, I'm disapointed in your response to Vople's sleazy fundraising practices.

    It appears that Steven MacKinnon, the NATIONAL DIRECTOR of the LPC is turning a bling eye to possibly fraudulent fundraising in the Volpe camp.

    I refer you to another snippet from the CTV article:

    An Elections Canada spokeswoman declined to comment on the donations other than to say that any complaints should be filed with the elections commissioner.

    To guard against companies trying to bypass the ban on corporate donations, the law includes several clauses making it a crime for any individual to "act in collusion" with others to circumvent the donation limits and prohibitions.

    Among other things, it is illegal to conceal the identity of donors, to compensate a person for making a donation, or to make a donation that actually comes from another person.

    Of special interest is the last paragraph.

    Sooo, laws may well have been broken. But here is Steven MacKinnon's response:

    "On the surface, there's certainly nothing illegal at all."

    Now this is just me, but were I the national director of a political party which was trying to distance itself from a past riddled with corruption and theft I would start doing a little scratching on the shiney new paint job.

    I've worked in the heavy construction field a good portion of my life. When a piece of equipment is old and worn out one is faced with a decision.

    Option A: Tear it apart bit by bit and restore it to working condition.

    Option B: Buy ten gallons of shiney yellow paint and cover up all the deficiencies. As soon as the paint is dry, haul the piece of shit to Michner Allan Auctions and see what idiot you can get to buy the garbage from you. In the business this is known as a ten gallon overhaul.

    Both options are legal, only one is ethical.

    What are you buying???


    (p.s. some of this is cross posted at SDA. I note this as I'm not sure what the blog etiquette is in this regard.)

    By Blogger syncrodox, at 10:19 a.m.  

  • The first fixed election date is rumoured to be November 2009.

    Once the legislation is passed, Harper will manipulate an election (as I previously stated, expect fall 2006).

    The longer he waits, the more ridiculous another election less than 3 years later (November 2009) would be.

    A Liberal fearmonger campaign will not work this time either since he will be able to claim that in less than three years another election will be held.

    The Liberal Party should be preparing for this possible election.


    By Blogger Peter, at 12:15 p.m.  

  • Peter, I'm pretty sure the legislation will say something like "there will be elections every four years", not "there will be elections in fall 2009, fall 2013, etc."

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 12:33 p.m.  

  • For fixed election dates, you usually just vote for the next election date in the House after the previous one. So, Harper would say the next election is November X, 2009.

    Then, if we get a spring 2008 election, the House would vote for a spring 2012 date afterwards and so on.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 12:45 p.m.  

  • not like it really matters - but why are we targetting for November 2xxx? And why can't we put some distance in there between us and the US. Why not the spring? Why not on odd years - opposite to US elections...

    By Blogger Rocket_Dawg, at 1:29 p.m.  

  • Yup Kennedy actually looks fit for a Hockey jersey.

    With a tie?????

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:57 p.m.  

  • For fixed election dates, you usually just vote for the next election date in the House after the previous one. So, Harper would say the next election is November X, 2009.

    Darlings, I can't understand Fixed Election Dates for the life of me; might anyone help out my understanding?

    While I support F.E.D., I'm confused as to how they would work in our Parliamentary system when a minority government might be in power.

    Bart, your quote above gives me a clue: am I to understand, then, that we would not be fixing election dates for a certain day every 4 or every 5 years, but would rather vote after the election of a majority government to hold the next election in 4/5 years, and minority governments would be exempt from holding such a vote?

    I confused myself typing that out.

    I've been labouring under the perhaps mistaken impression that if we hypothetically voted to hold elections in 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, etc., and a minority government fell in 2007 and gave way to a majority, that majority would need to hold a 2008 election.

    I'm terribly confused!

    By Blogger Lois, at 12:45 a.m.  

  • Basically, fixed election dates in a parliamentary system means that elections will take place four years after the last one OR whenever the government loses a confidence motion, whichever comes first.

    This is different from the current system, where elections are held whenever the government feels like it OR whenever the government loses a confidence motion, whichever comes first.

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 1:38 a.m.  

  • The reason they're starting from November 2009 is presumably because that's four years after the last one (adjusted to avoid the Christmas election that was supposed to doom the Conservatives for forcing ;).

    Personally, I think having elections on that schedule is a great idea. This way, Canadians who hate politics can watch only Canadian TV channels during even-numbered years, and only American channels during odd-numbered years! :)

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 1:47 a.m.  

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