Monday, January 30, 2006

You know your country is in the right

When the Sudanese and the Saudis are boycotting you.

I'll support the Danish government considering an apology to the Muslim world if the Saudis apologise to the rest of the world for sponsoring terrorism and exporting a particularly backward version of Islam. Oh, and for denying rights to women. And foreigners. And for failing to pressure other Muslims governments to stop commiting genocide against their own populations. In fact, when Saudi Arabia apologises for pretty much every action it has ever taken as a state, then Denmark can look into whether they owe anyone an apology for having a free press that published pictures that are offensive to people who should probably be living in Saudi Arabia if they can't tolerate people criticizing their faith.

Update: Buy Danish! This on-line Danish Food Shop has an entire section devoted to liquorice! Never mind buying Danish, I might just move there!

And isn't it time to throw a Trudeau kid into the mix?

Frank McKenna says that he won't be running for Liberal leadership, telling reporters, "I'm not vain enough to believe I alone can provide the leadership our great country needs this time". If vanity's what we're looking for, then Belinda we've got a job for you!

The Globe mentions a few possibilities in the article:

Others named as possible contenders have ranged from former NDP Ontario premier Bob Rae and MP Scott Brison to Belinda Stronach, a Liberal MP who defected from the Conservatives during the last session.
As enjoyable as a Scott/Belinda bitchfest would be, I'm holding out hopes for a Bob Rae/Michael Ignatieff leadership competition. Okay, it may be incredibly farfetched, but given that they were roommates back in their undergrad days, how much fun would it be? "He can't even follow a chore wheel, how could he be party leader?!" (oh, you know those dorks had a chore wheel), "He'd be sneaking women into Stornoway at all hours of the night" (don't be jealous Bob!), "You want someone to help get the party's finances under control? He couldn't even pay his bills!".

It'd be a tough call though. Who do you support: the guy who did such a bad job running Ontario, or the guy who hasn't lived in the country for nearly 30 years? That's the problem with Canada, when it comes to political leadership, we're just spoilt for choice.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Whatever could this mean?

Frank McKenna has stepped down as Ambassador to the U.S. I wonder if he has another job in mind.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Memo To Torontonians On the Day After the Election

The fact that nearly everybody you know agrees with you does not make your beliefs apolitical. Looking at me like a wounded puppy dog will not actually replace the need to have the facts to back up your assertions.

They won, you're just going to have to deal with it.

I guess I'll have to take my lashes

I think I misssed the call to prayer this morning. Are we each assigned to a particular church, or is that decision going to be left up to us? Where will we find out which part of the scriptures we are supposed to read each day? I bet they went over all this at morning services, didn't they? Damn, why did I sleep past the alarm?!

This new government's going to take some getting used to.

God bless.


First point: How cute is it going to be, First Ladies Laura and Laureen? For that alone, Harper had to win tonight.

But this is what happens when you let the West in: Victory speeches after 1 a.m. We should elect more leaders from Quebec.

-He speaks English first! Typical Albertan, pandering to the majority.

-Ooh, he just mentioned the prayers of supporters. Ladies and Gentleman, we now officially live in a theocracy.

-You'll note that Paul wasn't included in the list of leaders running 'honourable' campaigns. He doesn't want to start off by lying to the public.

- Canada: "sovereign, strong, free and united"? Fascist!

- Wow, that's the longest a Canadian leader has gone without mentioning healthcare. I think he might have made it past 10 minutes.

- He just abandoned Canada! "Made in Ottawa solutions don't work"? Since when?!

- He acknowledged our soldiers in Afghanistan. Finally we get a leader who respects the armed forces.

God Bless Canada!

You're welcome Jack

Jack is speaking. He personally thanked the people of Trinity-Spadina. I can't say it was easy Jack, I gave a little bit of my soul so that you could have your wife with you. But I appreciate the acknowledgement.

Kids: Get a job. Jack wants to see families working!

King Paul Abdicates

It seems HRH Paul I has just called Stephen Harper and conceded defeat. And the sky has not yet fallen!!!

Paul has been denied the legacy he wanted as Prime Minister, and that alone has put a smile on my face.

I would have preferred it if the Conservatives had won more seats, but at least Canadians have shown that they are prepared to live under a non-Liberal government. Now we can work towards a majority.

Update: (12:14) Paul has announced he'll be stepping down as leader. 'Tis a glorious day. Watching the Liberals duke it out is going to be fun!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Barely time to take the tree down

Peter Mansbridge just pointed out that the turnout was 'surprisingly' higher than the last election, despite the "holiday election". This is apparently good news for all Canadians.

Way to go Canada! So close to Christmas and you managed to do your one democratic duty. I guess if it had been a few weeks later, we would have been too distracted by Valentine's Day (or a certain bitter blogger's birthday) to get to the polls.

Update: Gord Martineau just declared a disappointing turnout. I'm glad they've all got their facts straight.

Update: Alan Gregg just pointed out the higher turnout in this election. Turns out Gord is just an idiot (who knew?).

Now I can't even count on Torontonians to be Anti-American?

Michael Ignatieff (who is looking much goofier than he used to, I might add) has won his riding.

That's it, I'm running in Bradford & West Yorkshire in the next election.

I know it's early

But Olivia is ahead right now.

Come on Toronto, let the bicycle built for two be Ottawa's problem.

Update: Track Liv here

Update: (11:43) They are now calling it for Olivia. I personally won't feel comfortable until more of the polls are returned.

Update (11:45) Apparently she feels comfortable, because she's making her victory speech. I'm still holding off. I have less faith in her than she has in herself.

Update (12:33) With 243/262 polls returning and over 3000 votes in the lead, Bitter Lemon finally calls Trinity-Spadina for Olivia Chow.

City Calls it For Harper

Adam Vaughan just died a little bit inside.

CBC refuses to call. Not because of the principle of not calling too soon, but because they refuse to spread the fear.

Update (11:10) CBC has now called a Harper minority.

Well sure, if you give everyone stock tips

It seems Ralph Goodale is winning his riding.

I'm saying nothing

But a certain person who may or may not have slept with a certain president of a country to the south of us is leading in very early results.

Update (10:20) Track a certain person here

Update (10:27) CTV just called a Belinda victory.

Update (11: 02) She won?!! Seriously, what do you have to do to lose?

Update (11:25) Belinda is just coming up to the podium for her victory speech. Does she realise that they won't let her cross back?

Update (11:56) Did you know Belinda got into public office to "make a difference"? I've lost count of how many times she has said that tonight (and througout the campaign for that matter). Belinda: stop campaigning now, you've won and the people of Newmarket-Aurora have shown that they too stupid to care what you say anyway.

Update (2:03) They just replayed Belinda's speech. In it she said that if Stephen Harper wanted to take rights away from "individual Canadians, or from women" she would be there to stop him. When exactly did I lose my standing as an individual Canadian?! I had this funny notion that I was a whole person, but apparently I am just part of the collective. I hate you Newmarket-Aurora!

I would never go against the government

But Global has declared that Canadians have a reason to be quite scared.

Get democracy out of your system Alberta!

Haroon Siddiqui just pointed out on TVO that it is good that the West had some influence in this election, since it gave them the opportunity to "get it out of their system".

What about Quebec? Why doesn't anybody ever talk about Quebec?

Protect yourself!

The Canadian government understands that information is dangerous and has been kind enough to protect us from ourselves through a media blackout. It is integral therefore that you avoid sites such as tonight until the polls are closed in your area. You could find out things that you are not supposed to know.

Is democracy supposed to make you feel this dirty?

All right, I've done my part for defeating Canada's Laziest MP. It's in G-d's hands now (what?! I'm not going to do anything that might upset Him today).

I've got to finish a paper, but as soon as it's done, I promise to be in blogging overdrive.

Attention Female Readers

If you want an abortion go have your last one now, because if the Tories win tonight then tomorrow the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Canadian Chapter) is coming to install a tracking device on your uterus (trust me, I've seen the Hidden Agenda).

And remember: Vote Liberal; because "Peace, Order and Fear" is as good a national motto as any.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I've often said that I was born into the wrong generation

Why didn't Oprah host this contest back when I was in high school? I would have won that trip to Chicago! (except my essay would probably not have found the hidden message of redemption in a Holocaust memoir that you just know Oprah is looking for). I suppose I could enter my OAC Literature ISU on Religious Symbolism in the Work of Elie Wiesel. Do you think anyone would notice it was about 12 years out of date and somewhat off topic?

You see, back when I was in high school it was decidedly weird for a suburban teenage girl to read the works of Elie Wiesel or have his quotes on the nature of evil posted on her bedroom wall and in her locker. Now Oprah's got everyone into him! I bet all the cool kids are listening to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech on their iPods too.

Born a decade too soon, it seems.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I support a woman's right to choose...

And at this moment in time, I choose to point out that King Paul needs to get his facts straight. If you want to spend the last few days of your campaign trying to scare everyone about the super-secret ultra-extreme hidden right-wing agenda of your opponent and make comments like “Canadians don’t think a woman's right to choose is too complex to describe. We expect our leaders to take a clear position, and state it", then you might want to remember what positions members of your party, and indeed you yourself, have stated.

My favourite socially conservative Liberal (of course!) is Tom Wappel. Tom not only chooses to believe that he need only represent those constituents who vote for him (which has nothing to do with the fact that he is socially conservative, but explains why he's a Liberal), he also chooses to be anti-gay. And by anti-gay, I don't mean he is anti-gay-marriage, I mean he is a homophobe. It is one thing to oppose gay marriage, it is another thing entirely to devote a section of your constituent web site to this stance (notably absent from his campaign site). And, of course, there is the now famous quote that: "Homosexuality is statistically abnormal, it's physically abnormal and it's morally immoral." Tom Wappel supports a person's right to choose to be straight.

So on Monday, I will choose to vote against the Liberals, because I am sick of the lies and the hypocrisy and, ya know, the theft. I would also encourage other Canadian women and, for that matter, Canadian men to exercise their right to choose not to have a Liberal government.

Really King Paul, right now is probably not the best time for you to be reminding Canadians that they have choices.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Liberal MPs Involved in Gang Bang Scandal!

What? Why are the Liberals the only ones who get to play dirty?

Yes, that's right folks, we have now sunk to the level of falsely accusing Conservative candidates of sexual assault.

Chris Axworthy is claiming that someone snuck into his campaign office to make a call to a live call-in show with entirely made up accusations that Maurice Vellacott sexually assualted someone. But, not only would believing this require that I accept a ridiculously far fetched claim, it would mean that I accept a statement made by a Liberal.

And remember: if a Conservative MP rapes you and you become pregnant, Stephen Harper will force you to keep the baby!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

How To Write About Africa

The formula for how to write about Africa outlined in the most recent issue of Granta.

Never have a picture of a well-adjusted African on the cover of your book, or in it, unless that African has won the Nobel Prize. An AK-47, prominent ribs, naked breasts: use these.... sure to include a warm and motherly woman who has a rolling laugh and who is concerned for your well-being. Just call her Mama....

...Always end your book with Nelson Mandela saying something about rainbows or renaissances. Because you care.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Declares Oprah's New Book Club Choice 'A Pack of Lies'

Oprah has decided that her next Book Club selection will be Elie Wiesel's Holocaust memoir, Night. I suppose that the most logical thing to do after the A Million Little Pieces scandal was to pick a book with a subject that no civilised person would dare question that was written by a Nobel Peace Prize winner. (Although Hitch did once start an article with the words: 'Is there a more contemptible poseur and windbag than Elie Wiesel?', one suspects she's not going after his audience).

I was a bit surprised at the announcement as I had always kind of thought of Night as one of the books that started the whole 'Oprah's Book Club' thing to begin with. In the early '90s she started interviewing authors who had changed her life or realigned her journey (or whatever terminology Oprah uses) and Elie Wiesel was among them (I remember because it was right in the middle of my Elie Wiesel phase). So although the Book Club proper didn't start until 1996 (what? I looked it up!), it strikes me that Wiesel has already been given the full Oprah treatment. But who am I to question the choices that Oprah makes for her cult club?

Which is Africa's Remembered War?

Just channel surfing and The Hour was on CBC Newsworld. George was interviewing someone and the heading "Africa's Forgotten War" was on the screen. Having tuned in late, I wondered which of the wars currently occurring in Africa that nobody talks about was the "forgotten" one. It turned out that they were talking about Uganda. But my interest was piqued. I googled "Africa's Forgotten War". It turns out that Africa has or recently had 'forgotten wars' in Uganda, Burundi, Western Sahara, Darfur, Angola, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Congo-Brazaville and DR Congo. The term has also been used to refer to the war on AIDS.

So might I recommend that next time Africa has a war that the media sees fit to talk about all the way through to the end, they refer to it as "Africa's Remembered War" and for the rest of them they can use a heading along the lines of "It's far away, you've never heard of it, it's probably tribal" (with the obligatory Heart of Darkness reference when it's DR Congo).

Done. Climbing down off soapbox.

You're wasting your campaign budget....

It seems that the Conservative and Liberal candidates in Toronto Centre-Rosedale can't read an electoral boundaries map. I keep getting their campaign literature in the mail, but I live in Trinity-Spadina. Now, I'll grant that it makes no sense that my apartment falls within the boundaries of Trinity-Spadina, but nonetheless it does.

I wouldn't mind so much, but Bill "It takes me nine months to respond to letters from my constituents and then I dismiss their concerns and tell them Iran is doing just fine thank you (and did I mention I'm the Foreign Affairs Minister and they murdered one of our citizens)" Graham is the MP for that riding and is likely to still be after next week's elections and I don't want him to think in any way that he represents me (granted with a Liberal MP, it's not a real threat, but it's the principle of the thing). Because, well, he's evil.

Okay, maybe 'evil' is a wee bit of an overreaction. What comes between not caring about the murder of Canadians by foreign governments and evil?

For those of you who are still undecided (really?)

The Vote Selector Quiz

What I want is a "strongly neither" option. But I guess they're just working with what they've got.

My results put Stephen Harper first, then Jack Layton (Andrew Coyne got the same results for the top two, which surely suggests something confused about the political parties in this country... shouldn't they be at opposite ends of the spectrum?), then Gilles, then King Paul (I promise I didn't change my answers to get him last).

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What can they say, they just really believe in copyright

The new Conservative TV ad quotes Liberal candidates who spoke out against the Liberal Party's anti-military ads.

The Liberals have demanded that the ad be pulled because it uses footage of Paul Martin on CBC that they claim the Conservatives used without approval, and therefore violates copyright. Of course, the copyright would be held by the CBC, not Paul Martin. But that's King Paul for you, always defending the rights of Canadian corporations!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Liv, honey, you're going to talk me out of it

I just received a phone call from Olivia's campaign asking if I knew about her work and if I would support her. Surely it would be best not to tell people anything about her work if you want people to vote for her. This is definitely a riding in which the NDP would benefit from going negative; vote for Olivia because Tony Ianno is a lazy, arrogant son-of-a-bitch.

This is the third time that Olivia's campaign has contacted us during this election (fourth if you count the non-demoninational/non-holiday card they sent me; sixth if you count the phone messages left by an NDP rep and then Jack! to invite me to an NDP event at the Liberty Grand). Before the holidays they called and Bitter Lime informed them that we would be voting for her strategically (they were very confused; happy for Liv, sad that they had to talk to a real- live Conservative without being able to yell at her that she is a fascist). They confirmed our names and address. Then last weekend Olivia herself came to the door. She rambled incoherently until we cut her off and told her nobody wanted the Liberals out of office more than us, so we would be voting for her. This caused mass confusion as she yelled down the hall to get another staffer who held the list (don't be so obvious that you're desperate). They confirmed our names and telephone number, then one campaign bunny excitedly guessed that Bitter Lime and I are sisters (we live together, have the same surname and share a physical resemblance... you can't get anything by the NDP). And then came today's phone call. I assured her yet again that I would be voting for Olivia and that I had already informed Olivia and her staff. She didn't apologise for bothering me. She asked if I want a sign. No thank you.

If nothing else, this shows why the NDP should never form government of any sort. If you can't sort out your voter lists in such a close riding, you will lose. Get yourselves in order! All the energy they have spent contacting me could have been spent trying to convince someone not to vote Liberal (or even trying to change the minds of some of my left-of-centre friends who plan on voting for Sam Goldstein because Olivia is too awful for words).

Every time they contact me, I am reminded that I am being a typical cynical Canadian voting against something instead of for it. This does not make me happy. If I receive one more call from Liv's campaign asking if I will vote for her, my answer will change. I will vote for Sam. I will give them a pass if it is election day and they are just calling to make sure I made it to the polls. Until then, leave me alone!

It's too good to ignore

I have not posted about how things are looking very bad for the Liberals this week. I'll admit, this is mostly because I don't want to get all excited about a Conservative victory only to be disappointed yet again. But it is hard.

The attack ads are beyond ridiculous. I have nothing to add to everything that has already been said. I expect nothing but the worst from the Liberals at all times, so nothing will ever surprise me about the depths to which they will sink. But if they want to dig their own graves, who am I to question them?

Then today, the Globe and Mail endorsed Stephen Harper. It's a very cautious endorsement, I'll grant you, but an endorsement nonetheless. If the Liberals can't rely on a united media effort to scare the hell out of Canadians in the next week, then they really are doomed.

I am allowing myself one day of real excitement that the Conservatives could actually win this thing, before I switch back to very cautious optimism. Today seemed as good a day as any.

Friday, January 13, 2006

"Thanks, but we're happy to go on with the genocide for now"

Unbelievable as it sounds, the genocidal regime in Khartoum has decided that they don't want a non-African military presence in Darfur. They think the African Union is doing a great job. Well, of course they are; they provide the cover of international involvement while allowing the raping, murdering and general mayhem to continue.

Now the shaming of rich donor nations to provide more funding to the African Union forces so that they can stay in the region will begin. But somebody needs to stand up and point out that there is no sense in the world paying to support a mission that does not prevent the Sudanese government from carrying out attrocities. The A.U. mission has failed to protect the people of Darfur, and aid workers in the region. I am not blaming the African Union, they were given the resources or the mandate to do this. There have even been reports of Sudanese troops painting their vehicles so as to masquerade as African Union forces. The value of their presence is becoming less evident as time goes by. The world should demand that if we are going to pay for a peacekeeping force in Darfur, it must effectual. How long do we allow the Sudanese government to go on pretending that they are not responsible for the attrocities? Force the Sudanese government to admit that they don't want a real international peacekeeping force because it doesn't suit their interests. It is time to stop allowing genocidal killers set the rules.

Alternately: Damn Americans, if they weren't paying for their illegal occupation of Iraq they could pay to support the A.U. mission. This is all their fault!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

3 years late and a mandate short

With the African Union now saying that they can no longer maintain their role in Darfur, the U.N. has indicated that the international community needs to become more involved. Kofi Annan has expressed the hope that the U.S. and Europe will contribute troops. Why? Well because: "the killings are going on, the rapes are going on...We have lost access to some of the needy people. Obviously the international community cannot allow that situation to go unaddressed." Obviously! Could you imagine the world standing by in the 21st century while a government turned armed militias on its own citizens? Unthinkable.

Setting aside for the moment the fact that Kofi is a couple of years late on this one, the fact of the matter is that, as it stands, sending U.S. and European troops to the region will require the approval of the government of Sudan. Why is Sudan suddenly going to submit to intervention by the international community? And if he feels so confident that the U.N. can convince the government in Khartoum to allow a powerful international troop presence in the region, why hasn't it happened sooner?

The African Union was never going to be able to have a significant impact in policing the crisis. They didn't have enough troops, there was insufficient funding and, let's face it, if the European Union can't get anything done, what hope does the African Union have? Of course, it is for these reasons that Sudan allowed the A.U. to have a presence in the first place.

The one reason that the Sudanese government may allow for a non-African policing force is that, with so many already dead or displaced in the region, they have largely accomplished their goal. Government-backed militias have now changed the face of the region; even a strong U.N. force is not going to be able to reverse that.

Of course, I support a strong international presence in Darfur, and if there is an intervention I hope that Canadian soldiers will be a part of it. But the international community dragged its heels while a genocide was perpetrated in Darfur. Even if we intervene now, we have failed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Elections in DR Congo

The results are now official and, as was predicted, voters in DR Congo have overwhelmingly approved their new constitution. Parliamentary and presidential elections will be held in March.

Since the Belgians gave up their rapacious control in 1960, the country has seen civil wars, Mobutu's decades-long kleptocracy, and interference by neighbouring states. Congo's plentiful natural resources mean that it could be one of the richest countries in Africa but, as is so often the case, the drive for control of those resources has instead fed the violence and chaos. This week, there are warnings of the threats posed by increasing violence in the province of Katanga. These are hardly the ideal conditions for a stable democracy to develop. But the people of Congo have shown that they feel it is time for real representative government.

Even without the poll, the current UN force in Congo is insufficient and, as usual, does not have a strong enough mandate. Obviously, the elections will increase the need for peacekeepers in the region. So what is the UN asking for? 800 EU rapid reaction troops. 800 extra troops, for a country that is about the size of Western Europe. The EU is not yet sure if they are going to be able to provide the troops. When you can't even meet the pathetic expectations of the U.N., things aren't looking good for you. This is an important moment for Congo, if Europe actually wants to play a role in the world beyond just yelling at the Americans, now is the time to step forward. Maybe they could surprise everyone and exceed the U.N.'s expectations. No, now I've gone too far...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Trinity-Spadinans: Not even worthy of our candidates

In the federal leaders debate we allow the separatists to participate despite the fact that they run candidates in only one (granted, the most important) province. In the local debates, we have the Green Party (running a child candidate who was charming in that "look mom, I'm running for office" sort of way), the Progressive Canadian Party (who formed when the "neocons" took over the Conservative Party), the Canadian Action Party and, of course, the Marxist-Leninists.

I knew it was going to be a bad debate when, rather than raising my ire, Tony Ianno's introductory comments bored me to tears. He seemed so down tonight. Maybe the waterfront debate on the weekend really took it out of him. Or maybe he just can't believe that he has to go through this again. It's like when you are made to reapply for your own job; how much zeal can you be expected to bring to the interview?

Sam Goldstein is fiscally conservative. Sam Goldstein believes in gay marriage. Sam Goldstein actually mentioned Darfur (without being prompted) and the need for a strong Canadian military to back up our "soft power". And yet, I can't vote for Sam Goldstein.

Olivia Chow was Olivia Chow. It is a measure of how much I loathe both Tony Ianno and Paul Martin that I will cast a ballot for this woman. Strategic voting is a nasty, nasty business.

Of course, the only thing more depressing than the candidates in Trinity-Spadina are its constituents. They burst out in hysterics when Sam said that he believes in equality of opportunity, not equality of result; and again at every mention of personal responsibility. When a woman got up to point out that she is both a mother and a grandmother (that's right folks, a double hero) and she was pleased to see that there was a least one female candidate on the stage, the crowd went wild! We are so progressive. It's 2006 and we believe women should run for higher office! You know, women are so peaceful and bring such a unique perspective to government.

And then there was the most telling moment of the evening: a woman got up and asked about Canada's trade relationship with China and issues of human rights. The Marxist-Leninist candidate smiled and pointed out that he wasn't really able to answer the question as it was loaded with anti-communist bias. Oh, the crowd did laugh and applaud! Hee! China's human rights abuses are a laugh riot!

There'll be another round at Hart House next week. Anybody up for it?

Local Candidates: Same uninspired topics, less charisma

Tonight the Trinity-Spadina candidates will duke it out at the Miles Nadal JCC. If past events are anything to go by, Liv will continue her strategy of trying to put everyone into a deep sleep so that all but her hard core supporters will miss the vote; Tony Ianno will yell at us and tell us what his constituents think (apparently he's already put on quite the show this week); the Conservative candidate will impress me with the fact that he is a fiscally conservative, socially progressive, urban type and depress me because I still can't vote for him; the Green candidate will be a 19 year old student there to remind everyone why the party will never break through nationally.

Can you feel the excitement?!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Who won?

The debate now becomes about who won tonight. But of course, the real issue should be that we all lost. Seriously, agriculture trumps Canada's place in the world? Is there any hope for us?

I hope there will be five topics in tonight's four part debate

So we're going to have a federal election and not discuss defense or foreign policy? (I take it we're officially done with the idea of peacekeeping as national identity).

Instead, this entire debate seems to be about which of the candidates for Prime Minister can scream the loudest that they were born in Quebec. Gentlemen, let me see your birth certificates!

They grow the food we eat! God bless the humble farmer!

Also, the Gap makes the clothes I wear. Without them, I would freeze in the winter. Therefore, should not the government be supporting clothing retailers in Canada? Paul, Stephen, Jack, answer me this: do you really want Canadians to freeze to death? For shame!

What the hell is a working family?

It makes me ill. I'm not sure who it was that ran the survey that proved that the term "taxpayer" doesn't go over as well as "working family", but it needs to stop. Are there a lot of children going to work with mum and dad? "Families" don't work (that's not social commentary, just a statement of fact). Individuals work. Is there anybody running for office in this country who remembers the term?

I was so hoping that question was going to go in a different direction

Did anyone else hope that Steve Paikin was going to ask the party leaders about their views on swinging when he mentioned the recent Supreme Court decision in raising the issue of values?

I think a bit of wife swapping would go a long way toward healing the rifts between the leaders. And, of course, everyone would get to have a go at Belinda (in keeping with her flexible political values).

Gilles, will you marry me?

The separatist leader just pointed out that Paul Martin is "a living democratic deficit".

This is why we let him debate!

People must be held accountable for their actions

King Paul wants you to know that he believes in transparent government and if people do wrong, they must be held accountable. By the way, has he told you about his proposed amendment to the constitution that would mean all of his strongly held opinions should not apply to the Finance Minister?

New rule: take a drink every time Paul Martin says "I would set up a commission"

Like Communism, it works on paper

In response to a question posed to him by Jack Layon, Paul Martin pointed out that of course he believes in ministerial responsibility. You know, it's just very hard to put into practice.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bitter Lemon: The Most Trusted Name in News

CNN is running a Reuters story that the Serbian government is going to stop paying war criminal Ratko Mladic his military pension.

Authorities said the pension had been suspended because of unspecified illegalities, but the fact that Mladic received the cash will be seized on by critics of the government as evidence that the general had high level protection in the military and there is little real will to turn him in.
I'm glad to hear that he won't be eligible for his pension anymore ("unspecified illegalities" would those be something other than the genocide and the war crimes?). You would have thought that government critics would have seized upon this information 13 months ago, when it first made news.
Although indicted in 1995, Mladic lived more or less openly in Belgrade until former strongman Slobodan Milosevic was ousted then extradited to The Hague in mid-2001, when the general went underground....Serbia has repeatedly insisted it does not know where Mladic is hiding and vowed that it is doing all it can to deliver him to justice, including freezing his assets.
The international media are playing Serbia's game in all of this, because they report the Serbian governments claims, rather than the actual facts. When they say that he went 'underground' in 2001, what they actually mean is all the way underground to Belgrade, where he attended a ceremony commemorating the Bosnian wars last summer.

I know ten years is a really long time in the age of 24 hour news, but could we at least pretend show a little bit of respect for the people that he massacred? How hard is it for major media outlets to fact check when a genocidal killer was last seen at a public event?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

More unbiased reportage from our state run media outlet

Because Paul Martin has failed to do his job, the CBC would like to remind you that Stephen 'Handmaid's Tale' Harper has a hidden agenda. Social conservatives in Alberta are happy to keep social issues off the table for the moment, but once SHTH is elected, watch out! Content that he will never have to run for re-election, Stephen Harper will outlaw abortion, ban gay marriage, and kill all the injuns.

The CBC is just reporting the facts. You do what you want with that information.

Why is Paul Martin campaigning for Stephen Harper?

Paul Martin is selling me on a vision for Canada. Granted, it's his vision of Stephen Harper's vision for Canada, but it sounds really good. In Paul Martin's version of Stephen Harper's Canada, people would be expected to fend for themselves. A nation of well-educated, middle class people being asked to take responsibility for their own lives. This is the fear-mongering and negative campaigning I was promised in the New Year? Come on Paul, at least tell us he's going to force women to reproduce against their will.

And what is Paul Martin promising us? That a certain new issue-that-will- not-be-named is going to become as important a part of our national identity as the original issue-that-will-not-be-named. With no debate or discussion, everyone in this country seems to have bought into the idea that this new issue is one that only the federal government can solve. Why? Because the Liberals told us it is. Proving that not only can Canadians not be expected to fend for themselves, but they seem incapable of thinking for themselves also. Thank god we have King Paul!