Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Simpsons are going to Gaza!

The Simpsons were enjoying their vacation in Gaza when the Israeli Defense Force decided to impose a total blockade of Gaza.

The people of Gaza were unable to get out.

Secret tunnels from Egypt were being built.

The people of Gaza were becoming destitute.

Finally, the Gazans got mad and started taking action.

When will this ever end? To be continued.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We love the Leader

"We are Conservative Movementarians. We love the Leader, Harper. He will lead us to Blisstonia."

Monday, December 22, 2008

Duff Man gets appointed to the Senate

I did have high hopes. I only wished it had been this guy:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Perfect showcase bid on the Price is Right...

...and the host, Drew Carey, goes mild.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Toronto Star editorial: Don't reform the Senate

The Toronto Star has an editorial explaining why the Senate should not be elected by Canadians.

This is a very bad idea. Electing the Senate would give it legitimacy. Empowered by the voters, senators would not hesitate to block legislation and even budget bills initiated by the government of the day in the "lower house" (the Commons). Legislative gridlock could ensue.
If Canadians wish to continue having a Senate, I would like to suggest that Canada's Senate should be elected by the voters. Personally, I believe that I am smart enough to make a choice when voting for one or more senators. I do have two university degrees, a community college diploma, and certificate. I earned all of these legally. I didn't pay anyone to make fake or forged credentials. I believe that we Canadian voters are smart enough to decide who our senators should be. We deserve to be enfranchised.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

OPSBA, ETFO, and O Canada

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) offer to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) looks very generous in terms of preparation time. However, what the OPSBA giveth with one hand, it taketh away in the other. It is offering teachers an extra 50 minutes of prep. time every week. However, teachers will be require to be in the classroom supervising students an extra 20 minutes per day or 100 minutes per week. For the teachers, that is a loss of 50 minutes of time per week.

If teachers are required to be in the classroom 15 minutes before class instruction starts in the morning and 5 minutes before afternoon instruction, I'm guessing that the OPSBA wants to put student outwear removal (jackets, boots, etc.), O Canada, and announcements before the formal instructional day. Currently, the school bell rings. Students take off their jackets, stand for O Canada, and listen to the announcements. This whole procedure takes about ten to 15 minutes which takes away from instructional and learning time. The same thing happens in the afternoon for about five minutes, but without O Canada and the announcements. In the morning, instead of students waiting for the bell to ring before they enter the school, they will be invited to come in fifteen minutes before formal instruction starts. T minus five or ten minutes, O Canada and the announcments will occur. Formal instruction will start soon after. The boards gain student instructional time without the financial costs. The 12% pay increase that the boards had offered looked like a bonanza for the teachers. However, with 50 minutes per week extra that teachers need to be with the students, the pay increase seems less substantial.

Another benefit for the boards is that teachers can be moved from early morning to lunchtime supervision. This means that the boards do not have to hire as many lunchtime assistants who come into the school for one hour per day and earn their $10.00. Ten dollars does not seem like much. However, multiply that my thousands of lunch assistants by 190 to 198 days, that is a lot of money saved.

Why would the English Catholic, French Catholic and public, and secondary teachers' unions agree to similar agreements offered by their school boards? Apparently, I have heard that they have clauses in their agreements that if another union gets a better agreement, then they will get the same. Essentially, ETFO is being the surrogate union for all non-public elementary teachers. ETFO will get all the blame if anything goes bad while the all the other teachers' unions and their teachers will get the rewards. I would rather see public elementary teachers work under their existing but expired contract rather than work under the OPSBA's proposal.

Via Toronto Star: the OPBSA proposal to ETFO:

[Section]10. The Parties agree that preparation time for a full-time teacher currently eligible for preparation time shall be increased as follows:

September 1, 2008 200 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
September 1, 2009 210 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
September 1, 2010 220 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
September 1, 2011 230 minutes per cycle of five instructional days
August 31, 2012 250 minutes per cycle of five instructional days

[In section 14.]

As required under Regulation 298, unless otherwise assigned by the Principal, teachers shall be in their classroom or other location where their students congregate for purposes of instruction 15 minutes before the beginning of morning classes and 5 minutes before the beginning of afternoon classes. During this time the teacher shall be engaged in teacher-related duties and shall be readily accessible to students. This time shall not count as scheduled supervision time for the purposes of calculating the 80-minute cap."

Your Harper Senate appointment predictions

Apparently, Stephen Harper may go to the Governor-General and ask her to appoint 18 people to the Senate. Who do you think will be on Harper's list? Make your predictions. I'm starting off with David Emmerson, Michael Fortier, Mike Duffy, Craig Oliver, and the Wrath of Khan. I'll also add Lorna Dueck who sometimes writes a guest column for the Globe and Mail and is against abortion. If not her, Harper may choose a couple of other right-wing Christians to please some of his supporters.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ottawa Citizen: Time for forming coalition has passed, lawyer argues

What? The Governor-General only gets one chance to choose a government?

Glen McGregor, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008

The lawyer who crafted a proposal for the Canadian Alliance and Bloc Québécois to work together in Parliament in 2000 said the Governor General would break constitutional convention if she allowed a Liberal-NDP coalition supported by the Bloc to replace the Harper government. The argument by Gerry Chipeur foreshadows a possible response from the Tories should the government fall after a confidence vote on its budget in January.

It also suggests that Conservatives may not readily accept a decision from Governor General Michaëlle Jean should she ask the coalition to govern and refuse Mr. Harper's request for an election.


The Alberta lawyer says his proposal had to be prepared because the only time the Governor General can choose a government comes after an election. She should not consider a proposal made after a government falls, as the Liberal-NDP coalition apparently intends to make, he said.

"It doesn't work in constitutional theory and convention because they are coming to the Governor General at the wrong time," he said.

"The only time the Governor General can look at one of these kinds of coalition agreements is when she is considering who she will appoint to make decisions for the country. The only time she can do this is immediately after the return of the writs."

Read more.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is Canada a democracy or dictatorship? Vote now.

Look to the right side of your my blog and take the poll which asks this question:
Is Canada a democracy or dictatorship?

  • Democracy
  • Dictatorship
Vote now. You may vote until January 26, 2009, 11:59 p.m.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Harper complains that Canadian flags were on the sides

When Stephen Harper answered a question from Ralph Goodale during Question Period, he complained that the Canadian flags were placed on the sides. He is correct. However, there are etiquette rules when displaying the Canadian flag with provincial and territorial flags.

Here is a photo from Maclean's of the three opposition leaders at their accord signing with the flags displayed behind them. Sorry, it is the best photo I could find.

With flags of the Canadian provinces and territories

When provincial and territorial flags are flown with the National Flag of Canada, the order is based on the date of entry into Confederation of the provinces followed by the territories. In a grouping of flags that includes the National Flag of Canada and all of the flags of the provinces and territories, the order of precedence is:

1. National Flag of Canada
2. Ontario (1867)
3. Quebec (1867)
4. Nova Scotia (1867)
5. New Brunswick (1867)
6. Manitoba (1870)
7. British Columbia (1871)
8. Prince Edward Island (1873)
9. Saskatchewan (1905)
10. Alberta (1905)
11. Newfoundland (1949)
12. Northwest Territories (1870)
13. Yukon (1898)
14. Nunavut (1999)

When there are more than three flagpoles/masts, the National Flag of Canada should be flown on the left of the observer facing the flags, followed by the flags of the provinces and territories. An additional National Flag of Canada may be displayed at the end of the line if desired.

Display along a wall :

The National Flag of Canada is supposed to be displayed at the front and end (left and right #1's from our view).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Conservative Television Network (CTV) in cahoots with a former separatist MP

I just watched the end of Mike Duffy Live on the Conservative Television Network (CTV). His last guests were Greg Weston of the Toronto Sun/Sun Media, Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail, and Jean Lapierre who was once a Member of Parliament for the separatist Bloc Québécois. I can't believe it! The Conservative Television Network associates itself with a former MP was belonged to a separatist party. C'est terrible!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Damn Separatists!

Conservatives who are against a potential Liberal-NDP-Bloc coalition should not complain about "Separatists" getting into power. When they attack the separatists, they are attacking Quebeckers. The probability is high that most voting-age Quebeckers have voted at least once for the Bloc Québécois or the Quebec provincial Parti Québécois. They should not complain to Goveror-General Michaëlle Jean because she has a lot of friends in Quebec who have voted for those two parties at least once.

To potential western separatists who may complain that they'll get ignored because westerners elected mostly Conservative candidates: That is true. However, only 44.4% of British Columbians and 48.8% of Manitobans voted Conservative. A minority of voters in both those provinces voted for Harper's party. Heck, I complain that Harper remains Canada's prime minister without the Conservatives winning one seat in Toronto. Yet, I don't ask that Toronto separate from Canada. You may want it, but it won't happen.

Harper is too arrogant to lead Canada. The opposition parties need to force him out sooner than later by forming a governing coalition.

Proroguies for Harper

I'm guessing that Harper will ask the GG to prorogue Parliament until the middle of January which she will consent. With Harper wanting to bring in the budget at the end of January, he can state that if the opposition MPs vote non-confidence in the Conservative government the implementation of budget will be delayed. If the economy is so urgent, why would the opposition members try to delay the Conservative budget just so they can put their own budget through at a later date?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Grumpy Voter both a Progressive Blogger and Blogging Tory at the same time

I read through some of Grumpy Voter's blog posts. I cannot find anything progressive about what he writes. I have no problem with someone being both a Blogging Tory and Progressive Blogger at the same time. I would like to see something resembling progressive thinking when one writes under the Progressive Bloggers' label.

My $1.95 worth

Of the two major Liberal leadership candidates, Jim Flaherty's proposal to eliminate the $1.95 per vote subsidy for the political parties will help Michael Ignatieff and hurt Bob Rae. Ignatieff, the centre candidate will be able to express disappointment in Flaherty's proposal, yet vote for Flaherty's Conservative budget. He'll also be able to say to his supporters that if elected prime minister, he will bring back the subsidy. Also, as the candidate of the centre, he will be better likely than Rae to solicit donations for the Liberal Party directly or indirectly from the business community. Rae, being further to the left, will have a harder time reaching out to the business community. Also, he probably won't get the support from people who currently vote for the NDP.

I think Michael Ignatieff will win the leadership of the Liberal Party on the first ballot. My advice for him is to start running against Stephen Harper now instead of in May.


Recommended Blogging Tory post for today: The View from the Right: Conservatives Wrong to Cut Party Funding.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dang nabbit! I wasn't nominated!

OK, so I am ticked off. Just kidding. I'm pleased to see a lot of quality bloggers nominated in different categories for the Canadian Blog Awards.

If people are disappointed about some of the categories listed or not listed, then they should contact those who are running the competition to see if some of the categories should be changed or added for next year. I do hope that everyone will take this competition seriously, but with a good spirit in mind.

I have voted in most of the categories. If I did not vote in some of the categories, it was because I do not have enough knowledged about some of the particular blogsites. One quick look through the links doesn't make me qualified to judge some of blogs.

Except for the Best Pundit/Professional Commentator Blog, I did not vote for people who make their living in journalism or are common guest panelists on news programs.

I did vote for blogs across the political spectrum--left, centre, and right--in different categories. I do like to vote for good quality blogs, not just those whose bloggers share the same views as I.

I voted for blogs that added something new to the intellectual discussion in the Canadian blogosphere. I voted for blogs that could be critical of others and their own thinking while not resorting to name-calling. I voted for those that could invite discussion through their comments section. I know that some people moderate their comment boards and that is fine so long as they are not deleting comments that disagree with their own viewpoints. Spam and derogatory comments are fine to delete; other viewpoints need to be heard.

I didn't focus much attention on the layout of the blogs other than to decide if they are easy to navigate. I don't expect bells and whistles. I just want the basic text, pictures, and videos.

Anyway, I didn't get nominated this year. Vote for me for the best blog with a pink background next year.

All the best to everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Intending to run for the Liberal leadership

No, I am not intending to run for the Liberal leadership. I am suggesting that the three Liberal leadership candidates--Ignatieff, Rae, and LeBlanc--will not formally register as leadership candidates until just before the deadline. This way, the candidates can keep all fundraising money for themselves rather than give a portion to the Liberal Party. Since, they are not officially candidates, one can assume that people are donating money to ordinary MPs. Only the money that these candidates raise after their registration will they have to give a portion to the Liberal Party.

The big mistake made over the weekend by the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) was to give vetoes to non-registered candidates on allowing media access to a meeting. That decision should have been made by the executive alone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Agents Skinny and Dipper are toxic

"Health Canada is in the process of issuing a recall for this toy bought at a Pearson airport gift shop, after tests for the Star found lead in its belt. " (Parent Central/Toronto Star)

According to the Toronto Star, a collegue of Agents Skinny and Dipper, Constable None-of-it from Iqaluit, Nunavut was found to be toxic. He had lead in his belt. That means Agents Skinny and Dipper, who wear the same type of belt, also have lead.

Now I know why drivers on the road look at me strangely. They just see some "sick guy" licking Agents Skinny and Dipper's belts while driving. Hey! At least I don't text-message while driving.

I did buy Skinny and Dipper at an international slave trade market for stuffed animals at a tourist outlet in Niagara Falls two summers ago. I don't know if I want to return them. They'll be deported back to Moldova after being lured to come to Canada to become casino hosts. Their real names are Scinei and Dipercescu.

Anyway, here is a repeat of Agents Skinny and Dipper waiting for Stephen Harper to come to Toronto during the election campaign.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Brampton West almost equals six-and-a-half Labradors

What would the federal election results have been had the winning party in each riding received a weighted share of the ridings based on the population of each riding compared to the national average? For example, the winning party would have received 0.257 seats for winning Labrador--the least populated riding in Canada. In Brampton West, Ontario, the winning party would have received 1.660 seats. Brampton West is the most populated riding.

The actual results for each party were as follows:

Conservative: 143 seats
Liberal: 76
Bloc Québécois: 50
NDP: 37
Independents: 2

Total: 308

The weighted results for each party would be as follows:

Conservative: 146.015 seats
Liberal: 75.861
Bloc Québécois: 49.025
NDP: 35.331
Independents: 1.767
Total: 308

Please note that there are no seats for the Green Party as these results are based on the redistribution of seats based on the population of each riding, not on the percentage share of the votes.

I do notice a few things:

Based on population, one could fit almost six-and-a-half Labradors into Brampton West. Labrador is not protected by a section in any of Canada's Constitution Acts. It is also not a stand-alone province or territory.
There is very little difference between the actual and weighted seat distribution amongst the parties.

If the Conservative government were nicer to Ontario by giving the province more seats, the Conservatives could get more seats--maybe even one in Toronto.

Within Ontario, there are huge disparities in riding populations such as between Kenora and Brampton West. Even with a 106 riding distribution, the Conservatives are at a slight disadvantage under the current distribution of seats.

I could write about reducing the riding disparities between and within each province. However, I prefer that Canadians could vote through some form of proportional representation. The existing antiquated First-Past-the-Post voting system doesn't work for me.

If you would like an Excel copy, please email me. The images are broken up so that you can view them.

Update: For information on my Senate reform proposals, see the following links:

Monday, October 20, 2008

U.S. presidential and V.P. candidates are Simpsonized

Here are the U.S. presidential and V.P. candidates Simpsonized:

Barack Obama: Students see this kool teacher coming into the classroom. Will the teacher turn into a son-of-a-bitch once the students start misbehaving?

John McCain: He can get krusty at times.

Joe Biden: Going fishing unless Barack gets into trouble. Remember to bring the cell phone. Unfortunately, it won't work on No Response Lake. Let's hope the fishing is good.

Sarah Palin: She's getting ready in case she needs to run the whole dang thing. I think she needs to get Hyderized.

Abbotsford Pride Parade?

Slap Upside the Head has a blogpost about high school students wanting to have a Pride parade in Abbotsford, British Columbia because their local school board decided to turf a social justice course over gay content. They are getting opposition from some of the locals.

Personally, I would recommend a snake parade--No, not with real snakes. Participants can start at a public park, then link hands and arms as they snake their way throughout Abbotsford.

Here's some inspirational thoughts:

H/T: Slap Upside the Head

Toronto Sun: Voting rules fail us (Bryn Weese)

It seems strange that columnists for the conservative Toronto Sun can support proportional representation while editors at the liberal Toronto Star feel the need to support the existing antiquated voting system.

Here's a column by the Toronto Sun's Bryn Weese with highlights below:

Electing governments in Canada with the antiquated first-past-the-post system is akin to pulling names out of a hat.

The distribution of seats in the House of Commons is completely arbitrary, and has nothing to do with what Canadians actually voted for. It never does.

Is it any wonder that only half of eligible voters in Canada can be bothered to cast ballots? Most of their votes (unless they're cast for the winner) are worthless and huge scores of Canadians are robbed of representation.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Toronto Star--PR: Still a bad idea

I wonder if Ian Urquhart wrote this:


...In all likelihood, if Canada had a system of proportional representation, the outcome would be very different, given the demographical and geographical diversity of the country. The pro-life Christian Heritage Party, for example, might win enough votes to get seats. And new parties might emerge to win seats – say, an Alberta First party or even ethnic parties.

So Harper might be kept in power by entering a coalition with pro-life and Alberta First parties. Now that, indeed, is a scary prospect.

Update: Toronto Sun: I want a system where my vote counts (Rachel Sa)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Could a reformed House of Commons and Senate work together? Revised

I am reposting this blog with a clickable link of my graph on the left side.
Last March, I posted a proposal to reform the House of Commons and Senate in Canada. My proposal would have a House of Commons with 330 seats apportioned by population of each province and territory and a Senate with 100 seats apportioned by the square-roots of the provincial and territorial populations. Half of the senators would be elected every three years.

Below is the distribution of seats for each party by province and territory in both the House of Commons and Senate. For the Senate I used both the 2006 and 2008 election results to represent a rolling Senate with half of the Senators being elected every three years.

If you cannot click on the image to get the results, here are the highlights:

House of Commons seats by proportional representation:

Conservative: 130
Liberal: 88
NDP: 61
Bloc Québécois: 31
Green: 20

Total: 330
Majority: 166

Senate Seats:

Conservative: 43
Liberal: 29
NDP: 21
Bloc Québécois: 7
Green: 0

Total: 100
Majority: 51

The Conservatives would be able to form a coalition with either the Liberals or NDP. They would be able to pass bills in both the House of Commons and Senate. There would be little or no Senate paralysis that some nay-sayers of Senate reform might indicate. The only difference in the Senate is that there might be a more regional examination of some issues by the Senators in their committees.

I would like to note that the Green Party would have a difficult time getting seats in the Senate because the Senate is a smaller chamber than the House of Commons. Also, if elections for Senate seats were decided provincially/territorially rather than nationally, and if half of Senators were elected, the Green Party would need to achieve about 20 percent of the vote in a province to get a Green candidate elected to the Senate. Unfortunately, an elected Senate with Senators elected by some form of proportional representation would not be kind to parties that receive a very small number of votes. I would still consider the Green Party to be a micro-party. As a consolation prize, the Greens would have 20 out of 330 MPs in the House of Commons under my proposal.

Some of you may prefer a Triple-E Senate or some other distribution model. Others may want the Senate abolished. I just wish to point to you reading this blog-post that it is possible to have an elected Senate to coincide with an elected House of Commons that can function well with each other. The Senate will not paralyze the work of the House of Commons.

Let's reform both the House of Commons and Senate.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Canadian Comments: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How is everyone's Tuesday? Feel free to leave your comments. Please do not post anything illegal because it will take me a while to get rid of the nasty comments. I have to go buy gas because the price might go up.

Winner: Senator Michael Fortier!

I predict that Michael Fortier will not win his seat in the House of Commons. I do predict that Stephen Harper, if he is the prime minister again, will ask the governor-general to re-appoint Fortier to the Senate again.

Any predictions on which candidate will cross the floor this time?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Canadian Comments: Monday

Tomorrow early evening, I will be making a brief comment about Canadian politics. Then, I might go do my laundry. I won't get a chance to moderate my open comment board. Therefore, if you live in St. John's or Halifax and you wish to comment about something political or about your Thanksgiving weekend so that the people of Vancouver and Calgary may read your comments, you may do so on my sight. When I finish my laundry later in the evening, I will probably delete all the comments because some of youse in Antigonish, Nova Scotia may try to sell sex pills to Canadians living in Beaver Creek, Yukon.

As I mentioned, I will probably be checking my comment board after I finish my laundry (if I do it). Feel free to comment about Canada.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How I will vote

From the beginning of the campaign until now, my party preference has not changed. It doesn't mean that in the future that my vote will never change. On the contrary, I may choose any of the parties including the Conservative Party in the next election.

Here is my analysis of the political parties during this election:

Conservative Party:

Stephen Harper is a leader who is determined to do things his way. He has been lucky that the economy has been good up until a few weeks ago. The US mortgage lending crisis has affected other countries including Canada. Harper's failing is that he seems to not trust his own cabinet minsters and Conservative members of parliament. If he cannot trust them, then he will not trust Canadians. Why should Canadians like myself trust his Conservative Party with my vote? The thing I find worse than one party rule is one man rule. I don't trust Harper to dictate his demands over the beliefs and wishes of the citizens of Canada.

Liberal Party:

Whether or not Stéphane Dion's Green Shift/Carbon Tax plan is good, that was his main plank at the beginning of the campaign. I have a rule that I do not vote for one issue parties. The environment may be an important issue. However, there are other issues that matter to Canadians. It was only after the debates that the Liberals started to talk about other issues. I want to vote for a party that can deal with a multitude of issues. Dion and his Liberals failed to do that in the beginning of the campaign.

The NDP:

I liked how Jack Layton told Canadians that he wanted to be the next prime minister. It doesn't mean that he will this time. It does mean that he and his party are becoming serious about governing in the future. No longer can the NDP afford to be just a protest party as there are other parties such as the Greens and the Bloc Québécois which can fulfill the protest role. While keeping an eye on those who are less fortunate, the NDP will need to reach middle class voters who may have never voted NDP previously. In Canada's changing economic environment, the NDP's traditional union support base can no longer be assured. Also some union leaders such as Buzz Hargrove have given their support to other parties. On policy issues, I will say that the NDP campaign platform is reasonable and workable for the future of Canada's changing economic environment.

The Green Party:

Elizabeth May is a feisty leader. She has advanced Canadians' interests in her party. The Greens have an environmental campaign platform similar to Stéphane Dion's Liberal Party's platform. She supports the carbon tax shift. I do have a couple of concerns. One is that the Green Party is still a one-issue party. Yes, it does have stances on other issues. Nevertheless, it has supported the environment above all other issues to the point of leaving those issues aside except of campaign websites. Also, the Greens have no desire to govern yet. I want to vote for a party that is willing and able to govern.

To no surprise, I will be supporting the NDP with my vote. While I definitely won't be voting for the Conservatives, the Liberals and Greens have not earned my vote. The NDP has. Maybe next time I will support another party. This time, it will be the NDP.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Canada's leaders Simpsonized

Have a good look at the leaders around the country. You can probably guess who they are.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thomas Walkom: Vladimir Ilyich Harper (Toronto Star)

Toronto Star's Thomas Walkom writes about how he sees Stephen Harper's views on democratic decision making in Canada.

Nor is he particularly democratic. Harper's main complaint about his old Reform party was that it gave grassroots members too much authority.

Rather, he is a democratic centralist in the Bolshevik sense. Like Lenin, he feels that the leader, once chosen, has the right to dictate. He has little time for his own cabinet and less for the media, most of which he has cowed into submission.

The fact that during this campaign he has appeared at no events open to the general public is indicative. Harper sees a leader's role as speaking to people rather than hearing from them. Unlike most politicians, he takes no joy in meeting strangers.

We Canadians need to ask if we should trust Harper as prime minister if he won't even listen to us and cannot trust us Canadians to help shape our society.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why Stéphane Dion is like Big Ethel

When I was a little kid reading Archie Comics, I read a story about Archie and his male friends judging a female beauty contest. There were five judges: Archie, Reggie, Moose, and two other guys. There were six contestants: Betty, Veronica, Midge, two other women, and homely Big Ethel. The five judges were told by their girlfriends to vote for them. Archie had to vote for Betty, Reggie for Veronica, Moose for Midge, and the other two guys had to vote for their girl friends. Each judge had to give two points to their favourite beauty contestant; one point for their second choice. Each judge gave his girlfriend two points and strategically voted for the not-so-pretty Big Ethel as second choice with one point from each. All the beauty contestants received two points except for Big Ethel who received five.

Stéphane Dion reminds me of Big Ethel because he was the Liberal Party's second choice candidate who won in the end. He won because he wasn't Bob Rae or Michael Ignatieff.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thornhill Village Festival

I'll be frolicking around the Thornhill Village Festival today just north of Toronto. I'll probably see a re-enactment of a War of 1812 redcoats vs. bluecoats battle. I'm not sure if a battle actually occured in Thornhill. I wonder if I will see Liberal Susan Kadis and Conservative Peter Kent battling each other for voters today. I saw Kent last year. Kadis might have been there but I didn't notice.

The riding of Thornhill will be a two-way battle between Kadis and Kent.

Canada is not a police state

Who gives the police the right to tell reporters that they, the reporters, may not speak to protesters? I watched a CTV news segment on Conservative leader Stephen Harper's campaign bus stopping in Montreal. At first, reporters were not allowed off the bus. Then, they were apparently told by the police that they needed to talk to the Prime Minister's Office if they could talk to the protesters (which didn't happen).

Canada is not a police state. The police who are with Stephen Harper are there to protect his safety, not to protect his photo-op and soundbite. If this is the Canada that Stephen Harper wants, a police state, then I don't want to be a part of it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A one-man government is a dictator

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper ran a highly centralized government where even his cabinet ministers and Conservative members of parliament had practically no say in the legislative affairs of Canada. At least there was some sort of checks-and-balance from the opposition parties much of the time (not including the Liberal abstentions). If Canadians vote for Harper's Conservatives and if the Conservatives receive a majority of the seats, expect Harper to run a one-man government. A one-man government is not democratic; a one-man government is a dictator. Dictators do not trust cabinet ministers or parliamentarians, nor do they trust the citizens. Harper won't empower his cabinet minsters or MPs to think creatively. He does not trust them. Harper won't trust the Canadian citizens. If elected with a majority of Conservative MPs, Harper will be a dictator.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Did you hear the joke about the 17 dead soldiers?

Aaron Wherry comments in his Maclean's blog about whether or not Gerry Ritz would still be the Agriculture Minister if he had made a joke about 17 people dying in a different situation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stéphane Dion's Liberals are flying high!

Thanks to some ingenuity, the Liberals are flying again.

YouTube for more information.

Agents Skinny and Dipper wait for Harper--link

I have noticed lately that some of my posts are not even making it to the right hand column on Progressive Bloggers. I'm guessing that some computer insect doesn't like my blogsite. I'll have to get some industrial strength enviro-harming insecticide and spray my computer.

Here's a link to my video of Agents Skinny and Dipper waiting to take Conservative leader Stephen Harper to meet the good people of Toronto.

Warren Kinsella posted a repeat episode of waiting for the Liberal plane in Toronto.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Agents Skinny and Dipper wait for Harper

Agent Skinny Moose and Agent Dipper Beaver wait by their vehicle to take Conservative leader Stephen Harper to meet the people of Toronto. Sorry for the lack of editing. I just got a new movie editing program. Also, sorry for the not so great dialogue.

Withdrawing from Facebook on September 26, 2008 unless the old Facebook returns

I will be withdrawing my name from Facebook on September 26, 2008 if the old Facebook doesn't return. The new Facebook sucks!

Coyne: The Harper leadership cult

Andrew Coyne writes in Maclean's about the Stephen Harper's leadership style. He mentions that Harper is more or less a one-man cabinet who bullies people within his own party, his opponents, and bureaucrats. I strongly recommend that you read his column and make comments on his Maclean's blog.

I liked the following quote that TVO’s “The Agenda” displayed on screen:

“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”–Bill Gates.

Being a boss where someone tells other people what to do is not the same as being a leader. Leadership requires someone to trust the people who work with him, to let them make important decisions. I don’t see Harper trusting his cabinet, fellow MPs, and the Canadian people. If Harper cannot trust us Canadians, why should we trust Harper with the power of being prime minister? Canadians, including the other party leaders, need to challenge the cult of the bully Harper.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I support Harper's "Blue Sweater" Party!

Just for today, I am supporting Stephen Harper's Blue Sweater Party.

"I support Stephen Harper's BS!"

"I support the BS Party!"

"Canadians, support the BS!"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Photo of the week: Harper meets a family

Harper: "I hope you're not going to make me eat three-eyed fish."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Buy "Blame Canadians" on EMay

Parody of South Park's Blame Canada--led by Elizabeth May:

Blame Canadians

May: Our climate has changed
Canadians are getting worse
They won't support the environment
They just wanna fart and curse!
Harper: Should we blame big government?
Dion: Or p'lluting industry?
Layton and Duceppe: Or should we blame the climate on TV?

May: No, blame Canadians
Everyone: Stupid Canadians
May: With all their beady little eyes
And flapping heads so full of lies
Everyone: Blame Canadians
Stupid Canadians
May: We need to form a full assault
Everyone: It's Canadians fault!

Harper: Don't blame me
Or my friend, Georgie
He saw the Taliban
And we're in Afghanistan! (Blame the Liberals!)
Dion: And my dog, Kyoto
Had him neutered myself
But now when I see him, he bites me to fuckin' hell!

May: Well, blame Canadians
Everyone: Stupid Canadians
May: It seems that everything's gone wrong
Since Canadians came along
Everyone: Blame Canadians
Stupid Canadians
Duceppe: They're not even a real people anyway

Hilary Clinton: I could have been the prez., instead I'm stuck with Bill
Caught him with lipstick on his little Will'
Everyone: Should we blame Milošević?
Or that Lewinsky bitch?
Or Barack who says he's all for change!
May: heck no!

Everyone: Blame Canadians
Stupid Canadians
May: With all their hockey hullabaloo
Dion: And that idiot Cherry too

Everyone: Blame Canadians
Stupid Canadians
For...The coal we must stop
The trash we must bash
Recycling must be done
Canadians on the run
We must blame them and cause a fuss
Before somebody thinks of blaming uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuus!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Layton on TVO's The Agenda

Jack Layton appeared on TVO's The Agenda earlier in the evening. The show will repeat at 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Steve Paikin interviews Layton during the first 20 minutes of the program.

Layton, what are you offering me?

Now that Jack Layton has agreed to let Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, into the debates, he can go back to campaigning without the debate-issue distraction.

In my opinion, he had an excellent start in Gatineau across the river from Ottawa. He talked about Canada needing a new kind of strong leader. Everything was going great until the Conservatives got into some pufnstuf and Ms. May was causing mayhem about wanting to get into the debates. Everything Layton said after Gatineau got lost in the news.

Layton needs to define what a new kind of strong leader means for Canada to the point that Canadians will know what he means. He also needs to offer something to the voters that is substantial and personal. He can offer a cleaner environment. However, anyone can offer that. What is something I can sink my teeth into? When I look at Stephen Harper, he is offering a two cent gas decrease on the diesel excise tax for some Canadian workers. Aren't these the same people Jack is trying to reach? How about more money for public transit so that cities can put more and better buses and rapid transit on which people can ride and the remaining automobile drivers can move faster in the 'burbs? How about a tax break or credit on purchasing energy saving devices? For example, a cheaper solar panel or two on a home will help homeowners and the environment.

How will Layton's leadership style be different from Harper's autocratic bullying? What would an NDP government offer Canadian families that has "meat?" I don't want tofu. I'm a political meatitarian.

Layton is just a minor leader who should not be debating Harper

My title caught your attention.

I won't suggest that Layton and Harper should not be debating each other. I just wish to remind Layton that the NDP is still not in the top two positions. Those belong to the Conservatives and Liberals. Layton may wish to debate Harper. He will get a chance in the two debates. However, Harper may not really care about debating Layton. If Layton can shut May out of the debates, then a Conservative leader can do the same with an NDP leader in the future. Harper's target is Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion.

Because of Canada's far from perfect First-Past-the-Post voting system, Layton is just the leader of the fourth party. He's only one step above Elizabeth May and two steps below Harper. Layton is just a pip-squeak who doesn't deserve the attention in Harper's eyes.

Layton should rethink is position about May participating in the debates.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How about a flexible debate format?

May I suggest a debate format that could allow for some flexibility?

The first thing I would do is to determine eligibility of the parties. They would be able to send a representative (probably the party leader) if their parties either had at least 5% of the vote in the previous election or 5% of the House of Commons seats either at the start or end of Parliament. The Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, Bloc, and Greens would all be eligible to send a representative.

Each party's representative would be able to make a five minute opening statement.

Each party would take part in a question and answer session from the panel. There would be no debate between the representatives during this time.

Parties that agree to debate each other would be given five minutes to debate. For example, the Conservatives and Liberals may agree to have a two-way debate with each other. Therefore, a debating session would take place. However, Harper may not agree to debate Green Party leader, Elizabeth May. He may or may not agree to debate Duceppe during the English debate. Therefore, no debates would take place if there were no mutual agreement.

At the end, each party would be able to make a five minute closing statement.

If Harper, Duceppe, and Layton do not wish to debate May, they do not have to. It will be up to the voters to decide on their fate. They may either be rewarded or punished for their actions. At the same time, at least May would be able to make opening and closing statements, plus answer questions from the panelists.

I don't know if this solution would work, but it's a start.

Harper's "Not a Leader" making fun of bloggers

It seems that Harper's Conservative Not a Leader website is making fun of specific bloggers.

H/T Adam Wherry--Maclean's

Monday, September 8, 2008

Harper meets a family in Richmond BC

Harper: "I hope you're not going to make me eat three-eyed fish."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

NDP: a new kind of strong

The NDP has an example of the kind of advertisement that it will air on television. This one could be titled, A New Kind of Strong. It goes after Stephen Harper's supposed strength of being a strong leader and makes it into a weakness.

Seat prediction

Here's my seat prediction on September 6:

Conservative: 133
Liberal: 65
NDP: 84
Bloc: 26
Green: 0
Other: 0

Total: 308

CBC radio-The House: undecided voter from Niagara?

If anyone in the Pacific or Mountain time zones can listen to CBC Radio's The House, please get the name of the undecided voter from Niagara. I would like to know if he is really undecided. The show starts just after 9 a.m. local time. Anyone else can access CBC Radio through the internet.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Afghanistan: we do have a fixed exit date

As I read Richard Gwyn's column in the Toronto Star, he mentions the following:

"Afghanistan is our war also, and evermore costly in terms of our blood, but
we do have an exit date."

Yes, the NATO mission will end in 2011. Canada's mission will end in February 2009.

Let's be thankful to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper that Canada has a fixed exit date. He will surely respect it if the Conservatives form the government again after the election.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lowell vs. ETFO

Ottawa CFRA radio's Lowell Green is convinced that elementary teachers could be making an average of $90,000 plus tremendous benefits because he heard Dalton McGuinty mention this. He believes that teachers (through the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario) would be crazy not to accept McGuinty's offer of three percent for four years. Trust me. $90,000 would be on the upper end, not the average.

I make about $30,000 per year from occasional teaching. I'm lucky to be teaching almost every school day. September is usually a slow month. If teachers will be making on average $90,000 per year, I must be on the very left and low side of the bell curve. That means that there must be a regular teacher making $150,000 per year. I only wish I were making $90,000 per year. I wish I were making $60,000 per year.

I love hearing the callers who say, "Fire the teachers," if they do not accept McGuinty's contract. Good luck in trying to find qualified teachers with experience to replace all of us teachers. It takes many years of teaching to become a great teacher. It is probably true that every public school elementary teacher could be replaced--except for French teachers. However, would they be qualified teachers? Would they be dedicated? I can imagine half of them resigning in the middle of the year because may lack the support of the administration to help deal with unruly students.

"Let the private sector deal with schooling." I hear that also. No doubt, there are great schools like Upper Canada College, Bishop Strachan, Crescent School, and the Toronto French School. At the same time, there are fly-by operations that open shop one day, then close a year or two later because they are unable to manage their funds. Who would want to teach in the fly-by's? The quality of education would suffer for many students, especially those from poor families.

Get the facts straight, Lowell. A teacher's salary of $90,000 after four years will be on the high end of the salary scale, not the average. Don't mislead your listeners.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pink, pink, pink

A reminder that Thursday, September 11 will be Nova Scotia's (and Canada's) Anti-Bullying Day. Please wear pink to show your support against bullying. Get your schools and community involved.

Lately, I have noticed male TV news anchors, hosts, and guests wearing pink shirts and/or ties. Great fashion tastes!

Stop bullying!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin: Vikaren--the substitute (president)

Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, reminds me of the substitute teacher in the Danish movie, Vikaren (The Substitute). The substitute teacher in the movie can appear both nice and evil at the same time.

YouTube clips in Danish only:

Based on the YouTube clips, I hope to see Vikaren in Canada either at the theatre or on television. At the same time, I hope I won't see Sarah Palin as the vikar president. Excuse me if my Dansk ain't LEGOOD.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Islamists, er-r-r, Catholists find frog art blasphemous

Museum defies pope over crucified frog
By Philip Pullella
ROME (Reuters) - An Italian museum Thursday defied Pope Benedict and refused to remove a modern art sculpture portraying a crucified green frog holding a beer mug and an egg that the Vatican had condemned as blasphemous.
I'm all for frog speech everywhere!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My 2008 Canadian federal election seat prediction

Conservatives - 143 seats
Liberals - 68 seats
NDP - 41 seats
Bloc - 56 seats
Green - 0 seats
Other - 0 seats

I think the Conservatives will focus their campaign on families who live in rural and suburban Canada. They will also maintain their focus on western Canada. This will be a narrowcasting campaign where they will ignore half of the Canadian voters and spend their campaign resources on select voters. For example, the environment may be an important issue to many Canadian voters, but not to people voting Conservative. Income and sales taxes may be more important.

The Liberals may have a good environmental Green Shift tax plan. However, they will be spending much of their energy trying to explain it to voters rather than attack Conservative promises and past policies. A few voters may switch to the NDP and Greens. The Liberals may lose some seats to the Conservatives and NDP because of a loss of a few voters.

The NDP will have that confusing task of whom to attack: Harper or Dion. The NDP may gain a few seats, not because of great NDP campaigning, but because of poor campaigning by the Liberals.

The Bloc Québécois will maintain their seats in Quebec.

The Greens will gain votes from Liberals in safe Liberal urban ridings. However, these votes won't translate into seats for them. The Greens may even get more votes than either the NDP or Bloc. Unfortunately for the Greens, these votes won't become seats. The Green vote will still be spread through Canada.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Harper and the Governor-General: he and his cabinet could resign from her government

I just figured out that Prime Minister Stephen Harper can get around asking Michaelle Jean, Governor-General of Canada, to dissolve parliament before the so-called fixed election date. Harper can inform her that he and his cabinet will be resigning from her government. Theoretically, it will be up to her to decide if she should ask Stéphane Dion if his party can form a governing coalition with the NDP and Bloc Québécois. Or she can dissolve parliament and announce an election date. Informally, I think the governor-general will seek the advice of Stephen Harper and announce an election date of his choosing.

In essence, Harper will not be asking for an early election. He'll just be announcing that he and the cabinet will be resigning from the government.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Speedo Launches Sustainable Product Packaging," huh?

You gotta love this headline: Speedo Launches Sustainable Product Packaging. (G-rated website)

It sure beats Viagra!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

1968-1969: Two men in Prague remember the Russians. Why Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are against Russia

In the photo, one can see a small memorial on display in Wenceslas Square in Prague. This memorial is in honour of two men, Jan Palach and Jan Zajíc, who commited suicide in 1969 to oppose the Soviet (Russian) occupation and repression of their former Czechoslovakia. While this particular memorial is small, it is powerful enough to remind anyone why the peoples from Estonia to Georgia appreciate their hard earned freedom. They do not wish to lose their freedom under present or future Russian occupation and repression.

For further reading: Toronto Sun: The death of Prague Spring by Peter Worthington (August 21, 2008). The link is good for about one week.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is er iemand in Nederland weten deze mensen?

Google Translation from English:

Ik voel me vreemd te vragen of iemand kent die mensen uit Nederland. Ik ontmoette hen in Jabonec nad Nisou in de Tsjechische Republiek. Ik heb geprobeerd e-mail te sturen ze deze foto van vorig jaar, maar ik had geen geluk te versturen.

Does anyone in the Netherlands / Nederland know these people?

I feel strange asking if anyone knows these people from the Netherlands (Nederland). I met them in Jabonec nad Nisou in the Czech Republic. I tried emailing them this photo last year but I had no luck sending it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Re: Bouquets of Gray: more astroturfing for Christ (perhaps 37 or 36?)

Bouquets of Gray did some investigating on three Christian organizations that demand that Supreme Court Justice Beverley McLachlin be dismissed. Bouquets found that three of the organizations share the same address and phone number making one to conclude that all three one in the same:

Canada Christian College
Evangelical Association
Institute for Canadian Values.

Since Bouquets of Gray does not have the comment section activated, I will leave my short comment here:
  • That's what I call a holey trinity!


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Russia-Georgia War

It is highly unlikely that Georgia will win the current battle with Russia. However, Georgia has exposed Russia as an occupational force in Georgia's South Ossetia region. The Russians are not peacekeepers. They are occupiers that have not only attacked Georgian positions in South Ossetia, but Georgia outside South Ossetia.

Georgia can withdraw from South Ossetia and ask the United Nations for non-Russian international peacekeepers in South Ossetia.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Christie Blatchford G&M column: the iron hand behind the magic show

I read Christie Blatchford's column about the spectacle called the Beijing Olympics. I also read the general comments linked below Blatchford's column. Several people commented about the Americans occupying Iraq, how Iraqi society has been dragged down because of the American military presence. Others talk about Blatchford's racism against the Chinese which I couldn't infer from her column. She did make one very good point about China:
My friend was sick at heart by what he considered the fawning coverage of the
opening on the CBC. “China may have a lot of new Ronald McDonald statues and
wave a lot of hankies in unison,” he said, “but they still don't let their
people think, vote, talk. We don't know.

China could have the biggest and best democracy in the world. For those who say that now is not the time, just remember that women in Canada and the United States heard that phrase before when they wanted the right to vote.

There will come a time when the Chinese citizens get tired making household items for our dollar stores for slave wages. The Chinese standard of living will never rise to Western levels unless they be given the right to think freely and creatively, and get the right to vote.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Enjoy the Olympics

The Beijing Olympics are brought to you by

the other sponsors,
and the lucky number 8.

Let's celebrate the Olympics!