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!