Stephen Harper just made an uncharacteristic political blunder this week. Yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that as part of their upcoming economic program they were going cut public financing of political parties, ostensibly due to the economic woes currently smack-downing the planet. Even though it was clear to anybody with an IQ of a carrot that this was simply an attempt to financially undermine the opposition, Harper figured they didn’t have the cahones to call another election so soon after the previous one – just two months ago. Hell, that one was unpopular enough.
But it all went terribly, terribly wrong. The NDP, Liberals and Bloc Quebecois called the Conservative’s bluff and are now in discussions to form a coalition to depose the government. Nobody seems sure about what sort of structure this thing would take, but presumably Dion – the only leader with federal party pretensions – would take the helm in one form or other. Or perhaps Ignatieff or Rae would be permitted to step up on behalf of their party.
Harper, fearful of a no-confidence motion being passed today, managed to delay the sessions in which it could be registered. A few thoughts:
- First off: Haaha in your FACE, Harper!
- When even right-wing propagandist rags like the National Post place the blame for this on the Conservatives, you know they’ve overreached.
- Harper’s need to destroy his opponents has apparently undermined his judgement. Despite his overwhelming asshole-ness, he’s a political animal, and mistakes are few and far between.
- The Liberals have a duty to Canada to get their sodding act together, pick a new leader (NOW! Not next May!) and rally behind him/her – and on that score, they should pick Ignatieff. He’s a smart man, despite his leanings to the right. Plus he’s a leader, something which has been conspicuously absent from their party for some time. Inevitably I think he’ll drive the Liberals further to the right, but I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing: it’ll dilute the right-wing vote and drive the more reasonable of us to vote NDP.
So what to watch out for in the coming days?
- Will Harper stubbornly refuse to change his position?
- Will Harper finally, finally realize that it’s in everyone’s best interest to try to play well with others? Or will politics continue to trump the interests of the country?
- Will the other parties decide enough is enough and push ahead with the coalition?
- If the coalition goes ahead, with the Governor General allow it or call another election?
- Will someone, anyone, please, stick Stephen Harper’s head in a toilet and flush?
My personal theory is that in the coming days we’ll find out what Harper really planned to do the $30 million saved: he was going to build a giant spaceship, to be filled with all the Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs and fired directly into the heart of the sun. If Harper would be willing to include seats for himself and his party, I wholly advocate such use of my tax dollars.
An interesting article from Time Magazine:
It calls out McCain for his lack of integrity these last few campaign-saturated months. We’ve all come to expect a degree of disingenuousness from politicians – I’d argue that to some degree it’s part and parcel with being in politics in the first place – but recently McCain has stepped waaay out of bounds, so much so that Time, the New York Times and other news organizations are flatly calling labeling him a liar. You’d think this would be enough to sink his campaign, but not so.
How on earth has this become acceptable to Americans? What’s genuinely troubling is that truth and facts no longer seem to matter enough to decide the result of an election. American politics itself has become so undermined that it’s who puts on the better show; who captivates the voting public for long enough to cinch the votes. Say one thing and do the other? No problem. Dumb down the population enough into thinking in terms of blue and red and politics just becomes entertainment – content be damned. With few exceptions, every online news story with a positive or negative statement about one of the nominees is filled with comments by enraged Democrats and enraged Republicans. God it’s tiring.
Still, exciting times coming up! US Election, Canadian Federal Election, even a municipal election (from most to least exciting… I’m a lousy Canadian). I’m throwing a Election Barbeque/Booze-up for the first. I figure it’ll help dull the pain.
I swear the BC government is being run by monkeys.
They just sent every resident a $100 “Climate Action Dividend”. One may wonder what has this got to do with the environment? Good question: absolutely NOTHING. Accompanying the cheque is a short statement by Gordon Campbell saying it’ll make it easier for British Columbians to “choose a lower carbon lifestyle”, and a link to a very thin website outlining some suggestions on how to be green.
Personally, I’m going to take this $100 and fill up the gas tank of my hummer.
(I joke, of course: it would barely fill up a quarter of the tank).
Why on earth couldn’t they just characterize this as what it clearly is: an economic stimulus package? Are they afraid it would freak out the consumers, rushing from McDonalds to the mall? And why the need to falsely brand it in a green vein? I sure as hell hope this cash doesn’t come out of the total funds allocated for province-wide environmental pursuits. That would make me angry. And Gordon Campbell wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
But like everyone else, it’s kinda hard to complain when people hand you money for no reason. So I’ll just shutup and put it towards my student loans. But I will say this: if I ever see Mr. Campbell in the street, I’m gonna bitch-slap the man.
Some kindly soul has condensed the views of all the presidential candidates on a number of hot button issues into a single table for easy reference. So if you feel particularly strongly about something – like immigration reform or same sex marriage – and want to see how a particular politician sizes up so you can make a rush to judgment, look no further! Chris Dodd wants to ban assault weapons? Bloody hippy. He just lost MY vote.
The CIA website really is sodding fascinating. Statistics are always fun to read. Here’s a couple that stand out:
- Canada is ranked 16 out of 163 countries,
- US is ranked dead-last.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how these values are calculated… Naturally I’ve heard that the US was deeply in debt, but wow.
From the mailing list of our “New” government:
May 29, 2007
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement on the results of the election in Prince Edward Island:
“On May 28, 2007 the people of Prince Edward Island exercised their democratic right and elected Liberal leader Robert Ghiz to form their provincial government. I congratulate Premier-elect Ghiz on his successful campaign to lead the province. I look forward to working with him to address issues of importance for the people of Prince Edward Island and for all Canadians.”
Wow, can you tell Ghiz isn’t a Conservative? “exercised their democratic right“? Good grief! I’d be hard pressed to come up with a more bitter, reluctant congratulations. Nice job, Harper.
Like most people, I get overwhelmed by politics since just about everything is open for argument – everyone has their own view and who’s to say one view is better or worse than another? Without devoting the time to research the issues, you may as well throw your hands in the air and go play some Nintendo. Tack on the sheer mind-numbingness of today’s political discourse in the media and it’s a wonder anyone follows politics at all.
But the invasion of Iraq and its consequences is – and was – an absolute no-brainer. This didn’t require any political savvy whatsoever, just a modicum of common sense. Of course it’s resulted in more terrorism. Of course it’s resulted in more pain, suffering and death.
I slap my forehead in disgust.
Awesome. Ted Kennedy wigs out at the GOP for continually stalling the vote on increasing the minimum wage, by adding amendment after amendment.