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Some questions to ask David Maclean; Sask. Taxpayers Federation

David Maclean is on Saskatchewan’s CJME Radio tomorrow at 12:30 (Saskatchewan time) to ostensibly take questions on the newly announced Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights and the creation of a federal ombudsman. Normally, that would not be a reason to blog about – except for the fact that some better questions for people to be calling in to ask him about is whether he’s been anonymously using several different usernames to troll at progressive and left-wing blog sites, as Giant Political Mouse apparently has caught him doing.  I’d like to hear a confirmation or a denial from him on what seems to be good evidence that GPM has produced, and if it is him, I’d like to hear him justify some of the stuff he was saying and  posting anonymously about.

The Sens aren’t *Canada’s Team*; so say fans of other Canadian-based teams.

Another small break from political discourse to talk about the opening game of the Stanley Cup tonight: I see TSN found some obviously intelligent hockey fans out there who don’t buy into the “Support Ottawa because they’re representing Canada” malarkey I’ve been seeing going around:

“Anaheim has a lot of good Canadian stars. You got guys like Pronger, you got Giguere, and the Niedermayer brothers. So if you want to talk about Canada’s team, really, Anaheim’s it.”

This was a quote from a Leafs fan who makes the obvious point if the Leafs were in the Finals, Sens fans would be cheering for Anaheim “till the bitter end”. It […]

Conservatives stack another panel – this time the firearms advisory committee.

If you had any doubt as to this Conservative government’s attitude towards guns and gun control, this bit of news the Toronto Star has uncovered should dispel all remaining doubts. The Conservatives have stacked the firearms advisory committee with people who either are advocates of weaker gun control or who wish to kill the national firearms registry, and what’s more, unlike prior governments, they’ve done all these appointments in secret:

Its dozen members include a man who argued that more guns in the hands of students would have helped in the recent Virginia Tech massacre, in which 32 people were killed, and another shooting aficionado who described a weapon used in last September’s Dawson College killings in Montreal as “fun”… The Public Safety Minister’s office recruited the panel members but did not, as has been the practice in previous governments, issue any public announcement about the appointments. Nor does it seem to have included any panel members with expertise on suicide or sociological factors behind gun crime, as previous governments have attempted to do.

If you’re wondering, the Public Safety Minister’s office picked all these people (a list of who is on the committee is in the article). That would be Stockwell Day’s office. Somehow, “public safety” seems to be a bit of an oxymoron in this particular case. The Toronto Star article goes on to argue that the committee’s pro-gun tilt lends to the perception that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is out of step with urban concerns on firearms violence – especially in Toronto.

To be honest, I’m not surprised that they would do this kind of stacking, nor that they would try not to publicize who they’ve picked, as they know well that the general public reaction would be (and will be) negative in the urban areas and Quebec – areas they need votes in. What is telling to me is that they feel the need to stack a gun advisory committee with all people of a pro-gun viewpoint – “gun buffs”, as the Star describes them – with a view that everyone in their government already subscribes to as it is. Apparently, they need reassurances or cheering on from a committee that they’re doing the right thing; or they just can’t brook dissent or others telling them they’re out to lunch on this issue. I’d be more apt to believe the latter over the former, considering Harper’s low toleration for dissent to his viewpoints.

Blog stuff: Tinkering with some new plugins.

Just an administrative announcement: I’ve for now removed the “smiley emoticons” that one had the option for to place in any comments you left here, and instead replaced it with a slightly fancier comment editor (WYSIWYG) similar in fashion to what we WordPress blogowners get to use when we write up a blogpost.  I know Olaf will be crushed he cant leave any more posts with the drooling smiley guy, and I’d have stuck with both, but doing so causes the screen to look rather screwy. Even if I could fix that, I’ve noticed with both on it really slows the site down;  so I’m going with the better editor for now. If I can find another emotions plugin that would work with this comments editor plugin, I’ll enable it.

Things that hit close to home.

A lot that’s written in this Alzheimers article looks unfortunately very similar and familiar to me and what’s going on in my family right now. I just thought I’d highlight it for people who might be in a similar situation.

Dumont may not mind taking power..

I’ve seen some people say that in a scenario where the Liberals in Quebec are defeated by the combined opposition parties and the Lieutenant Governor asks Dumont and the ADQ if they want to try forming a government first, Dumont might reject it because he knows he doesn’t have the star power to be able to run Cabinet.

The statements he’s made lately however, shows otherwise, particularly in light that he’s contradicting himself on other statements he’s made prior about this situation:

If the budget is defeated next Friday, newly appointed Lt.-Gen. Pierre Duchesne (who has not yet been sworn in) would be faced with a choice of asking the ADQ to form a government – Dumont has previously suggested that would be anti-democratic, but yesterday said “we will be ready to assume our responsibilities” – or dissolving the assembly.

That to me doesn’t look like someone who is shying away from forming the government if asked. Quite honestly, I don’t buy the argument he doesn’t want power. If we go by polls now, the Liberals would fall to 3rd place, and the ADQ may very well win a snap election… so I don’t see the difference between the 2 scenarios, other then the ADQ might win a few more seats out of it. My prediction is if the Quebec Liberals don’t compromise, and their government falls.. and the L.G. does indeed ask Dumont to form the government, he’ll accept.

Some say that would be a disaster or make no sense for the PQ to support the ADQ, but I don’t agree with that either. Their strategy may be that they don’t believe the ADQ is ready to govern either, and that a taste of them in power for the Quebec electorate with such an inexperienced team (and one with a few MNA’s with some very strong, even extreme views on certain matters) would get them voted out of office toute de suite.

Kudos to a Tory.

Actually, kudos to John Tory, provincial leader for the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, for showing that he at least still shows the “progressive” part of the name has meaning. He is an “honorary distinguished patron” at the at the Isabel Bader Theatre, part of the 17th annual Inside Out Toronto Gay and Lesbian Film and Video Festival, and he is making no secret of it.

He says he is trying to show that his party is a “big tent” party. I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but I’m pretty sure Mike Harris or Ernie Eves would never have gone near an event like this, much less be […]

This coming from your Blogging Tory insider. Must be a slow month.

I actually like Stephen Taylor as a person. He looked a bit paranoid when he was sitting in the Blogging Room in Montreal during the Liberal leadership convention, but he was in the “enemy camp”, so I don’t blame him (too much). Anyhow, I’ve met him and done some Blogger Hotstoves with him, and really, I find him interesting to talk with and hold no enmity toward him. If all Blogging Tories were like him, the blogosphere would be a much more civil place between the rival blogging camps.

That being said, when the best he can come up with (as a Blogging Tory insider that has obvious contacts within […]

Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett supports Yes Campaign for Ontario MMPR.

I see from the news this morning that the “Yes” forces for changing Ontario’s electoral system to the Mixed-Member Proportional Representation model that the Citizens’ Assembly endorsed were out in force yesterday:

“We think that the mixed-member proportional proposal is a winner and we fully expect it to be strongly endorsed by Ontarians on Oct. 10,” said “Vote Yes for MMP” president Joe Murray. “Why will Ontarians vote Yes? Because it will help modernize our political arena, it builds on the system that we’re used to … (and) gives voters more choice, fairer elections results and stronger representation,” he said. Murray assumes a No drive will occur but agreed that so far the most vehement opposition has come from media pundits.

(That would be referring to the Toronto Star mostly, as we’ve had at least 3 of their pundits come out and go against this proposal).

What caught my eye though, was that one prominent Liberal MP – one-time leadership challenger Dr. Carolyn Bennett,  came out in support of the Yes campaign:

 Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s) was on hand at the Yes launch to note that a proportional representation system will almost certainly ensure more women in the Legislature. “The old boys’ network has always worked well for the boys. We now want it to work well for the girls,” said Bennett, adding it’s “embarrassing” there are so few elected women in Canadian politics.

I hope that means she is also open to electoral reform at the federal level.  It would be nice to see some prominent Liberal MP’s come out and say they are. Perhaps Bennett will be one of those.

Quebec – An ADQ government about to happen?

Jean Charest seems to be in a bit of trouble with his Budget he released, as both opposition parties say they don’t like it:

Quebec’s Liberal government delivered a billion-dollar tax cut four years late today, gambling the opposition parties lack the political spine to vote down the budget and trigger an election… The Liberals will need the support of at least one of the opposition parties to pass the budget – and cling to power – in a vote expected in early June. Jerome-Forget said the opposition parties will face the wrath of the people if they trigger an election just a couple of months after the most recent vote.

I don’t doubt that they would feel the wrath of the Quebec people – if an election campaign happens. Both the media and the Liberal finance minister and even a few bloggers seem to forget however that there is another possibility: if the Budget is voted down, the Lieutenant Governor may ask the ADQ to see if they can form the government by gaining the confidence of the National Assembly, so as to prevent another election in such a short a period of time. Stranger things have happened.

UPDATE: 9:24am – The PQ has announced they will also vote against the Budget as it stands.  And, the media have now acknowledged the above scenario:

Even if Charest were to lose a confidence vote, there is a possibility that newly appointed Lieutenant-Governor Pierre Duchesne (who has not yet been sworn in) would ask ADQ Leader Mario Dumont to form a minority government.

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