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On why preferential ballot isnt the answer for electoral reform in Ontario.

In recent days, a few of the “No to MMP” bloggers have put out there that they think preferential ballot (or Alternate Vote, or “AV” for short, basically the same thing) would be something they could support as electoral reform, which is where you basically pick the candidates in order of preferred choice on your ballot, and then add up the 1st and 2nd choice votes etc. to come up with a winner. I applaud them for at least saying they don’t wish the status quo of FPTP to remain, but I know many of those preaching electoral reform are almost as dead-set against that system as they are against […]

Words can come back to haunt you..

I just had to do this as a followup to the last post. Ted of Cerberus in email reminded me of this memorable quote that Harper gave to Dion in Question Period during the Afghanistan detainees scandal:

“When the leader of the opposition is able to stand in uniform and serve his country, then I’ll care about his opinion of the performance of the (minister).”

Apparently, that means Harper isn’t going to care one whit about MacKay’s opinion on his own department, since to my knowledge MacKay hasnt served his country in uniform either. Denis Coderre, the Liberal Opposition critic, to his credit also remembered that, and pointed that […]

Replacing 1 gaffe-prone Defence Minister with a Foot-in-mouth one

Peter Mackay to replace O’Connor apparently.

I think that’s priceless. I mean, I can see the reason why Harper would do it – Petey-boy is in a bit of trouble in Nova Scotia over the Atlantic Accord controversy, but he’s hardly been Mr. Steady in his last Cabinet portfolio. He’s had more then one case of inserting his foot in his own mouth… so I’m hardly quaking in my boots over that shuffle. In fact, I think it has the potential to be highly amusing and entertaining.

SES: Harper’s “Best PM” advantage narrows as Dion soars into 2nd place.

Well now, here’s something to think about this AM. SES has a new federal poll out today. The results show a still tight race, but what is very interesting to me about this poll is the “Which leader would make the Best Prime Minister” part. Harper once had an 18 point lead over Dion – indeed, Dion was in 3rd, much to the glee of some other partisans in the NDP and Conservative parties. Personally, I don’t think that particular aspect of the polling is as important when it comes to voting on election day, but you couldn’t deny Canadians had an image problem of Dion, regardless of how relevant […]

My thoughts on the impending Cabinet Shuffle.

…I don’t care, it’s same old same old.

Or let me re-phrase that – its old faces in new positions. We might get 1 new face perhaps… but I wont be shocked if we don’t. All of this is basically political posturing trying to convince Canadians there will be a fresh start in the Fall (again, a bit hard to say that when all you’re doing is shuffling the same deck). It isnt going to matter anyhow; Harper is going to remain the face of this government, and his Cabinet will meekly follow like sheep and parrot what they are told to by Sandra Buckler and the PMO. Harper’s still going to be the all-but-in-name President of Canada:

Barry Kay, a political science professor at Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., said he doubts the shuffle will make a big splash in the polls. Shuffles aren’t as important as they used to be because of what he calls the “presidentialization” of the Canadian political system. “The prime minister has pretty much come to predominate cabinet,” he said. “The cabinet ministers don’t matter so much anymore. They don’t matter so much in policy and this is certainly true of Harper.

The bottom line is, this will remain a one-man Government led by Harper. A Cabinet Shuffle is nothing but something for the media to have something to do during the summer in Ottawa.

No surprise Rove is leaving.

So Karl Rove, the key political strategist for Dubya, has resigned from the White House. I’m not particularly shocked – the scandal involving the firing of US District Attorneys with the apparent aim of putting key Republican toadies in those positions has involved Rove, and he refused to testify a few weeks ago with his involvement in that using the “executive privilege” claim. This is nothing more then a ploy to avoid Congressional scrutiny into his actions.

As for those who think this weakens Bush further, just remember that he still has Cheney there – who is the real puppet master controlling the strings of this White House, and of […]

Walmart having difficulties. I’m not in mourning.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall:

The company’s growth rate has slowed to a crawl, overtaken by rivals once thought to be no match for the “beast of Bentonville.” Average annual profit growth lags that of Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp. and other competitors. Wal-Mart’s repeated efforts to push upscale merchandise have ended in tears. Expansion at home is still thwarted by hundreds of U.S. communities; and several forays abroad are struggling or have been scrapped. The stock price is down 32 per cent since the turn of the century, when CEO Lee Scott took the reins.

Am I sad about this? Nope. I believe in the old adage “ye reap what ye sow”, and Walmart’s been sowing rather questionable business practices for awhile:

Wal-Mart seems to be its own worst enemy in public relations. Already the target of class-action lawsuits from employees claiming to have been locked inside stores after closing time to perform extra work without pay, and the biggest sexual discrimination class-action suit in U.S. history, Wal-Mart’s Threat Research and Assessment Group set up to curb “shrinkage,” or employee theft, and pro-union sentiments among employees was found to have spied on company critics including consultants, irate shareholders, financial reporters and even members of the company’s own board. In May, Human Rights Watch, better known for raising alarms about civil-rights abuses in repressive regimes, accused Wal-Mart of violating labour laws.

I hadn’t heard about the “locking employee inside” charge before, but I think we all know what Walmart’s reaction in Canada was when some of their employees tried to unionize at a couple of stores in Quebec. It’s ironic that as I write this, the community I still currently reside in is building a Wal-Mart; its old Zellers store closed a couple of years ago, and people have been forced to drive to either Sarnia or Chatham to find anything comparable. Wal-Mart, according to the article, still thrives in monopoly or near-monopoly situations in small towns, and that’s what it will find here – its main competitor probably will be Canadian Tire.

However, as this article shows, Wal-mart is no longer thought of as being invincible, and that’s good for all consumers.

Standing up for a strong federal government.

Some other bloggers have already written about this today, and I defer to them for the good articles they’ve written on the topic, but bravo to Dalton McGuinty and Gary Doer for not just thinking of their own provinces but publicly stating they believe that the federal government should not lose its ability to create national programs such as daycare or pharmacare or anything else. I believe that this could be a key issue in the next election if the federal opposition parties want it to be.

It is no secret that Harper and his Fraser Institute ideology would rob the federal government of any ability to set up national […]

Show your blog supports MMP

On a rather slow Saturday, I just thought I’d put up a reminder for a couple of ways that you can show your blog supports the proposed MMP electoral reform.

If you’re a Liberal blog (and that’s regardless of whether you’re a member of Liblogs or not) and you support MMP, why not get your blog listed on the Liberals For MMP site? You can request your blog being added by emailing Matt Guerin at [email protected]

For both Liberal bloggers and others of other political persuasions, if you want to be listed on the blogroll at the Vote For MMP website, or to get the logo and hyperlink instructions, please […]

The last social taboo broken (hopefully).

I’d like to congratulate Scott Brison for helping to end as the CBC piece says “one of the last social taboos in politics”. I also join Brison in his sentiment:

“I’m looking forward to the day when the idea of a gay or lesbian politician getting married is not a story at all,”

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