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Apparently, no one wants an election:

Remember that scenario I painted a few days ago that said if the NDP really wanted an election right now, they could abstain from the Liberal proposed amendments to the Throne Speech, and thus if the BQ and the Liberals voted together, the Throne Speech would be defeated?

Well, it appears that neither the BQ nor the NDP really wanted an election either – their bluster notwithstanding. I had figured the BQ would probably vote for the Liberal amendments, as the wording on Afghanistan in the Liberal amendments was close to their own party position, and the Liberal statement on the environment with regards to the government was pretty bland […]


Dion supports preferential ballot, national referendum

Proof that electoral reform isn’t dead, Part 2. This from Stephane Dion at a Q&A session in Winnipeg is very encouraging:

During a 90-minute question and answer session with the audience at the Gas Station Theatre, Dion was asked to give his thoughts on electoral reform…The Liberal leader mused out loud about how a preferential ballot would be better…Dion finished by saying this would lead to more respectful debate between parties and leaders since “if you’re a Green or NDP voter, I don’t want to insult you so you’ll consider me as your second choice.” Then, he said he wouldn’t want to make this part of an election campaign promise, […]


An open letter reply to the Conservative trolls from last topic.

Dear Small Dead Animal fan(s) from Saskatchewan: My questioning of the Afghanistan panel as to whether it’s slanted only towards one point of view does not mean that a) I want to see Afghanistan women in burqhas again, or b) I want to see the mission fail or c) make me an ass***e. What it does make me is someone who is pointing out if you’re going to paint a panel you’ve created to take the heat off of your government over the issue as being “non-partisan”, you’d better make sure you appoint panellists of all sides of the debate so it actually IS non-partisan. It also means if the panel is going to call “experts”, you should not just call experts from your own government to testify, but call independent ones as well. That also shows you’re serious about it being non-partisan and objective.

Fairly simple straightforward and reasonable statements, but it appears conservatives from Saskatchewan-way aren’t very logical (and yes, I removed your comments from the site and banned you as well – both for a fake email address and for abuse. I just thought I’d make sure you got a public reply to let you know I saw the attempted public reply on that thread,  and how idiotic I think people are who leave stuff like that).

I have said this before, but I’ll say it again It doesn’t say much for the mentality of conservatives based out of Saskatchewan. There must be a pretty deep feverish swamp out there.

Sincere Regards,


More on the (rigged) Afghanistan study group

Let’s recap this study panel and see how one might rig it so that it gives an opinion on what to do in Afghanistan that fits with the Conservative government’s line of thinking.

1) A panel filled with Conservative hacks and led by someone with the same opinion as Harper. Check.

2) Make sure to exclude public consultation or input so no embarrassing dissent gets talked about. Check.

3) Listen to “experts” on Afghanistan, all who’ve been vetted from the government’s own ministry offices. Check.

Result: The exact conclusion that Harper wants to hear in order to use as partisan attacks on the other opposition parties. This is nothing more […]


On picking and choosing parliamentary convention.

I saw this over at Accidental Deliberations this morning over where Steve Janke is apparently advocating that the Liberals be stripped of their Official Opposition title as a party by the Governor-General and the title handed to the NDP, because according to Steve’s logic, since they abstained from the Throne Speech, they aren’t really providing an effective opposition. The Jurist over at AC is surprised no Liberal bloggers have come forth to criticize his proposal. I’ll say it’s probably because it’s such a dumb proposal, no one at Liberal blogging land really feels it necessary to go after. Since I’ve got nothing better to do, I’ll be the first, if only to have a Liberal-aligned blogger on the record.

First, I didn’t see this post at his site back in 2005 advocating the same thing be done to a Conservative Party led by Mr Harper who also abstained on the Paul Martin-led Throne Speech. Steve wasn’t apparently paying attention that particular session of Parliament. (UPDATE: I’m informed by one prominent Tory supporter that actually, Harper abstained on the Budget, not the Throne Speech, which doesn’t change the point. In fact, it really makes Janke’s idea even worse; since the Budget is a much more relevant thing to oppose then the Throne Speech).

Second, I’ll repeat what I said at Jurist’s comment section; I just love how Conservatives like Janke advocate the use of power if it benefits their position or their party. Apparently an appointed GG using powers that are not used at all anymore for precisely that reason is ok with Steve for overriding all parliamentary convention, if it can be used as a partisan device to attack the Liberals with.

But, in a future scenario, if Madame Jean is in a position to use her her powers that would hurt Harper – say refuse Harper’s request to dissolve the House and instead asks the next largest party (that being the Liberals) to form the government – you can bet Janke will be leading the hue and cry about the draconian use of the GG’s unelected, undemocratic powers.

Why not allow the Senate with its Liberal majority to offer “sober second thought”, without all the grumblings from Blogging Toryland and Conservatives in general of it being appointed, while we’re at it, Steve? And why, for that matter, in your scenario are you directly bypassing the BQ – the 3rd largest party in the House, and also the Official Opposition at one time in Parliament not so long ago – and appointing the NDP as the standard-bearer?

I’ve often criticized Steve’s “investigations” as being worthless and chasing after windmills Don Quixote style, but after seeing posts/proposals like this, maybe he should stick to his investigations and leave the proposals for someone else to do. (although his ideological companion, Stephen Taylor isn’t doing much better, either. He’s proposing that Harper ignore or rebuke the Liberals and refuse to answer their questions in QP, which as the Jurist points out, they already do with every opposition party’s questions that are politically inconvenient, never mind the Liberals. For that matter, they already employ that tactic with the media, so it’s nothing new, Steve #2).

UPDATE: Mr Taylor The Blogging Tories are apparently on a roll today for statements that make you raise your eyebrows, even more so then Janke. As Red Tory points out, they’re also distorting poll numbers at their homepage.

UPDATE 2: Stephen Taylor informs Red Tory he’s taken the banner down. Now its replaced with the claim that the BT Community is home to the “Fastest Growing Political Forums in Canada”.  They might be, they might not. I’m sure Mr. Taylor has documented evidence to back that claim up, right Steve? 😉


A strictly rhetorical question on Saturday

I saw this elsewhere, but I thought I’d ask it as well.

What does a “libertarian” do when their house is on fire?


An amusing thought, and delicious possibility.

In reference to this story that Vues d’ici talks about, where its revealed Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams is offering to come and campaign on behalf of now-independent MP Bill Casey in his riding whenever a federal election occurs, let me follow up and be the first to publicly lobby Casey to help campaign on behalf of Elizabeth May’s behalf in her contest against Peter “no one will get booted out of caucus” MacKay.

That would be a big publicity coup for May, not to mention a big boost to her support. No one has more credibility in Nova Scotia politics right now then Casey does. Seeing as MacKay was shown […]


Friday’s snippets: polls and strategy

Several things have caught my eye today – a lot to do with polls and strategy.

– Another poll result from Angus-Reid (albeit with the caveat that it’s an online one) agrees with SC and Environics and shows that the status quo remains with no movement really for any party.

– A separate poll, also released by Angus-Reid, (doesn’t say whether its an online one or not) shows that the majority of Canadians do not support the Conservatives in their opposition to safe-injection sites, such as the program out in Vancouver. The Harperites are also offside with Canadian opinion on marijuana; more then half support its legalization. Cue the right wing blogs gnashing of teeth over this finding. (H/T to Buckdog)

– In yet another Angus-Reid online poll (these guys were busy!), the nation wasn’t exactly captivated with the Throne Speech, but most are either unsure of whether it’s passage should be allowed or figure there isn’t enough revolting in there to bring the government down – a poll that would make some Liberals advising Dion happy he didn’t go (though not me).

– Interesting to see that both Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff advised Dion against going to an election, but I obviously share Quito’s sentiments. I will note however, that if you were to believe the stories that some anti-Dion Liberals wanted an early election so Dion would presumably lose and allow their particular favourite person a chance to gain the leadership, then you’d have to presume by these actions that Rae and/or Iggy aren’t amongst those with that line of thinking, and not  joining in the backstabbing that seems to be taking place amongst some of their supporters in the party, particularly in Quebec.

I think that mini-revolt against Dion needs to be quelled, but I also think Dion’s advisers and Dion need to start listening to other people not in their circle – particularly those who weren’t “Dionistas” at the last Liberal convention. The perception out there from what I’ve listened to and heard is that the ring of advice has been closed off to those confidants. Perhaps David Smith and John Rae’s appointment as senior advisers, as well as the appointment of Johanne Sénécal, the new Principle Secretary, is the start of Dion acknowledging this.

– Warren Kinsella’s advice to the Liberals is pretty good. I hope someone reads it up in the OLO (or even Dion).


“Send out your warg riders!”

Shorter Dr Dawg: Kate’s Cult over at SDA is a rather loathsome bunch.

Best description I’ve seen of her commentators and how she uses them comes from Dr. Dawg’s comment section from reader Aeolus:

The proprietress drops bits of food (“CBC”, “Liberals”, “United Nations”, “Tommy Douglas”, “multiculturalism”, “moral relativists”) into the tank, and the feeding frenzy is on. The piranhas enjoying their meal are dumb but vicious. You can click on “Comments” to lift the tank’s lid and peer inside. It’s tempting to take a stick and poke at the writhing mass with a provocative comment of one’s own, just for the fun of it. (This is called “trolling”, or “a waste of time”.)

Kady O’ Malley, the target of Kate’s wrath and of Kate’s Cult, does take it all in stride, however.

Funny thing is, one of the commenter’s at SDA is loudly grumbling that reporters should just “do their job” and investigate and report stuff, which is precisely what the Toronto Star did to discover the propaganda centre Harper and the Conservatives were scheming to build, only to hastily claim it had been scrapped once that plan got tossed into the public light. Dawg is right – they aren’t too bright a bunch over there, in addition to being loathsome.



This particular poll is part of the reason I believe the Liberals had no reason to fear going to an election:

Among decided Canadian voters, 33 percent say they would support the Conservative Party in an election, compared to 29 percent who would support the Liberal Party, 19 percent who would support the NDP and 11 percent who would support the Green Party. This marks a four-point decline in Conservative support since the previous Environics survey in June.

For all the talk of the Liberals and Dion’s misfortunes, Harper has failed to attract public opinion to himself or his party. With the Liberals leading in every region of this poll […]

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