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John Baird has priorities..

… and one of them certainly isn’t the Environment. Perhaps he or the PMO figured out his credibility is shot on that file. He’s a rather curious choice though to be the Cabinet Minister in charge of announcing that we’re going to be looking for a couple of lost ships, I suppose since Parks Canada is undertaking the search, it would technically fall under his mandate, and I suppose it’s better then having to listen to his usual blowhard self attacking the Green Shift.

H/T to Life In Moderation on the boat search story.

It’s only one poll…

… and we must never jump to conclusions too soon on only one poll, but traditionally when Parliament is not sitting, the governing party’s poll fortunes rise.  We have also seen the Cons. unleash the “tax on everything!” attack on the Liberal’s Green Shift, but in this particular poll’s results, it appears that neither scenario is in play:

The Canadian Press, Harris-Decima survey suggests the Liberals have pulled ahead in support in Ontario and Quebec, crucial battlegrounds that will determine the outcome of a nationwide vote. Nationally, Liberal support was up slightly to 33 per cent, statistically tied with the Tories at 32 per cent and followed by the NDP at 15 per cent and the Greens at six per cent. In Quebec, the Liberals were statistically tied with the Bloc Quebecois, at 30 per cent and 29 per cent respectively, followed by the Tories at 24 per cent, the Greens at 8 per cent and the NDP at 6 per cent. In Ontario, the Liberals enjoyed a healthy lead with 40 per cent, compared to the Tories with 31 per cent and the NDP and Greens with 14 per cent each.

Perhaps Canadians are also paying a bit more attention to Conservative shenanigans then some think – and not liking it. This poll was taken just as the Ethics Committee investigation into the Conservatives “in and out” electoral financing scheme was getting started up, and the polling was completed before all the delicious testimony of former Conservative candidates and silly Conservative stunts like what Doug Finley tried to pull on Monday. It will be interesting to see if this testimony has any more of a negative impact on Conservative polling numbers. It will also be interesting to see if the poll numbers hold any relevance  for the three byelections and how voters vote in those ridings on Sept 8th.

You don’t need me to remind you what my views on pulling the plug on Harper and his government are, do you?

I will anyhow.

ASAP.

[email protected]:42 pm: I saw her blogpost earlier, but stuff like this that Danielle commented about at her blog probably doesn’t thrill Canadians much either.

Olympic ramifications

This story in the Globe talks about how after 4 days Canada has no medals yet at the Beijing Olympics, and there are already grumblings amongst Canadian athletes about how little support they get from the government with regards to funding as compared to other countries.

A few thoughts on this:

1) It’s still early in the Games – there is still a chance the medals will come and that the goal of 16 medals is met.

2) Corporate sponsorship in this country lags just as badly,  if not worse then government funding does, in my view.

I think obviously everyone wants our athletes to do well.. but if we do poorly at the end of these Olympics, it will be interesting to hear the Conservatives defence or explanation regarding current funding. I’ve read at Red Tory’s site from a commenter in his post on this that “this is the first year that  Canada is offering money for medals all the while cutting funding“, and he blames Harper’s and the Conservatives free market approach for this result.

I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but even if it is, I have my doubts anyone in Canada will vote against the Harper government  because of how they choose to spend funding on the Olympics.  If this Olympics turns out to be a disaster for us medal wise by the end of it however, it might bring pressure on the Harper government  to make sure we wouldn’t have a repeat of this in Vancouver (though we do better at winter sports anyhow).

B-Team redux

If these allegations from yesterday about the Conservatives telling potential witnesses to stay away from coming to the Ethics Committee to testify about the “In and out” electoral financing scandal are true (which left the Conservative B-Team on the committee basically accusing the clerk of the Ethics Committee of lying), someone is a) stupid, and b) in deep trouble:

You know, it’s worth pausing for a moment here to really appreciate the magnitude of what’s being alleged here. If these mystery witnesses – and the clerk – are telling the truth, then *someone*, at least, did something very, very, very wrong – and if it was the Conservative Party, or someone acting on its behalf, the political consequences could be immense. Fiddling with expenses is one thing; witness intimidation is quite another.

I don’t know if this fits the phrase “it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup”, but it’s pretty similar:

There’s also the small matter of that letter from the clerk – you know, the one in which he said that one person on the witness list told his staff that the Conservative Party had instructed them not to show up, which the Tories have categorically denied. Given the incendiary nature of that particular allegation – and the possibility that other witnesses might have received similar warnings – they may end up making more news by their absence than they would if they just showed up. Which is sort of symbolic of this whole scandal, really.

Not quite Watergate Nixonian stuff, but if this keeps up, we’re getting there.

UPDATE: Steve is right. If you have nothing to hide as you proclaim, Conservative Party, then why are you hiding?

“In and out” electoral scheme explained easily.

Just a little follow up to my last blogpost done very early this AM: I sometime have gotten frustrated at the media explaining the Conservatives “in and out” electoral scheme as being “complex”.  This is the media narrative the Conservatives want and have been pushing themselves (in addition of course to the false statement that “other parties do it too”) in order to confuse the public.

Over at Impolitical, she explains very clearly in 2 sentences or less what the “In and Out” scheme is about:

…the federal Conservatives targeting unused local budgets across the country by moving funds in-and-out leads to additional untold millions in a national spending advantage for Conservatives. And that’s a violation of the equal playing field electoral rules we have.

That’s all there is to it. Very simple, and one the other parties should be pushing over and over again to the public. I believe one would call this the KISS explanation of “in and out”.

(The link inside her explanation, if you’re wondering, shows how they get that spending advantage. A tad longer, but worth reading).

The B-Team

I’ve been kind of incognito today (yesterday) so I didn’t get a chance to immediately pen my thoughts on the day’s events, but all I can say is this  to the Conservatives:

Please, PLEASE keep having Gary Goodyear, Dean Del Maestro, Mike Wallace and all the rest of that B-Team bunch spout off at the Ethics Committee at witnesses from your own party, and in general.

The reasons?

– You’re giving us bloggers over here on the Progressive and Liberal blogosphere lots of great entertainment at reading Kady O’Malley’s liveblogging of the event

– You’re giving us lots of great blogging material when its usually pretty quiet in the summer.

– Most importantly, you’re giving Canadians a chance to see how you knowingly bent the election financing rules and cheated, and that your former candidates who are here at the Committee testifying are far more competent and  honest then your Conservative guys are. (And the Doug Finley attempt at intimidation or trying to distract from the testimony or whatever the PMO master strategists were trying to gain from him being there  with his little stunt today was an added bonus of bone-headedness.)

Please, as someone who wants the nation to see you for what you really are, carry on as you were.

The Conservatives don’t know how to DO positive.

In brief, I saw this very good analysis by Steve on the diminishing returns this “go negative all the time” strategy the Conservatives are employing that even has some of their Blogging Tory faithful questioning its effectiveness, and I’ll just add this: I think in some of these “10 percenter” ads the Cons have been employing, they ARE trying to list accomplishments of the positive variety that this government has done since in power, but the problem is that they’re not even able to do THAT without throwing negativity into the mix. Read the Collingwood paper in Helena Guergis’s riding (as pointed out by Impolitical) being critical of its tone:

[…]

Rain, rain, please stay?

I was joking a bit last blogpost about it being monsoon season in Ontario this year, but there’s always a silver lining to every dark raincloud.  Here is a good article in the Star today listing 10 reasons why it’s a good thing we’ve had all this increased precipitation this year. Try to see the positive in all this rain as you’re grumbling at the cottage.

On a side note to do politically with this, the Guelph forecast today is for a 70% chance of showers and risk of a thunderstorm.  Both the Ontario Young Liberals and the Green Party’s youth wing are doing canvassing this afternoon for their respective candidates in the Guelph byelection, so hopefully they don’t get too wet and can avoid the raindrops.

Semi-open thread: Do you care about the Olympics?

While watching all this rain and thunder and lightning occur (as Matthew over at Pample the Moose observed, I didn’t know Ontario had a monsoon season), I thought I’d ask if anyone’s interested or excited in watching the Olympics.

For myself personally, I don’t know if it’s the time zone difference, or the bad publicity surrounding the games (ie. Tibet, ridiculous air pollution, or China going back on its promises and stifling freedom to access sites they may not necessarily like politically), or getting depressed reading some Canadian sports journalists saying there should be low expectations for the Canadian team and its medal haul, but I’m really not into watching […]

Saturday in-brief

A column in the Toronto Star today charges that Ontario is allowing loggers to log a portion of forest in NW Ontario that is part of the habitat of the threatened woodland caribou and basically looking the other way while this is being done.  If true, Premier McGuinty and cabinet need to put a stop to this.

Also in the Star, David Olive bemoans the fact that the US media seems to be ignoring the real issues and problem facing the US and instead focusing on attack ads and such.  I don’t know where David has been the past few years; it’s been like that in the US media for many years. Talking about “real issues” doesn’t sell newspapers or put up TV ratings.  David never even mentioned the John Edwards adultery admission, which will further drive the media into a tabloid-like frenzy for a while. The only saving grace may be the Olympics are on.

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