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Interesting last Ekos poll and commentary before Parliament’s summer break

This poll is a day old in its release, but I found it noteworthy for a couple of reasons:

One reason is this:

(This) EKOS poll gives the Conservatives 30.5 per cent support from Canadians, compared to 26.3 per cent for the Liberals. The Tories have been sliding over the past few weeks, losing the 10-point lead they enjoyed over the Liberals not so long ago. The NDP, meanwhile, are at 17.4 per cent, compared to the Green Party at 12.3 per cent; the Bloc is at 10.5 per cent.

“Their (the Harper Conservatives) current vote intention is the lowest since they took office and the leading direction of federal-government […]

More international media attention for Canada (for the wrong reasons).

On this particular day, it’s the Economist’s editors who decide to ask the question about what Harper was thinking about when he put together the Billion Dollar Boondoggle known as the G8/G20 Meetings. Rather stern stuff here:

A loonie boondoggle: Ostentation in a time of austerity

…The prime minister has become the butt of jokes for commissioning an artificial lake, complete with mock canoes and recordings of the call of the loon, for the G20 summit’s media centre—which sits just yards from the real Lake Ontario. In Muskoka taxpayers are on the hook for a refurbished steamboat that won’t even float until the summit is over, and new outdoor toilets […]

Random thoughts

Random thought #1: Maybe it’s just me, but it looks to me to be a tad paranoid to be ripping out trees, saplings, bushes or any other random plant because the security units for the G8/G20 summit are afraid branches will be used as weapons by protesters. All of this tree cutting is presumably factored into part of the Billion Dollar Budget for this event. Hopefully the tree-replacing as well.

Random Thought #2: The Liberals and Ignatieff released their foreign policy platform yesterday afternoon. My own impression of it? It seems to me that Ignatieff’s foreign policy stances are definitely to the right of past Liberal leaders – if […]

Reserving judgment

In brief, on the reported deal signed by the Liberals, BQ and Conservatives over access to detainee documents, which the NDP refused to sign, I’m the last person in the Liberal blogosphere to give apologies for the Liberal Party if I think they’re doing something strategy wise based on fear of causing an election, rather then standing on principle, but I’m going to hold off on condemning them on this deal they’ve made until I see how it’s played out.

The reason? The Bloc Quebecois are almost as inclined as the NDP in delighting at making the Liberals look bad if they can, and they are a party with strong […]

This (rumoured) move is just a 'coincidence', right Kory?

I mused a couple of blogposts back on whether or not Kory’s appointment to the high echelon of Quebecor would threaten to derail the efforts of a couple of fairly objective journalists at the Sun, such as Greg Weston who did some bang-up investigative reporting on the “Fake Lake” and other wasteful and extravagant spending measures the Harper Conservatives undertook for the upcoming G8/G20 summit.

However, I didn’t think Kory would move immediately to make sure his reporters aren’t in a position to embarrass his former Conservative employers, when he’s trying to hire journalists for Quebecor’s proposed news network, but if this rumour is true, it appears he’s attempted […]

Sunday Bird Blogging Edition; Red-headed woodpecker

I haven’t been able to get a picture of this visitor that’s shown up the past 2 days, as it’s a bit too far away, so you’ll have to do with a stock photo from a bird site (for now; hopefully it comes with camera range):

It’s a pleasure as a bird watching enthusiast to see this bird (the last time I saw this bird was about 15-20 years ago) because it is listed as a species of special concern in Ontario, and threatened nationally.

What type of election finance system can benefit the political system overall?

That’s how I look at it when I look at how election campaigns should be financed. I don’t look at it through the prism of whether it will benefit the party I happen to support, or more specifically, who it could hurt. That’s how Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are viewing it when they vow to remove the public financing system (better known as the election subsidy), and that’s how I feel my Liberal blogging colleague Jeff is presenting his arguments for the Liberals turning around their current stance and supporting an end to it as well (with the condition that the contribution limit be raised a few thousand bucks). […]

More G8/G20 waste: Over a million $ for the posters you’ll see.

Greg Weston of Sunmedia has really been on a roll cataloguing all the wasteful spending that’s going on at this G8/G20 summit. His latest reveal: the posters you’ll see in the backdrop of all the photo-op shots cost over a million of your taxpayers bucks:

The latest bit of fiscal fun at public expense is $1,102,500 — wait for it — for backdrops in the two meeting halls hosting the summits. No joke: Foreign Affairs is shelling out over a million bucks for those really big banners and signboards commonly used as backdrops behind speakers’ podiums. These will be used mainly to decorate the meeting halls in Toronto and Muskoka […]

The Ballad of Steve (Harper) and Tony (Clement).

To quote the Youtube summary, this video and song is “in honour of Stephen Harper’s fake lake, Tony Clement’s steamboat, and the billion dollar bill for the G8 and G20 Summits. Because it had to be done (with apologies to the Barenaked Ladies).”

(One of the singers blogs here, if you’re wondering)

UPDATE @ 7:14 pm: Congrats to the ladies for the song and the story being picked up by the Toronto Star and National Newswatch. I understand as well from a good source this was a well-watched video up on the Hill today.

My reaction to supposed merger talks? Bemusement.

I suppose I need to react to this story, since it’s all over the various aggregators/news places/Twitter/Facebook etc.

As I said, I was and still am a bit amused or in bemusement at it (not ticked like some folks, but Jeff lays out good reasons why); not because of the actual proposal or if it has merit or not, but perhaps at the timing of it. Quite honestly, when I saw the CBC news report on the web, I had to check the date of it to make sure it wasn’t April 1st. Anyhow, my musings on this are that one would think if you’re holding merger talks with the […]

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