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A short thought

Harper really needs to stay away from sporting events.

Poll: majority of Canadians support constitutional talks to reform Senate

It seems a new poll is out that says Canadians are more then willing right now to re-open the Constitution to do such things as Senate reform:

After almost two decades of constitutional peace, Harris-Decima survey conducted for The Canadian Press indicates a majority is now willing to risk re-opening the constitutional can of worms to accomplish some specific goals…For instance, 61 per cent said they’re prepared to re-open the Constitution to reform or abolish the appointed Senate. And 58 per cent said they’re willing to offer constitutional amendments in a bid to finally secure Quebec’s signature on the Constitution. Fifty-eight per cent also said they’re willing to open up […]

My interpretation of Harper’s remarks to Conservative caucus today

You think Harper might have said something with regards to the Census controversy today when he talked to his national Conservative caucus; particularly in light of his poll numbers dropping as a direct result of that (at least in the Ekos poll, if not Decima’s earlier this past week as well). Harper’s been out of the spotlight for some time after all.. so.. maybe a vigorous defence of Conservatives trying to stop tyranny, or an attack on ‘special interest groups’, or Liberals, or both?

Nope, it was all everything’s peachy in Canada!

My interpretation of Harper’s speech? This:

Harper to his caucus and to the public/media: “There’s no time […]

More stupidity revealed on Census changes

We find out today that 25 million of the 30 million extra dollars that the Conservatives are spending on making the mandatory longform census a voluntary survey is actually going to be used to explain to potentially confused people how they screwed the census up because of their ideological idiocy on the census. Some of the background to that is revealed by this Canadian Press report, albeit from the Conservatives insider(s) point of view (no surprise either that the PM is solely responsible for this debacle).

The only surprise to me is how Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz managed to convince his boss that farmers should continue to suffer under the […]

More on the Conservatives trying to hide behind StatsCan, Mr. Sheikh

Briefly, My colleague the Jurist at his blog details some more blanket condemnations of the Conservatives bone-headed/ideological move to kill the mandatory longform census, but he did miss one article that should be read – C.E.S Franks at the Globe and Mail explains why Munir Shiekh resigned, and the probable chain of events. He isn’t impressed:

The problem Mr. Sheikh faced was not the choice between voluntary survey or mandatory census, but that the minister went public with inaccurate claims about the advice he had received. Mr. Clement was selective to the point that his public claims have not accurately reflected the advice given by Statistics Canada and its public […]

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 […]

Humorous Harper Hypocrisy for your long weekend.

“Meeting celebrities isn’t my shtick. That was the shtick of the previous guy.” -Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2007 when asked why he refused to meet Bono to discuss funding for AIDS research and prevention in Africa.

Pictorial evidence seems to contradict that statement however:

Some selective shtick.

I’m thinking the more accurate statement from Harper would have been to say: “Meeting celebrities that don’t agree with my political point of view or don’t offer the potential to increase my popularity or my electoral chances is not my shtick”.

H/T to my liberal friend D.

Nice new senator you've picked there, Harper.

There are two traits of our newest Conservative Senator, David Braley (who, by the way, owns 2 CFL teams – the Toronto Argos and the BC Lions. I still don’t get how he’s allowed to own 2 different teams in the same league – conflict of interest anyone? – but that’s another story).

The first trait, as noted by Kady O’Malley, is that he already has the Conservative trait of deny, deny, deny, even when faced with facts:

From today’s Globe and Mail:

As the Prime Minister’s Office announced Mr. Braley’s appointment, opposition Liberal researchers said he personally donated $16,500 to Mr. Harper’s 2004 leadership campaign and that his company […]

Was Guergis kicked out of the Conservative Party due to mere optics?

I read this last night from Aaron Wherry over at Macleans:

The private investigator says the Prime Minister’s Office did not accurately report to the ethics commissioner the information he passed on to them. He says he has no evidence as to the conduct of Ms. Guergis in his “possession or knowledge.” The concern, he says, was “optics”.

But, the PMO’s chief parrot defends the decision, citing the evidence that Jaffer was using Guergis’ office and email accounts for his personal business dealings. So, since Harper hasn’t said a word yet about the reasons why Guergis was deposed, would that be his official reason why, since Soudas, his director of […]

The Conservatives turn their attack machine on Helena

Well, you see what happens when you cross Stephen Harper – he has no hesitation in throwing you under the bus. That’s not to say Helena Guergis might not deserve it – but I find it rather unseemly that Harper still refuses to exactly say why he sacked her the way he did, and decides that the best way to refute Guergis’s interview is to “leak” more “internal Conservative talking points” to Jane Taber at the Globe.

EDIT: I agree with some observers that this is the Conservatives closing ranks and trying to protect themselves from the Jaffer-Guergis fallout.

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