Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Prime Minister Harper gets by with a little help from his friends

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Since returning from a week in the bush, I’ve been catching up on the news, and was delighted to find this clip of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  I think he does a fine job of singing and playing piano.

Stephen Harper often comes across as cold and distant, which doesn’t endear him to the voters.  The blue-sweater ads from the last election didn’t do a lot to dispel that image, but I think this clip helps.

However his make-up department should have done something about his corpse-like skin colour at this event.  Were they aiming to attract the Goth demographic?

And speaking of friends, it seems that Harper has more of them recently, according to the latest EKOS opinion poll.

If the Queen can’t eat raw seal heart the Governor General will do

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Many years ago a colleague of mine attended a conference in Alaska, and upon her return, in appreciation for my help on a project, she presented me with a ulu knife.

My ulu (pizza cutter).

My ulu makes a great pizza cutter.

However, unlike Canada’s Governor General, the lovely Michaelle Jean, I have never used my ulu to skin or gut an animal, nor have I used it to  slice off part of an animal’s heart to eat raw.

This simple act of cultural sensitivity has raised a firestorm of controversy, with PETA and similar groups declaring the Governor General a barbarian, and the EU Environment Commissioner declaring her actions “bizarre”.

Ideally it would have been wonderful to see Queen Elizabeth II participating in the ceremony by chowing down on some raw seal heart, but I’m satisfied with having her representative , our Governor General, do the honours (apparently she thinks it tastes like sushi).

Here’s a video clip of the ceremony.

Human Achievement Hour – conservatives against conservation

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Conservation was drilled into me from birth by my conservative parents.  Being good stewards was really important to them, both having spent their formative years on struggling farms during the “Dirty Thirties”.

So as a small-c conservative I whole-heartedly support Earth Hour, and tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. my family will turn off the lights and enjoy another dimly-lit evening of board games, as we did last year.

Earth Day 2008 - Dad and Fiona play a card game (unfortunately lit up by the flash)

Earth Day 2008 - daughter and dad play a card game (unfortunately lit up by the flash in this picture)

And no, I won’t be participating in Human Achievement Hour by idling my vehicle for an hour – unlike an alarming number of right-of-centre folks.  (Just when did it become fashionable for conservatives to oppose conservation?)

But he has read about Canada

Monday, February 16th, 2009

As the mainstream Canadian media continues in the Obamafication of newly-anointed Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, I must concur that he looks really sharp in his red ties.

However, am I being petty in my concern that the man has lived in other countries for most of his adult life (1978 to 2000 in the United Kingdom, 2000 to 2005 in the United States, not to speak of the stints in southern France)?.  If a messiah is to appear to save us from the evil Harper, is it reasonable to want him to come from our own country?

Obviously many Canadians don’t share my concerns, according to the most recent polls.

Ignatieff is an intellectual, so I am sure that he has researched the subject of Canada.  Actually living here before his appointed time was apparently optional.

Obituary

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Liberal-NDP coalition (supported by Bloc Quebecois)
Dec. 1, 2008 to Jan. 28th, 2009.

It was with mixed emotions that the death of the Liberal-NDP/Bloc coalition was announced this morning in Ottawa.

NDP Leader Jack Layton, one of the founding members, seemed saddened by the dissolution of the agreement and declared that a new coalition has been born between Liberal Michael Ignatieff and Conservative Stephen Harper.

Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe, also a signatory, was less sentimental, declaring the proposal simply “defunct.”

The Liberal party too acknowledged the death of the coalition, although some participants blamed the Liberals for their part in its ultimate demise.

The coalition lived for a total of 59 days.

In its short life it brought much political fireworks to Ottawa and thrived on its moments in the spotlight. As recently as this weekend, there were some who believed it might yet survive.

Condolences can be sent to directly to the MPs who supported it.

(source)

Apologies to those who are in mourning for that goofy Liberal-NDP-Bloc (supported by the Bloc) coalition, but I for one am glad to see its grotesque existence come to an end.

Now that their attempted power-grab has failed, can they please get on with the business of providing reasonable opposition to the government?

Green stimulus

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

The new federal budget will be presented in just a few days.

That’s the Canadian federal budget, in case you’ve been totally immersed in Obama news.

There’s a lot of pressure on the Conservatives for big spending projects to stimulate the flagging economy.  As much as I hate to see Canada getting into deficit spending again, building up the debt for our children to pay off, I do understand that in times of recession a case can be made for the government running deficits while spending more to stimulate the economy.  I just hope that the feds will choose their spending priorities wisely.

If spending is to increase, I agree with the four former Prime-Ministers who have issued a call for a Green Stimulus package as part of the budget.  I don’t know if all of the elements are sound, but I like the idea of increased spending on alternative energy sources, including biomass from the forest.

I also would like to see a more generous grant for home energy retrofits.  The current ecoENERGY Retrofit program provides some incentive but it could certainly be improved.

And maybe the feds could match or increase the new $50 Low/Dual-Flush Toilet rebate water conservation program announced by the Saskatchewan provincial government last week.  I’d follow my cousin Roger’s lead and save on my water bill by peeing behind the shed but the neighbours would probably complain.

Calling separatists separatists

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other Conservatives have come under fire by some media pundits in recent days for referring to the Bloc Québécois as “separatists”.  Unfairly labelling the separatists as separatists is apparently divisive.

A question for those critics … Is it OK to call the Western Block Party “separatists”?

Or is having a stated goal of separating from our great country only acceptable in Eastern Canada?

Just wondering.

62% voted against the Conservatives so …

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

In the last few days I’ve seen a few comments to the effect that 62% of  Canadian voters did not vote for the Conservatives in the last election, which calls the government’s legitimacy into question.

To put that in perspective, consider that one needs to go back to the 1984 landslide to find an election where a majority of the popular vote went to the leading party.

So were all those governments including Chretien’s three consecutive majorities illegitimate because the other parties received more votes?

Canadian Election

Leading Party & Leader

Number of Seats Won

Percent of Total Seats

Percent of Popular Vote

Percent Voting for Other Parties

2008

Conservative (Harper)

143 of 308

46.4%

37.6%

62.4%

2006

Conservative (Harper)

124 of 308

40.3%

36.3%

63.7%

2004

Liberal (Martin)

135 of 308

43.8%

36.7%

63.3%

2000

Liberal (Chrétien)

172 of 301

57.1%

40.8%

59.2%

1997

Liberal (Chrétien)

155 of 301

51.5%

38.5%

61.5%

1993

Liberal (Chrétien)

177 of 295

60.0%

41.2%

58.8%

1988

PC (Mulroney)

169 of 295

57.3%

43.0%

57%

1984

PC (Mulroney)

211 of 282

74.8%

50.0%

50.0%

Etc.

UPDATE:  My apologies for the ugly table formatting. At least the table is showing up now – originally it displayed fine in Firefox but not in Internet Explorer – in fact having a table in this post made all of my previous posts disappear. If anyone knows how to insert Word tables into WordPress while retaining the formatting, please let me know.

Is this really necessary?

Monday, December 1st, 2008

I’m not going to call it a coup, or even illegitimate or undemocratic, because apparently Canada’s democratic tradition allows for coalition governments.

However I have a hard time buying the argument that a change of government is necessary at this time.

Green shift website

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Canada’s official opposition’s proposed carbon tax can be found at www.greenshift.com

Whoa, wait a minute, make that www.greenshift.ca

Whoa again.

Oh well, just Google it.