Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Unemployed. In Canada. We Can't Make This Up.

Those Liberal campaign ads are like the movie "The Aristocrats." A person can simply insert their own content and end with a few short words. Mercer had a great play on them today on the Report.

David Herle may want to look at the career prospects in Saskatchewan. He could be close to his family and flee the stink of the failed campaign.


Captain Canada passes

The race to replace Paul Martin is starting to resemble a mass exodus. Once interested individuals are choosing to avoid Stornaway like the plague and have created the most wide open Liberal field in at least 30 years.

I agree with the Calgary Grit that this is a good thing. In fact, who would have thought 3 years ago that a leadership race of Stephen Harper, Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement would have produced the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada? Remember Bernard Lord, Mike Harris, Peter MacKay, Jim Prentice, Chuck Strahl all took a pass on the Tory leadership and the party is now in power.

Here is an informal, not vetted by Liberal connections, list of candidates. These individuals are believed to harbour ambitions - for what that is worth these days.

Not even walking

Frank McKenna
John Manley - Tough to find additional subject matter for this blog.
Brian Tobin - Also, this blog seems, well, kind of pointless.
Ujjal Dosanjh

Slightly sprinting

Michael Ignatieff
Belinda Stronach
Scott Brison
Martin Cauchon
Joe Volpe
Maurizio Bevilacqua

Slowly Jogging

Ken Dryden
Gerard Kennedy
Bob Rae
Allan Rock
Stephane Dion

Aimlessly waddling

Glen Murray
Jane Stewart
Sheila Copps
George Smitherman
Anne McLellan
Christy Clark
Clyde Wells
Dennis Mills
Denis Coderre
Hedy Fry


Everything for Nuts to bolt

The other day the work discussion stumbled onto craigslist and some of the odd things people are posting on it. It seemed handy to unload the apartment, but wow some people really throw themselves at the thing full throttle.

Here are a couple of examples of craigslist posts from the US - this are tame compared to some of the ones highlighted on Fark and Gorilla Mask.

Original craigslist post.

Evah since I been a lil girl i always be thinkin that it would be nasty (in a good way) to have a couple of men act out that scene from Star Wars where Luke comes to rescue Princess Leah from Jabba the hut.

Here's what i want: Four men (Luke, Jabba, Hans Solo, and Chewy) to come over to my house, tie me up by the neck and then beat me around for a while before re-enacting the entire portion of the film that takes place at Jabba's palace (i will provide copies of the script for you to memorize or read before we commence and i have created costumes from fabric and pieces of plastic i had lying around the house).

Or for the ladies:

I need a fine lady to hammer small spikes through my scrotum, into a plank of wood. Must be very accurate, I would prefer a carpenter or a lady who knows her way around a set of tools. Serious inquiries only...

Must also be able to remove spikes.
Look at me like that again and I'll stab you in the eye.


Road Rage in Kensington Market?

The Toronto Star featured an article today on a dust-up that happened in the Kensington Market. Apparently there are over 100,000 hits a day on this site and as a result it is a slow as shit.

The photos are were taken by a photographer at CityNoise, where a motorist and a bike courier got into a heated exchange and physical altercation in the Market. The story, as it is known to Torontoist, goes like this:

...the driver threw a bunch of garbage out the window, the courier picked it up and threw it back in. He got out and threw coffee on her, she keyed the car. He proceeds to stomp on her bike and then hit her before bystanders pull him away.

The event was parlayed to Torontoist as an example of low tolerance in the biker-motorist relationship - although we think this is a rather extreme example. There was some unverified talk of a baseball bat and police involvement, but we will refrain from commenting on that which we are unsure of (this time). Now, there is even talk that the entire event was staged?

Street art or road rage? You decide.


Oscar Wild

The nominees are in and it is time to commit to some serious movie watching before March 5th.

Here are the contenders for the main categories - no offense to those associated with customes and sound.

Best Picture: "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote," "Crash," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Munich."

Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"; Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"; Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"; Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"; David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck."

Actress: Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"; Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica"; Keira Knightley, "Pride & Prejudice"; Charlize Theron, "North Country"; Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line."

Supporting Actor: George Clooney, "Syriana"; Matt Dillon, "Crash"; Paul Giamatti, "Cinderella Man"; Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain"; William Hurt, "A History of Violence."

Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "Junebug"; Catherine Keener, "Capote"; Frances McDormand, "North Country"; Rachel Weisz, "The Constant Gardener"; Michelle Williams, "Brokeback Mountain."

Director: Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"; Bennett Miller, "Capote"; Paul Haggis, "Crash"; George Clooney, "Good Night, and Good Luck."; Steven Spielberg, "Munich."

Check back ocassional as Moldy will have a pool going and also providing picks, for what that is worth.


Caption It

Don't call on Valentine's Day...hmm.. I am busy!


And the race is on...well (UPDATE)

sort of.

The race to replace Paul Martin will likely have no shortage of candidates. The rumours are flying fast and furious - this person is in and this person is out. The only thing that is is certain is that both John Manley and now Frank McKenna are out and there is going to be an actual race with speeches and vote buying, oops, I mean vote prying.

Belinda Stronach sounds like she is in.

Brian Tobin is likely weighing his options now that a fellow Maritimer is out of the running.

One time Martin friend and now foe - Maurizio Bevilacqua.

Pass the Tequila Shelia.

Alan Rock, as Kinsella muses about, is likely reconsidering.

Christy Clark - one of the few actual provincial Liberals in Gordon Campbell's original cabinet. Her downside is she is married to a senior Martin aide in BC and those aides are toxic right now.

Joe Volpe. Next.

Jane Stewart - remember the HRSDC event.

Gerard Kennedy. The current Minister of Education in Ontario with a fantastic resume.

A long, but welcome shot, Stephane Dion.

A longershot - Ken Dryden.

The longest shot with the widest chain - Denis Coderre

Watch for Martin Cauchon. He is going to be in the mix and has some assets.

My choice, if I could vote and convince him, Bob Rae.


Communist chic

Stop the press. Benicio Del Toro is a dead ringer for Che Guevara. Del Toro is currently filming in New York and based on appearances I would say he has the character down.

He does look pretty close to the shirts people kept wearing back when Rage Against the Machine was popular. Granted, it is not nearly as hip as the ones gracing the streets of Toronto.

Monday, January 30, 2006


Top Ten Great Music Videos You Haven't Seen

The Decemberists video is great but what would you expect from such a fine band?

The list is here.


The Razzie Nominations are Finally Here!

Three cheers for the Simpson sisters - the family has talent!!

Worst Picture

Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo
Dirty Love
Dukes of Hazzard
House of Wax
Son of the Mask

Worst Actor

Tom Cruise, War of the Worlds
Will Ferrell, Bewitched & Kicking and Screaming
Jamie Kennedy, Son of the Mask
The Rock, Doom
Rob Schenider, Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo

Worst Actress

Jessica Alba, Fantastic Four & Into the Blue
Hilary Duff, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 & The Perfect Man
Jennifer Lopez, Monster in Law
Jenny McCarthy, Dirty Love
Tara Reid, Alone in the Dark

Most Tiresome Tabloid Targets

Tom Cruise & His Anti-Psychiatry Rant
Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Oprah Winfrey's Couch, The Eiffel Tower & Tom's Baby
Paris Hilton and...Who-EVER!
Mr. & Mrs. Britney, Their Baby & Their Camcorder
The Simpsons: Ashlee, Jessica & Nick

Worst Supporting Actor

Hayden Christensen, Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
Alan Cumming, Son of the Mask
Bob Hoskins, Son of the Mask
Eugene Levy, Cheaper by the Dozen 2& The Man
Burt Reynolds, Dukes of Hazzard & The Longest Yard

Worst Supporting Actress

Carmen Electra, Dirty Love
Paris Hilton, House of Wax
Katie Holmes, Batman Begins
Ashlee Simpson, Undiscovered
Jessica Simpson, Dukes of Hazzard

Worst Screen Couple

Will Ferrell & Nicole Kidman, Bewitched
Jamie Kennedy & Anybody Stuck Sharing the Screen with Him, Son of the Mask
Jenny McCarthy & Anyone Dumb Enough to Befriend Her, Dirty Love
Rob Schneider & His Diapers, Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo
Jessica Simpson & Her Daisy Dukes, Dukes of Hazzard

Worst Remake or Sequel

Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo
Dukes of Hazzard
House of Wax
Son of the Mask

Worst Director

John Asher, Dirty Love
Ewe Boll, Alone in the Dark
Jay Chandrasekhar, Dukes of Hazzard
Nora Ephron, Bewitched
Lawrence Gutterman, Son of the Mask

Worst Screenplay

Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo
Dirty Love
Dukes of Hazzard
Son of the Mask

See previous winners here.


Separated At Birth

Howard Stern mentioned on his show today that Ellen Degeneres and Owen Wilson coudl be twins and I thought, naw, that isn't possible But look what happens when you put together a little Separated At Birth comparrison... not quite Conan's If they mated but close.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Group Hug

The NDP have signaled that they can work with the Conservatives in the upcoming Parliament. This is a relief to the majority of Canadians who just want the government, any government, to get to work for people.

Mercer has some great shots of Mr.Layton.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


True Colours

You likely missed the news on the medical front that a group of US scientists announced the beginning of the end of a deadly cancer - cervical cancer.

In clinical trials, a new vaccine was a hundred percent successful in preventing the virus that causes most cervical cancer, the second-leading cancer killer of women in the world. Every year some 10,000 American women are diagnosed with it, and nearly 4,000 die. It now appears that with government approval and funding, we're on our way to ending this scourge.

This development was greeted with instant jubilation from physicians. Eliav Barr of Merck, one of the two companies to develop a vaccine, offered a toast: “This is it. This is the Holy Grail.”

It is, however, not so simple. It appears that social conservatives aren't celebrating as loudly as many in the medical community. Why? Well, the treatment is likely to promote premarital sex in their eyes.

Here are a few examples of comments on the development from some select social dinosaurs:

A National Abstinence Clearinghouse stated that they object to vaccinating children against a disease that is 100 percent preventable with proper sexual behavior.

On the HPV Vaccine:

What's with trying to vaccinate 10 year olds for HPV? Hey, while we're doing that, let's put them all the pill too! I know that when I was 10, I would just suddenly be walking down the street and the urge to have sex was just too much! So, we better vaccinate everyone against STDs just in case the urge is too much to handle! Don't they know that not all teenagers and college students are having sex? It's not impossible or unrealistic to expect young people to abstain until marriage - I know - I'm living proof! What it takes is parents getting involved and asking questions, what, where, when, who. It also takes parents to "buck up" and give the talk and tell their children what they think about premarital sex, talk about family values and, duh, talk about the consequences. When my parents were teens, there were 2 STDs, now there are more than 40. Now, this wouldn't have anything to do with better medical diagnosing would it? Or better identification? Statements like this are such utter bullshit that it makes one sick.

Factcheck: Remove religion and insert science. Follow the advice of experts, not ideologues, in determining who should receive this intervention.

Cervical cancer is caused by a virus, or group of viruses, known as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). They are similar to the viruses which cause warts and herpes, though obviously far more dangerous. Like herpes, they can be spread by sexual contact, but only a few of those who harbour the virus actually develop cancer. Two of the major factors which cause the virus to become active seem to be smoking and poor nutrition. Although regular screening can greatly reduce the risk of cervical cancer in women - thanks to screening, the incidence of the disease in Australia has declined steadily for the past 20 years - the disease is a serious cause of death in Third World countries, where standards of hygiene are poor, malnutrition is common, and societies lack the resources for preventive programs.

It is true that sexual activity can, and often does, cause HPV, it is by no means the only way in which the disease forms and spreads. Not convinced the Clearinghouse doesn't always tell it like it is? Read some of the other position statements.

On Homosexuality:

Abstinence Clearinghouse believes that emotional intimacy is an innate need for all people, but sexual activity does not replace true intimacy. Friendship with another person of the same sex is healthy, but does not need sexual activity to validate its importance. Research shows the homosexual lifestyle is not a healthy alternative for males or females. The male and female bodies are not anatomically suited to accommodate sexual relations with members of the same sex. Sexual practices in the homosexual lifestyle are considered very dangerous for disease, infection, ect. This lifestyle should not be encouraged as healthy or as an equal alternative to marriage. Don't you love how these groups drop marriage into all the arguments?

On Masturbation:

Abstinence Clearinghouse believes the focus of the marriage union is a shared intimacy between two people, a husband and a wife. The arousal response in individuals is the most easily trained response in the human body. Sexual self stimulation along with fantasy or pornography can actually train a person to bond to pictures, objects, ect., and may eventually leave the person unable to respond sexually to a real person. Sex therapists consider masturbation the first stage of sexual addiction for sex addicts. This practice should not be encouraged as a “safe” sexual practice. Stop touching yourself right now. Yes, that means you. Step away from your penis!

The Family Research Council head honchos said that well they “welcome medical advances,” it is with a great deal of caution. FRC's Tony Perkins said he would not inoculate his own daughter: “It sends the wrong message. Our concern is that this vaccine will be marketed to a segment of the population that should be getting a message about abstinence.”

At the heart of the debate is the fact that the vaccine works against the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted. Since HPV is transmitted skin to skin, not just through intercourse, condoms aren't wholly effective against it. This has made HPV one of the most useful tools in the kit bag of fear carried by those who like to describe condom use as “Russian roulette.”

Abstinence-only teachers use HPV repeatedly in manuals that say students must be told that choosing sex may be choosing cancer.

The new vaccine would have to be given to preteens before they are sexually active. If that sends them the “wrong message” — that we expect they'll have premarital sex — what exactly is the “right message”? That we care more about their virginity than their life? And if you believe a vaccine promotes sex, is fear the only reliable promoter of abstinence?

Fear-mongering as a public health tactic is very popular this days. There is the endless disinformation campaign that links abortion to breast cancer. There are the burgeoning abstinence-or-else classes riddled with misinformation. In fact, California Congressman Henry Waxman (D) found that two-thirds of the abstinence-only education programs are teaching the “right message” with the wrong science.

The American government is pouring billions upon billions of dollars into teaching students that touching another person's genitals “can result in pregnancy,” that “there's no such thing as 'safe' or 'safer' sex” and that loneliness, embarrassment, substance abuse and personal disappointment “can be eliminated by being abstinent until marriage.”

The lessons of abstinence-only — and we do mean only — expand from the classroom to the drugstore. Tuesday, the FDA yet again delayed putting Plan B emergency contraception on the shelves. One reason is the right wing's belief that young teenagers will get access to it. These “values conservatives” believe — contrary to research — that the morning-after pill will change the night-before behavior. Fear of pregnancy is almost as useful in their kit bag as fear of cancer.

The American people need to ask themselves some tough questions. What will happen when the government's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices considers adding the cervical cancer vaccine to the list given routinely to children? Will social conservatives prevail over doctors and parents who want to add another layer of protection to the vows of abstinence?

The medical community is now working on various other STD shots - what if they come up with a vaccine for AIDS, which do you choose: an abstinence pledge or a cure?

Meanwhile, Gene Rudd of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations probably sums it up best when he acknowledges the worries of fellow travelers: “I've talked to some who have said, `This is going to sabotage our abstinence message.'”


It's jack-of-all-trades Stan

A sure sign it is going to be a long road trip. Driving between Halifax and Moncton and scrambling to find decent radio, any radio. I stumble on an all request noon hour show. A young sounding women phones in and enthusiastically requests her favourite Friday song by her favourite band.

Boys in the Bright White Sportscar. Trooper. On the radio. In Canada.

C95, where are thou?

As you were.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Dial up the middle

Events may not have unfolded exactly as recounted.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Let's call a spade a spade

Conservative MP, and soon to be Cabinet Minister, Monty Solberg signalled yesterday that there are two things the opposition parties can keep their hands off - the tax cut plan and the child care plan - a.k.a family allowance.

Solberg and crew shouldn't have much opposition to GST cut, corporate and capital taxes. It remains to be seen, however, if they will do the unpopular thing and hike income taxes to pay for it.

There stance on the new child care road map is completely different. The new family allowance plan is one of the worse ideas the Tories had in the arsonal. The plan is slated to cost over $10 billion in the next five years and will do little to ensure childcare spaces are provided for Canadians. I have raised this issue a few times on Moldy, but it is worth a much closer look.

The plan, similar to the Liberals 50/50 Tuition Plan, overwhelming favours the well-off. Now, some of my Conservative friends are ok with that and for other policies I would have little trouble with it but not this one. This plan needs go back to the garage and get a new coat of paint, some new tires and real engine.

The plan does little to address the supply side of the childcare equation. It only offsets the cost of childcare by a fraction (average cost of childcare in the country is at least $500 per month is Why am I so against giving parents choice? I am not. What I am against is believing that transfering a universal taxable benefit to every Canadian is good policy. The so-called $25 week or $1,200 is not actually that. It is a taxable benefit so very few Canadians will actually realize a benefit that size.

Also, since this money is taxable it will work to clawback other programs designed to assist working poor Canadians. It is simply adding another brick to the welfare wall. If the Conservative party was truly progressive or populist, they would extend a hand to these Canadians by assisting them rather than pushing them back under the poverty line.

The plan is also unfair because it would favour one-earner families over single-parent families and two-earner families. Most Canadian families need and use child care outside the home so that parents can work in the paid labour force or study. The proposed plan would do little if anything to increase the supply of affordable, quality child care. Nor would the scheme do much to help families pay for child care, since it would offset only a fraction of the cost of child care.

A much better alternative to the Conservative plan would be to use that money − about $1.6 billion net of federal and provincial/territorial income taxes − to boost the Canada Child Tax Benefit to strengthen the child benefit system. The base Canada Child Tax Benefit could be raised by about $800 per child under 6. This would help those who fundamentally need the money the most and strengthen child care in the country.

The Caledon Institute actually produced a short paper on the winners and losers under the new plan and it is worth a read.


Hug it out?

A proud papa walks his kids to school in a staged photo-op. A nice touch by Harper to show the country he is a family man, but would it kill you to hug your kids? A handshake? Harper could continue to earn big points with the Tim Horton's hockey moms and dad's (and send a good message to his Christian footsoliders) if would just loosen up.

Parent advocate Colleen Longfield and other good Christian's will tell you, hugs are a parent's secret weapon.

A simple hug is a very powerful thing. There are a few compelling reasons to hug YOUR precious ones every single day.Hugs....- lower your blood pressure. Or at least feel like it. - nurture a team spirit. The family team, that is. - are free. So do it twice. - are what kids honestly crave. No matter what they say! - get kids' attention. And open their ears. - can melt multiple harsh words. For both you and your child. - make you smile! And it's tough to stay angry when you're smilin'. - model generosity of spirit. Give and you shall receive! - are the right way to welcome home someone weary from his or her day. - feel GREAT!

Many scientific studies have shown the positive effects of hugging. More importantly to me, I've seen the positive effects in my own family. As parents, we sometimes grope for the right words to inspire our children. We question our own choice of disciplinary tactics. We agonize over our apparent inadequacies in this most important of jobs. So hug. Hugging is virtually always helpful (especially when our children claim to not want it); soothing, comforting, and very hard to over-do, as long as you are sincere. Best of all, when the hugs start coming back at you, you'll know why 'Mom' or 'Dad' is the best title in the world!

Ok, I think I am going to be sick.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Canada's 22nd Prime Minister - The Right Honourable Stephen Harper

Congratulations to Harper and his team. They ran a good campaign and put forward their issues to Canadians in a spirited way. Time will tell how long this government will last but two things are certain.

One, the West is in and will be heard.

Two, Canada has two national parties and the Bloc is on the way down.

The second point is an excellent development for Canadians.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Demotion time

Lost in the shuffle to get a few posts up this weekend, I forgot to address Peter Mackay's comments on an Atlantic radio program. His "stick to your knitting" comment to Alexa McDonough was in my view - offside - and showed him to a real classless individual. Some have called this a sexist remark, including Alexa.

Although this probably was his intention, the question remains whether this remark was in fact sexist. There are a couple of interpretations that one can think of:

a) the implication in the phrase is that women should stick to traditional women’s roles and leave politics to men - this being the most offensive interpretation of the phrase - the most likely.

b) since both men and women now knit, maybe the comment isn’t offensive at all since it has become a gender-neutral activity (I don’t think I really buy this one, I don’t personally know any guys who knit, although I know there are some out there) - not very likely.

c) the comment isn’t actually offensive, just out of touch. Knitting is so hot right now, you could bring your knitting on the campaign trail and it would probably win voters over to your side. So the phrase doesn’t actually mean anything, because you don’t have to stick to politics or knitting, you can do both at once. Knitting IS political - somewhat likely.

d) by implying that the phrase was sexist, Alexa McDonough was actually offending knitters, by implying that there is something wrong with knitting (i.e. that it is granny-like, feminine, domestic, in the negative sense). Further, her own remark was offensive to women, because even if knitting is a traditionally female task, can’t women politicians be feminine or domestic without it being perceived as a negative trait? From left field.

Unlike Andrew Coyne, I did find the comment offensive.

Mackay was once a rising star until he sold his credible down the river with his sneaky deal with David Orchard. Alexa, for her part, is taking the high road and offered to even knit for Peter which is far more than he deserves.

Remember this...
Text of the agreement signed by Peter MacKay and David Orchard forming the basis for Orchard's final-ballot support for MacKay at the PC Party Leadership Convention, May 31, 2003. This agreement was published in the Globe and Mail, June 5, 2003 under the heading "Tory leadership deal. Peter MacKay won David Orchard's support at the Tory leadership convention based on a deal hastily scrawled on a piece of paper."

May 31, 2003 Agreement between Peter MacKay and David Orchard

1) No merger, joint candidates w[ith] Alliance. Maintain 301.

2) Review of FTA/NAFTA - blue ribbon commission with D[avid] O[rchard] w[ith] choice of chair w[ith] P[eter] M[acKay's] agreement. Rest of members to be jointly agreed upon.

3) Clean up of head office including change of national director in consultation (timing w[ithin] reasonable period in future, pre-election) and some of DO's people working at head office.

4) Commitment to making environmental protection front and center incl[uding] sustainable agriculture, forestry, reducing pollution through rail.

[Signed by Peter MacKay and David Orchard]

Maybe Harper could tap him to restore accountability in government.


Bye Bye Belinda

Royal Canadian Air Farce has a funny skit on Belinda Stronach. She will be missed.


Sure signs the Liberal campaign tanked

Has it come to this? David Orchard holds a press conference and (a) someone cares; (b) he does it with less than a week to go (c) doesn't do it in his home province of Saskatchewan.



Take solace

If you think you are having a bad month, don't. Imagine you are Buzz Hargrove. You make a couple of ridiculous statements about the Bloc and the Conservatives. Ford announces massive layoffs and your union is in their cross-hairs.

Oh, he is avaialble for comment tonight on the election. This ought to be interesting.


The Ballot Box Bandit

It wasn't me. Apparently some loon in Nova Scotia decided to steal the ballot box and drive over it with his truck.

I guess he thought it said mark on x on the box - with tread.


Caption It

Is this where we place our resumes?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Coathangers and backalleys

On the 30th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the night before the Canadian election, these events are not without their similiarities.

The Sun newspaper chain and a good friend over at http://bumfonline.blogspot.com/2006/01/fraud-canada.html have asked the question - how could anyone vote Liberal? There are only a few hours to go before the polls swing wide open for all Canadians - including prisoners - to mark an x beside their candidate / party of choice. I can say, however, that I still haven’t firmly made up my mind. It is down to either the NDP or Liberals.

That is right. I am thinking of voting Liberal. Why? The economy of the country is strong, unemployment is low, research and development spending is up. The Liberals know where the key to Canada's future lies and the Conservatives couldn't find it with Google map. I even agree with the gun registry - not the money spent on it, but the concept and think that all firearms should be banned.

Those are only a few of the economic reasons, but my decision will factor in social policy as well. The recent decisions to permit same-sex marriage and move to decimalize marijuana are huge steps forward for the country. We should move further by legalizing soft drugs - tax and regulate them. We could do the same for prostitution.

The Conservatives stance on social issues scares me. The Church has no business in the bedrooms of the nation. If two same sex individuals love each other and want to get married. Why stop them? The protection of the family (with the current 50% divorce rate) is laughable and the idea that marriage is for procreation is a bigger joke. Are two people that marry with no intention of having kids destined for a civil union? Civil unions imply a second class marriage. No Canadian deserves second rate treatment.

Neither the Liberal nor Conservative childcare policies are actually going to assist families in need. The Liberal plan has a marginal chance of some success but the Conservative plan is so tilted to the middle and upper-class it is a joke. In fact, like the Liberal 50/50 Tuition Plan, the Conservative childcare policy will actual make matter worse for low-income earners and add another brick to the welfare wall.

Also, the Conservative stance on abortion is troubling. Over 70% of their current MPs are Pro-Life and the leader, although stating policy, indicates that the government will not bring forward legislation but private members are free to do whatever they chose. Harper will not whip his caucus or cabinet and that means that Abortion could be made illegal again.

This isn't a stretch. Check the latest interview with Global National's Kevin Newman and Harper comments.

Newman: On the issue of abortion, will you pledge that there will be no legislation on abortion, there will never be a free vote in Parliament on that issue?

Harper: Never is a long time - read not this term. What I'm saying is I have no desire to see that issue debated in the near future. We're saying very clear in our platform we're not going to support or initiate abortion legislation and frankly I don't want this Parliament to have an abortion debate.

Newman: So to be clear, you support a woman's right to choose?

Harper: I've always said my views on the abortion issue are complex, I don't fall into any of the neat polar extremes on this issue.

Newman: Explain them then if they are complex.

Harper: No, I don't need to because I'm not proceeding with an abortion agenda.

This is one of the most loaded answers I have ever heard. I don't have to tell you what I think of an issue since we will not be moving such an issue. The issue is complex, but either you are Pro-Choice or Pro-Life. There is no third way.

So, back to my riding. Carolyn Bennett is taking on Peter Kent (C) and Paul Summerville (NDP). Bennett is a solid MP and is well respected on the issue of women's rights. She is a staunch promoter of women's health and that matters. She is working to make society better for both men and women.

I have a great deal of respect for Paul Summerville. He is a big believer that the productivity gap can be filled with increased investment in both infrastructure and post-secondary education - including research and development. He is correct on both counts.

Peter Kent, like his leader and party, seems content to tell me that the Conservative party will make Ottawa more accountable and be more responsible with my money. Good points, but neither of those will make the country more productive. Neither will his constant reminder that the majority media outlets are biased. He will not be elected to make the Globe or the Star more fair and balanced.

Maybe Prime Minister Harper can replace the Gun Registry with a Coat Hanger Registry.

UPDATE - Reason number 415 why Harper keeps getting pressed on the issue of abortion. His good Christian footsoliders want to lead the charge to the alleys.


With friends like these...

... who needs to sit as leader of the Official Opposition.

Buzz will soon be the ex-leader of CAW and he can join the ex-leader of Canada on the beach for a cocktail.


Repeat, repeat, repeat....

Two media developments have greatly assisted the Conservative movement in both Canada and the United States - news talk radio and blogging.

News talk radio, primarily now dominated by conservative hosts, is popular amongst many individuals who spend a great deal of time commuting to and from work / worksites, working on a jobsite. Many of these stations have become agenda setters and encourage citizen outrage. An hour of rage on a Saskatchewan radio station sums it up.

On the blogging front, the Conservative movement in Canada - not sure the same can be said in the US since Howard Dean made effective use of the internet during his 15 minutes of fame - has really done a great job organizing, hosting and posting stories around the clock and country. In fact, some of the best writers (many whose viewpoints I rarely agree with) are solid contributors now to public policy discussion in the country.

The use of the internet and blogging by Conservatives hit home when I received the following message:

My name is Alan Robberstad
I am a Canadian.
One voter out of millions of Canadian voters.

Paul Martin is no friend of mine.
Liberal governments have not made my life any better. Liberal governments have made the future worse for my children.

Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party became Prime Minister many years
ago. Guess who was the Liberal Finance Minister.....Paul Martin...LEST WE FORGET

Since 1993:
(1) My taxes have increased.
(2) My family's share of the national debt has increased.
(3) My personal expenses have increased.
(4) My waiting time to see a doctor has increased.
(5) My concerns for my family's safety have increased.
(6) My costs to educate my children have increased.
(7) Government interference in my life has increased.
(8) My personal debt has increased.
(9) My income has stayed more or less the same.
(10) My savings have decreased.
(11) The buying power of my dollar, in Canada, has decreased.
(12) The value of my dollar, in the U.S., has decreased.
(13) My trust of elected officials has decreased.
(14) My trust in the justice system has decreased.
(15 )My trust in the immigration system has decreased.
(16) My hope that a Liberal won't waste my tax dollars has decreased.
(17 My dreams for a better future for my kids, in Canada, have disappeared.

That is my story since the Liberals came to power. I am not voting for Paul Martin's Liberal. I am voting against Paul Martin and his Liberal Party on January 23, 2006. I am voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party. Do I like the Conservatives? Not particularly......I don't really like Politics. I am not political by nature. I am not passionate about politics. I am a middle age guy (48). I live in a small house on a fairly quiet street in Edmonton. I have a wife, Kathy, and two children (ages 19 and 17). I have no pets. I am a middle class man. I don't usually say too much. Until now. Now I am going to say something!

In 35 of the past 37 years, Canada has been ruled by: (1) Pierre Trudeau - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec. (2) Brian Mulroney - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec. (3) Jean Chretien - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec. (4) And now we are going to vote for Paul Martin???? - a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec??? The leader of the Conservative party, Stephen Harper, is: (1) Not a lawyer. (2) Not a multi-millionaire. (3) Not from Quebec.

Stephen Harper says that the Conservative party will: (1) Reduce my taxes. (2) Pay off the national debt as fast as they can.(3) Shrink the size and influence of the federal government. That's good enough for me. I'm going to give the Conservative party a chance with my vote. But wait! Paul Martin is now saying the same thing. My mother told me forty years ago: "Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me twice - shame on me!"

The Liberals have had 34 years to be financially responsible. Remember, Jean Chretien was Trudeau's Finance Minister. Remember also, Paul Martin was Jean Chretien's Finance Minister. These people have been raising my taxes for thirty four years. They have been mis-spending my tax dollars for 34 years. 34 years!
And now Paul Martin says he'll stop taxing and spending. No way.

Thank you for reading my story so far! Why am I telling my story to you? Although I feel alone, I know that I am not alone. Your story may be similar to mine. And you may also feel alone. One small voter in the midst of millions of voters. What can you and I do together to change things? Here is my idea: Lets you and I join up together. Just you and I. Together. As a small team of two. How can you and I fight a huge political machine? You and I have two things that we can use:
(1) Our individual personal connections.
(2) The Internet.

The Internet is supposed to be this global zing tool, right? Let's put it to use. I have 27 Canadians in my personal e-mail address book. I am sending this e-mail to each of them. I'm asking you to do two things (1) Forward this e-mail to every Canadian in your own address book. (2) Vote against Paul Martin and the Liberal Party on January 23. Vote for the Conservative candidate in your riding. I have probably written this e-mail too late. As I said I am not politically adroit. I feel like Peter Finch, in the 1976 movie "Network", when he shouted: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Please, forward the e-mail RIGHT NOW!!

As I type these last few words the voting begins in less than 18 days. 432 hours till voting begins. I hope the Internet is as fast as some people claim it is.
This may not work. This e-mail may "fizzle out" and go nowhere. But you and I will have tried, won't we have?

My best wishes to you.

My best wishes to Canadians everywhere.

My thanks to David Stokes from Toronto
He actually wrote this just (5) days before the last federal election in 2000.
Fool me once - shame on you.
Fool me twice - shame on me!"

Alan Robberstad
Edmonton, Alberta
June 10, 2004@ 3:00 p.m.

Alan's email got me doing a little factchecking. Since 1993:

(1) My taxes have increased.

Let's take a closer look at this allegation. What is the source of this supposed tax increase? Taxes are a function of one's own personal circumstances, not just government tax rates which in most cases have decreased at the federal level, not increased, since 1993. (Source: Rev Canada tax forms, and budget info on the federal Department of Finance website.)

For the 1993 tax year, the federal tax rates were 17% for the first tax bracket, 26% for the second tax bracket, and 29% for the third tax bracket. These tax rates remained unchanged until they were REDUCED beginning with the 2000 tax year (except for the top rate of 29%, which remained unchanged, although the income level at which it kicks in was raised to $100,000 beginning in 2001, thereby reducing the scope of it's application only to high income earners). The federal surtaxes remained constant at 3% and 5% from 1993 through to 1997, after which they were reduced, and entirely eliminated by 2001. Furthermore, full indexing of tax brackets to inflation was restored in the 2000 federal budget, retroactive to January 1st of that year, thereby elminating "bracket creep" (which would not have been a factor for this taxpayer if his income really hadn't increased over that time period anyway) and other adverse impacts of inflation. So if federal income taxes for this taxpayer have increased since 1993, it is probably because his income (or his spouse's income) has increased, or other aspects of his personal circumstances have changed.

If this taxpayer is looking only at his pay stub, rather than the tax system, he would have seen increases in his Canada Pension Plan contributions over that period of time. However, the CPP is separate from the tax system, and those increases reflect POSITIVE action to put the CPP plan on a solid financial footing, to ensure that Canada Pension will actually be available to this worker, and all others, when their time comes to receive funds from it!

(2) My family's share of the national debt has increased.

When the Liberals came to power in 1993, they inherited a fiscal deficit (diaster from the Mulroney Conservatives) of approximately $40 billion, attributable to actions of previous governments (both Liberal and Conservative) and economic circumstances. Until the deficit could be eliminated, debt mathematically had to continue to accumulate. However, the federal government has now had eight consecutive balanced budgets, and the federal debt to GDP ratio
(the commonly-accepted measure of national indebtedness) has declined from a high of about 68% in 1995 to about 44% in 2003, and the ratio continues to fall. This is a significant accomplishment. Paul Martin has been criticized for underestimating surpluses, but this (small-c) conservative approach has represented sound financial management, and allowed the country to pay down debt at a faster rate than would otherwise have been possible (thereby reducing debt service and freeing up fiscal "room" for other program spending), while at the same time allowing for REDUCTIONS in tax rates. Martin's critics have advocated reducing or eliminating fiscal surpluses, either via faster tax reductions or higher spending, or both, which in turn would result in SLOWER reduction of debt and debt service, or could even create debt increases.

(3) My personal expenses have increased.

How is this the fault of the federal government?

(4) My waiting time to see a doctor has increased.

Does this refer to seeing a GP, a specialist, diagnostic tests or an emergency room? Urgent care or something less threatening? No one doubts that there are issues to be addressed with respect to health care accessibility and waiting times, but one must be careful about blanket condemnations. More funding for health care is unquestionably required. It is the solid fiscal footing produced by Mr. Martin which now allows all parties to consider reinvesting in health care. And one must be careful about anyone who promises a "free lunch" (significant tax reductions, spending increases, and debt reduction, all at the same time!) Let's keep in mind that other parties, not just the Liberals, also strongly advocated the elimination of the deficit. This taxpayer may or may not have been among them, but it is
particularly hard to understand how those who demanded the elimination of the deficit can now be so critical of the person who is most responsible for actually eliminating the deficit! It took decades for Canada to reach the point of having multi-billion dollar deficits, accumulating mountains of borrowing in the process.
Debt service is totally non-discretionary, thus requiring the necessary spending cuts to be made in other areas. Did anyone really think the elimination of the deficit would be painless? The point is that the deficit HAS been eliminated, the debt to GDP ratio is falling, and health care spending is now increasing.

(5) My concerns for my family's safety have increased.

In what areas? Are these fears justified? Statistics Canada reports (see The Daily, June 24/04 for the latest; data is based on that released by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics) that the national crime rate has been on a downward trend for over a decade, and now stands 27% below its peak in 1991. StatsCan further reports that violent crime has generally been dropping since the early 1990's, and the homicide rate has been on a downward trend since the mid-1970's. It seems many people continue to believe crime is on the increase (possibly because it takes only a few headlines of violent crimes to influence people's perceptions). And there is no doubt that any crime, when it happens to you or someone you love, is a traumatic,
perhaps even tragic event. But to what extent are the concerns of this person justified, and to what extent can they really be laid at the feet of the federal government?

(6) My costs to educate my children have increased.

Education is primarily a provincial responsibility. Nevertheless, it's clear that all governments, federal and provincial, were facing the same problems of reducing or eliminating deficits, trying to reach balanced budgets, and yes, provincial pressures were increased by reductions in federal transfers. Some provinces (e.g the Conservative government in Ontario), chose to exacerbate their own problems by cutting taxes beyond the level required to provide what many would consider to be sufficient program funding, including that available for education. Again, see comments above under health care. The country has gone through a difficult transition from a poor fiscal framework in 1993 to a solid fiscal framework now, such that a national debate on spending priorities can be held and reinvestments can be made. In fact, the only level of government significantly reinvesting in education is the federal government. The investment is coming in the form of tax credits, research money, scholarships and more grants and loan funding.

(7) Government interference in my life has increased.

Again, in what areas? This is a pretty general statement which requires substantiation. I'm guessing many people would have a lot of difficulty identifying increased federal governement interference in their personal lives.

(8) My personal debt has increased.

How is this the fault of the federal government? How is this the fault of any government? The Conservatives would cringe at this point - where is your personal responsibility?

(9) My income has stayed more or less the same.

Inflation has been reduced to significantly low levels over the past decade or so. Of course, circumstances of individuals will vary, with some facing higher increases in expenditures than in their incomes. And some sectors have been more adversely affected than others. But how is this point relevant to choosing the next federal government?

(10) My savings have decreased.

Again, this statement requires significant elaboration if its relevance to a voting decision is to be understood. In what forms were the savings held? Real estate? Stocks? Other? What exactly has caused the savings to decline? Was the reduction caused by market fluctuations? Discretionary spending? To what extent was
any reduction truly the result of a federal government policy?

(11) The buying power of my dollar, in Canada, has decreased.

As noted above, inflation has been reduced to the lowest levels in decades
over the past 10 years or so, another significant accomplishment of the Canadian economy. (Core 12-month inflation measured at 1.5% for May 2004, per the Bank of
Canada website.) Is the writer saying that inflation is still too high? Any level of inflation will result in some erosion of purchasing power, but it was not too long ago that a greater fear was the risk of DEflation. (See the Japanese experience over the past 15 years or so for the downside of THAT scenario!) And the primary responsibility for controlling inflation in Canada falls to the Bank of Canada, not the federal government. It's hard to understand just what point the writer is trying to make here.

(12) The value of my dollar, in the U.S., has decreased.

On Dec 31, 1993 the value of the Canadian dollar in US terms was approximately $0.76 US. In 2006, the Canadian dollar has traded in a range of about $0.84-$0.85 US (Source: Band of Canada website.) Currency values fluctuate, based on international financial flows and other factors. Yes, the C$ declined in US$ terms for a period of time (some would argue in part, as a reflection of an overvaluation of the US$), but it has recovered to earlier levels, in part, some would say, due to the significant improvement in Canadian government finances over the past 10 years, and an increased
level of confidence in Canada's financial and economic management. And many Canadian exporters have actually complained that the C$ recovered too quickly!

(13) My trust of elected officials has decreased.

Really? It seems to me that this is a complaint made of pretty much all elected officials, in all time eras. There is no doubt that there is always room for improvement, but it is doubtful that any party would have a monopoly on trust.

(14) My trust in the justice system has decreased.

Why? What changes do you want to see? In a few, high-profile cases the system has not worked so that means that we need to employ a lock em up and throw away the key approach?

(15 )My trust in the immigration system has decreased.

Why? Are terrorists flooding across the border? Are we letting the *wrong people* in? Are they stealing Canadian jobs?

(16) My hope that a Liberal won't waste my tax dollars has decreased.

Who wouldn't dispute the problems with the gun registry budget and the sponsorship program. But, despite the deserved criticism of these programs, one should keep them in perspective. Total federal budgetary expenditures are on the order of $180 billion. The problem programs represent only a very small percentage of total
government spending. The Liberals deserve the criticism they have taken for these programs, but there is a much bigger picture here (see the significant fiscal accomplishments above). And Mr. Harper would have had us in Iraq. Does anyone think that would have been cheap, or a good use of funds?

(17) My dreams for a better future for my kids, in Canada, have disappeared.

And this is the fault of the government how? It is not clear that the writer's perceptions are well-founded, or that even if he has faced specific adverse personal
circumstances over the past decade or so, that those circumstances can be attributed to the federal governement.

Let the lies continue to spread in the virtual community.



A single comment made by frequent reader - fair & balanced - got me thinking. Where did some of deepest held values in Canada come from? It wasn't from the so-called "individualism" or "conservative can-do spirit". No, in fact the rise of the CCF / NDP actually provided many programs and values Canadians have grown to cherish and enjoy.

The Winnipeg Manifesto may no longer be relevant and society has evolved, but we should not be so glib to believe individualism will carry the day. Neo-conservative movements are a disaster and trickle down economics is utter-bullshit. Take a peak at the widening income gap in the US if you actually believe this voodoo wealth transfers is successful.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Caption It

Do you know the words to Desperado?


Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free

Speaking from Sask. I would have to agree. A poll was taken and more than 65% of farmers in rural Canada will vote Conservative. NDP? It would be nice to feel inclusive thats all we have now we are operating below a net income and well below the poverty line. For example I have only paid federal income tax 2 years out of the last 20. We raised 2 sons who will not farm one in University the other finishes next year. On Monday we may have hope.

The comment above was posted on the CTV Election Blog and final pushed me to post a long planned comment on the rural / farm voter intention.

Farmers, like many other interest groups, have asked all parties to consider their issues and some parties have responded by including a mention or two about agriculture and farming in their discussions / platforms.

According to a January 18 IPSOS poll, farm economics are top-of-mind for farmers when considering the agriculture issues for Canada’s leaders to address. The number one issues facing the agriculture industry today that farmer’s feel should be addressed are low commodity prices and the price of farm inputs, mentioned by 39% of farmers, each. A quarter of farmers feel that low commodity prices are the top concern to be addressed while 14% feel the top issue is the price of farm inputs. Trade barriers and policies are the top issue for one in eight farmers (12%) and are mentioned as a top-of-mind issue for a quarter of farmers (24%). Government support and income stabilization is a top-of-mind issue for one in six farmers (16%).

Now, after reading the Conservative, Liberal, NDP and Green platforms, I am not sure why two-thirds's of rural Canadians would think the Conservatives will tackle agricultural priorities better than the others? This is a complex question and likely has more to do with past political activity rather than actual policy.

The Liberals suffer, in the west and prodominantly in rural areas, from the Trudeau comments of "sell your own grain" and the infamous finger on the rail. The Mulroney years did little to smooth the tension in the west with his aviation decision. Finally, the Chretien years just add the salt to the wound with the western neglect and the Gun Registry.

The Reform / Alliance movement was born out of political frustration and many in rural and farm communities parked their support with that party due to the feeling of (a) they want to bring a fresh voice to Ottawa (b) they want to address OUR issues (c) they aren't the Liberals or Conservatives. However, what has never made sense to me is why these individuals actually left their support with the Conservatives.

True Conservative ideologue is based on the fundamental premise of INDIVIDUALISM not COLLECTIVISM. Nor does a true Conservative want any government intervention - business should handle everything and anything and the government should stay out of the market. A good example of this would be the stance on the Wheat Board. Most Conservative supporters - rural or urban - want to see the Board scrapped and all farmers be allowed to sell their own grain to whomever they chose.

The other rural / farming concerns - drought, unfair international trade subsidies and emergering markets with more farming clout - are actually difficult to see how any party can address them. Why are farmers gravitating in such large numbers to the Conservatives? Do they actually think that Stephen Harper will make it rain more in the west? Will he be able to convince France and some of the other European countries that their subsidies are useless and unfair? Will they be able to turn back the clock and make markets import grain instead of exporting it?

The best question is when will farming be discussed for what it is - a profession - not a way of life. Farming is becoming a smaller portion of the GDP as the economy expands and folks rellocate to urban areas where employment awaits. The farm lobby is no longer as important as it once was. Finally, no other profession could continually over produce their good and than turn to government to solve the production equation.

What is even harder to understand is how the Conservative's can even claim with straight faces that - like their Republican, protectionist cousins in the US - they are in favour of income subsidies (stablization) or support programs.

I guess Canadians will see if Stephen Harper can return the children to land starting on Tuesday morning. I have a sneaking suspicion that is unlikely to occur, but far be it from me to be a realist.

Credit to Julia at Westjet for some of the inspiration in the article.


Election Prediction sites are crap....

.... reason number 43.

Who is running this site - David Martin? Frank Stronach?

The Liberals are not going to win anything more than Official Opposition on Monday, unless every pollster in the country has been wrong for the past two weeks. So in a word - impossible.


Where do you stand on the issues?

Not surprised by the end results of my quiz. Obviously, I learch a little left!

Take it here.


Election Prediction V - The Motherload


Liberals - 86
Conservatives - 130
Bloc - 61
NDP - 31

Percentage of the Vote:

Liberals - 31%
Conservatives - 36%
Bloc - 11% (46% in QC)
NDP - 16%
Green - 4%
Other - 2%

Voter Turnout - 68%

British Columbia (19 Conservatives, 9 NDP and 8 Liberal)

• Abbotsford - Liberal
· British Columbia Southern Interior - NDP
• Burnaby-Douglas - NDP
• Burnaby-New Westminster - NDP
• Cariboo-Prince George - Conservative
• Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon - Conservative
• Delta-Richmond East - Conservative
• Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca - Liberal
• Fleetwood-Port Kells - Conservative
• Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo - Conservative
• Kelowna–Lake Country - Conservative
• Kootenay-Columbia - Conservative
• Langley - Conservative
• Nanaimo-Alberni - Conservative
• Nanaimo-Cowichan - NDP
• Newton-North Delta – Liberal
• New Westminster-Coquitlam - Conservative
• North Vancouver - Liberal
• Okanagan-Coquihalla - Conservative
• Okanagan–Shuswap - Conservative
• Pitt Meadows–Maple Ridge–Mission - Conservative
• Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam -Conservative
• Prince George-Peace River - Conservative
• Richmond - Liberal
• Saanich-Gulf Islands - Conservative
• Skeena-Bulkley Valley - NDP
• South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale - Conservative
• Surrey North - NDP
• Vancouver Centre - Liberal
• Vancouver East - NDP
• Vancouver Island North - NDP
• Vancouver Kingsway - Liberal
• Vancouver Quadra - Liberal
• Vancouver South - Liberal
• Victoria - NDP
• West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country - Conservative

The North (2 Liberal and 1 NDP)

· Yukon - Liberal
· Western Artic - NDP
. Nunavut - Liberal

Alberta (28 Conservative)

· Calgary Centre - Conservative
· Calgary Centre-North - Conservative
· Calgary East - Conservative
· Calgary Northeast - Conservative
· Calgary - Nose Hill - Conservative
· Calgary Southeast - Conservative
· Calgary Southwest - Conservative
· Calgary West - Conservative
· Crowfoot - Conservative
· Edmonton Centre - Conservative
· Edmonton East - Conservative
· Edmonton - Leduc - Conservative
· Edmonton - Mill Woods - Beaumont - Conservative
· Edmonton - St. Albert - Conservative
· Edmonton - Sherwood Park - Conservative
· Edmonton - Spruce Grove - Conservative
· Edmonton - Strathcona - Conservative
· Fort McMurray - Athabasca - Conservative
· Lethbridge - Conservative
· Macleod - Conservative
· Medicine Hat - Conservative
· Peace River - Conservative
· Red Deer - Conservative
· Vegreville - Wainwright - Conservative
· Westlock - St. Paul - Conservative
· Wetaskiwin - Conservative
· Wild Rose - Conservative
· Yellowhead - Conservative

Saskatchewan (13 Conservative and 1 Liberal)

· Battlefords-Lloydminster - Conservative
· Blackstrap - Conservative
· Cypress Hills-Grasslands - Conservative
· Desnethé–Missinippi–Churchill River - Conservative
· Palliser - Conservative
· Prince Albert - Conservative
· Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre - Conservative
· Regina-Qu'Appelle - Conservative
· Saskatoon-Humboldt - Conservative
· Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar - Conservative
· Saskatoon-Wanuskewin - Conservative
· Souris-Moose Mountain - Conservative
· Wascana – Liberal
· Yorkton-Melville - Conservative

Manitoba (7 Conservative, 4 Liberal and 3 NDP)

· Brandon-Souris - Conservative
· Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia - Conservative
· Churchill - Liberal
· Dauphin–Swan River–Marquette - Conservative
· Elmwood - Transcona - NDP
· Kildonan-St. Paul - Conservative
· Portage-Lisgar - Conservative
· Provencher - Conservative
· Saint Boniface - Liberal
· Selkirk-Interlake - Conservative
· Winnipeg Centre - NDP
· Winnipeg North - NDP
· Winnipeg South - Liberal
· Winnipeg South Centre - Liberal

Ontario (49 Conservative, 44 Liberal and 15 NDP)

· Ajax-Pickering - Conservative
· Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing - NDP
· Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale - Conservative
· Barrie - Conservative
· Beaches-East York - Liberal
· Bramalea-Gore-Malton - Liberal
· Brampton-Springdale - Liberal
· Brampton West - Conservative
· Brant - Conservative
· Bruce–Grey–Owen Sound - Conservative
· Burlington - Conservative
· Cambridge - Conservative
· Carleton–Mississippi Mills - Conservative
· Chatham-Kent Essex - Conservative
· Davenport - Liberal
· Don Valley East - Liberal
· Don Valley West - Liberal
· Dufferin-Caledon - Conservative
· Durham - Conservative
· Eglinton-Lawrence - Liberal
· Elgin-Middlesex-London – Conservative
· Essex - Conservative
· Etobicoke Centre - Liberal
· Etobicoke-Lakeshore - Liberal
· Etobicoke North - Liberal
· Glengarry-Prescott-Russell - Conservative
· Guelph - Liberal
· Haldimand-Norfolk - Conservative
· Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock - Conservative
· Halton - Conservative
· Hamilton Centre - NDP
· Hamilton East-Stoney Creek - NDP
· Hamilton Mountain - NDP
· Huron-Bruce - NDP
· Kenora - NDP
· Kingston and the Islands - Liberal
· Kitchener-Centre - Liberal
· Kitchener–Conestoga – Conservative
· Kitchener-Waterloo – Liberal
· Lambton–Kent–Middlesex - Conservative
· Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington - Conservative
· Leeds-Grenville - Conservative
· London-Fanshawe - NDP
· London North Centre - Liberal
· London West - Conservative
· Markham-Unionville - Liberal
· Mississauga-Brampton South - Liberal
· Mississauga East-Cooksville - Liberal
· Mississauga-Erindale - Conservative
· Mississauga South - Conservative
· Mississauga-Streetsville - Conservative
· Nepean-Carleton - Conservative
· Newmarket-Aurora - Conservative
· Niagara Falls - Conservative
· Niagara West-Glanbrook - Conservative
· Nickel Belt - NDP
· Nipissing-Timiskaming - Conservative
· Northumberland-Quinte West - Conservative
· Oak Ridges-Markham - Liberal
· Oakville - Conservative
· Oshawa - Conservative
· Ottawa Centre - NDP
· Ottawa-Orléans - Liberal
· Ottawa South - Liberal
· Ottawa-Vanier - Liberal
· Ottawa West-Nepean - Conservative
· Oxford - Conservative
· Parkdale-High Park - Liberal
· Parry Sound-Muskoka - Conservative
· Perth-Wellington - Conservative
· Peterborough - Conservative
· Pickering-Scarborough East - Liberal
· Prince Edward-Hastings - Conservative
· Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke - Conservative
· Richmond Hill - Liberal
· St. Catharines - Conservatives
· St. Paul's - Liberal
· Sarnia-Lambton - Liberal
· Sault Ste. Marie - NDP
· Scarborough-Agincourt - Liberal
· Scarborough Centre - Liberal
· Scarborough-Guildwood - Liberal
· Scarborough-Rouge River - Liberal
· Scarborough Southwest - Liberal
· Simcoe-Grey - Conservative
· Simcoe North - Conservative
· Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry - Conservative
· Sudbury - Liberal
· Thornhill – Liberal
· Thunder Bay-Rainy River - Liberal
· Thunder Bay-Superior North - Liberal
· Timmins-James Bay - NDP
· Toronto Centre - Liberal
· Toronto-Danforth - NDP
· Trinity-Spadina - NDP
· Vaughan - Liberal
· Welland - Liberal
· Wellington-Halton Hills - Conservative
· Whitby-Oshawa - Conservative
· Willowdale - Liberal
· Windsor-Tecumseh - NDP
· Windsor West - NDP
· York Centre - Liberal
· York-Simcoe - Conservative
· York South-Weston - Liberal
· York West - Liberal

Quebec (61 Bloc, 11 Liberal and 3 Conservative)

· Abitibi–Baie-James–Nunavik–Eeyou - Bloc
· Abitibi-Témiscamingue - Bloc
· Ahuntsic - Bloc
· Alfred-Pellan - Bloc
· Argenteuil–Papineau–Mirabel - Bloc
· Bas-Richelieu–Nicolet–Bécancour - Bloc
· Beauce - Conservative
· Beauharnois-Salaberry - Bloc
· Beauport–Limoilou - Bloc
· Berthier-Maskinongé - Bloc
· Bourassa - Liberal
· Brome-Missisquoi - Bloc
· Brossard-La Prairie – Liberal
· Chambly-Borduas - Bloc
· Charlesbourg–Haute-Saint-Charles - Bloc
· Châteauguay-St-Constant - Bloc
· Chicoutimi-Le Fjord - Bloc
· Compton-Stanstead - Bloc
· Drummond - Bloc
· Gaspésie-–Îles-de-la-Madeleine - Bloc
· Gatineau - Liberal
· Haute-Gaspésie–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia - Bloc
· Hochelaga - Bloc
· Honoré-Mercier - Bloc
· Hull-Aylmer - Liberal
· Jeanne Le Ber - Bloc
· Joliette - Bloc
· Jonquière-Alma - Bloc
· Lac-St-Louis - Bloc
· La Pointe-de-l'Île - Bloc
· LaSalle-Émard - Liberal
· Laurentides-Labelle - Bloc
· Laurier–Sainte-Marie - Bloc
· Laval – Bloc
· Laval-Les Îles - Bloc
· Lévis-Bellechasse - Bloc
· Longueuil–Pierre-Boucher - Bloc
· Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière - Bloc
· Louis-Hébert - Bloc
· Louis St. Laurent - Conservative
· Manicouagan - Bloc
· Marc-Aurèle-Fortin - Bloc
· Mégantic-L'Érable - Bloc
· Montcalm - Bloc
· Montmagny–L'Islet–Kamouraska–Rivière-du-Loup - Bloc
· Montmorency–Charlevoix–Haute-Côte-Nord - Bloc
· Mount Royal - Liberal
· Notre-Dame-De-Grâce-Lachine - Liberal
· Outremont - Liberal
· Papineau – Bloc
· Pierrefonds-Dollard - Liberal
· Pontiac - Conservative
· Portneuf–Jacques-Cartier - Bloc
· Québec - Bloc
· Repentigny - Bloc
· Richmond-Arthabaska - Bloc
· Rimouski-Neigette–Témiscouata–Les Basques - Bloc
· Rivière-des-Mille-Iles - Bloc
· Rivière-du-Nord - Bloc
· Roberval–Lac-Saint-Jean - Bloc
· Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie - Bloc
· Saint-Bruno-St-Hubert - Bloc
· Saint-Hyacinthe-Bagot - Bloc
· Saint-Jean – Bloc
· Saint-Lambert - Bloc
· Saint-Laurent-Cartierville - Liberal
· Saint-Léonard-St-Michel - Liberal
· Saint-Maurice-Champlain – Bloc
· Shefford - Bloc
· Sherbrooke - Bloc
· Terrebonne-Blainville - Bloc
· Trois-Rivières - Bloc
· Vaudreuil-Soulanges - Bloc
· Verchères-Les-Patriotes - Bloc
· Westmount-Ville-Marie - Liberal

New Brunswick (4 Conservative, 4 Liberal and 1 NDP)

· Acadie-Bathurst - NDP
· Beauséjour - Liberal
· Fredericton - Conservative
· Fundy Royal – Conservative
· Madawaska-Restigouche - Liberal
· Miramichi - Liberal
· Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe - Liberal
· New Brunswick Southwest - Conservative
· Saint John - Conservative
· Tobique-Mactaquac - Conservative

Nova Scotia (5 Liberal, 4 Conservative and 2 NDP)

· Cape Breton-Casno - Liberal
· Central Nova - Conservative
· Cumberland–Colchester–Musquodoboit Valley - Conservative
· Dartmouth-Cole Harbour – Liberal
· Halifax - NDP
· Halifax West - Liberal
· Kings-Hants - Liberal
· Sackville-Eastern Shore - NDP
· South Shore-St. Margaret's - Conservative
· Sydney-Victoria - Liberal
· West Nova - Conservative

Prince Edward Island (4 Liberal)

· Cardigan - Liberal
· Charlottetown - Liberal
· Egmont - Liberal
· Malpeque - Liberal

Newfoundland and Labrador (4 Liberal and 3 Conservative)

· Avalon - Conservative
· Bonavista–Gander–Grand Falls–Windsor – Liberal
· Humber-St.Barbe-Baie Verte - Liberal
· Labrador - Liberal
· Random-Burin-St.George's - Liberal
· St. John's East - Conservative
· St. John's South–Mount Pearl - Conservative

Bonus Questions:

All leaders will win their seats, however, Martin wins with the smallest majority

Crowfoot in Alberta is the riding with the biggest vote spread. Only the Conservative candidate gets his deposit back.

Cabinet Minsiters going down: Stronach, McCellan, Scott, Pettigrew, Valeri, Frulla and Mitchell.

Paul Martin resigns just after the 2nd Gomery Report - maybe say 30 days or so!

Friday, January 20, 2006


Pure Gold

Jon Stewart slams the Canadian election. It is truly priceless.
Clip here - click on the Osama story and it is the 2nd piece covered in that footage.

Thursday, January 19, 2006



I mean really who doesn't?? It could not be more funny if Rick Mercer had constructed it.


Election Prediction FOUR

During the first hour of the results watch for one thing - Prince Edward Island results. Why in the world would anyone care about a region that has four seats and the GDP equal to Lululemon? Well, it will be my telling sign if we are in for a Conservative minority or majority. PEI has only four seats but they have been Liberal since the early 1980s.

My point is that if the Conservatives take one or even two seats - the stampede will be on towards 180+ seats.


Polling does not mean Predictions

If you want more proof why polling shouldn't be lumped into a prediction calculator. There are way too many variables to consider when running a prediciton - local candidates, party strength in an area / province / region and past election results that are now an outlier - like riding "x" had an Independent and now doesn't have the MP running.

The Globe and Mail / CTV is now a real outlier. I am just saying.


The Buzz in the Biz - Redux

Scarlett Johansson was all smiles at the Golden Globes on Monday. In the video and pic, we see E! Reporter - Isaac Mizrahi cupping Scarlett Johansson's breasts. Ryan Seacrest is going nuts and his co-host has to remind him that Mizrahi is gay and he can get away with it.

It must have been the Brokeback Mountain influence. Which incidently is one hell of a film - maybe my favourite of the year.


The Blame Game

Angry in TO - soon to be heading to Ottawa to work for the new government (his words, not mine) - raises some very interesting points about Jack Layton and the NDP.

Layton, as previously stated has mostly run a good campaign and their platform (some holes not withstanding) is THEIR best in years. Don't confuse this with the best in the election, but it is a step in the RIGHT direction for the federal NDP.

I agree with most of the article. Layton gambled and has lost big time. His choice to pull the plug on this government will be analyzed inside and outside party circles. I am not given that his party will not make a break through (Election Prediction Part THREE) that the results will be kind.

He can rest assured that he is now off the Paul and Shelia Martin christmas card list.


Get used to it

Minus - American social conservatives are happy.

Plus - Canadian and American governmental relations should improve. Could they really get any worse? Well, maybe if Jack Layton somehow pulled off a miracle.

We are not likely to see any renditions of "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" like we did with Mulroney and Regan but things will be cozier. Mr. Harper should bring out the dude wear since he may soon be visiting a ranch. FYI - To be fair, the vest thing didn't work for me either!


Election Prediction Number TWO

The Liberal Party of Canada will lose this election badly and the new interm leader will be - RAPLH GOODALE. Why is that you ask? There are a couple of reasons why this seems logical. One, he will be one of the more senior MPs returning to Ottawa and that will matter to keep a minority / majority government in check (full election prediction to be posted this weekend).

He was first elected to the Parliament of Canada in 1974 at the age of 24, representing the federal constituency of Assiniboia. Goodale returned to the House of Commons as MP for Regina-Wascana (now Wascana) in October 1993 after a long stint in provincial politics. He was appointed Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. He was re-elected in June 1997 and November 2000. He served as Minister of Natural Resources from June 1997 through January 2002 and as Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons from January to May 2002. In May 2002, he was appointed Minister of Public Works and Government Services. He has also been the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians as well as Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Communication Canada, and the Office of Indian Residential Schools Resolution.

Two, he has past leadership experience. He was the leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party (a step up from Student Union President at a university, but that is about to get Steven Fletcher a cabinet post) from From 1981 to 1988, Goodale served as Leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal Party and in 1986, was elected a member of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

Third (and final), he has no leadership aspirations.

Ralph is a solid man and has delivered many things to Regina and Saskatchewan during his terms in Ottawa. He is the Otto Lang of his era.