Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Timing Is Everything

Tighty Righty judge Sam Alito has been approved by the US senate and is expected to be sworn into the Supreme Court just hours before the preznit give his State of the Union address. Nothing like a little good news, right before standing up to the nation and attempting to prove that your presidency and administration, aren't a complete and utter failure. Bask in the glory of victory while you can Duyba, the Democrats aren't gonna be pushovers forever..... right?

Dubya Has His Big Speechy Thing Tonight

Those of us hoping to see a favorite show on American Network T.V. tonight, are most likely going to be disappointed. Tonight the preznit delivers his State of The Union address. Oh, right its Tuesday, and that is American Idol night, so maybe the preznit's speech will be the most entertaining thing on T.V. tonight. So what is old Duyba gonna say tonight, well according to CNN the preznit hopes to get a bounce in the polls by coming off optimistic about the war in Iraq, and the American economy, and by promoting some new policies in regard to healthcare, alternative energy, and making the tax cuts he put in place permanent. http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/30/bush.sotu/index.html
So Bush is going down the compassionate conservative avenue again, with just a tinge of cowboy.
Buzzflash found a hilarious piece in SFGate, where they wrote the State of the Union address in Bushisms.. It is great check it out: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/29/INGT0GTK0O1.DTL
I would have liked to write something in regards to Canadian politics, but except for the Liberal leadership debate, their aint much going on right now, so when all else fails I bash the Bush.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Scott Reid Sighting

Beer and Popcorn boy, was on a three party talking blowhard panel on CBC News Sunday this morning. He said that he regrets the beer and popcorn statement, and yes Paul Martin was pissed, and the shocker, guess what? He will no longer be working for the Liberal Party... Gee Scotty you think. Jamie Heath the NDP blowhard is also quitting his role as a dipper spokesman, my advice to Jamie, go to a buffet, hit the gym, put down the talking points and express an original thought.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Free Spin Zone......

O.k. so we are now what 5 days removed from Choose your Canada, Stand up for Canada, Working Families First, Ici C'est La Bloc, Elexmas 2006, and the most significant, most news worthy thing reported in Canada's "left leaning" media in these last 5 days is the renewed interest in asthma. Whaa.. um Hamas just won a majority of seats in Palestine, um the US wants to use Google searches to further spy on its citizens, and the worlds average temperature is as high it has been in recorded history, up 1 degree in fifty years.
Right I get it, there is always a media honeymoon for the incumbent PM, he won the media's heart with his slick but low key campaign, and his almost metrosexual turtlenecks. The media and Harper have the right to consummate this new found love, but Asthma, Christ I had Asthma, most of my cousins have Asthma, cats make people sneeze, and dust and mold are killers.
The second most reported thing in Canadian media was the Icy response of the American ambassador, to the Harper plan to protect Canadian soveriengty in the Artic, basically telling Harper that America views the Northwest Passage as neutral, or is it international water, pooh poohing any claims Canada might have over these waters. This forced Harper stand up for Canada, saying something like its the Canadian government and Canadian people that will decide what's right for Canadian sovereignty, not the ambassador of the US. Harper scored some more points with media with that one, backed into a corner and not wanting to be perceived as a Bush loving American lacky, he had to respond like that. What I want to know, is who is the student that raised the issue of Artic sovereignty in London, and was this a little gamemanship between two neocon nations or what. Harper, "GW, I need a little help, I can't look like an American lapdog", GW " no worries wheezy, um Stephen I will have the ambassador bring up Artic sovereignty, he is a bit of a wimp, you can smoke him on any videoclips that the media might pick up." Harper, "thanks GW, you da man, God Bless Canada, God Bless the United States Of America", GW, " I like mountain bikes".
On and on it goes, spinning out of control, until the honeymoon is over, until ssm is rushed to a vote, until the opposition decide to get tough on the new PM and his Con government. I had an idea last night, just to be a pain in the ass, just to get the Cons on the defensive early, why doesn't one of the opposition parties write up a private members bill calling for the decriminalization of pot, you know just to throw them of their game. Sure it might not pass, it might not even reach the floor for a vote, but the opposition has the majority of seats in the house, and the opposition parties all range from center left to left, why not push a progressive agenda, neuter the Cons before the even start to govern.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Well Shite I've Been Tagged

Yep seems I have been tagged by RJL http://rjlco.blogspot.com/ to reveal five strange things about myself. A psychology student could write a thesis on my accumulated neurosis but I will try to condense my weirdness into five things:

1) I started a barroom brawl in Leduc Alberta, by convincing some fellow treeplanters to mosh on the dance floor while the locals were in the midst of a line dance....My bad.

2) Had a bullring for all of 2 weeks. Funny story, again treeplanting, we had run out of trees, and had some downtime so we decided to play some pine cone baseball, with well pine cones and our planting shovels as bats. I was pitching, I threw a high hard one, when whack!, a line drived pine cone smacked me right in the side of the face, sending the bullring flying into the woods, and leaving a pine cone imprint on the side of my face, for like 3 weeks.....Good times.

3) Once was seconds from being caught having sex in a cave on the Spanish Island of Abiza.

4) Used the same essay on Marx and Communism, in grade 12 history, first year political science, and a second year sociology course. Getting a 75% in highschool, a B in poli sci, and an A- in soc..... That essay was gold.

5) I have an unhealthy fear of the phone. Thank goodness for caller I.D. or would never answer the bloody thing. My mother and ex girlfriend knew the code, they would let the phone ring once, hang up and phone again.... Weird no?

There you have it, don't hate me cuz I am different.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Need A Good Laugh......

Read this http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/archives/003437.html all I can say please, please Mr. Harper pick Doris... er Stockwell Day for Foreign Affairs. As for the smear and journalistic malpractice, what the fuck is this about a Pierre Pettigrew, sex scandal.... shit at least the lefts smears and attacks are grounded in reality, yes Stockwell Day is a goof, but come on, Pettigrew hade some questionable expenditures, but to imply that there is some kind of taudry man on man sex action going on between he and his chauffeur (see comments canadian sentinel), is just crazy, and goes from smear to libel real quick. The West has risen, and this is the kinda debate we can expect, until they go back into their hole.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Super Mario Retires

Mario Lemieux is expected to announce his retirement today. Mario has been plagued with health and injury problems throughout his career, beating cancer in 1993. He hasn't played a game since Dec. 18 when he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. He is considered one of the greatest hockey players ever to lace up the skates, highlights include Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, the game winning goal in the 1987 Canada Cup, Olympic and World Cup Championships, and 6 Art Ross Trophies for the NHL's scoring leader. He has been creditted for saving the oft struggling Penguins 3 times, the first when drafted as a first pick in 1984, the second when he became owner of the team, and thirdly when he returned from retirement in 2000. I for one wanna thank Mario for all the wonderful memories, and I hear that there is a job that is openning up in Ottawa, look into it Mario, they don't call ya Mario the Magnificent for nothing.

Beware of le Roi Arthur

Andre Arthur is the true winner of Election 2006. The former Quebec shock jock ran and won as an Independent in the riding of Portneuf-Jacques-Cartier. But who is le Roi Arthur, according to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Arthur Arthur is a right wing self described libertarian, and noted admirer of the United States. So for those of us on the left that were hoping that an Independent in Quebec, who has a very important swing vote, might help us in our cause for progress, think again. Any bets on how soon that Arthur is wooed to join the Federal Tories?

I Heart Alexis MacDonald

Those of you west of the Maritimes might of missed it, but the most exciting early race out East was that of Alexis MacDonald vs. Peter "go back to your knitting" McKay. Alexis had at one point the lead in the riding of Central Nova, and it was at the point that she won my heart. Alexis is an up and comer, she is only 28 years old and really gave the soon to be ex Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party a real run for his money. Thank you Alexis, my heart is forever yours.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Elections Canada, is on edge, investigating the Blogging Tories, and now a mysterious email. Be careful tonight my friends.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hey Canada.....

Things to do today, hug a Separtist, share a pint with a Tory, pat the back of a Liberal, go for a hike with a Green party supporter, and have a nice long talk with an NDPer. Then on Monday vote with a clear conscience, vote with your heart, damn it, the best strategy for the future of Canada is for the Canadians to vote for members of Parliament that they deem worthy of serving Canadians. Feel proud of how you voted, don't be swayed by fear, or party developed strategic voting schemes, and when the dust settles on Tuesday, hopefully we the people can say, this is the Parliament we wanted, these are the men and women we want serving us, the real bosses, we the people.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Last Minute Rightwingnuttia Watch

We are approaching the end game folks. The Harper Campaign is trying in vain to muzzle not only Conservative candidates, but their almighty leader himself. Smart politicking I guess, wouldn't want a silly public statement to stick in the mind of a confused electorate as they mark an ex on election day. Kudos to the Conservative campaign they have played the game well, they stuck to their talking points, actually released a policy platform, and for the most part were able to shake the scary tag.
So I have been looking for someone outside the Conservative party, a right winger who cannot contain there joy and malice, at possibility of a Consevative victory. Ever since Rachel Marsden appeared on The O'Reilly Factor she has been on my wingnuttia radar, I have been peeking in on her of and on just to see if she might pull an Ann Coulter. You know say something so out of wack that I can say see, see, see, the right wing are nuts, they are crazy cuckoo. Well persistent snooping pays off, in an article titled Lots of Folks Can't Tell Left From Right, she said this about Paul Martin:"rehashing your stellar record as Finance Minister from the good old days when AdScam was in full swing hardly compensates for the fact that you are out of new ideas. Besides, that's a little bit like bragging about being the Human Rights Minister during the Third Reich."
http://www.rachelmarsden.com/columns/leftvsright.htm Yikes, now she isn't a Conservative Party spokesperson, so this might not reflect negatively on the Tories.....But if she represents how even a small percentage of how the newly revived conservative movement thinks, times are gonna get really ugly folks. Canada doesn't need Ann Coulter wannabes, we don't need neocon talking heads filling Canada's public discourse with hate, and twisted logic. Why empower these nutballs with your vote...Yes the Liberals are dead in the water, but progression is not dead in this country, for Pete's sake vote NDP.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Michael Moore's Comments On the Canadian Election

Good old Mikey Moore, seems he thinks that possibility that Canadians might elect a Conservative government is nothing more than brilliant Canadian comic irony. http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=192 Although he makes no endorsements, he reinforces the idea that the second happiest person on the planet after Harper with a Conservative win, would be Bush. Busy coupla days for Mike, seems that Chris Matthews compared Bin Laden's little message from the dead the other day to something Moore might say
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/01/20.html#a6798 ........Wah?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mandatory Voting?

Here is the headline of a story that is on CTV.ca.....'Mandatory voting could improve Canadian voter turnout' http://www.ctv.ca//servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060118/mandatory_voting_060118/20060118?s_name=election2006&no_ads
Um ya..... But are we as Canadians willing to have our government fine us for not voting. Sure we are a democratic country, and we should feel privileged to have the right to vote, but making the vote mandatory seems a little extreme, no? I mean what's next, the draft?


Just a little reminder Canada, of what we got the last time we elected a Conservative government.
Have The Socons Been Unmuzzled?

The CBC is reporting that Conservative Party candidate Inky Mark has written an email to Manitoba Metis Federation leader David Chartrand, that Chartrand feels was a threat. http://www.cbc.ca/story/canadavotes2006/national/2006/01/18/metis060118.html In the letter Inky Mark (Inky, love that name, how can anyone named Inky be considered a threat?) writes "taking sides will hurt you and your organization sooner or later." Which Chartrand interprets as a threat to the Metis if they should choose to vote Liberal in this election. Chartrand said "I think firstly, that the issue has got to be, what was his intent behind it - to fearmonger me into not speaking out anymore?", and "Telling me I'm going to pay a price for speaking out and defending my people? That I take very strong exception to."
So how did little Dinky Inky (sorry to easy) respond, he says "I was just stating a reality. I mean, everyone knows the old phrase, 'don't bite the hand that feeds you," and "Well, sooner or later, if you take sides - it's never in the best interests of an organization such as his that depends on government. Governments come and go. They always change." Okay so this wasn't a threat than, Dinky Inky is simply stating a fact that the Conservatives are gonna form the next government, and cut off any groups that endorsed the Liberals, stating the obvious can't be considered a threat, right?
Hey Stephen you have done a good job so far muzzling the far-right of your party up to this point, but I think the smell of victory, and your own whacky statements about the Senate, Supreme Court and Public Service, have made them feel comfortable enough to think and talk on their own. Loose lips sink ships.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What's With The Whole Elections Canada Investigation On The Blogging Tories?

So its against the law now to join a group of likeminded bloggers who promote the policies, or candidates of a specific party. Yikes, I guess myself and fellow Blogging Dippers better sleep with one eye open tonight. I mean please, if and I mean if that there is proof that Conservative Party funds have been doled out to members of the Blogging Tories than well yes those members and the Conservative Party are in contravention of third party financing laws. But this smacks of nothing more than a couple of disenfranchised Tories (maybe spurred on by Liberals) trying to create a false controversy, in an attempt to torpedo Stephen Harper and the Conservative campaign.
I am sorry, I know I should be jumping up and down, screaming yes, yes, finally a scandal to pin on the Conservatives, but if the Blogging Tories have, "unduly influenced the election coverage and potentially the outcome of this campaign." they are beating us at our own game, come on Dippers how is it that the CBC can show screen shots of the Blogging Tories' Blogging Blue, and a Liblog or maybe Progressive Blogger, (I searched a bit, and I am sorry to whoever's blog it was but it just didn't stick in my muddled brain.) but no mention of any Blogging Dippers.
So if this whole Blogging Tories controversy is nothing more than a mini civil war between the Conservatives, and some disgruntled ex-Progressive Conservatives, I am throwing my hat on the side of the Blogging Tories, we speak from different sides on the issues, but getting Elections Canada involved in the rights of bloggers to speak their minds, and join with other likeminded bloggers in blogging groups, is nothing more than an attack on free speech and I think we can all agree that that is wrong.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Could Tory Claims Of Bloc Impotence, Act Like Viagra For BQ Campaign?

Stephen Harper attacked the Bloc today saying: "The Bloc's policy is the policy of impotence. It's the policy of the empty chair and that's why Quebecers need seats around the table of a new Conservative government." and this gem: "The Bloc has been there for 16 years, If it was there for another 116 years it could never move forward any important issue. It could never resolve a single problem or pass a single law." Wow strong words, Mr Harper, looks like he wants to pick a fight with Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc, a fight for the hearts and minds of Quebecers that frankly he can not win. If he achieved anything today he may have swayed some more federalist votes from the Liberals. But the Bloc is the party the speaks to the average Quebecer, irregardless of the sovereignty question, the Bloc has positioned itself as the only party in Quebec that fights for Quebec's interests and Quebec's interests alone. So an attack on Bloc's political impotence, or empty promises of allowing Quebec perception at the international table, aint enough Stevie, Quebecers know that sovereignty and its federal representative the Bloc, are their ace up their sleeve. Quebec politics is a spicy business, picking a fight with the Bloc, might just be what the Bloc needs, to round out a campaign that has been up to this point a free ride. The Bloc haven't really had to play the game up until this point in the campaign, sure they threw some shots at the Liberals, what with the Sponsorship Scandal, and the Options Canada mess.... But now the Bloc have been pushed into a corner, and well I expect that they will come out swinging.
Thank You Vote Marriage, Canada! For Giving Us A List Of Who Not To Vote For.

Vote Marriage, Canada! an anti-same sex marriage group lead by former Liberal turned Independent Pat O'Brien, has been kind enough to release the candidates to which it endorses: http://www.votemarriagecanada.ca/canada/candidates.html Thanks guys now progressive people from coast to coast have a better idea of who not to vote for.
Conservative Oral Fixation Resurfaces

First a brief explanation of how Freud describes Oral Fixation: Oral fixation has two possible outcomes.
The Oral receptive personality is preoccupied with eating/drinking and reduces tension through oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking, biting nails. They are generally passive, needy and sensitive to rejection. They will easily 'swallow' other people's ideas.
The Oral aggressive personality is hostile and verbally abusive to others, using mouth-based aggression. Wow that pretty much sums up the Conservative party and their supporters on a whole.

The last time the Tory Oral Fixation surfaced was in during the 1993 election campaign where the Campbell campaign released an attack ad against Jean Chretien, which showed a very unflattering picture of Jean Chretien, particularly focusing on his mouth, and we know how well that turned out for the Tories.
While watching the new Conservative ad, all I could think of was, wtf is this a really bad Conan O'Brien sketch. They even fudged the format, see Conan would had a picture of Layton, and the mouth would have moved, saying something, anything. What's next, are Conservatives gonna sick Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog, on campaigning NDP candidates nation wide.... Wait scrap that, that might be funny.
So stand up my mustachio wearing friends. Cast your vote for a leader and party who not only realizes how difficult it is to have a moustache in this wild and wacky modern world, but will fight for the rights of moustache wearer's nation wide.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Where Are The Ladies At?

On the heels of a historic presidential victory for Liberia's Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who became Africa's first woman President, and the election of Michelle Bachelet who became Chile's first female president, I began to wonder what was the state of Canada's politique feminine. Hat tip to my father, and double hat tip to Audra at Your Dirty Answer for this: http://www.livejournal.com/users/ponycow/298378.html For those of you who do not like to follow links I will sum up......38% of NDP candidates are women, 31% for the Bloc, 26% Liberal, 24% Green, and 11% Conservative.
Now before anyone from the Conservative camp uses Kim Campbell as a rebuttal as to how disgusting this makes the Reformatories look, um yes Kim Campbell was Canada's first and only female Prime Minister, but her meager 4 months in office, and the fact that she might have run the worst campaign (with exception maybe to Martin's Liberals this time around) ever, disqualifies her from this debate. Any thoughts?

Recognition For A Hero

Stepping away for a minute from the Canadian election. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is more than an American civil rights hero, he is a hero to everyone who has "dreams" of a better, fairer world. If only we had anyone in the Canadian or American political system with his vision, leadership, or moral authority. Thank you Dr. King.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Blame Canada......

That grabbed your attention eh? But seriously did anyone just see the end of the Steeler vs. Colts game. Nuts, my Steelers were up 21-10, Polamalu intercepted Manning, and yes that was a interception, only to have the ref overturn it, 3 plays later t.d. colts, add a 2 point conversion, its 21-18..... the Steelers defence then swallow up the Colts like on their on 3 yard line, game over right... nope , the Bus is handed the ball, when whack, the ball comes loose, turnover Colts, the Colts now have the ball at midfield, yikes, the Steelers hold them to a 46 yard fieldgoal attempt for Canadian Mike Vanderjagt.... Vanderjagt hadn't missed a field goal at home all year...shit looks like overtime...but he missed my God he missed, Steelers win Steelers win. Poor Vanderjagt, this is the nutball who has blamed Manning for early playoff exits the last coupla years... funny thing that kharma Mike, I suspect your time with the Colts is over.
Sorry folks, I know this is sports sports sports, but wow I had to relieve my tension somehow.

Is Harper Afraid To Appear On Liberal Friendly CBC's Your Turn?

The CBC and The National have been running a segment called Your Turn, it is a townhall question and answer segment, where Peter Mansbridge and selected members of voting public get to ask questions to the leaders of the federal parties. Jim Harris appeared on the program on Dec. 14, Paul Martin appeared Friday night, Jack Layton is scheduled to appear on Tuesday, so far Stephen Harper has not committed to appear, he might show up on Monday, but the National is not able to get a commitment from the Harper camp.
Why not, what is he afraid of? The fine folks at Free Dominion believe that Harper shouldn't appear on the show because the CBC is just a wing of the Liberal Party, and um wouldn't get a fair shake. Read this: http://www.freedominion.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=615168&sid=5c2ceb7195ad53d805c50e6b48747d83 Then contrast the CTV Bell comments, with Harper's Leadership contributors, on page 37 you will find that Bell contributed $20, 000 to his campaign:http://www.conservative.ca/media/20050819-Harper%20Contributions%20Greater%20$200.pdf
Okay whatever, you can expect that kinda evil liberal (notice the small l)media talk from the guys over at Free Dominion, they are just parroting the opinions from their heros at Faux News, and the Free Republicers. So what then is Harper afraid of, I think it is a simple question of control. The Harper campaign has been a well oiled machine, and if you watched the story on CBC's Sunday Morning, you got a glimpse of just how controlled the Harper campaign has been, they wisely surround Harper with supporters, they control the access that the press has to Harper, and well every thing he says is rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed. The Harper war room seems reluctant to allow their leader to be subject to questions or debate, for which they have no time to spin or prepare to answer. As much as conservative bloggers (notice the small c) would have you believe that it makes no difference whether or not he shows up to a Liberal controlled show, the truth of it all is, Harper and his team are more afraid of their limit of control. Control of question and debate, is why Harper is winning this election, irregardless if the media is left or right leaning.
O'Reilly Weighs In On Canadian Election

Faux News Blowhard Bill O'Reilly had Toronto Sun columnist Rachel Marsden on the O'Reilly Factor on Friday. Rachel the Faux News Canadian Correspondent, was asked by Bill if the government funded CBC was still throwing their support behind the Liberals.... To which Rachel Marsden kinda hum hawed and giggled and said something like um ah well nothing has changed in their coverage. This then lead O'Reilly to go off and say that the government funded CBC is something that is fundamentally (that word is really, really getting on my nerves) wrong with Canadian democracy. Okay Okay but working for a Network that makes up the news in blind support of a failing President is not undemocratic at all is it?
fundamentally (there is that word again) if you are to get anything from listening to Bill O'Reilly, you have to take whatever he says turn it upside down, spin it, and there lies the truth. So if O'Reilly says that the CBC or the Canadian media in general is supporting the Liberals, what he really is saying is that the MSM in Canada has thrown it's support behind the Conservatives. So my friends there is no War On Conservatives going on within the Canadian MSM, Bill if you were paying any attention at all you would have seen that the Liberals are the bad guys this time.....Funny you are not supporting them.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blogging Tories Pimping A Really White Boy Band.....

So I like to check out what is going on in the right side of the Canadian blogosphere, so I peek in on the Free Dominioners and the Blogging Tories, from time to time. I know, I know its like the fascination humans have for a traffic accident... But anyway, so I was checking in on the Blogging Tories, most of their posts are glowing, if not arrogant pieces about positive polls, Liberal neurosis, and ad parodies.... But then I come across this: http://jevant.blogspot.com/2006/01/nrg-new-band-rises.html So I am like what the fuck... Am I just to stupid to understand some rightwing inside joke..... Or what. I did some research, they have their own blog, but its basically just the scary picture above, with some comments. So I find myself confused, how has this anything to do with politics?..... Am I being irrational, am I freaked out for no reason?

Friday, January 13, 2006

1984 Revisited

All that I wanted for Christmas was The Mulroney Tapes, and I have been falling asleep each night, basically revisting the era that changed me into the political nutball that I am. I had been thinking of writing a post titled Harper vs. Mulroney, but wouldn't you know it, M.K. Braaten the blogging tory beat me to the punch, with this quite brilliant post: Read this sound Familar http://www.mkbraaten.com/2006/01/13/read-this-sound-familiar/ What he did was edit the Wikipedia article on the 1984 election, and adding parenthisies to compare the leaders and issues that are eerily similar to election 2006. He ends his post by saying that he doesn't expect the outcome of this election to be the same as 1984, God I hope he is right.
Canada's Unusually Warm Winter Caused By Electioneering Hot Air?

But seriously folks what the hell is up with the weather... Its almost mid January and it was like 10 degrees here in Nova Scotia, and 14 in Toronto. Global warming is real folks........ But for some reason it doesn't seem so bad this time of year.
Questioning The Logic Of Releasing A Policy Platform On Friday The 13th

This is the Conservative Platform : 'The platform is based on the values of integrity, family, respect for work, achievement, and commitment to a strong and free Canada.' Um okay, lovely. But what is in it, how much does it cost? Harper in his stump/victory/policy speech today laid out his party's policy, basically recycling the ideas that he bombarded the electorate with in his announcement a day early campaign ploy. Harper did not mention any numbers, he instead had his finance critic Monte Stromberg meet with the press. According to Monte the plan will cost $60.7 billion, well really $75 billion, but the Tories plan to reallocate some current spending that they see as not a priority...... Which programs these are they did not say, I am betting its the agreement reached with Aboriginals (even though the policy said the would accept the targets set in the agreement), and Kyoto just to name two. Now Iam sure that Liberals will attack the numbers as skewed and unrealistic, and yes I have no doubt that they are. However, even if the Liberals claim that they have asked an independent accounting firm to crunch the numbers, I don't believe that there are any non partisan accounting firms that work in conjunction with the political parties. So instead of dwelling on the numbers, lets just get to what is proposed in the Conservative platform.
First, the good, the platform makes some vague promises to support the CBC, Canada Council, and even provincial development agencies like ACOA. The Tories will support and promote bilingualism, give tax breaks to people who use public transport, and support charitable giving.
There are other socially progressive ideas in this platform, namely childcare, and clean air initiatives, but these plans are so tied to the private sector, and tax credits. So it is hard to know if they are ever going to get off the ground. Can anyone say GM?
Now, the ugly, a Conservative government would have a 'free vote' on the question of the definition of marriage..... Okay so the Supreme Court of Canada, and laws already passed Federally and in some provinces mean nothing then? A Conservative Government would add property rights into the Charter of Rights, not really up on the property rights issue, but it smacks of the right to bare arms, and further destruction of the environment by big oil and forestry companies. A Conservative Government would scrap the gun registry, sure the registry is a white elephant, but I think its important still for the government and law enforcement to know who own guns, just for forensics sake. A Conservative Government, who proclaim to be all about shrinking the size of government, would appoint a Director of Public Appointments, Name a National Security Commissioner, Create a Canadian foreign Intelligence Agency, Create a National Security Review Committee, Appoint a Seniors Council, Create a Canadian Agency for Assessment and Recognition of Creditionals... On and on it goes, looks like the new Director of Public Appointments is gonna be a busy person. Finally the Conservative platform vision for law and order mentions nothing about rehabilitation, or the causes of crime, instead they will be tougher on gun crime criminals, and end any discussion on the decriminalization of pot.
The Conservative platform is 25 pages long, but if you compare and contrast it to the constitution of the National Citizens Coalition, the similarities are quite striking, have a look: http://morefreedom.org/doc_bin/agenda_canada.pdf to this http://www.conservative.ca/media/20060113-Platform.pdf
The Conservative Platform is conservatism wrapped in traditional Canadian socially democratic values. It leans to the center enough, to perhaps not scare off the 39% of Canadians that are sick of the Liberals and now support the Tories.... But the hidden agenda, is now no longer hidden, there is enough conservative value hyperbole in this platform to appease the Reformatory base. Stephen Harper is the first Canadian politician I have heard in a long time end a speech with God Bless Canada, but it all makes sense to me now, he simply heard the Canadian population collectively sneeze at his platform.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why Aint Any Dippers Standing Up For Jack?

Shit, fuck, merde, seems that it has come out, that Jack Layton, defender of public healthcare, had a hernia surgery in the 90's at a private clinic. Damn it Jack, what the hell.... oh okay you used your Ontario Healthcard, so then you didn't actually pay for care, you were referred by your doctor to the best hernia clinic in Toronto..... and you went, and you were operated on, and now you are better... but you didn't pay right, except by paying your taxes, right so ummm what the fuck is the big deal right? If Jack's little diversion into the wonderful world of private/public healtcare is the worst thing that they can dig up on you from the 90's, then I say you are still the most noble of the 3 federalist leaders. What was Harper doing in the 90's... umm oh ya the whole conservative thinktank thing, creating the Canadian Alliance, pooh poohing all over Canada. Mr Martin well he was in full cut and slash mode, and blindly ignoring something that would become ah what was it oh ya the sponsorship program. Shit, fuck, merde.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Just A Little Wingnuttia To Keep You Up Tonight

Remember the brilliant peice of satire that Rick Mercer had on his blog concerning the Conservative Cabinet. Well it turns out some tory supports over at Free Dominion, were taking Rick seriously. Read this and the comments that follow they are priceless: http://www.freedominion.ca/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=610963&sid=7afb8dd8b0c6e9aedbb8931b5236aac0
Sweet Dreams.
Scare Tatics Conservative Style

A Conservative government is the only way to protect Canada from breaking apart. No I am not talking about the Conservatives as the great defender of federalism in Quebec.... Alberta, wants out, if the Liberals win this election. Spooky stuff being promoted by they blogging tories, read this:

Who Is The Mole In The Liberal Warroom?

Wow, a western Canadian conservative magazine The Western Standard has mysteriously received an advanced copy of the Liberal Red Book.
Except for the fact that there is no mention of Paul Martin's Nothwithstanding promise, and a call for a global ban of the weaponization of space, there is nothing really new or shocking in Red Book 2006. What is new or shocking is that it is now clear that there is a mole at work within the bowels of the Liberal warroom. So who might this mole be? Here is my list of possible suspects:

Scott Reid..... Scotty's beer and popcorn statement, was probably the first and most significant early blunder of the Liberal campaign. Since the blunder the Liberals have hidden their star strategist from public view. Could Mr Ried have been the mole all along, was the beer and popcorn statement a masterful first stroke in an evil P.R. plan to bring the Liberals down from the inside?

Michael Ignatieff..... The Liberal star candidate, who supports the War In Iraq, and the use of Torture as a means of interrogation. Skipped an all-candidates debate in his riding, inorder to attend an invite only event to fundraise for his Liberal leadership bid. Ya, the election isn't even over and the knifes are already out for Paul Martin. Now I am not sure if Mikey has any access to the Liberal warroom, but if he does, why not try to torpedo Martin and his administration inorder to expedite his own rise to power.

Belinda Stronach..... She jumped ship once, when it looked like Stephen Harper's Conservatives had little or no chance of obtaining power.... Funny how that turned out. So if she can be enticed to switch parties with a promise of a cabinet post, could she not be enticed back to the Conservative party with similar cushy posts. She is a charmer that one, what if she wooed her way into the Liberal warroom, and has leaked what she has seen to her former friends?

Those are my suspects, let me here who you think the mole might be?

'Nuff Said.........

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Part Deux Winner....... Duceppe, With honorable Mention To Layton

Gilles Duceppe won the French debate tonight, if this debate was addressing Quebecers alone. Now if some non Quebecers, or politico nutballs like myself, actually seat through this 2 hours linguistic nightmare, then I believe Jack was the winner.
I am not fluently bilingual, I did however live in Montreal for 9 years, I would describe my French as functual at best. That being said, I can't stand the whole transcribed voiceover thing, when one of the leader's French, for example Mr Harper's, is really fractured, sometimes the translator has to take liberties on what the speaker actually says....... I like to see the leaders squirm, Harper especially.
Harper again like he said in his closing statement is not bilingual, he did his best, but I believe he seemed detached most of the night, and really did not add much to this debate. He was attacked from all sides, but because of his basic inability to reply effectively in French, he kinda faded into the background, almost looking like he was oblivious to the attacks and general debate which surrounded him. So thanks for showing up Stevie, but you really didn't strike any new chords in Quebec.
Martin in my opinion was the clear loser in this debate. He held his own last night in the English debate, but tonight, he looked like a spent force. Body language is important, and Martin spent more time stepping of the podium, in search of water I guess, then he did standing up for his credibility, or that wonderful record he likes to promote. He looked rattled much of the night, and even accused Layton of wanting to add property rights to the charter of rights, and for not supporting a woman's right to choose, clearly a question meant to be directed to Harper. Hope your attack ads work Pauly, your running out of chances to score.
Why do I say Jack won, at least among the federalist leaders? He was the most confident looking leader of the three, he was not as rigid and woody as he appeared in the English debate. He will not make a breakthrough in Quebec because of this performance, but I believe he may have taken some of the shine off Harper, who looked like a highschool student doing an oral French project.
Duceppe won by default, he was playing a game on his home field, basically with his own rules. He will certainly not lose any sovereignty votes with his performance, especially with his Options Canada claim that puts the Liberals and the Conservatives in the same evil, corrupt, federalist boat. And I think he might have been able to gobble up a fair share of undecided, or disenfranchised federalists, positioning himself as the only leader that understands and stands up for Quebec.
Will there be a bounce in the polls because of this debate, I don't think so. I am not sure how much attention this debate received nationally, so unless the spin machines can pounce on something that was said in this debate, I can't see there being any huge movement in public opinion. There is now 12 days left in this campaign, and the specter of PM Stephen Harper is looming large, all I have to say is what the fuck, why can't we the people somehow bring this wingnut down...... Time to rally the troops folks, do we really want George Bush Lite running this great country.....uuugghhh.
D-Day Part Deux

The fun that is a Canadian election debate continues tonight. The French debate tonight might not be as big a ratings winner, as last nights English debate, but could be far more entertaining. The roles have now reversed, Gilles Duceppe is now in his element, he is now the lone true Francophone in a French debate, not the lone Francophone in an English debate. Tonight instead of asking ourselves what the hell is Duceppe trying to say, we will more likely be asking what the hell is Harper, Martin or Layton trying to say.
Duceppe to his credit, held his own last night. Tonight should be a breeze for him. How are the 3 federalist going to fair tonight, well first, the man who has the greatest challenge linguistically is Stephen Harper. To his credit he has made a commitment to becoming bilingual, and his French has improved in the last few years. If he can simply hold his own, and stick to topic, he might come out of this debate, like last nights, smelling like a rose. However, if the other 3 leaders attack and engage Harper in this debate, his fractured French might cause him to let down his defenses causing a political faux pas.
Paul Martin, again this is a critical debate for him. As hard as he tried, and as passionate as he looked last night when he engaged Gilles Duceppe on Quebec sovereignty, he really didn't score any points, and at times looked like a raging lunatic. Martin is a Quebecer, and bilingual, he is however not a Francophone, and is even more stumbly, bumbly when speaking French. This could be be another long night for Mr Martin, expect him to be attacked on all sides with allegations of corruption, and government ethics.
Jack Layton is playing the Duceppe role in this debate. Not to infer that Jack's French is as bad as Duceppes English, but if this debate is going to focus primarily on Quebec politics, then well Jack and the NDP are as popular in Quebec as say the Bloc is in the rest of the country. Jack's challenge in this debate, is to put the NDP on the Quebec political radar...... He has to connect with disenfranchised federalists who traditionally vote Liberal, and get them to resist the temptation to jump on the Harper express.
There you have it, watch this debate, in French if you are able, I can insure you that sparks will fly, the French language brings out the passion in all of us.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Harper Wins By Not Losing

A new Teflon man has emerged in Canadian politics, Stephen Harper not because he performed overly well in this debate, but because he did not fall flat, has come out of the debate as the clear winner. Strange how that works, Mr Martin who had the most riding on this debate, was the most passionate, he tried his best to bring his a-game, he even threw out a new policy initiative, the abolishment of the Notwithstanding Clause, but to no avail, the Liberals are like Nortel, sell, sell, sell.... They are a spent force.
Jack Layton, while I hate to say it but he came off overly rehearsed, he stuck to his talking points ad noisome, working families, corruption, there is a third option... All noble causes, but his delivery was off, the passion wasn't there. He did zing Harper twice, once with the tax cut issue where he stated that yes a GST cut would save Canadians 4 billion, but buy raising income taxes back up to 15% Canadians would then owe the government 5 billion....Zing... And then on childcare in Quebec where he pointed out to Harper that Quebec already has a government funded childcare program. I think he stumbled a bit when the moderator zinged him with the whole of the 3 federalist leaders, I don't believe I have heard you use the statement if I was Prime Minister.....To which I think Jack wavered a bit, and spit out something like their is a third option and if enough Canadians vote NDP then I might become Prime Minister. I would have like him to sound more assertive on that question, more Prime Ministerial in fact.
Duceppe well he was Duceppe, I think he performed relatively well, but like I have said all along, he has the easiest job in Ottawa, and with all the scandals within the Liberal party especially in Quebec, I think he had lots of "Options" to attack Mr Martin.
So there you have it, Teflon Stevie seems to have maintained the big MO, and now we as Canadians have 13 days to figure out how to rip him and the Conservatives apart, or suffer the consequences of change for change sake.
Shaking Defeatism, and the Perception of being flaky in The NDP

Happy debate day one and all. Yup, tonight is the big night, the night where the men will be separated from the boys. Okay, okay, I am going a bit overboard, but the debates of the next two nights are important. The Tories are now securely in the lead, and well the Liberals, seem to going down in a flame of scandal and inept campaigning. But what is up with the NDP, why haven't the NDP been able to make any headway in this election?
Canada is at least in North American terms a social democracy, we tend to lean left on issues of human rights, and social welfare issues. The NDP are not socialists like some Liberals, or Conservatives would like to paint them, they are social democrats. The NDP ardently defends public health care, education, social welfare pretty much everything Canadians feel proud about as a society. That being said, the NDP are now sitting at 15% in the polls, behind the right wing Tories, and scandal ridden and tired Grits. How can this be, how can a country that is understandably sick of Liberal government, now rally to a Conservative party, that nothing more then a Canadian wing of the Republican party. Lets look at the polls, the recent one has the Conservatives at 37%, the Liberals 29%, the NDP 15%, the Bloc 13%, and the Green 6%. When you do some quick math, it becomes clear that 63% of Canadians are leaning towards voting for a leftwing or center left party, but when it is all said and done the rightwing Conservatives might form a minority government.
Change is in the wind, Canadians are tired of the Liberals, and Paul Martin. But instead of recognizing this fact early, the strategy that the NDP employed in the first half of the election was to concede the fact that there was going to be a minority government, probably Liberal, and instead of campaigning as a viable government in waiting, well the NDP were happy to get a few more MPs in order to strengthen their influence on the policy of a minority Liberal government. Wow talk about taking a play right out of the Canadian Olympic playbook, or even the Timbits Hockey program, winning isn't everything, its about fair play and having fun. BLLLAAAA. The NDP is in third place right now because they packaged themselves as the third option, with no real desire to govern, the NDP seemed happy to be nothing more then members of the Liberal backbench.
During the American presidential election in 2004, the rightwing media in the States tried to spread the idea of liberalism as a mental disease. This is of course all bullshit, but I think the perception that people who lean to the left are flaky, or a little out of touch with reality, has some how stuck to the NDP. The NDP have never held power federally in Canada, they must then be politically neophytes, irresponsible with the public purse, not tough enough to handle the riggers of running a large government. Jack Layton and the NDP have failed to present themselves as a viable to the Liberals so far in this election, and I fear because we as NDPers come off as flaky and non confident, we have missed a historic opportunity to maybe breakthrough and form a minority government.
This is the homestretch, there is a debate tonight and another tomorrow night, homeruns and knockout punches are always possible, so I say giver all you have got Jack, whatta ya got to lose. Yes I am a flake, and well maybe I have already conceded defeat as well, but I still believe that if Canadians truly want to vote for change, at least positive change, they have to vote NDP, if not the bad guys win.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Minivans, and Washing Machines For All

To hell with reduced income taxes, Stephen Harper's GST cut is gonna insure each and every Canadian will be able to afford minivans, washing machines, and even 4 new tires with enough left over to afford 2 child safety seats. Wow if he could find me a fertile girl to marry, he would have my vote for sure.
Tories Peaking To Early?

In the marathon that is Election 2006, are the Harper Tories peaking to early? Their early race strategy of a policy an announcement a day, seemed to have given them a dramatic halfway boost in the polls, one poll by the Toronto Sun, I think, had the Tories at 36%, the Libs at 30%, Ndp at 17%, and the Bloc at like 12%. It looked like the Tories had the big MO, like they had shaken of the scary tag and were looking like a viable alternative to the Liberals.
Are they going to hit the wall, similar to the last election where it looked like the tories had made a breakthrough just weeks before the election. Last time around the Liberals were able to use fear factor politics inorder to scare voters back to the Liberal fold. The Tories have been prepared for this tactic and have already counterattacked the idea of attack adds. So what tricks are left in the Liberal election hat. Martin has seemed to be getting up earlier then Harper this past week, the Liberals are now the announcement a day party, and well the Tories seem to have run out of new policies, regurgitate old announcements.
One such up-chuck was the Tory GST/tax policy that would see the Tories raise income taxes of the lower and middle class from 15% up to 16%, in order I guess to offset the lose of revenue from the cut to GST. Wow, if you are gonna hit the wall, do it going balls out I guess. The Tories always pride themselves as being the party of smaller government and lower taxes. Any mention of the Tories rising taxes has to make the voting public go Whaaaaa!!?? The Liberal Party of Canada, who by all measures have failed miserably this election, must be thanking the election goods for this one. Paul Martin even though he was being peppered about the Option Canada scandal, and the Goodale affair, actually had a twinkle in his eye, when he laid out the difference between the Liberal and Conservative tax policies. The debates are Monday and Tuesday, and I think Mr Harper may become the target, not only because he is the frontrunner, but because this whole tax thing is the first exposed election wound that he has faced, and wow if the Liberals and NDP are smart they will kick it, bite it, and spit all over it. Beware the big MO Mr Harper, if sports has taught us anything its that it is really hard to sit on an early lead, especially if you have stopped scoring.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Art Of War: Canadian Election Addition

Late last night I began to read Sun-Tzu's Art Of War. Funny as it may seem, what with me being a pacifist and all, but The Art Of War is more then the preminent tome on the strategy of war, it can be used to as a very good metaphor for life, business, sports, and well yes politics.
I thought therefore that I might put the leaders of the four Canadain political leaders and there parties through a Sun Tzu boot camp, and then use his criteria for success to predict a winner in the war that is the current Canadian election.
Sun-Tzu said: The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. These are 1) Moral Law; 2) Heaven; 3) Earth; 4) The Commander; 5) Method and Discipline.

The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.

Heaven signifies night and day, cold and heat, times and seasons.

Earth comprises distances, great and small; danger and security; open ground and narrow passes; the chances of life and death.

The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerety, benevolence, courage and strictness.

By method and discipline are to be understood the marshaling of the army in its proper subdivisions, the graduations of rank among the officers, the maintenance of roads by which supplies may reach the army, and the control of military expenditure.

How then do Canada's political parties and it's leader hold up to these constant factors. Starting with the Liberals and Paul Martin: Moral Law, wow Liberals and morals, Paul Martin has been really stressing the fact that he and the Liberals are the only Canadian party that truely represents Canadian values, but with the stink of Gomery and now the whole Goodale Income Trust Scandal, moral authority may note be a Liberal strong point. That being said I do believe that Martin does have at least figurehead control of the Liberal party, just look at the Liberal campaign signs, most of them say Paul Martins Liberals, with his mug plastered on them.

The Conservatives and Harper: this is a tough one as well, I am left leaning and therefore I am not really sure if Conservative ideas of what is moral meshs with my idea of morality, that being said Harper seems to have been able to reign in the so-cons that exist in his party, and except for an early foray into the debate of same sex marriage, he has been relatively successful in promoting he and his party as a centrist option that appears at least on the surface not all that scary.

The NDP and Layton: its hard not like the NDP, they are the cute and fuzzy option in this election, they promote themselves as the party that simply wants to help each and every Canadian, Jack has been running a relatively squeaky clean campaign, but with recent Liberal blowhard attacks on him and his wife, its about time that the NDP and Jack start to swing back, maybe not that moral, but this is a war I remind you.

The Bloc and Ducceppe: The Bloc have it easy, they can protray themselves as they only political party that truely represents Quebec, and are truely the only option for Quebecers. Quebec is a war within a war. The Quebec question, is not only a question of language and culture, but is at the heart of Canadian federalism, which is really the underlining issue of this whole election.

The Green Party and Harris: The Green Party, who I debated even putting on this list simply because they are a marginal party at best, and well as their name suggests are really only truely focused on the enviroment. They did however release a party platform, that no one including myself paid much attention to, so I guess if you are going to include the Bloc who can't form a federal government, and represent the interests of Quebec and Quebec alone, then, well the Green Party has to be mentioned as well, and yes I believe the protection of the enviroment is a question of morality.

The second constant in The Art of War is Heaven, the cold and the heat, restraints of the season. Merry Elexmas all. The Martin minority government fell in early December, when the NDP finally teamed up with the other opposition parties and defeated the Liberals in the first ever vote of Non-Confidence. It looked early on that the Liberals might use the fact that this was a Christmas election campaign to their advantage, painting the opposition as political scrooges, hungry for power irregardless of the season. That being said Paul Martin and the Liberals had a terrible first half start to this election, and must really get their shit together now that the holiday season is over.

Harper and the Conservatives, have seemed relatively happy with a Christmas campaign, they set the agenda in the first half of the campaign, and although they have wanted the Liberals to fall for a long time they are perfectly happy painting Layton and the NDP as the party that sparked this election.

Ducceppe and the Bloc, like the Conservatives had no quams at all with not only toppling the government but also with a Christmas campaign. Ducceppe used the spirit of the season to suggest that Quebec should ice its own national hockey team. This did not go down well outside Quebec, but I don't imagine it was such a bad political play in Quebec itself.

Layton and the NDP, were orginally painted as the scrooge that stole Christmas, it was the NDP that was propping up the Liberals and allowed Martin and Liberals to remain in power as long as the did. I think that Layton would have preferred a spring election, but the NDP got painted into a corner by the opposition and the Liberals and were forced to team up with the opposition and topple the Martin government.

Harris and the Green Party, um well, I guess the fact that they are getting any press at all, is a good thing for them, so an election at any time is good for them.

The third constant in the Art of War is Earth, distances, passes in time, life and death. I tend to think of this constant in Canadian political terms as well not only the challenges of Canada's geographic and socio/cultural landscape, but also the political life and death of each party and its leaders. Martin and the Liberals, have a large election warchest, and have as good a chance as anyone to zoom from coast to coast and stump hump on any issue to any community. That being said the sponsorship scandal has forced the Liberals into a losing battle in Quebec, and Liberal unpopularity in the west especially in Alberta, has really focused success and failure of the Liberals in how they do in Ontario. This is a life and death election for Paul Martin, if he does not at least win a minority government, I believe the Liberals will be searching for a new leader as early as the spring and no later then the summer. The Liberal party after 12 years of governing Canada, I believe are not going to self destruct like the Progressive Conservative party after the Mulroney years, but the Liberal Party is in for some hard times.

Harper and the Conservative Party, have similar resources as the Liberal Party, and have similar ablities to stump hump across the country. The Conservative Party is a non factor in Quebec, but is very strong out west, again this election will be won and lost in Ontario. Like Paul Martin, if Stephen Harper can not at least deliver a minority government, his time in federal politics will be short lived. The new Conservative party like the PC party is always going to be a strong second choose in Canada, the fact that they are competing well in this election bodes well for them, at least in the near Canadian political future.

Layton and the NDP, do not have the same warchest as the the Liberals or the Conservatives, but Jack and the NDP have leased a plane and can also do its fair share of stump humping across the country. It is difficult for the NDP to compete for media time against the big 2, and what with the whole Buzz Hargrove strategic voting thing, it is much more difficult for the NDP to get their message out. I believe that Jack Layton and the NDP will both survive this election, a win especially because they are invisible in Quebec, and competing for the same much needed seats in Ontario, is unlikely, but with their showing in the last parliament, NDP fortunes seem to be on the rise.

Ducceppe and the Bloc, what can I say I souund like a broken record, but the Bloc have it easy. Not only do the have similar resources as the other parties but they have the good fortune of not having to campaign anywhere outside Quebec. Ducceppe can stump hup in Quebec and Montreal, he can maybe try to steal some votes from manly Anglophone ridings in western Montreal, and the Eastern Townships, then kiss some babies, and catch some fish in Bloc friendly northern Quebec. The future is now for the Bloc, Ducceppe, he has the easiest job in Canadian politics.

Harris and the Green Party, well what can I say, the Green party has pockets of support in BC, and if they are smart the will focus most of their attention on maybe stealing a seat there. The future of the Green Party and Harris is not as set in stone as say Martin and Harper. I do not believe Harris will win a seat in parliament, I would not be surprised if they did get a seat from BC. With what looks like another minority government, the Green Party MP, might have a certain amount of influence, similar to that of the independents in the last parliament.

The fourth constant in the Art of War is the Commander: Paul Martin is the Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal party. He was a well respected finance minister, cutting social programs in order to reach the record surpluses that we are seeing in Canada today. After ten years of Jean Chretien rule, Martin and his team of hot shot p.r. people decided that it was time to carry on the longstanding tradition of usurping leaders, and basically strongarmed Chretien out of office. Paul Martin would make a heck of a CEO, he has no quams with cutting and slashing in the names of profit, he does not however come off as a great leader. He stutter and stammers through press conferences and just does not seem confident.

Stephen Harper, has a reputation for having full control of his caucus. It is rumoured that he has no patience for dissent within party ranks. Running a tight ship is a good thing in an election campaign, but as we have seen, in times of peace, when parliament is in session, he has a tendency to squeeze the reins to tight, e.g. Belinda Stronach. Harper may have to be careful, an unreseasonably strict commander often faces mutiny.

Jack Layton, Jack is not as beloved as Ed Broadbent, but he has been able for the most part to come off as the good guy. But in times of war strenght often wins over compassion. So although I believe he has full support of his party, Jack will have to toughen up inorder to win in the end.

Gilles Ducceppe, I bet if I were to ask any Canadian living outside Quebec to name any other Bloc MP other then Ducceppe that they could not. Ducceppe was an early favorite to become the leader of the provincial Parti Quebecois, he has at this time huge support throughout Quebec. Ducceppe is no Rene Levesque, or even a Bouchard, but he has been able to keep the Quebec question near the forefront of the election campaign, and is clearly the only true winner this time around.

Mike Harris, he is still a political neophyte, the simple fact that he is getting any play at all is a political victory in itself.

The fifth and final constant in the Art of War is Method and Discipline. In political terms this would be summed up by the how focused each party's campaign has been, and how disciplined party members have been in the campaign. Paul Martin and the Liberals have had a very slow and disappointing campaign so far. They have been repeatly beaten to the punch by the Conservatives, and have really not gathered any momentum so far. Discipline has been a real problem for the Liberals in this campaign. What with a Liberal strategist making statements like Canadians would spend their $25 a week child care bonus on beer and popcorn. Then last weeks endless attacks on the Jack Layton and his wife, comparing Oliveia Chow to a dog, callin Jack an asshole, and how he has a smile like a boiled dogs head. Discipline has not been a Liberal strenght.

The Conservatives have ran the best campaign so far, they have continually beat the other parties to the punch, and have dictated the agenda throughout. The Tories have been for the most part very disciplined. There was an incidient where an Alberta candidate's campaign manager, made some statements to the effect that this would be their last federal campaign, and that the would soon be working on Alberta seperation. Other then that this has been a clean campaign so far.

The NDP shot themselves in the foot early on in this campaign, when Buzz Hargrove suggested that NDP supports should only vote NDP where they are strong, and LIberals where they are not, inorder to stop the Conservatives. Jack and his party have been trying to shake the strategic vote monkey, and the 3rd party stigma throughout the campaign. Layton should have instantly distanced himself from Hargrove, and positioned himself and the NDP as a viable option for government.

The Bloc again have it easy, as long as it doesn't come out that Gilles Ducceppe eats babies, they are easly going to win the majority of seats in Quebec. There have not been any noticable faux pas' reported at least in the English press.

The Green Party as quirky and as weird as they seem, have been relatively effective in at least getting some notice in this election. There have not been any reporty wackjob reports from their campaign, so to that end its been a good run for the Greens.

Wow, all that and thats just the first page of the Art of War. But I promised that by breaking down each party and its leaders using Sun-Tzu's constants that I would predict a winner, and well I will do that here, I predict a Conservative Party minority, backed up by the Bloc. Now the election campaign is only half over, lots can go right or wrong in the next 3 weeks or so, but right now if Sun-Tzu is as wise as he seems the war is the Conservative's to lose.