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Friday miscellany: with ZOMBIES AND KITTENS!

I’m sure to be posting more than a few things from now through E-Day, so, today, I am focussing on:

KITTENS!

Awwwwwwww…..

*SLAP*

Whew. Thanks. I needed a bit of slap upside the head just there!

1) A windy day in O Dot yesterday. I swear I saw Dorothy AND Winnie the Pooh AND my recycling bins flying east over St. Laurent! Were these the political winds of change that I’ve been hearing so much about?

Speaking of my recycling bins, has anyone seen them? One is black and one is blue.  They could be anywhere east of Canterbury HS. Please contact me if you spot them.

2) Warren Kinsella posted this link to the world’s first zombie-proof house! And it’s about time!

Guess we know where the Harperites will scatter to if the polls hold to the 2nd and the socialist hordes take power!

3) Barack Obama caved to the lunatic fringe (aka, the GOP) and produced his “long form” birth certificate to prove that he is indeed, an American.

Two questions:

  • Does Canada have a “long form” birth certificate? And if we do, has Harper done away with it and replaced it with a voluntary birth certificate?
  • Will Harper follow suit and produce his birth certificate? That would put away all of those nasty rumours about being a robot and all. Just sayin’..

4)  Here’s what Iggy said to the CPC the other day:

5) Finally, on a completely non-political note, I wanted to wish the best of luck to the son of a friend and colleague of mine on an adventure he has been on since last year.

Shayne Orok has made into the final 5 of what can be best described as Korea’s version of American Idol. This achieved in spite of the fact that he doesn’t speak Korean AND that he has been away from his (very close) family for months now AND that there were about a gazillion entrants to start with!

This kid has a talent, man! I hope he remembers the nice bald man who said hi to him at the office Xmas party 6 years ago!

Given him a listen.

 

 

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Devestation! Destruction!

And a Huriphoonado will be sure to come if the NDP – gasp – ever gains power or even a sniff of it!

Here’s Steve:

The alternative that the opposition offers, symbolized most dramatically by the NDP, are enormous increases in government expenses, the raising of taxes, the raising of prices which we know will have a devastating effect on consumers’ pockets and ultimately on our economy and the destruction of jobs.

Run away! Run away! Jack and his evil band of granola-munching socialists will find you and take away your kittens if you don’t do what they say!

Steve will save your kittens though!
Stephen LOVES kittens!
Sigh. C’mon, people! This is not Castro we’re talking about! It’s not even Chavez! Jack Layton and the NDP are a part of our democracy with some ideas and policies that might be a bit different from the two traditional governing parties. But they are NOT out to nationalize anything, for cripe’s sake! The world will not end if they ever became the government! Bay Street might not like it and the oil sand barons certainly wouldn’t but THOSE aren’t the guys in charge!
Clearly, Harper is panicking and the CPC is poised to unleash a whole new set of attack ads on the weekend aimed at Layton and his socialist hordes!
Gonna be a fun last few days!

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So, how bad might it be for the Grits?

If you are a Liberal and you’re watching the results roll in on the night of May 2, it might be very, very bad.

Or not.

Or just a little bad.

But if you are a non-partisan progressive, it may be good.

Or very, very good.

Or just OK.

Much of how this game of thrones plays out hinges on turnout – especially in Ontario, where the Liberal vote has more or less done a deep six, but the Dippers have yet to pick up the slack. Québec is also a wildcard. Are the former Bloc supporters really giving up on Duceppe? Québec voters have proven to be volatile in the past – and they may once more prove themselves so.

I’m not at all going to get into WHY this happened; that can wait until later. But the polls are consistently showing that there has been a steady shift to the Blue team and the Orange side. And if the Dipper support in Ontario, which is currently stagnant, takes an upswing like elsewhere in Canada, the Grits had better stock up on some good scotch on May 2 and for the next 4 years… cuz there be bad times comin’ .

It will be interesting to see the Nanos poll tomorrow morning.

 

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Cooperation. Coalition. Merger. 3 different things

Warren Kinsella penned a very good note recently on all of the Grit/Dipper Mergecoalicooperation (new word!) which drew some equally insightful comments… as Kinsella’s columns often do…

James Bow correctly pointed out the following:

You need to be clear about what’s on the table, here. Electoral cooperation, coalition and merger are three very different things, each with wholly different implications for Canadian voters.

And I agree. There is some confusion over these terms that are being thrown about rather haphazardly these days.

Electoral cooperation

This is akin to voting strategically, except on the side of the parties rather than on the voters. There are certain ridings where, in the pursuit of defeating Harpy and having a House with a Progressive Agenda, there can be tacit agreements that the Grits will support the Dippers in some way, or vice versa depending on the circumstances during and election campaign.

For example, say the Cons won a seat by a small margin and one could realistically expect some voters from the 3rd place party to support the second place party if encouraged to do so by the third place party. Take Nunavut for example:

2008 General Election Results:

Candidate Party Votes %Vote
AGLUKKAQ, Leona Conservative 2,815 34.9%
EJESIAK, Kirt Eliza Kootoo Liberal 2,349 29.1%
IRNGAUT, Paul NDP 2,228 27.6%
ITTINUAR, Peter Green 669 8.3%

Even if only 25% of the NDP voters went to the Grits, that would be more than enough to unseat the Cons because it would be highly unlikely that any of the Dipper votes would vote for the Cons… most Dippers would rather burn their union cards than do THAT!

The cooperation could take many forms. Sharing workers, running low-keys campaigns or weak candidates, even an outright endorsement of the opponent – all are possible. But do not. I repeat, do NOT run less than a complete slate of candidates. That is a coalition – not cooperation. And the Harperites would pounce on that like a mongoose on a cobra!

I predict that this is the most likely development we will see in the next election. And it may, just may further the Progressive Agenda.

Coalitions:

Yes, they are legal. Yes, western democracies do use coalitions as a way to bring together different parties under one banner with an agreed upon legislative agenda. Nothing wrong with it.

However, because of the way that the Cons portrayed the last unsuccessful attempt at a coalition between the Grits and Dippers (and NO, the Bloq was NOT as part of the coalition) any notion of a working coalition by the two should be stated up front in the course of the campaign. Give the voters the opportunity to vote for a Progressive vision and still allow them to keep the faith for their own respective parties.

This scenario might happen. But I’m not sure Iggy has the balls or the inclination to do so. His ego might get in the way.

Merger:

Admittedly this is my preference but for a variety of reasons, I don’t think it will happen in the near future, and here is why:

  • Too easy a target for the ReformCons. Can’t you see the ads? “Michael Ignatieff and the liberal party have chosen to partner with the tax and spend, nationalizing, pro-Taliban socialists”. Yes, a pile of crap, but the Tim Horton crowd would eat it up.
  • Many Blue Grits would rather head for the DeceptiCons than merge with Jack Layton. And many Dippers would just stay home. There is a long history here and to ignore it would be perilous. The combined party – at least right now – may garner fewer votes than the two parties combined as separate entities. That being said, the two parties of the Left and centre Left MUST coalesce at some point in the future if we are to avoid years and years of right-wing bullshit.
  • Don’t forget that it took 4 or 5 years before the current Cons won as high a percentage of the vote as the PCs and the Alliance put together during the 1997 & 2000 election campaigns. The internal schism, even if it was temporary, would open the door to a Harper majority; something all Progressives in this country definitely do NOT want to see!

But, hey, for political junkies like me, these are the best of times!

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More rumblings about a centre/left merger… again

There is an interesting opinion piece in the Star today penned by Glenn Wheeler on how it is up to the rank and file of the Grits and Dippers to start the coalition ball rolling.

To be clear – while I have been a member of both parties in the past, I am not so currently. But one thing I am sure of is that I am a progressive.  And I would actively support any arrangement that would move the progressive agenda forward to counter the social conservatism that has been dominant on the Hill for the past several years.

But – sigh – this has been talked about again and again and again… so I am slightly less than optimistic that an effective coalition under strong and clear leadership is waiting in the wings.

To the leaderships of both parties – put the egos aside and start working toward a partnership that would provide Canada with a clear and progressive path forward!

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Slay the lamb – dammit!

In other news…

School kids in Kent, England, voted overwhelmingly to send Marcus – a lamb raised by the classroom the time it was born as part of an agricultural awareness program or – a “this is where your meat comes from, stupid” program – to the slaughterhouse for some good chops.

Predictably sending parents, PETA, and other freaky folks into a frenzy.

Oh my f***ing gawd, say they…

“How can we expose our poor subunits to the vagaries of modern omnivorism??” ‘Tis shameful.

So who will be the lamb after the next election? Iggy? Stevo? Jackman?

Depends on who makes the wrong call… and who doesn’t win over the kids…

I don’t normally cull a whole story, but this one is worth the exception:

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of schoolchildren who reared a lamb from birth and named it Marcus has overridden objections by parents and rights activists and voted to send the animal to slaughter.

Marcus the six-month-old lamb has now been culled, the head teacher of the primary school in Kent confirmed on Monday, after the school’s council — a 14-member group of children aged 6 to 11 — voted 13-1 to have him killed.

The decision has provoked fury among animal-loving celebrities, animal and human rights campaigners and the parents of some of the children, and led to threats against Lydd primary school and its teachers, according to a member of staff.

Around 250 children at the school take part in a program designed to teach them about rearing and breeding animals.

The educational farm was started this year, with Marcus being hand-fed by the children. The children also look after ducks, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs.

The intention had been to buy pigs with the money raised from slaughtering Marcus, but those plans have been put on hold following the furor created by the lamb’s culling. The school said the program may now have to be stopped.

“It’s all up in the air,” said a member of staff. “There’s been so much pressure on us as a result of all this.”

Despite that, the school said there had been overwhelming support among the children, the staff and most of the parents to have Marcus — a castrated male who could not have been used for breeding — sent to the slaughterhouse.

But opponents branded it heartless and cruel, with animal rights campaigners asking why Marcus could not have been used to teach the children about wool, and human rights campaigners worried about the emotional impact of Marcus’s death on the children.

A popular talkshow host offered to buy the lamb and give it sanctuary and Facebook groups sprung up to rally support to keep Marcus alive. But the children had the final say. The school defended the children’s decision, calling it educational.

“When we started the farm in spring 2009, the aim was to educate the children in all aspects of farming life and everything that implies,” the school said in a statement.

“The children have had a range of opportunities to discuss this issue, both in terms of the food cycle and the ethical aspect… It is important for everyone to move on from this issue, so the children can focus on their education.”

(Reporting by Luke Baker; Editing by Steve Addison)

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Dippers, ReformCons & olive tree

Well, if the ReformCons aren’t interested in working with the NDP to keep the current session of Parliament afloat, they sure aren’t showing it!

The Globe is reporting that the CPC is offering an olive branch to the Dippers in the form of EI reforms in an effort to keep the minority government from being defeated. Olive branch? That is a freaking tree!

Yesterday, I posted a piece about the Dippers’ change of heart. Now, it’s the Harperites turn to turn the canoe around and paddle upstream. Just a while ago, Harper said that the EI system was just fine, thank-you.

In early May, Stevo said:

…the recent federal budget made improvements to the system, including an extra five weeks of benefits for recipients.

“Canada has a very generous system of employment insurance that was, in fact, enhanced in the most recent economic action plan of this government,” he said.

and now, in September:

In a bid to stave off defeat, or at least shame the parties that force it, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s embattled minority government announced plans to table legislation that would expand employment insurance for long-tenured workers who lose their job.

And as far as the NDP are concerned, it might just do the trick.

“This proposition is a very serious proposition,” NDP finance critic Paul Dewar told reporters, just minutes after Human Resources Minister Diane Finley and Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced the expanded benefits. If the legislation truly does assist the unemployed, he said, “we would be irresponsible not to seriously consider and support that.”

I’m not necessarily against staving off an election since from my anti-Harper perspective, the chances of bringing down his government later are greater than they are now, IMHO.

And I, apparently unlike the majority of my countrymen and women, absolutely LIVE FOR elections.  But I want the next one to turn out more to my liking. So if the Dippers and the ReformCons want to play footsie, then go for it!

"OH NO! He's gonna throw up and I have to pretend I don't care!"

"OH NO! He's gonna throw up and I have to pretend I don't care!"

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Maybe the Dippers aren’t ready?

Interesting to see all of the bluster that, just a little while back, was being puffed out of NDP mouths everywhere has now faded to mere indifference. The rhetoric has gone from “we’re gonna drive the CPC back into the caves from which they emerged!”

to:

“meh”.

Jack, a few months ago (June 22): (1)

‘Anybody who’s holding their breath and thinking that’s going to change should think twice,’ NDP Leader says

NDP Leader Jack Layton says his party will not prop up the Conservative government if the Liberals move a motion of no-confidence in the fall.

“Our party has opposed the direction of Stephen Harper 79 times in confidence motions so anybody who’s holding their breath and thinking that’s going to change should think twice,” Mr. Layton told a press conference on Monday morning.

And now (September):

“I think that everybody involved would want to see us co-operate in the House of Commons and get some results for people — especially those that are struggling right now: the unemployed and people being left behind,” Mr. Layton said as he inched away from reporters at an archway opening in Toronto.

“So that’s going to remain our preoccupation.”

Personally, I don’t mind if Jack props up Stevie for a while since I am not convinced that this is the best time to defeat the ReformCons (plus it will give many a good belly-laugh). Yes, Iggy had not choice but to throw down the proverbial gauntlet, but realistically the best the Grits can hope for, IMO, is a slim Grit minority. They still need more time to re-build the Grit brans and more specifically, the leader’s brand.

But hey, I don’t get paid for these opinions, so I can say what I like, eh?

So why has the NDP cooled their jets? Likely resources – or a lack thereof. The Dippers would dearly like a few more months to build up their war chest and get their issues into the faces of Canadians. The Grits and the Harperites have grabbed the “helping out the downtrodden and unemployed” banner in recent weeks and Layton and his team will have to work hard to get it back.

And that will take some time.

1. Original article was in the G&M but is now archived and only accessible on a fee-for-service basis.

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HELL IS SUB-ZERO THIS MORNING!!!!!!!

The Dippers have won a seat in Québec!!!!! Outrement is theirs!!!!

The freezing over of Lucifer’s ‘hood surely must mean that….

The Leafs WILL indeed win the Cup this year!

I had better book my hotel room now for the post season celebrations that will take the city (and the nation) by storm! Come to think of it, I should stake out my spot along the parade route – just to be sure!

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