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Summer hijinks – political and non-political

Ah, summer. Hot temps. Thunderstorms. Days at the beach. No need for coats, boots or tuques.


Summer brings with it a feeling of satisfaction with oneself, one’s community and one’s country. All’s good, man.

I love the heat.. I didn’t when I was a kid… we had a small hobby farm whose composition varied between horses, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese. I hated the geese. They used to grab my bell bottom jeans and beat me with their wings.

Evil critters, geese.

But worst of all was in the summertime and the hay and straw used for food and bedding. I am deadly allergic to pollen and animals (the allergist has told me my biggest bugaboo is the meek little rabbit). Of course, my parents didn’t believe me when I complained of being unable to breathe, stinging eyes and a constantly running nose. They thought I was trying to get outta work. And said work which often consisted of being in a hay loft full of reaction-inducing chaff and hauling bale after bale down to the equally reaction-inducing animals.

This is a big reason why I’m not crazy about animals to this very day. We have a cat. Clarence. But we will NEVER have a dog, rabbit, or any other beast other than some goldfish and maybe a gecko or tarantula.

As a child, winter was a welcome respite from my allergies.

But, as I said in the first paragraph, summer also brings feelings of contentment with one’s lot in life. Canadians are pretty happy at this time of the year. Fresh off Canada Day, we are starting vacations (13 more work days till mine!), BBQing, swimming in pools and at beaches, and not really paying any attention to what is going on around us politically.

Which is why I think Harpy is preparing to call an election.

Yup. Think about it. late August and early September would be ideal for him to go to the polls. The Grits are going nowhere fast with their so-called Leader languishing behind Harpo, Jacko and Groucho in the leadership polls. But the Libs are gaining some of their support back in Ontario and elsewhere, which would not bode well for a ReformCon chance at a majority.

And Ontario and BC voters are pissed off about the HST thing (though I personally think it’s a good idea) and the difference between provincial and federal political parties is not really clear to the average voter. Thus, they may take out some of their anger by voting for the ReformCons. So Stevo must be thinking that the iron is ripe for strikin’! Majority – here we come!!!!

But who needs a majority? The Cons are pretty much getting everything they want anyhow… what with their coalition partner’s support! So why not roll the dice and take a chance at the big time? The Maclean’s writer, Paul Wells (with whom I seldom agree) puts it this way:

If an election goes really well for him, he’ll be Prime Minister when it’s over. But he’s Prime Minister already. And he’s really the Prime Minister. Another evergreen Ottawa myth asserts that Harper is somehow unfulfilled without a parliamentary majority. But he has had a majority for four years, thanks to a succession of not-ready-for-prime-time Liberals. Every budget he has ever whipped up has passed with Liberal votes.

And in concert with the Liberals, Stephen Harper is changing this country. He was able to gut environmental oversight of energy projects in the middle of a historic energy-sector environmental disaster. He is stuffing the nation’s prisons like Christmas geese. He spent $1 billion turning the country’s biggest city into a demonstration of the necessity (if not, ahem, the effectiveness) of tough policing against thugs, rabble, bicyclists and other miscreants. Inside the riot zone, with the world watching, he stared down Barack Obama in a debate over continued fiscal stimulus vs. relative budgetary restraint. He gets to name Supreme Court justices. He gets to name a new governor general. He’s in charge of nominations to every board and agency.

So he gets to have his cake – and with Iggy’s cooperation – eat it too! So go for the gusto and call a fall election!  Worst case scenario is that he is back as PM and still being supported by their “unofficial” coalition partner.

What a cute couple*

Meanwhile – only 13 more work days till my vacation… ahhhh… hope the heat wave sticks around.

Just keep the critters away from me, K?

*thanks to Harper Valley for the pic.


For comic relief….

I have set up two posts on this site in the past 4 hours and both have been deleted… figgers.

Those ReformCons aren’t, uh, well, let’s call a spade a spade…. anywhere intelligent enough to engage in some semblance of a debate.

But if you want some comic relief – by all means, give ’em a look-see….


No big surprise

although the CBC has it wrong – the ReformCons have a slight lead because the gap is outside the margin of error.

Why no big surprise? Well, look at the calender, dummy! It’s the dead of winter! Folks down east are dealing with another dumping of the white stuff. Separatist Quebecois folks are all aghast at Lucien Bouchard’s latest remarks. Ontarians are worried that they’re going to get hit with a huge winter storm cuz it has been such a tame winter so far. And everyone to the west of Ontario is too busy skiing or watching the Olympics.

Wait till spring and then we’ll see if either party can take a step or two forward…

Remind me again why the Grits and the Dippers aren’t talking about merging???


Oh, isn’t that WONDERFUL….

…Doris Day is the new TB Prez. Didn’t see THAT comin’!

Mark my words. If the ReformCons are still in power a year from now, Public Servants everywhere will spit at the mention of his name. Not that the Harperites – or most Canadians outside of the National Capital Region– give a flying crap about the PS.

My gut tells me though that this is not a pre-election Cabinet. Moving Rona to PWGSC is a big move up for her, but I would think that the brainless trust in the PMO would want her in a more visible spot if we were in pre-election mode… gotta court the soccer Moms, right?

I also don’t feel that Vic Toews (admittedly, one of the less incompetent of the Harperites) is the right pre-writ “fit” with NRCan. Though they can’t do much worse than Ms. Raitt.

So. To summarise. Same gang. Different titles.

Yawn. Wake me up when we have an election…


Who the hell is Larry Miller and why is he sending me junkmail?

So I’m getting these damn leaflets in the mail. The text attacks Iggy as being pro-raise-taxes and extols the virtues of the ReformCons as being the economic saviours of Canadian families everything.

Do I really want this crap to be funded out of the pockets of those same families? Doesn’t Harper (and ol’ Larry Miller) realize that we have been down this road before and that the Cons have angrily and self-righteously launched into vitriolic attacks against the Grits for engaging in the same type of political game-playing?

And why am I getting this leaflet from the M.P. for Bruce/Grey/Owen Sound? I cannot help but think that the ReformCons are once again exploiting holes in the Elections Act.

Here are copies of the leaflet that I received.

miscellnewcam 018

miscellnewcam 019

I am, apparently, not the only one who is questioning the use of these obviously partisan leaflets and the public purse being unzipped to finance them.

Bill Tieleman, a B.C. political commentator, says:

Perhaps the federal Liberals will send me a similar letter soon with these and other quotes about Stephen Harper – and I supply them to Iggy here for free.
But I’d rather that all parties talk a lot more about their policies and a lot less about their opponents’ many and obvious failings.

And most of all – stop wasting my damn tax dollars mailing me junk I didn’t ask for!!

But I’m a little worried. This Larry Miller guy is a bit freaky lookin’… and he gets things “done”…  I may wanna check over my shoulder a bit more often.



As if seeing Harper’s numbers go up in the polls weren’t enough…

and watching Iggy quickly turn himself into a non-issue, THIS is what I saw as next week’s weather forecast for Ottawa:
Chance of flurries or rain showers

  • 8°C High
  • -1°C Low
Yeah, those are snowflakes.
Time to accelerate the search for sun and sand. And maybe going somewhere over festivus ain’t just a bad idea after all.
And while the Grits have allowed the ReformCons to dictate the agenda, I’m ever hopeful that the old saying “give ’em enough rope and they’ll hang themselves eventually” proves true… it’s just a matter of time.


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!”



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.


Health care, and all things in the public good…

I have yet to post anything about the weird health care debate in the States.

But courtesy of and inspired by a wise Canuck blogger at Enormous Thriving Plants, I now must urge you to read the following great post about why we really do need a government and how they can, believe it or not, run a public program well and efficiently.

My health care in my country is just fine, thank-you.

Why does the conventional wisdom rail against all things state-run? It is as dogmatic as religion. Unfounded in fact and rooted in myth and fantasy…

Very entertaining post… thanks.



Stevie loses another friend…

Yet another staffer at the PMO has flown the coop.

stewart-olsen_159061gm-aCarolyn Stewart-Olsen has worked for the big guy for more than seven years (!) and was the director of strategic communication. She was considered the “gatekeeper” who strictly and loyally controlled access to her boss. Ms. Stewart-Olsen is the second major cog in the PMO machinery to bail in the past little while. Kory Teneycke, the PM’s Communications Director was the last to bid adieu.

“Stephen is not the easiest guy to work for. He takes a lot of handling sometimes. And Carolyn, she was good at that,” said University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former Conservative campaign adviser.

Gee Tom, really? I’m starting to picture meetings with Stevo and they ain’t pretty.

“Kory, get the hell in here. NOW!”

“Ye-ye-yes sir….. wh-wh-what’s wrong s-s-sir? You look angry…”

“WHO authorised THIS picture???

stephen-harper-kitten“WHO, Damn it???!! I want them waterboarded!!”

“B-b-b-ut… you said the other day th-that you wanted to portray a more, uh, human image… and our strategic communications staff thought this would do the trick… sir…????”

“I look like a freakin’ WIMP! Maybe even GAY! And you KNOW what I think of THEM!” CAROLYN! GET THE HELL IN HERE!!!!!”

Hee-hee. At this rate, Mrs. Harper will be the one and only staffer in the PMO!


This just in – godless socialists responsible for garbage strike – film at 11.

Kinsella has unearthed yet another priceless diatribe penned by a contributor to that most “honourable” group called “Blogging Tories”.

He is going so far to claim that the denizens of T.O. deserve what they get re: the civic workers strike because they keep electing socialists.  Apparently this is the reason why my beloved Leafs and Jays have also has a few bad years.

OK. A few more than a few.

Yeah – socialism is to blame for everything, I guess. This guy calls himself a “christian”, so I guess he sees the citizens of Hogtown the same way as he’s see Soviets – as “godless” socialists?

Religion and ReformCons… a weird but dangerous mix. Don’t read before operating heavy equipment!