Saturday, May 14, 2005

Next Election

I suppose the Conservatives can now say that the Liberals are a threat
to the Constitution. I would hammer this in the Liberals' face, as
the Liberals did while defending same-sex marriage.

Friday, May 13, 2005

time for the queen to step in

The Queen should step in - she shouldn't come to Canada. What if she decided to stall her visit to Canada in order that the PM could deal with his laundry? That would send a message and the great thing about it is, she could decide to not come and just not mention the reasons why. For her sake, better that she doesn't come. Coming would allow Mr Martin to hide behind her skirt.

Iraq 2

The latest reincarnation of Comical Ali, the man who insisted on TV that Saddam was in full control of the country while US tanks were seen liberating Baghdad in the backround, is Liberal House Leader T. Valeri:

Yesterday, Mr. Valeri bizarrely suggested it was business as usual on the Hill, despite the empty House and deserted committees.

"I reject the comment that there is a paralysis in Parliament," he said to a round of laughter from reporters who had just witnessed the shutdown of the Commons.
(via Coyne)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Curious idea

This is an interesting idea concerning the confidence in government:

Darrel Stinson of British Columbia must have surgery next week, and Harper spokeswoman Carolyn Stewart Olsen says Stinson won't likely be well enough to be in Parliament.

However, sources told CTV News that the NDP has offered the Conservatives a so-called pairing. This would mean an NDP MP would abstain from the confidence vote next week if Conservatives lost one of their MPs because of illness.

"I wouldn't reject it out of hand," said Harper when asked if he would accept such a deal. "I'd prefer to allow an ill MP to actually vote. They've made, in some cases, great effort to be here I think, at some personal risk."

This is an interesting idea, which helps the NDP I think. But why is such a move not being offered by the Liberals? That is a wonder. I would think that the Liberals need all the charitable PR they can get right now. I think Harper should secure it though. It is a gentleman's move in my opinion that should not be overlooked. Harper, don't be cocky -- be honoured.

HERE IS ANOTHER PREDICTION as to why Martin will wait until Thursday for a confidence motion: his own position is at stake. Not only will he lose First Minister status, he will undoubtedly be kicked out of the Liberal party leadership for it. It is anyone's guess who will replace him. But given that Paul Martin is traditionally seen as a moderate fiscal conservative who can stray into the political middle, that image has now been corrupted by the scandal of his party and of his government. He has an estimated 63% of Canadians who distrust him: almost three times that of Stephen Harper. So Paul Martin slides. And his party slides with him, as he was seen as the best political leader in Canada for a time. The longer he waits, the more that Martin is betting that Canadians will forget.

Now he is dithering and desparate, recently spending $170 million dollars to buy David Kilgour's vote come a confidence vote.

If Paul Martin loses a confidence vote next week, he is through. The voters and the party will eat him him. Recent polls show that although the Liberals have been gaining some ground back, his disapproval rating is trending upwards, just like his party. Right now, I predict that if an election is called before the budget vote next Thursday, Paul's Liberals will suffer big: somewhere in the range of 70-80 seats if his polling numbers stay the same (which I think they will not and decline further).

See here for some more seat predictions, or below.

Which of the federal party leaders is the most dishonest?

Paul Martin (Lib.)

63%

Stephen Harper (Con.)

20%

Jack Layton (NDP)

5%

Gilles Duceppe (BQ)

3%

Woops. The New York Times makes a small editing mistake.

Is Hillary Clinton a "Ms." or a "Mrs."? They can't decide. Maybe they know something we don't.

Selling his soul

It looks increasingly like Paul Martin's Liberals are selling taxpayer's money to stay in power.

Nothing new, of course. But what makes this situation unique is how overtly desperate the government looks.

Today, Martin announced aid for Dafur. Martin is trying to woo Kilgour to back his government. At a cost of 170 million dollars!

But is this any different than Sri Lanka? Martin promised the world to Sri Lanka months ago. But as this story says, none of that money has arrived.

They lied to the Sri Lankans, Bono, and who else?

Desparation is a tender trap / it gets you every time - "So Cruel" from Achtung Baby by U2

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Having lost a confidence motion, the Liberals are still running the show. Or pretending like it, at least.

The loss of this motion is quite a bad move for the Liberals to ignore for a few reasons:

  1. It looks terrible. Nothing looks worse than a government disregarding precedent.
  2. It gives the Conservatives and Bloc legitimacy to campaign. The longer the Liberals delay a vote of confidence, the more desparate they look. This desparation can be used by opposition parties to paint a vivid picture of Liberal tyranny. As Monte Solberg commented on his blog, Martin really has nothing to lecture Mugabe about on democracy. Perhaps this is why he shut up when he visited China recently.
  3. It makes Martin look like a liar. Already 63 percent of Canadians believe he is dishonest. Yikes. Martin now looks like a liar for what he promised: to clean up Ottawa and fix the democratic deficit.
  4. He will not have constitutional experts' backing if he waits for a vote. The Liberals are now justifying their decision based on a few professors of law. However, this will backlash unless they put forth a confidence motion soon -- as these same professors said that if they lost this vote, they must immediately prove that they hold the confidence of the House.
THE TORIES are now considering shutting down the House with a motion of adjournment. Politically, however, I am not sure how clever this is. Shutting down the House is almost akin to shutting off debate, which is what the Tories want to paint the Liberals as doing. Essentially, I think it is a battle of reasonableness. It is more reasonable to quit after a motion of no confidence, but the Liberals are not doing so. So it makes them look less reasonable, and hence less legitimate. If the Tories were to shut down the House, essentially the Liberals could say that the Tories are afraid of a budget vote, that they don't want to make the House work, etc.

The Tories need to do two things, I think:
  1. Hammer away at the legitimacy of the governing party, asking them not to commit any more money until the government can prove confidence. Asking them to resign. All the time.
  2. Employ academics and scholars who can logically and legally argue the opposition position -- that the government lost a confidence vote. That seems to be the only pillar that the government is resting on -- that the Liberals are keeping with convention. CREATE DOUBT about that, and they could possibly chew the legs that the Liberals are standing on. One such scholar, "Patrick Monahan, dean of Osgoode Hall law school, interviewed on CBC this morning, said the government must bring in a confidence vote "within a couple of days."" (via Coyne).

jurisprudence

Check out this interesting post on law (via Instapundit).

What is the most widely read work of jurisprudence by those in the legal system? Is it H.L.A. Hart’s The Concept of Law? Ronald Dworkin’s Law’s Empire? No . . . it’s actually the Multistate Bar Exam.

Almost all lawyers have read it. Although the precise text is different every year, the Bar exam presents a jurisprudence that transcends the specific language of its text. Each year, thousands of lawyers-to-be ponder over it, learning its profound teachings on the meaning of the law. It therefore comes as a great surprise that the Bar exam has received such scant scholarly attention.

No work on law has perhaps been so widely read by those in the legal system.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Motion-blogging

The time has no run out. The vote is now. What is being voted on: Bill c-12, C-9, and the Committe Reports No. 13. I suspect that it is the latter that will recieve the most attention.

2:47pm PT: The house looks full. Bustling.

2:48 - If this is merely a procedural motion, then why aren't the Liberals abstaining from this vote?

2:51 - Okay, I switched to CBC from CPAC. All that was going on was the stupid bell going off. CBC host said the bells were going on longer than usual. Kilgour and Parrish will vote with the government. Dave Chaders is here. Conservatives have all 99 MPs here.

CBC host thinks the vote will be 153-150 to recommend the government resign.

IF this is not a confidence motion, why are they getting this many people out for a procedural vote?

2:54 - Roll call.

3:04 - Bill C-9 roll call now. Yawn. There is a certain amount of suspense right now. I don't know why, either. I suspect nothing will come of the vote except more pressure on the Liberals. It is reported that Kilgour will vote with the government on procedural matters, but it's anyone's guess as to whether he will vote with the government on a traditional non-confidence vote.

I don't see why, though. I mean, he left the Liberal party because he, and his constituents, lost the confidence of the government. Why would he prop it up?

3:15pm - Here it is. The Speaker is reading the amendment. The Conservatives applaud when it is read. So undramatic at this point.

3:19 All 99 conservatives vote for the amendment. The Bloc are now voting.

3:21 - 153 people for the motion. It should pass.

3:22 - Switching between CTV and CBC live. Liberals are all voting No to the motion. Still, the amendment passes. It is bitter to see the OTHER Martin from the Island, the one who ran for the Conservative leadership years ago, on the Liberal side. How can people see him as something other than an opportunist?

Vote tally - 153-150. Just as predicted.

Hmmm...now what?

No confidence motion

For those who are stuck at work or somewhere else without CPAC, I will
be "liveblogging" the no-confidence motion that is being put forward
by the opposition at 2:45PT or 5:45ET. A play-by-play deal.

Yes, I know it is not technically a no confidence motion, but I do not
see how a technical non-confidence motion is binding either.

If the government has the confidence of the House, it should be able
to pass a confidence motion. Let's wait and see what occurs.

UPDATE: This BBC story lays it on thick for Team Martin. Nealenews links to it. But wait, its from April 10, 2005. A tad late.

HERE IS A DIFFERENT BBC story which has a good primer/Q&A sort of deal.

Is the government likely to fall, then?

The government has dismissed the motions as "procedural", and says it will continue to govern whatever the result.

Some observers say the Tories do not seem prepared to trigger a parliamentary crisis if the government ignores a vote in their favour.

But whether or not the motions qualify as votes of no confidence, the government may find it increasingly difficult to govern if it loses.

And as Mr Martin has promised to call an election before the end of the year, it seems sure at least that he will not get the chance to complete a full term of office.


Monday, May 09, 2005

This story from CTV says:
Constitutional experts say the Governor General can only accept recommendations from the prime minister.
What BS. First of all, the article quotes NO experts. Secondly, the GG can do whatever the hell she wants to do. She has more power than anyone in this country. She doesn't even need recommendations from the PM to intervene. See the 1926 fiasco.

Seat Projections

The latest round of seat projections are out. They are based on an aggregate sample of 3250 Canadians from April 30-May5, or from last Saturday to this past Thursday.



Here is the data:







CONS Liberal N.D.P. BQ Totals
Newfoundland 2 5 0 0 7
Prince Edward Island 0 4 0 0 4
Nova Scotia 3 8 0 0 11
New Brunswick 2 7 1 0 10
Quebec 0 6 0 69 75
Ontario 29 67 10 0 106
Manitoba 10 0 4 0 14
Saskatchewan 13 1 0 0 14
Alberta 26 2 0 0 28
British Columbia 23 9 4 0 36
The North 0 2 1 0 3
Totals 108 111 20 69 308
09-May-05 CONS Liberal N.D.P. BQ Totals

Here are the percentages by region:

Poll Averages Conservative Green Liberal N.D.P. BQ Undecided
Atlantic 33% 2% 48% 17% 0% 14%
Quebec 12% 3% 18% 11% 55% 7%
Ontario 34% 3% 43% 20% 0% 11%
Prairies 51% 3% 24% 19% 0% 13%
Alberta 60% 5% 21% 12% 0% 9%
BC 34% 12% 26% 24% 0% 7%


Graph and analysis to follow....

Fodder for flogging

The new celeb-blog, the Huffington Post, is a mixed hat of news and blogs.

However, the focus is almost all on the blogs. It has Hollywood's stars pounding that keyboard for the Democrats, mostly.

I think that its biggest downfall is also its biggest draw: the celebrities of course. Celebrities are praised for their acting and critisized for their politics. Count me crazy, but what will bring this blog down is ridicule.

Check this post out, for example. Or this one. And...another one.

These posts demonstrate how blase this blog has already become. Christian right this, anti-gay activists that, etc. This blog is an easy way for celebs to sound dumber, in their own words. We like to tear down celebs precisely because we wish to bridge the gap between those on a pedestal and us. These posts really show how human these superstars are. They also confirm the suspicions of those who think that many celebs are not the brightest tools in the shed.

INTERESTINGLY, there is also a user agreement for the Huffington Post that does not occur on many blogs. Here are some highlights:

"IF YOU RELY ON THIS SERVICE AND ANY MATERIALS AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS SERVICE, YOU DO SO SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK."

"THIS SERVICE IS AVAILABLE "AS IS." WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THIS SERVICE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE. THERE MAY BE DELAYS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS AND INACCURACIES IN THE NEWS, INFORMATION OR OTHER MATERIALS AVAILABLE THROUGH THIS SERVICE."