Friday, May 20, 2005

The Joker



According to an IPSOS poll (pdf via Nealenews), 40 percent think our government is illegitimate after the budget vote yesterday:

"If the opposition and government tie the vote, and the tie is broken in favour of the
government by the Speaker of the house, who is a Liberal" – 60% feel it would be
acceptable for the Liberals to remain in power;

That is an awful lot of people to be thinking that for a vote "won" by the Liberals. That shows, as Martin said, "confidence in the government." I think we should call Martin "the Joker" from now on. Until he wipes that sad nervous smile from his face. And quits making promises he can barely keep.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Tonight I drove towards North Surrey. There was some intense lightning happening there. Hope everything is okay.

On an entirely different note, blogging will be lite this weekend. I am going to be in a wedding. As is Christo. To all who read this blog, enjoy the weekend - get out. Enjoy life away from the blogosphere for a while. It will hopefully do me some good.

Peace for now.

Christians can't represent

"A christian can’t represent the vast swathe of the Canadian public.” – Keith Brownsey, professor of political science at Mt Royal University in Alberta, BC speaking on CKNW 980's Nightline.

To put things in perspective....

...only 15% of people voted Liberal in the last election in Surrey North -- Chuck Cadman's riding. In fact, more people voted NDP than Liberal, which, I think, is astounding considering the riding -- which is only a few away from my own. 15 percent. I wonder what the other 85 percent think of Cadman's decision. Or the 60 percent that voted Independant/Conservative last election in his riding.

Chuck Cadman IND 15080 43.79% X
Jim Karpoff NDP 8312 24.13%
Dan Sheel LIB 5413 15.71%

Encomiun Moriae, "In Praise of Folly"

Sometimes, its good to have a little Rex in our diets. Rex Murphy, that is:

Ottawa today is all politics and no government, all partisanship and no purpose. The current spectacle is dissolving respect for parliaments and politics and going some way to dissolving respect for the country both are supposed to serve. Democracy is not a series of one-day deals cut for a spike in the polls or an evening newscast. Mr. Martin can short circuit all of this. His government is now nothing more than improvisation and an hourly calculation. He should resign. We should vote, and Gomery must continue.


Do we WANT an election when it comes down to it?

The polls say Canadians don't want an election. Who does? But a Gomery Parliament is unsustainable, unworkable, and undignified. We may not want an election, but we need one. For "The National," I'm Rex Murphy.
"Alot of people were just not ready to vote" - Chuck Cadman to the CBC after the vote.

"I am bound as an Independent to my constituents."

"Susan I am going to have to cut you off here" says Don Newman.
ON CBC, they SCORE a Cadman interview, but they cut Cadman off to show Paul Martin speaking at a Caucas meeting and raising his hands in glee, cheering himself.

Give me a break, the only reason Martin is fumbling with joy is because of Cadman's vote. CBC, what are you doing?

As to Cadman's comments re: his polling, I live in BC, I would probably say "I dont want an election" to a polling company. I just voted yesterday. Why again?

However, given a chance at taking down the Liberals. Sure, why not?
Now this is good for democracy. An MP, Monte Solberg live blogging from inside Parliament on a budget vote.

The Libs voting now on C 48, the NDP budget. Belinda just voted...hmmm..(don't type it fingers). .Kaygiannis just voted and looked okay after that harrowing near miss. I have a constituent here watching too. Dr. Len Vandervaart, the Dean of Arts from Medicine Hat College. He picked a great time to be here. Cadman just voted for them. “Chuck, Chuck, Chuck”, breaks out from the government benches. Looks like it will be left to the Speaker to break the tie, which doesn't leave me feeling optimistic.

Vote!?

Cadman votes with the first budget. Will he vote for the amendment?

It's tense. It is odd how much clapping goes on. Especially when Ralph Goodale's name was called.

UPDATE: NDP supports the amendment. Why is Layton shaking hands with everyone? That is wierd. How comical!

Coming to Cadman now.....Kilgour doesn't vote. Parrish votes....Cadman votes for the government. GRRRRRR. Belinda- How could you?!

Peter Mansbridbge - what a guy. He was totally BEAMING when Cadman stood up. He was gleeful. Here is him again, Conservatives have had a bad week, etc.

$170 million dollars fails to buy a vote

As predicted, Kilgour is voting with the Tories. Or against the Liberals, to be more precise. I saw this one coming. He was dropping hints all over the place. And I am sure the whole Belinda cabinet position did not hurt either. Good for him. I hope Cadman has the same courage. Although, I am not so sure he really wants to fight again as an Independent. Maybe he does. But it will not be easy.

Will Parrish and Cadman do the same? Will all Liberal MPs show up? or will Don Martin's conspiracy come true?

Find out in 2 hours. ParliamentBudget-blogging coming soon. Here.

Plum and dumb

PM: No offer made to Tory MP
Prime Minister Paul Martin is flatly denying that Tory MP Gurmant Grewal was offered a plum appointment to abstain from a confidence vote that could bring down the government.

So....only MP's with "nice shoes" (Anne McLellen) get "plum appointments."?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I never thought I would live to see the day that Warren Kinsella would say this:

Canada, and Canadians, deserve better than this. If you are a Member of Parliament - or you know someone who is - listen to that bit of tape, and ask yourself:

Is this what it has come to, at long last? Is this what we deserve? Is this what we are going to get?

And - most of all - isn't it time for a change?

Cadman and polls

The line that is being used constantly is that "people don't want an election." Thus, we should not have an election.

This is especially true in Chuck Cadman's riding. A recent poll in his riding said about 53 percent do not want an immediate election.

But since when do people want an election campaign? If you would have asked people during the BC provincial election whether or not they wanted an election, I am sure many of them would have said no, they did not. So was it wrong of the Liberals to call an election? I do not think so. I think it was responsible of them. They owe it to us to make that decision, and not wait for us to force it upon politicians.

In all fairness, being an MP does not mean being a blind poll watcher and decision maker. That is why people belong to parties in the first place. An MP is a fudiciary position - it is one of trust. People are not the leaders; the MP is. The MP needs to inform the constituency and not vice versa. MP's are held accountable by their leading actions during elections. But in between elections, I think they should have a lot more free reign then our press-dominated poll-driven politicians have been. The "will of the people" is more or less at the polling stations -- not by surveying public opinion polls.

The MP is more informed than these surveys.

Being driven by polls is very pragmatic. Great leadership leads the people, not follows them. Lead people where they are unwilling to go and they will punish you for it. But if you follow the will of the people, sometimes it can be like a dog chasing its own tail: the people are expecting the MP to inform them, while at the same time the MP is expecting the people to inform him/her.

To the Independent MPs - please lead.

Blockbuster: Conservative MP bribed

Has audio recording of top Martin staff member and cabinet minister
Listen to it here.


CBC:
Conservative MP Gurmant Grewal alleges that the Liberals offered him plum posts if he helped their minority government survive.

Grewal said the Liberals promised him an ambassadorship or Senate seat for his wife Nina, also a Tory MP, if he didn't vote against their budget in a confidence vote on Thursday, the Canadian Press reported Wednesday.

This is HUGE. If you remember, the Inky Mark thing blew over because he didn't really have proof. This time, Grewal says he has an audio recording:

Grewal alleges he made an audio recording of the offer, which he said came from Liberal cabinet minister Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy, Prime Minister Paul Martin's chief of staff.

This could be a criminal offense involving a top cabinet minister and Martin's top staff member. Oh what these Liberals will do for self-preservation. This time, however, it may catch up to them. Sometimes playing dirty will get you dirty.

This is Criminal Code Section 124, which makes bribing an elected official with a public office illegal:

Every one who

(a) purports to sell or agrees to sell an appointment to or a resignation from an office, or a consent to any such appointment or resignation, or receives or agrees to receive a reward or profit from the purported sale thereof, or

(b) purports to purchase or gives a reward or profit for the purported purchase of any such appointment, resignation or consent, or agrees or promises to do so,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

Or maybe section 119:

(1) Every one who

(a) being the holder of a judicial office, or being a member of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, corruptly

(i) accepts or obtains,

(ii) agrees to accept, or

(iii) attempts to obtain,

any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment for himself or another person in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by him in his official capacity, or

(b) gives or offers, corruptly, to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by him in his official capacity for himself or another person,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

Someone call the RCMP.

They were laughing at your Prime Minister

A CTV article picture caption reads:
"Prime Minister Paul Martin shares a laugh with reporters during the press conference Tuesday in Ottawa."
Reporters weren't laughing with him, they were laughing at him for attempting to earnestly say that Belinda's move to the Liberals had nothing to do with Thursday's vote.

How does this move really help the Liberals, asks the Western Standard:
This is, I've heard, incredibly frustrating to loyal Liberals who have toiled in the backbenches since 1993 and with no reward or recognition. I'm told a few are seriously considering ways to embarass their prime minister including possibly being back in their ridings on Thursday. I still find it unlikely to unfold this way but it is more believable than it would have been 24 hours ago.
I wonder what more conservative liberals like Paul Szabo think of his party. I suppose job security is important to him though.

BC election close call

Every. Vote. Counts. Look closely at these stats:

Candidate information for riding: Cariboo South

Candidate

Party Votes %/ Vote Elected

Charlie Wyse


New Democratic Party of BC 6748 45.6% Yes

Walter Lloyd Cobb


BC Liberal Party 6747 45.6% No

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Choice Quotes from Belinda

According to Belinda, Paul Martin is incompetent or corrupt! Take your pick!:

Prime Minister Paul Martin was either “…part of the shameful mess or he is incompetent”, referring to the sponsorship scandal.


Thanks to Google, I have uncovered some other really juicy Stronach quotes on the Liberal government.


Here is one a few months ago:

I will promise you this:

As International Trade Critic, I will continue to hold the Liberals accountable for their dismal track record in an area that is vital to this country’s economic health and living standards.

Promise made, promise broken! OR what about this one:

We have a Liberal government stuck in quicksand…and with no plan to get out of it. So they sit there “sinking” (not thinking) and waiting for others to come up with a plan for them.

Fresh ideas, quick action and addressing the long-standing demands of Canadians rarely appear on the agenda.

Does that mean she is also stuck in quicksand too now? I guess now she will be doing what she does best: waiting for others to come up with a plan.

Defections!

Hey, I thought today was an election in BC! Paul, you aren't supposed to be offering people cabinet positions? This is why there couldn't be a confidence motion until Thursday (along with the Queen coming tommorrow). You were too busy bribing Opposition MPs.



Belinda has jumped ship today to the Liberals. For a Cabinet post. Wow. That is why it was so important to ignore hundreds of years of Parliamentary tradition. To save Martin's own ass. It is less clear why B.S. (look at that, her initials are BS) jumped on a sinking ship.

This interview on Sunday now becomes curious:

BELINDA STRONACH: Well, I believe there is quite a difference between Paul Martin and I... I also, I also, let me, I also believe in smaller government, and as a Conservative I believe in a smaller government and a more decentralized government. And Liberals believe in slightly larger government, and there's a good saying - that the government cannot give you anything it has not taken from you first. So I do believe in a smaller government, I do believe in lowering taxes and allowing for businesses to invest in this country, and to create employment, and when business does well, Canadians are employed and we do have a higher standard of living.

I have felt for some time that Belinda Stronach just wanted power. It is no wonder she spent a fortune attempting to be leader of the Conservatives. And she sold her political soul to Paul Martin's Liberals after so much ill will towards him in the House.

That makes two potential leadership candidates look like power-hungry mini-Martin's. Oh, and the other is Keith Martin. Ironically, people were saying at the time that both people are incredibly vain.

CAROLE MACNEIL: You've heard the comment that Paul Martin, that you're Paul Martin in a cocktail dress? (laughs)

BELINDA STRONACH: Well, he probably agrees with me that I might look a little better in a cocktail dress.

Paul Wells has this flattering comment:

Belinda Stronach: don't say she never surprised you.

ON THE OTHER HAND, she's absolutely a match for most of the rest of Cabinet in talent and intellect.


As far as its importance in the budget vote, I am not sure how this will play out. It seems like Kilgour is unhappy. Cadman is leaning against it. We'll see if that holds.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Polls!

Nealenews headlines the new Ontario poll showing a strong Liberal lead.

A new poll suggests that the Grits are leading 12 points in Ontario. But wait! If you groan at such a sight, there is good news for you. According to CTV, "the poll of 1,000 Ontarians was conducted between May 3 to 9." This is in line with the IPSOS poll "conducted from May 3 to May 5, 2005." This poll showed the Grits leading in Ontario by 11 points.

BUT

A NEWER POLL by IPSOS was " conducted from May 10 to May 12, 2005." This is the three days AFTER the Nealenews-linked Leger poll. This is after the obstructionist efforts by the opposition in the House of Commons.

It appears that circumstantial evidence points to this effort actually working in the opposition favour, as the Liberals actually DROPPED eleven points during the past week.

Perhaps news sites will actually cite this as a grain of salt to their stories. Probably not.

A face lift that rivals MJ?



What's with the glossy eyed, puppy dog face of Martin on CBC News' website (currently at 12:00 AM PST)?

Is someone trying to emphasize that Martin is all about the children?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Kilgour Speaks

"There's a clear consensus that Parliament has become dysfunctional, that it's time the people decided who they want to be the government."
- David Kilgour, Independent MP

It looks like a Spring election. Remember, Kilgour is quitting politics soon too. He may want an early exit.

Election ammunition

"Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent."

If I were a Conservative strategist, you would have to think that I would also be hammering this point come the election: empty foreign aid promises. Canadians gave millions of dollars to the tsunamai relief effort. The government promises millions, but failed to actually come through. It was "lip service." Why can't Martin make good on any of his promises? He is becoming an embarassment. Mark Steyn has this take:

And in January, after the tsunami hit, [Paul Martin] flew into Sri Lanka to pledge millions and millions and millions in aid. Not like that heartless George W. Bush back at the ranch in Texas. Why, Prime Minister Martin walked along the ravaged coast of Kalumnai and was, reported Canada's CTV network, "visibly shaken." President Bush might well have been shaken, but he wasn't visible, and in the international compassion league, that's what counts. So Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. "Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!" raved the LankaWeb news service.

You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars -- Canadian. That's about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn't tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it's back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible "unilateralist" America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck'll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent.