Monday, May 28, 2007

Conservatives take lead in Quebec, next...the world! (or Ontario anyway)

What may be the last of the relevant polls we will see until the fall was released over the weekend, and the headlines seemed to trumpet it as a return to where we were at last year's election. (37-31-16)

But there was one interesting fact in the results that I am quite surprised did not receive more play.

The Conservative Party is leading the polls in the Province of Quebec. Leading the Bloc by four points, and the Liberals by eight. (28-24-20)

Stephane Dion's Liberals have no real chance to claim any of the ridings currently represented by the Bloc, so the Conservatives are well placed to have a HUGE breakthrough in the province.

This is especially surprising as the opposition has labelled Quebec as queasy and uneasy about Canada's involvement in Afghanistan, and they feel that any deaths occuring when the Vandoos regiment is rotated to Afghanistan will destroy the Tories. I don't think that will happen at all. If anything, I think it will put the people of Quebec more solidly behind the mission than ever.

The Conservative Party is well placed, and the longer they are in power, more of the federalist vote in Quebec will realize that the Conservative Party is a real alternative. And with that, more and more erstwhile Liberal voters will cross the divide and enrich the Conservative seat count.

We have all seen over the years that a switch in Quebecoise political tastes soon transfers over to Ontario as well, putting the Conservatives in position to clean up in Central Canada in a 2008 spring election. (Or this fall if McGuinty gets trounced at the polls)

The Liberals being in the 30s in this poll is an indication of the strength of their brand, not Stephane Dion. I am still convinced that the Conservatives could have received their majority had they gone to the polls this spring. In a direct Harper vs Dion comparison, there is no comparison. As one elderly fellow said to me after meeting Dion at an event this weekend, "what a nerd". No one has been exposed to Dion for an extended period. At the end of a campaign the Liberals would have fallen to the low 20s in popular support.

The Conservatives should use the summer to get their legislative act together (it has been a little sloppy recently), come back in the fall looking like a party ready to lead the nation, and the people will give them their majority. They need to draft a clear and concise message, stay on that message, and the votes will come their way.

And maybe kick the unelected and unaccountable Senate a couple times for good measure.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next President of the United States of America

Mr. Fred Thompson

In his speech, Thompson criticized Democrats as he discussed terrorism, Iraq and national security. "Our choice is not whether or not we're going to fight. Our choice is where we're going to fight," Thompson said. "And the only debate going on right now with regard to this most important issue facing our country on the Democratic side of the aisle is the date of our surrender. My friends, I don't think that the American people are going to turn the keys of this country over to a party that invests their political capital in defeat.""

Just putting it on the record. Am willing to wager.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Two-step Duceppe wusses out

One bad poll. That's all it took for Gilles Duceppe to start running for the hills.

A CROP poll on Saturday showed Duceppe may have had a challenger for the PQ crown in one Pauline Marois. Ms. Marois was defeated by Andre Boisclair in the last PQ leadership race, and was set to make another run.

This poll showed Marois favoured by a margin of 45-21. So did Gilles wait for the next poll before doing something rash?


Gilles decided, based on one early poll result (the first in fact) to "take it back" and not run for PQ leader after all.

"I quit"

Had he not referenced any other polls before making this momentous decision? Did he only enter on a hunch? Did he not think he might have to lead the Parti Quebecoise? C'mon..

By stepping out of the PQ leadership race within 24 hours of his entry into it, Gilles Duceppe may have ruined his career, and the chances for the Bloc in the next election.

Gilles "No stomach for a fight" Duceppe will be subject to ridicule for the rest of his time in the Commons. He will no longer command the respect required in the House to be taken seriously.

If the Bloc does not remove Duceppe from his leadership position soon, it will be tarred with the same brush full of wussyness.

And no one votes for a wussy.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Harper, take it to the airwaves

The opposition has had a field day of sorts in the past few weeks with their constant bombardment of the Conservatives over the treatment of terrorist/insurgent detainees in Afghanistan.

The Bloc would like to see these prisoners offered a get out of jail free card, the NDP wants them to be included in some sort of restorative justice program, and the Liberals would like these criminals kidnapped from their native land, and jailed in Canada.

The ungodly Conservatives want Afghan prisoners to be (gasp) imprisoned in Afghanistan.

So how is it that out of these four options, the Conservatives ended up wearing this mess? The appearance of inconsistent messaging, that is how.

Any little alteration of message by a Conservative MP was picked up by the opposition parties and the press and distorted to the max.

As the opposition picked away at this issue for weeks upon end, it was obviously of great importance to them, and through them their constituents, who represent a majority of Canadian citizens.

On a matter that important, it falls to the Prime Minister to go directly to the people and explain the situation. Harper should have done a prime time address on national TV, and laid out the situation once and for all, without the usual media filter.

After all, if Paul Martin can go to the airwaves in a freak-out over the chance he might lose a confidence vote, surely Stephen Harper can go to the people when the representatives of 60% of the Canadian population are foaming at the mouth demanding answers?

Perhaps it is too late now, but as Harper's previous skirting of the press gallery by going to the local press showed, if your message is being purposefully distorted, there are other ways to get your message out. One well timed address to the Canadian people on our role in Afghanistan, the treatment of terrorist/insurgent prisoners, and the absurd solutions offered by the opposition, would have taken the air out of all this, and quick.


Thursday, May 3, 2007

More than a little shocking

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When asked to raise their hands if they don't believe in evolution, Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rep. Tom Tancredo all said they do not.

"I believe in evolution," Sen. John McCain said. "But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also."

-- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

I'm sorry, but belief in evolution should be a Presidential prerequisite. And yes, I know that means Myron Thompson can't be spare me.

UPDATE: Interesting that the picture used in the CNN a screencap of MSNBC! Where do CNN producers get their news? MSNBC apparently.. ha, ha..


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Is the Enviro-craze coming to an end?

Tonight...on The National (where the CBC's just apologized for using footage of Canadian soldiers in a story about Bush and Iraq ((that's what, the fifth time in the last month that the CBC has had to apologize for some error of bias?))), not one mention of Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Death of our Planet, etc..for the first time in forever.

Could this be the sign that fascination with the environment is on the wane?

The main stories were on Shane Doan, and Afghanistan. Better for the Conservatives that the voters are focusing on hockey and Afghanistan than on the environment. A majority of Canadians support our troops in Afghanistan.

With all economic indicators predicting, at the least a mild economic recession, citizens will soon be preoccupied with the necessities of life: jobs, mortgage payments, and taxes...not the environment.

Moral of the story? Stephen Harper should not seek an election this spring. Wait it out.

update: I was wrong, but right. The environment came up at 54 minutes past the hour. When Rex Murphy called the exaggeration of the climate situation loony. It's over, and the blowback has begun. Thank Elizabeth May.


Turn up the volume on Denis Coderre's hate-on for Captain Canada

Liberal members of Parliament want to haul Hockey Canada officials, including Steve Yzerman and other hockey greats, before a Parliamentary Committee so they can "explain" why Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes was made Captain of Team Canada at this year's world championships.

Shane Doan's supposed crime? Belligerent Liberal MP Denis Coderre says Doan once called a hockey linesman a frog. Doan denies the incident ever happened. Doan has even gone so far as to take Coderre to court to get him to retract his accusation, and be compensated for the resulting impact on Doan's reputation.

So it was no surprise when this issue surfaced in Parliament with Coderre henchman, Liberal MP Marcel Proulx, carrying the torch for Coderre, who can't comment on the matter (conveniently) due to ongoing litigation.

So why does all this matter? Well first off, it's stupid.

Secondly, the Conservatives are currently getting grief from all the media focus on their embattled Defence Minister, Gordon O'Connor. So what do you do when you are catching flak from one controversy? You change the channel by creating another controversy.

There will be plenty of Canadian media interest if Yzerman et al appear before the Committee. The Conservatives should be a loud voice of reason on this issue, and the defenders of Canadian hockey. Video clips of the proceeding would see petty Liberals picking on hockey greats, and Conservatives decrying the waste of taxpayer dollars such an exercise will surely be.

I'm sure the politicians might be startled to know this, but the NHL playoffs are on, so Canadians aren't very interested in what is happening on the Hill right now. What they would be interested in however, is a Liberal attempt to mess with Team Canada's ability to win the World Hockey Championship. And they would certainly take notice if the Conservatives raised the volume on this issue, and painted the Liberals as haters of everything hockey.

The Liberals have given the Conservatives a great opportunity here to draw attention to the Liberal anti-hockey hysterics, Coderre's petty vendetta against Shane Doan, and in the process lock-up the hockey vote and move attention away from the Defence Minister.

That all this is happening while there are still two Canadian teams in the playoffs, and the Shane Doan led Team Canada is likely to bring home the too good an opportunity to miss.


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Global warming? Sure, but not why you think

Mars is being hit by rapid climate change and it is happening so fast that the red planet could lose its southern ice cap, writes Jonathan Leake.

Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period.

So is global warming actually caused by a periodic cycle of heightened sun activity, one that affects the other planets in the inner solar system as well?

Perhaps the real danger to the environment is the hot air currently being spewed by so many eco-lunatics.