Friday, November 30, 2007

Inquiring minds want to know

As of this posting it has been 85 days, 21 hours, 24 minutes, 22 seconds since Stephane Dion said he would be very pleased to visit Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

So, with his pending visit to Bali, which is right around the corner from Afghanistan, what better time for him to live up to his promise and visit the troops! Bali IS in the neighbourhood after all.

Dion's excuse for not visiting the troops to date has been that he is too busy at home in Canada with the responsibilities of an opposition leader; too busy to go half way around the world to visit the troops. Interesting then that he can immediately make time to go half way around the world to a conference on climate change.

So, is trashing Canada's reputation at a major international symposium more important than supporting Canadian troops overseas? I guess we're about to find out.

Mr. Speaker, there is zero chance of me visiting the Canadian troops in Afghanistan


Thursday, November 29, 2007

From my cold dead hands rest-of-world..from my cold dead hands.

"University of Alberta researcher Denise Young, who led the study, suggests that provincial authorities or round-ups to eliminate the threat — methods that Americans use to get guns off the streets.",2933,313844,00.html



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Vote now! Should the government heed McGuinty's call to strip the Maritimes of seats in Parliament so they can be given to Ontario?

The Maritimes are over-represented in the House of Commons based on the number of seats they have in Parliament vs. their population. For example, PEI has 4 seats in Parliament, when in a true rep by pop scenario, they should have 1.

Last week, after the government released a plan to give Ontario extra seats, Premier McGuinty came out and said he wanted true rep by pop for Ontario. In short, he wants all his new seats, plus he wants another 10 back from the Maritimes as well.

Traditionally, Ontario, as the grandfather of confederation, has been willing to let the Maritimes "borrow" the extra 10 or so seats to which it is entitled.

This is the argument that Peter Van Loan tried, badly, to make last week when he called Permier McGuinty the "small man of confederation" for wanting his seats back from the Maritimes. Ontario has traditionally deferred receiving its full Parliamentary power so that the smaller provinces could have a bigger voice.

Now McGuinty is calling for true rep by pop. He wants the Maritimes to be stripped of seats so they can be transferred back to Ontario.

What do you think? Short sighted me-me-me Toronto-centric attitude, or is a new seat distribution in the House of Commons in order?

Time to redistribute seats in the House of Commons?
Yes, I agree with McGuinty. Give the Maritime seats back to Ontario
No, I disagree with McGuinty. Let the Maritimes keep Ontario's seats


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stephane Dion: My family was so poor, we didn't even know what we speak about!

Stephane Dion on growing up poor: "We were the last in our neighbourhood to get a TV, the last to get a car. My parents had headaches about how to pay for the house."

Note to Stephane Dion. Before saying that you know the ravages of abject poverty first-hand having grown up as the son of a mere university professor, perhaps try to imagine this.

The poor are not the last ones on their street to get a car, they could never afford a car. The poor do not have problems paying for their house, they could never get a mortgage. In some part of Canada, the poor don't even have indoor plumbing.

If my neighbour has a Mercedes, and I only have a Cadillac. Does that make me poor too?

Stephane Dion demonstrating how much credibility he has on the poverty file


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

James Travers conspicuously distances himself from official Liberal position

That the Liberal friendly columnist for the Toronto Star, James Travers, has come out against Stephane Dion's call for a wide open public inquiry into the Shreiber Affair is quite interesting.

Mr. Travers has for some time been part of the Liberal inner-santum, entrusted with secrets that those outside the party's powerful elite, like Stephane Dion, are completely unaware of. If James thought only the Conservatives would be punished, he would be joining the Liberal hue and cry for complete disclosure and investigation. For Travers to come out against a wide open inquiry indicates that there must be several Schreiber skeletons hidden in the Liberal closet.

The question this brings to mind is: what does James Travers know, and when did he know it?

So in the interest of full disclosure, I will add my voice to Stephane Dion's and call for a full and far ranging public inquiry into the Schreiber Affair.

It seems quite obvious that James Travers has to be brought before the public inquiry and compelled to tell Canadians what he knows. It is likely that he has shared/schemed with other denizens of the Toronto Star news room, so they should be brought forth for questioning too. Certainly with these two entities in cahoots, someone at Torstar corporate must have known what was going on. They will have to testify. Who else writes for the Star that might know something about Liberal/Schreiber shenanigans? One time Paul Martin advisor Scooter Reid? Haul him in as well. Now that Scooter is in the mix, we'll have to haul his old boss before the inquiry too; we know Paul Martin thinks highly of public inquiries so he should be happy to appear. But, if Paul Martin appears, his one time boss will have to testify as well. I'm sure the Chretien prime-ministerial closet could use a good airing out.

So for once, I agree with Stephane Dion. The truth must come out! Why have an inquiry when you can have an inquisition?

Of course, this is all malarkey. But it demonstrates the partisanship evident in what Stephane Dion is calling for, and how ridiculous it all is.

Rather than screaming from the rafters for an inquisition, Stephane Dion should be quiet and sit down. At least we know he has experience doing that.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What's in a name?

I'm no political scientist or media guru, but as I see it, this whole Mulroney-Schreiber Inquiry can go two ways in the press.

1. It gets called, "The Mulroney Inquiry"

2. It gets called, "The Schreiber Inquiry"

If I was a Conservative or Liberal spinner, I'd be out there hustling and thinking up some way to brand this thing with my preferred choice...right now.


Lost in translation

We all know by now that Stephane Dion doesn't speak English very well, but does he not understand it very well either? As the transcript below reveals, he is limited to sticking to his script when trying to push the government for answers. When the answer you recieve to your first question makes your next question irrelevant, would it not behoove a leader to be ready with a back-up question, rather than press blindly ahead and look ridiculous?

Where is the ability to adapt, improvise and think on his feet that a national leader has to have? If Stephane Dion isn't up to the job of leading the questioning in Parliament, then he should sit down and let Michael Ignatieff run the show in QP.

Dion looked a bit foolish, and his inability to press the attack almost overshadowed Liberal efforts to gain traction on the issue.

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, for months the government has known about very serious allegations concerning former prime minister Brian Mulroney. It received hundreds of pages on the whole affair. The Prime Minister even received personal letters from Mr. Schreiber and yet the government did nothing for months. Why?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, last week I announced that as a result of a sworn affidavit that has been filed in court the government would appoint an independent third party to advise the government on how to proceed with such allegations. Let me make clear what we will be doing. We will be asking that independent third party, whom we will be naming very shortly, to provide us with the terms of reference for a full public inquiry as well as any other course of action that the independent party deems appropriate.

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the information prompting a reaction from the Prime Minister had been in his hands for months: a letter from Mr. Schreiber, marked “To the Addressee Only - For His Eyes Only”. This from a Prime Minister obsessed with controlling everything down to the last detail, as his caucus knows all too well. The Prime Minister is hiding behind the PCO and junior staff in his own office. Will he step up to the plate and do the right thing, that is to launch immediately a full public inquiry?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I just answered this question about a public inquiry. The independent third party will give the government the appropriate terms of reference for such an inquiry, and such an inquiry will be launched. Let me just speak to this issue of the letters, which the Leader of the Opposition alleges I have. Let us be very clear. I remind the Liberal leader that Karlheinz Schreiber has been the subject of extradition proceedings by the federal government for the past eight years. I can assure the Leader of the Opposition that when somebody writes about his extradition proceedings, that is not handled by the Prime Minister. That goes to appropriate government officials.

Hon. Stéphane Dion (Leader of the Opposition, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, even Mr. Mulroney is calling for a full public inquiry. The Prime Minister must be the only person who does not think it is a good idea. Why? What is he afraid of? Will he do the right thing? Will he take on his responsibilities and call a full public inquiry now?

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the problem is that the Leader of the Opposition had whipped himself up into that question and has failed to listen to the previous two answers. That is precisely what the government will be doing. Under the circumstances, the independent party that the government will be employing will be making a recommendation to the government on the appropriate terms of inquiry for a full public inquiry.

I know who is the one to be blamed


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Quotable Quote of the Week

Eager for a by-election to be called so he can get a seat in Parliament, Bob Rae quipped:

"We're getting a dog and we're going to call it By-Election, so I can call it myself."

Bob Rae

Ha, ha..good one.