May 23, 2007

A New Project

I've been away from this site for a while now and just don't have time to devote to it and make it what I would want it to be.

But I still have a need to comment on the world around me and have a bit of fun at the same time. To fulfill that need I've started another blog - Copperhead.

So why Copperhead ? From Wikipedia

"During the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Copperheads nominally favored the Union but strongly opposed the war, for which they blamed abolitionists, and they demanded immediate peace and resisted draft laws. They wanted Lincoln and the Republicans ousted from power, seeing the president as a tyrant who was destroying American republican values with his despotic and arbitrary actions."

"Some Copperheads tried to persuade Union soldiers to desert. They talked of helping Confederate prisoners of war seize their camps and escape. They sometimes met with Confederate agents and took money. The Confederacy encouraged their activities whenever possible."

Sound familiar? At least it shows that the "we support the troops but pull out now" faction in both Canada and the US have a historical precedent.

So check out Copperhead at and send your suggestions for the Link Of The Day Award.

June 01, 2006

Bloggers Poker Tournament

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Hit the link above to join the battle

March 07, 2006


Taking a break, but will return when I get angry enough.

February 14, 2006

More On Cartoon Capers

I watched the CTV clips of Ezra Levant defending his decision to reprint the cartoons in the Western Standard and thought he did a credible job. You can view the clips here and here. Tarek Fatah from the Canadian Muslim Congress debates him in the second clip but really has nothing to say. He admitted that the Standard had every right to publish the pictures but claimed that unless it also published a biography of the prophet it wasn't balanced journalism.

Meanwhile Indigo Books & Music (Chapters, Coles) and McNally Robinson Booksellers are refusing to carry this issue of the Standard. So to them and all the Canadian media that have elected to self censor on this issue, here's another quote from Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Shame on those papers and TV channels who lacked the courage to show their readers the caricatures in The Cartoon Affair. These intellectuals live off free speech but they accept censorship. They hide their mediocrity of mind behind noble-sounding terms such as "‘responsibility"’ and "‘sensitivity"’.

Shame on those politicians who stated that publishing and re-publishing the drawings was "‘unnecessary"’, "‘insensitive"’, "‘disrespectful"’ and "‘wrong"’. I am of the opinion that Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark acted correctly when he refused to meet with representatives of tyrannical regimes who demanded from him that he limit the powers of the press. Today we should stand by him morally and materially. He is an example to all other European leaders. I wish my prime minister had Rasmussen'’s guts.

February 12, 2006

More On The Cartoon Jihad

How do you have a debate about the cartoons without letting anyone see them? Why do we accept the "spontaneous" eruptions of protest and violence in the middle east as if these actions were even remotely legitiment? Why are is the Canadian press censoring itself? Is it because of their "respect" for Muslim feelings? Or is it because they expect Muslims to behave like ignorant savages and they are afraid?

Whatever the reasons, the Canadian media has elected to dance around the issue. No problem with depiction of the pope (hell, I'm not even Catholic and I found it offensive), the Virgin Mary constructed of dung, etc. Nope, no free speech/sensibility problems there. I guess your sensibilities only count if you have a history of killing those that give you offence.

Whatever the reason, here's a quote from a Muslim woman who has more balls that the entire Canadian press corps combined. From Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Berlin on Feb 9/06.
Today, the open society is challenged by Islamism, ascribed to a man named Muhammad Abdullah who lived in the seventh century, and who is regarded as a prophet. Many Muslims are peaceful people; not all are fanatics. As far as I am concerned they have every right to be faithful to their convictions. But within Islam exists a hard-line Islamist movement that rejects democratic freedoms and wants to destroy them. These Islamists seek to convince other Muslims that their way of life is the best. But when opponents of Islamism try to expose the fallacies in the teachings of Muhammad then they are accused of being offensive, blasphemous, socially irresponsible - even Islamophobic or racist.

The issue is not about race, colour or heritage. It is a conflict of ideas, which transcend borders and races.
I do not seek to offend religious sentiment, but I will not submit to tyranny. Demanding that people who do not accept Muhammad'’s teachings should refrain from drawing him is not a request for respect but a demand for submission.

Oh I forgot. We can't really participate in the debate because we have been shielded from these horrible images.

Garth Turner On CTV

I just finished watching Craig Oliver's panel segment on CTV. Garth Turner was on and made a couple of interesting points:

- in spite of the NDP and Liberal rhetoric, this is not an ethics issue it is a democratic process issue.

- he continues to support the CPC and it's leader

- he was elected as a Conservative and remains a Conservative

- we wants to remain in caucus as long as they will have him

So much for the all the hoo-haa about Garth quitting the CPC or being booted from caucus.

With regards to the first point I agree with Garth (although he has been a publicity hound on this). There is not a whiff of a breach of ethics. Harper has never advocated restrictions on crossing the floor and Emerson did not seek the position.

There is every indication that the entire appointment is about salvaging the softwood deal that the Liberals sat on in order to make bashing the US part of their election platform. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if Emerson retires from politics once the deal is signed. I just wish the impact on softwood was a bigger part of the story.

But right now I can't decide what's more fun - watching Liberals try to explain why this time it's different or watching Oliver and Taber trying to nail the Tories without hitting the Liberals at the same time.

The NDP Boots Buzz

When I read this I laughed so hard that coffee came out my nose. From the Toronto Star:
The NDP has expelled Buzz Hargrove, the country's most prominent labour leader, for actively promoting strategic voting and Liberal candidates in last month's federal election.

Not to mention hitting the party in the pocketbook as Bill C-24 funds the parties based on the popular vote.
The Ontario NDP provincial executive voted yesterday to pull the membership of Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers, for violating the party's constitution regarding provisions against endorsing other candidates. It also automatically revokes his membership in the federal party.

He backed strategic voting in Ontario in 1999 which ended with a Tory majority and the NDP being reduced to 9 seats. The Ontario NDP attempted to expel him then and failed.

Hargrove has probably the worst instincts of anyone involved in national politics and a history of picking losers. His endorsement appears to be the kiss of death for those with political aspirations.

In 2006 he endorsed Sid Ryan in Oshawa - Ryan lost, he endorsed Paul Martin - Martin lost. He endorsed the Bloc and the Tories made completely unexpected gains in Quebec. One of his few winners was Belinda Stronach doesn't really have CAW friendly credentials - Tory leadership contender and past president of the traditionally anti-union Magna International where Mike Harris sits on the board.

With friends like Buzz the NDP doesn't need enemies, but with him gone I expect them to increase their popular vote by at least 10% next time around.

Childcare Lunacy

According to Julie Mason in the Ottawa Citizen (via Norman's Spectator) Harper's move to extract Ottawa from the daycare plans that Martin inked with the provinces about 5 minutes before the election, is causing chaos in Ontario where the province is "ramping up with building renovations, construction and training for early childhood educators. Municipalities were rolling out spaces." If this is true it is the fastest implementation of a program in the history of Canadian politics.

"Harper gave the requisite one-year'’s notice; now provinces must decide whether to abandon their badly needed plans or get stuck with an ongoing bill they can'’t afford."

WAKE UP! Notwithstanding that the agreements didn't really require the money be actually spent on childcare, the structure of Liberal plan is exactly like national healthcare. A federal initiative with a limited funding commitment so that once it becomes firmly entrenched as the publics only alternative they can walk away and leave the provinces holding the bag. Eventually sticking the provinces with the ongoing bill is the whole idea.

"Harper must bring in a budget to pay for his $1,200 stipend. By then, all opposition parties must decide if child care -— and our children'’s future -— is important enough to trigger another election."

Because the future of Canada's children depends on a national childcare bureaucracy that at best might serve 20% of the nations preschoolers.

February 10, 2006

Open Letter To CTV re: Government Travel Story

As many are aware, Craig Smith at Conservative Life broke a story in early January about the government booking luxury hotels in Cancun, Barbados, etc. He also was contacted by CTV about the story well in advance of the January 23 election. Still CTV elected to sit on the story until last night. Given the story would have had some impact on the sitting government and Scott Brison in particular, I questioned CTV decision as follows:

To Whom It May Concern;

Last night I watched your coverage of the above noted story although I have been aware of the content since early January. I am also aware that you had been in receipt if the information from Craig Smith well in advance of the election. Your handling of the story raises a number of questions:

1. Why, when confirmation of the story is as simple as visiting the government websites provided by Mr. Smith, did you choose to sit on the story until after the election?

2. Why would you try to question the incoming Public Works minister about the issue when he's been in the job for less than a week? (Unless you think this file is of such importance that it should have been one of his first briefings - if so see question # 1 )

3. Why was there no mention of any attempt to question Scott Brison on the issue when, as outgoing
Public Works Minister, the bookings occurred under his watch?

Or is this simply a case of blatant political partisanship?

February 07, 2006

One Fake Cartoon Exposed

As everyone is aware by now, not only were the "offensive" Danish cartoons circulated throughout the middle east by Danish Imam Ahmad Abu Ladan, leader of The Islamic Society of Denmark, but three far more offensive pictures were included that hadn't been published.

Turns out that one of the three additional pictures didn't have anything to do with Islam, it was a photo of a contestant in a pig squealing contest in France.

Neandernews breaks the story with the original photo here.

More Posts On The Mohammed Cartoons

Damian Penny has a good post on weasel words and chickenshit positions on the cartoon furor.

Zombietime has a retrospective of Mohammed images through history.

And this cartoon from Filibuster Cartoons hits the nail on the head:

February 06, 2006

Another Busy Day For the Religion Of Peace

More rioting, bloodshed and threats from the religion of peace. A few european papers reprint the cartoons in support of free speech. A cleric calls for cartonists to be executed. Can a Rushdie type fatwa be far behind.

The reaction from the Canadian press:

.....(sound of crickets)........

So what's their reason - Don't want to be intolerant OR just afraid of Islamic retribution.

The New Cabinet Members

Here's the list in no particular order:
  • Jim Flaherty - Finance
  • Bev Oda - Heritage
  • Peter MacKay - Foreign Affairs
  • Chuck Strahl - Agriculture
  • Rona Ambrose - Environment
  • Jim Prentice - Indian Affairs
  • Vic Toews - Justice
  • Tony Clement - Health
  • Gordon O'Connor - National Defence
  • Loyola Hearn - Fisheries
  • David Emerson - International Trade
  • Tony Clement - Health
  • Maxime Bernier - Industry
  • Monte Solberg - Citizenship and Immigration
  • John Baird - Treasury Board
  • Rob Nicholson - Democratic Reform
  • Lawrence Cannon, Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
  • Stockwell Day, Public Safety
  • Diane Finley, Human Resources and Social Development
  • Gary Lunn, Resources
  • Josée Verner, International Co-operation
  • Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Labour and Housing
  • David Emerson, International trade
  • Carol Skelton, National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic Diversification
  • Gregory Thompson, Veterans Affairs —
  • Michael Fortier, Public Works and Government Services
  • Michael Chong, President of the Queen's Privy Council and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister for Sport
  • Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate

February 01, 2006

Well I Told You So....

I just didn't think they'd consider scrapping it altogether.

From The Toronto Star: Subtract calculus from high school?

From More To The Story: Ontario Liberals To Solve Calculus Problem

The Liberal Leadership Solution

Although some think that the run of leadership refusniks is because they don't want to be in opposition, I personally think it's because they don't want to carry the can when the chickens come home to roost.

At any rate, with the Liberal old guard unwilling to take on the Sisyphus like task of restoring credibility and integrity to the Liberal party, we're left with the current list of frontrunners: Michael Ignatieff, Belinda Stronach and Scott Brison plus designated import, former NDP Ontario Premier Bob Rae.

But wait a minute. If the US can turn entertainers into politicos (Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sonny Bono, Gopher from Loveboat), why can't we? I say the Liberals should draft this guy.

January 31, 2006

More To The Story Changes Direction

Now that the election is over I've been thinking of what to do with this blog and have decided to change the focus a bit. While I will still be commenting on federal politics I will be turning more of my attention to the provincial scene in Ontario and the upcoming municipal races in Toronto and Hamilton. Add to that whatever other odds and ends I find interesting (middle east, religion, culture, etc) and I should end up with either something for everyone and/or an unfocused mess of disconnected ramblings. You'll have to decide.

Remembering Old Times

"Remember when I bitchslapped you in the debate?"
"Yep, that was a good one"

January 26, 2006

A Dilemma For Hamas

Now that Hamas has won a decisive victory to become the government of the Palestinian Authority, they find themselves in a precarious position. Fatah could always disavow rocket attacks on Israel by claiming it couldn't control the Hamas militants. Now that Hamas will form the government with a significant majority, will rocket attacks by it's militia members be taken as a declaration of war by Israel. Could be dicey.

Emanuele Ottolenghi in the National Review Online expands on this;
There will be no excuses or ambiguities when Hamas fires rockets on Israel and launches suicide attacks against civilian targets. Until Tuesday, the PA could hide behind the excuse that they were not directly responsible and they could not rein in the "militants." Now the "militants" are the militia of the ruling party. They are one and the same with the Palestinian Authority. If they bomb Israel from Gaza (— not under occupation anymore, and is therefore, technically, part of the Palestinian state the PLO proclaimed in Algiers in 1988, but never bothered to take responsibility for)— that is an act of war, which can be responded to in kind, under the full cover of the internationally recognized right of self-defense. No more excuses that the Palestinians live under occupation, that the PA is too weak to disarm Hamas, that violence is not the policy of the PA. Hamas and the PA will be the same: What Hamas does is what the PA will stand for.
.....unless Hamas reneges on its ideology and endorses a new course, then Israel’s claim that there is no Palestinian partner is vindicated. The resulting Israeli policy of unilateralism is vindicated. Israel''’s argument that the Palestinians do not want peace is vindicated. Israel'’s argument that Islamists'’ nuances and differences of opinion are just tactical, not strategic, is also vindicated. And the prospects of a Palestinian state will become even more remote.

Monte Opens My Eyes

Now I understand the thinking in Toronto - we don't need CPC representation because after 12 years of Liberal rule there's no problems left. It took Monte Solberg to let me see the light:
Sure its nice to win seats in places like Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg or Quebec City. Its even okay I guess to win every seat in Alberta, but if you aren't in TO and Van and Montreal what's the point?

But then it occured to me. We don't have to do anything for the big three. You see they have had ALL Liberal representation for the last twelve years so they don't have any problems.

I haven't asked lately but I'm sure that Toronto waterfront thing is coming along great. I mean they announced it so many years ago now, and it was a Liberal government and it was all Liberal MPs in Toronto so therefore it must be a huge success. I mean that's how you get things done for TO!

I can hardly wait to jump on that high speed train that must now go from Pearson to downtown and then stay at one of those glorious new hotels on the beautiful boardwalk that almost certainly now skirts Lake Ontario. I saw the artists conceptions. Wow. That must be cool to have all that new infrastructure because of all of those Liberal government MPs.

Okay. Let me be straight with you. Just now I was being sarcastic. No, I'm not proud of that.

You see there is no new waterfront development eventhough Toronto has about 50 Liberal MPs per square inch. There is also no new infrastructure. There is no new train. There is no new anything.

Apparently however it is a disaster if these big cities don't have government MPs because then they won't get their problems addressed. Oh...right...okay. Gotcha. Now that's a compelling argument.

Anywho. Eventhough our election win is the worst electoral loss in Canadian history because of the big city thing we will try to carry our heads high. We may even try in our own bumpkin way to help the big cities. Certainly we could never hope to replicate the sophisticated, subtle and imperceptible way that all of those hip city Liberals MPs have propelled Toronto forward with that stunningly beautiful and imaginary waterfront project.

I mean considering that we lost the election how can we help? But we will help eventhough we technically can't help because of the overwhelming Liberal victory. That's the way we are though. Always sticking our yokel noses in city business, even though Prime Minister Ignatieff won that crushing victory yesterday.

Misc Items

This and that

Carolyn Parrish runs for municipal council.
Parrish filed papers at Mississauga city hall yesterday to run in the new Ward 6, which will be split in two for this fall's municipal election. Longtime political ally George Carlson, who holds the seat now, will run in the other half.

H/T to Kinny's Comments for a link to a nice all-inclusive big tent Liberal's blog.

Thanks America
According to the Canadian Defence Department, after the suicide bomb went off, all the casualties were first transported out by a military ambulance. Soon after, they were picked up by a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter, which flew the wounded soldiers to the American military field hospital in Kandahar for immediate medical attention.

After that, our soldiers were taken to an American military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, a top-notch medical facility that is the largest American hospital not located in the United States. Our soldiers received excellent care there until returning to their home here in Edmonton this week.

In short, then, one of the primary reasons our soldiers are in as good of shape as they are is because the American military went to the aid of an allied country fighting for freedom in Afghanistan.

Our Liberal politicians won't say it. Many Canadians won't say it.

But we'll say it: Thanks to the American soldiers, pilots, and medical personnel who helped save our soldiers' lives. They are all heroes, too.

Oh Please .....

From the G&M;
There is no shortage of possible Liberal leadership candidates.

They include Frank McKenna, the former New Brunswick premier who is now ambassador in Washington; former Harvard professor Michael Ignatieff who won a seat in a Toronto riding Monday; former cabinet minister Martin Cauchon from Quebec and Ontario MP Maurizio Bevilacqua.

Other possibles are former deputy prime minister John Manley, former Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin, and Liberal MPs Joe Volpe, Scott Brison, and Belinda Stronach, who once ran for the Conservative leadership.

I'm truly amazed that anyone imagine a reptile like Joe Volpe as Liberal leader. Scott Brison - get real. Belinda - you can't be serious.

Note: Manley has already dropped out and he's head and shoulders better than these three.

January 24, 2006

The Corruption Of Paul Martin

Excellent piece by Father Raymond J. De Souza in the National Post:
Martin and his advisors failed to grasp that there are two types of corruption in politics. They were so busy distancing themselves from the first type that they did not realize that they were immersed in the second.
There is, though, another type of corruption. It's not so vulgar, but more subtle and more soul-destroying. It is not about using political office for one's own gain. It is about compromising oneself to grasp and retain political office. It is about power for power's sake. And it is this corruption which consumed Paul Martin.

If getting power meant undermining his predecessor, he would do it. If heading off Adscam meant throwing his predecessor's allies overboard, he would do it. If winning the 2004 election meant trashing Stephen Harper in hysterical terms, he would do it. If keeping power meant allowing the NDP to rewrite the budget, he would do it.

If it meant embarrassing himself with petty outbursts against the Americans, even after promising to improve Canada-U.S. relations, he would do it. If it meant allowing his chief of staff to negotiate tawdry deals to induce opposition MPs to cross the floor, he would do it. If it meant trafficking Cabinet seats to win a non-confidence vote, he would do it. If it meant engaging in a pre-election spending spree completely contrary to his well-earned reputation as a fiscal manager, he would do it. And finally, if it meant conducting a near-maniacal election campaign -- disgorging smears, proposing constitutional amendments on the fly, playing fast and loose with national unity, and descending into a caricature of the man who will say anything to win a vote -- then he would do it in spades, and have the chutzpah to declare that this election was about his values.

In Need Of Reform - Elections Canada

Given the seemingly endless reports of problems and incompetence, Elections Canada needs a major overhaul. Here's just a few of the problems that came to light during this trip to the polls:

- reports of widespread issuance of voter information cards to non-citizens. This wouldn't be a problem except for numerous reports of locations where the cards was used in place of proper identification.

- reports of registration of dead people or people who hadn't lived at the "residence" for many years.

- reports of people registering at commercial locations in order to vote in a riding other than where they live (or possibly voting in multiple locations).

- reports of issuing real ballots prior to the election for use in schools without proper safeguards to ensure the ballots were destroyed.

- people being directed to distant (wrong) polling stations

What's Next For The Liberals

I hate to say it but in all likelihood we are looking at about 15 months before the next election.

I expect the Liberals to drag out their leadership selection process so that they can piggyback their election push on the interest generated by their leadership race. So look for a leadership convention that falls just before '07 budget with the Libs trying to orchestrate the fall of the government on the budget bill.

A Little Brainwashing In The Schools

A friend of mine told me her ten year old came home and said he hoped Stephen Harper wouldn't get in "because if he does he will attack womens' rights".

Nice to see the indoctrination is well underway by grade five.

What The Liberals Flacks Are Doing Today

Things to do;
- shred all questionable documents. Better yet shred everything.
- wipe down all hard drives and re-partition
- update resume

Not What We're Against, But What We're For

I've read a lot of commentary last night and this morning. A lot of talk about Liberal corruption, etc., but the one that rings most true to me is by Arthur Weinreb at Canada Free Press. Here's "We chose our Canada" in it's entirety;
We chose a Canada that is optimistic about the future; not a Canada that is led by a government that preaches doom and gloom;

We chose a Canada where Canadians with dissenting views are respected; where those whose political views do not represent that of the government are merely dismissed as "un-Canadian";

We chose a Canada where we are united and allegations of separatism are not levelled against other Canadians to score cheap political points.

We chose a Canada where "fending for yourself" is not a dirty expression but something that all Canadians can aspire to;

We chose a Canada with a government that is free from continuing and entrenched corruption; where misusing the hard earned money of the taxpayer is not part of the way that business is done in Ottawa;

We chose a Canada where elected officials cannot hold office because they are a "friend" or simply because they are "entitled to their entitlements";

We chose a Canada where people do not die on waiting lists while the government builds up larger and larger surpluses that they call "balanced budgets";

We chose a Canada where revenues from taxation are considered the peoples’ money, not the government’s money;

We chose a Canada where action will be taken against more violent criminals instead of taking action against law abiding citizens by banning handguns that are already banned to criminals;

We chose a Canada where criminals will be treated as criminals and not as victims of law abiding Canadians;

We chose a Canada that is a nation of laws; where laws apply equally to all people in Canada and where amendments to the constitution will be undertaken by Parliament; not blurted out during an election debate;

We chose a Canada where Parliament will make our laws and not do nothing, leaving the Courts to legislate;

We chose a Canada where all law abiding people will be treated with respect and not be sloughed off as "beer drinkers" and "popcorn eaters"

We chose a Canada where foreign policy will be made in Ottawa and not be dictated from New York;

We chose a Canada where the United States of America, our largest trading partner, will be treated as a friendly ally and who will not be subjected to juvenile name calling to score political points.

All through the election campaign, Paul Martin asked us to choose our Canada. And we did.

January 21, 2006

"Who Cares" Story Of The Day

From The Toronto Sun: Ex-pat stars fear Tories

Eric McCormack and Donald Sutherland are spooked by Stephen Harper's lead in the polls. Why does the Sun print this crap. If you need filler run a picture of a puppy.

Valeri Land Flip Story Still Has Legs

From the Stoney Creek News: 'Wild night in Stoney Creek'
The Stoney Creek News held a local candidates' debate Jan. 12 (the day the story broke) at Orchard Park Secondary School. CBC radio and television reporters attended the event hoping to ask questions of Mr. Valeri about the issue - but found him to be uncooperative.

"As soon as the debate ended I approached him (Mr. Valeri) at the podium but he basically avoided me," said CBC radio news national reporter Christopher Grosskurth. "His flacks hustled him out the door. They made a premeditated move to escape. He had no intention of answering our questions. In my 25 years in journalism, I've never seen anything like it. It was a wild night in Stoney Creek."

From the Hamilton Spectator: Valeri opens door to more questions
Questions are asked. The cabinet minister offers an explanation, and then suggests the documents were deliberately released as part of a smear campaign to hurt him at a critical point in the election and threatens to sue the website operator.

Stories are published, new questions arise. The cabinet minister declines to answer the new questions or clarify his earlier explanation.

More stories are published and now there's a call for an investigation by a rival party's MP

Liberal Suggests Citizen Move To The US

Once again a Liberal candidate has suggested that a Canadian citizen leave the country if not in agreement with Liberal policy. This seems to be a theme with the Liberals as I believe it's at least the second time in this election that a Liberal candidate has make this type of comment.

At an all candidates debate (RENFREW-NIPISSING-PEMBROKE), in response to a question about compensation for confiscatedhandguns, Liberal Don Lindsay suggested that with that kind of perspective the questioner should move to the U.S.

From Valley News Net - Lindsay loses control at Debate
After an evening of being questioned and prodded about a law to ban handguns that his Government has said will be put in place if elected Lindsay started to become a bit agitated. The downward spiral began when an audience member asked whether each candidate supported a handgun ban. Lindsay responded that he doesn't "remember hunting ducks with a handgun."
Don Lindsay's self destruction continued when club member and Canadian Veteran George Tompkins stood to ask the candidates his question. "If the handgun ban goes forward. What plan would your party offer to compensate those of us who legally own the guns that would be confiscated?" To which Lindsay replied "Sir America is our neighbor not our nation, if you elect a society that talks about that kind of perspective I suggest that perhaps you go there!"
After the meeting I tried to catch up to Lindsay to get a comment on his statement towards Tompkins but no sooner was the meeting adjourned he was gone. All other candidates remained to chat with the club members for about 30 minutes after the debate was finished.

January 20, 2006

The Supremes - No Liberal Bias Here

From Norman Spector
Chretien's stacked the deck When he named the latest Supreme Court judge last week, the PM gave it a federalist, socially liberal shape for a decade to come
17 August 2002 in The Globe and Mail
Some commentators noted that the relatively young Madam Justice Deschamps, as she will be known for the next 25 years, was Mr. Chretien's fifth appointee to the Supreme Court -- which means he's now named the majority of the judges. Others explained that the new justice was filling the legally guaranteed third Quebec seat.
What no one pointed out is that four of those nine judges who were already on the court were born, raised and completed university in Quebec ; Judge Deschamps brings that total to five. Now four of the nine are francophones (Louise Arbour, Charles Gonthier, Louis LeBel and Judge Deschamps) and one is English-speaking (Ian Binnie).

With Judge Deschamps's appointment, the majority of the judges on the Supreme Court of Canada now come from one of our provinces. And Quebec 's population today accounts for less than a quarter of the Canadian total.

Or regarding Justice Michel Bastarache
"Mr. Justice Michel Bastarache, one of Chretien’s six appointees to the court, wrote the decision. His appointment aroused some controversy, since by convention the Atlantic seat on the Supreme Court is rotated among the four eastern provinces. Like the judge he replaced, Bastarache is from New Brunswick. While his legal credentials were unimpressive, he did have strong Liberal connections and had been an ally of Chretien in past language and constitutional wars."

Or From Colby Cosh - May 21, 2004 National Post
"On Tuesday a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court upheld the federal Liberals’ harsh new election spending limits on "third parties," by which is meant, basically, human beings who aren’t running for office. It’s a remarkable moment. Leave aside the question of whether the new Elections Act is good or bad on its own merits, and consider the history.

In 1982, the country was persuaded to adopt an American-style charter of individual rights and freedoms that would empower our judiciary to strike down laws willy-nilly in the manner of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s a power that has fortified the Supreme Court’s national and international prestige. It has made it an equal partner with, and some would say the distinct superior of, our elected Parliament. The Court has used the Charter with childlike enthusiasm to force governments to abandon or reinterpret countless laws, regulations and social policies.

But when asked to apply the Charter to the issue of election spending limits in the case of Harper v. Canada, the Court discovered a contradiction between a certain concept of "electoral fairness," found nowhere in the Constitution, and the individual free-expression rights clearly described as "fundamental" in section 2 of the Charter.

So what happened when the fundamental rights collided with this idea of "fairness"? They crumpled like a Chevette hit by a freight train.

Obviously, it’s time to move beyond the debate between those of us who would like to see the text of the Charter enforced and those who loathe the revolutionary manner of the Charter’s adoption. The Supreme Court isn’t even pretending to make decisions based on the Charter anymore. This isn’t "judicial activism," it’s judicial whacktivism.

Reading the decision in Harper is a fascinating journey into the bizarre mental universe of the Canadian judge. By way of example, let’s return to that "electoral fairness" thing. This is a phrase that could be interpreted all sorts of ways. The Court majority, subscribing to the judgment written by Justice Michel Bastarache, contemplated two.

There’s the "libertarian model" of electoral fairness whereby the "electoral process [is] subject to as few restrictions as possible." Everybody is permitted as much free speech as they can afford, without limits: ideas fight for approval in a unfettered marketplace. There is also an "egalitarian model" of fairness in which the "overarching objective … is to promote electoral fairness by creating equality in the political discourse." In this model, political speech is deemed a zero-sum game: "the State can restrict the voices which dominate the political discourse so that others may be heard as well."

The Liberals’ new Elections Act reflects the theory of the "egalitarian model" by essentially outlawing political advertising during elections by anyone but political parties. A philosopher’s mind — as opposed to a judge’s — might wonder whether giving political parties a monopoly on election speech fits even this egalitarian definition of "fairness." But Justice Bastarache’s decision:

a) arbitrarily declared the egalitarian model part of the formal ideology of the Canadian state, even though the Charter is premised on the opposing principle;

b) decreed, without investigating the matter too closely, that the amended Elections Act does conform to the egalitarian model;

c) decided that the Elections Act, since "fairness" is an urgent and rational objective of the state, can overpower section 2 of the Charter (i.e., your sacred natural rights) with complete impunity.

Five other judges — our best and brightest — subscribed to this wad of fiat in apparent contentment. Thus the thing is settled in perpetuity.

This all merely confirms that the Charter, whether good or bad in itself, is a filthy lie. It advertises itself as the basic law of the land, yet when more than half the Supreme Court decides that something explicitly contrary to it would be a capital idea, the document’s text evaporates. "Fundamental" freedoms become provisional, negotiable, disposable. The notion of "an egalitarian model of electoral fairness" appears, let me emphasize, nowhere in the Charter. Believe it or not, the Court pulled those theoretical wheezings about "egalitarian" fairness out of a half-baked and much-contested 1992 Royal Commission report on election spending.

Somehow, the judges thought that implementing this dusty shred of bumf was more important than applying the stated essence of the Constitution. Seems odd to me, but I never went to law school or suffered a major head trauma.

I haven’t begun to sum up the Harper ruling’s noxiousness here. One astonishing utterance from the Honourable Mr. Justice Bastarache will, I think, long be remembered: "While the right to political expression lies at the core of the guarantee of free expression and warrants a high degree of constitutional protection, there is nevertheless a danger that political advertising may manipulate or oppress the voter."

The theory here, in case you couldn’t believe your eyes, is that hearing a particular political opinion too often might "oppress" the electorate. To minimize the risk of such "oppression," the Supreme Court is prepared to allow Elections Canada sweeping new powers to register, monitor and outlaw the political speech of private citizens and organizations during federal campaigns.

Which leaves us with just one question: When, exactly, did they make Joseph Stalin a Father of Confederation?

Source: Western Standard, May 18, 2004 and This Canada, May 22, 2004