If I Go There Will Be Trouble….

December 5, 2013

with apologies to The Clash

Here’s a few names for you.  Richard Hatfield, Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney.  What’s the significance you ask?  Well, One was flung out of power like a union rep in a Walmart, bringing about a one party legislature in New Brunswick, one learned from his example and skipped town before it happened to him and one got to take the blame and become the PM that saw her party flung out of power like the aforementioned union rep.  Say what you will about Mulroney but he could read the writing on the wall and decided that he wasn’t going to be another Dick Hatfield.  He’ll let Kim Campbell hold that honour instead and more power to her.

Which brings us to Prime Minister Harper, who, with a senate scandal around his neck that looks to get worse before it gets better and more importantly, before the election, may be thinking that Mulroney had the right idea.  Or so John Ivison says and I can see no reason to doubt him.  Like Mulroney, Harper has always been pretty good at reading the wind.  He’d be a fool if he’s not thinking that his political legacy could easily turn into being known as the second Kim Campbell, given recent bi-election results and the press that he and the CPC are getting.  I’m sure that he’s done many other things he’d prefer to be remembered for.  Besides Mike Duffy and the Rob and Doug Ford never-ending  train wreck are the most recognizable conservative faces right now and don’t look to be going away.  Entitled scam artists and substance abusing bullies don’t generate a lot of sympathy and will be remembered in 2015.  I’m pretty sure that Harper would like to be a distant memory by then.


Will No One Rid Me Of This Troublesome Mayor?

November 4, 2013

NPG D23967; Thomas Becket by Anker Smith, after  Robert SmirkeProbably not the best way to go about it.

Emmet MacFarlane over at the Globe and Mail has an interesting column on Mayor Rob Ford’s apparent belief that, over and above everything else that makes him Ontario’s personal laughing stock, association with known criminals is no reason for him to step down as the mayor of Toronto. We need, he proposes, a way to remove an incumbent from office in circumstances like this, something that currently isn’t possible at the municipal level of government. The ability of the provincial govt to impeach,he feels, would do the job nicely when a local govt fails to keep the public trust between elections. I have to admit that the idea intrigues me. I live in Halifax and frankly, I would have liked to have seen our previous mayor gone before his time. I was far from alone in this. I can’t help but worry though, that provincial oversight with the ability to impeach a mayor or council for that matter would be more power than some premiers should have. Municipal/provincial interests don’t always mesh. I trust the various levels of government to do what’s right for them. Giving the legislature power to rid themselves of a troublesome obstacle  could easily cause as many problems as it might solve.


The Press Releases Begin to Fly…

October 31, 2013

The following just arrived in my inbox. The battle lines are being drawn…

Friends,

This is a sad day for the City of Toronto. As a Torontonian, and as a City Councillor for more than 20 years, it pains me to see the City of Toronto in the situation we currently face, and to see Council and the City of Toronto cast in this light on national television.

It is very unfortunate that the City and its residents have once again been thrown into such a state of uncertainty.

The Mayor of Toronto has a profound credibility problem. He is going to have to face Torontonians, and Council.

Our City deserves better.

Sincerely,

Councillor Joe Mihevc


The Ford Follies

October 31, 2013

As most people in the free world are by now aware, the Mayor of our beloved T’ranna, Rob (Are You Gonna Finish That?) Ford has been bullying his way through scandal after potential scandal on pure bluster and the careful construction of a facade of fiscal responsibility. While I will admit he has had some positive financial effect on the expenditures of the city, a few – shall we say, cracks – have now begun showing in his facade.

In fact, police are now in possession of a video which purports to show the Pilsbury Dough Mayor smoking crack – a video that was the subject of a crackstarter Kickstarter campaign to raise money to purchase said video from certain unscrupulous types. Which, it must be said, seem to be Mayor Ford’s preferred choice of constituents.

This promises to be the most horrible Halloween the Ford family has ever seen. Seriously, there’s being a bit shady, then there is participating in criminal activity and associating with known criminals, as the evidence purports to show. Mayor Ford is an oaf and a bully and is poised to make Toronto even more of a laughingstock than it already is to the rest of the country.

He needs to resign immediately, but he won’t unless he is forced, because he is determined to retain power in his sweaty, pudgy hands by any means necessary. Soon, he’ll come out swinging, because despite his repeated “No comment” in the past few days, he doesn’t have the intelligence or sophistication to rein himself in for long. Soon the attacks will begin and the implications of a conspiracy against him will be made (The Toronto Star made me do it!); what will not happen is his taking responsibility for anything that has or will happen. Like any common thug, he will resort to bluster to obscure the truth.

Despite his limited but significant successes as Mayor, he deserves none of the support he currently enjoys. For such a big man, he’s an awfully small man – too small to be Mayor of Canada’s biggest city.

Image

As your Mayor, I feel strongly that… Wait, is that crack? 

Addendum: Oh boy, the fun has already started! 


On condoms and omnibus bills

October 25, 2013

Just like when using a condom, it’s good policy to check any omnibus bill for holes before using them. That is, unless you are our current government who expect Parliament to not fully examine the details of its vast omnibus budget bill until after it becomes law.

That important undisclosed elements of the bill refer to civil service contracts under the purview of Tony “We Totally Needed That Gazebo And Fake Pond” Clement is rich.


A (re-)Introduction

October 24, 2013

We live in interesting, but not unprecedented political times. Darth Harper, the Controller-in-Chief, has done an admiral job of keeping things quiet, but the fruits of his autocratic nature are ripening quickly. The Senate expenditure scandal exposed that he vetted his appointments about as vigorously as John McCain’s campaign committee did when looking at Sarah Palin. And, as we’ve seen in the past, when control freaks get into real trouble, they deal with it by covering the problem up.  In order to make it seem like he didn’t make a mistake in appointing his CTV lapdogs, Harper has been caught either orchestrating or participating in a cover-up. (I’m being as charitable as I can here, obviously.)

Ottawa is starting to get that late-80’s stink when things started to finally stick to Brian Mulroney. You can tell that Harper feels it, public opinion polls express it, the National Post feels it, hell, even the Blogging Tories seem to be beginning to feel it. All that is left is to nominate a woman to be Canada’s second Prime Minister and inevitable fall girl. (Or maybe the end of this government will see the nation’s first gay PM?)

The demise of the Conservative Party is unfortunately not a foregone conclusion, as it still garners an unseemly support in the more self-entitled regions of the country. With an electorate split among three, four, or five parties that can be expected to take a sizable portion of the electorate in any given riding, thirty percent is all you really need in many places.

And what else is different is that it is not the political right that is Balkanized, it’s now the centre and left.

This presents a question: how best to get rid of this government?

In my heart of hearts, I’m a lefty liberal, but the Liberal party has never appealed to me. I’ve always seen them as liberal in name only, more of a financial party with ties to big banks, insurance companies and other people’s money, campaigning on the left and governing in the mushy middle. Because of that, I’ve traditionally voted either Green or NDP, the latter most often. However, having seen our Nova Scotia NDP party turn into an amalgam of all the dull ideas ever thought up by Liberals or Conservatives, party affiliation is less of an issue and more than ever up for grabs.

The next election is for me above all about getting rid of Darth Harper and his gang. That might mean hitching up to the momentum of the newly rejuvenated Liberal Party, or maybe backing the federal NDP, for whom Thomas Mulcair has done an admiral job (in my opinion) as Opposition Leader. I haven’t got a sense yet what the Young Trudeau actually believes in, so I’m hesitant. I know he’s in favour of marijuana legalization, but that tells me only that he wants to get out (and win) the young vote in the next election.  It’s a throw-away promise that will be put off and put off as one more important issue after another come up. I’d like to know where he stands on those important issues. Issues like the dramatically increasing wealth disparity, global warming, corporate taxation, fiscal policy, etc. I’m all for legalizing pot, but a promise of it is not enough to win my vote.  (A bag of weed on election day, well that’s another story…)

I’m open for convincing in almost any direction (almost!) and am hoping these pages will provide some guidance.


It’s Just a Small Change

October 23, 2013

We’re trying to start this blog up again. To that end here’s a quick proposal. I propose that in light of recent Senate scandal allegations, and frankly, everything else we know about Stephen Harper’s behaviour, that the title of Prime Minister be changed to Darth for the duration of the Reform Party CPC’s time in office.  All in favour say aye.


The end of one career and the start of the next…

April 7, 2012

“The second point is that all monies have been recovered. The taxpayers are not on the hook for a single dime. That is exactly how our government should act in the circumstances.”

The article linked to this quote is about a Conservative staffer to minister Christian Paradis by the name of Richard Walker. The quick story – said staffer goes on a bit of a vacation in Las Vegas using his government credit card and doesn’t pay the bill for five months. He gets caught, makes a payment and then moves on to his new position of  ‘disgraced former staffer’.

Now go back and re-read the last sentance in the quote above:

That is exactly how our government should act in such circumstances.

Yes, our government should hide criminal activity, protect its staffers until they are caught, and then quietly hope this all goes away before the electorate connects this to our new and improved definition of “accountability”.

Any money on Dick Walker (I’m so childish) re-appearing as someone’s campaign director in a year or so?


I heard a rumour

November 30, 2011

A friend of a friend of a friend of a friend told me that the entire Federal Conservative caucus was going to step down before the next election in order to sail the good ship Ragnarok into the face of the Rapture. If this actually happens, it will trigger a number of byelections. If these byelections are triggered, who do you plan to vote for?

a) NDP
b) Liberal
c) Bloc
d) Green
e) Ragnarok
f) Other

(In case you think I’m crazy, which is possible, I am mocking this bit of douchebaggery: Conservative douchebaggery)


If You Build It, They Will Come

August 8, 2010

Real life and some small amount of trouble wrapping my head around mind-boggling brick-stupid has caused me to be a little late with this post but I have a question that needs answering. Where exactly is Stockwell Day going to get the occupants for his new prisons if said prisons are needed to imprison the perpetrators of  “unreported crime”? Crimes which, by their very definition, produce remarkably few convicts. The crimes are unreported. That means that they either haven’t been discovered yet but once they are we can use the prisons that we already have or, and I think that this is more generally the case, we the people just don’t care about the “crime” in question. I don’t see any point to jailing some frosh for a year because he got a good deal on an ounce of weed, or made whatever lifestyle choice gets up the Conservative’s collective ass this week.  And when the hell did the Conservative Party start believing in the value of statistics again? Last month they were all about saving us from that tyranny? Stephen, Stephen, why hast thou forsaken us? Oh yeah, to pander to your base. How’s using one thing that they hate to justify (loosely) doing something they like working out?

This whole thing is making my head bones hurt so I’ll close with one more question. Now that the goal of the conservatives seems to be losing power by making  Iggy look like a good choice again, could they please stop governing based on what makes a small band of tar sands shitkickers happy?


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