June 25, 2005



(Thanks to Despair.com for the original image.)


June 24, 2005


This Blog Has Too Few Laughs

Rick Mercer has started a blog, and the first target of his comedy skills is Jason Kenney. Mercer takes issue with Kenney's dismissive response to Don Boudria's complaint about an anti-SSM group registering donboudria.ca. Mercer's joke is -- wait for it -- to register jasonkenney.org and redirect it to the Marxist-Leninist Party's site.

Alas, poor Rick. How the mighty have fallen.

One of the primary sources of Mercer's fame was his "petition" in 2000 to force Stockwell Day to change his name to Doris, a protest against Day's proposal for citizen-initiated referendums. I laughed quite hard when I first heard about it, and then promptly signed the petition (in fact, I signed it four times). It was very funny political satire, even though it failed to make a valid political point.

Fast forward to 2005, where Mercer's complaint with Kenney is as follows...
Anyway while the speaker was admonishing Jason for such unparliamentarily language as “ignorant” I started thinking “What are the chances that Jason Kenney is so stunned that he would call another MP ignorant for not having registered his domain name when he hasn’t bothered to register his own?”
...except that's not what Kenney said. He didn't criticize Boudria for not registering the domain, he criticized him for complaining to Parliament about something that is in no way Parliament's jurisdiction, instead of using the proper channels. Of course, if Kenney had then staged a big protest over Mercer's registration of jasonkenney.org, it would have been very hypocritical. But he didn't; Kenney seems to have taken it with good humour.

It's also rather absurd for Mercer to criticize Kenney for not registering every possible iteration of his name. Every Canadian politician's website that I can think of uses either myname.com or myname.ca; there's no cause to call them negligent for not covering the .org's and .net's and .cc's and so on, not to mention variations like jasonkenney versus jason-kenney.

Rick Mercer is guilty of violating the first rule of satire: it has to be funny. It's okay to be one-sided or even partisan as long as you follow this, which Mercer failed to do.

Finally, I'd like to conclude this post with an image from Filibuster Cartoons, a site where humour comes before the party line:

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June 15, 2005


Snappy comeback, Paul

In Question Period just now, Stephen Harper was going after PMPM over allegations that he made deal with Jean Chretien to hamstring the Gomery inquiry. The third time Harper asked the question, Martin announced that he would not even pretend to answer it, and instead said the following (exact quote as best I can remember it):
"I understand that the deputy leader of the Conservative Party has announced that the leader of that Party will be going on the barbeque circuit this summer. I would like to recommend this book: it's called The South Beach Diet."

Is that supposed to be a comeback?

Or have the Liberals finally developed a sense of shame, thus preventing them from making any more bogus claims of Conservative hidden agendas and alliances with the Bloc?


June 14, 2005


Who's not there?

The House just finished voting on a Bloc motion to support older workers who are laid off from their jobs. The MPs were unanimous in favour, 301 to zero. This means that six people were absent or abstained.

The only two who I noticed didn't vote were Gurmant Grewal and Chuck Cadman. The other three independents (Parrish, Kilgour, O'Brien) were all there. Presumably Darryl Stinson wasn't there, so that leaves three unaccounted for. Anyone know who they were?

PS- As I write this, the Liberals are once again forming an "alliance" with the Bloc to defeat a Conservative motion to assist all families with child care, not just the ones with two incomes.

Update: Okay, by the time Blogger finally let me post this (2.5 hours after I wrote it), all the voting was over. The closest vote was 153 to 149 for the Liberals, which means five people were missing. CPAC identified them as Stinson, Grewal, Cadman, Dave Chatters, and one Bloc member whose name I don't remember. Apparently, the sixth MP who missed the first vote was a Liberal (again, I've forgotten the name) whose plane was delayed.


June 10, 2005


Would replacing Harper solve anything?

Mike Brock recently made this post on his blog:
Whether or not Stephen Harper is deserving of the negative perceptions he carries is immaterial. He is simply carrying too much baggage, and that is pulling the party down.

We need to bring a fresh face to the leadership of the party. We need somebody who can be given a reasonable and fair chance to sell his or her message to the Canadian people, without having to face deeply held preconceived notions of hidden agendas and radicalism.
The problem with this is that it's a fantasy to believe that that getting rid of Stephen Harper will solve the Conservative Party's image problem. Having a non-Western "moderate" won't accomplish anything, as we will never escape these "preconceived notions of hidden agendas and radicalism." Frankly, the press already does seem to view Harper as rather moderate; instead, they play up the idea that he is "beholden" to extremists.

We could have Jack Layton as our leader, and the Liberals and the media would still crucify him as being a tool of the scary Christian hard-right blah blah blah.

Almost nothing could make the CPC look less capable of governing in the eyes of Canadians than dumping its leader after the first bad poll. It's worth noting that since the Liberals took power, no conservative party has had the same leader for two elections in a row. The PCs had Kim Campbell (1993), Jean Charest (1997), and Joe Clark (2000); the Reform/Alliance side had Preston Manning (1997) and Stockwell Day (2000); and the merged parties had Stephen Harper (2004). (Manning was also the leader in 1993, but wasn't considered to have any chance of becoming Prime Minister until 1997.) These constant leadership changes allowed the Liberals to paint us as having a hidden agenda every single time. It also made the parties look unprofessional and unprepared to govern.

There's also the matter of how, if Harper steps down now, it would be very easy for the Liberals to deliberately lose a non-confidence vote so they could fight an election against a leaderless Conservative Party (who would still get blamed for causing "an election no one wants").

In the next election, it will be much harder for the Liberals to convince Canadians that Harper has a hidden agenda (especially if the CPC starts promoting the positive aspects of their platform well in advance) than it was last time, or than it would be for an unknown new leader.

Update: Bound by Gravity says it much more succinctly.

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June 09, 2005


Covering up is what Liberals do best

Recently, Rempelia Prime drew attention to a story which revealed how "scary" Christians are taking over Liberal nominations, not just Conservative ones. He challenged Buckets of Astroturf to update his/her "Running list of so-con nominees" to include the Liberal candidates, not just the Conservatives.

Shortly thereafter, Buckets' list disappeared.

Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

Fortunately, I know that good Liberals everywhere will be relieved to find out that the post is still available via Google's cache. (I've saved the page to my hard drive as well. The comments thread is also available... at the moment.) After all, they believe in making sure Canadians have all of the facts, right?


*crickets chirping*

Update: I posted the following comment in Buckets' (comfy and furry) Welcome thread.
Buckets, would you be able to comment on why this post was deleted?

(It's still available via Google's cache and the comment page.)
My comment was deleted within fifteen minutes.

Update 2: In response to the deletion and the reason one of Buckets' admins gave for why it was done, I made another post:
Bucket's post says "Please comment if you have something to add or questions" (about the blog or its content, presumably).

I had a question about a post that was made on this blog. That seems like a relevant topic for discussion here.
This post was deleted within ten minutes.

June 03, 2005


Godwin's Law... to the Xtreme!!

Beautiful Atrocities has an nice compliation of everyone's favourite over-the-top ad hominem. A rather sad commentary on the level of debate in our society, I'd say.

(Hat Tip: Daimnation)

June 02, 2005


Liberals Form Alliance with Bloc to Hamstring Gomery

Over the last few weeks, we've heard endless claims that Stephen Harper and Gilles Duceppe formed an "alliance" to bring down the Liberal budget and thereby destroy Canada. Certain media outlets were happy to use misleading pictures to promote the idea.

Yesterday, the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois joined together to defeat a Conservative motion to give Justice Gomery's final report some teeth. Well, I guess this means the media will be all over how the fact that the Liberals and the Bloc voted the same way on something is proof that they have an "alliance."


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How Grewal should have handled the tapes

Well, the Liberals have been largely successful in spinning this story so that Gurmant Grewal and the Conservatives are being portrayed as being just as bad as Murphy and Dosanjh. (Their latest line is "Gurmant is sexist, because his wife wasn't there!") Because of this, I'd like to suggest that that Grewal should have done the following:
May 18: Grewal issues a press release claiming that Tim Murphy and Ujjal Dosanjh offered him Cabinet positions, Senate seats, etc. in exchange for abstaining from the vote. However, he makes absolutely no mention of having recorded the meetings.

May 19: Murphy and Dosanjh flatly deny that they ever spoke with Grewal about anything to do with abstaining, calling the allegations "baseless." On the nightly news, CTV's lead story is a report from an "unnamed source" on how Grewal once filed a complaint against one of his college teachers, claiming the teacher was biased against him, and that the complaint was dismissed.

May 20: Grewal claims that Paul Martin had known about the meetings and was willing to speak with him. Martin denies any knowledge, calling it a "lie of desparation." Later in the day, Martin says that doing such a thing would be an "act of criminality" and declares that "any Prime Minister who would do something like that should resign immediately."

May 21: The weekend edition of the Globe and Mail has the front page headline "LIBERALS DEFEND AGAINST LIBEL FROM 'SCARY' TORIES."

May 23: Grewal releases tapes of the conversations, but not any of the parts that mention Paul Martin. No comment from Murphy and Dosanjh. Martin says he is "shocked as hell" by the revelations, and promises that "finding the truth in this matter will be a top priority."

May 24: PMO communications director Scott Reid issues a statement on behalf of Murphy and Dosanjh, claiming that they are "victims of a sneak attack."

May 25: Grewal releases the tapes that implicate Paul Martin. When informed of the news during a scrum, Martin makes the following statement: "Uh, uh, I, uh, um, I think I've been perfectly clear that, um, uh..."

May 26: Martin is silent all day, but the Liberal war room issues a flurry of press releases, criticizing Grewal and the Conservatives for everything from delaying the tapes' release to being anti-Punjabi for attacking Dosanjh's integrity.

May 27: When asked about the anti-Punjabi accusation during a scrum, an annoyed Stephen Harper sharply dismisses the claim as "baseless." On the nightly news, CTV's lead story is a report from an "unnamed source" saying that Harper once threw a temper tantrum in a grocery store when he was four years old.

May 28: The weekend edition of the Globe and Mail has the front page headline "'SCARY' CHRISTIANS WIN TORY NOMINATIONS, PLAN TO BAN SPEAKING OF PUNJABI."
Okay, so by the end it's pretty much the same as what really happened.


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