October 19, 2006


The Garth Party of Canada

I've been thinking about making a post like this (with the above title) for awhile now, but other than a few comments on other people's blogs, I haven't done much about it. I guess yesterday's events have forced my hand.

I rather liked Garth Turner when I first discovered his blog back in mid-2005. He seemed like the kind of straight-talkin' candidate we need in this country, and I liked how he and other Conservative hopefuls and MPs were using blogs to reach out to their constituents.

When Emerson crossed the floor, I didn't like it. As you all know, Turner didn't either. In retrospect, it's interesting to note his initial comments on the issue were rather tame, and it wasn't until a few days had passed that he started to get more acerbic and start grandstanding for the media. I don't know whether he planned to do this from the start or was pulled into it innocently, but either way, he soon became an expert at badmouthing the Conservative Party in order to promote himself.

Turner likes to say that the purpose of his blog attacks are to stand up for his constituents and let them know what's going on, but this claim doesn't stand up to scrutiny. For example, in this post, Turner makes a big deal of being on the outs with Conservative campaign manager Doug Finley, and ends with a vague threat. However, he never gives us any idea whatsover about what his beef with Finley is, thus eliminately any credibility on the "keeping you informed" front. The only purpose to that post was to shout "Look at me! I'm such a rebel! Ain't I kewl?" For another example, how exactly is Mr. Turner standing up for Canadians when he resorts to childish insults towards those who criticize him?

The Conservatives' stated reason for suspending Turner was breach of caucus confidentiality and unacceptable attacks on his colleagues. Stephen Taylor has already uncovered evidence of the former, while examples of the latter can be found all over his blog. Here's a nice one from less than a week ago; notice how he ends an otherwise reasonable post with a gratuitous shot at Jim Flaherty. And really, how can any serious political organization tolerate one of their members using his blog to brazenly promote the leader of a rival party? It's more than likely that Turner wanted the notoriety of being kicked out of caucus, and would have pushed things as far as it took to make that happen.

A good MP needs to break from the party line when it's the honourable thing to do, but in this case, it's got nothing to do with honour and everything to do with personal glory. D’arcy Keene was rightfully criticized for wanting to run on the single issue of same-sex marriage. This stands in sharp contrast to Garth Turner, who wants to run on the single issue of... Garth Turner.


October 18, 2006


Folks, it's Tuesday night; time for Headlines

Globe and Mail headline:
Trusts cost $1.1-billion in lost tax

Non-statist version of same headline:
Trusts save Canadians from $1.1-billion in government theft

(This libertarian moment was brought to you by The Invisible Hand.)

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October 16, 2006


There are over 3 million reasons to vote Dinning - Mine's my kegger

Jim Dinning believes that the needs of college students are very, very important, and so he's announced that the government should help fund their basic living necessities... like beer.
"Today students have to cobble together a budget that doesn't reflect the full costs of books, supplies, living accommodations, transportation - and, frankly, beer," he told reporters as he laid out the education plank of his Tory leadership platform.

"Governments have to recognize those costs and make sure that as students apply for loans ... we don't diminish their applications for additional dollars, based on nostalgic times - including the beer."
This kind of obvious pandering is not only insulting to students, it's also very un-conservative (although I guess that's no surprise, coming from Dinning). I'm no fan of government social engineering via "sin taxes" and such, but meddling in the opposite direction by actively subsidizing such behavior is even worse.

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October 05, 2006


Debate Club

Random thoughts from last night's Alberta Conservative leadership debate:

Meaningless metaphor
Ted Morton was seated on the far right, while Jim Dinning was seated on the far left.

Meaningless (but still funny) gaffe
Dave Hancock says we need to "reduce our literacy levels."

Life of the Party
Gary McPherson is a rather humourous and engaging speaker.

All things to all people
Dinning says he's the best guy to win back both Liberal voters and Alliance voters.

Help the poor socialites
Most of the candidates seemed to think art subsidies are necessary, because otherwise the Eastern media would look down their noses at us uncultured hicks. Morton was the only exception, saying something to the effect of "when goverment subsidizes art, it ultimately hurts our arts scene, because the artists spend their time sucking up to the government instead of working on their art." He then indicated that he would increase the tax write-off for donations to art groups.

Dithers, meet Panders
On the flip side, Dinning immediately chimed in with this statement: "The first role of government is to be a champion of the arts." Well, at least now we know what his number one priority will be...

Jim on science and religion
Dinning says that Alberta's rich resources and environment are something that "God blessed us with, uh... [stammers] a million years ago."

Overheard near the brochure tables
"My friend had a Dinning t-shirt when she came in, but after the debate she took it off, and now I think she wants a Morton one."

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