November 27, 2008
What's not to like?
So the Conservatives want to axe the $1.95-per-vote subsidy given to the various political parties, at a cost of $27 million each year.
I support this for multiple reasons:
- It's the right thing to do. Why should taxpayers be forced to subsidize political campaigns in the first place? Leave it to those Canadians who care enough about a party to send their own money.
- It's ideologically consistent. Stephen Harper was opposed to the subsidy when it was first proposed in 2003.
- It shows that politicians are willing to include themselves in the upcoming belt-tightening.
- As a bonus, it completely screws the Bloc, and to a lesser extent the Liberals. :)
Two thumbs up!
Update: This post has apparently caused Canadian Cynic to call me an "asshole." I will wear it as a badge of honour.
November 20, 2008
Something I'm rather loath to admit
November 18, 2008
Pics from the convention
Steven Fletcher's van in front of my hotel
Peter Van Loan rocks out to Paul Brandt (also down front: Jason Kenney, Diane Finley, Laureen & Rachel Harper)
The Conservative caucus and other party officials at the closing ceremonies
November 13, 2008
Fun things you can hear at the airport
"Will Mr. Stockwell Day please return to the south end to pick up his luggage."
Goin' to Winnipeg...
Heading off for the Conservative convention, whilst testing my new Blackberry's blogging abilities.
November 12, 2008
Is an Alberta Liberal accessing Alberta PC membership lists?
During the 2006 Alberta PC leadership race, I was curious about whether and when the various leadership candidates would have access to the lists of memberships that were submitted to the party. To that end, I arranged for my mom to put one of my e-mail addresses on her membership application. A friend of mine also did the same. That way, if I later got messages to that name/address combination, I would know the sender had access to the membership lists.
However, I never received anything of that sort during the campaign. Over the next two years, I largely forgot about what I'd done, except whenever I'd receive three copies of the "PC Talk" e-newsletter.
However, last week I received a message from Dave Taylor, who is currently running for the leadership of the Alberta Liberals. "That's odd," I thought, "I wonder where he got my e-mail address from." Then I noticed that there were three copies of the message. And then I noticed that one was sent to my name and normal address, one was sent to my mom at another address, and one was sent to my friend at a third address.
The only way Dave Taylor's campaign could have gotten these name/e-mail combinations is by accessing data from the Alberta PC membership list.
So, we have some important questions here:
1) How and when did Taylor get the lists?
2) Does he have the full member details, or just their e-mail addresses?
3) Did Taylor obtain these lists through legitimate means?
I look forward to an explanation, or hearing from anyone else who might have more details.
November 10, 2008
Gullible means believing whatever defence lawyers say
From the Edmonton Sun:
Having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl he believed was older was not a criminal act by a Calgary man, a judge ruled yesterday.
Provincial court Judge Bruce Millar said Matthew Allan Armstrong's testimony he accepted the girl's claim she was 16 was convincing, especially since he suffers a condition which makes him more gullible.
Millar noted Armstrong has myotonic muscular dystrophy, a disease which makes it difficult for those afflicted to make complicated decisions.
"The sufferer deals in absolutes," he said, pointing to expert evidence called by defence lawyer Balfour Der.
"People with myotonic dystrophy tend to believe what they are told is fact."
Okay, a couple of problems here. First of all, it seems rather odd to me that muscular dystrophy would cause mental problems like "gullibility". But I'm not a doctor, so I can't really say.
More importantly, why is what Armstrong "believed" even relevant here? If he sincerely thought she was 16, and is now in trouble because she was actually 13, that's still his fault for not checking enough. If someone gets pulled over for going 50 km/h in a 30 km/h zone, I doubt they would get off by saying "Sorry officer, but my speedometer is broken, and I really believed I was only going 25."
But the real kicker is the very last line in the article:
Armstrong still faces other allegations he tried to lure young girls over the Internet and remains in custody on those charges.
I'm sure those other girls all claimed they were old enough too, right?
I think the judge must be the one with the gullibility disease...
Labels: Our Benefactors
November 04, 2008
It's finally (almost) over
So I hear rumours that the Americans are having some sort of voting thingy today. By almost all accounts, Barack Obama is headed for a comfortable win over John McCain.
On the day of the first caucuses in Iowa, I ranked my preferences among the major candidates from both parties. McCain came in second, just behind Fred Thompson, while Obama was third.
Since then, the gap has widened substantially. John McCain has consistently taken the right positions on issues like Iraq, government spending, and free trade. Here is a good endorsement by David Frum (h/t Paul Wells), who has been very critical of McCain in the past.
Barack Obama is a very interesting politician, to say the least. In legislative office, he has been a risk-adverse state and federal Senator, seeming to prefer to take the path of least resistance. ("Present.") On the campaign trail, he combines soaring and inspiring rhetoric with clever and downright ruthless behind-the-scenes tactics. (Disqualifying nomination signatures, anyone?) Sometimes he goes way over the acceptable line; I was deeply disappointed when he dabbled in race-baiting this summer.
His association will William Ayers is another example of this. Most likely, he knew all about the guy's shady past, but simply calculated that "this guy has a political network that I need to get elected, and I can probably get away with using it."
On the positive side, I suspect Obama is more centrist that his voting record would indicate. In the lead-up to the Democratic primaries, he very cynically pandered to the extreme left of his party, especially when it came to free trade. Then as soon as he clinched the nomination, we saw that he was playing the nutroots for the fools they are, with dramatic reversals on NAFTA ("Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified"), an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and that wiretapping immunity bill.
I realize I'm essentially saying that I'm glad Obama was lying about his intentions, which sounds rather odd. But when you come right down to it, we're better off having a dishonest leader who implements good policies, than an honest leader who implements bad ones.
His ties to the Chicago School -- and moonbat denunciations of the same -- are also encouraging.
For this reason, I believe that a President Obama will likely be a prudent and effective leader... if he's paired with a Republican Congress. Which he won't be. There's a near-certainty of big Democratic gains in both House and Senate, who will most likely try to push him to the left. And given his track record as a legislator of meekly following wherever his party leads, I'm not very hopeful that he'll be able to buck that trend from the executive chair. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Here's hoping that the Republicans get their act together soon, so that 2010 can be a repeat of 1994. The divided government following that election proved to be rather effective at things like balancing the budget and allowing business to grow the economy, after all. (And in the meantime, let's all pray the Democrats don't get a filibuster-proof 60+ Senate seats.)
Oh, and my prediction for this election? Well, most people seem to be projecting an Obama landslide of 350+ electoral votes, but I think it will be somewhat closer. My reasons for this are twofold:
1) The state-level polls seem to be swinging towards McCain over the past few days.
2) If I put Obama high like everybody else, and I'm right, then my bragging rights are diluted by everyone else. But if I put him low and I'm right, my genius will stand out more. :)
Therefore, my swing state predictions are as follows...
Obama wins: Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia
McCain wins: West Virginia, Georgia, Montana, North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, and (going out on a limb here) Florida
Total: Obama 311, McCain 227
And so I look towards an Obama presidency with concern, but not fear or outrage.
Oh, one final thought for any Obama supporters who might be reading this: If you're expecting a fairly steady and thoughtful leader who will nudge the United States -- or let it drift -- towards your preferred policies, you'll probably be satisfied.
But if you seriously believe that he will change the way Washington works, or be a "transformational" figure (whatever that means), or vanquish anti-Americanism... you will be sorely disappointed.
Labels: US politics