July 31, 2006


This Show Has Too Many Lies

Browsing throught the Mercer Report Archives, I came across this piece on equalization. Now, I've said before that Rick Mercer frequently succeeds at being very funny while completely failing at making a valid point. This time, however, he does a lot worse than that. After describing how Alberta and Ontario are the only "have" provinces who currently support the equalization system for everyone else (the "have not" provinces), he says:
Now, Harper says this is too complicated. For example, the Liberals cut a side deal with Newfoundland, leaving their oil out of the equation. So Prime Minister Harper wants to fix things by cutting a side deal with Alberta, leaving their oil out of the equation.
Um, no. Alberta's oil revenue is already left out of the equation. There are certain provincial governments who are agitating to start including it, but the current formula does not, despite what Mercer says.
So let's take a look now at the revised list of who now has to pay more:

Mercer compounds his orginal error. He claims that without Alberta's oil, Ontarians would have to pay more to support the system. Not only is he wrong about the current situation, but if Alberta's oil were to be included in the calculation, it would throw the average off so badly that Ontario would become a "have not" province, leaving Alberta's 10% of the population to support the other 90% of the country, including Ontario. (Alberta's and Ontario's combined populations are roughly 50% of Canada's total.)

But wait, there's more!
Now, let's go over the list of who didn't vote for Stephen Harper:

Really? Ontario didn't vote for Stephen Harper? Well, let's check on where the Conservatives got the seats that won them the election:
Ontario           40
Alberta           28
British Columbia  17
Saskatchewan      12
Quebec            10
Manitoba           8
Nova Scotia        3
New Brunswick      3
Newfoundland       3
As you can clearly see, Ontario didn't care for Stephen Harper at all. :P

Methinks someone's grumpy that their big endorsement deal was cancelled...

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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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