Friday, August 21, 2015

Rearguard election

Harper wanted a long campaign to spend his warchest. Great. All other things being equal, that would have helped him in his offensive attack-attack-attack approach to elections.

Now, barely a few weeks in, events at the Duffy trial have turned that strategy on its head. It's a defensive action they are fighting now. The opposition parties scarcely matter because Duffy has nothing to do with them.

It's all Harper.

Exquisitely so, as a few words from former PMO lawyer Benjamin Perrin surgically dismantled Party lies claims (and possibly even the Crown, although it is too soon tell) case in his testimony at the Duffy trial, stating that PM ignored his legal advice on Senate appointments.

With this, and after the angry-old-man meltdown at the media the other day, the press is pouring fire into the clear gap in the Tory armour.

What's so fascinating to me is watching the control freak in Harper lose control of events. It's happened before the coalition prorogue, but was in response to an Opposition plan and skulduggerously but legally used parliamentary procedure to evade defeat. He cannot control a courtroom like that.

Skeletons are tumbling out of closets now.  It's even hard to find a supportive comment in the newsmedia comment threads, which are usually stocked with rightwing idiots and stooges.

There are many days yet in this election, and the winds may shift again. But...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Duffy Days: Perrin, Harper

Well, if I were a lawyer and my client ignored my advice and did his/her own thing...well, don't come crying to me when it goes pear shaped, pal.
"I was immediately taken aback by the prime minister's decision that if you simply owned $4,000 of real property, that made you a resident," said Benjamin Perrin, testifying at the Mike Duffy trial in Ottawa.
Ouch. No PM's holiday card for Perrin, I'm guessing.

Duffy days: Novak, Harper

"I've always loved you."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Getting a bit touchy 'bout Duffym, eh?

Witness an angry and confused Harper supporter call a reporter outside a Harper campaign event a "lying piece of shit".

Because swearing at and insulting reporters in the campaign press pool will lead to nothing but an election victory for Dear Leader.

Still, shows that Harper folks are feeling rather touchy about what is emerging from L'affair Duffy. 

Monday Rant

Have we had a PM or government in the past 60 years or so that respected the Constitutional role of the Senate?


Does that mean the Constitutional role of the Senate is meaningless and the place should be done away with?


What it does mean is that we haven't had a PM and government in over 60 years that respected the Constitution. Not even Pierre.

Harper has treated the Senate as a resort for retired bagmen and thugs and look where it's gotten him. Chretien and Mulroney did the same.

Mulcair, and presumably his squadrons of trained seals as well, would rather eliminate it, I suspect, because they'd prefer to avoid the possible legislative oversight and leave *all* oversight to the various Courts. Which judges would, naturally enough, be appointed by them.

But wouldn't it be marvelous if the Senate was treated with respect and actually *was* a house of sober second thought, a truly non-partisan chamber with no present ties to any political party, populated by Canadians of distinction and probity from all walks of life whose task was to examine proposed legislation to ensure that it would be to the benefit of all.

Because that is in fact it's Constitutional role.

We elect assholes, conmen and shysters, time after time after time, and expect them to behave like honest, upstanding citizens.

We are unworthy inheritors of democratic tradition and soon enough we'll have lost it.

Not because of some small man or woman in a big office somewhere but because we ourselves became distracted and sated and smug.

As well as more and more profoundly stupid and ham fisted even as we became more and more highly educated and specialized.

Blood soaked monkeys, that's us.

Rant over.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Ok, so pick a fight with Wynne and Notley, why dontcha?

Good grief.
A political spat that erupted this week between Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and the Alberta and Ontario premiers is being seen by some as a calculated move on Harper's part to shore up his traditional party base.
So the theory is that Harper is openly appealling to angry, ignorant, and confused misogynistic men by attacking the two of most powerful premiers, leading two of the wealthiest provinces? Including his home turf, where Notley hoovered the votes all over the place against a former federal Harperite? Quite the gamble, that.

It'll be fun to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Donate: Eday Voter Suppression documentary

Eday in Canada: Voter Suppression documentary needs your support for release in time for this election. Please donate now.

Remember Michael Sona, Robocalls, Elections Canada, and the Fair Elections Act? Make those chickens come home to roost for those who might try to rig Election 2015.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Disenfranchised Canadians abroad

Much has been made about the 5 year limit on voting in Canadian elections for citizens living overseas. However, the bolded section below seems much more insidious. It strips me of my right to vote in this election because I simply cannot know the date upon which I shall return (without invention), nor I suspect do most Canadians living overseas, which are likely to be determined more by life circumstances (available work, etc) than anything else.

Elections Canada:

On July 20, 2015, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned an earlier ruling regarding voting by Canadians abroad. As a result of this decision, electors who want to be on the International Register of Electors and vote by special mail-in ballot from abroad must demonstrate that they meet two additional criteria:
  • They must confirm that they intend to return to Canada to reside by providing the date on which they intend to resume residence in Canada, and  
  • They must confirm that they have resided abroad for less than five consecutive years, or provide proof that they fall within one of these exceptions to the five-year rule:
    • They are employed outside Canada in the federal public administration or the public service of a province – or live with someone who is;
    • They are employed outside Canada by an international organization of which Canada is a member and to which Canada contributes – or live with someone who is; or
    • They live with a member of the Canadian Forces or with a person who is employed outside Canada by the Canadian Forces as a teacher in, or as a member of the administrative support staff for, a Canadian Forces school.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Ibbitson and Harper

John Ibbitson has an interesting take on the birth of the current prime minister.

Reading through it, I can't help but think of Harper's personality being identical to those of the assorted black-shirted school shooters in the US.

Ostracised by choice or group-think from their peers, nursing a pathological grudge against them, directionless. A feeling of alienation that finally culminates in a murderous rampage for those with access to firearms and a school.

Shift the context, and a young and shiftless proto-PM encounters a perceived UofT hazing (not entirely sure about this), and the Toronto-Montreal core of Canadian intelligentsia, and his response is reactionary. In Canada, this is a small cohort. I've brushed against it here and there to know that one is not more than two or three degrees from Atwood, Rae, a Trudeau or two, CBC notables, some key members of the professoriate, and so on. Intensely intelligent, capable, educated, politically aware, very liberal people who have defined Canadian culture internally and globally for a long time.

They are the Canada, for example, that imprinted the recently passed Mary Catherine Finn with her views on Atwood (overrated) and Laurence (underrated). I knew the latter as child, in as much as child can know someone. Her voice still rings in my head and the scent of her cigarettes in my nostrils; you cannot encounter someone like that and not have them embed in your psyche.

It is people of that realm that Ibbitson's Harper encountered and immediately reacted to. He feels a visceral dislike, and somewhere in there begins to seek vengeance for the perceive sin of their existence.  Skip a few decades and he is prime minister, with a goonsquad of misfits and fanatics who couldn't tell a Margaret from margarine, hell-bent on machine-gunning that liberal Canadian society they sense but never understood or were a part of. 

Maybe it's the intelligentsia's fault for not understanding the threat to the country posed by the mix of the a-cultural, brimstone-faithed, ubermasculine, and nouveau riche types inhabiting an oil rich Alberta.* There was a warning shot with the 'freeze the eastern bastards' national energy plan business in the 70s, but that didn't quite register.

Now, we've had nine years of indulging a spiteful and angry teenager killing the family pets, savaging his siblings, and setting fire to the couch. There's enough left to salvage now, but give him another five, and there simply won't be a house left.

The never-married parents, Tom and Justin, haven't realised that they (well, their class) birthed him. They've not clued-in that their kid is psychotic enough to kill them and so should work together to put him into care as soon as possible.

What gives me hope is the anger in the land. Canadians don't get angry, but I see them angry now.

Pay attention, Tom and Justin.

 *By the same token, that Alberta cohort has failed to appreciate that an long economic boom would flood the province with educated young professionals from BC and the East who would have babies, make Alberta home, and, well, vote in elections...


Losing your right to vote in your own country's election, when that country is Canada...there are no words.

He's finally gone to the GG and picked his fight with the electorate.

Those of you still with votes, please do your utmost to evict him "from office, right out of the country, and into the deep blue sea if possible."

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Another Day of Mourning.

Maybe we'll get lucky and Johnston will prove to have a backbone made more from democratic convention than autocratic opportunism.

Who am I kidding?

Johnston will probably be prevailed upon to actively campaign for Furious Leader. If he did we don't have a media that would tell us it was inappropriate - largely because much of the media probably doesn't know or care.

Another Harper majority about to be served up the middle between two parties too arrogant,  self-delusional and grand to think the well being of the country should be more critically important than their own egos.

Very sad day.