Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The utter destruction of the Left

The Conservatives are dealing a massive body blow to Canada's left wing parties, perhaps even their death blow.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will slash almost $30 million a year in public funding for federal parties, in a move that would save taxpayers' money but deal a major financial blow to opposition parties, CTV News has learned.

Good for tax payers? Good for democracy?

For each party on the left, this hand in the public trough represents the following percentages of their actual fund raising:
  • Bloc Quebecois: 86 per cent
  • Green Party: 65 per cent
  • Liberals: 63 per cent
  • NDP: 57 per cent
If Stephen Taylor is right, it could be even worse.

It is apparent from these numbers that these parties cannot reach out to the public in any meaningful sense, they cannot inspire their supporters to support them, all they can do is dupe Canadians into voting for them to stop the Liberals, or the Conservative hidden agenda, or to pretend to have a separatist agenda. That is hardly inspiring. That wouldn't get me to fork over my hard earned, overly taxed cash.

It's absolutely brilliant, a massive attack on their political enemies all wrapped up in the guise of being fiscally responsible in the face of the "global economic uncertainty". It will also have the great benefit of delaying any election as no party but the Conservatives will be able to fight another election.

Brilliant. Savvy. Ethical?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Free Trade - Good for all

The Harper government has made good on another one of its commitments, that is to increase ties with Latin America. Canada now has a free trade treaty with the government of Columbia.

Free Trade is one of the cornerstones of western capitalism, and I hope we continue to expand our free trading zone around the world. This will only make us more resilient to downturns in the American economy.

Of course, I hope the Americans (and in particular Obama) to take note of this development and realize that shutting down free trade between Canada and the United States to appease protectionist interests would do nothing but harm everyone involved.

Free trade increases the economic output of the involved nations, free trade is a good thing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

McGuinty Thinks we are Stupid

I haven't been posting much lately, it has been busy at work. And its a good thing too, we are hiring people and growing fast, and I am pretty glad to be working there in these uncertain economic times. I am working hard, and am quite tired, I was actually on my way to bed, but stopped to catch a news story or two. That is when I read this.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said Tuesday the "modest restrictions" will include a zero blood-alcohol limit for all Ontario drivers aged 21 and under and escalating sanctions for young drivers who speed, starting with a 30-day licence suspension.

Suffice it to say, I am not interested in sleep anymore.

Modest restrictions? Modest restrictions?

They are treating grown adults, with full licenses differently from other grown adults with full licenses!

"We owe it to our kids to take the kinds of measures that ensure that they will grow up safe and sound and secure, and if that means a modest restriction on their freedoms until they reach the age of 22, then as a dad, I'm more than prepared to do that."

Modest restrictions? Oh my goodness. This is mind blowing.

I get that driving is a privilege and not a right, I do, but we cannot allow this bill to pass. To do so is to treat grown adults differently then older grown adults. Like it or not, the age of majority in Canada is 18. You are an adult at 18.

If this law was aimed at seniors, and curtailed their ability to have passengers, or to have drank and still be under the legal blood alcohol limit there would be an uproar.

But, because it is those darn teenagers, we turn a blind eye.

Of course, I know the real reason for this, and the rest of the stupid bans McGuinty has been proposing left,right and centre. McGuinty thinks we're stupid.

While some people applaud the above, and others bemoan the same, everyone forgets that Dalton McGuinty has taken this province, the greatest, richest province from have to have not, and back into deficit.

McGuinty has taken Ontario from have to HAVE NOT. And has re-introduced a deficit.

Of course, McGuinty was against all of these at one point of the other, but McGuinty is shifty, he will move wherever the wind blows.

You can't trust McGuinty, he has proven himself to lack morals, principles, and his word is worth nothing.

How could we have re-elected him?

Perhaps McGuinty is right, we are stupid.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We shall remember them

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Would you like renewal with that?

While I am pretty sure this has been blogged to death, I just thought I would add my two cents to this discussion.

The [Liberal] party released new rules for the leadership race on Saturday, including a large entrance fee of $90,000. During the 2006 leadership campaign, the party charged hopefuls a $50,000 entrance fee.

Also, spending by the leadership candidates will be restricted to $1.5 million each, which is far smaller than 2006's $3.4 million limit.

The price of grassroots democracy in the Liberal party is ninety thousand dollars.

This entry fee seems destined to limit the field to just the likes of Ignatieff and Rae, the only ones with the ground game and support to raise that kind of money, and run a campaign. To be honest, I am not sure how this will result in the desperately needed renewal of the Liberal party.

This will prevent a "poor" but qualified candidate from making a run at the leadership, while there are some valid arguments for this, I say it will do nothing but hurt the party in the long term. Leadership contenders shouldn't have to suffer because the party has trouble raising funds.

Liberal leadership contenders, only the elite shall apply.

A better system is to have a lower entry fee, something like fifteen thousand dollars, and instead make the entry fee to the convention something bigger, and non-refundable.

This would the leadership hopefuls to run a campaign from the start, and allow them some months to get a ground game organized before expecting to fork over a lot of cash. The contenders who fail to strike a chord with delegates, or win support can withdraw from the race prior to forking over the large amount cash required to gain entry into the convention. This would allow maximum participation from candidates but also keep the convention from turning into a circus.

The plan is still rough but I think it has merit. What do you think?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

If this is the cost of globalization

Perhaps it is time to rethink it.

The insatiable demand for scotch whisky in China, India and Russia has tipped three popular brands from the shelves of Ontario liquor stores, and likely will drive up the prices of popular single-malts in several provinces.

Johnnie Walker Green Label, Black & White Blended Scotch Whisky and Bell's Scotch Whisky will no longer be available in Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) outlets once current supplies are gone, probably by year end, a spokesman confirmed Wednesday.

If China, India, and Russia are going to cut into my scotch supplies, perhaps it is time to cut into their oil and other resource supplies. :)

Sarcasm aside, this is an example of why the LCBO is nothing but a pain in the arse.

The LCBO agreed to meet Diageo's demands in some cases, but apparently balked when it came to the three brands to be discontinued.

No LCBO, you don't have the right to decide on behalf of all of us consumers what to do. Stock the damn scotch and let us pay for it if we so choose. If we don't continue to buy it in sufficient quantities we can talk. Until then, don't decide for me.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Best President Money Can Buy

The 2008 Presidential elections are posed to be the biggest spending election in the history of the United States, and likely the world. Over $2.4 billion USD has already been spent in this election, luckily, there is only a few hours left for the spending.

The commercial is thought to have cost his campaign more than £2 million as the presidential election hits a record 2.4 billion dollars (£1.5bn), according to the non-partisan Centre for Responsive Politics - by far the most expensive in history.

That money buys a lot of airtime, commercials and infomercials alike. I am glad our last election was only 5 weeks long, that was long enough. I am not sure I could handle Stephen Harper, his sweater vest, and a cat or two in a 30 minute long infomercial.

Obama has raised more money, from more people then any other presidential candidate in history.

One one hand I am glad that Canada has election financing laws like we do, the three leading parties only spent about 18 million each. Even if you multiple by 10 (taking into rough account the population difference) we are still much less then a billion in total campaign expenses.

On the other hand, my libertarian streak is annoyed at the government telling people what they can and cannot with their own money. It is a touch balancing act.

So, does anyone have any opinions on this? Should private Canadian citizens be allowed to donate as much as they wish to the political party(ies) of their choice? Tell me what you think.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Canadian Forces find, destroy 680 kg of IEDs

In case most of our MSM fails to report a good story coming out of Afghanistan.

The Canadian Forces in Afghanistan destroyed about 680 kilograms of material that was to be used to make improvised explosive devices, Canadian military officials said Sunday.

The Forces' Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team destroyed about 100 IEDs, which pose one of the biggest threats to the lives of both coalition troops and civilians in the war-torn country.

Military officials say that nearly 90 per cent of IEDs and other bombs in Kandahar City are found and destroyed before they can be detonated. They say local residents are becoming more willing to report explosives when they spot them.

Props to CTV for posting this story on their website. I didn't see it on CBC's website, not surprised.

The Canadian Forces are doing good work in Afghanistan despite their naysayers. And while their are significant challenges to be overcome, there is reason for hope.

Where would Afghanistan be without our (and the world's) forces? Another failed state run by ruthless thugs intent on supporting terror and debasing human rights?

As we approach November 11th, stop and think of our forces deployed world wide, and even if you don't support the mission, be sure to support our troops.

I know that I am always proud to be a Canadian when I see a member, and I always take the time to shake their hand.

Tory Kitchener victory confirmed

TORONTO — A judicial recount has confirmed a Conservative victory in the federal riding of Kitchener-Waterloo.

Peter Braid has been declared the winner over incumbent Liberal Andrew Telegdi by a mere 17 votes.

Braid garnered 21,830 votes compared to 21,813 for Telegdi, who'd held the riding for 15 years.

The election night tally on Oct. 14 showed Braid with a 73 vote win.

However, a validated count which found errors at two polls showed Braid winning by just 48 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

Had the difference remained above 61 votes, Telegdi would have had to apply for a recount.

Now, how about that Vancouver South recount?

Democracy deserves a full recount, surely knowing the truth is worth a few days of time?

Demand a recount! Force Election's Canada to do its job.