"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"These are a few of my favorite things"
In your heart you always knew that booze, sex, drugs and chocolate were good for you, didn't you? Well, now we have proof via Fark

Top 10 Bad Things That Are Good For You

How the tories roll
Well, it look like Harper's flying monkeys have been at it again and gotten what they wanted. There is a technical term for this kind of operation, coined by Donald Segretti back in the very early 1970s. Let's just say it's a graphic expression invoking images of sexual congress with rodents.
Interesting that they are so proud of emulating Nixon's thug squad.

I, for one, welcome our new Harperite overlords
third ballot results - 5 a.m. over here in Tokyo and this is just too damn depressing.
Dion 1782
Ignatieff 1660
Rae 1385

I guess I'll see everyone back at the leadership convention this time next year after the Harper majority in the Spring. Assuming the War Measures Act hasn't been declared to put down an uprising of Vancouver Canucks fans in Calgary or Mohawks in Ontario or something. Rae was our last chance of beating Harper in the long run. Dion is a fine, smart man and a good cabinet minister, but he won't get vote one west of Toronto unless we get photos of Stevie actually eating a baby. Ignatieff -- phew, the worst that could happen is that he gets elected and moves us a little further to the right in a minority government which then falls to a genuine U.S. style Rethuglican Tory party under Harper.
Neither is very appealing and both favor recognizing Quebec as a nation. Will the last province to leave confederation please turn out the lights?

Who won the Liberal Leadership convention? Rene Levesque and Lucien Bouchard. $%#&#&%'#!

Jumping the gun
No sooner had I posted the previous entry than I found out that Kennedy is going to back Dion on the third ballot. I think that means Dion will win as a compromise candidate on the fourth ballot, with Rae a close second. Ignatieff or Rae could still conceivable pull it off, but most of their supporters are unlikely to move to the other's camp. Defectors will go to the middle, where the momentum is -- to Dion. Which probably means we had better get used to the Harper government. Of the remaining three, Rae has the best chance of beating Harper, which is why Dryden is backing him. I suppose I probably would too. If enough of Kennedy's people go to Rae (say a third to a half) he could still win, though most of the bloggers on the spot claim there is a strong anti-Rae movement at the convention.

Second ballot results
Michael Ignatieff first ballot 1412 second ballot 1481
Bob Rae first ballot 977 second ballot 1132
Stephane Dion first ballot 856 second ballot 974
Gerard Kennedy first ballot 854 second ballot 884
Ken Dryden first ballot 238 second ballot 219

Dryden will be dropped for the third ballot, where his supporters go is going to make a huge difference if they move en masse. If they split up more or less evenly, Kennedy is probably done and who he backs (I'd guess Rae) could very well determine the outcome.

In terms of momentum, of the votes freed up by candidates bowing out - a total of 478 plus the 19 voters who defected from Dryden (so much for my prediction of him gaining support - I guess the speeches really don't matter) makes a grand total of 497 swing votes.

Ignatieff gains 69
Rae gains 155
Dion gains 118
Kennedy gains 30

Frankly, I think Kennedy gaining 30 is a bigger boost than the front runner Ignatieff gaining 69. I think Kennedy might be toast, but unless he throws to Ignatieff -- well lets just hope they kept Iggy' s seat at Harvard warm for him. I don't think Iggy can do it without Kennedy or Dion throwing in with him. I don't think Rae would do it, I doubt Kennedy would do it. Since it is 2:30 in the morning Tokyo time I'll make my bet now and find out who actually won and how when I wake up later today.

Possible scenarios:
Kennedy supports Rae, who takes it on the fourth (possibly third) ballot. I'd call this the most likely as they agree on the "Quebec as a nation" question and are the two furthest left of center.

Kennedy supports Dion after being dropped following the third ballot, Dion wins on the fifth in a showdown with Iggy or Rae.

Dion supports Ignatieff prior to the third ballot, giving him the win - not so likely, as Dion thinks he can win and a lot of his supporters hate Iggy more than any other candidate.

Total long shot would be that Dryden backs Kennedy, who pushes past Dion to come third on the third ballot, Dion then supports Kennedy (very unlikely I know, in light of the "nation" thing) who wins on the fourth or fifth ballot.

My Prediction: this time next year we will be talking about how similar Prime Minister Bob Rae is to Jean Chretien and how cool Dryden's early education and child care plan is.

Kennedy supports Dion

Liberal shuffle - waiting for the second ballot results

As we await the result of the second ballot, let me recap the shifting alliances:
Ignatieff is still on his own and I'm betting he loses votes in the second ballot.
Rae has picked up the support of Joe Volpe and Scott Brison and should increase his share of votes this round, possibly even taking the lead
Dion has picked up the support of Martha Hall Findlay and may get more votes from Ignatieff defectors - he will stay in third, but he will close in on second
Kennedy will finish a very strong fourth, not far off the pace
Dryden will finish fifth, but increase the number of votes from the first ballot. Unless Kennedy throws to Dion or Rae, Dryden just might be the kingmaker, though I have read speculation from some in the Kennedy and Dion camps that Iggy could bow out and back Dion, but I think that is unlikely at this stage.

I'll be home for Christmas

I couldn't agree more if I had written the speech myself
Ken Dryden in the House of Commons addressing the government motion on recognizing Quebec as a nation within a nation.
Somebody please explain to me why he is running 5th in the leadership race at this point and not an overwhelming first. I keep reading all these reports about how his was the best speech at the convention, the polls all said he had the best chance of beating Harper and not one single person in the Liberal Party seems to have a bad thing to say about him. Why is the party trying to decide between a flashy neo-con in Liberal clothing and the most unpopular Ontario premier in recent memory (NB: No provincial premier has ever become PM) when there is a decent, thoughtful, proven, popular and broadly appealing candidate like this?

First ballot result and irresponsible speculation

Ignatieff 29.3%
Rae 20.3%
Dion 17.8%
Kennedy 17.7%
Dryden 4.9%
Brison 4.0%
Volpe 3.2%
Hall Findlay 2.7%

Joe Volpe has already announced he is dropping out to support Rae, though apparently several of his campaign staff have joined Ignatieff's team. Brison has announced he will drop out and throw his support to an as yet unnamed candidate (One of the four front runners obviously, and my guess is most likely Ignatieff)

I suspect Hall Findlay will join the Rae team and Dryden will hold out until the second ballot is done. I would have liked to have seen Dryden do a little better, but with all the delegates forced to dance with the fella that brung 'em on the first ballot, I didn't really expect much more. I do on the second ballot. I heard his speech was a great one and I think he is a popular second choice on his electability.

I think Ignatieff is likely to lose support in the second round, while Rae, Kennedy and Dion pick up more -- it will be interesting to see if there is some kind of backroom move by Rae and Ignatieff to throw a few votes to Kennedy to make sure he and not Dion finishes third in the next few rounds. I don't know if Rae wants to go mano a mano with his old Uof T roommate just yet or not, but I think that is what it is going to come down to in the end.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The envelope please...

Please tell me this is a joke. The next great Canadian Prime Minister is to be chosen by a panel of ex-Prime Ministers that includes such luminaries as the most hated Prime Minister in Canadian history (Brian Mulroney) the most unlikely Prime Minister in Canadian history (Joe "Who?" Clark) the most disappointing Prime Minister of the 20th century (John Turner) and some one who, while breaking ground for the 15 minutes she was in office as Canada's first female prime minister, was undoubtably the least successful PM ever (Kim Campbell). Surely this like asking Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson to vote on who gets the Nobel Prize for evolutionary biology, or the college of Cardinals in Rome to choose the porn star of the year. While the fifty grand would be nice, I have to think that for any 21-year-old with serious political ambitions the seal of approval from these four would pretty much be the kiss of death.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tomayto - Tomahto
What's in a name? That which we call an abattoir would still stink as bad.
If they can't even decide what to call it, what makes anyone think this delusional bunch of crooks, dolts and reactionary true-believers have the slightest chance of fixing the problem?

White House Wages War of Words Over 'Civil' Term
Peter BakerWashington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 29, 2006; PageA16

The carnage in Iraq is "sectarian violence," President Bush says. It's a
"struggle for freedom," the "central front in the war on terror." It is not, no matter how much it may look like it, a civil war.Forget the debate over what to do about the war in Iraq. The White House is still debating what to call the war in Iraq. With retired generals, analysts, politicians and pundits increasingly using the term "civil war," the Bush administration insists that the definition does not fit as part of its latest effort to control the words of war.

Because what we call it and how we frame the debate is so much more important than what we do about it. How about instead of "cancer" we call it "happyfluffybunnyitis" instead? Sort of the way they call it a "setback at the polls" instead of a "complete electoral ass-kicking."

Monday, November 27, 2006

First wanker of the Christmas season sighted
And his name is Bob Kearns. He's the autocratic nutzoid head of the president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs in Southwestern Colorado, where they are fining a resident $25 a day for putting up a christmas wreath shaped like a peace symbol. Bob seems to feel it is a "Satanic symbol"
I guess he'd hate my idea to write "Lucifer Lives" in gasoline on his front lawn and set it ablaze for Halloween next year. I sure hope nobody makes fun him for the rest of his natural life for this. Because that would be wrong. He should be made fun of for much, much longer. Like Quisling, Gerrymander and Santorum before him, his name should become part of the lexicon. Any time someone shows themselves to be an ignorant, narrowminded, petty, pedantic, power-abusing nit-wit they should henceforth be known as a "Kearns" and abusing power in an ignorant, narrowminded, petty, pedantic, nit-witted way should henceforth be known as "Kearnsing."
(ie) "My high-school Vice-Principal sent me home from school for wearing a pair of FCUK jeans -- What a Kearns!" or "They Kearnsed me at the Post Office -- I let someone go ahead of me in line while I finished addressing a Christmas card and they made me go to the back of the line. What a bunch of Santorum-eating O'Reilys!"

Update: In the face of massive public protest, the Homeowners Association has backed off and declared the whole thing a big misunderstanding. As in, they misunderstood that bit in the constitution about "freedom of expression" and mistakenly thought they were living in Stalinist Russia.