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

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ontario poised to embrace lack of democracy
According to the latest polling, the effort to improve Ontario's electoral system by adding proportional representation appears doomed:
The most recent SES/Sun Media poll indicates that the support to change Ontario's electoral system to MMP is unlikely to pass the 60% threshold needed for change.

Asked about their intentions related to the upcoming referendum, Ontarians generally preferred to keep the current system (47%), followed by voting for MMP (26%) and finally not casting a vote in the referendum (5%). Twenty-one percent were unsure.

At the same time, Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty appears to be headed to a slim majority with 43% of the vote as compared to 33% for the Conservatives, 17% for the NDP and 6% for the Greeens. So for all you Tories out that who intend to vote against MMP just remember you had your chance to fix the system so that when the Liberals don't get the majority of votes, they don't get to form a majority government.The next time the government does something you don't like, you are not allowed to complain that almost 60% of people voted against the government, because if you had used your head and voted for MMP, such a situation would be impossible.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Pass the salt...and the fire extinguisher
I can see the advertising campaign now "Our food is so spicy, they had to call out the fire brigade and evacuate the building." or "Our peppers are for eating, not spraying". I guess some in the land of bangers and mash just aren't ready for spicy Thai food. I've cooked some spicy chili over the years, but I've never had anyone call out the firefighters - the health department maybe, but not the fire department.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Please don't hit me with this olive branch

As regards the recent flame war that took place (mostly over at the Galloping Beaver) over my offhand use of a term (the fourth in George Carlin's infamous seven) sometimes used to describe the female genitalia and sometimes used to describe people who are dim, annoying and unpleasant, I would like to present this song by the brilliant Nellie McKay as a peace offering. Please, please, please listen to it in the tongue-in-cheek manner in which it is intended.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Getting a leg-up on Hallowe'en
This sounds like a script suggestion for the Trailer Park Boys, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was a trailer park involved somewhere along the line. You can almost hear the banjo music in the background (not that there is anything wrong with banjo music)

from the BBC:

North Carolina pair feud over leg
The leg was stored in a smoker after Mr Wood lost his homeA US man who stored his amputated leg in a barbecue smoker that was later auctioned off is locked in a custody dispute with the man who bought it.

but it gets weirder:
After buying the smoker last Tuesday, Mr Whisnant looked inside and found a man's leg wrapped in a wire screen. He initially gave the leg to the police, who concluded it had not been removed as a result of a crime and sent it to a funeral home until Mr Wood could pick it up. But after making money by charging adults $3 (£1.47) and children $1 (49p) to look inside the empty smoker, Mr Whisnant asked for it back. His request was refused by the funeral home, so he decided to try to persuade Mr Wood to share custody and profits.

"I told him I'd share custody of it..." Mr Whisnant said.
"It's a strange incident and Halloween's just around the corner. The price will go up if I get the leg."

Expect to see these people throwing chairs at each other on Jerry Springer very, very soon.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sometimes you can't even make a joke

And it isn't just the mangled utterences of the preznit, it is also stuff like the lifework of comic evangelistic nutjob Jack Chick that can also offer "found" comedy.

High School of the Americas
In case you don't read Jesus' General (and if not, why not? Are you some sort of pinko subversive?) you may have missed his letter in response to this this article. Both are must reads. I can't even take credit for the title of this post, it belongs to the General, whom you should get down on your lousy stinking knees and thank (in a purely manly, heterosexual way, of course) --I am but his vessel.

A tale of two elections
With only 11 days to go until the Ontario election, John Tory seems to have been hoisted by his own petard. He tried to go the Karl Rove route and "energize the base" by pandering to religious fundamentalists and promising to fund their schools. He managed to chase away the remaining Bill Davis Tories and non-ideologues, most of whom will now either stay home on election day, or worse (for Tory) hold their collective nose and vote for the Liberals.

Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty, who entered the campaign more or less even with John Tory, has done the smart thing and A)Connected Tory to Mike Harris whenever possible, B) Pointed and laughed at Tory over the religious school funding question and C) otherwise kept his mouth shut. It has been a winning strategy, as far as it goes.

If Howard Hampton can convince blue-collar industrial workers worried about job losses to vote in their own interest and back him instead of a corporate shill, the NDP could pick up some seats in the 905 zone around Toronto.

As the campaign come into the home stretch, the Liberals are widening the gap in their lead over the Tories and it looks like another Liberal government, perhaps even a majority.

On the electoral reform front, according to the Star, people are at least becoming more aware that there is a referendum and what it is about. According to the linked article from last week's paper, 6 in 10 voters now at least know about the referendum, up from a paltry 8 percent in June. What's more, 40% of them claim to understand the MMP system (a feat no more difficult than counting to ten with your hands behind your back) compared to the 54% who claim to understand our current system (a feat that ranks with counting to ten on your fingers and getting it right the second time.)

Accord to an Angus Reid poll taken two weeks ago, support for the MMP was at 26%, with 33% backing the current system and 38% undecided. Since MMP needs 60% to pass, things are not looking good.

A more recent poll published in the Mop&Pail reveals that while only a little more than half of voters claim to know anything about Mixed Member Proportional representation, those that do know something about it are slightly more likely to vote in favour of it than vote against it. Which is nice, but the bar to pass the change to MMP requires a 60% supermajority, with at least half the votes in 60% of the ridings. I am not optimistic that good sense will win out and we will have a change, but its never too late to shill, so all you Ontario readers get out there and vote early and often for MMP.

In terms of a possible federal election Stephane Dion, having not exactly proven himself a firebrand thus far, might be well advised to follow McGuinty lead: point out all the thing that the Harper government promised, but has not delivered (start here: Remember those 125,000 day care spaces he promised by 2010? so far zero progress); Link Steverino to his buddy George W. Bush as often as possible and point out all the egregious overreaches that have pissed non-conservatives off (the softwood sellout, sidelining Status of Women Canada, trying to back out of Kyoto, failure to set a date to leave Afghanistan, undermining of democracy through appointment of unelected cabinet ministers and 'local go-to people" etc etc etc) and sit back and let Stephen and Doris and Petey shoot themselves in the foot with every new promise and otherwise keep his mouth shut.
The Liberals and the Cons are neck and neck now. Harper thinks he can out campaign Dion, but I think a little campaign judo will allow Dion to eke out a minority government. Harper can't run as an untested opposition leader now, he's an unlikeable incumbent stuck defending his woeful record to an unimpressed populace. Plus there's that whole baby eating thing.