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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The next Conservative leader of Canada

A cheep shot, but too funny not to share - if you have Flash, click and go play it now.
Pointy McShouty's Flying Circus aka Angry Bairds


SUN gives Jack a happy ending

Much is being made by the usual suspects of this clumsy smear job on Layton by the Toronto Sun.
Give that story a very careful, very close reading and realize it is built entirely on a single unnamed source, contains no evidence of anything and is built largely on innuendo.
Layton was never charged or even arrested and there is not even any direct accusation in the story that he did anything he should not have done. He openly admits that he went to get a massage at the apparently fully-licenced massage establishment. Something lots of people do every day. There is nothing sleazy about getting a massage. The only suggestion of anything untoward in the story is the unidentified, retired Toronto cop claiming that the establishment in question was thought to be a bawdy house by the Toronto police (who, of course, have never been wrong about anything or abused their powers for political ends, ever, especially back then).
And with the incident having occurred 16 years ago, it seems awfully convenient that the SUN would, wholly by coincidence, choose to run with the story two days before the election. Given what we know about the overlap in CPC strategists and SUN employees, what are the odds the Conservative Party of Canada will somehow be found to have been involved in the release of this information if someone wants to pursue it hard enough?
How's that for innuendo?
You know what the difference is?
What the SUN would like you to believe happened - that Proletarian Jack had his means of production seized -  is a bit skeevy, but if his wife doesn't care, then why should we? It is ancient history and has no bearing on how he would govern.
What I have speculated about is recent, sinister, unethical, unprincipled, corrupt, possibly even criminal and certainly indicative of the kind of sleazy politics of character assassination the CPC has been engaging in for years. And it is more likely to be true.
I don't say any of this as any particular fan of Jack Layton. I'm fairly agnostic about the NDP in the general scheme of things. I like them better than the Conservatives, but I don't think they are going to singlehandedly usher in some kind of golden age where we all gather round singing The Internationale, nor do I think they will start nationalizing the banks and sending anyone who isn't a union member to re-education camps or anything like that.
But this kind of malicious smear campaign based on smirking innuendo should piss off anyone who values the truth, and I think that includes most Canadians. I apologize for the puns, but this kind of thing rubs Canadians the wrong way and the backlash might just be enough to turn a few close seats and give the NDP the hand it needs to give the country a happy ending.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who's fault will it be?

So the Globe and Mail has endorsed Harper, admitting they value money over democracy. While their competition is definitely anti-Harper, they haven't made any endorsement just yet (as of the time this was originally written, see update below) and we are constantly told, by both conservatives and the NDP, that the Toronto Star is an unofficial wing of the Liberal Party. It is a foregone conclusion that the National Post will endorse Harper, grudgingly since they feel he really isn't conservative enough. At Maclean's Andrew Coyne, a conservative but a rock-solid believer in the democratic process and parliamentary process, has decided to hold his nose and vote for the Liberals. CTV is gave Harper a chance to speak to the nation right after the big hockey game this week and has bent over backwards to argue that "both sides do it" and given the CPC fairly favourable coverage on the whole.
Pierre Karl Peladeau did his best Claude Raines impersonation earlier this week, declaring he was "shocked" to find out there was gambling going on at Rick's Cafe American a CPC strategist feeding his Sun newspaper chain false stories, a strategist that turned out also to be an advisor to SUN-TV, which is run by Harper's former spinmeister.
Given all this, I can't wait to see which "obviously biased"media organization the panic-stricken right wing in Canada decides is the latter-day Pravda responsible for the meteoric rise of the Jack Layton and the NDP. I'm sure it will be someone else's fault. The Liberals steady rightward  creep won't be blamed and the Conservative creepy mantra of "steady majority or CHAOS!" and refusal to even speak to anyone but true believers, let alone cooperate and compromise with other parties in the House of Commons certainly won't even be acknowledged. No, someone must be blamed, but who?

What about this big orange fella in Quebec?

Having said all that, I am not predicting Prime Minister Jack Layton will soon be giving the throne speech. I'm not against that happening, but I think the numbers in Ontario are still good enough for the Conservatives that Liberal/NDP vote-splitting will allow them to squeak through with between 140 and 156 seats. Your projections may vary, most do. But I would rather be pleasantly surprised than horribly disappointed, so I'm not getting my hopes up.

Update: The Toronto Star decides to live up to it nickname among conservatives - the Red Star - and endorses Layton and the NDP. I wonder if this is the final nail in the coffin for the Liberals for a few years? It depends how the next few years go - a polarized parliament of NDP vs. Conservatives with the Liberals and BQ holding the balance of power could end up driving voters back to the middle in the long run. If the Liberals can stay true to their basic left-leaning centerist principles, they could rebuild. If they decide to cave to the business-driven right-wing of the party and support the Conservatives, they will evaporate in a short span of time as the hard corporatists join the Conservatives and the progressive/leftish side jumps ship for the NDP.