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

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Election images

Aislin, for my money, is still one of the most eloquent political and social pundits in this country in either language.


It just happened here

To paraphrase Sinclair Lewis: When fascism comes to Canada, it will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a hockey stick.

Coach Harper won his majority last night thanks to smears, lies, obfuscation, vote suppression and dirty tricks on his part, vote splitting on the part of his opposition and a staggering display of selfish bourgeois Babbittry on the part of a good many Canadians. In any democracy, we get the government we deserve.

There is good news and bad news in last night's election result: The NDP won 102 seats and will form the official opposition, an opposition that will -- with 60 newly minted MPs many of whom never expected to get elected - be as hapless as it will be irrelevant. The Conservatives won only 39.6 percent of the popular vote, but 167 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons - they can do whatever they want with no real restraint on their actions. Harper has made his contempt for parliament abundantly clear already, so don't expect the opposition to be anything but a noisy decoration in Ottawa now that he has his majority and carte blanche.

The sun will still rise and set and the earth will still turn, though I for one expect a user fee to be levied for that sometime soon, so that the country can be run more like a business.

 On the bright side, Toronto will probably get a new mayor in the next year or two after Rob Ford is appointed to the Senate and joins the cabinet as the Minister of  Commonsense Gettin'er Done Tax-cutting or some such post.
On the bright side, Elizabeth May won a seat in Parliament - the first time the Green Party has ever elected a member to the house of commons. I watched here victory speech last night - she is looking forward to working in Parliament to make big changes! She also plans to ride her unicorn that eats carbon emissions and shits ice cream to work every morning.  At least we can be sure that the Greens will be part of the next leaders debate, after which they will cease to exist once the per-vote party subsidy is eliminated.

No, I'm afraid there is no amount of polishing that is going to turn this turd into a diamond. In the words of Hunter S. Thompson "Big darkness, soon come."
There will be no sudden declaration of martial law or dramatic day when CPC stormtroopers surround Stornaway or round up dissidents in the night - there won't need to be. That nice, soft-spoken, Christian economist and hockey dad who just wants to protect us from the bad guys doesn't work that way. There will just be a steady drip of manufactured small crises that lead to privatization, deregulation, and "temporary" security measures, until we get back to the good old days of the robber barons.

George Orwell described a distopian future in 1984 describing it through the mouth of one character thusly: If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever.

Naturally, this has been adjusted to fit Canadian content regulations.


Monday, May 02, 2011

a song for election day

"I've got my spine, I've got my orange crush"

...actually the song is about the use of agent orange in Vietnam, but...well, make up your own metaphor, I'm not sure how this one is going to pan out. But I do like that line.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

where better to spend election eve?

FSM willing and the skype doesn't crash, Scott Tribe will be my guest tonight to talk Canadian politics on Virtually Speaking Sunday: Maple Syrup Edition at 8 pm EDT/5 pm PDT You can listen live here or click on the VSS player on the sidebar
If you can't make it tonight or you want to check our prediction against reality later on, the show will be archived here.
You can join the virtual studio audience in Second Life or follow the IRC (internet relay chat)  to be part of the studio audience chat stream w/o using SL.

  1. Connect to http://webchat.freenode.net/ 
  2. Give yourself a name.
  3. Enter #vspeak into the channel field.
  4. NOTE: 'Relay Rinq' is not a person but a bridge to IRC chat.
  5. While listening to a live program on BlogTalkRadio, type comments and questions into the text field. Read what others write.
  6. Begin your question with 'QUESTION' so it's easy for the host to spot.


The assault on democracy

Read this excellent summary by Lawrence Martin and then tell me we can afford to give Stephen Harper another term as president prime minister.
Have a look at the regional polling numbers, the Conservatives are the choice of the majority in only Alberta and narrowly in the Prairies. They are at about 40% in Ontario and BC, but a distant fourth place in Quebec. Do the right thing tomorrow and vote for the candidate in your riding that has the best chance to beat the conservative. Local polling numbers can be seen here until midnight.
And no, I don't think the title is overstating things. All parties have their good and bad points but there is a difference between them -- so stop telling me that "both sides do it."
Both sides don't try to suppress the vote.
Both sides don't have crowds that shout down journalists when they ask questions.
Both sides don't throw people out of rallies for what might be on their facebook page.
Both sides don't want to cut corporate taxes while cutting programs for the poor.
Both sides don't fire the nuclear watchdog for doing her job.
Both sides don't pander to the religious right.
Both sides don't prorogue parliament.
Both sides haven't been found in contempt of parliament.
Both sides don't engage in specious personal smears and intimidation.
Both sides don't cancel the court challenges program.
Both sides aren't afraid to speak to the press or answer unscripted questions from voters.
Both sides don't issue manuals to their MPs on how to obstruct the work of parliamentary committees.
Both sides don't question the patriotism of those who disagree with them.
Both sides don't villify immigrants and expatriates as somehow being "less Canadian"

Think about which side you want to be on.