May 31, 2008

DNC Sends Democracy Back 200 Years

Regardless of the specifics and halving the delegations, the Rules and By-Laws Committee actually took delegates away from Hillary Clinton and awarded them to Barack Obama.

That is correct.

A committee of 30 people took support of Michigan voters who had VOTED for Hillary Clinton, and awarded it to Barack Obama.

Even if you believe that all the voters who voted uncommitted intended to vote for Obama, that still gives him 55 delegates and the DNC awarded him 59…

Harold Ickes, visibly upset at the decision, reserved the right of the Clinton campaign to take this decision to Denver, and I think the Clinton campaign will.

Remember, Obama would probably have won anyway, but now the RBC has gone beyond its mandate and actually made decisions for 250 000 voters, and furthermore, completely disenfranchised some Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton, we can now expect the Clintons will fight even harder.

The DNC wanted unity, and over 4 half-delegates, they have earned themselves a longer fight….


May 30, 2008

Obama Supporters Taking Party Unity Lessons from Dionistas?

President McCain is becoming more likely by the day.

Hillary is "white entitlement"?

There went a few hundred thousand votes...

What will they say next week to further alienate the voters?

Journal De Montreal is BACK!

When the “BEST SCANDAL EVER” broke out last week, everybody thought the Journal de Montreal would be all over it. This had all the makings of a perfect scandal: government minister, sex, bikers, sex, secret documents, bugged beds, sex…

Instead Journal de Montreal, and TVA were mysteriously quiet on the original scandal. They reported something very small and did not release Julie Couillard’s name. Of course, everybody jumped on Pierre-Karl Peladeau, accusing the media mogul of being a conservative shill.

It was very uncharacteristic for this media outlet not to report something as tabloid as this…either they are shilling for Bernier (who was helping them at Industry on the cellphone spectrum issue) or for the Hell’s Angels.

So, when Julie Couillard gives her interview where she tells all, and then the big news flashes on the front page, guess who gets the big scoop? Quebecor!

Which led others to ask more questions…like, if Quebecor isn’t shilling for Bernier, JdeM and TVA would be shilling…for the bikers?

It might be that PKP is cutting ties with Bernier, who wouldn’t be able to help him anymore.

Interesting story around these circles in Quebec, one that would certainly be fit for…you guessed it…the Journal de Montreal


Things That Worry Me

"Flaherty tries to ease public's economic worries"

Based on how he eased the economy in Ontario, I kind of see a reason for people to be worried...


May 27, 2008

Obama Supporters Crossing a Very Dangerous Line

Knock Hillary Clinton’s motives all you want but she does have the moral high ground here. All the votes should count. If Puerto Rico and Guam get to help decide, Michigan and Florida should decide as well.

After Saturday, John McCain will be able to run ads saying “here is Barack Obama trying to silence the people of Michigan and Florida”.

Since the race is “over”, I really suggest Obama not give McCain this type of opportunity to gain an edge in a state that, if it goes red, will give Obama a much tougher time in winning the electoral college.


May 24, 2008

Reasonably Accomodating Racists

I have written many times why I feel the need to say that I am a Quebecker, and a Canadian. I do not wish to choose between the two, nor do I favor one or the other. The Quebec identity I adhere to was forged in the streets of Montreal, with Italians, Greeks, Latin Americans, Africans, adding their taste to the French Canadian culture that already exists. It is such a great vision of Quebec society.

Over the past few months, many Quebeckers have been outraged at each other. Some were outraged at the customs of immigrants, who dared do things differently. Others, like me, thought maybe some Quebeckers also needed integrating, into the 21st century.

For those of us in Montreal who have absorbed all the wonderful cultures of the world that this city offers us, the hearings out in the regions stunned us. Quebec has a reputation for tolerance. The real problem behind that statement is that by telling everyone Quebec is tolerant, we forgot to go out and make sure that statement was true.

I am of the firm belief that we only arrived at this contentious debate as we strayed away from the traditional debate in Quebec, recognition and federal-provincial squabbles. They have governed this province for 40 years. After 1982, the PQ enraged Quebec with the “night of the long knives” story of Ottawa and English Canada betraying Quebec. With the recognition of Quebec as a nation and the resolving of the fiscal imbalance between Ottawa and the provinces, Quebecers were left with a void, and the Parti Quebecois, and even the Liberals in Quebec, who have built a symbiotic relationship with the PQ, were completely destabilized by a new force, the ADQ, talking about underlying racial tension in the regions outside Montreal and all over Quebec.

As Mario Dumont found out recently, Montrealers don’t buy his racially divisive garbage, and hopefully Jean Charest and I hope Pauline Marois, will work diligently to help the Quebeckers who feel threatened about their way of life, come to accept what we in Montreal get to experience every day. This means the PQ needs to stop being paranoid about the French langauge. It is not going anywhere. Learning English does not destroy French.

Multiculturalism and immigration do not destroy ways of life, but enhance them. Hopefully, within a few years, Quebec can finally deserve the reputation it has had as a tolerant society.

The one question now is: Where do we go from here?


May 22, 2008

Guess the Quote

“We need hope.

Hope that our environment can be saved. Hope that Canada can make a positive difference for life on this planet.

Not false hope based on phony policies and empty promises.

But real hope.

Hope based on a clear vision. Hope based on the courage to make tough choices. Hope based on the ambition to effect real change and revolutionize the way we do environmental policy in Canada.

Hope based on real leadership.”


For the Land of Hmm

State polls for the general election are beginning to appear in the swing states for the November election. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both do well in some red states, albeit different ones. Since we all know popular vote doesn’t matter, here is a batch of polls released this past couple of weeks. (caveat: the election is months away)

Colorado (red state, 9 electoral college votes)

Obama 48 McCain 42
McCain 47 Clinton 44

Missouri (red state 11 electoral college votes)

Clinton 48 McCain 46
McCain 48 Obama 45

Iowa (red state, 7 electoral college votes)

Obama 44 McCain 42
McCain 45 Clinton 42

These three are margin of error polls, so take them with a grain of salt, with Obama pulling ahead in Colorado.

Here is one with a bigger margin.

The gimme is Arkansas, where Clinton is the former governor’s wife.

Arkansas (red state, 6 electoral college votes)
Clinton 53 McCain 39
McCain 57 Obama 33

Now we get to the big swing states with more college votes

Ohio (red state, 20 electoral votes)
Clinton 50 McCain 43
McCain 45 Obama 44

If one is going to argue Colorado is a big margin, they would need to argue this one is a big margin as well…

North Carolina (red state, 15 electoral college votes)

McCain 51 Obama 43
Clinton 49 McCain 43

The most startling gap, in my opinion is the next one, especially a sore point for some Democrats, since this state will not get any delegates to the national convention.

Florida (red state, 27 electoral votes)
McCain 50 Obama 40
Clinton 47 McCain 41

No blue states have shown much vulnerability in recent weeks. Obama was back up by 8 over McCain in Pennsylvania (21), which should allay the fears of some Democrats.

One that could also switch red is New Hampshire (4), which likes McCain very much.

Polls also show both Democrats winning New Mexico (5).

The Democrats have traditionally done well in West Virginia (5). There is no polling data from there as of yet.


May 20, 2008

Lay Off My Spouse…Unless Your Spouse is a Racist

Barack Obama telling Republicans to stop attacking his wife for making an unpatriotic comment really puzzled me for three reasons.

Firstly, does Obama actually think the Republicans will be nice this presidential campaign? Even though he was forceful, saying “lay off my spouse”, it was still whining and Presidents don’t whine. She said what she said. Live with it. The Republicans will not do you any favors.

Secondly, you can’t blame McCain for ads a state Republican Party runs…if you don’t blame Obama for comments they are making about Cindy McCain about her tax return. McCain can’t control his entire party, and if Obama really thinks McCain can exert that kind of influence, he better be prepared to defend all the spots made by Democrats until November.

Thirdly, and most startlingly, Obama does not want his wife to face criticism, yet this is the campaign that ran around South Carolina calling Bill Clinton, who many Black people called the “First Black President” while he was in office, a racist. They attacked and smeared Bill Clinton, Hillary’s spouse, when it would benefit them, but now that his wife faces criticism, it’s “lay off”.

All this leads me to believe either Obama wants a double-standard, which would not be anything new, or he is simply naïve and inexperienced, both of which are far worse than anything his wife has ever said.


May 18, 2008

On A Carbon Tax

I have always supported a carbon tax, because if we truly believe that carbon based emissions are causing permanent environmental damage, and personal health damage, the government is in its right to tax it, the same way it taxes cigarettes and alcohol.

This is why I supported the idea 2 years ago when someone explained to me why this would not be a simple tax grab, but just punishing those who pollute, and rewarding those who save. Since then, the youth wing in Quebec always advocated the implementation of a carbon tax.

Here is David Suzuki today on Question Period.

Poor Jack!, I think the Liberals may have their election ad…

"I'm really shocked at the NDP on this, because I had thought the NDP had a very progressive outlook on this, and that astounds me. We have the same thing in British Columbia, a government that has proposed a carbon tax, and I take my hat off to them. Economists have been telling us that this is the most effective way to get people to change their behavior, and to have the NDP in British Columbia attacking this just astounds me, because there is just no question, this is the way to go. It's revenue neutral, it's not a tax grab, governments can use the revenue to help people, tax rebates for lower income. To oppose, this because of ideology or something is just nonsense. This is something that has got to come."


May 12, 2008

Will This Be Repeated At Toronto Fundraisers?

An excerpt from the Leaders Dinner in Montreal tonight

“I said that we Quebecers formed a nation when Stephen Harper had goose bumps hearing talk about distinct society. I have never seen any opposition between the Quebec nation and the Canadian nation. I am a little guy from Quebec [City]; there is nothing too nice for the city of Quebec. Quebec [City] is the cradle of Quebecers, Quebec is the cradle of French Canadians and all North American francophones. But the country we know, Canada, would never have been possible without [Quebec City founder Samuel De] Champlain and without what happened in 1608. Quebec is the cradle of the whole of Canada.”


On Race and 2008 Presidential Election

Poor “blue collar white people” who Obama cannot connect to are “bitter” at their lives so they “cling” to things.

But yeah, apparently all the “bitter” people are supporting Clinton.

Something tells me if Obama doesn’t shape up fast and apologize to these people, the bitter vote will cling to John McCain, and it will have nothing to do with race.


May 11, 2008

Nice to meet are you a terrorist?

Now when I *meet* someone, I like to get to know them better. I ask about their hobbies, their interests, if they cheer for the Canadiens, you know, the basic, but important stuff.

Now thankfully I have left the political realm, because if I was ever Minister of Foreign Affairs, my first dates would go alot differently...

Me: Hi

Unlucky suitor no.1: Hello there, nice to meet you. I have heard so many things...

Me: thats what I was afraid of

Unlucky suitor no. 1: haha

Me: so are you a terrorist?

Unlucky suitor no. 1: Excuse me?

Me: are you affiliated with bikers or organized crime?

Unlucky suitor no.1: Um no. Why are you asking these questions?

Me: I'm sorry it comes with my job. When the RCMP and CSIS look into your past, are they gonna find any pictures of you with shady people? Those opposition members sure are pesky.

Unlucky Suitor no.1: Check please!

See, this is the problem with the whole kerfuffle about Maxime Bernier and his ex-girlfriend.

"The state has no affairs in the bedrooms of the nation."

The nation also has no affairs in the bedrooms of the state. It works both ways.

Here is a quote spoken just seconds after Trudeau made the famous one above.

"what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code."

It also does not concern Stephane Dion, Michael Ignatieff, Gilles Duceppe and company.

And using national security as an excuse to violate even this basic principle is the word im looking for here...big brother. We try and protect civil liberties in Canada. The last thing we want is the government monitoring everything "in the interest of national security".


May 7, 2008

Oops I Did It Again

Oh my god is it a hideous monster?








After a 2 year hiatus....



May 5, 2008

Class Warfare

Growing up, I was thrust into a world that was very unfamiliar to me. I was the son of two working class parents, living from paycheque to paycheque, attending Lower Canada College…

Given that I was politically oriented from a very early age, I always found it was very interesting to live in one world during the day, and heading home to a different one at night. One way to really understand class is to experience two different ones on a daily basis like I did for 7 years.

Being (somewhat) educated, I am able to listen to politicians and find faults in their arguments pretty easily. I’ve gotten pretty good at tearing people down.

However, I know when an idea is going to be popular. My extreme distaste for populism stems from politicians taking advantage of a large group of people who simply don’t know better. I disliked John Edwards because I believed he was a person with a 400$ haircut trying to take advantage of average working class Americans. Some may call that snobbery. How do I know what is best for people? In our own way, we all judge others for political decisions they make because we feel we are more intelligent than they are. Where is the balance?

My father is a janitor at a shopping mall at the corner of Frontenac and Ontario streets in the Hochelaga district of Montreal. I spent many days there as a kid, even working there one summer as a stockboy as my classmates were in Europe or on a beach somewhere. Those who know Montreal well know the area. It is poor; filled with people who are the victims of bad decisions or have made bad decisions themselves.

The memory that stayed with me the most from that summer was on the first day of August, the manager of the store where I worked asked me to go deposit a cheque at the Caisse Populaire in the mall. As I strolled around the corner, I saw a line of at least 200 people waiting at the bank. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My dad sees me there shell-shocked and comes over to me laughing. “Tony, it is the first of the month, not everybody lives like your friends at school. Hurry up and go earn your money.”

Later that day, I was at the depanneur in the strip mall on my lunch break, buying my dad cigarettes (I was 14 lol). I had a conversation with the owner of the depanneur, who was grinning from ear to ear. He explained to me that the first of the month was like Christmas in the place. “Nothing beats being the guy selling the cigarettes next to a Caisse Pop when people get their welfare checks.” I think I am still somewhat traumatized by that lazy summer August day. I didn’t learn the value of a dollar that day; I earned the value of an earned dollar.

I wanted to take that story to remind people why nobody in Indiana or North Carolina is listening to economists in their ivory towers right now surrounding the gas tax holiday issue. Will giving Americans a break on the gas tax in the United States bring down the cost of oil? Of course it won’t. When we looked at policy to bring down the cost of gas, we found there was no short term solution, that 70$ for a barrel of oil would continue going up in the short term and that alternate sources of energy, including ethanol, which is causing a global food shortage, would bring down the cost of a barrel of crude oil.

Also, you can use coal to make oil at the cost of 55 dollars a barrel, at a huge detriment to the environment. If the US moved to do that immediately, the price of gasoline could fall almost a dollar a gallon by the end of the decade. Using coal to make oil would also be another short term solution, but long term, for the sake of the environment, we need to waste less energy, and produce more renewable energy. When oil was at 70$ a barrel this didn’t seem worth it. When oil is 115$ dollars a barrel, it may be time to consider it as a temporary option.

The only thing a government can directly control in the short-term is the gas tax, and in Canada’s case, the GST on the gas tax. Eliminating either is not a long-term solution. However, a holiday on the tax at the expense of the oil companies, who are taking in billions, is not impossible.

I know it sounds like Robin Hood taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but basically what Clinton is saying to the American people is: “Okay, I can give you a little break this summer and make the oil companies pay for gouging consumers. However, if we want this to stop, we have to get serious on alternate sources of fuel.” There has never been a better opportunity to get the American people onside with alternate sources of energy than now, as they are paying record prices for gas.

So to all those economists, yes it is only 30 dollars. However, those are 30 earned dollars to those people. So while economists drink a 7 dollar latte, a working family in Indiana can afford to buy that extra loaf of bread, or rent that movie to entertain the kids because they can’t afford to take them out. Never tell anybody what their dollar is worth to them.

That is the glaring mistake Obama and his Obamaniacs are making by calling this a scheme and not giving it serious thought. When people say things like “that is only 30$, pennies a day”, they sound elitist, because they are saying these people do not need the money, and that oil companies should just pocket the 8 billion dollars.

To be fair, Obama also said he would tax windfall profits and use the money to invest in renewable energy. Probably a wise thing to do in the long term. However, people are struggling now. They need relief now. The American spirit can only take these people so far. Telling them there is nothing we can do about this for the next 10-15 years is lying to their faces Barack, there is only things you do not want to do.

This is the very difficult lesson Hillary and Bill Clinton are teaching Obama as they barnstorm through small-town Indiana and North Carolina.

When Obama says these people do not need that money, he sounds like a guy who went to Lower Canada College, telling everybody that he knows better than them, that he knows what to do with their money. What working-class Americans are responding back is that after hearing Obama tell them that their earned money isn’t useful to them, his change is something they can do without…