January 29, 2009

He who holds the leash,,,

holds the power
h/t La Presse (Serge Chapleau)


Michael Ignatieff is already Prime Minister

I can see a few violent reactions to the above statement but hear me out. Ignatieff did exactly what he had to do yesterday.

Firstly, he dumped the coalition which he was so reluctant to enjoy. Even if the Liberals did want to take power, trusting the NDP to co-operate with the Liberals for 18 months is like trusting those Vinny Lecavalier trade rumors: you’ll only get disappointed in the end.

Michael Ignatieff did not undergo some kind of mind altering transformation yesterday. However, the NDP went from wanting him to be their Prime Minister to calling him a Harper clone within minutes. Canadians didn’t want dogma. Unfortunately for the politicians who got left at the altar by the evil known as “rational logic”, dogma was all they could muster.

At the end of the day, Harper is a right wing ideologue. So is deficit Jim. They did their best to put forward a left-wing budget. I wouldn’t call it a sterling effort but A for effort in my books.

The real test for the Harper government will be to see if the money flows and the economy improves as a result. Ignatieff is banking on the Harper government inflating the numbers. He is also banking that the news will only get worse as the sugarcoating as the truth is revealed.

So Stephen Harper is on a leash. Duceppe can never support Harper. Unless Layton has a lobotomy, he will blame the Liberals for the recession and the voters will ignore him.

And once the economy inflicts the maximum political damage on Harper, the Liberals win big…really big.

The one pulling the strings in this scenario is Michael Ignatieff, which means he has the power over Harper, which makes him the Prime Minister.

But hey, at least Harper gets to shake Obama’s hand next month. Enjoy it Steve, the clock is ticking.


January 26, 2009

Doing Homework During Intermission

We’ve all done it.

Putting out the best piece of crap for a homework assignment between intermissions of a hockey game is like a rite of passage for many Canadians.

I like hockey a lot. I got really good at putting together passable stuff in 17 minutes or less. When the intermission effort gets you an A, you’re in business.

There are certain things I couldn’t do in between intermissions, during coach’s corner, or on the bus on the way to school in the morning.

A Throne Speech qualifies…


January 21, 2009

Liberals Have Upper Hand in Game of Chicken

The Liberals have the option next week of making a major play for seats across Canada. There is one scenario which is not mentioned that would be the best for Liberals, and we are starting to see the beginnings of it.

The Liberals can propose an alternate budget as an amendment to the budget. This will challenge the BQ and the NDP to vote for it. If they fail to do so, they are solely responsible for the ensuing election.

Harper has the option of passing the Liberal budget, making the amendment a friendly one. However, this time it would cost him Jim Flaherty, who would have no more legitimacy if his budget was replaced.

This scenario places Michael Ignatieff firmly in the driver’s seat. Liberals can still oppose a bad budget. They force Layton and Duceppe to follow their lead, killing a coalition where the two caucuses would merge, or forcing an election.

Duceppe does not want to treat Quebecers to their 5th election since 2006.

Layton is the big loser here, being either relegated to irrelevance or being the goat that caused an election, if only because he wanted a cabinet job and Ignatieff had other ideas.

With Stephen W. Bush’s approval ratings tanking and all the euphoria down south for Barack Obama, an election would probably sweep the Liberals into power anyway.

A shadow budget is already in the works. It is a Liberal silver bullet. If they use it right, they cant lose.


January 7, 2009

The Israel Rant (2009 edition)

The usual disclaimers:

Hamas is a terrorist organization.
Living in Gaza does not make you a member of Hamas.
Israel has a right to defend itself from imminent attack.
Israel does NOT have the right to murder innocent civilians while defending Israel.

I have stayed quiet up until now partly because this isn’t my fight.

Let’s recap. So far, Israel has killed civilians, kept the press from entering to see the extent of the damage, and now, despite being told by the United Nations that the location was a UN school, they bombed it anyway.

I think what I am supposed to say is that I am “deeply concerned” with this turn of events.

Was Hamas firing from the school? Israel said yes. Excuse me if I don’t believe it.

An AP photographer who got to the scene reported that people gathered at the school because they thought it would be safe. The civilians thought the school was safe because nobody was firing at troops from there. Witnesses say they saw Hamas positions a few streets away from the school.

If Israeli soldiers are on the ground and near Gaza city, why they didn’t check out the school is a mystery to me. Israel must have been monitoring the position. They clearly knew the civilians were inside and fired anyway.

If a government fires at a position and it knows it will kill civilians, is it a war crime?

I also wonder aloud if Peter Kent REALLY said that the civilians in that school were asking to get bombed? Not everybody in Gaza is Hamas. Some of them just want to live....

Photo: Ismail Zaydah/Reuters

As for those Qassam rockets the Palestinians are firing, here is a result of one of them...

Photo: Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press

I'm sure i will be seeing holes bigger than that in Montreal when the snow melts. Seems like Montreal winters do more damage than these rockets...thats probably why in the last few years, Montreal's winters have killed more people than these rockets...

I guess I cant say that about Israeli mortar rounds now can I...

Can Israel defend itself? Yes

Do they need to kill thousands of civilians to do it? No

They should put away the mortar shells to swat this mosquito