Thursday, July 27, 2006

Why Conservatives Will Never Understand Foreign Affairs

This photo pretty much illustrates how conservatives react to excesses of the US-led global military-industrial complex... Yup, just ignore that which pads the pockets of our friends - including some of our cabinet.

The invasion of a state to capture what basically amounts to criminals... The killing of innocent civilians. Even the deaths of Canadian soldiers (apparently targetted by AWACs advisors, due to their blue UNis) and civilian women and children. Scores of dead civilians in Lebanon. None of this bothers the Cons.

What if this occured elsewhere? What if the Brits decided to saturation bomb Ireland because of a few Sin Fein/PIRA "terrorists" hiding out there? It wouldn't have happened (mostly due to a sensible pre-Iraq foreign policy in GB). It probably wouldn't have happened because the victims would be other civilized Western folk...

Do we all see the idiocy of the conservative way? The sheer stupidity of the mid-East conflict (basically 2 conservative groups at loggerheads)? How it will only continue to breed hate and contempt? Do we realize how all conservatives really want is to sell weapons and oil, and make sure we don't raise or spend taxes for much else? Conservatives spend their learning years focusing on the "financial equation", never bothering to learn about the real world around them. Now we see the fruits of their lack of concern for the world around them: environmental collapse, privatization of essential services, starvation of world populations (thanks to colonialist policies of conservative western nations), endless wars in the third world, and only "concern" where it matters to the bottom line - be this oil reserves or corporate benefit.

Whew! And I actually consider myself to be a capitalist of some sort!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Homework For Leadership Candidates - Fix the debates

For what its worth, I (along with much of the party - and Canadians as a whole) have been lulled to sleep by the Leadership Debates. We have a problem with the typical dancing around issues. With a 3 or 4 candidate race, this "dancing" is often interspersed with some real discussion based on candidate's actual leanings and ideologies. Not semantics and platitudes.

Thinking about this brought me to this conclusion: What does one do when you ask a bunch of school kids to speak intelligently on issues of the day? Usually you'll try to get them to put something useful on paper first. Once the "kiddies" have put their thoughts on paper, they are reviewed and graded. Finally, papers can be presented to the class.

For our next Leadership Debates I suggest we go completely "out of the box", by asking all candidates to provide summary papers on the main topics/questions. The Party would receive the papers, then phrase questions based on the candidates written positions. I think this would help focus the debates. We could provide copies of the papers - and candidate responses - to all party members (online, or paper format) to ease our information gathering.

I'm tired of waiting for some campaigns to produce "intelligent" commentary on the key topics of the day. With 11 candidates on the go, we really need to do something to help compare and contrast all of them. I'd even go as far as to put the candidates views into a spreadsheet - just to help us clear through the useless drivel. We need to get away from the "popularity contest" we're currently seeing, and get into more of a discussion of issues - before it is too late.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Registry Good? You Don't Say!

Something sane, rational people in Canada have been saying for some time, has been proven by those industrious Swiss (see story here).

The Swiss study - done for a United Nations summit on violence shows how the gun registry actually SAVED billions of dollars (related to the deaths/losses suffered in gun violence).

A really interesting factoid (something our stupid campaign teams couldn't vocalize in the past 3 campaigns) is that firearms deaths in Canada declined to 816 in 2002 from 1,125 in 1995. That is an over 27% DECREASE in firearms deaths in REAL terms. I might add that overall violent crime also decreased in Canada during this time.

Reform-a-Tory propaganda. Eastern Canadians still have not figured out what type of ignorant xenophobic haters they have helped elect. Living in the West, you see just what the typical Reformer is all about. If the gun registry (C-68) fails, it will be the first in a series of right wing acts the Cons will try to perpetrate - either to defeat themselves in Fall, or as part of a new right wing government in Spring...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another Great Hays Stampede Breakfast

(Calgary, July 9, 2006) - Well, another great Hays Stampede Breakfast has come and gone. While there was a good turn-out of Liberals (including many of the leadership hopefuls - and Mr. Graham), we also had to put up with the sight of Shrub (Stevie Harper). Last year Harper embarrassed himself by insulting the hosts about being Liberal. It appears a great choice that none of the politicos spoke this morning.

It was a particularly beautiful day in Calgary, and the food - as Heritage Park is known for - was good. While the crowd is never a partisan Liberal crowd, many whispers were heard of, "that's Michael Ignatieff", or "there's Scott Brison". Certainly a great day to press the flesh.

Tried to say "hi" to Gerard Kennedy while we walked in, but he snubbed me. Not sure why this is, but it certainly left a bitter taste. Kennedy was wearing his stetson in a goofy backwards tilt (so, right back at him). Scott Brison was his usual warm, friendly self. He wasn't wearing a hat, but had a pretty nice pair of boots on (looked like black snakeskin). Harper did well for himself by not dressing western. He was whisked in and out by his security detail - limos on standby a mere few yards away. He didn't address the crowd, and didn't walk through more than a small part of the attendees. Certainly not JC or PM, wading into a large crowd to shake hands. What a limp-di@k Prime Minister. An embarrassment for Canada.

Senator Hays brought the crowd to laughter several times with his Stampede jokes. He's a great host, and did a lot to ensure the crowd was entertained.

Another great day, and another great breakfast... Ahhh... Stampede Week! Hoped to see Shrub in his Festus suit, but no luck. Will keep searching around town for more embarrassing Harper pics.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Not Canadian Values Shrub!!!

Harper to American press conference: "We are backing exactly the same kind of values..."

This is just plain disgusting. Stephen Harper candidly tells American reporters and Dubya that Americans and Canadians are "backing EXACTLY the same kind of values". What??? Yes, we are kind of similar in a few ways, but we think we're all intelligent enough to see the clear difference between our American cousins and us.

Now remember the Air Farce "remix" of Rahim Jaffer saying "I lied"? We're sure as hell hoping that we see some sort of imagery of Harper making this outlandish claim on his visit to DC.

Now if Shrub had said similar values, or even "we're neighbors and best friends", yes..., but the only people who have the same values as the Yank neoCons is Canadian neo-Cons. Yeah, a lot of Canadians voted Conservative, but we know for a fact that most of them did not even know the Cons' true values/ideology. They also only had 36% of the popular vote. Most Canadians - as we all know - disagree with Shrub's stand on Kyoto, Iraq, Afghanistan, Missle Defence, Health Care, Day Care (or no daycare), and tax cuts... Face it - he won by drumming on about one issue - Gomery. Won't happen again.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Official Leadership Pool

WesternGrit has set up "the First Official Liberal Leadership Pool". The first version of this pool will be utilized at a Calgary "Liberal Helpings" dinner on July 5th. Attendees will have a chance to choose the candidate who they think will win the Liberal Leadership contest. The 4 front runners represent most of the squares on the grid.

More details to follow.