Monday, June 7, 2010

Celebrate World Oceans Day- Build A Fake Lake- The Conservative's Did

Harper Land- Life must be good in Harper land when you can justify spending two million Canadian dollars on a fake lake. As way to advertise the up-comming G-8-20 meetings  summit organizers built the artificial lake in Toronto's Direct Energy Centre. (We cannot confirm that the lake was stocked with flounder but this writer is assuming so.)

Fake lake lies about Afghanistan,  the truth is obviously not being high on the Conservatives agenda. It is no surprise to find out they scripted the message they wanted Canadian's to know about the Afghan mission. At a time when some of the fiercest fighting was happening the Conservatives were saying the mission was focusing on development and reconstruction. Like bad cheats in high school the government gave the identical set of quotes to two returning aid workers. The aid workers were scheduled to give separate press conferences detailing their personal perspective on the progress in Afghanistan.

Hope for Iggy

I probably pick on Iggy too much, but it's only because I like him. Not as leader of the Liberal Party per say, but as a person. I've seen him up close, followed what he has too say and it's pretty obvious he's a decent and caring human being. Which does not necessarily make him the best candidate to be a party leader - in fact quite the opposite. He would be better suited, it often seems to me, to be the policy wonk behind the scenes doing policy grunt work. Or, as I've said before, he should be the guy behind the guy, and not the guy.

At every turn Harper seems to have had an edge on Michael Ignatieff up until now. Even when he was using cheap American style politicking tricks like demagoguing, fear-mongering and sneering. Today however Michael Ignnatieff fired back at Tory spin in a manner the suggests we may be in for a learning curve. I did say I thought he was smart, right?

In an interview this weekend, Ignatieff said he'd be open to a coalition with the NDP if the electorate didn't give the Liberals a mandate to govern solo. For some reason the Tories believe this can be made into a controversy. I fail to see how - but they've tried before. It's not unprecedented in Canadian history and I have this vague memory of a party called the Alliance Party wanting to merge with the Conservatives and form a coalition to oppose the Liberals - but that could just be a bad dream. 

So when the Tory spinsters got hold of this they declared, “It’s not acceptable to ignore the election result and install a party and leader rejected by the voters,” according to the talking points. “It’s not acceptable to give the NDP co-management of the economy.”

I have never understood their objections to a progressive coalition. If Canadians vote for progressives from the Green Party, the NDP and the Liberal Party, and those number far exceed the number of people who vote Conservative why shouldn't they form an alliance and govern? It's the Parliamentary system. That's how it works.

Anyhow, instead of apologizing for thinking this way, Iggy shot back that the Tories were being "ridiculous."

"To say that coalitions are legitimate is like saying the earth is round,” a senior Ignatieff official said Monday morning. “It happens everywhere. Mr. Cameron (British Prime Minister David Cameron, who leads a coalition government) said so to Stephen last week."

You go Iggy!

Some Late-Night Blogging

We're on the cusp of the Canadian political silly season - that magical time of year when not very much happens in Canadian politics and this year Canadian politicians will take a long break from a short period of governing after a taking a long break (the prorogue) from governing.


On a personal level, I've been a bit tired and had a hard time getting to the Canadian posts this weekend but I do love it and made a window late here on a Sunday night to kick the week off.

Canada's very expensive G-8 and G-20 get-togethers are going to avoid the controversial topics of abortion and climate change (controversial to Harper and the Tories only, it would seem). The purpose of spending all this money to declare that the nations involved should and will tighten their belts and address few other issues of substance or importance is going to be controversial to Canadians once they notice that's what is taking place.

Not addressing climate change because it's difficult and possibly, but not necessarily, expensive is the act of an administration that's either cowardly or so ideologically driven that they are blind to the consequences of inaction. With Canada's Conservatives it could be both. The science of AGW (anthropogenic Global Warming) is really not in doubt.

Iggy tries to figure his way around all the talk of coalitions and mergers and.... well, I'm just dreaming here, but I have my fingers crossed for an August shotgun wedding. Iggy would look awesome in peach and make a very attractive brides-maid!

Lastly, a reminder that there have been oil spills in Canada's Arctic waters along with other toxic substances but if ever there were a spill in Arctic waters like the one in the Gulf, the consequences would be even more dire.

Oh crap! A report just in and another Canadian has lost his life in Afghanistan - Sergeant Martin Goudreault, 35, died on Sunday after an improvised explosive device in the Panjwaii district. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends should they come across this.

On the anniversary of D-Day, maybe it's a good time to mention that Canada has been fighting in Afghanistan for a longer time than it did in the European theatre in WWII.

D-Day 66 Years Later

 
I don't check the 'this day in history' calendar but on the eve of June 6th I don't need to be reminded that this is the 66th anniversary of D-Day, when Canadian soldiers joined with allied forces and stormed the beaches at Normandy marking the beginning of the end of the 2nd World War.

The Royal Canadian Navy provided 109 vessels, and 10,000 sailors as its contribution to the massive armada of 7,000 Allied vessels which went to sea on D-Day. There were 14,000 soldiers to land on the beaches; another 450 were to drop behind enemy lines by parachute or glider. Lancaster bombers and Spitfire fighters from the Royal Canadian Air Force supported the invasion.

To ensure that D-Day would succeed, 340 Canadians gave their lives that first day. Another 574 were wounded and 47 taken prisoner. Many more would die in those early days of the Normandy invasion as Canadian soldiers established position and survived German counter-attacks.

Go check out this terrific archive on the subject courtesy of Canada's public broadcaster.

There's really not much to do but be grateful and say thank-you!