Friday, August 6, 2010

Silly Season Cancelled Permanently


Until next year at least, there will be no summer silly season. I'm not entirely sure as to the real reason why. I'll speculate that the Tories were hoping to make some hay over the summer months and possibly spring an election on their political foes, who all winter and spring long could get no traction, no matter the issue. They also seemed to want to throw their base a bone or two by scrapping the mandatory long-form census and endless law and order blather. Both have proved to be political embarrassments for the Conservatives.

Turns out Canadians do appreciate and understand the value of institutions like Statistics Canada And as for law and order as an issue, spending more than $1 billion dollars on security for the G8 and G20 summits while preaching austerity, and talking about spending $10-$13 billion on new prisons when crime rates are descending will not win you the approval of Canadians.

The funniest news I read all day was Stephen Harper stating that the economy was too fragile for a fall election. Me thinks his poll numbers are too fragile but that's not how democracy works, is it Stephen? Needless to say, The sudden disappearance of 139,000 full-time jobs across Canada will add to the speculation of a possible fall election.

Helena Guergis is acting like she may well be a thorn in Harper's side in the near future - one can only speculate what this is all about as she says, “I know that I’m not being 100 per cent complimentary, but I think you know I could say a heck of a lot more. If I were inclined to be that kind of person, I could be on the attack, I really could."

An initial look at the first 76,000 records in the "Afghan War Diary" leaked by Wikileaks yields some important information. On the subject of Afghanistan, NATO air-strikes have killed 32 civilians.

Here in Montreal, angry Mohawk protesters faced off today against a property developer in Oka, after the latter showed up to mark trees to be felled on disputed land

I'm on vacation for a week but my partner will be re-posting stories that went down the memory hole far too quickly. Until then, I hope it all goes your way! Cheers!

Shooting Ideologues In A Barrel

When Stockwell Day laughingly cited the "alarming" rise in unreported crimes as an excuse to spend $10-$13 billion dollars on new prisons, at a time when the government is preaching austerity and crime rates are dropping, he quickly became the subject of ridicule. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson made a valiant attempt to defend Stockwell today releasing details on said "alarming" statistics, telling the press that in 2004, a Statistics Canada survey found that 34 per cent of crime incidents were reported to police, down from 37 per cent in 1999.
Not really good enough to explain away the billions the Tories seem itching to spend and the Globe and Mail editorial page let them have it: This is alarming? A six-year-old uptick in unreported crimes – mostly minor thefts not considered sufficiently serious by Canadians to report, says StatsCan. And where are the other data points of concern? None have been cited.


StatsCan also found that 94 per cent of Canadians felt safe. Is Mr. Day alarmed on behalf of the frightened six per cent? And what do unreported crimes have to do with building more prisons anyway?

Canada's national newspaper is predisposed to tilt to the right a bit (the Canadian right - not that stuff we see daily from across the 49th parallel) and there they are hammering away at Mr. Day. In fact, it was a reporter from the Sun newspaper chain who sometimes appear to be an arm of the Tory party that openly mocked Stockwell at the original press conference telling him he wasn't making any sense.
 
So now that the Tories have played a good hand badly all summer long and the most recent EKOS poll suggests they're in a virtual statistical tie with the Grits, there is bound to be talk of a possible fall election. Add to that the latest economic numbers which show 139,000 full time jobs disappeared last month, the one thing the Tories could boast about without argument, and there's a good chance the opposition parties are going to start behaving like there's blood in the water - 'cause there is and it was all spilled willingly, unnecessarily, and in the cause of ideology over good policy.