On The List of Things Conn Smythe *Wouldn't* Have Done ...

... I've got to figure that this is towards the top of the list.

As a libertarian kind of guy, I don't mind the plot (others may differ), though I have to wonder if describing anyone as a "budding queen" is all that flattering or politically correct.

I hear that they were going to add a scene showing the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup, but they figured that some things were just too outlandish, even for the movies.

More later.


Interesting To See Who's On Board ...

... And who's not so sure.

Short version: the two Lib leadership front-runners who don't have seats in the House of Commons are the ones who appear to be the most reluctant to support the "Quebecois = nation" motion. Neither Rae nor Kennedy appear to be all that impressed with it, though it must be noted that neither one of them has said that they are strongly opposed, either.

It makes me wonder - are these two:

(a) doing what Liberal MPs would like to do, but who feel that they can't do it (Jimmy the K aside); or

(b) are they doing this to appeal to the probably-not-inconsiquential number of Liberal leadership delegates who don't like this idea, and who are looking for a contender to say "non" (or at least, give a less-qualified "oui" than that given by Messrs Dion & Ignatieff); or

(c) a bit of both (a) and (b)?

More later.

Before We Panic, and/or Break Out the Champagne ...

Still wrestling with "the motion", but in reaction to some of the passionate commentary working its way through the Canadian political "blogosphere" (ugh, I hate that term, but can't come up with another one...), I wanted to point something out.

I'm not best thrilled by this, although I may yet come to support it, reluctantly.

But before we all sail too far off into the deep end, we should remember that post-referendum in '95, the Chretien government of the day introduced at least one (maybe more - I honestly can't recall) motions, and I think even the dreaded words "distinct society" were used.

(My recollection may be false in that regard, but I'm sure others here can correct me if it is.)

The motion(s) passed at that time were not of constitutional force, and the Dominion didn't crumble. In fact, I doubt if anyone, including me, can recite what it/they said without looking it up.

That doesn't turn a bad idea into a good one, but it does mean that we shouldn't go too far into panic mode.

More later.


I'm Still Mulling It Over ...

... And I may come to support it (of course, my support and a nickel will give you - well, a nickel).

But I'd be a bit too hypocritical by half if I didn't say that I'm not hugely thrilled with it, so far.

If you're interested, leave your own thoughts in the Comments, and I'll get back to you.

More later.


Quick Thoughts Before Work ...

Some quick thoughts to start off your week:

  1. Condolences to Ed Broadbent and family. Everything I've read about Lucille Broadbent indicates that she wasn't only a huge help to her husband, but a strong and dynamic individual.
  2. On to happier news: As per usual, I enjoyed yesterday's real "fall classic", although it wasn't exactly a dream game. If the first half had been as competitive as the second half, it would have been a game for the ages. I can't wait to be there in person next year!
  3. If Jane Pitfield had only thought of this policy, she may have done better last week!
  4. On the one hand, Peter Lougheed's endorsement of Jim Dinning probably (it's hard to be definitive when you're commenting from T.O.!) carries some heft in the Alberta PC leadership race. On the other hand, it makes it all the easier for his opponents to paint him as "Mr. Establishment".
  5. Back to the Grey Cup for a minute: As far as pop singers go, I don't mind Nelly Furtado. But come on: it's the Grey Cup, in November, in Winnipeg - where the heck were these guys?

That's it for now. Off to work!

More later.


More Milton Friedman

Earlier, I noted that Milton Friedman, a truly influential economist and political thinker, passed away.

As I said in the earlier post, better minds than mine are going to pay tribute to him and his ideas. So rather than try to match their efforts this time, I'm going to link to an essay he wrote in 1978 called "Is Capitalism Humane?"

Give it a read. For me, the "money quote" is the following. It sums up how I think the "common good" can and should be obtained, even if it doesn't always work in an imperfect world:

I am saying only that a set of social institutions that stresses individual responsibility, that treats the individual—given the kind of person he is, the kind of society in which he operates—as responsible for and to himself, will lead to a higher and more desirable moral climate than a set of institutions that stresses the lack of responsibility of the individual for what happens to him and relieves him of blame or credit for what he does to his fellowmen.

Personal freedom and personal responsibility for a better world, baby. Perhaps it doesn't always work out that way in the real world, but it's got a good beat, and you can dance to it.

More later.

Lump of Coal In His Stocking

Cross another promise off the list, it appears.

Now, as with the income trust thing on a federal level, I can accept - and I think most voters can accept - that circumstances can change, and not every promise in an election platform can be kept.

But that doesn't give the promise-breaker a free pass. If McGuinty knew, or ought to have known, that there was no way to keep his close-down-coal promise and he made it anyway, then he'll have to wear it. (And yes, that goes for the CPC on the income trust issue too, lest you think I'm being too partisan.)

Whether or not the coal promise was one McGuinty knew, or ought to have known, would be impossible to keep .... well, that's an exercise I'll leave up to the reader.

(Oh, and before I forget ... McGuinty was almost trapped in a "victim-of-bad-advice/it-wasn't-my-fault" example of passing the buck - which only makes the promise-breaker look even more like a political weasel. Obviously either McG or someone with better instincts realized that the strategy of blaming the unknown experts was a loser, and it would be best if he owned up to it.)

More later.

Open Question, For Your Consideration & Comment

Mario Dumont, head of l'ADQ in Quebec, hasn't been heard from lately in the Anglo/ON media (I have no idea if he's getting more press in the Quebec/francophone/other media or not).

But a quick look at the G&M website reveals this story. Dumont is not impressed that he is unable to join his pregnant girlfriend at a (presumably, publicly-funded) daycare facility, because - he says - the sensibilities of Muslim, Sihk and Hindu women are offended by the presence of men at neonatal classes. He also isn't best pleased with the notion that female police officers turn cases involving Hasdic Jews over to male colleagues, for basically the same reason.

So, I'm tossing this "Open Question" out to anyone who wants to comment on it. Is Dumont going too far? Or does he have a good point? Is there some "mid-way point" solution that people could suggest, or is this an "either-or" situation?

Please note that I'm doing this "open question" thing as an experiment to encourage sane discussion from proponents of both sides of this issue. Wild accusations, actionable content and generally offensive remarks will almost certainly be deleted, and if it gets too out of hand, I'll end up deleting the whole thread. Express your opinions openly, but with some modicum of respect, please - I know you can!

And with that caution in mind - have at it.

More later.

A Great Loss

Milton Friedman, R.I.P.

I'm at work, and aside from this quick note (and a snide joke about Toronto weather, in an earlier post), I can't blog for long. But Friedman was one of the most influential economists out there, and he deserves significant tributes, which I'm sure he will receive from worthier sources than me. I will try to put up a post about his influence later, if timing permits.

More later.

Maybe I Should Start Building an Ark

Ok, so it's raining a bit here in Toronto, the Centre of the Universe(TM).

But surely to God, it hasn't come to this, has it?

Back home, this sort of weather would be called "some rain, with a bit of drizzle". In T.Dot, I have to start keeping an eye out for the four horsemen of the apocolypse (who apparently now consist of Death, War, Famine, and SomewhatHeavyShowers) making their way down Yonge Street.

(All of that said, if you're in Toronto, keep your kids away from the Don & Humber rivers - no foolin', it can be dangerous.)

More later.

Keith Martin, Prophet

From the G&M:

“This snub by the Chinese is really in response to the new Conservative government's repeated snubs against China,” Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Keith Martin said in an interview Wednesday.

If anyone has the time & interest, it may be worth figuring out whether KM took a more principled approach on China before he crossed the floor. But in any event, it turns out Martin - and many others - jumped the gun a bit.

But as my last post hinted, even if the Chinese hadn't agreed to meet, Harper was and is taking the proper approach.

More later.


Not For All The Tea in China

I'm at work, so I can't go on at length for now (I'll do so later if I can), but let me just say ...

Proper Bloody Thing.

More later.


Look Who's Back

Mere days after I pointed out that one of the best damn bloggers in the business had sadly closed his doors .... Bob's back. 'Bout damned time, too.

More later.


Lest We Forget ....

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Excerpted from For the Fallen, by Laurence Binyon.

More later.


Meanwhile, Back on the Home (& Away) Front ...

Like some other Cdn political bloggers, I have been paying more attention to what has been going on south of the border.

But here's an interesting issue that may work its way onto the domestic agenda - even though it deals, in part, with "foreign affairs".

I'm one of those conservatives who believes that the federal government needs to focus on its areas of jurisdiction, and the provinces need to focus on theirs.

But here's a situation involving what the environment, which I understand is a shared area of jurisdiction. And Quebec wants the chance to express its views at an international forum, which appear to be at variance with Canada's.

How to square the circle? I think at the end of the day, Canada - i.e., the federal government - has to be the "one" to represent Canada's position at these sorts of events. However, it can and should take the views of provinces into account when the matter(s) under discussion are, pursuant to our Constitution, under shared jurisdiction. That goes even more so for matters that are under provincial jurisdiction. On the other hand, when dealing with matters that fall within the federal government's purview, the feds can certainly invite comments from the lower levels of government - but at the end of the day, the feds decide what the position will be.

What that means, in my opinion, is that the feds get to speak ... but depending on what's being discussed, they also have to listen. It can make things difficult to say the least, but that is part of the price we pay for living in a "federal", rather than unitary, system.

Now, I can anticipate at least some of the criticism of this approach: How will the feds ever sufficiently herd the provincial cats, when the item under discussion at the international event in question is a shared one, within Canada? That is a very good question, and I don't have a ready answer. But when the feds don't consult in those sort of situations, you get a result where "Canada" takes a "principled stand" at the international forum ... and then looks like a horse's rear end when it tries to impliment that stand, and the provinces don't go along.

Comments & suggestions are welcome!

More later.

Jokes Aside ...

Jack Palance, R.I.P.

This is sad news. He was almost always a heck of a lot of fun to watch in almost any role he had.

More later.

Fookin' French?

Sensitivity Alert: Some folks may say I'm endorsing the following "point of view" as expressed by Oasis gee-tarist Noel Gallaghe by linking to it - not so. Of the things I would want to change about this country, official bilingualism is pretty darn low on the list - assuming it's on said "list" at all. I just think this is kinda funny, in an insensitive sort of way, and heck, it's *Friday*. But we know that un-PC thoughts of partisan bloggers like yours truly can sometimes be used as weapons of mass distraction by opponents, don't we?

So with that brave-hearted disclaimer on my part out of the way: On with the show ...

Used to be that Noel Gallagher was the relatively sane one of the Oasis Bros., but it seems as though the key word is "relatively".

On a recent swing through Canada, Noel took the time to share his thoughts with Canadian mag Exclaim, and in passing, had this to say about our bilingual nation:

Q. What do you think of when you think of Canada?

A. I think of being absolutely freezing fookin’ cold. And I also think of this fookin’ weird, weird French influence. What’s that all about? What business have they got over there? Why French? I was in a Dunkin Donuts in Canada, and the menu was in French — the whole thing, right. And I asked the woman for a coffee, and she only spoke French. Now, I’ve taken a lot of drugs in my time mate, but I’ve got to say that the single most frightening experience of my life was thinking, “I could have swore I was fookin’ in Canada when I got off that tour bus. And now I’m in… am I? No. I don’t know.” And then I said to the woman, “You can speak English, can’t you?” And I think she was getting annoyed that I was being a bit rude by that point, because she was only speaking French. I was going, “I know you can speak English. We’re in Canada. And I know you understand what I’m saying.” I may have brought up something about the war and then left.

Let's just say Noel doesn't look a heck of a lot better via the rest of his answers.

Michael Ignatieff really needs to give this man a good talking-to, dontcha think?

More later.

Sorry About the Mess ... and, Get Keen For Dean!

I have no idea what went screwy with blogspot, but a whole pile of my "(almost) live blogging" posts from US Election Night re-appeared over the last 24 hours or so, making me look like I was providing savvy analysis of real-time election results ... 2 days after those results came in. Even for this blog, things aren't usually that bad!

Sorry about that. I think things are (relatively) back to normal now.

In the meantime, I can't spend much time on analysis now, but I would point out that the Libs have landed a whale of a speaker for their convention ....


Of course, try and imagine the howls if the Tories brought in some big-wig Republican to fire up the troops, but that's the Liberals for ya ...

UPDATE: Canadian Cynic gives me some lumps. Don't bother trying to click on the post CC links to - it was one of the way out of date ones that I got rid of when I tried to clean things up. Oh well - thanks for the hits, CC!

More later.


A Long Montana Night - Plus, Wasn't Rove Supposed to Have Rigged Things?!?

I am still going to post some thoughts on the big show the other night, but a combo of work + fatigue (the *hell* was I thinking, waiting up till God knows when so they could count an extra county or two in Montana?) means it'll be delayed a bit.

I would note that I've seen *significantly* fewer complaints about crooked voting machines from some of the left-leaning blogs out there than I did in '02 - funny, that :)

More later.


Say Goonight, the (Grand Old) Party's Over ... kind-of...

Welln folks, this has been a first for me: blogging nearly-live for several hours now.

I HATE to leave while things in the Senate are still hanging in the balance, especially in the Senate. But it's just about time for me to pack it in, as duty calls for me tomorrow - or, to be precise, later today.

If anything super-big happens in the next 10 mins or so, I'll note it. Otherwise, I'll be back with a wrapup in a few hours.

Thanks to everyone - no matter how few! - who hung around this obscure corner of the internet tonight!

More later.


"Kinky" Friedman - I can't post a link right now, but let's just say he's, um, a unique sort of guy - is getting about 12% of the vote in the Texas gubanatorial (sp?) race.

Gotta love the protest vote!

More later.


A "little buddy" in the comments section noted that Clinton won big - no real surpise. False modest aside, I think I would've had a better chance of beating Hillary than the sacrificial lamb run by the Repubs in NY!

But "l.b." also noted Joe L. won as an indep in CT. The question, which I briefly noted earlier: will he caucus with the Dems?

All signs point to yes, as my Magic 8-ball would say. But even if he nominally aligns with the Dems, I wonder how steady a Democrat he'll be now, in light of the fact that most Dems endorsed his opponent. Will bygones, in fact, be bygones?

More later.

Still Deadlocked - Oh No!

Good Lord: Larry King *and* Howard Dean, at once, on CNN.

I've had alls I can stands, I can't stands no more - almost. I'm gonna hang in there for another few mins, then that will be it for me, for tonight.

More later!


Even-steven in the Senate right now. Man alive ....

The Wa Post has withdrawn its call for the Dems in Maryland, but CNN is hanging tough.

John Kyl (R) has held on in AZ. Still down to the last 4, but now, the Dem is leading by about 3,600 votes in VA - out of about 2.5 million votes in all!

More later.



Allen (R) in VA is leading by a hair's breadth. And to think, he was supposed to be a contender for the Repub nomination. Now, not so much...

Still looking like the Reps will hold the Senate - but only just!

GWB to have a press conference tomorrow at 1pm. No comment from the Pres till then, or so CNN says.

More later.

Major Projection

CNN is calling the House of Reps for the Dems.

This shouldn't be overstated ... but it IS *big*.

I remember when Pelosi was elected as Demo minority leader a few years ago. NOBODY thought she'd be much more than a place-holder.

Now, she'll be Speaker of the House of Reps, if all things break as CNN says. And there will be some fairly liberal (to say the least) Demo committee chairs.

Interesting times ahead, I say without enthusiasm....

More later.

Obama '08?

Barack Obama is being interviewed on CNN. Last I heard, he was re-considering his previous refusal to run for the Demo nomination in '08.

I wonder how a Clinton-Obama race for the Demo nomination will play out?

CNN is making the point that there are a lot of "conservative Democrats" - what used to be called "Yellow Dogs" - being elected. If that's so, it means that there won't be as big a change in approach as you might have thought, even if the Demos win overall.

Personally, I think the members of the leadership of the Dems are so liberal that you could see splits within the new Demo caucus. We'll see!

More later.

And Yet, the Polls are Open ...

One big diff in coverage between Canada & the USA: I'd be in handcuffs now (or at least, facing a fine!) for posting about results, if this was a Canadian election.

CNN (and, I presume, Fox, MSNBC, etc) have been on the air nation-wide with results, etc - and yet, polls are still open in much of the US.

If they had Canada-type rules, they wouldn't be able to report on NY till Hawaii closed! I figure that's one thing we can learn from the US: citizen-voters *don't* need to be "protected" by publication bans, etc.

Lieberman is now giving his victory speech...

More later.

Too Close...

Still seems to close to call, but the Dems are making gains. This one's gonna be close!

More later.

All Quiet (sorta...)

Nothing really new in the last 1/2 hour.

Lamont is conceding - and moonbats weep from coast to coast ....

More later.

Repub's Abroad

I'm at the Republicans Abroad event in Toronto. Dinner was great .... but then again, I hear the food was pretty good on the Titanic, too ;)

Actually, the mood here is pretty good ... except for folks griping about having to watch CNN, since the restaurant I'm at doesn't get Fox News!

Oh oh ... Chafee has gone down for the GOP in Rhode Island. That means if - IF - CNN is right in its projections, the Dems have got 3 of the 6 seats they need to get control of the Senate.

More later!

GOP means ...

In answer to a Q. asked earlier: GOP = Grand Old Party.

Nope, no clue where it came from!

More later.

Netkooks of the World, Revolt!

Joe Lieb. wins in CT.

He says he'll caucus with the Dems ... though after the treatment he received from them, Lord knows why.

More later.


Things are quiet while they wait for the next batch of states to close.

No huge surprises yet. Dems leading in the House, GOP in the Senate, but tonnes of races to come.

More later.

42-30 Senate...

GOP holding for now...

But I'm noticing a lot of R incumb's trailing in the House.

Oh Great...

Howard Dean on CNN. That'll improve my mood ...

More later.

No Big News Yet...

I don't think any "big" races have been called yet. Allen (R) is leading by about 100 votes.

Oh wait - they called Ted Kennedy. Oh well - better luck next time :)

More later.

It's All OVER...

... In about 3 races.

But seriously, right now in the House race, it's 5-4 Dems ... Out of about 500 or so.

One thing I've noticed, is that in some cases, the major candidates are running unopposed, except for some "fringe" candidates. What's up with that! If we can find NDPers to run in Alberta, surely they could've found some GOPers to run in New York (or Dems in Utah, or wherever).

More later.

(Somewhat) Live Election Blogging!

Well, if this remote-blogging thing works, that is ... Details to follow!

More later.

A Very Worthy Cause ...

More blogging in a bit, once work dies down somewhat.

In the meantime, word of this petition drive has made its way across the blogging community, and I'm happy to give it even a very modest push here.

Our veterans deserve as much recognition as we can afford to give - and then some. Not even a state funeral for the last veteran of WW I is enough, in my opinion, but it is an important gesture. I hope that you will sign the petition, and spread word of it along.

More later.


Trust Talk - Over There ...

I was going to do a post about the income trust issue that's gotten, shall we say, a little bit of press over the last couple of days. But as he does so often, Liam O'B has beaten me to the punch by posting on it, and I ended up saying just about everything there that I would've said here. So if you're at all interested, there you go.

At Liam's place, you can also read about an interesting by-election result, which appears to have breathed new life into the provincial NDP.

(Not that I thought more than oh, one of you - hi, Mom! - was really anxious for my $0.02 on either topic, but just in case, there you go. Plus, I'm always happy to give Liam's blog a plug, even if typing in its url is a pain in the neck!)

More later.


Well, THAT'S a Relief!

We still have Joe Volpe to entertain & enlighten us during the weeks ahead.

More later.

Speaking Of Non-Noteworthy News ...

There's hope for me at last!

More later.

Stopped Clock Report: Alec Baldwin

... As in, "even a stopped clock is right once a day" - or twice a day, I guess, if it's one of those old-timey non-digitial .... well, anyway, where was I ...

Oh, yeah, this. I'm not exactly in accord with most of the political opinions of the Baldwin Bros., but it's nice to see that Alec draws the line at comparing a politician he doesn't like with the Nazis. Good for him for doing so.

Of course, it's a pretty sad state of affairs when even that amount of class is deemed newsworthy.

Yeah, I know: not exactly top-of-the-headlines content, eh? I'll try to do better later today.

More later.