Friday, 24 October 2008

The Governor Has No Clothes

Apparently:

McCain was asked several questions on Thursday about the shopping spree - and he answered each one more or less the same way: Palin needed clothes and they'll be donated to charity.

"She needed clothes at the time. They'll be donated at end of this campaign. They'll be donated to charity," McCain told reporters on his campaign bus between Florida rallies.
The question that has not been asked, or answered, is why does the Republican Party want to counteract the hockey mom image the Alaska Governor has gone to so much trouble to cultivate. Hockey moms do not wear designer clothes.

The only logical explanation I can come up with is that right wingers believe in the capitalist ethic, that if your smart and work hard then you can become rich, and that by making Palin look wealthy people will think she is intelligent.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Liberals Learn Their Lesson

The choice of Stéphane Dion as Liberal leader may have been a compromise. But it was also a decision to choose a thinker, rather than a communicator, as leader, someone more capable of being Prime Minister than being elected as Prime Minister. This was followed up by the adoption of the politically difficult green shift policy. This was a policy designed to tackle the problem of climate change and implement an economic policy based on sustainable development, a policy designed to solve the country's problems rather than win election. These were very principled decisions taken by the Liberal Party.

And look what happened in the election.

This will not happen again. It will be back to the tradition of opportunism for the Liberal Party in short order.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Today We Give Thanks

On this election eve Thanksgiving Day we can give thanks for living in a democracy and having the right to vote.

Perhaps some day we will be able to elect a House of Commons that represents the wishes of Canadian voters and reflects how they voted.

For more information on Canada's antiquated electoral system see Fair Vote Canada.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

I Challenge Jack and Stéphane

If Canadian voters get their way one of you will be the leader of a minority government with the other holding the balance of power. I challenge you both to agree to these three principles before the current election is held.

Electoral Reform

If the voters do get their way and the House of Commons reflects how they voted, it will not be because of our electoral system but in spite of it. I challenge you to, immediately upon election, initiate the process to change the election system so that party representation in the House of Commons reflects the popular vote and to put such a system in place before the next election.

Climate Change

Both of you and your parties believe that tackling climate change is a necessity for both the environmental and economic sustainability of our country and the world, but you have different proposals to do that. I challenge you to find common ground and implement real measures to tackle this problem before the next election.

Poverty

The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Averages mean nothing when looking at our economic progress. What really counts is what is happening to our most disadvantaged. I challenge you to make the elimination of poverty a focus of all government programs and actions.

Monday, 6 October 2008

I Like The New Tory TV Ad

I have to say I like the new Conservative Party "certainty" ad, although it is not available on their website. It is not an attack ad but just a straightforward statement of their basic philosophy - change is bad and new ideas are dangerous. Refreshing.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The Great Debate - My Predictions

As an almost unilingual anglophone I will not be making predictions on the French debate, but I am posting my English debate predictions now, so as not to be influenced by the media coverage of the French debate.

This has the makings of one of the country’s most historical events. It may very well be the turning point in this election that leads to real change rather than the normal superficial changes we usually see in federal elections.

Those of us who say that Jack Layton and the NDP can win this election do not say so frivolously. We know the debate will make the difference and we know that Jack needs to win the debate.

So what are my predictions.

Stephen Harper will be more of Stephen Harper, He will come across as a stronger more intense Stephen Harper. His core supporters will be delighted and see him as the winner. Those who have always opposed him will have their views reconfirmed. But most importantly, Harper’s soft support from traditional Progressive Conservative Party voters, who want to vote Conservative but have doubts about Harper and the new Conservative Party, will be placed in jeopardy.

Stéphane Dion will surprise many and come across better than expected. He will not do a terrible job in the debate, only a poor one. The Liberals Green Shift was a gutsy move but his retreat to the wimpy”we are in the middle” position will hurt him.

Gilles Duceppe will not be playing to his core Quebec francophone audience and that will show.

Elizabeth May will be a disappointment. The debate will give viewers a chance to see beyond her party’s Green label. All her efforts to get into the debate may come back to haunt her as she has to deal with the more experienced debaters.

Jack Layton will continue what he has been doing throughout the campaign and will show he has the leadership capability to be Prime Minister and that the NDP has the polices that ordinary working Canadians and their families need.