harper vs himself

harper keeps doing it to himself. you wouldn't think someone could put both feet in his mouth at the same time, but you would be wrong. he's been telling everyone with an ear that the coalition is illegal, and that it would mean the rest of canada would be held hostage by the bloc quebecois. the reality is, it's all misinformation, because all he has left is lying and fear tactics. the truth is, the coalition is legal, so legal in fact that he tried the same thing in 2004, and in 2000, the former reform party also tried to form an alliance with the bloc quebecois. the coalition won't be held hostage, because it's only a coalition between the liberals and ndp, and the bloc have agreed to support the coalition on all confidence votes.

do i want to see the coalition take over government? not particularly. what i would like to see, is harper being the bigger man and looking out for canada's interests. i want to see him do what a minority prime minister should do: and that's reach out to the opposition, and come up with a budget that is inclusive and built on compromise. if that means he has to get on his knees and beg for opposition support, then so be it. but what does he do? instead, he goes on national television, proving to canada how arrogant he is by not asking for support by the coalition, but by condemning it. all this time, he's been trying to govern as if the conservatives have a majority mandate, which they don't. bully politics and fear tactics is all harper knows as a prime minister. i don't think harper has a compromising bone in his body. conviction is one thing, but we shouldn't mistake arrogance for conviction. the more harper rants, the more it becomes clear that he is not looking out for the best interests of the nation; he's only looking out for his own bruised ego.

it's too late now. the coalition smells blood in the water; they have a taste for power and they'll do whatever they can to bring down the government. i'll admit, this is the most entertaining canadian politics has been in a very long time.


buddy can you spare a dime?

would nationalizing gm be a good idea? maybe, maybe not. what i do know is that the big three basically screwed themselves by making oversized vehicles that the market doesn't want nor need. this isn't anything new. the writing was on the wall. so now they're expecting a bailout. the last thing they need is more money. on top of that, you have unions that have priced their members out of the market. so you have a company making a product no one wants, with the forsight of a blind mole, and an overpaid workforce. it's a recipe for disaster.

the result? union busting. most likely. it's unfortunate, but on one hand, shoveling money into a black hole ain't gonna fix it. on the other, getting paid on average $28 to work on an assembly line is completely outrageous. this goes to show how much of a balance there needs to be amongst business leadership, planning, product, and unions, in order have a successful business.


prime minister dion?

so it appears prime minister stephen harper is on the verge of one cluster-fuck meltdown, with the liberals and ndp poised to take control of a coalition government, backed by the bloc quebecois. some would call it a political coup, while others would call it politically necessary.

the coalition would involve 24 cabinet members, six of which were ndp, with the minister of finance being a liberal, and the coalition itself would expire june 30, 2011. the bloc has agreen not to defeat the coalition government, and this agreement would expire or renew in 18 months.

how could this work? well, when facing a vote on a major bill, such as the one coming up, if it is voted down, the government faces a vote of non confidence. at that point, the governor general could dissolve parliament and an election would be called. however, the governor general could decide to allow the opposition to govern as a coalition, because technically they will have enough seats to run the government.

the problem is, the conservative government is seen as too slow on the draw when it comes to the canadian economy. while we aren't technically in a recession yet, the sensible reaction would be for the government to go on the offensive; to be proactive with its fiscal policies, to try and head off the recession. also, the conservatives were planning on eliminating the $1.95-a-vote subsidy for political parties. the subsidy is a much needed source of funds for the opposition, as well as smaller canadian political parties. it guarantees that a person is not "throwing" their vote away when they don't vote for the major parties (eg: green party). it makes sure that all parites are given a fighting chance, instead of the old system where only the parties backed by rich supporters could ever get a chance. to their credit, the conservatives backed down from this a few days ago.

how successful would such a coalition be? who knows. but the reality is, harper has been playing hardball politics ever since his party came into power. this most recent blunder by harper is futher evidence of his hardball tactics, as he tried to bluff the opposition into swallowing their demands. the gamble was that the opposition would dare not vote down the bill because they woudn't want to trigger another election so close to the last, but it appears his bluff has been called. the very same hardball politics is being tossed back in his face. i suppose when you live by the sword, you die by it too.

harper has called this move illegitimate because of the past month's election outcome. apparently harper likes to piss in our faces and tell us its raining, cause back in 2004, harper sent the governor general a letter which requested that should paul martin's liberals be defeated, the opposition should be considered to lead:
"We respectfully point out that the opposition parties, who together constitute a majority in the House, have been in close consultation. We believe that, should a request for dissolution arise this should give you cause, as constitutional practice has determined, to consult the opposition leaders and consider all of your options before exercising your constitutional authority," the 2004 letter stated.
oh how temporary our memories can be! as much as the conservatives complain, the facts remain that the canadian political system allows for it the coalition, and together, the opposition has 60% of the popular vote, so one could contend the opposition has the mandate, and not the government.

what does this mean for the canadian economy? i personally think our economy will hold out in the long run, but political uncertainty doesn't help. today the tsx saw its biggest single day point drop since black monday in 1987. if the coalition succeeds, the fact that such a leftist leaning party like the ndp is in power could further erode business confidence, cause let's face it: the ndp has never really been known for fiscal brilliance. when faced with the possibility of losing their jobs, the middle class doesn't give a shit about the poor. so what canada needs is a plan. at this point, any plan will do so long as the government delivers it with conviction, because the markets are psychological more than anything. people need confidence. on a good day, i wouldn't trust the opposition to agree on driving directions together let alone run the government together, but there's a first time for everything.

regardless, this is gonna be an interesting week.



stand by me

sometimes you come across things that just make you feel good.


the first press conference

a few observations about obama's first press conference. strictly shallow, of course.

1) nice to see a president that doesn't mangle the english language.
2) when obama smiles, it's warm and inviting. when bush smiles, it's like he secretly spat in your soup before giving it to you. you know, it's that "gotcha!" smirk.
3) for the past eight years i found these press conferences both horrific and unbelievably amusing. oh how i long for those days. however, bush still has a couple more months in power, so one can hope.


election day

so tomorrow is the big day. there's not much to say, because so much has already been said about this election. but what i will say, is that this has been one of the most amusing election seasons i've ever been a part of. for me, this definitely ranks right up there with the fiasco of the 1995 referendum vote in canada, or the 2000 post-election chad-filled campaign. between grown men who don't believe in evolution, to gun-toting milfs, to chuck norris and paris hilton referring to that "white haired dude," it's been a wild ride.

that being said, the united states has a golden, once in a lifetime opportunity to right what was so wrong over the past eight years. while the rest of the world evolved, the united states regressed, allowing fear to control every aspect of american life. here's a chance to literally change the face of american politics and set a course for a revival of american idealism and pop culture. i would argue, that the election result tomorrow will have to be difinitive. it may not necessarily need to be a landslide, but it has to be a big enough gap to leave all doubters behind. anything short of that would be disappointing.

you have one vote. don't fuck it up.