The View from Down South - A Liberal in DC
Canadian political commentary with a southern twist
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Friday, May 11, 2007
Myron Thompson: Now a Liberal?
Wow - what a shocker when the very backbone of the Conservative Party crosses over to the other side, can't quite believe it...Either that... or Myron hasn't yet realized that the Tories actually won the last election over a year and 4 months ago! (I know, I know, Myron, I can't quite believe it either)... check out some compelling quotes from his bio that show, either he's now a sitting Liberal Critic (or still in shock at his own party's victory last election...which, just as a reminded - was over a Year and Four Months ago):
"Myron was first nominated as Reform Party candidate on June 13, 1992 and is presently serving his 4th term as MP for the constituency of Wild Rose. He currently represents the Official Opposition on the Justice Committee. He has also served as the Conservative Party's Critic of Canada's Child Pornography policies and has become one of the foremost defenders of the rights of the child. In the past, Myron has served as Deputy Solicitor General Critic in Charge of Native Issues, as well as serving as the Official Opposition Watchdog during the G-8 Summit in Kananaskis. Previously, he was Critic for Solicitor General, and Organized Crime; and Deputy Critic for Indian Affairs, and Canada Customs."
Read all about Myron on his personal website: www.myronthompson.com
What I really want to know, is what's he been doing all this time in Question Period? He must have had a blast back when Vic Toews was Justice Minister...
Friday, April 27, 2007
Thursday, April 26, 2007
If I Was a Tory
I'd be kind of worried... I mean, there we are, going along with our five priorities, our muzzled caucus discipline, and our whole "new" Government slogan... and yet a year and three months later... we still aren't cracking the magic 40% support in the opinion polls (and that year was with leaderless liberals and the three months with the new leader settling in)...
I mean, if I was a Tory, I'd be kind of baffled - here we are doing (more or less) everything we'd said we'd do - and Canadians still don't seem to like us enough anyway... I'd start to worry that the Conserv priorities (of flip flopping, waffling, demi-tours) on Kyoto, setting up a new sponsorship program to key initiaties in Tory ridings, breaking their word on income trust, potentially violating the Geneva Convention, cutting my personal income tax exemption, maybe just maybe weren't actually Canadian priorities...
... Now normally, I don't pay attention to polls - polls smolls - but when looking at the aggregate number over the past year and 3 months of Tory govt... well, if I was a Tory, I'd be starting to feel the heat...
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Bumper Sticker Wisdom
Saw this one on my walk into work:
"Be nice to America... Or we'll bring democracy to your country"
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I want my money back
So apparently my hard earned tax dollars are going to pay for Harper's image consultant... Now I'd have no problem with this if I felt that I was actually getting my money's worth... But not only is Ms. Image consultant helping Harp out at home, apparently she travelled with Steve all the way to Vietnam for APEC summit. Check out fruits of her labour below.... Now maybe it's just me, but I don't think that shade of baby blue in his one piece jumpsuit is the correct shade to match his eyes...
Roses are Red, Governance is Blue
And the drama continues over at the World Bank, where Bank staff are now wearing blue ribbons as a symbol for improving good governance in the World Bank Group...
...Yesterday, one of the two Managing Directors (the two dudes under the President) urged Wolfowitz to resign... Read all about it in the FT...juicier and juicier.
Well colour me perplexed... I thought that the Tories were the next big green machine... turns out that was just for fun, after they saw the green tide sweep through the Liberal leadership convention...
The best part of the CBC story: "A study last fall by Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank, said the costs of combatting global warming are manageable and would be much less than the costs of taking no action." Gotta love the Bank...and a good ole Tory flip flopping action...
Monday, April 16, 2007
No more guns
Let's make guns illegal for all civilians... I can't just can't deal... yet another horrific shooting close to home...
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Interesting goings on over at the World Bank...Financial Times has a great analysis... worth checking out it's pretty juicy stuff..
Monday, April 09, 2007
Ripening with Age
My mom often teases me for being a true Canadianophile... Like any good cheese or wine, my love for Canada improves with age and experience...
Three things happened to me this week than just served to nurture my burgeoning feelings towards the home and native land:
1) The Canadian Rockies with Snow
I want to start a new sponsorship program. This one brings seperatists out to the Rockies and places them on top of Lake Louise or Sunshine (right at the top of the Great Divide ski lift) on a sunny day in early April. I am willing to spend my hard earned tax dollars just to fly them all out there (and this is hard for me to say seeing as I just spent the weekend filing my taxes... is it just me or did the personal exemption decrease this year... evil tories). I would find it absolutely impossible to believe that after seeing that majestic, awe-inspiring spectacle, that ANYONE could find it possible to want to disassociate from a country that has such formidable and breathtaking natural beauty.
2) Public Health Care
Because I have a new contract with my place of employ, I finally have health insurance. I have been avoiding seeking medical attention for the past 10 months, crossing fingers and toes that I won't get sick or be struck by lightening. Today, I was introduced to my new health care plan (which I still have to pay $150 US a month for). I was the idiot asking whether you had to pay up front out of pocket when you went to the doctor and which health care services did you have to pay a deductible for (like I'm a fricken car). Now I know our system is far from perfect, but the fact that I can walk into my doctor's office, hand over my medicare card, and never fork over a dime, is nothing short of a miracle...
3) Ben Mulroney
Seeing him wait for his bags at Montreal Trudeau Airport at midnight on Thursday night, like any other human being, sans entourage, or red carpet and idol free... was icing on the cake...
... oh Canada...
Friday, March 30, 2007
I've realized that my tendency for blogging is similar to my tendency towards exercise. The beginning of the week starts off and I am all raring to go... and then towards the end of the week, the exhaustion, work deadlines, the social engagements, start to kick in and then blogging and the gym kind of get pushed off to the back burner... I also think that I'm suffering some kind of burn out... we were on full throttle at work up until that Vietnam trip... and now I kind of feel like a truck hit me...So lucky me, I am going on Vacation. Vacation with a capital "V". And to no other than one of the most beautiful places in the world: Banff, Alberta.
Unfortunately, I can't get my intelligent and worldly sister to fill in for me again... cause she's coming with me. So this blog will probably be on a bit of a stand still for the next week.
I am so excited to be going back to my home and native land... yay access to good canadian media! yay peter mansbridge! yay hard paper copies of the Globe & Gazette! Yay CBC radio! (man, I am such a geek... clearly in desperate need of vacation...)
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
What they are saying in DC: Quebec Election Analysis
Check out the Washington Post's take on the election here... kind of interesting...not to mention, I can't begin to express how thrilled I am that the elections actually even had some sort of resonance in these here parts....
Monday, March 26, 2007
Okay... here goes... I'm willing to money on John losing his seat.... man oh man oh man... who'd of thunk it?
UPDATE - apparently me willing to be bold and put money on it... wasn't quite that bold after all... CBC called it at the same time that I posted.... what does our future hold?
UPDATE UPDATE - or maybe not... oh the tension and drama!
Will Charest Keep His Seat?
... still waaaayyyy to early to call - but some interesting numbers coming in from Sherbrooke, John's riding...
Totally off topic
You know what makes me sad?
That season 5 of the West Wing isn't a good as Season 2...
Friday, March 23, 2007
What to do on Monday?
On Monday, I face a qualm. A dilemma. No matter how I vote, I lose. I'm a federal Liberal, anti seperatist, socially progressive, anglo. What do to? I'm sorry, but Jean (or John) Charest is a Tory. He was the leader of the Tories federally for god sakes. He's a political opportunist. As much as it pains the Liberal anti seperatist in me to say it, there you go. He doesn't get us Quebecers. He just doesn't. It's kind of annoying and painful and sad. We want free (or practically free) post secondary education. We know that we had a crippling debt. We know we have to make tough economic decisions. But we can't help it. It's an emotion knee-jerk reaction. We want our social programmes. We are kind of like the French that way. They have to make v tough decisions to stimulate economic growth. But they can't quite seem to do it. And we're the same. I wish I had a solution, I really wish that I did. But you can't way that you're going to raise post-secondary tuition (even though it's amongst the lowest in the country). You just can't.
Now what are my other options. I obviously can't vote Parti Quebecois. I'm an anglo. 4th generation. I was blammed for losing the last referedum. I was told by the Conservative Fed govt that I am not part of the Quebecois nation. I don't want Quebec to seperate. So no matter what other policies the Parti puts forward, the seperation thing undercuts them all.
As for the ADQ, well, they are socially conservative (though I've had some debates recently with people about how socially conservative they actually are) - but whatever. To sum up: they're weird. Punto.
So there you have it.
Now for the federal implications: If Charest wins - it's a victory for Harper's Conservatives. If Charest wins a minority with the ADQ propping it up - it's a double win for Harper.
If the Parti Quebecois wins - it's potentially a victory for Dion and the federal Liberals- because he gets to show off his fighting the seperatists forte - and remind the country of his unifying the country - clarity acting - strenghts... But a Parti Quebec victory would mean plunging us all into another referendum on seperation... and honestly, I haven't gotten over the trauma and exhaustion of the last one...
So there you have it, if you're a Liberal in Quebec, it's a rough and tumble lose lose situation...
Labels: Quebec Elections
Never Thought I'd See the Day
Stock, Stock, Stock, ... tut, tut, tut...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Emission Trading 101
Great article in the globe today - explaining some of the nuts and bolts of emission trading (though I take slight offense at the title cause it makes it sound like emissions trading and foreign aid are an either/or... but still). Check it out here.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Are we going to go?
Three weeks ago, I put five bucks up against my Tory political enemy saying no... he said yes... think it's time for me to cash in...
UPDATE: hmmm - or according to the CBC... maybe not... jeez make up your minds people...either way BRING IT ON!
Harper = Climate Criminal
This is fantastic! Despite Stevie running around painting the country green... Greenpeace calls it like it is... if it walks like it won't talk about emissions reductions, and talks like it won't reduce emissions, then it is probably... is a climate criminal... meuhahaha!
Integration - Out of Many, One
Occasionally, I get "criticized" for lack of posting... I happen to believe that blogging should be an organic experience - I don't want to just post of the sake of posting... and sometimes, frankly, I just don't have anything to say... But to be honest, my lack of posting of late is due to a bit of an internal shift... Strangely, I am starting to get used to living in DC. I have come to realize that my initial "contempt" for the local (i.e. how is it possible that you don’t have free health care kind of contempt) is a classic symptom of culture shock... and is now starting to dissipate. This is something that blows my mind - Canada is so similar to the States that I didn't expect to feel any shock - I have lived in 4 countries other than Canada... and have come to get used to the initial waves of integration and learning that come with moving to a new country... but I hadn't adequately braced myself for this one...
That aside, I am in a weird place: I am starting to like DC. I recognize the failing and issues with the US - but rather than feeling contempt and superiority, I feel endeared. I am starting to recognize or develop a more sophisticated understanding of US (or at least DC) society. I am starting to appreciate the vastness and diversity of 300 million Americans...
... As a result of my new found integration, however, or perhaps not related, but I am feeling increasing out of the loop with Canadian politics... no amount of reading the Globe, CBC, the Hill Times, the post, trolling blogs, watching Mercer's clips, is giving me the insider take and opinions that I used to have... I am getting impatient with waiting for the election (even though my money is on no election this spring)... I am getting tired of seeing all these phony Conserv green announcements (I could deconstruct them in a second - they still don't seem to get that climate change is a GLOBAL issue - and where you reduce emissions actually doesn't matter - cause emission rise into the GLOBAL atmosphere - and that they are sneakily trying to get involved in this stupid coal heavy countries not doing anything initiative set up by the non Kyoto Annex I countries US, Australia, and India and China) but I digress... all that to say - that my lack of posting... is due to an internal transition.. hopefully nothing that a week in Alberta (where I am heading in two weeks) won't be able to cure... despite my “integration”, I need a good dose of my home and native land.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Canada: A "She"?
Just checking out some of the latest on the Globe and Mail website re: the census and population concentrations. I gotta say, they have some nifty graphics and powerpoint presentations.
Was settling in to watch "Where We Live: Canada" presentation, when a funny thing happened: the voice over and the footnotes to the slides, kept referring to Canada as "she". Wow - when did we decide Canada's gender?.. anyone who has insights on the history - please share, it'd be greatly appreciate...
Now, I am a big proponent of using gender neutral language and nothing exemplifies the ridiculousness of non- gender neutral language more than the phrase: "population concentration in her southern regions". (Sounds like the Globe and Mail is getting a little racy there.) Oh and the phrase: "Man is a mammal who breastfeeds his young" is another classic example of the ridiculousness of non gender neutral... but thankfully, the Globe refrained from using that one.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Linking China to Sudan
Unfortunately, even though I was in NYC this weekend, I didn't have a chance to participate in this: a human chain linking the Sudanese Mission to the United Nations on 47th Street and the Chinese Mission on 35th Street. The purpose of the protest was to draw attention China's increasing support and aid to the Sudanese regime. Read more about it here.
Drinking With Republicans
A few weekends ago, I headed out to the bastion of Republican Washington night life: a bar in Georgetown called Smith Point. I was warned before entering, to brace myself for an intense anthropological experience: observing the Republican in his/her natural habitat: fully equipped with pearls, cleavage, and extremely manicured hair and nails (for the women) and polo shirts, cords with palm tree logos and crew cuts (for the boys)... Newsweek actually has an excellent article describing the whole scene in great detail (way more articulately than I ever could - it's quite an interesting and succinct read).
I have to admit, that my anthropological observations kept getting interrupted by the cranberry vodkas that kept coming my way...and I found myself rounding up one innocent, self describe redneck, corralling him into a corner, and profusely asking for an explanation on how he could be pro-life and pro-death penalty at the same time and didn't he see the intense oxymoronic, lack of logic, contradiction in those beliefs...
Oh dear... So I have to say that my first foray into Republican Washington social scene was less than successful on the anthropological study aspect... guess I'll have to go back next week for further observation and research...