Wednesday, October 5, 2011

McFadyen blames NDP's sowing of "Fear and Deceit" for loss? Hardly.

In 1969, after losing to Ed Schreyer, defeated PC Premier Walter Weir infamously proclaimed: "The people have spoken. And the people are wrong."  Thankfully, defeated Manitoba PC leader Hugh McFadyen didn't pull a Walter Weir last night. No, instead of pulling a Weir; in defeat McFadyen pulled "a McFadyen". After being bested by Premier Greg Selinger's NDP machine, Mr. McFadyen told his shell-shocked PC supporters they'd lost because: "in Manitoba it appears that fear and deceit have won the day." Harrumph... hardly.  Despite the negative tenor of the NDP campaign (and make no mistake, it was negative) it wasn't the NDP's sowing of "fear and deceit" that sealed Hugh McFadyen's fate last night... Hugh McFadyen did it to himself.

Now did I want Hugh McFadyen to win last night? No, absolutely not. Greg Selinger deserved to win his own mandate and, having done so, I am optimistic he will govern us ably over the next four years. That being said: Do I think Hugh McFadyen could have and should have run a better campaign? Yes, absolutely.

Had Hugh McFadyen run a better and smarter election campaign he may very well have won 24-27 seats last night.  Had he run a campaign truly based on hope and "vision" he could have damaged the NDP brand and put Selinger on the defensive for the next four years. And, had McFadyen run a quality campaign, he could have remained at the helm of a PC party ideally positioned to win power in 2015. But McFadyen didn't run a dynamic campaign with a difference; instead, he ran a reactionary campaign: one that saw him call the Premier a liar on everything from the deficit to taxes, from health to Bi-pole, from crime to employment, and beyond. Instead of providing the electors with a forward looking cohesive narrative, he instead tried to instil within the voters a deep-seated "fear" of four more years of NDP rule. He preferred to bemoan the NDP's twelve year reign rather than expound clearly and concisely upon what his PC party would do differently over the span of the next four. Finally, he absolutely failed to project an image of a man who was confident in his own abilities and at peace with his party's policy platform. In short, he failed to lead.

When a losing politician publicly voices post-vote sour grapes, it leaves the whole polity with a bad aftertaste. Hugh McFadyen did this last night. By trying to place the blame for his defeat on an NDP campaign he says was rooted in "fear and deceit" McFadyen is conveniently forgetting to admit his own complicity in the same equation. True, Manitoba votes 2011 was an ugly no holds barred political campaign. But McFadyen entered the bare knuckled melee willingly, and after having swung away only to lose - its poor form for McFadyen to look at his bruised and bloody knuckles and now complain he lost because his opponents were playing by the same rules. He took the gloves off, they took the gloves off - fair is fair. When announcing his resignation as PC leader last night Hugh McFadyen need not have stooped to blaming the NDP's campaign tactics. His failure to lead was really what had sealed the deal... and his resignation said it all. It's a pity he chose to lash out, for in the end, rightly or wrongly: "The people have spoken." 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An ugly turn: Selinger & McFadyen "go to the mattresses"

Here in Jets and Bombers land the leaders debate on Monday gave Manitoba's voters a preview of what to expect in the closing weeks of the provincial election campaign... it's gonna get ugly, very ugly. Absent a defining election issue, and with little separating their respective platforms, the two major contenders have obviously decided it's time to "go to the mattresses". And both NDP Premier Greg Selinger and PC leader Hugh McFadyen are doing so with a gusto rarely seen in these parts; with each seemingly committed to assassinating the political character of the other before October 4th.

For his part Selinger has staked his fortunes on the plausible but negative "McFadyen's too big a risk" strategy. Designed to insulate the NDP against some legitimate (though not fatal) criticisms of its twelve year record while in office, the strategy seeks to paint the PC leader as a politician with a closeted privatization fetish "who doesn’t mind urine in Lake Winnipeg ... and [who] will fire hundreds of nurses with a stroke of a pen." While it's hard to say at this juncture if the strategy will pay off, it's clear Selinger is embracing the approach. Further, owing to the nature of the strategy, Selinger is occasionally letting his contempt for some of PC leader Hugh McFadyen's more egregious slurs shine through. At times during yesterday's debate Selinger's tone was indeed sharp. Yet, considering where the respective campaigns are at present, it's safe to say Selinger's "sharp" tones may be just the tip of the iceberg. With the PC's opting to shrilly go where all other desperate campaigns before them have gone (to the planet Negative), it's virtually assured that Premier Selinger will be upping his attack game on McFadyen in the days to come. 

Meanwhile, back on PC planet Negative, Hugh McFadyen is busy painting Selinger's government as being responsible for ALL that ails our contemporary Manitoba society.

Too much crime? - It's all Selinger's fault.

Too much rain and flooding? - It's all Selinger's fault.

Too much drought? - It's all Selinger's fault.

Too much sickness? - It's all Selinger's fault.

Too rich and angry about paying taxes? - It's all Selinger's fault.

Too many challenges for the private sector amid a global recession? -Yep, all Selinger's fault.

Too stupid and poorly educated (even if you attended school under Gary Filmon's regime)? - Yep, you got it, that too is all Selinger's fault.

In short, in the world according to Hugh, ALL the angst, depression, insecurity, frustration, and melancholy in Manitoba has but one root cause. A root cause that goes by but one name: SELINGER. And if you let McFadyen talk long enough through his perpetual vacant smile he'll try to convince you that Selinger is singularly responsible for every ort, bite, and crumb of all that presently ails us in our fair prairie Eden. Problem is, while there may be some legitimate points to be made against the current government... Greg Selinger and the NDP simply can't be responsible for everything. After all, Manitoba is hardly a hermetically sealed polity unaffected by the macroeconomic and societal afflictions now taxing all western democracies. And to pretend otherwise, as McFadyen does, is simply not credible.   

Sure election campaigns are war by other means, but this one is getting downright silly... and mean. Having abandoned the poignant politics of purpose and promise both leaders find themselves bogged down in their trenches as their jaded backroom generals run negative ignoble campaigns centered on character assassination. Campaigns which, at their core, are doing a great disservice to both the credibility of the leaders, the spirits of their front line troops, and to us, the hapless voters. And though I am no friend of Hugh McFadyen or his politics, I am disappointed that Premier Selinger has chosen to indulge in a childish tit-for-tat on the electoral schoolyard with an opponent who, by rights, could be easily defeated on the basis of his nonexistent vision. Instead, we are confronted by fear mongering and name calling from both sides; the kind that will only get uglier as October 4th approaches. Buckle up Manitoba, it's going to be a rough ride.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Are Manitoba Fiscal Conservatives being taken for granted?

Fiscal conservatives in Manitoba can be forgiven if they are feeling somewhat abandoned this election campaign. After all, the brand of fiscal conservatism currently on display in Hugh McFadyen's PC party platform hardly fits the bill.

With each passing day of this election campaign there seems to be another PC party spending announcement that, I suspect, is leaving most fiscal conservatives in this province not feeling the love. Moreover, despite McFadyen's constant accusations of alleged NDP "waste and mismanagement" he's yet to demonstrate to his right-wing economic base exactly how ridding Manitoba of such monstrous waste would translate into real fiscal retrenchment and savings. So far? Nothing, ... nada, ... just crickets.

The lack of concrete promises to date by McFadyen as to how he will transform Manitoba's treasury into one fiscal conservatives would be proud to call their own speaks volumes. No word on what social services he will cut down the road. No word on who will have to assume the burden when the state steps away from said services. No word on how much can be saved. It either means that Manitoba's treasury is not, as McFadyen alleges, in danger of imploding; or that he's decided to take his (mostly rural) right-wing economic base completely for granted this election campaign as he makes his big progressive push to capture the coveted political center.

For the greater Tory good Hugh McFadyen has decided there is another way to go in 2011... a very progressive way. And in the meantime, Manitoba's fiscal conservatives have been left on the outside looking in, no doubt wondering what has become of their party.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gene Simmons not worthy: Winnipeg Mayor's office KISSes one Ass too many?

Damn James Hope Howard over at Slurpees & Murder and his prodigious blog posting of late... he took the words right outta my mouth with his latest post: You Get a News Story Like This and the Jokes Write Themselves. A must read, it illustrates how Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz decision is to award serial womanizer & fading KISS rock star Gene Simmons the key to our fair city is absurd. Sheesh, ... when did chronic self-indulgence and highly publicized sexual debauchery become the criteria for who gets the Key to the City? Cripes, whose next? Charlie Sheen?

Surely Winnipeg Mayor's Office has better things to do... don't they?

[Update: I just realized that PolicyFrog also has two great posts on this Kafka moment in our city's history. See "Stop The Madness - Part 1" & "Stop the Madness - Part 2"]

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hey Warren Kinsella! It's not always about you!

On April 27th, Warren Kinsella posted a lament about his non-relationship with Michael Ignatieff and a perceived hypocrisy regarding a possible Liberal shift on the idea of a merger between themselves & the NDP (see: "Tales from under the bus"). Kinsella included a gruesome picture, presumably of a corpse (?) under which he wrote: "Me, not exactly as pictured."

In the middle of a hard fought election campaign with the Liberals trying to unseat Stephen Harper, Warren's post struck me as unwarranted & ill-timed and, quite simply, as reeking of self-serving sour grapes.

In his post, Kinsella included a link to a year old Toronto Star article involving his oft disputed claim that he was privy to knowledge of merger talks between the two political parties in 2010 (a claim strongly denied by both Layton, Ignatieff, & their respective staff). It was a claim later characterized as "ridiculous". Hm, I was puzzled. Truth be told, in the middle of a federal election, I thought Warren was being a bit too petulant about his lot in life.

Further, I saw his post included a link to a story posted that day by Althia Raj (posted 1:41pm est.), one speculating that, in fact, Ignatieff may have not ruled out a merger with NDP. A story that clearly fit with Warren's "look-at-me... see-I'm-right" narrative. However, in very short order after she posted said story (and hours before Kinsella posted its link) Althia Raj twittered: "Ignatieff came by to tell me that he is "not in this for a merger," or for a coalition, or union of the left. He is in it to win Lib govt"

Hm, ... did Kinsella choose to acknowledge this fact? No. Why? Because it didn't serve his personal purpose. Hm, ... did Kinsella choose to update his blog with the facts contained in Raj's updated story (wherein Ignatieff irrefutably rejected any merger talk)? Again no. Why? Because, again, it didn't fit Warren's narrative of 'Warren as victim' - of poor Warren being on par with an actual dead corpse in a real picture under a real bus.

So, I decided to leave a very short comment on his blog post that began: "Respectfully Warren" this election is not always about you (n.b. it included no profanity). He did not post it. So, I left a second, similar, comment. He did not post it. Finally, I posted a third and final comment:

Fat Arse says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. April 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm
Warren, once again with punk based attitude of respect... fact you barred both my original & my follow up comment tells me you are getting too thin skinned as time passes. Christos, it wasn't like I was slamming your integrity and/or calling into questioning your views. All I was doing was subtly asking you to take a step back and realize this election is not all about you and those who did you wrong. There are bigger issues at play here (especially in Winnipeg South) and if you're not man enough to hear a little chiding... cripes ... grow up the fuck up!

And I left it at that. I'd said my piece, even though I knew he would not publish it.
And so, I moved on.

Hours later, after supper, I then read this email from that had been sent to me at 4:48CST:

I don't do my web site, for no pay, to take life tips from guys who lack the balls to use their own frigging name.
Punk enough?

How odd? So my comments were disallowed because he does his "web site, for no pay" & refuses "to take life tips" (actually it was an observation- not a life tip) from a guy with no "
frigging name". Okay, fair enough, it's his blog; he can do what he wants. Rules are rules. IF ONLY! See, if indeed Warren has a policy of not allowing bloggers with pseudonyms to post on his blog - fine. Problem is he doesn't. Fact is, Warren often and frequently allows those who don't use their real names to post comments (see comments on his site), ... err... just not those whose comments cut too close to the bone, to the truth about the man, a thin-skinned man, known as Warren Kinsella.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It matters if CBC's Rosie is on your trail: The Election Twitter Coverage

The Twitterverse is a funny thing.

Last night Iggy was in Winnipeg in front of a motivated and passionate crowd numbering about 1,100. He gave a barn-burner of a speech; one that clearly articulated his positions and was even newsworthy for what he had to say about the polls. Sadly, the event received very little "twitter" coverage from the national reporters tasked to Iggy's campaign. I am not blaming them - just stating a fact. The reporters in question just don't happen to twitter all that much.

On the other hand, Jack Layton is in Winnipeg this morning at a considerably smaller rally (600 people max.) giving a much less substantive speech than Iggy gave last night - but he is receiving 4-5 times the twitter attention. Especially from CBC's @. Again, I am not blaming Rosie. She is a fine reporter, as are many of the others from other news-outlets now covering Layton. It's just a fact that Rosie twitters more than most - so, ergo, Jack is getting more digital ink today than Iggy got last night.

Guess it has always been true. Even before the advent of the age of social media. Simple fact is and always has been that: who a news organization assigned to a given campaign greatly impacted how that campaign was portrayed to the public. J.W. Dafoe comes to mind. Not all reporters or their "inks" are created equal. And for those of us today who occasionally dwell on social media networking sites such as Twitter,the impact is both immediate, perceptible, and stark. In today's world, he who gets the most "ink" on a campaign trail is invariably the one being covered by those reporters with the most active thumbs! Is it fair to the under-served candidate trying to get his message out? Probably not. Is it biased? Absolutely not. A news organization's resources are tight, and not all campaigns can be accorded equal treatment. That being said... I do think Iggy has been under served in the last week and a half.

So what's the scoop? Fact, if an @ or an @ from CBC are covering your campaign you have a much better chance of getting your message out quicker & more often than those candidates who get two crotchety old dudes with bifocals, carbuncles, & arthritic thumbs assigned to their trail. In the Twitterverse that's just the way it is!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stephen Harper is still in Contempt this #elxn41

I believe election campaigns should be fought on the issues. I believe that during an election campaign all our political leaders are obligated to engage Canada's electorate. I believe that leaders who are asking for our vote are duty bound to honestly tell us where they plan to take our country.

I believe any political leader who consciously tries to downplay and/or avoid the scrutiny of voters during an election campaign is doing democracy a disservice. Moreover, I believe any leader who attempts to limit public access to his events during a campaign is in contempt of our electoral process and, in effect, thumbing his nose at us.

I believe Stephen Harper's "one-trick pony" fear-mongering coalition message has become tiresome. I also believe he has intentionally avoided giving Canadian voters the straight goods on his party's long-term fiscal plans for our country. I believe his unending efforts to try to frighten we voters into giving him a majority- or else - once again demonstrates his utter contempt for both his opponents and our political system. I believe Stephen Harper is unworthy of a parliamentary majority. And I firmly believe it is in Canada's best interests if we hand he and his party a defeat on May 2nd.

Friday, April 15, 2011

#elxn41's "Other Quebec": A Conservative Disneyland

In the past 36 hours, much ado is being made over the legitimacy of the French language debate. Many say it was unnecessary. Among them a majority of those who constitute Stephen Harper's English Canadian base. Dismissing the second debate as a flawed exercise, they assert it reeked of overindulgence by placing an unwarranted focus on a "biased" province. They are wrong of course. Just as they are wrong about why Canada's "other Quebec" should be allowed to retain its own special status during this . A privileged status that will see it's political culture emerge unscathed, unchanged, and quite possibly the most powerful political force in Canada after May 2nd.

Wedged between a more populous province to its west and some relatively insignificant provinces to its east (at least in terms of population and economic output), this "other Quebec", this monolith, is failing the rest of us. Having no desire to have other Canadians examine the true power and influence they wield over the Harper regime, this province's current federal incumbents are doing everything possible to avoid the media. A province with a tradition of ideological bloc voting that revels in its own political distinctiveness - it's leaders believe they are "right" to avoid the current electoral fray that is .

Curiously, they are correct. For despite their abject blind allegiance to Stephen Harper, the power-brokers in this "other Quebec" really are relatively immune from any criticism on the national stage. The rest of the country, and our national media, just takes them for granted and lets them be. Comforted by this knowledge, they can and will continue to deliver the goods for Stephen Harper on election day. They are also sitting pretty because they know they are the absolute key to any hope that Stephen Harper has of forming a majority government. And, because of this, the province's current crop of MP's also know that, should Stephen Harper get his majority on May 2nd, they will, in turn, get everything they want from the federal government. All without having their values or their disproportionate sway over our national economy questioned. A sweet deal really, especially when you consider that all that is being asked of the "other Quebec's" MP's by Harper is to just: "Keep your frigging heads down... until May 3rd."

I am speaking, of course of Alberta. "Welcome to [the real] Conservative Disneyland"!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Post Debate - Harper diminishes us still

Okay, I'll admit I was disappointed to see Stephen Harper perform semi-competently during last night's election debate. Clearly, his pre-debate prep must have included the meme: ape the calm automaton and you'll present a believable banality that keeps your base happy and will not not send centrist voters running & screaming into the arms of the Liberals. And so he did. But he still lied.

He lied when he stated the choice in this election is all about the economy. Of course, this election is partly about the economy; but mostly it is about his abject CONTEMPT for our democracy and its institutions. He lied again when he accused the opposition of triggering an "unnecessary election". This election is necessary. Now more than ever.

This election is necessary because when we exercise our collective democratic right to pronounce a decision on Mr. Harper on May 2nd, it will inform who we are and what we value. And should we misstep that fateful day, it will see us fundamentally alter our society in a way that diminishes us all as a people. Bottom line, if Harper achieves his much sought after majority on May 2nd, our future will be bleaker. Unencumbered by any real checks and balances on his power, we'll see a man already found guilty of not respecting our institutions take us down a dark path bound to weaken our country, deprive us of fairness, and lessen our freedoms. A Harper majority will, in short, lead to disaster.

So to those of you who thought Prime Minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party of Canada performed "okay" in last night's debate, you're right. He did "okay". But "okay" is not good enough... for he still sat there before us and lied.

For me in this election it's not about a one-off debate performance. It's about the principles and values of the different players who are asking for our trust. It's about the merits of their respective visions for our future possibilities. It's about their commitment to us as a people AND how they believe our polity should function.

This election is about what the candidates are are offering Canadians. Will they bring out the best in us? It's not about taking a path borne of cynical calculation and contrived memes. Rather, its about us having the courage to choose a path that balances the needs of the many with the avarice of the few and, a path, that is committed to protecting our rights, laws, freedoms, and the integrity of our institutions. It's about taking a path Stephen Harper is not offering each and every time he stands before us and lies about why we are having this election. We are having this election because it is needed to combat his CONTEMPT. We are having this election to pronounce our judgment on a man who think us fools and who really believes we're willing to overlook his lack of integrity. We are having this election because, frankly, there has to be a better way to run this country called Canada!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yellowstain Harper: A liar worthy of Contempt!

Harper will try to tell you his government fell on a budget that was never debated. He will try to tell you that there is a conspiracy afoot to unseat him. He will try to tell you that Jets, Jails, & corporate tax cuts are what you need. He will tell you, after challenging his main opponent to a 1:1 debate, that he's yellowstaining it because that “train has left the station”. He will tell you he knew nothing of his top political adviser's criminal past. He will tell you he knows nothing of why his Conservative campaign is doing background checks on attendees and forcibly removing some of them from his appearances. He will tell you his plan to keep the $6BILLION in Canadian Corporate tax cuts are good for you and your family. He, in short, will tell you anything! AND he will be lying! It's all lies... Stephen "Yellowstain" Harper is quite simply a LIAR! Proof? See here:

Corporate tax cuts don't spur growth, analysis reveals as election pledges fly

Already deemed to be in CONTEMPT of our democracy by the MAJORITY of our duly elected parliamentarians, Stephen Harper has no shame, he simply continues his streak... he is, quite simply, a contemptuous LIAR!

[photo courtesy of Globe & Mail]

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Andrew Coyne touchy on Twitter this #elxn41: I thought he was made of sterner stuff.

Fascinating. Ppl who know nothing abt physics generally defer to physicists. But economics... ppl think they can craft it to their designs.
14 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply
Fat Arse
@ re: "Ppl who know nothing abt ...economics... think they can craft it to their designs." = A $55B CPC Harper deficit!
Ivison and Ibbitson see it more the way I do.

Fat Arse
@ re:"Ivison...and Ibbitson ...see it more the way I do." No surprise, you're all in the same bubble and spit swaping the same meme's!
Let's be clear: 5 fraud convictions is certainly more shocking than 2. But still a mystery why a guy w/even 1 conviction was anywhr near PM

Fat Arse
@ re: your Q-"still a mystery why a guy w/even 1 conviction was anywhr near PM"- A: he knows, your bias - - he can get away with it!
I'm sorry: I wouldn't hire a guy with a fraud conviction to deliver a pizza.

Fat Arse
@ "I'm sorry: I wouldn't hire a guy with a fraud conviction to deliver a pizza." No? WTF? But U endorse his boss?
@ I don't endorse any1. U hv rare ability 2 ignore evidence that contradicts yr pov. Have u read anything else I've written?

Fat Arse
@ With all do respect Sir, yes... I 've read all your writings for decade+. From my vantage point you are this election, solidly [1/3]
Fat Arse
@ [2/3 con'd] an economic determinist who is prone to "70's era' reductionism about LP platform -but unwilling to apply 80's analysis
Fat Arse
@ [3/3] that highlights the similarities of the flawed economic assumptions Harpo [i.e. Reagan?] is betting on during our recession.

@ You can call me an economic determinist, whatever the hell that is, if you like. But spare me the "partisan" crap...

Fat Arse
@ re: "spare me the "partisan" crap"? A determinist who only sees one side of the ledger IS "Partisan"= economy needs social component

@ Fine. So you *disagree* with me. Adults disagree without impugning each other's motives, ethics or professionalism.

Fat Arse
@ I'll leave you be now... BTW, wasn't impugning your motives "just the lenses you use" - ever in WPG look me up- we can resume then;)

@ We have nothing more to discuss, then.
Fat Arse
@ Pity, but do take care.

Fat Arse
@ On the basis our earlier give&take U took offense? Now I am prohibited from "following"? Really? Silly, sad, and surreal.
8 hours ago Favorite Reply Delete

*** FIN ***

[addendum: I really thought he was made of sterner stuff.]

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jason Kenney Desperate for Tweet Cred? His tweet & my reply

Jason Kenney
Did an interview on the @ on Newstalk 1010 in Toronto. He asked me for a policy to deport mothers-in-law!


Fat Arse
@ @ Well, if they were innocent Sri Lankan mother-in-laws of Tamil descent I'm sure you'd figure out a way!

*** FIN ***

Update @3:05 CST - My mother-in-law says the CPC has just lost the "mother-in-law" vote!

Update #2 @3:08 CST - In a desperate attempt to pull an Oda-esque "NOT" losing the mother-in-law vote the Harper Government's Immigration Minister,Jason Kenney, is now going to try and bury his earlier tweet with more banal tweets; to wit:
Jason Kenney
Interesting column by Jonathan Chevreau comparing the retirement income plans of the Conservative and Liberal parties:
Jason Kenney
West Van Sunshine Coast candidate John Weston & I did roundtables w enthusiastic supporters from the Persian & Chinese communities

Hm, ... I wonder if he did those roundtables before or after the radio interview. And if it was before, why didn't he tweet about it then?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shelly Glover's gaffe and her ensuing lies about Anita Neville's voting record

Conservative Shelly Glover is prone to gaffes and tripping herself up. Yesterday she accused Winnipeg South Centre Liberal MP Anita Neville of being too old to do the job. Of being past her "expiry date". Rightly her comments were viewed as ageist. Today, panicked, Glover was in full frontal damage control mode. Yet, rather than apologizing, she then tried to explain away her face-planting gaffe by lying about Anita Neville's voting record.

Yep, that's what she did. You see, rather than admit her remarks were wrong, Glover opted instead to flat out lie about another Honourable Member's parliamentary voting record. Professing she never meant to "insult" senior citizens across this land, silly Shelly then said that all she really had meant to do was "remind" seniors: "that Ms. Neville just voted to oppose the Conservative Government’s plan to increase [Guaranteed Income Supplement] payments to the most vulnerable, lowest income seniors in Canada..." Problem is, Glover's new assertion is patently false!

Ms. Neville never did any such thing. The legislation that Glover refers to was contained in the bogus Tory Budget 2011 which, as CBC pointed out, was never brought up for debate and/or voted upon. Why? Because Glover and her party were found to be in CONTEMPT of Parliament. So tell me Ms. Glover, hours before your petulant and power-hungry leader is scheduled to set down here in Winnipeg: Do you stand by this lie?

Sorry... I can't hear you. "Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?..."

[photo courtesy of]

My second "Tweet" ever; Stephen Harper; and a serious philosophical question

"If a Harper tree falls in the forest & nobody is there to see it... does it keep on LYING? Or does it just lay there in CONTEMPT?"

- courtesy my new Tweet thingy at Fat Arse

p.s. Now if only somebody could teach me how to load the damn twitter blogger gadget!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Harper continues to Abuse Government of Canada Websites: Tory Platform aka "Budget 2011" gets a free ride at taxpayer expense

First go see the official Government of Canada Finance website. See how prominently the Tory election platform is displayed? No surprise really. After all what would you expect of serial abusers like Harpo & Co who believe, in their heart of hearts, that the public purse is there to be raped for partisan purposes. See here also.

Fact is "No Confidence" Harpo and his band of contemptuous usurpers will leave this free advertising up for as long as they can get away with it. In my calls to members of the Public Service at the Finance Department today it was acknowledged that "somebody had brought this up this morning" - but as of yet they have had no clear directive to take the shameless partisan items down. They are awaiting guidance. Needless to say, Flaherty's minions at Finance will wait until the last possible moment to abide by the law before making a change.

Following my conversation with a poor and clearly besieged conscientious public servant (whose tone, if not words, conveyed awareness that this abuse is not proper), I then phoned CBC "Power & Politics" to convey my concern. A nice gent named Greg took my message and promised to forward it on... well let's see what Evan Solomon and Co. do with it today. Or like so many other blatant examples of the "Harper Government" abuses of Government of Canada websites will it fall through the cracks of the election cycle spin?

Bottom line, Harpo & Co. know this is wrong. The "Budget 2011" was never debated, it was never passed and it is NOT Canadian Government policy... why? Because his government was found in CONTEMPT for this very sort of behaviour. Enough is enough, no more taxpayer dollars for their partisan agenda.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bruinooge Watch pt.3: A timely re-post to remind all who "Odd-Rod" really represents - Clue it's not South Winnipeg if you happen to be pro-choice!

Rod Bruinooge is not the right man for Winnipeg South. He should quit politics. Ill-suited to the job of MP and facing a tough Liberal opponent - he'd probably be better off (and happier?) if he just switched careers now and became a full-time pastor in some far right evangelical setting.

I've never re-posted before; but I believe because Bruinooge once again is asking for my vote this election season - it is both timely and apt that I do so today. Especially after his absurd attempt last December to introduce a wholly unnecessary anti-abortion private members bill (Roxanne's Law) on the floor of the House of Commons. Criminy, even Harpo & Co.'s power brokers couldn't agree with the premise of his none to subtle attempt to spur a renewed abortion debate in this country:

“I just think it’s legally unnecessary,” Heritage Minister James Moore said. “Those protections already exist in the criminal code. That was the justice minister’s assessment and I agree with him.”

Written two years ago (and somewhat dated) I still stand by the concerns raised in the original post. Here, from May 19th, 2009, is the original post in its entirety:

Rod Bruinooge and Ezra Levant: Separated at Birth?

"Misleading the public has never been a strategy I've condoned."

Winnipeg South Tory MP Rod Bruinooge is my Member of Parliament. As such, I like to know what he's doing on my behalf. Last week I was delighted to read of Bruinooge's announcement that federal funding has finally materialized to upgrade a very dangerous rail crossing near my house. It's one that I traverse hundreds (if not thousands) of times a year, so yep, this sure was welcome news.

Hmm, ... wonder what else intrepid Odd-Rod has been up to lately?

Oh Drats! Unfortunately, that is a question easier asked than answered.

The problem is that it is no longer easy to keep a tab on Bruinooge's activities. You see his official website, once a fairly reliable source that allowed his constituents see what he was up to, has changed. At the very least, you think his site would strive to highlight the kind of announcement mentioned above - sadly, it doesn't bother.

Instead, it seems now that Mr. Bruinooge and his "crack" constituency office have better things to do than keep we constituents informed. What Odd-Rod is actually doing and saying seems to be intentionally ignored at his own site. Rarely updated, his current website lacks clarity and transparency. The last "recent event" posting on his site is dated April 5th, 2009 and, presumably, is was intended to highlight how he helped mark the significance of the 92nd Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. I say presumably because there is no way to verify the snippet presented. You see the link to the item leads to a dead MSNBC page, so while I have no doubt he was recently supportive of Canada's history of sacrifice at the Battle of Vimy - I also, based on the link provided, have no proof.

What I do have proof of is that MP Bruinooge has apparently decided Facebook is the platform best suited to advance his narrow anti-abortion agenda. How else does one explain why his official site contains NO mention of his much publicized anti-abortion statement last December - or his recent assertion that Canada has seen "an alarming increase in the number of cases where ... free speech [is] suppressed". Sure, his "official" website notes he is "chair of the multi-party pro-life caucus"; but it does not contain any links that would allow us to read what he is actually saying about the issue.

No, for that we have to go to his Facebook group page, "The Bruinooge Effect" - the one with 821 members that seeks to profligate an "ideal that shakes people out of their tainted world view. Tainted by years of deceptive propoghanda [sic] that has convinced millions of Canadians that humans arrive at birth, not before." Wow. As a supporter of a woman's right to choose, I am utterly shocked at how naive I've been! And if it weren't for Rod, I may never have realized that my own personal world view is, by virtue of my pro-abortion stance, "tainted"! Thanks Rod, obviously I am too ill-equipped to have already formed my own opinion on this matter. You are so right - only yours has merit.

Funny, had I relied only on his official website and not bothered to track down his facebook site, I would never have been aware that he considers the "world view" of 65+% of his constituents to be "tainted'. Oh Rod, how odd?

Well, maybe not so odd; true he is upfront on one of his four Facebook pages that contain such links as:

Rod Bruinooge came out strong in the media on re-opening the debate on abortion in Canada. Read his op-ed here!


Rod Bruinooge was the first MP to speak out against Morgentaler's Order of Canada and appeared on Question Period on CTV. Watch it here:

Being up front on Facebook is one thing - but, apparently, Rod considers being up front on one's OFFICIAL WEBSITE to be something else altogether (i.e. not necessary). If his site is to be believed, 2009 has so far been an unremarkable year for Odd-Rod. In fact, it itemizes his attendance at only three "events" since the January.

And, it most certainly, does not include any reference to this!

Hmm curious ... you would think Odd-Rod would be proud to include the video endorsement above on his public political website? After all, he clearly believes Ezra Levant is "telling it like it is"? Further, his promise to help Ezra to "continue" the fight to abolish s. 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is no small pledge. It's something that we, as his constituents, should be apprised of.... no?

If my MP Rod Bruinooge truly believes in what he is saying on Facebook and at events like the one celebrating Ezra Levant and his "Shake Down" theory on Canada's flawed(?) Human Rights Act, fine. But the least he could do is be transparent about these activities on his official website. After all, we South Winnipeg voters don't want to have any "tainted ideas" about what Odd-Rod really stands for before we head into the next election... now do we?

Update *** Oh my, miracles of miracles, Bruinooge's Official Website has just updated its "Recent Events" listings for the first time in 6 weeks. Hmm, ... wonder what prompted that?

AGAIN: "Misleading the public has never been a strategy I've condoned."
Rod Bruinooge


Addendum: Rod Bruinooge has many problems. Not the least of which is that he's long overdue for a career change. God-Allah-Buddha & the ghost of Mrs. Muir be willing, one can only hope that said career change will be upon him on May 2nd, 2011.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bruinooge Watch pt.2: Silent "Odd" Rod and the cancellation of the 2012 World indigenous Games

Rod Bruinooge is nothing if not tight-lipped when it comes to the abject failure of Harper's Conservative Party to stand up for aboriginal people.

According to the Winnipeg Sun, the Harper Government's refusal "to match a $3.5 million commitment" by Manitoba to support Winnipeg's hosting of the inaugural 2012 World Indigenous Games has led to the event's cancellation. As an event organizer said, "the wheels fell off" when Harper's Conservatives failed to support the initiative and now this "lack of federal support means Canada might not be the place to host the first games." Typical! Bloody typical!

Rod Bruinooge's Con Party can find $30+ BILLION for jets we don't need - but they refused to cough up a measly 1% of that amount to ensure Winnipeg could host a "United Nations and the International Olympic Committee" sanctioned event that would have brought "more than 3,000 participants from across the globe to Manitoba and generated an estimated $50 million in economic activity." Moreover, aside from highlighting aboriginal culture & sport, the event would also have provided a much needed positive example to our aboriginal youth here in Manitoba. But no, Rod Bruinooge's CON Party didn't see it that way - they are too focused on jets and jails to give a rat's ass about our aboriginal youth, their potential, or our city!

And here in South Winnipeg, Odd-Rod stays silent still... what else is new?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Any minute now OUR democracy will pronounce a righteous "NO CONFIDENCE" in the HARPER GOVERNMENT!

OUR democracy will, in mere minutes, pronounce a righteous "NO CONFIDENCE" in a government that has shamed our parliamentary tradition. Good riddance Harper!

Update: At 1:21pm CST here in Winnipeg my ever faithful CBC radio has just told me the 'die has been cast' - alas, this is good for we who have always been in the MAJORITY (the 64% of us who didn't vote for Harpo & Co. last election) ... may our numbers grow!

Bruinooge Watch pt.1: Bill C-393, "Odd-Rocket" Rod Bruinooge fails to vote to help those suffering from AIDS?

So what is the true story behind why my Conservative MP in Winnipeg South, "Rocket Rod" (aka "Odd-Rod") Bruinooge was unable to cast any vote whatsoever on bill C-393 ("An Act to amend the Patent Act drugs for international humanitarian purposes...")?

On both the 2nd reading of Bill C-393 and again on the final and 3rd reading just two weeks ago on March 9th, he was curiously mute. Hmm. Very curious. Even more so because it's not like he was a "paired vote". Further, if I am correct, he was not in any committee meetings anywhere on the Hill. The simple fact is he simply (very, very simply), didn't bother to vote at all. Hmm.

Curiouser still because I know that on March 9th he was present both on the Hill and in the House. Even odder because when I phoned his parliamentary office earlier this month, a member of his staff went out of their way to remind me that Odd-Rod is not the kind of MP who ever "misses a vote" - ergo, given my call occurred on March 9th ... his not voting on C-393 that very same day is indeed very strange stuff.

So what's up?

Could it be that Bruinooge knew all along he would not have to go on the record on bill C-393? Could it be he knew it would be killed in the Harper-Government controlled Senate on orders from the most mindless minuscule and weaselly wonders of Harpoism - Minister Tony Clement? Did Bruinooge know in advance (on March 9th?) that the hapless grinning aping chimp that is Industry Minister Tony Clement would be tasking Harpo's hand-picked partisan Senators with goosestepping marching orders to NOT let bill C-393 pass the Upper Chamber before the anticipated, ugly, and rightful demise of Canada's 40th Parliament?

Did Bruinooge know, in effect, the Tories had planned all along to leave the bill in an aborted stage on the Senate floor?

Or, alternatively (and/or concurrently) could it be that Bruinooge (much like Montreal's Tory Senator Larry Smith) had already been approached by Big Pharma here and told to either vote no and let them keep maximizing their obscene profits because of our flawed drug patent laws - or to simply (again very simply) stay away altogether? Hmm? Why wouldn't Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge cast any vote at all on a bill designed to improve access to life saving drugs for HIV/AIDS patients in Africa?

What are his true reasons for missing both C-393 votes?
Did he know something we didn't?

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Jack Layton says NO - Canada is to have a federal election ASAP!

"And therefore New Democrats will NOT support the budget as presented." - Jack Layton at 3:44pm CST on CBC radio here in Winnipeg.

So Harpo & Co. here ya go... an election we do have. Good riddance to ya!

Now, if only both the NDP and Liberal opposition parties can keep their eye on the ball and not become distracted by petty things. Gentlemen (and ladies) start your engines!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Canadian Opposition parties find Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government "IN CONTEMPT". The important thing here to remember is that our duly elected federal representatives (who garnered 64% of all federal votes cast in 2008) have found the MINORITY HARPER GOVERNMENT in contempt of OUR Parliament. After all the prorogues, all the lies, all the abuses, and all of the misuses of authority exhibited by the HARPER GOVERNMENT these past five years - it's about time!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Yet another reason why the Harper Government's F-35 jet purchase should be questioned.

So last week we heard from Canada's Parliamentary Budget Officer, Kevin Page, that Harpo & Co.'s ridiculous decision to go ahead and purchase the troubled F-35 fighter jet will cost we taxpayers BILLIONS upon BILLIONS more than they had said it would! NOW today we read that the entire fleet of the troubled, unproven, and exorbitantly over-priced jet fighter has been grounded by the US military because of a "dual generator failure and an oil leak"!

Just like Harpo & Co. to back something that can't fly! Yet another waste of Canadian taxpayer funds by the Cons!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Corporate Tax cuts for the wealthy? What are your Canadian values?

Today's Globe & Mail poll reflects Canadian values - unless you're a cog in the broken ego-maniacal machine known as Harpo & Co! In which case, your on the wrong side again!

Globe & Mail reports: "Harper’s top aide being linked to in-and-out scandal"

Read and wonder... is this the kind of accountability he promised us?

Anyone remember February 2006? "Canada's next prime minister said his first act in Parliament will be to propose a federal accountability act." HA! What a joke that turned out to be.

Five years on, and too many scandals to mention, it is clear to all rational Canadians with ears and/or eyes that Harpo's words and actions are as cheap, tawdry, and empty as a whore's promise of love when the money (i.e. the vote) is the issue. His faux commitment to transparency is, like everything else about the man, notable only for its absence. With no heart and no shame ... all that he covets is political gain. Fuck him, let's tell him his run is done!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A worthy read: Andrew Wherry on Harper

Here's but a tidbit from Andrew Wherry's recent piece at MacLeans on he who has renamed OUR Canadian Government after himself, ... it's worth a full read!

"The man who once said there wouldn’t be a recession now congratulates himself for having seen the country through the downturn. The man who once said he’d never run a deficit now says he’s the only one who can be trusted to get us out of the red. The man who once derided Canada now campaigns on his love of country and loudly questions the patriotism of all others. The man who once predicted that the Liberals would lose power when a coalition overtook them and who then joined with the leaders of the Bloc Quebecois and NDP to ask that the Governor General consider her “options” before allowing the Liberal minority government of the day to dissolve Parliament, now says “losers” don’t get to form government."