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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another









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6/25/2004

Even but angry

The polls are being reported on other blogs but, essentially, they are coming out as a sawoff between the Grits and the Tories. Which will not translate to a saw off in seats depending on Quebec.

Throughout this election Quebec has been the wildcard. If the BQ swept Quebec leaving a Liberal rump in Anglo Montreal then it was unlikely that the Liberals could form even a minority government; but now there seems to be some movement to the Grits. Grrr.

What has been striking about the election is just how far apart the left and right have grown in Canada. And, more interestingly, how unrelentingly negative the Liberal campaign has been.

What it suggests is that the Liberal orthodoxy in Canada is brittle and liable to collapse. If not this election than almost certainly in the next one which will follow in no more than a year or two.

The Liberals have had to claim that any deviation from the Liberal orthodoxy on abortion, gay marriage, gun registration, capital punishment, culture or the military amounts to extremism. And they have had to claim this in the face of the fact Canadians are evenly divided on virtually all these issues.

The Liberal campaign was perfectly characterized by David Herle when he relied to MPs concerned that going negative early would look desperate, "We are desperate."

It is a desperation borne of the knowledge that if the Tories take power the patronage and pandering of the Liberal era is over. And the certainty that the Tories in office will begin the process of devolving power to the provinces leaving Ottawa less and less able to impose the Liberal orthodoxy on Canadians.

The "hidden agenda" of the Conservative Party is, and always has been, a refusal to treat Ottawa as the font of all wisdom. It is an agenda which recognizes the diversity of all the Canadas.

Letting Alberta or British Columbia or PEI determine the shape of its people's destiny without the Central government interfering is, in my view, critical for the next several decades of Canadian development. Recognizing that a one size fits all healthcare or education or cultural policy is out of step with Canadian reality is the first step towards unlocking the real strength of Canada.

Vote early, vote often and don't be afraid.

6/23/2004

Quagmire Watch

No, not a tie vote in the House of Commons. Remember al Sadr, the Shi'ite radical cleric who was going to set Southern Iraq aflame and humble the United States? Yes, that one....well,
Last week, Sheik al-Sadr surrendered. He called on what was left of his men to cease operations and said he may one day seek public office in a democratic Iraq.
Gen. Hertling said Mahdi's Army is defeated, according the Army's doctrinal definition of defeat. A few stragglers might be able to fire a rocket-propelled grenade, he said, but noted: "Do they have the capability of launching any kind of offensive operation? Absolutely not."
The division estimates it killed at least several thousand militia members.
Gen. Dempsey designed "Iron Saber" based on four pillars: massive combat power; information operations to discredit Sheik al-Sadr; rebuilding the Iraqi security forces that fled; and beginning civil affairs operations as quickly as possible, including paying Iraqis to repair damaged public buildings.
the washington times via instapundit
The hunger for defeat goes unsatiated, again.

Woodshedding the Fat Liar

So I know, thanks, before you tell me, that a documentary must have a "POV" or point of view and that it must also impose a narrative line. But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them. By the same token, if I write an article and I quote somebody and for space reasons put in an ellipsis like this (…), I swear on my children that I am not leaving out anything that, if quoted in full, would alter the original meaning or its significance. Those who violate this pact with readers or viewers are to be despised. At no point does Michael Moore make the smallest effort to be objective. At no moment does he pass up the chance of a cheap sneer or a jeer. He pitilessly focuses his camera, for minutes after he should have turned it off, on a distraught and bereaved mother whose grief we have already shared. (But then, this is the guy who thought it so clever and amusing to catch Charlton Heston, in Bowling for Columbine, at the onset of his senile dementia.) Such courage.
christopher hitchens, slate
As Paul Jané from whom I got the link puts it, "Do yourself a favour, and go read the whole thing."

Tax Policy - check out Iceland

This choice makes a lot of sense. Iceland is a small, isolated country of less than 300,000 inhabitants. Like most tiny countries, it cannot compete with large nations on things requiring large infrastructure. Iceland would also have a hard time accommodating a large number of immigrants. On the other hand, there is plenty of legitimate capital looking for a friendly environment and Iceland is committed to grab it.

This is called tax competition. Thanks to the mobility of capital, today taxpayers have the choice about where to spend and invest their money but also about where to pay their taxes. When tax competition exists, politicians must exercise a certain degree of budget and fiscal discipline in order to attract jobs, capital and entrepreneurs instead of losing them to another country.
tech central station
As the Liberals, NDP and Bloc busily try to figure out how to maintain French levels of social services without raising taxes too much they should be looking over their shoulders at the competition. Iceland.

6/22/2004

Now don't libel the big fat liar

He also quotes Moore telling him, “without an ounce of humor,” that attempts to libel him “will be met by force.” He reveals that Moore has readied a “war room” to offer instant rebuttal to conservative critics; hired Democratic activist Chris Lehane; and has a team of lawyers ready to bring defamation suits.
editor and publisher
With the upcoming release of BFL's 9/11 flick it is nice to know he's ready to go to bat for his version of the "truth". Can we say "slap suit"? Of course we can but we might get sued.

More Polls

In this most recent national poll, conducted from Friday night June 18th to Sunday night June 20th, 2004, the Liberal Party has risen slightly to take the lead with 34% of decided voter support (up 5 points). Conversely, the Conservative Party has dropped 4 points and now hold 28% of the national decided vote. This change in the national vote race can be largely credited to the changing federal landscape in the pivotal province of Ontario, where the Liberals (42%, up 8 points) have surged back into the lead over the Conservatives (30%, down 8 points) by a substantial 12 point margin.
ipsos-reid
Proving that attack ads work the Liberals are holding on in Ontario. The question is whether that fear based support will hold through Election Day. For the Liberals to hold on to Ontario they have to convince people that their scandals and corruption are nothing compared to "the end of Canada" Harper's election would create. That may be tough.

The problem with negative campaigning is that fear is transient. You can scare the hell out of someone on Friday and by Monday they are back at work and having second thoughts. If Harper can continue a campaign of re-assurance while underlining the need for change he may be able to erode the fear which is currently driving the Liberal numbers.

6/21/2004

The Kingdom

Beleaguered on all sides, the faction of the royal family that had fostered al-Qaida brought the terrorist movement back into the peninsula. That, at least, is what Saudi liberal dissidents, who are far more numerous than most Westerners realize, believe. The Wahhabi fanatics were repatriated to the kingdom to dramatize the message the royal family always wanted the West to hear: that if the royal family falls, or is compelled to surrender any of its power, the only alternative is something worse: Bin Laden ruling the peninsula. But Bin Laden's patrons already rule the peninsula. Al-Qaida and its imitators returned to Saudi Arabia with two other goals: to operate in the rearguard of the American liberation of Iraq, inciting young Saudis to go kill and die in places like Falluja; and to intimidate the liberal reformers.
tech central station
As a Sufi, Stephen Schwartz has no reason to love the Wahhabis who rule Saudi. His analysis of the return of al-Qaeda to the Kingdom is well worth reading. Very much in the traditon of the Socerer's Apprentice.

Blip

SES is out with the weekend poll. The Liberals and Conservatives are tied at 33%. All within the magin of error. What is not showing up is any concerted momentum.

Now he tells us

"That is what I believe that 21st century modern political leadership ought to be about," he said. "Not decision-making behind closed doors away from the people."
paul martin, globe and mail
Something to remember if Martin is elected. So things like the gun registry and AdScam should have been decided in public. OK. Got it.

Outstanding

“You can see the curvature of the Earth. ... You've got a hell of a view from 62 miles.”
Mike Melvill, test pilot SpaceShipOne, globe and mail
Robert Heinlein is doing cartwheels in a place he didn't believe in.

6/20/2004

Father's Day at the Beach

A perfect day with Sam wading in surprisingly warm water and Max discovering thatsand is not something you eat.

In a very few days Canada is going to vote. At the moment the race is close with the Liberals running a negative campaign and the Conservatives looking a bit as if they could break through and win a majority.

As I wandered along the empty beach it occured to me just how blessed Canada actually is. While I have no love for the Liberals I know that if they are elected they are unlikely to ruin the nation. The Tories, well I don't like them much either; but they are not going to bring Canada to an end.

The most significant issue in the campaign is the one almost no on talks about - have the Liberals earned another mandate or has the corruption and the assumption of a divine right to govern simply become entrenched?

I believe the Liberals need to spend some time, say a decade, in Opposition. They need to in order to hear what the people of Canada really want from their politicians. They need to so they can decide whether they really want people like Carolyn Parrish in their party. They need to be out of power so they can learn that Canadians expect honesty, integrity and fairness from their government.

The Conservatives need to spend some time in office, say a decade, to remember the responsibilities of power. Harper will make a fine Prime Minister now, he will be a better one with four years of experience. The Tories in office will have to come to grips with the essential contradiction in their party between the social conservatives and the more libertarian economic conservatives. They need the experience of actually delivering, rather than promising, balanced budgets.

Whether there is a minority Conservative or Liberal government or a majority Tory administration I am inclined to think Canada will be fine.

The one outcome which would be disasterous would be a Liberal majority government because there will be no incentive for the Liberals to learn what they need to or opportunity for the Tories to gain the experience so essential to a governing party.

Fortunately, the chance of a Liberal majority is slim.

Pesky White People

It would start with a bomb attack on a strategic economic target in Zimbabwe. British explosives would be used and South African experts called in to verify this. The outrage would then be blamed on “British funded terrorists”, says the document, which is dated June 8, 2004, and headed, “Solution to the White Problem”. . .

British nationals . . . would be given 48 hours to leave, their relatives who had given up British citizenship would probably accompany them and intimidation at roadblocks would encourage many other whites to go too, the document says. It suggests that up to 90% of all whites would be gone after six months. . .

The secret service plan suggests that the “white problem” could be tackled more directly if British citizens were targeted. . .

A source privy to discussions within the CIO said Mugabe believed the removal of the whites would draw the international spotlight away from Zimbabwe. “This comes right from the top,” the source said. . .

“In Mozambique, where there are no whites, the government can get away with whatever it likes and the world doesn’t bother. Mugabe would like Zimbabwe to be like that.”
sunday times via cronaca
At which point I would hope the British government would send in troops sufficient to ensure the safe passage of the whites....and then? Well then Mugabe and his henchmen would get on with the task of murdering the poor black opposition which would not be allowed to escape. Lovely.