Saturday, September 20, 2008

Canadian Election Watch - Day 14

Kelly McParland of the National Post gets the prize for the most hysterical headline of the day: "Somebody barricade the mint: Liberal promises top $80 billion. Yes, you read that right". McParland then identifies the spending promises made by the major parties since this campaign started. The phrase "apples and oranges" comes to mind. Let's hope this person isn't an accountant because the alarm he or she has raised is quite disingenuous especially considering the fact that history has shown that it's the Conservative party, hands down, that has managed to squander surpluses and leave Canadians with deficits repeatedly. What that article also fails to mention is the proposed revenue side of each party's balance sheet. Nevertheless, it does provide a roundup of who's been promising what and for that reason alone, it's useful. Leave the hysteria at the door.

Harper on the plane:

Harper brought his wife Laureen and daughter Rachel to Nunavut for the brief six-hour stopover.

His son Ben was busy at hockey try-outs, he said.

Ben, a good player, doesn't want to tryout out for competitive league. "His choice," says his hockey fan dad, who says he is still writing a history of hockey.

Ben's choice comes as a relief to Laureen, Harper said.

"My wife says 'I don't want to do all that driving around.'"

Harper threw up his hands: "I said 'the police drive you around.' We don't even have a car."

The family sold its van because they never used it. His Mountie bodyguards won't let him drive. "They said if I insisted they'd let me drive on the highway."

What happened to Sensitive Metrosexual Man in a Sweater Vest Steve?

On the north:

Harper hadn't heard Stephane Dion's crack about the Conservative military strategy in the north – the reference that Canada couldn't win in a military set with Russia or the U.S. and "we're too civilized to shoot the Danes."

Harper said it is a reference to the dispute over Hans Island. "I have all these atlases at home and I don't even have one that's big enough to show Hans Island. It's a little dot in the middle of nowhere."

A reporter joked: "So are you ceding Hans Island?"

"Believe me, we have more important disputes than Hans Island."

Miss Teen South Carolina obviously should have included Harper in her list of people who need maps. And how about Teh Google Maps, Steve? Ever heard of them? Oh who cares about a "little dot" anyway? Ottawa's a "little dot" too so I guess he won't mind if someone else takes that over either.

And here's another example of what Steve's logic (or lack thereof) looks like:

He frankly admitted he never wanted Green leader Elizabeth May in the televised debates, after previously suggesting it was a decision of the broadcasters consortium.

He said it's "ridiculous that someone who is running in a coalition with another party would be in the debates. It's a matter of principle. Can Peter MacKay go in the debate?"

Breaking news: apparently MacKay is in a coalition with another party!

Yes, that's our (current) esteemed (by die hard Conservatives) leader. Shades of Bush moments. Now why know why he avoids the press as much as possible.

And here's a concise roundup of the day's events:

The New Democrats moved to the political right Saturday, promising to get tough on criminals, the Liberals promised millions for the arts and the Tories pledged to maintain a strong presence in the Arctic and create a stand-alone economic development agency. The promises come as a new poll suggests voter apathy is running high.

A new Ipsos Reid poll for Canwest News Service and Global News suggests two in 10 Canadians are paying more attention to this election than past votes. The majority, about 65 per cent, say they're giving the election the same amount of attention as others. And 14 per cent say they're paying less attention, the poll found.

Considering the fact that there was absolutely no reason to dissolve parliament and call this election, it's no wonder Canadians aren't interested although this site might generate more participation:

A satirical website has also hit the Internet as a result of the Ritz affair. The site - invites participants to "fire salami slices from your cold cut cannon over the skies of Parliament to defend the honour of Canada and the sensibilities of your fellow citizens!"

The site was created Thursday by a group of employees at Guru Dynamics, a Toronto-based web design and hosting company.

"Gerry Ritz made his comments and we were outraged," co-creator Roger Grant told Canwest News Service. "We feel that he should've been fired."

"We believe political satire plays an important role in voter involvement. We wanted to draw attention to it and that's why we put it the way we did it so people would look at it."

Have at it. It's like having your very own chicken cannon and who doesn't want one of those?

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