Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Canadian Election Watch - Day 24

While the plagiarism bombshell ruled the day, Canadians were once again reminded that when Stephen Harper was the Reform Party's (opposition) leader in 2003, he was more than eager to toe the neocon line following it and them right into the illegal Iraq war. And we'd still be there if he'd been PM at the time. Just imagine how many lives that would have cost. And we're supposed to trust this man to lead our country's foreign policy? Not a chance. We're all more than familiar with the way he's dealt with the Afghanistan war and hidden the abuse of Afghan detainees. Enough is enough.

And, speaking of corruption, chicanery, and conservatives behaving badly, reader Raj e-mailed me this article: Tories opened patronage doors before election: CP

OTTAWA -- The Harper government approved 148 appointments to federal boards and agencies, long used as rewards for supporters of the party in power, as the election neared, The Canadian Press has learned.

Cabinet handed out the posts in three rounds, the first only two days before Parliament recessed for the summer, the second on July 30, at peak holiday time for politicians and political journalists, and the third less than a week before Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the election for Oct. 14.

Harper, who railed against Liberal patronage in the 2006 election, later failed to deliver on a campaign pledge to put an independent commission in charge of vetting cabinet appointments. He angrily shelved the idea after opposition MPs refused to ratify his nomination of Gwyn Morgan, a Calgary oil baron who is also a friend of the prime minister, as the commission chair.

Just who does Sweater Vest Steve think he's trying to fool? That's Steve and his so-called "new" government of transparency and accountability - a first class charlatan.

In other news, frankly, this headline is depressing: Harper majority a concern to more than half of Canadians: poll


Well, take a look at the story:

More than half of Canadian voters say they're worried about the thought of giving Stephen Harper a majority government, but most wouldn't change their vote to prevent it.

The results are found in a new Globe and Mail/CTV News poll by The Strategic Counsel, which finds that 52 per cent of Canadians surveyed are anxious about a majority Conservative government. When asked whether they would consider changing their vote if it appeared the Conservatives were going to form the majority, only 16 per cent replied in the affirmative, with 81 per cent saying they would stick with their original intentions. The rest didn't know.

The Tories are still in minority territory at 39% (while the Liberals have nose-dived to just 24%) but that kind of voter apathy about the country's future should be more than troubling to the opposition parties and all Canadians who reject the 'Daddy knows best, just shut up and behave' Conservative philosophy. The upcoming debates could be crucial - that is if anyone actually watches them. And, even then...

In a sign of how uneventful the federal debates have become, however, experts have to go back more than two decades to come up with a Canadian example of a debate exchange that was widely deemed to have had an impact come voting day. That was a pitched 1984 dustup over political patronage between Brian Mulroney and John Turner.

The addition of Elizabeth may might garner a few more viewers at least. She's predicting it'll be a 'make or break' event for the Green party.

The French debate will be held this week on Wednesday at 8 pm ET followed by the English debate on Thursday at 9 pm ET. If you don't have access to Canadian teevee, you can catch them online on CPAC.

CBC's The National did a segment about Canadian bloggers this evening. You can check out the video on their site (on the right side of the page, following the news). Interviews include Steve Janke (Blogging Tory), Jason Cherniak (Liblogs) who whines about being "swiftboated" by the Dippers, and NDPer Devin Johnston. More about that Cherniak controversy here.

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