Thursday, January 31, 2008

None of the Above?

Who do you think would make the best U.S. president from Canada's point of view?

That's the question the Canadian Centre for Policy Studies is asking on its online poll.

So far, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are neck and neck.

Law and Order

In a recent Canwest news article I was quoted as saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to no longer seek clemency for Canadian citizens on death row in the United States was good politics.

It was good politics, I argued, because "law and order" issues play well to Harper's base. I remember the reporter who interviewed me was skeptical about this because, after all, Canada is such a liberal country.

Well lo and behold a recent poll shows that 53 percent of Canadians support the government's position on this.

What's more, support for revoking clemency is highest in British Columbia (61 per cent) and Alberta (58 per cent) which just happen to be the two provinces where a large chunk of the Conservative base resides.

So maybe the lesson from all this is that Harper should play to his base a little more.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Clintons vs. Obama

Thomas Sowell has some interesting comments on the sleazy tactics Hillary and Bill Clinton are employing against Senator Barack Obama.

The Clintons, says Sowell, are seeking to reduce Obama to "just a black candidate."

"It is not that the Clintons are racists," Sowell writes. "It is just that they will use whatever they want, in order to get whatever they want — and the effect on the country does not bother them. That was the hallmark of the first Clinton administration. There is no reason to doubt that this will be the hallmark of the next Clinton administration, if there is one."

Of course, this explains why Bill and our very own Jean Chretien were such good buddies: they both employed the same cynical tactics.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Harper Gallery

About a month ago I wrote a column satirizing the federal Conservative Party's seeming desire to create a "personality cult" around the person of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

It was a supposed to be a joke. (Although a lot of Tories didn't find it funny)

But maybe I was closer to the mark than I figured.

Turns out the government has actually created a special gallery in the House of Commons that features nothing but pictures of the Prime Minister.

According to Green Party Leader Elizabeth May who toured the gallery:

"When you walk in the door, all you see are pictures of Stephen Harper. I'd say between every window, in every available space of the wall, at eye level, every available space has a photo of Stephen Harper."

And she adds, "You've got photos of Stephen Harper, but not of previous prime ministers. Photos of Stephen Harper in different costumes, in different settings, dressed as a fireman, in Hudson Bay looking for polar bears, meeting the Dalai Lama, even the portrait of the Queen had to have Stephen Harper, but in a candid, behind her."

No doubt plans for the giant Stephen Harper statue are in the works.

H/T Janet

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hillary Vs. Bill

Seems Bill Clinton is doing his wife Hillary more harm than good in her quest to become the Democratic nominee for president.

Thwarting Hillary's political ambitions is probably a worse sin in her mind than marital infidelity.

So Bill better watch out.

On the other hand, Victor Davis Hanson wonders why Bill wants America to embrace Hillary when he spent 30 years running away from her.

Medium is the Message

Parliament resumes today.

I can't wait to see what issues the Liberals raise on behalf of the CBC.

Harper and Capital Punishment

I provide some political analysis in this Canwest News story on what kind of message Prime Minister Harper is sending on the issue of capital punishment.

Hint: He is trying to keep his base happy.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Political Metaphor

Check out this Japanese game show; it's obviously a metaphor for what's happening to the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP: lots of running, but not getting anywhere.

Terrible Twos

The Harper government recently celebrated its second birthday.

Wow, two years old.

But, of course, that means the government is now entering that dreaded phase known to all parents as the "terrible twos", an age marked by temper tantrums and aggression.

Hmmm, come to think of it, that's pretty much what we have had for the past two years anyway.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Boycotting the Racists

Dysfunctional, corrupt, wasteful, undemocratic --- these are the words which best describe the United Nations.

Yet strangely, Canadians generally hold this institution in high esteem.

That's why it took something akin to courage for the Harper government to boycott the UN's "anti-racism" conference scheduled to take place next year.

Of course, the government is doing the right thing.

As the Canadian Coalition for Democracies put it, "the last UN anti-racism conference held in Durban in 2001 degenerated into a hate-fest of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel vitriol, while the most egregious human rights violators escaped criticism."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Conservatism That Can Win

Attended a reception last night to celebrate the release of David Frum's latest book, Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again.

It was a great event; just about anybody who is anybody in the conservative movement was there: journalists, activists, politicians.

And I am definitely looking forward to reading David's book as it's a topic of particular interest to me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Me in Different Languages

ΓΕΡΡΥ ΝΙΨΗΟΛΛΣ -- That is supposedly what my name looks like in Greek.

This is how my name looks in Arabic: لثققغ ىهؤاخممس

And here is what it looks like in Hebrew: עקררט מןביםךךד

Got all this info from this nifty site.

Newt's Afraid

Here's Newt Gingrich's take on how we are doing in the "War on Terror". (Spoiler - he is not optimistic).

Health-Care Study

It looks like Canadians aren't getting a bang for their buck when it comes to health-care.

Or at least that's the conclusion of a study put out jointly by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the European-based Health Consumer Powerhouse.

This study shows that out of 30 countries surveyed, Canada ranks at the absolute bottom when it comes to getting value for money spent.

I guess that's no surprise to all those sick and injured Canadians languishing on health-care waiting lists.

Now we need to a study to figure out why some people still think socialized health-care is a good idea.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dion: Canada's Secret Weapon

Liberal leader Stephane Dion will help us win the war in Afghanistan.

Once the Taliban learn about his foreign policy ideas they will undoubtedly laugh themselves to death.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sorry Mao

Citroen is apologizing for poking fun at the late Chinese dictator Mao Zedong.

The French carmaker's sin was running ran ads which featured a smirking Mao and the tagline: "It's true, we are leaders, but at Cirtoen the revolution never stops."

Seems this offended somebody in China, so Cirtoen, no doubt fearing the Alberta Human Rights Commission might get involved, said it was sorry.

Just goes to show that you can't even mock mass murderers anymore.

Monday, January 14, 2008

We Need More Ezras

Why are we losing our freedoms in this country, slowly but surely?

Because all too often we don't fight hard enough to protect them. We passively let the bureaucrats and politicians take away our rights.

That's why it's so heartening to see Ezra Levant stand up and challenge the state.

As is well known by now, the Alberta Human Rights Commission is after Ezra because his old magazine published controversial cartoons.

The easy thing to do would have been to grovel and apologize.

But Ezra won't do it.

Instead he is mounting a spirited defence of free expression and in the process putting a spotlight on the injustice that is the Human Rights Commission.

If more Canadians followed Ezra's lead and stood up for what's right, this would be a freer country.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Baseball's Tribal Warfare

Came across this old-time radio broadcast featuring game 5 of the 1948 World Series that pitted the Cleveland Indians against the Boston Braves.

What's really interesting about this broadcast is that it really shows how our sensibilities have changed over the past 60 years.

The legendary sports broadcaster, Mel Allen, begins the game suggesting the Indians and Braves are engaged in "tribal warfare" and that if Cleveland kept the Braves "penned up on the reservation" the two teams would soon be "smoking the peace pipe."

Allen also notes that Boston's "chief medicine man" hopes to come up with a potion to ensure the series goes back to his "own wigwam."

Just couldn't imagine Joe Buck talking like that.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

Rudy Giuliani is the forgotten man in the Republican presidential nomination race.

But Patrick Basham, the director of the Democracy Institute, argues it's too early to count Rudy out.

Check out his analysis.

The Bilingualism Myth

Here's my latest column which appears in today's Windsor Star.

My point is that official biligingulism is one of those Trudeau -era ideals that nobody much cares about anymore -- except for federal bureaucrats.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Will Edwards Save Clinton?

If Hillary Clinton ends up winning the Democratic nomination, she may have John Edwards to thank.

That's the view of Brendan Miniter takes in the Wall Street Journal's "Political Diary". (Subscription required).

Writes Miniter:

"When asked by a TV reporter last night why she was heading to the polls, one New Hampshire voter first made sure the camera was rolling and then said flat-out that her purpose was to “Get rid of the Clintons.”

Hillary Clinton won a surprising victory last night to inhale new life into her campaign. But she can’t breathe easy yet. In New Hampshire, six out of 10 Democratic voters cast ballots for a candidate other than her.

And, as Iowa made clear last week, very few Democrats consider Mrs. Clinton to be their second choice candidate. That leaves her with this reality: Barack Obama might well have taken New Hampshire last night if not for the 17% of votes that went to John Edwards.

The campaign is now moving to South Carolina where Mr. Edwards is the strongest. And he’s fast becoming the man to watch in this race. Four years ago, he won the Palmetto State, a victory that ultimately led to John Kerry picking him for a running mate.

This year, Mr. Edwards is unlikely to repeat that performance — his stump speech is so filled with anecdotes of dead children who didn’t receive health care and humble folks ground down by “corporate greed” that it has begun to leave even his supporters depressed and downtrodden.

But while he may have little hope of winning the No. 2 spot on a ticket headed by either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton, he could still play a decisive role in who wins the nomination.

Mr. Edwards has $12 million on hand, a cadre of union supporters and a promise to stay in the race all the way until the convention. If he makes good on that promise, he could siphon off enough anti-Hillary voters (of whom even the Democratic Party has many) to make it nearly impossible for Mr. Obama to win the nomination.

Once seen as the future of his party, Mr. Edwards could now paradoxically knock the legs out from under the candidate most likely to bring new voters into the party while lifting up a divisive 'status quo' candidate who is unable, on her own, to win a majority of support of Democratic voters."

H/T Stop Her Now

The Crying Game

As I predicted Hillary Clinton's recent waterworks seemed to have paid off in New Hampshire.

This could set a precedent.

Watch for Stephane Dion to start crying like a baby after the next budget.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Get Your Popcorn Ready

The Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies -- according to The Numbers.

1. Cloverfield

2. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins

3. Meet the Spartans

4. Hancock

5. Transformers 2

6. Dragon Ball Z

7. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

8. The Incredible Hulk

9. The Dark Knight

10. Rambo

Tom and Gerry Approaches Examined

Tim Mak, a poli sci student at McGill University, has an interesting piece in the McGill Tribune examining conservatism and the Conservative Party.

And I am not saying it's interesting simply because Mak calls me a "prominent revolutionary conservative."

But it helps.

Tears and Politics

Were Hillary Clinton's tears genuine?

That's the burning question in America today, as pundits discuss, dissect and debate Clinton's recent emotional performance.

Personally, I think Clinton's emotions were sincere -- which will likely help her politically.

To paraphrase George Burns, the secret of politics is sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Time to Buck the Huck

To Huckabee or Not Huckabee, that is the question.

Or at least that's the question facing Republicans. Should they choose Mike Huckabee as their presidential nominee?

Here's the answer: no.

To be blunt, Huckabee would be a disaster.

The American-based free-market group Club for Growth recently published a report on Huckabee which found:

* By the end of his ten-year tenure, (as Governor of Arkansas) Huckabee was responsible for a 37% higher sales tax in Arkansas, 16% higher motor fuel taxes, and 103% higher cigarette taxes
according to Americans for Tax Reform (01/07/07), garnering a lifetime grade of D from the free-market Cato Institute.

* Under Governor Huckabee’s watch, state spending increased a whopping 65.3% from 1996 to 2004, three times the rate of inflation (Americans for Tax Reform 01/07/07). The number of state government workers rose 20% during his tenure (Arkansas Leader 04/15/06), and the state’s general obligation debt shot up by almost $1 billion, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

* Governor Huckabee has consistently supported and initiated measures that increase government’s interference in markets, thereby impeding economic growth.

Enough said!

Oh, and Huckabee's foreign policy ideas also leave a lot to be desired.

So Republicans, choose whoever you want as your next leader as long as its not Huckabee.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Media Alert

Recently did an interview on public sector unions with Doug Aldridge over at The Right Side.

You can listen to it here.

Computer Enhancer

Wish I had a computer with this feature.

See more computer enhancers here.

Liberty Blogs

Happy to announce that my blog postings will now appear on Liberty Blogs, the libertarian-oriented aggregator and blogroll.

It's where the free come to rant.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Our Money Pays for Government Propaganda

The Conservative federal government is spending hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on radio and newspaper ads designed inform everyone about the recent GST cut.

Here's a snippet from the radio spot:

The government of Canada is ringing in the New Year with another tax cut. Starting January 1st, the GST will be reduced to five per cent, the second cut in less than two years.

This means significant tax savings on most everything you buy, like a coffee, a new home, a computer or a new car. To learn more about the GST reduction, visit or call 1-800-O-Canada. 2008 will be a less taxing year for Canadians.

Is it just me or does this ad seem to be slightly partisan? Or to put it another way, doesn't it look like the Tories are using government money to air Conservative propaganda?

The government website mentioned in the ad could easily be mistaken for a Conservative election ad.

Of course, all governments use tax dollars to promote themselves in this manner.

While that doesn't make it any better, it does reveal how useless those laws are which limit what parties can spend during elections.

All they do is give a huge advantage to the incumbents.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Williamson Calls it Right

John Williamson, the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, recently posted a commentary over at in response to a story on Prime Minister Harper's pessimistic year end message.

I am reprinting it year, because I agree 100 percent with John's take.

Here is what he wrote:

"And Happy New Year to you Prime Minister, but I hope it’s not as dark as you anticipate.

With Maclean’s and with other reporters in year-end interviews, Stephen Harper warned Canadians of tough economic times ahead. To make matters worse, he says the federal government will introduce tough policies to reduce carbon emissions and the public will most likely gripe about it. On taxes, Canadians, it seems, can get stuffed. If the economy slows there will be no relief for taxpayers. What kind of message is this?

The Prime Minister has tried to follow in the footsteps of President Ronald Reagan by talking directly to voters free of media filters. The man revered as the “Great Communicator” launched the modern-day conservative movement in the United States. His communications strategy was to bypass a liberal press and speak directly to the hopes and aspirations of voters and, yes, when necessary confront their fears while pointing ahead to a better day.

Prime Minister Harper has adopted only half of Mr. Reagan’s successful strategy. Missing is a reassuring, optimistic message that gives citizens a reason to support Conservative policy, even when the going gets tough. No tax relief to offset tougher economic conditions, higher energy prices legislated by Ottawa, and a looming election campaign. That’s hardly sound policy-making or, for that matter, a wise re-election strategy."

Media Alert

I appeared on the last Michael Coren TV Show of 2007 and tonight will be appearing on the first Michael Coren Show of 2008.

Time: 8:00 PM EST.

Topic: federal politics.

Channel: CTS

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Political Bull

Take a look at this video.

It tells it like it is.

Poll: Bullshit Is Most Important Issue For 2008 Voters

Media Alert

Here's my latest column in Report Magazine.

I provide some ideas as to how politicians can help end voter cynicism.

Ideas such as:

* Keep election promises. (Yes I know this is a radical notion, but desperate times call for desperate measures.)

* Resist the urge to accept cash-stuffed envelopes from sleazy businessmen or party bagmen.

* Stop switching party allegiances the way other people switch TV channels.

* Stop attending “fact-finding missions” especially when those missions take place in January and are held in Hawaii.

* Stop voting yourself pay raises, while continuing to complain about how much more money you would make in the private sector.

* During Question Period try to raise the caliber of debate to a level slightly higher than that used by squabbling and cranky five year old children fighting over a toy.

* Try standing up for a principle, rather than simply telling people what you think they want to hear.

* Stop thinking that just because you are a politician you are somehow “entitled to your entitlements.”

Thanks to Joel Johannesen for posting this on his excellent site.