Thursday, October 18, 2007

All good things must come to an end. So too must many mediocre things, like this blog.

It's time to declare this space deceased. In an effort to return to being serious about blogging, I'm taking up residence at http://noticeofmotion.blogspot.com. It's been fun, mostly.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Has it occurred to anybody else...

...that if there's a team in the NHL today that's both good enough to make it to the Conference Finals and bad enough to be the third team in history to squander a 3-0 series lead, it's the Ottawa Senators?


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I've long been receiving e-mails from the Conservative Party

To say nothing of e-mails from groups who find the Conservatives too moderate, like Focus on the Family (Hi Chuck!) and Engaging Christians in the Public-square. These e-mails, I presume, are as a result of my brief membership in the late Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

As regular readers (shouldn't you have dwindled away to zero by now?) of this space are aware, I donated a hundred dollars to Stéphane Dion's leadership campaign (technically, this makes me a donor to the Liberal Party, although a condition of my donation was that it only be used to fight other Liberals, so it doesn't really count). When I did so, I provided an e-mail address, and now I've started receiving Liberal e-mails as well. Here's one I received today from John McCallum (emphasis mine):
Dear Liberal Friend,

It’s been seven months since Stephen Harper reneged on his promise not to tax income trusts.

The immediate effect of his deceit sent shockwaves through the markets, and eliminated $25 billion from peoples’ hard-earned savings. Retirement funds, post-secondary education savings, and many other forms of investments evaporated in less than one business day.

But the effects on investments are not the only casualty of the Conservatives’ ill‑conceived plan. As a country, we are experiencing an accelerated rate of foreign takeovers in the income trust sector. In the first six months after the income trust announcement, there were 16 take over attempts of Canadian Trusts, mostly by large U.S. private equity firms and pension funds that will deprive average Canadian investors of the ability to own those trust units.

Worse, these private equity firms will pay little or no tax to the Government of Canada. A recent study by KPMG Canada found that the first 13 takeovers will result in the federal government losing roughly $130 million dollars per year in tax revenue.

And this is what the Conservatives call tax fairness. A $25 billion hit on the savings of Canadian investors, the wholesale sell off of income trusts to foreign interests and less tax revenue for the government which of course other Canadians will have to make up for.

The decision Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty made to tax income trusts is appalling and entirely unnecessary.

Stéphane Dion’s Liberals have a plan to reverse the damage done by the minority Conservative government. According to experts, the Liberal plan will return at least 2/3 of investors’ money by replacing the 31.5% tax with a modest 10% tax paid by companies that would be refundable to Canadians. This plan will work: It will protect Canadian investors and Canadian companies.

But we need to be able to communicate this message to Canadians. As the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, it is the Liberal Party of Canada’s duty to expose the damage done by this minority Conservative Government.

A donation from you today will help us shed more light on this issue. The powerful combination of your financial support and my voice will ensure that all Canadians know the truth about this massive Conservative blunder.

Please consider a donation of $100 or even $400 today to help the Liberal team. Your donation will go directly towards getting our progressive message out to all Canadians.

Thank you for your support.


Hon. John McCallum, MP
Liberal Finance Critic

Apparently, where John McCallum lives, attacking the decision to tax income trusts is a winning issue even if what you're promising if elected is to, uh, tax income trusts.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Things to Watch for in the Next Election

The latest polls (with which, as a former Prime Minister would remind us were he still with us, dogs know what to do) are showing the Liberals with a decent shot of getting back into government. All evidence suggests that this is on the strength of the green issue (which is hardly a surprise, given that Stéphane Dion was elected on the most one trick pony-esque platform of any leader of a national party for as long as I can remember).

These same polls show the Green Party at high levels of support (ten percent-ish). This is hardly unprecedented during inter-election periods, and there's no reason to believe that the Green (note capital G) vote won't collapse this time around as well, but that's still a hefty chunk of Canadian voters who claim that they plan to vote Green.

So here's the thing: given that the apparent best strategy for the Liberals, as it so often is, is to convince voters who are to their left that they represent the lesser evil, what's to become of the relationship between Dion and his BFF Elizabeth May?

(And yes, I'm suitably ashamed to be familiar with the acronym "BFF".)


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Questions that may be less pertinent than they are amusing

Why would an anarchist want to work for the government?


Friday, May 04, 2007

The NDP is at it again


My thoughts on this announcement can be found a year and a half in advance here.

(Oh, and while I'm claiming something of a reputation for soothsaying, it would really help if you'd stop reading the above post before you get to the part about how Stephen Harper "probably won't even win a minority [government]." Thanks.)

Steve the Contrarian Strike Again!

Or, more accurately, doesn't. Do you know what Conventional Wisdom has exactly right? This Shane Doan thing.

Just sayin'. And writin'.


Monday, April 30, 2007

Not that I have more than one reader at the moment...

...but could somebody enlighten me on the difference between a carbon tax (with the equivalent of a universal credit) and fines for failing to reach greenhouse gas reduction targets?


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who are you planning to nuke, Barack?

A couple of weeks ago, Roman asked me who I wanted to be elected U.S. President in 2008. Like most people of my approximate political stripe, I'm hoping for an Al Gore candidacy - as Catrin put it, he might have needed some time out of office to rediscover his idealism, and I think his star is now so tied to the global warming issue that he couldn't possibly serve in office again without taking real action on it, as opposed to the Clinton administration's weak record.

But in answer to Roman's question, I threw out a different name: Mike Gravel.

Roman responded that it was just like me to support a candidate he'd never even heard of, which I took as a compliment. But after his performance at the South Carolina debates, I think more people will be hearing of him soon.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Obligatory Cabinet Shuffle Post

1. Well, at least Harper's signalled his willingness to work across party lines on the environment issue.
2. He must really have something against Diane Ablonczy.
3. Jason Kenney? Geez.

UPDATE: And now Marjory LeBreton, an unelected politician, is taking on the cabinet-level role of Secretary of State for Seniors. I'm sure we'll hear outrage from the predictable sources shortly. Actually, I'm not at all sure, because I don't think said sources pay enough attention to Canadian politics to have noticed this.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, okay, a Secretary of State isn't a full cabinet-level position. But (1) it's still bound by cabinet solidarity, (2) it attends cabinet meetings where issues relevant to its portfolio are being discussed, and (3) I'm not so much making a point as I am ridiculing stupid people. Accordingly, I see no reason to backtrack on any of this.


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