"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Saskatchewan Conservative Party on the Environment

With all the recent foo-fa-rah about the environment (an issue that I think - and hope - will continue to rise in prominence) and kyoto and such, I thought it would be instructive to look at some choice quotes from the Saskatchewan Conservative Party.

“Now we talk about Kyoto in the past and how the people over there [The NDP] supported Kyoto, and they did not really believe the fact that the Kyoto accord was basically a transfer of money from richer nations to poorer nations. They [The NDP] couldn’t see through that.”
Sask Party MLA Yogi Huyghebaert: October 30th 2006

"The Kyoto accord could have some real negative impact [sic] on Saskatchewan…”
Sask Party MLA Glen Hart (Then Environment Critic) April 19th, 2005
"...look what has the government done concerning the Kyoto agreement[....] And now we see through extreme government regulation the NDP are putting more restrictions on the businesses of this province."
Sask Party MLA Randy Weekes: (Then Environment Critic) Dec 13, 2002
"We should be sending a clear statement that we reject the implementation of the Kyoto accord"
Sask Party MLA Jason Dearborn: Dec 10, 2002
"So what then is the Kyoto Protocol? Well, Mr. Speaker, it’s not about science. It is crass, old-fashioned politics — socialist politics — intent on redistributing income led by overzealous Environment department bureaucrats."
Sask Party MLA Arlene Jule: Dec 10, 2002
"But the problem, Mr. Speaker, is that the Kyoto Protocol, the Kyoto accord, is a flawed agreement. It’s an impossible agreement, Mr. Speaker."
Sask Party MLA Elwin Hermanson (Former Leader): Dec 10, 2002
"The Kyoto accord, which this government supported, when fully implemented has the potential to seriously penalize oil and gas development."
Sask Party MLA Lyle Stewert: March 27, 2003
"Under Kyoto in its present form, those steps are leading down the wrong road. Scientists don’t agree. They can’t assure us that there is a trend to global warming."
Sask Party MLA Doreen Eagles: Dec 10, 2002
“If the agreements — the CO2 agreements, Kyoto — come into place, that will be a severe impediment to Saskatchewan…”
Sask Party MLA Dan D’Autremont: October 27th 2004

So they deny the science behind global warming, they claim it is a "socialist" policy dreamed up by environmental bureaucrats to redistribute wealth to poor nations (which they obviously also have a problem with).

In terms of the effects on Saskatchewan? According to the Sask Party this "extreme regulation" would have negative impacts, restrictions on business, would impede oil and gas development (gasp) and be a severe impediment to the province.

This, this is Brad Wall's Kinder, Gentler, Sask Party

Friday, December 22, 2006

Conservative MP tells outright Lie in Letter to the Editor

According to the Saskatchewan NDP caucus website: Brad Trost, one of the Conservative MP's from Saskatchewan, said the following in a letter to the editor:

"Finally, it should be noted that only the Conservatives are fighting for Saskatchewan to receive the full benefits of it's natural resources. The Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois are opposed to Saskatchewan receiving those benefits and the federal NDP has studiously avoided the issue. Calvert should be lobbying federal Leader Jack Layton to support the Conservatives"
The site then goes on to list the three-year record of Jack Layton and the Federal NDP fighting for Saskatchewan on this issue.


Like the site says, "why the big lie, Mr. Trost?"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Canadians Read the Most Blogs in the G8

Turns out what we are doing may have some value after all

Monday, December 18, 2006

Video game involves teenagers killing non-Christians

It just goes to show that it not just the right-wing that can make the "Please, won't somebody think of the children" argument. We have here a Left-Wing "Familiy Values" Campaign - that will predictably be attacked by the religious right.

What would your typical right-wing Christian think of a game that had the following discription:

a game that "involves teenagers in killing non-Muslims and Muslims who do not convert to your particular form of Islam and that "teaches players that those 'seeking peace for all mankind' are with the forces of the Great Satan
They would go ballistic? Right?

So why is this ok?

a game that "involves teenagers in killing non-Christians and Christians who do not convert to your particular form of Christianity and that "teaches teenagers that those 'seeking peace for all mankind' are with the forces of the Antichrist"
according to this progressive group - it's not OK.

To our sisters and brothers at Left Behind Games,

We, the undersigned, write to you as Christians during this Christmas season in which we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, requesting that you immediately remove your video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces (LBEF) from your product line and recall it from the store shelves of your distributors.

While we affirm your right to make a profit from video game entertainment and your freedom to hold beliefs that may run contrary to our own, we will not sit idly by while your game has been rated “T” for “Teen”

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Recycling is Sexy

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Conservatives Break Promise to Saskatchewan

Remember when the conservatives made the promise to Saskatchewan in the last election campaign about the equalization deal?

Here is their platform:

The plan
A Conservative government will:
• Work with the provinces in order to achieve a long-term agreement which would address the issue of fiscal imbalance in a permanent fashion.
• Work to achieve with the provinces permanent changes to the equalization formula which would ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula to encourage economic growth. We will ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula.

"Ensure that non-renewable natural resource revenue is removed from the equalization formula" sounds like a pretty specific campaign promise to me.

And remember what Conservative MP Brad Trost said:
Asked if that would be the same deal the Conservatives campaigned on, Trost said: "If it isn't, it better be better."
So therefore, unless Trost is the biggest liar in what will be a caucus full of liars if this deal does not happen then the Conservatives will HAVE to live up to this commitment

But that was then and this is now. NOW what is Trost saying?

Trost is backing away from the $800 million that's long been talked about as what it would mean to Saskatchewan. Trost says it will all depend on what goes into the formula. He says his government is consulting with all of the provinces, to ensure there's a fair deal for all.

And what does MP Gerry Ritz have to say?

But just how much money Saskatchewan would get under a new equalization formula has not been determined.

"We're well on our way to doing that. Any kind of dollar figure is up to different interpretations, of course," Ritz said in an interview from Ottawa.

I've been calling it all along:

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Wheat Board and Conservative Manipulation

Is there any doubt that if it was put to a vote by farmers that the Wheat Board would remain?

From CBC:

The results of the Canadian Wheat Board election are in, and it appears those who want to maintain the board's monopoly over exports of Prairie wheat and barley have come out on top.

Five of the 10 farmer-director spots were up for grabs and, according to one of the successful candidates, four out of the five elected on Sunday support the existing "single-desk" system for marketing grain.

So what do the conservatives have to say about this 80% endorsement of the single desk system?

"Farmers are divided on this, I think," Strahl said.

So much for democracy

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Conservatives Break Promise to Saskatchewan

As I said in an earlier post:

The conservative MPs from Saskatchewan told the people of this province to vote for them in the last election campaign because they would deliver on an equalization deal for the province. Now they are cutting and running from that promise
Premier Calvert went to Ottawa to ask, if it wasn't too much trouble, could Harper please, please live up to his promise.

You know - those promises?

The things he claims he always keeps?

Not so much

It turns out that the lastest news isn't so good

According to Calvert, nothing Harper said suggested he intends to keep his $800 million-a-year promise to Saskatchewan. In fact, the prime minister even hinted he would adopt the Al O'Brien commission report that would cap the formula, the Saskatchewan premier said. That would mean Saskatchewan won't get one thin dime more than it does now.
the story goes on to say

Calvert is being purely political -- and, frankly, a bit nasty -- but there's really no reason to believe that his assessment of his meeting with Harper is anything but accurate. In fact, given the duplicitous and mealy-mouthed displays we continue to see from the Saskatchewan Conservative MPs whenever the equalization file comes up, there's every reason to suspect Calvert is completely justified in now playing the political card.

And finally, on the Conservative Hypocrisy:

...in an interview with James Wood of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Friday, [Carol]Skelton had the audacity to scold Calvert for this poor "negotiation" tactic.

"There are still negotiations going on," Skelton aid. "When you negotiate -- and the premier of all people should realize -- when you negotiate you don't go out babbling to the media. If I was dealing with someone I wouldn't be kicking them in the shins, shall we say."

But Ms. Skelton, you promised the $800 million in the election. There are no negotiations here. Either you're an honest politician who keeps a promise or not. Which is it, Ms. Skelton?

Exactly, which is it?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I can't imagine why the War on Terrorism isn't Working

From the New York Times:

FOR the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”


But so far, most American officials I’ve interviewed don’t have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?

Poorly, that's how

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tom Lukiwski should be kicked out of the Conservative Caucus

Note: Blogger Beta is screwing around with things - so forgive the weird looking post

Hat tip to Accidental Deliberations

Based on this Hill Time's story:

Tory MP Tom Lukiwski told The Hill Times. "I do know this. When he discussed his motion in caucus, our Quebec members of Parliament were absolutely overjoyed. I mean there was a couple of them frankly who had tears in their eyes," Mr. Lukiwski (Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre, Sask.) said last week following Question Period on the Hill. When asked whether he was overstating the facts, Mr. Lukiwski said: "I'm not kidding."
Isn't that why Garth Turner was kicked out of Caucus? - For talking about what went on in a caucus meeting?

Let's Review

While maverick MP Garth Turner says he has no idea why the Conservative caucus kicked him out, CTV News has learned he was warned a month ago to stop playing reporter on his blog.


As to suggestions he broke caucus confidentiality through injudicious postings on his widely-read blog, Turner said, "go and read it, and make up your own mind."

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Alberta Leadership Update

Early returns are starting to come in

With 26 of 83 constituencies reporting, Dinning had 37 per cent of the votes cast in the final round of voting to name the next leader of the province's governing Progressive Conservative Party. Stelmach, a former agriculture and intergovernmental affairs minister, was second with 35 per cent and rookie backbencher Ted Morton was third at 28 per cent.

Unless Dinning can get 50% on the first ballot Stelmach is bound to win.

Of Course, I picked Iggy in 5 ballots today so don't take me too seriously

Update: Hey! I can predict something - Stelmach wins.

Layton on Dion

Jack Layton's keynote address to NDP convention
Sun 10 Sep 2006

And I quote:

And then there's a son of this city -- Stephane Dion.

A man with whom I have fundamental disagreements about how Canada should build and renew itself.

But also a man who is, if I may say so across the partisan divide, distinct from his principal opponents in being a committed Canadian and a man of principle and conviction.

And therefore almost certain not to be elected leader of the Liberal party.


Liberal Leadership Final Results

Scott Brison is the kiss of Death:

As a Conservative moved to Jim Prentice - Prentice Drops Off the ballot
Moved unanimous support of Peter Mackay and the PC Party - the party folds

So Brison Becomes a Liberal

Becomes a Liberal Cabinet Minister - The Liberals lose power
Goes to Bob Rae - Ray Drops off
Goes to Michael Ignatieff - Iggy Drops off.

Now I can only assume that Brison supports Dion.

Too bad for Dion.

I will post my final thoughts on this whole thing tomorrow - I'm politic'ed out for the day!

Yeah, Yeah, I was wrong. Sue me.

Liberal Leadership Third Ballot Results

My new third ballot prediction:

New 3rd ballot Prediction
37.2% - Ignatieff
35.0% - Dion
27.8% - Rae

Actual Results
37.0% - Dion
34.5% - Iggnatief
28.5% - Rae

I got the Rae part right but the other two have basically switched.

Rae drops off and I think he will go to Iggnatief. As long as 55% of Rae's people go to Iggy then Iggy can still win

Liberal Leadership Predictions Update

Kennedy Supports Dion!

Well, my prediction has gone to hell in a handbasket. In terms of the specifics.

My old 4th ballot prediction was as follows:

4th Ballot
43.9% - Ignatieff
29.2% - Rae
26.9% - Kennedy

Now with Kennedy out and supporting Dion I had to re-run some numbers. Most of Kennedy's supporters WILL go to Dion but enough will bleed to Iggy and Rae to keep it interesting.

New 3rd ballot Prediction
37.2% - Ignatieff
35.0% - Dion
27.8% - Rae

Rae will then drop off and support Iggy. So Iggy in 4 rather than Iggy in 5.


This is all pure specuation at this point

Liberal Leadership Second Ballot Results

1st ballot - My Prediction - Actual - Difference
Ignatieff -- 36.3% - 31.6% - 4.7% short
Rae ------- 23.6% - 24.1% - .5% over
Dion ------ 18.3% - 20.8% - 2.5% short
Kennedy-- 17.3% - 18.8% - 1.5% over
Dryden --- 04.0% - 4.7% - 0.7% over

Iggy is still a little short but we are on pace for an Iggy in 5 victory. I see some deviation from my prediction if Kennedy drops and goes to Dion before the next ballot but I imagine that they will wait and see if they can get Dryden's people - which will move them ahead of Dion as per my prediction.

My prediction all hangs on the next ballot - either I am completly right from here on in or it all goes to hell in a handbasket

Friday, December 01, 2006

Liberal Leadership First Ballot Results

1st ballot - My Prediction - Actual - Difference
Ignatieff - 33.3% - 29.3% - 4% short
Rae ------ 20.8% - 20.3% - .5% short
Dion ------ 17.2% - 17.8% - .6% short
Kennedy-- 16.4% - 17.7% - 1.3% over
Dryden --- 04.5% - 4.9% - 0.4% over
Volpe ----- 03.4% - 3.2% - 0.2% under
Brison ---- 03.2% - 4.0% - 0.8% over
Findlay --- 01.2% - 2.7% - 1.5% over

I got all the order right except for Brison and Volpe - but Volpe announced he was dropping off before people went into vote.

You will note that I called the Dion/Kennedy Switch

So far my prediction is on track - Iggy in 5 ballots.

Liberal Leadership Speechs

Quick Notes:

Dryden was good but spent to much time talking about hockey.

Iggy sucked ass, it was just a bunch of applause lines tacked together

Dion's speech was arlight but not overwhelming

Kennedy and Rae gave barnburners and Rae without notes!

In my opinion Bryson's was the best speech of the night but I guess that is why I am a dipper - give me a bunch of policy and discussion of issues over talking about who can win any day of the week.


Liberal Leadership Delegate Update

According to the Iggy Camp (via Kinsella) the following are the numbers of registered delegates:

(The percentage numbers are percentage of total registered delegates)

Michael Ignatieff ------ 1059 (31.7%)
Bob Rae --------------- 689 (20.6%)
Gerard Kennedy ------ 619 (18.5%)
St├ęphane Dion --------- 550 (16.5%)
Ken Dryden ----------- 161 (4.8%)
Scott Brison ----------- 125 (3.7%)
Joe Volpe ------------- 105 (3.1%)
Martha Hall-Findlay -- 33 (1.0%)

I assume this does not include ex-officio delegates so this is just a rough estimate of the first ballot

Final Liberal Leadership Predictions

This is largely speculation and the application of a bit of mathematical analysis based on previous convention track records

1st ballot
33.3% - Ignatieff
20.8% - Rae
17.2% - Dion
16.4% - Kennedy
04.5% - Dryden
03.4% - Volpe
03.2% - Brison
01.2% - Findlay

2nd Ballot
36.3% - Ignatieff
23.6% - Rae
18.3% - Dion
17.3% - Kennedy
04.0% - Dryden

3rd Ballot
37.1% - Ignatieff
24.7% - Rae
19.8% - Kennedy
18.4% - Dion

4th Ballot
43.9% - Ignatieff
29.2% - Rae
26.9% - Kennedy

5th Ballot
55.7% - Ignatieff
44.3% - Rae

Final Result - Iggy victory on the 5th ballot