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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I wonder where the Leaders stand on this issue?

National Post Editorial: Free trade with Europe is worth some concessions

For decades now, the idea of a Canada-Europe free trade agreement has been knocking around our halls of power. But until now, the first and in some ways most formidable barrier to progress has been getting the EU interested. If this week’s reports are to be believed, that problem now appears to be solved.

Yeah, but even the National Post concedes this:

Effectively joining the EU as a satellite participant would probably mean heavy concessions in such areas as labour standards and product labelling.

Just exactly what labour standards are we talking about here? I mean, don't most European countries have BETTER labour standards than Canada? Shirley this agreement wouldn't just be an excuse to attack the rights of working people, would it?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah Palin: Head of Skate

I pee'd a little watching this:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Google Trends and the Political Parties

So if you look at who is searching for the parties on google you get this snapshot:

But if you look at which websites are getting the most traffic (according to google) you get this:

So this tells me people are searching for information more about the NDP and the greens, but more people are visiting the Liberal and Conservative web pages. Now obviously the party websites are all the first items in google when you search, so shouldn't the search traffic correspond to the site traffic?

My working hypothesis is that there are obviously a large group of people out there who are not using search to get to the Liberal and Conservative web sites.

They are just going directly there. Without using google as an intermediary.

So this tells me that there are a large group of people who just go the the liberal and conservative homepages, do they have them bookmarked? Are these parties doing a better job or promoting their sites?

Or am I just missing something?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Taking it to Harper #4 - The Payoff

Pundits note that NDP leader Jack Layton has so far run a much more efficient campaign, relentlessly attacking the Conservatives' said lackluster social agenda.

The latest tracking "shows a dramatic tightening in the race for second spot, with the New Democrats now within striking distance of overtaking the Liberals," said Ekos president Frank Graves.

"If the alarm bells are not ringing already at Liberal headquarters, they should now," said Graves. "Jack Layton is simply connecting better with voters than Stephane Dion at this stage of the campaign."

"These trends only need to continue another few days for the NDP to pass the Liberals," commented Graves.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Taking it to Harper #3

CBC’s Julie Van Dusen said the NDP leader is practically ignoring the Liberals and St├ęphane Dion and focusing his campaign on Harper.

“I was listening for the word Dion and I only heard it once,” Van Dusen said, “He’s making this into a two way race … marginalizing St├ęphane Dion and portraying himself as a potential PM.

To loud cheers and chants of “NDP, NDP," Layton again promised that his party would appoint a gas price ombudsman to keep tabs on oil companies.

“Harper says there’s nothing can be done about the gouging. I say that’s a defeatist attitude,” Layton said, “As prime minister, I’m going to watch your back, and if the gas companies collude on prices and if we catch them at it, we’ll prosecute them and the rip-offs will stop.”

He accused the prime minister of giving corporate tax breaks to big companies, including petroleum firms, as Canadians were paying record high prices and facing increasing hardship.


Taking it to Harper #2

Despite opinion polls that suggest the Conservatives are gaining support among women, NDP Leader Jack Layton called Stephen Harper's government Sunday a disaster for gender issues in Canada.

"(Harper) does not like the pursuit of equality for women," Layton said in French to 100 supporters at a restaurant in Gatineau, Que.

"Harper is a catastrophe for women in Canada."

Layton pointed to the government's changes last year to groups funded by Status of Women Canada -- changes that included deleting the word "equality" from funding criteria.

Layton also criticized a $5- million cut to the agency's administrative budget, although the agency's overall budget was increased by $10 million in the previous budget.

He also said the cutting of the Court Challenges Program, which funded legal battles under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, has hurt women.

"There are very few women in Mr. Harper's cabinet. That's very evident in their policies."


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Taking it to Harper

As he has done for much of the campaign, Layton all but ignored any mention of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion. Instead, he focused his attacks almost entirely on Harper.

"Unlike Stephen Harper I refuse to standby as jobs get packed up and shipped out of the country," he said.

He said Harper has given corporations "an unlimited licence to pollute the air that your kids breathe."

The one time that Layton mentioned Dion, he attacked the Liberal leader's "Green Shift" carbon emissions plan.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Green's Overall Strategy

The whole Buckdog/GPC lawsuit fiasco is, to my mind, indicative of the broader strategy of the green party (and in particular the green bloggers) in this election.

The greens (as a relatively young and inexperienced) party are falling into the exact same trap that the NDP fell into for years. Let me lay out the NDP follies.

For years the NDP knew that there was a group of voters that occasionally voted Liberal, occasionally voted NDP. (hence the whole 'lend me your vote' thing recently.) There are many in our party who for years and years advocated attacking the Liberals so that those voters would "wake up" and vote for the 'true party' - the NDP.

What this analysis was missing that for these swing voters, the calculation wasn't "which party better represents me" but "which party comes close enough to representing me, but also will stop the right-wing forces" which in a first-past-the-post system, is a perfectly reasonable strategy.

Lately, the NDP have woken up to this fact and now they are running straight-on at the Conservatives, rather than wasting their time on the Liberals. This is not only good for the NDP, but is good for ALL progressives. The more discredited the Conservatives are, the less likely the true swing voter (who can go any way at any time) is likely to vote for them. That person may not end up voting NDP, but they may end up voting Liberal, or Green, but that is OK (in the general sense, if not in my partisan sense) becuase what we have in common is (if only slightly) more than what seperates us from the Conservatives.

Not only that, but it is a more honest campaign. I would much rather attack the forces of the true right-wing rather than attack the only psedo-right-wing Liberal Party of Canada.

What is particularly interesting is that the Green Party and Elisabeth May, deep down, get this. Hence the whole last week of the campaign strategy to ask voters to vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives. But why not say - vote Liberal, or NDP or Green to stop the Conservatives?

Because the Greens are caught in the same trap that the NDP have been caught in for years, focusing on fighting over a small piece of the pie, rather than trying to make that pie bigger. that is why they would rather sue a NDP blogger for posting a video that a Conservative blogger made.

I hope that with time, the Greens will grow up, just like the New Democrats have. Let all of the left0wing parties attack the right-wing parties and let the voters decide which one is the better alternative.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Monday, September 01, 2008

And the name of the Band? "Hookers and Blow"

I love Republican Conventions...