10/31/2005

Gomery's First Report

Canada.com has extensive coverage on the Gomery proceedings. I recommend that anyone who has not been keeping up, on what is probably one of the most significant events of the year, go there and read it all.
The Prime Minister now has a copy of the report. The government was in possession of Gomery's findings as of 6pm this evening. The rest of Canada will find have access to at least some of the information as of 10am tomorrow morning.
It is my belief that Judge Gomery will merely summarize what most people who followed the Sponsorship Scandal already know. As already mentioned here, Gomery has already been forbidden to assign blame or criminal culpability of any kind as it relates to the Sponsorship Program. Therefore his report cannot contain anything other than a summary. I wish it were otherwise.
It is my hope that the findings of the report shake the government to its core. I would like to see the NDP withdraw their support. After all, they really have not received anything of significance in return for selling their collective souls to prop up the government. At this point however, it seems unlikely. Layton has garnered more attention and power for his party than its had in decades.
Keep following the news over the next few days.
Things are sure to get interesting.

The Propaganda Machine

Weekly speeches are the latest Liberal attempt to brainwash the public. The article cites the US as the PM's example.
Amazing how this is an area where Martin would want to mimic the US, when he bashes them for just about everything else.
Incidentally, when I read this article, the related poll on the index page at Canada.com had the following results:
Prime Minister Paul Martin delivered his first weekly radio address today. Do you think the two-minute spots will help him?
23.41 % Yes, it's a good idea
76.59 % No, I'm tuning out

10/28/2005

I am a nerd

This thing is great.
I can be:

Robotic Ultimate Troubleshooting Humanoid

or

Robotic Operational Organism Trained for Logical Exploration and Sabotage

or

Robotic Organism Optimized for Troubleshooting and Yelling

I can't use my last name, sadly, as it has more than 10 letters.
But, I guess I could split it up into two:

Versatile Artificial Neohuman


Humanoid Optimized for Online Yelling, Dangerous Observation and Nocturnal Killing

If I combine them I would be the Versatile Artificial Neo Humanoid Optimized for Online Yelling, Dangerous Observation and Nocturnal Killing.
vanHooydonk's rule.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Perhaps I should say the early bird IS the worm.
Prime Minister Martin will be receiving an early copy of Gomery's Report. (Please be sure to visit the SoundOff! at the Canada.com article.)
The Globe & Mail inappropriately says that the opposition leaders are jealous. It looks like the report may have something to say about former Prime Minister Chretien. There has been no mention of PM Martin receiving a similar letter, so one can only assume that he is in the clear and will not be found guilty of any wrongdoing. I am not at all comfortable with the thought of our Prime Minister receiving an early copy of the report. I expect the Liberal spin machine will take this extra time to concoct a suitable disaster recovery plan.

10/26/2005

Dingwall To Sue?

Are you kidding me?!?!?!
I'd like to punch this guy in the head!!!
Pallister was right though: the audit cleared him.
Oh Canada!

10/25/2005

Too Much Military Spending?

Recall the post I made here about a month ago about our armed forces.
Now read this bit of insanity at Canada.com. Be sure to voice your opinion at the SoundOff!
How can anyone think we spend too much on our military? We don't even have enough soldiers to defend our largest city, let alone the entire nation. Please note that Canada currently ranks 36th on the list of UN peacekeeping nations, roughly on par with Peru and Guatemala.
Great!
Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
It doesn't surprise me at all that the author of the report discussed in the article is a big supporter of the UN. "Nothing gives legitimacy to a military mission like the United Nations," says Staples.
I take it he didn't hear about the Oil for Food Scandal.
Guys like this need to find something more valuable to do with their time... something other than writing 8-page reports telling the government where not to spend thir money.

Ah, Quebec!

Is it being prepared or wishful thinking?
Bet you can't guess my opinion.
Sovereigntists are marking the 10th anniversary of their razor-thin loss in the 1995 referendum by looking forward to the next vote on Quebec independence, one they think they can win.
Oh really?
A referendum is on its way?
You betcha.
In 2008, which is when Charest has to go to the polls.
Gerald Larose, president of the Conseil de la souverainete du Quebec, isn't deterred. "After the 29th of October, we will be in the pre-referendum campaign," he said firmly.
Nothing beats a 2 1/2 to 3 year campaign,
It makes the wind up to the impending federal election look like child's play.

Canadian Insurgents in Iraq

This is the sort of news that really concerns me. It has received entirely too little coverage in the media.
Why are there Canadians in Iraq assisting terrorists with their attacks?
"Our opinion is that the people who go there and participate in various kinds of acts of violence are terrorists," McLellan told reporters after question period. "And if they choose to try to return home we will determine to the fullest extent of the law possible how we will deal with them." McLellan said insurgents who return to Canada will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
What?
Leave them there!!
Don't let these people come back!
They have enjoyed spectacular freedom as citizens this country. They chose to leave and go to Iraq in order to make the world a less pleasant place to live. They are carrying out the most cowardly attacks against our closest ally, the U.S. This is completely unacceptable.
If Iraq is so wonderful, they can keep it.

10/24/2005

Dissecting the Ramblings of a Leftist Idiot

An anonymous lefty posted the following attempt at a parody as a comment. Because tripe like this really annoys me, I have decided to dissect it. The parody itself is in italics.
I want to tell you all a story 'bout a GTA urban wife
Who had a teenage daughter who attended Harper Valley Junior High
Well her daughter came home one afternoon and didn't even stop to play
She said Mom I got a note here from the Harper So-Cons in the G.T.A.

Please notice the flawed premise of our song. Harper's Conservatives have decided to wander around the G.T.A delivering notes to random students. Let's take a look at what the letter says:
The note said Misses Urban Girl, you're wearing your dresses way too high
It's reported you've been talking to the youth and ethnics, women's groups and gays
And we don't believe you ought to be a bringing up your little girl this way
It was signed by the secretary, Harper So-Cons GTA.

Ah.
The letter was in fact intended for the child's mother. It would appear that she dresses like a tramp. I suspect her outfit must have looked something like this. Not usually attractive on the 40+ crowd. That's why we call them cougars.
Anyway, apparently she has been speaking with homosexuals, which we all know the Conservatives hate, young people, which the Conservatives have made quite the effort to attract and "ethnics." I love the use of the word ethnics. It has to be a white guy writing this. Presumably the song writer is not referring to ethnic Canadians, as these would be First Nations Peoples. No, he must be referring to people of other ethnicity, such as East Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese... which by the way, the Conservatives have more of than any other party.
Continuing on...
Well, it happened So-Cons G.T.A. were gonna meet that very afternoon
They were sure surprised when Misses Urban Girl wore her miniskirt into the room

If you recall, her outfit looked something like this.
I would be surprised too.
And as she walked up to the blackboard I still recall the words she had to say
Because you hadn't smoked that joint hidden in your pocket yet?
She said, I'd like to address this meeting of the Harper So-Cons G.T.A.
The entire crowd was impressed.
This woman could actually string a sentence together.
Well there's John Reynolds, sitting there and seven times he's asked me for a date
Messrs. Flaherty and Clement always missing that retirement is just 4 months away
And Mr. Capobianco can you tell us what your smokin' that makes you blind

You should know.
Your man is his dealer.
And by the way, you mean you're, not your.
And shouldn't Peter Kent be reading news not playing with you wasting all his time
Well Mr Harper couldn't be here 'cause he's filling sandbags for the bunker again
He may as well get ready cuz the writing's on the wall "you loser has-been"

And that writing says "I pimp'd yo mama dawg!" Or something equally gangsta-esque.
Then you have the nerve to tell me you think that as a mother I'm not fit
Not in that outfit.
Well this is just a little piece of urban Canada where none of you are ever gonna fit.
This is probably the only true line in the song.
Ontario will never vote in Conservatives, and this is especially true of Toronto.
Too bad.
No, I wouldn't put you on because it really did, it happened just this way
Yep.
I believe you.
The day my Mama socked it to the Harper So-Cons G.T.A.
Boy, yo mama's so fat she sat on a rainbow and Skittles popped out!

10/21/2005

Battle of the Blogging Nerds

This is what political nerds with too much time on their hands do to kill time.
Ah, the poor webmaster at the NDP site.
I laughed when I imagined the NDP webmaster's discovery of the poll results but I expected him/her to remove the poll entirely.
No kidding.
I would have too. The conversation would have been something like: "OMG!! How the heck is Harper leading in our poll? And by more than 300 votes! This must be stopped. Better give Jacky boy double Harper's count."
It's too bad I missed the actual showdown. It must have been a riot!!

Kill all the Lawyers

Someone seems to have taken Shakespeare's advice literally.
The defence lawyer for Saddam Hussein who was kidnapped yesterday was found dead today. This is unfortunate news, as it is certain to throw a kink in the trial proceedings.

10/20/2005

An Argument Fit For Nuremburg

Saddam Hussein's lawyers are actually arguing that his rights are being violated and that the trial is illegal somehow.
Hussein's plea of not guilty doesn't come as a surprise. His refusal to even state his name for the record makes him resemble one of those on trial at Nuremburg. His lackeys were no different.
"I don't acknowledge either the entity that authorises you nor the aggression, because everything based on falsehood is falsehood," Saddam said from the waist-high metal cage in which he was sitting...Taking his lead from Saddam, Ramadan also defied the court, telling the judge only: "I repeat what president Saddam Hussein said." Ramadan was vice-president under Saddam from 1991 and one of his regime's "enforcers". Tikriti, meanwhile, was instructed to indicate where his lawyer was. "Where do you want me to see my lawyer?" he answered sharply before giving a dismissive wave of his hand and sitting down.

"I'm entitled to my entitlements..."

Such was the redundant reply Dingwall gave Ed Broadbent when questioned about his request for severance pay. The man is absolutely convinced he did nothing wrong. Worse, he actually believes he did not spend taxpayer money.
Perhaps he is confused about the nature of crown corporations.
They are corporations owned by the government. They make money for the government and also receive assistance from out of the government till. All heads of crown corporations are appointed by the Prime Minister. How Dingwall can possibly believe he wasn't spending taxpayer money is beyond me.
In a statement released prior to his appearance, Dingwall said he is "delighted to ... correct the misinformation and mischaracterization of my expenses." His explanation is rather poor.
Contrary to published reports.. "all expenses came from the operating revenue of the corporation, not from taxpayers' dollars."
Dingwall's argument is that because the mint is now profitable, it was not relying on taxpayer money and therefore he could not have been spending taxpayer money. His argument is flawed of course, and was immediately questioned by Liberal MP Shawn Murphy, who said he does "not buy that argument."
Dingwall should have recognised that he was on thin ice when members of his own party were not willing to stick up for him.
In a generous gesture, Dingwall has also offered to pay back any money that an audit might find was inappropriately spent. As I pointed out in this post, I feel that Pallister's belief that this audit will result in nothing is absolutely correct. It is unlikely that Dingwall will be expected to pay back any money, so any offers he makes regarding this can be ignored.
Pallister accused Dingwall of trying to use taxpayers as a "personal ATM" by seeking severance. He then suggested Dingwall must "have something" on Prime Minister Paul Martin because there is no legal requirement to pay severance. "Do you think it's possible ... that the prime minister isn't entirely certain that unless he pays you severance you won't rat on him?" Pallister asked.
Dingwall responded that the suggestion was "ludicrous."

In other words the sugestion is most likely right on the money, but the former head of the Mint is not going to admit it unless his fingernails are ripped out from their beds.

10/19/2005

Two Takes on the Same Story

Read this at Bound By Gravity. Then read this at Canada.com. (Please note the SoundOff! and make yourself heard).
Notice the two dramatically different presentations of Canada's position in the Corruption Perceptions Index. The article at Canada.com says very little about Canada's ranking, and altogether ignores the fact that we were in the top 5 least corrupt countries only 10 years ago. The author prefers to point out the flaws in other countries instead.
While it is certainly true that things are not as bad as they could be, that the perception of corruption is increasing cannot be ignored. It is a serious problem for our country. The author should have focused on it more.

"There'll be an army, of course..."

"...a navy, a space program and free poutine for everyone." Duceppe should have said.
Instead he promised equally ridiculous pipe dreams, such as a spy service and national defense against terrorism. No one bothered to point out the fact that Quebec is not its own country yet or that it is not up to the Bloc whether Quebec separates or not. Separation has to take place at the provincial level and this requires the involvement of the Parti Quebecois. Regardless, the Bloc will examine the role that the nonexistent armed forces of Quebec might play at a policy meeting on Oct. 28.
"If you develop a foreign policy the way we see it, then we'll have an army that will intervene mainly to secure democracy in some countries, participating in international forces, going when there's a natural catastrophe, either inside Quebec or outside Quebec," Duceppe said. "And sometimes you have to go to war." Against who, he could not say. The article discusses the potential cost of an army for Quebec and one has to wonder if the population realizes that they will have to pay for their own army, given the fact they still want to send MP's to Ottawa to represent them.
Why?
If Quebec becomes its own nation, why would its citizens expect to send representatives to another country?

Confessions of a Nerd

I just love stuff like this!

Fact or Fiction?

PoliticsWatch has an article this morning about an article that was apparently published at the Toronto Star yesterday. I have not been able to locate the original, only references to it elsewhere.
Apparently Gomery's report will exonerate Martin and pin most of the blame on Chretien. The author of the article had no hard sources to verify his claim, only anecdotal evidence taken from phone calls and conversations. There has been some debate whether or not the article can be taken as fact or as a spin concocted by a few Liberals.
To be honest, I consider it likely that Gomery's report may clear Martin somehow. However, I would be disappointed and surprised if the testimony of a single individual (Dion) was as pivotal as Travers claims. There were several important witnesses and it seems unlikely that Gomery would use the testimony of a single individual as the focal point of his report.
I am inclined to agree with NDP Leader Jack Layton, something I don't often do. Even if Travers report is correct, the story is still not good news for the PM. "It's bad news for the Liberal party because it shows they can't be trusted with our money and I doubt Canadians will want to give them a fifth turn at bat based on this kind of evidence," he said after question period. "It's the same political party that chose Mr. Chretien and chose Mr. Martin. And not only that we've had Mr. Dingwall's scandalous behaviour under the purview of Mr. Martin, so clearly they're not serious about doing anything about it. They're just serious about trying to avoid blame." I would also add the recent Indian Affairs contract specifying no paper trail to this list. Perhaps now the NDP will reneg their support for the government.
One can only hope.

10/18/2005

A Disease Called Wanton Overspending

Forget the Bird Flu or West Nile.
Canadians are much more likely to die of shock caused by the disease spreading through the entire Federal Liberal Party: Wanton Overspending.
According to this article at Canada.com, the government has most recently founds itself facing allegations of expense-claim irregularities in the Fisheries Department and improper contracting in the Indian Affairs Department. Yet again we see expenses filed where no work was done, and the taxpayer picking up the tab for hotel bills, airfare and food.
I am especially fond of this comment:
One staffer charged $6,000 in hotel bills and meals so he could be with his spouse for a birth.
$6,000??? To be with his wife for a birth? Forgive me for pointing out that I gave birth just over a month ago and not so much as a dime was spent on hotel bills. In fact, I went home that day. Our food bills didn't come anywhere near $6k either. If he's that desperate, he should join a church and get the congregation to bring him meals. We didn't do groceries for three weeks (it was awesome).
But back to overspending.
Tory Leader Stephen Harper also cited problems at Indian Affairs, where a contract this year stipulated that a consultant was to leave no paper trail. "Why, nearly two years after the auditor general condemned this practice in the sponsorship scandal, does the government still award contracts with no proper audit paper trail?" he asked.
The contract specifically said "leave no paper trail?"
Great.
That instills a lot of confidence, doesn't it?

By the way, Dingwall could could appear before a committee as early as tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what happens, but I am inclined to agree with Conservative MP Brian Pallister, who believes it will clear Dingwall.
"The audit will result in nothing at all. The fact of the matter is the audit is solely and exclusively to determine the legitimacy of Mr. Dingwall's expenditures under the rules in place at the Mint." He said the auditors will find all expenses were legitimate because under Mint rules all expenses for the president are legit. "If this was a hockey game and we were going upstairs to appeal the goal, what the auditors would do, if they were the judges, is they would tell you this, 'He couldn't possibly be offside because there were no lines on the ice.'"

10/14/2005

Eerily Familiar

I love the use of the phrase "so-called Sorbara scandal." it implies there is nothing wrong with the provincial Liberals, Sorbara did nothing wrong and the evil Conservatives are making a big stink just to get back into power.
Wow.
Who knew Provincial and Federal politics were so similar?

How The Netherlands Has Become "Less Liberal"

Read the article...

The thought of a less liberal Netherlands made me laugh out loud. Maybe the author of the article has never heard of the Red Light District. In any case, I don't know a single Dutch person who is proud of Holland and her very liberal leanings, and I know a lot of Dutch people.
It's amazing how the recent crack down on Muslim immigrants is viewed as a shift to the right. Apparently, the Dutch Integration Minister, Rita Verdonk, is a "hard-liner" and "known as the Iron Lady." According to the article, she recently cancelled a meeting with Muslim leaders who refused to shake her hand because she was a woman. This would appear to be her problem, not the fault of a few very sexist Muslim leaders.
So much for the "left" empowering women to stand up for themselves.
Verdonk's move to ban the burqa in certain places has caused an outcry among Muslim leaders and wide variety of sympathizers. One has to wonder why everyone is whining about their rights, since Islamic law does NOT require women to cover themselves from head to toe. Although the Netherlands would become the first European country to ban the wearing of the burka in public situations... there are already some local bans. Last year several Belgian towns, including Antwerp and Ghent, banned the wearing of the burka in public, and recently started issuing £100 spot fines for breaking the municipal ordinance.
Verdonk's argument for banning the burqa is largely related to security. The Netherlands has become preoccupied by Islamic terrorism after the investigation into the murder of the film-maker Theo van Gogh uncovered a network of Muslim extremists dedicated to destroying the country. The Dutch government has also begun tightening certain restrictions on foreign imams working in mosques. Immigrants are expected to show their appreciation of Dutch values.
However, Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, on the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee, who has been active in opposing bans on the hijab, or scarf, said that there were no arguments for banning the burka. "If there is a genuine belief that someone under a burka is a terrorist, then you invoke stop-and-search laws on the grounds of reasonable suspicion." This view is rather naive. Were police to stop search Muslim women wearing burqas, there would still be an outcry surrounding the so-called violation of their rights.
The burqa is also the most restrictive Muslim garment for women, completely covering her entire body with a mesh over her eyes. It is overly repressive, and is viewed as such even by some Muslims. I am in favour of banning it on that principle alone.

10/13/2005

Democracy Watch vs. Ethics Commissioner Shapiro

Back in August I pointed out that Democracy Watch filed a complaint against Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro. The group cited 14 reasons why he should resign.
According to a news release posted at the Democracy Watch website, the group has filed a second a second court challenge against the Commissioner.
Democracy Watch won its first case, which challenged the lack of independence in the structure of the position of the past federal Ethics Counsellor and the bias of the Ethics Counsellor’s actions over several years. In a July 2004 ruling, the Federal Court of Canada found that the Ethics Counsellor lacked legally required independence from the federal Cabinet, and was biased against Democracy Watch and against maintaining a reasonable standard of enforcement of federal ethics rules.
This will be an interesting case to watch. It relates to the Commissioner's behaviour relating to the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders as well as the structure of the position of the Registrar of Lobbyists, the federal Lobbyists' Code of Conduct and the federal Lobbyists Registration Act.

Publication Ban Lift

According to this report at Canada.com, Judge Gomery will be lifting the publication ban placed on certain testimony given by Chuck Guite, Jean Brault and Paul Coffin. The lift will happen on Friday.
The announcement comes as a result of a request made by Guite's lawyer to review Gomery's report early. The request was flatly refused, and rightly so.
Gomery, whose report is written and ready to be printed, said the request is unworkable. A partial publication ban would be impossible without ''destroying the integrity'' of the report, he said. "You would be the only person in Canada who would have a preview of the report," Gomery told Auger as he made his request. "Why would Mr. Guite's interests be higher, for example, than those of the prime minister of Canada?"
Auger denied that Guite is entitled to any special privileges, but will be pressing his case again, this time with Judge Fraser Martin. Gomery's report is allegedly quite damaging to Guite, and his lawyer wishes to have time to prepare adequately in order to ensure a fair trial. By fair, I assume Auger meant that he wishes to ensure that his client gets off.

10/12/2005

Making the Naughty List

PoliticsWatch has a sizable list of the sins most recently committed by our government. The Sponsorship Scandal and Dingwall's Deal are listed of course, but there good number of other ongoing and recent scandals listed.
Tsk tsk Paul Martin.
Santa's watching.
He might not reward you with another government this Christmas.

10/11/2005

I Love a Good Parody

I was disappointed in myself this morning.
After my morning read at PoliticsWatch, I learned that Conservative MP Brian Pallister has a musical talent after my own heart (please note: I can barely carry a tune.) He sang a parody of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall entitled "Another Ding in the Wall" during a sitting of Parliament last week.
I can't believe I missed it!
According to The Edmonton Sun, he also parodied the Dire Straits' hit Money for Nothing. I missed that too.
I am going to have to hunt for his lyrics. The very idea of a politician doing this is simply too much for me. Who said politics is boring?

And a note to the industry minister who accused an opposition MP of partaking in a "guttersnipe:"
Guttersnipe is a noun meaning a person of low class, a street urchin. It is not a verb. One cannot partake in it. Get a dictionary.

PS: Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

10/06/2005

"Politically Explosive"

That must be the understatement of the century!
In fact, I laughed out loud when I read this at PoliticsWatch.
The gas relief for MPs was front page news... The issue was politically explosive, suggesting that MPs and public servants are accorded assistance to deal with rising gas prices, while average Canadians are not. It also comes at the same time the government asserts in the House of Commons on a daily basis that the former head of the Royal Canadian Mint is legally entitled to a severance package even though he resigned on his own accord. The government's assertion that people who quit are legally entitled to receive severance pay has employment experts scratching their heads and callers to talk radio stations and letters to the editor suggesting there are differing rules for those in positions of power and those who are not.
Could this be the year the Liberals at last smother themselves in their own stupidity? One can only hope.
I was pleased to read that Conservative, NDP and even some Liberal MP's decided to forego the increase.
There is a similar article on the subject at Canada.com

Do the Math

My husband and I were discussing the increase MP's and public servants will be getting to cover their fuel costs.
Consider the following.
Our car will cover a distance of 650 km on a tank of gas. To fill our tank from empty, at current gas prices, will cost between $45 and $50. 46 cents a km would result in a payment of about $300 per tank. The new increase would result in a payment of about $325 per tank.
That's mighty expensive gas.

The Growing Divide Between the Governed and The Governing

Federal politicians were granted a 10% travel allowance increase in order to offset the rising cost of fuel. The increase is from 50.6 cents a kilometre from 46 cents for MPs, with a similar range for public servants.
Joe-Average-Canadian will not be getting so much as a dime of relief to offset the rising cost of fuel because the government has refused to lower gas taxes.
Read this article at the National Post on the subject.
Mr. Milliken's memo did not mention rising gasoline prices, but a Treasury Board notice to public servants said their travel allowances were being increased "in response to recent fuel price increases, as an interim measure." By coincidence, the head of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation arrived on Parliament Hill yesterday to present 35,000 signatures to the Conservative party to table in the Commons urging the government to reduce federal excise and sales taxes by 5 cents a litre. Federal levies and the GST total more than 17 cents a litre.
This is a coincidence our government is certain to ignore.
How dare these people get fat off the public trough while the rest of us scrape by? The nerve is unbelievable!

10/05/2005

Even the Liberals Don't Like It

I wish I could say Martin's foolish move to give Dingwall severance was about to spell the end of his reign. Even his own party is not impressed. Still, he has repeatedly proven himself to be a master of the art of clinging to power.
With an election just months away, one senior Liberal summed up the political headache caused by Dingwall's case. The Liberals have spent 18 months trying to escape the shadow of scandal caused by the sponsorship program and the Dingwall case is dragging them back in. "It destroys our credibility as wanting to clean up (government)," said Sarmite Bulte, the Liberals' Ontario caucus chair. "We need to keep ensuring Canadians that we intend to keep our word on this. . . .The feeling in caucus is that he should not get any severance."
It will be interesting to see how Martin will work his way out of this one. Any normal politician wanting to maintain voter sympathies would not have agreed to severance in the first place. It's too late for that now: it's already been promised and people are not happy.
Bulte is correct. This business with Dingwall has brought the Sponsorship Scandal back into the limelight and is showing Martin for the corrupt individual he is. The spin machine is going to have to work fast.

Hush Money

Read the articles at PoliticsWatch and Canada.com. There is a SoundOff! at the Canada.com article, so make yourself heard.

Apparently, our government officials have received "legal council" advising them to pay Dingwall or face a potential lawsuit. Wasted tax payer money aside, it is truly insane that a man who quit his job over allegations of illegal activity should have a leg to stand on as far as a lawsuit goes.
I have only ever quit one job in my life, and I can assure you, I did not receive any severance. I certainly would not be able to sue my former employer for it either. I would love to know who gave the PM legal advice in this matter. I should have such a lawyer!
There is something to Harper's accusation regarding hush money. I would love to know what Dingwall knows about the inner workings of government. Martin certainly has no intention of cleaning up the corruption in government if he has decided to pay Dingwall severance. It would be interesting to see what sort of blackmail has been involved in this process.

We Need Fixed Election Dates

Stunts like this, are a perfect example of why we need fixed election dates and fixed Opposition Days in this country. It boggles the mind that the government can choose when Opposition Days are held, and thereby schedule the timing of an election.
The first of seven opposition days before the Christmas break will come on the week of November 14... The earliest a vote of non-confidence could occur in the House would be November 15. A campaign must be held for a 35-day period. That would mean the earliest the campaign could end would be Tuesday, December 20. But under the law the election must be held on the first Monday after the end of the campaign, unless it's a holiday. The first Monday after December 20 is Boxing Day, meaning the election date would be Tuesday, December 27, smack in the middle of the Christmas holiday period.
Incredible.
Voter turnout during Christmas would be incredibly low. We would hear that never-ending mantra of "Canadians don't want an election" again. You can't tell me the Liberals don't know this and haven't set this up on purpose.
Clingling to power at any price.
Unbelievable.
The opposition parties could move concurrence motions calling on the government to resign through the House of Commons before the November 14.
I would not expect such a move to work at all, since in the spring session of Parliament, the Liberals chose to ignore a House defeat on a concurrence motion asking the government to resign for nine days before bringing forward a confidence vote, which they won by the narrowest possible margin.
History is set to repeat itself.

10/04/2005

Testimony to be Studied

According to this article at the Globe & Mail, the testimony made by individuals before Justice John Gomery will be studied and compared with the testimony presented before the Public Accounts Committee. The results of the study will be interesting to see. Should any of the testimonies be in conflict, individuals could find themselves charged with perjury.
The study will not be ready until after Christmas.

As Little As They Can Get Away With

Will Dingwall get a severance package? If he does, how big will it be? According to our esteemed government, it will be "as little as [the government] can get away with."
Which would mean no severance package at all.
Right?
Not according to Revenue Minister John McCallum.
"The government will pay to Mr. Dingwall only what it is legally required to pay and not a penny more," says the Revenue Minister. He seems to have forgotten the fact that when an individual quits their job, they are not entitled to severance pay. "This is a matter of law, it is not a matter of political discretion," said the minister... I can't say precisely what law... whether it is the common law or the written law, this is the matter on which the government will take advice."
I an curious to know who the government will take advice from. It's also interesting that the Revenue Minister has no idea which law would relate to his claim that Dingwall is entitled to severance. So much for the idea that our law makers should know what our laws are.
Meanwhile, MP's have voted for Dingwall to appear before a committee to explain his expenses. The article mentions that this is the third time in 18 months that Dingwall has had to appear before such a committee. In 2004, Dingwall appeared before the public accounts committee examining the sponsorship scandal. Earlier this year, Dingwall appeared before the government operations committee to explain how Tim Horton's received an exclusive deal from the Mint to sell a commemorative coin.
How interesting that Dingwall was in some way related to the sponsorship scandal. I would love to hear what his testimony was. I would put my bets on "I don't remember." There was a lot of that going around.

10/03/2005

On Integrity

According to PoliticsWatch, Bill C-11 was returned to the House of Commons from committee with 47 motions and amendments on Monday afternoon and now has unanimous support.
The key change was making the person who conducted investigations to be an independent officer of Parliament, on par with the Auditor-General. The new position will be known as the Integrity Commissioner.
As important as I think the whistleblower legislation is, I can't help but wonder if it will have the intended effect. The name "Integrity Commissioner" is eerily familiar.
When I was still in school, I was once was volunteered to be on the Graduate Council. There were only a few meetings, but one had to do with how the University was going to change the way they handled academic dishonesty. One of the measures taken was to change the name of the Academic Dishonesty Policy to the Academic Integrity Policy. An Academic Integrity Officer was also appointed and this individual would handle all breaches of academic integrity.
Of course, this did not make a lick of difference to student behaviour. People still found loopholes and ways to cheat. The penalties for cheating were not strictly enforced. They weren't even tightened to deal with the problem. Although graduates were still thrown out of school (and rightly so) for plagiarism, at the undergraduate level, the problem remained as it was: undealt with.
It wasn't worth a professor's time to deal with it.
It will be interesting to see how his legislation before Parliament will actually be enforced. All the words on paper don't mean a thing in the world if no one cracks the whip and makes sure people are heavily punished if they break the law. Given the incredible amount of corruption within the governing party, and the amount of law breaking that has already occurred, I am afraid I don't hold out as much hope as I wish I could.

"Making The Most of Every Opportunity..."

"...because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

Conservative MP and Deputy Speaker of the House Chuck Strahl has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Yesterday he was interviewed by Craig Oliver on CTV's Question Period regarding his illness.
What an interview!
It was such a testimony to the power of God at work in this man's life. I so admire Christians who can take any opportunity given them to share their faith. It's too bad the article at the CTV website makes no mention of it.
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