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Posts tagged ‘Stephen Harper’

What is the point of voting out a future appointee?

The Prime Minister has appointed three new senators. All three of them ran for the Conservative Contempt Party and lost in the recent election.

Two of the new senators aren’t really new, as both Larry Smith and Fabian Manning had resigned their senate seats before unsuccessfully running in the recent election. In other words, so much for personal responsibility. The last new senator is Josée Verner, who lost her seat to the Orange Crush. Manning will represent Newfoundland and Labrador, while Smith and Verner will represent Quebec.

Besides merely being an affront to the electorate who rejected them, the appointment of these two senators from Quebec is especially insulting. Contrary to every other province, Section 22 of the Constitution Act, 1867, requires that the senators representing Quebec represent special “electoral” (sic) divisions in the province, rather than merely being resident as is the case elsewhere.

In other words, two politicians who couldn’t even muster a plurality of people in their ridings to support them, have now been appointed to represent other “electoral divisions”.

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I’m back

Near the beginning of April, my mother accidentally broke the network card on my computer (don’t ask; it’s a long story), and I was cut off from the internet for a month. But now, I’m reconnected. Here’s a month’s worth of posts, all rolled into one:

  • Canada’s general election was yesterday and the Harpercons and Reformatories won a majority. Fuck. I feel like my country just died, its beating heart ripped out by the grimy hands of a reactionary. Women will suffer under the new regime. I’d like to be wrong about that and hope I am.
    • If it’s any consolation, the Bloc–headed separatists were basically blown away by an orange wave in Quebec. Good.
    • The Green Party has now entered the club of “serious” political parties as it won a seat.
  • Premier Christy Clark is running in a by–election in Vancouver–Point Grey. I predict that she will crush the NDP candidate and gain a seat in the legislature. Various governing parties’ by–election losing streak will finally come to an end.
  • An Epic FAIL for wingnut economics.
  • O RLY? Barack Obama released the long form of his birth certificate. To the surprise of no rational person, the birthers were wrong. He really was born in Hawaii. Of course, to conspiracy freaks, all evidence is created by the New World Order™, so this won’t really sway them. I wonder why such a conspiracy theory ever managed to gain hold. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Obama, and therefore conspiracy theories ought to be beneath the dignity of everyone.
    • The same reasoning as above applies to Parentism involving Trig Palin.
  • Team USA won the 2011 Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships. Congratulations to them. This is their third consecutive title and fourth overall. Just like in every other final, they faced Canada. Just like in every previous tournament, Finland played in the bronze medal game. They won, beating Russia who had their best showing since 2001. My prediction from last May was correct. Despite beating Finland, Switzerland didn’t medal.
    • In the Division I tournament, China was relegated. For a team that played in the last Olympics and at one time was a medal contender, it truly is the Great Fall.
  • Osama bin Laden was killed by an American special forces team. Good fucking riddance.
  • I wonder if my absence has caused a frequent commentator here to finally leave. Part of me kind of hopes so, as he commented semi–on topic on virtually every post, resulting in threadsurrections and endless discussions, sometimes with dozens of comments. Real people have a life outside of commenting and blogging. If you are still here (you know who you are), please, shut up a little.
  • I really like this picture (hat tip: Blag Hag).
  • Many people here in BC are boycotting Carrie Underwood. This is because her husband, Mike Fisher, plays hockey for the Predators. Seriously, folks? Ms. Underwood has minimal control over which team her husband plays for. She is in no way responsible for the fact that our local team is playing her husband’s team, and as a matter of fact has nothing to do with it. I’d like to think that we live in a civilized society where a woman is not seen as subordinate or lesser than her husband.
  • Just before I was cut off, I downloaded music composition software called MuseScore and since then have been loads of fun with it.
    • Also a note to this guy. MuseScore is free, so there’s no need to shell out hundreds to get the next version of Sibelius or Finale.

Do you hear what I hear?

Click over here, if you dare. It’s at CBC, and it has a video of Prime Minister Stephen Harper singing (slightly out–of–key) rock songs at a Christmas party for the Conservative Party.

With the hope that your ears are safe, we can ponder CBC’s question: “Stephen Harper: Does seeing his musical side improve your impression of him?”

Seeing his musical side will not impact my view of him because whatever musical side he has, has no impact on how good his policies are. If his policies were close to my own political preferences, his musical side would not impact my view of him. Ditto for reality. In effect, would you take the same view of the person if they promoted and enacted the exact same policies, but had no musical ability? That’s what you should do. Musical ability will not make bad policies good, and good policies bad. I’ll concede that Harper’s musical side may give him a folksy appeal, but that is irrelevant to whether his policies are good or not. Certainly, doing this is an effective electoral tactic, but it’s a bad idea to vote for someone solely because they are charming, in your in–group, from your area, and so on. Doing so could result in the election of a legislator who is inimical to your interests. I will never use those criteria when deciding who to vote for, and neither should anyone else.

So, in short, hell no.

Stooping to tactics so low

Rather than trying to convince Canadians to come to their point of view on the purchase of Joint Strike Fighters, our government, led by the Right Wrong Dishonourable Stephen Harper, has instead tried to influence public opinion by rewriting Wikipedia articles. Their attempt at a wikiality failed. From CBC:

A Defence Department spokesperson confirms computers at the department’s research agency were used to alter a Wikipedia page entry about the Joint Strike Fighter jet and the Conservative government’s decision to spend as much as $18 billion on the aircraft.

Those edits included the removal of information critical of the government’s plan to buy the jets and the addition of insulting comments aimed at Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

As first reported in a story by Postmedia, Wikipedia traced the edits to computers owned by Defence Research Development Canada’s Ottawa offices. Wikipedia locked down the entry, labelled the changes as vandalism and only allowed recognized editors to work on the page.

See, they are defacing web pages. Vandalizing. In addition, there is the rather authoritarian tactic of removing the dissents of others. It’s entirely possible that a reasonable case could be made for purchasing these jets, but wikiality is not the way to do it.

In one entry, all information outlining the criticism of the jets and the plan to buy them was removed. In another, someone added that Ignatieff thought the deal to buy the planes for Canada was an “awesome, amazing decision to proceed with this contract.” In reality, Ignatieff has been critical of the sole-source contract, calling for a reconvening of the defence committee to examine the decision.

Another version of the entry inserted that Ignatieff has six toes on each foot.

Putting words in your opponents’ mouths and misrepresenting their positions, and making up juvenile stories about them. I would expect the government to know what’s going on with their own computers.

This incident is of course a good reason not to vote for the Conservative Party whenever the next federal election is held.

New lyrics for O Canada?

In a surprise move, in yesterday’s throne speech, the government proposed reviewing the lyrics of our national anthem, O Canada, in order to make them more gender–neutral.

An informal survey of the blogosphere seems to indicate that there are other national concerns that should take priority. My view is similar: I have no objections to changing the lyrics to make them more inclusive, but there are more pressing concerns that should be handled first. Perhaps there would be more time if Parliament wasn’t prorogued all the time…

And speaking of O Canada, did you know that the original English poem (not the anthem, there are no other verses) has additional verses?

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western Sea,
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Update (2010-03-04): Cancel that. No changes are happening.

Steve the stuffer

Our dear Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just made 18 appointments to the Senate. That’s a record for one day.

He also appointed Thomas Cromwell, a justice of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, to a vacancy on the Supreme Court. That bypassed a measure employing hearings in the House of Commons, a measure he had previously advocated.

And might I add that this was done while Parliament was prorogued.

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