I'm not a big fan of reading celebrity websites and blogs. Most of them are incredibly unbearable, take Gene Simmons for example: "The crew was great. The girls were beautiful. And I looked like a slut. Wait till you see it.".

But I found something today, a message from Weird Al, thanking his friends and fans for their support during the last few weeks, since his parents died April 9 as a result of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Very touching, the message brings up a lot of feelings for those of us who have recently lost someone. Here it is.

Vote for Stephen Harper. Because he's cool.

Click his face avec your mouse.
An interesting editorial in the Winnipeg Free Press, discussing the reasons behind the hostile reaction by the CA alumni to Joe Clark's statements this week regarding Stephen Harper.

Clark's remarks reasonable
Anger focused more on his right to speak than substance of words

Fri Apr 30 2004

JOE Clark said this week that although neither Paul Martin nor Stephen Harper are ideal candidates for prime minister, Martin represents less of a danger to Canada than would Harper.
Some people will regard Clark's assessment as exactly right, while others will -- and, indeed, have --disagreed with him.

Whichever the case, however, Clark's comments were neither unreasonable nor intemperate. That can hardly be said of many of those who responded to him, in ways that can only be described as venomous.

Leading members of Harper's party, the Reformed Conservative Alliance, and many newspapers including the Globe and Mail, the National Post (which is, effectively, the house organ of Harper's party) and the Free Press, indulged in similar invective. The Free Press, for example, described Clark as "hapless," "bitter," "a has been," "pathetic" and "washed up."


Let's mark the Free Press down as 'undecided' but others were equally personal in their responses. Tony Clement, for example, a defeated former minister in the former Ontario government and an overwhelmingly defeated candidate for the leadership of the new Conservative Alliance, offered what was clearly intended to be the most cutting comment. The saddest thing, Clement said, is that Clark's views just don't matter any more, which seems to be belied by the fury of the responses. John Reynolds, MP, described Clark as a "bitter old man;" and "a traitor to the cause." Reynolds, who is himself as old or older than Clark (but, presumably, not bitter despite his bitter remarks) is, as it happens, a man with a history.

He was once a Progressive Conservative MP; then a Reform MP, then a Canadian Alliance MP and now an MP of the Reform/Alliance/Conservative party. His emergence as a Reformer entailed rejecting the old Tory Party -- a traitor to its cause, one might say -- but this man has embraced almost as many political positions as the Vicar of Bray and could give lessons on political transmogrification.

This is classic do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do stuff and Reynolds' colleague, Peter MacKay, daily offers an even more extraordinary demonstration of this let's-forget-my-past approach to politics: he preaches the virtues of honesty and integrity to his opponents even though his own conduct renders him probably the most unqualified member of the House to do so.

What the Reynolds and the MacKays of the world are counting on is the probability that most voters will have short memories; as, apparently, does Brian Mulroney.

Clark's comments have been played out against the backdrop of Mulroney, last weekend, conferring his blessing on Harper and the new alliance. In news terms, this remarkable event has been somewhat eclipsed by the anger over Clark, though the anger might more appropriately be directed elsewhere.

Here we have Mulroney, effectively driven from office and treated as a pariah for a decade, now embracing, and being embraced, by a party overwhelmingly drawn from the Reform/Alliance movement which helped drive him from office, which reduced his party to shambles and excoriated Mulroney and the very idea of any more 'leaders from Quebec.' They embrace now, not out of an outpouring of Christian charity or simple goodness, but because each wants something: Mulroney wants vindication and rehabilitation; the Reformers and Alliance folk who dominate the Conservative party want power. Those with somewhat longer memories than these folks are counting on, may well recall Mulroney's comment when Bryce Mackasey, a former Liberal cabinet minister and hanger-on, was named an ambassador: "There is no whore," quoth Mulroney, "like an old whore." Little did one suppose that in 1984 he might be offering his own epitaph.

The anger directed at Clark has focused much more on his right to speak than on the substance of what he said (in fairness, one notes that the Free Press editorial also addressed the substance of Clark's criticisms of Harper) which was focused on why he regards Harper & Co. as a danger to Canada. Their record -- that is Harper's and the Reform/Alliance's -- invites such concern.

Are they still a neo-conservative party wedded to cutting taxes for the wealthy, reducing public services, and imposing fees and surcharges on the services that remain for the least well- off members of society? Are they committed to two-tiered health care? Are they still committed to weakening the national government in favour of the provinces, including those in Atlantic Canada with its "culture of defeat" and Alberta behind its firewall?

Are they still committed to imposing Christian notions of morality on Canadians, of whose values they disapprove? Do they remain committed to eroding the distinctions Canadians have long recognized as demarcating the roles of the state and religion?

Are they still committed to sending Canadians into any war that George Bush sets his heart on? Will they recognize that Canadian and American values and priorities have diverged significantly in recent years and will they continue trying to impose American values on Canada? Is, Harper, a-la-Bush, about to declare himself a "compassionate conservative?"


These concerns underlie Clark's warning. After all, though numerous PC members and supporters have declined to join the new party, apart from one rather idiosyncratic MP, we hear nothing of unhappy Reformers or Alliance members refusing to join.

Could that be because they do not see the merger as posing any serious challenge to any of their cherished positions? Their apparent happiness gives credence to the notion that the merger has been a takeover of the smaller party by the larger one. To know the larger one's history and values is to understand quite clearly the danger of which Joe Clark warned this week.

Guess who the kid with the cake is and win a all-expenses-paid trip to BlogsCanada, where you and as many guests as you can squeeze in front of your computer monitor can enjoy thousands of links to websites like mine, where you'll spend 3 fun-filled hours that you will never ever get back reading boring stories about getting your haircut and what the blogster had for supper!

Play now, Play often.

(hint: click on the picture)

Regarding Andrew Coyne's posts today on his Blog. Mr. Coyne apparently disagrees with Joe Clark's statements regarding Stephen Harper. Mr. Coyne is a far superior writer in comparison to me, but that doesn't make him right.
In fact both the National Post and the Globe and Mail ran polls on the topic of Clark's statemets this week. In the case of the Globe poll, 65% agreed with Clark. In the National Post poll, the last time I checked the percentage of respondents agreeing with Clark was at 66%.

So I'll take a moment and critique a few of Coyne's comments regarding Clark and Harper:
1) Coyne "Harper now says he would not have sent troops to Iraq, but would only have offered "moral" support."
You'd think that there was an election coming up or something. Harper is saying that he wouldn't have sent troops to Iraq, but at the time he was standing up every day in the House of Commons, fist raised in the air and body shaking with indignation, demanding that the Prime Minister send troops to Iraq.

Hansard, Jan 29, 2003

(Stephen Harper):"We have called for participation in the predeployment exercises."

(Stephen Harper): "Make no mistake, Saddam's behaviour to date indicates that he will not honour diplomatic solutions so long as they are not accompanied by a threat of intervention. The least sign of weakness or hesitation on our part will be interpreted as incitement.... We believe that Canada cannot stand on the sidelines in such a moment.... Canada will be counted."

Is it just me, or does it sound like Harper wanted to send Canadian troops to Iraq? Now I'm all confused.

2) Coyne "Mr. Clark led the Progressive Conservatives to their worst-ever popular vote showing in 2000, just barely over 10%, where they remained, more or less, ever since. When the time came he was repudiated by 90% of his party in the vote to merge with the Canadian Alliance. So Clarkism represents, at a rough estimate, somewhere between 1% and 2% of the population."

Is this voodoo math? 12% of Canadians voted for non-Canadian Alliance, moderate conservatism (aka non-Liberal, moderation) in the last election, a small percentage admittedly.

But Mr. Coyne makes a giant leap in his conclusion that since a large number of PC Party members voted to join the Alliance (and don't even get me started on the number of Tories I know, including me, who were not contacted once regarding becoming involved in this vote), that that means more than 10 percent of Canadians have instantaneously decided they aren't interested in either moderate conservatism or non-Liberal moderate, pluralistic government.

Which is what Mr. Clark represents, of course, more than any other politician in the country.


Coyne "UPDATE: Now he's endorsing Ed Broadbent. Question: How was this man allowed to pass himself off as a Conservative all these years? Should we now conclude he was in fact a double agent?"

I'm not sure how long Mr. Coyne has been a political reporter. Obviously not long enough to remember the days before the 1993 election, when people and politicians from different political parties could have enormous respect for each other despite their differing political opinions.
I could give any number of examples, but instead I will use just one, the story of when Pierre Trudeau introduced his son Justin to Joe Clark and his daughter Catherine, from Justin's lovely eulogy at Pierre Trudeau's funeral.

"But at eight, I was becoming politically aware. And I recognized one whom I knew to be one of my father's chief rivals.

Thinking of pleasing my father, I told a joke about him -- a generic, silly little grade school thing.

My father looked at me sternly with that look I would learn to know so well, and said: "Justin, never attack the individual. One can be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating him as a consequence."

Saying that, he stood up and took me by the hand and brought me over to introduce me to this man. He was a nice man who was eating with his daughter, a nice-looking blond girl a little younger than I was.

My father's adversary spoke to me in a friendly manner and it was then that I understood that having different opinions from those of another person in no way precluded holding this person in the highest respect."

Full Text of the Justin Trudeau Eulogy

With those words in mind, I think it's fitting that Mr. Clark, at the end of his career, has decided to show respect to one of his old adversaries by campaigning at his side.
I was thinking tonight of adding a feature to let people comment on the garbage I write.

Then I remembered that I don't care about anyone's opinions but my own so that plan got nixed in a 1-0 vote (at least I was democratic about it).

Throughout Joe Clark's career, people have tried to paint him as a "Joe Who", a mitten-wearing clown, irrelevant. But he has always taken it in stride, and as this week's events have shown, he is neither a "Joe Who", nor is he irrelevant.

I'd be proud to be a member of a party led by Joe Clark again.
Mike Wilson for Prime Minister in '94

The one nice thing that has come out of the mixup in politics in the past few months is that for the first time in 10 years there is passion again in federal politics. People are starting to have opinions again.

The Liberals are split in a way not seen in this country since the Ontario provincial Tories in the mid 80s-mid 90s (but they did a better job of concealing that split, perhaps because they were not in power). The new conservative party is starting to question/define/redefine itself publicly, since Joe Clark made his comments 48 hours ago. The NDP are starting to show signs of life.

You'd think that there was an election in the air or something.

Unfortunately there is not much in it for Canadians. The Liberals don't seem to have a plan for anything, although I vaguely remember Paul Martin saying about a year ago something bold about our cities. The new Conservative Party, perhaps because it has not yet coalesced and had time for a proper policy convention, literally does not have any policies (although the conservative party website refers to an interim policy document).

This election, everybody should vote for me. This is actually possible. It's perfectly valid to write my name on the ballot and put a check mark beside it. It's called a write-in ballot.

So I guess it's official. I'm running for Prime Minister!
The Story
Joe. He's the man.

Joe basically called Stephen Harper a faggot on Question Period yesterday, and the whole country stood and cheered. My hands are sore from clapping.

The Aftermath in Quotes

Clark is a "bitter old man," and a "traitor" -John Reynolds

"I think it's unfortunate for Joe." -Stephen Harper

"He's going out as a spoilsport" "When he keeps saying stuff like this, people say, 'There goes Joe again.' " "Not too many people pay attention to what he says." -Loyola Hearn

the comments by me the political idiot

I included the quotes to show how thin-skinned and bitter the new Conservatives are sounding in their responses to Clark's comments. It's unfortunate that Loyola Hearn chose such an undignified way to criticize his former party leader. As a member of the Conservative party (yes, I have my membership now but I'm still debating whether to keep it) I am embarrassed, especially by Hearn's remarks.

But the one thing that most Canadians would agree with right now is that neither Martin or Harper is looking very palatable at this moment. It's really too bad that there isn't another party on the scene right now, conservative yet palatable to Canadians.

A Party like the Progressive Conservatives.

Just set up a new google Gmail account. Google is apparently starting an e-mail thing like yahoo mail, but with 1 gig of storage space.


If you want to send me an e-mail at the new account, it's the same as the yahoo e-mail address in the top right of this web page, except replace the word yahoo with the word gmail.


The Haircut

Saturday. Just got my hair cut. I’ll never do it by appointment again though. Do you have any idea how stupid I felt today when I kept having to say I had a “hair appointment”? Only girls have hair appointments. Guys just get theirs cut when they feel like it.

Anyway, I have the greatest hairstylist. She’s actually become a friend of mine, and we often have lunch together. She starts with a shoulder and head massage (which I still think is really weird, but it’s also really nice). Then for some reason, and maybe it’s just because we’re friends, she fusses and fusses and it takes her 45 minutes to cut my hair. Most places do a guy’s hair in 15 minutes. It looks wonderful though. It can be hard to find a really great haircut, and that's the reason I keep going back to her. And there is another girl there who keeps trying to give me “complimentary hand massages”. I mean, I don’t mind the idea of a hand massage, and free is good, but I have a weird thing about getting massages from women who are not my wife/girlfriend/mom. I just think it’s a bit dirty or something (dirty in a perverted way). So I keep refusing the free hand massage. Guys don’t get hand massages anyway, do they?

Jeez, all I want is a haircut. I forgot to mention they keep trying to feed me and give me coffee and stuff.

The only sad part is when I have to pay. They open my wallet and suck out money and – ok I’m just kidding, but it’s really expensive. But it’s a great haircut.
Revelations about the finance department’s awarding of ad contracts during the 1990s without following the “appropriate guidelines”, is bound to soon raise the issue of ministerial responsibility over the actions of his department. So I thought I’d have a brief look at the topic. This being a blog entry and not something I’m being paid for, of course, I’m not going to write much about it, and therefore it should not be considered an exhaustive study of the topic, unless you consider that I might get exhausted from writing it (sorry about the run-on sentence).

There are 2 major schools of thought when it comes to the topic of ministerial responsibility. The first believes holds that “Legally, each minister is responsible for all official actions by his or her department.” ( definition quoted from MSN Encarta. Link)

The second school of thought is that responsibility for the actions of a government department is held by the chief executive, and that the chief executive is accountable to the minister for the performance of the department. Thus, the minister is not directly accountable for anything that happens within the department.
Translation: When a minister doesn’t wish to get fired, he can blame his underlings like a cheap coward.

The following link is to a British article on governmental departmental responsibility:

It’s a bit long, and so I’ll just sum it up with 3 quotes from it:

The convention of ministerial responsibility, the mechanism through which constitutional accountability is delivered, requires that ministers are accountable to Parliament for their own actions and those of their department and most interpretations of the convention focus on causal responsibility. (Mike’s note: causal responsibility=blame)

…They also require ministers, as part of the elected government, to be part of the accountability process, rather than detached from it.

However, this raises questions about what a minister ‘could be expected to know’ and has resulted in attempts by ministers to minimise expectations and distance themselves from culpability through the employment of the policy/operations division, which implies that ministers cannot be expected to know anything about operational matters, and the responsibility/accountability distinction, which implies that they therefore cannot be blamed for any operational error or for a series of errors.

OK, so the point was, umm, the point was that if Paul Martin wants to escape blame for his department's improper handling of ad contracts, he might in fact get away with it.
But that would only prove that he was a sucky cabinet minister, and suggests he is going to be a sucky Prime Minister (using only technical terms of course).

For the most up-to-date information on what's going on in the Paul Martin government, visit the Warren Kinsella website.
So Warren (Kinsella) has received a threat from a Liberal MP. Apparently things are going right to hell in our federal government right now, shit is hitting the fan and other metaphorical bad stuff.
Mr. Kinsella is one of those rare folks in politics who is respected by those on the left and on the right. His only real detractors have been the folks at Frank Magazine and the folks running the Paul Martin PMO (Prime Minister's Office). Which makes sense since there is some suspicion that the folks running the current PMO may actually be the same folks who run Frank Magazine (the magazine that specializes in political fart jokes)
Kinsella made some comments regarding complaints about Paul Martin's finance ministry back in the mid 90s that were not very helpful to the current federal government spinmeisters who have been trying to distance Martin from the current scandal regarding federal contracts.
My version of the story probably makes no sense, so try taking a peek at Mr. Kinsella's April 19 version here.

Any-hoo, the reason I am directing your attention to this story is because it reminds me of one of the reasons I decided to uninvolve myself in politics (OH GOD, HERE COMES ANOTHER BORING, WHINY, MIKE WILSON STORY). Back in '94 I remember I was all involved in the Ontario PC Party' policy formation team ('member the Common Sense Revolution?).
That year I remember we were replacing the party president, and everyone who was anyone in Eastern Ontario who was involved in the party was backing Peter Van Loan (who despite the details of this story still sends me invites to his annual BBQ every year).
Anyway, there were a few folks in the Ottawa area who were supporting the other candidate, Jeff Lyons (he of the Joe Clark gov't fame). At some point I decided I liked Lyons, and being the retard that I am, I announced that I was backing Lyons to all my Tory friends.
You'd think I'd joined the Liberals for all of the hate that was directed at me. Apparently all the Eastern Ontario Tory hacks got together and had a little meeting, to which I was understandably NOT invited. A couple of days later, one of my best friends, who I'll refer to as JP, called me and informed me that he had been chosen to basically direct all manner of threats my way until I smartened up and got back onside. Apparently I was embarrassing the entire eastern Ontario Tory something, and I was going to lose all my positions in the party and have no more friends and never work in this town again.
In the end I voted for the candidate I wanted to vote for and ended up affiliated with the other wing of the PC Party of Ontario (huh? Other wing? What's he talking about??? I'm not going to explain the intricacies of the Ontario PC Party in this post, sorry). Which had a few perks. Lots of rich folks, got driven around a few times by a General in the Canadian Army, and well, that's about it. Shortly afterwards I decided I'd had enough of playing politics.
One more little story before I'm done. My friend, JP, the guy who had been designated to call me up and threaten me? About a year or so later he was challenged for his presidency of some rinky-dink Ottawa area riding association, in a hostile take-over attempt by some Reform Party members. I showed up at the meeting and saved his butt by pointing out that the meeting itself was unconstitutional according to the party's constitution. I think I referred to some clause regarding the requirements for calling a meeting to impeach a riding association president.
I think that was the last thing I ever did in active politics, aside from some local election work here and there. I decided that if my own people, people I trusted, were going to stab me in the back then I did not want to associate with that sort of folks. And since that is typical of the sort of people involved in politics, that pretty much decided for me that playing politics was not for me, even though I had loved it while I was involved.

boo hoo, nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm going to the garden to eat worms.

Anyway, as I said, Mr. Kinsella's situation brought back that memory for me (the boo-hoo comment was not directed at him, but at my own whiny tale).

the end.
Welcome to the new and absolutely unimproved blog. I've made some really silly changes, and they are the kind of changes that nobody will ever notice, unless they are trying too hard to be nice, like when you pretend to notice someone's haircut.

You know, for someone who used to teach programming, I know "jack squat" about HTML. Ian King over at Vancouver Scrum helped me out with some code I needed. But even with the code I didn't have the slightest clue where to put it. I just kept trying the code in different places til it worked and didn't look completely retarded.

Anyone who was dumb enough to visit this site over the past hour would have seen some pretty strange stuff though.

Anyway, got rid of the link to Paul Martin's blog. Don't know why i ever put that on here in the first place. Must have thought when I was a newbie blogger that it would look impressive on my "political discussion" blog.

Left the dead links to the PC Party stuff, even left the PC Party link, even though it redirects to the new Conservative Party. Guess I just can't accept the truth that my party no longer exists.

Kinda decided that it might be fun to try some satire, now that my little political heart has been broken (boo hoo).

the end

Oh wait, I almost forgot. The Save Angel banner will be replacing my PC Party logo for a few weeks. Those who were never fans of Buffy and Angel, just try to imagine a PC Party logo there in the meantime.

Our PM hitting on some guy with a book in a fancy place
Girls, you know that look....
Speaking of Bad Words Part II

I think I've lost all of my blog archives.
Speaking of Bad Words...

"technical difficulties" the other day caused a very naughty word to be broadcast on the evening news over at Toronto 1.

So put your kids to bed, and clicky-click right here (requires Windows Media Player, I think).

Shades of Avery Haines (who I went to school with for 12 years or so in Fenelon Falls, Ontario), the Newsnet reporter who (unfairly?) got canned for saying bad words on air a few years ago.

This stuff is just soooo much more fun than discussing politics.
Who's Raymi the minx?

Just found an interesting Blog. I'm not one to spend a lot of time reading Blogs, although there are a few I like.

Anyway, this one is called something, I can't remember (I think i lost a few brain-cells while reading it), although I copy-and pasted the address here. Someone named Raymi the Minx. Lots of bad words. A couple of semi-naughty pictures and ideas, but we're all adults.

Anyway, this blog reminds me of Seinfeld, it has no point. Just what appear to be transcripts of drug-induced conversations. This girl's blog is to the Sex Pistols, as my blog is to Barry Manilow, if that whole relationship-between-2-things concept makes any sense to you at all.

But I like it. Maybe it's time I started having fun with this blog the way this girl does with hers. I can still discuss politics, but...


I'm going to wish later that I didn't publish this post.
Getting ready for work. Sitting at my gigantical wrap-around desk, with coffee and p-taccky (duMaurier), reading through the news. I enjoy this sort of down-time before I have to go to the office, where there is a Sony policy for everything I do, although on a Saturday hopefully there won't be many people there and I can do my work in peace.

I mean don't get me wrong, Sony is a great company to work for, and I get to play with lots of toys, but holy crap. Try to imagine working in an office where for a lot of the office policies there are other policies that say the opposite. Essentially no matter what you do, you will find yourself in violation of something. The only thing you can do is try to understand how your boss implements these "opposite yet equal" policies in practice. Then when you get a new boss try to fit in with his interpretation of them.

But it's Saturday. I'll go in wearing my plastic jogging pants and a t-shirt. Maybe even a baseball cap (horrors!)

Everyone have a good weekend.
Much Ado about a widow and a crippled kid

The usual suspects are up in arms about the family of a deceased senior al Qaeda member, who happen to be Canadian citizens. This family, consisting of the widow, her daughter, and her paralyzed son, returned to Toronto this week hoping for better medical treatment for the crippled boy.

The crazies on the newsgroups along with their spiritual leader Stockwell Day of election 2000 fame, all blame...you guessed it...Paul Martin, for the return of this family. Expect Peter Worthington to feature them in this Sunday's column.

Citizen Khadr

Globe And Mail
Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - Page A14

The right to express personal opinions, no matter how obnoxious those opinions may be, belongs to all Canadians -- even the Khadr family of Toronto, some of whose members appear to have been more than socially acquainted with Osama bin Laden.

The Khadrs are hardly desirable as citizens or neighbours. The patriarch, killed last fall, was a senior al-Qaeda member. A teenage son is in prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, suspected of fatally shooting a U.S. soldier. A younger son, 14, was wounded in the gun battle that killed his father. (He is now in a wheelchair.) And the mother and an adult daughter told CBC-TV that the children learned proper values from being brought up in an atmosphere of holy war.

Abhorrent? Certainly. But are the mother's and daughter's opinions cause for barring citizens from re-entering the country, as Canadian Alliance MP Stockwell Day suggests? Definitely not. A citizen is a citizen is a citizen, whether born here or granted citizenship after immigrating.

Free expression is not absolute. Joining a terrorist group, either here or abroad, is forbidden under the federal Anti-Terrorist Act, and subject to prosecution in Canada. Training in terrorist camps, or fundraising for terrorists, is illegal. So is incitement to murder or genocide. If there is evidence that the Khadrs, or any other Canadians, have engaged in this behaviour, they should be prosecuted. But expressing support -- in words -- for democracy's enemies is not a crime. Not in a democracy.
Has anyone even played The Last Post?

It's time for some old news (Jan 13, to be exact). Andre Bachand's decision not to join the new party.

"Over the course of the past four weeks, I have had to mourn the death of the Progressive Conservative Party," he said later, in English. "I have accepted the death of my party."

Is it legal to copy and post an article verbatim from a newspaper's website? Who knows...

Globe and Mail Update

Saying that he could not represent his riding as a member of a different party, Progressive Conservatives MP Andr? Bachand will sit an Independent until the next election and will then quit politics.

Mr. Bachand told his constituents last month that he would not seek election as a member of the new party. On Tuesday, he confirmed that decision and signalled the end of his political career.

Paul Martin is expected to call an election within months. Until then, Mr. Bachand joins fellow ex-Tories Joe Clark and John Herron, now sitting as Independents. Also expected to join their ranks is former Alliance MP Keith Martin, who sources say will run as a Liberal in the next election.

Mr. Bachand said that he could understand why some MPs had decided to cross the floor, joining different parties as the Canadian political landscape has been shaken up. He said that he could not.

?I could not represent the electorate of Richmond-Athabaska under a banner that is actually against my objectives,? he told reporters in Victoriaville, Que., speaking in French.

Mr. Bachand, 42, was elected in 1997 to represent the rural riding. There had been speculation that he would join the Liberals, as did former Tory Scott Brison.

?Over the course of the past four weeks, I have had to mourn the death of the Progressive Conservative Party,? he said later, in English. ?I have accepted the death of my party.?

In the history of the world, there have been 10 terrible and tragic events that changed the world irrevocably. The death of the PC Party was not one of them.

But for those of us who stuck with the party through the lean years, the betrayal by Peter Mackay was unforgiveable, and.... OK, enough whining.
Strange Politics

It's a strange political season. Who'd have guessed 11 years ago, that most lifetime Tories would be left today without a party to represent them?

And who'd have guessed even a year ago that a lot of lifetime Liberals would be losing faith in that party?

What happened to the Tories is a matter now of public record, having been swallowed up by the Canadian Alliance, which graciously changed it's name to the Conservative Party of Canada. But then again the Canadian Alliance has absolutely no traditions or values, and changing it's name is just the way they prepare for an election.

Anyway, the "Party of MacDonald" ended it's existence in January 2004.

As I said at the start of this crappy excuse for political discussion, many Liberals are finding themselves unable to support their party as well. The new PM, Paul Martin, spent so many years campaigning for leadership of that party and pushing the old leader to retire, that now that these goals have been achieved, Martin's team doesn't know how to do anything but alienate the longtime party members who were loyal to the previous PM.

The latest (ipsos reid) polling numbers show the party at 35%, which still has them in first place and there is still no real risk of them losing the next election, but it's the lowest numbers the party has had since Kim Campbell was PM.

And most recently Paul Martin has been making some interesting decisions (to put it charitably), including a decision to woo Quebec separatists into the party. I'd like to know what Jean Charest has to say about that.

In fact I'd like to know what Charest has to say about a lot of what has been happening on the federal scene in the past year, especially to his PC party. He has made no public statements that I'm aware of, and I can't even guess where he stands on this. Wikipedia has an interesting look at the relationship between the provincial parties and the new Conservative Party here, but I digress.

Recently one of the Liberal Party's most faithful and stalwart soldiers, Warren Kinsella (see sidebar), has expressed his displeasure with the direction Martin has taken the party, and has stated that as things stand today, he will be unable to support his party federally this time around. This could be overlooked if his was the only voice saying the same thing.

Which makes me wonder. Historically, despite what some of the die-hards in the parties may have believed, the PC Party and the Liberals have always been closer in philosophy than either party has liked to admit. I'm too lazy to come up with a lot of examples and back them up, but free trade is probably a good example of a policy which the two parties have historically swapped positions on from time to time. In the early 1960s, it was the Libs who advocated free trade with the US, while the Tories were opposed. And anyway, I said I wasn't going to get into examples, so just believe me or else.

The best way to describe the philosophy that the PCs and the Liberals have always shared was the philosophy that you can say and do whatever your little heart pleases while sitting in the cheap seats, but once you are in power you have to do that which is best for Canada and for Canadians.

Anyway, what was I going on about again... oh yeah, I think I was going to say something wise about how it would be interesting if the disaffected party activists in the PC Party and those in the Liberal Party got together, in some sort of "Canadian alliance", and created some sort of tent for people who care about this country and are sick of the political games that are being played out by the major parties that seem to have stopped representing Canadian interests. The success of this entity (I don't want to say "party") would be helped along if it had some endorsements from folks like Joe Clark, Dalton Camp, Jean Charest, Jean Chretien, Justin Trudeau, etc.

Anyway, it's a nice idea, but not likely.

I think I'm done. While writing this it occurred to me that in a small way the current political season may be proving right one of the old Reform Party slogans:

Liberal Tory, same old story.
Leafs' boosterism is up 10 points over last reporting period

This year there are 2 new songs supporting the Leafs' 2004 playoff drive, by someone named Pete Cugno. There's the Ottawa Song, sung to the tune of the Hannukah song.
And the second song is called Every Shot You Take, to the tune of the Police song.

For the lyrics to the second song, visit Hockey fangirl.


So, it's now been what, 4 months that the new Conservative Party has been in existence.

I cry, not actually, but in some metaphorical way, for the death of my party, the PC Party of Canada. On the right side of this page is a link, that used to go to the PC Party website, but now will re-direct youn to the new party's website. I still leave it up because there is a part of me I guess that has not yet come to terms with the fact that the PC Party of Canada no longer exists.

Anyway, the following is a brief eulogy of the Party from canadawebpages.com:

Last PC Party caucus meeting

Today was the last caucus meeting of the Progressive Conservative Party. The party joins the Conservative Party of Canada henceforth. A few members shed some tears while Peter MacKay called attention to the historic nature of the caucus meeting. Suggesting its importance is on par with the 1942 amalgamation of Conservatives and Progressives parties. MacKay cited the common goal to form a government. He closed with a standing ovation.

What follows is a brief history of the PC Party.

Progressive Conservative party, Canadian political party formed in 1942 by the merger of the Progressive and Conservative parties. Beginning with the first Canadian prime minister, John A. Macdonald in 1867, the Conservative party dominated Canadian politics for much of the first three decades after confederation in 1867. The Conservative party's commitments to a strong confederation, national economic development, and close ties to Britain were continued by subsequent Conservative prime ministers, John J. C. Abbott, John S. D. Thompson, Mackenzie Bowell, and Charles Tupper. Reactions to the pro-British direction of Conservative policy and the execution of French-Canadian rebel Louis Riel led to a decline in Conservative party fortunes in Quebec, and the start of a long period of Liberal party dominance.

In the 1920s, Conservative prime ministers Robert Borden and Arthur Meighen managed to forge a coalition of groups alienated by Liberal party policies, but opposition by Quebec to the conscription policy during World War I led to a decline in Conservative support. During the Great Depression Richard B. Bennett formed a Conservative government, though the persistence of the depression led to its eventual collapse. In 1942, incorporating elements of the old Progressive party, the Conservative party adopted the label Progressive Conservative party and advocated a more reform-minded program, but this did little to change the party's national fortunes.

In John Diefenbaker, prime minister from 1957 to 1963, the Progressive Conservative party found a charismatic figure who helped forge a new base for the party in the western provinces. The growing problem of Quebec autonomy contributed to another two decades of Liberal government; Joe Clark, party leader from 1976 to 1983, was briefly prime minister in 1979. From 1986, the Progressive Conservative party under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney attempted to resolve the delicate constitutional issues of provincial status in the failed Meech Lake Accords and unsuccessful constitutional proposals, and negotiated a free trade agreement (1987) with the United States. The unpopularity of his economic policies, however led Mulroney to resign in 1993.

Kim Campbell, the party's and Canada's first female leader, briefly governed and led the party (1993) before she and all but two of the party's parliamentary candidates were rejected at the polls. She was succeeded as party leader by Jean Charest, who led the national party to a partial recovery in the 1997 elections, but the party's full recovery was hampered by the emergence of the Reform party (later the Canadian Alliance). Joe Clark again became the party's leader in 1998. In 2000 the party won only 12 seats in Parliament, making it the smallest of the five represented parties. although it garnered the third largest bloc of popular votes. Peter MacKay succeeded Joe Clark as party leader in 2003.


I really can't continue citing my sources. After all, the header of this page does say that I'm a plagiarist.


I wish cancer on Peter Mackay.