Efforts to rearrange political lines seem almost as old as the hills and rivers that form natural boundaries. Nations and states have different cultures, economies and politics, of course. Supporters argue that California – where voters in the dominant Bay Area and Los Angeles have far different priorities than Californians in other areas – ought to be broken into six states so everyone can pursue their dreams. (It’s not as if San Diegans couldn’t still spend the weekend in Napa.)
“Stephen is a predator. It’s whoever is in his sights,” he says at one point, laughing, in reference to how Harper feels about his political opponents. And, later: “I guess (Harper) decided that if he wasn’t going to be able to reform the Senate, he was going to play politics even more ruthlessly than his predecessors.”
Which is essentially what all the other Prime Ministers have done. At least the PMs that lasted for any serious length of time in office. Laurier, King and Dief all entered office with the highest idealism. Soon enough they were playing the game even more ruthlessly than their predecessors. Being nice in politics is a form of unilateral disarmament. Only the foolish or the exceptionally brave even try it.
Boy Justin is not, despite reports to the contrary, taking the high road. Nope. He's playing dirty just like the rest of them. The difference is that he is pretending not to play dirty. Rather than attacking Stephen Harper directly, he makes vague remarks about the declining middle class. Instead of making it personal he makes it circumstantial. Everyone knows who and what he's talking about, but courtesy refrains us from connecting the dots.
The interview with Professor Flanagan gives some interesting insights into the political process. It also shows a remarkable frankness about the role of chief of staff:
At the very least, he understands the pressure [Nigel] Wright was under.
“I hope nobody ever probes everything I did as campaign manager and chief of staff,” he says, biting into a roasted tomato.
“You do things that, you know, are kind of edgy. And that happens fairly frequently, so you get in the habit of pushing the envelope.”
Admittedly this is Canadian politics. As a rule we avoid shooting our enemies in the street. It's considered rude. The pushing the envelope stuff is probably par for the course in the States, to say nothing of how things are done in less stable countries. Even the Wright Affair is incredibly underwhelming. The desperation of the MSM to remove Harper from office is what has kept the story alive.
Bill Clinton has really whore'd himself out this time -- surrounding himself with real prostitutes.
Slick Willie probably had no clue ... but the women Bill posed with at an L.A. charity event Thursday night are two star hookers at the famed Nevada Bunny Ranch brothel.
The brunette goes by Ava Adora and the blonde goes by Barbie Girl. According to her bio on the BR website, the blonde is very flexible and specializes in de-virginizing. The brunette "knows how to please a variety of both men and women."
Ontario is helping Hiram Walker & Sons Limited expand their operations to become an industry leader in the premium distilled spirits market.
The province is providing $1 million to support the purchase of new equipment to create product lines geared at consumers of higher-end and niche products, ensuring the Windsor facility continues to be a leader in innovation.
To the young men of Canada: Make her sign a release.
On Wednesday evening at McGill University in Montreal, a group of students and community activists assembled to discuss when “yes” doesn’t actually mean yes. The Forum on Consent, which was also open to the public, featured several panel participants who spoke to the question of what we understand as “consent.” The theme was similar to a campaign launched by a Nova Scotia coalition earlier this month — the More Than Yes campaign — which contended that “sexual consent is more than just a yes.” According to that campaign, and echoed by the forum participants at McGill on Wednesday, real consent “must be loud and clear. Sex without enthusiastic consent is not sex at all. It’s sexual assault or rape.”
That last bit might make things awkward for millions of married men.
John Tory is entering the race to become Toronto's next mayor.
The former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party confirmed his candidacy Sunday, ending months of speculation.
Tory, who also ran for mayor in 2003 but lost to David Miller, will make his candidacy official Monday morning (830a) when he files his registration papers at City Hall.
For those keeping track over the last twenty years John Tory has been involved in exactly one successful election campaign, winning his own seat as provincial Tory leader in 2005. That was in the safest conservative riding in the province. He played a leading part in the 1993 federal Tory disaster, his own failed bid for the mayoralty of Toronto in 2003, the should have been a cakewalk defeat in the provincial election of 2007 and his narrow defeat in 2009 in another provincial by-election.
If the man's last name was not Tory, and he was not pals with the Rogers family, he would have sunk into political oblivion years ago. Mere politicians cannot survive that many defeats and still be considered credible forces in public affairs. Yet there he sat on his perch at CFRB until recently, waiting for yet another kick at the political can. John Tory the public man exists because the Canadian Establishment needs him to exist.
This is no knock to the man himself. By all accounts he's an intelligent, hard working and conscientious man with a genuine commitment to improved public policy. Some of this ideas are well thought out and would represent real improvements in civic affairs. Unfortunately Tory has one of the most remarkable tin ears in modern Canadian political history. For so intelligent a man he has an impressive knack for putting his foot wrong at exactly the right moment.
There was his approval, thought not his alone, for the notorious anti-Jean Chretien ad in the 1993 federal campaign. During the 2007 provincial election he endorsed, then partially backed down, from a pledge to extend public funding to faith based schools. The policy was a remarkable master stroke of poor execution and impractical political thinking. It was very revealing as to Tory's MO and why his campaign for the Mayor's Office in 2014 will end in disaster.
In the abstract the idea of extending public funding to non-Catholic religious schools had, it should be admitted, a sense of fairness. If Catholic schools could get tax dollars, why not Jewish, Muslim and Evangelical schools? Sitting around a coffee table in downtown, surrounded by over schooled elites, the idea makes rather a lot of sense. After all, it's about fairness. Who could be against fairness?
The answer being a strong majority of the provincial electorate. Funding for Catholic schools has always been controversial in Ontario. The WASPish towns and countryside of the province have always resented the special treatment extended to Catholics. Secularists in the large cities object to taxpayer dollars funding anything that smacks of religious instruction, however water downed and compromised. Aside from those who send their children to Catholic schools there isn't really much support for funding Catholic schools. Had this public policy quirk not been entrenched in the BNA, it likely would have been scrapped sometime before World War Two.
A bad idea is a bad idea. Since there's nothing you can do about it, being constitutionally entrenched and all, you kinda of live with it. Extending a bad idea further, at greater cost to the taxpayers, however still irks people. It irked enough people to end the Tory dynasty in 1985, a backlash generated by Bill Davis' decision to extend full funding to Catholic High Schools. Where was John Tory at the time this momentous decision was made? Sitting next to Bill Davis as the Premier's Principal Secretary.
So having seen this epic political disaster unfold once, he repeats essentially the same mistake twenty-two years later. Why? Because it sounded like a nice idea. A decent idea. A fair idea. This is all very well and good but politics isn't a graduate seminar. Ontario is a democracy. People had little appetite for seeing their tax dollars spent on Evangelical and Muslim schools, teaching values they would likely find uncomfortable. It was an idea that seriously annoyed many voters while providing little in appreciable benefit to most Ontarians. There was no pocket book issue at stake. It was an issue that instead gave the PCs a lot of downside and little upside. At best they might have picked up a few thousand votes from those who would have benefited directly from public funding.
It was a masterpiece of political miscalculation and very representative of John Tory's political thinking. Risky, bold and ultimately foolish. Just like his decision to give up a safe seat in rural Ontario to run in the Liberal stronghold of Don Valley West. Two dumb ideas that should have ended his political career. But he is John Tory. Like daffodils in May, he always comes back.
Now John Tory has entered the race for Toronto's mayoralty. This might be the dumbest idea yet to emerge from this scion of the Canadian Establishment. He will not win. Not a chance in hell. He will, however, divide the right-wing vote and assure that Olivia Chow dances right up the middle. Rob Ford's antics have been embarrassing for the city and have crippled the program of conservative reform on council. His gaffes, however, are nothing compared to the gaffe of John Tory's candidacy.
He was equally critical when asked about the Keystone XL pipeline.
He said the government deserves some of the blame if the project is stalled. If the Harper government hadn't spent a couple of years shouting at the environmental movement, he said, it might not have attracted such opposition.
Clark told the audience that the belligerence began with verbal attacks by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver after the Conservatives won a majority in 2011, and continues to this day with environmental groups having their tax status threatened.
All of that, Clark said, got noticed by U.S. environmentalists who carry some influence in the White House.