This was Michael Caine's first major film role and, although he eventually put in an exceptional performance as Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, he was crippled by nerves and beaten to the role he initially auditioned for, that of Private Henry Hook, by James Booth. Interestingly, Caine was also unable to ride a horse so a member of the filming crew took his place in the scene where he crosses the stream on horseback at the beginning of the film. This explains why the camera pans down on to the horse.
Busy with the offices of prime minister and minister of public works, and focused on making government work while revenues were down and his most able colleagues were absent from cabinet, Mackenzie neglected his role as party leader. The Liberals were losing byelections, donors and public support. This led Brown, then a senator, to petition a bank for funds, which resulted in a series of minor scandals for the government that contributed to its defeat in 1878.
Although he only served one term, Mackenzie created a number of lasting central institutions, including the North West Mounted Police (1873) which became the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Supreme Court of Canada (1875), and Royal Military College (1876). He enacted laws to help govern and settle the northwest, the territory between Manitoba and B.C.
Along with being the most honest man ever to occupy that high office he was also, with the possible exception of Laurier, the most pro-freedom Prime Minister in Canadian history. Naturally he was defeated after one term.
Canada's newest "progressive" think tank is getting ready to train new foot soldiers for the battleground of the next election, which will be held no later than October 2015.
In turning its attention to training and electoral literacy, the left-leaning Broadbent Institute is attempting to become as influential and successful as the conservative Manning Centre, founded by former Reform Party leader Preston Manning in 2005.
The Broadbent Institute, created in 2011, has a ways to go, but Rick Smith, the current executive director, said it's time for the left to get moving.
Because the last fifty years have seen nothing but defeats for the Left.
Northleaf Venture Catalyst Fund will invest primarily in Canada–focused early–stage and mid–stage venture capital funds, and directly in companies across Canada. Northleaf Capital Partners has been selected by lead investors to act as the general partner for the Fund, following a fair and competitive selection process led by the Venture Capital Expert Panel appointed by Minister Flaherty. Investment decisions will be made by Northleaf Capital Partners on market–based principles in order to maximize returns.
So a series of government departments has, after following the appropriate bureaucratic procedures, decided to play venture capitalist. But don't worry, everything is going to work on "market based principles." Now here's the kicker:
The Governments of Canada and Ontario have agreed to make a combined capital commitment of $1 for every $2 committed by private sector investors to the new Fund, up to a maximum of $50 million each. The Fund will seek additional investors to reach its target size and anticipates holding a second closing later in 2014.
The thing about the market is that, ahem, it doesn't involve the government providing matching funds. This isn't a market based economics, it's crony capitalism. Even when it follows the appropriate bureaucratic procedures. Do keep in mind that while the Wynnesters in Queen's Park are abetting this nonsense, the Feds are taking the lead. So Jim Flaherty, ex-hatchet man for Mike Harris, has decided he'll play Gordon Gekko, albeit without the brick-cell phone and Daryl Hannah.
But this isn't really about venture capital, or innovation, or market based principles, however poorly understood. It's about power. This fund, likely through a series of tax credits, has attracted a clutch of private investors that reads like a Who's Who of Bay Street. They'll make an easy buck, so long as the fund doesn't under perform the market by too much. Perhaps they'll also get some brownie points with the Tories the next time the Bank Act comes up from renewal.
What does the government get out of it? The usual photo up. A line item in a prepared speech. And, of course, good old power and influence. While the above fund is chump change for everyone involved, it is only one drop in the wide sea of private-public sector partnerships. Why bother nationalizing an industry, or even regulating it, when so much of a financial institution's capital is tied up in these partnerships. An agreement terminated at just the right time can force one of the Big Banks to miss their quarterly numbers, and everything that entails. Now that's real power, discreet and devastating.
Gordon Gekko was, let's be honest, a bit old fashioned. He was obsessed with money. Power is the new sexy. In that spirit let's re-write his famous speech:
Power, for lack of a better word, is good. Power is right. Power works. Power clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Power, in all of its forms; power for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and more power, you mark my words, will not only save Jim Flaherty, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the Conservative Party of Canada.
They dropped the qualifier from the name, but the progressive still lives on in the Conservative Party.
But a single photo spoke eloquently Monday about how the system worked. It showed construction magnate Tony Accurso waist-deep in Caribbean waters, applying what appears to be a thick layer of protective sunscreen to the back and shoulders of Jean Lavallée, a man described as a “god” in one of the province’s biggest unions.
Mr. Lavallée, a founder and decades-long president of the FTQ-Construction union, is shown puffing on a cigar as Mr. Accurso and business associate Joe Lombard slathered on the lotion. The moment was captured during one of the half-dozen trips Mr. Lavallée admitted he took on Mr. Accurso’s yacht, The Touch.
In the Conservative lingo, the Blue Arrow refers to a swath of seats that includes three ridings in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, seven seats in the greater Quebec City area, and five others to the south and to the east, along the St. Lawrence’s south shore. The Conservatives currently hold five of these seats, and would be happy to double their tally in the next general election.
Is this masochism on the part of the Conservatives? The party will spend untold fortunes, both from party coffers and the public fisc, to purchase the loyalty of that most fickle of creatures: The Quebec voter. Imagine if these resources were directed elsewhere? The same level of effort in the 905 or the Lower Mainland of BC could likely garner far more seats for the Boys in Blue. If history is any guide the largess that will flow into the greater Quebec City region will be of a vast scale. Enough, it can be assumed, to purchase at least one of the Atlantic provinces.
But instead of buying those seven seats in Nova Scotia they don't really have, the Tories will try to capture another five seats in La Belle Province. A seat is a seat is a seat. Any seat gets you that much closer to a majority government no matter where you get it from. So why not get it from a place that doesn't threaten to break up the country as a matter of course? Yes, it's a hollow threat these days but irritating none the less.
The fascination with Quebec has little to do with those five extra seats, most of them lost in 2011. Stephen Harper does not want to go down in history as the Prime Minister with the least support in the second largest province. The last PM to do worse in Quebec was, ahem, Joe Clark. Since 2015 will likely be the Badly Coiffed One's last election, he'd like to go out in style. Ten seats at least gives the illusion that the Tories have a Quebec bridgehead, and a reasonable claim on being a truly national party. Winning another corporal's guard worth of seats in Quebec would seem like a minor defeat, regardless of what happens in the ROC.
A liberal magazine admits that Reagan was right about something:
Ronald Reagan loved to tell stories. When he ran for president in 1976, many of Reagan’s anecdotes converged on a single point: The welfare state is broken, and I’m the man to fix it. On the trail, the Republican candidate told a tale about a fancy public housing complex with a gym and a swimming pool. There was also someone in California, he’d explain incredulously, who supported herself with food stamps while learning the art of witchcraft. And in stump speech after stump speech, Reagan regaled his supporters with the story of an Illinois woman whose feats of deception were too amazing to be believed.