April 30, 2010


Why did the chicken cancel the election?

Press release from the Government of Alberta:

Alberta continues to lead on Legislature reform

Province extends terms of existing MLAs

The Government of Alberta is extending the existing terms of Alberta’s Members of the Legislative Assembly until March 3, 2016 or an earlier time as provided under the Elections Act. The five-year terms were originally scheduled to expire in March 2013.

"The decision to extend the terms of our MLAs allows for and reaffirms the democratic will of Albertans who voted for them," said Premier Ed Stelmach. "Our province has shown leadership in holding elections and continually advocated that the will of the people must be reflected in the Legislature."

Ha ha. I'm just kidding, of course. No government would ever be so arrogant as to claim that canceling a planned election was actually an advancement of democracy... Wait, what?

Alberta continues to lead on Senate reform

Province extends terms of existing senators-in-waiting

The Government of Alberta is extending the existing terms of Alberta’s senators-in-waiting until December 2, 2013 or an earlier time as provided under the Senatorial Selection Act. The six-year terms were originally scheduled to expire this December.

"The decision to extend the terms of our senators-in-waiting allows for and reaffirms the democratic will of Albertans who voted for them," said Premier Ed Stelmach. "Our province has shown leadership in holding Senate elections and continually advocated that the will of the people must be reflected in the Senate."


So what brought this on? I think it's safe to say that Stelmach looked at the polls, saw that there was was a very real chance that his PC Senate candidates (assuming he could find any willing to run under that banner) would get trounced by the Wildrose, and decided that the damage he'd take from losing the Senate race would be greater that the fallout from killing the election altogether.

So the question is: Are we going to let him get away with it?

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October 08, 2009


Counterfeit suspenders?

About a month ago, the Mark Dyrholm campaign announced that he had been endorsed by Ontario MPP Randy Hillier. I supported Randy in the Ontario PC leadership race this past summer, and was somewhat disappointed that he'd picked a different candidate than my favourite, but didn't think too much of it. However, it struck me as odd that the endorsement got no direct coverage in the media whatsoever; it was only covered by the Dyrholm campaign itself and a few blogs that quoted them.

As time went on, though, I grew more suspicious. So this week, I e-mailed Randy Hillier and asked him about this endorsement. Here's what he said:
About two months ago, Wildrose Alliance leadership candidate Mark Dyrholm adopted the immigration policy that I had used in my platform for the Ontario PC Leadership race. I was asked by his campaign team if I minded, and if I could express my appreciation in Mark's adoption of the policy. I sent Mark a note congratulating him for adopting such a forward-thinking policy into his own campaign platform.

However, I've not come out in support of any particular candidate in the Wildrose Alliance leadership contest.

Let me repeat that: "I've not come out in support of any particular candidate." Shame on the Dyrholm campaign for trying to portray Hillier's praise for a single policy as a full-fledged endorsement.

It also makes you wonder about some of the other endorsements their campaign has claimed to receive...


August 21, 2009


White people thrown into state of confusion

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is opposed to Obamacare.

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August 06, 2009


The times, they are a-changin' (Gotham City edition)

Guess which image liberals are upset about?

(Note that the last three pictures all link to stories from the same media source, LA Weekly.)

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July 20, 2009


What was the Reform Party based on?

Mark Dyrholm, a candidate for the leadership of the Wildrose Alliance, was interviewed on the Adler show last week. As part of his response to a question on how he would "label" himself, Dyrholm said:
"If we look at what Albertans and western Canada supported for in the Reform Party days, that came out of a strong background of social conservatism."
The idea that Reform's founding was based on social conservatism is a common misconception about the party, which I have heard frequently from Eastern media types (which makes it rather odd that Dyrholm would fall for it). In fact, the issues and motivations that led to the Reform Party's founding were all about democratic reform (hence the name) and fiscal conservatism (balanced budgets, etc).

In his book, Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, William Johnson describes Reform's initial policies as follows:
To Harper's relief, the new party had taken a stand against the Meech Lake Accord and for a Triple-E Senate, for free trade with the United States, and for entrenching property rights in the Constitution of Canada.


[quoting John Weissenberger] And the reaction from the outside was just so vitriolic. There was a really vicious cartoon in the Free Press of Manning with bad pointy teeth and he carried one of those big marching drums, and the quote underneath was: 'Join Preston's thump for Jesus.' I was shocked, because religion wasn't even discussed at this meeting, it had nothing to do with what was discussed. I remember saying to Stephen, Were these guys even at the same meeting?
The social conservative element didn't develop until later, and even then, it was usually approached from a democratic reform angle. For example, Reform's policy on abortion was to have a national referendum to settle the issue.


June 19, 2009


Danielle Smith supporter buttons

As you may know, Alberta's Wildrose Alliance Party is having a leadership race. I'm supporting Danielle Smith, who is the former Alberta director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business -- just one of a lengthy list of involvements in various conservative/libertarian causes that make her worth voting for.

I've created support buttons for her; feel free to post them on your blog or such. And don't forget to check out her website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.


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May 26, 2009


Give us the money, or local TV gets it

So CTV has launched a campaign to get the CRTC to force cable and satellite companies to pay broadcasters for the right to carry their over-the-air (OTA) stations. But, being the clever marketers that they are, they're not calling it the "Government Should Force Cable Companies To Pay Us Fees That Of Course Will Be Passed On To Subscribers" campaign. They're calling it "Save Local Television."

Of course, this is purely emotional blackmail; there's just as much cause to call it "Save Our CEO's Executive Expense Account." But they know that "local" is a cause that is capable of rallying public support.

CTV says that they deserve the carriage fees, because otherwise cable companies are taking broadcasters' content for free and using it for profit. The problem with this is you could just as easily turn it around: the cable companies are currently performing a free service for the broadcasters by spreading their OTA content to a wider audience, thus increasing their advertising revenues, and so the broadcasters should pay the cable companies.

Fortunately, there's an easy solution to this debate: get the government out of the way completely. (Funny, that seems to be the solution to a lot of problems...) The CRTC should remove all regulations on which stations cable and satellite companies have to carry, where they have to be on the dial, whether they provide "simultaneous substitution," etc. Then, the broadcasters and cable companies can work out amongst themselves who will pay whom, and how much, and for which services - just like any other business deal.

The chances of the CRTC actually implementing such a system? Let's just say I'm not holding my breath...

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May 07, 2009


Milton Friedman on trade and pencils

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May 06, 2009


Stop the presses!

Gwynne Dyer is right about something!


April 21, 2009


The times, they are a-changin'

Apparently, calling the American president a fascist is now a bad thing.

Who knew?

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March 25, 2009


Are you up for a challenge?

See if you can put the following statements from this Gauntlet article in order, from dumb to dumbest.
The last three sentences comprise 100% of a single paragraph!

It's a shame that the cause of anti-Nazism and anti-racism risks being sullied by association with these idiots.

As for how to deal with the "Aryan Guard"... :)

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March 23, 2009


#50 Irony

This is from a recent post from the blog "we move to canada" (a.k.a. expert-level white people) calling for George W. Bush to be indicted for "war crimes." Emphasis mine:
I've been reluctant to post this, but I need to get past my cynicism, and follow my own advice. Don't weigh the odds of positive outcome before taking action, because you don't know what the future holds. Just take action. Change starts with a movement, and all movements start with a dream.

Wasn't that also Bush's philosophy? :)

(I tried pointing this out in the comments section of the blog, but apparently it didn't pass moderation.)

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March 17, 2009


Tax cuts for the rich

I suspect many people have seen this before, but it's a good analogy that bears repeating.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20." Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes, so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings). The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings). The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the 20," declared the fifth man. He pointed to the tenth man, "but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the sixth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!" The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important: they didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

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February 13, 2009


Beltway academics search rural Alabama for bigotry, can't find any

They may have found some in New York City, though...

(h/t Daimnation)


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