Turmoil? What Turmoil?

Constitutional crisis!!

Coup d’etat!!!

Backroom politics!!!

Separatists!!!

These are some of the common words being flung around Canada in the last few days. For those of you not following Canadian politics here is what’s been happening :

1) Conservatives claim minority win in the October federal election.

2) Stephen Harper elected leader and hence the Prime Minister of Canada, by the elected MPs of the Conservative party.

3) Harper makes conciliatory sounds in his acceptance speech.

4) Weeks later, conciliatory tone of the Conservatives thrown out the window when Jim Flaherty (finance minister) presents an economic map. An utterly vague economic statement from the incumbent minister with no plan to tackle the current economic crisis. Buried in the statement is the proposal to “save” millions of dollars ($30 Million) by revoking the public financing to political parties (the ones that are not in the pocket of big business like the Conservatives) and to make it illegal for federal employees to go on a strike (for better working conditions, more pay, better contracts etc.)

5) Opposition in furor. More than likely, Jack Layton of NDP takes charge and somehow gets all the opposition together.

6) Opposition announces that it is prepared to bring down the government and works a deal within themselves (all three opposition parties) and presents a model to run the country thereby ensuring that there are no elections (with a cost of about $300 million for each election, 10 times the amount that the Conservatives would have “saved” with their proposal).

7) Harper backs down from the offending proposals. Too chicken to play chicken.

8) Opposition has probably had enough of the pushing around and says – no deal.

9) Now Harper’s true colours come out and he starts lashing out at everyone in the opposition especially the Bloc party with whom his party had tried to make deal in 2004 for doing EXCATLY the same thing Liberals/NDP is doing.

10) Harper presents the alternative – Proroguing to save his skin. Proroguing means, the session in the parliament is declared over, before it’s even begun and all parties will wait for a month or so before voting against the government can begin again. In other words, Harper wants a time out. Unfortunately, history is against him and very few people see how the Governor General will allow proroguing.

Harper, at this moment is with the GG and probably requesting proroguing the parliament. There is no idea how the Governor General, Michaëlle Jean, will proceed but I have a feeling that Harper is probably going to ask her to suspend the parliament and go for another election. In which case I agree with CC – bring it on!!

In all this I think most of the people fail to see a crucial element to the episode.

The opposition is COMPLETELY within it’s rights to bring down the governmentt.

It is the democratic right of the opposition to band together and say “we the opposition, representing 63% of the Canadian citizens, oppose your policies”. It’s as simple as that!!!

I do not understand why in the world are people calling this a coup!! I mean, I can understand that you are upset about this but, damn it, it is the right of the opposition parties to bring down the government. These are your elected MPs acting in unison and saying no to the partisan politics being played by a power hungry Harper.

Yes, it’s true that the elections just happened, but boo-fucking-hoo. The Conservatives, instead of governing Canada through a difficult economic period, are playing politics and trying to kill the opposition. If the Conservatives had succeeded in pushing this proposal through, it would have put a big dent on the grassroot politics that we Canadians have come to depend on heavily. Would you really like to live in a country where there is weak opposition?

It was, simply put, the audicious nature of power grab by the conservatives that really banded the opposition and I say, kudos to them. It’s about time the opposition stood up to a bully.

And look at how the bully is reacting – like a cry baby.

Updated : Oh and I almost forgot. Here is a post that you need to read regarding how desperate Stevie has become.

Updated 2 : And this one too.

Updated 3 : Prorouging it is. In other words, Canada and the rest of the world are in midst of a economic crisis and what does his majesty Stephen Harper do? Take a vacation of a month and half. Of course, he and the Conservatives will not be resting. Now begins the PR campaign to demonize democracy in Canada. E.g. this :

The Tories maintained their vigorous attack on the coalition’s decision to seek formal backing from the Bloc Québécois for its survival in the House. One MP went so far as to accuse the Liberals of treason.

“They’ve actually written a deal giving the separatists a veto over every decision of the Canadian government,” Bob Dechert said. “That is as close to treason and sedition as I can imagine.”

Politics In Canada

Turning my attention to my adopted country, what do I see?

The leaders of the three opposition parties presented their plan to topple Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minority government at a press conference in Ottawa late Monday afternoon.

The leaders of the Liberal Party, the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois publicly signed a coaltion accord and sent a letter to Governor-General Michaëlle Jean saying the opposition has lost confidence in the Conservatives.

The proposed coalition government between the Liberals and the New Democratic Party would last until June of 2011, but the Bloc is only pledging support for 18 months.

Under the plan, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion would become prime minister until May, when his successor would take over.

Woah!!! Didn’t see that coming. Dion is finally going to be the Prime Minister. I had voted for the Liberal party in the last election and was hoping to see Dion as the Prime Minister of Canada. But there were reasons for me voting for the Liberals. The main motive was The Green Shift. The other was to bring in actual accountability into the government and I saw that in the leadership of Stephen Dion. Unfortunately, not many Canadians agreed with me as Liberals were routed in the election receiving only 77 seats in the house.

But days after the election, I was wondering why the hell is the opposition not banding together against Harper? And I ask again, why exactly could not NDP and the Liberals to band together a few weeks ago? Of course, the latest shit pile from the conservatives is what galvanised the opposition.

The Conservatives are poised to eliminate the public subsidies that Canada’s five major political parties receive, a move that would save $30 million a year but could cripple the opposition.

I don’t really like this new scenario. I mean, Harper’s governance was full of shit, no doubt about it. He called the oppositions’ bluff and they bit him right back. If the current government is bought down, he must resign immediately from the conservative party for this was a shameless act of consolidating his power without giving a thought to the problems of the common man.

I will, of course, support a coalition of the Liberals and NDP. But I would support it only if The Green Shift or it’s variant is included in the mix.

Updated :

Ha ha ha….yes, it’s only the opposition vying for power!!!! These conservatives are so full of BULLSHIT!!!

The prospect of the Prime Minister trying to shut down Parliament to avoid defeat has one constitutional scholar shaking in his boots.

Political scientist Peter Russell said Stephen Harper may have the right to ask Governor General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue Parliament and end the current session but doing so would set a dangerous and undemocratic precedent.

“Of all the things that have happened or have been threatened to be about to happen, this is the most dangerous because it shows the intention of the Prime Minister to govern without Parliament and that is undermining our parliamentary democracy,” said Russell, a University of Toronto professor emeritus.

So much for thinking of the common man. Let’s shut down the parliament and avoid all business until we are firmly in power in Jan. 2009!!!

Now I really want the NDP/Liberals/Bloc to be in power!!

“Secular” India

I guess at times I am enthralled by the fact that India is truly a secular and a minorities championing country. The Prime Minister is from a minority religion, a woman is the president and an Italian born Indian citizen runs (allegedly) the party in power. I mean, where else can you find such welcoming people?

But then there is bullshit like this :

Taslima Nasreen forced to leave India again

So here is an authour who has done no wrong to anyone except write poetry and about the women in Islam. For that she :

has again been “forced” to leave India after her brief stay here, prompting the controversial writer to question the country’s alleged secular credentials.

The writer, who returned to India on August 8, said she had to leave on October 15 following the government’s dictum.

“Yes, I was forced to leave India once again… The government gave me resident permit for 6 months with a secret condition that I must leave the country in a few days,” she told PTI in an e-mail interview.

“Gave a 6 month visa with the condition that she leave immediately”???? WHAT?? So the all powerful, all secular government of India bowed and cowered to a segment of the population that has better things to revile in the country like poverty, corruption etc. but instead focuses it’s energy on an authour!!?!!

I know it’s all politics but there comes a time when a government needs to stand up for a principle. This author had to flee her birth country because of the fatwa placed on her. This was the perfect opportunity for the government of India and the state government (which is, ironically, a communist party i.e. an anti religion party) to demonstrate their secular credentials.

And why would anyone want to object violently to what a person has written? This is what really irks me about Indians. They take little silly issues like a book and make a huge deal out of it. Why?

Run A Respectable Campaign, And Pay For It

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Liberal Party officials prepared a memo in 2006 warning their incoming new leader to prepare an immediate ad campaign to counter an expected assault from the governing Tories aimed at destabilizing whoever won.

However, Stéphane Dion opted instead to hang onto the bulk of a $4-million war chest he inherited upon taking over the top job, responding to a Tory ad blitz with a limited run of upbeat commercials.

When he announced his decision to step down as Liberal Leader on Monday, Mr. Dion said a Tory onslaught supplemented with substantial amounts of cash helped define him with the public and he never recovered.

So let me get this straight. The “esteemed” Liberal party of Canada wanted to run sleazy campaign ads against conservatives, Dion says no and Dion loses. I don’t understand this. I mean what does it say about us. That we respond to a politician by how much he/she can beat up the opponent in sleaziness? Is that what politics has come down to in Canada?

To be honest, I do not think this is the only reason why Liberals lost. Liberals lost because of lack of direction from Dion and the poor support that the party members gave Dion. Also, the party is moving away from being the party of the people to the party of business just like the conservatives : Maybe it always was the party of the business community but under Dion I thought that this party is very much the party of the people.

I think the party members still have not recoganised the fact that the loss was as theirs as much as it was Dion’s lack of “leadership”. To throw hacks like Michael Ignatieff (a torture supporter) and Bob Rae (his one term in office in Ontario is not fondly remembered) in the ring amongst others is basically saying let’s change the wheels of the car even though the engine’s shot. I know the party needs money right away but to go and pander to the businesses for money instead of rebuilding the party from ground up is disingenuous and insulting to the motto of the Liberal party. I fear that that Liberal party will, after Dion leaves, be competing with conservatives for business political dollars while ignoring the common folk.

The only reason why I was all for the Liberal party was Stephen Dion who showed time and time again to be a classy guy and a moral politician (and there are not many of those these days). I will be following the Liberal party’s shanangins to see what happens next but so far it seems that my love affair with the Liberals is over.

Rush Limbaugh

Needless to say that Rush Limbaugh is basically a pig in a suit. See here for details as to why. Here is the latest from the piggy.

“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in the e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”

He has shown his racist colours numerous times before so I think this is outrageous but what can you expect from a pig. Then he goes on to defend his words.

“I thought it should be about race,” he said. “I thought you liberals thought this was a historic candidacy because finally we are going to elect a black guy…why hide behind this, why act like it’s not about race?”

“This was all about Powell and race, nothing about the nation and its welfare,” Limbaugh added. The talk radio host also criticized members of the media for not addressing his claim that Powell likely hasn’t endorsed white candidates who, according to Limbaugh, have similar political leanings and experience as Obama.

“Just so you know, I haven’t come up with any,” he said. “I worked diligently on this on the airplane on the trip home from Green Bay yesterday. I can’t find any of these inexperienced white liberals that Powell has endorsed.”

He is right. For some people, it’s all about the race in this election. There are people who would rather incite voilence than see a half-black man get elected to office.

So I wonder how many reporters have asked Piggy whom he is voting for. And if it’s not Obama, is it because he is black? And if he says yes, does that not make him a racist?

I just find it funny no one has brought that up. If you find anything please forward me the link cause I could use a few laughs.

Update : And if he is voting for McBush because he is white, does that not prove that Piggy is a hypocrite?

Election Uptake

Well, we all knew it would happen but this is a disaster. Liberals lost a lot of ground this election and I put the blame squarely on us. Lack of understanding of the liberal platform, overestimation of the conservative platform and vote splitting with the Greens and NDP are primarily the reasons why we did not elect Liberals in power. C’est la vie.

You are now in power, Mr. Stephen Harper. Please keep your eye on the ball and stop telling us to buy stocks in the financial crisis. And, would you please not pay for the bad mortgages. Let the market handle the situation (your vaunted belief, if I may remind you).

Yup, Republicans Are The One For USA

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Worse, Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

This is probably the reason why the Republican’s campaign is imploding under it’s own stupidity. I hope that they get a good drubbing in this election.

Stephen Harper Continues To Blow

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“I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the most emotionally expressive guy,” said Mr. Harper, when asked whether he might want to show more empathy with Canadians becoming increasingly fearful for their economic future.

No one is asking you to pull out a handkerchief and start sobbing into it, Mr. Prime Minister. Just tell us what plan of action or just say something nice to let all Canadians (Update: god, what gibberish. I meant to say : Just tell us what the plan of action is or just say something nice to calm all Canadians).

“But look, the main thing I think a government has to do at a time like this is not panic. There’s a lot of people out there not panicking. I think there’s probably a lot of great buying opportunities emerging in the stock market as a consequence of all this panic.”

I have no clue what prompted this idiotic statement from our prime minister. I mean, he is right, this is a great time to buy at the stock market but I don’t think that would be priority number one for thousands of people who have lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector, or have problems selling their homes, or are generally wary of the economy (that would be everyone) right now. Only someone completely out of touch with reality would try at create a silver lining where none exists.

It will be interesting to see what plans for immediate relief other parties have. I believe we will be hearing more durnig the day today.

Words Of Wisdom

So Harper was caught with his pants down.

Initially I had thought that the language that was used was mostly about the “purchase of uranium by Iraq from Niger” claim. But after seeing the above clip, the wording is not only of the false claim, but basically the Iraq policy.

So claims of plagiarism aside, this leader of ours actually propounded a policy that was wrong on so many levels and we are supposed to trust him to lead us effectively?

The problem I have always had with Harper is his inability to differentiate from hardliners of the world who have time and time again been proven wrong.

How exactly is he different from McCain who claims “fundamentals are strong” from “the Prime Minister, called for a “sober analysis” but stressed Canada’s economic fundamentals are sound and the finances of the average Canadian household are not at risk.” How long due think that Canadian economy will remain insulated from a melt down in the US?

Moron.

Having said that, none of the other leaders have an actual plan in their agenda in case the credit crunch comes knocking hard on Canadian shores. So far everyone (including Harper) are criticizing the US administration.

Pretty Shaved Ape’s Ire

Every now and then I come across a post I have written in a parallel universe. Here is one of them.

Stephen Harper, plump and soft as a double roll of Cottonelle. A man who has spent his entire adult life, after leaving school with a degree in economics, either as a spoiled politician or as a spoiled ideologue in the loving embrace of a right wing think tank. Stephen Harper. A man who is unlikely to ever develop a callus on his hands unless it comes from clutching pennies. This twee, over-fed poofter has the little salted nuts to look into the lens of the camera and portray himself as one of the “ordinary, working people”. And that would be opposed to the “ivory tower” justice experts. Well lets just tell the truth Steve, you haven’t much in common with the justice experts because you’re trying to make your career by skirting the law. But you sure do know the ivory tower, it’s your every aspiration. You fancy yourself the philosopher king, the grand leader of men.

And what is your solution to crime? The prison industrial complex north. Life for 14 year olds, longer terms, stiffer penalties. After all, look how well crime has been reduced down south using the very model you hope to import. But then preventing crime isn’t really the issue, is it? It really comes down to plain old meanness. You don’t give a tinkers damn about preventing crime, or resolving the social issues that cause crime. Nope. You just want to play the big tough guy and punish folks you look down upon. That’s why we hear this bullshit line about the Liberals coddling prisoners from you and your twittering cohorts.

You really have to read the whole post. I insist.

Never Gives Up Does He?

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Liberal MP Wayne Easter called for the Agriculture Minister’s resignation Wednesday after he heard about comments made by the minister making light of deaths attributed to the listeriosis crisis, including a PEI fatality he hoped was Mr. Easter.

The remarks were made in a conference call on Aug. 30 at the height of the listeriosis crisis, between Gerry Ritz and members of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Mr. Ritz joked during the call that the crisis was causing the government a death of a thousand cuts “or should I say the death of a thousand cold cuts.”

When informed that one fatality had taken place in Prince Edward Island, Mr. Ritz is reported to have said, “please tell me it’s Wayne Easter.” Mr. Easter is the Liberal agriculture critic.

All right children!!!! Spell it with me – C.L.E.A.N. campaign.

UPDATE : And what does this comment mean?

“In a time of economic uncertainty, I do think the country needs a strong government that’s able to govern,” Mr. Harper told journalists in Toronto. “My concern is that obviously, going forward, that we have a government that’s going to be sabotaged by a bunch of parties who don’t want our economy to be successful.”

What!!?!!! Again Harper proves that he is following the Rovian handbook of campaigning.

In the past few months all opposition parties have time and time again walked in-step with the conservatives. Be it arm twisting or a “dare” by the conservatives but we seen that Liberals, NDP and the BLOC have voted with the Harper government on one issue or the other. And it was the CONSERVATIVES who brought down their own government and not the opposition parties.

What the hell is this guy talking about? Here’s a clear picture of how effective Harper has been :

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives always has such interesting ideas about what we can do other than the status quo. Their document has some interesting facts. After several attempts to get excel to create a pretty graph, I’m going to give you the table and let you take a look. I’d love it if someone had a good graphing program which they could direct me to.

The low scores are mostly conservative governments, and they remain the low scores even when you factor the time in.

Harper really needs to stop wearing these sweaters. They are probably cutting his blood supply to the brain.

A “Clean” Campaign

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On the eve of an election call, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he’s anticipating a “very nasty” campaign from the opposition parties, in an exclusive interview with CTV News.

 

In an exclusive interview with Harper to be broadcast Sunday on CTV’s Question Period, he said he expects the opposition parties to try to demonize him.

“To be really honest, I anticipate a very nasty, kind of personal-attack campaign,” he told Lloyd Robertson, CTV’s chief news anchor and senior news editor, at Harrington Lake.

“That’s just what I’m anticipating; that’s what the opposition’s done in the past. I think that whether Canadians agree with what we’re doing or not, I don’t think they’re going to believe the kind of personal attacks and scare tactics that we’ve seen in the past.”

 

And here is the clean “campaigning” from the dip shit himself. 

 

Less than 24 hours into the Oct. 14 federal election campaign, senior Conservatives came out swinging before dawn today at Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, painting him as someone whose policies will devastate Canadian families and “make everything more expensive.”

At a 6 a.m. ET news conference — so the party can try to set the news agenda as early in the day as possible — high-profile Tories Jason Kenney and Lawrence Cannon attacked Mr. Dion for what they called his “triple threat” to Canadians.

The Conservatives say the Liberal Leader wants to raise the GST, claw back a $1,200 child-care benefit and impose a carbon tax.

Mr. Kenney said Mr. Dion’s “half-baked risky schemes” are devastating to families on their own. But, taken together, it’s “three strikes and you’re out.”

 

This is the reason why I hate, detest and loathe the uber conservatives. Hypocrite little shits.

Update : For more BS from Stephen Crapper.

Asked whether he saw his chief rival as a family man, he said: “I don’t know Stephane Dion all that well. I presume that he’s been married a long time, has children. I presume he’s a family man also.”

Dion has a wife and daughter.

“I Presume him to be a family man”???? That’s the best soft side you got, Stephen? You have got to be kidding me about this.

Why was it so difficult to say that “yes, despite our political differences, Stephen Dion is a family man”. This is the reason why conservatives are so full of bull shit. In an unguarded moment, with no script lying in front of him, the prime minister of Canada  “presumes” his rival to be a family man. 

Excuse me, I need to go an hurl.

Morons At Work (Stay Away Please)

There is this :

Here is a primer for those of you who still don’t understand how global warming works:

  • The dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil.

  • We drilled for oil, and used most of it to spray on ducks, and the rest we turned into carbon dioxide.

  • Carbon dioxide is a hot gas, and it’s making the Sun hotter, which is making the Earth hotter, which makes polar bears sweat, and that’s a bad thing.

  • To make the Earth cooler and make polar bears happy, Canadians will pay money to Stephane Dion, who will give all of it back.

  • The exchange of money will cool the Earth (ok, this part is a bit vague).

  • Farmers are worried that they won’t get enough back after all of it is given back (clearly they are confused, because everyone is supposed to get all their money back, a process that results in global cooling in a way that is not entirely understood by non-Liberals).

  • Liberals who are worried that farmers won’t vote for them are complaining loudly, which is generating even more hot air (which warms the Sun and makes polar bears sweat even more, and that’s a bad thing).

  • Stephane Dion is going to change the plan by making the carbon tax even stronger, making farmers happy so that they stop bothering Liberals.

  • This results in less hot air and comfortable polar bears.

  • The happiness of farmers who might vote Liberal will cool the Earth (ok, this part is a bit vague too).

and then there is this :

The ice shelves in Canada’s High Arctic have lost a colossal area this year, scientists report.

The floating tongues of ice attached to Ellesmere Island, which have lasted for thousands of years, have seen almost a quarter of their cover break away.

One of them, the 50 sq km (20 sq miles) Markham shelf, has completely broken off to become floating sea-ice.

Researchers say warm air temperatures and reduced sea-ice conditions in the region have assisted the break-up.

“These substantial calving events underscore the rapidity of changes taking place in the Arctic,” said Trent University’s Dr Derek Mueller.

“These changes are irreversible under the present climate.”

And this is the modus operandii of the moronic-right here in Canada. Make fun of an issue that would be crucial to our children and their children. “Hell, if it does not affect me, then it is not my fucking problem”. That’s how these morons think.

I find it distasteful to call these people fellow citizens of the world. I mean does it matter at the end of the day if global warming is a science. Does it?

Frankly, I don’t care. I do not care if global warming is a science or not.

We make it our right to pollute the air, sea and land; We make it our right to gouge at earth and we make it our right to dump on mother nature all the time which doesn’t make any sense because we are only hurting ourselves in the process. So why not do the right thing and actually implement policies that do irreparable harm to earth whether they affect global warming or not? I am willing to pay my share.

But, no. This somehow does not sit well with the wingnuts. Any idea where you as a person need to make a sacrifice for the good of the planet and the generations to come, is thrown out the window before you even consider it.

Case in point, the Green Shift. I think if this was a plan from Harper’s government, the moronic right would have endorsed it whole heartedly.

BTW, “Angry White Thing”, the dinosaurs didn’t die because they got too fat and they definetly are not the only source for oil. If you want to attempt humour while dissing an opnion, first get a funny bone and then try it.

Oh Dear God!!!

Wingnuts of the world will find any stupid shitty little molehill and make a mountain out of it. Here is a prime example :

What did Hillary Clinton’s body language give away at the Democratic National Convention?

Dan Hill, a body language expert and author of “Face Time,” told CNN that even while the words Clinton delivered offered an unequivocal endorsement of Barack Obama, her body language was much less affirmative.

“When she spoke about Obama, she really did not emote very much,” Hill said. “The only thing she showed was a very weak smile, the cheeks didn’t tend to lift very much, it was really almost what I would call a ‘crocodile smile’ where even the slight corners of the lips sometimes raise into a little bit of a smirk.”

“I don’t think that helped move the 30 percent of her supporters who say they won’t vote for Obama,” Hill added. “What she did do was appeal to voters at large, that she did more emotionally.”

Disregard the fact that she unequivocally endorsed Obama. No. According to the wingnuts, her mouth said one thing and her body said entirely another thing.

Smack Down!!

Looks like the prospect of me voting Liberal in the fall election (if Stephen “firm election date” Harper has the guts to call) are increasing day by day. I like this.

Stephane Dion has challenged the prime minister to clarify his view on abortion, threatening to reignite the debate as Canada careens towards an election.

The Liberal leader threw down the gauntlet while answering a question at a town-hall meeting on Wednesday night in Oakville, Ont.

The event was billed as a discussion of the Liberals’ carbon tax plan, but a member of the audience instead asked Dion’s views on the Unborn Victims of Crime Act. The private member’s bill would make it a criminal offence to harm an unborn child during an attack on its mother.

Dion said he opposed the proposed legislation because it might infringe on women’s access to abortion.

“We need to protect everyone against crime but, at the same time, it happens that I believe in the rights of women to choose and I have a lot of respect for the people who have a different view,” he told the crowd.

Dion then called upon Stephen Harper to state his own position on abortion.

“I think all Canadians have the right to know what the party leader thinks,” he said. “I gave my opinion. I want to hear the opinion of Stephen Harper.”

Now that’s a smack down!! We will eagerly wait for Stephen “yes there will be fall election/no there will not be any elections in the fall season” Harper to respond.

And Here Come The Stupid

One has to wonder how a seemingly smart intelligent person can say something so fantastically stupid and dumb that all you can do is shrug your shoulders. The latest being the “Obama Tyre Gauges” scrap. Here is Obama saying something smart, something honest, something my mechanic tells me everytime I get my car serviced and something that all the experts say “keep the car engine serviced and keep your tyres at optimum pressure, you will see your fuel usage go down”.

And what happens next is something that has been seen over and over again from the Right. Just like Howard Dean’s “BOOYAAAAAAH”; Just like John Kerry’s “Flip Flop”, the Right has picked on an absolute nonsence point and run away with it. No one talks of issues, foreign policies, economic policies etc. Nope. They all want to talk of “Tyre Pressure Gauges”.

I am hoping against hope that the citizens of US are not too stupid to fall for this crap again.

UPDATE : I love Wolcott’s assessment of McCain’s ad.

5) The real message of the McCain ad is that they’re envious of Obama’s elan vital, and are reduced to mocking what they covet, Envy makes a person look petty, and a petty, peevish John McCain will be indistinguishable from the Bob Dole of 1996 if he doesn’t “big up.” Right now his campaign is making Obama look like the mature one, which may explain why at least one longtime McCain loyalist is barking from the shadows.

Nope. Stephen Harper’s Administration Is Not A “Bushie”

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Senior Canadian intelligence officials warned against allowing Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, to return home from Sudan because it could upset the Bush administration, classified documents reveal.

“Senior government of Canada officials should be mindful of the potential reaction of our U.S. counterparts to Abdelrazik’s return to Canada as he is on the U.S. no-fly list,” intelligence officials say in documents in the possession of The Globe and Mail.

“Continued co-operation between Canada and the U.S. in the matters of security is essential. We will need to continue to work closely on issues related to the Security of North America, including the case of Mr. Abdelrazik,” the document says.

The documents, dated April 30, 2008, and marked “Secret – Canadian eyes only” also designate Mr. Abdelrazik, a citizen who has never been charged with a crime, as “involved in Islamic extremist activities.”

Mr. Abdelrazik was imprisoned in Sudan while visiting his ailing mother in 2003, apparently because Canadian counterterrorist agents asked the Sudanese secret police to pick him up.

The Abdelrazik documents – prepared by senior intelligence and security officials in Transport Canada, the unit that creates and maintains Canada’s own version of the terrorist “no-fly” list – make clear that it was the U.S. list that kept Mr. Abdelrazik from returning to Canada when he was released from prison three years ago.

That appears to contradict the explanation by former foreign minister Maxime Bernier who told the House of Commons that “Mr. Abdelrazik is currently not able to return to Canada on his own because he is on the United Nations’ list of suspected terrorists.

What is about the current US administration that gives Stephen Harper a boner? I just don’t understand the logic. I mean, fine, argue about the Canadian citizen locked up in Gitmo as he was caught in a battlefield. But Abdelrazik is a citizen trapped in a third world country. For the love of god, get him here and the proceed with the legal course. Or maybe the legal course in Harper’s books is “lock him up and throw away the key”. Who knows. Let’s get the election started already.

The Right To Die According To Margaret Somerville

Margaret Somerville has put up an article arguing against euthanasia. She has desperately tried to hide her religious reasons against euthansia but she failed to do so miserably.

She hit the nail on the head when describing euthanasia in modern society.

When personal and societal values were consistent, widely shared and based on shared religion, the case against euthanasia was simple: God commanded “Thou shalt not kill.”

In a secular society based on intense individualism, the case for euthanasia is simple: Individuals have the right to choose the manner, time and place of their death.

In contrast, in such societies the case against euthanasia is complex. It requires arguing that harm to the community trumps individual rights or preferences.

Precisely. When religion ruled the roost, assisted suicide was a big NO but as religion belief was questioned, so were all the issues like abortion and right for women to vote bought out into the limelight and were dealt with. These issues were studied by the modern society and the inescapable conclusion to these issues was : Individual’s rights cannot be infringed. It was a woman’s right to get an abortion. It was a woman’s and a black man’s right to vote. Laws were passed to make sure that the society as a whole understood these rights, as was pointed to her by one of her students.

One student explained that she thought I was giving far too much weight to concerns about how legalizing euthanasia would harm the community and our shared values, especially that of respect for life, and too little to individuals’ rights to autonomy and self-determination, and to euthanasia as a way to relieve people’s suffering.

She emphasized that individuals’ rights have been given priority in contemporary society, and they should also prevail in relation to death. Moreover, legalizing euthanasia was consistent with other changes in society, such as respect for women and access to abortion, she said.

Wow. A student topping her professor. That does not happen often. So what was Margaret`s response?

To respond to such arguments, we need to be able to embed euthanasia in a moral context without resorting to religion — that is, formulate a response that adequately communicates the case against euthanasia from a secular perspective.

That requires, first, countering the belief that individual rights should always prevail — a task I failed at in class.

Exactly. And you have already told us why it is impossible to counter the belief that “individual rights should always prevail”. Because one of the pillars supporting today’s society is INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS.

The right to free speech (even hate speech), the right to have a baby out of marriage, the right to marry a person of any colour and the right to die when you decide it is time. These are all individual decisions and the society as a whole cannot and must not dictate how a person is supposed to live “morally”.

Nothing……absolutely nothing trumps a person’s rights unless his/her actions harms others. Margaret is obviously an educated person so I don’t understand why she does not comprehend this simple fact. This is the reason why she was not able to convince her class that a person is well within his/her rights to decide when it’s time to die. We may question the person’s decision but we must not be allowed to put our moral beliefs ahead of a person’s wishes.

From this point on, she just rambles and does not give any hard facts. She gives her thoughts on the matter and leaves it at that. Here is her closing arguement which illustrates how seeped her arguments are, in religion.

But one of my students responded, “If anything, I think many of our reactions come not from an overexposure to death, but from an aversion to suffering, and an unwillingness or hesitancy to prolong pain.”

Finding convincing responses to the relief-of-suffering argument used to justify euthanasia is difficult in secular societies. In the past, we used religion to give value and meaning to suffering. But, now, suffering is often seen as the greatest evil and of no value, which leads to euthanasia being seen as an appropriate response.

Some answers to the “suffering argument” might include that:

– even apart from religious belief, it’s wrong to kill another human;

– euthanasia would necessarily cause loss of respect for human life;

– it would open up an inevitable slippery slope and set a precedent that would present serious dangers to future generations. Just as our actions could destroy their physical environment, likewise, we could destroy their moral environment. Both environments must be held on trust for them;

– recognizing death as an acceptable way to relieve suffering could influence people contemplating suicide.

As you can see, absolute rubbish. So suffering is preferable to death. Is this not one of the key moral lessons in Christianity?

“Serious dangers to future generations”? How exactly? Margaret never elaborates. And the last para…..

Might the strongest argument against euthanasia, however, relate not to death but to life? That is, the argument that normalizing it would destroy a sense of the unfathomable mystery of life and seriously damage our human spirit, especially our capacity to find meaning in life.

Huh? What the hell does that mean? A person is suffering and wants to die but you want to keep that person alive so that he/she can “explore the unfathomable mystery of life”? People like Margaret Somerville like to moralise the “beauty of life” as long as they are not the ones who are suffering.

Via CathiefromCanada.com