Thursday, January 10, 2008

Taxes, schadenfreude, Americans, resignations, selective memories and the Queen

*Can’t buy a majority: According to the good folks at Decima, over the holidays the Conservatives gained a seven point lead in the polls. All they had to do was not be in the HoC or committee facing daily attacks, not have the opposition in the news, have no news stories on Mulroney and Schreiber or Lunn’s nuclear bungling or Afghanistan, get everyone sleepy from copious amounts of turkey, and force-feed them fawning year-end media interviews. And get lots of free advertising from TSN.

Oh, and spend billions more dollars cutting the GST by one point. Can’t forget that. In spite of everything, I’m starting to feel bad for Stephen Harper. He picks the week after Christmas for his big announcement, when things are slow and the media A team is on holiday, guaranteeing compliant coverage from the B team. He gets wall-to-wall fawning coverage of his tax cut, and still he can’t even scratch into majority territory on a temporary post-announcement blip.

OK, I don’t really feel sorry for him. I think it’s pretty funny actually.

*Schadenfreude: From the same polling story:

The latest poll contains plenty of bad news for the NDP.

The party -- which won a historic Quebec byelection in September and hopes to take more seats in the province -- sagged to eight per cent in Quebec. The Green party had nine per cent in the province.

It was almost as bad for New Democrats in Ontario. In that province, Liberals held a 40-37 lead over the Tories, while the NDP was at 12 per cent and the Green party was at 10.

What was that again about an orange wave, Jack?

*Americans: I can’t bring myself to get too interested or excited about the ongoing U.S. presidential primaries. For what it’s worth, I’m pulling for Obama. He’ll have a tough fight against Clinton, but he has a shot. I have to laugh at some of the media coverage the past few weeks though, by both our press and the American press, particularly around the New Hampshire results. They seem to be trying to spin Obama’s close second place finish as a major defeat; I guess because he pulled-out a surprise win in Iowa he was expected to run the boards. Now they’re casting Clinton as the comeback kid, because she barely managed to hold a state she once had a much bigger lead in, not to mention a lot more organizational muscle. And then there’s the tear-gate nonsense. The primary process is a marathon, not a sprint. Wake me up in a month or two.

: MP Brian Pallister is quitting politics and won’t run in the next election. I was about to do a post on how this is another rat fleeing a sinking Liberal ship, another sign Dion is not a leader, and another sign a Conservative (or NDP) wave is about to sweep the country. Then I remembered Pallister is a Conservative, so it must just be family reasons and not a sinister conspiracy.

*National Compost: The editors at the Post are all indignant and up in arms today (not too unusual really), demanding justice in a story so ridiculous it doesn’t bare a full summary, and so much of a non-story you probably haven’t heard of it unless you read the Post or are a Conservative die-hard (all five of you). To the Post editors though, since they are obviously so concerned about this, they might want to go back and talk to their newsroom colleagues that were around in the late nineties, when the Post’s “investigative journalists” worked hand in hand with the Canadian Alliance, trying to bring down the Chretien government with the bogus crap pile of accusations known as Shawinigate. Did Post reporters ever leak information to the Alliance, to be used in QP, so they could then write about it in the Post? Umm, does a bear shit in the woods?

The Post today says: Name the guilty reporter, and let the public see what penalty has been meted out.

Actually, come to think of if, in the Shawinigate case justice was served. Chretien won another majority, Stock Day faced open rebellion in his caucus, and no one still reads the National Post.

*God save the Wii: Ending on a positive note, I enjoyed this story:

God save the Queen: She's now playing Wii

By GamePro staff

GamePro (online)

(01/07/2008) - Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly enamored with Nintendo's Wii.

According to a tabloid source close to
UK's The People, The Queen is showing signs of becoming a "Nintendo addict" after getting her aging hands on her grandson's newly gifted Wii.

"When she saw [Prince] William playing a game after lunch at
Sandringham... she begged to join in," the unnamed contact alleges. "She played a simple ten-pin bowling game and by all accounts was a natural... William was in fits of laughter. He was enormously impressed at having such a cool gran."

Since 2001, Her Majesty has regularly upgraded her cell phone before deciding on a Blackberry which she uses today. She sends email ( maybe?), listens to an iPod, and has seemingly turned into one of these.

I just have one point of contention however, and it’s with Prince William. He thought his Gran was cool for playing the Wii? I’d say having her face on all the money was already pretty cool, but that’s just me.

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