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Tattered Sleeve: Harper not about to have sex with sheep. Nope nope nope

That appears to have been the gist of the point made to the CBC news camera of a Harper-Con supporter at today’s Conservative campaign event. Point taken. And lo and behold! The Ford brothers – even the crack-cocaine smoking one – are trotted out to help rally the faithful in a Toronto riding the Conservatives . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Harper not about to have sex with sheep. Nope nope nope

Tattered Sleeve: Harper not about to have sex with sheep. Nope nope nope

That appears to have been the gist of the point made to the CBC news camera of a Harper-Con supporter at today’s Conservative campaign event. Point taken. And lo and behold! The Ford brothers – even the crack-cocaine smoking one – are trotted out to he… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Harper not about to have sex with sheep. Nope nope nope

Tattered Sleeve: Election theme song from Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde

Land You Love

Land You Love – Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde from Phil Maloney on Vimeo.

This brings a tear to my eye everytime I play it. Thank you, Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde.

Share! Share! Share!

Tattered Sleeve: Election theme song from Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde

Land You Love Land You Love – Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde from Phil Maloney on Vimeo. This brings a tear to my eye everytime I play it. Thank you, Hey Rosetta! and Yukon Blonde.Share! Share! Share! . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Election theme song from Hey Rosetta! & Yukon Blonde

Tattered Sleeve: Will the really smart Trudeau – Sacha – please stand up?

Dear Justin, I was very disheartened to hear our current PM today distort your thoughtful positions on restoring diplomacy with Iran and pulling out of the bombing campaign in the Iraq-Syria joint civil war. That said: nice ad! I have to say though, th… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Will the really smart Trudeau – Sacha – please stand up?

Tattered Sleeve: Justin Calling

Justin Calling to Albertan towns

Now get prepared for the writ to come down

Justin Calling to the oilsands

Forget about Pierre and his Energy plans

Justin Calling, now look here to us

The new Trudeaumania is on the up’n’up

Mulcair isn’t catching

Harper’s on the way out

The Cons are corrupted

The Greens got no clout

A BQ error, leaves the left in the clear

And Justin is calling and I’ll…

Go for the winner!

Justin calling, yes, I was there, too

An’ you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!

Justin calling to the gun registry arm

Forget it brother, that’s a horse that’s long gone!

Justin calling to the zombies of Ignatieff

Quit bitchin’ bout, those (true) ads all negative

Justin calling, and I don’t want to flout

But while you were sulking, I glad-handed about

Justin calling, see we ain’t getting high

But there’s taxes to be raised from making it legalized

Mulcair just ain’t catching

Harper’s on the way out

The Cons are corrupted

The Greens got no clout

A BQ error, leaves the left in the clear

And Justin is calling and I’ll…

Go for the winner!

Justin calling, yes, I got swept up too

And you know what they said? Sacha’s onboard too!

Justin calling through the Mop & Pail bile

After all this, won’t you give me a smile?

Justin calling

I never hoped so much, so much so much!

– 30 –

. . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Justin Calling

Tattered Sleeve: The Inconvenient Truth about Thomas Mulcair’s "Four-Car" Garage Swiftboating

So my dad and “Tom” (Thomas Mulcair) met up at Briarwood Park in Beaconsfield the other day. Yeah, really. Two grandfathers laughing it up with a couple of toddlers. They didn’t know each other beforehand, but my dad can still spot a pol with a nationa… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: The Inconvenient Truth about Thomas Mulcair’s "Four-Car" Garage Swiftboating

Tattered Sleeve: The Inconvenient Truth about Thomas Mulcair’s "Four-Car" Garage Swiftboating

So my dad and “Tom” (Thomas Mulcair) met up at Briarwood Park in Beaconsfield the other day.

Yeah, really. Two grandfathers laughing it up with a couple of toddlers. They didn’t know each other beforehand, but my dad can still spot a pol with a national profile, and the wily salesman that he is, . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: The Inconvenient Truth about Thomas Mulcair’s "Four-Car" Garage Swiftboating

Tattered Sleeve: Québec Students: You’re Coming Along

After school is over you’re playing in the parkDon’t be out too late, don’t let it get too darkThey tell you not to hang around and learn what life’s aboutAnd grow up just like them, won’t you let it work it outAs I type this, thousands of youth are ou… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Québec Students: You’re Coming Along

Tattered Sleeve: Québec Students: You’re Coming Along

After school is over you’re playing in the parkDon’t be out too late, don’t let it get too darkThey tell you not to hang around and learn what life’s aboutAnd grow up just like them, won’t you let it work it out

As I type this, thousands of youth are out in the streets of . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Québec Students: You’re Coming Along

Tattered Sleeve: Just saw the english Mulcair ad

My reaction: Why is this man on my TV looking all psycho-eyed in a suit and trying to make nice with me?

As an anglo Quebecker, I really don’t like the Sherbrooke resolution that got so many Bloq supporters to vote NDP. I consider that a classic and shameless sell-out move on the party’s . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Just saw the english Mulcair ad

Tattered Sleeve: Just saw the english Mulcair ad

My reaction: Why is this man on my TV looking all psycho-eyed in a suit and trying to make nice with me?

As an anglo Quebecker, I really don’t like the Sherbrooke resolution that got so many Bloq supporters to vote NDP. I consider that a classic and shameless sell-out move on the party’s part.

I have a big problem with anyone kowtowing to the separatists, because their project is rooted in xenophobia, and my very existence on Québec soil is an irritant to many of them. Their vision of Québec has no place for me.

There’s a reason Chretien passed the Clarity Act.

The NDP is a party replete with such short-sightedness, and I see no indication of a change of direction on their part. If anything, I imagine their next move will be to become more corporate-friendly (especially given the carefully rendered signals of this ad, wherein Mulcair is wearing a dark suit and situated in a board room).

I would hope the left-of-centre Liberals and the Greens could eventually merge with the NDP and get a real solid leftist alternative in place. Then maybe we could have a party that would feel strong enough they don’t need to make such concessions. But I won’t hold my breath. . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Just saw the english Mulcair ad

Tattered Sleeve: Jack Layton: A real gentleman and a citizen politician – 1950 to 2011

I am privileged to have once met and interviewed The Honourable Jack Layton. He was introducing three local candidates at Bar Bobards on boulevard St-Laurent during the 2006 election.

At least two of those candidates, it should be noted, were fervent Québec nationalists whose acceptance speeches left little doubt they were steadfastly looking for a . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Jack Layton: A real gentleman and a citizen politician – 1950 to 2011

Tattered Sleeve: Jack Layton: A real gentleman and a citizen politician – 1950 to 2011

I am privileged to have once met and interviewed The Honourable Jack Layton. He was introducing three local candidates at Bar Bobards on boulevard St-Laurent during the 2006 election.

At least two of those candidates, it should be noted, were fervent Québec nationalists whose acceptance speeches left little doubt they were steadfastly looking for a platform to push Québecois separatism.

I should note that I had previously formed a rather withering opinion of Jack’s father (the Honourable Robert Layton) when as a cub reporter during the 1988 election, I saw him in action as a Mulroney Progressive Conservative incumbent, getting booed at an all-candidates debate for suggesting Lac St-Louis water would become clean enough to drink if Mulroney was given a second mandate. As it turned out, Robert Layton was easily re-elected by West Island voters who ultimately voted for him as default support for passage of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

Utterly honest
So I was curious to ask son Jack, back in 2006, why he’d spoken so reverently of his father – who had himself succumbed to prostate cancer some four years earlier – on the two occasions I had come out to see him speak as NDP leader. Well, Jack looked me square in the eye and said he had great respect for his father, but that didn’t mean they saw eye-to-eye on very much, politically. In fact, he related, that was the one area they were always at loggerheads, notwithstanding having a loving and respectful relationship as father and son.

Can you imagine a more honest, human, and respectful answer? Not I. And I have no idea if my question – which I only posed because I had never heard him asked it before – caused him to rethink his stump speech. But I never again heard him speak of his father’s influence when introducing himself as the NDP leader, as if he had determined the astute voter might be as confused as I was, given their almost diametrically opposed politics.

It is in this spirit that I remember and revere the man whom I unfortunately must still blame (partially, at least) for putting Harper in the PM chair, by whipping his party to vote down the Martin government; something historians will doubtlessly argue was or wasn’t a seminal moment in the NDP’s existential journey as an independent political force.

A mixed legacy on policy
I also recall his insistence on going cap and trade instead of carbon tax when the latter made more sense, and finding his reasoning on that choice rather wanting. I recall with sadness his decision to have his party vote against a 2007 (?) Liberal motion to end the Afghanistan mission in July, 2009, based on the fact they really should be brought home immediately (he was quite right on that point of course), which unfortunately ended up with the misguided mission continuing on much longer. Also, Jack’s reticence at allowing Green Party Leader Elizabeth May to be included in the 2008 election debates rankled.

Meanwhile, I championed Jack Layton grandly for forcing the 2005 Martin budget to be amended to halt planned corporate tax cuts while increasing social spending in the period where the NDP held the balance of power. I even voted for one of his throw-away candidates while living in the Outremont riding after Paul Martin had parachuted a former Bloc-Québecois founder (Jean Lapierre) in to take Martin Cauchon’s place.

And yesterday morning I cried – yet not so much as on last July 25, when we all saw death tapping impatiently on Jack’s shoulder – to hear of his passing.

Despite anything else, Jack Layton was a good egg. He tried. He fought. He brandished humour and a forthrightness that was touching and palpable in both official languages. He worked with dedication to his ideals with true and rare conviction. In short, he stood for something, and he made sure that it was a something he could get fully behind. Then he would make a convincing argument that you and I and every other Canadian could get behind it too.

As long as we listened to our hearts.

What next?
Now, a huge gabble of neophyte NDP Québec MPs will have to find their way in the HoC. They also must prove their worthiness to their constituents, despite being stripped of the coattails of the one guy in whom the voters put their full-throttle faith. And that was no small leap of faith either. These voters bravely abandoned their BQ candidates who had mostly done nothing less than tirelessly represent their constituents’ interests in Ottawa with pride and passion for several years.

No, the Bloquistes can only blame their party’s connection with separatism on their historic defeat to the mostly unknown Dippers that won their constituents’ votes based almost solely on Jack Layton’s endorsement. Continued NDP support in Québec will be a very tough sell, regardless of Thomas Mulcair’s considerable respect in this province.

But that sort of speculation should be explored another day. For today, I am pleased that our Prime Minister has been honourable enough (against type) to bequeath a state funeral for Jack Layton.

Hard to believe as I type his name that he is no longer with us.

Jack, all in all, you did good by us Canadians. Posthumous gratitude in spades. Many, many thanks. RIP, if that is at all possible for you!

– 30 –
. . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Jack Layton: A real gentleman and a citizen politician – 1950 to 2011

Tattered Sleeve: R.I.P. Canada

R.I.P. Canadian Long-gun registry.R.I.P. Women’s reproductive rights in Canada.R.I.P. The Canadian Senate.R.I.P. Same-sex marriage (we barely knew you).R.I.P. National funding for the arts.R.I.P. Canada Health Act.R.I.P. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.R.I.P. The Governor-General of Canada.R.I.P. Any Canadian action on climate change.R.I.P. CIDA.R.I.P. Canadian democracy.R.I.P. National funding for universities and research.R.I.P. Any hope of a national daycare program . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: R.I.P. Canada

Tattered Sleeve: R.I.P. Canada

R.I.P. Canadian Long-gun registry.
R.I.P. Women’s reproductive rights in Canada.
R.I.P. The Canadian Senate.
R.I.P. Same-sex marriage (we barely knew you).
R.I.P. National funding for the arts.
R.I.P. Canada Health Act.
R.I.P. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
R.I.P. The Governor-General of Canada.
R.I.P. Any Canadian action on climate change.
R.I.P. CIDA.
R.I.P. Canadian democracy.
R.I.P. National funding for universities and research.
R.I.P. Any hope of a national daycare program in the next five years.
R.I.P. The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.
R.I.P. Any effective political opposition to The Party.
R.I.P. Dissent (what do you think the new jails are for?)
R.I.P. A future for Québec within Canada.

…please feel free to add more in the comments.

We now are ruled by the All-knowing Great Leader, who will not be swayed by any finger-waving from the opposition benches. Stephen Harper is a Christian Fundamentalist, whose views are shaped by his beliefs. He now has carte-blanche.

How far will he go?
Just watch him.

– 30 – . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: R.I.P. Canada

Tattered Sleeve: French Debate Kicked Ass (mostly Harper’s)

I hope people were watching, because tonight’s French-language leaders’ debate was lively, passionate and substantive. After fighting sleep at about the half-way point in yesterday’s English-language debate, tonight I found myself riveted.

This is in no small part due to Gilles Duceppe’s fiery energy tonight, after being content to sit quietly on the side-lines for . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: French Debate Kicked Ass (mostly Harper’s)

Tattered Sleeve: French Debate Kicked Ass (mostly Harper’s)

I hope people were watching, because tonight’s French-language leaders’ debate was lively, passionate and substantive. After fighting sleep at about the half-way point in yesterday’s English-language debate, tonight I found myself riveted.

This is in no small part due to Gilles Duceppe’s fiery energy tonight, after being content to sit quietly on the side-lines for much of the previous night. But also, because Ignatieff really came across, and contrasted strongly against Harper, who himself seemed unsure of his French, and off his game generally. I found Harper did not seen strong tonight, which is the worst thing for the guy who is the current PM to convey.

Layton was taken off his game again by Duceppe’s jabbing on the Bill 101 question. Harper’s only really good moment was when he pointed at the two of them and asked the audience to imagine them working together in a coalition. That’s not saying all that much.

Duceppe went whole-hog on his separatist cred tonight, and that is perhaps a sign he may be setting down some touchstones for a potential jump to provincial politics. He may be positioning himself to take the Parti-Québecois mantle from Pauline Marois, who appears weak going into a confidence vote among the party faithful in coming weeks.

Back to Ignatieff. He looked tough, secure and in charge. His French was generally good, and when it wasn’t, his obvious passion made up for it. That is key for the Québec population, so good on him. He can ride this into a lead in coming days.

Again, that’s if he plays his cards right.

– 30 – . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: French Debate Kicked Ass (mostly Harper’s)

Tattered Sleeve: Ignatieff: I hear a statesman

This piece by Jane Taber of the Globe and Mail harangues Michael Ignatieff for his lack of specifics, but I think he sounds pretty reasonable here: There was no mention of the hydro mega-project in the Liberal platform, released Sunday. But when asked about it Monday, Mr. Ignatieff spoke about involving Quebec – and maybe . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Ignatieff: I hear a statesman

Tattered Sleeve: Why I support the Greens but vote otherwise

I am a big Green supporter and believe they have the best platform. Dagnammit, I joined the party and contribute a few bucks to show that I care. But I also live in Quebec (and on the island of Montreal) and my local candidate both:a) is a relative lightweight, and b) has no hope of . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Why I support the Greens but vote otherwise

Tattered Sleeve: Smells like ’93 Spirit

Well I’ll be damned if Michael Ignatieff isn’t suddenly hitting his stride. Now I can’t say I have ever been a big believer in the man as a potential PM, but today has me thinking back to 1993, when a guy who had been reviled as a weak and ineffective Opposition Leader came to power . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Smells like ’93 Spirit

Tattered Sleeve: Greens, NDP to merge; Layton and May step aside, with support of key Liberal defectors

Could you just imagine a headline like that? Only if you accept the fact that the federal Liberal party is finished as a viable political entity. It was this particular realization, coupled with Warren Kinsella’s post earlier today, that got me thinkin… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Greens, NDP to merge; Layton and May step aside, with support of key Liberal defectors

Tattered Sleeve: Peevey Stevie stimulated by doorknobs?

Tip ‘o the hat to Le Daro and Scott Tribe for uncovering this startling fetish of the Canadian Prime Minister. (Okay, perhaps the Libs figured it out first, as reported by the CTV).I always took him to be one of those boing-y doorstopper guys, but trut… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Peevey Stevie stimulated by doorknobs?

Tattered Sleeve: GPC site redesign a huge improvement

Go check it out. greenparty.ca is a whole lot snazzier. Bravo! . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: GPC site redesign a huge improvement

Tattered Sleeve: Eloquence and straight talk – I am missing P.E.T.

Found this snippet of a 1987 interview with Pierre-Elliot Trudeau and remembered what intellectual leadership sounds like:”I don’t think we need special powers in Quebec… Who needs special powers? The politicians. They’re the ones who want special po… . . . → Read More: Tattered Sleeve: Eloquence and straight talk – I am missing P.E.T.