5 Simple Rules

Rex Murphy’s prescription for politicians to increase “real interest” in the election campaign.

1) Throw out the scripts — talk to the people… really.

2) Decide three “big issues” and deal with them, at length.

3) End all ads.

4) Stop sounding professionally pious — speak often from the top of your head and the bottom of your heart.

5) Tell us why your party is right, not why the others are wrong and evil.

Needless to say, none of the above are likely to happen (as if parties would stop advertising or dispense with their scripted talking points…), but I would certainly concur with the sentiment. In the days after the election when the pundits bemoan the dismal voter turnout (that will be historically low, I believe) and wring their hands about the electorate’s apathy and widespread disinterest, perhaps Murphy’s Rx should be given more serious consideration.

“Hidden Agenda”

Another day, another desperate, fear-mongering attack ad from the Harper Conservatives.

Considering that the “hidden agenda” alluded to involves the possibility that the parties quite probably representing 60 percent or more of Canadian voters might conceivably get together after the election and attempt to work cooperatively in some kind of temporary alliance doesn’t actually strike me as an especially SCARY thing.

That aside, seeing as Ignatieff has already flatly ruled out forming a coalition post-election, at what point does Harper’s incessant fear mongering and negative campaigning against a “reckless Coalition” that exists only as delusional figment of his imagination start to backfire on him? Or will it?

Rae on the Election

Appearing on TVOneCanada a few days ago, Bob Rae clearly articulates the reasons for the current election and the substance of the issues at stake, as he sees them.

Amongst other things, Rae makes some interesting comments about his own political evolution, vote-splitting, and differences between the Liberals and the NDP.

VI Follies

An amusing report from A-Channel News about Harper’s somewhat muddled photo-op visit the other day to Vancouver Island.

Hey, I may be living in Winnipeg at the moment, but my heart will always be in Victoria…

It’s really too bad that Keith Martin decided to step down as MP for Esquimalt Juan de Fuca. Given that’s the case however, in order to avoid pointless vote-splitting, I would strongly urge every Liberal (and Green Party) supporter in that riding to get behind NDP candidate Randall Garrison, as he has the best chance of defeating perennial Conservative Party hack Troy DeSouza (or as my wife prefers to call him, “Fat Tony”).

Unfortunately, newcomer Liberal candidate Lillian Szpak doesn’t have a chance (she’s an obscure Langford councilor and won’t get much traction in outside the Western Communities), so a vote for her would just increase the likelihood of a DeSouza victory.

Weiner v. Paul

Once again it’s time to demonstrate my hypothesis that, generally speaking, right-wingers have no sense of humour (or to be a little more charitable, let’s say they have a rather poor grasp of what is actually funny). In this regard, behold the difference between the speeches of Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner and Republican Senator Rand Paul at last night’s Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner.



That’s the title of the Liberals’ scary negative attack ad, as seen here:

Doesn’t quite sync up with Ignatieff’s message on the stump that “it is time to say ‘Enough is enough.’ Enough of the politics of fear. Enough of the politics of division. Enough of the politics of personal destruction.”

Iggy Stumping

Footage from the kick-off of the Liberal campaign in Mississauga the other day.

Quite a good performance, actually.

Thanks very much to “Gremlin1977” for sharing. Like most folks, it’s doubtful that I’ll get out to a rally in the few short weeks before the election, but this video provides a good approximation of the experience, so it’s greatly appreciated.

Police Action

Funny video of a confrontation between a well-informed cyclist with a helmet-cam and a police officer in the U.K.

Warning: Don’t try this in Seattle!

Piano Man

Sitting down earlier today, right here in Winnipeg, to play music with 10-year-old Internet sensation Maria Aragon (she of Lady Gaga fame), Stephen Harper attempts to show that he’s more than just a robotic wanker — he can also sing quite badly.

I presume this photo-op has something to do with the proposed Children’s Arts Tax Credit that would allow families to deduct up to $500 per year for the cost of enrolling in arts programs. It’s not a bad idea, but again it prompts the question: why wasn’t it in the last budget?

Prime + 5% = Y?

Speaking in Brampton today, Jack Layton promised that an NDP government (cough) would cap credit card interest rates at prime plus 5% and roll back transaction fees.

This sort of loopy nonsense is where the NDP loses me. Not that I particularly like siding with the banks, but in an ostensibly “free” market (and yes, I know that’s a loaded and even misleading term), the government shouldn’t have the ability to cap the interest rates that lenders charge their customers. Perhaps next they would like to dictate what the appropriate level of wages and prices should be… I mean, why just stop at the banks and credit card companies?

By the way, I have to retract something said in a previous post about the NDP allowing comments on their YouTube videos – apparently, they do not. So, in that respect at least, they’re COWARDS too… just like the Harper Conservatives.