The F-35 Boondoggle

I know we’ve been over this ground before, but remind me again… why does Canada even need this heinously expensive new class of fighter jet at all? What possible military threat are we defending ourselves from? Seriously. What is the point?

Aside from the absurdity of ploughing something like $30 billion into a high-tech gizmo that serves no useful purpose whatsoever (it’s worth noting that Lockheed Martin’s last iteration of this plane, the F-22 “stealth raptor” fighter, has never actually been deployed in combat), there is the matter of the Harper government having egregiously misled Canadians about the cost of the program during the last election and then repeatedly lying to parliament subsequent to that. For instance, according to Harper and his ministers last year, there was a contract in place that would prevent cost overruns, but now they claim there is no contract. So which is it?

Bob Rae has called on Harper to resign over the issue, but, of course, nobody seriously imagines that’s going to happen. I mean, we’re only talking about a complete lack of government oversight involving a measly $10 billion discrepancy in accounts… it’s certainly nothing anywhere nearly as serious as the “AdScam” fiasco where possibly $100 million of taxpayer money was at stake! In that case, it was entirely justified that every “conservative” worth his or her salt should howl with OUTRAGE! like a gut-shot dog every day for years and years and years…


No surprise that the NDP would breeze into Jack Layton’s old seat, but the Conservative result barely cracking 5 percent was a bit… well, hilarious. So much for two-time loser Andrew Keyes – “a recognized leader in the communications industry.” Who knows, maybe there will be a Senate seat or plum appointment in his future as reward for all his sacrificial efforts to the cause…

Harper’s F-35 Joint Strike Farce

Here’s a brand new video from the LPC regarding the Harper government’s constantly shifting position with respect to the purchase of an unconfirmed number of F-35 stealth fighter jets that could cost billions more than was initially planned for.

You may recall that during the election the Conservatives claimed they had a contract in place to purchase the new planes – one that would protect taxpayers’ from spiralling costs. Eventually, however, that turned out not to be true (surprise!). Now as things stand, according to associate defence minister Julian Fantino, “The . . . decision has not been made as to whether or not we are actually going to purchase, buy, acquire the F-35,”

Apart from the subject at hand, the nature of the video itself is worth noting. I believe this marks a significant departure for the Liberals – it’s the first full-on, issue-specific attack that I can recall being posted on YouTube. Until now they’ve mostly just uploaded raw clips of testy exchanges in Question Period or lengthy speeches – fairly unremarkable stuff, to be honest. By contrast, this is an engaging, aggressively direct piece that demonstrates some actual effort in terms of production. Good job! Let’s see more of these in the future.

Special Relationships

Unbeknownst to most Americans, Canada is the United States’ largest trading partner (more than five times that of the U.K. and even bigger than China in this respect), its foremost supplier of energy, closest ally and supposedly bestest friend in the whole wide world, so why doesn’t our country get the semi-royal treatment that China, India, Mexico and the U.K. does? Why isn’t Our Glorious Leader treated to the pomp and circumstance of an official state visit?

I suppose it could be argued that Stephen Harper isn’t the head of state – that title going of course to Governor General David Johnston, who has made inexplicable state visits to Quatar, Malaysia, Vietnam and other remote places in the last year – but then, David Cameron isn’t the head of state either. If not mistaken, that would be the Queen of England – just as is the case with our own Prime Minister…


Count me amongst the 54% of Canadians who, according to a recent poll, rather cynically believe that the so-called “robocall scandal” is just “politics as usual” and therefore nothing terribly exceptional to be all that bothered about. Certainly nothing warranting an outraged, pant-bunching reaction such as that demonstrated on left-wing blogs for weeks now, let alone cause for actually marching in the streets…

Of course, that isn’t to say that such fraudulent electoral tactics should be condoned or go unpunished, but as Margaret Wente pointed out last week, “this fraud seems to have been engineered by the Keystone Kops.” And as, historian Michael Bliss observed, “From the point of view of anybody concerned about our political system, it’s a non-scandal.”

With regards to the parting comment of GlobalTV’s Tom Clark, not to suggest that they can’t walk and angrily gnash their teeth at the same time, but perhaps the frustrated Harper-haters’ time and attention would be better spent concentrating on the Conservative government’s “revolutionary” plans that we’re told are about to soon unfold…

Conservative Double-Standard?

Why, I’m shocked, simply shocked, I tell you, to discover that Conservatives would employ a flagrant double-standard when it comes to the matter of… well, anything.

Of course, in this particular instance the root of the problem is that the Conservatives’ original objection to not having ministerial staffers testify before investigative parliamentary committees was nothing but a self-serving evasion of public scrutiny that could have been potentially embarrassing. Now the tables have been turned however, all their righteously indignant protestations in former times are expediently tossed overboard and clearly shown as having been completely without merit in the first instance. That’s pretty much par for the course, isn’t it?

Online Privacy

Rick Mercer lays a smack-down on Vic Toews and Bill C-30, his warrantless online spying legislation.

Remember folks… you’re either with the philandering old pervert accused of shtupping his babysitter or you’re with the pedophiles and child pornographers. Sorry, but those are the only available choices on offer in Harperland.