Well, go figure. Who would have thought that a resurgence of the “Red Tory” political brand would occur in, of all places, Alberta? For weeks now, right-wing pundits across the land have been viciously excoriating the Alberta PCs for being “Red Tories” and for having drifted so far to the left in recent years as to have become a supposedly oppressive Liberal government in all but name – something that would surely result in them being, as Ezra Levant confidently predicted last week, decisively “crushed” in yesterday’s election.
Ah, but as things turned out, clearly not so.
It seems that Levant (his pre-election blog archive now makes for even more hilarious reading/viewing in retrospect) and other perpetually indignant tub-thumpers of the right-wing media elite utterly failed to appreciate the evolving dynamic of the Alberta electorate; especially that of the province’s increasingly diverse urban demographic which evidently has little regard for a collection of hateful bigots, witless hayseeds, ignorant cranks, anti-science crackpots, and religious kooks masquerading as “libertarians”…
After four continuous decades in power during which time the ruling Progressive Conservative party was virtually unchallenged in any serious fashion, is it any wonder that so many Albertans are apparently now so eager for a change? Given the inevitable “throw the bums out” impetus amongst the normally feckless electorate usually kicks in a good deal sooner than that, a steady run of 41 years at the helm is an impressive achievement by any measure.
While it’s a shame that opposition to the entrenched establishment had to orginate from the more extreme, crackpot wing of the conservative movement, it’s no surprise the ideological insurrection should have come from the imaginary rural hinterland given the PCs had gradually assimilated over the years much of the liberal urban social agenda and arguably become far more “progressive” than “conservative” in nature.
So, Alberta is now poised to elect a spanky new “libertarian” government with results that may well prove to be amusing and/or disconcerting to some. Whatever the outcome, it may well be a positive thing because there’s nothing worse than dreary stagnation, and nothing more stimulating to eventual progress than radical change.
Seeking to dispel accusations of pathological flip-flopping, “Mitt” Romney unveiled plans to use a time machine to kill earlier versions of himself who believed in universal health care and gay rights.
Now that he’s the presumptive Republican nominee, I guess “Mitt” will also have to exterminate earlier iterations of himself such as the one that wanted to force women with babies out of the house and re-enter the labour pool so they could experience the “dignity of work” and the one that vowed to support so-called “personhood” legislation that would effectively make the pill illegal.
At Gettysburg, PA (of all places!) Rick Santorum announced today that he’s throwing in the towel on his bid to become the Theocrat in Chief of the United States.
No surprise really, considering that in all probability he would otherwise have lost the primary later this month in his home state. Not only would that have been a crushing blow, but also a bitter personal reminder of the defeat that saw him ousted from the Senate in 2006. Better to end his improbable yet relatively successful campaign on a positive note rather than waging an ugly and futile campaign against Mitt Romney’s vastly better-financed attack machine.
Viewing his emotionally touching concession speech it’s not hard to see why so many people were attracted to Santorum – he comes across as warm, genuinely compassionate and, as pols say, “relatable”… What a tragic shame for Republicans that Willard Romney has absolutely none of those qualities to his credit.
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…
Appearing on Dave Letterman’s show last night, Keith Olbermann talked about being fired by Current TV the other week. “I screwed up really big on this,” he said. “It’s my fault that it didn’t succeed, in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through.”
“I didn’t say, ‘You know, if you buy a $10 million chandelier, you should have a house to put it in.’ Just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn’t going to do anybody a lot of good.” Olbermann went on to quip, “And then it turned out we didn’t have a lot to put the house in… or a building permit.”
Hmmm. We should all be so lucky to get $50 million (the reported amount of Olbermann’s contract) for a thoughtless, ill-fated decision that quickly turned out to be a big screw up that eventually terminated in complete failure.
Thom Hartmann just couldn’t resist drawing some obvious conclusions the first World Happiness Report released earlier this week showing that the world’s happiest countries are all in northern Europe with Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands taking the top four spots. Canada came in a respectable fifth and the United States a distant eleventh place.
According to the report: “Happier countries tend to be richer countries. But more important for happiness than income are social factors like the strength of social support, the absence of corruption and the degree of personal freedom.
Over time as living standards have risen, happiness has increased in some countries, but not in others (like for example, the United States). On average, the world has become a little happier in the last 30 years (by 0.14 times the standard deviation of happiness around the world).”
I wonder if someone will remind Stephen Harper of his now infamous quote from 14 years ago when he was vice president of the National Citizens Coalition speaking to a Montreal meeting of the right-wing U.S. Council for National Policy where he lamented the fact that “Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.”
Indeed we are – and maybe it seems, that’s not such a bad thing after all.