Friday, October 19, 2007

Char-man of the Board - King Steve

Whooee! Ol' Zorf's been a busy photoshoppin' boy lately.

Hapless Hanglish Harranguing

Whooee! Ever since the Grits made Dion their bossman, I been sayin’ he’s gotta do two things to whip Harper. He’s gotta talk tough and he’s gotta talk English.

Over at Stageleft, the Stage Coach Driver's got a post sayin' Dion ain't cuttin' the mustard. A commenter by the name of "o" pointed out that King Steve's French weren't so good at first but it's a lot better now. O's a francophone, by the way. Most o' this here boog story is a recycled version of of my comment at Stageleft.

With all due respect to the Story of O, Dion needs English more than Harper needs French. That’s just arithmetic. Harper could conceivably win without a single francophone riding but Dion couldn’t come close to winnin’ without a single anglo riding. The French Fact is that francophones are a sizable — 20%, I think — minority.

I reckon a Canajun PM oughta be fluidly conversant in both languages. From what I seen of Dion in the press over the summer, it looked like he was doin’ a lot better with the English. Then I seen him on the TV yesterday an’ I had to turn up the volume an’ light up all my francosense to try makin’ head or tail o’ what he was yammerin’ on about.

I did get the gist of it but, like SL sez, he really didn’t pull it off.

I know Dion’s been takin’ Hanglish lessons an’ he’s made some progress. Looks like he’s also tryin’ to be more pitbull an’ less perfesser in the House of Comments. The troublem is that he ain’t good at either an’ he’s tryin’ to do both at the same time.

Lotsa non-EFL (English as a first language) speakers slip into a heavy accent when they get their dander up. Fer most people, in most dander-up situations, that ain’t much of a real problem. Fer the leader of the official opposition in televised parliamentary proceedings, it ain’t good enough.

Dion’s the team captain. He oughta do like Harpoon done. Sit back an’ let yer light brigade lead the charge. While he’s sittin’ back, he can privately practice up on some Impassioned English for Francophones lessons.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Election Fatigue? "There'd better not be a f*ckin' election."

Whooee! Us wonks who live an' breathe politics probbly wouldn't mind if there was an election every six months. I don't reckon the non-wonks is so keen on the non-stop campaign bullcrap that dominates the news during the election.

It ain't the 5 minute ballot markin' job that has some fatigued. It's the constant jabs, sound bytes, namecallin' an' brinksmanship of the election cycle. An election don't just happen on election day. Officially, federal elections take about 6 weeks. Unofficially, Harper's been campaignin' fer a majority since the last election.

Canajuns want Parliament to work. We pay our MP's to represent us and to manage the country on our behalf. If we are in non-stop campaign mode, our MP's are busy tryin' to win an election an' not busy doin' the job we're payin' 'em fer.

Yesterday, in some boog comments here an' there, I come out fer Dion to stand up fer principle an' show he's a man an' fight an election. I figger it was a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" choice. Dion's troublem is with his image as a meek an' mild perfesser. His actions vis-a-vis the throne speech only serve to reinforce that negative image.

My wifemate (I call 'er Ma) was watchin' the TV news with me yeserday afternoon. They started talkin' about the possibility of an election. Ma ain't no fan of King Steve an' she don't usually cuss too much except when she's really really irritated or tired (fatigued). When she seen 'em talkin' election, Ma sed, "There'd better not be a f*ckin' election."


(Most o' this post was originally written as a comment at Red Tory.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Voting: Why I Bother

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I just now left me a bigass comment over to StageLeft an' I'm rollin' it into this here boog story. Over to StageLeft, SL hisself was tellin' how he's gonna voice his disapproval of the whole dang system by spoilin' his ballot. If yer thinkin' along them lines, SL's got some specific instruction that'll help. Commenter an' gummint-loathin' libertarian Ian Scott sez he ain't gonna bother wastin' his time votin' an' he recommends we do somethin' more enjoyable like maybe fly-fishin'.

Well, I reckon I’ll hafta disagree with Ian. I’ll be goin’ over to the Lions Hall sometime today an’ castin’ my vote. I’ll be votin’ for the Green guy an’ fer the MMP. The Greens’ll get about 4% in my rural riding. MMP’ll fail. The miserably flawed system will have pretty much negated my two losing choices.

Why will I bother participating? It’s the best and only system we’ve got.

I don’t think MMP is perfect but I do think it’s an improvement over the status quo and worthy of my support. My vote for my local GPC loser sends a message to my winning PC MPP that there’s a handful o’ Mother Earth-lovin’ treehuggers among his constituents.

I respect StageLeft's spoiled ballot. He's at least tryin’ to say somethin’. I don’t reckon very many people are gonna unnerstand just what it is his spoiled ballot’s tryin’ to say but his follow-up letter to the MPP is a good idea.

I ain’t fer stayin’ away an’ not votin’, though. It ain’t outta any dumbass, flag-wavin’, democracy-toutin’ patriotism. It also ain’t outta any party loyalty tribalism. I vote so that the winner understands that the ones who voted for him aren’t the only ones he’s duty bound to represent.

I never voted until I was about 40, BTW. My philosophy was that the civil servants, diplomats, police, courts and military — all unelected — really ran the show and who held political power didn’t matter much. The system wasn’t perfect enough for me. Now, I’m more willing to exercise what little power I have in what’s likely to be the best system I’ll ever live within.

I think non-voters are wrong in the notion that “they” will try to entice you into the ranks of voters. Those in power are benefitted by low voter turnout — particularly in FPTP. If a candidate or party can get a relatively small but dedicated following that can be counted upon to vote, they can win. If only 60% vote in a 3 way race, the number of votes needed to be FPTP is quite tiny. Those in power know very well that many of the non-voters are disgruntled and would not likely support the status quo. Who needs ‘em? They only dilute the electorate and make it tougher to be FPTP.

Yeow! I sure can get to blatherin’.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Karzai Government Carries Out Mass Executions

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I ain't done much boogin' fer a spell but I seen somethin' yesterday that got me chewin' nails an' fartin' tacks. Our allies, the Hamid Karzai Warlords, Mullahs and Opium Growers Association, handed out the death penalty to 15 criminals. They shot 'em. They used a firin' squad.

Canada and the rest of the civilized world quit usin' the death penalty years ago. There's still a few totalitarian regimes like BushLand an' Red China where they still have it but mostly it's gone the way of slavery, torture and corporal punishment and other official acts of barbarism.

The warlords say they ain't got any intention of holdin' off on executions just on accounta some namby-pamby human rights advocates. Back in 2004, Karzai did say he was puttin' a moratorium on death sentences. Guess they lifted the moratorium.

One of the crimes they executed somebody for was adultery.

Those executed had been found guilty of crimes such as murder, kidnapping, rape, adultery and armed robbery.


The executions were in accordance with Afghanistan's constitution and its adoption of Sharia Law.
This week's executions were carried out in accordance with Islamic Sharia law and are a lesson to others who are taking advantage of unrest in the country, AFP cited state broadcaster Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) as saying.
Karzai wants to bring the Taliban into his gummint. Why bother with formalities? They're already there. And our soldiers are dying for them.