"I haven't in the past; I'm not going to in the future."

With Stephen Harper and the Conservatives heading for a possible majority government later this month, talk has inevitably turned to uniting the progressive parties. The progressive vote is split among the Liberals, NDP, Green Party and Bloc, and the suggestion is to do what the Conservatives did a few years back: unite with the Reform party. I’m not usually a proponent of combining the left parties, but it’s starting to make more sense to me now.

Mind you, I don’t think it makes sense to do it just to win. That’s a cheap political tactic, and suggests it’s more important to win than to do what’s right. I’m just suggesting that three at least two of the progressive parties have too much in common to be separate. The Green Party can take solace in the fact that environmental matters are now part of mainstream political debate and a centerpiece of the Liberal platform, and send their votes back to the Liberals and NDP. Those two, I think, are different enough to remain separate, and ostensibly the Bloc exists solely to create an independent Quebec, so rightly or wrongly they remain ideologically distinct from all other parties and unlikely to form anything other than a voting alliance.

All that said, you have to consider the possibility that it doesn’t really matter. The reason Harper may win again — apart from an opposition leader with the charisma of a wet dishcloth — is that he hasn’t really buggered anything up, and he’s successfully neutered (some might say “betrayed”) the far-right elements of the old Reform party. Witness this week’s unequivocal statement by Harper that the abortion law will not be raised again. Meanwhile, gay marriage is legal in many provinces, the environment is front and center in political discussions (even the Conservatives have an environmental platform; criticism seems to center on it not going far enough) and gun control laws exist which Harper, for all his campaign promises, is unlikely to overturn.

Even when the government’s Conservative in name, this country is progressive in nature. So long as the sitting Conservative government doesn’t act noticeably different than the long-sitting Liberal government which preceded it, I don’t think most people will really care.

Except maybe Jack Layton.

[tags]canadian election, liberals, conservatives, nsp, bloc quebecois, green party, abortion law[/tags]

Fear. Unbalanced.

As most of you have probably heard by now the CBC has removed from their website an article written three weeks ago by Heather Mallick about Sarah Palin, and apologized for posting it in the first place.

I’m unable to link to the article (obviously) but it was…well, rubbish. There are plenty of things about Sarah Palin with which to take issue without resorting to name-calling and cheap slander. Throwing a “white trash” into your argument will pretty much discount it down to worthless. I’m a little surprised at Mallick, who usually puts a little more thought into her arguments. So yes, the CBC should have caught this one somewhere between “submit” and “approve” and told her to write it like a journalist, not like a street preacher.

I’ll tell you what really bugs me about this whole affair. It isn’t that Mallick lowered herself to the screechy level of Ann Coulter. It isn’t even that the CBC deleted the article from the website. It’s that they deleted the article because of criticism from Fox News and, to a lesser degree, the National Post.

If the CBC was pressured by the Canadian public, who pays their bills, fine; that’s who they answer to. They should have taken down the article because it offends the people’s sense of what journalism should be. But how in the hell can pressure from Fox News carry any weight whatsoever? Who cares what they think when it’s so transparent a partisan reaction? Check out this video clip:

Fox News wasn’t protesting the decay of journalistic integrity; indeed it would be rarefied air for them as they let pass streams of invective — far worse than anything Ms. Mallick wrote — from the likes of the afore-mentioned Ann Coulter. Fox was, contrary to any semblance of impartiality, sticking up for the Republican. Had an actual news organization protested, I could understand that having some sway, but why the CBC would pay any heed to Fox News is beyond me.

[tags]heather mallick, cbc, fox news, sarah palin[/tags]

Your life is trite and jaded

This Onion article has had me giggling for the last five minutes:

Members Of Twisted Sister Now Willing To Take It

NEW YORK—In a stunning reversal of their long-stated reluctance to take it, members of heavy-metal band Twisted Sister announced Monday that, after 24 years of fervent refusal, they are now willing to take it. “I acknowledge that we promised not to take it anymore, but things change. The world is a different place today, and with that in mind, we would like to go on record as saying that, starting right now, we are going to take it,” read a statement released by the band’s lead singer, Dee Snyder.

[More at The Onion]

[tags]the onion, twisted sister[/tags]

I am an extraordinary thief

The new TV On The Radio starts out strong but then fizzles. The new HBO show True Blood is okay but not great, and a far cry from the likes of The Wire, Deadwood or The Sopranos. Federal elections on both sides of the border leave me cold as candidate after candidate spew the safest tripe and make a supreme effort to not say or do anything that might get notices. I adore how Christopher Hitchens explains why God Is Not Great but it ultimately feels hollow because I know only other atheists will read the book. The new Kings of Leon is like a jelly doughnut: tasty around the edges but squishy in the middle. The first episode of Heroes was rubbish, not that I expected otherwise. Fall is setting in and the sky is already turning that shade of gray that sticks around all winter.

Dear world…excitement: please give me it. Or at least inspire me to manufacture some of my own. Maybe have a radioactive spider bite me or have my condo building taken over by Hans Gruber.

[tags]tv on the radio, true blood, christopher hitchens, kings of leon, heroes[/tags]

The great migration

I took a break from setting up the new computer, during the only few hours of the day it didn’t seem to be raining, to see our last Toronto FC game of the season. Things didn’t look good for a long time…an FC defender headed the ball into his own net in the first half, but with just 15 minutes left in the name Marvel Wynne made an amazing run to the middle and blasted it over the Houston keeper to gain a 1-1 tie.

Back home and back to setting up the new hotness, with another long break to order pizza and watch The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (which I really liked) and how here I sit, surrounded by boxes, watching an amazingly clear TV picture in one corner of my screen while I blog on another and watch my Samurize stats in yet another.

[tags]new computer, toronto fc, houston dynamo, the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford[/tags]

Dude, you got a yeah whatever snxxxzzzzzzzz

The new computer arrived today but I’m far too wiped to do anything about it. Much as I want to start playing with the new hotness I’m not looking forward to moving all my crap over and doing all the requisite setups and installs. Going out for drinks last night with some MBA friends just made me sleepy, and a long day at work followed by a pile of thai food has pretty much put me in a sweet little coma.

However, there’s nothing on the agenda for the upcoming weekend, save the Toronto FC game tomorrow afternoon, leaving me with plenty of time to set up the computer and deliver the boxes to their inescapable destiny: cat fortress.

[tags]new computer, dell desktop[/tags]

The lazy way they turned your head

“Halfway Home” from TV On The Radio‘s latest Dear Science might just be the best song I’ve heard this year.

My convictions about the new Kings of Leon album Only By The Night, on the other hand, are not so strong. The first four songs are excellent; the next five are boring, while the final two are very good. Coincidentally, 6/11 is the same score the album’s running at Metacritic right now.

[tags]tv on the radio, kings of leon[/tags]


Won’t be writing much tonight. We just stuffed ourselves stupid at Indus Junction with T-Bone. Had a drink at The Paddock first, which was quite cool, except that we were quite literally the only people in the place. Maybe that’s what made it cool.

Anyway, maybe it was the vindaloo shrimp or the vegatable baji or the aloo tikki or the malai kofta or the salmon vindaloo or all the rice & naan, but my stomach is stretched to the limit right now.

Still…want more. Gimme.

[tags]the paddock, indus junction[/tags]