Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reply to Jeff Davidson on the Wheels

Jeff replied to the post about my new car with this...
"2 cars, no kids. nice to see you embracing conservative values.

for the record, my family of 4 has gone without a car for 5 years now. we made a decision as a family to consume less.

guess what? we're fit, spent more time together, have saved A TON of dough and use less of the good lord's precious gifts.

mind you, we're crazy moonbats..."
Just a couple of things to clear up all that...

First of all, we'd love to have kids... just hasn't happened as of yet, but thanks for asking.

Secondly, we're trying to consume less too... that's why I walk to and from work, and will continue to do so. (besides... parking is $30 a month!) Only planning to use the car for the couple of things a week that have been hard to co-ordinate with just one car.

Thirdly, I'm also way more fit now that I've been walking and biking to work.

Fourthly, some specs on our two vehicles for you to consider... our 4-cylinder 1997 VW Golf has a 2.0L engine in it. Our new vehicle, a 2005 Pontiac Vibe, has a critically acclaimed Toyota built 4cyl. 1.8L engine, regarded as one of the most fuel efficent engines in its class. So, I'd just like you to stop and think about it for just a moment... we're using our higher fuel consumption vehicle less, and a more fuel efficient engine more often. With the few kms I plan on using my older car for, our overall annual fuel consumption will be going DOWN, not up, as you have incorrectly assumed, just because we have a second car.

Of all the points you've made, you're correct on just one... yes, we're likely a little bit shorter than you on the dough side of things!

Well, you got about one out of seven points correct... not a bad average for a "moonbat"!

(maybe you want to reconsider your self declared "moonbat" status... I typically find that a true "moonbat" wouldn't have gotten any of those points correct... you got one, which I think disqualifies you for "moonbat" status)

It's official... I'm a delegate

I've officially been selected as a delegate for the Ontario PC Convention in London at the end of February... as a YES delegate. In fact, the majority of delegates selected from our riding are known YES supporters.

Mr. Tory, please do us all a favour... please step down. I supported your leadership, was convinced you'd be the best man for Premier, and did everything I could to get you into office. But you've completely lost the grassroots, and I don't think there's anything you can do to get them back.

What we need, and voters proved this in 1995 and 1999, is a real conservative leader. The people of Ontario, I firmly believe, will vote for a conservative plan, if a real option is available. The line between us and the Liberals was far to blurry with you at the helm... and then the FBS idea just sunk us.

Besides, if you resign, then there will be no need to vote YES for a leadership review... and the leadership race, and the healing, can begin.

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The XREP "Long Range" Taser

For the record, I support the use of Taser in Canada... but NOT their indiscriminate use, or the double tasering of a subject, or the use of excessive force after the fact, as we clearly saw in Vancouver late last year. (I still can't stand to watch the video clip of what happened to that poor man...)

Having said all that, I think THIS is a remarkable innovation... the Taser XREP – the eXtended Range Electronic Projectile.

Basically, it's a mini-Taser that gets fired from a 12-gauge shotgun. It's just the sort of non-lethal tool that's needed by law enforcement for riot and crowd control... and it's sure to come in handy at the next G8 Summit, with all the mobile disruption tactics the professional activists are using these days. (I think you all know how I feel about those guys and gals... wouldn't it be great if they chose to use their energies in more postive ways?)

h/t to Halls of Macadamia

UPDATE: Man is their promo video for it ever chee-zee... it's like watching a preview for the Terminator or something...

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I guess maybe I shouldn't have tried to upload that 3 Terabyte file to my buddy in Iraq, eh? (just kidding, of course... it looks like a fiber cut somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea)
Internet failure hits two continents

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Large swathes of Asia, the Middle East and north Africa had their high-technology services crippled Thursday following a widespread Internet failure which brought many businesses to a standstill and left others struggling to cope.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Wheels

It's time... the ol' Golf just rolled over 300,000kms, and is 11 years old... though still running like a top. Finally at the point where we need a second car too.

Bought a 2005 Vibe, nicely loaded... we wanted a Toyota Matrix, and were ready to put down a deposit on one earlier today, but then came across this one... higher kms, way more features (including cruise and a roof rack, which were two key features for us), for about $2000 LESS than the Matrix. Plus, now Buzz and his crew can't accuse me buying foreign anymore.

As you were.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Dark Anniversary for Canada

20 years ago today, infanticide was de-criminalized here in Canada. It's a reprehensible stain on our national image... one which no one seems to care to correct.

We all ought to weep for the hundreds of thousands we've allowed to be murdered since that dark day. So long as we do nothing to stop the slaughter, we will all have blood on our hands.

NOTE: I will not tolerate pro-infanticide comments today, and any that are made will be removed... so don't bother. Serious questions are welcome, and I will attempt to respond... but no promises. Comments supporting the cause of saving the lives of the unborn are welcome.

If a high volume of pro-infanticide comments are posted, the comments section will simply be closed... you have been warned.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

South Carolina - A deathblow to Clinton?

Man oh man... though only 23% of the polls have reported, CNN is reporting that Obama has whooped, I mean WHOOPED, Clinton and Edwards in South Carolina... with Obama polling at 53%!!!

Could this be the death knell for the Clinton campaign?  One can only hope...

UPDATE: Obama is ahead of Hillary by a margin of 2 to 1, at 54% vs. 27%... with 81% of the polls reporting.

Could this be the beginning of the end for Hillary? Super Tuesday is only nine days away... how on earth does she recover from this?


Friday, January 25, 2008

The King and I

King Ralph, that is...

(hey man... nice tie...)


Charlie Wilson and Osama?

Just a question... with the new flick out, Charlie Wilson's War (which, for the record, I won't be watching until I get my ClearPlay DVD Player back from repairs), I have a question...

I did a quick look up on who Charlie Wilson was, via good old WikiPedia. He was a Democratic Congressman from Texas, first elected in 1972, and serving until 1996. It says that he was, to a large degree, the man responsible for getting the funding for the Afghan Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in the 1980's... which is the whole point of the movie, which was adapted from his biography.

So, here's my question... wouldn't that mean that, in essence, Osama bin Laden is, to a large degree, the Democrats fault too? (I mean, at least as much as the Republicans, since it was Reagan who was the man in charge back then)

The question has to be asked, since many on the left keep saying that the war in Afghanistan, and 9/11, and the war in Iraq against Al-Qaida, are all Bush's and the Republican's fault.

Just asking.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Unintentional Google News Funny

Google News today had an unfortunate, but quite funny, disconnect between the story headline and the photo associated with it... honestly, you can't make this stuff up...
"Liberal 'leader' visits KW", eh? And just who is that in the photo? How about a closeup?

Oh the irony of it all...

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"What's old is new again"

That's an expressions I seem to be using a lot lately... and an idea reported on in today's National Post provided yet another chance to use it.

Here's my two cents on it... brilliant! Inventor Stephan Wrage has designed a new generation of "sail" for cargo ships, which have the potential to reduce a freighters fuel consumption by up to 20%... which, if equiped on all freighters in the world, would right off the bat reduce our global emissions by almost 1%... nearly 8,000,000 tonnes of CO2.

Now this is the sort of thing we ought to be pursuing in our efforts to reduce our emissions... a little common sense, and a willingness to try a new, or in this case, an old, idea.

Now, if we can just get people to stop buying those monster SUV's as a single person commuter vehicle...


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This blog is in a state of mourning

KW Record - "It's the economy, Dion"

You KNOW this editorial has made the rounds at the Liberal caucus meeting being held in Kitchener this week. Now that's the kinda "Red Carpet" treatment the Liberals deserve!

Some of the money quotes... "But in Kitchener, at a meeting of the federal Liberal caucus, the best response Dion could offer was a tattered prescription bearing a list of worn-out ideas and the Liberal party logo. He'll have to do better.

There he was, trashing the federal Conservatives for the tough times many Ontario manufacturers and workers are experiencing, as if Canada's current economic woes can all be neatly laid on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's doorstep. They can't.

Let's cut to the chase: The biggest problem facing the Canadian economy is the American economy, which may already be in recession. Nothing done by any Canadian prime minister, Harper, Dion or anyone else, can change that fundamental fact."

The clincher though has got to be the title... you gotta love the allusion to Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign slogan, "It's the economy, stupid".

h/t to Joanne
It's the economy, Dion
January 22, 2008 - THE RECORD

Stephane Dion sure knows how to put the 'con' in economics. In the world's financial capitals, the collapsing American economy has left markets bleeding hundreds of billions of dollars in stock losses. But in Kitchener, at a meeting of the federal Liberal caucus, the best response Dion could offer was a tattered prescription bearing a list of worn-out ideas and the Liberal party logo. He'll have to do better.

There he was, trashing the federal Conservatives for the tough times many Ontario manufacturers and workers are experiencing, as if Canada's current economic woes can all be neatly laid on Prime Minister Stephen Harper's doorstep. They can't.

And there was the Liberal leader, bragging that if it weren't for former federal Liberal governments, Toyota and Waterloo's Research In Motion would have never amounted to anything in this province. Not so. Meanwhile, Dion cheerleaders like Kitchener-Centre MP Karen Redman asked a gullible public to believe his proposed $1 billion rescue package for struggling manufacturers is the tasty little sugar pill that will set everything right. It's not.

This is all presumptuous, self-serving, partisan blather. Whatever good previous Liberal governments did, it's wrong to credit them for the phenomenal success of Toyota and RIM. Yes, the federal Liberals handed Toyota $55 million to build a second Ontario plant in Woodstock. But whether or not that corporate welfare was needed, Toyota opened its first Ontario plant in Cambridge back in the 1980s -- when federal Conservatives were in power.

Likewise, while RIM received a $34-million loan from Technology Partnerships Canada, that loan came after the company had developed its famous BlackBerry pager and was on the rise. At that point, RIM could have likely secured a private loan. Besides, the real reason for RIM's success was the vision and work of local dynamos like Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. And what Dion failed to mention was that the Liberals had to cancel Technology Partnerships Canada when the program was engulfed in scandal.

Let's cut to the chase: The biggest problem facing the Canadian economy is the American economy, which may already be in recession. Nothing done by any Canadian prime minister, Harper, Dion or anyone else, can change that fundamental fact. This doesn't mean that Canada's federal politicians should sit on their collective hands. They do have a role to play.

But what Canadian manufacturers and workers are waiting for is a comprehensive, well-considered economic strategy -- not predictable, pre-election sloganeering. Let's hope Dion can deliver.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

To my dear Liberal friends...

... who are spinning like mad, trying to cover for the unfortunate comments made by Mr. Dion, regarding his musings about NATO invading Pakistan...

May I present to you the main webpage of the Pakistan Daily Times...

Yes indeed, you read that correctly... "Pakistan at centre-stage over Canadian politician's remarks".

Regardless of what the Canadian media is saying, the Pakistani media seems to think that his comments were pretty clear... and they don't appreciate it too much.

Beer and popcorn is old news... at least that didn't spark an internation incident.

h/t to Janke

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Thoughts after South Carolina

Well, McCain wins South Carolina tonight, and 19 of the 24 delegates.  Thompson, my favourite, came in third, but without any delegates.

So, with McCain picking up momentum, I've been thinking a bit about the best combo for winning the White House in November.  Several polls recently have shown that regardless of who the Democrats nominate, McCain stands a solid chance of keeping the White House for the GOP come November.  Meanwhile, those same polls seem to show that the other candidates for the Republicans would go down to defeat regardless of who the Dems put forward.

So, I've started to think about the best choice for Vice President.  (though I still think Fred is the best pick for President)  Here's my analysis, for what it's worth...

Of the current pack, the best ticket I can see for November would be a McCain/Thompson ticket... and here's why.  Of the current field, there's really no one else that he could name as his running mate.  Stop and think about it for just a moment...

Huckabee will scare off the moderates with his Evangelical roots... and I say that as a fellow Evangelical Christian.  The Left will tear him to shreds... he's too big of a liability to McCain.

Romney's an even bigger liability, because moderates and the Left will automatically associate him with the religious right and Christianity... but being a Mormon will hurt the GOP even more, because he'll only alienate large portions of the Christian right, who will never support him because he's a Mormon.

Then there's Ron Paul... well, my apologies to my friend Shawn, but he's the BIGGEST liability for the GOP because of all the kooks and crazies who have latched on to his candidacy.  They're going to be a source of ridicule and scorn that will hang around his neck and drag him down, providing endless fodder for the leftist media.  Regardless of whether or not he has the best policies, he can't win because of the cult that has arisen around him.

As a result of the other candidate's liabilities, Gulliani may then look like the ideal candidate... but don't let looks deceive you.  Even with Pat Robertson's endorsement, the religious right has refused to even consider Gulliani, because of his blatantly pro-choice views, and questions about his moral character.  He was the ideal guy for the GOP in New York, but there's no way he can swing support out of the Bible Belt.  They'll support an independent run by someone like Huckabee, and a resulting Democrat win of the White House, before they'll support Rudy... which is too bad.

Therefore, of all the candidates, the best person for McCain to choose as a running mate (should he win the nomination, of course) is Fred Thompson.  Fred's respected as a moderate, but he's not too moderate for the right.  He's a natural supporter of McCain's views regarding Iraq and the war on terror.  He's a well known and trusted face throughout America, thanks to all his television and movie exposure.  And he's a reformer... someone who's got a political history of shaking up the status quo, and getting the job done.

That's my two cents... which is worth about $0.0197 in the US of A...

Time's running out to see Ralph - Unscripted!

Just talked to one of the guys running the upcoming Ralph Klein dinner and fundraiser in Guelph on January 25, and he told me that the deadline for buying tickets is THIS MONDAY, since he has to let the folks at Guelph Place know on Tuesday how many people are coming.

Ralph has been speaking recently about the state of Healthcare reform in this country, some of which was reported on in today's National Post... why not hear what he has to say in person?

So if you want to hear from one of Canada's most successful Conservative Premier's right here in our own backyard, pick up the phone and make the call today!  It's only $50 for Conservative Party members, and $75 for non-members.  (or spend the $10 for a membership, then get in for the $50 members price... a savings of $15!)

Ralph Klein, Unscripted! - Friday, January 25, 2008
Guelph Place, 492 Michener Road at 6 p.m.
Tickets: $50 members, $75 non-members, $375 for a table of 8
Purchase Tickets from, Tim @ 519 763 4487 or Ken @ 519 763 8464
Hosted by the Conservative Party of Canada, Guelph EDA


Friday, January 18, 2008

"Dion incapable of leading a national government"

I couldn't agree more, Mr. Gunter...
A shocking suggestion from Dion
Pakistan invasion idea shows he is incapable of leading a national government

Lorne Gunter, Freelance
Published: 2:02 am

Following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto outside a campaign rally in Rawalpindi in late December, The Economist magazine declared Pakistan to be "the world's most dangerous place."

I have long thought the same thing. Iran may be its only competition.

The 9/11 plot was likely hatched in Pakistan. The 7/7 bombings on London's subways and buses in 2005 certainly were. Even if the 9/11 attacks were entirely planned and carried out from al-Qaida bases inside Afghanistan, rather than Pakistan, they were nonetheless facilitated with money, men and materiel funnelled through Pakistan.

The Qur'anic schools known as madrassas that dot the Afghan-Pakistani border became magnets for angry Muslim youths from around the world in the 1980s and 1990s while international mujahedeen battled the Soviet invasion.

There, their instructors whipped up their Islamic extremism to even higher levels until some volunteered for terror training across the largely unguarded frontier in Afghanistan's southern and western provinces.

The money for the training camps and the madrassas poured into Pakistan from around the Muslim world (and for a time from the United States). The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan at the time and provided safe haven for al-Qaida and its murderous schemers, were a creation of the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI.

Even today, the continued existence of the Taliban and its ability to ambush NATO forces in Afghanistan and construct roadside bombs is a direct result of backing from elements within the Pakistani government who want to see the pluralistic, Western-friendly government in Kabul brought down and replaced by an extremist Islamic one, again.

Osama bin Laden is almost certainly hiding out in Pakistan's lawless tribal territories.

NATO generals - including Canadian ones - commanding troops in southern Afghanistan report of huge arms caches maintained for the Taliban by the ISI on both sides of the border with Pakistan. During operations, our troops have observed Pakistan border guards and soldiers jubilantly waving truckloads of well-armed Taliban fighters through their guard posts.

There are secessionist movements that would break the country up along geographic lines, and others that would dissolve it according to faith or tribe.

There are provinces in the lawless border regions where fundamentalists from within the government rule and the moderates from the central government tread lightly when they tread there at all.

There is a reasonably large, educated, modernized professional class in Pakistan that favours the rule of law, democracy and separation between mosque and state, but since the 1980s, when then-president Zia ul Haq embarked on his Nizam-e-Islam - Islamization policy - Islamic religious leaders have been increasingly influential in Pakistan politics.

With a wink from Haq's government, they set up the madrassas, funded mostly by oil money from the Gulf, that preached hatred against non-Muslims and fuelled the recruitment of mujahedeen and later Taliban.

The beheading of hostages began there with Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and the "Islamic bomb" (or at least the precursor for one) was provided to other Muslims nations by Pakistani government scientist A. Q. Khan.

In the quarter century since president ul Haq encouraged the intertwining of Islamic beliefs and public policy, Pakistan has developed a large radical element within its government and is beginning to export its militant brand of Islam.

So Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is right when he says allied efforts to stabilize Afghanistan will not succeed without action being taken in the border regions of Pakistan to control Muslim extremists and reign in rogue elements of the Pakistani government.

But he is losing it if he thinks, as he said Wednesday, that NATO might have to consider invading Pakistan.

For a man who has spent the 13 months since he became opposition leader deriding the Tories for continuing our combat role in Kandahar province, and demanding that our soldiers be transferred to peacekeeping duties in a less dangerous region of Afghanistan, it was a shocking suggestion. And given that Pakistan is a Commonwealth country (albeit one that has been suspended since a state of emergency was declared by the government there in October) and given that it has a population of 170 million mostly Muslims, who would unite - radical and moderate together - in the face of any foreign invasion, Dion's proposal bordered on the unstable. It casts doubts on his suitability to be prime minister.

I know his staff now insist Dion meant diplomatic interventions, but that is not what he said. He said plainly that if the Pakistan government could or would not take action forcefully to track terrorists who slip into Afghanistan, "We could consider that option with the NATO forces in order to help Pakistan help us pacify Afghanistan."

Unless NATO's small diplomatic corps has recently taken to calling itself "NATO forces," Dion clearly meant a military invasion.

He is either completely reversing his earlier position on our mission, or is incapable of leading a national government.

© The Edmonton Journal 2008

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

PC Leadership Review... let the people speak!

This just in from the folks at it seems there's even more funny business going on in an effort to support what seems to be a doomed leadership.

January 17, 2008
Andrew Lawton
Southwestern Ontario District Chair,
Ontario PC Youth Association
(519) xxx-xxxx

In reference to recent events regarding delegate selection meetings for the Ontario PC Party Convention, I urge all members of the Ontario PC Youth Association to re-evaluate their decision in the matter of the leadership review. I did have some doubts about the notion of a review, however, as an executive member of the OPCYA, I did not have much opportunity to form an educated decision, as members of said executive were forced to sign a letter supporting Mr. Tory at the risk of losing their positions. This was an open letter to Ontario PC Party Leader John Tory on behalf of all members of the OPCYA explaining the level of support that members of the OPCYA executive had for keeping Mr. Tory in the position of leader of the party. Although that opinion was shared by many, executive members and the youth membership were spoken for in a manner that did not represent their personal morals.

At a post-election executive meeting, OPCYA President Andrew Brander threatened the political futures of those directors who were uncomfortable with signing the document at that time. With my dedication to the organization, I signed the letter to Mr. Tory at the risk of being removed from the board and not having a place within the PCPO in future elections. This act of force not only opposed the principles of democracy, but opposed my right and wish to remain neutral in the matter of the review. My wish is that all party members are able to make an informed decision regarding a matter of such magnitude, without being privy to threats and injustices from within the organization.

My wish was to remain neutral for the entire campaign. However, my "signing" of this letter put me in a position where I became a vocal opponent to the review, and was forced to silence my personal leanings at the risk of being removed from the party. To this point, I have not yet taken an official position on the review. However, with the manner in which those opposed to the review have conducted themselves, I will certainly be supporting a leadership review. I call upon all other members who may have been strong-armed in one direction or another to come forward to allow for a clean race, where individuals may vote according to their own conscience, and not that of their association's president.

"Don't Pay Royalties to HDI" - Premier McGuinty

Mr. McGuinty, that's one statement I can support you on. Of course, I wanted you to make that clear statement during the election... but I knew you were too afraid of the protesters to do that.

Now, here's hoping you'll stick to those strong words, and finally do something about this ongoing rebellion in our midst.

A helpful graphic, taken from elements in today's National Post story (the print edition), to remind everyone of what we're really talking about here... and attempt to retake what is now the economic heartland of Southwestern Ontario.

I'm not saying they don't have some validity to their claim... I'm just saying that there's no way we can give up Canada's claim to the whole thing... that's all.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another MP not returning... a Tory this time

Manitoba Tory MP Brian Pallister has announced that he will not be standing for re-election in the next federal election.

That brings us up to 7 MP's who aren't returning... in contrast to Mr. Dion's team, who are down a whopping 17 bodies.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Letters to the Editor Work

Cool... see?  It does pay to throw in your two cents every now and then.

I wrote a Letter to the Editor on a local issue here a month or so ago, which they printed... actually, the Editor who called me to verify that the letter was indeed written by me was laughing the whole time, said he loved my letter.  (it was in response to another Letter to the Editor, and humourously tore apart the ranting arguments from a clearly left leaning anti-business resident)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I just got a call from the local paper... one of their reporters is doing a further in-depth story on the issue, and they would like some further commentary from me on it!  Now how cool is that?

(a word to my local EDA President... you can stop panicking dude, it's NOT anything to do with the EDA... promise!)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Watching the Iowa Democratic Caucus

Interesting watching the Iowa Caucuses via CNN tonight.  Two of the local precincts have allowed CNN to broadcast the feeds live, along with one of the GOP precincts.

But there was a real shocker in Des Moines tonight.  The way things work for the Dems is that people move to various parts of the room to show their support.  Each candidate must have at least 15% of the supporters in the room in order to move to the second round.

The numbers in the one caucus I was watching... of 374 folks in the room, there were 77 for Clinton, 67 for Edwards, and get this, 155 votes for Barak Obama, with the rest spread across the other candidates, all of whom polled less than the required 15%.

It will be interesting to see how the second round numbers pan out, but I must say, the first round number for Obama may be the beginning of a HUGE upset for Team Clinton.

UPDATE: Really interesting to watch... the CNN team at one of the Dems caucuses live feed is trying to keep the cameras and mics pointed where the action is going on... all the deal making, trying to move supporters around to move the delegate numbers around in their favour.  This precinct is slated to send seven delegates to the convention, and at the moment, it looks like Clinton and Edwards will get 1 delegate each, with Obama taking four... the last two will be allocated after the next vote.  And time is running out, only 10 minutes until the next vote.  Much of the talk seems to be in an effort to prevent Obama from getting another delegate.

When it comes to politics, this is the good stuff.

CNN is also reporting the overall known numbers for Iowa... looks like Obama at 33%, with Clinton and Edwards at 32%.

UPDATE II: Interesting quote, out loud, from an Edwards supporter to someone considering Edwards or Clinton... "If it comes down to Clinton, we're going to have a Republican President."

Richardson, one of the non-viable candidates in the first round, got enough to become viable... thereby denying one of the other camps an extra delegate.  They're doing the counts now to determine how many delegates each camp gets.

UPDATE III: Final count from this precinct, Edwards gets 1, Clinton gets 2, Richardson gets one, and Obama gets 3... looks like the Clinton camp managed to pull enough from the non-viables to get another delegate.  Drat!  I was hoping Obama would hit four... oh well.

UPDATE IV: Wow... CNN is now reporting, with 83% of the precincts reporting, that Clinton and Edwards are tied at 30%, and Obama pulled a whopping 37%, well ahead of expectations.

What's going to be the story tomorrow?  "Obama has the Momentum".

As for the GOP, Gulliani is polling in the single digits, and Huckabee will win in Iowa.  Good news is that my favourite, Thompson, polled third of the candidates, which was also better then expected.

UPDATE V: Likely last update for the night.  CNN just updated their numbers, with Clinton taking a 1% dip, with the advantage going again to Obama.  The polls had Clinton ahead by one point going into Iowa, and she's come out nine points behind Obama, and even one percent below Edwards, to take third place.  No matter how you try to spin it, tonight was a very bad night for Clinton... and a great one for Obama.

UPDATE IV: Okay, another update... Democrat hopeful Chris Dodd has announced that he's dropping out.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Chander and conservative nominations

Well, it would appear that Mr. Chander has chose to respond to my post on his ouster here.  I should probably clarify for his benefit. For the record, I do stand by my original post 100%... and it has nothing to do "with the air out here in Ontario", thanks.  (but it's kinda funny that he should say something like that to me though... right off the bat, he confirms that he fits the stereotype of an Ontario hating Albertan!)

For Craig's benefit, I should probably clarify a bit.  Craig, though you were the subject of the post, it wasn't so much related to you as you think... you just happened to be the inspiration.  Your ouster occurred right when my thoughts were already considering the issues of nominations in general.  Anyway, if there are issues regarding your removal that I am "misinformed" about, feel free to educate me in the comments.

So, what are my thoughts on nominations of conservative (both provincial and federal) in general?  Well, I've been thinking about this off and on for quite some time, and my thoughts might surprise you a bit.  Also, they're not fully defined and set in stone, so feel free to throw in your two cents... and maybe you'll even change my mind.

Honestly, in a perfect conservative world, our current system would be ideal, as is.  However, in the real world, we, as a conservative movement, end up shooting ourselves in the foot sometimes with our nominations.  We'll sometimes end up putting forward a single issue candidate, or someone with a history that ends up embarrassing us sometime down the road.  Or, we'll pick a perennial favourite, who has no chance of winning, over someone who's eminently qualified who could win in an election, whom we may just not like personally.  We often let our emotions get the better of us, and let them take priority over our reason... and when it comes to the ballot box, we get handed another loss.  This is based totally on my own speculation, but I figure there's at least a couple of ridings we could take, IF, big if, we take a more strategic view in our nomination contests.

Now, I've probably raised the hackles of some of the purist Reformist and grassroots advocates, but that's what I figured I'd do with my views.  Of course, I'm a hard-core advocate of the grassroots process, don't think for a moment that I'm not.  My problem is, however, when it comes to things like nomination contests, etc., sometimes, leaving the decision in the hands of the "grassroots" isn't always the best move.

Why?  Well, it's like I said above, I've discovered from living in various ridings, and being involved in nomination contests in various cities, is that the "grassroots" can occasionally make decisions based not on fact, or on real factors like who can win in a general election, but often making decisions on the basis of nostalgia, or things like who can sell the most memberships right before the membership meeting... which leaves smaller EDAs open to being taken over by a special interest group or a single issue candidate that resonates with the local conservative membership... often on an issue that will get them creamed at the polls.  (then you hear the membership wondering on election night how we could have possibly lost)

So, how would I do it?  Well, I don't know for sure how I'd do it, quite frankly.  But I find it ironic that I, someone who was waiting during the 90's for the old PC party to finally die, would support a more old-school mentality, in that I'm more in favour of the old Progressive Conservative way of doing things.  I like the idea of having the Party maintain greater control of the nomination process, and using it to appoint star candidates, or to overrule a riding that had put forward an unacceptable one... either by picking the old favourite, or through a riding takeover by any local single issue ticket.  I personally think that it could be done in such a way that doesn't take anything away from the local EDA membership, but in fact helps protect them from things beyond their control.  I mean, think about it... the Party would be stupid to do anything without some level of local input, so it's not like the Party could really take over things in the EDA.

Anyway, like I said, I'm torn on the issue overall.  I like the idea of full membership participation, but sometimes, there can be unintended circumstances.  Bottom line is that I'm an advocate of the Party having the ability for greater control over the nomination process, however, with the understanding that their power would be used sparingly, if at all.

The ideal solution is, of course, for the grassroots to better educate themselves on the issues, and make their decisions based on raw and accurate data, not just their single issues.  I guess deep down, I'm really more of a pragmatist than I typically come across as.

So, that's my first feather ruffling post of the New Year... but don't worry, I'm sure there are many more to come as the year goes on.

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