2014-07-10

The Aching of a Melody

SOCAN has decreed Canuckistan's best independent song in english.  I cannot imagine them being wrong.


Limiting it to english means most of the songs off La Boca can't be considered but this one seeps in sweet and then comes down heavy.

2014-06-13

Proportional to How Well Your Party Did

The Ontario Liberals got 38.64% of the popular vote, and yet have a majority government with 55% of the seats.  Definitely an argument for Proportional Representation or some other type of electoral reform, at least according to the National Post.

Not saying that they are wrong - First Past The Post is a stupid electoral system and it definitely should be turfed.  Especially when you have more than two viable political parties.  I'd just like to point out the difference in tone between the offensive-affront-to-democracy-of-sub-40%-majority piece we got with Liberals in government and what the National Post thought of Stephen Harper's win three years ago - where it represented a huge mandate.

  • The Conservative Party received 39.6% of the vote and 54% of the seats across the country as a whole. However, factor out Quebec — that is, examine the rest of Canada without it — and the Tory numbers rise to 47.7% of the vote and 68% of the seats.
  • The Conservatives’ 5.8-million vote tally Monday was the third-highest raw total for any party in any general election in Canadian history. It falls short of the 6.3-million-vote haul that led the Mulroney Conservatives to their 1984 landslide, but ahead of the 5.6-million the Chr├ętien Liberals garnered in the pivotal contest of 1993.

Pleasantly Surprised

Liberals 59
PC 27
NDP 21

Massive overperformance by the "scandal rdden Liberals".  Horwath held 21 seats, popular vote position improved from last election as well.  Still, she's probably the biggest loser here since her third party position means a lot less in a majority government.

And Hudak.  Wow, nice to know that such a sizable portion of Ontario agrees that Hudak is terrible.  I guess basing your entire campaign on a basic math error is not a winning proposition.

2014-06-12

Don't Forget to Vote

Provincial election today. Going in, it's 48 Liberals, 37 Conservatives and 21 New Democrats with one seat vacant. Polling is pointing to essentially zero seat change, with my guess being 48-38-21.  That said, three viable parties and a Green Party that racks up 5% to 10% of the popular vote, surprises can happen.

It's possibly the stupidest election ever. The incumbent Liberals were three years into their third four year term. Having the same ruling party since 2003 has lead to quite a good deal of upset and frustration. And a hefty catalog of scandals.  To say they were vulnerable is massively understating it. Their leader, who headed two majority governments and one "minority" with 53 of 107 seats stepped down a little over a year ago. The precipitating event is referred to as the "Liberal Gas Plant Scandal" and was about as badly managed a 1 billion dollar boondoggle can be. The opposition parties, the press, everyone and their neighbours talked about it nearly constantly.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the Spring 2014 election. The new leader, Premier Kathleen Wynne, basically capitulated to the third party and we had a year or so of leftish "socialist" NDP policies being put into force by the Liberal government.  Proves to be a pretty shrewd choice, The Liberals hold all of 1 of 5 ridings through by-elections in the summer of 2013.  The NDP pick up 3.

Spring 2014, the Liberals table their budget.  It is again, an NDP budget.  But the NDP leader, possibly high on by-election success, turns it down and we're off to the ballot boxes.

But what of the actual official opposition?  I've only been talking about the slightly left of centre and the slightly more left of centre parties.  The PC party is clearly the actual opposition and the most likely benefactor of a worn out administration that the public is fed up with.  You would think so, but our provinicial conservatives suck.  No seriously, not that they suck because they have selfish ignorant bigoted hate-fueled world views (although they do suck because of that) but because they are breathtakingly incompetent.

This election is Opposition leader Tim Hudak's big chance, a gift wrapped election that no one could lose, and he's headed for defeat again.  A lot of self-inflicted damage for sure - his entire campaign is built upon what he calls the Million Jobs Plan, something he was so vested and proud of that he released all the supporting information behind designing it and it turns out that it is based on a math error.  No seriously, #HudakMath was actually trending for a while.  I have more to say on #HudakMath too, about how it demonstrates how completely intellectually and morally bankrupt conservatives are, but that's a post for another day.

Everyone basically believed that all Hudak had to do was keep his mouth shut and he'd be Premier easily, but he didn't.  He has consistently polled as the least likable and least believable of the three leaders.  When the election was called, no one cared what the leader of the Official Opposition thought, and everyone was focused on Horwath and Wynne.  He's a huge liability for his party, a smug jerk with no charisma.

But here's the thing - he's possibly the best politician the Ontario provincial conservatives have got.  Because the federal conservatives have been sitting in government at Parliament Hill since 2006.  There is a long tortured history of the federal conservatives and their schisms, name changes and rebranding but essentially it was a regional rump from our Texas-like oil-and-gas fueled west.  And to truly make it as a national party, the federal conservatives went very aggressively at Ontario, which unfortunately worked quite well for them. The silver lining though, it totally hollowed out the talent pool of conservative politicians in province.

Anyways, polls are already open so let me get to the point.  I'm using this post to make my bold predictions.

Libs - 48, PCs - 38, NDP -21.

That's not the bold part, that's roughly where the polling puts it.  My big statement is that Tim Hudak, after losing the election he could not possibly lose, will stay on as leader of the Ontario conservatives.

2014-05-23

Can Enable

Electoral activities are all up and active in my lovely town of LEAFS SUCK.  While the provincial election is more pressing with the election only a few weeks away, I'm going to dedicate my first post in almost a hundred days to everybody's favourite White Bronco.

Forum’s mayoral approval numbers from May 11, 2013 was 44%
The Gawker video is from May 16, 2013.
On May 25, 2013 it was 42%.
A third of his staff is fired or resigns in this period.
On June 26, 2013 it was 47%.
Rumours, innuendo and speculation churn until fall.
Halloween 2013, it was 44%.
November 5, 2013 – Rob Ford admits to smoking crack cocaine while in a drunken stupor.
November 20, 2013 – steady at 42%.

This low to mid 40's approval remains constant untill May 2, 2014.
In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 888 Toronto voters the day Mayor Rob Ford announced he is taking a leave of absence to deal with his substance abuse problem, fewer than 4-in‐10 approve of the job he is doing as mayor (38%), and this is down sharply from two weeks ago (46%).
And the latest Forum polling?  32%.


Moral of the story?  Torontonians disapprove of rehab.

2014-03-17

I Can't Believe I'm Still Michael Jackson

The reason I started posting videos of irish covers of Michael Jackson was because I had (and still have) dangerously unhealthy obsessions with KT Tunstall and Emm Gryner.  Year Two, I would give mixed reviews.  The less said about Boyband Edition, the better.  So progressively worse which I guess limited stock of irish people covering Michael Jackson?

Nope.  Turns out I'm just lazy.  Plenty of stuff if you bother to look.

Busking in Dublin looks like a frigging hard gig.


But apparently, going inside will break your fucking heart.



2014-01-29

SOTU 2014 Review

In the Polar Vortex cold light of a bourbon hangover morning, I give SOTU 2014 a "son of a barkeep" thumbs up. I'm not going to unpack the specific promises and individually described programs and initiatives (cripes there were a lotta em) but take it as a whole.

The Good
A new target audience - the no-longer/not-quite middle class. Of course the official audience is Congress and there's a lot of Villager talk in it, but it looked (to me) like Barry was talking directly to a different group of people than these usually do. Not the kitchen table crowd with their suburban picket fences, but folks who have kitchens too small to fit a table.  The working poor, the collateral damage of recession right sizing, the recent grad.  The folks who haven't got their tickets yet.

Less bipartisanship BS. A recognition that the House is not going to get its house in order. That the GOP had at least four Responses to the speech highlights how dysfunctional the GOP has become.  Despite the obligatory "willing to work with you", this SOTU was downright hostile towards Congress. Which is of course well warranted.

Moments of passion. The equal pay portion was probably the most prominent, but that intensity of delivery that Obama is capable of made itself known again. Never doubt that Barry can deliver speeches.

The Bad
Fucking centrists. STFU about teh fucking deficit all-fucking-ready.  Fuck. Treasuries are still trading at inflation or lower. Fuck.

So the NSA has been wholesale violating anything and everything they can, all at massive expense and with absolute bupkes to show for it. Here, Obama is going to slap your wrist as lightly as he possibly can while reminding everyone that you are the Front Line in The War On Terror. 

The War On Terror. It is fucking 2014.  What the fuck is wrong with you?

I appreciate that he is trying to sell his ideas and initiatives here, but does he have to sound like a salesman?  So many individual programs called out and a bunch of them weren't very big. At times it really felt like he was lauding the number of cup holders.

Overall
Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.  The good outweighs the bad because it really feels like there is something new here and the bad is just a result of Obama being Obama. He can't be outside the system, he is the system.