12.26.2010 05:58 AM

In today’s Sun: best and worst political moves of the year

“This was a year of new controversies, like prorogation and WikiLeaks. It was also the year of old battles, in the Middle East, and between the Koreas, and in the grinding and never-ending war against terror.

It was a year of wonderful highs, like the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Sidney Crosby’s gold-plated goal. And many, many lows, as in the economic recovery that never seems to feel like one, or Stephen Harper’s brutalization of the pregnant Helena Guergis, or Maclean’s calling all of Quebec “corrupt,” or the G20 fake lake costing tens of thousands, or …”

26 Comments

  1. Bill says:

    Did they really run the piece with the line “What will 2010 bring?”

  2. Conservative Peter says:

    Nice article Warren . It really is going to be a “neat” year for political junkies . Up to 8 provinces are going to have elections this coming here and there is a minority government in Ottawa .

    With all 3 opposition leaders being over 60 , My predication is that one will quit to give their party a reason to support the government or at least an excuse not to show up for any non-confidence votes .

    My preference would be Gilles Duceppe but I think the odds on favourite has to be Jack Layton .Health concerns aside , his party isn’t doing well but his personally standing is still pretty good . It would be good for him to go out on a high .

    I also predict something big happening with the Liberals . Ignatieff’s new desire to go to the polls has more to do with conflict resolution rather than thinking he could win . Its possible that a no confidence vote could result in a revolt among MP’s who would fear losing their seats in the next wave .

    My biggest predication , however , is that something unpredictable will happen to change the whole debate here in Canada . As the financial domino’s fall all over Europe we are told that nothing like that could happen here but we are so interconnected that a freeze up in the sovereign debt markets could change things here overnight in ways that few people can even imagine .

    In other countries only the federal level government can take on debt but here in Canada the provinces can also take on debt .

    If both levels had to balance their books basically overnight everything we hold dear in Canada , health care , education and the rest of the nanny state infrastructure would have to be rethought .

  3. Conservative Peter says:

    Nice article Warren . It really is going to be a “neat” year for political junkies . Up to 8 provinces are going to have elections this coming here and there is a minority government in Ottawa .

    With all 3 opposition leaders being over 60 , My predication is that one will quit to give their party a reason to support the government or at least an excuse not to show up for any non-confidence votes .

    My preference would be Gilles Duceppe but I think the odds on favourite has to be Jack Layton .Health concerns aside , his party isn’t doing well but his personally standing is still pretty good . It would be good for him to go out on a high .

    I also predict something big happening with the Liberals . Ignatieff’s new desire to go to the polls has more to do with conflict resolution rather than thinking he could win . Its possible that a no confidence vote could result in a revolt among MP’s who would fear losing their seats in the next wave .

    My biggest predication , however , is that something unpredictable will happen to change the whole debate here in Canada . As the financial domino’s fall all over Europe we are told that nothing like that could happen here but we are so interconnected that a freeze up in the sovereign debt markets could change things here overnight in ways that few people can even imagine .

    In other countries only the federal level government can take on debt but here in Canada the provinces can also take on debt .

    If both levels had to balance their books basically overnight everything we hold dear in Canada , health care , education and the rest of the nanny state infrastructure would have to be rethought .

  4. O Dog says:

    I am enjoying your efforts to “spin” 2010 into something bad for the Harper administration. Truth is….. He had a good year! To summarize…… the pretty but dense Princess Helena should never have been an MP. That was (mostly) the riding associations fault. But then again who hasn’t hired a bad employee. She scuttled her own political career by putting herself first and the party second! Harper didn’t like being lied to by his own people. That is a clear message to anyone else in the Conservative caucus! The G-20 helped put Canada on the worlds stage and the lost UN seat was because of our brave and continuing support for Israel. As a best move for 2010 you include the Ignatieff bus tour? The media was commenting daily how he looked completely out of place in his clumsy attempt to bond with everyday Canadians. Even the few card carrying Libs that showed at his Alberta stops were snickering at his cowboy hat. Then he goes back to Ottawa and votes against the Gateway pipeline. He was clearly serving BS at those prairie BBQs. In their attempt to hijack parliament last year, Prince Ignatieff, Comrade Layton and the traitor Duceppe forced Harper to save the country by giving everyone a moment to think. That moment allowed Canadians to send those desperate pirates back to steerage where they belonged. Ignatieff backed off like a good dog once parliament resumed and his co-conspirators spit words under theirs breaths hoping for another opportunity to trick Canadians into trying out socialism. In the end….. I would bet that the LPC would love to forget all about 2010. Harper will stay the course in 2011 and continue building his trust with Canadians brick by brick.

  5. Keith Meisenheimer says:

    “Harper will stay the course in 2011 and continue building his trust with Canadians ……”

    Simply vote AGAINST every politician that didn’t fight the :
    The Obama / harper ” New Deal ” ? or Separating Canadians from their Natural Resources ?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/26/opinion/26sun1.html?hp
    ?” Many governors claim tax increases are ill-advised during a recession, …

    … but more experienced economists say it is better to raise taxes on the rich than to lay off workers and cut spending, in effect offsetting Washington?s attemp…ts at stimulus. …

    … The federal government missed a chance to begin to act rationally about its long-term deficit by giving away the store to the rich in the tax deal. States should not make the same mistake. “See More

    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/public-debt-in-maritimes-so-high-that-social-tensions-could-rise-professor-112466994.html

    time for more corporate tax cuts eh stevie harper ? 11 – 15 % is lower than the 15 % federal tax our minmum wage workers pay ???

    • O Dog says:

      Corporate taxes bring in a small percentage of the overall federal and provincial revenues. Lowering corporate tax rates entices businesses to stay in this country and grow. This bring our unemployment rate down. Employees (mostly the middle class) pay the majority of the tax revenues to the governments. No companies, no employees, no money means Canada is broke. A broke Canada cannot help the poor and unfortunate here and abroad. So Keith……. be nice to your boss when you get back from your paid vacation. He is what is right about this country, not you.

      • Keith Meisenheimer says:

        o dog :………….. when wiki leaks banking memos hit the press in Jan. ….

        the bottom 90 % of the American people will have a real treat for your bosses & their mealy mouthed brainwashed appoligist ?

        happy New Year
        Keith

        dog biscuits for thought : flaherty s. harper told over indebt Canadians to smaten up ?

        http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/todays-paper/Mortgage+insurance+driving+consumer+debt+analyst/4021740/story.html

        http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/canadas-sub-prime-mortgage-time-bomb

        this is harper pooh ?
        Federal corp tax 2006 approx. $ 40 billion / year fed.personal tax $ 110 billion
        Merry Xmas CCCE : what is federal corp. tax 2010 after harper cuts it by 2/3 rds ?

        • O Dog says:

          Yes and the world will end (according to the Mayan calendar) in 2012. We have created a global society that is dependent upon commerce. Everybody knows this. That said, a future banking crisis could put us on our knees. Items that were purportedly stated in a memo and released to Wikileaks will have as much credibility to our numb society as a UFO sighting in Montana. So far Wikileaks is a disappointment to the media and the public.
          We have now cracked the top ten countries that offer lower corporate tax rates. These tax cuts are designed as mentioned above to entice business to stay. I believe this to be a solid strategy. All we have to do now is lower the cost of government at all levels. Less public sector and more private sector will be the saviour of our society. Huge indexed pensions will have to give way to private retirement plans. Once again, we will need a healthy private sector to achieve this.

          • Keith Meisenheimer says:

            How old are you Dog ? Did you write the talking point
            “better dead than Red ” ? ( most radical right thoughts are from
            last century eh.) Look what the Communist Bull Crap (CBC) state
            sponsored terrorists (?) are airing . Do you think they are
            speeding up the end of time ?
            http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2010-2011/enemiesofthestate/ Speaking of
            manure could you please list the ten countries with lower corp. tax
            rates than harper’s CCCE ? Are they mafia states ? ( Albania ,
            Bosnia , (not Botswana they are higher ) Bulgaria ….
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world

          • O Dog says:

            Keith,
            I am 48. Not 84. The countries as list in the Dec 27th issue of Macleans (page 47) the countries are as from the top….. Maldives, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore< Untited Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Oman, Kuwait, and finally now Canada. In a competitive global market it makes sense to have a lower corporate tax rate. Economists around the world agree with this. Business and commerce are the engines that keep us fed, clothed and sheltered. Those three basic necessities are also helping the once poor through globalization. Child poverty rates have been greatly reduced due to politicians that have put forth free trade agreements. The world she is a changin! That is why I am pro business!

          • Mr. Chamberlain says:

            O Dog, you poor slave.

  6. Keith Meisenheimer says:

    Great article Warren . Your attempt to spin stevie harper into something important is as funny as a ” brutilized ” M.P. .

    Six figures for warming a seat as an M.P. or $ 350,000 to a M.P. called P.M. who orders giant corporations around . ( the CEOs of Corp. avg. $ 10 million pay each ? )

    • O Dog says:

      Best way to change an angry bleeding heart Liberal (like Keith) into a Conservative is to give him/her some stock in a strong Canadian company! Many good folks here are wisely investing in Canadian companies so that they can eat and pay the hydro bill when they retire. Keith….. if you have an RRSP then you have most likely invested in all those things that you condemn but I suspect you don’t and are quite upset about it. My suggestion for you is to buy some oil sands and some pipeline stock. you will feel so much better when it grows into a sizable sum! New Years resolution maybe?

  7. Keith Meisenheimer says:

    dear dog : the fact that I am comfortable does not make me stupid enough to think the reform alliance is conservative .

    p.s. better stock buys in Sudbury were the pollution issues have been dealt with ? ( deformed fish are pretty close in the food chain ? ) EH ?

    • O Dog says:

      Keith….. I am a small business owner in Barrie Ontario. I am no different than any middle class person. I wanted you to know that. I have an RRSP, all in Canadian companies (my only means of ever retiring), And it is my hope that Canada continues its strategy of good banking practices. Flaherty is right to warn Canadians that overspending is a road to ruin. I have faith that Harper is leading us down the right road. I believe that he is extremely proud to be a Canadian and that he wishes to be remembered as one of the best Prime Ministers this country ever had. Reform/ Alliance aside, it was Harper that helped unify those right of center Canadians who disagree with the theatrical antics of the LPC and the always overly dramatic NDP.
      I suspect that you might be an anarchist at heart. You are probably OK with all industry going away in the world. Get back to some old style of life! Maybe you think we could all farm for a living and reside in a big Kibbutz where everybody shares the chores and the food. What I do know is that many members of mankind (like myself) will be stronger than you. They will take what you grow and what you own. Without an orderly (policed) society you will be eliminated. It is in our nature. So…. this Christmas…… Thank whatever god you believe in that you were born in this present time of mans history because that is all that is protecting your whiny rebellious ass.

  8. Keith Meisenheimer says:

    o dog :

    Thanks for the old fashion Xmas holiday entertainment . Too bad you spend so much time working and so little keeping up to current events . Bless you . You remind me of my father when he was younger .

    bedside reading when time permits .

    ” at a cost of nearly $100 billion per year, in a country whose entire gross domestic product is only $14 billion. … the Afghan National Army – is to be expanded to 134,000 troops by the end of 2011, and perhaps to as many as 170,000 thereafter … ( supported by a $ 14 billion GDP ? )
    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2010/12/2010122091133873729.html

    ” Canada is in the midst of the biggest pension reform debate in 15 years, … and almost all MPs chose to not engage in this critical debate. … Attendance was outrageously low: less than 20 MPs.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/professor-flunks-mps-on-pension-debate/article1812445/

    ” When Prime Minister Stephen Harper, …. and insurance giant Sun Life all agree that a national privatized pension plan is a great idea for your retirement, be very afraid. Feel your fear and let your anger flower. ”
    CPP maximum Pension $ 11,210.04 / yr , Poverty line approx $15,000 ?
    http://www.thestar.com/article/909921

    • O Dog says:

      Ok Keith,
      Item one, Afghanistan is in the center of an ideological war between “tribes” and governments that believe we should all be eliminated because we are the infidel and our (coalition of the willing) governments to try to keep them from killing us. A successful organized government in Afghanistan could inevitably educate all of the people and develop the vast mining resources that they possess. If played right, they could be the next Kuwait with a high standard of living and no taxes!
      Presently, the atrocities in Afghanistan are nightmarish. We are saving them from themselves. If it doesn’t take, then we may have to walk away but with our heads held high.

      Item two, Our existing pension system is broken and insufficient. Unfortunately, it is a very polarizing issue due to half of those that have a large company or a rich government employee pension plan and the other half that must rely on CPP. Our politicians just don’t want to wade into those murky waters. They all seem to be very good at their own self preservation.
      I would endorse a nationwide pension plan that would be optional for those in the self employed community or for those that work for smaller companies that do not have existing pension plans. It could have similar or more investing clout to , for example, the Ontario Teachers pension fund. This way, we could all benefit from our Canadian business successes. I have as mentioned above, I have an RRSP so… I could opt out or…. If the public fund outperformed my portfolio, I could transfer my portfolio there! It seems to make sense to me. As long as I don’t have to pay higher CPP rates for my employees as I do in this existing plan. (I already pay twice for them, once for me). This way, an additional portion of their paycheques (still keeping the existing CPP) could be put towards a federal plan.
      You will of course mention those that are living at the poverty line that cannot afford to have any more deducted out of their paycheques. There will always be CPP! My philosophy is that if you don’t gather enough nuts in the summer, you may get hungry in the winter. That is a sad fact of life that too many North Americans just can’t seem to understand.

        • O Dog says:

          @Keith You have convinced me that you are completely way
          out in left field when you think that the Toronto Star and english
          Al Jazeera are entirely factual and non partisan. I view all points
          of the argument and then make my judgments. My “simplistic” views
          also happen to be shared by the majority of Canadians, Americans
          and Europeans. I guess everyone else is wrong and you an your anti
          establishment placard waving anarchist pals are right. P.S. I hope
          that Don Cherry runs for Premier of Ontario! Stick that in your
          “Pinko” pipe and smoke it!

          • Keith Meisenheimer says:

            O Dog : Please don’t be angry and label a sucessful former capitalist supporter with all those harper / CCCE talking points . Just get even with me and my stupidity by refuting the points below with your “facts” .

            ” the average CEO was making about 25 times the average worker in the late 1970s, today?s average CEO makes roughly 250 times the average worker. ”
            ” the top-earning 1 per cent of Canadians almost doubled their share of national income, from 7.7 per cent to 13.8 per cent, over the past three decades.”
            ” And the higher up the food chain, the bigger the gains. The richest 0.01 per cent ? those now earning on average $3.8 million a year ? more than quintupled their share of national income.”

            ” In the 1950s and 1960s, for instance, the real median family income in Canada was growing fast enough to double every 20 years. Since 1980, it has barely grown at all.”

            ” Middle class families have only managed to maintain their standard of living by working much harder than their parents, typically relying today on two incomes instead of one.”

            “Meanwhile, at the top, things have been hopping. Indeed, virtually all the income growth in the last 30 years has gone to the top.”

          • O Dog says:

            @ Keith….. Why be upset over a number of people that make outrageous sums of money. Society in history has always had a disproportionate balance between the rich and the poor. The money that has been accumulated by the rich is usually directed back into the economy to make more money. This creates jobs and keeps the economic wheels turning. I’m not sure what you do for a living but I would bet that it is tied directly or indirectly to wealthy, industrious and intelligent people. Many Billionaires such as Bill gates, Warren Buffett and recently Mark Zuckerberg have pledged the majority of their wealth to charities such as the Gates Foundation. This foundation truly helps many of those in need of clean water , food, housing and education.
            I don’t know how your standard of life is at this moment but I can tell you that mine is pretty good. I own a nice house, boat, trucks, equipment and a cool (inexpensive) sports car. I often travel with my family and friends to warm sunny spots. Me and countless other people I know have the same lifestyle or better. A couple of my family members who worked hard for large companies have retired very comfortably at age 55. Now there are always those living on the streets that have to be cared for but society has done a grand job at providing shelters, low income housing, social assistance, and even free education in some instances.
            Short of re-creating a Marxist society, which has already proved itself a failure (read Animal Farm by Orwell), I think present Western societies have done a pretty good job! All we have to do it convince you and the hardline Islamic sect that Ipods, HBO, and swimming pools are way to true happiness.

  9. Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    Oh for goodness sake, man up and take a little responsibility for your own life!

  10. Keith Meisenheimer says:

    Dear Elisabeth :

    From the complex arguments and proofs presented in your posts I think you will enjoy reading this article . Basically the CCCE is saying women get what they deserve in promotions and pay in the workplace .

    Stated in a different way the Governments of the roaring 20’s were correct in staying out of large social issues . (women deserve equal rights? NOT) Governments should also stay out of bank regulation , meat or any product inspection / regulation , child labour …..or any issue that effects business .

    On the other hand common people should be policed , legislated upon and jailed as needed .

    http://www.canada.com/Equality+same+parity+boardroom/4020443/story.html

  11. Mr. Chamberlain says:

    There seems to be a lot of denial here. Haven’t the time to look at KM’s links, so I have no opinion of them — but as an observation it seems the rest of you are afraid to.

    See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil?

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