We get letters: Merry Christmas!

Name Nelson 70.28.245.6
Email Ritter494@hotmail.com

Eat a dick, I hope you get face herpes you ugly fuck. I have hand guns, and LOVE them. They are the tits. So If you are so against private citizens owning hand guns why don’t you come on over to my farm and try and take them away. I would love to meet you face to face


Political 2014 in review

Sun News has asked me and Lala what we think are the best, worst, etc. political moments in 2014. The quickie list below ris my first stab at it.

What’s yours? Comments are open!

 

BEST MOVE – Parties coming together post-shooting
WORST MOVE – Politicizing sexual harassment on Hill
MOST SURPRISING – Liberal wins in PQ and Ontario
MOST IMPROVED – Harper – he ain’t dead yet
MOST DISAPPOINTING – Trudeau open nominations
NEWSMAKER – Trudeau – nobody makes news like he does, for good or bad


If you’ve never been hated by your child, you’ve never been a parent

So sayeth the great Bette Davis.

A music biz friend tells me he’s happy because only one of kids isn’t talking to him this Christmas; a law school friend tells me one of his kids refers to him as a well-known former German dictator. As such, I’m starting to get the sense I’m not alone on this one.

Anyone out there got stories you want to share, anonymously? If nothing else, we can all get together for a drink over the holidays and share some Rodney Dangerfield jokes about parenting (viz. “I could tell my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”)


Also, resist the temptation to talk about “root causes” today

…and, on this day of pure evil, here is a partial list of those who said we should negotiate with the Taliban, and the one entity who said we shouldn’t.  Feel free to add to the lists in comments.

Negotiate with the Taliban:

Don’t negotiate with the Taliban:


In Tuesday’s Sun: Ontario will determine election 2015 (again)

For we Westerners, few things are as frustrating as awaiting the results on election night.

In years past, it’s been infuriating, watching the TV meat puppets declare a winner before polls have even closed past the Lakehead.

In 2015, unfortunately, that’s unlikely to change.

Individual polls lie, these days. But many surveys, taken over many months, give us some reliable insight into election night outcomes – region by region.

ATLANTIC: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau owns Atlantic Canada. Here, Trudeau is the man to beat, and he is going to be tough to beat. In the half-dozen polls that have been conducted in the Atlantic in recent weeks, in fact, Trudeau has registered support in excess of 50 per cent. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives can lay claim to only half that amount – while the New Democrats are favoured by about one-in-five.

This is no flash in the pan: Trudeau’s Grits have been registering big levels of support for months, and can reasonably expect to take the region in 2015. It’s worth recalling, however, that John Turner did likewise in 1988, winning far more of the Atlantic popular vote than Brian Mulroney. And Mulroney still went on to capture a huge Parliamentary majority.

QUEBEC: As always, there are two Quebecs: the one that is the Island of Montreal, and the one that isn’t. On the former, Trudeau again dominates.

The greater Montreal area is home to the majority of the province’s non-francophones, and it is here that Trudeau enjoys extraordinary levels of support. In Montreal, up to 75 per cent of the electorate have signaled their intention to vote for the youthful Liberal leader. The Liberals outpace the New Democrats two-to-one in Montreal, and enjoy a hefty three-to-one advantage over the Conservatives.

Off the island, it’s a different story. Polling firms such as CROP, Angus Reid and Leger have all lately declared the NDP more popular than the Grits among francophones, and in the rest of Quebec. Similarly, these voters see New Democrat leader Thomas Mulcair as the best choice for Prime Minister. If the NDP runs a strong campaign in Quebec, Mulcair could easily emerge with about as many seats in la belle province as Trudeau – about 35 – with Harper taking less than ten.

THE WEST: As with previous Liberal leaders, Trudeau has repeatedly signaled his desire to win many more seats in the West. As with previous Liberal leaders, however, he’s unlikely to do so.

Unlike 2011, Manitoba is now more receptive to the Liberal Party, but pollsters like Ipsos suggest that the Conservatives still maintain a double-digit lead there. Elsewhere – specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan – a synthesis of polling results show the Conservatives with an even greater lead. Historically, Alberta and Saskatchewan have been the Tory heartland, and that’s not going to change now. Only in B.C. is an across-the-board race underway, with all three national parties in a tight three-way fight.

ONTARIO: There’s a reason why we skipped over Ontario. As in 2011, it’s where the 2015 election outcome is going to be decided.

That’s why Stephen Harper has lately been spending more time – and spending more of your money – in Ontario. It’s paying dividends, too: outside Toronto, Trudeau’s Liberals have been declining in recent weeks, and Harper’s Conservatives have been trending up. Toronto itself is indisputably Fortress Liberal – but outside Toronto, in the suburbs and beyond, Harper is favoured.

In 2011, the Harper Conservatives won their majority in Ontario, taking an astonishing 73 seats. As things stand now, they’re unlikely to repeat that feat – but seat projections taken from a massive and recent Ipsos poll, for instance, suggest Harper will still win more Ontario seats than Trudeau or Mulcair.

It could be Spring election, or a Fall election. It could be a majority or a minority government.

But one thing’s for sure:

Westerners will be frustrated by it all, yet again.


I am writing this on a Blackberry

Why? Because iPhones don’t have physical keyboards, and they suck if you have to type more than a few words, that’s why.

I had the very first Blackberry, in 2000. Along with Bruce Hartley, I was one of the first to have a Blackberry on that Chrétien campaign, in fact. Bruce and I were the cool kids.

Since then, I have written thousands of posts to this web site using a Blackberry – along with hundreds of columns, and (just this year) an entire book.

I didn’t use an iPhone to do any of those things. I use an iPhone to make calls, listen to music, take pictures, schedule stuff or calculate figures. I don’t use it to write. And why don’t I write on it? Simple.

Because it doesn’t have a keyboard that works, that’s why.

So, I read this great Sean Silcoff story – who is, full disclosure, one of my best students from back when I taught at Carleton’s School of Journalism – with great interest, nodding my head all the way through. Like many of the folks in Sean’s story, I didn’t ever get any of the newer Blackberry models. They were Blackberries trying to be iPhones.

I stuck with the 9900, on which I’m writing right now. I have a second one in my bedside table, as a backup. I’ve hoarded it, in case Blackberry never came to its senses.

It did! The arrival of the Blackberry Classic is a huge deal for guys like me. It’s back to doing what Blackberry always did best – a physical keyboard, with a logical operating system. IT’S WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, LISA.

And, looking back on what I’ve just written, I can only imagine the atrocities that an iPhone would make of it. It wouldn’t be pretty, baby.

All I can say is this: Go Mr. Chen, go!