CBC question

A few folks have asked me if they could eyeball last night’s Power and Politics clippage, wherein me and the NDP’s Anne McGrath mooted coalition stuff.

Beats me, said I.  Anyone know how to obtain same from the CBC’s insanely-dense web site?

UPDATE: Thanks to Wendy and others for the feedback! Clip is now posted above.


CBC coalition coverage

I forgot I was clipped on The Current this morning.  You can listen here. (I love the “that gentleman” bit – I laughed out loud, in fact.)

Also, I’m on P&P with Rosie Barton and the NDP’s Anne McGrath this evening.  You can guess what the subject-matter might be.


HT: Conservatives acknowledge unification of parties on left could be ‘formidable force’

“[Conservative strategist Tim]Powers said, however, that’s there’s no question a unification of the federal parties on the left could be a “formidable force.”

An Angus Reid poll released last week revealed that a Liberal-NDP coalition led by Mr. Ignatieff would be defeated by Mr. Harper in an election campaign, 40-34 per cent. If the new entity was led by Grit MP Bob Rae (Toronto Centre, Ont.) it would be tied in public support, and if NDP Leader Jack Layton (Toronto-Dunforth, Ont.) was the leader it would defeat the Conservatives 43-37 per cent.

According to numbers from the poll released exclusively to the Globe and Mail, support for a full merger between the two parties was supported by 54 per cent of Liberals, compared with 40 per cent of NDP supporters. Both parties registered high levels of support for a shared power scenario, however, with 72 per cent of Liberals, and 70 per cent of New Democrats.”

UPDATE: Wells on it, here. Always worth a gander.


Monday morning bits and pieces from the NYT – and an extra!

  • Are gadgets rewiring our brains? This fascinating news features from the NYT says maybe so.  Personally, I know that my abundance of gadgets – iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, mini Sony Vaio laptop and loads of other stuff – have simultaneously made my life more complicated, and less so.  My staff, meanwhile, consider it a rich source of satire.  What’s your view?
  • Don’t get Obama mad, get him mad, please. Stateside, the punditocracy have been chattering about whether The Best President Since Clinton™is capable of passion – and, if not, why not.  Personally, I winced when I heard his people trying to explain his emotional state to the media.  Yikes.  Politics is like joke-telling (in more ways than one): when you have to start explaining what you meant, you’re toast.  Am I wrong?
  • Israel destabilizing U.S. interests? Fascinating article about how the Israeli government – particularly the one led by Bibi, whom I have always considered to be the least-able Israeli PM – may be making life more complicated for the United States.  When pieces like this start to appear in the only paper that matters, Israel-lovers (like me) need to worry, no?
  • That was then, this is now. Who wrote this?  “First things first: take him out. After all, Stephen Harper is the most dangerous animal lurking in the jungles of Parliament. He is a threat to the future viability of the Liberals. A blood simple opponent of the NDP …Without him, his party is an unlikely combination of Reform Party leftovers, Harris refugees and Red Tory desperates. They don’t matter or even exist without Mr. Harper. So before you think a moment longer, opposition leaders, think on that…Do not, whatever you do, provide him with an opportunity to extend his hold on power. Because you can be damn certain he will never again be so reckless as to give you a chance to finish him off.” Oh, how richly rich in irony that is!  The designated spokesperson of The Powers That Be!™I love it!


Hero of War

My kids and I all adore Rise Against – but it was my sons who introduced me to ‘Hero of War.’ I think I’ve posted this before, but it never ceases to be powerful. Or salient.


Coalition chatter on a cold, rainy Sunday morning

We woke at the cabin to near-freezing temperatures, this morning, and also plenty of rain. Will make a run for it when things die down a bit.

Also woke to morning headlines suggesting that the Reformatory leader is now “licking his lips” about a Liberal-NDP get-together – and the Liberal leader pouring coldish water on merging.

I don’t suppose that the former could say a Liberal-Democrat Party actually worries him – just as the latter can’t simply say he’s now worried enough to embrace it. Both men are saying what they can only say, given the circumstances.

Meanwhile, me – and those like me – may be completely wrong. One thing is a fact, however: if the Grits drop much more below that 25 per cent floor, their rank-and-file will be transformed into an army of pro-coalition missionaries.

But if the Libs wait that long, of course, the NDP won’t be in the mood to be converted to the coalition cause. And that’ll likely be right around the time you start to read stories and columns about the Dippers’ ambitious re-decoration plans for 409-S.

Man oh man, the weather is nasty out there, isn’t it?


Personally, I always want Chretien to come back

Here, however, Jim Travesty sets up the biggest straw man ever so that he can try to knock it down, and thereby meet his Saturday column obligations.

What a load of bollocks. But, that said, it sure would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

We’d dispatch the Reformatories in a single afternoon.


Coalition on The Current

I did CBC Radio’s The Current before I left for the cabin. I guess it’ll be on Monday morning. I’m not sure.

Anyway. They wanted to know why I favoured a Liberal-NDP merger or coalition or whatever. Three reasons, I said.

One, the Conservatives and Reform/Alliance did it, and it obviously kind of worked for them. Splitting your votes isn’t usually a path to success, conservatives concluded. They were right.

Two, it’s a characteristic of modern democracy everywhere – most notably, and most recently, in Britain. It’s not something that is for “losers” or is somehow undemocratic. It’s for winners. And it’s the very essence of democracy – cooperation, conciliation, compromise. Those are good things.

Thirdly, I told them, I had the privilege to work for Jean Chrétien. My experience is that, if he says something is a good idea politically, it always is. A Liberal-Democrat Party is a good idea. Trust the old guy. He knows.

So, CBC asked, is it all a repudiation of Liberal history?

No way, said I. The Liberal Party has been successful because we’ve never been doctrinaire – historically, we have been successful because we are flexible enough to attract red Tories as well as fiscally-responsible social democrats. That isn’t against our history, I said.

It is our history.


Words that sing

I was driving two of my boys to school yesterday morning, and a poet came on CBC Radio to recite an old Canadian poem (anyone also hear it, have it?), and talk about the Griffin Trust Awards, and my boys were absolutely attentive. It was utter silence in the car; they were transfixed. When the poet was done, the youngest asked me why poetry – Roethke, cummings, Yeats, Auden – was so important to me. “It’s words that sing,” I said.

Someone else must have said that before, and I remembered it. But anyway – here is some verse to get your day started right, and what I say to my children I feel about them:

i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)