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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Aftermath Part 1

A quick run through the blogs this morning seems to come up with the general consensus "YAY THE SOVEREIGNISTS LOST! HAHAHAH!"

Thoughts on this:
  1. Did they? The PQ lost 9 seats. The Liberals 48. I'm told that this is a PQ rout. Clearly they dipped very very low in the popular vote. In no way was this a good election for the PQ, but if the take away from this election that you're getting as a professional pundit is "IN YOUR FACE SEPERATIST BOY!" then you should probably take up hockey journalism.
  2. Did they? How far are the ADQ Lesage nationalists really separated from the PQ Sovereignists in the regions?
  3. Was this really about the PQ or was it a representation of the on going tension between cities and multi-culturalism (as represented by Boisclair) and smaller town pure laine conservatism when it comes to les autre.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Done like dinner

So Radio-Canada just called it for the PLQ, with an ADQ official oppostition.

Charest is still looking like he's going to lose his seat.

I've read that when you are the recipiant of some kind of head trauma you very often get very sleepy.

It's holding true for me.

My riding

Ok, to follow up on my thought about the SQ and the ADQ stealing, my riding is a perfect example. Since there was a PQ our riding has gone PQ. It probably will again. But if you look at the numbers you see that the PQ is losing numbers off the bottom.
The PQ has 1746, the PLQ 10o5 but the numbers for QS (at 545) and part of the ADQ(446) basically represent the gap that has historically existed between the two parties.

I'm going to stop now, but the final thought goes like this: We're about to elect a bunch of farmers and small business owners that may well all be lovely people but wil have no idea how to run the province.

Oh and the Environment minister? He's losing. As is Charest.


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More random thoughts

The horror here is mounting ... the popular vote is holding like the polls sais ADQ 31, LPQ 31 and PQ 39.

When this is all said and done we're going to see two specific things for sure: Quebec Solidaire will have hurt the PQ quite badly and that the ADQ is the perfect third party, stealing from both the LPQ and the PQ.

At this moment the ADQ is still leading in the elected or leading count.

But the interesting thign is that if you look at the riding by riding results, they are closer than I've ever seen in my life.

Radio-Canada has just announced that they are sure that it will be a minority government. They are unwilling to call it...

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Random election thoughts..

Christine on Quebec Solidaire: Their whole party is stupid. This whole "two leaders" thing? Grow up and pick one.

Christine on the current results for the PQ: Does Boisclair quit right away if they come third? Her other thought "if the PQ get's wiped out the whole province is going to go so right..."

Currently Radio-Can has the ADQ with 45, the PLQ with 42, PQ with 35 and QS with 1 (go go Amir).

I'm pretty sure you could define the word "shock" by taking our picture.

Oh and Charest? Charest is having absolutely no fun holding is seat right now. At a bare minimum, if he could lose his own seat this crappy election woudl at least have a silver lining.

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Now it's 36 PLQ, 17 PQ, 16 ADQ and 1 green... wtf?

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Best bells and whistles

Go to if you want to see what Flash is good at and what having lots of resources gets you.

Funky geekines and Bernard Derome as well? woot!

First guy elected!

Wooo hooo! First MPP elected.. it's Iles-de-la-Madeleine, but htere you go... by the way i voted. It was grand. Lovely.

I hate this election just a bit less... but I still hat it.

As it stands right now it's 22 plq, 12 Pq, 7 adq and 1 green.

Who knows what tomorrow tonight brings....?

In about 12 hours the first vote results will start showing, most of these will be from inconsequential little polling stations and people who voted early. About a half hour to an hour later we'll start getting the serious results from the bigger, more important regions. Unlike most provincial elections in the last 10 years, I think that the full results won't be completely known until very very late (or early).

Those of you who know me, or those of you who read this semi regularly, know that I hold an election on par with the World Cup. It's like a religious event. How important is it? I'm about to start on diet to lose some weight that I've been carrying around for far too long. I've decided to only start on Tuesday so I can eat chips and drink a few beers on Monday while watching.

I love elections. LOVE THEM.

Except this one. I fucking well hate this election. With a passion. I hate the choices that face me, I hate each and every one of the leaders, I hate that everyone outside of Quebec seems to think that the only thing that matters is that we vote in a federalist government (NEWS FLASH: Charest sucks. He's a dink. If you like him so much you take him back at the federal level.), I hate the nasty, brutish tone of ethnic identity politics that all three main parties have been playing to varying degrees, I hate that we're going to violate the charter (probably), federal law (for sure) and our own electoral laws (OH, BUT IT'S AN EXCEPTION!) about identification at the polls, I hate that the soverigntist old guard cares more about a leader that prostrates himself before the alter of "referendum NOW!" than about kicking an inept idiot intent on messing with every social program he can reach, and Dumont? God I hate him the most.

And do you know what scares me? What fills me with dread? The Quebec electorate loves change. They just can't get enough of it. They also like giving the little/new guy a chance. They love that as well. Consequences be damned. Who cares about the future! FULL SPEED AHEAD! Well the little guy in this election isn't Charest. And it isn't Boisclair. Nope. No sir. It's Dumont. Paul Well's had an interview with an unnamed Liberal candidate that he talks about in this blog entry (The whole thing is really interesting, please read it). The bit that is on topic is this "One Liberal candidate was very comfortable throughout a long chat, until I mentioned there's a high number of undecided in the polls. He said: "I'm not sure they're undecided. I think they're ADQ." Then he quoted somebody who once said, "When the voters tighten up like clams, something big is happening.""

Just a few days before the last provincial election here a poll came out, Bernard Landry got high marks for his job performance as Premier. People seemed to like him and the PQ under him as the government. Then everyone trotted out on election day and voted Charet's Liberals in.

Look, as much as I don't like Charest, he's a known quantity. Red Tory Lite™ (heavier on the Tory, with less Red), political opportunist, a bit ham handed with the bonbons and the attempts at patronage. Prone to fits of annoyance like the whole passport for shoe podium smacking stuff from the referendum, in love with tax cuts that never seem to arrive and capable of disconnections from reality on par with leaders to the south of our fine country.

Boisclair? Also a known, he'll have to pander to this base with lots of promises of referendum etc (in this he'll be like a less talented, much less intelligent Bouchard - which is to say he'll get the boot sooner). He's another Red Tory Lite™ (heavier on the Red with less Tory), he'll go toe to toe with some of the Unions (as long as he doesn't need them), he'll probably screw the regions and actually tell some of the bigger farm business types the truth (your industry is dirty, fuck off).

Dumont? Who knows what he'll do? I'm guessing not even him. Who will he form a cabinet with? More importantly, why would anyone, anywhere think he is capable of running the province of Quebec? If you look at his bio you will discover that he's a politician. That is it. Nothing else. He has always been a politician. He doesn't seem to have had any other job. Ever. He doesn't seem to have faced much in the way of struggle (I may be wrong), basically he's been an insider of one type or another his whole life.

Last night we watched "Tout le monde en parle", one of the guests was Richard Martineau, Montreal area journalist and generally an intense shit disturber (which is to say I was in love with him immediatly). He'd just come back from a trip out in the regions with Dumont. What he said, and other have said it as well, is that there is a sense that Montreal is moving too fast, too far away from the rest of the province. That the gulf between Montreal and everywhere else, in terms of multi-culturalism, in terms of acceptance of difference etc is causing people who don't live in Montreal to freak out. This, he said, explains the turn towards the ADQ and Dumont, because they represent an old school, Lesage-era nationalism. The exact turn of phrase that he used was "The ADQ are like comfort food" (ATTENTION EARLY CONTENDER FOR BEST METAPHOR OF THE YEAR!).

Comfort food is great. Comfort food is wonderful.

Comfort food is always greasy as hell, filled with salt and will almost always lead to clogged arteries and early death.

One thing that makes me fell somewhat comforted is that Christine was telling me about articles and rumblings that a repeat of the 1976 election is in the offing. Honestly a weak PQ or PLQ minority would make me quite ... well pleased would be a strong word, but not unhappy either.

So, later today I'll pick up Lucas early from the daycare, Chris and I will meet up, and we'll all go and vote.

I'll be the one holding my nose.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Arts and Crafts

Lucas is very very imaginative. And, like all 3 year olds, random.

So periodically he'll see something on TV or in a video or on the street and then a few weeks later he'll ask about it. A couple of weeks ago he saw a Magic School Bus episode where they visited a recycling plant. So he asked Christine to make him one to go with his recycling truck he got for Christmas.

Then today he asked for a Museum. Once again she threw down.

I helped a bit with the signage for the Museum and with the table hockey game that goes inside (not pictured). He's as happy as a pig in poop, and the Playmobile™ people have been exposed to some culture.

Here's the results

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But first! An update.

Since all of the injury business happened, we've been back to Ste-Justine and had Lucas' wounds looked at by a plastic surgeon. She was very happy with how they are healing and wants to see us again in a year just to keep track of it.

Of course, a few days later we went out the front door, he saw a street cleaner and managed to go ass over tea kettle, even though he was holding my hand. So he now has a nice scuff on his upper lip.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Brown Sugar

This morning when Chris went out the front walk was really slippery so, being the proactive manly man I am, I went and got the only salt that I thought was remotely usable. Some lovely fine grain kosher sea salt. So I chucked some on the front walk.

Lucas thought this was the funniest thing he’d ever seen in his whole life. He laughed and laughed. He also asked what other foods we could throw on the ice. I asked him what he thought would work, and he suggested brown sugar.

So once we were ready to go, I went and got a teaspoon or so of brown sugar and he chucked it on the ice. I thought he was going to break something he was laughing so hard.

On the way to the daycare he informed me that tomorrow we're going to be throwing Tomato Sauce on the path.

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Friday, March 16, 2007


So we're at home. Lucas is tired, but in a great mood (we'd just bought him some new shoes) and he was celebrating by running with them.

He tripped.

And smashed his face off the coffee table.

There was blood everywhere. His shirt. His face. The floor. His pants. My pants. His hands. My hands. Chris' hands.

We got the bleeding stopped and called InfoSante. While we talked to them I got online and read about wounds etc. My Dad was called and he came by, so we jumped into his car and drove to the CLSC. In about 10 minutes he was examined by a nurse who made some quick calls to see if there was another CLSC that still had a Doc on duty who could do stitches. There wasn't.

So we got back in the car and went to Hopital Ste-Justine. We got registered etc in about 10 minutes. We got called for Triage about 30 - 45 minutes later. He got examined and the damage (most of which we already knew about) was two huge cuts to his lips (on on each side. A really deep on one side and a smaller one that was at the corner of his lips on the other. Additionally he'd jammed one of his baby teeth up into his gums.

We waited about another hour to see a Doc, who examined him and then sent us off to a small OR. She met us there and there was only room for one of us. Chris stayed (which was awful for her) and I went out in the hall with my Dad (a different kind of awful, but awful none the less).

He screamed. He cried. I paced. Chris told him stories about Thomas. And after what seemed like a week or so, but was probably about 45 minutes, he was done.

So a couple of stitches and a bunch of the adhesive strips on one side and some more stitches on the other.

We got home around midnight and he fell asleep after about 10 minutes.

Oh and it would have been Mom's birthday.

And it's Dad's today. We meant to distract him from thinking too much about Mom, but next year I think we'll stick with, I dunno, requiring a trip to IKEA or making him come by the house to help build something.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Post Debate Thoughts

A few weeks ago a nice man called me from one of the big polling firms here in Quebec. He wanted to talk to me about the Quebec election and about the three main leaders. During this interview I felt something close to horrible despair. I hate Charest, thing Dumont is a flip flopping, pseudo- libertarian who can't decide if he's a federalist or not but is sure he hates cities. Boisclair remained a too slick by half cypher who I was pretty sure I didn't like at all.

This changed tonight.

I've watched a lot of leadership debates. Provincial, Federal, internal Party, US Presidential, US primary.. lots and lots.

Never, not once in my life, have I ever seen a person so horribly spanked, so horribly humiliated and sent home to his mommy as Mario Dumont was tonight.

At some points it was so bad that you could almost feel bad for him.


Between the insano answers that no one outside his head could possibly understand, the outright breaking of the debate rules, the inability to answer questions (as opposed to Charest's slick refusal), the randomness (PRISONS! BRIDGES THAT FELL DOWN! LOOK OVER THERE! A REFERENDUM!) it was just awful.

At one point when he was prattling the cameras caught Boisclair shooting Charest a look like "Can you believe this idiot?". Several times both Charest and Boisclair laughed in his face. He seemed weak on figures, horrible on ideas (getting rid of the school boards and letting cities run the schools? ARE. YOU. FUCKING. HIGH? The City of Montreal can't even collect my snow without almost crushing my house, I'm going to trust them with my son?)

During the whole debate he looked like a kid who'd been promoted to the adult dinner table because Uncle Bob was off having a furtive smoke. Any minute now Bob will be back and little Mario will have to go back to defending himself from cousin Denis and his flying peas.

Radio-Canada just had their talking heads/columnists on: 1 neutral, 1 Boisclair won and 1 Boisclair lost.

Basically, if we're looking at long term strategy here, Charest had to not fuck up. Mission Accomplished. Dumont had to consolidate his voters. WHOOPS! The people he's pealed off of the PQ and the LPQ are suddenly thinking "umm...ehm...NO!" and fleeing. Boisclair had to go on the offensive. Did he get too aggressive? Perhaps at times (though not to the extent that Bernie St-Laurant would have you belive).

So, on the night, I call it a Boisclair win, with a strong (close) second by Charest with little Mario getting spanked so bad that he'll eat standing up for the rest of the campaign.

What does it all mean for the overall campaign? My guess is not a ton for who will win (the Liberals) but quite a lot for the seat count. My guess is that a 5 point drop is not at all out of the question for the ADQ...if they don't pull something out of their ass pretty damn quick I'm not sure they're going to make official party status. This will be tricky for them since they apparently have zero advertising budget for TV adverts.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Of Jets and laziness

Before I get going, I want to make something clear. I think the Prime Minister of Canada should be able to fly on Canadian Forces flights whenever he or she bloody well wants with the bill footed by us, the Canadian tax payer, with in limits (joy rides, political fund raising trips etc).

The era of rail travel or actually riding the campaign bus is over and, honestly, in Canada with our size, it was never really possible.

What does bother me is when people say one thing and then do another, something that our current PM, Steven Harper, seems to becoming a specialist at. Recently there has been an uproar about his use of the CF run Challenger jet.

As the article notes, Harper attacked the Liberals for using the jet service, in fact he went on about it a fairish amount. It was all part of the "look they are elitist, snobby shits, not like us common folks" offensives. Good politics. Smart politics. Apparently politics that wins elections.

The problem with this kind of politics is that it comes back and bites you on the ass, hence the uproar.

Honestly, I also buy the whole "PM security needs" argument, Harper shouldn't jump on an Air Canada jet and fly business class when he's off on CPC business. Hell he mb shouldn't do that when he's off on vacation. But when he and the CPC figures out how much to pay us all back (well the CF, but us eventually), it can't be done using an apples and oranges mechanism.

The CF run Challenger jets are manifestly not the same as an Air Canada flight available for purchase by me.

First, AC goes on routes, routes that are profitable (attention AC is a business, the CF's jet service isn't). So the only way they fly somewhere is if they make money. They can do this in many ways: by ripping us off, by realizing economies of scale, by using the most efficient plane per run etc etc etc. So, for instance, the flight between Montreal and Toronto can use a certain size of jet and go at a certain frequency. The same size of jet and frequency of flights makes no sense at all for a flight between Montreal and Vancouver or Halifax and Montreal.

I know this, anyone with a brain knows this, anyone who thinks about it for about 5 seconds knows this. Apparently the CPC and the PMO doesn't think we know this. They also seem to think no one will remember that whole "nasty elitists up in their private jets" thing.

Again, I'm not saying that Harper should have flown coach to go and see a Leaf's game with his son (at this point I want to tell young Master Harper that he should cherish his Dad, because that is one hell of a fucking cool Father - Son night, you're a lucky young man). I think he should have flown in the CF Challenger. But I also think he should have paid back the full cost of running the damn thing. Or, baring that, there needs to be an actual formula, spelled out that says something like "this is how much it would cost if the PM flew to X, but the RCMP says no, so the PM/his party/who ever isn't the taxpayer should pay X".

Ok, so now the lazy bit, at the end of that article it says "The Canadian Press noted that it is difficult to calculate the actual cost of a flight on the jet. Military documents, obtained through Access to Information, suggest the cost of operating the jets range from $9,124 to $11,541 per hour."

I thougt the "difficult to calculate the actual cost" bit was, umm.. bullshit. So Mr. Google and I had a wee visit together. And I found this. Go there, click on the pricing. Look at Large Cabin. OMG A CHALLENGER. Now the costs are in USD but you can also find exchange rates on Google. Some of the sites that do this don't even need you to do math.

I also found a bunch of other sites with other price schemes (cards - can you imagine someone giving you a pre-filled gift card like thing with $50K USD worth of private jet time on it? YES PLEASE!). So, in like 10 minutes of poking I apparently am able to find out the hourly, commercial cost of chartering a private jet.


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