Monday, August 20, 2007

What a boring political summer it has been

For the last two months or so I have found that not much has really happened on the Canadian political scene that I could write about in an indepth fashion. Certainly, there have been a few issues and events but none of them has really gripped my imagination.

So I decided to put them all in one post.

1. The Cabinet Shuffle: There is not much more to be said on it that has not already been said. The only thing I would add is that Stephen Harper has twice failed to build a cabinet that created the conditions for achieving his much coveted majority government. Indeed, his second cabinet did worse that his first. Kind of makes me wonder why he bothered with another shuffle. I guess he believes that the third times the charm.

2. Latest SES Poll: Speaking of the government's failure to grow its support into majority territory there is the SES poll from last week. It was not very surprising. The Conservatives got a bit of a boost, the result of the incumbent advantage. The only really remarkable thing about it was that advantage did not kick in until August. Usually a government enjoys that advantage soon after the House rises so I would have expected to see it occur in July. Its delay could indicate that the damage from the Afgan detainee controversy in the Spring could have caused more lasting damage to the Conservatives than originally thought.

3. Michael Ignatieff's mea culpa on Iraq: During the Liberal leadership race he was crucified by many of his critics for supporting that war. Then he admits he is wrong and many of those same critics claims he did it so that he could make a run at Mr. Dion. What partisan rubbish. If you are like me and you have ever wondered why politicians do not admit error or apologize then you just have to look at this event to see why in living colour. As well, if you are wondering why we always seem to be saddled with a large surplus of sub-par career politicians, many of whom have never held down or could find a real job, you can also look to this situation for your answers. I am certain that anybody with the abilities to offer real leadership and vision would avoid politics like the plague so that they can avoid all of the dickless, microbrained, scabrous trolls that infest our politics.

4. Karl Rove resigns: Speaking of dickless, microbrained, scabrous trolls. Considering how the Bush Administration seems to be sinking like a stone it is difficult not to use that old cliche about rats deserting a sinking ship. My only wish is that some of his kind that live in this country would follow his lead and bugger off.

5. The Bush Administration declares the Iranian Republican Guard as a terrorist organization: Is this a pretext for a military strike? If so the ramifications of such a strike are incalculable. At the very least oil prices going above the $100/barrel level for sustained periods is not out of the question. In fact it is a certainty I believe. I still find it amazing that a government with as many checks and balances as the US government would be powerless to stop the most unpopular president in recent memory from such folly.

6. The sub-par mortgage market in the US is collapsing: The North American economy has been growing continually for about 15 years. Over that period there have been periods where it looked like it would come to an end but we have always dodged the bullet. Could this be the one that ends the good times? We are due and there is a strong possibility that the malaise in the sub-prime market will spread into the general real estate market in the US. If that happens the NA economy will be in for a rough time. Interestingly, the impact of the current troubles will probably not really be felt until next Spring, which could very well correspond with a US attack on Iran. Considering the general incompetence of the Bush Administration they would be capable of taking an action that would cause energy prices to spike just as the NA economy was heading into a recession.

7. The lumber industry in the US is gearing up for another fight: And they are using the money that the Harper government gave them as part of the Softwood Lumber Deal to finance the new fight. I bet no one saw that coming.

8. Mr. Harper announces the building of a new northern port and new patrol ships for the Arctic: Right, I will believe that when I see it.

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