Wednesday, June 30, 2004

If we promise to lose in advance, will you vote for us?

National Post columnist Andrew Coyne is more generous than most election commentators in writing that social conservatives aren't to blame for the Tories' electoral loss on Monday.

I like some of what he has to say, but I'd like to apologize to him in advance for using his column to take issue with some urbanized fiscal conservatives (probably not Mr. Coyne) who are taking potshots at social conservatives and other brave dissenters against the "Trudeauvian consensus."

Sorry, Mr. Coyne.

In a recent column, he writes:

...."I do not share the opinions of social conservatives on most issues (for example, on gay marriage), but I recognize these are legitimate views that deserve representation -- and respect. But if there is any lesson in this election, it is that they are going to have to learn to express these views within the limits imposed by an equal respect for others -- and by the Charter of Rights..... "

Questions for Mr. Coyne:

1. Can he define what he means by "equal respect for others" in a practical political sense?

As Mr. Coyne may remember, the Tories advanced nothing in their platform or official statements that advanced social conservatism. All the "controversy" came from various MPs thinking out loud about social conservative issues.

Leftish Canadians were whipped into a frenzy at the mere *idea* of social conservatives changing things. If Mr. Coyne means by "equal respect" that we social conservatives don't say anything that could possibly lose the Tory votes cast by urban libertarians, then we can discount ever getting an opportunity to try to change government policies that impact upon the moral choices of the federal government.

I wonder if Mr. Coyne may be thinking along these lines based on this suggestion from the same column:

More broadly, Conservatives will have to acquire the maturity and discipline to focus on their core objectives, and not be sidetracked by hobbyhorse issues. How on earth did bilingualism on Air Canada become an issue in this election? Because a Conservative official sent Air Canada a letter making promises on the subject in the middle of the campaign. (Gosh: do you suppose someone might have leaked it?)

An accommodation with the Trudeauvian consensus on these issues need not and should not mean an abandonment or watering down of the central tenets of modern Conservatism. Quite the opposite: having reassured Canadians that they are no threat to the Charter, nor about to give away the store to the provinces, Conservatives are likelier to get a hearing on the issues that are most dear to them, or ought to be.

I can see the choices of the fiscal conservatives trumping the choices of the social conservatives far too often. Pro-life MPs will bring forward a bill to defund abortion. Not ban abortion, remove the funding provisions for it from the Canada Health Act. Some party bigwig from Toronto will delay or stop the move based on abortion not being a "central policy" of the Tory party. These so-con MPs would then spend the next 20 years voting on tax cuts or tax breaks for Canada's cities, but would never get the opportunity to vote on the social conservative issues that brought them into politics in the first place.

We need to ask if this would work too. Harper promised a zillion times in the English debate that the Tories would not bring forth legislation on abortion, for example. But, people didn't believe him based on the fact that he didn't start purging pro-lifers from the party for expressing their views.

2. The "Trudeauvian consensus"? Trudeau came to be loathed in the West. Do we now have to endorse ideas that we never agreed with to get votes in Ontario?

"Okay, you win, and you win forever, on these ideas that we never got to stop in the 1970s. Please vote for us now." What kind of platform is that?

"We promise in advance to lose any arguments about these morally-related government social policies if you will vote for us."

3. When did Canadians get to vote on the "Trudeauvian consensus" expressed in the sense that these would be permanent changes for the next 50, 100, or 500 years? Was it ever explained that, in the minds of some small-l liberals, if the "Trudeauvian consensus" proved flawed they would do nothing to fix it?

If Trudeau and his fellows could start hacking at the political balance of powers negotaited by the Fathers of Confederaion and embodied in the BNA Act, what should stop us from fixing what the Trudeauvians wrought?

4. Since when do voters owe the Charter of Rights any loyality, since it was passed by legislatures and never endorsed by the general public?

5. Is the Charter of Rights perfect? If not, why object to suggestions to changing it? (i.e. disrespecting "the limits set by the Charter of Rights".)

6.Was Canada so undemocratic before the Charter of Rights that we cannot return to the principles of parliamentary supremacy and a mostly unwritten consititution?

7. What rights would Canadians not have if there were no Charter of Rights next week?

[And keep in mind that if you advance the concept "Well these rights could be threatened in the future if..." that it is a logical premise that social conservatives often use to protest gay marriage, unrestricted abortion rights and such. Don't complain about their use of hypotheticals if you use them yourself.]

If we go slow, the "Trudeauvian consensus" can be changed and improved, or discarded as harmful in a practical sense to our country. Fixing the "Trudeavian consensus" is probably what Conservatives need to do to save our country.

William F. Buckley is giving up ownership of National Review magazine. It seems that he seeks to simplify his life as he writes in The Atlantic this month that he's sold his sailboat.

His Up From Liberalism was one of the books that swing me to the right in my salad days, so I guess you have him to blame.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The multicultural cavalry rides to the Liberals' rescue

Kevin Michael Grace argues that it was recent immigrants to Canada that saved the Liberals in yesterday's election:

"If Canada's immigration pattern continues, the Conservatives are doomed.".

I'm not a paleoconservative, but here is a possibly interesting question inspired by Kevin's thoughts.

Many pro-immigration conservatives argue that many recent immigrants to Canada are in reality conservative minded. Lots of them are supposed to be conservative, and lots of these new Canadian conservatives are said to be social conservatives. If so, what were they doing on Monday night?

I find it hard to believe that many of these recent immigrants from morally conservative cultures would be only fiscal conservatives, who would switch votes after being frightened
into thinking that gay marriage or abortion rights were threatened.

Perhaps they interpret all the Liberals' talk about conservatism being "unCanadian" literally.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Dogpile on the social conservatives

Fiscal conservatives are already assigning blame over at The Shotgun blog.


Don't get me started.
Guest post for me from Job of Uz

"What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest but only turmoil."

(Job 3:25-26)

Keeping the politicians where we can see them

The Shotgun is instant blogging the election too, with Kevin Steel posting from Harper HQ.
Election day, 6:43 PM Pacific

Colby Cosh has a better rolling election day blog, but I will chime in for a second.

The Marxist-Lenninist candidate is winning Winnipeg North-Centre! Of course, this is based on 32 votes for the MLs in 2 polls. But, the CBC was prepared and had her picture, in case she was elected and the dictatorship of the proletariat was established. (No big changes for the CBC necessary in that case. ;) )

Liberals have hit 49, leading and elected. Tories at 16.

I'm channelling Criswell, I know it

Colby Cosh has posted some online election predictions in his Election Day in a Box (scroll to the bottom). It looks like I am the only person who is predicting that the Liberals and NDP together will have a majority by themselves, even a tiny one.

Thanks to Colby for the mention. Guess I am a pessimist.
If you think this election was bad...

A very funny column by Michael Jenkinson which predicts what will happen in the next election.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Predicting the results of Monday's election

Over at The Shotgun, I hope that my blogging friends will
try to predict the results of tomorrow's Canadian federal election.

Keeping in mind my Criswell-like ability to foretell the future, here's my guess:

Liberals 128
Tories 105
Bloc 46
NDP 28
Ind 1

I think that the Liberal scare mongering wil frighten enough Ontarioans to swing seats their way. This will prove to be a blessing in disguise as a goofily governing Liberal-NDP government will give the Tories a big win in next year's election.

Criswell Predicts! Er, um, that's my guess.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

This *not* just in

In the B.C. riding of Dewdney-Alouette, Mike Bocking is running for the NDP. (I noticed this because my parents live in the riding, which is dominated by the town of Mission.)

On his site, he describes himself as the President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union Local 2000. Which he is, representing his workers well and doing a fine job.

And now for what Paul Harvey might call "The Rest of the Story".

CEP Local 2000 is the labour union representing the reporters at The Vancouver Sun and The Province, Vancouver's two dailies. Isn't it interesting that a big-city newspaper union leader would seek to run for the NDP? It does not seem to be *newsworthy* though. After a brief internet search, I have discovered that this factual nugget appears to have been spelled out in media coverage just once in a community newspaper that CEP local 2000 is the main union for the Sun and Province.

Do I have a problem with a journalist running for office? Not at all. Mr. Bocking is probably articulate and smart, although he and I would disagree on most political issues. I am also sure that Mr. Bocking is professional and fair-minded in his newspaper work, whatever his politics.

And yet, is a little odd that more of Mr. Bocking's fellow journalists don't seem to think that readers would want to know that someone who is very representative of his fellow workers at the Sun naturally gravitates towards the NDP. If I was writing on political issues for the Sun I wouldn't dwell on the fact, since journalists should be free to be as political as they like, but I would want to mention it in passing if I was mentioning Mr. Bocking.

I honestly wish that more left-leaning journalist would run for office, even if I don't think that they should win. However, if Mr. Bocking were running for the Tories or Christian Heritage Party, media commentators would be looking at weighty issues such as how a journalist balances his political beliefs and actions (running for office) and his work (working with reporters who shape political coverage). I write this not because we should be McCarthyite in such matters, but because I have observed that in the current election, candidates are being viewed suspiciously because they go to church or have certain moral views.

I'm not saying that we should grill editors on their politics. Far from it.

Of course, there are mitigating factors. For one, Dewdney-Alouette is a Fraser Valley riding, and who is running there is not of great interest to Vancouver readers. Yet, since the Sun is reporting extensively on Randy White's recent comments (when Mr White's riding is far out in the valley where not a lot of Sun readers live, comparatively speaking), it's a little surprising to me that Mr. Bocking's day job doesn't merit a small mention.

I hope my guess is wrong. I hope that Mr. Bocking's day job was mentioned in the Sun and Province somewhere in a way that led readers to realize that he is the head of the union of the reporters who write the stories about politics in the Sun. It's what I would like to have seen happen, and I hope, in Mr. Bocking's defense, that that is what he wanted to see happen.
The experts say

Readers of Andrew Coyne's blog colectively pick a Tory minority in Monday's election, with the party getting about 120 seats . When Mr. Coyne averaged everything out, his readers gave the Liberals abour 105 seats. The only two party government would be the Tories with Liberal support.

They also seem to think that Chuck Cadman might win in Surrey North, despite the fact that he has to run as an independent this time. Goodness, I want him to win. If you live in Surrey North, please vote for him as he is a classy guy. But, I think that the right vote will split putting Jim Karpoff, an NDP heavy hitter, in the House.

Friday, June 25, 2004

It is unusual

The Church of Tom Jones:

Today, I am the leader of The Progressive Universal Life Church in Sacramento, CA.. While doing my spiritual work, I always listen to the angelic voice of singer Tom Jones. I perform sermons, marriages, baptisms, funerals & exorcisms with the aid of Jones' music. I also dress up & dance like Tom Jones during church services.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Rocking with John Kerry

Over 40 years ago, John Kerry played bass in a band with other high school friends. Now, some guy is selling a CD re-release of the band's only LP.

Due to popular demand, no doubt.

Paging Irwin Chusid! Paging Irwin Chusid!

Hmm. Does this mean that if you somehow play the CD backwards that the songs would include odes to tax cuts, a cover version of Ballad of The Green Berets, or other conservative treats?

At least he didn't play the saxophone.

I see that Steve has obtained the shooting script for Michael Moore's next movie.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Today on the campaign trail, Paul Martin said that the Tories should get a chance to form a government if they come first in the seat count :

"It's a common sense proposition that the party that has the most seats is the party that certainly ought to form a government. I mean, it's common sense."

Two observations:

1. It's good political sense to appear humble, anyways, despite what the Liberals' are actually planning to do.

2. This might be just too Machiavellian for my own good, but I wonder if Martin is flirting with the idea of welcoming a brief stay in Opposition that goes like this:

--Liberals finish second, but can't dump Martin immediately due to unstability of the political situation. (Recall the example of Trudeau in 1980. PET had to come back with a vengeance as there was no time for a Liberal leadership convention after the Clark Tories fell.)

--The Tories can't hold the support of both the Bloc and NDP. Trying to do so, they do a bad job of governing.

--The Tories fall and Canadians turn to the Liberals as the only thing saving the country from division, unstable politics, extremism, etc..

(This would probably not work out in real life. I would think that the Tories would try to guarantee themselves at least a year in power so they can have a good chance to win the next election. If this means bill by bill deals with the Bloc, it means bill by bill deals with the Bloc.)

Then again, perhaps Mr. Martin fancies his chances with a minority. It is the only thing that guarantees, for the time being, that he stays as Liberal leader.

If only we could be a fly on the wall to listen to what Liberal strategists are planning.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Oh. My. God.

The last of Andrew Coyne's guesses about what could happen after the election given the current polling numbers:

"Of course, there's one scenario I'm overlooking: a Liberal-NDP-Bloc "Stop the Conservatives" coalition. Don't think it can't happen."

Got another name for it. Dub it "'The Reichstag is Burning!' Front".

Aslan is pleased

Ghost Of a Flea reports that a film version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will start filming soon.
This just in...

A Canadian Press story offers useful background on the King-Byng Affair, as Tories continue to worry about finishing first in the seat count but not being asked to form a government after next Monday's election.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Colby Cosh advances the possibility of a Liberal-Tory coalition government to keep the Bloc out of power if we have two stalemate elections in a row.

Colby is wise, and it is fair to say that a shotgun marriage would work. Nevertheless, I don't think that the Bloc is dangerous enough to make the scenraio plausible for any length of time. What the Liberals would do is package some goodies for Quebec and say to voters there "You want this? Give us a majority government."

I think a Tory-Bloc coalition would make more sense, if the Bloc would be willing to put up with some conservatism in order to get a lot of political decentralization. (Quebec shouldn't mind if all the provinces start getting their BNA Act-granted powers back instead instead of just Quebec, right?)

Harper will be able to say, "Look, we might be conservative, but all the other parties like centralized federal government and we are the only ones willing to even consider provincial rights. Deal with it."

I guess it depends on what the Bloc wants more: provincial rights or socialism.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Warning: Possible Godwin's Law violation

Today in Ontario, Paul Martin made a speech. He is photographed with clenched upraised fistsby a Canadian Press photographer.

The caption says Mr. Martin is "making a passionate speech".

We on the right know what would have happened if Stephen Harper had been photographed in a similar pose. Wags on the left would already be comparing Mr. Harper to this guy, who was known for wild gestures during his public pronouncements.

Having found enough "Hey Bush is Hitler!" photoshops during my Google search for these Hitler pix to last me a while, I am fairly certain that I am correct.

(Needless to say, Mr. Martin is no Hitler by any stretch of the imagination. It's just that juveniles on the left break Godwin's Law with impunity...and it seems a bit unfair.)
Good on him

Christian author and apologetics boffin Bill Alnor, who I interviewed for a story on the religious aspect of UFOs a year or so ago, is making plans to restart his newsletter, The Christian Sentinel.

The Return of the Son of Koogle

Michael Jenkinson has discovered an Edmonton store that sells chocolate peanut butter.

But what are those of us who didn't get the Edmonton Sun grocery flyer supposed to do in order to figure out where to go?

Update: So, Kraft is bringing Koogle back even if they aren't using the brand name any more.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Time to kiss hands

Anticipating a Tory win in the upcoming election, a cheerful Damian Penny appointsThe Cabinet of Bloggers.

Friday, June 18, 2004

We'll give it five

The Ambler chimes in with his favourite five songs.

I hesitate to name only a top...whatever... because I like so many songs, but here goes:

Probably my favourite song:

1. Halfway To Paradise, the Billy Fury cover version. Listen to the "Decca Hit" here on Harry Whitehouse's fab tribute website.

Nine other ballads from the late 1950s/early 1960s that I really like:

2. Everyday
or 3. It Doesn't Matter Anymore by Buddy Holly.
4. Time, the Craig Douglas cover version
5. I'm Counting On You by Johnny O'Keefe
6. Where Are You by Johnny Kidd and The Pirates
7. Take Good Care Of My Baby by Bobby Vee
8. En Ecoutant La Pluie (French cover version of Rhythm of The Rain) by Richard Anthony
9. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles
10. Hurting Each Other, the Guess Who version

"I still say that England's greatest Prime minister was Lord Palmerston!"
"Pitt the Elder!"
"Lord Palmerston!"
"Pitt the Elder!"
(Barney starts throwing punches)

A new Debate-style chit chat blog: Have Your Say Today.
King or Byng 2.0: Ain't gonna happen?

Colby Cosh is convinced that the Liberals-governing-with-fewer-seats-than-the-Tories scenario is not that probable. I think he makes a good case, but I am still apprehensive that the Liberals and NDP will have a shotgun marriage minority government with Adrienne Clarkson as bridesmaid.

Given the even status in the polls--there's much room for mischief.

I hope that Colby proves to be correct.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"I liked Jack Layton's sharp suit too, but was it his idea or his 'handlers's' to come off as Captain Kangaroo on speed?".

The Ambler's comments on the English debate make for
amusingly acerbic commentary.

King or Byng? It's deja vu all over again

After reading this Canadian Press story (Governor general must turn to Martin if minority win in federal vote), some thoughts:

1) I think that Canadians will be angry if Martin clings to power. I bet that if you asked 9 out of ten Canadians, they would expect that the party finishing first in the seat count should get the chance to form the government.

Does Mr. Martin dare risk Canadian's rage and keep power in that situation? [Practically, though, he has to grab onto power with his fingernails. The knives will be out otherwise.]

2. Someone appealing to precedent: "There is a precedent. It happened before in 1925...."

Okay, let's use more 1925 precedents. How about bringing back legislative supremacy (Didn't have a Charter of Rights or activist judges, so...*toss*), conservative social mores, tiny government. Medicare? What's that?

Canadians, rightly or wrongly, need education before appealing to the ideals of the Fathers of Confederation instead of Tommy Douglas.

"This happened 75 years ago too". Might be a hard sell to the modern Canadian.

3. Are the Tories that dangerous? Really?

I find it hard to think that Canadians are that scared of conservatives.

The only time that all the parties should unite to stop the party with the most seats is when the Communists are tossing cabinet ministers out of windows. (Prague, 1948)

(I don't want to lose my argument by making the most obvious historical analogy. :) )

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"King or Byng?" Part 2...Harper or Clarkson?

Paul Wells suspects that if the parties are roughly balanced after the next election that Harper will be better placed to form a government by wooing away loose fish Liberal MPs.

I don't think so. I think that an alliance of the left will be set up, with the Liberals relying on NDP support as they did after the 1972 election.

This could be an interesting situation. I would even go so far as to speculate that if the Liberals have up to a dozen seats less that the Tories, they could still be asked to stay in government if the NDP can put them over the top. Adrienne Clarkson, not the most conservative person in the world, could be easily persuaded. As Wells notes in his column, Mr. Martin does not have to resign as Prime Minister until he loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons.

That kind of situation would be eerly reminscent of the run up to the 1926 election and a godsend to Stephen Harper. In the 1925 election, the Liberals lost dozens of seats after a scandal--this time a controversy over Canada Customs. What happened then was that the Liberals lost a vote of confidence. Then Viscount Byng, the Governor-General, gave the Opposition Tories a chance to govern with the support of the Progressive Party instead of immediately dissolving the House as King had asked Byng to do.

When that government fell, Canadians went to the polls in 1926. Mackenzie King, the Liberal leader, was able to clobber the Tories on a "King or Byng?" platform, making Canadian voters indignant that an appointed head of state had not overstepped his bounds by giving the Tories an opportunity to form a government, even though they and their allies had finished second in the 1925 election.

Imagine the Liberals finishing second in the seat totals behind the Tories in the current election but being allowed to stay in power. The de facto convention in the mind of the Canadian public is that the party that finishes first in the seat count gets the first chance to form a government. Canadians would be incensed and today's Tories could only benefit.

Adrienne Clarkson as the new Lord Byng. She wouldn't dare. Or would she?
Election handicapping

Shorcan Brokers of Toronto is doing an Canadian election stock market here Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs.

As of right after the English debate, Tories and Liberals are neck and neck at 33 per cent, Bloc and NDP are up very slightly.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Confusion sets in

I think I have put Blogger into a tizzy. "Related searches" for my recent posts are "Manitoba Hydro" and "Zombies"
Hear, hear!

Alas for me I am pro-war, but otherwise I think there is some truth in what Kevin Michael Gracewrites in this post.

Do libertarian conservatives wonder why social conservatives get frustrated by politics sometimes? Imagine a Canadian body politic where taxes can never get cut. Period. Where over-regulation can never be fixed. Period. That's how aggravating politics can be for Canadian pro-lifers, for example. Social policy mistakes should be able to be fixed in the same way that economic policy problems are fixed after each election. In the same way, by majority rule.

If social liberals want to make changes that will be in place forever, they should be made to phrase their arguments in that way. "Once you chose this social policy, you will *never* be allowed to go back to the way it was. We will browbeat you, or worse, into submission."
Je veux sucer votre sang!

Ghost of a Flea wonders if Gilles Duceppe is a vampire.

If he is so worried, I would advise him to be careful if he is invited over chez Duceppe for brunch. Drink the tomato juice before it clots.

[ ;) ]
"If you don't vote Liberal, the Earth will crash into the Sun!"

At the very bottom right of his blog page, The Monger is asking blog readers which possible slogan the Liberals should use as part of their campaign.

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more."

Can a punk be conservative?

Anyways, I'm more than happy to pass some internet hits to a blog that was until moments ago named Conservative Punk Canuck. Her blog looks interesting.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Another reason to smack the Liberals upside the head

Jean Augustine acts like a doofus when meeting people, Kathy Shaidle reports.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Question of the Day

This was put to The Straight Dope by a Jason of Vancouver B.C.

[I hasten to assure him that I have no plans to turn into the living dead. That should reassure him.]

He asks:

If we were to suffer an apocalypse where most of the living became
flesh-eating zombies, how long, assuming I survived, would I continue to receive hydroelectricity from my power company?....I am assuming that most of the people who were supposed to be maintaining things at my hydro company would be out looking for brains, and that the surviving hydro employees would be busy digging shelters, etc.)....

The Straight Dope experts, who have an answer for *everything*, reply:

...Your question has two possible answers
depending on which scenario of zombie conquest you envision....

The answer continues here.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The little post that grew and grew

My friend and former Report colleague, Colby Cosh, is a bit bemused that a small post he did on some stupid old comments from Edmonton NDP candidate and doofus Malcolm Azania has turned into a bit of a national story.

No surprise to me though.
"They're twistin' to the didgeridoo!"

Tim Blair, following a complaint by an Australian journalist that there aren't enough Australian place names in songs, canvassed his readers and found that they could remember a lot of ditties with place name checks.

Anyone who listens to the Johnny O'Keefe cover of Twistin' USA, called Twistin' Australia Way, would have about a hundred Australia town and city names cited in the song...all places where kids were doing the Twist. Although, I find it hard to concieve how someone could do the Twist to the didgeridoo. I'd pay an Australian dime to see that.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Faust is smiling

Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil fame has joined the Australian Labour Party.
Why not just post "an election is no time to discuss important policy questions" and be done with it?

Enter Stage Right also blogs their exasperation with pro-life Tories who just won't shut up:

People, during an election you're going to alienate more people than you'll attract when you make those kind of comments. You can't make policy sitting in the opposition benches.

Wouldn't it be better, if you are a pro-life politician, to talk about your pro-life views, instead of giving a nasty surprise to pro-choice voters when you help pass laws restricting abortion after never discussing the issue for 20 years?

Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but I think that fooling voters is a bad thing.

Update: Steve of Enter Stage Right clarifies what he meant:

What I meant in that blog entry was not that pro-life Tories shouldn't publicly advocate restrictions or even a total ban, simply that some of them, like Gallant, used overly inflammatory language to advance their position. Comparing abortion to the slaughter of a human being by terrorists seeking to destroy the very notion of the West isn't a good way to get your point across in my opinion. It's hard to argue that a 'moderate' people like Canadians would hear that and agree.

This is an excellent point, which I am happy to concede.

However, in the current electoral climate all the parties of the left are using abortion as the nasty "n-word". Mr. Harper should be careful to keep his apparent "Canadians have a right to vote to restrict abortion if they so chose" stance if he feels a need to reprimand his MPs.

Always happy to clarify, though. [Rick passes out from surprise after fielding a piece of reader e-mail *THUD*]

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Do they expect Mr. Harper to heal the sick and raise the dead?

Regarding Canada's media...what Colby Cosh said, er, wrote.
Seeing through a glass, very darkly?

Rick Joyner, U.S. Christian leader, made what we can safely call a prediction touching on the current federal election, last year.

Parsing his delphic prophecy from last fall, I am surmising that he predicted that there will be a Liberal or NDP government after the June 28 federal election.

Here's his prediction, in case it mysteriously disappears from his website. Emphasis mine:

"SOUTH CENTRAL CANADA: I saw a black cloud darkening over this portion of Canada—just east of Calgary to east of Montreal. Then it started spinning and became a powerful storm of confusion and disorientation, growing tighter and tighter in order to become stronger, doing much damage before suddenly breaking up. It was followed by brilliant sunshine. When people started coming out of their storm cellars, they were all saying, “We will not let that happen again!” I felt this storm was both political and spiritual. Though this storm was preventable, it did much damage. However, the result left behind an almost fresh, virgin territory in which strong, brilliant, spiritual, and political leadership will prevail, setting a very bright course for the future.

Let's look at this from the standpoint of the social conservative Christian that Mr. Joyner is, judging from other things I have read by him.

Yes, he is not explicitly talking about this election but, unless there is an outbreak of religious-based terrorism, the only scenario that seems to make sense to me is that Mr, Joyner is talking about an election and the disastrous consequences of a vote gome wrong, from "God's perspective." Canadians by and large would not care about the flowering and end of a political and spiritual movement if it didn't have some sort of direct effect on their own lives. Unless we see FLQ type activities, an election seems to be the best way to make sense of Mr. Joyner's prediction.

[A caveat to my progressive friends and readers. I am not going out of my way to be anti-Liberal or anti-NDP here. From Mr. Joyner's perpective, it would make the most sense that he would see our Liberals or NDP as bad. So, I am following his lead in poking at the prophecy in an attempt to figure out what he means.]

Is this "black...political movement" the Tories? I would hope not, but it is possible that the Harper Tories could be just that bad. Aside from my own prejudices, this doesn't make sense as the Tories would probably not bring in various government policies that are hostile to Christian moral thinking.

Is this "black...movement" the Liberals? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. This prophecy seems to refer to something *new* happening. As students of Canadian politics will remember, after the last election, the Liberals hold most of those seats already. You could say that he is foretelling that some kind of sweep will develop for the Liberals in the last three weeks of the election, which would result in them being wiped out (as in 1958 or 1984) in the next federal election. But why use such language in the prophecy if the Liberals win again exactly as they have in the last few elections?. Unless they win every seat in this region he is talking about, this is not really new.

It could well be that the Liberals would be relected, only to prove so "bad" from a conservative Christian perspective that they sow the seeds of their own destruction. But the "new" feel of this "black" thing makes me think that isn't the case.

With due respect to my New Democrat readers, the most likely "bad" candidates, from what I am guessing is Joyner's point of view, are probably from the NDP.

Here's a scenario, in tune with the prophecy. The Liberal vote drains to the left enough that the NDP starts to pick up seats in Sakatchewan and Manitoba (quite plausible as both have NDP provincial governments) and enough seats in Ontario to either finish first or force the Liberals to include them in a formal, or de facto, coalition government.

Ridiculous? Well, I was in Ottawa during the 1990 provincial election when the provincial Liberal vote switched to the NDP and stunned commentators watched as an NDP government was elected in Ontario. Bob Rae's government gave Christian conservatives lots of headaches in the following years.

I can see the stop-Harper vote swinging to the NDP as the "stronger anti-Harper choice" in some urban ridings. Given the gravity of what Joyner seems to be pointing at, we could even go out on a limb and say that the government will be an NDP government with Liberal support. The next election, in this scenario according what I am guessing the prophecy says, will see Canadians cured of NDP-Liberal thinking and a straight right-left fight as you would see in Britian or the U.S.

This we can safely say. Mr. Joyner is not predicting a win for "godly conservatives" who will govern wisely in the June 28 vote. The government to come, he predicts, will be a national hangover for Canada.

This prophecy is maddeningly imprecise. Not quite "A virgin will have a baby and..." or "A king named Cyrus will commission the rebuilding of Jerusalem." Sigh.

How accurate is Mr. Joyner?


Several conservative Christian groups have critiqued Mr. Joyner's theology and his
tendency to get things wrong when he is predicting the future.

This is not helpful, as the Bible advises that in Old Testament days, anyone who used the phraseolgy that "The Lord says..." without the events coming to pass as specified was a false prophet. He was to be stoned. (By having rocks thrown at him until his wiseacres! :) )

Several years ago, he widely distributed a prophecy by Bob Jones that stated that Los Angeles would be destroyed in an earthquake and/or nuclear 1998.

[Although, to be even-handed, I'd also like to point you to Mr. Joyner's response to the above linked story that includes the prediction and other criticisms of his ministry. You may see it here.]

What do I think? Well, I do like the idea of Mr. Joyner trying to share what he believes The Lord is telling him.

However, I do hope that Mr. Joyner has the grace to admit that he is glad that he was wrong if The Tories win the election later this month and his prediction a "black political movement" proves unfounded and they govern Canada well. If so, I think Canadian christians would extend grace to him in return. Christianity is a faith of second and third and fourth and fifth anyone can make mistakes. Even modern day "prophets". But, they should be prepared to admit their mistakes too.

It will be interesting to see if he was right. I wanted to get this online before the votes are counted...thus this post.

Update: Of course, what Andrew Coyne says here could happen too:

"Of course, there's one scenario I'm overlooking: a Liberal-NDP-Bloc "Stop the Conservatives" coalition. Don't think it can't happen."

That would be diabolical if you think about it. Never foresaw that that could happen when I first posted, certainly.
What if Reagan [had] won in 1968?

Enter Stage Right's Bruce Walker poses the question, and thinks that Reagan would have won the election handily and been a good president.

I'm not sure that is the case. Here's why.

1) As The Making Of The President 1968 documents, Barry Goldwater was working hard for Richard Nixon in 1968. He was making the sort of "Just win [with Nixon], baby" arguments that are often so seductive to conservatives. Lots of conservatives had a great personal trust in Senator Goldwater that would have been hard to shake off.

The right was uneasy about Reagan's governing strategies in California in 1968. Read Kent Steffgen's books on Reagan to understand why.

2) It was not really credible to suggest that someone who had been governor of California for just over 18 months could be the a good President. Someone who had governed California for two terms is a different matter entirely.

Ronald Reagan's on-the-job political education would make him a much better president in the 1980s, when he served.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Is Gordon Campbell a goner?

Jim Goll, a U.S.
Christian who believes himself a modern day prophet of the Lord, said the following in May during an Abbotsford B.C. conference, reports The Elijah List. [Scroll down and look for his picture. Then look for the heading "British Columbia"].Emphasis mine:


....British Columbia...There is going to be an upsetting of governmental things in British Columbia. The government shall change in British Columbia and Victoria Island shall not be a place where it shall be of witchcraft and new age practitioners hiding. But it is going to be a place where the victory of God is going to be seen in a governmental seat...."

Although Mr. Goll isn't explicitly predicting this, I am guessing that he means that Premier Gordon Campbell will be stepping down.

An "upsetting of governmental things", would also seem to imply that the NDP will win the next provincial election. It could also mean a "revivial" amongst government MLAs too (which would be better for Christians to hope for, but never mind).

Why mention this? Well, I just wanted to make a record of this in case Mr. Goll is correct. Or not. If the B.C. Liberals win in 2005 and Gordon Cambell takes office again, we could fairly ask Mr. Goll "What happened?"

I'm a little dismayed to read this, as a change of government in B.C. would be bad news for so-cons, and not something to hope that God will do. Unless Mr. Goll thinks that the Unity Party of B.C. (which my mom dubbed "The Love Party" after party leader Chris Delaney appealed to "The power of love" during the last provincial leaders debate) will win, this is not a good omen.

Mr. Goll is said to have a good record of accuracy. We'll see.

P.S. How unfortunate that Mr. Goll did not have access to a good atlas. It's "Vancouver Island."

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The odometer flips

This is the 1,000th Rick's Miscellany post.

No applause please, just throw money :)
Also RIP

Brian Linehan has died and Kathy has some interesting thoughts on the subject.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan, RIP

The Ronald Reagan that I like to remember...campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Friday, June 04, 2004


One music buff's picks for the 100 greatest single "flip sides" of all time. You probably haven't heard them, but there are lots of interesting song choices here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


I see that The National Post has a blog, which I would like even more if there were permalinks to each individual entry.
Ride the wild surf, mate

Some critics say that one of the best surfer bands of the 1960s might have been Australian. Read more about The Atlantics here.
Instalanche! Well, not quite...

The Meatriarch gets a bit of a hits bounce from being mentioned in the National Post.

Good for him! As someone who is doggedly trying to work on his own hit counts without mentioning at all that he blogs to friends and co-workers, I understand how he feels.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

25 years later

The Shotgun bloggers seem to think that there's no way that the Liberals can win another majority. I wouldn't be so confident.

It does raise an interesting scenario...the 1979 election resumed 25 years later. After 1979's vote, the Tories clung to power with support from Quebec (in the form of the Social Credit caucus). Harper's Tories might need the votes of the Bloc to survive as a minority government according to the early betting.

If that happens, I am wondering if the Harper government should bring forth a quick budget designed to lose a vote of conifidence but win the following election. Lots of tax cuts to polarize the electorate into anti-tax (Tory) and pro-tax (Liberals, NDP, Bloc) factions.
Ain't that funny

I see that a fellow named Russ Hiebert is running for the Tories in my home town. No relation, of course.

I wonder if he will get any votes from the people who knew me when I was younger because they think that he is me.