Guess I'm watching this upcoming weekend.
Go out and VOTE FOR COLIN.
I haven’t even told ITQ about this. Apparently some group is convening 50 bloggers to the G20 summit in London in early April, including 20 who will be nominated by the public. I’m absolutely shameless enough to ask you to send me, except in all fairness the blogger who covers the G20 shouldn’t be the one who spent four years saying a leaders’ G20 was a dumb idea, so I’m out. Besides, this will basically be a big committee meeting, and I’m told they sell Red Bull in London, so… well, the stars are aligning. You know what to do. It’s time to liveblog a G20. Godspeed.
Dan Arnold (Calgary Grit) writes one of the best-read blogs in Canadian political and news circles. He's knowledgeable, observant and pretty witty to boot. While his political party of choice is opposition of mine (his Liberal, mine Conservative), he's fair in his commentary and would do Canada proud. He also isn't paid to blog, which I think is what this opportunity should be about - putting everyday bloggers into a position of access to the people we discuss and presenting that back to his/her readership as opinion/observations.
Please consider Dan for Canada's open spot.
WINNIPEG should have only one public school board for the entire city, Winnipeg School Division school board byelection candidate Colin Fast declared Wednesday.
"Even if it loses me a job, it's the right thing to do," Fast said in a news release.
Fast said there are too many school divisions in Winnipeg, and trustees and the provincial government should be working to reduce bureaucratic waste.
"Most other major Canadian cities have one public school board, so why does Winnipeg need six?" asked Fast. "We should pursue further amalgamation.
"The amount of bureaucracy in the Winnipeg model is absurd," Fast said. "There's no need for us to have more than three times as many school trustees as we have city councillors. It's also wasteful to pay six superintendents, six treasurers and 20 assistant superintendents. More money should be spent in the classroom, not in the boardroom."
Between Dec. 3, 2006 (the date of the first post Dion-leadership-win poll being released) and Sept. 6, 2008 (the last poll released prior to the last writ being dropped), there were 134 national public opinion polls released publicly. The average pre-election period result over those 134 polls? With all those ups and downs, negative ads, hapless Liberal leadership?
CPC - 34.66 per cent
Liberals - 30.57 per cent
NDP - 15.39 per cent
Bloc - 8.99 per cent
Green - 9.35 per cent
The national results from today's Strategic Counsel poll?
CPC - 35 per cent
Liberals - 31 per cent
NDP - 16 per cent
Bloc - 9 per cent
Green - 10 per cent
Consider these when you read your glowing Ignatief coverage. Like many others, I don't believe him to be the risk to the Tories that some believe him to be.
"Stupidest thing ever!...I think it's a joke. They might as well take fighting out of the NHL...This will take the one-dimensional player out of the NHL because that's who they will say starts a staged fight."
However, one should be careful of the seductions of this compromise. In a wishful attempt to bring peace with the Taliban in Pakistan itself, the government has recently ceded a fertile and prosperous and modernized valley province - the former princedom of Swat - to the ultra-violent votaries of the one party and the one god. This is not some desolate tribal area where government and frontier have been poorly delineated for decades, as in Waziristan. It is a short commute from the capital city of Islamabad.
The Taliban have never won an election in the area; indeed, the last vote went exactly the other way. And refugees are pouring out of Swat as the fundamentalists take hold and begin their campaign of cultural and economic obliteration: no music, no schooling for females, no recognition of the writ of the central government.
According to this and other reports, the surrender of authority by the already crumbling Pakistani authorities has had an emboldening effect on the extremists rather than an appeasing one. The nominal interlocutor with whom the deal was signed, Maulana Sufi Muhammad, is related by clan and ideology to much fiercer and younger figures, including those suspected in the murder of Benazir Bhutto, in the burning of hundreds of girls' schools, in the killing of Pakistani soldiers and in the slaughter of local tribal leaders who have resisted Taliban rule.
Numberless witnesses attest that the militants show not the smallest intention of abiding by the terms of the so-called "truce." Instead of purchasing peace, the Pakistani government has surrendered part of its heartland without a fight to those who can and will convert it into a base for further and more exorbitant demands. This is not even a postponement of the coming nightmare, which is the utter disintegration of Pakistan as a state. It is a stage in that disintegration.
In Afghanistan and Iraq, where many very hard-line Muslims take the side of the elected governments against the nihilists, there is also a determined NATO or coalition presence that can bring firepower to bear as part of the argument. This was the necessary if not sufficient condition for the "awakening" movements on which U.S. General David Petraeus relied and still relies. But even in default of that factor, the handing over of large swaths of sovereign and strategic territory to the enemy was never a part of any such plan, and it would have been calamitous if it had been.
And another humanitarian/defence angle...
There is another symbiosis between state failure of that kind and the spread of deadly violence. A state or region taken over by jihadists will not last long before declining into extreme poverty and backwardness and savagery. There are no exceptions to this rule. We do not need to demonstrate again what happens to countries where vicious fantasists try to govern illiterates with the help of only one book.
And who will be blamed for the failure? There will not, let me assure you, be a self-criticism session mounted by the responsible mullahs. Instead, all ills will be blamed on the Crusader-Zionist conspiracy, and young men with deficiency diseases and learning disabilities will be taught how to export their frustrations to happier lands.
Thus does the failed state become the rogue state. This is why we have a duty of solidarity with all the secular forces, women's groups and other constituencies who don't want this to happen to their societies or to ours.