October 4, 2011

Ottawa Citizen: “The election was Tim Hudak’s to lose and he appears to have done so”

Filed under: Cancon, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 09:35

Just a few short months ago, the Progressive Conservatives were so far ahead in the polls that holding an election seemed like a mere formality. How times change. Tim Hudak may still have a mathematical chance to lead his party into government in this week’s Ontario election, but even if he does, it’ll be a bare minority based on current polls. After a series of cringe-inducing announcements before the campaign (chain gangs? really?), the blame lies directly on Hudak and his team who decided that after all this time Ontario really just wanted another Dalton McGuinty.

The Ottawa Citizen suggests that voters should hold their noses and vote Liberal:

When Ontario voters mark their ballots on Thursday, many will be holding their noses with their other hands. There is no clear choice for who should lead this province into what will likely be an economically very difficult four years.

The election was Tim Hudak’s to lose and he appears to have done so. In July, his Progressive Conservatives were polling well in majority territory. Hudak, himself, was a pleasant surprise. He is composed and confident in person. On meeting Hudak in August, this editorial board was convinced McGuinty was in serious trouble. Hudak was clearly able to give voice to the frustration of the electorate with eight years of Liberal rule. But he needed to do more than that. He needed to offer Ontarians an alternative.

In most major policy areas there’s little to distinguish the PC platform from the Liberals’. They would raise health care and education funding by identical amounts and trim public spending in other areas to a similar degree.

For those of you who choose not to hold your noses at the polling station, if you don’t have an acceptable candidate in your riding you can still decline your ballot.

European Union’s biggest fear isn’t the financial crisis: it’s the voters

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Economics, Europe, Government — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 09:24

Mick Hume points out that the EU is undemocratic, and well on the way to being even less so if the Eurocrats get their way:

When even the Europe editor of the Europhile BBC suggests that ‘it is quite possible that an early casualty in the Eurozone crisis will be democracy’, it is surely time to ask some serious questions about the way that the handling of Europe’s financial and economic problems is intensifying the crisis of democratic politics.

If there is one thing that worries the Euro-elites even more than their out-of-control finances these days, it is their uncontrollable electorates. Governments, EU bureaucrats and Euro-bankers do not trust the ignorant European masses, many of whom have stubbornly refused to accept (on the rare occasions they have been asked) that the authorities know what’s best for them. We have followed on spiked in recent years the elites’ sustained efforts to impose a new centralised constitution on the EU and then, when those nations offered a vote rejected their imperious plans, to sneak it in through the backdoor anyway. They will not take ‘no’ for an answer, no matter how often and how loudly we tell them.

[. . .]

Every discussion of the possible outcome of the crisis only seems to suggest two options: either a ‘disastrous’ break-up of the Eurozone or its ‘restructuring’ – that is, a mega-bailout coupled with further moves towards fiscal as well as economic union. The first of these is not really considered an option at all by the Euro-elites. It would be an act of political suicide on their part. So the second option is their only one. But they also fear what the reaction of their peoples will be to that, especially in Germany and France.

Their answer has been effectively to suspend democratic debate of these matters and keep the public out of the loop, conducting the real deals in smoke-free rooms and secret correspondence behind a curtain of media obfuscation.

[. . .]

Democracy is a meaningless charade without choices and competing visions for the future of society. And the bankrupting of democracy is surely too high a price to pay for any financial package. There is no ready-made alternative economic solution to hand. But the very least we should demand is that the true depth of the crisis be made public, and that every aspect of the counter-crisis measures must be openly debated. The first step in that direction should be to challenge the way that European democracy is being bankrupted and asset-stripped in the name of saving the continent. Fighting for the future of Europe is not the same thing as the survival of the Euro-elites.

As things stand, we in Europe look set to end up with the worst of both worlds. We are supposed to swallow the abrogation of democracy and imposition of the dictatorship of experts and bureaucrats in the name of economic necessity. And then their elitist schemes won’t work anyway either to bring about an integrated Europe or to revitalise the Euro economy.

New York wants to rework the First Amendment “not as a right, but as a privilege”

Filed under: Law, Liberty, USA — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 08:53

Some New York senators think you’ve got too much freedom of speech, and they think the world would be a much nicer place if you didn’t have as much:

. . . some state Senators in NY are trying a new line of attack: going directly after the First Amendment and suggesting that current interpretations are way too broad, and it’s not really meant to protect any sort of free speech right. In fact, it sounds as though they’re trying to redefine the right to free speech into a privilege that can be taken away. Seriously:

     Proponents of a more refined First Amendment argue that this freedom should be treated not as a right but as a privilege — a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional basis that can be revoked if it is ever abused or maltreated.

Yes, that totally flips the First Amendment on its head. It is not a “more refined First Amendment.” It’s the anti-First Amendment. It suggests, by its very nature, that the government possesses the right to grant the “privilege” of free speech to citizens… and thus the right to revoke it. That’s an astonishingly dangerous path, and one that should not be taken seriously. Of course, given their right to speak freely, state senators Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, David Carlucci and David Valesky have every right to put forth that argument — but similarly, it allows others to point out their rather scary beliefs.

NFL Week 4 results

Filed under: Football — Tags: — Nicholas @ 08:49

A pretty good weekend for my picks, although I’m still chasing the leaders in the AoSHQ pool (now in a 7-way tie for third).

  • @Chicago 34 Carolina 29
  • Buffalo 20 @Cincinnati 23
  • @Cleveland 13 Tennessee 31
  • @Dallas 30 Detroit 34
  • Minnesota 17 @Kansas City 22
  • Washington 17 @St. Louis 10
  • @Philadelphia 23 San Francisco 24
  • New Orleans 23 @Jacksonville 10
  • @Houston 17 Pittsburgh 10
  • New York (NYG) 31 @Arizona 27
  • Atlanta 30 @Seattle 28
  • @Green Bay 49 Denver 23
  • New England 31 @Oakland 19
  • @San Diego 26 Miami 16
  • @Baltimore 34 New York (NYJ) 17
  • @Tampa Bay 24 Indianapolis 17

This week 12-4 (9-7 against the spread)
Season to date 43-21

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