Politics from North of the 49th Parallel
IanGillespie's Articles In Politics
September 16, 2004 by IanGillespie
No, not that W.

While coverage of last night's healthcare announcement might make a man think that the mountain had come to Mohammed, the truth -- as per usual -- is much less to be excited about: Paul Martin caved, in order to get a deal.

The man needed a win.

It's a lot of money, $18 billion over six years -- there's no doubt about that. But, to put things in perspective, it is -- at most -- about a billion dollars more than the Conservatives had promised over the same amount of time....
September 14, 2004 by IanGillespie
OK, that's a little harsh; a bit of fun on my part. It's some pretty ugly rhetoric -- even in jest -- but likely no worse than what we'll be hearing soon enough on CNN.

Last week saw a renewed effort to impugn George W. Bush's service in the Air National Guard -- and thereby, his integrity as a whole. This scandal hardly made a ripple, but it may only be a hint of what's to come.

Washington has been teeming with rumours that far more sensational charges have already been unearthed. Today, ...
September 1, 2004 by IanGillespie
Crossposted at The Blogs Canada E-Group:

This week, the Republican National Convention began in a manner that can only be described as Rovian. On Monday night, our man 'K' revealed a deep, intellectual understanding of the art of fear -- an understanding that parallels recent work in the field of neuropsychology.

At a recent conference on "the political uses and misuses of fear", Al Gore summed up the work of many leading neuroscientists with the phrase "amygdala politics". As Gore describ...
August 25, 2004 by IanGillespie
Crossposted at The BlogsCanada E-Group:On Monday, Paul Martin finally found time in his busy, post-election schedule for a long overdue meeting with the common folk: opposition leaders.

On the docket, his agenda for a new parliament and a new Throne Speech.

Frankly, it’s time to start playing hardball -- and with a crucial confidence motion drawing near, New Democrats have got a very heavy bat.

Jack Layton has long promised that, in exchange for his support of a Liberal government, the ...
August 19, 2004 by IanGillespie
Crossposted at The BlogsCanada E-Group:

Why are they doing this? What are they so afraid of?

As many readers will already know, guests at quasi-public Bush-Cheney campaign appearances are now being asked to sign Castro-like loyalty oaths before being granted entrance to rallies.

This isn’t just weird, it’s scary. But most importantly, it’s really weird.

Which brings us to our first question:

Why are they doing this?

Such rallies couldn’t be aimed at persuading swing voters, as...
June 23, 2004 by IanGillespie
We know all about the NDP's 'tax heavy platform'.

We know all about their 'unpopular schemes'.

We'll all pay a lot less taxes under a Conservative government, right? After all, The Globe and Mail's told us so, hasn't it?

Well, guess what?

The sanctimonious corporate shills got it wrong.

They got it wrong again, and again, and again.

Yesterday the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives -- having bothered to, you know, read -- published a study comparing the Conservative and NDP...
June 23, 2004 by IanGillespie
Tuesday, June 15th, Leaders' Debate:

Jack Layton: "I've got to take issue with a claim you're making, that there's only two parties in this country that are going to have the possibility of governing. What kind of arrogance gives you that kind of proposition?..."

Paul Martin: "Well, I think I'll accept that criticism, Mr. Layton."

Tuesda, June 22nd, British Columbia:

Paul Martin: "There are two parties that could form the next government. If you are thinking of voting NDP, I ask you ...
June 21, 2004 by IanGillespie
The Green Party is awful. I mean like Ann Coulter, reptilian kitten-eater awful.

I can already hear the voices, swooning from the peanut gallery: 'The Green Party? But they're so wonderfully environmental!'.

True, the Greens would keep mankind from raping Mother Earth -- but they'd pillage the rest of us to get the job done.

This isn't about tired, conservative scare tactics. I'm not talking 'bout how 'dem tree huggers is gonna wreck the economy, and such.

No, this is about the Green...
June 20, 2004 by IanGillespie
I've refrained from comment on the death of Dr. T. Douglas Kinsella, father of fellow blogger Warren Kinsella.

Given that I know Kinsella only by writing and reputation, I suppose I just didn't have much to add to his own words.

I feel compelled, however, to make note of those words, and let them speak for themselves.
June 17, 2004 by IanGillespie
Stephen Harper's claim that his party could now win a majority government is not just lousy politics, but falt wrong.

The Conservatives and Liberals remain deadlocked at 32% in polls.When the Liberals fell below 40% it was called 'minority territory', but now -- while still eight percent lower -- we're to believe that the Conservatives are on the cusp of majority?

Look closer:

There are 75 seats in Québec -- and no indication that any of them will go Conservative.

Seat projections es...
June 17, 2004 by IanGillespie
The further we get from last night's performance the more difficult it becomes to digest.

The lasting impact of our national debates hasn't been made in the moment, but in the foundations laid for the coming days.

What are politicians selling, what are voters buying -- and what is this god forsaken election really all about?

Measuring the leaders' debate by that standard reveals a microcosm of the election at large. Our national discourse is bereft of policy, as the leaders jockey to de...
June 15, 2004 by IanGillespie
Given Gilles Duceppe's virtually uncontested victory in last night's french language debate, there's no clear momentum going into tonight's english-only showdown.

All the little Dippers from the NDP war room (except this one, I work nights) will be gathering at the party's downtown Ottawa offices to view the action.

Sadly, I can't say that they'll be playing James Bow's debate drinking game, but it's sure to be an evening of fun nonetheless.

As for the Big Media Moment (more lamely know...
June 14, 2004 by IanGillespie
Harper raised, almost exclusively, issues that will hurt him in Québec.

Martin was arrogant and hollow.

Duceppe was strong, but perhaps unnecessarily confrontational.

Layton rose above the fray, but still isn't using all the tools in his box on taxes.

Overall, Duceppe wins on points -- given that this was his and Martin's show.

Layton wins on the lower card -- clearly coming out above both Martin and Harper.

Ultimately, Layton and the NDP were undercut, mainly, by their lack of...
June 14, 2004 by IanGillespie
It's the big night -- for one quarter of Canadians.

Let's get right to the leaders...

Gilles Duceppe

Your the Stephen Harper of french language debate. Lay back, enjoy yourself and let the others kill each trying to get at'cha.

You'll pound away at the old hobby horse: the patronizing Liberals, thinking they can buy Québec's votes with promises of money and power. That's always good.

Your certain to be pressed on how you could possibly support a regressive, anti-Québec Conservativ...
June 12, 2004 by IanGillespie
The NDP began airing four new ads this week, closing in on the home stretch.

The two spots above, "Ontarians Know" and "Affordable", were released Wednesday, along with another english language ad, "Both".There are even ads in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Previously on Canuckistan, I laid out several prospective NDP tactics for the final weeks of the campaign. I believe that these three elements could lead to an historic breakthrough:

Paint the Liberals and Conservatives as identical

...