Dionzo Gonzo

It's official: Liberal leader Stephane Dion will step down as soon as a successor is chosen. That successor is apparently Michael Ignatieff, Dion's rival at the last Leadership converntion.

Ignatieff is smart and well-spoken and should prove a nimble politician capable of effectively holding Stephen Harper's nasty little Tory trotters to the fire. But I don't trust the guy. While living in the United States during that country's worst period of terrorist-induced mass psychosis, he supported the Iraq invasion in a pompous, long-winded essay for The New York Times Magazine. (He later admitted this opinion was sort of a mistake but not really).

A question: how did prairie dog's demonstrably half-wit editor know Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction in 2003, while a presumably fantastically more intelligent Harvard academic didn't?

It's a good thing I'm not being annointed Liberal Leader. I just don't understand complicated politics stuff.

(photo by liberal.ca. Colour balance, cropping by prairie dog.)

How We Lost Afghanistan

One of my favourite blogs, The Galloping Beaver, has an ex-military man as one of its authors. This gives the blog's coverage of Canadian military matters an added level of detail that you don't get from Canadian media, who cover our Afghanistan military adventure the way Don Cherry talks about the Leafs on Coach's Corner.

Well, the sad fact is that we aren't losing the war in Afghanistan: we've already lost.

Read it and weep.

Another blog, Rolling Back the Tide of Extremism, One Post At A Time, tells the same story. It's not a nice story.

All the boosterism, wearing red on Fridays, and yellow ribbons isn't going to change a thing militarily: Afghanistan is where empires go to die. It happened to Alexander the Great, it happened to Genghis Khan, it happened to the British Army twice, and it happened to the former Soviet Union. And it will happen to NATO. In fact, it's already happened.

More Media Carnage

Bill Stovin might not be the only one freaking out about the Leader-Post's campaign for Izzy Asper's canonization. But there’s a darn good reason why. The past – for Canwest and the Asper publishing/communications empire – is all they have left. Their share prices are falling like a rock, they have millions of dollars in bonds coming due in 2010, and the advertising market is as soft as a baby’s bottom.
Like what’s happening with the Chicago Tribune, Canwest is financially screwed. Newspapers -- the ones run by smart people, anyway -- can and will survive the internet, just as they survived television and radio. But they won’t survive their own business stupidity. When you leverage the hell out of your assets, lay off staff, cut yourself off from the community and then wonder why you’re losing readers, subscribers and market share, well, then you may be too stupid to live.
Oh yeah, when Izzy was alive, Canwest traded at over $12 a share. It’s now down to about 55 cents (as of Dec. 5), removing the Asper children from the list of the richest 100 Canadians. If I’m David Asper, worrying about how crummy CanadaInns (nee Winnipeg) Stadium is should be the least of my concerns… then again, it’s that attention to detail that explains why Canwest got into their financial pickle.
And paying the guy who presided over the stock decline more than $900K a year doesn't seem like a smart move, or understandable, outside Canwest's mindset.

(hat tip to Ottawa Watch)

Harper's Quebec Strategy: Revealed!

Was listening to the Sunday Edition yesterday (which was 4/5ths constitutional kerfuffle coverage... the Dec 7 show isn't quite up yet, btw, but the link will get you to it once it is) and during a round table discussion segment, a conservative pundit (not a party wonk, an academic with naked conservative sympathies) argued that the Grit+NDP coalition is undemocratic because the Conservatives actually have a majority of the seats in the house...... if you don't count any of the Quebec seats.

Which got me thinking... is that Stephen Harper's strategy in all this? Drive Quebec to separate, after which he'll get his much-coveted majority government and the Conservatives will become the natural ruling party in what remains of the country?


I'm being facetious, of course. Or... on second thought... am I?