Sunday, January 28, 2007

Using links

Well, I figured out how to use links.
It was annoying to want to quote articles and not know how to link to complete versions. This is going to make the blog a lot better.

The House resumes tomorrow. People are no longer treating this like an election session.
If we do continue through the winter, spring and into the fall, some of the Tories' criminal law legislation might actually get out of committee, through the House and into the Senate. There are about ten bills that have the ire of the criminal bar, and I expect groups like the Canadian Criminal Lawyers Association and the Canadian Bar Association will be camped on the Hill, especially in late spring and in the fall.
Afghanistan will induce lots of puffery, though no one will likely change positions on this. Crushing the Taliban by taking the war to them ,wherever they are, establishing a more solid regime than Karzai's -- maybe a return to the monarchy -- and declaring victory seems to me like a workable exit strategy.
In Iraq, US-British forces need to do the same thing. The execution of Saddam might have been a good time to go. I suspect the end result of this war will be the partition of Iraq and, to maintain peace, a mechanism for sharing oil revenues between the parts of Iraq that have oil and those that do not.
You'll hear lots about environmental policy, but the media won't clearly explain that the big polluters -- oil wells and coal-powered electricity generators -- are under provincial jurisdiction, as are car exhaust inspections and most other environmental rules. While Dalton McGuinty's liquor monopoly plays "Green" by starting recycling of booze bottles, Ontario Hydro's Nanticoke power plant remains the biggest polluter in the country. Anyone who thinks mainstream pols like Harper and McGuinty have had some kind of environmental awakening is dreaming.
I'd expect a few rabbits being pulled from some hats: an expanded investigation into shady ad dealings by the Liberals across the country; some bail-outs for cities in the midst of budget battles; the killing off of the wheat board.
This is an election year in Ontario, and probably in Quebec and Alberta. With some luck, people will realize what a sleazy regime we have at Queen's Park. There are some upstanding members of the provincial Cabinet -- smart, good people like Jim Watson -- but the election machine is operated by sleazebags for sleazebags. The only way it will be cleaned up will be through public demands for meaningful lobbying and campaign contribution laws. Ottawa is partway there. Toornto hasn't moved on this at all, and I blame, partly, the Queen's Park press corps.
And just a hunch, a gut feeling really: we're going to see a merger in the media that will piss everyone off, something really big like Rogers/Maclean's/the Sun chain or TorStar/Sun or even CanWest/Torstar or CanWest/Globemedia.

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