Sunday, May 29, 2011

When Bowie Met Springsteen.


I had never met Ian Reid for real.

But I did know of him by reputation.

Political reputation that is.

Not personal.

So when Ian popped-up here, in the comments, after I started writing about the Casino Industrial Complex that arrived still-borne, but fully-wurlitzered, in the deep, spikey shadows of the devil-horned roof from nowhere, I was a little surprised.

In the ensuing months we corresponded quite a bit, both here in the bloggodome and offline, about what was really going down.

To be absolutely clear about this, even though a lot of the stuff Ian told me was pure gold I was initially wary because he is an old Pol.

And while I am mostly sympathetic to the party that he has worked for over the years, I have come to learn that you can never be too sure when an old Pol might be working you rather than just talking to you.

But all that fell away when Ian began to respond to the stuff I wrote about making music with my kids.

Because both of those things are personal.

And as we kept talking, purely in pixels mind you, it turned out that, while it would appear on the surface that we have very little in common other than politics, we actually do.

Have lots of things in common I mean.

But it was the differences that I became really interested in.

Like how he would tell me proudly about all the crazy, wild and exhilarating adventures that his own, now fully grown (I think), kids are involved in.

This was a real comfort to me given that my own kids are still young enough that it is hard, as much as I would like to, to let them rush headlong straight into their own private AdventureLands.

As for the musical differences.....

Well, those don't really matter.

Except to mention that I have never really been a Bowie fan.

But then I read a recent post from Ian that lets us know about all the Life (and yes, maybe even death) Changes he's been going through for quite some time now.


I decided to go looking for the intersection of Mr. Bowie and all that I hold dear, musically at least.

And I think I found it.

Here you go Ian (and, thanks).....

The flipside is here.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

It Turns Out...

....We Are Really Big In Taiwan!


C's Mom L. is over for the weekend.

And we got to talking about our Busking Project.

She asked me if there are any more videos.

There are not.

Because the kids are off doing their own things now, which is great.

So these days it's mostly just the Whackadoodle and me, usually at beaches, in the woods, or at dog parks, but almost always with the guitar.


I can play most of the playlist with the leash strapped to my left hand now.

Except, of course, for that damned F#Minor, which is so important in so many of that maniacal genius Darnielle's Key of A songs.

Which is how I have the playlist organized.

By Key.

Not by Artist....

Or Album...

Or even song title.

It's kind of like my busker version of a Nick Hornby/Championship Vinyl-type obsessive/compulsive/organizational type deal.



As for that Taiwan thing....It turns out that if you go to the Stats portion of the video above's actual YouTube page, Formosa lights up like Lizzie May's hair on fire.

And for a long time I couldn't figure out why.

Until I dug deeper and found out that some kid (presumably it's a kid, but can't tell for sure because the characters are in Hokkien and thus are, as one would expect, unreadable to me) linked to us from Taiwan months ago.

And people from there are still stopping by in a slow, steady drizzle.

All of which goes to show that, even without the rapture, it really is a crazy, mixed-up world we live in.

For the record, am still writing songs...And doing my best to record a few along with a whole lotta covers...Working on something like this, only for my Dad, whose name is Ken - not Clem.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Heard The News Today, Oh Boy....


And it turns out the Rapture really did happen.

In, of all places, an Scottish schoolhouse back in....


Are You Busy Getting Ready For The Rapture?


Somehow, I figure that the original girl who 'Kissed A Girl' and who now completely fan-funds her albums, Jill Sobule, isn't getting too worked up about it...

Ms. Sobule, who is a big, big favourite around our house, was on Radiotubz with Jim and Greg awhile back and she told an interesting little story about her early days when she was 'discovered' by a big ConGlom A&R man who then pushed her single out the door and tried to turn her into something she was not. Turns out, the same guy discovered Ms. KPerry fifteen years later. But Jill holds no grudges. After all, when the Katy song went big the I-Tunes spillover was, allegedly, enough for Sobule to put a downpayment on the Prius..... If you want to hear about Jill's early days, in song, there is nothing better (or more inspiring) than this.... And if you want to hear the rockingest, no chairs included, version of 'Kissed A Girl' by Jill and John Doe, live, buy.....This!


Friday, May 20, 2011

British Columbia Finally Has A New Chief Electoral Officer


And his name is Keith Archer.

And while he comes from the outer reaches of the infamous Calgary School's eliptical orbit and once co-authored a paper with Tom Flanagan, we won't hold that against him given that he has written a lot about progressive issues.


What should Mr. Archer's first order of business be?

Well, I figure it should be to review all of the rulings of the previous interim CEO.

Rulings like this one.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Did Christy Clark Actually Say Something Of Substance Amongst The Name Change Chatter?



Now that the BC Liberal Party has successfully changed the channel with all that name change codswallop, it would appear that it's back to business as usual in Lotuslandia.

Which is great news for a government whose shiny new leader was very nearly flung onto the talk show scrap heap just a week ago.

Especially when you've got a $5 million PR campaign to mount that is designed to get the peasants to vote for a "heads we win, tails they lose" style referendum.

Interestingly, however, Paul Willcocks noticed that the leader of the now self-admitted LINO's* actually said something potentially interesting at their Gord-Free Convention last weekend:

"...(M)uch more significant (than the call for a name change) was Premier Christy Clark's pledge to end the party's practice of preventing nomination challenges for incumbent MLAs. That's been an unwritten, but strictly enforced, rule...."

Mr. W. then went on to describe how open nominations can be a good thing for grass roots democracy.

And, in principle, I agree.

But then Paul threw in a wee word of warning:

"...There are risks to allowing open nomination contests. A well-funded, ambitious would-be candidate could hijack a constituency association, sign up a bunch of instant party members and take over without real support from party members..."

Which got me to thinking about another piece that Mr. Willcocks wrote about Ms. Clark's now former husband, Mr. Mark Marissen.

I've always found the following passage from that piece, which was published in BC Business in 2007, particularly interesting:

"...There is no denying the Marissen team played rough. The most infamous episode saw the (Paul) Martin forces take over the riding association of (Federal Liberal) MP and Chrétien supporter Herb Dhaliwal in 2002, while Dhaliwal was out of the country and his wife was dying of cancer. The takeover not only locked up delegate support for Martin; it killed Dhaliwal’s chances of running again. He blames (David) Basi and others on Marissen’s team, complaining of questionable mass sign-ups of instant Liberals. The riding association swelled from 250 to almost 3,400 members during the campaign to get rid of Dhaliwal..."

Which has to make at least some enquiring minds wonder what the real intent was behind Ms. Clark's call that was hidden in the middle of all the moniker-mongering last weekend.

But never mind all that.

Instead, did you catch the name of the third man that flew by, almost in passing, in the short passage above.


That one.

The one who once worked with former LINO Finance Minister Gary Collins back in the days when Ms. Clark was the Deputy Premier to his Gordness who much later went on to become one of the recipients of the $6 Million Dollar LINO-Man-assisted pay-off package not so long ago.

What was that all about, you may be asking?

Well, for a little deep background let's go to the following, from a piece from Charlie Smith in the GStraight from way back in ancient times (ie. Jan 15th, 2004) when the LINO's were still riding relatively high in the saddle and no one knew anything about a dinner at the Villa of the Wolf a few weeks earlier:

"On two separate occasions, Finance Minister Gary Collins welcomed to the B.C. legislature's visitors' gallery a Young Liberal who was later linked to the takeover of Herb Dhaliwal's federal riding association.

Despite this, Collins told reporters on January 2 (2004) that he "honestly" did not know why supporters of then MP Paul Martin took over Dhaliwal's riding association in 2002 while Dhaliwal was out of the country.

On April 29, 1999, Collins welcomed Amar Bajwa, then president-elect of the B.C. Young Liberals, to the visitors' gallery. According to Hansard, Collins also introduced Bajwa's mother, Jaswant Bajwa, president of the India-Canada Cultural Association of British Columbia, and his brother Pawan.

Several media outlets have reported that Amar Bajwa is a friend of Collins's fired ministerial aide, David Basi, and that Bajwa was the Vancouver Burnaby South federal Liberal riding membership chairman who helped replace Dhaliwal's supporters with a pro Paul Martin slate.

On May 27, 2001, Collins again welcomed Bajwa and 11 other young B.C. Liberals to the legislature's visitors' gallery: Aneal Basi, Naveen Bains (a former B.C. Young Liberals president), Jag Bains, Perry Bhaniwal, Keleim Manji, Savik Sidhu, Nab Gill, T. J. Parhar, Bikrum Gill, Reet Bains, and Jonathan Chau..."

Whole lotta 'Boyz' there, eh?

Of course, at least one name is notably absent.

After all, way back then Mr. Virk was still apparently known to the general public only as 'Bob from Burnaby'.


*LINO = Liberal In Name Only
Now, imagine you are an MLA from the Fed-Con wing of the soon to be newly-named B.C. Conservative Liberal Alliance Party (aka "The CLAP!")...Would this open nomination policy business have you a little concerned that the FedLib wing of the party might have their eyes on your riding?...Well, if you if you were such a red-meater you would probably be fully in agreement with the following statement from Kevin "Call-Me-On-My-Cell-If-You-Need-A-Roof" Krueger who, according to Mr. Willcocks, responded to Ms. Clark's call by saying that '...he (Krueger) enforced the ban on nomination challenges as caucus whip. People who wanted to challenge an incumbent were "encouraged" to look elsewhere, he said. "It was not 'open season' and it won't be 'open season' this time,"...' ....Gosh....Is that the sound of the fly atop the big tent I hear ripping?


Monday, May 16, 2011

All The Nights In All The Seasons Don't Mean A Hill Of Beans...


....Compared To This.

I know the romance is done.

As will all the world, soon.

But the music....



Sunday, May 15, 2011

The BC Liberal's New Fixer....


Never mind the content consultant and his many, many hats.

Because all they need now is.....


Is A Fear of Stephen Harper The Real Reason...


....The BC Liberal Party wants to change their name?

Who really knows what is on the minds those pushing the buttons of their animatronic spear carrier from VanQuadra.

But it was an interesting point raised by Sean Holman's rabble-rousers this morning.

And what happens if, after the LINOs become 'The CLAP' party party, somebody else comes along and just steals.....errrr....takes the Liberal name right back again.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

What If Lindsay Weir Had Scuffled Instead Of Soared?


Me, I figure Paul Feig and Judd Apatow might just make a movie about it.

Lindsay's so-called messed-up life, I mean.

Written, of course, by Kristen Wiig.

And while I haven't seen the film yet (I'll leave that to Bigger E. and her friends), I have, as is so often my want, read about it courtesy of Manohla Dargis in the Times.


This kind of stuff always kind of makes me wonder about things like 'what if'.

As in, "What if Freaks And Geeks hadn't been cancelled after the first season?'

Somehow, I reckon things would have turned out a whole lot differently.

Because, clearly if the TeeVee show version of the Apatow vision of folks born fully formed, as voiced and filmed by Feig, had gone on a long run, Linda Cardellini would likely never have gone on to play Velma in the Scooby Moovies.

And, for sure, Jason Segel would never have done this.

Regardless, it was a heckuva show - and for that we, and probably pretty much that entire Apatow crowd*, should probably all be grateful.

*Except maybe for Sam Levine, but certainly not Mike White.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Best New Name For LINO's So Far?


Colin Hansen has called on his failing BC Liberal Party to re-name and re-brand itself.

Best name so far on #samepartydiffname from Mike Lowe is:

"Conservative Liberal Alliance Party"......aka....."The CLAP"


Mine is 'Marissinites United'


Does Elections-BC Want To Turn Reasonable People Into Crazed Conspiracy Theorists?



There has been all sorts of chatter on the Lotuslandian interwebz about things like...

- Extra ballot boxes that suddenly appeared out of nowhere...
- Advance polls that may not have been counted already....
- Absentee ballots that don't have a note from their mother....
- A thousand ghost votes that may or may not exist and/or be named Casper...

All of which would be nothing more than grist for the mill if everything was running smoothly over there at good old Elections-British Columbia.


I got to wondering how the votes went down in last week's Point Grey by-election when it became clear that Christy Clark and David Eby were running neck-and-neck and cheek-by-jowl from start to (almost) finish when the big surge for Ms. Clark came in. This is clearly evident from the whiteboard image above which was snapped by the VSun's Andrea Woo direct from Camp Eby (note the absolute tie after 128 ballot boxes at 5421 votes and then note the next line).

My best guess at the time was that the big surge on the bottom line of the board came from extremely heavy ProPol-assisted advance votes and/or a couple of choice geographic polls from the poshest portions of Creme-Ville.


As I mentioned earlier today, it was most interesting to learn from A. Tsakumis the next day that it appears that at least one small pocket of creamiest Creme-Ville west of Blanca (ie. the pointiest part of Point Grey) actually went to Eby.

Given that, I decided to go looking for the poll-by-poll splits over at Elections-British Columbia myself.

But, unfortunately they were not there.

So, I instead went over to Chad Skelton's VSun Blog because he has demonstrated in the past that he is the best local proMedia number-cruncher going.


It turns out that Mr. Skelton has been frustrated by E-BC also:

B.C. Premier Christy Clark's surprisingly narrow victory over NDP candidate David Eby in the Vancouver-Point Grey byelection has many wondering how a race many thought would be a cakewalk turned into a squeaker.

With that in mind, we were interested in taking a look at the poll-by-poll results from last night's race to see whether any parts of the riding switched from Liberal to NDP since the 2009 general election.

So I called up Jan Pierce, the Elections BC returning officer for the byelection, and asked her for a copy.

She said they had the poll-by-poll results in hand but would have to check with Elections BC head office to see if she could release them. A few minutes later she called back with her answer: No she couldn't give them to me.....

And here's the real kicker....E-BC is now saying that the splits won't be available until September:

....According to Elections BC policy, she (returning officer Jan Pierce) said, poll-by-poll results are only available once the official results are published by Elections BC.

And when would that be, I asked? Could be as late as September, she said.

In an e-mail, Elections BC spokesman Don Main confirmed the agency won't be releasing poll-by-poll results anytime soon:

Voting area by voting area results are considered official results. Official results will available in the Report of the Chief Electoral Officer on the Vancouver-Point Grey By-election, not before. ... The report is scheduled for mid-September....


Won't that be after the HST referendum and, perhaps, well into the next provincial General Election campaign that will be fronted by Christy Clark herself?

Now, given all that, I am doing my best to try and stay reasonable here.


I really, really am.

How about you?

Which begs the question....How does Mr. T. have the numbers...My best bet is that it is coming through one of the Liberal party's proPols who got them from their scrutineers....Regardless, the proPols clearly have the numbers...Thus, even in the complete absence of any conspiracy whatsoever, this rank incompetence (four months to ratify one lousy little by-election??!!) does not serve the public, not to mention their trust, well...I mean, at the very least should the proPols get to have information that we paid for?
Meanwhile, Ms. Clark and her Party are caught red-handed electioneering and E-BC says that is all just fine and dandy.....Laila and cherylb have that story (and they had it before Andrew MacLeod over at The Tyee)...


If The LINO's Have Lost The West of Blanca Crowd...


...They really are doomed.

On the night of the Point Grey Bye-Bye, I wondered what would happen west of Blanca which, essentially is all the high end condos and townhouses at UBC.

Me, I figured that would be a big swing for Ms. Clark and the BC Liberals.

That's because a lot of the folks living in those places are their core 'middle' - well-heeled, upwardly mobile, and socially liberal. There is also a growing number of new immigrants high up on the socioeconomic ladder that you wouldn't think of as usually going Dipper.

And then......

The next day Alex Tsakumis spills the beans/poll numbers that even there Ms. Clark got creamed.

Which must have the smart money boys wondering what will happen in Kerrisdale, or even Richmond, not to mention the North Shore, in the general if she can't carry Hampton Place.



When Conventional Wisdom Becomes Codswallop...


....You get stuff like this:

...Why was it (the Point Grey byelection) so close? As the night wore on, I started getting emails, tweets and text messages from frightened Liberals — all full of excuses for what, at that point, was looking like a byelection disaster.

It was still-simmering anger over the HST, they said. Or maybe it was a backlash against the nasty attack flyer Clark sent out in the dying days, portraying Eby as pro-pornography, among other things.

But the thing most Liberals quietly admitted was Clark should not have snubbed those riding debates.

That was arrogant. It was the opposite of her "new style" of "inclusive politics." And it nearly cost her....


There is absolutely no evidence that Christy Clark would have done better if she had debated David Eby.

In fact, everything points the other way.

I mean....

Do you really think it was her decision to duck?

I think not.

Instead, I'm pretty sure it was the pro-pols running her campaign, guys like this, who held her back.

In fact, I'd be willing to be that they carefully estimated the odds and then played them to the third decimal point.



Blogger Ate The Posts...


Sorry everyone. All PGrey bye-bye election stuff is gone.

I'll try and piece some of it back together if time and/or inclination permits.

Update: Holy doodles!....They're back!!! (see below)...Comments still gone though...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Requiem For A Lightweight....

..."How Can Someone Possibly Be Less Popular Than Gordon Campbell?"

From our good friend Mr. Beer 'N Hockey on last night's (almost) live blog of the feature bout between challenger David Eby and she who hid behind her cornermen even after the bell rang, Ms. Christy Clark.


Point Grey By-Election (Almost) Live

Eby v. Clark

8:01pm...Polls closed...Pretty heavy late turnout at two polls I passed in rain on ride home outta CremeVille on way home to near Eastern Townships this evening.

8:06pm...Looking for....Did Greeniacs lay off their candidate who, essentially, said they should go Eby?....Did any of the lunatic/boulevard sign/big teeth right-sided fringe desert Clark?...Turnout, of course, matters.

8:12pm...Cassidy Olivier notes that Eby mingles with supporters while Clark even shuns own during wait for first returns

8:25pm...First ballot box of 134 now in....goes Eby.

8:30pm...Andrea Woo has photo up from Eby headquarters up....early lead holding.

8:35pm...Stephen Hui has 2nd round of results....slight Clark lead.

8:40pm...Green and BCFirst getting ~3% each so far.

8:41pm...Dan Burrett of WX says Clark camp looking at 35% turnout.

8:42pm.....~3000 votes in....Eby has a bit of lead....this could be more than pocket region-specific.

8:43pm....WX banging NW's gong with running reports...

8:45pm....Looks to be swinging back and forth in a bit of a riding-specific fashion....Which way will a whole lotta West of Blanca High-End Condo votes go?

8:50pm...Almost 4000 votes = a third of the ballots in...Eby in front by a hunnerd this is officially a squeaker....Is Clark mortally wounded, regardless now?

8:52pm....5000 votes in/70 of 132 polls in....Eby up by.......One!

8:56pm....Creme starting to curdle? Clark now up by ~40 votes.

8:58pm....A little scary....Green vote now rising a little...'James' all over a stinkin' gain?

8:59pm....Why is E-BC site so far behind what the campaigns have?

9:02pm....Clark up by 50 votes with 100/130 polls reporting....We need some deep Kits votes.

9:03pm....Fast results are coming from NDP scrutineers VanCourier reports.

9:06pm....NW has one unknown stringer working both rooms...Way behind with their numbers...Is this really the end for (notso)Giant98 who ran with the execrable Addler for the last two hours?

9:10pm....110/130 polls Eby back up by almost 100....I think, maybe, really, seriously.....

9:15pm....Even if she wins I've gotta think that her Caucus may no longer be hers...This is freakin' CremeVille!

9:17pm....Based on performance so far, Andrea Woo of the VSun will have the final numbers first.

9:18pm....AWoo has Clark up by 20 votes with 120/130 polls in....Recount, regardless?

9:19pm....Wish somebody would TwitPic a KinsellaGiles twofer right about now.

9:19pm....Can't believe CityCaucus on the TwittPhone actually has something useful to say...Wonders if the advance votes have been counted yet.

9:21pm....If only she'd run a couple of MORE eTown-Halls.....Ha!

9:22pm....Looks like Clark has won on last 5 ballots....Were those the advances?....

9:25pm....In end it looks like Clark wins by 300....essentially the number that went Green?...

9:30pm...Best comment of night, and it's not a Tweet!....From Mr. Beer 'N Hockey who says,
"The analysis from Steepleton? How can someone posibly be less popular than Gordon Campbell?"....

9:32pm....Still some chatter about absentee ballots to come now?....Hmmmm....What is the story there?

9:34pm....Which member of the puffed-up punditry carry water for hole-in-bucket Premier tonight at 11?....My money's on Baldrey.

9:35pm...AWoo at Dipper HQ says it was tied after 128/132 polls....If that is really true that was one helluva ('n interesting?) swing of 300 vots on the last two polls....Does anybody else smell somethin', perhaps, a wee bit poissony?

9:39pm....In all seriousness....How much might Ms. Clark have lost by if she had been forced to actually defend her codswallop in a debate with Mr. Eby?

9:41pm...Having fun thinking of what Ms. Clark's speech would have focussed on if she had been forced to concede....Maybe that she was going to return to the Sorbonne to actually finish a degree? After all, even Ms. Palin was able, in the end, to manage that.

9:44pm....Well, glad to see that E-BC has finally caught up to the Twitverse...But here's something weird....They are are reporting 145/134 polls counted.....One more thing about this night that makes you go.....hmmmmmmm....Actually, my guess is that those were the 'advances' and that PK and his High Flyers packed those out to give themselves that cushion....

9:45pm...All done....Thanks for stopping by everyone....Had over a hundred of our own on the line for awhile there, which was fun.


When Colin Hansen Speaks...

....Reality Weeps

Colin Hansen, Christy Clark's campaign manager in the Point Grey by-election, was caught doing his well-patented 'shuck and jive', one more time when he tried to explain why his horse doesn't show up for all-candidate debates.

First the 'shuck', from the Canadian Press:

...Clark's campaign manager, Colin Hansen, a long-time Liberal cabinet minister and Clark's riding neighbour, said Clark has met as many voters as possible in the campaign.

The former finance minister said Clark decided to hold electronic town-hall meetings with constituents where people could listen and ask questions over the telephone rather than attend the traditional all-candidates meetings, which are often stacked with partisan supporters.

"In this day and age, political parties have to find new ways of reaching out to voters, and that's why the electronic town hall is something I think is a great tool for candidates to use," he said.

"It's basically about how do we bring campaigning into the 21st Century."....

Then the 'jive', from The Tyee:

....The evening before, Christy Clark confidently strides into the main hall of St. Mark's church in Kitsilano. More than 100 people waiting inside hoot, whistle and clap to welcome her.

The town hall meeting organized by Clark's campaign office has mainly drawn supporters, judging by the energy in the room. The premier thanks the audience several times before she begins, assuring the audience that recent media criticism over her refusal to parlay with the opposition and skip the all candidates' debates has not put her out of touch with her constituents.

"Part of my commitment is to make sure that government is open to citizens, because I know we cannot do what citizens want us to do -- cannot reflect your priorities -- unless we talk to you, unless we listen to you," says Clark...

And then, as you might expect from the good Mr. Hansen and those who pull his strings, comes the 'Super-Fly-High-Five-Jive' delivered by the good Mr. A. Tsakumis, who actually knows all of these people:

"...As moderator (of the St. Mark's Church Town Hall), INCREDIBLY, was a fellow named Steve Kukucha. Now, full disclosure, I’ve known Kukucha since we were classmates in French Literature at UBC in the 80s and I consider him a friend. But his appearance was stunning.

No, not just because he’s another staunch federal Liberal, part of the Marrisen set that brought you spineless Paul Martin, but because he is an Independent Power Project (IPP) executive, with, at one point, TEN LICENCES up for approval.

Clark actually had the incredible temerity, the unmitigated gall to stand there and answer questions about the environment and how she cared about the flora and fauna of sensitive streams–much like The Blessed Mother Teresa did about Calcutta’s poor, all while seated two feet and hosted by a guy whose companies stand to make GAZILLIONS in profits on schemes that the B.C. Utilities Commission have declared “an answer to a non-existent problem.” So while Premier Snooki was shoveling the bull about how much she cares for the BC environment, she was seated next to a man whose plans could easily contribute to its destruction...."

'Nuff said?

And speaking of the pullers of strings, it was interesting to learn, again from Mr. Tsakumis, that the good Mr. Mark Giles, he of Patrick Kinsella's Progressive Group, was also at St Mark's church for the partisanly non-partisan Town Hall. Now, for those who start to see visions of tangled webs of silly string and/or stinky cheese when they see a room crawling with consultants/campaign managers, it is worth remembering that, while it was Mr. Kinsella who helped Ms. Clark with her BC Liberal leadership bid, the good Mr. Giles was actually riding George Abbott at the time. Gosh!......One might almost think that someone, or some 'Group', was trying to hedge their bets from the beginning.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

CasinoGate Revisited...Was The Fix In From The Very Beginning?


For those who don't remember, way back when it was first announced, it was our opinion, based on the timelines and facts then at hand, that the fix for the $600 million retractable-roof-assisted Casino Industrial Complex was in from the very beginning.


Thanks to the fruits of an FOI request, Ian Reid has the goods on at least part of what went down:

"The BC Pavilion Corporation planned the redevelopment of the BC Place Stadium to accommodate the new Paragon owned Casino complex ten months prior to selecting Paragon’s casino proposal in a supposedly open competition according to documents obtained through a City of Vancouver Freedom of Information request....."

Essentially, what Ian found is that the plans for building a Casino Industrial Complex next to BC Place stadium were hatched long before PavCo, a creature of Gordon Campbell's government, released its request for proposals to develop the site.

Thus, despite PavCo chairs protestations to the contrary as recently as three months ago, it would appear that Paragon's (now doomed, but not yet dead) proposal was given a big head start before the game even began.

Now, there is a lot of important stuff in Ian's post which demonstrates how the public trust has been abused in this case.

And, guess what.....There is even a sudden reappearance of....Mr. Campbell's man of many hats!

"....The process was initiated in January 2008 at the request of the BC Pavilion Corporation and was overseen by a select committee of senior civic and provincial officials including City Manager Judy Rogers and Premier Gordon Campbell’s long-time advisor Ken Dobell as well as an advisor from Partnerships BC...."

Imagine that!


There Is Only One Proven Extremist Running in Point Grey...

....And Her Name Is Christy Clark


It would appear that things have tightened a little in the Point Grey by-election.

How do we know this?

Because Christy Clark, debate no-show kill button still in hand, has suddenly gone negative on David Eby calling him an extremist due to his work for civil rights and social justice.


There is only one person running in tomorrow's bye-bye in creme-de-la-creme ville who has proven that she is an extremist once in power.


Before the slash and burning started in earnest to clear out the social slag that would facilitate Gordon Campbell's really, really big plans to privatize everything there was first the BC Liberal Party's 2001 election platform.

An election platform that was co-written by Christy Clark.

And before there was the privatization of the Ferries, and the Railway, and the Roads, and the Bridges, and the Subway, and the Hospital Services, and the MSP Billing, and the Accounting, and the Rivers, there was the privatization of many, many services delivered by the Ministry of Child and Family Development.

And when the latter all blew up with the Doug Walls/CareNET debacle that cost subsequently cost taxpayers millions, who did Gordon Campbell immediately put in charge of Child and Family Development?

Why, none other than.


Christy Clark.


Now, here's the really important thing.

The privatization of something like BC Ferries, while disastrous, has so far cost us little more than money.

But the disaster that MCFD has become, and the services it still contracts out to private companies as a direct result of the extremism of Mr. Campbell and Ms. Clark is still very much with us.

And that directly affects kids in trouble.

Which means that, in this specific case, Ms. Clark's political extremism has cost us way, way more than money.



Monday, May 09, 2011

More Proof That Good People Doing Good Things Matters...


This just in from Diana Mehta of the CP:

It's been a week since Derek Miller died, but the British Columbia blogger's last words — published after he lost a four-year battle with cancer — continue to stir emotions among millions around the world.

Miller's "Last Post" was published on his blog by a friend on May 4, a day after the 41-year-old father of two died from complications of colorectal cancer in Burnaby, B.C.

Since then, the poignant post has received more than eight million hits while it continues to be linked on other blogs, re-tweeted and posted on Facebook.....

{snippety doodle dandy}

....Miller started writing his final message in January and made revisions to it up until two days before he died. None of his loved ones read it until it was posted online after his death.

Once his final message was publicly available though, the deluge of online traffic caused his site to crash several times as it received more than 6,000 requests per minute.

"It's pretty overwhelming," said (Derek's wife )Airdrie Miller. "He would love this. He's a bit of a ham and he would love the attention."....

And so he should.

Love it I mean.

Because, clearly....

George Harrison was right.

And if you don't believe me about that last bit, go and read Derek's last post (again, if you need to) right down to... the...very...end.


It's All Over Now, Baby Blue



If Christy Clark is a Liberal.....

Why, exactly, are all her campaign signs blue?


Friday, May 06, 2011

Did Gary Mason Just Say Christy Clark Has Connections To The BC Rail Scandal?


Why yes, I believe he did.

It was a classic, drive-by from the man known by the Pythons who walk among us as he who once tried to eat Chichester Cathedral, but he said it nonetheless:

"....What does she have to lose?

The answer is more than the other guys.

That is why Ms. Clark is not debating; because she has more to lose than anyone else in the debate, especially NDP candidate David Eby. She would inevitably be asked questions that would be uncomfortable. (About her connections to the BC Rail scandal, perhaps.)...."

And just who is it that is running her 'campaign', not to mention her 'town halls' anyway?

One thing we do know for sure....

It is NOT these guys.

Not literally, at least.


Has David Eby Pulled An Anti-Sheen?


Film, well OK words, at 11.


Reading Derek Miller


Reading one of the comments to Derek Miller's last post led me here.

Clearly, at the very least, someone should make a movie about these young fellas that called themselves 'The Excursionists'.

I'm imagining that it would be kind of like Barry Levinson's 'Diner', only with slide rules.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Derek Miller Lives!



Update: at the bottom of the post

And he, who is also known as 'Penmachine', will be on with Stephen Quinn on the
CeebBC, Radio One, after the 5:30pm news, today, Wednesday May 4th, 2011.

That is all.

And it is enough.

More than enough.

The interview is now archived, here.
In-Depth Strat&Surge Analysis still coming.....Promise.
By the way, Mr. Quinn nailed Jim Dinning when he asked one specific question, "What evidence is there that business are passing on HST savings to consumers right now?" Absolutely none was offered - evidence, I mean.
Update, noon Thursday: Looking for something to affirm how much one person's life is really worth?....Go read Derek's last post....And then....Read the comments...All of them....OK?


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Strategic Voting Did NOT Help Stephen Harper In BC



The Spinners and the proMedia Pundits who are their wilfully ignorant Tops are quickly turning this 'strategic voting is bad for progressives' business into conventional wisdom.

I have crunched the numbers and, for British Columbia at least, this is pure codswallop.

In fact it is quite the opposite.

I'll be back with a full, evidence-based and numbers-filled report soon (sorry, I'm doing in the lunch hour rush of a busy science-geek day with the gradual students). However, I did do a quick narrative analysis in the comments to a David Beer's post over at The Tyee here.


Hey! .....Speaking of science-geeks and smart kids, check this out!


Hey, Canadian Left-Center Fielders....


...Let's Go Camping!

Because it takes a really big defeat to clear the ground of all the deadwood so that we can start driving in the stakes to put up a new and even bigger tent for all to fit under.


And if you don't believe me, how do you think that tent first got started anyway?
(not to mention that BC LINO one)


Monday, May 02, 2011

Strat And Surge Update In BlueOrangeGreen B.C.



Update: The day after.....I have done a bit of an analysis that David Beers appeared to not want to do on the Strat Vote on in the comments tagged on this post at The Tyee.

Comprehensive Elections Canada results, sans talking-head fiddle-faddle and babble, here.

Let us know what you think of the Strat and Surge Strategy or anything else as night unfolds (I'm still working, so my input will be sporadic until after midnight Newfie/Mercer time).

Our original 18 Strat and Surge recommendations are here.

10:43pm...All done, will have a round-up dissection on the effectiveness of the Strat-Surge in a day or two...One thing for sure looking at the numbers is the fact that the FedLib brand has been mortally-wounded in BC by the Cons' Politics of Destruction.
10:35....Always classy, Ujji is obliquely blaming Iggy and the Dippers for defeating him in VanSouth...Now says his political career is over...Says he's moving on to social justice career...Really?....Working for who?
10:30pm...Think ConDuncan is going to finally prevail over DipperLeonard in VanIsleNorth...PolySciGuy Dipper Stewart will win in Burnaby Dougie Howser...Dipper Garrison pretty much has Esquimalt locked the rest of the country had only co-operated...
10:28pm...Well, whack me up the side of the head with some used vinyl, because....I could swear I just heard SHarper affecting a Stuart McLean voice...What will Dave and Morley think????
10:25pm....It looks like Liberal Hedy Fry will prevail in Rainbow-coloured (ironic, no?) Van Ctre....Surrey North looks to have gone to Dipper Sandhu over Conservative Cadman...We're down to just three too-close to call...
10:21pm....Did Steve-O just tell the country he's a 'Uniter'?
10:20pm...Lack of Strat (even split Dipper/Lib) handed WestVanSunshine to Con....Prog vote never had a chance in North Van, regardless...Dosanjh's Lib loss is big, 10% popular, very much aided by Orange surge...Will there be a bye-bye there soon, or will Cons hold on to their fine, fine, fine candidate for the duration?
10:10pm...Forgot to mention that DipperCullen took BerkeleyNorthSkeena in a walk with almost 60% of popular...I'm getting a wee bit worried about VanIsleNorthNow, ConDuncan as 500 vote lead with only 40 polls left, maybe the Strat wasn't quite strong enough as 5+5 went Lib/Green...
10:05pm...Still to close to call for sure in...VanIsleNorth...EsquimaltJuannie...VanCtre...SurreyNorth...NewtonND....Burnaby DougieHowser...
10:00pm...A long time now between polls reporting VanIsleNorth with ConDuncan up by a few hundred votes over Dipper Leonard...
9:51pm....OK, here is my first really, really bad mistake in the Strat thing...The Dipper is now in second in Van Ctre behind RedHedy...The splits there are unbelievable four ways....Winner will likely have <30% of popular....
9:44pm...Unless there are still some deep pocket Con Polls around the Royal Colwood GC still to come in it looks like Dipper Garrison is going to win a Surge&Strat-assisted Esquimalt Juannie....Hey, forget to mention that Dipper Atamanenko has completely Crushed con with a wee Strat-assist in Southern Interior...Not so for Dipper Shmigelsky in Kootenay-Colombia where ConWilks was just too strong...Just had a weird thought - what if the FedLibs look to Murray for caucus leadership assisted by some operative looking for leverage....Now, who might that turn out to be?
9:38pm...PoliSciGuy Dipper Stewart set to win in Burnaby Doogie-Howser, looks to be Strat-assisted due to folks laying off Lib and way, way off Green...DonaCon looks to be going down to Dipper Sandhu in Strat- & Surge-assisted Surrey North...In Newton Dipper Sims just ahead on crest of big, big Surge, but doesn't matter as Con is out, Lib incumbent could win...
9:35pm...Dipper close in Nanaimo-Alberni, but not good enough to beat Con...VanIsle still toss-up although Con has slight lead that is not swinging with every poll now...RedHedy has slight breathing room of non-Strat-assisted CremeCon now...EarthWind&Fire Lib Murray looks to have held off original StealthCon Meredith in VanQuadra - SteveO now exhaling?...Dipper Davies over 50% in VanKingsway - approaching LibbyD. numbers, which is amazing given the rapid change in demographics to the wealthy in that riding...
9:28pm...Weird to see all that blue in urban Vancouver and Orange in Suburban Burnaby/Surrey...This is a big story is it not -how many SecretCons there were in cities, including formerly LibFortress Toronto?
9:23pm...Esquimalt's Dipper Garrison pulling away....The power of Project Democracy's riding-specific poll late last week which aided the lay-off Strat by former K Martin voters?
9:20pm...WestVanSunshine going Con because of total lack of Strat + the mild Dipper Surge...My tongue just came out of cheek re: Ujji jumping on Green bandwagon - he says he's done with the game...Nationally, JTrudeau rumour mongering has already begun.
9:15pm....Now only one percent separating RedHedy and CremeConClarke...Garrison still leading EsquimaltJuannie thanks to DipperSurge and LibStrat...DipperSimms hangin' on in Newton, looks like pure Surge in 3 way race...Same for Dipper Sandu over DonaCon in Surrey North
9:12pm...Lib Ujjal Dosanjh is done in VanSouth....Will he join Greens now?...EMay now declaring victory in Saanich...
9:o2pm....Despite great Strat in Nanaimo-Alberni where Greens and Libs layed off bigtime it looks like it won't be enough for DipperMaartman to beat old RefoConLunney who has hit 45%-40 at moment with half the poll in...Don't know that riding well enough to know if there are serious Central Port vs. Valley splits that could result in a swing down the line...VanIsleNorth is absolute nail biter that seems to swing from Dipper to Con with each poll that comes in.
9:00pm...Minister of HockeyRinks and Roundabouts going down, bad to Strat-assisted EMay in Saanich...Hedy Fry is in big, big trouble to CremeConClarke in VanCtre due to lack of StratVoting...
8:58pm....Dipper Surges that have not been enough even though there was clearly a Strat-Assist...Kamloops and Kootney Columbia where the SecretConSociety are giving their fearless leader-bots ~50% each.
8:55pm....Dipper Leonard holding on in straight-up Strat-assisted battle in VanIsle North....Holy crap!....Dipper Simms now surging in NewtonNDelta!!!...That, I believe is #10 of those we called....In old news National Con numbers have fallen to just below 40%....Hmmmn.... at 165 projected seats that means that ticket-splitting has mattered.
8:50pm....It's beginning to look like Ujji might be done....Is VanSouth voting in a new blue lemon to pair up with NGrewal who is looks to be hanging on in Fleetwood?
8:46pm....Esquimalt just swung Surge&Strat Dipper!...Did they just count Mom&Dad's votes?...Good on those Libs who once went to Dr. Keith for laying off the Con...
8:45pm....RedHedy and CremeConClarke now only 3% apart....Crap!...How do you all you Greeniacs, way back but sucking votes like stink feel now? Dipper surge isn't helping...What will Phill-O think if this thing goes to she who did not have his back?
8:42pm....Dipper Elkins keeping things close (and scary) in VanQuadra; original StealthConMeredith thus still within a couple of points of EarthWind&FireLibMurray; I'm tellin' you a couple of those new condotowers south south of 16th and Wesbrook could sink Ms. Murray - how will SteveO feel then?
8:35pm....Dipper Garrison starting to close on Con DeSouza a little in EsquimaltJuannie - must have been a couple of central close to Johnson&BayBridge polls come in...Strat now on in VanKingsway - Dipper Davies crushing, over 50%....Strat full on in SaanichGulfEye - Green May now up 10% of Minister of RoundAbout - Dippers and Libs really, really laying off (less than 20% total).
8:27pm....WestVanSunshine....This is another one where the Dippers who did not Strat may just elect a Con...Looks same in Van South - Bill Tieleman must have had some internal poll numbers in his back pocket when he said as much, obliquely on SLeslie show yesterday....Will of people or first-past-the-stupid-post?
8:25pm...DipperDonnelly is in tough, almost straight-up, to ConDilworth in NewWestCoq...Again, one can only surmise that there is this weird SecretConSociety walking amongst us...
8:19pm...VanCtre, CremeCon now sniffing at Hedy's heels...Long shot that some deep Green vote pocket South bridge could swing it Blue there?
8:15pm...VanIsleNorth see-sawing....It's all Strat Up there absolutely nothing going to either Lib or Green....Con v Dipper, straight up....If only more had done same including Esquimalt which looks scary Con over Dipper with Lib/Green suck-away significant so far....

8:07pm...First VanCtre HeddyRed then saw off for all three including Green Carr so far...Saanich - A little light between Green-May over Con-Roundabout

8:05...VanSouth...Flipping DosanjhLIB v. CONWong....Here it looks like Dipper surge is sucking votes from Ujji.

8:03pm...So far Dipper surge looks to be mostly holding...VIsleNorth...Burnaby...SurreyNorth...NanaimoAlberni...

7:59....First EsqJuanDeFuca strong Con...but this riding very, very poll-dependent.

7:58....First Saanich polls to May.

7:56pm...Libs being hammered in Vancouver....Early Kingsway Con over Dipper Davies...If Greens and Libs didn't strat they will wear it....Nothing from VanCtre yet, could be same.

7:53pm...Still nothing Esquimalt or Saanich...VanIsle North going Dipper

7:51pm...There it is....CBC calls ConMajority....

7:48pm...Oh Boy....Now Con 160 leading/elected Nationwide...Unless some serious BC Riding swings due to strong Red or Orange pockets we could be done here...

7:45pm....Dippers over 100....Canada now seriously flirting with Majority Con Doom....158 leading/elected

7:43pm....Dipper Leonard has a bit of a lead on Con Duncan in VanIsleNord

7:41pm....Alright...The Cons are clearly on the cusp of majority...If they don't go solidly over 155 in the next 15 minutes the Strat will really, really count...How stupid does my call for Dippers and Libs to lay off in Saanich now?

7:40pm....Interesting....Con numbers starting to fall a little now that a few Wests starting to swing....Down to 150 elected/leading.

7:35pm....The Lotusland seats I'm watching most closely?....EsqJuanDeFuca...VanIsleNorth...SurreyNorth...SaanichGulfIsles

7:35pm....Cons elected/leading 154....Sheesh...Secret Cons everywhere among us?

7:30pmPacific...Cons elected/leading in 147 now according to ECanada....very, very, very scary.

7:25pmPacific...First Lotusland riding posted on E-Canada....

7:20pmPacific....Cons leading/elected 137 including all 21 Alberta already, so I'm starting to exhale....But only slightly.....

7:15pmPacific....OrangeCrush in Quebec leading in 35....So, if Cons held to minority it really does look like Dipper opposition....

7:05pmPacific....First national news....Cons elected/leading in 131 Nationally, BlueDeath in Ontario...Lib FortressTO breached due to vote splitting....All with NO BC numbers yet....How important does the Strat seem now? We can, in my opinion, only hope.