Tuesday, December 20, 2005

'Chomsky on Terror and Iraq'

An hour with the 'darling of the left' on the subject of Foreign Affairs. While it may seem a bit trite, it does make a fine addendum to Nicholas' bathroom reading material.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sol le Clown

Marc Farveau is dead at the age of 76. As with all children who were subjected to his antics at a young age, the legendary hobo Sol has left a permanent scar.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Board

With OMB Reform upon us, the London Fog aims its patented comprehensive analysis directly at the recent decision (pdf) ordering the City of London to alter its electoral ward structure and boundaries. It's a good read for all those who have ever questioned the almighty Board and its subsequent impact on municipal independence within the Province of Ontario.

While long associated with planning matters, it should be noted that the Province didn't take land-use planning away from local municipalities until the mid 1930s and 1950s. While planning applications make up the majority of appeals, the Board is currently the final arbiter of more than 100 varying statutes dealing with municipal issues. When founded in 1906, one of the OMB's primary roles was indeed municipal electoral wards and boundaries - a role it has retained (pdf) for nearly 100 years - most memorably noted in the excellent 1969 Toronto 'finger wards' decision. Designed to depoliticize decision-making and uphold provincial interests, has the Board outgrown its purview?

Friday, December 09, 2005

The State of Politics.

Politics makes me ill. Unfortunately, I still have to make a choice in this forgettable era of crowding the middle. Despite all the swill and shill of the past two decades, the current federal election remains in my opinion the shallowest in recent memory. Handguns and token tax cuts seem to be the order of the day in this bland and frankly inconsequential bore. It's Christmas and I have better things to do.

It's certainly not the Free Trade Fizzle of 1988, nor the epic 1980 election... Trudeau returned for four more years to Alberta's endless chagrin. In vain attempt to make a dent in the east, the 'heartland' sold its soul and sent Honest Joe Clark to the alter. And yet they still lost - defeated in a farcical vote of non-confidence - ironically at the hands of Social Credit. And as we all know, the NEP was secure for another four years - Comrade Trudeau redeemed and Mulroney instantly destined for greatness. It was the worst of times.

And yet one has to wonder if history is rolling out another re-run. Remember the old days of Reform and the Alliance? Has the leopard changed its stripes? Can a party and leader which once stressed dogged neo-conservative and virtuous traditional values suddenly morph into the happy centrist next door? Didn't Harper and current CPC National Campaign Director Flannigan leave the Reform Party for the National Citizens Coalition in 1994 in disgust amid accusations that Manning was becoming too populist and - gulp - centrist? It's amazing the bankruptcy that comes with the mere glint of power. There's no 'hidden' agenda. In pursuit of plum Ontario, this latest incarnation of carnies proves to be as ideologically whorish (ie. bereft) as the Liberals and NDP are. Sweet irony.

Perhaps the Calgary School and the rural West have seen the light given their noticable hush on the whole matter. For their benefit, I hope so. Otherwise, it's amazing what level an entire region is willing to stoop - yet again - to grope at the golden bosom.

As the clear champions in this age of re-working 'brand appeal', I hereby award my vote to the Conservative Party of Canada. In the spirit of modern Canadian politics, you have abandoned any semblance of ideology and replaced it with thin policy and murky direction built squarely on the foundations of apathetic populism. Air rights over the bloated centre are secure. Now bring on the turkey and piss off.

In a similar vein, look forward to a Miller-Pitfield showdown this November. The stars are aligning.