Red Chamber Rules

Its all just a game anyway, Isn't it?
When the call comes, I think I'd like to sit as a Senator from Quebec. After all, I probably spend as much time in Montreal as Mike "The Puffster" Duffy does in PEI or that Pamela Wallin does in Saskatchewan.

I was born in Quebec and we own a summer place in les Laurentides. Well it is more like a log cabin but, who is quibbling.

I've certainly never seen Wallin here on the Prairies. It was just another Stephen Harper, wink, wink nod, nod, here are your new senators. Everyone knew it was a joke when these two were appointed. No one raised a fuss. Who cared that they don't actually live here. Saskatchewan is one of those places that you have to leave to get any credibility anyway.

It has been reported that they both vote in Ontario, have Ontario health cards, their drivers licence are from Ontario and they pay taxes in Ontario although Duffy was apparently trying to get fast tracked to get a PEI health card when the new of an investigation leaked out.

The real question is why did it take so long for someone to have a look at what we all figured was a scam from day one.

I don't know, perhaps it is all OK  If it is, you can bet I will be lobbying for Patrick Braseau's spot when the finally turf him from the Red Chamber.

I know my French is barely passable but, Mike Duffy doesn't grow potatoes and he qualified.

Was Phyllis Perogie Behind All This?

Doesn't this erode Saskatchewan values?
It always bothers me when I have to read about how utterly stupid the Harper Saskatchewan team sounds when confronted with a problem, in newspapers from Eastern Canada rather that in our own Leader Post. Mind you, the Post Media products these days are mostly wire copy anyway, mixed up with a bit of Brad Wall boosterism and a few, what we, back in my television days, used to call , bobbing for apples stories, mindless drivel about one community event of another.

The Globe & Mail's Tabatha Southey tells us that when asked about the latest robocall scandal the Conservatives find themselves neck deep in, backbencher Brad Trost from Saskatoon said "I don't think there was anything wrong with the robocall. I think it was good and accurate information and we should stand behind it."

Then he stuck the other foot in saying..."I didn't hear it. I don't know the script. I don't know anything...One of my colleagues had it at her residence and her husband got it and he said it was fine. I'll take his word for it."

Now poor Brad was just trying, unsuccessfully to support the Prime minister who is quite confused about the matter. Harper claims "hundreds and hundreds" of people opposed proposed changes to the Saskatchewan electoral boundaries. In fact the Saskatchewan Boundaries Commission received a couple of hundred written submissions about the changes, many of which of which were negative. They also received about 3,000 emails, postcards and petitions they say were "Clearly ..inspired by the encouragement of members of Parliament opposed to the abolition of rural-urban hybrid districts."

Gerry, the Ritz Cracker also waded in to the debate claiming that "Three-quarters of the people of Saskatchewan are upset with the way the maps are drawn."

That would be about 750,000 people which seems very unlikely. My straw poll tells me that 100% of the people questions support the changes. Of course my estimate is probable about as accurate as Gerry's.

At least this time the Conservatives admitted they did it and didn't try to pin it all on Phyllis Perogie or some one like her.


Lukiwski Plays Pinocchio

My MP, Tom Lukiwski, who supposedly represents the residents of Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre doesn't like the new proposed changes to the Saskatchewan Electoral Boundaries. I understand why. The existing boundaries carve up Regina and Saskatoon into a bit of a pie adding to them, huge rural components. The rural voters have guaranteed that guys like Tom get elected.

Lukiwski and his Saskatchewan colleagues have been trying to say that unlike Canada's other 25  significant cities, Saskatchewan cities should not have urban ridings. They have mounted a bit of a campaign.

A few evenings ago we got an automated robocall call from a group that claimed to be Chase Research. It was a "push poll" of the worst kind.  My son took the call and then we called the number identified in the call to complain, we were so annoyed. Then when we discovered we could not find any Canadian firm called Chase Research on the Internet we started to get suspicious.

Our reaction was to say, "This has to be a Conservative poll."

Oh, no no says our friend Tom. Quoted in the Star Phoenix he said,    "Certainly, polling is not something I'm doing and ... I'm pretty sure I'd know if any one of my colleagues was doing something like that, and I haven't heard a thing."  Lukiwski just happens to be on the Procedure and House Affairs Committee that will consider the boundaries commission's final report.

So, late yesterday the truth, or something that resembles it, came out. This was a Conservative initiated push poll delivered to us by the firm RackNine Inc. That, for those of you with short memories, is the same firm that, on the behest of Stephen Harper's Conservatives, sent people they suspected would vote for the opposition, to the wrong polling stations during the last election. How could we forget Pierre Poutine?

I don't know about you but I don't think liars and cheats deserve to be Members of Parliament.



When Union Membership drops - So do Wages

Canadian Figures Would Tell the Same Story
I was thinking the other day about Organized Labour's inability to capture the hearts and minds of younger workers.

I don't understand the "I'm alright Jack" mentality when so many of them aren't. A very high percentage of young workers are either un or under-employed and frustrated. When they do have jobs they often are not working for much more than minimum wage.

It is so far from what they were promised.

It must be infuriating listening to the Brad Walls of the world blather on about our boom economy.

I came across a graphic the other day which might be food for thought when thinking about the role of trade unions in keeping wages high.