Monthly Archives: March 2007
So apparently it’s the Bloc that’s out in the cold after Quebec’s election. Very interesting. That isn’t to say the Liberals did well. Charest started the election with a comfortable majority. Now he finds himself the first Quebec PM in more than 40 years to fail to win a majority in his second term. And indeed, Quebec hasn’t seen a minority government since the last century! The Liberals will stay in power – but only just. 48 seats for them, and a stunning 41 for the insurgent ADQ. (The Bloc finishes with a relatively meager 36 – its worst result
Here is a bit of sloppy propaganda. This article (from Reuters – linked from Yahoo! Canada) claims that the Canadian economy is expected to outperform the US economy in 2007. In its Quarterly Economic Forecast, TD Economics said the Canadian economy will expand at an annual average pace of 2.4 percent in 2007, slightly slower than in 2006, while the United States will experience a bigger slowdown. (“TD Economics” is Toronto-Dominon, a Canadian bank – author) Ahem. Note the lack of actual numbers provided for US economic projections. It’s a symptom of the whole article – not just this quote.
Now here‘s the antidote to the last post’s optimism. Quebec has an election tomorrow, and it’s a reeeeaaaaaallly interesting one. That’s because there is a third, conservative-ish(!), party running that came literally out of nowhere. It looks likely to win as much as 25% of the available seats, which is pretty impressive for a newcomer. Actually, this sort of thing isn’t all that unusual in Quebec. Pretty much once every 25-30 years politics in Quebec lurch. The old parties collapse, and at least one new one comes to take the place of at least one old one. But it’s a
Today’s completely useless statistic comes from Canada, where an Angus Reid poll has established that 77% (almost 4 in 5!) of Canadians believe in global warming. So? That doesn’t make it real. In fact, if it turns out not to be real, is Angus Reid going to revise their headline to say “Almost 4 in 5 Canadians Duped by Environmental Fraud?” Whether or not global warming is happening has exactly nothing to do with whether or not Canadians think it is happening. And frankly, the average citizen of any country (especially one with as crappy an education system as Canada’s)
This is my nomination for “dumb conservative column of the day.” It’s by Jay Sekulow and covers an ACLU challenge to a township law in Galloway, NJ forbidding convicted sex offenders from living within 2500 ft. of any school, park, playground or day care. The ACLU is apparently seeking to have the law declared unconstitutional. Now, for my part, I don’t know that this is exactly unconstitutional. I’m not sure what the basis for a challenge would be – except to exploit yet again another time already the SCOTUS civil rights rulings for something to which they were clearly not
The Lancet is in the headlines once again – this time for a highly “revised” ranking of recreational drugs by harmfulness. The last time it was in the headlines was last fall – for its publication of a hugely flawed population survey estimation of excess deaths in Iraq. The trouble there was that the population sampling method used – while superficially similar to those used in other epidemiological surveys – was biased toward overreporting deaths. (Rather than starting with a randomly-chosen household within their randomly-selected clusters and then surveying, in linear fashion, each house at a pre-selected offset from the
From an entry on the excellent North Korean Economy Watch, a simple (and unintentional) lesson in the merits of “trickle-down economics.” The report in question is by Kim Young Jin based on interviews with North Korean citizens visiting relatives in China. It concerns the relatively recent phenomenon of open markets – called “Jangmadang.” The report goes something like this: first we get the typical communist complaint that the new market economy is making people selfish. This is standard fare (and undoubtedly true); we heard all the same complaits when East Germany collapsed. To this day, most people nostalgic for the
This is the best reading I’ve done all day. It’s the North Carolina State Bar’s rejection of Mike Nifong’s motion to dismiss the ethics charges filed against him by the Bar for actions during the course of his prosecution of the Duke Rape Case. OK, right, it’s a legal document and therefore necessarily dry and jargony. All the same, the sarcasm shines through as the Bar hacks Nifong’s feeble arguments to pulp. Summary: The US Constitution isn’t what’s at issue – Most of Nifong’s motion to dismiss apparently rests on the idea the Bar can’t prove he violated the Constitution.
Reason no. 1 to like Stephen Harper. Despite strong public support for it, Harper is doing the best he can to kill the Kyoto Protocol. Not only that, but he’s actually getting away with it. Of course, the US and Australia have already dealt it a critical hit. I think Canada junking it might kill the dumb idea for good. It’s not that I don’t think global warming is real. The way I understand it – the scientific consensus is that (a) it’s definitely happening and (b) man-made pollutants certainly play a role. They study it and I don’t, so
This is my new favorite website. It’s called “North Korean Economy Watch,” and it’s an amazing repository of information on how that screwy country “operates.” I’m really interested in things like this. That is – every economic and political system ultimately compiles down to an implementation in terms of how people live and what they do from day-to-day. So I’m fascinated by systems that seem obviously broken but nevertheless manage to solider on. North Korea is definitely such a place. For anyone interested in politics, it’s the place to watch – because I will be shocked if it doesn’t collapse