September 04, 2003


The Toronto Blue Jays launched their second logo change in two years yesterday, ditching the "T-Bird" after one year in favour of something even more god-awful. Colby Cosh had said everything worth saying on the subject already.

Posted by BruceR at 05:52 PM


Well the Chief Criminal of Ontario finally realized his polls weren't going to get better and called an election. My earlier surmise that he'd use the blackout to delay the verdict of democracy another six months was wrong.

It should be an interesting election. The Tories generally win by a combination of bribing their dedicated voter groups with their own money (something this premier has now taken to ludicrous extremes), a reputation for responsible fiscal stewardship, and relentless personal attacks on the Leader of the Opposition.

Of course, the sound accounting reputation went south... even though Ernie Eves still lies about it, everyone knows the province is going to run a huge deficit this year, the first in years. A lot of that is due to Eves' bizarre declaration last summer that, rather than make a decision on how Ontario was going to solve its energy problems, he would effectively just give away free electrical power to everybody. And then of course he followed up by closing down the Legislature and conducting his official government business on closed circuit TV from an auto plant to dodge the critics. His recent auto plant pronouncements included independent school systems for Hindus and Muslims, to avoid that whole integration thing, and big tax breaks for home owners (not home buyers, which might have made at least some sense), and the elderly, for no other reason anyone could see other than all those constituencies vote Tory.

The attack ads should kick in next week, going against contender Dalton McGuinty with everything they can throw. They've traditionally had some success with this, because McGuinty last election was Al Gore-wooden, and the Tories had the folksy, straight-shooting, not-too-bright but not unattractive Mike Harris up against him. Now in Eves, though, they have a fricking refugee from either the Addams family or the planet Xzar, I can't decide, who truly appears to have invisible bugs crawling on his skin whenever actual humans enter his personal space, so the pure aesthetic comparison may not be as successful this time out. Plus, like Harris, he divorced his wife to shack up with his mistress, an heiress no less, while in office, while McGuinty's a steadfast middle-class Catholic with a pretty wife and about 300 children, so the whole family values thing's a dead loss from the start, too.

Now I should say that I knew Dalton McGuinty fairly well back before he surprised everyone, including me, by running for and winning the party leadership, and I've been friends in the past with some of his close staff. I know him to be a good man. Not a telegenic one, maybe, but a good one. He truly loves his extended family, and he cultivates an atmosphere that nurtured some of the more talented young people I've known.

Murray Campbell from the Globe seems rather confused at the turn of events, apparently openly disappointed that the Liberals have yet to try to buy voters off with their own money, or attack the personality of the current premier, and seemingly want to run a purely issues-oriented campaign, led now by a leader who seeks the advice of experts, but in the end still takes responsibility for making his own decisions, too. He really seems to be at a loss to explain the complete transparency and absence of cynicism involved. It. Does. Not. Compute. Reminds me somehow of the Simpsons dialogue:

"Way to go... I feel... what's the opposite of shame?"
"No, not that far from shame."
"Less shame?"

Murray... you're jaded, man. This guy's for real. His opponent, meanwhile, is the worst thing to happen to Ontario politics since Francis Bond Head. Either endorse the honest man, or get out of his way.

Posted by BruceR at 05:40 PM



Posted by BruceR at 09:13 AM