Happy summer holidays Canadian House of Commons .. goodbye to all that British monarchy, etc, etc, etc ..

Jun 17th, 2010 | By | Category: In Brief
Belinda Stronach, shown here with Stephen Harper at a June 2004 rally in Aurora, Ontario, would probably be comfortable enough with a Liberal-Conservative coalition in 2010. Many other current supporters would not — especially if it was led by Stephen Harper. CP Photo/Frank Gunn.

Belinda Stronach, shown here with Stephen Harper at a June 2004 rally in Aurora, Ontario, would probably be comfortable enough with a Liberal-Conservative coalition in 2010. Many other current Liberal supporters would not — especially if it was led by Stephen Harper. CP Photo/Frank Gunn.

[UPDATED JANUARY 31, 2011, JULY 24, 2012]. I have been asked by the editors to jot down a few quick words of au revoir to the Canadian House of Commons, which is  “preparing to rise today for its summer break”:

(1) THE LATEST EKOS POLL also unveiled today shows, for cross-Canada popular vote (rounded to nearest whole numbers): Cons 31%, Libs, 26%, NDP 17%, Greens 12%, Bloc 11%, Other 3%. This translates into these seat projections: Cons 117, Libs 94, Bloc 56, NDP 39, Green 2. The Libs, NDP, and Greens together on these numbers would have 135 seats — 18 more than the Cons. But this kind of “progressive coalition” would still be 20 seats short of a bare majority in the House, without support from the Bloc Quebecois.

(2) A DIFFERENT KIND OF CANADIAN COALITION? Numbers like this — and the current example of the Mother of Parliaments in the UK — may have helped persuade EKOS president Frank Graves that “a coalition between the Harper Conservatives and the Ignatieff Liberals” (a whopping 211 seats — 56 more than a bare majority) could make more sense. A similar proposal for “a different kind of Canadian coalition” was advanced by Neil Reynolds in the Globe and Mail recently. The key current problem with this concept, it seems to me, is that David Cameron in the UK is a (much?) more progressive conservative than Stephen Harper in Canada. A “Liberal Conservative” coalition in Canada today would just chase many current Liberal voters into the waiting arms of the NDP (and I would be one of them).

Robert Walpole, who pioneered the modern office of prime minister during the 18th century “Whig Supremacy” in England.  The Tories were serious monarchists. The Whigs were at least closet republicans — even then, in an age when the German English monarchs could barely speak English.

Robert Walpole, who pioneered the modern office of prime minister during the 18th century “Whig Supremacy” in England. The Tories were serious monarchists. The Whigs were at least closet republicans — even then, in an age when the German English monarchs could barely speak English.

(3) CONSCIENCE OF NATION RIDES AGAIN? The much more transient or ad hoc “coalition” (as it were) that has come together around the finally nailed-down Afghan detainee document agreement is somewhat different again — Conservatives, Liberals, and Bloc Quebecois. James Travers’s article in today’s Toronto Star, “Afghan document deal hides the truth … Secrecy — and Conservatives — win on prisoner abuse agreement,” just underlines, yet again, the extent to which the NDP is standing up for a “point of principle” in staying out of this last-minute concoction, as noted by the counterweights editors in “Afghan documents deal at last .. NDP may have a point, but .. (and but again?).”

(4) GOODBYE TO ALL THAT BRITISH MONARCHY IN CANADA. Amy Minsky’s article in yesterday’s Vancouver Sun — “Canadians don’t want Queen, even if she’s done great job” — subtly points to another problem with  Neil Reynolds’s concept of a Liberal Conservative “Whig” coalition in Canada today. Ms. Minsky’s piece reports that, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll: “As Canada Prepares for Arrival of Its Queen, Six in Ten Canadians (58%, +5) Believe Canada Should End Ties to Monarchy When Her Majesty’s Reign Ends … Majority (62%, +9) Believes Canada’s Head of State Should Be the Governor General, Not the Queen.” The Harper minority government in Ottawa has been more enthusiastic about the British monarchy in Canada than any Canadian federal regime since the Diefenbaker interlude (1957-1963). But the classic English Whigs, whom Mr. Reynolds so much admires (and rightly so, I think, in a few respects at any rate), espoused “republicanism, or at least an ironical attitude to the monarchy.” (And that was in the 18th and earlier 19th centuries: good Whigs in 2010 would be thoroughly republican.)

(5) AMERICANS BACK MORE STIMULUS SPENDING TO CREATE JOBS! If all you’ve been reading lately is the business pages of your daily newspaper, you will be utterly convinced that the so-called “Keynesian economics” which briefly returned to favour in the wake of the Great Financial Panic of 2008, has now been put back on the shelf, especially in the USA today. Yet according to “a June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll, 60% of Americans say they would favor ‘additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.’”

Is this really the Indonesian actress Cut Tari, with pop singer Nazril Irham, better known as Ariel? Both of them apparently say no.

Is this really the Indonesian actress Cut Tari, with pop singer Nazril Irham, better known as Ariel? Both of them apparently say no.

(6) JUNE IN JAKARTA: ARIEL, CUT TARI, AND LUNA SEX TAPES.  I have finally been asked by the editors to announce that counterweights will be marking its own flight into the magical depths of the short, hot Canadian summer with an update of Dominic Berry’s much-consulted February 2008 report on “The naughty pictures of Edison Chen.” This will culminate apparently with a fresh report on “Indonesia’s [2010] version of the [2008] Edison Chen scandal” — involving “pop singer Nazril Irham, better known as Ariel … his girlfriend Luna Maya, a top model,” and his former girlfriend, “actress and presenter Cut Tari.”  Like the Edison Chen scandal, the latest Indonesian sex tape adventures have surfaced on the world wide web. And just today “Indonesia’s communications minister [has] vowed … to issue a decree by the end of the year to ‘save the young’ from pornography on the Internet.” Stay tuned for Dominic Berry’s latest  report on this growing branch of global village entertainment.

UPDATE JANUARY 31, 2011: If there are any readers consulting this item today, or subsequently, because of its relation to Canadian federal politics, the current return of the Canadian House of Commons is covered in “How much longer can 40th Parliament of Canada live on?

Others may more exactly find what they are looking for at “June in Jakarta 2010 .. or Edison Chen’s naughty pictures part deux, with Ariel, Luna Maya, and Cut Tari, on the world wide web” [UPDATED JANUARY 31, 2011] — or, still more directly “Indonesian singer Ariel gets 3 1/2 years in jail for celebrity sex-tape scandal.”

UPDATE JULY 24, 2012: Readers who are here in connection with the Indonesian sex tapes scandal may want to know that Nazril “Ariel” Irham was released from prison on parole yesterday, with about a year on his sentence left. For Dominic Berry’s counterweights’ update see “‘As Peterpan’s Ariel Leaves Prison, Some Ask Why He Was Ever There’ .. and that is an excellent question!”.

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