So for Pokemon Sun I’m naming all my pokemon after characters in the Lais of Marie de France, and once I run out I will probably move on to Chretien de Troyes/general chivalric romances. The question is, is it too nerdy?

Who should you fight: Canadian Prime Ministers

Sir John A Macdonald: Don’t fight Macdonald. You will lose. He’s Scottish and drunk and probably would throw a whiskey bottle through your head. He would absolutely fight dirty. You don’t build a country without fighting dirty.

Alexander Mackenzie: You could probably take Mackenzie, but he was a builder as a young man, so it wouldn’t be a cakewalk.

John Abbott: The first of the PMs nobody can name. I mean, sure, go for it, but nobody will know who you’re talking about when you win.

John Thompson: He was overweight enough that he died in office from a heart attack. You’d win, feel bad, AND nobody would know who you were talking about.

Mackenzie Bowell: Make a poop joke about his last name. He’d kick your ass, but it would be funny.

Charles Tupper: He may have only been PM for 69 days, but if you made a crack about his neckbeard, he’d probably lose it and beat you in a rage. Not worth it.

Wilfrid Laurier: Fight Laurier. Get him talking about a grand vision for Canada and drop him in the gut. You can win this one.

Robert Borden: You might lose to Borden, but wouldn’t it feel good to sock someone who ran under “A White Canada” in the mouth?

Arthur Meighen: Absolutely fight Meighen. Meighen looks like he has never worked a day with his hands. Tell him he was one of the least effective Prime Ministers and then Winnipeg Strike his ass.

William Mackenzie King: Oh man, this would not go well. Built like a brick wall and he would probably summon up ghosts. He’d tell you it he’d want to fight in English and deny it in French, and he’d just absorb whatever you threw at him.

R. B. Bennett: Remind him he is considered the worst Prime Minister this country has ever seen. He’ll go off and sulk in England and you’ll win by default.

Louis St. Laurent: I mean, I guess you could fight St. Laurent. You’d probably win, but nobody seems to feel strongly about him on pretty much anything, so is it worth it?

John Diefenbaker: Don’t fight Dief. Dief the Chief would go into some wild prairie prophet trance and would keep on hitting you long after you stopped moving. And if you somehow won, you’d then have to deal with all of Saskatchewan seeking revenge. Laugh now, but even if you can see them coming for three days, they will never, ever stop.

Lester B. Pearson: Why would you fight Mike Pearson? What kind of person would see that bowtie and Nobel Peace Prize and want to fight? You’d win and you would feel horrible.

Pierre Trudeau: DO NOT FIGHT TRUDEAU. Pierre isn’t a big man, but he’s all wiry muscle and insouciance. He’d probably have a knife under his rose and he would hit you with a saucy quip as you lay bleeding on the floor.

Joe Clark: What did Joe ever do to you? Go fight Mulroney instead.

John Turner: You could take Turner, he’d have no option.

Brian Mulroney: You think Mulroney would be a fighter, but that chin is made of glass. Everybody in Atlantic Canada would help you, and it would bring the country together.

Kim Campbell: Again, why would you fight Campbell? She wasn’t PM long enough to do anything. Fight Mulroney.

Jean Chretien: DO NOT FIGHT CHRETIEN. DO. NOT. FIGHT. CHRETIEN. When Chretien was a child, he started a new semester by finding the biggest kid in his grade and beating the shit out of him. You’re lucky if all he does is give you the Shawinigan Handshake. He will fight hard, he will fight dirty, and he will destroy you.

Paul Martin: Tell him that his legacy is overshadowed by Chretien. Easy win.

Stephen Harper: You’d think this would be an easy win, but Harper is like 6″2′. If you got the drop on him, you could lay him out, but if you got him mad enough he would probably snap and channel all that rage he’s been holding in into a flailing fury.

Justin Trudeau: He’s young, athletic, and a boxer. In a fair fight he’d go into his yoga trance and beat you. Use dirty tactics. Be careful that he does not seduce you instead.


Le Gouffre

Some time ago, I talked about this short animated film that had a kickstarter to finish its production. It is now finally done! Congratulation to the small, dedicated and talented team! 

If you want to know more about the making of, you can visit the website.

Recap of the 90s + a messy steam-of-consciousness review of every debate I've had on the decade + The Liberal Government + a whole lot extra on the side....

 by ShaneMackenzie @ 2011-04-18 – 23:20:55

If I’ve instructed you to come here… Congrats you brought up the 90s! (Now you’re gonna get it… One of my longest blogs to date)

In this rant, I address the questions of (in no clear order and in quite an unorganized manner):

1) Revisionist history? (Objective + Historical vs. Biased + Ideological.)
2) Opinions on diverging histories along ideological lines and how centrism escapes this to a degree
3) Why the Liberals turn around on things and how that differs from how the Cons do it
4) The federal role in health care and how the Liberals have facilitated that
5) Liberal vs. Con – health care debate reflecting on 90s
6) The Liberal Government of the 90s and 2000s, in my view, and how they cut the deficit + debt
7) Political parties and promises being genuine or shock-and-awe oriented
8) Who I consider a whiner
9) Why I think Harper has a secret hidden health care agenda
10) Surprise tactic politics + the modern Conservative party.

I’m tired of being surprised…
You want to know why?
First off, I pride myself on having Conservative friends, being civil with them, engaging in debate and not letting it get in the way of friendship.
When we “engage in debate” (to be entirely euphemistic), I’m tired of being surprised….
Another qualification before I delve into my main point, since I do that (I’m scatter-brained you see… making something coherently expressed is difficult for me)… IS that I’ve had a problem with debate lately. I’m been accused of “revising history”. I only know history as being history. I am aware though that, in the discipline of history, the facts are always up for debate due to perception, bias and layers of spin put on them over the years.
The fact is: I’ve had right-wing teachers and profs, I’ve had left-wing teachers and profs. I’ve right right-wing books and left-wing books. I’ve endeavoured to understand both sides and I usually come out right in the center.
I know that some people accuse centrists of “not taking a stance”. I frequently get frustrated with this because it demeans the value of ideas to being ideological and never “right” or “wrong” for a situation or issue.
I’ve come to my own conclusions and I’ve not intentionally manufactured them to bias the Liberal Party. When I argue things, I face ideological arguments and face them with historical ones. The person on the other end assumes I’m making an ideological statement and that it’s all based on that. This is why I feel fully qualified to call someone a “righty” or a “lefty”. I’m often attacked from both sides for my party’s decisions at different times, which only confirms how center I am.
I don’t think my party has ALWAYS done the right thing. That’s just insane and narrow. I think that, in a majority of situations, the Liberal Party has been earnest about its intentions, open about its ideals and pragmatic about its means of accomplishing what it promised. In some situations, the Liberal Party has had to renege on election promises. However, I can name, with every one of those cases, what our party came out and explained about why we changed policies whether it be: wage & price controls under Trudeau, the GST in the 93’ campaign or back to conscription in WWII.
My account of history sees the Liberal Party governing a majority of the time in Canadian history. In this, I’m not willing to defend it all the time and all of it because we did quite a bit and I have better things to do with my time. The Conservatives have quite a bit of target practice out there with things they believe to be wrong we’ve done. I understand that.
What grinds my gears this week is Conservative Party history version-promoters who like to “surprise you”…. Its not a way to decide on a record to vote on.
The Liberal Party, as the centrist party, has done things center-left and center-right leaning and compromised on much. This is expected. Conservatives have run much on their ideological ideas of smaller government, less federal role and more money in the pockets of taxpayers for MANY years. This is understandable. The problem is that they like to, lately I find, try and toss out: WELL…. “You’re the party that cut health care in the 90s!” and I want to say “Yes and….”
There is a lengthy debate that has ensued NUMEROUS times over facebook and twitter on this matter. It always goes like this:
Con - You cut health care!
Me – Yes, we cut everything. PC and Reform (which make up modern Cons) wanted to cut deeper.
Con – But you’re the Libs – you’re not supposed to do one thing and one time and another at another. Hypocrite!
Me – That’s called flexibility and helps us address history realistically and not pretend there is a one-fit-all solution to everything.
Con – You’re Libs. You love health care. Shouldn’t you ALWAYS protect it? Its also a provincial jurisdiction. Don’t tread on provinces!
Me – we have protected public health care. We made it pass. We started federal transfers. We have done most negotiations on it. Why are we held to a higher standard than your party who just expected to do scummy things and privatize based on ideology?
Con – You used “scummy” and I’m not ideological! I’m factual. You lie! Liar!

It just gets pointless. Once I’ve made my point I give up.

I get accused of being a “revisionist” when I make point about this matter in particular – this is my account of the economy in relation to Health care in the 90s:
- We came in 93’ after opposing GST in opposition.
- We were elected with a majority.
- Did we go out on all election promises and ensure that they were all checked off our list? No.
- We did polls. We did census. We did surveys. We asked Canadians what their priorities are rather than just to impose our priorities on then.
- (We weren’t acting on popular demand of tax cuts – we took their priorities and tried to address ones we could)
- Canadians wanted to keep the GST. You know why? Their #1 priority was to cut deficits and get rid of debt.
- In order to do this, we asked Canadians again and again OPENLY “So you want us to cut?” and they said overwhelmingly “Yes.”
- So, we began to cut. We cut transfers, which meant provinces had to change priorities and make do. This caused them to cut health care – yes. We cut everything though. Within 4 years of tough times, we had surpluses.
- We grew ourselves out of it. By 2006, 13 billion in surplus with 3 billion in contingency reserves.
- 13 years of economic growth and health transfers were back up to necessary levels. We negotiated a 10-year accord under Martin with provinces.
- Our economy and health care were in tip-top shape on our way out.
- We were open about how we cut, we had 3 majority governments mandating us to do it and we ended far better than we started.

So all these WHINGER rightys who like to say:
“Oh you’re not compassionate. You’re not as left-wing as you say you are. You’re actually a right-wing party cause you cut. You’re fascist!”

I respond:
“Shaddup. I’m done with you. You wanted deeper cuts. You wanted privatization. You deny it now because you were a fringe republican-style party + a small reminder of a former party that could tout “progressive” in its name. You had nothing to lose. You had nothing to gain (except more Western seats). So, don’t pretend you’re innocent, compassionate or anything more than a second-rate republican party full of career politicians.”

I’m really tired of a party that has run on ideology for most of the 20th century to now say “Our record is clear.”
You have no record. You haven’t made a single contribution in the last 5 years to health care. You were RAILROADED into paying the 6% growth in transfers to provinces cause the 10 year Health Accord FORCED you.

So, no more bringing up the cuts we made in health care in the 90s. Like stimulus post-2008, the opposition CAN and MUST force the Government to do what it doesn’t want to do, when they know that it is best for the country. Health was a big expenditure. We needed revenue. We had to cut. It was both parties cooperating = The 90s. Exact mirror a decade later = Stimulus. We needed it. International community demanded it just like they demanded cuts in the early 90s. = 2009-2010 stimulus.

On this issue, hypocrites we are not. Flexible we are (to Yoda a bit for ya).

Plus, read Chretien’s bio (if you aren’t as narrow and pathetic to call him a “scoundrel” or a “thief” as some do) and see how his #1 priority was how those cuts would affect people. He cared and tried to be as compassionate as possible about those cuts.
Many of his cuts were just closing tax loopholes for corporations and individuals. Many of his cuts were just clever financial policy to keep money from escaping. Chretien and Martin, now both former PMs + Finance Ministers, both knew their stuff on this issue. They knew where things could be taken from. Harper is an economist who couldn’t predict a deficit when he was the one spending all the money to take us there. He can’t add and subtract properly – what do we expect of him on this matter!?

Liberals have always kept health care public. They’ve always helped it bounce back. They’ve always defended the federal role in facilitating it.

You may call me a revisionist. You may call me a partisan hack (as some have). You may call me what you will. This is the way I see things. Don’t deny your half, I don’t deny ours. We did what we had to do and we were open, honest and transparent about our BIG priorities.

Cons run on saying: “we’ve never cut health care” → No you have not, but you’ve also never been turned a deficit into a surplus in Canadian history either so… shaddup.
Cons run on saying “We brought in women’s suffrage” → Oh really? You’re the party that loves women eh? Lowest women candidate # in country? Cut 75% of federal funding for women’s groups and took mandate of Government to achieve gender equality OUT of your responsibility? Mostly women ministers put in harm’s way while male ministers are defended by Baird + PM? …
Cons say: We’re not the republicans! - Yeah? Harper said he “admired the right-wing movement” in the United States and has never once denied that the US-Mega prisons model was taken RIGHT OUT OF California where the policy bankrupted them. Newt Gengrich has now revoked his position on them. The only country’s right wing party pushing them is ours…. Harper had great relations with Bush and still is trying to cozy up to Obama. There is no Reagan-Mulroney relationship here Harper - get over it!
They run on surprise facts that you never thought the Con Party of Canada was possible of.
This is one of those surprises I don’t like. Cons run on calling us less “liberal” than we say we are. They run on “Oh surprise – we’re the party of women NOT the only boys club we have a stigma of being”.
Why are they running on surprises? Why do they like to say “oh we’re not the party you thought we were”… How is that accountability? How is that something to vote for? Its like they thrive on being mysterious or untouchable by accusations because they’re “misunderstood”.

Today, since I’m so peeved off…. I’ll say it… (I might edit it later though if I regret it enough haha)… WHINERS! WHINERS! WHINERS! You want sympathy? You get none from me. You like things behind closed doors and don’t like looking Canadians in the face and telling them your vision. You like to surprise them with “what you’ve accomplished in arts + crafts this week” and surprise them that you “actually like Lib policies and accomplishments + plan to keep them because they’re CANADIAN”… Then Canadians get to say “Oh, I didn’t know that about you – you deserve my vote because you keep me on my toes with surprises.”…. No thanks. I like to expect something from my government and if they change they’re mind… they can look me in the eye and say it as LPC always has. Harper just doesn’t swing that way.

Basically, this is to say I’ve definitively ranted on the 90s. In my view, we did what the people wanted. We were open about our social, economic, political and unity priorities. We dealt with matters Canadians wanted us to. Canadians didn’t ask for census gone, ask for gun registry scrapped or for “Harper Government” label. Overall, the 90s and early 2000s were a time when Canadians had international respect, influence and policies were taken from us. We weren’t trying to be “more integrated with the United States” or be like anybody else but us. We were a force in our own right and not attached policy-wise, militarily or social-policy to the U.S.’s example. So, I’m done with other reflections of the 90s. Its all spin other than the fact that Lib stance was Canadian consented stance. Reform and PC pushed for further cuts. Libs cared about economy AND health care and proved they could handle it. Cons haven’t proven that and past quotes reflect a desire to not do like the Liberals did in the 90s since they decry how the Liberals did it then. I’m sick of the whining. I’m sick of the blatant lies. I’ve made my point. The fact is that Harper did want deeper cuts when they were being made by the Liberals. It’s just disingenuous to say the Liberals made such terrible cuts when they had Reform’s support. Disagree with this account of history if you will, but I just think you’re a whiner. Much love.