Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mariucci is Gone

Steve Mariucci is now the ex-head coach of the Detroit Lions. Can't say as I'll miss him. He couldn't make this team work. It's really a shame, this team had so much potential.

It's doubtful they'll rally behind interim coach Dick Jauron. One can point to the 2000 season when Bobby Ross quit the Lions after a 5-4 start (yeah, that's a winning record and he STILL quit). Gary Moeller, the linebacker's coach took over and led the team to a 9-7 season, but they missed the playoffs. Maybe they'll rally around Jauron and go 5-0, which again, would make the Lions 9-7, from the 4-7 where they're at now. They still have to beat Minnesota, which they did poorly against.

Let's see how Jauron handles the QB situation with Harrington and Garcia. My pick: Harrington because he's played better.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Updated Links

I've posted some new links and will continue to add more even though it looks all disorganized and mish-mashed.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Another Primary Fight in the Michigan 7th

I've just been informed by a "source" that Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek) will face Tim Walberg, a former State Rep from Tipton in the 2006 primary. Walberg and Schwarz were two of six candidates vying for the GOP's nomination after Rep. Nick Smith of Addison decided to uphold his term-limit promise. Schwarz won with 28% of the vote, Walberg finished third with 18%.

I'll add more to this later.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Canada Votes: When?

It is highly expected that by November 25, the Liberal Party's minority government under Prime Minister Paul Martin will be given a vote of no confidence by the three opposition parties, triggering an election. Apparently the Liberal Party can no longer count on the New Democratic Party, the party further to the left, for political survival. The Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois couldn't be happier that finally after 18 months of having to sit in opposition, they will now have the votes needed to bring the government down and force, albeit, an unpopular election campaign over Christmas. This election signifies many things for all who's involved.

For the Liberals, their power is at stake. They have been the government since 1993. While some might say Canadians are going through some sense of "Liberal fatigue," this is not stopping Paul Martin from trying to hold on to power. The Liberals have the toughest fight of all parties, mainly because they are waging a war on three fronts instead of two. The main front is the fight with the Conservatives, the Official Opposition. No longer is the Canadian right pointing their swords at each other, the two right parties have united and dealt the Liberals their first major blow when they gained 24 seats in the 2004 election, handing the Liberals a minority government, the first since 1979. The Liberals could count on a divided right throughout the 1990s to hold on to power; this is no more.

Their other two fronts are the NDP and the Bloc. The NDP is to the Liberals what the former Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservatives were to each other before the merger. Essentially, the two parties will be fighting each other for the heart and soul of the Canadian left. The NDP contributed to Liberal losses last time around, and it is likely Martin will use fear tactics to get Canadian voters to stick with the Liberals for fear it will lead to a Conservative victory.

The Bloc has one objective and one objective only: win more seats from the Liberals. The Liberals will have to have a strong showing in Quebec if they want to quell support for sovereignty in the francophone province.

For the Conservatives, it will validate Stephen Harper's ability to lead a party to victory and form a government. The Conservatives are a union of the former Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance. Many of the detractors fear that the uniting of the two parties is simply an Alliance takeover. One thing is clear, neither party could no longer afford to split votes against each other. In the 1997 election, the Alliance (then called the Reform Party) and PCs combined polled almost equally to the Liberals. In some ridings, such as Newmarket-Aurora, both parties combined outpolled the Grits.

Since the fracturing of the party after the west's disillusionment with the Mulroney Government, followed by the disaster at Meech Lake, the Progressive Conservatives lost their base when a new party, the Reform Party, challenged their standing as the party of the right. In 1988, the Reformers, led by Preston Manning, won not a single seat in Parliament. But by 1993, the PCs went from having 169 seats out of 301, to just having two. Even then-Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, lost her seat. It was then the Reform Party became the party where the base of right wing support flocked to. The Reform and PC Parties never saw eye to eye and were never willing to work together. After the 2000 election, when Stockwell Day and the renamed Alliance Party failed to make breakthroughs into Ontario, it became clear that the two would have to come together to defeat the Liberals. The merger that occurred in 2003 between Alliance leader Stephen Harper and PC leader Peter MacKay was hailed by many as a sign that it was the beginning of the end for the Liberals. Those who were unhappy were mostly in the old PC camp, a party that was more center-right. They feared, and so did Liberals and NDP voters, that this was a takeover by the far right, despite over 95% of Alliance Party members agreeing to merge, and over 90% of PC members.

Winning even a minority government in next year's election would bring the Conservatives their first government since 1984.

The NDP, led by Jack Layton, probably will not gain as much in this coming election. They have never held more than 40 seats in Parliament at one time, and have pretty much been a drain on Liberal support. The fear of a Conservative government is making many likely NDP voters swing to the Liberal Party. In the last Parliament, the NDP was able to make influence for the first time ever by joining with the Liberals to increase funding for health care and other social programs. Their support kept the Liberals from losing confidence votes and allowed them to flex their muscles for once. They never really have ever been considered a contender to win government. Rather, their role in elections has been that of spoilers.

The Bloc is the most intriguing, simply because they only run seats in Quebec. They are the separatist party who wants to leave Canada. Right now, support for sovereignty in Quebec is at 53% according to one poll. In the last election they matched their previous high of 54 seats, gaining 16 from when they lost that same number in 1997.

The Bloc was born out of the failure of Meech Lake, which would have recognized Quebec as a distinct society and Quebec would finally sign on to the Constitution (which they never did in 1982). In 1993, the new party won enough seats to actually become the official opposition. They then moved ahead with calling a referendum vote in 1995, which they lost by less than half a percent (49.8% Yes, 50.2% No).

Right now, polls seem to indicate the Liberals clinging to a small lead, which will perhaps mean another minority government, which will also mean another election in perhaps 2007. Depending on how the campaign goes, I'd say this will hold true. What cost the Conservatives last time around was stupid trip ups by certain Tory candidates making stupid comments about bilingualism and abortion. The fact that Stephen Harper began talking as if he would be forming a minority government showed arrogance on the Tories' part, which probably contributed to the last minute rally for the Liberals. If Harper wins a minority (let alone a majority), his place as Party Leader is safe. If he fails, we can expect a new leadership race for the Conservatives next year.

(sidenote: I'm borrowing the CBC's coverage title "Canada Votes: 2006" for the time being.)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hi

This is my introductory post, which hopefully will be one of many. I like to write and I like to think, but I'd prefer to just write less about myself and more about how I view things. The kind of content on this blog will include everything from political topics (and that can cover a large area), to culture/entertainment, and occasionally I'll write about sports, being the Detroit Lions fan that I am. Anyway, stop back again; hopefully I'll have something interesting to write about.