Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Buying Jeans

This is my experience of going to Champlain Place to buy pants tonight:

First off, from outside it looks glorious. One story high (can't be two, it's built on marshland) and encompassing an entire city block, Champlain Place is home for all of Greater Moncton's shopping needs. From what I've heard from the not so locals, it's also a place that people travel from all around the maritimes to shop at.... I'm not kidding.

When I first walked in, I was greeted with significant signage which explained to me that "Love starts here". It's also on the front page of their website.

I was happy to see that malls had cut out the psycho-babble bullshit and just started to give it to people straight: "If you really love these people - you need to buy more shit". Thankfully, there was no shortage of maritime people ready to oblige and prove their love. I was on a hunt for jeans. I'd recently realized that all but one pair of mine had holes in the knees. This isn't a look I mind - however my workplace takes some issue with it. Apparently, the mall was busy. I don't notice this since the busiest maritime mall day doesn't come close to a weekend at the Eaton Centre, so I plowed through the "crowds" and went looking for some jeans.

I started at H&M because... well the only reason I can think of is that I hate myself. Of course, H&M is the company that sells things at absurdly low prices, and you'll be hard pressed to find any of it made in North America. I'd decided that I would place my morals aside given my lack of pants for work this week. Could I really wear the same jeans all week? Probably... but I shouldn't. I never did find any jeans in H&M that had the appropriate effect on my ass, and therefore I moved toward the exit. It was at this point that I found a black brimmed hat that my love and I had been toying with the idea of. As always, she was right - and I looked pretty awesome in it. I pushed the thoughts of the Chinese workers who made it to the back of my (so-called) mind and got in line. My friend who was accompanying me noted how you really can't find clothes made anywhere but China or Indonesia now-a-days. I thought that would be a good time to start loudly discussing how purchasing decisions are made around price almost exclusively  in our modern world - and that until consumers become smarter (*chortle*) or the government takes action (*doublechortle*) then we'll continue to purchase all our goods from companies who keep manufacturing overseas. We will have a massive trade deficit and keep destroying the social fabric we spent the last century creating - but damn it we'll look good and have stuff. That's really what's important. Didn't you see the sign coming in? Stuff is love, and if stuff is cheap (who cares if it's made by slaves or not) we'll all have lots of love. No one in the line of course had any interest in this discussion - as they were browsing the bins near the cash for deals on various socks.

It was at this time that I realized there were about eight of us in line, and one cash open. This isn't a ratio that works for me, so we left and went to The Gap. I'll admit I never really had the intention of buying anything here, I just wanted to see what fashion atrocities they were shilling this month. Chords, appeared to be the name of the game. As I noted to my friend, "Chords or the pants that are ALWAYS out of style within 18 months of making their come back". Sure, if you want to hold onto the pants for a decade you can get a good run out of them, but otherwise jeans will always be a better option.

After this, we happened on a store called "Pantorama". I noticed almost immediately that the people in there were either douche bags, or mentally disabled. I'm sure some people think you can't figure this out from an employee just saying "Hey guys", but sometimes you need to trust your gut. Once we got near the "Affliction" t-shirts, my friend said, "We need to go, now." He was right. "I hear if you get too close to those shirts you go blind... from douchiness". I couldn't find any flaws in his logic and left as quickly as possible.

At this point, the friend got food and I went to American Eagle. I had decided skinny jeans were the way to go. It appeared that there were three staff members, and what I can only assume was a bitch of a mother trying to find jeans for her sons. The staff showed her the skinny jeans and she shook her head in displeasure as she explained, "The thighs aren't big enough. They have very large thighs. Not that they're fat, no no, my boys are muscular hockey players. Big thighs." When she was directed to try a section over for wider legged pants, her mind changed pretty quickly and said that perhaps these skinny jeans would do. I'm not sure if she was trying to talk up her sons to the young ladies in hopes of finding them a life-mate, or if she just feels the need to explain the thigh width of her sons to all retail people - but one thing was obvious by her verbal and body language: These retail women would have to do her bidding for as long as she required, no matter how nonsensical or idiotic her requests or soliloquies may be. This is potentially the worst kind of person in western society. The one who, unless given some distinct personal gain to be had by kindness toward a stranger, will treat the stranger like shit.

I brought two pairs of jeans toward the fitting room. I don't want to say American Eagle management at this mall is racist, but I found it telling that the only black employee was stuffed in the back and probably working harder than everyone else in the store combined. I found a pair that fit, and had the appropriate impact on my ass. As I left the fitting area I brought back the pair I didn't want along with the plastic number assigned to me when I entered the fitting rooms. I wished the young lady a good evening and she smiled at me as if I was the first person to talk to her that day then offered me what appeared to be a sincere thank you. I can only imagine the mental abuse that goes along with working at American Eagle... and I hate myself a little right now for supporting their soulless product.

Then I went to Starbucks. Starbucks I'm sure is just as soulless a corporation as the next one, yet I still find myself gravitating toward the peppermint mocha when needed. Soul sucking corporation they may be, I know enough people who have worked there and rave about their social responsibility that I'm able to trick myself into consuming their product.

At this point I tried to engage in some retail therapy. See, my mother has been perpetually bitching about not getting enough face time with me. Not enough phone calls. I've made an effort since returning from vacation to make plans with her to have one of these phone calls - and had agreed on this evening to be the time for it. She notified me 15 minutes later than our agreed upon time that this conversation couldn't take place as she had more shopping to accommodate. It is close to Christmas after all, and as the mall had pointed out to me love starts with shopping. If that's where love starts, I'd like to know where phone calls fall on that list. Apparently I was/am hurt over this and managed to fool myself temporarily that trying to fit in with the rest of the world and buying shit to create joy would fix the issue. I proceeded to Game Stop, reached for the new COD game and moved toward the cash. It didn't feel right though. Was I really buying this game because I felt like it was worth sixty dollars and I'd get my monies worth out of it? No. I was buying it because my friends had it - wanted me to buy it, and I wanted some kind of acceptance since clearly my family wasn't going to be providing it to me on this day. Once I realized this, I found myself verbalizing my thoughts. "No. Fuck that. No no no. Fuck this shit. Fuck it" and I put the game back. My friends looked at me as if I'd grown two additional heads. I wandered through two more outlets (pun intended) looking for something to purchase that I could justify as wanting and needing while feeling normal about fitting into our socially accepted retail therapy. It didn't happen.

I returned to H&M which only had two people in line. I got the hat, stood there and ignored those around me while I looked through the bins of socks. I paid and the cashier wished me a happy holiday as I left. I found myself feeling nothing but disdain for her. She'd done nothing wrong, and I was ready to throw a shirt rack at her. I was disappointed in myself for this childish emotional response and left.

This holiday season I've tried to be more merry. Christmas as an exercise in consumerism and religion absolutely disgusts me. There's something to carry with us throughout the year in the messages of "Peace on earth" and "Goodwill toward men" though. As such I have tried to grab on to those themes. I don't think I did a very good job tonight, really. Tomorrow is another day, though.

Monday, 12 December 2011

An Open Reply To Christie Blanchford

Dear Christie,

You wrote a nice little opinion piece on Saturday. It seems quite popular because still today you're trending on the top of the National Post site, and haven't written anything since.

It would be my hope that you're not paid to write ever again.

It's clear while reading this that you've gone out of your way to ensure I'm not able to call you a homophobic bigot. You mention on several occasions that you don't have anything against gay men as a group. I'm impressed by your efforts to ensure that no one misinterpret your "Ick!" feeling as homophobia by proclaiming your adoration for gays "as a group".  I hope I'm not mischaracterizing your reaction to the young males hugging. I just figured "Ick!" is close enough to "Mortified and appalled".

I'm not entirely sure what it was that you were intending to connect between the dots of boys hugging each other, and the TDSB declining to hand out UFC propaganda, or I may just find the entirety of the logic in this article incomprehensible. This might be my age, or left leaning moral compass, or you might not make any sense.

[Sidenote: How did you get that 5th paragraph past your editor? That was about as big a cluster fuck as I've ever seen. I'm assuming you meant UFC in the 6th paragraph as well, because otherwise I have no way of knowing what the hell you're talking about here. ]

As best I can tell, you have some form of personal bias for men who are more traditional, at least in the sense of their lack of what's traditionally called the "feminine" side. I'd argue that perhaps these masculine and feminine sides are not so much a form of basic nature but of a millenia's worth of socializing. I wouldn't go so far as to accuse you of having the completely archaic view that men are the strong, tough, controlling and capable counterparts to their weak, subservient female partners of marginal value. To do so would be an over simplification of your already simplified ideals.

What it appears you'd like most is for your traditional expectations of a man to be met. Essentially trying to ensure that we fit into some kind of man box.

I'm also curious - how far should we take this expectation of a man? For example, if a 12 year old has a particularly "girlish" voice should he be ridiculed in school? I'm assuming you wouldn't have him beaten (we save that for the bullies, as they are so rarely victims of violence elsewhere) but we'd still mock him right? No? Is the expectation that the child make an effort to speak in a lower voice? Would this child just end up in the "loser pile" of the far right thinking "winners and losers" society? Clearly, some men or boys will not be born into the box you desire them to fit into. What should we do with them, exactly? May I suggest reeducation camps? I know we wouldn't want tax-payer dollars going to gay positive education, but surely we could use some for classes to get these sissies to man-up.

This article encourages violence and further perpetuates the traditional gender roles that have restricted both sexes. I'd like to see your article next week on the Toronto woman's inability to fit the traditional model. In fact, I'm personally displeased with you - specifically the haircut shown in your picture. This is not the appropriate length of a woman's hair. I personally feel like far too many women are employed and would be better served to be at home cooking, especially during the holiday season.

All jokes aside Mrs. Blatchford, the world has changed. The generation in schools now were born in the 90s where most of their parents had already figured out that both sexes were equal. In fact, being a child of the late 80s early 90s in Toronto I like to think I was part of one of the first generations to go through the school system recognizing that sex, race, or orientation should have no influence on the person you turn out to be. I'd like to think that the world of under 40s is increasingly disinterested in fitting into whatever box is set out in front of them and is instead developing a more well rounded and emotionally mature group mentality.

This article is the equivalent of an over aged white decrying the blacks being allowed in the same store as them. The rest of the city has moved on, even if you, The National Post, or other such dinosaurs have not.


Charles Hollyer, OPEM
Openly Proud Effeminate Male

Thursday, 1 December 2011

You Win, Stephen

After a freedom of information request today by The Toronto Star it's been discovered that not only was Peter McKay full of shit in his "training exercise" excuse for the use of the rescue helicopters - but they were also warned ahead of time that it would likely turn into a PR nightmare. With that in mind they of course set it "Under the guise of... a search and rescue operation". These emails also outline how there were actually two other options discussed, neither of which would have been a search and rescue operation. So if the entire point of this exercise was to display the search and rescue capabilities, why were two of the options not search and rescue options? 

Of course we know that wasn't the point at all. It was a glorified taxi ride.

Surely, being the Minister of Defense it's not completely unreasonable to think this was for something important like an impending war or whatnot. OH! It must have been right at the start of the Libyan conflict, right? Well.... wrong. It was to get him to a photo-op on time. Of course this was a very important announcement covered by all kinds of news media, right? A search on Google News for this time frame provided me with one result (that was public and not a press release cut&paste) from the London Free Press. My favorite part of this story has got to be that there was already another cabinet minister there. They had to order the helicopter to get the minister to an event that a federal minister was already attending and got news coverage in exactly ONE city. In the next election two of the three seats in London went Conservative so surely the tax dollar usage was worth it. 

When asked about why his previous story made no sense in the house today, Mr. MacKay reiterated his old story. Which leads me to this article by Lawrence Martin

I'm increasingly disgusted by how the government will not answer questions. I didn't watch the Grey Cup, but I have a nice little mental image of how all this looked. Mostly because I've seen the last 10 Super Bowls and they do the exact same thing. The Americanization of our once great country is not only troubling to me... it's terrifying. The man in charge is the same man who thought we should have gone to Iraq. There are lots of middle eastern countries pissing each other off (as usual) and a shit-ton of Republican candidates that would love to bomb something. Two years from now when a Republican is leading his nation into an ill-conceived war with Mr.Harper following closely behind with his 1500 communications staffers and stealth snow mobiles... there's really no witty finish to that. It's fucking terrifying how realistic that scenario is. 

So Stephen, you win. I'm just going to stop paying attention. Clearly you don't want an open government, or an honest dialogue with your citizens. Most of the country stopped paying attention long ago. I'll join them. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

This Blog Remains Unoccupied

I want to preface all of this by saying that at my core, I can't help but side with the occupy people. Limiting the amount of influence greed plays over our society seems like a reasonable idea. Trying to make sure people who steal billions of dollars get punished for it, would be ideal. However, as much as I like idealism - I try to remain as realistic as possible.

Occupy This

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement will soon be entering December and I'm pretty sure it's as irrelevent as ever.

For the record, I almost fully support their ideals - however these ideals are so far removed from reality that I feel as though far too many people have wasted far too much time on this movement.

The system is what it is - and it's not as if everyone was somehow screwed into thinking that things are "fair". For the most part, people aren't blissfully ignorant of the inequity between the 99 and 1 percent, instead they're quite aware of it.

There's a lot I want to talk about around this occupy thing and I'm going to try to keep it under some fairly broad headlines. I'd like to point out now that the things I'm about to say are not intended to indicate what is ethically or morally right, but moreso an attempt at accurate description of how things currently stand.

What are they protesting?

This question of outcome keeps coming up. One would think a movement of this size would have some kind of agenda laid out, or demands if you will. They don't, though. Instead it's a mismash of people with their own gripes. I'm not quite sure certain things haven't been laid out as of yet (see: Constitutional ammendment to indicate that corporations are not people, the immediate jailing of Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankenfield etc.) but for whatever reason the movement would much rather just grow. Growing is nice - but it peaks, eventually. We're on the other side of that because the fact of the matter is...

These people have absolutely no power.

Protest your brains out, people - no one who matters gives a shit. See, it's a numbers game. One of two parties is going to get elected - and both have already been bought and paid for. So while you hang out in your tents and using your human microphone, you effect about as much change as my choice of socks in the morning. This is essentially what you're protesting, right? Well, the only way for your voice to be heard is through the law of the land. As frustrating as it is to see political pundits from both sides try to lay claim to the movement, the only way the movement has any clout is to become a force within one of the parties. The Democrats seem like the obvious choice - but I wouldn't rule anything out. Unless this group is willing to be poitically engaged within the political system that currently exists - it's unlikely that they'll see change that meets their needs. Some would ask, "Why would a movement that's storming the country ever want to allign itself with a politcal party unless there were enough people to essentially co-opt that party?" My question for those people would be, "Why should a movement that can't even carve out a part of a political party to get things done be taken seriously?"


I believe that it's the perception of many inside the occupy movement that there are millions of blissfully ignorant people who don't undesrstand how badly they're getting screwed. I'd argue that much of the population knows (while perhaps not in great detail) that they're getting screwed. People realize at a very young age usually that the system is broken. To provide yourself with clothes to wear, food to eat, and a roof over your head - you almost always have to work in a position where you are paid less than what you are worth. Even if working in a position that is a loss leader, the position is necissary to the overall success of the company usually. We know this though. There's not one account manager making money equal to what they bring in for the organization. Obvious exceptions to this are positions like health care and social services and other not for profit positions. However, in the private marketplace you are almost certainly going to be doing a job where the value you provide is returned in a portion of that value into your bank account.

If you sit down and explain these simple facts to people, the majority already know it. There are the blissfully ignorant who had no idea - but having them latch on to this information isn't about to bring on some kind of internal revelation that will make them join us. These are the people who vote republican because they love job creators and Jesus (or don't like that black guy). The vast majority of these people are perfectly happy in their blissfully ignorant world and any argument against it can be so easily turned into an argument against their guns, religion, or family values that these are not the people that we'll ever see join us.

The ones that should be targeted are the choiceful ignorant. Those of us that see how completely fucked up our way of life is, want drastic change, and will do anything to get there. It's here where you'll find me diverge from the common OWS folk.

It's a numbers game, and you don't have them 

This paragraph is going to be filled with generalizations and assumptions that I don't think I grossly unrealistic. Let us assume OWS has already or can convince everyone 18-34 that they're right. Good work! Now what are you going to do about the seniors who vote en mass and have lived in the current system their entire life. It was clearly good enough for them - so why do they want change? Also: How about those middle aged folks who have families and such? An attempt to overhaul the system would surely have some reprecussions throughout the economy. While the previous statement is a huge assumption in and of itself - it shouldn't be disregarded as this will be the primary attack point for people on the right.

"I think we can all agree that we want to make the world a more fair place, but such changes would completely destroy our economy and way of life!"

The second that there's a constitutional amendment around corporations not being people (or restricting the financial system to not allow gambling with your retirement) you'll immediately hear this and millions of lines like it. If you're 27 and have spent the last 7 years traveling the country trying to find yourself - this isn't a big deal to you. If you're 44, married with a mortgage and two kids the threat of a poor economy is the threat of losing your house, your car, your marriage, and possibly even your kids. This doesn't invoke a rationalization about economic phases and long term gain - it invokes an emotional response that can usually best be summarized as "No one will take food off my child's plate."

The System

There's an entire machine built around ensuring that you have less money and someone else has more. Our western capitalism essentially rotates around people trying convince you that you need something that you don't. In fact - there's an entire industry (marketing) created around this idea.

If it's through the fine print in an online terms of service agreement, exorbinant bank fees, or hidden cell phone charges - there's always a way for a corporation to find a reason that they need more of your money. This isn't because you did anything wrong - or even that they did. It's just that within the current system productivity is key and executives that can't find a way to increase it aren't worth anything.

While we can all sit here and rationalize that it's impossible for productivity to constantly increase - managers can find ways to make it happen. Sometimes that means that Coke is going to give us 9ml fewer than the original 600 - but more often than not it means having your staff do more with less. When we're looking at the short term especially in freshly started businesses this is extremely important for creating viability. However - multinational corporations have, will, and continue to place new productivity expectations on their workforce. A friend who works for a multi-million company that cleared a billion dollars last year outlined for me how their expectation for production had increased by 43% for the new year. This means that employees who had been producing just fine at the previous expectation - had to work 43% harder to earn the same wage.


Let me recap. OWS wants to effect change - but they'll never get great number from those over 35, or who the current system favors, those disengaged, and those just flat out stupid. How does one make change happen without having any pull with those groups? The short answer is that they don't.

Maybe though - just maybe, Matt Taibbi may have nailed it:

People want out of this fiendish system, rigged to inexorably circumvent every hope we have for a more balanced world. They want major changes. I think I understand now that this is what the Occupy movement is all about. It's about dropping out, if only for a moment, and trying something new, the same way that the civil rights movement of the 1960s strived to create a "beloved community" free of racial segregation. Eventually the Occupy movement will need to be specific about how it wants to change the world. But for right now, it just needs to grow. And if it wants to sleep on the streets for a while and not structure itself into a traditional campaign of grassroots organizing, it should. It doesn't need to tell the world what it wants. It is succeeding, for now, just by being something different.

I want to note that if somehow OWS can be successful and gain wide ranging support significant enough to fix some of the glaring issues in our ready to implode economy, we're living in an extremely exciting time. While the prospect of reshaping the quality of life for future generations is exciting - I still don't think it's realistic... yet. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Operation 5 Reaction Follow Up

In less than a day from me getting Operation 5 in the public domain I've received a lot of feedback on this. For the most part it's "Oh, that's a neat idea!" or "Are you sure you can last 6 months?"* or "Letters to your consoles was way better". I expected all those responses. The ones I didn't expect (but maybe I should have) were from female friends who thought that it was an absurd idea. That the talking to women part makes perfect sense - but if they want to fuck me, I should definitely fuck all of them.

Again - this might be because I grew up in a house with a mother and a sister who have been used and abused by single men  - but I think that's not in my make-up. Apparently, because I have a penis I should be viewing the entire female population as a fleshlight with a pulse. What exactly is wrong with a little bit of self control and NOT fucking someone just because of lust or sexual chemistry?

Really - if I'm never seeing this woman again - why do I want to fuck her exactly? Cause I can? I've slept with enough people in my life - that the physical act of sleeping with someone, while awesome - doesn't exactly do it for me if there isn't some kind of deeper emotional or psychological connection. In fact - the last woman I broke up with was a direct response to me asking her, "Sometimes I think you'd rather just be friends with benefits" and her replying, "Depends on the day."

The "Fuck anyone who will fuck you" sentiment was not exactly unexpected - but I expected it from men. To have multiple female friends pushing me to use women for some kind of temporary satisfaction that can only be described as either a notch on the bedpost or a bandaid for the ego -- it's surprising.

While I would like to think that the women around me growing up were raised to expect more out of their men -- I'm starting to wonder if more and more people were raised to treat each other like meat and any deviation of that indicates some kind of obscure lack of manhood.

If being a man requires having mindless sex with emotionally insignificant women -- you all can start calling me a female now.

*I'm not.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Introducing: Operation 5

For those of you in the know, I've been on a self improvement kick lately. Now, I know you're all sitting there thinking, "Really, Charles? You were already so impressive - how could you possibly plan to improve on that?"

It's a good question. Let's go over what's been done already:

  • No smoking, drinking, or toking for 50 days 
  • Healthy eating 
  • Exercise every day
Family Sidenote #1: When I spoke to my mother recently about these changes - she seemed nervous. I can only assume this is because she knows I'm dangerously close to playing high and mighty with every member of the family who whines about eating healthy being hard or not having the time to exercise.... she's right to be nervous. They should get off their lazy asses. 

So, with smoking out - eating and exercise in - there's really only one thing left to do: Flirt. 

For those of you out of the know: I have no game. I mean NO game. This isn't anything new, either. It took me till 25 to realize that if a woman invites you into her place after a date there's a very good chance she doesn't ACTUALLY want to watch South Park.

Family Sidenote #2: I like to blame the previous paragraph on my Father. Apparently there's some basic "man shit" that people are supposed to learn when they're growing up. I pretty much missed all that. So I stumble my way through assembling things. However when it comes to understanding the whole "Showing your interested while not looking too interested" thing, or the "Treat a woman like shit and she'll love you for it" thing -- I never got the memo. You'd figure with his history of infidelity my Dad could have at least left me a manual or something like American Pie - right? God knows my grandfather tried with his, "Just talk to them - what's the worst that can happen? They say no?" speech. That never quite made it into my subconscious it seems though. Apparently, "Hey what's up?" is enough to make new friends and shit - but for some reason I'm a little more contemplative than that and the fact that I don't look like Thor (yet) gets in my way.

So with the understanding that I got game like Lebron in the 4th quarter of a finals game - I decided there's got to be a way to fix this. Operation 5 is my answer.

Operation 5: Five Women, every night, with five rules, that can be overruled by five of my best friends.

The Five Rules:

  • Every night I go out with other people to a public place of drinking, or beaching, or partying - I must speak to 5 women. 
  • I will not fuck any of them
  • The women can not be friends I already have
  • If they make some kind of OBVIOUS advance at me - they will be informed that I'm not having sex again until December - and can have a date if they want to wait that long. 
  • Waiting until December can be overruled by a 3/5 vote of my Toronto female friends (The responses to the text messages when I told them this were HILARIOUS)
So that's Operation 5. It starts the next time I'm out with a crew - likely Thursday. My intention is to blog about it every time I try it - but we all know how I do with hard targets on blogging. 

Footnote: Let it be known that part of my problem might "contemplative face" that I get sometimes when I'm out - where it's obvious I'm thinking really hard about something.... that shit's not sexy. People only say they want someone smart so their friends don't think they're superficial. 

Monday, 30 May 2011

This Post is Totally Unfocused

I totally know what's happening in the middle east. Here's a hint: It rhymes with mothing. 

In his address to a joint session of the US Congress Benjamin Netanyahu made his case for peace in the middle east. I know this because during his 46 minute speech (video) the word "peace" was uttered 51 times. It makes me wonder if people are gullible enough that they can just hear the word enough times that it makes them feel like the speaker is committed to the idea.

I will not pretend here, nor anywhere else, to be an expert on all the complications of the middle east. There's one thing that appears to be abundantly obvious to me though: We are not anywhere close to peace in the middle east.

I know this because along with his 51 utterances of the word peace, the Israeli Prime Minister also said:

  • So it's therefore vital -- absolutely vital -- that a Palestinian state be fully demilitarized, and it's vital -- absolutely vital -- that Israel maintain a long-term military presence along the Jordan River.
  • Solid security arrangements on the ground are necessary not only to protect the peace; they're necessary to protect Israel in case the peace unravels, because in our unstable region, no one can guarantee that our peace partners  today will be there tomorrow. And my friends, when I say tomorrow, I don't mean some distant time in the future; I mean tomorrow.
  • So I say to President Abbas: Tear up your pact with Hamas! Sit down and negotiate. Make peace with the Jewish state

Just so we're clear: There will be peace so long as the Palestinians have no weapons or military, are negotiating as a fractured unit, and at the end of the day it doesn't matter cause we know they're going to break the pact anyway. Yeah Ben - I believe that... about as much as I believe the war on drugs is about end. 

Wearing this is totally gay - unless you're supporting gays. 

I wore a pink shirt for the vast majority of the day. I felt both very hot, and very gay. I don't know if it's because wearing things this fabulous make me feel hot - or because sometimes I write/say things like "wearing things this fabulous" -- but I felt gay as fuck. Now, obviously I'm not since I haven't engaged in any homosexual activity nor had the inclination. Just as obvious is that there's nothing wrong with LGBT folks.

I gotta say though, I'd hate to actually be gay - because the looks you get from these obviously conservative, obviously ignorant, obviously asshole country folk around here is enough of a piss off when you're straight. If I felt like they were judging me for something that's actually true... damn it - I might just kill a honkey.

Anyway - those last two paragraphs can be summarized with "No matter where you go - you'll meet retards"

The Wire is totally awesome. 

I'm done the first season of The Wire - and I have no clue why it took me so long to start watching this show. There's about 20 characters running here and they're all so impressively defined. I feel like I know each and every one of these guys (and girls). Really one of the best combinations of writing and acting I've seen in a long long time. If you have not watched it - do so. Now.

There has totally got to be a twitter bonus for Jays players

So here I am, minding my own business on twitter and two jays players start calling Jose Bautista a #clown. I would like to think that these the Jays are just twitter lovers (along with Morrow), but we have to know better than that. I would venture at least half of those men have some kind of social outreach clause - or some way of getting kickbacks for having some form of an online presence. Ricky and Jose just got new deals too - so it would not be that unlikely.

Either way - John Danks is a jack ass. You do not get to call another player a clown when you are 0-8.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Letters to my Consoles

Dear XBOX,

I know, I said some things. Horrible things. I swore I'd never love you again, that I'd never take you back, that you'd never have a place in my life for as long as I lived. I swore I'd never make the same mistakes again. I proclaimed that I had found someone new, exciting, and most of all - reliable. They weren't so high maintenance, always making me buy things for them. They had certain unique qualities (Little Big Planet, MLB The Show) that you just didn't have.

XBOX, I'm here to tell you I was wrong... sort of.

I'm glad you're back in my life. I'm glad that we got to spend last night together - and I think we might have a bright future. See - while I was off with that sleazebag, I forgot about all of your qualities. Remember that time that Geometry Wars 2 ruined my relationship because I wouldn't go to bed instead of staying up trying to get the high score on pacifism? Sure, she'll say we broke up because I cheated on her - but we all know it was the game. How about that time I got back from vacation and we played GTA IV for hours and hours... I never did live up to my commitment to you to get all 1000 achievement points with that game - we should try doing that again. Remember that moment when we hit 10,000 achievement points? Bobby Paycheque told me it'd never happen - I sure showed him.

Yes, we sure did have good times, but you've improved yourself since I've been gone. I can buy TONS of full length games in a flash! There's a bunch of avatar games where there were none before. There's so much I feel like I haven't done with this system yet that I look forward to doing now (like finishing my second play through of Mass Effect 2).

Yes, XBOX - I forgive you. We can be together again. Sure, I'm going to have to drop some coin on getting gold back, but you'll make it worth while - right? Right.

I Love You... you should know that you if you hurt me again I'll probably beat the living shit out of you though.




Dear PS3,

WHAT THE FUCK!? You lied to me. Over and over and over again you've lied to me! "It's just going to be a day or two" is it now? "By the end of the week you can play Black Ops again" REALLLLLY?

You're a lying bitch, you know that? When we started out you said "Hey, buy me - you won't have to pay to play with your friends" but now that we've been together for a while you say, "You can't play with your friends - don't blame me - you just can't. No idea when you can again. I'll make it up to you - just trust me - I will. I have no details as to how -- but I will". You're a lying bitch. How am I supposed to trust you? This whole time you've been giving me this sub par experience and I've been fine with it.

Let me get one thing in your head - I will come back to you, but I'll be using you. I'll have my fun with you then throw you to the side for my XBOX - because you haven't earned my love. When I have a choice between you or XBOX, you're not winning. Deal with it.

You've acted like a bitch, so now I'm going to treat you like the little bitch that you are.

Please don't kill yourself though. I've already gone through that with XBOX too many times.



Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Pre-Results Election Thoughts

I was writing this blog before the election results started rolling in. Blogger automatically saves so I found it as a draft today. It suddenly ends because my friend insisted we leave and get Subway - and while i intended to come back and finish it, results had started rolling in so blogging was the last thing on my mind.

This election has been extraordinary. There has literally never been such a shift in in popular vote as existed in this election and I realized something - it feels no different than any other election I've experienced since 2006: Terrifying. It looks although we're heading toward another Conservative minority. Hypothetically, it's possible that the Liberals and NDP will have enough votes to create a government through combination. I consider it just as likely that the late NDP surge will split the left and give the Conservative's some extra seats.

I can't help but be disappointed (generally) by people's lack of understanding in how our voting system works and/or unwillingness to be realistic about how they vote. We're all raised with certain ideals - and in a large part this influences how we vote. We're also raised not to lie - to be responsible with money - to be kind to people... well most people are at least. These are all good things to live by - but there are times in our lives where we can assess a situation reasonably and understand that there are exceptions to those rules.

Voting is no different. The left (Green, Liberal, NDP) all pretty much agrees that the course the country is on with Stephen Harper in charge is the wrong one. When it comes to voting though - these groups can't seem to reach a common ground. For example - in riding's that have been historically Con/Lib or Con/NDP - there are voters who steadfastly refuse to vote for the other left party.

I can not at all understand how a group of people can so steadfastly refuse to come half way for the sense of realism. It is absolutely your RIGHT to do what you wish with your vote. Anyone who ever disputes that is out of their mind. You can make bad choices though. You can make uninformed choices.

Just as you can make a poor choice in purchasing a product - you can make a poor choice in who to vote for. Is it a matter of opinion? Of course. However - when you claim to support the NDP, in a riding that will absolutely go either Liberal or Conservative - and vote NDP... in my opinion that's a horrific choice. One party has an ideology not so far from yours - and the other has a polar opposite ideology. Because their ideology is not EXACTLY the same - or because you don't like the leader (voting for policy is so out of fashion) - the decision that you can't vote for them is reckless. Deciding who you vote for on this micro level has macro effects. The choices made today by millions of Canadians across the country have a very serious impact on millions of Canadians for the next (potentially) four years. To just toss your vote in for the sake of some moral superiority or to make a meaningless and unknown statement about intolerance for the other choices is your right - but shortsighted.

This country - regardless of your political stance - has serious issues in front of it. Making these decisions at the ballot box should be made with equal seriousness. Frankly - those voting for NDP in a region like I described above because they like "Jack" or don't like "Iggy" - clearly don't take their decision seriously. You're unwillingness to support a middle ground could cause a person with views completely opposite of yours representing you, instead of someone who partially agrees with you.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


I'm going to start by sharing some of my favorite quotes from today:

"Don't know why everyone is so steamed about the election" 
"Hehehe! But look how good the NDP did!!!" 
"I don't care - they're all gonna fuck us in the ass anyways" 
"There's no way I could vote for that Ignatieff guy!" 

I'm not about to start making the "our democracy is broken" argument - because there is no perfect system (although there are certainly more perfect ones). I don't feel like our democracy is broken - and I also don't think the world is about to end. I'm absolutely concerned about the way that this country is about to be reshaped - but I'll come to that some other time. 
Right now, what worries me more is the appearance of an unplugged electorate. I have a hard time believing that this election was decided by policy. I have an even harder time believing that the election was decided by facts.

I find it more likely that this election was decided by an unengaged and uneducated electorate - and I also don't think this is new for this election, I think it's probably true of every election. I think the fact that this is the third election in five years made it increasingly easy for us as voters to only marginally (if that) take note of the issues or facts. 

This is the part where I feel the obligation to note that your vote is your right. The fact that we can choose to vote in any direction for whatever reason we like is absolutely our right. There are no thought police - in fact we have the freedom to say and do (mostly) whatever we please. 

With that part out of the way
When are people going to start acting like their duty as citizens isn't just to show up and vote on election day - but instead to have something of an understanding of what you're voting for and de facto what you're voting against? I think we can all agree that the person who ends up running this government has a very important job, and has to deal with a lot of very important issues. If we're deciding who's going to hold this job, shouldn't we take some time to learn about these issues and look at the options and then take a look at who has the best solutions to them? Also: If you're not willing to do that - to take 20 minutes of your time to figure that out - shouldn't you just stay home? 

Now I know that I just did something there that's a cardinal sin in the western world. "Voting is your duty - your right - people in China and Syria and Egypt have been dying for this right damn it - how dare you suggest people stay home and NOT VOTE!?!?!?"  

Those people halfway across the world fighting for democratic rights aren't doing so out of blissful ignorance or because they "just don't like the guy". It's usually because they've been marginalized and shut out by a tyrant concentrating wealth and power to a small segment of the country.* 

There are plenty of centre left voters that flipped to the NDP last night. I'd venture that a whole lot of them did so because of the leader and not nearly identical policy. Some of them might have done so because Jack's campaign had a large focus on health care. As one of my friends said to me, "I'm voting NDP because he's going to do something for nurses and my Mom's a nurse." and another, "My Mom is asking what they're going to do for people who have [illness]...". Health care is a provincial jurisdiction though. With the exception of the amount of money that the Government hands out - there's nothing they will do that has any impact on health care employees or specific strategies towards any illness. 

I want to be clear about one thing: My suggestion is not that people stay home and not vote because they don't know these things... my suggestion is that it's time for people to take their citizenship seriously. If I voted for a female candidate because I thought she was hot - I'd certainly raise some eyebrows. However not voting for someone cause you "just don't like them" is perfectly acceptable. "They're all going to fuck us in the ass anyways" -- well, maybe. They'll do it differently though. Depending on the perspective you might be asked to clinch through it. It might last an hour - or it might last 4 1/2 years. You might just be into it too. So at least be aware of the kind of ass fucking you're about to receive.

I understand that this goes directly against my general stance to be realistic instead of idealistic. The most common response to a suggestion like this is, "I don't have the time" or "I just don't care enough". If either of those are true, then yes - I'm suggesting you should stay home. 

The truth is, barring some kind of catastrophe people aren't about to start taking things more seriously. If your world's not flipped upside down - then the status quo is oftentimes acceptable. Sheeple will be sheeple, and votes will be cast for the sole purpose of not wanting to cast another vote for 4 years. Citizenship can be frustrating that way. 

So anyone who has a problem with the result of last night needs not to look at the system, or the parties, or the horrific campaign management by the Liberal party -- no. Instead look to your friends and neighbors, brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents. It was us - the citizens of this country with no time or use for serious citizenship who elected this government. In four years we'll be faced with a slightly different decision - an election coming out of any majority government is inherently a referendum on the job done by that government. However, one thing is certain:

We'll be told many stories then by many different people. Our ability or inability to seek out the truth - to take seriously our democratic duty - will more than likely dictate the result of that election and therefore the very serious issues that our government deals with every day. 

*Canadians can come back and read this sentence in four years again and think about starting their own riot.

Monday, 2 May 2011

It's Very Late

What does it mean?

The people have spoken. Very similarly to 1993 and 1997 a party is going to lead us for the next four years without any checks or balance. We know there won't be 12 seats to flip - so the Conservatives have the stable majority that they've been seeking.

I'm extremely curious to see the polling data over the coming days that outlines who moved where and when and why. I think just from looking at the numbers there were three different big jumps.
  1.  Bloc to NDP 
  2.  Liberal to Conservative
  3.  Liberal to NDP
The truth is, knowing what happened doesn't help us any if we don't know why.
  • Did the Bloc vote move NDP because they decided that their interests are best served by being a strong partner in Canada - or because they were tired of the Bloc being ineffective and gaining separatist demands?
  • Did centre Liberals get scared by the oncoming NDP wave and flip conservative for fear of the NDP - or did Conservatives effectly target and convince certain voters (yes, some of which are from visible minorities) that Conservative values most closely align with theirs? 
  • Did left leaning Liberals not feel represented by their party anymore and flip NDP - or were personality voters just not happy with Harper, out on Iggy, and went Jack.
"Why?" -- That is the important part because the "why" tells what should be next.
  • If the NDP are the new voice of Quebec, Liberal strongholds are getting picked off, and Liberals have lost touch with the left - isn't it time for a merge and an emergence of a (mostly) two party system? 
  • If the Bloc voters are just fed up, Liberal centrists fear the NDP, and personality voters went Layton - then we just wait for Harper to govern from the right now that he can - and everything swings back Liberal next time so long as they select someone people don't hate... right? 
Probably not. Most likely, it's a combination of all those things... which makes the water awfully muddy. So much will depend on who the Liberals select to lead them - and how Quebec plays out in the next four years. Anything is possible, but centre-left leaning voters need to have a good long think about combining these two parties because the split was in serious play today.

Do we really want to have this same result in four years? As of right now, about 60% of the nation is unhappy and by keeping things the way they are - we risk being no further ahead in four years time. People aren't going to get together on their own and vote strategically within their region. There needs to be a clear choice for the centre-left, and right now there's only a choice for the centre, and a choice for the left. We're probably heading into four years of governing from the right - and this country will never go all the way far left (NDP = Reform/Alliance just on the other side) so lets create another majority option. A party that centre voters still feel represented by but holds true to liberal ideals with social issues, workers rights, but champions education and health care. A party that finds the right way to care for seniors. However, a party that is not completely beholden to unions, and makes having balanced budgets a priority without hiking taxes on middle and low income individuals/business.

The top priority of this new party: Proportional representation.

Then when our parties re-fracture - we can have the government that we vote for.

Harpers Speech

Should include:
  • A clear mandate to keep doing the same good things they've done on the economy. 
  • Tough on crime. 
  • Lower taxes
  • From east to west
  • Faithful to our friends and commitments
  • Health Care 
  • An acknowledgement of A) Talking to other leaders and B) Working for every Canadian
  • Arctic Sovereignty
  • "Strong" Military  

Sunday, 1 May 2011

April Blue Jays Wrap Up

If someone told me at the beginning of April that the Blue Jays would be 1 game under 500 when the month ended - I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised. The surprise comes in how we got there. For example: 
  • If that same person told me that Travis Snider and Brett Cecil would be in the minor leagues and that they'd be remaking the mistake of having a power prospect DH - I wouldn't believe them. 
  • If someone told me the team would be third in the majors in walks, I might have believed them... but if they told me that Jose Bautista would have 30 of those walks since no one will pitch to him and his 9 Home Runs... I probably wouldn't have believed that. 
  • If someone told me that the Jays would be third in Stolen Bases - I wouldn't believe them (I call that Cito scarring) -- if they told me it would happen with Rajai Davis playing 9 games in the month, I wouldn't believe them. 
So yes - the Jays are surprising so far - but the results are not. Unless the pitchers decide to stop walking people (2nd most walks issued) - the results won't be much different.

Lets remember though - this is the year to figure out if Litsch, Cecil, Hill, Lind, or Snider really are part of the plan. So if the team finishes 10 games under 500, it's not a big deal - so long as AA has a better idea of what's a mirage, and what is not.  

Saturday, 30 April 2011

An Absurd Post-Election Scenario

A Facebook thread made me start plugging away at some post election possibilities. I quickly realized it would be more fun to just make on super absurd scenario, instead of a bunch of mildly absurd ones. Here's the scenario.

  • The Conservatives win a minority, and get through the first year with a budget with just enough support to pass
  • Stephen Harper is no longer the leader of the conservative party of Canada
  • The NDP is either the Official Opposition or the 2nd place finisher in popular vote. 
  • Michael Ignatieff is no longer the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
  • Gilles Duceppe is no longer the leader of the Bloc
These are not super far fetched considering the overview we're getting of the new IPSOS Poll. Harper's inability to get a majority will lead him to retirement. Iggy's damaged goods. Gilles has been doing his job a long time, and the mass exodus to NDP means it's time for new blood.

So - this is an exercise in fun, not in realism. I'll make an effort to keep it quasi-realistic* (i.e. Jack Layton will NOT come into the house of commons dressed as a seal and be chased around by Jim Baird as he tries to club him.) but I'm definitely letting my imagination run wild with some of this.


Conservative Leader: Peter (Hey, I ran one of the merging parties too!) Mckay
Liberal Leader: Justin (Can't you read my last name, of course I'm leader!) Trudeau
Bloc Leader: Some French Asshole

So Peter McKay is in charge. Just for fun I'll say he's started a war with Saudi Arabia (for the sole purpose of confusing the hell out of the United States). He's introducing some kind of new measure that no other party can support (lets say... a 25% tax on any home power costs that aren't originating from oil) and are about to be defeated. Mini-Trudeau and Jack-Off Layton form a new party. We'll call the party "Left Guided Brilliant Tradesmen" or LGBT. So the LGBT's approach the governor general and with the backing (but not unwavering support) of the Bloc attempt to make Jack-Off the Prime Minister. Little do we know that the Governor General actually has a bet with the queen about how many times he can send us to an Election during his reign - so declines that request and sends us back into an election.

This results in Jack-Off leading the LGBT's to a majority government. Peter McKay noted that an election isn't a time to talk about serious issues, and the french asshole was caught waving a Canadian flag. So our new LGBT's are now in charge. The Christian right is super pissed, by the way.

Now the LGBT's want to reopen the constitution to change things to proportional representation. Conservatives and the Bloc are rallying like hell against the idea because it's sure as hell not in their best interest. Of course, this can't get done this way because not enough groups agree. There's issues in the east (like there is now) where fewer people have more representatives. So we go to a national referendum on the issue.

Of course, the result (much like Ontario) is that nothing changes. Some are sheeple, and others know it's in their self interest for things to say the same. Regardless - everything stays the same...

And the Conservatives win the next election. With a very angry Baird in charge.

*This theory lasted about one sentence.

Friday, 29 April 2011

A Completely Biased Political Post

I've grown tired of the local Conservative candidate - and it literally took one day. The straws that broke the camel's back?
  • I got two pieces of mail this week. One was a conservative attack piece - the other a defense in the form of a letter from the Liberal candidate. 
  • I saw two large lawn signs on one of the busiest intersections in the city that said, "On election day remember Liberals don't support our troops." Attributed to some random group.

On The Mailers

The Conservative piece had two sides to it. On one side - it's the "BRIAN MURPHY WAS ABSENT 35% OF THE TIME BUT STILL COLLECTED 100% OF HIS SALARY" thing. The other side I just found bizarre. See, I'm no campaign manager (obviously) but on the good side I'd have some stuff from our platform that shows how it's going to be awesome for the area. Instead, it just talked about what Robert Goguen had done in the area with various charities or employment and added, "We need Robert Goguen working for us at the Conservative table"

Is it just me - or is this a not so thinly veiled threat? What happens if we don't have Robert Goguen working for us at the Conservative table? Is it the Conservative table and not the house of commons that decides what's best for the country? Is this an acknowledgment that having a member in government creates special treatment? This seems like the appropriate place to direct you to the Parm Gill story. Special mention also goes out to the Tony Clement story. At some point if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck - we can acknowledge that it's a duck. The conservatives may want us to do DNA testing on this thing since they're absolutely certain it's a Moose like they keep saying it is - but just because we don't have DNA evidence doesn't mean we can't call the thing a duck. 

On The Swiftboating*

Has this really made its way to Canada? There's free speech, so I'm not about to start decrying why people can do such things. We know why - it doesn't make it reasonable. During the Bush years - Canadians would yell out over and over again that those kind of dirty tactics would never work here. That we weren't a bunch of sheeple just waiting to be led to slaughter. If Goguen wins this election - I will have lost faith in that. I'd prefer something at least a little funny. "On Election Day - Remember Liberals Hate Puppies!"

I'm sure the Goguen campaign will claim that they were unaware of these feathers on the duck and reiterate that the moose has a right to free speech.

*For those of you that don't know what swiftboating is: 

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Well this is(n't) new!

The election blog didn't work out... the marketing blog didn't work out... I'm completely incapable of writing about one topic. Therefore - I've re-branded this as "The Chollyer Blog". You'll find stuff about politics, marketing, sports, fantasy sports, drinking, dating, and random absurdity.

I'm not going to make any fanciful promises about posting every day - because that's highly unlikely - however when I have long form thoughts I'll put them here and likely link them on my twitter feed.

The Newest Non-Controversy Of The Election

Twitter is great. I enjoy being able to read what other people have to say (even the sheeple) and I especially like that it forces people to be concise. In and of itself, I feel like that makes me a better writer when I make posts. If I put something together that's 150 characters, I can always seem to find places I could have removed words, or find easier ways to say things. Twitter is constant though. If you have an active account - and are following enough (or the right) people - you're going to be getting multiple updates. In fact, I can see from another tab that while I've been writing this entry, there's been 24 updates. New stuff every minute - awesome right? Mostly.

Michael Ignatieff went to the Ice Dogs game last night and when shown on the Jumbotron was boo'd (and probably cheered too). There were not the usual 45 media at this event with Mr.Ignatieff, and some local reporters and fans tweeted about him being there and being boo'd. This turned into a full on controversy as anyone following my political reporter crush Kady O'Malley can attest. For at least an hour this morning there were calls from "The Twitterverse" of a conspiracy or coverup. Really? I mean REALLY!?

First of all: A politician - any politician - being boo'd at any sporting event isn't even close to surprising. That's not a story. In fact as far as non-stories go it's about on par with the sun rising in the morning. However - we now live in a 24/7 news world, and there's not 168 hours worth of news to keep people's attention out there - so things like this ARE a story now.

For the Mr.Ignatieff's part - he's played it off perfectly.

"Let's get the context right: we're in the middle of the third period in a closely contested game ... and some darn politician pops his head up on the JumboTron — I'd boo. It's Saturday night. They want to watch hockey,"

Me too, Iggy. Me too. 

Monday, 28 March 2011

Monday News and Notes

Weekend Wrap Up

Coalition: A coalition is an alliance among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause.

It came as no surprise that a possible coalition was the main issue over the weekend coming from the Conservative party, with Stephen Harper saying on Saturday, "Canadians need to understand clearly, without any ambiguity: unless Canadians elect a stable, national majority, Mr. Ignatieff will form a coalition with the NDP and Bloc Québécois".

Michael Ignatieff issued a statement through the Liberal party where they say, "We will not enter a coalition with other federalist parties. In our system, coalitions are a legitimate constitutional option. However, I believe that issue-by-issue collaboration with other parties is the best way for minority Parliaments to function." The statement also categorically ruled out a coalition with the Bloc.

This has not slowed down the Conservatives hammering away on a Coalition with the usual talking points being repeated again today in questions on the contempt ruling.

EDIT: So CPAC has released this video from 2004 where the (then) opposition parties announced their cooperation - but went out of their way on several occasions to make clear that it was not a coalition.

Happening Today

The Conservative party outlined a tax cut for families with children to share up to $50,000 of their income for tax purposes. These changes would not take effect until the budget has balanced. 1.8 Million Canadian Households will be effected (slightly above 14% of total households), saving an average of $1300. The Liberal leader dismissed the idea saying it's "not credible"

The Liberals said today that they will release their full platform within the week. Today the focus was on "Conservative Waste".

More to come this week and beyond I'm sure.

Friday, 25 March 2011

The First Dead Issue

So in my effort to keep this blog fact based - I've discovered the first issue the pundits will be talking about that I won't be. "Who Caused This Election" is going to be the first story of the 2011 election season and there's no need to spend too much time talking about it because the answer is "Everyone".

Of course the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc have a hand in this by creating (and presumably voting for) a motion to defeat the government but oft overlooked is the hand the Conservative government is playing in this. Jack Layton has offered to work with the government in creating amendments for the budget that could help it pass - an offer which the Stephen Harper has declined. Having accepted amendments in the past it appears the government is just as interested in an election as the opposition. Considering the poll numbers this is hardly surprising.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Welcome to the 2011 Election Season!

Welcome to the 2011 Canadian Election Blog!

Needless to say that after yesterday's budget we should be rolling head first into an early May election. I'm going to do my very best to keep this updated (mostly) daily - and try to stay even handed. This blog will try to focus on facts - and I will do my best to cite sources or link to interesting reads when I stumble on them.

For now, I leave you with "The Budget Plan" from the government of Canada website and the responses from The Liberal Party of Canada and The New Democratic Party.

Looking forward to six weeks of good times!