Friday, December 17, 2004

Bits and Bites

Below is an email I sent out to a friend.  Just started typing and I didn't feel like stopping.
No prob.  Kiram Too Koonette!  And a note on your leaving from IBM:
Don't worry.  You have seen how this shit works its self out.  But at the same time, don't expect "opportunity to be handed to you on a silver platter."  Most importantly, be nice and kind to your friends.  However, be EXTRA nice and kind to your enemies.  Just think about that.  Most importantly, don't burn any bridges with anyone, regardless of class, status, religious/political affiliation.  Always extend an "olive branch" and if THEY choose not to accept it, then it's their problem, not yours!  I have the utmost utter faith that you will prevail over this shit, but don't waste another minute thinking about what could have been.  Think about what can become of it!
As "Canadians", we get very comfortable under our skin.  Think back for a moment.  The primary reason why all of us fled Iran was because of religious and political persecution.  But if we were to still be there, we would make due with it, survive and continue to live.  Now, why shouldn't we force ourselves a little more, endure a little more hardship and take the leap of faith (aka risk) and see what can become of it.
One thing I learned when I was unemployed for 11 months and struggling is that life is worth SHIT!  It's not worth anything unless we make the most of it.  So, place a value on yours and make it flourish into what you want.  Ultimately, your destiny is in your hands.  I wish you all the best in your job search and keep up your chin.  Finally, in the words of U2, "...what you don't have, you don't need it now."  So, if you don't need it, don't buy it!  Save your money for a rainy day.
Until then.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Warren Kinsella on Dalton McGuinty

I have a great deal of respect for Warren Kinsella, but for him make this claim (read below), I would have to say it flat out wrong.  McGuinty is a LOSER and a MORON, but most importantly, a PROMISS BRAKER!  McGuinty reminds me of a stick man and God, I too wish the provincial election was right now.  John Tory would kick his ASS!
"Saw Dalton McGuinty give a terrific speech at the OLP Christmas Party last night. Man, the guy was on fire: funny, profound, smart, moving.
McGuinty is one of the best political communicators I have ever worked for, and I've worked for some of the great ones.
Made me wish the next provincial election was right now!"

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Persian Gulf Will Remain Persian

It's been a while.  A lot of great things have been happening, which I will no doubt write about soon.
I am fully supporting this cause.  Nonetheless, it pisses me off that such an incodent has occured.
Until then.

Monday, November 22, 2004

God, I love this website.  I have been searching for someone who openly along with creativity express a HUGE hate for Pat "Jack Ass" Robertson.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Carolyn Parrish

I, along with many others, am not fond of Carolyn Parrish, nor Dubbya Bush.  But this woman is really a MORON!  Congrat's are in order for Prime Minister Paul Martin.  Below is his statement.

"After speaking with the caucus executive earlier this afternoon, I am announcing my decision, effective immediately, to dismiss Carolyn Parrish from the government caucus.

I called her a short time ago and told her of my decision. I told her that, while I have defended her right to express her views frankly, I cannot, as Leader of our party and the government caucus, tolerate behaviour that demeans and disrespects others. It is unacceptable. There are better, more civil and more effective ways to make your case than those she has chosen."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Remembrance Day 2004

On a day which we mark with a moment of silence to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for our democracy, let us NEVER forget.
The irony of it all is that today, being marked with Yasser Arafat's passing, hopefully it will make for "real" peace in the middle-east.
Lest We Forget.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Yasser Arafat

Is it me, or is the news surrounding Yasser Arafat's condition starting to become a little annoying.  Frankly, I could care less if he lived or died.  For Arafat to keep clinging onto life, frankly he's clinging onto power and it's a show of instability.
Either way (life/death) there will be a huge political fallout as a result of what lies ahead, not only for the people of Palestine but also the entire world.  Anyone (these day's many) who have a stake/interest in mid-east affairs should watch very closely.
By the same token, I would take Bush on his death bed any day over Arafat.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I couldn't agree with this more.

Shedding some light?

Here is something a good friend of mine sent me.


Now I know most of you all feel the same about the re-election of Dubois Bush. It really does sukkk but what could we as Canadians really do? Unfortunately not much. All we can hope for is that our PM, Paul Martin does not cater or pussyfoot around the re-elected Yankee pres and stands up for what is left of our "Canadian" values.

Anyways, since we need to brace ourselves for Bush's Theocracy -as opposed to democracy - because 120 million identified voters indicated being Christian of which 3/4 voted for Bush, meaning that Bush will appease them via not allowing abortion, stem cell research and getting even tougher with the law, I thought I would leave it to Michael Moore to provide some sort of light that while it sukkks that Bush is back in, its not the end of the world...yet!


Saturday, November 06, 2004

American Tragedy

NOTE:  I have been having some problems with Blogger, so this is a re-post.
Why is it that American's, especially the American electorate can and never will forget the tragic acts of 9/11 but somehow seem to lose sight of what happened with respects to Florida in the 2000 U.S. Presidential race.
I am not undermining nor am I defending the ruthless acts of terrorism on 9/11, but it is my opinion, and ONLY my opinion that what happened in 2000 with regards to Florida was far more TRAGIC.
I just hope tragedy doesn't strike twice on November 2, 2004.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Sad Defeat

Well, I woke up and no clear winner has been declared.  After catching up on my daily dose of CNN, Bush has 254 electoral votes and Kerry has 252.  The Kerry camp is waiting for all the outstanding provisional ballots (aprox. 100,000) to be counted in the state of Ohio.  Statistically, it would be impossible for Kerry to win.  I believe Kerry will concede around 10 am or so.  By doing this, he will take the high road. 
Kerry & Edwards fought a well campaign, and my heart goes out to them.  Defeat is always difficult to accept, but in the end, the people have spoken.  I just believe the IDIOTS spoke as they had the least to lose, because they are IDIOTS.
God bless America and the IDIOTS it protects.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Apprentice - 10.28.04

I have been silent for sometime now, due to being ill with the flu and busy with some consulting work, but it's suffice to say that I am back.  So here we go.
The task this week was to create a "heartfelt" advertising campaign to encourage and bolster recruitment for the NYPD.  As project manager, Elizabeth FAILED incredibly as a leader for the sole purpose of providing vision and allowing her team members to change her mind.  On the other hand, Andy performed AMAZINGLY and was rewarded with having his ad campaign displayed in Times Square. 
But let's focus on Elizabeth and her screwed up loss.
What Elizabeth and her team (to a certain degree) failed to do was listen to what was asked of them--provide a campaign that goes to the core of every possible NYPD candidate.  To give some credit to this team, I would say that Raj was on the right track with terrorism, but that the team should have played up the whole 9/11 tragedy.
If George W. Bush can exploit 9/11 for re-election purposes, why can't and shouldn't it be used for recruiting NYPD officers?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Osama's Letter

Trust the Canadians to figure it out!

After numerous rounds of "We don't even know if Osama is still alive," Osama himself decided to send George W. a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game.  Bush opened the letter and it appeared to contain a coded message: 370HSSV-0773H

Bush was baffled, so he e-mailed it to Colin Powell.  Colin and his aides had no clue either so they sent it to the FBI.  No one could solve it so it went to the CIA, on then to the NASA, then to the Secret Service.  With no clue as to it's meaning, they eventually asked Canada's RCMP for help.  The RCMP cabled the White House as follows: "Tell the President he is looking at the message upside down."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Desperate Housewives

ABC's new hit series Desperate Housewives has been getting some rocky criticism lately.  HBO's Sex & They City portrayed the life of single women in downtown Manhattan.  Desperate Housewives on the other hand has taken a complete 180 and is a display of middle-aged women living in affluent suburban America.  The controversy lies with the fact that some of the show's sponsors think that the show is "obscene" and are or have already pulled out.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!  How can this show be controversial in any of the topics it addresses or how it portrays women.  I remember when I was a teen growing up with shows like Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place there was far more of a display of "controversy."  Issues such as violence towards women, teen suicide, peer pressure, teen pregnancy, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.  If anything, Desperate Housewives is much more "tamed" than the show's of the 1990's.
I enjoy this new show and would be really sad to see it axed (as if, that's a long shot!).  If history has taught us anything, it's that such BS (sponsors pulling out) ONLY creates more HYPE for shows and the ratings SOAR through the roof.
Make sure you catch next weeks episode!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Driving Votes

A friend of mine brought this website to my attention.  It's a great cause to oust Bush out of the White House and send him to his ranch.  Hope you American's will take part in this worthy cause.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Tonight's episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation struck at the core of an increasing problem in our local schools, bullying.  The 30 mins. episode allowed me to reflect on the times I was bullied in high school, and literally brought tears to my eye's. 
In this episode, the individual being bullied decided that he had no other option but to shoot and injure a classmate and too take his own life.  Then I came to the realization that today's recipients of bullying are much more notorious and solve their issues much radically (i.e. killing). 
I wasn't sad for what had happened to me in the past, rather why kids - but most importantly the school system - still to this day continue to allow such ruthless behaviour, which ends up costing lives. 
Boy have times changed.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Bits & Bites

Tonight, I met up with my regular group of "4some" and we caught up after about three and a half months.  We talked about A's trip to Europe and Iran; my fiance and her cousin had spent 2 months in Iran; and what I had done for that duration.  For the first time in a LONG time, I was not stressed during an outing.  I decided that I wouldn't care if A was speeding and that he may get a speeding ticket.  I didn't care that we hadn't decided what we would do prior to taking off.  I just felt the music.
I am going to be making some changes in my life in the coming weeks.  I am really excited, especially the skateboarding part.
Here are some bits and bites from tonight's session:
  • There are a few things that life would never be fully complete without.  Friendship is number two.  Family is number ONE!

  • As per our conversation on the status of my unemployment status and what decisions I will be making as a result of coming to a fork in the road, I have decided that the worst that can happen is that I will never work for anyone anymore.  My great friend A said that "...the less window's you close, the more light you will have."  He just make this shit up while going 120 km/hr. at 3 am.

  • As we talked about Amsterdam, I learned that you should NOT undertake the use of Hash, Absinthe and "Magic" Mushrooms in one night.  It can make put you into a comatose for at least 4-6 hours with lots of hallucinations.  That's just a medical opinion.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

This Thanksgiving

Today, I went and purchased $60 worth of non-perishables for the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank.  Now, mind you, I am unemployed but feel that I am much richer than the average person who relies on the food bank.  Therefore, if I (as an unemployed person) can afford at least $50 for this worthy cause, then I am SURE that individuals with a good paying job can afford a mere $10.
The food banks IMMEDIATE goal is to feed hungry people.  Their ultimate goal is to ELIMINATE the need for food banks.  Please give to your local food bank this Thanksgiving weekend and let's put an end to hunger in a developed country such as Canada.
When you give food, you give hope! 

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Apprentice - 09.30.04 & 10.07.04

Still bugged down with this bloody flu (sinus infection) I don't have the energy to write on the past two Apprentice show's.  All I can say is that the women seem to work together on one task ONLY--to decide who they should kick out in the boardroom.
Back to bed.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Change of Course

A year ago yesterday (October 2, 2003), the political landscape forever changed in the Province of Ontario.  Upon losing my job due to a massive string of cutbacks, I wrote this sombre e-mail filled with lots of mixed emotions to all of my friends and colleagues and wished everyone well. 
I finally feel I have come to terms with the loss of the election (as it was bitter and nasty), and the loss of a job I loved so much, and finally feel that I have closure.  I await to see what lies in the next chapter of my professional life.
From:     AbZo
Subject:  Change of Course
One of my dreams has always been to be given the opportunity to be a part of the inner-political circle, especially in the Province of Ontario.  For those of you who are not familiar with Ontario politics, it's EXCITING, at the very least, and I have been very fortunate enough to experience this first hand.  I am proud to say that I have fulfilled this dream, and that serving the public service is truly a great honor and privilege, one that I will miss very much.
However, the time has come for me to move on, but be sure that I will be back!  As I write this e-mail, I never thought it would come to this, and it is very pain staking having to put such deep emotions into words, that's why I will stop here.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Google's Local Service

Just got a bad case of the flu.  Came across this very interesting link by Google.  Back to bed.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

"The Plight of the American Worker", by Phyllis Rosino of Las Vegas, Nevada

My bills are piling up
I cannot make a dent
I work 40 hours a week
and still can't pay my rent.

The barest costs of living
are going through the roof
The economy is at an all time high
do we really need more proof?

Jobs are being outsourced
at such an alarming rate
My neighbor has no job at all
with no prospects to date.

So perhaps I should be thankful
for the little that I make
If I dare to ask for a living wage
My job would be at stake.

MP's, judges given 10% pay hikes

I for one am sympathetic and appreciative of the work that our politicians do to represent us.  However, when I am unemployed and struggling to find employment and can barley survive on a $1,500 a month endowment from the government, I will NOT support them in their cause (read below).  For God's sake, they are making plenty.  I hope that Stephen Harper will put an end to all of this and block the Liberal vote on the legislation.


OTTAWA - Federal cabinet ministers say they're prepared to fight a proposal that gives them a 10-per-cent pay hike.

An independent commission has recommended a salary increase for judges, and since the salaries of judges and members of Parliament were linked a few years back, a pay hike for one group applies to the other.  If the recommendations are passed, members of Parliament who currently take home $141,000 a year to represent their constituents will get $155,000. A cabinet minister's pay would jump to $230,000.

The Supreme Court of Canada has said recommendations by the judicial commission are virtually undebatable.  But Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan says the government is prepared to go to court to fight an unreasonable pay increase.  "If we rejected the recommendations, if judges chose to challenge our rejection, they could do so," she said.  The proposed pay hike for MPs is proving to be unpopular in many circles.

For one thing, it isn't expected to sit well with the country's 130,000 public sector workers, who are struggling to get a two-per-cent increase this year from the government.  "This will certainly fire up our members even more than they are already fired up," said John Gordon, with the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, also doubts the increase is justified. He wants salary hikes for judges and MPs to be treated separately.  "I don't think we've done anything, or anything has happened in the last four months, to justify us getting a higher salary," he said.   One legal expert disputes claims that a pay increase is needed to attract good people to the bench.

"There's no shortage of highly qualified candidates at the present time, and if a candidate is looking for big money, then a judicial position might not be the right place for him or her," said Jacob Ziegel, with the University of Toronto.  The commission's recommendations are expected to come to the House of Commons next week. The government will then have a month to respond.

The raises, once approved, will be retroactive to April 1, 2004. Every April for the next three years, MPs and judges will get another increase, tied to the Industrial Aggregate Index. Last April, that increase was 1.3%.  The commission, which is appointed every four years, consisted this time of two senior lawyers, Roderick McLennan and Earl Cherniak, and one community activist, Gretta Chambers, the former chancellor of McGill University in Montreal.

Similar commissions exist in the provinces to determine provincial judges' salaries. The commissions were created to ensure judicial independence, so they are not beholden to government for their pay raises.  However, they have come under fire across Canada, and several provinces will appear in the Supreme Court of Canada this fall to challenge their power.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Apprentice - 09.23.04

The result of this weeks "The Apprentice" was just mind boggling.  I was just baffled as to how D.T. fell for the stunt that the women pulled.  Each team was given a $50,000 budget by Proctor & Gamble to create excitement about a new line of vanilla toothpaste.  The team who created the most amount of hype (within the budget), basically won.  However, Apex Corp. was over by over $5,000.  I just want to know how the board-room discussion of the women team going over by more thank $5,000 suddenly turned over to Stacie J. being a "nut".  Can someone please explain WOMEN to moi?
Should Apex Corp. had come within the assigned budget, I really believe that Proctor & Gamble would have chosen them over Mosaic Corp.  I only say that because Mosaic Corp.'s original plan fell through and they came up with another gig at the 11th hour.  However, Mosaic's original game plan (insuring a million dollar giveaway) would have been brilliant, only if it wasn't rejected by the respective underwriting company.  As a PMP in training, one fundamental thing I have learned is that as a Project Manager (PM) ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a contingency plan in effect.
Back to my beef with D.T.  I really believe he made a dumb decision.  But who am I to say so.  Until next week.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Osama Bin Lottery

Although this is intended for the purpose of humour, I could not help myself and so I had to place it on my blog.  It's unbelievable as to how this man is still roaming around like a lose cannon waiting to explode.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Apprentice - 09.16.04

This week's Apprentice proved to be a shocker as the show had claimed.  It all came down to the boardroom showdown.  Bradford, made a STUPID, impulsive, and life-altering decision by giving up his exemption (WHAT AN IDIOT!).  Trump said that "'s that kind of single, impulsive decision that can destroy a company," and so, the Donald fired Bradford.  At one point, I really thought Ivana would be fired due to her lousy leadership, but in the end I totally see where D. T. is coming from and I support the decision 100%.
As for the specifics of the challenge (who can sell more ice cream), I would have to say that the men did an AMAZING job and beat the women by $200 and some change even after donating and few hundred bucks to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  It was the lousy leadership of Ivana.
Until next week.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Well, 26 years have passed and I have not fully understood what life is all about.  Life, has been a little cruel to me these past 9.5 months, but I rather NOT divulge on that.  Today is a brand new day for yours truly and I will make the most of it.  It's sunny and I couldn't ask for more living in Toronto. 
A year from now, I will look back on this day and say to myself "...self, that was a walk in the park."

Tory Crowned New Leader

I am really happy that John Tory has been crowned the new leader of the Ontario PC Party, CONGRATULATIONS! 
I am really looking forward to seeing what he has planned for the revitalization of this party, as I am confident it will be ONLY the best.  I will probably be back soon (pending my employment situation) to help the party/caucus win the next election, which I will consider very seriously.
Watch out Mr. McGuinty, there is a fresh new look on the block and he will be kicking you out of office in 2007, because John Tory is Creditable, Likeable, and Electable. 

New life for Tories?

Came across this interesting article in the Toronto Sun.  It shows the need for why the party needs to get behind the "man", John Tory.

It may seem that the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race is snoozing to the wire, but behind the scenes there's furious activity in the three camps as John Tory, Jim Flaherty and Frank Klees all make a last-ditch appeal to delegates for their vote.

Recent polls by SES show the party -- without a new leader -- is neck-and-neck with the Liberals, meaning suddenly the leadership is a coveted prize.

SES numbers released yesterday show the PCs under departing leader Ernie Eves at 40% of the committed vote, Liberals at 38%, NDP 19%, and the Green Party at 3%. The uncommitted vote is 17%.

Those are startling figures so early in Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty's mandate. While his approval rating is up slightly since June, 46% still believe his performance is either poor or "very poor." That's up 8% from June, but not exactly a ringing endorsement of his policies. A stunning 44% also think McGuinty is on the wrong track, while only 26% believe he is going the right way.

As for the PCs, another SES poll obtained by Sun Media reveals voters would be almost twice as likely to vote for them with Tory as leader than Flaherty.

Pollsters asked which of the leadership candidates -- if any -- would make voters more likely to vote PC. Tory polled 21%; Flaherty 12%, and Frank Klees 6%. Another 3% said "any" and 32% (one presumes core Liberals) said "none of the above." Another 25% said they were unsure.

SES president Nik Nanos said the high percentage of unsure voters shows these are early days yet. "That said, comparatively at this time, John Tory has the greatest growth potential compared to Jim Flaherty or Frank Klees," Nanos said in an interview.

One in five Ontarians said they were more likely to vote Conservative if Tory were the leader, he noted.

"(The PCs) need to use this as a launching pad for defining themselves and the direction they want to take the party and the direction they would take the province if they were ever in the premier's chair."

Meanwhile, I asked longtime Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, who was central to the campaign that swept McGuinty to victory last year, for his thoughts on the race. If Flaherty or Klees win, the Liberal strategy is easy -- they'll try to paint them as hard-right knuckle-draggers who will destroy health and education. But what about Tory? I asked Kinsella if the guy he supported in his unsuccessful run for Toronto mayor last fall has an Achilles heel.

-By Christina Blizzard, Toronto Sun, September 17, 2004

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Tribute to Ernie Eves

As we pay tribute to our outgoing leader and an amazing individual, I am proud to say that it was truly a joy and pleasure having worked for this former Premier of Ontario.

Thank you Mr. Eves!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

We are the CHAMPIONS!

Securing the final win of the 2004 World Hockey Championships (3-2 against Finland) in Toronto, we (Team Canada) are the BEST in hockey.  For more information check out this.
Congratulations Boyz!  Now it's time to the Toronto Maple Leafs to bring home the Stanley.  Go LEAFS Go!

One Simple Question

Surfing on the web and I came across this amazing BLOG!  Please do your best to either ask G. W. B. this tough question and collect or make a donation, as the deadline is 11.02.04.

Monday, September 13, 2004

"The Art Of Killing A Cat"

It's the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival, and like every year there lies a controversy.  This year it's about the movie Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat.  For a background on the controversy, check out this piece.
It's not like I agree with the production of the film, but people and the media here in Toronto are making a huge deal about "art."  It puzzles me as to the fact that no one does anything about human tragedies, such as the genocide taking place in Sudan (as we speak), but the world must come to a halt because of a cat.  What's wrong with this picture (no pun intended)?

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Ontario PC Leadership Race

Here is a great editorial in today's Toronto Star.  I couldn't have said it better myself.
On September 18, 2004, members of the Ontario Progressive Party will elect their next leader.  Three candidates, Jim Flaherty, Frank Klees, and John Tory are vying for the top job. 
You will never hear me saying anything bad about either Jim Flaherty or Frank Klees, but I have always been a supporter of John Tory.  I am socially progressive and fiscally conservative.  Not only do I believe that John Tory will be the next leader of the Ontario PC Party, but I also believe he will be good for the party and for the difficult times that we are facing.  He will be effective as Opposition Leader and a strong force in criticizing the McGuinty government and their backward policies.  Soon, he will win power and become Ontario's next Premier.  Right-wing ideologies are long gone and no longer strike a chord with voters.  It's time to STOP the in-fighting and "roll with the 21st century punches."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Apprentice - 09.09.04

Well, it's the beginning of another season of The Apprentice, and in my views it didn't get of to a great start. Both teams (Apex and Mosaic) were asked to develop a toy for Mattel using all of Mattel's RESOURCES (the key word). After coming up with a toy, the design was given to Mattel's design team, which was then put before a children's focus group for constructive feedback.

Basically, all the guy's thought that they knew how the world worked, and the women, well they also thought they knew how the world worked. The men (being led by a female project manager) developed some kind of a wild animal that you could change it's body parts. They ladies (being by a male project manager) developed a remote control car that you can customize by changing it's body kit, tires, etc. In the end, the Mattel team selected the remote control car.

Now, as a project manager what I would have done differently is not from the angle of what kind of toy I would have developed, but rather the process by which I would have developed the product. First, the key to all of this was to use all of Mattel's resources (as indicated by D. T.). By doing so, I would have consulted Mattel's Business Intelligence department (I am sure they have one) and requested a report detailing which children demographic cohort has the most amount of sales. Second, I would take that report back to my team and have them think more specifically like that demographic cohort and try to come up with a product that children in that age group would enjoy, which in return would be profitable for the company.

One challenge down, fourteen to go. See you next week.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Liberal Minority Government in Canada

I believe that a minority will be good ... I just wish either the Libs or the NDP had one about two more seats so that it would be truly an NDP-dependant minority.

There are a couple of interesting factors. Thanks to the election expenses legislation Chr├ętien put through, both the Libs and Cons. have to repay major money because their vote share was much lower than predicted. The NDP and the Bloc, on the other hand, get big cheques. Given that the Libs and Cons. can no longer just go and tap their corporate supporters to clean up campaign debts, I have the feeling that the parties are not going to be in too, too, big a rush to go to the polls again. They both owe huge amounts right now. So that means the Conservatives won't likely be spoiling to defeat the government. I don't think the NDP or the Bloc will either because the third and fourth parties don't usually do very well in an election that follows a minority government. What the NDP wants to re-create is the situation of the 1960s ... where Lester Pearson kept getting re-elected, but also kept getting minorities. And I have a feeling that we might be ready for that. I think the public is sick of majorities that just do what they want and ignore everybody else. So, if the public is smart enough to put two and two together and come up with that conclusion, we might see a re-run of the 1960s.

As for the budget, it is just like any other vote deemed a "confidence question." If the government loses the vote, the government will be dissolved and the GG will either ask Harper to form a government (unlikely) or call an election. Can Martin pass a budget? I think the odds are very good if he delivers on his key promises: health care, housing, cities, day care. Both the Bloc and the NDP would probably support a budget like that. On the other hand, if he tries to pass the kind of budget for which he's famous (tax-cutting, debt repaying, program-destroying), the Conservatives might very well support it. So, either way, his odds are pretty good. Where I think he'll fuck up, if he does, is in trying to put forward a budget that is all things to all people. In other words, he'll put some kind of program expansion in it, but also want to continue to pay down debt. That, in my view, would be very risky because it wouldn't be enough in either direction to cause the parties to support it, and it would give them solid reasons to NOT support it. (Can the Conservatives support the creation of a national day care? .... I doubt it. Could the NDP support paying down debt when other key programs are cash-starved? I doubt it).