Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Last night's Jabberwocky jabbfest

Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Who "won" the leaders? debate last night? As these things go, it was tolerably tolerable. The only shocking thing to emerge was the sudden proposal by Paul Martin to remove the power of the Parliament of Canada to invoke the "notwithstanding clause" in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For my American readers, this clause within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms allows Parliament or a provincial legislature to enact a law notwithstanding the fact that the courts may find that it breaches a particular Charter right. If the clause is not re-invoked every five years by Parliament, the law then becomes subject to the regular judicial processes.

Essentially the notwithstanding clause is a constitutional safety valve which ensures that the will of the people, as expressed through their elected and accountable representatives can prevail over the will of the unelected and unaccountable judiciary. The Charter itself would not exist today, had (then) Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau not agreed in the early 1980's to the inclusion of the clause, which was demanded by (then) Premier Peter Lougheed of Alberta as the price for supporting the inclusion of the Charter in the Constitution.

Mr. Martin is depicting himself as a defender of the Charter, in a desperate effort to depict Conservative leader Stephen Harper as an intolerant bigot. It is the old liberal smear in action. Martin asserts that the rights of Canadians are better protected by unelected judges than by elected parliamentarians. He is not a democrat. Harper is. And the smear ain't working this time.

Who won the debate? They all put in a reasonable performance debate-wise. I say that Stephen Harper won, though, because he accomplished the mission. He did not come across as "SCARY." Those thinking of switching from the grits to the Conservatives now have no cause to hesitate any longer. Come on in. The water's just fine.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star and Montreal's La Presse suppressed a poll yesterday which showed the Conservative surge towards a majority .

Jack Aubry, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Two major newspapers and a pollster decided to sit on the results of a weekend poll that showed a double-digit breakthrough by the Conservatives over the Liberals because they felt it would be irresponsible to release the "stunning" numbers on the day of the English debate.

Calling it a "difficult decision," Frank Graves, the president of Ekos Research Associates, said he and his media clients, the Toronto Star and Montreal's La Presse, agreed to do further polling yesterday to increase the sample size to 1,200
respondents. He confirmed the weekend findings -- from a sample of 500 calls --
indicated Stephen Harper and the Conservatives were on their way to forming a
majority government similar to the ones enjoyed by Brian Mulroney in 1984 and
Jean Chretien in 1993.
Ah yes, those difficult decisions. They're just looking after the public interest here folks. Honest to Pete, they aren't biased. Shame on you for thinking so.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home