Sunday, February 28, 2010

Totters Kill Cdn Troops

A Totter commenter, has inspired me to engage in some public education about how TOT has Canadian soldiers' blood on its hands, like all parties, re. their complicity in extending Afghan mission by voting with Cons, against Bloc & Libs, in 2007. It seems necessary, as chap may be representative of general ignorance (though Totters are zombies, so what should I have expected?) My position has been consistent. Not others. It's a sad day when a Liberal has to educate Totters about their own party, but there you are, that's Totter zombies for you. So I repeat:

TOT no longer favours withdrawal from NATO, as it once did (though Broadbent said that was BS and he never believed in it himself, and only kept it on the books to keep crazies happy). NATO members are required to give 6 month MINIMUM notice of withdrawal. At time of vote, the earliest the mission could have been effectively ended, given the Govt of Canada commitment, with support of HoC, however misguided, was Feb 2009. Unless Canada was to simply withdraw "immediately", however impossible that was in fact, logistically, and were the Govt of Canada to do so, it would have quit NATO. So even under the "immediate withdrawal" BS argument, it would have required a Govt that was willing to quit NATO, which, as I repeat, is not TOT position nowadays. And TOT was not about to become Govt. And even in the most optimistic scenario you can imagine, an immediate election, somehow, which is two months, and then new government in place, and in effect, a withdrawal ASAP, which would really have taken more than six months, one still ends very close to Feb 2009, if not Feb 2009. Unless TOT could a) form government, and b) willing to lead Canada out of NATO, on the spot, the former impossible, the latter contrary to current TOT doctrine.

And what irritates me about having to write this is that I know, for a fact, like everyone who was paying attention, that TOT caucus was divided on question, many wanted to be responsible and vote with Bloc & Libs to stop mission in 2009. But leadership and others put Cdn lives behind their perceived political interest in trying to differentiate themselves from Libs, always their overriding obsession. And so every death after Feb 2009 is as much on TOT hands as anyone's.

I have criticised the Libs all the way through. But for a brief moment, when Dion had most control over his caucus, he was able to whip them to support a Feb 2009 withdrawal. And Bloc agreed. And TOT voted with Cons, and condemned our soldiers to death, post Feb 2009. And their supporters seem incapable of coming to terms with this knavery. But they did, it's right there, and every clued-in Canadian knew it then and knows it now.

Every TOT insider knows this. That's why they mumble and shuffle their feet and run away when you try to pin them down on it. It was absolutely shameful, like all the parties' behaviour. But if you are incapable of coming to terms with this, if you are so partisan that you can't bring yourself to criticise your own party, even in matters of life and death, then there's really no point in trying to converse with you, since you too are a Totter zombie. You are too emotionally invested in the TOT to be capable of decent discourse. But ask yourself, why did Bloc vote in favour? Did they love Dion? The Libs? Are they evil triangulating war-mongers? Don't be such a fool. Wake and smell the coffee. TOT, like all parties, has blood on its hands. And for what? Domestic political considerations. Sick.

If, after having been confronted with this info, and links, anti-war Totters still won't criticise TOT, and stick to blind partisanship, then I have to admit I'll probably delete their comments, as they won't be worth the time spent in response. Pity.

And remember, I have been consistent in my position, and criticised Libs. Can Totters say the same about their own behaviour, re. their party? So far, I have only further confirmation that they are all zombies.
Silber Grusel-Krimi Pulp Horror Covers

More can be found in Micky the Pixel's flickr gallery. Some favorites of mine were previously mentioned here.

More covers, although much smaller, can be viewed here.
Illustration from "Der Jugend Heimgarten" 1899
Title translates to "The Youth Home Garden"

- source

Does Picard Ever Talk To Simpson?

Picard: "Despite popular mythology to this effect, health-care spending in Canada is not out of control: After adjusting for inflation and population growth, spending increased 2.5 per cent last year"

PS. That Walkom is a bright fellow - of course one always says that when one is in agreement, as I am with pretty much everything he's written recently. I would ask though, in the interests of accuracy and fairness, that when people mention NDP & Afghanistan in same sentence, they also mention NDP's sickening self-indulgent support of Cons in 2007, extending the mission beyond 2009, effectively. Every party has blood on their hands, in this folly.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Globe & Africa: Caplan Blinkered & Saunders Forgetful

The "civil society" groups did a lot of good & noble work against apartheid, and one is always understandably bound by one's own perspective on any issue, but Caplan's piece reflects his and their heroic self-image, manichaen in view, with they as the only true and decent allies of the South African domestic anti-apartheid movement, and even Mulroney & Clark's efforts, recognised as ANC's best allies by Mandela & ANC itself, viewed as insufficient. This was the problem with Freeman's book, she correctly criticised our policy through the decades, basing her judgment on the ANC's own evaluation, but when she got to the Mulroney-Clark years, and the ANC said the Govt was their best govt friend, then she said the ANC were naive and mistaken and Canada was still in the wrong. So ANC right as long as it suits civil society view of evil Cdn Govt, but wrong when they become positive about Govt, as only the pure civil society folk were doing anything worthwhile, as the spiritual brothers & sisters of the suffering South Africans themselves. I understand how hard it is to get and remain motivated about such issues, as citizen activists, and how understandable and even necessary it is to lapse into manichaeism so as to keep going, and when one contributes in a meaningful way and some sort of victory is achieved, how appropriate it is to indulge in self-congratulation and even self-agrandisement, as that psychological pleasure is the only pay-off one will ever get for all the work one has done. But still. It would be nice if some broader perspective was achieved, with time. I hope Clark &/or Mulroney & others take the time to offer some gentle corrections and perspective. Caplan & Co. did do an awful lot of good work. But that's no reason for such an ungenerous & blinkered account, diminishing all the other actors' good work, however understandable Caplan's motivations.

As for Saunders, I was struck how half of it was devoted to Finland's example, and passing mention made, at the end, of Dhaka. OK, Finland of course can adapt, like all developed northern hemisphere, and Dhaka could potentially move to higher ground, as part of some Sub-Continental Union (an SCU, like the EU, with national sovereignties preserved and shared, to restore the region's natural unity, torn apart by nationalisms?). But what of those whose technological development and middle classes are far, far behind that of even Bangladesh? What of the expanding Sahara and Burkina Faso & Mali, etc.? What of sub-Saharan Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, Tanzania, etc., and disappearing arable land, ever more vicious climate, and none of the wealth nor tools to permit successful adaptation? Where are the livable high grounds that can support so many? How will they adapt? And if they cannot, where will they go, who will take them? And so given this, knowing this, what should we do? What must we do?

Whatever your belief system, the sentiment of the parable of the Good Samaritan is universal. In fact, the supposed "modern" obligations of human rights legislation have much deeper roots, and in countries with legal systems based on the British Common Law, our obligations were defined by Lord Ellenborough in 1803: "The law of humanity, which is anterior to all positive laws, obliges us to afford them relief, to save them from starving". As political and technological development have made us all residents of one global village, so it is we are as bound by that judgment and by our consciences today as then: we are as required to offer relief to all starving paupers, everywhere, as was the parish of Eastbourne.
Edwin Sandoval - Gross Ball
See more at Edwin's flickr gallery.
Louie Cordero - The Individual(Flock of wrongs)
- source
From Cordero's "Absolute Horror" exhibit previously mentioned here and here.
Christopher Leone
"Vampire Hunt"

"Plant Attack"

More at the artist's myspace page.
Josh Pogue
"The Witch is on our trail my Lord!"

"The Curse of the Tsar!"

See more at Josh's flickr gallery.
Vampire Bats Prepare To Feed
- source
Found at Bloodsport

Friday, February 26, 2010

re. PQ: Don't Forget Who You Are Dealing With

Reminder for those tempted to play separatist-nationalist-laïciste game. There is nothing they won't do, including rigging the rules and the referees and even then, repressing the democratic rights of the citizens they are supposedly so intent on liberating. Move along, nothing to see here, except for silly folk like Macpherson & Webster ranting about scandal and fraud, but they're anglos, so they're biased and anyway, what do they know? Though anyone who knows how to read Massicotte remembers these piquant phrases:
"Par contre, dans l'annulation abusive de milliers de bulletins de vote, il ne voit qu'un «accroc» et semble être inquiété moins par la fraude que par l'impact négatif possible de cette fraude sur l'image internationale du Québec et la crédibilité de son processus référendaire.(...) Quelques phrases de trop écrites dans un rapport dans le but de conforter l'image de la démocratie québécoise en conduisent plusieurs à se demander si l'activisme intempestif du Directeur général des élections n'en est pas devenu la principale faiblesse."

These guys really are serious, in case you were wondering. They think of themselves, unconsciously, as revolutionaries, quiet revolutionaries, but revolutionaries all the same; we would have done better to call it "Le Grand bond", or "L'Évolution bruyante", as words do have weight, and consequences. Like all revolutionaries, they believe every and anything is permitted to defend and advance the revolution on its necessary path to an earthly paradise, a new Jerusalem in Montreal, QC, Chicout, etc.. And so they are willing to do absolutely anything, no matter how seemingly contrary to the liberal ideals which propulsed the Quiet Revolution and which they will claim to uphold. If the French Revolution could lead to the ethnic cleansing and mass murder, not to say genocide, of those troublesome Bretons with their archaic desire to remain true to their faith, these people believe the Quiet Revolution is also justified in extremely coercive and illiberal conduct, "for the good of the Revolution, la Nation, le Peuple, etc.", though incomparably less brutal in their methods. Even a pro-revolutionary novelist like Hugo could not justify the campaign in Bretagne, the best he could do is throw his hands up in the air, and say "that's history, it's tragic, but it had to be done...perhaps". And that is the best you'll get from these folk on laïciste campaign, ranking some rights above others, breaking the Charters and invoking the notwithstanding clauses, etc.. And of course one of the main aims, beyond first degree bigotry, is to delegitimise any obstacles to their own logic. If you can overthrow the Charters & Constitution on these matters, then surely there are many other matters on which it is legitimate to overthrow established standards of liberal and legal democratic conduct, non? If "le gros bon sens du peuple" is sufficient grounds to beat on minorities and overthrow the law, then what other implications?

I remember the two polls done right after the referendum, one for CROP and one for SOM I believe, though maybe one was Léger, which indicated that over 20% of QCers thought only French Canadians should have the right to vote in referendums. Of course, when you drilled down into the numbers, that entire 20+% was all francophone and all separatist, not to say Péquiste. If 20% of total population, then 1 in 4 of francophone subset. And that is the base of PQ, some of whom they lost to ADQ for a bit, the folk most likely to knock on doors, the guys who go to all the party committee meetings, table the resolutions, etc.. Part of the reason, along with Parizeau speech and Landry abuse of hotel clerk, etc., why so many separatist intellectuals were alarmed, like Venne & G. Bouchard, and tried to do quadrature du cercle of nationalism-separatism & liberalism in following years, in particular re. pluralism and minorities.

So don't lie to yourselves about what you are doing when you play footsie with these people. In the absence of a looming referendum, one may make short-term pacts to combat a common foe, in Ottawa, but never forget what they have done and what they are willing to do to advance their cause. Everything and Anything. I know, I was one of many who observed the organised attack on the democratic rights of fellow Quebeckers through the entire 1995 campaign, from "faulty" voter registration (strange how it was always the non-francos, on every street) to refusing valid ballots. However low you think they'll go, believe me, they'll go lower. Don't play along - the minuscule short-term benefits are never worth the medium- to long-term pain.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Canada 150 BS: Very Right Wing Lineup On Socio-Econ Issues

I think the Canada 150 thing is BS to start with. It's not like there aren't already tons of ideas out there already, all the ideas that will be mentioned in fact, nor that MPs, insiders & the membership don't already know these ideas. It's simply a BS PR-exercise to advance party profile and certain agendas within the party. Many may consider that necessary & canny politics. But BS is BS, all the same. And among the listed co-chairs, Torjman seems the only outsider (Ax is insider) sympathetic to a more socially-minded perspective as regards socio-economic issues. Sure, there a lot of others on environmental and development-foreign affairs questions. But on socio-economic issues, it is heavily packed towards same old right wing BS, which is bizarre when you consider that the membership is VERY red-liberal, about 2-1, as study after study has demonstrated, as have our occasional real and fair leadership races. The whole thing is clearly a set-up to try to dress up CD Howe/TD positions as wise middle course strategy, and get membership and Canadians onside, while not offering any real chance for opposing views and proper debate. BS. While Iggy has been doing better on detainee issue and after, this reeks of Iggiocy typical of man and his followers in the past. If they wanted this to be intellectually respectable, they should have got more left-wingers (union leaders, intellectuals, CCPA, etc.). It will be seen for what it is, at this rate: BS. If this stuff is what you want to do, don't hide behind Robson & Co.'s skirts, come out and say it yourselves, fellas. Intellectually sleazy BS. Foreign Affairs, Environment & Development are well-balanced. But Socio-Economic is a complete set-up. And it will be seen as such, if this lineup is any indication. People aren't fools, eh?

If people behave coherently and honourably, there will be no conference, or it will be ignored, as major political events will have overtaken it. You know how I get exercised about democracy and responsible government? Well, that's all meaningless if MPs and party officials are too cowardly to come out and speak their minds on these issues. They're smart people. They have studied all these issues. They know their communities. Political parties should avoid such extra-parliamentary BS, and let MPs do their jobs, not just representing their constituents, but more importantly, arguably, advancing their own views, within the party, the country and their constituency. MPs of the LPC & Canada liberate yourselves, you have nothing to lose but your chains. Wouldn't it be more fun, interesting and informative to have a few open caucus meetings, televised, so we can watch MPs debate each other? And who knows, one day, we may even have real debate in the HoC! Or is that too radical a suggestion (Lafontaine-Baldwin & the Roundheads would like to know).

Westminster System, Precedents & Proposals

Interesting: "A privy council decision from 1963 does provide precedent for a governor general to remove a sitting PM who had prorogued parliament (but this is not binding in Canada or the UK) – the governor general of western Nigeria was entitled to act on a letter signed by a majority of parliamentarians stating that they had lost confidence in the government."

This old news, MPs back referendum on voting system reform, prompted one of the fairest comments on Preferential Voting you'll read: Neither its advocates nor its opponents can pretend that AV is a revolutionary change. It is, though, a fair one.

Preferential Voting - KISS II

Reduce the entire thing to this, for real: "The system creates an “instant runoff” where, if no candidate gets 50 per cent of the first-choice votes, the second choices are then added to the tallies, and so on until a candidate achieves a majority." That's right, get rid of the whole "knocking candidates off & redistributing their votes if no candidate has a majority even after counting all the preferences". Why? "The Perfect Is The Enemy Of The Good" is the argument for preferential voting in the first place, a 2nd or 3rd best option v.-à-v. the ideal voting models of proportional proponents, but far superior to them in one crucial aspect: preferential may actually be politically achievable...perhaps. And upon consideration, I propose a 2nd best version of preferential voting, which would have the happy side-effect of helping small parties a bit more than the usual model. List your preferences, count until a candidate achieves a majority, and if no majority, then most votes (plurality). That can be understood by all voters.

Having sold the Green Shift door to door, I know that even the most seemingly simple policy proposals (+1-1= 0) can be difficult to convey. I had great success with the Green Shift, judging from the results of the polls I canvassed, but I was unusually willing to spend five minutes at the door explaining it, which was inefficient (cost benefit: win votes vs. time spent). I foresee the whole "dropping candidates and redistributing their votes" thing as much worse. And wasted effort, as those situations are extremely rare.

If you think about it, you'll realise just how rare it is for no candidate to have obtained 50%+1 after four or five (QC) rounds of voting. Of course a new electoral system would change the number and nature of parties, and their behaviour, that's the whole point, but let's work with the current setup of four-party competition outside QC, five within. Assuming current results are a very rough indicator of 1st preferences, it is easy to foresee that ridings like Saanich-Gulf Islands would be rare exceptions, where one might not have any majority after simple preference count (unlikely, even then). Given that 95%+ of ridings will have majorities after first count (and I'm being conservative), it would be silly to be so intent on majority criterium so as to propose a system over-complicated in Canadians' eyes. It's not worth it.

Just tell them, rank your candidates, we count them, first to 50%+1 wins. What if no-one gets 50%+1? Then candidate with most votes wins.

This would also favour smaller parties a bit more.

I linked to all my other previous arguments here.
E. Hutchinson Miller

[Plate 7: As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd and curious]

Illustration of witches dancing round a demon from a poem by Robert Burns titled "Tam o' Shanter" released in 1868. See more in this post at Sexy Witch.

I'm listening to Artie Shaw's "Nightmare" while posting this and it fits perfectly with this scene.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Delgadillo Monster Illustrations

These pieces were created for the Spanish language title Vigilantes.
Martin Ontiveros

More here

Monday, February 22, 2010

The NDP Is Dead, Long Live the Greens!

The CCF is long dead. And now NDP is dead. RIP. Well, undead, really, as the thing still calls itself NDP, and stumbles about, waving its arms, popping its eyes, gnashing its teeth, and alternating between incoherent mumbling and incoherent roaring. But a zombie is dead, by decent human standards. We shall now call it TOT in English, and LÉO in French, since that is its new self-conferred state, devoid of any substance that indicates a decent human political party: The Orange Team / L'Équipe orange.

It angered and saddened me at first, and I couldn't believe it. So I did an experiment to double-check, and it came back negative, no life signs. It's important to see the world as it is, and not as we wish it, and so though I had a lot of respect and admiration for the CCF-NDP, I can't let TOT's superficial similarity to its former self blind me to its inhuman decrepitude. This is the way of the world, birth and death, creative destruction, if you will, and the death of the NDP also signals the rise of the Greens, Canada's new principled 3rd party. Liberal that I am, I recognise the need for a principled 3rd party to help push the nation's ideological agenda, and progressives are coming to the dawning realisation that the TOT zombie, lacking a brain and a heart, can no longer play that role. The new 3rd party, in structural terms, is the Green Party, and like all decent progressives I am respectful enough to say: Long Live the Greens!

Of course, when I first became aware of the TOT zombie, it was a shock, and I was angry because I thought the NDP had become a sicko, perverting social-democratic principles. But then I conducted an experiment with a representative Totter, a prominent blogger, in Totter terms, who always faithfully repeats the party line. So using a piece he wrote on Church & State as a jumping off point, I asked him a couple of questions whose responses  confirmed my suspicion that the NDP had died, replaced by the TOT zombie. I first asked him to confirm if he was a Charter-respecting pluralist, and if so, his position on Mulcair-Layton's defense of PQ extremists. He claimed to be a pluralist, but also claimed to be unaware of Mulcair's statements, pronounced in front of a silently acquiescent Layton, which was funny. But, playing it straight, I referred him to Silver's & Spector's articles, suspecting he is a typical unilingual clueless Totter. This was when I learnt that the TOT zombie had definitively replaced the NDP. He evaded Silver's quotations from various independent sources, tried to downplay Spector's analysis of French media by pretending Mulcair had simply "stumbled about assymetrical (sic) federalism" and waded back in time to try to save Mulcair with his former Dec. 2007 position, pleading ignorance on Mulcair's devolution.

This representative Totter was clearly arguing in bad faith: anyone who refuses to recognise the reality of Silver's many sources, distorts Spector's analysis, and digs up an old position is clearly someone who knows what's going on but doesn't want to deal with it, honestly. Now that is not how the CCF-NDP behaved. But they were a living, breathing decent human political parties. TOT is not. They are zombies.

For the sake of outsiders and innocents, I will explain what is going on. Once upon a time, Mulcair was the parliamentarian most exercised over NO "rejected ballots" in 1995, mostly from minorities. But that, and 2007 position on reasonable accommodation, was then. This is now. Mulcair was able to win a by-election in Outremont with low voter turnout, but to win seat in general election, he needed implicit support from Bloc, Cons, & Greens, none of whom had a chance anyway, but whose split vote would have let Lib candidate win. They ran non-entities and didn't campaign, basically. If you go back and check press reports, esp. French, you'll find there was open recognition of this. That's fine, it happens all over country for this party or that, in this riding or that. Except that even with their support, Mulcair only barely won. For Mulcair to win again, he needs to keep implicit anti-Lib coalition behind him. This is difficult as Outremont has both high number of ethno-religious minorities from whom one must win some votes, as well as most fervent laïciste elites there are in QC. So he's treading a tricky line, he's got to keep laïciste Bloc voters onside, while not losing others. Hence the repeated motions he introduces, Bill 101 for Federal Govt in QC, French should override Official Languages Act & Constitution in immigration to QC (already provincial, but he proposed motion to bind federal as well - two streams), etc..; None of these have force of law, but all play symbolic politics, pleasing nationalists. Which brings us to Mulcair's statement, to which Layton didn't protest, or correct. The crux of Bouchard's attack on PQ was less re. separation and more about how they have become radicalised on "identity issue". His brother, Gérard, was co-author of report that said, basically, QCers should be more liberal, philosophically. Gérard has been attacked mercilessly. The PQ has done all it can to take over the ADQ's pro-bigotry position - not that the PQ wasn't before, but not as much, under Boisclair. The bigots and hardcore PQ supporters were not enamoured of the gay, bilingual, liberal leader, and the PQ and he paid the price. And Mulcair knows that the Cauchon steamtrain is coming.

Rather than end his political career with honour, Mulcair has decided to go all in with the bigots, to keep the Outremont laïcistes onside. He's screwed either way, but he's calculating that the laïcistes are a better bet than the Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Catholic Italians, Orthodox Greeks, Asians and Anglos. He knows that Cauchon has deep links with everyone in the riding, including these minorities, and it's almost certain that under Cauchon the Liberal vote will come home. But Mulcair calculates that maybe, just maybe, if he can get UdM student laïcistes out, he might be able to hold on, by the skin of his teeth, since the kids are the only group he can grow, potentially, given their low voting record. Mulcair is wrong, he's screwed, royally, and he would have done better to go down with honour, but he's never had any, so why would he start now? At least decent folk can look forward to his prospective defeat. Charest & Dion will probably both have an extra glass of bubbly on the night, along with decent folk everywhere, as they observe his political death.

TOT sold out every principle the NDP once had in their desperate quest for a QC beachhead. But despite taking on Dion, despite the Stalinist "Strong Leader" campaign, they barely hung on to Outremont. And if they were ever going to win Gatineau, it was last time, but as always, the vote split did them in: if people want to vote for a nationalist party, they are going to vote for the real thing. So Mulcair in Outremont is TOT's last hope for the predictably failed Layton strategy of all-out suck-up to nationalists. When they lose that, as they will, then the question will be asked, what was the point? It was counterproductive elsewhere, if anything. So as Mulcair goes, so goes Layton, whence Layton's silent endorsement of Mulcair's pro-bigotry position. And Totters know this, which is why they are assiduously ignoring the issue, and evading and distorting the record when put on the spot.

I was angry when I thought a supposed social-democratic party had sold out its most fundamental principles for a couple of bigots' votes in one riding it is destined to lose. But I was operating on a faulty premise. TOT is not a social-democratic party. Indeed, I'm quite sure none of its MPs would be willing to identify themselves as socialists, nowadays, taking their lead from Layton (Salutin had a nice column on that, long ago). Well, what does it stand for, you ask? Good question. Nothing, unless you consider Layton & Co's careers a cause. Here's a game I play with uncertain progressives & onetime CCFers-Dippers. I ask them: what did TOT stand for in the last campaign? Fairness, etc., OK, but what, exactly? What policies? The Dion Liberals were, even in worst interpretation, for taxing you to save environment. Bloc is for separation. Greens for environment. Conservatives for conservatism, supposedly, strong army, low taxes, law & order, etc.. But TOT? Nothing. OK then, think back to 2006 election - what were their big ideas then? Nothing, again. OK, so name me the urgent reason that prompted Layton to kill off Martin Govt? No-one ever gets it. Yet for all the criticism, the Martin Liberals had big ideas, national child care, aboriginal welfare (Kelowna), first half-decent environmental plan (only half-decent, nothing more, but better than before or since). And the other three parties had big ideas: Accountability, Separation, Environment. So then I ask them, what is the last big policy idea TOT has had? Nothing. And they're right, it's not because it's under-reported or anything, TOT has simply had no big ideas for years. And why is that? Because TOT has no principles from which such ideas could be derived. Because TOT is not a decent, living, breathing political party: it is a zombie.

Once one accepts that, it is much easier to accept that the NDP is dead, replaced by the TOT zombie. A party without principles, without ideas, withers away, exactly like zombies when they can't cannibalise others (and their ideas). And so one doesn't feel any more sadness or anger: who can be upset about the death of a zombie? TOT is in terminal condition. Of course, TOT will have its good days, as all terminal patients do, but the bad will outnumber the good, and one day, surprisingly soon, it will let out one last inhuman groan and subside, its putrifying body serving as fertiliser for the growth of the Greens, appropriately enough.

The Greens have a clear ideology, the transformation of society to deal with the greatest problem of our time. As this problem will only grow and the Greens will grow with it, their seemingly avant-garde solutions adopted by one and all, exactly as was the case with the CCF-NDP in the last century. Luckily for Liberals, the Dion-Kennedy revolt of the membership at the 2006 convention started a process of complete renewal that has given the Liberals the inside track among mainstream parties on this conciliation of economy, society & environment. Poll after poll shows the Liberals are leading as the most trusted party on environmental issues, an outcome that would have been unimaginable before Dion's leadership. In structural terms, the Liberals are perfectly placed, and as we have recently seen, have no lack of transformative ideas, about both policy and process. This is much as John Duffy proposed, as I recall. Whatever the short-term cost, and probably even more because of it, Dion reinvigorated the LPC, ideologically and structurally, something his critics failed to appreciate. It's funny, people thought TOT was Labour & the LPC was the British Liberal Party, but because of Dion, the roles were reversed, and TOT is undead, like the BLP was at the beginning of the last century, and the LPC is on to modernity, as Labour was. What an enjoyable quirk of history.

Looking back on the deceased it is hard to believe, in retrospect, that the NDP, as it then was, could not understand or foresee that it was eliminating itself. Anyone who understands ecology, particularly political ecology, as the Greens do, obviously, could see that even had the NDP succeeded in its aim of replacing the LPC, it would simply have been the LPC by a different name: what was the difference between the McGuinty & Doer governments, for example? And again, riffing on Davey père, given the choice, people will choose real Liberals over wannabes. Had the LPC essentially changed its name to NDP, as far as the electorate was concerned, the Greens would have become the NDP, so to speak, and another small party would have replaced the Greens. The only way the NDP could have survived as a viable living party would have been to maintain firm principles and produce policies that reflected socialist ideals. But they chose to try to consume the Liberals, and lacking the antibodies of Liberals, contracted the fatal LPC disease, poweritis, which turns parties into zombies. Liberals, hardened through long contact with this disease, experience it only as a more or less severe cold or flu, from time to time. But it's fatal for those without antibodies, as we see with TOT. Perhaps in a generation or two the Greens will succumb to the same disease, we shall see. But for now they are in full healthy bloom of early adolescence.

Totters, as zombies, are having and will continue to have trouble coming to terms with their political death. Remember, zombies' hearts stop, their blood freezes, and their brains turn to mush. A human can say "I think and believe, therefore I am". A zombie cannot. It is beyond it. It does not even know it is a zombie. Typically, a zombie will try to affirm itself by awful incoherent screeches, groans and moans. Remember, as pitiful a sight as it is, that doesn't make it human. Well, perhaps somewhere deep in its mushy zombie brain there remains a flicker of memory of what it once was, but not enough to make it human, and if anything, these hideous sounds are pleas to be put out of its misery. The Greens should make sure to pay heed, as is humane (killing zombies is not euthanasia, morally, in human terms).

So it is that I do not mourn the departed, that is simply inexorable nature. I rejoice in the vitality of the Greens, and the helpful, healthy contributions they have to make to Canadian politics. This Liberal is happy to welcome you, and encourages you to play your role with all the vim and conviction that you are already known for. RIP, NDP. Allelujah, Greens.