Understanding Islamic Leadership – Irshad Manji

by matttbastard


Muslim-Canadian author and commentator Irshad Manji explains clerical authority in Islam, and how the religion’s lack of a unified organizational system could open the door to reform.

Click here for full video.

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The Numbers: Week One

by matttbastard

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2008

Harper’s Index – Week One

Number of campaign events that Stephen Harper has held so far that have been open to members of the public: 0

Number of campaign events that Stéphane Dion has held so far that have been open to members of the public: 18 (including two town halls)

Number of times Jason Kenney has been seen in public since the puffin incident: 0

Total savings a Canadian family could receive from Mr. Harper’s two-cent-per-litre diesel tax cut if it fully “trickles down” to consumers and is not absorbed by suppliers or transporters: $15 annually or about 25 cents per week.

Number of Conservative campaign events that used unwitting new and expectant mothers as human props: 1

Number of apologies Mr. Harper has had to issue so far for gaffes by his staff: 2

Number of female party leaders Mr. Harper has tried to exclude from the leader’s debate: 1

Number of times the RCMP has been used to physically shield Mr. Harper from questions: 1 (2 if you count This Hour Has 22 Minutes)



Liberal Party of Canada Press Office

h/t Antonia @ BnR

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Reverse Momentum?

by matttbastard

Earlier this week, Andrew Coyne introduced a lengthy article on the “cult of personality” surrounding Stephen Harper thusly:

On the Conservative party website, it’s all about “Harper Leadership 08.” Tory campaign ads show us Sweater Steve, shyly revealing a fondness for veterans, immigrants and his kids. Party message-trackers hammer home the point at every turn: this election is all about “leadership.” Or as an early campaign slogan has it: “Strong leadership on your side.”

But, as noted in Saturday’s Calgary Herald, it appears the preferred Tory narrative may have been interrupted by a contrarian electorate:

As the federal political leaders wrap up their first full week of campaigning this weekend, a new poll indicates their performances during the early days may have caused them more harm than good.

The Ipsos Reid poll, conducted for Canwest News Service and Global Television between Sept. 9 and 11, shows Canadians’ impressions of the leaders slipped instead of strengthened, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper had the worst week of them all.

Thirty-six per cent said their impression of Harper had “worsened” since the start of the campaign on Sept. 7, compared with 32 per cent for his main opponent, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.


“For a campaign that’s supposed to be about leadership, this one’s heading in the wrong direction,” said Darrell Bricker, president and CEO_of Ipsos Reid.


“The prime minister believed that his perceived leadership strengths on the big issues that were facing the country would be enough, and they still may be. But at this stage of the game, this doesn’t seem to be an election about leadership,” said Bricker. “To the extent they are talking about leadership, it’s about gaffes, gotchas, slips of the lips either by the principles or their staff, which is a bad campaign for anybody trying to campaign on ideas.”

Perhaps Uncle Steve meant to say Canadians were more cynical these days, rather than ‘conservative’ (hey, honest mistake–both words start with ‘C’).

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Breaking NOOZ–Canada is No Longer a Soviet Satellite State!

by matttbastard

This just in–lauding his commitment to “strengthen the military and cut taxes” and crediting him with the restoration of Canada’s “international prestige by demonstrating political courage on Afghanistan”, the reactionary, right wing Wall Street Journal editorial page gleefully anticipates the reelection of reactionary right winger cuddly, sweater-clad change-agent Stephen Harper.

In other n00z, bears: still defecating in forest areas.

Shock. Ing.

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Sean Hannity: I’m Funnier If You Are Drunk

by matttbastard

In the interest of science, I decided to conduct a little experiment involving me, Hannity, and a case of Stella (ZOMG imported liquid elitism!) Based on preliminary results, I gotta tell ya, it don’t look good for Sean (and, by default, conservative ‘humourists’ everywhere).

Maybe hard liquor fed intravenously is the difference maker.

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“A dogwhistle of mythic proportions.”

by matttbastard

File under ‘uppity n*gger’:

As Liss points out in her must-read critique of the ad,

For those keeping score at home, the McCain campaign has, in its official adverts, obliquely called Obama uppity, a wild animal, a pedophile, and a sexist (on dubious grounds) this week alone.

And McCain, that maverick stalwart of fauxtegrity, put his personal seal of approval on each and every one of them.

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Stupid is as Stupid Does (Whatever the Hell That Means)

by matttbastard

“I’m not the only winner today — everybody wins.”

Yes, Liz, everybody wins. See you at the debate.

h/t Leftdog

Update 09/11: Since the GPC has apparently tried to SLAPP Leftdog in a grammatically incoherent fashion (all your slander are belong to us!), and in light of transplants’ comment, I thought it best to include a link to the full quote in proper context. Judge for yourselves. Bottom line: If anyone feels I should remove the imbedded video, I shall do so.

Regardless, I regret any unintentionally slanderous implications.

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