The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Reading articles where columnists take on their favourite politicians is always interesting. The odds are that you'll find out more about the quality of the pundit than that of the pol. Will the article be a giant suck-up piece, where no assertions or beliefs are challenged, or will the columnist have the guts to show some flaws or weaknesses, something that even the best politicians are saddled with?

Calgary Sun editor Licia Corbella showed that she falls into the category of fartcatcher. That's not surprising given the Sun chain's well-established tradition of sticking with right-wing politicians. However, her latest column in that brightly-coloured fishwrap takes the cake.

Now, let's get beyond the stylistic suckups -- where Harper's mouthpiece Carolyn Stewart Olsen is descrived as "competent and charming," or how Harper "doesn't seem to crack under pressure." That's to be expected. It might make any self-respecting political observer puke, but it's par for the course for an editor of a scurrilous right-wing rag.

Corbella seems to parrot Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper's complaints about a recent EKOS Research poll that showed that if an election were held tomorrow, just over 52% of Canadians would vote Liberal, versus just 10.9% for the Sun's beloved Canadian Alliance. So she goes on a rant to attack the poll and its findings, and makes more than a few errors in the process.
The EKOS poll is completely out of whack with recent numbers provided by two of EKOS' largest competitors -- Ipsos-Reid and Environics, which pegged Alliance support at between 19% and 20%.
I'd like to know how recent that Ipsos-Reid poll showing the Alliance at 20% was. It sure hasn't been any poll of theirs for at least the last 6 months. Even Ipsos' poll taken in light of the news that the cost overruns on the firearms registry would drive the total cost of the program to $1-billion in the next few years showed the Alliance at 16%.

Is a 5% drop -- from 15.9% to 10.9% according to the same company's polls -- in popular support in the space of a month "out of whack"? No, not really. You've got to be huffing a lot of sour gas to be thinking that. Or working at the Calgary Sun.

Another gem from Corbella in response to Harper's asking her whether or not she could believe that the NDP had jumped to first place on the Prairies:
Well, of course not. I spent some time yesterday asking people I ran into, 'are you going to vote NDP in the next federal election?' and all I got were either puzzled looks or laughs. "Yeah, right," was the most common response.

First up, why the heck would it be surprising that the NDP are out in front in Saskatchewan and Manitoba? They've always been strong in those two provinces. Perhaps Corbella was trying to convince Sun readers that the pollster was lumping Alberta in with Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Second, asking people in Calgary if they're going to vote NDP is sort of like asking people in East Vancouver if they're going to vote Alliance. Most of the reaction that you'll get will be derisive.

Keep digging yourself a deeper hole there, Licia. That's a good little bobblehead:
...Add to that the news of the Liberal party infighting, the billion-dollar gun registry boondoggle and the revelation that Heritage Minister Sheila Copps claimed almost $180,000 in expenses over the past two years alone, $80,000 of which doesn't include any receipts to back up the expenditures.
Well, your gang, who also like to rack up those expenses (see John Reynolds's travel bill, not to mentio the booze tab when he lived at Stornoway), can't seem to make anything out of it. Could it be that the Alliance is so repulsive to Canadians outside of their traditional base of religious whackos, gun nuts, grumpy old men, those who believe in "one dollar, one vote", and the uneducated that Canadians will still take the Liberals, with their well-documented screw-ups, over the Alliance? That's my thesis.

Apparently all manner of evil must have occurred for one of the country's more well-known and reprected public opinion research companies to have found that Corbella's favourite party is not attracting support in Canada. Wonder if she'll ever postulate in print if it's the party, not the pollster, who's to blame?
Gordon Campbell part 273 and counting...

I really hope that I don't have to write much more about B.C. premier Gordon Campbell's drunk driving arrest. Still, more news flows in.

On Monday, the premier, on the advice of his lawyers, released the record of his arrest in Maui, and it didn't paint a pretty picture. Sure, there was the news that the premier blew .161 on the roadside breathalyzer, but that wasn't all.

The police report says that the premier was doing 70 miles an hour (113 km/h) in a 45 mph (72km/h) zone, that his vehicle crossed over the centre line into the oncoming lane, and then over to the side of the road. When he was asked to get out of the car, he had truble keeping his balance. This doesn't jibe with the story he was telling the media last week when he returned to Vancouver, as Brent Jang explains.
On a much brighter note, there's some good news for Vancouver transit fands and those who are concerned about pollution and greenhouse gas emission. TransLink, the regional transportation authority for Vancouver, has issued a formal request for proposals for a new fleet of electric trolley buses. The new fleet of 205 40-foot buses and 40 60-foot articulated trolleys is scheduled to enter service in 2005 to 2007, and will replace the current fleet of 234 Flyer trolleys that were delivered in 1982-83.

Now, if we could just get Ottawa to fund part of the cost of these new zero-emission buses...
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