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

Thursday, May 27, 2004


Foot In Mouth: NDP

No matter how much the federal government may have contributed to the urban homelessness problam in Canada, in whole or in part, this is totally over the top and guaranteed to backfire. Via Warren Kinsella, via CP:

The federal election campaign turned ugly Thursday following personal attacks on Prime Minister Paul Martin who was accused of causing the deaths of homeless Canadians. The Liberals demanded an apology from NDP Leader Jack Layton, who accused Martin a day earlier of being personally responsible for the deaths of homeless people because he cut federal housing programs as finance minister in the 1990s. "It was just way over the top," Martin spokeswoman Melanie Gruer said Thursday morning in Victoria."

You can find the original story here.

Jack Layton had done pretty well in this campaign. Lots of energy, no apologies for his taxation platform despite catcalls from more than just the usual Financial Post crowd, and promising some goodies -- like eliminating federal income tax on the first $15,000 of income -- that have real merit and pull among voters. Then he stepped in it by personally blaming Martin for homeless peoples' deaths. Implausible and too nasty to be effective. If he'd said that Martin had overseen cuts that led to a drop in the amount of low-income housing available, and that you could see the results on any city street, he'd have scored a good blow. But that's not going to play well with people who were leaning towards the NDP -- and might be reconsidering.

Yeah, I realize that I'm piling on here. Layton might well have a point but, as CBC's Leslie MacKinnon reported tonight, Paul Martin was one of the fiercest critics of the Mulroney government's initial cuts to federal support for low-income housing. Point here is that if you're going to go the route of accusing someone's policies of killing people, your argument had better be more than just plausible.

UPDATE: Paul Wells asks: what's the big deal? It's hardly as if politicans haven't accused their rivals' policies of leading to other death. (As an aside, the Conservatives have frequently targetted the Liberals every time a Sea King crashes, blaming the Grits for any injury or death, and they weren't steering too far clear of that line today!)
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