Thursday, 25 October 2012

Manitoba United: Reasons Why Not To Untie

(I'll bet you thought I was going to riff on the old 'bad spellers of the world... untie!' joke.

Well, I am not.)

Let's talk about good reasons to stay in your Manitoba Provincial party, or your lack thereof, even if you are unsatisfied. We should not 'untie' ourselves from our present circumstance, because...

1. It is Too Bloody Hard

Go on, my friend. Let it out.

You don't want to have to work that hard, do you?

Guess what. Me neither.

A crisis in politics begets a problem solver, or stays a problem. The Devil you know doesn't want your ass off the couch, or the Jet's seat, or your kid's game bleacher. The Devil you know supports your free time, your... idle hands.

Heck, he even sponsors some of it directly, handing out masses of all kinds of opiates. You pay, mind, but he does the facilitating.

This Devil we know is still kinda fun. The other guy certainly won't be as much fun.

The other guy would make us work at solving problems.

Blech, right??

2. ... But Those Guys are my Friends!

Does a friend tell you what you need to hear, or what you want to hear?

Hmmm... good question.

Our great Federal Friends would get totally bummed if we travelled slightly different paths. 'Dude,' they would say, 'what's next, a name change.... like my ex- spouse did... would you hurt me like that, dude?'

Need to hear, or want to hear. Which truth will you tell?

(I mean, dude... Tradition, eh wot?)

3. We Cannot Do Anything Good Anyway

That's right. And we know it.

We are impotent, ineffective, inconsequential, insignificant, insecure, insufficient, insufferable, insular, intractable, inscrutable, in-what-ever-makes-us-sound-worthy.

(And then there's the un's...)

No point in trying.

Thank G-d.

Please, for the sake of my kid's tournaments, my quiet time with my wife, my Netflix addiction, the long walks with my doggy, please, please....

Please do not unite into one strong force of opposition against the current NDP regime.

Don't untie, either.

Thanks a bunch.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The NRC Goes To War: Part 2, There Are No Frickin' Free iPhones, OK?

Recap: In Part 1 we reviewed publicly available documents showing Canada's $200 Billion Defence budget supporting the new Harper Government model of R & D in Canada through the enhanced IRB (Industrial and Regional Benefits) program.

Foreign Defence Contractors must spend the equivalent of the contract amount on R & D in Canada. If they partner with the NRC (National Research Council), that requirement drops to 20% of the invoice amount. These R&D 'awards' are not publicly tendered, are largely unmonitored (by normal standards) and do not follow regional guidelines. Nice.

In Part 2 (today), we describe the flow of money, and offer a teeny bit of advise to the ELA (Experimental Lakes) program.

But hey, let's get this out of the way first: Yes, this is real, ok?

Forwarded to me by someone inside an NRC building in Winnipeg. Read it, then we can move forward.

Imagine: You are sitting angry at your little scientist desk at the NRC in Winnipeg. Scared, unsure of your future, saddened by your soon-to-be-ex-co-workers laments, sickened by the apparent Conservative attack on science. You hurt, bad, desperation's hot breath warms your little scientist shoulder.

Suddenly, a ray of hope appears in your inbox....

"Sent: March-27-12 4:56 PM
To: IBD All Tenants; CCBT All Tenants
Subject: Seminar - Friday, March 30, 3:30 p.m.`

As the National Research Council transitions into our new structure as a research technology organization (RTO), we've been hosting a series of RTO-themed workshops and seminars. You may be interested in attending our Friday afternoon seminar, Canada’s Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy:  Exploring  Research & Development Partnerships Opportunities.

We're fortunate to welcome Brent DePape, Senior Policy Analyst, Policy, Planning & External Relations with Western Economic Diversification Canada, who will be speaking on March 30,3:30 p.m. in the Herzberg Room. Here's a description of his presentation:

Canada’s IRB Policy was first implemented in 1986 to ensure that Canadian companies maximized opportunities arising from Canadian government procurements. In essence the policy requires that winning bidders of major crown projects (i.e. greater than $100Million) procure goods and services in Canada equivalent to that amount.  Recent changes to the IRB Policy are designed to incentivize business activities that align with government priorities, including increased research and development activity.  An understanding of the Policy and the recently  implemented changes can better position not-for-profit research institutions in refining related strategies and developing potential partnership opportunities with prime contractors.

We look forward to seeing you there."

(Note to Self: Re-jig past funding doc's for Military applications. 


Your Harper Government would never leave you in the cold uncertainty of 'old model' Canadian research. They ensconce you now in the fertile commercial grounds of military innovations. You can commercialize the hell out of your results (for civilian applications, 'natch...) You are now a military entrepreneur, supported by the Government of Canada. Might even get a cool new title with a decoder ring and CSIS clearance, and make James Bond-like gadgets and.. God bless you, Prime Minister.

God Bless you.

The Harper Government just minted a free iPhone program, and the little NRC scientists are the ultimate intended beneficiaries. Well, them and the Politicians, Bureaucrats and Businessmen the NRC Admiral mentions in his interview (see Part 1 Video link.)

We'll get to their part in this later, after a little chat about free iPhones.

Scene: Elected official walking down 'lobbyist row', minding their own business...

(Psst, hey buddy. Yeah, you with the Beaver hat.

Lookin' to buy a new Caddy? I'm your guy, look no further. Name's Sam.

Price? Hey, its a Caddy, who looks at the price, right?

Besides, act now and I'll throw in a free iPhone. That's right, for free!

Oh, you don't need a Caddy, hmm? Well, ok... but how about some Fighter Jets?

Yes, of course you still get the free iPhone!)

Even a funny little anonymous citizen journalist like me knows some of the professional axioms of the journalism trade. "My sources are confidential', 'Follow the Money'...

... 'There is no so thing as a Free Lunch.'

Or free iPhones, right? That new truck promotion you were trying to sell to your spouse, with the 'but honey, we get a free iPhone!' timed just right as the clincher (honey, I know you love iPhones, right?) until honey says 'ummm... who do you think is really paying for that iPhone?'

You stare back at your better half, slack jawed, suddenly noticing the naiveté oozing from your pores, green gills shining like a neon 'Screw Me, I'm a Rube' t-shirt. You are a mark. You just told your significant other that, absolutely for sure, they married a sucker. Great, huh?

There are no free iPhones, folks. Only marks who think there are free iPhones. Marks have money just as green as non-marks, maybe even greener, so the marketing world keeps handing out free iPhones.

With your purchase of a raft of Fighter Jets, that is.

R & D spending is the 'free iPhone' Canadians get when they make a military purchase. And holy hell, what a deal, right? Dollar for dollar matching! Aren't we clever, eh?

But... but what about the Cell Phone Contract, you ask. Who is the carrier providing service to your shiny new iDevice? How much does this thing really cost at the end of the term? I mean, iPhones without data and voice service are called bricks, right? They don't work unless you pour money into the network connection, right? And Canadians pour more money into 'Network Connections' than anyone else in the world, right...?

Right, my little friend. Oh, so right you are.

Ok, enough stalling, lo let's follow the money.

I present 'Hypothetical Scenario 1', below. See if it rings plausible to you.

Scenario 1 - Pad, Multiply, Enhance, Partner Up, 'Buy' it back.

Step 1: All Military Contractors pad quotes at least 15% for IRB considerations (there's your free iPhone.) People of Canada fund the IRB requirements for US Military Contractor (Sam is his name for now) who wins contract. Lets say Pad = $100.00 Canadian, for easy counting.

Step 2: Sam creates new 'Canadian' company (NEWCO) to fund and manage the R & D project. NEWCO qualifies for SRED Tax Credits, garners rebate of 50% on expenditures (Multiply). $100.00 is now $150.00 Canadian.

Step 3: NRC (IRAP, Research Funding, etc.) contributes major dollars to project (Enhance). Largely under-supervised funding on some undisclosed 'matching' basis up to, let's imagine, 75% of total project costs.  $150.00 is now $600.00 Canadian.

Step 4: Find some Canadian Rich Guys (CRG's) to invest (Partner Up), go into production for your 'innovation'. $600.00 is Sam's investment (see above), so let's say CRG's in for $100.00 more, new total $700.00 Canadian.

Step 5: Use future IRB requirements to purchase 'innovation' products from Newco at very, very healthy margins (Buy Back). Reward CRG's.

Step 6: Provide products to Canadian Government under new contract (Whoo-Hoo!!)

Step 7: Figure out what the hell to do with all the profit you just made. Seriously.

My friends, it doesn't take that much imagination to come up with several other scenarios, all quite lucrative, all bought and paid for with Canadian dollars.

These are not tendered, barely supervised, without regard for regional equality, and very much based on friendships and who-you-know. The potential for abuse is monumental.

Abuse, you say? What... what do you mean abuse?

Canadians think they are getting free iPhones. They are not, it seems, under such potential terms as I describe. We think this will benefit the country. Dubious benefits, indeed. We think that Sam is paying the bill, when it appears all the dollars are Canadian. We think that nice Canadian research is going on in the NRC labs, not James Bond stuff (or worse?)

But abuse, you still say? How is it abuse to be screwed when you walk around wearing a 'Screw Me, I'm a Rube' T-shirt...?'

Good point.

COMING IN PART 3: Some 'who's' to attach to those 'what's'.

BONUS SEGMENT: To my friends at the ELA.


You can sit sadly by your desks and wait for the moth ball delivery truck.


You can figure out how your current situation relates to the military IRB money.

Just sayin'.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The NRC Goes to War: Part 1, the Gathering Storm

The Gathering Storm

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is going to war… or at least they are trending that way.

Massive job losses at the NRC have prompted journalists across the country to point to a ‘brain drain’ in Canada.  “Here go the science-less Conservatives wiping out the intelligencia (sp?), stomping objective reason into the floor mat of the economic engine.”

Scary stuff, yes? No-one smart left to keep the right-wing objectively in check. Brr… don’t you get a major shiver?

Hey, don’t believe the pinko propaganda, folks. Relax. Let me ease your mind and take away that Orange chill.

The Harper Government has told us again, and again, and again that spending in the sector will not decline, dammit. If anything, they say, spending will increase over previous levels.

I believe them. You should, too.

In case you don’t, I am going to spell a few things out to you in the little series I like to call:

“The NRC Goes to War”

Jan. 4, 2011, Youtube – 

NRC mastermind John McDougall gives Canada a peek at the next five-to-ten year plan. In his very Liberal red chair (just saying…) Admiral McDougall (he isn’t really, come on…) describes the next wave in the NRC’s battle plan.

No outright talk of war, but listen closely to the alignment of business, public service agencies, the government. ‘Coherent integrated advice’ from a new cuddly hug-fest where ‘it’ is knitted together holistically. “Strategic issues that need to be addressed…” all cuddly Politically Correct objectives, not a warplane in sight. Enabling, green technologies for everyone! Thanks, John!

NRC 2011, a big new shiny machine filled with friendly politicians, bureaucrats, and business people driving Battleship NRC into the 21st century (or at least the next 5 – 10 years.) A great gathering (humans, elves, and dwarves anyone?) which will face the coming intellectual storm.

Working together on their common objective, which is…

(Wait for it, faithful listeners.)

In a myriad of posts, screen shots, and P/R blah-blahs the NRC and the Ministers behind it have unleashed of late, you hear one theme trumpeted again and again:

The NRC is open for business.

The NRC is now your one stop shop for all thing R & D in Canada. They don’t sponsor their own research anymore. Now they sponsor yours (if you sell us stuff for war.... whoops, spoiler alert!!)

The Harper Government assures you that the funding has not decreased. At all. Dammit. So don't worry about not enough money in the pot to see this through. There is, they assure you....

We’ll get to the funding in a little bit (next articles, kiddies) but for now, let me lay upon you the real catalyst for change in the NRC that Mr. McDougall may have been too shy to spill back in 2011.

Here it is for you now, the new NRC Canadian catalyst for change:

"Leveraging Defence and Security Procurement

Defence and security-related procurement constitutes an important opportunity for the support of business innovation because it is such a large proportion of total procurement and because state-of-the-art technological sophistication is required in modern equipment. Indeed, one of the key drivers of the US innovation system has been the civilian adaptation of military technology.

In 2008, the federal government announced the Canada-First Defence Strategy designed to strengthen key military capabilities and to facilitate Canadian industry participation, particularly high-value-added technology sectors, in forthcoming defence procurement requirements. There are three main industrial components of the strategy: the development of critical (short term) and strategic (longer term) technologies, industrial and regional benefits, and sector-specific procurement."

Bam! Johnny grab yer' gun, right?

But… but what has this military spending gibberish got to do with Battleship NRC, you ask?

Ah. You are so sweet and innocent. I love ya' for it, and hate to do this to you, but...

Check this out (below).

We’ll talk later, once you digest this chunk. Then I’ll feed you some more, ‘natch.

(Pay careful attention to the money, folks. Follow the flow of money.)

Industry Canada Backgrounder — Canada's Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy

Key Snippets:

“Canada's IRB Policy requires prime contractors to undertake business activities in Canada that total 100 percent of the value of the defence or security contract they have just won with the Government of Canada.”

“The IRB Policy works within this procurement framework and ensures that economic benefits flow to Canada as a result of defence procurement by requiring prime contractors to place work in Canada over the life of the contract.”

“The IRB Policy strongly encourages prime contractors to use their best business sense to select their Canadian partners and suppliers, with the goal of generating long-term, sustainable business relationships in Canada. These strategic relationships stimulate the Canadian economy while helping to ensure a more competitive Canadian industry.”

“… promote the creation of consortia between major defence contractors, Canadian industry and publicly funded research institutions…”

"New Approach — Incentive for the Creation of Public-Private Consortia

Current Practice

There are no extra incentives (other than one-to-one credit) offered to prime contractors to invest in consortia, unless the money flows to post secondary education institutions or public research institutions (for example, National Research Council, Defence Research and Development Canada, etc.), in which instances a 5X multiplier is applied for cash contributions.

New Approach — Enhanced Priority Technology List

Current Approach

Prime contractors are currently not required to invest a minimum percentage of their Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) obligations into medium and/or long term emerging critical technology needs of the Department of National Defence (DND).

Why change?

Industry Canada (IC) desires to better align the IRB Policy with the emerging critical technology needs of DND. The addition of a more focused technology list will provide important information to industry regarding the future needs of the military, thereby encouraging the development of Canadian advanced technologies in the aerospace and defence sector. The new list also demonstrates a more coordinated approach to defence industrial development across government departments and reflects a willingness to work together to seek technology-focused outcomes. Lastly, the change may enhance export opportunities for Canadian advanced technology firms, as the requirements for allied defence procurements become harmonized along specific defence platforms.

Firm-Level R&D and Commercialization (upcoming)

"Encourage primes, to invest in long term, innovation-focused activities in Canadian SMEs. It will establish long term, strategic relationships with primes, leading to increased R&D activities, market-driven technology development and more robust..."

Q and A

A4  "No, the future sales of products developed through a Consortium transaction are not eligible for IRB Credit in the same transaction. The only eligible IRB credit that can be generated from a Consortium is from the contributions to the consortium from the consortium partners.
However, should the Contractor procure goods and services from the Consortium, the purchase will be considered as a separate IRB transaction. The transaction will be treated in the same manner as procurements the Contractor makes in Canada that are unrelated to the consortium. No multiplier will be applied.'

Q6  "Can in-kind donations apply towards a Prime Contractor's IRB obligations?

A6  "Yes. 

In-kind donations towards Consortia can be credited towards a Prime Contractor's IRB obligation. In-kind contributions may be credited based on third party valuations of the cost of the donation to the Consortium. However, in-kind donations are not eligible for multipliers."

'Is there a required regional distribution of IRB work across Canada? Does the Policy force IRB contractor to work with specific companies?

No, the IRB Policy is a market-driven policy, which means that IRB contractors place work with Canadian companies that make the best business sense to them. The Policy is set up this way so it will ensure that long-lasting business relationships are created and maintained between IRB contractors and Canadian companies. The Policy does not dictate where IRB work must be placed. However, we encourage bidders/IRB contractors to make efforts to have a balanced regional IRB'

"It bears noting that the rules in international trade agreements exempt R&D contracts and "first product or service" and "prototype development" from open bidding. This means that there is considerable scope to ensure that contract R&D is undertaken by Canadian-based suppliers."

And just FYI...

Ministers Involved (Federal Canada)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Man U: A Love Story Part II

(Miss me...? Just a little...?

I've been working on a story. Almost all-consuming. Apologies, back to work.)

Manitoba United: A Love Story Part II

Time flies fast upon the wing of political pause. Election fatigue gives way to heady days of summer, our return to family and friends (sans party) whisks the wee hours into the sweet memory filing cabinet. 'Oh, so much better than knocking on doors is this knocking back brewskies.'

Turn up the fire pit and the music, find your lover, enjoy being Canadian. Time flies by in honest fleeting moments born of the political pause.

Around said campfire, the background hum of the body politic lost to the romantic crackle of life, lovers unite among the various dances souls shall step when the spot lights are turned off. Honest living in private (mainly), folks getting about their business for business' sake, lovers loving love.


Oh, my Love.

Let's talk about love. And Manitoba United ('natch!)

Recently I talked about the Queen, and the love of Her Majesty spurring on certain parties towards a United political movement through which to more effectively oppose the NDP regime... err... government. Maybe even replace them (see piece on election results last year, 'k?)

Obviously, her Majesty is a living embodiment of an Ideal, and it is the ideal we love. The idea is that a super-person is all concerned with our well-being as her highest priority, and that she needs our help to do her job. She needs us to step up and lend a hand. We self-actualize through her siren's call of social responsibility. Very cool.

In a Hegelian flip-flop, the little people take power this way (a la Marty Gold's 'you have the power'). Great power, which begets great responsibility. Part of that responsibility lies in examination of one's own life, and the conditions for living in which one finds themselves. Being so self-informed, we make decisions about good and right actions.

(Hold tight, the point is coming...)

Let's talk about 'pragmatic allocation' compared to 'utter commitment'. Still talking about love here, and how we love, and how love motivates us.

Do you know some persons who go 'all in' when they love?

How about persons who weigh each drop of love allocation so very, very carefully?

There ain't no right or wrong way to do it. Different beats, different drummers. It is all good loving, yes?

But the results of the two 'systems' of loving end in polar extremes.

Like they do in Politics....

A. Zealot, idealist, party insider, bought-and-sold, dyed-in-wool, fervent supporter.

B. Pragmatist, Flip-flopper, swing vote, chameleon, opportunist.

Assignment: Which of the above (A or B) describes the 'all-in' political lover, and which the 'carefully allocating' kind?

The new girl in town is the old flame who left and came back with a make-over. She, for those not invited to participate in the current regime, is the flame we should have loved but for our fickle turn. She who is of us, is for us, who needs us. The Girl Next Door (if you live next to a castle....)

She who unites lovers of all kinds.

Nearly one year past the election, all (non-regime types) who love this Province are called to examine the nature of their political love, and their own allocations and commitments. Is it the 'party' you love, or is it the people and the Queen who serves them? Are you so utterly lost in love of a particular party, have you so shrewdly allocated your love to one 'group', that you can't even see the need to change?

Are you literally 'blinded by love' to the need to Unite?

Its ok if you are. Love is so powerful an influence on our decisions and actions. I get it.


Vote splitting in this silly first-past-the-post plurality of parties system is harming you, your children, friends, lovers, neighbours, employees and bosses, grandmother, barber....

It is harming everyone you love. Actually love. Like, love love.

What have you been getting back from your current party that it is worth the suffering price paid by those you love?

Manitoba United should appeal to 'all-in' lovers and 'careful allocation' lovers alike. It should be reasonable and thrilling. It should be the biggest tent of all, a keystone evolution of the ideal 'political tent'.

(Like Bracken's pragmatists, but updated for the new millennium.)

Sitting with our loved ones around said fire, we could be engineering this new mighty tent. Every person carving a personal pole, designing to form a tent one million poles strong.

Then, we could all get together underneath this newly erected tent and...

Hold a major love-in, bigger even than Folk Fest.

Ah.... big, big love.

Or... we could continue living stories about Jet's tickets, collusion between Ministers and Media and Public Servants, under performing tax dollars, lack of transparency, abuse of power and privilege, pandering to Unions at the expense of the People.... you know, the normal stuff you get under a 'natural ruling party' of this type.

Just saying.


Rod Rouge


Thursday, 1 March 2012

'Man U' Breaking News: Rod Rouge is Inconsistent (or not...)

It occurred to me that, when the shoes are a-dropping and the Who-skins a-warbling, I get a little sidetracked.

Due (mainly) to this, I seem full of baloney on past promises made, and prescriptions that seem to modify over time.

Spurs me to address three things quickly (my fragile self-image, this is partly a self-care exercise.)

Then, at the bottom, I'm going to tell you something about myself.

Will unmask me somewhat, but only in small circles.... so small, its safe to say what's on my mind yet remain anonymous ('cause its cool being anonymous!!!)

Promises Part:

1. Manitoba United, I said, needed the PC's and Liberals to Unite.

Then I said the Greens, too.

Q: Why?

A: Because it is a radical concept that I am unpacking slowly, but surely. I'm not done yet.

Hey listen, the Greens are key. How the PC's and Liberals treat them is a litmus test. How James & Co. flex to accommodate this golden opportunity will be... a defining movement.

Mark my words.

Thought I should make that clear.

2. I promised you a glimpse into the future....

Yes I did, and here it is:

Two elections from now, Manitoba United supporters may chose to leave (or not) under circumstances far more kind due to the changes in the electoral process which I (and others) espouse.

More fun with that later, throwing it out in bite-form now to stir your imagination and make part-good on the promise.

3. Promised list of factors influencing the Manitoba United Vote (up or down).

I'll use super-summary if / then's now, filling out 'poorly, late, widely embraced', etc. later:

A. The 'Down' list:

1. If done poorly, then more vote splitting and voter apathy.
2. If done late, then same as above.
3. If done small, then same...

Poorly / late / small cause downward pressure.

B. The 'Up' List:

1. If widely embraced, then army of highly motivated volunteers.
2. If honest philosophical underpinnings, then attract those who reject 'phony'.
3. If well explained, then understood and (more likely) supported.
4. If trustworthy 'platform', then can leave 'there' and join 'here'.

There are many sub-groups under these main headings, but I believe they are the main headings, as a list, so I present.

Upshot: this is a risk.

Execution is key, obviously. It is our responsibility to execute.

Our responsibility....

Right, Uncle Bob?

And so lastly...

About Me.

Sigh... ok.

I build 'lets-all-work-together' systems. I'm frickin' serious. On computers and such. That's me.

I have world-wide patent, trade secret, and mucho actual software designed to bring _very different_ people together to do 'good things' commonly.

And yes I'm serious, this isn't the funny part, k?

Some systems my team and I create seem... bizarre.

They come from Manitoba, an unlikley birth place for such things. They required a tonne of resource (sweat, blood, and tears), investments not often made, especially around these parts. They are big systems... with inner working resembling living things... and that's still kinda creepy, takes getting used to.

Bizarre stuff, Keystone originals.

Yet none-the-less real, and quite effective.

I have been asked why we do such odd work.

Necessity, I say.

A mother crying in a call to you, her heart breaking. Then a dozen mothers. Then hundreds. My heart broke a bit each time, large cracks developed.

(I'd give detail on the contents of the 'calls', but I'm staying anonymous...)

Necessity comes forward and breaks my heart, then this bizarre 'system-stuff' flows out through the cracks. It is meant to help, and often it does.

My day job. Kinda weird, eh?

Now I 'hear' a new system needed in Manitoba, my home.

I imagine a Manitoba United System born in response to cries of necessity.

I, a strange expert, say this can be done. I would like to help.

It felt important to say it out loud.

So... that's a bit about me (me-me, not Rouge me... umm... yeah.)

(I feel kinda naked now.... where's my anonymous blanky?)

Hey, lets do this, right?


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Manitoba United Cast: Sandra Who-skins?

Ah, the Free Press, Manitoba's great gift to clarity of purpose. We see ulterior purpose each time they put ink on newsprint about Man U, don't we?

Well, don't we?

Case in point (as if you needed it...): Sandra Who-skins (Hoskins.)

Sandra What-skins?

Heh .....

Ok, ok, sorry, sorry Sandra. To be fair, you ran in an election, and apparently you are on the Liberal board, so the Internet remembers you at least.

The Internet remembers when you said:

"Why are you running?
Three years ago, my daughter contacted Gary Doer, Theresa Oswald, Hugh McFayden and Jon Gerrard. Jon Gerrard was the only politician who responded to request for help. Jon helped us navigate the health care system to have my daughter placed on the waiting list for a double hip transplant. Six months later, my daughter had both her hips replaced one week apart. It fundamentally changed her life. From this experience, I have learned that one person can make a significant difference in the lives of others. I am running to make a difference for the voters in Dawson Trail.

Do you remember, Sandra, when the man who the Free Press says you just called a toxic obsequious toad of a carnival barker, inspired you through his right actions to take part in the political process?

Well, the Internet remembers, Sandra Who-skins. And now everyone who reads this blog does, too.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me be so very clear on the topic of why the Manitoba United party is a requirement for the next Manitoba Provincial election.

I present to you:  Sandra How-skins

Because persons like Sandra are so involved in it, the current Liberal Party of Manitoba holds very, very low attraction for most right-minded persons. And we are legion.

The ideas that the party is to represent (which ones? Watch Jon for a while, it becomes obvious...), these core ideas get lost in the grade-school rhetoric of a who-gives-a-crap 'party insider' like Sandra Hoskins. Yeah, I actually know her name.

Because the Winnipeg Free Press (a misnomer if there ever was one, 'cause it ain't cheap to buy this paper...) prints Sandra little ranty, and not the real story, they win the award for most transparent ulterior motive of the year. (If we're lucky, the Black Rod (s) will hand them the prize.... go get'm big guy (s))

Sandra is an important character in the Manitoba United cast due mainly to the 'what we must reject' nature of her role. You have to walk away from her, you just have to, and that's a cool chunk of cathartic art right there. I could not have written her any better myself (and I have mad skills, and you know that.)

Oh, and by the way, Manitoba Party? Umm... did anyone hear that the name is taken? Oh you did? And you still refer to the new party as the Manitoba Party? Oh... did you ever hear of the law? I mean, like, ever?

Manitoba United Party.

It is inevitable.

Thanks to people like Sandra, the time is nigh.

Thanks Sandra. You made a difference after all.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

'Manitoba United' Breaking News: 2 Down, 1 to Go...

(I am too slow to affect history, clearly. Cant even get it all out there in Blog-print before it starts happening....)

Writing away on the next installment of of the 'Man U' pieces, when two of the three shoes drop.

The Green Shoe, and the Red Shoe.

Only need the Blue Shoe, and then Man U will be walking hard.

Look, folks, the 'Man U' official colours are Blue, Red, and Green. And I'm not taking any of these materials back, ok? The colours are picked, and they ain't changing.

The Graphic Arts tail wags the Party Dog this time.

(Hello Blue Rod.

Had enough time off yet?

Time to get busy, compadre. Man U needs your colour, ok?)

Ok, so, like I was saying, the three parties unite under one tent, and go all-out against the Kings and Queen's of Orange. Obvious enough.

If this was just about two parties joining, sure, we'd all yawn, right? Believe me, it ain't that.

The 'real' journalists thinks Uniting Green and Red is about 'saving / growing their little parties'. Go read the Freep article today, you'll see.

Hey, real journalist. Maybe you should think a little bit about what happens when the conservative base looks at the last Liberal platform and says,

'Gee Martha... they are much more fiscally conservative and responsible that the PC's....'

'And that nice Dr. Gerrard would never privatize Hydro, Stanley.'

'And those Greens actually seem to care about farmers, Martha. Look, they even understand the whole watershed issue out here in the country... Hair's a little long, but so was cousin Eddie's, and he turned out all right.'

'Stanley, I heard they want to change the voting system, let people have their say about who they like, and who they don't like.'

'Well, you don't say, Martha... you don't say...."

(Give a farmer a chance to gripe a little, and you will make one man happier.)

Do you get this vision, my Freep friends? Are you feeling the real potential behind Man U?

Well, if you aren't, that's ok. Its pretty bold stuff, this sea-change in Manitoba Politics. Takes a while to really sink in. Just stay open, alright?

(Toodle, doodle, doo... one Blue Shoe....)

Ciao, folks.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

United Review 1: In Support and Against 'Man U'

(Sneaky Man U usage, hmmm? You think Manchester United's copy write protection would extend to cover my little theft? Not bloody likely, eh, wot?

Its not an admission of theft, Legal. Just stirring the fun pot, s'all.)

Let's begin a year long review of the reasons why, and why not, to Unite all other political factions in Manitoba to run against the NDP Government, including some how's and why's for the whole thing, with an article on the heart of the for-and-against argument, and a big fat run on sentence. Run-on having been accomplished, let's proceed with the rest.

A. Why Not to Unite

Coming together under one roof, so to speak, has one serious drawback; the people you suddenly find yourself shoulder to shoulder with.

I heard this at just such a party (in my mind...)

'So Jon says to James, 'I really did like your carr-uncy idea. Barter with vegetables might spark rural entrepreneurs to supply more local produce.' And Hugh says, 'But Jon, how the hell do we list that on the Exchange...?' James says, 'Carbon Credits, Hugh. Carbon Credits.' Then James looks at Jon and rolls his eyes, you know that look.....

Who's gonna blink, folks? Who will give up on their core beliefs to pitch in with the 'other guys'? It's like the geeks and the hippies and the jocks all coming together in some raucous teen dramady where the pimply-faced factions unite to stop something... something important to them all..... something they never faced before in their pampered, sheltered childhoods. A coming of age story in Keystone rather than Devon.

What could spur such famous foes to pitch the big United tent and play the most important game of their lives, together, as a team?

Watch your coming of age teen dramadies, kiddies. Its all about the love interest they share. She who crosses all cliques, who digs nobel response from pocket protector, jock strap, and jean jacket. The lady with the secret which, once revealed, spurs even the most hardened clique leader to secret meeting with his most bitter, bitter rivals. (Uh, yeah, ladies, trade genders in the above as you wish. Its a device, not a male dominated society admission. Cool, thanks.)

So, gentle reader, ask yourself this; what could our three leaders love so selflessly that they would turn from tradition and historic trajectory towards a sardine can full of bitter enemies?

Go on, ask yourself.

If you can't find an answer, don't worry. You are in good company, as it appears that no-one knows.


So, the main argument against 'Man U' (aka The Manitoba United Party) is this: The established parties and their leaders do not seem to love anything more than their own interests.

Heartbreaking. And I mean that most sincerely.

To be sure, all other complex, persnickety, pesky problems involving uniting into one party flow from this lack of selfless, sacrificing, super-love to unite them. Trapped in their cliques, the Keystone High School kids are doomed to forever lose the big homecoming game to the Dipper High team, and the head cheerleader will once again lose the bet and have to... ummm... I guess this is a family blog, you'll have to imagine what she has to do (hint: it ain't pretty.)

Lets see if we can help those Keystone High kids this time.

B. Why to Unite

(Cue Holly Cole, 'My Foolish Heart: "This time its loooovvee.... this time its love, My, Fooooo-lish, Heaaart...."

I love her so much.)

Anyways, let's cut to the chase on 'why to unite' against the NDP (aka The Kings and Queens of Orange).

NEWSFLASH: First-Past-The-Post Voting System Corrupting Democracy in Keystone Province, Plethora of Parties Leads to Appointment of New Monarchy

Ummm... Natural Ruling Party? Heard of it? Do you get what they mean when they call themselves (or are called) the natural ruling party either Federally or Provincially? Remember when they used to say 'I rule by rights given to me by God..."

Natural Ruling Party means that, by pandering to a rock-solid core of their most zealous supporters, that party can defeat the other parties through vote splitting. Every time, forever, or until the cows come home with the flying pigs in tow.

That such a party exists means that a core principle has been cut from the Democratic Apple, being, that there is a GOVERNMENT IN WAITING WHO IS HER (HIS) MAJESTY'S MOST LOYAL OPPOSITION*.

The test of the true mettle of those drawn to politics is never found in the hall of power. It is found in the vestibule, the gallery, the groundswell, the answer to the cry of the mother who weeps for a child cruelly mistreated by The Government.

The test for those crazy Keystone High School kids isn't how well they would govern. It is how well they react to the condition which causes them to always fail separately. They are tested best when they are powerless.

It is why they are the most loyal, serving the Queen (King) despite not being in power. In fact, such service is the highest form, the most nobel, and that service is relied upon most heavily by the Queen (King) for the democratic system to function as intended.

Without such selfless service, the party in power stays in power, indefinitely, and they can do whatever the hell they like, right? I mean, not to put to fine a point on it, but that is a fact, right?

Further, and listen closely: by failing in their duty to Her Majesty, the Keystone kids are actually letting vile usurpers walk right in the front door of the palace. By failing to provide an alternative to the NDP government, the other parties are causing, in effect, a new Monarchy to form.

(Yes, this is why I have been calling them the Kings and Queens of Orange. Now you get it, right? Good.)

Her Majesty is to represent her office as best she can. Her office represent the highest form of nobility, the best of us, our pinnacle, our ideal. She travels, speaks, signs, presides over, causes, and inspires the rest of us to do the very best we can for her most sacred trust: the well being of her Citizens.

Her Citizens are our children. They are our wives, our husbands, mothers, fathers, friends and foes, families and the family-less. Rich, poor, and all gradients in between. They is us, all of us.

So by failing to selflessly love her Majesty's office, the Keystone kids remain powerless to stop the vile usurpers in the Natural Ruling Party. The new Kings and Queens serve only their friends, and not 'the people', because they can, and because it works for them in the first past the post system. Yes, same for the Federal King, his Highness Harper. Same thing, same results.

In Manitoba, the homecoming game is lost, the cheerleader (yes, folks, its the Queen) has her fate sealed, and the kids hang their heads, in shame, once again. Damn. If only....

(Now tell me, doesn't this sound like a much better description of what is happening in Manitoban politics today than the other pundits have poured out thus far? Thanks. I need the stroking.)

So, why unite?

To save the Queen, 'natch. I'm telling you, its always about that selfless love thing.

In Summation: 

This last Manitoba Provincial election taught all three losing parties that they cannot form government under these current conditions. Yes, blame the voting system, but also blame those who played right into it.

To continue along this path, I am of the opinion that the three parties (you like this James? I'm totally including you guys, and I mean it) are committing an act that will, in the future, be seen as nothing short of treasonous. Continuing on this way is against the Queen, her subjects, and against democracy.

And now the hammer: either we abandon, wholesale, the Keystone leaders and their cliques in order to form a new United party, or we are just as guilty as they are, and shame on us.

That is... unless they see clearly the folly of their ways, get together, and pitch the tent.

(The big game is 3.5 years away, boys. Do not wait until it is 2 years away, or it could be too late.)

NEXT UP: The Rod Rouge plows 9.5 years into the future to find the United Party un-United, but in a very different (see: non-treasonous) way. 

Oh, those crazy Keystone kids!!

PS: I'm going to work hard over the next year. Oh, boy, would I ever appreciate more links on folks' blogs....

* Stylin' formatting inspired by the Black Rod's Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

NDP vs. Manitoba United Vote Count in 2011 Election

Nearly a month to add this up. That's not all I did, but hell's, that's a lot of adding, folks. In my spare time I did this. I reek of dedication, right? Thanks.

Below you will find all NDP seats won by them in the 2011 Manitoba Provincial Election.

At the head of each riding result listed below you will find the "NDP to United" vote count (eg. 1234 to 4321)

('United? wass'at mean, precious...?' you ask. 'All other votes', I say... for now....)

We'll start with this list, and go forward publishing various articles regarding:

1. A new United Party called.... The Manitoba United Party.

2. Inclusion of the Lib's, PC's, and Greens!! (Whoo-hoo!! Start the fireworks!!!)

3. The necessity of including, as a fundamental unwavering election promise, the revamping of the current election system, to be completed 2 years before the subsequent election.

But for now, to the list below, and a general observation.

Obviously, my magic number (7) required to flip from NDP to 'United' is not mathematically present in the list below. We clearly win Tyndall Park, St. Norbert, St. James, and Kirkfield Park. That's cool, but we're 3 shy of a victory. Poor us, hmm?

But check this out.... look at the spitting distance test in each remaining riding. Ask, hey... did the United vote come within spitting distance of winning in Transcona, The Maples, Swan River, Southdale, Selkirk, Seine River, Riel, Radisson, Logan, Kildonan, Kewatinook, Interlake, Gimli, Fort Rouge, Fort Richmond, Fort Garry Riverview, Flin Flon, Elmwood, Dawson Trail, Dauphin, or Brandon East?

Well? Did they?

Depends on how far y'all spit, but given I am gob-blessed and can spit 10% of a vote count if justice is on my side and the sun is just right, then 'hell's yeah' is the answer in many of the ridings listed above.

Waaayyy more potential winners than makes up the magic number, if 10% is a good spitting distance, and even 1/2 came through on the good side.

Hmmmm... I say. Are we resonant, folks? Hmmmm... all at the same time.

Lets explore, yes?

NEXT UP: a list of factors to write on, and on, and on about regarding particular and general influences of a United Vote, both up or downwards, on the next general election.


Wolseley 4229 to 2755

Candidate Name Party Votes
BEDDOME, James GPM 1,368
TURKA, Harpreet PC 850
STEWART, Eric V.T. Lib. 517

Tyndall Park  2596 to 3152

Candidate Name Party Votes
SEVILLANO, Roldan C. Lib. 2,007
AGLUGUB, Cris PC 908

Transcona 4488 to 3219

Candidate Name Party Votes
REID, Daryl NDP 4,488
STAPON, Craig PC 2,668
McLEOD-JASHYN, Faye Lib. 551

Thompson 2586 to 1188

Candidate Name Party Votes
ASHTON, Steve NDP 2,586
CAMPBELL, Anita PC 1,068
DILLEN, Ken Lib. 120

The Pas  2995 to 1074

Candidate Name Party Votes
WHITEHEAD, Frank NDP 2,995
McDONALD, Alfred PC 959
TESSEMA, Girma Lib. 115

The Maples 3894 to 3619

Candidate Name Party Votes
SARAN, Mohinder NDP 3,894
TOMAS, Jose Dakila C. PC 1,943
SARINAS, Pablito Lib. 1,395

Swan River 4280 to 3342

Candidate Name Party Votes
POWELL, Dave PC 3,078
COOK, Reynold Lib. 264

St.Vital 5023 to 3337

Candidate Name Party Votes
ALLAN, Nancy NDP 5,023
BROWN, Mike PC 2,876
WOLBERT, Harry Lib. 461

St. Norbert 3966 to 4818

Candidate Name Party Votes
GAUDREAU, Dave NDP 3,966
VELTHUYS, Karen PC 3,935
LAURENDEAU, Marcel Lib. 883

St. Johns 4157 to 2145

Candidate Name Party Votes
LARKIN, Ray PC 1,405
WEINBERG, Alon David GPM 392
MUELLER, Trevor Lib. 348

St.James 4432 to 4476

Candidate Name Party Votes
CROTHERS, Deanne NDP 4,432
GILLINGHAM, Scott PC 3,414
ALLARD, Gerard Lib. 685
VANDALE, Trevor GPM 377

St.Boniface 5914 to 2673

Candidate Name Party Votes
SELINGER, Greg NDP 5,914
CLARK, Frank PC 1,537
GROSS, Brad Lib. 606
LANDRY, Alain GPM 530

Southdale  5662 to 5225

Candidate Name Party Votes
SELBY, Erin NDP 5,662
EASTMAN, Judy PC 4,898
SINGH, Amarjit Lib. 327

Selkirk 4279 to 3359

Candidate Name Party Votes
DEWAR, Greg NDP 4,279
BELL, David K. PC 3,008
COURCHENE, Marilyn Lib. 351

Seine River 5500 to 4864

Candidate Name Party Votes
OSWALD, Theresa NDP 5,500
STEEVES, Gord PC 4,569
OSINAME, Troy Lib. 295

Rossmere 5392 to 4137

Candidate Name Party Votes
BRAUN, Erna NDP 5,392
SIDHU, Kaur (Karl) PC 3,430
BELLIVEAU, Rene Lib. 356

River Heights (Just for fun...)

Candidate Name Party Votes
GERRARD, Jon Lib. 4,756
MORANTZ, Marty PC 3,389
MANNING, Dan NDP 1,843
CAMERON, Elizabeth May GPM 370

Riel 5352 to 4396

Candidate Name Party Votes
MELNICK, Christine NDP 5,352
SQUIRES, Rochelle PC 3,916
GILARSKI, Cheryl Lib. 480

Radisson 5033 to 4094

Candidate Name Party Votes
JHA, Bidhu NDP 5,033
PENNER, Desmond PC 3,588
ROBERT, Shirley Lib. 506

Point Douglas  3806 to 1350

Candidate Name Party Votes
CHIEF, Kevin NDP 3,806
VERNAUS, John PC 917
BOURGEOIS, Mary Lou Lib. 257
PUN, Teresa GPM 176
RANKIN, Darrell CPC-M 38

Minto 3615 to 1773

Candidate Name Party Votes
SWAN, Andrew NDP 3,615
SQUANCE, Belinda PC 833
WOODSTOCK, Don Lib. 609
DYCK, Harold GPM 331
CARR, Cheryl-Anne E CPC-M 56

Logan 2985 to 2096

Candidate Name Party Votes
CHAN, Joe Lib. 868
KRAWETZ, Tyrone PC 840
ANDREWS, Kristen GPM 335

Kirkfield Park - 4928 to 5613

Candidate Name Party Votes
BLADY, Sharon NDP 4,928
de GROOT, Kelly PC 4,907
BOKHARI, Syed Lib. 367
GRAY, Alanna GPM 339

Kildonan - 4808 to 3271

Candidate Name Party Votes
CHOMIAK, Dave NDP 4,808
PENNER, Darrell PC 2,880
SAGRIOTIS, Dimitrius Lib. 391

Kewatinook - 2043 to 1532

Candidate Name Party Votes
ROBINSON, Eric NDP 2,043
BIRCH, Michael PC 1,389
GREEN, Philip GPM 94
WOODFORD, Orville Lib. 49

Interlake - 3374 to 3312

Candidate Name Party Votes
LUPKY, Steve PC 2,903
ZASITKO, John Ind. 215
RATT, Albert Lib. 194

Gimli - 5012 to 4716

Candidate Name Party Votes
BJORNSON, Peter NDP 5,012
WHARTON, Jeff PC 4,210
WHITEMAN, Glenda GPM 309
EINARSSON, Lawrence Lib. 197

Fort Rouge - 4501 to 4286

Candidate Name Party Votes
HOWARD, Jennifer NDP 4,501
HESSE, Paul PC 2,031
DOMINIQUE, Sonny Lib. 1,778
WEEDON, Stephen GPM 477

Fort Richmond - 4026 to 3505

Candidate Name Party Votes
IRVIN-ROSS, Kerri NDP 4,026
McCAFFREY, Shaun PC 2,908
HILES, Dustin Lib. 369
McINTYRE, Caitlin GPM 226

Fort Garry-Riverview - 5146 to 4117

Candidate Name Party Votes
ALLUM, James NDP 5,146
RABB, Ian PC 3,052
FREEDMAN, Kevin Lib. 666
BACKÉ, Daniel GPM 399

Flin Flon - 1901 to 1411

Candidate Name Party Votes
PETTERSEN, Clarence NDP 1,901
HEINE, Thomas Lib. 510
HARVIE, Saara GPM 110

Elmwood - 3864 to 3212

Candidate Name Party Votes
MALOWAY, Jim NDP 3,864
HUTTEN, David PC 2,399
DRATOWANY, Anthony Lib. 467

Dawson Trail - 4291 to 3875

Candidate Name Party Votes
LEMIEUX, Ron NDP 4,291
TETRAULT, Laurent (Larry) PC 3,554
HOSKINS, Sandra Lib. 321

Dauphin - 4463 to 3679

Candidate Name Party Votes
McKINNEY, Lloyd J. PC 3,356
FRIESEN, Tamela GPM 199
TESSEMA, Sisay Lib. 124

Concordia - 4008 to 2348

Candidate Name Party Votes
WIEBE, Matt NDP 4,008
WARRAICH, Naseer PC 1,803
OYELERU, Isaiah Lib. 237

Burrows - 3063 - 2099
Candidate Name Party Votes
WIGHT, Melanie NDP 3,063
NEGRYCH, Rick PC 1,314
MOTKALUK, Twyla Lib. 629

Brandon East - 3864 to 3168

Candidate Name Party Votes
CALDWELL, Drew NDP 3,864
WADDELL, Mike PC 2,711
CAMERON, Shaun Lib. 280
FLEURY, Vanda GPM 177

Assiniboia - 5095 to 3656

Candidate Name Party Votes
RONDEAU, Jim NDP 5,095
AUCH, Susan PC 3,258
SHENG, Anlina GPM 204
BOKHARI, Moe Lib. 194