The Spectacle Blog

One Thing That Fascinates Me About British Elections

By on 5.7.15 | 10:16PM

One thing I find fascinating about British elections is how the results are announced.

In each constituency, all the candidates come together in one room wearing a ribbon bearing the color of their political party and the returning officer announces the results. 

The audience would be comprised of supporters of each political party. Under the circumstances, it all seems rather civilized.

Clearly, nothing like this happens in American elections never mind Canadian ones. 

Youngest MP Elected to British House of Commons in Nearly 350 Years

By on 5.7.15 | 9:52PM

I am watching the results of the British election and a few minutes watched the returning officer of Paisley and Renfrewshire South announce that 20-year old Scottish National Party candidate Mhairi Black had unseated Labour Party MP Douglas Alexander, a former cabinet minister under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, by nearly 6,000 votes. 

Black becomes the youngest MP elected to the British House of Commons since 1667. Apparently, her desire to head butt Labour Party councillors only endeared her to voters.

And I thought the Alberta NDP had elected really young people.

Red Sox Fire Pitching Coach Juan Nieves

By on 5.7.15 | 4:47PM

We're not even past the first week of May and already the Boston Red Sox are pushing the panic button by firing pitching coach Juan Nieves.

The Sox began the season winning 7 of their first 10 games, but have gone 6-12 since. They are 1-5 so far in May which includes a three game sweep by the first place New York Yankees at Fenway last weekend. The Sox are currently in last place in the AL East, but only four games back of the Yankees.

The Red Sox do have the worst ERA in the AL. The only starting pitcher with an ERA below 5.00 is Rick Porcello who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Tigers for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Free agent signing Justin Masterson and Wade Miley, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks, have been disappointments as have Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz. The Sox want to trade for Philadelphia Phillies lefty Cole Hamels. But why would Hamels want to go from one last place team to another?

There Is Still Hope For Conservatism in Alberta

By on 5.7.15 | 1:02PM

Despite the Alberta NDP's victory on Tuesday night there is still hope for conservatism in the Wildrose province.

That hope comes in the form of Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean who became the Leader of the Official Opposition by capturing 21 seats.

The feat is remarkable when you consider that it was only five months ago that former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and most of her caucus jumped ship to the Tories leaving Wildrose with only five members. Jean took over the party in late March only days after the death of his son and days before the beginning of the election campaign.

New Alberta NDP MLA Takes Down Facebook Page Giving Middle Finger to Canadian Flag

By on 5.7.15 | 12:44PM

Here is part of what I wrote following the Alberta NDP's election victory on Tuesday night:

It is my understanding that a number of university students have been elected to the provincial legislature under an NDP banner not unlike in the 2011 federal election when the NDP had a breakthrough in Quebec. But the federal NDP is the official opposition. There's a good chance you're going to have some 21-year olds being named cabinet ministers. I think they will be in way over their heads and, in four years time, they will be unceremoniously dumped from office.

Enter Deborah Drever. The 26-year old sociology student at Mount Royal College was elected in the once safe Tory constituency of Calgary-Bow by 263 votes.

Freedom of Speech Trumps Trump

By on 5.7.15 | 12:09PM

A couple of days ago, I posed two questions to Jeff Lord in light of Donald Trump's criticism of Pamela Geller.

Jeff, of course, had written a piece earlier this week concerning the attempted terrorist attack in Garland, Texas and defended Geller's freedom of speech to organize a Draw Muhammad art exhibit.

Given that Jeff has written a number of articles on these pages in praise of The Donald, I was curious as to what he thought of Trump blasting Geller. To be precise, I asked, "First, is Donald Trump's criticism of Geller unwarranted? Second, is Donald Trump wrong for not standing up for free speech?"

Today, I got my answer:

The Preferred Candidate of Millionaires is…Hillary Clinton

By on 5.6.15 | 6:46PM

She may be campaigning to earn the trust of the 99%, as they like to call themselves, by promising to steal from the rich and give to the...well...the bloated federal organizations that once claimed to serve the poor, according to their originally-filed mission statements but have since become retirement programs for middling bureaucrats, but Hillary Clinton's most ardent fan base doesn't have a whole lot in common with the common man.

Which makes sense since neither does she.

According to a "Millionaire Survey" conducted by CNBC, Americans with a net worth of more than $1 million heavily favor a Hillary Clinton presidency, almost twelve points more than they favor the other legacy candidate in the race, Jeb Bush.

Kamala Harris Aide Was Running a Secret Police Force

By on 5.6.15 | 6:31PM

Sen. Barbara Boxer plans to vacate her California Senate seat in the next few years, and the Democrats are looking for the Next Great Hope of the party to step into her wildly outdated sensible heels. Although rumors have flown about that Michelle Obama is angling for the job (with the Obama Library going to Chicago, but the Obama's decidedly not, Palm Springs is still on the roster as potential post-Presidential digs), she hasn't formed any committees or coffee klatches that would lead me to believe she's serious just yet.

Carly Fiorina Gets the Best of Seth Meyers

By on 5.6.15 | 6:10PM

Right after Carly Fiorina made the announcement that she was running for President on the morning talk shows, CarlyFiorina.org, a site she'd failed to register, in an oversight that's becoming common among Republican Presidential candidates these days, turned into a rudimentary infographic outlining the changes she'd made at Hewlett Packard while CEO. It was a veritable Internet bodycount of the hundreds she'd laid off as Hewlett Packard downsized into a smaller, more agile company.

One hundred percent aware that she was headed into the lions den over the mishap (after all, what's funnier to a liberal comic than a Republican faceplant?), then, when she was invited on Seth Meyers's late night program, she did the only thing she could do: she bought the same .org domain name for him that an Internet troll had bought for her.

And the end result?Glorious.

Errol Brown, R.I.P.

By on 5.6.15 | 4:21PM

Errol Brown, the former lead singer of the British pop disco group Hot Chocolate, has passed away in his The Bahamas following a battle with liver cancer. He was 71.

The Jamaican born Brown wrote Hot Chocolate's signature song "You Sexy Thing" which became a hit in 1975 and re-charted in Britain again both in the 1980's and 1990's. The song has been used in countless movies and TV shows.

Brown also co-wrote "Brother Louie", a song about forbidden interracial love, which would later become a hit for Stories and decades later became a smash in North Korea because it was Kim Jong-un's favorite song.

Brown was also a vocal supporter of Britain's Conservative Party and even performed at a Conservative Party Conference while Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.

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