Current Issue: Friday, June 7th, 2019

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Interrobang Archives

Interrobang articles by Nathan Swinn


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Questions for the next Prime Minister
I think I met Canada's next Prime Minister. Micheal Ignatieff, the stiff former Harvard Professor and internationally acclaimed writer has now been magically transformed - after 30 years out of the country - into a full blown Prime Minister in w... Read more

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London's big deer debate
Sifton Bog is on the opposite side of London from Fanshawe College. It's an environmentally sensitive area within city limits. Housing developments run right up to the edge of the Bog, which contains rare species of plants... and anywhere from 35... Read more

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And here's the bad news about big oil...
Last week Suncor Energy Inc and Petro-Canada merged. They are both energy companies and both are active in Canada's biggest energy market — Alberta, specifically, the oil sands. This news went un-noticed, more or less. But keep in mind tha... Read more

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Even chimps can make plans
Santino is a 31-year-old chimpanzee who lives at the Furuvik Zoo, in Sweden. Scientists were stunned to discover that Santino had been collecting rocks to throw at visitors. Apparently his aim isn't that great, and he only chucks rocks at humans,... Read more

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Iggy's plan for Prime Minister
The Liberals are sounding fiery with new boss, Michael Ignatieff, leading the way. Hell, he even invaded the Conservative backyard. He's now a firm Alberta oilsands supporter, saying the oily muck ties the nation together and creates jobs from c... Read more

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Economy, McGuinty, have hit Ontario hard
Former Conservative Premier, Ernie Eves, once described Dalton McGuinty as having definite tendencies towards the rodent population. But... that was on the very same night Dalton was handing Eve's a righteous ass kicking at the polls. The Conserv... Read more

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Not necessarily a democracy
“A coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition.” - Micheal Ignatieff In case anyone missed that gem from Iggy Flop, I've included it here for further consideration. The quote is a cute paraphrase of a very hackneyed ... Read more

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Back to the business of politics for tax payers
“If I was 25 right now, I'd be pissed.” Ex-Conservative Party MP Garth Turner, referencing the legacy that a big spending budget will leave the taxpayers of the future. Garth Turner is a former politician and financial commentator.... Read more

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London City Hall is a politicians playground
Some journalists avoid City Hall as if it was a modern leper colony. I happen to disagree. Not only does the city spend over a billion dollars of Londoner's money, it's also like visiting an alien planet where reality takes an extended, all e... Read more

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Hockey trumps politics, war, in Canada
Yay, Canada won world junior gold for the fifth straight year on January 5th. A record four million people watched the game. Hell, even Prime Minister Harper took time off to watch our Canadian boys stomp those corner-shy Swedes. Grit, speed, goalt... Read more

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Inside Santa's political mailbag
I'm tight with Santa. And I'll let you in on a little secret: that jolly look on his face, those rosy cheeks... yes, you guessed right readers: Santa is a serious boozer. Peach schnapps is Jolly St. Nick's favourite tipple. He claims it k... Read more

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Dan, this is real life
My neighbour Danny is 63 years old. He doesn't have a lot of teeth, he's skinny, and he just received his high school equivalency certificate in the summer. He can afford to live in his small apartment because his nephew owns the building and... Read more

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It's now Obama's time
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” 19th century French writer Jean-Baptiste Karr. Beware of complacency everyone. Now that Barack Obama is the President Elect of the United States there's a strong possibility ... Read more

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Change? We'll see about that
Being a Canadian does have advantages. For instance, we don't need to vote in next week's US presidential election. We won't get to be a part of history, but we will certainly be affected by whoever takes over for Dubya. All signs point ... Read more

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Getting schooled on the economy
Silence. That's what you hear coming from the hallways of places like The Ivey Business school at UWO. The Ivey Profs must be far too busy rewriting their courses to jive with the new economy to show themselves in public. Either that or their eg... Read more

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Bloated by a meaningless election
“Many journalists appeared to be in the terminal stages of Campaign Bloat, a gruesome kind of false-fat condition that is said to be connected somehow with failing adrenal glands. The swelling begins within 24 hours of that moment when the vic... Read more

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Predicting our political future
Here are my election predictions. Conservative minority: Probably one with fewer seats than the party had in August. This election was called for no other reason than the Conservatives thought - and craved - a majority government. The odds makers b... Read more

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Fanshawe debate had parties rallying
Forwell Hall was packed with attentive students on October 8. No, it wasn't the Best Butt Contest, but rather the Federal Election London-Fanshawe All Candidates meeting. There was one glaring “but”, however. It was an All Candidate... Read more

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Political problems rising
Financial times south of the border is proof there needs to be a real change “May you live in interesting times.” An adapted Chinese proverb often used as both a positive state of being and simultaneously a curse. These are indeed... Read more

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Going beyond the gates
In our own backyard or from the hill in Ottawa, politicians need to show leadership Leadership is a catchall word during elections. For the next two months Canadians and Americans are going to be debating leadership issues nonstop. Because, ... Read more

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Different party, same tricks
“The Conservative government, which is on the verge of launching a national election campaign, has pledged $8.8-billion as part of 293 announcements in the last three months, according to figures released Friday by the Canadian Taxpayers Fed... Read more

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Resisters protest Prime Minister's London visit
Whenever a Conservative Prime Minister comes to town, you can be certain there will be protests, especially when Canada is “at war with terror” in Afghanistan. Add in the fact that our government is deporting conscientious objectors... Read more

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Parties must go green to win
This column is not about the sex life of the Incredible Hulk. But if the big green dude was thinking about running in the Canadian Federal election on October 14, you can bet all the parties would be scrambling to sign him up. What political party co... Read more

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Election is a political mindgame
All signs are pointing to a fall election for Canadians. According to Prime Minister Stephen Harper this edition of parliament “isn't functioning”, so he has no choice but to dissolve his minority government, triggering an election. Most... Read more

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Starbucks gets fairly traded
If you can take your eyes off Olive Oyle's jerk chicken sandwiches you'll notice that one of Fanshawe's best food outlets has dumped Starbucks coffee down the drain. To satisfy the caffeine (and decaf) cravings of its customers Olive Oyl... Read more

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Politics can be just as exciting as “The Hills”
Ah, Orientation. An important time in the career of any student. A time to adjust, acclimatize and begin your education. As The ‘Bang's self-appointed political muckracker, I feel it's my duty to keep everyone up to speed on political ... Read more

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Who are the real newsmakers?
March 31 was the final date for submitting a winning entry to the Dalton Camp Student Essay contest. The subject was media and democracy. Big cash prizes. MLA format. Cite sources. I failed to make the deadline. I couldn't get beyond wondering w... Read more

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What's next for Ignatieff
Iggy Flop is on the warpath. Yes, Michael Ignatieff, a.k.a. Iggy Flop, the Ivy League maestro and proponent of both the Iraq war and torture if necessary, is right where he wants to be: in the news. There's only two rungs on the political ladder ... Read more

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Canadian gunners have new weapon
At $150,000 a shot the Canadian Army have a new form of artillery “The question of whether the Excalibur has been led astray by sophisticated interference technology was something both the army and defence industry officials were reluctant t... Read more

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Is NAFTA making you pay more at the pump?
I'm still trying to figure out why NAFTA-Gate is such a big deal. For those not up to date on the story, allow me to simplify. Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton have been campaigning to be the Democratic Party's presidential candidate for what... Read more

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Finding parallels between porn and politics
Lately, my focus has been badly frayed from watching the endless orgy of CNN's political coverage. Watching CNN, with the self-titles “best political team in America,” is kind of like watching porn, except the politicians and comment... Read more

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Our leader's business background
Harper would profit from an economics lesson For some bizarre reason, conservatives are considered smart money managers. I've never really understood where this stereotype comes from. Maybe because conservative-leaning politicians tend to self... Read more

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Winter is even colder in Afghanistan
“I am sorry I am not a prophet, neither am I inspired to know whether at some future time, if I am in trouble, a Liberal or Conservative government will be in power.” Amir Abd ar-Rahman 19th century leader of Afghanistan In the mid-19t... Read more

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Afghanistan: What now?
Well hidden behind the orgy of Super Tuesday news coverage, a double whammy is set to hit the Canadian political scene. Our Prime Minister and his Conservative party will start a debate in the House of Commons about extending Canada's role in Af... Read more

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The real State of the Union
What a week. Political junkies finally get the buzz they've been craving with a week of serious action. In Canada: Parliament begins its ‘08 season, question period returns, the Manley Report on Canada's current and future role in Af... Read more

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It's more than the economy, stupid
If you listen to enough political commentary you will eventually hear the phrase: “It's the economy, stupid.” This was originally a catchy line used by Bill Clinton during his campaign against George Bush The Elder, circa 1992. The u... Read more

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Bush is one big bully
“Iran is today the world's leading state sponsor of terror. It sends hundreds of millions of dollars to extremists around the world while its own people face repression and economic hardship at home.” U.S. President GW Bush, Januar... Read more

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Thankfully we don't have to vote
The Republican candidates make our politicians look sane Following the US Presidential primary race the past week has reaffirmed my faith in Canadian politics. All it took was watching the Republican candidates debate issues like supporting the wa... Read more

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A forecast into Canada's political climate
A political forecast is like predicting the long-range weather. There's usually agreement on what's going to happen in the short-term, but once we start imagining more than five days into the future, the potential to be embarrassingly incorre... Read more

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Listen up Bernie, banning smoking is a band-aid solution
Health and the environment are also big issues on the municipal level “You see people going through drive-throughs and they're smoking with their kids in the back. It's a confined space and there's no way out.” said Bernie ... Read more

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Think again when passing the blunt to the left hand side
The metronome-like consistency of the Conservative Party is getting a little boring. The policies of Harper and the Cons go like this: Campaign on accountability in government and then appoint floor crossing ego monsters like David Emerson. Campaig... Read more

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Who needs Hollywood when there's drama in Canada?
Now that Hollywood's writers are on strike, maybe their Canadian counterparts will be able to fill the content gap with good old written-directed-produced in Canuckistan documentaries, dramas and comedies. The hard part will be finding a focus. T... Read more

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Even Hillier has to fall in line
“In war, truth is the first casualty.” Aeschylus. Nothing like breaking out a proverb from 400 BC to lead off a story about present day Canada. Aeschylus was a Greek playwrite, considered by dramatic historians to be the father of trag... Read more

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What the media is missing
Realpolitik is a term used to describe the functioning world of politics. This is not the crap that gets studied in political science classes. Not the idealistic rants that students engage in before hitting the pub after class to sip dark ales and ta... Read more

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A Fall election is in the hands of the Liberals
Last Tuesday night Canada's Governor General, Michaelle Jean, read the Throne Speech. This event was much anticipated, and had been preceded by a lot of hype, conjecture and analysis. I suspect there are very few people outside political social ... Read more

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And the winners of the Ontario election are...
Last week I made a promise to my loyal readers. I pledged to write about “The Winners” of election ‘07. The task is not an easy one given that this story was due on Election Day at noon, but I've persevered and have managed to ... Read more

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We are all losers this provincial election
This week we look at The Losers of Election '07. 1. People who don't vote. You are losers. Completely and utterly. I can't stress this strongly enough. If you don't vote you have no right to complain about lying politicians and us... Read more

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Throne speech threatens more than words
With a provincial election just around the corner, the feds may be going to the polls too. I'd like to play poker with Stephane Dion and Gilles Duceppe. And I hate poker. That wouldn't stop me from taking money off two politicians who cle... Read more

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Federal by-election proves Liberal Party division
There's trouble brewing inside Canada's “natural governing party.” Indeed, the split in the federal Liberal Party is becoming as obvious as Pam Anderson's cleavage. Unfortunately for Liberal loyalists there appears to be not... Read more

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In entertainment and politics, what choices do we have?
The parallels between politics and scantily-clad women are all too similar There's a consistent cycle in pop culture and politics that I find reassuring. It's nice to know in these troubled times that we can count on two things: self-destr... Read more

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How politics could take over your kegger
“Politics is the art of controlling your environment.” Hunter S. Thompson 1968 wasn't the best year in US history. January saw the beginning of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. In April Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. In June Rober... Read more

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Surviving through 2007/08 politics
Welcome, everyone. It's my pleasure to be your Interrobang guide through yet another season of Survivor: Canada, the political reality show where we the public pay, figuratively and literally, to watch our political class run amok in this fantastic l... Read more

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