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Food for thought on beer, popcorn 
and Skittles

[PoliticsWatch Updated 5:00 p.m. December 12, 2005]

Homer would rather have a beer than win father of the year. 

OTTAWA  — Two Liberal strategists made their own jobs at the Liberal spin factory harder on Sunday after they argued that Canadian parents would be more likely to spend a proposed Conservative cheque for child care on beer and popcorn. 
 
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is proposing giving families $1,200 a year for each child under six, while the Liberals want a national daycare program. 

"(Children) need care that is regulated, safe and secure and that's what we're building here," Liberal spokesman Scott Reid said in an interview with CBC. "Don't give people $25 a day to blow on beer and popcorn."

Later on CTV's Question Period, another Liberal strategist, John Duffy, vehemently stood by the Reid's remarks when pressed by Tory strategist Tim Powers. 

"On Stephen Harper's plan, there is nothing to stop people from spending it on beer or popcorn or a coat or a car anything."

Reid later apologized to a couple of reporters via e-mail for the comments. 

Making things more interesting is Prime Minister Paul Martin had to answer reporters' questions about the controversy while at a winery in southern Ontario. 

While Martin made the remarks, in the background were dozens of large barrels of wine that look similar to beer barrels, making it seem like the PM was in some bootlegger's secret basement.

The NDP and the Conservatives are hoping to keep this story in the headlines for as long as possible, believing it helps make the Liberals look arrogant and out of touch with Canadians. It also plays into the Tories' argument that parents should be trusted to choose how to spend their money. 

After all, Reid and Duffy's comments make it seem like they believe most parents are nothing more than Canadian Homer Simpsons (Hoser Simpson, perhaps) struggling with a passion for beer and their family responsibilities. 

It was Homer, after all, who famously sang, "I'd rather have a beer than win father of the year" in the Sherry Bobbins episode of The Simpsons. Perhaps Reid had that song playing in his head on Sunday morning. 

And it was Homer who told Bart, "Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose. It's how drunk you get."

All that's missing is references to popcorn and Homer would be a perfect match for the Liberal spin doctors' image of the typical child care rebate recipient. 

_______________

PoliticsWatch, could not find a Homer Simpson quote about beer and popcorn, but came close with this gem about beer and Skittles. 

Homer: Got any of that beer that has candy floating in it? You know, Skittlebrau?

Apu: Such a beer does not exist, sir. I think you must have dreamed it.

Homer: Oh. Well, then just give me a six-pack and a couple of bags of Skittles.

Whose product would you buy?

Professor Layton and the Video Professor 

An anonymous blog aimed at youth voters on the Conservative Web site has noticed a similarity between NDP Leader Jack Layton and John W. Scherer. 

Scherer is better known to most as the Video Professor, whose television commercials receive heavy air play from cable news channels. 

The Tory blog jokingly suggests Scherer's constant presence on television is helping out the NDP campaign, who already have some pretty good festive attack ads airing now.

"So, since there are Elections Canada restrictions that limit how much money registered political parties can spend on campaigning, I think CTV's Newsnet should be limited as to the number of times they air ads for the Video Professor," the Tory blog says.

"I mean, if I walked past the TV, and saw an ad with this mug in it - chances are I would think it's an NDP ad!"


No word yet on rumours that CAW President Buzz Hargrove plans not to use Video Professor this year and instead go with the old standby of Clippit, the Microsoft Office Assistant. 

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