Archive for May, 2008

… unless it’s Mom Boucher.

– Credit Dominic Leblanc –

Wow, Maxime, you really got into it over this one. I guess we know why there are no ministers in the Harper government, just Steve running the show. It’s because when one of them strays too far from the pack, they screw up so badly that it detonates their careers.

I think the question on everyone’s mind is “How did people think this guy was qualified to even warrant a leadership bid?” (Or some variation on that). Is this the Tory Brain Trust that is going to succeed him. If it is, I see a very bright a shining future for the Liberal Party.

This is a concerning trend for me in the Canadian political landscape. I mean, unitl this point, we had largely (The Peter-Belinda thing excluded) been able to keep the personal lives of our polititians and their actions on our behalf seperate. Now, this was a better example before Bernier started comprimising our security, but I think that the news media should be ashamed of itself. This lowers the collective intelligence and level of discourse of this nation.

The media should be a bright forum for the exchange of ideas, not something that panders to the most base instincts in us. Its not there yet, but the road is mapped and we’re revving the engine.

PS. I love Bourque, if only for the moments like this.


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Health care is one of the things that defines what it means to be Canadian. Or system of universal health care, the guarantee that every Canadian has access to the heath care that they require is one of the reasons that I am proudest to be a citizen of this nation. Now, whether or not I think the current system is the best possible or not (it’s not) is somewhat irrelevant, but there are defiantly actions that will make the system worse.

One of those things is the eradication of the health region model in Alberta. Also, since when did central planning, rather than local control, become a conservative value?

Under this current system, the individual health regions are able to integrate. Under the new one, they will camp within their hospitals, and the transferability of patient information will decrease. In general, the quality of patient care in Alberta will suffer.

This misguided action shows yet again that the Progressive Conservatives are well meaning but misguided in their attempt to decrease bureaucracy, implementing a plan which will do nothing but increase the red tape and bureaucratic hangs within the region.

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I am currently reading “Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again” (because how else can we figure out their evil plans) by David Frum, who was at UBC a while back. I like the book, and it has some interesting propositions in it, like “Why don’t we just completely redefine the Republican Party to start doing good for people?”

You’d think I’m exaggerating, but I’m really not.

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I was listening to “The Current” this morning on the way to the airport to fly back to Vancouver, and there was a discussion of the Liberal Carbon Tax proposal. It was interesting for a number of reasons. One, I am now irrevocably convinced that the Carbon Tax is the right thing to do, and that it will mean more money in the pockets of Canadians. I still have my reservations about the way the gas tax portion of the tax would be implemented, but since the price of gas is still too low to spur the market to develop meaningful alternatives, I’m probably going to be fine with anything that raises the price of gas, provided some way to ease the burden for people who cannot pay, or need fuel for things like farm work, can be found. Even Nathan Cullen, the NDP environment critic, called the proposal a fine idea.

Now this is all well and good, but I don’t want to speak to the carbon tax, as that topic is being debated to death everywhere else, which is great, because it reinvigorates the image of the Liberal Party as a party of ideas. What I have a beef with is the actions of David Anderson, the Conservative Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources. He claimed that Dion directly asked Canadians to pony up with their wallets to save the environment.

This is not what Dion said. This is, in fact, the exact opposite of the truth. Now I (unlike Mr. Anderson, apparently) have read or listened to the Dion speeches on the tax proposal. In all of them, he articulates the idea of Tax Shifting, and how, to quote what Dion actually said, and not what Anderson would like to think that Dion said, the tax will be “good for the planet, and good for your wallet”. What Anderson was doing was contributing to the continual erosion of the Canadian Political System. Now, I can think of only two reasons why he would be doing something like this. Anderson is either misinformed, not having bothered to read anything about the tax, which I think is unlikely.

The other option is that this was a malevolent misrepresentation of the truth. Could it be that Anderson was deliberately misquoting Dion to score political points? The history of the Conservative Party seems to suggest that this is indeed possible, as apparently they would like to do what is easiest for them, not what Canada needs. Dion is right when he said that the time has come to do what is right, not to do what is easy. And that means everywhere – political points should be scored by espousing ideas, and not maliciously and ridiculously misquoting your opponents.

This culture of malevolence must be ended. This goes beyond the misrepresentation of the truth – it is a degradation of the great institutions of governance that preside over this nation. Elected MPs should know better.

One more note. When you search for David Anderson’s site on Google, it still comes up as “Canadian Alliance MP for the riding of Cypress Hills-Grasslands.”

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I would think that it would be difficult to find apart that is that much more dysfunctional than the current Liberal Party (although things seem to be improving). However, it turns out all I had to do was look a couple of miles to the south, where we have the Democrats.

Now, the Liberal leadership race got nasty at some points, but never as bad as what is happening in America right now. That said, it seems to be winding down, and it’s about damn time. I am, frankly, amazed that these candidates and their staffs are still alive at this point. Elections are taxing things, and I am impressed that these people have managed to not only stay alive, but also seem to be keeping relatively healthy.

Now, I support Hillary Clinton. I support her because I have faith in experience, I feel that her health care plan is better, and that she has a better chance to win in the fall. However, while she is an incredible number of things: qualified, capable, committed, dedicated, passionate and more, there is one thing that she is not, and that is a potential presidential nominee.

Had the order of the primaries been different, had the Clinton campaign taken their heads out of their asses, had Clinton assumed a full campaign schedule earlier, there might have been a different outcome, one that would have led to a better nation and a better North America. This, however, did not happen, and the Democratic nominee will be, barring calamity, Barack Obama.

It should really be noted that in the event that the aforementioned calamity comes to pass, it probably won’t matter who the Democratic nominee will be, because the winner will be John McCain.

Anyways, hope, for the Clinton campaign, is all that there is left. And, contrary to some previous statements by Obama, there is false hope, and that is what the Clinton camp has. Or not…

I think Hillary Clinton is smarter than that. I think she may have made a decision a number of weeks ago which could make the convention an exciting one. I, like sixty six percent of American Democrats, support an Obama-Clinton ticket, but how would we get one? Barack doesn’t seem to want her on the ticket, but it may not be his choice to make. The Vice Presidency is nominated at the convention, by the delegates, and neither is going to have the lock on pledged delegates that would allow the candidate to dictate his running mate. If Hillary stays in the race, she could conceivably take the VP spot. A more in depth analysis of this scenario is here.

ObamaGirl had it right when she asked Hillary to stop the attacks. It is damaging to the Democratic Party, and creates an election fatigue that will hurt them in the fall. But, if America is going to get the VP it deserves, a tough fighter and dedicated politician – kind of a non-evil, Democrat Dick Cheney. So, stay in the race, and be ready for the people who continue to decry you – it’ll be better for everyone in the end if you decide to take up the mantle and keep fighting the good fight.

Go Hillary Go.

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So, I’m back. After almost an entire year of darkness, I am returning to the blogosphere. Why?

The first part is personal. Mostly, I’m bored, and I like to argue and share my opinions, and this seems to be a decent way to do that. As another facet, I find that writing things down helps me clarify what I think about things.

Second, I think I have something to contribute. Not much, mind you, and I can speak with expert authority on basically nothing, but something to contribute nonetheless. The first blog I started was ‘Betrayal and Trust’, which was some bile spewing entity dedicated to bringing down that sorry excuse for a parliamentarian, David Emerson, after his post-election betrayal. The second was largely started because the blogosphere needed more Liberal blogs, and I wanted to put a pro-Dion Albertan voice out there.

Now, it really is all about me. I’m just going to post on anything that catches my eye – most of it will be political, some will not. A large portion will be Canadian, but having become rather ensorcled by the US Presidential race, I’m sure some of that will sneak in as well.

The name of the blog comes from a quote from Prime Minister King, who remarked that Canada was, unlike other nations which have too much history, Canada has too much geography. Thanks for stopping by.

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