Monthly Archives: February 2014
The Harper government has introduced a significant piece of legislation to address issues with elections in Canada. Called the Fair Elections Act, the legislation is more than 200 pages in length and contains some serious changes, some of which go to the heart of our constitutional rights as citizens.
One proposed change is to take away the right to vote from any Canadian citizen who lives outside of the country for five years or more. To my way of thinking this is more than simply administrative reform. This takes away a right of citizenship and, in fact, will create classes of citizenship where some have more or less rights than others.
That’s merely my opinion and others may hold differing positions but it is an issue and a proposed legislation that is serious enough that Canadians from all sides of the political spectrum should be permitted to have some input into whether or not they agree with all provisions of the bill. Continue reading
After a few years of telling us how badly off Canadian were, the media and others are now hard at work telling us how good we’ve got it. It pretty much confirms that the herd instinct is alive and well but thinking beyond the obvious isn’t.
The latest kick is to tell us how much progress the ‘middle class’ has made and if you do the same kind of shallow analysis that some media pundits have published lately, you’d draw the same conclusion.
To be clear: Stats Canada has reported significant increases in both disposable income and net worth in the middle class over the past decade. It is only the bottom of the food chain that has fallen backwards economically and by as much as 25%: this despite the perception that they are living high off the hog on the minimum wage and government (taxpayer) largesse. But, as anyone who works with data will tell you, the stats only tell part of the story and often not very accurately.
The first question that comes to mind is this. If we are all, except the poor, doing so much better, why are so many so upset about taxes? The second question is why are so many struggling to meet their financial obligations and why are bankruptcies rising? Continue reading
As if anyone is actually surprised, once again Justin Trudeau only opened his mouth to change feet. Hard on the heels of a reasonably successful policy convention that was long on policy ideas but somewhat short on how to pay for some – well – any of them actually; Canada’s Peter Pan threw out yet another notably absurd comment. It’s become one of those consistencies in life that you grow to depend upon.
And Justin Trudeau never disappoints.
He once referred to the use of the word barbarous in relationship to female gender mutilation as being harsh. I suspect that if someone took a sharp knife to his naughty parts without anesthetic he might have a better understanding of the words barbarous and harsh.
But I digress. Continue reading
I’m going through a bit of emotional turmoil this morning. I came out of my painting studio to find Maggie watching the gold medal hockey game between Canada and Sweden. You have to understand how significant this is.
Maggie hates hockey. She wouldn’t go to see the Senators play if we were given free front row, centre ice tickets and somebody else offered to pay the $300 it costs for a beer and a hotdog.
But, there she is; eyes glued to the television watching the game as if she had been a fan all of her life. She’s even taken to calling the score out to me when somebody gets a goal.
I’ve retreated to the library and think I must be the only person in Canada not watching the game. Continue reading
The Liberal Party of Canada kicked off its National Policy Convention yesterday with a barn-burner of a speech by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau – if it was a very small barn. For a profession (and I use that term loosely) like politics which relies heavily on inspirational oratory, we’re almost penniless these days.
Politics has become vicious, overly partisan, and about as inspirational as over-cooked asparagus.
We no longer have any of the great orators; the great speakers we once had. Now it’s all talking points targeted to small, special interest groups identified by overly-analyzed polls. It is not only dividing us it is eroding our democracy. Continue reading
My post about the cognitive dissonance resonating within many conservatives seems to have struck a chord – or at least, a discord.
In particular, it was the current brouhaha over the $72,000 incurred by General Leslie for relocating expenses when he retired and sold one house to move within the same city to another. My issue yesterday was not that the program isn’t flawed – it most definitely is. My issue was with the way the Harper government is handling the situation.
Let’s back it up for a moment. Continue reading