Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Want A Coalition!

Although I support a coalition with the NDP in order to get rid of Harper. This belief of mine comes to a halt of the question is whether I support a coalition with the NDP to make Jack Layton the PM. I think the NDP have an okay platform, but some of there policies are too much. The NDP would want so many more government programs that it would not be sustainable unless you raise taxes by much more then they are currently saying. We clearly need a party that is fiscally responsible while still providing more programs. This party is the Liberals. But if we get 3rd place in parliament, and the NDP want a coalition to form a Government I would support it. Because I support having the NDP part of a Liberal Government, and I support having the Liberals part of a NDP government. Anything is better than Harper. Although I don't want us to sell out. We should support the NDP only as long as they compromise on parts of there platform and don't go off spending multiple billion of dollars without paying for it. Now if there was a Bloc party holding the balance of power I would support having them a part of the coalition, but just like the 2008 coalition deal they would have to set aside Quebec independence. What I hope does come out of a coalition is IRV or any other proportional representative voting methods. The NDP support some sort of proportional representation. I hope if we have a coalition that the NDP passes some sort of proportional representation. I think that no matter what happens on May 2nd all the political parties should look at eliminating Harper as the PM of Canada. But if the NDP don't compromise then any of my support for a coalition is out! A merger would be even worse, and shouldn't be discussed.

Friday, April 29, 2011

What Happen's May 2nd

Personly i am a little skeptical of the polls. But let's say for argument sake that the NDP get 27-30% of the vote come election day and the Liberals get there 22% (let's say). Current projection are a little shaky. At Threehudredandeight.com the projection still have the Liberals at 2nd place and the NDP at 47, but Ekos has the NDP at 98 seats! That leaves a heck of a lot of gray. The Liberal are projected to get 74 seats or as low 56 seats. This leaves a bit of a surprise on May 2nd. If the Liberals get the Threehudredandeight.com projections the House of Commons would be very similar. In fact the Conservative would get 143 seats exactly. Now I think Threehudredandeight.com is being a little to pesemistic on the projections. Ekos is a little to optomistic. So here are my projection provided that the polls stay the same. I think the Conservatives will get 140 about where they were last election maybe picking up a few seats in the Atlantic and Ontario, because of Newfoundland, but losing any gains in Quebec and BC. The NDP at 60 seats grabbing a lot in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario with maybe a few grabs here and there in the other provinces. The Liberals will get 65 seats even though the Liberals will lose the vote they will still get more seats, because we still lead in Ontario, but it's not that the Liberals are doing better it is because I think the Bloc will hang on even with current polls to many of there seats, because the NDP will just spread there support throught the province that they will only grab a seats in the Ridings were last election the winner got 35% of the vote or less. The Bloc will get 40 seats No real suprise (polls have them at about 25%) they lost seats in the province, but they will still get the majority of the seats, Because NDP support will be devided throught the province that the Bloc will hold on to the majority. The Independents will get 2 one in Quebec in Potiac and one in Ontario with Helena Guergis (Although most projection have her losing I think that she will win, because there aren't any pols on her riding itself). The Greens may just beat the Bloc in the national vote according to polls they are either just ahead by a point or behind by 2%, but more important the Greens according to local polls will get there first seat in BC.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Harper Quotes: Too Late?

The Liberals have hit the jackpot; but has it come too late in the campaign?

The party has obtained a 500 page book on Harper's quotes. No, not the visionary, good ones, but the controversial ones. All compiled by the Tories back in 2003. My personal favourite is:

"It's [proportional representation] certainly an option. Electoral reform is an option is an option I would look at. Proportional representation probably wouldn't be my first choice, but it's something that I think the party should look at as an option and I think we should change the current system."

So, where is my rep-by-pop? Harper did not make one attempt to change the current system since he took power. With the rise of the NDP, the first-past-the post system now favours the Conservatives who can rule with a plurality in many ridings that they would not have under PR or at least Instant Run-Off. Stephen Harper was right: the FPTP vote is unfair. We must install a new, fairer method of election.

But, has this breakthrough came to late in the election campaign? We will only know on election night. With the Liberals looking pretty dim in the polls, we must hope that these quotes can help the "boot Harper out" cause.

You can download the book here.
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Way To Go Greens!

Every election 1993-2008 the Green party has been rowing in support, Reaching new heights in 2004 when they got 4.5% of the vote and in 2008 were they were just 15% behind of getting a seat in Central Nova. This election they may just get what they deserve. In Sannich Gulf Island the Green party released a poll showing that Elisabeth May is 7% above the Conservative Gary Lunn! This means that the Green party could get there very first seat in 2010. Although Polls have the Greens at around the same support they had last election this is probably because Elisabeth May strategy this election was to stay more in here own riding. I wish the Greens well in May 2nd in Sannich Gulf Island, but I hope that Green party supporters across the country understand that in some close riding's were Harper could get his majority it would be the best to vote for the Liberals. In 2008 Elisabeth May said on CBC that what she wanted in 2008 was a Liberal Minority government with some Green party members.  I think having Green party members in Ottawa will help push the focus to the environment and also a carbon tax. But the Best way to get rid of Harper May 2nd is to vote Liberal in some parts of the country and vote Green in Sannich Gulf Island. We must vote strategically to get rid of Harper splitting the left wing vote is what Harper wants.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Make Some Noise for Quiet Trains

High speed rail has not made much noise throughout this election campaign. It seems that parties are much more content to talk about the economy, health care, education and the usual instead of big infrastructure projects like bullet trains. Because apparently, Canadians are not concerned with fast transportation. They probably aren't, but high speed rail could provide many benefits to Canada and to parties that seek to talk more about it.

The economic benefits for Canada may not seem clear at first. Why would building a rail line spur permanent economic growth? Consider this: by making cities virtually closer together and therefore jobs much closer together, we will have a mobile workforce capable of getting from city centre to city centre much faster. This is in addition to the thousands of construction jobs created by the initial project and permanent jobs maintaining the rail line. Airplanes do not do this as airports are more frequently situated on city boundaries and not downtown like rail stations.

There are a few benefits I can think of for parties who seek to talk about high speed rail. Firstly, that party would be able to repeatedly show that as an example of their devotion to building a sustainable future for Canada. It would also show them as a party that will spur job creation and stimulate the economy. Finally, it would provide that party with that "vision" aspect that everyone wants. Supporting a project of this size to bring Canada closer together would surely benefit political parties.

So far, the only party that has talked at length about this issue is the Green Party. If others were to talk about it and commit to actually building high speed rail lines instead of study after study, they would, in my opinion garner more support.
While the idea of high-speed rail remains little more than a good idea along the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, it's a way of life in Japan. That country recently launched the "Huyabusa," a bullet train capable of speeds of 186 mph that's equipped with a businessclass carriage modelled on airliner cabins.
Read more at the Windsor Star.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Carbon Tax Re-Explained (Libertarian Edition) Part 2

                      Now to continue to refute another point that my friend has brought out which is that he believes that there is no way to monitor how much CO2 was used to make a product in a foreign country when it comes in, But it isn't hard to monitor something that is already monitored. First China is going to have a carbon tax in 2012, and many countries already have a carbon tax including some U.S states. Next when a carbon tax will be introduced it will have to clearly state that shops that distribute a product that was made overseas will have to now report how much Co2 they emitted over seas and tax it when in comes in the border. Another false statement is the ideology that oil will last for another 120 years. Under current consumption which is rising dramatically every year as the world becomes more urbanized and developing countries start to need more resources Oil will be needed. The most oil can last for will be another 47 years. Even with more oil reserves found oil can't last much longer these oil reserves are predicted to be in remote places were no country has right over and even if they do the extraction cost would be very high. This just proves oil is unsubstantial. My Libertarians solution to it is allow the free markets to handle it. His theory is that Oil will gradually rise in prices and eventually it will be to expensive to use it so we will move to another source of energy. Thing is if our economy is dependent on fossil fuels now and will be unless something is done if we let the free markets work oil will rise so high that economy would crash, and we wouldn't have the time to shift to cleaner resources, because we waited to long. Canada has to institute a carbon tax now!
                      
                    One last point My Libertarian friend mentioned that Canada only emits 0.00000244666% this is a lie. Canada actually emits 2.3% of the worlds emissions although that is relatively small, but Canada is the 8th largest emitter and every other country of the world must reduce their CO2 emissions accordingly we can't just keep pointing at the biggest polluters which includes technically Canada for being responsible to reduce Co2 Emissions.

The Carbon Tax Re-Explained (Libertarian Edition) Part 1

                   In this post I will re-explain why a carbon tax is a good idea, but this time I will refute the arguments of my Libertarian friend. First my friend said that a carbon tax only worked in Sweden, because  Sweden is has a very capitalist economy. That isn't completely true. First Sweden has the second largest tax burden in the world, and over 80% of it's workers are unionized. The Government of Sweden doesn't allow the free market to go anywhere without intervention. My Blogger friend also said that Sweden had lower growth then other Scandinavian countries. This isn't true again. When a Carbon tax came in place in Sweden in 1991 the Swedish economy was valued at 258 billion and right before the recession the economy was worth 458 billion the growth of Sweden during these years was 78%! Other Scandinavian countries like Norway grew  during the same time period grew by 276%, but Norway was the first country in the 1990's to instate a carbon tax. That only leaves Finland which doesn't have a carbon tax and who's economy at the same time as Sweden and Norway grew  about 116%. So clearly even with a carbon tax an economy can still grow.
                  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why I am against a Carbon Tax

//For the sake of argument, we will assume that CO2 and other GHGs are bad This will be a rebutal to what vanillaman posted earlier. Firstly, the small point: 1) at no point did I make any reference or allusion to unions. I support the unions' right to exist. I believe that unions are a way that workers can get what they want, them not always having highly desired skills the same way, say, a programmer might. While a highly skilled programmer threatening to go to a competitor might be a strong argument, a waiter doing the same might not have the same power. That said, I don't stand for forced participation, or laws saying that a union must be respected, or any other laws protecting unions from consequences of their actions (like not being able to give raises not negotiated for by unions, or not being able to hire outside the union). 2)Sweden is a poor example. Sweden has a hodgepodge of different regulations. I can use Sweden to prove my point too: Sweden has one of the most open capitalist policies anywhere, they have embraced globalization, and they have one of the lowest inflation rates. Thus proving that an open-capitalist economy, provided it stays that way, is able to support much more than a socialist economy (we do have marketing boards). On top of that, Sweden's growth is mediocre compared to the other countries in Scandinavia, and especially when compared to other countries. 3) citing someone from the federal reserve scares me. The Federal Reserve (hereafter referenced as the FED) is responsible for just about all the recessions and depressions since it was founded. Here is a good video explaining how, in rap battle format. Essentially, the FED sets bond interest rates low, which encourages lending (because more money can be made by lending it out than keeping it in bonds). The problem is that much of this lending should never have happened because the client's business model never made sense (whether it simply didn't, or didn't fit the role or time it was in. See the junk bonds; they have a use, but it was not all over the market.). Now that the small points have been dealt with, I will move on to the larger points, going from easiest to hardest. The last point made was about how regulations were what kept Canada's economy from going the way of that of the US. Firstly, the United States mandated that banks not turn down loans for virtually anybody. This was born out of the thought that everyone had the right to own a home. Because there was this regulation (see, I told you there was regulation) banks had to lend out to people who could never afford to pay back the mortgage. Now more than a few banks saw this as a highly profitable sector, provided it didn't implode. Perhaps it was some greedy people who did much of the spearheading, but it was also the FED (another instance of government fiddling with the economy) that allowed the housing boom in the first place. When it crashed, it was not an all too unforeseeable event. Also, if regulations are the way to go, and should be indiscriminately adopted (as is hinted in the article), then Greece should be the leading player after the economy, along with the other STUPID and PIIGS (and the other acronyms) countries. But wait; those countries are either still on those lists, or are swirling around the toilet bowl, waiting until they get sucked down it. On to the next point. vanillaman suggests that it is better to do it now than when our society is addicted to oil. While the thought is nice, and the logic seems all pristine, it is wrong. The basic logic of his claim is that we should leave a margin. First, society is addicted to oil. I recently saw a bumper sticker on a truck that read, "If you have it, a truck brought it". How true. To prove it, look at whatever you buy. Then see if all the materials came from within your neighborhood, or at least within biking distance. My point exactly. I will now argue that a margin is not necessary, because one is already present. Firstly, oil isn't running out, environmentalists are getting in the way. My evidence: the Bituminous Sands, Shale Gas. All are nearing the point where their technologies reach the point where it is almost completely safe to extract. (And if we removed the, oh yes, regulations that protect companies from people suing them for property damage, companies would have accountability for their actions.) Shale gas will soon be safe within acceptable limits (like the rate at which planes, in good maintenance, crash due to factors other than the pilot. That is to say about never). This will, on top of the remaining oil-fields being pumped, get us through at least 40 years (especially with the world population reaching the top of the S-curve population growth, where growth slows down). Then we can start pumping through the currently untapped but proven oil reserves, for another 10 to 30 years. By that time, we will have confirmed at least some of the unproven oil fields, guesstimated at being 40 to 50 years of oil. This adds up to a 90 to 120 year margin, all on the assumption that we find no other fields not included in the unproven category. I personally feel that this is an acceptable margin to perfect the existing bacteria that synthesize oil out of CO2, as well as all the other horribly less efficient technologies, like solar power and other fuel cells, as well as a good form of alternate, renewable fuel. One of the problems with a carbon tax is that it will raise the price of goods and services. Because of this, companies will take their setups to other places, where there isn't a tax. The foreign countries will also have a competitive edge since they don't have a tax. So the proposed solution would be to add a tax on to the products as they come in. Problem: how would you find that out? Would you just go, "A cabbage head cost X cents in carbon, so we'll charge X cents per cabbage head"? Or would you go, "You imported this from a country that is less efficient than us in carbon output. Therefore we will assume that your cabbage head used more carbon, and tax it more"? How on Earth would you find that out? Also, If you were to take either course of action you would negate the stated benefit, namely that it would incentivise "Green" production. So there is no satisfactory solution to imports, and every developed country is far from self sufficient 100% of the time. Another problem with the proposed solution is associating the cost of the carbon inside the product with the tax credit that is given. Will the tax credits be given according to taxes paid? So if a person pays $100 in taxes, they might only get $1, but if someone pays $100,000 in taxes, they will get $1,000. Or will it be a flat distribution, so everyone gets X dollars? In the current form, the plan is little more than a dream, because it has no idea how it will do any of its components. As if that weren't enough, the system is ready to be exploited. After all, aren't some products worse than others? If someone buys a Hummer, and someone else buys a hybrid, why should they both still have to pay some of the tax? Why not tax the Hummer into oblivion, and then use that money for the good of society? Isn't that the whole reason for the carbon tax, a way of paying off the social price of the carbon emissions? The possibility for this to be exploited by special interests who would normally not be competitive enough to survive is huge. After all, who wouldn't want their product to be subsidized to a point where the competition has no way of competing? Or even have their product mandated to be bought, even when one buys from the competitor? Oh, wait. It's called ethanol. Who doubts that ethanol will get special treatment because it is a "Green" product. I hope that, by demonstrating that the stated premise for the carbon tax was flawed, and by explaining how the whole plan is unrefined and the key mechanics left up to the imagination, I have offered at least reasonable doubt that a carbon tax is not a good solution. As further proof, let me introduce the futility of it: Canada's GHG output was about 734 Mt; China's was 6,100,000,000 Mt. China is opening a new coal-fired power plant every week until 2018. Canada emits 0.00000244666% of the world's GHGs.

NDP's Double Standard!

 Jack Layton says that the Liberals don't support a national pharmacare system that is somewhat true. The Liberals support buying in bulk the drugs so that they can get it for a cheaper price instead of each province buying individually. The idea of buying in bulk is a main component of a pharmacare system, but the Liberal party not even the NDP have a national universal pharmacare system in there platform. I support a national pharmacare system. It is substantial cost effective, and lowers the raise in drug prices.a universal drug plan would save the federal government 10 billion in health care spending. (That's enough for Harper to buy his mega prisons). But the NDP have a double standard they are attacking the Liberals for having no national pharmacare in there platform yet the NDP platform on drugs is practically the same to the Liberals. It's like Harper saying that Canada can't afford the Liberal plans for families, and still spend billions on mega prisons and fighter jets (wait a minute). The NDP and the Conservatives are playing double standards accusing the Liberals for not having a good platform when the NDP platform on drugs is very similar and the conservative plan on the deficit makes no sense compared to the fiscal responsible plan of the Liberals.

Read more about a national pharmacare system here
Read more about the NDP on Pharmacare here

Friday, April 22, 2011

Carbon Tax Explained!

My Libertarian friend is at it again. Saying that Government has no role to play in the economy. He says it's the unions and regulation that are holding the country back. His latest post attacked a carbon tax. Let me explain what my blogger friend may not understand. First a carbon tax isn't taxing the regular consumer. It taxes industries that pollute, and gives every cent in income tax reduction to regular Canadians. But a carbon tax isn't just taking money from you then gives it back to you no. Julia Gillard the Prime Minister of Australia best explains it here . As you can see a carbon tax will make products more expensive and the tax cuts from the carbon tax will make the net total 0. You lose no money! But companies that innovate and make there products using less Co2 will get taxed less and can reduce there prices to get an advantage when it comes to prices against there competitor. So you save consumers money and you sort of push companies to innovate so that they can remain competitive. In fact the OECD even recommended Canada to have a carbon tax and reduce income tax. In Sweden where they have a carbon tax of 150$ per ton saw there economy actually grow not diminish like my Libertarian friend thinks will happen. We shouldn't wait for oil prices to raise naturally so high that consumers will start to change there habits. We need to do it now so our economy isn't so addicted to oil when it runs out. Even Former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker suggested (February 6, 2007) that "it would be wiser to impose a tax on oil, for example, than to wait for the market to drive up oil prices." If we just allow the markets to solve our problems, and take off government regulations Canada's banks would have gone under like the U.S banks did. The Canadian government set regulations so that there wouldn't be a sub prime mortgage crisis.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My friends don't know anything about economics!

I have heard many crazy things, said seriously, by my friends. Most recently and scarily was the suggestion that, to curb inflation's primary driver (oil), we add a tax to it. Allow me to explain why that is wrong on so many levels. Tax, but pay back The idea was that a tax would be imposed on fuel, but it would go towards compensating people for the higher price. That is like mugging someone at a gas station for 20$, but giving them a 19$ gas card (some gets lost to taxation and bureaucracy). It doesn't matter that the mugger gives most of it back: they still stole from you. But even assuming that there is no inefficiency (and this tax is not taxed by the sales tax), it makes no sense. It would be like charging someone 20$ for service, but handing the bill back as an instant rebate. If a charge is paid back by the charger, does it even exist? But because of inefficiency, it will exist; the charged will be the loser. The rising price is enough Just by the very fact that the price is going up, and the market trend is that it will continue to rise, is incentive enough. It does not take a genius to figure out that one of the largest pillars of the world (it is responsible for just about all the food on the market, as well as the delivery of just about every product) is a large market, ready for a cheaper solution. The open market is more likely to get it right It is a simple probability thing: if one person (in the legal sense) roles a ten-sided die, one in ten times she will get a ten. But if one million people each role a die, 100,000 will get a ten. It is simply better to let the open market determine the actual correct price, purely statistically speaking. Then, once someone has the right price, all others will be forced to meet or exceed this number. Those who get it or better get business; those who don't get none (assuming that all other factors are controlled for. This means that oil will cost more on Ellesmere island than it would, say, right next to the oil refinery in Alberta). On top of that, the people in the market have two things that the governors of the market will never have: boots on the ground, and immediate consequences. These people's jobs are to judge the optimal price, and they suffer the consequences when they get it wrong (less right than the competition). Bureaucrats have no hope of ever acquiring that knowledge, and, because they are not dependant on getting it right for their jobs and income, no incentive to perform. It's not our job It really isn't the job of government to be encouraging and discouraging various practices that do not infringe on the rights of other. As explained above, a bureaucrat has no chance against the open market, and his efforts will only further mess up the economy (see the abnormally high price of dairy products, courtesy of the dairy marketing board. Also see the ethanol boondoggle in the US; even Al Gore admits he backed it to support his buddies in the farming business). Because of this, it just doesn't make sense to go around managing economies, and so it shouldn't be a role of government (the same way heavy-machinery operators don't work in chemistry labs: they could, and might even have the occasional success, but it would just be better to leave that job for chemists). I hope that I have provided a good case against increasing taxes on oil. The idea of a tax who's proceeds go to those who pay it to pay the tax is absurd an inefficient. The rising price is incentive enough to spur innovation, and, left on its own, the open market will get the right price better than a meddling bureaucrat. Because of this, it would be best to leave the free market to do its thing, and rectify the situation if it needs correcting, and determine that on its own. Remember, even if there is no demand, people will always fiddle and explore: gasoline was originally discarded because no-one could find anything to do with it, and then along came the internal combustion engine (an oversimplification, I know).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harper is addicted to lying

Harper again said that this is an unnecessary election! Maybe Harper forgot why we have an election. The reason we have an election is because Harper was held in contempt of Parliament. meaning Harper broke the rules of Parliament. So the opposition like any in the world couldn't have confidence in a party and government that doesn't follow the rules and lie's about numbers and figures that are very important to Canadian people. This election is necessary Harper, because we need to get rid of man who breaks the laws and rules! As Harper said in 2006 "it's time to demand better". Well yes MR. Harper it is time to demand better! It's time to elect a different government! Harper is lying all the time! He is addicted to lying. He isn't even blinking when he lies he looked straight at the crowds face and practically told them that there was no reason to call an election.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Solution to inflation!

The main driver of inflation this last month was oil prices! Which is rising , because of the tension in the oil rich middle east. Now if there is more unrest in a few more middle eastern nations oil is going to go up more and more. The truth is even if the middle east was very quite and in peace oil prices would still go up, because the demand is rising and the supply is getting smaller every single day. Since oil is driving up inflation it makes sense to try to curve the demand of oil so that the increase at least isn't that high. A way to reduce demand is a carbon tax which reduces demand of oil based industries. But reducing demand isn't the only solution we need to turn to cleaner energy like solar wind and hydro. We need to have other sources of transport for our food, because if we continue to bring our food by truck and other oil based transport they will be more effected by inflation and oil prices. The solution to this invest in inner city production of food, but also a viable high speed rail hat can transport goods and people and not pollute.Climate change will also effect prices, because with more extreme weather our supply of food won't be good and the demand will always increase.  ,If we continue with the Harper ideology that there is no climate change, and big tax cuts to the oil sands that pollute and no investments for our transport inflation will continue to rise!

Split the Vote and Support Harper

In Canada, we do not have a fair voting system such as Instant Run-Off or Single Transferable Vote. Our first-past-the-post system makes it possible that a plurality, not a majority, rules while the winner takes all. In many ridings, the Conservatives win because people decide to vote for the NDP or the Bloc or any other party except the Liberals

In most constituencies and especially in Quebec, this is true. The Bloc will never form a government and will never be able to provide the same kind of representation that the Liberals can. If you do not want the Tories in power for another four years, voting Liberal is the best option.
As NDP support continues to rise in the polls, will the left-wing vote splitting phenomenon be a serious game changer and prove to be a boon for the Tories in their quest for a majority? 
While it's not unusual for the New Democrats to experience a surge during a campaign — Jack Layton often outperforms his competitors in the English-language debate, resulting in a spike — experts say it usually peters out come election day.
Read more: http://www.canada.com/news/decision-canada/Divided+Harper+stands+left+wing+split+could+return+Conservatives+power/4637362/story.html#ixzz1JwV74ojw

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lie again

Harper in all his ads is saying that the Liberals would want a ipod tax that would total 75$. First such a tax would be very extreme considering a classic ipod cost around 200$ this tax would be very high. Higher than the sales tax combined! The thing is the Liberals don't want an ipod tax the so called Liberal tax on ipods is just made up. I know Harper likes to make up his own truth, but come on! A tax on ipods! The Conservatives might as well say that Ignatieff supports sending Canadians to the moon. The word iPod I don't even think is even mentioned in the whole Liberal party platform. The Conservatives are desperate I see since they have nothing to really attack Ignatieff on they are just going to make up stuff now.This is lie number 1,000,000 (I think maybe he is lying more), but I will keep keeping the conservatives accountable to there lies during the election and hopefully I won't have to after the election.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tories Muzzle Voters

The Tories do not want you to vote. In fact, they will go as far as trying to declare your vote null and void. This was demonstrated this week when the Conservatives wrote Elections Canada to have advanced votes from University of Guelph students not allowed.

The Tories' argument is that the voting station was not authorized and therefore, the votes should not be allowed. They're right, but why should students be penalized for mistakes made by the officer in charge. They were just trying to get a better chance of winning the riding by annulling 700 votes by students who would most likely vote Liberal or NDP. It is not right to be doing this and even they realize it. After they made their initial complaint, Guy Giorno then said that it was OK to let the votes through.
THORNHILL—All party leaders are urging voters — especially young voters — to turn out in droves to cast a ballot on May 2. 
But only one party appears to have an interest in driving down the participation of 18-to-24-year-olds in this campaign, says an expert on youth voting patterns. And now the Conservative Party is facing an allegation of election tampering after trying to have 700 votes cast by students earlier this week at the University of Guelph declared null and void.
Read more at the Toronto Star.
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Friday, April 15, 2011

I Agree With A Libratarian!

My Blogger friend the "Libertarian" (lilatomic) has an opinion that's a bit controversial, but quite frankly I "somewhat" agree with what he is saying. Now somewhat is very vague so let me explain. First I don't think rich people are bad people. I mean some of them could be, but just because someone is rich doesn't mean that they are bad people. Now I agree increasing taxes on the rich isn't going to fully balance the budget. But it has to be done! I think all the Bush tax cuts should be eliminated. Now that isn't enough to balance the budget. What will have to happen is to not only eliminate the Bush Tax cuts, but also to raise the retirement age and think about either a sales tax, cut military funding and cut medicare (which I don't suggest). If the U.S eliminates the Bush tax cuts, makes a sales tax and cuts the military they will be able to balance the budget. I don't think Rich people have no role in the economy I think (lilatomic) is right in what he says that rich people put money in the bank. Although that helps the economy as it gives money for the bank to invest in order for banks to actually give money to people to make small business there needs to be people who aren't rich (or they would have the money themseleves) that are finicially liable in order to take a loan, because if they are dead poor the bank won't give them a loan. The idea that giving rich people money to put in the bank helps create small business isn't 100% true. There needs to be people who are middle class to be loaned that money by the bank. We can't have these middle class people start a business if they don't make money. So the easier way to start a business is to have a middle class. But with the Bush tax cuts the average income of the middle class and the poor has shrank so the tax cuts didn't even work! The top 400 Americans make more money then the bottom 50% of the U.S. The rich are doing fine in the U.S they should be taxed 50% not the low 35% they are currently taxed. Because it is either taxing the rich or cutting programs for the middle class and poor which won't help the economy. Now I think in order to balance the budget the poor and middle class need to give up a few things too, but the Rich should be the first to pay then we work are way down. The middle class are the people who work the economy. If we continue with Bush policy that shrank average income the main driving force of the U.S the middle class (the small business people) then the economy can't grow and yes if no one takes a loan in the U.S the money will stay in a vault. I am sure people who are rich worked hard to get there, bur many patrotic millinaires told Obama last year to raise there taxes so that they could help reduce the deficit. I agree with lilatomic that eliminating the tax cuts to the rich won't balance the budget, and I believe that the rich have a role to play in the economy, but what I disagree with is that just giving money to the rich won't help the economy. What helps the economy is having a strong middle class and the way to achieve a strong middle class the U.S needs to raise the minimum wage encourage unions not discourage. The problem in the U.S is that the rich are getting too much at th expense of the poor, although money for the rich helps banks have money to loan out. If instead of that money going to one rich person the economy would do much better going to a poorer person. Because buying products helps the economy more than putting money in the bank that won't be loaned out, because the middle class is getting poorer in the U.S. And unless the rich pay there fair share then the economy can't grow.

It's Gettin Close!

In the latest polls have the Liberals winning Ontario by a small margin, but the first poll to give the Liberals a win in quite a while in the rich seat region of Ontario. In the national view the the lead is shrinking. The poll has Harper 5% above the Liberals. This could put us back to the small minority years of 2006. Although I hope Ignatieff will form government a much smaller Harper minority may be what Canada has to deal with for another 2 years. But if some polls are any indications we may be heading towards a Liberal Government. Although this is no where near possible, There is still about 3 weeks of campaigning left. And we have yet to see a poll after the debate's, and the debate's are one of the major events of the campaign. Even if we don't win a government we will absolutely be the strong opposition and the clear alternative to the Harper Goverment in "Harper's" democracy.

Read more here

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can you do math?

The idea that the Bush tax cuts are the reason of the deficit is just wrong. Allow me to demonstrate.
The math
How annoying the facts get in the way. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimated that extending the tax cuts would cost 2.8 trillion dollars for extending them through to 2017 (from 2007). But these are the cuts for everyone. The "rich" bracket tax cuts will cost about 700 billion for the ten years. That's 70 billion per year. But yes, that 70 billion will magically solve the 1,480 billion dollar deficit (this is just an estimate; imagine the actual deficit). So that would only leave 1,410 billion dollar deficit. (As a tangent, the richest people in the US no longer have enough total combined assets to pay off the deficit for one year.)
Idle money
If you think that the money could be better spent helping small businesses, you don't know how banks work. When a rich person (or any person) has money, they don't just put in under a mattress or in a safe. That would lose money (because of inflation) at a rate between 3 and 5 percent. So they seek elsewhere to put it. One option is to invest it in the stock market. The upside is that one can make significant increases, often out-pacing inflation. The downside is that one stands to lose money (called risk), and it is not easy to pull small amounts of money out from the market (one needs to find a buyer). One could also invest it in bonds, but the risk of loss is traded for lower returns. The last option (leaving out investments in hard commodities) is to place one's holdings in a bank, which will pay moderate rates for very low risk.
But the bank doesn't make money by paying you interest, and holding on to your cash. They loan it out, or invest in (which is also like loaning it). This money does not sit idle in a bank vault, collecting dust, waiting to be withdrawn. It gets re-invested, helping those small businesses, either by buying stocks in the public ones or giving loans to the private ones.
Bar stool economics
I could explain what this is here, or I could just link to a video. As explained in the video, the rich already pay most of the taxes, and it is logical that a tax cut for the rich will end up being a larger dollar value, because it is of a larger amount.
I hope I have offered up a convincing case to at least end the rich bashing for a few days. The idea that it is the rich that are bringing down the US is flawed to its core. In my opinion, it is overbearing government, supported by both big businesses and big unions, that is killing the country. If it were simply easier to start a business, it would be easier to become wealthy, and then the divide would be lessened, allowing good people to rise to the top, and not just those who were there first (who are being unwittingly entrenched by the well-meaning but misguided regulators).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

U.S Goverment Nearly Falls!

While we talk about our government falling, right under us below the U.S government is just inches away from closing. In the U.S there is a debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is how high the U.S debt can be, and if it goes to the limit the government shutdown. The solutions are currently band-aid solution were the government cuts little tiny pieces here and there to delay the day when the debt reaches it's limit. The thing is discretionary spending only makes up 12% of the budget so just cutting here and there isn't good enough. An easy solution would of course be to raise the debt ceiling. Which means you raise the debt limit. The Republicans don't want to do it so it can't happen. Here is a solution how about finally take back the Bush tax cuts. Or at least the rich. The Republicans are quite happy to cut spending on the poor and food stamps, but the rich billionaires are the one's who are really in need. It is sick twisted way of looking at things. The Republicans are almost saying that it is the poor people's fault they are in a deficit. The U.S needs to reform. By ending the Bush tax cuts, raise the retirement age, and you already made significant cuts. The l;longer the U.S remains in deficit the higher the interest on the debt will be. In 2020 the U.S main expenditure could be the interest on the debt. Yeah not Medicare or social security, but the number #1 thing Republicans love to talk about. The Republicans need to look in the mirror. They are the one's who cause the deficit and now they want to fix it, by cutting help for the poor, because the rich are in so much need!

The Debate is Summed Up in One Word

Boring.

The outcome of the debate was completely predictable. Each leader was just repeating what they have been saying for the past few months. Harper kept saying that the economy was the main focus. Ignatieff hit hard on government transparency and Layton was his usual self, saying only the NDP are competent. Gilles Duceppe... was Gilles Duceppe.

Even though some people might claim there was a "winner" to this debate, I do not think there was. Every leader made good points, but there was no sustained attack or depth attack. It was a politician's heaven: an attack free-for-all.

As for the performance, Ignatieff did better than I thought he would, though I would have liked him to spend less time attacking Harper and more time explaining Liberal policies.Stephen Harper was pretty good, standing his ground, mostly by completely denying what his opponents said. I did not think Jack Layton did a good job of showing the NDP as a true alternative. Gilles Duceppe was the only one who provided entertaining parts as he has nothing to lose in the English debate.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The "platform" of Harper.

I read throw the Harper platform, and I was shocked! First they made a stupid Co2 target yet again. The sentence that was used the most was "the Ignatieff led coalition". Which again Harper should know a coalition is very legal in Canada. A liberal coalition is more democratic then a corrupt in contempt Conservative government. The Conservatives are promising an even more rosy deficit projection. Saying that there will be a surplus a year in advance. While the parliamentary Budget office is saying there is a structural deficit. The Conservative have no way to pay for there tax cuts to the richest companies, 10 billions in mega prisons and 30 billion in jets. How can we reach surplus if we keep spending crazy like that. Harper solution would probably be to cut into our health care and give us a more Bush health care system. Probably say that companies are taxed to much and continue to reduce taxes on the multinationals while giving nothing to t he average Canadian. If the Conservatives get a majority it will be terrible for Canada. And we will eventually hopefully elect the Liberals to balance the budget again. We need to get rid of the Conservatives how we do that. Elect the Liberals! They balance the budget, they spend responsibly and they help hard working Canadians.

Tories Lie Again

There have been leaked reports from Auditor-General Sheila Fraser. The contents do not surprise me. The draft shows that the Tories passed a bill in Parliament meant to relieve congestion at the border. All parties were in agreement with it and so it was approved. Then, Steamboat, um, Industry Minister Tony Clement chose which projects were to be funded.

Of course, the Conservatives went around spending money in Tory ridings for no good purpose. They spent on gazebos, washrooms and other stuff that had nothing to do with a border initiative. This is the kind of reckless spending that Canada must avoid to get rid of our deficit. The Tories have a platform where they are going to have to find $11 B in spending cuts. Maybe they can start with this while improving openness in government. Surely, that will never happen and that's why we must vote Liberal this election.
Two buildings that cost $27-million in the lead-up to last year’s G8 meeting in Muskoka are now largely deserted, symbols of a new political headache for the Conservatives as they fight an election campaign in which they are accused of failure to be accountable and transparent with Parliament.
 Read more at the Globe and Mail.
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Monday, April 11, 2011

I Would Not Have Watch the Debate

That is if it wasn't moved to Wednesday. The French debate was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it just so happens that Game 1 between Montreal and Boston would be at the same time. It's obvious who would win. Gilles Duceppe took the initiative to propose a change to the date. Good for him. It's a win for our democracy when this happens as more people will watch the debate.

Personally, I would have probably watched the series between Montreal and Boston if the debate wasn't moved. Playoffs time has come and all Montreal fans will want to see their beloved Canadiens battle the Bruins, me included. The rescheduling of the debate makes sure that everyone wins and hopefully the Habs too.
Politics and hockey went head to head Sunday and, in the end, the nation's winter pastime held the bigger stick. 
The parties and the broadcast consortium producing this week's televised leaders debates have agreed to move the French-language debate — originally scheduled for Thursday — up a day after a conflict arose with the NHL playoffs.
Read more at CBC. 

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

The rich didn't steal from anybody

First, a quick check for the defenition of steal:
According to the Wiktionary (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/steal):

To illegally, or without the owner's permission, take possession of something by surreptitiously taking or carrying it away.
According to a legal dictionary (http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/S/Steal.aspx):
The taking of something from another without any legal right to do so.
Now that that is out of the way, let us look at how someone gets hired. An employer hires someone because they believe that their business would have an net benefit should this person be hired. There is no other reason, although there are several reasons why a candidate might improve the business. For example, my local hockey arena would not hire a secretary, full time IT professional, or CEO. That is because, despite the valuable services that these members might bring, the cost is too high (remember, probably the only full time staff are the kitchen people and the Zamboni driver).
But some people have more (desirable) skills than others, and most professions have few people who excel at their jobs. This is why certain people make more than others, even if the work seems easier, less, or both. Because of this, certain people make a lot of money for their jobs. For example, a cardiologist can make 250,000 dollars a year or more because the profession requires extensive preparations and extreme skill. Likewise, managers are paid more than workers (managing people is not easy), directors more than managers (imagine managing managers), and presidents and VPs get paid even more than them (for the same reason). And the CEO, the head of it all, is elected by the shareholders (the ultimate in democracy: only those who contribute can vote, and those who contribute more get more clout).
This is, in short, how rich people get money. They get paid for it. (The vast majority of millionaires, approximately 60%, got their money from working hard or starting a business. The common reasons, like stock market, chance events, and inheritance, account for less than 14%. I got these statistics from The Millionaire Next Door, but I may have them wrong as I read it a while back, and will try to re-check them.)
But you think that hard work (remember, it is not always the most qualified candidate who gets chosen; there are many other factors at play, including the will to advance and take that extra
responsibility. I had a friend who was a welder, and he liked that you showed up for work, did your job, and left, and there was no responsibility beyond that.) doesn't deserve such a high salary, and that they could take a pay cut and give the employees more. Remember: the point is to get the job done with the least expenditure of capital. If you are as qualified, as willing, as charismatic, and have the same connections, and are willing to do it for less, I'm sure they will hire you over the expensive guy.
And therein lies one of the reason for such a high salary: the connections. They are not built overnight, and take many, many years and much effort to form and maintain. Not many people would say that decades of their life maneuvering into a high-paying position does not deserve a high salary; or else what would the point be?
I still haven't seen any illegal taking of goods from anybody. On top of that, you gave them the right and power to do so. Not you, silly, but you as a market. Remember: you are the citizen of the market. It is your job, as a consumer, to reward good business practices and to punish bad Your dollar is the ultimate in voting strength. It is democracy on paper. In a fair and open campaign for your dollar, the companies all make decisions about their platform. You, with your dollar, voted for the company that you like best. This was probably based on the product, but can also be based on other reasons (see the attempted boycott of the Alberta Bituminous Sands: it is not avoidance because the oil itself, as a product, is inferior). Even if you still aren't swayed, please don't tax something into oblivion because there are a few bad apples (I will admit it, there are a couple scum-bags out there). Just as you won't ban cars because there are automotive fatalities, don't put punitive taxes on the successful because of the bad apples.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Bixi will Expand into Westmount

Since a few years ago, Bixi has become an integral part of Montreal. During the spring and summer, you can always see Bixi stands in the street and many people use them as a part of getting around the city. For the third year straight, the service will be expanded. This time to Westmount. I would like to see them expanded even further, along with more bike paths. Bixi and bicycle paths composes a good part of sustainable development in Montreal. We need to reduce the number of cars on the road and that means more bicycle paths.
MONTREAL - With Bixi poised to announce five new stations in Westmount and likely at least two more in Notre Dame de Grâce on Tuesday, cycling advocates are shifting focus to their next goal; a safe route across the Décarie Expressway. 
Westmount Mayor Peter Trent was pleased to confirm his successful negotiations to bring Bixi to Westmount for about $235,000, a lower price tag than initially proffered by Montreal’s public bicycle sharing system.
Read more at the Montreal Gazette.
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Cuts to the Wrong Things

The Tories have come out with their platform. It is not really that bad, but there is one thing that bothers me. How can they support billion-dollar tax cuts for wealthy corporations, billions for F-35s and other stupid spending while cutting on 80 000 civil servants. And that's only what they say they're cutting. The Canadian Labour Congress estimates that it will require cutting even more government programs to fund their platform. How very convenient for the Conservatives to suddenly have to come up with extra money. You can say bye-bye to the CBC. The Tories are not telling us what they really want to do and if they get elected, it will be too late.
KITCHENER—The Conservatives are planning billions of dollars worth of spending cuts in a campaign pledge to eliminate the deficit a year ahead of schedule and deliver a $6.6 billion platform of tax cuts and modest investments. 
The platform, unveiled Friday in Mississauga, drew applause from right-wingers and fiscal conservatives, but warnings from the left about the size and targets of the spending cuts, despite Stephen Harper’s vow not to axe entire programs.
Read more at the Toronto Star.

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It's "Normal" not to be Treated Equally

Larry Smith, the Conservative candidate for Lac-Saint-Louis has no chance at winning whatsoever. Maybe that's why he said that it's "normal" for Tory ridings to receive more cash than other ridings. This is called pork-barrel spending. Bringing money to purely Conservative ridings. Unfortunately, that is all true. The Tories used the G8/G20 double summit as an excuse to send money to Tony Clement's riding for no good reason. Larry Smith thinks it's "normal" not to be treated equally. It's time to send a wake-up call to the Conservatives and boot them out of government.
It is "normal" for Conservative ridings to receive more cash from Ottawa than those with opposition MPs, a high-profile Tory candidate in Quebec said Thursday. 
Larry Smith, a former CFL commissioner now running for the Conservatives in Montreal, said it is part of the political process for governments to be favourable to their supporters.
Read more at CBC.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

The Only Carbon Taxers.

The Green party is the only party that supports a Carbon Tax. While the Liberals said no to the Carbon tax, Elisabeth May is still sticking to it. Now this brings up a question what is so bad about a Carbon Tax. Well apparently it's labels you and your party as "Tax and Spend". But I think sometimes people forget that in order to be given more programs like free health care people need to pay taxes. A carbon tax won't tax the average Canadian a carbon tax wants to tax the big major oil industries who pollute, because the price of oil isn't truly the cost of using gasoline. Although oil prices are going up or at least for now hovering around $100 this cost for a barrel of oil is too cheap for the real cost of gasoline. In order to truly understand the cost of oil we have to understand what Co2 does for the planet economically. With more drastic weather farming would dramatically suffer. Meaning countries or parts of countries that need a good rainy season to make there economy work will suffer. (ex: Saskatchewan) Also in California a study produced showed that smog pollution cost the state 521 million dollars! The Liberals are promising about that on Child Care. We have to look at hat pollution does to the economy. Pollution causes storms that stops a whole day of economic growth. Katrina completely destroyed the economy of New Orleans and the whole state of Louisiana as well. to much pollution in lakes or oceans can kill fish which will hurt the fishing industry in the east or even in the great lake region. We need to increase the cost of oil to it's true cost. The only way to do that is to make a carbon tax so that oil is priced at it's true cost. Some would say that it will make oil more expensive and increased the cost of living. I don't disagree with that. But that increase in cost is equal if not less then the cost we as a nation will pay for the climate catastrophes in the country, or the price of the fishing or agricultural industry going under. A carbon tax doesn't make things more expensive it rather tries to avoid cost in the future that you will have to pay , and the next generation as well.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/04/07/cv-election-day13.html

Facebook Democracy!

I used to actually like Harper a little when it came to a few issue's. Like Israel and how Israel has the right to defend itself, but for a vast majority I of his policies I don't like, but I always wanted to one day just see him. I think of it as an honor to see any PM of Canada even the one's I don't agree with, because it is an honor to see the leader of a country. But some leaders I just don't want to talk to ever, and now Harper might be added to that list. What he did to those two people at his rallies was something very much below democracy. I mean if some people are on the fence about who they should vote for and they want to hear what one leader has to say then they should be able to. But to have a back round check right before you can see a candidate is disturbing. These two just wanted to hear him, but Harper seemed to have another sense of democracy. Facebook democracy were you can only see the candidate if you have no absolute affiliation to all the other parties or leaders. Now I still would like to one day maybe see Harper, but fortunately for me I have the toughest Facebook privacy settings, And if you are going to Harper rally you should do the same. I am glad Harper apologized for what happened, but I also hope that this never happens again

We Will Suffer Because of Our Environment

We have not taken care of the environment and we will soon pay the price. The Tories have no intention of lowering our greenhouse gas emissions, not even to fulfill our feeble target. Water pollution is rampant around the country because of weak regulation. The resource of life will become scarce in the future and we must protect it.

None of the three main parties have good environmental platforms. However, the Conservatives are the worst. If we elect that government again, quality of life will diminish thanks to the poor environment. Only the Liberals can boot the Conservatives out of power and only the Liberals can improve (maybe not greatly) Canada's environmental policy.
Canada’s failure to do enough to protect the environment could jeopardize its citizens’ long-term quality of life, warns a report from an organization that measures the nation’s wellbeing. 
“We are not yet in crisis, but the warning signs are clearly evident. The need for more monitoring is very clear,” says Roy Romanow, chair of the advisory board of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.
Read more at the Toronto Star.
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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Stop Spying on Us!

The Liberal Party has released two slick videos (English and French) on how the Conservatives kicked people out of their rallies. Stephen Harper has apologized for doing this, but there is more to this issue. The reason why students were kicked out of his rally is Facebook monitoring. The Tories screened people's Facebook pages and saw that they had pictures with Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton or a member of another federal party. This characterizes the attitude towards Canadians. It is not right to spy on us.
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More People at Liberal Rallies

In many rallies around the country, people were kicked out of these Conservative events because officials screened their social media pages and found that they had "ties" to other federal parties. Harper submitted this feeble attempt at an excuse: there were so many people at his rallies, there wasn't any room for these people. This, of course is typical of the lies and spin of the Tories. The Liberals have come out with the pesky truth. My favorite is the Montreal rally, in which the Liberals gathered about 1200 compared to Harper's 500.

The beginning of the campaign has been nice to Ignatieff. There is Liberal momentum. This is proven by the super fundraising done last week: one million dollars in four days! All the Liberals need to do is to keep up this good work and they will win more seats.

Read the facts here.
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Green's not in debate!

I find it incredible that you can represent almost 1 million people and not be in the debate. The court won't Elisabeth May in the debate. I still am hooping to see her at the debate. She just got in last election. And now she has even more support than 2008 and they won't let 900,000 Canadian voices to be heard. The Green Party has proven that they are a strong party. They have proven that they are a major political party it is just by circumstance that there support is spread out the country. But if do the math they could get many seats. In the last election the total amount of votes is 13,834,394 if you divide by 308 (the number of riding's) each riding in the last election had around 44,917 votes in total. The Green party got 937,613 votes in the last election. Now in order to get a seat you just need to get more votes than all the others parties which could be 29% or in some circumstances lower. But let's see how many seats the Greens could get if we divide there votes into a few riding's. So let's say that in order for the Green party to get a seat they need 50% +1 votes in a riding. (44,917 divide by 2= 22458.5 a majority is 22,459) Let's see how many seats the Green could get if you took there votes and pushed them into those riding's. (937,613 divide by 22,459= 41.74) To be fair I will round downwards. So if you take there votes and put them in the right places the Greens could get 41 seats more than the NDP currently have. It just goes to show the Green party is big enough to be on the national debates. In fact the amount of votes to be an official party in Ottawa is only 269,508 votes the Green got almost double that in 2004 and 2006. The Green Party deserves to be in this debate.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hate Grandmothers, Love Billianaires !

The GOP will soon give a proposal that will include deep cuts into medicare! I would be happy that they are finally be realistic, But it's the GOP! There propasal would only start in 2021 in ten years! By 2020 the intrest on the debt will be 28% of the budget. About the same amount in 2020 that the U.S would spend on social security.Even more important by 2020 Interest on the debt will cost billions more than medicare. We need to change things now! not ten years when it is already too late. But even ignoring that the cuts would still be deep about 1 trillion! This cut to medicare is insane! But of course is neccesary, but of course the GOP don't care about the poor. Although this cut is very neccesary it still insane in the fact that the GOP wants to keep the Bush tax cuts to all americans. I say put the taxes back to where they were under Bill Clinton now. Then increase the tax on rich by even another 5% on the tax rate. Then raise the retierment age. make a national sales tax at 5%. Then end the wars. You can then balance the budget. attaking the poor, and giving the rich is backwards economics. The U.S must take action now not 10 years from now. The U.S must not live off the poor and make sure the rich pay

Tories Copy Again

The latest Tory ad came out yesterday. This tries to portray Stephen Harper as a great leader. Thankfully for the Liberals, we can compare this with a Tea Party governor ad. It seems strikingly similar. This also reminded me of a video the Liberals put out three years ago, during the 2008 election. The earlier video compares Harper's speech in favor of sending Canadian troops to Iraq to John Howard's speech. Here are the two videos.
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The Conservative Campaign of Control

Was this really necessary? Stephen Harper has taken another step in his campaign to control everything. On Sunday, a woman was booted out of a rally for the Tories because she had "ties" to the Liberal Party. By this, the Conservatives meant that this political science student had a Facebook photo with Michael Ignatieff.

The actual action of kicking someone out doesn't make any sense, but why in the first place were the Conservatives screening the Facebook page of people attending their rallies. Some would call it a fair security measure. I call it intrusive and some would go as far as to call it spying. Stephen Harper is trying to run a perfect campaign and this is a gaffe that happens when the need to control everything gets out of hand. I predict that it will be this control-campaign by Stephen Harper and the open campaign by Michael Ignatieff that will be the defeat of Harper's majority hopes.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is accusing Conservative Leader Stephen Harper of performing more rigorous background checks on people showing up at his campaign events than advisers he hires in the Prime Minister's Office. 
Ignatieff's verbal jab at Harper comes after reports the Conservatives threw two university students out of a Conservative rally in London, Ont., on the weekend.
Read more at CBC.

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Harper will Scrap the Gun Registry

That is what he promised. If Harper gets a majority, it will be impossible to stop him from killing the gun registry. But, it's more than just that. If you think that the Tories are really governing the way they want to, then think again. Just read the Blogging Tories any day. A Harper majority would mean less government transparency, more private health care, layoffs of many civil servants, higher tuitions, environmental destruction.

There is no way in the world the Conservatives governed as they wanted to in this minority government. The gun registry will be only one of the cornerstones of what we call Canada to go if Harper gets his majority.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper is again promising to eliminate Canada's long-gun registry. 
"When it comes to the wasteful and inefficient long-gun registry, you know where the Conservative party stands. We stand with farmers and hunters and we will scrap the long-gun registry," Harper told a group in Welland, Ont., Monday.
Read more at CBC.

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There is No Need for Fighter Jets

There is no need for Canada to invest $30 billion for 65 F-35 fighter jets. We simply do not need them. Stephen Harper and his cronies keep saying that we must buy them to protect our Arctic from the Russians. The truth is, in this day and age, the Russians are very unlikely to attack Canada. These fighter jets were made for the 20th century cold war, not for modern Canada. Besides, even if the Russians were to launch an air attack against Canada, there is no way that 65 fighters would stand a chance against the massive Russian air force.

The F-35 deal is a complete waste of money. There are better ways to spend $30 billion, like the Liberals have made clear in their platform. Instead, Liberals will spend on education, senior care, family care, pensions and more. Stuff that will help Canadians, instead of shiny new toys for the military. It's time to vote Liberal and stop the spending spree gone out of control.
What man-child can resist a fighter jet? Nothing so infuses the male psyche with self-wow than a $75 million — or $150 million, if you prefer — stealthy, supersonic flying machine with four-barrel cannons, bombs, missiles and built-in video system.
Read more at the Toronto Star.
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Monday, April 04, 2011

Liberals Fical Responsible!

When the Liberals make a plan to reduce taxes or spend money they at least have a plan to actually pay for it. The Conservatives just like inherting surpluses then spending it off on Prisons,jets,corprate tax cuts on the richest companies and the Alberta tar sands. And when they finnaly spend there wallets away they continue to promise more without having a single plan to pay for it. The Conservatives are fiscally iresponsible.  When the Liberlas promise something they know how to pay for there promises. The Liberals want to spend 8 billion dollars in two years. How will they pay for it. Welll first they would put corprate taxes at a competative level 18% and bring 8 billion dollars in funds. Other cuts like in subsidies to the oil sands will give the goverment 3 billion dollars extra after the spending to lower the deficit. The Conservative are saying we can have are cake and eat it two. They want to keep corprate tax at 16% and still spending billions of dollars in new spending and still call themselves fiscally reponsible. No Canada needs a party that can fund the programs without adding to the deficit. Who is fiscally realistic and doesn't spend billions on mega prisons and fighter jets. We need the Liberal party of Canada. the choice is clear a reckless, corrupt Conservative goverment or a fiscally responsible, clean Liberal party.

Programs without Higher Taxes? Thank-you Harper

The Liberal Platform was released on Sunday, the first time in history that a leader of a political party has released the platform, streaming the event live, while taking unscripted questions from across the country. This was a true Open Mike. Already, and even before the platform was released the Tories have already said that it will raise taxes for all Canadians. That is simply another lie from the Tories.

Harper made it quite easy for the Liberals to propose new and great government programs without raising taxes. All that was needed was to stop his tax breaks for wealthy corporations and other spending gone out of control. All that was needed was to redistribute the spending to focus on helping Canadians instead of multinationals with billion-dollar profits. Thank-you, Prime Minister, for making it incredibly easy for Liberals to install new government programs, without raising taxes.
HALIFAX—Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is promising a family-friendly, green tinged election platform he says will “turn this country around” — and return Liberals to power. 
Waving a copy of the 94-page platform high in one hand, Ignatieff got a rousing welcome from supporters in the Nova Scotia capital as he rhymed off its pledges, including its emphasis on helping families throughout their lives, from early learning to strengthened pensions.
Read more at the Toronto Star.

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

The difference between ideas and plans

Throughout every campaign ever, every candidate and their party has made a promise (with the technical exception of Grumpy the clown in Brazil who campaigned on the promise to do nothing). That's how it has always been. These campaign promises are necessary: they provide a distinction between the parties, and give reasons to vote for one party over the other. But often these promises remain just that: promises. They never end up getting realised. I can remember an anti-Bloc ad from last election, stating that of all the party's promises, none had been achieved.
But parties keep putting out promises without an inkling of how they are going to be achieved. Yes, it is nice that you will encourage government transparency, but how? It is nice that you will close Gitmo, but what will you do with the people held there? It is nice that you intend to enact some reform or other, but do you have the legislation ready to hit the floor and start the approval process? In short, it is nice that you have an ideal, but how will you get there?
If the whole point of a promise is that it gets realised, would it not be logical, then, that it be as easy as it could to get it achieved? Isn't that the whole point? But my suspicion is that solutions are actually less appealing than the idea at heart. It is much more appealing to say that we will make government more transparent by making information free than to propose that the documents be publicised on a main government webpage, that government expense reports be published, government funded expenses be published (credit card style), and that all agencies receiving government financial support comply with these standards. Something just tells me that "Government Transparency" is more appealing than the detailed solution.
But those are just my thoughts. What are yours? Tell us in the comments below.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ignatieff is on the Rise

As the campaign moves on, it's evident that Stephen Harper has a problem. His method of command and control has worked before; making sure he gets into no trouble. But, Michael Ignatieff does not choose to abide by these rules. The Liberals are running an open campaign where leaders and candidates take unscripted questions from the public and from the media.

Ignatieff is gaining more and more popularity and so is the Liberal Party. Going around and actually meeting and listening to Canadians allows the public to see Ignatieff like he is, not what the Conservative attack ads portray him. Of course, this does not mean that the Liberals won't have problems later on in the campaign, but if they keep this up, the Tories will have to watch their backs.
Stephen Harper looks like a man afraid to lose. And Michael Ignatieff looks like that most dangerous of opponents: a man with nothing to lose at all. 
Of all the federal leaders, it was Mr. Harper who came into this strange and sudden spring election campaign from a position of strength. Leading in the polls, with the benefit of experience and a well-oiled party machine behind him, he was supposed to steamroll right over Michael Ignatieff.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.

One Million in Four Days

That's what the Liberal Party has gathered from donations made in the first four days of the campaign. This is really unbelievable. It seems like the ads across the country are working. It also seems like the Liberals do have money and a lot of it. To sum up the first week of the campaign, I would have to say that Michael Ignatieff got off to a good start and obviously this shows in the amount of donations. However, this must continue if the Liberals want to even have a chance of winning. The choice in this election is clear: to vote for the Liberals. They just need to communicate the message like they're doing now.