Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Green Candidate in Etobicoke Center

In a surprising move Elisabeth may said that she would urge her party not to run a candidate in Etobicoke center a riding that may be forced to have a by-election. First let`s state how much this could help the Liberal party if the Greens didn`t run a candidate. The May 2nd 2011 result was

Conservative Ted       21,661
Liberal          Borys    21,635
NDP             Ana        7,731
Green           Katarina  1,454
Marxist Leninist  Sarah   149

Now with the Greens not running a candidate this is good to be true, but  some would say that the high in the polls NDP may grab the riding. Following a current forum research poll Ontario since 2011 has changed a lot.

Change in percentage since 2011 (in Ontario)
Conservative  40% (-4.4%)
NDP             30.0% (+4.4%)
Liberal          23.0% (-2.3%)
Green ¸           6.0% (+2.2%)

The only thing that is clear is that the Conservatives are down NDP is up and Liberals are just about where they have been since May. So even with the NDP most probably going up in this riding they don`t seem like they will win. Even if  Liberals lose support in the riding we can still win, because the Conservatives might lose more support, but in such a close contest having no Green Party candidate does help Liberals chances in the riding.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Release the Budget at the Beginning of the Year

Not having information to make decisions concerning our country can be quite dangerous sometimes. Especially when it has to do with government spending and more importantly, where the government is spending.

This is caused by estimates of government spending being released before the budget. So, it's impossible to estimate the costs of the budget, the most important piece of legislation each year. The way to fix this is simply time limits. The budget sets out government spending for the year. So, it only makes sense that it should be released at the beginning of the year. While the committee suggests February 1 as a due date, I would go even further. I would set it at about mid-January. That way, it is clear at the beginning of the year what the government will do and it will be easy to estimate exactly where the money is being spent.

The other proposal, which was to give the Parliamentary Budget officer more power is also a good idea. There is never too much transparency on fiscal matters.

Read about it at the Globe and Mail.

Monday, July 16, 2012

OECD Report Debunks Protesters Claim

A new OECD report says lower tuition isn`t the solution to give more people access to university. In Quebec  even when we had the lowest tuition in the country we still had one of the lowest university enrollment rate in the developed world.

According to the report whether a young Canadian goes to university is dependent on many factors. The main factors the report finds is whether your parents have gone to university or not. If your parents have gone to university you are 4.6 times more likely to go to university yourself.

This Report seems to dismiss the protestors belief that the tuition hike will cause the ``death of accessibility `` It is true though that poorer income families have a hard time sending their kids to school, but the OECD report offers better suggestions then lower tuition to solve that problem
The most effective way to increase access to higher education would be to simply give direct tuition grants to the three groups the least likely to attend university: lower-income households, rural and aboriginal Canadians and, most important, those who did not have a parent attend university.
Read more here

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More Prisons and More Double Bunking

The Conservative party again proves itself to be the party that enacts policy without proper research. New to this long list is Vic Toews statements about double bunking. With Billions of dollars being flooded into the correctional system one would hope that some of the new cells in existing facilities would reduce double bunking. But the conservative say the expansion to the prison system won`t be used to reduce double bunking.

Double bunking is when a cell which was initially built for one prisoner has two inside. This is being increasingly used in Canada and the Conservative party is offering no help to this issue. 
The percentage of inmates sharing cells built for one has more than tripled since 2004. Incidents of prison violence have also risen.
Corrections Canada states that double bunking is ``inappropriate as a permanent accommodation`` .The UN   also recommends against such practice. The government`s non logical policies when it comes to double bunking will cause more violence inside the prisons and lead to major risks of correctional workers inside prisons
“It’s going to become more dangerous for us, but at the end of the day, when the inmate ends up back on the street, is the public any safer? Not under this government,” said Jason Godin, Ontario regional president for the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers. “Part of our mandate is the rehabilitation process. And, quite frankly, [that is] being lost.”
This government is so busy putting people in jail for small offences that they show little interest about rehabilitation and the safety of government employees.

Read more here

Monday, July 09, 2012

A Doctor, A Rabbi and A Nobel Laureate Walk Into.. (part 2)

The Governments response to leaving many well deserving people of help is that (given by a spokesperson):

   “Right now, nearly 95 per cent of people who come here from the European Union and claim asylum either withdraw or abandon their own claim,” said the spokesman, because they cannot make a legitimate case for asylum. He added that 100 per cent of people who come from the European Union register for welfare.
First just because 95% percent of people can't support their refugee claim does that make the other 5% not deserving at all, and second saying that 100 percent of them register for welfare is a silly fact. This is because it should come to no surprise to Harper that people who are refugee's and have suffered and treated badly in their own country do require help. How is this bad! This is reality! People who are poor require help!

I think it is outrages that a country that has been practically portrayed itself as an immigrant country doesn't do as much as it can to ensure that people who are treated badly in other countries have a place where they can start a whole new life. 

Yet according to our government this "reform" is needed and will save 20 million dollars. 20 million dollars is what we are talking about here. Hey I have an idea had Harper not spent the 20 million dollars on those consultants (remember those to help balance the budget, which according to Harper during the 2011 election he and only he could do) we could afford helping people who are in need. 

I believe that their is a legitimate concern about pointless refugee claims, but this reform is in no way going to ensure that people who have a legitimate claim to seek refuge here will receive it. 

Mr. Wiesel, who survived the Auschwitz death camp to become a renowned scholar and political activist in the United States, said this week in a written statement obtained by The Globe and Mail that he stands in solidarity with the Toronto Rabbis. The rabbis said it is wrong for the government to designate some countries as being “safe” and to deny payments for medical treatments obtained by asylum seekers from those places.

Read more here

Sunday, July 08, 2012

A Doctor, A Rabbi and A Nobel Laureate Walk Into... (Part 1)

The Conservative cuts to refugee Health Care have sparked some controversy. And now doctors all around Canada as well as a Toronto Rabbi group from Toronto and even Elie Wisel a Nobel Laureate are joining together against these cuts.

The "reform" the Harper Government is proposing will designate which countries Canada considers safe and which Canada considers not safe. The people who come from the countries that Canada considers safe will receive no benefits what so ever. The safe country list and the not safe country list will be presented soon, but it is expected that Hungary will be on the safe list.

The Problem is that Canada main source of Asylum seekers are from Hungary and many of which are roma. A group that has been treated very badly especially in the last few years by the society in Hungary. The reforms will also effect countries that are not on the safe list no longer are able to get many services including:
payments for prescription drugs, vision care and dental coverage. They are entitled to medical health coverage only if it is of “an urgent or essential nature.”
This "reform" will take away help from legitimate refugee's and will again tarnish Canada's record on the world stage.
The top country of origin for refugee claimants in Canada is Hungary, and the majority of those refugees are Roma, a group that has had a strong bond with the Jews dating back to the Second World War.
As a former refugee, together with the Toronto Board of Rabbis, I feel morally compelled to remain on the side of other uprooted men and women everywhere,” said Mr. Wiesel, who was a keynote speaker two years ago at a conference on anti-Semitism in Ottawa that was organized with the help of Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the minister behind the refugee reforms. “Today, as yesterday, a nation is judged by its attitude towards refugees,” Mr. Wiesel wrote.

Read More here

Thursday, July 05, 2012

It's "NOT" Right to Give Oda All the Blame.

Elisabeth May wrote a very interesting post on the Green Party website that I suggest you read. I do agree that 16$ for orange juice is a complete waste. As well was the overly expensive trips by Limo funded by the tax payers. And yes misuse of public money definitively warrants criticism. Her resignation is long overdue, but let's look at the big picture. There is loads of waste in government that get's no criticism at all. Elisabeth May presents one, which is the over 20 million on security Harper has which is over twice as much was given to previous PM's.
It is also expensive: Overtime has gone through the roof, and the budget of the PMPD, as the unit is called, is set to reach $20-million this year, or twice the 2006 cost. The Prime Minister’s Office and the RCMP say the increase in costs is justifiable, since security concerns are growing and threats are now taken more seriously.
I want to go even further. There is a lot of waste in government, and even though it only represents a small fraction of the budget it is still there. Money spent unethically no matter how much is still money spent unethically. So yes I welcome the departure of $16 orange juice, but when will the guy who spent millions on Gazebo's and fake lakes go? 

So for us to complain so much on Bev Oda is fine as long as we don't allow the other wasteful spenders like Harper and Tony Clement go unpunished. The poster boy (or rather girl) for wasteful government shouldn't be Oda. There have been many other MP's much more deserving of the criticism, and don't get any. 

Read More here 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Chris Christie VP? Part 2

As promised time to continue with question three and four as well as the recap as well as Christie's scoring.

Third Question
Does he come with any baggage?
Well unemployment in New Jersey is higher then the national average. Chris Christie comes with a record seen by many democrats as helping the wealthy. Which continues the talking points that the Republicans only care for the wealthy. But none of these things would really harm the base. The true baggage would be that one Christie believes in Climate Change. Last year he even stated this 
"I can’t claim to fully understand all of this," he said. "Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts."
Romney says we don't know what is causing global warming. Chris Christie at least admits humans have some effects on the planet's temperature. Another piece of baggage

Christie would be very little help on the political map, because Missouri, New Hampshire and Iowa the only states I see any more support for Romney because of Christie. Missouri which has already supported McCain in 2008 will support Romney anyway. New Hampshire will only lean more towards Romney and it only has 4 electoral votes and Iowa would still be up for grabs. Christie would still be a star candidate for the tea party. So The Question is "is Romney trying to move towards the middle a bit more or is he still moving towards the right." If Romney picks Christie the answer to that question will be easy. In Total Christie is a does very little to bring in new people to the party and only seems capable of bringing Republicans who may not vote to vote, which of course helps Romney, but maybe not enough.

the score is based on the three question
Does he help carry any state                                                     2/4
Does he help get a group that would otherwise be neglected      3/3
Does he have any baggage                                                        2.5/3
Christie's score is 7.5/10

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Chris Christie VP? Part 1

As promised I will go throw some of the people Romney may pick as his VP candidate in this election. Today's VP prospective is Chris Christie.

First does he help carry any states Romney may have Trouble.

Short answer- Yes but not where you think . First he is indeed Governor of New Jersey, but this state is very blue and his approval rating in his own state is low 40%. His disapproval rating also low 40%. In fact It may be extremely strange that in November both the Romney and Christie won't win their own home states. Christie can't help in any of his bordering states, because New York is too blue already Delaware is not only Blue but Biden's home state and east Pennsylvania  doesn't look like it will change it's mood for Christie. The only states I can see a push for Romney would be Iowa, New Hampshire and Missouri which I will explain in question two.

Second question
Can he get any group Romney can't get?
This is a solid yes. The Tea Party which has ever so slowly been coming closer to Romney would adore a Christie on the ticket. This would definitely drive the solid Tea party supporters to the polls. This will for the most part only solidify the support Romney would most likely get. The only states that would come with more backing from the tea party would be Missouri New Hamshire and Iowa. Missouri McCain got in 2008 so let's just give that to Romney. New Hampshire which right now is considered a swing state would if Christie is chosen may lean more towards Romney. First Because Romney is from the neighboring state of Massachusetts, and this state has huge Tea party support. Iowa is more difficult. Yes it does have a lot of Tea party support, but Obama is very strong here.

I will continue The next day with  question 3 and the recap as well as his scoring.