A view into the mind of Jason

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Monday, April 15 2024 @ 06:21 MDT

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Supporting our Troops.

Canadian PoliticsOver the weekend I was at the Alberta NDP convention. On Sunday Jack Layton gave a federal leader's report in which he gave his views on what support for our troops is. Naturally, this differs from what Harper and his merry band of Tories says. The Tories seem to think that blind, unquestioning support for their policy in Afghanistan is the only way to support the troops there. Jack thinks that a discussion of why the troops are over there is appropriate. Here's my two cents worth.
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Tories need to advertise

Canadian PoliticsAs I was reading todays Globe and Mail I noted an interesting little tidbit in Jane Taber's Ottawa Notebook. It would appear that the Conservative riding association in New Westminister-Coquitlam-Port Moody have to advertise to find someone to run for them. Now the president of the Tory riding association says that they're not hard up for a candidate and that taking out the ads is the "usual practice".
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Oil Companies 2 - Environment 0

Canadian PoliticsThe hot air that the Tories' Clean Air Act is proof that the Tories are truly interested in only one thing: letting their supporters make a fast buck. By the time industry finally starts feeling the "regulatory framework", most of the people currently employed in that industry will be retired. The industry leaders, who are all lauding this bill, will most likely all be dead. So why should they care what the planet is like in 44 years? Especially since sooner targets would interfere with profits (and performance bonuses) right now.
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So much for populism and the grassroots.

Canadian PoliticsFor a party that claims to listen to the grassroots, the Tories sure have problems with letting those grassroots choose candidates. First we have the party elite protecting the seats of people like Rob Anders by calling snap nomination meetings and disqualifying all other comers. Now we have the Tories doing the same thing again in London, Ontario. The party head office in Ottawa has parachuted in Dianne Haskett to run in the currently vacant riding of London-North-Centre. Now Ms. Haskett is a known theo-conservative. As mayor of London she refused to declare Gay Pride Week and also apparently participated in an evangelical Christian rally where Muslims were slandered.
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The death of freedom of speech.

PoliticsSince the ascendancy of the neo-conservatives to power in North America, there's been quite the erosion of freedom of speech. To some extent this seems to be due to the thin skin of many of the neo-con leadership and elite. The means that the neo-cons in North America do this seems to be two pronged. One is to use intimidation to prevent opposing viewpoints, claiming that those who don't support neo-conservative policies such as war are unpatriotic and so forth or that talk of a different path will demoralize the troops. There's also the passive aggressive way of not talking to reporters that don't ask softball questions or write flattering articles. The neo-cons are nothing if not bullies. However these pale in comparison to the second prong, the use of the state.
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Tories Show They're No Different

Canadian PoliticsWith the expulsion of Garth Turner from the Conservative caucus, the Tories have shown that they are indeed no different than the party they replaced. Now looking at Garth Turner's blog many Tory apologists seem to be stating that he had it coming and that the party has the right to kick out people who don't toe the party line. This is true and is true in most parties. The difference with the Tories though is that they claimed that they were more open and grassroots than the other parties. This action shows that the opposite is true.
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Time

Canadian PoliticsTime is the enemy of politicians. The longer a politician is in power, the more likely that politician or party is going to do something to anger the voter. This couldn't me more true for Stephen Harper and his merry band of Tories. In the brief time since the last election, Harper and Co. have managed to go from a slight lead in the polls to being neck in neck with a leaderless Liberal Party. It can really only get worse for the Tories as well. Why? Time.
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Open and accountable...

Canadian Politics... to whom? Canada's New Government (TM, Pat. Pend) claims to be "open and accountable", the question is to whom? It certainly isn't to Parliament with Rona Ambrose giving misleading statements to a parliamentary committee. It probably isn't the people, since there's likely no chance we'll be consulted on the "green plan". Further, what we have heard about the so-called environmental plan it would seem that the oil industry is being given a pass on greenhouse gas emissions.
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Proportional Representation

Canadian PoliticsI've long been a proponent of proportional representation, the system of electing representatives in such a way that their numbers in a legislative body reflect the percentage of the vote their respective parties received in the last election. Now there are several different systems of PR, lists are one of the most common. My personal favourite is the Single-Transferable-Ballot with Multi-Member districts. Though complex, it gives the voter a good chance to make their vote actually count. This is different from our current first past the post system where a party that receives less than 50% of the popular vote, gets 100% of the power in the form of a majority government.
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Tories to protect bigotry.

Canadian PoliticsIn their attempt to placate their theo-conservative base, the federal Tories are reopening the same-sex marriage debate with a free vote to rescind the act that allows it. Since the Tories are unlikely to win such a vote, they have also stated that they will introduce a "religious freedom protection" act. Such an act would allow people to discriminate against homosexuals in any aspect of life. So, under this act, if an apartment owner didn't like homosexuals, he/she could kick them out for that reason. A restaurant owner could put up a "no-gays" sign in his window. It would seem there's nothing the Tories won't do to turn Canada into the worst parts of the US south in the early 1950's.