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Posts posted by Dave_ON

  1. They have to cut 5% out of $80 billion. That's like reducing a family's operating expenditures from $500 per week all the way down to....yep....$475. The only reason it's a big deal in the Federal Gocernmentr is because of Union resistance to anything that would reduce the number of jobs and the advocates of any "programs" who cannot accept that perhaps some of them have outlived their usefulness and need to be reorganized, combined with others, or completely wound down. The union mentality is to not rock the boat - don't work too fast, don't be creative, follow procedures to the letter. Creative productivity is unknown in unions. 5%. Five percent. Should be peanuts.......but the predictions of doomsday are already upon us.

    Oh I'm not predicting doomsday by any stretch just simply pointing out that we are moving the budget in the wrong direction. Is this a trend that will continue or one time (5 year) anomaly? I'm not convinced it's an anomaly, and I suppose I'm somewhat distrustful of Flahrety when it comes to balancing the books without needing to sell assets to do it. There have been not details heretofore on how this will be achieved and that's what concerns me. We're already in a shortfall and with further tax cuts/credits looming and not yet budgeted, how are we going to pay for it all?

  2. Because we actually got something for the money then?

    Oh we're most assuredly getting something for the money, and honestly we've needed to beef up our military spending for quite some time now. My concern is that this increased spending combined with promised tax cuts, increased civil service, and no real planed budget cuts is unsustainable. We can't afford it without cutting deep or reversing earlier tax cuts, or worse yet, increasing income tax.

  3. For now it doesn't. Population should have at least a minor consideration. Not as much as Parliament, but enough so that one province isn't ridiculously overrepresented.

    Why should Ontarians feel like they are so much less special than Islanders? They already get that in the House... why make it worse in the Senate?

    HAH well speaking as someone who lives in Ontario and is from the Maritimes, I assure you that Ontarians in no way feel "less special". My question is why should the population powerhouses be able to overrule the concerns of individual regions? If all of us are equal partners in confederation why is it the combined might of Ontario and Quebec were able to dictate an energy policy to AB/SK? Why should any one region have the power to dictate anything to any other region? I guess I don't understand why this is a difficult concept for you. I mean your own system allows Rhode Island to have the same say in the senate that New York and California have.

    How can our confederation be considered equal if we don't have equal representation in the upper house? This is the purpose of the senate, to reconsider legislation in light of regional, not popular, considerations. Having said that I don't think we can address the population representation shortfalls in provinces like ON, BC, PQ and BC until we fix the inequity in the senate.

  4. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/06/06/pol-weston-budget-analysis.html

    Perhaps it's just me but I'm eagerly awaiting to find out how precisely with the ever increasing spending the government is planning how this ever elusive balanced budget will materialize. Now I'm not advocating an increase in taxes, but I just don't see how the math comes out, that allows us to arrive at a balanced budget when we are increasing spending and cutting taxes. Something has to give and either taxes must go up or services must get cut. Now old Jim has already said he's not cutting transfer payments, and with very little wiggle room elsewhere what's going to happen? Unless he's planning to start selling more crown assets I don't see any other alternative.

    I found this portion of the article to be fascinating.

    Truth is, far from the Conservative government’s ushering in an era of austerity over the past five years, federal spending and the bureaucracy have both grown at rates unmatched since the early Trudeau era almost 40 years ago.

    Figures provided by the Finance Department show the Conservatives have increased spending on operations by a whopping 45 per cent since they took over control of the public purse from the Liberals in 2006.

    Finance Department figures show the Conservative government now promising to shrink the public payroll has actually allowed the bureaucracy to balloon by almost 40,000 employees, an increase of 16 per cent in the past five years.

    Honestly being compared to Trudeau era spending is somewhat over the top imnho, however I'm certain I'm not the only fiscal conservative that is somewhat taken aback by this. They've been spending like a drunken liberal since 2006. Granted there were extenuating circumstances, global recession, the devil (read: opposition) made them do it... blah blah blah. Now the balls entirely in their court, we're well on our way to recovery and the opposition is no longer the balance of power so what gives? Spending other peoples money is easy and fun, but eventually you run out of other peoples money (kudos to Margaret Thatcher). It would appear that the CPC is well on their way to becoming the LPC they so harshly criticized.

  5. That is the whole point is it not? Neither of those two provinces will side with changes that they believe will detract from their influence within the current system. In short they will not settle for less, only more. So they need to get more, its simple, it just needs to be negotiated. You realize of course as equal partners within confederation that the federal government is actually accountable to the provinces in a weird and sorta wonderful way. The First Ministers conferences have the ability to force an agenda upon the federal government. The rub is of course the feds need only minimal support to carry the day in terms of voting demographics at such a conference.

    Canadians need only work together, the government can be held to account.

    Agreed and this in essence is what we need to get to, abolishing the senate will only exacerbate the current situation. We need to fix the senate not eliminate it. It's easy for those in Ontario and Quebec to say get rid of it, as they have the most to gain. TROC will only lose out even more. The only real fix for the senate is to make it an equal body, appointed by regions/provinces they are supposed to represent. Barring equal representation, even just allowing the regions appoint the senators rather than the PM would do a great deal to fix the situation.

  6. OK...roger that....how about mooning the Queen with butt cheeks painted with the same "Stop Harper" message? Surely that would not be a physical assault of any kind save for the Queen's eyes.

    Mmm that's certainly more subjective and would depend on the moon in question and the Queen's particular taste. Oddly enough I couldn't find anything on the matter on the Monarchy website, an oversight to be sure.

  7. I'm moving back to Montreal to take care of my ailing mother in a month. Therefore I must quit my job here and find a new one there. This is not a simple task. However, I am now considering options where I could leave my job by causing a media frenzy, therefore a job will be waiting for me when I do move back to Montreal ;)

    I'm sorry but the position of "bravest person in Canada" has already been filled, though we thank you for time and interest in the position.

  8. Hey, by extension, the reigning monarch supports PM Harper as well, so would it have been OK for this Senate page to pie the Queen in the face with whipped cream? You know...as a way of protesting and expressing herself in a free and democratic Canada.

    Mmm it might be a stretch but I think that's covered under the following secion of the CCOC

    46. (1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,

    (a) kills or attempts to kill Her Majesty, or does her any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maims or wounds her, or imprisons or restrains her;

  9. Says you. Over 60% of respondents in a recent CBC poll said that her actions were appropriate.

    Are these respondents aware that she was doing so during her working hours, when the tax payers were footing the bill for her protest? I some how doubt they are. Besides the law is not subject to the whims of the masses.

    No meaningful change has ever come from within the system. Workers' rights and women's reproductive rights were not won by working within the system. Neither was civil rights for black Americans. Peaceful protests and civil disobedience are the only way to bring about meaningful change when the authorities are only concerned with maintaining the status quo.

    I could care less about black civil rights in the US, we're not talking about the US. Further, how about the BNA act? Or the consitution act? What about equal marriage or a myriad of other changes? What protests sparked these meaningful changes? Or were they done through proper, orderly legal channels? Should a duly elected government be overthrown simply because some don't like the outcome? Of course not, to suggest such a thing is ludicrous.

  10. There are a significant portion of Canadians for whom being turned off for this will either mean they are hypocrites, ignorant, or both. The "vast majority" of those people voted Conservative in the last election.

    Or perhaps they are average Canadians, who believe in the rule of law, democracy and appropriate protest forums. Whether in your opinion Canadians are ignorant or hypocritical is immaterial, your message will be equally lost if you wax insulting. What's the point of a protest that most people ignore? What do you gain? You have to follow proper channels if you wish to protest or be labeled a "whackadoo" and eventually fall into obscurity, and be forgotten. All she has gained is a daily visit to the HRC office.

  11. She did neither.

    She stood there silently with a sign. You're playing loose and fast with the definitions of heckling and interfering.

    Fine call it what you will, the fact remains it was not the time nor the place. It was disruptive at the very least, and showed flagrant disregard for parliamentary procedure. If you want to change the system you need to work within it not fly in the face of it. That turns people off, and will earn you the title of "whackado" which she so rightly deserves.

  12. L Giving a party that was in contempt of Parliament free reign to do whatever they choose is disastrous. Allowing Stephen Harper to pass policies with impunity, policies that most Canadians disagree with, having less than 40% of voters supporting those policies, while 60% support policies that are the exact opposite, is something that needs to be fought against by the people. The electoral system is broken and the only way those 60% are truly going to be heard is by taking to the streets like she said.

    This is a disingenuous statement. It's not as black and white as 60/40. It may be true that only 40% voted for the CPC, but that doesn't mean that the 40% that did wholesale support Harper, nor is it to say that those who voted against the CPC, myself included, are in wholesale opposition to Harper. PR is not the answer and is a recipe for disaster imnho. It seems to be a good idea on the surface, but we would see a breakdown of effective government. PR means you are constantly compromising, and you have a number of little parties with one item agendas, holding the balance of power. Our current system forces parties to be bigger than themselves, CPC included. They've come a long way from the reform days, much to the chagrin of their initial base. This is the "big tent" philosophy that the LPC were so very good at.

    Federal politics has a way of moderating parties, it's my hope that the NDP learn this lesson and follow suit sooner rather than later. Early indicators, seem to show being in opposition will be disastrous for the party as they'll become casualties of their own success. Like it or lump it, our system thrives on two strong federal parties and that's the equilibrium we've been lacking since the collapse of the old PC party. It's what allowed the LPC to become so arrogant and corrupt, and I fear if a strong opposition party does not soon rise up to really oppose and compete with the CPC they will share the same fate.

  13. How would that be different from any other majority government with more than a slender majority?

    The difference is this is the first Anglo, protestant PM with a majority that achieved it without any significant assistance from Quebec. That's is no mean feat. I find this fascinating, as I'm certain some folks in Quebec are upset by this. However, it's not like Harper can lose more ground in Quebec, so why should he bother pandering to them?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Harper chose the speaker, that was parliament that did that. But I think that if Quebec is expecting some goodies, from the Harper government they'll be sorely disappointed. He has no political reason to do so.

  14. It's all related. Harper's track-record and platform on the items she discussed in her press release are the antithesis of the other parties' positions. So, a party that received 40% of the vote will set an agenda that runs against what 60% of the voters wanted during the election.

    This isn't an entirely accurate statement. As pointed out, one can support various policies of other parties even if one did not vote for them. I'm a prime example of this, I support many of the CPC's spending initiatives, Military as a prime example. However, I don't support their reckless tax cuts while beefing up spending. I don't object to the CPC wholesale, nor did I approve of the LPC's policies wholesale. All we can do is support the party we feel most closely aligns with our beliefs. Voting for another party doesn't mean you are utterly against all the others in their entirety. IOW a vote for another party is not a vote against the others and all their ideas.

    It's this type of polar thinking that is one of the problems with our current political climate. One can be a mix of many ideologies from the various parties. This is why I hate it when people toss about terms like "right wing" or "leftist" you cannot categorize people so neatly, and it is erroneous to attempt to do so. These type of labels are intended to be wholesale dismissals of another persons view point and does little for intelligent discourse and debate.

  15. Not necessarily. It just means that there needs to be a constant awareness - a healthy skepticism of the government. She stated herself that the public needs to be creative in their protests. That doesn't mean they have to be violent.

    But this type of stunt, utterly lacking in decorum or even a modicum of respect for our system, will do nothing more than turn off the vast majority of Canadians. In essence her protest will have the opposite effect, as most will ignore and disregard any message she could have communicated. There are proper channels to lodge one's grievances, heckling the throne speech and interfering with our system of government isn't one of them.

  16. In particular, his "tough on crime" as described in the CBC website is way better than what had previously been reported.


    Hmm one troubling item,

    creation of an Office of Religious Freedom.

    Why is this at all necessary? These freedoms are already protected in the constitution.

    Mostly it's standard fluff though, nothing overly exciting. I find it interesting though, that increased spending and reduced taxes are on the agenda. What's ironic is they're creating a committee to study how government spending can be reduced, I wonder what they'll conclude...

  17. That's what makes short term limits so dopey. They would be getting fired just when they are becoming truly useful! Partisan rubber stamps are not valuable; sober second thought, well informed, politically savvy and outside the reach of the flavour du jour... that is valuable.

    Well said! I honestly don't think we'll see much movement on this. In all honesty Mr. Harper can pass a law on senate terms, and senators, can "agree" to abide by it, whether that comes to pass or not is entirely another matter. The reality is, all these steps have no constitutional clout and when push comes to shove, the senate can simply ignore the current PM and once appointed there's not a damn thing the PM can do about it.

  18. Harper has warned backbenchers not to bring forward pet projects in private members bills or motion that would stir up or disrupt Harper's plan for the next four years. One hot topic would be the abortion, which could cause debates within the party, pro and con. I guess what Harper is saying party line rules over what your constituents want from their MP???

    This is a good thing. I don't care how it's achieved, I just don't want the more whackado fringe elements of the CPC to put forward their pet hot button topics. Now is not the time to stir up controversy. I think this is a very smart move on Mr. Harper's part. I don't know why you're surprised by this Topaz, it's not as if Mr. Harper has heretofore had a laissez faire attitude, toward party discipline. He's always run a tight (lipped) ship why would that change?

  19. We don't have it now we have a bunch of yes men and the parliament works just fine we do not need a house like in the states that leads all legislation to a grinding halt. I promise you if we do this in a number of years you will be crying because no one will be able to get anything done.

    Easy for you to say Punked you Live in Ontario, as do I, but Ontario essentially presiding over Canada would bother you if you were from anywhere else in the nation. Throw in Quebec and there's not a damn thing any of the rest of the nation can do to stop it. Why don't you see the inequity and unfairness in that? Why are you ok with essentially a central Canada Oligarchy? Without the senate this is precisely what we would have, why aren't you getting that a country is not the same as a province, or that every other federation has a two house system, not because it's quaint, but because it's a necessity. Sometimes legislation, needs to grind to a halt, I'm certain AB/SK would be a lot happier if the NEP had been halted by the senate. That's just one example of where the senate could have actually helped. You can't simply pull at the loose threads of confederation, and not expect the whole thing to come unraveled, the system we have is tried and true and there is a reason for it. Without a second house there is too much power concentrated in the PMO. The fathers of confederation were not comfortable with concentrating too much power in one area, so I'm not certain why you're a ok with it.

  20. I should ad that the original article talks about most of these bases simply being agreements for us to use a location when we need it, but some of these (probably those in Germany and Jamaica for sure and Kuwait for now) will be manned at all times, and so that will probably mean some aircraft on deployment at all times, whether they be fighters or transports.

    As much as I support beefing up our military domestically, I always wonder with taxes being cut willy nilly, how will we pay for all of this increased spending? Mr. Harper appears to cut taxes like a conservative and spend like a drunken liberal.

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