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Michael Hardner

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Better ... but still smacks of sabotage befitting a dalton liberal:

'Let's pretend to discuss this and sabotage it'.

This is how election officials tasked with engaging with the public on the topic of PR roll as well, and they wonder where the public's trust has disappeared to.

I see little reason not to raise the topic of PR in other threads. The fact is there are many cross currents that course through a whole range of issues touched on in this forum. The interconnectedness is ubiquitous and democracy and the lack thereof is usually standing in the middle of the intersection.

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The people in Greece, Spain etc never saw the crookedness that hit them because, well they couldn't see what was going on... who could? I just can't put it any clearer than that.

You can't put it any clearer because you have no idea what you're talking about in the first place. Greece's corruption problems were/are systemic and permeate their entire population. Their black market economy accounts for about 25% of their GDP, meaning people just don't like paying taxes there.

And it's clear that your usually balanced response is visceral: You come close to planting fears that Proportional Representation will murder mothers and apple pie! :)

He doesn't do that at all. That's just a lame red-herring.

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Blah fricken blah blah....

Greece's corruption problems were/are systemic and permeate their entire population. Their black market economy accounts for about 25% of their GDP, meaning people just don't like paying taxes there.

Tax avoidance is a cultural problem in Greece because it's such a systemic problem in their government - hence my reference to the collapse of regulatory oversight which you overlooked.

In the meantime other countries' (Spain etc) financial systems are likewise going down the same tube suggesting you're the one without a clue given you didn't provide a reason why. I suspect banksters but you get quite offended at this impudence of mine don't you?

Speaking of which Swiss banks contain some 20 billion euros owned by Greeks. How much of that is owed by Greeks should be as apparent to Swiss regulators as it is to Greece's. It sure as hell would be if I had anything to say about it.

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California's ballot measures are the best examples of 'law making by referendum' and they have been an unmitigated disaster. All of the problems of money and special interests are still at play but effects are worse since it is harder to reverse bad laws created by referendum.

Okay, I'll settle for cameras and microphones in the PMO and other smoke-filled back rooms of power and wealth instead. But it has to be one or the other because all of the problems of money and special interests that are in play will still get worse. I submit that the effects of a revolution will be a lot harder to reverse or live with than anything you're imagining.

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submit that the effects of a revolution will be a lot harder to reverse or live with than anything you're imagining.

They tried that in Russia. They created a brand new system which was built on cronyism and special deals for the well connected. Much worse that what we have now. I think you are naive to expect that any change to the system will stop this kind of stuff. In fact, anyone leading a revolution is not interested in changing that - they just want their cronies to be favoured instead.

Free speech and open processes are the best defense.

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The people in Greece, Spain etc never saw the crookedness that hit them because, well they couldn't see what was going on... who could? I just can't put it any clearer than that.

Baloney. The chickens came home to roost n Greece, and the eggs were laid by Greeks not Germans.

They could help themselves immensely by simply paying their own income taxes.

They could only not have seen it coming if every adult was a Helen Keller clone.

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Baloney. The chickens came home to roost n Greece, and the eggs were laid by Greeks not Germans.

They could help themselves immensely by simply paying their own income taxes.

They could only not have seen it coming if every adult was a Helen Keller clone.

They might, if they didn't think, indeed believe almost to a certainty that the government would squander the revenues.

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Tax avoidance is a cultural problem in Greece because it's such a systemic problem in their government

First, that makes no sense whatsoever. Second, even if it did you'd be wrong. It's a cultural problem going back to the Ottomans, where tax evasion was a form of passive resistance to their rule but didn't end when their occupation did. Finally, tax evasion is a common problem wherever the olive tree grows, where self-employment is significantly more common and gives the average Mediterranean way more opportunity to fudge their books.

In the meantime other countries' (Spain etc) financial systems are likewise going down the same tube suggesting you're the one without a clue given you didn't provide a reason why.

I did provide one. Portugal, Italy and Spain all share exceptionally large tax evasion problems, ranging from 19-25% of their GDPs. Their aversion to paying taxes, however, do not correspond to a similar aversion to public spending. This, among a good many other structural/chronic problems in their economy (like hefty trade imbalances, lagging productivity gaps, ridiculous labour laws, high household debt etc) made a reality check inevitable. It's no coincidence that these countries were hit so hard by the global financial crisis.

Speaking of which Swiss banks contain some 20 billion euros owned by Greeks. How much of that is owed by Greeks should be as apparent to Swiss regulators as it is to Greece's. It sure as hell would be if I had anything to say about it.

Again, you're not making sense. Explain.

Large portions of the Greek population emptied their bank accounts and hid their money wherever they could to avoid government levies resulting from austerity measures. They'll avoid paying taxes any way they can.

Edited by Moonbox

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You.guys make Greeks sound like fine upstanding right-wingers.

So how come government revenues haven't soared in the face of all the tax cutting? Why aren't fortune 500 companies flocking to Greece to take advantage of the advantageous tax environment?

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Steering this back to the topic, these are countries led by weak governments, governments elected by proportional representation. On the other hand, I can't explain Germany. Go figure...

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You.guys make Greeks sound like fine upstanding right-wingers.

So how come government revenues haven't soared in the face of all the tax cutting?

Who said anything about tax-cutting? We're talking about tax-evasion, as in the tendency of the average Greek for dishonesty in reporting their income. The mental gymnastics you had to go through to even get to that question are astonishing.

Why aren't fortune 500 companies flocking to Greece to take advantage of the advantageous tax environment?

Because the tax environment isn't advantageous at all. Fortune 500 companies can't fudge their books and deal in cash like a ma & pa garage can in Greece. Additionally, Greece's productivity lags fairly far behind in terms of output/worker, so there's little reason for companies to invest there in the midst of their other economic woes.

Edited by Moonbox

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So PR, too much democracy, is bringing Europe to it's knees.

I suppose in the next WW we'll be over there installing dictators instead of toppling them.

I suppose we'll have no more say about going off to WW3 than the last two installments.

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.....I suppose we'll have no more say about going off to WW3 than the last two installments.

Don't worry...next time you won't be British subjects.

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Much of the financial turmoil in countries like Greece, Spain Portugal etc. can be blamed on governments elected by proportional representation.

The trouble was caused by corruption within government and the financial sectors. The electoral process had little if anything to do with it. Mainly because the private financial sectors (not elected or government) gamed the system.

I haven't noticed better, fairer or more responsive government in prop rep countries. Rather the reverse, in fact. So far, all governments in Canada pretty much govern from the centre, so what's the issue?

If they are all center, then why do we still buy into the left/right ideologies? Why do they continue to wear a certain political colour if they are all really centrists?

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It was caused by governments unable to increase revenues to meet expenses and unable to reduce expenses to meet revenues due to the pressure from coalition partners. Governments cannot function effectively if they are constantly on the brink of falling.

I'm not sure what you mean by banksterism. How would a modern economy function without a healthy banking system. Canada has among the best banking houses in the world...but that is off the topic of this thread.

Why did the Royal Bank, CIBC, and a couple others get the bail out that was not a bail out? If they are sound, why did money need to be injected into them? The money came from CMHC and the bank of Canada along with a chunk from the US Federal Reserve.

It's not the job of government to increase revenue. It is the job of government to make sure that the playing field is level for all players. The revenue increase is through the private sector which most large companies pay less tax than you or I.

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Large portions of the Greek population emptied their bank accounts and hid their money wherever they could to avoid government levies resulting from austerity measures. They'll avoid paying taxes any way they can.

Dipping into personal savings is against the law and is outright theft. Even if your money is in a Canadian bank, you run the same risk.

But here is another thing, the bank runs caused some of the banks to collapse. Why? Because the money they have on hand at anytime can only honour a small percentage of the total accounts. Meaning most are going to be screwed out of their money. Some call this a 'bail in'.

Austerity measures are not a form of taxes. It means taxpayers will be on the hook for someone else's corruption.

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Because the tax environment isn't advantageous at all. Fortune 500 companies can't fudge their books ......

Stop right there. They can and DO fudge their books while being some of the largest tax evaders that exist.

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All PR does is bring in the idiots and that will kill the country.

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So PR, too much democracy, is bringing Europe to it's knees.

For Italy and Greece, with their famously unstable and ineffective governments, PR has fairly obviously contributed to their problems.

I suppose in the next WW we'll be over there installing dictators instead of toppling them.

That's just a dumb red herring. Having clearly been unable to argue your point rationally and based on facts, you've sunk to ridiculous hyperbole and general silliness.

I suppose we'll have no more say about going off to WW3 than the last two installments.

When did WW2 start, and when did the USA join? Once you've looked that up, try and explain the 2+ year gap.

Edited by Moonbox

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They can and DO fudge their books while being some of the largest tax evaders that exist.

You conveniently cut off the rest of that sentence. Large corporations can't fudge their books like small businesses can. It's way easier to do business off the books for a self-employed tradesman or small proprietor. A Fortune 500 comapny can't deal in cash the same way.

But here is another thing, the bank runs caused some of the banks to collapse. Why? Because the money they have on hand at anytime can only honour a small percentage of the total accounts.

Thanks, for the explanation, but I work in finance.

Austerity measures are not a form of taxes. It means taxpayers will be on the hook for someone else's corruption.

No, that's just the definition you've decided to give the term. Austerity measures are nothing more and nothing less than an attempt to bring government budgets back in line and provide them with some discipline and credibility. The Greeks were running large and irresponsible structural deficits even during good times, so as I've said before a reckoning was inevitable.

Edited by Moonbox

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The "many parties" aspect of PR gives me great pause in wanting to strongly consider it. We almost experienced what could happen back in the Dion/Layton/Duceppe "coalition" days. That's precisely the type of coalition that could result with PR. For years, the Bloc got a sizable share of the popular vote - and in a PR setting, they could command a substantial say in a coalition government. These regional and single-cause parties may reflect more of an emotional vote than one that is directed to the betterment of the country as a whole - yet these parties tend to weaken the mandate of the coalition - and thus the leadership of the country.

Edited by Keepitsimple

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I wish the people on the left would admit they lost the last election and once the left is back in power PR is out the window. It is the worst thing this country can do is give the lunatic fringe any say in how this country is run.

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I think we've had enough fearmongering about the scary 'coalitions'.

In our minority governments, parties have always collaborated to address every piece of legislation, with the minor parties sometime voting together to defeat bills, or one or another of them sometimes voting with the party in power to pass legislation.

These are not 'coalitions'.

They are not even 'voting blocks' as they don't always vote the same but shift according to the issues.

They may or may not vote the same way depending on the bill's relationship to their party policies or input from their constituents.

In my opinion, this is a very healthy form of governance, more reflective of the character of the country and also of good business practice: We all collaborate with people across religious, political, professional and other 'lines' at times, to include the best of a variety of perspectives.

I believe that collaboration across ideological lines produces the best quality of policy and governance as it addresses the needs of more Canadians efficiently and effectively.

I think such collaboration is the hallmark of sophisticated leadership, and I would like to see more of it. PR encourages that kind of excellence, collaboration instead of division.

Our current system divides Canadians.

That can be improved.

We can incorporate a variety of views and knowledge to work together for the BEST outcomes, instead of wasting time and money fighting ideological battles.

So the multi-party aspect of PR is a strength, imv.

Even the "lunatic fringe" might have some good input on legislative topics unrelated to their 'lunacy'.

.

Edited by jacee

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I would worry that any grassroots effort to bring in proportional representation would be another exercise in futility, as any Ontario voter can recall from the last time McGuinty ran on the issue, and yes- he did put it up for plebiscite, but his government provided almost no supporting information, so that the anti-PPV propaganda had most voters believing it was an attack on democracy!

Short story is that, for any proportional voting system to get passed, the support groups have to recognize that they have NO real allies in any of the major parties! Any political party that has enough base of support to win seats through traditional divide-and-rule will not be open to proportional representation, that will weaken the odds of governing with majority government (with a minority of voters). So, any more referendums better be prepared to be kneecapped or shot in the back by politicians pretending to be on your side!

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