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Argus

What's wrong with this country anyway?

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In my opinion, what's wrong with this country is its shitty governments. I don't think I need to be specific since they're all shitty at every level. They are largely populated by small thinkers, venal, self-serving people without vision or ideas. Their principal ambition is self-promotion, and once in office, re-election. They're short-term thinkers who focus on short-term political objectives which will reward them with applause.

Why do people put up with it? It's not in your face. People who don't pay much attention to politics, which is most people, don't really even seem to notice.

For example, why are we in boom years and yet have to borrow money to pay the bills? Aside from Quebec, that is. The feds, the provinces, and most municipalities are deep in debt and finding it hard to pay the bills. And even with the borrowing we have lousy roads and bridges and general infrastructure, deteriorating health care, police services, and a crappy, rusted out military. We're supposed to be one of the richest countries on earth jammed with almost every kind of natural resources. Why do we have to borrow money to pay the damn bills?

Because of shitty governments, red tape, bureacracy, and short term thinking. Giving people stuff they want without making them pay  for it (that's why we have debt). Because of shitty government not doing its best to exploit the economic opportunies available. Because of shitty governments which leave problems to linger and fester out of cowardice in tackling issues that require long-term solutions. Natives and health care are two of the long-term issues which need long term thinking and are being largely ignored.

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One of the drawbacks of Democracy is that governments are constantly thinking about keeping their jobs AKA getting elected. This prevents them from ever thinking long-term. You don't want to go into deep debt in your first term for a project that may not be done by the time you face the public again. 

It's a vicious cycle, but the alternative is government that answers to no one. 

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3 minutes ago, Boges said:

One of the drawbacks of Democracy is that governments are constantly thinking about keeping their jobs AKA getting elected. This prevents them from ever thinking long-term. You don't want to go into deep debt in your first term for a project that may not be done by the time you face the public again. 

It's a vicious cycle, but the alternative is government that answers to no one. 

Is it? It seems to me that at some point someone, maybe Churchill, said Democracy was the worst form of government except for all the rest. And then everyone accepted that it had to be terrible, and that we couldn't come up with anything better. I like the idea of a meritocracy. Draft in the smartest people, train them in government, and then put them into jobs and promote the best and most accomplished. Start at the municipal level, perhaps, and see how they do.

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2 minutes ago, Argus said:

Draft in the smartest people, train them in government, and then put them into jobs and promote the best and most accomplished. Start at the municipal level, perhaps, and see how they do.

Ultimately that's how we get a bureaucracy. People are hired to do a task but only seek to preserve their positions and make them untouchable by elected officials. 

It's one of the things that drives me nuts about governments today. Anything that's ever done is seen as sacrosanct. 

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4 minutes ago, Boges said:

Ultimately that's how we get a bureaucracy. People are hired to do a task but only seek to preserve their positions and make them untouchable by elected officials. 

It's one of the things that drives me nuts about governments today. Anything that's ever done is seen as sacrosanct. 

What I was thinking about was eliminating the politicians entirely. Have this 'board' made up of experts appointing the very best, specially trained people to run local government, and let this board fire those who show they can't cut it, and promote the ones who can.

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This is kind of an example of why we need to borrow money. We ought to be exploiting our resources the way other countries do. But not only can't we build pipelines for oil, not only do we put in place all kinds of regulations to block resource development, we ban development of resources outright.

In the eyes of the Northwest Territories government and the energy industry, it’s painfully ironic that the Beaufort Sea contains an estimated 56 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 8 billion barrels of oil while remote communities such as Inuvik, Iqaluit and many more rely on LNG or diesel shipped in from southern Canada for power.

“We’re trucking LNG all the way from Delta to burn it in Inuvik,” Northwest Territories premier Bob McLeod said, calling the situation a missed opportunity.

Overall, onshore and offshore oil and gas development in Canada’s North has come to a complete standstill in recent years thanks in part to the fall in oil prices and abundant supplies in less expensive regions like Alberta and B.C. A federal moratorium on new offshore licences in the Arctic in 2016 has ensured that drilling activity in the region has all but ceased.

https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/energy/canada-puts-arctic-in-a-snow-globe-as-it-freezes-oil-and-gas-development-just-as-norway-russia-accelerate

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1 hour ago, Argus said:

In my opinion, what's wrong with this country is its shitty governments. I don't think I need to be specific since they're all shitty at every level. They are largely populated by small thinkers, venal, self-serving people without vision or ideas. Their principal ambition is self-promotion, and once in office, re-election. They're short-term thinkers who focus on short-term political objectives which will reward them with applause.

And yet, in comparison to other Western countries, Canada's governments aren't even that bad. Democracy doesn't encourage long term thinking.

Also, societies where most people live in comfort and apathy always begin to rot. Or, in modern forms of communication, here's a meme to explain it:

e6d73d1d674b2c5d6b28a4c3f392c913.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Bonam said:

And yet, in comparison to other Western countries, Canada's governments aren't even that bad. Democracy doesn't encourage long term thinking.

Also, societies where most people live in comfort and apathy always begin to rot. Or, in modern forms of communication, here's a meme to explain it:

e6d73d1d674b2c5d6b28a4c3f392c913.jpg

I don't disagree with any of this. But isn't there a way to short-circuit our inevitable slide to hard times on the backs of the weak leadership we have? We have weak, self-indulgent people voting for weak people who only think about short-term personal success. That's not a recipe for success, but for disaster.

 

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11 minutes ago, Argus said:

But isn't there a way to short-circuit our inevitable slide to hard times on the backs of the weak leadership we have? We have weak, self-indulgent people voting for weak people who only think about short-term personal success.

Probably not? There are precious few examples in human history of good times continuing on for more than 3 generations. And in Western countries right now we're on generation 3 of the good times (counting from the end of WWII). Just like almost all wealthy families lose their wealth in 3 generations, so too do societies lose hard-earned wisdom in 3 generations. My prediction is by the time the last WWII vets are dying of old age, we'll be back in hard times. 

I would guess that as with all human problems, there are technological solutions to this cycle, but we aren't there yet. One technological solution might be drastic life extension, in which case the strong and effective leaders that emerge in hard times could have a voice for much longer. Another technological solution might be ceding leadership to an AI. 

Edited by Bonam

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5 minutes ago, Bonam said:

Probably not? There are precious few examples in human history of good times continuing on for more than 3 generations. And in Western countries right now we're on generation 3 of the good times (counting from the end of WWII). Just like almost all wealthy families lose their wealth in 3 generations, so too do societies lose hard-earned wisdom in 3 generations. My prediction is by the time the last WWII vets are dying of old age, we'll be back in hard times. 

I would guess that as with all human problems, there are technological solutions to this cycle, but we aren't there yet. One technological solution might be drastic life extension, in which case the strong and effective leaders that emerge in hard times could have a voice for much longer. Another technological solution might be ceding leadership to an AI. 

There has to be a return to merit, and merit has to mean something. It has to mean you don't get to be a president or a prime minister - or even congressman or MP - when you're an idiot with hardly anything in your past which suggests you'd be a good, honest leader. Unfortunately, it looks like we're headed in the other direction.

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Of our last 42 Heads of State, we have had about four who were sub-par. Our current leader was trained for the job as a teenager. We should remove the constraints put in place in the last 50 years and let the Head of State select people of merit just as we used to do.

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What does this say about the priorities of the current federal government? It is the list of federal ministries, with the more important ones on top.

You might note that the minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Coast Guard is LAST on the list. Last. Who cares about those things anyway?

Just above that is the Minister for Seniors. Screw them. Not important. Then the Minister for Small Business and Exports, then the Minister for Border Services and Organized Crime.

Low on the list, eh?

If we go down from the top, the MOST important ministries of Crown-Indigenous Services is more important than the Minister of Finance and the Treasury Board Minister. Also the minister for climate change takes precedence over the minister of defense.

So if you wonder why nothing is being done to modernize the military or protect the borders, you can see how unimportant Trudeau considers these to be. For the precedence list is determined by Justin Trudeau.

https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/services/current-ministry-order-precedence.html

 

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