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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. We'll probably need to create some kind of certification system for information along the way. Something like what the USDA does for meat, ie. Grade A, Grade B, etc. If all major news outlets disappeared overnight, we'd be subjected to rumour mongering and the subsequent instability. As it is, they will disappear over the next twenty years, and the instability will seep in slowly, possibly even unnoticed.
  2. Murdoch is right, but when have executives done much better than cling to the liferaft ? Case in point is TV. With Cable channels splintering the viewership for over thirty years, how have the major networks been doing ? CNN Article The first week of July was the lowest rated week of network TV ever. And Cable TV has been around for twenty years longer than the web so can we expect newspapers to have any better luck at recapturing their splintered audience ?
  3. Okay. Well, do you not think that the FTA initiated the decline of manufacturing in Canada and the US, and was further helped by global trade agreements ? Well, that's a step back from this statement: "Eventually, the modern Liberal Party of Canada realized that political gain could be had by allowing huge voting bloc's of immigrants into Canada and modern Canada is now born with massive floods begin let in each year." But still, it's all supposition. I confess that I used to de-humanize people with different political views, in my imagination. I eventually found it to be a healthier alternative to assume that most people truly believe in doing the right thing, and to argue them on the facts rather than my suppositions on their character. Then again, I never debated with politicians on these boards. Some kind of basis for this suspicion, outside of a general prejudice against anything liberal. Do you think that the Republicans in the US have similar motivations ? If not, then it's a matter of distrust, amplified by peoples' own biases. Your own quote: "Business likes it. The larger the number of immigrants, the cheaper wages are. Big business loves immigration and always has. " It appears to me that the mystery has been unlocked.
  4. AC: Harper is a man of reason. Although social conservatism is more of a creed that is self-sustaining, ie. that doesn't need to be supported by evidence outside of itself, there is enough of it that makes sense to people across party lines. Although these days it's hard to think of social conservatism without thinking of the issue of homosexuality, there are some positive pro-family initiatives that Harper can pursue that might assuage his social conservative rock bed.
  5. I see a few things wrong with this action. Firstly, it's another example of exaggeration for effect, which we have quite enough of in the public sphere. Secondly, why are fertility experts commenting on internal policies of the Roman Catholic church ? The article does a disservice by allowing Dr. Minger to point out something that seems to be a contradiction in the church's policies without explaining either what this process is all about (ie. putting embryos "down the sink") nor getting a response of any kind from the church. The link doesn't work, by the way.
  6. Anguste - Perhaps you could provide a link to the other thread where you proposed some very well-thought-out changes to the current system as an example. You, like MD2000, would like to see major changes in the system, but you have also put more effort into breaking down the problems and developing an actionable road map for change. In my opinion, anyway.
  7. Argus: Though the term isn't commonly used any more, China has traditionally been classified as 2nd world. So my point - that you can't lay the blame for this at the feet of the Liberals - still stands. And as for the allegation that immigration is a plot to get Liberals re-elected: has anyone ever provided evidence of this ? I'm also still waiting for MikeDavid00 to provide evidence on the education levels of truck drivers from India. Given that he's chastised others for their lack of research, I expect him to post this soon.
  8. Your correction is noted. I did research: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pub/facts2004/index.html I'm still waiting to see your source on the claim w.r.t. Indian truck drivers and their average education. Don't be so presumptuous about my research when you don't even want to back up your facts. You are indeed a left-winger. Globalization, open borders and worries about depressed wages has traditionally been a concern of the NDP. That's fine. We have many jobs like this, but the companies don't like having to pay more than 50 or 100K for these people so they get concessions on bringing in skilled workers to do this work. About a month ago. Not true. Mexicans are taking factory jobs at minimum wage or lower, which angers lower/middle class people who are seeing their wages eroded. Again, most of this is a lament against the business community. They would like to see minimum wages erased completely. Well, it's the way of the future so you should just get used to it. And blaming the Liberals is useless, in my opinion, because it's the same story with Conservatives, Republicans and Democrats too. In my opinion you sound like an NDP'er, which strikes me as strange because usually NDPers rage against Conservatives not Liberals.
  9. The beginning of time ? I don't know about that... Marriage didn't involve divorce until recent memory and society seemed to make that switch eventually.
  10. MikeD: Have you done research yourself ? Where do you get the 70% from third world countries figure ? By my count 25% are from China or Europe alone so 70% from third world countries seems high. And I saw in the news today that unemployment is at a 32 year low. The downward pressure on wages may be of concern to you, but you should probably blame the FTA as much as the Liberals as that agreement (signed by Mulroney) started the long decline of manufacturing in Canada. And, again, if this is a Liberal plot why are Conservative governments also using the same strategy ? Doesn't it seem like a risky strategy to you to increase Liberal support ? It does to me.
  11. Don't forget Quebeckers... And especially foreigners.... Strange, but true...
  12. Well, good on them for that. I did think that the party leaders did some good work when they reformed election finances. And... PR would be good - maybe even better - if it led to true dialogue and compromise between the federal parties. I have, in the past, advocated de-politicizing large aspects of government business, and maybe this is a good way to achieve that end. If it happens through PR, I'll be very happy to admit I was wrong about it.
  13. Well, I have expressed my concerns about how the results will impact national unity, conservative minded voters, and the system as a whole. In general, you don't seem to empathize with conservatives or the regional mindset and continually portray this new system as objectively fair. This is politics, though, and it's all about compromise. The people who try to implement this will have to be more sensitive to other voices and viewpoints than you are.
  14. Well, if you're willing to waste 5% then why not just go straight to 0% ? I'm only using the word 'waste' in order to play along. Anyone who voted Conservative in downtown Toronto is considered a 'wasted' vote, yet the CPC is in government so... With regards to your system, am I correct when I say that the final numbers in the HofC will represent the national vote then ? It seems that way. If so, then my problems with the system have already been stated. The Conservatives of Canada are poorly represented by such a system. Whether or not you like Conservative governments and policies, you have to realize that a place such as Alberta (staunchly Conservative) that only gets to see a government they like every ten years or so, will possibly never see a Conservative government. This bodes poorly for national unity. Likewise, Quebec will see the Bloc reduced in power. I'm ok with tinkering with the system, but a vast reinvention such as this seems to only serve a minority of voters who never get their way.
  15. Well, if you say you can't defend it then you're already waving the white flag. It would be rather unsporting for someone to attack you at that point.
  16. Excellent. Then the only view of democracy that you would see fit is direct democracy and I can't argue with you on that. I admire the fact that you'd be willing to put in the time to make such a system work. Oh. Sorry - we're talking about the referendum here. I see. It's hard to justify any number other than 50%+1 as being natural, I'll admit. I had to pick a number and thought 2-1 would be a good ratio to pick. Some have submitted that 60% should be the number. I think it's fair enough to say that some think 50% is too low a threshold for a big change. I agree with those people, but I agree with you that I can't justify my number. There are two things being discussed - the referrendum and PR rule itself. Most of my arguments here relate to PR rule itself, and not the referrendum number. Sorry for the confusion... And ... how'd we end up in THIS thread ?
  17. I'm going to offer a halfway solution at this point, to see if this resolves some of the issues raised. Out of 308 Seats, what if we added, say, 3 seats that were to go to any party that got 5% of the vote or more, but wasn't represented in parliament ? That would give the Greens a voice providing they can push past 5% and might address some concerns about representation. What do you think ?
  18. Actually, I have addressed them with point of my own that you haven't responded to. Measuring how many votes aren't represented is certainly one metric, but there are other considerations. And, as my point to Charles explains, I could turn your arguments back on you and say if you want to waste 0% of the vote then go for 100% PR, or (even better) direct democracy. Point 1) - see my point to Charles above. The Conservatives haven't had 50% of the vote in recent memory, if that has ever happened. Point 2) - can you see how you're contradicting your own PR arguments here ? You're saying that if 70% of the voters are left-liberal, then that government should rule in perpetuity. In other words 30% of the voters will never see their preferred philosophy of government come to rule. Is it fair that PEI should get more seats per capita than Ontario ? Is it fair that the Senate is appointed ? There are many ways that the system doesn't appear fair, but on the whole it has produced a workable compromise.
  19. Maybe not. The Harris government re-districted Ontario (under a majority) to align with the Federal boundries for reasons of efficiency which were never clear. The end result was that many left-liberal districts were split and the sitting government ended up with an advantage - surprise, surprise. McGuinty could conceivably call for a PR referendum with a 50%+1 pass rate, and implement a system of his own design after its success. The end result could be set up to whatever end result the Premier wanted, within certain limits of public acceptability.
  20. I don't see how you could possibly read that in my posts. Read my last post again. Following your tack, it seems that you want the most fair and balanced democracy, however impractical. Is that correct ? If so, then PR is far less fair and balanced than direct democracy. Perhaps that's what we should be discussing. If, however, you accept the premise that democracy has to make some concessions to practicality then PR and the current system are more closely related than PR is to pure democracy. Again, there's no basis for that allegation in my arguments. I haven't said that I'm a Conservative supporter. I'm arguing for a system that gives the most people the most chance to have their viewpoint heard in a practical way.
  21. I guess I should have said 2-1 ratio. Pure democracy would mean that each of us vote issue-by-issue with a clear majority passing. Since that's impractical, we use a representative democracy, first-past-the-post parliament with lower and upper houses - a mix of mechanisms designed to create a system that is, on the whole, fair and practical. To say 'PR is more fair' is fair, I suppose. But it's too much to say it's 'fair'. That kind of black-and-white description is persuasive but incorrect. Anything short of pure democracy could be depicted as unfair, and flawed but what it really is, is more practical. As such, I don't think PR will help our system of government in practice. A pure PR system would give us perpetual minority governments, and potentially cause all kinds of unintentioned results. When I look at the balance of governments we've created, and the well balanced system I ask "why does this need such an overhaul ?". The answer seems to be that we need to change the system for everybody so that the 10% who vote Green or somesuch have representatives in parliament. Since the CPC is the only right-of-centre party that gets any kind of significant vote, they would have no other like party to form a coalition with, should they get less than 50% of the vote. I don't remember Conservatives in Canada ever getting 50%, so... You would, in effect, be designing a system that's "Fair" to the 10% of Green voters, but would tak epower away to the 30% or so Conservative voters out there.
  22. As I posted, I want the threshold to be 66 2/3 %. My reason: A 2-1 count in favour would be hard to argue against.
  23. Yes, I support it and it ISN'T FLAWED. I have shown you how the system would be a disadvantage to conservative voters in Canada and you haven't come back with anything substantial. You claimed that the current government would still have been formed if elected under PR and I showed you that that is not necessarily the case. Rather than throwing around value-laden words like 'fair' and 'flawed', and calling into question my voting practices, why don't you address what I have written here ? The fact that you haven't makes me think that you have less to back up your arguments than you think you do. Cheers, mh
  24. His approval rating isn't just low among lefties and liberals but also conservatives. He himself has admitted errors in the Iraq operation. The budget has ballooned under his administration. Gas prices have risen faster than inflation of late. His initiative to pardon illegal immigrants is highly unpopular. His political appointee in FEMA looked like an ill-prepared flunky during hurricane Katrina. Those are the few that I can think of off the top of my head.
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