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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. Bro: Your statement is evocative but meaningless. Would the average citizen in 1867 have the opportunities that we have today ? I doubt it.
  2. All true, but is there any real doubt that PM will be the next PM ?
  3. Communist Party of Canada Platform Here's a referrence. Far from advocating nationalization of ALL industry, or nationalization of LARGE industry, the Communists are advocating corporate tax rates be set at... 19 % ! That's a pretty good sign that things are shifting to the right, economically anyway. Socially, the west has been shifting away from religious values for at least fifty years. I don't know that the left can be blamed for something that's so globally pervasive.
  4. Economically, this is not the case. Compare us against similar economies and democratic systems and we have lower tax rates than many. The progressive tax system exists in pretty much all of the Western economies. As far as the issues things you mention, we're probably around the same as many European countries. Harper's position on marijuana decriminalization seems to be pretty similar to Martin's now, and I wonder how many of those other issues will be mentioned by him during the campaign. You're projecting your own feelings about the country over the whole populace here, I think. As I mentioned in another post, even the Communists have moved to the right. In the 2000 election, they weren't even advocating mass nationalization of industries which has been a Communist manstay. I think they're looking more towards restoring tax rates for the very rich to where they were ten, fifteen years ago.
  5. You can look up the dictionary definition. Those would be the definitions I would follow.
  6. We've been lied to by all the parties and I'm getting kind of fed up over it. Maybe this furor will dampen the enthusiasm for telling tall tales on the campaign trail.
  7. Do you mean from your perspective ? Or do you actually think these words have the same meaning ? So Francois Mitterand was less mature than Engels ? Well - you're in the cozy position of never having to be in any kind of office at all. Do you think it makes YOU less careful with your words ? Could be...
  8. Back to your first post, Maplesyrup. I should note that the left is to the right of the left of days past. ( Got that ? ) No one is calling for nationalization of industry anymore, not even the Communist Party. And Layton says he wouldn't run a deficit. These are signs that things have generally turned to the right. ( Fiscally, anyway. ) And somebody please explain which party would support a minority CPC party. Or are we hoping that the 25% will climb to 40% ?
  9. I believe the French philosophers were the first to popularize the idea of free expression as a basic human right. This event predates electronic mass media, which is a different animal altogether and should be recognized as such. This is an excellent argument against paid lobby professionals, television campaigns, and so forth. It was bad then, and it's bad now. That's a different problem than television ads, I think. Regardless of whether it's that group, or large unions, you're talking about groups that have access to the resources needed to mount these campaigns. Are you sure that the Coalition isn't supported by Corporations ? The people don't have access to network television ads, except to watch them. The establishment does.
  10. It would be nice to see some comparison figures. I already showed in another thread that the US spends about twice as much per capita for about half the coverage. How about Europe ? Wait times ? Costs per capita ?
  11. Not at all. Freedom of speech is still intact. Freedom to flood the airwaves with deceptives television ads has, thankfully, been curtailed. And it's not about the Liberals either. It's about the quality of debate. The same tactics have been used or could be used against Mike Harris or Steven Harper. I think the decision means we'll be heading down a higher path of democracy than our neighbours to the south. Let the issues be discussed through debate and discussion rather than misleading ads.
  12. Well, if Harper manages to win a minority government there still is the question of who would support him. I haven't heard any realistic explanations yet of how that would happen. So the only question is will it be a Liberal minority (with the NDP) or a majority ?
  13. The obvious answer is that Quebec holds a large number of "swing" seats that can go one way or another, but are ultimately winnable by the Liberals or the Tories if the leader speaks French. So from a strategic point of view campaigning hard in Quebec makes sense. I found this quite interesting: If I were you, I would contact the National Post with the details of this encounter. If it is indeed official policy, then it seems that it contradicts the official languages act and would make for a nicely embarassing piece on the sitting government.
  14. I don't know about that. The district leans left, and it's a PROVINCIAL election with the Conservatives lacking a leader right now. I don't think Harper should be too conerned.
  15. The images and the brutality are certainly depressing and horrible, but what is the are the benchmarks of success for fighting a large scale war in these times ? And are they realistic ? The public debate, such as it is, seems to be able to turn on a single death if that death happens to be caught on videotape, or if an American is involved etc. Many have been killed in Iraq, and many more will be killed but that is to be expected in a military action on this scale. There were almost 17 THOUSAND soldiers killed in Vietnam in 1968 - the worst year of fighting. The current situation is obviously much better, but the coverage would make it seem much worse. It seems that fighting war is no longer politically sustainable for a public that can be swayed by a single graphic image of attrocity. I'm generally a pacifist, but I find myself finding odd comfort in the fact that this new attitudes are based largely in the public's irrationality.
  16. Personally, I think that Cherry's camp leaked this story as a ploy to get Coach's Corner back.
  17. In most cases, the laws of the land are logical, consistent and accepted by its citizens. But there are some cases where these qualities don't apply. These cases tend to surface where the cold abstract logic of legal principle clashes with inalterable human attributes. One area where this happens is something called "community values". It's a legal term used to enforce laws that may not be logically consistent but are widely accepted by citizens. Nudity, for example, could logically be argued as being a form of freedom of expression yet there are no widespread calls for legalization of nudity because most people would just find that offensive. Perhaps one day this might change, but community values would have to change first. Is any more "fair" to nudists who want to walk around today in the buff than it was to gays who wanted to make out in public in 1960 ? No. But community values pretty much dictate the baseline of our legal system, as much as any constitution does. Community values are another form of the "legislated morality" that is what has happened in Red Deer to some degree. But the community values there have come into direct conflict with different community values in another area where the laws are set, or maybe with the values of the top lawmakers themselves. This situation occurs when there's enough general support (whatever that level is) to push for across the board social changes at all levels. The same basic situation happened with the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s. What results in these cases is a higher government power tries to legislate against attitudes and ideas that the larger group thinks is backward and provincial and a smaller community becomes a social battleground for the legal test case. What are the products of these types of conflict ? Protection against descrimination for the protected group, in theory ,for one. Resentment and alienation of the larger political body in the community for another. Can these situation be avoided ? I think the only argument to be made is whether the government should be involved at all in deciding what constitutes descrimination and enacting laws to protect certain groups. If you allow for government action to prohibit descrimination against any identified group, then you acknowledge that the constitution represents a national community standard that most be followed. As far as this goes, I'm sure that even in the US you would find widespread support for some laws that prohibit racism, sexism, and so forth. So as long as you acknowledge that the government has a role in intervening to protect individuals you have a slippery slope to protecting them from being barred from harassment, to protecting group descrimination based on race, sex, or whatever legal behavior they choose to engage in. All of this presupposes that the larger community has seen fit to identify that group as being vulnerable to descrimination. What would happen in these communities if there wasn't a national policy of ending this identified descrimination ? It's impossible to tell, but community values do change, and in the long term I expect the larger trend towards acceptance of homosexuality will continue with or without legislation. The difficult fights that will happen along the way are a necessary product of our system of dealing with these different values. The best we can hope for is that people on all sides of the issues behave in a responsible manner as the situation moves to some kind of resolution.
  18. AF: Actually, AF, he told the patrons that they "can't do that in here". It's illegal to refuse service based on sexual orientation. It will be determined whether the owner broke the law or not.
  19. I have never heard the case for CBC bias quoted quite this way before, August1991. You have put your finger on what bothers me about the CBC, IMO. It's not so much that they have an overt political bias as much as a personality bias. As you point out, it's a teacher's network. No wonder it's not that popular. It would be refreshing to hear the voices of people who aren't so think-y on CBC radio.
  20. I was speaking to someone today who said the same thing - that the CPC is keeping Harper in the background until the election is called so that he can be discovered afresh when it matters. If that's the case, then it's all about the timing - and Paul Martin holds the stopwatch. Uh.... well, you get the gist of it...
  21. Is it just me or is shy Steven Harper still avoiding the glare of the cameras ? Throughout this sponsorship scandal I have seen much more of Peter McKay than I have of the opposition leader. This doesn't bode well for hopes for a CPC breakthrough this spring. Please post here if you've sighted him.
  22. Martin will continue to be PM, don't worry about that. I doubt he will be looking to raise taxes in the near future. Dalton hasn't said he's going to raise taxes either, but has been looking into some other ways to raise money. He's going to find it hard to run a Liberal government with Mike Harris' tax rates. But the Liberals will continue to 'play it safe'.
  23. I don't remember any recent tax hikes by the Federal Liberals. Let's see.... I'll do a quick Google search here... I took the first hit I found and there was a 3% reduction for middle income earners and a 7% reduction in corporate rates in 2000. 2000 Budget This thread is about impressions, not facts.
  24. Yes, thanks to Greg this is the best Canadian political forum. But it's up to all of us to keep the standard up.
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