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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. Canada Votes IMR is right. 61.64% voted for the CPC (in Alberta). Edited to add: I count 53.3% CPC support across BC, Alta, Sask, and Man.
  2. Everything is relative. I contend that there would be more waste under PR... Glad you asked. In order to garner enough support for votes, the government would have to include concessions to the supporting parties in every bill. (This would also happen if the government had to get PEI's support to get every bill through the senate, by the way. ) It would slow down the process of governing, and add costs as well.
  3. That might happen, or it might not. And if it happens, it might be a short-term effect. It would result in the permanent caging-up of Conservatives within our democratic framework, yes. But far-right parties would also pop up. Well, I'll meet you 1/2 way on it. If 10 seats works, then 20 seats or more might be a next step. The problem is that people feel out of touch with the process - it doesn't speak to them. Referrenda seem like a more natural approach to solving that problem, but we all know where that would lead.
  4. I think this idea of cultural management is on its last legs. I expect that symphonies and ballets will soon see their government support taken away.
  5. True. More corruption than PR-governed countries such as Italy and Israel ? And as I have said, there's no way of telling whether PR would foster renewed faith in democracy. We'd definitely see a far-right party start to rise, though, at some point. Then let's try it as a baby step. Say, 10 seats. With a seat guaranteed to anyone who gets at least 5% of the vote, at the expense of the party that gets the most votes. Well, just because you have a solution, it doesn't mean that it's better than the status quo. I could offer a return to absolute Monarchy as a solution as well, with such a rationale.
  6. You have hit upon a very obvious, yet unknown fact about the news here: the most important news stories are often never heard. This is a shortcoming that affects stories favouring every political stripe. For example, there are currently some countries engaged in human rights abuses that receive far less coverage than either Iraq or Cuba would. My impression is that journalists uncover news much in the same way American Idol discovers talent. In the 1950s and 1960s, when news was drier and less sensationalistic, we were content to let the academics and committee men run things. But IMO today, things are much more democratic; the common person is less likely to believe 'experts' and more likely to rely on his/her own instincts based on emotive response to what they see on television. This leaves us with some choices to make. Either we, as a society, learn to disregard our natural emotional responses to television images in order to make a reasoned intellectual decision on issues... or... we live life at the tail end of visual media's emotional whip and hope that those in high office don't abuse the medium beyond the point of no return.
  7. The PR argument (as heard on this forum) is that PR is "fairer" and "one person, one vote" etc. etc. It says nothing about under-representation of any particular viewpoint. We've also heard that referrenda are "fair". As Jeffrey Simpson pointed out last week, it's not enough to argue the abstract fairness of a particular system. You have to look at the effect it would have on the whole. I for one don't want permanent minority governments (PR) or constant horse-trading with the Senate (EEE) to get bills passed. Either system will increase wasteful spending.
  8. There are other threads on the forum making the same arguments for PR. Let's leave Senate reform (unless you want to abolish it, as it isn't used currently) and PR alone and recognize that, right or left, we've developed a system which has created an admirable balance of left and right.
  9. Why don't you PM each other with the insults. Thank you.
  10. I was talking of the last 40 years or so and the country we have produced in that time. This country has adopted many progressive social programs, while adapting to create a good environment for business, joining NAFTA and so forth. And now, people are grumbling a little so we want to risk a complete overhaul ? You, BD, are completely certain that it will fix our problems but fortunately not everyone is so confident.
  11. I agree. Let's drop the Senate, and for God's sake let's not implement PR. Jeffrey Simpson Op Ed Piece Our system has produced a very workable compromise between the forces of capitalism and socialism, an almost 50-50 split in my opinion. And all of this without PR, or significant help from the Senate. Let's not blow the whole system up with major reforms over the complains of a few...
  12. An addendum: In Septemer 1990, Gladspie told the New York Times: "We didn’t think he’d take all of Kuwait." Hermes Press
  13. Well, let's see. If we assume similar numbers to what happened on Monday, you'd have 154 seats FPTP instead of 308. 154 seats, 67 Liberal, 10 NDP, 50 CPC and 27 Bloc. The remaining 154 would be PR, or 154 seats, 57 Liberal, 24 NDP, 46 CPC and 19 Bloc So the totals would have been 124 liberal, 34 NDP, 96 CPC and 46 Bloc. Note how the NDP (the leading proponent of PR) picks up a healthy 15 seats under this modest plan
  14. Then you'll be talking about splitting 28 seats or so in Alberta with your "new" party, or a fraction of a threat to the larger CPC than the Bloc now is to the Liberals. There are many fringe parties that would welcome your support.
  15. So we all get the same ballot, with hundreds of different names on it ? I don't get it.
  16. I'll tell you what. Explain to what degree you want to introduce PR, then show me a country similar to ours that did it successfully and I'll change my mind. Well... that supports your case, yes, but I'm still unconvinced. Not really. You're proposing it as a solution to our ills, so the burden of proof is on you to support your proposal. I have no proof that PR will be worse, but it might be. My point is that it's a gamble. I have supported both parties that would benefit. My point is that it would effectively legislate away the conservative viewpoint. It's not my viewpoint, but I'll defend to the end of the thread someone's right to hold it. If you look at the current system, the most power goes to the Liberals, then the CPCs, then the NDP. Which is as it should be. Because it effectively silences conservatism in our democracy, IMO. But, who knows, as Auguste points out it may change things entirely. If the NDP consistently holds the balance of power, maybe they'll grow or alternately be drummed out entirely. There would be a big change, is all, and I'm not sure it's worth the risk at this time. And, as I've said, many structural changes to democracy sound good on the surface, but these arguments are always advanced by those who will ostensibly benefit most from it. The Harris PCs, for example, rejigged the provincial riding boundries to match the federal boundries because it would "reduce administration costs" somehow. It made logical (common?) sense to do so, according to the PCs. But the new ridings concentrated heavy NDP ridings in Toronto too, and ended up with a couple of extra seats for the PCs. Every party does it. Suspect everyone, even the one you vote for.
  17. It's not demonstrable if it works in another country, with a different socio-political makeup and political topology I can't give my cat my dog's medication. How does the fact that it has been discussed provide evidence that PR won't increase the problem of political apathy and alienation ? The NDP and Liberal axis would share power. The Libs would form governmente, suppported by the NDP. Well, you're right there but I can't agree that your cure is worse than the disease. Maybe if we talk brass tacks. I could agree with 10 new PR seats, with a minimum of 1 guaranteed to each party that wins at least 5%. Add the NDP+Liberal vote for the last, oh, 10 elections and tell me how many add up to less than 50% of the vote. Now, throw in the fact that those parties are idealogically closer than the Libs and CPC. I didn't say that. I'm saying it helps the NDP. I don't care who you support. First you thought I was a Con, now a Lib. PM me and I'll tell you who I voted for. I don't care to post it.
  18. What does that mean ? And how does the Clarity act come into play here ?
  19. Then why aren't you ruling out PR for that same reason ? It's too radical an experiment. There's no evidence that PR won't increase this problem. Until the press starts explaining that the Liberals will be permanently the government of power as a result. The process doesn't happen in a vaccuum. It unfolds according to the cards that the players hold. What is the result, though. That's what counts. (Bleat) The NDP would hold the balance of power almost all the time. Don't worry about who I do and don't support. It has no bearing on this argument. I'll tell you who I voted for in the last 6 elections if you PM me. Since they've been in government for all but 9 of the last 40 years or so, a lot. But the NDP and Reform did have an influence, in minority and in opposition, despite never holding power. Ok, well we strayed from what we were talking about here I think. The next version of the Cons will also be centrist.
  20. I see. So referendums are ruled out because they're impractical. So when should we consider the practical and when the ideal ? When it suits the NDP apparently. This system has produced a pretty good result. Why attempt radical reconstruction ? It will disturb people and further erode public trust in government. But the NDP, at 20%, would shape policy 100% of the time. Is that fair ? The first part of that sentence deals again in the ideal, and the last part deals with the practical. If you want to go 100% practical or 100% ideal in your reasoning, then ok. But you can't flip between the two when it suits your argument. The practical result of PR would be the NDP holding the balance of power 100% of the time in practice. A party with 20% of the vote holding the balance of power 100% of the time is too much power. A party with 30% of the vote never getting into office is too little power. Well, it's good to know that you're willing to take a gamble on throwing out our entire way of governing because it works elsewhere. I'm not. Even Layton would probably only want to implement partial PR. If you think that Canada has a good way of life, then you do have the Liberal Party of Canada to thank for about 80% of that. The conservatives, reform and NDP contributed the other 20%. Exactly. The PCs were a true national party capable of winning elections every few years or so.
  21. Are you kidding ? With an increase in the popular vote and more power and visibility coming his way ? Not on your life.
  22. It would be soooo stupid to dump Harper now. The east knows him now, and liked him enough to give him an early lead. All he has to do is bulletproof the CPC's policy against social conservatism. That's all. Once that is done, the Liberals will have nothing more to go after. For those of you who object to that idea, take a look back at the failures of the Reform/Alliance in the east. Preston Manning was too socially conservative, then Stockwell Day was too socially conservative, then the new CPC lost after being painted as being too socially conservative. Do you see a pattern yet ? Face it, there's no way to sneak in socially conservative policies, either under the "free vote" umbrella or otherwise. It just won't fly for a national party to get elected with any room for those kind of policies being introduced. The urban voters won't accept it, so drop it and take your place in government. Or stick by your principles and stay in opposition.
  23. Stoker: But White's views could end up as law under the CPC's "free vote" policy. And no, a dog didn't tell us they were "pro-life" but the local CPC candidates' silence on those issues raise legitimate concerns.
  24. Argus: Some excellent points here. The more I think of it, the more I agree with Adam Vaughn (CITY TV) who ascribes it to rural-urban differences. The cities are becoming more ethnically diverse, more .. uh ... gay and have crumbling infrastructure. The people who live there have to adapt to living very close to each other, and to constantly changing regulations. It makes for an urban community that has a different attitude towards government. We also saw the urban-rural split in the results of the American federal election of 2000. In the cities, yes. In the cities, people depend on the government quite heavily for security, transportation, housing control and even entertainment - not so much in the rural areas. I think city dwellers probably are just used to the influx by now. Even my old uncle in the city, who was a bit of a racist, had his Indian and Pakistani friends. ("That guy's OK", he would say of them.) Again, this applies to the city. Pride day has become the most festive summer celebration that Toronto has.. I don't know about the "hicks and rednecks" angle, but I agree with you that people shouldn't show intolerance towards other people's acceptance or rejection of homosexual acts. If you were brought up believing it was wrong, I don't think anyone can demand that you change your views. But as the bible says, you should hate the sin but love the sinner. If people are going to use their religion as a justification for their beliefs, then they should stick to it as it is written. It's not that big a chasm, really. The differences lie in a few relatively insignificant issues: whether an ethnic festival gets funded by the government, whether gay marriage is called marriage or civil union. The positions on both sides are definitely entrenched, but they're not that far apart really. Certainly not worth splitting the country over it. Well, the terrorist groups are criminals, so we should be holding the US to a higher order of behavior. But I agree with you in general here. I think people are condemning the US based on past mistakes rather than what is currently going on. And as you pointed out, there are worse offenders.
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