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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. I think if you have a problem with a post, or poster, you should check whether it contravenes the guidelines then report the poster. I have done this in the past, and Greg has been responsive. This is what makes a moderated forum great.
  2. Maybe it would be less scary if I had said "in order for us to get along peaceably with these countries, they would need to want to be part of the same world as us". Yes, I believe this is all true. The influence of corporations is one of the aspects of our current western civilization, but I don't know if you could say it's the defining influence. Maybe this is what the argument is about. Not if the people of these countries want to westernize. Essentially, yes. If these countries are eventually going to be on the same team as us, this is how they'll have to look. I'll leave your perspective on our western civilization intact, even though I don't entirely agree with it. Oh, yes, there is something wrong with us. And the title of the thread could be "what's wrong with western countires". And in such a thread we could discuss the ways that the west would have to change in order to be more like the "Islamic world". I probably agree with you more than you realize. I was just discussing a practical problem, which is something along the lines of "How would George W. Bush's ideal vision of a new Iraq come into being ?". But I do think that the systems used by many of these countries are inferior to our (deeply flawed) systems, and that it's possible for them to evolve (yes, evolve) to a system of informed secular democracy that's superior to ours in a few years.
  3. As I said in my last post, the CPC is the party that will allow completely free votes, so they should be telling us what they think. Whether he told them to be quiet or not, they're not being so forthcoming. And they would jump all over your statement as being anti-choice. It might. It just might. The CPC has a large conservative force that wants to be able to have its ideas heard. Fine. Harper's solution is to push that off on free votes, so that mainstream voters won't be scared into voting against the CPC. Also fine. No contradiction there. But at some point, the rubber has to hit the road. If the mainstream is vulnerable to fear-mongering, and the political solution is to use free votes to mollify the conservative hardliners, then there's a disconnect if the local candidates don't tell us what they're thinking. But, politically, it's a very good play by Harper. Quite in the league of Chretien, I would say. But I don't have to believe it's all about integrity etc. etc. any more than I believed the Liberals when they pulled these stunts.
  4. Well, how do I know that if the local candidates don't tell me how they feel ? This is all specific to abortion, and beside the point that the local candidates should be telling us. Based on Poll numbers I saw yesterday, voters see the Liberals as slightly stronger on healthcare than the CPCs. Well, yes. Maybe the other party candidates should start thinking about doing this, seeing as how a CPC government is looking more likely. But, I think the party that has free votes entrenched in its policy has an obligation to have its local candidates explain their views, more so than other parties that might be sitting in parliament under the new CPC rules. Martin will allow free votes, but not on anything that he doesn't want to allow free votes on. Just like Harper.
  5. But they (the local CPC candidates) haven't been saying anything, and that seems to me to be irresponsible, given their official party platform.
  6. Really ? Why ? It seems to me Martin would have much more leeway to deal with the Bloc than Harper.
  7. Capital punishment is a possible bogeyman that will rise at a certain point in the campaign.
  8. This is entirely appropriate, given that their party policy states that they will be voting independently on these issues. This is a practical matter. The CPC's stance on social issues is the story. Martin has his own similar set of problems. I don't think their friends in the media have been doing a good job of portraying Martin as a winner. Instead, the Liberal story is their floundering and impending defeat. That's the worst story that could befall the Liberals, too.
  9. Television advertising doesn't really appeal to the intellect. It's more impressionistic - that's why it works. We already know this. It's not party policy. Free votes are. That's the question. And unless the local candidates tell us what their stances are, we don't know for sure. The larger issue - charter rights - are probably of importance to enough people. That's why the Liberals are taking this tack, I think. I don't think that health care is a particularly weak issues for the Liberals anyway. The Conservatives are probably more vulnerable. Politics is all about deciding what issues are most important in the public mind. That's the battle that's before us. There's no way to practically tell how intelligent or honest a local candidate is, especially if they're a new face. And the local candidate's stand on party policy is a moot point - they'll follow the party line. I just think since free votes are already CPC policy, any CPC candidate has an obligation to be forthright about their views on social issues. People do care.
  10. Martin will try to portray the CPC tax cuts as irresponsible. He will try to get Harper to explain what he will cut, and when Harper floats above the question, he will try to highlight the hidden economic agenda. Martin will also focus on the social issues/free vote thing. In French, Martin will try to scare Quebecers into voting for him by pointing out that Harper will cut jobs in Quebec - government jobs, jobs in subsidized industries etc. Uh... I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen Martin in a debate and I don't think I have. I can't see Martin coming off as looking confident in such a scenario.
  11. To the point of the thread: Please continue to tell me what your local CPC candidates have specifically posted on their websites about what they will/won't support in free votes.
  12. I found another CPC site of a candidate that had canvassed his constituents to guage how he would vote on a certain social issue, and stated it. Good for him. But it seems to be more common for a CPC candidate's website to talk about accountability, or even (incredibly) free votes, then to not indicate what they're planning to do with their free vote. I'll say. But he has also stated that he will allow free votes on CPC party non-policy. As such, his candidates should be expressing their views or someone might think that they have a hidden agenda or something ! Of course they will. And Harper too will "made plain that social issues will not be a priority for his government ", which is to his advantage.
  13. A quick scan of 10 random CPC sites finds that only ONE candidate stated his personal views on social issues. Nine did not: Barry Cline St. Paul's Carol Skelton Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar Victor Chan Vancouver South John Koury Esquimalt - Juan de Fuca Jesse Johl Vancouver-Kingsway (believes in accountability) David MacKenzie Oxford County Mike Wallace Burlington George Drazenovic Burnaby-Douglas (free votes a top priority) Guy Lauzon Stormont, Dundas, & South Glengarry Hats off to the one CPC candidate in 10 who states his views: Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton - Melville "dedication to issues such as the tradtional defination of marriage" "defunding of abortions"
  14. Jesse Johl CPC Vancouver-Kingsway -> believes in accountability... views on social issues not stated
  15. Garry Breitkreuz CPC Yorkton - Melville -> "dedication to issues such as the tradtional defination of marriage" "defunding of abortions"
  16. With the prospect of a CPC government becoming more real with each passing day, we are told that a CPC government itself will not be introducing legislation on abortion, same-sex marraige etc. However, a CPC government will allow free votes on any issue not covered in party policy. It's therefore very important for voters to be informed on how the local candidates stand on certain issues (I'll call them social issues here) that might be put to a free vote. It's even more important, in fact it should be a requirement, that any CPC candidate express their views on social issues, since under CPC policy, they might be voting on these in the next session of parliament. I checked my local candidate's website. He mentions the fact that a CPC government will allow free votes several times, but he doesn't offer his own views on any of the controversial issues that he will ostensibly be voting on. MapleLeafWeb members - check your local candidate's website and tell us whether your CPC candidate says anything about social issues. St. Paul's CPC candidate Barry Cline -> nothing stated.
  17. Seeing as how there might be free votes in the future, it's important for voters to find out how their local CPC candidates stand on the issues. My local conservative candidate is touting the fact that the CPC will be introducing more votes, yet he doesn't anywhere on his website indicate how he stands on issues that may come up for free vote... Sounds like an idea for a new thread...
  18. Perhaps, but the poll numbers were there. It's hard to predict the future, as we all now know. Agreed.
  19. Indeed. I have changed my position on at least three major issues thanks to forum discussions with those on the other side.
  20. I stand corrected. But, really, t'was ever so. Those in power do not let go of what's important to them, and Harper will be no different in this regard.
  21. As far as I can see "media bias" is subordinate to the prevailing winds of the day; if everyone thinks Martin is desperate, then he is desperate. Harper has done a magificent job, politically, so far. All that remains is for him to remain above the fray in the debates and he will be the next PM.
  22. Well, people say stupid things when they're young and radical . Should they be held accountable for these statements ? Sure... Stockwell Day, Stephen Harper included.
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