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Michael Hardner

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Everything posted by Michael Hardner

  1. Maybe you don't know how a minority government works. The Conservatives would need to survive a vote of confidence in order for them to form the government in the first place, I believe. A Liberal that supported such a vote would effectively be crossing the floor. Well, as I said above they'd have to have something to start with or there would immediately be a second election. They would need to vote about 50% of the seats to the Conservatives in order for this to happen, ie. for a majority to happen. It could happen but it's a tall order. Well, the anti-American stuff is largely symbolic anyway. Martin could call for non-essential free votes on these issues. And the spend-and-tax issues could be resolved as they have been with minority governments in the past.
  2. It was in another story I read. Sorry. Here's the LEAP.: CTV
  3. CBC Story He seemed to be connecting it to his hiking accident. The mind reels with possibilities... Painkiller addiction possibly ? He turned himself in, though.
  4. Amen to that. Quite possible. Ok. If we're entering into this arena, then let's go there. Harper and Duceppe would have to come to an agreement to frame any agreement around "provincial rights". There would be enough room in that position to satisfy the Quebec separatists, the Alberta separatists, and those non-separatist types who just favour more power to the regions. But the grassroots for those parties would cry bloody murder. The reaction from Conservatives on these political forums to this possibility is usually revolution Such a colation could backfire severely on both leaders. Also, there's the issue of money for Quebec. I don't know if Harper has the political acumen to navigate through this one - unless he was able to dupe Duceppe into accepting more powers and less money, in which case the Bloc would be trounced in the following election. And how could Harper cut the size of the federal government with all of those government jobs in Quebec protected by the BQ. I agree with your analysis. I think 1) is most likely, followed by 3) then (the most interesting) 4).
  5. Uh... I thought the stated goals were to remove Hussein and his links with terror and WMD - goals that are now de-emphasized. It sounds like you're talking about the long-term goal of setting up a thriving secular democracy in the ME. I'm hopeful that it will happen.
  6. Well if Martin, as a minority PM, calls non-binding free votes on social issues then none of that will matter. After the posts from Willy and Goldie I'm starting to wonder what "failure" entails. They seem to think that Harper could sustain a minority government without the aid of the Bloc somehow. Do you feel this way as well, or are you expecting a Conservative majority ?
  7. Sorry, I thought we were talking about Iraq here... Absolutely true on the hindsight. Just to be clear, I'm not any kind of outspoken critic on GWB's handling of this. My opinion has nuances. I don't think 9-11 could have reasonably been forseen or prevented by any administration, mostly because domestic terrorism was not a concern with the general public. As a pacifist, I was against the war on principle but I welcome the end of any strongman regime such as Hussein's, though he was formerly supported by the US. I think Iraq has a better future now than before the invasion. And I think that Bush's team obviously glossed over the problems with occupying Iraq. None of this is surprising - I've seen it happen in business all the time. The executives don't know the details, and they can't predict the future so they downplay these factors when trying to push an idea.
  8. Bush did pick his own team, and of course he's ultimately responsible for the results of his policies. I think the "best" President might have made better plans to manage the post war situation.
  9. Goldie: But if Ontario is anti-Western, then how could Harper increase his count there by touring and raising his visibility ? Wouldn't Ontarians be too close-minded to the idea of a westerner in office ? Social conservatives and red tories don't get along, but their leaders are a little more pragmatic than them. When it comes to pragmatic, can you think of a group who is more amenable to compromise for the sake of ambition than Martin, Layton and Brison ? Not Svend though. Again, this would all fall into place after the election so it shouldn't affect the election itself as long as Martin, and Layton insist that they're "campaigning to win" etc. etc. Oh, I see. You're counting on the Liberals to prop up a conservative government. Will also proposes a stand-alone Conservative minority government above. Neither of these plans are realistic. I think that in reality the CPC would be forced to pay off the Bloc in favours (read $$$) and increased provincial jurisdiction for Quebec in some areas. How would you perceive such dealmaking, given that Chretien effectively did the same thing when he was in office ? It sounds like there's more of a challenge than that. You don't seem to approve of any deals-with-the-devil (ie. the Bloc) so you would need to see Conservative majority government to govern properly. With 107 or so seats east of Ontario that means winning 2/3 of the seats west of Quebec. Again, it's not realistic. The Liberals could conceivably win less seats than the Conservatives and make a deal with the NDP to rule anyway.
  10. They couldn't form a government without any support at all. If I understand correctly, the governor general would immediately call another election.
  11. You seem to imply that the style of government executed by the previous PM will inevitably result in the dissolution of the Dominion. I think you need to connect the dots a bit more to explain exactly how that's going to happen. If the end is nigh, it's coming at a time when the idea of a strong government presence is less than fashionable anyhow. Canada can surely continue to exist as a geographic region at least.
  12. I can take credit for that Rutherford, or Ru for short. James Thurber ranks among the best American humourists and is generally unknown by the public. I recommend My Life and Hard Times...
  13. I find it hard to resolve this opinion of yours with your stated opinion that Ontario won't vote for Harper due to anti-Western sentiments. How so ? Do you mean for the NEXT election ? An NDP Liberal coalition wouldn't materialize until after a minority government was elected. And who would the Tories link up with if they were elected with a minority ? The Bloc ? I've posted this question repeatedly but, understandably perhaps, Conservatives seem uneasy to acknowledge this prospect.
  14. Well if Jack holds the balance of power he will have more power over the country than you, me or Stephen Harper. The NDP in Ontario was able to leverage a minority-supporting role into power at Queen's Park.
  15. Will: It seems to me like you're being sarcastic. Sarcasm doesn't read well, which is why there are icons available to help you out. I don't see how. The focus would happen in the backrooms and wouldn't come to the fore until after theh results were in anyway. The base seems pretty solid so far. Even if Harper could swing a Conservative minority government who would support him ? The Bloc ?
  16. I wonder if PM PM has already started talking to Layton about the terms for supporting his minority government. Would this be a win-win proposition ? The Liberals would continue to govern and Layton could assure official party status, raise his visability, and retain his party's individuality through the free voting that Martin has proposed. Edited to add: This would also give the Liberals the "leftist credibility" that they lost when Martin took over. You know what I mean by that...
  17. Galahad: When you post, the question that comes to mind is usually "should I bother to look for the method or just take the madness at face value" ? I'll grant you that there are subconcious indicators that one can throw into a media awareness campaign that can aid a candidate but PM PM's late father is a non-entity in the public's mind. Perhaps hidden in the density of your cloaked meanings you are exploring a relationship between the Liberal-Motherhood issues of Chretien's government and the Liberal-Fatherhood issues of Martin's. If that's the case, I'll excuse myself by saying I never understood nor put any stock in Freud. Perhaps a little creative madness might help the Liberals though... thinking outside of the box.... or the cell...
  18. Harper is going to have to start unveiling his new centrist ideas soon. He'll have hell to pay from his most stringent grassroots members and that will knock him down a few points. PM PM has only to hoist the scapegoats, wait out the scandal's aftermath and hope for a good economy. And he should be doing better in Quebec, and soon will be. In fact, in might be happening right now if there's any truth to the rumours that the Liberals are going to call a spring election. I don't think PM PM is in such bad shape.
  19. Hjalmar: Why don't you call it "greed" when the company wants to make more money ? I asked you previously not to imbue your arguments with personal value statements but you seem to have ignored this plea. Part of discussion is listening to the other person. One reason may be that workers unionize when they feel that they need protection against unfair employers. So it's not that surprising that relations in union shops would be worse. I thought you said unions were on the wane.
  20. Hugo there is much truth in what you say. However, if we expect the common person to take an active role in deciding the governance of a country, we must expect more of him/her than public television ads do. I asked what minority would trump the majority. You answered: By banning political ads on television across the board we take that danger out of play. If television can't be trusted to handle cigarette ads, why is it trusted as a medium of political discourse ? As a side note, the people seem to have had their fill of purient entertainment and it's on the wane. The same can't be said for the entertainment that is politics...
  21. Aug91: I'm Canadian. Hugo: No, not at all. Only paid political advertising and advocacy. If people don't care enough about an issue to read about it in the paper, find out about it through political party pamphlets etc. then don't spoonfeed them with political ads. And your point on media bias and the stupidity of some of those shows is well taken, but CNN/Fox are still there after the election so presumably they have to try to guard their reputations. And those shows at least have some kind of back-and-forth, although I've read that Fox's show has a lame-duck liberal. I don't know what those are. Are those commercials ? What minority do you speak of ? Well, I don't know what they think. I'm trying to convince people, starting with you, that political advertising is fraught with misinformation. Such advertising is the mainstay of political campaigns. Thus, something needs to be done either voluntarily (this would be the best way) or through public awareness. If Satanist material actually caused any problems then perhaps people could be convinced to ban it. Hate literature is banned in Canada for similar reasons. ...and the bible. I can see that's your next point. This isn't exactly true. I flipped TWICE on this issue. First I heard that somebody had printed a tract that spoke against homosexuals and was prosecuted for it. I was FOR the prosecution. Then I heard that the tract was from the bible. I was then AGAINST the prosecution. Then I read the tract and saw the acompanying graphic. It was a tract of the bible that advocating stoning (or somesuch) of homosexuals. I went back AGAINST the prosecution. I'm somewhat uncomfortable with anti-hate speech legislation, in that it sometimes seems to amount to thoughtcrime legislation. But since it IS the law, the tract in question should have been prosecuted IMO. Now. I only explained my vascillation above to illustrate that I'm not of one extreme or the other when it comes to censorship. In fact, I would say I'm mostly against it. But the political process is the central nervous system for our society. It we allow it to deteriorate in the same way our entertainment has, then we're done for. There are precedents regarding restrictions on television ads. Even in the US, for example, cigarette advertising is banned.
  22. They are allowed to deceive, though. Showing healthy people eating junk food is basically deceptive, although I'm not advocating any restraints on consumer ads. I agree. I think that political advertising should therefore have strict objective limits, or be banned outright. It doesn't serve democracy to spoonfeed the public. What if that "standard" is a healthy democracy with a well-informed electorate ? As for precedents, we're setting them all the time. I have no problem with this aspect. Because it doesn't serve the public good, that's why not. You really aren't getting any liberties in the regard that I'm discussing. I don't know you, but I doubt you have the means to buy network airtime. Your freedom to live in a healthy democracy, though, is being limited by this form of public discourse, such as it is. If legislation isn't practical, then citizens should press for political parties to agree to restrict these types of communications.
  23. Will: As someone who spent a good amount of his life in business, PM PM knows how to invest money. Chretien was a career politician who spent money. Well, given the fact that we have two unpredictable theats that we weren't considering before - global epidemics, and terrorism - I think a disaster fund is called for, and furthermore is prudent. Good point. Transfer payments were cut to the provinces, then the provinces cut transfers to the communities, then the federal government gives transfer payments to the communities. This is nothing more than a political shell game. I'm looking forward to hearing what their plan is...
  24. I should also note that even in the context of a debate, leaders use emotional arguments to the detriment of reason. Chretien's "no two teir healthcare" mantra was convincing to people, and he was able to largely shut down reasoned debate on that topic by appealing to emotions. So even without televised playlets, emotional arguments can and do play a part. We're humans, after all, not computers. But there's enough room for that sort of thing without having to rely on one-sided filmed mini-dramas.
  25. H&A: I don't think it's about dispensing information at all. What kind of "information" do commercials give ? Often, they show people in a certain demographic using a certain product. Do you "learn" about soda by watching a commercial play volleyball on the beach. Of course nobody thinks that advertising affects them, but it does work so some of those people may be wrong. There's an example in Al Franken's latest book of a political television advertisement that was used in a midwestern state to sway support against changing estate laws. It showed a young couple opening a letter from the government that said they owed money because they had recently inherited their parents' farm and owed estate taxes. Of course the couple was in distress because they didn't know what they were going to do etc. etc. Such an ad appeals to the common wisdom, and as such I wouldn't blame anybody for believing it. But it was deceptive. It didn't explain that there was a one million dollar exemption to the law, for one thing. And there were other issues. Did the ad LIE ? No. But clearly, the couple wouldn't have been perceived as being millionaires. The commercial was an emotional playlet, using drama to depict a middle class couple beset upon by the government. This is the type of thing that the forefathers didn't anticipate when drafting the constitution. Showing a mass audience a deceptive and emotional drama to sway their vote doesn't aid democracy IMO.
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