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Everything posted by udawg

  1. What I want to know is, what is the historical role of the governor-general, as far as responsibilities outside opening Parliament go. I'm too young to really have paid attention to politics in a time when she wasn't GG... what is she supposed to be doing?
  2. udawg

    The NHL

    I don't know where you live, but where *I* live, oil field workers are the richest around. I live in the middle of the Saskatchewan oil patch, and I heard somewhere that my little town has the highest number of millionaires per capita in all of Canada... I don't doubt it. Even the most basic jobs in the oil field bring in usually 30 dollars per hour starting wage...and if you last past the first week, you're bound to make more. The work is hard, dangerous, the hours long... and the pay REALLY good. As for hockey players... yeah, they make too much. Teachers... yeah, they don't make enough. Still, I hate it when teachers complain about their salaries. Starting salaries for any teacher around here is about 10 grand higher than the combined salaries of my parents. While they were struggling to keep me in clothes through high school, I listened to my teachers complain about the salaries that were letting them buy new SUVs every 3 years. Maybe teachers are underappreciated and underpaid for the job they do... but it's not like they're starving.
  3. Well, since God's role in our lives has steadily decreased in large part due to new scientific discoveries throughout history, disproving many religious beliefs, I obviously have to vote for "science still has work to do". Obviously, as further work is done and further discoveries made, we will continue to understand even further the nature of (to infringe on a Douglas Adams copyright) Life, The Universe, And Everything. Of course... science can explain how the Big Bang put the stars where they are from a central mass that originally contained all the matter in the universe.... but can it explain how that mass of matter got there in the first place?
  4. As far as what's happened (to traditional families), it's a two-part answer. 1. Historically, it was advantageous to have a wife to care for your children, who in turn, helped with your work when they became capable. You took care of your wife and family, and raised your children well because they carried on your name. More recently, it has become normal to look out for number 1, as it were. Parents do what is best for themselves...not always best for the family. (Seen "Cheaper by the Dozen"?) 2. Traditionally, strict religious beliefs held families that might today be split, together. There was no such thing as divorce for most of history, and so people just stuck it out. And of course, nobody mentions in the history books about the husband and wife who didn't speak for weeks at a time, but had no choice except to keep on keepin' on. History is not always the best indicator of the past. Now, when religion is losing its authority across the board, and no longer soley dictates a person's mores, people feel more free to do as they wish, and pursue personal happiness. Also, family is largely a cultural thing, and culture changes.
  5. Wow, is that one convoluted thread [no thesaurus necessary for that one ] Back to the basics... I don't think that anyone is better off if anyone were to seperate. Quebec provides all sorts of cultural intricacies that make our country unique, but more importantly, they provide a large amount of natural resources, which, in turn, mean more tax money for the rest of us. Alberta provides that frontierist element that so many in the East have forgotten, but again, more importantly, contributes large amounts of money to the federal government. The rest of Canada would be hard put to survive without either of these provinces. As for what the separating provinces would lose...just look at the Maritimes. There are good economic times, and there are bad. It's always good to have a support system for the bad, even if it means paying a little extra during the good. The Atlantic provinces, while perhaps never economic powerhouses in Canada, nevertheless were solid industrial and resource-rich economies that for many years contributed greatly to Canada as a whole. Now, they benefit from the support system built into our federal administration. Alberta especially has to consider the possibility that they too will need a support system once their resources run out. With a united Canada, everyone benefits. We're still small enough that cultural differences can be both recognized and celebrated, yet large enough that we shouldn't feel threatened by these differences. The support that all regions, in turn, give and recieve, are what make this country so great. Separation hurts everyone.
  6. Interesting how the votes were distributed differently this time... Conservatives were down 10% in popular votes across the country... and still managed to substantially increase their number of seats. As for the student vote, many young people (at least in my area) are utterly disgusted with the corruption in the Liberal government. Not to mention, being an agricultural area of Saskatchewan, nobody around here is laughing at the lack of action by the federal government to help farmers hurt by BSE and (continued) American subsidies. And of course, there's the gun registry. Which everyone here hated, even before it cost several billion dollars. But mostly, it's the corruption that really caught the attention of teenagers around here.
  7. Honestly, I think that Al-Jazeera being broadcast on Canadian airwaves will actually hurt Arab interests. Normal, moderate Canadians will see exactly what kind of bias and intolerance the network promotes, and will most likely be somewhat disgusted at these views. They will probably be less sympathetic towards those of similar thought. Canadian viewers are not mindless drones repeating all that they see and hear. Give yourselves some credit.
  8. As far as Svend Robinson goes, I don't know what he was doing in Scotland, but I do know that MPs have something like 30 days to wrap up their business, at the continued expense of the taxpayer. It makes sense, because it would be even worse to drop everything the instant an election is called and have to start all over, but the system does create room for abuse.
  9. Aging population ... we hear it all the time in the media, but that's because it's true. THAT is where all the money is going. We have more and more people retiring, therefore not paying taxes, but costing even more as far as healthcare is concerned. In probably 15 or 20 years, the baby boom will be mostly dead, and we'll have a more balanced population... for a while. It goes in cycles, but after the baby boom, it should stabilize a bit more. We will have approximately the same number retiring as entering the workforce, and overall healthcare costs vs. taxes will balance out. As for smokers, and other self-induced diseases, absolutely make them pay. Kind of cruel, since they've already spent thousands on the cigarettes, but nonetheless. We've known for many years now that they're bad for us. And considering the latest slew of stop-smoking aids (and ads), I actually don't think that many new people are smoking. Young people are better informed, and they don't want to die of lung cancer at 47 like their great uncle Phil or whatever. The latest report (out 2 weeks ago, give or take) confirms this; the number of young people who smoke dropped something like 3 or 5 percent since last year. Overall, there's gonna be a couple tough years ahead of us as far as healthcare goes, but I can see the light at the end of the high-tax tunnel.
  10. The main conflict with Israel and Palestine, at its most basic level, is of course land. The Palestinians want a place to call their own, and portions of Israel happen to be their historic homes. Israel wants to keep all the land it has obtained since its inception, and continue to expand when possible. Obviously, these ideals cannot fully exist simultaneously. Concessions are necessary; both parties must give a little. At the end of the day, both groups need a place to call home. If there is truly to be a solution, which will likely by brokered by a committee from the UN or a similar international alliance, Israel must withdraw from Palestinian territories. The borders of the new state will have to be negotiated by all, but enforced by the outsiders. I would suggest that once Israel withdraws to internationally recognized boundaries, Palestinian extremists will have no reason to continue bombing. Even if the extreme extremists who want to annihilate all Jews continue their campaigns, they will lose all popular support and will endure even harsher international condemnation. Once normal, hard-working Palestinians have a hut to come home to without worrying that it was bulldozed during the day, popular support for the militant factions will evaporate. I don't think that any American delegation, on its own, will succeed at resolving this conflict. Palestinian leaders go in with too much cynicism (rightly so) about American biases and motives. Nor will an Israeli-Palestinian summit likely resolve it, for two reasons. One, both sides are too wary of each other, and don't trust that any agreement would be honoured. Two, Palestinian leadership is too fractured. There are more factions of Palestinian militants than there are of the IRA. These groups often do not honour the agreements made by the other factions. For any agreement to work, there would have to be unbiased [read: international] military support along any border, and meaningful repercussions and consequences for any infractions.
  11. I don't have an awful lot of sympathy for either side in this conflict... neither of them are willing to sit down to meaningful discussion. And when they do have a summit, neither side is willing to make even the smallest consessions to further the process. I'm not sure, but I think maybe they just don't know what they would do if they stopped fighting... where would be the focus for their lives? Anyway, in response to the latest news, taking out a zoo??? That just makes me sick. Was there a Palestinian militant faction hiding out in the koala pen? Maybe an arms cache under the dolphin tank? Or maybe the 4 year-olds on the slides were already trained and had their suicide missions planned out! Just f*cking ridiculous. I don't like to take sides often in the ME, but the Palestinians sure got my support for their complaints this time.
  12. I think the problem most of us have with trying to formulate our own budget, is that we don't have all year and a several-hundred strong staff of economists and accountants to work with the enormous numbers and implications of what we want to do. Anyone can say what they want done, but it takes a lot of work to actually turn that into a workable plan for how to spend X number of dollars. And I think most of us don't have the time (or the desire) to do all that work. And maybe our Finance Dept. doesn't either, hence the problems
  13. Hey Rev... where in MB do you live? As to your good kids in prison (or jail, or whatever word we decided on), they should get their vote back when they get back out. If they're only in for a minor offence, a couple days, a month, odds are they'll be out before the next election. If they're still in when the election is held, well...they broke the law, they lost their right to vote for the period of their incarceration. That's how it should be.
  14. I see maplesyrup has edited his post, so now I must do so to remain current... Ferrier's opinion in this matter is very important, I think. He's the one who is going to be most personally affected by it, and I think if the criminals and multiple offenders don't like Harper's plan, then it must be a good one Maybe it's just me, but if I had to go back to prison if someone got elected, I'd probly vote against them too. And, of course... birds of a feather flock together... and vote for each other...
  15. If you raised fines for superfluously using the ER too much, people, especially poorer people, for whom the ER is often their only choice, would become afraid to even use the ER in case their injury was deemed a non-emergency once they got there. Not to mention, I could see that whole system requiring a huge bureaucracy...and honestly, we don't need more bureaucracy in this country. As for capping teacher's and doctor's salaries...don't we already have enough problems with them, without a salary cap? Doctor shortages in nearly every part of the country, teacher's union strikes make the news several times yearly...do we want more of this? Rather than cap their salaries, tax them more if you want to get money back. The thing about taxing is, do you want to have a purely capitalist system; every man for himself, and anyone who gets left behind....well, not our problem? Or do you want a more socialist system, where people are taxed according to their ability to pay but still maintain their economic standing? Or do you want an even more socialist system, where people are taxed until they have approximately the same salary? IMO, the best thing to do is leave things MOSTLY the way they are... it's not perfect, but very much worse things could happen if we mess around too much. If you really want to spend more, get your taxes from the extremely and medium rich. Those in the $100,000+ range. Cutting taxes for anyone and everyone only leads to deficits and debt. Until we pay off the debt, we shouldn't be running surpluses. All extra money should go there if it's not claimed by anything else. Once the debt is paid off, cut taxes, balance the budget, and make everyone a little happier.
  16. Fair enough, ER user fees are in. What about the rest of it? Running a deficit to pay off the debt? Cutting taxes to increase spending? Sounds like something a 4-year old I know would say...it's Opposite Day!
  17. I think that if you have a money machine, sounds great... mostly. Unfortunately, cutting taxes to everyone, while initiating new programs like wind power and such, while increasing healthcare and education funding, while as nice as it sounds, is completely impossible. There's just not enough money. Wind power should be more fully utilized, but you're not going to do it on that budget. Also, what's the point of paying off the debt, while running a deficit?? What do you consider a real emergency? Who decides? How do control that? Just a few thoughts.
  18. Check some of the old threads, this issue has come up over and over again... pretty much everything that CAN be said, has been.
  19. I supported going into Afghanistan because of the Al Qaeda link, and things are getting better there for the average citizen now. I supported going into Iraq long before the 9/11 attacks and certainly before anyone mentioned Al Qaeda in connection with Iraq. The fact is that Saddam Hussein was a tyrannical ruler who has, in the past, tested WMD on his own people. If only for the safety and human rights of his own citizens, he needed to be removed from power. End of discussion...ignore the stupid "links" between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
  20. If anyone mentions "slippery slope" one more time.... I do think that excluding prisoners from the vote is a good idea. During the period of their incarceration, they do not have the normal rights of a citizen. You could say they have conditional citizenship, because it's not completely revoked, merely reduced. Treat it just like probational driver's licenses: until they have completed a certain amount of (re)training, they do not get the same rights as a full citizen. Disallowing voting priveleges is not a huge step further. When you break the laws of our country, you should not be allowed to have input on what those laws ARE. Once your term of incarceration is up, however, your normal rights are reinstated, and you can vote and try to change those laws if you wish. Welfare is, however, a different issue. These citizens have done nothing wrong, they are simply victims of the economy. By allowing people on welfare to vote, we are allowing them to decide for themselves what the best method to help them is. If we didn't allow them to vote, I could all to easily see them getting ignored by the voting public and relegated even further to the margins and shadows of society. Addressing the issue of fines vs. jail time, I think that if a judge orders a fine to be paid, voting rights should remain, even if the person is unable to pay the fine and must serve time in leui of the fine. If the judge orders jail time, with no option for a fine, then the voting rights are taken away. I think this is a fairly simple solution.
  21. I suspect that the polls may swing back in the Conservative's favour before this campaign is over. The people who are switching sides are the ones who want a minority government. What's happening is that they're supporting the underdog. One party seems too far ahead, they say they're voting for the other one. Then when the support noticably swings, they change their mind. Early on, it was looking like a Liberal government. When the numbers got too high for them, many people switched to the Conservatives to balance it. Then the Conservatives surged ahead, and the polls swung the other way in an attempt to balance it again. I predict that the Conservatives will form a majority government, because the momentum should swing back in their favour just in time for the actual election.
  22. Actually, I think I'd really like to see this. I would be very interested to see what the policy-makers would come up with as a real plan. They would be forced to actually analyze the situation and make a real assessment of where they would spend money, rather than simply promising everything under the sun. I think they would actually have more effective campaigns, and once elected, a much more concrete idea of what they are trying to accomplish. Not to mention giving Canadian voters something they can analyze for themselves and make an informed decision on, that isn't simply lies. I can only see this as an improvement.
  23. While it is true that we the people are the ones who place the lying SOBs we call politicians in power, it is not us who make any promise necessary to gain that power. People cannot be jailed for stupidity. They can and should be for gaining power under false pretenses. It's illegal to do business transactions, make legal statements, and all sorts of other things under false pretenses. Gaining an important position by the same means should be even more so. I don't know if jail time would be completely appropriate however. A fine might be just as effective, provided it was large enough in sum so as to actually negitively affect the person. In addition, the politician should be forced to resign their office immediately, thus taking away any possible reason to run for office and lie.
  24. Devine doesn't stand a chance if he runs anywhere in Saskatchewan. It's hard to express in words the contempt that virtually everyone here feels for him, whether they be conservative or not.
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