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madmax

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Harper already knows how to put these ridiculous debates under the bus.

I wonder if you are referring to same sex marriage. As leader of the Opposition, Harper voted against same sex marriage. Then, in December, 2006, almost a year after being elected Prime Minister, he decided to reopen the issue. Once again, a majority of MPs voted in favour of same sex marriage just as they had under a Liberal Prime Minister. It was not until this point, that Harper put this debate "under the bus". Whether it was a whipped vote or a free vote, Harper's crusade to deny equal rights to lesbians failed miserably. Sure, a handful of Liberals voted against same sex marriage and a handful of Conservatives voted for it but without a Conservative majority, Harper's crusade was doomed.

The question will always remain as to how Harper would behave if he had a majority and could get his social conservative policies implemented. No Canadian should ever forget that as Leader of the Opposition, Harper voted against Bill C-250, the legislation which made it a hate crime to promote or advocate the murder of homosexuals. I'm sure Harper has put that ridiculous debate "under the bus", as once again he and his religious fundamentalist crusaders were on the losing side.

Surely the reason why Harper supporters hope for that elusive majority is so that Harper can have the unrestrained power to implement his well-documented conservative values rather than continuing to pretend to be middle-of-the-road.

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I wonder if you are referring to same sex marriage. As leader of the Opposition, Harper voted against same sex marriage. Then, in December, 2006, almost a year after being elected Prime Minister, he decided to reopen the issue. Once again, a majority of MPs voted in favour of same sex marriage just as they had under a Liberal Prime Minister. It was not until this point, that Harper put this debate "under the bus". Whether it was a whipped vote or a free vote, Harper's crusade to deny equal rights to lesbians failed miserably. Sure, a handful of Liberals voted against same sex marriage and a handful of Conservatives voted for it but without a Conservative majority, Harper's crusade was doomed.

The question will always remain as to how Harper would behave if he had a majority and could get his social conservative policies implemented. No Canadian should ever forget that as Leader of the Opposition, Harper voted against Bill C-250, the legislation which made it a hate crime to promote or advocate the murder of homosexuals. I'm sure Harper has put that ridiculous debate "under the bus", as once again he and his religious fundamentalist crusaders were on the losing side.

Surely the reason why Harper supporters hope for that elusive majority is so that Harper can have the unrestrained power to implement his well-documented conservative values rather than continuing to pretend to be middle-of-the-road.

Here's a classic example of being a well learned person, but lacking in thinking skills.

Under Harper the SSM debate was settled and is now over with. Where is the SSM debate now in the media? I don't hear it. I like how leftists say Harper is such a control freak, if he was as iron fisted as people say, he'd have to fire some of his Ontario MP's because they voted with the opposition. Could it be Harper would rather be PM than worry about what religious people think about homosexuals?

Secondly we live in this thing called a democracy. If Harper does something stupid, come election time, he will get voted out of office, not only that there is a max of 5 yrs in between elections. It's a wonderful concept, you should study up on it. I am pretty sure that Harper won't be proroguing Parliament again due to the outrage from voters and potential voters, he got away with it the last time, but not this time. Dion ran on a platform of a carbon tax, look where that got him. To say Harper is going to open up these kind of debates that people don't want, when he is up for election on a regular basis is not only proposterous, it makes it look like you wasted 10's of thousands of dollars at University.

The Liberals lost the last two elections trying to demonize Harper as some sort of boogeyman, Canadians aren't buying that, and to think that Canadians are stupid enough to buy that stupidity shows that the Liberals and their supporters are ivory tower elitists with the mental capacity of a 16 yr. old. People who go to church have as much right to run for office as the next guy. To say that people who go to church shouldn't be holding office shows the Canadian Left as a bunch of hypocrites - being tolerant only when its convenient.

You sir are a hypocrite and need to get rid of that tinfoil hat.

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Actually, we don't. We live in this thing called a Constitutional Monarchy. This thing does have democratic elements, but it isn't a democracy.

This sort of statement really gets on my nerves. There is no singular "democracy", or more to the point, probably the only true democracies in the Classical sense of the word were some of the Greek city states (ignoring for the moment that women and slaves didn't vote), where all eligible voters assembled and voted on the issues of the day.

No large-scale government could ever work like that. Not even Switzerland, with all its plebiscites, works like the Athenian Republic, and still has a representative form of government.

I don't want to get into an argument with another myata here, but let's be clear:

1. Yes, we have a Sovereign, or more properly a Vice-regal GG which exercises all Her powers. But none of those powers, save in unique situations, like a government falling because of losing a confidence motion, can be used without the advice of Government.

2. That Government is essentially chosen by Parliament, and stands or falls at the pleasure of Parliament.

3. While Parliament is made up of a democratically elected House of Commons and an appointed Senate, the Commons clearly holds the vast advantage (particularly important because only the Commons can decide on money bills).

We are one type of democracy. There are others. There's no singular definition in the modern world. People say the same sort of thing about the US (it's a federal republic, not a democracy), but basically if everyone that exercises power can only get their via a democratic process (directly or indirectly), you have a democracy.

Edited by ToadBrother
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Then, in December, 2006, almost a year after being elected Prime Minister, he decided to reopen the issue. Once again, a majority of MPs voted in favour of same sex marriage just as they had under a Liberal Prime Minister. It was not until this point, that Harper put this debate "under the bus". Whether it was a whipped vote or a free vote, Harper's crusade to deny equal rights to lesbians failed miserably. Sure, a handful of Liberals voted against same sex marriage and a handful of Conservatives voted for it but without a Conservative majority, Harper's crusade was doomed.

During the 2005 election campaign, Harper promised a free vote on the question of same sex marriage. In December 2006, the House defeated a government motion to re-open debate. Harper then said he would not re-open the debate in the future. He delivered on a campaign promise.

No Canadian should ever forget that as Leader of the Opposition, Harper voted against Bill C-250, the legislation which made it a hate crime to promote or advocate the murder of homosexuals. I'm sure Harper has put that ridiculous debate "under the bus", as once again he and his religious fundamentalist crusaders were on the losing side.

There were also many Canadians who believed that the Criminal Code already had provisions to protect the gay community from hate crimes. Had Bill C-250 not passed, I doubt the gay community would have been less protected than it had been in the past. IMO Svend Robinson's successful private member's bill is simply an ideological victory.

Surely the reason why Harper supporters hope for that elusive majority is so that Harper can have the unrestrained power to implement his well-documented conservative values rather than continuing to pretend to be middle-of-the-road.

Be afraid, be very afraid. BOO!

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This sort of statement really gets on my nerves. There is no singular "democracy", or more to the point, probably the only true democracies in the Classical sense of the word were some of the Greek city states (ignoring for the moment that women and slaves didn't vote), where all eligible voters assembled and voted on the issues of the day.

And that means that we don't have a democracy. We have a system with democratic elements, which is much better than a true democracy. What really gets on my nerves is the statement that we do live in a democracy, because it's an idea that's usually put forward by populists that believe that everything that they find important should be voted upon, and that without that vote, things lack legitimacy. I'm not arguing that there isn't democracy within our system, but to refer to the system itself as a democracy and say that we live in one is in my view, far too simplistic.

I understand what you're saying and your frustrations with my point, but I find democracy, which is taken by some to it's most littoral meaning, can be a very dangerous idea....and the Greek city states stand as an example of that.

Edited by Smallc
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Far be it for me to agree with Riverwind. But I agree with Riverwind. Sure, we can say "Canada and the US are not democracies"--though one should include the word "technically" as a preface--but we do live in systems composed very strongly of elected representatives. And the entire mileu is very much affected by dcemocratic impulses.

When we talk about "elected representatives" and "limits" and "accountability"...well, we are effectively talking about a democracy.

As others have pointed out, the fact that we don't live in a "pure" democracy doesn't matter, because there aren't any.

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Your argument is basically: a car does not have an engine since a car is made up of things in addition to the engine.

Actually, no. My argument is that an engine isn't a car...and it isn't. Without an engine, a car can't run...but it's still a car, albeit a useless one. Our system needs its democratic elements to function properly, but those democratic elements aren't the entirety of the system. People often seem to think that democracy means that they (or, the people) can get their way on anything. That simply isn't he case in our system.

Edited by Smallc
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And that means that we don't have a democracy.

Unless you're using a definition that hasn't been in use for well over two thousand years, of course we have a democracy.

We have a system with democratic elements, which is much better than a true democracy.

Again with this "true democracy" nonsense. WTF is a true democracy? There are so many different flavors; direct democracies, representative democracies of differing types, mixes of the two, some with directly elected heads of state, some with appointed, some with hereditary, some with indirectly elected (ie. electoral colleges).

What really gets on my nerves is the statement that we do live in a democracy, because it's an idea that's usually put forward by populists that believe that everything that they find important should be voted upon, and that without that vote, things lack legitimacy.

In the modern parlance, we live in a democracy.

I'm not arguing that there isn't democracy within our system, but to refer to the system itself as a democracy and say that we live in one is in my view, far too simplistic.

You seem to be arguing about whether we accept the definition as it applied to a handful of city states in the eastern Mediterranean about 2400 years ago, or the more expansive definition that is applied in the modern world.

I understand what you're saying and your frustrations with my point, but I find democracy, which is taken by some to it's most littoral meaning, can be a very dangerous idea....and the Greek city states stand as an example of that.

The whole point of representative democracies is to create a buffer between popular will and the instruments of power; a governor of sorts. Direct democracies, particularly in the Classical model, functioned quite differently. All questions, even important judicial questions, were decided democratically. The system still proved much more resilient and adaptive than various forms of tyranny and monarchy, but yes, it lead to abuses. But that's only one formulation, and one that has rarely been put into practice anyways, because it really isn't practical in anything beyond a city of a few thousand people.

At the end of a day, an election can topple a government. The instruments of power, while not directly in our hands, ultimately are controlled by our choice. It's a democracy.

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In the modern parlance, we live in a democracy.

Yes, you're correct about that. We do however also live under a Constitutional Monarchy, something that people seem to too often forget. There are limits on what we can get in our form of democracy. Some people don't seem to realize that, and it's why I think that the word democracy can be dangerous.

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Ok, I don't really want to argue about this, because you're right Riverwind, it is semantics when it all comes down to it. Canada is both a Constitutional Monarchy and a democracy. I really misspoke when I said it wasn't a democracy, because when it comes down to it, it is. Sometimes, when people say it, when they're implying certain things from it, it makes me upset, that's all...and Blueblood, that wasn't the case here, I think I was just having a bad day.

Edited by Smallc
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To say Harper is going to open up these kind of debates that people don't want, when he is up for election on a regular basis is not only proposterous, it makes it look like you wasted 10's of thousands of dollars at University.

Yes, almost as preposterous as Harper engaging in other activities "that people don't want", e.g., proroguing. Imagine thinking that Harper, who "is up for election on a regular basis", would ever do something "that people don't want". Inconceivable. Even with a majority, he will continue to pretend to be a liberal. Yeah, sure.

You'll be pleased to know that I didn't waste a penny on my education...one of the rewards of earning scholarships.

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Yes, almost as preposterous as Harper engaging in other activities "that people don't want", e.g., proroguing. Imagine thinking that Harper, who "is up for election on a regular basis", would ever do something "that people don't want". Inconceivable. Even with a majority, he will continue to pretend to be a liberal. Yeah, sure.

You'll be pleased to know that I didn't waste a penny on my education...one of the rewards of earning scholarships.

If people are as upset as they are, Harper will pay for it at the polls, oh wait he already is. Looks like he won't be proroguing again.

If you think having a majority is the keys to the candy store you are ignorant. At maximum he has five years, and then if a ludicrous policy is passed, its time for the door, the same door that the PC's were shown in 1993 when the GST was passed. Apparently you don't know how a constitution and a democracy work, which is not saying much for that university you went to. The fact that ignorant people like you have a University degree shows how worthless a university degree has become.

Keep up with the bigotted tinfoil hat comments, they're priceless.

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So. If you would have spent a penny on your education the penny would have been wasted? I wouldn't brag about that if I were you.

It's one thing to disagree with Harper's policies, that's fine; but to suggest Harper is some boogeyman out to impose some sort of religious doctrine in Canada that nobody wants, and face an election on that, is flat out ridiculous. It reeks of ignorance, stupidity, and a lack of mental capacity; university educated or not.

I will give smallc this, he may not agree with Harper's tactics/policy, but even he realizes that simple logic says that Harper is not crazy enough to implement some sort of radical change to the country when he has the opportunity to be PM as long as the voters let him.

Smallc is a prime example of how a university degree is not the be all and end all in determining intelligence (assuming what smallc said is true about bailing out of university to go to community college).

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I will give smallc this, he may not agree with Harper's tactics/policy,

The way I feel about Harper changes from day to day. He does things that I'm very happy with, and then he does other things that I don't like at all. Right now, I'm not his biggest fan, but then, there isn't many other places to park my vote (Ignatieff hasn't yet given me a reason to have faith in him again).

Smallc is a prime example of how a university degree is not the be all and end all in determining intelligence (assuming what smallc said is true about bailing out of university to go to community college).

University can be a great place I think...but I certainly didn't like it.

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It's one thing to disagree with Harper's policies, that's fine; but to suggest Harper is some boogeyman out to impose some sort of religious doctrine in Canada that nobody wants, and face an election on that, is flat out ridiculous. It reeks of ignorance, stupidity, and a lack of mental capacity; university educated or not.

Luckily, mainstream Canadians do not have blinders on like those short sighted ideology driven zealots that we read here.

I will give smallc this, he may not agree with Harper's tactics/policy, but even he realizes that simple logic says that Harper is not crazy enough to implement some sort of radical change to the country when he has the opportunity to be PM as long as the voters let him.

Yes, I too like smallc's reasoning.

It took long enough for power to be wrestled from the Liberals. He always knew his position was fragile. Has he made made mistakes along the way? Yes he has and is no doubt aware of where he went wrong. But IMO Canadians look to good governance and in that respect he gets a passing grade, even from Professor Ignatieff.

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It took long enough for power to be wrestled from the Liberals. He always knew his position was fragile. Has he made made mistakes along the way? Yes he has and is no doubt aware of where he went wrong. But IMO Canadians look to good governance and in that respect he gets a passing grade, even from Professor Ignatieff.

A passing grade? The guy shed 14 points in four months, accomplished at least one dubious first in use prorogation to escape a confidence vote, and, despite some reasonable successes as far as Haiti and the "Buy American" program, is poised to cede his the Tories' own margin in the polls to the Liberals.

I suppose one has to give him credit for a long-lived minority, but it appears that he's as far away as ever from achieving a majority (not that the Liberals seem any closer). He's divisive, reckless, just as power hungry as Chretien ever was, rendering his ministers little more than talking pieces. He's certainly turned his MPs into drones with strict instructions to stick to his talking points.

Unless he manages to pick up the phone and listen to what Canadians are actually saying, I have a feeling his sole major contribution to the political landscape will be the reuniting of the Right, but if he keeps playing chicken with the Opposition, he may in the end even shatter that. Just how long do you think the old PCs are going to wait for a leader who can deliver a majority and who doesn't spend half his time trying to recover from his errors?

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The fact that ignorant people like you have a University degree shows how worthless a university degree has become.

A Harper supporter suggesting that a university degree is worthless...why am I not in the least surprised?

Tell me, typical Harper supporter, where you would suggest that the physicians of tomorrow should be educated. A bible college? A Sunday school?

Do you, like Stephen Harper and his Evangelical fundamentalist co-religionists, believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old? Do you, like Stephen Harper and Fred Flintstone, believe that dinosaurs and humans co-existed. Do you, like the ignorant Stephen Harper and George Bush, oppose embryonic stem cell research on religious grounds?

What's your hypothesis as to why less than 27% of Canadians with a university education now support CPC versus 40% for LPC?

Source:

http://www.ekospolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/full_report_february_4.pdf

And if you seriously believe that Harper's social conservatism is a figment of his opponents' collective imagination, why'd he hire this man as his speech writer?

http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Harpers_new_speechwriter_is_a_gay_rights_opponent-7727.aspx

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A Harper supporter suggesting that a university degree is worthless...why am I not in the least surprised?

Tell me, typical Harper supporter, where you would suggest that the physicians of tomorrow should be educated. A bible college? A Sunday school?

Well, there's a premise that's obviously flawed! Should we blame your university?

Why would those be the only alternatives? You are implying that universities are teaching in the only manner that could be done!

How about educating those "physicians of tomorrow" at a university that has corrected its flaws and reversed its slide into decadence?

More simply, you can have both good and bad universities.

The decline of our educational institutions is well worth a thread in itself. Younger folks have little or no opportunity for comparison. Yet something as simple as perusing a 6th grade reader from 100 years ago will show how watered down things have become.

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Well, there's a premise that's obviously flawed! Should we blame your university?

Why would those be the only alternatives? You are implying that universities are teaching in the only manner that could be done!

How about educating those "physicians of tomorrow" at a university that has corrected its flaws and reversed its slide into decadence?

More simply, you can have both good and bad universities.

The decline of our educational institutions is well worth a thread in itself. Younger folks have little or no opportunity for comparison. Yet something as simple as perusing a 6th grade reader from 100 years ago will show how watered down things have become.

Education is not a definitive measure of intelligence. Granted it goes a long ways but it is not the end all and be all of wisdom. Most Canadians are NOT partisan. They will swing left and right to suit their needs wants and desires. Too bad the politicians don't seem to capture the moment and use this to their advantage more often than they do.

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A passing grade? The guy shed 14 points in four months, accomplished at least one dubious first in use prorogation to escape a confidence vote, and, despite some reasonable successes as far as Haiti and the "Buy American" program, is poised to cede his the Tories' own margin in the polls to the Liberals.

How much of that lead and subsequent leads were attributable to the dissatisfaction of Canadians with Ignatieff and the Liberals? Was it fueled by Ignatieff's repeated threats of an election? I think in part, yes. It was also a product of general agreement with Harper's direction in addressing the global economic crisis. Liberal numbers have improved steadily since Ignatieff dropped election threats and started talking policy.

Although recent polls show a horse race in voter intentions, Harper continues to dominate the other leaders on leadership. If Canadians are dissatisfied with Harper why are his leadership scores so consistently high?

I suppose one has to give him credit for a long-lived minority, but it appears that he's as far away as ever from achieving a majority (not that the Liberals seem any closer). He's divisive, reckless, just as power hungry as Chretien ever was, rendering his ministers little more than talking pieces. He's certainly turned his MPs into drones with strict instructions to stick to his talking points.

On a strict measurement of their personal popularity, it may be as simple as Canadians liking PMs who display a certain toughness.

Just how long do you think the old PCs are going to wait for a leader who can deliver a majority and who doesn't spend half his time trying to recover from his errors?

I can't answer as I don't know. Speaking personally, I'll continue to support the Conservatives as long as they stay scandal (a la sponsorship/shawinigate) free and the Liberals fail to provide an alternative I can believe in.

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