Monthly Archives: September 2015

Yet More Evidence That Corporations Can’t Be Trusted

Yes, corporations are run by people, but the recent announcement concerning Volkswagen reminds us that you can’t trust corporations to do the right thing.

In the past, I’ve ranted about dozens of topics, usually focusing on the Tar Sands, tailings ponds, vaccines, GMOs and other corporate-driven agendas.

Of course, I’m still a capitalist, but what I’d call a ‘social libertarian’.  I believe there’s a place for the corporations in our lives (although I’m a bigger fan of organizations like co-ops), but we must find better ways to control them or at least devote more resources to questioning what they tell us.

If we don’t, we’re putting our future into the hands of a few people that think they know what’s good for us when they clearly don’t.

Category: Uncategorized

How To Vote Harper Out

Another winner from the National Observer.  They review the basics of what we in the progressive universe of Canada (ie. the vast majority of voters) can do to get Harper out of office.

Summary:

  1. Focus on electoral reform and parties that support it.
  2. Order a poll
  3. Publicize the results of the poll everywhere in your riding
  4. Encourage everyone to change their vote to ensure a Harper loss
  5. (My addition)  Make sure you’re registered and VOTE

So … who’s up for helping fund polls on a local basis?  Who has a list of who’s doing local polls?

There’s also this update from StrategicVoting.ca.  I’m a little less trusting of this site because it’s based on historical voting data (ie. from 2011) and doesn’t capture current sentiment.  That said, if you’re just not sure and you’re absolutely committed to the only option progressives should be following (ie. getting rid of Harper), this is your checklist.

Ultimately, I’m not a fan of strategic voting.  However, when I look at my own moods over the last few weeks, I have to acknowledge the primary objective and make sure I do my best to see it through and help Canada live without Harper.

Category: Uncategorized

Canadians STILL Getting Gouged at the Pumps

For those of who are still stupid enough to keep driving everywhere (I’m one!), the news today from the National Observer (my new favourite news source) identified that we’ve been paying an outrageous amount more for gas over the last 8 months than any time in the last 15 years.

canadian_refinery_and_marketing_marginsAnd yes, I still believe Stephen Harper will try to take credit for the recent decline to reality.

Now, just to add a little policy to the whole discussion, I know how to crush oil.

Eliminate the deduction of gas expenses from your taxes.  I know I’m talking about businesses, but many households have small businesses that are part of their tax planning.  But not of the Justin Trudeau tax scam kind.  With our small business, we deduct about $2,000 worthy of gas, pro-rated to the amount we use for business.  It makes a difference, but I’d change my habits if we did something more proactive and environmentally friendly.

The only deductions that WOULD be allowed would be those related to implementation and use of renewable fuels and energy.

It would be a 180 moment in our history.

Category: Uncategorized

My Recommendation for Electoral Reform

Yes, I’m depressed about the status of this election.

No, I don’t think the vast majority of Canadians are going to ‘win’ this election because we’re stupid to figure out how to work together.

The Conservatives are the only party that refuses to institute or pursue electoral reform, an issue that I consider to be the ONLY issue in this election.

This system is prone to being gamed and Harper has all the coins for the slots, so he’s the only one coming up with 7s.  Or cherries.  Or whatever.

Anyways, I have two rays of hope:

  1. The progressive vote may actually overwhelm the 30% of gullibles out there and someone will win a majority or possibly a minority.  Since all of the progressive parties have some element of electoral reform attached to their platforms, 2015 could be the last unfair election.
  2. The Conservatives will win yet again and Stephen Harper will finally retire from politics shortly into his new term, opening things up for hostile and petty internal fighting within the Conservative ranks finally giving Canadians a chance to take back their country in 2019.

Let’s go with a progressive minority.  Let’s hope that they actually do something about electoral reform.

For the record, here’s what I would ask of all the progressive parties:

  1. Allow Canadians to vote for the leader
  2. Allow Canadians to vote for their local representative

Both votes would be a ranked ballot.  So, I might pick May over Mulcair or Trudeau, but my vote would be in that order.  This way Elizabeth May might wind up being the leader of Canada and would have to assemble a cabinet out of other candidates or leaders in the community, from any party.

The same would happen at the representative level, with a mandate of having to work with the Canadian ‘Leader’.  Yes, a party-to-party aggregation would be nice, but all relationships are messy and we have to find ways to navigate and negotiate, so why do we expect politics should only work when we have majorities (aka school yard bullies)?

It essentially mirrors the US system of voting, where we would elect a leader and House of Representatives (leaving the Senate out for the moment).

I know … it would actually put more power into the hands of the leader’s office, like how the President has the ability to veto bills from the House, but hey, it’s worked out.  Ok.  Ish.

So yeah, ultimately I guess my recommendation for electoral reform would be to rip the whole damn thing open and reconsider our ties to the monarchy (quite a sticky wicket, I agree), the House of Commons, the Prime Minister’s Office and other institutions.

Phew!  I don’t envy those who will try to make this happen.

Just push for a progressive win, OK?

Category: Uncategorized

Last Night’s Debate Winner: Mainstream Media & Corporate Canada

This will be a short rant, but I’d like to throw in my $0.02 about the debate last night.

The focus was the ‘economy’, with Stephen Harper’s pants clearly in a flame (not just a smolder) as he lied about creating 1.3 million full time jobs over the last 10 years.

And how many good paying full time jobs have been lost, Herr Harper?

Exactly.

He was also lying about good financial management, failing to remind Canadians that he and his Cons engage in routine ‘bait and switch’ planning, wasting valuable resources over 10 years simply so they can say they are running a surplus right now.

But let’s not get distracted by the actual debate.

Let’s zero in on the winners:  mainstream media and corporate Canada.

The Globe and Mail, with the host editor in chief David Walmsley, got to frame the structure of the debate and control the content.  They claim that the questions were unique and were not shared with any party leader.

That I would actually believe because Stephen Harper doesn’t need the questions because he always has the same ‘learn by rote’ bullshit answers of ‘stable, steady as she goes economy, safety and security, blah blah blah …’  Honestly, Mulcair was really no different with his ‘national day care this, pay civil servants more that …’

It was tired and dull.

Only Trudeau stood out by answering the question with questions, pushing Canadians to think about Canada under Stephen Harper.

Are we better or worse off than 10 years ago?  Definitely worse.

But I’m getting distracted.  The Globe was the clear winner because they were handed a complete monopoly on the delivery of the debate. I’d be curious to know if they got a spike in subscriptions.

Also, on a whole, corporate Canada was a clear winner because we didn’t talk about (at least in any great detail):

  • Electoral reform that will keep the likes of Stephen Harper out of power in Canada FOREVER
  • Scandal after scandal after freakin’ scandal that Stephen Harper wants Canadian to think are not important
  • The slaughter of First Nations women across the country or disproportionately high suicide rates
  • Funding for the Tar Sands compared to funding for things that matter more to ALL Canadians on a day-to-day basis
  • Stephen Harper turning the mess in the Middle East into a campaign of racism and anti-Muslim interests
  • Women and children
  • Infrastructure, education and the environment (I know, I’ve mentioned that twice)
  • Etc etc etc

Framing the debate about the economy and ignoring the kagillion other issues that affect Canadians on a day-to-day marginalizes the interests of Canadians and therefore marginalizes their interest in the election.

So … on October 20 when Stephen Harper has won yet another landslide election because progressive voters in Canada choose to attack each other instead of their common enemy, mainstream media and corporate Canada will be the greatest beneficiaries of a Harper government to 2019.

Category: media, Steve, Uncategorized