Thursday, March 31, 2011

proof Stephen Harper is not a robot.

There is a lot criticism about the Prime Minister being too "cold", too "stern", or too "serious". This is the Prime Minister who methodically plans speaking engagements and remains very uncandid compared to past Prime Ministers. Paul Martin had his boyish grin, Chretien cracked jokes, Mulroney had his Irish charm. But what does Stephen Harper have?
The Conservatives are really playing up the family man aspect of Stephen Harper this campaign. His wife was in the media a lot leading up to the election, Harper's kids have been brought up more in conversation (they're on his facebook profile photo), and Harper has been playin' the piano.

The video of Harper playing "With a little help from my friends" by the Beatles, however orchestrated it was, definitely exposed a different side of the Prime Minister; a softer side (John Lennon must have been rolling over in his grave). Harper is capitalizing on this musical/personable/free-spirit image by again busting out the piano skills in the campaign. He hit the keyboard with that girl from Winnipeg who sings Lady Gaga on Youtube, internet sensation Maria Aragon. Here is their Duet:

Hmmm, it seems ironic that the leader of the most socially conservative party, who re-opened the gay-marriage issue after it had already been legalized and cut funding to gay rights groups and festivals, is semi-smiling to a song about innate homosexuality. Perhaps this is part of the Conservative's plan to appeal to a larger audience, after alienating gays in 2006. But hey, a photo op is a photo op. That girl has like, 26 million youtube hits. Maybe some of that popularity will rub off on Harper.

Also, Stephen Harper likes kittens. Who doesn't like kittens?

Liberal campaign update

What is Michael Ignatieff doing in this Photo? Is a small boy feeding him crackers or is Ignatieff soliciting campaign donations from pre-schoolers? (joke)

What has the Liberal candidate been up to these days? He has campaigned in the GTA, Vancouver and Winnipeg, finally settling into London Ontario earlier today. He has his work cut out for him. Campaigning is like a Green Day punk rock tour minus the debauchery; long days preforming in front of crowds and fending off critics who say you've sold out. Or in Michael Ignatieff's case it's Conservative critics who say he sold out the US and UK for employment and education (see: harvard, teaching and broadcasting). Maybe that's a bit of a stretch.
Here are the Liberal's campaign highlights:

-The Learning Passport: Ignatieff is prepared to give a $1000 - $1500 annual credit towards high school students entering post secondary education. That's a total of $4000 - $6500 over four years. Schveet! Thats half my tuition every year! Clearly, Ignatieff is reaching out to a demographic poorly represented in politics, the students. If this isn't enough incentive for a student to vote, I really don't know what is.
Ignatieff's goal is to have a smarter work force that will make Canadians more employable, earn higher wages, and be more productive. I think this is an excellent policy that will reach out to students.
Although, just to play the devil's advocate: aren't there already too many underemployed people as it is? You no doubt hear stories of university graduates having difficulty finding work, or working menial jobs. It is one thing to turn out university and college graduates, but it is another thing to have them find meaningful employment. Just a thought.

-Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund: $1 billion annually to help fund affordable child care centres across Canada. This is part of the Liberal's Canadian Learning Strategy if they are elected.

-Boost Pensions: Ignatieff has a plan to contribute $700 million to help subsidize retirement plans for seniors on a Guaranteed Income Supplement. It equals roughly an extra $650 per year for each recipient. Ignatieff has also proposed reforms to expand the benefits of the Canadian Pension Plan. Guelph has a lot of seniors, maybe this will appeal to the Guelph electorate.

There you have it folks! Three different strategies by the Liberals to capture votes from all age demographics:
Learning Passport = Students (18-24)
Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund = Middle age / peeps with kids (24 - 65?)
Pension Reforms = Senors (65+)

Let's wait and see what other policies they'll introduce...

Harper Campaign Update

The election campaigns are in full swing and all the federal candidates are touring the country espousing promises and defending their track record. Here are the updates, for Day 6 of the election and what each candidate has promised:

Stephen Harper:

Stephen Harper is currently in the Maritimes drumming up support for a new hydro electric dam. The Lower Churchill River hydroelectric project would supply electricity to Newfound Land, Labrador, Nova Scotia and the US. The hydroelectric project is part of the government's green energy strategy (cough), and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This makes sense because the maritimes is still largely dependant on coal based power plants. But keep in mind: making a hydroelectric dam has its own environmental and social problems. Remember James Bay Hydro electric? I don't. I wasn't even born yet. Long story short, millions of acres were rearranged and natural environment destroyed. As for social impacts, unfortunately it has been Aboriginal groups that feel the negative social impacts of these projects. Traditional Aboriginal activities, like hunting, become threatened along with entire communities who may become displaced. There are more problems, so read up on it.
Here are some of the Conservative campaign's election highlights or promises:
-Complete Bi-lateral free trade agreements with the European Union (wine, wind mills, wooden shoes) and with India (saris, cricket, cheap automobiles).
-Accelerated business write-offs: This gives businesses a tax break, which will promote greater investment and business growth in the long run.
-Employment Insurance Tax Break: This is directed at small businesses and will allow a $1000 credit towards employment insurance increases over last year. No offence, but this is pretty paltry and really won't affect any individuals bottom line. Collectively, it will save $165 million from pay roll. Its available to 525000 employers. If you divide the projected $165 million, by the number of possible employers (assuming they all take up the deal), thats only $314 each. I must be understanding this wrong, can someone enlighten me please?
-Tax Cuts for Families: This will allow spouses to share up to $50 000 of their income in order to reduce their income tax. How does this work: keeping in mind the more money you make the more you are taxed, let's say I earn $100 000 dollars and my spouse earns nothing. Under the current tax laws, I would taxed on my entire $100 000. Under the proposed legislation I could "transfer" up to $50 000 to my spouse; this would place us each in a lower tax bracket, and thus less taxes. Or, I just transfer below the cut off for taxing, and my spouse wouldn't pay anything. Caveats: gotta have a dependant child less than 18years old. Woot Woot for the middle class!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Greens shutout of debate :(

Federal Green Party candidate, Elizabeth May, was not invited to the two televised candidate debates for the upcoming election. She is already complaining, and rallying support for her to join in. She should participate. The same thing happened in 2008; she was shut out but then got enough support to participate. The Greens had a candidate running in every riding in 2008 (not sure about now). Can the same be said for the Bloc? Hardly. The Green Party is a real thing. While many view it simply as an "awareness" party trying to force attention to environmental issues, it is certainly more. The Green Party has a real platform. If Canada used proportional representation, Greens would certainly have MPs in the House of Commons. So why not allow them to the debate? I find it refreshing to have a female voice at the discussion; especially someone as level headed as Elizabeth May.

Speaking of the Federal Green Party, who is running for Guelph? Why it's John Lawson of course. He is a local United Church Pastor and a former underground miner. He has studied at the London School of Economics and Princeton!


So the Conservatives are throwing the word "Coalition" around quite a bit. They say, "beware the Liberal, NDP, Bloc Coalition!" Where does this all come from?

Well, if the opposition parties wanted to topple the Conservative party they could form a coalition government. If the opposition parties banded together they would have the majority vote in the House of Commons. But, it would mean all the opposition parties (Liberal, NDP, and Bloc), would all have to make concessions because their platforms do not completely overlap.
A criticism of coalition governments is that they are prone to disharmony. Because so many different perspectives compose the government, there can be disagreement between the ranks and less may get accomplished. Also, less dominant parties within the coalition may become silenced by the dominant parties. Is this true? There are several countries that employ coalition governments on a regular basis: Germany, Belgium, Finland, India, and Australia to name a few. Coalitions have also been used in Japan, the UK and Israel. What is so evil about a coalition? In fact, Stephen Harper "discussed forming a coalition with the Bloc Quebecois and NDP in 2004" . weird.

I think the threat of a coalition appeals to the right leaning liberals. They are probably the least connected to the leftist politics of the NDP and the separatist politics of the Bloc. If these right leaning Liberals get scared of the possibility of negotiating with the left, they would be more likely to jump on the Conservative bandwagon. Which is slowly riding towards the centre. Just think, even if you're a Liberal in Alberta, you're still in Alberta. The last thing you want is a party that is %100 centred around Quebec being able influence the other side of Canada. That would rustle some feathers?

(p.s. Ignatieff has explicitly said he will not form a coalition)

Liberal's "Learning Passport"; something that affects you.

The political campaigns have kicked off, and candidates are touring the country spreading all the campaign rhetoric and jargon. On Monday, Stephen Harper was in Brampton, at the Pearson Conference centre. Ignatieff was in Toronto's China town Trinity-Spadina riding. Elizabeth May was in BC on sunday. Today, Jack Layton is in Kitchener and Brantford so maybe I'll go see him. Oh, and Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois was in the heartland of Alberta (joke). He is probably in Quebec somewhere.

This popped up on my Facebook today, and it's of particular interest to students. The Liberal's "Learning Passport" initiative will provide non-repayable, tax-free, student assistance. Here's the blurb from the Liberal's site:
The $ 1 billion dollar Canadian Learning Passport is the single largest annual investment in non-repayable federal student assistance in Canadian history, providing directly to families: $4,000 tax-free for every high school student who chooses to go to university, college or CÉGEP; $1,000 per year over four years; and $6,000 – or $1,500 each year – for high school students from low-income families.

So what's that? Half my tuition every year? that's pretty schveet!

My vote compass is busted, i ended up in Hades

Hey all! Sorry I haven't been making comics lately, I've been busy with school and computer games.
Have I mentioned how much I love the Internet, it is just so great! Speaking of the internet: there is a really popular survey on the CBC website, that supposedly reports where you align on the political spectrum. Left or Right? Conservative or Liberal or NDP or Green Party or Bloc Quebecois? By answering 30 simple questions the magical internet will tell you which party's policies you most identify with, and therefore your political orientation.

Ok, did you do it? What did you get? I got Green Party. Am I going to vote Green in the upcoming Federal Election? As of now, no.

I think this survey was created with the right intentions, but could potentially be harmful. If you're slightly less informed about politics, this survey can misconstrue your true political intentions.

Let's take a look at the questions:

1. All Canadian troops should be pulled out of Afghanistan immediately
Do you:
a) Strongly agree
b) Somewhat agree
c) Neither agree nor disagree
d) Somewhat disagree
e) Strongly disagree

WTF? How do I answer this?! I think removing ALL the troops IMMEDIATELY, would leave a huge void in the positive power structures we have assisted in developing (for better or worse). I think Canada needs to fulfill its NATO obligation of helping to ensure a democratically elected government. Is the current Afghan President and administration a shill for US interests, or was he actually democratically elected (the Afghan election had one of the lowest turnouts in history)? See, this question is deep. I think Canada needs to quickly wean themselves away from a military presence in Afghanistan. Does this mean I "strongly agree" or "somewhat agree"? Well according to the survey, "strongly agree" aligns me with the NDP, while "somewhat agree" aligns me with the Green Party. There is a difference. Is the difference between the two options expressed in the rapidity that I want troops to leave? How am I to know this?

One of the big criticisms of the survey, is that most people are getting Green Party. Even when people answer the survey from the standpoint of a Quebec separatist, they are aligned with the "Green Party". Maybe the survey creators are geniuses, and most people are actually aligned with the Green Party. Maybe not. All the people I know personally, who have taken the survey, received a Green Party designation.

Here is a another criticism from the blog:
Example: "The government should fund daycare instead of giving money directly to parents." That's actually two statements, not one, and should be separate questions: "The government should fund daycare" and "The government should not give money directly to parents." Because if you believe the government should fund daycare AND give money directly to parents, there is no way to answer this question. And if you believe the government should not fund daycare AND they should not give money directly to parents, there is also no way to answer it.

And that makes it a trick question. Because anyone who votes NDP will answer this question "Strongly agree" or "Somewhat agree" since we all agree that the Conservatives giving a hundred bucks a month to parents was no fit replacement for universal daycare. But they have placed the NDP into the "neither agree nor disagree" choice because the NDP supports both universal daycare AND giving money directly to parents. If forced to make a choice, you can bet that the NDP would support universal daycare over $100 per month payments to parents, which they roundly criticized at the time. This question makes it seem like the NDP has no position on daycare at all.
Another problem I have with this survey is how it promotes vote splitting among the political left. Lets say you dislike the Conservative government, and want either the Liberals, NDP, or Green to take power. The survey advises you that Green is your best representation. You vote green. Do you demand the Green party takes power, or do you just want the Conservatives out? This is how I see it: a vote for anything except Liberal, is a vote for the Conservatives. All the centre/leftist parties complain about the Harper government, but unless their members come together and negotiate a common platform, all their votes will be split and the Conservatives will win another minority. Honestly, Greens have no chance of winning anything except political awareness. If a bunch of people vote Green out of protest, it will send a message, but the Conservatives will be more likely to win. message deleted.
Over all, I feel this survey is a useful tool for spreading political awareness. Maybe you were questioning your political affiliation beforehand, and the survey helped to clarify each parties position. But just keep in mind: who is conducting the survey? and what are the flaws in the questions?
(p.s. CBC is generally regarded as more Liberal/left of centre)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Marty Burke gets the hole-shot

The Federal Conservative Candidate for Guelph, Marty Burke, is the first to have his signs up in Guelph. When I went to sleep on Friday no signs were up yet. When I woke up Saturday, Marty Burke's signs were everywhere. Mind you, I woke up at 1pm. I liked to imagine little election pixies flying around in the night putting signs everywhere; but my imagination was dashed when I saw two bearded men putting up Valeriote's signs later in the afternoon.

F.Y.I Hole-shot is a racing term where the driver gets a big lead right at the beginning of a race.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Contempt of Government = Election

Ok, so I called it wrong. The Liberal's non-confidence motion yesterday was not about the budget, it was about all the scandalous activity surrounding the Harper government. The Conservatives were found to be in contempt of parliament, and Stephen Harper went to Governor General David Johnston to call an election. What does "contempt" mean in this instance: it means the government is thought to be withholding information from the opposition parties, so they are unable to properly asses legislation. This is pretty epic; this is the first time a government has fallen because it was found to be in contempt of parliament. This is bad for Stephen Harper because it will remain a scar on his political record as Prime Minister.

I've compiled some of the current "scandals" that currently revolve around Harper's Conservatives:

1. Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation: she apparently lied to a parliamentary committee, and created a fraudulent document. She's off the hook, by the way.
2. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism: His department was misusing parliamentary resources to promote the Conservative agenda.
3. The "in and out" scandal: The Conservatives are accused of breaking campaign spending rules in the 2006 Federal election. They spent more than was allowed, and they tried to gain additional income; all fraudulently of course.
4. Bruce Carson, former Harper advisor: He allegedly tried to sell 400 million dollars worth of water filtration equipment to First Nations, in a deal where his fiance stood to gain 80 million dollars for her company. But wait! His fiance was a former escort! (what political scandal is complete without an escort?) He also is accused of "influencing peddling", which is:

"the illegal practice of using one's influence in government or connections with persons in authority to obtain favours or preferential treatment for another, usually in return for payment"
-thanks wikipedia!

5. The Cost of Crime Fighting: The Harper government is accused of withholding information on the cost of its "tough on crime" agenda.

All this stuff surrounds the Conservatives as they are entering the election; but don't forget, the Liberals have some pretty recent serious scandals under their belt as well:

Sponsorship Scandal (2006): The Sponsorship Program (1993-2004) involved giving money to firms in Quebec tasked with raising the awareness and popularity of the Liberal government in Quebec. The "firms" did no actual work, and gave kickbacks to friends of the Liberal party. Epic fail.

Shawinigan Scandal (2000): Jean Chretien lobbied a government bank to give a loan to his friend. Epic fail.

So how will these allegations against the Conservatives affect the outcome of the election. I don't think they will play a big role. The Liberals will employ all the scandal rhetoric, but the Conservatives will still win a larger minority. Scandals take time to play out; sometimes years. It is important to note, the Liberals framed this election in scandalous context. Maybe they should focus on the budget.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Budget = Election

I woke up this morning and looked out the window. I went back to bed.

I think this weather is foreshadowing something gloomy in politics. An election possibly?

On Monday, the Federal Conservatives tabled their budget for 2011, amid intense criticism from all other parties. The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc Quebecois have all formally stated they will not support the budget, which means... there will most likely be an election.

First, lets look at why this can happen. Stephen Harper has a minority government, meaning he has less than half the seats in the House of Commons. Whenever there is government legislation that involves the allocation of money, there needs to be more than 50% support in the House from MPs. If the Federal Conservatives cannot garner 50% support, it means the House of Commons does not have "confidence" in the leading party; there is then an election.

Here is something to consider: Last week Stephen Harper met with Quebec Premiere Jean Charest. Apparently it was a secretive-type meeting, and it wasn't on any public agendas. Anyways, maybe you remember the Bloc's Gilles Duceppe asking for 5b dollars for Quebec. Well, word is Stephen Harper could possible amend the budget to include 2b dollars for Quebec, therefore giving into some of the Bloc's demands. The money would be for such things as: sports stadiums, HST compensation, oil and gas development, and federally subsidized poutine shops. Ok, maybe not poutine shops. Pundits speculate that Gilles Duceppe would agree with the budget if the 2b concession was made. In that case there would be no election due to majority support for the budget in the House of Commons. Is this a possibility?

So what if there is an election? My prediction: The Conservatives will win another minority government, but it will be a bit stronger.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let's Help Japan!

Map of Earth Quake, provided by ESRI. <-Wicked Map!

Sorry, about my lack of updates recently. I've been busy; all my essays were due this past week, Project Serve Showcase the week before, and nightshifts, Im easily distracted... maybe I should use time more efficiently. What a novel idea. But a student's time commitments really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.
The biggest issue facing the global community, besides a no fly zone in Libya, was the massive earthquake, and corresponding tsunami in Japan. At the beginning of the disaster, reports stated hundreds of people had been killed or were missing. As time passed, the list of missing and dead people has increased to over 10,000. This is a tragedy. Japan is located on the geographic capitol of earthquakes (see Ring of Fire, active fault lines). The Japanese government definitely expected something like this to happen; that is why they have one of the most proactive earthquake protection systems on Earth. Despite measures taken to reduce the damage from earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan; nothing was totally effective against the ravaging powers of Mother Nature.
Our hearts are with the people of Japan as they begin the rebuilding process. Japan has recovered from similar disasters, and they will recover after this; but each time leaves a scar of memory. Japan has accepted international aid and we should all give what we can. Whether your contribution is spreading awareness, spreading kinds words and love, or financial; it will all make a difference. And here is the best part: in order to donate $5 to the Red Cross Relief Effort, all you have to do is:

Text the word ASIA to 30333 to donate $5 to Canadian Red Cross

You don't even have to get out of your chair. Its that easy. But get out of your chair! Get off the Internet, tell your friends. Also, It is Earth Hour this Saturday. The Albion Hotel is having a Japan Red Cross fundraiser / Earth Hour service on Saturday, March 26th. Local acoustic performers are taking the stage at 11:30 and playing all day. At 8:30 all the lights will be shut off for Earth Hour continuing until close, and Atlas will take the stage. Pass the Hat tax receipts for donations of $10 or more. p.s. no. the Albion does not pay me, you don't even have to buy anything. Just donate money! but still, local music is schveet, and its for a good cause!

Set list:
11:15 - Mo'Kauffney
12:00 - Kent MacMillan
12:45 - Peter Demakos
1:30 - Andrew Coombes
2:15 - Paul Farmer
3:00 - Hoodie Good
3:45 - Texting Mackenzie
4:30 - Patrick McCauley
5:00 - Jessy Bell Smith
5:45 - Scotty Nightingale <--This guy ran for mayor in the last municipal election! 6:15 - AJ Johnson

7:00 - Chris Roberts/Modern Field Recording
7:45 - Greg Denton
8:30 - Atlas
9:30 - Jason and Jeremiah
10:15 - Zack Leighton
10:45 - Nathan Coles
11:30 - D. Eve Archer
12:15 - Ben Doerksen
1:00 - Lowlands

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jason Kenney blurs the lines between his two jobs. mean misconduct?

Ok, this is really juicy. Jason Kenney, the Federal Citizenship, Immigration and Cultural affairs minister, is one of the most important people in Harper's cabinet. He is currently at the forefront of a Bev Oda-esque scandal, involving his misuse of government resources.

Let's start with a bit of background on the issue. Kenney's job requires he look after immigration, citizenship, and refugee issues. His department answers questions such as, "Who gets into Canada? and Who gets to stay here?". Kenney is also a Conservative MP, and like any other MP he wants his party to be (re)elected with a majority government. Therein lies the problem.

Kenney's duties as Conservative MP, such as fund raising for campaigning, are not supposed to be included in his day to day duties as Minister in cabinet. The scandal started when one of Kenney's underlings, The Director of Multicultural Affairs Kasra Nejatian accidentally forwarded a package to the wrong person. What was so significant about this misdirected package? It contained a document asking MPs to raise money for an ad campaign to target ethnic minorities. Ok, that's fine. But, it was printed on the letterhead of Kenney's other job: Minister of Federal Citizenship, Immigration and Cultural affairs.
The whole thing was blown out of the water when Kasra Nejatian sent the package to NDP MP Linda Duncan, instead of Conservative MP John Duncan. This is like when Nick Collins made an epic interception in Superbowl XLV. He was at the right place at the right time, and the ball fell beautifully into his arms. But, yeah... I can really see how that can be confusing....

sort of similar... but not really...

So whats the big deal here? Well, Jason Kenney's department blurred the lines between his job as conservative fundraiser and as minister. By using the letterhead for his minister position for party fund raising purposes, it could be argued he was unethically using his status as minister to exert extra influence on MPs. The opposition has also argued his department works entirely to capture information on ethnic minorities for the strict purpose of having the Harper government re-elected. In that case, Kenney would be using money and staff from his Minister's office to help Conservative campaigning (which is totally against the rules).

The opposition has attacked Kenney and called for his resignation. They accuse him of attempting to "purchase" ethnic votes before the election. But let's be serious, that's exactly what every political party does. They appeal to different groups of people. Seriously. Complaining about that, is like saying, "Oh no! The Conservatives are reaching out to ethnic minorities and new Canadians". If anything, the Liberals are jealous they are losing this former bastion of Liberal votes. Whether or not Conservatives legitimately help the ethnic minority community is a totally unrelated matter; but you can't fault them for making ads that appeal to minorities.

This also raises issues of politics within Kenney's department. Who is to blame for this letter head problem? Nejatian, who made the mistake of printing it on Ministerial letterhead and sending it to the wrong person (he already resigned)? Did Kenney direct his party correspondence to be printed on his Ministerial letterhead? How much time and money does his department dedicate to pursuing goals related to the bettering of the Conservative government?

The opposition wants him to resign. I don't think he will, because apparently no one really cares. After Bev Oda's debacle the polls didn't flinch and Harper continues to lead. I think this whole thing will unfortunately be forgotten and the Harper government will continue to have a (slightly stronger) minority government. Is this another instance of throwing a junior staffer under a bus?

Friday, March 4, 2011

some issues surrounding the conflict in Libya

Hey, so I tried to summarize some of the issues surrounding the protests in Libya. It just presents a brief overview and by no-means is it complete.

***Update*** Ok so, for sanctions to be placed on Libya, include: Arms embargo, trade embargo, seizures and restrictions on Gaddafi's international assets, and limits on Gaddafi's international movement.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

BC NDP demand the passwords for potential candidate's facebook(s)

Ok, I'm back on Facebook. I have joined the enemy. But, in my defence, I lost my cell phone. It feels weird.
Facebook has been at the heart of so much political controversy in the past few years. Politicians use Facebook to connect with supporters on a "personal" level. Did you know Sarah Palin's husband was in a snow mobile race?! Isn't that exciting! I never would have known that if I wasn't her friend on Facebook.
See, even big time politicians fall victim to the narcissistic pleasures of posting life's banalities. It becomes real trouble for politicians when they post pictures from that off the hizzle' cabinet party. Let's take a look at some of the cases raised from irresponsible Facebook and Youtube use from BC's NDP:

1. In 2009, up and coming candidate Ray Lam withdrew his nomination for his riding's NDP leadership. Why? sexually suggestive Facebook photos. I've posted the link below, and I don't understand what the big deal was. Gimme a break, he is just having fun, and clearly everyone in the photos is also having a good time. If these ultra-tame photos can derail a potential bright political career, shame on us for being so up tight.

2. In 2008, NDP Candidate and marijuana advocate Dana Larsen withdrew his name from the riding "West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast". The NDP accepted him as a candidate, fully knowing of his past marijuana advocacy. His real problems started when videos he posted online several years earlier showed him, "lighting a mouth full of joints, taking hallucinogenic drugs and driving while stoned". This does not inspire much confidence in me. I get the whole "drug prohibition doesn't work" shtick but seriously Dana? Driving around intoxicated?

BC's NDP has had copious amounts of trouble from "skeletons" in digital closets. The party has implemented a new policy demanding all potential leadership candidates hand over their Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, passwords. Before a candidate will be chosen, their entire Internet footprint is searched. If some risque material shows up that might embarrass the party, that candidate will not be chosen to represent the NDP. Sounds tough; I mean look at all the photos carelessly plastered around Facebook currently. This begs a lot of questions...
Does a potential political party or employer have the right to search through personal profiles, using someone's password? Not just scanning the profiles from the context of a "friend", but to actually go in and read private messages?
Why do people care so much about lame photos on Facebook?
Why does Andrea Horwath not return my "pokes"???

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

windmills and wage, blowing in the breeze

What should minimum wage be? $10.25? $11? $25?? Too bad you don't get to pick your own wage. I would pick something unreasonably high. but that's just me.

Dalton McGuinty's Provincial Liberal's have frozen minimum wage and halted offshore wind farms (as was mentioned in a previous post).

Wind-farm, minimum-wage moves not linked to election, McGuinty says