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Comment Re:Quicker (Score 1) 488

Your numbers don't really help your argument. Being #19 in giving when you are one of the wealthiest countries in the world with one of the highest GNI (gross national income) when countries of similar population size with gni's much lower routinely give more than 4-6 times as much humanitarian assistance just makes it look like your doing it for show. Much like a Prince worth 22 billion (yes with a B) giving 1 million to charity.

That's like gloating because you give a penny to feed the hungry.

And don't look at other countries in the region like Qatar because they make Scrooge McDuck jealous with how tight they hold onto a dollar.

Comment Re:Slashdot would lynch him alive... (Score 1) 518

Atheists are not exactly known for being in favour of violence and murder in the name of some god, you know.

No, but there has been a long history of atheist leaders using peoples belief in "some god" as an excuse to kill them en masse.

People have a tendency to see any competing ideology as opposition that must be eliminated, but the degree people are willing to go to eliminate that opposing belief varies greatly. In terms religions (which includes Atheism) it can be any other religion or even other factions of your own religion and they can try to eliminate it through proselytizing or just trying to lead by example or, as is the case of ISIS, just kill off anyone who disagrees with them.

Comment Re:War on Science and Data (Score 1) 284

And Liberals, when Chretien was in charge, used threats of expulsion from the party to force back benchers to vote against even a symbolic Reform party proposal to give compensation to victims of the tainted blood scandal of the 80's (oddly enough, the next Liberal PM happened to be on the board of one of the companies that was shipping in tainted blood from the US prisoners to save money). Several were seen to be crying while voting against the non-binding motion.

That one incident goes down in history as possibly the worst display of pure Prime Ministerial abuse of parliament.

Without accepting the fact that they will probably lose power, there is really nothing members of the 'ruling ' party can really do if their PM decides to go on a power trip and no matter how they start, most eventually do.

A properly elected Senate would go a long way in curbing Prime Ministerial abuse. As it stands the Senate is the worlds most expensive rubber stamp, even when stacked with opposition party members. Most senators are just happy to accept their paychecks and not rock the boat because they know having unelected party hacks preventing legislation from passing would look very bad. Without some form of appointment/election system that would at least put the power to determine who represents each zone (since the seats aren't divided by strict provincial lines) into the hands of the people or provincial/territorial governments making up each zone then they really can't serve their proper purpose of giving potential legislation a proper second review.

Comment Re:War on Science and Data (Score 1) 284

You do realize, by it very structure anytime we elect a majority government we are effectively living in a dictatorship. The Canadian federal system has no effective check or balances on the power of the PM if they have a majority of the House. Even supreme court decision can be overridden with the "not withstanding" clause.

So saying Harper had to pander to anyone to extend his power is ridiculous because, as Trudeau has already shown, in Canada, what the PM says is essentially the law. House members (mostly of the PMs party) are pretty much just there to fill in the little details on the legislation the PM wants. Opposition MPs are really only there to complain to the cameras.

Without some form of major overhaul we'll just keep going from one dictator to the next with an occasional (and usually short lived) minority government thrown in for spice.

So congrats, your dictator is currently in the big seat but don't try to polish it up to anything more than that or try to make it sound like your different from your opposition.

Comment Re:A sample of the actual 61-question census (Score 1) 284

Election results show the Conservatives only lost about 55,000 votes from the previous election but the Liberals picked up all the new voters plus stole a lot from the NDP for a gain of 4+ million votes.

I'd have to agree with you that legalizing weed was a much larger factor than anything having to do with the census. Hell, if 20% of the weed voters knew it would lead to them having to do homework in the form of the long form census they may not have bothered to show up and we might still have a Conservative government or a minority Liberal one.

Comment Re:The farther left you go, the more you lose (Score 1) 284

The electorate decides who best represents their views and while ~50% of the population are women only 26% of the MPs elected were, meaning that a significant portion of women in the country are just fine with a man representing them, at least in terms of the federal government.

For most people in established democracies, gender is simply not the primary defining condition as to how they want their government managed. They want competent representative that share at least some of their views and if that happens to be a man or a women, so be it. That's not to say that you might not relate more to a person because of shared life experiences that are gender specific (they might be the mother of small children like you) and if that's the determining factor in deciding your vote, that's fine, but once elected it's a poor reason for the person in charge to give someone the reigns of a multibillion dollar branch of government.

Women are representative enough in the all industries that simply choosing good people from your list of elected officials you should get a mix of both sexes. Artificial and unrelated criteria just guarantees you're not going to always get the best person for the job.

And yes, several countries have a higher female representative percentage than Canada but many of them had to rig their systems to force that to occur.

Comment Re:The farther left you go, the more you lose (Score 1) 284

Each cabinet has had people who spent a life outside of politics working in related fields as well as people who have no relation to the department they now head (like say and astronaut and Transport - unless you think we'll start sending things cross country strapped to booster rockets). It was true of Harper's cabinets and is equally true of Trudeau's.

It is funny you mention the Science Minister since it was the last Liberal government who removed that position from cabinet and Harper who brought it back.

Comment Re:The farther left you go, the more you lose (Score 1) 284

The liberals helped balance their books like most politicians balance their books, by cheating.

They made changes to employment insurance requirements which resulted in fewer eligible people. While not necessarily a bad thing based on circumstances, they failed to then adjust the EI payment rates to reflect the new number and instead kept it artificially high to collect more money than following the federal formula would normally allow.

They also made significant cuts to the transfer payments to the provinces, offloading Federal expenses to the various provincial governments. In your household anology, this would be like a slumlord putting in new flooring and an in ground pool at his house while letting all his tenant buildings going to ruins and pointing at his beautiful house to prove how great a real estate mogul he is.

The also greatly benefited by the implementation of the GST under the previous government, the abolishment of which was a major party platform that the Liberals ran on. Surprising no one with a functioning brain cell, the Liberals decided NOT to get rid of the GST once in power.

In general, neither the Conservatives or Liberals have been great at putting forward useful budgets that actually work, the liberals were just a bit better at making theirs look good on paper.

Comment Re:The farther left you go, the more you lose (Score 0) 284

Was it a science based decision to force his cabinet to be 50% male and 50% female? Should decisions as to who runs a department of the government be based on merit not the chromosomal lottery?

Not to say some of the ministers of either sex weren't the best person for the job but whenever you arbitrarily apply some external criteria to your hiring practices you're pretty much guaranteeing the best candidate won't always win.

Comment Re:Footage showing the police in the right. (Score 1) 167

The video, while not direct evidence into the circumstances of the confrontation and shooting, does go toward the state of mind of Brown. Having just gotten away with the convenience store theft he may have immediately suspected the officers intentions when confronted and asked to move off the street.

Hearing an unarmed man got into a fight with police resulting in his death over a small traffic violation always raises questions. Hearing that same man was wanted for another unrelated crime and most people start to understand why things may have escalated.

It's the same mentality that leads to high speed chases over minor speeding tickets when the driver has either been drinking or driving on a suspended license. People make stupid decisions when they think they are about to get into trouble often leading to outcomes that are far worse than the original problem.

Comment Re:Nothing good (Score 1) 220

Using the German system of 50% representative and 50% proportional it would have worked out something like:

Liberal: 39.5% of vote = 48.7% of seats vs actual 54.4%
Conservative: 31.9% of vote = 32.1% of seats vs actual 29.3%
NDP: 19.7% of vote = 17.5% of seats vs actual 13%

All other parties failed to meet threshold for proportional seats though to be fair, this is based off our single vote ballot as opposed to Germany's two part ballots.
A little better, to be sure, but still only a handful of seats away from total domination with less than 40% support.

I think in addition to House reforms a properly elected Senate would be a massive improvement. Elected Senators as opposed to lifetime appointments would actually make them accountable to the people.

I also personally think we have too many MPs and Senators for the rubber stamping of PM/party policies they currently do. Sure, they occasionally do some personal work to help constituents but for the most part that could be done by lower level staffers. Either revamp the system or start lowering their numbers.

Comment Re:Nothing good (Score 1) 220

Polls by Ipsos Reid, EKOS and Angus Reid all had support for the mission at between 54-74%, while opposition maxed out at 33%. The only place opposition was above approval was in Quebec but on a party line, all parties had a majority supporting the mission (66% for Liberals specifically).

So unless every poll performed on this was just dead wrong, yes, a majority of Canadians supported the mission.

Comment Re:Nothing good (Score 3, Interesting) 220

While true, only Liberals or Conservatives/PC have had enough seats to claim the PM title, smaller parties have held significant power at times. Whenever you get a minority government the ruling party must make deals with someone to get legislation passed and it's at those time the smaller parties can get some things done.

The problem is in a majority government the ruling party doesn't have to listen or negotiate with anyone, in many cases even their own members so the PM can pretty much do whatever they want. While not a legislative issue, Trudeau's already shown his willingness to rule from on high by effectively removing Canada from the multinational anti-ISIS campaign against the wishes of his own party members and the majority of Canadians. Our handful of jets weren't doing much but at least they gave us a voice at the table and showed some willingness to help.

There are simply no checks or balances in a majority government.

If we at least had a useful Senate then there might be some hope but seeing as they are all just appointed and would rather not rock the boat while getting their nice paychecks, what the PM wants the PM pretty much gets.

"Love your country but never trust its government." -- from a hand-painted road sign in central Pennsylvania