So this week I was pretty hard on my home and native land. I really do love my country, and am proud to be Canadian (although certain things are beginning to make me question that). Regardless of our current government’s assholishness, Canada is a wonderful place that does wonderful things. Yes, we have our flaws and must always struggle to do better, but we have a lot to be proud of too.
I caught this tweet from PZ:
And it made me think of the following video:
C’mon Americans – we’re not perfect, but we’re a whole lot better than pretty much any of your current options. You’ve been working so hard – why not take a nap and let Canada drive the car for a while?
Update: Canada has written everyone else a letter
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Yeah, we really needed to write that letter. Harper is such an asshole. Hopefully something good will happen in 2015. Neither the Grits nor the Dippers are inspiring me, though.
Actually, that “certain thing” is looking increasingly like a lone lawyer expressing a legal opinion about how to interpret a (badly written) law, and then having a single blogger badly over-react. (hint: one lawyer, arguing a case before a judge, does not a legislature make.) It certainly looked like Harper was taken by complete surprise – and he’s not that good an actor. He also looked like he was annoyed that a controversy he’d thought long put to bed had raised its rancid head zombie-like.
All too many people then connected nonexistent dots between the conservatism of Harper and the conservatism of the Tea Party and made the obvious deduction that this was an official Government of Canada edict, complete with press conference. (One reason why we believe hoaxes: because they sound so plausible that we can’t be bothered confirming them.)
Makes me wonder about just how skeptical the “skeptic” movement is.
Considering the micromanaging that the PMO does of every aspect of the government’s business, it’s not an entirely unwarranted suspicion that this is part of an attempt to re-spark a national debate when a government lawyer begins arguing against the validity of gay marriages. Also considering who Harper’s base of voters is and how they poll exactly like Canada’s version of the Tea Party, and several government actions that have revealed the Conservatives to be ideologically linked to the GOP, it’s also not unreasonable to draw parallels north of the border. And considering that Jen’s comments section is full of people pointing out the same facts you are, I’d say the skeptic movement is doing pretty okay. Your concern is appreciated though.
The problem is, opening the same sex marriage debate is a losing proposition. Harper knows that reopening this will energise the rest against him and he will lose support of the fiscal conservative/social liberal group. This is why the last election was not fought on social conservatism, but on fiscal conservatism.
This isn’t rocket science people, it is far more basic than that. A poorly written law (written by Paul Martin’s government after being forced to by the courts), is being challenged, a lawyer for the government is using an asinine argument to try and prevent a charter challenge (really, Canada is infringing on their rights because their country does not recognise their marriage?). Suddenly it turns into OMG THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO BAN SAME SEX MARRIAGE!!!111!.
No it doesn’t. It means the laws for foreign same sex divorces will have to change.
Besides, the only person that should be running any country is Jerry Boyle…
Canada has my vote. We’re gonna need a state-of-the-art Bear Patrol, though. If you want wild bears eating your children and scaring your salmon, that’s your business. But I’m not gonna take it.
Let the bears pay the bear tax – I pay the Homer tax!
In the last election, Canadian voters made the mistake of thinking:
“Well, the years with Conservative minority governments weren’t too bad, and I’m sick of so many elections, so I’ll vote for a majority.”
It was the fact that they were minority governments that made the previous governments tolerable and fairly functional. With a majority, Harper is making a bid to replace Mulroney as the worst ever Canadian Prime Minister.
Myself, I’d be willing to accept fixed four year terms for governments (i.e. non-confidence votes don’t result in elections) IF it’s accompanied by proportional representation. Minority governments are almost always better than majorities because the parties have to listen to their constituents and each other instead of lobbyists. Minority governments may result in more debate and compromise, but they do not result in political deadlock, regardless of what anyone claims.
And even if they were more likely to, it would be because our political parties are used to operating in a system in which one party courts public opinion enough to win a majority so they don’t have to listen to the public for another five years. I’d bet after five or six years of minority government, we’d figure out how to work together just fine.
For a while I lived in a country with a form of proportional representation. Each party was allocated seats on the basis of the number of votes cast, with the parties selecting their MPs. The result was that MPs owed their allegiance to the party, not to voters and no-one had an MP they could turn to for help. Some versions of PR do not work well.