Time for change? Probably, but I’m scared

It’s hard not to think that Canada could use a change in government. But Stephen Harper and the Conservatives scare the hell out of me. Bloody hell, these guys would have sent us to war in Iraq. I’ll take a scandal over a war any day of the week. I’ll take several scandals over a war. I’ll take several scandals, an arrogant MP, and an ineffective gun control program over a war. And that’s not to say that the Conservatives won’t have their own scandals and ineffective policies.

Getting tough on crime

Canada is getting tough on crime
boom ch, da boom boom ch
And sluggo says it’s a waste of time

Many studies across the globe have shown that extending minimum sentences for crimes such as gun offenses does nothing to deter or reduce the crimes. Apparently the overriding philosophy of the people that contemplate such crimes is that they don’t actually think they will get caught. More info can be found here.

To truly combat crime, strategies such as the following may be more effective:
1. combat illegal importation of firearms
2. de-glamourization of owning and using firearms in high-risk youth
3. social programs to help root causes of firearm crimes.

Again, studies and imperical evidence shows that increasing manditory sentences increases incarceration and prison costs while doing nothing to actually deter the crime.

Unfortunately all the federal leaders are jumping on the “stiff sentence” stance. The Conservatives know that this will strike a chord with the voters and the Liberals and NDP figure they need to copy the Conservatives just to stay in the race. Hell, even the Liberal Justice Minister, Iwrin Cotler, is on record affirming what I’ve stated above about minimum sentences yet they are jumping on the bandwagon.

Two memories from the 2004 election

Two things really stuck with me from the 2004 election campaign, and I still think about them today. The first thing I always remember is how Paul Martin emphasized that “free votes” do not protect minority rights. Harper still doesn’t seem to get this. I don’t understand why the Conservatives are still clinging to the idea of having a free vote on the definition of marriage. If one accepts that gay marriage is an issue about minorities, then where is the democracy and human rights in having a free vote where the majority rules. At the very least, why don’t the Conservatives drop this issue and admit that has no place in Canada?

The second thing I remember from the 2004 campaign is when the leaders each attended a question and answer session on CBC. The sessions took place at various locations across Canada, and a small audience was able to ask specific questions to the leaders. For the most part, the answers were of the typical political vagueness. You know exactly what I mean… the politician instantly turns the question into something else that they would rather discuss. The leaders didn’t always get away with it though because the person who asked the question was alwasy asked if they were satisified with the answer. Anyways, I distinctly remember Martin moving away from “pat answers” and easily moving into financial specifics and detailed off-the-cuff answers. In this respect, Martin showed me that he has a more comprehensive understanding of how to run a country. I have no doubt that all the leaders are highly intelligent, but I think Martin showed a more usefull form of intelligence: know how vs. political wile. Lord knows Martin is a few bricks short of a full load when it comes to political wile…

Canadian Values

Darrel Reid is the kind of MP candidate (he’s from Richmond BC) that scares me.

To be honest, I don’t know much about him. I cannot make too many comments on his personal election platform. What scares me is what appears to be the guiding light for the way that he would make political decisions.
“I think every Christian’s under an obligation to change laws to reflect biblical values,” says Reid. “Different Christians are going to try to change different laws, according to the call God gives them.

This is a quote taken from this website. The quote is from 2000, but I would imagine that Reid still holds this belief.

I certainly do not want any MP to influence bills, laws, etc based on biblical values. Like most people in Canada, I think I hold strong and sensible moral values. I want biblical values as much as I want Islamic values as much as I want Jewish values as much as I want Zorastraan values.

latest quiz, NDP and Liberals are neck to neck

There’s a quiz found www.cbc.ca where you can test your knowledge on issues on how they compare to those of the Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP. Hell, you can even add in the Bloc if you want.

Before taking this quiz, I decided to do it as fast and instinctively as possible. I figured that if I thought too long about the issues discussed, I would be able to discern what issue belonged to which party and my judgement would be swayed.

Having completed the quiz, I was a bit suprised with my results. I agreed ten times with the Liberals, ten times with the NDP and only twice with the Conservatives. This surprised me because despite my obvioius disdain for the Conservatives, I think I agree with them on several things such as gun control, parliamentary reform, government accountability, etc.

By the way, has anyone seen or heard from The Green Party yet?

What is Martin thinking?

Yesterday I watched some of the debate that took place in Vancouver. I can’t believe Martin keeps talking about how he is banning handguns. I happen to think that Martin is fairly intelligent guy, so that tells me that either: I’m missing something here; Martin isn’t as smart as I think; Martin doesn’t have much to talk about; or Martin thinks that the public is relatively dumb. As everyone knows, it is illegal to carry handguns around in Canada. A person either has to keep their gun locked at home, or they can keep it at a firing range. If you want to transport your handgun you need to get a permit. So what the hell is “banning handguns” going to do? I could go on about the failed logic in this, but that would probably make me as dumb as … (I’ll leave it to you to decide).

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