Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Policy Matters

A few people have been subtly, or not so subtly, complaining that I haven't written much nice about the Liberals of late. Believe me, I'm been trying to come up with something nice to say about this campaign, especially as the prospect of a Harper majority becomes more and more real.

While it's really hard to come up with anything positive to say about this campaign, I will give four reasons, on the policy front, why I don't want to see a Harper majority.


1. Gun Registry: This one is contentious, even for Liberals in Alberta. But the two overriding issues which drove me to the Liberal Party when I first got involved were national unity and gun control so it's an issue I feel strongly about. Harper has said on numerous times that he'd scrap the gun registry, something which hasn't gotten much attention, despite all the emphasis on gun violence this campaign. I detailed why I support the gun registry a while ago. Yes, there have been cost overruns, but I still think the benefits outweigh the expenses.


2. Star Wars: We've had years of debate on this, and six movies, but Harper seems to want to bring the topic of Star Wars back to the forefront. Personally, I don't feel exceedingly strongly about this topic and I'll agree Martin and McKenna really mishandled the announcement of the decision last spring. But the system will never work and I see very few benefits of joining.


3. Same Sex Marriage: Is there anyone in Canada who can honestly say that their life has gotten worse over the past year, merely because they know that gays can legally wed in Canada? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

The only thing revisiting this question will do is cause a legal mess full of Supreme Court challenges and confusion. Even Harper must realize this. The fact of the matter is, Same Sex marriage was the right decision, regardless of what the Supreme Court said.


4. Kyoto: I haven't written much on Kyoto in the past so I actually have to come up with some new content for this policy which is a bit of a drag. Let me just say that global warming is a real problem and Canada should do its fair share to reduce emissions. While we aren't likely to meet our target, I feel that having a target gives us something to aim towards. I also think that this will force us to research and refine more environmentally friendly technologies and energy sources which will actually help Canada economically in the long run. I'd like to see a much more comprehensive plan than what the Liberals have laid out so far, but I think there are benefits to staying in Kyoto and making an honest effort to meet the targets, especially since we've signed the deal.


So that's my salespitch to the disgruntled Liberal voter in a swing Tory/Liberal riding, who's worried about a Conservative majority. I don't think Harper has a "hidden agenda" or any of that nonsense, but these are four points in his "wide in the open agenda" that people should consider. And maybe, these are four points Martin should have tried to emphasize instead of baseless fear mongering.

58 Comments:

  • Kyoto:

    Akin to 100 people sitting in a swimming pool trying to decide who gets to pee first...how much...and how often, in the mistaken belief that the water will somehow be cleaner if we all took turns. Sorry Grit....but I would bet that you haven't even bothered to READ the Kyoto protocol to see what it actually says. I have. Before I read the thing I felt the same as you do now.

    Gun Registry - everyone knows it is a feel good program that will do nothing to stop the bad guys who are the problem. Use the money pissed away on that fiasco and hire more border cops and RCMP agents.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 PM  

  • Please read the following with regard to climate change before deciding if Kyoto is worth it...

    http://www.envirotruth.org/myths.cfm

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:40 PM  

  • I have to say that I find it unbelievable that the right wing view of every thing is... let it work itself out... be it Kyoto or Gun Control... how are the guns going to take themselves off the street... and Kyoto, I DARE someone to say its a bad idea! If you do, I think you need to move to the States. How is it that the UN thinks that it is a major stepping stone to getting climate change under control and you don't!?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:49 PM  

  • I love your committment to the Party, but come on, the Gun Registry has done nothing to prevent the violence in Vancouver and Toronto (has everyone forgotten that Winnipeg-murder capital of Canada-makes some U.S. cities look like utopia?) If Paul and his cough, cough, "policy advisors" really wanted to do something to prevent gun violence in urban centres, they should have put that money into the real issue of poverty in immigrant communities. Great to have an open door policy, but what are those people coming to? A country that does not acknowledge their education or profession and allows immigrants to create their own communities, therefore creating a ghetto mentality. Its in Vancouver and its in Toronto.

    No one-especially not the Liberal Party or its leader(s) wants to admit this is a problem because to talk about the problem means using terms that are not "liberal friendly". And to fend off any other group that may want to talk about these issues, the Liberals call these people "intolerant". I think the voters just want to see and hear real talk even if it makes Canadians a little uncomfortable.

    The Liberals aren't loosing an election because of a gun registry or same-sex or even sponsorship, they are loosing an election because there is nothing fresh or thought-provoking about the Party or the leadership anymore.

    The Liberals have held so long to the centre of everything that they have painted themselves into a bland, pablum exsistence where they have to cater to everyone all of the time. There wasn't much fear of this becoming tired (even when we all knew it was 1999-present day) since the Right was in shambles and Stockwell was riding around in a wetsuit.

    We all let this happen and we let our need for something fresh and new, burn our Party straight down to the grassroots. We are divided and we let it happen, we let the ambition of two men (Jean & Paul) make the party what it is today.

    I have a feeling though that we still haven't learned our lesson since we seem to have our national director organizing for a Frank Mc Kenna come back and the Martin inside circle passing their CVs to him in Washington. Just another day as a Liberal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:57 PM  

  • @Anon1249: The reason that Kyoto gets such wide international organization support is because there is no alternative. It's all or nothing. That said, a number of larger-power states, who are either not party to Kyoto (US) or have absolutely no means of reaching its goals, recently met to discuss an alternative to the Protocol.
    For Canada, it is a good idea, but we simply cannot meet the obligations it prescribes. It should also bear mention that Canada did a lot to obstruct Kyoto unless it got its way on purchasing "credits" from other states to help achieve the goals. Essentially, Canada will still be violating the core principle of reducing emissions by 6% but manage to get a passing grade by buying the extra credits from other states, such as Russia. It's a cynical way to achieve what is a legitimate goal. Pollution and the environment are not matters to take lightly, but the plan, as is, is simply unworkable for our country.
    That puts us in a real bind. Do we tuck our tail between our legs, make a sheepish apology to the "international community," and withdraw? Or do we continue to fail meeting its objectives and rely on our economic power to obtain "credits" from other states to cynically portray ourselves as having a moral high ground over states that don't have that economic power or sign on to the Protocol in the first place?

    By Blogger RGM, at 2:58 PM  

  • I'm in 100% agreement with CG on these primary differences between Grit and Tory policy. The one that always gets my britches in a bunch comes when Tory-types try to incite the 'uselessness' of the Gun Registry.
    The fact of the matter, Canadians, both political and general populace, were moved to act on this subject because of a few major incidents which were also reflected in a growing trend south of the border. The Montreal Massacre and Vernon wedding party killings were not perpetrated by criminals -- not until they carried out those acts. Until their terrible acts, these perpetrators were considered law-abiding citizens. So relative easy access to 'legal guns' proved to be a contributing factor, exactly what the Gun Registry was designed to address. Add in all those one-on-one spousal and work place homicides, and you have another 'massacre' occurring annually. The Gun Registry deals in the areas of acquiring legal guns, the storage of such guns, and as CG noted, the availability to law enforcement, the knowledge of who has legal guns.
    Tory and Gun Rights groups continuously state the falsity of the failure of the Gun Registry and how it only penalizes legal gun users. No, in fact it actually protects the rights of legal gun users by keeping those who with criminal records and mental health issues from owning guns. That stats reflect a downward shift in the number of spousal homicides by gun, 35-40 per cent since it's inception. However, that does not satisfy the right. They always point to the headlines and incidents of gun violence, which show that other laws need to be applied, as well as enforcement, poverty and education issues. However, the problem with the Gun Registry's success is that it cannot be measured in screaming headlines like the failures of other policies. No paper is writing 'No Repeat of the Montreal Massacre in Past 10 Years', or 'Spouses Not Falling Victim to Murders of Passion.'
    But the Canadian right has learned the mastery of the smear and smudge from its US counterpart, as seen by Harper and his members in their obfuscation of where they stand on the Native Treaty issue. Honour but not honour. And in power they'll take that another step.

    By Anonymous love, sydney, at 3:00 PM  

  • The common thread in all of your issues (and very telling about the current Liberals):

    They're all about how things "look" rather than real substance.

    Kyoto and the Gun registry, both won't/didn't actually do anything, but they make us feel good about ourselves - and hey, that's really what its all about - not to actually do something, but to look like they're actually doing something,

    Same sex marriage - practically the center piece of Martin's platform yet consider this - Martin himself has actually never come out and said whether he believes in it, and nearly half of his own caucus is against it. And why would they make an issue that directly effects about 2%(assuming half of all gays will consider "marrying in their lives") of the Population, not just something they're in favour of, but the centerpiece? Wedge...again all about posturing and positioning,

    And Star Wars, the most theorhetical of the theorhetical - practically this position will mean nothing, but its anti-American.

    What a pathetic party - it stands for nothing other than its desire to stay in power.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:02 PM  

  • Yes, there have been cost overruns, but I still think the benefits outweigh the expenses.

    Cost overruns? COST OVERRUNS? Calling the Billion dollar farmer's shotgun registry a "cost overrun" is like calling WWII a "skirmish." One of the very first things I plan on doing January 24 is shredding my gun registrations.

    Do you have any idea how many lives could have been saved by all that money if it went to new MRI machines? Or how many amazing schools we could have built? Sheesh....

    Is there anyone in Canada who can honestly say that their life has gotten worse over the past year, merely because they know that gays can legally wed in Canada? Anyone?

    Yes. Me. I have had to explain to my son that his government is nuts. Our values and sense of right and wrong are now in direct opposition to the values espoused by our country. This conflict is confusing to a child being raised to respect both. SSM has caused damage to the notion of marriage (already suffering from the extensive damage heterosexual couples have done to it) and devalued Canada in the eyes of children being raised by responsible parents committed to teaching their offspring right from wrong. My family is worse off.

    By Blogger A. Carlton Sallet, at 3:02 PM  

  • Maybe Harper doesn't have a hidden agenda (although you can debate that), but the party power structure behind him sure as hell does. I remember people said the same thing about Bush prior to his election.

    By Blogger Steve V, at 3:15 PM  

  • I personally the gun registry as implemented is a waste of time and resources.

    On the other hand, we register motor vehicles, and can apparently track the lineage of a mad cow in a matter of days (in this particular case for about 30 million a year).

    So while registration some degree of control on the sale of firearms is something I'm philosophically allright with - the Liberal party's answer to the issue to me, is one of political correctness and incompetence.

    It seems Liberals prefer the pretense and posturing, over actual practical results.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:32 PM  

  • there are benefits to staying in Kyoto and making an honest effort to meet the targets, especially since we've signed the deal.

    Then how on earth can you support the Liberals?!?

    If preventing climate change were like dating, the Conservative position would be like saying "no" when you ask them on a date. The Liberals position is like saying "yes" then standing you up. Neither is a particularly attractive position.

    - Green Party Voter

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:34 PM  

  • anonymous,

    "Same sex marriage - practically the center piece of Martin's platform yet consider this - Martin himself has actually never come out and said whether he believes in it, and nearly half of his own caucus is against it."

    Where do you get nearly half from... out of 127 Liberals who voted... 32 voted against SSM.

    "And why would they make an issue that directly effects about 2%(assuming half of all gays will consider "marrying in their lives") of the Population, not just something they're in favour of, but the centerpiece?"

    Are you saying that only groups of a certain size are deserving of equality???

    2nd... most people accept that gay people make up approx 8 to 10% of our population... and when you consider that most have two parents... suddenly we're talking closer to 20% of the population... and what about the kids these couples are raising...many people are directly affected by the legal recognition of gay couples.

    By Anonymous andrew, at 3:45 PM  

  • Anon1:34pm: I've said the Liberal plan on Kyoto sucks. Obviously signing the deal and ignoring it isn't any better than not signing it.

    As for the many gun registry comments, follow the link to my old post to see where I'm coming from on this. The fact is, the police use it hundreds of times every day, and it probably has saved a few lives by creating a link between guns and gun owners. This forces more accountability since the owner is responsible for his or her weapon.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 3:53 PM  

  • "Yes. Me. I have had to explain to my son that his government is nuts. Our values and sense of right and wrong are now in direct opposition to the values espoused by our country. This conflict is confusing to a child being raised to respect both. SSM has caused damage to the notion of marriage (already suffering from the extensive damage heterosexual couples have done to it) and devalued Canada in the eyes of children being raised by responsible parents committed to teaching their offspring right from wrong. My family is worse off.
    "

    A. Carlton Sallet, you family is worse off because of you, not anything the government did. You, who cannot seem to deflect the questions of a child, or are too scared to simply minimize the subject. Because you choose to make a big deal out of it are your children confused. Shame on you.

    Replace SSM in your little diatribe with "interracial marriage" and see how it sounds, because that's exactly the kinds of things that were being said 50 years ago about that subject.

    Unless you are gay, SSM does not affect you.

    I am married with 3 kids and it hasn't done anything to me or my family in the 3 years SSM has been legal in Ontario.

    By Blogger Mike, at 3:53 PM  

  • A. Carlton Sallet,

    "I have had to explain to my son that his government is nuts. Our values and sense of right and wrong are now in direct opposition to the values espoused by our country."

    I suppose explaining how your government collects equal taxes from gay people + then denies them equal treatment fits more with your values.

    BTW I think your Flintstones-mobile is double parked outside...

    "SSM has caused damage to the notion of marriage (already suffering from the extensive damage heterosexual couples have done to it) and devalued Canada in the eyes of children being raised by responsible parents committed to teaching their offspring right from wrong. My family is worse off."

    Oh PLEASE... damage to marriage is caused by infidelity + other forms of betrayal... 2 people committing their love to one another represents everything that is good about marriage... whether it be a same-sex couple or a heterosexual couple.

    By Anonymous andrew, at 3:54 PM  

  • Andrew,

    Martin wipped his, extremely large, cabinet. It appears to be about 40% opposed to SSM.

    A huge study came out (which the Gay population was outraged over, but it was solid, that just under 5% are Gay).

    As for your question about groups deserving equal protetction - you obviously missed my point.

    It's one thing to be in favour of it. It's quite another to raise it as the centerpiece in every debate, constantly refer to it in campaign speeches, and even considers on-the-fly contitutional ammendments regarding it.

    He's exploiting the issue as a wedge. And it's obvious to all but the most blindly loyal Libs. Crass political gain - that's what Martin stands for. That's it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:05 PM  

  • Kyoto is the WORST policy the Liberals are trying to peddle. The government has committed Canada to goals that we cannot meet unless we shut down the oilpatch and everyone stops driving.
    The Conservatives are right — we need to find a made-in-Canada solution, not the crap imposed on us by the useless, corrupt and bureaucratic United Nations.
    This is not to say climate change is not something that should be tackled — it does clearly need to be challenged, but not with Kyoto.
    Kyoto should be RIPPED up, and the government should rework a new policy. This would show real cajones.

    By Anonymous VP, at 4:14 PM  

  • CG,

    I understand where your coming from, but there are several things you have to take into consideration regarding gun control that can't be denied. There are much better ways to implement a system which would cost 1000 times less and achieve a 100 times more.

    Just so you know, my primary field is claims orientated systems, specifically for tax exemption... by this I mean we take the tax out of a purchase, and it's electronically tracked from the point of purchase through to the provincial or federal government we are working with.

    Fundamentally, the Gun Registry is no different.

    A good example of a failure in a claims orientated system is the Saskatchewan Indian Tax exemption program, which is to complex to explain here, but suffice to say you can do a search of the provincial site to gain an understanding of it. Even though I state it is a failure, it has achieved more than the Gun Control program ever will, for roughly a million or so dollars.

    Why...

    The Canadian Government announced the launch of Canada’s first true, all encompassing gun registry, which would form a database of all guns legally owned in Canada. This is an effort to better understand the distribution of firearms across the country, and to enable the Canadian Government to presumably control the issuance of licenses and such to people who sought gun ownership.

    As of 2003, most people, who are not directly involved in the Gun Control Program, would agree that the model instituted by the Federal Government was an unmitigated failure. This caused no small amount of anger amongst the population, and was responsible for defacto rebellion from some of the western provinces unwilling to accept the law. Alberta for example essentially refused to prosecute the act of violating the program.

    The Department of Justice is responsible for the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP). The program is organized as a sub-activity within the department.

    The 1995 Firearms Act requires that all owners and users of firearms must be licensed by January 1, 2001 and that all firearms must be registered by January 1, 2003. In 2000, a sample survey conducted by GPC estimated that there are 2.46 million owners and users of 7.9 million firearms in Canada.

    The Result of the Program
    Given the fact that over $2 billion has been spent at an annual cost running into the tens of millions, each registration by owner costs about $900 for every $100 spent by a user per annum. Put another way, each firearm cost the Federal Government an average of roughly $300 to process at $31 per registration per gun per year. On top of that, it is an incomplete database.

    Theoretically, the gun registry costs more than all the guns in this country combined.

    Gun related crime actually increased since the programs inception, and hardly any firearms retrieved from gun related homicides have ever been registered.

    In July of 2005, Deputy Prime Minister Ann McCellan announced the program had successfully prevented a little over 2000 applicants from receiving license’s for firearms, and that the nations police had made over 20 million inquiries to the register. This, she proclaimed, was proof the program was money well spent.

    The same day she made the announcement, the gun related homicide statistics for the province of Alberta were released announcing that they were up in 2005 by 33% over the entire year of 2004. Only a small percentage of the firearms used were registered.

    In 2005, 700 handguns were seized by the Toronto Metro police, of all those guns, one was stolen from a registered gun owner.

    The program’s success is obviously highly debatable.

    The cost of the registry database is mis-represented as "information". If one considers having information on registered guns and law abiding gun owners the measurement of success, while ignoring gun crimes, unlawful gun distributions and the ever increasing use of guns in criminal behavior. Then one could say the program is a success.

    However, if one begins to take gun crimes, prevention of unlawful gun distribution, and the percentage of crimes involving guns as the measuring stick, (this being the published and stated goal of the CFP) then the program is a failure.

    The registry "information" is wrongly promoted as gun control where there are no mechanisms, implementations or even a means of "control". The originally proposed cost of $2 million is fair to create and manage the run registry. The cost of $2.3 billion is a result of "trial and error" based on misunderstanding a bad design, while attempting to make the database a source of information and information as control.

    Where did it all go wrong?

    Simply put, the Government had the right idea to commence on a program, namely the gathering of all pertinent information regarding who owns what guns.

    Raymond V. Hession, who was contracted by the Federal Government to do an independent evaluation of the program, summed where the program failed best. He stated categorically in 2003;

    “The first baseline forecast suggesting that the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) would cost taxpayers only about two million dollars in excess of the fee income it would generate was plainly based on flawed assumptions. The technical requirements and business processes that were developed to implement the stipulated functions of Bill C-68 (Firearms Act) proved to be dauntingly complex.

    And, the project struck to manage the development failed to prescribe the business process and technical architecture of the solution based on which it would be designed in detail, built, tested and rolled out. Without that full architectural expression, it was not feasible to do a proper estimate of development costs. Instead, the architecture evolved and, change-by-change, the project grew more complex. The development costs escalated.

    And, because the CFP was a wholly new venture for the department, there was very limited operational experience on which to draw as a check on the unintended deleterious effects of policy requirements on efficient program administration. The procurement method employed by the government allocated little performance risk to the two contractors who were asked to detail the design and build the solution. They did what they were told to do and billed accordingly”.

    Clearly, lack of understanding, and an unclear definition of what was attempting to be achieved, completely derailed what in essence is a very simple program.

    In other words from the beginning the IT companies controlled the whole process, they provided the hardware, developed the software and data processing, and maintained control over it leasing it back to the government. Every time a change was made, a charge was issued, driving up the operational costs of the CFC and the CFP. The costs were in the millions, and the government still did not own the hardware, software or data, this was still the property of the IT companies.

    It is apparent that in this case, large multi-national companies took complete advantage of the ignorance of the managers from the government side of the equation. As Eugene Plawiuk, an executive member of CUPE states:

    The result of all this outsourcing of computer technology for the CFP is the recommendation from Hennison that "to bring development costs under control, with the exception of normal application maintenance, no additional software functions should be added to the existing technical infrastructure." So when outsourcing fails once we try it again and when it fails again and cost overruns occur we now freeze the program.

    Like EDS, Team Centra benefited from outsourcing. "By joining forces with AMS, CGI has doubled its critical mass in both the United States and Europe. With 25,000 professionals and US$3 billion in revenue, CGI is one of the largest independent IT and BPO companies in the world," says their web page. And again they profited from cost overruns at CFP, just like EDS.

    He basically states that the P3 model deployed for this program was a complete wash, and that because of lack of technical expertise on the part of the Government, the large multi-nationals were able to lead the Government managers down the garden path, by not helping to educate them on what they were attempting, but rather allowing them to think they understood the end run goals of the program on the implementation side.

    This is confirmed in Hennsion’s report, although he states it in a much more diplomatic manner.

    The first baseline forecast suggesting that the Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) would cost taxpayers only about two million dollars in excess of the fee income it would generate was plainly based on flawed assumptions. The technical requirements and business processes that were developed to implement the stipulated functions of Bill C-68 (Firearms Act) proved to be dauntingly complex.

    And, the project struck to manage the development failed to prescribe the business process and technical architecture of the solution based on which it would be designed in detail, built, tested and rolled out. Without that full architectural expression, it was not feasible to do a proper estimate of development costs. Instead, the architecture evolved and, change-by-change, the project grew more complex. The development costs escalated. And, because the CFP was a wholly new venture for the department, there was very limited operational experience on which to draw as a check on the unintended deleterious effects of policy requirements on efficient program administration. The procurement method employed by the government allocated little performance risk to the two contractors who were asked to detail the design and build the solution. They did what they were told to do and billed accordingly.

    The Federal Government made the mistake of assuming that because you have information at your fingertips, you have control. They commenced on design with an eye towards implementation, and discovered they hadn’t put enough into the planning stage, thusly forcing them to continue to go back to the developer companies to revamp this form or that, and those companies cheerfully took their marching orders without explaining the complexities that were mounting with the continual changes. They would just send a bill and do the change.

    Conclusion:

    This categorically shows that the implementation of a policy is a crucial if not the most important factor of enforcement. A conventional and political way of introducing policy would typically result in "putting the cart before the horse".

    Like "gun control" and most other policy implementations, they come to the conventional route of "information = control = enforcement" where "information" is misinterpreted as "control", and "control" is misunderstood as "enforcement". The control and enforcement are designed and applied based on the assumptions that law-abiding citizens are accounted for and would commit a majority of the gun crimes.

    This methodology is somewhat akin to placing a "do not enter" sign at a bathroom door and subsequently dedicating resources to watch the door, then using lawyers to punish those go through the door and get caught.

    The purpose of gun control is to control the guns, gun trafficking, and gun uses that are specifically associated with gun crimes and criminals.

    If Merchant Server (thats the product my company promotes) were implemented for the gun control program, and integrated with all the existing criminal databases, with real-time enforcement devices at every gun shop, every gun supplier, every police station, every emergency vehicle, and every border crossing, it would still cost less than 5% of what has been spent today.

    The reason for this is simple, Wiz-Tec educates our customer, participating in the design process, and works hand in hand to make sure that what the customer is paying for is what they get, while still achieving the end goal.

    Large entities are not so mindful of this, and at the end of the day, will take advantage of the situation because what the customer wants is only part of what they are being charged for, using the 90’s mentality of “trapping the customer”, by providing the carrot, but dangling it from a stick.

    This is substantial, because it speaks to how the IT world does its business. To companies like IBM, CGI, Microsoft etc… a problem is not a problem when it requires servicing, because servicing means man-hours and man-hours mean money. So in effect, if there are no problems, that is a problem for the IT supplier because they do not make money on technology that does not break.

    What we emphasize in relation to the gun control program is the importance of trying to have people learn the costly lesson of what not to do in every aspect of the program. In the case of the CFP the design, development, implementation, deployment, and the risk management resulted in mistakes, and the cost of that has been clearly shown.

    Whoever got the $2 billion is the only true beneficiary of the gun control program.

    Without knowing where to go, and how to get there, it is fair to say that the Government got on the wrong bus at the cost of $2 billion, and are still figuring out which direction to go.

    In relation to cost vs benefit vs control, It would have been cheaper and more effective to purchase a handgun for every Canadian over the age of 16. Then everyone would have a gun, every gun would be noted in the registry, and illegal gun distribution would effectively be eliminated because everyone would already own a gun. Most importantly, the database to store ownership information might cost around $20 million, and the Government would have spent less than a billion dollars.

    Irony has no limitation.

    This is long so I'll be brief in relation to Kyoto. The primary problem with Kyoto is that it is simply a wealth transfer program, and until the Chinese, Russians, and Indians choose to participate, it doesn't mean anything.

    If we as Canadians want to truly do something about pollution, then we have to lead by example, and that means a made in Canada solution that will give us bragging rights.

    Regardless, the goals are ideal, the methodology is flawed.

    Most politicians couldn't find their ass' for a hole in the wall, and therein lies the problem. We need to begin to rethink how we approach problem solving in this nation.

    I'm not suggesting Harper is the solution, but in order to begin, we have to start cleaning out the old guard, so that younger, more savvy individuals can begin to bring forth more "out of the box" solutions.

    Old politicians are stuck in old world thinking... this is a new world, and there are better technologies that are squashed by the lobby grunts, and big business... this has to change.

    By Anonymous JoeCalgary, at 4:15 PM  

  • Great post, CG. Criticism is not the same thing as disloyalty and you've been up front about not liking the leader... and his advisors... and his campaign... but you have been clear about being a Liberal. As you have with this post.

    TB
    Cerberus

    By Blogger Cerberus, at 4:19 PM  

  • Sydney,

    While I respect your viewpoint on the gun registry, the following is factually incorrect: "The Gun Registry deals in the areas of acquiring legal guns, the storage of such guns, and as CG noted, the availability to law enforcement, the knowledge of who has legal guns.

    "Tory and Gun Rights groups continuously state the falsity of the failure of the Gun Registry and how it only penalizes legal gun users. No, in fact it actually protects the rights of legal gun users by keeping those who with criminal records and mental health issues from owning guns."

    The gun registry does deal in the area of knowing who has legal guns, although its usefulness in this regard is dubious at best given the high rates of non-compliance and the refusal of many provincial governments to enforce it.

    However, the registry does not deal with the acquisition or storage of legal guns. Legal acquisition of a long gun requires a Firearms Acquisition Certificate, for which extensive background checks are required, including for "criminal records and mental health issues." Safe storage laws are separate from the registry as well. Both of these measures pre-date the registry itself, and are supported by the Conservatives and most responsible gun owners and advocacy groups.

    Of course, it's politically incorrect to say so, but the Montreal Massacre would have still occurred had the long-gun registry been in effect. If I recall correctly, Marc Lepine's firearm was legally purchased and owned. Putting a piece of paper beside it to tell the government he had it would not have stopped him from going on a shooting spree.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:20 PM  

  • I am not sure how any study on the number of gays can be "solid".

    As long as social stigma exists, no one can come up with a completely accurate number. It is always based on the answers of people who are under certain social pressure to give a certain answer. That is the point those "angry" gays are making.

    Secondly, even accepting the figure of 5% of the population is gay, that is still 1.6 million people (out of 32 million total).

    This is more people than in any Canadian city except: Toronto, Montréal or Vancouver, and more population than any Canadian province except: Ontario, Québec, BC or Alberta.

    http://www.citypopulation.de/Canada.html

    It is also more people than aboriginals and Chinese people, the two largest non European minority groups.

    http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/abor/canada.cfm
    http://www.asiapacific.ca/data/people/demographics_dataset1_bycity.cfm

    By Anonymous toujoursdan, at 4:23 PM  

  • Anyone who still believes the Liberal gun control program is effective simply needs to do one thing and then ask themselves two questions.

    To do, start talking to police officers and ask them what they think of the gun registry.

    Go to http://www.blueline.ca and then their forum and read what frontline cops say about it if you are too frightened to talk to cops. I understand some Liberals are scared to talk to police.

    Second, ask yourself how the registry worked to prevent a repeat dangerous offender from possessing the guns he used to murder four RCMP officers.

    A tip, if a person is prohibited from owning guns or weapons, the gun registry no longer tracks that person.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to track the people banned or prohibited from owning or possessing guns than all the Ducks Unlimited members?

    Then ask yourself how come the registry has not solved Toronto's gun crime and gun smuggling.

    Now, before you leap on a Liberal high horse, go back to Hansard and read what Alan Rock promised this licencing and registration program would accomplish.

    The whole measure is a billion dollar scandal.

    The Auditor General had to suspend her audit of the firearms registry last time.

    She is currently working on her more indepth audit of the program.

    That report should scare the hell out of any Liberal who supports the scheme.

    Tired.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:26 PM  

  • Hey Gritster
    Thanks for your list, my view is
    1.Gun Registry it's not an overrun it's a exponenential screw up Martin cannot criticise Harpers book keeping base on this one alone. It's obvious the registry is doing nothing when 1 out of 700 guns ceized in TO alone was registered.
    2.Star Wars I think that We as Canadians should our borders especially to the North and stopping subs,boats and missiles should be on the list.
    3.Same Sex marriage a) marriage comes from a religious history.
    b) it has nothing to do with tax and financial rules. I think gay couple should be entitled to all the benifits ie insurance pensions etc.
    c) i'm concerned with taking this ruling to the nesx steps ie marriage to multiple 14 yr old as in bountiful BC
    4.kyoto does nothing for pollutiona nd air quality - in fact it gives the large poluters like russia and china more polluting power. I love this planet and i want my kids and their kids etc to have something clean but kyoto does not do it.
    In calgary it could hurt our economy substancially.
    nice to discuss the issues'
    have a good one
    rob

    By Blogger Rob, at 4:27 PM  

  • Anonymous 2:05pm,

    "Martin wipped his, extremely large, cabinet. It appears to be about 40% opposed to SSM."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Members_of_the_38th_Canadian_Parliament_and_same-sex_marriage

    2003 Canadian Alliance motion to maintain the traditional definition of marriage... 5 of 36 voted for that motion...

    2005 (April) Conservative motion to maintain the traditional definition of marriage... 0 of 36 voted for that motion...

    Not really sure where you get your numbers... still doesn't add up to 40% OR "nearly half".

    "A huge study came out (which the Gay population was outraged over, but it was solid, that just under 5% are Gay)."

    As with any survey on sexual orientation... a lot of it depends on people being open to answering questions about their sexual orientation... a LOT of people aren't comfortable with that... gay or str8... how do you figure it was "solid"... was there DNA testing to identify gays in the closet... people living in denial... somehow I doubt it.

    "As for your question about groups deserving equal protetction - you obviously missed my point."

    Not really... you want to make it a numbers game... the number of gay people is irrelevant in this debate... about half of the population believes that gay people deserve to be treated equally.

    "It's one thing to be in favour of it. It's quite another to raise it as the centerpiece in every debate, constantly refer to it in campaign speeches, and even considers on-the-fly contitutional ammendments regarding it."

    I see SSM as a good indicator as to how progressive a candidate is... maybe the Liberals think a lot of people are seeing it as I do.

    "He's exploiting the issue as a wedge. And it's obvious to all but the most blindly loyal Libs. Crass political gain - that's what Martin stands for. That's it."

    If the issue isn't important to people... they won't let the talk about it affect how they vote... if it is important to people... then why not bring it up?

    By Anonymous andrew, at 4:29 PM  

  • As I said in my earlier post, 700 handguns were seized last year in TO... one was registered and had been stolen in a B&E.

    I CG and for that matter most people want these types of programs... but they need to be thought out properly, not some sort of political, and opportunistic idea that appeals to our sensibilities so a politician can win an election.

    By Anonymous JoeCalgary, at 4:31 PM  

  • Regarding the Kyoto accord, I've only read one comment about purchasing credits from other countries. How can Kyoto be supported "in theory", knowing it can't work, and expect that while purchasing clean credits from other countries we will still be able to fund r&d of environmentally friendly practices?

    By Blogger ld, at 4:35 PM  

  • ssm has NOT changed myh life in the past year but Harper has said since his policy meeting in Mtl that it would be a "real" free vote and he is a man of his word. While I clearly am not against gay union (I have many many gay friends) I do believe that the word marriage should apply to a man/woman union. I believe gay couples should receive ALL benefits and I believe those terms would apply to the majority of Canadians. Harper will make a great Prime Minister. Wait and see.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 PM  

  • Even if there was a "real" free vote last time, the result would have been the same. So there is more smokescreen. He didn't like the result and is using this to try to achieve another one. If there was any principle to this he would pledge to have free votes on every piece of legislation and to revoke all gay marriage and force everyone to have a civil unions. As Gilles Duceppe said two tiered marriage is ridiculous.

    Secondly, since when is the "m" word trademarked? What difference does it make in your life whether, legally, the "m" word is used to described a same sex relationship?

    I guess if you are middle class to wealthy, white and male, Harper would make a good Prime Minister, it's an open question whether he will be a good one for the rest of us.

    By Anonymous toujoursdan, at 4:52 PM  

  • You all miss the point that Harper is simply pandering to the same-sex people. He's already stated he won't take the rights away, we are simply dealing with a word "marriage", and what it means.

    Do you really believe that he'd get 155 votes to change the current legislation??

    You should welcome a private motion on SameSex, because it will be finally buried forever by dying a painful free vote on the floor of the commons.

    Not all CPC MP's give a shit about this, and combined with the NDP and Bloc, and the remaining Libs, I doubt it will make to 2nd reading.

    By Anonymous JoeCalgary, at 4:57 PM  

  • I'm a swing voter who is currently represented by a Liberal who has the same ethical and morals stand as the Conservatives do re: gun registry, same-sex marriage. Actually, we've always thought him to be a wannabe Conservative. In my riding there's no difference between the Liberal and Conservative, EXCEPT that the Conservative has a better chance of being heard in a party that accepts those views. The incumbent quite frankly is in the nomansland of backbenchers and not at all a Martin
    fan. As a matter of fact the word LIBERAL doesn't even appear on this guy's campaign website....go figure.

    I would have cast my vote for the NDP except that good old Jack's failure to know that he was treated at a private clinic was oh so typical of the same old double standard Dithers represents.

    My vote went to the Conservatives even though I'm not keen on the local Tory candidate. The more I learn of Mr. Harper the more I begin to like the guy and what he stands for.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:03 PM  

  • Toujoursdan,

    If its so easy to redefine marriage then I suppose you have no problems with polygamy, swingers clubs and marriages between any 2 objects that love each other. The legal definition of marriage is not what marriage is all about. Next they will want to redefine a family or a home.

    What about single people? Why shouldn't they get the same benefits married people get? Why shouldn't they be allowed to pick someone(anyone they want, brother, mother or whatever) to partner with to get benefits.

    Maybe I could be convinced I am wrong, but Martin didn't even allow a debate.

    By Anonymous BGG, at 5:31 PM  

  • Andrew,

    Most blindly loyal,

    I think that describes you.

    Good luck with your support of the most inneffectual, hollow leader of our time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:40 PM  

  • Toujoursdan,

    If its so easy to redefine marriage then I suppose you have no problems with polygamy, swingers clubs and marriages between any 2 objects that love each other.


    While polygamist marriages have been common and are endorsed by God in the Bible, in every modern instance they are tried to the degradation of women and the need to rapidly expand a population as several women can be pregnant concurrently. If Canada feels a need to revisit this from a legistlative perspective, then let's debate it. I personally don't see the need but that is my opinion.

    Swingers club marriages don't even make sense. The whole point of swinging is to have anonymous sex.

    The legal definition of marriage is not what marriage is all about. Next they will want to redefine a family or a home.

    Who are "they" specifically? What is the definition of a "family" or "home" now anyway? In my neighbourhood I have families with a single parent, families with a widow/widow, opposite sex families, families in common law arrangements, gay families, multigenerational families and families without kids at all. I think they all live in homes.

    What about single people? Why shouldn't they get the same benefits married people get? Why shouldn't they be allowed to pick someone(anyone they want, brother, mother or whatever) to partner with to get benefits.

    Actually they already do this in Tasmania. You can designate anyone to have a civil union with and get the same benefits. Personally I think it's a great idea.

    If they do this, it should be across the board and get rid of "marriage" as a separate legal arrangment though.

    Maybe I could be convinced I am wrong, but Martin didn't even allow a debate.

    What planet have you lived on? This has been a debate that has gone on, both in and out of parliament, for years!!!

    By Anonymous toujoursdan, at 5:51 PM  

  • Free vote? That's another sham by the Reform/Alliance/CRAP party. Their policy is to reflect the opinions and views of their constituents, but my MP has found a loophole and used it repeatedly, all the while spouting out the usual rhetoric. Paul Forseth will 2-3 times a year send out his little MP update. Somewhere, on the bottom he has occasionally posted his polling questions. A majority of his constituents, who didn't vote for him (its usually 34-38%) flip casually through it or toss it. He doesn't do any advertising about this polling, or put out any special poll question. So he will then take the 800-1,000 returned handouts w/ filled questionaire and tabulate it. Most of them are supporters. If the numbers skew the an other than evangelical-neo-Christian point of view, he then distributes another 500-1,000 questionaires to selected churches that have gone on record of supporting him. The end result is a very right-wing/socially conservative response to such questions as :Do you Support more Gun Control/permitting marriage between members of the Same Sex?
    I know his colleague James Moore does not follow this and his riding is right beside Forseth's. Moore's riding includes working class Port Coquitlam; Forseth's includes the majority of New Westminster, which on its own and provincially tends to vote NDP and has a college campus.
    OH, and today I received a chinese and korean language brochure from Forseth that asks "Do you want to maintain the sanctity of marriage and family in our Country? Vote Conservative!"
    So Harper's 'free vote' is really a sham. I'd rather have intelligent, open-minded men and women weighing the issues then deciding for me what to do -- isn't that what governing is about?

    By Anonymous love, sydney, at 6:09 PM  

  • Another issue for me which Canadians Martin and Harper think need help. Much ink has been used comparing the GST cut with the income tax cut, missing totally the other tax issues. Martin would provide a tax credit to low income working people while Harper would eliminate capital gains for those with cottages, investments, etc. Does this not speak volumes?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:14 PM  

  • Well, I am a Alberta Conservative. Let’s get that off my back. I do not agree with all conservative policies. However I do agree with their stance on the gun registry.



    Do you have any studies, not political bullshit which the liberal’s have been pushing into Canadian Brains, but actual evidence from countries that have gun control. Last time I checked this subject, there were no benefits to registered guns, as law abiding citizens register their guns and do not commit crimes. Accidents yes. Not crimes. Now I am a ICU doctor in Edmonton. There are way more deaths and injuries from knives in this country. Do you want to register all the knives in this country? How about over the counter pills? Overdoses of Tylenol kill more people than guns every year, should we register OTC medications. Why not put the 2 billion into more RCMP officers, which will save a life, more presence on the streets (just like what NYC did, an actual case study for the liberals). This concept of window dressing an issue for political gain and votes is not a sign of good leadership.



    To quote Mr. Martin: “The fundamental problem with the liberal party is they are very very very wrong on their fundamental policies”



    Great website.



    PS. Don’t vote for Landslide Annie in the leadership for the liberal party. She’s even more annoying and has less common sense than Paul

    By Anonymous Rex, at 6:31 PM  

  • Kyoto = Wealth Transfer . . . Tony Blair says "ECONOMIC SUICIDE" . . .

    Gun Registry - Handguns registered since 1934 . . . long guns, total waste of time . . .

    Missile Defense - Where would U like to intercept ICBM's . . . over Alberta or over the North Pole . . . it's YOUR CHOICE . . .

    By Blogger EX-NDIP, at 6:57 PM  

  • 1. Good on you for endorsing policy over fearmongering.

    2. I'm leery of a Tory majority as well; I would like same-sex marriage to stay as is.

    3. That said, I have to disagree with the rest of your reasons to vote Liberal:

    a. Gun registry:
    i. Determining when a legal gun becomes illegal is irrelevant because it doesn't get the gun back or track it, and most gun crimes are committed with smuggled handguns anyways.

    ii. Gun licenses discourage casual use. More forms won't do much, not to the point of spending $2B and imposing criminal sentences on those who don't fill them out.

    iii. Spousal abusers, etc. have firearms prohibitions as a matter of course, whether or not they own firearms.

    iv. The registry doesn't force safe storage; regulations already in place do.

    v. Registration doesn't help with the apprehension of criminals, and if they've been apprehended for something else by definition there's no need for "help" in their prosectution.

    b. Star Wars: Harper said he'd have a second look if Bush reapproached us, not the other way around. It may never work, but the Americans don't want much of us, and participation helps the quid pro quo - think mad cow or softwood.

    c. Kyoto: setting environmental targets which will fall short of Kyoto in the name of meeting Kyoto is hard to rally around, and arguably acts as a disincentive to concrete measures. Clear and reasonable targets without baggage would be better.

    By Blogger matt, at 6:57 PM  

  • CG,

    It's been a real pleasure reading you for the last few months and I hope you stick around to blast at Harper's new government.

    On the four policies you listed, I mostly disagree. The gun registry was a feel good do nothing project that was horribly mismanaged to boot. I know it's not popular to say this but the registry should be abolished. I don't care whether the population thinks it's okay. It's a complete foulup, all costs, no benefits.

    On BMD, I'm not convinced either way. I think it's destined to be a technological failure and a colossal waste of money but, as the US is paying for it all, I don't think there is any big downside to joining in. Anyone who votes for one party or another solely on this issue needs to have their head examined.

    On SSM, you're completely correct. Notwithstanding some of the gripes above, governments have no business inquiring into or legislating about people's sexuality. What someone else's sexual behaviour has to do with teaching your own children what's right and wrong is beyond me. No one's marriage or family is threatened in any way by homosexuality or same sex marriage or even swingers' clubs and polygamy. No one is telling you or your kids to kiss someone of the same gender or engage in anonymous sex with multiple partners, nor to believe that such behaviour is moral, nor that you cannot tell your children that it's immoral. Government has no business in people's bedrooms and you (and I) have no business in anyone else's bedroom either.

    On Kyoto, I think you're wrong. This is like the gun registry, a feel good do nothing project that will cost Canadians a bundle. As public policy, it sucks. It hobbles the Canadian economy relative to everyone else, for a benefit that is possibly a mirage, to fight a peril which science has not verified.

    Carry on, CG. I look forward to your spearing the Harpertories in coming years. I'll be flailing away with you, just as I have done my level best to level the Liberals until now.

    Always remember ...

    "We're from the government and we're here to help you."

    ... is a lie, no matter which party is in government.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 PM  

  • Just to clarify my Kyoto stand, I agree that the current Liberal approach to it doesn't accomplish much. Buying credits is a bad idea unless the whole world is on board and there hasn't been a coherent plan to date. I'd like to see a bigger focus on alternative energy, pollution credits within Canada, stricter emmision standards, and many changes to the tax code to promote cleaner lifestyles.

    The gun registry has several purposes. Police use it. It's also useful for situations where someone is charged with a crime which forbids them from owning a gun, or if they develop a mental illness where they're not allowed to own guns. Police can return stolen guns to their owners. It provides a strong incentive for owners to report lost or stolen guns. It ties safe storage rules to the owner since the gun is registered to them. It prevents under the counter sales of guns (once registered).

    Yes, a lot of weapons aren't registered, which is a problem. But it's a step in the right direction.

    As for the person who suggested a "knife registry" or a "medication registry", we do have a "medication registry" - I suspect that any strong medication you take is on your medical record and you need a doctor's prescription to buy it.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:52 PM  

  • I'll happily concede that the gun registry does some good things, and don't oppose it in principle.

    But putting that $2B towards MRI machines, etc. etc. would have saved more lives.

    It's a gargantuan amount of money, with (at best!) mediocre results *even if* it had been cost effective.

    If it's a question of paying reasonable yearly operating costs, I'm fine with keeping it. But those kind of overruns smack of a corruption and patronage vehicle, and as I recall fixing it will cost a lot too. So, on those premises, killing it would be merciful.

    By Blogger matt, at 8:12 PM  

  • Re: Kyoto comments - how many of you critics have actually read the plan? It is not perfect, it is not enough, but it does deal with alternate energy, it does provide for buying and selling of domenstic credits, it has incentives for homes and commercial buildings that are energy efficient, any many more sensible ideas.

    It does not get us all the way. However, it is a serious start.

    And Harper's plan to move money from these initiatives to fund a transit pass tax credit - which by Harper's own admissions is a tax cut and will not expand transit services - is a sad first move in developing a "made in Canada" solution.

    And if rich nations like Canada do not take climate change seriously, why on earth would India, China etc. And if no-one takes it seriously, we are in for much damage and disruption. Think water supplies in Alberta are low now - wait until the glaciers that feed key rivers are all gone.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:14 PM  

  • BGG,

    "If its so easy to redefine marriage then I suppose you have no problems with polygamy, swingers clubs and marriages between any 2 objects that love each other. The legal definition of marriage is not what marriage is all about. Next they will want to redefine a family or a home."

    If many many people decide they want to support polygamy or whatever... sure... but really the support for SSM + the support for polygamy aren't even in the same BALL PARK.

    "Maybe I could be convinced I am wrong, but Martin didn't even allow a debate."

    The court decision that prompted all this movement on SSM happened TWO YEARS before the gov brought in a SSM bill... are there even examples of anything that had that much public debate before it became law??

    By BGG

    By Anonymous andrew, at 10:39 PM  

  • Posturing and grandstanding ...
    All show but no substance...
    Follow the tide..
    Change with the wind....
    No value..except the value to do anything to stay in power...
    Anything goes....
    No accountability....

    these are what characterize the present government

    Do we want more?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 PM  

  • Anonymous @ 3:40 PM,

    "Good luck with your support of the most inneffectual, hollow leader of our time."ar

    GOD I hate people who can't separate an opinion from full on support of a politician... last time I checked the only party that isn't supporting SSM is the Conservative party... but no I must be a huge PM supporter... brilliant logic.

    Facts about me...

    1. I was once a member of the Liberal party... hated PM pretty much from the 2nd JC left... voted against him in the leadership "race".

    2. I'm currently a card carrying NDPer... and last Saturday when I pre-voted... I voted for the NDP candidate in my riding.

    Sorry to burst your bubble there Anonymous @ 3:40 PM.

    By Anonymous andrew, at 10:58 PM  

  • As for the numbers of gay people, we could just use the StatsCan figures from the last census, since the information was on there for the first time. I'm pretty sure the numbers were 1.3% of adult men are gay, and 0.7% of adult women are gay. This rounds to a grand total of ........ 1.0% of adults in Canada are comfortable calling themselves gay.

    8-10% is the extremely discredited number coming from Kinsey way back when (using VERY disproportionate population samples).

    I'm more of the opinion that marriage has been plagued since the easy-divorce, greater-likelihood-for-adultery heydays of the '60s, without which the SSM would be unthinkable (Andrew Sullivan, though not a spokesman for all-things-gay, has said something to the effect that if marriage generally were strongly perceived to be monogamous and permanent, then there would be zero interest in it in the gay community). SSM goes one step further in codifying that which marriage is NOT about - the affirmation of the partners, instead of the good it provides to society at large (ie. children raised in a stable environment).

    By Blogger Cyrano, at 1:21 AM  

  • Mike, Andrew and others (RE: What I told my son about SSM):

    I see some have really hit the spin cycle about my reply to CG’s question “Is there anyone out there who has been harmed by SMM.” I took the question as non-rhetorical and answered it in the affirmative, much to some people’s chagrin. Allow me to explain exactly what this father has told his young son about his country allowing SSM (he’s 10, so the language is toned now to single syllable, NDP-level speak):

    I told him that some people, through no fault of their own, are attracted to other people of the same gender and that – while this is wrong – we must not be mean or unfair to them about it. At the same time, allowing them to get married to each other is like saying that what they want to do is just as normal as Mommies marrying Daddies and that’s just not true. Being kind to other people does not mean pretending to agree with them when they’re wrong, or changing the law to allow wrong things to happen. People with this kind of disorder need to have strength, and our job is to give them our prayers and our help – not to pretend that they’re really OK. As an aside, this is essentially what the Catholic Church teaches about homosexuality - that it is objectively disordered, but unjust discrimination against afflicted persons must be avoided.

    Now I hate to be harsh here on CG’s often astute readers, but as this boy’s father I am primarily responsible for instilling in him correct notions of right and wrong, along with the ability to think critically about what he sees and hears (yes, that includes anything I say). As he grows into a man, he will obviously begin to form his own opinions and doubtless many of those will differ from mine. Fine; I understand that when he turns 14, he’ll know everything anyway, and that it’s downhill from there.

    In any event, I know the ishy-squishy set thinks children should be raised in liberal, state-run institutions like child care and public schools so that they can be “raised” by the state (which, as every liberal knows, is in a far superior position to parents to properly instruct children). Although this is one of the few remaining freedoms afforded Canadian parents, I prefer to raise my child as best as I see fit. This is a responsibility I owe to him, and one that I do not seek to abdicate to others. If I defer to anyone, it will be to the leaders and teachings of the Church, with which I wholeheartedly agree.

    BTW, Mike and Andrew – did you know you’re named after Saints? I’ll pray to them for you….

    By Blogger A. Carlton Sallet, at 9:19 AM  

  • Cyrano,

    "As for the numbers of gay people, we could just use the StatsCan figures from the last census, since the information was on there for the first time. I'm pretty sure the numbers were 1.3% of adult men are gay, and 0.7% of adult women are gay. This rounds to a grand total of ........ 1.0% of adults in Canada are comfortable calling themselves gay."

    If you're going to quote stats... PLEASE make the effort to read about the questions asked... in 2001 the Canadian census allowed gay people to identify themselves if they were in common law relationships... there weren't any questions specifically asking about sexual orientation.

    http://www.egale.ca/index.asp?lang=E&menu=41

    "8-10% is the extremely discredited number coming from Kinsey way back when (using VERY disproportionate population samples)."

    There are issues around that study... however... could you give me an example of a study that is more accurate...

    The actual # of gay people isn't all that relevant in this debate... people deserve equal treatment from their gov whether they represent 1%, 5% or 10% of the population.

    "I'm more of the opinion that marriage has been plagued since the easy-divorce, greater-likelihood-for-adultery heydays of the '60s, without which the SSM would be unthinkable (Andrew Sullivan, though not a spokesman for all-things-gay, has said something to the effect that if marriage generally were strongly perceived to be monogamous and permanent, then there would be zero interest in it in the gay community)."

    Wow... and I thought all the other anti-SSM reasons were lame... this one takes the cake.

    Basically you're claiming that most gay people cheat... and since more and more str8 people have been cheating in the last while... suddenly the gays want in... uhhhhhhh... when it comes to cheating... marriage is like a regular relationship... except there are suddenly legal consequences if you cheat... nice try though.

    By Anonymous andrew, at 9:44 AM  

  • I hope A. Carlton Sallet turns out to be the biggest, flamingest, queeniest cocksucking queer there ever was or ever will be. That's what being raised in a screwed up fundamentalist household did to me.

    By Anonymous Big Fat Hairy Dave, at 9:46 AM  

  • I meant A. Carlton Sallet's son, of course. Not him.

    By Anonymous Big Fat Hairy Dave, at 9:47 AM  

  • A. Carlton Sallet,

    "Now I hate to be harsh here on CG’s often astute readers, but as this boy’s father I am primarily responsible for instilling in him correct notions of right and wrong, along with the ability to think critically about what he sees and hears (yes, that includes anything I say)."

    You're right it is your job to teach your kid about morality... last time I checked the gov isn't responsible for teaching the nation YOUR morality... it is supposed to offer support + services to all Canadians... gay, straight, black, white... everyone.

    "BTW, Mike and Andrew – did you know you’re named after Saints? I’ll pray to them for you…."

    Awwwww... how sweet... I'll be fine... no need to pray for me...

    I'll pray that your son isn't gay... not because it's a bad thing... mainly because it's VERY hard to build any sort of self esteem when you have ignorance all around you.

    By Anonymous andrew, at 9:58 AM  

  • That's what being raised in a screwed up fundamentalist household did to me.

    Just so long as it's not your fault or anything, Dave. Remember: the first rule of liberalism is that everything that's wrong in your life is someone else's responsibility to fix. This includes, naturally, your propensity to wish evil on small children.

    By Blogger A. Carlton Sallet, at 11:12 AM  

  • www.theinfozone.net is reporting on Paul Martin's Week of Woe.

    www.theinfozone.net is also reporting that third party groups like the National Citizen's Coalition and gun groups have held their fire until now.

    The BCWF PAC ads are a funny listen. Worth the visit.

    Tired.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:24 AM  

  • When Trudeau openned up divorce laws he said something about getting government out of the bedroom of the people. SSM puts the government into the bedroom of the people. There are other implications that I have never heard discussed. SSM means there will have to be new gender neutral divorce laws. How about spousal abuse? How about sex education in schools?

    By Anonymous BGG, at 12:01 PM  

  • A. Carlton Sallet:

    You’re accusing me of finding fault in others and blaming others for what’s wrong in my life, but it seems to me that’s what you’re doing. You are the one saying that your family is being damaged and that your life is “worse off” all because gay couples that you don’t even know have been getting married. Same sex marriage has been happening for two and a half years now and somehow this has caused you problems, yet the only “problem” you can demonstrate is some kind of vague “damage to the notion of marriage.” It seems to me that you rephrased the question rather than answering it.

    If your life is worse off, look to yourself. Don’t blame others for your life problems. Don’t be like other conservatives who claim that people should be treated equally and should be responsible for themselves — except when they upset conservatives by putting their penises or vaginas where conservatives think they shouldn’t be.

    I cannot disagree with you more when you imply that the fact that I’m gay is “something wrong with [my] life.” Just because something comes from something bad doesn’t mean that it’s bad itself. A child who is abused by her parents may grow up to become a child psychologist in order to help other abused children. That doesn’t make being a child psychologist a bad thing.

    You know what, Carlton? Being gay is not what’s wrong with my life, it’s what’s right. Every day when I wake up, I thank fate, the universe, my genes, my parents, or whatever it was that made me what I am.

    Being gay has taught me that I don’t have to listen to people who would have me fear or loathe what I am. It has taught me not to listen to people who would have people like me who are different hidden away not to be talked about.

    Being gay has shown me compassion, tolerance, understanding, and humility. It has taught me to look at everything with a different eye. It has taught me the only limits to what I can be or what I can do are the limits I place on myself, and that nothing can stop me — or anyone — from being as happy, fulfilled, and loved as I want to be.

    Carlton, I hope that your son will turn out gay because that means all the nonsense you’re teaching him have failed. It’s not evil that I wish on your son, it’s liberation.

    By Anonymous Big Fat Hairy Dave, at 12:39 PM  

  • BGG,

    "When Trudeau openned up divorce laws he said something about getting government out of the bedroom of the people. SSM puts the government into the bedroom of the people."

    Sorry what? If you go to the government and ask that they allow you to get married... and they say no you can't because you aren't loving slash sleeping with a person of the sex we think you should be... that's out of the bedroom?

    "There are other implications that I have never heard discussed. SSM means there will have to be new gender neutral divorce laws."

    Ok... and this is a problem because???

    "How about spousal abuse?"

    There have been cases of abusive same-sex relationships for awhile now... this isn't a new issue brought on by SSM... really it all boils down to assault.

    "How about sex education in schools?"

    1. Education + curriculum is a provincial decision... since we're talking about SSM which is a federal jurisdiction... I'm not sure I see the relevance to your question...

    2. I can't speak to anybody else's sex ed experience... for me it was mainly to educate people about STDs... which is pretty much applicable to anyone having sex, gay or straight... not sure how that would change now that we have SSM... it's sex ed not "marriage ed".

    By Anonymous andrew, at 2:24 PM  

  • Mutually Assured Destruction is the primary reason we haven't had a Third World War. Canada needs to not only not co-operate in this foolish missile shield delusion, but to also do everything to undermine and sabotage all attempts for such until the US finds wiser counsel. A missile shield would eliminate MAD and enable a resurgence in militarism and bellicosity that will cause pointless misery of untold proportions. The folly needs to be stopped.

    By Blogger LeoPetr, at 3:56 PM  

  • Another day, another piece to help the Calgary Grit and his friends.
    :)


    THE NORTH SHORE NEWS

    Gun legislation an election issue
    By Gil Yard, Contributing Writer, published on 01/11/2006

    NOTE: Gilbert Yard is a retired RCMP Superintendent who commanded the North Vancouver Detachment between 1994 and 1998. In 37 years of policing, he saw service in five provinces. Two of his children are currently serving police officers.

    "A few weeks back, I had occasion to write regarding the continued controversy on Canadian Bill C-68 dealing with firearms registration. Given the continued government commitment to Bill C-68 and the continued waste of taxpayer dollars, I felt the situation could not get worse. I was wrong. Click to read the rest....
    Read the RCMP Superintendent's article.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

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