Sunday, November 27, 2005

Why You should vote for the NDP.

Well, its all over except for putting up the signs and pressing the flesh. By bedtime tomorrow, we will be into a new federal election.

This one is going to be a dead heat, despite some rather rosy polls from yesterday.

So, why should you vote for the NDP? In no particular order, here are some reasons:

1. Fiscal Responsibility - despite the propoganda, the NDP has been recognized as the most fiscally responsible federal party, by the government itself. In Saskatchewan, the provincial NDP government is taking a sensible approach to tax cuts - measured analysis rather than the 'hack and slash' style of the CPC and the Liberals. Tax cuts that take into account the reality of government finance rather than ideology. Imagine a fiscally responsible government that cuts taxes in a careful fashion, while maintaining its mandate.

2. Integrity - we stand by our principles and do what we say we will do. Ed Broadbent's 7 point ethics plan is merely the latest example (and dovetails nicely with the Conservative one). Rather than stoop to the immature name calling that infected Parliament, the NDP used compromise and negotiation to make Parliament work last spring. The result was the passing of a popular, better balanced budget (look, more fiscal responsiblitity!) that was better for regular Canadians, by getting rid of corporate tax breaks that even the TD Bank said were unneeded. And in the fall, we tried to do the same for healthcare, but to no avail. When that happened, the NDP and Jack Layton showed again the spirit of compromise and leadership when we worked with the opposition parties (some of whom considered the same compromise and negotiation spirit to be unprincipled in the spring) to present a reasonable alternative to a Christmas election, which the government has ignored.

This shows that while the NDP will stick by its principles, we are not blind ideologues and will work pragmatically with other parties in order to meet our objectives and to make things better for Canadians. We will work for consensus rather than use ideological driven partisan attacks as a method of change.

3. A Real vote for Change - The NDP is the only genuinely principled progressive party. The Liberals like to paint themselves as progressive at election time, but never seem to deliver. Fiscally, the Liberals have been more Conservative than the Conservatives. The only party that has consistently stood up for progressive issues has been the NDP. And considering that the idea of a CPC minority isn't nearly as scary as it once was, "strategic voting" does not mean much anymore. I join with guys like Greg at Sinister Thoughts ("Time for a Change"), who says that a strong NDP is the true progressive counterpoint to a possible Conservative minority and all Liberal supporters that are scared of the Conservatives should vote for th NDP.

Of course, I'm biased in this, but these are just a few of the main reasons for people to vote for the NDP. If changing the government is what is needed, a strong progressive voice without the taint of scandal is what is needed to counter the Conservatives. That voice belongs to jack Layton and the NDP, not the Liberals.

But whatever you decide, just vote. Vote your conscience, not to counter your fear. Vote based on policies and platforms, not name calling and mudslinging. If you are having trouble deciding which way to vote, always vote with your heart, - it’s on the left.

But vote.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Tenzin Gyatso on Science and Faith

Hat tip to The Green Knight.

I have often been asked why I consider myself a Buddhist. Well, read this piece by Tenzin Gyatso and you'll find out.

Consider this

"If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview."
A remarkable statement. Buddhism is not alone in this kind of beleif, but it is the only one that has said this so unequivicolly.

Simply another example that science and faith need not be enemies, that learning and understanding can trancend and work hand in hand to improve our lives.

23+5= Please read "Italian Courts, Rattlesnakes, and Atomic Bombs."

23rd post, 5th sentence.

You know the drill. The following folks need to find their 23 post, 5th sentence and present it, then tag others.


Please read "Italian Courts, Rattlesnakes, and Atomic Bombs."

(PS, Edward T. Bear is no more so the link won't work. Too bad it was a great post).


Dazz at BPOC.
Timmy at Voice in the Wilderness.
Princess Monkey at Voice in the Wilderness
Robert at MyBlahg (that one should be good)
Zorph at the Wingnutterer

Have fun, y'all.

Rational Reasons - Lite

Well, it seems its going to be a very busy couple of months for me so my blogging may be very light during that time. I am starting a new position with a big-5 consulting firm, my wife is about to deliver our 3rd, an election is imminent (and I am a member of my local NDP Riding Association), Chirstmas...well you get the idea.

I will try hard to post something during this time, and I will certainly try to continue comment should time permit, but it will not be the amount I do now.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Blogsphere is a little less interesting today.

Andrew at Bound by Gravity has decided to pack it in.

Andrew was one of those rare people of any political persuasion: he argued logically and passionately for his beliefs and for CPC policy but was willing to come to a consensus, find common ground and even admit when he was wrong or mistaken.

Andrew and Bound By Gravity were the model that all bloggers - Dipper, Liberals and Blogging Tories alike - should strive to be like. His intelligence, fairness and and good nature will be missed.

I hope at the very least he continues to comment.

And as we both live in Ottawa, he has an open invitation for a coffee or a lunch anytime he's downtown. And I'm being selfish in this - I'm gonna miss debating him at BBG so I want to do it in person.

Good luck Andrew. You will be missed.

Hat tip to Treehugger over at Stageleft, who feels the same way.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cry 'Scandal', Part 2

When local a local conservative commentator from the local conservative fishwrap agrees with a Dipper, you know something is up.

Via a friend, here is Randall Denley's column from this past Saturday's Ottawa Citizen (October 29, 2005), and what he had to say about Nepean-Carleton CPC MP Pierre Poilievre and MPP John Baird's scandal mongering over the Queensway Carleton Hospital 'issue' (reprinted in it's entirety, since it cannot be linked to) :

"Omnipresent MP Pierre Poilievre is certainly a contrast to most local members, who typically vanish into obscurity 15 minutes after they are elected.

It seems one can't turn around without seeing or hearing the MP from Nepean-Carleton, especially if one happens to live in his riding.

Poilievre deserves an A for activity, but his big crusade to save the Queensway-Carleton Hospital looks too much like a cheesy stunt.

Poilievre would have us believe that health care at the hospital is threatened because it will have to pay more for its National Capital Commission-owned land when its lease runs out. But that won't happen until 2013. Until then, the hospital gets the land for peanuts. It's paying only $23,000 a year, the same price it has had since 1973.

The NCC thinks the new lease will boost the cost to about $350,000 a year for five years, then move to an unspecified market value. All of that's a little south of the several million dollars Poilievre likes to talk about. It's also an issue that's so far off in the future, in political terms, that it's difficult to believe that it's worth upsetting people about today.

Despite all of that, Poilievre was still able to get the House of Commons to waste a bit of time defeating his private member's bill calling for a $1 a year lease. The problem with his plan is that a special deal for our hospital would be quickly sought by every other group leasing federal property. It's a situation that calls for a policy solution.

Poilievre's campaign didn't get a rent deal for the hospital, and there was no hope that it would. What it did do is give Poilievre and fellow Tory John Baird a dandy, if bogus, election issue. What a happy side effect.

MPP Baird is seeking a federal seat in Ottawa West-Nepean, where MP Marlene Catterall voted against the $1 deal. You can bet that Baird and Poilievre will furiously denounce the federal Liberals for taking money out of the hospital's pocket, reducing health care and any other scary thing they can think of. Poilievre has already suggested the lease problem will affect cancer care. The fact that it isn't really
true won't slow them down a bit.

This is a very old-fashioned type of politics, in which the politician manufactures an issue so he can rage about the horrible misdeeds of those in the other party. It doesn't really accomplish anything and it's mostly for show, kind of like fighting in hockey.

Poilievre has already figured out that Nepean-Carleton voters like a politician who's a scrapper. It's no accident that he has named his web site Political pugilism has certainly worked well for other politicians in Nepean-Carleton, especially Baird and city councillor Jan Harder.

But surely being a good MP requires more than just fighting. It matters that the fight is real, is about something important, and actually accomplishes something. Poilievre's predecessor, David Pratt, was pretty much the opposite type of MP. A quiet, hard worker, Pratt proved his substance by devoting a lot of time to African aid. It wasn't something designed to score political points.

Poilievre, on the other hand, wants us to be aware of his every move. Actually using the words "you can't understand someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes," Poilievre has been informing the media of his days spent tagging along with ordinary folks as they go about their business. So far, he's been out with a police officer, a farmer and a nurse. The time and place of the event is always announced, in
case we'd like to come and take his picture.

Poilievre also papers his constituents with flyers. He has sent out 19 of them in just over a year, plus four householders.

Some of it is sophomoric stuff of the sort you'd expect from someone running for head of a campus chapter of the party youth wing. One of Poilievre's recent flyers features Prime Minister Paul Martin on a three-dollar bill. As you might imagine, it says "phoney as a three dollar bill."

The same flyer asks these piercing questions. Do you agree that Paul Martin should stop making phoney promises? Tick yes or no. If I think Martin is beating his wife, can I write that in? Poilievre reminds constituents that they can return this scientific survey to him without postage, free mail being an MP's privilege. What a wise use of taxpayers' dollars.

He also asks "Is Pierre Poilievre MP on the right track in general?"

In a word, no. See above.

Poilievre is only 26, and a rookie MP. Maybe he will having a learning curve, but he needs to think about what he's doing before he ends up as nothing more than a young political hack. Based on what we've seen so far, he looks as phoney as a three dollar bill."

By Randall Denley of the Ottawa Citizen.
I usually find Denley no more than an angry conservative, who reacts for the sake of reacting. So I have to ask, if even the natural allies of the CPC are tired of this kind of low-brow politics, what will the electorate think? Perhaps its time for a new MP in Nepean-Carleton, on that will work for the people, instead of always picking 'fights'....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Wage Peace



Its right on the money.

A message from American Friends Service Committee (Quakers).

Wage Peace Now.

Hat Tip: Kevin G Powell