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Old 05-30-2004, 02:17 PM   #1
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Canadian Election

For the few Canadians out there.

Well, Paul Martin finally called an election and the campaign is a few days old.

Any thoughts on whats been happening?
Does anyone have any reactions to Harper's plan for the lowest taxes in the world? Or to Layton's campaign and his comments on homeless deaths? Or the Liberal scandal(s)?

Could Harper be the next PM? Can the NDP make a comeback? Liberal minority?
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:22 PM   #2
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I listen to an hour of Canadian Public Radio a day.

"As It Happens" airs at 11pm here.

Last I heard the liberals could be in trouble with a right winger promissing tax cuts.

He is not explaining how popular programs will be maintained.
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:27 PM   #3
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Yeah, Harper is promising this.

What is mind boggling is that this was tried in Ontario by the previous government and it destroyed education and health care, as well as a slew of other services. Toronto went from having one of the best public transport systems in North America to arguably one of the worst.

I can't believe people are still fooled these tax cuts.
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:35 PM   #4
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It sounds like an American Export to Canada.

Will Canadians fall for it?

Seems to work in the US most of the time.

Guess which party views paying taxes as "Good v. Evil"
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:43 PM   #5
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I'll bite, even if I'm not Canadian.

Barring something revolutionary, I imagine that the Liberals will win again, if only because of how Canada's population is distributed. The Conservatives seem to only have real support in the Western provinces, and they just don't have the people, in comparison to Ontario and Québec.

(You can see why the U.S. developed the electoral college 225 years ago, as lowly populated states worried about this; but, on the flip side, America's population centers are now at the mercy of these smaller, generally more conservative states, and is that fair? I don't know either way.)

As for Harper making the "lowest taxes in the world," it would be quite funny, considering that the (Progressive) Conservative, Brian Mulroney, was responsible for the massive GST in Canada. I guess I'd have to read more details of what he wants, but look at the American tax system: the wealthy get away with murder, proportionately, and we have massive deficits to show for it--all while the states raise taxes and fees to make up for our derelict federal government.

I would beware any attempt to lower taxes that drastically, because, frankly, I would hate to see Canada devolve into the United States' terribly neglected infrastructure and social programs. Sure, American corporations have a lot of money (well, not really; deregulation allowed our companies to become much more insolvent, and now many of them are one stock panic away from bankruptcy [K-Mart, Global Crossing]), but our health care is only good for those who can afford it (and rotten for those who can't).

But, really, I can't imagine that Harper will get many votes east of Manitoba, but, I guess, anything can happen.

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Old 05-30-2004, 02:45 PM   #6
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I hope not Deep, but we fell for it for 8 years in Ontario.

However, I think people desire change from the current goverment which has recently been embroiled in scandals, and been in power for 11 years.
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Old 05-30-2004, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by iacrobat
What is mind boggling is that this was tried in Ontario by the previous government and it destroyed education and health care, as well as a slew of other services. Toronto went from having one of the best public transport systems in North America to arguably one of the worst.
I've been in Toronto's subway, streetcar, and bus systems. Really, if you think it is that bad, you haven't seen Boston's transport system, not to mention the fact that most American cities have none at all. Their subway system is quite nice from my POV. Very clean and smooth!

And, yeah, tax cuts are very tempting for people, and very politically convenient. People don't realize, though, that the money has to come from somewhere, and that if you cut services, you'll just have to spend the same amount of money (and more probably) out of your own pocket in the private sector.

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Old 05-30-2004, 04:30 PM   #8
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The election will be decided in Ontario, as it always is... however, I'll be interested to see how the maritime vote swings. There seemed to be growing support for the new conservatives, but as well some lingering sentiment for the NDP (with regards to the breakdown of party leadership votes). At this point the election is just a formality, until the opposition can deliver more than glib rhetoric to the incumbent.

Are the platform guides available yet? I was hoping to get an autograph...



As well, I agree with melon that distributional representation in a legislative capacity probably isn't the answer for the current electoral disparity. Enacting such a policy might actually put power in the West... and do you really want our finger on the button?

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Old 05-30-2004, 05:58 PM   #9
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Well, in comparison to American subways which are generally filthy, yes, the TTC is clean. But it is poorly developed and needs expansion on several fronts, for which there is currently no money. Streetcars downtown are actually very efficient, but buses in other parts of the city are bogged down by traffic, which is why subway lines need to be expanded, particularly into the east and western suburbs.

Yes, the Conservatives want lowest taxes in the world, presumably lower than that of the third world. Isn't that a brilliant idea?

I am not sure how well Harper will do in Ontario - but he will certainly not do well in the GTA, where even the provincial conservatives did not do well, but were rescued by the 905. Frankly, this would be no contest were it not for the stupidity of the Ontario Liberals imposing this health premium tax. We are stuck with them for the next 4 years, so what people are doing is not voting for the federal Liberals out of spite. It is not that I disagree with the premium per se, I just don't understand how it is fair for somebody who is making $40K/year to be paying $300 while Mats Sundin, who makes 12 million a year has to pay only a $900 premium. That is ridiculous, and if we already have to pay it, then it should be a set percentage of your taxable income. Also, now somebody from Alberta will come and tell us we have it good because they've been paying over $500 health premium/year for years, but let us remember, in Ontario we have to pay 7% GST + 8% PST, while in Alberta, they have no provincial tax, and it is this provincial tax that is supposed to cover health care expenses.

I will vote for the NDP, although I am pretty sure the Liberal candidate will win in my riding anyway.
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Well, in comparison to American subways which are generally filthy, yes, the TTC is clean. But it is poorly developed and needs expansion on several fronts, for which there is currently no money. Streetcars downtown are actually very efficient, but buses in other parts of the city are bogged down by traffic, which is why subway lines need to be expanded, particularly into the east and western suburbs.
Hmmm...I didn't know that. Do American cities receive federal funding for public transport?

I don't know Anitram. I rode the King car for 2 years every day from Roncesvalles to Bathurst and the service was really inconsistent. I could wait 5 minute or 20 at rush hour.

I might be a little too hard on the TTC. I love in Barcelona and I ride public transport up to 5 or 6 times a day. It is incredible, an urban planner's wet dream.

As for the health premium. I think it's a good idea, but as you said, it disproportionately taxes lower/middle class incomes. Did McGuinty hire Mike Harris as a consultant on this one?
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Old 05-31-2004, 06:51 AM   #11
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... not to go completely off topic, but I will. iacrobat are you on a career-internship, or fulfilling part of a master's matriculation requisite? It seems it's tradition in Canada for students to go to spain and study... the pavillion.

... ahem...

Go Flames Go.
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram

I am not sure how well Harper will do in Ontario - but he will certainly not do well in the GTA, where even the provincial conservatives did not do well, but were rescued by the 905.

It is not that I disagree with the premium per se, I just don't understand how it is fair for somebody who is making $40K/year to be paying $300 while Mats Sundin, who makes 12 million a year has to pay only a $900 premium. That is ridiculous.
be fair to mats. i think he makes between 9 and 10.

conservatives are likely to perform well in eastern ontario, i.e. ottawa. in fact ottawa ridings are likely to end up anything but liberal with the ndp's ed broadbent destined to win in downtown core and strong conservative candidates coupled with weak liberals.

i hesitate to say that the election will be decided in ontario but at the moment anger toward the provincial liberals does not bode well for team martin. i am surprised that mcguinty has continued to play hardball with martin's campaign team, refusing to attent funding announcements and whatnot.
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pinball Wizard
... not to go completely off topic, but I will. iacrobat are you on a career-internship, or fulfilling part of a master's matriculation requisite? It seems it's tradition in Canada for students to go to spain and study... the pavillion.

... ahem...

Go Flames Go.
Nope, I am not studying. I married a hot blooded Catalan! We are in the process of deciding exactly where we want to live. We have spent some time Toronto, now we are living in Barcelona.

Funny you mention this. I only know one other Canadian here. I've never thought of Spain and Canada having a strong connection.
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:47 PM   #14
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Lower taxes, but bigger military!!

Quote:
$1.2 billion for military: Harper
20,000 more troops plus improved helicopters, fighter-bombers and transport planes

CANADIAN PRESS

TRENTON — Conservative Leader Stephen Harper used a backdrop of grey-painted transport planes at a sprawling southern Ontario air base to promise more money and troops for the military today.

At a campaign stop just outside CFB Trenton, he said a Conservative government would immediately put $1.2 billion more into the defence budget and add 20,000 troops to the ranks.

It would beef up the army with tanks, give the navy hybrid helicopter carriers and provide upgraded CF-18 fighter-bombers and new transport planes.
The rest:

http://www.thestar.ca/NASApp/cs/Cont...l=968793972154

Perhaps military spending ought to be increased. But how do you go around promising low taxes and higher spending on military? I hate to imagine what services would be gutted to accomplish this.

I figure the Liberal are bound to win as well. Although I think Jack Layton would make a very interesting Prime Minister.
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:11 PM   #15
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Well i meet Jack Layton last night, i must say he is one passionate man. I have only meet a few politicians in my time, Klien, Martin, McKay, but Jack did seem like he was the most sincere and honest.

I live in Alberta, and if you ask me the entire provience will be Blue on election day. Annie and Kilgour will lose their seats IMO.

But the best thing to happen to CDN politics in many years is about to happen, its called a Minority Gov't with the NDP holding the swing vote, which is going to make the Liberals actually adopt some real liberal policies. FINALLY.

I would vote conservative just to acomplish a minority gov't and i think its the best way a country can be run. The Liberals will not have the power to just steamroll half assed legislation. They will have to make sure it is appesing all angles which gives CDN's better representation.

I will vpte NDP, i was going to vote conservative to prevent the Liberal candidate from winning, but with the new campaign finance laws which gives the party $1.75 every year for thier term i thought that maybe in 10-15 years the NDP will finally have become strong enough to make a gov't.

Vote NDP!

Go Flames GO!!
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