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Back from a hiatus…

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Please forgive my modesty. And my absence. To all those adoring fans who follow this blog, I apologize- to both of you- for not writing this past couple of months. I don’t know why I stopped: perhaps it was my own cynicism getting to me or perhaps I was overwhelmed by the flurry of activity in my personal life this past while- jetting off to Monaco to gamble away my big GST tax savings courtesy of Canada’s “New” Government.

Some might say that blogging is an addiction. And concerning oneself with politics is an Earthly affectation that amounts to little; spiritually guided by fear and scarcity. So perhaps I actually got “on the wagon” so to speak and was recovering from the illness of blogging about politics. And with this entry it is possible that I have fallen off the wagon. But somehow that doesn’t seem right either.

Spiritually we may all be the same; that we are all interconnected and we are all love and stuff like that which I could go on endlessly about too (that will have to be saved for another blog) but alas we are also human. And the human condition, imperfect as it is, is always striving to improve. We may never reproduce Heaven on Earth but we try nonetheless. But despite ourselves, we are also economic, “rational, profit-maximizing and loss-minimizing individuals” and the two collide like the Titanic and the iceberg.

So here’s the truth: I just got lazy. Human nature, you know. But I’m back. I most certainly couldn’t afford to head to Monaco on my GST Savings. Much has happened in our governments since my last entry and although there are a few things that will be covered in upcoming entries, we’ll just pick up and carry on as though there never was a hiatus.

Here is a selection of the items that really do need a comment. Since December, Vancouver had its worst bout with snow in living memory and its ability to respond was appalling to say the least. The new President of the United States was sworn in. Our national parliament is back and is as ineffective as ever. And the provincial election campaign has already started with attack ads already discrediting and dishonouring our right to a cleanly waged election campaign.

And then there are the manipulations of egomaniacs trying to convince the rest of us supposedly unwashed herd of sheep that their vision is the correct one. The little training in communications, politics and campaigns that I have I hope serve the greater good in the Human Condition to ensure that the common Good is always served.

Plus, there are a couple of new features I hope to include on the website- if I can figure out how to create a second blog for the same site. Interviews and issue-specific discussions. I hope to include interviews with some of the newsmakers and perhaps even some of the news reporters being a critic not only in the political sphere but also a critic in the media sphere.

Additionally, there are some changes in policy that I think would be a good idea. Most notably, we must look at reforming our “health care system” to include measures that enhance our health, not just treat us when we are sick. One that will be specifically discussed is Structural Integration or Rolfing- a type of massage therapy that deals with the fascia in our bodies.

So there you have it. A rededication of sorts.  There will be other rededications later. I know myself enough to say that. But as I promised when I started the blog, watch for cutting-edge commentary on the issues that affect us all in Metro Vancouver.

Compared to the rest of the world, we may be an tiny community perched on a beach at the foot of mountains, distant from Ottawa (literally and figuratively), with a value system that goes against the grain a bit but whether we like it or not in many ways we are at the cutting edge of what a modern, pluralistic, tolerant society is going to look like in the twenty-first century. We really do matter and others really should care what we think, feel and believe.

And so this blog aims, as always, gentle reader, to shed light- or at least a viewpoint- on the issues that are important to us all, here in Vancouver.

Are Harper’s days numbered?

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

We deserve, so the saying goes, the government we elect. And so it certainly is this time round when we elect a Conservative minority matched with a feckless opposition for the second time in a row. Until now, that is. For the first time in half a decade, we might just have a real opposition ready to take over the strings of power.

Stephen Harper is starting to bare his teeth through his good-natured, sweater-clad persona. To be honest, I was really impressed with him in the first minority government. Instead of the Jean Chretien years of, “Well iss like when yer stuck in a snow bank- you go forwards den you go backwards den you go forwards until you get out” school of policy making, followed by the utterly spineless Liberal stewardship under Paul Martin that doesn’t even rate a methodology, Stephen Harper actually stood for something.

Many Canadians may not have agreed much with what he was wanting to do but at least he drew a line in the sand and stood by it. Like it or not, he was in charge. And he played Parliament like it was a violin- not a good one mind you, with broken strings and busted bow, but a violin nonetheless.

The opposition has been in as much disarray as it was before the election but there is something very different now. It’s almost as if Harper is tired of governing as a minority- and governing a pluralistic society. In past political manoeuvrings, Harper has made some significant changes to the Canadian policy landscape by either tossing in a sweetening pill for one of the opposition parties so that they wouldn’t dare defeat the measure, or else he would evoke some sort of poison-pill that pitted one opposition party against another. It was genius politics.

But this time he has gone way too far. Harper is starting to show is utter contempt for Parliament by bringing forth an economic statement that includes no measures to stimulate the economy but proposes to save the Canadian taxpayer all of $23-million in subsidies to the political parties. Twenty-three million dollars- that’s less than a dollar per citizen of Canada. Symbolically it’s significant. It’s just that the symbol speaks to the very democracy that we have here in Canada. And Harper clearly wants to have nothing more with it.

And so the opposition, in a shameless act of self-preservation is finally coming together to draw its line in the sand. Harper has seen the line and has delayed the vote for a week- presumably to measure the winds of opinion. And it doesn’t look good for his government. In this turn, his arrogance might have got the better of his Parliamentary chess game. It is not yet “Check-Mate”, but it is certainly the first “Check”- a warning that he is about to be taken out.

Editorials in the more conservative papers warn the Liberals that they were soundly repudiated in the last election. Quite the contrary- the election was the the Conservative’s to lose and that they did. Failing to achieve the magic majority they cynically thought they could grasp underscored Canadian’s rightful distrust of Harper and his policies.

Coalition or election, it doesn’t really matter. The Conservatives are wearing out their welcome mat very quickly. Harper is starting to show himself to be a combative, contemptuous troll and its time that we saw the change that the majority of Canadians were looking for in the Great Pointless Election of 2008.

A coalition would do Canadians very well. After all, the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals are not far apart on most issues that are important to Canadians. And who knows- we might actually get some mature government since all the children will have to stop kicking sand in each other’s eyes and steer this ship away from the shoals of economic and political disaster.