From the campaigns

At the moment, there is a campaign for an upcoming federal election in Canada and at the same time the Republicans are trying to decide who will front their party in the next American federal election. As with any campaign, there are things being said that, taken at face value, defy all logic or in some cases, legality.

Let’s look at the Canadian campaign first. Stephen Harper, the current Prime Minister (although I frequently call him “King Stephen the first of Canada) is saying that he will increase the size of the army reserve by 25% during his next mandate (should he get one). One problem with making that promise Stevie. The Canadian Army Reserve is a volunteer force. How are you going to persuade 6,000 people to join the reserves? Offer them a signing bonus like major league sports teams do? Where’s the money going to come from – money that could be used to help solve our homeless problems here at home? Sorry Stevie, you’re grasping at straws and tailoring your promises to your audience. This was made in New Brunswick, where Canadian Forces Base Gagetown is a big employer.

Now, south of the border. The Donald (who else) is once again proving you should engage your brain before putting your mouth in motion. According to an article I read, he says he would deport the American born children of illegal immigrants. I don’t claim to be an expert on American law, but as I understand it, if someone is born on American soil, they are automatically American citizens. If so, how could he deport them – they are already in their native land. And how could he revoke the citizenship of natural-born American? They don’t hold dual citizenship – they were born in the USA – so there is no place to send them.

Sounds to me as if he’s doing the same thing as Harper and tailoring his comments to his audience. That won’t work all the time because some people don’t blindly accept what they hear. So, no matter on which side of the border you’re reading this, take anything any politician says with a grain or two of salt. It may spoil the taste a bit, but think about it – how can they do what they’re promising without the co-operation of the rest of the legislative body (Congress or Parliament) or the public?

When the time comes, get out and vote – the future of your country depends upon you having your say at the polling booth.

Cat.

O Canada what have you done?

Stevie and the court jesters have, in my opinion, gone ‘way too far this time.  Here’s the link to an editorial in The Toronto Star of Saturday, January 3, 2015: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2015/01/03/a_bad_year_for_canadian_citizenship.html

In this article, Citizenship Minister Chris Alexander is quoted as saying “Citizenship is not a right, it’s a privilege”. Um, excuse me Mr Alexander, perhaps you were Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan too long for you seem to have adopted some of the attitudes of that country. Under new rules just brought in, a Canadian citizen who either holds dual citizenship or can claim citizenship of another country through birth or other reasons can be stripped of their Canadian citizenship if they are convicted of treason, terrorism or espionage anywhere in the world.

What is truly terrifying about this is that whereas in the past, such citizenship actions would have to go through the courts, these actions are now at the discretion of the Minister.  No courts, no chance to plead your case, just the Minister’s opinion of whether or not you deserve to be able to call yourself a Canadian.

Let’s get silly here for a moment.  If I were to commit one of the actions listed above (although considering the number of times I’ve ripped into the Harper government in the past, jaywalking might do for a reason) I could be stripped of my Canadian citizenship.  I can claim American citizenship because both my mother and maternal grandfather were born in the US.  That I was born in Canada, raised and educated in Canada, paid Canadian taxes and served in the Canadian Armed Forces wouldn’t matter.  I committed some heinous act and the Minster (who also happens to be the Member of Parliament for my riding) decided I no longer held the privilege of calling myself Canadian.  Fortunately for me I am a law-abiding citizen – except for the jaywalking thing – so I‘m not too worried.  Otherwise I doubt that the next time CSIS came knocking, they would be carrying a pizza and a bottle of wine.

Since they obtained an absolute majority in the last federal election, the Harper government has been running rough-shod over the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and this is just the latest example. There is a federal election next year and I’ll tell you right now that if any party promises to rescind this horrible, discriminatory law, they’ve got my vote.

Have a safe and happy 2015 and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat

They’ve done what??

Time to pick on some governments at various levels, which I haven’t done in a while.

I suppose I should start with the feds.  Ever since Stevie got his majority government there hasn’t really been much to pick on him about because there is very little Parliamentary debate on things – he just pushes them through – so we aren’t really aware of how badly he’s screwing us.  Earlier this week, Stevie announced the formation of the long-discussed Office of Religious Freedom. On the surface, this sounds as if it would be a fabulous idea.  Don’t get your hopes up.  It’s part of the Department of Foreign Affairs.  That’s right.  The purpose appears to be to ensure that people in other countries have the freedom to practice their faith.  Never mind that there are some people here in Canada who are still persecuted for their faith, Stevie wants to make sure others have religious freedom.  We get more prisons.

To give the feds their due, they have decided to shelve the internet spying bill – you know, the one of which Vic Toews said “You’re either with us or with the pornographers” – because of all the flak it set off.   I’m not sure if this is proof Stevie and the court jesters aren’t brain dead, or if it’s just a bit of early politicking.

Okay, now to cross the Ottawa River to La Belle Province – Quebec.  In the last election in that province, the voters decided to give the Parti Quebecois another chance at being the government.  Reason didn’t lose out completely, for the PQ only has a minority government, but that hasn’t stopped Pauline Marois, the leader, from reviving some of the policies from previous Pequiste governments.  The main policy being a newly invigorated language law.  This law, in its most basic form says “Francaise bon; Anglaise mal.”

There is an article on today’s CBC News site that shows just how exuberant some of these language police can be on occasion.  First, you must keep in mind that French as spoken in Quebec is basically unintelligible to the average Parisian.  Quebec French is frequently called ‘joual”, which is roughly how Quebecers pronounce “cheval”, or “horse” in English, and is not meant as a compliment.  So right there I find the idea of the government trying to preserve the purity of the French language laughable.  According to this article, the language police have told an Italian restaurant – an upscale one the article states – to change their menu because Italian words such as “pasta” appear far too often and they should find the French equivalent.  The Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) has backed off on this and said it will look at exceptions for things such as foreign foods.  I can’t speak for how it is now, but at one time, people referred to a certain fast food item as “le Big Mac”.  Don’t know how that would translate.

So there you have it, insanity from Quebec and the feds doing things overseas while the same situation in Canada is allowed to fester.  And to think some people actually voted for these idiots.

I won’t pick on Ontario just yet because the new Premier, Kathleen Wynne, has only been in office about a week.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat (le Chat) 🙂

Politics for the uninterested

I love politics and politicians.  Not because I thrive on politics, but because they provide such wonderful material for these posts.  There were three items on the news sites that caught my attention this morning.

Let’s start with the happy one: I’m not a big fan of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but in this case…  .  Here’s the story: A couple in Ottawa were in a public park taking their wedding photos when Stevie saw them.  He ordered his car stopped and walked over to congratulate them. Now, let’s be honest here – the last person you expect to crash your wedding is the leader of your country.  There are people out there who will claim he will do anything for a photo op, but in this case, I’m not one of those people.  Can you think of a better wedding gift than having, in this case, the Prime Minister of Canada, in the photos.  It is certainly something you’ll talk about for years.

Let’s move on to the “dumb and dumber” part of politics now.  An American politician not named Todd Akin has opened his mouth and it seems by doing so he shot the Romney campaign in the foot again.  Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock is reported as having said the following, copied from an article on thestar.com,  “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” .  This was during a debate when he was asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape.  Romney’s campaign wasted no time distancing themselves from this comment.  I haven’t been following the American campaign, although I should have paid it some attention for I know that what happens will have an effect on Canada, but I understand that both Obama and Romney consider women key voters in the upcoming election.  And we have this idiot saying something like this?  May I suggest that Mr Mourdock just guaranteed that women voters in Indiana will likely vote for Obama because of his statement?

Civic politicians aren’t really much better in the smarts department on occasion either.  Recently Toronto City councillor Ana Baillao was stopped and charged with driving under the influence – blood alcohol was in excess of the Ontario limit of 0.08.  Ms Baillao had been at some Mayor’s dinner, where she probably imbibed, then went to a different location with some lobbyists for firms wanting to erect a casino in downtown Toronto, where she no doubt enjoyed more “beverages of a sociable nature”.  A few hours later, a police cruiser spotted her driving without headlights.  She ignored his original attempts to stop her.  When she did stop, as I wrote above, she was found to be impaired.  Given this, can anyone tell me why on earth she feels she can plead “not guilty” in court?  Why not just do the right thing and say “I screwed up – I should have taken a cab home”?

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.  And if you’re drinking, don’t drive.

Cat.