Author Topic: Making Canada Relevant Again- The Economic Super-Thread  (Read 492952 times)

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Offline oyaguy

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2005, 03:07:45 »
Well said Zipper.

To say Canada is doomed is both an exaggeration and a possibility. The reasons Mark Steyn gave were superficial, and given his interesting skew, unconvincing

I personally don't think it will be as a result of regional differences. Quebec is an important, and integral part of Canada, and I don't think they will be separating from Canada. Separatists in Alberta, are a kind of threat, and a joke. Whatever, Albertans may have had problems with the Federal government {when people bring up the NEP, I just roll my eyes, "get over it"} but we are quite comfortable in Canada.

The traditional values divergence, big whoop and traditional values are overrated {Easy for me to say, my parents are still married, my mother was a homemaker, and my sibling is a well adjusted straight, married person}. Besides, Canadian Society is not going to stand or fall on whether homosexuals can marry, women can get abortions,  or sex education {beyond that abstinence only BS} is taught at school.

Economically, we are good and screwed at the same time. The  debt is lower, the economy is doing well. The US debt is going up, and when or if that implodes, Canada is going down with the US.

The catch-all socialism that Mark Steyn describes is kind of weird. Does he know what he is talking about? The US for example is in a bigger hole when it comes to funding their "socialist" program {social security} than Canada is.

Bigger pits for Canada looks to me like, the fact that our infrastructure is not keeping up. You can experience this infrastructure deficit by driving on your pothole strewn streets.

Another is our ageing population, whom we have to provide medical care. A bright side for the aging population is that Canada is an attractive and accessible enough country and society to be a prime candidate for immigration. I mean accessible in that immigrants are welcomed, for example how many people move to Japan? Why not? They're rich, they have a high standard of living, but they're not accessible.

Then immigration brings its own problems, a lot of them of our own making.

Another pit is the environment. They environment can only take so much before we have to start paying back with interest.

Whatever. I can think of more and better ways Canada is doomed than Mark Steyn.
Viator Via Veritatis {Travel by Way of the Truth}

Offline MoOx

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2005, 07:17:34 »
john gault,

maybe mark steyn's got a fancier bloomberg terminal than i do, but i haven't been seeing any great stampede, or even trickle, of investments away from the currencies, stocks and bonds of europe or canada, or any latin-america-style warnings of political risk from any of the credit ratings agencies about these economies.

so steyn can toast our demise all he wants, but i'm afraid i'm just going to have to go with the market on this one.

(unless, of course, you're privy to some information the world's investment analysts have all overlooked, in which case you should immediately be setting up a hedge fund)

Offline gnplummer421

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2005, 08:28:24 »
Phew..a lot of reading there,

Interesting for sure, my concerns about the EU revolve around the present situation in Holland. Once a very Liberal Country, the recent killing of a film maker over a controversial Islamic shortfilm, has driven a wedge between the Islamic population and the more traditional religions there. Like us, Holland is also a "Land of immigrants" where many different cultures co-exist. Perhaps the changing trends there will be seen here in Canada in the future. I'd like to think we are extremely tolerable toward race,religion,etc. My biggest fear is Islamic expansion in the world, more precisely, the radical component of Islam that couldl eventually spread to every part of the planet. We will not be immune forever.
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Offline InterestedParty

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #53 on: March 20, 2005, 15:47:24 »
Quote
I personally don't think it will be as a result of regional differences. Quebec is an important, and integral part of Canada, and I don't think they will be separating from Canada. Separatists in Alberta, are a kind of threat, and a joke. Whatever, Albertans may have had problems with the Federal government {when people bring up the NEP, I just roll my eyes, "get over it"} but we are quite comfortable in Canada.

As Mark Steyn would point out it's a feature of the Trudeaupian soft totalitarianism to make certain political perspectives unacceptable and apparently illegitimate.   One of the officially approved ones is to think of Quebec as reflecting some eccentric "regional difference" within the bounds of confederation - a concept that Gilles Duceppe would finding amusing (not to mention Jacques Parizeau).   Given the 54 Bloc seats in the federal parliament (an unthinkable prospect 20 years ago) and the near death experience of the1995 referendum, I would think that Quebec's propects for going it alone have never been better. (Although in English Canada we think that the PQ is wedded forever to a referendum, it's not necessarily so - a new generation of leadership may simply say that the next time you vote for the PQ you are voting for sovereignty - and that's good enough for a UDI  -- the Clarity Act be damned.)

And if the people of Alberta can't over that "NEP" thing and get on with it, one wonders why Quebec can't get over that "Plains of Abraham" thing and get on with it.

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We may have long waits for hospital care. But that is because we are servicing the ENTIRE population. Not just those who can afford it.

Actually we're RATIONING healthcare for the ENTIRE population (and continuing to fall behind) and doing so with budgets that are threatening to overwhelm provincial treasuries with double-digit increases every year. Most provinces are facing the propect of healthcare crowding out all other forms of government spending (some are now approaching 50 per cent of expenditure on healthcare)   Our medicare system is unsustainable, sclerotic, and increasingly inefficient, and although the left keeps talking about the glories of socialist medicine as a Canadian "value" that can be afforded if we want (to paraphrase Romanow) the real question the left never answers is how much will be enough? Will 50 per cent of your personal income going to taxes (as it is now) be enough to pay for the welfare state as we know it? Perhaps 70 per cent? Perhaps 90 percent? If Canada defines itself as a giant hospital ward, then heaven help all of us.

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For those of you who are of the AMajoor Ilk. I think you should all move to southern Alberta. Where you can talk about separating from Canada and joining the States. Where you can drill an oil well in your living room without any environmental damage what-so-ever. Where the minimum wage is so low, you can pay your workers less then what they would make at McDonald's. Where the idea of a social program is a bus ticket to East Vancouver.

You'd love it there.

Ah yes, another love it or leave it outburst (as noted by Infanteer), which is of course the favoured rhetorical tactic of the Liberal Party (Jean Chretien mumbled similar sentiments not so long ago).

Actually Mississippi's unemployment rate if the same as ours at 7.1 percent but at least the southern states have had periods of sustained economic growth - a far cry from some "regions" of Canada where the nanny state has lulled entire populations into narcotic-like dependence on EI programs and so-called regional development schemes.

As for McDonalds I for one am tired of the usual left-wing suspects using that noble corporation as a favourite whipping boy.   It may excite the Zippers of the world, but getting rid of Supersizing was just another example of how weak and vulnerable most corporations are when faced by media-inspired pressure - in this case an unholy (unhealthy?) alliance of Hollywood cokeheads and vegan nuts based on a slanted agitprop documentary that managed to get an Oscar nomination - (and as Mel Gibson would be the first to note, predictably so, since any anti-corporate rant gets similar approval).

I personally love McDonalds and thank it for having saved me from many a vicious hangover after a night of unrestrained alcoholic mayhem.   (Besides Mayor McCheese was an inspirational figure for me and I challenge anyone to deny the value of the Hamburglar as a moral archetype to teach children the fundamental commandment that stealing is bad.)

I want Supersizing back no matter what the health nazis say (and it's no coincidence that we are targetted by endless propaganda about fitness at at a time when the state is all powerful in the delivery of healthcare - we can expect more of this with the Ontario Chief Medical Officer recently suggesting that portion control should be imposed on restaurants).

And yes, Zipper, if Green Cards were available to the general populace in Canada there probably would be a significant exodus south to the lair of the Great Satan as thousands of Canadians took their Honda Civics (like East German Trabants the one car they can afford) and crossed the border never to return to enjoy the one thing that Canada has turned its back on in the last 25 years - liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Sincerely,

Another A-Majoor Ilkist




« Last Edit: March 20, 2005, 18:25:38 by mdh »

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #54 on: March 20, 2005, 20:25:34 »
Right now I am doing some preliminary research into the finances of my home city. The property taxes have increased by 7% last year; 6% this year and we are already hearing dire warnings about a 9% increase next year.

Since the service we actually do get from the city is crap, much of this increase can be attributed to out of control growth of the city staff, and paying for a wide range of pharonic building projects which benefit a few key players, while sucking up taxpayer money for interest charges and so on.

I believe that I could cut at least $100,000,000 (one hundred million) dollars from the budget without adversely affecting the real services which property tax is supposed to provide (i.e the protection of property); it will be interesting to see how many "ilkists" will come out and vote when offered a 10% tax cut......Imagine how many more ilkists would flock to the cause if a detailed review revealed spending and taxes could be cut substantially more.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline mainerjohnthomas

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #55 on: March 20, 2005, 20:40:37 »
Canada lives, and will continue to live as long as "we stand on guard for thee".  The biggest threat to Canada comes from thecombination of regional political parties and the  destabilizing effects of large scale ethnic immigration.  These immigrant groups are self segragating and increasing the regional differences between the Canadian Provinces.  The Bloc Quebecois, the Reform party, the Liberals, the regional skew of voters is allarming.  The pandering to ethnic voting groups who "bloc vote", and to regional issues over national ones for the short term goal of winning seats serve to weaken the long term stability of the nation.  All democratic nations must deal with this.  Europe is now trying to wrestle with this problem itself for the first time.  Canada being not a two party state like the US enjoys the greater freedom, and thus greater danger, in its politics.  Canada will endure as long as we remain dedicated to it.  Canada faces great challenges, as we have in every decade since Giovani Cabotti found the St Lawrence.  We are an older nation than Germany, and I think no more likely to fall into the American Abyss than Germany to dissappear in the EU.
When cowards run from death, it is life they escape.

Offline pbi

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2005, 22:45:57 »
Yes, Canada is doomed.

In fact-- we all are. A giant asteroid is going to smash into the earth when we are not looking.

That will serve some people right, that's all I can say.

Cheers.
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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2005, 22:48:00 »
The crushing cost of the Nanny-state.


Priceless!! Just remember, for everything else, there's Mastercard!!

Offline InterestedParty

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2005, 22:57:21 »
Quote
Yes, Canada is doomed.

In fact-- we all are. A giant asteroid is going to smash into the earth when we are not looking.

That will serve some people right, that's all I can say.

Cheers.

You don't need an asteroid - just sit through an eight-hour federal-provincial conference - the asteroid would be comic relief,

cheers, all, mdh

Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2005, 23:05:04 »
I believe that I could cut at least $100,000,000 (one hundred million) dollars from the budget without adversely affecting the real services which property tax is supposed to provide (i.e the protection of property); it will be interesting to see how many "ilkists" will come out and vote when offered a 10% tax cut......Imagine how many more ilkists would flock to the cause if a detailed review revealed spending and taxes could be cut substantially more.


Please tell me you are going to sell off the planning and zoning departments. I would also like to see the JLC sold off, the City Solicitors office reduced to a part timer who is confined to actual municipal legal work instead of human rights and the law severance packages.  Cancel any and all cash advances to UWO and then increase property taxes on the university  - except the concrete beach because thats only place in the city where you get a true appreciation for the finer things in life around here.  ;)

My property is actually "protected" by the OPP - so I don't really get any protection at all - so I would like to see that expense trimmed down as well. I'll opt instead for the trip wire activated/.22 cal/ propane tank buried in the ground type of protection-much more effective at a fraction of the cost.

Also, might I suggest contracting out the job of the truck that hauls poop from one treatment plant to another? He slows me down in the morning on my to work. Thanks, eh!


Offline Thucydides

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #60 on: March 20, 2005, 23:23:49 »
One vote, now for the other 300,000...... ;D
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zipper

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2005, 00:14:39 »
lol, mdh.

You make me laugh.

To think that you haven't had a heart attack yet is amazing.

Health care being screwed up? Yep. Way to expensive in many case for what you get? Yep. Do I know how to fix it? Nope. Do we need it? You bet.

Are city property taxes high for what you get? Yep. And where does the money all go too? Who knows. But do we need them to run a city? Yes sir.

Do tax cuts work? They make people happy until their water main breaks, or that hole needs to be filled. Not that they get filled up here either...but oh well.

Oh yeah. I thought I did live in the land of the free? Maybe not free to own a gun and carry it. Certainly free to think of other things then how I'm going to afford that medical bill. But thats ok by me.

As for the get on board or get out. Well no. We all have our own view of things, and thats just dandy. I wouldn't want to condemn even you to an existence below the border. Let them do things their own way, drive there big SUV's, tear up their own environment,etc.  And I'll just drive my own Honda (how'd ya guess? ;)) up here, thanks.

And maybe Majoor will get elected. Who knows. He'll try his best and we'll see. The wonders of free elections.
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Offline signalsguy

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Making Canada Relevant Again
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2005, 12:52:16 »
http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=9c28d25a-554d-46f5-9d57-8c1fd9855906

Quote
Making Canada relevant again
Michael Petrou has a tete-a-tete with the woman reworking our foreign policy.
  
Michael Petrou
Citizen Special


March 21, 2005


Canada's long-awaited defence and foreign policy review is now in the hands of a young woman from Regina who has made good at the University of Oxford.

Jennifer Welsh, a professor of international relations, was given the task of advising Prime Minister Paul Martin's government on the policy review after the prime minister expressed frustration with the lack of vision in the review's current draft.

Ms. Welsh, born in 1965, is a one-time Young Liberal and campus organizer for the party in Saskatchewan. At the time, she knew David Herle, who is now a close adviser to Mr. Martin. But she says she hasn't spoken to Mr. Herle in years, and hasn't been involved with the Liberal party in almost two decades.

The professor's credentials speak for themselves. She is a Rhodes Scholar and a rising star in Oxford's department of international relations.

This day, Ms. Welsh is sitting in her sunlit office in Oxford's Sommerville College. Books and papers are strewn everywhere. Empty tea mugs line the shelves. And photographs of friends and family cover the walls and mirror.

She has just finished a one-on-one tutorial with a student, who leaves with a grin on his face as I walk in. Ms. Welsh is well respected by students at Oxford and is especially popular among the ex-pat Canadians at the university, one of whom called her "the best" professor in the department.

She won't talk specifically about her work on the policy review, other than to say she is "advising" the government. But she will discuss the direction she feels Canada must follow in international affairs.

One of Ms. Welsh's central ideas about Canada's foreign policy is outlined in her recently published book: At Home in the World: Canada's Global Vision for the 21st Century.

She says Canada can effect global change simply by being a "Model Citizen" -- a pluralistic liberal democracy with a strong social safety net. Ms. Welsh believes these values create a "magnetic effect" in other countries that will induce them to emulate and seek closer ties with Canada.

This strikes me as wishful thinking. The problem in so many of the tyrannies and dictatorships isn't a lack of will for change among the oppressed. It's a lack of will among their oppressors who have the power.

I have no doubt that the citizens of the Darfur province in Sudan wish their country were more like Canada. We might even call this a magnetic effect.

But wishing their country was different won't stop the slaughter in Sudan. Admiring Canada does nothing to stay the hand that wields the machete.

Natan Sharansky, who spent nine years as a political prisoner in the Soviet Union, described how, when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire," inmates passed on the news to each other in Morse code and were ecstatic.

Since sneaking into Iran last year to meet with democratic dissidents, I have read thousands of blogs and group e-mails that dissidents in Iran send to each other over the relatively safe anonymity of the Internet.

Statements from George W. Bush and other top U.S. politicians about Iran are widely circulated.

I am willing to bet no one in a Soviet gulag or an Iranian solitary confinement cell ever gave a toss about Canada's policies on bilingualism or health care.

If Canada is creating a "magnetic effect" on these countries, it's not reaching very many people.

I put these criticisms to Ms. Welsh, and she shoots back a retort that suggests she's no squishy multilateralist. Setting a good example is only part of what a model citizen must do, she says.

"There is no reason why a model citizen can't apply more coercive measures," she says.

"You can read into that concept that it's all about goodness and light and soft power, but I didn't write that. I wrote that model citizens pull their weight. I wrote that model citizens use force when it's appropriate. I wrote that model citizens actually pose conditionality in UN bodies. Model citizens impose sanctions and don't sanction-bust."

For the record, Ms. Welsh says she could support military intervention to stop the slaughter in Sudan, with or without the approval of the United Nations. "This is where I think there's a relationship between soft and hard power," she says. "Hard power isn't just military. But hard power gets at the idea that you can only achieve what you want to achieve through a bit of stick."

Ms. Welsh says multilateralism is valuable only as a means to an end. Too often, she says, Canadian foreign policy has focused on multilateralism for its own sake. It has put process over results.

She says Canada is simply not strong enough to easily pressure other countries on its own. Canada needs to work in concert with others.

This naturally brings up the question of just what Canada is contributing when it works with other nations, most notably the U.S.

In her book, written last June, Ms. Welsh suggests Canada should join the U.S. missile defence program.

But, since then, she's been hired by the government and now has nothing meaningful to say on the topic.

"I actually can't answer that," she says when asked about missile defence.

"It's a very touchy issue. We made a decision that our contribution to continental defence is better if it's focused on other things."

Ms. Welsh's reticence is understandable -- her contract with the government likely stipulates that she must keep her mouth shut -- but it's too bad.

She once made an articulate case for Canada being a part in the program. It would be interesting to hear what she honestly believes now.

When it comes to Canada's military contributions, Ms. Welsh agrees we need to spend more on our armed forces. But she also says we must revise our expectations about what our military can accomplish.

She says Canada should strive to have "the best small army in the world," but one "that may never fight or win a battle on its own."

"The kinds of roles that we're seeing our soldiers play are pretty different," she says.

"It's an army that is able to do humanitarian relief, stabilization, traditional peacekeeping and, if necessary, combat."

The problem with this vision is that most soldiers see their job from the opposite perspective: Their role is combat and, if necessary, everything else. If soldiers wanted to focus on humanitarian relief, presumably they would have joined the Peace Corps.

If we are to be a respected member of NATO and a credible ally on the world stage, our military needs a larger cash infusion than either Ms. Welsh or our current government appears ready to give it.

Parts of Ms. Welsh's manifesto for Canada, particularly relating to business and trade with the United States and the rest of the word, are excellent.

She says Canada and the United States should harmonize standards and regulations on labelling, workplace health and safety, and the environment to facilitate the free movement of products across our border.

She rightly condemns formal tariffs and agricultural subsidies that prevent poor countries from exporting their goods to Canada. Eliminating these, at a global level, would do more to help the developing world than any aid package or "new deal" for Africa.

Ms. Welsh recognizes that Canadian foreign policy is at a crisis point. We don't know what we stand for and we lack a vision for the future. Ms. Welsh gives us both, and for this she deserves praise.

But will the vision Ms. Welsh has for our foreign and defence policy do enough to halt or reverse our growing impotence and irrelevance in the world?

Since moving to Britain three years ago, I have been amazed by the gap between Canadians' perception of our country's importance and just how little anyone outside Canada cares.

Prior to the 2003 war in Iraq, for example, Canadian media ran dozens of stories about the "Canadian compromise," which was designed to bridge the gap between those who opposed and those who supported war in Iraq. I don't recall seeing so much as a mention of it in a British newspaper.

I believe stopping this slide into deeper global irrelevancy requires a massive change in our priorities, in our military commitments and in our relationship with the United States.

There's a lot I like about what Ms. Welsh is proposing. But I think many of her suggested solutions are not nearly as radical as they need to be.

I doubt any of this bothers her.

"It's highly debatable whether my depiction of what this is is right," she says.

"All I care is that we start talking about it."


Offline InterestedParty

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2005, 16:11:57 »
Quote
To think that you haven't had a heart attack yet is amazing.

I'm saving my cardiac arrest for the next Civ-u posting   ;)

cheers, mdh

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Making Canada Relevant Again
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2005, 18:17:49 »
Why is this in one person's hands?
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Making Canada Relevant Again
« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2005, 18:46:23 »
Why is this in one person's hands?

If by that you mean why has Welsh been brought on board? then the answer is that the PM (and Pettigrew and Graham) were dissatisfied with the report prepared by the foreign service professionals.

The word around here - rumours, actually - is that Martin had two complaints:

"¢   No vision, as the article points out; and

"¢   No pizzazz[/b], whatever that means.

My rumour mill says the foreign service's report was pedestrian to the point of being downright lame: a bit more of the same, please.

But, I also hear that Martin is unhappy with Welsh's direction, too.   Welsh is a bit of a star right now but she is no fool and some of her ideas will, I hear, be less than popular in the Youth Wing of the Liberal Party of Canada and in that party's Women's Commission.   She is a realist; I think she pays too much attention to American hyper-power, but that's a quibble.   I, equally, don't like her model citizen model but that too is a quibble.   I think Welsh is saying: increase the military, be prepared to use it, with allies, to solve human security issues; make up with the Americans, when we disagree we must do so in a respectful, mature manner; look East, away from Europe - it's old news.   None of that will go down well inside the Liberal Party.
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Offline Zipper

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #66 on: March 22, 2005, 01:01:39 »
SO here it comes!! Die Die!! :threat:

Gack...    ...Phssst...        ...blaupgh...

Another one bites the dust...

 :dontpanic:

Ya, I know...           ...weird.
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Offline daniel h.

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Re: Making Canada Relevant Again
« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2005, 19:44:05 »
I know people who took classes with Jennifer Welsh at the University of Toronto. She's a globalist who believes we are "citizens of the world". She also wants us to lower our health and safety regulations to the U.S. level, and literally merge our economy with the U.S. economy. She doesn't believe in nationalist of any kind, even positive nationalism:

Are we ready to be citizens of NAFTA?
The idea of a North American passport may be premature, but there's already a de facto concept of citizenship among Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
  
Jennifer Welsh
Special to the Sun


Saturday, March 19, 2005

LONDON - Eleven years after the North American Free Trade Agreement, the $14-trillion North American economy is the world's largest trade bloc, and the near-doubling of intracontinental trade flows surpassed the hopes of even the most optimistic proponents.

Building on these successes, the three signatory governments -- Canada, the United States and Mexico -- agreed one year ago in Monterrey to a North American initiative to enhance productivity and create common markets in selected industries. They began developing a regional strategy for managing energy and science and technology.

But any future efforts to deepen integration must contain a political dimension if NAFTA is to maintain its legitimacy.

North American integration cannot be neatly compartmentalized into economic and political categories, because success in the former generates pressure for the latter. NAFTA has created consumers, firms and (to a much lesser extent) employees on a North American scale, but the North American citizen has been left behind.

Cultivating a notion of "citizenship" with respect to NAFTA (and any other continental institutions that may appear on the horizon) is essential to ensuring the success of further economic integration.

"Citizenship" in its broadest sense includes not only the right to equal treatment before the law, but more positive political and social entitlements such as the right to vote and stand for public office, as well as access to publicly funded social services.

We most commonly associate it with swearing-in ceremonies and passports, but its most substantive purpose is to give people a voice in the affairs of the institutions that affect their lives -- which, as NAFTA demonstrates, are becoming increasingly continental in character.

One need only look to the experience of the European Union to understand the importance of citizenship in continental integration.

The 1980s were marked by significant strides to deepen economic integration -- including the free movement of goods, capital and economically active citizens -- that culminated in a single European market in 1992. But it became clear in the 1990s that the channels of political participation were not keeping pace.

As a result, the Maastricht Treaty allowed EU worker-citizens to vote in and stand for local elections in any member nation in which they reside, irrespective of their nationality. This helped transform a "businessmen's Europe" into a "people's Europe," giving the European common market added legitimacy.

The recent draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe goes even further by enshrining the notion of citizen equality and involving national parliaments in the legislative process of the EU. It also includes concrete provisions for engaging European civil society.

But lessons from Europe can only go so far in a North American context. First, it must be remembered that Europe's integration project was initially fuelled by the political desire to prevent another major European war. NAFTA, by contrast, was a product of business and economic forces, and its institutional footprint has always been small.

www.canada.com/vancouver/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=808429f9-1bf1-4a80-a9fa-c689660c4e4e


Offline daniel h.

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2005, 19:57:30 »
Canada lives, and will continue to live as long as "we stand on guard for thee".   The biggest threat to Canada comes from thecombination of regional political parties and the   destabilizing effects of large scale ethnic immigration.   These immigrant groups are self segragating and increasing the regional differences between the Canadian Provinces.   The Bloc Quebecois, the Reform party, the Liberals, the regional skew of voters is allarming.   The pandering to ethnic voting groups who "bloc vote", and to regional issues over national ones for the short term goal of winning seats serve to weaken the long term stability of the nation.   All democratic nations must deal with this.   Europe is now trying to wrestle with this problem itself for the first time.   Canada being not a two party state like the US enjoys the greater freedom, and thus greater danger, in its politics.   Canada will endure as long as we remain dedicated to it.   Canada faces great challenges, as we have in every decade since Giovani Cabotti found the St Lawrence.   We are an older nation than Germany, and I think no more likely to fall into the American Abyss than Germany to dissappear in the EU.


Absolutely. I find many comments here rather silly. America's conservatism leaves 45 million without health care, and American has an 8 trillion dollar debt. They actually are screwed.

As for Canada, immigration, high taxes on the poor, low to non-existent taxes on the bigget corporations and a neo-liberal deregulated economic system have all brought stress, but remember, the 1950s was Canada's high point, and it could happen again. People working towards a common goal, post WW II boom.....

People always avoid the obvious which is we have adopted American-style monopoly capitalism instead of a true competitive mixed economy, and we have let the Americans and Europeans own our major industries and real estate.

Offline Gunnerlove

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2005, 20:38:46 »
If the US is succeeding and Canada is failing I must be missing something. Our economy is growing and we are living within our means for the first time in ages, perhaps we might actually pay off the debt we have been carrying since WW1. I know a portion of Canadians would love to spend a fortune on the military and go stomping around the world but hey, we don't have the money or the will as a nation. You are just going to have to deal with the fact that most Canadians would choose having health care in Canada over having troops in Iraq.




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Offline TCBF

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2005, 22:06:10 »
" and American has an 8 trillion dollar debt. They actually are screwed."  

-They will do fine.   Taxes are dropping and the economy is growing. You would get richer there than here.   We get paid in Snow Pesos.

"You are just going to have to deal with the fact that most Canadians would choose having health care in Canada over having troops in Iraq."

-We are a rich country.   If we cut down on corruption, useless programs and graft (HRDC, ADSCAM, etc) we could have both.

"America's conservatism leaves 45 million without health care"

-Without a health care PLAN, but not without health care.   Even illegal immigrants get health care.

Tom

 
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Offline InterestedParty

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2005, 23:17:28 »
Quote
Absolutely. I find many comments here rather silly. America's conservatism leaves 45 million without health care, and American has an 8 trillion dollar debt. They actually are screwed.

Yes it is true that fighting a major war against terrorism has cost the US in blood and treasure - and in the meantime liberated millions from the yoke of a vicious Baathist kleptocracy in Iraq, driven Syria out of Lebanon, tamed Libya, and inspired Egyptian democracy  -- not to mention erasing the sheer lunacy of the Taliban in Afghanistan.   We in Canada chose another path and sided with Germany and France. And yes, you are right, we have chosen health care as a national priority - certainly a self-referential policy decision - and arguably a very insular one - which means what in historical terms?: How about this -we worried about own butts first - and reduced our military and foreign aid to minimal levels leaving the world to twist in the wind. I'm not sure that makes us morally superior. It could make us morally reprehensible.  

Quote
As for Canada, immigration, high taxes on the poor, low to non-existent taxes on the bigget corporations and a neo-liberal deregulated economic system have all brought stress, but remember, the 1950s was Canada's high point, and it could happen again. People working towards a common goal, post WW II boom.....

I'm not sure if this is an argument in favour of Canada in the post-war period or an argument against it.

If the poor have been taxed to death in Canada, then perhaps we should eat the rich instead (as the NDP has suggested)? But the definition of rich has been a sliding scale downward in Canada for the past 30 years.   In fact it's the middle class who have been eaten alive by taxation - take away inflation and factor in escalating taxation (both indirect and personal) and you find the average family no better off today than in 1993. As for the evils of low corporate taxes and the "neo-liberal deregulated economic system" - all I can say is which Maude Barlow-Mel Hurtig propaganda screed did you get that from?

Canada remains one of the most highly regulated economies in the world, with a system of forced union membership (the Rand formula), elaborate government subsidies to corporations, restrictive labour codes, red tape at the federal, provincial, regional, and municipal levels, a regulatory language requirement, etc, etc, etc   - (and with Kyoto on the horizon we can expect more of the same - on a pharonic scale.)

NAFTA was introduced by the Mulroney Tories because it was the only viable economic option that promised to raise our economy out of the slump in the late 1970s and 1980s.   If you don't believe me then ask the federal Liberals - they kept NAFTA in place and reneged on their promise to tear it up.   NAFTA and the alleged evils of the market have been a resounding success for Canada - as most free trade regimens have been throughout history.

And the only reason why the federal Liberals adopted fiscal austerity was becase because basically forced on them by the IMF and the markets - not by some higher ethical fealty to balanced budgets.

As for a "common" goal, I like it as an ideal too - but the election of the PQ in 1976 has made that problematic.   And let's not forget that our common goals in WW2 were not as common as we might believe in the warm glow of post-war triumphalism   - the Conscription Crisis, the Bloc Populaire and the Zombies are discomfiting reminders that there have always been fissures in the national dream. If you want a common goal how about helping our traditional allies defeat terrorism?

Quote
People always avoid the obvious which is we have adopted American-style monopoly capitalism instead of a true competitive mixed economy, and we have let the Americans and Europeans own our major industries and real estate.

What's to obviate? I don't know what you mean by "American-style monopoly capitalism" in this context? Do you mean the late 19th or early 20th centuries American plutocracy ie the J.P. Morgan, Jay Gould? Or their nemesis Teddy Roosevelt? Or are you making a contemporary reference? If so, ever hear of the US federal Anti-Trust Act? How about ITT? Bell? Microsoft? - other large corporations that were broken up by the US federal government via judicial order?

In Canada we've always had a branch-plant style economy due mainly to a thin population and a lack of sufficient capital. And anyway doesn't this point contradict your earlier contention above that Canada has been apparently victimized by free market reforms and deregulation? Either we're a monopolist economic monstrosity or a Dark Satanic Mill of neo-liberal exploitation - not both.

Mark Steyn is an entertaining polemicist, and I don't necessarily agree that Canada is "doomed".  I suspect we'll muddle through like we always have. We're all patriots here otherwise we wouldn't be wearing this country's uniform (or have worn it), and doing so with considerable pride and aplomb. But let's not slide into complacency or false superiority when it comes to our American cousins - I think we've seen enough simplistic Yank bashing lately.

cheers, as always, mdh
« Last Edit: March 23, 2005, 01:52:17 by mdh »

Offline daniel h.

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #72 on: March 23, 2005, 16:59:27 »
Yes it is true that fighting a major war against terrorism has cost the US in blood and treasure - and in the meantime liberated millions from the yoke of a vicious Baathist kleptocracy in Iraq, driven Syria out of Lebanon, tamed Libya, and inspired Egyptian democracy  -- not to mention erasing the sheer lunacy of the Taliban in Afghanistan.   We in Canada chose another path and sided with Germany and France. And yes, you are right, we have chosen health care as a national priority - certainly a self-referential policy decision - and arguably a very insular one - which means what in historical terms?: How about this -we worried about own butts first - and reduced our military and foreign aid to minimal levels leaving the world to twist in the wind. I'm not sure that makes us morally superior. It could make us morally reprehensible.  

I'm not sure if this is an argument in favour of Canada in the post-war period or an argument against it.

If the poor have been taxed to death in Canada, then perhaps we should eat the rich instead (as the NDP has suggested)? But the definition of rich has been a sliding scale downward in Canada for the past 30 years.   In fact it's the middle class who have been eaten alive by taxation - take away inflation and factor in escalating taxation (both indirect and personal) and you find the average family no better off today than in 1993. As for the evils of low corporate taxes and the "neo-liberal deregulated economic system" - all I can say is which Maude Barlow-Mel Hurtig propaganda screed did you get that from?

Canada remains one of the most highly regulated economies in the world, with a system of forced union membership (the Rand formula), elaborate government subsidies to corporations, restrictive labour codes, red tape at the federal, provincial, regional, and municipal levels, a regulatory language requirement, etc, etc, etc   - (and with Kyoto on the horizon we can expect more of the same - on a pharonic scale.)

NAFTA was introduced by the Mulroney Tories because it was the only viable economic option that promised to raise our economy out of the slump in the late 1970s and 1980s.   If you don't believe me then ask the federal Liberals - they kept NAFTA in place and reneged on their promise to tear it up.   NAFTA and the alleged evils of the market have been a resounding success for Canada - as most free trade regimens have been throughout history.

And the only reason why the federal Liberals adopted fiscal austerity was becase because basically forced on them by the IMF and the markets - not by some higher ethical fealty to balanced budgets.

As for a "common" goal, I like it as an ideal too - but the election of the PQ in 1976 has made that problematic.   And let's not forget that our common goals in WW2 were not as common as we might believe in the warm glow of post-war triumphalism   - the Conscription Crisis, the Bloc Populaire and the Zombies are discomfiting reminders that there have always been fissures in the national dream. If you want a common goal how about helping our traditional allies defeat terrorism?

What's to obviate? I don't know what you mean by "American-style monopoly capitalism" in this context? Do you mean the late 19th or early 20th centuries American plutocracy ie the J.P. Morgan, Jay Gould? Or their nemesis Teddy Roosevelt? Or are you making a contemporary reference? If so, ever hear of the US federal Anti-Trust Act? How about ITT? Bell? Microsoft? - other large corporations that were broken up by the US federal government via judicial order?

In Canada we've always had a branch-plant style economy due mainly to a thin population and a lack of sufficient capital. And anyway doesn't this point contradict your earlier contention above that Canada has been apparently victimized by free market reforms and deregulation? Either we're a monopolist economic monstrosity or a Dark Satanic Mill of neo-liberal exploitation - not both.

Mark Steyn is an entertaining polemicist, and I don't necessarily agree that Canada is "doomed".  I suspect we'll muddle through like we always have. We're all patriots here otherwise we wouldn't be wearing this country's uniform (or have worn it), and doing so with considerable pride and aplomb. But let's not slide into complacency or false superiority when it comes to our American cousins - I think we've seen enough simplistic Yank bashing lately.

cheers, as always, mdh



What I mean regarding "monopoly capitalism" is that a very small number of businesses do the majority of the business, meaniing mergers and aqusitions, meaning very little real competition. Small businesses compete, but big businesses would rather just buy each other out.


Regarding NAFTA, it was not the solution to our dowturn, it was the acceleration of it. Exports increased, but our dollar fell, which is the biggest reason exports rose, and productivity dropped. Manufacturing jobs disappeared, and over 10,000 Canadian companies were taken over. Google investment Canada. We are essentially an economic protectorate of the U.S.A.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2005, 17:02:46 by daniel h. »

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Is Canada Doomed?
« Reply #73 on: March 23, 2005, 18:05:42 »
Why does it matter to you who owns the companies?
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Making Canada Relevant Again
« Reply #74 on: March 23, 2005, 18:11:59 »
I should place appropriate emphasis: "Why is this in _one_ person's hands?"

What is there about Jennifer Welsh that makes her necessary and sufficient to the drafting of Canada's foreign policy?  What is there about her field of expertise which deludes anyone into even beginning to believe it is possible for one person to "get it right"?
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"But injustice is a rule of the service, as you know very well; and since you have to have a good deal of undeserved abuse, you might just as well have it from your friends."  - The Ionian Mission, by Patrick O'Brian.