Posts Tagged ‘Jack Layton’

Pic for WikiProject Political parties and poli...

I won’t vote for any of the mainstream candidates or parties, which should be evident to any regular readers given my scathing criticism of politics as usual.

The Green Party, while not mainstream in some ways, including not having an Ontario provincial member of Parliament, is out of consideration, since they fully support the global warming scam.

Therefore, in this election, I was left with one other party choice — the Freedom Party.

I strongly support their platform of restoring personal private payment options for health care, as every other country has in the world, except, apparently, Cuba and North Korea.

Another platform of theirs I strongly support is making spy meters optional, and eliminating all public funding for private power generation and  so-called green energy initiatives.

Where I part company with them, however, is their platform to repeal various excise taxes like the gasoline tax and liquor taxes. Excise taxes are one of the few taxes that I think are legitimate, since you as a resident have the choice of paying that tax or not.

They also pledge to repeal the $2.9 billion health premium, yet the obvious question becomes — how will that revenue be made up? Based on a cursory analysis of their pledges, it would seem that the kind of cost savings required wouldn’t be met by the shortfall in revenue their policies would result in.

Another platform I strongly oppose, which basically tipped the balance in favour of me not voting for their local candidate, is their plan to provide for the election of Ontario’s federal senators. I wrote about why I think Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Senate reform plan is unconstitutional. Beyond that, I think the last thing we need are more elected representatives for the money power to manipulate and make voters feel they are really making a positive choice for.

Some people have called for abolishing the Canadian Senate, as did the late NDP leader, Jack Layton, while many in the Western provinces have called for a so-called Triple-E Senate (Equal, Elected, Effective). However, I call for a Senate where the senators are appointed by the provincial legislatures, which is a system like the United States had prior to 1913, which I believe served its federal government well before it eventually became more centralized and expansive than Canada’s without direct state representation.

They also criticize the leaders of the major parties for letting the Toronto School Board decide how to handle Muslims praying in some of its schools. I was surprised that PC Leader Tim Hudak, didn’t take the opportunity to demagogue that issue.

I think he took the appropriate position, because I favour local school control, and if anyone feels the Board or school is acting illegally, they can take them to court. The last thing I think the education system needs is more centralized control, as should be evident from the U.S., which has a federal Department of Education and has some of the worst primary and secondary school outcomes in the Western world.

Therefore, I intend to vote for “none of the above,” which you can officially do in Ontario, by declining your ballot.

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Jack Layton on the 5th anniversary of his lead...

Since Jack Layton’s untimely passing on August 22, 2011, much has been said in the mass media about what a great guy he was, and how he was such a great uniting figure in Canadian politics.

For all the talk about what a great uniter he was, here are some things you probably didn’t know about:

  • He was extremely belligerent and overly confrontational, to the point of being downright rude, in the 2004 English-language television debate. To his credit, he did mend his ways in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 debates.
  • He preached more openness and representation in Canadian politics, yet tried to keep Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, out of the debates, by threatening a boycott, until the Canadian people eventually forced him to relent.
  • He called for abolishing the Canadian Senate under the guise of it being an undemocratic and outdated institution, yet his efforts to keep May out of the debates shows that it really had everything to do with the fact that the NDP didn’t have a single senator.
  • He huffed and puffed about how bad the Harper minority government was, yet propped them up to eventually become the longest-serving minority government in Canadian history.
  • When it became evident that NATO had violated the terms of the UN Resolution that called for enforcing a no-fly zone to protect civilians in Libya, he delivered the war-mongering Harper government full NDP support for extending the mission until September, 2011, which is conveniently when the deadline was set for Gadhafi to be ousted from Libya. Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, was the lone MP to vote against the extension.
  • In a bid to pander to soft nationalist Quebec voters in the 2011 election campaign, he undermined the Clarity Act, saying that a simple majority was all that was necessary for Quebec to separate, despite the Clarity Act being the law of the land, and requiring a “clear majority.”

His pandering is most evident with his waffling tone from this interview aired on the April 24, 2011 episode of CBC’s, The House. Despite the Clarity Act being a disingenuous and impractical piece of legislation concocted by Jean Chrétien, Layton didn’t call it as such, and instead tried to play both sides by giving the false impression that a simple majority is in accordance with the Clarity Act.

Looking at the history of the Clarity Act, it is clear that a “clear majority” is something greater than a simple majority, given that former Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien, panicked the night before the 1995 Quebec referendum where the country was nearly broken up with what was almost a simple majority.

Layton did do some very positive things, especially in bringing an end to official party representation in Parliament for the Bloc Québecois, which originally promised to disband if they hadn’t achieved independence for Quebec after a certain amount of time, which had long since passed.

Underneath all the rosy reviews of the past two weeks, there is a more balanced picture of Jack Layton — that of the consummate politician.

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