Gen X at 40

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David -

What's he taking about here? It looks fairly evident that he's saying that Canada needs less government, not that Canada should fracture (actually, coalesce, since we already have 11 first tier governments) into some other form.

This is a classic example -- on your part Al -- of getting the politics we deserve. Is the only candidate you're interest have a history of making bland nothing statements as part of a life-long strategic plan to gain the leadership of the country? This is one of the worst aspects of the US presidential system and also one of the reasons debates are usually so boring.

A recent example of this was the Michael Ignatieff smear by the other parties, which quoted part of his book but not the reason for the quote.

David -

I apologize, of course, is this part 5 of a series in speeches about "kick the bastards out of our country"!

Alan -

No it is part of my performance art peice called "Never mind what I said before or think now - JUST WATCH THE HANDPUPPET, KID!!!"

optimus -

What boggles my mind is that so many apparently smart and astute people have been surprised by the contents of Harper's old speeches. Did anyone actually mistake this guy for a red Tory?

But I agree with David. What a hack-job on his old speech. I read it, and as a dipper disagreed with all his conclusions and prescriptions... but nonetheless enjoyed his diagnosis of Canadian history and political life. Harper, when he wants to be, can be wry, insightful and smart. It's too bad you have to be declawed and neutered before hitting the national political stage.

Same thing with this Ignatieff thing. As I've said many times over, the problem with Blood and Belonging isn't some sort of veiled racism, but rather its middling scholarship :)

Alan -

Ahhhh...I think I see what has happened so I apologize. I coped from a year and a half ago the source code and never checked - there is now a dead end there. My apologies.

Kevin Brennan -

The issue, for me, is that a lot of Harper's earlier comments propose some pretty radical changes to the way this country runs. The things he's saying today are quite inconsistent with that. I can't be comfortable voting for him without any real idea which Harper I'm going to get.

It's not just that, either. The Conservative caucus preformed really badly in the last Parliament. They're not capable of running the country right now, and I think Canada is going to be a hard country to ru in the next few years.

qwerty -

OT: Alan, are you going to respond to Kate's "Nature is cruel" on the CBC forum? Did she raise any facts or issues that are new to you?

SayNay? -

Comments like Kevin's drive me nuts - partly becasue it sounds so much like the "boogey man" sh^t the Liberals trot out when all else fails. Harper's thinking may have evolved, maybe still evolving, but at least he's thinking, and getting you to think, and talk about the issues and where this country is going - he's asking you to be engaged.

Let me turn it around on you Kevin: you say you can't be comfortable voting for Harper without any real idea which Harper you're going to get: well, were you even considering voting Conservative? If you were, what's the alternative? Those models of consistency, the Liberals? Surely as a potential CPC voter you could not drift to the NDP or the Greens?

If the Liberals are your choice because they are "consistent" on issues, and that you have a "real idea" in knowing what you are going to get from them, then put a gun to your head and end it now (preferrably a registered gun, so that no crime is committed). The Liberals are the most duplicitous political party in the western democratic world - in fact, they pride themselves on their duplicity: their slogan should be "it's power, stupid, not policy". Just ask the people who voted for them years ago, and are still waiting for the GST would be scrapped (in Chretien's words), the sanctity of marriage to be protected (in Justic Minister McLellan's words)etc. Did you vote for a $2 billion Gun Registry? Didn't think so.

They Liberals, in my view, are the real boogeymen - you could only vote for them if you have become a complete and utter cynic, devoid of hope - which again, is part of the Liberal strateqy: they have actively supported and encouraged this type of cynicism in the electorate. They have caused the whole political process to be painted with their corruption of morals and ideals, with "yeah, ok, we're bad, but everyone does it, so the devil you know..."

Kevin's comment suggests he has bought this type of justification in "keeping the bums in" but unfortunately others have made similar statements which I have seen on this blog. Shame on them, shame on them all.

SayNay? -

BTW, Al, myself and others (I'm sure) would appreciate it if you could put a direct link to the CBC Roundtable blog at the top of your homepage under "Other Links". Thanks.

Alan -

Wow! SN is earning his Junior Editor's badge! I am verklempt.<p>But I woke up late and can't answer now. I think Kate does have a big part of the picture but I still think you can read my two previous roundtable posts and see one point I made is key. Both Alberta and Ontario are blessed by nature with natural resources that are prized at this point in history. That is the main thing that makes them "have" provinces.

Marian -

I think a vote for the Liberals is a vote for boring old government instead of shiny new uncomplicated zealotry that essentially rolls back all of the progress human beings in Canada have made over the past seventy years and pretends that real government can be letter perfect. Call me kooky, but a lot of others are thinking the same thing. We don't want a revolutionary new kind of government because change for the worse is just dumb. By the way there is no one more cynical than conservatives right now. They really think small l liberals are dumb. They're even employing American bully boy tactics and social conservative policy wonks from the US to get us to change our vote. No health care and a bag full of hope? No thanks, buddy.

SayNay? -

Apropos of qwerty's post above, Kate gave you a little spanking Al in her riposte "Nature is Cruel" - but a little spanking from Kate can be a good thing.

SayNay? -

I thank Marian for providing a shinning example in her last post of the type of thinking that keeps corruption in power, the sort of "well, I know, but the trains run on time" logic.

It reminds me that being a "liberal" now, must mean you aspire to (in the kindest of terms)....a resigned medocrity: "They are modest people, who have much to be modest about"(with apologies to WSC). It is obvious that these liberal aspirations are causing our youth to be so engaged in the political process, whereby they flock to the polls in droves to "have their say".

Mr. X -

[deleted for brainlessness]

Alan -

Maybe because I was actually 4th best Liberal blog and there was no category for neutral? Nice but pointless slur of hypocrisy from a virtually anonymous party lacky like yourself, though. Just in time for the holidays. Sweet. Next time use "Librano". That is gold. Everybody finds that one hilarious. <p>Now, back to your echo chamber. You may be getting a bit woozey out here with the rest of us.

Marian -

On the shoulders of giants SN. Surely you can invent your own cutting phrase to describe what you don't know. Or not. I'm always amazed that most members of the right appear not to have heard of even the most elementary principles of logic. For instance, there is something called a logical fallacy that really seems to have them stumped. A short lesson: an ad hominem attack is irrelevant to the soundness of the arguments I have made here and elsewhere. Bad people can have good thoughts. My character in this instance is irrelevant. And it's a good thing too because I sure am boring.

Alan -

I really think we need to cultivate SN rather than berate. I am thinking of a CD for holiday giving 2006 called "The Sayings of Say Nay" which will track his growth here. It has been one of my great pleasures in moving from the empty sort of invective (like we see from the mystery person Mr X. above) to the real content-based disagreement that you are having with him. These disagreements are never now disagreeable and give me pause to think.<p>Just to be clear, I am not making fun of SN in an obtuse attempt at pricky bad irony.

Marian -

Okay, but equating the Liberals with National Socialists goes a bit far, no? I certainly wouldn't be caught dead excusing concentration camps or anything like them because, as she (SN) puts it: "the trains run on time" and she knows it. I also think fascism has definite characteristics: one would be killing people without due process, another would be the interruption of civil liberties, another I think would be a particular pattern of thought wherein it would be possible to think killing people as a matter of course without due process would be cheered on etc... Corruption is irrelevant, it's a case of apples and oranges.

Alan -

I do not think that is equating Liberals with Nazis so much as saying that a population that is placated with mere good administration is a population that risks being in touch with the dangers of not being vigilant with those who run state. The comparators are Canadians and Germans in 1932, not 1942.

Marian -

We're both wrong. It's not a reference to National Socialism. It's a reference to Mussolini. That is, it was said of Mussolini, that he may have been a tyrant, but he sure did make the trains run on time. It doesn't matter though from my perspective, since it's meant to be a reference to fascism, not mere corruption or worrying things. I think it's a bit, you know, heavy handed.

Here's an article debating whether Mussolini did in fact make the trains run on time:

Mr X -

[deleted for rudeness and wrongness]

Alan -

Blab like a ninny and you are gone.

richfisher -

Hey where are my posts?

richfisher -

Defining fascim and deleting anyone not towing the party line.

Alan -

That is so funny I will keep it up for now.<p>Just to let you know, I don't care about your feelings as you have stated an incorrect understanding of fact. That is fine as we are strangers. But we have manners around here and when people go accusing people of things that are not true they are deleted. If they have earned any attention by good behavior over time, they get a warning. Be nice and you may earn a place. Be rude and your existence will be expunged.<p>PS - you are not "posting" and they are not posts. They are comments and they are made at a place owned and run by me, the manners fascist.

richfisher -

Sorry about that "Comments" they are!
From your first line @ CBC as a self declared undecided voter.. "I like this idea of a one-on-one debate"
Me too, also agreed re. your respect of my "feelings" above.
(whatever that is),I don't care that's OK with me , great.
Wow lots of common ground here.
Fine ,you're undecided so I would like to help you decide, (if that's not being too presumptuous), but "manners" and "feelings" or "an incorrect understanding of fact", while purporting to embrace one on one debate?
How does one add to the discusion here without offending?
One more area of consensus is Beer. :)

Alan -

Thank you for writing back.

First, let me assure you that we have had some quite difficult debates around here and invocation of the rule of delete has been used very rarely so I can assure you that is not part of manner but the only the extreme end of the autonomous soverignty that I wield around here. I have taken a stand that we will not be an echo chamber but see that to achieve that we may have to have inordinate (perhaps only compared to the medium) respect for those who differ with us. Hence manners and humour rather than the heavy hand of correction.

Second, I would welcome being swayed in this election. I read and welcome comment from a good number of conservatives and my membership of the Red Ensigns as well as status as a denizen of Castle Argghhh! should provide some assurance that my respect for such things is not cheap and shallow.

So feel free to challenge any idea or propose any of your own. But it is about the idea above all above the person or even the organization as I like to think we are all wrong each in our own way. Well, it is really ale above all then the ideas stuff but we can work on that clarification.

Dave -

My problem with continuing to vote Liberal, is the move of the party to a centralized government. The full power of the government seems to based entirely in the PMO. The same thing seems to be happening in Alberta, with Ralph Klein's musings becoming policy. In both cases a single individual is making or seen to be making all the decisions.

I am looking to vote for someone who has a direction that what to lead but not dictate. I want a party that stands for something even when it falls out of favor. I would like to see a party that has a vision of Canada that will make the country and the people it better for the time they spent in power. Trudeau had the constition, Mulruney had NAFTA. Both had faults, both policies have issues that each of us could pick out to show how they could be better. But I think it is this tendency to cry that this small piece, in this large policy could have been done better is why no party takes the risk of major platforms.

I want a leader and a party that I can be proud to say I voted for and I just don't see one.

richfisher -

Well since we're dreaming...I want a different colour Farrarri for every day of the week.
That's not going to happen either.

One party is marxist and economically suicidal.
The libs are too wrapped in crime and say anything operators that have set up another 9 billion of our tax dollars in adscam type accounting hidey holes.
Voting liberal is vote that rewards crime.

Aren't you angry or a little disturbed that no one has been jailed or at least perpwalked for the cameras over the theft of over 100 million.

Alan -

But I think you have to be specific. There is the money that was slipped in envelopes in Adscam, then the money for Adscam and the money for the other scams. Please itemize as each carries its own moral weight.

richfisher -

"Where" is the money is I assume where your ultimately leading?
Again don't mean to offend by being to ill mannered.
Elect the conservatives and you get an answer and itemized list as you requested.
Elect the party that devised, administered and covered up the scheme and we are both wondering "where" ALL the money went.
Fair minded people truly demand your list and are willing to cast their vote to get it.
Others use it as a "proof is da proof is da proof" bafflegab of obstification which flies in the face of your intended wish.

Which "group" of stolen money is less morally stolen in your mind?

Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

Alan -

I agree but I also want to first define the categories of money. I think there is a big difference among:<ul><li>the, say, roughly 1.5 million that directly went into the kick-backs from ad companies to Quebec Liberal party coffers;</li><li>the part of the total fees billed by the ad companies for work never done but not forwarded to the Quebec Liberal party coffers;</li><li>the total fees billed by the ad companies;</li><li>the total cost of the part of the sponsorship program administered by the ad companies;</li><li>the total cost of the sponsorship program.</li></ul>What I mean that there are different issues with these five elements. The first is clearly criminal and justifiable by few. The last is a policy decision that could have been acceptable to all if it was framed correctly and handled ethically.

Brian -

Its great to see at least interest in whats going on. I hate the fact that I feel that there is no party I truly want to vote for. I don't want to reward crime, and I don't want to reward a party with last centuries values. Unfortunately one of the two are going to be the government, so I say go for the one that is not going to try to take any of my rights away.

SayNay? -

To Brian: again this is the kind of statement, like Kevin's above, that drives me nuts. "Last century's values"? Give me a break. It is so bizarre to think that we have come to a point in this society that people make statements like this with straight faces, implying that decency, honesty, integrity and support for the family unit are "last century's values". I guess these values are soooo 1990s, but I think Brian meant to say they were soooo 1890s.

I suppose, reading between the lines, Brian is referring to the CPC support for the traditional definition of marriage, but it is doubtful he and others who think this way could properly articulate this argument, bringing it to any sort of logical conclusion - it never having been decided by the Supremes that the traditional definition of marriage is constitutional, or unconstitutional.

The Liberals, again, duplicitously, have attempted to use this as a wedge "rights" issue with the CPC: "see, see, they want to take away your rights - see, see, they want a free and democratic vote in Parliament no less, can you believe that, on this deifinition of marriage issue, and they won't stop there....boogeyman's gonna getcha!!

It's all "a "handpuppet show" for the Liberals to use Al's turn of phrase. "Watch my left hand" Martin's says, the hand with the "We Support Fundamental Human Rights"- but please, please, ignore my right hand that is signing the nomination papers of the 30 or so Liberal candidates in Ontario who do not support, and have no intention of supporting, this "fundamental human right". It's all just politics for the Liberals.

What "rights" do you think the CPCs will take away: I suppose that would be your "right" to choose your own health care? your "right" to choose the type of daycare you want for your children? Your "right" to peacefully own a firearm? your "right" to have the rules and conventions of our parliamentary system respected?

I suppose if the CPC had their way, Brian, you and you gay partner would have a form of "civil union" which is not called a "marriage" under Federal law - seems this is fine for the likes of Sir Elton and the 1200 other gay couples lined up in GB.