Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lack of Confidence in Harper

Stephen Harper must really be upset. He is so upset that his sense of logic has been subverted.

Harper is going to subvert the concept of prorogation of parliament to attempt to avert the confidence vote.

That's what this is... plain and simple. A Confidence vote.

Do the members of Parliament have confidence that the current Prime Minister and his government are able to carry on the business of the government?

If it is a question of being undemocratic... Mr. Harper needs to look in the mirror for the answer.

Ok, so what is prorogation of parliament for? It is for the END of a session of the Parliament, and no more bills are to be submitted until the next session, and a new speech from the Throne.

We have only had a speech from the Throne.

There have been NO bills submitted.

We cannot have prorogation of parliament until some work has been accomplished. If the government of the day cannot have any bills passed, that is because THERE IS NO CONFIDENCE LEFT IN THE GOVERNMENT.

If that is the case, the Government should resign and a Writ is dropped for the next election.

Canadians need to take on this. Write to your member of Parliament. Here how to find out who your MP is (based on your postal code):http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

The message you need to send is simple:


Monday, December 1, 2008

More fun than a barrel of ... politicians???

Just thought you'd like to know a couple of things ... this is a really important week in politics.
Stephen Harper tabled a financial package that was internally inconsistent. (We are doing things to create economic stimulus, but we Conservatives don't run the market; its not our job to stimulate the economy. We did stimulate the economy, but it didn't work; Canada is in a recession, but its not our fault and we are not going to do anything to help, except cut opposition funding, so no one can keep us accountable, and eliminate the right to strike for civil servants).
In the next week, you are going to hear that Stephen Harper was elected as Prime Minister, and that his party is the rightful leader of Canada. In fact, he got fewer seats in this last election, and his minority government was NOT given a mandate by the people of Canada. IN FACT, only 38% of the vote went to the Conservatives. Almost 2/3's of Canadians voted for the OPPOSITION PARTIES!!!!
I know you think I rant and rave a lot. I do. Its because I care what happens. I want you to care what happens too. This is Canada, where politics is still FUN!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Confidence in government

This weekend will be one of historical significance for Canada.

Confidence in government? I need some. I also need the government to be accountable.

Six weeks ago, Canada had an election. The Conservatives did NOT gain the majority it wanted. For the last (almost) 3 years the government has had the same minority position. One of the things that has struck me personally about the Conservative government's actions since they came to power three years ago, is that they believe that they may act as if they do in fact have a majority in the House. They have started that again in this new term.

The Conservative have believed that they can continue with their agenda, believing that Canadians will just accept it.

Now it appears that the opposition leaders are finally listening to the people of Canada. We cannot afford to do more of the same in these economic uncertain times.

The Conservative know how to take care of their friends. They don't know how to take care of the average Canadian. They are NOT looking out for my family, but their own.

We are now in one of the worst recessions in modern times. Yet the Conservative government believes that they can ignore some of the basic tenants of being Canadian. The things that are essential to Canada: Health Care, Equality, Access to government, communication and transportation across a large land mass.

Our country is resource rich. However, if the rest of the world cannot afford our resources, it won't count for much. We don't need to be pinched and shoved into a position where we give away the store for next to nothing. We need to maintain control of our resources. The most valuable resource is people. We need to support the Canadian people, and give them what they need to survive and remain healthy.

The Conservative government has forsaken Canadians in favour of their corporate friends. They have forgotten that the driving force of getting out of a recession is the small business owner. Ordinary Canadians. People like you and me.

Our families are important. The Conservatives' arrogance needs to be stopped. They work for us, not the other way around. They are acting in an unaccountable fashion.

The NDP and the Liberal parties are finally in sync with the fact that this Conservative government needs to be stopped. They are in a position to bring a confidence motion on Monday. They can do it!

Thank goodness they put aside their differences so that the government can be accountable and take care of Canadians.

To the coalition of the NDP & the Liberals: bring it on! Do it for me!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

kids' safety

Ok, I know... the internet is a risky place for kids. I know all about the statistics of sadistic jerks out there praying on young people.

I also know the overwhelming influence of technology on our lives, including our kids' lives.

Let me back up a bit...

My kids are all grown up... but of course, now I have grand kids. When my kids were growing up there were a lot of influences in their lives that I could not control. They wanted to try every risky behaviour there was (at that time), and to test the limits of what they could and could not accomplish. That's what being a young person is all about after all.

There were extreme risks back then too. There were really scarey things like Clifford Olson was on the loose in our neighbourhood (of course, we didn't know his name back then, but we knew kids were being abused and killed by some sub-human jerk).

We had to decide... what do I teach my kids about strangers? They had to be polite, but how polite was safe? Could you say "hi" in passing a person on the street that you didn't know. Could you go out without your parent or some other trusted adult? What about hanging out with just other kids? What about people (strangers again) asking for directions to something? It is the same with looking for lost puppies.

What was the balance between warning and keeping our kids safe & street-wise vs. filling their heads with scarey stuff about the world at large.

Another example came with the game Dungeons & Dragons. There were rumours that children were taking the game too seriously and coming to harm from other players. Was the game inherently evil? Was there something about the game that led young people to act in hazardous ways?

And of course, there were the drugs and sex thing. Either of which could kill them. How young was too young to teach them about appropriate conduct. What is the difference between a glass of wine at dinner with your parents and a few (or more) beer with your friends. What about smoking dope? What is the appropriate age to teach children about these and other vices? What about the combination of alcohol, drugs and sex? There is a lot that can kill you, and there is no cure. Not just AIDS, but Hep C, and hepaviris (genital warts that can lead to cancer).

Its scarey.

And its complicated.

Personally, I think information is the key.

When my kids were young people, I wanted to know what they were doing and when and where, and with whom, 24/7. They thought that I was a little obsessive about it, but that's was ok with me. I wasn't their "friend", I was their parent. It was my responsibility to know what they were doing at any given time. If they didn't like that, oh well.

So that was the first part.

Then I decided to find out about the things that scared me that were within my capacity to learn about. So I decided to learn about Dungeons & Dragons. From the inside out. I learned what type of game it was and how to play. I learned about its limits and its expansiveness. And I played with my kids. Yes, I sometimes did look kind of funny rolling dice with a bunch of teens and pre-teens telling them that I could set a spell or make an attempt to hit a villain with a mace, but that didn't matter. It made me human to my kids, despite the fact that I was playing the roll of a paladin. I even learned to be a Dungeon Master.

Next find out what the kids are doing. Have a look at their web pages on social networks. They aren't going away. They are going to go on the computer while you watch, or behind your back. If safety is the key issue, then make some decisions, and make them with your kids.

First, the computer should be in a place where you can monitor what's going on. The kitchen, the living room are good places. The basement is NOT.

Have a look at which social networks your kids are on. Have them accept you as a friend on those networks. This way, you have some way to monitor what they are doing when you are not watching. Remember, this works both ways! They will be looking at your site too. Remember you are a role model.

Next, do a little research. Find sites that will give you help. Find out what the issues and concerns are about.

Do you know what your kids are like outside of your site? You should ask around. You can you know... This is what Dr. Phil has to say about it:
"Know What's Going on Behind-the-Scenes. While you can't supervise your children 24 hours a day, you can be in regular communication with the other adults who interact with them. Talk to other parents who have your kids over as guests, and talk to teachers and caregivers. Remember, they're your best resource for monitoring out-of-the-house behavior." http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/272

One of my concerns is bullying. I don't want my grand daughter to be hurt by things that others say about her. This applies to the real world and to the cyber world. Kids don't have the skills to cope as well as adults (and lots of us don't have those skills too). Anyway, I want my grand daughter to know that she is loved and special and that I think well of her. I want her to be protected from those that would slight her and thus hurt her feelings. So, I did some searching, and found something called the Anti-Bullying Pledge. There is ones for kids, and ones for parents. Have a look here for more information:

Ok that's it for now... be safe!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

holocaust email

There is this email working its way around the internet... about the holocaust. The email claims that the UK has stopped teaching the holocaust in its public school system.

According to Snopes.com, the Holocaust IS being taught in British Schools as part of their history curriculum.

The confusion came from one school taking the holocaust out of their curriculum without appropriate approval. At the same time, a study was done which looked at the impact of teaching the holocaust. It was a study. It was not implementation of policy.

Having said that... I it is still important for us to remember the holocaust. In fact, I suggest that it is essential for us to remember it.

We need to honour and acknowledgement all the people that suffered and died as a result of apartheid German government policies.

We also need to put it into the context in which it belongs.

It was a ruthless genocide which took place while the rest of the world did not stop it or hold those responsible accountable at the time. There were lots of indications that the horrors were happening. The rumours were rampant. There was no outrage. No collective cry of fowl.

We can't let this happen again.

The world did not acknowledge the terror that was done in this genocide until the end of the war and they could no longer turn away from it.

It was apartheid. It was genocide. It was unconscionable. It was terrible.

We have an obligation to ensure that it does NOT happen again.

We must be aware of what is going on in the world. We have an obligation to our fellow human beings. We are all accountable... whether we "know" what's going on or not.

Lest we forget...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vancouver Civic Elections

Civic elections in Vancouver, BC

Well, that was an exciting yesterday. I know that I’m a bit of an election junkie, so I probably thought it was more exciting than most, but I know that I’m not alone.

In Vancouver, we have elected a very strong Vision/Cope/Green slate for all of the positions. The NPA did managed to get 4 positions (out of 27), so it wasn’t a complete shut out. Hopefully, they will get the message. Its time for serious change in Vancouver, and the leader of that change is going to be Gregor Robertson and the Vision/Cope/Green team. I’ve put the (unofficial) results of the Vancouver Election Here: http://telly2222.livejournal.com/

The top issue is homelessness. Robertson’s goal is to end street homelessness by 2015. The plan includes making Vancouver a more affordable place to live for everyone. Strengthening and supporting our community infrastructures to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are not left unprotected.

If you want to look at the Vision Plan, have a look here:


In the meantime, what a great event! Despite the fact that people were suffering from voter fatigue (a federal election, two provincial by-elections, and of course the US election), we have managed to accomplish the best for Vancouver’s future.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

ELECTION TIME in Vancouver

Yea, I know... It looks like I haven't been here for a year, but I do post on other sites... That said, ITS ELECTION TIME IN VANCOUVER

Yes, please have a look at my Sept 07 post about the City Strike. Its important to remember those issues when we are electing our new council & Mayor.

Yes, I am a member of Vision. Yes, I have an opinion. HOWEVER, lets have another look at the facts. If you don't agree, please feel free to comment.

We have the 2010 Winter Olympics coming to Vancouver. I personally, am an Olympic junkie. I love them. My sister & I were glued to the TV at disgusting hours during the Beijing Games. I think that they present the very best of who we are as humans on this planet. The ideals are great.

Having said that... Vancouver's bid for the 2010 Winter Games was presented at the expense of our social issues. The NPA party (yes that's Non-Partisan Association... which really is very "partisan" after all) thinks we don't have an obligation to address social issues as a city. They think its either some other level of government's problem, or a "NOT IN MY BACK YARD" issue.

Accessibility & community involvement
Public safety
Business (especially small business) support

Those are the main issues. Its not rock science. The NPA has NOT done a good job. The strike, making homelessness a crime, no new social housing (in fact cuts & lowering the available housing for low income), nothing on the environment, and then GIVING away millions to big developers who are fiscally irresponsible.

This last is the NPA's secret provision of $100 million in loans and $190 million in loan guarantees to the Olympic Village developers. Shame on the NPA and Peter Ladner.

In his "defense", Peter Ladner claims that making this loan a "political football" is inappropriate. WHAT ELSE DOES HE EXPECT? He got caught and cannot defend his conduct. Gregor Robertson has called for a review of the loan. Peter has veto'd that suggestion. And our Mayor? Vacant on it, of course! Remember the Strike? Same story here.

Get ready for a change Vancouver. We need it!

Regardless of my rantings... remember to vote on November 15, your city needs you.