Enough is Enough

The student protests have been going on for eleven or twelve weeks now, and I’m long past sick of this crap. Students are behaving like petulant children, refusing to accept any offer of compromise and insisting that the government essentially do whatever they want.

News flash… it doesn’t work that way.

While the students may believe they are the modern embodiment of Rosa Parks, fighting for their rights against an oppressive system, they are in reality much closer to the Tea Party down in the ‘states… the party of “no”, refusing to negotiate, discuss or compromise. Continue reading

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Long Gun Registry: Politics Trumps Common Sense

The Long Gun Registry has been a point of contention here in Canada. It aligns rural against urban citizens, and by extension has become a wedge issue for political parties centered around their base of support. The Conservative Party power base has long been more rural than urban, while the other parties (Liberal and NDP) draw support from urban centers. It comes as no surprise that the Conservatives want the Registry scrapped, while the Liberals and NDP want it maintained.

Being a city dweller myself, I don’t really see the need for a firearm at all; be it a shotgun, rifle, handgun or whatever. However, I understand that hunters and those who live in rural areas have a different view, using guns as tools or as a means of recreation. I don’t have a problem with that in general… guns just aren’t my thing.

Key arguments against the registry are its cost and program mismanagement. People argue that the registry was created as a knee-jerk reaction to a school shooting 20 years ago in Montreal. The need to be seen as “doing something” resulted in a poorly realized and poorly run government program. I don’t necessarily disagree – it has cost too much money to set up, and the management of the program has been terrible. This doesn’t make the idea flawed, only the execution. Continue reading

Jack Layton

Jack Layton, dead at 61

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
– Jack Layton (click to read the entire “Letter to Canadians”)

Today we lost a proud Canadian; a man truly dedicated to the betterment of all. Jack Layton, the charismatic leader of the New Democratic Party, who lead his party into Official Opposition in last spring’s election, has lost his battle with cancer at age 61.

Too many politicians give off the impression that their ultimate goal is simply to get reelected. The reason so many people gravitated to Jack was that he never seems to care – he was more concerned with the state of Canada, and being a loud voice advocating for those who would otherwise be ignored.

Historically, Canada has gravitated more to a centrist political party, a roll that the Liberals were more than happy to fill. But with the recent election of a (majority) Conservative government, there was an increasing need for a strong, left-wing counter in Opposition to what will be a right-wing leaning Government. Not the radical left, but a strong, assertive, humanistic and socialist left to counter the “colder”, business driven policies that will most likely come from the right.

Jack Layton was the perfect man for this job – able to advocate for his beliefs with shameless abandon while bringing social conscious to bear on perhaps the darker aspects of the Conservative agenda. Layton’s advantage was that he could fill this roll while remaining “Jack” to Canadians.

Jack Layton will be sorely missed by Canadians across the political spectrum – yes, even the Conservatives. A strong opposition ensures that the party in power remain “sharp”, ideally resulting in the best possible result for all Canadians.

My thoughts go out to his wife, children and grandchildren on what surely must be a terrible day. He will be fondly remembered by all Canadians, and as part of the collective memory, Jack has managed to find immortality.