Saturday, March 31, 2007

Can't swallow their own lies

The German media choose to ignore Melissa's case, dismissing it as "personal matter" which is of "no importance to the society". But blogging, e-mails and even the word of the mouth was enough to make the "Jugendamt" ("youth welfare office") unhappy with the attention they were getting.

Few days ago an officer representing the organization that seized Melissa from her parents appeared in a TV interview. The viewers were assured that Melissa Busekros is happy in state custody, even though the facts proved the contrary. It must have been known to the "youth welfare office" that in her letter to the International Human Rights Groups, Melissa begged for help to return to her parents. Yet the officer said on television that Melissa Busekros never asked to go home, preferring state custody to her family.

Lying in the mass media is not something new for an organization created in 1939 to supervise and control families politically after the nazis banned homeschooling in 1938. What they didn't think of was that in the age of camera phones and YouTube such lies don't last long. The interview was recorded and Melissa got a chance to see it during the only hour a week her parents are allowed to visit her.

As Melissa was watching the video, a social worker came over, slammed the laptop shut and called the police to escort Melissa's father from the property. Yet it was too late for the "youth welfare office". Melissa already knows that the "Jugendamt" officers are lying about her. And that they can't swallow their own lies.

The "youth welfare office" has no intention to give up. But the fact it had to resort to lying on television shows that German public becomes more aware of what happened to Melissa - despite the media boycott. Sources revealed to that the Busekros case may be resolved with the return of Melissa to her family in the next few weeks. It would be great if that actually happens but up until then, it's not yet the time to stop the fight.

Please contact German officials if you haven't done it before. Take part in boycotting German goods and make sure to raise awareness of what happened to poor Melissa. Seizing children just because their parents did better job than a public school is unacceptable and no government should be allowed to get away with it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Great Global Warming Swindle (76-minute documentary)

From the CHP press release:
‘Abandon Kyoto, deal with real pollution,’ says CHP

The Christian Heritage Party has staked out a position on global warming and the Kyoto Protocols. It’s a stance the Conservative federal government has abandoned, and that Liberals, New Democrats, the Bloc and Greens would consider heretical.

"The CHP has advocated better care of the environment for 20 years," says CHP leader Ron Gray. "But the current global warming hysteria is raising a panic about the wrong problem—and Kyoto is the wrong solution."
If your browser doesn't show the link to the documentary on the CHP page, try this link.

Meanwhile the opposition members of the committee have successfully pushed Kyoto provisions into the Clean Air Act. The bill to combat air pollution has been mutilated beyond recognition to become yet another piece of legislation that would force Kyoto targets, carbon taxes and international emission credits on Canada - without making the air any cleaner. Will Stephen Harper stand up for the original Clean Air Act even if it means triggering an early election? I hope it's still possible to count on that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Couldn't wait for results

That was a crazy election night. At certain point it almost looked like the ADQ would win a minority government. This didn't happen however. Still the results look quite surprising as they are. The ADQ which didn't even have the official party status has soared from 5 seats to 41, becoming the official opposition. Way to go, guys! Keep up with the good work!

The PQ has lost seats and popular vote - hopefully that does mean that the support for sovereignty is going down. The Liberals... They've lost a quarter of their support and a third of the seats. At some point even the Premier, Jean Charest was about to lose his riding. Now, that would be somewhat shocking. At least for the CBC, that reported his reelection when Charest was still some 300 votes behind the PQ candidate Claude Forgues.

Notice the question marks where the popular vote numbers should've been. Of course there's nothing wrong with the CBC preparing a template for a report on Jean Charest's reelection. But how come this template was posted on their website as an actual news release some three hours before the final results were announced? Whose goof was that?

Two hours later, when the gap between Charest and Forgues grew to about 1000 votes, the CBC reworded their article. There were still some 50 polls that hadn't reported and some 5000 votes yet to be counted but the CBC declared Forgues the winner as if the results were final.

Surprisingly, the tide started to turn. Charest ended up winning back his riding. Well, let it be a lesson for the CBC - don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

March 25th is the International Day for the Unborn Child

Today is the blogburst for the International Day of the Unborn Child. The purpose of this blogburst is to inform the average person about the basics of the abortion situation. The second purpose is to inspire pro-lifers to do something.

Here's a video created by Suzanne from the Big Blue Wave. If it touches just one heart - even that will make a difference.

And here is another great pro-life video. Who will speak up for the little ones? If not us then who? And if not now then when?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Speak up against crackdown on homeschooling

How would you feel if a group of 15 fully armed police officers walked into your home, grabbed your 15-year-old daughter, and left without telling you where they were taking her? Not only that, but you soon found out that your daughter was being arrested because she was being home schooled, and she would not be allowed to come home until she was placed in a public school!

It seems like Germany is determined to end homeschooling once and for all. Please help the German homeschooling families to get their kids back. Contact German officials to voice your protest. (If you're not in the mood for writing letters, you can use the template prepared by the American Family Association.) And don't forget to pass this link ( to all your friends. Remaining silent would mean forfeiting our right to direct the upbringing and education of our children.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Germany's "blitzkrieg" against homeschooling families

German authorities continue to persecute homeschooling families. Just weeks after Melissa Busekros was separated from her parents, a court in Saxony stripped Bert and Kathrin Brause of the right to raise their children. The custody of their 5 children was placed with the "Jugendamt" ("youth welfare office"), the same organization that ordered Melissa Busekros to be forcibly seized from her parents and placed in a psychiatric ward.

Yet again the anti-family activists claimed they acted "in the children's best interests", even though the facts clearly state otherwise. The Brause kids didn't fall behind the rest of the children, they were well-educated under the direction of the Philadelphia school, a German homeschooling umbrella organization - yet the officials still view that as a case of child abuse. Why? Because their parents (both with college degrees) deny them "the benefits of the public school". The children enjoy studying at home, they believe that's the best way for them to get an education - in the eyes of an anti-family activist, the children are just lacking independent personality...

So the court ordered the "Jugendamt" to retain the custody of the Brause children until they are returned to public school. Although the kids are still staying with their parents, it's now up to the "Jugendamt" to decide when to send in the police force to have the kids abducted, separated from their siblings and sent to a psychiatric ward to be treated for "school phobia" or transferred to foster families where their parents could never find them. It was done to Melissa Busekros. It could be done to Rosine, Jotham, Kurt-Simon, Lovis and Ernst Brause at any time.

But why would the German authorities want to crack down on homeschooling? How come the Federal Republic of Germany is so eager to enforce a nazi-era law that it would go as far as separating children from their parents and subjecting them to a Soviet-style forced psychiatric treatment? Even if the authorities are so uncomfortable with the idea of kids being educated at home, without socializing with other kids, they could've just allowed homeschoolers to establish private schools of their own. A one-room schoolhouse run by a half-dozen homeschooling families could've become a place for the kids to receive an education and interact with other kids. So why the authorities would keep rejecting such compromise? Apparently, because it leaves the bureaucrats out.

Just think about it - if most parents choose to educate their kids themselves, who is going to need the massive school bureaucracy which has accumulated over the decades? If families unite to establish their own one-room schoolhouses, there will be always enough jobs for skilled teachers. But what opportunities would there be for all those councillors, trustees, superintendents and all others? The only other job for which they'd qualify is flipping burgers.

But that's not all. If parents are allowed to exempt their children from state-run education system - how would these kids find out that abortion is a right? That the so called "light drugs" are harmless? That biologically abnormal lifestyles are worth trying? That profanity is just yet another form of expression? That promiscuity is ok as log as it's "safe"? That Christianity is oppressive and Christian culture is evil? That raising funds for a broke Marxist regime in Africa is more important than helping the unemployed guy next door? That parents who disagree with any of that are just a bunch of narrow-minded biggots?...

Independent schooling is the only way to protect our children from social experiments, abuse and indoctrination. That's why the anti-family activists that dominate the public school system spare nobody in their fight against homeschooling.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

STV: Vote your conscience! (PR Thoughs 2)

When electoral reform is being discussed, the main argument against the existing system is that it produces distorted results. The fact that political parties can win majority of seats with just 40% of the vote is the one mentioned most often. Others also note that the "First Past The Post" system might as well lead to a situation when a party gets the most seats despite finishing second in the popular vote - just like in the recent New Brunswick election or in the 1979 federal election. That's why when looking for a solution, they propose a Mixed-Member system; a system that would offset the distorted results from single-member constituency vote by adding MPs from the party lists.

There is however one issue that is often forgotten. One of the biggest drawbacks of a single-member plurality system is that it encourages strategic voting, thus preventing many from voting their conscience. Every time there are more than two candidates in a riding, some of the voters face a tough choice: If they vote their conscience, supporting a candidate that has little chance of winning that would draw away votes from a leading candidate they might have supported, thus making it easier for another leading candidate (which they oppose) to win the riding.

Before you say that strategic voting only hurts small parties like the CHP or the Greens, think again. Take a look at the Strategic voting guides, prepared by the "Democratic Space" website for the supporters of all three major political parties. Conservative supporters in Quebec as well as urban ridings were advised to vote Liberal - unless they wanted the Bloc or the NDP candidate to win the riding. The NDP supporters got a list of ridings where they better vote Liberal. Even the Liberals were advised to vote strategically in as many as 13 ridings, where the race was mainly between the Conservatives and the NDP. They were suggested to vote for the party they hate the least since the Liberal candidate had little support. Sounds like a catch 22, doesn't it? There's little support for a candidate since people don't vote for him and people don't vote for him because he has little support...

Unfortunately, the mixed-member proportional system does little to address the issue of strategic voting. Despite its goal to make the final seat distribution match the popular vote, the system still leaves more than enough room for strategic voting. First of all - on a local ballot. At least half (if not two thirds) of the MPs would still be elected from single-member ridings - just as they are now. So the voters would still have to choose whether or not they should vote strategically. Yes, voters could choose to vote their conscience, looking forward for the party list vote to offset the distortion. Or they could vote strategically on a local ballot, supporting the party list of their choice on a party ballot. But either way voters may eventually end up in a situation when one of the leading parties sweeps so many local seats that there wouldn't be enough list seats to compensate the underrepresented parties.

It happens all the time in Germany where only 50% of the legislature members are elected locally. Despite the very high qualifying threshold (5%), additional seats must be added after each election to make sure the number of seats received by each party corresponds to its share of the popular vote. The Law Committee which proposed the Mixed-Member proportional system in 2002-03 admitted that a recommended 60:40 split between local and regional candidates wouldn't have been enough to offset the Liberal overrepresentation in Ontario during the federal election of 2000.

But what about the party ballot? Wouldn't it allow voters to vote their conscience? Not always. A vote for a party that doesn't meet the qualifying threshold would still be a wasted vote. Again that's not necessarily a party that wins less than 1% of the vote in Ontario. A vote for a party that has less than 10% support in New Brunswick would also be a wasted vote because the province only has 10 seats. With the vote reminders being rounded using a mathematical formula, people would be compelled to vote strategically, supporting bigger parties to make sure that the final number of seats is rounded up, not down.

The best solution to address strategic voting is by using a preferential ballot. When a voter can rank candidates according to his choice, he doesn't need to worry about splitting the vote. If his first choice candidate has little support, the vote is not wasted but transferred to the voter's second choice. But using preferential ballot in single-member constituencies will bring us back to the two-party system (no matter who is voter's first choice, his vote will end up being transferred to one of the two leading candidates). That's when multi-member constituencies come into play - lowering the threshold, thus making the results much more proportional.

Ireland uses 3 to 5-member constituencies. Even though the 16% to 25% thresholds for individual candidates may look too high, the seat distribution in the Dali (the Irish Parliament) is quite close to the popular vote. (With as many as 13 Independents elected, compared to only 1 elected in Canada.) In Canada, creating 2-3-member constituencies for rural areas and 4-6 member ridings for the cities would provide high degree of proportionality. At the same time, using preferential ballot and transferring vote reminders to voters' second choices (instead of using a mathematical formula) would allow every voter to vote his conscience.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Thoughts on the new budget

Fiscal imbalance - that was the keyword in today's budget. It wasn't an easy job to come up with a new equalization formula, especially after the Conservatives promised to keep the oil and gas revenues out. Yet it seems like Jim Flaherty managed to find the solution. Not sure if it was really the money that Duceppe liked about the budget or if Duceppe simply didn't like the recent polls which didn't show the Bloc among the favourites. Either way he's agreed to vote for the budget, thus postponing the new election.

But what about others? Many were disappointed, myself included. I was looking forward for the government to bring back the pre-election tax cuts, most of which were repealed last year to make way for the GST cut. That didn't happen. Instead the government announced new spending, boosting program expenses to almost $200B and introduced some targeted tax cuts, none of which will affect me. Yet there are still few things I like about the budget. Such as:

$2000 child exemption which increases the amount that families with children could earn tax free. It should've been introduced long ago. So far, only Saskatchewan had similar tax credit on a provincial level. Now it's also available federally.

Spousal exemption is brought at par with personal exemption. While it doesn't eliminate the tax discrimination against single-income families, it's a step in the right direction. Single income families earning up to $37,000 will no longer have to pay higher federal income tax than dual-income couples. Other single-income families will see their tax burden reduced by over $200.

Incentives for those who save for children's education. The $4000 annual contribution limit is eliminated. Lifetime contribution limit is increased from $42,000 to $50,000. Canada Education Savings Grant goes up from $400 to $500. Yes, encouraging savings is somewhat better solution than raising the student loan limits.

Fair taxation for businesses. Manufacturing and processing companies are given some tax breaks through accelerated Capital Cost Allowance. Corporations that use offshore to avoid paying taxes in Canada will no longer be able to deduct the interest expenses incurred on foreign investments. That's not something I would object.

But what about the new levy on "gas guzzlers"? Many of my friends are furious over it. Yet it looks like the government simply didn't have much choice. Something had to be done to stop the opposition from portraying Conservatives as "anti-environment". A plan that would include actions rather than just long-term targets was long overdue. Kyoto stands for taxing production. The government came up with the only alternative which is to tax consumption. So I guess that's the least we could get away with. And the most we could get of a budget when the Conservatives are 30 seats short of a majority.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Watch your pockets!

We already know that when a politician promises not to raise taxes - it shouldn't be taken seriously. But what if a politician wants to introduce a new tax and promises to raise it over time? The proposal is supported by all three opposition parties, so it looks like this time we may not get away with just a minor increase in tax rates.

The "carbon fees", proposed by the Liberals are often viewed as a tax that will only apply to big businesses. Not many realize that higher production costs will be eventually passed on to the consumers. Few understand that making production more expensive will damage Canadian industries, leaving hundreds of thousands without jobs. And - that these "carbon fees" for businesses, once accepted by the public, could eventually be applied to gasoline, electricity and home heating oil as well...

Remember - the "gun registry" was supposed to pay for itself, its startup cost was set to just $2 million. We know what happened next. Kyoto is going cost us $100 billion just in the first four years. Ladies and gentlemen, watch your pockets!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

SoCon Daily - let's make it happen!

I see these newspaper boxes every day on my way to work. Here's The Globe and Mail, a newspaper that doesn't hide their sympathies to the poor-choice and anti-family groups. They'll never tell you the true number of people attending a pro-life rally but they'll report a few pro-abortion activists trying to disrupt the event as a massive counter-protest in support of women's rights. Here's The Times and Transcript where we may find an editorial about New Brunswick women "deserving better abortion care", but not the readers' comments that abortion doesn't have much to do with care.

Then we have The National Post, known to be somewhat a Conservative newspaper which is not afraid to disagree with the mainstream media. So far it's the only paper that publishes a series of articles to debunk the "global warming" myth. But can we count on The National Post to speak up for the unborn child? It often seems they try to distance themselves from the social issues that are considered controversial.

What else? Here in Moncton we also have a couple of free local papers - "Here" and "Boom". These are trash monthly papers published by the radical leftists. Half of these rugs are filled with ads but the other half (which is 6 to 8 pages) is usually enough for a few articles calling to legalize prostitution or praising abnormal lifestyles and mocking those who disagree.

But isn't there a single paper that speaks up for family values and supports the right to life for the unborn? Actually, there are some. Most of them - just information bulletins, published by the pro-life organizations. You may receive one every month (or every few months) if you are a member. Otherwise you may not even know that such newspapers exist since you'll never find The Interim in the convenience store nearby.

Why not? The question is not why couldn't there be a Socially Conservative daily newspaper in Canada. The question is: how can we make it happen? We have quite a few SoCon blogs (even though some of them simply quote someone else's articles with little or no comments of their own) - it's a start. Let's get together and think how can we unite the individual bloggers into a team to come up with a full-scale newsletter - with news bulletins, editorials, columnists and everything else that's usually there.

Yes, publishing a newspaper won't be easy. But we could start with the online version at first until we have let's say 10,000 visitors each day, then we could try publishing it on paper. All we need is an action plan and a team of volunteers - programmers, designers, editors, writers... If we are ready to do our best - it won't take long for the SoCon Daily to take its place on the newspaper stand.

If you want to support the project - join the discussion at Free Dominion.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

They only promised to repeal a tax hike

The New Brunswick election campaign last fall was all about cutting the gas tax. The PC promised to cut 2.5 cents a litre immediately with a 2-cent cut to follow. The Liberals promised to repeal the gas tax increase brought in by the PC government in 2002, thus cutting it by 3.8 cents a litre right away. Some independent analysts did warn the public that the Liberals simply wouldn't have enough money to deliver on their election promises, so they'd have to choose whether to raise taxes or go into deficit. But people were still ready to give the provincial Liberals a chance.

The Liberals kept their promise. As soon as the new government took power, the gas tax was cut back to 10.7 cents a litre. Several weeks afterwards, people could benefit from the unusually low prices at the pumps. But then the market price started going up, back to over $1 a litre. Does anyone still remember that we got a tax cut last fall?

Well, we're paying for it now. And I'm sure that the tax hikes from the recent budget will not be forgotten that quickly. The government has in fact repealed most the cuts to personal and small business taxes implemented by the PCs. Apart for the two highest tax brackets (which too were slightly increased), personal tax rates are now back to where they were before the New Brunswick PC came to power in 1999. Small business tax which was supposed to go down from 1.5% to 1% this July, went back to 5%. What's left is the Low Income Tax Reduction and the bracket indexation for the personal income tax as well as higher income threshold for the small businesses. The corporate tax rate will remain at 13%. It won't go down to 12% but it won't go up to 17% either. Overall, the corporations will pay $17M more in income taxes, small businesses - $35M, individuals and families - $50M more than in 2006.

Will it be the last tax hike for this term? I hope so. It became a common strategy for the majority governments to put all the unpopular measures first, saving the best for the pre-election budget. But New Brunswick also has the demographic challenge to deal with. The Self-Sufficiency Task Force calls for a population increase in order for the province's economy to catch up with the rest of Canada. So the question is what will the government do now, once New Brunswick does no longer have the lowest small business tax rate and the personal tax rates are second highest in the region. If the provincial Liberals choose to offset the population loss by simply bringing in more people from abroad (regardless of their language skills and work experience), we can expect some more tax hikes in the future.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Brunswick: less births, more deaths

The culture of death is taking its toll on New Brunswick. With 87 fewer births but 124 more deaths, natural growth hit all-time low, plunging below 300. The proportion of children, teenagers and young adults continues to fall. The median age in the province reached 40.8 years (2 years older than the national average). Every third New Brunswicker is now over 50.

The plans to stimulate population growth through immigration failed miserably. While the province did attract 1387 immigrants (the highest immigration level in 25 years), this wasn't enough to offset the inter-provincial migration which cost New Brunswick 3,788 residents, among them - 230 earlier immigrants. Overall, as of July 1, 2006, New Brunswick population was estimated at 749,168 or 2,313 less than a year before.

There was however one thing the report didn't mention. Not a word was said about some 1000 unborn New Brunswickers that were sacrificed to a bloodthirsty idol named "women's right to choose". The report didn't warn that unless we stand up for fetal rights, deaths will soon outnumber births. Declining population was cited as nothing but a negative economic factor, one that will make it more difficult for the province's economy to reach the national average by 2026. Some expert on "self-sufficiency" would probably recommend spending more money on social housing and language training so more refugees could be brought in.

Well, I have a better solution. Bring in the culture of life! Teach our kids the sanctity of life instead of the supremacy of one's desires. Introduce our youth to Psychology and Socionics; teach them how to build a successful family, not how to have some dubious "fun" with fewest consequences. Make families a priority, not special interest groups...

And finally - use the not-withstanding clause to kick the Morguentaller's out of Fredericton. Ditto if the courts rule that New Brunswick must pay for abortions on demand. We have the tool, let's use it! The non-withstanding clause is nothing but a break pedal for our justice system so let's slam the breaks before the runaway truck of judicial activism runs over yet another hundreds and thousands of innocent babies.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kyoto price tag: $100,000,000,000

No, it's not a typo. It will cost $100 billion over four years for Canada to meet its Kyoto targets. Surprisingly, these weren't the opponents of Kyoto who came up with the cost estimates. The numbers came from the radical environmentalist group called "Friends of the Earth". Even they can no longer hide the fact that the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Kyoto" are going to cost Canada tens of billions every year.

Where will the money go? What are the priorities outlined in the plan? Developing emission-free fuel cell vehicles? Constructing advanced filtering systems to make industrial emissions cleaner? Renovating our public transit and railways to provide a competitive alternative to cars and trucks? Forget it! The money will be used to purchase emission credits on the world market and to fund emission-cutting projects in the developing world. Could someone explain me why these third world environmental projects should be funded by Canadian taxpayers?

The authors of the proposal try to sugarcoat the numbers. Their CEO, Beatrice Olivastri claims it would amount to just $20 a week for an average family. Is that so? $100 billion, over 4 years for a country of 32 million, that makes it $781.25 a year or $15.02 a week per capita, not per family. An average family of 1.33 members? That's too much nonsense even for a hardcore treehugger like Olivastri. If we do the math correctly, we'll see that Kyoto is going to cost an average family some $45 to $60 a week (if not much more than that). But even if we accept their numbers - $20 a week makes $1040 a year. Why would any family want to spend that much on a program that's not going to make the air we breathe any cleaner?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daylight Saving Time starts tomorrow

Daylight Savings Time starts early this year. Starting tomorrow we'll be going through our daily routine one hour earlier in an effort to benefit the most from an early sunrise. The rationale behind daylight saving time is simple: as the days become longer and the sun rises earlier, most of us end up sleeping through at least an hour of daylight. So if we were to wake up an hour earlier, many of us wouldn't even notice the difference as it would be still past sunrise. But then, as we start our day an hour earlier, we manage to get more things done before dark and we end up turning the lights off an hour earlier as we go to bed. Net savings: 1 hour of electric lights per family.

That's all. Remember, shifting our clocks doesn't reduce the amount of time we use computers or watch TV. It has no effect on the offices where lights are on 24/7, let alone the industries where machines consume much more energy than light bulbs. We are talking only about lights at people's houses which would be on one hour less. A 60-watt light bulb per person or so. But even that amounts to nearly 2 million kilowatt-hours saved each day or about 400 million KWh saved in Canada during the daylight saving time season. It may be a fraction of a percent compared to the total electricity consumption in Canada (which is 522 billion KWh). But that's enough to supply some 30,000 households with power year round. Therefore it's worth the trouble.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

One way tolerance

The anti-family activists are furious. A private member bill has been introduced in the New Brunswick Legislature to grant marriage commissioners the freedom of conscience. The former NB-NDP leader Allison Brewer is already threatening with a Charter challenge if marriage commissioners are allowed to excuse themselves from registering perverts as married couples. She believes it would discriminate against those living abnormal lifestyles.

What the activists fear is not the situation when a couple of perverts couldn't register their relationship because there would be no marriage commissioners ready to give them the papers. The bill clearly states that additional marriage commissioners could be appointed if necessary so perverse couples willing to take advantage of the institution are able to do so. It's someone's right to oppose abnormal lifestyles that makes the activists worry. And to think this "someone" is a civil servant, a marriage commissioner... That's way too much for the anti-family activists. They want a lifestyle which is responsible for 2/3 of the AIDS infections to be accepted as normal; words like 'natural family', 'marriage' and 'family values' - to be excluded from our schools and workplaces and all of us who dare to think otherwise - to be sued for hate speech.

That's exactly what happened in Saskatchewan, where Orville Nichols, a marriage commissioner was brought before the "human rights tribunal" for refusing to register two men as a married couple. It doesn't matter that he referred them to another marriage commissioner which didn't mind to perform the ceremony. The perverts didn't want to take no for an answer in the first place. They wanted Mr. Nichols to give them the marriage papers despite his religious beliefs, let alone the self-evident fact that a men-only couple is biologically unfit for marriage. Somehow it's believed that while abnormal lifestyles should be tolerated by all, those shoving this abomination down people's throats have the privilege to tolerate nobody.

It was the Saskatchewan case that raised the debate about freedom of conscience in New Brunswick. Unlike the Alberta bill 208 which was blocked by the opposition, New Brunswick bill 37 has the support of both parties in the Legislature. New Brunswick Attorney General T.J. Burke spoke in support of the bill saying it does not contradict the Charter. Hopefully the bill passes and a blatant case of discrimination against one's religious beliefs, like the one in Saskatchewan, will never happen in New Brunswick.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Yes, they are persons!

It was just 150 years ago, in March of 1857, when US Supreme Court ruled in the Dred Scott Case that black people are less than persons. If the congressmen of the time believed in the infallibility of the courts as strong as Paul Martin or Stephane Dion, slavery might have lasted well into 1900s. Luckily, this wasn't the case. It was in 1862, just five years after the Supreme Court ruling when the Congress passed several acts restricting slavery, including the Emancipation Proclamation. Finally, the Fourteenth amendment was ratified in 1868, overturning the Dread Scott decision. The amendment clearly stated that every man is a person regardless of the color of his skin.

This wasn't the only case when the courts refused to recognize some people as persons. In 1928 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the word "persons" doesn't apply to women. Again that decision might've been effective today if the existing laws (that restrict people's right to appeal court decisions) were used. But the ruling was appealed and yes, the Supreme Court was found to be wrong. The Privy Council decided that women are persons despite the objections that the "court has spoken".

Dred Scott didn't live to see the slavery abolished and the Fourteenth amendment ratified. But his story is not forgotten. Lynne Jackson, a great-granddaughter of a man who was declared "unperson" by the US Supreme Court speaks up for the unborn, whose right to personhood is denied by the courts nowadays. Back in 1857 it seemed like slavery was there to stay. Where is the Lincoln for the unborn children?

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

No Apologies - a Christian Conservative Radio

Tristan Emmanuel took a step towards breaking the secular media monopoly by launching the No Apologies radio online. Regular broadcasts are expected to begin on March 9th with a new show produced each Friday. That may seem too little but it's a start of what may eventually become a full-scale Christian Conservative radio station. Good luck Tristan! Keep up with the good work!

Monday, March 5, 2007

First they came for Melissa

Today's article in the American Thinker has some more details of poor Melissa's ordeal. Among them - her diagnosis. Here's why one named "Dr. Siegfried Schanda" believes Melissa must be separated from her family:

"Melissa Busekros was examined by us. She has a childhood emotional disorder, severe school phobia and an oppositional denial-syndrome. Melissa lacks insight into her illness and the need for treatment, and considers herself healthy and her behaviour fully normal. M. needs urgent help in a closed setting if need be, and subsequent special education treatment to ensure schooling."

Later it turned out that the girl had been misquoted and the psychiatric report was found to be inaccurate. But the wording clearly shows the type of reasoning employed by the anti-family activists. Melissa was still horrified after some 15 police officers took her away from her family and brought to a mental ward? That's a "childhood emotional disorder". She doesn't want to back to school (that kicked her out) and repeat the seventh grade? That's "school phobia". She disagrees with those considering themselves experts? That's an "oppositional denial syndrome" which, according to the warders with diplomas, makes things even worse and requires "urgent help in a closed setting". They'll make up excuses and twist the diagnosis just to hide a simple fact: that it was them who caused all those problems in the first place.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Thoughts on proportional representation

While proportional representation is not being debated as often as Kyoto, it still faces plenty of opposition. The main argument against proportional representation is that it will produce one short-lived minority government after the other, making us go to the polls every 18 months or so. Other arguments against it are that proportional representation would make elected members unaccountable to the voters and that instead of the two leading parties we'll end up with plenty of smaller factions each trying to please their own voters at the expense of the others.

While those are all valid arguments, I believe many of them are exaggerated. Yes, proportional representation would result in minority or coalition governments. But since the parties will no longer be able to win majority with roughly 40% of the vote, there will be no incentives for the opposition to bring down the government or for the government - to orchestrate its own defeat. The governments will most likely last 3-4 years - same as in Europe.

When it comes to the question of accountability, geographical connection between elected MPs and the voters as well as the number of political parties we may end up with - it all depends on the electoral system we choose. Yes, adopting a pure party-list system with a very low qualifying threshold, similar to the one used in Israel will result in a fractured parliament with MPs being only accountable to the party leader. But there are other systems as well. Adopting a mixed-member proportional system (which is a hybrid between single-member plurality and party-list system) would keep the elected members accountable to the voters (especially if we use open lists rather than closed lists) while making every vote count.

Another solution would be adopting a Single Transferable Ballot system. This system involves no party lists, all the candidates are elected locally, in multi-member constituencies using a preferential ballot. A vote for a candidate which failed to reach the quota is not wasted but transferred to voter's second choice. Since there are several members elected from each constituency, the ballots usually have more than one candidate from the same party. That keeps the elected members highly accountable to the voters. Unlike the mixed-member system where a qualifying threshold can be arbitrarily raised or lowered, STV has natural threshold which prevents the parliament from being too fractured.

Adopting a Single Transferable Vote would allow us to keep most of the benefits from the Single-Member Plurality system (which we use now), voters would be able to vote their conscience and the seat distribution in Parliament would be much closer to the actual popular vote. That's why I think STV would be the best option for Canada.