Friday, October 31, 2008

Election 911

Who needs Halloween stories this year? The prospect of one Barack Hussein becoming President of the United States beats all the ghost stories put together...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Are They Hiding In Those Ballot Boxes?

Judicial recounts are triggered automatically if the margin of victory is less than 0.1% of the total votes cast. What's surprising is that a recount apparently doesn't mean opening every single ballot box and checking out every single ballot. So a Conservative candidate actually has to go to the court to demand just that - a full recount:
VANCOUVER, B.C. — A Vancouver Conservative candidate who lost a federal election recount last week is appealing the result in court.

Wai Young lost the judicial recount to Vancouver South incumbent Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh by just 22 votes on Friday but Conservative party official Ray Leitch says she's unhappy that not all the ballot boxes were rechecked in the process.
...
In the Vancouver South recount B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm opted to recount votes from 28 out of 184 ballot boxes.
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The recount in Vancouver South found four vote changes in 22 of the 28 boxes that were opened, raising the possibility of 30 or more vote changes in the unopened boxes, Leitch says.
I wonder why would anybody be that opposed to reopening the remaining 156 ballot boxes and counting the votes in there. What is there to hide? If everyone is so sure that Ujjal Dosanjh has won the riding, why can't they invite the Conservative scrutineers and count the ballots in their presence? Let them see for themselves - one for Martin, two for Martin, I mean - 16,109 for Dosanjh, 16,087 for Young. Period. There should have been no need to get the court involved in the first place.

Interestingly enough when the Liberals requested a recount in Brossard -- La Prairie, those in charge took their time to reopen every ballot box, recount all the votes and review all the spoiled ballots. They found dozens of spoiled ballots that were wrongly disqualified and some 200 votes (mostly for the Bloc) that should have been rejected. That was enough for the Bloc's 143 vote lead to evaporate and for the Liberal candidate to win the riding. The victory margin in Vancouver south was 5 times smaller and it went down from 33 votes to 22 after just 28 ballot boxes out of 184 were recounted. So it almost seems like someone at the Elections Canada is just afraid that Dosanjh could lose the riding...

Well, they're obviously not doing the Liberals any good by refusing to reopen the ballot boxes. If the appeal goes through, if Ujjal Dosanjh actually loses his seat following a full recount and must resign from the Commons just days after the swear-in ceremony - it would sure be embarrassing for both Mr Dosanjh and for the Liberal party of Canada. If the appeal is dismissed - that won't stop the rumors about possible defeat of Dosanjh and the story itself may come back to haunt the Liberals during the next campaign. If anything, the Liberals should support the appeal. Because opening those ballot boxes and getting every single vote recounted is the only way to prove that nobody is trying to hide the true election results for Vancouver South.

Update as of Nov.1: Recount for Kitchener-Waterloo is done and once again, when it's a Liberal candidate that may benefit from the recount - they do take their time to recount all the ballots, not just 15%. Following the recount, the Conservative lead shrunk from 48 votes to just 17. In Vancouver South, the margin of victory for Dosanjh was just 33 votes; it went down to 22 after a partial recount. Is there any other reason one would object a full recount - except for striving to save the seat for Dosanjh?

Update as of Nov.3: Finally - Elections Canada Officials gave in and went ahead with a full recount. Finally. But why couldn't they do just that a week ago? Why did it have to go all the way to the court?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

40 Days For Life Vigil — Final Week

David McDonald speaks at the 40 Days For Life vigil in Ottawa:
This is the final week of the 40 Days For Life vigil. Almost 400 babies have been saved so far - and those are only the ones we know of, so the actual number could be much higher. If you haven't had a chance yet to participate in the vigil in either Ottawa or Halifax - hurry up, you only have 4 days left. The vigil ends this Sunday.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

22 Weeks Movie — Tragedy Of A Mother And A Baby

From Jill Stanek blog:
I began writing about the death of Baby Rowan soon after it happened in 2005, having received a call from his distraught mother, who had an instant change of heart when seeing her baby.

He was aborted in an Orlando, FL, abortion clinic toilet and survived for several minutes. The Born Alive Infants Protection Act should have protected him but didn't. State and federal prosecutors failed him. Clinic workers went so far as to turn away EMTs at the mill door who the mother had called to help her baby.

Now a short movie has been made of that tragedy, 22 Weeks. Here's the trailer...
There's a full story about the tragic death of baby Rowan at World Net Daily. It's hard to find words to express the actual feelings - "terrible" and "outrageous" hardly seem enough. And - in case one asks why couldn't the mother make her choice before she went all the way to the abortion clinic - well, here's the reason why. No, that's not the case which had actually led to the tragedy, but that's just one of many occasions when abortion supporters do everything in their power to silence those who show women the truth about abortion. Pro-aborts claiming to be "pro-choice", but the "choice" they promote is never an informed choice.

If you support informed choice - take a minute of your time to demand the 22 Weeks Movie in your city.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ask Your MP To Repeal Section 13

Gerald Chipeur, a lawyer representing former Alberta Youth Pastor Stephen Boissoin, discusses Section 13 in an interview with Tristan Emmanuel. If you haven't heard of the Section 13 yet - it's the section of the Canadian Human Rights Act designed to ban speech that is likely to offend. And, since each one has a different understanding of what's likely to offend, the section makes it easy for the Human Rights laws to be misused by those who have a cause to try to shut down debate. Repealing the ambiguous section is the only way to stop this legal abuse. Please ask your MP to repeal section 13.
video

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ezra Levant: A New Low For 'Human Rights'

Freedom of speech? Gone! Right to a fair trial? Gone! Now, say goodbye to parliamentary immunity. Orwellian tribunals, ironically named "human rights commissions" are set to abolish that too:
In Saskatchewan, the CHRC is prosecuting a former Member of Parliament for politically incorrect mail that he sent to constituents five years ago.

Jim Pankiw, an MP who served from 1997 to 2004, is on trial for sending out flyers criticizing Indian crime in Saskatchewan. If convicted, Pankiw can face massive fines. He could also face other orders, ranging from a forced apology to a lifetime ban on commenting about aboriginal issues. If Pankiw refuses to comply with such an order, he could serve time in jail.

Aboriginal crime was a big issue for Pankiw's constituents. According to Statistics Canada, aboriginals make up only 9% of Saskatchewan's population, but they are 52% of the province's criminally accused.
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It's unlikely that Pankiw will win, because the CHRC isn't a real court, and real defences don't apply. It's presided over by a non-judge, and the hearing is stacked with every kind of politically correct apparatchik around. Take one of the "experts" relied upon by the CHRC, Derek Smith of Carleton University. As Terry O'Neill reported when the complaint was filed more than four years ago, Smith found proof of Pankiw's racism in the colour of ink used in the brochures: black and red, on white paper.
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The suit against Pankiw is clearly unconstitutional. In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that human rights commissions could only pursue "hate" cases against Canadians whose messages were pure evil -- they were explicitly forbidden from touching political speech. Whether or not Pankiw's views on Indian crime are "right" should therefore be up to the voters.

If Pankiw can be prosecuted for spreading "discrimination," every MP is at risk.
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Whether or not Pankiw "wins" his trial is irrelevant. He's already lost, and so have we. The message is loud and clear: The CHRC has ended parliamentary immunity. The fact that it's a right-wing MP first in the dock is no surprise -- the CHRC is led by Jennifer Lynch, a radical feminist who was Joe Clark's chief of staff. It's unlikely that a left-wing MP would ever be punished this way -- 100% of the CHRC's "hate" targets to date have been conservative, white or Christian.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More Thoughts On Senate Reform

Term limits can't be passed as a stand alone bill. There are just too many "what-ifs". Apart from challenging the constitutionality of the term limits, the major objections to the bill were as follows:

1) Limiting the Senate term to 8 years would allow a second-term Prime Minister to reappoint the entire Upper Chamber, clearing it of the opposition and turning it from Sober Second Thought to a mere rubber-stamp.

2) Depending on which party is in power, Senators approaching retirement would either become "lame ducks" (knowing that there's no way they could be reappointed by the governing PM) or they could go as far as crossing the floor to toe the line with the current PM - just to get reappointed for another term.

The opposition suggestion - extend the proposed term to 12-15 years and limit the Senators to just one term, thus making every new Senator a "lame duck". My suggestion - integrate the bill that limits Senate tenure with another piece of legislation which specifies the actual process of electing new Senators. Once it's clear that all further appointments would be made following a province-wide vote using a preferential ballot - that will address most of the concerns if not all of them. So there would be no need to limit Senators for just one term (why?) or to extend the term beyond 8 years.

Bill C-43/C-20: Keep it within Federal jurisdiction. I understand those who suggest that if there is a provincial election (general or municipal) being held already, then we might as well add another ballot to it, so it doesn't cost as much as a separate vote. Except - the provinces don't like the idea. They don't want the extra headache.

Plus - if we hold an election to a Federal house, using a Provincial electoral body - what jurisdiction should apply? Each province has different rules on election funding. And, to make things worse, each province has its own political parties with the known affiliations not always matching their Federal counterparts.

The only way to address those ambiguities is to keep the process entirely within the jurisdiction of Elections Canada. The latter could have an agreement with its provincial counterparts, so that they could share offices, personnel and equipment if a Senate by-election is held in conjunction with a province-wide non-partisan vote (such as municipal elections). But the actual process of electing Senators should take place under Federal jurisdiction, using Federal political party affiliations and with Federal funding/campaign spending limits applicable.

Seek input from the voters on future directions. The NDP wants a referendum on whether or not the Senate should be abolished. The Conservatives could use the very same referendum, not just to fast-track the reforms, but also - to seek input from Canadians on the future directions of the Senate reform. Primarily - whether or not the current seat distribution (24 seats per region, 1 seat per territory with Newfoundland as a "stand alone" province) should be changed and whether or not there should be an equal number Senate seats for each province, including Ontario, Quebec and PEI. Holding a referendum would be far more effective and less costly than having those questions studied and debated by a Parliamentary committee or by a randomly-selected Citizen's assembly.

Friday, October 24, 2008

If There's No Other Way To Reform The Senate...

Is Stephen Harper giving up on the Senate reform? According to the Calgary Herald article by Link Byfield, that's the way it may look like:
In his postelection media conference last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper was starting to sound at least a little exasperated about Senate reform.

He threatened to revert to the tradition of choosing senators himself if provincial governments don't hurry up and start electing them.

The reality is, however, that with only minority support in both Houses, and yawning indifference among the provinces, the Conservative government is trapped.
...
So Harper is reduced to threatening to return to the old way of doing business, which is exactly what his opponents want, so it isn't a threat at all. In fact, it would constitute a surrender.
Even if so - that's a Pyrrhic victory for the opposition. Simply because the Liberal control over the Senate won't last "for the years to come". With 17 Senate seats being already vacant and with all the upcoming retirements, filling all the Senate vacancies with Conservatives (on condition that they resign once a Senate election is called) will ensure a narrow Conservative plurality (50:49) as early as January 3, 2010.

Then Stephen Harper could apply the constitutional clause which allows him to appoint 8 additional Senators and bingo: He's got his majority in the Upper Chamber. With 58 Conservatives versus 49 Liberals, 3 Independents, 2 PCs and 1 NDP, the Senate will pass the "omnibus bill" on Senate reform probably before the summer recess of 2010, leaving it up to the opposition in the House (especially - the Liberals) to decide what they want to happen next.

Their choice will be simple: Either they let the bill pass and start looking forward to elect more Senators than they could appoint in 2011-2014 or they block the bill and get stuck with almost 40 new Conservative Senators until 2030s at the least. Can we count on at least 12 Liberal MPs to find the first option to be the lesser of the two evils? (Or - on at least 24 Liberals to abstain from voting?)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Babies In The Trash

On my first visit to Halifax for the 40 Days For Life Vigil, we were confronted by a couple of poor-choice girls. As part of their argument in defense of abortion, the girls told us a story about a woman who left her baby in the dumpster because she wanted to get rid of him that badly, but she couldn't abort him "on time". They argued that abortion would be "better" - as if there could be a "better" way to kill a baby. And - as if abortion would have saved the baby from being killed and thrown in the dumpster:
Where, I wondered, do the “doctors” at the Mill deposit unborn children for “disposal”? Are they burned in some incinerator somewhere? Or are they simply added to the regular “medical waste” pile? Who picks them up? Is there a company that specializes in disposing of aborted babies? Do the Mill workers deposit the little bodies in some kind of “industrial, medical garbage bag”, and let the collectors in from the back door? Have back alley abortions been replaced with back alley disposals.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Economic Impact Of Abortion — Trillions

Here's an interesting research:
MT. FREEDOM, NJ, October 20, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Researcher Dennis M. Howard, president of the pro-life group Movement for a Better America, who has been tracking the economic impact of abortion since 1995, has shown that the 50.5 million surgical abortions since 1970 have cost the U.S. $35 trillion dollars in lost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

If the number of missing children includes those aborted by IUDs, RU-486, sterilization and abortifacients, the figure climbs to over $70 trillion.

Originally calculating losses in "downstream tax revenues as an index of the cost of abortion," which showed only government revenue loss, Howard then turned to using lost GDP (GDP per capita per year times the cumulative number of abortions since 1970) as a measure of total economic cost.

"No matter how you slice it, aggressive ‘population control’ exacts a huge price in future economic growth that can never be recovered. Indeed, it is a loss that reverberates through all future generations. Without an enormous new Baby Boom lasting another 40 or 50 years, that growth is lost forever. We don’t have a debt crisis. We have a death crisis," wrote Howard.
In Canada (with ~3 million abortions performed since 1969), the economic impact of killing unborn babies amounts to $2 to $4 Trillion. Plus the social impact outlined in the CHP research on the Demographic Winter. I think that's something every "FisCon" should take a good look at.

Everyone who suggests that we forget about social policies and embrace "electable" fiscal policies such as free market and tax cuts instead, should realize the simple fact that bad lifestyle choices have economic consequences. A society that "chooses" to kill babies for convenience will end up paying for it with a social and economic disaster. So their "socially progressive, fiscally conservative" ideas amount to nothing but a few tips on saving a buck or two on our own funeral.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

40 Days For Life At Halfway Point — 268 Lives Saved

From LifeSite News:
WASHINGTON, DC, October 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - This week, the 40 Days for Life fall campaign reached its halfway point. "By our best estimates, tens of thousands of pro-life people in more than 175 communities in 47 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and two Canadian provinces are participating," said Shawn Carney, national outreach director of 40 Days for Life. "Local campaign coordinators report that thus far, at least 268 mothers have left abortion facilities without having abortions."
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"In point of fact," said Carney, "the sight of people gathered in prayer outside of Planned Parenthood facilities and other abortion centers has given women a sense of hope at a point in their lives when they feel most vulnerable and desperate. Prayer 'intimidates' no one - and thus far, it has saved 268 lives, and saved 268 mothers - plus fathers and countless other family members and friends - from the lifetime of guilt and regret that can follow the so-called choice of abortion.
And there must have been some more lives saved of which we simply don't know. Those who pray at the gates of a general hospital (just like the vigil keepers in Halifax,) simply can't see if a woman who comes there for an abortion changes her mind and lets her baby live. So the number 268 obviously doesn't include the babies saved in Halifax or in other cities where abortions are performed next to a maternity ward and where vigil keepers have to walk by faith, not by sight.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quebec Policy On Teaching Religion — To Educate Or To Confuse And Proselytize?

A guy named Openly Atheist has posted an interesting comment to a previously reported story about Quebec government not allowing parents to exempt their children from a mandatory course on world religions. First of all, he's here to tell all the concerned parents not to worry:
Far from being something to fear - or compare to an Orwellian plot - the Quebec education program aims NOT to proselytize, but rather aims to educate students by presenting factual data about the existence of various belief systems.
Well, there are also many numeral systems in the world (binary, octal, hexadecimal just to name a few) - does it mean that our schools should teach them all as equal alternatives to the traditional decimal system? Should the children be introduced to binary and duodecimal systems before they even learn the multiplication table?

What do you think will happen if a teacher starts telling 6 year-olds that while 2+2 is technically 4, it could also be 11 in trinary numeral system and that 5x5 is not necessarily 25, because it could also be 0x19 (hexadecimal) or 031 (octal)? Would those kids become geniuses at math or would they become confused and scared of everything that deals with numbers?

Well, Quebec's "Chinese buffet" course in world religions does just that. Instead of giving the children enough time to learn about their parent's and their society's system of beliefs, it bombards young minds with at least half-a-dozen of theories, each contradicting the other. With the outcome being quite obvious to Openly Atheist:
a) many different religions are practiced around the world;
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c) since so many divergent worldviews exist, it's clearly impossible for all to be absolutely true.
Here you go! That's exactly the impression the child will get from the course - that either there's no absolute truth or, if there is - it's too complicated to be understood. Could there be a better way to shove agnostic (if not secular) worldview down the children's throats? Could there be a better way to prepare a child for yet another dose of moral-relativist brainwashing? If this is not proselytizing - then what is?

Openly Atheist then continues:
One can't deny that, merely by living in Canada, kids will find out sooner or later about the widely divergent belief systems that exist out there.
That's right. But the keyword is "sooner or later". I'll once again bring math as an example. Yes, we do teach positional numeral systems to our children, but not before they become fully acquainted with arithmetics and basic algebra. Also, positional numeral systems are never taught as if they were equal to the decimal count. Among other things, the children learn to understand the difference between a classroom math assignment and counting the change in a grocery store.

Same with teaching "pluralism" and different worldviews. Those should only be taught once the children are knowledgeable enough about the values and beliefs of their families, their society and their nation. And - not before the children are old enough to distinguish between what people someplace far away believe in and the system of values and core beliefs upon which their own nation is founded.

Openly Atheist concludes his comment by suggesting that:
I do note, wryly, that most protesters are affiliated with one of the Abrahamic monotheisms. I haven't seen reports of atheist parents afraid that their children will be indoctrinated into believing a Bronze Age story as the literal truth.

Teaching pluralism, science and rational thinking is a good thing for our society.
Are you sure? Then why atheists are so vocal in their opposition to Christian Bibles, Christian prayers or even Christian songs in our public schools? Why can't they tolerate Christianity as they would tolerate any other 2000-year-old legend? What happened to pluralism, let alone rational thinking?

Here's the way I see the situation: Secularists are losing the demographic battle. If they let the demographic trends continue - they'll become a minority within a generation. Reversing the demographic trend is possible, but it will require secularists to renounce their views on abortion and contraception, on promiscuity and perverse lifestyles... They can't make that sacrifice. So their only option is recruiting children from other communities that haven't yet lost the self-preservation instinct; primarily - traditionalist Christians, which have one of the highest birth rates in the country.

This is not the first time secularists appeal to the young generation. Apparently their "little black book" wasn't convincing enough, so they're going even younger.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Brian Lilley: A Victory For Free Speech That Is No Victory At All

"Being cleared by a government body is no victory for journalists or citizens concerned with free speech", Brian Lilley suggests in his article:
He’s been cleared. He’s won. Well kind of, except that in some ways Mark Steyn and Maclean’s Magazine are still losers for having been called to task to explain their writings to a government body in the first place.
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Now leaving aside whether or not Steyn is an Islamaphobe or a bigot, this ordeal is one that never should have happened. Beyond certain very strict limits, I don’t believe the government should be telling Steyn or anyone else what they can think or write. This may sound like a radical concept to some, but freedom of expression is enshrined in Canada’s 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The older, and still in effect, Bill of Rights brought in by Prime Minister Deifenbaker spells it out clearly; freedom of speech and freedom of the press are protected in Canada. Having a government approve or disapprove of what you say should not happen. Should there be limits to free speech? Limited limits, yes, such as libel. You may be free to say I’m a murderer without evidence, but I am free to sue you in court and prove otherwise, even collect damages.

I’ve heard from plenty of my colleagues in the media that they believe the system worked; Steyn and Macleans have been found innocent of all claims, they suffered no harm. Wrong. The process is the punishment in this ordeal. In a society where free speech and a free press is protected, no one should fear a government agency investigating your thoughts and words to see if they are approved.
Of course it's great that Mark Steyn has been acquitted. But there's still a matter of 2 years of legal turmoil and over $100,000 in legal fees, for which he'll receive no compensation. That alone may become a deterrent for anyone who doesn't agree with the "mainstream" opinion, but doesn't have the courage (let alone - money) to go through such an ordeal.

The real victory would be repealing section 13.1 of the "human rights" act and dismantling the Orwellian tribunals, so that human rights disputes get settled in the court of law. That unfortunately will take years to accomplish.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quebec Kills Parents' Rights To Choose Religion Instruction

What was proposed by Ontario Greens during the last year's election campaign, is now being implemented by Quebec Liberals:
MONTREAL, October 17, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The new mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture program that was introduced this fall in Quebec schools has parents fuming, with many complaining that the program effectively removes their right to choose the kind of religious education their children receive. To show their displeasure a group of Quebec parents has organized a protest march for tomorrow, Saturday, October 18.
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The new compulsory religion course, from which children cannot be exempted, replaces three options that had been available to Quebec students - a generic course in moral education or two other courses that were either Catholic or Protestant in nature.
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A request for exemption from the Ethics and Religious Culture program by Loyola High School, a private Catholic boys' school in Montreal, on the grounds that the course conflicted with the school's Catholic character, was refused by Education Minister Michelle Courchesne, which prompted the school administration also to take the issue to court.

Sylvain Lamontagne, a parent from Valcourt, told the Canadian Press that he is concerned the course exposes his children to world religions at a very young age while threatening their Christian faith, and will cause confusion and push his kids towards atheism.
A protest rally is a good start, but are those bureaucrats in the ministry of education going to back down just because they see a big crowd protesting? A massive "parental strike", with the parents province-wide pulling their children out of public schools and educating them at home would be a far more effective form of protest. At least, it could last all the way until the parents' demands are met. If enough families participated - Quebec government would simply not have enough policemen to go after all the parents at once.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pro-Abortion Extremist Assaults Elderly Women For Praying For Life

Even the slightest opposition to their cherished secular sacrament makes them mad. Or was it her guilty conscience troubling her?
Eyewitnesses said that the woman came with her lunch and sat between two ladies who were praying. She then shouted out repeatedly, "You've had your protest, now I'm going to have mine," whereupon she threw her food at one vigil-keeper and then began pushing, screaming obscenities, and swinging her fists.

The belligerent woman approached an elderly lady and said, "You're old, why don't you die," according to an eyewitness.

Suzanne Poulin, age 51, was one of the women who bore the brunt of the attack. Suzanne told LifeSiteNews.com that the attacker threw her to the ground and began pummeling her face. She suffered bruises to her face and nose, a cut lip and her ear was torn, possibly by a ring the assailant was wearing. Just before this Suzanne was advising the other vigil-keepers to remain silent and not engage the abusive woman.

Suzanne emphasized that none of the vigil-keepers touched or hurt the assailant.
But don't expect any "hate crime" charges here. In the eyes of the assailant's fellow secular humanists, "she just happens to be a little crazier than the crazies she attacked". The other commenter couldn't have said it better - So much for non-violent pro-choicers proving once again they are for choice, as long as it's their choice.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Election 2008 — Some More Observations

Tactical deals instead of running full slate. For the first time in decades, neither the governing party, nor the official opposition are running full slate of candidates. The Red-Green deal, according to which the Liberals have vacated Central Nova for Elizabeth May is well known. What surprised me is that the Conservatives too have chosen not to run a candidate against André Arthur, an Independent MP from Quebec. Apparently he was deemed "honorary Conservative", just like the Nova Scotia Independent MP Bill Casey was deemed "honorary Green" by Elizabeth May & Co. Is this the beginning of a new trend in Federal politics?

A slap on the face for Stephen Harper. Losing an Alberta seat - I bet he didn't see that coming. Too bad, this came from the wrong side. I would love to see a CHP candidate in one of Alberta's rural ridings winning a few thousand votes, which wouldn't threaten the Conservative incumbent but would clearly show the discontent with the party's swing to the left. Instead, many Alberta Conservatives (including those in Edmonton — Strathcona) chose to stay home, letting the NDP (with the support of disgruntled Liberals) win the riding.

Greens are dollar-green, Liberals are deficit-red. Since the allowance paid to political parties directly depends on the actual number of votes they receive, lower voter turnout would mean less money for the four largest parties, starting as early as this quarter. The Liberals, who've lost some 820,000 votes, will see their allowance plunge by as much as $1.5M a year. Not a good news for a party that is drowning in debt and that doesn't have much luck in fundraising.

The Greens on the other hand are now entitled to more than $1.7M a year for their 940,000 votes. No wonder Elizabeth May has rejected the advice to defect to the Liberals following her defeat in Central Nova. She says that she respects Dion, but not the Liberal party itself. If so then maybe it's Dion who should defect to the Greens and run for the top job soon to be vacated (willingly or not) by Elizabeth May?.. Why not? He's already got an endorsement from the known Sierra Club activist who ran in Central Nova...

Next time you tell a Newfie joke - make it about Danny Williams. Does he truly believe that Dion's carbon tax would be more beneficial for the province (let alone - for Newfoundland's oil industry) than Harper's equalization formula? Well, he's got his dream come true - no Conservative MPs were elected in Newfoundland, leaving the province shut out of the governing caucus. Is he happy now? Not really. Danny, next time endorse the Bloc Quebecois. Once Quebec is out, Ottawa will be much closer.

At least it won't get worseDeborah Gyapong suggests. Sure, we should be happy that at the very least, the government won't try to enshrine abortion in the Charter and that it won't force New Brunswick to pay for clinic abortions on demand. The question is - for how long? What would be the next stage of the government appealing to the left in an attempt to win majority? And even if they don't - how satisfied are we with "same old, same old"? If we want any positive changes - we better start organizing. We need to work within the Conservative party, ensuring that our voices are heard at the most senior levels. But we also need to work from outside, we need to be ready to demonstrate that interests of the Socially Conservative voters can no longer be ignored.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Election 2008 — Million More Voters Stay Home

Many chose to stay home. Compared to the previous election, voter turnout is down by about 1 million. Percentage-wise this could become the lowest voter turnout ever. Apart from the Greens, each major party (including those who won more seats and a higher share of the popular vote) ended up losing voters - from 72,000 (NDP) to over 800,000 (guess who).

No room for fringe parties. I'm not even talking about those one-candidate parties that have mushroomed since the court struck down the requirement for a minimum of 50 candidates. But even the largest fringe parties, those that took their time to nominate 20, 30 or even 60 candidates, saw most of their supporters either staying home or voting strategically. The only party to win more than 10,000 votes was the Christian Heritage Party. They won 26,700 votes - that's 3-5 times more than any other serious fringe party. But that's still some 1400-1500 votes less than in 2006.

When there's no real choice on the ballot...
I opened up my ballot and put a large “X” through all of the names.

Then I turned it over and made my own ballot:

It’s the first time that I have spoiled my ballot. Frankly, I didn’t like to do it much.

But the Conservative Party, Stephen Harper, John Baird and the remainder of the political establishment didn’t leave me much choice.

So I voted for the unborn victim who is voiceless.
The million voters that chose not to show up yesterday could have done just that. Hundreds of thousands of spoiled ballots, as well as hundreds of thousands of protest votes for fringe parties would have sent a far stronger message to all the major political parties than a record-low voter turnout. They chose to sit on the couch instead - well, they shouldn't complain if they find even fewer choices on the ballot come next election.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Am A Free Canadian

I am a Canadian, a free Canadian,
Free to speak without fear,
Free to worship God in my own way,
Free to stand for what I think right,
Free to oppose what I believe wrong,
Free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and for all mankind.
(PM John G. Diefenbaker, 1960)
This was said in 1960. Before political correctness and multi-cult, before freedom-snatching commissions, hate-crime laws and censorship in the name of tolerance. Before it was decided that protecting special interest groups from criticism takes precedence over our freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Before implied right of the select few not to be offended was deemed more important than our right to a fair trial...

Now, almost half-a-century later, our rights and freedoms have become a shadow of themselves. What was once a proud statement, is now a protest slogan on a T-Shirt. Is that the Canada John Diefenbaker was dreaming of?

A Glimpse At Welfare Paradise

Everything comes with a price. And so is the Swedish Welfare Paradise. Here are some facts behind Swedish model:
Since the late 1960s, Sweden had the highest tax quota (as percentage of GDP) in the industrialized world, although... Denmark has surpassed Sweden as the most heavily taxed country among developed countries. Sweden has a two step progressive tax scale with a municipal income tax of about 30% and an additional high-income state tax of 20–25% when a salary exceeds roughly 320,000 SEK per year. The employing company pays an additional 32% of an "employer's fee." In addition, a national VAT of 25% is added to many things bought by private citizens... As of 2007, total tax revenue was 47.8% of GDP, the second highest tax burden among developed countries, down from 49.1% 2006.[67]
So, paying a salary of SEK 1000 means an expense of SEK 1320 for the employer. As for the employee - out of each SEK 1000 he only gets SEK 450 to 700 after tax; factoring the 25% sales tax, this only buys SEK 360 to 560 worth of goods. Payroll taxes, income taxes and sales taxes thus amount to 58% to 73% of what's originally paid by the employer. (In Canada those numbers are in the range of 30% to 50%.) No wonder Swedish private sector is stagnant and the country is heavily dependent on public sector jobs and make-work projects.
Public sector spending amounts to 53% of the GDP. State and municipal employees total around a third of the workforce, much more than in most Western countries. Only Denmark has a larger bureaucracy (38% of Danish workforce). Spending on transfers is also high.
...
Because of the contradiction—unemployment despite a growing commercial enterprise economy—politicians and analysts often speak of the "jobless growth". According to Eurostat the unemployment rate in February 2007 was at 6.7% down from 7.4% from February 2006.[69] No new net jobs have been produced in the Swedish private sector since 1950. None of top 50 companies on the Stockholm stock exchange has been started since 1970.[64]
Where do you think all the entrepreneurial spirits go?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Michael Coren: Election About You

Some observations on the upcoming vote by Michael Coren:
It's real, ordinary Canada as opposed to those who want to reshape this nation in their own image. It's about people who can say the word "patriotism" without blushing as opposed to those who blush when their grants are cut.
...
It's about you who would fight to keep this great nation together as opposed to those such as novelist Margaret Atwood who told electors to vote for Quebec separatists just to stop Stephen Harper from cutting a fraction of the arts funding budget.

It's about people who bemoan the lack of public childcare as opposed to those who know we already had the best childcare and it's called parenting.

It's about those who feel Canada as a home and a heart as opposed to those who think of Canada as a concept and a social experiment. About those who view taxation as a necessary evil to be used to help the most unfortunate as opposed to those who want to use taxes to change the very nature of Canadian society.

It's about those who see Americans as friendly cousins as opposed to those who see our neighbours as ugly sisters. About those who believe that Canada is public broadcasting, state education and the Charter of Human Rights as opposed to those who see it as pioneers, personal initiative, sacrifice and courage.

About those who want a clean environment for the sake of their children as opposed to those who want a clean environment because they prefer the planet to its inhabitants...
Maybe Michael is expecting too much from the Conservatives. (Not sure if they will be that firm in defending common sense and traditional values even if a miracle happens and they get re-elected with much stronger caucus.) But Michael knows well what to expect from a Liberal-NDP-Green coalition; what will be their priorities and whose interests will they serve...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

CHP Candidates Speak Out

Three CHP candidates have uploaded their videos to the CTV "My Vote" project, which gives voice to "fringe" candidates.

Ron Gray on fetal rights: the US Whig Party of 1858 too chose to distance itself from a controversial moral question - slavery. Where is that Whig party now?

Marcel Bourassa on moral values: Immorality preceded and contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Peter Vogel on environment: Actions speak louder than words - take a look at Ontario's first operational solar farm in which Peter has invested time, energy, money and resources. Let renewable energy become a greater part of our future.

Campaign Life Coalition has done a great job gatherning information about candidates' stand on life and family issues. Check your candidates. If no major party has nominated a pro-life, pro-family candidate in your riding, if the local Conservative candidate can't be trusted — vote CHP!

Video: Carbon Tax — Higher Prices, Fewer Jobs, Higher Emissions

Here's a great video on what the carbon taxes and carbon trade are all about. See how much success (or lack of thereof) the Europeans have with those schemes and at what price. Is that what we want for Canada?
No wonder the scheme didn't work in Europe. After all, those carbon taxes and carbon trades achieve nothing but forcing the polluters to pay some other guy (or the government) to take the blame for emissions. So emissions didn't go down and guess who ended up paying more to cover all the costs of "carbon taxes" and "carbon credits"?..

The Canadian Taxpayers' Federation has launched a petition to the federal and provincial lawmakers to stop the carbon tax. Please don't forget to sign it.

Meanwhile, Stephan Dion said that if elected, he'll implement his carbon tax even if there's a recession. Let's keep that in mind...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Governor General Shows Contempt For Canadians

Canada's chief abortionist received his iron cross six-petal pajama button yesterday. In what has become a tradition for the cases involving CM (Canadian Murderer) Morguentiler, the day and time of the event was kept secret from the public until the very last day, with only honorary guests (such as radical pro-abort Louise Arbour) receiving their invitations well in advance. Obviously the GG office didn't want any more angry phone calls, let alone - a massive protest rally at the award ceremony. The media too was warned not to bother the new "Canadian hero" with questions he may not like.
According to Marthe Blouin, a spokesperson for the Governor-General, the physician's staff insisted that he not have any exchanges with the media, and they had been warned of this before his statement.
(Source; Translated by Suzanne)
Obviously they knew that what they're doing is at odds with the views of most Canadians. I couldn't agree more with Stefan Jetchik, the Christian Heritage Party candidate for Louis-Hebert:
"If you want to present a medal to a person whom is not very recommendable, you will do it in a military camp, protected by soldiers, and you will announce it at the very last minute and do it in the most pro-choice province in Canada. That's exactly what is being done now"
In the end, the pro-lifers were there. (Among them - Peter Ryan, the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Right to Life Association who had to leave Fredericton at 5am to get to Quebec City on time.) And some journalist did ask Morgentaler a question which the newly decorated chief abortionist chose not to answer. Does our self-righteous leftie journalist care? Of course she doesn't and neither do her radical pro-abort cronies.
It would have been a terrible appointment on any day, but on Canada's national holiday, the announcement felt like a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of Canadians, even many pro-choice Canadians.

Thousands of letters, emails and petitions followed. But did the Governor General listen?

No. Either she is utterly tone deaf, or she is deliberately rubbing salt in the wound and telling the two thirds of the Canadian population who are not happy with the status quo of a Canada with no legal protection for the unborn at any stage of pregnancy that they are held in derision and utter contempt by their government.
I agree with Deborah Gyapong. The Governor General has shown her contempt for Canada and for Canadians. After awarding Canada's highest civilian honor to a man who brags about having personally slaughtered 100,000 unborn babies and whose activism has unleashed the genocide of abortion in Canada; after keeping the nomination and then the award ceremony secret from Canadian public, this woman cannot remain even the nominal head of state. She must be removed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ground Zero Report From Halifax

Yes, I took the time to come there again. This time I brought some friends (my idea - their car :) so there were five of us from Moncton, joining the 40 Days For Life vigil in a silent prayer.

The "special intention" flyers, distributed among participants, suggested that we pray for Arlene, who is a nurse manager at the so called "pregnancy termination unit", for a conversion of her heart, for healing of whatever has brought her to this line of work and for her heart and mind to be convicted that abortion takes away the lives of innocent babies. We added Arlene to our prayers.

Many pro-life vigils are being held at the abortion "clinics". So it's possible for the people there to see the women who turn away, to witness that babies' lives have been saved... Here it was a general hospital. We saw the cars driving in, we knew that some of the women must have been there to have an abortion (VG Hospital in Halifax performs 1700 of them annually) but obviously we couldn't see if there was at least one who changed her mind. We had to walk by faith, not by sight.

Still... There were car drivers honking. A guy in a typical "biker's" outfit took his time to stop and shake our hands. And there was a "you rule" graffiti spray-painted on a sidewalk, with an arrow pointing to our "Pray to End Abortion" sign. Someone was glad that we were there. Was it a happy father whose wife (or fiancée) had a last-moment change of heart, sparing their unborn baby from abortion?...

A Question Dion Couldn't Anwer

The question was simple: "if you were Prime Minister now, what would you have done that Mr. Harper has not done?" Dion failed to answer it. Either he just couldn't understand the question (which the interviewer asked him three times) or he simply had no answer...
Too bad the CTV chose not to broadcast this part with the actual interview, leaving it up to a handful of bloggers to spread the word.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

No, Mr Harper, The Left Still Doesn't Trust You

As the Life Site News editorial suggests, Harper would have to personally kill an unborn baby to avoid the hidden agenda charge.
OTTAWA, October 8, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper went on a verbal rampage against the right to life of unborn children last week, promising not only that a Conservative government would not open the abortion issue, but that it would prevent anyone else from raising it.
...
So, what was the reaction of Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe to Harper's new hard-line against unborn children? Absurdly, it was to suggest that Harper has a hidden agenda to recriminalize abortion. Maybe Duceppe just doesn't speak the same French as Harper.
The left doesn't trust Harper on social issues. Neither do they trust him on fiscal issues, so his recent attempt to lure the Liberal and the Bloc votes by pledging to reinstate the art funding and movie credits failed miserably. The left-wing voters don't really need Harper; they have Dion, Layton, May and Duceppe to vote for. So why would they vote for an imitation when they can have the real thing? No wonder the Conservatives are now behind the Liberals in Quebec...

So, Mr. Harper, the left doesn't trust you. How about coming back to the right then? No, I don't expect another flip-flop on arts funding or a pledge to reopen the abortion debate (although some action in that direction would be nice). But how about a sound Conservative policy which would appeal to those in the Conservative camp who wouldn't want their vote to be merely a protest vote against Stephane Dion's Liberals? There are still 5 days to go...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

March For Life 2009 — Start Getting Ready Well In Advance

CORNWALL, ON, October 7, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Some of Canada's most outspokenly pro-life bishops are urging the Bishops of Canada to attend the March for Life en masse with representatives from each diocese. The 2009 March for Life, to be held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on May 14, will mark 40 years since the omnibus bill of Pierre Trudeau which opened the floodgates to abortion in Canada.
...
Organizers are hoping for over 10,000 this year, especially since it marks the 40th anniversary of the legislation. Mary Ellen Douglas, national coordinator for Campaign Life Coalition, which organizes the annual March for Life, was very pleased to hear of the initiative of the bishops.

"I'm delighted that the Bishops are taking a proactive stand to ensure that as many people as possible attend the 2009 March for Life on Parliament Hill," Douglas told LifeSiteNews.com. "We hope and pray that this 40th year will mark the end of the killing. We've been in desert of the culture of death for forty years and its time to come to the promised land of the culture of life."

Great idea. If we start getting ready more than 6 months in advance we might as well get 15,000 on the Parliament Hill. And at least the same number of people in the provincial capitals.

And, let's not forget the 40 Days For Life vigil. Yes, it's still going on in Ottawa and Halifax. If any of those cities is within your reach - please take your time to come and join our silent prayer to end abortion.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Who Will Stand Up For Freedom Of Speech?

Not Stephane Dion. Not Elizabeth May either. Not Gilles Duceppe - that's for sure. When asked by the Western Standard whether any of them is in favor of repealing section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, their response was negative.

Dion was clear: Liberal party was the one to institute the freedom-snatching commissions and they have no intention to curtail their power. May and Duceppe talked a lot about the need to balance freedom of speech with protecting minority groups from "heinous speech". Unlike Dion they didn't mention the HRCs or Section 13.1 - but their point was quite clear.

Stephen Harper and Jack Layton apparently didn't answer. It's known that the Conservative party did conduct a survey among its candidates on whether or not the HRCs have gone too far with their attempt to eradicate politically incorrect speech. The NDP - they were quick to demand withdrawal of Keith Martin's motion M-446 (that would repeal section 13.1 of the Human Rights Act) once the motion had been introduced back in January. No wonder they didn't bother to answer.
The choice is yours: By all means go ahead and vote for Stephane (rhymes with “yawn”) or Smilin’ Jack or Lizzie May if you:
...
Think free speech is an American concept and enjoy the bracing chill that Section-13 censorship laws add to the Canadian scene.
That's from the Scaramouche blog. Of course the author was sarcastic but this one is too darn close to the truth.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Moncton Life Chain — One Out Of Many

There were about 80 people; the organizers suggested that we could have done better - still, that was twice the last year's turnout. We were across the street from the busy Champlain mall and I could count only 3 drivers that were not sympathetic. The rest - many were honking, others were showing thumbs up; I could see some passengers waving to us from their seats.

Life Chain is not a "protest", but a silent witness. I see it as 60 minutes of silence in the memory of babies who weren't allowed to see daylight. There were over 180 Life Chains held in Canada alone. Every major city in every province had one, sometimes - at several locations. Were there enough of us to honor each one of the 3 million babies lost to abortion with a "personal" minute of silence? Did the total number of participants amount to 50,000? If not - that must be our goal for next year's Life Chain.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

NDP Hidden Agenda: Make Punjabi Official Language

Jack Layton wants official special status for Punjabi Language in Canada:
Toronto, Sep 29 (IANS) Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton has promised support for a new visa office in Mumbai and official status for the Punjabi language in Canada if he becomes prime minister after the Oct 14 polls. Jack, whose New Democratic Party (NDP) has fielded a record 14 Indian Canadian candidates to woo the million-strong community, said his party will also roll back a newly passed immigration bill that the community finds discriminatory.

India will be a priority nation for his government if it comes to power and he will visit New Delhi at the earliest, Layton told IANS in an interview.
Wait a minute, but I though Layton is running for a Prime Minister of Canada, not India. So I thought, Canada, not India should be a priority nation for his government. And I thought, immigrants come to Canada to become Canadians, not to lock themselves up in linguistic and cultural ghettos.

Layton supports official special status for Punjabi language because the Punjabi-speaking community is one-million strong. But that's not the only community which is or which will soon become one million strong. How many official languages is Canada going to have in 2020? How much taxpayers' money will be spent on trilingual, quadrilingual etc street signs and application forms? How many Canadians are going to lose their jobs to a new wave of affirmative action, because they don't speak Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic; or because they failed to learn those languages in a prescribed period of time?

Could there be a better proof that multi-cult is all about importing voters? Layton seeks to outdo the Liberals, to unite all the "anti-Harper" forces behind him and to become the next Prime Minister. He knows what needs to be done to perpetuate his party's rule once elected. So he doesn't bother to hide his intention to use the multi-cult scheme to further dilute, take over and destroy traditional Canada.
Update as of Oct.6 2:55 ADT: An unnamed NDP spokesperson contacted Stephen Taylor by e-mail to inform him that the story is not true. The following retraction was later published by the author of the article:
In India, an “official’” language does not become a “national” language. The acceptance of a language by the government makes it “official”, not a national language.
...
So my use of the word “official” might have been confused with the word “national” by some people. But that was not my intention.

All I wanted to know from Jack Layton was whether he will give some kind of recognition to the Punjabi language as it has been here for about a hundred years. Not the status of a national language.

Jack also didn’t promise anything except say that he will support any idea of such a recognition if his party is voted into power.
Still, I don't believe that granting "some kind of recognition" to a language spoken by a certain immigrant community is a good idea. Especially when immigration regulations clearly require prospective immigrants to be fluent in either English or French. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

If a hospital or a business wants to accommodate its Punjabi clients by providing services in their language - they are free to do just that with absolutely no need to get the government (and the taxpayers' money) involved. But when it comes to "some kind of recognition" of a community language by the government - expect affirmative actions, hiring quotas, token jobs and so forth. I think we have more than enough of that kind of abuse already.

"Human Rights" Commissions — Great Tool For Revenge

Want to get back at someone you don't like? Want to give your former boss a hard time? File a "human rights" complaint against him. It's free for the complainer and it ensures a few years of legal turmoil, as well as thousands of dollars in legal and travel expenses for the defendant:
The employee in question was terminated within 2 weeks of his start date (well within the 90 day probationary period as set forth by the ESA), was consistantly late for work (as was proven by his signed and dated time cards), had been caught lying regarding a doctors appointment he needed to leave for (was a job interview with another company), was disruptive around other employees drawing complaints from no less than 3 co-workers for bothering them and the list goes on and on. So it seems that the complaintant might have filed the complaint in retaliation for being called out on his bad behavior.
...
I have spent a minimum of 50-60 hours of my time preparing my response, gathering his employment information and attending a mediation he didn't show up for (not to mention the overwhelming stress of having this government body prosecuting me) and this is the kind of person that is allowed to file frivilous complaints. How much of my time and energy has been wasted by this individual over this? Best of all there is no mechanism to punish this individual for doing what he has done and no mechanism to compensate me for my time and energy.
The HRCs were originally set up to resolve human rights disputes in housing and employment - just like this one. And yet even here, it's too easy for a "human rights" commission to become a tool of willful harassment. Even if it's obvious for the clerks that the complaint is there just to give the old boss a hard time - they're powerless to dismiss it outright.

Since this is not a "hate speech" case, repealing section 13.1 of the Human Rights Act won't let the anonymous businessman off the hook. The real solution would be rewriting the Human Rights Act altogether, rather than striking out sections of it. HRCs must be abolished and disputes on human rights and constitutional freedoms should be resolved in the court of law.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New Tasks For A New Conservative Government

Here are some of the tasks Wayne Eyre proposes for the re-elected Conservative government:
- Join MP Keith Martin's initiative to kill Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act -- the one that deals with speech that's "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt." Section 13 is custom-made for Islamist, and other, anti-free-speechers who -- with no hit on their own wallet -- can, and do, launch capricious and malicious suits against others. Mr. Harper had it right in 1999, when he publicly opined that "Human Rights Commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society... It is, in fact, totalitarianism. I find this very scary stuff."

-Rule that those who arrive in Canada without credible, or any, identification papers should be sent back, on the next plane available, to the country from which they came. The immediate granting of rights and social benefits to uncredentialed arrivals is crazy.

-Declare that, henceforth, the military -- not the police -- will be dispatched to clear road blockades by First Nations protesters, or any other group that erects them. Negotiation is the only acceptable means of resolving disputes or claims that result in roads being blocked to all who wish to use them.
Great ideas. Myself I would add a few more such as:

Overhaul the immigration system so that prospective immigrants get their language skills and employment credentials recognized and validated by a respective organization in Canada before they even apply. The quota for refugees and "humanitarian" migrants should be set to no more than 1% of overall number of immigrants.

Institute zero-base budgeting. Make government departments justify all their spendings, not just what they want to spend on top of what they've spent last year, adjusted to inflation and population growth. Cut all the wasteful spendings, so that program spendings could be kept under $180B until 2012 at the least. The savings should be evenly split between reducing debt and cutting taxes.

Allow provinces and municipalities to use the Bank of Canada to finance infrastructure projects. All the interest on those loans would be passed to the bank's only shareholder - the Federal government, which could reinvest those dividends back into the provinces and municipalities the money came from.

And of course:
Get the Senate reform done! Hold a referendum if necessary to overcome the obstruction from the opposition. (Especially in the Senate.) A referendum would also allow voters to decide whether they want to maintain the existing seat distribution in the Senate or whether there should be equal number of Senators for each province. Last time, most of the democratic reform bills ended up being blocked by the opposition. Make it a matter of confidence this time - even in a minority situation, the opposition parties won't dare to bring down the government on the question of Senate reform.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thoughts On The Debates

I didn't like the new format. I don't mind the round table, but cancelling the opening and closing statements to allow more time to debate the economy - I think it was a bad idea. Instead of giving each party leader a couple minutes to clearly state who he is and what he stands for, we got an extra half an hour of chaotic arguing. If more time was needed to debate the economy - they could have just make the debates half-an-hour longer, with the extra time coming at the expense of all those post-debate observations and interviews. The question "what would be your first action as a Prime Minister" which gave each party leader the opportunity to speak uninterrupted for 45 seconds wasn't enough to compensate for the lack of opening and closing statements.

Who is the best at bashing Harper? That's how the debates could be summarized. I heard it was Harper who asked for more time to debate the economy. What he ended up getting was more time during which his opponents compared him to George Bush. I bet that's why Gilles Duceppe took his time to participate in the English language debates - so he could bash Harper as "pro-American" and "pro-George Bush" a few more times.

Then it came to arts. Every time Harper tried to mention his proposal to offer tax credits for parents who enroll their children in art classes - they wouldn't let him finish. They talked about artists who live in poverty - guess what - myself I would love to have an opportunity to become a full time freelance writer with my living expenses paid for by the government. Guess what - I can't. I have to work full time (often - overtime) to make ends meet. And I still find some time to write an article or two every week. I guess all those artists who are to get broke due to the government cuts could do just that.

With all that preoccupation with the economy, the environment and the jobless losers who call themselves artists there was no time left for social issues. No time left for civil liberties issues. Only once, when Elizabeth May suggested that freedom of expression is a fundamental value - there was an opportunity to answer her that the HRCs are much bigger threat to the freedom of expression than cuts in arts programs. Harper chose to miss that opportunity...

Too bad for you, Stephen. The left doesn't trust you. They still find you scary because of your NCC/Reform/Alliance past and they don't care that you've promised not to reopen the abortion debate or that you could find some kind words for Jack Layton. You had a chance to appeal to the undecided voters from your own camp; to those who are not sure whether or not it even makes any sense to get out and vote; you had a chance to win back those who thought you've made too many concessions to the left to keep your minority government going - you blew that chance. So I don't care what the journalists say about your performance in this 4-on-1 debacle. In my opinion - you lost.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pray To End Abortion — Rain Or Shine

Thanks to my friends who gave me a ride to Halifax, I could take part in a 40 Days For Life Vigil that is being held there, at the gates of the Victoria General Hospital. The weather wasn't quite favorable, changing from drizzle to heavy rain and back. But drizzle or heavy rain - we were there.

This wasn't a protest. Not even a life chain as we didn't stand there holding signs. There was just one big sign "Pray to End Abortion" attached to the fence. And there were people - sometimes two or three, sometimes more, praying silently. I joined them - reciting the Lord's Prayer in my mind; keeping a minute of silence in the memory of all those babies that weren't allowed to take their first breath and to see daylight.

The public... some of them were indifferent. Others were smiling at us. I could hear some guy trying to yell something from a van that drove by. Shortly after noon, two young girls stopped by and asked us why we were there. They didn't like our idea to have a pro-life vigil at a hospital entrance as it might make women (especially those coming there for an abortion) feel uncomfortable...

The girls were unaware of the fact that the baby's heart starts beating 18 days after conception. (18 days, not weeks!) They didn't know that at 10-weeks the unborn baby already feels pain. And what they didn't realize is that abortion doesn't make a woman unpregnant; it makes her a mother of a dead baby. So they brought a story of a woman who "chose" to get rid of her baby by leaving him in the dumpster as an example. Wouldn't it be better if she just had an abortion - they asked?

Of course we were quick to mention the loving choice - adoption. The girls however dismissed that, claiming that the only "real" choice is abortion. In the end, they asked us to reiterate - do we truly believe that there's no difference between aborting a baby and leaving it in the dumpster to die? But what difference could there be if the result is the same - the baby gets killed? The girls cried "terrible" and run off. Well, objection is a request for more information, as every salesman knows. Hopefully, the seed was planted. Hopefully the new information we gave them would eventually make them doubt their anti-life views.

We resumed our prayer vigil. Myself (as someone who was born and raised in Soviet Union) - I'm not that good at prayers. But there were other fellow pro-lifers to help me, to pray with me; one kind lady even went as far as showing me how to say the rosary... In the end I recalled a short prayer, with which David McDonald had once started his Freedom Of Speech song: Lord forgive them for they know not what they do. Heal us Lord, heal our country and our nation. To that I added: Help us Lord to end abortion. That was my prayer.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

40-Days For Life — Converting Hearts And Saving Lives

From the "Ground Zero Reports":
We were at the mill doing sidewalk counseling this morning. The manager came up to us and said, "i want to see what you're giving out"...I showed her gladly and she asked for a package. I gave her one and she walked into the building. I left for Mass but a couple of my friends stayed...and what happened next is pasted below! I believe a life was saved today! I asked St. Therese to save a life, I really think she has! Woo hoo!! We are going again tomorrow morning and Friday. - Nicole.
And that's not the only occasion, when faith and truth, love and the gospel of life convert a mother's heart and save a baby's life. You too, have a chance to make a difference. There are pro-life vigils taking place in Ottawa and Halifax. Is any of them close enough to your home?

And don't forget about the Life Chain, a peaceful witness of the gospel of life, which will be held is this Sunday (October 5) in over 120 cities across Canada. So if you can't attend the 40 Days For Life Vigil, make sure you show up at the Life Chain in your home town.