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the current state of Canada...

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by djcheezwhiz, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. djcheezwhiz

    djcheezwhiz TRIBE Member

    **disclaimer, this is not an anti american rant, but just some thoughts on the attitude of our canadian leaders as independent thinkers & their lack of vision**

    lately it seems Canada has hit a bit of a rut...& all our fearless leaders seem to do is try to make us more like the americans...from reading the paper this morning (& over the past few days) i continue to be disheartened at the actions of our political and business leaders...

    healthcare, in todays globe they talk about hospitals looking at new ways to purchase supplies based on the "coming" two tiered health care system...also we have the current roadshow, where canadians continue to vocalize about the importance of healthcare, yet we keep getting told by these leaders to become more american in our health care system (never mind hydro)...

    the dollar...continual support to americanize our dollar...already we follow the us fed reserves interest rate increases & decreases (so monetary policy hasn't really been independent of the us for quite a while)...

    our leaders...continue to be protected by not being accountable to their constituents (& even their basic responsibilities)...take for example art eggleton (former mayor of this great city)...apparently he doesn't need to be disciplined for his gaffes in handling the afgan prisoner affair, as he has already suffered enough humiliation at the hands of political commentators etc (what is up with that??)...

    instead of trying to improve our country...ie put money into education, infrastructure, research & development etc our politicians continue to appear to endorse this mediocrity...

    it's just frustrating reading all these stories about our great country, but wonder what lies ahead for canada...i would like a Canadian nation free and proud...

    sorry to rant, but some thoughts for a thursday afternoon...

    jc
     
  2. Rosey

    Rosey TRIBE Member

    *sigh* reading you loud and clear.

    just don't know what to do about it.
     
  3. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Our leaders have stopped serving the people and now serve corporations. It's as simple as that.

    The provincial corporate property tax has been locked in by the Tories (corporate Canada's number 1 bitches). So when they need to raise taxes in Toronto for public transit, affordable housing and other essential services, the homeowners get hit with a tax increase more than double what it would be if they could simply spread it out across the board.

    Just recently we found out that the federal government paid twice over $500,000 each time for a report that couldn't even be located! According to some sources, there were actually two reports, but upon further investigation both reports are almost totally identical. Not to mention the serious favourtism that the Liberals have been practicing when they hand out contracts to all their close buddies.

    And let's not forget the big mess with the MFG computer contract that ballooned into a multimillion dollar scam. Another example of our elected officials selling out to big business.

    It happens at every level of government, and it's not limited to any one political party. There's this drive to privatize everything while the public is calling against it. When all the services get privatized we're left unable to counteract any of the negative repercussions because the private companies can hide in secrecy and remain completely unacountable for their actions. At least when services are run by the government there is some degree of transparency...

    Pete
     
  4. Jazz

    Jazz TRIBE Member

    Hearing Chretien defend Gagliano made me laugh... and made me lose a lot of respect for Chretien... he must think the canadian public is really stupid, he shuffles Gagliano out of his own cabinet because it's obvious that he's guilty of corruption, yet Chretien still publicly defends him...
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Well-Known TRIBEr

    Current state of Canada....I could go on, as must of use could. I am one am not a fan of the liberals right now. What other choice in federal politics do we really have? End result is another round of mediocre politics courtesy of Jean. The problem is the liberals and their pork barrel policies are in a majority position, thus ends the debate. Result liberals, everyone else 0. Even if your an MP for arguments sake you have to tow the party line, or else say goodbye to your party status, thus no funding for you next reelection go around besides independent sources. We need a leader, who can stir this country. At present time who is it? Jean, McDonough, Harper, and ????

    John, you mentioned health care in Canada. The crunch is coming, and in many cases already here. The largest demographic cohort is our parents generation, which is why the system is getting rocked by sky-rocketing expenditures. Can we afford to cover their expenses when they reach their senior and beyond years with a smaller population that paying into the system? Also giving the fact our parents generation is by far the wealthiest demographic group should they be really getting a break in any form of subsidies? Right or wrong, it should be looked at. They funding formula between the feds and provinces has to be looked at. We all want lower taxes but at what expense? Something has to give.

    Canadians should take pride in our strong and properly funded public health care and education systems, a clean environment, fair taxes and fair trade, but these are being chipped at. Its time to get back to what we are, Canada has always been on the left on the political spectrum.

    Even now more so then ever since September 11 our economic future is moving towards further north-American integration. Can it come without a risk to our sovereignty?
    The events of September 11th provide an example of the price for aligning closer with our neighbour, pressure we will surely feel in the months to come. Instead of our familiar tendency to be spectators to the events south of the border, We blindly sent in our forces. Which are already as often pointed out underfunded, ill-equipped.

    As for the our declining Lonnie, I would adhere to Anne Golden:

    "In loonies, we should trust"
    By ANNE GOLDEN
    As the value of the Lonnie sinks to record lows, we again hear the chorus calling for Canada to dispense with our currency and adopt the American dollar. Proponents present this approach as a simple "quick fix" with the benefits of ending uncertainty about our dollar's value, thereby strengthening investor confidence, reducing transaction costs and encouraging improved productivity and stronger economic growth over the long term.
    A serious consideration of the issue, however, like the Conference Board's recently published analysis, Can You Spare a Buck: The Case For and Against a Single North American Currency, shows that adopting the greenback is neither simple nor necessarily a "fix."
    To evaluate the proposal to discard the loonie, we need to understand why it has fallen to almost 62 cents (U.S.). The Conference Board's view is that the gap between the loonie and the greenback reflects, first and foremost, the long-term widening gap in productivity (output per hour worked) on average between Canadian and U.S. industry.
    A second contributing factor is the long-term decline in real commodity prices like oil, lumber, newsprint and metals. Because we are a small country -- but a big trader with a relatively large resource-based economy -- we are more affected by raw-material price changes than the United States.
    An additional factor, beyond our control, is the magnet effect exerted by the burgeoning U.S. economy in the past decade on the world's increasingly mobile capital. Consequently, the U.S. dollar appreciated against every major currency, the loonie being no exception. Increased uncertainty in global capital markets since Sept. 11 has reinforced this trend, and pushed the loonie to its 62-cent low.
    In essence, the flexibility in the rate of our dollar is an adjustment mechanism. Like a shock absorber that cushions the impact of the bumps and potholes in the road, our floating dollar allows us to spread out, over time, the impact on output and employment from fluctuations in the market caused by changes in productivity performance, swings in raw-materials prices, or changes in international flows of money.
    None of these reasons leads logically to the conclusion that we must jettison the Canadian dollar. If the loonie has dropped mainly due to relatively poorer productivity performance in Canada and long-term declines in real commodity prices, would adopting the U.S. dollar help us?
    The answer is clearly no in the short term. There is some validity to the argument that over the longer term, monetary union could help us address the productivity issue. But it would not shield us from the effects of commodity price shocks or swings in international capital flows.
    Proponents of a currency union with the U.S. are often reluctant to be clear about the consequences. The real motive underlying their proposal is a "tough love" argument to force Canadians to become more competitive. They are saying, in essence, that Canada needs to become more disciplined and confront head-on the impact of economic shocks or less competitive economic performance. By taking monetary policy out of the hands of Canadians, this discipline would be imposed. Instead of the current Canadian approach, which seeks to temper the adjustment shocks, we would experience rapid and disruptive production and job losses, which now occur far more gradually.
    But the real issue at stake is sovereignty. By adopting the U.S. dollar, we would relinquish a critical policy tool for managing our economy. It is improbable that the U.S. Federal Reserve would grant Canada a voice at the table for the purposes of making monetary policy, simply because we adopted the U.S. dollar. And without political accountability, it is implausible that most Canadians would knowingly surrender their ability to make monetary policy.
    Monetary policy cannot be separated from political sovereignty. Any decision to enter a currency union without acknowledging the political consequences is putting the cart before the horse.
    Canada does not need to adopt the U.S. dollar -- not now, and probably not for a long time, if ever. Given that the maintenance of a separate national currency has been synonymous, historically, with political independence, such a decision would be a momentous step for Canada, with major implications for our continued existence as an independent nation.
    The example of the European monetary union, often cited by those who argue the merits of a single currency, is not a persuasive model for North America. It is important to recognize that circumstances are quite different in Europe -- the economies are of a relatively similar size, for one thing -- and the motivation for European integration was primarily political.
    There is no quick fix for our weakened Canadian currency. The best way for Canada to strengthen its dollar is through improved performance by fulfilling our potential for productivity and innovation. At the same time, we must invest appropriately in the quality-of-life elements of Canadian society that make us attractive to investors. This course will enhance our global competitiveness. This is the course we should follow. "

    Anne Golden is president and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada.
     
  6. Klubmasta Will

    Klubmasta Will TRIBE Member

    i. am. canadian.

    this country has always had it's share of problems. nothing is really different at this particular point in time.

    also, keep in mind that there are at least 2 sides to every political argument. if you look at just one side of any particular political issue (like in the posts above), then of course things will look bleak and unfair.

    case in point:

    the quick rebuttle is that, by making it more attractive to corporations to set up shop and do business in ontario, we get more jobs, a better economy, more tax dollars generated at both the corporate and personal level, etc. etc. etc. (a detailed analysis would be in order but you get the idea.)

    canada is doing just fine. sure, lots of things can be improved and that will be a constant struggle. make no mistake though: this IS the best country in the world. if we didn't believe that, we wouldn't be living here. :)
     
  7. Deus

    Deus TRIBE Member

    It's pretty sad...

    Even the value of our own dollar depends on the American economy
     
  8. djcheezwhiz

    djcheezwhiz TRIBE Member

    will i totally agree with your point, but i just feel sometimes our leaders don't care about the reasons behind why we are the best country to live in...i fully agree that there is nowhere better to live, but we also can't just continue to cruise along thinking it will always be that way...

    anyways it must be this grey "spring what happened to you" day... :D give me a nice june blue sky day & i'm sure i won't care...

    john
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Well-Known TRIBEr

    True, the weather sucks!!!!
     
  10. Spinsah

    Spinsah TRIBE Member

    Re: i. am. canadian.

    However we have never been more integrated with the US economically then are right now. The Globe and Mail had a great section on this on the weekend...I'll go hunt for it.
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Canadians are a very proud people, and we bite at the heels of the Americans all the time. It's the same scenario all over the world, when a small power neighbours a large one. eg. Ireland/UK, New Zealand/Australia, Korea/Japan.

    We're going to get pushed around, and our policy invariably follows theirs. Our situation is particularly intense because we neighbour and depend on the largest power in the world.

    Canadians live in a bubble to some degree, because we're so large geographically and we have such plentiful natural resources. But the reality is that we're a very small power, and the US is going to dictate our policy and puppet our leaders whether we try to move toward isolationism or not.

    A charismatic leader or a better political party system is not going to change that.

    I say that we should stop being counter-productive and move to integrate as much as possible with the US. When you swim against the flow of the river, you go nowhere.

    In my heart, I'm sorry for taking the radically un-Canadian stance. bit in my brain, it only makes sense.

    Is anyone with me? Wanna start a rally at Parliament Hill? ;)
     
  12. OTIS

    OTIS TRIBE Member

    Wow, i was slightly touching on this subject in a discussion i had last night. The problem is not with the current state of Canada, it's with the current state of our leaders.

    Canadian citizens have been conditioned to elect political leaders with no balls, indecicve twits who do nothing to perpetuate or even increase Canada's sovereign identity. We are slowly being conditioned to rely on Americans for more and more and not depending on, or supporting our internal facilities. All this can be attributed to outside U.S. political pressure as well as the pansy-ass electees sitting in the chairs right now.

    Case in point, our military. Compared to other countries' armed forces, Canada's military is sadly underfunded. The financial expendature on armed forces for the average NATO country is somewhere areound 2.5% of the GNP of that country, Canada is around 1.2, why? Because increased presure from the U.S. along with implied U.S. military support has turned our leaders into quivvering piles of jelo and our military into a grossy underfunded understaffed joke.

    Mind you, the people that serve in the CAM do an amazing job in the conditions, but the fact is why should a country rely on another one for Military support when it has the capabilities on it's own to pull it's own weight. We have a strong economy, we have the technology, we have the financial capability for it. But still the U.S. continues to send our leaders panties and our leaders, in turn, continue to to wear them without question.
     
  13. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Re: i. am. canadian.

    I understand that side of it, and I believe that it's necessary to entice business to our country, but I feel like I keep hearing every week how there's no money for any services, and yet we're dishing out corporate tax breaks like they're going out of style.

    Pete
     
  14. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Health Care

    I want to specifically address this idea of protecting our "Canadian" healt care system from "Americanization".

    First of all, the idea of guaranteed and publically funded health care for all citizens is not a Canadian idea. We borrowed the idea from many different European countries who adopted such a system at various points throughout the 20th century.

    Second, our health care system began with two tiers. Tommy Douglas himself never envisioned a system where private money would be outlawed. He simply wanted to make sure the poor of Canada could still receive medical treatment without having to empty their life's savings. The idea that every Canadian, including the rich, would be forced to buy into a government-funded health care bureaucracy is quite recent.

    In fact, "Canadian" health care essentially began in the same spirit as what we now call an "Americanized" system. Unfortunately, politicians in this country have thrown around patriotic notions of Canada being defined by our government programs, thereby perpetuating their bureaucracy.

    It's easy to stifle debate about changing the system and taking power away from politicians when you can just scream about Americanization and the destruction of our national character. Tug at the heart strings AND the purse strings.
     
  15. Locke

    Locke TRIBE Member

    I was thinking this the other day... the whole state of the country deal.
    What actually got me started was this video editorial by a easily identifiable very right winged man in his 50s, he was talking about how we were a nation in decline. Basically the thesis of his talk was that a country like ours is based on growth and that back when the country was setting up our social systems to mesh with our economy we made the assumption that our population would grow quite steadily. Even the lower projections would have us above 70 million right now. But here we sit with a 30 million citizen base and an economy based on progress and growth (i.e. production and consumption of goods). Then he went on to say that we need a larger citizen base. Blah Blah

    What he wanted to convey was that we need more people to have jobs and consume more goods cause thats the kind of economy we find ourselves in (the more you produce and consume the better).

    What I took from it was a little bit different. I am a mid-twenty middle of the political spectrum person. I do not agree with the produce and consume economy but that is the global economy we now find ourselves in. What struck me the most is the fact that we have this huge bulge in our population (baby boomers, our parents generation), and they are going to get fucked when they all try to fit through the tiny bottleneck that is our present medical system when they age and require more medical care. Our population was supposed to grow so this bulge could fit throught the medical system smoothly. My parents are scared about not getting the treatment they need promptly, and they want to be able to pay for it in order so they can get it when they need/want it. I empathize with my parents generation, but I don't want their panic to introduce a more two tiered system in this country, I would like the government to be a little bit more generous in their transfer payments as far as medical care goes.

    I just wanted to think aloud there, my apologies for being all over the place there. I am just scared we have ourselves in a position (as a country) that we cannot carry forward with for much longer and people (politicians and people who make policy) are just not opening their eyes and making the proper decisions, in order for us to sustain our identity and welfare (as a whole).

    L

    P.S. suprised this thread fell so fast, way more relevant than swaztika or religion threads :confused:
     
  16. Sporty Dan

    Sporty Dan TRIBE Member


    Well...considering the baby boomers are the generation that decade after decade elected governments that spent more money then they could possibly afford, I think it;s finally time they get what they deserve.

    I have no idea how an entire generation of people can go through life spending future generations money thinking that someone else will pay for them when they are old, and suddenly become shocked and surprised when they find out they finally have to pay for it themselves.

    .... they spend OUR money and they expect us to pay for them.....AND pay off their debts at the same time? ..... I don;t think so........



    dan.
     
  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    To the masses, relevance matters not my friend. Only interest.
     
  18. nusty

    nusty TRIBE Member

    maybe it would be more interesting if you made video clips.


    :D

    I'd watch and respond to video's... far less reading and thinking that way.
    you might want to include subliminal messages to further push your points.
     
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Is nusty talkin to me? Hey! You talkin to me? I don't see anyone else up at this hour.
     
  20. nusty

    nusty TRIBE Member

    I'm happy to talk with anyone at this hour... my conversation may not be that good but I'll try (been up all night)
     
  21. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Baby Boomers

    Not only were Baby Boomers responsible for spending all of the money, they are also responsible for our low population growth. THEY were the ones who decided to have families with less than 2.1 children (ie. the population replacement rate) and THEY were the ones who opposed mass immigration from other countries to make up the difference.
     

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