I still haven’t made up my mind how to vote. But I do think that if any leader is going to beat Harper, who is still doing astonishingly well in the polls despite ample evidence that his party is populated by boorish ignoramuses, he or she has got to quit reacting and start providing a strong vision for the country.
I am interested in two things in this election: environmental stewardship and increased regulation of the finance industry. Canadian financial institutions may have escaped the worst of the crash, but a thorough review of our regulatory landscape is needed right now if we are to maintain economic stability. Getting a loan doesn’t need to become difficult, but neither should credit be available to people who cannot demonstrate an obvious ability to pay back in a reasonable period of time (unless it’s a student loan). Yes, more regulation will cool our economy, like the carbon tax will, but I’d rather have a sustainable way of life for generations than be on a big party boat headed toward the falls.
We can look at bailouts of American and British financial institutions as one of the biggest shifts of wealth in human history: from the poor (taxpayers) to the rich (stockholders and the managers who have been fired — with millions of dollars of severance packages — after screwing up the global economy). Sometimes it feels like multinational corporations run the world, but every country still has the power to regulate and legislate. All over the world, politicians have been asleep at the wheel and it’s time for ours to wake up, fast, before you and I are bailing out Canadian criminal moneylenders.
Meanwhile, folks, spend your money on paying down your debt and installing a solar panel and woodburning stove. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: things are going to get tougher and tougher until we have no choice but to live more frugally and locally.
Speaking of which, we need breaks for people who would be badly hurt by the carbon tax: farmers and people in the north who depend on diesel for heat. The work of farmers is a public service masquerading as a profit enterprise and they can’t take another hit. And it’s cold in the north. There are no trees and no coal plants. Taxing northerners would be an extra hardship that they should not bear — northern life is tough enough. And they might want to think about how to wean themselves off fossil fuels.
By the way, check out the Canada Health Consumer Index posted on the CBC website and note that the information was generated by Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a think tank based out of Winnipeg. They have a interesting take on things that seems to favour adjusting society to welcome globalization (yikes), and “empowerment” of Aboriginals (which seems to mean cancelling their special rights and demand they adopt the European way of life or die). They also have a video for sale questioning the role of human activity in global warming.
Need to know more? I do. Like, for instance, why the f*ck CBC is giving these idiots air time without pointing out clearly who they are.
– Eleanor Claire